The Brown Center For The

Study Of Children At Risk

Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk
50 Holden Street
Providence RI 02908

Academic Administration:
(401) 453-7640

Clinical Services:
(401) 274-1122
x8936 or x8935

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The Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk

Children can be at risk for non-optimal developmental outcome because of biological factors, because of social factors, or often because of both biological and social factors. The study of these children enables us to learn about developmental processes in typically developing and atypically developing children and to develop treatment strategies to meet the individual needs of the child and family.
The Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk is dedicated to 1) advance theories of the developmental pathways from fetal and infancy periods in at-risk children, (2) enhance synergy between research and clinical practice that advances child development research, intervention programs and social policy, and (3) train scientists and practitioners in interdisciplinary methods from the field of child development.
Our objective is to nurture, promote and coordinate research, training, education, and clinical service in child development and developmental psychopathology. Our group is interdisciplinary spanning the disciplines of developmental and clinical psychology, pediatrics, psychiatry, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, substance abuse and public health. We are excited by the translational work that occurs at the boundaries where disciplines intersect leading to new science and the handshaking between science and clinical practice.

Research includes studies of mechanisms in a variety of areas that explain developmental outcome with an emphasis on at-risk children. Six signature themes characterize our research areas: Prenatal Substance Exposure: multi-site longitudinal studies of prenatal cocaine exposure and prenatal methamphetamine exposure in the United States and New Zealand. Special initiatives in this research program include neuroimaging, sleep and obesity studies. Preterm Infant Development: studies involve a 23-year longitudinal of infants born in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a study of the effects of the single room NICU model on infant medical and neurobehavioral development. In the area of Maternal Depression studies we study fetal and neonatal neurobehavior, prenatal antidepressant exposure and depression in mothers of preterm infants. Studies of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) include behavioral and physiological reactivity during social interaction, ASD and social anxiety and fetal and newborn neurobehavioral responses in fetuses of siblings of children with ASD. Epigenetics involves genomic methylation and newborn neurobehavioral. Work in Intervention includes buprenorphine treatment for opioid addicted pregnant women, evaluation of programs for drug exposed infants and their families, the role of Family Treatment Drug Court, and the effects of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).
Services for populations of children of interest for fundamental and applied research

Clinical services are multidisciplinary and family based and include programs for infant and child mental health. Out-patient services at the Center include the Behavior and Development Clinic, Infant Behavior, Cry and Sleep or “Colic Clinic”, the Vulnerable Infants Program and the Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinic. Hospital based services include Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU Occupational Therapy Consult Service, NICU Family Psychosocial/Mental Health Service and the Neurobehavioral Consult Service.
Education and training of students, scientists, and practitioners

Training and education are provided at pre and postdoctoral levels including training postdoctoral fellows in the Child Psychiatry Research Training Program in child mental health, fellowship program in neonatal-perinatal medicine, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, triple board program in pediatrics and psychiatry, and the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Training is also provided on programs and assessments developed at our Center.