Research is at the heart of all we do at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. As one of the nation's foremost multidisciplinary centers devoted to the study of children from infancy to adolescence, our scientists are committed to conducting research and evaluation studies that improve children's lives, support families, and inform public policy.
Learn more about our projects—current and completed—by clicking on the links below. And to stay up to date on news and events related to our work via social media, visit our Project Digital Directory.
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FPG served as the coordinating body for A Gathering of Leaders (AgoL). This invitation-only convening brought together dynamic leaders from different sectors, perspectives, and approaches focused on improving the life outcomes of males of color.
A Mechanistic Study of the Association Between Poverty and Executive Functions in Early Childhood: Contributions of Early Brain Development and the Early Caregiving Environment
The current study examines the link between poverty and executive functions (cognitive processes that facilitate learning, self-monitoring, and decision making) which are known to undergo rapid developmental change during the first years of life.
A Public Health Approach to Understanding Fathers' Psychological Health and Child Well-Being in Ethnically Diverse Families
This project will conduct a randomized clinical trial in five Educare schools. It will include longitudinal follow-up of 250 infants and their families through kindergarten. Measures will include annual child developmental assessments, videotaped parent-child interaction observations, and parent interviews and surveys. The specific aim of the project is to examine the effectiveness of Educare, a model early intervention program for children from low-income families.
Representatives from the Child and Family Policy Institute of California and the California Department of Social Services are working as a Core California Staff Team to coordinate technical assistance and support to Fresno, Humboldt, and Santa Clara counties and two Los Angeles County child welfare offices for implementing and sustaining a Child and Family Practice Model as part of the California Partners for Permanency project.
The aim of this study is to delve deep into the factors that hinder or support the optimal development of children, families, and educators in Black-majority Educare schools.
This project was a 5-year continuation of a Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) Research Center, the focus of which was on family adaptation to FXS.
This project aims to have timely data about a significant policy bill slated to cut poverty by almost half, especially for families with young children. It will examine whether receiving direct payment is disproportionately benefiting Black and Latine families, economically and psychologically (e.g., perception of hardship). And will provide actionable information to ensure that the Black families with young children are protected, promoted, and prioritized in national, state, and local policies and strategies.
An Efficacy Study of the School-Based National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder's Model
The purpose of this project is to document the efficacy of a widely used professional development model that promotes program quality, teachers' use of evidence-based practices (EBPs), and outcomes for elementary school-age children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study will respond to a national need to prepare teachers to design effective, research based educational programs for children with ASD.
Elementary school is the critical period for setting the stage for children's future academic success. The most important academic skill that is developed during this period is literacy, without which most other content area material cannot be learned well. The current project will have unique opportunities to better understand what factors contribute to literacy trajectories, as well as factors that may buffer children against poor trajectories.
This subcontract to the University of Chicago allows UNC-CH to join an interdisciplinary team that will collect, analyze, and compare data on the impacts on participants through midlife, and on their children, of the two most influential early childhood education programs: the HighScope Perry Preschool Program (PPP) and the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC) that targeted disadvantaged, predominantly Black, children.
The purpose of this project was to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the Arkansas early intervention program for toddlers with disabilities and their families, and make recommendations for improving this system.
ASD Toddler Initiative: Promoting the Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Toddlers With Autism Spectrum Disorders
This project expanded on the work conducted by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder for preschool through high school-aged students with ASD. The Toddler Initiative developed new materials and modified existing materials/processes to support the use of evidence-based practices for young children (birth-3) and their families.
Project staff worked with professionals in Saudi Arabia to establish and promote the provision of high quality programs and the use of evidence-based practices for learners with autism spectrum disorder and their families.
The FPG Autism Team will provide professional development training on the Autism Program Environment Rating Scale (APERS). The training will be for nine participants who are team members or affiliates of the Autism Professional Learning & Universal Supports Project at Illinois State University.
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute will work in collaboration with Child Care Services Association and the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education as appropriate to develop a plan to conduct a rigorous evaluation that will use an experimental or quasi-experimental approach to examine whether the program is implemented with high-quality and the degree to which it yields positive impacts on child outcomes.
Be Active Kids designed and evaluated an evidence-based program of developmentally appropriate physical activities to be used in North Carolina child care centers targeting children zero to five years of age. The program was formatted in a way that is easy for educators to use.
The purpose of this study is to examine associations between language of instruction, student engagement, academic-self-concept, approaches to learning, student-teacher relationships, and gains in academic outcomes for students attending dual language educational settings.
This project will support the Foundation in gathering and analyzing implementation and outcomes data for students with disabilities (SWD) served by charter management organization (CMO) grantees and their schools. NIRN will provide input on measures and tools used to gauge measurement and reporting capacity of CMOs and their schools; help design, develop, and deliver technical assistance and associated materials and events to support CMO capacity to provide data; and help design implementation and outcomes studies.
The purpose of this project as part of the Equity Research Action Coalition is to identify strengths-based programs and policies that support the well-being of Black parents and their infants and toddlers during the pandemic.
This project will support a cohort of place-based, cross-sector educational collaboratives ("myFutureNC network") across the state to develop model programs that significantly increase the number of students successfully pursuing post-secondary education and entering the workforce. This pilot aligns with the state's goal of having 2 million individuals between the ages of 25 and 44 with a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030.
TRI staff will create and present a series of five caregiver education workshops, which are designed to build knowledge and skills in the science of reading, in five locations across the Triangle.
This longitudinal study of a multimodal integrated preschool program was designed to improve children's school readiness by promoting pre-literacy, communication, mathematics, and socioemotional skills in children at risk for school difficulties.
The goal of this project is to provide training and nine months of ongoing support to a Smart Start of Forsyth County Teaching and Learning Specialist serving as a coach in the More Than Baby Talk, Plus! coaching program.
Building Implementation Capacity to Promote and Support Evidence-Based Home Visitation in Washington
The National Implementation Research Network supported Thrive by Five Washington in the development of their Implementation HUB for Evidence-Based Home Visitation.
The National Implementation Research Network will support the implementation of the Healthy Places North Carolina (HPNC) initiative. Through HPNC, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust seeks to create the conditions for initial, sustainable, and dramatic improvements in health in selected counties in North Carolina.
The CCHD is an NICHD-T32 funded program for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees engaged in the advanced study of developmental science. Key features of the program include a seminar series, regular training events, an outstanding team of mentors, and a longstanding track record of training excellent fellows who now serve in institutions around the world.