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CRF Scholars In the News: February 2013

Current CRF Scholar Hal Grotevant was interviewed and featured as a “Profile in Mentoring” in The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring. He discusses how the field of adoption has evolved, the overlap between adoption and mentoring, and how the study of mentoring provides a new direction for adoption research. (The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring, 2/25/13)

Past CRF Scholar (’07-’08) and Professor of Economics Nancy Folbre writes in the Economix blog about how the online economy may be helping people, but it is difficult to measure. She cites research conducted by Anders Fremstad, a UMass Amherst graduate student, as one way to quantify online services and says this new mode of consumption should ultimately help contribute to economic efficiency. (New York Times, 2/25/13)

M.V. Lee Badgett, Past CRF Scholar (’04-‘05) and Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration, has co-authored a new report that explains how an executive order by President Obama could help protect LGBT people from workplace discrimination. She says that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would bring uniform protections to all workers. If passed, the law would require that all Americans be judged in the workplace based on their skills, qualifications, and the quality of their work—not on job-irrelevant characteristics such as their sexual orientation or gender identity. (Center for American Progress, 2/19/13)

Nancy Folbre writes in the Economix blog about the arguments infavor of developing and expanding early education programs as suggested by President Obama. She says as a long-term policy this makes economic sense, but also warns that short-term political pressure could end up causing budget cuts. Folbre says at some level, the debate may boil down to whether the country wants to spend money on education for young people or whether the funds should go to retirees right now. (New York Times, 2/18/13)

Nancy Folbre worries that the U.S. will suffer from having too few children are overstated, as are concerns that the growing percentage of older Americans will hobble the economic diversity of our society. She says the tendency to see demographic trends as threatening is nothing new. It’s also something that isn’t likely to come true because parents will care for their children just as society will care for its elders and the economy will adjust to those realities. (New York Times, 2/11/13)

M.V. Lee Badgett comments in a story about how support for legalizing same-sex marriage is growing around the world. Thestory says there has been a significant shift inattitude about same-sex marriage since 2001. Badgett says there is a trend toward legalizing same-sex marriage in countries where fewer people go to church and where people aren’t tied to religious perspectives. (Financial Times, 2/8/13)

Past CRF Scholar (’09-’10) and Professor of Psychology Linda Tropp comments in a story about why people and groups such as the National Rifle Association keep lists of enemies. She says the lists help solidify a sense of group identity. “When people distrust other groups, they become more vigilant and likely to attend to any potential threats against the group,” Tropp says. (BBC News magazine, 2/13/13)

Lorraine Cordeiro, assistant professor of Nutrition, gave the keynote address for Somerville’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, “equality Through Access,” on Jan. 21. Cordeiro discussed her research on food insecurity among underrepresented groups in Massachusetts. She also spoke about her community work with King’s oldest daughter, the late Yolanda King, and encouraged the audience to embrace a broader definition of who is considered to be American. (City of Somerville, 1/21/13)