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Caroline Christopher

Research Associate, Peabody Research Institute

Caroline Christopher is a Research Associate at the Peabody Research Institute. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, Christopher received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin and was awarded a T32 NIMH Postdoctoral Fellowship (Grant 5T32MH 018387-27) through the Prevention Research Center at Arizona State University. During her postdoctoral training, Christopher worked with teams who develop, implement, and empirically evaluate prevention programs. Through this work, Christopher evaluated the long term effects of two family-focused interventions. She investigated how the New Beginnings Program (NBP; Wolchik et al., 1993), an intervention for divorced families, influenced long-term outcomes for children. Christopher used longitudinal mediation models to see how program-induced changes in mother-child relationship quality and coping affected the job success and romantic relationships for these children-turned-adults 15 years after the intervention.

Christopher also investigated how the Family Check-up, another family-focused intervention targeting families with teens who exhibit problem behaviors at school (Dishion & Kavanagh, 2003), improves family functioning, which, in turn, predicts decreased depression in high risk adolescents. Her recent research appears in Development and Psychopathology, the Journal of Child and Family Studies, and has been presented at the conferences of the Society for Research in Child Development and the Society for Research on Adolescence.

At PRI, Christopher is involved in two projects: one focusing on improving the quality of pre-kindergarten programs in the Metro Nashville Public School system (MNPS), and the other evaluating the long-term effects of the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K program (TN-VPK), including the examination of potential mediators of the relation between participation in VPK and subsequent cognitive and behavioral outcomes in middle childhood.