Research Topic

Families and Parenting

Family relationships influence child development from infancy to adulthood. CCFP researchers examine how biological, cultural and familial processes, practices, and characteristics impact child and youth development both in the US and around the world. Our teams also develop programs and services and work to affect systems change to ensure that families and parents have the supports they need to provide safe, stable, nurturing relationships for their children.

Latest Research

Policy Brief

Impacts of Heightened Immigration Enforcement on U.S. Citizens’ Birth Outcomes

Key Takeaways: Harsher immigration law enforcement by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement leads to decreased use of prenatal care for foreign-born mothers and declines in birth weight. The uptick in ICE activities under the Trump administration may have long-lasting, harmful effects on U.S.-born citizens. Sheriffs and local governments should terminate their 287(g) agreements with ICE…

learn more about Impacts of Heightened Immigration Enforcement on U.S. Citizens’ Birth Outcomes
Policy Brief

Working Families’ Experiences of the Enduring COVID Crisis: Snapshot from Midsummer

Key Takeaways: Economic instability remains high among hourly service workers — from both job and household income loss. Food insecurity has increased significantly among working families. Safety net programs can help families maintain their incomes and reduce food insecurity, however benefits are not reaching everyone. Keeping vulnerable families afloat during the pandemic will require policymakers…

learn more about Working Families’ Experiences of the Enduring COVID Crisis: Snapshot from Midsummer
Policy Brief

Reframing Law Enforcement’s Approach to Domestic Violence Calls

The Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy partnered with the Durham Crisis Response Center, the Exchange Family Center, the Center for Child and Family Health, and the Durham County Department of Social Services to create the Durham Integrated Domestic Violence Response System (DIDVRS). DIDVRS is an evidence-based, community-led approach to more appropriately address…

learn more about Reframing Law Enforcement’s Approach to Domestic Violence Calls
Policy Brief

“New Normal” for Children and Families: Developing a Universal Approach with a Focus on Equity

This brief provides an overview of the various channels through which COVID-19 has affected the lives of children and families, and proposes 4 key actions to help communities heal and build stronger, equitable systems: Create a “new” public health system centered upon a universal approach to care with a focus on equity. Invest in early…

learn more about “New Normal” for Children and Families: Developing a Universal Approach with a Focus on Equity
Learn More

Jennifer Lansford

Read More About Jennifer Lansford
Learn More

Carolyn Barnes

Read More About Carolyn Barnes
Learn More

Anna Gassman-Pines

Read More About Anna Gassman-Pines
Learn More

Lisa Gennetian

Read More About Lisa Gennetian
Learn More

Christina Gibson-Davis

Read More About Christina Gibson-Davis
Learn More

Marcos Rangel

Read More About Marcos Rangel
Learn More

Ann Skinner

Read More About Ann Skinner
Learn More

Drew Rothenberg

Read More About Drew Rothenberg
Learn More

Jennifer Godwin

Read More About Jennifer Godwin

Related Projects

view all Families and Parenting projects >

Baby’s First Years Study

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.

learn more about Baby’s First Years Study
learn more about Baby’s First Years Study

Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects

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.

learn more about Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects
learn more about Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects

Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood

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.

learn more about Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood
learn more about Dimensions of Child Adversity and Health Risk Behaviors in Young Adulthood

Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence

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.

learn more about Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence
learn more about Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence
November 23, 2021
Journal Articles

Parent–adolescent relationship quality as a moderator of links between COVID-19 disruption and reported changes in mothers’ and young adults’ adjustment in five countries.

This study capitalizes on a longitudinal, cross-national study of parenting, adolescent development, and young adult competence to document the association between personal disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic and reported changes in internalizing and externalizing behavior in young adults and their mothers since the pandemic began.

learn more about Parent–adolescent relationship quality as a moderator of links between COVID-19 disruption and reported changes in mothers’ and young adults’ adjustment in five countries.
September 1, 2021
Journal Articles

Light-touch design enhancements can boost parent engagement in math activities

Early proficiency in math skills is increasingly being seen as an independent area worthy of early curriculum development and policy investment to reduce socioeconomic disparities in children’s school readiness.

learn more about Light-touch design enhancements can boost parent engagement in math activities
August 18, 2021
Journal Articles

Childhood Gun Access, Adult Suicidality, and Crime

Analyses were based on a 20+ year prospective, community-representative study of 1420 children, who were assessed up to 8 times during childhood (ages 9–16; 6674 observations) about access to guns in their home.

learn more about Childhood Gun Access, Adult Suicidality, and Crime