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October 14, 1998

Positive Effects of Prenatal and Early Childhood Interventions

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Maternal and Child Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Mass.

JAMA. 1998;280(14):1271-1273. doi:10.1001/jama.280.14.1271

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 outcomes.26 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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