Family Studies and Human Services Faculty Research and Publications

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Teaching Statistics with Current and Historical Events: An Analysis of Survivor Data From the Sinking of the HMT Birkenhead, the RMS Titanic, and the Korean Ferry MV Sewol
    (2016-01-01) Lee, Young; Schumm, Walter R.; Lockett, Lorenza; Newsom, Kimmery C.; Behan, Kathleen
    Statistical examples can feel remote to students, especially if the variables under consideration are ambiguous. However, life or death is not ambiguous but very concrete. Three different historical shipwrecks offer an abundance of ways to demonstrate the relevance and importance of statistics. Here, we discuss statistical outcomes associated with the loss of three ships: the HMT Birkenhead in 1852, the RMS Titanic in 1912, and the Korean ferry MV Sewol in April 2014. These disasters can serve as examples for demonstrating the relevance of statistics to current events. Statistics in these historical events can help students see that the survival rates of different groups of passengers were very different, with medium to large effect sizes. Even if statistical analyses cannot answer all of the questions about why some passengers had higher survival rates than others, they can lead to further productive qualitative or quantitative research into such questions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Cortical dynamics of disfluency in adults who stutter
    (2017-05-01) Sengupta, R.; Shah, S.; Loucks, T. M. J.; Pelczarski, Kristin; Scott Yaruss, J.; Gore, K.; Nasir, S. M.; kpelczar; Pelczarski, Kristin
    Stuttering is a disorder of speech production whose origins have been traced to the central nervous system. One of the factors that may underlie stuttering is aberrant neural miscommunication within the speech motor network. It is thus argued that disfluency (any interruption in the forward flow of speech) in adults who stutter (AWS) could be associated with anomalous cortical dynamics. Aberrant brain activity has been demonstrated in AWS in the absence of overt disfluency, but recording neural activity during disfluency is more challenging. The paradigm adopted here took an important step that involved overt reading of long and complex speech tokens under continuous EEG recording. Anomalies in cortical dynamics preceding disfluency were assessed by subtracting out neural activity for fluent utterances from their disfluent counterparts. Differences in EEG spectral power involving alpha, beta, and gamma bands, as well as anomalies in phase-coherence involving the gamma band, were observed prior to the production of the disfluent utterances. These findings provide novel evidence for compromised cortical dynamics that directly precede disfluency in AWS. © 2017 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Content analysis of public opinion on sexual expression and dementia: Implications for nursing home policy development
    Syme, Maggie; Yelland, Erin; Cornelison, Laci; Poey, Judeth L.; Krajicek, Ryan; Doll, Gayle; msyme; erinyelland; gdoll; Syme, Maggie; Yelland, Erin; Doll, Gayle
    Purpose: We examined public opinion of sexual expression and dementia to inform nursing home policy and practice. Design and Methods: A content analysis was conducted on public comments (N=1194) posted in response to a New York Times article about a highly publicized legal case involving a husband engaging in sexual acts with his wife who had dementia, living in a nursing home. Researchers utilized constant comparative analysis to code the comments; reliability analysis showed moderately strong agreement at the subcategory level. Data were also coded to indicate whether the commenter thought the couple should or should not have been allowed to be sexual. Results: One primary theme was identified: conditions necessary for someone to be sexual. Six categories were identified within this theme, with the public commentary considering factors such as marital relationships, intimacy needs and several sexual consent-related issues as key conditions necessary to be sexual in a nursing home setting. Overall, the majority of commenters were in support of sexual expression for an individual with dementia in the described situation. Discussion: This study revealed sexual expression among individuals with dementia is a contentious issue with strong public opinions about how this should be managed in a nursing home setting. These opinions should be considered as policy related to sexual expression in nursing homes is developed. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring the Demand for Retirement Planning Advice: The Role of Financial Literacy
    (2018) Seay, Martin C.; Kim, Kyoung Tae; Heckman, Stuart J.; mseay; sheckman
