As the world changes and diversifies, so do family dynamics. But research on the topic is slow to move away from the ideas established 50 years ago. To bring it into the 21st century, a team of researchers from the UNC Center for Developmental Science have written nine papers that shine a light on the modern family and offer advice for parents on how to help their teens navigate today’s multicultural world.
For K-12 teachers, Carolina houses a goldmine of information like archival maps, photos, and recordings — but finding those materials can be difficult. The Southern Oral History Program and Carolina K-12 joined forces to bring educators to campus, helping them uncover resources for use in the classroom.
Cherokee language resources. Dean Smith’s personal papers. A first-person account of an enslaved woman. For more than a century, UNC researchers and libraries have collected millions of southern artifacts and documents — making Carolina a hub for the study of the American South.
One in nine new moms struggle with depression — but single moms, immigrants, and those in low socioeconomic situations are even more susceptible. And their children, whose brains triple in size and make nearly 1,000 nerve connections in the first three years of their life, are directly affected. To combat this, UNC nurse scientist Linda Beeber has spent the past two decades developing mental health interventions that treat both the mother and the child as a unit, called the “dyad.”
A series of studies by one research group in Oregon reported that, on average, children move one full level down the autism spectrum after 20 weeks of Qigong Sensory Training (QST) — a type of massage therapy adapted from Traditional Chinese Medicine. UNC postdoc Kristin Jerger found these results so intriguing that she has published a feasibility study for a new line of research on the neural mechanisms of QST massage.
In the last 50 years, botanists have discovered more than 500 new species of plants across the Southeast. But it takes decades to actually study and record their existence — a feat that the UNC Herbarium has been tackling since its inception in 1908.
With more than 30 species of salamanders living in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Highlands Biological Station, a UNC Institute for the Environment field site, conducts several student-led studies on these agile creatures each year.
People with autism are twice as likely to use drugs and alcohol than someone without the disorder — a statistic that most people are unaware of. To educate the public on this topic, UNC autism professional Ann Palmer and addiction specialist Elizabeth Kunreuther teamed up to write a book: “Drinking, Drug Use, and Addiction in the Autism Community.”
Over the last five years alone, more than 15 UNC students have accepted jobs at Eastman, a materials and specialty additives company in Kingsport, Tennessee. On top of hiring Carolina grads, the company supports research projects across four departments within three schools at UNC, creating a successful model for how industry partnerships function at the university.
Even though more than 1.4 million American children under the age of 18 care for siblings or parents who have a chronic illness or disability, support for this demographic is in short supply. UNC geographer Elizabeth Olson and collaborators look to other countries as models for growing youth caregiver resources in the United States.