• By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 29th June, 2012

The power of storytelling: treating the trauma of child soldiers

Children forced into combat often return years later with severe psychological trauma, struggling to reintegrate themselves into the families and communities from which they were taken.In the first of its kind, a recent study into trauma-focused therapy for former child soldiers in Northern Uganda could provide one key to reducing the symptoms of PTSD and confronting the dual guilt of being both a…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 28th June, 2012

What is the lifetime cost of a child maltreatment case?

Each case of child maltreatment costs society more than $210,000, a new US study estimates. The total lifetime cost of all the cases of child maltreatment in the country that start in a single year is calculated at $124 billion, and could be as high as $585 billion.Child maltreatment – including physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation – is a serious public…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 27th June, 2012

Getting to the community

Interventions with individual children often have an effect, but there is little evidence that children as a whole benefit, according to a paper by Kenneth Dodge, from Duke University, USA, who calls for a radical shift in how prevention science operates.He writes: “Although numerous developmental-science-based interventions have been found to have favorable impact on the narrow group of childre…

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  • By Kevin Mount
  • Posted on Tuesday 26th June, 2012

Empathy – the close secret behind an effective prevention program

Aban Aya certainly works. Studies show that this “culturally-grounded” program helps to reduce violence, unsafe sex, substance abuse, and school delinquency among African American boys. What is still unclear is why. Brian R. Flay at Oregon State University and colleagues designed Aban Aya to reflect the importance of strong family and community ties within the African American community. Famil…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Monday 25th June, 2012

Mixed messages on the value of extra training for foster carers

Training programs for foster carers result in a wide range of outcomes for looked-after children and young people, a new review finds. While improving the skills of foster carers and others who work with looked-after children and young people has been widely seen as a key to improving care outcomes, the evidence produces mixed messages. Some programs delivered significant improvements in children…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 22nd June, 2012

No half measures

One of the problems associated with the traditional ways of evaluating preventative programs has been that they focus on reducing the negative aspects of peoples lives – say, abusive behavior, referrals to agencies – which means only half of the picture is revealed.This is argued by Jacqueline Counts and colleagues in a recent article in the Child Abuse and Neglect journal, where they list the…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 21st June, 2012

When replications don’t replicate

A program developer creates an intervention. Study after study, researchers working with the developer find significant positive effects. The program wins a reputation as a useful, evidence-based intervention.Then an independent team tries to replicate the intervention and finds no effect. What’s going on? Such an anomaly presented itself in Zurich, where a large independent trial of a widely…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 20th June, 2012

Need parents for your program? Follow the babies

Family-focused prevention programs, especially ones designed for new families, have a hard time recruiting and keeping clients. Typically less than one per cent of a target population actually complete the program. Recruitment and retention of families in these programs is particularly difficult if they demand a family attend more than one session or the activity is held outside of the home. One…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 20th June, 2012

Trial and error in Zurich

It is one thing to demonstrate the impact of a program with a small group of participants, specially selected for a particular difficulty; it is entirely another to provide an intervention to a community as universal provision and expect similar effects. This is the experience of a team of researchers working in Zurich, Switzerland, where they undertook the large-scale implementation of two proven…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Monday 18th June, 2012

Helping children to fly

Being able to focus, hold, and work with information in mind, filter distractions, and switch gears are key skills necessary to develop and function effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic and changing social world. Children need these skills to solve problems, persist at tedious but necessary tasks, recognise and correct mistakes, control their impulsive behavior, and interact with others. These ski…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Friday 15th June, 2012

The benefits of a happy marriage: SPR conference 2012

Good quality, supportive relationships are a key factor in the healthy development of individuals in all stages of life. Researchers commonly find that individuals who are in postive relationships have better mental and physical health when compared to those who aren’t.But how can such relationships be fostered? Eminent husband and wife team Philip and Carolyn Cowan, from the University of Calif…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Thursday 14th June, 2012

It's the economics, stupid: SPR conference 2012

Economic evaluation in prevention science has experienced rapid growth in recent years. At the 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Prevention Research (SPR) in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, a panel of experts discussed important developments and argued that economic data could improve the uptake of evidence by policy makers.The global economic recession has made policy-makers more concer…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Wednesday 13th June, 2012

Obama does evidence: SPR conference 2012

Hot on the heels of what is considered by many in prevention science to be a historic memo from the White House about the use of evidence, Ron Haskins, a former White House and congressional advisor on welfare issues, told researchers at the Society of Prevention Research’s Annual Meeting in Washington DC that Obama’s administration is the most evidence-based administration the US has ever see…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Tuesday 12th June, 2012

"State of the art" program adaptation: SPR conference 2012

“There are guidelines for preparing manuals from scratch, but none to aid systematic adaptation of interventions for new contexts,” according to Naomi Goldstein, Associate Professor of Psychology at Drexel University.This is a problem for researchers, implementers and providers. There is increasing demand for children’s services to be more evidence-based, but how can we be sure to give progr…

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  • By Dartington SRU
  • Posted on Monday 11th June, 2012

How to prove that early childhood investments pay off #2 #2

Early childhood education may be one of the most reliable investments around. High-quality preschool tends to improve disadvantaged children’s test scores, high school graduation rates, adult employment, and crime involvement. The result is a big financial benefit – around $3.60 in the long term for every dollar spent, a new study claims.And policy-makers are listening. They want to know wheth…

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