Areas of Expertise
Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Ken Dodge wanted to be a juvenile court judge. He knew of lots of kids who were caught up in the justice system and, “I thought it would be a good way to help people,” he said. Dodge joined the Sanford faculty in 1998. The next year, he founded the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, which promotes research, teaching, policy engagement and service. Read more about his groundbreaking work here.
Kenneth A. Dodge is the William McDougall Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University, where he founded 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.
As director of the Center for Child and Family Policy, he leads efforts to bridge research on children's development with public policy in areas such as economic distress, delinquency, substance use, school dropout, early childhood education and child abuse.
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 75,000 times.
Dodge was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015. Other honors include the following:
- 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