Children prepared to adapt to the school environment when they enter kindergarten are more likely to meet academic and social demands of the classroom and succeed in school and beyond. The DEEP lab focuses on ways to measure and improve children’s readiness for school, particularly for children from low-income backgrounds.


We apply state of the art measurement tools and techniques to “get inside” young children’s school and home environments.


To promote low-income children’s school readiness, there is a large and growing movement to invest in high quality education and care of young children before they enter school. Our work at the DEEP Lab explores the effectiveness of early childhood education interventions and why programs may or may not produce positive results for low-income children and families.


The DEEP lab conducts rigorous research to inform early childhood policy decisions and practice.


Check out our latest publications and presentations!
The Development, Early Education, and Policy (DEEP) Lab is led by Terri J. Sabol (Assistant Professor) in the Human Development and Social Policy Department in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. The DEEP lab applies developmental theory, psychological measurement, and advanced quantitative methods to pressing social policy issues that affect low-income children and families. Read more here.

August 2017- Welcome Kenn Dela Cruz, Mixed Methods Research Manager, to the Northwestern Family Engagement Study.

July 2017- Welcome Sarah Guminski, research project coordinator and data analyst, to the "Contexts Inside and Outside of School Walls" project.

June 2017- Welcome Sunny Liu, rising Northwestern University senior, as a research assistant to the DEEP Lab.

May 2017- Research assistants Jamilah Silver and Samantha Oberman presented research from the "Contexts Inside and Outside of School Walls" at two expositions at Northwestern University: the Undergraduate Research and Arts Exposition and the Northwestern Computational Research Day.

April 2017- Amy Sanchez (Glazier-Torgerson) presented research from the Northwestern Family Engagement Study at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) biennial meeting in Austin, Texas.

November 2016- Neighborhood coding has started for the "Contexts Inside and Outside of School Walls" project.

October 2016- Welcome Jamilah Silver, Stanley Vuong, and Samantha Oberman, Northwestern University sophomore research assistants, to the DEEP Lab.

September 2016- The Northwestern University Two-Generation Research Initiative received a University Partnership Research Grant for the Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG II) Program. Dr. Sabol will be a Co-PI on this project, using innovative measurement techniques to examine the mechanisms underlying two-generation program impacts.

August 2016- We received an Institute of Education Sciences grant for the "Contexts Inside and Outside of School Walls" project.

November 2015- Focus groups begin for the Northwestern Family Engagement Study in Illinois.

October 2015- Welcome Laura Milstein, a Northwestern University senior research assistant, to the DEEP Lab.

Fall 2015 - Marks the launching of the Northwestern Family Engagement Study in Illinois. For more study details, click here.

August 2015 - Welcome Amy Glazier-Torgerson to the DEEP lab.

August 2015 - Check out Dr. Sabol's discussion on the importance of family engagement in this article in the Chicago Tribune.