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Nebraska part of nationwide study on infant, toddler cerebral palsy interventions

Nebraska researchers are part of a multi-institution project to compare the effectiveness of two physical therapy interventions for young children with or at risk for cerebral palsy. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Cerebral palsy is the most common cause of infant-onset physical disability, affecting 17 million worldwide.

Physical therapy is often used to help infants and toddlers in this population strengthen their ability to sit and move, but recent findings emphasize the importance of also offering opportunities to advance children’s cognitive development in addition to motor skills. Full Article

Research aims to strengthen Head Start, Early Head Start educators’ well-being

Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, is leading research to support the well-being of educators in Early Head Start and Head Start programs. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

With the pandemic-fueled anxiety of the past year and a half, workplace stress has become more common among much of the workforce.

Even under less-tumultuous conditions, job stress is a big contributor employee turnover. In early childhood settings, turnover can negatively impact educator relationships with children and families, and compromise children’s learning and development. Full Article

Research: Family adversity lowers children’s social-emotional skills

Research suggests preschool children with increased exposure to family adversity exhibit lower social-emotional skills than their peers.

Strong social-emotional skills have been found to impact children’s development and later success.

Research also shows children exposed to adverse experiences — maternal depression, poverty, parental substance use, physical abuse and neglect — are at risk for having lower social-emotional functioning compared to their peers. Full Article

Mindfulness training available to Brazilian educators through CHIME

Holly Hatton-Bowers, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, gives a goodbye hug upon leaving a nursery school in Recife, Brazil. Learn more about CHIME in the CYFS Research Network.

While great efforts are made to improve children’s well-being in childcare environments, far less attention is paid to caregivers’ well-being. Evidence shows compassion- and mindfulness-based programs and strategies enhance both caregiver and child well-being, which may reduce burnout, stress and depression — and lead to children receiving more sensitive and responsive care. Full Article

Brazil research empowers vulnerable families, communities amid COVID-19 crisis

Cody Hollist, associate professor of child, youth and family studies, is part of a team of researchers working to improve educational outcomes for children and youth living in Brazil.

Efforts to help vulnerable communities is most effective when it actively engages community members, agencies and other stakeholders in solving complex social problems.

In many parts of Brazil, communities must find their own ways to address the needs of children and families with limited resources. Those needs have intensified since early 2020, as COVID-19 quickly spread throughout the country. Full Article

Project examines how external, internal controls in schools affect students’ opportunities to learn

An ongoing study is examining how internal school controls, such as guidelines implemented by a school’s principal, administrators and teachers, can mediate the impact of external controls from the federal, state and city level. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

When it comes to measuring student outcomes, grading individual schools can be complicated.

Although federal, state and local mandates are continually added to school-based policies and practices used to measure student performance — and hold schools accountable — research indicates that such measures have mixed effects on student achievement, graduation rates and equity in learning. Full Article

Study: Social media discourse significantly drives public’s perception of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have reported alleged incidents of discrimination and violence. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected people from all walks of life in the U.S., the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have experienced an added share of hardships, according to a recent Nebraska study.

A recent analysis of the use of the term “China virus” and other racially charged terms by government officials and the media — and the resulting conversations online — reveals more evidence of social media’s powerful influence on public perception and the potential to stoke racist discourse online. Full Article

Literacy a lifeline for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Nebraska researchers are developing a detailed literacy profile to identify strengths and weaknesses in reading, writing and cognition skills among students with IDD. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Each year, approximately 7 million U.S. students receive special education services. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 25% of those students have an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) such as challenges with adaptive functioning, intelligence or conditions such as Down syndrome or autism spectrum disorder. Full Article