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Bidirectional Relationship Between Parenting and Problem Behaviors: A Longitudinal Genetically Informed Design

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While previous research has investigated the influence parenting styles have on child behavior, there has not been consistent findings on how child behavior in return influences parenting. This study goes beyond the literature by examining bidirectional influences of combined dyad

While previous research has investigated the influence parenting styles have on child behavior, there has not been consistent findings on how child behavior in return influences parenting. This study goes beyond the literature by examining bidirectional influences of combined dyad for emotional availability and early problem behaviors (composited across 12 and 30 months) predicting parental warmth, authoritarian parenting, internalizing, externalizing and ADHD symptoms at age eight. This study also examined whether genetic or environmental factors were driving these behaviors. Participants were from the ongoing Arizona Twin Project (N=340 twin children). 25% of the twins were monozygotic, 35% were same-sex dizygotic, and 35% were opposite-sex dizygotic twins. Preliminary correlations showed bidirectional effects between early emotional availability, problem behaviors and parental warmth, authoritarian parenting, internalizing, externalizing and ADHD symptoms at age eight; however, once twin dependence and covariates were controlled for, the bidirectional effects were no longer significant. One important finding emerged: early problem behaviors were predictive of later problem behaviors at eight years. The study also found that externalizing and ADHD symptoms were more heritable than emotional availability, early problem behaviors, and internalizing symptoms. Therefore, interventions should be developed addressing the environmental influences that contribute to early problem behaviors.

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2018-05

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Age of Social Transition, Parental Acceptance, and Mental Health of Transgender Adults

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The rates of anxiety, depression, and attempted suicide for transgender individuals are extremely elevated relative to the general population. Yet, little research has been conducted about the transgender population regarding social transition (an individual presenting as their authentic/true gender, one

The rates of anxiety, depression, and attempted suicide for transgender individuals are extremely elevated relative to the general population. Yet, little research has been conducted about the transgender population regarding social transition (an individual presenting as their authentic/true gender, one different than the gender they were assigned at birth, in the context of everyday life) and parental acceptance. Both of which have been shown to impact the mental health of transgender individuals. The purposes of this study were: (1) To characterize a sample of transgender adults on their age of awareness of their authentic gender identity and their age of social transition. (2) Examine whether age of social transition, (3) parental acceptance, and (4) the gap in time between age of awareness and age of social transition (awareness-transition gap) were related to mental health. (5) Examine whether parental acceptance was related to age of social transition or to awareness-transition gap. (6) Examine whether age of social transition or awareness-transition gap interact with parental acceptance as correlates of mental health. The sample consisted of 115 transgender adults, ages 18 to 64. Measures were separated into 7 subheadings: demographics, transgender
on-cisgender identity, age of awareness, age of social transition, primary caregiver acceptance, secondary caregiver acceptance, and mental health. Hypotheses were partially supported for age of social transition with mental health, parental acceptance with mental health, and awareness-transition gap with parental acceptance. This study investigated under studied concepts of social transition and parental acceptance that appear to have an effect on the mental health of transgender adults.

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2018-05

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A Cross-cultural Analysis of the Emotional Effects of Climate Change

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Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social

Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social and physical factors affects mental health. However, many people fail to realize that these increases global temperatures also have a significant impact on mental health as a result of increased vulnerability that is often manifested through one's emotions. By analyzing perceptions of people across the globe, in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Fiji, we were able to pinpoint these emotions and trace them individual's feelings of worry, distress, and hope that resulted from their perceived impacts on climate change. Overall, we found that people tend to have overall more negative emotional reaction when it comes to the perceived effects of climate change. Of the respondents, more men than women expressed concern regarding the various negative implications. Finally, those in the United Kingdom exhibited a stronger emotional response, followed by those in New Zealand and Fiji, respectively.

