Research & Innovation
The Children’s Hospital Boston research program is one of the largest and most active of any pediatric hospital in the world. We are dedicated to proving the effectiveness of our mental health treatment approaches through rigorous scientific testing; each day, our clinicians are working toward important discoveries to propel new advances in preventing, diagnosing and treating mental and behavioral disorders. This research reinforces our ongoing commitment to enhancing mental health for all children and adolescents.
Children’s research projects with promise for preventing and treating childhood depression and suicide attempts include the following:
Elizabeth Wharff, PhD, MSW, LICSW, director of the Emergency Psychiatry Service and director of the Social Work Training Program in Children’s Department of Psychiatry, is testing a family crisis intervention model in the emergency room. The goal of this approach is to avoid psychiatric hospitalizations for children whenever possible, and to keep the family together in the community.
William Beardslee, MD, academic chair of Psychiatry at Children’s, is the principal investigator of long-term study that he and several colleagues first began in 1979. Researchers closely examined at the lives of 275 children from 143 families in which the parents had depression or several risk factors for depression. Using data from this study, Beardslee has identified risk factors for depression in children and implemented a prevention program for families in crisis.
- Eugene D’Angelo, PhD, chief of Children’s Division of Psychology, is working with Beardslee on large, multi-site study of families in which parents have depression and youngsters are manifesting its symptoms. The study uses a group approach in working with families to avoid depression.
Learn more about research at Children's.
It’s possible that your child will be eligible to participate in one of Boston Children's Hospital's current clinical trials. These studies are useful for a multitude of reasons:
Some trials are designed to evaluate the effectiveness of a particular drug, treatment or therapy on a specific disease; others help doctors to better understand how and why certain conditions occur. At any given time, we have hundreds of clinical trials underway. Of course, your motives as a parent needn’t be entirely altruistic—you’ll naturally want to know how taking part in a trial can immediately benefit your child. If your child’s physician recommends participation in one of Children’s clinical trials, that likely means that your child’s physician believes that the plan outlined in that trial represents the absolute best, latest care your child can possibly receive.
And participation in any clinical trial is completely voluntary: We will take care to fully explain all elements of the treatment plan prior to the start of the trial, and you may remove your child from the medical study at any time.
Find a clinical trial
To search current and upcoming clinical trials at Children’s, go to:
To search the NIH’s list of clinical trials taking place around the world, go to:
|Improving mental health care around the world|
|Learn how Children’s is improving the coordination of psychiatric care for at-risk children and families.|