• Adaptive coping strategies of othermothers: An examination of social support, spirituality, stress and depression

      Smith, Pamela L.; Harrington, Donna (2003)
      Over the past decade, the public child welfare system has increasingly relied upon female African American caregivers to provide out-of-home placements for relative children removed from their homes because of child maltreatment. African American women who care for relative children are also known as "Othermothers" (Troester, 1984) and a growing body of research reveals that this population is at risk for psychological distress, particularly depression. Depressed Othermothers can pose a serious public health concern for women and children in state care. African American women often use social support and spirituality to foster emotional resilience. Drawing upon concepts of the Transactional Stress-Coping Model and the Africentric Paradigm, this study examined the role social support and spirituality played in mediating or moderating the relationship between caregiver stress and depressive symptomatology. Data from an on-going Title IV-E federal demonstration project on families in Maryland's foster care system were analyzed. The sample included 116 African American Othermothers. A Social Embeddedness/Sense of Community scale and Density of Support scale measured social support; the Short Form of the Brief RCOPE, Daily Spiritual Experiences Scale and Organizational Religiousness Items measured spirituality; a Cumulative Stress Index measured caregiver stressors; the CES-D measured depressive symptomatology. Twenty-seven percent of the Othermothers had a positive screening for depression. Increased caregiver stress was associated with increased levels of depressive symptomatology (r = .373, p < .0005). Spirituality in the form of negative spiritual coping strategies and church attendance partially mediated the relationship between caregiver stress and depressive symptomatology. Lower levels of church attendance and neighborhood involvement were associated with elevated levels of depressive symptomatology (p < .10). This research suggests that spirituality and neighborhood factors play important roles in the psychological adjustment of African American Other-mothers. Maternal and child health, social work education, as well as child welfare implications are reviewed for African American caregivers and families in foster care.
    • Chronically ill children and marital adjustment in military families

      Mahlmann, John James; Varghese, Raju (1994)
      One hundred and forty seven married couples with a chronically ill/handicapped child from an Army base were matched with 147 married couples without a chronically ill/handicapped child from the same base to make up the sample. Comparisons were made on a variety of demographic and socio/emotional variables. It was found that respondents with a chronically ill/handicapped child present in the home had less education, family income, and rank status than control group respondents. In spite of these disadvantages, when the two groups were compared on a measure of marital adjustment, no significant differences were observed. Within group analyses of couples with a chronically ill/handicapped child in the home found that mothers, compared to fathers, were most adversely affected both emotionally and socially. Fathers with low levels of marital adjustment reported excessive time demands caring for the identified child and a lack of support caring for the child. The way in which care required by a chronically ill/handicapped child was measured determined whether or not it was related to the level of marital adjustment. This may help to explain the contradictory findings in the literature. When a model of stress appraisal and coping was tested using LISREL8 and social support, care, and psychological coping and marital adjustment were placed in the equation in every possible combination, it was found that for fathers, the model fit the data only when care and marital adjustment were in the model. For mothers, the model fit the data for care and marital adjustment and for social support, psychological coping, and marital adjustment. The model did not fit the data when all three independent variables were entered together. Related other theoretical approaches may prove better able to explain the factors that influence marital adjustment for fathers of chronically ill/handicapped children.
    • Depressive mood in parents of children in care: Effects on visitation

      Osgood, Dorothy; DiBlasio, Frederick A. (1994)
      Many parents of children in substitute care live in stressful environmental conditions and have experienced stressful life events. Since both stressful environmental conditions and life events have been associated with depression, it is possible that many of these parents are depressed and their depression may affect the frequency of their visitation with their children in care. Also, research supports that parental visitation is the strongest predictor of family reunification. Therefore, this study looks specifically at the relationship between depression, a possible role strain reaction, and two measures of potential reunification: frequency of contact and level of compliance with the visitation plan. Parental depression was measured within the first three months of the child's placement in substitute care by the Beck Depression Inventory and Generalized Contentment Scale. Also measured at the same time was the parent-child relationship (Index of Parental Attitudes) as viewed by the parents. After the child had been in care for six months, case records were reviewed to collect relevant demographic data and the number of contacts that parents had with their children. Multivariate analysis of the data did not support a significant relationship between depression and frequency of contact nor between depression and the level of compliance. A correlation between parent-child relationship and the frequency of contact was not supported but a correlation between parent-child relationship and level of compliance was supported when those parents who totally complied with the visitation plan were compared to those parents who did not totally comply with the visitation plan. Other variables that correlated significantly with frequency of contact were: marital status and whether the parents had other children at home. The identification of race correlated significantly with level of compliance with the visitation plan.
    • The effect of negative self-referential mood and depression upon creative processes related to change in psychotherapy

