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The Effects of Maternal Postpartum Depression on Dyadic Emotion Dysregulation

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Postpartum depression is recognized as the most common psychiatric disorder that appears in approximately 10-15% of women, with higher frequencies among low-income minority women. Past studies have revealed that depressive symptoms negatively impact child development and mother-child synchrony. The current

Postpartum depression is recognized as the most common psychiatric disorder that appears in approximately 10-15% of women, with higher frequencies among low-income minority women. Past studies have revealed that depressive symptoms negatively impact child development and mother-child synchrony. The current study's purpose was to explore the effects of postpartum depressive symptoms on later dyadic dysregulation. The data was collected from Las Madres Nuevas' study, a longitudinal investigation. Participants were 322 Mexican and Mexican American mother-infant dyads from the Phoenix metropolitan area who were recruited though a Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS) prenatal clinic. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to measure depression 6 weeks postpartum. Additionally, the dysregulation-coding scheme used at child's 24 months of age measured the children's, mothers', and dyads' regulatory skills throughout their interactions with each other. Linear regression analyses were the central analyses of this study. In the first regression analysis, results showed that mother's age at prenatal visit (p= 0.44), 6-week depression score (p= 0.37), mother's education (p= 0.77), and number of biological children (p= 0.28) did not significantly predict dyadic dysregulation at 24 months. The second linear regression analysis concluded that the 6-week depression score, mother's country of birth, the interaction of maternal depression and country of birth, mother's education, mother's age at prenatal visit, and number of biological children also did not predict dyadic dysregulation at 24 months. Although not statistically significant, the findings suggest that the Hispanic Paradox theory, conservation of native cultural values, and strong social support have protective effects in Mexican immigrant and Mexican American childbearing women.

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2018-05

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Executive Functioning as a Mediator of Authoritarian Parenting and Child Externalized Behavior Problems

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The first step in providing adequate prevention of children’s behavior problems is identifying possible predictors. There is an established relation between parenting style and behaviors and children’s future outcomes, including risk of externalizing behavior problems, but the mechanisms that may

The first step in providing adequate prevention of children’s behavior problems is identifying possible predictors. There is an established relation between parenting style and behaviors and children’s future outcomes, including risk of externalizing behavior problems, but the mechanisms that may explain this relation are unclear. The current study investigated whether child executive functioning plays a mediating role between parenting style and externalizing behavior problems. I hypothesized that parenting style, specifically harsh authoritarian parenting, would predict a decrease in child executive performance, then leading to increased child behavior problems. Additionally, sex differences within this model were examined. Parenting styles and child externalizing behavior problems were measured through mother’s self-report within a sample of 322 low-income, Mexican-American mother child dyads in the Phoenix metropolitan area. A mediation model was performed, including relevant covariates, to test for significance of the mediated pathway. The results of the current study indicated that authoritarian parenting style significantly predicted greater externalizing behavior problems in the sample, but only for girls. Interestingly, it was also found that the addition of biological siblings predicted less behavior problems, again only for girls. These results promote understanding of the influences on behavior problems in children that can escalate to delinquency and criminal behavior. This information is critical for the development and improvement of strategic interventions.

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2020-05

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Impact of Maternal PTSD on Infant Problem Behaviors: Mediation Through Parenting Stress

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects nearly 10% of adult women in general population samples. In populations of impoverished ethnic minority women, those lifetime prevalence rates may possibly exceed national averages due to lack of mental health resources. Mothers with PTSD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects nearly 10% of adult women in general population samples. In populations of impoverished ethnic minority women, those lifetime prevalence rates may possibly exceed national averages due to lack of mental health resources. Mothers with PTSD are more likely to exhibit negative parenting styles and experience higher levels of perceived parenting stress, both of which are associated with poor child outcomes. However, there is a lack of evidence on how maternal PTSD may affect parenting for ethnic minority mothers. This study evaluated the prevalence of lifetime PTSD and its effects on parenting stress and infant problem behaviors in a sample of 322 low-income Mexican-American mothers (mean age = 27.8; 86% born in Mexico). Lifetime PTSD diagnoses were assessed at a prenatal home visit (24-36 weeks gestation) using the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Mothers reported parenting hassles at 24-weeks postpartum (PDLH; Crnic & Greenberg, 1990), and child problem behaviors at infant age one-year (BITSEA; Briggs-Gowan et al., 2004). I hypothesized that 1) women with PTSD would report more parenting stress than women without PTSD, 2) women with PTSD would report more infant problem behavior symptoms than women without PTSD, and 3) parenting stress mediates the relationship between PTSD and infant problem behavior. Results found that 16.5% of women met criteria for past or present PTSD. Compared to women without PTSD, women with PTSD reported more parenting stress but a similar level of infant problem behaviors. Parenting stress significantly mediated the relationship between maternal PTSD and infant problem behaviors. Study findings suggest a need for mental health screenings during prenatal care in order to promote the healthy development of high-risk children.

