Melanie M Nelson

Melanie M Nelson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Business Phone: (352) 265-9173
Business Email:

About Melanie M Nelson

Melanie Nelson, PhD, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and mathematics at Illinois Wesleyan University and received her doctorate in clinical child psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She completed an APA-approved internship at Wayne State University working with children and families in various settings, including an inpatient psychiatric hospital, an outpatient clinic and hospital-based medical clinics. After her internship, she completed a three-year, postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida in the department of clinical and health psychology, during which she focused on treatment outcomes research. 

From 2005 to 2013, Dr. Nelson was a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. There, she specialized in clinical practice, training and research in disruptive behavior disorders and autism spectrum disorders for approximately seven years. 

In 2014, Dr. Nelson joined the faculty at UF. She directs the parent-child interaction therapy, or PCIT, program at UF Health Psychiatry. PCIT is an empirically supported therapy designed for young children who are displaying disruptive behavior and was developed by Sheila Eyberg, MD, UF distinguished professor emeritus.  

Dr. Nelson is one of only 20 Certified Master Trainers in PCIT in the U.S., and she supervises PCIT training and treatment at UF. She is also developing a research program to add to the evidence base that supports PCIT. Clinically, she specializes in assessment of and treatment for families with young children, ages 2 to 8, who have a wide range of concerns, including disruptive behavior, anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. 


Exemplary Teacher Award
2017 · University of Florida, College of Medicine
Labeled Praise Award for Significant and Sustained Contributions to the Advancement of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
2011 · PCIT International, Inc.
Oscar Parsons Distinguished Lectureship Award
2009 · Oklahoma Psychological Association

Board Certifications

  • Master Trainer in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy
    PCIT International, Inc.

Clinical Profile

  • Psychology
Areas of Interest
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Research Profile

Areas of Interest
  • Treatment outcome research
  • autism spectrum disorders
  • disruptive behavior disorders


Commercial mindfulness aid does not aid short-term stress reduction compared to unassisted relaxation.
Heliyon. 5(3) [DOI] 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019.e01351. [PMID] 30923771.
Fatal child maltreatment: Characteristics of deaths from physical abuse versus neglect.
Child abuse & neglect. 37(10)
Therapists’ attitudes toward evidence-based practices and implementation of parent-child interaction therapy.
Child maltreatment. 17(1):47-55 [DOI] 10.1177/1077559512436674. [PMID] 22353671.
Low-level lead exposure and contingency-based responding in preschoolers: an exploratory study.
Developmental neuropsychology. 34(4):494-506 [DOI] 10.1080/87565640902964565. [PMID] 20183713.
Evidence-based psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents with disruptive behavior.
Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53. 37(1):215-37 [DOI] 10.1080/15374410701820117. [PMID] 18444059.
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy for children with disruptive behavior and developmental disabilities
. 28(2)
The contribution of executive functions to emergent mathematic skills in preschool children.
Developmental neuropsychology. 26(1):465-86 [PMID] 15276905.
View on: PubMed
Executive functions in preschool children born preterm: application of cognitive neuroscience paradigms.
Child neuropsychology : a journal on normal and abnormal development in childhood and adolescence. 8(2):83-92 [PMID] 12638062.
View on: PubMed
New procedures to assess executive functions in preschool children.
The Clinical neuropsychologist. 15(1):46-58 [PMID] 11778578.
View on: PubMed
Executive functioning in preschool children: performance on A-not-B and other delayed response format tasks.
Brain and cognition. 41(2):178-99 [PMID] 10590818.
View on: PubMed


Post-doctoral Fellowship: Child Clinical Psychology
2002-2005 · University of Florida
Internship: Child Clinical Psychology
2000-2001 · Wayne State University
PhD, Child Clinical Psychology
1998-2002 · Southern Illinois University
MA, Child Clinical Psychology
1996-1998 · Southern Illinois University
BA, Psychology and Mathematics
1989-1993 · Illinois Wesleyan University

Teaching Profile

Courses Taught
CLP6948 Advanced Practicum in Clinical Child Psychology
CLP6905 Individual Work

Contact Details

(352) 265-9173