Social Emotional Health and Well-Being

Unconditional Cash and Breastfeeding, Child Care, and Maternal Employment among Families with Young Children Residing in Poverty

May 24, 2024

This study—the first randomized controlled trial of early childhood poverty reduction in the United States—investigates how increased economic resources affect 1,000 low-income US mothers’ breastfeeding, child-care, and employment practices and the ability to meet their intentions for these practices in the first year of their infant’s life.

Unique Profiles of Postpartum Family Needs and Evidence of Racial and Ethnic Disparities: Insights from Community Implementation of Family Connects

April 29, 2024

Overall, families reported high levels of need during home visits, and community connections were facilitated for 57% of visited families. Significant differences in need profiles between whites and minoritized groups were revealed, reflecting both disparity and uniqueness.

Impulsivity Profiles Across Five Harmonized Longitudinal Childhood Preventive Interventions and Associations with Adult Outcomes

April 26, 2024

Overall, our study helps to inform understanding of the developmental course and
prognosis of impulsivity, as well as adding to collaborative efforts linking data across multiple studies to better inform understanding of
developmental processes.

Individualism, Collectivism and Conformity in Nine Countries: Relations with Parenting and Child Adjustment

April 15, 2024

This study investigated how individualism, collectivism and conformity are associated with parenting and child adjustment among 10-year-old children from 13 cultural groups in nine countries. Being connected to an interdependent, cohesive group appears to relate to parenting and children’s adjustment.

Family Cash Transfers in Childhood and Birthing Persons and Birth Outcomes Later in Life

February 15, 2024

Using data from a quasi-random natural experiment of a large family cash transfer among an American Indian tribe in rural North Carolina, this paper examines whether a positive disruption in socioeconomic status during childhood improves birthing person/perinatal outcomes when they become parents themselves.

Intergenerational Effects of the Fast Track Intervention on Next-Generation Child Outcomes: A Preregistered Randomized Clinical Trial

February 7, 2024

Researchers examined whether the Fast Track mental health intervention delivered to individuals in childhood decreased mental health problems and the need for health services among the children of these individuals. They found children of Fast Track participants used fewer general inpatient services and fewer inpatient or outpatient mental health services.

Child Sexual Abuse Documentation in Primary Care Settings

December 24, 2023

In this study, primary care medical records were reviewed for children ages 3 to 17 with a subspecialty sexual abuse (SA) evaluation to assess factors associated with documentation of SA history and mental health management by the primary care provider.

Associations of Childhood Adversity with Emotional Well-Being and Educational Achievement: A Review and Meta-Analysis

November 22, 2023

This systematic review and meta-analysis examined associations of three types of ACEs (abuse, neglect, and household dysfunctions) with experiential (emotional quality of momentary and everyday experiences) and reflective (judgments about life satisfaction, sense of meaning, and ability to pursue goals that can include and extend beyond the self) facets of emotional well-being (EWB) and educational achievement.

Association Between Relative Age at School and Persistence of ADHD in Prospective Studies: an Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

October 25, 2023

This study explored the association between relative age and the persistence of ADHD diagnosis at older ages. Contrary to some expectations, children who were younger when they started kindergarten are as likely as children who were older to have a stable ADHD diagnosis.

Contraception Use and Satisfaction Among Mothers with Low-Income: Evidence from the Baby’s First Years Study

October 6, 2023

Low income can lead to limited choice of and access to contraception. This study examined whether an unconditional cash transfer (UCT) impacts contraceptive use, including increased satisfaction with and reduced barriers to preferred methods, for individuals with low income. Receipt of monthly UCTs did not impact contraception methods, perceived barriers to use, or satisfaction.

Moving Toward a Population Health Approach

September 30, 2023

In spite of the laudable efforts of psychological scientists to create evidence-based interventions and the tireless work of psychological professionals to implement these programs, we have not moved the needle on improving the population mental health (and overall health) and well-being of our nation’s children. In answer to this challenge, psychological scientists have begun to model three approaches to population mental health that could be emulated by the field: bottom-up scaling, top-down community-level interventions, and systems transformation.

