Early Adversity and the Neurobehavioral Development of Children
Adversity or disadvantage experienced early in children's lives can lead to enduring social, emotional, and academic issues. Drs. Lengua (UW) and Fisher (University of Oregon) examine how familial and social factors associated with adversity can shape brain development in a way that undermines children's self-regulation and positive adjustment. They will highlightpromising programs that promote positive family and school contexts and prevent adverse outcomes for children.
Effortful control, a core aspect of self-regulation, has been shown to predict academic, social, and emotional success in both typical and at-risk children. In fact, it is a more robust predictor of early academic and social success than early verbal skills, and predicts school and adult success above the effects of family socioeconomic status and IQ. For at-risk children, having strong effortful control serves as a protective factor reducing the impact of risk factors such as dangerous neighborhoods, family conflict, negative parenting and other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
Successful Adjustment in Ethnic Minority Children
Nearly half of this country's children under five years of age are now ethnic minorities, pointing the way to a demographic shift that will reshape our country, as well as they way we study children and families. Dr. Ana Mari Cauce from the University of Washington discusses African- and Mexican-American parenting styles and how they serve to hinder or help adolescent adjustment.
Adults are armchair psychologists: we attribute to ourselves, and to our social partners, a host of mental states such as goals, intentions, desires and beliefs in order to explain our own and others' behavior. Dr. Jessica Sommerville from the University of Washington investigates the development of thinking about people from infancy through the school years using both behavioral and brain-based methods.