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Katherine Magnuson, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University, 2002
B.A., History and Political Science, Brown University, 1995
Office Address:206 School of Social Work
Socioeconomic status and child development; early education and intervention; welfare reform and family well-being.
Katherine’s research focuses on the well-being and development of economically disadvantaged children and their families. She examines how disparities in socioeconomic status (SES) affect children’s development, and how these effects may be altered by policies and programs, especially early childhood education programs. She also investigates how maternal education impacts child development.
Specifically, Katherine blends two streams of research that are often considered separately: (1) research on the influence of parents’ employment, income, and education, as well as welfare policies, on children’s well-being, with a special emphasis on the extent to which differences in SES across racial and ethnic groups explain disparities in children’s school performance; and (2) research on direct child interventions, particularly early education, that may serve a compensatory role for disadvantaged children. The first body of literature illuminates the scope of possible benefits that may accrue to children from interventions that directly improve the well-being of their parents, while the second line of research provides insights regarding how directing services and resources to children, rather than to their parents, may buffer the harmful effects of being raised in a disadvantaged family.
Children in Early Care and Education . ( , Ed.).Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, Volume 4: Ecological Settings and Processes in Developmental Systems. 4,(In Press).
Children and Socioeconomic Status. ( , Ed.).Handbook of Child Psychology and Developmental Science, Volume 4: Ecological Settings and Processes in Developmental Systems. 4,(In Press).
Delivering High-Quality Early Childhood Education and Care to Low-Income Children: How Well is the US Doing?. ( , Ed.).An Equal Start: Providing Quality Early Education and Care for Disadvantaged Children . 193 - 218.(2014).
Can Research Design Explain Variation in Head Start Research Results? A Meta-Analysis of Cognitive and Achievement Outcomes. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. 35(1), 76 - 95.(2013).
The Development of SES Gradients in Skills during the School Years: Evidence from the US and UK. ( , Ed.).From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage.(2012).
Family Structure Transitions and Changes in Maternal Resources and Well-being.. Demography. 49(1), 23-47.(2012).
Child care and school performance in Denmark and the United States. Children and Youth Services Review. 34(3), 576 - 589.(2012).