Associations Between Maternal Stress and Infant Resting Brain Activity Among Families Residing in Poverty in the U.S.

September 15, 2023

Findings from this study suggest that, among families experiencing low economic resources, maternal reports of stress are associated with differences in patterns of infant resting brain activity during the first year of life.

Building an Ecological Momentary Assessment Smartphone App for 4- to 10-Year-Old Children: A Pilot Study

August 30, 2023

Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) minimizes recall burden and maximizes ecological validity and has emerged as a valuable tool. However, EMA has yet to be reliably utilized in young children. The present study evaluates the performance of a developmentally appropriate EMA smartphone app for young children ages 4–10.

Cross-Sector Intervention Strategies to Target Childhood Food Insecurity in North Carolina

July 7, 2023

Health care systems are increasingly prioritizing food insecurity interventions to improve health, but it is unclear how health systems collaborate with other sectors that are addressing food insecurity. This study evaluated existing collaborations and explore opportunities for further cross-sector engagement.

The Buffering Effect of State Eviction and Foreclosure Policies for Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the United States

June 19, 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred an economic downturn that may have eroded population mental health, especially for renters and homeowners at risk of housing loss. Findings show that individuals who reported difficulty keeping up with rent or mortgage had increased anxiety and depression risks but that state eviction/foreclosure bans weakened these associations.

The Compounding Impact of Racial Microaggressions: The Experiences of African American Students in Predominantly White Institutions

June 15, 2023

African American students often encounter racial microaggressions when attending predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Experiencing racial microaggressions can negatively affect African American students’ feelings of belonging to the campus community. Racial microaggressions can also affect students’ physical and emotional stability.

Predicting Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes Across Cultures: A Machine Learning Approach

April 25, 2023

This study demonstrates how data- and theory-driven methods can be integrated to identify the most important preadolescent risk factors in predicting adolescent mental health.

The effects of a universal short-term home visiting program: Two-year impact on parenting behavior and parent mental health

March 27, 2023

Assignment to Family Connects, a short-term home visiting program, was associated with improvements in population-level self-reported scores of positive parenting 2 years post-intervention.

School-Based Healthcare Can Address Children’s Unmet Health Needs: Models, Evidence, and Policies

March 13, 2023

This brief, published in partnership with the Hunt Institute, describes the state of school-aged children’s health and healthcare access in the U.S., summarizes research on the link between children’s health and educational performance, and presents examples and models of school-based healthcare along with summaries of the existing evidence on their effectiveness.

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) on Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) Levels

February 28, 2023

The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the impact of ACE exposure on Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) levels – a neural biomarker involved in childhood and adult neurogenesis and long-term memory formation.

Net Worth Poverty and Adult Health

February 1, 2023

This study broadens the traditional focus on income as the primary measure of economic deprivation by providing the first analysis of wealth deprivation, or net worth poverty (NWP), and adult health.

School-Based Healthcare and Absenteeism: Evidence from Telemedicine

January 17, 2023

School-based telemedicine clinics (SBTCs) provide students with access to healthcare during the regular school day through private videoconferencing with a healthcare provider. SBTC access reduces the likelihood that a student is chronically absent and reduces the number of days absent.

Predicting Child Aggression: The Role of Parent and Child Endorsement of Reactive Aggression Across 13 Cultural Groups in 9 Nations

December 24, 2022

Parent and child endorsement of reactive aggression both predict the emergence of child aggression, but they are rarely studied together and in longitudinal contexts. The present study does so by examining the unique predictive effects of parent and child endorsement of reactive aggression at age 8 on child aggression at age 9 in 1456 children from 13 cultural groups in 9 nations.

