Seattle, Washington, USA

Research Interests

Comparative Education
Development of Children & Youth
Developmental Disabilities
Early Childhood
Learning Sciences & Human Development
Qualitative Research Methods

Brinda India Jegatheesan

Associate Professor

Dr. Jegatheesan addresses national and global issues in her research and teaching.   In her areas of specialization, her interdisciplinary and multicultural scholarship draws on several traditional and cultural contexts and addresses issues of equity, access and inclusion on a local and global level, to engage in ongoing collective conversations with the goal of  inspiring actions for change in learning and working environments, for both humans and animals. 

Brinda Jegatheesan was the former Vice President Development for the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO)  (2013-2022) and serves on the board for the International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), and the editorial board for the Human-Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation (HABRI). She is the Editor of the Science section of the journal  People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice (PAIJ). Dr. Jegatheesan is a Fellow at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the University of Denver.

Languages spoken: Tamil, Hindi, English, Japanese, French

Post-Doctorate University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2006
Ph.D University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2005
MEd University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2000

Developmental Psychology, Learning Sciences & Human Development, Psychological Anthropology:  Dr. Jegatheesan's research and teaching centers on psychosocial-cultural and contextual factors in child development and learning. The population she works with are migrant children with neurobiological disabilities (autism) and other developmental disabilities, childhood post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)  caused by family violence, war/postwar trauma, separation, loss and grief.

 Psychology and Veterinary Medicine, Anthrozoology, Animal-Assisted Interventions, Health Sciences: Dr. Jegatheesan research and professional development in this area is at the crossroads of human-animal bond and veterinary medicine and practice. She also focuses on One Health-One Welfare (OHOW) and public health, bioethics in Animal-assisted interventions and the unexamined links between children and animals and the role animals play in their psychological wellbeing.

Research Sites: Netherlands, Scotland, USA, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan

Jegatheesan B., & Enders-Slegers, M.J (ongoing). AAI and hospitalized children and adolescents with psychiatric and other terminal illnesses.  (Barcelona, Spain)

Jegatheesan, B., Enders-Slegers,  M.J., Ormerod, L., & Boyden, P (ongoing). Child abuse, animal abuse and domestic violence: Prevention and intervention.  (US, Netherlands, Scotland, UK)

Jegatheesan, B (ongoing). Impact of culture, religion and the ethics of care.  (India)

Jegatheesan, B & Park, H (2014). Cultural values, acculturation and intergenerational value discrepancies in child-animal interactions: Recent trends among Asian American families in the United States. 

Jegatheesan, B ( 2008) When having Autism Means Loss of Family Languages: Children with Autism in Multilingual Immigrant Families in the Pacific Northwest. 

Jegatheesan, B (2008-2011). The Impact of Culture on the Human-Animal Bond: A Cross Cultural Study with Young Children. 

Jegatheesan, B (2010). Native Language Loss and Preservation among First Nations Children.  (British Columbia, Canada)

Jegatheesan, B  & Park, H (PI, 2010). Emotion Socialization and Multilingualism. 

Jegatheesan, B (2007). Beliefs and Experiences of Disability in Asian and European American Children who have Siblings with Autism: Pictorial and Narrative Representation. 

Jegatheesan, B (2007). Diagnosis and Post-Diagnosis Period: Needs and Supports Reported by Asian Immigrant Families of Young Children with Developmental Disabilities.

Jegatheesan, B (2003-2005). Ways of Being at Home and Community: Language Socialization of Children with Autism in Multilingual South Asian Immigrant Families

Fellowships, honors and awards

President's Award 2014 for Outstanding Service to the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO),  Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Nominated for College of Education Outstanding Advisor Award- 2011

Nominated for Marsha L. Landolt Graduate Mentor Award, University of Washington award - 2010

Fellow, Institute for Human-Animal Center (IHAC), University of Denver

Fellow, Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - 2004

Affiliate Professor, Canadian Studies Center, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle

Affiliate Professor,  Anthrozoology, department of Psychological and Educational Sciences at the Open Universiteit Nederland, The Netherlands


Broadcast media

Jegatheesan, Brinda.  Why pets and pet therapy help people heal.Interview. Right as Rain by UW medicine, July 29, 2019

Jegatheesan, Brinda. Emotional support service animals (peacocks and other wild and exotic animals), and dangers of companions animals traveling as cargo in airlines.  The Record, New Jersey. February 6, 2018, Brinda.  'Yolo facility dogs helps crime victims reclaim their voice.'  Interview. The Sacramento Bee.  September 5, 2015. Print.

