Matching Items (15)

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Participation Patterns Among Mexican-American Parents Enrolled in a Universal Intervention and Their Association with Child Externalizing Outcomes

Description

This study used growth mixture modeling to examine attendance trajectories among 292 Mexican–American primary female caregivers enrolled in a universal preventive intervention and the effects of health beliefs, participation intentions,

This study used growth mixture modeling to examine attendance trajectories among 292 Mexican–American primary female caregivers enrolled in a universal preventive intervention and the effects of health beliefs, participation intentions, cultural influences, and intervention group cohesion on trajectory group membership as well as trajectory group differences on a distal outcome, immediate posttest teacher report of child externalizing (T2). Results supported four trajectory groups—early terminators (ET), mid-program terminators (MPT), low-risk persistent attenders (LRPA), and high-risk persistent attenders (HRPA). Compared with LRPAs, caregivers classified as HRPAs had weaker familism values, less parenting efficacy, and higher externalizing children with lower GPAs. Caregivers in the two persistent attender groups reported strong group cohesion and providers rated these caregivers as having strong participation intentions. Children of caregivers in the LRPA group had the lowest T2 child externalizing. Children of caregivers in the MPT group had lower T2 externalizing than did those of the ET group, suggesting partial intervention dosage can benefit families. Despite high levels of attendance, children of caregivers in the HRPA had the highest T2 externalizing, suggesting this high-risk group needed either more intensive services or a longer period for parents to implement program skills to evidence change in child externalizing.

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  • 2014-12-01

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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.

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Estimating causal direct and indirect effects in the presence of post-treatment confounders: a simulation study

Description

In investigating mediating processes, researchers usually use randomized experiments and linear regression or structural equation modeling to determine if the treatment affects the hypothesized mediator and if the mediator affects

In investigating mediating processes, researchers usually use randomized experiments and linear regression or structural equation modeling to determine if the treatment affects the hypothesized mediator and if the mediator affects the targeted outcome. However, randomizing the treatment will not yield accurate causal path estimates unless certain assumptions are satisfied. Since randomization of the mediator may not be plausible for most studies (i.e., the mediator status is not randomly assigned, but self-selected by participants), both the direct and indirect effects may be biased by confounding variables. The purpose of this dissertation is (1) to investigate the extent to which traditional mediation methods are affected by confounding variables and (2) to assess the statistical performance of several modern methods to address confounding variable effects in mediation analysis. This dissertation first reviewed the theoretical foundations of causal inference in statistical mediation analysis, modern statistical analysis for causal inference, and then described different methods to estimate causal direct and indirect effects in the presence of two post-treatment confounders. A large simulation study was designed to evaluate the extent to which ordinary regression and modern causal inference methods are able to obtain correct estimates of the direct and indirect effects when confounding variables that are present in the population are not included in the analysis. Five methods were compared in terms of bias, relative bias, mean square error, statistical power, Type I error rates, and confidence interval coverage to test how robust the methods are to the violation of the no unmeasured confounders assumption and confounder effect sizes. The methods explored were linear regression with adjustment, inverse propensity weighting, inverse propensity weighting with truncated weights, sequential g-estimation, and a doubly robust sequential g-estimation. Results showed that in estimating the direct and indirect effects, in general, sequential g-estimation performed the best in terms of bias, Type I error rates, power, and coverage across different confounder effect, direct effect, and sample sizes when all confounders were included in the estimation. When one of the two confounders were omitted from the estimation process, in general, none of the methods had acceptable relative bias in the simulation study. Omitting one of the confounders from estimation corresponded to the common case in mediation studies where no measure of a confounder is available but a confounder may affect the analysis. Failing to measure potential post-treatment confounder variables in a mediation model leads to biased estimates regardless of the analysis method used and emphasizes the importance of sensitivity analysis for causal mediation analysis.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Latino adolescents' organized activities: understanding the role of ethnicity and culture in shaping participation

Description

Organized activity participation is associated with a wide array of positive developmental outcomes. Latinos are one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S., yet are less

