Youth constructing bird nest boxes for Ornithology research

Youth constructing bird nest boxes for Ornithology research

Cornell Research Projects

Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research was awarded a Smith-Lever grant to help bridge the gap between research/practice and foster capacity for collaborative youth development research in New York State. The research grant is three years, 2017-2020. This research will provide more opportunities across the state within Extensions to connect more strongly with the University on research projects. The first activity undertaken is to attend 4-H District meetings around the state and conduct taped surveys in group settings. This should be finished by the end of the summer of 2017. The next step is a meeting in the Fall to analyze the results of this and identify the next steps.

Developing a Sense of Purpose

4-H Camp Wabasso is participating in an upcoming study conducted by Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). This study is part of a larger project aimed at answering the question: What happens in 4-H programs that helps youth develop a sense of purpose in life? Last year, the first year of this three year project, PRYDE conducted focus groups with 4-H Educators and volunteers across New York state during which they shared their ideas about what experiences or program practices promote purpose development. These responses helped guide the creation of a new survey that is being administered to adolescents who participate in 4-H and 4-H educators/volunteers. This is where 4-H Camp Wabasso comes in – surveys will be administered to youth ages 12 – 18 at camp this summer.

Estrangement in Families Research Project:

The overall aim of this project is to develop informational materials and extension programming centered on the topic of estrangement in families. Cornell’s research has shown that between 20-30% of Americans are actively estranged from a family member, and most families experience at least one estrangement at some point. We have also found that family rifts can have profound mental, and even physical, negative effects on people. Surprisingly, however, there has been almost no research on the topic, and there is also little guidance for people trying to reconcile with family members or otherwise deal with a family rift. The activities on this project have necessarily been curtailed this year, but we are engaged in background research, literature review, and an examination of potential program models.

4-H Study of Positive Youth Development: 

This project is funded by the National 4-H Council and the Altria Corporation to extend the original 4-H study (completed by Tufts University by Lerner and Lerner) by reconnecting with both 4-H and non-4-H participants, now in their late 20s, to learn how these individuals have developed as young adults. Additionally, the study will conduct a short-term replication of the original study, assessing a diverse sample of 4-H and non-4-H youth from middle and high school grads at three times during the school year. The second part is where Jefferson County 4-H will help!


Stephanie Graf
Youth, Family & Community Development Issue Leader
(315) 788-8450 ext. 251

Last updated August 6, 2020