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Community-based research aims to improve support for sex trafficking survivors

Researchers and practitioners are collaborating to better understand sex trafficking survivors’ perceptions of services they are receiving — and to learn what services they find most helpful in supporting their recovery. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Katie Edwards, director of the Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory and associate professor, CYFS and educational psychology, is leading research to better understand how sex trafficking survivors regard the services they receive — and to learn what services they find most helpful. Full Article

CYFS releases 2020-21 annual report

View the 2020-21 CYFS annual report: Interactive | PDF

Despite the unusual circumstances of the past year and a half, the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools has remained focused on impacting lives through research that advances learning and development.

With diverse partners in research, practice and policy, CYFS has continued work to address the social, behavioral and educational needs of communities in Nebraska and beyond — both amid and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full Article

Study assesses modified evaluation method for students placed at risk

HyeonJin Yoon, research assistant professor, Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics, is assessing the validity of a new evaluation method for targeted educational interventions for students placed at risk. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

HyeonJin Yoon, research assistant professor, Nebraska Academy for Methodology, Analytics and Psychometrics, is assessing the validity of a new evaluation method for targeted educational interventions for students placed at risk.

Regression discontinuity design (RDD) is an evaluation that assesses the impact of a need-based, targeted intervention. It relies on a cutoff point on an assignment measure that typically evaluates participants’ need, or threshold, above or below which an intervention is assigned. By comparing post-test scores around the cutoff, researchers can identify the intervention’s impact on a given outcome. Full Article

Study examines bonds between babies, parents

Patty Kuo, assistant professor of child, youth and family studies, is leading a pilot project to explore how attachment security to mothers and fathers develops in a baby’s first 18 months — and how those attachment configurations predict outcomes in the child’s first three years. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

It may seem obvious, but the emotional bond babies develop with their parents is crucial — not only for their survival, but also to ensure positive outcomes throughout life.

Less-obvious, however, is how this bond — known as attachment — develops. Full Article

Youth Arise encourages youth civic engagement, entrepreneurship

Kieu-Anh Do, Youth Arise project coordinator, helps a student during the July 2021 Youth Arise camp in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. (Photos by Evan Choi) Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

With the world becoming more complex each day, the importance of civic knowledge and community engagement is on the rise — especially among younger generations.

Nebraska researchers are leading a project designed to provide civics, entrepreneurship and leadership education to underserved youth through an innovative learning program based on interactive online games and simulations. Full Article

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 digesting why children, vegetables don’t always mix

Saima Hasnin, doctoral candidate in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, is leading research to better understand family child care home providers’ preparation and serving of vegetables, and their influence on children’s vegetable consumption. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

Early childhood obesity is a major U.S. public health problem, afflicting children from low-income and minority families in rural areas disproportionately with an increased risk for long-term health disparities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Full Article