Search Cornell

$1.2M gift funds new BCTR youth development project

(0) Comments  |   Tags: 4-H,   Anthony Burrow,   Elaine Wethington,   Jane Mendle,   Karl Pillemer,   media mention,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  
Share

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

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Anthony Burrow    Elaine Wethington    Jane Mendle    Karl Pillemer    media mention    PRYDE    youth    youth development   
Share

New research initiative to promote positive youth development

(0) Comments  |   Tags: 4-H,   Andy Turner,   Anthony Burrow,   Elaine Wethington,   Jane Mendle,   Karl Pillemer,   Marie Cope,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  
Share

Anthony Burrow and Jane Mendle

Anthony Burrow and Jane Mendle

The BCTR is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative called the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). Continuing the legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner, the program will link science and service in innovative ways by involving 4-H communities in basic and applied research designed to understand and improve youth experiences.

PRYDE is led by BCTR faculty affiliates Anthony Burrow and Jane Mendle, both faculty members in the Department of Human Development. The program is supported by a BCTR-funded post-doctoral fellow, Jennifer Agans, as well as an advisory committee of 4-H and BCTR faculty and staff including Andy Turner, Karl Pillemer, Elaine Wethington, and Marie Cope. PRYDE’s initial projects include the development of an interactive mapping tool for Cornell faculty and staff to identify 4-H Youth Development programs with populations that meet their research needs, as well as and a new study to examine the role of purpose in youth engagement in 4-H programs.

These activities will lay the groundwork for PRYDE’s primary goal of creating a nationally prominent program for translational research on youth development to benefit the thousands of urban and rural 4-H participants in New York State and beyond. Stay tuned for resources and opportunities to get involved!

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Andy Turner    Anthony Burrow    Elaine Wethington    Jane Mendle    Karl Pillemer    Marie Cope    PRYDE    youth    youth development   
Share

Talks at Twelve: Jane Mendle, Thursday, May 8, 2014

(0) Comments  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve,   Jane Mendle,  
Share
 
event-mendle

Expressive Writing and Pubertal Development: Testing a Brief Intervention
Jane Mendle, Human Development, Cornell University

Thursday, May 8, 2014
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall.

Puberty represents a time of dramatic transformation. The striking physiological changes of this period are paralleled by an equally striking cascade of personal, social, and emotional adjustment, as individuals transition into the new roles and expectations which accompany biological maturation. Although puberty is a universal experience, it is also a period of risk and vulnerability. A marked surge of problem behaviors and psychological difficulties first emerge during this transition, often continuing to worsen during adolescence.

A recipient of a BCTR Pilot Study Grant, and in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Dr. Mendle will discuss some of the findings that emerged from a brief expressive writing intervention conducted at 4-H Camp Bristol Hills which focused on changes that occur over the course of puberty, and share practical applications and potential benefits for health and well-being during a critical stage of youth development.

 

Dr. Jane Mendle is Assistant Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and director of the Adolescent Transition Lab. She joined the CHE faculty in the Fall 2011, following three years as an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on adolescence - primarily how different aspects of puberty lay the groundwork for future adjustment or maladjustment. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia and completed her clinical internship at the Payne Whitney Clinic of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    Jane Mendle   
Share