Matching Items (13)

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Differences among High-Achieving Adolescents in Day Schools and Boarding Schools

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In previous research, Luthar and Barkin (2012) found that across three different samples collected from three high-achieving schools, adolescents reported elevated rates of maladjustment behaviors, which include substance use, and

In previous research, Luthar and Barkin (2012) found that across three different samples collected from three high-achieving schools, adolescents reported elevated rates of maladjustment behaviors, which include substance use, and internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Additionally, past research has also indicated that these maladjustment behaviors are related to parent relationships. A group of high-achieving adolescents that research has not yet focused on are those attending boarding schools, who may have higher-quality relationships with parents due to less daily strife. This study aimed to examine high-achieving adolescents across five samples from five high schools, two of which were boarding schools. This study hypothesized that the high-achieving adolescents attending both boarding schools would report lower rates of substance use, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and lower rates of perceived parent criticism and expectations in comparison to those attending the day schools. Substance use, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, and parent relationships were measured using self-report measures that were completed by students attending these schools. Results showed that both boarding schools reported elevated rates of substance use in comparison to the three day schools and these rates measured above national norms. At the same time, both boarding schools reported lower rates of internalizing and externalizing symptoms when compared to rates reported by the day school students. This study also found that there were differences among parent relationship measures, such as criticism and expectations, among all school samples. Results of this study also showed that aspects of parent relationship, such as parent knowledge, were associated with rates of substance use among all school samples. In summary, boarding school students showed elevated substance use, similar parental relationship quality, and lower mental health symptoms compared to day school students. For all students, some aspects of the parental relationship were related to levels of substance use.

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  • 2017-12

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Limited ""down time"" with parents: Associations with maladjustment among affluent youth

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Affluent children have been previously understudied and considerably neglected in developmental research due to the notion that they are "low risk." There is limited empirical research exploring the effects of

Affluent children have been previously understudied and considerably neglected in developmental research due to the notion that they are "low risk." There is limited empirical research exploring the effects of parent involvement in affluent youth: specifically, the importance of the adolescent's perception that their mother/father do not spend as much time with them as they would like. The goals of the study were to explore the role of this dimension of perceived parental involvement in anxious-depressed symptoms, somatic symptoms, rule breaking behaviors and substance use with upper-class suburban youth. The sample was taken from the New England Study of Suburban Youth Cohort (NESSY) (Luthar & Latendresse, 2005b) consisting of 252 high school students in the 12th grade located in an affluent community in the Northeast. Results showed that the participants who indicated their fathers could have dinner with them more often if they tried presented significant group differences in anxious-depressed symptoms, somatic symptoms, and rule breaking behaviors while substance use trended towards significant. Thus, these data demonstrate that parent-child relationships are not only important for infant and child development, but are also an integral part of development of adaptive behaviors during adolescence. In addition, the data suggest the benefits from having strong, supportive, and stable relationships with not only mothers but with fathers as well. Results from post hoc analyses revealed perceived absence of fathers at dinnertime affects the adolescent more than the perceived absence of mothers at dinnertime. Finally, teens who indicated a need to spend more dinnertimes with their father may be suffering from a lack of open communication and opportunities to discuss social and emotional issues that are conducive to adolescent development and adjustment.

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  • 2016-12

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Adolescent Prosocial Behavior at SES Extremes

Description

The literature has consistently established levels of adolescent maladjustment well above national norms for both socioeconomic (SES) extremes (Lyman & Luthar 2014). Yet literature on positive adolescent adjustment, and its

