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How to Build Research Relationships with Non-Academic Partners, Monday, November 20, 2017

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How to Build Research Relationships with Non-Academic Partners
Karl Pillemer, director, BCTR

Monday, November 20, 2017
9:00 - 10:00 AM
102 Mann Library



Researchers are increasingly conducting studies in community settings and applying for grants that require documentation of real-world impact. Indeed, some funders now require components such as dissemination plans, stakeholder engagement, or community participation. To meet these new demands, researchers may wish to collaborate with non-academic groups and craft research questions and results that inform practice or policy. This year the BCTR continues our series of interactive workshops sharing the center’s extensive experience conducting research in real-world settings and translating empirical findings into practice. Each workshop addresses a key challenge that researchers face in doing translational research and provides practical tools for overcoming obstacles to conducting effective translational research. The workshops are open to all Cornell faculty, staff, and graduate students.

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Collaboration lowers incidence of physical restraint for youth in care

(0) Comments  |   Tags: article,   collaboration,   Elliott Smith,   evaluation,   Michael Nunno,   RCCP,   research,   residential care,   youth,  
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Michael Nunno and Elliott Smith

Michael Nunno and Elliott Smith

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

Two BCTR researchers have been working with a Connecticut child welfare agency to implement and evaluate a program that promotes evidence-based approaches in supporting troubled youth. The Cornell researchers and two agency administrators published the results of their collaborative effort in March in the journal Child Welfare under the title “Benefits of embedding research into practice: An agency-university collaboration”.

Since 2009, Michael Nunno and Elliott Smith, members of the research team for the Residential Child Care Project (RCCP), have consulted with Waterford County School in Connecticut, which provides residential and day care to youth with mental health problems, behavioral issues, addiction and emotional problems.

A team of agency executives, clinicians, supervisors and staff members worked with RCCP staff and consultants to learn about and implement the Children and Residential Experiences: Creating Conditions for Change (CARE) program model.  The CARE model is a research-informed framework created at the BCTR by Martha Holden and her RCCP colleagues that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships between caregivers and youth.  Nunno and Smith were part of the effort to examine if CARE was making a difference in the day-to-day life of the children and staff. 

After the school implemented the program, agency administration reported a substantial decrease in physical restraints among the school’s residential population.  Physical restraints are safety interventions that hold a youth in order to contain physical behavior that is likely to result in injury to the youth or others.  They are, however, not without risks to both the child and the staff since they can have harmful or even fatal consequences. 

“The wonderful thing about the Waterford Country School from an evaluator’s perspective is that it has a thirty-year history of collecting and publishing administrative data on measures that matter to practitioners,” Nunno said.  Our job was to portray the data in relevant and meaningful ways so that it could inform practice, soften professional resistance to change, and add to the growing evidence that relationship-based, trauma-informed practice models can create safe and therapeutic physical spaces.”

“By examining the data, we documented a 48 percent decrease in restraint events within Waterford’s residential and shelter settings,” he said. “We were able to verify the staff perceptions and narratives that the Waterford agency was becoming a safer, calmer place.” 

Yet not all Waterford programs saw this decline.  “The day-school data showed an increase in restraints in the corresponding time frame,” Nunno said.  “Although we were all surprised at this finding, our analysis triggered the agency leadership to examine the children’s social and emotional regulation needs.  They involved day-school teachers and children’s families who designed unified approaches to meet those needs.  Within months of implementing these strategies we saw a significant decrease in the use of restraints.”

The partnership between RCCP and the school demonstrates RCCP’s success at monitoring and detecting problems, guiding solutions, improving practice, supporting learning organizations, and contributing more broadly to evidence-based practice. 

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: article    collaboration    Elliott Smith    evaluation    Michael Nunno    RCCP    research    residential care    youth   
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Teen dating violence strong predictor of future abuse

(0) Comments  |   Tags: adolescence,   article,   Deinera Exner-Cortens,   domestic violence,   John Eckenrode,   research,   violence,  
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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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Doing Translational Research podcast with Chris Wildeman

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wildemanIn episode 6 of the BCTR podcast Doing Translational Research, center director Karl Pillemer talks with Christopher Wildeman about his research on mass incarceration and inequality. Christopher Wildeman is an associate professor of policy analysis and management in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell, where he is also co-director of the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and a faculty fellow here in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research.

