The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) offers free downloads, selected from our many publications, to our website visitors. We hope that by reading WCW publications, you will gain an understanding of the complexity, depth, and importance of the work undertaken by the researchers and program staff at WCW.

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Risk-Needs Assessments Appropriate for Women Offenders

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD229

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Review of Massachusetts Corrections Master Plan (CMP): Focus on Women

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD230

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Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI): Promising Practices in Massachusetts

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD231

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A Strategic Plan for Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) for Women: Lessons from Abroad

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD232

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Promising Gender-Responsive, Community-Based Programs for Female Offenders in Massachusetts

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD233

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Overview of Key Concerns for Women Offenders and Projects, 2009-2012

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD234

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Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network Activities and Advisory Group Members, 2011-2012

Author: Erika Kates, Ph.D.

SKU: FD235

Bringing Yourself to Work: A Guide to Successful Staff Development in After-School Programs

Authors: Michelle Seligson, Ed.M. and Patricia Jahoda Stahl, Ed.M.

ISBN: 0807744263

Planning in Middle Childhood: Early Predictors and Later Outcomes

Year Published: 2014

Authors: Friedman, S.L., Scholnick, E.K., Bender, R.H., Vandergrift, N., Spieker, S., Hirsh Pasek, K., Keating, D.P., Park, Y. and the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network*
* Marshall is a member of the NICHD ECCRN

Source: Child Development, July 2014, Vol. 85 Issue 4, p. 1446-1460

Abstract: Data from 1,364 children and families who participated in the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were analyzed to track the early correlates and later academic outcomes of planning during middle childhood. Maternal education, through its effect on parenting quality when children were 54 months old, predicts their concurrent performance on sustained attention, inhibition, and short-term verbal memory tests. This performance predicts planning in first grade, which predicts third-grade reading and mathematics attainment, but not the rate of growth in academic skills from first to fifth grades. This path was also found when the same parenting, cognitive, and academic constructs were measured at later time points.

ISSN: 0009-3920

DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12221

Employment and Women's Health

Year Published: 2013

Author: Marshall, N.L.

Source: In M.V. Spiers, P.A. Geller & J.D. Kloss (Eds.), Women's Health Psychology (46-63),  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

ISSN: 978-0-470-89066-0


Subsidized child care, maternal employment and access to quality, affordable child care

Year Published: 2013

Author: Marshall, N.L., Robeson, W.W., Tracy, A.J., Frye, A., & Roberts, J.

Source: Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28, 808–819.

Abstract: To examine whether state child care subsidy policies can combine goals of increasing maternal employment and increasing access to quality child care for children in low-income families, we studied one state's comprehensive policy, through a cross-sectional survey of 665 randomly selected families using centers, Head Starts, family child care homes, public school preschools or informal care, including a sample of families on the waitlist for child care subsidies. We found that, in Massachusetts, families receiving child care subsidies report greater access to child care, more affordable child care, and higher quality child care, than do similar families not receiving subsidies. Lower-income families not receiving subsidies can sometimes access affordable, quality child care through Head Start programs and public preschools, but, when they have to pay for care, they pay a significantly greater proportion of their income than do families receiving subsidies. We also found that families on the subsidy waitlist are at a particular disadvantage. Waitlist families have the greatest difficulty paying for care, the least access, and the poorest quality child care. While the child care subsidy policies benefited those families receiving subsidies, families outside the system still struggled to find and afford child care.

ISSN: 0885-2006


Boston Quality Inventory 2013: Community Early Care and Education Programs

Year Published: 2013

Author: Marshall, N.L., Robeson, W.W., & Roberts, J.

Source: Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, available at: Boston EQUIP


Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children: Cross-Site Evaluation of the Strengthening At Risk and Homeless Young Mothers and Children Initiative 2012

Year Published: 2012

Author: The National Center on Family Homelessness, with Marshall, N.L.

Source: The National Center on Family Homelessness, available at: American Institutes for Research


Program Facility Standards for Early Care and Education & Out-of-School-Time Programs

Year Published: 2011

Author: Pardee, M., Cowden, M.M., Robeson, W.W., Marshall, N.L., Hall, G., Tomasetti, S. & Hutchinson, B.

