CEHD Research Day

Thank you for attending CEHD Research Day 2019!

Research Day
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Research Day

Education research and educational equity

Author(s): Richard Bamattre

Despite international support for free primary education for all, many children in the country of Zambia, in southern Africa, do not have access to government schools. In the 1990s to the present, many parents built and manage community schools: about 20% of primary students in the country attend these schools. My dissertation research seeks to understand why these schools exist and persist, how they reflect a bordering between state and society, and whether this bordering results in unequal learning outcomes, in terms of early grade literacy and numeracy. Using mixed methods, I demonstrate that community schools existed prior to the 1990s, and grew as a grassroots movement in response to low state education financing. After 1991, the Zambian state responded to community schools in different ways, and ultimately they exist as a parallel system alongside government schools. Despite serving similar populations, community schools are inferior in resources and outcomes compared to state schools. While controlling for a variety of factors that should explain this difference, student learning outcomes are unequal across community and state schools, while household SES and school location are also connected with inequities.

Author(s): Bodong Chen, Yu-Hui Chang, David Groos, Wenjing Chen, William Batu, Stacy Costa, Ben Peebles, and Leanne Ma

To enhance authenticity and connectedness of learning at school, our team has been working with school partners in the Twin Cities and Toronto on multiple design-based research projects to bridge Knowledge Building in K-12 classrooms with public discourse. In the NSF-funded IdeaMagnets project, we designed and developed technological tools to engage Grades 6-9 students in critically examining news and incorporating multiple perspectives to build ideas as a community. In the DataExpedition project, we support Grades 6-9 students to analyze publicly curated data related to world issues they care about, such as the climate change, sexism, gender equity, and energy problems. Preliminary data analysis is concerned with students' epistemic complexity, social interaction, use of multiple representations, and expressive actions in these digital environments.

Author(s): Wendy Haight, Cary B. Waubanascum, David Glesener, Priscilla Day, Brenda Bussey, and Karen Nichols

The Center for Regional and Tribal Child Welfare Studies (The Center) at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, School of Social Work addresses one of the most pressing and controversial issues facing child welfare policymakers and practitioners today: the dramatic over-representation of Indigenous families in North American public child welfare systems. In Minnesota, Indigenous children are 5.4 times more likely than white children to be subjects of an allegation of maltreatment in a Child Protective Services accepted report (Minnesota Department of Human Services, 2015). These disparities in child welfare persist 40 years after the passage of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978 (U. S. Public Law 95-608).

The Center addresses these challenges through effective, culturally-informed Indigenous social work education. The Center educates Indigenous and non-Indigenous MSW students and professionals and partners with local, county, and state agencies to enhance practice and child welfare policy with Indigenous families and tribal communities. The Center serves as a model of how Indigenous knowledge suffuses Western social work education to effectively work with Indigenous families and communities.

We address the following research questions: What is the Center’s underlying educational worldview? How is this educational worldview put into practice with students and professionals?

Author(s): Cristaly Mercado, Keisha Varma, Jesslyn Valerie, Jimin Park, Christina Zdawzcyk, and Sashank Varma

Academic standards are calling for more rigorous academic experiences while developmental, cognitive, and educational psychologists are calling for more time for play and creativity. Middle school science instruction is more likely to require higher order thinking skills that are linked to executive functioning. This paper presents a study that integrates academic and play experiences by exploring whether card games can support executive functions involved in middle school science learning. Students completed measures of the shifting, inhibiting, and updating executive functions and then played four games that targeted these abilities. Findings show that after the game play experiences, students had increased executive function capacity for measures of shifting, but not measures of inhibiting.

Creating Equitable Connected Learning Experiences for Immigrant and Minority Students and Families: Exploration of Parent Roles and Experiences

Author(s): Keisha Varma

Parent engagement is a critical facet of academic success. Minority and immigrant parents are likely to have lower levels of parent involvement than white parents. This could be a contributing factor to academic disparities that exist between white students and minority and immigrant students. Technology can provide new ways to support parent engagement and can address equity issues by being a more flexible mechanism for parent involvement than traditional approaches. This poster summarizes ideas from a National Science Foundation funded project that leverages a technology-rich social learning environment (SLE) to engage middle school science teachers and student-parent pairs in culturally responsive, science-related activities. A new model of parent engagement is presented followed by a discussion of the roles parents play as they participate in the SLE activities with their children.

Author(s): David R. Johnson and Martha Thurlow

This presentation/poster is based on a national survey of all 50 states and the District of Columbia to assess the range and variation in state diploma options and graduation requirements for students with and without disabilities and their implications for policy and practice. Currently, some states offer students alternative diploma options in addition to the standard diploma. Graduation requirements also vary extensively across states. This national study specifically documented these variations, including requirements that states maintain in relation to mandatory exit exams. The study also documented the intended and unintended consequences of these diploma options, graduation requirements and exit exams for students with disabilities. The implications of these state graduation requirements on students future goals for postsecondary education and employment are presented. Recommendations from the study focus on the need to clarify assumptions and specific criteria related to the varying diploma options, need to consider multiple indicators of student's learning and skills related to meeting graduation requirements, and suggestions on future research that needs to be conducted.

