The Nurture Effect: Redesigning Human Services around Behavioral Science
An Insight from the 2015 Human Services Summit
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What if there were a way to prevent criminal behavior, mental illness, drug abuse, poverty, and violence? What if we had evidence-based interventions to ensure that young people grow into caring and productive adults? What if we had new strategies to cultivate the skills and values people need to deal patiently and effectively with others’ distressing behaviors?

During this session, Dr. Biglan draws from a lifetime of new research on behavioral science to put forth a bold new plan to help solve many of the very real social problems facing our country. He will share research demonstrating how nurturing environments can increase people’s wellbeing in virtually every aspect of our society, from early childhood education to corporate practices. He considers lessons human services leaders can apply to efforts to prevent many of the psychological and behavioral problems that plague our society. Participants engaged in a dialogue about how to transform our practice models to move to prevention over time, establish new outcome metrics, and translate lessons of the nurture effect into action.

“I don’t think that we have the time, the energy, the money to design that optimal system to pay for all the people who will need care, but I do think we can strategically invest upstream to preclude people from continuing to go over the cliff.”

Dr. Anthony Biglan
Senior Scientist, Oregon Research Institute


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