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​​American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Center on Healthy Resilient Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is currently in the planning process for developing a national center – the Center on Healthy, Resilient Children - that will focus on resilience in children and families for long-term health.


The work of the Center will:

  • Educate pediatricians, families, and partners on the importance of building resiliency in children and families and addressing toxic stress
  • Work with internal and external stakeholders to identify gaps in practice support, research, and policy and strategies to address these deficits
  • Advocate for a national app​​roach to increase resiliency in children and families to promote their long-term physical, mental, and behavioral health


The work for the Center will be a national effort coordinated by the AAP and strategic partners to support healthy brain development and prevent toxic stress.

Activities of the Center will have a strong focus on prevention efforts to keep children healthy. In addition, the Center will help pediatricians and others identify those children who have already experienced adversity and toxic stress and will provide resources for professionals that raise awareness about appropriate interventions and supports for those children and families.

Current AAP Efforts Related to Early Brain Development, Toxic Stress, and Resiliency

In last 3 years, the AAP has set a solid foundation for its work related to the Center. Materials developed through strategic priorities, grant activities, and efforts from AAP committees, councils, and sections provide pediatricians and others opportunities to learn and implement this knowledge in the medical home and community setting.​​​​


Early Brain and Child Development
The Early Brain and Child Development work group developed numerous materials, including several ​teaching modules, to educate pediatricians and others on the importance of protecting and ​promoting healthy brain development in early childhood for a child’s lifelong health.​​


The Resilience Project
​With funds from the US Department of Justice, The Resilience Project provides resources to pediatricia​​ns and others for identifying children who have been exposed to violence and other forms of adversity that could result in toxic stress. Materials include strategies for beginning dialogues with families, educational materials on the impact that adverse childhood experiences can have on child development and lifelong health, and information on evidence-informed responses to toxic stress.​​​​


​Several committees, councils, and sections have also been working on the issue of toxic stress – both in the areas of prevention as well as interventions. Some of those groups are liste​​d here: 

Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health 

Committee and Section on Child Abuse and Neglect

Council on Early Childhood 

Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care 

Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention​​