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Joining parenting educators and researchers at annual in-service event

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Marianella Casasola presenting

Parenting In Context (an initiative housed in the BCTR) holds annual in-service events at Cornell University for parent educators and others who work with parents and children across New York State. The in-service is a two-day event with networking opportunities, professional development workshops, and various academic presentations by Cornell faculty. By directly connecting those that work with parents with researchers studying parenting and child development, the initiatives delivers the latest research into the hands of those that can use it and allows researchers to hear from practitioners about research needs.

The 2016 event was held in September and featured presentations on topics such as:

  • family life in an era of mass incarceration
  • spatial language and play in early childhood
  • the gap between research and available interventions for autism spectrum disorders
  • the community impact of school-based health centers in rural New York
  • an update on the Toddler Talk pilot study
  • as well as workshops on how to conduct a Community Café and the role of social media in outreach efforts

Presenters included Christopher Wildeman and Sharon Tennyson from the Department of Policy, Analysis and Management, Michael Goldstein from the Department of Psychology, Marianella Casasola from the Department of Human Development, and Lee Humphreys from the Department of Communications, as well as Parenting In Context Staff Kimberly Kopko and Eliza Lathrop Cook. Participants included parent educators, as well as others who work with families and youth.  Participants came from 17 counties across New York State.

Participant comments:

I always take away so much away from these events. I find it very useful when the presenters know their audience and discuss how we can use this info in the field. The ability to connect with colleagues is valuable and energizing.

The connection between researchers and us (educators in the field) has been incredibly valuable!

The connection to new initiatives, programs, and research have been great opportunities for our county associations.

 

Parent Education In-Service full presentation/workshop list (in order of delivery)
Day 1

  • Family Life in an Era of Mass Incarceration - Christopher Wildeman
  • Early Childhood Development: Spatial Language and Play - Marianella Casasola
  • Workshop: The Power of Community Cafés - Anna Steinkraus & Elizabeth Wolff

Day 2

  • Toddler Talk Update: Facilitating Cognitive Development in Social Context, Pilot Study - Michael Goldstein, Eliza Lathrop Cook, & Amanda Root
  • Workshop: Role of Social Media in Outreach Efforts - Lee Humphreys
  • Enhancing the Community Impact of School-Based Health Centers in Rural New York via Parenting Education: A Pilot Study - Kim Kopko, Sharon Tennyson, & Maria Arrieta
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Discussion of Gap between Research and Available Interventions - Michael GoldsteinPartnering with Cornell Capstone Course: Experience and Benefits - Jackie Davis-Manigaulte
  • Training for Family Professionals on Positive Discipline - Nancy Olsen-Harbich
  • Parenting In Context Updates - Eliza Lathrop Cook & Kimberly Kopko

 

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New video: Judith Smetana on adolescent-parent relationships

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Video from the 2016 John Doris Memorial Lecture, Adolescent-Parent Relationships: Developmental Processes and Cultural Variations, by Judith Smetana of the University of Rochester is now online. The lecture was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

 

 

About the talk:
Adolescence is often seen as a difficult time for both adolescents and their parents. Although current psychological research suggests that problems during this developmental period are often overstated, adolescent-parent relationships do go through significant transformations that pose challenges for the family. In her talk, Judith Smetana discusses findings from an ongoing program of research focusing on normative changes in different aspects of adolescent-parent relationships, including conflict and disagreements between parents and teenagers, adolescents’ disclosure, secrecy, and information management with parents, and adolescents’ and parents’ beliefs about parents’ legitimate authority to make rules about adolescents’ lives. She describes research with American families from diverse backgrounds and families from different cultures and discusses the significance of these findings for adolescent development and family functioning.

 

doris smetana eckenrode

L-R: Ellen Doris, Judith Smetana, and John Eckenrode.

About Judith Smetana:
Judith Smetana is professor of psychology and Director of the Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Rochester, where she has held the Frederica Warner Chair of Human Development. She obtained her B.A. with highest honors in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, she moved to the University of Rochester, where she has received several mentoring and leadership awards. Dr. Smetana’s research focuses on adolescent-parent relationships and parenting in different ethnic and cultural contexts and on children’s moral reasoning and behavior. She has published numerous articles and chapters on these topics. Her authored books include Adolescents, families, and social development: How children construct their worlds (2011), and several edited volumes, including the Handbook of Moral Development (2006, 2014), and Adolescent vulnerabilities and opportunities: Constructivist and developmental perspectives (2011).

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2016 John Doris Memorial Lecture

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Adolescent-Parent Relationships: Developmental Processes and Cultural Variations
Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Judith Smetana
Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester

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New Tool Helps Program Staff Better Serve Young Parents

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Purington, Welker, Sebuharara, and Heib

Purington, Welker, Sebuharara, and Heib

The ACT for Youth Center of Excellence has developed an Asset/Risk Assessment Tool for use with families headed by adolescents or young adults. The tool was created for programs working within Pathways to Success, a New York State Department of Health initiative that seeks to establish an infrastructure of support for young families in the Bronx, Buffalo, and Rochester.

One of the purposes of the tool is to build relationships between expectant and parenting students and the Pathways to Success staff so that the young people will use the staff as a conduit to services in the community students may not be aware of or have easy access to. Pathways to Success staff are also working to strengthen relationships with community partners serving this population to help streamline services and reduce barriers to access in the long term.

The tool was developed by Amanda Purington and Dora Welker; Divine Sebuharara and Christine Heib piloted the assessment with expectant and parenting young people and Pathways organizations.
The 3-phased tool contains:

  1. an intake form which collects basic personal information;
  2. an extensive assessment of the expectant or parenting student’s current resources and supports and their priority needs;
  3. an opportunity for staff to create a tailored list of referrals to meet the young parent’s priority needs.

