Tag Archive: Clinical

A comparative study of school-based interventions for students with emotional disabilities, specific learning disabilities, and other health impairments (Education Papers posted on May 13th, 2014 )

The purpose of special Education is to provide students with effective interventions in order to ensure they perform up to their potential while enrolled in school and are prepared upon exiting school. The current study aimed to examine and compare school-based interventions, and the behavioral and psychological functioning of students with emotional disabilities (ED), specific learning disabilities (SLD), and other Health impairments (OHI) category. Using secondary summary data on students served under the ED, SLD, and OHI categories from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2), this study used multiple significance tests to examine differences in interventions and functioning among students served under the three special Education categories. The results indicated that students in the ED and OHI categories received significantly more behavioral interventions than their peers with SLD; students with ED received significantly more mental Health interventions than their peers in the SLD and OHI categories; and students with ED, SLD, and OHI received similar rates of academic interventions. Findings also indicated that students with ED and OHI share similar behavioral profiles. Further research is needed to determine whether distinct behavioral profiles exist among students with ADHD served under the ED category and students with ADHD served under OHI.

Incorporating culture into substance abuse treatment: The associations among acculturation and acculturative stress and treatment outcomes for Latino adolescents (Education Papers posted on May 13th, 2014 )

Substance use disorders are prevalent among adolescents and there is a need to develop and test empirically supported interventions that target these disorders specifically. However, to date, much of the empirically supported intervention research in this arena has neglected the needs of ethnic minority youth. Recent research efforts support the notion of cultural adaptation/accommodation modifying interventions to increase cultural congruence) of standard interventions to better serve ethnic minority clients. However, few studies have examined the efficacy of cultural adaptations in direct comparison studies. Direct comparisons studies would allow for an examination of relative efficacy as well as moderating effects. These types of studies will help researchers determine when a cultural adaptation is likely to be most helpful for a particular client. This study aimed to understand the associations between acculturation and acculturative stress and treatment outcomes for Latino adolescents participating in a substance abuse treatment program. A total of 70 Latino adolescents participated in a randomized-controlled trial designed to directly compare an empirically supported, standard cognitive behavioral group-based intervention with a culturally accommodated cognitive behavioral intervention. Adolescents participated in 12 weeks of active treatment as well as pre- and posttreatment assessments. Results provided evidence for relative efficacy of the culturally accommodated intervention, as adolescents in both treatment conditions reported significant decreases in their substance use. There were no significant differences between the two treatment conditions. In addition to examining relative efficacy, this study also examined for the presence of interaction effects between cultural variables and treatment outcomes. It was hypothesized that adolescents who were matched to the most appropriate intervention i.e., less acculturated adolescent matched to accommodated intervention) would report the largest reduction in substance use. Results did not reveal any significant three-way interactions, indicating the specific cultural variables did not moderate treatment outcomes by treatment condition. Despite these null findings, future studies should continue to exam the role of cultural variables on treatment outcomes.

Les effets d’un programme d’equitation therapeutique sur le controle de soi et les humeurs depressives chez des adolescentes en troubles de comportement (Education Papers posted on April 11th, 2014 )

Cette étude à cas unique de type A-B-A vise à vérifier, à laide quels sont les effets dun programme déquitation thérapeutique de dix 10) séances sur les humeurs dépressives et le contrôle de soi chez des adolescentes en troubles de comportement et si ces effets se maintiennent après la fin du programme. Les sujets sélectionnés sont trois 3) adolescentes de 16 et 17 ans, hébergées en Centre de réadaptation Estrie du Centre jeunesse de lEstrie pour troubles de comportement. Lévaluation, dune durée de quinze 15) semaine, se fit à laide de la version française du Beck Depression Inventory-II BDI-II) pour mesurer les humeurs dépressives, les échelles de comportements extériorisés et de problèmes dattention de la version autorapportée pour adolescent du Achenbach version YSR) pour le contrôle de soi et un questionnaire maison pour calculer les variations de lhumeur avant et après les séances déquitation thérapeutique. Mots clés : équitation thérapeutique, équithérapie, programme dintervention, trouble de comportement, adolescent, dépression,

The terror of forced termination: An integration of forced termination and death anxiety to assist the student-clinician (Education Papers posted on April 11th, 2014 )

This dissertation explores the impact of forced termination on doctoral student-clinicians of psychology through the use of a death anxiety lens. Frequently overlooked in clinical theory, forced termination is a common occurrence for student-clinicians in psychodynamic-oriented outpatient clinics and poses emotional problems for both the patient and student-clinician. In this paper, Terror Management Theory and Firestone’s Separation Theory, both death anxiety theories, are intertwined in order to make them more easily applicable to forced termination. These death anxiety theories, which are also frequently overlooked in psychodynamic theory, are integrated with the forced termination literature in order to assist the student-clinician in gaining a clearer understanding of the forced termination phenomenon. The author claims that death anxiety is present during the forced termination phase of treatment and that comprehension of the denial-based psychological impact of death anxiety can serve as a guidepost for student-clinicians during premature phases of termination.

