Headshot of Max Crowley

Max Crowley

Associate Professor of Human Development, Family Studies, and Public Policy; Director, Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative

219 HHD Building
dmc397@psu.edu

Introduction & Projects

Max Crowley is a prevention scientist investigating how to optimize investments in healthy development and well-being. This work sits at the intersection of social policy, prevention science and public finance. His program of research is motivated by a desire to increase the use of cost-effective, evidence-based preventive strategies to improve the lives of children and families. To accomplish this, his work aims to:

  1. strengthen methods for benefit-cost analyses of preventive interventions;
  2. optimize prevention strategies’ impact; and
  3. develop best practices for how to translate these investments into evidence-based policy.

In this manner, he seeks to not only understand the costs and benefits of prevention, but aims to develop better interventions and encourage them to be disseminated widely.

His research is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and National Institute on Aging as well as the Robert Wood Johnson, Laura & John Arnold, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell and Doris Duke Charitable Foundations.

He is accepting graduate students and postdoctoral trainees for the upcoming academic year.

View more information on Dr. Crowley's work.

Prevention-related Projects

Recent Publications

Lawmakers' use of scientific evidence can be improved

Crowley, D. M., Scott, J. T., Long, E. C., Green, L., Israel, A., Supplee, L., Jordan, E., Oliver, K., Guillot-Wright, S., Gay, B., Storace, R., Torres-Mackie, N., Murphy, Y., Donnay, S., Reardanz, J., Smith, R., McGuire, K., Baker, E., Antonopoulos, A., McCauley, M. & Giray, C. (2021). Lawmakers’ use of scientific evidence can be improved. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(9), e2012955118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2012955118

Early physical abuse and adult outcomes

Lansford, J.E., Godwin, J., McMahon, R.J., Crowley, D.M., Petit, G.S., Bates, J.E., Coie, J.D., & Dodge, K.A. (2021). Early physical abuse and adult outcomes. Pediatrics. 147(1). Article e20200873. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2020-0873.

Supporting strategic investment in social programs: A cost analysis of the Family Check-Up

Kuklinski, M. R., Crowley, D. M., Dishion, T. J., Wilson, M. N., Pelham III, W. E., & Shaw, D. S. (2020). Supporting strategic investment in social programs: A cost analysis of the Family Check-Up. Prevention Science, 21, 256-267.

Important issues in estimating costs of early childhood educational interventions: An example from the REDI program

Jones, D.E., Bierman, K., Crowley, D.M., Welsh, J., & Gest, J. (2019). Important issues in estimating costs of early childhood educational interventions: An example from the REDI program. Child and Family Services Review, 207, 104498.

Standards of evidence for conducting and reporting economic evaluations in prevention science

Crowley, M., Dodge, K., Barnett, S., Corso, P., Duffy, S., Graham, P., Greenberg, M., Hill, L., Haskins, R., Jones, D., Karoly, L., Kuklinski, M., & Plotnick, R. (2018). Standards of evidence for conducting and reporting economic evaluations in prevention science. Prevention Science, 19(3), 366-390.

At what cost? Examining the cost-effectiveness of a universal social-emotional learning program.

Hunter, L., Diperna, J., Hart, S., & Crowley, M. (2018). At what cost? Examining the cost-effectiveness of a universal social-emotional learning program. Social Psychology Quarterly, 33(1), 147-154.

Fostering healthier environments for children and families

Crowley, M., Haskins, R., Howard, E., & Ness, D. (2017). Fostering healthier environments for children and families. In P. Alonzo (Ed.), Knowledge to action: Accelerating a culture of health. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Improving the social emotional skills in childhood enhances long-term well-being and economic outcomes

Jones, D., Crowley, D. M., & Greenberg, M. T. (2017). Improving social emotional skills in childhood enhances long-term well-being and economic outcomes. University Park, PA: Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, The Pennsylvania State University.

A framework for valuing investments in a nurturing society: Implications for prevention research and evidence-based policy

Crowley, D. M., & Jones, D. E. (2017). A framework for valuing investments in a nurturing society: Implications for prevention research and evidence-based policy. Child Clinical and Family Psychology Review, 20(1), 87–103. PMCID: PMC5396060

Translating prevention research for evidence-based policymaking: Results from the Research-to-Policy Collaboration pilot

Crowley, D. M., Scott, T., & Fishbein, D. (2017). Translating prevention research for evidence-based policymaking: Results from the Research-to-Policy Collaboration pilot. Prevention Science, 19(2), 260–270. PMCID: PMC5803346

Valuing our communities: Ethical considerations for economic evaluation of community-based prevention

Crowley, D. M., & Jones, D. E. (2017). Valuing our communities: Ethical considerations for economic evaluation of community-based prevention. American Journal of Community Psychology, 60(3–4), 309–315. PMCID: PMC5729092

Bringing rigor to the use of evidence in policymaking: Translating early evidence

Crowley, D. M., & Scott, T. (2017). Bringing rigor to the use of evidence in policymaking:  Translating early evidence. Public Administration Review, 77(5), 650–655. https://doi.org/10.1111.puar.12830

The economics of social capital: Considering the fiscal value of social networks

Crowley, M., & Green, L. (2016). The economics of social capital: Considering the fiscal value of social networks. In A. Greenberg, T. Gullotta, & M. Bloom (Eds.), Promoting civic health of communities through social capital. New York: Springer Publishing.

