Time well spent: Home learning activities and gains in children’s academic skills in the prekindergarten year

New York University

Parental engagement in home-based learning activities is linked to children’s academic skills. Yet, interventions that try to enhance parental engagement—sometimes targeted to families with low levels of education—have small effects. This study aimed to inform supports for families by examining how different types of home-based learning activities influence academic skills during prekindergarten. We created four measures that assessed the frequency with which parents (N = 307) engaged in unconstrained and constrained language/literacy and math activities at home. Unconstrained language activities predicted gains in children’s language skills, and unconstrained math activities were associated with gains in math skills. Both associations were larger for families with lower versus higher levels of parental education. Engagement in constrained activities did not predict gains in skills. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

Publication
Developmental Psychology
Publication Year
2020

Street-Level Bureaucrats and Ethical Conflicts in Service Provision to Sex Workers

The University of Chicago

Social workers and other service providers are the agents that often have initial contact with sex workers, a highly stigmatised population that has a fraught history with the social work profession. In this paper, I use Lipsky’s theory of street-level bureaucracy and show how social workers use professional discretion when working with this population, even as it might conflict with their personal ethics. Specifically, I focus on the dual service technologies of abstinence and harm reduction, and how service providers have negotiated these technologies in their work with sex workers. In regards to these technologies, I focus on how the emotional and moral discourse surrounding sex work has shaped the response of street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) that work with this population. Using qualitative data from interviews with 29 frontline service providers in a midwestern US state, I argue that these frontline workers use interpersonal modes of discretion to understand ethical conflicts in working with sex trade-involved persons, conflicting with both agency and field-level policy. Implications of this project show how frontline service providers negotiate their responsibilities to this population amidst conflicting personal ethics and service technologies.

Publication
Ethics and Social Welfare
Publication Year
2020

Experiences With Help Seeking Among Non-Service- Engaged Survivors of IPV: Survivors’ Recommendations for Service Providers

Washington University in St. Louis

Engaging with formal intimate partner violence (IPV) services can buffer the impacts of violence and reduce future risk. Many survivors do not access or engage with such services. However, much of our knowledge related to the experiences and perspectives of IPV survivors comes from samples drawn from those seeking formal services. Qualitative interviews with 23 survivors of violence who are not currently engaged with formal IPV services were conducted, focused on the process and outcomes of choosing to seek help. Themes emerged within the categories of formal help-seeking experiences, informal help seeking, and recommendations for providers. Keywords service engagement, help seeking, intimate partner violence, access An estimated 22.3% of American women and 14% of American men have experienced severe physical intimate partner violence (IPV; Breiding et al., 2014).

Publication
Violence Against Women
Publication Year
2020

Relationships Between Parenting and Dangerous Substance Use Behaviors Among Youth Experiencing Homelessness

University of Denver

Objective: Understanding patterns of dangerous and illicit substance use among young parents who are homeless may provide insight into how best to support this highly vulnerable group and their children. This study examines the relationship between having a biological child and drug use among youth experiencing homelessness. Method: We used 4 waves of cross-sectional data from 1,010 youths ages 14–26 at 3 drop-in agencies serving youth experiencing homeless in Los Angeles, CA. Among participants, 23.8% of males and 28.9% of females had a biological child. We conducted multivariate logistic regression models for males and females on 4 substance use behaviors in the past month: binge drinking, using hard/illicit drugs, prescription drug misuse, and injection drug use. Results: Fathers had greater odds of hard drug use, prescription drug misuse, and injection drug use than males without children. There was no significant relationship between having a child and any of the four substance use behaviors for females. Conclusions: Findings suggest that having a child is not associated with higher risk of dangerous or illicit substance use for females. Results highlight the need to proactively engage young males in pregnancy prevention, parenting programs, and substance use treatment and prevention.