Organized activity participation is associated with a wide array of positive developmental outcomes. Latinos are one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic groups in the U.S., yet are less likely to participate in organized activities than their peers. Theoretically, the alignment or fit between adolescents' and their activities' characteristics is critical to support youths' use and engagement in organized activities. Using qualitative data in Study 1, I examined parents' and adolescents' perspectives and experiences related to several indicators of ethnicity and culture in their activities. Results suggested that alignment on Spanish-language use was critical for participation. However, some Latino families did not prefer aspects of ethnicity and culture in their activities because adolescents learned about their culture with family or because adolescents wanted to fit in with their majority White peers. Study 2 tested quantitatively whether features of ethnicity and culture in the activity mattered for Latino adolescents' experiences during activities. Ethnic and cultural features in activities, particularly respect for one's ethnicity and culture, fostered positive experiences during activities. Unexpectedly, some ethnic and cultural features were detrimental, such that overt teaching about ethnicity and culture was related to negative feelings during the activity. There was little evidence that the relation between ethnic and cultural features in activities and concurrent experiences varied by Latino cultural orientation. Integrating the findings across these two studies, there was mixed evidence for the traditional theoretical notions that optimal development occurs in environments that fit with individual's characteristics. Complementary fit was optimal when adolescents' needs were considered across the many contexts in which their lives are embedded, including their families and neighborhoods. I recommend that practitioners should take care in learning about the specific families and youth that their activity serves to best understand how to meet their needs. Some aspects of culture, such as Spanish-language use may be critical for participation; other aspects may require special attention from activity leaders, such as teaching about ethnicity and culture. This dissertation is an important step in understanding how to best design activities that promote the recruitment and retention of Latino youth in organized activities.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Family risk and adolescent sexual risk taking: testing academic and peer mediation

Description

Sexual risk taking is prevalent in adolescence, particularly among Latino teens, and can have serious consequences in the form of contraction of STIs, HIV, and increased risk of unintended pregnancy.

Sexual risk taking is prevalent in adolescence, particularly among Latino teens, and can have serious consequences in the form of contraction of STIs, HIV, and increased risk of unintended pregnancy. Family contexts characterized by conflict and lack of support are antecedents of adolescent sexual risk taking, but evidence elucidating the mechanisms underlying this association is lacking. The current study sought to test two potential pathways to sexual risk taking within the framework of social developmental theory, among a sample of 189 Mexican origin adolescents and their caregivers interviewed in the 7th, 8th, and 12th grades. Structural equation modeling was utilized to examine pathways from 7th grade family risk to age of sexual initiation, number of lifetime sexual partners, and condom nonuse reported in the 12th grade. Deviant peer affiliations and academic engagement at 8th grade were tested as mediators of this relationship for boys and girls. Results confirm the importance of the family context, with family risk exerting direct effects on the number of lifetime sexual partners for both genders, and on age of sexual initiation for females only. Deviant peer affiliations serve as a mediator of family risk for males, but not females. When included in a model alongside deviant peers, academic engagement does not play the hypothesized mediating role between family risk and any of the sexual risk outcomes. Future research ought to consider additional mediators that better account for the relation between family risk and sexual risk taking among females.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Assessing social anxiety in African American and Caucasian children: : an initial examination

Description

The purpose of this thesis study was to evaluate the nature of social anxiety in clinic-referred African American children versus their Caucasian counterparts. In particular, social anxiety symptom endorsement along

The purpose of this thesis study was to evaluate the nature of social anxiety in clinic-referred African American children versus their Caucasian counterparts. In particular, social anxiety symptom endorsement along the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory Scale for Children (SPAI-C; Beidel, Turner, & Morris, 1995) was examined in a sample of 107 African American and 364 Caucasian children (ages 7- to 17-years old) referred for anxiety. To evaluate symptom endorsement, simple descriptive analyses were conducted whereas measurement invariance tests were examined using confirmatory factor analyses. For the most commonly endorsed items, African American and Caucasian children shared seven of the top 10 most commonly identified social anxiety symptoms. Similar social fears across ethnicity focused on "assertiveness in situations perceived to be difficult" and ""speaking to large groups of peers they do not know." Findings also showed that African American children were more likely to report symptoms of "shaking when in social situations" than Caucasian children, and Caucasian children were more likely to report symptoms of "embarrassment when in front of adults" compared to African American children, but this was also on the basis of two items. When it came to the five factors of the SPAI-C, results showed measurement invariance across African American and Caucasian children. Overall, there were more similarities than differences between African American and Caucasian children in social anxiety symptoms based on the SPAI-C. Findings from this thesis study shed light on how to best accurately identify social anxiety among African American children compared to Caucasians, a contribution that can potentially impact assessment, treatment planning, and program response evaluation.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Communicating with compassion: the exploratory factor analysis and primary validation process of the Compassionate Communication Scale

Description

The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a Compassionate Communication Scale (CCS) by conducting a series of studies. The first study used qualitative data to identify and develop initial

The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a Compassionate Communication Scale (CCS) by conducting a series of studies. The first study used qualitative data to identify and develop initial scale items. A series of follow-up studies used exploratory factor analysis to investigate the underlying structure of the CCS. A three-factor structure emerged, which included: Compassionate conversation, such as listening, letting the distressed person disclose feelings, and making empathetic remarks; compassionate touch, such as holding someone's hand or patting someone's back; and compassionate messaging, such as posting an encouraging message on a social networking site or sending a sympathetic email. The next study tested convergent and divergent validity by determining how the three forms of compassionate communication associate with various traits. Compassionate conversation was positively related to compassion, empathetic concern, perspective taking, emotional intelligence, social expressivity, emotional expressivity and benevolence, and negatively related to verbal aggressiveness and narcissism. Compassionate touch was positively correlated with compassion, empathetic concern, perspective taking, emotional intelligence, social expressivity, emotional expressivity, and benevolence, and uncorrelated with verbal aggressiveness and benevolence. Finally, compassionate messaging was positively correlated with social expressivity, emotional expressivity, and uncorrelated with verbal aggressiveness and narcissism. The next study focused on cross-validation and criterion-related validity. Correlations showing that self-reports of a person's compassionate communication were positively related to a friend or romantic partner's report of that person's compassionate communication provided cross-validation. The test for criterion-related validity examined whether compassionate communication predicts relational satisfaction. Regression analyses revealed that people were more relationally satisfied when they perceived themselves to use compassionate conversation, when they perceived their partner to use compassionate conversation, and when their partner reported using compassionate conversation. This finding did not extend to compassionate touch or compassionate messaging. In fact, in one regression analysis, people reported more relational satisfaction when they perceived that their partners used high levels of compassionate conversation and low levels of compassionate touch. Overall, the analyses suggest that of the three forms of compassionate communication, compassionate conversation is most strongly related to relational satisfaction. Taken together, this series of studies provides initial evidence for the validity of the CCS.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Ego-social identity profiles during emerging adulthood

Description

Identity theorists have emphasized the importance of integration across identity domains for psychosocial well-being. There remains little research, however, on associations across identity domains, group differences across identity profiles, and

Identity theorists have emphasized the importance of integration across identity domains for psychosocial well-being. There remains little research, however, on associations across identity domains, group differences across identity profiles, and the joint association of multiple identity domains with academic outcomes. This dissertation includes two studies that address these limitations in the identity literature. Study 1, examined the ego-social identity profiles that emerged from ethnic identity exploration and commitment, American identity exploration and commitment, and ego identity integration and confusion among an ethnically diverse sample of emerging adults using latent profile analysis (N = 8,717). Results suggested that an eight-profile solution was the best fit for the data. The profiles demonstrated differences in identity status and salience across identity domains. Significant ethnic, sex, nativity, and age differences were identified in ego-social identity membership. Study 2 focused on the ego-social identity profiles that emerged from the same identity domains among biethnic college students of Latino and European American heritage (N = 401) and how these profiles differed as a function of preferred ethnic label. The association of ego-social identity profile with academic achievement and the moderation by university ethnic composition were examined. Results indicated that a two-profile solution was the best fit to the data in which one profile included participants with general identity achievement across identity domains and one profile included individuals who were approaching the identity formation process in each domain. Ego-social identity profile membership did not differ based on preferred ethnic label. Individuals who had a more integrated identity across domains had higher college grades. University ethnic composition did not significantly moderate this association. Taken together, these two studies highlight the intricacies of identity formation that are overlooked when integration across identity domains is not considered.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Pathways from family contextual factors to romantic outcomes in young adults of divorced parents: mediation through peer competence and coping efficacy

