Resources for Early Childhood Development

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The Raising of America

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.

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Wounded Places

What happens to children and neighborhoods shaken by trauma and toxic stress? What does it take to heal?

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Drip, Drip, Drip: Stress Gets Under Their Skin

That parents are increasingly stressed is no surprise. But how might that stress drip down on their babies?

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: epigenetics

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What’s the Amygdala-PFC Connection?

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.

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny, Episode 5

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Stress: The Good, the Bad and the Toxic

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).

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny, Episode 5

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Trailer - Wounded Places

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?"

Tags: trauma, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 4, Wounded Places

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Building a Nest in the Middle of a Desert

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?

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny

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Adversity in Your Environment

When the ACE survey included questions about racism, safety and violence, researchers discovered that 37% of Philadelphians reported four or more ACEs.

Tags: trauma, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 4, Wounded Places

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"Bad" Kids or Injured Kids?

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.

Tags: trauma, stress
Additional Tags: environment, Episode 4, PTSD, Wounded Places

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Is This a Safe World?

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?

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 1, Signature Hour

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The Stressors Can Be Relentless on the Brain

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.

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All You Heard Was Pow-Pow-Pow-Pow

Children don't need to be injured to be hurt. Chronic stress, adversity and trauma can hurt them just as much.

Tags: trauma, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 4, Wounded Places

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Violence is the Symptom of the Problem

Healing the hurt of young people begins with asking not, “What’s wrong with you?” but “What happened to you?”

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DNA Is Not Destiny

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?

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Do You Have Paid Maternity Leave?

Every major economy on the planet assures paid maternity or family leave – except the U.S.

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Security? I Don't Really Know What That Feels Like

It’s hard to try to make everything work. You feel pulled in all different directions.

Tags: working families, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 1, Signature Hour

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Would Early Life Stress Stay in Their Bodies?

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.

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In Today's Day, We All Gotta Work

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?

Tags: working families, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 1, Signature Hour

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Can Poverty Modify the Epigenome?

If social conditions can “get under the skin” and modify our biology, are less-affluent children being primed for more problems in life?

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Building a Nest in the Middle of a Desert

Rat mothers like to build nests for their pups with soft materials. But these moms have only been given hard, scratchy, inferior building supplies.

Tags: neuroscience, stress
Additional Tags: DNA Is Not Destiny, Episode 5

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Can We See Toxic Stress in the Brain?

Which neuron is damaged by toxic stress? For neuroscientists, the answer is clear.

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The Amygdala-Prefrontal Cortex Connection is Crucial

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.

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The Squeeze on Parents

Parents and caregivers are left to fend for themselves in a society that’s unresponsive to family needs.

Tags: working families, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 1, Signature Hour

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Trailer - The Raising of America (11 min)

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.

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Resources: Document

Discussion Guide - Wounded Places

Discussion Guide for Wounded Places (Episode 4)

Tags: trauma, stress
Additional Tags: Episode 4, Wounded Places

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Resources: Document

Discussion Guide - The Raising of America Signature Hour

Discussion Guide for The Raising of America Signature Hour (Episode 1)

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