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

Determinants of Fall Prevention Guideline Implementation in the Home- and Community-Based Service Setting

The Ohio State University

Home- and community-based service (HCBS) recipients often possess multiple fall risk factors, suggesting that the implementation of evidence-based fall prevention guidelines may be appropriate for the HCBS setting. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the determinants of fall prevention guideline implementation and the potential strategies that can support implementation in HCBS organizations. Semistructured interview and focus group data were collected from 26 HCBS professionals representing the home-delivered meals, personal care, and wellness programs. Qualitative codes were mapped to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research by means of directed content analysis. The Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative research checklist was used to report the findings of this study. We identified 7 major determinants of guideline implementation: recipient needs and resources, cosmopolitanism, external policy and incentives, networks and communication, compatibility, available resources, and knowledge/beliefs. Strategies to support guideline implementation included the involvement of recipient and caregiver feedback, building fall prevention networks, and conducting educational meetings for HCBS staff. Falls and fall-related injuries will continue to plague the older adult community unless innovative approaches to fall prevention are developed and adopted. The implementation of fall prevention guidelines in the HCBS setting can help mitigate fall risk among a highly vulnerable older adult population and may be facilitated through the application of multifaceted implementation strategies.

Publication
The Gerontologist
Publication Year
2020

Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire‐15 (INQ‐15‐I)

Florida State University

Objective: The Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire (INQ‐15) is a self‐report measure of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, two constructs associated with suicidal ideation. The objective of the current study was to translate the INQ‐15 from English to Italian (INQ‐15‐I) and to test its factor structure, reliability, and validity in Italian samples. Method: We examined (a) whether the components of the hypothesized two‐factor measurement model are invariant across a community sample (N = 510) and a clinical sample (N = 259); (b) the relations between the INQ‐15‐I factors and measures of depression (Beck Depression Inventory‐II), hopelessness (Beck Hopelessness Scale), and suicidal ideation (Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation); (c) the reliability and psychometric properties of the INQ‐15‐I. Results: Results from multigroup confirmatory factor analyses supported the adequacy of the two‐factor model to represent thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness. The model is invariant across community and clinical groups, showing excellent fit. The two INQ‐15‐I scales measure highly intercorrelated constructs. Both significantly correlate with depression, hopelessness, and suicidal ideation, and correlations are high in the clinical sample. Conclusion: The INQ‐15‐I is a valid and reliable measure of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness. Implications for research, assessment, and intervention in suicidal ideation are discussed.

Publication
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Publication Year
2020

Associations between childhood exposure to community violence, child maltreatment and school outcomes

Simmons College

This study examined whether physical abuse and community violence exposure (CVE) at age 5 were independently associated with academic performance at age 9, whether these effects were mediated by externalizing and internalizing behaviors, and whether the effects of CVE on mental health and academic performance were observed after accounting for the effects of physical abuse. Data were drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. Bayesian factor analysis was conducted in Mplus to form latent factors for internalizing behavior, externalizing behavior, and academic performance. Path analysis was then used to examine direct and indirect associations between CVE, internalizing and externalizing behaviors, and academic performance. CVE at age 5 was independently negatively associated with academic performance at age 9. Physical abuse at age 5 was not independently associated with academic performance at age 9. The effects of CVE and physical abuse on academic performance were mediated by externalizing behavior, and not internalizing behavior. CVE, externalizing behavior, and internalizing behavior all had a direct negative association with academic performance, after accounting for the effects of physical abuse on externalizing behavior. The findings confirmed that community violence has a negative impact on school performance above and beyond the effects of interpersonal violence. These findings reinforce the need for communitywide prevention programs that reduce violence. These findings suggest that more attention needs to be paid to how younger children are impacted by CVE and physical abuse, both through their own experiences or the experiences of their caregivers.

