Susan Walker, associate professor, and Seonghee Hong, a Ph.D. student in Family Social Science, will receive the Family & Consumer Sciences Research Journal Best Paper Award in Family and Consumer Sciences Education for 2017.
The award will be presented at the 109th Annual Conference of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) in Atlanta in June. Dr. Sharon DeVaney, editor of FCSRJ, will present the award.
The paper, “Workplace Predictors of Parenting Educators’ Technology Acceptance Attitudes,” was published in the June 2017 issue of FCSRJ.
The AAFCS Best Paper award recognizes work for the importance and originality of the topic; strength of the methodology and results; and the potential for a lasting contribution to family and consumer science.
In their article, Walker and Hong investigated the technology adoption of non-formal parenting educators in Minnesota. They found that attitudes toward technology use was directly related to the perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of the technology. They recommended that organizations that employ parenting educators foster a climate that encourages technology use and provide ongoing and effective training.
The Family and Consumer Sciences ResearchJournal publishes original research in all areas of family and consumer sciences. AAFCS, the sponsoring organization of the journal, is the only national not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization that provides leadership and support to family and consumer science professionals in education, research, business, and not-for-profit organizations.
Family Social Science Professor Steven M. Harris assumed a new role as editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy for a four year term.
Published by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy is dedicated to both reflect and foster the best scholarship in the MFP field that makes a difference, moves our field forward, crosses borders, is sensitive to diversity and social justice, and is relevant to both researchers and clinicians.
Dr. Harris received his master’s and doctoral degrees in marriage and family therapy from Syracuse University. Prior to Minnesota, he was an MFT faculty member at Texas Tech University for 13 years. He has been practicing as an MFT for over 27 years. His history with JMFT includes serving as the reviews editor from 2000-2005, and he has been on the Editorial Board since 2000. Dr. Harris is the author of over 65 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, has written four books, and has contributed a variety of other publications to the field throughout his career. He also serves as the associate director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project. He and his co-author, Dr. William J. Doherty, also a professor in the FSoS Department, released the first textbook on discernment counseling last year.
JMFT, published quarterly, is the flagship scholarly journal of AAMFT and the field of family therapy. The goal of the journal is to ensure the continued development of the science, theory, and practice of marriage and family therapy. JMFT disseminates relevant, current scholarship and research that moves the field forward.
An article co-written by Family Social Science Ph.D. student Emily Jordan Jensen and Associate Professor Tai Mendenhall has been accepted and published in Contemporary Family Therapy.
“Call to Action: Family Therapy and Rural Mental Health,” is a review of every article published over the past 20 years in family journals related to mental health in rural communities. The team found 18 articles.
Jensen and Mendenhall discovered that the research points to three primary barriers that prevent rural communities from accessing high quality mental health care: availability, accessibility and acceptability. In their article, they issue a “call to action” to family clinicians and researchers and provide recommendations for further contributions.
“Family social science is uniquely positioned to really make a difference in this area,” says Jensen. “I hope this article helps to build a bigger research agenda around the needs of rural communities.”
Professor Emeritus David Olson will deliver the 2018 Cornerstone Symposium lecture Thursday, April 5, at 4 p.m. in the McNamara Alumni Center. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP online at: z.umn.edu/cornerstone2018.
One of the pioneers in couple and marriage therapy, Olson will discuss how he bridged research, theory, and practice to create the pioneering Circumplex Model, a systemic model based on three major relationship dimensions: cohesion, flexibility, and communication. Used in a variety of settings with couples and families, the assessment provides diagnostic information that is useful for treatment planning, clinical intervention, and assessing the clinical outcome. The model has been used as the foundation for more than 1,000 research studies worldwide.
He joined the University’s Department of Family Social Science faculty in 1973, and served as Director of Graduate Programs from 1973-1987. He also served as acting head of the Department in 1989. He conducted research studies of health family systems, marital and family conflict, premarital preparation and marriage enrichment programs, mediation approaches to child custody, and family treatment of alcoholism and drug abuse. He has written or edited over 20 books and published more than 100 articles. He currently serves on the editorial boards of six family journals.
Founder and president of Prepare/Enrich (Life Innovations), Olson created a simplified version of his assessment that has been used with over 4 million premarital and married couples around the globe to improve the health and resilience of their relationships.
He is a fellow of the American Association for Marital and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the American Psychological Association. He has served as president of the National Council on Family Relations and the Upper Midwest Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. He was honored by both AAMFT and the American Family Therapy Association with Distinguished Contributions to Family Therapy Research Awards, as well as the University of Minnesota’s Legacy and Research Excellence Awards.
