the morning of September 11, 2001, Dr.
Judith Myers-Walls was getting ready for work and watching the morning
news when she saw the tragic events of that day unfold. She had significant
experience with preparing materials to help parents and other adults talk
to children about media events such as those. She sent out the paper Talking
to Children When the Talking Gets Tough that morning over several
listservs and promised more specific pieces later that day. Instead of sending out only further
8 yr. old girl,
drawing of peace e-mail messages, however, she worked with the Agriculture
Communication Services at Purdue University to create a
Web site called Terrorism and Children. There
visitors to the site from all around the world on September
12, 2001 alone. Purple Wagon is the latest edition of the web site that
was born that day.
Much of the content base for this site comes from the research that Dr.
Myers-Walls and her colleagues have conducted since 1989 regarding children’s
understanding of and parent-child communication about war and peace. That
program of research is outlined in the research studies section of this site.
The educational methods used by Purple Wagon are part of the Purdue
Extension mission, an organization that provides educational outreach
from research grounded in the land grant universities to people in each
state of the U.S. and beyond.
Many of the individual
pieces included in this site have been authored by faculty and graduate
students at Purdue University and other institutions. Brief descriptions
of each of the authors are provided below and are linked to each author’s
name in the content area of the site. The web designer for this site is
Lisa Stein, who also is associated with Purdue Extension.
you for your interest in Purple Wagon. Questions about the content of
the materials should be directed to:
Judith Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE
Human Development and Family Studies
Fowler Memorial House
1200 W. State St.
W. Lafayette, IN 47907-2055
Jennifer Barter, M.S., Child and Family Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi. B.A., Early Childhood Education from Clemson University. Army wife, mother, and former teacher. Special interests include researching and working with military families and hospitalized children.
Larissa V. Frias, M.A., Doctoral student, Developmental Studies
in the Department of Child Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. She has a master's degree in Psychology from
the University of the Philippines. Her work and special interests included child development, parenting, parent-child communication, and culture. (deceased)
Judith Myers-Walls, Ph.D., Certified Family Life Educator, is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Purdue University. She served as a Cooperative Extension Specialist for over 30 years. Her primary areas of research have included how parents and children talk about war and peace issues, families and children across cultures, and effective strategies for parenting education. Her teaching responsibilities included Working with Parents and Family Life Education.
Ruby Pentsil-Bukari, M.A., M.S. Ed. A graduate of the Consumer and Family Sciences & Extension Education program at Purdue University. Her main research interests are in multicultural education and parent-child communication about difficult topics.
Mary Schultheis, Masters student, Family Studies, Department of Child Development and Family Studies, Purdue University. She also has a B.S. in Family Relations and Child Development from Oklahoma State University. Special interests include research with military families and working fathers and their families.