Department of Family, Youth &
h.. UNIVERSITY OF
SFLORIDA Community Sciences
IFAS EXTENSION Research News You Can Use
Note from Nayda
Welcome to the Winter 2006 issue of the Department of Family, Youth and
Community Sciences research newsletter: Research News You Can Use. This helpful
series shares up-to-date, reliable research in Family, Youth and Community Sciences
with you for use in your programs.
Your input and suggestions make this newsletter better. Please let us know what you
Thank you to all faculty members who contributed this issue:
Eboni Baugh Marilyn Lesmeister
Elizabeth Bolton Amy Simonne
Mark Brennan Suzanna Smith
Jerry Culen Jo Turner
Ethnic Differences in Correlates of Obesity
Between Latin American and Black Women
Sanchez-Johnson, L.A>, Fitzgibbon, M. L., Martinovich, Z., Stolley, M.R., Dyer, A. R.
& Van Horn, L. (2004). Obesity Research, 12, 652-660.
Obesity in the United States is increasing at astounding rates. Children, adolescents,
adults, men, women, and minority groups alike are experiencing obesity now more
than another other period of history. Researchers have highlighted that among these
groups, Latin American and Black women are at greatest risk for becoming obese.
Current literature suggests that the main predictors for obesity among these groups
are: (a) dietary intake, (b) physical activity, (c) body image.
The authors conducted the first investigation of a large sample of both Latin
American and Black women of varying weights. Most current literature compares a
sample of minority women with a sample of White women. Sanchez-Johnson, et. al.,
examined all three of the above variables with women who self-identified as Latin
American or Black.
In order to measure these variables, the authors used the following methods:
Translated instruments for participants who did not speak English
Used an acculturation scale to measure influence of majority culture on Latin
Took weight and height measurements to calculate BMI
Utilized figure drawings for women to choose current and ideal body shape
Assessed dietary intake over 24-hour period
Measure level and intensity of physical activity
The authors concluded that the two samples of women shared some similarities, but
actually differed on most variables. The mean ages and income levels were similar,
but the Latin American women had fewer years of education and were more likely to
be married than were Black women.
As far as risk for obesity, this study suggested that Black women are more at risk for
becoming obese than Latin American women. Black women in the study ate a diet
consisting of a higher fat intake than any other group. The authors suggested that
advertising and marketing in black neighborhoods (i.e., fast foods, convenience
stores, etc) were partly to blame for the fatty diet. Latin American women, primarily
due to lower levels of acculturation, maintained traditional dietary patterns that
consisted of more fiber and whole grains. This type of diet contributes to less risk for
Questions of physical activity also maintained that Black women were more at risk
than Latin American women were for obesity. The prevalence of obesity has been
linked to certain sedentary activities, such as watching television. Black women
report they watch more television and perform less physical activity than other
Although the Latin American women were physically smaller and had lower BMIs
than were the Black women, they reported the most dissatisfaction with their bodies.
The Latin American women perceived their current weight as having the greatest
discrepancy from their ideal weight. Black women reported being more satisfied
with their weights, even those who were obese.
Implications for Extension Faculty
With the rise in obesity rates among all groups, especially the minority populations,
it is important to focus on the variables outlined in this study.
According to the Florida department of Health (2002), 22.3 % of Florida residents are
obese. Currently, we are experiencing increases in obesity among all racial and
ethnic groups. Blacks (34.8%), Whites (21.4%), and Hispanics (18.6%) have BMIs of
30 or more, indicating high levels of obesity among all Florida residents.
County Extension faculty should consider the importance of dietary intake, physical
activity, and body image when working with individuals and families around the
state. Collaborate with parents, families, and schools in order to educate them on the
importance of proper dietary intake and physical activity. Also recognizing which
groups are at greater risk can lead to the development of more programs and
outreach into certain communities.
Submitted by: Dr. Eboni Baugh, Assistant Professor, Family Life
Behavioral Risk Factor Data. Percentages of adults who are obese. (2002). Florida
Department of Health.
Boards Behaving Badly: Observations trom
(Summer 2005). The Nonprofit Quarterly. Pages 58- 62. Written by Owen
Heiserman discusses community action agencies that receive public funding. He
points out that because of this board of directors frequently fail to establish adequate
policies and procedures for handling public money. This kind of protocol is most
frequently required when there is a contract or grant in place. The conclusion was
that the passivity of the board and access to public money were linked. Many
organizations have the same executive director and board of directors in place for
years without ever questioning or evaluating the service of the members or the
achievements of the board. It is quite common for executive directors and board
members to stay "on" for many years after the organization was founded.
This article presents the results of a study by Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA)
on the crisis intervention services to community action agencies. The following
factors were instrumental in the intervention by the MICA consultant group when
they were called on to help stabilize the community action agencies. The loss of
monetary control was the factor cited most often that required help from outside
experts. This was followed by the departure of long serving individuals or the need
for their departure. Community action agencies, like most nonprofits have seen
increases in their budgets over the years. The increase in funding has not been
followed by and increase in oversight or compliance with policies and procedures
that have been implemented by the IRS or by state governments.
This study describes 23 community action agencies that experienced a breakdown of
governing board oversight. A list of 26 warning signs of a board that might be in
trouble was devised by Mel Gill (2001) and cited by Heiserman as the signs of boards
that are in trouble. Gill's warning signs of a board in trouble are shown below with
the items under each category heading indicating a sign of trouble. The signs of an
effective board are not given in the article reviewed although they have been studied
and documented elsewhere.
