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Statewide survey finds Nebraska educators can adjust to ‘virtually’ anything, but at what cost?

During spring 2020, all of Nebraska’s 983 public schools sat vacant — and all the state’s 330,000 children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 were learning in out-of-classroom environments. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

As the COVID-19 epidemic escalated to a pandemic in early 2020, millions of Americans began working from home — and millions of students left their classrooms to continue their studies remotely.

In March 2020, all 983 Nebraska public schools sat vacant, and all the state’s 330,000 children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12 were learning in out-of-classroom environments. Full Article

Prevention program aims to reduce dating violence, problem drinking among LGBTQ+ youth

Nebraska and Colorado researchers are leading development of an online dating violence and problem drinking prevention initiative for LGBTQ+ youth ages 15 to 18. Lean more in the CYFS Research Network.

For sexual minority youth, dating violence and problem drinking are frequently intertwined, often leading to depression and even suicide.

Katie Edwards, associate professor, CYFS and educational psychology, and Heather Littleton, associate professor and director of research operations at the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs, are developing an online initiative for LGBTQ+ youth ages 15 to 18 to prevent dating violence and alcohol use. The program is the first culturally adapted and affirming program designed specifically for sexual minority youth. Full Article

IVRL workshop promotes strategies to prevent teen relationship violence

Preventing interpersonal relationship violence among teens was the focus of the April 28 Dating and Sexual Violence Prevention Workshop, hosted by the Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory.

The virtual, interactive workshop focused on practical, cost-effective, evidence-based prevention strategies. Katie Edwards, associate professor, CYFS and educational psychology, and Emily Waterman, IVRL faculty affiliate, outlined definitions, statistics, causes and consequences of teen dating violence and sexual violence. Full Article

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