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Oklahoma State University

Our Goals

  • An Ever Present Need
    • The relationship between parents and young children forms the foundation for healthy development and well-being. Recent research indicates that infants and toddlers with strong and secure attachments to their parents develop the brain structures and functions associated with the development of the cognitive, social,and emotional skills that determine future success in school and life.
    • Because the first five years of life is a period in which a large proportion of brain development occurs, young children who experience neglect, abuse, or chronic stress are less likely to develop normally. They are at risk to drop out of school,engage in risky health habits, be diagnosed with serious physical and mental health problems, and begin new generations of families living in poverty. Breaking this generational cycle of family stress and poverty requires interdisciplinary research and partnership with engaged community groups and social service agencies focused on improving developmental outcomes for very young children.
  • Our Objectives
    • The three primary goals of the Institute for Building Early Relationships are to:
      • Conduct advanced research on early cognitive, social, and emotional development that occurs in the context of safe and secure relationships between infants, young children, and their caregivers.
      • To contribute to Oklahoma’s workforce needs to provide training and education to students and professionals on young children’s social and emotional development, mental health, and fostering successful early attachment relationships.
      • To serve as a virtual gathering place of expertise for researchers, practitioners,and policy makers to advocate for policy and practice focused on building early relationships and promoting development in infants, toddlers, and young children.