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Child Trends’ education research focuses on how children and youth can flourish in school. We examine supportive characteristics of the individual, the school, and the family to improve student outcomes . Areas of research expertise include: social and emotional learning and non-academic competencies; 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; and afterschool and summer learning.  We offer technical assistance, including survey, measure, and indicator development, research syntheses, data and policy analysis, program evaluation, and reviews of best practices to identify what works and what doesn’t.

Featured Projects

Featured Publications

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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Bullying Prevention and Intervention in DC Educational Institutions: A Training Toolkit

May 2015 | Child Trends

The Bullying Prevention and Intervention in DC Educational Institutions training toolkit is a comprehensive package of guides, presentation slides, scenarios and self-assessments for schools or other entities to train their staff on how to prevent and respond to incidents of bullying.

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J.C. Nalle Community School: A Study of a School Turnaround Effort - Executive Summary

Apr 2015 | Zakia Redd; Daniel Princiotta; Brandon Stratford; Selma Caal; Weilin Li

J.C. Nalle is a public elementary school in one of the District’s poorest neighborhoods. The school is also the first D.C. public “community school,” working with local organizations to address students’ non-academic needs. Child Trends took an independent look at whether test scores were improving for students at J.C. Nalle, and if they were, to see what had contributed to this feat.

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