Matching Items (26)

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An In-Depth Exploration of Overcoming Adversity in Midlife: A Mixed-Methods Approach

Description

Midlife is a unique period of development during which individuals are simultaneously engaging in multiple roles. Despite this, there is a surprisingly small amount of research on this period of the life course. In order to examine sources of adversity

Midlife is a unique period of development during which individuals are simultaneously engaging in multiple roles. Despite this, there is a surprisingly small amount of research on this period of the life course. In order to examine sources of adversity during this period, we analyzed interviews with individuals in midlife about their greatest challenge. The most common themes for types of adversity included relationships, health, and work, reflecting the unique combination of roles in midlife.

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Date Created
2021-05

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Mediational effects of feedback style on the relation between teachers' depressive symptoms and classroom quality in 3rd grade

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Described is a study investigating the feasibility and predictive value of the Teacher Feedback Coding System, a novel observational measure of teachers’ feedback provided to students in third grade classrooms. This measure assessed individual feedback events across three domains:

Described is a study investigating the feasibility and predictive value of the Teacher Feedback Coding System, a novel observational measure of teachers’ feedback provided to students in third grade classrooms. This measure assessed individual feedback events across three domains: feedback type, level of specificity and affect of the teacher. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis revealed five factors indicating separate types of feedback: positive and negative academic-informative feedback, positive and negative behavioral-informative feedback, and an overall factor representing supportive feedback. Multilevel models revealed direct relations between teachers’ negative academic-informative feedback and students’ spring math achievement, as well as between teachers’ negative behavioral-informative feedback and students’ behavior patterns. Additionally, a fall math-by-feedback interaction was detected in the case of teachers’ positive academic-informative feedback; students who began the year struggling in math benefitted from more of this type of feedback. Finally, teachers’ feedback was investigated as a potential mediator in a previously established relation between teachers’ self-reported depressive symptoms and the observed quality of the classroom environment. Partial mediation was detected in the case of teachers’ positive academic-informative feedback, such that this type of feedback was accountable for a portion of the variance observed in the relation between teachers’ depressive symptoms and the quality of the classroom environment.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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The Influence of maternal prenatal stress and emotion socialization on infant emotion expression: differentiating positive and negative trajectories

Description

The first half-year of infancy represents a salient time in which emotion expression assumes a more psychological character as opposed to a predominantly physiological one. Although previous research has demonstrated the relations between early parenting and later emotional competencies, there

The first half-year of infancy represents a salient time in which emotion expression assumes a more psychological character as opposed to a predominantly physiological one. Although previous research has demonstrated the relations between early parenting and later emotional competencies, there has been less of a focus on differentiating positive and negative emotion expression across the early infancy period. Thus, the current study investigates the growth of positive and negative emotion expression across early infancy in a low-income, Mexican-American sample, and examines the development of emotion expression as a function of early maternal emotion socialization and prenatal stress. Participants included 322 mothers and their infants. Data were collected in participants' homes prenatally and when the infants were 12-, 18-, and 24-weeks old. Mothers were asked to interact with their infants in a semi-structured teaching task, and video-taped interactions of mother and infant behaviors were then coded. Data for mothers was collected at the prenatal and 12-week visits and data for infants was collected at the 12-, 18-, and 24-week visits. Prenatal stress was measured via two questionnaires (Daily Hassles Questionnaire and Perceived Stress Scale). Maternal socialization at 12 weeks was represented as a composite of four observational codes from the Coding Interactive Behavior coding system. Infant emotion expression was also globally rated across the 5-minute teaching task. Findings suggest that the normative development of emotion expression across early infancy is complex. Positive emotion expression may increase across the early infancy period whereas negative emotion expression decreases. Further, at 12 weeks, greater maternal emotion socialization relates to more infant positivity and less negativity, in line with current conceptualization of parenting. However, across time, greater early socialization predicted decreased positivity and was unrelated to negative emotion expression. Findings also suggest that prenatal stress does not relate to socialization efforts or to infant emotion expression. A better understanding of the nuanced development of positive and negative emotion development as a function of early parenting may have implications for early intervention and prevention in this high-risk population.

