Search Cornell

Kopko interviewed on WENY News about kids and screen time

Tags: children,   family,   Kimberly Kopko,   media mention,   parenting,   technology,   tv,  

screenshot of Kimberly Kopko on WENY News

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

BCTR researcher Kimberly Kopko, director of the The Parenting Project: Healthy Children, Families, & Communities, was featured on WENY News in a special report about kids and screen time.

Kopko’s research and extension work examines parenting and family processes. The Parenting Project translates research on parenting into information to help families on topics including literacy, spanking and technology, to name a few.

In the news broadcast, Kopko said when kids spend time using technology, they miss out on important time learning interpersonal skills.

"That lack of face-to-face communication is impacting social skills and there's no opportunity to read body language or facial cues, or to pick up on emotions because it's simply just through a device,” she said. "If it's a question of should I communicate using a device or not, yes you should. But you should also try to have as much of that be face to face as you can.”

To avoid using technology to keep kids entertained, Kopko recommended having activities on hand – even when you’re on the go – that do not involved screens.

"Throw a few non-electronic toys in a bag and snacks,” she said. “Snacks are critical because a lot of the meltdowns are that children are hungry. So to the extent that you can just have that little backpack or care package and hand those things to your child opposed to handing them a device.”

View the full special report.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    family    Kimberly Kopko    media mention    parenting    technology    tv   

Talks at Twelve: Kimberly Kopko, Sharon Tennyson, John Sipple, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

portrait of Kimberly Kopko

Enhancing the Impact of School-Based Health Centers in Rural NY via Parenting Education
Kimberly Kopko, Sharon Tennyson, John Sipple - Cornell University

Wednesday, October 17, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
ILR Conference Center, Room 225

This integrated pilot project explores the feasibility and impact of expanding existing services provided by School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) in rural New York to enhance the sustainability of healthy families and communities. Based on site visits, meetings, interviews, parent surveys, literature reviews and a four-county quantitative study of healthcare access and outcomes across generations, our multidisciplinary team of applied research, extension and healthcare professionals developed a two-generation community-centered response model based on expanding parent education and support services through SBHCs. Extending the scope of parent support services at SBHCs in rural communities may be a sustainable and cost-effective way to enhance the positive role they play in these areas.

Kimberly Kopko received her Ph.D. in child development from the Department of Human Development at Cornell University and joined the Department of Policy Analysis & Management in the College of Human Ecology after spending a year as an assistant professor of psychology at Ithaca College.  Her research and extension work examines parenting and family processes. Current research and outreach projects include: parenting and child learning, parenting education in School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs), teens being raised by custodial grandparents, and the use of research and evidence-based parent education programs to promote positive parenting behaviors and strengthen families.  Ongoing academic and research interests incorporate an international dimension with a focus on parenting and family support and comparative parenting, family, and child social policies in Scandinavian countries.

Sharon Tennyson is a professor at Cornell University in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, a core faculty member of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), and director of graduate studies for the field of public affairs. She is a member of the advisory board of Cornell's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, and faculty coordinator of the Einaudi Center's Working Group on Disasters.

An economist by training, Dr. Tennyson's primary research focus is the impact of laws and government regulations on the wellbeing of consumers in markets. Recognizing that government actions may alter firms' operations and/or consumers' decisions in markets, her work explores the effects of regulations on these behaviors and the changes in market outcomes that result.  Much of her work has studied insurance markets, but she has also written on the regulation of credit cards, prescription drugs and airlines.