Publication
Child Abuse & Neglect
Publication Year
2020

A Primary Care Prevention System for Behavioral Health: The Behavioral Health Annual Wellness Checkup

University of Nevada, Reno

Behavioral health problems are involved in the majority of primary care visits. These behavior disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, smoking, insomnia, etc.) are costly, burdensome to both the patient and the healthcare system, and result in greater medical utilization/cost and poorer future health outcomes. Integrated behavioral healthcare has been proposed as a model for more efficiently addressing the burden of behavioral health problems. While this model has demonstrated some promise in the treatment of behavioral health problems, as well as in the reduction in costs and improvement in healthcare outcomes, the primary prevention of behavioral health problems in this delivery model has been relatively neglected. The present paper discusses the potential value of incorporating the prevention of behavioral health problems into the annual physical/wellness checkup and proposes a detailed system for how this might be accomplished. Limitations, future research, and costs associated with increased prevention in a primary care context are discussed.

Publication
Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Publication Year
2020

Disrupted Neural Synchrony Mediates the Relationship between White Matter Integrity and Cognitive Performance in Older Adults

Johns Hopkins University

Our main goal was to determine the influence of white matter integrity on the dynamic coupling between brain regions and the individual variability of cognitive performance in older adults. Electroencephalography was recorded while participants performed a task specifically designed to engage working memory and inhibitory processes, and the associations among functional activity, structural integrity, and cognitive performance were assessed. We found that the association between white matter microstructural integrity and cognitive functioning with aging is mediated by time-varying alpha and gamma phase-locking value. Specifically, better preservation of the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus in older individuals drives faster task-related modulations of alpha and gamma long-range phase-locking value between the inferior frontal gyrus and occipital lobe and lower local phase-amplitude coupling in occipital lobes, which in turn drives better cognitive control performance. Our results help delineate the role of individual variability of white matter microstructure in dynamic synchrony and cognitive performance during normal aging.

Publication
Cerebral Cortex
Publication Year
2020

Predictors of Latinx Youth Health and Emotional Well-being: Social Determinants of Health Perspective

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Latinx youth disproportionately experience numerous negative social determinants of health (SDOH) that can have deleterious impacts on health outcomes. Yet, limited research is available on the role of SDOH on the well-being of Latinx adolescents. Utilizing data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, this study examined the association between variables representing five discrete domains of SDOH and health and emotional well-being outcomes among youth of Latinx mothers (N = 745). The study included 15-year-old youth of Latina mothers who were retained in the most recent wave of data collection (wave 6). Using Mplus8, we performed structural equation modeling to determine whether exogenous indicators of five domains of SDOH (economic stability, education, neighborhood and built environment, social and community context, and health care access) predicted adolescent health status and emotional well-being. SDOH specific to social, educational, and neighborhood factors emerged as significant predictors of health and well-being. Yet, variation existed in regard to which SDOH were most important for each outcome variable. Findings suggest that several SDOH, including economic stability, education, neighborhood and built environment, and social and community context, are particularly important for Latinx adolescent well-being. Implications for social work practice and policy are presented. Future studies should examine the longitudinal impact of SDOH and should examine Latinx youth by nativity.

Publication
Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
Publication Year
2020

Exposure to community-based violence on social media among black male emerging adults involved with the criminal justice system

Washington University in St. Louis

The prevalence of community-based violence (CBV) exposure among black American male emerging adults ages 18 to 25 with a history of involvement with the criminal justice system is a major public health concern. Although exposure (whether as victim or witness) to CBV is linked with negative outcomes, empirical research examining black men’s negative emotional responses to seeing videos of real-life incidents of CBV on social media is scant. To address these identified concerns and make recommendations for future research, the present study examines the relationship between seeing videos of CBV on social media and three types of negative emotional responses (that is, feeling sad, angry, and fearful) prior to incarceration among a sample of 101 black men detained in a midwestern jail. Social media use and seeing videos of CBV on social media were moderately high for study participants. Seeing a video involving police violence was significantly associated with an increase in the odds of feeling sad, angry, and fearful. Social media research is an emerging area that has the potential to advance our understanding of the impact of seeing social media videos of police violence on the well-being of black men and factors that mediate or moderate this relationship.

