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Karyn Purvis


Director, Institute of Child Development at Texas Christian University

Dr. Karyn Purvis is the founder and director of the Texas Christian University Institute of Child Development and a passionate advocate for "children from hard places", a phrase that describes children with histories of trauma, abuse and neglect. Dr. Purvis and her mentor and colleague, Dr. David Cross, currently lead the Institute in its triple mission of research, education and outreach on behalf of at-risk children.

Dr. Purvis and Cross also co-authored The Connected Child: Bringing Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family and developed Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), a step-by-step intervention designed to bring deep healing to at-risk children and their struggling families. In 1999, Dr. Purvis launched The Hope Connection, a summer camp that serves as a research and training lab for adopted children and their parents and students.

A noted author, scholar and popular speaker, Dr. Purvis holds a PhD in developmental psychology from Texas Christian University. She was appointed to chair the state committee that set licensing standards for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, has trained judicial and court personnel, caseworkers and orphanage caregivers.

Honors include: T. Berry Brazelton MD Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award; Heroes of Healthcare Award, Families Supporting Adoption Hall of Fame Award, the James Hammerstein Award, and a Distinguished Fellow in Adoption and Child Development.

Dr. Purvis is a former foster mother, a mother of three sons, and a grandmother of eight, two of whom are adopted.

Webcasts by Karyn Purvis

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Attending to Needs, Connecting for Life: Dr. Purvis on Attachment

Join Dr. Karyn Purvis as she discusses her latest research surrounding attachment and connecting with children who have...

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Snack, Play, Love

Dr. Karyn Purvis discusses the most recent research on the impact nutrition can have on behavior.