Study-In-Brief: This study aimed to highlight justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) practices in STEM. Racial and ethnic data from the Entomology Department at Texas A&M University revealed that many of the BIPOC faculty in STEM are typically foreign-born nationals (i.e., born outside the U.S.), who were embraced as a majority in their society before moving to the U.S. The experience and benefits of growing up in a place where you are the majority, compared to growing up as a "minority," is called the “Wakanda Effect." Building allyships between foreign and native born BIPOC faculty could have powerful results in regard to DEI.
Richmond, T. K., Sonneville, K. R., Milliren, C. E., & Thurston, I. B. (2022). Unraveling the meaning of weight misperception in a sample of college students: Unaware or body satisfied?. Body Image, 43, 87–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2022.08.007
Study-In-Brief: In our study, we aimed to understand the meaning of weight misperception by examining associations of weight perception with body satisfaction and body awareness along with healthy ideals and culturally normative body ideals. Findings suggest that weight misperception reflects body satisfaction, and not a lack of awareness of body weight/size, definitions of healthy bodies, or culturally normative body ideals.
Kaufman, C. C., Berlin, K. S., Okumabua, T. M., & Thurston, I. B. (2022). Spirituality and religiosity profiles among diverse young adults: The relationship with meaning making. Journal of Spirituality in Mental Health, 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1080/19349637.2022.2074338
Study-In-Brief: Our study explored how patterns of spirituality/religiosity relate to meaning-making among 199 racially diverse young adults. Latent profile analysis revealed four profiles: “Average Spirituality/Religiosity, Higher Negative Religious Coping Class (AHNR),” “High Religiosity, Mixed Spirituality (HRMS),” “Low Religiosity, Lower Spirituality (LRLS),” and “Highest Spirituality/Religiosity, Lower Negative Religious Coping (HLNRC).” Findings highlight the heterogeneity of spirituality/religiosity and relevancy to meaning-making.
Decker, K. M., Philip, S. R., & Thurston, I. B. (2022). Measuring weight- and shape-based social identity threat vulnerability in young adults. Body Image, 42, 136-144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2022.06.003
Study-In-Brief: Our study assessed the factor structure of a novel self-report measure of weight- and shape-based social identity threat vulnerability, Social Identities, and Attitudes Scale-Weight and Body Shape (SIAS-WBS). The SIAS-WBS had an acceptable factor structure with 15 subscales that were invariant across race, ethnicity, gender, weight perception, and CDC-defined weight groups.
Gex, K. S., Mun, E. Y., Barnett, N. P., McDevitt-Murphy, M. E., Ruggiero, K. J., Thurston, I. B., Olin, C. C., Voss, A. T., Withers, A. J., & Murphy, J. G. (2022). A randomized pilot trial of a mobile delivered brief motivational interviewing and behavioral economic alcohol intervention for emerging adults. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000838
Study-In-Brief: Our study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a brief motivational intervention (BMI) focused on alcohol consumption in a pilot randomized clinical trial. Participants were randomized to receive either (a) education or (b) an alcohol BMI and behavioral economic substance-free activity session (SFAS), each followed by 4 weeks of mini sessions. Comparatively, participants found the intervention to be useful, interesting, relevant, and effective, with no between-group differences. There were no statistically significant group differences in drinks per week or alcohol-related problems at follow-up, but BMI + SFAS participants reported fewer past-month HDEs than those who received the education arm. Our findings indicate that live text-messaging with a counselor is a feasible and well-received way to deliver a brief alcohol intervention to reduce harmful alcohol use in emerging adults.
Mandell, J. E., Howell, K. H., Schaefer, L. M., Hardin, R. N., & Thurston, I. B. (2022). Social support for mothers living with HIV: A pilot investigation of the beneficial roles of positive parenting and community cohesion. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 21(1), 90-105. https://doi.org/10.1080/15381501.2021.2016538
Study-In-Brief: This pilot study explored associations between familial social support and personal (spirituality, depressive symptoms), relational (parenting practices), and environmental (friend support, community cohesion) factors among 55 Mothers Living with HIV (MLH). Results showed that greater positive parenting, less negative parenting, and greater community cohesion were significantly associated with higher familial social support. Our findings highlight the importance of relational and environmental determinants of social support and suggest potential avenues for prevention and intervention among MLH.