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Created

Date Created
2015

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Infant temperamental reactivity and emerging behavior problems in a Mexican American sample

Description

Clinically meaningful emotional and behavioral problems are thought to be present beginning in infancy, and may be reliably assessed in children as young as 12 months old. However, few studies have investigated early correlates of emotional and behavioral problems assessed

Clinically meaningful emotional and behavioral problems are thought to be present beginning in infancy, and may be reliably assessed in children as young as 12 months old. However, few studies have investigated early correlates of emotional and behavioral problems assessed in infancy. The current study investigates the direct and interactive contributions of early infant and caregiver characteristics thought to play an important role in the ontogeny of behavior problems. Specifically, the study examines: (1) the links between temperamental reactivity across the first year of life and behavior problems at 18 months, (2) whether children high in temperamental reactivity are differentially susceptible to variations in maternal sensitivity, (3) the extent to which child temperamental risk or susceptibility may further be explained by mothers’ experiences of stressful life events (SLEs) during and before pregnancy. Data were collected from 322 Mexican American families during prenatal, 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-week home interviews, as well as during 12- and 18-month lab interviews. Mother reports of SLEs were obtained between 23-40 weeks gestation; temperamental negativity and surgency at 6 weeks and 12 months; and internalizing and externalizing behaviors at 18 months. Maternal sensitivity during structured mother-infant interaction tasks at the 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-week visits was assessed by objective observer ratings. Study findings indicated that maternal SLEs before birth were associated with more infant negativity across the first year of life, and that negativity in turn was associated with more internalizing problems at 18 months. Ecological stressors thought to be associated with sociodemographic risk factors such as low-income and ethnic minority status may begin to exert cascades of influence on children’s developmental outcomes even before birth.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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The development of writing skills: the use of genre-specific elements in second and third grade students' writing

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The following study was developed to investigate the development of writing skills in second and third grade students. The recent emphasis on writing, specifically writing in multiple genres, made in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) has increased the

The following study was developed to investigate the development of writing skills in second and third grade students. The recent emphasis on writing, specifically writing in multiple genres, made in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) has increased the need to further understand how students write. The NAEP (2002) reports that approximately 77% of fourth grade students have only a general grasp of writing. Despite this poor performance, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) have increased the expectations for student writing. The goal of this proposed dissertation, using an holistic literacy perspective, is to shed light on differences in how students write in informative and opinion genres, which skills predict writing outcomes, the extent to which reciprocal effects between writing and literacy are present, and what type of student profiles exist within the classroom. It was found that students received lower scores on opinion writing compared to their informative compositions. It was also found that better reading comprehension was associated with better writing performance in both genres. High vocabulary ability predicted higher opinion essay scores and better performance on a behavioral regulation task predicted better informative essay outcomes. Reciprocal effects between writing outcomes and literacy skill were found, with higher opinion writing scores predicted higher vocabulary outcomes. Finally, students appeared to fall into four latent profiles: high achievers, average achievers, struggling students, and a group of students who have average literacy skill but scored extremely poorly on the opinion essay task.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Investigating the unique effect of marriage-related motives to limit drinking on young adult drinking after marriage

Description

The present study aimed to test the effect of role socialization processes on declines in drinking after marriage. Role socialization as it relates to marriage theorizes that after occupying a role, individuals are likely to change their behaviors to conform

The present study aimed to test the effect of role socialization processes on declines in drinking after marriage. Role socialization as it relates to marriage theorizes that after occupying a role, individuals are likely to change their behaviors to conform to role expectations of marriage, such as reductions in drinking (Yamaguchi & Kandel, 1985). Previous literature has examined declines in drinking behaviors after marriage and inferred that role socialization was the underlying process. This study is the first to directly test whether beliefs that alcohol is harmful to the marital role predicted declines in frequency of drunkenness after marriage. Ordered probit regression was used to test the effect of marriage-related motives to limit drinking on declines in frequency of drunkenness from before marriage to after marriage. Analyses revealed that marriage-related motives to limit drinking were not significantly predictive of declines in frequency of drunkenness after marriage. Only partner drinking emerged as a significant predictor of declines in frequency of drunkenness after marriage. These results highlight the need for a reliable and valid measure of role socialization processes as they relate to the marital role. Furthermore, future studies should consider studying participants at different time points after marriage and consider measuring commitment to the marital role as a moderator. Such studies will help to better understand the results of this study as well as better understand the marriage effect on drinking.

