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Eckenrode recognized with Nicholas Hobbs Award

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Eckenrode with the Nicholas Hobbs Award

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

The BCTR’s John Eckenrode received the Nicholas Hobbs Award from the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice, Division 37 of the American Psychological Association (APA), dedicated to applying psychological knowledge to advocacy, social justice, service delivery, and public policies affecting children, youth, and families.

Eckenrode is a professor of human development and founder of the National Data Archive of Child Abuse and Neglect, which he now co-directs with Professor Chris Wildeman. His research focuses on child abuse and neglect, the effects of preventive interventions, translational research, and stress and coping processes.

“John has spent his entire academic career doing research and organizing advocacy in the service of vulnerable children and their families,” said Stephen Ceci, professor of developmental psychology in the College of Human Ecology. “What stands out most in my opinion is John’s continuous success obtaining funding from the Children’s Bureau (DHHS) to create and support the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. This center is a gold mine for researchers in this area and John has expertly guided and managed it for a long time and invited scholars from around the world to use its resources.”

The Nicholas Hobbs award is presented annually to a psychologist who exemplifies devotion to child advocacy. The award is named for psychologist Nicholas Hobbs, a past president of the American Psychological Association who organized a national effort to standardize and disseminate diagnostic procedures for classifying and categorizing children with special needs.

Eckenrode received the award in August at the 125th Annual APA Convention in Washington, D.C.

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Teen dating violence strong predictor of future abuse

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exner-cortens

Deinera Exner-Cortens

Teens who experience physical or psychological violence in their adolescent dating relationships have a significantly greater risk of suffering abuse in their future adult romantic relationships. A new study, led by University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work researcher Deinera Exner-Cortens, PhD, has isolated dating violence as a strong predictor that someone will suffer future abuse, even when victimized individuals were compared to others with similar backgrounds but who did not experience dating violence.

Exner-Cortens completed this research as a doctoral student at Cornell, working with John Eckenrode (BCTR associate director and professor of human development), who is also a co-author on the article.

Domestic violence takes a huge toll on the health and well-being of victims and families. Studies have shown that intimate partner violence against women has an estimated societal cost of $5.8 billion. In this light, Exner-Cortens says her study is a wake-up call that adolescent dating violence needs to be taken more seriously.

“When I talk to adolescents, they may not recognize that what they’re experiencing is dating violence,” says Exner-Cortens. “For a lot of them, it's their very first encounter in a romantic setting, so they may not know that it's not healthy. So, from a primary prevention – or stopping it before it starts – standpoint, we want to be communicating healthy relationships messages to adolescents. That you have a right to be safe in your relationship, and if a partner ever makes you feel unsafe or hurts you, that's not okay, and you have a right to leave, and to seek help.”

Exner-Cortens’ study, recently published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is the first to demonstrate, in a U.S. national sample, that adolescent dating violence is uniquely implicated in a cycle of violence from adolescence to adulthood, even when comparing teens who were matched on key risk factors at the socio-demographic, individual, family, peer, school and community levels.

“For a long time adolescent romantic relationships weren’t a focus in research because people thought that they didn’t really matter for well-being,” explains Exner-Cortens. “This study strongly demonstrates that violence first experienced in adolescent relationships may become chronic, and that adolescent dating violence is an important risk factor for adult partner violence.”

Exner-Cortens and colleagues analyzed a sample of 2,161 American male and female heterosexual youth from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Participants were first interviewed about their dating experiences when they were ages 12-18, and then again five, and 12 years later. To measure dating violence, participants were asked if a partner had ever used insults, name-calling or disrespect in front of others; sworn at them; threatened them with violence; pushed or shoved them; or thrown objects that could hurt. Over a one-year period, about 19 per cent of teen respondents reported dating violence.

Five years after they were first victimized, female victims of adolescent dating violence had almost 1.5 times greater risk for experiencing physical adult intimate partner violence, and male victims had almost twice the risk for experiencing adult intimate partner violence. Individuals who reported intimate partner violence five years after dating violence victimization were also more likely to report intimate partner violence victimization during the twelve-year follow-up. These findings were all in comparison to a group who did not experience dating violence, but who were otherwise very similar in terms of risk history to dating violence victims. Variables used to create this well-matched comparison group included known predictors of adult intimate partner violence, such as child maltreatment, substance use and mental health.

“This is the first study to show that even when we get rid of many other confounding factors, dating violence still emerges as a predictor,” says Exner-Cortens. “Something is happening in those relationships over and above other things that would predict risk. Dating violence appears to set off some sort of cycle in terms of interpersonal violence.”