Howell, K. H., Schaefer, L. M., Hasselle, A. J., & Thurston, I. B. (2021). Social support as a moderator between syndemics and posttraumatic stress among women experiencing adversity. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 30(6), 828-843. https://doi.org/10.1080/10926771.2020.1783732
Study-In-Brief: Our study looked at the relationship between experiencing one or more of the adversities that make up the SAVA syndemic (Substance Abuse, Violence, and AIDS/HIV) and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in women. We found that experiencing more than one SAVA was associated with higher PTSS. Additionally, social support moderated the relationship between SAVA and PTSS, with women who experienced one SAVA and high social support showing lower PTSS, while women with exposure to one SAVA and low levels of social support had higher levels of PTSS. These findings demonstrate the effect of co-occurring adversities on PTSS, and also indicate the protective role that social support can play in this relationship.
Jamison, L., Howell, K., Decker, K., Schwartz, L., & Thurston, I. (2021). Associations between substance use and depressive symptoms among women experiencing intimate partner violence. Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, 22, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2020.1869646
Study-In-Brief: This study looked at how the frequency of Intimate partner violence (IPV), substance abuse, and demographics (age, income, etc.) were associated with depression symptoms in women. They found that frequent IPV and tobacco use was correlated with higher depressive symptoms. Factors such as age, income, and alcohol were not associated with depressive symptoms. The study suggests that incorporating measures assessing the frequency of IPV and tobacco use could benefit survivors in treatment.
Buchanan, N., Perez, M., Prinstein, M., & Thurston, I. (2021). Diversity Accountability Index for Journals (DAI-J): Increasing awareness and establishing accountability across psychology journals. PsyArXiv. https://psyarxiv.com/zp9em.
Study-In-Brief: In order to hold publishers accountable for promoting diversity and diminishing racism in psychological science, a table with 25 benchmarks was created. Journals can be rated from 0-2 on their ability to include diversity within their publications and research. A score of 0 entails less than 24% of publications met the criteria, while a score of 2 indicates that more than 33% met the criteria. Examples of benchmarks include the recruitment of diverse samples or the use of diversity science approaches.
Napier, T. R., Howell, K. H., Maye, C. E., Jamison, L. E., Mandell, J. E., & Thurston, I. B. (2021). Demographic factors, personal life experiences, and types of intimate partner violence. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0001171
Study-In-Brief: Our study examines how demographic factors and personal life experiences are related to IPV frequency across types of IPV in a racially diverse sample. Psychological aggression was significantly associated with a higher income as well as more frequent physical assault and sexual coercion. Physical assault was linked with younger age, lower income, not witnessing IPV in childhood, IPV perpetration, more psychological aggression, and more sexual coercion. Sexual coercion was associated with more stressful life events, having multiple violent partners, higher psychological aggression, and higher physical assault. Our findings suggest that interventions should target mutable demographic factors and screen for personal life events to reduce IPV frequency and revictimization across types of IPV.
Mandell, J.E., Howell, K.H., & Thurston, I.B. (2021). Developmental assets, defiance, and caregiver communication among Black adolescents with high body weights. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 31(4), 910–922. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-02043-w
Study-In-Brief: In our study, we used a strengths-based approach to assess whether adolescent assets strengthen or weaken the relation between adolescent oppositional defiant behaviors and adolescent-caregiver communication among Black adolescents with high body weights. Overall, assets were associated with adaptive adolescent–caregiver communication and acted as a buffer among Black adolescents with high body weights. Our findings highlight the value of strengths-based interventions among adolescent–caregiver dyads who experience barriers to open communication.
Buchanan, N., Perez, M., Prinstein, M. J., & Thurston, I. B. (2021). Upending racism in psychological science: Strategies to change how science is conducted, reported, reviewed, and disseminated. American Psychologist, 76(7), 1097–1112. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000905
Study-In-Brief: This study aimed to consider anti-racist steps needed to improve psychological science. This article presents examples of epistemic oppression within psychological science, including how science is conducted, reported, reviewed, and disseminated. This article offers a needed contribution by providing specific concrete recommendations for different stakeholders, including those involved in the production, reporting, and gatekeeping of science as well as consumers of science.
Fix, R. L., Testa, E. G., Thurston, I. B., Gray, W., & Russell, M. (2021). Anti-racism strategies in pediatric psychology: Using STYLE can help children overcome adverse experiences with police. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 29(2), 262-273. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-021-09804-1
Study-In-Brief: This project introduces STYLE (Self-examination, Talk about community-police relations and racism, Yield space and time to anti-racism work, Learn about how structural racism impacts child health, Evaluate policies and practices through an anti-racism lens). STYLE offers a framework through which professionals in pediatric psychology can engage in anti-racist work across contexts from clinical care to academic and advocacy settings.
Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Kaufman, C. C., Mandell, J. E., & Decker, K. M. (2021). Parenting in matched-pairs of women of color experiencing intimate partner violence living with and without HIV. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 34(5), 1005-1015. https://doi.org/10.1002/jts.22737
Study-In-Brief: Our study explored the associations between depression and parenting among women of color with low-income levels exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV. We found an association between depressive symptoms and negative parenting, which was moderated by HIV status. These findings highlight the added burden that a physical health condition puts on parenting practices and the need to develop family-based strategies to decrease these practices.
Schwartz, L. E., Howell, K. H., Jamison, L. E., Decker, K. M. & Thurston, I. B. (2021). Examining resource-driven resilience and intimate partner violence in women. Partner Abuse, 12(2), 112-129. https://doi.org/10.1891/PA-2020-0017
Study-In-Brief: Our study investigated how resilience resource variables across the social ecology cluster relate to an individual's ability to bounce back after experiencing IPV. Four resource profiles emerged: (a) generally high (GH); (b) low individual and cultural (LIC); (c) high physical (HP); and (d) low social (LS). These findings suggest nuanced variations in resources and resilience among women exposed to IPV.
Thurston, I. B., Decker, K. M., Kamody, R. C., Kaufman, C. C., Maye, C. E., Richmond, T. K., & Sonneville, K. R. (2021). The scale matters: Assessing body size with figure rating scales in a diverse sample of young adults. Eating and Weight Disorders, 27(1), 263–271. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-021-01166-9
Study-In-Brief: Our study explored the intersectional differences in weight perception accuracy in a diverse sample of young adults using CDC-defined weight status labels and four separate figure rating scales (FRS). We found that weight perception labels were ineffective in assessing weight status, and FRS accuracy varies by race and gender, suggesting the value of gender and culturally tailored scales.
Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., & Burton, E. T. (2021). Adolescent engagement in a binge-eating behavioral health intervention: Influence of perceptions of physical appearance and locus of control. Children, 8(2), 102. https://doi.org/10.3390/children8020102
Study-In-Brief: Our study provided treatment to adolescents who struggle with binge eating and emotional eating. We were curious about how adolescent’s body image and beliefs about whether they can control their health would influence how well they responded to our emotional overeating treatment. We found that adolescents who believe that they have control over their own health and who have more positive body image had the best responses to our treatment.
Decker, K. M., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Hasselle, A. J., & Kamody, R. C. (2021). Associations between profiles of maternal strengths and positive parenting practices among mothers experiencing adversity. Parenting: Science and Practice, 21(1), 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1080/15295192.2020.1729611
Study-In-Brief: This study examines how patterns of maternal strengths are associated with positive parenting practices using a latent profile analysis, which generated classes of individual, relational, and contextual factors to represent the profiles of mothers experiencing adversity. Results show that mothers who endorse greater individual, relational, and contextual factors utilize more positive parenting techniques.
Maclin-Akinyemi, C., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Jamison, L. E., & Anderson, M. B. (2021). The protective roles of ethnic identity and community cohesion on substance use among Black women experiencing adversity. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 20(2), 225–240. https://doi.org/10.1080/15332640.2019.1622477
Study-In-Brief: This study seamlessly intertwined the roles that ethnic identity and community cohesion play in lowering substance use among Black women. Results showed that Black women facing adversity can benefit from a strong sense of ethnic identity and greater unity within their community as these protective factors can significantly lower substance use.
Kaufman, C. C., Paladino, J. P., Porter, D. V., & Thurston, I. B. (2020). Psychological research examining antisemitism in the United States: A literature review. Antisemitism Studies, 4(2), 237-269. https://www.muse.jhu.edu/article/767677
Study-In-Brief: In our study, we were interested in if factors that influence one’s development, such as parents, caregivers, the environment, etc., impacted one’s prejudice against Jewish people. Our findings show that there are several of these factors related with increased prejudice against Jewish people.
Marks, L. R., Thurston, I. B., Kamody, R. C., & Schaeffer-Smith, M. (2020). The role of multiracial identity integration in the relation between racial discrimination and depression in multiracial young adults. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 51(4), 317–324. https://doi.org/10.1037/pro0000315
Study-In-Brief: Our study explores whether an individual’s experience of racial conflict and racial distance affects the relationship between racial discrimination and depression. Results show that this conflict and distance does play a role in the relationship between racial discrimination and depression. However, further research is needed to pinpoint where this experience affects the relationship.
