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Grand Challenges Catalyst project aims to strengthen early childhood workforce — and positive results for children

Project team members include, front row from left: Natalie Koziol, Jenna Finch, Lisa Knoche, Jennifer Leeper Miller and Holly Hatton-Bowers. Back row, from left: Julia Torquati, Carrie Clark, Sue Sheridan, Changmin Yan, HyeonJin Yoon and Soo-Young Hong. Learn more about the project in the CYFS Research Network.

Nearly 28 million children in the U.S. experience childhood adversity — neglect, parental substance abuse, mental illness, racism and bias.

Such hardships cause significant stress to children at crucial stages in their development, putting them at risk for academic difficulties and health and behavioral issues — all of which have consequences into adulthood. Full Article

Study finds variety, cost effectiveness can become barriers to children’s vegetable consumption

Saima Hasnin, assistant professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois — and a University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate — explored family child care home providers’ preparation and serving of vegetables to better understand their influence on children’s dietary habits. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Getting children to eat their vegetables is a common, longstanding challenge for parents and child care providers alike.

While some kids simply dislike the taste of veggies, a recent study sheds light on some other obstacles that prevent children from reaching their recommended daily nutritional needs. Full Article

Nebraska researchers extend TAPP intervention to rural Appalachia

From left, HyeonJin Yoon, CYFS research assistant professor; Sue Sheridan, CYFS director; and Amanda Witte, CYFS research assistant professor, collaborate virtually with East Tennessee State University partners Kim Hale, associate professor of educational foundations and special education, left, and Pam Mims, professor of special education and associate dean of research and grants. Learn more about the project in the CYFS Research Network.

Students who struggle with social and behavior issues are at high risk of developing long-term problems, both at school and in life.

When those students live in rural parts of the country, with limited access to behavioral health services, those challenges can significantly increase. Full Article

Art TEAMS promotes teaching innovation through arts, emerging media

An Art TEAMS participant teacher’s students co-create a “Learning Wall” — a method of “making thinking visible” and collaborative learning. View photo gallery.

As technology continues to rapidly evolve, a group of Nebraska researchers is collaborating with the state’s K-12 educators, artists and administrators to imagine the future of education.

The Teaching with Arts and Emerging Media (Art TEAMS) project is underway in classrooms throughout Nebraska. The five-year pilot project is designed to promote teaching innovation through arts and emerging media in Nebraska public schools. Full Article

TAPP project delivers strong results for Latinx students, parents

From left, Lorey Wheeler, MAP Academy director, and Sue Sheridan, CYFS director, led the TAPP para Familias Latinas project. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Traditionally, minoritized ethnic-racial groups have been excluded or significantly underrepresented from participating in research. According to some estimates, 96% of psychological studies come from countries with only 12% of the world’s population, and tend to include mostly white participants. Full Article

Photovoice project provides clear view of Lakota women’s challenges, resilience

A rainbow after a storm symbolizes one Lakota woman’s struggles in transitioning back into society after her incarceration. The photo was taken by a participant in a recent photovoice project focused on the struggles — and strengths — of Indigenous women. View photo gallery of participants’ photos.

A recent project featuring photographs by Native American women has brought into focus some of the challenges they have faced — and highlighted their strengths and resilience.

Ramona Herrington, cultural outreach manager for the Interpersonal Violence Research Laboratory, and Preciouse Trujillo, senior community liaison with the Rapid City Family Project, led the project, which documented challenges and triumphs of Lakota women with histories of incarceration. Katie Edwards, IVRL director and professor of educational psychology and CYFS, worked with Herrington and Trujillo on the project. Full Article

‘Homegrown’ training program fills need for rural mental health professionals

Beth Doll and Matthew Gormley are leading a virtual training program that can be accessible to anyone interested in a career in school psychology, no matter where they reside. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

For small towns scattered throughout Nebraska, mental health professionals are hard to come by. Recruiting and retaining such professionals is crucial to ensuring these rural populations have access to quality mental health care.

Because mental health trainees are more likely to remain and work in the rural communities where they live, Beth Doll, professor of educational psychology, and Matthew Gormley, assistant professor of educational psychology are leading a virtual training program that can be accessible to anyone interested in a career in school psychology, no matter where they reside. Full Article

Study reveals many American atheists hide their non-belief

Research by Dena Abbott, assistant professor of counseling psychology, reveals that because American atheists continue to experience a variety of social challenges, many are uncomfortable about disclosing their non-belief. Learn more about this project 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, recently completed a yearlong study 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