Problem-Solving Skills and Affective Expressions as Predictors of Change in Marital Satisfaction

State University of New York at Binghamton

Specific skills and affective expressions coded from the problem-solving interactions of 172 newlywed couples were examined in relation to 8-wave, 4-year trajectories of marital satisfaction. Effects varied as a function of whether husbands’ versus wives’ topics were under discussion and whether husbands’ versus wives’ satisfaction was predicted, but results indicate that skills, affect, and their statistical interaction account for unique variance in rates of change in marital satisfaction. The interaction between positive affect and negative skills was particularly robust, indicating that (a) low levels of positive affect and high levels of negative skills foreshadowed particularly rapid rates of deterioration and that (b) high levels of positive affect buffered the effects of high levels of negative skills. Findings suggest specific targets for intervention in programs for developing marriages.

Publication
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Publication Year
2005

A Prospective Analysis of Sexual Assault Perpetration: Risk Factors Related to Perpetrator Characteristics

Ohio University

This study prospectively evaluated perpetrator risk factors for sexual assault perpetration, including peer influences, beliefs and attitudes about sexuality, alcohol use, and token resistance. Perpetration of sexual assault was evaluated at three time periods: pretest, 3-month follow-up, and 7-month follow-up. Retrospective and prospective analyses yielded differential predictors of sexually aggressive behavior. However, perpetration of sexual assault at any particular assessment period was a predictor of perpetration during the subsequent follow-up period. Furthermore, several variables that have previously been demonstrated in the literature to be related to the perpetration of sexual assault were not significant in regression analyses, indicating that these variables may be rendered insignificant when accounting for past perpetration in prospective analyses. These findings may have significant potential impact on development of sexual assault prevention programming with men.

Publication
Journal of Interpersonal Violence
Publication Year
2005

Latino adolescents’ perception of parenting behaviors and self-esteem: Examining the role of neighborhood risk

University of Missouri, Columbia

We examined the relations among parenting behaviors, adolescents’ self‐esteem, and neighborhood risk with a Midwestern sample of 324 Latino adolescents. The findings suggest that boys’ self‐esteem is influenced by both mothers’ and fathers’ parenting behaviors, whereas girls’ self‐esteem is influenced by mothers’ behaviors only. In addition, the findings provide partial support for the notion that parenting influences on psychological outcomes vary based on neighborhood context.

Publication
Family Relations
Publication Year
2005

Child and adolescent abuse and subsequent victimization: A prospective study

Ohio University

We investigated the possible reciprocal relationship between victimization experiences and psychological functioning by assessing abuse experiences in childhood, adolescence, and during a 2-month follow-up period. At the beginning of the study (Time 1), abuse histories, trauma and depressive symptoms, and interpersonal functioning were assessed in 551 college women. Subsequent victimization experiences and psychological outcomes were assessed at the follow-up (Time 2). Path analyses indicated that verbal abuse by the mother and father were predictive of various psychological outcomes as measured at Time 1 and emerged as the only significant predictors of adolescent dating violence. Adolescent dating violence subsequently predicted the experience of dating violence during the 2-month follow-up period. Paternal physical abuse predicted adolescent sexual victimization which subsequently predicted all symptom measures at Time 1. Conversely, the experience of adolescent physical dating violence was not predictive of any of the symptom measures at Time 1. For those women who experienced dating violence during the follow-up, however, the severity of their abusive experiences was related to both depression and interpersonal problems assessed at Time 2. In comparison, for those women who experienced sexual victimization during the follow-up period, the severity of their abusive experiences was related to trauma symptoms. Interpersonal problems emerged as both an aftereffect of adolescent sexual victimization experience and a predictor of a subsequent sexual victimization experience during the follow-up. Given that emotional abuse emerged as a predictor of adolescent dating violence and psychological outcomes, researchers and clinicians need to continue to explore this problem. Further, it is important to assess how interpersonal problems contribute to the risk of subsequent sexual victimization and to try to break the cycle between adolescent abuse experiences and subsequent physical and sexual assaults.

