Research Projects

My research is currently sponsored by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program and the Princeton Prize Fellowship in Social Sciences

Current Projects

Moving to Suburban Opportunity?

My dissertation project examines neighborhood effects and residential mobility – specifically with moves to the suburbs. As suburbs rapidly changed in the 21st century, does moving to the suburbs improve community and individual outcomes? If yes, for whom and why? I use the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine neighborhood attainment, family and household transitions, and child outcomes. Throughout the dissertation, I focus on racial and ethnic as well as regional differences in neighborhood characteristics and outcomes. I engage with debates in the literature such as cumulative exposure and developmental timing.

Suburbs and Schools

This project, co-authored with Alejandro Schugurensky, examines an important element of neighborhoods, schools. Using the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we look at how urban and suburban school contexts differ at ages 9 and 15 between different race and ethnic groups.. We also look at academic, connectedness, and discipline outcomes.

The Shifting Safety Net

I participated in a qualitative interview pilot in one site of this project which aims to understand the role of Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance in families’ budgets, family household formation and caregiving decisions, and how the concentration of both disability and disability assistance impacts communities. Inspired by the pilot, I am currently working on project with Ryan Parsons that examines historic changes in the labor market and mortality and how disability might play part in economic transitions.

Universal Pre-K and Household Expenditures and Savings

For this project, I am curious if access to state-sponsored pre-K changes household expenses. Does pre-K function as a cash or in-kind for families with eligible aged children? I use the Consumer Expenditure Survey to examine early childhood education (ECE) expenses in states with high enrollment of 4-year-olds in state-sponsored pre-Kindergarten programs. In high enrollment states, I look at if spending patterns for households with a child eligible for state-sponsored pre-K differ compared to households with an ineligible aged child. I examine shifts in total household expenditures as well as spending on ECE, child enrichment, and employment expenses. This work has been presented at APPAM as well as for the Bureau of Labor Statistics data workshop for the Consumer Expenditure Survey.

Past Projects

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Deepening our Understanding of Disadvantaged Communities (2018 – 2022)

For this project, I assisted in site selection and analyzing results from a principal component analysis to find areas of deep disadvantage in the United States. Working on creating a similar index for identifying suburban poverty. Collected qualitative data for a summer in Southeastern Kentucky. Activities included rapport building; conducting interviews with community leaders and low-income residents and families; and participating in various ethnographic activities. Wrote a blog post and completed media training. Next steps include revising a peer-reviewed journal article as well as starting to analyze new aspects of data. Principal Investigators: Kathryn Edin (Princeton University) and Luke Shaefer (University of Michigan)

American Voices Project – Technical Assistance (2019-2020)

Participated in meetings with current fellows on how to recruit low-income families and write ethnographic field notes. Mentored a group of 10 fellows and provided ongoing feedback on field notes.

Principal Investigators: Kathryn Edin (Princeton University) 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Parenting Knowledge Study (2017-2018)

Contributed to a literature review by focusing on socioeconomic diversity in parental knowledge about parenting and child development.  Coordinated IRB application and modifications, identified potential recruitment partners, developed recruitment procedures, set up Survey Gizmo screening tools, screened and scheduled participants, supported and took notes during focus groups, and analyzed recruitment data to inform next steps.

Principal Investigators: Jessica Bartlett and Lina Guzman (Child Trends)

National Research Center for Hispanic Children and Families (2016-2018)

Reviewed and inventoried 23 codebooks and questionnaires of mostly nationally representative datasets to assess how well the current data infrastructure in the United States measures Hispanic diversity and family life. Another project involved conducting descriptive analyses in Stata using data from the American Community Survey. Provided additional fact-checking and project management support for research briefs and conferences.

Principal Investigator: Lina Guzman (Child Trends)

Communications for the Office of Adolescent Health (2016-2018)

Wrote monthly e-updates for a listserv of over 45,000 practitioners, parents, and professionals on a variety of health topics.  Developed web text for several sections about adolescent health (healthy dating relationships, marijuana, and adolescent development) assisted with ongoing website maintenance, pulled state-level health data from several datasets to create datasheets. Principal Investigator: Lina Guzman (Child Trends).

Project Manager: April Wilson (Child Trends).

Public Service Announcements and Reducing Drunk Driving  (2013-2017)

Examined the themes and frequency of drunk driving public service announcements and their role in decreasing drunk driving fatalities. Worked closely with faculty to perfect a content analysis coding procedure for drunk driving and alcohol PSAs, content coded over 7,000 PSAs, compiled datasets of state laws, demographics, and outcomes (e.g., fatalities), developed statistical models and framework from the literature, wrote literature reviews, and conducted multi-variate analyses.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Rosemary Avery (Cornell University)