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Articles by Ellen Braaten, Co-Director

Ellen Braaten, Ph.D. is co-director of The MGH Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds, and director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program (LEAP) at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also an associate professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. She is co-author of the book Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up, which was released in August 2014.

 To learn more about Ellen, or to contact her directly, please see Our Team.

The Importance of Sleep for Kids’ Mental and Emotional Well-being

November 7, 2018

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I have a confession to make. I rarely get enough sleep.

I know it’s important for me, but too often life gets in the way. I’m not alone. Most adults don’t get enough sleep, and this can be particularly true for parents who are juggling multiple tasks and role expectations.

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Q+A: Are Behavioral Issues Among Kids as Common as They Seem?

October 29, 2018

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Question: It seems like every child these days has some kind of problem. ADHD. Anxiety. Depression. Are these things as common as they seem?

Answer: Are behavioral challenges among children as common as they seem? Well, it’s difficult to say because the line between normal and abnormal behavior is often a matter of degree.

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Sexting And Young Teens

September 19, 2018

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Previous research has found that about 1 in 4 young teens admits to “sexting”—the sending of nude or semi-nude images or sexually explicit messages over an electronic device such as a mobile phone.

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What is Working Memory?

September 11, 2018

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The ability to have and recall memories is what makes us unique individuals. Each of us has a distinct and irreplaceable store of information that affects our feelings, perceptions, and opinions. In general, memory is our ability to use information from the past in the present.

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What Families Should Know About Suicide

August 31, 2018

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Many families are growing more concerned about suicide, especially among young people. Yet, suicide is often preventable when family members, friends, and communities learn how to recognize warning signs and connect those who are struggling with help.

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The Bullying Paradigm

August 23, 2018

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What is bullying?

Most of us have a sense of what it is, but there actually isn’t a clear definition of bullying.

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Growing Up With a Sibling With a Disability

June 25, 2018

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“You don’t understand, Mom!” I said.  “They were making fun of him! They were imitating his speech and laughing!”

My mom shrugged.  It would take more than a couple of small-town high school punks to get her attention.

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Shrinking It Down: When Nightmares Become Reality in the U.S. (Special Episode)

June 22, 2018

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You can also listen to this podcast on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and iTunes. 

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In research that’s been done about kids’ fears, the most frightening thing is losing or being left without a parent.

Through the events at the U.S.

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Generalized Anxiety Disorder

May 22, 2018

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Ten-year-old Joyce was always known as a bit of worrier. Even as a two-year-old, she seemed anxious from time-to-time, especially when life was a bit stressful. A new babysitter, a noisy birthday party, or a vacation could all trigger nervousness and crying spells, but these symptoms generally went away fairly quickly.

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What is ADHD?

April 13, 2018

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One of The Clay Center’s our biggest partners related to child and adolescent health is the MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC), which provides treatment and services for children of all ages in virtually every specialty and subspecialty of medicine and surgery, as well as preventive and primary care.

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