Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy

Robert W. Ressler

Robert Ressler

Robert W. Ressler is a senior research associate with the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Ressler applies their research expertise on children, families, and community organizations to a variety of projects including the Child Opportunity Index. Much of Ressler’s work uses longitudinal quantitative modeling to uncover the pathways through which community forces influence the healthy educational and social development of children. With a theoretical perspective informed by nonprofit theory, Latina/o family experiences, and educational inequality, Ressler strives to make their work meaningful and relevant to a broad audience.

Ressler has been named an “emerging scholar” in nonprofit research by the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, where they are also the early scholars section chair and an advocate for professional development opportunities for early career scholars from diverse backgrounds. Ressler holds both doctorate and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in sociology and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Hispanic studies from the College of William and Mary. 


  • Ressler, Robert W. (in progress). “Nonprofits and Transformative Symbolic Reality” in Nonprofit Sector Theory. Edited by Eva Witesman and Curtis Child, BYU. 
  • Ressler, Robert W. (2019). “What Village? Opportunities and Supports for Parental Involvement Outside of the Family Context.” Children and Youth Services Review 
  • Ressler, Robert W., Elizabeth Ackert, Arya Ansari, and Robert Crosnoe. (2019). “Race/Ethnicity, Human Capital, and the Selection of Young Children into Early Childhood Education.” Social Science Research. 
  • Ressler, Robert W. (2019). “The Community Influence in the Everyday Lives of Families: Race, Resources, and Parental Involvement in Elementary School.” University of Texas, Austin, Texas. 
  • Ressler, Robert W., Chelsea Smith, Shannon Cavanagh, and Robert Crosnoe. (2017). “Mother’s Union Statuses and their Involvement in Young Children’s Schooling.” Journal of Marriage and Family. 79 (1): 94–109. 
  • Paxton, Pamela, Kristopher Velasco, and Robert W. Ressler. (December 2020). “Use of Emotion in Mission Statements Increases Donations and Volunteers.” American Sociological Review 
  • Velasco, Kristopher, Pamela Paxton, Robert W. Ressler, Inbar Weiss, and Lilla Pivnick. (2018). “Do National Service Programs Improve Communities?" American Review of Public Administration
  • Ackert, Elizabeth, Robert W. Ressler, Arya Ansari, and Robert Crosnoe. (2018). “Community Contexts and Utilization of Early Childhood Care and Education among Mexican-Origin Children.” Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 
  • Inbar Weiss, Pamela Paxton, Kristopher Velasco, and Robert W. Ressler. (2018). “Revisiting Declines in Social Capital: Evidence from a New Measure.” Social Indicators Research. 
  • Ackert, Elizabeth, Robert W. Ressler, Arya Ansari, and Robert Crosnoe. (2018). “Maternal Employment, Community Contexts, and the Child‐Care Arrangements of Diverse Groups." Journal of Marriage and Family 8(5): 1210-1224. 
  • Crosnoe, Robert and Robert W. Ressler. (2020). “Parenting the Child in School” in Handbook of Parenting 3rd Edited by Marc H. Bornstein. Routledge, N.Y. 
  • Paxton, Pamela and Robert W. Ressler. (2017). “Trust and Participation in Associations” In The Oxford Handbook of Social and Political Trust. Edited by Eric M. Uslaner. Oxford University Press