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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Kids who faced daunting barriers to success in the classroom had a clear message for University at Buffalo researchers who asked them as young adults to look back on their experiences with maltreatment, homelessness and their time in school: Adults can do better.

“It’s as though they’re asking us as adults not to give up on them, to stick with them,” says Annette Semanchin Jones, an assistant professor in UB’s School of Social Work (SSW) and lead author of the paper with colleagues Elizabeth Bowen and Annahita Ball, who are also assistant professors in UB’s SSW.

In a novel study that explored the youths’ experiences at the intersection of the systems intended to address multiple stressors and adverse experiences, the research team’s findings suggest that even the most vulnerable kids could point to specific adults who made a difference in their lives.

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