Ellen Gannett, M.Ed. is serving on an Out-of-School Time (OST) Book Series Afterschool Advisory Group for Information Age Publishing, which will assist in developing parameters, including the purpose, scope, and structure of the series; the first two book themes; manuscript review protocols; and the advisory board’s long-term communication and engagement. Gannett is also serving on the committee Defining and Measuring Character and Character Education: A Workshop, through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.
Georgia Hall, Ph.D. is serving on a planning committee to develop a public workshop highlighting summertime opportunities to improve child and adolescent education and health outcomes. Hall is sharing her expertise in the evaluation of out-of-school time environments that can promote healthy behaviors and thereby reduce children’s risk of obesity and chronic disease. The workshop, organized by the Board on Children, Youth, and Families at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, is slated for this summer in Washington, D.C.
Erika Kates, Ph.D. was invited this past winter, by a planning committee with the cochairs of the Committee on Justice-Involved Women and the Massachusetts Caucus of State Women Legislators, to present data on probation and corrections services for women. In April, she was interviewed by researchers for the Council of State Governments Justice Center, with whom she provided data on justice-involved women for a statewide review of criminal justice agencies. Kates served as a panelist for an Action for Community Development—Boston program on “Parenting from Prison,” the first of a three-part series on the effects of trauma on families.
Allison Tracy, Ph.D. presented a study showing the psychometric validity and reliability of the Assessment of Program Practices Tool (APT), developed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) during the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Washington, D.C., in April. With her research colleagues, Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D., Ineke Ceder, Amanda Richer, M.A., Kathy Schleyer, M.S., and Ellen Gannett, M.Ed., Tracy conducted a multi-phase assessment of the observational instrument designed to assess the social quality of out-ofschool time youth environments, the results of which showed strong structural validity and test-retest reliability. The most recent phase of the project has resulted in tools that can be further developed to create a rigorous and intensive reliability training protocol to increase inter-rater reliability.
Nan Stein, Ed.D. presented “Teenage girls learn their rights about sexual harassment in schools: Case studies from Sweden and the USA” with Katja Gillander Gådin, Ph.D., Mid-Sweden University, during the 2016 Law and Society Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, in June. Sexual harassment in schools is a global phenomenon affecting both boys and girls, although girls are exposed more frequently. The session focused on lawsuits and complaints in both countries, while reviewing and exploring how girls in several lawsuits/complaints came to learn about their rights and how their legal mobilization may have impacted social movements among their peers. Stein will also present “Building Comprehensive Middle School Initiatives with Shifting Boundaries” during the 2016 National Sexual Assault Conference in August, in Washington, D.C. She will discuss her partnership with California’s Rape Prevention and Education Program to translate the evidence-based program, Shifting Boundaries, into a comprehensive approach to prevent sexual violence and harassment for middle-schoolaged youth in two communities. The session will review challenges and successes and how they developed an evaluation plan to address system changes and school-wide outcomes. Stein also co-authored with Carrie Baker, “Obscuring Gender-Based Violence: Marriage Promotion and Teen Dating Violence Research,” included in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy (Volume 37, Issue 1). This article argues that U.S. public policies have prioritized marriage and healthy relationship promotion over research and education about gendered violence in teen dating relationships, despite evidence of the prevalence of intimate partner and teen dating violence that disproportionately impacts women and girls.
The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative team launched a study, “Responding to Sexual Assault on Campus: A National Assessment and Systematic Classification of the Scope and Challenges for Investigation and Adjudication,” funded by the National Institute of Justice. The scholars have begun the first of a threephase study that involves collecting information on sexual assault investigation and adjudication practices at a sample of U.S. colleges and universities. More than 20 Wellesley College students have been hired as research assistants on the project to collect data. The results of this phase will be completed in summer 2016 and will be used to develop typologies describing how colleges and universities are responding to sexual assault. April Pattavina, Ph.D., principal investigator; Linda Williams, Ph.D., co-principal investigator; Nan Stein, Ed.D., co-investigator; and Alison Cares, Ph.D, coinvestigator, presented the study plan to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in February. Williams and Pattavina also presented during the June Law & Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, where they offered the paper, “How do we measure prosecutorial outcomes in cases of rape in the U.S.? Shifting numbers and meanings reveal differential legal response to a serious crime.”
