PEOPLE


Steven Holochwost 1.18

Dr. Steven John Holochwost is Principal and Director of Research for Youth & Families at WolfBrown, where he works with programs designed to improve the lives of vulnerable children and youth. He also holds appointments at Johns Hopkins University’s Science of Learning Institute and the Curtis Institute of Music. His research focuses on the effects of environment, and particularly poverty and parenting, on voluntary forms of self-regulation (e.g., executive functions) in childhood and the involuntary activity of neurophysiological systems that support self-regulatory abilities. This research is directly relevant to his applied work at WolfBrown, which examines the efficacy of educational interventions for children in poverty. The common thread running through both these lines of work is the need to understand how poverty impacts child development, and how programs that expand educational opportunities for children can mitigate those effects. 

Since joining WolfBrown, Dr. Holochwost has served as Principal Investigator or co-Principal Investigator on many studies that assess the impacts of arts education programs on under-served children and youth. 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 and the application of advanced analytics to longitudinal data. 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.

Over the past ten years, Dr. Holochwost has worked in government, academia, and private research firms. Before joining WolfBrown, Dr. Holochwost was Associate Director of Research at the Early Learning Center and, prior to that, Senior Assistant Child Advocate with the Office of the Child Advocate for the State of New Jersey. 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.

Select Publications & Reports
Hogan, J., Cordes, S., Holochwost, S., Ryu, E., Diamond, A., & Winner, E.
          (In press). Is more time in general music class associated with
          stronger extra-musical outcomes in kindergarten? Early Childhood
          Research Quarterly.

Cheever, T., Taylor, A., Finkelstein, R., Edwards, E., Thomas, L., Bradt, J.,
          Holochwost, S. J., Johnson, J. K., Limb, C., Patel, A. D., Tottenham'
          N., Iyengar, S., Rutter, D., Fleming, R., & Collins, F. S. (2018).
          National Institutes of Health/Kennedy Center workshop on music
          and the brain – Finding harmony. Neuron, 97, 1214-1218.

Holochwost, S. J., Wolf, D. P., Fisher, K. R., O’Grady, K., & Gagnier, K. M.
          (2018). The arts and socioemotional development: Evaluating a new
          mandate for arts education. In R. S. Rajan & I. C. O’Neal, (Eds.),
          Arts evaluation and assessment: Measuring impact in schools and
          communities. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Holochwost, S. J., Wolf, D. P., & Bose, J. H. (2017). Building Strengths,
          Buffering Risks: Evaluating the Effects of El Sistema-Inspired Music
          Programs in the United States.
(Available from WolfBrown, 8A
          Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138).

Holochwost, S. J., Wolf, D. P., Fisher, K. R., & O’Grady, K. (2017). The
          Socioemotional Benefits of the Arts: A New Mandate for Arts
          Education.
 (Available from WolfBrown, 8A Francis Avenue,
          Cambridge, MA 02138).

Holochwost, S. J., Propper, C. B., Wolf, D. P., Willoughby, M. T., Fisher, K.
          R., *Kolacz, J., *Volpe, V. V., & Jaffee, S. R. (2017). Music
          education, academic achievement, and executive functions.
          Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 11, 146-166.

Wolf, D. P., & Holochwost, S. J. (2016). Music and juvenile justice: A 
          Dynamic systems perspective. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity,
          and the Arts, 10, 171-183.

Wolf, D. P., Holochwost, S. J., Dargan, A., Selhorst, A., & Bar-Zemer, T.
          (2014). The Role of folk and traditional arts instruction in supporting
          student learning. Journal for Learning Through the Arts, 10.

Recent Presentations
Holochwost, S. J., Wolf, D. P., Fisher, K. R., O’Grady, K., & Gagnier, K. M.
          (2018). The arts and socioemotional development: Evaluating a
          new mandate for arts education. In R. S. Rajan & I. C. O’Neal,
          (Eds.), Arts evaluation and assessment: Measuring impact in
          schools and communities. New York, NY: Palgrave MacMillan.

Bose, J. H., Holochwost, S. J., & Wolf, D. P. (2017, November). Assessing
          the Impact of Sistema-Inspired Music Education on Music Learning:
          Lessons from a Collective Impact Study. Paper presented at the
          annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Washington,
          District of Columbia.

Wolf, D. P., & Holochwost, S. J. (2017, April). The Socioemotional Benefits
          of the Arts: A New Mandate for Arts Education. Paper presented at
          the William Penn Foundation’s Convening on the Impact of Arts
          Education, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Holochwost, S. J., & Wolf. D. P. (2016, November). Out From Between a
          Rock and A Hard Place: Developing Tiered Long-Term Strategies for
          Measuring Impact. Training presented at the national meeting of the
          National Guild for Community Arts Education, Chicago, Illinois.