• Message from Anthony Biglan, PhD

    We have the tools to help our families and schools to be more nurturing. Rather than addressing each psychological, behavioral, or health problem as though it is unrelated to every other problem, we need to get all of the organizations working on human wellbeing to band together to help make all of our families and schools more nurturing.



    Anthony Biglan, PhD, is a senior scientist at Oregon Research Institute and a leading figure in the development of prevention science. His research over the past thirty years has helped to identify effective family, school, and community interventions to prevent all of the most common and costly problems of childhood and adolescence. He is a leader in efforts to use prevention science to build more nurturing families, schools, and communities throughout the world. Biglan lives in Eugene, Oregon.


    The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World is a fascinating look at the evolution of behavioral science, the revolutionary way it’s changing the way we live, and how nurturing environments can increase people’s wellbeing in virtually every aspect of our society, from early childhood education to corporate practices. What if there were a way to prevent criminal behavior, mental illness, drug abuse, poverty, and violence? The Nurture Effect offers evidence-based interventions that can prevent many of the psychological and behavioral problems that plague our society. Dr. Biglan illustrates how his findings lay the framework for a model of societal change that has the potential to reverberate through all environments within society.

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    The Keys To A Nurturing Environment

    No matter the context or the problem at hand, following these universal principles of a nurturing environment creates the best chances at success. Nurturing environments do four things:
  • Minimize toxic social and biological conditions.
  • Teach, promote, and richly reinforce prosocial behavior.
  • Limit influences and opportunities for problem behavior.
  • Promote psychological flexibility, which is a mindful approach to pursuing one’s values even in the face of emotional, cognitive, and real-world challenges.

    The Nurture Blog

    Can Children Be Taught To Have Empathy?
    How do we cultivate the skills and values that people need to deal patiently and effectively with others’ distressing behavior? If you look at how young children learn to be empathetic you can see the key skills they need. The first skill is simply having an awareness of their own emotional reactions. Imagine that four-year-old preschooler Ryan opens the lunch his mom prepared for him and starts to cry. In a high quality preschool, one of the adults might join him and talk emphatically about how he is feeling: “Oh are you feeling really sad?” In doing so, she is helping him learn the names for his feelings....CONTINUE READING