The article, “Comparing sexuality communication among offspring of teen parents and adult parents: A different role for extended family,” by Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D.; Allison Tracy, Ph.D.; Amanda Richer, M.A.; and Sumru Erkut, Ph.D., was published in the June 2015 issue of Sexuality Research & Social Policy: A Journal of the NSRC. This report examined teenagers’ sexuality communication with their parents and extended families. It compared who teens of early parents (those who had children when they were adolescents) and teens of later parents (those who were adults when they had children) talk to about sex. Results showed that teens of early (teen) parents were more likely than teens of later (adult) parents to talk with both parents and extended family about sex and less likely than later parents to talk only with parents. These findings indicate that realities of teen sexuality communication for teens of early parents may extend beyond a parent-teen model to include extended family. Extended family involvement in educational outreach is a potential untapped resource to support sexual health for teens of early parents.
Internet-based Depression Prevention Intervention
“An Internet-Based Adolescent Depression Preventive Intervention: Study Protocol for a Randomized Control Trial,” by Tracy Gladstone, Ph.D.; Monika Marko-Holguin, M.S.S.; Phyllis Rothberg, LICSW; Jennifer Nidetz, M.S.W.; Anne Diehl, M.P.H.; Daniela T. DeFrino, Ph.D.; Mary Harris, Eumene Ching, M.D.; Milton Eder, Ph.D.; Jason Canel, M.D.; Carl Bell, M.D.; William R Beardslee, M.D.; C. Hendricks Brown, Ph.D.; Kathleen Griffiths, Ph.D.; and Benjamin W Van Voorhees, M.D., was included in the May 2015 issue of Trials Journal. The high prevalence of major depressive disorder in adolescents and the low rate of successful treatment highlight a pressing need for accessible, affordable adolescent depression prevention programs. The Internet offers opportunities to provide adolescents with high quality, evidence-based programs without burdening or creating new care-delivery systems. The research team developed a primary care Internet based depression prevention intervention, Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive Behavioral Humanistic and Interpersonal Training (CATCH-IT), to evaluate a self-guided, online approach to depression prevention and are conducting a randomized clinical trial comparing CATCHIT to a general health education Internet intervention. This article documents the research framework and randomized clinical trial design used to evaluate CATCH-IT for adolescents, in order to inform future work in Internet-based adolescent prevention programs. The protocol represents the only current, systematic approach to connecting at-risk youth with self-directed depression prevention programs in a medical setting. Because of the potential for broad generalizability of this model, the results of this study are important, as they will help develop the guidelines for preventive interventions with youth at-risk for the development of depressive and other mental disorders.
Social and Emotional Learning with Youth Outcomes
A special report, Measuring Social and Emotional Learning with the Survey of Academic and Youth Outcomes (SAYO), by Sasha Stavsky, M.A., was published by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women in March 2015. Over the past decade, growing evidence has pointed to the unique and positive role out-of-school time (OST) programs can play in the lives of young people. Durlak and Weissburg’s 2007 examination of the impact of youth development programs on personal and social skills has suggested that participation in OST programs is associated with youth’s feelings of self-confidence and self-esteem, positive feelings and attitudes towards school, positive social behaviors, and reduced problem behaviors such as aggression and noncompliance. With this increased recognition has come increased resources for OST programs; with increased resources has come higher expectations for results. A recent report from Grantmakers for Education indicates that the four most common outcomes grantmakers seek for youth through their grants to OST programs are (1) improved academic achievement, (2) increased student engagement, (3) positive youth development, and (4) 21st century skill building. These programs, which typically draw from positive youth development theory, have historically focused their efforts on nurturing the development of a foundational set of social and emotional skills, attitudes, and behaviors in youth that can contribute to youth’s future academic and life successes. This paper seeks to demonstrate how the SAYO tool developed by NIOST and used in the OST field for more than a decade, can measure many of the social and emotional learning competencies of interest to the OST field.
