Methods of visual assessment in children with cortical visual impairment

University of Southern California

Purpose of review: Cortical visual impairment (CVI) is the leading cause of pediatric visual impairment in developed countries. Currently, there is no standardized method of visual assessment in these children, who usually cannot participate in tests designed for typically developing children. A reproducible method of visual assessment that accurately reflects the multitude of visual deficits in CVI is critical to evaluate proposed therapies for this disorder. This review analyzes current research on methods of visual assessment in children with CVI. Recent findings: Earlier studies focused on measuring visual acuity in children with CVI. More recent studies have emphasized other aspects of visual function, such as contrast sensitivity, motion detection, and visual search. Current research topics include questionnaires, functional vision assessment (CVI Range), neuropsychological tests of visual perception, and eye tracking. Eye tracking shows promise for visual assessment in both clinical and research settings because it is objective and quantitative, with the ability to assess diverse visual parameters. Summary: Current research on visual assessment in children with CVI focuses on measuring deficits of visual function beyond visual acuity. This research represents an important step toward designing clinical trials to identify effective therapeutics for this increasingly prevalent disorder with heterogeneous manifestations.

Publication
Current Opinion in Neurology
Publication Year
2021

The impact of a diversity intervention on White college students’ colour-blind racial attitudes

St. Louis University

This research explored the impact a 3-day pre-college diversity intervention had on incoming White college students’ (N = 63) colour-blind racial attitudes (COBRAS), or their unawareness of racial privilege, blatant racial issues, and institutional discrimination. Repeated measures analysis of variance tests indicated that students reported a greater awareness of racial privilege and blatant racial issues immediately after the programme. Students’ awareness of institutional discrimination – a potentially more abstract and complex understanding of racism – did not change after the program. To isolate the effects of the intervention, independent sample t-tests between White college students who did not undergo the intervention and intervention participants were conducted. Results indicated that both samples did not have significantly different COBRAS before the intervention, providing evidence that the intervention likely contributed to changes in intervention participants’ COBRAS. These results suggest that the pre-college diversity intervention impacted forms of COBRAS differently. Implications for diversity interventions on predominantly White college campuses are discussed.

Publication
Whiteness and Education
Publication Year
2021

Teaching Social Work Practice in the Shared Trauma of a Global Pandemic

Rutgers University

Unique clinical dynamics occur when both clinician and client are exposed to the same community traumatic event or reality. This reflection explores the applicability of the concept of shared trauma for social work educators in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The author describes her experiences shifting suddenly to teaching social work direct practice courses online, against the backdrop of a rapidly escalating coronavirus pandemic. Several parallels to the clinical concept of shared trauma are described, including a stronger emphasis on the mutuality of the teaching relationship, heightened emotional identification with students, and blurred professional boundaries in the student-teacher relationship. The author also describes significant differences between her own experiences and those of her students, recognizing that shared trauma is not always shared proportionately in environments of persistent racial and economic inequality. The chapter concludes with implications for educators working in shared trauma contexts, including the importance of self-care and administrative support. Teaching in a shared traumatic reality requires social work educators to stay cognizant of our connections to our students, as well as the disproportionate tolls of this pandemic.

Publication
In, Shared Trauma, Shared Resilience During a Pandemic, C. Tosone (Ed.)
Publication Year
2021

“Don’t Know where to Go for Help”: Safety and Economic Needs among Violence Survivors during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington University in St. Louis

The COVID—19 pandemic and related quarantine has created additional problems for survivors of interpersonal violence. The purpose of this study is to gain a preliminary understanding of the health, safety, and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people that are experiencing or have previously experienced violence, stalking, threats, and/or abuse. An online survey, open from April to June 2020, was taken by people with safety concerns from interpersonal violence. Participants were recruited from IPV and sexual assault-focused agencies, state coalitions, and social media. Quantitative data were summarized using descriptive methods in SPSS and coding methods from thematic and content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data from open-ended questions. A total of 53 participants were recruited for the survey. Individuals with safety concerns have experienced increased challenges with health and work concerns, stress from economic instability, difficulties staying safe, and access resources and support. Over 40% of participants reported safety had decreased. Use of social media and avoidance strategies were the most common safety approaches used. Participants reported mixed experiences with virtual services. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing structural concerns for survivors of violence like IPV and sexual assault. Increased support and economic resource access, coupled with modified safety planning and improved virtual approaches, would better help meet survivor needs.

