Matching Items (19)

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Investments in children's health and schooling in rural southern Mozambique: the role of mothers' decision-making autonomy and father's labor migration

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The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the association of mother's autonomy and male labor migration with child's health and education, taking into account possible differences by child's gender. The dissertation uses data from a household longitudinal survey conducted

The objective of this dissertation is to investigate the association of mother's autonomy and male labor migration with child's health and education, taking into account possible differences by child's gender. The dissertation uses data from a household longitudinal survey conducted in rural southern Mozambique in 2006, 2009 and 2011 to address three main questions: 1) Is decision-making autonomy associated with child's schooling and child mortality? 2) Is father's labor migration associated with children's health outcomes? 3) If so, do these relationships change by gender of the child? The dissertation makes three main contributions to the literature. First, it finds a significant effect of mother's decision-making autonomy on child's outcomes, independent of other characteristics related to women's status. Second, it illustrates the cumulative nature of the effect of father's labor migration on the health of children left behind. And finally, the dissertation shows that women's decision-making autonomy and male migration affect children's outcomes differently depending on the gender of the child and on the outcome being analyzed. The dissertation is structured in five chapters. The first chapter gives an introductory overview of women's autonomy and male migration as determinants of children's outcomes, and presents the setting. The second chapter examines the relationship between mother's decision-making autonomy and enrollment for primary school-age children. Results show a positive association of women's decision-making autonomy with the probability of being enrolled for daughters, but not for sons. The effect of women's decision-making autonomy is net of other characteristics associated with autonomy. The third chapter analyzes the association of mother's decision-making autonomy and under-five child mortality. Results show a positive effect women's decision-making autonomy for sons' survival chances. The fourth chapter examines the effect of father's labor migration on health of children left behind. Results indicate that a proportion of child's life spent away by the father has a negative effect on the child's chances of being stunted but that it also decreases the likelihood of the child receiving age-adequate immunization. These results are gendered as the effect of father's migration on both outcomes is significant only for daughters. Chapter five presents the concluding remarks.

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Date Created
2014

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The effects of maternal separation on adult methamphetamine self-administration: extinction, reinstatement, and MeCP2 immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens

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The maternal separation (MS) paradigm is an animal model of early life stress. Animals subjected to MS during the first two weeks of life display altered behavioral and neuroendocrinological stress responses as adults. MS also produces altered responsiveness to and

The maternal separation (MS) paradigm is an animal model of early life stress. Animals subjected to MS during the first two weeks of life display altered behavioral and neuroendocrinological stress responses as adults. MS also produces altered responsiveness to and self-administration (SA) of various drugs of abuse including cocaine, ethanol, opioids, and amphetamine. Methamphetamine (METH) causes great harm to both the individual user and to society; yet, no studies have examined the effects of MS on METH SA. This study was performed to examine the effects of MS on the acquisition of METH SA, extinction, and reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior in adulthood. Given the known influence of early life stress and drug exposure on epigenetic processes, group differences in levels of the epigenetic marker methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) core were also investigated. Long-Evans pups and dams were separated on postnatal days (PND) 2-14 for either 180 (MS180) or 15 min (MS15). Male offspring were allowed to acquire METH SA (0.05 mg/kg/infusion) in 15 2-hr daily sessions starting at PND67, followed by extinction training and cue-induced reinstatement of METH-seeking behavior. Rats were then assessed for MeCP2 levels in the NAc core by immunohistochemistry. The MS180 group self-administered significantly more METH and acquired SA earlier than the MS15 group. No group differences in extinction or cue-induced reinstatement were observed. MS15 rats had significantly elevated MeCP2-immunoreactive cells in the NAc core as compared to MS180 rats. Together, these data suggest that MS has lasting influences on METH SA as well as epigenetic processes in the brain reward circuitry.