Religiosity and Alcohol Use in Emerging Adults
Michelle Porche, Ed.D.; Lisa Fortuna, M.D., M.P.H.; Amy Wachholtz, PhD, MDiv, M.S.; and Rosalie Torres Stone, Ph.D. published “Distal and Proximal Religiosity as Protective Factors for Adolescent and Emerging Adult Alcohol Use” in the journal Religions. The paper can be downloaded from www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/6/2/365 and is the first peer-reviewed open access publication from WCW; Porche’s work on this paper was supported by the WCW 35th Anniversary Fund. Data from emerging adults, ages 18–29 in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Study, was used to examine the influence of childhood and emerging adult religiosity and religious-based decision-making, and childhood adversity, on alcohol use. Childhood religiosity was protective against early alcohol use and progression to later abuse or dependence, but did not significantly offset the influence of childhood adversity on early patterns of heavy drinking in adjusted logistic regression models. Religiosity in emerging adulthood was negatively associated with alcohol use disorders. Protective associations for religiosity varied by gender, ethnicity, and childhood adversity histories. Higher religiosity may be protective against early onset alcohol use and later development of alcohol problems, thus, should be considered in prevention programming for youth, particularly in faith-based settings. Mental health providers should allow for integration of clients’ religiosity and spirituality beliefs and practices in treatment settings if clients indicate such interest.
Special Issues & Chapters
“Changing policy to achieve equity for infants and toddlers,” an article by M.V. Mayoral; Pedro Noguera; Aisha Ray; Layli Maparyan, Ph.D.; and Lauren Hogan was included in the January 2015 journal, Zero to Three. This special issue celebrates ZERO TO THREE’s multidisciplinary training event for early childhood professionals by featuring articles from the conference presentations and plenary sessions. The 2014 National Training Institute was held December 10–12, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and brought together more than 2,000 professionals from 47 states and 15 different countries. This article focused on strengths-based policies to achieve equity, work that dismantles structures, and changing systems and policies to impact better outcomes.
The chapter, “Understanding and Responding to the Mental Health Needs of Latino Youth in a Cultural Framework,” by Lisa Fortuna, M.D., M.P.H.; Aida Jimenez, Ph.D.; and Michelle Porche, Ed.D. will be published in the summer of 2015 by MGH Psychiatry Academy Press as part of the edited book, Cultural Sensitivity in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (R. Parekh, editor). Young Latinos have been referred to as the “vanguard of America’s new racial and ethnic diversity.” This chapter provides an overview of how culture and identity are important aspects of mental health among Latino youth. Poverty, parent-child acculturative differences, parent mental health in the context of stressful circumstances, risky environments, inadequate educational opportunities, and barriers to mental-health services all contribute to Latino mental health. Yet, the authors contend, there is tremendous opportunity to support the strengths inherent in this young generation as it strives to successfully navigate and contribute to the realities of an increasingly diverse United States.
Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D., contributed to several recent and forthcoming publications. The chapter, “Realizing Personal and Systemic Privilege: Reflection Becoming Action” is included in Everyday White People Confront Racial and Social Injustice, edited by Eddie Moore, Jr., Marguerite W. Penick-Parks, and Ali Michael, Stylus Publishing, Sterling, VA (2015). In her contribution to this anthology of writings by White people, McIntosh discusses her racist upbringing, her journey to understand herself racially, her efforts to see Whiteness systemically, and her work with teachers to lessen privilege in educational curricula and teaching methods. The chapter, “Deprivileging Philosophy,” included in I Don’t See Color: Personal and Critical Perspectives on White Privilege, edited by Bettina Bergo and Tracy Nicholls, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA (2015), written by McIntosh, faults philosophy for its abstractness and suggests that many more kinds of thinking and many subjects of trains of thought should be honored as philosophical. McIntosh, in the chapter “An Exercise in Understanding Privilege and Disadvantage” in Clinical Supervision Activities for Increasing Competence and Self-Awareness, edited by Roy A. Bean, Sean D. Davis, and Maureen P. Davey, Wiley Publishers, Indianapolis, IN (2014), describes a self-awareness activity that uses a directed reading on privilege and a small-group format for discussing unearned disadvantage and unearned advantage in one’s life. This exercise can help clinicians to better understand systemic and individual sources of power and privilege in society. The primary goals of this reflective exercise are to help clinicians understand how clients’ lives are influenced by societal disadvantages and advantages, to encourage a deeper understanding of oneself, and to increase empathy towards clients.
Essays & Blogs
Amy Hoffman, M.F.A. contributed the essay, “Critical Thinking from Women,” to the new anthology, The Little Magazine in Contemporary America, edited by Joanne Diaz and Ian Morris, from University of Chicago Press (2015). The essay discusses the history and mission of Women’s Review of Books.
Ellen Gannett, M.Ed., contributed the article, “Community College Proposal Not Enough to Transform OST Field,” and Kathy Schleyer, M.S. contributed, “ When School and Out-of-School Time Intersect” in the February 2015 and March 2015 issues, respectively, of Youth Today’s online OST Hub. Both pieces are available online at Youth Today.