Jen Burke Lefever, Ph.D

Jennifer Burke Lefever

Managing Director

Phone: (574) 631-8595

Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., University of Notre Dame

Area of Expertise

Socio-emotional development
Program evaluation

Research Interests

Optimization of early childhood experiences to support cognitive, social, emotional, and moral development


I have over 20 years’ hands-on experience with research with families. My early research documented the developmental consequences of non-optimal parenting on children. More recent research has focused on home-based interventions and other program evaluations (e.g. bullying prevention, prison nursery). I have held a leadership position at the Shaw Center for Children and Families since 2008, supervising shared laboratories, consulting on projects, and supporting grant-writing. 


Miller-Graff, L. E., Nuttall, A. K., & Lefever, J. E. (2019). Interpersonal violence during pregnancy: Enduring effects in the post-partum period and implications for the intergenerational transmission of risk. International Journal of Behavioral Development43, 195-203.

Lefever, J. E. B., Bigelow, K. M., Carta, J. J., Borkowski, J. G., Grandfield, E., McCune, L., Irvin, D. W., & Warren, S. F. (2017). Long-term impact of a cell phone enhanced parenting intervention. Child Maltreatment, 22, 305-314.

Braungart-Rieker, J.M., Lefever, J.B., Planalp, E.M., & Moore, E.S. (2016). Body Mass Index at age 3: Cascading effects of prenatal maternal depression and mother-infant dynamics. Journal of Pediatrics, 177, 128-132.

Nuttall, A., Valentino, K., Wang, L., Lefever, J., & Borkowski, J. (2015). Maternal history of parentification and warm responsiveness: The mediating role of knowledge of infant development. Journal of Family Psychology,  29, 863-872. 

Carta, J. J., Lefever, J. B., Bigelow, K., Borkowski, J., & Warren, S. F. (2013). Randomized trial of a cellular-phone enhanced home visitation parenting intervention. Pediatrics, 132, S167-173.