For the past 30 years, scholars across the fields of epidemiology, education, psychology, and numerous other fields have worked to develop interventions designed to reduce risk and enhance protection to prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral problems across the lifespan. This article presents a series of next steps that leverage this foundational science to inform the development of adaptive preventive interventions. Adaptive preventive interventions (APIs) tailor the intervention to fit the diverse, sometimes changing, needs of participants with the goal of better prevention outcomes for more individuals. Secondary analyses of data from preventive intervention trials to identify moderators, mediators, and antecedents of attrition and intervention failure can be useful for designing effective APIs. Moderators that identify intervention effect heterogeneity can be used within an API to tailor the intervention to meet the unique needs of important participant subgroups. Mediators and predictors of disengagement and attrition can be helpful tailoring variables in an API to trigger change to the intervention. Preventive intervention trials that incorporate frequent assessment of potential mediators, moderators, and antecedents of attrition during the intervention period are needed. Secondary analyses of data from preventive intervention trials provide an important foundation for next-generation APIs.
The aims of the present meta-analysis were to (1) examine long-term effects of universal secondary school-based interventions on a broad range of competencies and problems and (2) analyze which intervention components were related to stronger or weaker intervention effects at follow-up. Fifty-four studies of controlled evaluations (283 effect sizes) reporting on 52 unique interventions were included. Long-term intervention effects were significant but small; effect sizes ranged from .08 to .23 in the intrapersonal domain (i.e., subjective psychological functioning) and from .10 to .19 in the interpersonal domain (i.e., social functioning). Intervention components were generally related to effects on specific outcomes. Some components (e.g., group discussions) were even related to both stronger and weaker effects depending on the assessed outcome. Moreover, components associated with long-term effects differed from those associated with short-term effects. Our findings underscore the importance of carefully selecting components to foster long-term development on specific outcomes.
PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019137981.
In this theoretical review paper, we provide a developmental-sociocultural framework for the role of social media (SM) in adolescent girls' body image concerns, and in turn, depressive symptoms and disordered eating. We propose that the features of SM (e.g., idealized images of peers, quantifiable feedback) intersect with adolescent developmental factors (e.g., salience of peer relationships) and sociocultural gender socialization processes (e.g., societal over-emphasis on girls' and women's physical appearance) to create the "perfect storm" for exacerbating girls' body image concerns. We argue that, ultimately, body image concerns may be a key mechanism underlying associations between adolescent girls' SM use and mental health. In the context of proposing this framework, we provide empirical evidence for how SM may increase adolescent girls' body image concerns through heightening their focus on (1) other people's physical appearance (e.g., through exposure to idealized images of peers, celebrities, and SM influencers; quantifiable indicators of approval); and (2) their own appearance (e.g., through appearance-related SM consciousness; exposure to idealized self-images; encouraging over-valuing of appearance; and peer approval of photos/videos). Our framework highlights new avenues for future research on adolescent girls' SM use and mental health, which recognize the central role of body image.
A substantial empirical base supports the use of psychotherapy to alleviate anxiety symptoms and diagnoses in children and adolescents. However, focusing only on symptom or diagnostic reduction provides an incomplete picture of clinically meaningful efficacy given that anxiety disorders in this age group are integrally associated with problems in functioning. A systematic review and meta-analysis (N studies = 40, N participants = 3094) evaluating the impacts of psychotherapy for anxiety was conducted on the following outcomes: global functioning, social functioning, academic functioning, and school attendance. Randomised controlled trials with a passive control condition, a child and/or adolescent sample (7–17 years) with a primary anxiety diagnosis, and receiving anxiety-focused psychotherapy were eligible for inclusion if they reported suitable outcome data. Results from the meta-analysis indicated that from pre- to post-treatment, psychotherapy led to significant improvements in global functioning according to clinician (d = 1.55), parent (d = 0.67), and child (d = 0.31) reports and on social functioning according to parent (d = 0.51), but not child (d = 0.31) reports. The qualitative review provided preliminary support psychotherapy’s efficacy in increasing family functioning and school attendance, but not so much in enhancing academic performance. These results indicate that psychotherapy improves daily functioning in anxious children and adolescents. The study also highlighted the limited attention paid to measures of functioning in the empirical literature on treatment of childhood anxiety.
Trial Registry: This study is registered with PROSPERO under the identification number CRD42021246565.
Attachment- and emotion-focused parenting interventions (AE) have grown in popularity as an alternative to behavioral parent training (BPT) for children and adolescents. AE go beneath behavior by helping parents understand and respond to their child’s underlying attachment and emotional needs. Past reviews have examined their effects on attachment security and caregiver sensitivity, though less is known regarding their effects on child mental health symptoms. Reported here is the first systematic review and meta-analysis of individual and group AE on externalizing behavior (EXT) and internalizing behavior (INT) for children aged 0–18 years. A search of four databases prior to July 2021 elicited 43 studies that met eligibility criteria. Meta-analysis revealed that AE were superior to waitlist controls for EXT ( SMD = − 0.17) and INT ( SMD = − 0.34). Effects were sustained at follow-up periods of 6 months and greater, and AE considered to target child mental health were significantly more effective than those that did not in reducing EXT and INT. Two studies retrieved directly compared AE to BPT, which showed no evidence of a difference for follow-up measures of EXT. No studies compared AE to BPT on INT. AE demonstrated no evidence of superiority compared to controls for parent mental health. Findings support the potential for AE to reduce EXT and INT in children and adolescents; however, future research should consider the relative effectiveness of AE.
GenerationPMTO is a theory- and evidence-based behavioral parenting program widely implemented in the past three decades. This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effectiveness of twenty GenerationPMTO studies on parenting and child adjustment among 3893 families in six countries. Hedges’ g from studies with pretest–posttest-controlled designs were computed and robust variance estimation (RVE) was used to deal with the effect size dependency. Results showed that GenerationPMTO significantly promoted parenting and child adjustment with moderate to high levels of heterogeneity. Specifically, GenerationPMTO improved parental discipline, parenting monitoring, skill encouragement, child externalizing problems, and child internalizing problems. Subgroup analyses revealed several important moderators, including type of comparison group, measurement, informant, risk of bias, etc. Intervention effects were quite robust across countries and multiple demographic characteristics. No publication bias across studies for parenting and child adjustment was detected. The revised Cochrane risk of bias for randomized trials (RoB 2) procedure was used to assess risk of bias within the included studies. Some studies showed a higher level of risk due to problems with the randomization process, missing data, low measurement quality, and reporting bias. Due to lack of data, we did not examine intervention effects on parental mental health or couple relationship quality. Future studies should test mediation models to understand the mechanisms of change and to identify moderators in order to understand the high levels of heterogeneity in GenerationPMTO studies.