Parental criticism and eating disturbance in adolescent females: Implications for a multifaceted eating disorder prevention program (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

Unhealthy eating patterns, attitudes, and behaviors affect up to 15% of young women. Certain familial characteristics have been identified as risk factors for developing an eating disorder and include parents who are highly critical of their daughters weight and appearance, have unhealthy eating behaviors themselves, or put pressure on or encourage their daughters to diet and lose weight. Multifaceted prevention programs have been recommended; however, based on a recent literature review only one study has included parents as a part of the intervention. The current study built upon the Student Bodies prevention intervention, which targets high school-aged females and their parents. The relationship between parental criticism and risk factors for the development of an eating disorder was examined as well as the effectiveness of the parental portion of the intervention. One hundred and seventy-five adolescent girls aged 14–16, 136 mothers, and 112 fathers participated. Participants were randomly assigned to either the treatment or comparison group and were assessed pre- and post-intervention. Adolescents completed the Eating Disorder Inventory – 2 EDI-2) Perfectionism subscale, the Eating Disorder Examination – Questionnaire EDE-Q), the Weight Concerns Scale WCS), and the Parental Criticism Questionnaire – Adolescent PCQ-A). Parents completed the Parental Attitudes and Criticism Scale PACS) and the Parental Criticism Questionnaire – Parent PCQ-P). Results indicated a significant relationship between parental criticism and risk factors for an eating disorder. Both mothers and fathers criticism of attractiveness predicted adolescents eating disordered behaviors, and their general criticism predicted perfectionism. Fathers general criticism also predicted eating disordered behaviors. Mothers in the treatment group had a significantly greater decrease in rates of criticism and unhealthy attitudes and behaviors than fathers; however, there was not a significant difference between the treatment and comparison group. The current study did not find the parent intervention to significantly decrease parental criticism, but it did support that parental criticism is related to weight concerns in adolescents as well as contribute to a deeper understanding of what types of parental criticism are predictive of different risk factors for the development of an eating disorder.

Application of sport psychology to music performance: A study based on a review of sport psychology literature and selected interviews with professional musicians (Education Papers posted on March 26th, 2013 )

Sport psychology is a booming field. Specialists in all areas of sports are now aware that mental preparation of athletes is as important as physical preparation because what makes the difference between two equally skilled athletes in a competition is his or her mental readiness to perform. The principles of sport psychology translate very well to the field of music performance because the highly competitive field of music performance involves a similar pressure to perform well at a given time when the pressure is on. Playing a musical instrument or singing also demands a high degree of muscular control and coordination that can either be facilitated or inhibited by the musicians mental disposition. This study takes advantage of the extensive research and rapid advancement of sport psychology by applying its concepts to music performance. After surveying the major sport psychology literature, the author formulated a set of interview questions. Six performing musicians from different areas of music performance, different cultural backgrounds, and different career stages were interviewed. The sample of musicians included an orchestra musician, a singer, a collaborative pianist and a conductor. They also represented the United States, France, Puerto Rico and Quebec. In this paper the author describes the main principles of sport psychology: goal setting, pre-event routines, visualization, focus, arousal regulation energy levels), and optimal performance. Then, based on the interviews, the author applies these principles to music performance. The interviews allow the author to explore the extent to which selected professional musicians apply sport psychology principles. It also helps to determine how the concepts can be adapted to best serve musicians and can be use as a basis for further studies. The document is organized into seven chapters: I) Introduction; II) Structure of the Preparation—for a competition or a performance—topics covered: Goal Setting, Organization of the Practice Sessions and Pre-Event Routine); III) Tools for Enhancement this includes all the different types of imagery or visualization); IV) Interference; V) Psychological Skills leading to Optimal Performance topics covered: Energy Level Regulation and Focus); VI) Optimal Performance includes the concept: “being in the zone”); and VII) Conclusion.

