2016 Workshop

The Fragile Families Summer Data Workshop was held June 15-17, 2016, at Columbia University in New York City. The 2016 workshop included special sections on the neighborhood data in FFCWS.



Sonia Alves

Sonia Alves is currently a 4th year doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a concentration in Human Development and Education. As a part of her studies at Harvard, She is also pursing a Master of Education in Passing in Prevention Science and Practice in the Counseling Strand. Her research interest includes understanding the longitudinal effects of community violence exposure on adolescent academic outcomes. She is interested in identifying the mechanisms that link community violence exposure to academic functioning, with a focus on emotion dysregulation and inattention as potential mechanisms. She is also interested in how school based connectedness approaches can be used to reduce negative effects of community violence exposure on adolescent, as well as how developing coping skills and strategies for managing stressful experiences can influence positive developmental outcomes and academic success in youth.

email: [email protected]



Rachel Bergmans

Rachel Bergmans, MPH, is an epidemiology PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health. She is interested in the social and environmental factors that influence health disparities. Specifically her research focuses on the role food systems, food security, and nutrition play in determining health outcomes. 

email: [email protected]



Carrie Bosch

Carrie Bosch is a PhD student in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests center on the service systems utilized by homeless families, as well as broader policy responses to poverty and housing insecurity. Her current research focuses on the usage of federal safety net programs by homeless and insecurely-housed families.

email: [email protected]



Elizabeth Bowen

Elizabeth Bowen, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo. Her research focuses on how homelessness and housing conditions are connected to a variety of health outcomes, including food insecurity, substance use, and HIV risk behaviors.  Dr. Bowen’s research interests are informed by her experiences as a social worker managing harm reduction-based supportive housing programs for HIV positive adults.

email: [email protected]



Yiwen Cao

Yiwen Cao is a doctoral student in the social work program at Ohio State University. Her primary research interests focus on understanding the neighborhood environment for parental mental health, and their capacity to parent their children. Specifically, she is interested in examining the role of mental health resources within the neighborhood in supporting family well-being and preventing child maltreatment.

email: [email protected]



Matthew W. Carlson

Matthew W. Carlson is a doctoral candidate in the University of Georgia’s Human Development and Family Sciences department.  His research examines the mechanisms that underlie paths from child maltreatment to health risk behaviors.  He is specifically interested in studying links between child sexual abuse and sexual risk taking in adolescence.

email: [email protected]



Christina Cross

Christina Cross is a doctoral candidate in Public Policy and Sociology at the University of Michigan, and a trainee in Social Demography at Michigan's Population Studies Center. Her research interests include inequality, family and children, race/ethnicity, education, and social demography. Her current research examines the extended family support networks of low-income and/or minority families, as it relates to poverty and child and adult wellbeing.

email: [email protected]



Qiana R. Cryer-Coupet

Qiana R. Cryer-Coupet, PhD, MSW, is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at North Carolina State University. Her program of research focuses on the intersections of child and adolescent health/mental health and paternal involvement. She is particularly interested in examining these intersections among families that are engaged in informal kinship care.

email: [email protected]



Katrina Cummings

Katrina Cummings is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Special Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include understanding relations between ecological factors and social and emotional development for underrepresented young children. Prior to her doctoral studies, Katrina provided early intervention and child and family mental health services to address developmental and/or mental health concerns for young children.

email: [email protected]



Janelle Downing

Janelle Downing is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Public Health at University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the effect of social policies and the economy on health, and gene-environment interactions.

email: [email protected] 



Maithreyi Gopalan

Maithreyi Gopalan is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University with a doctoral minor in Psychology. Her research interests lie in bringing psychological insights to bear on education policy. She is interested in examining the inequalities in students’ educational outcomes, specifically for vulnerable group members, across the Pre-K-16 education spectrum. She is currently examining causes and consequences of the racial disparities in achievement, and school-discipline in the US using quasi-experimental and field experiment methods.

email: [email protected]



