Neighborhoods and Child Development

The Community Strengths Study provides a genes-to-geography view of the relationship between neighborhood-level factors and children’s health and behavior. With the support of the William T. Grant Foundation and Google, we have developed cost-effective methods for capturing levels of disorder, violence, decay and inequality in the neighborhoods of the 2232 children in the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study.

Adolescent Health and New Technologies

Adolescents love their phones - over 75% use text messaging to communicate, sending an average of 60 texts daily. We use mobile phones to capture adolescents’ affect, behavior, and biology as they move between their homes, schools and neighborhoods. We ask: how do adolescents react to conflict, such as bullying and discrimination, in their daily life? how are new technologies influencing adolescents developing brains, bodies and relationships?

Children, the Law and Social Policy

Over 300,000 adolescent girls are arrested each year in the United States, yet young women still represent an understudied and under served population in the justice system. As part of the Gender and Aggression Project, we followed adolescent girls on their journey through the justice system. This five-year prospective study of pathways through the justice system was designed to inform gender-sensitive research, policy and practice.

In the News:

Obesity in Rural NC – WPTF/NCN News

Interview with Dr. Joy Piontak by Scott Briggaman at WPTF/NCN News Part 1: Aired November 14, 2016 Part 2: Aired November 15, 2016

Obesity More Likely for N.C. Children in Rural Counties, High-Poverty Schools

North Carolina children who live in rural counties or attend high poverty schools are more likely to be obese, a newly published study finds. The research, available online this week in the Journal of School Health, analyzed Body Mass Index data from 74,665 third through fifth grade students from 317 urban and rural schools. The […]

A smarter and science-based approach to kids and screens

Last week the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released their latest set of recommendations regarding screen time and children. After years of being warned about the toxic effects of screens on children, finally we have an evidence-based set of guidelines that may actually help educators, families, and children successfully navigate “screen time” in the digital […]

Does City Life Pose a Risk to Mental Health?

Lower social cohesion among neighbors and higher crime rates contribute to higher rates of psychotic symptoms among urban children, a new study from researchers at Duke University and King’s College London finds. For  more, read the articles discussing the new research in Duke Today and the Scientific American.   Read the original research article here:  […]

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