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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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Avocados change belly fat distribution in women, controlled study finds

An avocado a day could help redistribute belly fat in women toward a healthier profile, according to a new study from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and collaborators.

One hundred and five adults with overweight and obesity participated in a randomized controlled trial that provided one meal a day for 12 weeks. Women who consumed avocado as part of their daily meal had a reduction in deeper visceral abdominal fat.

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ACES welcomes seven new faculty members from near and far

URBANA, Ill. – Seven new faculty members joined the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois in the past year. Their expertise will add to the existing strengths in several academic departments and units, as well as University of Illinois Extension, a key part of the college.

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Do distressed, help-seeking couples improve on their own? Not much, study says

URBANA, Ill. – Does relationship quality continue to worsen, stabilize, or improve for distressed, help-seeking couples before they receive assistance? A team of researchers sought to answer that question in a new study examining what happens to couples who seek online help for their relationship, but have to wait six months before beginning an intervention program.

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Consistent bedtime routines in infancy improve children's sleep habits through age 2

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Consistent bedtime routines and activities such as reading books and cuddling with caregivers beginning when infants are 3 months old promote better sleep habits through age 2, a recent study suggests.

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Illinois youth opioid use linked with other substance misuse, mental health issues

URBANA, Ill. ­– Opioid use has dramatically increased in the 21st century, especially among young adults. A new study from the University of Illinois provides insights on usage patterns among Illinois high school students to help inform prevention and treatment strategies.

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Global Classrooms initiative will connect ACES undergraduates with peers abroad for project-based learning

Undergraduates from the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) will soon have the opportunity to work with other students around the world to support children’s health and design water projects. Thanks to the new Global Classrooms initiative and our faculty’s commitment to create such courses, these invaluable “international” experiences will be available from Illinois-based classrooms.

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Ensuring healthy family mealtimes is important – and complicated

URBANA, Ill. ­– Mealtimes are a central aspect of family life, affecting the health and wellbeing of both children and adults. Although the benefits of healthy mealtimes are straightforward, helping all families realize those benefits is quite complicated, new research from University of Illinois shows.

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New program for African American couples leads to stronger relationships, improved health

URBANA, Ill. – For individuals looking to improve their health in 2021, strengthening your couple relationship may be part of the answer, according to findings from a recent University of Illinois study.

The study examined long-term changes in partners’ health after participating in a new program for two-parent African American families.

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