Research Cores

Research Cores

Hallie E. Ford Center

To thrive, families need a strong foundation.

Our four core areas of research reflect our greatest strengths and some of the most pressing topics for science, policy and practice in the years from birth to young adulthood.

Collaboration is a hallmark of the Hallie E. Ford Center for Healthy Children & Families. To foster that interdisciplinary collaboration, four research cores have identified in part because they build on the college’s existing strengths and are broad enough to maximize the contributions of faculty from every area.

In addition to fostering collaboration, these developing cores were selected with the future in mind. They are ripe for new growth and will serve as catalysts not only for furthering the college but most importantly for advancing science and serving the public.

Early Childhood research core

Early Childhood

  • Self-regulation, school readiness and child development
  • Quality standards for child care
  • Effects of environmental health on child development
  • Statewide consortium on school readiness

The early years set the foundation for development throughout life. Our researchers focus on optimizing children’s development and well-being in families, early care and education settings and communities. They also examine how families, educational settings and communities play critical roles in ensuring positive early development.

Healthy Eating and Active Living research core

Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL)

  • Access to physical activity and healthy foods in schools
  • Community approach to obesity prevention
  • Making the healthy choice the easy choice

Researchers in the HEAL core work with individuals, families, communities and policymakers to increase access to healthy eating and opportunities for physical activity for children and families. Our priority is reducing the risks for obesity and other lifestyle-related chronic illnesses, particularly among the most vulnerable children and families.

Parenting and Family Life research core

Parenting and Family Life

  • Parenting education systems
  • Best practices for parenting and family life
  • Relationships and support across generations

Families are central to raising healthy children, and communities are central to supporting them. That’s why we’re evaluating what strategies work best for parents and communities in enhancing children’s development.

Youth and Young Adult research core

Youth and Young Adults

  • Positive youth and character development
  • Healthy sexual development
  • Successful transition to adulthood

Adolescence offers opportunities for positive development. Because the experiences of youth are crucial in shaping their paths into adulthood, we strive to understand the behaviors and settings that promote their development, protect them from risk and promote their resilience.