Globally, an estimated 79.5 million individuals have been displaced, nearly 40% of whom are children. Parenting interventions may have the potential to improve outcomes for displaced families. To investigate this, we conducted a systematic review to identify the types of caregiver or parenting interventions that have been evaluated among displaced families, to assess their efficacy across a range of contexts, and to describe their cultural and contextual adaptations. The review followed PRISMA guidelines. At stage one, all articles describing caregiver/parenting interventions for forcibly displaced families were included to provide a scoping review of the state of the literature. At stage two, only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental designs were included, allowing for quantitative analysis of program effects. A total of 30 articles (24 studies) were identified in stage one. 95.8% of these articles were published in the past 10 years. Of these, 14 articles (10 studies) used an RCT or quasi-experimental design to assess program efficacy or effectiveness. Relative to control groups, those assigned to caregiving programs showed significant, beneficial effects across the domains of parenting behaviors and attitudes, child psychosocial and developmental outcomes, and parent mental health. Cultural adaptations and recruitment and engagement strategies are described. The evidence base for caregiving programs for displaced families has expanded in recent years but remains limited. Caregiving/parenting programs show promise for reducing the negative effects of forced displacement on families, but future studies are needed to understand which programs show the greatest potential for scalability.
Exposure to complex trauma is a prevalent and costly public health concern. Though not yet included in the formal diagnostic systems, developmental trauma disorder (DTD) was proposed to capture the consistent and predictable emotional, behavioral, and neurobiological sequelae observed in children exposed to complex trauma. This systematic review synthesizes and evaluates the existing empirical evidence for DTD as a reliable, valid, distinctive, and clinically useful construct. We identified 21 articles reporting on 17 non-overlapping samples that evaluated DTD symptom criteria using objective, empirical methods (e.g., factor analysis, associations with other diagnostic constructs, associations with trauma exposure type, clinician ratings of utility). Studies were largely supportive of the DTD construct and its clinical utility; however, it will be crucial for this work to be replicated in larger samples, by independent research groups, and with more rigorous methodological and analytic approaches before definitive conclusions can be drawn. Findings from this review, while preliminary, provide a promising empirical foundation for DTD and bring the field closer to improving diagnostic parsimony for children and adolescents affected by complex trauma.
Exposure to a natural disaster can have a myriad of significant and adverse psychological consequences. Children have been identified as a particularly vulnerable population being uniquely susceptible to post-disaster psychological morbidity, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Without effective intervention, the impact of natural disasters on children’s developmental trajectory can be detrimental, however, research is yet to find evidence to definitively establish the comparative efficacy or unequivocal superiority of any specific psychological intervention. A scoping review was undertaken according to the Preferred Reporting Items extension for Scoping Reviews Guidelines (PRISMA-ScR), to evaluate the current research regarding psychological interventions for children (below 18 years of age) experiencing PTSD after exposure to natural disasters, a single incident trauma. Fifteen studies involving 1337 children were included in the review. Overall, psychological interventions, irrespective of type, were associated with statistically significant and sustained reductions in PTSD symptomatology across all symptom clusters. However, whilst evidence supported the general efficacy of psychological interventions in this population, the majority of studies were considered retrospective field research designed in response to the urgent need for clinical service in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Consequently, studies were largely limited by environmental and resource constraints and marked by methodological flaws resulting in diverse and highly heterogeneous data. As such, definitive conclusions regarding the treatment efficacy of specific psychological interventions, and furthermore their ameliorative contributions constituting the necessary mechanisms of change remains largely speculative. As natural disasters can have a catastrophic impact on human lives, establishing levels of evidence for the efficacy of different psychological interventions for children represents a global public health priority.
Internalizing problems (e.g., depression, anxiety) and substance use are common among young people and often co-occur. However, youths face myriad barriers to access needed treatment, and existing evidence-based interventions tend to focus on internalizing problems or substance use, rather than both simultaneously. Brief interventions that target both problems may, therefore, be an efficient and accessible resource for alleviating youth difficulties; however, this possibility has been insufficiently evaluated. This systematic review evaluated the intervention characteristics and quality of six studies spanning 2015 to 2019 that examined intervention effects on internalizing and substance use outcomes. Based on independent calculations and author reports (respectively), 3–4 interventions significantly reduced youth internalizing symptoms; 3–5 reduced youth substance use; and 2–3 reduced symptoms in both domains. All six interventions identified substance use as a primary target. Four interventions were administered by interventionists to youths in inpatient, outpatient, primary care, or school settings. The remaining two studies delivered content through voicemail messages or an online design. Interventions ranged from ~ 15 to 240 min. Results highlight the sparsity and heterogeneity of youth-focused brief interventions that have evaluated program effects on both internalizing problems and substance use outcomes, suggesting a clear need for integrated supports that are also designed for accessibility. Future investigations of brief youth-focused interventions should assess program effects on both internalizing and substance use outcomes; examine mechanisms driving the varied efficacy of identified interventions; and create, refine, and test interventions with potential to address co-occurring internalizing problems and substance use in young people.
Considering the significant impact of perinatal depression on both maternal wellbeing and infant development, it is important to examine the effectiveness of interventions designed to prevent or reduce these risks. This systematic review and meta-analysis synthesised evidence on parenting intervention in relation to how such programs affect symptoms of perinatal depression and infant outcomes within 12 months of postpartum. We followed the Cochrane Collaboration guidelines on conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. A total of five electronic databases were searched for controlled trials that met pre-determined eligibility criteria. Outcomes of interest were maternal depressive symptoms and infants’ language, motor and socioemotional development. Seventeen studies involving 1665 participants were included in the systematic review. Estimates from a random effects model of 15 studies in the final meta-analysis revealed statistically significant reductions in maternal depressive symptoms at post-intervention for mothers allocated to receive parenting interventions (SMD = − 0.34, 95%CI − 0.44, − 0.24; z = 5.97, p < 0.001; I² = 0%). Data on infant development outcomes from the included studies were scarce, and therefore, infant outcomes were not analysed in this review. For individual study outcomes, the majority of studies reported a general trend for reductions in maternal depressive symptoms from pre- to post-intervention. Although parenting interventions are frequently considered preventive strategies that are designed to offer support to parents and impart skills that promote their physical and psychological wellbeing, our findings suggest that these interventions have a positive effect on perinatal depressive symptoms. Implications and recommendations for future research are addressed. The systematic review protocol was registered with PROSPERO 2020 CRD42020184491.
