Cabrera Appointed to National Academy of Sciences Research Panel

COLLEGE PARK, MD (February, 2015) –The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine has appointed Professor Natasha Cabrera of the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology to the Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children. This ad hoc committee, under the auspices of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, will conduct research to inform a national framework for strengthening the capacity of parents of young children, birth to age eight.

As a committee member, Dr. Cabrera will help to pinpoint parenting knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAPs) that correlate with positive interactions between children and their parents, as well as with positive child outcomes. A central goal of the committee will be to identify the evidence-based strategies that promote these KAPs universally and across specific populations.

The committee’s first meeting was held January 29 and 30 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. In open session, the committee discussed its charge and allowed time to hear public comment. The committee also heard remarks from stakeholders, including representatives of the U.S. Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and various private foundations.

The Institute of Medicine says the committee’s service will enable “a set of concrete policy recommendations, across the private and public sectors within the health, human services, and education systems.” The committee will also note gaps in existing research and, accordingly, recommend priorities for researchers moving forward. This work will primarily inform policymakers, an array of child and family practitioners, private industry, and researchers. The resulting report will serve as a “roadmap” for the future of parenting and family support policies, practices, and research in the United States.

Dr. Natasha Cabrera is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology. Her research examines father-child and mother-child relationships, predictors of adaptive and maladaptive parenting, children's social and emotional development in different types of families as well as cultural and ethnic groups, and mechanisms linking early experience to children’s later cognitive and social development.

Click here to learn more about the Committee on Supporting the Parents of Young Children.


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