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2017-05

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An Examination of Dimensions of Social Support and Their Associations with Mexican-Origin Adolescent Mothers' Mental Health

Description

Social support for Mexican-origin adolescent mothers can benefit mental health. Currently, there is little research on specific dimensions of social support and how they change during the beginning years of parenthood, and even less focusing on the influence each dimension

Social support for Mexican-origin adolescent mothers can benefit mental health. Currently, there is little research on specific dimensions of social support and how they change during the beginning years of parenthood, and even less focusing on the influence each dimension has on adolescent mothers' mental health. This study sought to fill such gaps through the analysis of data from the Supporting MAMI Project at Arizona State University. First, the current study assessed perceptions of emotional, instrumental, and companionship support received from mother figures by Mexican-origin adolescent mothers (N = 204; Mean age at Wave 1 = 16.24, SD = .99) across five years through descriptive statistics and univariate latent growth models. Second, the study assessed the strength of the impact that each dimension of social support had on mental health across six years via conditional growth models. Findings indicated that each dimension of social support shifted in a bi-linear spline shape from Wave 1 to Wave 6, with growth parameters' significance varying for each dimension of support. Each dimension of support was significantly related to depressive symptoms at Wave 6, with varying degrees of influence across growth parameters. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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2016-05

Youth Mental Health Video Series

Description

This mental health video series features three animated videos about anxiety disorders, resources and treatment options, and the stigma surrounding mental illness for youth ages 16-25, parents, and educators. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder in

This mental health video series features three animated videos about anxiety disorders, resources and treatment options, and the stigma surrounding mental illness for youth ages 16-25, parents, and educators. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental disorder in the United States, so it is imperative that all people understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment options in order to best assist and support those in need of services.

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2021-05

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Association of Mental Health Stigma with Marital Quality in Police Wives

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Previous research on law enforcement officers has not included studies of marital relationships from the spouse perspective, and tend to focus on workplace-based manifestations of stress and other health issues. This study fills a gap in current research by surveying

Previous research on law enforcement officers has not included studies of marital relationships from the spouse perspective, and tend to focus on workplace-based manifestations of stress and other health issues. This study fills a gap in current research by surveying police wives about their personal experiences of marriage to law enforcement officers, and mental health as it relates to themselves and their husbands. We examined the association of mental health stigma with marital quality in a sample of 969 police wives. We found a significant negative association between wives’ perceptions of police officers’ mental health stigma and marital quality, and additionally that wife characteristics of positive emotion and reappraisal are positively associated with marital quality, but do not act as moderators. We also discussed methods of reducing negative impacts of mental health stigma on marital quality, specifically mandatory police officer counseling and marital quality interventions.

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2021-05

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Shared Parenting: From Practice to Policy

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This study examines how a 2013 Arizona law on shared parenting would affect living arrangements, and thus mental health measures. There were two hypotheses. According to the Law Change Hypothesis, it was hypothesized that parenting time in Arizona would be

This study examines how a 2013 Arizona law on shared parenting would affect living arrangements, and thus mental health measures. There were two hypotheses. According to the Law Change Hypothesis, it was hypothesized that parenting time in Arizona would be more equal following the 2013 Arizona law change while there would be no change in parenting time in other states following the 2013 Arizona law change. It was further hypothesized that child mental health would be better after the law change in Arizona with no change being seen in other states. Results of this study were almost completely inconsistent with the hypothesis. According to the Law Reflect Hypothesis, the law is actually reflecting the behavior of the community and their thoughts on equal parenting time becoming more favorable, and therefore a change towards more equal parenting time would be found prior to 2013 in Arizona with no change seen in other states. Furthermore, as the Arizona community’s behavior changed, child mental health would be better with no change being seen in other states. Regressions found that a small change toward more equal parenting and closeness with father was prior to 2013 for Arizona students, compared to out-of-state students, although it did not find that the year of divorce resulted in less anxiety, stress, and depression. This partially agrees with past research that the 2013 law is working as intended, even if it started working earlier than we thought. This does not agree with previous research stating there is a connection between equal parenting and better mental health. This is important because this study questions the efficacy of an important and controversial policy. If future studies are consistent with this one, the effectiveness of the Arizona 2013 law change on mental health will need to be further evaluated.

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2021-05

It's Okay Not to Be Okay: Mental Health in the Latinx Community

Description

The Latinx community faces several barriers that keep them from seeking mental health treatment. One of those barriers is the stigma experienced in the community. The purpose of this project is to create a culturally tailored animation to address the

The Latinx community faces several barriers that keep them from seeking mental health treatment. One of those barriers is the stigma experienced in the community. The purpose of this project is to create a culturally tailored animation to address the stigma associated with mental health in the Latinx community. The first part of the project, written about in this paper, focuses on gathering data from the community about their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors regarding mental health, as well as the stigma they have witnessed and experienced. Information was gathered through a series of group and one-on-one interviews with Generation Z men and women that identified as Latinx. The preliminary results revealed that all participants agreed with the statement that mental health is stigmatized in their community and offered several reasons as to why this is the case. The majority of them also agreed that education is the best way to reduce the stigma, which is what we hope to achieve through an animation that will be created using the information provided by the community and the literature.

