[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study assessed the perceptions and practices of a national sample of secondary school principals regarding reducing firearm violence in high schools. Data were collected via three-wave postal mailings. A 59-item valid and reliable questionnaire was mailed to a national random sample of 800 secondary school principals. Of the 349 principals (46 %) that responded, 17 % reported a firearm incident at their school in the past 5 years. Principals perceived inadequate parental monitoring (70 %), inadequate mental health services (64 %), peer harassment/bullying (59 %), and easy access to firearms (50 %) as the main causes of firearm violence in schools. The three barriers to implementing firearm violence prevention practices were: lack of expertise as to which practices to implement (33 %), lack of time (30 %), and lack of research as to which practices are most effective (30 %). Less than half of schools trained school personnel regarding firearm violence issues. The findings indicate that firearm incidents at schools may be more common than previously thought. A significant portion of principals are at a loss as to what to implement because of a lack of empirical evidence on what is effective. More research is needed to find the most effective school interventions for reducing firearm violence.
Journal of Community Health 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10900-015-0087-0 · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most research on workplace harassment originates from European countries.Prevalence of workplace harassment and associated morbidity has not been well studied in the United States. The purpose of this study was to assess in a sample of US workers the prevalence of workplace harassment and the psychological and physical health consequences of workplace harassment. The 2010 National Health Interview Survey data were analyzed in 2014 for this study. We computed the prevalence of workplace harassment, assessed the demographic and background characteristics of victims of harassment, and tested the association between harassment and selected health risk factors by using logistic regression analysis. Statistical significance was established as p < 0.01. A total of 17,524 adults were included in our study (51.5 % females and 74.9 % Whites). A little <1 in 10 (8.1 %) reported being harassed in the workplace in the past 12 months. The odds of harassment were significantly higher for females (OR 1.47, p < 0.001),multiracial individuals (OR 2.30, p < 0.001), and divorced or separated individuals (OR 1.88, p < 0.001). Victims of harassment were significantly more likely to: be obese, sleep less, and smoke more. In addition, harassment was associated with psychosocial distress, pain disorders, work loss, bed days, and worsening health of employees in the past 12 months. Analysis was stratified by gender and distinct health risk patterns for men and women victims were observed. Workplace harassment in the US is associated with significant health risk factors and morbidity. Workplace policies and protocols can play a significant role in reducing harassment and the associated negative health outcomes.
Journal of Community Health 06/2015; 40(3):555-563. DOI:10.1007/s10900-014-9971-2 · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the preferences of parents of elementary school-aged children regarding when sexuality topics should be discussed in school and at home. The survey was mailed to a national random sample of parents of elementary school age children. Overall, 92% of parents believed that sexuality education should be taught in schools. Independent t-tests showed statistically significant differences between mothers and fathers regarding when sexuality education topics should be taught in elementary school as well as when they planned to discuss sexuality topics at home with their child. This study provides valuable information regarding parents’ perceptions about sexuality education.
American Journal of Sexuality Education 03/2015; 10(1):1-20. DOI:10.1080/15546128.2015.1009595
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Firearm mortality is the leading cause of death for young African American males, however, few studies have focused on racial/ethnic minority populations and firearm violence. The National Black Caucus of State Legislators advocates for legislation that promotes the health of African Americans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to collect baseline data on African American legislators' perceptions regarding firearm violence in the African American community. A cross-sectional study of African American legislators (n = 612) was conducted to investigate the research questions. Of the 612 questionnaires mailed, 12 were not deliverable, and 170 were returned (28 %). Utilizing a three wave mailing process, African American legislators were invited to participate in the study. The majority (88 %) of respondents perceived firearm violence to be very serious among African Americans. Few (10 %) legislators perceived that addressing legislative issues would be an effective strategy in reducing firearm violence among African Americans. The majority (72 %) of legislators perceived the most effective strategy to reducing firearm violence in the African American community should focus on addressing societal issues (e.g. crime and poverty). After adjusting for the number of perceived barriers, the number of perceived benefits was a significant predictor of legislators' perceived effectiveness of firearm violence prevention legislation for 8 of the 24 potential firearm violence prevention legislative bills.
Journal of Community Health 10/2014; 40(3). DOI:10.1007/s10900-014-9954-3 · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess the perceptions and practices of a national sample of college and university presidents regarding their support for concealed carry on college campuses. Participants: The sample for this study consisted of a national random sample of 900 college or university presidents. Methods: In the Spring of 2013, a 3-wave mailing procedure was used to ensure an adequate response rate to a valid and reliable questionnaire. Results: The response rate was 46%, more than what was needed based on the power analysis. The vast majority (95%) of respondents were not supportive of carrying concealed handguns on campuses. They perceived there to be more disadvantages than advantages to handguns on campus. However, college administrators were not focused enough on the primary prevention of campus firearm trauma. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest a number of activities that could be implemented to enhance safety on college and university campuses.
