Kenneth A. Dodge

Kenneth A. Dodge

Pritzker Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1978

  • B.A., Northwestern University 1975


Kenneth A. Dodge is the Pritzker Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He is also the founding and past director of the Center for Child and Family Policy.

He is a leading scholar in the development and prevention of aggressive and violent behaviors. His work provides a model for understanding how some young children grow up to engage in aggression and violence and provides a framework for intervening early to prevent the costly consequences of violence for children and their communities.

Dodge joined the faculty of the Sanford School of Public Policy in September 1998. He is trained as a clinical and developmental psychologist, having earned his B.A. in psychology at Northwestern University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in psychology at Duke University in 1978. Prior to joining Duke, Dodge served on the faculty at Indiana University, the University of Colorado, and Vanderbilt University.

Locally, his research has resulted in Durham Connects, which provides free nurse home visits to all infants born in Durham County. The program connects families to community resources in an effort to improve children’s outcomes and has been shown to decrease emergency care costs in an infant’s first year of life. The initiative has expanded to other sites throughout the country.

Dodge has published more than 500 scientific articles which have been cited more than 90,000 times.

Dodge was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015. Other honors include the following:

  • President-Elect, Society for Research in Child Development
  • Distinguished Scientist, Child Mind Institute
  • Research Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health
  • Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution from the American Psychological Association
  • J.P. Scott Award for Lifetime Contribution to Aggression Research from the International Society for Research on Aggression
  • Science to Practice Award from the Society for Prevention Research
  • Inaugural recipient of the “Public Service Matters” Award from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration
  • Inaugural recipient of the Presidential Citation Award for Excellence in Research from the Society for Research on Adolescence


Development and prevention of aggressive and violent behaviors, connections to policy; early childhood interventions

Deater-Deckard, Kirby, et al. “Chaos, danger, and maternal parenting in families: Links with adolescent adjustment in low- and middle-income countries..” Developmental Science, vol. 22, no. 5, Sept. 2019. Epmc, doi:10.1111/desc.12855. Full Text

Goulter, Natalie, et al. “Indirect Effects of Early Parenting on Adult Antisocial Outcomes via Adolescent Conduct Disorder Symptoms and Callous-Unemotional Traits..” Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology : The Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, June 2019, pp. 1–13. Epmc, doi:10.1080/15374416.2019.1613999. Full Text

Shanahan, Lilly, et al. “Does Despair Really Kill? A Roadmap for an Evidence-Based Answer..” Am J Public Health, vol. 109, no. 6, June 2019, pp. 854–58. Pubmed, doi:10.2105/AJPH.2019.305016. Full Text

Kassing, Francesca, et al. “Using Early Childhood Behavior Problems to Predict Adult Convictions..” Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, vol. 47, no. 5, May 2019, pp. 765–78. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s10802-018-0478-7. Full Text Open Access Copy

Chang, Lei, et al. “Environmental harshness and unpredictability, life history, and social and academic behavior of adolescents in nine countries..” Developmental Psychology, vol. 55, no. 4, Apr. 2019, pp. 890–903. Epmc, doi:10.1037/dev0000655. Full Text

Lansford, Jennifer E., et al. “Intergenerational continuity and stability in early family formation..” Journal of Family Psychology : Jfp : Journal of the Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association (Division 43), vol. 33, no. 3, Apr. 2019, pp. 370–79. Epmc, doi:10.1037/fam0000497. Full Text

Duell, Natasha, et al. “Correction to: Age Patterns in Risk Taking Across the World..” Journal of Youth and Adolescence, vol. 48, no. 4, Apr. 2019, pp. 835–36. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s10964-019-00999-z. Full Text

Goodman, W. Benjamin, et al. “Moving Beyond Program to Population Impact: Toward a Universal Early Childhood System of Care..” J Fam Theory Rev, vol. 11, no. 1, Mar. 2019, pp. 112–26. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/jftr.12302. Full Text Open Access Copy

Penner, Andrew M., and Kenneth A. Dodge. “Using Administrative Data for Social Science and Policy..” The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences : Rsf, vol. 5, no. 3, Mar. 2019, pp. 1–18. Epmc, doi:10.7758/RSF.2019.5.3.01. Full Text

Dodge, K. A., and W. B. Goodman. “Universal reach at birth: Family connects.” Future of Children, vol. 29, no. 1, Mar. 2019, pp. 41–60. Scopus, doi:10.1353/foc.2019.0003. Full Text Open Access Copy


Tolan, P. H., et al. “Tracking the multiple pathways of parent and family influence on disruptive behavior disorders.” Disruptive Behavior Disorders, 2013, pp. 161–91. Scopus, doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-7557-6_7. Full Text

Pettit, G. S., et al. “Aggression and insecurity in late adolescent romantic relationships: Antecedents and developmental pathways.” Developmental Contexts in Middle Childhood: Bridges to Adolescence and Adulthood, vol. 9780521845571, 2006, pp. 41–61. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511499760.004. Full Text

Deater-Deckard, K., et al. “Cultural differences in the effects of physical punishment.” Ethnicity and Causal Mechanisms, 2004, pp. 204–26. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9781139140348.010. Full Text

Latendresse, Shawn J., et al. “Characterizing discrete pathways and mechanisms through which genes influence adult substance use.” Behavior Genetics, vol. 40, no. 6, SPRINGER, 2010, pp. 801–801.

Edwards, Alexis C., et al. “MAOA and early physical discipline interact to influence delinquent behavior.” Behavior Genetics, vol. 39, no. 6, SPRINGER, 2009, pp. 647–48.

Singh, Amber L., et al. “Genetic and environmental risk factors for depression: A developmental GxE approach.” Behavior Genetics, vol. 39, no. 6, SPRINGER, 2009, pp. 681–681.

Dodge, K. A., et al. Toward a dynamic developmental model of the role of parents and peers in early onset substance use. 2006, pp. 104–32. Scopus, doi:10.1017/CBO9780511616259.006. Full Text

COIE, J. D., et al. “TYPES OF AGGRESSIVE RELATIONSHIPS, PEER REJECTION, AND DEVELOPMENTAL CONSEQUENCES.” Social Competence in Developmental Perspective, edited by B. H. SCHNEIDER et al., vol. 51, KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBL, 1989, pp. 223–37.

Dodge, K. A., et al. “Willie M.: Legacy of Legal, Social, and Policy Change on Behalf of Children.” Report to the State of North Carolina, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, 2000. Open Access Copy

Selected Grants

Factors in Persistence Versus Fadeout of Early Childhood Intervention Impacts awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2024

Community Prevention of Child Maltreatment awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2023

Family Connects International awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Intergenerational Persistence of Treatment Effects awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence awarded by National Institutes of Health (Investigator). 2017 to 2022

Childhood Risk Factors and Young Adult Competence awarded by National Institutes of Health (Investigator). 2007 to 2022

Diseases of Despair in Young Adulthood: Risk, Resilience, and Prevention awarded by University of Vermont (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2022

Stratman Project awarded by (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2020

Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect Initiative awarded by Duke Endowment (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2020