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Celebrating the launch of Cornell Project 2Gen

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By Stephen D'Angelo for the Cornell Chronicle

Lori Severens, Lindsay Chase-Landsdale, and Lisa Gennetian in panel discussion

Lori Severens, Lindsay Chase-Landsdale, and Lisa Gennetian in panel discussion

At an Oct. 23 symposium, Cornell researchers launched a new Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research initiative: Cornell Project 2Gen, a project that leverages cutting-edge approaches to support vulnerable families and disrupt the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Project 2Gen, led by co-directors Laura Tach and Rachel Dunifon of the College of Human Ecology’s Department of Policy Analysis and Management, focuses on addressing the needs of at-risk children and their parents to capitalize on the strong connection between parents’ well-being and children’s healthy development.

“Project 2Gen takes a two-generational approach to addressing the needs of vulnerable families by supporting research and programs that consider both parents and children,” Dunifon said. “And so the two-gen approach acknowledges that parents’ well-being and children’s well-being are intertwined, and that we really can’t address one without the other.”

According to Dunifon, the project reflects the mission of the College of Human Ecology, which combines that of a land-grant institution and an Ivy League university. Through this focus, the project aims to build a vibrant research community and outreach network.

“Project 2Gen is going to be a hub of innovative work that brings together research, practitioners and policymakers, developing and carrying out work in this area, testing new approaches, evaluating their effectiveness, and implementing them locally and throughout the state,” Dunifon said.

The approach is gaining momentum because research documents a strong connection between parents’ economic, psychological and social well-being and children’s healthy development.

The project, which will leverage collaboration between the work of students and faculty members across Cornell, is developing partnerships with community, state and national organizations and government agencies to support parents and children simultaneously.

Within this approach, there are several methods researchers and practitioners can use. Some two-generational programs begin by focusing on children and then add a component to support parents, such as parent education or skills classes. Others may focus on parents, then add a component for children, such as child care or nutrition support. Still other approaches target systems that influence families, such as schools or workplaces.

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick

Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick

The Oct. 23 symposium included a panel of experts focused on the topic Disrupting the Cycle of Poverty: Two-Generation Approaches from Research, Practice and Policy. Panelists were Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, the Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University; Lisa Gennetian, research professor at the Institute for Human Development and Social Change, New York University; Svante Myrick ’09, mayor of Ithaca; and Lori Severens, assistant director at Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

“I want to say thank you for the work you do,” said Myrick, who as a youth took part in the Head Start program, which promotes the school readiness of young children from low-income families through agencies in their local community. “My siblings and I all had an opportunity to start working at age 16, and we were all able to be successful because of the work that you’ve done, the research that you’ve done, to prove that this isn’t only the big-hearted thing to do, but the hard-headed thing to do.”

 

New initiative launched to support vulnerable families - Cornell Chronicle

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Introducing Cornell Project 2Gen

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2Gen Logo Final Lockups FV_Vertical ColorBy Sheri Hall for the BCTR

BCTR Researchers are launching a new project called Cornell Project 2Gen that focuses on helping vulnerable families by developing programs that support parents and their children jointly.

The approach is gaining momentum within research communities across the country. That’s because research documents a strong connection between parents’ economic, psychological, and social well-being and children’s healthy development.

“The 2Gen approach perfectly fits with the vision of Urie Bronfenbrenner, after whom the BCTR is named,” said Rachel Dunifon, a project leader and professor of policy, analysis and management. “Urie recognized that children develop and grow not in isolation, but in systems, and that in order to affect change, we need to move beyond the individual to incorporate the complex systems in which children live.”

Cornell is kicking the project off with a symposium from 3:00 to 5:00p.m. on October 23 in the Amphitheatre at the Statler Hotel. The symposium will include a panel of experts focused on the topic Disrupting the Cycle of Poverty: Two-Generation Approaches from Research, Practice, and Policy. The panelists are:

  • Lori Severens, Assistant Director at Ascend, The Aspen Institute
  • Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
  • Lisa Gennetian, Research Professor, Institute for Human Development and Social Change, New York University
  • Svante Myrick, Mayor, City of Ithaca

Two-generational programs can begin by focusing on children and then add a component to support parents, such as parent education or skills classes. Others may focus on parents, and then add a component for children, such as child care or nutrition support. Still other approaches target systems that influence families, such as schools or workplaces.

At Cornell, Project 2Gen will focus on building a community of scholars focused on 2Gen approaches to support vulnerable families, working with practitioners and policy makers throughout New York and the nation. This year, Cornell Project 2Gen is awarding funding to research projects that use the 2Gen approach to help vulnerable families and will ultimately inform policy and practice in New York State.

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The Future of Youth Development Research: Perspectives from Research and Practice, Thursday, May 5, 2016

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The Future of Youth Development Research: Perspectives from Research and Practice
Distinguished panel

Thursday, May 5, 2016
3:30-5:30pm
Live stream



This live-streamed event celebrates the inauguration of the BCTR's Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement. Please join to view a panel discussion with prominent youth development researchers and practitioners, each speaking on their vision for the future of translational youth development research.

