New RED publication on nutrition practices in early care and education setting
A recent paper from RED published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior looks at studies on factors associated with nutrition practices in early care and education settings. The article suggests that these studies often focus on sociodemographic and programmatic characteristics. This qualitative study adapted and applied Dr. Jay Belsky’s determinants of parenting model to inform a broader exploration of Early Care and Education Teachers (ECETs) practices. The RED study finds that the influence of ECET developmental histories and their related beliefs can be addressed through professional development and ongoing support. Future study should quantify model constructs in a larger sample and study their relationships over time.
Swindle, T., Patterson, Z., Boden, C. A Qualitative Application of the Belsky Model to Explore Early Care and Education Teachers’ Mealtime History, Beliefs, and Interactions. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
New RED Research on “Table Talk”
A recent paper from RED (currently In Press) looks at the value of verbal feeding communications, or, “Table Talk” as a possible influencing
factor in children’s diets. The purpose of the paper is to present the development of the Table Talk observational tool to measure Early Care and Education Teachers (ECETs) verbal feeding communications.
The research introduces an observational tool to assess verbal communications at mealtime among 75 Head Start educators. The study evaluated both positive and supportive comments such as “Exploring Foods” as well as negative comments such as “Pressuring to Eat”. The study concluded that “Table Talk” may be a useful tool to assess ECETs’ verbal feeding communications with potential applications such as informing ECET training and assessing intervention efforts.
Swindle, T., Rutledge, J., Dix, B. & Whiteside-Mansell, L. (in press). Table Talk: Development of an Observational Tool to Characterize the Early Childcare Feeding Environment. Public Health Nutrition.
New RED Research on Maternal Depression and Alcohol
A recent paper from RED and UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute features new research highlighting the strong negative impact of maternal behavioral health problems on children’s outcomes. The study of more than 1800 children examines the impact of maternal depression and alcohol abuse on preschool-age children. Among the studies findings, results indicate that 50% of children whose mothers screened positive for alcohol problems (a score of 2 on the CAGE) had clinically significant problems with externalizing behavior (aggression, rule-breaking, acting out) by 5th grade.
Full paper available here.
Arkansas None for Nine
Arkansas’ 5th Annual Conference on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) will be held on September 14th, 2017 at The Summit Church in North Little Rock. FASD are the leading cause of preventable developmental disorders, with the newest research indicating that almost 1/100 children are born on the spectrum. This means that FASD are more prevalent than Down Syndrome, cleft palate, and spina bifida.
This year’s keynote speaker is Dan Dubovsky, former FASD Specialist at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As both a professional and parent of an individual on the spectrum, Mr. Dubovsky brings more than 25 years’ experience to the table.
Follow this link for a flyer with conference information, as well as the link to registration.
May 3rd is World Maternal Mental Health Day!
Dean’s Honor Day 2017 Celebrates RED Team Member!
RED Research and Data Coordinator and Administrative Lead, LaTunja Sockwell, B.A., was honored with a 2017 Staff Excellence Award for her work with RED. Ms. Sockwell was nominated by RED director Leanne Whiteside-Mansell, Ed.D. with special notice taken of seven HIV-focused research projects initiated by Ms. Sockwell over the last two years. The event was featured in the April 2017 edition of COMmunication, UAMS’ monthly newsletter highlighting noteworthy events in the UAMS family. Congratulations, LaTunja!
RED and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
Red faculty member Lorraine McKelvey, Ph.D. recently completed work (with other RED team members) on a year-long, grant-funded, study on ACEs impact in Head Start classrooms. Dr. McKelvey’s team has recently submitted a paper to Child Abuse and Neglect highlighting the work done in the study. The study looked at outcomes for ACEs exposed kids based on timing of exposure. The study identified five classes of children:
- Consistently Low (63.8%)
- Decreasing (10.3%)
- High at Age 2 (11.4%)
- Increasing (10.4%)
- Consistently High (4%)
The Consistently Low and Consistently High classes had the most and least optimal development across all domains, respectively. However, the findings for the groups that changed weren’t exactly those expected. For cognitive, language, and physical development, the most proximal ACEs were more robust for predicting child outcomes. For socioemotional health, exposure at any time from one to three to ACEs had negative consequences. As a whole, the team concluded that ACEs screening tools were needed that are both time-sensitive and permit a lifetime report.
REACH targets programs with limited access to state professional development resources and offers training and coaching to manage challenging behaviors and promote social-emotional health.
The project has multiple measures of success; however, the project team’s capacity to REACH is a critical one! We are proud to report that in March 2017, REACH served the following, through TAPP registered workshops:
- 7 counties
- 11 facilities
- 140 (unduplicated) participants receiving training, including teachers, directors, other facility staff
- 684—approximate number of children served by these facilities/staff
There were 40 Technical Assistance contacts (e.g. classroom visits, email, text, and phone) to 16 different facilities in 12 cities during March 2017. These March numbers are pretty typical for this group! Great early childhood education going on in Arkansas!