Resources for Early Childhood Development
Below is a collection of resources available for you to download or add to Your Favorites. Search the collection using keywords and tags.
Make selections above to narrow results.
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).
Brains are built. Our early relationships and environments, our history, literally get under the skin and shape the architecture of our developing brain.
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?
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.
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?
More than 80 billion brain cells. That’s how many a baby is born with. But it’s the connections between cells that matter.
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.
Humans are resilient organisms and studies show that negative epigenetic effects need not be permanent.
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.
We’ve long known that early life can last a lifetime. Now new science shows how our experiences can become imprinted in our biology, altering gene expression.
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.
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.