November 9, 2017

Third-year Family Science doctoral student Kecia Ellick’s research was selected by the national Delta Omega Honorary Society to receive a poster award at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Together with Joanne D'Silva, a PhD candidate from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health, Kecia is the first UMD School of Public Health student to receive this award. Kecia presented her poster entitled "African American Teen Mothers' Parenting Stress, Self-Efficacy, and Child Behaviors” at the meeting in Atlanta. The underlying study found that increasing a mother’s belief in her skill and ability to parent well can interrupt the negative impact of parenting stress on child behaviors among teen mothers and their children.

The APHA’s mission is to improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status. The association advocates for public policies, leads awareness campaigns, and publishes the American Journal of Public Health and the newspaper The Nation’s Health. The Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health encourages and recognizes excellence in practice, research, education, and academic achievement in the field of public health.

“While teen pregnancy rates are decreasing,” says Kecia, “teens are still getting pregnant and raising children at significant rates. It is important to identify pathways through which negative outcomes occur as well as identify protective factors that promote positive development for teen parent families.”

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Kecia Ellick