Olson was honored with Professor Emeritus status in 2001. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from St. Olaf College, a master’s in psychology from Wichita State University, and his doctoral degree from Penn State.
More about Family Social Science
The Department of Family Social Science is in the College of Education + Human Development. Formed in 1970, the Department of Family Social Science features academic programs that are future-focused, comprehensive, and transdisciplinary. FSoS scholars not only discover new knowledge, they are committed to collaborating with families, communities, and agencies to identify challenges and create evidence-based solutions. Its multi-disciplinary focus in a research-intensive institution makes it distinctive and unique.
Family Social Science doctoral candidate Corey Yeager successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation in a mid-December session attended by a supportive crowd of faculty, friends and family. But the most unique facet of Yeager’s doctoral candidacy is the distinction of being Professor Bill Doherty’s last advisee.
Doherty, who joined the Department of Family Social Science in 1986, says he will continue to serve on graduate student committees, but he feels he’s at an age where taking on new students for the doctoral degree process (normally around five-years) would not be a good idea for the student.
“I couldn’t be more delighted that Corey was my final student,” said Doherty. “He learned and grew tremendously, and is already making wonderful contributions to the practice and theory of family social science.”
Doherty says Yeager is a prime example of the Department of Family Social Science’s focus on developing community partnerships. That’s a big change he’s noticed over his 30 years of advising doctoral candidates. They enter the program seeking to understand the bigger picture of issues affecting families across the lifespan, and finding their unique research path to make an impact.
He has also observed that some candidates often must cope with the anxiety of their family and community about their doctoral ambitions. “Especially in communities of color, there’s apprehension that if someone gets their doctoral degree, they’ll abandon their community,” said Doherty. “That’s not true with Corey—he’s thoroughly engaged.”
Addressing community challenges
Yeager has worked since 2013 in Minneapolis Public Schools’ Office of Black Male Student Achievement (OBMSA) that addresses the achievement gap in the district’s black male students – the largest demographic group in the district.
He steps into a new role as Educational Equity Director that will focus on professional development for administrators, teachers, and support staff to address the gap. According to OBMSA, black male students lag behind their white male counterparts in every achievement indicator, and have a 39 percent high school graduation rate, compared to white male students’ 65 percent.
“My graduate work and the ability to access, understand, and use meaningful research to support OMBSA’s work has been very helpful,” said Yeager.
As part of his doctoral work, Yeager and Doherty collaborated with black male students at South High School to create the “Relationship Project.” Using the framework Doherty has developed with his Families and Democracy Project, the two researchers listened and learned from the young men, who chose to work on improving their relationships with teachers and their female peers as a way to address their achievement gap.
The two helped the young men improve their communication skills to interview teachers and learn more about them, while the students organized a peer panel of young women to understand the behaviors they display that create discomfort, and what they could do better. Yeager says the work has been powerful for all involved and achieved positive results for the students.
Communities as co-producers
Doherty says this democratic approach builds credibility and trust with individuals, families and partnering organizations. He has spent his career honing this framework that recognizes a community as a base of both knowledge and action.
The temptation of academia he says, is to go into a partnership with a top down mindset as the “expert deliverer of new knowledge.”
“But when you access both the academic knowledge and the knowledge that resides in those communities – that’s dynamite,” he says. Being able to implement that kind of approach requires developing communication and facilitation skills that foster open community engagement.
“Never start with a powerpoint,” says Doherty. Doherty advises dialogue – ask those in the room to share what they know, what they’ve observed, and how they feel about the issue at hand.
“I call it ‘being on tap’ rather than ‘being on top,’” he says. “The dialogue builds trust and appreciation for listening and we – the academics – become resources.”
Yeager expressed his own appreciation for Doherty’s mentorship in attaining his doctoral degree.
“Dr. Doherty was a guide, trainer, motivator, therapist and confidant for me through this doctoral journey,” he said. “I am ever indebted to him and will work diligently to repay him for all he has become to me…”
Family Social Science Associate Professor Tai Mendenhall’s project to help first responders, called “Preventing Compassion Fatigue in Disaster-Responders: Advancing and Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Mobile Self Care App,” has been selected for MN-Reach funding.
The University of Minnesota launched MN-REACH in 2015 to help researchers with new health-related discoveries navigate the complex path(s) from laboratory to market. MN-REACH is also one of three sites in the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs.