Publication
Social Work Research
Publication Year
2020

Preoperative Optimism Related to Low Anxiety in Patients 1 Month After Open Heart Surgery

Florida State University

Anxiety can contribute to poor prognosis in cardiac patients. Few studies have examined the role of optimism in anxiety after open heart surgery (OHS). This study investigated the influence of preoperative optimism on post-OHS anxiety, adjusting cardiac indices used by cardiac surgeons. Data were collected before and 1 month after OHS in 481 patients (58% men; age, 62.4 ± 11.94 years). Optimism was measured using the Life Orientation Test. Anxiety was measured using the Trait Anxiety Inventory. Medical and cardiac indices were retrieved from the Society of Thoracic Surgeon’s national database. Multiple regression analyses showed that greater pre-OHS optimism was associated with lower levels of post-OHS anxiety (F[6, N = 306] = 50.18, p < 0.001, R2 = 0.502). No other factors showed similar protection. Pre-OHS anxiety, younger age, and minority status were associated with anxiety in the critical recovery month. The findings demonstrate the potential benefit of optimism against post-OHS anxiety, which may have clinical implications for improving disease management.

Publication
The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Publication Year
2020

Understanding Alignment in Children’s Early Learning Experiences: Policies and Practices from Across the United States

New York University

Despite a large and growing body of evidence pointing to the short-term benefits of early learning programs across the United States, there is considerable variation in children’s PreK experiences with respect to classroom structure, the interactions in which children and families engage, and the quality of instruction delivered. This introduction to a special issue of Early Childhood Research Quarterly reports on a range of studies from across the United States that were designed to explore factors influencing high-quality learning experiences during PreK and across the transition into early elementary school. The introductory article sheds light on practices being used to improve early educational quality and enhance alignment in learning which can guide future research, practice, and policy.

Publication
Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Publication Year
2020

Sexual function in hook-up culture: The role of body image

The University of Kansas

Hook-up mobile apps are increasing in popularity and research suggests sexual function may be lower among those who hook-up compared to those who have sex in a longer-term relationship. Sexual function is an important predictor of well-being; however, we know little about the psychosocial antecedents of sexual function, such as body image, among those who use hook-up apps. The current study aims to examine two measures of positive body image and one measure of body image self-consciousness during intimate activity among a sample of adult women and men who have hooked up in the previous month using a hook-up mobile app (N = 243). Our results suggest that higher body image self-consciousness during intimate activity was related to lower sexual function composite score and several specific domains (i.e., pain, arousal, orgasm, and lubrication) among women. Higher body appreciation was related to higher sexual satisfaction among women. Higher body image self-consciousness during intimate activity was related to higher erection difficulty, but not ejaculation difficulty, among men. These findings highlight the nuanced nature of body image and sexual function and provide further evidence that interventions for women and men aiming to improve some body image constructs may improve sexual function as well.

Publication
Body Image
Publication Year
2020

Exploring Advocacy Practices for Interpersonal Violence Survivors on College Campuses: Approaches and Key Factors

Washington University in St. Louis

Objective: The current study explores campus-based advocacy services for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, to increase understanding of how these supportive services are used on college campuses. Method: Semi-structured interviews with campus-based advocates and student survivors who used advocacy programs on 3 college campuses were conducted. The participating programs were diverse in setting and student population. Thematic analysis was used to identify program approaches and distinguishing features for advocacy in higher education. Results: Data from 48 participants were used to identify approaches guiding campus-based advocacy models. Campus-based advocacy models are trauma focused and student/survivor-centered similar to community programs with higher education-based applications. Campus-based advocacy is distinguished by attention to (a) developmental phase, (b) the university community experience, and (c) the role of the institution and institutional policy in services. Campus-based advocacy programs vary in service model and setting based on institutional structure and needs. Confidential advocacy services are critical to meeting student survivor needs. Conclusion: This study illustrates that similar to community approaches, campus-based advocacy models for survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence focus on empowerment, resource provision, and expanding social support during the college experience through a trauma informed lens. Campus-based advocacy programs provide potential benefit to student-survivors expressed needs, including prevention of further violence, enhanced well-being, increased academic outcomes, and support. Further research is needed to assess the outcome of campus-based advocacy and to guide program implementation as advocacy services in higher education grow.