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Created

Date Created
2016

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Striving for skinny: exploring weight control as motivation for illicit stimulant use

Description

There is a growing trend among community samples of young, adult women to initiate drug use for weight loss (Boys, Marsden, & Strang, 2001; Mendieta-Tan, Hulbert-Williams, & Nicholls, 2013). Research has suggested that consequential weight loss may maintain drug use

There is a growing trend among community samples of young, adult women to initiate drug use for weight loss (Boys, Marsden, & Strang, 2001; Mendieta-Tan, Hulbert-Williams, & Nicholls, 2013). Research has suggested that consequential weight loss may maintain drug use (Cohen, et al., 2010; Ersche, Stochl, Woodward, & Fletcher, 2013; Sirles, 2002), which is compounded by women's perception that drugs are convenient and guarantee weight loss (Mendieta-Tan, et al., 2013). Stimulants, including cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and ecstasy, are notable drugs of use among college students (Johnston, et al., 2014; Teter, McCabe, LaGrange, Cranford, & Boyd, 2006). With known appetitive and metabolic effects, stimulants may be particularly attractive to college women, who are at elevated risk for increased body dissatisfaction and experimenting with extreme weight loss techniques (Grunewald, 1985; National Eating Disorder Association, 2013). A preliminary epidemiological study of 130 college women between 16- and 24-years old (Mage = 18.76, SDage = 1.09) was conducted to begin to investigate this phenomenon. Results showed women who reported use for weight control (n = 19, 14.6 %) predominantly used stimulants (68.4%), and this subgroup was severely elevated on global and subscales of eating pathology compared with college norms. Moreover, the odds of stimulant use were doubled when women engaged in a compensatory behavior, such as excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, and laxative use. Although preliminary, these results suggest that a desire for weight control may be associated with stimulant use among college women. Women engaging in more extreme weight loss behaviors are at high risk for initiating and maintaining illicit stimulant use for weight-related reasons.

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Date Created
2016

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Elucidating the Effect of Alcohol-Related Services on Abstinence, Recovery, and Familial Functioning: A Propensity Score Matching Approach

Description

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) causes immense global burden and has a significant impact on economic and societal functioning. Efficacious treatments for AUDs have been well-established within the literature, however the most commonly accessed treatments for AUD are alcohol-related services, such

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) causes immense global burden and has a significant impact on economic and societal functioning. Efficacious treatments for AUDs have been well-established within the literature, however the most commonly accessed treatments for AUD are alcohol-related services, such as self-help groups, outpatient clinics, and detoxification centers. Though studies suggest these services are effective at treating AUDs, there are numerous differences between individuals who receive alcohol-related services and individuals who do not, causing selection bias. Furthermore, current studies of alcohol-related services frequently define recovery outcomes as abstinence, which reduces variability in viable recovery outcomes, such as reduction of drinking behaviors. In addition, reduction in drinking and alcohol-related problems should theoretically have an impact on broader aspects of functioning, such as familial functioning. Improved familial context may reduce risk to family members, who are otherwise at heightened risk for emotional and behavioral problems when living with a family member with AUD. The current study investigated the effect of alcohol-related services on binary and continuous drinking outcomes after eliminating selection bias using multiple propensity score approaches, to identify the best methodology for a high-risk community sample of individuals with AUD. Propensity scores were created using logistic regression approaches and boosted regression trees. Matching, weighting, and subclassification were used, and matching was performed both using greedy and global approaches. Results suggested subclassification was the most successful method for real world alcohol-related services samples with moderate sample size. Moreover, findings demonstrated that boosted regression approaches were less successful than logistic regression approaches at minimizing the effects of selection bias on known confounding variables that are highly related to group selection. In addition, after removing the effects of selection bias, there were no significant difference between participants who received alcohol-related services and the comparison control group on drinking or family functioning, though both groups reduced drinking from pre- to post-alcohol-related services receipt. Findings suggest careful selection of quasi-experimental methods is warranted in real-world samples, to ensure optimal removal of selection bias. Moreover, future studies should continue to clarify the profile of individual that benefits from alcohol-related services to inform intervention efforts.

