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Podcast explores role of identity in youth engagement

Tags: Anthony Burrow,   audio,   CCE,   media mention,   podcast,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  

three people sitting and talking into microphones

Anthony Burrow, associate professor of human development, center, joined “Extension Out Loud” podcast hosts Paul Treadwell and Katie Baildon on "Extension Out Loud."
photo: R.J. Anderson/Cornell Cooperative Extension

By R.J. Anderson for the Cornell Chronicle

How can exploring identity and sense of purpose help young people get more out of programs such as 4-H?

In the latest episode of Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Extension Out Loud” podcast, Anthony Burrow, associate professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, shares his research on the benefits of helping youth think about long-term personal goals and self-identifying “their why” prior to introducing programming.

Burrow, co-director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research’s Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE), suggested that before program leaders kick off activities, they lead youth participants through a series of exercises designed to identify long-term goals and prompt them to examine their future selves. Tapping into this perspective can give programming more meaning and help youth stay focused.

A sense of purpose can also be a weapon against negative or overreactions in their daily lives.

“We’ve often thought of purpose as a sort of protection against negative experiences or stressors,” said Burrow, recipient of the 2019 Engaged Scholar Prize administered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives. “So on days when challenges happen or negative events or negative experiences happen, might having a sense of purpose help people react less negatively to those experiences?” 

During the 33-minute episode, co-hosted by CCE staff members Katie Baildon and Paul Treadwell, Burrow covers an array of topics, including: 

  • The need to provide youth and adults with safe spaces where they can experiment with different identities to develop purpose, for which 4-H is a great vehicle, Burrow said.
  • How Burrow’s lab has observed the benefits of social media and exploring how it can be a place where youth are exposed to ideas and experiences and can make observations that could not otherwise happen. In his research, Burrow finds having a sense of purpose in life can stave off heightened affective or emotional reactivity to something as simple receiving (or not receiving) a thumbs-up on a social media selfie.
  • How while there is a lot of wonderful development happening through programs and clubs, particularly 4‑H, delivery of those programs and the impacts they are having often go understudied or unexamined. “There’s this gap between the research that’s relevant to youth and the good work that’s happening in communities,” he said. “PRYDE was born out of an attempt to create some infrastructure to bring these two crowds together.”

Full episodes of “Extension Out Loud,” including descriptions and transcripts of each episode, can be found online. Episodes can also be streamed on iTunes and SoundCloud.

Podcast explores role of identity in youth engagement - Cornell Chronicle

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Anthony Burrow receives Engaged Scholar Prize


by Stephen D'Angelo for the Cornell Chronicle

portrait of Anthony Burrow

Anthony Burrow

Anthony Burrow, associate professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, is the recipient of Cornell’s fourth annual Engaged Scholar Prize, Vice Provost for Engagement and Land-Grant Affairs Katherine A. McComas announced recently.

Administered by the Office of Engagement Initiatives, the prize recognizes a faculty member’s innovative approach to community-engaged scholarship that inspires students, colleagues and community partners alike.

“For me, the real honor of this award is that it recognizes the engagement aspect of learning,” said Burrow, who directs the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) and is an affiliate of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.

“It serves as a reminder that a solely classroom-based education is incomplete, as lectures cannot replace actual observation or participation in the topics I cover,” Burrow said. “Students learn the most about the world – and will eventually contribute more to it – by thoughtfully interacting with more of it.”

Burrow’s research focuses on topics related to youth purpose, identity processes and race-related experiences encountered by ethnic minority adolescents and young adults. His work examines the role of purpose in the lives of young people and how a sense of purpose can promote positive adjustment and development.

“Dr. Burrow’s scholarship is an ideal mix of science and engagement,” said Karl Pillemer, the Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development and senior associate dean for research and outreach in the College of Human Ecology. “Since arriving at Cornell, he has taken his careerlong research program on youth purpose and applied it in real-world contexts with outstanding results.”

Burrow was instrumental in securing funding for PRYDE, through which he has spread awareness of the importance of purpose for young people, Pillemer said. PRYDE, based in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, aims to make the New York State 4-H Youth Development Program a “living laboratory” for research and evaluation, using science to determine the best ways of promoting optimal youth development in the state.

