Small child with backpack


Child Trends’ education research focuses on how children and youth can flourish in school. We examine supportive characteristics of the individual, the school, and the family to improve student outcomes and prevent drop out. Areas of research expertise include: non-academic competencies; college and workplace readiness; school climate; family strengths and involvement in education; character education; social and emotional learning; dropout prevention and recovery; charter schools and other school choice initiatives; place-based initiatives to improve educational outcomes; afterschool and summer learning; and educator effectiveness. We also offer technical assistance, including assistance with survey and measure development, synthesizing research, data analysis, policy analysis, program evaluation, reviews of best practices and initiatives to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Featured Publications

What if You Earned a Diploma and Delayed Parenthood? Intergenerational Simulations of Delayed Childbearing and Increased Education

Jun 2014 | Kristin A. Moore; Vanessa H. Sacks; Jennifer Manlove; Isabel Sawhill

This brief reports the results of using the Social Genome Model to provide a better understanding of how delaying childbearing and improving the educational attainment of teen mothers in one generation can be linked to the improved economic well-being of their children. This brief specifically reports results from “What if” simulations, in which teen mothers’ age at their first birth was increased by two or five years and in which the mothers earn a high school diploma. The implications of these changes on the life of the mothers’ children are estimated through childhood and up to age 29.

Download PDF

Social Indicators Predicting Postsecondary Success

Apr 2014 | Daniel Princiotta; Laura Lippman; Renee Ryberg; Hannah Schmitz; David Murphey; Mae Cooper

Only about 59 percent of full-time, first-time students at four-year institutions complete such a degree within six years at the same school. Completion rates are even lower for those starting part-time, or at less than four-year schools (and planning to transfer). Which social indicators—such as student engagement, enrollment status, and family status—are tied to post-secondary completion? In a recent study funded by Lumina Foundation, we identified multiple indicators for increasing the odds of completion, and found that there are four social indicators that are related to the odds of postsecondary completion across students attending both two-year and four-year colleges: part-time status; having a child; number of transfers; and speaking with faculty about academic matters outside of class. Indicators differ by four–year, two-year, or less than two year institutions, and whether the student is traditional or non-traditional, and by race and ethnicity. Child Trends recommends indicators and data sources for monitoring these indicators that can be used for the improvement of postsecondary institutions and student postsecondary completion rates nationally.

Download PDF

Integrated Student Supports: A Summary of the Evidence Base for Policymakers

Feb 2014 | Kristin Anderson Moore; Carol Emig

This paper summarizes the results of a comprehensive examination by Child Trends of the research and evidence base for ISS, and its potential to help a range of disadvantaged, marginalized, or struggling students.

Download PDF

Expanding Time for Learning Both Inside and Outside of the Classroom: A Review of the Evidence Base (Report)

Aug 2012 | Zakia Redd; Christopher Boccanfuso; Karen Walker; Daniel Princiotta; Dylan Knewstub; Kristin Moore

Moreover, despite the gains in educational achievement made by most U.S. students over the past two decades, educational gaps in proficiency in reading and other subjects persist across income and racial groups.

Download PDF

Meet Our Experts