Carol Akai



Carol E. Akai, Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Child Development, Department of Human Development

Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Child Development, Department of Human Development
Joined Connecticut College: 2007

Education
B.A. Psychology, University of Kentucky; M.A. Human Development and Family Studies, University of Missouri; M. A., Developmental Psychology, University of Notre Dame; Ph.D. Developmental Psychology, University of Notre Dame

Specializations
Parenting in environmentally high-risk families
Prevention and detection of developmental delay during infancy
Trajectories of developmental adversity
Early intervention for high-risk mothers
Child abuse and neglect
Risk and resilience

Contact Carol Akai: cakai@conncoll.edu

Carol Akai joined the human development department in 2007 as the Martha Bennett '73 Assistant Professor of Early Childhood and Developmental Disabilities.

Akai teaches Language, Culture and Society; Children in Learning Environments; Individual Differences in Development; Conquering Adversity: The Development of Human Resilience; and Child Maltreatment.

Several of the longitudinal, prospective studies that Akai has worked on have addressed basic research questions investigating the complex relationships between parenting and optimal child development. In addition, she has also engaged in applied and translational research, evaluating intervention programs and working to “scale up” already existing interventions into comprehensive prevention packages for high-risk families.

A guiding principle in her research program is debunking the harmful societal myth of “good” and “bad” parents; she believes that most families are trying to do the best they can within their unique circumstances.

Furthermore, Akai believes that all parents could benefit from learning specific skills in some areas. Her research continues to address the prevention of early developmental delay as well as the prevention of unintended pregnancies in vulnerable and sometimes overlooked populations.

She has completed these teaching certifications:
- Striving for Excellence in Teaching, Spring 2005,
Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning; Notre Dame, IN
- Advanced Teaching Scholar, Spring 2007,
Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning; Notre Dame, IN
- Teaching Well Using Technology, Spring 2007,
Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning; Notre Dame, IN

Her new areas of research in progress include (1) parental inconsistency as a component of subthreshold neglect and (2) the impact of trajectories of stressful connections during prenatal and perinatal parenting on interbirth interval.

Akai belongs to the Society for Research in Child Development and the American Psychological Association.

Recent presentations and conferences attended by Carol Akai:

  • Akai, C. E., Smith, L. E., Borkowski, J. G., & the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (2006, March). Promoting resilience: An intervention project to enhance the parenting of at-risk mothers during infancy. Paper presented at the 39th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, San Diego, CA
  • Smith, L. E., Akai, C. E., & Borkowski, J. G. (2006, March). From reading readiness to reading competence: The role of self-regulation in at-risk children. Poster presented at the 39th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, San Diego, CA.
  • Akai, C. E., Guttentag, C. L., Baggett, K. M., Willard Noria, C. C., Borkowski, J. G., & the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (2007, March). Improving Parenting Knowledge and Skills in At-Risk Mothers. Poster presented at the 2007 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Boston, MA.
  • Akai, C. E., Smith, L. E., Klerman, L. V. & Keltner, B. R., & the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (2007, March). Under the radar: Detecting developmental delays of children in poverty. Poster presented at the 2007 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting, Boston, MA.
  • Akai, C. E., Smith, L. E., Klerman, L. V., Keltner, B. R., Guest, K. C., & the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (2007, March). Obstacles to service receipt for children with early indicators of developmental delays. In J. E. Burke Lefever , J. G. Borkowski, & Robin G. Lanzi (Chairs), Early Risk for Developmental Delays: the Parenting for the First Time Project. Symposium presented at the 40th Annual Gatlinburg Conference on Research and Theory in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Annapolis, MD.

Some of Carol Akai's publications:

  • Borkowski, J. G., Akai, C. E., & Smith, L. E. (2006). The art and science of prevention research: Characteristics of effective programs. In J. G. Borkowski & C. M. Weaver (Eds.), The culture of prevention: Using science and art to promote healthy development. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
  • Weaver, C. M., & Akai, C. E. (2007). Understanding the cycle: Violence in the lives of at-risk children. In J. G. Borkowski, J. R. Farris, T. L. Whitman, S. S. Carothers, K. Weed, & D. A. Keogh (Eds.), Risk and resilience: Adolescent mothers and their children grow up. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Howard, K. S., Carothers, S. S., Smith, L. E., & Akai, C. E. (2007). Overcoming the odds: Protective factors in the lives of children. In J. G. Borkowski, J. R. Farris, T. L. Whitman, S. S. Carothers, K. Weed, & D. A. Keogh (Eds.), Risk and resilience: Adolescent mothers and their children grow up. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Borkowski, J. G., Smith, L. E., & Akai, C. E. (2007). Designing effective prevention programs: How good science makes good art. Infants and Young Children, 20, 229-
    241.
  • Akai, C. E. (in press). Inductive discipline. In T. C. Hunt, R. J. Nuzzi, F. C. Power, D. K. Lapsley (Eds.) & D. Narvaez (Vol. Ed.), Moral education: An encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
  • Akai, C. E., Guttentag, C. L., Baggett, K. M., Willard Noria, C. C., & the Centers for the Prevention of Child Neglect (under review). Enhancing parenting practices of at-risk mothers.

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