Phase 3 serves as a check-in with the young parent, a month or two after the first two phases, to see if referrals were helpful and determine if new needs have developed. This follow-up phase is repeated as many times as necessary to insure the young parent and their family connect with resources and services in the community.
ACT for Youth Center of Excellence staff piloted this tool with six expectant and parenting young people in Pathways communities, and it was very well received. Participants found the survey duration manageable and the questions to be relevant and valuable. One new parent of a 6-month old son found the process extremely useful, wishing she had this opportunity prior to giving birth, saying, “it would have been nice to have everything set up before I had him.”

The assessment examines the full scope of the student’s situation, considering financial and social support, mental health, employment status, housing, food, clothing, health care, transportation, educational support, vocational services, and the student’s parenting skills. This comprehensive picture of the student’s current environment allows Pathways to Success staff to tailor an approach that will meet the distinctive needs of each young parent, improving their own -- and their children’s -- health, development, well-being, and self-sufficiency.

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2016 Doris Lecture: Judith Smetana, Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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JUDITH G SMETANAPROFESSORCLINICAL & SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

Adolescent-Parent Relationships: Developmental Processes and Cultural Variations
Judith Smetana, University of Rochester

Wednesday, April 20, 2016
12:00PM
Nevin Welcome Center, The Plantations



Adolescence is often seen as a difficult time for both adolescents and their parents. Although current psychological research suggests that problems during this developmental period are often overstated, adolescent-parent relationships do go through significant transformations that pose challenges for the family. In her talk, Judith Smetana will discuss findings from an ongoing program of research focusing on normative changes in different aspects of adolescent-parent relationships, including conflict and disagreements between parents and teenagers, adolescents’ disclosure, secrecy, and information management with parents, and adolescents’ and parents’ beliefs about parents’ legitimate authority to make rules about adolescents’ lives. She will describe research with American families from diverse backgrounds and families from different cultures and discuss the significance of these findings for adolescent development and family functioning.

Judith Smetana is professor of psychology and Director of the Developmental Psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Rochester, where she has held the Frederica Warner Chair of Human Development. She obtained her B.A. with highest honors in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan, she moved to the University of Rochester, where she has received several mentoring and leadership awards. Dr. Smetana’s research focuses on adolescent-parent relationships and parenting in different ethnic and cultural contexts and on children’s moral reasoning and behavior. She has published numerous articles and chapters on these topics. Her authored books include Adolescents, families, and social development: How children construct their worlds (2011), and several edited volumes, including the Handbook of Moral Development (2006, 2014), and Adolescent vulnerabilities and opportunities: Constructivist and developmental perspectives (2011).

 

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Nevin Welcome Center parking lot. No registration or RSVP required except for groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Patty at pmt6@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

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Parent educators and faculty review latest parenting research

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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.

 

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US parents continue to use spanking despite the evidence against it

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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 - SiLive.com

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Parent educators and researchers discuss recent findings at in-service event

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CCE's Jackie Davis-Manigaulte in discussion with parent educators

CCE's Jackie Davis-Manigaulte in discussion with parent educators

This September 22-23 thirty-six parent educators, BCTR staff, and others who work with families and youth gathered for a 2-day Parent Education In-Service, run by the BCTR's Parenting In Context Initiative. Participants from 13 counties across New York State viewed presentations on topics such as adolescent anger, child feeding practices among low-income mothers of preschool children, poverty and child development, and using news and social media to promote county associations.

On September 23rd Bronfenbrenner Lecturer Richard Lerner met with the group for a one-hour Q&A session. Lerner is the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University. His work integrates the study of public policies and community-based programs with the promotion of positive youth development and youth contributions to civil society. In-Service participants then attended the Bronfenbrenner Lecture later that day.

A parent educator in attendance said, "It is reassuring to hear research that supports what I teach."

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ACT teams with communities to better support young parents

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Erin Graupman, District Coordinator of Student Health Services,  Rochester City School District

Erin Graupman, District Coordinator of Student Health Services, Rochester City School District

This July Pathways to Success community teams from Buffalo, the Bronx, and Rochester met for the first time on campus. They reviewed the results from needs and resources assessments of services and support available for young parents in their respective cities. Funded by the New York State Department of Health, and administered through the BCTR's ACT for Youth Center of Excellence, the Pathways to Success Initiative pairs one public school district with one community college (in Buffalo, the Bronx, and Rochester). The aim of this initiative is to create community infrastructure that will help expectant and parenting teens and young adults improve their health, education, and self-sufficiency, as well as strengthen their families.

Jane Powers, director of ACT for Youth, explains the importance of this initiative,

This project tries to improve outcomes for this population, who are prone to fall through the cracks of our service delivery systems. Often they don’t finish school and don’t get prenatal care, which can compromise their future health, occupational and economic outcomes.

To inform the initiative, ACT for Youth developed a process that engaged each community in the assessments. The community partners gathered data through a series of key informant interviews with local agencies. Then ACT for Youth staff consulted expectant and parenting youth by conducting focus groups in each community. Data from the interviews and focus groups were coded here at Cornell. ACT for Youth staff then travelled to each community to discuss findings in “data dialogue” sessions that allowed for rich and locally-based reflection and planning.

Reginald L. Cox

Reginald L. Cox

As the final step in this process, staff from each community project came together in Ithaca on July 14-15, 2014. The first day was dedicated to connecting across the communities, followed by workshops given by Jutta Dotterweich (ACT for Youth director of training and technical assistance) on collaboration, systems-level change, and sustainability. On the second day, groups focused on finding common themes, defining and prioritizing actionable steps, and a hearing a closing talk on engaging fathers from a regionally known expert, Reginald L. Cox, director of the Fatherhood Connection.

 

 New York communities join to help teen parents - Cornell Chronicle

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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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