Hannah Lantos

Senior Research Scientist

Hannah Lantos

Senior Research Scientist, Bethesda, MD

Hannah Lantos, PhD, is a senior research scientist who specializes in adolescent and maternal health and well-being. Dr. Lantos focuses on 1) training and technical assistance to help program staff integrate up-to-date research findings into their programming, improve the rigor of their evaluations or better use data, or integrate positive youth development (PYD) approaches into programs; and 2) projects to understand the developmental periods of adolescence and new motherhood.

Dr. Lantos’ research has included a multi-year, national evaluation of the YMCA’s innovative character development initiative, which focused on staff professional development; the development of a website to define terms related to adolescent development; interviews with adolescent health providers across the country for a toolkit to improve sexual health services in school-based health centers; the conceptualization of a practice model and toolkit to integrate PYD approaches into the criminal justice system; and a study of how workforce programs integrate PYD into training for emerging adults. Her training and technical assistance have facilitated one-on-one engagement with practitioners, qualitative research and storytelling, webinars and trainings, and peer learning. Funders for her work include OPA, OPRE, FYSB, the Annie E. Casey and Wallace Foundations, and programs themselves (e.g., the YMCA).  

Dr. Lantos has training in quantitative and rigorous evaluation methods, but her Child Trends work increasingly focuses on the power of narrative, storytelling, and the effective use of mixed methods data to understand program impacts and tell the stories of programs and people.  

Dr. Lantos has published in peer-reviewed journals and in federal government and Child Trends blogs; she has presented at the American Public Health Association, the Population Association of America, and the CDC’s annual conference on STDs, and via webinars for practitioners and policymakers. Her recent blog about teenagers and abortion generated print and television media interest.  

Dr. Lantos holds a PhD in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. In 2022, her experience of new motherhood further shaped her interest in how both adolescence and matrescence form individuals’ identities.