The literature has consistently established levels of adolescent maladjustment well above national norms for both socioeconomic (SES) extremes (Lyman & Luthar 2014). Yet literature on positive adolescent adjustment, and its protective or even corrective factors is lacking (Eisenberg, Zhou, & Coller, 2001). This study examined the effects of gender and SES on parent attachment in relation to reports of prosocial behavior. Eleventh grade adolescents (N = 397) were recruited from two public high schools for academically-gifted students who were either high or low-level SES (i.e. the extremes). The students provided passive consent and answered questions on their demographics, perceived relationship with their parents, and tendency to behave in a prosocial manner. Multivariate analyses of variance and follow up analyses of variance were run by gender and SES to determine main effects for gender and SES on parent attachment and prosocial behavior. Regressions following preliminary correlations analyzed whether parental attachment predicted higher levels of adolescent prosocial behavior. Results demonstrated that females communicated with their mothers significantly more and reported higher levels of prosocial behavior than their male counterparts. Findings with regard to SES revealed that high SES adolescents reported increased parent attachment, whereas low SES adolescents reported higher levels of community\u2014based prosocial behaviors. Finally, certain dimensions of parent attachment predicted increases and decreases only in specific prosocial behaviors. Because prosocial behaviors change throughout adolescence, future ventures should consider a longitudinal analysis to obtain a more comprehensive picture of adolescent positive adjustment.

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  • 2017-12

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Benefits of high intelligence: Potential moderating effects of emotion regulation and friendship quality

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Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions are on the rise in adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015; Bridge, Asti, & Horowitz, 2015). Parents, school administrators, and therapists are

Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions are on the rise in adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015; Bridge, Asti, & Horowitz, 2015). Parents, school administrators, and therapists are searching for resiliency factors with in at-risk groups to aid students in need. In previous work, Luthar and Zigler (1992) reported that intelligent youth are more resilient than less intelligent youth under low stress conditions but they lose their advantage under high stress conditions. This study examined whether intelligence (reflected in grade point average; GPA) and maladaptive (internalizing and externalizing symptoms) behaviors are negatively related in adolescents, and tested whether level of stress, reflected in emotion regulation and friendship quality, moderated that association. It also probed whether the relationships differ by gender. Sixth-graders (N=506) were recruited with active parental consent from three middle schools. Adolescents completed self-report questionnaires Regarding demo graphics, maladaptive behaviors, emotion regulation, and friendship quality, and GPA data were collected from the school. Regression analyses found that GPA was negatively related to externalizing symptoms. Girls with poor friendship communication report significantly higher maladaptive behaviors. This relation was more pronounced for girls with high GPAs, as predicted. Results support the theory that intelligent female adolescents are more reactive under adverse circumstances. Future efforts should follow students through middle school into high school to evaluate whether friendships remain important to adjustment, hold for boys as well as girls, and have implications for relationship interventions.

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  • 2017-12

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The Multidimensional Nature of Social Support in Contributing to Adjustment Following Spousal Loss

Description

Spousal loss is a common, significant life event that can negatively affect multiple facets of individual health and psychological adjustment. Social support is one factor that is shown to improve

Spousal loss is a common, significant life event that can negatively affect multiple facets of individual health and psychological adjustment. Social support is one factor that is shown to improve adjustment following spousal loss, but much less is known regarding which facet of social support is most predictive of positive adjustment outcomes following spousal loss. This study examined the course of changes in mental health and well-being following spousal loss and which facets of social support are associated with better outcomes following spousal loss. Latent growth curve modeling was applied to data from 265 widowed individuals, ages 65 and older, across four assessments (baseline, and 6-, 18-, and 48- months following spousal loss). I examined the following research questions: (1) adjustment following spousal loss will follow a trajectory of an increase in depressive symptoms and anxiety and decrease in well-being with a leveling-off over time, with between-person differences, and (2) emotional support and instrumental support given will lead to more positive adjustment outcomes over time. Depressive symptoms followed the hypothesized trajectory but anxiety and well-being showed relative stability before and after spousal loss. Instrumental support was the most beneficial facet of social support, such that receiving more instrumental support was associated with lower levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety 6-months following spousal loss. Giving more instrumental support led to an increase in well-being following spousal loss. Instrumental support given and received led to increases in well-being as a function of spousal loss. The discussion focuses on whether and how these findings can help to identify ways through which support and help can be given to individuals to improve adjustment to spousal loss and fully recover.

