Cindy Crusto, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry
  • Assistant Chair for Diversity, Department of Psychiatry
  • Director, Program Evaluation and Child Trauma Research at The Consultation Center

Cindy A. Crusto, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry (Psychology Section), Yale University School of Medicine, is the Director of Program and Service System Evaluation at The Consultation Center. Dr. Crusto has more than 15 years of experience in developing, implementing, and evaluating preventive interventions in schools and community agencies. She also has extensive experience providing training and technical assistance to schools and to community-based organizations on the evaluation of prevention programs. She is interested in culturally relevant interventions for children from racial/ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds and in school-based behavioral health services. Dr. Crusto's research examines the impact of family violence on children and the ecological influences on child and family well-being, and includes rigorous evaluations of community-based initiatives involving substance use and violence prevention, and the promotion of school readiness.

Dr. Crusto earned a B.A. in psychology from Vassar College, an M.A. in clinical-community psychology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology from the University of South Carolina. She completed pre-doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships in clinical-community psychology at Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.

Research interests
Family; Mental Health; Minority Groups; Social Conditions; Social Problems; Violence; Global Health; Domestic Violence; Cultural Diversity; Substance-Related Disorders; Risk Reduction Behavior; Psychiatry and Psychology; Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena
Research summary

Dr. Crusto has extensive experience in the development, implementation, and evaluation of child and family prevention and intervention programs and initiatives. She has 15 years of experience providing training and technical assistance to staff of community-based organizations in program evaluation design and implementation. She has directed several statewide and community-based initiatives and programs focused in the areas of family violence, education, youth substance use/abuse, child protective services, early literacy, service system development, and host of other children’s mental health related issues.

Dr. Crusto’s research interests are focused on understanding the impact of family violence exposure on young children’s well-being and on identifying the factors that serve to place young children at risk and protect against negative developmental outcomes through basic and intervention research.

Specialized Terms: Social determinants of health; Children's exposure to trauma; Family violence; Program and service system evaluation; School-based mental health; Community-academic partnerships; Prevention and health promotion

  • PhD, University of South Carolina, 2000
  • MA, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 1996
  • BA, Vassar College, 1991
  • Roberts, Y. H., Crusto, C. A., & Kaufman, J. S. (2012). Traumatic impact of young children’s exposure to arrest. Journal of Trauma & Treatment, 1:e108. doi:10.4172/2167-1222.1000e108
  • Roberts, Y. H., Ferguson, M., & Crusto, C. A. (2012). Exposure to traumatic events and health-related quality of life in preschool-aged children, Quality of Life Research, Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s11136-012-0330-4 PMCID: PMC3616160.
  • Crusto, C.A., Melissa L. Whitson, M.L., Feinn, R., Gargiulo, J., Holt, C., Paulicin, B., Simmons, W., & Lowell, D.I. Evaluation of a mental health consultation intervention in preschool settings. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, in press.
  • Snyder, F. J., Roberts, Y. H., Crusto, C. A., Connell, C. M., Griffin, A., Finley, M. K., Radway, S., Marshall, T., & Kaufman, J. S. (2012). Exposure to traumatic events and the behavioral health of children enrolled in an early childhood system of care.
  • Hooper, L. M., Qu, L., Crusto, C., & Huffman, L. Scalar equivalence in self-rated depressive symptomatology as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II: Do racial and gender differences in college students exist? Psychology. [Special Issue on Depression], 2012(3), 762-774.
  • Kilmer, R.P., Cook, J.R., Crusto, C.A., Strater, K.P., and Haber, M.G. Understanding the ecology and development of children and families experiencing homelessness: Implications for practice, supportive services, and policy. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82(3), 2012, 389-401.
  • Crusto, C.A., Whitson, M.L., Walling, S.N., Feinn, R., Friedman, S.R., Reynolds, J., Amer, M., and Kaufman, J.S. (2010) Posttraumatic stress among young urban children exposed to family violence and other potentially traumatic events.
  • Crusto, C.A., Lowell, D., Paulicin, B., Reynolds, J., Feinn, R., Friedman, S.R. and Kaufman, J.S. Evaluation of wraparound services for children exposed to violence. Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 2008, 4(1):1-18.
  • Berent, R., Crusto, C.A., Hightower, D., Epstein, M. and Kaufman, J.S. Development and psychometric refinement of a screening tool for young children exposed to violence, Best Practices in Mental Health: An International Journal, 2008, 4(1):19-30.
  • Friedman, S.R., Reynolds, J., Quan, M.A., Call, S., Crusto, C.A, and Kaufman, J.S. Measuring changes in interagency collaboration: An examination of the Bridgeport Safe Start Initiative, Evaluation and Program Planning, 2007, 30:294-306.
  • Crusto, C.A., Ross, E., Kaufman, J.S. & The Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, Inc. (2006) A Practitioners’ Guide to Evaluating Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Programs
  • Roberts YH1, Snyder FJ1, Kaufman JS1, Finley MK2, Griffin A2, Anderson J3, Marshall T4, Radway S5, Stack V6, Crusto CA1. (2014) Children exposed to the arrest of a family member: Associations with mental health.
  • Kaufman, J.S., Crusto, C.A., Quan, M., Ross, E., Friedman, S.R., O’Reilly, K. and Call, S. (2006) Utilizing program evaluation as a strategy to promote community change: evaluation of a comprehensive, community-based, family violence initiative.
International activities
  • Yale University Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS/University of Pretoria South Africa
    Middelburg, South Africa (2010-2012)
    Situational Analysis

    Yale University/University of Pretoria, Yale University/University of Pretoria

  • Recognition Award
  • Task Force on Cultural Competence in Evaluation, Diversity Committee
    American Evaluation Association
    (2005 - 2011)
  • American Evaluation Association Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group
    American Evaluation Association
    (2012 - 2014)
  • Minority Organization for Retention and Expansion
    Yale School of Medicine
    (2011 - 2014)