Skip to main content

News Home

Research explores how classroom time affects children’s self-regulation skills

Jenna Finch, assistant professor of psychology, is exploring the effects of time in school on students’ executive function — mental skills that include working memory, flexible thinking and self-control. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

In recent years, illnesses, quarantines and school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased emphasis on the importance of instructional time for children’s academic achievement following absences from the classroom.

There is also recent evidence that pandemic school closures disproportionately affected U.S. schools that had students with lower third-grade standardized test scores and higher shares of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. Full Article

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

Nebraska WORDS targets post-pandemic reading success, educator growth

WORDS team members include, from left, Janet Bohaty, Mary Jo McElhose, Amanda Witte, Sarah Zuckerman, Natalie Koziol, HyeonJin Yoon, Nancy Coffey and Rachel Schachter. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

A student’s ability to read is a critical predictor of academic and lifelong success. In Nebraska, the COVID-19 pandemic hit students with reading difficulties especially hard, particularly students attending rural schools.

A team of Nebraska researchers is working to boost reading outcomes for rural students in kindergarten through third grade by providing professional learning opportunities to teachers across the state, speeding up pandemic recovery for students with reading difficulties, as well as those at risk. Full Article

Partnership aims to diversify, strengthen Nebraska’s early childhood workforce

Julia Torquati, professor of child, youth and family studies, is leading a collaborative effort to help prepare diverse early childhood professionals throughout Nebraska. Learn more about the project in the CYFS Research Network.

Nebraska, like other states, faces a shortage of qualified early childhood professionals to meet its demand for quality care and education. This shortage not only poses significant problems for families with young children, but also threatens the state’s future economic prosperity. 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

Research explores technology to support speech among children with autism

Ciara Ousley, assistant professor of special education and communication disorders, is evaluating the effects of augmentative and alternative communication on children with autism. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

As a former special education teacher, Ciara Ousley has worked with young students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

She often used technology to assist students who struggled to communicate in her classroom. Speech-generating devices — one form of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) — showed promise to support more inclusive learning and development. 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