talk will discuss recent trends on diverse and controversial child
welfare topics such as teen sexual behavior, mental health, crime,
family conflict, missing children, drug and alcohol usage, bullying and
child abuse. It will explore factors that have been proposed as
important explanations for trends, and distinguish those that are most
plausible. It will also discuss how research can be useful to keep
policy from being hijacked by transient political impulses responding to
high profile tragedies and misguided public anxieties.