Author(s): Kristen McMaster, Nicole McKevett, Seyma Birinci, Ahmed Alghamdi, and Amy Kunkel

The Early Writing Project is an IES-funded Goal 3 (efficacy trial) research project. The Early Writing Project is a collaboration between researchers at the University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, and teachers in both states. The goal is to provide research-based tools, intervention materials, decision making guides, professional development, and ongoing coaching to improve students’ early writing outcomes. Through the use of technology support from Education Technology Innovations (ETI) at the University of Minnesota, The Early Writing Project is able to disseminate their tools, materials, and resources to participating teachers in a timely manner. The Early Writing Project is currently in the first year of a randomized control trial. While data are currently being collected to determine the overall effects of the program, preliminary results indicate that the combination of data-based instruction with professional development, coaching, and timely decision making is promising in improving teachers’ knowledge, skills, and writing practices as well as students’ writing outcomes. This poster will provide an overview of the goals of the project, an update on the first year of the current RCT, and a description of preliminary results of the program’s impact on students’ early writing progress.

Author(s): Robert Palmer, Felicia Leammukda, Gillian Roehrig, and Barbara Billington

Science voice will provide students access to cross academic and career borders. The goal of this research is to identify and promote science voice development. Our research has led to the development of a three-dimensional conceptual framework for studying science voice development. We demonstrate application of this framework by evaluating an existing curriculum. Using this framework as a guide in curricular improvement should encourage inclusion of students who are members of groups traditionally marginalized by and underrepresented in the culture of science. Emphasizing science voice development will allow enculturation not only into science practices, but also into critical reflection to recognize shortcomings of science. Research on science voice also has implications for providing access to science career opportunities. If students from underrepresented groups are empowered with a positive science voice, this could lead to higher levels of diversity in science through representation members of groups traditionally marginalized by and underrepresented in the culture of science.

Examining the Influence of Parental Financial Socialization

Author(s): Yiting Li, Joyce Serido, Virginia S. Zuiker, and Soyeon Shim

Parents play an important role in shaping their children’s financial behaviors. However, within the financial domain, parental influence on a young couple’s financial relationship has not been examined. Extending family financial socialization theoretical framework, the authors examined the financial socialization influence of both parents and romantic partners on a young adult’s financial behavior and in turn, how these socializing factors affect the young adult’s perception of the couple’s financial relationship using one wave (Wave 3) of the Arizona Pathways to Life Success for University Students (APLUS) data collected from a sample of young adults who were in a committed relationship (N = 274).

Using structural equation modeling, results showed that parental financial socialization and partner financial behaviors had a positive and direct effect on young adults’ financial behaviors. In addition, results also showed that early parental financial socialization had a non-significant effect on young adults’ current financial relationship, but partner financial behaviors had a positive and direct effect on young adults’ financial relationship. The findings fill a gap on family financial socialization of young couples, indicating that parents are not the only financial socializing influence in young adults’ lives and romantic partners become an important influence regarding financial matters.

Financial professionals who work with young couples might consider thoroughly how to offer financial education and services in multiple ways so as to match the different family and financial situations that said young adults represent.

Author(s): Michael Dosedel, Michael Rodriguez, and Amaniel Mrutu

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is gaining prominence in school-reform efforts, although we know less about the associations between SEL and important educational outcomes for students in special education (SpEd) than general education (GenEd). We explore these associations, through a validity argument regarding interpretation and use of SEL, for the two groups of students using data from the Minnesota Student Survey. Based on responses from over 160,000 students in Minnesota, including over 17,000 students receiving special education services, we find students in SpEd report lower levels of most SEL measures than those in GenEd. The trends between groups across grades (from 5th to 11th) are similar. We find little evidence of significant differential prediction, yet SEL measures tend to be weaker predictors of educational behaviors and outcomes for SpEd.

Exploring the Interaction between Instructor, Students, and Content in Community College Algebra Classrooms

Author(s): Dexter Lim, Irene Duranczyk, AI@CC Research Group

There are various aspects of instruction in college algebra courses in community colleges. Working on an NSF-funded research project (Watkins, Duranczyk, Mesa, Ström, & Kohli, 2016) investigating instruction and interactions in ​community college intermediate and college algebra courses​, our goal is to characterize community classroom instruction by describing the aspects of classroom instruction that may contribute to student academic performance and learning gains. The Evaluating Quality of Instruction Postsecondary Mathematics (EQIPM) coding tool was iteratively refined to address and quantify the key features of community college mathematics instruction. The development process resulted in creating EQIPM with 15 quality instructional characteristics. This poster presents examples and rating distributions for two of the codes from our protocol, Connecting across Representations and Remediation of Student Errors and Difficulties. We highlight findings from analyzing 135 hours of video data collected from 44 community college algebra classrooms from three different states, and address the complexity of community college mathematics instruction. We also seek to gather feedback from our peers.