Exner-Cortens is calling for improved screening for adolescent dating violence in health-care settings, as well as the need for intervention programs for teens who have experienced abuse in their dating relationships. Programs that prevent adolescent dating violence before it starts are also key to intimate partner violence prevention.

Study co-authors are John Eckenrode (Cornell University), John Bunge (Cornell University) and Emily Rothman (Boston University). The research was supported by funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

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The BCTR welcomes incoming director Karl Pillemer

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news-pillemer2-inpostThe BCTR is very pleased to welcome Karl Pillemer as center director beginning January 15. He additionally serves as Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development and Professor of Gerontology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Karl has close and long-standing ties to the BCTR, serving as PI or co-PI on several center projects, including the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL). He also oversaw multiple projects under the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center (BLCC), a precursor of the BCTR, as well as serving as BLCC interim director. Karl succeeds John Eckenrode, founding director of the center and professor of human development.

Karl Pillemer's research examines human development over the life course, with a special emphasis on family and social relationships in middle age and beyond. His specific areas of interest include inter-generational relations in later life; family caregiving for impaired elderly relatives; long-term care for the elderly; conflict and abuse in families of the aged; and aging and healthcare. He has years of experience with translational research methods, including developing the BCTR consensus conference model, which brings researchers and practitioners together to  identify research gaps and prioritize topics for new research. As co-PI of TRIPLL, he works closely with researchers at Weill Cornell and with community practitioners in New York City. The former College of Human Ecology Associate Dean for Outreach and Extension, he is well connected with Cornell Cooperative Extension and has close ties with community partners throughout New York State.

In a Cornell Chronicle article on the directorship transition, Dean Alan Mathios notes,

Karl is well positioned to lead the center thanks to his deep ties with community partners across the state and with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), the Cornell Office for Research and Evaluation and Weill Cornell Medical College, all of whom are vital partners in achieving the college’s translational research goals and in fulfilling Cornell’s land-grant mission. I am excited to see how the center will evolve under Karl’s direction, and I am grateful for John Eckenrode’s tremendous guidance of faculty, staff and students to deliver translational programs in its first three years.

0089_12_069.jpgJohn Eckenrode oversaw the creation of the BCTR (in 2011) through the merger of the Family Life Development Center (FLDC), where he previously served as director, and the Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center (BLCC). During his tenure as BCTR director, John introduced the Talks at Twelve series, which draws an audience of both campus and community members, and the Innovative Pilot Study Program, awarding over $180,000 to eighteen teams of researchers in its first three years. He introduced a seminar on varying aspects of translational research through the Department of Human Development, the first of its kind at Cornell. Offered to undergraduate and graduate students in alternating semesters, the specific seminar topics vary, but all examine translational research in relation to policy and programs. In the new center, John continued the John Doris Memorial Lecture (introduced in 2008 in the FLDC) and the Iscol Family Program for Leadership in Public Service, which he has overseen since its inception in 2001 and will continue to administer in the future. John has been a champion of the work and legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner, ensuring that center-level programs are aligned with Bronfenbrenner's vision. In 2014 he organized, The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner, a panel discussion featuring leading College of Human Ecology faculty reflecting on Bronfenbrenner’s impact on current research and practice and on their own work. John will remain connected to the BCTR, contributing his significant experience to the center’s efforts, as well as continuing as director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect, a center project.

In a video (see below) introducing Karl as BCTR director, he notes,

It’s an extraordinary opportunity right now to be stepping in as the director of the Bronfenbrenner Center because we’re at a critical juncture in American society. Precisely the problems that the Bronfenbrenner Center deals with are front and center now - child welfare, aging, problems of youth - and those are exactly the problems we deal with and have some good solutions for. [...] So I think that it really has a spectacular future right now and its building on a phenomenal base.

 

 

Karl Pillemer to lead Bronfenbrenner Center - Cornell Chronicle

 

 

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CCE Summer Interns present their research findings

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Katrina Simon next to her poster on improving 4-H

Katrina Simon next to her poster on her research with 4-H

This year's Cornell Cooperative Extension Summer Interns presented on their summer research on October 7th. Included in the group were four students who worked with BCTR researchers (listed below). This year each student gave a condensed one-minute presentation on their work. Presentations were followed by a poster session/reception where students could talk to attendees about their research.

Each year the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Summer Internship Program connects undergraduates with faculty research projects, helping Cornell fulfill its land grant mission by engaging students in outreach. From research to education and program development, interns are involved in a wide spectrum of activities which they document by blogging.

