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New research initiative to promote positive youth development

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Anthony Burrow and Jane Mendle

Anthony Burrow and Jane Mendle

The BCTR is pleased to announce the launch of a new initiative called the Program for Research on Youth Development and Evaluation (PRYDE). Continuing the legacy of Urie Bronfenbrenner, the program will link science and service in innovative ways by involving 4-H communities in basic and applied research designed to understand and improve youth experiences.

PRYDE is led by BCTR faculty affiliates Anthony Burrow and Jane Mendle, both faculty members in the Department of Human Development. The program is supported by a BCTR-funded post-doctoral fellow, Jennifer Agans, as well as an advisory committee of 4-H and BCTR faculty and staff including Andy Turner, Karl Pillemer, Elaine Wethington, and Marie Cope. PRYDE’s initial projects include the development of an interactive mapping tool for Cornell faculty and staff to identify 4-H Youth Development programs with populations that meet their research needs, as well as and a new study to examine the role of purpose in youth engagement in 4-H programs.

These activities will lay the groundwork for PRYDE’s primary goal of creating a nationally prominent program for translational research on youth development to benefit the thousands of urban and rural 4-H participants in New York State and beyond. Stay tuned for resources and opportunities to get involved!

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Talks at Twelve: Jane Mendle, Thursday, May 8, 2014

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Expressive Writing and Pubertal Development: Testing a Brief Intervention
Jane Mendle, Human Development, Cornell University

Thursday, May 8, 2014
12:00-1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Plantations lot across the road from Beebe Hall.

Puberty represents a time of dramatic transformation. The striking physiological changes of this period are paralleled by an equally striking cascade of personal, social, and emotional adjustment, as individuals transition into the new roles and expectations which accompany biological maturation. Although puberty is a universal experience, it is also a period of risk and vulnerability. A marked surge of problem behaviors and psychological difficulties first emerge during this transition, often continuing to worsen during adolescence.

A recipient of a BCTR Pilot Study Grant, and in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Dr. Mendle will discuss some of the findings that emerged from a brief expressive writing intervention conducted at 4-H Camp Bristol Hills which focused on changes that occur over the course of puberty, and share practical applications and potential benefits for health and well-being during a critical stage of youth development.


Dr. Jane Mendle is Assistant Professor of Human Development in the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and director of the Adolescent Transition Lab. She joined the CHE faculty in the Fall 2011, following three years as an assistant professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on adolescence - primarily how different aspects of puberty lay the groundwork for future adjustment or maladjustment. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Virginia and completed her clinical internship at the Payne Whitney Clinic of New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College.

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