Tiffany Field

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Tiffany Field
La Crosse, WI
Alma materUniversity of Cincinnati; Tufts University; University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Occupation(s)Professor, University of Miami School of Medicine

Tiffany Martini Field is professor in the departments of pediatrics, psychology, and psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine and director of the Touch Research Institute. She specializes in infant development, especially with regard to the impact of maternal postpartum depression on mother-infant interaction and the efficacy of massage and touch therapy in promoting growth and emotional well-being in premature and low birth weight infants.[1][2][3]

Field received the American Psychological Association Boyd McCandless Award for distinguished early career contributions to developmental psychology in 1979.[4] In 2014, Field became the first psychologist to receive the Golden Goose Award for federally funded research on infant massage, an honor she shared with Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn, and Gary Evoniuk who established the beneficial effects of massage on growth in studies of rat pups.[5][6]

Field is an author whose books include The Amazing Infant,[7] Infancy,[8] Touch,[9] Touch Therapy,[10] Complementary and Alternative Therapies Research,[11] and Massage Therapy Research,[12] as well as edited volumes.


Field attended the University of Cincinnati, where she studied Psychology and completed her bachelor's degree in 1963. She continued her education at Tufts University, earning a master's degree in Occupational Therapy in 1965 and a second master's degree in Child Studies in 1973. Field subsequently attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and graduated with a PhD in Developmental Psychology in 1976. After a year as a visiting professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Field joined the faculty of the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Medical School in 1977. She has remained at the University of Miami Medical School throughout her career with a joint appointment to the Fielding Graduate University.[3]

Field's research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (Senior Research Scientist Award), the National Institute of Mental Health (Research Scientist Development Award; Merit Award), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the United States Department of Health & Human Services Administration on Children, Youth and Families, the March of Dimes, Johnson & Johnson, and Gerber corporations.

Research on benefits of touch[edit]

Field is best known for her research on the effectiveness of massage therapy for stimulating growth in preterm infants. In one of her studies, premature infants received tactile/kinesthetic stimulation, consisting of body stroking and passive movements of the limbs, 3 times per day for 15 minutes over a 10-day period.[13] These infants showed greater weight gain, were more active and alert, and were discharged from the hospital on average of six days earlier than a control group of premature infants who were not massaged.[14] Other research has focused on how massage during pregnancy and labor benefits the mother by decreasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In one study, pregnant women who received massage therapy for five weeks reported less anxiety, depression and leg and back pain than a control group who received relaxation therapy.[15][16]

Extending her research on the benefits of touch to treatments for pain, Field and her colleagues conducted research demonstrating that regular massages (15 minutes a day for 30 days) reduced pain among children suffering from rheumatoid arthritis when compared with a control group receiving relaxation therapy.[17] Other work demonstrated similar benefits for adults suffering arthritis pain.[18] In research focusing on the use of alternative therapies with elderly individuals, Field and her colleagues have demonstrated benefits of movement therapy,[19] massage, yoga, and tai chi.[20][21]

Representative publications[edit]

  • Field, T. M. (1995). Infants of depressed mothers. Infant Behavior and Development, 18(1), 1–13.
  • Field, T. M. (1998). Massage therapy effects. American Psychologist, 53(12), 1270–1281.
  • Field, T. M., Healy, B. T., Goldstein, S., & Guthertz, M. (1990). Behavior-state matching and synchrony in mother-infant interactions of nondepressed versus depressed dyads. Developmental Psychology, 26(1), 7–14.
  • Field, T. M., Schanberg, S. M., Scafidi, F., Bauer, C. R., Vega-Lahr, N., Garcia, R., ... & Kuhn, C. M. (1986). Tactile/kinesthetic stimulation effects on preterm neonates. Pediatrics, 77(5), 654–658.
  • Field, T. M., Woodson, R., Greenberg, R., & Cohen, D. (1982). Discrimination and imitation of facial expression by neonates. Science, 218(4568), 179–181.


  1. ^ Goleman, Daniel (1988-08-18). "HEALTH: CHILD DEVELOPMENT; For Some Babies Troubled at Birth, Signs of Hope". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  2. ^ Goleman, Daniel (1988-02-02). "The Experience of Touch: Research Points to a Critical Role". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  3. ^ a b "Tiffany Field Leads Guinness World Record". Fielding Graduate University. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  4. ^ "Boyd McCandless Award". APA. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  5. ^ "2014: Rat and Infant Massage". The Golden Goose Award. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  6. ^ "Psychologist wins Golden Goose Award". APA. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  7. ^ Field, Tiffany M. (2007). The amazing infant (1st ed.). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Pub. ISBN 978-1405153928. OCLC 71285164.
  8. ^ Field, Tiffany M. (1990). Infancy. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0674452631. OCLC 21560635.
  9. ^ Field, Tiffany M. (2001). Touch. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. ISBN 0262561565. OCLC 52290590.
  10. ^ Field, Tiffany M. (2000). Touch therapy. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 0443057915. OCLC 41527868.
  11. ^ Field, Tiffany M. (2009). Complementary and alternative therapies research. American Psychological Association. (1st ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN 9781433813993. OCLC 656836995.
  12. ^ Field, Tiffany M. (2006). Massage therapy research (1st ed.). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 0443102015. OCLC 460904356.
  13. ^ Field, Tiffany M.; et al. (1986). "Tactile/Kinesthetic Stimulation Effects on Preterm Neonates". Pediatrics. 77 (5): 654–658. doi:10.1542/peds.77.5.654. PMID 3754633.
  14. ^ Goleman, Daniel (1988-02-02). "The Experience of Touch: Research Points to a Critical Role". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  15. ^ Field, T.; Hemandez-Reif, M.; Hart, S.; Theakston, H.; Schanberg, S.; Kuhn, C. (1999-01-01). "Pregnant women benefit from massage therapy". Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology. 20 (1): 31–38. doi:10.3109/01674829909075574. ISSN 0167-482X. PMID 10212885.
  16. ^ "What to Expect from Pregnancy Massage - MASSAGE Magazine". 31 July 2015. Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  17. ^ Field, Tiffany; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Seligmen, Susan; Krasnegor, Josh; Sunshine, William; Rivas-Chacon, Rafael; Schanberg, Saul; Kuhn, Cynthia (1997-10-01). "Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis: Benefits from Massage Therapy". Journal of Pediatric Psychology. 22 (5): 607–617. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/22.5.607. ISSN 0146-8693. PMID 9383925.
  18. ^ Field, Tiffany; Diego, Miguel; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; Shea, Jean (2007). "Hand arthritis pain is reduced by massage therapy". Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 11 (1): 21–24. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2006.09.002.
  19. ^ Hartshorn, Kristen; Delage, Jesse; Field, Tiffany; Olds, Loren (2002). "Senior citizens benefit from movement therapy". Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 6 (1): 55–58. doi:10.1054/jbmt.2001.0229.
  20. ^ Field, Tiffany (2016). "Knee osteoarthritis pain in the elderly can be reduced by massage therapy, yoga and tai chi: A review". Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice. 22: 87–92. doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2016.01.001. PMID 26850812.
  21. ^ Konnikova, Maria (2015-03-04). "The Power of Touch". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2017-11-11.

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