    This research extends previous literature on the relationship between financial literacy and financial advice seeking in three ways: (1) we examine financial planner use specifically within the context of retirement planning, (2) we incorporate Huston’s (2010) framework of financial literacy, and (3) we use longitudinal data to investigate the initiation, maintenance, and termination of financial planner use. Results from the 2010 and 2012 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) show a positive association between the components of financial literacy and financial planner use for retirement planning.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Household Use of Financial Planners: Measurement Considerations for Researchers
    Heckman, Stuart J.; Seay, Martin C.; Kim, Kyoung Tae; Letkiewicz, Jodi C.; sheckman; mseay
    Using the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board’s definition of financial planning, this paper evaluates the validity of the measures of financial planner use in publicly available datasets. A review of Financial Services Review, Journal of Personal Finance, Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Journal of Consumer Affairs, and Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning identified seven datasets that were commonly used to investigate financial planner use. Of these, the two most promising measures were found in the Survey of Consumer Finances and the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (1979). However, an evaluation of these measures raises significant concerns related to their validity. This article critically evaluates these measures and provides insights into the development of better measures of financial planner use for the future.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Examining aging sexual stigma attitudes among adults by gender, age, and generational status
    Syme, Maggie; Cohn, Tracy J.; msyme
    Objectives: Stigma related to later life sexuality could produce detrimental effects for older adults, through individual concerns and limited sexual health care for older adults. Identifying groups at risk for aging sexual stigma will help to focus interventions to reduce it. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to examine cross-sectional trends in aging sexual stigma attitudes by age group, generational status, and gender. Method: An online survey was administered to a national sample of adults via a crowdsourcing tool, in order to examine aging sexual stigma across age groups, generational status, and gender (N = 962; 47.0% male, 52.5% female, and .5% other; mean age = 45 years). An aging sexual stigma index was formulated from the attitudinal items of the Aging Sexual Knowledge and Attitudes Scale. Results: This sample reported moderately permissive attitudes toward aging sexuality, indicating a low level of aging sexual stigma. Though descriptive data showed trends of stigma attitudes increasing with age and later generations, there were no significant differences between age groups or generations in terms of aging sexual stigma beliefs. Men, regardless of age and/or generation, were found to espouse significantly higher stigmatic beliefs than women or those reporting ‘other’ gender. Conclusions: Aging sexual stigma beliefs may not be prevalent among the general population as cohorts become more sexually liberal over time, though men appear more susceptible to these beliefs. However, in order to more comprehensively assess aging sexual stigma, future research may benefit from measuring explicit and implicit aging sexual stigma beliefs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The impact of premarital cycling on early marriage
    (2014-12-02) Vennum, Amber V.; Johnson, Matthew D.; avennum
    Using a sample of 564 newlywed couples and the enduring dynamics model of marriage (Caughlin, Huston, & Houts, 2000), we examined the impact of premarital cycling (breaking up and renewing) on the entrance into marriage and relationship dynamics over the first five years. Consistent with the enduring dynamics model, results demonstrated cyclical couples (compared to non-cyclical couples) exhibited worse adjustment on a variety of relationship indicators at the entrance to marriage and were more likely to experience a trial separation over the first five years. Dyadic parallel process growth curve analysis further revealed that premarital cycling predicted lower initial relationship satisfaction that was sustained over the first five years of marriage. Implications for theory, research, and intervention with premarital couples are discussed. These results provide evidence that courtships characterized by breakups and renewals represent a relational vulnerability with negative implications extending years into the future.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Children's responses to a social story song in three inclusive preschool classrooms: A pilot study
    (2014-12-02) Fees, Bronwyn S.; Kaff, Marilyn S.; Holmberg, Teri K.; Teagarden, James M.; Delreal, Dalila; fees; mkaff; teriholm; mrt