This year's BCTR-connected projects, which collectively reached eight counties:

Building a Community Legacy Together Program Evaluation
Faculty: Karl Pillemer
Location: CCE Orange County and CCE Genesee County
Student blog by Masrai Williams

Parent Education in New York City: The Parenting A Second Time Around (PASTA) Project
Faculty: Rachel Dunifon
Location: CCE New York City
Student blog by Paisley Marie Terenzi

Refugee Family Child Care Provider Project
Faculty: John Eckenrode with Lisa McCabe
Location: CCE Madison-Oneida County
Student blog by Emily Nina Satinsky

Research for the Continuous Improvement of 4-H
Faculty: Stephen Hamilton
Location: Erie (base), Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming Counties
Student blog by Katrina Simon

 

Cooperative Extension interns report on statewide research - Cornell Chronicle

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The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner

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Evans, Sternberg, Wethington, Ceci, Hamilton, and Eckenrode

The BCTR is named in honor of Urie Bronfenbrenner, the renowned developmental psychologist who taught at Cornell for over fifty years. This September 18th a panel of Cornell faculty reflected on Urie's enduring legacy in the field. In his introduction, BCTR director John Eckenrode expressed the hope that the panel discussion would rectify a knowledge gap among newer members of the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and the university about Urie and his importance to human development and the college as a whole.  The panel was moderated by BCTR associate director Stephen Hamilton.

The panelists were all professors of human development who were influenced by Urie's work. All but Sternberg were also colleagues of Urie's in the CHE department of human development. Elaine Wethington, center associate director, was co-author with Bronfenbrenner, Stephen Ceci, and others on The State of Americans: This Generation and The Next. Stephen Ceci worked on Urie's research projects in the 1980s. Gary Evans  took a class with Urie as a faculty member and went on to  co-teach with Urie. Robert Sternberg was acquainted with Urie and feels the impact of Urie's research in his own work.

Gary Evans

Gary Evans

Gary Evans noted that, while the impact of Urie's research is profound, he was also an engaged and influential teacher. Evans quotes Urie himself on teaching:

As a teacher, I have seen as my main goal enabling students to experience the adventure, and hard-won harvest, of disciplined, creative thought that goes beyond any one discipline. To be sure transmitting knowledge is also important, but today’s knowledge is sure to be surpassed by tomorrow’s. Thus, the greatest gift one can give to the young is to enable them to deal critically and creatively with new answers, and the new questions, that the future brings.

In the event video, Evans refers to this quote and to figures in a handout, which can be seen here.

Stephen Hamilton relayed a story of Urie testifying before a senate committee and being asked what it takes to produce a well-functioning human being. Urie replied, simply, "Somebody's gotta be crazy about the kid."

For an anecdote about the strange, interesting story about Urie and the naming of the College of Human Ecology, see minute 15:40 of the event video.

 

Panelists recall legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner - Cornell Chronicle

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The Legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner

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September 18, 2014

Welcome by John Eckenrode, director, BCTR
Panelists:
Stephen Ceci, Helen L. Carr Professor of Developmental Psychology
Gary Evans, Elizabeth Lee Vincent Professor of Human Ecology
Robert Sternberg, Professor of Human Development
Elaine Wethington, Professor of Human Development; associate director, BCTR
Moderated by Stephen Hamilton, Professor of Human Development; associate director, BCTR

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ACT for Youth supports sex education and positive youth development at Provider Day

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Attendees at Provider Day

Attendees at Provider Day
Photo by Brian Maley

This September, the ACT for Youth Center of Excellence (COE) sponsored Provider Day 2014, a professional development conference for 224 teen pregnancy prevention program staff from communities across New York State. The COE provides technical assistance, training, and evaluation for three pregnancy prevention initiatives funded by the New York State Department of Health. Sex educators and youth service professionals from each initiative came together in Albany to share and gain new insights, strategies, and tools to promote healthy development among youth.

The evening before Provider Day, the BCTR hosted a reception that set a warm and collegial tone. Jane Powers and John Eckenrode opened the day’s events, and BCTR staff offered workshops on a range of topics, including Self-Care and Youth Work (Heather Wynkoop Beach and Michele Luc), Youth with Mental Health Concerns (Jutta Dotterweich), Using Evaluation Data (Mary Maley and Amanda Purington), and Life Purpose and Teens (Janis Whitlock), among others.

One participant wrote,

I found the day valuable and validating. I believe we need all the validation we can get when working in this field. It's not easy, and when we can recharge and gain new knowledge and tools, I know that I come back to the office looking for ways to use the information I have gotten. Thank you!

