Family Training Improves Selective Attention and Behavior in Preschoolers


Research from the University of Oregon and Willamette University finds that an eight-week, one-hour-a-day, relatively inexpensive family-based intervention improved cognitive skills including selective attention. Parents were taught strategies for reducing family stress, as well as for boosting attention. Teachers and parents reported significant improvements in academic performance and behavior. Results appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Abstract →Neville, H., Stevens, C., Pakulak, E., Bell, T., et al; Family-based training program improves brain function, cognition, and behavior in lower socioeconomic status preschoolers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print July 1, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304437110

Further interest:
With Parents’ Help, Preschoolers Can Learn to Pay Attention (Science)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].