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BCTR remembers friend and colleague Don Tobias


news-tobias2-inpostThe BCTR lost a dear friend and colleague on November 22nd when Don Tobias passed away. As executive director of Cornell University Cooperative Extension – New York City (CUCE-NYC), Tobias created and oversaw programs that implemented Cornell research to better the lives of New Yorkers in three main areas: nutrition and health; urban environment; and family and youth development.

The BCTR has particularly close connections with CUCE-NYC's family and youth development programs, including 4-H  and parenting education projects. CUCE-NYC is one of the major partners in the  ACT for Youth Center of Excellence. With Don's enthusiastic support, the Complementary Strengths Research Partnership has had a home in CUCE-NYC since 2005. In 1989 Don was one of the founders (with Jerry Ziegler) and the original PI of the HIV/AIDS Education Project, which moved into the Family Life Development Center (precursor of the BCTR) in 2001.

College of Human Ecology dean Alan Mathios notes in his remembrance in the Cornell Chronicle,

In the city that never sleeps, Don worked nonstop in his role – as a mentor, visionary, teacher, researcher, cheerleader and partner. He transformed the work of so many who knew him and guided programs that touched thousands of New Yorkers ... By helping individuals and families to eat better, live more sustainably, and support the needs of children and teens, these programs embody Cornell’s founding land-grant principles.


Cornell loses a friend, but not a partnership
- Cornell Chronicle

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2013 Graduate Research Assistant recipients announced


Each year the BCTR awards graduate research assistantships (GRAs) to up to 3 College of Human Ecology graduate students. The GRAs are intended to further the work of current BCTR projects and the BCTR as a whole.

For fall 2013, the following grad students were awarded GRAs:

Andrew Jefferson (Department of Human Development: Cognitive development) will work on evaluation with the Residential Child Care Project.

Pamela Weisberg-Shapiro (Division of Nutritional Sciences: Community nutrition) will do research with The Role of Grandparents in the Lives of Adolescent Grandchildren and will be working with John Eckenrode and Charlie Izzo on proposal development related to the state's maternal and child health programs.

Sherry Zhang (Department of Policy Analysis and Management: Health economics, behaviors and disparities) will do analysis and proposal preparation with both Complementary Strengths and the Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery.

More info on BCTR Graduate Research Assistant Funding.

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TEPPS measure disseminated by Urban Institute, Child Trends, and Social Solutions


Tiffany, Eckenrode, and Exner-Cortens

The Urban Institute, Child Trends, and Social Solutions selected the Tiffany Eckenrode Program Participation Scale (TEPPS) for dissemination via their collaborative on-line resource site, PerformWell. The TEPPS is a youth program participation measure developed by Jennifer Tiffany, John Eckenrode, Deinera Exner-Cortens and the Complementary Strengths Research Partnership.

PerformWellwas launched by the Urban Institute, Child Trends, and Social Solutions as an on-line source of measurement tools that “human services professionals can use to manage their programs’ day-to-day performance. Information in PerformWell leverages research-based findings that have been synthesized and simplified by experts in the field. [This will help] human services practitioners deliver more effective social programs.” In addition to enabling easy access to assessment tools, the site guides practitioners as they identify appropriate outcomes to measure and as they use data to improve program delivery.

The 20-item TEPPS assesses participation and engagement in programs serving adolescents and includes subscales measuring Personal Development, Voice/Influence, Safety/Support and Community Engagement.

For more information: Complementary Strengths launches new measure for youth program participation

Complementary Strengths findings presented at World AIDS Conference


Jennifer TiffanyJennifer Tiffany presented results from the Complementary Strengths Research Partnership at the 19th World AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 as part of a panel on Young People, HIV, and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services.

The paper, co-authored with John Eckenrode, Deinera Exner-Cortens, and Sara Birnel-Henderson and titled Active Program Participation and HIV Risk Reduction among Urban Youth, highlighted the new measure of youth program participation generated by the study; significant positive associations among program participation, social connectedness, and HIV risk reduction scores; possible impacts of average setting-level participation scores on individual youth risk reduction practices; and connections between longer program involvement increased impact of youth participation on risk reduction practices.

