The research of the Institute of Child Development's Professors Emeriti Alan Sroufe and Byron Egeland; and Elizabeth Carlson, research associate and Director of the Harris Training Program; and Distinguished University Teaching Professor Andrew Collins was cited by Nicholas Kristof in his November 27 op-ed column, Where Is the Love? Kristof referred to the findings presented in their 2005 book: The Development of the Person: The Minnesota Study of Risk and Adaptation from Birth to Adulthood. You may read the column here.
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Adrienne Banny, doctoral candidate at the Institute of Child Development, sat down with Marti and Erin Erickson to talk about relational aggression on the Mom Enough show on November 25.
In Cut to the Quick: The Consequences of Relational Aggression among Our Sons & Daughters, Banny discussed research findings that now show that relational aggression is used among girls and boys both as a strategy to increase their popularity and social status.
Banny says that the key for parents in dealing with this kind of aggression is to start discussing this kind of behavior early, before the influence of peers become strong. "Opening up a dialogue with your child about relational aggression and about responsible use of social media at an early age kind of sets the stage for an ongoing conversation about it. It's not going to be a one-time talk about it, this is going to need to be an ongoing kind of conversation."
Further, Banny says that parents and adults can combat this behavior in a broader sense by discussing ways to accomplish social goals without using relational aggression, to therefore decrease the acceptability of using relational aggression as a way to gain social rewards.
To find out more, you may listen to the Mom Enough show at: http://www.momenough.com/?p=5261
ICD alumna Rebecca Shlafer (ICD 2010), recently spoke to KARE 11 about her research on the doula program, Isis Rising, in the women's prison at Shakopee, MN. The program pairs a doula (a trained birth coach) with a pregnant inmate, which allows the inmate to receive delivery room support and pre and post natal support that helps to foster not only a better, healthier birth experience and a healthier baby, but potentially a better start to a better relationship between the mother and her baby, which the program hopes will also foster healthy moms who don't return to prison. As one pregnant inmate put it: "I believe this is my chance. I'm going to have another kid. I need to get it together."
A privately-funded program, Isis Rising has reduced the number of caesarian births at Shakopee to around 3%, while the national rate is around 30% and there have been no low-birth weight babies born in the program. Shlafer says that all of this saves the taxpayers money. And, she adds: "Putting aside the fact this mom has committed x, y, or z crime, all of the children in this are completely innocent."
With the release of the Future of Children, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution have published the first comprehensive report since 9/11 that examines the strengths of and the challenges faced by military families and children. Ann Masten, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychology, describes the articles in the report as using contemporary developmental systems theory and a resilience framework to understand these families and what can be learned from their experiences.
In her summary: Afterword: What We Can Learn from Military Children and Families, Masten writes: "Finding what works among military families to promote resilience and protect child development may have profound significance for the future of all American children". You may find the report at several science news outlets, including E!Science News, PhysOrg, and ScienceDaily.
Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus at the Institute of Child Development, discussed parent-child attachment in an interview with Erin and Marti Erickson on their show, Mom Enough on November 11. In The latest on why and how parent-child attachment is so important: A conversation with the University of Minnesota's Dr. Alan Sroufe, Sroufe talks about what his and others' current research shows about how to foster the kinds of relationships between parents and children that allow secure attachment to flourish.
Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor and Director of the Institute of Child Development, blogs about forming stable attachment relationships in the context of international adoption and other results of her research from the International Adoption Project in the November 8 CEHD Vision 2020 blog, National Adoption Month: 5 Tips to Help Families Thrive.
"As Principal Investigator of the International Adoption Project," Gunnar writes, "my colleagues, students and I aim to develop a clearer picture of the challenges as well as the successes of children who join their families through international adoption. Much of my research has involved attachment relationships, or an emotional bond to another person." Based on her research, Gunnar offers some practical tips to parents to help adopted children succeed and thrive.
Herb Pick, professor emeritus at the Institute of Child Development, and his work are remembered by colleagues in newly published journal articles in Spatial Cognition & Computation: An Interdisciplinary Journal and the Association for Psychological Science's APS Observer. Jodie Plumert, (ICD, PhD. 1990), Professor and Chair in the Department of Psychology at the University of Iowa, has published In Memoriam: Herbert L. Pick, Jr. (1930-2012) in Spatial Cognition & Computation: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Plumert says of Pick and his work: "He was a seminal figure in the field of spatial cognition, breaking new ground by conducting many of the first studies on important problems in the field."
More colleagues remember and honor Herb Pick in the APS Observer in Remembering Herbert L. Pick, Jr. with personal and professional recollections of Pick's long career and full life of scholarship, friendship and mentorship.
As Rachel Keen, professor emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Virginia writes,
"Herb was a great catalyst, able to inspire others to think about new issues and design clever new experiments to test those ideas. However, for me, who watched this exciting research from afar, so to speak, Herb represented a scientist at his best. I think he was the most selfless scientist I have known, by which I mean he was never interested (even embarrassed) about taking credit for the wonderful science coming out of his lab. His gift was to inspire others to do their very best, to put the science first, to dare to be the most creative possible, and to enjoy the whole process to the hilt."
Philip Zelazo, Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development, took the opportunity recently to blog about how executive function affects school readiness and school achievement on the CEHD Vision 2020 blog. In School Readiness: A Key Contributor to the Achievement Gap, Zelazo clarifies the links between the achievement gap and the development of executive function skills. The chronic stress of growing up in poverty can interfere with the development of executive function skills, however, Zelazo's research with preschool children staying in homeless shelters in Minneapolis with fellow ICD faculty Ann Masten and Stephanie Carlson has found that these skills can be learned, and with practice, improve. "This research also found that improvements in executive function performance were accompanied by changes in brain function--with trained children showing a more mature pattern of brain activation," he writes. From there, research suggests that these changes can affect a child's later school success. "Giving children even a small boost in their executive function skills just prior to their entry to kindergarten may help them adapt more successfully to learning in a classroom environment, where there are often heavy demands placed on sustained attention and delay of gratification."
Alan Sroufe, professor emeritus at the Institute of Child Development, will be presenting a series of three talks on The Nature of Development at the Minnesota Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. These presentations are intended to detail the contributions that Developmental Science has made and is making to clinical understanding and practice. The first public talk, The Nature of Development: Implications for Clinical Practice will take place on Sunday, November 3 at 9:00 am to noon at McNeely Hall, Rm 100, University of St. Thomas. The event is open to the public and at-the-door registration begins at 8:00 am. Sroufe will present two more talks in this series, The Developmental Construction of the Self on December 7 and Psychopathology as an Outcome of Development on February 15, 2014. The events are co-sponsored by CEED.
The Minnesota Daily featured the research of Al Yonas' Visual Perception Lab on face blindness in its October 24 edition. In University lab looking to crack face blindness, Stephanie Chase, research assistant in the lab, described her slow realization that she had face blindness after consistently failing to recognize a coworker. Vanessa Adamson, manager of Yonas' lab, also has face blindness and says sometimes people think she is snubbing them when she doesn't recognize them. "I'll totally remember a conversation I had with them, just not their face," she says. Al Yonas sums it up this way, "Most people don't know the problem exists; some people grow up to think everybody's got the problem." Yonas' current research is focusing on developmental face blindness in children.