Kaufman, C. C., Howell, K. H., Mandell, J. E., Hasselle, A. J., & Thurston, I. B. (2020). Spirituality and parenting among women experiencing intimate partner violence. Journal of Family Violence, 36(2), 183-193.. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-020-00158-0
Study-In-Brief: Our study looks at the relationship between parenting and the spirituality of female caregivers who suffered recent domestic violence by a current or former intimate partner. Our findings show that positive parenting practices, more comfort in talking about their experience with domestic violence, and less comfort discussing substance use were all related with increased spirituality. This shows the importance of parenting and communication strategies for female caregivers suffering recent domestic violence.
Pichon, L. C., Powell, T. W., Stubbs, A. W., Becton-Odum, N., Ogg, S., Arnold, T., & Thurston, I. B. (2020). An exploration of U.S. southern faith leaders' perspectives of sexuality and sexual health teachings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(16), 5734. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165734
Study-In-Brief: Our study provided strategies on increasing respectful and useful conversations to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. We were curious to see how faith leaders in mainly Black congregations can help reduce HIV infections. We found that, although faith leaders felt comfortable discussing sexuality, the Scripture and the stigma around sexuality and homosexuality limited the conversations.
Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., & Burton, E. T. (2020). Acceptance-based skill acquisition and cognitive reappraisal in a culturally responsive treatment for binge eating in adolescence. Eating Disorders, 28(2), 184-201. https://doi.org/10.1080/10640266.2020.1731055
Study-In-Brief: Our study focuses on Black adolescents who go through a 10-week group intervention to prevent their emotional-overeating and binge-eating behaviors. During this intervention, they learn skills like accepting reality, tolerating distress, regulating emotions, achieving personal goals, and more. Our results show the participants found that the acceptance-based skills were the most helpful part of treatment.
Kamody, R.C., Howell, K.H., Schwartz, L.E., & Schaefer, L.M., & Thurston, I.B. (2020). A cross-sectional examination of intimate partner violence and mother-child communication. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(5), 1363–1373. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01617-z
Study-In-Brief: Although parent-child communication about substance use, violence, and HIV/AIDS may be a preventative factor for future generations experiencing the same, mothers have a hard time with this type of conversations. Our study focuses on factors that affect the mothers’ comfort with having these conversations. Results show that mother’s who are victims of and perpetrators of violence are less willing to communicate with their children about their experiences. We found that the child’s age is a significant factor in this relationship.
Hasselle, A. J., Howell, K. H., Thurston, I. B., Kamody, R. C., & Crossnine, C. B. (2020). Childhood exposure to partner violence as a moderator of current partner violence and negative parenting. Violence Against Women, 26(8), 851–869. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077801219847291
Study-In-Brief: In our study, we were interested in whether the mother’s exposure to domestic violence by an intimate partner as a child, and the amount of violence experienced with a current partner, has an impact on negative parenting practices. Our findings suggest that the association between current domestic violence severity and negative parenting practices was affected by the exposure as a child to domestic violence. This further shows the intergenerational nature of violence, meaning it carries over to the next generations.
Kaufman, C, C., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., & Crossnine, C. B. (2019). Associations between spirituality and mental health in women exposed to adversity. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 12(4), 400–408. https://doi.org/10.1037/rel0000254
Study-In-Brief: Our study explores the associations between demographics, HIV status, the severity of domestic violence by an intimate partner, spirituality, and symptoms of depressive, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress. Results demonstrate that women living with both HIV and experiencing severe domestic violence have increased mental health symptoms. Findings also revealed that spirituality has an effect on the relationship between HIV and mental health, such that higher spirituality is associated with greater mental health symptoms of depressive, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress.
Hardin, R. N., Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Kamody, R. C., & Kaufman, C. C. (2019). External factors associated with community cohesion in women living with HIV. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, 31(2), 137-144. https://doi.org/10.1097/JNC.0000000000000123
Study-In-Brief: How can we increase community cohesion for women living with HIV (WLVH) Dr. Thurston and colleagues discuss how a higher level of resilience and social support can be strongly associated with community cohesion for WLWH as they face adversity on a daily basis. As we know that community connectedness has many benefits, their studies find that it serves as a protective factor along with support networks and positive, resilience resources.
Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., Pluhar, E. I., Han, J. C., & Burton, E. T. (2019). Implementing a condensed dialectical behavior therapy skills group for binge eating behaviors in adolescents. Eating and Weight Disorders - Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, 24(2), 367-372. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-018-0580-4
Study-In-Brief: Binge Eating disorder (BED) can cause harmful psychological and physical effects on today’s youth. In this impactful study, a condensed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) skills intervention is used to examine the emotionally driven over eating behaviors in participants ages 14-18. Results reveal that DBT can be a potential remedy to the Symptoms of BED and potentially to the full development of it as well.
Kaufman, C. C., Thurston, I. B., Maclin-Akinyemi, C., Hardin, R. N., Decker, K.M., & Kamody, R. C. (2018). Risk and protective factors associated with depressive symptoms in young adults with overweight and obesity. Journal of American College Health, 68(2), 148-154. https://doi.org/10.1080/07448481.2018.1536057
Study-In-Brief: About 33% of college students are considered "overweight" or "obese", so Dr. Thurston and her colleagues looked into what role positive body image plays in their depressive symptoms. In simple terms, the results show that more exercise and body positivity are associated with a lower level of depression symptoms.
Howell, K. H., Thurston, I. B., Hasselle, A. J., Decker, K., & Jamison, L. E. (2018). Systemic factors associated with prosocial skills and maladaptive functioning in youth exposed to intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(5-6), NP2823-NP2847. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518766420
Study-In-Brief: Unfortunately, It is not rare for children to witness sexual, physical, and /or psychological intimate partner violence (IPV) in their household. Exposure to IPV can be detrimental but can also build resilience as a result. This study found that after examining youth maladaptive functioning and pro social skills, exposure to IPV can produce positive or negative functioning outcomes.
Schaefer, L. M., Howell, K. H., Thurston, I. B., Kaufman, C. C., Hasselle, A. H. (2018). Protective factors associated with fewer generalized anxiety disorder symptoms among women exposed to intimate partner violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(13-14), 5923-5947. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260518817027
Study-In-Brief: There is not enough literature on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as it can co-exist within women who are exposed to Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). In this paper, Dr. Thurston and colleagues examine GAD and the protective roles of essential support systems such as family, community, and friends as it relates to IPV. Results showcased the importance of examining various supports for women who are experiencing IPV.
Thurston, I. B., Howell, K. H., Kamody, R. C., Maclin-Akinyemi, C., & Mandell, J. (2018). Resilience as a moderator between syndemics and depression in mothers living with HIV. AIDS Care, 30(10), 1257-1264. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2018.1446071
Study-In-Brief: Researchers examined the co-occurrence of substance abuse, violence, and HIV/AIDS (SAVA) adversities in mothers living with HIV. They were also concerned with how resilience can serve as a moderator in this relationship. Using a syndemic conceptual framework, findings showcased that SAVA adversities heightened depression in mothers living with HIV while resilience was a protective factor that lowers these effects.
Decker, K. M., Thurston, I. B., & Kamody, R. C. (2018). The mediating role of internalized weight stigma on weight perception and depression among emerging adults: Exploring moderation by weight and race. Body Image, 27, 202- 210. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2018.10.004
Study-In-Brief: Our study took a look at how internalized weight stigma (IWS), or self-directed ridicule about one’s body size, is related to depression and how one perceives their body size in young adults. We found that in higher-weight and lean, Black individuals, IWS influences the relationship between how one perceives their body size and depression.
Pluhar, E. I., Kamody, R. C., Sanchez, J., Thurston, I. B., & Burton, E. T. (2018). Description of an intervention to treat binge-eating behaviors among adolescents: Applying the Template for Intervention Description and Replication. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 51, 1128-1133. https://doi.org/10.1002/eat.22954
Study-In-Brief: Our team designed a 10-week group intervention that teaches dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) skills to adolescents that struggle with binge and emotional eating, called the Emotional Overeating Intervention. In this paper, we describe a checklist that can be used for other researchers and clinicians to apply this intervention.
Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., Decker, K. M., Kaufman, C. C., Sonneville, K. R., & Richmond, T. K. (2018). Relating shape/weight based self-esteem, depression, and anxiety with weight and perceived physical health among young adults. Body Image, 25, 168-176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2018.04.003
Study-In-Brief: This study examines the effects of self-esteem, depression, and anxiety on weight and perceived physical health in young adults. Latent profile analyses revealed 3 profiles: 1) High Shape/Weight Influence (HSWI), 2) Low Shape/Weight, Depression, and Anxiety Influence (LSWDAI), and 3) High Depression and Anxiety Influence (HDAI). Findings demonstrate that overvaluation of shape and weight is associated with elevated weight and worse perceived health.