Mendenhall is principal investigator (PI) on a team that created a self-care app for trauma-responders, the UMN Responder Self-Care App. In 2012, providers and researchers from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, Academic Health Center (Office of Emergency Preparedness), and Department of Family Social Science collaborated with colleagues at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to develop the innovative self-care app for emergency responders in-the-field. They pilot-tested an early version of the app with volunteer members of the UMN’s Medical Reserve Corps (Behavioral-, Biomedical-, Veterinary-, and other teams) and MDH.
“These volunteers assisted us with understanding their use-cases, so that we can refine and revise this early version across both content and organization,” said Mendenhall, who earned his Ph.D. in Family Social Science at the U of M in 2003. “We are now working toward widespread use and rigorous (randomized) empirical testing. This is very timely and important work!”
Mendenhall’s co-investigators include Andrew Morrow, in the U of M’s Office for Technology Commercialization, and two professionals from the MDH’s Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response: Nancy Carlson, a doctoral student who also works as a behavioral health and community resilience program coordinator, and Tom Garcia, a medical countermeasures planner.
The interactive smartphone app (available for iOS and Android) engages responders in a variety of ways before, during, and after deployments. The personally-customizable tool serves to promote and aid responders’ attention to their own physical, emotional, and social well-being.
High stress – high risk
Disaster-responders are already a high-risk group for compassion fatigue and – paired with the high-risk nature of fieldwork, itself – they are also at high-risk to become impaired. This puts both providers and the families they serve at risk. A 2016 Survey conducted by the National EMS Management Association (NEMA) described in detail the current needs of the responder community, including a call to action: “There is a significant mental health and wellness problem among the EMS workforce in the United States. Insufficient data exists to fully describe the extent and impact of this problem across the 800,000+ professionals that serve around the clock each day.”
Currently organizations address compassion fatigue during after-action processing and/or debriefing sequences, which do not sufficiently address the personal health and well-being of responders. This gap is partly connected to the cultures of medical education, law-enforcement, and emergency services institutions (e.g., rigid hierarchies between classes and specializations, long working hours, and an ethos that does not support or encourage asking for help or appearing vulnerable).
The risks associated with compassion fatigue have personal consequences for emergency responders, including physical and mental illnesses, relationship stress, and professional consequences for the individuals and families that disaster response personnel serve (ranging from missing important cues, to ineffective teamwork and/or straightforward medical errors).
“The opportunity to use the UMN Responder Self-Care App in real-time – privately or in coordination with assigned team-members – will help responders with self-care during times when doing so is most needed, while also capturing much needed data to support long-term research so crucial in this field,” said Mendenhall.
Early development of the UMN Responder Self-Care App was supported by University of Minnesota: Simulations, Exercises, and Effective Education (U-SEE) funding to investigate the effectiveness of public health preparedness training methods with the goal of developing training models that build system capacity.
The hashtag #UMNProud was a presence at the National Council on Family Relations’ annual conference in Orlando in November.
Current students (26), faculty and research associates (13) and alumni (25, including a professor emerita) from the Department of Family Social Science and the University of Minnesota made presentations, moderated panels, and led special sections dialogues, as well as discussed their research in poster sessions across the four days of the national meeting.
Their topics spanned the growing range of family social science research – from transgender youth and young adults in context, to familial and neighborhood influences on obesity, to military service and its impact on families. The Department of Family Social Science is among the national leaders advancing theory and practice to improve the well-being of diverse families.
In addition, grad student Samantha LeBouef was publicly recognized for her national Student Proposal Award in the Education and Enrichment Section for a paper she presented at the conference.
The University of Minnesota was also among 18 institutions promoting their family social science departments to potential grad students during University Receptions Thursday evening.
Here’s a selection of graduate student presentations, posters and papers:
Molly White Bailey, Anti-racists Identity Development – poster;
Natasha Bell, Children and Finances in Divorce Decision-making – poster;
Gretchen Buchanan, Conceptualization of What Constitutes a Strong Family – poster;
Sarah Burcher, Work or Family? A hermeneutic phenomenology qualitative meaning and value of employment from the perspective of low-income women – presentation;
Daniel Cooper, Examining Strength and Resilience with Resettled Liberian Refugee Families, presentation; and Examining biracial identity development: Key concepts and assumptions – poster;
Lekie Dwanyen, Examining Strength and Resilience with Resettled Liberian Refugee Families – presentation;
Renada Goldberg, Using CPBR in Policy Analysis: Assessing Paid Sick Leave and African Americans – poster;
Heather Hessel, Different Paths: Comparing College-Going and Non-college Youth – poster;
Emily Jordan, Barriers to Rural Mental Health Care: Clinicians’ Perspectives – presentation;
Samantha LeBouef, Near, Far, Wherever you are: Siblings and Social Media Communication – paper;
Sun-Kyung Lee, Well-Being of Emerging Adults: How Family and Friends Matter – poster;
Na Zhang, Relationships between mindfulness facets and observed anger expression: An actor partner interdependence analysis with post-deployed military families – poster;
Jingchen Zhang, Effects of a military parenting program: Inhibitory control as a moderator – poster.
