THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE AND CHILD WELFARE SERVICES: THE DEVELOPMENT, IMPLEMENTATION AND EVALUATION OF A STRENGTHS-BASED ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR PRACTICE AND PREVENTION. Suzanne Michael1, Julie Cooper Altman1, 1Adelphi University School of Social Work, Garden City, NY United States
In recent years the number of immigrant children and children of immigrants has steadily grown. Newcomers frequently face many challenges as they establish their lives in the United States, including reduced social support networks, shifts in family and gender roles, language problems, financial and legal worries. Families whose members come to the United States at different times, e.g. transnational households involved in step migration, face additional adjustments in the absence of critical caregivers. Finally, many immigrant families must also cope with powerful social forces such as poverty, racism and violence. While most immigrant households are able to manage despite these stresses, the accumulation of stress for other families may result in domestic conflicts, family violence, child abuse and/or neglect. As the rate of first-time referrals to public child welfare agencies increases and these extraordinarily diverse families come to the attention of the public child welfare system, direct service workers must make critical assessment and disposition decisions. Knowledge and understanding of the intersection of immigration and child welfare therefore become critical. Prevention efforts aimed at identifying and strengthening the protective factors with which families immigrate are also essential in this context. Yet, there currently exists few resources to assist child welfare workers in their efforts.
This paper discusses the development, implementation and evaluation of an analytic and contextual framework to facilitate child welfare workers´ capacities to understand and work with immigrant families. The goal of the project was to give frontline human service staff a useful template for the analysis of the immigration experience that could help them untangle the numerous systemic factors that may contribute to a child´s risk and/or a family´s capacity to protect and nurture. The developed tool, the Assessment of Immigration Dynamics (AID), goes beyond the focus of traditional cultural competency to explore immigrant related family strengths as well as the antecedents of current problems. The AID assessment includes the pre-migration context of the home nation, reason for and process of migration, immigration status, nature of US reception, and potential support systems or stressors for the family. The use of AID at an urban multi-service community service agency has highlighted areas for future primary and secondary prevention of child abuse and neglect within immigrant communities, setting the stage for further development of preventive policies and services.
EMPOWERING MINORITY PARENTS IN THE BATTLE AGAINST CHILDHOOD OBESITY. Brenda Marshall1, Lewis Marshall2, 1Montclair State University, Jamaica, NY United States; 2Queens Medical Group, Queens, NY United States
Neighborhood private practices can begin grass roots campaigns to reduce the threat posed by the impact of the epidemic of childhood obesity on minority children. African Americans are at higher risk of developing diabetes, even when weight is a controlled factor, and they are more likely to experience debilitating and life threatening complications from the disease then White Americans. The CDC has stated that the responsibility for stemming the tide of this epidemic rests not only with families but with their communities and the medical world, to help change social norms and promote healthier life-styles.Queens Medical group, in conjunction with York College, has embarked on such a voyage, educating parents and empowering them to make life-saving changes in their homes and communities. This program was developed by a team of Health Education Students at the City University of New York as part of their senior project. The implementation, over a twelve-week period, and the evaluation of the impact of this community/medical based prevention program reflects both the difficulty reaching this population and the rewards of “thinking out of the box” when facing new, and culturally sensitive health challenges. The program, based upon the Health Belief Model and Planned Action reveals the need for programs that evaluate community values and deliver a model of health empowerment through knowledge and gradual change.
POSTERS: EMERGING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PREVENTION RESEARCH
MEASUREMENT OF MOTIVATION IN A COMMUNITY-BASED HOME VISITATION PROGRAM. Mariah E. Coe1, Robert T. Ammerman2, Frank W. Putnam1, Jack Stevens3, Jodie A. Short1, Judith B. Van Ginkel1, 1Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH United States; 2Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH United States; 3Ohio State University, Columbus, OH United States
An area of increased interest in prevention programs is engagement and retention of mothers in home visitation programs, particularly those designed to improve maternal-child health. Retention of participants in home visitation programs is challenging for a variety of reasons (e.g. length of the programs, changing needs of participants, level of distress of the mothers, etc.). One area that has been mentioned as important to engagement and retention, but has not been formally studied, is motivation to participate and remain in long-term home visitation programs. There currently are no measures of motivation of participants specific to home visitation. The purpose of this study was to develop a measure that can be used to assess motivation in this group of mothers. The original set of 32 items included some items drawn from other measures of motivation (e.g. the URICA, used in readiness to change substance use/abuse behaviors) as well as additional items that were specific to a desire for help with parenting and other life changes to improve maternal-child health. Participants completing the pilot version of the motivation measure were 134 mothers from a tri-state area enrolled in a home-visitation program. Factor analysis of the original 32 items identified a 7-item core Motivation factor. A second administration was completed approximately 6 weeks later with 93 of the original mothers. Reliability of the 7-item core Motivation factor at both Time 1 and Time 2 was excellent (.90 and .98, respectively). Test-retest yielded a significant (p < .001) Pearson´s of .68. In an effort to establish the validity of the core Motivation factor, correlations were run with the mother´s measures of depression, Kempe scores, and reported number of traumas experienced at the initial administration. Results yielded significant correlations (p < .05) between high scores on the core Motivation factor and high depression/BDI scores, high Kempe scores, and more reported traumas (r = .29, .21, and .22, respectively). These results are consistent with prior prevention research, where it has been established that both depression and high numbers of reported traumas are associated with increased retention, probably due to the increased needs of the mothers. Results of this study point to a need for additional, prospective research to determine the degree to which scores on the core Motivation factor can be used to enhance engagement and retention with mothers in home visitation programs.