Difficulty recruiting credible board members
Financial and Organizational Performance
Chronic unplanned or unmanaged deficits
Call for outside audit/operational review by funders
Persistent failure to meet individual or organizational performance targets
Role confusion between board and CEO
Low attendance at board, committee meetings
Low level of participation in discussions at meetings
Poor meeting management: Lack of focus, no agendas, unprepared
Poor communication between CEO, Chair, Full board
Unresolved conflicts within the board
Members feel removed from "What's going on"
Board divided into competing factions
"Rubber Stamping" of CEO recommendations
Focus on operational detail not big picture
Poor communication with funders, key stakeholders
Decision deadlock or paralysis
Members ignoring, circumventing organizational policies and procedures
CEO ignoring, circumventing organization policies and procedures (p. 59).
These warning signs often manifest in factions and deadlock among board members
and they are not exclusive to Community Action Agencies. Rather they represent an
all too common phenomenon in community nonprofit organizations that receive
funds from the public or from selected donors.
The author makes recommendations for working with boards of agencies in crisis.
These recommendations also serve for agencies and organizations that are not in a
state of crisis but want to insure that their boards are functioning effectively.
Select and socialize board members for the mission of the organization. Boards too
often act as a collection of individuals/constituencies, unless they are educated and
supported in their functions and responsibilities as a group. The executive and
leadership staff in a nonprofit of any size must take responsibility to nurture and
support their board. (p. 60).
The author goes on to suggest that the middle of a crisis is not the time to begin
board recruitment, development or change. The people who started the trouble or
were the cause of it cannot usually deal with the crisis enough to make the problem
go away. The author, citing the crisis intervention team, noted that the largest hurdle
is for the executive and the board to understand that there is a crisis, the nature and
severity of it and the options for resolving it.
Board members can and should understand their legal responsibilities and those
defined in the bylaws of the organization. Executive officers should realize that
board members need training and constant education to perform to their best ability
that will serve the mission of the organization and the community.
This article has implications for any Extension county faculty that works with
nonprofit boards, advisory committees, voluntary boards, executive officers, trustees
or any of the many and varied leadership positions in community-based
organizations that serve Florida citizens. The board is the leadership nerve center of
the organization, no matter how large or small. The board hires the chief executive
officer and although the executive may have wide leeway in terms of authority and
responsibility, the quality and implementation of those decisions affects the board.
In small nonprofits, the board may actually carry out all the functions of the
organization. The same principles apply. It is important to note that board
development is available as Extension training through the Focus Team 5.5:
Nonprofit Organizations in Community Settings. Board development and other
training appropriate for work with community-based organizations are available
through the annual Extension in service training programs.
Submitted by: Dr. Elizabeth Bolton, Professor, Community Development
The works of Mel Gill as cited by Owen Heiserman include:
"Governance in the Voluntary Sector: Summary of Case Study Findings."
The Institute on Governance, 2001, http://www.iog.ca.
Community Volunteers: The Front Line of
Brennan, M.A., C. Flint, and R. Barnett. 2005. "Community Volunteers: The Front
Line of Disaster Response". Journal of Volunteer Administration. 23(4): 52-56.
The dramatic and tragic events of Hurricane Katrina have highlighted the need for
coordinated community based volunteer efforts to prepare for, and respond to,
natural and other disasters. The recent hurricanes in the Gulf States underscore the
problems and shortcomings associated with coordinating outside logistics and show
a dear need for local volunteers to serve as the first line of response to such
catastrophes. Such disasters are likely to occur again. When disasters do occur,
citizen groups and coordinated local volunteers will again be the first responders
and can act to lessen impacts. This article identifies and suggests methods for
linking local organizations, recruiting volunteers, and implementing coordinated
action plans prior to, and after, the impact of natural disasters.
Implications for Research and Extension
Local volunteers and community level action is essential to effective natural disaster
preparation and response. They are particularly important in that these citizens are
in many cases the first responders and have the greatest chance to save lives and
provide support in the hours and days immediately after disaster occurrences.
Certainly, an effective community response would have diminished some, no matter
how small, of the suffering and loss that occurred during and after the recent
hurricanes. An organized community and volunteer response could have helped in
a number of ways before, during, and immediately after the recent disasters. They
may have been able to:
Coordinate a more successful evacuation and transportation effort,
Provide some structure and order
Aid in organizing resources for distribution before and after the hurricane,
Decrease some of the isolation and sense of abandonment that quickly
engulfed victims in the affected areas.
Community and volunteer coordinators have an obligation to help facilitate
community organization and preparation to aid fellow citizens in times of such great
need. The only thing that is certain in these times is that local residents will be the
first capable of responding. These disaster settings present local volunteers and
community organizations with an unprecedented opportunity to make a measurable
impact on the human condition. The quality and extent of this response may hold the
key to minimizing disaster effects, maintaining order, increasing hope, and
maximizing recovery efforts.
Submitted by: Dr. Mark Brennan, Assistant Professor, Community Development
The Effects of the Florida 4-H Residential
Camping Program on Participants' Level of
Amy Lohrer, MS(1), Gerald Culen, PhD(1), Rosemary Barnett, PhD(1), and Glenn
Israel, PhD(2) (1)Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences
(2)Department of Agricultural Education & Communication
This study determined the effectiveness of the Florida 4-H residential camping
experience in developing the environmental sensitivity (ES) of participants ages 12-
18. Specifically, the study examined how repeated participation in the Florida 4-H
residential camping program affects the level of ES and the effects of the Florida 4-H
residential camping program on the level of ecological knowledge of the program's
The study design used in this research was a modified cross-sectional design.
