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When Nightmares Become Reality in the U.S. (Special Episode)

In research that's been done about kids' fears, one of the most frightening things is losing or being left without a parent. Through the events at the U.S. southern border over the past weeks, we have watched migrant children live out their worst nightmares in the most deliberately traumatic way. There are millions of other children who are also watching these events and experiencing their worst fears played out, day after day, through news media and adult conversations. The rest of us...


Our Greatest Strengths (S1, Ep 16)

Did you know that Dr. Ellen Braaten has a mild form of dyslexia and had to work really hard at reading when she was a child? Did you know that Dr. Gene Beresin has always struggled with math? We all have challenges. We all have differences. But some of us have greater challenges than others, and this can be difficult at times for both kids and their families. In the Season 1 finale of Shrinking It Down: Mental Health Made Simple, Dr. Beresin, Dr. Schlozman, and Dr. Braaten share a...


Beyond High School (S1, Ep 15)

Did you know that many young people forego college and go into the workforce after high school? In fact, going to college right away has declined to 66% of high school grads, in recent years, and only 46% of those under age 30 complete an associates degree or higher. There are many different paths to take after high school, but the social pressures that adolescents face during this time can be stressful no matter which road they take. Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steven Schlozman break down...


Kids, Marches, and the Media

Recently, youth-driven marches such as 'March for Our Lives' have received extensive media coverage. While many kids and teens are participating in these marches, what happens to those who want a different outlet? Have adults pressured youth into marching? On this episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steve Schlozman are joined by Dr. Ellen Braaten to discuss the effects of activism on adolescence, particularly in a world of media mania. Tune in as they advocate for more...


Creativity Gives Our Brains a Boost

Is creativity important for human relationships? We don't just think so, we know it! Think about it, yourself: What does it mean when you watch a movie with family or create music with friends? On this episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steve Schlozman delve into all things creative, including the biological and social impacts of creativity on individuals, kids, and communities. Join the conversation as they weigh in on why humans desire to make things, and how family...


Is Age 27 the New 18? (S1 Ep 10)

Does turning 18 mark the start of adulthood, or is this milestone simply a cultural construct? These days, researchers say that legal adolescence should continue into the mid-20s. In this episode of Shrinking It Down, Dr. Gene Beresin and Dr. Steve Schlozman break down this phenomenon, its origins and cultural contexts, and how adolescent development and behavior definitely persists beyond the age of 18. Thank you for joining us in this journey and conversation. We’d love to hear from you!...


Shrinking It Down: The Importance Of Civility In Today's Political Climate

Gene and Steve discuss the seeming decrease in civility that has characterized our political discourses over the past months and has also become pervasive throughout our entire culture – not just in politics. Check out the accompanying blog on our website:


Shrinking It Down: Addiction Free Futures Project - Conversations With Youth

Gene welcomes members from Addiction Free Futures Project to discuss some of their latest initiatives related to Screening, Brief intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), tools for prevention of substance use by youth and for identifying substance use early if experimentation has already begun.


Shrinking It Down: Raising Moral Children

Gene and Steve get more abstract in today’s topic as they discuss ethics and morality and how we get kids to think in ways that we’ll be proud of, and ways that they’ll be proud of later on in life. Check out the accompanying blog on our website:


Shrinking It Down: Living With A Chronic Medical Illness: Grace's Story

Gene and Steve welcome a special guest,Grace, to talk about a really complicated topic: When you have a chronic medical illness on top of the already challenging experience that is life as a teenager. Check out the accompanying blog on our website:


Shrinking It Down: Home Is Where The Heart Is: Thinking About Homeless Children In The Classroom

In this third podcast on the Lesley University Child Homelessness Initiative, Gene and Steve welcome a Massachusetts teacher and the mother of one of her students who had a period of homelessness, to discuss the ins and outs of homelessness, its impact on kids, and how teachers can help.


Shrinking It Down: Are You Afraid Of The Dark? A Look At Specific Phobias

We all have fears – some hardwired in survival, some based on traumatic events, and some a little less rational – that is, phobias. Phobias tend to be persistent, resistant to reassurance, last from 6 months to 20 years. Gene and Steve delve in and take a closer look. Check out the accompanying blog on our website:


The Fault in Our Stars: Proof Of What Teens Can Handle

The Fault In Our Stars, the novel turned movie by John Green – crushed its opening week competition, The Edge of Tomorrow (a scifi blockbuster featuring Tom Cruise!). That teenagers across the country were drawn to this film about two kids with cancer falling in love, it struck us that maybe Hollywood and media have been pitching below what the kids want to hear about. Check out the accompanying blog on our website: