Marla McDaniel

In Funded Scholars
Marla McDaniel
Marla McDaniel




Senior Research Associate 
The Urban Institute

Professional Bio

Marla McDaniel is a research associate in the Labor, Human Services, and Population Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Urban Institute, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Columbia University School of Social Work. She received her doctorate in human development and social policy from Northwestern University.

Project Description

The project focused on racial and ethnic differences in asthma management among a nationally representative sample of children using the National Health Interview Survey. The study explored the extent children ages 2-17 receive preventive treatment and asthma education, and how receipt varies by race and ethnicity.

My New Connections Experience

I applied to New Connections because it is an outstanding program that supports new investigators. RWJF makes a real investment in its grantees – providing research funding, training, and networking opportunities. The program staff recognize what new scholars need to succeed and are truly committed to our growth and success.

New Connections has helped my career most directly by supporting my research. The program has also expanded my professional network and opened up opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I have met and received career advice from leading national scholars and participated in trainings and workshops on topics as diverse and relevant as grant writing, publishing, and handling missing data. Receiving a competitive RWJF grant has also strengthened my funding track record, refined my skills as a principal investigator, and even garnered the added respect of colleagues.

Research Interests

I am interested in social policies and conditions that affect low-income families, contribute to racial disparities, and influence child and adult health and wellbeing. Much of my research involves analyzing administrative and survey data on topics ranging from race and health disparities, child maltreatment, the foster care system, and youth and adolescent development. With funding from New Connections I examined racial and ethnic differences in asthma management as a potential contributor to racial disparities in childhood asthma morbidity.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator, awarded in 2008 
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Public Health 
  • Project Name: Toward Understanding Racial Disparities in Childhood Asthma: Do Self-Management Behaviors Differ By Race? 

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