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Drug use beliefs found to be strongest predictor of youth substance use

URBANA, Ill. – What are the most important factors to consider for developing effective drug use prevention programs? Many current programs for adolescents focus on elements including peer and family relationships, school connection, and youth’s self-confidence and self-assertion. However, a new study from the University of Illinois suggests another factor may be equally–or even more–influential: whether the youth believes drug use is wrong.

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How toddler-mother attachment impacts adolescent brain and behavior

URBANA, Ill. – Interpersonal trust is a crucial component of healthy relationships. When we interact with strangers, we quickly gauge whether we can trust them. And those important social skills may be shaped by our earliest relationship with caregivers.

Adolescents who had an insecure attachment to their mothers as toddlers are more likely to overestimate the trustworthiness of strangers, according to a new study from the University of Illinois.

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Oncology dietitians rarely ask cancer patients about food insecurity, study finds

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Although studies suggest that many cancer patients experience food insecurity, few oncology dietitians routinely ask them if they are having problems affording or obtaining food, new research has found.

Despite awareness that many cancer patients are food insecure, most of the 41 registered dietitian nutritionists interviewed by researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign said they did not use a validated tool to screen patients for it.

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DOJ grant funds study of domestic violence awareness training for divorce attorneys

URBANA, Ill. – Two University of Illinois researchers have received a $1.2 million grant from the Department of Justice to study the effectiveness of training attorneys to identify and address intimate partner violence in divorce and custody cases.

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Implicit social pressure may affect COVID-19 preventive behaviors, case study shows

URBANA, Ill. – As we move into the third year of the COVID-pandemic, we still face a multitude of information and it can be hard to know what guidelines to follow. Understanding what motivates individual behaviors can provide greater insight into mitigating the pandemic’s consequences and crafting effective public health messages.

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HDFS researcher honored for work with Black families, mental health

URBANA, Ill. - Having a member of Shardé Smith's family—her baby—present with her for a recent interview was fitting. After all, Smith, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois, works to better family health and wellbeing.

In particular, Smith's research focuses on Black families and understanding the associations between racism and mental health within Black families.

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Alumna with resilience mentality serves as diversity, inclusion thought partner

URBANA, Ill. - Doris Houston’s experience growing up in Chicago, and the influence of her family, “planted the seeds” of her passion for equity, diversity and inclusion, a passion that would take her from a legislative internship to championing diversity at the university level.

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When older couples are close together, their heart rates synchronize

URBANA, Ill. – As couples grow old together, their interdependence heightens. Often, they become each other’s primary source of physical and emotional support. Long-term marriages have a profound impact on health and well-being, but benefits depend on relationship quality.

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Report: Extending child tax credit program offers many benefits for struggling families

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Extending the child tax credit program beyond 2021 could promote financial stability among vulnerable low- and moderate-income families and have many other long-term economic and noneconomic benefits, according to a new report by a team of researchers affiliated with the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

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When mom and child interact, physiology and behavior coordinate

URBANA, Ill. – When mothers and their children play together, they instinctively respond to each other’s cues. And positive interactions promote the child’s healthy socioemotional development. A new study from the University of Illinois examines how physiological and behavioral reactions coordinate during mother-child playtime. The findings highlight the importance of responsive communication, and can help provide insights for parents, practitioners, and researchers.

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