Context matters in child and family policy

Child Dev. 2011 Jan-Feb;82(1):433-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01565.x.


The traditional model of translation from basic laboratory science to efficacy trials to effectiveness trials to community dissemination has flaws that arise from false assumptions that context changes little or matters little. One of the most important findings in developmental science is that context matters, but this fact is not sufficiently taken into account in many translation efforts. Studies reported in this special issue highlight both the potential of systematic interventions in parenting, peer relations, and social-cognitive skills training, and the problems that will be encountered in trying to bring these interventions to a community context. It is advocated that developmental scientists start from within the community context itself so that translation to policy is only a small step. It is also advocated that this research be conducted through rigorous community randomized controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Achievement*
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Education*
  • Humans
  • Peer Group*
  • Policy Making*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Social Behavior*
  • Social Welfare*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*
  • United States