Racial And Ethnic Disparities In Pandemic-Era Unemployment Insurance Access: Implications For Health And Well-Being

November 7, 2022

During the COVID-19 pandemic, workers not identifying as White non-Hispanic in our sample were more likely to get laid off than White workers. However, these workers were less likely than White workers to receive unemployment insurance at all. Among those who were laid off, these workers and White workers experienced similar increases in material and mental health difficulties and similar gains when they received unemployment insurance.

Do children evaluated for maltreatment have higher subsequent emergency department and inpatient care utilization compared to a general pediatric sample?

November 3, 2022

This article presents data on the positive association of having a child maltreatment evaluation with subsequent acute health care utilization among children from birth to age three.

Child Growth, National Development, and Early Childhood Development in 51 Low-and Middle-Income Countries

September 9, 2022

In Parenting and Child Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Drew Rothenberg and Susannah Zietz’s chapter, Child Growth, National Development, and Early Childhood Development in 51 Low-and Middle-Income Countries, considers the effects of multiple bioecological systems on child growth and development.

Impact of a Universal Perinatal Home-Visiting Program on Reduction in Race Disparities in Maternal and Child Health

August 23, 2022

This study demonstrates that a universal approach to early family intervention can have positive population impact while also reducing disparities in outcomes.

Predictors of Problematic Adult Alcohol, Cannabis, and Other Substance Use: A Longitudinal Study of Two Samples

August 12, 2022

This study examined whether a key set of adolescent and early adulthood risk factors predicts problematic alcohol, cannabis, and other substance use in established adulthood. Externalizing behaviors and prior substance use in early adulthood were consistent predictors of problematic alcohol and cannabis misuse in established adulthood across samples.

Effect of Daily School and Care Disruptions During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Child Behavior Problems

August 1, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly affected American families and children, including through the closure or change in the nature of their care and school settings. For all families, care or school disruptions were related to worse child behavior, more negative parental mood, and increased likelihood of losing temper and punishment.

Compliance with Health Recommendations and Vaccine Hesitancy During the COVID Pandemic in Nine Countries

July 20, 2022

Longitudinal data from the Parenting Across Cultures study of children, mothers, and fathers in 12 cultural groups in nine countries were used to understand predictors of compliance with COVID-19 mitigation strategies and vaccine hesitancy. Findings suggest the importance of bolstering confidence in government responses to future human ecosystem disruptions, perhaps through consistent, clear, non-partisan messaging and transparency in acknowledging limitations and admitting mistakes to inspire compliance with government and public health recommendations.

Behavioral Economics & Child and Family Policy: A Research Primer

March 22, 2022

Behavioral economics (BE) combines economics with social psychology and cognitive decision-making to offer a broader framework for understanding factors that affect people’s decisions and actions. It provides a way to examine how decisions can be shaped not only by information and costs but by how choices are designed, as well as the context and circumstances of the moment in which decisions are made.

Are Power Plant Closures a Breath of Fresh Air? Local Air Quality and School Absences

March 1, 2022

In this paper the authors study the effects of three large, nearly-simultaneous coal-fired power plant closures on school absences in Chicago. They find that the closures resulted in a 6 percent reduction in absenteeism in nearby schools relative to those farther away following the closures.

Electronic Health Record Tools to Identify Child Maltreatment: Scoping Literature Review and Key Informant Interviews

February 4, 2022

We conducted a scoping literature review and key informant interviews of child maltreatment experts to (1) document the existing research evidence on the performance of EHR-based child abuse screens (EHR-CA-S) and clinical decision support systems (EHR-CA-CDSS )and (2) examine clinical perspectives regarding the use of such tools and factors that affect uptake. We find that current evidence does not support adoption of a particular CA-S or CA-CDSS and that further refinement of these tools is necessary.

The impact of a poverty reduction intervention on infant brain activity

January 24, 2022

Data from the Baby’s First Years study, a randomized control trial, show that a predictable, monthly unconditional cash transfer given to low-income families may have a causal impact on infant brain activity.