    The social story is a pedagogical strategy presented individually, often in print, to primary grade children with autism. Authors examined teachers’ perceptions of the effect of a social story song adapted for preschoolers in six inclusive classes. A board certified music therapist composed a social story song set to a familiar melody about waiting, a behavior of significant concern for preschool teachers teaching on a military post. Teachers, trained by the music therapist, implemented the social story song within each of their part day, multi-age classrooms for five weeks. Results of this pilot suggest teachers perceived the training to be sufficient for immediate use and the song effective in modifying behavior in both exceptionally and typically developing children when either the teacher or children initiated it. Social story songs for preliterate children may be an effective intervention strategy to support behavior change within inclusive preschool settings.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An updated feminist view of intimate partner violence
    (2014-10-14) George, Jayashree; Stith, Sandra M.; sstith
    In this article, we explore intimate partner violence (IPV) from an intersectional, feminist perspective. We describe how an updated feminist view guides us to a perspective on IPV that is more strongly grounded in an anti-oppressive, non-violent, socially just feminist stance than a second-wave gender-essential feminist stance that suggests that patriarchy is the cause of IPV. At the time we began to work together it seemed that a researcher had to be identified as a “family violence” researcher or a “feminist” researcher of violence against women, and that it wasn’t possible to be a feminist researcher who looked beyond patriarchy as the cause of IPV. We advocate critically thinking about essentialist practices in clinical work so that we can maintain an anti-oppressive, socially just, non-violent approach to working with clients who experience IPV.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A qualitative analysis of military couples with high and low trauma symptoms and relationship distress levels
    (2014-09-24) Wick, Stephanie; Goff, Briana S.; bnelson
    The purpose of the current study was to understand the experiences of a subset of military couples regarding the effects of war deployment on couple functioning. This study utilized the core “couple functioning” variables included in the Couple Adaptation to Traumatic Stress Model (Nelson Goff & Smith, 2005) as sensitizing concepts to guide the qualitative analysis process. Participant interviews (n = 15 couples, 30 total participants) were divided into subgroups according to high and low trauma symptom and relationship satisfaction scale scores. Five primary themes were identified in the results: communication, conflict management, roles, support/nurturance, and post-traumatic growth. Overall, highly satisfied couples and those with the lowest levels of traumatic stress symptoms reported more positive relationship functioning in the identified areas, while couples reporting higher traumatic stress symptoms and lower relationship satisfaction indicated varied or inconsistent qualitative results. Clinical and research implications for military couples also are identified.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Receiving the initial Down syndrome diagnosis: a comparison of prenatal and postnatal parent group experiences
    (2013-12-01) Goff, Briana S.; Springer, Nicole; Foote, Laura Cline; Frantz, Courtney; Peak, Madison; Tracy, Courtney; Veh, Taylor; Bentley, Gail E.; Cross, Kayli A.; bnelson
    This study explored the preliminary experiences of parents upon learning of their child's diagnosis of Down syndrome. Qualitative data from a web-based, national survey were analyzed based on two groups: prenatal (n  =  46) or postnatal (n  =  115) diagnosis. Three primary categories emerged from the data analysis: prenatal screening/testing decisions by parents, the adjustment process for parents, and postdiagnosis resources and support for parents. Participants' rationale behind pursuing testing ranged from wanting to be better prepared to not pursuing testing because it was not a factor in continuing the pregnancy. Participant reactions to the diagnosis involved a range of intense preliminary emotions; participants described their extreme grief and loss experience at the initial news of the diagnosis, which also was ambiguous in nature and required differing timelines of adjustment. Finally, participants described experiences with medical professionals, information/education, and faith/religion as resources and areas of support, although not all were described as positive in nature. Participants in both groups identified having negative experiences with medical professionals during the diagnosis process. The results indicated the importance of these early experiences for parents of children with Down syndrome and emphasize providing effective education, resources, and practical information from reliable sources.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A qualitative study of single-trauma and dual-trauma military couples