Source: The Children’s Investment Fund


Facilities Inventory Project: Data Report

Year Published: 2011

Author: Marshall, N.L., Robeson, W.W., Hall, G., Tomasetti, S & Hutchinson, B., Tomasetti, S. & Hutchinson, B.

Source: Wellesley Centers for Women & On-Site Insight. Report to The Children’s Investment Fund


Facilities Inventory Project: Boston Report

Year Published: 2011

Author: Marshall, N.L., Robeson, W.W., Hall, G., Tomasetti, S & Hutchinson, B.

Source: Wellesley Centers for Women & On-Site Insight. Report to The Children’s Investment Fund


Building an Infrastructure for Quality: An Inventory of Early Childhood Education and Out-of-School Time Facilities in Massachusetts

Year Published: 2011

Author: Children's Investment Fund

Source: Wellesley Centers for Women & On-Site Insight. Report to The Children’s Investment Fund, available at: Wellesley Centers for Women


Boston Quality Inventory 2010: Community Early Care and Education Programs.

Year Published: 2010

Author: Marshall, N.L., Dennehy, J., Robeson, W.W. & Roberts, J.

Source: Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA.


School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills

Year Published: 2013

Authors: Kerr S., Pekkarinen T., and Uusitalo R.

Source: Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 31 (no. 3)

Abstract: We evaluate the effects of the school system on mathematical, verbal, and logical reasoning skills using data from the Finnish comprehensive school reform that abolished the two-track school system. We use a difference-in-differences approach that exploits the gradual implementation across the country. Cognitive skills are measured using test scores from the Finnish Army Basic Skills Test. The reform had small positive effects on verbal test scores but no effect on the mean performance in the arithmetic or logical reasoning tests. However, the reform significantly improved the scores of the students whose parents had less than a high school education.

DOI: 10.1086/669493

Immigration and Employer Transitions for STEM Workers

Year Published: 2013

Authors: Pekkala Kerr S., Kerr W.

Source: American Economic Review, Vol. 103, 2013

Abstract: The firm is almost entirely absent from models of immigration, and yet firms play a central role for high-skilled immigration. The H-1B visa program, for example, is a firm-sponsored entry where firms are responsible for every stage: from identifying the immigrant, to employing them, to filing for permanent residency on behalf of the immigrant. This central role of firms for high-skilled immigration suggests the traditional lens for evaluating the impact of immigration on natives through local area labor markets or national age-education approaches may miss important dynamics. We analyze the employment and wage trajectories of high-skilled workers born in America when a high-skilled immigrant arrives at their work site. We use linked employer-employee data during the 1995-2008 period from the Census Bureau for this exercise, which identifies the immigration status and country-of-birth of workers. We follow the subsequent career path of workers after high-skilled immigration occurs to the employee's work site both within firms (e.g., changes in employee salary, relocation to other sites) and across firms (e.g., movements to new jobs or out of workforce, long-term salary adjustments). The richness and depth of the Census Bureau data allow for multiple comparison points: selection on observables (e.g., age, tenure, salary levels and recent growth), varying immigration treatments across different work sites for the same firm for otherwise comparable employees, and (for a subset of cases and short time period at the end of our sample) randomization in H-1B admission lotteries.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.3.193

Intergenerational Income Immobility in Finland: Contrasting Roles for Parental Earnings and Family Income

Year Published: 2012

Authors: Lucas R.E.B and Pekkala Kerr S.

Source: Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 25, 2012

Abstract: An intergenerational model is developed, nesting heritable earning abilities and credit constraints limiting human capital investments in children. Estimates on a large, Finnish data panel indicate very low transmission from parental earnings, suggesting that the parameter of inherited earning ability is tiny. Family income, particularly during the phase of educating children, is shown to be much more important in shaping children’s lifetime earnings. This influence of parental incomes on children’s earnings rises as the children age because the returns to education rise. Despite Finland’s well-developed welfare state, persistence in economic status across generations is much higher than previously thought.

DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0442-8

Economic Impacts of Immigration: A Survey

Year Published: 2011

Authors: Kerr W. and Pekkala Kerr S.

Source: Finnish Economic Papers, Vol. 24, 2011

Abstract: An intergenerational model is developed, nesting heritable earning abilities and credit constraints limiting human capital investments in children. Estimates on a large, Finnish data panel indicate very low transmission from parental earnings, suggesting that the parameter of inherited earning ability is tiny. Family income, particularly during the phase of educating children, is shown to be much more important in shaping children’s lifetime earnings. This influence of parental incomes on children’s earnings rises as the children age because the returns to education rise. Despite Finland’s well-developed welfare state, persistence in economic status across generations is much higher than previously thought.

DOI: 10.3386/w16736

Building Professional Development for Urban Public Preschools: Experiences and Reflections.

Year Published: 2011

Authors: Roberts, J.R. & Love, M.L.

Source: The Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Grant Research and Practice (Advances in Early Education and Day Care). John A. Sutterby (Ed.) Bingley, UK: Emerald.

ISBN: 0857242806

Development of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs

Year Published: 2012

Authors: Wiecha, J.L., Hall, G., Gannett, E., Roth, B.

Source: Childhood Obesity, Vol 8, Number 6.

DOI: 10.1089/chi.2012.0030.

Preventive interventions for children of parents with depression: International perspectives

Year Published: 2012

Authors: Beardslee, W.R., Solantaus, T., Morgan, B., Gladstone, T., & Kowalenko, N.

Source: Medical Journal of Australia

Developmental risk of depression: Experience matters

Year Published: 2012

Authors: Beardslee, W.R., Gladstone, T.R.G., & O’Connor, E.E.

Source: Psychiatric Clinics of North America

DOI: 10.1016/j.chc.2011.12.001

Health prevention and promotion

Authors: Beardslee, W.R., & Gladstone, T.R.G.

Source: In R.C. Talley, G.L. Fricchione, B.G. Druss, & R. Martinez (Eds.), Caregiving and mental health. New York: Oxford University Press.

Constructing Profiles of Religious Agreement and Disagreement Between Adolescents and Mothers: A Research Note

Year Published: 2012

Authors: Noonan, A.E., Tracy, A.J., & Grossman, J.

Source: Review of Religious Research

Abstract: This research note describes the use of latent class analysis to examine how three dimensions of religiosity—the importance of religion (religious salience), attendance at religious services, and frequency of prayer—cluster together to form unique profiles. Building upon recent research identifying different profiles of religiosity at the level of the individual, we used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to identify dyadic profiles of religious concordance or discordance between 14,202 adolescents and their mothers. We identified five profiles: one concordant (27% of sample), two discordant (25% of sample), and two of mixed concordance/discordance (49%). The profiles distinguish between various levels of adolescent/mother relations, suggesting that they may represent distinct family dynamics. They also distinguish between several variables (race, adolescent age, geographical region) in predictable ways, providing additional demonstration of the categories’ meaningfulness.

ISSN: 2211-4866 (online) / 0034-673X (print)

DOI: 10.1007/s13644-012-0053-6

Stages of Change and the Group Treatment of Batterers: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Year Published: 2010

Authors: Alexander, P.C., Morris, E., Tracy, A., & Frye, A.

Source: Violence and Victims, 25(5), 571-587.

Abstract: A stages-of-change motivational interviewing (SOCMI) treatment approach was compared with a standard cognitive behavioral therapy gender reeducation (CBTGR) approach in a sample of 528 English-speaking and Spanish-speaking male batterers who were randomly assigned to 49 26-week groups in either condition. Blind ratings of therapist adherence differentiated the two conditions. Language spoken neither predicted outcome nor interacted with treatment. The SOCMI curriculum led to significant reductions in female partners' reports of physical aggression at follow-up, but not to changes in self-reported aggression. Men who were initially less ready to change benefited more from the SOCMI approach while men who were more ready to change benefited more from the CBTGR approach. Results suggest the importance of tailoring abuser intervention programs to individuals' initial readiness to change.

