Paul Spicer

Paul Spicer, PhD, is a Professor of Anthropology, University of Oklahoma, and President of ZERO TO THREE's Board.

Paul Spicer


Contributions to the Field

Dr. Spicer is a cultural anthropologist with expertise in substance abuse, mental health, and child development in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. He has multiple publications in these areas and has been Principal Investigator on numerous grants to support this work, including awards from the Administration on Children and Families, several institutes within the National Institutes of Health (including the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development), and two national programs of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Dr. Spicer also serves as Editor In Chief of the Infant Mental Health Journal.


  • Board Member, ZERO TO THREE
  • Center for Applied Social Research, University of Oklahoma
  • American Anthropological Association
  • Society for Research on Child Development
  • World Association for Infant Mental Health

Current Research

Dr. Spicer’s current research focuses on the ethics and politics of knowledge and practice in American Indian and Alaska Native communities, with a focus on community-based intervention development in early childhood. This work involves him in explorations of the ways that approaches derived from specialty mental health practice can be translated to lower-resource settings. Of particular interest currently are the ways that infant mental health perspectives can be made relevant to pediatric practice.

Recent Honor/Awards/Recognition/Books Published

Dr. Spicer has presented invited addresses in London, Vienna, and East Lansing, Michigan, and his work has been featured in leading journals in anthropology, developmental psychology, medicine, and infant mental health, as well as in edited volumes on children’s health and development.