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Adding up factors of how children learn mathematics

Carrie Clark, assistant professor of educational psychology, is using functional MRI technology to capture brain activity while children learn mathematics.
Carrie Clark, assistant professor of educational psychology, is using functional MRI technology to capture brain activity while children learn mathematics.

What is 72 multiplied by 12? While fourth-graders will focus on arriving at the correct answer, Nebraska researcher Carrie Clark wants to know what happens in the brain as they learn to solve the problem.

Clark, assistant professor of educational psychology, is using functional MRI technology to capture brain activity while children learn mathematics. Funded by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Office of Research and Economic Development and housed at CYFS, she is exploring the relationship between children’s mathematics learning and executive function — the ability to maintain focus and behave in a goal-oriented way. Full Article

Study aims to enhance quality of life for rural Nebraska minorities, communities

The research team includes, from left, Evan Choi, Rodrigo Cantarero, Maria de Guzman, Soo-Young Hong and Irene Padasas
The research team includes, from left, Evan Choi, Rodrigo Cantarero, Maria de Guzman, Soo-Young Hong and Irene Padasas.

As populations in many rural Nebraska counties decline, those that are stable or growing share a common element: ethnic diversity.

A University of Nebraska–Lincoln study recently explored how cultural and economic resources generated by diverse populations can help smaller communities not only survive, but thrive. Full Article

Research examines outdoor effects on children with autism

A participant takes an outdoor walk.
A participant takes an outdoor walk with researchers.

Birds sing and a cool breeze rustles through the leaves as a pair of squirrels scurry through the tall, green grass and up a tree — all under blue skies and sunshine.

Such scenes are typical during a leisurely, summer walk through a park — relaxing and uplifting for most people. For a team of University of Nebraska researchers, however, those elements may prove to be even more significant. Full Article

Mindfulness study includes CYFS faculty member, affiliate

From left, Michelle Howell Smith, CYFS research assistant professor; Holly Hatton-Bowers, CYAF assistant professor; and Tuyen Huynh, CYAF doctoral candidate
From left, Michelle Howell Smith, CYFS research assistant professor; Holly Hatton-Bowers, CYAF assistant professor; and Tuyen Huynh, CYAF doctoral candidate

A research team behind recently published findings on the use of mixed methods designs in mindfulness studies included a CYFS faculty member and a faculty affiliate.

The article, “A Critical Methodological Review of Mixed Methods Designs Used in Mindfulness Research,” appeared in the October issue of Mindfulness, a journal of peer-reviewed papers that examine the latest research findings and best practices in mindfulness research. Full Article

NAECR, Nebraska Extension co-host early childhood research networking event

From left, Jaci Foged, Learning Child Extension educator, and Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, share information on their collaborative project.
From left, Jaci Foged, Learning Child Extension educator, and Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, share information on their collaborative project. View photo gallery

Focused on building and expanding early childhood research across the University of Nebraska system and beyond, the Nebraska Academy for Early Childhood Research recently co-hosted a networking event with Nebraska Extension to share examples of their collaborative efforts. Full Article

Research provides INSIGHTS into child temperament

From left, Kathleen Rudasill and Gwen Nugent, co-principal investigators, introduce children to a few of the puppet characters of INSIGHTS.
From left, Kathleen Rudasill, professor of educational psychology and associate dean for research and faculty development at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Gwen Nugent, CYFS research professor, introduce children to a few of the puppet characters of INSIGHTS.

Gregory is having a bad day. A school field trip has been canceled, and he is angry.

He is joined by a teacher and a kindergartner, who together discuss ways Gregory might cope with his emotions and keep his behavior under control.

“These are some things he might want to do,” the teacher says. “But there are other things he could do instead.” Full Article

Summit on Research in Early Childhood helps connect research, practice, policy

Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, delivers the summit’s keynote address
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology at Temple University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, delivers the summit’s keynote address. View Photo Gallery

Creating connections among early childhood research, practice and policy — and how each element can enhance the lives of young children and their families — provided the central theme of the 2018 CYFS Summit on Research in Early Childhood.

More than 200 attendees, including researchers from across the University of Nebraska system, practitioners, administrators, community partners and policymakers, gathered April 25 at Nebraska Innovation Campus for the daylong, fifth biennial summit, which highlighted the latest findings in early childhood research from NU-affiliated faculty, and those findings’ implications for practice and policy. Full Article

Tippens explores well-being among older refugees

Julie Tippens
Julie Tippens

Like many large cities, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is a patchwork of coexisting prosperity and poverty. Nebraska researcher Julie Tippens is navigating this city’s urban divide in search of refugee families from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tippens is investigating how Congolese refugees, particularly older refugees, are faring in Tanzania’s urban environments. Six of 10 refugees now live in cities — many lacking legal documentation — and the majority still live in countries of first asylum where they initially arrived after fleeing violence and unrest in their home countries. Full Article