Author(s): Felicia Leammukda, Bonnie Boyd, and Gillian Roehrig

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been and continue to be dominated by white males (Corbett & Hill, 2015). Females, particularly female students of color, are underrepresented in post-high school STEM majors and STEM careers. The population of STEM majors and careers do not reflect current demographics of the US population (Corbett & Hill, 2015), with this decline in attitudes among female students of color occurring during the middle school years (Reigle-Crumb, Moore, & Ramos-Wada, 2010). Participants of this study include female students of color at an emerging urban STEM school located in the Midwestern United States. The whole seventh grade class at the school participated in inclusive integrated STEM units that were developed by the core seventh grade teachers and implemented during the regular school day. This study examined whether implementation of integrated STEM curricula helps to foster STEM interest in seventh grade girls of color. Results include three themes that emerged from this study that contributed to cultivating STEM interest in girls of color: 1) Students were able to make connections between what they learned from participating in the STEM units and their own daily lives. 2) Students were given the opportunity to present their work to their peers and to a broader audience. 3) Due to the flexibility in schedule and teacher autonomy to develop curricula, students were given the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary STEM units and given the space and time to work together in a supportive environment. Results of this study can be used to develop and guide further integrated STEM curricula that focuses on improving STEM interest, with the ultimate goal of increasing representation of females of color in these areas. The authors of this study challenge educators to find ways to appropriately support female students of color in their success in STEM by improving their STEM interest.

The Impact of accessible assessments on English Learners on teachers and students perspectives and state assessments

Author(s): Yi-Chen Wu and Linda Goldstone

This presentation explores the accommodations and accessibility features that English Learners (ELs) in grades 3-8 and high school received on statewide assessments of English Language Arts and mathematics by summarizing results from different activities, including teacher focus groups, student interviews, and longitudinal data analysis from one state. The objective of this presentation is to provide participants with an understanding of the paradigm shift to accessible assessments and the variability in their use during statewide assessments for English Learners (ELs) by analyzing the state assessment data. It will also focus on information about teachers’ and students’ perceptions on the accessibility features and accommodations. Results showed that the pattern of percentages of ELs receiving accommodations and accessibility features was different after accessibility features became available in 2014-15. Commonly received accommodations and accessibility features varied across school levels and content areas for ELs. English language development teachers reported they did not have a team based process to make decisions and had less data to make informed decisions and fewer support options for their students. ELs indicated accessibility features and accommodations provided access to class content but less were allowed on assessments.

Author(s): Jeff Henning-Smith

Inquiry is often seen as a good thing, whose place in education both appears with increasing frequency and simultaneously seems elemental to learning (Anderson, 2002; Artigue & Blomhøj, 2013). But, what happens to a concept like inquiry when it is taken up over and over again in school settings that are inherently full of contradictions between the theoretical and practical? For this study, I used Mediated Discourse Analysis (Scollon 2001), in my attempts to highlight the connections between discourse and actions around the concept of inquiry. I located my observations specifically in moments of discursive interactions between teachers and students. In this study I witnessed firsthand the relationship between how schools and individual experiences within schools affect educational planning, processes, and outcomes. Emerging from thus study was a robust and multi-faceted set of mediated actions around inquiry that demonstrated inquiry’s practical and potential effects on teachers’ instructional practices.

The Landscape Survey: Current Training and Delivery of Reflective Supervision in the United States

Author(s): Christopher Watson, Amy Susman-Stillman, Alyssa Meuwissen, and Stefanie Lim

Because working with high-risk families is emotionally taxing, early childhood practitioners often experience high rates of burnout and turnover. Reflective supervision (RS) is now being used to support the infant and early childhood workforce. RS is expanding in organic fashion, leaving gaps in training and practice that are limiting the use of this increasingly popular and effective technique. To understand the gaps in RS training and practice, and perceived benefits, we conducted a national survey of reflective practitioners across the country.

This poster will summarize three waves of a survey investigating RS training and delivery. State infant and early childhood organizations (N=31), RS providers (N=97) and RS recipients (N=100) responded to questions regarding types and delivery of training they offer and have received, supports and barriers to offering and receiving RS training, and impact RS had on their professional and personal lives. Results suggest a strong demand for RS training across all respondent states and a need to increase access to RS training. RS providers and recipients passionately describe the positive impact RS has on their sense of professionalism, their approach to serving families, and their ability to work effectively with colleagues and families. Expansion of ongoing training options that continue to foster cadres of RS practitioners is critical.

Author(s): Panayiota Kendeou, Kristen McMaster and the ELCII and TeLCI Teams

Despite the persistent efforts of researchers, policy makers, and educators to improve reading performance of all children across grade levels, approximately 31% of 4th graders read below a basic proficiency level (NAEP, 2017)—that is, they fail to make simple inferences and understand the overall meaning of texts. Students who experience such difficulties are likely to struggle throughout their education and employment. In our projects, we aim to address this problem by helping children develop inference making skills even before they become proficient readers. In doing so, we developed two educational technologies that train inference making in K-2. ELCII is designed to support reading comprehension by developing inference making for all students in Kindergarten. TeLCI is designed to improve reading comprehension by developing inference making for students who experience comprehension difficulties in Grades 1-2. We identify struggling comprehenders as those students who score at or below the 25th percentile in both language and reading comprehension measures. Both ELCII and TeLCI does not rely on decoding skills. We provide initial evidence for the usability, feasibility, and efficacy of these two systems in improving students’ comprehension.

