Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2013

Wellesley Centers for Women research and action initiatives are funded primarily by federal, state, and corporate grants and contracts. Several new and continuing projects received funding over the past six months.


Communication about Sex in the Nuclear Family and Beyond: Implications for Health Interventions
Project Director: Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D.
Funded by: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Child Health and Human Development

This investigation will longitudinally explore continuity and change in teen-family sexual communication over teens’ transition to high school, extend parent-teen dyadic studies of family sexual communication to encompass broader family networks, and study the potential of teen-family sexual communication to protect teens against the unhealthy consequences of early sexual initiation. It will also look at the role of teen and adult family member gender in shaping sexual communication and its influence on teen sexual behavior.


Campaign Coalition for Host Advocacy
Project Director: Ellen Gannett, M.Ed.
Funded by: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with YMCA of the USA

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will provide expertise on out-of-school-time (OST) field-building, research support, and technical assistance delivery of the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Campaign. This initiative will promote best practices to OST providers in support of the Campaign Coalition to help enable them to develop strategies to implement the best practices in physical activity.


Growth and Scaling Grants Program for Social and Emotional Learning Program Providers
Project Director: Nova Biro, MBA
Funded by: NoVo Foundation

Funding will support refining plans for growing and scaling Open Circle to serve large school districts across the U.S. Additionally, grantees will participate in a Learning Network including technical assistance opportunities via in-person and virtual convenings and customized consultation focused on growth and scaling needs.


Open Circle Boston Public School Research Study
Project Director: Michelle Porche, Ed.D.
Funded by: NoVo Foundation

This research and evaluation study examines process outcomes and program impact for a Kindergarten to Grade 5 implementation project in 23 elementary schools within a large urban school district. Process outcomes will investigate training and coaching effectiveness, implementation fidelity, and success, challenges, and lessons learned. Impact measures will include student social and emotional development, behavioral outcomes, and school climate measured both over time and in relation to similar schools in the same district with limited or no social emotional learning programming.


Risk and Resilience of Media and Social Networking Use in Vulnerable Adolescent Populations
Project Director: Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D.
Funded by: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

As a complementary follow-up to her Wellesley Centers for Women 35th Anniversary-funded study, “Toolkit for online social science research: Constructing online surveys and strategies for targeting underrepresented young people,” Charmaraman will interview a subset of 30 participants from the larger online survey study of over 1,300 young people aged 12-25 from the U.S. and abroad. During her two-year fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections junior investigator grantee, she will analyze the following research questions: (1) How does the use of media and social networking communities influence adolescent risk or resiliency, given potentially negative media stereotypes or stigma about one or more of their social identities, such as race/ethnicity or sexual orientation? (2) Why and under what circumstances do adolescents use media and/or social networking to connect with others of a similar, potentially stigmatized, background? Is connecting with similar individuals through media outlets associated with better coping with stress from one or more of their social identities? A short-term goal is to increase understanding about how media and social networking can affect vulnerable adolescents’ psychological health, sense of identity, and self-worth. Future directions beyond this project include developing media- and social-networking-based learning modules that can increase adolescents’ resiliency in the face of vulnerability created by alienation and stigma from mainstream communities, and that can be embedded within larger “interventions” that target specific issues. The larger aim is to enhance the potential of vulnerable adolescents to take personal responsibility for improving their health and the quality of their lives. Charmaraman will be mentored by Michael Rich, M.D., M.P.H. at the Center on Media and Child Health, Children’s Hospital Boston.


Online Learning Pilot Program Evaluation in Wyoming
Project Directors: Georgia Hall, Ph.D.
Funded by: Wyoming Community Foundation on behalf of the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will use electronic surveys and individual interviews along with reviewing electronic learning modules to evaluate a new online learning program.


Technical Assistance Project for Attleboro Public Schools
Project Directors: Georgia Hall, Ph.D.
Funded by: Balfour Foundation

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will provide technical assistance to help support the implementation of researched-based practices and measurement activities in the Attleboro Public Schools Title 1 afterschool programs.


OST (Out-Of-School Time) Physical Activity Standards: Implementation Trends
Project Director: Georgia Hall, Ph.D.
Funded by: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Active Living Research Division

The specific aims of the project are to: (1) pilot a surveillance system to identify baseline physical activity practices and the impact of new physical activity quality standards (PAQS) on the OST field in order to: (a) track dissemination and adoption of PAQS, and (b) gather feedback on barriers, needs, and best practices related to implementation of PAQS; (2) report on and disseminate baseline data collected through the pilot implementation of the surveillance system; (3) develop an implementation mechanism for the sustainability of the system; and (4) develop and disseminate briefings/case studies on a small number of promising but unpublished professional development models that could respond to needs identified in the surveillance data.


Additional Funding


Sumru Erkut, Ph.D. received funding from the Wellesley Class of 1959 for a “Class of 1959 55th Reunion Survey.” The survey will explore the life events, family, career, political affiliations, retirement and social security, aging and health, social mobility, wealth and philanthropy, and political and social values of the women within a national context.

Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D., received continued funding from the Judge Baker Children’s Center for the National Institutes of Health-funded project, “Prevention of Depression: Impact on the Transition to Early Adulthood,” as well as continued funding from Boston Children’s Hospital for a Baer Foundation-funded family prevention project.

The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute at the Wellesley Centers for Women received gifts from various individuals and supporters.

Nancy Marshall, Ed.D. received funding from Associated Early Care and Education for “Analyses of PPVT and PALs data” and “Summary of analyses of PPVT and EVT data.”

Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D. received gifts from various individuals and supporters of the National SEED (Seeking Educational Equity & Diversity) Project on Inclusive Curriculum at the Wellesley Centers for Women.

The National Institute On Out-Of-School Time at the Wellesley Centers for Women received support for training, technical assistance projects and continuing evaluations from the City of Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation, Norwalk Collaborative for Youth Success, New York Road Runners, Reebok International, The Robert Bowne Foundation, 21st Century Community Learning Centers with Leominster Public Schools, the Boys and Girls Clubs Metro Denver, as well as funding for consulting to the National Center on Child Care Professional Development Systems and Workforce Initiatives with Zero to Three, funded by the Administration for Children and Families.

The Open Circle program at the Wellesley Centers for Women received various gifts from friends and supporters of the social and emotional learning program.

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to use our site, or clicking "Continue", you are agreeing to our privacy policy.
Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to use our site, or clicking "Continue", you are agreeing to our privacy policy.
Continue Privacy Policy