Xia joined MDRC in 2014 and focuses on data collection, management, and analysis. She has held lead roles on several home visiting projects, including implementation and impact studies. She currently serves as the lead analyst and data manager for the Child First Randomized Controlled Trial. Her previous home visiting projects include the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Evaluation (MIHOPE) and a companion study, MIHOPE-Strong Start. Xia also performed multiple early childhood education analyses for the Making Pre-K Count and Excel P3 studies. She presented her Excel P3 analytic work at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness in 2019. Before joining MDRC, she worked on reproductive health research and advocacy projects. She holds a master’s degree in public health from Boston University, concentrating in epidemiology and international health, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in molecular environmental biology.
MDRC PublicationsWorking Paper
Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial of Child FirstMarch, 2023
Home visiting programs, which improve children’s development and strengthen caregivers’ and families’ well-being, faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper examines a program that provided psychotherapeutic, parent-child services during the pandemic and the effects of delivering those services online or in a hybrid format at that time.Methodology
Lessons Learned from Career Pathways and Child FirstOctober, 2022
Social services programs are increasingly looking to forecast which participants are likely to reach major milestones. Some explore advanced predictive modeling, but the Center for Data Insights (CDI) has found that such methods come with trade-offs. This post outlines CDI’s approach to predictive analytics, using illustrations from two studies.Brief
Evidence from Child FirstMay, 2022
This brief presents results from a proof-of-concept exercise that examined the potential benefits of using predictive analytics to improve service delivery by Child First, a program that provides therapeutic support to families with young children. The information may be useful for other organizations interested in implementing these cutting-edge tools.
MDRC has partnered with Acelero Learning, Inc., to form a research-practice partnership that aims to strengthen Head Start programming across the country. Acelero Learning, Inc., is a national network of Head Start programs that provides Head Start and Early Head Start services to three- and four-year-old children and their families. Through...
Child First is a comprehensive, home-based, therapeutic intervention that targets young children and families with multiple risks and connects them with the services they need to support healthy child development. An earlier randomized controlled trial of Child First in one location showed that the program improved children’s social-emotional skills and language...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...Barbara S. Goldman, Sharon Huang, Shira Kolnik Mattera, Michelle Maier, Seth Muzzy, Electra Small, Samantha Wulfsohn, Marissa Strassberger, Amena Sengal, Mirjana Pralica, Samantha Xia, Cullen MacDowell
Making Pre-K Count is the result of a partnership between MDRC and the Robin Hood Foundation whose goal is to build evidence about ways to improve the life trajectories of children living in poverty in New York City. The partnership’s first project focuses on improving preschool children’s math skills.
Why math? Recent...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...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...