Program Uses Puppets to Teach Preschoolers Social-Emotional Skills

Christina Christopoulos, Duke University January 5, 2017

Center researchers are bringing a curriculum to local schools that trains educators to teach children social-emotional skills needed for better classroom learning. The program is funded by a federal grant obtained by the Center and will eventually involve 120 schools in North Carolina. Researchers will also measure students’ progress and evaluate how the program is working.

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What Works for Kids with ADHD

Scott Kollins Duke University December 31, 2016

Managing a child’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be a struggle for families, but there are ways to cut down on frustrations. Faculty Fellow Scott Kollins says punishment to entice children with ADHD to do homework or chores doesn’t work. “The brain system responsible for mustering motivation, especially for less-preferred activities, doesn’t work the same way for individuals with ADHD as it does for others,” he says.

Family Circle »

Why This Stickler for Rules Broke Them

December 20, 2016

Faculty Fellow Liz Ananat was arrested while protesting actions of the North Carolina General Assembly. She writes that as a scholar, she approaches public policy with an even-handed approach. But she felt lawmakers’ rapid actions without public input were a threat to democracy. “I had never been arrested, but that day I felt like I had no choice,” she writes. “… I was being silenced by my own government, and civil disobedience was the only way I could be heard. Not breaking the rules wasn’t an option.”

News & Observer »

Adults With Costly Problems Could Be Spotted in Preschool

December 15, 2016

An analysis of 1,000 people from birth to age 38 shows a small portion of the population accounts for most social costs such as crime, welfare dependence and health-care needs as adults. The researchers found they could have predicted which adults were likely to incur such costs as early as age 3, giving them hope that early interventions could avoid some of these costs. The analysis was conducted by a group of researchers that included Center faculty fellows Avshalom Caspi, Daniel Belsky and Terrie Moffitt.

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How Funding Early Childhood Education Makes a Difference

Kenneth Dodge Center for Child and Family Policy Duke University December 13, 2016

North Carolina’s investment in early child care and education programs had positive effects that grew or held steady over the years, research from the Center has found. “The taxpayers and our legislators can have a positive impact on our children’s educational development by supporting these programs,” said Center Director Ken Dodge, the study’s lead author. “… The funding does make a difference.”

NC Policy Watch »

Many Factors Contribute to Gun Violence in U.S.

December 8, 2016

While much attention has been focused on mass shootings, many factors contribute to gun violence in the U.S., says Faculty Fellow Jeffrey Swanson. “We need to do all we can to reduce the psychopathology that might be involved in harmful acts toward others or oneself, but then there is the gun thing,” he said. “You need a dangerous person and a firearm — both of those things have to be addressed.”

Los Angeles Times »

Dodge: Education Should Start at Birth

December 3, 2016

Director Ken Dodge said new research from the Center shows North Carolina’s investment in the early childhood programs Smart Start and More at Four had long-lasting benefits for children, resulting in learning gains though the end of elementary school. “What we’re learning is we really need a birth to age 8, or birth to adulthood, approach to education,” he said.

Education Matters/WRAL »

How Shotgun Weddings and Socioeconomics are Intertwined

December 1, 2016

Research conducted by faculty fellows Anna Gassman-Pines and Christina Gibson-Davis, along with a team of student researchers, found that when people are presented with a hypothetical vignette about whether an expectant couple should get married or not, a community’s joblessness is a consideration. They found that people with lower incomes were more likely to be in favor of an expectant couple waiting to get married if there were high levels of unemployment in a community.

GIST magazine »