As program director, Burrow is developing opportunities and approaches to involve his colleagues and their students in community-engaged research practice and partnerships. In his partnership with the 4-H Youth Development Program, he is working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension network to understand and improve the lives of youth in New York state.

Said June Mead, association issue leader for Children, Youth and Families at Cornell Cooperative Extension – Broome County: “Through my personal involvement on the PRYDE Work Team, I have witnessed a deeper, more vibrant and meaningful level of collaboration with campus faculty – and this can be directly attributed to Tony’s leadership and vision for PRYDE.

“These opportunities for campus-county connections are energizing and vital to ensuring Cornell Cooperative Extension and New York State 4-H can deliver high-quality, research-based programs that meet the complex issues young people and communities face today,” Mead said.

By using a community-engaged learning pedagogy with his students, Burrow has them reflect on the real-world implications of what they’ve learned. Through this practice, Burrow is mentoring the students in his lab and facilitating healthy collaborations with community partners.The program provides third-year undergraduates the opportunity to learn how applied research interventions to help young people are developed in collaboration with experts in youth practice. Scholars then apply their new skills to community projects of their choice.

“Tony’s approach to his scholarship and his work with students is truly helping undergraduates learn how to apply their scholarship in the larger world, embrace leadership roles, and have a positive impact on real-world problems,” said Andrew Turner, director of NYS 4-H Youth Development. “His research and scholarship on youth purpose, combined with his ability to arouse the curiosity and passion of students and extension community-based educators, have been a driving force in the birth of this successful model of community engagement.”

The Engaged Scholar Prize carries an award of $30,000 to expand and deepen community-engaged activities through support to essential participants, including community partners, the faculty member and Cornell undergraduate, graduate or professional students.


Anthony Burrow receives Engaged Scholar Prize - Cornell Chronicle

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Videos on purpose and youth development


By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Having a purpose in life is vitally important to youth’s health and wellness. That was the take-home message from the first annual conference hosted by the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) in the BCTR.

The conference – held last fall in California – focused on purpose and health across the lifespan. It included researchers working in areas of education, psychology, biology, and public health from leading universities throughout the country. The conference was hosted by PRYDE co-director Anthony Burrow, an associate professor of human development whose research focuses on purpose as a psychological resource.

All of the full-length talks given by the researchers at the conference are available online, and each presenter also created short videos to explain their work to a wider audience. Motivating the conference was a desire to translate the latest research on purpose into an easily-understandable form for educators, social workers, and program directors.

“The amount of scientific evidence being produced showing the benefits of purpose is staggering,” Burrow said. “Yet, there is some distance between what researchers are finding and what the public knows about these findings. We believe this is unfortunate, and therefore designed a conference that invited leading purpose researchers share their insights, and then asking them to further unpack their findings for a wider audience.

“This is the kind of translation and information delivery PRYDE is well-positioned to do, and it is an exciting and enjoyable experience to be out front in making importance science more accessible to all,” he said.

Thanks to the conference’s success, PRYDE established it as an annual event, Burrow said. Its second conference on purpose – “Purpose in a Diverse Society” – will take place this October in St. Louis. This time, a new group of researchers will present their work on purpose and diversity in a variety of settings including university lecture halls, a museum, and a public library.

You can also find two playlists of the short videos – which include topics such as identity, work and family life, health and social and emotional learning - on the PRYDE YouTube channel.

PRYDE is a program created to promote positive youth development through empirical studies and by providing evidence-based best practices for 4-H and other youth organizations. Its goal is to generate new knowledge about youth development that will directly benefit 4-H participants in New York State and beyond.

