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INFORMATION FOR

Walter S. Gilliam, PhD

Elizabeth Mears and House Jameson Professor in the Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology; Director, The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy

Research Summary

Dr. Gilliam's research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, and the impact of early childhood education programs on children's school readiness, as well as issues of COVID-19 transmission, vaccination, and health and safety promotion in early childhood settings. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on methods to improve early education quality. Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers. His work has been covered in major national and international news outlets for print, radio, and television.

Specialized Terms: Child care and early childhood education; Intervention policy analysis; Early childhood mental health consultation; Child and family social policy; Young child development; COVID-19

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Gilliam's research involves early childhood education and intervention policy analysis (specifically how policies translate into effective services), ways to improve the quality of prekindergarten and child care services, and the impact of early childhood education programs on children's school readiness. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. Dr. Gilliam has led national analyses of state-funded prekindergarten policies and mandates, how prekindergarten programs are being implemented across the range of policy contexts, and the effectiveness of these programs at improving school readiness and educational achievement, as well as experimental and quasi-experimental studies on the effectiveness of various methods to improve early education quality, as well as issues of COVID-19 transmission, vaccination, and health and safety promotion in early childhood settings.

Dr. Gilliam directs The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. Its mission is to create and disseminate research that can be used to inform legislative and other policy efforts on behalf of children and families and to train future generations working at the intersect of research and policy development. Dr. Gilliam actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers, and his comments on early education are sought frequently by national and international news reporters.

Additionally, Dr. Gilliam provides clinical supervision in the early childhood section of the Child Study Center (providing developmental evaluations of children birth to 5-years old) and in the Newborn Follow-up Clinic, for premature and low birth weight infants. Dr. Gilliam holds a joint appointment with the Psychology Department at Yale University.

Dr. Gilliam leads the Yale Children and Adults Research in Early Education Study Team (Yale CARES), an interdisciplinary team of researchers studying COVID-19 transmission mitigation, vaccination, and health and mental health supports in early childhood settings. The team consists of experts in young child development and mental health, epidemiology, vaccinology, pediatric infectious disease control, economics, policy, and early childhood systems.

Dr. Gilliam was PI on the National Prekindergarten Study, the first study to examine the relationship between state-level early education legislation and policy and classroom-level implementation.

Dr. Gilliam has conducting a series of statewide random-controlled trials, examining the effectiveness of mental health consultation infused into child care and early education systems.

A series of studies examining preschool expulsion rates and practices are currently underway.

Coauthors

Research Interests

Child Behavior Disorders; Child Development; Developmental Disabilities; Child Rearing; Consultants; Education; Mental Health; Parents; Primary Prevention; Resilience, Psychological; COVID-19

Public Health Interests

Mental Health; Poverty and Economic Security; Child/Adolescent Health; Health Equity, Disparities, Social Determinants and Justice