REDUCING DISPROPORTIONATE MINORITY CONTACT IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM: PROMISING PRACTICES. James Frabutt1, Emily Cabaniss1, Margaret Arbuckle1, Mary Kendrick1, 1University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC United States
In 1997, the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) reported that minority youth represented 34% of the juvenile population in the United States, but 62% of the nation´s detained youth (Hsia, Bridges, & McHale, 2004). National and state data (Ekpunobi et al., 2002; Frazier & Bishop, 1995; Leiber, 2002) consistently report finding systemwide disproportionate minority contact (DMC).
Since 1988, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act required states receiving funding under the act to determine whether the proportion of juvenile minorities in confinement exceeds their proportion in the general population (Public Law 93-415, 42 USC 5601 et seq.). 1992 Congressional amendments made it a “core requirement” that states demonstrate their efforts to reduce DMC.
Despite mandates, little systematic attention has been given to how DMC reductions should be achieved. States and local communities face ongoing challenges to reduce DMC rates in ways that are strategic, effective, and enduring. Therefore, the main objective of the present research is to review, catalog, and synthesize national best practices for successfully reducing DMC in the juvenile justice system.
An overview of effective, documented procedures for reducing DMC will be compiled from multiple sources: (a) federal (OJJDP) publications; (b) state DMC assessments and publications; (c) published book chapters and journal articles; (d) foundation reports, (e) relevant web sites, and (f) contact with prominent DMC training, technical assistance, and advocacy stakeholders (e.g., Building Blocks for Youth Initiative, Research and Evaluation Associates, W. Haywood Burns Institute, etc.).
Preliminary reviews of these sources indicate some common practices for effectively lowering DMC rates. Emerging strategies include: (a) decision-point mapping and data review; (b) cultural competency training; (c) adding more community-based prevention and intervention programs as detention alternatives; (d) removing decision-making subjectivity through standardized screenings and protocols; (e) reducing barriers to family involvement; and (f) cultivating state leadership to legislate system-level change.
Prevention science suggests how evidence-based prevention and intervention programs, along with policy and procedure modifications, may be brought to bear on this critical issue. Findings and discussion will further articulate why prevention researchers must engage in DMC efforts to assist communities, policy makers, juvenile justice professionals, and other stakeholders in bringing about a more equitable and restorative justice system for minority youth.
CONNECT AND TEACH WITH PLAY: AN INTERNET-BASED PARENT EDUCATION MODULE. Elizabeth MacKenzie1, 1Social Development Research Group; University of Washington, Seattle, WA United States
Despite the existence of effective interventions for disruptive behavior disorders, access to quality services is insufficient to meet societal needs. Internet learning is one approach with potential to increase access. It is not only less expensive than traditional face-to-face services, but it can be used at any time of the day, in multiple settings, even those that are located far from appropriate health care facilities. We developed Connect and Teach With Play (MacKenzie, Siegel, & Normand, 2003), an Internet-based behavioral parent training module for families with 3-6 year-old children, as part of a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education (H133S020141). Connect and Teach With Play combines didactic instruction, vignette-based modeling, video footage of real parent-child interaction, and interactive instructional activities. Parents were taught to use praise, description and verbal elaboration to increase their children´s prosocial behaviors, attention skills, and speech/language skills. They were also taught to use ignore to reduce minor misbehaviors. The results of a field test with 19 parents combined with the feedback of the content experts suggested relatively high level of exposure to the program, high consumer satisfaction, and high interest in completing future programs of this kind.