Publication
Journal of Family Violence
Publication Year
2021

“We’re just two people in a relationship”: A qualitative exploration of emotional bond and fairness experiences between transgender women and their cisgender partners

Syracuse University

Trans‐including couples experience systemic marginalization impacting their relationships, yet studies on these relationships or narratives of strength are few. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore emotional bonding and perceptions of fairness between transgender women and their cisgender partners. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was utilized to answer the research question: What are the experiences of emotional bond and fairness between transgender women and their cisgender partners? This research was situated within frameworks of minority stress, romantic attachment, and contextual therapy. Seven couples of transgender women and cisgender partners were interviewed. Three themes emerged: Minority Stress Contexts and Relational Strengths; The Experience of Emotional Bond; and Negotiating Balance. Processes of boundary creation, attunement, affirmations, and balance of care were noted. Findings reframe partner relationships as opportunities to construct transphobia‐resistant and resilient narratives. Recommendations for clinicians include prioritizing the couple subsystem as an avenue for building resilience against minority stress.

Publication
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Publication Year
2021

What Gets Measured in Reentry Research? A Scoping Review on Community Reentry From Jail and Prison for Persons With Mental Illnesses

University of Missouri, Columbia

Research on reentry for individuals with mental illnesses leaving jails and prisons lacks outcome specificity and standardization needed to advance knowledge about the efficacy and effectiveness of interventions. This scoping review aims to provide clarity about reentry outcomes by: (a) ascertaining what outcomes are a focus in reentry research, (b) explicating how outcomes are defined, and (c) identifying commonalities or gaps in outcomes reported. A search of multiple databases yielded 415 articles for potential inclusion. After independent document review by two of the authors, 61 articles were included in the review. Recidivism was the most used construct, accounting for 58% of total outcomes and 95% of criminal legal outcomes. Behavioral health indicators were reported the second most frequently and other outcomes were rarely reported. Increasing the specificity of commonly used concepts while also expanding the breadth of outcomes considered is needed to build an evidence base this area of research.

Publication
Criminal Justice and Behavior
Publication Year
2021

Parents’ Cannabis-Related Attitudes and Emerging Adult Offspring Cannabis Use: Testing the Mediating Effect of Perceived Parental Approval

University at Buffalo, State University of New York

Background: Contrary to parental alcohol use and expectancies work, little is known about how parent’s cannabis use (CU) and expectancies influence offspring CU. This is a notable gap in the literature given increasing acceptability and use of cannabis, especially among emerging adults (EA). Moreover, limited work has tested mechanisms of transmission of risk from these parent factors. This study addresses these gaps by testing prospective associations of parental CU and expectancies with offspring CU and CU problems, and perceived parental approval of offspring CU as a potential mediator. Method: A community sample of 314 EA and caregiver dyads completed three annual assessments (mean age = 19.13). The sample was 54% female and majority White/non-Hispanic (76%). Caregivers reported on their cannabis expectancies and use, and EA reported on their CU, CU-related problems, and perceived parental approval of CU. Results: Longitudinal structural equation modeling supported a mediated pathway such that high parental positive cannabis expectancies were associated with perceived parental approval of CU, which in turn, predicted increases in EA CU and CU problems. Parental negative expectancies had a significant indirect effect but in the opposite direction. Indirect effects were found above and beyond parental CU, which was not associated with offspring CU. Conclusions: This is the first study to test prospective indirect effects of parental cannabis expectancies on offspring CU. Findings suggest parents’ attitudes, even in the absence of parental use, confer risk for offspring use by shaping perceived acceptance of CU, suggesting parental expectancies as targets for parent-based CU interventions.

Publication
Substance Use & Misuse
Publication Year
2021

Diverse Spirituality Revisited: Lessons Learned

Florida State University

Chapters included in this volume highlight the vibrancy of research into diverse spiritualities. As shown by many of the book’s chapters, culturally specific measures enhance our ability to explain and understand the complexities of spiritual phenomena and help us appreciate religious traditions other than our own and humanize “the other.” The book includes chapters describing measures of Eastern forms of meditation, spiritual Jihad, afterlife beliefs associated with the three main religious worldviews, spirituality among Latin American youth, and Muslim religiousness. The case for particularism is not in conflict with that for universalism as some of the measures have been used cross-culturally. The challenge is to productively fuse these two research traditions. A second set of chapters explores the complex spiritual terrain of the Western world in the post-1960s era. These chapters illuminate a common theme of spirituality decoupled from traditional religiousness—all measures reflect a belief in interconnectedness between the person and the world at large—and articulate differences dependent on socio-cultural and historic contexts (e.g., the U.S. versus Western Europe) and field of inquiry (e.g., the psychology of religion versus transpersonal psychology). Other chapters demonstrate the empirical utility of assessing spirituality related concepts including spiritual support, modeling, struggle, well-being, as well as, prayer coping, faith, and meaning making. The new tools described in this book expand the understanding of the role played by spirituality in our rapidly changing and interconnected world while, at the same time, highlighting the aspects of spirituality common among all peoples and cultures.

Publication
In, Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World, A.L. Ai, P. Wink, R.F. Paloutzian, & K.A. Harris
Publication Year
2021

The Interpersonal and Psychological Impacts of COVID-19 on Risk for Late-Life Suicide

Florida State University

Older adults experience increased risk for suicide compared to the general population, and the circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) may potentiate this risk. We discuss how current COVID-19 pandemic-related policies are likely to harm older adults disproportionately. COVID-19 pandemic social distancing policies and ethical guidelines for COVID-19 treatment may exacerbate experiences of social isolation, perceived expendability, and exposure to suffering, which are related to the 3 main components of the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (i.e., thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness to society, and capability for suicide). The COVID-19 pandemic poses a drain on services and has drawn ethical debates about policies around treating younger adults first. These experiences may lead older adults to have reduced access to needed medical and psychiatric services and may convey damaging messages of expendability. Furthermore, the potential prolonged stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic may affect neurological, immunological, and health functioning—exacerbating suicide risk. Potential venues to increase treatment options and decrease social isolation are discussed. We acknowledge optimistic effects as well, such as “pulling together” as a society and the many valuable ways older adults may contribute during this crisis.

Publication
The Gerontologist
Publication Year
2021

“It really presents a struggle for females, especially my little girl”: Exploring father’s experiences discussing body image with their young daughters

The University of Kansas

Body dissatisfaction in children, particularly young girls, is a growing concern around the world. The home environment can have a strong influence on children’s well-being, and parents may contribute to their children’s positive or negative body image development. Nearly all research on parent influence on body image has focused on mothers, leaving fathers’ attitudes and experiences poorly-understood. To address this gap in the literature, we interviewed 30 fathers (Mage = 40.30; SD = 7.48) of girls between the ages of 5 and 10 about the conversations they have with their daughters regarding body image. Through thematic analysis, we identified three primary themes: barriers to effective communication, combatting negative influences, and strategies for discussing body image. Fathers recognized the importance of talking about body image with their daughters, yet many did not feel confident or competent to do so effectively. They engaged in a variety of strategies to combat adverse cultural influences and encourage self-expression, character development, and mental and physical health in their daughters. However, messages about health were sometimes conflated with messages about thinness or food restriction. Implications for families and future research are discussed.

Publication
Body Image
Publication Year
2021

The Perceived Spiritual Support Scale (PSSS): Measuring Support from the Deep Connection with Diverse Sacred Entities

Florida State University

The concept of perceived spiritual support (PSS) centers on an internalized resource derived from perception of an intimate relationship with a higher power, be it God, Jesus, a cosmic force, ancestral spirits, or a psychologically functional equivalent. The literature has indicated the increasing importance of spiritual support in crises and medical care, but previous assessments tended to focus on mainstream religions with inadequate validation. To meet the gap and based on related scientific theories, three crises-based studies were conducted to develop and validate a 12-item scale of perceived spiritual support (the PSSS) for assessing the spiritual resource of individuals with diverse belief systems. This endeavor was also a response to a long-standing call for measuring consciousness-related faith experience and to an assessment problem—the use of simple frequency measures in large-scale epidemiological or sociological surveys. Participants in the three studies reflect varied makeups of age, gender, generation, race, belief systems, and cultural backgrounds. The findings provide the adequate psychometric information for the PSSS and its predictive value for various outcomes. Multivariate analyses demonstrated the indirect mediating or pathway effect of the PSSS, simultaneously evaluated the effects of other established factors, and tested an explanatory mechanism underlying its predictive value. The results suggest that the PSSS, as a short and easy to use tool, can be used to predict important outcomes in crises and across different populations. More cross-cultural studies are warranted for further validation.

Publication
In, Assessing Spirituality in a Diverse World, A.L. Ai, P. Wink, R.F. Paloutzian, & K.A. Harris
Publication Year
2021

Beautiful stranger: Voices from the front lines of community practice in Israel

Bryn Mawr College

Over the past few decades, economic, political and cultural forces have altered the development of social policies and affected the life circumstances of oppressed communities in many countries. In response, calls for greater understanding and awareness of macro practice skills and interventions have been increasing within many of the social care professions. These calls have been particularly strong within the social work profession. A major field in macro social work is community practice, which aims to help people organise, plan and act for change. To date, there has been a dearth of studies examining social workers’ involvement in community practice at the ground level. Drawing on in‐depth interviews with 26 community social workers in public social services in Israel, this qualitative study examines community social workers’ everyday experiences of community practice and the meanings they attribute to it. Findings highlight three main themes: (a) the elusive and unbounded nature of community practice; (b) the tense relations that community social workers maintain with various actors within the profession; and (c) the complex relations they maintain with the communities in which they work. We discuss these findings in light of Georg Simmel’s concept of ‘the stranger’. Implications to community practice are outlined.

