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Jennifer Jenkns appointed Atkinson Chair in Early Child Development and Education


By Eileen Thomas

July 2, 2010

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education professor Jennifer Jenkins has been appointed the Atkinson Charitable Foundation Chair in Early Child Development and Education starting July 1, 2010 for a five-year term. Professor Jenkins is a professor in School and Clinical Child Psychology and Developmental Psychology and Education in the department of Human Development and Applied Psychology,

A distinguished and internationally recognized scholar and leader in the generation and dissemination of scientific knowledge in the field of child development and children’s mental health, Professor Jenkins has conducted longitudinal cohort studies examining the interplay between biological vulnerability and high-risk environments and the cognitive and social-emotional development of preschool and school-aged children. She has a commitment to the dissemination of excellent quality, scientific knowledge to parents, educators and policy makers on a range of critical issues related to early childhood.

Professor Jenkins' background is in child development, family systems and developmental psychopathology. She began clinical work with children and families in 1979, and is involved in several broad areas of empirical work: the emotional organization of children with psychopathology, risk and resilience in child psychopathology (including within family differences in development) and theory of mind and emotion.

The Atkinson Charitable Foundation is a major force in advancing both the idea and shape of a national early learning and childcare program. In 2000, as part of a commitment to early learning and childcare, The Atkinson Charitable Foundation funded the Atkinson Chair in Early Child Development and Education. In this role, Professor Jenkins will play a leading part in the Atkinson Centre for Society and Child Development, a network of researchers, practitioners and policymakers engaged in leading edge research, training and testing innovative pilot projects that seek to enhance understanding and support for the early years.