About Us

At the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center, we are working to keep children and families safe and healthy.

The Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center is an international leader in prevention science.

Since 1998, our focus has been on improving the health and well-being of children, families, and communities, particularly those most vulnerable. We conduct research, provide technical assistance, develop, implement and evaluate innovative programs, and translate research to policy. Our goal is to prevent the development of behavioral, mental, academic and physical problems in children, youth, and parents by creating healthy, caring and compassionate, nurturing environments.

A woman and a young girl sit at a table. The girl is pulling change out of a half full coin jar. Coins are sitting on the table where the two are learning how to count change.

Our researchers employ cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research techniques, ranging from basic longitudinal, developmental studies to randomized clinical trials and quasi-experimental designs, and engage in dissemination, scaling and community engagement strategies to address risk and resiliency factors in behavioral health outcomes.

A priority of our work is to better understand and lessen the effects of stress and adversity (e.g., child maltreatment, poverty, family dysfunction, health disparities) that often lead to negative outcomes, such as homelessness, deviant peer networks, academic failure, substance abuse, violence, dropping out of school, and teenage pregnancy.  In tandem, we work to improve child well-being, parenting practices, teaching practices, and parent-child relationships through rigorous prevention research and evidence-based programs.

A growing area of emphasis is estimating the economic benefits of prevention programs through our Prevention Economics Planning and Research Program (PEPR).  Another new research initiative is our Program for Translational Research on Adver­sity and Neurodevelopment (P-TRAN), where we bring scientists together from across the disciplinary spectrum to infuse basic science findings and techniques into prevention science.

With its rigorous pre-and post-doctoral training and outreach programs, the Center is a pre-eminent incubator for supporting a new genera­tion of prevention scientists. And, in our Health and Human Development Design for Impact Lab (HUDDIL), project-driven learning involving human-centered design methods provide a unique training opportunity for students.

Over the past 19 years, we’ve evolved. But our mission has been steadfast: to ensure well-validated research findings are used to create sustainable programs and policies that will promote the well-being and healthy development of children and families everywhere.