Children grow up in families and communities, including nuclear families, extended families, blended families, and in families that benefit from prosperity and those that are challenged by economic stress. Researchers at CHGD understand the complexity of children’s social worlds, and that parents, families, and communities play a crucial role in optimal child health and children’s social, emotional, cognitive, and language development. Center researchers address basic and real world issues that affect children within their families and communities by focusing on the role of self-regulation in the development of childhood obesity, documenting the importance of fathers in children’s lives, examining how children come to understand their place in the social world, assisting military parents after separation and lengthy deployments, documenting changes in family life after the birth of an infant, addressing the effects of environmental stress for low-income children, and examining environmental toxins on children’s health and well-being. Research in this area would benefit from support of these and other of initiatives underway, particularly in father-child relationships, early stress regulation, and the effects of income inequality on children’s development.
The 2017 SRCD preconference on Fathers and Families: New Perspectives and Future Directions will focus on advancing research and measurement on the role of fathers for children’s development in the context of the family and is a follow-up to a SRCD-sponsored meeting held at the University of Michigan June 6 – 7, 2016.