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CYFC Monthly

CYFC Monthly – July 2014

Addressing the intersections of sport and education: Evaluating the educational outcomes of a professional sport's corporate social responsibility initiative

The CYFC Community-engaged Scholars Program is a four-year, multi-disciplinary, cohort-based program offering a “learning community” paired with funding for community-engaged research. It is intended to build scholars’ capacity for community-engaged scholarship (CES), benefit communities, contribute to our knowledge about educational and health disparities, and catalyze institutional support for CES. Over the next several months, the CYFC Monthly publication will feature one of the 2014 — 2017 scholars. In this issue, we feature Dr. Lisa Kihl of the University of Minnesota Department of Kinesiology.

Professional sport organizations engage in various corporate community initiatives (CCI) that address important social issues including health and educational outcomes1, and in particular, academic outcomes for underserved youth2. High school sport participation has been positively linked with higher educational aspirations, a positive attitude towards school, higher grades, and decreased drop out3,4. However, the relationship between sport participation and academic achievement is not directly causal. The type of sport, level of participation, participant demographics, type of youth organization, and ecological context in which participants live can act as mediating effects. Furthermore, emphasis on grades or test scores narrowly reflects youth experiences. School engagement, such as student behaviors, feelings of belonging, and aspirations related to schooling5, which in turn impacts grades, is also important. Therefore, research needs to shift toward evaluating the association of school engagement with underserved youth sport participation in specific sports.

Professional sport leagues and teams make sizable investments to address various community issues. For example, in 2010 Major League Baseball (MLB) and its 30 individual Clubs gave over $100 million to charitable outreach related to health promotion, physical education, public safety, medical research, literacy and educational purposes6. In particular, MLB and its Clubs have invested more than $30 million worth of resources in the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program7, a youth outreach initiative that aims to increase baseball and softball participation and enhance academic achievement and participation in underserved communities. Locally, the Minnesota Twins organization gives over $120,000 per year to the program, and since its inception in 1989 has invested almost $2 million8. While professional sport leagues are committed to “giving back” and making an impact in their local communities, most do not evaluate the effectiveness of these initiatives, partly due to a lack of available resources and expertise to conduct such evaluations9,1.

As a corporate partner with unique power and resources, professional sports can be an influential agent of community social change10, particularly relating to health and educational outcomes for underserved youth. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) provides a sound framework in which the university, professional sports teams, and their community partners can collaborate to utilize their respective expertise to generate knowledge and enhance programming to produce long-term, positive impact on children, youth, and families. Therefore, it is critical that University researchers invite professional sport leagues to engage in collaborative partnerships to design and conduct evaluative studies and to translate the findings for application to sustained and effective youth initiatives relating to health and educational outcomes.

As a CYFC scholar, I will engage in such partnerships to promote the evaluation of professional sport organization CCI related to youth health and educational initiatives to enhance sustainability and community impact. I have two aims. First, my project will work collaboratively with the local Twins RBI community to design and conduct a three-year longitudinal study to examine the association between youth participation in the RBI program and student engagement, dependent on race, gender, socio-economic status, family composition, and extra-curricular activities. We will utilize our findings to help community partners identify community resources to enhance educational opportunities and outcomes for RBI participants. My project builds on a two-year evaluative project that examined the quality of the delivery of the Twins RBI program11,12. Second, I want to explore the feasibility of using CBPR to work collaboratively with professional sport organizations and their community partners to design and conduct this research, using the findings to inform program delivery practices and policies. Dissemination of insights from this process may inform the use of CBPR at other RBI cites.

Ultimately, my long-term goal is to assist professional sport organizations’ CCI to be more impactful in the community and address social issues through engagement in evaluative research. If you have any questions or wish to talk to me about my research, please contact me.

Lisa A. Kihl, Ph.D.