Extant research has identified both objective measures of socioeconomic status (SES) and subjective social class (SSC) as important predictors of psychosocial outcomes in childhood and adolescence, particularly with regard to externalizing symptoms. Given the importance of the associations with SES and SSC, a more nuanced and integrated conceptual understanding of early pathways of vulnerability implicated in the development and maintenance of youth externalizing problems is warranted. Thus, this review will: (1) operationalize both SES and SSC and their current standards of measurement; (2) examine current literature describing their respective associations with a range of externalizing symptoms in both children and adolescents; (3) review current theoretical models connecting SES and SSC and youth development and the strengths and limitations of those approaches; (4) propose a new conceptual socioecological model situating the impact of SES and SSC on youth externalizing problems in the context of parents and peers as a framework to further integrate existing research and guide future work; and (5) discuss potential clinical implications at the intersection of this work.
Previous research has provided robust evidence demonstrating that a notable proportion of youth become involved in both the child welfare (CW) system and the juvenile justice (JJ) system, a population often referred to as crossover youth. Prior work has identified a number of risk factors associated with crossing over between these systems. However, there are limitations to the extant literature, key among which is a lack of systematic attention to the influence of trauma exposure and posttraumatic sequelae on the crossover trajectory. In contrast, viewing this research through a trauma-informed lens promises to enhance our ability to integrate findings across studies and to derive theoretically derived hypotheses about underlying mechanisms which will better inform future research and the development of effective prevention and intervention efforts. Accordingly, the purpose of this article is to present a trauma-informed research agenda that would strengthen future research in the field. After providing a brief critique of the existing studies that has documented known risk factors associated with the crossover population, we outline ways in which future research could apply relevant theoretical trauma-informed approaches, including developmental traumatology, to further advance our knowledge of risk factors and mechanisms associated with the crossover trajectory. We conclude by discussing policy and system-wide implications related to the proposed research agenda.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders. Professional practice guidelines recommend combined treatment, psychopharmacological and psychosocial, for youth with ADHD. There have been multiple reviews of pharmacological prescription practices and utilization, however, less is known about predictors of ADHD psychosocial service utilization. Given the importance of accessing psychosocial treatment in relation to improving functional impairment, this review synthesizes evidence on predictors of ADHD psychosocial intervention utilization in clinic, community, and school settings. Eighteen studies were identified and included in the review. Findings are summarized across informant profile factors, predisposing characteristics, and barriers and facilitators. The most robust findings were for the impact of symptom severity/impairment, the presence of comorbidities, and age on ADHD psychosocial service utilization. Race/ethnicity, sex, parental knowledge of the disorder and insurance coverage were also identified as key factors. Future avenues of research are provided, and clinical and policy implications targeted at reducing psychosocial treatment disparities in youth with ADHD are discussed.
Clinical staging is now recognized as a key tool for facilitating innovation in personalized and preventative mental health care. It places a strong emphasis on the salience of indicated prevention, early intervention, and secondary prevention of major mental disorders. By contrast to established models for major mood and psychotic syndromes that emerge after puberty, developments in clinical staging for childhood-onset disorders lags significantly behind. In this article, criteria for a transdiagnostic staging model for those internalizing and externalizing disorders that emerge in childhood is presented. This sits alongside three putative pathophysiological profiles (developmental, circadian, and anxious-arousal) that may underpin these common illness trajectories. Given available evidence, we argue that it is now timely to develop a transdiagnostic staging model for childhood-onset syndromes. It is further argued that a transdiagnostic staging model has the potential to capture more precisely the dimensional, fluctuating developmental patterns of illness progression of childhood psychopathology. Given potential improvements in modelling etiological processes, and delivering more personalized interventions, transdiagnostic clinical staging for childhood holds much promise for assisting to improve outcomes. We finish by presenting an agenda for research in developments of transdiagnostic clinical staging for childhood mental health.
Numerous cross-sectional studies confirm the long-theorized association between mothers’ depression and lower parenting self-efficacy (PSE) beliefs. However, cross-sectional studies leave unanswered the direction of this association: Does depression predict PSE? Does PSE predict depression? Are both true? Does the strength of the association between depression and PSE, regardless of the direction, generalize across participant characteristics and study design features? How stable is PSE over time? And how effective are interventions at enhancing PSE? To answer these questions, we conducted a meta-analytic review of longitudinal studies. With 35 eligible studies (22,698 participants), we found support for both models: there was a significant pooled effect of both depression on PSE and of PSE on depression, with nearly identical effect sizes (d = − 0.21 and − 0.22, respectively). The association was stronger in samples with mothers’ younger average age and studies that measured PSE among mothers relative to during pregnancy. We found a medium degree of stability in the index of PSE, d = 0.60. Finally, the estimated pooled effect size between being in an intervention group versus control group and PSE was 0.505. Overall, we found support for (1) bidirectional associations between depression and PSE in mothers, (2) the stability of PSE over time, and (3) the strength of the relationship between PSE and depression with intervention. These results suggest the importance of continuing to develop, test, and disseminate interventions to enhance PSE. We interpret these findings in the context of both depression and low PSE having serious consequences for child outcomes and maladaptive parenting.
Substantial research suggests that caregivers and families are powerful socialization agents when it comes to how youth process and regulate cognitive-affective information, which in turn can be a risk or resilience factor for various forms of developmental psychopathology. To this end, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review features this special journal issue on the "Interplay of Family Factors & Cognitive-Affective Processes in Youth." Featured articles review a wide array of methodologies and highlight numerous forms of cognitive-affective processing and family contextual factors. Multiple themes emerged across the twelve articles, emphasizing the need to examine (1) complex pathways within families, (2) the quality of cognitive-affective processes across individuals, (3) neurodevelopmental pathways linking socialization and cognitive-affective processes, (4) nuanced methods to assess "in-the-moment" cognitive-affective processes, (5) the impact of cultural background on how family factors intersect with youth cognitive-affective processes, and (6) the socialization of positive emotion. These papers showcase the applicability of this significant area of research for future efforts in prevention and intervention with youth at risk for, or already experiencing, some form of psychopathology.
The paper describes an approach to developing a data-driven development of a feedback theory of cognitive vulnerabilities and family support focused on understanding the dynamics experienced among Latina children, adolescents, and families. Family support is understood to be a response to avoidant and maladaptive behaviors that may be characteristic of cognitive vulnerabilities commonly associated depression and suicidal ideation. A formal feedback theory is developed, appraised, and analyzed using a combination of secondary analysis of qualitative interviews (N = 30) and quantitative analysis using system dynamics modeling and simulation. Implications for prevention practice, treatment, and future research are discussed.