Author(s): Gibson, Nashandi, and Haight

This study explores Black girls’ experience of out-of-school suspension (OSS) using qualitative interviews of suspended Black girls in Minnesota. Studies on racial disparities in OSS have primarily focused on Black boys, with less attention on Black girls (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). Black girls’ experiences with OSS is a growing concern due to their vulnerability. They are suspended at a rate six times higher than white girls (U.S. Department of Education, 2014). We use a Black Feminist theory (Collins, 2000; Hooks, 1989; Jones, 2015), and Intersectionality theory (Davis, 2010) to examine the research question: What is the experience of OSS for Black girls? We interviewed 10 girls, their 10 caregivers, and 5 educators. The results indicate that Black girls are more harshly disciplined than white girls for the same infractions. Black girls described having to forcefully defend themselves from sexual harassment and bullying, enlisting parents’ help with educators, and developing allies at school. The results suggest that educators can transform Black girls’ self-advocacy behaviors into more effective, collective strategies for responding when they are ignored, silenced, and treated unfairly by those in positions of power.

Racial and Gender Disproportionality in Out-of-school Suspension (OSS) in Minnesota Public Schools

Author(s): Minhae Cho, Young Ji Yoon, and Wendy Haight

Disproportionality in OSS is a persistent social justice issue. Black students bear the brunt of the negative consequences of OSS even though they are no more likely than other groups of students to engage in unsafe or rule breaking behaviors at school. This study examines racial and gender disproportionality in OSS using cross-system, administrative data for all 7th graders (n = 60,827) enrolled in academic year 2009 in Minnesota public schools. As reported by 286 schools in 14 school districts, 5.4% of all 7th graders (n = 3,305) received OSS. Disproportionality indexes by race and gender are: Black boys (4.7), Native American boys (3.6), Black girls (3.2), Hispanic boys (2.2), Native American girls (2.1), Hispanic girls (1.1), white boys (0.9); Asian boys (0.6), Asian girls (0.2) and white girls (0.2). ANOVA tests on mean days in OSS for various types of infractions suggest that Black girls are more harshly sanctioned than white students for disruptive or disorderly behavior (F(3, 646)=23.16, p=.000), and violent behaviors (F(3, 1462)=15.26, p=.000). Implications for future research and preventive interventions are discussed. In particular, more research is needed into harsh disciplinary practices with Black girls.

Author(s): Erin E. Baldinger, Sue Staats, Lesa M. Covington Clarkson, Elena Contreras Gullickson, Fawnda Norman, and Bismark Akoto

This research seeks to provide a critical review of current approaches to integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) research that includes mathematics and at least one another STEM discipline. The purpose of this study is to help return voice to the silent M in STEM through determining how research focused on integrated STEM conceptualizes mathematics. We identified 19 journals published from 2013 to 2018 that focused on mathematics, science, engineering, technology and STEM education that address teaching and learning integrated STEM at the secondary level. Important themes in how mathematics is represented within the literature on integrated STEM are presented. In addition, we looked for patterns in setting, mathematical content, mathematical approaches, and integration approaches. The results show that after coding 4072 journal articles only 33 had relevant findings that include mathematics in STEM integration in a secondary setting. These findings are expanded upon in the research. This critical, in-depth examination of the literature suggests that mathematically-accountable STEM integration can be done and, to be impactful, it must be done on a much larger scale.

Author(s): Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, Rajashi Ghosh, and Sunyoung Park

A recent form of mentoring which has garnered much scholar and practitioner attention in the past few years is the notion of reverse mentoring. Though mentoring as a concept and practice is heavily researched and practiced, reverse mentoring is still in its infancy. Reverse mentoring as the name suggests is a non-traditional form of mentoring relationship whereby the newcomers in an organization are paired up with more seasoned employees preferably in leadership role to help the more experienced person learn new knowledge (Chaudhuri & Ghosh, 2012; Murphy, 2012). There is also an increased emphasis for studying mentoring dynamics under cross-cultural settings (Gentry, Weber, & Sadry, 2008; Mezias & Scandura, 2005; Ramaswami, Huang, Dreher, 2014). Researchers have increasingly voiced concerns that not much has been studied or written on how certain cultural factors may impact the dynamics of mentoring and its outcome. Therefore, in this empirical paper, we propose to look at the possibility of reverse mentoring being embraced by different cultures across the globe. In the process, we also discuss some of the challenges that could arise in the successful implementation of reverse mentoring because of cultural and demographic variations. However, we acknowledge that invasion of technology and social media may aid in the acceptance of a non-traditional practice like reverse mentoring.

The Role of Service-learning Experiences in Promoting Flourishing among College Student Mentors: Creating Opportunities to Belong on Campus

Author(s): Alyssa Maples, Lindsey Weiler, Anne Williams-Wengerd, and Shelley Haddock

Many college students do not find community or mattering on campus and as a result, fail to succeed or flourish. This is particularly true for first-generation students. Finding opportunities to engage outside the classroom, such as through service-learning, can promote belonging and well-being. Utilizing data from a community-university mentoring program where college students serve as youth mentors, the purpose of this study was to identify whether students’ experiences (N=330; 83.3% female; 20% first-generation) within the program were associated with flourishing post-intervention. Flourishing is defined as having meaning in life, social connections, and a positive outlook about the future.Mentoring alliance, opportunities to belong, support for self-efficacy and mattering, and supportive relationships were positively associated with flourishing (r = .25 - .35, p < .001). Flourishing post-intervention was associated with mentoring alliance and supportive relationships, after controlling for baseline flourishing. First-generation status, moderated (β = .11, p<.05) the relationship between belonging and flourishing, such that the relationship was stronger for first-generation students. Results suggest that college students’ experiences matter for increasing flourishing and that sense of belonging is particularly important for first-generation students.