USING THE FFM TO ASSESS PSYCHOPATHY: A TEST USING A DRUG ABUSING SAMPLE. Karen Derefinko1, Donald Lynam1, T.K. Logan1, 1University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY United States
Psychopathy is a personality syndrome characterized by deceitfulness, arrogance, manipulativeness, shallow affect, and a lack of remorse. As well, psychopathy has been linked to several deviant behaviors, including violent and nonviolent offending, high-risk sexual behavior, and high rates of substance use and dependence. Recent research and theorizing has suggested that psychopathy can be understood as a constellation of traits from the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality - a general model of personality functioning. Such an understanding would be quite helpful from a prevention standpoint; each domain of the FFM is identifiable in children and adolescents, and there is much basic research on the development of personality. Past research has found support for this FFM understanding of psychopathy in undergraduate and community samples, but this model has not been examined in any high-risk samples. In this research, we examined the FFM model of psychopathy in an ethnically heterogeneous (87% African American) crack abusing sample (n=149 females and n=148 males) who participated in the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) AIDS Cooperative Agreement Project. Specifically, individuals´ FFM profiles were matched to an expert generated prototype to yield a psychopathy score. These scores were correlated with self-reports of extreme drug use (using substances every day), risky sex (sex exchange, promiscuity and risky partner), antisocial behavior (violent and non-violent), and internalizing disorder symptoms. Additionally, the potential moderating effects of gender, race, and FFM validity indices were examined using a series of hierarchical regression analyses. FFM Psychopathy was positively related to all forms of high-risk and antisocial behavior, and negatively related to internalizing disorder symptoms. Moreover, these relations did not appear to be moderated by race, gender, or any of the 3 validity indices. This suggests that psychopathy can be adequately represented by the FFM even in high-risk sample, and that this construct operates similarly across gender and race.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX? THE NATIONAL COALITION REGISTRY & SURVEY. Caryn Blitz1, Evelyn Yang1, 1National Coalition Institute, CADCA, Alexandria, VA United States
The past decade has witnessed a tremendous growth in community initiatives using local multi-sectoral efforts organized around common goals or issues that address a variety of complex social and health problems, especially in poor and underserved communities. Community-level interventions, such as coalitions and community partnerships, are better poised, in comparison to individual-level interventions, to address these complex issues because they provide multi-level/multi-dimensional solutions to multi-level/multi-dimensional problems (Wandersman & Florin, 2003). Government and foundation prevention programs have embraced coalitions and partnerships as important organizational structures for designing and implementing strategies to address substance abuse, crime, economic deprivation, school reform, and neighborhood revitalization (COMMIT Research Group, 1995; Berkowitz, 2000; CSAP, 2000; CADCA/ONDCP, 2001).
Since the early 1990s, a number of studies have been conducted to assess processes and outcomes of community coalitions for substance abuse prevention, yielding modest and mixed results. In addition, policy-makers, researchers, and practitioners have been unable to identify a single source where they can access up-to-date and undisputed information on coalition information for funding, programming, and research purposes. To begin to address this issue, CADCA, in partnership with Battelle Memorial Institute, has developed a National Coalition Registry and Annual Survey. This national inventory of anti-drug coalitions and partnerships describes the range of community anti-drug coalitions currently in existence in this country.
This poster presentation will summarize the results of the National Coalition Registry and Annual Survey and implications of the results for the prevention and coalition fields. Included will be information on the development of the Survey, development of the survey sample, and development of the electronic database of community anti-drug coalitions. The potential of the Survey to address issues facing coalitions and the development of an evidence base for coalitions will be examined. Given the complexity of substance abuse prevention and the multi-sectoral strategies employed by coalitions, community coalitions can be effective vehicles for delivery of prevention programs, policies and practices that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing population-level substance abuse outcomes. The National Coalition Registry and Survey is the first step toward building a data infrastructure to support coalition activities for prevention and has the potential to advance the prevention field with its comprehensive compilation and tracking of key factors related to coalition success and effectiveness.
COMMUNITY READINESS OF RURAL MINORITY COMMUNITIES TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF HIV/AIDS. Barbara Plested1, Ruth Edwards2, Pamela Thurman2, 1Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO United States; 2Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO United States
The purpose of this research was to advance the state of knowledge about communities´ readiness to address HIV infection and AIDS. The focus was on communities in which the predominant cultural groups were African American, Mexican American, and White non-Hispanic. Our intent was to utilize the information gained to identify cultural and community factors and attitudes in rural communities that may inhibit or facilitate the ability of the community to address the issue of HIV infection and AIDS effectively. Data collection methods included Community Readiness Assessments and focus groups. Responses indicated that HIV/AIDS is an issue and concern in all cultural groups, though there was greater denial in communities.
