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Positive Parenting to Restore Opportunistic Play and Multi-Sensory Integration (PROMiSING)

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Positive parenting to Restore Opportunistic play, and Multi-Sensory INteGration (The PROMiSING Trial)

Project Description

We propose positive parenting and interactive opportunistic play to build multi-sensory integration and resilience in early childhood, thereby improving the child’s physical, neurocognitive, social-emotional, and behavioral outcomes.

Executive Summary

Social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought significant stress to young families, eroding their opportunities for interactive play and nurturing experiences, further widening the gaps between children from advantaged and disadvantaged communities.  We propose the PROMiSING randomized trial designed to evaluate community-informed, loving, play-based parenting interventions to enhance multi-sensory integration, relational health, and resilience in early childhood.  This family-centered approach will enhance school readiness and wellbeing in preschool children, helping to establish strong foundations for educational success and future socioeconomic, physical, and mental health outcomes across their lifespan.  All children and parents in this longitudinal follow-up cohort will be assessed using standardized and innovative developmental, relational, and wellbeing outcomes, explanatory biomarkers, and neuroimaging metrics.  The results of this randomized trial will support evidence-informed practice and policy changes, driven by community engagement, family-led local organizations, and community advocacy to eliminate the handicaps resulting from disparities/deprivation in early childhood.

Priority Populations
African American
Alaskan Natives

Key Partners

Valley Children’s Hospital, Madera, CA
Collaborators: Dr. Carmela Sosa, Dr. Wendy Wong

Alaska Native Medical Center, Anchorage, AK
Collaborators: Dr. Matthew Hirschfeld, Dr. Melissa Merrick

University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Collaborators: Dr. Susan Elswick, Dr. Eraina Schauss

Keck School of Medicine - USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Collaborators: Dr. Astrid Heger, Dr. Mary Mazel

Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP)
Collaborators: Dr. David Willis, Ms. Azieb Ermias

Stanford Faculty

Principal Investigator: 
Professor K.J.S. (“Sunny”) Anand


Professors David Stevenson and Gary Shaw (Prematurity Research Center)
Professor Ian Gotlib and Dr. Jessica Buthmann (Neurodevelopment, Affect, & Psychopathology Lab)
Dr. Manpreet K. Singh (Pediatric Mood Disorders Program)
Dr. Jason Yeatman (Brain Development & Education Lab)
Dr. Janine Bruce (Community Health Division, Department of Pediatrics)
Professor Manisha Desai (Quantitative Sciences Unit, Stanford School of Medicine)
Dr. Nima Aghaeepour (Biomedical Data Science, Stanford School of Medicine)