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  • 2017-12

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An Investigation into the Influence of Dimensions of Containment on Externalizing Behaviors in Affluent Youth

Description

Recent evidence suggests that youth from affluent and upper-middle-class, white collar families are at high risk for maladaptive behaviors, such as aggression, rule breaking, and substance use. A major hypothesized

Recent evidence suggests that youth from affluent and upper-middle-class, white collar families are at high risk for maladaptive behaviors, such as aggression, rule breaking, and substance use. A major hypothesized underlying factor is lax parental discipline that involves low repercussions for errant behaviors such as substance use—also known as perceived parents’ “containment” of such behaviors. In this study, the focus is on multiple dimensions of perceived containment among parents and school authorities, in relation to both externalizing problems and drug use behaviors. These associations are examined in four different schools: two boarding schools and two day schools. Results show much stronger links with maladjustment for perceived containment by parents as opposed to perceived containment by school. The largest significant effects within the containment indices were found to be between parent containment of drug use and the levels of substance use behaviors reported by students. These effects were found across gender and all schools, indicating robust links. Overall, the most robust index studied was the perceived parental monitoring variables; monitoring effects were stronger than effects from any containment variables. Students who perceived the highest levels of parental monitoring exhibited the least amount of externalizing behaviors across all schools and genders. A possible explanation includes students perceiving that their parents monitor their behavior due to caring on the behalf of the parent, which then leads to fewer externalizing outcomes. These results suggest that the most effective means of decreasing substance use levels seem to lie within the parents of the students and not the schools.

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  • 2018-12

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Internalizing Problems and Goal-Setting Among Affluent High School Girls

Description

Research implemented by Luthar and colleagues over the past decade has revealed serious levels of maladjustment among youth growing up in affluent and upwardly mobile communities across the country. Contrary

Research implemented by Luthar and colleagues over the past decade has revealed serious levels of maladjustment among youth growing up in affluent and upwardly mobile communities across the country. Contrary to what was previously believed, these youth often fare much worse on measures of both internalizing and externalizing problems when compared to their inner-city counterparts (Luthar, Barkin & Crossman, 2013). In an attempt to differentiate affluent youth with levels of maladjustment from their peers who are more well adjusted, the present study examines the relationship between internalizing problems and goal-setting, with analyses separated by gender. In a culture where there is such a focus on extrinsic goals, is it possible that goal-setting influences feelings of anxiety and depression? Multiple regression analyses were conducted with two goal-setting measures predicting to various internalizing dimensions of the Youth Self Report (Achenbach & Rescorla). The sample included 252 senior year high school students participating in the New England Study on Suburban Youth (NESSY). Statistically significant results supported our hypothesis that a higher ratio of extrinsic goals would predict to internalizing problems, for both males and females. Future research that implements an experimental design would be beneficial in understanding more fully whether changing one's goals and values decreases internalizing problems.

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  • 2014-12

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The Push for Perfection: Parent Influence, Perfectionism, & Stress as Predictors of Student Adjustment

Description

Nearly a decade of research has shown that high achieving students are at elevated risk for serious adjustment problems \u2014 including internalizing and externalizing symptoms and substance use. In this

Nearly a decade of research has shown that high achieving students are at elevated risk for serious adjustment problems \u2014 including internalizing and externalizing symptoms and substance use. In this study, we examine the relationship among three types of risk factors, including parent expectations and criticism, self-reported perfectionism, and daily stressors, and internalizing symptoms, rule-breaking behaviors, and substance use.

Perfectionism and daily stressors (e.g., relationship stress and hours of sleep) were significantly associated with internalizing symptoms and rule-breaking behaviors for both males and females across schools. Our findings suggest that there may be a unique interplay among perfectionism, relationship stress, and hours of sleep for students attending high achieving schools. Future research should attempt to tease apart the interactions among these risk factors and determine whether interventions should address them as separate, modifiable dimensions or treat them in a holistic manner.

