Early Childhood Development and Adversity

The FrameWorks Institute has expanded its longstanding work on children’s issues with new projects in the United Kingdom on early childhood development and adversity. In collaboration with the UK’s foremost child welfare charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), FrameWorks has conducted research to identify how the public thinks about child abuse and neglect and what reframing strategies hold the best potential for deepening public appreciation for solutions to these issues. Additional research, funded by the Big Lottery Fund as part of the A Better Start Initiative and conducted in partnership with the Dartington Social Research Unit, has focused on developing effective strategies for framing the ways that adverse experiences affect child development. 


Research & Recommendations

**NEW** Communicating Connections: Framing the Relationship Between Social Drivers, Early Adversity, and Child Neglect (2015). This Message Brief summarizes findings from a set of studies of how the British public thinks about child maltreatment, and lays out a powerful, tested narrative that communicators can use to reframe public understanding of how social conditions contribute to early adversity in general, and child neglect in particular. 

**NEW** Attending to Neglect: Using Metaphors and Explanatory Chains to Reframe Child Neglect in the United Kingdom (2015).This report details the results of a survey experiment testing the effectiveness of Explanatory Metaphors and Explanatory Chains for enhancing the British public’s understanding of child neglect: what neglect is, what causes neglect, and how neglect can be addressed through programs and policies. The results of this framing experiment demonstrate that the Explanatory Metaphor “Overloaded” and the Explanatory Chain “Equipping Parents” in particular increase knowledge about child neglect and increase public support for effective policy solutions. These framing strategies represent an important part of an emerging Core Story for communicating about child maltreatment in the UK.

map the gaps

Taking Responsibility for Solutions: Using Values to Reframe Child Maltreatment in the United Kingdom (2014). This report details the results of an experimental survey of more than 6,500 Britons that explores the extent to which values-based messages and narratives affect attitudes about child maltreatment and support for relevant policies. The experiment demonstrates the power of the value of Social Responsibility to move attitudes and policy support about these issues in productive directions. It also describes how this value is particularly powerful when paired with facts about child maltreatment and discussion of effective solutions. 


"I Have no Idea How That Works or What You Would do About it": Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Child Maltreatment in the UK (2013). This interactive multi-media report maps the gaps between the ways that the public and experts think and talk about issues of child maltreatment in the UK. The report is a summary of findings. Those findings are then illustrated with graphics, audio data from Cultural Models Interviews, and video data from On the Street Interviews.



FrameWorks Institute

  Updated: 02/28/17