Publication
Health & Social Care in the Community
Publication Year
2020

A Sociometric Approach to Understanding Concordance in Substance Use Perceptions Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness

University of Denver

Objective: Most studies examining peer influence on drug-use among youth experiencing homelessness (YEH) have relied on perceptions of peer use rather than measuring peers’ self-reported use, an approach that can inflate esti- mates of peer substance use behavior. Sociometric network data provide an op- timal mechanism to compare perceptual data to actual self-reports from peers. Method: Using an event-based approach, we recruited a sample of YEH (N 5 241), ages13–25years,between October 2011 and February 2012 from 2 drop-in cen- ters—1 in Hollywood, CA, and 1 in Santa Monica, CA. We used multilevel multiple membership modeling to investigate participant-level, network-level, and relationship- level factors associated with the accuracy of respondent perceptions. Results: The accuracy of respondent perceptions of peer substance use was high (70%–90% de- pending on the substance). The individual- and network-level factors associated with accuracy or inaccuracy varied by substance. Conclusions: Interventions designed to reduce the risk of substance use among YEH may benefit from using a social norms approach that emphasizes changing norms at a community/group level rather than at an individual level.

Publication
Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research
Publication Year
2020

Social Work Scholarship on Forced Migration: A Scoping Review

University of Washington

This scoping review identifies and analyses historical to present–day contributions of social work scholarship on forced migration, with the aim of reviewing trends and identifying priority areas for the discipline moving forward. This review examined 331 articles related to forced migration published in 40 social work journals over four decades (1978 to 2019). Findings illustrate notable trends in temporal, methodological, topical and geographical dimensions and how those vary by first authors’ locations, research sites and study populations. Temporally, the number of articles has been increasing, quadrupling between 2001–2010 and 2011–2019, with 20 social work journals doubling their number of articles. Methodologically, the large majority of articles were qualitative and/or conceptual. Topically, the most common were practice, intervention, health and mental health, while the least common topics included human rights, social justice, poverty, religion, violence, history and theory. Geographically, social work scholarship was mainly focused on refugees in the Global North and third-country resettlement contexts, and authored by scholars in the Global North. Findings thus reveal critical gaps in topics and geographical biases, raising questions related to issues of ethics, power and the production of knowledge about forced migration in the social work academy.

Publication
The British Journal of Social Work
Publication Year
2020

Developing Interprofessional Competence: Results of Embedding TeamSTEPPS® in All Semesters of an Accelerated and Traditional BSN Program

City University of New York School of Public Health

This study assessed the effectiveness of a curriculum designed to teach interprofessional communication and teamwork skills to traditional and accelerated baccalaureate nursing students. The curriculum was designed to incorporate TeamSTEPPS® concepts using incremental learning experiences and a variety of instructional techniques throughout all clinical program semesters; more than 200 students representing four cohorts were enrolled in the study. Three tools were used to evaluate program effectiveness. Both accelerated and traditional groups demonstrated varying degrees of improvement on all tools. The curriculum design positively influenced students’ communication and teamwork skills, advancing their interprofessional competency.

Publication
Nursing Education Perspectives:
Publication Year
2020

Air pollution and green consumption of consumers in China’s urban areas: a norm activation perspective

University of Iowa

This study aims to explore how consumers’ psychological factors affect their pro-environment purchasing behavior in a smog-ridden city. Based on the Protective Action Decision Model and Heuristic–Systematic Model, this study proposed a model to investigate consumers’ decision-making process in purchasing green anti-smog products. It also provided new empirical evidence for the role of personal norms on consumers’ green consumption behavior by examining the differences between two groups of consumers (i.e., green and non-green) through a multi-group path analysis. The predictions were tested using a questionnaire survey of 1,124 participants living in the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei region of China. Results indicated that product knowledge, smog knowledge, risk perception, and systematic processing positively affected consumers’ purchase intention. In addition, the significant differences of consumers with various personal norms in purchase decision-making were found in the current study. In the green group, product knowledge positively affected consumers’ risk perceptions and systematic processing intentions. Information seeking increased their purchase intentions. However, these relationships were not significant in the non-green group. This study contributes to the existing literature by linking consumers’ protective behaviors with green consumption and providing a comprehensive model for predicting consumers’ purchase decisions.

