13 October 2014

Could schools play a more active part in preventing eating disorders as children reach adolescence? Research from Germany’s “Torera” project suggests a positive answer when teachers are equipped with well-conceived program materials and training.

06 October 2014

People with ADHD often struggle with tasks that require them to hold information temporarily in mind, such as paying attention and pursuing goals. It seems logical that training working memory could, in turn, help with ADHD. So why didn’t a recent study of a working memory training program in the Netherlands show significant effects on ADHD?

29 September 2014

It is generally accepted that when parents participate in their children’s education, their kids do better. Are there times when parent participation really matters? A randomized trial examining the effects of a parent engagement program on early learning and literacy may have some answers.

23 September 2014

When we have a headache we reach for the painkillers: scientifically proven remedies that we know will make things better. So why do we not rush with the same speed to evidence-based remedies for social problems? What is it that gets in the way?

17 September 2014

New research suggests that training parents referred to Child Protective Services to act more nurturing and less frightening can help children control their anger and sadness during challenging events.

09 September 2014

Preschoolers who lack sufficient home stimulation for language development often fall behind their peers in the vocabulary they will need for reading. A Canadian study finds that if educators at childcare centers use specially developed storybooks and actively engage the children, at-risk preschoolers learn more “magic words.”

01 September 2014

Rigorous research in prevention science often depends on persuading the right people to take part and then keeping them involved. Recruitment and retention strategies used successfully to evaluate an anti-obesity program in New Mexico show just how much foresight, care and effort it can take.

26 August 2014

Severely antisocial children are at particular risk of developing into juvenile offenders repeatedly involved in violence and increasingly serious crime. An independent evaluation of the Stop Now and Plan (SNAP) program underlines the need to ensure that early prevention services reach more families.

19 August 2014

Shy children often struggle to feel comfortable and accepted at school. In a recent study in Northern Ireland, a targeted program helped many children with the worry, unhappiness, and peer problems that often go along with shyness.

12 August 2014

Neuroscience is a rapidly developing field. Can a better understanding of what is happening in a child’s brain inform educational practices? Ongoing work by the UK-based Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF) and Wellcome Trust examines the potential use of neuroscience in the classroom, highlighting areas such as reading and mathematics where developments in neuroscience could help inform education.

06 August 2014

Cultural barriers can prevent ethnic minority families from accessing child abuse prevention services, but program adaptation requires far more than language translation. Research with Latino families in Oklahoma shows how much care and effort may be needed to succeed.

29 July 2014

Preschoolers with developmental disabilities and behavioral difficulties may find it especially hard to adjust to kindergarten and school. Kids in Transition (KITS), an innovative program for families, has been helping children to control their emotions and behaviors while improving their attentiveness in class.

Young children playing a rope-jumping game in Thailand.

Young children playing a rope-jumping game in Thailand. / tomgigabite

24 November 2014 | Research

Obesity among children holds debilitating, lifelong implications for their health and wellbeing and is a growing international problem. Preschool settings have a potentially crucial contribution to make towards prevention, but research among black children in Chicago shows up the implementation challenges as well as opportunities.

19 November 2014 | Research

In the UK, one in 10 children reports a low level of subjective well-being, according to the latest report from the Children’s Society. The results from England and Scotland give particular grounds for concern.

11 November 2014 | Research

Stress and depression in pregnant women are linked to poor birth outcomes and a variety of long-term medical and developmental problems in children. Typical interventions focus on treating the mother’s stress, and leave the father out of the picture. But a program that takes a different approach – aiming to improve the parents’ relationship – shows encouraging results.

05 November 2014 | Research

Training for foster parents that encourages sensitive caregiving and stronger bonds of attachment could lead to more stable care placements for abused and neglected toddlers, according to researchers in the United States.

27 October 2014 | Research

Many homeless young people think about suicide. Does working with them and their parents on communication, parenting, and stress management make a difference? A recent study of 11-14 year olds in New York City finds that it might.

22 October 2014 | Research

You are growing up in a war zone where a ceasefire has just been declared. How might prevention science help you to avoid the potential for long-term harm caused by exposure to armed conflict and stress?

16 October 2014 | Research

New evidence from Germany on the widely used Triple-P parenting program finds parents maintaining improvements in their skills an impressive four years after they took part. But a lack of evidence for matching, long-term reductions in children’s behavior problems may leave service planners scratching their heads.

Most popular

10 May 2010 | Comment

Resources may be scarce and policy makers might have to make difficult decisions about what to buy. But a more rational strategy that invests early for later benefits would make sometimes nitpicking and frequently complicated comparisons between the value of one "flagship" prevention program and another irrelevant.

11 May 2010 | What Works

The family systems approach that underpins parenting programs such as Multisystemic Therapy, Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care and Functional Family Therapy may have a value in the treatment of juvenile sex offending, psychologists at the Medical University of South Carolina suggest.

08 November 2007 | Comment

Nick Axford explains the differences between English and Welsh approaches to implementing and evaluating Sure Start – and considers the lessons for the future.

01 May 2007 | What Works

Results of introducing an American parenting program to parts of Wales under the aegis of the well-established UK prevention initiative, Sure Start, have been so encouraging that they pose important challenges to makers of UK policy.

20 April 2011 | What Works

A popular program for helping children with language learning difficulties is found to have no impact and even detrimental effects in some cases.

04 September 2007 | Research

Introduction of year-round schooling with shorter breaks to limit the damage holidays do to the education of poorer children has failed a test in Ohio. "Year-round calendars do not fix the problem of summer learning," the research team reports. "They simply sweep it under the rug of fall, winter, and spring."

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Editor's Picks

There is more to the international transfer of prevention programs than just hitting the “copy and paste” buttons. The introduction of the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program to Ireland offers insights into how to succeed.

Few people working with children will have heard the term “prevention scientist,” let alone know what one is or does. Yet this relatively new breed of researcher is behind the growing list of evidence-based programs being promoted in western developed countries. A new publication puts them under the microscope.

Crime and antisocial behavior prevention efforts have flourished over the last 10 years in the US. This progress can and should be used to help communities improve the life chances of their young people, a recent update urges.

Given the well-known barriers to implementing evidence-based programs, is it better to identify their discrete elements and trust practitioners to combine them in tailored packages depending on the needs of the child and family in question?

The final official review on child protection offers a shakeup of services.