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Dante Cicchetti wins prestigious award from Jacobs Foundation for child development research

3Dante.jpgDante Cicchetti, professor in the Institute of Child Development, was awarded the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize and over $1 million by the Jacobs Foundation in Zurich, Switzerland, for more than 30 years of work in child development. One of the world's leading researchers in developmental and clinical psychology, Cicchetti studies the consequences of child maltreatment and neglect and the conditions that lead to resilience -- the psychological capacity to withstand difficult life conditions.

Cicchetti combines theory and research in psychosocial behaviors, neurobiology, and genetics to inform interventions that dispel the notion that poverty and child maltreatment are directly linked and that they both have the same impact on development. He has also demonstrated that violence and abuse affect the body and mind differently throughout a child's life.

"To see the positive and not just the problems -- this is crucial when studying the
development and resilience of maltreated children. It's a dynamic process. There
are things that can be done to promote resilience -- even when children have had
terrible experiences at a very early age," says Cicchetti, who intends to use the cash
prize to expand his interdisciplinary research.

Cicchetti received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1977, taught at Harvard University and the University of Rochester in New York, before returning to the University of Minnesota as the McKnight Presidential Chair and William Harris Professor of Child Development and Psychiatry. He has won numerous national and international awards and has published over 450 articles, books, and other works that have had far-reaching impact on developmental theory, policy, and practice related to child maltreatment, depression, mental retardation, and other fields of study.

The top-ranked Institute of Child Development is part of the University's College of Education and Human Development, whose mission includes improving the lives of children, families, and communities locally and around the world.

The Jacobs Foundation, founded in 1989 by Klaus Jacobs, promotes child and youth development worldwide by funding research and intervention programs.

Cicchetti will be honored and receive the award at the University of Zurich on Dec. 7, 2012. The University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development and the Institute of Child Development will celebrate his award on Dec. 12, 3:30-4:40 p.m., in Burton Hall.

Read more on Cicchetti's award in City Pages.

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