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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

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

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

Researchers examine experiences, needs of Nebraska’s special education teachers

Nebraska researchers are exploring which factors influence preparation and retention of special education teachers, including available professional development opportunities. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Throughout the United States, the number of teachers qualified to support students with special needs is declining. In Nebraska, school leaders are concerned the shortage of special education teachers will put these students at risk for compromised learning and growth. 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

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

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