• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 30th March, 2012

It’s all about communication: the ACAMH Emanuel Miller Lecture 2012

A call for increased awareness in society of the centrality of speech, language, and communication. The potential of early intervention for those with difficulties. The responsibility of researchers and reporters to accurately communicate the impact of these interventions. These were the three main messages from a recent National Day Conference. Prevention Action was at the Association for Child a…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Thursday 29th March, 2012

Preschool evidence has been right from the start?

There’s plenty of research evidence to support the claim that poor children don’t do as well in school as more affluent children. One might conclude that if you could just find decent employment for parents, their children would fare better in school and eventually find decent employment themselves, soon ending the negative cycle of poverty. But the evidence does not support this idea. Some po…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 28th March, 2012

Help those parents; help their children

What does parent training mean to you? Is it a self-help DVD or a group therapy, an instruction manual or a counseling session? Varied as the answers are likely to be, a consistent message from research worldwide is that parenting programs work and save governments money over the long-term. Why? Because they give parents the skills they need to manage and contain their children’s behavior.Among…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Tuesday 27th March, 2012

Measuring the many dimensions of poverty

Poverty is more than a lack of money. Poverty is multi-dimensional: it encompasses health, housing, education, and social exclusion as well as simple incomes and expenditures.Over the last 30 years, this has been the message of some of the world’s most visionary social scientists, such as economist Amartya Sen and sociologist Peter Townsend. And it has been taken up by governments, who created m…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Monday 26th March, 2012

Installing a “flight recorder” into effectiveness trials

In 1953, when one of the world's first commercial jet airliners, the famous De Havilland DH-106 Comet, mysteriously crashed in mid-flight, it looked like the age of commercial air travel would stall before it even took off. Engineers pondered the cause of the crash, but there were few clues and no witnesses or survivors. If only there had been a way to find out what happened in the plane just prio…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 23rd March, 2012

Exorcising the ghosts of family intervention research

Nearly a century ago, a Chicago factory called the Hawthorne Works decided to find out what light levels made their workers most productive. As an experiment, it was a disaster. When experimenters turned the lights up, productivity went up. And when the experimenters turned the lights down, productivity went up – again.Later scholars concluded that the “Hawthorne effect” came about because…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 22nd March, 2012

When all is not as it seems

How to make prevention strategies, perfected in the social laboratory, a reality in the real world? The All Stars is a year-long, after-school program (ASP), which aims to prevent substance abuse, and reduce bullying, violence and other behavioral problems among young people.Research, based on an independent replication evaluation using an experimental methodology, by Denise Gottfredson and a team…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 21st March, 2012

Is being helpful bad for teens’ health?

“Acts of kindness and assistance, which appear at an early age in some children, might contribute to making these individuals more vulnerable than others. Once these children become adolescents, they may keep helping others without taking into account their own well-being,” argue a team of Belgian researchers in the most recent edition of the Journal of Adolescence.Their study of school-relate…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Tuesday 20th March, 2012

Failed RCT highlights challenges of preventing dropout

A failed randomized controlled trial provides valuable insights into how to prevent treatment dropout among traumatized children and their families. The research suggests that investing in formal engagement strategies pays dividends in the quest to engage and retain vulnerable populations treated in community-based settings.The trial was initially set up to evaluate the efficacy of a treatment mod…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Monday 19th March, 2012

When the pay-off never leaves school

When prevention programs are implemented in schools, there is often an assumption that the benefits will spill over into other areas of children’s lives. A study published in the Journal of School Psychology suggests otherwise. A systematic review by Linda Reddy and colleagues from Rutgers and Fairleigh Dickinson Universities looked at the effectiveness of 29 school-based programs designed to i…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 16th March, 2012

Research and practice: In bed but not connecting

Around three-quarters of teen HIV/AIDS diagnoses in the US are among African-Americans, although they represent less than 20% of the teenage population. And when it comes to improving these shocking statistics, practice and research have failed to learn from each other.This is the argument made by researchers from the US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Neither side escapes un…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 15th March, 2012

To randomize or not to randomize?

Randomized experiments are the preferred method for assessing the effects of treatment for theoretical and practical reasons. But they are not always feasible or ethical to do, in which case it is likely that non-randomized experiments will be used. But to what extent do results of non-randomized designs match those of randomized ones?William Shadish started to study this question during the 1990s…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 14th March, 2012

Risk Analysis

The interaction between genetic inheritance, early experiences and subsequent life style experiences are becoming better understood. Models based on the interplay and accumulation of risk factors and their relationship to protective factors have superseded rigid determinism to explain most aspects of child development.But while general perspectives are agreed, researchers are now faced with the mu…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Tuesday 13th March, 2012

High school employment isn’t working

Working one’s way through college has long been mythologized as part of the “American dream.” But does getting a job before that, in high school, take a greater toll on young people’s later opportunities than has generally been assumed? Researchers at the University of Michigan believe so. Indeed, their findings suggest that high-school employment is a predictor of poorer adult outcomes.As…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Monday 12th March, 2012

Don’t despair - investigate

Recent years have seen impressive advances in the design and development of effective social, behavioral and educational interventions. But the science of detecting the impact of programs continues to develop, as does understanding of the extent to which results found in one setting transfer elsewhere. Mark Fraser and a team from the University of North Carolina, USA, have provided an overview of…

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