Early Childhood: Typical and Atypical Development


This research initiative focuses on prevention,early intervention, risk and resilience in young children (ages birth to five) with particular attention to social-emotional well- being, positive parent-child relationships, as well as evidence-based early interventions for at-risk children and those with disabilities (including autism spectrum disorders and developmental delays).

Overall, this initiative utilizes theoretical frameworks and guiding principles in order that this early childhood focus can be enacted, implemented, and sustained under the auspices of scholarship and knowledge generation.

Guiding principles for this initiative include the following: 
(1) linking neurobiological and behavioral underpinnings of early development;
(2) promoting the emotional and developmental well-being of young children;
(3) highlighting specific school-readiness skills and strategies;
(4) developing and implementing evidence-based early interventions for young children with disabilities and those at-risk;
(5) implementing parent, teacher and peer mediated interventions across contexts and;
(6) identifying scientific evidence in early intervention and prevention that will serve to guide policy briefs, policy implementation in early childhood, and community outreach practices.

Goals and Activities:

  • Coordinate an interdisciplinary group of scholars and scientists to establish a transdiscinplinary early childhood initiative for research, scholarship, and community outreach.
  • Generate cross-disciplinary research projects, and grant collaborations to move forward both basic and applied research.
  • Develop a distinguished early childhood speaker series with areas of expertise in prevention, early intervention, risk, and resilience.
  • Integrate best practices and current research in community-based programs and link with early childhood research activities in Cooperative Extension.
  • Establish programs to include visiting scholars, and fund graduate and post-doctoral students in the area of early childhood.
  • Partner and collaborate with local and statewide organizations and agencies to create a focus of early childhood science and practices within the Institute.

Initiative Outcomes:

  • Funded federal grant research projects.
  • Funded Foundation research and applied research projects.
  • Local, state, and national contributions to the field of early childhood in both practice and publications.
  • Implementation of evidence-based practices in early childhood programs including community outreach and Cooperative Extension.
  • Impact on early childhood policy in the state in the areas of early intervention, prevention, inclusion of young children with disabilities, at-risk behaviors and ‘first signs’ for delay and disabilities.


Early Education in Arizona 
103rd Arizona Town Hall | November 2013 | Grand Canyon, Arizona



Members & Collaborators of the Early Childhood: Typical and Atypical Initiative

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