Matching Items (20)

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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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Developmental changes in anxiety and social competence in early childhood: exploring growth and the roles of child temperament and gender

Description

This dissertation examined how anxiety levels and social competence change across the course of early elementary school, as well as how individual differences at the transition to kindergarten may influence

This dissertation examined how anxiety levels and social competence change across the course of early elementary school, as well as how individual differences at the transition to kindergarten may influence these trajectories. Previous research has supported unidirectional relations among anxiety and social competence, but few studies explore how inter- and intra-individual changes in social competence and anxiety may be related across time. From a developmental perspective, studying these trajectories following the transition to kindergarten is important, as cognitive and emotion regulation capacities increase markedly across kindergarten, and the relative success with which children navigate this transition can have a bearing on future social and emotional functioning across elementary school. In addition, given gender differences in anxiety manifestation and social competence development broadly, gender differences were also examined in an exploratory manner. Data from parent and teacher reports of a community sample of 291 children across kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades were analyzed. Results from bivariate growth models revealed steeper increases in anxiety, relative to peers in the sample, were associated with steeper decreases in social competence across time. This finding held after controlling for externalizing behavior problems at each time point, which suggests that relations among anxiety and social competence may be independent of other behavior problems commonly associated with poor social adjustment. Temperament variables were associated with changes in social competence, such that purportedly "risky" temperament traits of higher negative emotionality and lower attention control were associated with concurrently lower social competence in kindergarten, but with relatively steeper increases in social competence across time. Temperament variables in kindergarten were unrelated with changes in anxiety across time. Gender differences in relations among anxiety in kindergarten and growth in social competence also were revealed. Findings for teacher and parent reports of child behavior varied. Results are discussed with respect to contexts that may drive differences between parent and teacher reports of child behavior, as well as key developmental considerations that may help to explain why kindergarten temperament variables examined herein appear to predict changes in social competence but not changes in anxiety levels.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Reach for success: an initial evaluation of implementation quality in school settings

Description

Anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among children yet characterized by lower use of mental health services. Preventive efforts have demonstrated promise in the ability to reduce

Anxiety is one of the most common psychiatric disorders among children yet characterized by lower use of mental health services. Preventive efforts have demonstrated promise in the ability to reduce anxiety symptoms. However, as evidence-based interventions move into real-world settings, there is a need to systematically examine potential implementation factors that may affect program outcomes. The current study investigates the relations between different aspects of implementation and their effect on outcomes of a school-based preventive intervention targeting anxiety symptoms. Specifically, the study examines: (1) the measurement of quality of delivery, (2) specific relations among implementation components, (3) relations between these facets and anxiety program outcomes. Implementation data were collected from nine school-based mental health staff and observer ratings. Program outcomes (pretest and immediate posttest) were measured from 59 participants and their parents (mostly mothers) in the intervention condition. Implementation components included adherence, quality of delivery, time spent, participant responsiveness, and perceived usefulness of program materials. Program outcomes included child-reported emotional expressivity, physiological hyperarousal, negative cognitions, social skills, self-efficacy, and child and parent reported levels of child anxiety. Study findings indicated that quality of delivery was best captured as two facets: skillful presentation and positive engagement. Adherence and quality of delivery were associated with greater participant responsiveness, although time spent was not. Significant relations were found between some implementation components and some program outcomes. Further efforts can be used to optimize the translation of evidence-based programs into real-world settings.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Genetic and environmental influences on early social competence: moderation by parental social support

Description

This study examined whether social support available to parents moderated the heritability of parent-reported social approach at 12 months (N = 286 twin pairs, 52.00% female) and social competence at

This study examined whether social support available to parents moderated the heritability of parent-reported social approach at 12 months (N = 286 twin pairs, 52.00% female) and social competence at 30 months (N = 259 twin pairs, 53.30% female). Genetic and environmental covariance across age is also reported. Social support consistently moderated genetic influences on children’s social approach and competence, such that heritability was highest when parents reported low social support. Shared environment was not moderated by social support and explained continuity across age. Findings provide further evidence that genetic and environmental influences on development vary across context. When parents are supported, environmental influences on children’s social competence are larger, perhaps because support helps parents provide a broadly promotive environment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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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

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Addressing the Variable Selection Bias and Local Optimum Limitations of Longitudinal Recursive Partitioning with Time-Efficient Approximations

Description

Longitudinal recursive partitioning (LRP) is a tree-based method for longitudinal data. It takes a sample of individuals that were each measured repeatedly across time, and it splits them based on