Participants in the study group were those individuals who participated in a Florida
4-H residential camp session that included environmental activities during summer
2003. All study participants must have previously attended or must have been
currently attending a minimum of one (1) five-day session of Florida 4-H residential
camp. Three groups of study participants were established: Group 1 first time
participants; Group 2 participants who had attended one previous session of a five-
day Florida 4-H residential camp; and Group 3 participants who had attended a
five-day session of Florida 4-H residential camping program two or more times in
the past. A total of 125 surveys were gathered. The control group, (Group 1)
consisted of 58 participants. The repeated camper groups (Groups 2 & 3) consisted of
Two surveys were used: 1) An adaptation of the "Survey of Environmentally
Concerned Students" (Sivek, 2003) to assess various influences on ES; and 2) the
ecological knowledge portion of the "Middle School Environmental Literacy
Instrument" (8th edition, 1996) to assess the participants' ecological knowledge.
Environmental Sensitivity Levels
Participants were presented with a definition of ES and asked to evaluate their own
level on a five point Likert scale with the following options: "Very Low", "Low",
"Moderate", "High", and "Very High." The mean ES level of pre-camp respondents
was 3.34 (SD=0.95). Forty-six percent of pre-camp respondents (n=118) self-reported a
moderate ES level. Thirty-one percent of pre-camp respondents self-reported a high
ES level. Ten percent of respondents believed they had a very high ES level.
Respondents who completed the post-camp survey (n=76) recorded a mean ES level
of 3.47 (SD=0.95). Fifty-three percent of respondents felt they had a moderate level of
ES. Over 25% of participants felt they had a high level of ES and almost 16% of
participants believed they had a very high level of ES after participating in the
Florida 4-H residential camping program.
A statistically significant difference in participants' ES level was found between first
time campers and campers who had attended two or more times previously. No
difference was found between first time campers and campers who attended one
time previously. However, campers who had attended camp one time previously
scored lower than those who attended camp two or more times previously.
The ES differences were analyzed between each group. The Mann-Whitney
independent sample test was performed to determine if the groups differed in any
way. The results did not yield any statistical significant differences between the three
In part two of the pre-camp survey, respondents were asked to rate various general
influences on their ES using a 7-point Likert-type scale. The categories included the
following: "Not at all", "Slightly Important", "Fairly Important", "Very Important",
"Extremely Important", "Don't Know", and "Did Not Experience". Surveys in which
the participant marked "Don't Know" or Did Not Experience" were excluded from
A Spearman's rho correlation analysis was run to compare the following variables:
experience with camping; the influence of media; the influence of personality;
experience with animals; negative experiences with the environment; the amount of
time spent outdoors; the influence of role models; and participant's level of ES.
ES appears to be associated with five out of the seven variables tested experience
with camp, media influence, experience with wild animals, the influence of negative
experiences, and the influence of time spent outdoors.
The influence of media appears to have relationships with multiple other influences.
Data showed media had significant correlations ranging from 0.216 to 0.456, with six
out of the seven variables tested. These six variables included experience with camp
(r=0.220, p<0.05), personality (r=0.456, p<0.01), negative experiences (r=0.246, p<0.05),
time spent outdoors (r=0.216, p<0.05), role models (r=0.234, p<0.01), and pre-camp ES
level (r=0.295, p<0.01). One could infer that the media has somewhat of an impact on
the reported perceived influences on ES (i.e. experience with camp, personality,
experience with animals, negative experiences, time spent outdoors, and role
Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the effects of the influences
reported in other studies to be influential in the development of ES. Stepwise
multiple regression analysis regressed the variables that were reported to be
influential in the development of ES by previous studies. Media influence (R2 =0.183)
and the influence of time spent outdoors (R2 =0.090) together explain 27% (R2 =0.273)
of the variance in the differences in ES scores.
This research question was analyzed by comparing the participants' pre-camp and
post-camp survey responses to the ecological knowledge portion of the pre-camp
and post-camp surveys and the number of years they have participated in the Florida
4-H residential camping program. Only those participants who completed both the
pre-camp survey and the post-camp survey were included in this analysis. From the
results of this test, it appears there are no significant differences between any groups
in relation to ecological knowledge gained relative to repeat attendance. However,
the largest difference in the level of ecological knowledge was between Group 1 and
The data indicate that the Florida 4-H residential camping program does have some
influence on its participants' level of ES as shown by an increase in the mean ES score
of camp participants who previously attended one time in the past (pre-camp 0=3.38,
post-camp 0=3.63). However, the n-size was relatively small.
One could infer from this data that participants of the Florida 4-H residential
camping program benefit from the exposure to the environment and related topics
that may be addressed at the camps. These results are also supported by Palmberg
and Kuru, 2000; Tanner, 1980; Palmer, 1993; Shepard & Speelman, 1986.
Children who attend the Florida 4-H residential camping program are exposed
continuously to the natural environment as they participate in daily activities. Camp
administration should inform stakeholders of the impact exposure to the
environment has on the participants of the program. Camp administration should
also strive to increase retention of current campers, in order to increase the amount
of exposure to the outdoors for campers, and therefore, increase ES.
