Publications

An analysis of current model programmes for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders

An analysis of current model programmes for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders

Abstract: Programmes which offer integrated services were analysed to identify model international and domestic programmes serving adults with neurodevelopmental disorders. Programmes were assessed according to 11 need domains identified in a previous study: supervision, transportation, housing, communication, finances/employment opportunities, activities of daily living/instrumental activities of daily living training, socialisation opportunities, enhanced adult-centred medical care, psychological, medical equipment, and sexual health education. In addition, programmes which served adults within six diagnosis comprising intellectual disability (ID), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), cerebral palsy (CP), spina bifida (SB), Down syndrome (DS), and Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) were considered. Only three international and three domestic programmes demonstrated the required criteria to be considered a comprehensive model programme. Identified model programmes provided at least eight of the 11 needs, while only two programmes served all identified domains. This study offers insight into the needs provided, which can be used to inform modifications and development of existing and new programmes. It illustrates the necessity for programmes to focus on social and sexual needs as much as medical and health services. Consequences of gaps in provided services can have direct implications on the biopsychosocial functioning of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders including a lowered quality of life.

Agarwal, R., Maddux, M., Marolda, H., Quintana, J., Wagner, E., & Burke, S. (2020). An analysis of current model programmes for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2020.1719048

 

A qualitative investigation to inform yoga intervention recruitment practices for racial/ethnic minority adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment

A qualitative investigation to inform yoga intervention recruitment practices for racial/ethnic minority adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment

Abstract: Yoga is recognized as an effective approach to improving overall physical and mental health; however, there may be perceived barriers to yoga participation, particularly among populations most at risk for mental health issues. We conducted qualitative formative research to help inform recruitment practices for a future study and to specifically understand the barriers and facilitators to engagement in yoga practice among racial/ethnic minority adolescents, as well as adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment.

Methods: Qualitative data were collected at a community health clinic that serves low income families in southeastern Florida. Using semi structured interviews with racial and ethnic minority adolescents between 12 and 17 years old, participants were asked about beliefs and perceptions about yoga, as well as recommendations on recruiting peers. A thematic analysis approach was used to identify and examine common themes.

Results: Twenty interviews were conducted and eight major themes emerged from the data. Themes were grouped as (1) Facilitators to recruitment and (2) Barriers to recruitment.

Interpretation: Advertising free yoga that emphasizes the social, physical, and mental benefits can help assuage negative perceptions of yoga and promote the advantages of yoga among teenagers. Having recruitment materials and modalities that highlight inclusivity of all genders and physical abilities in the yoga classes are also important in facilitating participation. Understanding perceptions of yoga, as well as perceived barriers and facilitators, among racially/ethnically diverse adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment, can assist recruitment efforts, increase yoga intervention participation, and ultimately, improve mental health outcomes for underserved populations.

Spadola, C. E., Varga, L. M., Fernandez, S. B., Clarke, R. D., Morris, S. L., Wagner, E. F., & Hospital, M. (2019). A qualitative investigation to inform yoga intervention recruitment practices for racial/ethnic minority adolescents in outpatient mental health treatment. EXPLORE, 16(1), 21-25. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2019.07.011

 

Gap analysis of service needs for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders

Gap analysis of service needs for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders

Abstract: In Florida, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities provides waivers for adults with the following types of disabilities: intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome, and Prader–Willi syndrome. This review examined the peer-reviewed literature to indicate and assess the common needs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Current models of service delivery, the efficacy of these services, and remaining gaps in the need fulfillment of individuals within the six diagnostic categorizations of interest were examined. Severity level within each diagnostic category was plotted on a matrix according to whether the needs of individuals were minimal, moderate, severe, or universal. The study found that sexual health education, socialization, and adult-focused medical care are universal needs among the six conditions. The study indicates that health-care professionals must work toward addressing the many unmet needs in comprehensive life span care services for adult individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Burke, S., Wagner, E., Marolda, H., Quintana, J., & Maddux, M. (2019). Gap analysis of service needs for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders. The Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 23(1):97-116. doi: 10.1177/1744629517726209

Music education as a path to positive youth development: An El Sistema-inspired program

Music education as a path to positive youth development: An El-Sistema-inspired program

Music Education as a Path to Positive Youth Development: An El Sistema-Inspired ProgramAbstract: The El Sistema music education philosophy links positive individual and social development through musical education. This study is a longitudinal examination of the impact of participation in an El Sistema-inspired program, the Miami Music Project, on positive youth development. We hypothesized that over the course of a school year, participation in ensemble-based after-school music programming would significantly enhance factors associated with positive youth development. Specifically, we evaluated social emotional constructs aligned with the Five Cs of Positive Youth Development: Competence, Confidence, Caring, Character, and Connection. Results revealed that participants showed significant increases across all five Cs over the course of the year. Additionally, findings showed that Miami Music Project students showed greater enhancements over time in Character, Competence and Caring when compared to a group of youth who did not participate in music education. This study presents empirical documentation of the numerous meaningful social and emotional enhancements that participation in an El Sistema-inspired program is engendering among youth. In this type of rigorous orchestral model of musical instruction, youth seem to acquire not only cognitive benefits but also a host of social and emotional enhancements, ostensibly from learning in an environment that requires disciplined social cohesion. These findings provide insight into the holistic approach foundational to the El Sistema philosophy and adds to our overall understanding of musical instruction in important ways.

