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Youth VIP program changing lives, paving the way to safer communities

A March 30 youth-led webinar hosted by the Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory highlighted successes, challenges and the future of Youth Voices in Prevention (Youth VIP).

During the event, youth leaders and adult mentors discussed how and why they became and remained involved in the program, and how Youth VIP has impacted their lives — and the lives of those closest to them. Full Article

Study investigates American atheists’ stigmatization, psychological well-being

Research shows that U.S. atheists frequently experience social stigma from their non-beliefs. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

The religiously unaffiliated, including atheists, are the fastest-growing (non)religious population in the United States. But the social stigma associated with atheism leaves this population vulnerable to isolation and poor mental health outcomes.

Dena Abbott, assistant professor of counseling psychology, is using a one-year Research Council grant to investigate the psychological well-being of two groups of atheists — rural-residing and woman-identified atheists — in the context of anti-atheist discrimination in the U.S. Full Article

Boosting children’s resilience in the face of socioeconomic risk

Hannah Kerby, doctoral candidate in school psychology, is exploring how children’s social-emotional skills are influenced by their residential neighborhoods. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Children who possess strong social-emotional skills in elementary school tend to experience academic and personal success. Children lacking those skills, however, often experience adverse outcomes — both short- and long-term.

To improve outcomes for children, it is crucial to understand factors associated with positive social-emotional development. Full Article

Webinar to highlight successes, history of life-changing Youth VIP program

The Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory will host a youth-led webinar March 30 from 1 to 2 p.m. that will provide an overview of Youth Voices in Prevention (Youth VIP).

The event is free and open to the public, but requires registration.

The virtual event will highlight how Youth VIP participants were engaged, educated and empowered to become leaders in their community to prevent sexual and related forms of violence. Full Article

Technology-delivered intervention fosters home-school partnerships in rural Appalachia

A recent project explored the effectiveness of a technology-delivered intervention for rural students struggling with significant behavioral problems. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Although rural America affords children notable opportunities, those same sparsely populated areas can also pose unique challenges.

Relative to their urban counterparts, children in rural communities are more likely to face academic, behavioral and mental health obstacles, such as anxiety or depression. Full Article

SMILE project aided by COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant

The Self-regulation and Motivation In Learning Environments (SMILE) project, whose funding was supplemented by an ORED COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, examines children as they transition from second to third grade — and how their self-regulation, motivation and interactions with teachers, parents and peers impact their classroom behavior. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

In early 2020, Jenna Finch, assistant professor of psychology, began a pilot project to identify which non-academic factors help predict a successful transition from second grade to third grade.

Third grade presents significant new challenges for students, including the onset of standardized testing, increased behavioral expectations for them to work independently and the transition from learning to read to reading to learn. Full Article

Nebraska, South Dakota researchers explore solutions to domestic violence among rural Native Americans

Nebraska and South Dakota researchers are collaborating to address unique challenges faced by rural Native American survivors of domestic violence.

Decades of research reveals that domestic violence in the United States is endemic and leads to harmful outcomes for survivors and their families.

But far less is known about what rural Native American survivors of domestic violence need to ensure recovery and healing from their experiences. Full Article

Research addresses sexual violence prevention among Native American youth

Instructors work with children on a Native American reservation as part of the IMpower violence prevention program. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Duthie Photography)

Native American youth experience high rates of sexual abuse — a problem rooted in historical trauma. Until recently, virtually no research had assessed the impact of child sexual abuse prevention programs aimed at protecting this vulnerable population. Full Article