Essi Viding: A "good enough" child-rearing environment

In today’s world, young parents, like myself, are consistently bombarded with information about the "right way" to enrich our children’s lives. Books and TV programmes marketing the latest, typically entirely unproven "right way" have high visibility and prey on people's anxieties about providing the best for their children. This is where good psychology research has come to my rescue. I have been confidently uncompelled to buy various DVDs and books claiming to enhance my child’s abilities and development. On the other hand, psychology research has furnished me with good evidence that in a "good enough" environment (loosely consisting of "love, feed, clothe, be reasonably consistent and provide opportunities"; i.e. common sense backed up by data), my children are likely to thrive according to their individual abilities and characteristics.

Essi Viding is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at UCL, where she co-directs the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit with Dr. Eamon McCrory. Her research combines genetic and neurocognitive methodologies to study different developmental pathways to persistent antisocial behaviour and has been recognized by several awards, including the British Academy-Wiley Blackwell Prize for Psychology and the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal.

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