The panel was chaired by two youth HIV activists:

Cristina Jade Peña
Story on Cristina
Video on Cristina

Pablo Torres Aguilera
Story on Pablo
Video on Pablo

Other papers on the panel addressed community development programs and anti-retroviral therapy for youth in Zimbabwe, national adolescent HIV prevention strategies in 20 countries with high HIV prevalence rates, and strategies to make programs focused on pregnancy prevention and HIV risk reduction work in tandem.

The Complementary Strengths Research Project is supported in part by award #R21NR009764 from the NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research and by USDA grant #NYC-323442-0219950. The content of the report is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institutes of Health, or the USDA.

Complementary Strengths launches new measure for youth program participation


Translational research includes developing and validating new measures that can be used during efficacy and effectiveness trials and in implementation research. It is ideal if these measures can also work as evaluation tools in real world programs. The Complementary Strengths Research Partnership worked with New York City after-school (out of school time) programs to develop and validate a new scale that community-based programs can easily use to assess the quality of youth participation. Complementary Strengths can also use the scale to test the efficacy of the setting-based intervention it is developing.

A review of the research literature demonstrated the need for a new way to measure youth participation. Much assessment of program participation looks only at how much time youth spend involved in program activities or at how many different types of activities they join, rather than at the quality of their experiences. Findings from the Complementary Strengths Study and other studies suggest the important role experiences of high-quality program participation have on young people’s healthy development, but the field lacked a validated short scale for measuring participation quality as experienced by youth. Youth participants, program staff, and researchers worked together to develop and fine-tune items for use in the new scale. Work to develop the measure included a number of phases - a pilot study involving 98 youth, a longitudinal exploratory study involving 329 youth, and use of the new tool in a program evaluation project now underway.

Research team members Jennifer Tiffany, John Eckenrode, and Deinera Exner-Cortens recently published an article spelling out how the new 20-item scale was developed. The scale is now available for programs and researchers to use in their own evaluations, program improvement efforts, and studies of youth development practices in community settings.

The overall scale encompasses four subscales measuring Personal Development (7 items), Voice/Influence (4 items), Safety/Support (4 items), and Community Engagement (5 items). In addition to measuring these key elements of youth engagement in programs, scores on the scale are significantly correlated with measures of social connectedness and sexual health promotion. A technical description of the measure is available here.

The Complementary Strengths Research Project is supported in part by award #R21NR009764 from the NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research and by USDA grant #NYC-323442-0219950. The content of this report is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institutes of Health, or the USDA.

2012 BCTR Student Showcase, Monday, May 7, 2012

 

BCTR Student Showcase
BCTR student research assistants

Monday, May 7, 2012
12:00-1:30pm
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



The BCTR offers students across campus the opportunity to learn about and participate in research techniques, data collection, and analysis as research assistants in several programs, such as ACT for Youth, Self-Injurious Behavior, and HIV AIDS Education. Today they will showcase their work with the BCTR.

Evaluation of Evidence-Based Programs for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention in New York State
Christine Heib, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
Molly Glantz, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2012
ACT for Youth

Recovery from Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI): A Qualitative, Exploratory Study of Benchmarks
Rebecca Morgan, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2013
Patricia Rothenberg, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2013
Stephanie Shea, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors

Keeping Youth Engaged: A Qualitative Study of Factors that Promote/Deter Active Participation in Urban After-School Programs
Helen Badu, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Biological Sciences, 2012
Caroline Gross, College of Human Ecology, Biology and Society, 2012
Lily Picon, College of Arts and Sciences, Biology and Society/Spanish, 2013
The Complementary Strengths Research Project

The Independent Living Survey Project: Identifying the Scope and Nature of Youth Homelessness in Tompkins County
Michael Smith, College of Arts and Sciences, Biological Sciences and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 2012
Christine Heib, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
The Independent Living Survey, with ACT for Youth

Assessing the Efficacy of the Friend2Friend Program
Maggie Diu, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2013
Akane Otani, College of Arts and Sciences, English and psychology, 2014
Stephanie Shea, College of Human Ecology, Biology and Society, 2012
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors

Recommendations for Future Research in Pain Disparities among Older Adults
Meghan McDarby, College of Human Ecology, Human Development, 2014
Jessie Boas, College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology, 2013
Cornell Institute for Translational Research on Aging (CITRA), Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL)

Non-Suicidal Self-Injury Across the Lifespan
Stephanie Shea, College of Human Ecology, Human Biology, Health, & Society, 2012
Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behaviors

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