Storytelling and storyacting: The impact of a preschool theatre arts program on urban preschool children’s early learning skills

Author(s): Amy Susman-Stillman, Michelle Englund and Amanda Grenell

This poster will summarize the findings of a 2-year, randomized wait-list control design study documenting the impact of a preschool theatre arts program (Early Bridges; EB) on the early learning skills of an ethnically and linguistically diverse, primarily low-income sample of 4 year-olds (N=219) in a large urban school district in Minnesota. EB is a program of the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC). This study represents years of collaboration, research and program development between the Center for Early Education and Development and CTC on EB. Analyses controlling for key demographic and child characteristics showed that, compared to children in the control group, children in the intervention group told significantly longer, more detailed, coherent and grammatically complex stories; had significantly more positive play interactions with peers; and demonstrated significantly higher acting skills. Results suggest that a preschool theatre arts program like EB, which engages children with storytelling and story acting, can improve their early learning skills over and above the effects of maturation and attending a school-based preschool program

Author(s): Emily Koithan, Morgan Schmitt-Morris, Yuqing Wang, and Sherri Turner

For Native American young people, paradoxical cultural pressure (i.e., pressure to do well academically while maintaining tribal identity; Komives et al., 2011), and a lack of academic preparation have been cited as barriers to their academic and career success (Jackson, Smith, & Hill, 2003); however, there is little research regarding the supports that these young people receive. This type of research is especially critical for careers where Native American students are underrepresented, such as in engineering (with Native Americans who comprise almost 2% of the U.S. population comprise only 0.4% of engineers and 0.2% of engineering faculty; NACME, 2014).

To tease out differences in how Native American students are supported in their engineering career development compared to students from the dominant cultural group in engineering, we conducted a study with 50 Native American and 50 Caucasian American undergraduate and graduate engineering students.

ANOVA’s showed that Caucasian American and Native American students had the same level of interest in pursuing an engineering career; however, Caucasian American students reported greater emotional and instrumental support from parents, school personnel, and peers for studying engineering. Results will be interpreted in light of how educational equity in areas of supporting Native American engineering students can be accomplished.

Author(s): Z. Amankulova, L. Seithers, and C. Johnstone

This study draws on focus group data to explore how “institutional habitus” is enacted in cross-cultural group work interactions of domestic and international students. Drawing on Bourdieu’s (1990) concept of habitus, we argue that institutions are not neutral spaces. They often take an assimilationist perspective to student diversity, taking for granted that students will seamlessly adapt to university life regardless of their backgrounds.

This study found that domestic students are better socialized to understand the institutional habitus of the institution. They consciously or unconsciously enact unwritten rules in their cross-national interactions, thus taking the role of gatekeepers. In contrast, international students may struggle to engage in academic and social life of the university due to lack of familiarity with the institutional habitus of the institution.

The findings of this study have important implications for scholars of international higher education and for university faculty and administration. We advocate changing the narrative about the role and contributions of international students to emphasize the valuable knowledge and experiences they bring rather than viewing them from a deficit perspective. This will require shifting the mindset of universities toward international students and creating inclusive intercultural programming that places domestic and international students on equal footing.

Author(s): Darrell Peterson, Erik Larson, and Martha Thurlow

Because of a recent change in the way that educators, policy makers, and test developers view accessibility, more accessibility features and accommodations are available to K-12 students than ever before. This can result in better educational outcomes, but it can also put a great burden on teachers as they decide which supports are suited to individual students’ needs and preferences.

The Data Informed Accessibility – Making Optimal Needs-based Decisions (DIAMOND) project, a collaboration between nine states, has conducted three years of research on how accessibility features and accommodations are used on tests and in classes. An online survey (N=2,250), online focus groups (N=46), and interviews (N=86) revealed that teachers sometimes struggle to understand the accessibility framework and their role in making and implementing accessibility decisions.

The DIAMOND project has used these results to create online professional development modules about accessibility decision making. These interactive modules revolve around fictional student profiles. Users review the profiles, watch video lessons, and consult written resources before making accessibility decisions for the fictional students.

At this poster session, DIAMOND project staff will explain how teachers can use the professional development modules to make optimal decisions about accessibility features and accommodations.

Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Author(s): Jenny Poynter, Amy Esler, Jennifer Hall-Lande, Libby Hallas-Muchow, Anab Gulaid, and Amy Hewitt

Presents results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Minnesota-Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (MN-ADDM) project. MN-ADDM monitors the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and intellectual disability in 8-year-old children within Hennepin and Ramsey counties in Minnesota, with a special focus on understanding prevalence among Somali and Hmong immigrant populations in the hopes of better serving children in those communities.