Angela M. Guarin Aristizabal

Angela M. Guarin Aristizabal is a doctoral student in the Social Welfare Program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Her research interests include the role of family complexity on children’s wellbeing, specifically for disadvantaged racial and ethnic minorities. In addition, she is interested in the design and evaluation of programs and policies serving complex families of color.

email: [email protected]



Brittany N. Hearne

Brittany N. Hearne is a doctoral student in the Sociology department at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include family, social psychology, racial, ethnic, and gender inequality, education, and quantitative methods. Utilizing quantitative methods, she often examines how race, ethnicity, and gender moderate the relationships among family functioning, educational attainment, and mental health.

email: [email protected]



Woosang Hwang

Woosang Hwang is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Child and Family Studies, Syracuse University. He received a Certificate of Advanced Study in ‘Public Management and Policy’ at the Department of Public Administration, Syracuse University. His research interests are low fertility and aging population issues. His current research investigates 1) the effectiveness of work-family policies on employed women’s fertility and 2) intergenerational family relations over the life course.

email: [email protected]



Wendi Johnson

Wendi Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Oakland University. Her research interests including parenting and parenting stress, delinquency, and intimate partner violence.  She relies on longitudinal data to emphasize within-person variations, how individuals change over time, as well as within-group variations that exist within subpopulations. 

email: [email protected]



Yeonwoo Kim

Yeonwoo Kim is a PhD student in the School of Social Work, at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research centers on identifying family-related and neighborhood-related factors associated with educational achievement and health of at-risk children of low SES (Socio-Economic Status) families. Currently, she is working on research that examines the effect of neighborhood economic context on child nutrition, obesity, and physical activity.

email: [email protected]



Hana Lee

Hana Lee, MSW, is a doctoral student in the Social Welfare Program at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Her research interests include (1) understanding the roles of biological and contextual influences on the association between early exposure to adverse childhood experiences and child health and socio-emotional development in middle childhood and (2) the interplay between poverty and child maltreatment.

email: [email protected]



Young-Eun Lee

Young-Eun Lee received her doctoral degree in Human Development of Family Studies from Michigan State University in 2016. Her research focuses on understanding relationships between family processes and child development with an emphasis on parenting and parent-child relationship in low-income families. Her current research examines the mediation effects of toddler coping and adaptation to stress on the link between interparental conflict and toddler problem behavior.

email: [email protected]



Rachel Linsner

Rachel Linsner is a doctoral candidate in Child and Family Studies at Syracuse University. Her research interests include child and family policy, family and parenting stress, trauma, child maltreatment, and military families. She also works as a research analyst at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

email: [email protected] 



Kristina Lopez

Kristina Lopez is a Research Fellow at California State University Long Beach in the School of Social Work, with an upcoming Associate Professor position at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on ecological and socio-cultural perspectives on developmental disabilities and early intervention; development, implementation, and evaluation of culturally informed autism intervention; racial and ethnic disparities in child and mother mental health; Latino children with autism and their families.

email: [email protected]



Ian Lundberg

Ian Lundberg is a Ph.D. student in sociology and social policy at Princeton University. His research focuses on how families shape parents’ labor market trajectories and children’s life chances. One current project uses Fragile Families data to evaluate how child development is shaped by the interplay between family and neighborhood dynamics.

email: [email protected]



Esther N.K. Malm

Esther Malm is a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University. Her research interests include understanding the roles parents and families play in promoting, maintaining or protecting children from involvement in maladaptive and high-risk behaviors. Her research goals include the promotion of family inclusive programs in child-centered interventions. Currently, she is investigating developmental pathways through which parent functioning, parenting, stress and support factors influence peer victimization, bullying and bystander behaviors in children.

email: [email protected]



Crystal L. Murry

Crystal L. Murry is a research assistant in the Department of Sociology at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include the sociology of family, effects of mass incarceration, exclusionary discipline, juvenile delinquency, race and ethnic relations, and the intersection between race, class, gender, and crime. More specifically, her research explores the effects of parental incarceration on youth behavior in schools and their educational outcomes.

email: [email protected]