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  • 2018-12

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Predictors of program response to a child anxiety indicated prevention and early intervention protocol

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The purpose of this study was to examine if certain child demographics and risk modifiers of the child (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, anxiety control, and social competence) predict program

The purpose of this study was to examine if certain child demographics and risk modifiers of the child (i.e., anxiety sensitivity, depressive symptoms, anxiety control, and social competence) predict program response to a Child Anxiety Indicated Prevention and Early Intervention protocol (Pina, Zerr, Villalta, & Gonzales, 2012). This anxiety protocol focused on cognitive behavioral techniques (e.g., systematic and gradual exposure) that used culturally responsive implementation strategies (Pina, Villalta, & Zerr, 2009). The current study aims to investigate specific predictors of program response to this anxiety protocol. First, it was of interest to determine if child demographics and risk modifiers of the child at baseline would predict program response to the early anxiety intervention protocol. Second, it was of interest to see if an interaction with one of the four risk modifiers at baseline and sex or protocol condition would predict program response to the early anxiety intervention protocol. This study included 88 youth (59.14% Hispanic/Latino and 40.9% Caucasian) who were recruited through referrals from public schools and randomized to one of two protocol conditions (i.e., child-only or the child-plus-parent protocol), which had varying levels of mothers’ participation within the Child Anxiety Indicated Prevention and Early Intervention protocol (Pina et al., 2012). Participants ranged from 6 to 17 years of age (M = 10.36, SD = 2.73), and 48.9% were boys. The four risk modifiers were assessed using the Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index (CASI; Silverman, Fleisig, Rabian, & Peterson, 1991), Children's Depression Inventory (CDI; Kovacs, 1981), Anxiety Control Questionnaire for Children-Short Form (ACQ-C-S; Weems, 2005), and Social Competence scale from the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach & Resorla, 2001). Program response was measured by pre-to-posttest changes in anxiety outcomes. Regarding the first aim, each of the four risk modifiers was related to pre-to-posttest changes in program response outcomes. Regarding the second aim for interactions between each of the four focal predictors, sex and protocol condition emerged as moderators. These results have potential implications for clinicians and researchers interested in understanding why some children might experience more or less change when participating in an early intervention protocol for anxiety.

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  • 2017

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Examining the Link Between Emotional Childhood Abuse and Social Relationships in Midlife: The Moderating Role of the Oxytocin Receptor Gene

Description

The current study examined the unique influence of emotional childhood abuse on positive and negative aspects of different types of social relationships (e.g., family, spouse/partner, and friends) in midlife and

The current study examined the unique influence of emotional childhood abuse on positive and negative aspects of different types of social relationships (e.g., family, spouse/partner, and friends) in midlife and whether genetic variations of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) moderated these associations. Genetic variations in OXTR are measured by single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which have been the most substantially studied prospects for explaining individual differences in socio-behavioral phenotypes. Specifically, an SNP, rs53576, involving a guanine (G) to adenine (A) substitution located in the third intron of the OXTR has been associated with fundamental aspects of social processes and behaviors. Compared to A carriers, individuals homozygous for the G allele have enhanced social competencies and tend to elicit more positive responses from social partners, consequently increasing the overall quality of social relationships across the lifespan. However, the G allele of the OXTR has also been associated with greater social sensitivity. In the current study, conducted among a sample of 614 adults in midlife, it was shown that emotional childhood abuse was significantly associated with having less supportive and more strained relationships in midlife. Regarding supportive family relationships, the effect of emotional childhood abuse was moderated by the OXTR rs53576 polymorphism. Specifically, under conditions of more emotional abuse in childhood, individuals homozygous for the G allele had more supportive family relationships in midlife compared to A carriers. Overall, the findings suggest that genetic variations of OXTR rs53576 may be an important candidate in understanding the development of social relationship functioning within the context of negative early life experiences.

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Date Created
  • 2018