All of the media products created at the Center on the Developing Child have been crafted with the goal of helping to close the gap between what experts know about the science of early childhood and what the public understands and does about it. The Center strives to present information, especially scientific information, in a way that is accessible to a wide range of readers. The Center has a longstanding relationship with the non-profit FrameWorks Institute, which performs communications research designed to help the Center—and its initiatives, the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs—translate the science of early childhood development accurately and understandably to scientists and non-scientists alike.

The materials on this site appear in a variety of lengths, styles, and formats in order to appeal to a variety of audiences. The section "Articles & Books" is intended primarily for a scientific audience and includes peer-reviewed journal articles. All other Center publications are designed for non-scientific audiences.

Printed copies of Center publications may be ordered through the Center’s online catalog and delivered to your location for a modest cost, plus shipping and handling. Browse our online catalog of publications >>

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Executive Function Activities GuideActivities Guide

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 guide may be read in its entirety (which includes the introduction and references) or in discrete sections geared to specific age groups.

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InBrief-Early Childhood Mental Health


InBrief: Early Childhood Mental Health

Science tells us that the foundations of sound mental health are built early in life. Early experiences—including children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—interact with genes to shape the architecture of the developing brain. Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child’s capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications.

This edition of the InBrief series explains how improving children’s environments of relationships and experiences early in life can prevent initial difficulties from destabilizing later development and mental health.

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"Leveraging the Biology of Adversity to Address the Roots of Disparities in Health and Development"

Drawing on emerging science about how early adversity becomes “built into the body” and can impair learning, behavior, and health for a lifetime, this paper, by Center Director Jack P. Shonkoff, proposes an enhanced theory of change to promote better outcomes for vulnerable young children and to catalyze a new era of more effective early childhood policy and practice. The article appeared, ahead of print publication, on the web site of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

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Working Paper #13

Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience

Working Paper 13.pngDecades 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.


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InBrief: The Science of Resilience

Resilience-cover.pngReducing the effects of significant adversity on young children’s healthy development is critical to the progress and prosperity of any society. Yet not all children experience lasting harm as a result of adverse early experiences. Some may demonstrate “resilience,” or an adaptive response to serious hardship. A better understanding of why some children do well despite early adversity is important because it can help us design policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential. This brief provides an overview of Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience, a Working Paper by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.

This PDF was designed to be printed on one page, front and back.

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