Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience
Decades of research in the behavioral and social sciences have produced substantial evidence that children who do well despite serious hardship have had at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver, or other adult. This Working Paper from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child explains how protective factors in the social environment and highly responsive biological systems interact to produce resilience, or the ability to adapt in the face of significant adversity.
Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence
Executive function and self-regulation (EF/SR) skills provide critical supports for learning and development, and while we aren’t born with these skills, we are born with the potential to develop them through interactions and practice.
This 16-page guide describes a variety of activities and games that represent age-appropriate ways for adults to support and strengthen various components of EF/SR in children. Each chapter of this guide contains activities suitable for a different age group, from infants to teenagers.
The science of child development shows that the foundation for sound mental health is built early in life, as early experiences—which include children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—shape the architecture of the developing brain. This two-page summary explains how experiences interact with genetic predispositions to shape an enduring foundation for mental health in early childhood and how interventions can treat or prevent disruptions with lifelong implications for learning, behavior, and health.
The Spectrum of Neglect: Four Types of Unresponsive Care
Using science as a guide, this new interactive feature describes four types of diminished responsiveness and their consequences in order to provide a framework for developing more effective strategies to protect vulnerable children from this complex challenge. The four short video clips featured, each under a minute in length, are excerpts from the 6-minute video InBrief: The Science of Neglect. View this interactive feature >>
Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change
This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and strengthening the communities that together form the environment of relationships essential to children's lifelong learning, health, and behavior.
At Children’s Home Society of Washington, social service providers are using video clips of parents interacting with their young children to help the parents identify their own strengths and learn which interactions best promote healthy development. Created in partnership with researchers at the University of Oregon and Oregon Social Learning Center, this intervention supports positive interactions in young families facing adversity and models an innovative co-creation and testing process for new science-based strategies. View this video >>
Pushing Toward Breakthroughs: Using Innovative Practice to Address Toxic Stress
This installment of the multi-part series “Tackling Toxic Stress” describes how a small but growing group of forward-thinking social service practitioners are using the expanding scientific evidence about the long-term, damaging effects of toxic stress to try innovative approaches that target its root causes and could lead to breakthroughs in the effectiveness of interventions—for both children and their caregivers. Read this installment in the series >>