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Faculty affiliate Allen co-develops app for autism

Many scholars envision that their countless hours of research will ultimately yield practical applications. CYFS faculty affiliate Keith Allen recently went a step further by co-developing one – for smartphones and tablets.

Allen, a professor of psychology and pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute, has co-created the MySocius app to help parents foster communication and social interaction skills in children with autism. Full Article

Doctoral affiliate Davis examining implementation of literacy curriculum

Dawn Davis

Getting children to follow directions has long proven a challenge for early childhood educators. Fittingly, a CYFS research team is examining how well those very teachers do the same.

Dawn Davis, a CYFS doctoral student affiliate, is leading a study to explore how closely the implementation of literacy curriculum in a Head Start program adheres to the curriculum’s design. Davis is assessing this match between plan and practice – commonly called “fidelity” – to determine its influence on children’s oral language, alphabet knowledge, print awareness and other literacy skills. Full Article

Knoche, affiliates studying economic impacts of early childhood investments

As the federal government wrestles with the age-old issue of spending versus saving, three CYFS researchers have embarked on a study to pinpoint the economic value of Nebraska’s investments in early childhood.

CYFS Research Associate Professor Lisa Knoche has teamed with new Faculty Affiliates David Rosenbaum and Eric Thompson to evaluate the fiscal benefits of funding the state’s early childhood education and programs. Full Article

Lady Gaga’s foundation appoints CYFS affiliate Swearer as head of research board

Susan Swearer

CYFS Faculty Affiliate Susan Swearer will lead a new research board to advise Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation on its youth empowerment and tolerance programs, the foundation announced this week.

The group also will work to boost the influence of the foundation’s proposals and apply well-founded research to all of the foundation’s upcoming programs. Full Article

CYFS statisticians Bovaird, Koziol write handbook chapter

Two members of the CYFS Statistics and Research Methodology Unit have contributed a chapter to the recently published “Handbook of Structural Equation Modeling.”

James Bovaird, director of the SRM Unit, and Natalie Koziol, doctoral student affiliate in educational psychology and statistics, addressed advanced applications of the increasingly prevalent structural equation modeling technique. Their chapter outlines the modeling of ordinal data associated with latent variables, which are not directly observable but can be estimated from the values of other related variables. Full Article