Resources for Early Childhood Development
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EPISODE 1: THE SIGNATURE HOUR. The science is clear: when parents are stressed, babies pay the price. That is why improving conditions for families with young children is one of the best investments any nation can make.
What happens to children and neighborhoods shaken by trauma and toxic stress? What does it take to heal?
That parents are increasingly stressed is no surprise. But how might that stress drip down on their babies?
The Wisconsin team found weaker connections in the neural circuits connecting the amygdala with the prefrontal cortex in teenage girls whose parents reported higher stress when the girls were infants. It was as if the threat signals from the amygdala weren’t getting through and couldn’t be assessed properly by the prefrontal cortex.
Not all stress is the same. There's good stress (for developing), bad stress (from which we can recover), and toxic stress (which is the worst in the long run).
Wounded Places chronicles the stories of children shaken by violence and adversity and asks not “What's wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?"
In a pioneering experiment, McGill University’s Michael Meaney showed that newborn rat pups which were licked and groomed by their mothers after birth grew up to be relatively calm and inquisitive. But pups of low-licking and grooming mothers grew up to be on a flight-or-flight stress trigger. Does this apply to humans as well?
When the ACE survey included questions about racism, safety and violence, researchers discovered that 37% of Philadelphians reported four or more ACEs.
Children who experience violence, neglect, hunger, housing insecurity, abuse and other serious trauma in their early years may experience PTSD-like symptoms, which makes healthy learning and development all that more challenging.
Dr. Renee Boynton-Jarrett describes what a child feels: Is this a safe world? What will happen when I feel afraid? What will happen when I feel hungry?
Many children in our society feel like a truck is coming at them all day long, for more days than not, and this really takes a toll.
Children don't need to be injured to be hurt. Chronic stress, adversity and trauma can hurt them just as much.
Healing the hurt of young people begins with asking not, “What’s wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?”
How do our social environments (nurturing, toxic, and in-between) alter the epigenetic ‘dimmer switches’ that turn our genes on and off—with enduring consequences?
Every major economy on the planet assures paid maternity or family leave – except the U.S.
It’s hard to try to make everything work. You feel pulled in all different directions.
How might child developmental paths be affected by the stressors parents face when their kids are babies? In Wisconsin, researchers followed 500 children for two decades to find out.
Is this what we’ve decided as society, that this degree of tension, these complex trade-offs are the norm, to be expected, just a part of raising a child?
If social conditions can “get under the skin” and modify our biology, are less-affluent children being primed for more problems in life?
Rat mothers like to build nests for their pups with soft materials. But these moms have only been given hard, scratchy, inferior building supplies.
Which neuron is damaged by toxic stress? For neuroscientists, the answer is clear.
Scientists detected changes in the brain architecture of 18 year-olds whose parents had reported being under chronic stress when those same adolescents were babies.
Parents and caregivers are left to fend for themselves in a society that’s unresponsive to family needs.
The Raising of America reframes the way we look at early child health and development. This ambitious documentary series and multimedia initiative by the producers of UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? explores how a strong start for all our kids leads not only to better individual life course outcomes (learning, earning and physical and mental health) but also to a healthier, safer, better educated and more prosperous and equitable America.
Discussion Guide for Wounded Places (Episode 4)
Discussion Guide for The Raising of America Signature Hour (Episode 1)