Award Recipients

Div. 37 Student Poster Award winners

Read about the 2012 winners whose poster topics include the mental health care of adopted children and aggression toward siblings.

The following students won awards at the 2012 APA Annual Convention for their posters focusing on research related to children and families.

“The Differential Health and Mental Health Care Utilization of Adopted Children: Findings From a Nationally Representative Sample”

<image>Brittany Jordan-Arthur, BA, Tony X. Tan, PhD, Gabriela D. Romero, Sergio Santiago, University of South Florida

As adoption rates in the United States rise, there is an increased need for research on this population to inform health and policy decision making. The present study examined health and mental health care needs, academic, behavioral and functional outcomes, parent perceptions of pre-adoption adversity, and demographic characteristics of this nationally representative sample and how these differ by adoption type. For the sub-sample of trans-racially adopted children, parental attempts to incorporate ethnic identity and their association with mental health outcomes were examined.

Data from the NSAP is available for public use and was obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via website at sap.htm. The sample included parent ratings of 1,722 children ages 0-17 obtained from the NSAP. Of this sample there were 392 international, 666 foster care and 664 private adoptions. Extensive information on selected demographic and socioeconomic characteristics were presented for the total sample and by adoption type. Frequencies for 40 variables related to health and mental health care needs, academic, behavioral and functional outcomes, parent perceptions of pre-adoption adversity, ethnic identity incorporation and demographic characteristics of the adoptive sample and by adoption type were presented. In comparisons across these groups, several significant findings were reported.

“Child Sex Predicts to Change in Aggressive Behavior Toward a Sibling”

<image>Laura E. Miller, Eric Bermann, Sandra A. Graham-Bermann, University of Michigan, Department of Psychology

Objective: The purpose of the current study was to examine how child sex and exposure to violence contributes to increases in aggressive behavior towards a sibling over time. Method: The current study assessed sibling aggression and exposure to violence in a sample of Head Start preschoolers. Mothers reported on their children’s functioning at entry into the study and again one year later. Results: This longitudinal study found that children’s aggressive behavior toward their closest-age sibling generally increased over time, but more for females than for males. After controlling for family, community and television violence exposure, only being female predicted to increases in aggressive behavior toward a sibling. Conclusion: These results indicate that while all children are likely to need support for the violence they witness, girls may be at heightened risk of developing aggressive behavior towards a sibling following exposure to violence.

“Relationships between Multiple-Informant Aggression, Social Problems, and Inconsistent Discipline”

<image>Sara L. Stromeyer, MA - The University of Alabama, John E. Lochman, PhD - The University of Alabama, Karen C. Wells, PhD - Duke University Medical Center

The current study sought to examine concurrent relationships between children’s aggression and social problems, as well as parental inconsistent discipline. In order to minimize measurement error and reduce bias associated with using only one informant, the current study used multiple informants for the three latent constructs. The sample consisted of 243 early adolescent boys identified as atrisk for aggression. The Aggression and Social Problems subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist and Teacher Report Form were rated by parents and teachers. Children reported on their social problems using the Interpersonal Problems subscale of the Children’s Depression Inventory and the Inconsistent Discipline subscale of the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire was rated by both parents and children. MPlus was used to analyze the data. A measurement model was identified, providing support that the constructs of aggression, social problems, and inconsistent discipline are significantly related when comprised of multiple informant indicators. Furthermore, a latent regression model indicated that inconsistent discipline significantly predicted both aggression and social problems and suggested that when the predictive role of inconsistent discipline is accounted for, the relation between aggression and social problems becomes nonsignificant. These results suggest that treatment of children with aggression and social problems should include parents and focus on consistency of parenting.