What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


Better Condom Education for High School Students: Putting Data into Practice
January 31, 2019

Better Condom Education for High School Students: Putting Data into Practice

By Mia Barrett, MEd | January 31, 2019
Research Associate, ETR

What are the most common errors high school students make about condom use? Thanks to some recent research by ETR and our partners with Public Health, Seattle & King County, we can share insights on that question. Because of what I’ve learned through this research, I’ve adapted the way I teach youth about condom use. 

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Tags: Research to practice, Condoms, Research, Sexual and reproductive health, Health education
Three Ways to Rock a Recruitment Pitch for a Study
January 8, 2019

Three Ways to Rock a Recruitment Pitch for a Study

By ETR | January 8, 2019

ETR has a nationally recognized Research Department. Our multidisciplinary research team engages in research addressing a wide range of educational and public health issues.

One of the challenges in research is recruiting participants for studies. In work we did recently, our research assistants went to college classrooms. They delivered a five-minute “pitch” inviting students to participate in an online survey about their learning experiences.

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Tags: Recruitment, College, Research
What Is "Scaffolding" In Adolescent Relationships?
November 29, 2018

What Is "Scaffolding" In Adolescent Relationships?

By ETR | November 29, 2018

We had an outstanding Kirby Summit IV this fall. This invitational gathering brings together experts from around the country who know a great deal about emerging issues in adolescent health. The Kirby IV summiteers focused on scaffolding for adolescent relationships. If you're not quite sure what that is, you'll want to watch this lively 3-minute video from ETR Senior Research Associate Pamela Anderson.

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Tags: Scaffolding, Romantic relationships, Adolescents, Kirby summit
Supporting Diversity & Inclusion: Harry Potter's Greatest Spell
November 13, 2018

Supporting Diversity & Inclusion: Harry Potter's Greatest Spell

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD, and Rebecca A. Dore, PhD  | November 13, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR (EM) and Senior Research Associate, The Ohio State University (RAD)

Harry Potter is the best-selling book series of all time. The books and their derivatives have made author J.K. Rowling the world’s first billionaire author. The novels and subsequent movies are certainly engaging and entertaining. Indeed, entertainment is the primary goal of most media and works of fiction.

But how we engage with fiction and media is a serious area of study for researchers in fields as diverse as psychology, education, literary studies, philosophy and communications. 

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD
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Tags: Reading, Stigma, Diversity and inclusion, Research
A Drop in The Bucket: Mentoring Young African-American Men
November 6, 2018

A Drop in The Bucket: Mentoring Young African-American Men

By James Walker | November 6, 2018
Project Specialist, ETR

This past September I was faced with a sobering reality. I had to witness my father’s passing and subsequently oversee his homegoing. Although the process was earnest in nature, I was emotionally detached. It is hard to feel attached to someone who was never really in your life. 

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Tags: Underrepresented youth, Youth empowerment, Mentoring
Kirby Summit IV: Scaffolding for Adolescent Relationships
October 23, 2018

Kirby Summit IV: Scaffolding for Adolescent Relationships

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | October 23, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

ETR has now hosted four Kirby Summits. These convenings bring together a small group of brilliant people with a shared commitment to promoting adolescent health and well being.

The key to the Summit’s uniqueness? While each one of the invited participants brings impressive expertise, as a group they come from different disciplines and perspectives.

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Tags: Romantic relationships, Developmental relationships, Adolescent health, Adolescent development, Sexual and reproductive health, Kirby summit
Kirby Summit IV: Supporting Healthy Adolescent Relationships
October 11, 2018

Kirby Summit IV: Supporting Healthy Adolescent Relationships

By Pamela Anderson, PhD | October 11, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

The Kirby Summit is one of the highlights of ETR’s year. Today, we embark on the fourth occurrence of this remarkable convening.

While we know a lot about adolescent development from our own professional perspective, people with deep expertise from other perspectives know things we do not. When we bring these different groups together, amazing things can happen. This is what the Kirby Summit is about.

