CPRC Seminar - September 29th

Columbia Population Research Center

is pleased to invite you to:


"Persistence and Fadeout in the Impacts of Child and Adolescent Interventions"

presented by

Greg Duncan

Distinguished Professor in the School of Education, University of California, Irvine


Thursday, September 29th, 2016

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Room 1109

Columbia University School of Social Work

1255 Amsterdam Avenue

(between 121st Street and 122nd Street)


Videoconference is available at:

Mailman School of Public Health

722 West 168th Street, Room 492


Registration required at https://cupop.formstack.com/forms/rsvp

Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP to attend at the School of Social Work.



Many interventions targeting cognitive skills or socioemotional skills and behaviors demonstrate initially promising but then quickly disappearing impacts. Our paper seeks to identify the key features of interventions, as well as the characteristics and environments of the children and adolescents who participate in them, that can be expected to sustain persistently beneficial program impacts. We describe three such processes: skill-building, foot-in-the-door, and sustaining environments. We argue that skill-building interventions should target “trifecta” skills—ones that are malleable, fundamental, and would not have developed eventually in the absence of the intervention. Successful foot-in-the-door interventions equip a child with the right skills or capacities at the right time to avoid imminent risks (e.g., grade failure or teen drinking) or seize emerging opportunities (e.g., entry into honors classes). The sustaining environments perspective views high quality of environments subsequent to the completion of the interventions as crucial for sustaining early skill gains. These three perspectives generate both complementary and competing hypotheses regarding the nature, timing, and targeting of interventions that generate enduring impacts.



Greg Duncan received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan and spent the first 35 years of his career at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. Duncan’s recent work has focused on estimating the role of school-entry skills and behaviors on later school achievement and attainment and the effects of increasing income inequality on schools and children’s life chances. Duncan was President of the Population Association of America in 2008 and the Society for Research in Child Development between 2009 and 2011. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2010 and was awarded the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize in 2013.



For additional information regarding the Fall 2016 CPRC Seminar Series please visit: http://cupop.columbia.edu/events/seminar-series/cprc-seminars