      Blundo, Robert George; Altstein, Howard (1992)
      The present study uses the creative processing of information as a means of understanding the cognitive processes involved in therapeutic change during a depressive episode. The focus was on the consequences of cognitive content and moods on the enhancement or inhibition of the creative processing of information. It was hypothesized that the negative self-referential cognitive content associated with depression would inhibit the processing of information creatively. The first Study looked at the effect of induced negative and positive self-referential content and mood, negative and positive content and mood related to viewing the circumstances of others, and the effect of high and low arousal. Female student volunteers (105) were randomly assigned to one of these seven inductions and then completed the Remote Associates Test. The findings did not show a significant difference between these conditions. A Pearson correlation demonstrated a marginal relationship between subjects who reported their moods as negative and lower creative performance. To determine if naturally occurring negative self-referential thoughts would inhibit creativity, a second group of subjects were assigned to either the dysphoric or nondysphoric group based on their initial Beck Depression Inventory scores. To determine if this hypothesized inhibiting negative content could be reversed, one half of both the dysphoric and nondysphoric subjects were assigned to a positive self-referential induction prior to completing the creative task. A third group of subjects who had scored dysphoric during the initial screening were found to have scored nondysphoric when they completed the creativity task. No significant differences were found between the three groups. Contrasts demonstrated that those subjects in the third group undergoing affect-repair and who had received the positive induction performed significantly better than group members who had not received the positive induction. This suggests that interventions that enhance or help initiate affect-repair could benefit depressed individuals. Limitations suggest that the concept of creativity may be too general a description of more specific cognitive processes that are biasing in their effect. Change might best be considered the process of overcoming these biases. Future research might consider how this takes place.
    • The effectiveness of social group work with head trauma rehabilitation patients

      Futeral, Susan Todd; Ephross, Paul H. (1993)
      This study investigated the relationship between the use of social group work methods and self-esteem of closed-head injured adolescents and young adults. Head injury is damage to the brain as a result of traumatic injury. There are approximately 3 million head injuries each year, resulting in 30,000 deaths. Head injuries are often caused by vehicular accidents, falling objects, gunshot wounds, sharp instruments, or projectiles. The lengthy psychosocial rehabilitation period of head injured persons is often complicated by the combined effects of the pre-injury history as well as the post-trauma physical and psychological changes. The study was conceptualized as action research. The design of this study was a pre-test/post-test design using multiple group comparisons. Trained social workers collected data in group interviews, and patients completed self-report questionnaires. The instruments used were the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale, and an exit interview. The sample size was 25 outpatients and 25 community persons, which had sustained head injuries. The theoretical frameworks are symbolic interactionism and social group work theory. The study sought to develop findings which may contribute to clinical social work practice, theory, group work, and related fields. The goal of the study was to add to the present body of knowledge about effective treatment of head trauma patients. The experimental and comparison group members were matched on demographic variables of age, race, gender, residence, etc. One of the most significant differences of the demographic variables studied was the level of education, specifically that the participants in the comparison group completed more years of formal education than the participants in the experimental group. Both groups were matched similarly in their pre-test scores on the Piers-Harris and Rosenberg scales and both groups showed improvement in the desired direction over time. Using T tests to compare the pre-test to post-test scores, the following differences were statistically significant: the total Piers-Harris score, three subscales of the Piers-Harris (the Behavior, Intelligence and Anxiety subscales), and the Rosenberg scale. Overall the hypothesis that group work enhances self-esteem was supported by this study. In conclusion, this author advocates the use of group work for head trauma recoveries as an effective therapeutic intervention to increase group members' self-esteem. This study has implications for future research for inpatient and outpatient settings.
    • An exploratory study of the intergenerational relationships of adults raised as stepchildren and their stepparents.