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2021-05

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Capitalism and Mental Health: An Analysis of Mental Illness, Alienation, and Death in Late Capitalist Society

Description

The sociological model of mental illness (Weitz, 2020, pp. 146-148) offers a much needed contrast to the disproportionate dominance of the medical model in research, public policy, and popular discourse (Weitz, 2020, pp. 145-146 & 158-160). Unfortunately, the sociological model

The sociological model of mental illness (Weitz, 2020, pp. 146-148) offers a much needed contrast to the disproportionate dominance of the medical model in research, public policy, and popular discourse (Weitz, 2020, pp. 145-146 & 158-160). Unfortunately, the sociological model receives little attention in comparison (Mulvaney, 2001), although there has been a slight revival in recent years. However, the bulk of research on mental illness within the sociological model is predominantly quantitative, relying heavily on statistics and reducing complex systemic processes to various separated variables (Chandler, 2019; Mullaney, 2016; Spates & Slatton, 2021). Both sociological and psychological research on mental illness tend to be dominated by a highly quantitative focus on ‘social factors’, and generally shy away from examining the role of macro-level social structures and institutions. Consequently, even the sociological model of mental illness tends to fall short of implicating the underlying socio-economic system as a potential contributor to psychological harm and distress. This paper offers critiques of the medical model of mental illness and highlights both the strengths and shortcomings of work in the sociological model. I will also attempt to address these issues by providing a sociological and philosophical analysis of how the capitalist socio-economic system, and systems of oppression in general, shapes social constructions of mental illness and inflicts chronic stress and stigma, leading to much of the psychological distress that many people currently experience.

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2022-05

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Equine Assisted Learning: An Evidence-Based Intervention for Families

Description

Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy

Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy which is being used increasingly to promote mental health in both adults and children. This study sought to build and deliver an evidence-based, family-centered equine assisted learning program aimed at promoting family function, family satisfaction and child social-emotional competence, and to measure its acceptability and preliminary effect.

Method: Twenty families with children 10 years and older were recruited to participate in a 3-week equine assisted learning program at a therapeutic riding center in Phoenix, Arizona. Sessions included groundwork activities with horses used to promote life skills using experiential learning theory. The study design included a mixed-method quasi-experimental one-group pretest posttest design using the following mental health instruments: Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment, Brief Family Assessment Measure (3 dimensions), and Family Satisfaction Scale to measure child social-emotional competence, family function, and family satisfaction, respectively. Acceptability was determined using a Likert-type questionnaire with open-ended questions to gain a qualitative thematic perspective of the experience.

Results: Preliminary pretest and posttest comparisons were statistically significant for improvements in family satisfaction (p = 0.001, M = -5.84, SD = 5.63), all three domains of family function (General Scale: p = 0.005, M = 6.84, SD = 9.20; Self-Rating Scale: p = 0.050, M = 6.53, SD = 12.89; and Dyadic Relationship Scale: p = 0.028, M = 3.47, SD = 7.18), and child social-emotional competence (p = 0.015, M = -4.05, SD 5.95). Effect sizes were moderate to large (d > 0.5) for all but one instrument (Self-Rating Scale), suggesting a considerable magnitude of change over the three-week period. The intervention was highly accepted among both children and adults. Themes of proximity, self-discovery, and regard for others emerged during evaluation of qualitative findings. Longitudinal comparisons of baseline and 3-month follow-up remain in-progress, a topic available for future discussion.

Discussion: Results help to validate equine assisted learning as a valuable tool in the promotion of child social-emotional intelligence strengthened in part by the promotion of family function and family satisfaction. For mental health professionals, these results serve as a reminder of the alternatives that are available, as well as the importance of partnerships within the community. For therapeutic riding centers, these results help equine professionals validate their programs and gain a foothold within the scientific community. Additionally, they invite future riding centers to follow course in incorporating evidence into their programs and examining new directions for growth within the mental health community.

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2019-05-02