ALISON GIOVANELLI
Developmental Psychopathology and Clinical Science, University of Minnesota
Cohort Six Fellow
giova006@umn.edu

Academic Mentor
Arthur J. Reynolds
Professor, Institute of Child Development and Humphrey School of Public Policy, University of Minnesota

Policy Mentor
Elizabeth Carlson
Director/Affiliated Graduate Faculty and Research Associate, Irving B. Harris Training Program, Center for Early Education and Development, University of Minnesota

Research Interests
early childhood intervention, longitudinal impacts of childhood experiences, maltreatment prevention, mental health, resilience and coping, developmental psychopathology

Areas of Expertise

Early Childhood Education and Initiatives, Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Implementation Science, K-12 Education and School Systems, Maternal Health, Mental Health and Well-Being, Prevention Science, Program Evaluation, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Hierarchical Linear Modeling, Regression Modeling, Structural Equation Models, Infants and Toddlers, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Preschool-aged Children, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups, School-aged Children

Allie Giovanelli is a doctoral student at the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, studying child development and clinical psychology. Her research focuses on the impacts of early childhood experiences on adult well-being and the ways in which intervention programs may promote resilience. Prior to graduate school, Ms. Giovanelli received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley before teaching kindergarten in Tulsa, Oklahoma, through Teach For America. There, she became interested in early childhood education and potential mechanisms of resilience for children in poverty. Ms. Giovanelli aims to utilize her research and her unique experience as a researcher and clinician who has also spent time in the classroom to inform policy and practice around child health and well-being.

DISSERTATION

Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Well-Being: The Impacts of an Early Childhood Intervention Program

Despite an extensive literature describing the detrimental effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) (e.g., abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction) on physical and mental health, researchers have not assessed links to broader measures of well-being. Furthermore, the observed dose-response associations between ACEs and physical and mental health outcomes have been found for predominately middle-class Caucasian samples in relatively high-resource environments. Additionally, the original ACE survey neglects to assess experiences more common among high-risk contexts (“expanded” ACEs). Importantly, although effective preventive interventions like high-quality early education can reduce rates of child abuse and neglect, little is known about how participation in such interventions affects the incidence and consequences of ACEs specifically. Given the ACE literature’s clear policy and practice implications, it is imperative that these gaps be investigated. This dissertation will utilize a sample of adults followed since early childhood to investigate these questions, and this study aims to be the first to longitudinally evaluate 1) alterations in physical health, mental health, educational attainment, and socioeconomic status associated with ACEs in a high-risk sample 2) differential effects of timing, subjective distress, and type of adverse experience, and 3) mechanisms through which high-quality early education can reduce both adversity and responses to adversity.