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Conference shares latest youth development research

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By Olivia M. Hall from the Cornell Chronicle:

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Anthony Burrow, assistant professor of human development and PRYDE co-director, presents a poster on youth and life purpose at the Youth Development Research Update.

Runaway slaves, social media, environmental education, the wisdom of elders – the sixth annual Youth Development Research Update June 1-2 in Ithaca covered a lot of ground.

Funded by the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, the conference brought together 55 Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and program leaders, youth service providers from community agencies and Cornell faculty members from across campus to explore how these and other topics relate to children and teens and how to better serve their needs.

“This event creates a unique, interactive space for practitioners and researchers to engage in sustained dialogue about ongoing research and the potential for future collaboration,” said assistant professor of human development Anthony Burrow, who organized the event with Jutta Dotterweich, director of training for BCTR’s ACT for Youth project.

Stephanie Graf, a Youth and Family Program leader with Jefferson County Extension, has developed several fruitful partnerships over five years of attending the conference. For a past project on Defiant Gardens for military families, for example, she worked with professor of natural resources Marianne Krasny, who this year spoke about environmental education programs to support positive youth development.

Krasny outlined how environmental stewardship activities have potential to stimulate positive growth in young people, leading to healthier physical habits, skills for future employment or greater self-confidence and emotional self-regulation. Educators, meanwhile, face the challenge of guiding youth without overly imposing their own experiences and decision-making – a dilemma for which she suggested a reflective practice of providing structure, support, mutual learning, open communication and ultimate accountability. “Positive youth development is possible,” she said, “but it’s not easy.”

Graf found research by Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management and a BCTR faculty fellow, on the stigma associated with parental incarceration to be equally relevant to her work, where she sometimes encounters children of inmates in her county’s after-school programs.

Wildeman reviewed research on the United States’ historically high rate of incarceration – which at 500 prisoners per 100,000 citizens far outstrips other developed democracies – and its disproportionately negative impact on minority families. He then described a new experimental study in which teachers, presented with hypothetical students new to their classroom, expected more behavioral problems and less competence from children whose fathers are in prison. These results support the “sticky stigma” attached to paternal incarceration, Wildeman said.

History professor Edward Baptist drew a link from Wildeman’s talk when discussing his Freedom on the Move project. “I think that mass incarceration probably wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t have the shape that it does without the strategies that were created to try to control and continue to force people into the institution of slavery,” Baptist said.

One such strategy was for slave masters to place runaway slave ads in newspapers, reinforcing the persistent scrutiny under which even free African-Americans found themselves. Collaborating with colleagues at Cornell and other universities, Baptist has built a crowdsourcing platform that will engage the public in transcribing and parsing data from some 200,000 ads that survive from the period between 1722 and 1865.

A poster session on the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) concluded the conference, allowing attendees to question researchers about work in its four focus areas: healthy transitions for adolescents; intergenerational connections between high schoolers and older adults; the productive use of social media; and leveraging youth purpose to increase engagement and learning in 4-H.

Burrow, PRYDE co-director, said: “The update provides a rare space for researchers to attend a conference alongside needed collaborators. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.”

 

Conference shares latest youth development research - Cornell Chronicle

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Two in five African-American women know a prisoner

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news-wildeman-inpostRecent research findings, co-authored by BCTR affiliate and fellow Christopher Wildeman (Policy Analysis & Management), show that on average African-American adults, and women in particular, are more likely to be acquainted with someone who is incarcerated  than whites. Forty-four percent of black women and 32 percent of black men have a family member, neighbor, or acquaintance in prison, compared to 12 percent of white women and 6 percent of white men.

In a Cornell Chronicle article, Wildeman notes,

Our estimates show even deeper racial inequalities in connectedness to prisoners than previous work might have implied. Because imprisonment has negative consequences not only for the men and women who cycle through the system but also for the parents, partners and progeny they leave behind, mass imprisonment’s long-term consequences of racial inequality in the United States might be even greater than any of us working in this area had originally suspected.

