We often hear that youth are our future. We easily show we believe this by our intentional efforts to provide opportunities for youth to enhance their education, skills, abilities, health and general well being. This 2013 Winter Edition of The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues is no exception. Each paper includes a youth focus or an aspect important for youth health and development. To begin with the book chosen for the book review features 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture a child’s developing mind. The authors discuss these strategies for raising calmer, happier children. They suggest that child misbehavior occurs due to a lack of integration in the brain and offer ways you can help your child better integrate the brain’s distinct regions. Our reviewer has written such an intriguing review that I now want to read the book. Once you read her review I think you also will want to do the same.Youth face many challenges particularly those related to finances. Financial decisions made early in life can have long term and far reaching impacts. For example, will they lay an adequate economic foundation for family life? What advantage will that expensive higher education bring to them? Papers in this winter edition discuss these issues and more. One highlights how Extension can bring together the resources of Family and Consumer Sciences, youth development and community development professionals to address the challenges youth face in laying the economic foundation needed for families and communities to survive. Another discusses the personal financial topics determined to be most important to different audiences including the general public, older adults and youth. The highest ranked topics of concern for youth were related to financial decision-making, credit and money management. A third looks at where young adults get their personal finance information and relates that to their perceived personal financial wellness. This paper explores personal financial wellness as a comparative study between American and Turkish college students.
Finally we have two papers that report influences on the dietary behaviors of children and youth. The first discusses a program, Healthy Happy Families, which improves parenting skills and attitudes that can affect the development of healthy dietary behaviors in children. The results show that low-income parents taking nutrition education classes benefit from targeted lessons about general parenting styles that can form a basis for their children’s dietary behaviors. The other explores the influences on and changes in adolescent Latino immigrants’ diets through their mother’s eyes. This was a qualitative study looking at the impact of new environments on Latino immigrant families’ dietary behaviors. It also provides the results of their study of language use in nutrition education materials for Latino audiences.
As always, it is my hope that you will read the articles, apply the information to your lives personally and professionally, and enjoy the experience.
Jacquelyn W. McClelland, Ph.D.