New Report from Connecticut Voices for Children looks at Youth Outcomes and Community Opportunity

March 20, 2017

A new report from Connecticut Voices for Children looks at the relationship between youth outcomes and community opportunity:

“The report finds significant disparities in communities across Connecticut based on demographic factors, including population density, residential segregation, and average income. Youth growing up in dense, low-income areas and areas with segregated populations of racial minorities are more likely to struggle, while youth growing up in wealthier rural and suburban areas with predominantly white residents have more positive outcomes. These community characteristics correlate with factors that may negatively impact youth throughout their lives: teen birth rates, youth disconnection, and juvenile arrests.” However, “…by examining outliers among otherwise similar communities, this report identifies successful policies and practices to improve these youth outcomes.”

You can find the full report here:

Also read a WNPR Article providing a quick look at the report here:


Children with Disabilities at Higher Risk of Maltreatment or Neglect

March 8, 2017

A recent study set for publication in the April edition of Pediatrics analyzed data from 524,534 children born in Western Australia between 1990-2010 and found that children with intellectual disability, mental and behavioral health problems, and conduct disorder were more likely to be maltreated or neglected than their typically developing counterparts. While these findings come from Australia, they are consistent with similar studies completed internationally. This article highlights concerns about the rights and needs of children with developmental disabilities, and the need to advocate for their well being.

UConn KIDS seeks to do just that through our ongoing research into atypically developing children. To further our goal, we will also be attending the LEARN Disability Summit at Mohegan Sun on March 11, and will be sharing a table with UConn’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

If you’re interested in getting more involved in advocating for the rights and needs of children with developmental disabilities, be sure to attend the upcoming CT Council for Disabilities public forum on March 14 and Autism Awareness Day at the State Capitol on April 12!

Visit HealthyChildren.Org to read about the research.

Study finds students who experience chronic bullying suffer academically.

February 7, 2017

A study completed by researchers at Arizona State University tracked students over more than a decade to analyze how bullying impacted academic achievement and school engagement. They found that students who were chronically bullied were more likely to suffer academically, highlighting the need for more anti-bullying school programs, as well as parental awareness of bullying.

“Children who suffered chronic levels of bullying during their school years (24 percent of sample) had lower academic achievement, a greater dislike of school and less confidence in their academic abilities. Children who had experienced moderate bullying that increased later in their school years (18 percent) had findings similar to kids who were chronically bullied. However, children who suffered decreasing bullying (26 percent) showed fewer academic effects that were similar to youngsters who had experienced little or no bullying (32 percent), which revealed that some children could recover from bullying if it decreased. Boys were significantly more likely to suffer chronic or increasing bullying than girls.” (American Psychological Association)

Find more information about the study via CNN and the American Psychological Association.

UConn’s Rudd Center finds increase in food marketing to youth; black youth exposed to more junk food ads than white youth

January 25, 2017

The UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity released a study on December 16, 2016 that analyzed the patterns of youth TV viewership and food advertising to preschoolers, children, and adolescents. Despite no difference in youth’s time spent viewing TV between 2008 and 2012, there was a marked increase in the number of food and beverage advertisements youth were exposed to. Another key finding: Black youth were exposed to more junk food ads than white youth.

The study was published in Pediatric Obesity. You can read about the study in UConn Today.

How powerful is advertising on kids’ food choices?

December 2, 2016

The UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity explains the powerful effects of food advertising on Preschoolers, as outlined in a new study.

“If the ads were for healthy foods, that would be an asset to parents, but when the ads are for unhealthy foods, they make parents’ job harder,” a representative from Rudd said.

Read more here about a study that illustrates the effect of advertising on children’s food choices.

UConn’s Rudd Center investigates the nutritional quality of baby food.

November 1, 2016

As part of research done by UConn’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, studies showed that just 4 of 80 baby and toddler snack foods, (such as cookies, cereal bars, puffs, and fruit snacks), qualified as nutritious choices for young children.

And, 50% of baby snacks and 83% of toddler snacks contained added sugars.

Want to learn more about their research? Click here.


Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope

October 31, 2016

Free Film Screening and Discussion Documentary: Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope Wednesday, Nov. 16  |  6-8 p.m. Student Union Theater  |  UConn Storrs Campus  Extreme stress endured in childhood—including loss of a parent, abuse, and neglect—is now understood to be among the leading causes of everything from cancer and heart disease to substance abuse and depression.  Join us for a free screening of Resilience: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope, a powerful documentary revealing the most important public health research findings of a generation. Panel discussion to follow with filmmaker and director, James Redford. Space is limited: please register by Nov. 14.
This event is presented by UConn’s Collaboratory of School and Child Health in concert with the Neag School of Education. Additional sponsors include UConn’s Office of Public Engagement, InCHIP; Achieve Hartford!; and the Clifford Beers Clinic.