CDBB develops scientific initiatives and supports research and research training relevant to the psychological, neurobiological, language, behavioral, and educational development and health of children.
The following theme characterizes all branch programs: Development is best described and studied as a variable process in which individual differences in cognitive, social, emotional, language, neurobiological and physical maturation, environment, life experiences, and genetics interact in complex ways.
Bilingual and Biliteracy Development
Gap: One out of every five people age 5 years and older in the United States speaks a language other than English in the home, yet there is a paucity of research on bilingual and biliteracy development in dual-language children.
Priority: Stimulate research on bilingual and biliteracy development in children learning English in addition to a language spoken at home, including the differentiation of language impairment from typical language variation in dual-language learners.
Measures of Neurodevelopment
Gap: There is a lack of comprehensive, efficient, low-cost measures of cognition, language, self-regulation, and social functioning in typically developing infants and toddlers that can be linked with developmental changes in brain structure and function, and that can be used for evaluating developmental status and intervention outcomes.
Priority: Develop a low-cost, efficient, and comprehensive neurodevelopmental battery of measures from evidence-based neurocognitive research specific to typically developing infants and toddlers.
Pediatric Primary Care Behavioral and Health Promotion Interventions
Gap: Much of the behavioral intervention research in pediatric primary care is targeted toward short-term outcomes, with a focus on immediate effects or cure. There is a need for more pediatric primary care research focused on end results of particular health care practices and interventions, such as change in ability to function or increase in quality of life, especially for chronic conditions. There is the additional need to assess better ways to monitor and improve the quality of care in pediatric primary care and related clinical settings.
Priority: Facilitate research on the impact of behavioral and health promotion interventions in pediatric primary care and related clinical settings with a focus on end result child and adolescent health outcomes.
Psychosocial Adjustment for Individuals in High-Risk Environments
Gap: There is a large literature base on the detrimental effects of high-risk family and neighborhood environments on psychosocial adjustment among children and adolescents. What remains unknown are the factors associated with the significant number of children who develop positive outcomes despite high-risk environments. It is possible that those are the factors that can have the biggest impact when incorporated into prevention and intervention approaches for children in high-risk environments.
Priority: Stimulate research to identify developmental factors and mechanisms that promote short- and long-term psychosocial adjustment for children and adolescents exposed to high-risk family and neighborhood environments.
School Readiness Skills in Economically and Socially Disadvantaged Children
Gap: Interventions that result in significant, sustained, and positive academic and school functioning outcomes for disadvantaged children are lacking.
Priority: Support longitudinal and early intervention research to identify the mechanisms associated with long-term deficits in academic and school functioning of disadvantaged children to better hone interventions that result in more successful and sustained positive outcomes.
Reading, Writing, and Mathematics
Gap: Although interventions for reading, writing, and mathematics have progressed significantly for many children with learning disabilities, there is still a sizeable number of children, adolescents, and young adults who do not respond to the current state-of-the-art interventions. There is a significant need to identify these individuals early and to develop additional interventions for poor responders.
Priority: Support research on intervention efforts in reading, writing and mathematics that investigate early precursors of risk for future minimal intervention response; methods to model comprehensive risk for children that inform screening approaches and early intensive intervention efforts, and intensive intervention services for individuals who show minimal intervention response.
Gap: The ability to reason is related to many cognitive processes, including executive function, theory of mind, heuristic analysis, and decision making, that are necessary for learning, academic success, well-being, and health literacy, yet there is little research on how reasoning ability develops or on the factors facilitating or impeding typical reasoning skills.
Priority: Facilitate research on the neurocognitive development of reasoning (e.g., quantitative, deductive, inductive, causal) in typically developing populations, including the identification of biobehavioral, environmental, cultural, academic, and cognitive factors influencing the development of reasoning.
