Formative Childhood and Peace Building

Scientific evidence supporting families and children as agents of change for peace

Click image to view video presentation, The Ecology of Peace

Formative childhood: A pathway to grow peace?

Young children and their families are progressively being exposed to greater violence in homes, schools and communities, and among nations. In our search for solutions we turn to science. Evidence from the field of early childhood development (ECD) clearly demonstrates that lasting and intergenerational change can occur through interventions early in life. To break the cycle of violence and promote peaceful societies, the developmental needs of young children must be the primary focus.

Yale University, UNICEF, AÇEV Foundation, and the Fetzer Institute and other global partners have embarked on a joint project to achieve the common objective of analyzing the linkages between early childhood development (ECD) and peace building through scientific research, to disseminate results and advocate for better policies on global platforms - as a pathway to sustainable peace.

Featured Book

Pathways to peace: The transformative power of children and families

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Edited by James F. Leckman, Catherine Panter-Brick and Rima Salah / Yale University

Can more peaceful childhoods promote a culture of peace? Increasing evidence from a broad range of disciplines shows that how we raise our children affects the propensity for conflict and the potential for peace within a given community. More ...

In the Spotlight

TEDMED / Nadine Burke Harris / How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime

VIDEO Sept. 2014 / Pediatrician Harris makes an impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of childhood trauma, head-on. 

CAN Narrative

Presentation: Opportunities to change the outcome of traumatized children.

TEDxPodgorica / Benjamin Perks / How do we stop childhood adversity from becoming a life sentence?

VIDEO Mar 2015 / Adverse childhood experiences are physical, sexual or emotional abuse and neglect as well as witnessing family violence, addiction or mental health episodes in the household. 

New evidence from the field of neuroscience explains the direct link between the level of adversity in childhood and worse outcomes in adulthood in health, addiction, imprisonment, education and life success  Ways to prevent and respond to childhood adversity and support victims, including integrated child protection systems, better equipped education systems and breaking the public taboo on the theme

United Nations / Can positive early childhood development lead to more peaceful societies?

United Nations HQ NYC / 9 September 2014 - On the occasion of the 2014 UN High-level Forum on The Culture of Peace on 9th September, Yale University along with members of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium, UNICEF and the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace organized a luncheon with distinguished guests to discuss the transformative power of children and families as a pathway to peace. We have captured the knowledge, ideas and human spirit shared during the event here.