description of 2002 grant awards
FACT's grant program and research projects
show that minority youth are less likely to participate in and reap
the benefits of positive out-of-school activities. A new FACT-funded
research project in Detroit will help us understand what hinders
or attracts African-American, Latino, and other ethnic youth to
recreational or educational opportunities.
Learn more about the goals of each of the five 2002
FACT research grants below. . .
Families and Communities Together (FACT) Coalition
is pleased to announce the award of more than $147,000 in grants
to five new research projects focused on enhancing community vitality
and youth development.
The projects use creative methods for addressing child,
family and community issues, such as building social capital, creating
a sense of community in urban neighborhoods, examining urban youths'
perceptions of out-of-school activities, and helping parents of
preschoolers with severe behavior problems.
"This year's grant process underscored the fact
that innovative children, youth, and family research ideas abound
at MSU," said Cheryl Booth, FACT co-director, "It is wonderful
to see the tremendous energy focused on creating working research
partnerships with communities and across colleges that address child,
family, and community needs."
The projects are led by collaborative university-community
teams that include faculty from eight MSU departments, campus and
county Extension staff, and community partners. The research will
take place in eight counties across the state: Branch, Clinton,
Eaton, Ingham, Kent, Muskegon, Saginaw, and Wayne.
Three of the five grants will add to FACT's new focus
area on family engagement and community vitality. Working at both
the neighborhood and broader community level, these projects will
contribute to our understanding of social networks, civic participation,
coalition building, and community development.
The 2002 awards are part of FACT's annual competitive
grant program that has invested more than $1 million in research
and outreach projects in 25 counties throughout Michigan. The program's
goal is to seed MSU's interdisciplinary research efforts that bring
university resources to bear on critical social issues.
"We are excited to see how FACT projects from
previous years have grown into federal and foundation funded initiatives
and have impacted scholarship and communities," said Janet
Bokemeier, FACT CO-director, "We are confident that the 2002
grants will also create important impacts for youth and families
Each year, the FACT grant proposals are reviewed in
a rigorous NIH-styled process by a panel of distinguished campus
and Extension faculty, who carefully read and rate the proposals,
engage in a lively and thoughtful discussion, and determine which
projects best merit funding. FACT thanks the panel for its hard
work and dedication.
"As we continue the RFP process, we will work
toward quality projects that engage multiple departments and communities
to help us make a difference in the lives of Michigan families,"
Sense of Community in Urban Neighborhoods
John Schweitzer, MSU Urban Affairs Program; Rene Rosenbaum,
MSU Department of Resource Development; Annalie Campos, MSU Urban
Affairs Program; Judy Gardi, Citywide Network Center.
This collaborative study will examine how a sense
of community can be created or strengthened in urban areas, one
block at a time. While there is a body of research showing the negative
consequences of community breakdowns on youth and families, little
work has been done to demonstrate how struggling communities can
regain cohesion, promote civic participation, and improve the overall
health and quality of life for families. This project will provide
valuable practical information for community specialists, neighborhood
leaders and residents, and will generate knowledge about the best
kinds of interventions that foster community vitality.
Explanatory Models for Severe Disruptive Behavior of Preschool Children
Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., MSU Department of Pediatrics and Human
Development; Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., Children's Services, Community
Mental Health; Judy Pugh, Ph.D., MSU Department of Anthropology;
M. Fran Jozefowicz, Ph.D., Children's Services, Community Mental
Parenting preschoolers is a demanding job. When those
preschoolers exhibit disruptive behaviors, parenting becomes even
more of a challenge. While 8% of children in day care or preschool
in the greater Lansing area are identified as having severe behavior
problems, another 6% are at risk or have already been "expelled."
In addition, these young children are increasingly receiving psychotropic
medication. To understand how parents and families respond to and
cope with such behavioral problems researchers will collect first
hand data about parental behavior.
Capital as a Mobilization Strategy
Ken Frank, Ph.D., MSU Department of Counseling, Educational
Psychology, and Special Education; Mary B. McDonald, Family Coordinating
Council; L. Annette Abrams, MSU Outreach Partnerships
Social capital is defined as "the potential to
access resources thorough social relations." Relying on social
ties, community members share not only friendships but also information,
financial resources and durable goods. This informal and voluntary
coordination of resources among people is a valuable, though often
incalculable asset to communities. In an effort to gauge the value
and coordinate the flow of social capital, MSU and community partners
have developed a model to represent the distribution of social capital
in Muskegon County. Using this model they will study how subgroups,
like community service agencies, coordinate their efforts.
Families Project: A Study of Faculty - Citizen Social Capital Development
in an Engaged Partnership
David R. Imig, MSU Department of Family & Child Ecology;
Theresa Silm, MSU Extension Clinton County; Jodi Spicer, MSU Extension
CYF Programs; Ruth Miller, MSU Extension Saginaw County
The Internet offers a tremendous opportunity to bring
together the collective work and knowledge of children, youth and
family organizations in the state of Michigan. To realize this potential,
members of the Michigan Families Project will use their FACT grant
for two purposes: 1) To establish an Internet-based survey collection
system for use by a statewide network of children youth and family
partners, and 2) To examine how social capital factors into engaged
university-community partnerships and information exchange.
Perceptions of Structured Out-Of-School Experiences: Comparisons
of Various Ethnic Groups in a Large Metropolitan American City
Francisco Villarruel, Ph.D., MSU Department of Family &
Child Ecology; Joanne G. Keith, Ph.D., MSU Department of Family
& Child Ecology; Annelise Carlton-Hug, Ph.D., MSU Department
of Family & Child Ecology
Numerous studies have shown that structured out-of-school
experiences have positive effects on the youth who participate in
them. However, these studies also find that minority youth are less
likely to reap these benefits because they participate in these
activities less often. This research project will try to determine
what is hindering African-American, Arab-Muslim, Arab-Chaldean,
and Hispanic/Latino youth from taking a more active part in out-of-school
recreational or educational opportunities and what draws them to
the activities they do participate in.