Research Group on Child Development, Education and Policy

The Research Group on Child Development, Education, and Policy (CDEP) is a multi-disciplinary collaborative to conduct high-quality research to study early childhood and family characteristics that impact learning, development, school readiness and health outcomes. Research shows educational investments made during early childhood, especially for disadvantaged youth, improves the wellbeing, resilience, and productivity of children. Furthermore, these benefits carry into adulthood and have a positive impact on society (Heckman & Masterov, 2007).

Our work is focused on understanding learning, cognition, socio-emotional functioning, the physical well-being of children, as well as the resources, opportunities, relationships, and social policies that impact children’s development.  Faculty and students with varied interests (education, school psychology, public health, family studies) meet regularly with the goal to support each other’s research and develop collaborations.

Co-Directors

Adriana Cimetta, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
Christina Cutshaw, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion Sciences
Ron Marx, Professor, Dean Emeritus, Department of Educational Psychology
David Yaden, Jr., Professor, Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies

Research Affiliates

Katherine Cheng, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
Michael Sulkowski, Associate Professor, School Psychology, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Research Affiliates

Lauren Clough, Department of Educational Psychology
Changting Dai, Department of Educational Psychology
Rebecca Friesen, Department of Educational Psychology
Sabryna Jaimez, Department of Educational Psychology
Ang Li, Department of Educational Psychology
Margaret Medina, Department of Educational Psychology
Cristin Phibbs, Department of Educational Psychology

CDEP Alumni

Ghadah Alkhadim, Ph.D.
Otilia Barbu, Ph.D.
Emily Earl, Ph.D.
Matthew Holliday, Ph.D.
Joy Jerauld, Ph.D.
Avery Mickens, M.A.
Jenna Hollander, M.A.
Carlos Williams, M.A.

Publications

Alkhadim, G.S., Cimetta, A.D., Marx, R.W., Yaden, D.B., & Cutshaw, C.A. (2020, in press).  Validating the research-based early mathematics assessment (REMA) among rural children in southwest United States.  Studies in Educational Evaluation.

Cimetta, A.D., Sulkowski, M.L., Cutshaw, C. A., Yaden, D.B., Marx, R.W. (2020) Does having a young child with emotional and behavioral risk factors influence firearm ownership and storage? Journal of Education and Human Development. 

Cimetta, A. D., Marx, R. W., Yaden, D. B., Alkhadim, G. S., Cutshaw, C., A. (2017). Latent variable structure and measurement invariance of a modified early literacy assessment. International Journal of School and Educational Psychology 6(3), 208-222. doi:10.1080/21683603.2017.1322016

Yaden, D. B., Marx, R. W., Cimetta, A. D., Alkhadim, G. S., Cutshaw, C., A. (2017). Assessing early literacy with Hispanic preschoolers: The factor structure of the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening—Español. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 39(2), 193-210. doi: 10.1177/0739986316688877

Barbu, O., Yaden, D., Levin-Donnerstein, D., Marx, R.W. (2015). Assessing approaches to learning in school readiness: Comparing the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment to an early learning standards-based measure. AERA Open, 1(3), 1-15. doi: 10.1177/2332858415593923

Barbu, O., Marx, R.W., Yaden, D., Levin-Donnerstein, D. (2015). Measuring approaches to learning in preschoolers: validating the structure of an instrument for teachers and parents. Education 3-13, 44(6), 1-17. doi: 10.1080/03004279.2015.1024273

Holliday, M.R., Cimetta, A.D., Cutshaw, C.A., Yaden, D.B., Marx, R.W. (2014). Protective factors for school readiness among children in poverty. Journal of Education for Students placed at Risk, 19(3-4), 125-147. doi: 10.1080/10824669.2014.971692

Barbu, O., Levin-Donnerstein, D., Marx, R.W., Yaden, D. (2012). Reliability and validity of the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) as a function of parent and teacher ratings. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 31(5), 469-481. doi: 10.1177/0734282912467758

Work in Progress:

Alkhadim, G.S., Cimetta, A.D., Marx, R.W., Yaden, D.B., Cutshaw, C. A. Validating a research-based early math assessment among children attending rural schools. (working manuscript)

Clough, L. T., Cimetta, A. D., Cutshaw, C. A., Yaden, D. B., Marx, R. W. Influences of Home Environment on the Executive Function of Young Children. (working manuscript)

Presentations

Dai, C., Cimetta, AD., Marx, R.W., & Cutshaw, C.A. (2021).  Executive function and family engagement mediates SES and math in early childhood:  A strength-based analysis.  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association.

Mickens, A.J., Cimetta, A.D. (2020). The impact of poverty on math readiness. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA. April (conference cancelled due to COVID-19)

Cimetta, A.D., Sulkowski, M.L., Cutshaw, C. A., Yaden, D.B., Marx, R.W. (2019). Does having a young child with emotional and behavioral risk factors influence firearm ownership and storage? American Public Health Association Annual Conference. Philadelphia, PA. November.

Cimetta, A. D., Cutshaw, C., A., Marx, R. W., Yaden, D. B., Hollander, J. (2018). Firearm Ownership and Storage Practices among Families with Young Children: Family and Neighborhood Characteristics. American Public Health Association Annual Conference, San Diego, CA.

Alkhadim, G., Cimetta, A., Cutshaw, C., Marx, R., Yaden, D. (2018). Generalizability of the Research-Based Early Math Assessment from Urban NY Children to Rural AZ Children Using IRT. American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Cleveland, OH.
 
Clough, L. T., Cimetta, A. D. (2018). Measuring the Relationship Between Children's Executive Function and Communicative Abilities. American Psychological Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.
 
Clough, L. T., Cimetta, A. D., Cutshaw, C. A., Yaden, D. B., Marx, R. W. (2018). Examining Executive Function of Young Children through Cluster Analysis. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, New York, NY.
 
Cimetta, A. D., Marx, R. W., Yaden, D. B., Alkhadim, G. S., Cutshaw, C., A. (2017). Latent Variable Structure and Measurement Invariance of a Modified Early Literacy Assessment. American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
 
Clough, L. T., Cimetta, A. D., Cutshaw, C. A., Yaden, D. B., Marx, R. W. (2017). Examining the Influences of Home Environment on the Executive Function of Young Children. American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Washington, D.C.
 
Yaden, D. B., Marx, R. W., Cimetta, A. D., Alkhadim, G. S., Cutshaw, C., A. (2017). Assessing Early Literacy with Hispanic Preschoolers: The Factor Structure of the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening—Español. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.
 
Holliday, M.R., Cimetta, A.D., Cutshaw, C.A., Marx, R.W., Yaden, D.B. (2013). Protective Factors for School Readiness Among Children in Poverty. American Psychological Association Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI.
 
Yaden, D.B., Cimetta, A.D. (2012). A Profile of Preschool Emergent Literacy Based Upon Children’s Performances and Family Literacy Practices. American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
 
Yaden, D., Perry, N., Nagasawa, M., Polasky, S., Cimetta, A. (2011). Evaluating School Readiness in Arizona: A Partial Blueprint for Arizona's First Things First Statewide Early Childhood Initiative. Greensboro, NC