From 2014-2017 Dr. Tennyson served as director of CIPA, and from 2012-2017 she served as editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs. She is a former president of the Risk Theory Society, and began her career as an assistant professor in the Department of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

John W. Sipple, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. He serves as director of the New York State Center for Rural Schools, faculty director of Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute, co-editor of the academic journal Community Development, and served three years as a state-appointed monitor for the East Ramapo (NY) School District. Prof. Sipple studies the linkages between the $600 Billion/year K-12 educational system and the vitality of local communities. This includes problems and policies related to equity in state assessment, earlycare and PreK, demographic change, and the intersection of school-based health clinics and broader community well-being. He leads an effort to put data in the hands of local decision makers via useful and easy-to-use data tools ( He has published broadly in academic journals and books and presented at regional, national, and international conferences. He is a former 7th and 8th grade science and mathematics teacher, earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College, an ME.d from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage or at various Parkmobile lots.  Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    education    health    Kimberly Kopko    New York    parenting   

Parent educators and faculty review latest parenting research


Dinah Castro, Maxine Cohen, Kerri Reda, and Tim Jahn in conversation at the in-service.

The annual Parenting in Context in-service event brings together Cornell researchers with New York State parent educators and others who work with families and youth for networking, professional development workshops, and presentations.

The 2015 in-service, held September 16-17, featured presentations on topics such as parenting in the digital age, custodial grandparent families, cognitive development in social context, positive discipline strategies, and adolescent well-being amidst family instability. Presenters included Rachel Dunifon and Laura Tach from policy analysis and management, Michael Goldstein from psychology, Chris Watkins, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, local school social worker Melissa Enns, and Parenting In Context staff Kimberly Kopko and Eliza Cook.

Participants came from 9 counties across New York State and left the following feedback on the event:

The updates and research presentations are always thought-provoking and reinforce our connection to the university. It is so important to those of us in the field.

It was very helpful to better understand the environment and dynamics of niche families--grandfamilies and fragile families. Presentations being research-based reminded me of its importance.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CCE    Eliza Cook    Kimberly Kopko    parenting    Parenting in Context    Rachel Dunifon   

US parents continue to use spanking despite the evidence against it


Kimberly Kopko

The majority of American parents still use spanking to discipline their children despite overwhelming evidence that it is ineffective and detrimental. In practice, research findings are often no match for cultural norms and closely-held beliefs about the physical punishment of children. Kimberly Kopko, director of the BCTR's Parenting in Context Initiative, comments on the subject in a recent article. The specific case she refers to below involves a Liberian native living in the US who "hot peppered" his two young sons (details in the full article, link below).

"There has to be appreciation and understanding of culture, but if you're harming a child, you're harming a child," said Dr. Kimberly Kopko, who runs Cornell University's Parenting in Context initiative.

As for cultural norms, Dr. Kopko said, "I do appreciate and understand the cultural issues around those sorts of things, however, you're talking about a Liberian family that was living in the U.S. If that family was living in Sweden, it would likewise not be legal."

Sweden banned spanking in 1979, and 45 nations have since followed suit, most of them in Europe and South America.

America's a different story, though.

"We're very individualistic and private, and so we're not run like a European country where a lot of this is more out in the open," Dr. Kopko said. "I think many Americans take the view of, 'What happens in my home is my business, it's not yours.'"

On a policy level, authorities here are more reluctant to step in and tell parents how to parent, she said.

"I'm persuaded by data, and the data has consistently told us, consistently, that spanking is not good," she said. "Now research versus personal belief? You can line up a thousand research studies in front of some parents who believe that spanking is good, and they're still going to believe spanking is good."

The Parenting in Context Initiative provides research-based resources for parent educators and develops new curricula to enhance existing programs. They also provide training and tools useful in evaluating parenting programs. Their web site has some resources intended directly for parents, including Parent Pages, which summarize the latest research, and information on parenting programs in New York State.

Spank or not to spank? Child endangerment arrests stir debate -

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: children    Kimberly Kopko    media mention    parenting    Parenting in Context   

Fall 2014 Talks at Twelve speakers announced

The center is pleased to announce the fall speakers in our Talks at Twelve series. All Talks at Twelve are held in the Beebe Hall second floor conference room and lunch is served. These talks are free and open to all.