Journal of American College Health 10/2014; 62(7):461-469. DOI:10.1080/07448481.2014.920336 · 1.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to develop an Attribution of Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities (AREHD) scale. A convenience sample of undergraduate college students (n = 423) at four Midwestern universities was recruited to respond to the survey. A pilot test with undergraduate students (n = 23) found the survey had good acceptability and readability level (SMOG = 11th grade). Using exploratory factor analysis we found the two a priori subscales were confirmed: individual responsibility and social determinants. Internal reliabilities of the subscales were: individual responsibility (alpha = 0.87) and social determinants (alpha = 0.90). Test-retest stability reliabilities were: individual responsibility (r = 0.72) and social determinants (r = 0.69). The AREHD subscales are satisfactory for assessing college student's AREHD.
Journal of Community Health 08/2014; 39(4):792-799. DOI:10.1007/s10900-014-9833-y · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Firearms injuries place a unique burden on America in terms of lives lost (31,000/year), disability (70,000 nonfatal injuries/year), and economic costs ($174 billion in 2010). The purpose of this study was to examine psychiatric residency directors' perceptions of firearm access issues of the mentally ill. In late Fall 2012 and early Spring of 2013, a three-wave mailing was used to survey the membership of the American Association of Directors of Psychiatric Residency Training (N = 129). Due to the homogenous small sample size descriptive statistics were calculated to describe the responses. A total of 72 (56 %) directors responded. Almost 1 in 4 (23.6 %) thought that access to firearms by the seriously mentally ill should not be prohibited. The majority (91.7 %) supported closing the background check loophole. The majority (54.2 %) also believed that singling out the mentally ill as a group of "banned purchasers" adds to the stigma of the mentally ill (54.2 %) but a plurality (44.4 %) did not believe reporting the mentally ill to authorities would result in the mentally ill avoiding treatment. The current method of reducing access by the mentally ill to firearms is perceived by psychiatric residency directors as ineffective and burdensome to the mentally ill.
Journal of Community Health 04/2014; 39(2):322-326. DOI:10.1007/s10900-013-9764-z · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A comprehensive review of the literature failed to find any studies to assess elementary school parents' preferred philosophical approach to teaching sexuality education and sexuality education topics discussed by parents. All previous research reported parent data for grades K-12 or grades 9-12 only. Methods A random sample of 2400 parents of children ages 6 to 11 across 3 counties of a Midwestern state were surveyed using a 3-wave mailing, which resulted in a final response rate of 43% from eligible parents. Results When asked to identify which of 3 sexuality education topics should be taught at specific grade levels, a plurality (36%) thought that the reproductive system should be taught in grades 3-5. Most parents (51%) supported teaching abstinence and refusal skills in grades 6-8 and supported teaching birth control and condom use (55%) in the middle school grades or earlier. Discussion Multiple factors come into play when schools decide what sexuality education topics to include in the curriculum, including politics, moral philosophy of adults, resources, and research evidence. The results of this study support comprehensive sexuality education. Translation to Health Education Practice Health education teachers should advocate for quality sexuality education in the middle school grades or earlier.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: College campuses have traditionally been gun-free zones, efforts are underway by pro-gun organizations to change policies to allow the carrying of concealed handguns on university campuses. Purpose: To assess the perception and practices of university presidents regarding support for carrying concealed handguns on their campuses. Methods: Only institutions classified as four-year private for profit, private not-for-profit, and public institutions were included. An a priori power analysis indicated a suggested sample size of 338 participants to yield sufficient power. As a result, to obtain generalizability power, surveys were mailed to a national random sample of 900. A four-page, survey instrument was developed to assess perceptions and practices regarding the carrying of concealed firearms on college campuses (five point Likert-type response scale). A 3-wave postal mailing was sent using a variety of techniques to maximize response rate. Survey data were analyzed using SPSS. Results: 324 presidents (36%) responded. They were not supportive of faculty carrying handguns on campus (96%); would feel less safe if they did carry (85%), increase firearm homicides on campus (76%); 84% have an active shooter plan in place and 45% have trained faculty on active shooter situations. Multivariable logistic regression found males gender, political affiliation (Republican), growing up in home with firearms were independent predictors of support for carrying firearms on campus. Conclusions: University presidents are not supportive of concealed handguns on campus and their responses are congruent with regional studies of faculty and students.