Results also indicate that media and time spent outdoors are very important in the
development of ES. The best fit regression model indicates that these two elements
(time spent outdoors and the influence of media) have a strong influence on a
person's perceived level of ES.
The influence of media appears to be related to multiple other influences. One could
infer that the media has an impact on the reported perceived influences on ES (i.e.
experience with camp, personality, experience with animals, negative experiences,
time spent outdoors, and role models). This means that what children read or see on
television influences how they feel about their experiences at camp, their view of
spending time outdoors, and their experiences with animals.
The amount of time spent outdoors may be a key indication of a person's ES.
Shepard and Speelman (1986) found that first time participants visiting an outdoor
setting had to adjust to the environment before learning could occur. As the
participants visited the outdoor site more, they were able to learn about things
within the environment because they were not spending time worrying about
foreign/unfamiliar things around them. Other studies have also indicated exposure
to the outdoors or time spent outdoors had an impact on ES (Tanner, 1980; Peterson,
1982; Palmer, 1993; Sward, 1996; Sivek, 2002).
Submitted by: Dr. Terry Culen, Associate Professor, Youth Development
Work/Family Balance of Extension Faculty
Cooperative Extension faculty, as part of the land grant university system, provides
educational services in areas such as agriculture, communities, family and consumer
sciences, and youth development to every county in the United States. Extension
faculty are expected to fill multiple roles in their careers and family life roles that
demand lots of time and energy.
None of this is news to any of us! As much as the topic of balancing work and family
life comes up in general conversation, there are few available research studies on the
work and family life of Extension agents (Martin & Morris, 2005). However, a recent
study on the work and family life of county Extension agents provides some
In this study, 298 county Extension agents from a Southeastern state (not Florida!)
completed a mail out questionnaire (55% response rate). Of the 298 participants:
30.4% were Agricultural Extension faculty
11.5% were in Family and Consumer Sciences
23% were in 4-H Youth Development
12.1% combined Agriculture/4-H Youth Development
11.1% combined 4-H Youth Development/Family and Consumer Sciences
2% in Expanded Food-Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
9.8% in an "other" category consisting of administrators and specialists.
About twenty-two percent (21.8%) were Extension Agent I (had generally worked
less than 8 years in Extension), thirteen percent (12.8%) Extension Agent II (8-15
years in Extension), 33.2% Extension Agent III or IV (15 or more years in Extension),
18.5% State Specialists, 9.1% County/District Specialists, and 2.7% District/State
Administrators. Participants reported working an average of 49 hours a week, had
been in their present position on average nearly 10 years (9.53 years), had spent a
mean of 15 years in the Cooperative Extension Service, and were an average age of
Fifty-six percent of the sample was male (44% female), and 93% of the sample was
white American, with 6% African-American and .3% Hispanic American, and .3%
"other". Although some measures pertained to marriage and family life, all
Extension faculty were included in the study regardless of whether they were
(married, single, divorced, widowed, or "other").
Measures of the following variables were included in the survey. Only three
measures will be mentioned here namely, those, which distinguished male from
female agents and on which Extension faculty, differed according to their specialty
The Relational Equity Index (REI) is a measure of the discrepancy between a spouse's
expectations or ideals for marriage and his or her actual experiences or reality (see
Sabatelli, et al., 1985). The degree of fairness a person perceives in a relationship,
defined by how much a spouse perceives both parties as contributing to a
relationship or whether there is an unfair balance is the main emphasis of the REI.
The REI contains 10 items measured on a 5 point, Likert-type scale. Reported internal
consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha) for the REI in this reviewed study was .95.
The Kansas Marital Conflict Scale (KMCS) (see Eggeman, Moxley, & Schumm, 1985)
is composed of 27 items broken down into three subscales: Agenda Building;
Arguing; and Negotiation. The KMCS is also on a 5-point Likert-type format and
Cronbach's alpha on the three subscales was found to be: Agenda Building (.90);
Arguing (.92); and Negotiation (.92) in this reviewed study.
Effect of Job on Family Life Satisfaction
The Effect of Job on Family Life Scale (EJFLS) has 24 items and is in a 6-point Likert-
type format ranging from "It affects my life very negatively" to "It affects my family
life very positively" (see St. Pierre, 1984 and Lepley, 2003). Internal consistency
reliability or Cronbach's alpha was .90 in the study reviewed.
Job satisfaction and degree to which the job environment is pleasant was measured
by the Work Satisfaction Scale (WSS) (See Blanding, 1995). The WSS is on a 4-point
Likert-type format from "not satisfied at all" to "very satisfied" and has 3 items.
Cronbach's alpha in this study was calculated at .71 in the study.
Research Question / Hypotheses
The goal of the study was to examine the relationship between work and family life
among Extension faculty, particularly with respect to gender, job responsibility area
(such as FCS/4-H), and job title.
Hypotheses regard whether:
1) Male and female agents differ with respect to...
2) Job responsibility or specialty area affects an Extension faculty member's...
3) Whether job title affects an Extension faculty member's... work satisfaction,
parent-child relationship quality, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction, marital
conflict, relational equity, and effect of job on family life satisfaction.
Hypothesis 1: Males and females only differed in one family relationship area.
