Professor Moreno joined the faculty in 2013 with more than 20 years of work experience in the field of early child development, including direct service with children and families, curriculum and assessment development, social policy, community partnerships, program evaluation, and original research.

Dr. Moreno studies adult-child interactions (parents, teachers, and other early childhood service providers) and how these can serve as a buffering influence for children who have experienced adversity. In particular, she is interested in how invested adults can adjust their behavior with the children in their care  to minimize the negative effects these early stressful experiences tend to have on the transition from automatic to effortful learning. Thus, Dr. Moreno is studying and developing interventions that train adults to support children’s self-regulation and executive function, which in turn promote children’s ability to successfully engage with increasingly dynamic and cognitively demanding contexts.

Dr. Moreno is also involved in on-the-ground efforts to implement early childhood research. She consults with community organizations and policy makers on how systems do or don’t promote caregivers’ child-supportive behaviors. Examples of implementation topics of interest include the impact of the accountability and standards movement on developmentally appropriate practice, feasible models for parent and professional development and training, appropriate uses of data and research in grant-making and program continuous improvement, and innovative collaborations to increase the impact of social services and early education.


B.A. in child development, Tufts University;
M.A. in child development, Tufts University;
Ph.D. in developmental psychology, University of Denver;
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Research areas

Early education interventions, effects of poverty on child development, adult-child relationships, child care quality, development of executive function and self-regulation, assessment of early cognitive and social-emotional development, observational research methods and behavioral coding, implementation science.


Peer-Refereed Articles:

Moreno, A.J., Shwayder, I., & Friedman, I.D. (in press). The function of executive function: Everyday manifestations of regulated thinking in preschool settings. Early Childhood Education Journal.

Moreno, A.J., Green, S., & Koehn, J. (2015). The effectiveness of coursework and on-site coaching at improving the quality of infant-toddler care. Manuscript accepted for publication, Early Education & Development, 26, 66-88.

Moreno, A.J. & Klute, M.M. (2011). Infant-toddler teachers can successfully employ authentic assessment: The Learning Through Relating system. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 26, 484-496.

Kaplan, P. S., Burgess, A. P., Sliter, J. K., & Moreno, A. J. (2009). Maternal Sensitivity and the Learning-Promoting Effects of Maternal Infant-Directed Speech. Infancy, 14,143-161.

Moreno, A.J., Klute, M.M., and Robinson, J.L. (2008). Relational and individual predictors of empathy in early childhood. Social Development, 17(3), 613-637.

Posada, G., Jacobs, A., Richmond, M., & Kaloustian, G. (2007). Maternal secure base support and preschoolers’ secure base behavior in natural environments. Journal of Attachment and Human Development, 4, 393-411.

Moreno, A.J., Posada, G., & Goldyn, D.T. (2006). Presence and quality of touch influence co-regulation in mother-infant dyads. Infancy, 9, 1-20.

Moreno, A.J., and Robinson, J.L. (2005).   Emotional vitality in infancy as a predictor of cognitive and language abilities in toddlerhood. Infant and Child Development, 14, 383-402.

Kiang, L., Moreno, A.J., & Robinson, J.L. (2004). Maternal preconceptions about parenting predict child temperament, maternal sensitivity, and children’s empathy. Developmental Psychology, 40, 1081-1092.

Posada, G., Jacobs, A., Richmond, M., Carbonell, O.A., Alzate, G., Bustamante, M.R., & Quiceno, J. (2002). Maternal caregiving and infant security in two cultures. Developmental Psychology, 38, 67-78.

Posada, G., & Jacobs, A. (2001). Child-mother attachment and culture. American Psychologist, 56(10), 821-822.

Posada, G., Jacobs, A., Carbonell, O.A., Alzate, G., Bustamante, M., & Arenas, A. (1999). Maternal care and attachment security in ordinary and emergency contexts. Developmental Psychology, 35, 1379-1388.

Selected Presentations

Moreno, A.J., Bromer, J., Mitra, S., & Llanes, S. (2015). Supportive AND Serious: Strengths-Based Professional Development in Diverse Early Care and Education Settings. Talk presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Professional Development Institute, New Orleans, LA.

Moreno, A.J. (2015). All it takes is H.E.A.R.T. An introduction to relationship-based child development for osteopathic physicians. Invited talk presented at the Osteopathic Medical Conference and Exposition, Orlando, FL.

Moreno, A.J., Pytlinski, L., & Pikovsky, I. (2013). Practical strategies for enhancing children’s developing executive function. Talk presented at the Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference, Denver, CO.

Moreno, A.J. (2012). Connecting research, policy, and practice. Invited talk presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Professional Development Institute, Indianapolis, IA.

Moreno, A.J. & Hartnett-Edwards, K. (2011). Responding to the pressures from above: Getting to outcomes in the accountability age. Talk presented at the Rocky Mountain Early Childhood Conference, Denver, CO.

Moreno, A.J., Maier, S., & McBride, K. (2008). Capturing Change: Lessons Learned from the Evaluation of an Early Childhood Teacher Quality Intervention. Poster presented at the 2008 conference of the American Evaluation Association, Denver, CO, November.

Klute, M. M., Moreno, A., Sciarrino, C., & Anderson, S. (2008). Implementation of ‘Learning through Relating’, a Pre-Literacy and Social Communication Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers.  Poster presented at Head Start’s 9th National Research Conference, Washington, DC, June.

Moreno, A.J. (2003). Co-regulation and Maternal Sensitivity as Predictors of Infant Emotional Vitality. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.

Moreno, A.J. (2003). Is mother-infant co-regulation enhanced by touch? Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Tampa, FL.