Kristen E. Darling

Kristen E. Darling

Research Scientist II, Early Childhood Development and Education Research; Early Childhood Team Staffing Manager, Bethesda, MD

Areas Of Expertise

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Education & Certification

M.P.P., American University

Kristen Darling blends her background as an early childhood practitioner with her passion and knowledge of social and emotional development, child-adult relationships, and school climate. Kristen was recently a lead author as part of a multi chapter special issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology which considered a range of issues with measuring and reporting social and emotional development in early childhood. She also co-developed a compendium of school discipline laws and regulations, and is studying the connection between the discipline policy environment and use of supportive discipline in schools. Kristen has led presentations and webinars on both child development norms and contexts for learning and supporting development.

In her role as a research scientist, Kristen has expertise with early childhood aggression and precursors to bullying; indicators of positive child and family well-being; technical assistance focused on measuring and improving conditions for learning in schools (a.k.a. school climate); needs assessment; and resource dissemination strategies.

When not focused on research to help educators, programs, and families plan, measure, and provide high- quality learning experiences and care, Kristen serves as an experienced project manager. Kristen has previously worked  in early childhood education program delivery and curriculum oversight, including 7 years in the private child care sector, 2 years on Maternal and Child Health Bureau grants working as a Family/Community Consultant supporting child and family service-system coordination and integration, and 5 years as a Department of Defense curriculum and training specialist.