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Benefits of high intelligence: Potential moderating effects of emotion regulation and friendship quality

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Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions are on the rise in adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015; Bridge, Asti, & Horowitz, 2015). Parents, school administrators, and therapists are searching for resiliency factors with in at-risk groups to aid

Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions are on the rise in adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015; Bridge, Asti, & Horowitz, 2015). Parents, school administrators, and therapists are searching for resiliency factors with in at-risk groups to aid students in need. In previous work, Luthar and Zigler (1992) reported that intelligent youth are more resilient than less intelligent youth under low stress conditions but they lose their advantage under high stress conditions. This study examined whether intelligence (reflected in grade point average; GPA) and maladaptive (internalizing and externalizing symptoms) behaviors are negatively related in adolescents, and tested whether level of stress, reflected in emotion regulation and friendship quality, moderated that association. It also probed whether the relationships differ by gender. Sixth-graders (N=506) were recruited with active parental consent from three middle schools. Adolescents completed self-report questionnaires Regarding demo graphics, maladaptive behaviors, emotion regulation, and friendship quality, and GPA data were collected from the school. Regression analyses found that GPA was negatively related to externalizing symptoms. Girls with poor friendship communication report significantly higher maladaptive behaviors. This relation was more pronounced for girls with high GPAs, as predicted. Results support the theory that intelligent female adolescents are more reactive under adverse circumstances. Future efforts should follow students through middle school into high school to evaluate whether friendships remain important to adjustment, hold for boys as well as girls, and have implications for relationship interventions.

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2017-12

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Food As A Means To Treat Anxiety

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Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. In this project, I chose to explore how food is one of the most accessible and inexpensive ways of treating anxiety. This creative project examines the major

Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. In this project, I chose to explore how food is one of the most accessible and inexpensive ways of treating anxiety. This creative project examines the major key components of gut health including the balance of neurotransmitters and bacteria in the gut, restoring hydrochloric acid through celery juice, removing heavy metal toxins through food, eating fermented foods, and limiting refined carbohydrates, and high-sugar consumption. Additionally, this creative project explores my own personal journey through the implementation of foods that influence anxiety revealed in a systemic review over the course of a 6-week period.

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2021-05

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Limited ""down time"" with parents: Associations with maladjustment among affluent youth

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Affluent children have been previously understudied and considerably neglected in developmental research due to the notion that they are "low risk." There is limited empirical research exploring the effects of parent involvement in affluent youth: specifically, the importance of the

Affluent children have been previously understudied and considerably neglected in developmental research due to the notion that they are "low risk." There is limited empirical research exploring the effects of parent involvement in affluent youth: specifically, the importance of the adolescent's perception that their mother/father do not spend as much time with them as they would like. The goals of the study were to explore the role of this dimension of perceived parental involvement in anxious-depressed symptoms, somatic symptoms, rule breaking behaviors and substance use with upper-class suburban youth. The sample was taken from the New England Study of Suburban Youth Cohort (NESSY) (Luthar & Latendresse, 2005b) consisting of 252 high school students in the 12th grade located in an affluent community in the Northeast. Results showed that the participants who indicated their fathers could have dinner with them more often if they tried presented significant group differences in anxious-depressed symptoms, somatic symptoms, and rule breaking behaviors while substance use trended towards significant. Thus, these data demonstrate that parent-child relationships are not only important for infant and child development, but are also an integral part of development of adaptive behaviors during adolescence. In addition, the data suggest the benefits from having strong, supportive, and stable relationships with not only mothers but with fathers as well. Results from post hoc analyses revealed perceived absence of fathers at dinnertime affects the adolescent more than the perceived absence of mothers at dinnertime. Finally, teens who indicated a need to spend more dinnertimes with their father may be suffering from a lack of open communication and opportunities to discuss social and emotional issues that are conducive to adolescent development and adjustment.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Predictors of program response to a child anxiety indicated prevention and early intervention protocol

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The purpose of this study was to examine if certain child demographics and risk modifiers of the child (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, anxiety control, and social competence) predict program response to a Child Anxiety Indicated Prevention and Early Intervention

The purpose of this study was to examine if certain child demographics and risk modifiers of the child (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, anxiety control, and social competence) predict program response to a Child Anxiety Indicated Prevention and Early Intervention protocol (Pina, Zerr, Villalta, & Gonzales, 2012). This anxiety protocol focused on cognitive behavioral techniques (e.g., systematic and gradual exposure) that used culturally responsive implementation strategies (Pina, Villalta, & Zerr, 2009). The current study aims to investigate specific predictors of program response to this anxiety protocol. First, it was of interest to determine if child demographics and risk modifiers of the child at baseline would predict program response to the early anxiety intervention protocol. Second, it was of interest to see if an interaction with one of the four risk modifiers at baseline and sex or protocol condition would predict program response to the early anxiety intervention protocol. This study included 88 youth (59.14% Hispanic/Latino and 40.9% Caucasian) who were recruited through referrals from public schools and randomized to one of two protocol conditions (i.e., child-only or the child-plus-parent protocol), which had varying levels of mothers’ participation within the Child Anxiety Indicated Prevention and Early Intervention protocol (Pina et al., 2012). Participants ranged from 6 to 17 years of age (M = 10.36, SD = 2.73), and 48.9% were boys. The four risk modifiers were assessed using the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI; Silverman, Fleisig, Rabian, & Peterson, 1991), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI; Kovacs, 1981), Anxiety Control Questionnaire for Children-Short Form (ACQ-C-S; Weems, 2005), and Social Competence scale from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach & Resorla, 2001). Program response was measured by pre-to-posttest changes in anxiety outcomes. Regarding the first aim, each of the four risk modifiers was related to pre-to-posttest changes in program response outcomes. Regarding the second aim for interactions between each of the four focal predictors, sex and protocol condition emerged as moderators. These results have potential implications for clinicians and researchers interested in understanding why some children might experience more or less change when participating in an early intervention protocol for anxiety.

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2017