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Ways people with a purpose live differently

Tags: Anthony Burrow,   media mention,   PRYDE,   purpose,  

Anthony Burrow

Anthony Burrow

Having purpose in life - an underlying sense of meaning that guides what you do - boosts self-esteem and self-worth, finds Anthony Burrow, co-director of the BCTR's Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). A recent Huffington Post piece examined the ways people with a purpose live differently, using Burrow's recent research into Facebook likes as a test of the effects of purpose on self-esteem:

What motivates you is entirely up to you. But understanding your own priorities, knowing what you are working to accomplish and being committed to meaningful causes can help balance your sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
“It’s not really about what the content of a person’s purpose is, but the strength of it ― how much they’ve committed to the idea that there’s something that they’re pursuing,” study author Anthony Burrow, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, told The Huffington Post.
It’s important to note that having a sense of purpose is different from having goals, Burrow added. Goals are pursuits you can accomplish, he said. “Purpose is sort of an overarching direction for which you use to organize and align your goals.”
What the study revealed about people with purpose
Burrow and team wanted to investigate the way higher levels of purpose affected self-esteem, so they conducted two experiments. In the first, they surveyed Facebook users about purpose, self-esteem and average number of “likes” their posts typically received, finding the more likes people tended to receive, the higher their self-esteem tended to be. Except that for the individuals who reported having a high sense of purpose, there was no relationship between self-esteem and number of “likes.”
For the second experiment, the researchers created a fake social media site (to confirm that the results of the first experiment weren’t Facebook-specific). Plus, using a fake site allowed the researchers to manipulate the number of likes a given user received ― and then measure how that number (above-average, average or below-average) affected an individual’s reported level of self-esteem.
Self-esteem was higher in general if the individuals were told they had received a high number of “likes” and lower if they were told they had received a low number of “likes.” But, Burrow added: “There was no relationship between the number of likes people received and their self-esteem if they had a high sense of purpose.”

7 Ways People With A Purpose Live Differently - Huffington Post

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‘Likes’ less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose


By Susan Kelley for the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow rainone

Burrow and Rainone

How many likes did I get?

The rush of self-esteem that comes with the ubiquitous thumbs-up has more people asking that question, as Facebook and other social media sites offer more ways for friends to endorse photos and posts.

But one group seems immune to that rush: people with a sense of purpose.

In the first study on the effects of purpose in the online world, Cornell researchers have found that having a sense of purpose limits how reactive people are to positive feedback on social media.

“We found that having a sense of purpose allowed people to navigate virtual feedback with more rigidity and persistence. With a sense of purpose, they’re not so malleable to the number of likes they receive,” said Anthony Burrow, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development. “Purposeful people noticed the positive feedback, but did not rely on it to feel good about themselves.”

Burrow and other researchers define a sense of purpose as ongoing motivation that is self-directed, oriented toward the future and beneficial to others. People with a strong sense of purpose tend to agree with such statements as “To me, all the things I do are worthwhile” and “I have lots of reasons for living.”

While it is nice to receive compliments, online or otherwise, it may not be a good thing to base one’s self-esteem on them, Burrow said.

“Otherwise, on days when you receive few likes, you’ll feel worse. Your self-esteem would be contingent on what other people say and think,” he said. “Over time that’s not healthy, that’s not adaptive. You want to show up with rigidity: ‘I know who I am and I feel good about that.’”

The study, “How many likes did I get?: Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem,” appeared Sept. 14 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The researchers hypothesize that because purposeful people have the ability to see themselves in the future and act in ways that help them achieve their goals, they are able to inhibit impulsive responses to perceived rewards, such that they prefer larger downstream incentives to smaller immediate ones, said co-author Nicolette Rainone ’16.

The researchers conducted two experiments to get these results.

In the first, they recruited nearly 250 active Facebook users from around the country. They measured the participants’ self-esteem and sense of purpose, and asked how many likes they typically got on photos they posted.

The Facebook users who reported getting more likes on average also reported greater self-esteem. But those with a high level of purpose showed no change in self-esteem, no matter how many likes they got. “That is, receiving more likes only corresponded with greater self-esteem for those who had lower levels of purpose,” Burrow said.

In the second study, the researchers asked about 100 Cornell students to take a selfie and post it to a mock social media site, “Faces of the Ivies.” The students were told that their photo had received a high, low or average number of likes.

Getting a high number of likes boosted self-esteem – but, again, only for students who had less purpose. “In fact, those higher in purpose showed no elevation in self-esteem, even when they were told they received a high number of likes,” Burrow said.

