The article by Olds and colleagues1 in
this issue of THE JOURNAL continues a series of publications of well-designed
experiments examining the effects of early intervention on maternal and child
These important studies represent considerable progress toward establishing
proof that early intervention can produce positive and persistent changes
in human development and also strengthen the base of knowledge regarding the
nature of infant vulnerabilities and the hazards these infants and their families
face from substandard living environments. This mounting evidence intersects
in a timely way with increasing interest among policymakers in the effect
of early intervention on brain development and suggests specific strategies
and policies to substantially improve the lives of children living in the
most disadvantaged circumstances in our nation.
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