Joanne Roberts, Ph.D., Pat DiBlasi, and Wendy Wagner Robeson Ed.D., of the Work, Families, and Children Team (WFCT), presented during the 2016 QRIS Improvement Grantees Training Conference, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, with separate presentations in three large urban communities in April 2016. Members of the WFCT also presented “Improving Quality in Community-Based Early Education and Care Programs: Successes, Challenges, and Lessons Learned” in June. They shared results of Boston K1DS, an innovative partnership between Boston Public Schools and Thrive in 5 to pilot high-quality K1 (pre-K) in community-based centers, as well as results from the Ready Educators Quality Improvement Project (REQIP), a pilot of targeted technical assistance for family child care and center-based programs serving infants through preschoolers to improve child outcomes based on data, experiences, and what may inform future quality improvement efforts in Boston, MA, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Adolescent Development, Identity, & Behaviors
In March, Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D. screened her documentary, It’s Our Time: The empathy gap for girls of color at Northeastern University, in Boston, MA, co-sponsored by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the Department of Music. This 30-minute documentary highlights the academic, cultural, and social/emotional needs of girls of color, through interviews with Boston-area teen girls, teachers, counselors, afterschool staff, administrators, and policymakers, in an era where media is saturated with messages that promote invisibility of this overlooked population. Learn more at www.wcwonline.org/RoadToEducationalEquity.
In April, Charmaraman presented two posters at the Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting held in Baltimore, MD. Co-authored by Amanda Richer, WCW research associate, and two former Wellesley College students, Haruka Notsu and Kieran Parmelee, the poster entitled, “How early adolescents define sex: Longitudinal associations with Facebook friendship networks and sexual activity,” illustrated that sexual definitions most associated with delayed sexual debut were those considered technical and medically accurate. Teens who friended neighborhood peers were more likely to define sex as physically pleasurable, which in turn, is significantly associated with sexual debut by ninth grade. Charmaraman co-presented with graduate students Ashleigh Jones and Joey Merrin at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the poster “Predicting early adolescent online sexual harassment: Associations with dismissive attitudes, peer support, and school belonging.” Despite the fact that cyber sexual harassment occurs on the internet—a context outside of the school walls—the scholars demonstrated that school belonging is a potentially protective factor against cyber sexual harassment victimization. In April, at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Jones and Merrin continued to present their collaborative work with Charmaraman on a panel, “School climate, gender, context, and consequences: Effectively addressing middle school sexual harassment at school.” This talk illustrated that the highest sexual harassment victimization across four waves of middle school data were associated with high levels of dismissive attitudes about sexual harassment, high levels of caring and prosocial behaviors, and low levels of school belonging.
In late June, Charmaraman kicked off the 2016 Social Media and Adolescent Health Research Team Conference held at Seattle Children’s Hospital, with a presentation on adolescents and social media use. With the purpose of engaging health care providers, researchers, educators, and parents, the conference sessions focused on cyberbullying, problematic internet use, social media in schools, community organizations and their use of social media to connect to teens, and applications of social media in research. In August, former WCW intern and current graduate student in the Department of Education and Counseling at Xavier University of Louisiana, Temple Price, will present a paper, co-authored by Charmaraman, her former WCW mentor, at the 48th Annual International Association of Black Psychologists Convention to be held in Arlington, VA. The talk, “Social media: A potential tool for black women’s mental health,” is an extension of their recently published book chapter, “Women of color cultivating virtual social capital: Surviving and thriving” (In Tassie and Givens (Eds), Women of color and social media multitasking: Blogs, timelines, feeds, and community, 2015).
Implementing Social & Emotional Learning
Open Circle is collaborating with the Wellesley College Education Department to provide Wellesley students with opportunities to learn about and practice implementing social and emotional learning (SEL). Eight Wellesley seniors are participating in a pilot program this spring to study and implement Open Circle’s SEL program as part of their teacher practicums in local elementary schools. As part of the pilot, the Wellesley seniors are teaching social and emotional skills using the Open Circle Curriculum, learning and practicing facilitation skills, and exploring ways to integrate SEL throughout the school day. A research study of this pilot will examine formative and summative feedback as well as impacts on participants’ comfort with and commitment to SEL. Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D., WCW research scientist, is serving as principal investigator and Noah Rubin, Ed.D., director of the Elementary Education Program at Wellesley College, is a co-investigator.