Author(s): Breanne Byiers, Alyssa Merbler, Kristin Frenn, Chantel Barney, and Frank Symons

Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurogenetic syndrome that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 females. Preclinical models have documented excessive cortisol responses to stress, but this has not been replicated in humans. Identifying stress paradigms that can be ethically and practically implemented in this population is challenging. In the current study, we investigated cortisol responses to two standardized assessments designed to investigate musculoskeletal pain status and somatosensory function, respectively. 14 participants with clinical diagnoses of RTT participated. Each research visit consisted of several segments: 5-minute baseline period; standardized range of motion exam; recovery period; modified standardized quantitative sensory test (mQST); and recovery period. Saliva samples were collected at three time points throughout the visit. The results show that cortisol changes across the time points differed by age and parent-reported mood symptoms. These results suggest that both the standardized range of motion exam and the mQST protocol produce significant changes in cortisol concentrations among individuals with RTT, although the specific patterns differ based on both age and mood symptoms. Overall, these findings suggest that these assessments may be feasible and useful in the assessment of stress reactivity among individuals with RTT.

Doing, Being, and Belonging: A Photo Elicitation on the Meaning of Well-being of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Author(s): Lynda Lahti Anderson

Adults with Intellectual and developmental disabilities disproportionately experience poverty, social isolation, and may have more co-occurring chronic health conditions than the general population. This study adds a better understanding of what is important to adults with IDD think about wellness. Understanding the day-to-day experiences of people with IDD can improve interventions and supports. A photo narrative approach was used to answer the research question “How do adults with IDD describe health and wellness?”

Three themes emerged from this narrative: Doing, Being, and Belonging. These three themes highlight the importance of meaningful activities, positive self-identity, and social inclusion as key factors contributing to overall well-being.

Recommendations for future research include the use of research techniques such as photography that promote the inclusion of people with IDD in research. Photo narrative proved to be an effective tool for including people with IDD in this project, allowing participants to share their full experience. Further research should consider upstream factors for health disparities and should consider individual and community level investigations on how best to enhance the environments in which people with IDD live and work and how these environments affect their health.

Author(s): David R. Johnson, Yi-Chen Wu, Martha Thurlow, Xueqin Qian, Ernest Davenport, and Cynthia Matthias

Federal legislation requires that students with Individual Education Programs (IEPs) work with their schools, their caregivers, and community agencies to develop plans that support transition from high school to adult life. Student involvement in transition planning has been shown to contribute to improved post-secondary outcomes and is required by law; however, there has been little research to date on the various factors that influence student involvement in the planning process. This poster will highlight research being conducted by a team from the Institute on Community Integration that aims to address this gap in the literature. Specifically, the team is conducting secondary analyses of data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2012 (NLTS 2012) to explore the malleable factors associated with IEP/transition planning meeting participation and students’ future goal aspirations for postsecondary education, employment, economic independence, and independent living. The study is comprised of four sub-studies that examine student invitation, participation, contribution, and future goal aspirations. This research contributes to a better understanding of student, parent/family, and school factors that can lead to the development of future strategies and interventions to improve student involvement in IEP/transition planning meetings.

Author(s): S. DeZelar and E. Lightfoot

The purpose of this study is to explore the strengths, needs, goals and levels of support for parents who have disabilities. The study sample consists of parents with intellectual, developmental and/or physical disabilities with at least one child age 18 or younger, who participated in a goal setting intervention aimed at improving supports for parenting, modeled after person-centered practices. Data was collected from qualitative interviews with participants and their key support people, and materials used during the goal-setting intervention meetings, including a goal-mapping diagram. Some common themes emerged in the areas of participants goals, strengths and needs for parenting. Notably, although all participants reported at least a minimal level of social support for parenting, relationships were often limited in number and/or helpfulness or were fragile overall. Rich descriptive information was also collected regarding disability status and diagnoses, family demographic information and connection to social services. Participants reported a wide range of disability diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, partial paralysis resulting from stroke, and mild intellectual disability as well as others. Data from this study suggests several key implications for practice, policy and research are drawn from the findings.

Resting state HRV predicts reactivity to tactile stimuli in Rett syndrome

Author(s): Alyssa M. Merbler, Breanne J. Byiers, John Hoch, Adele C Dimian, Chantel C. Barney, Timothy J Feyma, Arthur A. Beisang, Alessandro Bartolomucci , and Frank J. Symons

Individuals with Rett syndrome (RTT) manifest abnormal cutaneous sensitivity and apparent diminished pain response. The nature of their sensory abnormalities is not well understood and characterizing somatosensory mechanisms is difficult for individuals who cannot reliably self-report. We tested the feasibility of using baseline heart rate variability (HRV) to predict behavioral reactivity during a standardized modified quantitative sensory test (N=15). Results indicate that baseline HRV was low and predicted behavioral reactivity to cool and mechanical, but not other stimuli. These preliminary findings provide feasibility evidence for our approach and are consistent with preclinical evidence of mechanical and cold hypersensitivity and heat hyposensitivity.

Children's Mental Health and Welfare

Examining The Role of Early Adversity and Temperament on The Hair Cortisol Levels of The Infants

Author(s): Zeynep Ertekin, Sibel Kazak Berument, and Megan R. Gunnar

It is inevitable that being exposed to chronic stress has an allostatic load on children’s body, which increases the risk for healthy development (McEwen, 2006). Salivary cortisol has been mostly used as a marker of acute stress and diurnal rhythm, while hair cortisol has been used for cumulative stress. Although, there is much research showed the effects of early adversity on acute stress, the relation with cumulative stress and early adversity is not clear yet. Besides the effects of environment, salivary cortisol was found to be associated with the children's temperament (Dettling et al., 2000). Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of early adversity on the infant’s hair cortisol levels and the moderation role of temperament. Early adversity was measured with the socioeconomic status of families based on the education levels of the mothers, income and home environment quality. Data was collected from sixty infants between 6- to 15-months of age in Turkey. Results have revealed that temperament significantly moderated the effects of socioeconomic adversity on cortisol levels after controlling the age and birth weight of the infants.

