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 Celebrates 20 Years of Improving Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Health

In February, 3C Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary. To reflect on the company’s impact over the past two decades, CEO and founder Dr. Melissa DeRosier sat down with one of our editors to discuss how 3C started, what it has accomplished, and where it is headed. Q: Why did you start 3C Institute? A: Before […]

How Motivational Interviewing Supports Behavior Change

Substance use among teenagers carries substantial risks. It can impair cognitive development, increase the likelihood of dangerous behavior, and contribute to health problems later in life. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports declining rates of recent alcohol use and stable rates of recent marijuana use among high school students over the […]

3C Helps Clients Respond to COVID-19

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, 3C Institute is playing an integral role in helping our clients incorporate COVID-19–specific content on their websites and, in one case, releasing a course ahead of schedule.   The National Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (NCEED)   NCEED provides resources and education to promote public awareness of eating […]

Diversity and Inclusion in SEL Game Design

Social and emotional learning (SEL) games largely center on creating scenarios and exercises that reflect social exchanges and social dynamics. Ideally, these exchanges and dynamics reflect real-world experiences, with the aim of offering users varied opportunities to practice managing emotions, setting and achieving goals, and supporting others in a realistic yet low-risk setting. If an […]

Children’s Trust Adopts 3C Implementation Platform

April may be Child Abuse Prevention Month, but Children’s Trust of South Carolina focuses year round on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, and 3C is excited to support their work. The statewide organization is adopting IMPACT, 3C’s groundbreaking data collection and reporting platform, to support implementation of two of its affiliate programs: Triple […]

Course Supports Child Exploitation Investigators

3C Institute is excited to collaborate with The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) on a course designed to provide mental health support to law enforcement officers, forensic analysts, and judicial personnel investigating and prosecuting child exploitation and trafficking cases. The disturbing images and videos these individuals encounter daily as part of their work put them at risk […]


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.