Thursday, August 21
Relatives Raising Youth Project: An Example of Translational Research in Parenting Education
Kimberly Kopko, Parenting in Context Initiative, BCTR, Cornell University

Wednesday, September 10, 12:00-1:30pm
More Body Projects
Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Cornell University

Thursday, October 23, 12:00-1:00pm
Resident-to-Resident Elder Mistreatment in Nursing Homes: Findings from the First Prevalence Study
Karl Pillemer, Human Development and BCTR, Cornell University

Tuesday, October 28, 12:00-1:00pm
Latino Children and White Out-Migration from New Gateway School Districts
Matthew Hall, Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University

Thursday, November 13, 12:00-1:00pm
Promoting Sexual Health Including HIV and AIDS Education in School-based Programs though Community Partnerships
Ravhee Bholah, School of Science and Mathematics, Mauritius Institute of Education

Thursday, December 11, 12:00-1:00pm
Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality
Christopher Wildeman, Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University

Tuesday, December 16, 12:00-1:00pm
Helping Parents Help Their Teens: Lessons Learned about Parent Stress and Support from Research on Self-injury and Families
Janis Whitlock, Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    Janis Whitlock    Kimberly Kopko   

New article: “Grandparent Coresidence and Family Well-Being”

Rachel Dunifon and Kimberly Kopko

Rachel Dunifon and Kimberly Kopko

The BCTR's Rachel Dunifon and Kimberly Kopko (with Kathleen Ziol-Guest) authored a new article that looks at the effects of grandparents living with families. Grandparent Coresidence and Family Well-Being was published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science this summer.

U.S. children today have increasingly diverse living arrangements. In 2012, 10 percent of children lived with at least one grandparent; 8 percent lived in three-generational households, consisting of a parent and a grandparent; while 2 percent lived with a grandparent and no parent in the household. This article reviews the literature on grandparent coresidence and presents new research on children coresiding with grandparents in modern families. Findings suggest that grandparent coresidence is quite common and that its prevalence increased during the Great Recession. Additionally, these living arrangements are diverse themselves, varying by the marital status of the parent, the home in which the family lives, and the economic well-being of the family. Suggestions for future research are also proposed.

Grandparent Coresidence and Family Well-Being

Talks at Twelve: Kimberly Kopko, Thursday, August 21, 2014


The Relatives Raising Youth Project: An Example of Translational Research in Parenting Education
Kimberly Kopko, BCTR

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

The Relatives Raising Youth Project is jointly directed by Kimberly Kopko and Rachel Dunifon under the BCTR’s larger umbrella project, The Role of Grandparents in the Lives of Adolescent Grandchildren. Relatives Raising Youth incorporates research and extension activities in the area of relative care, specifically, grandparents raising their teenaged grandchildren. The goals of this research are

  • to provide greater insight into New York families in which grandparents are raising grandchildren
  • to use the results of this research to produce new resources for educators who work with the families, as well as the families themselves

Numerous translational materials were produced from their research, including research briefs, Parent Pages and stand-alone educational modules that specifically address parenting teens. These resources are for use by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and community educators to inform their work with grandparents raising their grandchildren. In her talk, Kim will discuss the process of working with CCE educators and agency leaders in collecting data for this project as well as findings related to relationship quality and parenting among grandparent caregivers and the teenage grandchildren that they are raising.

Kimberly Kopko received her Ph.D. in Child Development from the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University in May 2005 and joined the Department of Policy Analysis & Management in 2007 after spending a year as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ithaca College. Her research and extension interests include parenting and adolescent development. Current research activities focus on examining the well-being of youth (aged 12-18) being raised by a grandparent, specifically, the nature and quality of the relationship between youth and their custodial grandparents, family processes, family communication, and parenting profiles of grandparent caregivers.

Rachel Dunifon is a Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management. She is also Associate Director of the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research and PAM Extension Leader. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 1999 and joined the department in 2001, after spending two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan's Poverty Research and Training Center. Her research focuses on child and family policy.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: BCTR Talks at Twelve    Kimberly Kopko    Rachel Dunifon   

What we know about custodial grandparents

"About 2 percent of children in the U.S. are being raised by their grandparents with no parent living in the home, according to the U.S. Census bureau. But what do we know about these families? And do grandparents face any particular parenting challenges that differ from more traditional households?

