Student Poster Award winners

The 2014 Student Poster Award winners are Linda McWhorter, Casey Dillon, Elena Doskey and Christina Danko.

The four student poster award winners for 2014 are Linda McWhorter (who is the Section 1 award winner), Casey Dillon, Elena Doskey, and Christina Danko.

Casey Dillon, child clinical psychology, University of Alabama

“Peer Victimization, Externalizing and Internalizing, and Verbal Assertion Moderation, Across Time”

Abstract: Research has yet to address how key social cognitive processes may moderate the predictive, bidirectional relationships between peer victimization, externalizing behaviors, and internalizing symptoms. Drawing from the social interaction work of Shure & Spivack (1972), in addition to Dodge's (1993) social information processing model (SIP), this study sought to examine problem-solving skills as one such potential moderator. Cross-sectional studies have shown verbal assertion, specifically, to be associated with lower rates of peer victimization, aggression, and depression. Expanding on these results, this study explored verbal assertion as a moderator of behavioral and emotional outcomes as they relate to victimization over time. Archival data was utilized, originally collected to examine the effectiveness of the abbreviated Coping Power Program (Lochman et al., 2014), and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data is longitudinal, collected first in the spring of 7 th grade and again in the spring of 8 th grade. The sample includes 120 students (60 percent male, 40 percent female), with a racial composition of 69 percent African-American, 30 percent Caucasian, and 1 percent Other. Analyses yielded three primary findings: 1) For more victimized children, high verbal assertion predicted high externalizing behavior, 2) For more victimized children, the presence of verbal assertion predicted low internalizing symptoms, and 3) For more internalizing children, high verbal assertion predicted low peer victimization. The present findings indicate that verbal assertion exacerbated externalizing behavior of victimized children, but minimized both internalizing symptoms of victimized children and the victimization experience of children high on internalizing symptoms. Interventions geared toward teaching middle school children to use verbal assertion, while being mindful of its appropriateness and effectiveness in various social contexts, may be an important piece in halting the peer victimization-externalizing behaviors-internalizing symptoms cycle.

Christina Danko, DePaul University

“In-Home Parent-Child Interaction Therapy with Foster Parents and Children in Foster Care”

Abstract: Children in foster care are more likely to face difficulties in forming a secure attachment relationship and to have problem behaviors than children not in foster care. Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is an evidence-based treatment for young children that has been shown to be effective at reducing behavior problems with foster children. This study extends prior work and uses a randomized design to examine the effect of the relationship-building phase (CDI) compared to the relationship building plus discipline strengthening phases (CDI and PDI) of PCIT with non-clinically referred foster families. Twenty seven foster families were randomly assigned to either the CDI phase only PCIT treatment condition, the CDI plus PDI phase PCIT treatment condition, or the waitlist bibliotherapy (PCIT: Anticipatory Guidance) condition. All assessments and services were provided in the home. Results from the 21 families that completed the study indicated that children who were in the CDI plus PDI treatment group had a more secure relationship with their foster caregiver at post-treatment than children in the CDI only treatment group. Foster children in the PCIT treatment groups were reported to have fewer behavior problems at post-treatment than children in the waitlist bibliotherapy group. Parents in the CDI only treatment group had somewhat lower levels of parenting stress at post-treatment than parents in the CDI plus PDI treatment group. Overall, treatment satisfaction levels were high and there was no difference in treatment satisfaction between the two treatment groups. This study provides further evidence to demonstrate that PCIT is effective with foster care populations and provides preliminary evidence about the differing effects of the two PCIT phases on foster parent and foster child outcomes.  

Elena M. Doskey, MEd, doctoral student in school psychology , Texas A&M University
“Help, I Need Somebody! Reported Needs of Parents of Children 0 to 3 with Chronic Conditions”

Abstract: Personal care services (PCS) are provided to families via Medicaid. They assist the individual or family member caring for the individual in tasks of everyday living (e.g., feeding or bathing the child) and in doing everyday tasks that take longer or are increased because of the condition (e.g., helping with laundry or doing basic grocery shopping). Understanding the current amount of PCS hours needed by families, thereby avoiding over or under estimation of time, is essential to provide adequate care and facilitate appropriate expenditure of resources.

In 2009, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) case managers assessed the strength and needs of the described children and families using the Personal Care Assessment Form Zero to Three (PCAF 0-3) (Phillips et al., 2010). The sample includes 55 children ages 0 to 3 years on Medicaid in Texas that have been previously diagnosed with medical conditions (71 percent), behavioral conditions (5 percent), or both (24 percent). To determine the needed PCS hours, parents were asked about overall child status including medical and behavioral challenges and functional ability (e.g., feeding). The impact of medical, developmental, or behavior health condition and barriers that impact the caregivers' ability to provide assistance in functional tasks (e.g. meal preparation) were also assessed.

One-way ANOVA analyses revealed that caregivers of children with spina bifida as well as autism spectrum disorders needed significantly more PCS support compared with caregivers of children with other disorders. These analyses further revealed three significant parental challenges: 1) being responsible for other children, 2) being unable to sleep throughout the night due to the child's health condition, and 3) no access or very limited access to social support systems (e.g., family, friends, church). ANOVA analyses also revealed that parents reported needing the most help with bed mobility (p=0.046), toilet use (p=0.043), dressing (p=0.003), personal hygiene (p=0.019), bathing (p=0.011), medication assistance (p=0.014), laundry (p=0.016), and grocery shopping (p=0.015).

Greater understanding of families with children with disabilities will ultimately help to promote positive outcomes for children, more effectively use the public resources to target the areas of greatest need, and impact policy designed to support those families with significant levels of need.