Publication
Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal
Publication Year
2020

Does mindfulness practice promote psychological functioning or is it the other way around? A daily diary study

University of Utah

Mindfulness-based interventions are commonly used to reduce psychological symptoms and enhance positive qualities of human functioning. However, the influence of mindfulness practice dosage remains poorly understood, limiting dissemination and implementation efforts. The current study examined the association between practice dosage and several constructs related to psychological functioning (positive and negative affect, state mindfulness) over the course of a standardized mindfulness-based intervention (Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement). Twenty-five participants completed daily diary assessments for 12 weeks. Two-part gamma regression models examined the dichotomous (did practice occur?) and continuous (how much practice?) components of practice minutes. Practice time and outcomes showed same-day relationships in the expected directions. Lagged models, however, showed no evidence that current day practice time predicts subsequent day outcomes. In contrast, higher current day negative affect predicted less subsequent day practice time, and higher current day mindfulness predicted more subsequent day practice time. In a post hoc analysis, practice time moderated the link between day-to-day affect, strengthening the link for positive affect and weakening the link for negative affect. Collectively, these findings suggest that the causal direction linking practice time and outcome may flow from outcome to practice time, rather than the reverse—with potential recursive relationships between these factors. Further examination of lagged relationships between practice time and outcome as well as random assignment of participants to varying practice dosages (e.g., in within-person microrandomized trials) may help clarify the influence of this central treatment ingredient within mindfulness-based interventions.

Publication
Psychotherapy
Publication Year
2020

Prescription Opioid Distribution after the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana in Colorado

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

There have been dynamic changes in prescription opioid use in the US but the state level policy factors contributing to these are incompletely understood. We examined the association between the legalization of recreational marijuana and prescription opioid distribution in Colorado. Utah and Maryland, two states that had not legalized recreational marijuana, were selected for comparison. Prescription data reported to the Drug Enforcement Administration for nine opioids used for pain (e.g., fentanyl, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone) and two primarily for opioid use disorder (OUD, methadone and buprenorphine) from 2007 to 2017 were evaluated. Analysis of the interval pre (2007–2012) versus post (2013–2017) marijuana legalization revealed statistically significant decreases for Colorado (P < 0.05) and Maryland (P < 0.01), but not Utah, for pain medications. There was a larger reduction from 2012 to 2017 in Colorado (–31.5%) than the other states (–14.2% to –23.5%). Colorado had a significantly greater decrease in codeine and oxymorphone than the comparison states. The most prevalent opioids by morphine equivalents were oxycodone and methadone. Due to rapid and pronounced changes in prescription opioid distribution over the past decade, additional study with more states is needed to determine whether cannabis policy was associated with reductions in opioids used for chronic pain.

Publication
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Publication Year
2020

The initial development and validation of the Racial Socialization Competency Scale: Quality and quantity

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The present study investigated the reliability and validity of the Racial Socialization Competency Scale (RaSCS). As posited by the Racial Encounter Coping Appraisal and Socialization Theory (RECAST), the RaSCS consists of 3 factors representing 3 novel dimensions of racial socialization competency present in families (e.g., stress, skills, and confidence). Responses to the RaSCS were collected from 361 self-identified Black and African American parents and primary caretakers across the United States. After factor analysis, three scales and 27 items were maintained. Evidence was consistently found for 2 subscales within the stress dimension, namely “Call to Action” and “General” racial socialization stressors. Dimensions were also related to their respectively hypothesized constructs, including overall stress, racial socialization frequency, and self-efficacy. Future directions and recommendations on the measure’s use, particularly in the context of interventions, are also discussed.

Publication
Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology
Publication Year
2020

Body Appreciation and Health Care Avoidance: A Brief Report

The University of Kansas

Research suggests that body image is related to health behaviors and health care use, but possible mechanisms for this relationship remain unclear. The current study examined the presence of a relationship between body appreciation and avoiding the doctor to avoid being weighed, using a diverse sample of women (N = 499). Controlling for body size and determinants of health care utilization, logistic regression results suggested that women with higher body appreciation were less likely to avoid health care to avoid being weighed (odds ratio = 0.38, p < .001). In addition, differences in avoiding the doctor to avoid being weighed were found for the covariates (that is, age, race, body mass index, and socioeconomic status). These results inform knowledge regarding barriers to health care use and the relationship between body image and health care use. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for future research, social work interventions, and social work education to promote women's health and well-being.

Publication
Health & Social Work
Publication Year
2020