Taren Swindle

Dr. Taren Swindle

Taren M. Swindle, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine within the College of Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Broadly, her research program focuses on understanding and improving health and developmental outcomes for children impacted by poverty. Dr. Swindle has a particular focus on obesity prevention and nutrition promotion for young children in low-income families. Her work to date has focused on the early childcare setting as a key context for obesity prevention and nutrition intervention. She is interested in increasing adoption of evidence-based practices and interventions in community settings such as this through application of Implementation Science. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research from the University of Memphis.

Curriculum Vitae


ResearchGate Profile

Peer Reviewed Published Manuscripts

Swindle, T., Sigman-Grant, M., Branen, L.J., Fletcher, J., & Johnson, S.L. (2018). About Feeding Children: Factor structure and internal reliability of a survey to assess mealtime strategies and beliefs of early childhood education teachers. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15(85). PMCID : PMC6131865

Swindle, T. & Phelps, J. (2018). How does context relate to nutrition promotion and mealtime practice in early care and education settings? A qualitative exploration. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, S2212-2672(18). 30676-2. Advance online publication: doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2018.05.003.

Swindle, T., Selig, J., Rutledge, J.M., Whiteside-Mansell, L., & Curran, G. (2018). Fidelity monitoring in complex interventions: A case study of the WISE intervention. Archives of Public Health, 76 (53), 1-10.   PMCID: PMC6114253

Conners Edge, N.A., Rose, A., Honecutt, D., McKelvey, L. Swindle, T., Courson, D. & Forsman, J.A. (2018). Implementation of Arkansas’s initiative to reduce suspension and expulsion of young children. Journal of Early Intervention.  Advance online publication: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1053815118789177

Swindle, T., Jarrett, D., McKelvey, L., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Conners Edge., N., & Kraleti, S. (2017). Test of a conceptual model to explain television exposure of Head Start children. Clinical Pediatrics, 57(8):970-980. PMCID: PMC5938149

Swindle, T., Johnson, S.L., Whiteside-Mansell, L., & Curran, G. (2017). A mixed methods protocol for developing and testing implementation strategies for evidence-based obesity prevention in childcare: A cluster randomized hybrid type III trial. Implementation Science. 12(90). PMCID: PMC5516351

Swindle, T., Rutledge, J., Dix, B. & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2017). Table Talk: Development of an observational tool to assess verbal communications in early care and education settings. Public Health Nutrition, 20 (16), 2869-2877. NIHMSID: NIHMS963228 

Swindle, T., Ward, W, & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2018). Facebook: The use of social media to engage parents in a pre-school obesity prevention curriculum. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 50 (1), 4-10. PMCID: PMC5769705

Swindle, T., Fitzgerald, S., McKelvey, L.M., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2017). Application of non-inferiority tests to address the food insecurity – obesity relationship children. The Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition. NIHMS ID: NIHMS1503827

Harrist, A.W., Hubbs-Tait, L., Topham, G., Shriver, L. & Swindle, T. (2017). Psychosocial factors in child obesity: Examples from an innovative line of inquiry. Child Development Perspectives. 11(4), 275-281. PMCID: PMC5693230

Whiteside-Mansell, L. & Swindle, T. (2017). Together We Inspire Smart Eating: A Preschool WISE curriculum for obesity prevention in low-income families. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 49 (9) 789-792. PMCID: PMC5632587 

Swindle, T., Patterson, Z., & Boden McGill, C. (2017). A qualitative application of the Belsky Model to explore early care and education teachers’ mealtime history, beliefs, and teaching interactions. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 49(7), 568-578. PMCID: PMC5518700 

Swindle, T., Ward, W., Bokony, P., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2016). A cross-sectional study of early childhood educators’ childhood and current food insecurity and dietary intake. Journal of Hunger and the Environment, 12, 1-15. NIHMSID: NIHMS848077

Simon, J., Nail., P., Swindle, T., Bihm, E., & Joshi, K. (2016). Defensive egotism and self-esteem: A cross-cultural examination of the dynamics of bullying in middle school. Self and Identity, 1-28.doi: 10.1080/15298868.2016.1232660

Harrist, A.W. Swindle, T., Topham, G., Hubbs-Tait, L., Shriver, L., & Page, M (2016). The social and emotional lives of overweight, obese, and severely obese children. Child Development, 87(5), 1564 – 1580. doi:10.1111/cdev.12548

McKelvey, L. M., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Conners-Burrow, N.A., Swindle, T., & Fitzgerald, S. (2016). Assessing adverse experiences from infancy through early childhood. Child Abuse and Neglect, 51, 295-302. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2015.09.008

Swindle, T., & Rutledge, J. M. (2016). Health and families. In C. Shehan (Ed.) The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies, Volume II (pp. 1023-1024). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell doi:10:1002/9781119085621.wbefs166 

