Developmental and Clinical Psychology, University of Minnesota
Cohort Eight Fellow
Dr. Arthur Reynolds
Professor, University of Minnesota
Dr. Elizabeth Carlson
Director of the Harris Training Program, Center for Early Education and Development
Areas of Expertise
Early Childhood Education and Initiatives, Evidence-Based/Evidence-Informed Programs, Families and Family Systems, Implementation Science, K-12 Education and School Systems, Mental Health and Well-Being, Prevention Science, Program Evaluation, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Regression Modeling, Preschool-aged Children, School-aged Children, Low-Income Families and Individuals, Racial/Ethnic Minority Groups
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. Her research examines the mechanisms by which early childhood interventions (e.g., the Child-Parent Center P-3 program, early childhood mental health consultation) promote lifelong mental health and wellbeing, with a focus on populations affected by socioeconomic adversity and trauma. Ms. Mondi-Rago also conducts outpatient psychological assessments and therapy with children and families. 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.