Chris talks about his research and the way working with communities has strengthened his work. His research and teaching interests revolve around the consequences of mass imprisonment for inequality, with emphasis on families, health, and children. He is also interested in child welfare, especially as relates to child maltreatment and the foster care system.

Ep. 6: Incarceration and Inequality with Christopher Wildeman - Doing Translational Research podcast

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Best practices for professional training and technical assistance

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What does research evidence tell us about best practices for professional training and technical assistance for practitioners delivering evidence-based programs to youth? The latest BCTR systematic translational review (STR) addresses this question.

The BCTR Research Synthesis Project supports the development of high-quality evidence summaries on topics nominated by practitioners and faculty within the Cornell Cooperative Extension system to illuminate the evidence base for their work.

To meet this need, the Systematic Translational Review (STR) process was developed to provide replicable systems and protocols for conducting timely and trustworthy research syntheses. STRs include the systematic features of a traditional review, the speed of a rapid review, and the inclusion of practitioner expertise to help guide search parameters and identify appropriate sources. By drawing upon both practitioner wisdom and the best available empirical evidence, the STR process supports the translation of evidence to practice in real-world settings.

The Best Practices in Professional Training and Technical Assistance STR finds that research has identified best practices in the field of adult education, and key training components have been described
from practice, but more rigorous empirical evaluation is needed to better characterize the components of effective training and technical assistance in this field. Read the full review for further details.

A full listing of all STRs can be found here.

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PRYDE inaugural explores the future of youth development research

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L-R: Lisa Lauxman, Lawrence Aber, Robert Sellers

The inaugural celebration for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) featured three eminent speakers in a panel discussion on “The Future of Youth Development Research: Perspectives from Research and Practice.” This panel uniquely reflected the mission of PRYDE in that it brought research perspectives (Dr. Robert Sellers from University of Michigan and Dr. Lawrence Aber from New York University) together with the perspective of policy and practice (Dr. Lisa Lauxman of the Division of Youth and 4-H in the US Department of Agriculture). Significantly, the event was also attended by both Cornell faculty and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators from across New York State, resulting in a rich discussion of the relevance of youth development research and its translation to practice. In keeping with the mission of PRYDE, this event featured innovative research and highlighted the importance of partnering with youth-serving organizations in order to understand and improve the lives of youth.

The full event video, including introductory remarks by College of Human Ecology Associate Dean for Research and Outreach  Rachel Dunifon and PRYDE co-directors Anthony Burrow and Karl Pillemer, can be viewed here:

 

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Workshop: Organizing and Managing a Research Project, Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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Organizing and Managing a Research Project
BCTR staff

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
1:30 - 2:30 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



Have you joined a research team or are you gathering data for your own research project? Come learn about and discuss tips and tricks for organizing and managing information about your project. From tracking recruitment and eligibility to setting up a database to documenting data cleaning and analysis steps, managing a research project is more than just collecting and analyzing data. Experienced BCTR staff will present management strategies, discuss lessons learned, and answer questions about your project.

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Youth research updates on gossip, children of prisoners, and minority participation in STEM

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Group discussion at the 2015 YDRU

Group discussion at the 2015 YDRU

The BCTR's annual Youth Development Research Update (YDRU) brings together 4-H educators, Cornell Cooperative Extension county leaders, and others in New York State affiliated with youth programs with Cornell researchers. At this year's YDRU, held in early June,  researchers presented on gossip and aggression, the effects of parental incarceration on children, racial and ethnic minority youth engagement in STEM, and the influence of class on cohabitation choices. Jutta Dotterweich (director of training and technical assistance, ACT for Youth Project) and Stephen Hamilton organized the event.

In a Cornell Chronicle article, Jacqueline Davis-Manigaulte ’72, a Cornell Cooperative Extension-New York City senior extension associate, describes the importance of the YDRU,

This event allows us to hear about the latest Cornell faculty research on youth development. But what I really enjoy is the powerful connections we make with faculty members who see the value in working with us on projects. It gives us a direct line to potential partners.

