Toolkit for Parents, Teachers, and Caretakers

Child & Youth Health: New Resources for Special Populations

Promising Practices in Mental and Behavioral Health

RAND's Promising Practices Network (PPN) website provides summaries of programs and practices evidenced through research to improve the lives of children, youth, and families. Three new Behavioral and Mental Health programs were added the PPN:

Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health: New Resources and Research

  • Resources: The MCH Library released a new edition of Knowledge Path, "Adolescent Violence Prevention," for use by health professionals, policymakers, educators, community activists, and families. This latest guide, compiled from public health, medical, criminal justice, education, and social services disciplines, provides resources that: 1) measure, document, and monitor adolescent violence, 2) identify risk and protective factors and, 3) report on promising intervention strategies. The guide also includes resources on specific aspects of adolescent violence including bullying, firearms, gangs, media violence, school violence, and violent-crime victimization.
  • Research: "The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds," a new report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, describes the importance of play to a child's cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being. The report also provides guidelines and specific advice for pediatricians to promote changes in children's social and environmental contexts to enhance opportunities for play.
  • Evaluation of a neonatal intensive care unit program, conducted by researchers at Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, yielded positive outcomes for both infant and parent participants.Creating Opportunities for Parent Empowerment (COPE) is 4-phase educational intervention program implemented early in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Through each phase parents are provided with information on: 1) the appearance and behavioral characteristics of premature infants, and 2) activities to assist parents in caring for their infants. Two hundred and sixty families participated in the study that resulted in: reduced maternal stress in the NICU, reduced maternal depression and anxiety 2 months following the intervention, increased positive interactions with infants, and stronger beliefs about parental roles. COPE infants had a 3.8 day shorter NICU length of stay and a 3.9-day shorter total hospital stay. Additionally, the program decreased hospital costs by $5000 per infant. With 480,000 low birth weight premature infants born annually in the U.S., $2.4 billion could be saved each year if the program were adopted by NICUs nationwide.