Rutledge, J.M. & Swindle, T. (2016). Permissive parenting. In C. Shehan (Ed.) The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies, Volume III (pp. 1576-1577). Wiley-Blackwell. doi: 10/1002/9781119085621.wbefs027

Kyzer, A., Whiteside-Mansell, L., McKelvey, L., & Swindle, T. (2016).  Supporting family engagement in home visiting with the Family Map Inventories.  Infants & Young Children, 29(1), 37-52.  doi:  10.1097/IYC.0000000000000051

Conners-Burrow, N., Swindle, T, McKelvey, L., & Bokony, P.  (2015). A little bit of the blues:  Low-level symptoms of maternal depression and classroom behavior problems in preschool children.  Early Education and Development. 26(2), 230-244.

Larzelere, R., Cox, R., & Swindle, T. (2015). Many replications do not causal inferences make: The need for critical replications to test competing explanations of non-randomized studies. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(3), 380-389. doi: 10.1177/1745691614567904

Swindle, T., Shapley, K., Kyzer, A., Cheerla, R., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2015). Familial risk in low-income children with chronic illness exposed to passive smoke.  Clinical Pediatrics. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1177/0009922815589927

Swindle, T., Ward, W. L., Bokony, P.A., Pettit, D., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2014). Technology use and preference by low-income parents of young children: Demographic patterns and implications for intervention. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46 (6), 484-490. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2014.06.004

Ward, W. L., Swindle, T., Kyzer, A., Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2014).  Low fruit/vegetable consumption in the home: Cumulative risk factors in early childhood.  Early Childhood Education Journal, 43 (5), 417-425. doi: 10.1007/s10643-014-0661-6

Swindle, T., Ward, W. L., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Brathwaite, J., Bokony, P.A., Conners-Burrow, N, & McKelvey, L.M. (2014). Pediatric nutrition: Parenting impacts beyond financial resources. Clinical Pediatrics, 53, 793-795. doi 10.1177/0009922813505904

Conners-Burrow, N, McKelvey, L., Kyzer, A, Swindle, T., Cheerla, R., Kraleti, S.  (2013) Violence exposure as a predictor of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems among children of substance abusers. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 28(4), 340-350. doi:10.1016/j.pedn.2012.11.006

Larzelere, R.E, Swindle, T., & Johnson, B.R. (2013). Swedish trends in criminal assaults against minors since banning spanking, 1981-2010. International Journal of Criminology and Sociology, 2, 129-137. doi: 10.6000/1929-4409.2013.02.13

Bokony, P.A., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Swindle, T., & Waliski, A.D. (2013). Increasing parent-teacher communication in private preschools serving low-income families.  The Special Issue on Parent Involvement and Engagement in Head Start for Dialog: The Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field, 16 (1), 45-64.

McKelvey, L.M., Bokony, P., Johnson, D., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Burrow, N., & Swindle, T. (2013).  Family engagement: Establishing a system to support the parent-teacher partnership.  The Special Issue on Parent Involvement and Engagement in Head Start for Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field, 16 (1), 171-175.

Bokony, P.A., Whiteside-Mansell, L., & Swindle, T.  (2013). Family Map Inventory and TIPS for Great Kids!: Tools for increasing parent-teacher communication.  The Special Issue on Parent Involvement and Engagement in Head Start for Dialog: The Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field, 16 (1), 183-188.

Whiteside-Mansell, L., Johnson, D., Bokony, P., McKelvey, L., Burrow, N., & Swindle, T. (2013).  Using the Family Map: Supporting family engagement with parents of infants and Toddlers.  The Special Issue on Parent Involvement and Engagement in Head Start for Dialog: The Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Childhood Field, 16 (1), 20-44.

Swindle, T. Whiteside-Mansell, L., McKelvey, L. (2012). Food Insecurity:  Validation of a two-item screen using convergent risks. Journal of Child and Family Studies. 22 (7), 932-941. doi:10.1007/s10826-012-9652-7

McKelvey, L.M., Bokony, P.A, Swindle, T., Conners-Burrow, N.A., Schiffman, R.F., & Fitzgerald, H.E. (2011).  Father teaching interactions with toddlers at risk: Impacts on child cognitive outcomes. Family Science, 2(2), 146-155. doi:10.1080/19424620.2011.637710

Peer Reviewed Published Abstracts

Swindle, T., Rutledge, J., & Percle, P. (2018). Measuring Feeding Practices in Early Care and Education: Development of Direct and Indirect Approaches. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior50(7), S162.

Whiteside-Mansell, L., Swindle, T., & Johnson, D. (2017). WISEly Improving Preschoolers Fruit and Vegetable Consumption at Home. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior49(7), S128-S129. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2017.05.082

Swindle, T., Patterson, Z., Ward, W., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2016). “Fill their belly or expose them to new foods?”: A qualitative study of early educators’ nutrition experiences and beliefs. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior48(7), S103. doi:10.1016/j.jneb.2016.04.272

Swindle, T., Rutledge, J., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2016). Mealtime interaction styles of early childhood educators. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior48(7), S51.

