Welcome to the Institute for Prevention Science
The Institute for Prevention Science (IPS) was established in 1998 by Laurie Miller Brotman, Ph.D., Prevention Science Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Our Challenge and Our Commitment
Racial and ethnic minority children living in disadvantaged, urban neighborhoods bear a disproportionate burden of costly public health problems. Disparities in health and development are evident early in childhood and increase over time, resulting in unacceptably high rates of high school dropout, obesity and delinquency.
Advances in neuroscience, developmental psychology and prevention science provide compelling evidence that the foundation for healthy development is established in early childhood. Interactions between biological processes and home and early care environments impact learning, behavior and health across the lifespan.
The stress of urban poverty constrains parenting resources and jeopardizes the successful development of social, emotional and behavioral regulation skills. Collectively, these skills impact executive functioning (such as working memory, the ability to shift attention or resist distraction) and are now recognized as core components of “readiness” for school and a necessary foundation for lifelong well-being and productivity.
Rigorous randomized controlled trials (RCTs) demonstrate that strengthening parenting and early education and childcare environments can ameliorate the potentially devastating impact of stress on learning, behavior and health, especially for children who are at highest risk for long-term problems.
Science calls for investing in families, schools, and child caregivers early in children’s lives.
Dr. Brotman was invited to present on this philosophy and the work of IPS in February, 2013 at the Grad Nation Summit in Washington, DC. Please watch this video of highlights of Dr. Brotman’s presentation.
Who we are
The Institute for Prevention Science faculty includes scientists and clinicians from diverse professional backgrounds who are committed to addressing socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in learning, behavior and health and preventing costly public health problems, including high school dropout, delinquency and obesity. We develop, evaluate and implement early childhood interventions to promote children’s social, emotional and behavioral regulation skills.
The development and testing of preventive interventions requires a complex, multilevel understanding of the course of normal development to formulate a comprehensive model of the mechanisms through which deviations in development lead to poor outcomes. The RCTs that we conduct provide invaluable opportunities to understand the mechanisms of change. Our trials have demonstrated that developmentally and theoretically-informed, family-centered and school-based interventions can result in long-term benefits for children’s behavior, mental health, physical health, and school functioning. Please see our publications list for further information on our work.
The unique contributions of our research include:
- Early child development and parenting in low-income, minority populations
- The development of user-friendly, culturally-informed and engaging parenting programs and materials for diverse families living in socio-economically disadvantaged neighborhoods
- Specific attention to culture
- Randomized controlled trials
- Integration of evidence-based parenting programs within in urban schools
- Family engagement strategies
- Direct observation of child and family social interactions in home, school, and community settings
- Examination of social and biological variables in prevention studies
- Collaborations with schools and communities as partners
The Institute for Prevention Science works closely and collaborative with several partners including parents, schools, teachers, mental health professionals, community stakeholders, and with colleagues from NYU Child Study Center institutes, the NYU School of Medicine and New York University departments. In addition, we are proud to acknowledge collaborations with other academic and research centers, including:
- NYU Department of Population Health
- NYC Department of Education Office of Early Childhood Education
- NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH)
- NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC)
- Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ)
- University Settlement
- Child Center of New York (CCNY)
Our work is generously supported by the following federal and state agencies and foundations: