University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover



 

Parents of the world, take note: You can make a big difference in your children's future by asking them to take out the trash. And do the laundry, wash the dishes, make the beds, put away the toys.

Byron Egeland, Alan Sroufe, and Andrew Collins are working to find ways to help more children succeed despite difficult beginnings in life. All three are professors in the Institute of Child Development and researchers in the Parent-Child Project, a 25-year longitudinal research effort devoted to examining poverty as a risk factor in the development and growth of children and young adults.

Ann Masten wants to discover the “ordinary magic”—those factors in everyday life and relationships that provide at least part of what is needed to help children survive acute life events and move on to healthy adulthood.

Stress—the emotional and physical impact our bodies experience as we adjust to challenge—is a normal part of life. Whether caused by daily demands or a physical threat, stress triggers a primal physical response, releasing hormones that ready the body to react, then return to normal. Yet today many people suffer from chronic stress, which is linked to heart disease, depression, diabetes, and countless other health problems leading to early death.

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