Clinical Psychology, The Catholic University of America
Cohort Seven Fellow
Sandra Barrueco, PhD
Associate Professor, The Catholic University of America
Deborah Perry, PhD
Professor and Director of Research and Evaluation at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development
Areas of Expertise
Annie Davis is a doctoral candidate in Clinical Psychology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Her primary research areas are the evaluation and dissemination of preventative early childhood mental health interventions for low-income communities, and she is committed to pursuing research that has clear policy implications. Recent areas of emphasis have included several program evaluations of statewide Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation, as well as analyses on equity issues for boys of color in early childhood education settings. She defended her dissertation, “The Role of Consultative Alliance in Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation,” in 2018 and she will graduate with her PhD in Spring 2019. Currently, Ms. Davis works a pre-doctoral clinical intern at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Clinically, she specializes in cognitive-behavioral treatment and assessment for children and families in high-risk and traditionally underserved communities, with specialties in early childhood mental health and trauma treatment. Ms. Davis earned her BA in Psychology and English at the University of Delaware, where she began her research career working in Dr. Mary Dozier’s lab on a longitudinal study about an attachment-based intervention for children in foster care.
The Role of Consultative Alliance in Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation (ECMHC) is an approach that pairs mental health professionals with teachers, parents, and directors to build their capacities to support young children’s social-emotional development. This is particularly important in early childhood education settings serving vulnerable populations, as these young children are at greater risk for behavioral dysregulation related to environmental stressors. ECMHC has been shown to have positive outcomes such as improved teacher-child relationships and reduced expulsions, but the mechanism of change has not been rigorously analyzed. This dissertation research will investigate the mechanism whereby ECMHC produces positive impacts on young children, educators, families, and programs. Specifically, longitudinal ECMHC program data will be used to explore the role of the “consultative alliance” (or, relationship between teacher and consultant) in bringing about these positive outcomes. The conclusions of this study may have implications for program implementation and fidelity, quality improvement, and workforce development.