      Davis, Ginger S.; Janzen, Curtis (1993)
      The purpose of this exploratory study was threefold: (1) to describe the relationships of adult stepchildren and their stepparents, those that raised them; (2) to compare the responses of the adult stepchildren about their stepparents to those about their biological parents, those married to the stepparent; and (3) to compare the responses of the adult stepchildren about their stepparents to responses of the stepparents about those adult stepchildren. The method of data collection was mailed questionnaires. There were 50 stepchild respondents and 21 related stepparent respondents. Questionnaires were developed from a synthesis of literature reviews on stepchild/stepparent relationships of minor aged stepchildren, intergenerational relationships of adults and their parents, and theoretical frameworks of social exchange theory, role theory, and systems theory. The synthesis suggested relationship variables about affection, ambivalence, assistance, association, and filial obligation. Other variables were about family structure and individual demographics. Methods of data analysis included measures of central tendency and percentages for descriptive findings, t-tests for comparative analysis, various correlation tests for strength of association, and z statistics for testing proportions. The significance level for this exploratory study was set at.20. Major findings include (1) stepchild/stepparent relationships have some significant differences from stepchild/biological parent relationships, but absent perceived abuse of the stepchild by the stepparent in childhood, differences are reduced in number by half and nearly all are reduced in size and strength; (2) being a stepmother is associated with less positive relationships than being a stepfather; and (3) stepchild/stepparent relationships as reported by each, stepchild and stepparent, do have some incongruencies, but are more characterized by congruity of perception and by reciprocity than not. Conclusions are that (1) for the most part, adults raised as stepchildren relate positively to both step and biological parents; (2) stepfamily members may need to make extra efforts to overcome difficulties apparently inherent in the stepchild/stepmother relationship; (3) perceived childhood abuse of stepchild by stepparent effects stepfamily relationships beyond childhood; and (4) in general, adult stepchildren and their stepparents demonstrate shared perceptions of their relationship.
    • Factors affecting clinical outcomes in employee assistance programs

      Turner, Ann Nail; Cornelius, Llewellyn Joseph, 1959- (1999)
      This study examined whether short-term counseling received from masters' level social work practitioners in an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) setting leads to improved health status, as measured in five different ways (general health, current health perception, physical functioning, role functioning, and social functioning). The study also examined whether the number of sessions and/or supervisory status (job level, i.e., whether client was a supervisor or not) had an effect on health status. Using four items from the SF-12 on a sample of 470 EAP clients from a government consortium, this study compared scores collected at the client's first counseling session with those collected at his or her last session. The study's findings were the following: (1) some clinical outcomes (general health status, current health perception, role functioning, physical functioning, and social functioning) are improved by EAP in person counseling sessions provided by licensed social workers, (2) the number of sessions affects some clinical outcomes (e.g., general health status, role functioning, social functioning) but does not impact others (current health perceptions or physical functioning) and (3) clinical outcomes (general health status, current health perception, role functioning, physical functioning and social functioning) were similar for clients regardless of their supervisory status.
    • For our own good: The meaning of batterer intervention programs for women who have been abused. A Heideggerian hermeneutic inquiry