Publication
Child Abuse and Neglect
Publication Year
2005

Childcare experiences and decision making for single mothers leaving welfare

University of Pennsylvania

Literature to date on single mothers leaving welfare for employment lacks research based on decision making models. This paper focuses on two decisions that impact women leaving welfare: 1) the selection of childcare providers and 2) the decision whether or not to use a childcare subsidy. Based on interviews with twenty single mothers from a welfare advocacy group in Philadelphia, I developed an ethnographic decision tree model to map mothers’ decision making during their transition from welfare to work. Findings suggest the level of trust between parents and childcare providers, related to bad experiences with centerbased care, and the availability of information about center-based care facilities were important decision making criteria. The cost of childcare, from the mothers’ perspective, did not play as pivotal a role in the decision making process as did previous bad experiences with center-based care.

Publication
Michigan Journal of Public Affairs
Publication Year
2005

Resident Perceptions of Housing, Neighborhood, and Economic Conditions After Relocation From Public Housing Undergoing HOPE VI Redevelopment

University of Central Florida

This study evaluates participant perception of neighborhood, economic, and housing well-being of residents 4 and 5 years after forced relocation from a public housing complex in Atlanta, Georgia. Method: The study used a mixed-method, posttest-only design with two data points. Focus groups with 93 participants combined qualitative, open-ended questions with quantitative measures. Results: Four years after relocation, residents living in homes/apartments found with Section 8 housing vouchers were faring better than residents who moved to other public housing projects. A majority of voucher users believed their house, neighborhood, and overall global living situation had improved since relocation. In the year between the first and second wave of focus groups, 40% of voucher users had moved to a new house/apartment. Moving was associated with residents perceiving their situations improving in many categories. Implications: Our findings suggest HOPE VI developments are more likely to accomplish their objectives if the current administration continues full funding of the voucher program rather than implements the cutbacks it is currently proposing.

Publication
Research on Social Work Practice
Publication Year
2005

Contemporary adoptive families, and Implications for the next wave of adoption research

University of California, Berkeley

This edited book consists of 12 chapters on adoption research. Chapter 1 provides an overview of contemporary adoption practice in the United States, highlighting the changes that have taken place over the past few decades and discussing the implications of these changes for the next wave of adoption theory, research, and practice.

Publication
In D. Brodzinsky & J. Palacios (Eds.). Psychological issues in adoption: Linking theory, research, and practice
Publication Year
2005

Computer Technology for the Feminist Classroom

University of Maryland, Baltimore

This article presents an evaluation of a social work course on oppression and diversity in which an interactive Web page was used to structure feminist learning experiences. Three assignments are described—an online diversity discussion board, a “digital poster” group research project, and the summary and critique of articles. The evaluation found that several processes that are key to a feminist classroom were achieved, including community building, collaboration, peer learning, empowerment, and the development of leadership capacity. The majority of students thought that the class was a supportive, collaborative environment in which they were able to achieve their learning goals. Implications for using technology to structure feminist learning experiences are discussed.

Publication
Affilia
Publication Year
2005

Factors affecting elderly Chinese completion of living wills and health care proxies

Yeshiva University

This study sought to understand the problem of the low completion rate of living wills and health care proxies among the elderly Chinese Americans living in metropolitan communities. Grounded in the framework of acculturation theory, it examined two contrasting normative patterns, i.e., individualism and Confucianism, representing elderly Chinese Americans’ host culture and home culture respectively.;The research design was a cross-sectional quantitative inquiry with a qualitative component. Convenience sampling was used to select 200 elders from two senior centers in Flushing, NY, where Asian immigrants are concentrated. Structured interviews were conducted using a 97-item questionnaire. A set of unstructured questions was included to obtain more in-depth qualitative information focused on values toward end-of-life issues. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Binary logistic regression was applied to statistically control for intervening and alternative variables.;The completion of the documents was related primarily to the elderly Chinese immigrants’ values toward end-of-life decisions and to their knowledge about the living will/health care proxy, as well as their access to information and services. In contrast to their cultural norms, respondents were able to discuss what they thought about issues related to death and dying and were willing to adapt to the host country’s legal requirements.;The study contributes to social work knowledge by providing a better understanding of the completion of living wills and health care proxies among a group of minority elders, by meeting the need for more empirical studies within the social work profession, by providing information relevant to the gerontological component of the social work education curriculum, and by the enhancement of social work practice in helping clients make end-of-life decisions, especially the minority elderly. The study also provides data supporting efforts to amend the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) to make it more politically viable and ethnically sensitive.;However, the study was geographically limited and the use of convenience sampling may have resulted in the omission of certain subjects. Caution should therefore be exercised in generalizing the findings. Replication studies utilizing more rigorous research designs are recommended.

