Sarah Ford | March 26, 2015

Boys Town Paves the Way for Prevention and Early Treatment of Children with Behavioral and Mental Health Problems

A place known for second chances will soon be recognized for early intervention practices, giving children with behavioral and mental health problems the best first chance to a successful life.

Medical research is increasing our understanding of how abuse and neglect affect the developing brains of children. In response to these new research findings, Boys Town is launching the Center for Neurobehavioral Research in Children. The effort is a collaboration between Boys Town National Research Hospital and Boys Town Youth Care Services. The new Center will study and improve methods for intervening early in the lives of children with behavioral and mental health problems.

The Need

Many of the children who come to Boys Town have been exposed to significant trauma, violence, abuse and neglect. These early life experiences often cause serious mental health problems such as mood disorders, problems with impulse control, self-harm and aggression.

Mental health and behavioral experts now have a better understanding of how these early life experiences alter brain development and function.  The Center will utilize this knowledge to develop better intervention methods. Boys Town’s long history of providing effective treatment for children with a wide range of disorders and Boys Town National Research Hospital’s successful history of medical research over the past 40 years, position the Center to become a state-of-the-art collaborative research effort that will offer evidence-based solutions for treatment to the larger mental health community.

Research Focus

The research studies will combine the latest brain imaging technology with behavioral measures that are already well established as part of the Boys Town program.

The Center will focus on research programs in four areas:

  • Mood and anxiety disorders – (depression, PTSD, generalized anxiety)
  • Disruptive behavior disorders – (conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD)
  • Substance Abuse
  • Web and computer-based therapeutics

The Center will actively partner with researchers both locally and nationally to develop the best practices to treat behavioral and mental health problems in children.

Mission Driven

The Boys Town Center for Neurobehavioral Research has a unique opportunity to explore the biological bases of behavioral problems in children and to enhance Boys Town’s intervention methods.  This neuroscience approach will provide immediate benefits to children and will lead to a better understanding of the causes of behavioral and mental health problems in children – giving them the best first chance.

Boys Town, America's Charities Featured Charity

Advancing Modern Science While Helping Youth & Families

Almost 100 years ago, Father Edward Flanagan, founder and visionary of Boys Town, created a new kind of home for wayward boys, one that valued academic achievement, self-government, and youth rights. Others followed, giving rise to greater awareness and compassion for children without families or homes. Today Boys Town is combining Father Flanagan’s timeless values with modern science. Corporate or individual contributions support Boys Town’s mission to change the way America cares for children and families. 

What Your Support Will Produce

Your contribution will help Boys Town conduct research studies and translate new discoveries into practical applications – useful information for pediatricians, therapists, teachers, coaches, and parents everywhere. With your help, we can once again change the way America cares for children and families.

Our thanks to Boys Town for sharing the work they’re doing around modern science, research, and methods for improving the way we care for children with behavioral and mental disorders. To learn more about Boys Town or to learn how you can partner with them, visit their website:

To learn how your company can feature Boys Town through an employee giving program, contact America’s Charities and learn more about our workplace giving solutions at:

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