Effects of Daily School and Care Disruptions During the Covid-19 Pandemic on Child Mental Health

January 15, 2022

The pandemic profoundly affected American children with disruptions to their schooling and daily care. A new study found that service sector workers who had a young child reported disruption on 24 percent of days in fall 2020. The disruptions were more common in remote learning and had a negative impact on children’s behavior and on parenting mood and behavior.

The Intergenerational Transmission of Maladaptive Parenting and its Impact on Child Mental Health: Examining Cross-Cultural Mediating Pathways and Moderating Protective Factors

January 5, 2022

Using a sample of 1338 families from 12 cultural groups in 9 nations, we examined whether retrospectively remembered Generation 1 (G1) parent rejecting behaviors were passed to Generation 2 (G2 parents), whether such intergenerational transmission led to higher Generation 3 (G3 child) externalizing and internalizing behavior at age 13, and whether such intergenerational transmission could be interrupted by parent participation in parenting programs or family income increases of > 5%.

Childhood Gun Access, Adult Suicidality, and Crime

August 18, 2021

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.

Maternal Imprisonment and the Timing of Children’s Foster Care Involvement

May 25, 2021

Beth Gifford, Megan Golonka and Kelly Evans wrote a chapter of the book, Children with Incarceratead Mothers Separation, Loss, and Reunification. The chapter summarized findings of their study that examined the timing of mother’s incarceration in relation to her children’s involvement with social services, contributory factors leading to foster care placement, and foster care discharge outcomes.

The Effect of Coal-Fired Power Plant Closures on Emergency Department Visits for Asthma-Related Conditions Among 0- to 4-Year-Old Children in Chicago, 2009–2017

May 1, 2021

This article investigates the effects of coal-fired power plant closures on zip code–level rates of emergency department visits for asthma-related conditions among 0- to 4-year-old children in Chicago, Illinois. Findings demonstrate that closing coal-fired power plants can lead to improvements in the respiratory health of young children.

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

April 1, 2021

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…

Lower neural value signaling in the prefrontal cortex is related to childhood family income and depressive symptomatology during adolescence

April 1, 2021

Lower family income during childhood is related to increased rates of adolescent depression, though the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood.

Clearing gang- and drug-involved nonfatal shootings

March 10, 2021

Clearance rates for nonfatal shootings, especially cases involving gang- and drug-related violence, are disturbingly low in many US cities.

Heightened immigration enforcement impacts US citizens’ birth outcomes: Evidence from early ICE interventions in North Carolina

February 3, 2021

We examine how increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities impacted newborn health and prenatal care utilization in North Carolina around the time Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act was first being implemented within the state.

Work Schedule Unpredictability: Daily Occurrence and Effects on Working Parents’ Well-Being

February 1, 2021

Family science has long considered the ways in which parents’ experiences in the workplace can affect families.

Social and Emotional Learning During COVID-19 and Beyond: Why It Matters and How to Support It

February 1, 2021

Social and emotional development was in peril prior to the pandemic. After this time apart, it will take systematic, intentional, and intensive efforts to get social and emotional learning back on track.

Reimagining Policing: How Community-Led Interventions Can Improve Outcomes for Domestic Violence and Mental Health Calls

January 1, 2021

In response to police killings of Black people and the ensuing protests that took place in communities across the country in 2020, media coverage in North Carolina and in much of the nation this past year has focused heavily on instances of police violence and the protests and counterprotests that have since occurred throughout the…

COVID-19 and Parent-Child Psychological Well-being

October 1, 2020

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 has changed American society in ways that are difficult to capture in a timely manner.

Brazil’s Missing Infants: Zika Risk Changes Reproductive Behavior

October 1, 2020

Zika virus epidemics have potential large-scale population effects. Controlled studies of mice and nonhuman primates indicate that Zika affects fecundity, raising concerns about miscarriage in human populations.

