Child Development and Social Policy


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Over the past 25 years, the intersection of developmental psychology and public policy has become an increasingly active and important domain for researchers, policymakers, children's rights advocates, and practitioners. At the forefront of the child development research and social policy movement is Edward Zigler, whose “knowledge for action” approach has revolutionized the way public policy is enacted to better serve vulnerable youth populations. Child Development and Social Policy: Knowledge for Action expands on Dr. Zigler's work in integrating the fields of child development and social policy, while using scientific knowledge for action as the model. Contributors discuss these key questions: What are the most powerful research insights of the last 30 years that promote effective action for children and families? What are the most powerful constraints or limits of our knowledge base to promote effective action for children and families? What are the primary components of short-term research agenda to make the most powerful difference for children and families? This edited volume focuses on both the influence of social policy on children's development and the unique perspective, insight, and skills that developmentalists bring to this policy and its formation. Programs to ensure good beginnings for all children are discussed, while the needs of those who are most vulnerable are also addressed. The volume celebrates the life and scholarship of Edward F. Zigler, founder of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and administrator of the Head Start program in Washington, DC. Dr. Zigler is both a pioneer and a leader in conducting rigorous, high-quality developmental and policy-relevant psychological research and has dedicated his work to improving the lives of American children and their families through informed social policy. His scholarly work spans the fields of cognitive and social–emotional competence of young children, mental retardation, psychopathology, intervention programs for economically disadvantaged children, and the effects of out-of-home care on the children of working parents.

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