Anxiety disorders are globally one of the most prevalent and disabling forms of psychopathology in adults and children. Having a parent with an anxiety disorder multiplies the risk of anxiety disorders in the offspring, although the specific mechanisms and processes that play a role in this intergenerational transmission remain largely unknown. According to information processing theories, threat-related biases in cognitive processing are a causal mechanism in the development and maintenance of anxiety. These theories propose that individuals with anxiety are more likely to cognitively process novel stimuli in their environment as threatening. Creswell and colleagues proposed a theoretical model that highlighted the role of these cognitive biases as a mechanism in the intergenerational transmission of anxiety (Creswell et al., in Hadwin, Field (eds) Information processing biases and anxiety: a developmental perspective, Wiley, pp 279–295, 2010). This model postulated significant associations between (1) parents’ and children’s threat-related cognitive biases (2) parents’ threat-related cognitive biases in their own and their child’s environment, (3) parents’ threat-related cognitive biases and parenting behaviors that convey anxiety risk to the offspring (e.g., modeling of fear, and verbal threat information transmission), and (4) parenting behaviors and child threat-related biases. This theoretical review collated the recent empirical work testing these four core hypotheses of the model. Building on the reviewed empirical work, an updated conceptual model focusing on threat-related attention and interpretation is proposed. This updated model incorporates the links between cognition and anxiety in parents and children and addresses the potential bidirectional nature of parent–child influences.
Youth in marginalized communities who “strive” to rise above adversity, including systemic racism and poverty, are considered “resilient.” African-American, Latinx, and Asian-American youth often achieve admirable academic success despite limited social capital and high early life stress by adopting a “striving persistent behavioral style” (SPBS). SPBS may be supported by family socialization processes that facilitate reliance on self-regulation processes. Unfortunately, a young person’s resilience in one domain (i.e., academic) can come at a cost in other domains, including physical and mental health morbidities that are under-identified and under-treated. Indeed, research suggests a link between SPBS in the face of adversity and later health morbidities among ethnic minority youth. Herein, we describe SPBS as an adaptation to minority stress that not only promotes social mobility but may also stoke physical and mental health disparities. We review how family processes related to academic, emotional, and ethnic-racial socialization can facilitate the striving persistent behavioral style. We emphasize the double bind that ethnic minority families are caught in and discuss directions for future research and clinical implications for individual and family-level interventions. While needed, we argue that individual and family-level interventions represent a near-term work around. Solutions and factors that shape the need for SPBS and its cost must be addressed structurally.
A family history of mood and anxiety disorders is one of the most well-established risk factors for these disorders in offspring. A family history of these disorders has also been linked to alterations in brain regions involved in cognitive-affective processes broadly, and mood and anxiety disorders specifically. Results from studies of brain structure of children of parents with a history of mood or anxiety disorders (high-risk offspring) have been inconsistent. We followed the PRISMA protocol to conduct a scoping review of the literature linking parental mood and anxiety disorders to offspring brain structure to examine which structures in offspring brains are linked to parental major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, or bipolar disorder (BD). Studies included were published in peer-reviewed journals between January 2000 and July 2021. Thirty-nine studies were included. Significant associations between parental BD and offspring caudate volume, inferior frontal gyrus thickness, and anterior cingulate cortex thickness were found. Associations were also identified between parental MDD and offspring amygdala and hippocampal volumes, fusiform thickness, and thickness in temporoparietal regions. Few studies have examined associations between parental anxiety and high-risk offspring brain structure; however, one study found associations between parental anxiety symptoms and offspring amygdala structure, and another found similar associations with the hippocampus. The direction of grey matter change across studies was inconsistent, potentially due to the large age ranges for each study and the non-linear development of the brain. Children of parents with MDD and bipolar disorders, or elevated anxiety symptoms, show alterations in a range of brain regions. Results may further efforts to identify children at high risk for affective disorders and may elucidate whether alterations in specific brain regions represent premorbid markers of risk for mood and anxiety disorders.
The family emotional environment influences children’s development of emotion regulation in various ways. Children’s difficulties with effectively regulating emotions, in turn, can contribute to the development of psychopathology. However, the pathways that explain how environmental emotion—including overheard emotion among family members—influences children’s development of healthy or problematic emotion regulation are unclear. In this article, we briefly discuss the most common methods (e.g., questionnaires, laboratory observations) used to assess emotion in the family. We consider the benefits and limitations of these methods and discuss the need for objective measurement of the family emotional environment. We include a description of the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR), which provides unobtrusive, extended sampling of the emotional tone of family interaction in the home. We present preliminary evidence of its use with 7- and 8-year-old and their families during one day at home. The method reveals that objectively assessed parent-to-parent interactions that are negatively toned, but not parental self-report of conflict or expressivity, are associated with children’s self-reported emotional reactions to hearing independently recorded clips of their mothers’ voices during simulated angry interactions. The finding suggests unique contributions of objective, unobtrusive, extended measurement of the family emotional environment to understanding aspects of children’s emotional development that may not be captured with other commonly used methods. We discuss future directions that explore how EAR may be used to further our knowledge of the pathways between environmental emotion as a risk factor that influences children’s emotional functioning and their psychological well-being.
Given that human infants are almost fully reliant on caregivers for survival, the presence of parents who provide sensitive, responsive care support infants and young children in developing the foundation for optimal biological functioning. Conversely, when parents are unavailable or insensitive, there are consequences for infants’ and children’s attachment and neurobiological development. In this paper, we describe effects of inadequate parenting on children’s neurobiological and behavioral development, with a focus on developing capacities for executive functioning, emotion regulation, and other important cognitive-affective processes. Most prior research has examined correlational associations among these constructs. Given that interventions tested through randomized clinical trials allow for causal inferences, we review longitudinal intervention effects on children’s biobehavioral and cognitive-affective outcomes. In particular, we provide an overview of the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, a study in which children were randomized to continue in orphanage care (typically the most extreme condition of privation) or were placed into the homes of trained, supported foster parents. We also discuss findings regarding Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, an intervention enhancing sensitivity among high-risk parents. We conclude by suggesting future directions for research in this area.
The majority of the emotion socialization behaviors (ESB) literature has focused on community samples and socialization of negative emotions. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that ESB are also critical in setting the foundations for the healthy development of positive emotions, with implications for developmental psychopathology. We conducted a systematic review of research examining parent ESB and youth positive emotions in clinical child and adolescent samples. A literature search was conducted in March 2021, resulting in 563 abstracts being reviewed. Two reviewers independently screened the titles and abstracts to identify relevant papers, with 53 articles being reviewed in full. Seven articles (four cross-sectional and correlational, three intervention) were included in the current review, of which one was with an internalizing sample, three were with an externalizing sample, and three were with a neurodevelopmental disorder sample. Results varied regarding the role of parent ESB in youth positive emotions across clinical populations. In correlational studies, minimal evidence was found for the association between parent ESB and youth positive emotions, but across the three intervention studies, there was evidence that both parent ESB and children's positive emotions can be improved through intervention. We present a preliminary model of relations between youth psychopathology, parent ESB, and child positive emotions, with consideration of potential moderators of links between ESB and positive emotions. Finally, we discuss limitations of the existing body of research, and offer specific recommendations for future research directions.