Jegatheesan, Brinda.  'How dogs are helping children in the classroom.'  Interviewed by Kathleen Dunn. Wisconsin Public Radio. The Kathleen Dunn Show, August 25, 2015.  Radio.

Jegatheesan, Brinda. 'Human-Animal Relationship and Developmental Benefits: Interaction with pets helps children have a healthier body and mind.'  Interview. The China Times. Taipei, Taiwan. December 10, 2013. Print

Jegatheesan, Brinda. 'Children and animals: Developmental and socialization benefits. Interview. Taiwan PetPets. Taipei, Taiwan, December 9, 2013. Print 

Jegatheesan, Brinda. "'Animals helping vulnerable and abused children.' Interview. Japan Shimbun (Japan Newspaper). Tokyo, Japan, December 6, 2013. Print 

 Jegatheesan, Brinda. " 'How loving animals can benefit your health: Animals may be key to alleviating stress and living a happier and healthier life.' Interview. VegNews.  October 30, 2013.  Print 

Jegatheesan, Brinda. 'Teacher’s Pets – Involving animals to teach students confidence, compassion and other lessons they can’t get from textbooks.' Interview. Washingtonian Magazine. July 2013.   Print 

Jegatheesan, Brinda. 'Cultural Intelligence: What’s your child’s global IQ?' Interview. Parent Map. May 2013. Print.

Selected publications

Jegatheesan, B., Ormerod, E., Graham, T., Stone,W., Power, E., Rook, D., & McCune, S (2023).  Pets and Housing: A One Health One Welfare issue and a right to health and wellbeing for human and non-human animals. In A.H, Fine (Eds.). Handbook on human-animal interactions, interventions and anthrozoology 

Howell, T., Nieforth , L., Thomas, C., Samet, L., Agbonika, S., Cuevas, F., Ekholm, F., Hill,  K,  Jegatheesan, B., et al (2022). Defining terms used for animals working in support roles for people with support needs. Animals, 12 (15)

Jegatheesan, B (2022, Invited). The LINK between animal cruelty and family violence: Addresssing psychological, familial, and socio-pathology of violence through humane education and animal-assisted interventions. In: Anger, aggression,  and violence: Causes, pathology & treatments. Kings College, UK

Jegatheesan, B & M.G (2022). Ahimsa, Violence Resolutions on Animals in India and impact on animals and child witnesses: A One Health One Welfare approach to animal welfare and public health and culturally relevant interventions. 

Jegatheesan, B., & Ormerod, E (Invited, 2021). The human-animal bond and One Health-One Welfare. In: C. Drisscoll (Eds.). Animal-assisted interventions for health and human service professionals.  

Jegatheesan, B., Enders-Slegers, M., Ormerod, E., & Boyden, P (2021). Understanding the LINK between animal cruelty and family violence: The Bioecological systems model. Intl. Journal Environment Research & Public Health, 17 (9), 3116

Jegatheesan, B (2019) .  Influence of cultural and religous factors on attitudes towards animals. In A.H. Fine (Eds.).  Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice: Amsterdam: Elsevier

Jegatheesan, B., Enders-Slegers, M.J., Ormerod, E., & Boydan, P ( 2019, under review). The Link between child abuse, animal cruelty and family violence: Ecological systems case studies and implications for veterinarians. 

Jegatheesan, B., & Bujorbarua, P. (under review).  'A life without each other:' Refugee migrant child-companion animal relationship, forced migration and psychological wellbeing. 

Jegatheesan, B., & Ormerod, E. Overview of the human-animal bond and one health - one welfare. In Animal-assisted interventions for health and human service professionals. 

Jegatheesan, B., Sheehey, P., Ornelles, C., & Elliott, E (2017). Teaching indigenous students with developmental disabilities: Embedding cultural practices of dance, movement, and music in pedagogy. Child Studies in Asia-Pacific Contexts, 7 (1), 1-13. 

