April 2017 Awards

Principal Investigator: Jaclyn Dynia, Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy
Co-Investigator: Jessica Logan
Project Dates: 03/22/2017 – 12/31/2017
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $5,000
Project Sponsor: Columbus Metropolitan Library

Evaluating and enhancing Reading Buddies services

Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has an established reading program, Reading Buddies, targeting K-3 students with the goal of supporting a 100% passage rate on the Ohio Third Grade Reading Assessment. Reading Buddies provides students with 15 minutes of one-on-one reading time with a staff member or volunteer followed by comprehension questions. Reading Buddies is a well-attended program: 2,000 individual sessions occur monthly at 23 libraries. Of the 23 libraries in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system, 18 libraries serve three of the lowest performing school districts in the county: Columbus City, Whitehall City, and Groveport Madison Schools. This project will improve the effectiveness of Reading Buddies by evaluating the program to identify the ideal number of sessions required for reading progress, optimizing each session through additional staff training, and using technology to build student reading skills.

Objectives of the proposal:

  1. Evaluation: Learning Circle Education Services (LCES) will supply student data to track reading level changes in students attending Columbus City Schools. The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at The Ohio State University (The Crane Center) will conduct a rigorous formative subset evaluation to determine dosage response for reading progress
  2. Professional Development: The Crane Center will lead staff training on matching students with leveled text leading to gains in fluency and comprehension.
  3. Enrichment: The project will provide Reading Buddies participants with additional fluency enrichment time via literacy experiences on Playaway Launchpads, portable devices custom-created to extend students reading time beyond Reading Buddies.

Method of evaluation and intended impact on the targeted population:

The project will be evaluated via matching Reading Buddies attendance rates with classroom data from LCES. The Crane Center will analyze this data to determine the Reading Buddies sessions required to surpass the threshold for fluency improvement. Ongoing tracking of Third Grade Reading Assessment passage rates via the Ohio Department of Education will also be used to monitor the intended impact of improved reading proficiency for third grade students in Central Ohio.

Xin Feng

Xin Feng

Principal Investigator: Xin Feng, Department of Human Sciences
Co-Investigators: Jodi Ford; Jen Wong
Project Dates: 04/01/2017 – 03/31/2018
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $57,530
Project Sponsor: Health Resources & Services Administration

Biological and psychosocial risk factors predicting maternal depression and child mental health problems

Depression is one of the most debilitating mental health problems. It not only leads to impairments and disabilities in a large variety of psychological and physical functioning among the depressed individuals themselves, but also has long-lasting effects on the adverse outcomes of their children. Despite the many approaches to identify risk factors involved, the etiology and maintenance of depression remain poorly understood. In the proposed study, we seek to integrate biological and psychosocial risks of depression, and identify individual risks and risk profiles across multiple domains that predict depressive symptoms in mothers and their children. To achieve this objective, we propose the following aims: 1) to identify maternal biological and psychosocial risks that predict increased probability/level of depression over a 10-year period; 2) to identify maternal profiles of biological and psychosocial factors that are associated with concurrent and future depression; and 3) to examine the concurrent and prospective associations between maternal depression and child mental health problems. We will leverage the existing longitudinal data collected through the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) study, an ongoing nationally representative study of health and well-being. MIDUS is an interdisciplinary study that examines the influences of biological, psychological, and social factors on psychological well-being and physical health in adults. In the MIDUS study, a broad range of biomarkers were collected. In the proposed project, we will include biomarkers involved in the HPA-axis, autonomic, and inflammatory responses to stress. Although each individual systems have been linked to the etiology of depression, they have rarely been integrated in studies of depression. The hypotheses will be tested using subgroups of the MIDUS study (sample sizes range from 206 to 850). The proposed study addresses MCHB’s strategic issue #IV to promote healthy development of MCH population, and is also in line with Healthy People 2020’s overarching goals to “promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages,” and “create social and physical environments that promote good health.” The proposed project has the potential to elucidate physiological and psychosocial risk profiles associated with maternal depression and child health.