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Tags: Kirby summit, Romantic relationships, Adolescent development
Losing the Phobia: HIV PrEP is Bridging the Serodivide
September 27, 2018

Losing the Phobia: HIV PrEP is Bridging the Serodivide

By Ifeoma Udoh, PhD | September 27, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Access to PrEP is changing minds and behaviors. As an HIV prevention option, PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV) has provided individuals who may be at risk for HIV an important tool in the way they conceptualize choices about sex partners.

The practice of serosorting—selecting a sexual partner based on HIV status—has often been seen as either stigmatizing or divisive. However, PrEP is changing this practice among both older and younger men who have sex with men (MSM). I contributed to a just-published paper that demonstrates this in some persuasive ways.

By Ifeoma Udoh, PhD
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Tags: Equity, Stigma, PrEP, HIV prevention, HIV
The Choices We Make: Social Dominance Theory in Health, Politics & Life
May 1, 2018

The Choices We Make: Social Dominance Theory in Health, Politics & Life

By Beverly Iniguez-Conrique | May 1, 2018
Research Assistant, ETR

In 1994, two very important events happened in my life. First, one of the earliest papers on Social Dominance Theory was published. Second, I was born.

Social Dominance Theory holds that people develop a set of beliefs—“legitimizing myths”—that support their attitudes about social inequities.

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Tags: Discrimination, Health equity, Stress, Social Dominance Orientation
ETR's Health Equity Framework: A Mission-Focused Tool
April 24, 2018

ETR's Health Equity Framework: A Mission-Focused Tool

By Vignetta Charles, PhD & Karin Coyle, PhD | April 24, 2018
CEO (VC) & Chief Science Officer (KC), ETR

At ETR, we advance health equity through science-based solutions. We’ve been doing it for 37 years. But it wasn’t until recently that we developed our own framework to explicitly and transparently ground our work in health equity. This more intentional approach to health equity has energized our mission-driven work.

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Tags: Health Equity Framework, Health equity
Positive Social Media Use for Youth: 6 Recommendations to Guide Parents, Educators & Other Professionals
April 12, 2018

Positive Social Media Use for Youth: 6 Recommendations to Guide Parents, Educators & Other Professionals

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD | April 12, 2018
Director, Professional Learning Systems, ETR

Worried about social media’s influence on youth? A lot of people are.

In the first part of this blog post, I talked about some of the reasons we worry. Here are 6 recommendations that can guide parents and those who work with youth in supporting healthy use of these new tools.

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD
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Tags: Media, Teens, Social media
Social Media, Traditional Media: Really Different? Or Really the Same?
April 5, 2018

Social Media, Traditional Media: Really Different? Or Really the Same?

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD | April 5, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

From a fairly young age, today’s kids are growing up with all kinds of social media. Parents and professionals struggle to keep up with the latest trends and protect children from possible harm. As a media researcher and a parent, I'm also working to stay abreast of the latest technology and how it impacts children and adolescents.

But rather than looking at every new app as a focus of research, I'm interested in the larger issues related to social media use—things like why and how we use social media.

By Elizabeth McDade-Montez, PhD
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Tags: Social media, Media
ETR's Kirby Summit Rises Again
March 6, 2018

ETR's Kirby Summit Rises Again

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | March 6, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

The Kirby Summit is a one-of-a kind experience. This small, invitational convening gathers experts from across the nation. They meet over two days to talk about promoting adolescent health and reducing health risks.

Okay, you’ve probably heard about other events similar to this. Why is the Kirby Summit so special?

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES
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Tags: Adolescent development, Developmental neuroscience, Sexual and reproductive health, Kirby summit
Becoming a Trauma-Informed School Professional
February 26, 2018

Becoming a Trauma-Informed School Professional

By Stephanie Guinosso, PhD | February 26, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

“Our goal is to create a beloved community. This will require a qualitative change in our souls as well as a quantitative change in our lives.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

This quote resonates deeply for me. It truly captures the journey we must embark upon to become trauma-informed professionals working within trauma- and healing-informed systems.

