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CSC Translational Research

Collaborative partnerships with schools, families, agencies, and community organizations support translational research at the CSC, designed to inform practice and promote better outcomes for vulnerable children, youth, and families. Focal areas of translational research include programs for parents, social competence training programs (Friendship Groups), and school-based social-emotional learning programs.

Programs for parents

Helping parents support their children and strengthening families are key goals of the translational research of the CSC. Several active research programs are exploring positive parenting in the context of vulnerability and stress, in order to prevent maltreatment and help parents challenged by cognitive ability or circumstance. Another study focuses on the challenges of helping children develop good sleep habits and the role parents play.

Friendship Group: A Model for Social-Competence Promotion

The Friendship Group is a model for promoting social competencies among children who are struggling to develop or sustain friendships with peers. The program was developed first for the Fast Track Program, and is now a focus area for several other translational research projects at the CSC, as well as a focus for service provision, in our community-based Friendship Groups.

The Friendship Group model is an evidence-based intervention that promotes social competencies and social integration in children, aged K-5. In Friendship Group, children meet in small groups to talk about friendship issues and practice social collaboration and self-regulation skills through a variety of interactive peer activities. Friendship Group utilizes small group social experiences, structured around activities and games that are organized developmentally to elicit and support increasingly complex social collaboration, with therapist "coaching" to support social sensitivity and self-regulation skills.

School-based Social-Emotional Learning: The PATHS Curriculum

The PATHS (Promoting Alternative THinking Skills) Curriculum is an empirically-validated social-emotional learning (SEL) program developed by Mark Greenberg and his collaborators with demonstrated effectiveness in reducing aggression, bullying, and violence in elementary school. Teachers implement the intervention, teaching brief lessons and providing emotion coaching and support for social-problem solving in the classroom. In partnership with the Prevention Research Center at Penn State, the CSC is contributing to the research base demonstrating the positive effects of the PATHS Curriculum at the elementary and preschool levels.

The CSC houses certified PATHS trainers, who provide training and consultation to schools and communities who are interested in implementing the PATHS Curriculum.

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