Longitudinal recursive partitioning (LRP) is a tree-based method for longitudinal data. It takes a sample of individuals that were each measured repeatedly across time, and it splits them based on a set of covariates such that individuals with similar trajectories become grouped together into nodes. LRP does this by fitting a mixed-effects model to each node every time that it becomes partitioned and extracting the deviance, which is the measure of node purity. LRP is implemented using the classification and regression tree algorithm, which suffers from a variable selection bias and does not guarantee reaching a global optimum. Additionally, fitting mixed-effects models to each potential split only to extract the deviance and discard the rest of the information is a computationally intensive procedure. Therefore, in this dissertation, I address the high computational demand, variable selection bias, and local optimum solution. I propose three approximation methods that reduce the computational demand of LRP, and at the same time, allow for a straightforward extension to recursive partitioning algorithms that do not have a variable selection bias and can reach the global optimum solution. In the three proposed approximations, a mixed-effects model is fit to the full data, and the growth curve coefficients for each individual are extracted. Then, (1) a principal component analysis is fit to the set of coefficients and the principal component score is extracted for each individual, (2) a one-factor model is fit to the coefficients and the factor score is extracted, or (3) the coefficients are summed. The three methods result in each individual having a single score that represents the growth curve trajectory. Therefore, now that the outcome is a single score for each individual, any tree-based method may be used for partitioning the data and group the individuals together. Once the individuals are assigned to their final nodes, a mixed-effects model is fit to each terminal node with the individuals belonging to it.

I conduct a simulation study, where I show that the approximation methods achieve the goals proposed while maintaining a similar level of out-of-sample prediction accuracy as LRP. I then illustrate and compare the methods using an applied data.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Does Stress Predict the Development of Internalizing Symptoms in Middle Childhood? : An Examination of Additive and Interactive Effects of Early, Daily, and Physiological Stress

Description

Stress in individuals presents in various forms and may accumulate across development to predict maladaptive physical and psychological outcomes, including greater risk for the onset of internalizing symptoms. Early life

Stress in individuals presents in various forms and may accumulate across development to predict maladaptive physical and psychological outcomes, including greater risk for the onset of internalizing symptoms. Early life stress, daily life experiences, and the stress response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have all been examined as potential predictors of the development of psychopathology, but rarely have researchers attempted to understand the covariation or interaction among these stress domains using a longitudinal design when looking at the influence of stress on internalizing psychopathology. Further, most research has examined these processes in adulthood or adolescence with much less attention given to the influence of these dynamic stress pathways in childhood. Guided by the biopsychosocial model of stress, this study explored early life stress, daily life stress, diurnal cortisol (cortisol AM slope), and internalizing symptoms in a racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of twins participating in an ongoing longitudinal study (N=970 children; Arizona Twin Project; Lemery-Chalfant et al. 2013). An additive model of stress and a stress sensitization framework model were considered as potential pathways of stress to internalizing symptoms in middle childhood. Based on a thorough review of relevant literature, it was expected that each stress indicator would individually predict internalizing symptoms. It was also predicted that early life stress would moderate the associations between diurnal cortisol and internalizing symptoms, as well as daily life stress and internalizing symptoms. Multilevel modeling analyses showed that early life stress and cortisol AM slope, but not daily life stress, predicted internalizing symptoms. Early life stress did not moderate the associations between daily life stress and internalizing symptoms or cortisol AM slope and internalizing symptoms. Results support independent additive contributions of both physiological stress processes and early life parental stressors in the development of internalizing symptoms in middle childhood. Future investigation is needed to better understand the sensitizing effects of early parental life stress during this developmental stage.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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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 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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A Bayesian Synthesis approach to data fusion using augmented data-dependent priors

Description

The process of combining data is one in which information from disjoint datasets sharing at least a number of common variables is merged. This process is commonly referred to as

The process of combining data is one in which information from disjoint datasets sharing at least a number of common variables is merged. This process is commonly referred to as data fusion, with the main objective of creating a new dataset permitting more flexible analyses than the separate analysis of each individual dataset. Many data fusion methods have been proposed in the literature, although most utilize the frequentist framework. This dissertation investigates a new approach called Bayesian Synthesis in which information obtained from one dataset acts as priors for the next analysis. This process continues sequentially until a single posterior distribution is created using all available data. These informative augmented data-dependent priors provide an extra source of information that may aid in the accuracy of estimation. To examine the performance of the proposed Bayesian Synthesis approach, first, results of simulated data with known population values under a variety of conditions were examined. Next, these results were compared to those from the traditional maximum likelihood approach to data fusion, as well as the data fusion approach analyzed via Bayes. The assessment of parameter recovery based on the proposed Bayesian Synthesis approach was evaluated using four criteria to reflect measures of raw bias, relative bias, accuracy, and efficiency. Subsequently, empirical analyses with real data were conducted. For this purpose, the fusion of real data from five longitudinal studies of mathematics ability varying in their assessment of ability and in the timing of measurement occasions was used. Results from the Bayesian Synthesis and data fusion approaches with combined data using Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation methods were reported. The results illustrate that Bayesian Synthesis with data driven priors is a highly effective approach, provided that the sample sizes for the fused data are large enough to provide unbiased estimates. Bayesian Synthesis provides another beneficial approach to data fusion that can effectively be used to enhance the validity of conclusions obtained from the merging of data from different studies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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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

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016