Description

Using a sample of children from divorced homes, the current study assesses the effects of family relationship variables on romantic outcomes in young adulthood, through the influence of several individual-level

Using a sample of children from divorced homes, the current study assesses the effects of family relationship variables on romantic outcomes in young adulthood, through the influence of several individual-level variables. In particular, children's coping efficacy and peer competence are examined as mediators of the effects of parenting and interparental conflict on children's later romantic involvement and relationship quality. Assessments occurred during childhood, when children were between the ages of nine and 12, in adolescence, when children were ages 15 to 18, and in young adulthood, when children were ages 24 to 27, spanning a period of 15 years. Childhood and adolescent variables were measured using child- and mother-report data and young adult measures were completed by the young adults and their romantic partners. One model was tested using all participants in the sample, regardless of whether they were romantically involved in young adulthood, and revealed that maternal warmth in childhood was linked with children's coping efficacy six years later, which was marginally related to an increased likelihood of being romantically involved and to decreased romantic attachment at the 15-year follow-up. A model with only the participants who were romantically involved in young adulthood also revealed a link between childhood maternal warmth and coping efficacy in adolescence, which was then marginally related to increased romantic satisfaction and to confidence in the romantic relationship in young adulthood. Marginal mediation was also found for several of the proposed paths, and there was little evidence to support path differences between males and females. Implications of the present findings for research with children from divorced families and the development of preventive interventions are discussed. In particular, parenting, interparental conflict, peer competence, and coping efficacy are examined as modifiable targets for change and existing preventive interventions employing these targets are described.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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The validation study of the Persistent Academic Possible Selves Scale for Adolescents

Description

Possible selves researchers have uncovered many issues associated with the current possible selves measures. For instance, one of the most famous possible selves measures, Oyserman (2004)'s open-ended possible selves, has

Possible selves researchers have uncovered many issues associated with the current possible selves measures. For instance, one of the most famous possible selves measures, Oyserman (2004)'s open-ended possible selves, has proven to be difficult to score reliably and also involves laborious scoring procedures. Therefore, this study was initiated to develop a close-ended measure, called the Persistent Academic Possible Selves Scale for Adolescents (PAPSS), that meets these challenges. The PAPSS integrates possible selves theories (personal and social identities) and educational psychology (self-regulation in social cognitive theory). Four hundred and ninety five junior high and high school students participated in the validation study of the PAPSS. I conducted confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) to compare fit for a baseline model to the hypothesized models using Mplus version 7 (Muthén & Muthén, 2012). A weighted least square means and a variance adjusted (WLSMV) estimation method was used for handling multivariate nonnormality of ordered categorical data. The final PAPSS has validity evidence based on the internal structure. The factor structure is composed of three goal-driven factors, one self-regulated factor that focuses on peers, and four self-regulated factors that emphasize the self. Oyserman (2004)'s open-ended questionnaire was used for exploring the evidence of convergent validity. Many issues regarding Oyserman (2003)'s instructions were found during the coding process of academic plausibility. It was complicated to detect hidden academic possible selves and strategies from non-academic possible selves and strategies. Also, interpersonal related strategies were over weighted in the scoring process compared to interpersonal related academic possible selves. The study results uncovered that all of the academic goal-related factors in the PAPSS are significantly related to academic plausibility in a positive direction. However, self-regulated factors in the PAPSS are not. The correlation results between the self-regulated factors and academic plausibility do not provide the evidence of convergent validity. Theoretical and methodological explanations for the test results are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2013