"Researchers at the College of Human Ecology and the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research are experts in these complex relationships."

Read more on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog:

What we know about custodial grandparents

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Evidence-Based Living    grandparents    Kimberly Kopko   

BCTR at SUNY Day 2013


Kimberly Kopko

On February 11th, 2013, Cornell Cooperative Extension/College of Human Ecology student summer interns, along with Kimberly Kopko, from the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, attended SUNY (State University of New York) Day 2013 in the Legislative Office Building in Albany, New York. The theme of SUNY Day 2013 was experiential education, showcasing the benefits of co-ops, internships, service-learning, volunteerism, clinical preparation, research, and entrepreneurial work. The event enabled campuses to display recent activities and programs that exemplify experiential learning to state legislative leaders.

Lydia Gill and Robert Neff, students in the College of Human Ecology, displayed their summer 2012 internship projects at the event. Lydia’s project presented the PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) Partnership Model in New York State. John Eckenrode, Ph.D., served as faculty sponsor for the PROSPER summer internship. The focus of Robert’s project was research for continuous improvement of 4-H in New York State. Stephen Hamilton, Ph.D. supervised the 4-H summer internship project.

The Cornell Office of Government Relations in Albany arranged meetings with legislators for participating Cornell staff and students. Lydia Gill and Kimberly Kopko met with Senator Thomas O'Mara's staff. Senator O'Mara represents Schuyler County, one of the PROSPER pilot counties where Lydia'a project was focused (the other pilot site is Livingston County). Robert Neff met with Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, who represents Kenmore County, where Robert lives. Kimberly, Lydia, and Robert met with Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and her staff. Assemblywoman Lupardo chairs the Assembly Children & Family Services committee. In addition to these meetings with legislators, the group also met with staff from the Farm Bureau.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CCE    government    John Eckenrode    Kimberly Kopko    NY State    Stephen Hamilton   

Fifty parent educators attend the 2013 Parenting in Context In-Service event

CCE parent educator Denyse Variano of Orange County

Approximately 50 Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) parent educators from across New York State gathered in Ithaca for the 2013 Parent Education In-Service. The annual event is sponsored by the Parenting in Context Initiative in the College of Human Ecology and was held on the Cornell University campus on January 14th and 15th, 2013. The In-Service provides parent educators with professional development opportunities including presentations on the latest research on parenting and families as well as the latest evidence on effective parenting programs from Cornell professors and Senior Extension Associates. The event also provides a forum for educators to communicate their knowledge from the field back to the researchers.

Presenters included Kelly Musick, Jennifer Tiffany, Rachel Dunifon, Kimberly Kopko, and Lisa McCabe.

Presentations provided information on translational research and updates on the Parenting In Context project and also highlighted CCE innovative parent education programs for teen parents as well as a Facilitator Training Workshop.

Rachel Dunifon

Parenting in Context researchers, led by Rachel Dunifon, associate professor of policy analysis and management and director of Parenting in Context and Senior Extension Associate Kimberly Kopko, Co-Director of the Project, also presented the results of their annual assessment of CCE parent education programs statewide. Nearly 800 New Yorkers across 11 counties participated in 22 different programs in 2011-12, with many of them reporting, via program evaluations, significant improvements in their parenting skills.

Prior to the In-Service event, the Parenting Education Program Work Team (PWT) held their biannual meeting. The Parenting Education PWT was initiated in March 2004 with the primary goal of fostering communication among parenting educators, as well as providing support and resources to educators throughout New York State. Faculty presenters shared information about new research projects and opportunities for parent educator involvement as well as a panel presentation, Strengthening Campus-County Connections: New Projects and Examples of Past (and Ongoing) Successes, that featured a number of faculty discussing the ways in which they connect their research with parent educators and families in their respective communities.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CCE    Jennifer Tiffany    Kimberly Kopko    media mention    parenting    Parenting in Context    Rachel Dunifon