Childhood Adversity

Dodge on How Child Maltreatment Affects Young Minds

Children who are maltreated in the first five years of life are at risk for anxiety, depression and deviant behavior, including violent reactions later in life, Center Director Ken Dodge said in an appearance on Charlie Rose.

“We’ve identified a pattern of response that we call a hyper defensive response that children who have been abused experience,” he said. “This pattern is similar to post traumatic stress symptoms.”

Dodge and his colleagues have developed the Fast Track intervention to help at-risk young children regulate their behavior. Years later, Fast Track students show more positive self-regulation.

“We believe that it is cost beneficial to intervene directly beginning at a young age,” he said.


The Importance of Welcoming Immigrant Families

Center researchers have found that Hispanic children worry a lot more than their non-Hispanic peers.

And this was before the executive order from President Donald Trump that closed the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries. His message was clear: We don’t want you here.

Although that order resonated with many segments of the electorate, research from Anna Gassman-Pines and Ann T. Skinner shows that such messages can be harmful to children and families and costly to our communities.