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The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues is again offering intriguing research-based findings from practical and relevant programming for improving the quality of life of people. The papers published in this issue provide great public value for their contributions to the welfare of individuals, families, and communities.

One article focuses on falls prevention for older adults.  As you know a fall can result in hospitalization with resulting morbidity and mortality for older adults.  This paper describes a single session program that teaches adults aspects of falls prevention.  Stand Up to Falling is based on the CDC’s research that highlighted the importance of physical activity, medical management, healthy vision and home safety to prevent falling.  This paper shows the ways in which Cooperative Extension adapted these concepts for fall prevention, and developed, delivered, and evaluated a successful education program.  The public value of this program is its contribution to improving the health and safety of the older adult community and potentially reducing future health-care costs.

Another article, Guided Goal Setting:  A behavior change strategy adapted to the needs of low-income parents of young children participating in Cooperative extension programs, is an excellent resource for Extension agents or other professionals in Family and Consumer Sciences to use with limited-income, low-literacy parents of young children participating in nutrition education programs.  The authors have adapted guided goal setting for use with these audiences and have used formative evaluation to guide the tailoring of the curriculum to help parents develop family environmental and behavioral changes to prevent childhood obesity. 

The high prevalence of obesity and other nutritional concerns due to the limitations associated with low income and low literacy puts this population at high risk for chronic diseases. The public value of this program is its contribution to improving the health of these individuals, their families, and their communities. 

Another paper highlights a workplace dress program developed in collaboration with a university clothing and textile collection.  It recognizes the potential that clothing and textile collections can have in community programming. The program is an innovative use of dress collections to address a contemporary societal and social issue.  The public value of this program is its contribution to the health and wellbeing of the low-income families as they struggle to find their place in the workforce.

Some parents struggle to provide a nurturing environment for their children due to issues or problems including previous inadequate parenting examples and lack of appropriate training. This review of the book, Why Have Kids: a new mom explores the truth about parenting and happiness, points out that its author, Jessica Valentni, challenges some of the basic ideas most parenting experts support and gives an alternative view of parenting. The book notes that as society changes our societal norms of parenting also change that can cause much angst among parents.  She helps the reader see that perfect parenting doesn’t exist and that we need a paradigm shift to move us toward acceptance of parenting efforts even when less than perfect. 

Finally we have a perspectives piece, Consumers are more important than generally believed.  You will find the information in this article well written and thought-provoking and your view of the relationship between consumer shopping skills and the economy may be changed forever.  The public value of this piece is its contribution to the understanding of benefits of consumer skills and competition to the economy overall.

Again, I encourage you to consider the newest addition to the articles in The Forum, the Practitioner’s Brief. This section offers authors a place to express and share new ideas and insider’s views of best practices, trends, and emerging issues. Our first Practitioner’s Brief was published in the Winter, 2011 edition.

As always, it is my hope that you will read the articles, apply the information to your situation, and enjoy the experience.

Jacquelyn W. McClelland, Ph.D.

Editor-In-Chief, FFCI
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