Trend Lines Blog

Welcome to Child Trends’ blog, Trend Lines, where we share key findings from child and youth research and offer insights to inform  policies and programs.

How contraception can boost social mobility


This blog was originally published by Brookings.

Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. This is a problem. Women who have unintended pregnancies are at greater risk of suffering from mental health problems and physical abuse. Children whose births were unintended are more likely to experience adverse developmental and behavioral outcomes. Almost all abortions are also the result of unintended pregnancies.

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For kids’ sake, let’s get lead out of the water

I read the news of lead-tainted water in Flint, Newark, and elsewhere with sadness and outrage—but also with some puzzlement. Many of us believed that we solved the problem of childhood lead poisoning years ago. Nationwide data have reported that...

Why Positive Youth Development Works

Practitioners and policymakers have spent decades trying varied approaches to the prevention of problem behaviors among youth and to helping youth navigate the transition to adulthood. Most of these efforts, however, have had only modest success, and some have actually...

Connected at the Table: The Importance of Family Meals

The best part of my day always comes toward the end, when I sit down for dinner with my wife and our two children. Nina and Albert are 9 and 4, so it’s rarely a quiet or orderly occasion: food...

Left Behind: Poverty’s Toll on the Children of Puerto Rico

While news reports of Puerto Rico’s economic crisis describe the role of “bonds”, “taxes,” and strategies for “reinvigoration,” they fail to mention the tragic impact this situation is having on the children and families of Puerto Rico. This small island...

The Right Risks: How to Keep Normal Behaviors from Ruining Teens’ Lives

In the last 15 years, researchers have made some important discoveries about the relationship between adolescent brain development and social behaviors. Psychologist Lawrence Steinberg, for example, has proposed that the relative strength of the social-emotional system in adolescence contributes to...

Why Family Planning Should Include Men

In the last week of January I presented some of my dissertation findings at this year’s re-scheduled International Conference on Family Planning (#ICFP) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. The conference was energizing in many ways: I watched the youth delegates...
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