      Hessmiller, Joanne Marie; Wenocur, Stanley, 1938- (1998)
      This hermeneutic phenomenological study is an inquiry into the meaning that women make of their partner's participation in a batterer intervention program. Six women, between the ages of thirty-two to fifty-nine participated in multiple, in-depth interviews that were transcribed and interpreted, with the study partners themselves serving as research partners, and the MARTIN software program as an aid in the interpretive process. A paradigm case and twenty themes in four major categories emerged from the interpretation of the data. The women in this study reflected on their experiences of abuse and described these in the form of compelling narratives that also disclosed their shared experience, practices and the meaning they made of their partners' participation in a batterer intervention program. The principal finding is that women creatively use these programs for their own good. They use them as a way to test their partners' commitment to change, to get information about domestic violence for themselves, and to build networks of resources, including connecting with other women in similar circumstances for support. The findings of this study suggest ways to improve batterer intervention programs with regard to safety and justice for battered women, and the many ways that the stories the participants told reflected the particular double binds of oppression they face as battered women.
    • Investigating the clinical utility of the Draw-A-Person: Screening Procedure for Emotional Disturbance (DAP:SPED) projective test in assessment of high-risk youth. A measurement validation study

      Matto, Holly Christine; Munson, Carlton E. (2000)
      The usefulness of human figure drawings, as clinical assessment tools, has been of interest to clinicians and researchers for decades. Human figure drawings, when validated as psychometrically sound assessment tools, provide several measurement advantages. Such methods are less problematic with regard to bias or distortion as compared to self-report inventories, and are time-efficient. The non-verbal testing format is appropriate for children with less verbal ability and/or compromised reading comprehension, and can make for more facile assessment when working with resistant clients. The research objective of this study was to explore the validity of one specific human figure drawing instrument, the Draw-A-Person: Screening Procedure for Emotional Disturbance (DAP:SPED; Naglieri, McNeish, & Bardos, 1991), that has emerged from recent measurement advancements. The study examined whether the DAP:SPED was a significant predictor of emotional and behavioral functioning within a clinical sample of latency-aged children (6-12 years old) receiving counseling services at outpatient and residential treatment facilities in Maryland (N = 68). Child functioning constructs included: behavior, psychosocial adjustment, and self-esteem. Study results showed that the total DAP:SPED (man, woman, and self scores summed) was a significant predictor in explaining behavioral disturbance and two psychosocial adjustment domains, hostility and productivity, after statistically controlling for salient demographic variables. In addition, the DAP:SPED self drawing and woman drawing alone were significant predictors of behavior and self-esteem; the DAP:SPED man drawing alone was a significant predictor of productivity. This suggests that behavioral assessment may be expedited by administering just one drawing directive, the self or woman drawing, with minimal clinical information lost. Findings from this study lend preliminary support to the DAP:SPED's validity in providing social work practitioners and school counselors information about child functioning, that could be used in determining service decisions. Instrument administration can be easily integrated into a routine curriculum or daily schedule, taking less than ten minutes to score. One potential use would be to include the DAP:SPED as part of existing screening protocols, in an era where the risk and consequences of undetected dysfunction are grave. Continued DAP:SPED measurement validation studies, along these lines, are warranted.
    • Love without Violence: A new treatment for spouse abusers

      Stosny, Steven; Varghese, Raju (1993)
      The current work develops a new treatment for family violence offenders, adapted for, and tested on, 100 spouse abusers in a field experiment involving five different community mental health centers in Maryland and Virginia. With standard agency treatment serving as comparison, results revealed large, statistically significant differences between groups. As hypothesized, the experimental treatment greatly reduced recidivism of violence and verbal aggression, while increasing compassion for spouse, well-being, viable strategies to resolve potentially violent situations, and acceptance of personal responsibility for abusive behavior. The treatment is drawn from a reformulation of the problem of spouse violence in a more illuminating context of what can accurately be called, attachment abuse. The theoretical foundation of this view is phenomenological constructivism, which includes attachment theory as a key developmental and integrative explanation for the way individuals construct the meaning of themselves and their environments. Attachment abusers are described as persons afflicted with painful constructions of self, with deficits of affect-regulation and attachment skills. The former makes them feel out of control and powerless, a condition they futilely try to correct by abusively exerting power and control over attachment figures. Because attachment figures serve as illusory reflections of the inner self--a mirror image of the loving and lovable self--attachment abusers succumb to the deeper illusion that they can control painful constructions of self by manipulating the mirror.
    • Mental health risk factors and protective mechanisms for post-secondary educational attainment among young adult veterans

