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Children Who Expect Hostility from Others Become Aggressive Themselves

Center Director Ken Dodge is the lead author of a study showing that hypervigilance to the hostile intent of others is a major psychological trigger in aggressive behavior. The four-year study involving 1,299 children and their parents representing 12 cultural groups from nine countries across the globe, demonstrates the universality of this phenomenon.“Our findings point toward a new wrinkle to the Golden Rule,” Dodge says. “Not only should we teach our children to do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves, but also to think about others as we would have them think about us. By teaching our children to give others the benefit of the doubt, we will help them grow up to be less aggressive, less anxious, and more competent.” The study has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Researchers Evaluate Self-Regulation Curricula

Katie Rosanbalm and Christina Christopoulos learned first-hand about using children’s fascination with dinosaurs to make good things happen in the classroom. They spent two years using dinosaur puppets and other tools of the Incredible Years Dinosaur Classroom Prevention Program (IY Dina) to help preschoolers develop self-regulation, improve behavior and enhance social competence. Now the researchers have the opportunity to evaluate the program’s effectiveness on a large scale thanks to a $3.4 million, four-year grant awarded to them by the Institute of Education Sciences.

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