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RNI workshop connects extension educators with Cornell faculty

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Karl Pillemer presenting

Karl Pillemer presenting

On June 25-26, nineteen Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators from eight New York State counties attended a Research Navigator Initiative (RNI) workshop focused on skill-building, networking, and resource identification to form partnerships with campus researchers. The RNI is a BCTR initiative and a central component of the College of Human Ecology’s extension and outreach efforts. The workshop was planned and facilitated by Jennifer Tiffany, BCTR director of outreach and community engagement and executive director of CCE’s New York City programs, and Karl Pillemer, Hazel E. Reed Professor of Human Development and College of Human Ecology and associate dean for extension and outreach, in collaboration with the New York State affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Karl Pillemer, who co-founded the RNI in 2010, introduced the workshop with a presentation on bridging the “two cultures” of research and practice. Tasha Lewis, assistant professor of fiber science and apparel design, shared her autobiography to demonstrate the motivations and interests of researchers. Janis Whitlock, director of the BCTR’s Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery (CRPSIR), presented with CCE educators Suzan Sussmann and Denyse Variano (Orange County) about their successful research-practice partnership, which has led to various dissemination efforts on non-suicidal self-injury prevention. Natalie Bazarova, assistant professor of communications, shared her research on social networking and asked for participants’ advice on outreach and dissemination strategies. Marianella Casasola, associate professor of human development, also consulted with the group about building community partnerships for her research on early childhood development.

Other Cornell faculty and staff, including BCTR director John Eckenrode, Monica Hargraves, and Mary Maley, discussed the resources available to CCE educators and executive directors in support of research-practice partnerships, and Carol Devine led an institutional review board training. The workshop included several networking opportunities where participants could informally meet Cornell faculty and discuss their research interests.

The RNI supports collaborations between Cornell faculty and CCE educators, promoting campus-community research partnerships. The RNI provides research-related workshops to CCE educators, and informs Cornell faculty about the resources and capabilities of CCE as a research partner and broker of community collaborations. For more information on the RNI, contact Jennifer Tiffany.

 

Workshop offers roadmap to link research, practice – Cornell Chronicle

 

Related articles:
Advanced Research Navigator Workshop held for CCE educators
Research Navigator Initiative trains extension staff in all NY counties

 

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2014 CCE summer interns begin work with BCTR researchers

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Each year the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Summer Internship Program connects undergraduates with faculty research projects, helping Cornell fulfill its land grant mission by engaging students in outreach. From research to education and program development, interns are involved in a wide spectrum of activities which they document by blogging. Findings are presented in the late summer at a poster event on campus.

This year BCTR researchers are involved with four summer intern projects, reaching eight counties:

Building a Community Legacy Together Program Evaluation
Faculty: Karl Pillemer
Location: CCE Orange County and CCE Genesee County
Student blog

Parent Education in New York City: The Parenting A Second Time Around (PASTA) Project
Faculty: Rachel Dunifon
Location: CCE New York City
Student blog by Paisley Marie Terenzi

Refugee Family Child Care Provider Project
Faculty: John Eckenrode with Lisa McCabe
Location: CCE Madison-Oneida County
Student blog by Emily Nina Satinsky

Research for the Continuous Improvement of 4-H
Faculty: Stephen Hamilton
Location: Erie (base), Genesee, Orleans, Wyoming Counties
Student blog by Katrina Simon

 

Related:
BCTR connections at the CCE student poster showcase
2012 CCE Student Poster Event showcases summer research projects

 

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Income inequality linked to higher rates of child abuse and neglect

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Eckenrode

BCTR director John Eckenrode is lead author of a new article, Income Inequality and Child Maltreatment in the United States, published in February in the journal Pediatrics. Eckenrode, who also serves as director of the BCTR's National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN), co-authored the article with NDACAN researchers Elliott Smith, Margaret McCarthy, and Michael Dineen. The article reports findings from a study comparing substantiated reports of child abuse and neglect with nationwide county-level data on income equality and poverty, covering 3,142 U.S. counties. The study concluded,

Higher income inequality across US counties was significantly associated with higher county-level rates of child maltreatment. The findings contribute to the growing literature linking greater income inequality to a range of poor health and well-being outcomes in infants and children.

In a Cornell Chronicle article on the findings, Eckenrode is quoted, saying,

... reducing poverty and inequality would be the single most effective way to prevent maltreatment of children, but in addition there are proven programs that work to support parents and children and help to reduce the chances of abuse and neglect – clearly a multifaceted strategy is needed.

Support for the study came from the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

Income inequality and child maltreatment in the United States - Pediatrics
Child abuse and neglect rise with income inequality - Cornell Chronicle
Child abuse rises with income inequality, Cornell study shows - Ithaca Journal
More kids struggle where the income gap widens - Christian Science Monitor
Rising child abuse linked to rising income inequality, study reports - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Kids may suffer in gaps between haves and have-nots - Reuters

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