DOI: 10.1891/0886-6708.25.5.571

The Relational Health Indices for Youth: An Examination of Reliability and Validity Aspects

Year Published: 2010

Authors: Liang, B., Tracy, A.J., Kenny, M.E., Brogan, D., Gatha, R.

Source: Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 42(2)

Abstract: Relational health, a termed coined by Liang et al. (2001) to reflect Relational-Cultural Theory concepts, is the presence of growth-fostering characteristics in significant relationships. Although growth-fostering relationships have been conceptualized as relevant across the lifespan, existing research has mainly explored the experiences of college students and adults. In this study, the authors seek to create a developmentally appropriate instrument called the Relational Health Indices for Youth (RHI-Y) for studying growth-fostering relationships among early and mid-adolescents. This measure adapts the original adult RHI instrument for a younger population (i.e., utilizing a simpler vocabulary and containing fewer items). Measurement development resulted in six-item scales assessing relational health in three different relationship domains: friendships, relationships with an adult mentor, and relationships with members of a community group. Results indicate that the RHI-Y scales are valid, reliable measures of growth-fostering relationships. Preliminary findings about the correlates of relational health in youth are discussed.

DOI: 10.1177/0748175609354596

Measurement Uncertainty in Racial and Ethnic Identification Among Adolescents of Mixed Ancestry: A Latent Variable Approach

Year Published: 2010

Authors: Tracy, A.J., Erkut, S., Porche, M.V., Kim, J., Charmaraman, L., Grossman, J.M., Ceder, I., & Vázquez Garcia, H.

Source: Structural Equation Modeling, 17(1), 11-133. NIHMSID 277208

Abstract: In this article, we operationalize identification of mixed racial and ethnic ancestry among adolescents as a latent variable to (a) account for measurement uncertainty, and (b) compare alternative wording formats for racial and ethnic self-categorization in surveys. Two latent variable models were fit to multiple mixed-ancestry indicator data from 1,738 adolescents in New England. The first, a mixture factor model, accounts for the zero-inflated mixture distribution underlying mixed-ancestry identification. Alternatively, a latent class model allows classification distinction between relatively ambiguous versus unambiguous mixed-ancestry responses. Comparison of individual indicators reveals that the Census 2000 survey version estimates higher prevalence of mixed ancestry but is less sensitive to relative certainty of identification than are alternate survey versions (i.e., offering a “mixed” check box option, allowing a written response). Ease of coding and missing data are also considered in discussing the relative merit of individual mixed-ancestry indicators among adolescents.

DOI: 10.1080/10705510903439094

“I have a Tumblr, which is sort of feminist- y, social justice-y”: Women of color cultivating virtual social capital to survive and thrive.

Authors: Charmaraman, L., Chan, B., Price, T., & Richer, A.

Source: Manuscript accepted for forthcoming edited book, entitled Women of color and social media multitasking: Blogs, timelines, feeds, and community.

Do as I say, not as I did: How parents talk with teens about sex

Year: 2012

Authors: Grossman, J., Charmaraman, L., & Erkut, S.

Source: Journal of Family Issues

Abstract: Communication between parents and teens about sexuality can reduce early sexual behavior. However, little research investigates how parents who were adolescents when they had children (early parents) talk with their teens about sex. In-depth interviews were conducted with a racially/ethnically diverse sample of 29 parents of seventh graders. Salient themes of conversations with adolescents were risks of early parenthood, sexually transmitted infections, delaying sex, and using protection. Compared with parents who were older when they had children (later parents), early parents were more likely to report having had negative sexuality communications with their families of origin and to express a wish to communicate differently with their own children. Early parents were more likely than later parents to discuss risks of early parenthood and to rely on extended family involvement in sexuality communication. Findings suggest that early parents may bring unique perspectives that enable them to approach sexuality communication differently than do later parents.