A recent emphasis in developmental psychopathology research has been on emotion dynamics, or how emotional experience changes over time in response to context, and how those emotion dynamics affect psychosocial functioning. Two prominent emotion dynamics constructs have emerged in the developmental psychopathology literature: affective variability and socioaffective flexibility. Affective variability is most often measured using momentary methods (e.g., EMA) and is theorized to reflect reactivity and regulation in response to context, whereas socioaffective flexibility is typically measured in the context of parent–child interactions and theorized as the ability to move effectively through a range of affective states. Notably, affective variability is considered broadly maladaptive; however, socioaffective flexibility is theorized to be fundamentally adaptive. Despite these diametric views on adaptability, these two constructs share an underlying dependency on non-effortful emotion change in response to context, which raises questions about whether these constructs are, at their core, more similar than dissimilar. This review examined the literatures on affective variability and socioaffective flexibility in child and adolescent samples, examining associations with psychosocial and clinical correlates, as well as conceptual and methodological similarities and distinctions. Findings indicate that despite considerable theoretical overlap, there are sufficient differences—albeit largely methodological—that justify continuing to treat these constructs as distinct, most notably the influence of parents in socioaffective flexibility. The review closes with several recommendations for future study targeted at further clarifying the distinctions (or lack thereof) between affective variability and socioaffective flexibility.
The intergenerational transmission of psychopathology is one of the strongest known risk factors for childhood disorder and may be a malleable target for prevention and intervention. Anxious parents have distinct parenting profiles that impact socioemotional development, and these parenting effects may result in broad alterations to the biological and cognitive functioning of their children. Better understanding the functional mechanisms by which parental risk is passed on to children can provide (1) novel markers of risk for socioemotional difficulties, (2) specific targets for intervention, and (3) behavioral and biological indices of treatment response. We propose a developmental model in which dyadic social dynamics serve as a key conduit in parent-to-child transmission of anxiety. Dyadic social dynamics capture the moment-to-moment interactions between parent and child that occur on a daily basis. In shaping the developmental trajectory from familial risk to actual symptoms, dyadic processes act on mechanisms of risk that are evident prior to, and in the absence of, any eventual disorder onset. First, we discuss dyadic synchrony, or the moment-to-moment coordination between parent and child within different levels of analysis, including neural, autonomic, behavioral, and emotional processes. Second, we discuss how overt emotion modeling of distress is observed and internalized by children, and later reflected in their own behavior. Thus, unlike synchrony, this is a more sequential process that cuts across levels of analysis. We also discuss maladaptive cognitive and affective processing that is often evident with increases in child anxiety symptoms. Finally, we discuss additional moderators (e.g., parent sex, child fearful temperament) that may impact dyadic processes. Our model is proposed as a conceptual framework for testing hypotheses regarding dynamic processes that may ultimately guide novel treatment approaches aimed at intervening on dyadically-linked biobehavioral mechanisms before symptom onset.
With the growing involvement of fathers in childrearing and the application of neuroscientific tools to research on parenting,
there is a need to understand how a father's brain and neurohormonal systems accommodate the transition to parenthood and
how such neurobiological changes impact children's mental health, sociality, and family functioning. In this paper, we present
a theoretical model on the human father’s brain and the neural adaptations that take place when fathers assume an involved
role. The neurobiology of fatherhood shows great variability across individuals, societies, and cultures and is shaped to a
great extent by bottom-up caregiving experiences and the amount of childrearing responsibilities. Mechanisms of motherfather
coparental brain coordination and hormonal correlates of paternal behavior are detailed. Adaptations in the father’s
brain during pregnancy and across the postpartum year carry long-term implications for children's emotion regulation, stress
management, and symptom formation. We propose a new conceptual model of HEALthy Father Brain that describes how a
father’s brain serves as a source of resilience in the context of family adversity and its capacity to “heal”, protect, and foster
social brain maturation and functionality in family members via paternal sensitivity, attunement, and support, which, in
turn, promote child development and healthy family functioning. Father’s brain provides a unique model on neural plasticity
as sustained by committed acts of caregiving, thereby affording a novel perspective on the brain basis of human affiliation.
Daily interactions between parents and children play a large role in children’s emotional development and mental health. Thus, it is important to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying this association within the context of these dyadic social interactions. We suggest that examining cross-brain associations, coordinated brain responses, among parents and children increases our understanding of patterns of social and emotion-related processes that occur during parent–child interactions, which may influence the development of child emotion regulation and psychopathology. Therefore, we extend the Parent–Child Emotion Regulation Dynamics Model (Morris et al., in: Cole and Hollenstein (eds) Dynamics of emotion regulation: A matter of time, Taylor & Francis, 2018) to include cross-brain associations involved in dyadic emotion regulation during parent–child social emotional interactions and discuss how this model can inform future research and its broader applications.
The ability to regulate one’s emotions is foundational for healthy development and functioning in a multitude of domains, whereas difficulties in emotional regulation are recognized as a risk factor for a range of adverse outcomes in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Caregivers play a key role in cultivating the development of emotion regulation through coregulation, or the processes by which they provide external support or scaffolding as children navigate their emotional experiences. The vast majority of research to date has examined coregulation in the context of caregiver–child dyads. In this paper, we consider emotion regulation and coregulation as family-level processes that unfold within and across multiple family subsystems and explore how triadic and whole family interactions may contribute to the development of children’s emotion regulation skills. Furthermore, we will examine the implications of a family-centered perspective on emotion regulation for prevention of and intervention for childhood emotional and behavioral disorders. Because emotion regulation skills undergo such dramatic maturation during children’s first several years of life, much of our focus will be on coregulation within and across the family system during early childhood; however, as many prevention and intervention approaches are geared toward school-aged children and adolescents, we will also devote some attention to later developmental periods.
Child genotype is an important biologically based indicator of sensitivity to the effects of parental behavior on children’s executive function (EF) in early childhood, birth to age 5. While evidence for gene × parental behavior interactions on children’s early EF is growing, researchers have called the quality of evidence provided by gene × environment interaction studies into question. For this reason, this review comprehensively examined the literature and evaluated the evidence for gene × parental behavior interactions on children’s early EF abilities. Psychology and psychiatry databases were searched for published peer-reviewed studies. A total of 18 studies met inclusion criteria. Twenty-nine of 89 (33%) examined interactions were significant. However, a p-curve analysis did not find the significant interactions to be of evidential value. A high rate of false positives, due to the continued use of candidate gene and haplotype measures of child genotype and small sample sizes, likely contributed to the high rate of significant interactions and low evidential value. The use of contemporary molecular genetic measures and larger sample sizes are necessary to advance our understanding of child genotype as a moderator of parental effects on children’s EF during early childhood and the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying children’s EF development during this critical period. Without these changes, future research is likely to be stymied by the same limitations as current research.
