Child Mental Health: A Review of the Scientific Discourse

Nat Kendall-Taylor PhD and Anna Mikulak

Framing Metaphor, Brain Architecture, Cultural Models, Stress, Resilience

February 2009

Dr. Nat Kendall-Taylor from the Frameworks Institute and Anna Mikulak from Harvard University discuss the first phase of a larger research project sponsored by The Endowment for Health and the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. In the larger research project, FrameWorks will employ qualitative and quantitative research to empirically test strategies to reframe the way Americans think about child mental health and to translate the science on this topic. The report represents a fundamental component in composing a condensed “core story” of child and family mental health. The core story provides people with the most fundamental principles needed to understand the issue of child mental health from a perspective that is consonant with the science. As a first step in the research process, this report explores the scientific discourse on child mental health – patterns in how scientists write about, explain, and talk about child mental health. This discourse emerges from both a review of the scientific literature on child mental health, and a series of interviews that FrameWorks conducted with experts in this field. This report captures the work of psychologists, psychiatrists, child health researchers, neuroscientists, epidemiologists, sociologists, and healthcare policy researchers. Corresponding presentation documents and materials unavailable.