Intervention Design, Implementation, and Evaluation


  • Understand variations in children’s early development, with special interest in developmental variations in school readiness skills including social-emotional behaviors, academic skills, and executive function.
  • Define ECE (early childhood environments) quality
  • Improve professional development and practice in order to improve children’s development.
  • Improve the lives of families with very young children who are at-risk for poor developmental outcomes by improving home visiting practices both locally and nationally. Of special interest is the translation of research to practice in this field.
  • Prepare a well-informed early childhood workforce that will persevere in the field and promote positive experiences for young children.
  • Identify unique, active ingredients that facilitate intervention efficacy, especially with home visiting programs. Also examining factors that help (or hinder) implementation integrity and interventionist support.

Research Projects

  • Researching in 0-to 5-year-old children’s development within the context of early care and education (ECE) settings. I am particularly interested in children’s school readiness skills and ECE quality indicators. This research primarily utilizes large longitudinal secondary datasets and examines them through quantitative approaches.
  • Improving pre-service and in-service training in early childhood education through the effective and innovative use of coaching. The research has a focus on using video for examining an individual’s interactions and providing constructive feedback.
  • Focusing on understanding how best to prepare future early childhood teachers to be successful and effective. To support this, studying specific aspects of early childhood classrooms like STEM opportunities, how children spend their time, and their individual relationships with teachers.
  • Examining the design, implementation, and efficacy of interventions targeted to young children and their families, with a special emphasis on families facing risks.

Faculty Interests

Kere Hughes-Belding, home visiting, infant mental health, trauma-informed care, prevention, and program evaluation.

Carla Peterson, home visiting programs, observation, intervention integrity, Early Head Start, and MIECHV.

Amie Zarling, treatment of domestic violence, evidence-based interventions, and batterers intervention programs.

Related Laboratories, Programs, Centers

Partnership in Prevention Science Institute

Research Facilities

The Department of Human Development and Family Studies has recently connected with the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute (PPSI) which strives to conduct prevention and health promotion research that positively impacts the health and well-being of youth, adults, families, and communities in Iowa and beyond. PPSI studies quality implementation, evaluation and dissemination of evidence-based interventions, while partnering with communities to build capacity and facilitate systems change to achieve sustainability and public health impact. This work emphasizes the development of implementation systems and training-technical assistance infrastructures for broader dissemination of evidence-based interventions. PPSI continually builds its network of collaborating scientists and practitioners, both nationally and internationally, to support its mission.

Need More Information?

Graduate Program:
DeAnn Barnes
2330E Palmer Building
2222 Osborn Drive
Ames, IA 50011-1084