Publication
Psychology of Violence
Publication Year
2020

The role of the internet in the grooming, exploitation, and exit of United States domestic minor sex trafficking victims

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Internet (e.g., social networking, online marketing, and encryption technologies) has been identified as a means to facilitate domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST; a.k.a., commercial sexual exploitation of children). At the same time, the Internet is increasingly being identified as a method of primary prevention and intervention for DMST among youth. However, to-date there are limited examinations of the role of the Internet in the lives of youth who experience DMST victimization. The current study aims to consider the role of the Internet in DMST grooming, exploitation, and exit. In-depth, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 service providers in North Carolina and Texas. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded line-by-line using a grounded theory approach. Results feature two overarching themes in service provider interviews: 1) Initial exploitation and 2) Exit from exploitation. Within each of these larger themes were subthemes including technology facilitated risk and prevention needs. Overall, these qualitative findings reveal the role of the Internet in: (1) Facilitating DMST, (2) Preventing Internet-facilitated DMST, and (3) Victim exit and survivorship. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Publication
Journal of Children and Media
Publication Year
2020

Evidence-Based Practice Implementation in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Scoping Review of Barriers and Facilitators

The Ohio State University

Importance: Despite advancements in stroke rehabilitation research, occupational therapy practitioners still face challenges with implementing research into routine practice. Although the development of evidence-based practices (EBPs) is one critical step along the knowledge translation continuum for the population of people with stroke, research is also needed to identify the most effective strategies for implementing EBPs with stroke survivors who are receiving occupational therapy services. Objective: To synthesize research related to occupational therapy practitioners’ implementation of EBPs in adult stroke rehabilitation. Data sources: We searched four electronic databases-CINAHL, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Academic Search Complete-and the peer-reviewed journal Implementation Science to identify relevant research studies. Study selection and data collection: Studies that met the following inclusion criteria were included in the scoping review: published between January 2003 and January 2018, addressed the adult stroke population, and examined the implementation of occupational therapy interventions. Data were abstracted on the basis of recommendations from the seminal review framework established by Arksey and O’Malley (2005). Thematic analysis identified themes that emerged from the included studies. Findings: Twenty-five articles satisfied our inclusion parameters. Our analyses yielded three overarching themes: barriers to implementation, facilitators of implementation, and implementation strategies. Implementation strategies often consisted of multimodal knowledge translation training programs. Conclusion and relevance: Although the stroke rehabilitation literature appears to have established the barriers to and facilitators of EBP implementation, greater attention to the identification of effective implementation strategies that promote the uptake of EBPs by occupational therapy practitioners is needed. What this article adds: This article summarizes the contextual factors and effective strategies that may influence practitioners’ implementation of stroke research findings in real-world practice.

Publication
American Journal of Occupational Therapy
Publication Year
2020

A pilot study of a group-based perinatal depression intervention on reducing depressive symptoms and improving maternal-fetal attachment and maternal sensitivity

