As co-director of the Work, Families, and Children Research Group, Marshall served as principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or senior advisor on numerous projects, including the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, one of the most comprehensive scientific studies of early child care and its relation to child development (1989-2005). The study provided definitive evidence that non-maternal child care does not damage a child's attachment to their mother, and that even ordinary child care/early childhood education programs (not just exemplary programs such as HighScope) have a positive effect on children's cognitive development and school readiness, if they are high-quality programs.
Marshall was also lead researcher for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s study of gender bias in the courts (1987) and for the Massachusetts Office for Children study of the affordability of child care in Massachusetts (1986). She led a series of studies for Massachusetts and Maine on the cost and quality of early care and education programs as well as a study of the capacity of Massachusetts institutions of higher education to prepare the early care and education workforce (2000-2005) and an evaluation of Massachusetts’ child care subsidy program (2007-2011). Marshall conducted a series of needs assessments for the Boston Public Schools and for Boston community early education and care programs (2006-2017). All of these projects contributed to new policies and initiatives to improve the quality and affordability of early care and education programs.
Marshall conducted multiple studies of women’s employment, co-organized a conference on work and family at the turn of the 21st century, and presented an invited talk on women’s employment and health at the National Academy of Science (2015). Her publications contributed to our understanding of the variations in women’s working conditions in different occupations and at different points in the life cycle, with studies of job stress among postpartum women (2005-2007) and among older workers (2001-2003).
See Nancy L. Marshall's Projects