Margaret Burchinal

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Margaret R. Burchinal is a Senior Scientist at the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Education at the University of California, Irvine. Prof. Burchinal earned her B.S. in psychology at Iowa State University in 1976, M.A. in special education at University of North Carolina (UNC) in 1978, and Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from L.L.Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory at UNC in 1986. She has been a leading researcher and statistician in child care research and a widely recognized applied statistician. She has authored or co-authored over 150 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, including Child Development, Developmental Psychology, American Psychologist, and Science. As a researcher, she has demonstrated that quality child care may be especially important in reducing racial and economic gaps at entry to school. As an applied methodologist, she has helped to demonstrate that sophisticated methods such as meta-analysis, fixed-effect modeling, hierarchical linear modeling, piecewise regression, and generalized estimating equations provide educational researchers with advanced techniques to address important educational issues.