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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

Findings highlight program’s success in reducing, preventing sexual violence among Native American girls

Students listen intently during an IMpower training session on a Native American reservation in South Dakota. (Photo courtesy of Brooke Duthie Photography)

Katie Edwards, a leading researcher on interpersonal violence at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, co-authored two recently published papers on the impacts of a sexual violence prevention program aimed at empowering Native American adolescent girls. 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

TAPP Online brings enhanced support to rural students, families and schools

CYFS researchers are working to identify an effective professional development approach to prepare school-based specialists to implement the Teachers and Parents as Partners (TAPP) intervention to address behavioral challenges presented by rural students. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

Research shows rural students are experiencing social-behavioral and mental health challenges at unprecedented rates, placing them at risk for long-term negative outcomes.

With the effectiveness of family-school interventions in addressing social-behavioral and mental health needs at both school and home — especially in rural settings — professional development of rural practitioners is a priority. Full Article

Help Me Grow Nebraska streamlines access to children’s health care services, resources

Researchers are collaborating with health care providers, state and county agencies, and various local organizations to build a more streamlined, equitable health system for Nebraska families and their children. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Searching for the right health care resources — and the most efficient way to access them — can be overwhelming.

For families seeking health care for young children, the task can be even more daunting.

Early childhood health systems are often complex, siloed and disconnected, which leads to inadequate supports and services for families. Full Article