Female Extension faculty's scores of relationship equity (measured by the REI) were
significantly lower than males' (Mann-Whitney non parametric t-test, p < .000). The
researchers note that this finding points to female Extension faculty perceiving less
equity or fairness in their marital relationship than do male Extension faculty (Martin
& Morris, 2005).
Hypothesis 2: Extension faculty differed significantly by specialty or employment
responsibility in the following areas: relationship equity (F = 3.57, p < .002); marital
conflict (F = 2.18, p < .045); and effect of job on family life satisfaction (F = 4.45, p <
.000). Family and Consumer Science agents had significantly lower levels of marital
conflict than those with dual appointments in Agriculture/4-H Youth or Family and
Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth. Family and Consumer Science Agents also perceived
significantly higher levels of marital equity than Agriculture/4-H Youth agents. 4-H
Youth Development faculty had a significantly more positive view of the effect of
their work on family life than Agricultural Extension faculty and combined Family
and Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Extension faculty. It is unknown whether these
differences are a fundion of the job responsibilities involved in each specialty area
(e.g., dual responsibilities versus one area of concentration) and/or the background in
family life and youth development that Family and Consumer Science as well as 4-H
Youth Development faculty have been exposed to.
Hypothesis 3: A noteworthy finding is that District/State Administrator Extension
faculty differed significantly in their work satisfadion from Extension Agents I (F =
2.44, p < .002); Extension Agents II (F = 3.14, p < .000), and Extension Agents III or IV
(F = 2.24, p < .002). This finding makes sense in light of high turnover rates among
early career Extension faculty (usually within 3-5 years). District/State
Administrators are expended to be more invested and committed to Cooperative
Extension as compared to career entry Extension faculty. However, it is less easy to
explain the differences between District/State Administrators and Extension faculty
who have been in their careers from 8-15 or more years.
According to the researchers (Martin & Morris, 2005), the results were as expected,
particularly when comparing Extension faculty on their specialized areas; a number
of prior studies support differences among agents on work and family life
satisfadion by employment responsibility. Martin and Morris (2005) suggest using
multi-method studies, for example, qualitative interviewing combined with
quantitative methodology (mail surveys), as well as higher order quantitative
analyses (strudural equation modeling), to tap into reasons for these differences
among Extension faculty by gender, specialty area, and position or title.
A limitation in the study, according to the authors, is that respondents largely
represent rural areas (Martin & Morris, 2005). Moreover, the sample is limited in
terms of ethnic diversity. Cultural influences on commitment to family life and
relationships outside work may provide new insights and findings. Work culture or
climate is also an area to study with resped to how such climate differs by
employment or specialty area. Although Extension faculty from a diversity of family
forms were represented in the sample (single parents, divorced, widowed, single),
there was an emphasis on characteristics of the marital (perhaps extending to
premarital) relationship as a representation of family life. Including additional
measures of family commitment and relationships as they are affected by the work
environment would more appropriately characterize a diversity of family forms.
Moreover, collecting data from the spouses (or significant others/family members) of
county Extension faculty will increase the comprehension of results, particularly
with respect to perceptions of marital equity (Martin & Morris, 2005).
What might these findings mean for Cooperative Extension in Florida, the Southeast,
and the United States?
Encouraging family life education professionals (usually FCS Agents) to
conduct workshops serving Extension faculty in other specialty areas on
relationship education (Martin & Morris, 2005), as well as other community
Having youth development educators facilitate workshops with Extension
faculty in other disciplines (e.g., Agriculture/4-H) on how to address the
developmental needs of youth at the programmatic and personal/familial
Creating supportive, family-friendly work environments at the
organizational level, with the input of family life educators. (Martin &
Offering new faculty workshops on stress and time management. More
seasoned county faculty those in the field seven or more years can help
educate newer employees during these workshops by generating discussion
and providing illustrated examples. Outside of the workshop setting, more
experienced faculty can mentor new Extension faculty.
From: Martin, A.B., & Morris, M.L. (November, 2005). Work/family variable
relationships of county Extension agents. Unpublished manuscript presented at the
National Council on Family Relations annual conference, Phoenix, AZ.
For more information contact:
April B. Martin, M.S.
P.O. Box 88
Smithville, TN 37166
Submitted by: Dr. Kate Fogarty, Assistant Professor, Youth Development Specialist,
Additional references (from Martin & Morris, 2005):
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Psychology, 81, 400-410.
Umberson, D. (1989). Relationships with children: Explaining parents' psychological
well-being. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 51, 999 1012.
Yang, N. (1998). An international perspective on socioeconomic changes and their
effects on life stress and career success of working women. SAM Advanced
Management Journal, 63(3), 15-21.
Community Connections: Employee
Volunteers from the Workplace
The workplace is an excellent place to promote volunteerism and recruit volunteers.
Whether it is a small, local business, or large, national corporation, their employees
can be a source of "volunteer power" in the community. Employee volunteers may
be equipped with specialized skills, information, and a fresh perspective to help
address community issues and challenges (Lautenschlager, 1993). There can be
benefits to the individual employee, to the employer, the corporation and the
What is Employee Volunteering?
As a relatively new and growing field, the terms related to volunteering through
one's workplace have not been firmly established. The terms employee volunteering,
corporate volunteering, employer-supported volunteering, and workplace
volunteering are used simultaneously. While some authors identify differences, the
basic idea is that "employees perform work in the community with some form of
support and/or encouragement from their employer" (Graff, 2004).
