Abstracts Winter 2008

Winter 2008, Vol. 13, No. 3
ISSN 1540 5273

Calcium knowledge, concern, and expectations for intake among parents of Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white early adolescents

Mary Cluskey, Oregon State University, Garry Auld, Colorado State University, Miriam Edlefsen, Washington State University, Sahar Zaghloul, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Margaret A. Bock, New Mexico State University, Carol J. Boushey, Christine Bruhn, University of California, Davis, Dena Goldberg, Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital, Scottie Misner, University of Arizona, Beth Olson, Marla Reicks,


This study was designed to describe parental knowledge about calcium functions, food sources, intake adequacy, and requirements for stage of life cycle, as well as concerns and expectations about intake of calcium rich foods (CRF) by early adolescent children. Individual interviews were conducted with 201 Asian (n=54), Hispanic (n=57) and non-Hispanic white (n=90) parents of children aged 10-13 years. Qualitative data analysis procedures were used to generate common interview themes. Four knowledge sub-scores were constructed from responses to specific combinations of questions. The overall level of calcium-related parental knowledge was only moderate. Most parents were aware that calcium was required to build strong bones, while specific knowledge about calcium functions, requirements, and food sources was limited. Few parents set expectations for regular consumption of CRF by children. Having knowledge about calcium needs and food sources may be important motivators for parental efforts to provide CRF in the home and to create expectations for intake. Full Text

Facilitating situated learning experiences for parents and guardians of young children

Allison Nichols, Sue Flanagan, Miriam Leatherman, and Patty Morrison, West Virginia University Extension Service


A Cooperative Extension team examined the long-term impact of newsletters or fact sheets targeted at kindergarten and first-grade parents or guardians. The team sought to determine whether informational newsletters, often considered a static form of learning, facilitate situated learning experiences for parents or guardians of young children. Situated learning includes social processes in the educational experience. The results showed that newsletters do facilitate situated learning experiences because they satisfy the following criteria: (1) learning takes place outside of the formal educational environment; (2) learners are connected to expert knowledge; (3) topics focus on the interests and needs of a specific group; (4) recommendations are provided to give readers opportunities for using new knowledge and skills in everyday life; (5) the format allows readers to share learning; and (6) the resources provided function as a stimulus for continued learning over the lifetime. 
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Exploring the effectiveness of learning communities as a source of technical assistance and professional development among Extension educators

Claudia C. Mincemoyer, Daniel F. Perkins, Penn State University and Anthony Santiago, Iowa State University


In this study, the perceptions of Extension educators participating in the PROPSER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) project were examined. The study focused on the success of the learning community model in (1) providing support and technical assistance, (2) helping solve local challenges and problems, (3) allowing for reflection on practice and sharing learning, (4) increasing knowledge of prevention science and evidence-based practice, and (5) facilitating systems change in Cooperative Extension. Extension educators overwhelmingly agreed that the PROSPER Learning Community meetings were supporting their ability to translate research into action in their communities. They felt more credible and comfortable doing prevention education work in their communities as a result of participation in PROSPER Learning Communities. Full Text

The Smart Steps, Embrace the Journey program: Enhancing relational skills and relationship quality in remarriages and stepfamilies

Brian J. Higginbotham, Utah State University, and Francesca Adler-Baeder Auburn University


Smart StepsEmbrace the Journey is an innovative program that teaches relationship skills for couples and children in stepfamilies. Results from 200 ethnically and economically diverse participants attending Smart Steps classes at eleven different sites suggest that Smart Steps is effective in improving healthy relationship skills, increasing commitment, and decreasing relationship instability. Full Text

Nutrition Education Issues for Older Adults

Mary Ann Johnson, The University of Georgia, Sohyun Park, Florida Department of Health, Dawn Penn, The University of Georgia, Jacquelyn W. McClelland, North Carolina State University, Katie Brown, Nutra-Net, Inc. & Co-owner of Show-Me Food & Nutrition Services, Inc. Audrey Adler, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey


The aging of the U.S. population has increased the number of older people with nutrition-related chronic disorders. This review provides a foundation for those who provide services to this population by summarizing dietary and nutritional recommendations for older adults, describing the need and value of nutrition education, and emphasizing its potential to delay morbidity and improve quality of life. Topics addressed include decreasing sodium; increasing the intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk products, vitamins B12 and D from fortified foods or dietary supplements; and understanding the importance of physical activity and weight management. Full Text

Resources for radon education and outreach

Kenneth R. Tremblay, Elisa Shackelton, and Laura Au-Yeung, Colorado State University Extension Service


Radon is a serious health issue for American households – it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Fortunately, it is easy to test for radon in the home, and it is relatively inexpensive to install systems to reduce radon if the test shows that levels are high. Educational resources on radon are abundant, including information from Cooperative Extension, such as Healthy Indoor Air for America’s Homes, and from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The present article provides a peer review of these resources and offers suggestions for developing, marketing, and implementing a radon workshop. Full Text

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