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 ability to self-regulate through parenting strategies that contribute to children’s positive development. We collaborated with parents, providers and early learning centers in the development of this program. To date, more than 100 families have participated in SEACAP.
We set out to study the effectiveness of a brief program that focused on enhancing parent behaviors that research shows promote children’s social-emotional competence. We were particularly interested in understanding how these practices could improve outcomes for parents and children experiencing 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.
The Triple C Project
The purpose of our project, known as Children, COVID-19, and its Consequences (the “Triple C” Project), is to analyze how COVID-19 is affecting familial economic and child well-being. Triple C is the first study to provide a comprehensive portrait of the well-being of families and children across multiple cities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our study assesses multiple dimensions of economic well-being to fully reflect the manifold effects of the current economic crisis. Triple C intends to survey families at three relatively short intervals (baseline, 3-months, and 9 months), to capture the dynamic nature of economic circumstances and the degree of economic uncertainty caused by the epidemic that may be missed by surveys with longer times between data collection. Our study will document how economic uncertainty shapes family processes, parenting, and children’s development with particular attention to how these effects differ across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic lines. Because of our rapid approach to the proposed data collection the Triple C will provide timely dissemination of findings immediately accessible by researchers and policymakers.
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.