Emma Monahan


Dr. Emma Monahan is a Researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Her research interests include child welfare and improving child and family well-being through prevention and intervention efforts, with a particular focus on economically disadvantaged families. She is also interested in the design and evaluation of federal and state social welfare programs intended to aid low-income families through cash or in-kind transfers. As a Researcher at Chapin Hall, Monahan collaborates on the evaluation of a multisite, primary care setting innovation designed to address social determinants of health and mitigate toxic stress through family engagement and service connection. She also works on a team evaluating initiatives to promote the use and collaboration of public libraries, in addition to a project aimed to assist states in building their capacity to understand and use administrative data from their Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

Previously, Monahan was a program and policy analyst at the Department of Children and Families in Wisconsin. Her work focused on evaluating policies and program initiatives in the Wisconsin child welfare system, as well as guiding implementation and continuous quality improvement efforts. Prior to this work, Monahan was a Research Assistant at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Her research projects included the evaluation of a randomized-control trial in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, qualitative data collection and analysis, and administrative data analyses to investigate the relationship of economic resources, specifically income instability and welfare benefit instability, with child welfare outcomes.

Monahan received her PhD and MSW from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, with a specialization in social policy and child welfare research.

PhD in Social Policy and Child Welfare Research, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Masters Degree in Social Work, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Monahan, E. K. (2019, November). Estimating the association of income instability and child maltreatment. Paper presented at the 41st Annual Fall Research Conference of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management, Denver, CO.

Slack, K. S., Boyd, R., & Monahan, E. K. (2019, August). Strategies for Assessing Family Strengths in Efforts to Predict Future CPS Involvement. Workshop presented at the National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit, Washington DC.

Slack, K. S., Monahan, E. K., & Johnson-Motoyama, M. (2019, August). Testing the Role of Economic Safety Nets in Child Welfare Outcomes: Implications for Research, Policy, and Practice. Workshop presented at the National Child Welfare Evaluation Summit, Washington DC.

Monahan, E. K. (2019, January). How does income instability impact parenting behaviors? A study of families at-risk for child maltreatment. Paper presented at the 23rd Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, San Francisco, CA.

Monahan, E. K. (2018, November). Income instability, relationship instability, and welfare benefit receipt: Measuring within-year patters and associations of these events in low-income families. Poster presented at the 40th Annual Fall Research Conference of the Association for Public Policy and Management, Washington, DC.

Paul, J., & Kahle, E. R. (2017, January). Child maltreatment and protective service involvement among sexual minority youth: An exploration of prevalence and risk factors. Paper presented at the 21st Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, New Orleans, LA.

Kahle, E. R. (2016, January). How do survivors of child maltreatment perceive parenting experiences? A study of mothers in Wisconsin. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Conference Anniversary Celebration of the Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, DC.

Monahan, E. K., & Guarin, A. (2019). The role of neighborhood disadvantage and family structure in young adults’ experiences of multiple partner fertility. Journal of Family Issues, 40, 1627–1655.

Monahan, E. K. (2019). Examining how community poverty, family structure, and community involvement influence the earnings of youth. Poverty & Public Policy, 11, 138–155.

Paul, J., & Monahan, E. K. (2019). Sexual minority status and child maltreatment. How do health outcomes among sexual minority young adults differ due to child maltreatment exposure? Child Abuse & Neglect, 96, 104099.

Wisconsin Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board (2018). Adverse Childhood Experiences in Wisconsin: 2011-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey Findings. Madison, WI: Author. (Analyses conducted by Monahan, E. K., Lee, H., & Slack, K. S.).

Change, E. C., Yu, E. A., Kahle, E. R., Du, Y., Chang, O. D., Jilani, Z., Yu, T., & Hirsch, J. K. (2017). The relationship between domestic partner violence and suicidal behaviors in an adult community sample: Examining hope and agency pathways as protective factors. Violence Against Women, 24, 1399–1412.