    (2014-08-19) Goff, Briana S.; Irwin, Laura D.; Cox, Michelle D.; Devine, Sara I.; Summers, Kali J.; Schmitz, Anne E.; bnelson; kalijo
    Trauma survivors and their partners may experience unique dynamics due to the ongoing effects of previous trauma exposure and current trauma symptoms. The current qualitative study attempted to compare and contrast single-trauma couples (one partner reports a trauma history or high traumatic load) with dual-trauma couples (both partners report a trauma history or high traumatic load) to further understand the systemic effects on couple functioning in a sample of military couples. Overall, both positive and negative effects from previous trauma on the couple relationship were reported by participants, including increased awareness, communication, support, coping strategies, and trauma-related triggers, with dual-trauma couples reporting more trauma-related triggers and communication problems. Clinical and research implications for further study are described.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Relationship quality among young couples from an economic and gender perspective
    (2013-08-22) Britt, Sonya L.; Nazarinia Roy, R. Roudi; sbritt
    Less than a third of married couple households in the United States are composed of families with one breadwinner. This is a stark contrast to a mere 40 years ago when men were the primary breadwinner for the majority of households. The goal of this study was to determine how the perception of household chores is related to relationship quality. Specifically we wanted to determine how perception of household chores is related to relationship quality reported by partners from a traditional economic and a gender role theory perspective. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1986 cohort, results indicate that perceived unfair in household division of chores was predictive of women’s relationship quality, but not men’s. Arguments about affection and money were predictive of relationship quality for both genders.
  • ItemOpen Access
    “It’s complicated:” the continuity and correlates of cycling in cohabiting and marital relationships
    (2014-07-02) Vennum, Amber V.; Lindstrom, Rachel; Monk, J. Kale; Adams, Rebekah; avennum
    Given previous research on the risks associated with cycling in young adult dating relationships, the present study examines the frequency with which cyclical dating relationships (relationships that end and renew) persist into cohabitation and marriage, the characteristics of these relationships, and the constraints associated with cycling during these stages using a nationally representative sample of cohabiting (n = 323) and married (n = 752) couples. Using retrospective accounts, results suggest that over one-third of cohabiters and one-fifth of spouses have experienced a breakup and renewal in their current relationship. Additionally, partners who have experienced cycling are at greater risk for further cycling and experiencing greater constraints to permanently ending the relationship, greater uncertainty in their relationship’s future, and lower satisfaction.
  • ItemOpen Access
    APOE ϵ4, rated life experiences, and affect among centenarians
    (2014-05-09) Martin, Peter; Jazwinski, S. Michal; Davey, Adam; Green, Robert; Macdonald, Maurice; Margrett, Jennifer A.; Siegler, Ilene C.; Arnold, Jonathan; Woodard, John; Johnson, Mary Ann; Kim, Sangkyu; Dai, Jianliang; Li, Li; Batzer, Mark A.; Poon, Leonard W.; morey
    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between apolipoprotein E (APOE), life events and engagement, and subjective well-being (as measured by positive and negative affect) among centenarians. Based on the life stress paradigm, we predicted that higher levels of stress would allow APOE to influence positive and negative affect. Method: 196 centenarians and near-centenarians (98 years and older) of the Georgia Centenarian Study participated in this research. The APOE, positive and negative affect, the number of recent (last 2 years) and lifelong (more than 20 years prior to testing) events, as well as a number of life engagement tasks were assessed. Results: Results suggested that centenarians carrying the APOE ϵ4 allele rated lower in positive affect, the number of lifelong events, and in engaged lifestyle, when compared to centenarians without the APOE ϵ4 allele (t = 3.43, p < .01; t = 3.19, p < .01; and t = 2.33, p < .05, respectively). Blockwise multiple regressions indicated that the APOE ϵ4 predicted positive but not negative affect after controlling for demographics. Gene–environment interactions were obtained for the APOE ϵ4 and lifelong events, suggesting that carriers of the APOE ϵ4 allele had higher scores of negative affect after having experienced more events, whereas noncarriers had reduced negative affect levels after having experienced more events. Conclusion: APOE ϵ4 is directly related to positive affect and is related to negative affect in interaction with life events.