Johabed Olvera

Johabed Olvera is a Ph.D. student in the Public Affairs program at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, concentrating in public policy analysis and public management. Her primary research interests include antipoverty programs (like, Conditional Cash Transfers CCT and Improving Neighborhoods Conditions programs) and policy that aims to improve social mobility. In particular, she is interested in understand which laws and policy approaches produce the best results in terms of breaking the transmission of disadvantages to children.

email: [email protected]



Kasim Ortiz

Kasim Ortiz is a doctoral student in the Sociology program at the University of New Mexico and a Health Policy Fellow with UNM’s Center for Health Policy. His research interests include social determinants of health disparities among racialized sexual minority populations, discrimination (institutional & interpersonal), mass incarceration, neighborhoods & spatial analyses, political contexts and social activism. His current research investigates how neighborhood contexts (specifically residential segregation) impacts health behaviors among racialized sexual minority populations in the U.S.

email: [email protected]


Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study logo of two letter F's back-to-back.

Alexandria S. Pech  *

Alexandria S. Pech is a doctoral student in the Family Studies and Human Development program at The University of Arizona. Her research interests include risk and resilient factors influencing the behavior development in youth with incarcerated parents, and studying the intersection of race, class and gender within families dealing with parental incarceration. Her current research investigates the implications of parental incarceration, parental depressive symptoms and coparenting relationships for children’s behavior development.

email: [email protected]



Maria Pineros

Maria Pineros, MSW, MPH, is a doctoral student in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on maternal and infant health and early maternal risk and protective factors for childhood obesity. Specifically, she would like to explore the role that maternal mental health has on the development of childhood obesity among minority groups.

email: [email protected]



Joy Piontak

Joy Piontak is a research analyst at the Center for Child and Family Policy in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Her research focuses on understanding the role of neighborhoods and place in child and maternal health and wellbeing. She is also interested in the impact of multigenerational households and neighborhoods on mental health outcomes among low-income mothers. 

email: [email protected]


Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study logo of two letter F's back-to-back.

Teja Pristavec

Teja Pristavec is a PhD student in the Sociology Department at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research interests include inequality, the life course, family, health and illness, transportation, food, and quantitative methods. Currently, she is working on a project comparing mothers’ and children’s reports on father involvement.

email: [email protected]



Qihua Qiu

Qihua Qiu is a PhD candidate in Economics at Georgia State University Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Her research interests include childhood health, obesity, risky behaviors, and academic performance and how they are affected by various policies and economic conditions.

email: [email protected]



Fernando Rios-Avila

Fernando Rios-Avila is a research scholar working at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and teaches at the Master of Science of Economic Theory and Policy. His research interests include labor economics, applied microeconomics, poverty and inequality.

email: [email protected]



Victor A. C. Ronda

Victor A. C. Ronda is a Ph.D. Candidate in Economics at Johns Hopkins University. His research interests are in labor economics, health economics, and child development. His dissertation explores the mechanisms through which maternal mental health influences children development.

email: [email protected]



Thomas Schofield

Thomas Schofield received his Ph.D. in developmental psychology under Ross Parke at the University of California-Riverside, after which he completed his postdoctoral training with Rand Conger at the University of California-Davis. He is currently an assistant professor at Iowa State University. His research focuses on predictors and consequences of parenting behavior, socioeconomic and neighborhood contexts, intergenerational continuity in social behaviors and beliefs, and immigrant families.   

email: [email protected]



Juli Simon Thomas

Juli Simon Thomas is a David E. Bell Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Center for Population and Development Studies. She studies social stratification and intergenerational mobility from a life course perspective, and is particularly interested in the roles that education and income inequality play. Her recent work focuses on disruptive events in people's lives and how these events affect their health outcomes and their children's wellbeing.

email: [email protected]



Madeleine Solan

Madeleine Solan is a Social Science Analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the US Department of Health and Human Services.  At ASPE Madeleine conducts research and policy analysis on a variety of human services issues, including prisoner reentry, child support, healthy relationships, and linking disconnected low-income men to health care.  She also co-chairs a subgroup of the Federal Interagency Reentry Council focused on supporting children of incarcerated parents and their families.  Madeleine came to HHS as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2012.  During her fellowship she completed a detail at the White House Domestic Policy Council as part of the Justice and Regulatory Policy team.  Madeleine holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Bucknell University. 

email: [email protected]


Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study logo of two letter F's back-to-back.