About the conference
The NCFR’s annual conference attracts more than 1,000 scholars and practitioners from across the globe with the goal to highlight research, feature evidence-based best practices and critically examine policies that impact families and communities.
Family Social Science Professor/ITR Director Abi Gewirtz has collaborated with current and former grad students on a new article for “Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of applied Family Studies,” published by the National Council on Family Relations.
Gewirtz, current FSOS grad student, Na Zhang, and Osnat Zamir, Ph.D., an associate professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have written “Actor-Partner Associations of Mindfulness and Marital Quality After Military Deployment.” It is currently available pre-publication at NCFR’s online library.
Zhang, a fourth-year doctoral student in Family Social Science, is a native of China and began examining the effects of mindfulness as a master’s degree student at Tsinghua University in Beijing, where she stood out to Gewirtz, who was there teaching a graduate course in prevention science.
Dr. Gewirtz supervised Zamir’s post-doctoral appointment (2011-2016) in FSoS and ITR where she joined Gewirtz’s ADAPT research project. Zamir had been recommend by Dr. Yoav Lavee, a FSoS alum and CEHD Distinguished International Alumnus Awardee. He is currently is on faculty at the University of Haifa, Israel, where Zamir received her Ph.D. degree. Gewirtz served on the CEHD award committee that honored Dr. Lavee.
Family Social Science faculty members Catherine Solheim and Elizabeth Wieling have collaborated with FSOS Ph.D. candidate Jaime Ballard on the book, “Immigrant and Refugee Families: Global Perspectives on Displacement and Resettlement Experiences,” that gives readers an interdisciplinary perspective on the challenges and resilience of immigrant and refugee families in the U.S. They address topics such as immigration policy, traumatic stress, domestic violence, and more. It is free and available to download at the U of M Library.
In addition, Solheim is among the contributors to “Teaching Interculturally: A Framework for Integrating Disciplinary Knowledge and Intercultural Development.” Published by Stylus Publishing, the book provides educators a theoretical foundation, practical tools, and process for designing and implementing an intercultural pedagogy. The book is available online.
According to the blog, parents who participated in Project ADAPT reported feeling better about their parenting, which in turn leads to improvements in the child’s adjustment. The project has also reduced depression, PTSD symptoms, and thoughts of suicide for the parents involved.
Nine students in the Department of Family Social Science’s Ph.D. specialization in Couple and Family Therapy are presenting their research at the annual meeting of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy held in Atlanta, GA.
In addition, four FSOS faculty members – Steven Harris, Tai Mendenhall, Lindsey Weiler and Elizabeth Wieling – will also be presenting and leading workshops and research discussions during the four-day conference.
Students attending include Kadie Ausherbauer, Jackie Braughton, Sarah Crabtree, Daniel Cooper, Lekie Dwanyen, Eugene Hall, Heather Hensel, Aimee Hubbard and Damir Utzran.
Their research represents the breadth of key topics affecting families nationally and internationally including: investigations with Syrian refugees resettled to the United States, local needs assessments conducted with resettled Liberian families, parenting dynamics in a Mexican context, sexual satisfaction and dysfunction and marital separation research.
“Our students are conducting research on critical issues impacting families, especially those affected by social disparities,” said Elizabeth Wieling, associate professor and program director of the Couple and Family Therapy doctoral specialization in Family Social Science. “Each of their studies represent cutting edge work advancing the clinical and implementation fields of research.”
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) represents more than 50,000 marriage and family therapists. The Department of Family Social Science Ph.D. program’s Couple and Family Therapy specialization is among the 20 academic programs accredited by AAMFT in the country.
More about this program
Tai Mendenhall, associate professor in Family Social Science, addressed the National Institutes of Health’s Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health in August.
Lindsey Weiler, assistant professor in Family Social Science, led a research team gathering data at the Minnesota State Fair.
