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Child Trends responded to a request for comments from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) about its Strategic Plan for 2020-2024. Our comments reflect a multifaceted approach to conducting innovative research that we hope NICHD will apply across its proposed scientific themes.  We include the following recommendations that reflect lessons learned through Child Trends’ research, which is focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families:

  • Maintain and support population-level research and fund new longitudinal data collection efforts to enable future research on child and adolescent development
  • Highlight positive youth development
  • Consider determinants of health and well-being from a bioecological perspective, considering multiple levels of influence
  • Adopt a whole child approach, considering all aspects of child development
  • Emphasize variability in risks, protection, and outcomes by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, and sexual orientation
  • Embed an equity lens in research approaches
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