Research Image

Selected Publications

  • Emotional RegulationGilliam W. Emotional Regulation 2021, 1723-1725. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-91280-6_288.
  • Teacher Decision Factors That Lead to Preschool ExpulsionGilliam W, Reyes C. Teacher Decision Factors That Lead to Preschool Expulsion Infants & Young Children 2018, 31: 93-108. DOI: 10.1097/iyc.0000000000000113.
  • An Evaluation of an Educational Video Game on Mathematics Achievement in First Grade StudentsHieftje K, Pendergrass T, Kyriakides T, Gilliam W, Fiellin L. An Evaluation of an Educational Video Game on Mathematics Achievement in First Grade Students Technologies 2017, 5: 30. DOI: 10.3390/technologies5020030.
  • Emotional RegulationGilliam W. Emotional Regulation 2013, 1087-1088. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-1698-3_288.
  • Measuring the Environments of Early Care, Education, and Intervention Programs for Children in PovertyGilliam W, Sosinsky L. Measuring the Environments of Early Care, Education, and Intervention Programs for Children in Poverty 2012, 243-258. DOI: 10.1017/cbo9781139016827.016.
  • Accountability and program evaluation in early education.Gilliam, W.S. & Frede, E. (in press). Accountability and program evaluation in early education. In R.C. Pianta, L. Justice, W.S. Barnett, & S. Sheridan (Eds.), Handbook of early education. New York: Guilford Publications.
  • Assistant Teachers in Prekindergarten Programs: What Roles Do Lead Teachers Feel Assistants Play in Classroom Management and Teaching?Sosinsky L, Gilliam W. Assistant Teachers in Prekindergarten Programs: What Roles Do Lead Teachers Feel Assistants Play in Classroom Management and Teaching? Early Education And Development 2011, 22: 676-706. DOI: 10.1080/10409289.2010.497432.
  • Chapter 15 Child Care How Pediatricians Can Support Children and FamiliesSosinsky L, Gilliam W. Chapter 15 Child Care How Pediatricians Can Support Children and Families 2011, 45-45.e5. DOI: 10.1016/b978-1-4377-0755-7.00015-4.
  • The pre-k debates: Current controversies and issues.Zigler, E., Gilliam, W.S., & Barnett, W.S. (Eds.). (2011). The pre-k debates: Current controversies and issues. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Assessing accountability and ensuring continuous program improvement: Why, how and who.Frede, E., Gilliam, W. S., & Schweinhart, L. J. (2011). Assessing accountability and ensuring continuous program improvement: Why, how and who. In E. Zigler, W. S. Gilliam, & W. S. Barnett (Eds.), The pre-k debates: Current controversies and issues (pp. 152-159). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Preschool programs should be coordinated in the public schools with supports from Head Start and child care.Gilliam, W. S. (2011). Preschool programs should be coordinated in the public schools with supports from Head Start and child care. In E. Zigler, W. S. Gilliam, & W. S. Barnett (Eds.), The pre-k debates: Current controversies and issues (pp. 120-126). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Measuring the environments of early care, education and intervention programs for children in poverty.Gilliam, W. S., & Sosinsky, L. S. (in press). Measuring the environments of early care, education and intervention programs for children in poverty. In L. C. Mayes & M. Lewis (Eds.), A developmental environment measurement handbook. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Assistant teachers in prekindergarten programs: What roles do lead teachers feel assistants play in classroom management and teaching?Sosinsky, L. S., & Gilliam, W. S. (2011). Assistant teachers in prekindergarten programs: What roles do lead teachers feel assistants play in classroom management and teaching? Early Education and Development, 22, 676-706.
  • Child care: How pediatricians can support children and families.Sosinsky, L. S., & Gilliam, W. S. (2011). Child care: How pediatricians can support children and families. In R. M. Kliegman, B. F. Stanton, J. St. Geme, N. Schor, & R. E. Behrman (Eds.), Nelson textbook of pediatrics (19h ed.) (pp. 45 + online continuation). Philadelphia: Elsevier.
  • Blueprint for a more efficient NAEYC program accreditation system.Gilliam, W. S. (2010). Blueprint for a more efficient NAEYC program accreditation system. Young Children, 65(3), 64-66.
  • Coordinating America’s highly diversified early childhood investment portfolio.Gilliam, W. S. (2010). Coordinating America’s highly diversified early childhood investment portfolio. In R. Haskins & W. S. Barnett (Eds.), Current issues in child care and early childhood education (pp. 89-96. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution & The National Institute for Early Education Research.
  • Science and policy: Connecting what we know to what we do.Zigler, E. F., & Gilliam, W. S. (2009). Science and policy: Connecting what we know to what we do. Zero to Three, 30(2), 40-46.
  • Head Start's Evolving Model of Collaboration, Early Education, and Family SupportGilliam W. Head Start's Evolving Model of Collaboration, Early Education, and Family Support Infants & Young Children 2008, 21: 2-3. DOI: 10.1097/01.iyc.0000306368.94672.ad.