DOI: 10.1177/0192513X13511955

Protective Effects of Middle School Comprehensive Sex Education With Family Involvement

Year: 2014

Authors: Grossman, J., Tracy, A., Charmaraman, L., & Erkut, S.

Source: Journal of School Health, 84, 739-747

Abstract: School-based comprehensive sex education programs can reduce early adolescents' risky sexual behavior. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a 3-year comprehensive sex education program in delaying vaginal sex for middle school students and whether the family component of the intervention contributes to its effectiveness.METHODS This longitudinal evaluation followed a cohort of 6th graders (N = 2453) through the end of 8th grade. The design used random assignment of 24 schools into treatment and comparison conditions. The analysis included multiple-group logistic regression to assess differences in delay of sex between intervention and comparison groups.RESULTSIn schools where the program was taught, 16% fewer boys and 15% fewer girls had had sex by the end of 8th grade compared to boys and girls at comparison schools. Completing family activities during the first year of the program predicted delayed sexual debut for boys.CONCLUSIONS Theory-based, developmentally appropriate, comprehensive sex education programs that include parent involvement can be effective in delaying vaginal sex for middle school students. Parent involvement is particularly important for boys, as family activities may encourage parents to talk with their sons earlier and more frequently.

DOI: 10.1111/josh.12199

Be Careful Who You Friend: Early Adolescents' Reports of Safety, Privacy, and Family Monitoring of Facebook Use

Year: 2014

Authors: Charmaraman, L., & Grossman, J.

Source: Journal of Youth Development: Bridging research and practice, 9(1), 86-112

Family Homework and School-Based Sex Education: Delaying Early Adolescents' Sexual Behavior

Year: 2013

Authors: Grossman, J. M., Frye, A., Charmaraman, L., & Erkut, S.

Source: Journal of School Health, 83(11), 810-817

Abstract: Early sexual activity can undermine adolescents' future school success and health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of a family homework component of a comprehensive sex education intervention in delaying sexual initiation for early adolescents and to explore what social and contextual factors prevent adolescents from completing these family homework activities. This mixed methods study included 6th- and 7th-grade survey responses from 706 students at 11 middle school schools receiving a sex education intervention, as well as interviews from a subset of 33, 7th-grade students from the larger sample. Adolescents who completed more family homework assignments were less likely to have vaginal intercourse in 7th grade than those who completed fewer assignments, after controlling for self-reports of having had vaginal intercourse in 6th grade and demographic variables. Participants' explanations for not completing assignments included personal, curriculum, and family-based reasons.
Family homework activities designed to increase family communication about sexual issues can delay sex among early adolescents and contribute to school-based sex education programs. Successful sex education programs must identify and address barriers to family homework completion.

DOI: 10.1111/josh.12098

Is It Bullying or Sexual Harassment? Knowledge, Attitudes, and Professional Development Experiences of Middle School Staff

Year: 2013

Authors: Charmaraman, L., Jones, A., Stein, N. & Espelage, D.

Source: Journal of School Health, 83(6), 438-444

Abstract: This study fills a gap in the literature by examining how school staff members view bullying and sexual harassment and their role in preventing both. Given recent legislation, increasingly more attention is paid to bully prevention; however, student-on-student sexual harassment is less addressed. Four focus groups were conducted with 32 staff members from 4 midwestern public middle schools. Questions assessed professional development opportunities on bullying and sexual harassment prevention/intervention, personal definitions of these behaviors, and their perceptions of school norms regarding such behavior. Staff members recalled receiving more professional development on bullying than sexual harassment. They tended to define sexual harassment as something that occurs between adults and/or adults and students and did perceive their role in enforcing a "sexual harassment-free" peer-to-peer school zone. When school administrators fail to provide professional development on both bullying and sexual harassment, staff members do not understand that sexual harassment occurs between students. Thus, they are unaware of policies to protect students from harmful experiences in educational settings and are not likely to understand their own role in preventing them.

DOI: 10.1111/josh.12048

Congregating to create for social change: Urban youth media production and sense of community

Year: 2013

Authors: Charmaraman, L.