Motives for Employee Volunteers
Motives for volunteering have been classified by various researchers. The following
model (Peterson, 2004) uses six categories of volunteer motives, with corresponding
strategies to recruit volunteers within corporations (Table 1). Volunteer program
directors can adopt several strategies that will influence various motives of their
Six commonly cited motives for volunteering matched with six
commonly used recruitment strategies in corporate volunteer
Motives for Volunteering Employee Volunteer
1. Altruistic motivated by the desire to 1. Publicizing information concerning
be useful, helpful to those in need, or to community needs and the opportunity
contribute to society to volunteer
2. Social relations motivated by the 2. Organizing team projects in which
desire to interact with others, socialize, employees work together on a
or make new friends community project
3. Ideological motivated by a specific 3. Offering an incentive program in
cause the individual believes is highly which the company makes a financial
important (e.g., fight against AIDS) donation to a cause chosen by
employees) in return for a specified
number of volunteer hours
contributed by the employees)
4. Status reward motivated by rewards, 4. Recognizing employee volunteer
such as publicity, title, indirect goodwill, contributions through articles, awards,
or status in the community and commendations, bulletin boards,
5. Material reward motivated by 5. Encouraging participation in
tangible benefits, such as prizes, free volunteer projects that develop job
passes, awards or privileges related skills or benefit the company;
or acknowledge volunteer
participation during job performance
6. Time motivated because the 6. Offering" release time" or hours off
individual either has or does not have from work to participate in volunteer
sufficient time to participate in volunteer activities.
Source: Peterson, D.K. (2004)
Benefits of Employee Volunteers
Employee volunteer programs provide many benefits to the business, employee or
retiree, non-profit organization, and the community.
Corporations benefit when their employees or retirees volunteer. Research shows
that "one of the most effective methods of enhancing a corporation's public image is
through the contributions of time and talent from employees" (Peterson, 2004).
Benefits to the company include: improved relations with surrounding community;
enhanced (socially responsible) corporate image; positive employee morale; and,
increased ability to attract and retain high-quality employees.
Employees and retirees benefit because of representing their employer with pride;
contributing to a community cause; interacting with the larger community; and
increasing their personal awareness of community issues.
Extension programs benefit because corporations become sources of active, skilled
volunteers who bring new talent, ideas, and energy to the program. An employee
volunteer program also creates an opportunity to educate corporate employees about
Extension's mission. Community partnerships are stronger and the potential for
financial contributions may increase.
Communities benefit because there are more resources available. Profit and non-
profit partnerships decrease duplication of services and increase effective use of
resources. When there is increased networking and resource management between
corporations and University of Florida Extension programs, the quality of life in the
community is enhanced.
Developing an Employee Volunteer Program
The corporation; the Extension faculty; or a partnership between the profit and not-
for-profit sectors can initiate establishing an employee volunteer program. Every
partner should understand the benefits of employee volunteers to him, specifically.
The Points of Light Foundation (1996), outlines the following steps to develop a
successful employee volunteer program.
1. Identify corporate values, goals and priorities that could be addressed by
a volunteer program. Company administrators need to see how
employees can perpetuate the corporation's mission and goals in the
community. Be prepared to justify how this can happen.
2. Determine employee interests through surveys to identify levels of
volunteer experience and specific interests.
3. Determine community needs and consider how an employee volunteer
program can address those issues. Business leaders want others to know
that their corporate volunteers are helping to address real issues.
4. Work with the corporation administration to plan a program that
encourages and facilitates employee participation at several levels.
Suggest that an employee steering committee help establish the long-term
program and short-term plan.
5. Help a business develop written corporate policies to support an
employee volunteer program. Will there be an opportunity to volunteer
during "company time?" ("Release time" for volunteering is a powerful
incentive for employee participation in volunteer projects.) How much
time will be allowed? Are there any restrictions? What arrangements need
to be made? What needs to be communicated...and to whom...and under
what circumstances? Will training be needed? What recognition will be
given? When will recognition be given?
6. Begin by selecting a specific volunteer project that meets all the criteria
above. Initiate an employee volunteer experience that enables employees,
the business and the community to feel success. If the project is an
ongoing effort, further develop details of the project as it grows for several
7. Evaluate the employee volunteer program to measure its impact on
employees, the corporation, the not-for-profit organization, and
8. Publicize the employee volunteer efforts and accomplishments both
internally and externally to senior management, internal newsletters, via
community media, Chamber of Commerce, and to partnering groups. Use
success stories to share information. Provide a link on the company's
website to Extension program websites, where employees can learn more
about volunteer opportunities.
9. Recognize volunteers through awards, visibility and other appropriate
benefits that encourage them to continue to volunteer. Always
communicate employee volunteer names with the business they represent.
Repeat the successes and benefits often.
What Does This Mean to Your Extension Program?
Whether you are responsible for nutrition education, youth development or
horticulture, your Extension program can reach an even larger audience when you
work effectively with and through volunteers. As you strengthen your role as
"volunteer manager" you will spend more time providing orientation and training to
ensure that each volunteer is prepared for success. Your role then is to provide good
resources, ongoing support and recognition for their involvement.
Volunteer programs in the workplace are most successful when they are based on
"integrating the priorities of the company, the interests of the employees, and the
needs of the community" (Points of Light Foundation, 1996). These programs help
businesses become leaders in their communities. While the needs of the community
are being addressed, the number of volunteers within the community grows, and
employee volunteers are feeling the rewards of community involvement that is
supported by their employer.
