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2019-2020

2019 PSU R Bootcamp
R Bootcamp, a three-day workshop for Penn State researchers and graduate students, was held August 21-23, 2019.
CSC faculty affiliate Jennie Noll appointed to Gov. Tom Wolf's Council on Reform
Jennie Noll, director of Penn State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network and professor of human development and family studies, is one of 25 individuals across the commonwealth to be appointed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s Council on Reform, which is designed to help protect vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania.
NBC news reports research by Paul Morgan found students of color in the south are less likely to be identified as having learning disabilities when compared to their white peers
Black and Latino students in the South are less likely to be identified as having learning disabilities when compared to their White peers, according to a study that will be published in a forthcoming issue of Exceptional Children.
CSC welcomes Dr. Rina Das Eiden
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Rina Das Eiden as a new faculty affiliate at the Child Study Center!
Suzy Scherf & Junqiang Dai review the relation between puberty and functional brain development
Puberty causes significant physical and psychological changes, especially in brain development, changing the way adolescents think and behave. Despite this, the effects of puberty on brain development is not well known.
Jennifer Frank's research demonstrates the positive impact of Communities that Care (CTC) coalitions
Students in Pennsylvania school districts that participated in Communities that Care (CTC) coalitions were significantly less likely to use alcohol or marijuana, or to engage in delinquent behavior than those in non-CTC districts, according to a recent study published in Prevention Science.
CSC faculty affiliates Hannah Schreier, Erika Lunkenheimer, and Jennie Noll join other Penn State researchers to examine the contributing factors to successful post-adoption development
The Pennsylvania child-welfare system places thousands of children from across the state into adoptive families. Penn State researchers recently received a $3.8 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to explore successful post-adoption development in children.
Jennifer Frank part of panel recommending a comprehensive national agenda to improve mental, emotional, and behavioral health in children and youth
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for a comprehensive national agenda to improve mental, emotional and behavioral health in children and youth.
Congratulations to Kristin Buss on being named an Association for Psychological Science (APS) Fellow
Fellow status is awarded to APS members who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the science of psychology in the areas of research, teaching, service, and/or application. Fellow status is typically awarded for one’s scientific contributions, but may also be awarded for exceptional contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings.
The CSC is honored to be the recipient of a major endowment from long-time supporters Arnold and Bette Hoffman
In 2012, the Hoffmans made a $2 million estate commitment to endow the directorship of the Penn State Child Study Center. Recently, they added $1 million to that commitment in order to endow the center, which will one day be named the Arnold S. and Bette G. Hoffman Child Study Center.
Faculty affiliate Dara Babinski's ADHD research featured by Penn State News - The Medical Minute
Dara Babinski, a clinical psychologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, is using data from the Pittsburgh ADHD Longitudinal Study to learn how parents of children with an ADHD diagnosis often experience more lifetime stress than parents of children who don’t have that diagnosis.
Pamela Cole presented a teacher informational session to the Susquehanna Township School District, sponsored by PACT
PACT regularly provides community give-backs to its community partners.
The Pennsylvania Joint State Commission on School Start Times, with CSC faculty affiliate Orfeu Buxton, issues report on how later school start times improve educational and health outcomes for students
Later school start times improve educational and health outcomes by giving students more sleep, according to a new report from the Pennsylvania Joint State Commission on School Start Times, released today (Oct. 17).
Erika Lunkenheimer receives $2.6 million NIH grant to improve the scientific understanding of the role of parental self-regulation in discipline choices
Research shows that harsh parenting results in children with lower self-esteem and behavior problems, but many parents still practice it. Penn State researchers were recently awarded a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to improve the scientific understanding of harsh discipline and the role parents play in using it.