Source: Learning, Media, & Technology, 38(1), 102-115.

Abstract: This case study explored how adolescents were empowered through after school media production activities and, in the process, re-imagined themselves as active and engaged citizens within their community. Through analyzing interviews, participant observations, and media artifacts of 14 participants (aged 15-19) over a period of 18 months, three main themes emerged from the triangulation of data: (1) sociocultural capital through group ownership; (2) safe space for creative expression; and (3) developing a sense of community with diverse voices. These young people exercised their collective voice toward pro-social actions by writing and producing their stories and showcasing their works at community screenings. They hoped that their videos would promote individual and community transformations. Building on youth development, community psychology, and media literacy frameworks, this article discusses educational implications like advocating for the power of youth media production to bridge participants' personal and private artistry to public and political statements.

DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2011.621956

Can Sex Education Delay Early Sexual Debut?

Year: 2012

Authors: Erkut, S., Grossman, J. M., Frye, A., Ceder, I., Charmaraman, L., Tracy, A.

Source: Journal of Early Adolescence, 33(4), 482-497

Abstract: In this study, we examine whether a nine-lesson sex education intervention, "Get Real: Comprehensive Sex Education That Works," implemented in sixth grade, can reduce the number of adolescents who might otherwise become "early starters" of sexual activity (defined as heterosexual intercourse) by seventh grade. Participants were 548 boys and 675 girls who completed surveys in both sixth grade (baseline) and seventh grade (follow-up). The sample was 35% Latino, 32% Black, 24% White, 3% Asian, and 6% biracial. Students randomly assigned to the control condition were 30% more likely to initiate sex by follow-up when controlling for having had sex by sixth grade, demographic variables, and a tendency to give socially desirable responses. This finding is noteworthy because previous research has identified early starters to be prone to poor outcomes in sexual health, family formation, economic security, and incarceration and few middle school interventions have shown an effect on behavioral outcomes.

DOI: 10.1177/0272431612449386

School dropout prevention: What arts-based community and out-of-school time programs can contribute

Year: 2011

Authors: Charmaraman, L. Hall, G.

Source: New Directions for Youth Development, S1, 9-27

Abstract: Out-of-school-time programs, especially arts-based programs, can be critical players in a community's efforts to prevent school dropout. This research review suggests the following approaches for arts-based programs: (1) recruitment and retention of target populations with multiple risk factors; (2) long-term skill development that engages youth behaviorally, emotionally, and academically rather than a drop-in culture; (3) an emphasis on the critical ingredient of real-world applications through performance; (4) staff development and mentoring; (5) a strategic community-level plan for dropout prevention; (6) and program content reframed toward competencies that underlie better school performance and prosocial behavior, such as communication, initiative, problem solving, motivation, and self-efficacy.

DOI: 10.1002/yd.416

The Importance of Audience and Agency for Representation: A Case Study of an Urban Youth Media Community

Year: 2010

Authors: Charmaraman, L.

Source: Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, 13, 207-233

Abstract: Urban youths' agency to represent their realities through media has been largely unexplored in the youth development literature. In this qualitative case study of an after-school youth media program in the Bay Area, expressions of youth agency and the role of audiences are explored during the process of producing videos for public consumption. METHODOLOGY: As participant observer of 14 ethnically diverse youth participants aged between 15 and 18 years over 18 months, I documented (a) the kind of agencies participants engaged in and (b) the impact of live and imagined future audiences on youths' creative processes. Analyses of field notes, semi-structured interviews, and media projects were conducted using thematic analysis to inductively generate emerging categories. FINDINGS: Themes included an agentive sense of self-efficacy, commitment, and responsibility, as well as perceived contributions to local audiences and an emerging collective identity. The youth demonstrated their increased sense of a social or civic duty to realistically represent youth of color to familiar and unfamiliar audiences. IMPLICATIONS: This case study demonstrated how one youth media organization fostered agency through youth authorship, production, distribution, and local community dialogue. By documenting the impact of audiences from conception to public reception, this study provides valuable insight into the agentive process of publicly "performing" a commitment to complete a social change video project. CONTRIBUTION: This chapter underscores the value of performance within youth development programs and the critical component of audiences as one form of authentic assessment in order to foster individual and collective agency.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.10.004

Urban Early Adolescent Narratives on Sexuality: Accidental and Intentional Influences of Family, Peers, and the Media

Year: 2011

Authors: Charmaraman, L., & McKamey, C.

Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 8(4), 253-266

Abstract: In this paper, we examine the ways that early adolescents talked, interacted, and made references to events in their individual and collective lives during photography-based focus groups about sexuality and relationships. Twenty-three participants (10 boys and 13 girls) were recruited from three urban schools participating in a comprehensive sex education impact evaluation in the Northeast. We analyzed conversational narratives that were elicited in a group process while sharing photos of important people, contexts, and situations, showcasing participants' exploration of sexuality and relationships. Our analysis revealed four main themes: (a) direct and indirect family communication about sexuality, (b) accidental and intentional Internet usage, (c) shared and contested peer knowledge, and (d) school as a direct and indirect learning context. Implications and future directions for practice, research, and policy are explored.

DOI: 10.1007/s13178-011-0052-3

Importance of Race and Ethnicity: An Exploration of Asian, Black, Latino, and Multiracial Adolescent Identity

Year: 2010

Authors: Charmaraman, L. & Grossman, J.

Source: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 16(2), 144-151

Abstract: This mixed-method study used a grounded theory approach to explore the meanings underlying the importance that adolescents attach to their racial-ethnic identities. The sample consisted of 923 9th- to 12th-grade students from Black, Latino, Asian, and multiracial backgrounds. Thematic findings identified a broad range of explanations for adolescents' racial-ethnic centrality, ranging from pride and cultural connection to ambivalence and colorblind attitudes. While racial-ethnic groups differed in reported levels of racial-ethnic centrality, few group differences were identified in participants' thematic explanations, with the exception of racial-ethnic and gender differences for Positive Regard and Disengagement. These findings highlight the diversity of meanings that adolescents attribute to their racial-ethnic centrality as well as the many commonalities among adolescents across gender and racial-ethnic groups.

DOI: 10.1037/a0018668

Emergence of Communication: Words, Grammar and First Conversations

Authors: Robeson, W.W. & McCartney, K.

Source: J.R. Lally, P.L. Mangione, & L.L. Young-Holt (Eds.), Revised Infant Toddler guide to language development and communication. Sacramento, CA: California Department of Education.

Perceived Gender and Racial/Ethnic Barriers to STEM Success

Authors: Grossman, J.M. & Porche, M.V.

Source: Urban Education.

Adolescents’ Religious Discordance with Mothers: Is There a Connection to Sexual Risk Behavior During Emerging Adulthood?

Authors: Grossman, J.M., Tracy, A.J. & Noonan, A.

Source: Journal of Primary Prevention, 34, 329-343.

Abstract: This study longitudinally investigates the relationship between adolescent/mother religious discordance and emerging adult sexual risk-taking 6–7 years later. We used Social Control Theory to examine the level and direction of concordance using data from Wave I and Wave III of the Add Health Study, focusing on constructs of religious importance, frequency of prayer, and attendance at religious services. We found that higher levels of adolescent/mother discordance in religious importance were related to increased emerging adult sexual risk-taking compared to those with similar levels adolescent/mother religiosity, but this occurred only when mothers reported higher levels of religious importance than their children. In contrast, adolescents reporting higher frequency of prayer than their mothers reported lower levels of sexual risk-taking than those with similar frequency of adolescent/mother prayer. These findings suggest that the protective effects of family religious socialization can be interrupted. However, this influence of religious difference on sexual risk-behavior operates differently depending on the direction and level of religious difference. Even in emerging adulthood, a period marked by distance from childhood values and institutions, religious difference with a parent remains a meaningful influence.

DOI: 10.1007/s10935-013-0315-2

ISSN: 0278-095X (print), 1573-6547 (online)