NEW Moms Connect
Parents are children’s first and most important influences in life, and sensitive, responsive, consistent parenting supports children’s cognitive, social and emotional development. However, the stress and adversity associated with economic strain can make it challenging for parents for maintain sensitive, responsive relationships with their infants and can interfere with their own emotional well-being. NEW Moms Connect aims to strengthen emotional well-being and effective parenting in soon-to-be and new mothers experiencing low income and poverty.
NEW Moms Connect is a study that compares the effects of addressing mothers’ well-being during the perinatal period as well as their parenting behaviors on infants’ neurobiological development. A key goal of this research is to disentangle the effects of prenatal programming of stress, postnatal parent stress and mental health, and sensitive, responsive parenting practices on infant well-being.
SEACAP: Social, Emotional, and Academic Competence for Children and Parents
Since 2013, we have been developing and evaluating a parenting program called SEACAP: Social, Emotional, and Academic Competence for Children and Parents. SEACAP promotes young children’s self-regulation, as well as social, emotional and behavioral adjustment through parenting strategies that contribute to children’s positive development. SEACAP also integrates mindfulness and DBT practices that support parent stress-management, emotion regulation, and well-being to promote both parent and child well-being. We collaborated with parents, providers and early learning centers in the development of this program. To date, almost 150 families have participated in SEACAP.
We set out to study the effectiveness of this brief program that focused on enhancing both parent and child well-being. We were particularly interested in understanding how SEACAP could improve outcomes for parents and children experiencing stress and adversity, so all children can grow up resilient and thriving, particularly those from families living in a context of low-income or poverty. Too often, these families face high levels of stress from experiencing inequity and lack access to the resources and support they need to thrive.
Be REAL (Resilient Attitudes and Living)
CCFW developed Be REAL (Resilient Attitudes and Living) to bringing to scale an empirically-supported preventive program. Be REAL combines the best evidence-based cognitive behavioral tools and mindfulness practices to promote effective coping, well-being and flourishing, and prevent mental health problems. In 3 studies, participation in Be REAL improved college student well-being, including more effective coping, greater resilience, self-compassion, mindfulness, social connection, decreased perceptions of stress and symptoms of anxiety. These positive results hold promise for bringing Be REAL to scale and expanding Be REAL to prevent worsening mental health in youth.
Be REAL has demonstrated success in improving the well-being of college students when delivered by university staff using a task-sharing approach. A task-sharing model is one in which staff already working with youth in community and academic settings deliver the program, resulting in low cost for delivery with enhanced acceptability and feasibility of implementation. This train-the-trainer model is not only scalable but also creates a culture shift in work settings that brings front and center a focus on staff and youth well-being. Our goals are to continue evaluating a scalable, train-the-trainer model of the program for college students, and to adapt and evaluate the program with high-school age youth.
Project 1, 2, 3, GO!
In 2008 we started Project 1, 2, 3, Go! which is a developmental study of 3-year-old children and their parents. We have followed children’s development of self-regulation, social-emotional competence, and psychological adjustment across 9 years, and during the COVID19 pandemic.
We are interested in finding out more about how self-regulation develops and contributes to well-being in children. These skills are critical for children’s positive social development, but we know little about how children gain these skills and what contributes to their development over time. We want to learn more about what families do to promote positive behaviors in children, particularly when families experience major stress and economic difficulties in their lives.
Our goal is to follow children’s development from preschool through high school. We hope to stay in contact with families and continue learning about youth and families’ experiences.