      Smith-Osborne, Alexa; DeForge, Bruce R.; Deal, Kathleen Holtz (2006)
      This exploratory study examines the impact of mental health status on post-secondary educational attainment among young veterans of the first Gulf War, and the associated protective and risk mechanisms. Investigation of mental health impact on post-service enrollment or successful reentry into higher education for this population has been limited. Drawing upon resiliency theory, life span/life course theory, and social geography theory, the author hypothesized that selected factors in the personal, interpersonal, and organizational domains could play mediating or moderating roles in the relationship between post-service psychiatric symptoms and level of educational attainment.;Data from the 2001 National Survey of Veterans (NSV) were analyzed. The sample included 2075 veterans: 349 females and 1726 males, 71% Caucasian and 29% minority, most of whom had served at least two consecutive years on active duty, almost half in a combat zone. Fifty-five percent of the veterans reported experiencing depressive symptoms in the past month, and thirteen percent had received mental health treatment in the past month. A series of regression analyses were performed to explore the hypothesized relationships. Treatment in the past year for psychiatric disorders was not associated with educational attainment as defined by highest grade ever completed (p = .935). However, a logistic regression analysis that examined college educational benefit use since leaving the military showed that the likelihood of a Gulf War veteran using VA educational benefits for postsecondary education was positively related to the use of non-VA sources of financial aid (p < .0005), and to being treated for PTSD in the past year (p = .001). The odds of a veteran who used non-VA financial aid of also using VA post-secondary educational benefits were 2.589 times greater than the odds for a veteran who did not. The odds of a veteran who was treated for PTSD in the past year of using those VA benefits were 2.138 times greater odds for veterans who were not treated. Protective mechanisms in the personal and organizational domains mediated the relationship between mental health status and educational attainment, while protective mechanisms in the interpersonal domain partially mediated this relationship.
    • Pathological gambling behavior and self-concept theory: An investigation of the validity of the addictive personality syndrome (APS)

      Hudak, Clark Joseph, Jr.; Varghese, Raju (1992)
      This study investigated the relationship between the self-concept and the Addictive Personality Syndrome (APS) among a sample of pathological gamblers. Seventy-five respondents met the sampling criteria and were drawn from various Gamblers Anonymous chapters in the Baltimore/Washington/Northern Virginia metropolitan areas, and two professional treatment programs--the National Center for Pathological Gambling and the Washington Center for Pathological Gambling. Self-esteem and self-concept stability were predicted to be causally related to the dependent variable dissociation. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the New York State Stability of Self Scale, and the Jacobs Dissociation Scale were used to measure self-esteem, self-concept stability, and dissociation respectively. Data were also collected for sociodemographic variables and those for family and gambling backgrounds. The measuring instrument consisted of a 45-item questionnaire which was self-administered in about thirty minutes. The findings lend support to four of the five research hypotheses. Using ordinary least squares linear regressions, statistical analyses tentatively revealed a negative causal relationship between dissociation and self-concept stability. Contrary to prediction was that self-esteem was not found related to dissociation. A leptokurtic univariate distribution skewed toward low self-esteem appeared to account for this latter finding. As predicted, self-esteem and self-concept stability were found unrelated. Further comparative analyses revealed higher levels of self-concept stability among dissociators than non-dissociators. There were no differences between these groups on self-esteem scores. In a follow-up survey of a subset of the study's sample self-concept principles were further explicated. Thus hypotheses four and five were tentatively supported which predicted manifestations of the desired and presenting selves during gambling activity. The findings support the notion that self-concept principles can better explain components of the Addictive Personality Syndrome, and relevance of the tested variables have implications for social work theory, practice, education, and research.
    • Predictors of mental health in a neighborhood of Managua, Nicaragua: A gendered analysis

