The Child Development Project (CDP) is a multi-site, longitudinal research program aimed at learning more about the processes involved in child and adolescent development. The study emphasizes research on social, emotional and scholastic development of children and adolescents as well as how various family, peer, school and neighborhood factors impact development. The project commenced in the summer of 1987, with a second cohort recruited in the summer of 1988. Since year one of the project, yearly assessments have been conducted with participants, their families, and their friends. The goal of this multi-site longitudinal project was to study the various family, child, peer, neighborhood, and school factors that influence the social, behavioral, and scholastic development of children. Over the course of the study, a large number of journal articles and book chapters have been published using the information gathered in the CDP. These published works have covered a diversity of topics including child temperament, friendships, peer groups, bullies, after-school care, the onset of puberty, adolescent identity development, parent-child interactions, parents' and children's social cognition, positive and negative parenting techniques, marital relationships, and neighborhood safety.
The sample is comprised of 585 children from two cohorts were recruited in consecutive years, 1987 and 1988, from Nashville, Tennessee; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Bloomington, Indiana. The children were recruited the year before they entered kindergarten and the project has collected over 25 years of data so far. Annual data are available from multiple informants, including children, parents, teachers, peers, observers, and school records.