Works In Progress - Spring 2012

2012 Spring Talks


May 17
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Amanda Kibler and Sophie Trawalter: Languages Across Borders: Building Positive Cross-Linguistic and Cross-Cultural Networks in High Schools. AUDIO

This presentation examines preliminary outcomes for a yearlong out-of-school dual language enrichment program that aims to improve linguistic and psychosocial outcomes for both Spanish-speaking adolescent learners of English and English-speaking adolescent learners of Spanish. Implications for models of second language acquisition and positive youth development will be explored.

Amanda Kibler is an Assistant Professor of English Education in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on multilingual adolescents’ language and literacy development and the implications of these processes for teaching, learning, and positive youth development across the content areas. Her current and forthcoming publications can be found in Journal of Second Language Writing, Teachers College Record, Linguistics and Education, The Bilingual Research Journal, The Journal of Education, and Symposium Books, among others.

Sophie Trawalter is Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Psychology. Her interests are in psychological phenomena related to diversity. Specifically, how individuals develop competencies for life in diverse spaces. To this end, she has studied the dynamics of interracial contact within the framework of the stress and coping literature. Current projects in this line of research examine: (1) the cognitive costs of coping with interracial contact; (2) the antecedents and manifestations of stress and coping responses to racial diversity; (3) the physiological signatures and health-related outcomes of these responses; and (4) the role of the family, outlining the developmental trajectories of these responses.

April 19
Noon - 1:30 p.m.
Valerie Futch, Chris Hafen (not pictured), Angela Henneberger, Ross Larsen (not pictured), Peter Lovegrove, and Michelle Maier: Annual Society for Prevention Research Sloboda and Bukoski Cup Presentation



The team will present results from their work as part of the Society for Prevention Research's (SPR) 2012 annual competition. They will represent the Youth-Nex Prevention Scientists Team at the SPR meeting in May, 2012. The cup rewards creativity and diversity of ideas and approaches, so WIP presenters will be seeking input on April 19 to augment and improve their work for the competition. This is the second year graduate students and postdoctoral research associates from the Curry School of Education have entered the event. The cup is held annually at the Society for Prevention Research conference. Faculty member Patrick Tolan is leading the team.

Background on the competition:
Fellow SPR Cup competitors receive an emailed data set two months prior to the SPR annual meeting. They then conduct a literature review, generate hypotheses, conduct analyses, and prepare a 10-minute symposium talk. A panel of senior prevention scientist judges and the audience at the symposium will rate the quality of the research work and of the presentation. The highest scoring team will be recognized and awarded the SPR Cup during the SPR Awards Ceremony. The data to be used for this year’s competition is the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Study, collected from over 19,500 students over seven waves from 2011-2006. Respondents were in 7th grade at the beginning of the study, and were followed through 11th grade. The data focus somewhat on substance use, but include measures related to family, peers, teachers and school, as well as individual level resources and behaviors other than drug use.

Key goals of the project, are that they will have strong implications for prevention efforts and focus on the promotion of positive youth development.

Valerie Futch is a postdoctoral fellow at Youth-Nex studying adolescent identity development, youth-adult relationships in out-of-school programs, and emerging adulthood. She received her BS in Psychology from Stetson University in 2002. Prior to joining Youth-Nex, Valerie was a student in Social-Personality Psychology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Angela Henneberger is  an Institute for Education Sciences predoctoral fellow in the Applied Developmental Sciences Ph.D. program in the Curry School of Education. As part of Youth-Nex, she works with Drs. Nancy Deutsch and Patrick Tolan. Henneberger received her B.S. from the University of Maryland College Park. Before attending graduate school, she was a research associate at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA.

Peter Lovegrove joined Youth-Nex as a postdoctoral fellow in August, 2010. He recently completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado - Boulder. While completing his degree, he was a research assistant at the Problem Behavior Program and the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the Institute of Behavioral Science at the University of Colorado - Boulder.

Michelle Maier is a research associate in CASTL (Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning) at the Curry School of Education. She earned her B.A. from Villanova University, her M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Miami. Her research interests include the influence of children’s engagement and classroom-level processes on school readiness among at-risk preschool children.

March 15

Noon - 1:00 p.m.
Diane Whaley, Amy Boitnott, Mark DeBoer: SALUD — Teaching Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Skills to Latino Families

AUDIO - part 1 part 2 SLIDES

The family unit has critical importance for achieving weight loss for children (e.g., Pearson et al., 2009). Eccles’ (1983) expectancy-value model posits that children’s behavioral choices are directly related to their expectancies for success and value associated with the activity, and parents can influence these perceptions directly (through modeling) and indirectly (through the messages they convey to children). This 6-month pilot intervention consisted of a parent counseling program, a child nutrition education curriculum, a physical activity component (“QuickStart” tennis) for children, and a shared healthy meal. Meetings occurred once a month for 6 consecutive months on a Sunday evening. Thirteen families, including 16 parents or guardians and 17 children between the ages of 8-11 were assessed pre- and post on BMI, servings of vegetables and fruit per week, perceptions of physical activity and health eating expectancies (parents and children), modeling of healthy behaviors (parents), and value toward physical activity and healthy eating (children). Results indicated a slight decrease in BMI for parents and children, although the small number of completers prohibits drawing any strong conclusions. No changes were seen in vegetable/fruit consumption, but parent’s assessment of expectancies for sport and perceptions of modeling increased. No changes were seen in children’s beliefs. Findings indicate that a community-based intervention can result in changes in participant’s beliefs and behaviors. Discussion will also focus on the lessons we learned with regard to doing community intervention work, as well as the implications for future intervention efforts.