Open Circle is developing and piloting new professional development for educators and curriculum for students in Grades 4 and 5 to strengthen their practice of grateful thinking. Based on findings from these pilots, new gratitude modules will be integrated into Open Circle’s core programming for teachers and made available to new and past participants of Open Circle’s teacher training. Research shows that gratitude is positively related to hope, forgiveness, pride, contentment, optimism, and inspiration.
Depression Prevention Research
Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D. is an author of the article, “A Preventive Intervention Program for Children with Depressed Parents: Protocol for an Acceptability and Feasibility Study” (De Angel, V., Prieto, F., Gladstone, T.R.G., Beardslee, W.R., & Irarrázaval, M.), which will be included in a forthcoming issue of the journal, Trials. One of the most important risk factors for childhood depression is being the child of a depressed parent. These at-risk children have two to four times the probability of having an affective episode compared with their peers. Preventive interventions, such as Beardslee’s Preventive Intervention Program (PIP), that are targeted at children of depressed parents have proven effective in many countries. The PIP is a family-based approach that works by promoting resilience in children and increasing positive interactions within the family. In this pilot randomized controlled trial, the authors determined the acceptability and feasibility of an adapted version of this intervention in Chile.
Gladstone is also an author of “Prevention of Depression in At-Risk Adolescents: Predictors and Moderators of Acute Effects” (Weersing, V.R., Shamseddeen, W., Garber, J., Hollon, S.D., Clarke, G.N., Beardslee, W.R., Gladstone, T.R., Lynch, F.L., Porta, G., Iyengar, S. and Brent, D.A.) included in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The researchers assessed predictors and moderators of a cognitive-behavioral prevention program for adolescent children of parents with depression using a sample of 310 youth in four sites. Researchers concluded that depression in adolescents can be prevented, but programs may produce superior effects when interventions are at moments of relative wellness in high-risk families. Future programs may be enhanced by targeting modifiable negative clinical indicators of response.
Gladstone co-authored “Prevention of Depression in At-Risk Adolescents: Moderators of Long-Term Response” (Garber, J., Weersing, V.R., Hollon, S.D., Porta, G., Clarke, G.N., Dickerson, J.F., Beardslee, W.R., Lynch, F.L., Gladstone, T.G., Shamseddeen, W. and Brent, D.A.), which will be included in a forthcoming issue of Prevention Science. In a randomized controlled trial, the researchers found that a cognitive behavioral program (CBP) was significantly more effective than usual care in preventing the onset of depressive episodes, although not everyone benefited from the CBP intervention. The present paper explored this heterogeneity of response.
Gender, Equity, & Privilege
Layli Maparyan, Ph.D. and Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D. were featured during “Some Dynamics of Privilege: A Conversation between Peggy McIntosh and Layli Maparyan,” part of the ongoing Actualizing Equity a Partnerships Learning Series at Wellesley College. Among numerous engagements, Maparyan presented, “What it means to care about women’s equity today,” during the YWCA Boston’s Annual Meeting in Boston, MA, in November 2015, and “Womanism and Girls,” during the 2015 See the Girl Summit in Jacksonville, FL. She was a panelist for “Author meets critics session: Transformation now! Toward a post-oppositional politics of change” during the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference in Milwaukee, WI, in November.
The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute held the 2016 Advanced Summer Institute, Transforming Community: Radical Reality of Relationship, in early June. Co-sponsored by and held at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN, the conference highlighted evidence-based approaches to community transformation and built upon the Relational-Cultural paradigm. Participants connected across professional disciplines and communities to envision and co-create new possibilities exploring inclusive healing and community transformation; collaborated and explored ways to improve education and health care; and addressed environmental and social justice issues through integrated relationship-based practices grounded in neurobiology and social action. Amy Banks, M.D., Judith Jordan, Ph.D., and Maureen Walker, Ph.D., WCW senior scholars, were among those who presented during the Institute.