PhD, Child Development, University of Maryland
Cohort Seven Fellow


Academic Mentor
Natasha Cabrera, PhD
Professor, University of Maryland

Policy Mentor
Jerry West
Senior Research Fellow (retired), Mathematica Policy Research

Current Institutional Affiliation
The Urban Institute: Research Associate

Areas of Expertise
Low-Income Families and Individuals, Families and Family Systems, Early Childhood Education and Initiatives


Dr. Catherine Kuhns is a research associate in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute. Her research focuses on child welfare and public programs that support the well-being of low-income children and families. Dr. Kuhns received her PhD in Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland, where she also completed a Certificate in Population Studies from the Maryland Population Research Center. For five years she served as a doctoral research assistant in the Family Relationships Laboratory. Taking a strengths based perspective, Dr. Kuhns studied the influence of parenting on children’s early social and cognitive development, with a focus on low-income and ethnically diverse families. Supported by a Doris Duke Dissertation Fellowship for the Promotion of Child Well-Being, her dissertation investigated the longitudinal associations of maternal stress, social support, parenting, and children’s early socio-emotional skills as well as the mechanisms by which stress and support indirectly contribute to children’s social development. Dr. Kuhns received her MS in Teaching English to Speakers of Others Languages (TESOL) from Fordham University and a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University.