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2017-12

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Impact of Family Support on Early Childhood Dysregulation in the Context of Maternal Depression

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The ability to regulate emotions, attention, and behavior develops early in life and impacts future academic success, social competency, behavioral problems, and psychopathology. An impairment in regulation is known as dysregulation. Past research shows that children of mothers with postpartum

The ability to regulate emotions, attention, and behavior develops early in life and impacts future academic success, social competency, behavioral problems, and psychopathology. An impairment in regulation is known as dysregulation. Past research shows that children of mothers with postpartum depression are more likely to show impairment in regulatory abilities. There is an established link in the literature between family support and maternal depression, which in turn can impact child behavior. However, further research is needed to explore the impact of family support on early childhood dysregulation in the context of maternal depression. Using a sample of 322 Mexican-American, mother-child dyads, two models were examined. Model one hypothesized family support would buffer the effects of maternal depression on child dysregulation at 24 months. Model 2 hypothesized that family support is related to child dysregulation through its effect on maternal depression. Results showed that increased family support was related to more child dysregulation when there were high levels of maternal depression. There was no evidence to support the hypothesis that maternal depression mediated the relationship between family support and child dysregulation.

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2017-12

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Culturally Motivated Clinician Drift in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: How Clinicians Adopt, Adapt, or Abandon CBT for Latino Clients

Description

Prior research has identified that clinicians in the treatment of eating disorders often do not adhere closely to empirically-supported treatments (EST), and are particularly likely to modify Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT). Several reasons for this phenomenon, dubbed "clinician drift", have been

Prior research has identified that clinicians in the treatment of eating disorders often do not adhere closely to empirically-supported treatments (EST), and are particularly likely to modify Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (CBT). Several reasons for this phenomenon, dubbed "clinician drift", have been identified, including level of clinician training, education, and type of patient care. In addition to the phenomenon of clinician drift, there has been a growing controversy within the field of clinical psychology about the compatibility of ESTs and multiculturalism. Some argue that the standardization inherent to EST resists the concept of cultural adaptability; while others have countered that cultural adaptability is essential in order for empirically supported treatments to remain relevant, ethical, and effective. In order to shed more light on this issue, this study examined how clinicians tend to drift from CBT in the treatment of Latinos suffering from eating disorders, in order to accommodate Latino culture and elements of eating behavior specific to Latino populations. We both attempted to replicate prior findings regarding predictors of clinician drift, as well as build upon the little existing research into the "culturally-motivated clinician drift." It was discovered that no therapist characteristics or client characteristics were predictive of drift. However, the majority of the sample still adapted or abandoned at least part of the CBT treatment. Their responses regarding the weaknesses of CBT for their Spanish-speaking clients can provide insight into how the treatment can be modified for more diverse clients.

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2017-12

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Exposure to maternal distress in childhood and cortisol activity in young adulthood

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Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal

Dysregulated cortisol is a risk factor for poor health outcomes. Children of distressed mothers exhibit dysregulated cortisol, yet it is unclear whether maternal distress predicts cortisol activity in later developmental stages. This longitudinal study examined the prospective relation between maternal distress during late childhood (9–12 years) and adolescence (15–19 years) and cortisol response in offspring in young adulthood (24–28 years). Data were collected from 51 recently divorced mothers and their children across 15 years. Higher maternal distress during late childhood was associated with lower total cortisol independent of levels of maternal distress in adolescence or young adulthood. Maternal distress during adolescence marginally predicted blunted cortisol when distress in childhood was low. Findings suggest that blunted cortisol activity in young adulthood may be a long-term consequence of exposure to maternal distress earlier in development.

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2014-11-01

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EXAMINING THE ADDITIVE INFLUENCE OF PRENATAL RISK FACTORS AND THE POSTNATAL ENVIRONMENT ON INFANT FUNCTIONING

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The relations between prenatal risk factors and postnatal risk and protective factors and infant outcomes were examined. Mothers, primarily of low-income background and Latina ethnicity, were interviewed within 24 hours of giving birth, and then again when their infants were

The relations between prenatal risk factors and postnatal risk and protective factors and infant outcomes were examined. Mothers, primarily of low-income background and Latina ethnicity, were interviewed within 24 hours of giving birth, and then again when their infants were five and nine months of age. The relations between prenatal stress, postnatal environment, and infant maturity and temperament were analyzedusing a multiple regression model. We controlled for the covariates: mother's education level and infant's birth weight. Maternal prenatal risk factors predicted lower infant Regulation and lower Developmental Maturity at nine months. Maternal postnatal risks did not predict infant outcomes, but maternal expectations for their child provided a significant association for three of the four infant outcomes: Regulation, Surgency, and Infant Developmental Maturity. The results underscore the importance of prenatal stress holding its significance with the addition of postnatal measures. Future studies would need to explore deeper into a multitude of postnatal factors, in order to accurately portray associations between maternal prenatal stress and infant health.

