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2016 - American Sociological Association Annual Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
1. LIU, Mengyu. "Do Language Skills Pay Off? Earnings Returns to English Skill and Mandarin Skill in Hong Kong" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA, Aug 17, 2016 Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2018-07-21 <>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper analyzes earnings returns to English skill and Mandarin skill in Hong Kong. Combining two datasets from Hong Kong and using OLS method, I find that controlling other factors, people who can speak English enjoy 12.1 percent higher monthly income than those who cannot. Comparatively, Mandarin skill dose not bring high earnings returns, only 1.6 percent. Then I concentrate on English skill and find the heterogeneity of premium for English skill in gender, education, occupation and cohort. Results from Brown et al decomposition reveal that between-occupation differentials are dominant in total differentials of monthly income between people with English skill and people without English skill, indicating the language exclusion based on English. Furthermore, family background has a significant effect on individuals’ English proficiency, the mechanism of which is through personal educational attainment. These findings shed light on the role of language skills in income inequality and social reproduction.

2015 - SRCD Biennial Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
2. Meng, Christine. "A Parallel Process Model of Social Skills and Learning Behaviors Predicting Head Start Children’s Academic Skills" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 19, 2015 <Not Available>. 2018-07-21 <>
Publication Type: Individual Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Research has repeatedly demonstrated the positive linkage between social skills and academic outcomes (Eggum-Wilkens, Fabes, Castle, Zhang, Hanish, & Martin, 2014; Spira & Fischel, 2005). As classroom teachers are likely to assign small group activities and peer learning, the importance of social skills for the purpose of learning has become increasingly evident (Carman & Chapparo, 2012). Prior research has examined aspects of behavioral problems that correlate with social skills (Vaughn, Vollenweider, Bost, Azria-Evans, & Snider, 2003), cognitive and emotional functioning that underlie the development of social skills (Montroy, Bowles, Skibbe, & Foster, 2014), and the design of social skills intervention programs as a pathway to promote academic skills (Nix, Bierman, Domitrovich, & Gill, 2013). However, questions about the longitudinal bidirectional association between social skills and learning behaviors remain to be explored. The purposes of the study were to examine (1) the longitudinal bidirectional relation between social skills and learning behaviors and (2) whether the trajectories of social skills and learning behaviors would predict Head Start children’s kindergarten academic skills. Such investigation addresses the questions of whether changes in social skills would be associated with changes in learning behaviors and whether changes in these domains would predict Head Start children’s kindergarten academic skills.

The data came from a nationally representative sample of 2,800 three- and four-year-old Head Start children who were assessed in fall 2003, spring 2004, spring 2005, and spring 2006. Social skills across the four waves were assessed using items from the Personal Maturity Scale and the Social Skills Rating System. Learning behaviors across the four waves were assessed using the Preschool Learning Behavior Scale. Kindergarten mathematics skills were assessed using combined subtests of Applied Problems and Quantitative Concepts. Kindergarten reading skills were assessed using combined subtests of Letter-Word Identification and Word Attack. Primary caregiver depression, Head Start children’s behavioral problems at program entry, Head Start children’s emerging literacy skills at program entry, child age, child gender, child disability status, child race/ethnicity, mother race/ethnicity, mother educational levels, child dual language learner status, and family monthly income were included as control variables.

Results of the parallel process models demonstrated longitudinal bidirectional relations between social skills and learning behaviors. Head Start children with higher initial values of learning behaviors had a slower decrease in social skills over time. On the contrary, the children with lower initial values of social skills had greater increase in learning behaviors. Furthermore, the negative association between the slope of social skills and the slope of learning behaviors suggested that a decrease in social skills was associated with a slower increase in learning behaviors. Finally, the slope of learning behaviors positively predicted kindergarten reading and mathematics skills, indicating that Head Start children with increased learning behaviors were likely to score higher on kindergarten reading and mathematics skills. Findings reveal a dynamic bidirectional association between social skills and learning behaviors. Results have implications for early childhood education curriculum and early education interventions to foster learning behaviors as a pathway to promote academic skills.

2017 - Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting Words: 474 words || 
3. Hawley, Ann. "Life Skills Education In Bosnia: A Model for Building Social, Emotional and Cognitive Skills for Youth" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society CIES Annual Meeting, Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, Georgia, <Not Available>. 2018-07-21 <>
Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: World Vision International promotes core life skills through its education programming. These life skills are categorized into the domains of social, emotional and cognitive learning. In the past, World Vision grouped life skills into five categories: critical thinking, emotional management, communication, relationship building, and social responsibility. However, there is now agreement that the 3 domains (social, emotional and cognitive) better represent the larger domains of learning for children and youth. Life skills build over time and are inter-connected promoting the development of social, emotional and cognitive learning.

Life Skills Model in BIH
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a post-conflict country with sensitive and multiple education systems. As a country they have worked hard to focus on the development of children and youths social, emotional and cognitive development through life skills education as way to promote self-awareness, inclusion and reconciliation. The government understands and values the importance of life skills education and encourages the integration of life skills curriculum in the school day.

A life skills education model for 11-15 year olds inclusive of social, emotional and cognitive skills was launched in Bosnia in 2013-2016. The approach taken by WV Bosnia and Herzegovina was to use an adapted version of the WV Skills for Life program model infused with Marshall Rosenberg’s nonviolence communication theory to improve students’ life skills, build their resiliency and improve their relationships with their peers, teachers and parents. A team of life skills experts, some of them teachers themselves or former ones, others working directly with the Ministry of Education on life skills already, gathered to design a comprehensive LSE program that would be integrated into the school day. After developing a student, teacher and parent curriculum focused on core social, emotional and cognitive skills development the model was tested with a control and non -control group of students. The goal was to target students who were most vulnerable of dropping out. This model promoted inclusion of students in the community while also addressing some larger systemic problems facing students in the targeted areas. During a 5-month pilot, life skills education facilitators developed and facilitated sessions for teachers, peer-teachers, parents, parent council members and students training them on the importance of life skills, life skills education, creating inclusive and supportive classrooms and supporting youth.

Piloted and Validated Tool For Measuring LSE
Results have been promising. With a robust and comprehensive evidence based plan using both quantitative and qualitative data, the team was able to design an adapted and contextualized life skills tool (along with many other tools) to measure the change in the children and adults involved in the program along with validating the Life Skills model. This presentation will focus on this Bosnia case study outlining the design, tool development and evaluation of the program in 3 ADP’s for in-school program intervention targeting students, teachers, peer-teachers, parents, parent councils and CBO’s.

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