Parent stress and mental health problems negatively impact early child development. This study aimed to systematically review and meta-analyze the effect of eHealth interventions on parent stress and mental health outcomes, and identify family- and program-level factors that may moderate treatment effects. A search of PsycINFO, Medline, CINAHL, Cochrane and Embase databases was conducted from their inception dates to July 2020. English-language controlled and open trials were included if they reported: (a) administration of an eHealth intervention, and (b) stress or mental health outcomes such as self-report or clinical diagnosis of anxiety and depression, among (c) parents of children who were aged 1–5 years old. Non-human studies, case reports, reviews, editorials, letters, dissertations, and books were excluded. Risk of bias was assessed using the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Quality Assessment Tools. Random-effects meta-analyses of standardized mean differences (SMD) were conducted and meta-regressions tested potential moderators. 38 studies were included (N = 4360 parents), from 13 countries (47.4% USA). Meta-analyses indicated eHealth interventions were associated with better self-reported mental health among parents (overall SMD = .368, 95% CI 0.228, 0.509), regardless of study design (k = 30 controlled, k = 8 pre-post) and across most outcomes (k = 17 anxiety, k = 19 depression, k = 12 parenting stress), with small to medium effect sizes. No significant family- or program-level moderators emerged. Despite different types and targets, eHealth interventions offer a promising and accessible option to promote mental health among parents of young children. Further research is needed on moderators and the long-term outcomes of eHealth interventions. Prospero Registration: CRD42020190719.
Australia has undergone significant youth mental health reform over the past 10 years, leading to numerous studies examining the effects of community-based mental health care programs for Australian youth. However, no synthesis of this literature currently exists. Therefore, this systematic review aimed to: (1) describe the types of community-based mental health programs that have been delivered to Australian youth in the past 10 years; and (2) examine their impact in improving young people’s mental health symptomology and psychosocial functioning. A systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature was conducted. Studies were included if they evaluated the extent to which such programs improved mental health symptomology (e.g., depression, anxiety, substance use) and/or psychosocial outcomes (e.g., social functioning, school engagement, employment) for Australian youth aged 10–25 years. Thirty-seven studies were included. Four types of community-based youth mental health care programs were identified: therapy (n = 16), case management (n = 9), integrated ‘one-stop-shop’ (n = 6) and lifestyle (n = 6) programs. The majority of therapeutic programs were effective in reducing mental health symptomology. Case management and integrated approaches consistently yielded significant improvements in both symptomology and psychosocial outcomes. Lifestyle programs were effective in alleviating depressive symptoms, but inconclusive for other outcomes. This review provides support for youth-friendly, systemic, multidisciplinary and integrated assertive outreach models of community mental health care to improve outcomes for young Australians experiencing mental health concerns. Several recommendations for future research are provided to strengthen the local evidence-base supporting community mental health programs to ultimately enhance young people’s life trajectory.
In cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) children and adolescents with conduct problems learn social problem-solving skills that enable them to behave in more independent and situation appropriate ways. Empirical studies on psychological functions show that the effectiveness of CBT may be further improved by putting more emphasis on (1) recognition of the type of social situations that are problematic, (2) recognition of facial expressions in view of initiating social problem-solving, (3) effortful emotion regulation and emotion awareness, (4) behavioral inhibition and working memory, (5) interpretation of the social problem, (6) affective empathy, (7) generation of appropriate solutions, (8) outcome expectations and moral beliefs, and (9) decision-making. To improve effectiveness, CBT could be tailored to the individual child’s or adolescent’s impairments of these psychological functions which may depend on the type of conduct problems and their associated problems.
Parent–child synchrony, or the coordination of biological and behavioral processes between parent and child, is thought to promote healthy relationships and support youth adjustment. Although extensive work has been conducted on parent–child synchrony during infancy and early childhood, less is known about synchrony in middle childhood and adolescence and the contextual factors that impact synchrony, particularly physiological synchrony. This is a systematic and qualitative review of 37 studies of behavioral and physiological synchrony in parent–child interactions after early childhood (parents with youth ages 5–18). Behavioral and physiological synchrony were typically identified in youth and their parents beyond early childhood and related to positive outcomes; however, research on father-child synchrony is rarer with mixed findings. Multiple factors are associated with synchrony, including parent and youth psychological symptoms and disorders, parenting factors, such as over-controlling parenting, and parent characteristics, such as interparental aggression and conflict. Few studies have examined behavioral and physiological synchrony simultaneously and longitudinally, limiting our ability to understand the relationship between types of synchrony and later adjustment. Available studies suggest that the context, such as presence of psychopathology or exposure to trauma, influences whether synchrony is associated with positive or negative outcomes. This review highlights the need for additional research to understand the relationship between types of synchrony and the long-term effects and contextual factors that impact youth outcomes.
Divorce has been conceptualized as a process. Research has extensively demonstrated that it is pre/postdivorce family environment factors that primarily account for the variability in children’s adaptation over parental divorce process rather than the legal divorce per se. Amongst various factors, interparental conflict has been consistently identified as a prominent one. Surprisingly, a single source is still lacking that comprehensively synthesizes the extant findings. This review fills this gap by integrating the numerous findings across studies into a more coherent Divorce Process and Child Adaptation Trajectory Typology (DPCATT) Model to illustrate that pre/postdivorce interparental conflict plays crucial roles in shaping child adaptation trajectories across parental divorce process. This review also summarizes the mechanisms (e.g., child cognitive and emotional processes, coparenting, parent–child relations) via which pre/postdivorce interparental conflict determines these trajectories and the factors (e.g., child gender and age, child coping, grandparental support) that interact with pre/postdivorce interparental conflict to further complicate these trajectories. In addition, echoing the call of moving beyond the monolithic conceptualization of pre/postdivorce interparental conflict, we also review studies on the differential implications of different aspects (e.g., frequency versus intensity) and types (e.g., overt versus covert) of interparental conflict for child adjustment. Last, limitations of prior studies and avenues for future research are discussed. The proposed framework may serve as a common knowledge base for researchers to compare/interpret results, detect cutting edges of the fields, and design new studies. The specificity, complexity, nuance, and diversity inherent within our proposed model await to be more fully revealed.
