Jessica Dym Bartlett

Jessica Dym Bartlett

Program Area Director, Early Childhood Development, Waltham, MA

Areas Of Expertise

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Education & Certification

PhD, Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University; M.S.W., Simmons School of Social Work, MA, Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University, MSW, Simmons School of Social Work

Jessica Dym Bartlett conducts applied research with infants, young children, their parents, and the prevention and intervention programs with which they interact (e.g., home visiting, early care and education, child welfare, mental health, primary care). Specifically, her interest is in the mental health, well-being, and care of young children who experience or who are at risk for experiencing trauma and adversity, with a focus on identifying individual, family, and contextual factors that contribute to resilience and the prevention of poor life outcomes. She has been interviewed and quoted by U.S. News & World Report, U.S.A. Today, The Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, and Teen Vogue, among other publications, and her research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Bartlett oversees Child Trends’ Massachusetts office and is co-director of the early childhood program area. She has strong expertise in a range of research and evaluation methodologies, including randomized controlled trials, mixed method studies, parent-child observational studies, participatory action research, and analysis of large administrative datasets. Her current work includes serving as principal investigator on a 15-state longitudinal randomized controlled trial (RCT) study of resilience to child abuse and neglect in Early Head Start, as well as an RCT examining the effects of the Newborn Behavioral Observations on parent-child relationships and parental mental health at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In addition, Dr. Bartlett is the lead evaluator for the Child Trauma Training Center at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and serves as the co-chair of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network Evaluation Community of Practice. She also provides evaluation technical assistance and consulting to policymakers, programs, and federal grantees, with a focus on supporting populations facing multiple adversities, including Native American and Alaskan Native communities.

Dr. Bartlett also has a broad applied background, having worked for over a decade as a child and family psychotherapist, infant and early childhood mental health consultant, Early Intervention educator, and adoption placement worker for abused and neglected children. She completed her undergraduate (BA), Master’s (MA), and Doctorate (PhD) degrees in child study and human development at Tufts University, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from Simmons School of Social Work.


Research By Jessica Dym Bartlett

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External Publications by Jessica Dym Bartlett

Trauma-informed care in the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project It’s not as simple as it sounds. Problems and solutions in accessing and using administrative child welfare data for evaluating the impact of early childhood interventions The moderating effect of relationships on intergenerational risk for infant neglect by young mothers Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) expert convening on infant and early childhood mental health consultation An ecological analysis of infant neglect by young mothers Implementation of a workforce initiative to build trauma-informed child welfare practice and services: Findings from the Massachusetts Child Trauma Project The effect of Early Head Start on child welfare system involvement: A first look at longitudinal child maltreatment outcomes The effects of an infant-focused family-centered hospital and home visiting intervention on reducing symptoms of postpartum maternal depression: A pilot study Research-to-practice brief: Promising evidence that Early Head Start can prevent child maltreatment Family engagement and school readiness Parenting and early intervention: The impact on children’s social and emotional skill development Early Head Start: Mental health, parenting, and impacts on children Tell Me A Story: A literacy-based intervention to help children, early care providers, and parents talk about difficult topics Reducing parental depression and its impact on children Limiting home visiting effects: Maternal depression as a moderator of child maltreatment Measuring what matters: Using data to support family progress Family well-being: A focus on parental depression Social and emotional development in infancy Links between a childhood history of abuse and child neglect by adolescent mothers Neglecting neglect no more: Increasing awareness of child neglect from a social work perspective Initial findings from a randomized, controlled trial of Healthy Families Massachusetts: Early program impacts on young mothers’ parenting Resilience in parenting among young mothers: Family and ecological risks and opportunities Resilience in infancy: A relational approach Placing relationships at the core of early care and education programs