Child Development & Epidemiological Research Print E-mail

Our Team
Christian M. Connell, Ph.D., Research Area Director
Associate Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry
Faculty Profile, Yale University School of Medicine:

Maegan Genovese, M.S., Research Associate
Dana Prince, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Christine Steeger, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow
Sarah Vidal, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

About the Area

The Child Development & Epidemiological Research (CDER) Area uses research and evaluation methods to examine the ways in which risk and protective processes at the child, family, and systems levels influence developmental and other related outcomes for child and adolescent populations. A related aim of our work is to inform the development of more effective prevention and intervention services and supports to improve outcomes for children and families.

A significant aspect of the area's work focuses on children and families exposed to adversity with a particular emphasis on those involved in child-serving systems (e.g., child welfare and children's behavioral health systems). This work involves close collaboration and consultation efforts with state agencies and community providers to frame relevant research and evaluation questions and design appropriate methods for collecting the necessary data with which to answer such questions. A longstanding project in this area of work has involved collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Dr. Connell is a co-investigator on the Rhode Island Data Analytic Center (Jacob Kraemer Tebes, PI) which emphasizes use of data and evaluation methods to improve outcomes for children involved with child protection services, foster care, or the children's behavioral health systems. Dr. Connell also is principal investigator of a statewide evaluation of Rhode Island's Family Care Community Partnership (FCCP), an initiative that expands the State's existing system-of-care to serve families of children with an identified serious emotional disorder, a history of juvenile justice involvement, or who are at-risk of involvement with child welfare services. Other collaborations in this area of work include consultation with Casey Family Services to examine permanency outcomes within the agencies foster care service network and consultation to a number of state agencies in the evaluation of child welfare and children's behavioral health services.

A second area of research focuses on understanding risks of adolescent substance use and associated behaviors (e.g., antisocial or delinquent behavior, risky sexual activity). This area of research involves analysis of a range of regional, state, and national datasets to examine patterns of adolescent risk behavior and their relation to a range of social-ecological risk and protective factors at the individual, family, peer, school, and community level. Currently, Dr. Connell is a co-investigator on a NIDA-funded trial to investigate the effects of a school-wide incentive based intervention for smoking cessation and prevention in high schools led by Dr. Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin at Yale University School of Medicine. He has served as evaluation consultant for the Northeast Communities Against Substance Abuse (NECASA), a community coalition with support from the Federal Drug-Free Community Support Program, for the past 10 years and has collaborated in a number of studies related to that work with NECASA staff and pre- and post-doctoral fellows in the CDER area.

A broader interest is in understanding and applying advances in multivariate quantitative data analytic methods to examine risk and protective processes associated with developmental processes in behavioral outcomes. Dr. Connell teaches the seminar on Data Analytic Methods in Prevention and Community Research for the Division of Prevention and Community Research Postdoctoral Training Program in Substance Abuse Prevention Research. In addition, Dr. Connell is a Faculty Fellow of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy ( and a Senior Fellow of the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut.


Connell, C.M., Vanderploeg, J.J, Caron, C., Saunders, L., Katz, K.H., & Tebes, J.K. Maltreatment following reunification: Predictors of subsequent CPS contact after children return home. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33, 218-228, 2009.

Connell, C.M., Gilreath, T.D., & Hansen, N. Co-occurrence of substance use and sexual behaviors in adolescence. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 70, 943-951, 2009.

Connell, C.M., Gilreath, T.D., Aklin, W.M., & Brex, R.A. Social-ecological influences on patterns of substance use among non-metropolitan high school students. American Journal of Community Psychology, 45, 36-48, 2010.

Connell, C.M., Bergeron, N., Katz, K.H., Saunders, L., & Tebes, J.K. Re-referral to Child Protective Services: The influence of child, family, and case characteristics on risk status. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31, 573-588, 2007.

Vanderploeg, J.J., Connell, C.M., Caron, C., Saunders, L., Katz, K.H., & Tebes, J.K. The impact of parental alcohol or drug removals on foster care placement experiences: A matched comparison group study. Child Maltreatment, 12, 125-136, 2007.

Tebes, J. K., Feinn, R., Vanderploeg, J. J., Chinman, M. J., Shepard, J., Brabham, T., Genovese, M., & Connell, C. M. Impact of a Positive Youth Development Program in Urban After-School Settings on the Prevention of Adolescent Substance Use. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 239-247, 2007.

Connell, C.M., Vanderploeg, J.J., Flaspohler, P., Katz, K.H., Saunders, L., & Tebes, J.K. Changes in placement among children in foster care: A longitudinal study of child, family, and case influences. Social Service Review, 80, 398-418, 2006.

Connell, C.M., Katz, K.H., Saunders, L., & Tebes, J.K. Leaving foster care: The influence of child and case characteristics on foster care exit rates. Children & Youth Services Review, 28, 780-798, 2006.

Tebes, J.K., Bowler, S., Shah, S., Connell, C.M., Ross, E., Simmons, R., Tate, D., Chinman, M.J., & Kaufman, J.S. Service Access and Service System Development in a Children's Behavioral Health System of Care. Evaluation & Program Planning, 28, 151-160, 2005.

Tebes, J.K, Connell, C.M., Ross, E., & Kaufman, J.S. Convergence of sibling risk among children of parents with serious mental disorders. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14, 29-41, 2005.

Snow, D. L., Swan, S. C., Raghavan, C., Connell, C.M., & Klein, I. The relationship of work stressors, coping, and social support to psychological symptoms among female secretarial employees. Work and Stress, 17, 241-263, 2003.

Smith, E.P., Atkins, J., & Connell, C.M. Family, school, and community factors and relationships to racial-ethnic attitudes and academic achievement. American Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 159-173, 2003.

Connell, C.M., & Prinz, R.J. The impact of childcare and parent-child interactions on school readiness and social skills development for low-income African American children. Journal of School Psychology,40, 177-193, 2002.

Tebes, J.K, Kaufman, J.S., & Connell, C.M. The evaluation of prevention and health promotion programs. In T. Gullotta & M. Bloom (Eds.). The Encyclopedia of Primary Prevention and Health Promotion (pp. 632-655). Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic, 2002.

Smith, E.P., Connell, C.M., Sizer, M., Wright, G., Norman, J., Hurley, A., & Walker, S. An ecological model of home, school, and community partnerships: Implications for research, practice, and consultation. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 8, 339-360, 1997.

Prinz, R.J. & Connell, C.M. The prevention of conduct disorders and antisocial behavior. In R. T. Ammerman & M. Hersen. (Eds.), Handbook of prevention and treatment with children and adolescents: Interventions in the real world context, (pp. 238-258). New York: Wiley, 1997.