Dana Thomson is a research scientist in early childhood development. Dana’s research explores how caregivers, practitioners, and policymakers can best support the learning and well-being of children and their families, especially those facing adversity, poverty, and social disadvantage. Her recent work has investigated how early adversity and poverty-associated stressors impact families and the developing minds of young children; identified protective processes that promote positive development and resilience; and used this research to inform the development, implementation, and refinement of programs and interventions designed to achieve improved life outcomes for children facing disadvantage and adversity. Dana’s interests and experience also include parent-child relationships, family engagement, the development of executive function and regulation-related skills in early childhood, and early care and support for school readiness. Her work applies advanced quantitative methods, including structural equation modeling, econometric methods such as fixed-effect estimations, growth curve analyses, and causal inference analyses.
Dana earned her PhD in applied developmental and educational psychology from Boston College. She worked for 10 years in educational research, program management, and program evaluation prior to returning to graduate school to pursue her PhD.