Faculty Directory

Kirsten Davison

Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Chair

Associate Dean for Research


Kirsten K. Davison, MS, PhD, is the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Chair and Associate Dean for Research in the School of Social Work at Boston College. Following the completion of her PhD in Human Development and Families Studies at Penn State University, Dr. Davison held faculty appointments at SUNY Albany (2003–2011) and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (2011–2019) before joining the faculty at Boston College in July 2019. Dr. Davison leads an extramurally-funded research program focused on parenting and child health outcomes, with a particular focus on underserved families in a domestic setting. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, current studies include a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a childhood obesity preventive intervention for low-income families implemented in Head Start, a cohort study examining links between sleep and growth in children from birth to 2 years, and a national study examining the role of fathers in childhood obesity prevention. Beyond her research, Dr. Davison has led transdisciplinary postgraduate training programs including the Public Health Nutrition doctoral program and the Cancer Prevention and Control fellowship program at Harvard and has an extensive history mentoring undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students.