RESEARCH BRIEFS by fdh56iuoui



HIV prevention program implemented in South Africa
School-based Alcohol and HIV
Prevention in South Africa
Co-PIs: Sonja Feist-Price, College of
Education; Rick Zimmerman, College of
Communication; Pamela Cupp, College of
Funding Agent: NIH/National Institute
on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Funding: $1.5 million

    A team of researchers from the
University of Kentucky developed a school-
based alcohol and HIV prevention program
for adolescents in South Africa. This
research is based on a funded school-based
project in the U.S. that showed promise in
delaying sexual initiation and enhanced
condom use among adolescents. Alcohol
and HIV prevention efforts were made
          (Please see “Africa” on page 3)        Dr. Feist-Price with community members who enthusiastically support the research.

 Projects link assessment to curriculum in pre-schools
Project Play                                  in two research projects to help early               Project Play has been an ongoing
Co-PIs: Jennifer Grisham-Brown,               education programs assess needs and             program since 2001. In Kentucky, it is being
University of Kentucky                        demonstrate success.                            carried out in two school systems – the
Kristie Pretti-Frontczak, Kent State               Jennifer Grisham-Brown, Ed.D,              Jessamine Early Learning Village in
University                                    associate professor at the UK College of        Nicholasville and the Franklin County Public
Funding Agency: US Department of              Education, and Kristie Pretti-Frontczak,        Pre-School program.
Education, Office of Special Education        Ph.D., an associate professor at Kent State          With regard to the research, Dr.
Programs                                      University, direct Project Play, a model        Grisham-Brown said that it has been
Funding: $700,000 over four years             demonstration grant that trains early           advantageous to work with these two school
                                              childhood education teachers to work with       systems because they present different types
Project Link                                  students with disabilities. In later years,     of educational environments. The Jessamine
PI: Jennifer Grisham-Brown, University of     Project Play has broadened its scope to         Village operates its preschool classrooms out
Kentucky                                      include all children.                           of one location. Franklin County’s pre-
Funding Agency: The Administration of               Pre-kindergarten programs are             school, on the other hand, is offered at every
Children and Families, Headstart Bureau       admitting more children with disabilities and   elementary school in its district.
Funding: $800,000 over four years             teachers need special preparation on how to          “We are demonstrating a method of
                                              integrate these new students into the           authentic assessment that links directly with
    The measurement of success in             program. During summer professional             Kentucky’s Early Learning Standards and
children’s learning environments across       development sessions, Drs. Grisham-Brown        can be used for curriculum development and
traditional grade levels has long been a      and Pretti-Frontczak show teachers how to       program evaluation. It’s a more accurate
subject of intensive research and study. In   conduct meaningful assessments of these         measure of a child’s progress at that age level
the last five years, however, educational     children’s developmental skills. They then      than standardized testing,” commented
programs that serve pre-kindergarten age      show how teachers can use these assessment      Grisham-Brown.
children have become much more                techniques to shape their instruction to             With the enhanced scope of Project Play,
accountable to back their claims with         address students’ needs and provide a basis     it shares some basic similarities with another
evidence of educational success.              upon which teachers can measure and track       research project Grisham-Brown has been
    The University of Kentucky is involved    the progress of individual students.                       (Please see “Projects” on page 2)
RESEARCH BRIEFS                                                                                                                                 2

                          Improving Learning Environments
                                for Health Education
Improving School Learning                         HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.      The research effort that UK mounted has
Environments in HIV and Pregnancy                 UK is helping make that curriculum better.        been to test new ideas and educational
Prevention                                            Eric Anderman, associate dean for             strategies that may increase the effectiveness
PI: Eric Anderman, UK College of                  research and graduate studies at the UK           of this program. Several urban and suburban
Education                                         College of Education, and Rick Zimmerman,         Kentucky high schools have participated in
Co-PI: Rick Zimmerman, UK College of              professor in the UK Department of                 the project.
Communications                                    Communications and a specialist in HIV                “We used the RTR curriculum as a control
Funding Agency: NIH/National Institute            prevention research, have both served as co-      for measuring the value of the enhancements
of Nursing Research (NINR)                        principal investigator and principal              we implemented in our test groups. What we
Funding: $2,086,866 over five years               investigator in the research study since its      want to do is test our ideas for making the
                                                  initial funding in 2001. Anderman described       program better against its usual rate of
    In the global effort to control the spread    the effort as a highly effective collaborative    success,” Anderman commented.
of HIV infection, even successful education       project between the UK Colleges of                    All schools participating in the study
programs need to be improved. Researchers         Education and Communications. The five-           benefit from using the RTR curriculum.
from the University of Kentucky, for              year research project is funded by the                The RTR curriculum teaches students the
instance, are in the middle of a five-year-       National Institute of Nursing Research            value of abstinence by educating them on the
long project to enhance the success rate of a     (NINR), a branch of the National Institutes       consequences of unwanted pregnancy and
highly regarded educational curriculum            of Health.                                        the risks to life and health of infection from
known as “Reducing the Risk”(RTR). The                Richard Barth, Ph.D., developed               sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.
RTR program has a proven track record of          “Reducing the Risk” (RTR) and put it into         For students who have not engaged in sexual
encouraging young people to avoid                 successful practice at numerous schools           behavior, the program can help delay the
behaviors that put them at risk of contracting    across the United States in the early 1990s.              (Please see “Prevention” on page 3)