Although clinicians typically acknowledge the importance of insecure attachment as one factor that can contribute to children’s psychopathology, translating attachment theory into clinical practice has proved a challenge. By specifying some of the mechanisms through which the child’s attachment develops and changes, learning theory can enhance attachment based approaches to therapy. Specifically, interventions building on operant (parent management training) and classical (exposure therapy) learning can be used to stimulate new learning that increases the child’s security and confidence in the parent’s availability and responsiveness. To explore the clinical application and utility of a Learning Theory of Attachment (LTA), we focus on two attachment-focused interventions: Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) and Middle Childhood Attachment-based Family Therapy (MCAT). VIPP-SD is an evidence-based parent management training designed to promote sensitive parenting and secure attachment in early childhood. MCAT is a recently developed intervention that uses exposure to stimulate secure attachment in middle childhood. LTA sheds light on the mechanisms set in train by VIPP-SD and MCAT facilitating the induction of professionals in clinical applications.
ORGANIZATIONAL AND LAW MECHANISM OF THINK TANKS PARTICIPATION
IN THE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OF REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Abstract. The participation of think tanks in the regional policy development is due to the need for professional support of this process. Imperfect forms of such assistance have led to the need to reveal and justify the organizational and legal basis for the participation of think tanks in the management of regional development, which is the purpose of this article. Defining the essence of think tanks and their classification, the author outlines the differences between such organizations and their common features. The research used both general scientific methods and the method of content analysis, in particular, to identify think tanks, that have regional development policy among the other areas of research. Thus, out of about 120 Ukrainian think tanks, 38 such organizations have been identified. They were classified into three groups according to the level of influence on regional policy. The author found that both think tanks and regional development agencies are participants in the expert support of the state regional policy development, but in accordance with the law both are not its entities. In order to increase the efficiency of these organizations, their cooperation is necessary, whereas there are arguments in its favor for both think tanks and agencies. Thus, based on the substance of think tanks, their participation in the information and analytical support to public administration is crucial for quality regional policy development. According to the results of the research, the organizational and legal bases of think tanks' participation in the management of regional development are substantiated. The article determines the purpose, forms, legislative preconditions, ways, advantages, and disadvantages of their interaction with regional development agencies.
Key words: regional development agency; think tank; expert and analytical support; regional development policy; entity of state regional policy.
Evidence suggests parents of children who experience a trauma may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can have significant consequences for their own and their child’s functioning. As such, identifying the rates and possible correlates for the development of PTSD in parents is of clinical and theoretical importance, and would enhance our understanding of how best to support families in the aftermath of trauma. This meta-analysis of 41 studies ( n = 4370) estimated the rate of PTSD in parents following their child’s single-incident trauma to be 17.0% (95% CI 14.1–20.0%); when removing samples which were mixed, or not exclusively single-incident traumas the prevalence estimate dropped to 14.4% (95% CI 10.8–18.5%). Pooled effect sizes of 32 potential correlates for parents developing PTSD were also identified. Medium-to-large effects were found for factors relating to the parent’s post-traumatic cognition, psychological functioning and coping strategies alongside child PTSD. Small effects were found for pre-trauma factors, objective trauma-related variables and demographic factors for both parent and child. Results are consistent with cognitive models of PTSD, suggesting peri- and post-trauma factors are likely to play a substantial role in its development. These findings indicate the clinical need for screening parents most vulnerable to adverse post-traumatic reactions within the context of child trauma and tailoring interventions to include the family where necessary.
While long described in anecdotal accounts of the lived experiences of autistic individuals, the phenomenon of behaving in ways that appear inconsistent with the presence of autism (or passing as non-autistic; PAN) has recently seen a dramatic increase in scrutiny in the published scientific literature. Increased research attention has coincided with a proliferation of methods, definitions, measures, and population assumptions associated with PAN. To date, however, no review has sought to systematically identify and synthesize the literature on PAN. This systematic review reflects the state of the PAN literature as of May 2020. Ninety articles were screened, 66 were identified for evaluation, and 46 met inclusion criteria and were reliably coded for study characteristics and participant characteristics. Results reveal that the PAN literature includes a relatively even mix of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies, and that a variety of terms are used for PAN (with masking and camouflage being the most frequent). Sample sizes varied widely (from one to 832 participants), with 63.06% of participants being categorized as autistic. Nearly all studies reported methods for confirming autism diagnoses, with community and clinical diagnoses being most common. The majority of studies reported participant gender, with slightly more females included than males on average, but fewer than half of all studies compared PAN across genders. Nearly all studies reported participant age, demonstrating a wide range of 2 to 79 years, with a mean age of 23.85. Conversely, only 23.91% of studies provided participant race or ethnicity data. Nearly all studies formally or informally excluded participants with intellectual disability. Finally, measures of internalizing symptoms, which are often thought to be linked to PAN, were reported in only 17.4% of studies. Implications for gaps in understanding of PAN and future directions for the field are discussed.
This paper describes the Smart Beginnings Integrated Model, an innovative, tiered approach for addressing school readiness disparities in low-income children from birth to age 3 in the United States through universal engagement of low-income families and primary prevention in pediatric primary care integrated with secondary/tertiary prevention in the home. We build on both public health considerations, in which engagement, cost and scalability are paramount, and a developmental psychopathology framework (Cicchetti & Toth, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines 50:16–25, 2009), in which the child is considered within the context of the proximal caregiving environment. Whereas existing early preventive models have shown promise in promoting children’s school readiness, the Smart Beginnings model addresses three important barriers that have limited impacts at the individual and/or population level: (1) identification and engagement of vulnerable families; (2) the challenges of scalability at low cost within existing service systems; and (3) tailoring interventions to address the heterogeneity of risk among low-income families. Smart Beginnings takes advantage of the existing platform of pediatric primary care to provide a universal primary prevention strategy for all families (Video Interaction Project) and a targeted secondary/tertiary prevention strategy (Family Check-Up) for families with additional contextual factors. We describe the theory underlying the Smart Beginnings model, some initial findings from its recent application in two cities, and implications for changing social policy to promote school readiness beginning during very early childhood.
In this article the statement in the Funding information section was incorrectly given as ‘No funding for the review was provided' and should have read ‘Support for this study was provided to Dave Pasalich by an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (Award DE170100078)’.
Objective: Anxiety disorders are common in adolescence but outcomes for adolescents are unclear and we do not know what factors moderate treatment outcome for this age group. We conducted meta-analyses to establish the effectiveness of psychological therapies for adolescent anxiety disorders in (i) reducing anxiety disorder symptoms, and (ii) remission from the primary anxiety disorder, compared with controls, and examine potential moderators of treatment effects. Method: The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (CRD42018091744). Electronic databases (Web of Science, MEDLINE, Psychinfo, EMBASE) were searched from January 1990 to December 2019. 2511 articles were reviewed, those meeting strict criteria were included. Random effects meta-analyses were conducted. Results: Analyses of symptom severity outcomes comprised sixteen studies (CBT k = 15, non-CBT k = 1; n = 766 adolescents), and analyses of diagnostic remission outcomes comprised nine (CBT k = 9; n = 563 adolescents). Post-treatment, those receiving treatment were significantly more likely to experience reduced symptom severity (SMD = .454, 95% CI = 0.22-0.69) and remission from the primary anxiety disorder than controls (RR = 7.94, 95% CI = 3.19-12.7) (36% treatment vs. 9% controls in remission). None of the moderators analysed were statistically significant. Conclusion: Psychological therapies targeting anxiety disorders in adolescents are more effective than controls. However, with only just over a third in remission post-treatment, there is a clear need to develop more effective treatments for adolescents, evaluated through high quality randomised controlled trials incorporating active controls and follow-up data.