For more information, go to EDIS publication: "Employee Volunteering"
Submitted By: Dr. Marilyn K. Lesmeister, Assistant Professor,
Center for Volunteer and Community Development
Graff, L. (2004). Making a Business Case for Employer-Supported Volunteerism,
Lautenschlager, J. (1993). Volunteering in the Workplace: How to Promote Employee
Volunteerism, Voluntary Action Directorate, Department of Canadian Heritage.
Points of Light Foundation. (1996). Developing a Corporate Volunteer Program.
Peterson, D. K. (2004). Recruitment strategies for Encouraging Participation in
Corporate Volunteer Programs. Journal of Business Ethics, 49, 371-386.
Homemade Dill Pickles May Pose Risk of
Listeriosis gained its fame after the first reported outbreak associated with coleslaw
in Canada in 19811. The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, which is widespread in
the environment, causes Listeriosis. The pH range for the growth of L.
monocytogenes was thought to be 5.6-9.6, but new research results show that the
organism can grow in laboratory media at a pH as low as 4.42. New research results
further revealed that L. monocytogenes can survive and grow in refrigerated foods
with pH values of approximately 4.0-5.0 and salt concentrations of 3-4%; thus home-
fermented dill pickles fit this description.
Dill pickles by definition are fermented products of fresh cucumbers where the
starter culture consists of the normal mixed surface flora of the cucumber surface.
Cucumbers are one of the most commonly pickled foods in the US.
Home-fermented, refrigerator dill, cucumber pickles are the product of lactic acid
fermentation. They are made by immersing the pickling cucumbers in brine solution
and seasonings. Following this, the product typically ferments at room temperature
for one week. The pickles are then stored in the refrigerator during the consumption
Since L. monocytogenes is widespread in the environment, contamination of this
product with the organism can potentially cause serious problems because
consumers do not normally heat the dill pickles prior to consumption. Newly
published research by a team at the University of Georgia3 revealed that home-
prepared dill pickles inoculated with L. monocytogenes tested presumptively
positive for the organism for up to 49 days (in the internal tissue) and up to 91 days
on the surface of the pickles with salt concentrations of 1.3, 3.8 or 7.6%.
The researchers examined the fate of L. monocytogenes on the surface and in the
interior of cucumbers and in brines of different salt concentrations (1.3, 3.8 and 7.6%)
during a typical process of making homemade dill pickles. They measured the pH,
salt (NaC1) and titratible acidity percentage, and the total population of Listeria, and
other microorganisms of pickles left at room temperature storage at 2, 4, and 7 days
(the fermentation period). Once the fermentation process was complete, they
monitored the aforementioned parameters weekly during refrigerated storage.
Some of the inoculated L. monocytogenes cells in the treatment with the highest salt
concentration of 7.6% remained viable.
Take home message:
Past recommendations for this type of product stated that consumption of
refrigerator dill pickles, would be typically considered safe anytime after 3 days of
refrigerated storage. However, from this study because L. monocytogenes may still
be viable this point, there is a food safety risk.
This study recommended that home-prepared dill pickles of this type should not be
To identify at-risk population for Listeriosis, read the Research News You Can Use
Summer 2005 at http://fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/rnycufall05.pdf
Submitted by: Dr. Amy Simonne, Assistant Professor, Food Safety and Quality
SSchlech, W. I., P. M. Lavigne, R. A. Bortolussi, A.C. Allen, E.V. Haldane, A.J. Won,
A.W. Hightower, S.E. Johnson, S.H. King, E.S. Nicholles, and C. V. Broome. 1983.
Epidemic listeriosis-evidence for transmission by food. N.Engl.J. Med. 308:203-206.
2 Swaminathan, B. 2001. Listeria monocytogenes. In Food Microbiology
Fundamentals and Frontiers, 2nd ed. Eds. M.P. Doyle, L.R. Beuchat and T.J.
Montville. ASM Press.
3Kim, J.K., E.M. D'SA, M.A. Harrison, J.A. Harrison, and E. L. Andress. 2005. Listeria
monocytogenes survival in refrigerator dill pickles. J. Food Prot. 68(11):2005, 2356-
Are Families Dining Together?
When I was growing up, my family ate together almost every night. We came
together at the end of a busy day to enjoy a meal and, especially, to share each
other's company. It was a good time for my parents to check in on what was
happening in school, activities, and friendships. During my active teenage years, the
predictable family dinner was sometimes the only calm period of the day. It was a
welcome relief from the pressures of high school life.
Today, research confirms that family meals can be an important time to develop
strong family relationships. And, for teenagers, family mealtime is connected to
positive behaviors. "Teens who regularly [and frequently] haves meals with their
family are less likely to get into fights, think about suicide, smoke, drink, [or] use
drugs," (Child Trends, 2005, p. 1) and they are more likely to do better in school.
Yet, during adolescence, teens "tend to spend less time with the family and eat more
meals away from home" (Child Trends, 2005, p.1). A recently released report from
Child Trends found that in 2003, less than half of adolescents, 42%, at a meal as a
family 6-7 days a week.
A number of factors affect whether families dine together often.
One is nativity. Foreign-born adolescents are more likely than native-born teens to
eat meals with their families 6-7 times a week (62% vs. 40%)
Another is ethnicity. Hispanic adolescents and children are more likely than white
and black teens and children to eat together 6-7 times a week (54% vs. 40%).
