Developmental and Clinical Psychology, University of Minnesota
Cohort Eight Fellow
Christina Mondi-Rago is a doctoral candidate in Child Psychology (Developmental Psychopathology & Clinical Science track, with a minor in Prevention Science) at the University of Minnesota. She is currently on clinical internship at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital.
Ms. Mondi-Rago’s research examines the mechanisms by which early childhood interventions promote lifelong mental health and well-being, with a focus on populations affected by socioeconomic adversity and trauma. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota, where she was previously a Diversity of Views and Experiences Fellow and a Graduate Research Fellow of the National Science Foundation. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, where she studied the effects of maltreatment, family conflict, and political violence on child development. Ms. Mondi-Rago hopes that her work will ultimately inform policies and interventions to reduce mental health and educational disparities.
Early Childhood Educational Intervention and Psychological Wellbeing: A Longitudinal Investigation in a Low-Income, Urban Sample
Extensive research has linked adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including maltreatment, to increased longitudinal risk for mental health problems, and there is a critical need for prevention strategies that can be scaled and tailored to meet the mental health needs of ACE-affected populations. Early childhood education (ECE) programs serve millions of children nationwide; however, few studies have examined the effects of ECE intervention on longitudinal mental health. Furthermore, little research has examined whether ECE programs exert differential effects on mental health for ACE-affected populations. Investigating these gaps may inform research, practice, and policy aimed at preventing ACEs and promoting the wellbeing of ACE-affected children. To this end, the present study will examine the effects of a high-quality ECE program, the Child-Parent Center preschool program, on psychological functioning into mid-life in a low-income, urban sample. Specific foci will include investigation of mediating processes, and differential effects of program participation for ACE-affected individuals.