Matching Items (23)

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12-01

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Environmental risks, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and mental health symptomatology in Mexican American youth: a two-study approach

Description

In this dissertation Mexican American (MA) youths environmental risk contexts, HPA axis functioning and mental health symptomatology were investigated in two separate studies. In the first study, environmental risk contexts

In this dissertation Mexican American (MA) youths environmental risk contexts, HPA axis functioning and mental health symptomatology were investigated in two separate studies. In the first study, environmental risk contexts were examined utilizing a person-centered approach and focusing on MA adolescents' family, peer, and cultural risk factors in fifth grade (N = 750). Environmental contexts were then linked to mental health symptomatology in seventh grade. Results revealed three distinct environmental contexts: Low risk, Moderate risk-language, and High risk-peer. Youth in the High-risk peer context reported the highest levels of symptomatology; greater major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, conduct disorder (CD)/oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) symptoms than youth experiencing Low risk or Moderate risk-language context. Females, in particular, experiencing the High risk peer context appeared at greatest risk for MDD symptoms. Finally, adolescents in the Moderate risk-language context displayed similar levels of symptoms to the individuals in the Low risk context, with the exception of higher anxiety. This study suggested that MA youth live in unique environmental contexts and these contexts are differentially related to mental health symptomatology. In the second study, 98 MA youth participated in a three-day diurnal cortisol protocol in hopes of linking perceptions of discrimination and HPA diurnal cortisol rhythms. Results revealed that discrimination was related to greater overall cortisol output and marginally related to the cortisol awakening response and evening levels of cortisol. Results suggest that important physiological processes underlie the experiences of discrimination.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Sport participation and alcohol use during adolescence: mediators and moderators explaining the positive relation

Description

Previous research suggests that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is positive, but small in size. Few explanations for this positive relation have been empirically tested. Theories denote

Previous research suggests that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is positive, but small in size. Few explanations for this positive relation have been empirically tested. Theories denote that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is explained by peers and that the relation varies based on the models adolescents are exposed to. This study tested mediators (popularity and friends' alcohol use) and moderators (sport-focus, teammates' alcohol use, gender, popularity, and friends' alcohol use) for the relation between sport participation and alcohol use. Analyses were conducted through path models in Mplus v5.1. The sample included 48,390 adolescents (mean age=15.8 years; 51% female) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In the self-administered in-school questionnaire, adolescents reported on their activity participation, alcohol use, friendship nominations, and demographic characteristics. Friend indicators were based on friends' self-reported alcohol use. Results suggested that popularity mediated, but did not moderate the relation between sport participation and alcohol use. In contrast, friends' alcohol use moderated, but did not mediate this relation. The relation was positive and strongest for sport-focused adolescents, and for adolescents whose teammates and sport friends used high levels of alcohol. The findings of this study suggest athletes are at an elevated risk for alcohol use, but not all athletes drink. Peers are important predictors, such that, sport participation may be related to alcohol use, partially, because it promotes adolescents' social status. The sport context is also important, such that, athletes are more likely to use alcohol if they are highly involved in sports, and they have sport friends and teammates who drink. Specific types of athletes, such as popular athletes, should be targeted for alcohol use interventions. Intervention programs should also be designed to capture specific aspects of the sport context, such as teams without no tolerance substance use policies, and highly competitive or stressful sports.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Behavioral and subjective participant responsiveness to a manualized preventive intervention

Description

The effects of preventive interventions are found to be related to participants' responsiveness to the program, or the degree to which participants attend sessions, engage in the material, and use

The effects of preventive interventions are found to be related to participants' responsiveness to the program, or the degree to which participants attend sessions, engage in the material, and use the program skills. The current study proposes a multi-dimensional method for measuring responsiveness to the Family Bereavement Program (FBP), a parenting-focused program to prevent mental health problems for children who experienced the death of a parent. It examines the relations between individual-level risk-factors and responsiveness to the program, as well as the relations between responsiveness and program outcomes. The sample consists of 90 caregivers and 135 children assigned to the intervention condition of an efficacy trial of the FBP. Caregivers' responsiveness to the 12-week program was measured using a number of indicators, including attendance, completion of weekly "homework" assignments, overall program skill use, perceived helpfulness of the program and program skills, and perceived group environment. Three underlying dimensions of responsiveness were identified: Skill Use, Program Liking, and Perceived Group Environment. Positive parenting and child externalizing problems at baseline were found to predict caregiver Skill Use. Skill Use and Perceived Group Environment predicted changes in caregiver grief and reports of child behavior problems at posttest and 11-month follow-up. Caregivers with better Skill Use had better positive parenting outcomes. Skill use mediated the relation between baseline positive parenting and improvements in positive parenting at 11-month follow-up.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Modern psychometric theory in clinical assessment