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Date Created
2013

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The epigenome: possible mechanisms by which early life stress may prime vulnerability towards substance use disorder

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Evidence from the 20th century demonstrated that early life stress (ELS) produces long lasting neuroendocrine and behavioral effects related to an increased vulnerability towards psychiatric illnesses such as major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and substance use disorder. Substance

Evidence from the 20th century demonstrated that early life stress (ELS) produces long lasting neuroendocrine and behavioral effects related to an increased vulnerability towards psychiatric illnesses such as major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and substance use disorder. Substance use disorders (SUDs) are complex neurological and behavioral psychiatric illnesses. The development, maintenance, and relapse of SUDs involve multiple brain systems and are affected by many variables, including socio-economic and genetic factors. Pre-clinical studies demonstrate that ELS affects many of the same systems, such as the reward circuitry and executive function involved with addiction-like behaviors. Previous research has focused on cocaine, ethanol, opiates, and amphetamine, while few studies have investigated ELS and methamphetamine (METH) vulnerability. METH is a highly addictive psychostimulant that when abused, has deleterious effects on the user and society. However, a critical unanswered question remains; how do early life experiences modulate both neural systems and behavior in adulthood? The emerging field of neuroepigenetics provides a potential answer to this question. Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), an epigenetic tag, has emerged as one possible mediator between initial drug use and the transition to addiction. Additionally, there are various neural systems that undergo long lasting epigenetics changes after ELS, such as the response of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to stressors. Despite this, little attention has been given to the interactions between ELS, epigenetics, and addiction vulnerability. The studies described herein investigated the effects of ELS on METH self-administration (SA) in adult male rats. Next, we investigated the effects of ELS and METH SA on MeCP2 expression in the nucleus accumbens and dorsal striatum. Additionally, we investigated the effects of virally-mediated knockdown of MeCP2 expression in the nucleus accumbens core on METH SA, motivation to obtain METH under conditions of increasing behavioral demand, and reinstatement of METH-seeking in rats with and without a history of ELS. The results of these studies provide insights into potential epigenetic mechanisms by which ELS can produce an increased vulnerability to addiction in adulthood. Moreover, these studies shed light on possible novel molecular targets for treating addiction in individuals with a history of ELS.

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Date Created
2015

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The father's role in the relation between maternal depression and youth outcomes

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It is well-established that maternal depression is significantly related to internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems and psychopathology in general. However, research suggests maternal depression does not account for all the variance of these outcomes and that other family contextual factors

It is well-established that maternal depression is significantly related to internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems and psychopathology in general. However, research suggests maternal depression does not account for all the variance of these outcomes and that other family contextual factors should be investigated. The role of fathers beyond their simple presence or absence is one factor that needs to be further investigated in the context of maternal depression. The proposed study used prospective and cross-sectional analyses to examine father effects (i.e., paternal depression, alcohol use, involvement, and familism) on youth internalizing and externalizing symptoms within the context of maternal depression. The sample consisted of 405 Mexican-American families who had a student in middle school. Data were collected when the students were in 7th and 10th grade. Results from path analyses revealed that maternal depression significantly predicted concurrent youth internalizing symptoms in 7th and 10th grade and externalizing symptoms in 10th grade. In contrast, paternal depression was not related to adolescent symptomatology at either time point, nor was paternal alcoholism, and analyses failed to support moderating effects for any of the paternal variables. However, paternal involvement (father-report) uniquely predicted youth internalizing and externalizing symptoms over and above maternal depression in 7th grade. Youth report of paternal involvement uniquely predicted both internalizing and externalizing in 7th and 10th grade. Paternal familism uniquely predicted youth externalizing symptoms in 7th grade. The present findings support that maternal depression, but not paternal depression, is associated with concurrent levels of youth symptomatology in adolescence. The study did not support that fathers adjustment moderated (exacerbate or buffer) maternal depression effects. However, paternal involvement and paternal familism showed compensatory effects on youth symptomatology in concurrent analyses.

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Date Created
2013

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Early predictors of variations in children's emotion understanding: relations with children's disruptive behaviors

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The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of maternal behaviors, children`s temperamental negative emotionality, and children`s emotion perception processes, including emotion perception accuracy (EPA) and emotion perception bias (EPB), to children`s conduct disorder symptoms in a

The purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal relations of maternal behaviors, children`s temperamental negative emotionality, and children`s emotion perception processes, including emotion perception accuracy (EPA) and emotion perception bias (EPB), to children`s conduct disorder symptoms in a normative sample. Separate structural equation models were conducted to assess whether parenting or children`s proneness to negative emotions at 24-30 (T2), 36-42 (T3) and 48-54 (T4) months predicted children`s EPA and EPB over time, and whether T3 and T4 children`s emotion perception processes were predictive of children`s conduct disorder at 72 months of age (T5). None of the hypothesized longitudinal relations was supported; however, other noteworthy results were observed. T3 children`s proneness to negative emotions was positively related to children`s concurrent bias toward anger. The latent constructs of negative parenting, children`s proneness to negative emotions, and the observed measure of children`s emotion perception accuracy showed stability over time, whereas the observed measures of children`s bias toward understanding distinct negative emotions were unrelated across time. In addition, children`s expressive language was predicted by children`s earlier emotion perception accuracy, which emphasized the importance of improving children`s emotion understanding skills during early years. Furthermore, the previously established negative relation between EPA and EPB variables was only partially supported. Findings regarding the relations between parenting, children`s negative emotionality and emotion perception processes are discussed from a developmental perspective.

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Date Created
2011

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Maternal depression and stress response: the effect on offspring in emerging adulthood

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Dysregulated cortisol has been linked to a variety of adverse physical and psychological consequences. Stressors in the childhood family environment can influence cortisol activity throughout development. For example, research has shown that both infants and children of depressed mothers exhibit

Dysregulated cortisol has been linked to a variety of adverse physical and psychological consequences. Stressors in the childhood family environment can influence cortisol activity throughout development. For example, research has shown that both infants and children of depressed mothers exhibit altered levels of cortisol compared to infants and children of non-depressed mothers. It is unclear, however, whether exposure to maternal depression in childhood and adolescence is related to cortisol activity at later stages of development. The current study examined the longitudinal relation between maternal depressive symptoms during late childhood (9-12 years old) and adolescence (15-19 years old) and cortisol activity in offspring in young adulthood (24- 28 years old) in a sample of 40 young adults and their mothers. Maternal depressive symptoms were prospectively assessed at four time points across the 15 year study. Cortisol samples were collected from young adult offspring at the final time point. Findings revealed that higher levels of maternal depressive symptoms during late childhood were associated with lower total cortisol output in young adulthood. Results suggest that attenuated cortisol levels, which put these young adults at risk for a variety of stress-related physical and psychological illnesses, may be a long-term consequence of exposure to maternal depression,. Depressive symptoms in mothers during their child's adolescence, however, did not relate to cortisol output. These findings suggest a sensitive period in late childhood during which the development of HPA activity may be susceptible to the environmental stressor of maternal depression.

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Date Created
2011

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Maternal psychological symptoms and emerging anxiety and depression in children: the mediating role of attention

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The nature and correlates of emerging internalizing symptoms in young children are largely unknown. Maternal factors such as psychological symptoms and detached parenting style have been found to be present in children with anxiety and depression. Further, child attentional control

The nature and correlates of emerging internalizing symptoms in young children are largely unknown. Maternal factors such as psychological symptoms and detached parenting style have been found to be present in children with anxiety and depression. Further, child attentional control in task completion has been associated with difficulty related to internalizing problems. This study tested hypotheses that child anxiety and depression at age five could be predicted by a combination of maternal distress and maternal detached behavior recorded at age three. An additional hypothesis was tested to determine if child attentional control at age four may be a partial mediator of the relation between maternal symptoms and parenting to child internalizing symptoms. Using structural equation modeling, no hypotheses were supported; child internalizing problems were not significantly predicted by maternal distress nor detached parenting. Further, child attentional control was not predicted by maternal distress or detached behavior, nor did attentional control predict internalizing problems. Findings indicate that over a two-year interval, childhood internalizing problems at age five are likely best predicted by early internalizing problems at age three. There was no support that the mother or child factors tested were predictive of child outcomes.

