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Mary Jane Brotherson

Title: Professor Emeritus
Department: Human Development & Family Studies
Email: mjbrothe@iastate.edu

Research interests

  • Impact of nutrition intervention on children and families
  • Self-determination for young children with disabilities
  • Interventions for families having young children with disabilities
  • Development of family and professional partnerships with families of children with disabilities
  • Family support policy
  • Play for young children with disabilities

Published works and presentations

Palmer, S., Summers, J. A., Brotherson, M. J. Erwin, E., Maude, S., Stroup-Rentier, V.  Hsaing-Yi, W., Peck, N., Zheng, Y., Weigel, C., Chu, S., McGrath, G., and Haines, S. (in-press). Building a Foundation for Self-Determination in Early Childhood: An Inclusive Model for Children with Disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education.
Erwin, E., Brotherson, M. J., & Summers, J. A. (2011). Understanding Qualitative Metasynthesis:  Issues and Opportunities in Early Childhood Intervention Research. Journal of Early Intervention, 33(3), 186-200.
Maude, S., Brotherson, M. J.  Summers, J., Erwin, E., Palmer, S., Peck, N. F, Zheng, Y. Z., Kruse, A., Haines, S., & Weigel, C. (2011). Performance ethnography: A strategy to link research to professional development in inclusive early childhood teacher preparation. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 32, 355-366.
Brotherson, M. J., Summers, J. A., Naig, L., Kyzar, K., Friend, A., Epley, P., Gotto, G., and Turnbull, A. (2010). Partnership patterns: Addressing emotional needs in early intervention. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30(1), 32-45.
Epley, P., Gotto, G., Summers, J.A., Brotherson, M.J., Friend, A., Turnbull, A. and Xiaoyi, K. (2010). Supporting families of young children with disabilities: Examining the role of administrative structures. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 30(1), 20-31.
Soodak, L., Erwin, E., Winton, P., Brotherson, M. J., Turnbull, A. P., Hanson, M., and Brault, L. (2002). Implementing inclusive early childhood education - A call for professional empowerment. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 22(2), 91-102.
Greder, K., Garasky, S., and Brotherson, M. J. (2002). Welfare reform: Lessons learned in Iowa. The Report from National Council on Family Relations, 47(3): F6-F7.
Greder, K., (2002) and Brotherson, M. J. Food security and low-income families: research to inform policy and programs. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 94(2).
Parette, H. P., Huer, M. B., and Brotherson, M. J. (2001). Related service personnel perceptions of team AAC decision-making across cultures. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 36(1), 69-82.
Brotherson, M. J., Sheriff, G., Milburn, P., and Schertz, M. (2001). Elementary school principals and their needs and issues for integrated early childhood programs. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education. 21,(1), 31-45.
Parette, H. P., Brotherson M. J., and Huer, M. B. (2000). Giving families a voice in augmentative and alternative communication decision-making. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 35(2), 177-190.
Kennedy, T.S., Oakland, M. J., and Brotherson, M. J. (2000). Making feeding decisions for preterm low birth weight infants: A family systems approach. Topics in Clinical Nutrition, 15(2), 38-48.
Brotherson, M.J. (1999). Challenged to expand our repertoire of skills in qualitative research. Journal of Early Intervention, 22(4), 289-290.


  • Ph.D., University of Kansas-Lawrence, 1985
  • M.S., University of Nebraska-Omaha, 1976
  • B.S., University of Nebraska-Omaha, 1973

Professional organizations

  • Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps
  • American Association of Mental Retardation
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Association for the Care of Children's Health