NEW LEADERS OF SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH ON ADOLESCENCE TO FOCUS ON ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY AND PUBLIC POLICY RELATED TO CONTEMPORARY YOUTHS TUCSON, Ariz. – April 19, 2010 – The president and president-elect of the Society for Research on Adolescence say they plan to use their leadership positions to attract a more diverse global membership across fields, to share research more broadly with the public, and to exert greater influence on public policies dealing with the needs of contemporary youths. Niobe Way, Ph.D., professor of applied psychology with New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development became SRA's president at the organization's biennial conference in Philadelphia in March. Stephen T. Russell, Ph.D., director of the University of Arizona’s Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, became president-elect. Russell will assume the presidency in 2012 at the SRA conference in Vancouver, Canada, which will be the first outside the United States. SRA focuses on the theoretical, empirical and policy-research issues related to adolescence, promotes the dissemination of research on adolescents and serves as a network and forum for its members. It started at the University of Arizona in Tucson in the 1986, and in 1991, launched the Journal of Research on Adolescence, for which Russell serves as associate editor. SRA is also about to launch an interactive Web site for researchers, professionals, students, and the public, which will include blogs focused on current topics encompassing public policy, research and teaching. Way says she hopes the site will help people understand the important research that is produced annually by SRA's 1,400 members. and foster communication between researchers and the general public. SRA's four-day conference, which traditionally has primarily attracted psychologists, drew record attendance in March — 2,000 scholars from all over the world, including Sierra Leone, Chile, the Netherlands and Japan. "Sixteen percent were from organizations and universities outside of the United States, and 15 percent of attendees were from sociology, health or education-related fields," Way says. "We are hoping to broaden our membership beyond American borders and to deepen our focus on the intersection of biology and culture through participation from a wide array of social and health sciences whose members use a diverse set of approaches to research, and come from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds." Russell, who was conference co-chair for the Philadelphia event, says the geographical and professional diversity of participants was a strong indicator that the time is right for the SRA not only to strengthen communications among its members, but also to share information about their work with the public and policy makers. He and Way share a similar vision, he adds, in regard to the urgent needs of youths. "I'm personally interested in the links between research, policy and programs for young people, and I am impatient with the slow pace and occasional disconnect between research and relevant policies and programs," Russell says. "So, I'd also like to use my time as president-elect and as president to emphasize the pressing needs of contemporary young people." Way adds that "all too often research findings never get out to the people who are actually working with kids. My goal as president is to help change that."
Way is co-director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at NYU, which focuses on understanding the ways in which schools, families, and neighborhoods shape social, emotional, and academic trajectories of adolescents. The McClelland Institute is a catalyst for research addressing critical social, emotional and physical issues facing families today. Russell leads researchers focused on collaborative, multidisciplinary research and community outreach involving three initiatives: Fathers, Parenting, and Families; Adolescent Health and Development; and an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students at the University of Arizona engaged in the scientific study of Health, Emotion, and Relationships. For more information about The Frances McClelland Institute at the University of Arizona, please visit: http://McClellandInstitute.arizona.edu. To learn more about New York University's Steinhardt School or about the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education e-mail email@example.com. Additional information about the Society for Research on Adolescence is available at: http://www.s-ra.org. ### Media Contacts: Kimberley A. Brooke Assistant Director, Marketing & Communication The Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences firstname.lastname@example.org 520.626.7952
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