Text Alternative of Video: NICHD Research Video Series: Lisa Freund

To view the original video, please go to Video: Why do we study behavioral health?: Lisa Freund (07/12/2017)

Video/Graphics Audio

Camera view of a mother sitting with a child in a hospital waiting area. The child is playing a handheld video game. The camera pans left as a health care worker walks across the screen.

[MUSIC: Instrumental music plays in the background.]

Lisa Freund, Ph.D.: As human beings, we want to know why do we do the things that we do, you know, and how can we predict…

Camera view of Lisa Freund, Ph.D.

Banner text: Lisa Freund, Ph.D.
Chief, Child Development and Behavior Branch, NICHD

Lisa Freund: …how other people are going to act or react in a certain situation. And at NIH,…

Camera view of National Institutes of Health headquarters building.

Lisa Freund: …it's really important, because behavior's central to a lot of the things that are important…

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: …about health and areas such as heart disease…

Camera view of a lunch tray with a cheeseburger, French fries, and a soda, with open ketchup and salt packets.

Lisa Freund: …or obesity—that type of thing; behavioral research is central.

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: And at NICHD, we do developmental research…

Camera view of a mother holding a baby while a doctor examines the baby with a stethoscope.

Lisa Freund: …and so behavioral research is very important for facilitating very healthy development.

Camera view of Lisa Freund.


Lisa Freund: And so, one of the projects that we've been funding is called the Video Interaction Project.

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: They videotaped usually the mother and child as they were waiting for their appointment with the pediatrician, as the child and mother were playing with toys or books that were provided by the project.

Camera view of a health care professional in an exam room talking with a mother who is holding a toddler.

Lisa Freund: And then, after they videotaped that, a coach would come in who worked with the project and would go over the video with the mother…

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: …and point out what was going really well in the interaction and then point out opportunities for better communication with the child, more verbalizing and language…

Camera view of a mother holding a baby and kissing the baby on the cheek.

Lisa Freund: …for the child, and also better opportunities for engagement with the child.

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: And they did this over a period of time, about 3 years, with the same families. And the whole point of it was to, one, look at how to reduce stress in the parents, especially during interaction with the child,…

Camera view of a smiling mother holding a laughing baby.

Lisa Freund: …to improve more positive interaction with the child, with the goal of ultimately how that interaction…

Camera view of Lisa Freund.


Lisa Freund: …would impact the development in different areas for that child.

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: The results showed that, indeed, stress in the parents who received this intervention was significantly reduced, and these are very—these are parents living in poverty with a lot of stress, but it was significantly reduced by these interactions with and learning about how to interact with their child. Not only that, depression symptoms in the parent were reduced.

Camera view of a young girl studying.

Lisa Freund: And the child him- or herself showed better cognitive and socioemotional…

Camera view of Lisa Freund.

Lisa Freund: …development compared to other children in families that didn't get this intervention.


Video fades to logo of the NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.




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