      Jani, Jayshree; DeForge, Bruce R. (2008)
      The Global Burden of Disease Unit estimates that by the year 2020, mental and neurological disorders will cause almost 15% of the disabilities among the people of the world. Multi-national studies demonstrate that women are twice as likely as men to experience major depression, and have a higher prevalence of other common mental disorders (CMD) (World Health Organization, 2006). The World Health Organization (2000) urges that gender be incorporated into country specific mental health research because of its socially contextualized nature. Due to the high correlation between CMD and poverty, it is predicted that there are higher rates of CMD in developing nations (Chant, 2003). Yet, there is a paucity of research examining mental health in third world countries. As part of social work's mission to promote the general welfare of society on a global level (NASW, 1996), research investigating the well being of people living in third world countries is warranted. This dissertation is guided by feminist theory which calls for a critical, historical, gendered analysis of the interconnection between macro political, social and economic realities and their impact on people's everyday lives. This perspective was synthesized into an adapted testable model (Beiser, 2006) to examine predictors of mental health in Barrio 3-80 of Managua, Nicaragua. This study includes four research objectives focused on gender roles, self-esteem, and social support as predictors of CMD. With approval of the Nicaraguan government, data were collected from 227 adult residents of the neighborhood through face to face individual interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Six participants also answered a set of qualitative questions. A high level of CMD was discovered among all respondents, but women were found to have significantly higher CMD scores. Self-esteem was negatively correlated to CMD and was the only significant predictor of CMD. Self-esteem scores were high. Income was not related to self-esteem or CMD. The findings highlight the substantive agency of "oppressed" women regardless of a lack of formal power within a traditional power structure. The importance of culturally and contextually appropriate measurement and theory and other implications for social work are discussed.
    • Protective factors to resilience in maltreated children: A developmental view

      Henry, Darla Lynn; Belcher, John R. (1996)
      The costs of child maltreatment to children, families and society have been extensively documented for the past 30 years. Children who have been maltreated by a primary caregiver respond with various behaviors to coping with living in an abusive environment. It was the intent of this qualitative research study to explore the protective factors that indicate resilience in a group of adolescents, maltreated as children, who have demonstrated competence and mastery towards independent living. The grounded theory method was chosen for this study because the research questions focused on the exploration and explanation of coping methods used by children who were maltreated. Seven adolescents (ages 13 to 20) and six professional child care workers were interviewed on three occasions to obtain their perceptions of their reactions to the abuse. These perceptions were then categorized into common patterns and themes, using the constant comparative method, towards working hypotheses indicative of the protective factors of resilience. Adolescents and child care professionals, all associated with the York County Children and Youth Services, York, Pennsylvania, were the participants in this study. Descriptive results of this study indicated the emergence of five themes that showed a progression of skills used by children to adapt to and cope with an abusive caregiver. These themes were: the child's perceptions of the abusing parent(s), normalizing the abusive environment, establishing a sense of safety through a perception of invisibility, developing a positive self value and having a future orientation. The successful progression through each of these themes resulted in a more resilient adolescent who demonstrated competency and mastery of adolescent tasks. These themes comprised a developmental perspective of resilience in maltreated children. The findings suggest that those children who were able to cope with maltreatment through these perceptions gained a sense of control in their lives. The more their actions minimized the impact of the abusive episodes, the more their value of self increased. As they began to discover pride in surviving and overcoming difficulties, more and more of their capabilities came into the work and play of daily life. Competency and mastery were reinforced through the reliance of self through the developing years. Resilience is a product of this adaptation to the abuse.
    • Psychosocial risk factors and prevalence of alcohol consumption in pregnant women with substance abuse: A secondary data analysis