Diane Whaley is Associate Professor, General Faculty and Director, Lifetime Physical Activity Program. Her primary research examines the relationship between self-perceptions and physical activity behavior in adults and older adults, with a particular interest in developing effective interventions that encourage at-risk groups (older, poor, overweight) to become more physically active.

Amy Boitnott is Assistant Professor of Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program Coordinator in the U.Va. School of Nursing.

Mark DeBoer is a doctor specializing in pediatric endocrinology/diabetes.


February 16
Andrew Kaufman, Robert Wolman, Nancy Deutsch: Awakening Youth Through the Humanities: Preliminary Findings, Implications, Next Steps
AUDIO (partial) and Slides

The humanities have been slow to respond to growing skepticism in recent decades about their value in post-secondary education. 'Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature, and Community Leadership' is an innovative academic community engagement course that places undergraduates at U.Va and incarcerated juvenile delinquents in a radical new community learning environment which is intended to foster the academic, social, and emotional growth of its participants. The purpose of the Youth-Nex-funded study, “Awakening Youth Through the Humanities,” is to conduct analysis of the data gathered from the first two iterations of the course in order to better understand whether and how student growth and learning take place in this teaching model. Course creator/instructor Andrew D. Kaufman, Youth-Nex Program Director and research consultant Nancy Deutsch, and Research and Teaching Assistant Rob Wolman will discuss preliminary findings and their implications for further research.

Andrew Kaufman is a Lecturer and Academic Community Engagement Faculty Fellow in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures and a Research Affiliate in the Curry School of Education. A recognized Russian literature scholar, he is the author of Understanding Tolstoy, and the forthcoming, Give War and Peace a Chance: Tolstoyan Wisdom for Troubled Times. In 2009 Dr. Kaufman created the 'Books Behind Bars' course.

Rob Wolman is a Montessori teacher and corporate trainer who received his masters in Educational Psychology – Applied Developmental Science from The Curry School in 2011. He is the teaching assistant and primary research assistant for 'Books Behind Bars' and is also currently working on the Charlottesville Promise Neighborhood Initiative and on efforts to bring mindfulness education to parents and at-risk youth.

Nancy L. Deutsch is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Foundations at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. She is affiliated with the Research, Statistics & Evaluation and Applied Developmental Science programs. Her research examines the socio-ecological contexts of development, particularly on issues of adolescence, identity, gender, race, and class. Nancy has focused on the role of after-school programs in the lives of youth deemed “at-risk.” Additional biographical information.

January 26
Joanna Lee Williams and Amir G. François: Developments on a Study of Positive Youth Development Among High School Students

AUDIO: part 1 part 2 SLIDES

This presentation will focus on progress on this study examining whether participation in an inter-group dialogue program during the school year enhances strengths conceptualized in the “positive youth development” paradigm and diversity-related values, and promotes ethnic identity exploration among high school students.

Joanna Lee Williams - Dr. Williams' research interests focus on the cognitive, contextual, and developmental factors related to youth’s perceptions of stigma. This includes an emphasis on the role of identity processes related to race/ethnicity, resiliency, and coping in adolescent development. Her  work has examined the nature and frequency of racial microaggressions and their relation to racial ethnic identity development, psychosocial functioning, and achievement outcomes among adolescents and young adults. Dr. Williams is also a member of the research team for the Young Women Leaders Program, a mentoring program for middle school girls that emphasizes self-esteem and leadership development; the mentors are college women at UVa. The evaluation includes a randomized experimental design with program and control groups of middle school girls as well as college women. Surveys, observational data, focus groups, and interviews allow for an examination of individual and contextual factors that support the development of healthy girls and women.

Amir G. François - Amir G. François is currently an Institute for Education Sciences predoctoral fellow in the Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. program in the Curry School of Education. After receiving his B. A. in Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, Amir taught 7th and 8th grade science and worked in Diversity Initiatives at Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, MA. Next, he taught 4th grade at Edward W. Brooke Charter Public School in Roslindale, MA. Amir is interested in social-cognitive development and race relations in educational settings. His main research interests include child and adolescent intercultural competence development, environmental influences on intergroup bias, and the role of teacher and peer attitudes on social development. Amir also a research assistant in the Young Women’s Leadership Program (YWLP), a positive youth development intervention program.

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