Publication
Yeshiva University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing
Publication Year
2005

Individual, family, and cultural factors as predictors of college adjustment and achievement

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The purpose of this study was to assess individual, familial, and cultural factors as predictors of college adjustment and achievement. Specifically, we examined the extent to which self-esteem, ethnic identity, acculturation, parental education, parental support, and peer support predicted adjustment and academic achievement during the first year of college. To recruit our participants, the Office of Institutional Research (OIR) sent an email to second semester freshmen (N = 2,459) enrolled at Texas State in Spring 2005 asking them to complete our online survey. A total of 945 college freshmen responded; however, in order to focus on “traditional” college freshmen, 18 subjects were excluded from our analysis because they were over the age of 19. The total sample was comprised of 26.6% males and 73.4% females, ranging in age from 17 to 19, with a mean age of 18.4. The sample was 74.8% White, 20.5% Hispanic, and 4.7% Black, consistent with the ethnic distribution of the university. In Fall 2005, a sub-sample of successful students (n=22), those who maintained a grade point average of 2.0 and higher, participated in a series of focus groups. Separate focus groups were conducted with White, African American, and Hispanic students in order to encourage discussion of sensitive issues that may not have been as easily addressed in heterogeneous groups. Furthermore, the focus groups allowed us to explore in greater depth how these variables related to their adjustment and achievement.

Publication
College Adjustment and Achievement
Publication Year
2005

Treating combat PTSD through cognitive processing therapy

University of Maine

Can a therapy initially developed to treat victims of sexual assault help veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder? Here, clinicians who tried this approach pass on their insights.

Publication
Federal Practitioner
Publication Year
2005

A qualitative study of binge -eating disorder in women: Experiences of body and self

New York University

This qualitative study inquired about binge-eating disorder (BED) in a community sample of thirteen women through in-depth narrative accounts fo their experiences of body and self; exploring what personal events and emotional states women associate with the onset and recurrence of BED. This research yielded eight prominent thematic categories: food as distraction, food as comfort, shame, self-regulation and self-soothing function, trauma, family environment, consequences of binge-eating disorder and coping strategies for managing binge eating. These findings, consistent with prior literature, point to key biopsychosocial factors that may thwart women’s experiences of body and self. Binge-eating disorder was shown to be a trauma-related sequelae among the majority of participants who evidenced disassociation, as an associated phenomena, co-occurring binging episodes. Overall, the findings suggest that treatment for BED requires interventions specific to the body and self-states shown to be characteristic of this population. An integrative model addressing trauma and addiction-related phenomena is indicated for future research.

Publication
New York University, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing
Publication Year
2005

, Fathers of offspring with severe mental illness: Key factors related to fathers’ participation in caregiving