Emotion regulation (ER) is the ability to monitor, evaluate, and modify one’s emotional responses to be appropriate for environmental demands. Poor ER has been considered a transdiagnostic risk factor for a range of internalizing and externalizing disorders and overall decreased well-being in adolescents. A range of evidence-based interventions exist which may improve ER. However, much of the intervention research to date does not include a measure of ER to assess change pre and post treatment, with limited information about the efficacy of these interventions in youth across a range of sample types. There is a clear need for a comprehensive review of the literature examining ER-focused interventions in adolescents with a wide range of presenting disorders. A literature search was originally conducted in January 2020 and an updated search was conducted in February 2021 which elicited 1245 articles, of which 605 were duplicates and were removed. Abstracts of the remaining 640 articles were screened with 121 articles being reviewed in full. Of note, 16 additional articles were identified through references and other sources during this process and were also included in the full review. Of the 137 articles reviewed in full, 41 studies were ultimately included in the present review. The present paper provides a descriptive review of intervention approaches and findings from community prevention programs, programs for war-affected youth, programs for clinical populations, and programs for incarcerated and delinquent adolescents. The overall pooled effect was significantly different from zero based on the pre/post effects [Hedge’s g = 0.29, 95% CI (0.22, 0.36)] and the intervention/control effects [Hedge’s g = 0.19, 95% CI (0.06–0.32)]. Although neither sex nor age significantly accounted for heterogeneity in effect sizes, there were significant findings for population type (clinical vs. community), with community samples having significantly lower effect sizes on average. Impacts of the different ER measures used and significant methodological variability (e.g., use of control groups, length of intervention) across included studies are discussed. Implications and suggestions for future research are reviewed, specifically, that additional understanding of moderators of effects are needed and that measures used to assess change in ER, both dysregulation and adaptive skill use, may need to more directly align with the intervention’s focus and the strategies taught as part of the intervention.
Daily living skill deficits commonly co-occur in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These deficits in adolescence are associated with poor outcomes, in both employment and independent living skills as adults. Currently, there are no interventions that directly target daily living skill acquisition in adolescents with ASD without an intellectual disability to facilitate a successful transition to adulthood. In this paper, we discuss the development, refinement, and initial efficacy studies of Surviving and Thriving in the Real World (STRW), a 14-session group treatment for both adolescents with ASD and their parent/caregiver that promotes attainment of critical daily living skills. We summarize initial feasibility studies that have been instrumental in the iterative development of STRW. The structure, core treatment elements, and content of STRW are described in detail. Lastly, we discuss the transition of the in-person STRW intervention to STRW-telehealth, which allows for adolescents with ASD to work on daily living skills in their own home with support from a therapist.
Maladaptive parental attributions for their children’s behavior have been linked to poorer parenting skills, heightened child internalizing and externalizing difficulties, and parents’ less willingness to engage in treatment. Although most parental attributions research has been focused on White or European-origin parents, attention has recently turned to ethnic and cultural groups that are underrepresented literature. The present scoping review synthesized existing work on parental attributions among ethnocultural minority and immigrant parents in an adopted country and parents residing in their native non-Western country of origin.
A systematic search of five databases was conducted for literature published up to and including the last week of December 2020. Title and abstract screening, then full-text screening, identified 18 records for inclusion in the review.
Although descriptive, single-culture studies showed that maladaptive parental attributions were associated with poorer parenting and child outcomes across cultures, studies comparing ethnocultural groups demonstrated differences in parental attributions across groups.
Despite the rise in and importance of literature on parental attributions, these results point to a limited scope in understanding parental attributions of ethnocultural minority, immigrant, and country of origin parents. Gaps identified in the literature point to promising future research directions, and a call is made for culturally sensitive parental attribution measures.
Internationally, there is an increasing trend toward placing children in kinship vs. foster care. Prior research suggests that children in kinship care fare better compared to children in foster care; however, the reasons for this remain unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the hypothesis that kinship care better preserves children’s connectedness to caregiver, birth family, culture, and community; which, in turn, is associated with more optimal child outcomes. Thirty-one studies were reviewed that compared children aged 0–18 years in kinship care vs. foster care on levels of connectedness, three of which had outcomes that permitted meta-analysis. Findings indicated that children in kinship vs. foster care were more likely to feel connected to family in general; however, there was not a clear advantage for kinship vs. foster care for caregiver, birth parent, cultural, and community connectedness. While levels of connectedness were generally associated with more adaptive child outcomes for children in both kinship and foster care, no reviewed studies examined the hypothesis that children’s connectedness may mediate the relationship between placement type and child well-being and placement outcomes. Results are discussed with respect to limitations and policy implications of the current evidence-base and the need for more rigorous research to help identify how to improve child well-being in home-based care.
Implementation fidelity is a critical component of intervention science, which aims to understand how interventions unfold in practice to improve outcomes. A key element of fidelity is facilitator competent adherence—the extent to which a program is delivered as prescribed with the specified level of quality. We conducted a two-part systematic review examining these aspects in parenting programs aiming to reduce child behavior problems and maltreatment. Part One reviews measures of facilitator competent adherence and Part Two examines the psychometric properties of the observational measures found. Searches identified 9153 articles from electronic databases, citation tracking, and expert input. After screening using pre-specified criteria, 156 (Part One) and 41 (Part Two) articles remained. In Part One, measure, facilitator, and intervention characteristics were extracted and synthesized from 65 measures. Most measures were observational, used by facilitators and researchers, and employed Likert-scale ratings. In Part Two, evidence on the reliability (internal consistency, inter-rater, intra-rater, test–retest) and validity (content, construct, convergent/divergent, criterion) of 30 observational measures identified from Part One was synthesized and evaluated. An adapted COSMIN checklist was used to assess study and measure quality. We found most studies to be of reasonably high quality. This is the first review to summarize and critically appraise measures of facilitator competent adherence used in the parenting program literature and establish their psychometric properties. The findings underscore the need to advance research on measures of facilitator competent adherence; reliable, valid, and high-quality implementation measures allow for evidence-based decisions regarding the delivery and scale-up of parenting programs. PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42020167872.