Dive Deeper

Foundation Setting 

The Center on the Developing Child strives to present scientific information in a way that is accessible to a wide range of readers. If you would like to “dive deeper” into topics presented in this toolkit, the following page suggests a variety of briefs, reports, working papers, and primary sources to explore.

Early Brain and Child Development

Healthy development in the early years (particularly birth to three) provides the building blocks for educational achievement, economic productivity, responsible citizenship, lifelong health, strong communities, and successful parenting of the next generation. These resources will give an in-depth look at the science of early brain and child development and how practitioners can best support children and families during this critical stage. 

Executive Function

Executive function and self-regulation skills are like an air traffic control system in the brain—they help us manage information, make decisions, and plan ahead. We need these skills at every stage of life, and while no one is born with them, we are all born with the potential to develop them. These resources will give an in-depth look at the science behind executive functioning and how to promote the development of these skills.

ACES, Toxic Stress, Inflammation, and Adversity

The future of any society depends on its ability to foster the healthy development of the next generation. Extensive research on the biology of stress now shows that healthy development can be derailed by excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and brain. Such toxic stress can have damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. These resources will give an in-depth look at the science behind ACEs, Toxic Stress, Inflammation, and Adversity. 


Reducing the effects of significant adversity on children’s healthy development is essential to the progress and prosperity of any society. Science tells us that some children develop resilience, or the ability to overcome serious hardship, while others do not. Understanding why some children do well despite adverse early experiences is crucial, because it can inform more effective policies and programs that help more children reach their full potential. These resources will give an in-depth look at the science behind resilience.

Caregiver/Adult Capabilities and Skill-Building

Adults need certain capabilities to succeed in life and support the development of the next generation. These capabilities help us to get and keep a job, provide responsive care for children, manage a household, and contribute productively to the community. When these skills have not developed as they should, or are compromised by the stresses of poverty or other sources of ongoing adversity, our communities pay the price in population health, education, and economic vitality. These resources will give an in-depth look at how to support responsive relationships for children and adults, strengthen core skills for planning, adapting and achieving goals, and reduce sources of stress in the lives of children and families.

Primary Sources

The following primary sources have been selected from the many references utilized to create the briefs, reports, and working papers created by the Center on the Developing Child. Please note that a personal login may be necessary in order to access the following works.