Live stream link (not active until May 5th, shortly before the event begins): https://vod.video.cornell.edu/media/PRYDE+Inaugural+Event/1_ba6al5x6

Program

3:30pm    Introduction and Remarks
Karl Pillemer, Director
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research
Rachel Dunifon, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach
College of Human Ecology
Anthony Burrow, Director
Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement

 3:50pm    Panel Discussion
Lawrence Aber
Lisa A. Lauxman
Robert M. Sellers
Anthony Burrow, moderator

5:30pm    Closing Remarks
Anthony Burrow

 

Panelist bios

aberLAWRENCE ABER, Ph.D.
Dr. Lawrence Aber is the Willner Family Professor of Psychology and Public Policy at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and University Professor at New York University, where he also serves as board chair of its Institute of Human Development and Social Change and co-director of the international research center “Global TIES for Children.” He received his Ph.D. in Clinical-Community and Developmental Psychology from Yale University. His basic research examines the influence of poverty and violence, at the family and community levels, on the social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive and academic development of children and youth. Currently, he conducts research on the impact of poverty and HIV/AIDS on children’s development in South Africa (in collaboration with the Human Sciences Research Council), the impact of preschool teacher training quality and children’s learning and development in Ghana (in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action) and on school- and community-based interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Sierra Leone and Lebanon (in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee).

lauxmanLISA A. LAUXMAN, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Dr. Lisa Lauxman is Director, 4-H National Headquarters, Division Youth & 4-H, Institute of Youth, Family and Community, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Lauxman provides national programmatic oversight and leadership for 4-H positive youth development working with the land-grant universities’ Cooperative Extension to reach 6 million youth and over 500,000 adult volunteers. Her areas of expertise and research are positive youth development, non-formal learning, youth voice, civic engagement, and youth and adult leadership. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Psychology with a minor in Psychology in Program Evaluation Research Methodology and an M.A. in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona, an M.B.A from Emporia State University, and a B.S. in Home Economics Extension from Kansas State University.

sellersROBERT M. SELLERS, Ph.D.
Dr. Robert Sellers is Vice Provost for Equity, Inclusion, and Academic Affairs, the Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and Education, and Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan. Dr. Sellers graduated cum laude with a B.S. in psychology from Howard University, and received his Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Sellers’ primary research activities focus on the role of race in the psychological lives of African Americans, including an examination of student athletes’ life experiences. He is a co-founder of the Center for the Study of Black Youth in Context, a past President of the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, a fellow of two divisions of the American Psychological Association, and a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. Among his awards is the Theodore Millon Mid-Career Award in Personality Psychology from the American Psychological Foundation, and the APAGS Kenneth & Mamie Clark Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Professional Development of Ethnic Minority Graduate Students.

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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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Support missing when grandparents find themselves parenting again

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Rachel Dunifon

"Grandparents increasingly play a key role in the lives of their grandchildren, as our recent study of U.S. families shows. But some of the most vulnerable in this group are failing to receive the childrearing support that other similarly at-risk families receive," begins a recent post by Rachel Dunifon on the Child and Family Blog. Dunifon, director of The Role of Grandparents in the Lives of Adolescent Grandchildren project in the BCTR, goes on to explain that the past decade has seen a 30 percent increase in the proportion of children who live with both their parents and grandparents. This trend indicates that the social services that support the elderly are, more and more, also assisting children, a fact that should affect policy.

Families where a grandparent or grandparents raise children alone without a parent present are often called "grandfamilies." Dunifon notes that these types of families are often overlooked by policymakers, and left out of aid programs, but not due to a lack of need:

U.S. grandfamilies are, on average, economically disadvantaged. Nearly a third live below the federal poverty line, and almost another third have incomes less than 200 per cent of the poverty level., Grandparents in such families are less likely than parents in other family structures to be employed and are less likely to be married. We see strikingly high levels of health problems in these families – not only in the grandparents but often in the mental health of the children, likely reflecting the misfortune they have often experienced in their lives.

The blog post was also reported by Desert News in an article including personal stories of grandparents raising their grandchildren. Both source the study Grandparent Coresidence and Family Well-Being: Implications for Research and Policy (Dunifon, Ziol-Guest, and Kopko) published in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in July 2014.

 

Grandparent Coresidence and Family Well-Being: Implications for Research and Policy - The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Grandparents raising children alone miss vital family benefits and supports - Child and Family Blog

The problems grandparents face when parenthood starts all over again - Desert News

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

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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.

Abstract:
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

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

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

Thursday, August 21, 2014
12:00-1:00pm
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.

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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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Parenting educators, researchers share wisdom

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Rachel Dunifon speaking with educators

Rachel Dunifon speaking with educators

The BCTR's Parenting in Context Initiative held its annual in-service event with county parenting educators this month. Educators hear about the latest findings on parenting and children from Cornell researchers and researchers have the opportunity to learn about research needs from the educators. This process of communications helps to better serve parents throughout the state with evidence-based information on aspects of child-rearing from infancy to adulthood.

In a recent Cornell Chronicle article about the event, Rachel Dunifon, director of the Parenting in Context Initiative, comments on the process:

The goal is to give extension educators new tools and information that they can use in their programming with families across New York. However, I always come away from these events convinced that I have learned much more than they have. They are an amazing group of professionals committed to making a difference in the lives of those doing some of the most challenging work there is – raising children.

The agenda included presentations on adolescent sexual health, early childhood education, connecting to community agencies, and engaging-low income fathers. The presenters included the BCTR's Jane Powers and Jutta Dotterweich of ACT for Youth, Lisa McCabe of the Corenll Early Childhood Program, and Jennifer Tiffany, BCTR director of outreach and community engagement.

The mission of the Parenting in Context Initiative is to provide research-based resources for parent educators as well as develop new curricula that will enhance existing programs. They also provide training and tools that will be useful in evaluating parenting programs as well as assess parenting programs by county, by program and statewide to identify areas of potential collaboration and resource.

 

Parenting educators, researchers share wisdom - Cornell Chronicle

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