Professor Marlene Stum was honored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Board on Human Sciences, Inc. (BoHS) Monday. The Board on Human Sciences Awards are annually presented to honor national leaders working to advance human sciences in higher education.
A professor in the Department of Family Social Science and Extension, Stum was the winner of the BoHS 2017 Outstanding Engagement Award. The award recognizes a campus-based or a state-level faculty member with exceptional creativity and scholarship in the development, application, and evaluation of outreach, extension, and public service programs.
Driven by a social justice perspective, Dr. Stum’s research and extension work focuses on improving financial literacy and decision-making in families facing later-in-life issues, including health care directives, transfer of personal property and inheritance decisions. Her scholarship and outreach also focuses on family dynamics and behaviors around long-term care, and her work has contributed to public and private policies impacting the long-term care risks facing the country’s aging population. Stum is an early innovator in the use of technology to increase access to the consumer information materials for various audiences.
More about the BoHS awards
The awards are part of the broader BoHS mission of advancing the intellectual integrity and stature of the human sciences at APLU-member institutions. The awards are aimed at supporting the development and stewardship of academic excellence in human sciences; advocating for visibility and leveraging resources to support human sciences research, extension and teaching programs; and educating leaders regarding the capacity of the human sciences to solve human problems.
Abigail Gewirtz, Lindahl Leadership professor in the Department of Family Social Science and the Institute for Translational Research, was interviewed by WCCO-TV and KSTP-TV about her research program, ADAPT, that supports military families reintegrating following deployment. The unique program provides tools and resources to support positive parenting. A U.S. Department of Defense grant is underwriting an online version of ADAPT to serve more military families.
Dworkin is among experts from across the country invited to address the Symposium topic, “Families and Technology,” that will explore how technology is rapidly changing and shaping families and family life. She will present on “Parent’s role in children’s screen time,” and discuss her research that includes the Parenting 2.0 project.
Family Social Science Assistant Professor Tim Piehler’s project, “Mindfulness Training for Juvenile Diversion Youth,” has been awarded an Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health (ITR) Collaborative Seed Grant for the 2017-2018 cycle.
The project was awarded $19,985 mico-trial grant to collaborate on an evidence-based intervention with Headway Emotional Health Services, a community mental health agency that provides pre-court juvenile diversion services for youth offenders.
These kinds of trials are an experimental design to determine the effectiveness of an intervention with the understanding that while it may not have the same effect as a full intervention, it will inform the creation of full-scale intervention program. Piehler’s collaboration with Headway will evaluate the ability of mindfulness-based skills training to impact self-control within an adolescent diversion population.
Previous trials of mindfulness training with adults provide preliminary evidence for positive effects on self-control. The proposed research will extend this work to adolescents at risk for the development of conduct disorder and associated criminality.
“Youth conduct problems, such as aggression, defiance, violence, and criminality, represent a major public health concern with substantial costs to individuals, their families, and larger society,” says Piehler. “When these behaviors escalate to the level of conduct disorder, they can be devastating not only to the youth and their families in the form of social and educational failure, but also have a far-reaching impact on mental health and education systems, juvenile justice, and social services.”
While Juvenile diversion programs serve as an important gateway in identifying youth at high risk for escalations in conduct problems, the vast majority of current diversion programming is not evidence-based, in part because there are few programs developed specifically for this population and setting.
The study will involve a randomized trial investigating an evidence-based mindfulness intervention, Learning to Breathe, (LTB) for juvenile diversion-referred youth to learn whether the intervention can help improve their self-control. The study builds upon an already active research partnership with Headway.
The study will provide critical pilot data for a federal grant submission funding a fully-powered randomized trial. The lack of available evidence-based programs for this unique population represents a substantial area of need for community-based agencies in Minnesota and nationally. With increased availability of such programming, agencies will be able to increase the effectiveness of their services and better divert youth towards prosocial pathways at this critical developmental juncture.
Susan Walker, associate professor and director of the Family Social Science’s Parent Education program, is featured in the latest issue of the College of Education + Human Development’s magazine, Connect, for her efforts to expand the education program in Iceland. The extended online feature details the Iceland-Minnesota exchange.
Tai Mendenhall, associate professor in Family Social Science, addressed the National Institutes of Health’s Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health in August. He disussed his award-winning collaborative research project with the American Indian community to effectively manage diabetes through family and community-based approaches. An interview with Mendenhall and his presentation can be viewed on the Collaborative Research Center for American Indian Health’s YouTube Channel.
More than 400 parents and guardians of school aged children were surveyed on how communities can better support children during the Minnesota State Fair.