141st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2013; 11/2013
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Racial/ethnic minorities are 1.5 to 2.0 times more likely than whites to have most of the major chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are also more common in the poor than the nonpoor and this association is frequently mediated by race/ethnicity. Specifically, children are disproportionately affected by racial/ethnic health disparities. Between 1960 and 2005 the percentage of children with a chronic disease in the United States almost quadrupled with racial/ethnic minority youth having higher likelihood for these diseases. The most common major chronic diseases of youth in the United States are asthma, diabetes mellitus, obesity, hypertension, dental disease, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mental illness, cancers, sickle-cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and a variety of genetic and other birth defects. This review will focus on the psychosocial rather than biological factors that play important roles in the etiology and subsequent solutions to these health disparities because they should be avoidable and they are inherently unjust. Finally, this review examines access to health services by focusing on health insurance and dental insurance coverage and access to school health services.
BioMed Research International 09/2013; 2013:787616. DOI:10.1155/2013/787616 · 1.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The leading cause of preventable death, in the most vulnerable segments of society, whom social workers often counsel, is cigarette smoking. The purpose of this study was to assess tobacco smoking cessation training in clinical social work programs. A valid 21-item questionnaire was sent to the entire population of 189 clinical graduate social work programs identified by the Council on Social Work Education. A three-wave mailing process was used to maximize the return rate. Directors from 112 clinical social work programs returned completed questionnaires (61 percent). The majority (91 percent) of directors reported having never thought about offering formal smoking cessation training, and only nine of the programs (8 percent) currently provided formal smoking cessation education. The three leading barriers to offering smoking cessation education were as follows: not a priority (60 percent), not enough time (55 percent), and not required by the accrediting body (41 percent). These findings indicate that clinical social work students are not receiving standardized smoking cessation education to assist in improving the well-being of their clients. The national accrediting body for graduate clinical social work programs should consider implementing guidelines for smoking cessation training in the curriculums.
Health & social work 08/2013; 38(3):173-81. DOI:10.1093/hsw/hlt008 · 0.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: This multisite study assessed college student's perceptions and practices regarding carrying concealed handguns on campus. Participants: Undergraduate students from 15 public midwestern universities were surveyed (N = 1,800). Methods: Faculty members distributed the questionnaire to students in general education classes or classes broadly representative of undergraduate students. Results: Useable questionnaires were returned by 1,649 students (92%). The majority (78%) of students was not supportive of concealed handguns on campuses, and 78% claimed that they would not obtain a permit to carry a handgun on campus, if it were legal. Those who perceived more disadvantages to carrying handguns on campus were females, who did not own firearms, did not have a firearm in the home growing up, and were not concerned with becoming a victim of crime. Conclusions: The majority of students was not supportive of concealed handguns on campus and claimed that they would not feel safer if students and faculty carried concealed handguns.
Journal of American College Health 07/2013; 61(5):243-53. DOI:10.1080/07448481.2013.799478 · 1.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: —Background: Several professional medical societies advocate for firearm safety counseling with pa-tients. Little is known about Emergency Physicians' prac-tices and perceptions of firearm safety counseling. Objective: To assess Emergency Physicians' beliefs regard-ing firearm control and their confidence in counseling pa-tients on firearm safety. Methods: A national random sample (n = 500) of the members of the American College of Emergency Physicians was sent a valid and reliable ques-tionnaire on firearm safety counseling. Results: Of the 278 (56.8%) responding physicians, those who were non-white and those who were not members of the National Rifle Asso-ciation (NRA) perceived firearm violence to be more of a problem than white physicians and those who were mem-bers of the NRA. The majority did not believe that patients would view them as a good source of information on firearm safety (63.3%) or that patients would accept them providing anticipatory firearm safety guidance (56.5%). The majority of the Emergency Department physicians did not believe firearm safety counseling would impact firearm-related ho-micides (75.2%) or suicides (70%). Conclusions: The vast majority of Emergency Physicians had never been formally trained regarding firearm safety counseling, did not believe patients would see them as credible sources, and did not be-lieve that anticipatory guidance on firearm safety would have any impact. These data may help inform Emergency Medicine residency programs on the training needs of residents regarding anticipatory guidance on firearm safety. Ó 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Journal of Emergency Medicine 05/2013; 27(1):1-10. DOI:10.1016/j.jemermed.2012.11.010 · 0.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Health Belief Model was utilized to examine the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of individuals regarding regular jogging. Based on an elicitation procedure developed by Martin Fishbein, a questionnaire was developed according to the theoretical tenets of the Health Belief Model and was found to be valid and reliable. Responses from 124 joggers and 96 nonexercisers were analyzed, and significant differences were found. Factors which accounted for the largest portion of predictable variance (40%) were barriers to action such as lack of time, job or family responsibilities, or weather constraints. As a whole, the results provided support for the Health Belief Model in that 61% of the variance in jogging behavior was determined. The study suggests that physical and health educators might more effectively change the behavior of sedentary individuals by utilizing strategies which address perceived obstacles to jogging.
Research quarterly for exercise and sport 02/2013; 55(4):371-378. DOI:10.1080/02701367.1984.10608417 · 1.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
This study assessed the perceptions and practices of school nurses regarding adolescent dating violence (ADV).
