Research needs to focus on the positive outcome rather than on the problem

Anne Petersen, research professor at the University of Michigan, shares insights from her career as a developmental scientist, which spans more than 45 years. Based on her evidence, she urges researchers to avoid focusing on problems when carrying out interventions, as that approach is likely to worsen the situation. When positive outcomes are the focus, children are better able to achieve success in learning and development. The central question when designing research and programs is this: What does success look like?