Rachel Chazan Cohen’s, research focuses on the biological, relational, and environmental factors influencing the development of at-risk children, and most especially, on the creation, evaluation, and refinement of intervention programs for families with infants and toddlers. Currently, Dr. Cohen is working on several national program evaluations, including the Early Steps to School Success home visiting program and a study of the long-term effects of Early Head Start on child maltreatment. Her work has been disseminated widely to practitioners, policy and academic audiences. At the national level, she is currently scientific director of the National Research Conference on Early Childhood, and coordinator of the Network of Infant Toddler Researchers. She is also a founding member of the Collaborative for Understanding the Pedagogy of Infant/Toddler Development, a collaborative of 30 universities studying the teaching of infant/toddler development courses. She is interested in the competencies necessary for success in working with families with infants and toddlers, both in child care and home visiting programs, and on how to build competencies through pre- and in-service professional development.
Previously, she was the Coordinator of Infant and Toddler Research in the Office of Planning Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she oversaw the research agenda for Early Head Start. Dr. Chazan Cohen trained in developmental and clinical psychology at Yale University, where she earned a doctoral degree, and at Tufts University, where she earned a master’s degree. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Connecticut.