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Created

Date Created
2021

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Cascade Model of Executive Functioning, Prosocial Skills, and Academic Achievement

Description

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs abound in schools worldwide, adopted in large part on limited and varied evidence that the social/SEL skills acquired in these programs contribute to academic achievement. However, large-scale studies with the most common SEL program in

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programs abound in schools worldwide, adopted in large part on limited and varied evidence that the social/SEL skills acquired in these programs contribute to academic achievement. However, large-scale studies with the most common SEL program in the United States (Second Step®) have yielded no evidence of academic benefits, despite revisions to the Second Step® measure (i.e., DESSA – SSE) to include “skills for learning” (i.e., executive functioning skills). The dearth of academic effects could reflect programmatic or measurement flaws. The purpose of this paper is to explore the latter and unpack the core “inputs” of Second Step® to determine whether the social-emotional or executive functioning components may be differently related to academic achievement. Such questions have important implications for evaluating program theory/logic and for the SEL field more broadly. The current study addresses this broader aim by assessing the longitudinal, bi-directional relationship among Executive Functioning, Prosocial Skills (as a proxy for SEL skills), and academic achievement in Kindergarten and Grade 1 students (N = 3,029) from rural and urban schools (N = 61). Widely utilized curriculum-based measures of reading and math tests were administered directly to students to assess academic achievement, while teachers reported on students’ Prosocial Skills using an established measure. A bi-factorial measure of executive functioning was derived from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses from teacher-reported rating scale data. Results based on autoregressive cross-lagged panel model using accelerated longitudinal design lend some support for a longitudinal bidirectional relationship between the executive functioning components of shifting and emotional regulation (EF 2) and Prosocial Skills. Furthermore, while results support extant research that the executive functioning components of working memory, planning, and problem solving (EF 1) positively predict academic achievement, the executive functioning components of shifting and emotional regulation (EF 2) and Prosocial Skills are not meaningful nor consistent predictors of academic achievement. Implications and limitations are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
2021

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Anxiety and Subjective Response to Alcohol: Moderating Effects of Drinking Context and Mediation by Cortisol Response to Alcohol

Description

Anxiety disorder diagnosis is a risk factor for alcohol use disorders (AUDs), but mechanisms of risk are not well understood. Studies show that anxious individuals receive greater negative reinforcement from alcohol when consumed prior to a stressor, but few studies

Anxiety disorder diagnosis is a risk factor for alcohol use disorders (AUDs), but mechanisms of risk are not well understood. Studies show that anxious individuals receive greater negative reinforcement from alcohol when consumed prior to a stressor, but few studies have examined whether anxious individuals receive greater negative (or positive) reinforcement from alcohol in a general drinking context (i.e., no imminent stressor). Previous studies have also failed to examine possible moderating effects of specific drinking contexts (e.g., drinking in a group or alone). Finally, no studies have investigated mediating variables that might explain the relationship between anxiety and reinforcement from alcohol, such as physiological response to alcohol (e.g., cortisol response). Data for this study were drawn from a large alcohol administration study (N = 447) wherein participants were randomized to receive alcohol (target peak BAC: .08 g%) or placebo in one of four contexts: group simulated bar, solitary simulated bar, group sterile laboratory, solitary sterile laboratory. It was hypothesized that anxiety would be associated with positive subjective response (SR) under alcohol (above and beyond placebo), indicating stronger reinforcement from alcohol. It was also hypothesized that social and physical drinking context would moderate this relationship. Finally, it was hypothesized that anxiety would be associated with a blunted cortisol response to alcohol (compared to placebo) and this blunted cortisol response would be associated with stronger positive SR and weaker negative SR. Results showed that anxiety was not associated with positive SR in the full sample, but drinking context did moderate the anxiety/SR relationship in most cases (e.g., anxiety was significantly associated with positive SR (stimulation) under placebo in solitary contexts only). There was no evidence that cortisol response to alcohol mediated the relationship between anxiety and SR. This study provides evidence that anxious drinkers expect stronger positive reinforcement from alcohol in solitary contexts, which has implications for intervention (e.g., modification of existing interventions like expectancy challenge). Null findings regarding cortisol response suggest alcohol’s effect on cortisol response to stress (rather than cortisol response to alcohol consumption) may be more relevant for SR and drinking behavior among anxious individuals.

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Date Created
2018