Considering valuation of noncognitive skills in benefit-cost analysis of programs for children.

Jones, D. E., Karoly, L. A., Crowley, M., & Greenberg, M. T. (2016). Considering valuation of noncognitive skills in benefit-cost analysis of programs for children. Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 6(3), 471–507.

Financing prevention: Opportunities for economic analysis across the translational research cycle.

Crowley, M., & Jones, D. (2016). Financing prevention: Opportunities for economic analysis across the translational research cycle. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 6(1), 145–152.

Advancing the power of economic evidence to inform investments in children, youth, and families

Basurto-Davila, R., Brooks-Gunn, J., Brooks, J., Chow, B., Corso, P., Crowley, D. M., Fitzpatrick, J., Karoly, L., Kuklinski, M., Nugent, R., Acosta-Price, O., Miller, T., Sheridan, A., Steurle, E., & Jackson, L. (2016), Advancing the power of economic evidence to inform investments in children, youth, and families. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23481

The power of a collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and community prevention teams: A correlational and longitudinal study

Chilenski, S., Perkins, D. F., Olson, J. R., Hoffman, L., Feinberg, M. E., Greenberg, M. T., Welsh, J. A., Crowley, D. M., & Spoth, R. L. (2016). The power of a collaborative relationship between technical assistance providers and community prevention teams: A correlational and longitudinal study. Evaluation and Program Planning, 54(1), 19-29. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.10.002

Early social-emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness

Jones, D., Greenberg, M., & Crowley, M. (2015). Early social-emotional functioning and public health: The relationship between kindergarten social competence and future wellness. American Journal of Public Health, 105(11), 2283–2290.

The role of social impact bonds in pediatric care

Crowley, M. (2014). The role of social impact bonds in pediatric care. Pediatrics, 134(2), 331–333.

Can we build an efficient response to the prescription drug abuse epidemic? Assessing the cost-effectiveness of universal prevention

Crowley, M., Jones, D. E., Greenberg, M. T., Coffman, D., & Spoth, R. (2014). Can we build an efficient response to the prescription drug abuse epidemic? Assessing the cost-effectiveness of universal prevention. Preventive Medicine, 62, 71–77.

Related News

image of Capitol Dome with data sky

February 22, 2021

Helping Congress get the most from research

Research-to-Policy Co-Directors Max Crowley and Taylor Scott are quoted in this Penn State News story.

Read more.
Image of Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center

January 22, 2021

New Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center partnership tackles access and equity

PRC Director of Social Innovation Meg Small and PRC affiliate faculty member Max Crowley are quoted in this Penn State News story.

Read more.
Image of black and gold gavel and sound block

January 20, 2021

Despite advances, behavioral health legislation still lags behind

Max Crowley, Director of the Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative (EIC), and Taylor Scott, Co-Director of the EIC, are quoted in this story from Penn State News.

Read more.

June 21, 2019

Penn State-led national coalition bringing prevention science to life

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Over the past four decades, prevention science has grown steadily, producing evidence-based practices and policies that prevent negative medical, social and emotional impacts before they occur. Increasingly, the Penn State-led National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives (NPSC) is being recognized for its work translating science to policymakers, educators, practitioners and communities.

Read more.

October 02, 2018

Penn State researcher receives federal grant to study early learning program

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A Penn State researcher has a major role in a $3.3 million federal grant award to study the impact of MindUp, an early-learning program aimed at improving children's readiness for kindergarten and later grades.

Read more.

September 26, 2018

New behavioral intervention aims to improve research-to-policy translation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Max Crowley, assistant professor of human development and family studies and director of the Penn State Administrative Data Accelerator, has received a $500,000 award from the William T. Grant Foundation to evaluate the impact of behavioral intervention for increasing collaboration between researchers and congressional offices.

Read more.

July 19, 2018

Portland State, Penn State partners on $3.3 million grant to study impact of kindergarten readiness program

A Portland State University professor has received a $3.3 million federal grant to study the impact of an early-learning program aimed at improving children's readiness for kindergarten and later grades.

Read more.

May 15, 2018

Penn State delegation advocates for social sciences in Washington, DC

A group of Penn State researchers recently attended the Consortium of Social Science Association’s (COSSA) 2018 Science Policy Conference and Social Science Advocacy Day in Washington, DC.

Read more.