Age is relevant: Older teens are less likely than younger teens and children to eat
with their families.
Poverty and education also matter. Adolescents living in poverty are more likely
than others to eat family meals 6-7 times a week. Teens whose parents have less than
a high school degree are more likely to eat together as a family.
Although parents claim that busy schedules conflict with family meals, teenagers say
it's not only conflicting schedules that keep them away from the dinner table, but
also that they want to be independent, don't like the food, or are dissatisfied with
There are benefits for families dining together. So, if you want to bring your
teenager back to the dinner table, consider involving them in meal planning and
serving meals they like. Allow some meals away from home, with and without
parents, but also plan for plenty of family meal times.
Finally, make meal times pleasant. Turn your attention to the family by turning off
the television and cell phones; let the answering machine take telephone messages
during the meal. Instead of arguing or reprimanding your children, use this time as a
chance to enjoy family togetherness.
Discuss topics of interest to the whole family. Encourage discussion by asking each
family member what he or she liked best during the day. Give each family member,
even the youngest, a chance to contribute to the conversation, with everyone paying
Submitted by: Dr. Suzanna Smith Associate Professor, Human Development
Child Trends Data Bank (2005). Family meals. Washington DC: Author. Retrieved
October 18, 2005 from
Child Trends Data Bank (October 17, 2005). Are families eating together?
Washington DC: Author. Retrieved October 18, 2005 from
Bobroff, L. B. & Davis, D. (2004). The importance of family meals. Family Album
Radio, WUFT-FM, Gainesville, FL. Aired 1/3/064.
Long Term Care Insurance Purchase: An
The question of whether to buy long-term care insurance (LTCI) is similar to that of
whether or not to pay off your home mortgage early. Both questions require a
thorough analysis of financial goals, risk management strategies, long-term financial
projections and longevity analysis. In fewer than 20 years, LTCI policies have grown
from 200,000 to four million. The authors of this research believe that many people
have been sold insurance rather than selecting to buy it. They think that there are
alternatives to LTCI that should be explored.
First, not everyone can afford the premiums. For example in one study (Health and
Retirement) of 700 respondents, only 23% had kept their LTCI policy. However, an
industry report in 2004 stated that 7 out of 10 LTCI policies were still in force.
McNamara and Lee (2003) reported a 75% lapse rate. Many policyholders let their
policies lapse because they can't afford the premiums after they retire and are on
fixed incomes. The price of LTCI policies is based on the assumption that many
purchasers will drop out before incurring any claims. There are concerns about the
industry. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future demand on the insuring
companies. The National Association of Insurance Commission data reveal that
LTCI policies paid out only 35% of premiums in 2001. Consumers Union, after
reviewing 47 policies in 2003, considered, that for most people, long-term care
insurance was too risky and too expensive.
Criteria for purchasing Long Term Care Insurance:
Age 55 or older with a chronic medical condition
Family history that indicates need for nursing home
Assets of $200,000 to $1.5 million
The desire to protect assets
Capacity to absorb potentially high premium increases
No family member who is willing to care for you.
Low income, low asset individuals simply cannot afford LTCI insurance and must
rely on family, friends or Medicaid to pay for care. High income, high asset
consumers have sufficient resources to self insure for costs of care. The people in the
middle who fear a long stay in nursing home, depletion of their assets and
impoverishing a spouse need guidance that has not been available to make this
decision. Thus, this research presents an alternative decision making framework for
funding long-term care based on the risk management principle of self-insurance.
(Self-insure by investing the annual premium.)
Six alternatives to purchasing LTCI:
1) Risk avoidance (This option is not viable due to the aging process.)
2) Loss prevention and loss reduction. These alternatives deal with life style
choices, i.e. diet, exercise, activities.
3) Risk transfer pre arrange with family and make an agreement for care
(family and friends are sole caregivers of 70% of the elderly) or Medicaid for
low-income individuals. Women live longer than their spouse whom they
care for. Long-term care is a woman's issue.
4) Risk assumption and
5) Self-insurance. May be effective tools but you must have resources to cover
A plan to address potential needs should include multi strategies. If one self-insures,
he/she needs to evaluate family history of longevity and chronic illnesses. The
average age at which people enter a nursing home is 83. The average stay is 2.3 years
at $50,000 per year, which is $115,000. One third of the nursing home stays is 90 days
or less. However, nine percent of residents stay five or more years.
Advantages of self-insurance approach:
Greater flexibility in use of financial resources
No worries about having policy lapse from failure to pay premium
No problems with policy restrictions, the money can be used to pay relatives
who care for you or for other needs.
No concern about insurance company insolvency
Heirs can inherit the remainder of self-insurance fund not needed for care
Implications for Extension Programming
Given the critical nature of lengthening life span and the increasing need for long
term care, conducting programs that will help clients determine how much long term
care may cost and resources available to fund long term care would help focus the
need on financial planning for the last stage of the life cycle. A speaker from the
Florida Department of Financial Services and their booklet "Long-Term Care &
Other Options for Seniors," would be appropriate.
Web sites that will be helpful:
Submitted by: Dr. Jo Turner, CFP, Professor, Family and Consumer Economics
1 A study by Jean M. Lown and Lance Palmer in the Journal of the Association of
Financial Counseling and Planning Education. Volume 15 (2), 2004.