Child Development

Research over the last century has documented that early experiences and conditions have disproportionate effects on human development across the entire life span.  At the Life Span Institute, we conduct research whose end goal is the improvement of children's health and development. Our research helps parents and practitioners assure children's biological, social, emotional, and educational needs so that they are placed on an optimal trajectory for their achievements and outcomes in adolescence and adulthood.

Two children playing with blocks on the floor.

Research Highlights

stylized DNA strand

Research Project: Specific Language Impairment

Specific language impairment (SLI) affects up to 7-10% of individuals in the United States. SLI affects communication, learning, and social abilities, and requires additional attention in school. The causes of SLI are not well understood.
Kathryn Bigelow

Introducing Investigator Kathryn Bigelow

Associate Research Professor Kathryn Bigelow focuses on early childhood language and social-emotional development, and on the translation of evidence-based interventions for parents, care providers, home visitors, and early intervention providers within both center-based and home-based early childhood education.
Infant with stuffed monkey toy

News: DHA and Development

University of Kansas researchers have reported that pregnant women who consumed a supplement of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), a nutrient added to U.S. infant formulas since 2002, tend to have children with higher fat-free body mass at 5 years old.

Child Development Research Projects