Focus on Children’s Mental Health Research at the NICHD


Children’s health and human development includes more than just physical and physiological changes. Mental and emotional health and well-being are as important to a child’s development. Such factors as exposure to violence, parental occupation and stress, special health care needs, injuries, and exposure to illicit and prescription drugs can have long-lasting effects on children. Addressing the needs of children with or at-risk for mental or emotional health issues can help improve their quality of life through adolescence and adulthood.

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.