The membership list of the National Association of School Nurses was used to identify a national random cross-sectional sample of high school nurses in the United States (N = 750). A valid and reliable survey instrument was developed and a 3-wave postal mailing procedure was used to maximize the return rate (57%).
Most school nurses (86.4%) reported that they did not have a protocol in their schools to respond to an incident of ADV. The majority of nurses reported that in the past 2 years, training to assist victims of ADV had not been provided to personnel in their schools (88.1%) and their schools did not conduct periodic student surveys that include questions on teen dating abuse behaviors (71.5%). Nurses who had a school protocol for responding to an incident of ADV perceived significantly fewer barriers to assisting victims of ADV and assisted more victims. Over half (55.3%) of high school nurses reported assisting a victim of ADV in the past 2 years.
Nurses appear to need more training in ADV. In addition, nurses found a number of barriers (eg, lack of training on ADV, lack of time, and lack of private space) to assisting student victims of ADV. Schools need to establish a means for assessing the status of ADV in their student population. Schools also need to provide in-service education for school personnel regarding prevention, assessment, and interdiction of ADV.
Journal of School Health 02/2013; 83(2):127-136. DOI:10.1111/josh.12008 · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: The purpose of this study was to develop a College Student's Mistrust of Health Care Organizations (CSMHCO) scale and determine the relationship between medical mistrust with the use of a variety of health care services. Methods: A convenience sample of college students (n = 545) at 2 universities in the United States was recruited in the academic year 2010–2011. Results: Using principal components analysis we found that the scale was unidimensional, internal reliability (Cronbach's α = 0.85) was good, test–retest reliability was acceptable (r = 0.71), and readability (SMOG = 11 grade) was good. Higher mistrust of health care organizations was found to be statistically significantly associated with all 5 measures of underutilization of health services: failure to take medical advice, failure to seek needed medical care, failure to fill a prescription, postponing needed medical care, and failure to keep a follow-up appointment. This scale seems to be a satisfactory predictor of failure to obtain needed health care services. Conclusions and Translation to Health Education Practice: To help ensure appropriate use of health services by college students this scale could be used to assess levels of mistrust of health care organizations in student populations and then outreach efforts could be implemented for those students most likely to avoid needed health care services.
Journal of health education / Association for the Advancement of Health Education 01/2013; 44(1):19-25. DOI:10.1080/19325037.2012.749705
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
HIV/AIDS is one of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States with individuals between the ages of 13 and 19 years being especially vulnerable for infection. The purpose of this study was to examine the attitudes, perceptions, and instructional practices of high school health teachers toward teaching HIV prevention.
A total of 800 surveys were sent to a national random sample of high school health teachers and 50% responded.
There was almost complete agreement (99%) among respondents that HIV prevention instruction is needed. The factors that emerged as significantly influencing the attitudes and perceptions of high school health teachers about teaching HIV prevention were related to teacher preparation, training, and years of experience teaching health education. A state mandate requiring HIV prevention instruction was significantly associated with higher teacher efficacy expectations and more perceived benefits, but did not have a significant influence in relation to practices in the classroom. Characteristics of high school health teachers that were significantly related to attitudes, perceptions, and instructional practices included the instructor's age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
High school health teachers who reported the least experience teaching health education had the least supportive attitudes, perceived the most barriers, and had the lowest efficacy and outcome expectations related to teaching about HIV prevention. Whereas these findings support the importance of teacher preparation and training, they also suggest that more recent college graduates may not be fully prepared to provide effective instruction in HIV prevention.
Journal of School Health 11/2012; 82(11):514-521. DOI:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00731.x · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 2011, 159 officers in the United States were killed in the line of duty. Out of those killed, 63 died from a firearm. This represents a 7% increase of deaths by firearm. The purpose of this study was to investigate state variations in law enforcement deaths from 2005-2011 by analyzing 36 variables. These variables include such factors as total firearm related deaths (homicide, suicide, unintentional, legal intervention), various firearm control laws (22 laws) including whether or not states have concealed carry laws or assault weapon bans, poverty index, racial percentages, per capita alcohol consumption, drug arrest rates, number of firearm dealers, number of pawn shop dealers and violent crime rates were analyzed. A series of descriptive analysis, correlations and t- tests were conducted using SPSS 17.0. Out of all of the variables analyzed only states that permit the open carrying of a firearm had a statistically significant impact on officer death rates. States that allow the carrying of a firearm with no permit had a death rate of 13.67 while states that require a permit had a death rate of 4.34. (t=4.69, df=47, p<0.001). This study adds a new dimension to existing research on firearm related deaths by examining the effects of firearm laws and a variety of independent variables that may be predictive of law enforcement death. Such data can be used to help design public health interventions and local, state, and national advocacy initiatives to reduce injury and mortality in law enforcement officers.
140st APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition 2012; 10/2012