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Child Trends’ education research strives to identify the educational policies, programs, and structures that create the positive conditions for learning that help youth flourish in primary and secondary school, college, career, and beyond.  Areas of research expertise include: social and emotional learning and non-academic competencies; health and nutrition policies; college and workplace readiness; school climate and discipline; bullying; integrated student services; charter schools; family strengths and involvement in education; international comparisons; character education; dropout prevention and recovery; science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM); and afterschool and summer learning. We offer technical assistance (including survey, measure, and indicator development, as well as strategic planning around school initiatives), research syntheses, data and policy analysis, training, program evaluation, and reviews of best practices to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Featured Projects

Featured Publications

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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New Evidence on the Relationship Between Academic Ability and Nonmarital Teen Childbearing

Jul 2015 | Adam Thomas; Cary Lou

Previous studies have found that girls who perform well in school are less likely to become teen mothers. In this brief exploring the relationship between academic ability and the likelihood of experiencing a non-marital teen birth, we show that this is true for girls with few behavioral problems, but not for others, and only for certain measures of academic ability.

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Key "Soft Skills" that Foster Youth Workforce Success: Toward a Consensus across Fields - Executive Summary

Jun 2015 | Laura Lippman; Renee Ryberg; Rachel Carney; Kristin Anderson Moore

Soft skills are skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable youth to navigate their environment, work with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. We’ve identified five key soft skills that — according to researchers, employers, youth, and program implementers — most enable youth (15-29) worldwide to be successful in the workplace.

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