Emerging evidence from developmental science is helping to chart a course for supporting the positive development of children in the United States. This SRCD-sponsored Congressional briefing presented recent research by leading developmental scientists published in a special issue of the journal Child Development Raising Healthy Children.

Congressman Sandy Levin opened the event with brief comments. His comments were followed by welcoming remarks from Martha Zaslow, Director of SRCD’s Office for Policy and Communications, and Senior Scholar at Child Trends.

Presentations at the briefing summarized key research findings on a range of challenges to raising healthy children, and provided useful information for those developing programs and policies to address these challenges. Presentations included: Understanding and Preventing Bullying in Schools (Nancy G. Guerra, University of Delaware), Management of Chronic Health Conditions in Children: The Importance of Family Mealtime (Barbara H. Fiese, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Development of Positive Employment Attitudes and Behaviors among Low-Income Youth (Vonnie C. McLoyd, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), and Preventing Conduct Disorders in Children at High Risk (Kenneth A. Dodge, Duke University).

A number of U.S. Senators and Representatives served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the briefing, including: Senator Robert Casey, Senator Tom Harkin, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Congressman Rush Holt, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Sandy Levin, Congressman Tom Petri , Congressman Dave Reichert, and Congresswoman Linda Sánchez. The event was attended by over 75 individuals from congressional offices, federal agencies, and policy and professional organizations.

View the event agenda and biosketches  of presenters.

View presentation and Raising Healthy Children research briefs.


Left: Briefing speakers (from left to right): Dr. Kenneth A. Dodge, Dr. Barbara H. Fiese, Dr. Vonnie C. McLoyd, Dr. Nancy C. Guerra, and Dr. Martha Zaslow. Right: Dr. Martha Zaslow provides the audience with an overview of the research findings that inspired the briefing.


Left and Right: Congressman Sandy Levin provides welcoming comments to the audience.


Left: Dr. Nancy C. Guerra presents on understanding and preventing bullying and schools. Right: Dr. Barbara H. Fiese explains how family mealtime relates to the management of chronic health conditions in children.


Left: Dr. Vonnie C. McLoyd discusses the development of positive employment attitudes and behaviors among low-income youth. Right: Dr. Kenneth A. Dodge describes research on preventing conduct disorders in children at high risk.


Left: Congressman Levin and other audience members listen to event presentations. Right: Dr. Nancy C Guerra answers a question from an audience member during the general discussion that followed the four presentations.