The Roots of Helping, Sharing, and Caring

Ross Featured

How do human beings become caring beings? This presentation offers answers from research with young children, whose sensitivity to other people’s feelings increasingly drives their helpful assistance even as their understanding of ingroup-outgroup discrimination is growing. We also consider the social experiences that influence the tension between social exclusion and shared understanding in early childhood.

“Reach out, I’ll be there”: Awakening Resilience Across Communities

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Recent discoveries from developmental neurobiology, child development, and trauma science had shown that harsh and unresponsive caregiving during early childhood resulted in disrupted stress regulation systems in the developing brain. In addition, stressful family and community environments had been linked to specific pre-academic, social and health challenges in preschoolers. In response to these findings, new approaches to child abuse prevention started to focus on the need to mitigate young children’s adversities through parent education. The science of resilience has effectively provided the blueprints for a “behavioral therapeutic vaccine” that could buffer the negative impacts of early childhood adversity.

Synchrony and the neurobiology of human attachments

Ruth Feldman

Synchrony – the coordination of biological and behavioral processes between children and their caregivers during moments of social contact – provides the basis for social connectedness and charts a central process in the development of stress management, empathy, and the development of the “affiliative brain”.