Projects (from page 1)
involved in: Project Link.                             “There have been several positive            K programs across Kentucky,” Grisham-
     Project Link, created by a partnership       outcomes from both projects. We see a great       Brown commented.
grant between the UK College of Education         deal of potential to apply our findings in pre-
and the Community Action Council for
Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison, and
Nicholas Counties, is a research project in
the Council’s Headstart Program.
     Like Project Play, Link is a professional
development program for caregivers in
Headstart programs. It is also an all inclusive
program, designed to train Headstart
teachers to link assessment and curriculum
for all children in their classrooms. But
beyond those two facets, Project Link
involves a greater level of professional
development and is much more of a classical
research study, said Grisham-Brown.
     Eighteen classes are involved. Nine
serve as the project’s control group. The
other nine have teachers attend an intensive
professional development program and
receive on site technical assistance from
project staff. Therefore, a significant part of
Link’s program is to develop assessment
skills in Headstart’s employees and then
teach them how to link assessment to the          Kristie Pretti-Frontczak (center) from Kent State University, and Jennifer Grisham-Brown
development of an effective educational            (standing) from the University of Kentucky College of Education, discuss a project with
program.                                                                         “Project Play” participants.
3                                                                                                                           RESEARCH BRIEFS

Africa (from page 1)                             relationships. By making them aware of the
                                                 illusion of such images, they can be more
                                                                                                  wouldn’t work in the U.S. and it doesn’t
                                                                                                  work in South Africa. We won’t succeed if
                                                 critical and inquisitive about the reality of    we operate from our own cultural values.”
culturally relevant for adolescents in South
                                                 what they see.”                                       “Throughout all of our research projects
Africa. The project is supported by a grant
                                                      The research team’s HIV prevention          we focus on individual difference variables
from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse
                                                 work led to additional funding from the          that place adolescents at greatest risk for
and Alcoholism (NIAAA).
                                                 NIAAA. It allowed UK researchers to              engaging in risky behaviors: The high
     Sonja Feist-Price, professor in the
                                                 expand their efforts toward adolescents in       sensation seekers and the impulsive decision
Department of Special Education and
                                                 school-settings in South Africa.                 makers,” Feist-Price explained.
Rehabilitation Counseling, and Rick
                                                      In the formative phase of the new study,          The international project is being
Zimmerman, professor in the UK
                                                 Feist-Price recalled how the research team       conducted in collaboration with a team of
Department of Communications, are
                                                 found that African adolescents were              HIV prevention researchers in South Africa.
nationally recognized specialists in the field
                                                 inundated with HIV prevention messages           Members of the UK research team travel to
of HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention
                                                 and were not interested in another health        the country several times throughout the year
                                                 program dealing explicitly with the subject.     to assist with research efforts. “We hope the
     The school-based HIV prevention
                                                 If their work was going to reach teens, they     work we are doing leads us to new
efforts were initially developed in 1995
                                                 would have to use a new approach.                opportunities to collaborate with researchers
under Zimmerman and Lewis Donohew, a
                                                      “We targeted alcohol use because it is      in other countries to address HIV prevention
former UK professor in the College of
                                                 an existing social problem that leads to high    needs. Any success we have to reduce the
Communications and Information Studies.
                                                 risk behaviors. We obviously can’t go into       numbers of new infections will help us in
Feist-Price came aboard in 1996 to build on
                                                 another country and think that we can            the ultimate goal of bringing the HIV/AIDS
their program with a minority supplement
                                                 duplicate the interventions the way they         pandemic under control.”
to the research. At that time, the knowledge
                                                 were implemented in other communities. It
and skills-based intervention targeted
adolescents in urban high schools in
Cleveland and Louisville.
     “From our initial work, we expanded
our focus to include community-based
                                                 Prevention (from page 2)                          OTHER SELECTED RESEARCH:
research and focused on adolescents at           initiation of sexual contact. For students who
highest risk for becoming infected with HIV.     are already sexually active, RTR encourages       Appalachian Math Science
One of the three target groups were              them to reconsider their behavior.                Partnership (AMSP)
adolescent females in urban settings. Using           In their studies, UK has tested new ideas    Co-PI: Ron Atwood, College of
an empirically sound research design, one        designed specifically to influence either         Education
of the primary aims of our research was to       attitudinal or behavioral change in students.     Funding Agent: National Science
assess the impact of an enhanced skills-              “We hope to find that our additions to       Foundation
                                                                                                   Funding: $22 million over 5 years
focused, classroom-based intervention to         RTR result in even more students choosing
meet the special needs and characteristics of    to abstain from initiating or responding to
                                                                                                   National Assessment of Educational
adolescents on perceived risk of HIV,            sexual contact. We also want to see if our
                                                                                                   Progress, Secondary Analysis
behavior intentions, and sexual risk-taking.”    ideas help students develop the personal          PI: Xin Ma, UK College of Education
Feist-Price said regarding their research.       confidence to say ‘No’ and delay the              Co-PI: Edward Kifer, UK College of
     “Some kids don’t always have many           initiation of sexual activity,” Anderman said.    Education
positive role models to emulate, and many             For students who had already engaged         Funding Agent: US Dept. of Education
have yet to develop the maturity or the skills   in sexual activity prior to the RTR program,      Funding: $96,878
to appropriately navigate relationship issues    researchers wanted to see if their approaches
they face.”                                      effected their attitudes. If students are         Partnerships for Preventing Farm
     Much of the research the UK team has        determined to be sexually active, the             Injuries to Rural Youth
done deals with more than providing              researchers hope their work may guide those       Co-PI: Joan Mazur, UK College of
knowledge about the risks of HIV and other       students toward behaviors that will lessen        Education
STDs. They seek to develop behavioral skills     the risk of health problems or pregnancy.         Funding Agent: Center for Disease
that encourage adolescents to have self-              The research has tested at least six         Control and Prevention
pride, make responsible choices, delay           different techniques and involved                 Funding: $237, 519
sexual initiation, develop effective             approximately 3,000 high school students.
                                                                                                   Expansion of Content Literacy in
communication skills, avoid putting                   “Because health classes are offered once
                                                                                                   Middle and High School Classrooms
themselves in risky situations, and              per semester in high school, we have been
                                                                                                   PI: Susan Cantrell, Collaborative
understand behavioral risks.                     able to gather a large amount of data. Initial    Center for Literacy Development
     “We also try to teach young people to       results of our studies look promising,” said      Funding Agent: KY Council on
critically view media messages targeted to       Anderman. “We are analyzing data on what          Postsecondary Education
them. Popular entertainment presents false       new approaches were most successful and           Funding: $200,000
messages about lifestyle and male-female         added more value to the program.”
RESEARCH BRIEFS                                                                                                                              4

