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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

Research article named best of 2017 by Journal of School Psychology

From left, Susan Sheridan, CYFS director; Amanda Witte, CYFS project manager; and Shannon Holmes, postdoctoral affiliate at the University of Missouri, accept the award for Best Article of 2017.
From left, co-authors Susan Sheridan, CYFS director; Amanda Witte, project manager; and Shannon Holmes, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Missouri, accept the award for the 2017 Article of the Year.

A peer-reviewed research paper highlighting the success of a research-based program designed by CYFS has been named the 2017 Article of the Year by the Journal of School Psychology.

The article, “A randomized trial examining the effects of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation in rural schools: Student outcomes and the mediating role of the teacher-parent relationship,” appeared in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of School Psychology. It was one of two separate articles published about the outcomes of research using Conjoint Behavioral Consultation (CBC), a program now known as Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP). Full Article

Family partnership program addresses early childhood obesity

Lorey Wheeler, co-investigator, and Brandy Clarke, principal investigator
Lorey Wheeler, co-investigator, and Brandy Clarke, principal investigator

A family partnership program developed by University of Nebraska researchers shows promise for addressing challenges related to early childhood obesity.

With an interdisciplinary team representing three Nebraska campuses, Brandy Clarke, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, led a pilot study for the program: Partners in Health: In it Together (PHIT). Full Article

Study: Strong parent-teacher ties drive positive outcomes for rural children

Amanda Witte, co-investigator, and Susan Sheridan, principal investigator
Amanda Witte, co-investigator and CYFS project manager, and Susan Sheridan, principal investigator

When parents and teachers work together, student behavior improves, along with their academic and social skills, according to a recent CYFS study.

Using the research-based program known as Teachers and Parents as Partners, the study examined how emphasis on strong relationships between schools and families in rural communities affects children’s outcomes. TAPP supports collaboration between teachers and parents to enhance students’ academic and social skills, and behavior. Full Article

Retreat draws translational science experts, interdisciplinary scholars

The Interdisciplinary Science Retreat featured a panel of national experts including, from left, Diana H. Fishbein, Elaine Wethington and Dick Spoth. Susan Sheridan, far right, was the panel's moderator.
The 2016 Interdisciplinary Science Retreat featured a panel of national experts including, from left, Diana H. Fishbein, Elaine Wethington and Dick Spoth. Susan Sheridan, far right, served as moderator. View photo gallery. View presentation slides.

Impacting communities begins with building community.

That was the message and purpose of the Sept. 19 Interdisciplinary Science Retreat, which drew more than 75 UNL researchers from the social, educational and behavioral sciences. The event provided opportunities to learn from national experts, identify local expertise and facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations. Full Article

Project trains rural educators, encourages sustainability

CYFS project manager Amanda Witte and Rural Futures Institute director Chuck Schroeder. The Rural Futures Institute is funding a new project that is training rural Nebraska school personnel to facilitate TAPP, a family-school partnership model.
CYFS project manager Amanda Witte and Rural Futures Institute director Chuck Schroeder. The Rural Futures Institute is funding a new project that trains rural Nebraska school personnel to facilitate TAPP, a family-school partnership model. View photo gallery. For more information, visit the TAPP website.

As the school year begins at North Bend Elementary School, preschool teacher Morgan Root is supporting students of all grade levels with an evidence-based model developed by CYFS researchers.

Root is learning to facilitate the model, Teachers and Parents as Partners, as part of a new project focused on training rural school personnel. TAPP supports collaborative relationships between parents and teachers to improve students’ social, behavioral and academic outcomes. It also features a facilitator who guides the problem-solving process. Full Article

CYFS team earns $3.5M grant to support Latino students

A CYFS team has earned a federal grant to support Latino K-5 students in schools across Nebraska, including Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. The team includes, from left, Lorey Wheeler, Brandy Clarke (UNMC), Susan Sheridan and Kristen Derr.
A CYFS team has earned a federal grant to support Latino K-5 students in schools across Nebraska, including Everett Elementary School in Lincoln. The team includes, from left, Lorey Wheeler, Brandy Clarke (UNMC), Susan Sheridan and Kristen Derr.

Though nearly one of every four U.S. students identifies as Latino, the country’s fastest-growing minority demographic faces many disparities in education outcomes.

The Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools has earned a $3.5 million grant to explore how to better support Latino students by connecting their experiences at home and school. Full Article