K-12 Social-Emotional Support During COVID-19: Reflections and Recommendations from a Survey of North Carolina Teachers

August 1, 2020

This Brief Will Cover Emotional and Mental Health Support for Teachers. Survey data from N.C. teachers on their concerns about returning to school in the fall. Recommended strategies for helping school administrators promote wellness among school staff upon their return. Re-envisioning the Way Students and Schools Interact. Recommended practices for promoting relationship building among teachers,…

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

August 1, 2020

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…

North Carolina Resilience and Learning Project

May 27, 2020

Katie Rosanbalm wrote the opening chapter of a book entitled, Alleviating the Educational Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences. The book is a collection of approaches to trauma-informed education based on school-university-community collaborations. Rosanbalm’s chapter summarizes the literature on why trauma-informed strategies are important to academic success and describes the specifics of the Resilience and Learning Model. It concludes with preliminary qualitative findings from pilot schools.

Ensuring Vulnerable Children and Families Have Access to Needed Health Services and Supports During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 1, 2020

This policy brief focuses on how necessary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic alter the health and social service landscape for children and families, particularly those who were already vulnerable, and offers policy guidance.

Devastating Impact of COVID Crisis on Working Families

April 1, 2020

This brief provides an overview of key ways in which COVID-19 has impacted working families, as drawn from our study’s survey analysis. 1. Drastic Reductions in Work Hours and Increase in Job Loss 2. Harmed Well-Being of Both Parents and Their Children 3. Policy Supports Not Reaching Families 4. Employer-Provided Benefits Reaching Some Families

Agricultural Fires and Health at Birth

October 1, 2019

Fire has long served as a tool in agriculture, but the practice’s link with economic activity has made its health consequences difficult to study.

Bringing Organizations Back In: Multilevel Feedback Effects on Individual Civic Inclusion

May 1, 2019

Policy feedback scholarship has focused on how laws and their implementation affect either organizations (e.g., their resources, priorities, political opportunities, or incentive structures) or individuals (e.g., their civic skills and resources or their psychological orientations toward the state).

Professionals, friends, and confidants: After-school staff as social support to low-income parents

March 1, 2019

Policy makers, practitioners, and researchers have emphasized the importance of supportive relationships between staff and parents in early childhood education settings and schools.

WIC Recipients in the Retail Environment: A Qualitative Study Assessing Customer Experience and Satisfaction

November 27, 2018

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is an important intervention for prevention and treatment of obesity and food insecurity, but participation has dropped among eligible populations from 2009 to 2015.

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

October 1, 2018

The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the potential of an innovative high school neuroscience-based health course for implementation feasibility and impact on student outcomes.

Predicting Patterns of Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration From Late Adolescence to Young Adulthood

August 23, 2018

Saint-Eloi Cadely et al. found longitudinal patterns for the perpetration of both psychological and physical intimate partner violence (IPV), including actively and minimally aggressive patterns.

Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 2: A Review of Ecological, Biological, and Developmental Studies of Self-Regulation and Stress

February 1, 2015

This report builds on the previous report in this series, Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Developmental Perspective, which describes a theoretical framework that is utilized in the present review of empirical ecological, biological, and developmental studies.

Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress Report 1: Foundations for Understanding Self-Regulation from an Applied Perspective

January 1, 2015

This is the first in a series of four inter-related reports titled Self-Regulation and Toxic Stress, with subtitles specifying the focus of each report.

Substance Use and Abuse in Durham County 2014

February 3, 2014

According to the North Carolina (N.C.) Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, approximately 18,000 adults and 1,000 children in Durham County abused or were addicted to illegal drugs, prescription medications, or alcohol in 2012(1). Substance abuse not only impacts the individual and his/her family, but also the community.

Mental Health Outreach Program (MHOP) Evaluation Report

January 1, 2012

This report summarizes preliminary findings associated with the MHOP program that began in Durham County in January of 2011.

Substance Use and Abuse in Durham County 2006

January 1, 2006

The impact of substance use and addiction surrounds us and affects every aspect of our Durham community.