Brinda Jegatheesan (2015). Influence of cultural and religious factors on attitudes towards animals. In A.H. Fine (Eds.).  Handbook on Animal-Assisted Therapy: Theoretical foundations and guidelines for practice: Amsterdam: Elsevier

Jegatheesan, B (under review). Stigma, social exclusion and healthcare in Vietnamese American families of children with severe disabilities 

Jegatheesan, B (under review)  From mainstream to the margins: The ethnicity- religion-healthcare connection for a Muslim American family with a child with severe autism

Sheehey, P., & Jegatheesan, B (2014). Ka Malama Na'auao Keiki Oiwa ma o ka Ike Ku'una a Nohona Hawai'i: Nurturing the learning of native children with special needs through Hawaiian traditional values and practices. In P. McCardle & V. Berninger. (Eds). Narrowing the achievement gap for Native American students: Paying the educational debt. New York: Routledge

Strong, Z., & Jegatheesan, B (2014). School culture matters: Empowering and enabling Native American students in public schools. In P. McCardle & V. Berninger. (Eds). Narrowing the achievement gap for Native American students: Paying the educational debt. New York: Routledge.

Jegatheesan, B., & Witz, K (2014). Waheeda remembering her cat Izzy: A study in the consciousness of a child. Qualitative Inquiry

Jegatheesan, B., & Witz, K. (2013). An Ethnographic Study on Religion, Spirituality and Maternal Influence on Sibling Relationships in a Muslim Family with a Child with Autism. Review of Disability Studies

Jegatheesan, B (2012). Using an adaptive methodology to study human-animal interactions in cultural context.  Anthrozoos, 25, 107-121

Sage, K., & Jegatheesan, B (2012). Play interactions between children with autism and their siblings in a European American and an Asian American family. Child Studies in Diverse Contexts, 2 (1), 11-27

Park, H., & Jegatheesan, B (2012). Helping our Children with Homework: Homework as an activity of anxiety for bilingual Korean American mothers. Child Studies in Diverse Contexts, 3 (2).

Jegatheesan, B (2011).  Multilingualism and autism: Perspectives of South Asian Muslim immigrant parents on raising a child with a communicative disorder in multilingual contexts. Bilingual Research Journal, 34, 185-200

Jegatheesan, B., Sheehey, P., & Ornelles, C (2011). Teaching for transformation: Preparing teacher candidates to work with Asian American and Pacific Islander students with disabilities and their families. Teacher Education Division, Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). Monograph, Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions for Culturally Competent and Inter-Culturally Sensitive Leaders in Education.

Jegatheesan, B (2010). Cross Cultural Issues in Parent-Professional Interactions: A Qualitative Study of Perceptions of Asian American Families of Children with Developmental Disabilities. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities 34 (3)

Jegatheesan, B., Miller, P., & Fowler, S (2010). Autism from a Religious Perspective: A Study of Parental Beliefs in South Asian Muslim Immigrant Families. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Jegatheesan, B., Fowler, S., & Miller, P (2010). From Symptom Recognition to Services: How South Asian Muslim Immigrant Families Navigate Autism. Disability and Society

Sage, K., & Jegatheesan, B (2010). Parents socializing sibling relationships in European American and Asian American families of children with autism in the United States. International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education, 2 (3), 193-213

Sage, K., & Jegatheesan, B (2010).Perceptions of siblings with autism and relationships with them: European American and Asian American siblings draw and tell. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability

Meadan, H., & Jegatheesan, B. (2010). Pets and Young Children: Supporting Early Development. Young Children

Jegatheesan, B. (2010). Muslim Children with Autism Learn to Pray. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 31(5), 458-459

Jegatheesan, B (Invited, 2009). Muslim Children with Autism Learn to Pray. In Shweder, R.A., Bidell, T., Dailey, A., Dixon, S., Miller, P.J., & Modell, J (Eds.). The Child: An Encyclopedic Companion. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Stake, Robert & Jegatheesan, Brinda (2008). Access, a zone of comprehension, and intrusion. In Advances in Program Evaluation, Vol 12

Jegatheesan, B (2009). The Give and Take in the Human-Animal Bond: Three Tales of Spirit Healing. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Healing

Jegatheesan, B., & Meadan, H (2006). Pets in the Classroom: Promoting and Enhancing the Socio-Emotional Wellness of Young Children. Young Exceptional Children Monograph, 8, 1-12.