Description

Item response theory (IRT) and related latent variable models represent modern psychometric theory, the successor to classical test theory in psychological assessment. While IRT has become prevalent in the assessment

Item response theory (IRT) and related latent variable models represent modern psychometric theory, the successor to classical test theory in psychological assessment. While IRT has become prevalent in the assessment of ability and achievement, it has not been widely embraced by clinical psychologists. This appears due, in part, to psychometrists' use of unidimensional models despite evidence that psychiatric disorders are inherently multidimensional. The construct validity of unidimensional and multidimensional latent variable models was compared to evaluate the utility of modern psychometric theory in clinical assessment. Archival data consisting of 688 outpatients' presenting concerns, psychiatric diagnoses, and item level responses to the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) were extracted from files at a university mental health clinic. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that models with oblique factors and/or item cross-loadings better represented the internal structure of the BSI in comparison to a strictly unidimensional model. The models were generally equivalent in their ability to account for variance in criterion-related validity variables; however, bifactor models demonstrated superior validity in differentiating between mood and anxiety disorder diagnoses. Multidimensional IRT analyses showed that the orthogonal bifactor model partitioned distinct, clinically relevant sources of item variance. Similar results were also achieved through multivariate prediction with an oblique simple structure model. Receiver operating characteristic curves confirmed improved sensitivity and specificity through multidimensional models of psychopathology. Clinical researchers are encouraged to consider these and other comprehensive models of psychological distress.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Assessing dimensionality in complex data structures: a performance comparison of DETECT and NOHARM procedures

Description

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of complex structure on dimensionality assessment in compensatory and noncompensatory multidimensional item response models (MIRT) of assessment data using dimensionality

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of complex structure on dimensionality assessment in compensatory and noncompensatory multidimensional item response models (MIRT) of assessment data using dimensionality assessment procedures based on conditional covariances (i.e., DETECT) and a factor analytical approach (i.e., NOHARM). The DETECT-based methods typically outperformed the NOHARM-based methods in both two- (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) compensatory MIRT conditions. The DETECT-based methods yielded high proportion correct, especially when correlations were .60 or smaller, data exhibited 30% or less complexity, and larger sample size. As the complexity increased and the sample size decreased, the performance typically diminished. As the complexity increased, it also became more difficult to label the resulting sets of items from DETECT in terms of the dimensions. DETECT was consistent in classification of simple items, but less consistent in classification of complex items. Out of the three NOHARM-based methods, χ2G/D and ALR generally outperformed RMSR. χ2G/D was more accurate when N = 500 and complexity levels were 30% or lower. As the number of items increased, ALR performance improved at correlation of .60 and 30% or less complexity. When the data followed a noncompensatory MIRT model, the NOHARM-based methods, specifically χ2G/D and ALR, were the most accurate of all five methods. The marginal proportions for labeling sets of items as dimension-like were typically low, suggesting that the methods generally failed to label two (three) sets of items as dimension-like in 2D (3D) noncompensatory situations. The DETECT-based methods were more consistent in classifying simple items across complexity levels, sample sizes, and correlations. However, as complexity and correlation levels increased the classification rates for all methods decreased. In most conditions, the DETECT-based methods classified complex items equally or more consistent than the NOHARM-based methods. In particular, as complexity, the number of items, and the true dimensionality increased, the DETECT-based methods were notably more consistent than any NOHARM-based method. Despite DETECT's consistency, when data follow a noncompensatory MIRT model, the NOHARM-based method should be preferred over the DETECT-based methods to assess dimensionality due to poor performance of DETECT in identifying the true dimensionality.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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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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Exploring goodness of fit, mother-child relationships, and child risk

Description

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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Date Created
  • 2014

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Mediation as a novel method for increasing statistical power

Description

Including a covariate can increase power to detect an effect between two variables. Although previous research has studied power in mediation models, the extent to which the inclusion of a

Including a covariate can increase power to detect an effect between two variables. Although previous research has studied power in mediation models, the extent to which the inclusion of a mediator will increase the power to detect a relation between two variables has not been investigated. The first study identified situations where empirical and analytical power of two tests of significance for a single mediator model was greater than power of a bivariate significance test. Results from the first study indicated that including a mediator increased statistical power in small samples with large effects and in large samples with small effects. Next, a study was conducted to assess when power was greater for a significance test for a two mediator model as compared with power of a bivariate significance test. Results indicated that including two mediators increased power in small samples when both specific mediated effects were large and in large samples when both specific mediated effects were small. Implications of the results and directions for future research are then discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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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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Created

Date Created
  • 2012