Website: Understanding Children and Families Lab

  • Florida Psychologist, Lic. No. PY6771

Kimberly Renk, Ph.D., joined the faculty at the University of Central Florida in Fall 2000 after completing her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.  Prior to her doctoral degree, Dr. Renk earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois.  Throughout the course of her educational endeavors, Dr. Renk gained both general training experiences in Clinical Psychology as well as specialty training experiences in Clinical Child and Pediatric Psychology.  Nonetheless, Dr. Renk’s work has been most heavily influenced by specialized Infant Mental Health Fellowship training that she received while completing her Predoctoral Internship at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Accordingly, Dr. Renk’s research laboratory, Understanding Young Children and Families, provides a forum for investigating a variety of Infant Mental Health-related issues, for providing evidence-based and trauma-informed services to families with young children who are 6-years of age and younger (through the Young Children and Families Research Clinic [YCFRC]), and for building community partnerships meant to better serve high-risk families and their young children in Central Florida.  With regard to research, Dr. Renk and her students currently are examining issues that will further our understanding of the parent-young child connection, especially when families are struggling with problems in living, changes in caregivers, substance use and other psychological disorders, trauma, and abuse or neglect.  In conjunction with Dr. Renk’s research, she and her students provide evidence-based and trauma-informed assessments and interventions (e.g., Circle of Security-Parenting, Child-Parent Psychotherapy) to help foster more positive adjustments for young children and their families.  Finally, Dr. Renk has built a variety of community partnerships through her work, including connections with the Florida Association of Infant Mental Health, the Florida State University’s Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Center for Drug-Free Living/Aspire, Community Based Care, and the local judicial circuit.

For more information about Dr. Renk’s research, evidence-based services, and community partnerships, please contact her directly.


Renk, K., Billings, G., Hilken, A., Leakey, S., & Kronenberg, M. (2020 Online).  Using reflective practice to promote interconnectedness in Safe Babies Court Team systems.  Zero to Three.  Retrieved from

Khan*, M., & Renk, K.  (2019).  Mothers’ adverse childhood experiences, depression, parenting, and attachment as predictors of young children’s problems.  Journal of Child Custody, 16 (3), 268-290. DOI:

Renk, K. (2019).  Reactive attachment disorder: Bridging DSM diagnostic criteria and the research domain criteria via etiological possibilities (pp. 743-768).  In B. Olatunji (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook on anxiety and related disorders.  New York, NY:  Cambridge University Press. 

Boris, N. W., Renk, K., Lowell*, A., & Kolomeyer*, E.  (2018).  Parental substance abuse. In C. Zeanah (Ed.), Handbook of infant mental health (Fourth edition).  New York, NY: Guilford Press. 

Lowell*, A., & Renk, K.  (2018).  Cognitive-behavioral treatment of PTSD with a young boy and his mother following the experience of chronic domestic violence.  Clinical Case Studies, 17 (3), 166-187DOI: 

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