These results show further racial inequality wrought by the U.S. prison boom, with potentially harmful consequences to families and communities lacking social supports to raise children and manage households.

The study was led by University of Washington associate professor of sociology Hedwig Lee ’03 and co-authored by Wildeman and was published by Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race. The article, Racial Inequalities in Connectedness to Imprisoned Individuals in the United States, is co-authored by Tyler McCormick at the University of Washington and Margaret Hicken at the University of Michigan. The study was unfunded.

Wildeman is co-organizer (with Anna Haskins, Sociology, and Julie Poelhmann-Tynan, University of Wisconsin - Madison) of the 2016 Bronfebrenner Conference, which will examine mass incarceration's effects on children.

 

Study: 2 in 5 African-American women know a prisoner - Cornell Chronicle
Racial inequalities in connectedness to imprisoned individuals in the United States - Du Bois Review

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Valerie Adams co-authors chapter in new volume on racial stereotyping

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Valerie Adams, NY State 4-H Leader, co-authored a chapter, "Media Socialization, Black Media Images and Black Adolescent Identity," in the newly-published Racial Stereotyping and Child Development (Karger).

 

 

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TRIPLL Leads New York City Community Forum on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Pain and Pain Management

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TRIPLL New York City Community ForumOn October 12, 2011 the Translational Research Institute on Pain in Later Life (TRIPLL: Cornell’s Edward R. Roybal Center) led a community and researcher forum on developing innovative strategies to address racial and ethnic disparities in pain and pain management in later life. Carmen Green, MD, Professor of Health Management and Policy at University of Michigan Ann Arbor delivered the keynote at the event, “Pain and the Science of Inclusion.” Two panels led by community agency and research experts discussed the role of community-researcher partnerships in addressing health disparities. The event was attended by over 100 researchers, community practitioners, industry representatives, and funders. Next steps will include a dialogue between researchers and community practitioners to generate a collaborative research agenda that engages community practitioners and researchers as equal partners. TRIPLL is a unique collaboration of medical, social, behavioral, and health science researchers who collaborate with diverse agencies in New York City to translate research findings into practical solutions for older adults who suffer from persistent pain. The event was co-sponsored by the Weill Cornell Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTSC) and the Weill Comprehensive Center of Excellence in Disparities Research and Community Engagement (CEDREC).

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Talks at Twelve: Anthony Burrow, Thursday, April 12, 2012

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Purpose in Life as an Asset for Positive Adjustment
Anthony Burrow, Assistant Professor, Human Development

Thursday, April 12, 2012
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



It has become nearly axiomatic that a purpose in life is a good thing to have. Numerous studies with adults affirm that possessing a meaningful direction and purpose for one’s life corresponds with a host of positive outcomes including greater life satisfaction and fulfillment, positive emotionality, psychological well-being, and resilience to stress. Rarely, however, have researchers asked the extent to which purpose is relevant to adjustment during adolescence, or even if youth are capable of developing such a profound sense of direction for one’s life. In this talk, I will share findings from several studies my colleagues and I have conducted suggesting that not only do many youth consider their purpose in broad and differentiated ways, but that those who are most engaged with this sense may be uniquely equipped to optimally negotiate challenges traditionally thought to thwart adaptive youth development.

Dr. Anthony Burrow is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. His research examines broadly the significance of developing positive identities and a meaningful sense of direction during adolescence and young adulthood. Dr. Burrow’s primary line of work examines how racial identity, in particular, influences the psychological adjustment to negative experiences reported by minorities. A second line of inquiry concerns the role of identifying and committing to a sense of purpose in life. Both of these research interests emphasis the importance of understanding how cultivating a sense of identity and purpose promote optimal psychosocial adjustment in the everyday lives of young people. Dr. Burrow received his B.A. in Psychology from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Florida International University.

Lunch will be served. This talk is open to all.  Metered parking is available across Plantations Rd. in The Plantations lot.

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