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

To conduct a pilot study of a group-based perinatal depression intervention, the Mothers and Babies Course, on depressive symptomatology, maternal-fetal attachment, and maternal sensitivity, 60 pregnant women with moderate to severe depressive symptomatology were randomized to a 6-week intervention or usual care group at their initial prenatal care visit. Measures of depressive symptomatology and maternal-fetal attachment were collected at baseline and 36 weeks gestation. At 12 weeks postpartum, participants completed a measure of depressive symptomatology, and an objective measure of maternal sensitivity was collected. Participants randomized to the intervention group completed an average of 5.2 sessions, and 70% of women completed all six sessions. Exploratory analyses showed that at 12 weeks postpartum, participants randomized to the intervention group had an 8.32-point decrease from baseline on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) as compared to a 4.59-point decrease among participants randomized to usual care. Participants randomized to the intervention group had a mean change score of 12.60 in maternal-fetal attachment via the Maternal Fetal Attachment Scale (MFAS) as compared to 4.60 among participants in usual care. Maternal sensitivity scores, assessed via the Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training-Feeding Scale (NCAST-Feeding), were higher at 12 weeks postpartum for women in the intervention group as compared to women in usual care (59.2 and 51.8, respectively). Our pilot study findings provide preliminary support for the benefits of a perinatal depression intervention, delivered in a group setting, on reducing depressive symptomatology, and improving maternal-fetal attachment and maternal sensitivity. Further research, conducted with larger samples, is necessary to determine the effect of this intervention on indicators of maternal attachment.

Publication
Archives of Women's Mental Health
Publication Year
2020

Hopelessness, Interpersonal, and Emotion Dysregulation Perspectives on Suicidal Ideation: Tests in a Clinical Sample

Florida State University

Objective: The present study directly compared three perspectives of suicidality: Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (IPTS), Hopelessness Theory, and a perspective emphasizing emotion dysregulation. Method: 219 adults seeking outpatient psychological services completed questionnaires during intake between November 2015 and February 2019. Patients were included if they completed surveys related to thwarted belongingness (TB), perceived burdensomeness (PB), hopelessness, depressive symptoms, negative affect, and Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) symptoms. Analyses tested the ability of TB, PB, depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and emotion dysregulation to relate to total scores on Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation. We employed Pearson’s correlations and linear regressions to investigate these relations. Results: Constructs related to emotion dysregulation—negative affect (r = 0.161, p < .05) and Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms (r = 0.284, p < .01)—were significantly correlated with suicidal ideation, as were those relevant to Hopelessness Theory—depressive symptoms (r = 0.46, p < .01) and hopelessness (r = 0.45, p < .01)— and IPTS—TB (r = 0.36, p < .01) and PB (r = 0.43, p < .01). Notably the combinations of constructs as proposed by theories were significantly associated with suicidal ideation, but did not improve upon single constructs. This indicated that theoretically relevant constructs alone were strongly associated with suicidal ideation, but were not bested by interactions. Conclusions: This project compared constructs relevant to three theories of suicidality among a sample of treatment seeking outpatients. Findings indicated that suicidal ideation assessment was similarly informed by Hopelessness Theory and IPTS, and to a lesser degree emotion dysregulation. The cross sectional nature of the data and the reliance upon self-report measures limit the inferences that can be made.

Publication
Archives of Suicide Research
Publication Year
2020

Characteristics of Dispensary Patients that Limit Alcohol after Initiating Cannabis

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Many patients have reported that they decrease their use of opioids after starting medical cannabis (MC) but less is known for alcohol. The objective of this exploratory study was to identify any factors which differentiate alcohol abaters from those that do not modify their alcohol use after starting MC (non-abaters). Comparisons were made to identify any demographic, dosing, or health history characteristics which differentiated alcohol abaters (N = 47) from non-abaters (N = 65). Respondents selected from among a list of 37 diseases/health conditions (e.g. diabetes, sleep disorders). Abaters and non-abaters were indistinguishable in terms of sex, age, or prior drug history. A greater percentage of abaters (59.6%) than non-abaters (40.6%, p < .05) reported using MC two or more times per day. Abaters were more likely to be employed (68.1%) than non-abaters (51.1%, p < .05). Abaters also reported having significantly more health conditions and diseases (3.3 ± 2.0) than non-abaters (2.4 ± 1.4, p < .05). This small study offers some insights into the profile of patients whose self-reported alcohol intake decreased following initiation of MC. Additional prospective or controlled research into the alcohol abatement phenomenon following MC may be warranted.

Publication
Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Publication Year
2020