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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.”
In compulsory education systems the law provides a final resort when children and young people fail to attend school regularly. But a response to persistent truants based on restorative justice and tailored family support appears more constructive than seeking a court order.
Politicians, researchers, and program designers are increasingly aware that a segment of families – perhaps up to 5 percent – face multiple, intertwined problems. Ten for the Future, an integrated, needs-led and potentially long-term intervention, is the Dutch welfare system’s response to multi-problem families.
Almost everyone agrees that programs for children in need should be based on the best possible evidence. In many cases, the ideal evidence would come from a randomized controlled trial (RCT). But randomization can clash with the day-to-day concerns of local authorities and social workers. A recent article offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at a social work RCT.
If you agree with your mother that you won’t drink alcohol until you’re older, and often talk with her about alcohol, she would probably believe that you understand the dangers of drinking at a young age. However, new research from the Netherlands suggests that having a mother-child non-drinking agreement actually decreases children’s perception of the harm caused by alcohol.
An estimated five million 16 to 24-year olds in the United States are not in education or employment at any one time. The National Guard Youth Challenge Program – combining residential training with community support – shows how positive youth development work offers some of them a “second chance”.
It’s a tough world for girls in chaotic home and school situations. Among other perils, they face risks from unsafe sex and violence. Can a program address both risks at the same time? Maybe it can – if it helps youth build skills through steady, supportive relationships. A new study of Prime Time, a program for teen girls at high risk of pregnancy, offers encouraging results.
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.
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.
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.
Nick Axford explains the differences between English and Welsh approaches to implementing and evaluating Sure Start – and considers the lessons for the future.
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.
A popular program for helping children with language learning difficulties is found to have no impact and even detrimental effects in some cases.
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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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?