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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

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

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

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