1. Kihl, L. A., & Tainsky, S. (2013). Effective delivery of large-scale CSR efforts: Lessons from Major League Baseball’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program. In G. Walters,
K. Babiak, & J. L. Paramio (Eds.), The handbook of sport and corporate social responsibility (pp. 185-197). London, England: Routledge.
2. Eccles, J. S., Barber, B. L., Stone, M., & Hunt, J. (2003). Extracurricular activities and adolescent development. Journal of Social Issues, 59(4), 865-889.
3. Fredricks, J. A., & Eccles, J. S. (2005). Developmental benefits of extracurricular involvement: Do peer characteristics mediate the link between activities and youth outcomes? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34(6), 507-520.
4. Fredricks, J. A., & Eccles, J. S. (2006). Is extracurricular participation associated with beneficial outcomes? Concurrent and longitudinal relations. Developmental Psychology, 42(4), 698-713.
5. Dotterer, A. M., McHale, S. M., & Crouter, A. C. (2007). Implications of out-of-school activities and school engagement in African American adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 4, 391-401.
6. Horrow, R., & Swatek, K. (December 23, 2010). Pro sports gave generously in 2010. Business Week. Retrieved from
7. Major League Baseball Community. (2014). Reviving baseball in inner cities. Retrieved from
8. Minnesota Twins Community. (2014). Twins in the community: RBI. Retrieved from
9. Kihl, L. A. (November, 2009). Minnesota Twins reviving baseball in inner cities programs: Evaluating the effectiveness of gaining inner city participation in baseball and softball. Phase II. Unpublished executive summary. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
10. Diehl, D. (2007). The sports philanthropy project. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Anthology, 11, 1-15.
11. Kihl, L. A., Tainsky, S., Babiak, K., & Bang, J. (2014). Evaluation of a cross-sector community initiative partnership: Delivering a local sport program. Evaluation and Program Planning, 44, 36-47.
12. Kihl, L. A., Babiak, K., & Tainsky, S. (2014). Evaluating the implementation of a professional sport team’s corporate community involvement initiative. Journal of Sport Management, 28, 324-337.

Consortium News

Cari Michaels' National Association for the Education of Young Children Presentation

On July 10th, 2014 Cari Michaels presented "Using online case study learning to promote research-based practice, enhance collaboration, and identify the needs of children and families" at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The presentation addressed the need for case-based learning related to children's mental health and reviewed tool created by CYFC called "About Steven: A Children's Mental Health Case Study about Depression".

Save the Date for the Next Lessons from the Field!

Date: October 30, 2014
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center and via live web stream

Linda Gensheimer, PhD and Cynthia Packard, LISCW will present "Secondary Traumatic Stress: Building Resilience for Professionals." We invite professionals who work with traumatized children, youth and families to join us for presentations and small group conversations discussing adaptability and health maintenance. Participants will learn to integrate practices that help diminish the negative impact of secondary traumatic stress. Registration opens August 1st!

University & Community Announcements

Adolescent & Young Adult Males: The Forsaken in Health Care

Morris Blum Memorial Lecture
Date: July 30, 2014
Time: 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Cost: Free
Location: University of Minnesota - Brennan Center

David Bell, MD, MPH, Director of Family Planning Practice and the Young Men's Clinic at New York City's Presbyterian Hospital will present the Grand Rounds/The Morris Blum Memorial Lecture.

Summer School for Professionals: Interventions and Strategies for Working with Traumatized, Dysregulated & Challenging Children

Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health (MACMH)

July 24, 2014: Why Psychopaths Don't Send Roses — The Emotional Dysfunction of Callous-Unemotional Youth
July 25, 2014: Understanding Attachment and Rethinking Behavior: Healing for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma
July 29, 2014: Explosive, Angry, and Irritable: Determining Effective Interventions for Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
August 5, 2014: Interventions for Anxiety-Driven Behavior: Empowering Adult/Child Relationships

Behind the Curtain: The Silence & Shame of Sex Trafficking; Encore Edition

Youth Intervention Programs Association (YIPA)
Date: August 5, 2014
Time: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Cost: $45 (free for YIPA members)
Location: Thumper Pond in Ottertail, MN or streamed online

Earn three CEU hours while learning about youth exploitation from multi-disciplinary perspectives. A youth advocate and technical trainer will speak about the unique intersection of prevention and response to the sexual exploitation of youth. Time will be made for small group work and a Q & A session. Participants will also watch a performance by Blank Slate Theatre entitled: "Bottom." You will leave this training better able to recognize warning signs related to the sexual exploitation of youth and the strategies you can use to more effectively meet the needs of youth who may have experienced exploitation.

Progression: A free class for teens who are living with mental health issues

National Alliance on Mental Illness Minnesota (NAMI Minnesota)

Progression offers a safe space for teens to talk about what they are going through with others who understand. It is designed to empower them to take charge of their lives and deal with issues in a healthy and productive way. Teens will learn to: maintain good mental health, recognize signs of stress, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, help others understand what they are going through, treatment options and why they may take medications and how to handle side effects. Space is limited so invite teens to register today.

The Role of the Father in Child Development and What Moms Can do to Help Dads Succeed

MomEnough Podcast

Hosts Marti and Erin Erickson are joined by Andre Dukes, Director of the Northside Achievement Zone, to discuss the role of fathers in child development, the benefits of father involvement and what we all can do to help men be the dads their children need.

Job Opportunities

Clinical Supervisor/Program Manager — Children & Family Services Division at People Incorporated Mental Health Services

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