Diana Fishbein co-organizing and moderating congressional briefing to discuss challenges in developing policy responses to the opioid epidemic
Diana Fishbein, professor of human development and family studies and director of the Program of Translational Research on Adversity Neurodevelopment in the Prevention Research Center at Penn State, is co-organizing and moderating the congressional briefing, “The Real Dangers of Equating Opioid Dependence with Addiction,” at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the U.S. Capitol Visitor’s Center in Washington, D.C.
Katie Witkiewitz presented for the CSC Speaker Series and the PRC's Bennett Lecture in Prevention Science
In today’s busy world, it’s important to step back and feel connected to yourself in the present moment — a practice called mindfulness.
Faculty affiliate Christian Connell presented, "Reducing the Risk of Future Child Welfare Systems Involvement for Children and Families" at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center
Christian Connell, Ph.D., engages in research that focuses on the experiences of youth who have been maltreated, as well as those who become involved in the child welfare system and other child-serving systems (e.g., mental health, juvenile justice).
Cristin Hall, principal investigator for new $2.65 million project, aims to provide additional support for children of military families
A new Penn State-led, five-year project will provide additional support for children of military families, who can be at greater social-emotional risk given frequent moves and other stressors.
Margaret A. Fields-Olivieri and Pamela M. Cole acknowledge Robert and Ruth Faris Child Psychology Fund in recently published paper
A paper by Margaret A. Fields-Olivieri and Pamela M. Cole, published in the November/December 2019 issue of Infancy, looked at the role of negative emotion in parent-toddler verbal communication.
Faculty affiliate Lisa Gatzke-Kopp helps students in financial need celebrate their graduation
Graduation caps and gowns are an integral aspect of the traditional graduation process. However, for some students, purchasing a cap and gown can be a financial burden that impacts their ability to attend commencement.
The support of alumni and 'friends of Penn State' invaluable to many graduate students, including the CSC's Leigha MacNeill (Ph.D., 2019, Developmental Psychology)
When asked to describe the impact of alumni and friends’ support on graduate education, Scott Bennett, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts, doesn’t miss a beat.
Congratulations to our HHD faculty affiliates who received 2019 Faculty Awards
Penn State's College of Health and Human Development (HHD) recently recognized recipients of the 2019 Faculty and Staff Awards. These awards honor those who show outstanding achievement in leadership, research, and teaching initiatives.
Congratulations to Richard S. Sokolov on being selected as a Distinguished Alumnus, Penn State's highest honor presented to its alumni
Eight Penn State alumni selected by the Penn State Board of Trustees will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the University's highest honor presented to its alumni.
Dawn Witherspoon leads workshop on strategies for engaging diverse communities in research
On Nov. 4, 20 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from Penn State's colleges of Health and Human Development, Liberal Arts and Education participated in a 4-hour workshop to learn strategies for engaging diverse communities in their research.
Congratulations to Pamela Cole on being recognized by Penn State for 25 years of service
Penn State recognizes employees who have completed 25 years of service.
Kristin Buss and PACT recognized and awarded by Penn State
The Office of the Vice President for Outreach and Faculty Outreach Award Committee at Penn State University recently recognized and awarded Parents and Children Together (PACT) with an exemplary designation for Community Engagement and Scholarship.
New York Times Parenting cites Koraly Pérez-Edgar's research for article on supporting your shy child
So she can embrace her strengths and emerge from her shell the healthy way.
Congratulations to Kristin Buss on being selected as head of the Psychology department
Kristin Buss, Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, has been a faculty affiliate of the Child Study Center since she arrived at Penn State in 2006.
Dr. Koraly Pérez-Edgar spotlighted by SRCD Latino Caucus
The overall mission of the SRCD Latino Caucus is to promote conceptually and methodologically rigorous research conducted with Latino children, youth, and families that represents their (1) diversity, (2) normative development, and (3) inherent strengths (cultural, linguistic, etc.).
Mark Feinberg's Family Foundations program helps military families expecting their first child
The arrival of a newborn can be stressful for all new parents, but may be especially so for those in the military.