- Behavioral Pediatrics and Health Promotion Research: Focuses on relationships between behaviors and clinically important health outcomes, such as the establishment and maintenance of healthy behaviors and identification and reduction of risky behaviors from childhood through early adulthood
- Child Health Research Career Development Award Program: Supports training of junior faculty who intend to devote their careers to academic pediatrics
- Cognitive Development, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Psychobiology: Focuses on developmental pathways leading to normal and at-risk brain development and behaviors and their underlying developmental mechanisms at the molecular, genetic, cellular, and network levels
- Early Learning and School Readiness: Supports basic and translational developmental research to specify the experiences that prepare children for a successful transition to school entry and later achievement and long-term follow-up to quantify the long-term impact of early intervention programs
- Language, Bilingualism, and Biliteracy: Includes research in language development and psycholinguistics throughout the lifespan, bilingualism and/or second-language acquisition, and reading in bilingual and/or English-language learners
- Mathematics and Science Cognition, Reasoning, and Learning: Development and Disorders: Supports projects in basic and intervention research within all aspects of mathematical thinking and problem solving, as well as in scientific reasoning, learning, and discovery, across all ages from infancy into early adulthood
- Reading, Writing, and Related Learning Disabilities: Focuses on research and training initiatives to increase understanding of both normal and atypical development of reading and written language skills, including development of prevention, remediation, and instructional approaches to enhance these abilities
- Social and Emotional Development/Child and Family Processes: Supports research and research training relevant to normative social, emotional, and personality development in children, from the newborn period through adolescence, and includes studies of family processes, child maltreatment, exposure to violence, and human-animal interaction
- Learning Disabilities Innovation Hubs: Research network that addresses the causes, symptoms, and treatments of learning disabilities that impact reading, writing, and mathematics
- Learning Disabilities Research Centers Consortium: Research consortium that aims to develop knowledge on the causes, origins, and developmental courses of learning disabilities
- NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development Completed/For Reference Only: Completed study that analyzed how different non-maternal child care arrangements related to measurements of the children's health, behavior, school performance, and other health indicators
- National Reading Panel (Historical/For reference only): Branch-led panel from 2000 that evaluated existing research and evidence to identify the best ways of teaching children to read; includes National Reading Panel Publications
- Cincinnati Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Neurodevelopment (C-Mind) Project : Standardized methods for recruiting, scanning, and processing brain imaging data from children from birth through adolescence
- Databrary : Open data library of developmental science video, audio, and related metadata
- Neurodevelopmental MRI Database : Includes MRI average templates for different age segments
- NIH Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Normal Brain Development : A Pediatric MRI Data Repository: Dataset for a longitudinal MRI-based neuroimaging study of more than 550 healthy, psychiatrically normal children and adolescents, ages newborn to 18 years
- NIH Toolbox: Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function : Comprehensive set of neuro-behavioral measurements that quickly assess cognitive, emotional, sensory, and motor functions
- Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) : Set of person-centered measures that evaluates and monitors physical, mental, and social health in adults and children
- Lisa Freund, Branch Chief
Main Research Areas: Cognitive development, behavioral neuroscience, psychobiology; disorders of sex development: psychosocial, cognitive, and behavioral aspects; brain development in typical populations; neuroendocrine correlates of the development of behavior, cognition, and social functioning
- Ruben Alvarez, Program Director
Main Research Areas: Typical language development, bilingualism, and biliteracy
- Layla Esposito, Program Director
Main Research Areas: Social and emotional development and child and family processes, human-animal interaction
- James Griffin, Program Director
Main Research Areas: Executive Function: Typical Development, Atypical Development, Measurement, and Interventions; School Readiness (Includes short- and long-term outcome studies and economic studies of lifespan cost savings); and Primary Care and Childcare Parent and Child Interventions
- Karen Lee, Program Director
Main Research Areas: Behavioral and developmental pediatrics and risk behaviors
- Kathy Mann Koepke, Program Director
Main Research Areas: Mathematics cognition, reasoning, learning, development, and disorders; reasoning, including animal models and human learning, transfer, typical development, and dysfunction; science learning, including animal models and human cognition, reasoning, learning, typical development, interventions and disorders
- Brett Miller, Program Director
Main Research Areas: Reading, writing, and related learning disabilities; dyslexia/reading disability
- The Executive Summary (PDF 437 KB) of the "Media Exposure and Early Child Development" workshop is now available.
- Branch-funded research was featured in the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council on June 7, 2018.
- Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice : CDBB co-sponsored this stakeholder workshop at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. A report, toolkit, and public service announcement-style video are available.
- Systems Approaches to the U.S. Childhood Obesity Epidemic: This panel discussion is part of the Advances in Child Development and Behavior
Research Speaker Series, sponsored by CDBB.