  • Head Start, Public School Prekindergarten, and a Collaborative PotentialGilliam W. Head Start, Public School Prekindergarten, and a Collaborative Potential Infants & Young Children 2008, 21: 30-44. DOI: 10.1097/01.iyc.0000306371.40414.7c.
  • Crossing Borders With Head StartBritto P, Gilliam W. Crossing Borders With Head Start Infants & Young Children 2008, 21: 82-91. DOI: 10.1097/01.iyc.0000306375.25167.3d.
  • Head Start, public school prekindergarten, and a collaborative potential.Gilliam, W. S. (2008). Head Start, public school prekindergarten, and a collaborative potential. Infants and Young Children, 21, 30-44.
  • Crossing borders with Head Start - Commonalities and differences between Head Start and early childhood programs in developing countries.Britto, P. R., & Gilliam, W. S. (2008). Crossing borders with Head Start - Commonalities and differences between Head Start and early childhood programs in developing countries. Infants and Young Children, 21, 82-91.
  • Clinical assessment of infants and toddlers.Gilliam, W. S., & Mayes, L. C. (2007). Clinical assessment of infants and toddlers. In A. Martin & F. R. Volkmar (Eds.), Lewis’s child and adolescent psychiatry: A comprehensive textbook (4th ed.; pp. 309-322). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
  • Child and family policy: A role for child psychiatry and allied disciplines.Gilliam, W. S., Zigler, E. F., & Finn-Stevenson, M. (2007). Child and family policy: A role for child psychiatry and allied disciplines. In A. Martin & F. R. Volkmar (Eds.), Lewis’s child and adolescent psychiatry: A comprehensive textbook (4th ed.; pp. 35-48). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
  • A Vision for Universal Preschool EducationZigler E, Gilliam W, Jones S. A Vision for Universal Preschool Education 2006 DOI: 10.1017/cbo9781139167284.
  • Preschool and Child Care Expulsion and SuspensionGilliam W, Shahar G. Preschool and Child Care Expulsion and Suspension Infants & Young Children 2006, 19: 228-245. DOI: 10.1097/00001163-200607000-00007.
  • A vision for universal preschool education.Zigler, E., Gilliam, W. S., & Jones, S. M. (2006). A vision for universal preschool education. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Prekindergarten expulsion and suspension: Rates and predictors in one state.Gilliam, W. S., & Shahar, G. (2006). Prekindergarten expulsion and suspension: Rates and predictors in one state. Infants and Young Children, 19, 228-245.
  • Prekindergarteners left behind: Expulsion rates in state prekindergarten systems.Gilliam, W. S. (2005). Prekindergarteners left behind: Expulsion rates in state prekindergarten systems. New Haven, CT: Yale University Child Study Center.
  • Screening and surveillance in early intervention systems.Gilliam, W. S., Meisels, S., & Mayes, L. (2005). Screening and surveillance in early intervention systems. In M. J. Guralnick (Ed.), A Developmental Systems Approach to Early Intervention: National and International Perspectives (pp. 73-98). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
  • A critical meta-analysis of all impact evaluations of state-funded preschool from 1977 to 1998: Implications for policy, service delivery and program evaluation.Gilliam, W. S., & Zigler, E. F. (2001). A critical meta-analysis of all impact evaluations of state-funded preschool from 1977 to 1998: Implications for policy, service delivery and program evaluation. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 15, 441-473.
  • A critical meta-analysis of all evaluations of state-funded preschool from 1977 to 1998: implications for policy, service delivery and program evaluationGilliam W, Zigler E. A critical meta-analysis of all evaluations of state-funded preschool from 1977 to 1998: implications for policy, service delivery and program evaluation Early Childhood Research Quarterly 2000, 15: 441-473. DOI: 10.1016/s0885-2006(01)00073-4.
  • The Relationship Between Language and Cognitive Development and Emotional‐Behavioral Problems in Financially‐Disadvantaged Preschoolers: A Longitudinal InvestigationGilliam W, de Mesquita P. The Relationship Between Language and Cognitive Development and Emotional‐Behavioral Problems in Financially‐Disadvantaged Preschoolers: A Longitudinal Investigation Early Child Development And Care 2000, 162: 9-24. DOI: 10.1080/0300443001620102.
  • Evaluating child and family demonstration initiatives: lessons from the comprehensive child development programGilliam W, Ripple C, Zigler E, Leiter V. Evaluating child and family demonstration initiatives: lessons from the comprehensive child development program Early Childhood Research Quarterly 2000, 15: 41-59. DOI: 10.1016/s0885-2006(99)00041-1.
  • Will Fifty Cooks Spoil the Broth?Ripple C, Gilliam W, Chanana N, Zigler E. Will Fifty Cooks Spoil the Broth? American Psychologist 1999, 54: 327-343. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066x.54.5.327.
  • PrefaceMayes L, Gilliam W. Preface Child And Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics Of North America 1999, 8: xiii-xv. DOI: 10.1016/s1056-4993(18)30175-5.