CYFS-authored article named best of 2012

Susan Sheridan
Susan Sheridan

A peer-reviewed article authored by UNL researchers in the Nebraska Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools has been named the 2012 Article of the Year by the academic journal School Psychology Review.

Susan Sheridan, the lead author of the article and director of the center, accepted the award Feb. 14 at the NASP's 2013 Annual Convention in Seattle. The award is presented for an article's contributions to research and practice in school psychology, its interest to the journal's readership, and its overall impact on advancing the profession.

The article examines results from a large-scale experimental trial of Conjoint Behavioral Consultation, a family-school partnership model aimed at improving the behavior of students whom teachers have identified as disruptive in class.

The trial found that students who participated in Conjoint Behavioral Consultation showed greater gains in pro-social behaviors and social skills across the eight-week intervention period than peers in the control group. The researchers also found that CBC teachers reported improvements in relating to the parents of their students — and that this relationship catalyzed CBC’s impact on children’s behavior.

“This award exemplifies the strength of collaboration and partnerships at many levels," said Sheridan, who co-developed the CBC model. "The study was the first large-scale trial to demonstrate the benefits to struggling students when families and schools work together as partners, along with the strength of the parent-teacher relationship in producing such important results. It also represents a truly collaborative effort among an incredible team of researchers, practitioners and families, highlighting the power of partnerships between CYFS and our school-based colleagues.”

The article was co-authored by James Bovaird, director of the CYFS Statistics and Research Methodology Unit; Todd Glover, CYFS research associate professor; Amanda Witte, CYFS project manager; and S. Andrew Garbacz and Kyongboon Kwon, former CYFS postdoctoral fellows who are now assistant professors at the universities of Oregon and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, respectively.

A second article published by Kwon, Sheridan and Elizabeth Moorman Kim, another of the center’s former postdoctoral fellows, received honorable mention for the journal’s Article of the Year Award. The article reported that young children’s positive behaviors influenced their academic performance more than did externalizing problems such as hyperactivity, aggression and defiance. Kwon and her colleagues also found that positive behaviors appeared to buffer the negative impact of parents’ limited education on children’s reading achievement.

The most recent edition of Journal Citation Reports, a yearly ranking of peer-reviewed scholarly publications, listed School Psychology Review among the top 10 most journals making an impact on educational psychology.