How Children and Adults Can Build Core Capabilities for Life

Every day we take on the ordinary, sometimes challenging, tasks of work, school, parenting, relationships, and just managing our busy lives. How do we navigate these tasks successfully? And what can send us off course? Science offers an explanation. This 5-minute video explores the development and use of core capabilities — known as executive function and self-regulation skills — from early childhood into adolescence and adulthood.

Building on the Center’s 2013 video presenting the theory that building adult capabilities is necessary to improve child outcomes, this new video describes what these skills are, why they are important, how they develop, and how they are affected by stress. It combines an allegorical “scribe” storytelling technique with new animation of brain development to show how positive conditions support the development of these skills, and how adverse conditions make it harder to build and use them.

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