Jegatheesan, B (2005). I See the Stars: An Autoethnographer Speaks on Fieldwork and Flashbacks. Qualitative Inquiry, 11 (5), 667-688

Task Force - White Papers 

Jegatheesan, B., Beetz, A., Ormerod, E., Johnson, R., Fine, A.H., Yamazaki, K., Dudzik., Garcia, R., Winkle, M., & Choi, G (2014). Definitions for animal-assisted intervention and guidelines for wellness of animals involved. The International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) White Paper

Jegatheesan, B., Ormerod, E., Hediger K., Fowler, J et al (2021). international Taskforce: Development of IAHAIO's International Standards of Best Practice in Animal-Assisted Interventions and Animal Welfare on the below programs:

Equid Programs, Farm Animal Species Programs, Small Animals Visiting Programs, Small Animals Resident Programs


Jegatheesan, B (2008). Access, A Zone of Comprehension, and Intrusion. In Advances in Program Evaluation Series, Emerald Group Publishing: U.K

This volume of Advances in Program Evaluation examines the nature and seriousness of fieldworkers' problems of failure to gain access, achieve comprehension, and avoid intrusion. To do all three, fieldworkers need understanding and respect of the people from whom they seek data as well as be consciously and critically aware of staging field relationships knotted with tensions of estrangement, involvement, familiarity and distance. In the nine chapters of this volume, the authors speak of access to human subjects data, dealing with research methods and concerns about intrusion.  Attention is given to past and current practices of personalistic studies, particularly in psychology, education and health sciences and the need for improved protection of  research participants.


Editor, People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice , 2017- present 

Associate Editor, People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice, 2015-2017

Guest Editor (Invited). Special Issue on  'Children and Companion Animals: Psychosocial, Medical and Neurobiological Implications', 2017

Editorial Board Member. HABRI Center. Study of the Human-Animal Bond

Editorial Board Member. Journal of Qualitative Inquiry. The Korean Association for Qualitative Inquiry

Editorial Board Member. 2012- Present. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin. Section 13 of Division 17 of the American Psychological Association

Action Editor. 2012-2015. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin.  Section 13 of Division 17 of the American Psychological Association

Jegatheesan, Brinda (Invited Speaker, March 2022). Uprooted: The significanc of human-animal relationships in transforming trauma during forced displacement & collaborative systems and trauma informed services for people and pets 

Jegatheesan, Brinda (Plenary address, Nov 2021).  'A life without each other': Human-animal relationships, forced separation and psychological wellbeing of both humans and animals. Centers for the Human-Animal Bond conference. Purdue University, USA. 

Jegatheesan, Brinda & Ormerod, Elizabeth (Invited Speakers, Nov 2021). Animal abuse as sentinel for human cruelty: The bioecological model as a new and useful approach towards understanding the LINK for prevention and intervention. Canadian Violence Link Conference, Canada. 

Jegatheesan, Brinda (Invited Speaker, Aug 2021). Rethinking humane education programs for vulnerable and marginalized children of the world: A child's rights empowerment and a trans-species social justice pedagogical approach. Exploration of animal-assisted intervetions in Nigeria, Africa Conference 

Jegatheesan, Brinda & Ormerod, Elizabeth (Invited Research Paper Speakers). The Link between animal cruelty and family violence: The Bioecological systems model. Speakers at the National Health Systems (NHS) UK; for pediatricians and other early childhood professionals working on child abuse and trauma. 

Jegatheesan, Brinda (Keynote Speaker, Sept 2020). Best practices in animal-assisted interventions. Society for Companion Animal Studies, Scotland (SCAS), UK

Jegatheesan, Brinda (Invited Speaker, May 2021). Humans and animals in refugee camps: Challenges endured by both populations.  Animals on the Mind. Institute of Human-Animal Connection. University of Denver, Colorado. 

