Lerner News Archive

Lerner Fellow Xiaoyan Zhang quoted in National Geographic story on raising resilient children during coronavirus

Xiaoyan Zhang spoke with National Geographic about how to help children bounce back from adversities related to COVID-19. Zhang notes the positive long term outcomes of emotionally resilient children and discusses steps caregivers can take to help strengthen children’s coping skills.

Read the National Geographic story End-of-school-year celebrations are canceled. Here’s how your kid can bounce back and Zhang’s brief about how to develop emotional resilience in children.

A Public Health Side Effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Screen Time-Related Eye Strain and Eye Fatigue

Mary E. Helander, Stephanie A. Cushman, and Shannon Monnat
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“Screen time” refers to the duration of time spent in activities that involve peering into a digital screen, including media viewing, working on a computer or tablet, electronic communication, and playing video games. For the average person, screen time has surged over the past two decades. Prior to COVID-19, the typical American already spent nearly 11 hours per day in front of digital screens.1

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Sociology Professor Madonna Harrington Meyer was interviewed for this New York Times article about the impacts of COVID-19 on grandparents.

“As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on and child care centers remain closed, many grandparents are split into two groups: those who are quarantined from their families and those who are isolating beside them, according to Madonna Harrington Meyer, a sociology professor at Syracuse University and author of “Grandmothers at Work.” Those providing child care can see tremendous benefits — more physical activity, a healthy emotional life, more socializing — but the additional stressors can also lead to burnout. “It’s simultaneously wonderful and too much,” Meyer said.”  

Also check out her brief about grandmothers at work during COVID-19.

Let Them Eat Lunch: The Impact of Universal Free Meals on Student Performance

Amy Ellen Schwartz and Michah W. Rothbart
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KEY FINDINGS

  • Universal Free Meals (UFM) increases school lunch participation among middle school students from both poor and non-poor families.
  • UFM improves test scores in English language arts and math.
  • There is no evidence that UFM has negative effects on student weight. There is some evidence that UFM reduces obesity.
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Lerner Center Faculty Affiliate Scott Landes interviewed for Spectrum News

Scott Landes spoke with Spectrum News about how individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are at greater risk of serious illness or death related to COVID-19. Landes says that COVID-19 death rates are higher in this population due partly to several underlying health conditions.

Read Landes’ research brief: COVID-19 and Pneumonia: Increased Risk for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities during the Pandemic to learn more.

Read the full story and watch the video here.

Making Meaning during Coronavirus

Mary Kate Lee
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We’ve been in quarantine for about seven weeks now. During this short time, our lives have been flipped upside down and turned inside out in many different capacities. The sandwich generation may be simultaneously caring for their children and parents while working from home. High school and college graduates are unable to celebrate their milestones in traditional ways. Many are out of a paycheck and without health insurance. Some are struggling with the insufferable pain of loneliness. Some have lost loved ones to the coronavirus.

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Grandmothers at Work during Coronavirus

Madonna Harrington Meyer
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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • COVID-19 is reshaping the lives of working grandmothers in the U.S.
  • Due to the health risks of COVID-19 for older adults, many families decided to isolate separately from grandparents.
  • Many families are now without their primary or secondary source of childcare – grandmothers.
  • In other cases, grandmothers are providing more childcare than ever.
  • Job loss among older adults often means inability to provide essential financial support to children and grandchildren.
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Risky Business: Recognizing the Flaws of Employer-Based Health Insurance during COVID-19

Austin McNeill Brown and Mariah Brennan Nanni
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As of April 23th, 2020, over 26 million Americans had filed for unemployment due to COVID-19 related business closures.1 The U.S. government has been slow to respond to the direct impacts of unemployment, including the loss of employer-based health insurance for millions of Americans in the middle of a pandemic. According to projections, 7.5 million workers and several million of their dependents will lack health insurance by June 2020.2

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COVID-19 and Pneumonia: Increased Risk for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities during the Pandemic

Scott D. Landes, Dalton Stevens, & Margaret A. Turk
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KEY FINDINGS

  • COVID-19 death rates are higher among adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
  • Adults with IDD are more likely to develop pneumonia (a severe complication of COVID-19) than adults without IDD.
  • Medical personnel must take extra precautions in treating COVID-19 symptoms in adults with IDD.
  • Those certifying death certificates need to accurately record IDD on the death certificate.
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