High school climate: Perceived safety and belonging of students, faculty, and parents (Education Papers posted on March 24th, 2013 )

Schools are experiencing increasing incidences of violence Bower, 2001; Mayer, 2001; Mayer & Leone, 1999; Owen, 1999; Skiba & Peterson, 2000). This national problem prompted the author to study public high school students perception of school safety. School safety was defined as protection from violence, threats, unfair treatment, and alienation. The author investigated what constitutes school safety through quantitative and qualitative procedures. She examined how students perceptions of school climate features, such as fairness, positive relationships, belonging, and disruptive behaviors, were related to their understanding of safety/security. The study was a secondary analysis of archived survey data on school climate Roysircar, 2001) completed in 2001-2002 by students, teachers, and parents of a regional New England high school. The variables Safety/Security, Positive Relationships, and Fairness correlated positively with each other and negatively with Disruptive Behaviors all correlations at p < .01). Student data n = 399) were examined for differences by sex, grade, and sending school. Ninth grade girls perceived the highest degree of safety p < .05), and girls overall experienced less physical aggression than boys p < .05). No significant differences were found by sending school i.e., rural versus town). Qualitative data from 3 open-ended questions from students n = 20), teachers n = 20), and parents n = 20) elicited various meanings about school climate, as construed by the 3 school constituencies. The short answers, analyzed with the Consensual Qualitative Research CQR) method Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997), fell in 9 broad domains: Safety/Security, Morale, Communication, Physical Environment, Well-Being, Belonging/Not Belonging, Curriculum, Organizational Policies, and Diversity/Sensitivity. The majority preferred tougher enforcement of rules and more security personnel to increase safety. More than half of the participants thought morale, communication, and physical environment were important to school climate. Administrative concerns, well-being, belonging/not belonging, and diversity were endorsed by fewer than half of the participants as important. Using the studys findings, the archived survey, and the current literature, a revised School Climate Questionnaire for Middle/High School Students, Sections I and II was developed by the author and is included in the dissertation. Recommendations are proposed for improving school climate, i.e., adding communication and Social skills courses to the curriculum, enforcing school rules consistently, embracing diversity, and increasing parent involvement. Implications for future research are suggested.

Predicting cultural adjustment outcomes from nonverbal communication skills, cultural variables, and acculturative stress (Education Papers posted on March 21st, 2013 )

The purpose of the current study was to determine whether international students’ nonverbal communication skills; cultural behaviors, beliefs, and values; and acculturative stress levels are related to various aspects of cultural adjustment (Social difficulties, academic achievement, and psychological functioning). The first goal of the study was to ascertain whether nonverbal decoding ability is associated with cross-cultural adaptation difficulties in these domains. The second goal of the study was to examine Triandis” (1995) model of acculturation, which suggests that the greater the cultural distance, i.e., the more differences between people’s home and host culture, the greater the level of difficulty that individuals will have during cultural adjustment. The third goal of the study was an empirical test of several acculturation models, which indicate that cultural adjustment is a stressful process; the present study evaluated whether acculturative stress functions as a mediator of the relationship between cultural variables and adjustment outcomes. A total of 193 international students from North and South America, Europe, South Asia, and East Asia completed the study. Results suggest that cultural variables and acculturative stress are strongly linked to psychological functioning and Social difficulties, while emotion recognition skills are weakly or indirectly correlated with adjustment outcomes. Further, acculturative stress serves as a mediator between acculturation variables and cultural adjustment outcomes.

Implementation and assessement of a test anxiety reduction program presented to 10th graders and their subsequent performance on the MontCAS Criterion Referenced Test (Education Papers posted on March 20th, 2013 )

This quantitative study investigated the relationship between performance on the MontCAS Criterion Referenced Test of 10th graders at Corvallis High School, Corvallis, Montana who participated in a systematic program for test anxiety reduction, and 10th graders who took the MontCAS but did not participate in the test anxiety reduction program. The population included all 10th graders at Corvallis High School who failed to achieve a score of proficient or higher, or who achieved in the low-proficient range on either the reading or math section on the last MontCAS administration, which was two years prior to this study. Fifteen students were assigned to each the experimental and control groups. The experimental group was exposed to a four hour test anxiety group protocol. The control group received no intervention prior to the test. The intervention design was based on results of meta-analyses of test anxiety research identifying effective treatment approaches. Overall in this study, the test anxiety program did not produce significantly improved test performance among experimental group members as compared to the control group, although some possible trends were noted. Some potential reasons for this lack of significance, including the small sample size, are discussed, as well as recommendations for further research in this important area.

Bullying and victimization: School climate matters (Education Papers posted on March 19th, 2013 )

Bullying at school is prevalent in the United States and worldwide, but little is known about the relationship between students’ experiences with bullying and their perceptions of school climate. This study investigated the link between bullying and three elements of school climate—Social support from teachers, Social support from peers, and school connectedness. The study used MANOVA analyses to confirm differences between students categorized as bullies, victims, bully-victims, and bystanders. Findings indicate that students who are not directly involved in bullying perceive more Social support and school connectedness than all other students. Students who are bullied perceive less social support from peers than other students, while students who bully perceive less social support from teachers and connection to school than other students. Findings from this study support strategies to increase social support and school connectedness, as well as the meaningful involvement of both teachers and students in bullying prevention efforts.