This is the first study to show purpose lowers reactivity to positive events. Most research to date on purpose has looked at it as buffer against negative events such as stress.

Without a sense of purpose, one can act against one’s own interests even when something positive happens, said Rainone, who is a program assistant for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement at Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. “For example, if I’m studying for a big exam and get a good score on a practice test, that can make me think, ‘Oh, I really don’t need to study.’ And that may ultimately decrease my final score, because I stopped persisting,” she said. “Having a purpose keeps you emotionally steady which is essential for successful academic and work performance.”

'Likes' less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose - Cornell Chronicle

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New podcast episodes with Turner, Loeckenhoff, and Burrow


The BCTR's Doing Translational Research podcast engages researchers and practitioners in conversation about their work, and how they are involved in translational research. Our latest three episodes feature Andy Turner, Corinna Loeckenhoff, and Anthony Burrow.

turnerIn episode 3, BCTR director Karl Pillemer speaks with NY State 4-H leader Andy Turner about 4-H/Cornell connections and changes he sees that will keep 4-H at the forefront of youth development programming.

loeckenhoffNext for episode 4 Karl talks with Corinna Loeckenhoff (associate professor of Human Development and director of the Laboratory for Healthy Aging at Cornell and associate professor of Gerontology in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College) about her research on aging and its effects on emotional and mental health.

burrowAnd, in the latest podcast, episode 5, the discussion is with Anthony Burrow (assistant professor of Human Development, director of the Purpose and Identity Processes Lab, and co-director of the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) at Cornell) about the importance of purpose in the lives of young people and the ways that we can encourage youth connection to purpose for their own benefit.

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Anthony Burrow, Saturday, September 21, 2019

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Doing Translational Research podcast: Anthony Burrow

Youth and Purpose
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Anthony Burrow
Department of Human Development, Cornell University


Youth and Purpose
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Anthony Burrow
Department of Human Development, Cornell University

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Conference shares latest youth development research


By Olivia M. Hall from the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow presenting

Anthony Burrow, assistant professor of human development and PRYDE co-director, presents a poster on youth and life purpose at the Youth Development Research Update.

Runaway slaves, social media, environmental education, the wisdom of elders – the sixth annual Youth Development Research Update June 1-2 in Ithaca covered a lot of ground.

Funded by the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, the conference brought together 55 Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and program leaders, youth service providers from community agencies and Cornell faculty members from across campus to explore how these and other topics relate to children and teens and how to better serve their needs.

“This event creates a unique, interactive space for practitioners and researchers to engage in sustained dialogue about ongoing research and the potential for future collaboration,” said assistant professor of human development Anthony Burrow, who organized the event with Jutta Dotterweich, director of training for BCTR’s ACT for Youth project.

Stephanie Graf, a Youth and Family Program leader with Jefferson County Extension, has developed several fruitful partnerships over five years of attending the conference. For a past project on Defiant Gardens for military families, for example, she worked with professor of natural resources Marianne Krasny, who this year spoke about environmental education programs to support positive youth development.

Krasny outlined how environmental stewardship activities have potential to stimulate positive growth in young people, leading to healthier physical habits, skills for future employment or greater self-confidence and emotional self-regulation. Educators, meanwhile, face the challenge of guiding youth without overly imposing their own experiences and decision-making – a dilemma for which she suggested a reflective practice of providing structure, support, mutual learning, open communication and ultimate accountability. “Positive youth development is possible,” she said, “but it’s not easy.”

Graf found research by Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management and a BCTR faculty fellow, on the stigma associated with parental incarceration to be equally relevant to her work, where she sometimes encounters children of inmates in her county’s after-school programs.

Wildeman reviewed research on the United States’ historically high rate of incarceration – which at 500 prisoners per 100,000 citizens far outstrips other developed democracies – and its disproportionately negative impact on minority families. He then described a new experimental study in which teachers, presented with hypothetical students new to their classroom, expected more behavioral problems and less competence from children whose fathers are in prison. These results support the “sticky stigma” attached to paternal incarceration, Wildeman said.