By Stephanie Guinosso, PhD
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Tags: Educators, Adverse childhood experiences, Trauma informed schools, K12
The Importance of Community Colleges in Diversifying Computing
February 8, 2018

The Importance of Community Colleges in Diversifying Computing

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD | February 8, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Finally! More and more attention is shifting to the fact that community colleges could play a critical role in diversifying computing fields.

The National Science Foundation and Google have given momentum to this movement by funding and hosting a workshop, the “Authentic Inclusion of Community Colleges in Broadening Participation in Computing.” It was held January 30-February 1, 2018, at the Google headquarters. 

By Louise Ann Lyon, PhD
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Tags: STEM equity, STEM equity, Community college, Diversity in technology, Computer science education
Disrupt Your Thinking: It's Good for Sexual Health Education
February 6, 2018

Disrupt Your Thinking: It's Good for Sexual Health Education

By Karin Coyle, PhD | February 6, 2018
Chief Science Officer, ETR

The Kirby Summit has disrupted the ways I think about sex education. I hope it’s going to disrupt your thinking, too. ETR’s invitational Summit assembled some of the nation’s best-known developmental neuroscientists, along with similarly respected sexual and reproductive health specialists. The things we’ve learned by bringing our disciplines together are altering the ways all of us are conceptualizing sex education.

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Tags: Kirby summit, Developmental neuroscience, Sex education, Adolescent health, Sexual and reproductive health
Sex Trafficking: Helping Students Get Informed
January 11, 2018

Sex Trafficking: Helping Students Get Informed

By Pamela Anderson, PhD | January 11, 2018
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Sex trafficking among U.S. teens is real. It’s happening in most communities—in schools, at the mall, online and in other situations. If you work with young people, I hope you’ll check out some new free resources you can use to share facts about youth trafficking with both young people and adults. 

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Tags: Sexual violence prevention, Peer to peer trafficking, Sex trafficking
Developmental Neuroscience & Adolescent Sexual Health: Emotion
December 12, 2017

Developmental Neuroscience & Adolescent Sexual Health: Emotion

By Stephanie Guinosso, PhD, MPH | December 12, 2017
Senior Research Associate, ETR

Dr. Douglas B. Kirby was an extraordinary man. His lifetime contributions to adolescent sexual and reproductive health transformed the field, both in research and in practice. In February 2016, ETR hosted the inaugural Kirby Summit in honor of Dr. Kirby. We continued our exciting conversation at our second convening in May, 2017.

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Tags: Developmental relationships, Developmental neuroscience, Sexual and reproductive health, Adolescent health, Kirby summit
Far and Away: Benefits of the Distributed Workforce
November 28, 2017

Far and Away: Benefits of the Distributed Workforce

By Sue Potter, MS | November 28, 2017
Research Associate, ETR

I’m with the “away team.” For the last several years, I’ve been part of ETR’s Distributed Workforce. Roughly one in five staff are located away from our organization’s main offices in Scotts Valley, Oakland and Sacramento, California. You’ll find us in other regions of California and in other states across the country. I live in Boston.

It hasn’t always been easy being one of the remote staff. But we’re an organization that believes in continuous improvement. 

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Tags: Organizational development, ETR staff, Distributed workforce
Tech Guy Makes Good: More Substance, Less Tedium in Data Analysis
September 18, 2017

Tech Guy Makes Good: More Substance, Less Tedium in Data Analysis

By David Manuel Torres | September 18, 2017
Research Assistant, ETR

I have always been really interested in technology. In elementary school, I looked forward to “computer lab” days where the class would spend an hour at the school’s small, modular classroom by the lunch area. We got to play computer games meant to develop our typing skills. After one of these computer lab days, the instructor pulled me aside and told me that she wanted me to help her install new mice on all the classroom computers in the school.

I was filled with pride. In the days following, I eagerly knocked on each classroom door and went in to unplug the old mechanical mice and install fancy new optical laser ones.

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Tags: data analysis, Teamwork, Technology, Pair programming, Technology education, Research

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