Thurston, I. B., Hardin, R., Kamody, R.C., Herbozo, S., & Kaufman, C. (2018). The moderating role of resilience on the relationship between perceived stress and binge eating symptoms among young adult women. Eating Behaviors, 29, 114-119. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2018.03.009
Study-In-Brief: Our study examines the protective role of resilience when looking at the relationship between stress and binge eating symptoms among adult female college students. While higher stress levels were significantly associated with serious binge eating symptoms, resilience was found to level out this relationship. High resilience levels were also associated with less serious binge eating symptoms in participants who viewed themselves as having high stress levels.
Kaufman, C.C. & Thurston, I.B. (2018). JPP student journal club commentary: Toward a more complete understanding of disruption and resilience among Latino and Non-Latino white youth with Spina Bifida. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 43(2), 120-121. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsx143
Study-In-Brief: This commentary discusses a study conducted with Latino and non-Latino White youth with spina bifida and how family functioning impacts their psychosocial functioning. The study highlights the importance of examining disruption and resilience in the context of chronic illness across racial and ethnic identities, and a need for more research that examines psychosocial and family dynamics in Latino youth with spina bifida.
Thurston, I. B., Hardin, R., Decker, K., Arnold, T., Howell, K. H., & Phares, V. (2018). Black and white parents’ willingness to seek help for children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74(1), 161–177. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22495
Study-In-Brief: This study examines factors which influence parent’s intentions of seeking formal and informal help for child internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Results demonstrated that problem recognition was linked with higher intentions of seeking help from almost all informal and formal resources. The study underscores the importance of reducing barriers to help-seeking and increasing parent’s problem recognition to improve health equity.
Fields, E. L., Bogart, L. M., Thurston, I. B., Hu, C. H., Skeer, M. R., Safren, S. A., & Mimiaga, M. J. (2017, April 11). Qualitative comparison of barriers to antiretroviral medication adherence among perinatally and behaviorally HIV-infected youth. Qual Health Research, 27(8). https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732317697674
Study-In-Brief: This study involved 30 interviews with youth who were HIV positive through behavioral (i.e., through unprotected sex) or perinatally (i.e., a pregnant person living with HIV passed it to them as a baby). The goal was to determine things that got in the way of taking their antiretroviral medication so that future interventions could be improved upon. For youth who were perinatally infected, barriers included reactance, complicated regimens, HIV fatigue, and difficulty transitioning to autonomous care. Youth who were behaviorally infected had barriers such as HIV related shame and difficulty initiating medication.
Thurston, I. B., Sonneville, K. R., Milliren, C., Kamody, R. C., Gooding, H. C., & Richmond, T. K. (2017). Cross-sectional and prospective examination of weight misperception and depressive symptoms among adolescents with overweight and obesity. Prevention Science, 18(2), 152-163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11121-016-0714-8
Study-In-Brief: This study examined associations between weight misperception and depressive symptoms among higher weight (BMI categories of “overweight” or “obese”) youth of cross-cultural backgrounds. Findings demonstrate that misperceiving weight as “average” was associated with significantly lower depressive symptoms compared to those whose weight perception matched with their BMI, particularly among White youth. Clinical and population interventions should consider the benefits of weight misperception on mental health in the context of higher weight youth.
Anderson, M. B., Okwumabua, T. M., & Thurston, I. B. (2017). Adolescent condom carnival: Feasibility of a novel group intervention for decreasing sexual risk. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 17(2), 135-148. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681811.2016.1252741
Study-In-Brief: This study examined the effects of a brief, peer-led, group sexual risk reduction program in a predominantly Black young adult population. Participants reported significant increases in lubricant safety awareness and intentions to use condoms, but only three-quarters of participants endorsed the intention to always carry a condom. Findings point to a need to explore the disconnect between the intention to use and the intention to carry a condom and develop strategies to promote condom carrying among young people.
Berlin, K. S., Kamody, R. C., Thurston, I. B., Banks, G. G., Rybak, T. M., & Ferry, R. J. (2017). Physical activity, sedentary behavior, and nutritional risk profiles and relations to body mass index, obesity, and overweight in eighth grade. Behavioral Medicine, 43(1), 31-39. https://doi.org/10.1080/08964289.2015.1039956
Study-In-Brief: In this study, varying patterns of physical activity, sedentary behavior, and nutritional intake and its effects on youth demographics, BMI, and psychosocial functioning were determined from the 2007 8th Grade Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Cohort. Differing patterns of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and nutritional intake were found to predict the BMI and psychosocial functioning.
*Denotes CHANGE Lab student author