History professor Edward Baptist drew a link from Wildeman’s talk when discussing his Freedom on the Move project. “I think that mass incarceration probably wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t have the shape that it does without the strategies that were created to try to control and continue to force people into the institution of slavery,” Baptist said.

One such strategy was for slave masters to place runaway slave ads in newspapers, reinforcing the persistent scrutiny under which even free African-Americans found themselves. Collaborating with colleagues at Cornell and other universities, Baptist has built a crowdsourcing platform that will engage the public in transcribing and parsing data from some 200,000 ads that survive from the period between 1722 and 1865.

A poster session on the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) concluded the conference, allowing attendees to question researchers about work in its four focus areas: healthy transitions for adolescents; intergenerational connections between high schoolers and older adults; the productive use of social media; and leveraging youth purpose to increase engagement and learning in 4-H.

Burrow, PRYDE co-director, said: “The update provides a rare space for researchers to attend a conference alongside needed collaborators. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.”

Conference shares latest youth development research - Cornell Chronicle

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The Future of Youth Development Research: Perspectives from Research and Practice, Thursday, May 5, 2016

 
prydelogo

The Future of Youth Development Research: Perspectives from Research and Practice
Distinguished panel

Thursday, May 5, 2016
3:30-5:30pm
Live stream



This live-streamed event celebrates the inauguration of the BCTR's Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement. Please join to view a panel discussion with prominent youth development researchers and practitioners, each speaking on their vision for the future of translational youth development research.

Live stream link (not active until May 5th, shortly before the event begins): https://vod.video.cornell.edu/media/PRYDE+Inaugural+Event/1_ba6al5x6

Program

3:30pm    Introduction and Remarks
Karl Pillemer, Director
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research
Rachel Dunifon, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach
College of Human Ecology
Anthony Burrow, Director
Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement

 3:50pm    Panel Discussion
Lawrence Aber
Lisa A. Lauxman
Robert M. Sellers
Anthony Burrow, moderator

5:30pm    Closing Remarks
Anthony Burrow

Panelist bios

aberLAWRENCE ABER, Ph.D.
Dr. Lawrence Aber is the Willner Family Professor of Psychology and Public Policy at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and University Professor at New York University, where he also serves as board chair of its Institute of Human Development and Social Change and co-director of the international research center “Global TIES for Children.” He received his Ph.D. in Clinical-Community and Developmental Psychology from Yale University. His basic research examines the influence of poverty and violence, at the family and community levels, on the social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and academic development of children and youth. Currently, he conducts research on the impact of poverty and HIV/AIDS on children’s development in South Africa (in collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Council), the impact of preschool teacher training quality and children’s learning and development in Ghana (in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action) and on school- and community-based interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Sierra Leone and Lebanon (in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee).

lauxmanLISA A. LAUXMAN, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Dr. Lisa Lauxman is Director, 4-H National Headquarters, Division Youth & 4-H, Institute of Youth, Family and Community, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Lauxman provides national programmatic oversight and leadership for 4-H positive youth development working with the land-grant universities’ Cooperative Extension to reach 6 million youth and over 500,000 adult volunteers. Her areas of expertise and research are positive youth development, non-formal learning, youth voice, civic engagement, and youth and adult leadership. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Psychology with a minor in Psychology in Program Evaluation Research Methodology and an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona, an M.B.A from Emporia State University, and a B.S. in Home Economics Extension from Kansas State University.

sellersROBERT M. SELLERS, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert Sellers is Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs, the Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Education, and Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan. Dr. Sellers graduated cum laude with a B.S. in psychology from Howard University, and received his Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Sellers’ primary research activities focus on the role of race in the psychological lives of African Americans, including an examination of student athletes’ life experiences. He is a co-founder of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context, a past President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, a fellow of two divisions of the American Psychological Association, and a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Among his awards is the Theodore Millon Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation, and the APAGS Kenneth & Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Ethnic Minority Graduate Students.

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$1.2M gift funds new BCTR youth development project


From the Cornell Chronicle:
By Sarah Thompson

With the newly-formed Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE), Cornell researchers are joining with the New York State 4-H program and the 200,000 children and teens who participate annually to foster groundbreaking research on youth development.

girl doing experiment

"Smart Clothing, Smart Girls" middle school participants work on design projects.
Photo credit: Dani Corona/College of Human Ecology

PRYDE will lead projects in real-world settings and seek to improve community-based youth education programs from the ground up.