Meta-analysis by Paul Morgan highlights discrimination toward students with disabilities
Federal legislation and regulation currently require U.S. schools to monitor for whether students with disabilities who are also racial or ethnic minorities are being inappropriately disciplined.
Plos One recently published an article on Maggie Benda and Suzy Scherf's Complex Emotion Expression Database
The Complex Emotion Expression Database is a digital stimulus set of basic and complex emotional facial expressions.
Orfeu Buxton joined the Smart Talk podcast on February 18, 2020, to discuss the science for later school start times
Any parent who has attempted to roust a sleeping teenager for school will tell you it is not always an easy task. Teenagers, it seems, really like to sleep.
Emotion Expression Database available on Rick Gilmore's Databrary data library
The ability to understand facial expressions is an important part of social communication. However, little is known about how complex facial expression signal emotions related to social behavior and inner thoughts.
SRCD spotlights developmental graduate student Meghan McDoniel
Meghan McDoniel, Ed.M., is a former SRCD State Policy Pre-doctoral Fellow who was placed in the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
Paul Morgan and colleagues re-examine the bidirectional relations between reading and mathematics achievement
Underlying individual and environmental factors may better explain inter-relations between children’s early reading and mathematics achievement, according to new research that fails to support prior work suggesting that increasing children’s math skills might help increase their reading skills.
Congratulations to faculty affiliate Jennie Noll on receiving one of Penn State's 2020 Faculty Scholar Medals for Outstanding Achievement
Noll, an expert in child maltreatment and advocacy, joined Penn State in 2013 tasked with forming researchers and educators around the Penn State Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, which she helped to create and now directs as a unit of Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute.
Paul Morgan and colleagues examine whether U.S. school districts over-identify students of color as having disabilities
U.S. school districts may be flagged as over-identifying students of color as having disabilities when other factors, such as achievement gaps, may explain these disparities, according to new Penn State research published in Exceptional Children.
Congratulations to Pamela Cole on being awarded the Raymond Lombra Award for Distinction in the Social Sciences
Pamela Cole, Liberal Arts Professor of Psychology and Human Development and Family Studies, Associate Director of Clinical Training, and Director of the Emotion Regulation Lab was recently awarded the Raymond Lombra Award for Distinction in the Social Sciences by the College of the Liberal Arts.
Karen Bierman offers insight into how loneliness from Covid-19 isolation could affect children
Experts can’t say for sure, but attentive parenting and regular (new) routines should help a lot.
Research by Rina Das Eiden and colleagues suggests prenatal substance abuse associated with a higher risk of aggressive behavior in kindergarten children
The wave of mass shootings across the United States in the last two decades has reignited the discussion of gun violence and the role it plays on childhood development. New research has found that prenatal substance exposure may contribute to positive attitudes toward guns and violence among adolescents.
Research by Susan McHale examining the effect of siblings' gender on development recently featured in a New York Times article
Whether siblings are of the same sex or not can affect how much time children spend with their parents, romantic relationships and risk-taking, research shows.
Several CSC faculty affiliates have joined interdisciplinary teams of researchers to address the COVID-19 crisis
With speed and ingenuity, more than 100 researchers across Penn State are shifting their research programs to address the COVID-19 crisis, thanks to funding from a seed grant initiative led by the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.
Amy Marshall and Jenae Neiderhiser discuss how their research has been affected by COVID-19
Penn State research professors — including those in the fields of psychology, biobehavioral health, and human development and family studies — sometimes rely on students and individuals outside of the university for their studies.
Congratulations to Jennifer Frank on receiving the Outstanding Junior Researcher Award from the College of Education
The coronavirus pandemic may have halted the College of Education’s in-person events such as the annual spring appreciation and awards luncheon, but that hasn’t prevented the college’s outstanding achievers from being recognized for their accomplishments.
Mark Feinberg and Greg Fosco lead team studying the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing on children and families
Since social distancing has been implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, many families are experiencing high levels of stress and conflict — arguments and conflict between parents, between parents and children, and between siblings.
