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:

We Need to Talk About Kids and Smartphones

It seems like every generation of parents has a collective freak-out when it comes to kids and new technologies; television and video games each inspired widespread hand-wringing among grown-ups. But the inescapability of today’s mobile devices—coupled with the personal allure of social media—seems to separate smartphones from older screen-based media. Parents, teens and researchers agree […]

Links between exposure to violence and obesity in teens

New research finds that teens consume more unhealthy foods and beverages on days they were exposed to violence. Moreover, a teen often suffers from fatigue due to poor sleep the next day. Read more. Link to paper.

City kids more likely to have psychotic experiences

Kids growing up in the city are significantly more likely than those raised in the country to have psychotic experiences, such as hearing voices and experiencing intense paranoia. A study published May 22 in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin shows that these youths are more than 40 percent more likely to have a psychotic experience by […]

Depression worsening among girls

Good news – adolescents’ alcohol use has fallen to the lowest point in 25 years. Teen pregnancies have also been trending downward and high school graduation rates have reached a record high in the United States. Based on these key metrics it seems that US kids today are outperforming past cohorts and living healthier lives. […]

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