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2012-05

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Attachment Style as a Moderator in Co-Regulation between Female Friends

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The relationship of attachment style to both the selection and efficacy of emotion management strategies in adult dyadic contexts is not well elucidated. In non-romantic contexts, the interplay between emotion management and individual attachment style may provide a better understanding

The relationship of attachment style to both the selection and efficacy of emotion management strategies in adult dyadic contexts is not well elucidated. In non-romantic contexts, the interplay between emotion management and individual attachment style may provide a better understanding of how affect can be mitigated in daily life. The present study investigated these interactions by studying 56 pairs of college age women who were close friends. Participants were asked to have a conversation about a current source of concern/distress to one partner, while seated in the laboratory. After the conversation, participants were asked to report their subjective experience of several emotions during the conversation, such as ‘sadness,’ ‘joy,’ and ‘fear.’ Participants were also asked to complete a questionnaire assessing adult attachment style, specifically attachment anxiety and avoidance. Behavior during the conversation was coded for co-rumination and co-cognitive reappraisal by the “listener.” Listener attachment insecurity showed a trending association with increased use of co-detached reappraisal, for both avoidance (p=0.14) and anxiety (p=0.14). Listener attachment insecurity also predicted lower use of co-rumination, for both anxiety (p=0.10) and avoidance (p=0.02). Speaker attachment insecurity moderated the relationship between co-detached reappraisal and speaker emotion. Greater co-detached reappraisal predicted higher reports of non-fear negative and positive emotions, but only for high-avoidance speakers. Greater co-detached reappraisal also predicted greater non-fear negative emotions among speakers high, but not low, on attachment anxiety. Greater listener use of co-positive reappraisal was associated with higher reports of speaker fear; this effect was not moderated by speaker attachment style. These findings are discussed in relation to theoretical conceptions of attachment style, and in terms of the impact of context on emotion.

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2016-05

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Momentary Associations Among Negative Affect and Cortisol: Is Alone Status a Moderator? Is Social Support a Moderator?

Description

The transition from high school to college is associated with considerable life strain for adolescents, including higher reported levels of daily stress and negative affect (NA), and alterations in stress physiology have been linked to poor health. The purpose of

The transition from high school to college is associated with considerable life strain for adolescents, including higher reported levels of daily stress and negative affect (NA), and alterations in stress physiology have been linked to poor health. The purpose of this thesis was to use an ecological momentary assessment design to study associations between momentary experiences of negative affect and cortisol levels in a sample of adolescents transitioning to college. I also examined the potential moderating effects of two potential vulnerability or protective factors, alone status and perceived social support from friends. Adolescents provided salivary samples and completed paper-and-pencil diary reports of socioemotional experiences and alone status five times per day for three consecutive weekdays, as well as completed self-report questionnaires on perceived social support from friends. Within-person increases in momentary negative affect were associated with momentary cortisol reactivity. Alone status significantly moderated this association such that the association between momentary negative affect and momentary cortisol levels was only significant when individuals were with others and not when they were alone. Perceived social support from friends did not significantly moderate the within-person associations between negative affect and momentary cortisol levels. The findings add to our understanding of physiological correlates of socioemotional experiences, as well as contexts in which these associations may be exaggerated or attenuated. The findings inform our understanding of potential pathways by which physiological reactivity to socioemotional experiences may affect the health of adolescents as well as how prevention efforts could reduce potential poor health outcomes associated with heightened stress reactivity.

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2014-12

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Discrimination, Social Support, and Cortisol in Low-Income Hispanic Women and Infants

Description

Although discrimination is implicated in ethnic health disparities, social support may buffer against its negative effects on health. This study investigated whether prenatal maternal discrimination and social support would predict postpartum cortisol in low-income Hispanic women and infants. Among infants

Although discrimination is implicated in ethnic health disparities, social support may buffer against its negative effects on health. This study investigated whether prenatal maternal discrimination and social support would predict postpartum cortisol in low-income Hispanic women and infants. Among infants whose mothers reported high discrimination, low maternal social support was associated with high infant cortisol (ß= -0.293, p= 0.03). This provides evidence for the social buffering hypothesis.

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2013-05