Alderson is currently the data manager for the Get Ready Guilford Initiative, which is a county-wide initiative to improve outcomes for children in Guilford, North Carolina. She is also the data manager for ExCEL P-3, which examines whether a preschool program, reinforced by a system-wide alignment of instruction into elementary school, has impacts on a range of skills through third grade. She plays a lead role in acquiring, processing, and analyzing data from a variety of sources and has several years of experience analyzing data from random assignment studies of programs for low-income families. Previously, Alderson was the data manager for the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE), a large-scale evaluation of the effectiveness of home visiting programs, as well as the data manager for the Supporting Healthy Marriage Project, an evaluation of marriage-education programs targeting low-income, racially and ethnically diverse married couples. She was also the data manager and lead analyst for the Next Generation project, which examined how welfare and antipoverty programs affected child well-being. Alderson has presented work at the conferences of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the National Association for Welfare Research and Statistics, and the NorthEast Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Users Group. She had her start in public policy research as a research assistant at the Urban Institute. She holds a BA from Tufts University and a master’s degree from Brown University.
MDRC PublicationsReportAugust, 2012
Eight programs, in various settings, successfully implemented a voluntary package of relationship skills services for low-income married couples with children, engaging a diverse group of couples who participated for eight months on average. A companion report finds that the programs produced a pattern of small, positive effects on couples’ relationships after 12 months.ReportFebruary, 2012
This report, which presents 12-month impact results from a demonstration designed to strengthen marriages among low-income married couples with children, shows that the program produced a consistent pattern of small, positive effects on multiple aspects of couples’ relationships, including measures of relationship quality, psychological and physical abuse, and adult individual psychological distress.ReportSeptember, 2010
An important first hurdle for voluntary programs is recruiting and retaining eligible participants. This report describes how ten Supporting Healthy Marriage programs focused on developing effective marketing strategies, keeping couples engaged in the program, and building management systems. These efforts resulted in encouraging early levels of participation by low-income couples.
ProjectsVirginia Knox, Carolyn Hill, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Desiree Principe Alderson, Rebecca Davis, Helen Lee
Across the United States, children’s life prospects are substantially shaped by their circumstances between birth and age 3. The earliest years of life, then, may present this country’s best opportunity to disrupt cycles of poverty. In the American South, children of low-income families acutely experience the disadvantages of poverty, and they disproportionately remain...
At the forefront of debates about early childhood education policy is a focus on raising the quality of learning environments in community-based centers and schools as a means of promoting child development, particularly for low-income children and children of color. Central to this discussion is how policymakers and practitioners can promote the quality of teachers’...JoAnn Hsueh, Sharon Huang, Meghan McCormick, Michelle Maier, Rebecca Unterman, Desiree Principe Alderson, Barbara Condliffe, Amena Sengal, Sonia Drohojowska, Ilana Blum, Marissa Strassberger, Marie-Andrée Somers, Noemi Altman, Alexandra Bernardi, Mirjana Pralica, Mervett Hefyan, Jálynn Castleman-Smith, Mallory Undestad, Samantha Xia, Emily Davies, Sharon Rowser, Amy Taub
With broad support across the political spectrum, states and localities throughout the country are expanding preschool programs for low-income children. While the public will is strong and the experience to date is encouraging, there is a need for firmer evidence on the most cost-effective ways to produce lasting impacts for children, especially when programs operate...Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, JoAnn Hsueh, Desiree Principe Alderson, Dina A. R. Israel, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Rebecca Behrmann, Anne Warren, Samantha Xia, Kelly Saunders, Ilana Blum, Jessica Kopsic, Noemi Altman, Caroline Mage, Helen Lee
Adverse birth outcomes result in significant emotional and economic costs for families and communities. One promising avenue for helping expectant women is home visiting programs, which work with parents to promote prenatal care and improve infant health. The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start ( MIHOPE -Strong Start) will evaluate the...Virginia Knox, Charles Michalopoulos, JoAnn Hsueh, Desiree Principe Alderson, Dina A. R. Israel, Erika Lundquist, Electra Small, Carolyn Hill, Rebecca Behrmann, Ximena Portilla, Anne Warren, Samantha Xia, Kelly Saunders, Ilana Blum, Mallory Undestad, Emily Davies, Cullen MacDowell, Marissa Strassberger, Sharon Rowser, Livia Martinez, Helen Lee
Home visiting programs operate around the country to prevent child maltreatment, improve maternal and child health outcomes, and increase school readiness. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 authorized the creation of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting ( MIECHV ) program, expanding federal funding of home visiting programs....
The welfare system has been transformed over the past two decades, notably through the introduction of stricter work requirements and time limits on cash assistance in the 1990s. At the same time, government at both the federal and the state level invested in offering financial work supports of unprecedented scope to low-income parents. A top priority on the national...JoAnn Hsueh, Virginia Knox, Desiree Principe Alderson, Barbara S. Goldman, Erika Lundquist, Charles Michalopoulos, Electra Small, Kristen Faucetta , Meghan McCormick, Noemi Altman, Sharon Rowser, Amy Taub, Helen Lee
The Supporting Healthy Marriage project is the first large-scale, multisite, multiyear, rigorous test of marriage education programs for low-income married couples. Supported by the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ), the project is motivated by research that indicates that married adults...