Jackie Nelson

Associate Professor - Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Program Head, Psychology MS
JO 4.202
Faculty Page
Tags: Psychological Sciences

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. - Human Development and Family Studies
University of North Carolina at Greensboro - 2011
M.S. - Human Development and Family Studies
University of North Carolina at Greensboro - 2008
B.A. - Psychology
Elon University - 2006

Research Areas

Research Interests

Family members live in a system where they are constantly influenced by one another and by the environment. Emotion is a large part of family life and is especially likely to be transferred between parents and children. I am interested in many family processes including how mothers and fathers influence their spouse's parenting behavior, how stress occurring in parents' multiple roles affects family interaction, and how parents interact with their children and socialize their children's emotional development.


Boyer, B. P., Nelson, J. A., & Holub, S. C. (in press). Sex differences in the relation between body mass index trajectories and adolescent social adjustment. Social Development. - Publication
Tollossa, R. M., & Nelson, J. A. (2021). “Because I said so!”: Mothers’ conventional conflict justification related to resolution and child behavior problems and temperamental reactivity. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 43, 250-255. 2021 - Publication
Nelson, J. A., Boyer, B. P., Smith, O. A., & Villarreal, D. L. (2019). Relations between characteristics of collaborative and oppositional mother-child conflict. Parenting: Science and Practice, 19, 203-216. 2019 - Publication
Nelson, J. A., Boyer, B. P., Villarreal, D. L., & Smith, O. A. (2017). Relations between mothers’ daily work, home, and relationship stress with characteristics of mother-child conflict interactions. Journal of Family Psychology, 31, 431-441. 2017 - publications

Additional Information

 Jackie Nelson earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology at Elon University and her doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is an Associate Professor of Psychology studying parenting, family interaction, family stress and children's social-emotional development.

News Articles

New BBS Researcher Focused on Family Dynamics
Dr. Jackie Nelson, a new assistant professor in the UT Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), is interested in parents and children, and the ways family relationships contribute to emotional development. Nelson joined UT Dallas this fall, and the psychologist is primarily teaching classes centered on child development and parental interactions. She said she is enjoying getting to know her new students and faculty colleagues.“My early impression of UT Dallas students is that they are very intelligent, curious and enthusiastic, with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences,” she said. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Elon University, Nelson earned her Master of Science and PhD degrees in human development and family studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is looking forward to collaborating on a variety of projects with her new colleagues in BBS
Jackie Nelson Receives BBS Teaching Award
Assistant professor Dr. Jackie Nelson wants her classes to be supportive, but also challenging. Based on reviews from students and fellow faculty members, she apparently has been successful. Nelson recently was awarded the 2016 Aage Møller Teaching Award, one of several honors given to faculty members and students in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS).

Nelson teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on child development and family psychology. Her research examines children’s social-emotional development and how mothers’ and fathers’ experiences at work, home, and in relationships are related to interactions with their children.
Avoiding Blame Game Is the Smart Strategy in Parent-Child Conflicts
A UT Dallas researcher says there’s a smart way for children and parents to disagree — and it doesn’t involve casting blame. 
Dr. Jackie Nelson
, assistant professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, said parents and children who focused discussions on future-oriented planning, rather than accusations and culpability, were more likely to reach a compromise in which both parents’ and children’s goals are realized. In addition, her research showed that how conflicts are resolved can predict changes in children’s externalizing problems a year later.