Thomas McLellan, former deputy director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Obama Administration, presents data showing increased prices and taxes reduce alcohol drinking rates and resultant problems by up to 30 percent. His talk was part of the Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse Conference held at Penn State University Park on April 29, 2019. Image: Patrick Mansell/Penn State

May 03, 2019

Inaugural conference to address substance misuse held at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania is in the midst of a full-fledged, substance misuse epidemic, with one out of every four families encountering this issue. Penn State is combating the crisis by drawing upon the expertise of researchers, educators, practitioners and policymakers, who gathered recently for the Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse (CCSA) Conference, held April 29 on the University Park campus.

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Fathers who slept more on average than other fathers reported lower overall well-being and less closeness with their partner and child. In contrast, mothers who slept more on average than other mothers reported greater well-being. Image: ©Shutterstock/Antonio Guillem

May 01, 2019

Sleep and exercise affect new moms differently than new dads

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sleep and exercise are vital to the wellbeing of new parents, but these essentials affect new moms differently than new dads, according to researchers.

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The NSF-funded “Designing Innovative Guided Play Experiences to Empower Parents and Engage Preschool-Age Children in STEM Learning” project team, from left: Jessica Menold, Meg Small, Sabrina Voltaire, Jennifer Connell, Karen Bierman, Lynn Liben, and Phoebe Bridy. (Team member Scarlett Miller is missing from the picture). Voltaire is a graduate student in Human Development and Family Studies, and Bridy is an undergraduate student studying engineering design. Image: Sara Brennen

April 23, 2019

$1.2 million NSF grant funds interdisciplinary Child Study Center project

Liberal Arts, Engineering, and Health and Human Development faculty collaborate on new model promoting STEM and social-emotional learning skills in pre-school children UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] skills have not been a priority in early childhood education,” said Evan Pugh University Professor Karen Bierman, director of the Penn State Child Study Center housed in the Department of Psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts. “Preschool play helps children build the foundation skills that support later spatial thinking and numerical reasoning. But most STEM toys are marketed for boys, fueling a gender gap in STEM interests and skills that is evident by school entry.”

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Penn State student Nichole Sell and her adviser, Robert Turrisi, professor of biobehavioral health and Prevention Research Center affiliate

April 18, 2019

Biobehavioral health student receives 2019 Alumni Association Dissertation Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Nichole Sell, a predoctoral graduate student in biobehavioral health, received the Alumni Association Dissertation Award for outstanding professional accomplishment and achievement in scholarly research on April 11 at the Graduate Student Awards Luncheon held at the Nittany Lion Inn. The prestigious award recognizes Sell’s research in the social science category.

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Sona Dimidjian spoke at the 2019 Lecture on Compassion hosted by the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center on April 4, 2019.

April 18, 2019

Annual compassion lecture focused on the need for self-care in challenging times

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Sona Dimidjian, professor of psychology at the University of Colorado Boulder, presented the fourth annual Lecture on Compassion, “Expanding Compassion: Reflections on our Research, Practice, and Lives,” to more than 100 researchers and community members on April 4 at the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center at Penn State, on the University Park campus. Her talk addressed how we can most effectively study and practice compassion in a way that promotes individual healing and social change.

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