Fear specific attentional biases in preschool aged children

Author(s): Carolyn Lasch, Laura Thomas, and Jed T. Elison

Prioritized processing of salient and biologically relevant information shapes functional specialization throughout early development. Little is known about the minimal amount of information needed to bias visual attention in young children. The objective was to examine attentional biases to a fear face in 3-5 year-olds when compared to three different contrasts – fear vs. scrambled, fear vs. neutral, and fear vs. inverted fear faces. One hundred and fifteen typically developing children aged 25-68 months participated in a variant of a Posner spatial cuing task, in which the competing cues were briefly presented (24 ms) within the parafoveal visual field and backward masked (126 ms). Data from 94 participants were included in final analyses. Multilevel regressions were carried out with latency to respond to cue as the dependent variable. Progressive models accounted for 1) random intercept of participant age, 2) main effect of participant age, 3) main effects of cue and target location, and 4) the interaction between cue and target locations. Preschool aged children show an attentional bias for fear-specific facial information, even when that information is presented for 24ms and backward masked. These results suggest the minimal amount of information needed to bias visual attention reported to date, and may represent a marker task of amygdala circuit function in preschool aged children.

Author(s): Mimi Choy-Brown

Background: Leadership has been identified as an important predictor for provider adoption of evidence-based practices (EBP), but less is understood about mechanisms between providers and their supervisors that improve EBP adoption. Utilizing Normalization Process Theory (NPT), this study examined supervisory strategies to embed EBP in mental health care. Methods: Embedded within a EBP trial, this sequential mixed methods study used quantitative data to inform a multi-method, multi-perspective qualitative inquiry using a modified grounded theory approach and constant comparative analyses. Results: Three supervisory strategies were identified. 1) Chipping away encompassed supervisors’ efforts to make sense, and infuse reminders, of the change in daily practice. 2) Attunement (knowing their audience) and active collaboration (practicing together) were critical for providers’ buy-in. Together, these strategies improved supervisory calibration to the dynamic contextual and individual needs and communicated support of the practice change. Conclusions: Findings contribute how supervisors utilize both learning and social processes to support provider adoption consistent with NPT. Targeting these supervisory activities holds promise as an effective implementation strategy to build provider buy-in and adoption.

Parent Perceptions of Parental Goals: A qualitative study

Author(s): Seonghee Hong and Susan Walker

The aim of this study is to investigate parent perception of parental goals especially how they perceive where their parental goals come from and how having parental goals impacts parenting practice. To investigate parent perceptions of parental goals, part of data from a qualitative study (PI: Dr. Susan Walker) has been analyzed. Twenty-seven parents of children from birth through age five from Early Childhood Family Education program in Minnesota interviewed. After three steps of coding process, two categories and seven themes were found. The first category, Origin of parental goals includes three themes: “From my child”, “From my own life experience”, and “From my external social systems”. The second category, Roles of parental goals includes four themes: “Parent centering”, “Decision making”, “Guidance for family flexibility” and “Proactive parenting”. The findings show that how the three domains in Belsky (1984)’s model impact parental goals which would be connected to parenting behavior and eventually child outcomes. Also, it is found that parents use their parental goals for parenting practice in many ways. To get a better understanding of how parental goals directly/indirectly impact child outcomes mediated by parenting quality, research on roles and impact of parental goals on parental quality is needed.

The Reflective Interaction Observation Scale: A New Research Tool

Author(s): Alyssa S. Meuwissen and Christopher Watson

Reflective supervision is a model of professional development increasingly recommended as a best practice for infant and early childhood practitioners across multiple disciplines (e.g. home visitors, child welfare workers, early educators, AAIMH, 2018). Reflective supervision is conceptualized as both supporting good practice and mediating job stress that leads to burnout and staff turnover, yet little empirical research supports these claims. The research that has been done has relied on self-report instruments, which are limited by reporter bias (Ash, 2010; Shea, Goldberg, & Weatherston, 2012). We have developed the Reflective Interaction Observation Scale (RIOS), which is the first tool used to code recordings of reflective supervision to identify the degree to which a session meets best practice standards. The RIOS represents a substantial improvement in measurement because it is objective and captures the process of reflective supervision, thus enabling a better understanding of the quality of provided reflective supervision. The RIOS consists of 5 Essential Elements, which identify topics of conversation, and 5 Collaborative tasks, which capture the depth of reflection in the conversation. The poster will overview the structure of the RIOS tool, and provide a sample of data showing how the tool operates.

Living Better, Living Longer

College Students’ Physiological and Psychosocial Outcomes during Virtual Reality

Author(s): Daniel J. McDonough, Zachary C. Pope, PhD, Wenxi Liu, Nan Zeng, PhD, and Zan Gao, PhD

PURPOSE: Examine differences in college students’ physical activity (PA), physiological, and psychosocial outcomes during two virtual reality (VR)-based stationary cycling sessions compared to a traditional stationary cycling session.

