Department of Psychological Sciences

Elizabeth Brestan Knight

Elizabeth Brestan Knight

Elizabeth Brestan Knight


  • 1998, Ph.D., Psychology, Clinical & Health, University of Florida
  • 1992, B.A., Psychology, Emory University

About Elizabeth Brestan Knight
Alma Holladay Endowed Professor

Elizabeth Brestan-Knight, PhD., is a licensed clinical psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Auburn University, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses. For the past 14 years, she has worked in the direct provision of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) with families at the Auburn Psychological Services Center, training fellow therapists, and supervising students in PCIT. She has held two professorships at Auburn, won several awards for her teaching, and served as the department co-chair and undergraduate program director.  Dr. Brestan-Knight has authored PCIT-related chapters and articles as well as a book published by Wiley-Blackwell, A Guide to Teaching Developmental Psychology. She is the director of the Parent-Child Research Lab at Auburn where her research team evaluates PCIT training workshops, PCIT treatment fidelity, and implementation of the Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System.

Dr. Brestan-Knight received a Bachelor of Arts from Emory University and her Ph.D. in Clinical & Health Psychology from the University of Florida.  After completing an internship in pediatric psychology at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Most recently, Brestan-Knight has conducted projects focusing on the dissemination and implementation of PCIT to front-line mental health therapists in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea.  

Click here for an up-to-date listing of lab activities.

Classes Taught

  • PSYC2020, Orientation to the Psychology Major
  • PSYC2010, Introduction to Psychology
  • PSYC2120, Life Span Development
  • PSYC4010, Introduction to Clinical Psychology
  • PSYC4080, Health Psychology
  • PSYC8400, Advanced Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
  • PSYC8420, Behavior Change in Children
  • PSYC8910, Clinical Practicum
  • PSYC8310, Introduction to Clinical Ethics and Methods

Representative Publications

Travis, J., & Brestan-Knight, E. (2013). A pilot study examining trainee treatment session fidelity when parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is implemented in community settings. Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, 40, 342-354.

Nieter, L., Thornberry, T., & Brestan-Knight, E. (2013). The effectiveness of group parent-child interaction therapy with community families. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 22, 490-501.

Wilsie, C., & Brestan-Knight, E. (2012). Using an online viewing system for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy consulting with professionals. Psychological Services, 9, 224-226.

Thornberry, T., & Brestan-Knight, E. (2011). Analyzing the utility of the dyadic parent-child interaction coding system (DPICS) warm up segments. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 33, 187-195

Lee, E.L., Wilsie, C.C., & Brestan-Knight, E. (2011). Using parent-child interaction therapy to develop a pre-parent education module. Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 1254-1261.


Last Updated: October 01, 2021