Brain Development Archives - National Wraparound Initiative (NWI)

Contribute to Understanding of Mental Health and Neuroscience While Playing Phone Games

May 9, 2021 | Nicole Aue

Brain Explorer is an app produced by neuroscientists from University College London (UCL). The app presents games exploring outer space and questionnaires that will help gather information about how the brain works and how it is linked to mood and behavior.

Download the app »

Study: Aggressive Video Games Are Not a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems

January 15, 2021 | Nicole Aue

A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking found that aggressive behavior was predicted by having deviant peers and specific personality traits, especially low agreeableness. Violent video game exposure had no long-term effects on aggressive behaviors.

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Screen Time and the Mental Health of Children

March 9, 2020 | Maria Hermsen-Kritz

Researchers studying the results of questionnaires filled out by thousands of children ages 9 to 11 and their parents have found associations between electronic media use and mental health, although they say the magnitude of the impact they measured is statistically small.

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Study: Possible Genetic Link between Children’s Language and Mental Health

August 21, 2019 | Emily Taylor

A recent study led by the University of York found a possible genetic link between children with language disorders and poor mental health. The researchers analyzed genetic data from more than 5,000 children, clinical assessments on children’s language ability, and questionnaire responses from parents. The lead researcher, Umar Toseeb, said, “If our findings are confirmed in future work, it could mean that, rather than wait for children with developmental language disorder to show symptoms of poor mental health before intervening, mental health support is put in place as soon as language difficulties become apparent, as a preventative measure.”

Read more about the research»

Motivation and Early Childhood Policy

May 8, 2019 | Emily Taylor

“Understanding Motivation: Building the Brain Architecture That Supports Learning, Health, and Community Participation: Working Paper No. 14” from the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child outlines the development of motivation during childhood and the implications for parents, teachers and policy makers.

Read the working paper»

Early Childhood Development

April 1, 2019 | Emily Taylor

Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child has published a new online resource, “What is Early Childhood Development? A Guide to the Science” that explains how children develop in their earliest years, why that time period is so important, and the practical ways we can support early childhood development (ECD) and improve outcomes for children and families. The guide includes brief summaries of key findings and how they can guide policymakers and program developers to improve outcomes for children and families, as well as videos and other related resources.

Access the guide»

Study of first-graders shows fetal alcohol spectrum disorders prevalent in U.S. communities

March 21, 2018 | Emily Taylor

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funded a study of more than 6,000 first-graders across four U.S. communities and found rates of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) from 1 to 5 percent in community samples. The effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on the brain can result in a range of neurobiological deficits that contribute to physical, cognitive, behavioral, and social challenges throughout life.

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How ‘Sesame Street’ is helping kids learn to cope with trauma

October 6, 2017 | Emily Taylor

Sesame Street in Communities has released a new set of free materials designed to help young children and their families deal with trauma. The online resources include videos of the beloved Sesame Street Muppets focused on coping strategies and strengthening children’s natural resilience. The launch was timed with the release of new analysis of the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health indicating that nearly half of American children experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). While these experiences have been shown to have a negative impact during childhood and into adulthood, responsive care can help minimize that impact.

Read the NPR article on the Sesame Street in Communities resources»

Access the Sesame Street materials on coping with trauma»

Child Mind Institute’s 2017 Children’s Mental Health Report

September 25, 2017 | Emily Taylor

The Child Mind Institute recently published its 2017 Children’s Mental Health Report. This year the report has an emphasis on adolescent brain development and mental health disorders that develop during adolescence and young adulthood.

Read the 2017 Children’s Mental Health Report»

New Research Finds Unique Fingerprint-Like Pattern in Human Brain

February 28, 2017 | Emily Taylor

A study by researchers from the University of Oslo in Norway published recently in Nature Neuroscience, found unique, fingerprint-like patterns in the human brain. These unique network patterns develop during childhood and adolescence. Children and adolescents with mental illness symptoms were found to have a delay in the way these brain network patterns developed.

Read more about the research on brain network maturation»

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