Small Child

Early Childhood Development

Child Trends researchers study young children from birth through early elementary school with a focus on understanding how the experiences children have across different settings promote optimal development and well-being. Our team works with the federal government, state agencies, communities, and foundations on research, evaluation, and policy projects that address important issues for policymakers, practitioners, and families. We are skilled at developing resources and reports that address complex topics in easy-to-understand terms. We are strong thought partners in addressing a range of early childhood issues.

Much of our work fits into five broad categories.

Featured Projects

Featured Publications

Michigan's Infants and Toddlers: Future Promise, or Missed Opportunities?

Aug 2015 | David Murphey

This report highlights demographics of infants and toddlers living in Michigan, with special focus on indicators of their health, and relationships with caregivers.

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Bullies in the Block Area: The Early Childhood Origins of "Mean" Behavior

Aug 2015 | Kerry DeVooght; Sarah Daily; Kristen E. Darling-Churchill; Deborah Temkin; Megan Novak; Karen VanderVen

This report summarizes the factors in early childhood that appear related to later bullying, and what can buffer these factors.

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Understanding and Addressing the Early Childhood Origins of "Mean" Behavior and Bullying: Resources for Practitioners

Aug 2015 | Kristen E. Darling-Churchill; Deborah Temkin; Kerry DeVooght; Sarah Daily; Megan Novak; Karen VanderVen

This brief first provides a summary of the developmental trajectory to bullying behavior and theories about social and environmental contributors to bullying. The remainder summarizes promising strategies and evidence-based intervention models designed to prevent bullying by addressing factors that contribute to the development of “mean” behavior and aggression in early childhood.

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What Works for Reducing Problem Behaviors in Early Childhood: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations

Aug 2015 | Rachel Carney; Brandon Stratford; Kristin Anderson Moore; Angela Rojas; M. Paula Daneri

Problem behaviors in early childhood (birth to five) are associated with poor outcomes in adolescence and adulthood, including delinquency, engagement in criminal activity and violence, and depression. This research brief synthesizes experimental evaluations of 50 programs. The evaluations assessed program impacts on externalizing behaviors and/or internalizing behaviors among children ages birth to five.

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