METHOD: Forty-nine college students (34 females; Mage = 23.6 ± 3.4 years; MBMI = 23.8 ± 3.1 kg/m2) participated in three 20-minute stationary cycling sessions: (1) PlayStation 4 immersive VR; (2) Xbox 360 non-immersive VR; and (3) traditional stationary cycling. Participants’ PA and energy expenditure (EE) were tracked using ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers; blood pressure (BP) using an Omron HEM-705CP digital BP cuff; enjoyment and self-efficacy using validated questionnaires; and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) using the modified Borg RPE Scale.

RESULTS: A MANOVA indicated significant differences for BP, RPE, enjoyment, and self-efficacy between the three exercise sessions (F(2, 144) = 3.3-32.4, p = 0-0.04, n2 = 0.04-0.3). Specifically, participants had significantly higher enjoyment and self-efficacy and lower RPE during the immersive VR cycling session than the other two cycling sessions despite similar or higher BP during immersive VR cycling sessions compared to the traditional cycling and non-immersive VR cycling sessions.

DISCUSSION: Observations suggested immersive VR cycling to elicit similar physiological responses as traditional cycling while being perceived as more enjoyable and less intense.

Author(s): S. Okrey Anderson and Jenifer K. McGuire

Transgender people are often born into religious families and faith communities that adhere to traditional religious teachings on gender and sexuality. This study employs thematic content analysis to explore experiences of Ambiguous Loss in a racially diverse, international sample of 90 transgender youth and young adults. Results suggest that transgender people experience relational ruptures in their relationships with family, faith community, and deity as a result of non-affirming theology or climate, leading to boundary ambiguity and a sense of ambiguous loss.

Author(s): Jessica Holst-Wolf, Lucie Turcotte, and Jürgen Konczak

Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) is an unwanted side effect of treatment affecting patients and survivors of pediatric cancer. CIPN can cause touch and limb position perception dysfunction. Currently, there is no gold-standard means of measuring these somatosensory impairments. Consequently, the extent of somatosensory impairment during chemotherapy and recovery after treatment is unknown. Given that these senses are crucial for motor development and activities of daily life, it is imperative to obtain accurate measures of how chemotherapy affects these senses. Here we present a novel, simple assessment that yields objective measures of somatosensory impairment. The assessment measures haptic acuity, specifically the ability to discriminate between curvatures explored with the index finger. Eleven individuals (ages 6-25 years old) diagnosed with extracranial cancers who have been treated with chemotherapy have completed the assessment. Preliminary data demonstrate the efficacy of this assessment for measuring somatosensory dysfunction in pediatric patients treated with chemotherapy as 9 of 11 patients have haptic acuity thresholds in the 4th quartile of an the age-matched normative cohort. This assessment may become an essential means to make informed treatment decisions that reduce negative sensory consequences of chemotherapy and improve the quality of life for individuals with pediatric cancer.

Virtual Reality Exercise on College Students’ Motivation and Energy Expenditure

Author(s): Wenxi Liu, Nan Zeng, Zachary C. Pope, Daniel Mcdonough, and Zan Gao

The study purpose was to examine differences on college students’ situational motivation and energy expenditure (EE) between immersive VR, non-immersive VR, and traditional stationary biking sessions. Forty-nine healthy college students (35 males, Mage = 23.6 years old) completed three separate 20-minute biking sessions. Participants demonstrated greater EE in VirZoom VR biking (514.39 ± 104.77) and traditional biking (494.44 ± 17.82) compared to Gamercize biking (404.41 ± 90.15). VR biking (6.31 ± 0.72) had the highest intrinsic motivation than the other two sessions (4.95 ± 1.54; 3.89 ± 1.96). Moreover, traditional biking (3.20 ± 1.42) had higher external regulation than VR biking (2.72 ± 1.44). Findings suggested that VirZoom VR biking elicits similar EE compared to traditional biking, with an advantage observed in the fact the VirZoom VR bike was able to promote greater situational motivation during exercise. This suggests immersive VR exercise biking may be an attractive alternative to PA participation and adherence among college students while eliciting approximately the same physiological adaptations.

“We are parents from the community”: A Qualitative Study of the Minnesota Parent Mentoring Program

Author(s): Ruth Soffer-Elnekave and Wendy Haight

This Qualitative study describes the Minnesota Parent Mentoring Program. Parent mentors are parents or other caregivers who have been child welfare service recipients and are providing support, information, and advocacy for parents currently involved in the system. This study included in-depth, semi-structured interviews with parent mentors, stakeholders and parents, as well as participant observations and document reviews. Findings show that parent mentors are usually described as offering unique support for parents who are entering the child protection system. Based on their common experiences, parents and mentors describe easily establishing strong, trusting relationships that allow mentors to provide parents with emotional, social and practical assistance. In addition, data revealed the ways in which the Parent Mentoring Program serves as a bridge between the child welfare system and parents. This study is the first step in evaluating parent mentoring programs. Results suggest that parent mentor programs may be a viable model for supporting parents and professionals involved in the child protection system to achieve the best outcomes for families. Implementing parent mentor programs alongside the traditional child welfare system may provide a much-needed source of support for both parents and professionals.