Assistant Professor Lindsey Weiler, Ph.D., led a Department of Family Social Science team at the new Driven 2 Discover Research Facility three days during the recent fair. They were among 37 teams from the University of Minnesota seeking research participants over the course of the Minnesota State Fair in the D2D facility.
Weiler and her team were collecting data for a research study, “How to Build a 21st Century Village,” and surveyed 425 respondents to gain their insights on the following questions:
It might be true that it takes a village to raise a child, but what does that look like in 2017?
How do parents connect their children to other caring role models or mentors?
What do parents do when they move to a new community or live away from extended family?
How can parents unlock the power of community when raising children?
“We were looking for State Fair visitors to help us understand how today’s parents build a village of safe and supportive family, friends, and neighbors,” says Weiler. “I was very happy with the turnout and received positive feedback from fairgoers. The students had a great experience too!”
Seven students assisted Weiler over the three days, including three Family Social Science graduate students, Angela Keyzers, Vaida Kazlauskaite, and Sarah Burcher, and four undergraduate students, Family Social Science Majors Ka Lor and Amberson Anderson, Psychology Major Koisey Hiama, and Urban Studies Major Sarah Hill.
Next steps include analyzing the data to understand parents’ experiences of building their own villages and making important connections for their children, and then developing an intervention for parents seeking mentors for their children.
We are excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Collaborative Seed Grant Program. These grants — $20,000 or less with a one-year time frame — support small research projects that advance the use of evidence-based practices in addressing pressing issues for children’s mental health. Each project partners with community organizations in Minnesota. The goal of the program is to kickstart innovative ideas that have a likely chance of becoming larger, sustained research projects with external funding to improve mental health outcomes among Minnesota’s children.
Our mission at the Institute for Translational Research in Children’s Mental Health (ITR) is to advance quality research, train practitioners in evidence-based practices, and disseminate information to help bridge the gap between research and practice in our field.
Mindfulness Training for Juvenile Diversion Youth
Community Principal Investigator: Hal Pickett, Director of Client Services, Headway Emotional Health Services
ITR Principal Investigator: Timothy Piehler, Assistant Professor, UMN Department of Family Social Science
This exciting project aims to reduce conduct disorder among adolescents in juvenile justice diversion programs. The study seeks to adapt a mindfulness-focused intervention called Learning to Breathe for this audience in order to improve adolescent self control. The project will use an experimental design known as a “microtrial” to gauge specific effects of the intervention, which could be a precursor to a full randomized control trial.
Excerpt from the abstract:
“Juvenile diversion programs serve as an important gateway in identifying youth at high risk for escalations in conduct problems. However, the vast majority of diversion programming currently being provided is not evidence-based, in part because there are few evidence-based programs developed specifically for this population and setting…The proposed research seeks to innovate conduct disorder prevention in the context of juvenile diversion through several strategies…The proposed microtrial will evaluate the ability of mindfulness-based skills training to impact self-control within an adolescent diversion population. …
The proposed research project represents a collaboration between a University of Minnesota research team and Headway Emotional Health Services, a community mental health agency that provides pre-court juvenile diversion services for youth offenders. The study will involve a randomized trial investigating an evidence-based mindfulness intervention (Learning to Breathe; LTB) for juvenile diversion-referred youth.”
Foundational Research for a Parenting Mobile App with Biofeedback for Latine Parents
Community Principal Investigator: Roxana Linares, Executive Director, Centro Tyrone Guzman and Veronica Svetaz, Medical Director, Aqui Para Ti
ITR Principal Investigator: Jennifer Doty, Postdoctoral Fellow, UMN Department of Pediatrics
This project will build and test a mobile app version of Padres Informados, a skills-based parenting intervention for Latine immigrants. The work will lay the groundwork for a robust app that includes wearable technology to provide biofeedback to parents as they go through the program.
Excerpt from the abstract:
“The long-term goal of this research is to reduce depression, anxiety, and substance use among Latino adolescents through a mobile application with parenting content and personal biofeedback. The goal of this proposal is to build and test a baseline mobile application with a skills-based parenting curriculum for Latine immigrants, Padres Informados. …
The first aim is to build the baseline application and test the prototype that has already been developed in interviews with 20-30 parents who completed an earlier survey. … The second aim is to assess the functionality of the baseline mobile app and the acceptability of using a wearable.
The mobile app will have the potential of increasing community accessibility to evidence-based parenting programs and enhancing existing delivery of the program by providing mobile supplementary information and goal tracking capabilities.”