   UK receives funding for preschool reading program
Jumpstart Program                                Experiential Education and Career Services           UK and BTWA will implement this
Co-PIs: Katherine McCormick, College             at the James Stuckert Career Center, echoed     early reading curriculum as outlined except
of Education                                     those sentiments.                               for one aspect. Jumpstart is organized as a
Sharon Stewart, Associate Dean, College               “Jumpstart provides career experiences     “pull out” program. Pre-school students
of Health Sciences                               we encourage UK students to explore,” said      leave their class to meet with their college
Funding Agencies: Starbucks Foundation           Strup.                                          student mentor. Kentucky’s state-funded
and AmeriCorps                                        Tracy Meehling is the manager of           preschool programs, however, are based on
Funding: $150,000                                Jumpstart at UK. Her responsibility is to       an all-inclusive model, McCormick said.
                                                 recruit students from the UK campus.            Therefore, the Jumpstart program will be
     The Starbucks Foundation and                Fortunately, AmeriCorps’ participation          tailored to fit that model. “We won’t be
AmeriCorps approved a grant to the               provides a financial incentive for college      singling out kids and asking them to leave
University of Kentucky to fund a pre-school      students to participate.                        their classroom,” McCormick said.
reading program called Jumpstart at The               UK students who become members of               Credit for obtaining this grant is shared
Booker T. Washington Academy (BTWA) in           the “Jumpstart Corps,” as the program refers    by the UK Colleges of Education, Health
Lexington, Kentucky. Jumpstart identifies        to them, will receive a $1,000 AmeriCorps       Sciences, and Social Work and the
pre-schoolers who are having difficulty          grant if they meet their obligations. This is   Department of Experiential Education and
reading and matches them to college students     money students can apply to their education.    Career services.
who serve as their mentors.
     Dr. Katherine McCormick, an associate
professor in the College of Education and a
specialist in early childhood education, and
Sharon Stewart, associate dean of the UK
College of Health Sciences, are the faculty
investigators for the Lexington Jumpstart
     “Jumpstart is excellent for two reasons.
First, it is a sound, research-based literacy
curriculum for pre-school students. It uses
an assessment component, sets goals in
collaboration with the pre-school teachers
and families, and incorporates measures to
determine if those goals are achieved. That
aspect adds to its quality because it provides
information to families about the progress
of their child and ways to support their
growth and development at home,”
McCormick commented.
     For aspiring early education teachers,
Jumpstart provides a solid career experience
prior to their student teaching.
     Sue Strup, Director of UK’s                  Students at The Booker T. Washington Academy read with their teacher and their mother.

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