Hospital, M.M., Morris, S.L., Wagner, E.F., & Wales, E. (2018). Music education as a path to positive youth development: An El Sistema-inspired program. Journal of Youth Development13(4), 149-163. doi:10.5195/jyd.2018.572

A qualitative examination of increased alcohol use after bariatric surgery among racially/ethnically diverse young adults

A qualitative examination of increased alcohol use after bariatric surgery among racially/ethnically diverse young adults

A Qualitative Examination of Increased Alcohol Use after Bariatric Surgery among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Young AdultsAbstract: Introduction – Mounting evidence suggests that bariatric surgery, or weight loss surgery (WLS), patients might be vulnerable to developing post-operative alcohol use problems. While the majority of published research offers information concerning the prevalence of problematic alcohol use post-WLS, the literature lacks comprehensive, qualitative explorations examining why alcohol misuse might emerge after WLS. Such data-driven hypotheses are needed to effectively target this emerging concern. Additionally, young adults and racial/ethnic minorities are both increasingly undergoing WLS and are at heightened risk for problems related to alcohol use. To date, these groups have been under-represented in study samples.

Methods: To address these important gaps in the literature, racially/ethnically diverse, young adult WLS patients who indicated a post-WLS increase in alcohol use (n = 12) participated in an individual, semi-structured qualitative interview. Data were analyzed through two coding cycles; an external audit of the emerging themes was also conducted to further ensure the trustworthiness of the data.

Results: Interviews revealed four major themes prompting an increase in alcohol use after WLS: (1) increased sensitivity to alcohol intoxication, (2) utilizing alcohol as a replacement self-soothing mechanism for food, (3) increase in socialization, and (4) utilizing alcohol as a coping mechanism. Conclusions By understanding the drivers of increases in alcohol use after WLS, precision-targeted pre- and post-surgical counseling interventions can be developed to address this emerging concern

Spadola, C.E., Wagner, E.F., Varga, L. M., Syvertsen, J.L., Cruz Munoz, N F., & Messiah, S.E. (2017). A qualitative examination of increased alcohol use after bariatric surgery among racially/ethnically diverse young adults. Obesity Surgery, (6), 1492. doi:10.1007/s11695-017-3022-x

Resilience in the context of fragility: Development of a multidimensional measure of child wellbeing within the Fragile Families dataset

Resilience in the context of fragility: Development of a multidimensional measure of child wellbeing within the Fragile Families dataset

Resilience in the context of fragility: Development of a multidimensional measure of child wellbeing within the Fragile Families datasetAbstract: This study sought to empirically develop a theoretically grounded multidimensional measure of child wellbeing (CWB) for research with at-risk families. The World Health Organization and UNICEF call for a multidimensional construct of child wellbeing, incorporating factors known to impact wellbeing (e.g., access to healthcare, childhood maltreatment, the incarceration of one’s primary caregiver). We analyzed data from the Fragile Families study in two separate steps: 1) confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted at each time point utilizing theoretically grounded multidimensional indicator of wellbeing available in the dataset, and 2) twosample t-tests and one-way ANOVAs, by sex and race/ethnicity, were conducted at each time point examining potential variation in wellbeing. The current measure of CWB included the following domains: material wellbeing, relationships, health and behavioral wellbeing, and environmental enrichment. CFA results revealed acceptable to excellent fit based on multiple fit indices (e.g., CFI, RMSEA). Our CWB measure did not significantly vary by sex but did differ by race at each wave. Non-Hispanic white participants consistently demonstrated the highest CWB, while non-Hispanic black children consistently demonstrated the lowest CWB. This study resulted in the creation a new multidimensional measure of CWB not previously available in the Fragile Families data. The measure developed in this study will allow prevention scientists to further examine the myriad of factors related to child wellbeing in this robust national dataset.

Fava, N.M., Li, T., Burke, S.L., & Wagner, E.F. (2017). Resilience in the context of fragility: Development of a multidimensional measure of child wellbeing within the Fragile Families dataset. Children & Youth Services Review81358-367. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.08.023

Social ecological determinants of substance use treatment entry among serious juvenile offenders from adolescence through emerging adulthood

Social ecological determinants of substance use treatment entry among serious juvenile offenders from adolescence through emerging adulthood

Social Ecological Determinants of Substance Use Treatment Entry Among Serious Juvenile Offenders From Adolescence Through Emerging AdulthoodAbstract/Purpose: To examine the social-ecological determinants of substance use treatment entry among serious juvenile offenders over a 7 year period. Using the social-ecological framework, relevant predictors of substance use from the literature were used to assess risk (and protective) factors at the individual, parental, peer and neighborhood level.

Method: Serious juvenile offenders (N=1354, Mage baseline=16.0 years, SD=1.14) were prospectively followed over 7 years (Mage Conclusion=23.0 years, SD=1.15). Cox regression with time invariant and time varying predictors was used to predict time to first substance use treatment entry.