Jegatheesan, Brinda (October, 2015, Invited Speaker). Courthouse facility dogs working with abused and at-risk minority children: Understanding the cultural context of healing.  International Courthouse Dogs Conference, Seattle, Washington, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2015, Plenary Speaker). HAI beyond boundaries and across societies:Developing a roadmap towards the future. Copenhagen, Denmark

Jegatheesan, Brinda (April 2015, Invited Speaker).  Children and Animals: Why culture matters in the relationship. Green Chimneys Human-Animal Interaction Conference 'Growing Together: Kids, Animals and Sowing the Seeds of Resiliency'. New York, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2013, Keynote Speaker). Should children experience wild animals in zoos, circuses, sea-world and other similar settings? Ignoring the ethics of captivity and coercion on children's moral development no more. Taipei, Taiwan

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2013, Keynote Speaker). Role of companion animals in child development and socialization across cultures. Tokyo, Japan.

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2010, Keynote Speaker). The importance of culture in human-animal interactions. International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ)  conference, Stockholm, Sweden

Conference presentations

Jegatheesan, Brinda., & Ormerod, Elizabeth (2023).  Humane education and animal-assisted interventions to address the Link between animal cruelty and family violence.

Enders-Slegers, M.J., & Jegatheesan, B (2019). Animal-assisted interventions in an international perspective: Trends, research and practices. International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) Conference, NYC, USA

Ormerod, E., Jegatheesan, E., Graham, T., & Grandgeorge, M (2019), Rethinking housing with pets as part of the family.  International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) conference, NYC, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda & Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers (2017). The LINK between Child Abuse and Animal Abuse: A Challenge for Veterinarians and Strategies for Collaborative Partnerships for Preventative, Protective and Healing Interventions. International Society for Anthroozoology (ISAZ), California, USA.

Ormerod, Elizabeth & Jegatheesan, Brinda (2017). Pets and Older People: Addressing Challenges to Companion Animals in Housing to Avoid Painful Separation and Trauma. International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), California, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda., & Ormerod, Elizabeth (2016). Human-Animal Bond, Culture, and Clinical Veterinary Care: The Role of Veterinarians in Encountering Negative Effects on Animal Welfare caused by Traditional Beliefs and Behaviors. IAHAIO Conference, Paris, France 

Jegatheesan, Brinda., & Ormerod, Elizabeth (2016). The Lives of Animals Participating in Animal-Assisted Interventions: The Needs for Ethical Conduct for the Welfare of School Animals. International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ), Barcelona, Spain. 

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2016).  Wonder, Love and then Trauma during a Science Project in an Elementary Classroom: What Happened to Schools as Moral Communities? International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Illinois, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2014). Learning through participation in the care of the family pet: Children's roles and responsibilities across cultures. International Society for Anthrozoology conference (ISAZ), Vienna, Austria

Jegatheesan, B., & Bujorbarua, P (2014). Using performance ethnography, dance and movement to document children's views and moral reasoning about animals. International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Illnois, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2014). Portraiture as connecting auto-ethnography to the wider world. International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Illinois, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2013). Muslim American children's views on animal wellness and ethics. International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO), Chicago, USA

Jegatheesan, Brinda (2013). The role of companion animals in the lives of diverse children in the United States. Leo K. Bustand Human-Animal Interaction Symposium. College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Education. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington. USA

Applied Research Workshops & Webinars

Jegatheesan, B (Invited, 2022). Webinar: The impact of animals and nature in the lives of children with trauma histories.  American Psychological Association, APA, Div 17 Sec 13. 

Jegatheesan, B., (USA) Enders-Slegers, M.J., (Netherlands) Arkow, P., (USA) & Boyden, P. (UK) (2016).  Examining the Relationship between Animal Abuse and Child Abuse. International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) Conference, Paris, France 

Jegatheesan, B. (2015). Human and Animal Welfare in Animal-Assisted Interactions across Psychological, Medical and Educational Settings. Copenhagen, Denmark. 

Jegatheesan, B., (USA) Tedeschi, P., (USA) Ormerod, E., (UK) Beetz, A (Germany) (2014). Ethics in Animal-Assisted Interventions. International Society for Anthrozooly Conference (ISAZ), Vienna, Austria