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Little Kids, Big Questions
is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into parenting practices that mothers, fathers and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Click here to listen to or download the podcasts. This podcast series is generously funded by MetLife Foundation.

Brenda Jones Harden Bio

Brenda Jones Harden - Photo

Brenda Jones Harden Bio

Brenda Jones Harden, Ph.D.


Brenda Jones Harden, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Human Development & Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland College Park.


Board Member, ZERO TO THREE

Co-Chair, Committee on Policy and Communications, Society for Research in Child Development

Contributions To The Field

For over 30 years, Dr. Jones Harden has focused on the developmental and mental health needs of young children at environmental risk, specifically children who have been maltreated, are in the foster care system, or exposed to multiple family risks such as maternal depression, parent substance use, and poverty. She is particularly interested in using this research to inform practice, with respect to preventive interventions to promote positive outcomes for children reared in high-risk circumstances, such as home visitation and Early Head Start.

Current Research

Dr. Jones Harden is currently funded to conduct three studies: 1) an implementation and impact evaluation of an intervention to reduce the toxic stress experienced by children enrolled in Early Head Start; 2) an impact evaluation of a rural home visiting program focused on pre-literacy; and 3) and implementation evaluation of a local Educare program.

Recent Honors/Awards/Recognition/Books Published

Dr. Jones Harden is the author/co-author of numerous publications, including the books Infants in Child Welfare: A developmental perspective on policy and practice; Child Welfare and Child Well-Being: new perspectives from the National Survey of Child Adolescent Well-being; and Beyond common sense: Child welfare, child well-being, and the evidence for policy reform. She recently served as the Harris Visiting Scholar at the University of Minnesota Institute for Child Development.

She has served as Fellow for the Society for Research in Child Development Policy Fellow for the Administration for Children & Families, USDHHS; and a Fellow of ZERO TO THREE



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