Katherine Magnuson

Position title: Professor, Social Work

Email: kmagnuson@wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 263-4812

308 School of Social Work, 1350 University Ave.

School of Social Work
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Curriculum Vitae


I study the well-being and development of economically-disadvantaged children and their families, with specific attention to child interventions and early childhood education. I have broad research expertise on how children are affected by multiple aspects of family disadvantage including not only poverty, but also parental education, parental employment, and family structure. My research has also focused on the intersections of social and economic disadvantage with racial and ethnic group membership. Past projects include a primary data collection effort to study the validation of Wisconsin’s child care Quality Rating and Improvement System, which involves direct assessments of over 700 children participating in over 150 child care provider sites. I have also collaborated with Hirokazu Yoshikawa and Greg Duncan on a meta-analysis of early childhood interventions, and am PI of an NICHD-funded study of how unconditional cash transfers for the first three years of life might affect the health and development of children.

I am highly skilled in the rigorous quantitative analysis of large-scale and longitudinal datasets, including field experiments, and have conducted qualitative interviews as part of mixed-methods research evaluation teams. As an administrator, I am the Associate Director of Research and Training at the federally-funded Institute for Research on Poverty, and in that capacity I am the Director of the National Poverty Fellowship, a postdoctoral training program. Additionally, I have served as an Associate Editor for both Developmental Psychology and Child Development. The combination of strong substantive knowledge about poor children and low-income communities—as well as technical knowledge about field experiments, primary data collection efforts, and experience working with state administrators on research projects—allow me to contribute as a faculty affiliate of the Center for Demography and Ecology, especially in the areas of the Demography of Inequality and Fertility, Families and Households.

CDE research theme area affiliations

Demography of Inequality; Fertility, Families, and Households

Selected Publications

Wolf, Sharon, Katherine Magnuson, and Rachel T. Kimbro. “Family Poverty and Neighborhood Poverty: Links with Children’s School Readiness before and after the Great Recession.” Children and Youth Services Review 79 (2017): 368-84. NIHMS ID 984695.

McCoy, Dana C., Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, Greg J. Duncan, Holly S. Schindler, Katherine Magnuson, Rui Yang, Andrew Koepp, and Jack P. Shonkoff. “Impacts of Early Childhood Education on Medium- and Long-Term Educational Outcomes.” Educational Researcher 46, no. 8 (2017): 474-87. NIHMS ID 984699.

Duncan, Greg J., Katherine Magnuson, and Elizabeth Votruba-Drzal. “Moving Beyond Correlations in Assessing the Consequences of Poverty.” Annual Review of Psychology 68 (2017): 413-34. NIHMS ID 984703.

Magnuson, Katherine, and Greg Duncan. “Can Early Childhood Interventions Decrease Inequality of Economic Opportunity?”. The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 2, no. 2 (2016): 123-41. NIHMS ID 984691.

Magnuson, Katherine, Robert Kelchen, Greg J. Duncan, Holly S. Schindler, Hilary Shager, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa. “Do the Effects of Early Childhood Education Programs Differ by Gender? A Meta-Analysis.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 36 (2016): 521-36. PubMed Central ID in process.

Magnuson, Katherine, Greg J. Duncan, Kenneth T. H. Lee, and Molly W. Metzger. “Early School Adjustment and Educational Attainment.” American Educational Research Journal 53, no. 4 (2016): 1198-228. PubMed Central ID 4993460.

Magnuson, Katherine, and Jane Waldfogel. “Trends in Income-Related Gaps in Enrollment in Early Childhood Education: 1968 to 2013.” AERA Open 2, no. 2 (2016): 1-13. NIHMS ID 984706.

Schindler, Holly S., Jenya Kholoptseva, Soojin S. Oh, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Greg J. Duncan, Katherine Magnuson, and Jack P. Shonkoff. “Maximizing the Potential of Early Childhood Education to Prevent Externalizing Behavior Problems: A Meta-Analysis.” Journal of School Psychology 53, no. 3 (2015): 243-63. PubMed Central ID in process.