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The Effects of Family Separation on Latina Young Adult Mental Health

Description

The Latinx population in the United States is projected to increase exponentially in upcoming years. Latina women in particular are put at disproportionate risk of experiencing psychological distress after immigrating to the US. Separation from family upon immigration introduces more

The Latinx population in the United States is projected to increase exponentially in upcoming years. Latina women in particular are put at disproportionate risk of experiencing psychological distress after immigrating to the US. Separation from family upon immigration introduces more difficulty to the immigration experience. Yet protective factors such as family cohesion may buffer potential psychological distress. The present study will examine the two following research questions. First, is there a difference in psychological distress experienced by Latina young women who report separating from their family in comparison to those who did not experience familial separation at immigration. Second, does a potentially deleterious effect of immigration on familial attachment underlie or mediate the hypothesized positive association between separation at immigration and psychological distress. Participants were Latina young women who ranged from 18-23 years-old, were unmarried, and had to have resided in the US for 36 months or less. I used structural path analysis to examine hypothesized associations among separation status, attachment to family, and psychological distress. Findings aim to inform mental health interventions for Latina young adults who immigrate to the US without family.

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2021

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Mental Health Professionals' Perceptions of Their Therapeutic Role with Survivors of Sexual Trafficking

Description

Sexual trafficking, the commercial sexual exploitation of individuals for profit, is reported to occur around the world. Tens of thousands of women and children are reported to be trafficked into the United States each year. Reports indicate a negative impact

Sexual trafficking, the commercial sexual exploitation of individuals for profit, is reported to occur around the world. Tens of thousands of women and children are reported to be trafficked into the United States each year. Reports indicate a negative impact on an individual’s physical, mental, and interpersonal health. Presently, therapeutic models have been proposed but not yet formalized. Current training programs are not focused on developing therapeutic skills. The primary researcher developed the present study to discern an understanding of the lived experience of mental health professionals who have provided therapy with this population. Moreover, the primary researcher sought to understand how these mental health professionals view current preparation programs.

The present study used qualitative inquiry to examine the experience of practitioners in this field. Constructivism was used to center upon each interviewees’ description of their lived experience. Inductive thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the data generated within each interview. Thematic structures were intricately linked to the data generated by focusing on the internal elements of the interview rather than a pre-conceived structure. Validation was employed through analytic memo writing and audits.

Findings were consistent with core components of therapy; however, analysis yielded some themes specific to therapy with survivors of sexual trafficking. Interviewees shared a common practice of conceptualizing each client and a motivation to build a safe and collaborative relationship, provide focused therapeutic structure, and support their clients beyond the average boundaries of therapy. Interviewees reported a minimal amount of interaction with training programs due to scarcity.

The findings suggest an increased need for training programs to prepare professionals to provide therapy with this population. Interviewees described a need for sensitive and specific trauma therapy training, consistent with suggestions in the literature. Future research may include further investigation into training programs when more have been developed. Interdisciplinary teams were a common desire among interviewees. Future research may explore the efficacy of interdisciplinary teams with this population. Finally, interviewees indicated advocacy work as an intricate part of their role as a therapist with this population and future research could investigate how this may impact the therapeutic relationship.

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2018

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Family Music Therapy for Teenagers with Mental Illness: A Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Program

Description

Adolescents experience a lot of stress from changes and difficulties in their physical appearance and their relationships—affecting their mental and emotional well-being as well as their family's relationships and functioning. Research has shown that family music therapy has been fairly

Adolescents experience a lot of stress from changes and difficulties in their physical appearance and their relationships—affecting their mental and emotional well-being as well as their family's relationships and functioning. Research has shown that family music therapy has been fairly successful in helping both children and adolescents and their families improve their communication and mutual attunement while encouraging self-expression in the child and teenager. However, the literature focuses mainly on families with children ages 10 and under, at-risk families, and non-clinical families. Little focus in the research literature is given to adolescents and their mental and emotional health concerns.

The purpose of this thesis was two-fold: 1) to perform a systematic review and collect information from articles that used music interventions or music programs to address the mental health needs of families and adolescents, and 2) to develop a family music therapy program for teenagers with mental health concerns based on the research literature used for the systematic review. Fourteen articles were included in the study. The main interventions and programs were improvisation (n = 6), songwriting (n = 3), lyric analysis or song discussions on client-selected music for introspective and expressive purposes (n = 3), therapeutic singing (n =1) and structured group music making (n = 1). Common outcomes included improvement in the adolescents' self-expression and communication, restoration of family relationships, increased awareness of covert family issues, and improved family communication and interactions. The proposed six-week music therapy program is improvisation-based, considering the amount of improvisational interventions that were found in research. Session plans include interventions such as musical “icebreakers” and warm-ups, improvisation, lyric analysis, and a culminating songwriting experience.