University of Texas at Austin

Despite an abundance of research studies on family caregiving and mental health, the focus has been almost exclusively on the caregivng role of mothers, ascribing this responsibility inherently to women. Recent research findings have shown that mental illness occurs initially in a familial context, given the age of the first onset of the disease. How families manage mental illness is critical not only for recovery, but also for family’s well-being. Fathers can play a significant role in the family to enhance the family’s emotional, functional, and marital (or relationship) balance. The purpose of this study is on creating new knowledge that can be applied towards increasing the involvement of fathers of offspring with severe mental illness in caregivng roles. A sample of 104 fathers was purposively sampled from mental health organizations in Austin, TX, related conferences, and the Internet. The primary aims of this study are: (1) thoroughly review the recent and historical research literature to identify key factors that have an influence on active paternal nurture; (2) conceptualize a theoretical frame of reference that will increase our understanding of paternal caregiving; (3) identify and assess the instruments in the literature to measure key factors related to paternal caregiving involvement; and (4) identify and test a number of hypotheses that stem from the previous research. Using hierarchical multiple regression, the impact of individualist and microstructural factors on the outcome of paternal involvement in caregiving was examined and discussed. The most important factor in predicting fathers’ caregiving behavior is fathers’ internalized sex-role orientation. High degree of masculine identity that defines nurture and care as feminine and unmanly seems to pose the greatest barrier for nurturing fatherhood. Other important predictors for active paternal nurture included paternal adjustment, socio-economic status, marital satisfaction, and the male gender of offspring with mental illness. To produce more nurturing fathers, this study recommends social work interventions at both individual and social level. More balanced caregiving role allocation between mothers and fathers will reduce burden, stress, and depression of both parents and may promote happiness of the family that is caring for a member with severe mental illness.

Publication
ProQuest Dissertations Publishing
Publication Year
2005

Stress and working aprents

University of Chicago

Over the past few decades, the number of dual-earner families in the United States has increased substantially (Waite and Nielsen 2001). Stress that most working families experience is evident in a variety of situations and is likely to affect other relationships at work and at home. Although scholars view stress as likely to be experienced by individuals at various levels every day, few studies have looked at stress over the course of a day or week or in a variety of different situations (special issue of the American Psychologist on Stress and Coping, 55, 2000). In this chapter, we study the stress levels of working couples at work, home and in leisure. We investigate how high and low stress mothers and fathers perceive their experiences of work and leisure as well as relationships with their spouse and children. To understand how stress is experienced and how it affects others in the family, we use data obtained from the Alfred P. Sloan 500 Family Study, which includes survey information, time diary data (i.e., the Experience Sampling Method or ESM) and intensive interviews.

Publication
In, John T. Haworth & Anthony J. Veal, Work and Leisure
Publication Year
2004

Race/ethnicity and marital status in IADL caregiver networks

University of Michigan

Racial/ethnic variations in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) caregiver network composition were examined in a nationally representative sample of elders, using task specificity and hierarchical compensatory theoretical perspectives. Logistic regressions tested network differences among White, Black, and Mexican American elders (n = 531 married, n = 800 unmarried). Findings concerning racial/ethnic differences were partially dependent on marital status, differentiation of spouses from other informal helpers among married elders, and which racial/ethnic groups were compared. Networks including formal caregivers did not differentiate married or unmarried Black from White elders but were more common among unmarried Mexican American elders than for comparable White and Black elders. Married Black elders with solely informal networks were more likely than comparable White elders to have informal helpers other than the spouse. Racial/ethnic similarities and differences in caregiver networks are discussed relative to their sociocultural context, including marital status, elder’s and spouse’s health, and financial resources.

Publication
Research on Aging
Publication Year
2004

Show me the money: Estimating public expenditures to improve outcomes for children, families, and communities

University of Southern California

Understanding how money is spent to educate children and support families in local communities can help improve community decision making about public resources. This article reports on a process used in Los Angeles to derive estimates of total public expenditures on services for children and families in the community around the University of Southern California campus. Findings reveal the substantial amount of public resources spent by schools and other public agencies in one inner-city community. They also show that only one-half of the resources available for children in this inner-city neighborhood are controlled by the school district. Because each institution is responsible for its own budget, an overview of combined resources is generally not available to inform policy makers and help community groups take local action. The authors suggest steps that could be used to better understand resource allocation patterns in other communities.

