Children’s environments – especially relationships with caregivers – sculpt not only developing brains but also multiple bio-behavioral systems that influence long-term cognitive and socioemotional outcomes, including the ability to empathize with others and interact in prosocial and peaceful ways. This speaks to the importance of investing resources in effective and timely programs that work to enhance early childhood development (ECD) and, by extension, reach communities at-scale.
This essay features the R2HC funded study “Measuring the health and wellbeing impacts of a scalable programme of psychosocial intervention for refugee youth” as an example of scholarly paradigms and leadership efforts that focus on child development to build a peaceful, equitable, just, and sustainable world.
The paper calls for continued need to design, implement, assess, and revise high-quality child development programs that generate much-needed evidence for policy and programmatic changes. It also calls for investment in global partnerships to foster the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and advocates dedicated to advance our understanding of the bio-behavioral systems that underlie love, sociality, and peace across generations.
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