Dana Thomson, PhD, is a senior research scientist at Child Trends who studies child poverty, policies and practices that create more equitable access to economic mobility, and conditions that support family resilience. Policymakers and practitioners rely on her research to develop policies that support the well-being of children and their families, especially those facing adversity, poverty, and social disadvantage.
Dr. Thomson’s most recent work, Lessons from a Historic Decline in Child Poverty, investigates the economic, demographic, and policy forces that led to a nearly 60 percent reduction in child poverty over the last quarter century. She also led a series of studies on racial and ethnic disparities in access to a range of income support programs, and on the impact of state-level Earned Income Tax Credit policies and practices on uptake among Hispanic families with young children. In other recent work, Dr. Thomson has provided training and technical assistance on supporting family economic mobility for Head Start staff in coordination with the National Center for Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, and has supported research and policy efforts to ensure equitable access to early care and education from a family-centered perspective.
Dr. Thomson’s work strives to elevate the diversity of experiences among families who face economic hardship and other forms of adversity, to identify and remove barriers to their ability to access needed supports, and to improve equitable access to effective policies and programs. Her expertise encompasses both mixed-methods evaluation and advanced quantitative methods, the latter of which include structural equation modeling and econometric methods such as fixed-effect estimations, growth curve analyses, and causal inference analyses. Dr. Thomson earned her PhD in applied developmental and educational psychology from Boston College.