Keywords: family therapy, music therapy, adolescents, mental illness

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Date Created
2019

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Female Microaggressions Scale (FeMS): A Comprehensive Sexism Scale

Description

Overt forms of sexism have become less frequent (Swim Hyers, Cohen & Ferguson, 2001; Sue & Capodilupo, 2008). Nonetheless, scholars contend that sexism is still pervasive but often manifests as female microaggressions, which have been defined as often subtle, covert

Overt forms of sexism have become less frequent (Swim Hyers, Cohen & Ferguson, 2001; Sue & Capodilupo, 2008). Nonetheless, scholars contend that sexism is still pervasive but often manifests as female microaggressions, which have been defined as often subtle, covert forms of gender discrimination (Capodilupo et al., 2010). Extant sexism scales fail to capture female microaggresions, limiting understanding of the correlates and consequences of women’s experiences of gender discrimination. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to develop the Female Microaggressions Scale (FeMS) based on an existing theoretical taxonomy and content analysis of social media data, which identifies diverse forms of sexism. Two separate studies were conducted for exploratory factor analysis (N = 582) and confirmatory factor analysis (N = 325). Exploratory factor analyses supported an eight-factor, correlated structure and confirmatory factor analyses supported a bifactor model, with eight specific factors and one general FeMS factor. Overall, reliability and validity of the FeMS (general FeMS and subscales) were mostly supported in the two present samples of diverse women. The FeMS’ subscales and body surveillance were significantly positively correlated. Results regarding correlations between the FeMS subscales and anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction were mixed. The FeMS (general FeMS) was significantly positively correlated with anxiety, body surveillance, and another measure of sexism but not depression or life satisfaction. Furthermore, the FeMS (general FeMS) explained variance in anxiety and body surveillance (but not depression, self-esteem, or life satisfaction) above and beyond that explained by an existing sexism measure and explained variance in anxiety and depression (but not self-esteem) above and beyond that explained by neuroticism. Implications for future research are discussed.

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Date Created
2018

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Associations between dyadic coping and interaction quality: the mediating effect of couples' language use during real-time conversations

Description

Stress in romantic relationships is an all-too-common phenomenon that has detrimental effects on relationship well-being. Specifically, stress can increase partners’ negative interactions, ultimately decreasing effective communication and overall relationship functioning. Positive dyadic coping (DC) occurs when one partner assists the

Stress in romantic relationships is an all-too-common phenomenon that has detrimental effects on relationship well-being. Specifically, stress can increase partners’ negative interactions, ultimately decreasing effective communication and overall relationship functioning. Positive dyadic coping (DC) occurs when one partner assists the other in coping with stress (e.g. empathizing or helping the partner problem-solve solutions to their stress), and has been proposed as a method of buffering the deleterious effect of stress on interaction quality. One possible mechanism between the positive associations between DC and interaction quality could be how partners verbally express their support (e.g., more we-talk) during discussions about external stress. Using real-time interaction data from 40 heterosexual couples, this project examined whether observed positive and negative DC was associated with greater (or lesser) levels of perceived interaction quality. Further, language use (i.e., pronouns, emotion words, cognition words) was assessed as mediators in the associations between DC and interaction quality. Overall, results suggested that language did not mediate the effect of DC on interaction quality; however, there were several interesting links between DC, language, and interaction quality. Implications of these findings for relationship researchers and mental health clinicians working with couples are discussed.

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Date Created
2017

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Dual autonomy: a culturally encompassing reinterpretation of traditional autonomy in clinical supervision

Description

Traditional autonomy within clinical supervision was reinterpreted by incorporating culturally-encompassing autonomy types (individuating and relating autonomy) from the dual autonomy scale. The relations of vertical collectivism and autonomy measures were examined. Lastly, potential moderating effects of vertical collectivism on experience

Traditional autonomy within clinical supervision was reinterpreted by incorporating culturally-encompassing autonomy types (individuating and relating autonomy) from the dual autonomy scale. The relations of vertical collectivism and autonomy measures were examined. Lastly, potential moderating effects of vertical collectivism on experience level and autonomy were assessed. The sample consisted of 404 counseling trainees enrolled in graduate programs across the US, aged between 21 and 68. Results from the confirmatory factor analysis supported the proposed two-factor structure of individuating and relating autonomy among counseling trainees for the adapted dual autonomy scale. Results indicated that individuating autonomy was moderately correlated with relating and traditional autonomy, and relating autonomy was not correlated with traditional autonomy. Vertical collectivism was not correlated with relating autonomy, but significantly predicted individuating and traditional autonomy. Moderating effects of vertical collectivism on experience level and autonomy were not supported. Further implications and future directions are discussed.

