Claire Baker

Claire Baker




Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Professional Bio

Claire Baker, Ph.D. is a psychologist and an applied developmental scientist. Her scholarship bridges perspectives from psychology, education, and public policy in order to inform fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to studying children and families. She received a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science from the University of Virginia in 2010. After her doctoral degree, Baker completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship at Duke University and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2013, Baker became an Assistant Professor of Applied Developmental Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Project Description

This is a multi-wave, longitudinal project designed to increase our understanding of fathers’mental health and child well-being in a national sample of African American families. The primary aim of this project is to understand associations between fathers’ mental health (defined as depressive symptoms and chronic stressors), father involvement (defined as warmth, home learning stimulation and discipline), and child wellbeing (defined as cognitive, social-emotional and mental health).

My New Connections Experience

I applied for the New Connections program because I am interested in forming long-term connections with people with similar educational backgrounds, gaining further training in public health research, and learning new ways to connect my research to practice and policy.

Research Interests

My research is at the intersection of child development and public policy. My primary line of inquiry focuses on the role of primary proximal contexts in the lives of young children (i.e., birth to eight years). In this work, I examine how families and neighborhoods contribute to children’s healthy growth and development. I am especially interested in fathers’ and mothers’ mental health and its subsequent influence on children’s cognitive, social and emotional development.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • Award Year: 2015
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Child and Family Well-Being
  • Project Name: A Public Health Approach to Understanding Fathers’ Mental Health and Child Well-being in African American Families.

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