As a graduate student in clinical psychology at Duke University, Ken Dodge worked with children who had been hospitalized in the mental health facility in Butner, N.C.
“I had a patient named ‘Rocky,’—That was his baptized name,” Dodge said. One day Dodge saw Rocky at the edge of a crowd in the hallway, watching some sort of disturbance. Dodge walked up behind the boy.
“I tapped him on the shoulder and he punched me in the gut. He was aghast when saw it was me.” Rocky apologized profusely, explaining that, “You could never be too careful.”
“I realized that was the world Rocky lived in—always under threat,” Dodge said. He was in a state of constant hypervigilance, a byproduct of having been abused.
Dodge has devoted his 40-year career to helping kids like Rocky. The question that shapes all his work is, “How can we prevent children from growing up to kill each other?”
In this multimedia feature, The Big Idea: Preventing Violence, explore Ken Dodge's researches into the causes of aggression in children and the interventions to prevent aggressive behavior throughout their lives.
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