Penn State Child Study Center researchers contribute to Child and Family Blog on emotionally supportive parenting
Mom or dad sharing and modeling how to manage aggression and upset may explain why some impoverished young children grow up more resilient.
Kathleen Keller offers tips for keeping kids healthy and fed while stuck at home
Balancing finicky kid appetites with proper nutrition can be a challenge in the best of times. But now, with the majority of schools and day cares closed across Pennsylvania, many parents working from home, and schedules thrown in disarray, it may seem downright impossible.
2020 Irene E. Harms Graduate Scholarship Award Recipient Announced
We are pleased to announce the 2020 Irene E. Harms Graduate Scholarship Award recipient, Shana Ramsook Ratcliff, a Child Clinical Psychology graduate student.
2020 Strumpf Scholar Award Recipients Announced
We are pleased to announce the 2020 Strumpf Scholars: Junqiang (Jacob) Dai, a Developmental Psychology graduate student, and Lauren Vazquez, a Child Clinical Psychology graduate student.
The PROSPER Program continues to provide resources to PA families
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions for Pennsylvanians, including the closing of schools and the interruption of other educational programs. Penn State’s PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER) project is continuing to connect and engage Pennsylvania families and keep schools informed.
Recently published research by Jenae Neiderhiser's research team looks at heritable and environmental factors contributing to children's mathematics achievement
The present study uses a parent–offspring adoption design to examine the dual roles of heritable and environmental influences on children's mathematics achievement.
Congratulations to our CSC faculty affiliates who received academic promotions in Spring 2020
The following promotions were recently announced...
Christian Connell and Chad Shenk selected for Governor Tom Wolf's Trauma-Informed PA Think Tank
Two SSRI cofunded faculty members were recently selected to join Governor Tom Wolf’s 'Trauma-Informed PA Think Tank', a statewide initiative to develop the commonwealth's capacity for trauma-informed care.
CSC faculty affiliates at the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network receive $3.5 million training grant
Researchers in Penn State’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network were recently awarded a $3.5 million, five-year training grant to develop the nation’s first training program for child maltreatment professionals to help combat this complex issue.
Cristin Hall and research team produce publication to help schools evaluate violence-prevention resources
Children in remote locations, including children in military families, can face a variety of struggles, including violence in schools and other environments. Penn State researchers developed a new publication that will assist schools in evaluating the violence-prevention resources they may be using to help these students in need.
Mark Feinberg discusses harsh parenting, family violence, and what needs to change
During the COVID-19 pandemic, closed schools and daycare centers, parents working at home, and financial insecurity are increasing stress levels and frictions at home.
Faculty affiliate Rob Turrisi creates video series for parents on how to protect their teens from the dangers of alcohol and other drugs
Parents with questions about how to protect their teens from the dangers of alcohol and other drugs can now receive research-based advice from videos featuring Robert Turrisi, a Penn State professor of biobehavioral health with more than 35 years of experience in researching underage drinking.
PACT continues commitment despite global pandemic
Parents and Children Together (PACT) was formed in 2007 as a partnership between Penn State researchers and people who live in the greater Harrisburg community. The mission of PACT is ultimately to enhance the lives of children, youth and families of racially, culturally and economically diverse backgrounds.
Here is the latest information on the gradual increase of on-campus research-related activities at Penn State
The office of the Senior Vice President for Research at Penn State provides all information relating to on-campus research-related activities.
Rob Roeser and colleagues adapt general education course to current events during the 2nd Annual Human Flourishing Summer Teaching Institute
University students and educators alike are grappling with turbulent times, and Penn State’s 3-credit general education course on the “Art and Science of Human Flourishing” (HDFS 108N) is being fine-tuned to guide students in how to engage in compassionate dialogue about racism, COVID-19 and our social responsibilities to each other.