PRACTICING PREVENTION SCIENCE: VIEWS AND PERCEPTIONS OF HEALTH, MEDIA, AND POLICY EXPERTS. Fern Webb1, 1University of Florida, Jacksonville, FL United States
Applying prevention science often differs among health, media and policy experts. The primary objective of this intervention (conference) was to bring health, media, and policy experts together to discuss the definition of prevention research, its application within each discipline, and the potential for increased collaboration to improve our communities.
Specific Aims were to:
1) Promote dialogue between health, media, and policy experts that focuses on prevention research and its application to the Jacksonville (Duval County), FL community;
2) Increase awareness about each experts´ function and efforts to promote prevention research; and
3) Create an atmosphere that promotes collaboration between participating experts.
A one-day conference was hosted by the University of Florida (UF) Department of Community Health and Family Medicine (CHFM) in partnership with Research!America. The United States Surgeon Vice Admiral Dr. Richard Carmona presented the keynote address followed by a 12-member panel of health, media, and policy experts. Three afternoon breakout sessions also were offered. More than 2000 brochures were mailed to health, media, and political experts in Jacksonville and throughout the state of Florida.
A total of 217 individuals representing health, media, and policy registered with more than 225 individuals participating. Understanding the importance of prevention science dissemination, all 225 participants received a packet including varying information on prevention science and health promotion.
100% responded that the Surgeon General´s keynote address was accurate, had style, an appropriate level of interaction, met their educational needs, and was applicable and useful. Panel discussion and workshop results indicated that participants had varying definitions of prevention science, which also will be presented as part of this poster. When asked “What changes do you plan to implement in your practice as a result of participating in this program?” – Participants said that they will increase advocacy for prevention science, increase communication and collaboration with academic and community colleagues, and continue to educate themselves about the theory and practice of prevention research.
This conference achieved its goals to increase awareness of prevention science and health promotion in Jacksonville, FL. A total of 225 health, media, and policy experts learned more about the definition and importance of prevention science. A follow-up intervention is being planned to determine whether participants have implemented any of the changes that they initially reported.
THE PPI-SC: SCREENING PARENTING PRACTICES TO INFORM FAMILY-FOCUSED SERVICE DELIVERY IN HEAD START. Stephanie Shepard1, Alison Miller1, Susan Dickstein1, Christine Low1, Ronald Seifer2, 1Brown University, East Providence, RI United States; 2Brown University, Providence, RI United States
Living in poverty puts caregivers at risk for nonoptimal parenting strategies, which in turn are associated with child maladjustment. In contrast, positive parenting and warm parent-child relationships promote adaptive child functioning and may mitigate risks associated with poverty. The central role of parenting highlights the importance of family-based preventive interventions for poverty samples. Head Start (HS) is designed to foster positive outcomes for low-income children, but assessing and intervening to improve family functioning remains underemphasized.
In partnership with a local HS program, we are developing systems to screen and monitor child and family functioning. Our goal is to develop and validate a multi-level approach to annual mental health screening, including assessing family functioning (i.e., caregiver mental health, family environment, parenting skill) in order to inform family-focused service delivery and ultimately promote positive child outcomes. Establishing our screening battery required developing a brief measure of family management practices. We adapted Webster-Stratton´s Parenting Practices Index to create the PPI screen (PPI-SC), a 34-item measure of positive parenting (e.g., praise for good behavior), appropriate discipline (e.g., time-outs), and harsh discipline (e.g., yelling). Caregivers also complete the Family Assessment Device (FAD) and the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) annually.
HS program evaluation activities also allow for monitoring family functioning and tracking HS staff´s work with families. HS caseworkers, or Family Advocates [FA], meet regularly with families and use our HS Manualized Assessment of Progress-Birth to Five (HS-MAP:0-5) system (Dickstein et al., 2002) to rate family functioning, including parenting skill and family environment. FA´s selection of family-level treatment goals and time spent with families also are tracked. We find that using HS-MAP:0-5 promotes positive family and child functioning (e.g., Miller et al., 2004).
We currently are collecting annual screening and HS-MAP:0-5 data on 100 HS families to demonstrate the utility of the PPI-SC for informing family-focused activities. Toward this end, we will obtain estimates of the internal properties of the PPI-SC and examine relations between: caregiver reports on the PPI-SC, CES-D, and FAD; and caregiver PPI-SC ratings and FA´s HS-MAP:0-5 ratings of parenting skill and family environment. We then will examine whether PPI-SC scores predict FA´s selection of family-level treatment targets and FA time dedicated to helping families meet established goals. Results will be discussed in terms of policy implications for proactive family outreach and practice within HS.