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Taryn Morrissey

Assistant Professor Department of Public Administration and Policy

Dr. Morrissey's work centers on examining and improving public policies for vulnerable children. Ongoing research examines the social determinants of food insecurity and obesity, and the impacts of neighborhood poverty and family instability and children's development. Her work has appeared in journals including Pediatrics, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and the Journal of Marriage and Family. From January 2013 to August 2014, Dr. Morrissey was on leave from AU serving as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Deptartment of Health and Human Services. She worked primarily on the President's Early Learning Initiative, including Early Head Start and child care. Prior to joining the SPA faculty in 2010, Taryn Morrissey served as a Health Policy Advisor on the staff of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, first for Senator Edward Kennedy and then for Senator Tom Harkin. Dr. Morrissey worked primarily on federal health reform legislation, particularly child and maternal health and workforce issues. She began her career in policy as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) / Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Congressional Fellow. She has also worked at the Massachusetts Department of Education and at the Families and Work Institute on early care and education policy, and served as consultant to the Center for American Progress, the American Public Health Association, and the National Center for Children in Poverty.

Degrees

PhD Developmental Psychology, Cornell University (2008) MA Human Development and Family Studies, Cornell University (2005) BS Psychology and Child Development, Tufts University (2003)

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Office
SPA - Public Admin and Policy
Ward - 342
By appointment
Contact Info
(202) 885-6323 (Office)

Send email to Taryn Morrissey

For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

       
  • Social policy and child development
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  • Child care, maternal employment, and work-family issues
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  • Health reform and child health

Grants and Sponsored Research

Metropolitan Policy Center, American University. "The Effects of Universal Early Childhood Education on Parental Time Use". Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Seth Gershenson). 2016-207

 

University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, National Health Interview Survey Research Program. "Using Natural Experiments to Examine the Impacts of SNAP on Adult and Child Health."  Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Daniel Miller). 2015-2016

 

Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement (IPA), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013-2015

 

Maternal and Child Health Research Program, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Pricinpal Investigator (Co-PI: Rada Dagher). "A Longitudinal Analysis of Maternal Depression and its Associations with Child Obesity and Health Care Use" 2012-2013

 

Institute for Research on Poverty RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research Grant: Food Assistance and Children's Eating Patterns, Food Insecurity, and Obesity: The Influence of Local Food Prices. Principal Investigator (Co-PI: Alison Jacknowitz). 2011-2012

 

University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research, Research Program on Child Hunger Small Grants Program: Food Insecurity Across the First Five Years: Triggers of Onset and Exit. Co-Principal Investigator (PI: Alison Jacknowitz). 2011-2012

 

Child Care Bureau Research Scholar Award, U.S. Dept. of Health  and Human Services, Principal Investigator: Patchworks and  Sequences of Child Care: The Effects of Multiple Child Care Arrangements  on Child Development; 2006-2008

Selected Publications

Morrissey, T. W., Oellerich, D., Meade, E., Simms, J., & Stock, A. (2016). Neighborhood poverty and children’s food insecurity. Children and Youth Services Review, 66, 85-93.

Morrissey, T. W. (2016). Child care and parental labor force participation: A review of the research. Review of Economics of the Household. http://www.springer.com/-/1/AVOydiOwnYabzt6nP5yA

Morrissey, T. W. (2016). Parental depressive symptoms and gun, fire, and motor vehicle safety practices. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 20(4), 799-807.

Jacknowitz, A., & Morrissey, T. W., & Brannegan, A.* (2015). Food insecurity across the first five years: Triggers of onset and exit. Children and Youth Services Review, 53, 24-33.

Morrissey, T. W. (2014). Maternal depressive symptoms and weight-related parenting behaviors. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 18(6), 1328-1335.

Morrissey, T. W., & Dagher, R. (2014). A longitudinal analysis of maternal depressive symptoms and children’s food consumption and weight outcomes. Public Health Nutrition, 15, 1-10.

Morrissey, T. W., Hutchison, L. A.*, & Winsler, A. (2014). Family income, school absences, and student achievement. Developmental Psychology, 50(3), 741-753.

Morrissey, T. W., Jacknowitz, A., & Vinopal, K.* (2014). Local food prices and their associations with children’s weight and food security. Pediatrics, 133(3), 422-430.

Morrissey, T. W. (2013). Multiple child care arrangements and common communicable illnesses in children aged 3 to 54 months. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 17(7), 1175-1184.

Morrissey, T. W. (2013). Trajectories of growth in body mass index across childhood: Associations with maternal and paternal employment. Social Science & Medicine, 95, 60-68.

Morrissey, T. W. (2012). Health reform and child health: Progress, cautions, and future directions. Child Development Perspectives, 6(2), 199-205.

Morrissey, T. W., Dunifon, R. E., & Kalil, A. (2011). Maternal employment, work schedules, and children’s body mass index. Child Development, 82(1), 66-81.

*Third-most downloaded article in Child Development in 2011.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

Institute for Research on Poverty Visiting Food Assistance Scholar, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013

 

Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) /American Association for the Advance of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, 2008-2009.

 

Individual National Research Service Award (NRSA), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): Child Care Chaos and Children's Social-emotional Development and Stress. Grant # F32-HD-059795-01A1, 2008-2010 (declined)

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Impacts of public policy on child development, especially how health care and early education policy affect young children's health (particularly obesity) and social-emotional outcomes; the social determinants of childhood obesity; the impacts of public-and employer-supported child care on work/family balance; child care stability and children's development

Additional Information: Taryn Morrissey's research focuses on the impacts of public policy on child development. Specifically, she examines how health care and early education policy affects young children's health, particularly obesity, and social-emotional outcomes. Ongoing research projects investigate the social determinants of child obesity, the impacts of public- and employer-supported child care on work/family balance, and child care stability and children's development. Prior to joining AU's School of Public Affairs faculty, she served as a health policy advisor for the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, first for Sen. Edward Kennedy and then for Sen. Tom Harkin, where she worked on health reform, particularly child and maternal health and workforce development issues. She has also worked for the Massachusetts Department of Education in the Early Learning Services Division on early education policy, and has consulted for the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Families and Work Institute.
 

Media Relations
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.

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