Steven Holochwost 1.18

Dr. Steven John Holochwost is Principal and Director of Research for Youth & Families at WolfBrown, where he leads evaluations of programs designed to improve the lives of vulnerable children and youth. He is also a Research Scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Science of Learning Institute, where his research in early child development examines the effects of environment, and particularly poverty and parenting, on voluntary forms of self-regulation (e.g., executive functions) and the involuntary activity of neurophysiological systems that support self-regulatory abilities. The common thread running through both his applied evaluation work and his basic research is the need to understand how risk adversely impacts child development, and how educational programs that expand opportunities for children can mitigate those effects. 

Since joining WolfBrown, Dr. Holochwost has served as Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on over twenty evaluation studies that assess the impacts of arts education programs on children and youth at risk. These studies have addressed how instrumental music education can foster basic cognitive skills among children in poverty, how choral participation can change the ways incarcerated adolescents perceive their peers, and how theater residencies can improve social skills among school students who are routinely exposed to traumatic events. His areas of specialization include the use of mixed quantitative and qualitative methods in program evaluation and the application of advanced analytics to longitudinal data, and his work has been supported by the National Endowment for Arts, the U.S. Department of Education, and the William Penn, Mellon, Arnold, and Buck Family Foundations.

Before joining WolfBrown, Dr. Holochwost was Associate Director of Research at the University of Delaware’s Early Learning Center, a model early care and education facility that served families eligible for subsidized childcare. Prior to that, he was Senior Assistant Child Advocate with the Office of the Child Advocate for the State of New Jersey, where he co-authored reports that evaluated the efficacy of state services for vulnerable children. He earned his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill as a National Science Foundation Fellow and a masters degree in public affairs from the Fels Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. He has received grants, awards, and fellowships from the Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies at Princeton University, the Eagleton Institute at Rutgers University, the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and the Society for Research in Child Development.