Research Projects

Families and Planning

Current Projects

Prospective Study of Infant Development

January 2010 - April 2023

The Prospective Study of Infant Development is a randomized control trial evaluation of the Family Connects program (formerly Durham Connects). In order to examine the ways in which family characteristics and community services are associated with family well-being, the Prospective Study of Infant Development interviewed families who had participated in Durham Connects on multiple aspects of family life, including parents’ opinions about parenting, child health and medical care, access and receipt of family services, and mothers’ well-being.

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Durham Children’s Initiative Evaluation

July 2011 - Ongoing

Project Description The Durham Children’s Initiative (DCI) (formerly East Durham Children’s Initiative) is a place-based, nonprofit organization that supports children and families from cradle to college or career. Established in 2010, DCI’s vision is that all children in Durham graduate from high school ready for college or career. To achieve this vision, DCI provides children…

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Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence

July 2017 - June 2022

Using the most diverse, prospectively studied, multi-national sample to date, this study will generate empirical findings to develop a model of child- and family-level mediators and culture-level moderators of the role of childhood risk factors and young adult competence and maladaptation. Cross-cultural comparisons will inform domestic models of young adult maladaptation.

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Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects

September 2017 - August 2022

Many childhood interventions target low-income and high-risk children, with evidence that some early interventions improve adult health and wellbeing. This study asks whether children who benefit from early interventions grow up to become better parents and, subsequently, have children who experience fewer health problems, educational challenges, and emotional problems.

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Baby’s First Years Study

August 2019 - August 2040

Baby’s First Years is a pathbreaking study of the causal impact of monthly, unconditional cash gifts to low-income mothers and their children in the first three years of the child’s life. The cash gifts are funded through charitable foundations. The study will identify whether reducing poverty can affect early childhood development and the family processes that support children’s development.

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Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Economic and Psychological Well-Being of Hourly Service Workers and their Families

September 2019 - June 2022

Around 1,000 hourly service workers with young children in a large US city were sampled with an initial focus on work schedule unpredictability and worker and family well-being. The data collection then shifted with the emergence of COVID-19 to reflect pandemic-related concerns such as food insecurity, job loss, income, and access to pandemic-specific and broader social safety net policy supports.

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Poverty and Economic Self Sufficiency Among Hispanic Families with Children

September 2019 - September 2023

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families is a collaboration between Child Trends and three university based research partners and serves as a hub of research-based information on low-income Hispanic children and families.

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Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood

September 2019 - August 2022

Childhood adversity impacts both neurobiological and psychological development and is frequently found to be a strong predictor of adverse outcomes in adulthood, including risk behaviors such as interpersonal violence, alcohol problems, and sexual risk-taking.

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Past Projects