Meredith (Molly) Stevens

Meredith (Molly) Stevens is a PhD student in Developmental Psychology and a graduate fellow at the National Center for Children and Families at Teachers College, Columbia University. Broadly, she is interested in the effects of poverty on child development and family function, and more specifically, on the role and influence of neighborhood processes on the well-being of children and families. 

email: [email protected]



Allison Landy Treviño-Hartman

Allison Landy Treviño-Hartman, LCSW, is a PhD Candidate in the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University, a Rogler Fellow, and a social worker at Montefiore Medical Center. She serves on an advisory board for the Donaldson Adoption Institute. Her research interests include how family policy, maternal health, and political climate challenge young parents.

email: [email protected]



Erin Ware

Erin Ware, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A., has a doctoral degree in epidemiology and master’s degrees in statistics and epidemiology. Dr. Ware’s work for the past eight years has been focused on health disparities in psychiatric epidemiology and high throughput statistical analysis of genomic data and its relationship to outcomes that show marked disparities across ethnic groups and sexes, including depression, and post-traumatic stress. She also has experience in exploring the relationships among genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenetic data and their interactions with behavioral and socioeconomic risk factors as determinants of chronic disease phenotypes that disproportionately affect minorities using cutting-edge computational methods. She currently holds a research faculty position in the Biosocial Methods Collaborative integrating biological and social data on a large scale to evaluate health disparities in the Health and Retirement Study, the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy, and the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service members. She has also been teaching for six years and is particularly skilled at relaying complex computational, statistical and genetic concepts to social scientist and laypersons. She is excited to include the Fragile Families and Childhood Wellbeing study in her research.

email: [email protected]



Nomi Weiss-Laxer

Nomi Weiss-Laxer is a PhD student and Brown Community Health Scholar in the Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her PhD research focuses on maternal mental health, health care utilization, and racial/ethnic health disparities. She is particularly interested in the role the family plays (e.g. structure, social support, decision-making) in influencing public health outcomes.

email: [email protected]



Ellen Whitehead

Ellen Whitehead is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Rice University.  Her areas of interest include the private and public safety nets and neighborhood-level poverty, with a broader focus on understanding how racial inequalities are transmitted across generations.  Specifically, her research focuses on resource sharing between extended kin, whether these transfers vary between racial groups, and how families matter to housing and neighborhood outcomes.

email: [email protected]



Heidi Williams

Heidi Williams is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Louisville. Her research interests include family instability, child wellbeing, and extended family relationships across both the mothers’ and focal children’s life courses. Her current research investigates the effects of family structure transitions on extended family coresidence and child wellbeing over time.

email: [email protected]



Emma Xiaolu Zang

Emma Xiaolu Zang is a PhD student at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University.  Her research interests are in Demography, Child Well-being and Health Policy.  She is especially interested in understanding the role of family structure in the processes that produce health disparities over the life cycle. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Survey, she wants to examine the effect of intergenerational time and money transfers on child well-being.

email: [email protected]



Anao Zhang

Anao Zhang is a Ph.D. student in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. His research broadly focuses on the health well-being of the general population. Particularly, he is interested in social determinants of health and how those determinants inform more effective social intervention programs.

email: [email protected]



Haiyan Zhang

Haiyan Zhang is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology at Siena College. She is interested in the effects of early risk factors in the development of reading skills and problem behaviors during childhood and adolescence. 

email: [email protected]



Mia Zolna

Mia Zolna is a Research Associate at the Guttmacher Institute in New York. Her main areas of focus include disparities in unintended pregnancy and their outcomes and family planning service delivery in the United States. She is an affiliate of the Guttmacher Center for Population Research Innovation and Dissemination and holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

email: [email protected]