Swindle, T., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2015). Educator interactions at Head Start lunches: A context for nutrition education. Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 29(1 Supplement), 731-2.

Swindle, T., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2015). Convergent validity of Resonance Raman Spectroscopy in three to five year old children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(4), S92.

Swindle, T., Rutledge, J., Shriver, L., Hubbs-Tait, L., Topham, G., & Harrist, A. (2015). Maternal perception of weight and child actual weight across time. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(4), S37-S38.

Swindle, T., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2015). WISE in the Head Start classroom: Impacts on educator behaviors. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(4), S93.

Swindle, T., & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2014). Structured food experiences: A preliminary evaluation of the WISE curriculum. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4), S133.

Swindle, T., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Bokony, P., & Ward, W. (2014). Nutrition experiences of early childhood educators: Current and retrospective reports. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4), S172.

Swindle, T., Harrist, A. W., Rutledge, J. M., Topham, G. L., Hubbs-Tait, L., Shriver, L. H., & Page, M. C. (2014). Classroom intervention to decrease peer rejection improves obese children’s BMI over time. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46(4), S133.

Harrist, A.W., Cui, L., Swindle, T., Page, M.C., Hubbs-Tait, L.; Topham, G., (2012). Are obese and overweight children disliked in 1st grade? Teacher and classmate ratings. The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 26, 374.7.

Non Peer Reviewed Publications

Swindle, T., Chapin-Critz, M., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Ward, W., Bokony, P., White, M., & Currey, M. (2013). No More Food Fuss!: Helping Parents Introduce Fruits and Veggie Habits. Brochure disseminated to Arkansas Head Start Parents and parents of children presenting with overweight at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Swindle, T.,Chapin-Critz, M., Ward, W., Whiteside-Mansell, L., Bokony, P., White, M., & Currey, M. (2013). Kid-Friendly Fruit and Veggie Habits for Educators. Brochure disseminated to Arkansas Head Start Teachers and Administrators.

Swindle, T., Ward, W, & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (2014). Picking Eating: How to Help. Invited submission to the Parenting in Arkansas, Fall 2014 magazine.

Swindle, T. (in press). Networking: Lessons from a First-Generation Scholar.  In A. Standlee (Ed.), On the Borders of the Academy: Challenges and Strategies for First Generation Graduate Students and Faculty. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Graduate School Press


Swindle, T., Johnson, S., Davenport, K., Thirunavukarasu, T., Sadasavin, G., Whiteside-Mansell, L., & Curran, G. (In Review, August 2018).  Closing the Gap: A Mixed Methods Exploration of Barriers and Facilitators to Evidence-Based Practices for Obesity Prevention in Head Start. Submitted to Journal of Mixed Methods Research.

McKelvey, L. M., Saccente, J. E., & Swindle, T. (Under Review, 2018). Adverse Childhood Experiences in Infancy and Toddlerhood Predict Obesity and Health Outcomes in Middle Childhood. Childhood Obesity.

Barnett, T. M, Thorne, N., Coles, D. C., & Swindle, T. (under review). The Role of Family: Understanding the childhood and current family environment of Early Care and Education Teachers. Qualitative Inquiry.

Rutledge, J. M., Harrist, A. W., Hubbs-Tait, L., Topham, G. L., Larzelere, R. E., Shriver, L. H., & Swindle, T., (In review, August 2017). Parenting style effects on children’s weight longitudinally and the moderating effects of mother ethnicity on this relation for American Indians. Parenting: Science and Practice.

Professional Reports

Whiteside-Mansell, L., Swindle, T., & Kyzer, A., (2011).   Family Map Report for Quitman HIPPY Program.   Summary of Pilot Data to HIPPY-Family Map pilot program. Little Rock, AR: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Bokony, P.A., McKelvey, L., & Swindle, T.  (2011). Responsible Fatherhood Demonstration Program Grantees’ Final Evaluation Report.  Little Rock, AR: University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Unpublished Thesis and Dissertation

The Interaction of Sociometric Status, Weight, and Self-Esteem Among First-Grade Children.” Unpublished Master’s thesis. Stillwater, OK: Oklahoma State University, 2009. Thesis Committee: Amanda W. Harrist (chair), Laura Hubbs-Tait, Robert Larzelere, and Lenka Shriver.

“Product of Coefficients and Bootstrapping Estimation Approaches to Multiple Mediation Effects: A Comparison of Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Research.” Unpublished Dissertation. Memphis, TN: University of Memphis, 2013. Dissertation committee: Terrance Ishitani (chair), Jade Xu, Corinna Ethington, and Ernest Rakow.