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Date Created
2010

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The relations of mothers' conscientiousness to children's academics: mediation through parenting and components of children's internalization

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Guided by Belsky's Determinants of Parenting Process Model, the goal of the present study was to examine how mothers' personality (i.e., Conscientiousness) and behaviors (i.e., sensitivity, structure, and negative control) relate to children's developmental outcomes, such as internalization (i.e., committed

Guided by Belsky's Determinants of Parenting Process Model, the goal of the present study was to examine how mothers' personality (i.e., Conscientiousness) and behaviors (i.e., sensitivity, structure, and negative control) relate to children's developmental outcomes, such as internalization (i.e., committed compliance and effortful control) and academic adaptation. A multi-method, longitudinal model included five waves of data to examine the processes of the relations among variables. Mothers' Conscientiousness was measured via self-reported data when children were 18 months of age (N = 256), mothers' parenting behaviors were measured through observational laboratory tasks when children were 30 months (N = 230), children's internalization was measured using mothers' and caregivers' reports as well as observational data at 42 months (N = 210), and children's school adaptation was measured when children were 72 and 84 months (Ns = 169 and 144) using mothers' and teachers' reports. Through a series of regression analyses, the results supported the mediated effect of effortful control in the relation between mothers' behaviors and children's school adaptation. As hypothesized, mothers' Conscientiousness marginally predicted children's internalization. Contrary to hypotheses, mothers' Conscientiousness was unrelated to parenting behaviors and children's academic adaptation. Mothers' sensitivity interacted with maternal structure to predict children's effortful control. Socioeconomic status and child sex interacted with mothers' behaviors in predicting the child's committed compliance. The discussion focuses on the unique role of parenting practices and personality on children's internalization and academic adaptation and on the existing literature. Implications of the study for clinicians and intervention researchers are offered.

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Date Created
2014

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Exploring goodness of fit, mother-child relationships, and child risk

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Despite the compelling nature of goodness of fit and widespread recognition of the concept, empirical support has lagged, potentially due to complexities inherent in measuring such a complicated, relational construct. The present study examined two approaches to measuring goodness of

Despite the compelling nature of goodness of fit and widespread recognition of the concept, empirical support has lagged, potentially due to complexities inherent in measuring such a complicated, relational construct. The present study examined two approaches to measuring goodness of fit in mother-child dyads and prospectively explored associations to mother-child relationship quality, child behavior problems, and parenting stress across the preschool period. In addition, as goodness of fit might be particularly important for children with developmental delays, child developmental risk status was considered as a moderator of goodness of fit processes. Children with (n = 110) and without (n = 137) developmental delays and their mothers were coded while interacting during a number of lab tasks at child age 36 months and during naturalistic home observations at child age 48 months. Mothers and father completed questionnaires at child ages 36 and 60 months assessing child temperamental characteristics, child behavior problems, and parenting stress. Results highlight child-directed effects on mother-child goodness of fit processes across the early child developmental period. Although there was some evidence that mother-child goodness of fit was associated with parenting stress 2 years later, goodness of fit remains an elusive concept. More precise models and expanded developmental perspectives are needed in order to fully capture the transactional and dynamic nature of goodness of fit in the parent-child relationship.

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Date Created
2014

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The Impact of parental enculturation via ethnic socialization: predictors of Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' ethnic identity

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Ethnic identity has consistently been associated with Latino youths' psychosocial well-being; however, an area that has received much less attention is how parents' characteristics inform their ethnic socialization efforts and, in turn, youths' ethnic identity. In addition, we know little

Ethnic identity has consistently been associated with Latino youths' psychosocial well-being; however, an area that has received much less attention is how parents' characteristics inform their ethnic socialization efforts and, in turn, youths' ethnic identity. In addition, we know little about how this process unfolds in specific at-risk samples of youth, such as adolescent mothers. Thus, the current prospective study examined how mothers' cultural characteristics informed adolescents' and mothers' reports of ethnic socialization, and how this, in turn, informed adolescents' ethnic identity exploration and resolution among a sample of 193 adolescent mothers and their mothers. In addition, the current study tested whether mothers' ethnic identity affirmation was directly related to adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation over time. Results indicated that mothers' familism was associated with increases in mothers' reports of maternal ethnic socialization, and, in turn, with increases in ethnic identity exploration for foreign-born adolescents, and decreases in ethnic identity exploration for U.S.-born adolescents. In addition, adolescents' reports of familial ethnic socialization were associated with increases in their ethnic identity exploration and resolution. Finally, mothers' ethnic identity affirmation was associated with increases in adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation. Findings are discussed with special attention to the importance of mothers' cultural values in how they socialize their adolescents, and this impact on adolescents' ethnic identity, as well as the implications this study has for interventions focused on bolstering positive outcomes for adolescent mothers.

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Date Created
2012