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Date Created
2019

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Coping with stress associated with anticipated stigma: the role of dyadic coping for married undergraduate students

Description

Being married as an undergraduate student is uncommon, considering the average age people marry in the U.S. is 28-years-old. Given that the “traditional” undergraduate student is unmarried, being a married undergraduate student may be associated with the anticipation of stigma

Being married as an undergraduate student is uncommon, considering the average age people marry in the U.S. is 28-years-old. Given that the “traditional” undergraduate student is unmarried, being a married undergraduate student may be associated with the anticipation of stigma due to their marital status, which may be a stressful experience (hereafter-anticipated stigma stress) and have harmful effects on one’s well-being, particularly symptoms of anxiety. As such, it is important to identify ways in which romantic partners can help one another cope with this unique stressor by engaging in positive or negative dyadic coping (DC). Using cross-sectional data from 151 married undergraduate students, this project examined whether perceptions of partner’s positive and negative DC moderated the association between anticipated stigma stress and symptoms of anxiety. There was a significant main effect of anticipated stigma stress on anxiety, such that higher anticipated stigma stress was associated with greater symptoms of anxiety. Delegated DC moderated this association, such that when participants reported high levels of anticipated stigma stress, those who reported higher partner’s use of delegated DC also reported higher symptoms of anxiety as compared to those who reported low partner’s use of delegated DC. Implications for future research and mental health counselors are discussed.

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Agent

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Date Created
2017

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The Effect of Internalized Transphobia on the Association Between Gender Congruence and Sexual Satisfaction in Transgender Men

Description

Despite the population of transgender individuals in the United States doubling

from 2011 to 2016, this population is one of the most understudied in psychological

science. Of the available research, the associations between gender congruence, defined

as an individual’s body

Despite the population of transgender individuals in the United States doubling

from 2011 to 2016, this population is one of the most understudied in psychological

science. Of the available research, the associations between gender congruence, defined

as an individual’s body matching their gender identity, and well-being have been

examined, particularly demonstrating positive associations between gender congruence

and overall life satisfaction. However, there remains a dearth of research on the possible

associations between gender congruence and relational well-being - particularly sexual

satisfaction - and possible moderating effects of the internal negative feelings regarding

one’s identity (internalized transphobia). To address these gaps in the literature, this study

gathered data from 165 binary transgender men. While there was not an effect of gender

congruence on sexual satisfaction, internalized transphobia was found to moderate this

association such that individuals who reported high internalized transphobia and high

gender congruence reported the highest sexual satisfaction. Results of this study highlight

the existing literature on the negative associations between internalized transphobia and

well-being for transgender individuals. Implications for counselors are discussed,

including advocacy efforts and implementation of techniques to facilitate growth and

resilience to help transgender clients navigate the negative effects of internalized

transphobia.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2020

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Relations Between Depression, Acculturation, Enculturation and Alcohol Use Among Recently Immigrated Latina Young Adults

Description

Despite the growing numbers of foreign-born Latina young adult immigrants in the United States, this population is underrepresented in psychological science. Building upon previous literature, this study examines the moderating effect of acculturation and enculturation on the relationship between depression

Despite the growing numbers of foreign-born Latina young adult immigrants in the United States, this population is underrepresented in psychological science. Building upon previous literature, this study examines the moderating effect of acculturation and enculturation on the relationship between depression and alcohol use quantity and frequency among 530 young Latina women (ages 18-23 years) who recently immigrated to the United States (i.e., approximately 12 months prior to assessment). Acculturation (i.e., the process of immersion into

another culture) lessened the positive link between depression and alcohol use quantity and frequency. Those with higher levels of acculturation reported less symptoms of depression and alcohol use. Enculturation (i.e., the process of immersion to one’s own ethnic culture) increased the positive link between depression and alcohol quantity and frequency. Implications for culturally competent counseling for this underserved and understudied population are discussed.

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Agent

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Date Created
2020

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The Moderating Effect of Commitment on the Association Between COVID-19 Stress and Symptoms of Mental Health Distress for Medical First Responders in Australia and the U.S.

Description

Given the severity of risks that accompany the current COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing negative psychological effects, such as increased symptoms of depression and anxiety (i.e., mental health distress). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impress upon society, it is

Given the severity of risks that accompany the current COVID-19 pandemic, many are experiencing negative psychological effects, such as increased symptoms of depression and anxiety (i.e., mental health distress). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impress upon society, it is pertinent to assess the ways in which COVID-19 may be impacting first responders; many of which who are responsible for tending to the safety and wellbeing of communities during this time. However, little is known about how medical first responders may be experiencing COVID-19 related stress, whether this impacts their experience with symptoms of mental health distress, and furthermore whether this stress is different for those in different countries. As such, the present study sought to assess the association between COVID-19 related stress and symptoms of mental health distress in medical first responders for those living in Australia and the United States. Further, given the positive effects romantic relationships have on an individual’s interpersonal functioning, the potential moderating effect of perceived relationship commitment was examined. A total number of 79 participants completed the study. Contrary to hypotheses, results showed that there was no significant association between COVID-19 related stress and symptoms of distress, nor was relationship commitment found to moderate symptoms of distress. Implications of this study have the potential to guide mental health professionals working with medical first responders who are experiencing symptoms of distress, particularly in times of crises similar to that of COVID-19.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2021