Pia Rebello Britto PhD

Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center; Lecturer & Fellow, McMillan Center for International and Area Studies; Associate Director, Global Policy

Research Interests

Early child development and education programming and policy; Development of national standards and indicators for monitoring child development outcomes; Government early childhood policies; Early intervention programs in several countries; Growing up Muslim in the United States and the influence of the present socio-political context on young Muslim children's identity development

Current Projects

Dr. Rebello Britto is currently working, with Sharon Lynn Kagan and a UNICEF team, in over 15 countries on the development of national standards and indicators for monitoring child development outcomes. She is also working with national governments to formulate their early childhood policies and on evaluating early intervention programs in several countries. Domestically, Dr. Rebello Britto is conducting research to understand the experience of growing up Muslim in the United States and the influence of the present socio-political context on young Muslim children’s identity development.

Research Summary

My research is geared toward developing evidence-based informed national level policies in developing countries to improve the lives, well-being, health and development of young children. I work with national governments to advise them on policy development and implementation. Domestically in the united states, I am working on understanding the identity development of Muslim children. The aim of this work is to better be able to provide services for Muslim children, about whom little is know presently.

Extensive Research Description

Pia Rebello Britto, Ph.D. is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale Child Study Center, faculty at the Zigler Center for Social Policy and Lecturer at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is known internationally for her work in the areas of early childhood policy development and analysis and program evaluation. She is presently working with over 20 countries on developing integrated systems for early childhood using a standards approach. In addition she is also working with several individual counties on formulating national policies for the well-being of young children. Dr. Britto has been involved in several early intervention program evaluations in Africa and Asia and most recently working on a 6 country evaluation of an innovative approach to improve school readiness. Dr. Britto is known nationally for her scientific work on young children's early literacy development and more recently on understanding issues of identity development of Muslim and Arab children growing up in the United States. Dr. Britto obtained her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is the recipient of several national and international grants and awards in recognition for her work and has published numerous books, articles, chapters and reports and has presented extensively at conferences, meetings and work shops (academic and non-academic) both nationally and abroad.

Selected Publications

  • Britto, P.R., Williamson, A., Snow, T., & Mankad, K. (2013). Social protection programs and early childhood development: Unexplored potential. Australia: Plan International Australia
  • Britto, P.R., Engle, P.E., & Super, C.S., (Eds.) (2012). Handbook of Early Child Development Research and Its Impact on Global Policy. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Britto, P.R., Limlingan, M.C. (2012). School Readiness and Transitions. A Companion to the Child Friendly Schools Manual. New York, NY: UNICEF
  • Britto, P.R. (2012). School Readiness: A Conceptual Framework. New York, NY: UNICEF.
  • Britto, P. R., & Ulkuer, N. (2012). Child development in developing countries: Child rights and policy implications. Child Development. 83(1), 92-103.
  • Bornstein, M., Britto, P. R., Nonoyama-Tarumi, Y., Ota, Y., Petrovic, O., & Putnick, D. L. (2012). Child development in developing countries: Introduction and methods. Child Development. 83(1), 16-31.
  • Britto, P.R., van Ravens, J., & Ponguta, L.A. (2011). Joining Forces for the Integration of Early Childhood Development Policies and Services in Kosovo. UNICEF Report.
  • Britto, P. R. (2011). Global battleground or school playground: The bullying of America’s Muslim children. Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. Policy Brief, No. 49.
  • Britto, P. R., Yoshikawa, H., & Boller, K. (2011). Quality of early childhood development programs in global contexts: Rationale for investment, conceptual framework and implications for equity. Social Policy Report. Vol. 25, No. 2.
  • Britto, P.R, (2008). Who am I? Ethnic identity formation of Arab Muslim children in contemporary U.S. society. J. AM. ACAD. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 47-8, 853-857.


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