Trauma Aware Schools: A New Site for a New Era

Trauma Aware Schools As students and school staff go through their days, the effects of trauma are all too visible. From cognitive delays to teacher burnout, trauma has the potential to touch nearly every aspect of the school experience. In a 2007 study, researchers found that more than two-thirds of children have experienced at least […]

Trauma ScreenTIME and Educate-SMART: Identifying and Addressing Trauma in Child-Serving Settings

Trauma in Child-Serving Settings In the decades since the CDC-Kaiser Permanente study of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), researchers have learned more about the troubling effects of trauma on children and adolescents. Unfortunately, insights from new discoveries do not always find their way to schools, health care settings, and community centers—the child-serving organizations best equipped to […]

My Kidney Guide! Building Self-Management Skills for Teens with Chronic Kidney Disease

Self-Management Driving a car, getting a job, managing money: increasing independence is a hallmark of the transition to adulthood. Most people remember these first steps into becoming an adult, but few remember the first time they made a medical appointment or managed taking multiple medicines. For adolescents who have a chronic medical condition such as […]

Embracing Research-Informed e-Learning

In a recent interview, 3C Institute’s CEO and founder Dr. Melissa DeRosier said that “effective online learning is here to stay.” These words demonstrate how quickly education has changed in the past year. With schools worldwide shutting their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-learning became the key mode for delivering instruction to millions of students. […]

3C Institute Uses e-Learning to Tackle Trauma

Through collaborations with a number of organizations working to address trauma, 3C Institute is fulfilling its mission to promote health and well-being via behavioral science principles and strategic use of technology. We’ve built a reputation in the trauma-aware community as a company that understands the psychology of trauma and how to address it and can […]

Schools Can Identify At-Risk Students with SEL Game Zoo U, Study Finds

It’s well established that strong social and emotional (SE) skills are key to doing well in school—not only socially but also academically—and the earlier they’re learned, the better. To effectively intervene with students who are struggling, schools must first assess which students need help in which areas. Unfortunately, the standard paper-and-pencil methods for SE skills […]

On-Demand Webinar: New Software for High-Quality Implementation of EBPs

Are you a provider of evidence-based programs? Would you like to easily and efficiently track fidelity, progress, and outcomes? Enter your name and e-mail address below to watch our free, on-demand webinar about Impact, a new implementation support system designed to help you: Foster high-quality implementation Know if participants are progressing as expected Ensure participant outcomes […]


Chief of Research and Learning Content


Dr. Childress obtained her PhD in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to coming to 3C Institute, she served as a research associate and a postdoctoral fellow in the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill working on a longitudinal imaging study aimed at identifying the early markers of autism through behavioral and imaging methodologies. She has 19 years of autism research experience, during which she has examined the behavioral, personality, and cognitive characteristics of individuals with autism and their family members. Dr. Childress also has experience developing behavioral and parent report measurement tools, coordinating multi-site research studies, and collecting data from children and families. She has taught courses and seminars in general child development, autism, and cognitive development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • autism
  • early development
  • behavioral measurement
  • integrating behavioral and biological measurement


  • Postdoctoral fellowship, Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (Institutional NRSA-NICHD), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • PhD, developmental psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • BS, psychology (minor in sociology), University of Iowa

Selected Publications

  • Elison, J. T., Wolff, J. J., Heimer, D. C., Paterson, S. J., Gu, H., Hazlett, H. C., Styner, M, Gerig, G., & Piven, J. (in press). Frontolimbic neural circuitry at 6 months predicts individual differences in joint attention at 9 months. Developmental Science.
  • Wassink, T. H., Vieland, V. J., Sheffield, V. C., Bartlett, C. W., Goedken, R., Childress, D. & Piven, J. (2008). Posterior probability of linkage analysis of autism dataset identifies linkage to chromosome 16. Psychiatric Genetics,18(2),85-91.
  • Losh, M., Childress, D., Lam K. & Piven, J. (2008). Defining key features of the broad autism phenotype: A comparison across parents of multiple- and single-incidence autism families. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 147B(4):424-33.
  • Wassink, T. H., Piven, J., Vieland, V. J., Jenkins, L., Frantz R., Bartlett, C. W., Goedken, R., … Sheffield, V.C. (2005). Evaluation of the chromosome 2q37.3 gene CENTG2 as an autism susceptibility gene. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 136, 36-44.
  • Barrett, S., Beck, J., Bernier, R., Bisson, E., Braun, T., Casavant, T., Childress, D., … Vieland, V. (1999). An autosomal genomic screen for autism. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 88, 609-615. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-8628(19991215)88:63.0.CO;2-L
  • Piven, J., Palmer, P., Landa, R., Santangelo, S., Jacobi, D. & Childress, D. (1997). Personality and language characteristics in parents from multiple-incidence autism families. American Journal of Medical Genetics (Neuropsychiatric Genetics), 74, 398-411.
  • Piven, J., Palmer, P., Jacobi, D., Childress, D. & Arndt, S. (1997). Broader autism phenotype: Evidence from a family history study of multiple-incidence autism families. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 185-190.