Results: Results for each dimension, separately, varied slightly from the full model. In the full model peer delinquency, peer arrests, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), impulse control, temperament, and emotional regulation remained salient risk (and protective) factors for treatment entry.

Conclusion: Associating with more deviant peers and having more of your peers arrested over the 7 year study period was associated with substantial increase in time to treatment entry. Furthermore, one of the strongest risk factors for treatment entry was a PTSD diagnosis. Treatment implications are discussed regarding peer affiliation and PTSD symptomology as well as potential neurological and biological contributors to increased risk for treatment entry.

Davis, J.P., Dumas, T.M., Wagner, E.F., & Merrin, G.J. (2016). Social ecological determinants of substance use treatment entry among serious juvenile offenders from adolescence through emerging adulthood. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment718-15. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2016.08.004

Friendships across race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation

Friendships across race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation

Friendships across Race, Ethnicity, and Sexual OrientationAbstract: This chapter presents a selective review of research on friendships across race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Special attention is given to research concerning the facilitators of and barriers to friendship across differences throughout the life span. The role of gender is discussed as an important variable affecting friendships. New directions for research are proposed as well.

Rose, S.M., & Hospital, M.M. (n.d.). Friendships across race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. In M. Hojjat & A. Moyer, The Psychology of Friendship (pp. 75-91). London: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190222024.003.0005

Alcohol use patterns and alcohol use disorders among young adult, ethnically diverse bariatric surgery patients

Alcohol use patterns and alcohol use disorders among young adult, ethnically diverse bariatric surgery patients

Alcohol use patterns and alcohol use disorders among young adult, ethnically diverse bariatric surgery patientsAbstract: Background – Research suggests that young adults and racial/ethnic minorities are at an increased risk for problematic alcohol use. Recent studies have also documented patterns of problematic alcohol use among a subset of weight loss surgery (WLS) patients. However, to date, there are no published studies investigating the intersection of these demographic and clinical characteristics.

Methods: This study used descriptive and inferential analyses to examine alcohol use patterns, prevalence of pre and post-WLS alcohol use disorders (AUDs), and predictors of increased alcohol use and problematic alcohol use post-WLS among young adult (mean age 26.5 years old, SD = 5.5 years) ethnically diverse (57% Hispanic, 28% non-Hispanic black) WLS patients (N = 69).

Results: Over 21% of the sample had a history of a lifetime AUD, and 4.2% of the sample developed an AUD post-WLS. In the past 30 days, 14.5% of respondents reported binge drinking, and 42% reported drinking until intoxication. History of a pre-WLS AUD was associated with an increased frequency of alcohol use post WLS (p = 0.012). Age, time since WLS, the gastric bypass procedure, and pre-WLS history of an AUD were not significant predictors of binge drinking or drinking to intoxication post-WLS.

Conclusions: Ethnically diverse, young adults may have an elevated prevalence of AUD diagnoses pre-WLS. Having a pre-WLS AUD appears to be a risk factor for increased alcohol use post-WLS. Young adult WLS patients might also demonstrate high rates of binge drinking and drinking to intoxication. Binge drinking could be especially problematic considering that WLS could increase sensitivity to alcohol. Further investigation is warranted with this important sub-population to explore risk factors for problematic alcohol use post-WLS; future assessments of alcohol use should consider potential heightened alcohol sensitivity resulting from WLS.

Spadola, C.E., Wagner, E.F., Accornero, V.H., Vidot, D.C., de la Cruz-Munoz, N., & Messiah, S.E. (2017). Alcohol use patterns and alcohol use disorders among young adult, ethnically diverse bariatric surgery patients. Substance Abuse38(1), 82-87. doi:10.1080/08897077.2016.1262305

Giving voice to historical trauma through storytelling: The impact of boarding school experience on American Indians

Giving voice to historical trauma through storytelling: The impact of boarding school experience on American Indians

Giving Voice to Historical Trauma Through Storytelling: The Impact of Boarding School Experience on American IndiansAbstract: This study documented events contributing to historical trauma among American Indian mission boarding school survivors using the Dream Catcher-Medicine Wheel (DCMW) model as a culturally appropriate tool that enhanced storytelling. Nine women from 2 Plains Indians tribes were recruited through snowball sampling. A descriptive exploratory qualitative method was used in the study. A thematic analysis process using the DCMW was combined with taped and written storytelling sessions. Inductive analysis was applied to the 2 research questions. Data analysis identified 3 major themes. First, unable to voice mission boarding school experiences for most of their adult lives, each affirmed the rediscovery of Native spirituality as empowering. Second, all expressed appreciation for traditional methods woven into storytelling sessions, particularly the DCMW. Finally, all indicated they experienced release and healing through telling their stories. Participants struggle to resolve health challenges to this day.

Charbonneau-Dahlen, B.K., Lowe, J., & Morris, S.L. (2016). Giving voice to historical trauma through storytelling: The impact of boarding school experience on American Indians. Journal Of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma25(6), 598-617. doi:10.1080/10926771.2016.1157843