In addition to talks by researchers, the YDRU features group discussions and unstructured time for participants to talk. Giving these generally institutionally separated groups access to each other allows for discussions leading to stronger, more relevant research and more effective, evidence-based programming for youth.

This year's presentations were:

  • Steven E. Alvarado (Sociology): Racial and Ethnic Minorities in STEM: Challenges and Opportunities for Advancement
  • Anna R. Haskins (Sociology): Paternal Incarceration and Children's Early Educational Outcomes
  • Sharon Sassler (Policy Analysis and Management): Social Class Differences in Relationship Processes and the Entry into Cohabitation
  • Dawn E. Schrader (Communication): Everybody Talks: Forms and Functions of Gossip and Talk in Adolescent Female Social Aggression

 

Talks connect faculty, youth-focused extension partners - Cornell Chronicle

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Anna Haskins    CCE    Jutta Dotterweich    media mention    research    Stephen Hamilton    youth    Youth Development Research Update   
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Research Synthesis Project releases first sytematic translational reviews

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The BCTR Research Synthesis Project released its first two systematic translational reviews (STRs) this spring. The first identified validated measures of youth nutrition program outcomes, and the second examined the concept of “engagement” in university-community partnerships. These two STRs are the result of a new research synthesis protocol designed to include practitioner input in the review process while maintaining the structure of a systematic review and speed of a rapid review. The method was developed by Research Synthesis Project director Mary Maley to improve the accessibility and use of research evidence by community practitioners and policy makers. Review topics focus on applied practice questions which require a synopsis of evidence to use in order to strengthen program implementation. More about the STR process can be found here.

Psycho-Social Evaluation Measures for 8-12 year-olds in Nutrition Education Programs explores the question, "Which validated surveys measure changes in nutrition knowledge, attitudes, behavioral intent and self-efficacy among 8-12-year-olds in nutrition education programs?" The reviewers found that there wasn't a singular measure to recommend across programs, but that practitioners should select the best fit for their program from the identified validated measures.

The second STR considers, "How is “Community Engagement” described and operationalized in practice?" Community Engagement in Practice concludes that empirical literature does "not reflect a consistent meaning of the term, or the activities associated with it," but suggests ways that both program practitioners and researchers can address and remedy this ambiguity.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Mary Maley    nutrition    research    Research Synthesis Project    systematic translational reviews   
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Overcoming older African Americans’ reluctance to participate as research subjects

(0) Comments  |   Tags: African Americans,   aging,   article,   Karl Pillemer,   research,  
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Myra Sabir, Assistant Professor of Human DevelopmentMyra Sabir, former Bronfenbrenner Life Course Center postdoctoral fellow and assistant director, is the primary author of a recent article in The Journal of Aging Studies on the difficulties of recruiting older African Americans as research subjects. The BCTR's Karl Pillemer is co-author.

The paper's abstract:

Well-known trust-building methods are routinely used to recruit and retain older African Americans into scientific research studies, yet the quandary over how to overcome this group's hesitance to participate in research remains. We present two innovative and testable methods for resolving the dilemma around increasing older African Americans' participation in scientific research studies. Certain specific and meaningful experiential similarities between the primary researcher and the participants, as well as clear recognition of the elders' worth and dignity, improved older African Americans' willingness to adhere to a rigorous research design. Steps taken in an intervention study produced a potentially replicable strategy for achieving strong results in recruitment, retention and engagement of this population over three waves of assessment. Sixty-two (n = 62) older African Americans were randomized to treatment and control conditions of a reminiscence intervention. Sensitivity to an African American cultural form of respect for elders (recognition of worth and dignity), and intersections between the lived experience of the researcher and participants helped dispel this population's well-documented distrust of scientific research. Results suggest that intentional efforts to honor the worth and dignity of elders through high level hospitality and highlighting meaningful experiential similarities between the researcher and the participants can improve recruitment and retention results. Experiential similarities, in particular, may prove more useful to recruitment and retention than structural similarities such as age, race, or gender, which may not in themselves result in the trust experiential similarities elicit.

An intensely sympathetic awareness: Experiential similarity and cultural norms as means for gaining older African Americans' trust of scientific research - Journal of Aging Studies

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: African Americans    aging    article    Karl Pillemer    research   
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