Brenda Jones Harden is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland College Park. She has worked over thirty-five years in the early childhood policy, practice, and research arenas.  Her research examines the developmental and mental health needs of young children at environmental risk, particularly those who have been maltreated or exposed to other forms of trauma. A particular focus is preventing maladaptive outcomes in these populations through early childhood and parenting programs, such as early care and education, home visiting services, and infant mental health interventions.

Dr. Jones Harden is the author of numerous publications regarding vulnerable children and families, particularly risk and protective factors that are linked with their developmental and mental health outcomes. She also has conducted numerous implementation and impact evaluations of early childhood and prevention programs. Dr. Jones Harden is the sole author of the book Infants in the child welfare system: A developmental perspective on policy and practice, a co-author of Beyond common sense: Child welfare, child well-being, and the evidence for policy reform, and a co-editor of Child Welfare and Child Well-Being: New perspectives from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being.

Dr. Jones Harden received the doctoral degree in developmental and clinical psychology from Yale University, and the Master in Social Work degree from New York University.

Watch her interview for Voices of Frontiers of Innovation: Building Adult Capabilities.