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New Journal Article: “Transforming Practice with HOPE (Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences)” [positiveexperience.org]

 

Chloe Yang, 5/10/21, positiveexperience.org/blog

We are thrilled to announce the publication of our journal article, “Transforming Practice with HOPE (Healthy Outcomes from Positive Experiences),” in Maternal and Child Health. You can read the paper here on the HOPE website, on our Publications page.

This paper was a team effort, led by Dr. Dina Burstein, HOPE Project Director. Other authors include: Chloe Yang, a research assistant working on HOPE; Kay Johnson, President of Johnson Group Consulting and long-time HOPE collaborator; Dr. Jeff Linkenbach, Director of The Montana Institute and co-Investigator with HOPE, and Dr. Robert Sege, HOPE National Resource Center Director. Thanks to all our collaborators for their work on this piece!

See below for an excerpted overview of the paper:

“Positive childhood experiences (PCEs) have profound effects on health and development, buffering against and preventing the harms of toxic stress (Bethell et al., 2019). Efforts to translate this science into practice are needed and will improve the effectiveness of current approaches that focus on identifying risks and specific child and family problems."

[Click here to read more.]

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“Positive childhood experiences (PCEs) have profound effects on health and development, buffering against and preventing the harms of toxic stress (Bethell et al., 2019). Efforts to translate this science into practice are needed and will improve the effectiveness of current approaches that focus on identifying risks and specific child and family problems."

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I was taught in journalism and public relations college courses that a story or PR news release needed to let the reader know, typically in the lead sentence, why he/she should care about the subject matter — and more so find it sufficiently relevant to warrant reading on. It’s disheartening to find this vocational tool frequently utilized to persuade readers why they should care about the fundamental psychological health of their fellow human beings — but only in terms of publicly funded monetary investment and collective societal ‘costs to us later’ if we do nothing now to ensure young children are able to properly develop.

Sadly, due to the common OIIIMOBY mindset (Only If It’s In My Own Back Yard), the prevailing collective attitude, however implicit or subconscious, basically follows: ‘Why should I care — I’m soundly raising my kid?’ or ‘What’s in it for me, the taxpayer, if I support child development education and health programs for the sake of others’ bad parenting?’ Regardless of whether individually we’re doing a great job with our own developing children, however, we all have some degree of vested interest in every child receiving a psychologically sound start in life, considering that communally everyone is exposed (or at least potentially so) to every other parent’s handiwork. And this is from a purely self-serving perspective.

Proactive measures may be needed to avoid later having to reactively treat (often with tranquilizing medication) potentially serious and life-long symptoms caused by a dysfunctional environment, neglect and/or abuse. And if we’re to avoid the dreadedly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention — that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments — maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Child development science high-school curriculum might be one way.

While such curriculum may sound invasive — some will even say it sounds too much like socialism or communism — especially to traditionalist parents distrustful of the public education system, I really believe it’s in future generations’ best interests. I strongly feel that the wellbeing of all children in general — and not just what other parents’ dysfunctional children will cost us as future criminals or expensive cases of government care, etcetera — should be of great importance to us all.

Last edited by Frank Sterle Jr.
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