News and Events in College of Health and Human Development
- Parents' attitudes about helping their grown children affect their mental health
- Older parents frequently give help to their middle-aged offspring, and their perceptions about giving this help may affect their mental health, according to a team of researchers. "We usually view the elderly as needy, but our research shows that parents ages 60 and over are giving help to their children, and this support is often associated with lower rates of depression among the older adults," said Lauren Bangerter, Ph.D. student in human development and family studies, Penn State. The team -- which included researchers at Penn State, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan -- examined the association between the support that aging parents give to their middle-aged offspring, the parents' perception of this support as rewarding or stressful and the parents' levels of depressive symptoms.
- Child care task force makes recommendations and outlines needs
- A new report on the state and well-being of the University's child care services includes five major findings and numerous recommendations, including the need for a director of child care to oversee programs across the University, and an exemption of Penn State child care centers from the University's AD-39, a policy that requires higher ratios of adults to children than what is required by existing child care regulations. The 93-page report, created by a Presidential Task Force on Child Care at Penn State, can be found online. Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who commissioned the 14-member task force in October 2013, said the report was "comprehensive, thoughtful and included considerable benchmarking of data with peer institutions. The report reflects the needs and perspectives of parents, employees, and child care researchers who are looking for the best care and education of our children."
- Gordon Jensen recognized as a top nutrition support therapy researcher
- Gordon Jensen, professor and head of the Department of Nutritional Sciences and professor of medicine at Penn State, has been named the 2014 Jonathan E. Rhoads Lecturer by the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (A.S.P.E.N.). The Jonathan E. Rhoads Lecture is A.S.P.E.N.’s most prestigious award. It recognizes scholars for their major contributions to the field of nutrition support therapy and their career-long commitments to improving the nutritional statuses of patients. The lecturer is recommended by the A.S.P.E.N.'s board of directors and is invited by the society's president to deliver a lecture at the society's Clinical Nutrition Week conference. This year's conference will be held in Savannah, Ga., on Jan. 18 to 21.
- Probing Question: Is outsourcing of health care services bad?
- In recent years, call centers staffed by non-native English speakers have been the butt of jokes about outsourcing. But do these jibes reflect a real problem, especially when it comes to health care services? According to Jonathan Clark, assistant professor of health policy and administration at Penn State, it depends. Clark notes that outsourcing in the health care industry is becoming increasingly common. "If you've had an X-ray taken at a hospital in the past decade, the chance that it was read by a radiologist elsewhere in the world is pretty high," he says. "That's because around 90 percent of hospitals in the United States now outsource some portion of their radiology services."
- Nancy Gonzales to present 2013 Bennett Lecture in Prevention Science
- Nancy Gonzales, Arizona State University Foundation Professor and director of the Prevention Research Center at Arizona State University, will give the 2013 Bennett Lecture in Prevention Science. The lecture, titled "The Role of Culture in Prevention Science: Past Progress and Future Challenges," will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Bennett Pierce Living Center, 110 Henderson Building. The lecture is sponsored by the Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center for the Promotion of Human Development, through the Bennett Endowment to the center.
- Fun at work promotes employee retention but may hurt productivity
- Within the hospitality industry, manager support for fun is instrumental in reducing employee turnover, particularly for younger employees, according to a team of researchers. However, manager support for fun also reduces employee productivity, which can negatively impact sales performance. "In the hospitality industry, employee turnover is notoriously high because restaurant jobs are highly substitutable -- if you don't like your job at Chili's you can go to TGI Friday's down the street," said Michael J. Tews, assistant professor of hospitality management, Penn State. "High employee turnover is consistently quoted as being one of the problems that keeps managers up at night because if you're involved with recruiting and training constantly, then you can't focus on effectively managing your existing staff and providing a high-quality service experience."
- MHA program earns seven-year accreditation
- The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) announced on Nov. 12 the seven-year accreditation of the Penn State Master of Health Administration program in the Department of Health Policy and Administration. CAHME reviewers performed their site visit of the program during the past spring semester. MHA Executive Director Jonathan Clark explains that the successes of the program and its graduates are possible because of a strong foundation on which the program has grown. “This accreditation is a great achievement for our program. Under Karen Volmar's leadership, and Michael Meacham's before that, the program has flourished and gained national prominence, and this recognition only serves to underscore that,” Clark says, adding that the CAHME decision to accredit the program for a full seven years is another testament to the program’s success.
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