Publication
Children & Schools
Publication Year
2004

Individual Growth Curve Analysis Illuminates Stability and Change inPersonality Disorder Features

State University of New York at Binghamton

The long-term stability of personality pathology remains an open question. Its resolution will come from prospective, multiwave longitudinal studies using blinded assessments of personality disorders (PD). Informative analysis of multiwave data requires the application of statistical procedures, such as individual growth curve modeling, that can detect and describe individual change appropriately over time. The Longitudinal Study of Personality Disorders, which meets contemporary methodological design criteria, provides the data for this investigation of PD stability and change from an individual growth curve perspective. Two hundred fifty subjects were examined for PD features at 3 different time points using the International Personality Disorders Examination during a 4-year study. Stability and change in PD features over time were examined using individual growth modeling. Fitting of unconditional growth models indicated that statistically significant variation in PD features existed across time in the elevation and rate of change of the individual PD growth trajectories. Fitting of additional conditional growth models, in which the individual elevation and rate-of-change growth parameters were predicted by subjects’ study group membership (no PD vs possible PD), sex, and age at entry into the study, showed that study group membership predicted the elevation and rate of change of the individual growth curves. Comorbid Axis I psychopathology and treatment during the study period were related to elevations of the individual growth trajectories, but not to rates of change. From the perspective of individual growth curve analysis, PD features show considerable variability across individuals over time. This fine-grained analysis of individual growth trajectories provides compelling evidence of change in PD features over time and does not support the assumption that PD features are traitlike, enduring, and stable over time.

Publication
Archives of General Psychiatry
Publication Year
2004

Understanding the risks of child neglect: An exploration of poverty and parenting characteristics

University of Southern California

A strong association between poverty and child neglect has been established, but the mechanisms that explain this relationship have not been clearly articulated. This research takes advantage of survey and child maltreatment administrative data about families with young children and assesses the influence of poverty and parenting characteristics on subsequent child neglect. The authors find that indicators of poverty, such as perceived material hardship and infrequent employment, and parenting characteristics, such as low parental warmth, use of physical discipline, and allowing a child to engage in frequent television viewing, are predictive of child neglect. Parenting characteristics do not appear to mediate the link between perceived hardship and neglect, although they suppress the link between employment and neglect. Results from this study provide information that is highly relevant to the approach and design of child maltreatment prevention and intervention strategies.

Publication
Child Maltreatment
Publication Year
2004

Immigrant mothers’ experiences with ethnic socialization of adolescents growing up in the U.S.: An examination of Colombian, Guatemalan, Mexican, and Puerto Rican mothers

University of Missouri, Columbia

The study explored Colombian, Guatemalan. Mexican, and Puerto Rican mothers’ experiences with the process of ethnic socialization. Using focus group methodology, we asked mothers (N = 90) about the ways that their adolescents learned about their ethnicity. Mothers in all groups discussed (a) strategies by which children were socialized about their ethnicity within the home, (b) ways in which community resources facilitated the process of ethnic socialization, and (c) barriers that hindered their children’s ethnic socialization. Findings suggested that within each of these domains, there were more differences than similarities among the national origin groups. Specifically, mothers were most similar in their accounts of how ethnic socialization occurred within the familial context, but mothers’ experiences with community resources and barriers differed across groups. Findings are discussed within the context of an ecological model.

Publication
Sociological Focus
Publication Year
2004

Family diversity in the classroom: A review of, existing strategies

University of Missouri, Columbia

Given changing demographic patterns in the U.S. population, learning about diversity is important for students in family studies. The current study examined 44 syllabi of courses that addressed family diversity issues. The syllabi were reviewed with respect to (a) how instructors were structuring courses, (b) the level at which these courses were offered (e.g., undergraduate or graduate), (c) the topics that were included in these courses, (d) the departments that were offering the courses, (e) the types of instructional materials utilized, and (f) the assessment strategies employed. In addition to providing descriptive information, evaluative recommendations, and directions for future research, our findings are useful for instructors who are interested in developing or revising courses on family diversity.

Publication
Journal of Teaching in Marriage & Family
Publication Year
2004