Adolescents who self-harm more likely to commit violent crime

January 4, 2019

Young people who self-harm are three times more likely to commit violent crime than those who do not, according to new research from the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. The study, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, also found young people who harm themselves and commit violent crime — “dual harmers” — are more likely to have a history of childhood maltreatment and lower self-control than those who only self-harm. “We know that some individuals who self-harm also inflict harm on others,” Leah Richmond-Rakerd, lead author of the study. “What has not been clear is whether there are early-life characteristics or experiences that increase the risk of violent offending among individuals who self-harm. Identifying these risk factors could guide interventions that prevent and reduce interpersonal violence.”

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Family Connects Featured on CBS This Morning

Kenneth Dodge, Duke University, and Dr. Tara Narula, CBS News, walking down hallway, talking January 2, 2019

Family Connects International, a nurse home visit program initiated by Kenneth Dodge, former director of the Center, was featured on CBS This Morning.  Family Connects is a community-wide nurse home visiting program for parents of newborns, with a goal to increase child well-being by bridging the gap between parent needs and community resources.

CBS This Morning »

Low-income parents want a white picket fence, not just money, before getting married

Bridge and Groom cutting wedding cake November 29, 2018

Marriage rates in the U.S. are declining, especially among the lowest-income Americans. However, in October, wage growth in the U.S. hit a nine-year high, with low-wage workers seeing some of the biggest gains. Some scholars have suggested that if low-income people have more money, they might be more likely to get married. But according to findings from a new study by Center Faculty Fellows Christina Gibson-Davis and Anna Gassman-Pines, couples want more than just more money to get married. They want the white picket fence.

The Conversation »

Home visits for new moms offer a more robust social safety net in Tulsa

Kenneth Dodge, Duke University November 27, 2018

Family Connects International has inspired a free nurse home visiting program for new moms in Tulsa.  The visits, modeled on Durham Connects in Durham, N.C., are part of the city’s initiative to build a more robust social safety net in a state where public services have suffered repeated deep cuts.

In addition to the nurse’s expertise, families in Durham benefited from referrals to community resources that they might not otherwise have accessed, says Kenneth Dodge, former director of the Center who helped develop Durham Connects.

Christian Science Monitor »

Sandy Darity Has a Plan to Close the Wealth Gap

William "Sandy" Darity November 5, 2018

Center faculty fellow William “Sandy” Darity discusses his idea of “baby bonds,” a proposed solution for closing the wealth gap, on the latest episode of The Ezra Klein Show podcast. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) recently introduced legislation that builds off Darity’s concept and aims to provide every American child, at birth, with seed capital that they can use to go to college, buy a home, start a business, or build wealth in other ways.

The Ezra Klein Show by Vox Media »

New ‘Redshirting’ Study Reveals That Boys Are Held Back More Than Girls — and It’s Actually Helping to Close an Achievement Gap Between the Genders

Philip Cook, Duke University October 24, 2018

The impact of “redshirting” — the practice of holding a child back a year before they enter kindergarten — has important, surprising effects on student achievement gaps, according to new study from Center Faculty Fellow Phil Cook. Using data from the North Carolina Education Research Data Center, Cook found the extra year of age for students in NC is positive: older students were 1.6 percent less likely to be diagnosed as learning disabled, 1 percent less likely to be speech impaired, and 2.3 percent more likely to be classified as intellectually gifted. He also identified male students in NC are much more likely to be redshirted than females. However the most interesting takeaway, according to Cook, is that “the likelihood of redshirting is strongly inversely related to academic ability.”

The 74 »

Impact of a Neuroscience-Based Health Education on High School Students’ Health Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors

Photo of Leslie Babisnki October 4, 2018

In education, we expect children to use their brain to learn – but we never teach them how to take care of it. Health education courses that are offered in high school rarely focus on brain functioning or the link between brain functioning and health behaviors such as sleep, exercise, healthy eating, and stress. This is a missed opportunity as adolescence is a unique developmental period for both the promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of risky behaviors. In a new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, Leslie Babinski, lead author, and researchers evaluate the potential of a neuroscience-based health education course and its impact on student outcomes.

Thirteen teachers from two high schools and nearly 400 students participated in the quasi-experimental pilot study. Students were assessed of their knowledge and behaviors through online surveys.

Findings from the pilot demonstrated the course could be successfully implemented in high schools and that students gained knowledge about the links between their brains and their health behaviors. However, the study did not show effects on student health beliefs and behaviors over the course of one semester. For more information and authors’ implications and conclusions, view the full report published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Journal of Adolescent Health »

A Job for Everyone? This 21st-Century Keynes Says It’s Possible

William "Sandy" Darity September 19, 2018

Center faculty fellow William “Sandy” Darity has been a longtime champion of a “federal job guarantee,” a policy that would ensure the option for anyone to work in a public sector program. Only in recent years though has his ambitious proposal come into favor. Potential Democratic candidates such as Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders have expressed support for such a program. The idea continues to gain steam among liberal policy wonks and politicians but remains a long way from becoming a law, especially while the White House and Congress are controlled by Republicans. Darity, however, remains optimistic.

OZY »

What we learned from Walter Mischel, the late creator of the marshmallow test

Photo of Terrie Moffitt, Duke University September 14, 2018

Following this week’s passing of Psychologist Walter Mischel, creator of the Marshmellow Test, Center faculty fellow Terrie Moffit shares about the outcomes of children who passed and failed the test in her ongoing study of 1,000 random New Zealanders from birth to their 30s. The children who “failed the test” as kids “are in deep financial trouble by their 30s,” says Moffitt. Those who were very self-controlled were doing well. “They’re entrepreneurs. They have got retirement accounts. They own their own homes,” she said.

PBS NewsHour »