Christina M. Padilla

Research Scientist II

Research Focus

Education & certification

PhD, Developmental Psychology, Georgetown University, Master's, Public Policy, Georgetown University

Christina M. Padilla

Research Scientist II, Bethesda, MD

Christina Padilla is a research scientist II in early childhood development at Child Trends and is dedicated to equitably improving the lives and outcomes of young children and their families. Her research focuses on the influences of parenting and early care and education on children’s early outcomes, particularly at school entry, as well as how early care and education systems, providers, and policies can support parents in giving their children what they need to thrive. Christina has extensive experience applying advanced quantitative methodology to her work and employing largescale existing datasets to answer her research questions, including the Head Start Impact Study (HSIS), the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Birth and Kindergarten Cohorts (ECLS-B and ECLS-K), the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), and the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP). She also has experience working in DC state government on early childhood programs and policies, including the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five, the District’s Quality Rating and Improvement System, and Early Head Start. She has published in several child development, developmental psychology, and pediatric journals, and has co-authored multiple book chapters on child development and public policy. Before coming to Child Trends Christina completed multiple research fellowships, including a postdoctoral state policy fellowship with the Society for Research in Child Development and predoctoral fellowships with the Doris Duke Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being and the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families. Christina earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology and her Master’s in Public Policy at Georgetown University.