Author Archives: yvissing

About yvissing

Sociologist and child studies expert

Santa Claus is Coming

Santa Claus is Coming! shutterstock_214592401

After a decade researching him, the books are now ready.

The main book, In Defense of Santa, will be coming out soon, thanks to the fine publishers at NorLights Press!

Santa Claus needs to be transformed in order to be more relevant to today’s children and world.  Parents need support so they can let their children believe in him without feeling like they are lying.  Communities would benefit from a new view that enables everyone in town to feel they belong, especially during the December holiday seasons. This book provides both scholarly and pragmatic information that will help you to feel joyful about having Santa in your home, and in your heart.

There are FIVE other Santa books in the que, so be on the lookout for them!  I’ll post details on where and when you can get them as soon as I can.



Verbal abuse of children


In a national study of children, we studied those who were physically, sexually, and emotionally/verbally abused.  Children who were emotionally and verbally abused suffered the worse long term consequences, yet it is the type of abuse most easily   discounted and unreported.  Little by little, researchers are pointing out the devastating impacts of saying unkind things to kids and how words can hurt their self-esteem, lead to suicide and self-harm, and how it is replicated to inflict harm onto others.  Our article was one of the first to bring attention to the tragic and under-addressed form of child maltreatment.  Take a moment to look at our work:

Why we fight for people who are homeless

For over 25 years I’ve been working to help protect homeless children and youth.  I’ve done this through research, writing, public speaking, newspaper articles, working with agencies, and being on both a state and national board of directors of homelessness organizations.    Salem State University printed this article in their alumni magazine about me, and why people like me fight for those who don’t have housing. 

Why We Fight For Those Who Are Homeless

Legal rights of homeless youth

Homeless children and youth often fall between the cracks, especially if they don’t live with parents who will care for them.  Wayne State University Law School put together an extensive volume on the legal rights of homeless people.   I was invited to write the chapter on homeless youth.  I’ve attached the volume for your information.  You will find my article starting on page 456.

WSU – Jrnl of Law & Society 13.2

Getting back to the basics about Santa


Santa Claus rides is a sleigh and brings a sackful of home made toys for children.  He doesn’t bring Tiffany diamonds, SUVs, or 30 toys per child.  Here is an article the Salem News wrote about my view about how we would benefit from understanding that Santa can’t bring lots of expensive things to kids.  He always brought just a few small things that would fit in stockings.  Adults, not Santa, is the focus of too-much gifting. Take a look at this article:

Santa Salem News article

Child Abuse Isn’t That Easy To Identify



Child protective service workers are sent out into the community to determine when child abuse has occurred.  Usually they make the right decisions, but sometimes they don’t.  When they don’t, the public rages.  “Off with their heads!” they imply as they chastise the workers either for not acting diligently enough on behalf of children OR for overstepping the bounds.  The pdf that I’ve written for you looks at the issues that child abuse protection workers face from a statistical point of view.  Perhaps after you read it, it may change your mind about the nature of their work, and the difficulties they face when trying to determine if a child is being abused or not.

Type I and II Errors June 2015