  • ItemOpen Access
    What Does This Mean for Graduate Education in Marriage and Family Therapy? Commentary on "The Divide Between 'Evidenced-Based' Approaches and Practitioners of Traditional Theories of Family Therapy"
    (2014-05-08) Stith, Sandra M.; sstith
    The Dattilio, Piercy, and Davis article is a welcome addition to the conversation focusing on how to bridge the divide in the MFT field between research and practice. The present commentary challenges us to see the divide as an indictment of our training programs resulting from a lack of focus on MFT research. Suggestions for increasing expectations for students to monitor client progress, get involved in research at all levels, and for doctoral students to expect to be able to conduct independent, fundable research in the MFT field when they leave their programs are offered.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Credit card behavior as a function of impulsivity and mother’s socialization factors
    (2014-04-30) Henegar, Justin M.; Archuleta, Kristy L.; Grable, John; Britt, Sonya L.; Anderson, NaRita; Dale, Anita; kristy; sbritt
    The current paper, using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY) and the NLSY Child Survey, reports results from a test designed to determine if impulsiveness is associated with credit card behavior, and whether a mother?s time preference, socioeconomic status, and risk attitude transmit to her children in shaping credit card behavior. In addition to certain demographic factors, individuals who exhibited self-control/ low impulsivity were more likely to possess a credit card, as were those whose mothers had a high socioeconomic status. Men, those with higher income, and those who were raised by mothers with high financial impatience were more likely to hold a credit card balance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    College students and financial distress: exploring debt, financial satisfaction, and financial anxiety
    (2014-03-31) Archuleta, Kristy L.; Dale, Anita; Spann, Scott M.; kristy
    The impact of financial concerns on overall mental health has become a popular topic among researchers and practitioners. In this exploratory study, possible associations of financial anxiety were explored using a sample of 180 college students who sought services at a university peer financial counseling center in a Midwestern state. Of particular interest was the influence of debt on student financial anxiety. To measure financial anxiety, a new scale was developed, the Financial Anxiety Scale (FAS), that can be used as a tool for financial planners, counselors, and educators to identify individuals who are experiencing increased levels of financial distress that may call for a referral to an appropriate professional. Results from two hierarchical regressions indicated that financial satisfaction, student loans, and gender are associated with financial anxiety.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Common dyadic coping is indirectly related to dietary and exercise adherence via patient and partner diabetes efficacy
    (2014-01-07) Johnson, Matthew D.; Anderson, Jared R.; Walker, Ann; Wilcox, Allison; Lewis, Virginia L.; Robbins, David C.; jra
    Using cross-sectional data from 117 married couples in which one member is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the current study sought to explore a possible indirect association between common dyadic coping and dietary and exercise adherence via the mechanism of patient and spouse reports of diabetes efficacy. Results from the structural equation model analysis indicated common dyadic coping was associated with higher levels of diabetes efficacy for both patients and spouses which, in turn, was then associated with better dietary and exercise adherence for the patient. This model proved a better fit to the data than three plausible alternative models. The bootstrap test of mediation revealed common dyadic coping was indirectly associated with dietary adherence via both patient and spouse diabetes efficacy, but spouse diabetes efficacy was the only mechanism linking common dyadic coping and exercise adherence. This study highlights the importance of exploring the indirect pathways through which general intimate relationship functioning might be associated with type 2 diabetes outcomes.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Does it matter who makes the financial decisions? An exploratory study of married couples’ financial decision-making and relationship satisfaction
    (2013-11-08) Archuleta, Kristy L.; Grable, John E.; kristy
    How couples make financial decisions is known to be associated with relationships satisfaction. The current study uses symbolic interaction theory to examine how one’s involvement in financial decision-making and their satisfaction is related to relationship satisfaction. The results from this study indicate that whether couples make decisions jointly or not is nearly as important as the level of satisfaction they have with their involvement in financial decision-making process. The findings suggest implications for educators, financial therapists, and other professionals working with couples and their financial issues, as well as opportunities for further research in this area.