      Greeno, Elizabeth J.; Burry, Caroline Long (2008)
      Substance use during pregnancy is a national health concern. Substance use (alcohol and drugs) by pregnant women is the leading preventable cause of mental, physical, and long-term psychological problems in infants and children (SAMHSA, 2006). Recent national survey findings suggest that alcohol use by pregnant women is significantly rising (SAMHSA, 2006). Women who abuse substances during pregnancy typically have a myriad of psychosocial problems varying from social/emotional issues to medical/health concerns. This dissertation is guided by a modified version of the Mega Interactive Model of Substance Use Among Women (MIMSUAW) (Pagliaro & Pagliaro, 1996; 2000), a biopsychosocial framework. The MIMSUAW was developed to help clinical social workers understand the complex multidimensional etiology of substance use among women without enforcing a single theoretical focus (Pagliaro & Pagliaro, 1996; 2000). This dissertation study is a secondary data analysis of data obtained from the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy (CAP) at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The sample consists primarily of opiate-dependent pregnant women. For the purposes of this secondary data analysis, the sample consists of the first 111 participants who completed CAP's modified Addiction Severity Index in entirety. Six research questions were examined. Data were analyzed using a hierarchical cluster analysis, ANOVAs, MANOVAs, logistic regressions, and descriptive statistics. Primary research purposes were to: assess if the MIMSUAW is an effective psychosocial assessment; to replicate the Miles, Kulstead, and Haller 2002 cluster subtype study (three clusters were identified); and to assess if sample participants can be classified into alcohol consumption groups (no, low, moderate, and high).;A substantial amount of alcohol consumption and a suggestion of binge drinking were found for the sample. Findings suggest the MIMSUAW is a moderate psychosocial functioning assessment for the study population. The cluster analysis results suggest a three cluster solution indicating three distinct subtypes of pregnant substance using women based on psychosocial characteristics. Alcohol consumption was distinctive for each of the subtypes. A modified alcohol consumption classification was identified. The use of the MIMSUAW model, application of subtypes, and importance of alcohol consumption findings as well as implications for clinical practice, treatment, and future research are discussed.
    • A qualitative study of parenting by incest survivors

      O'Brien, Daryl Wardzinski; Belcher, John R. (1998)
      The devastating issue of childhood sexual abuse has been well documented in the literature. The vast majority of the research, however, has focused on an individualistic view of the victim, perpetrator, and non-offending spouse. The rationale for this study was based on the failure of the existing literature to address the relationships between members of the incestuous family system. In particular, the research is limited in its investigation of the role of the incest survivor as a parent. The purpose of this study was to systematically discover, describe, and analyze the beliefs, practices, and values of nine female incest survivors related to parenting. A qualitative methodology combined with symbolic interaction theory was used to describe the meaning of parenting in the lives of nine female incest survivors. Three rounds of semi-structured interviews were conducted. Interactions between the mother and child, the life experience of the mother that impacted on this relationship, and the behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs that developed were systematically explored. Three major themes were discovered that identified and explained the parenting role of the mother/survivor. These themes support the final hypothesis: The meaning attached to the abuse in the family of origin influences the parenting in the family of procreation. Incest survivors recognize what they do not want their parenting to be, however, because they have no model for healthy functioning there is difficulty implementing this desire in actual parenting situations. In an attempt to be a better parent, a deficit model is utilized which is more self-focused than child-focused. This study provided preliminary information that can be useful in understanding the transmission of child maltreatment across generations. These mothers indicated a desire to be better parents than their own parents were, however, it was in the application of parenting behaviors that difficulties continue. It was also evident that the sexual abuse was only part of their experience and that the unavailability of their own parents was most influential in showing them how to parent.
    • The relationship between child sexual abuse and self-concept in adult women: A community survey study

      Gibbons, John Joseph; Vassil, Thomas V. (1991)
      The relationship between Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and Self-Concept was investigated using subjects from a community survey study conducted in Baltimore, Maryland. Regression and Step-wise regression analysis were employed to (1) identify CSA as a statistically significant predictor of self-concept, i.e. self-esteem and locus of control, (2) to control for extraneous variables, and (3) to rank order predictor variables in terms of their effect on the dependent variables. Several situational variables, i.e. variables inherent in the abuse event and a possible intervening variable, i.e. perceived social support were also controlled for. Statistically significant relationships were found between (1) CSA and self-esteem and locus of control, (2) CSA with intercourse and self-esteem and locus of control, and (3) Perceived Social Support and self-esteem and locus of control. Findings are discussed with implications for social work research, practice and policy.
    • A study of the association between social functioning and manic-depressive illness in family constellations with presumed genetic vulnerability for affective illness