Funded by a three-year, $1.2 million startup gift from Rebecca Q. Morgan ’60, PRYDE staff and faculty affiliates plan to create a hub for serving young people’s developmental needs in four theme areas: life purpose, healthy transitions into adolescence, intergenerational connections and productive social media use. PRYDE experts will conduct translational research in close collaboration with 4-H staff and youth across New York, accelerating the speed at which evidence can be applied to new and existing programs while also sparking young people’s interest in social science.

Based in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, PRYDE is believed to be the first university program in the nation to apply innovative social science methods to strengthen 4-H programs.

“Rigorous research is needed to help identify and recognize the specific ingredients of youth programs that have the best impacts on youth,” said Anthony Burrow, PRYDE director and assistant professor of human development. “Essentially, ensuring that research and evidence-based programming are part of these programs enables others to know that the good work they are doing is producing the outcomes they are striving for.”

PRYDE will rely on a community-based participatory research model developed and used by BCTR researchers for more than two decades. Tapping a Community Engagement Work Group comprising 4-H educators and field staff, campus-county teams will identify research needs, design studies and interpret and disseminate data through a statewide “research ready” network. They hope to fill knowledge gaps on how to best nurture healthy youth development through 4-H and other out-of-school programs. Training to build research literacy, as well as an annual Youth Development Conference for off-campus 4-H staff to hear the latest evidence from Cornell researchers, will deepen campus and county connections.

kids shooting rocket

4-H members participate in the "Have a Blast with Rocketry" program during 4-H Career Explorations at Cornell.

“The opportunity to apply practices with a strong evidence base, and work with faculty who can evaluate current efforts and identify what’s working and why, has potential to make a huge difference. This work team will create a space for real engagement and shared program development,” said Andrew Turner, PRYDE advisory committee member and state leader of the New York State 4-H Youth Development Program, part of the BCTR and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

PRYDE leaders selected the program’s research priorities based on input from 4-H educators, as well as the potential to address urgent needs of young people. Burrow, who studies human purpose and identity, will examine how these developmental assets can be woven into youth learning and engagement programs. Jane Mendle, assistant professor of human development who has previously used the 4-H network to test expressive writing interventions for teen girls, will lead research on how to support the well-being of children as they enter puberty.

Social media, often seen as a danger to youth, will be studied for its potential to connect them to each other and their communities in a project led by Elaine Wethington, professor of human development and of sociology. Karl Pillemer, BCTR director and Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development, will test new models to bring together people of all ages in meaningful activities.

In its work, PRYDE seeks to expose adolescents to cutting-edge human development research and train future generations of youth development specialists. Cornell undergraduates are being recruited for the first group of PRYDE Scholars, who will be mentored by faculty in youth development research. PRYDE plans to hire graduate research assistants and will also host campus visits and create other outlets for 4-H members to observe social science research firsthand.

For these reasons, the program “greatly piqued my interest,” said Morgan, a donor with a longstanding interest in youth development. A former California state senator, Morgan participated in 4-H while growing up on a Vermont dairy farm and briefly served as a 4-H agent in Tompkins County after her Cornell graduation. At cattle shows and fashion displays and as president of her local club, Morgan credits 4-H with teaching her everything from accounting to leadership to dressmaking.

“I am most excited that PRYDE is taking science and putting it into service to help young people,” Morgan said. “4-H is the largest youth organization in the U.S. and it offers a readymade network for translating Cornell research into effective youth programs. The program is positioned to become a national leader on this topic.”

PRYDE will officially launch with a campus panel discussion May 5, featuring prominent researchers and practitioners discussing the future of translational youth development research. The event will be live streamed for the public.

“The generosity of Becky Morgan will allow us to speed up the process of uniting science and service in youth development, bringing world-class researchers together with expert practitioners to create a better world for young people,” Pillemer said. “It is rare when a gift can have such far-reaching consequences.”

$1.2M gift launches research program to better serve youth - Cornell Chronicle

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