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Allison
Dymnicki, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, Social Economic Policy

Dr. Allison Dymnicki has 17 years of experience in designing, directing, and conducting research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects aimed at promoting child development, behavioral health, and wellbeing, with a particular focus on school, community, and out-of-school settings. She has partnered with federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, National Institute of Justice, and the Department of Education, as well as foundations and state and local educational agencies. Much of her work focuses on developing researcher practitioner partnerships intended to elevate diverse perspectives, practitioner viewpoints, and youth voices and ensure findings are actionable for key stakeholders.

Dymnicki is currently involved in the What Works Clearinghouse-Preschool-to-Postsecondary Evidence Synthesis Task Orders (WWC PESTO). She is helping to develop practice guides focused on low intensity interventions designed to promote positive student behavior. For the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation study of Core Components in Responsible Fatherhood programs, she is helping develop coding manuals, overseeing coders, analyzing findings, and writing up results to inform a rigorous demonstration project. She is also a subject matter expert in social emotional learning and implementation science for the Education Innovation and Research Evaluations, funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dymnicki comes to Abt after 12 years at American Institutes for Research, where she worked on more than 20 single-site, multi-site, and longitudinal research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects. She has designed and executed implementation and outcome studies to explore the process of implementing initiatives for diverse populations in various contexts. Her previous work includes evaluating efforts designed to promote educational, behavioral health, and wellbeing outcomes while reducing youth violence and risky behaviors. She also conducted systematic reviews of evidence-based programs in health and human service sectors and K-12 settings. She has partnered with federal agencies and foundations to translate research to practice. In addition, she has developed policy briefs, peer-reviewed articles, and infographics designed to convey complex research findings that can lead to actionable next steps for practitioner and policy makers.

Expertise:

  • Implementation and impact evaluation design, analysis, and reporting
  • Technical assistance to improve social-emotional, educational, and health/wellbeing outcomes
  • Social and emotional learning, youth development, and mental & behavioral health systems and programs
  • Systematic reviews, core components, and meta-analysis

Key Projects:

  • Department of Education WWC PESTO
  • OPRE Core Components in Responsible Fatherhood Programs
  • Technical Assistance for Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research Evaluations

Publications:

  • Fitzgerald, M., Shipman, K., Pauletic, M., Ellesworth, K., & Dymnicki, A. (2022). Promoting Educator Social Emotional Competence, Well-Being, and Student-Educator Relationships: A Pilot Study. Mental Health & Prevention, 26, doi: 10.1016/j.mhp.2022.200234
  •  Dymnicki, A. B., Arredondo Mattson, S., Spier, E., Argamaso, S., & Kingston, B. (2021) Assessing readiness, implementation, and effects associated with a comprehensive framework designed to reduce school violence: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of School Violence. 20 (4), 458-470, doi: 10.1080/15388220.2021.1952078
  • Dymnicki, A. B., Neiman, S., Joshi, A., Johnson, T., & Hodgman, S. (2021). Development and Validation of a Measure of Organizational Capacity for Implementing Youth Development Programs. Evaluation and Program Planning. 86, doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2021.101916
  • Dymnicki, A. B., Trivits, L., Hoffman, C., & Osher, D. (2020). Advancing the Use of Core Components of Effective Programs: Suggestions for Researchers Publishing Evaluation Results. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 
  • Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405-432. doi: 10.1111/j.1467- 8624.2010.01564.x
Allison Dymnicki, Ph.D.