      Scott, Alice Malone; Ephross, Paul H. (1991)
      This exploratory-descriptive study examines the association between social functioning and subclassifications of manic-depressive illness in family constellations with presumed genetic vulnerability for affective illness. The research question is: Are there differences in the social functioning of family members with bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and their biological relatives who are not affectively ill? A study sample of convenience was drawn from the Genetic Linkage Study of Affective illness conducted at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Twenty-one bipolar I's, 22 bipolar II's, and 20 unaffected participants were included. Instruments included interviewer administered scales (Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Young Mania Rating Scale, and Health and Daily Living Assessment) and self administered scales (Social Adjustment Scale SR and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire). As hypothesized, findings reveal a statistically significant relationship between the diagnosis of bipolar illness and inadequate social functioning in the areas of close social relationships and overall social role adjustment. Both the bipolar I's and the bipolar II's had significantly fewer close relationships than their biological unaffected relatives. The two bipolar groups did not differ significantly from each other. When analyzed by Multiple Regression, personality as measured by the Eysenck Neuroticism Scale was found to be more highly predictive of overall social role adjustment than was the diagnosis of bipolar illness. Implications for social work and related practice in mental health settings and further research were drawn. Conceptual refinement of the global concepts social functioning within the interpersonal field and normality is greatly needed. Knowledge is lacking in the areas of nosology and the psychological and social environments which characterize individuals with subclassifications of bipolar illness. The impact of both ill and well intervals upon the family system needs to be explored.
    • The tripartite model of anxiety and depression: Role of the factors of anxiety sensitivity in anxiety and depression

      Dia, David A.; Harrington, Donna (2006)
      Anxiety disorders are a common and can cause significant impairment in an adolescent's life (Last et al., 1997). Psychosocial treatments, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy, are effective in treating anxiety disorders, but there are many adolescents who have participated in empirically-based psychosocial treatment approaches who are still not improving (Bernstein & Kinlan, 1997; In-Albon & Schneider, 2004). The tripartite model of anxiety and depression was developed to try to account for the high comorbidity between anxiety and depression. The models states that there is a common component to anxiety and depression, which is negative affectivity, and unique components to anxiety, physiological arousal, and depression, low positive affectivity or anhendonia. The purpose of this dissertation study was to increase the knowledge base on the phenomenology of anxiety disorders. The objectives were to: (1) examine gender and ethnic differences in positive and negative affectivity and depressive and anxiety symptomology; and (2) to clarify the relationship between anxiety and the components of anxiety sensitivity within the tripartite model of anxiety and depression. This study consisted of mailed survey to a simple random sample of 315 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 who were in treatment for an anxiety and/or depressive disorder. A total of 187 completed surveys were returned for a 61.1% response rate. Adolescents filled out the Positive and Negative Affectivity Scale, Childhood Anxiety Sensitivity Index, and the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale. There was not a statistically significant difference found between the ethnic subgroups (i.e., Hispanic/Latino or any ethnic subgroup) and the Caucasian subgroup on positive and negative affectivity and anxiety and depression. There was also no statistically significant difference found between males and females on negative and positive affectivity and anxiety and depression. A modified tripartite model of anxiety and depression fit the data the best with negative affectivity being related to anxiety and depression, low positive affectivity being related to depression, and physiological arousal being related to anxiety, and anxiety being related to depression. Another modified tripartite model, which examined the specific components of anxiety sensitivity related to specific anxiety disorders, did not fit the data as well as the earlier model. This study did find difference between ethnic subgroups and Caucasian adolescents or between males and females, which suggests there are more similarities than difference between these various subgroups. Additionally, the modified tripartite model supported the role of negative affectivity being related to anxiety and depression and there are unique components, physiological arousal and anhendonia, related to anxiety and depression. This study uniquely found that anxiety was related to depression, suggesting a mixed anxiety and depressive state.