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Psychology

Theses/Dissertations

DePaul University

Adolescents

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Chronic Life Stress And Change In Stress Response Functioning In Urban Youth: The Role Of Social Support And Gender, Heather M. Marshall Nov 2018

Chronic Life Stress And Change In Stress Response Functioning In Urban Youth: The Role Of Social Support And Gender, Heather M. Marshall

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) has been established as a bio-marker of stress reactivity in acute stressor tasks. Much less research exists exploring whether sAA is bio-marker for chronic stress exposure, and therefore, allostatic load. Extant research is inconsistent with some evidence to support chronic stress exposure having an impact on sAA reactivity and diurnal levels of sAA, while other studies have failed to support this theory. Social support is regarded as a protective factor against stress, mental health, and physical health consequences. It has been suggested that gender may play a role in the utilization and benefits of social support networks ...


The Reciprocal Effects Of Language Proficiency And Depression Among Low Income Latino Youth, Nicole Colon Quintana Mar 2017

The Reciprocal Effects Of Language Proficiency And Depression Among Low Income Latino Youth, Nicole Colon Quintana

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Extant research suggests that language plays an important role in both social processes and emotional encoding and regulation. In dual language youth, the maternal tongue has been observed as a protective factor against maladaptive outcomes (Toppelberg & Collins, 2010). Although Latino youth are at a heightened risk for depression (CDC, 2013), and a majority grow in Spanish-English speaking households (Pumariega et al., 2013), the impact of dual language development in their psychosocial well-being remains poorly understood. It is known that limited English language proficiency during early school years is predictive of maladaptive outcomes such as externalizing problems (Dawson & Williams, 2008). Previous studies have reported associations between Spanish and English self-reports of language proficiency and youth adjustment (Polo & Lopez, 2009). However, research has not examined objective measures of language proficiency and their relation with depression among Latino youth. Further, although some researchers have proposed that language difficulties precede depressive symptoms, the inverse has not been explored. Given the cognitive deficits often associated with depression, it is imperative to disentangle the directionality of this relation and explore the factors of depression that may hinder critical language processes. This study, which included two time points, addressed these gaps by investigating the relation between language proficiency and depression in a community sample of dual language Latino adolescents. Participants included 397 Latino students ages 10-15 years (M = 12.0; 51.9% female), the majority of whom (82.4%) were from families reporting household incomes below $40,000. Results indicate that, at baseline, a majority of the students (58.9%) exhibited higher levels of English proficiency compared to Spanish, and approximately one in five (21.7%) showed limited proficiency in both languages. Also at baseline, youth with limited language proficiency were found to be ...


Young Survivors Of Disaster: A Meta-Analytic Review Of Mental Health Interventions For Children And Their Families, Theressa L. Labarrie Nov 2016

Young Survivors Of Disaster: A Meta-Analytic Review Of Mental Health Interventions For Children And Their Families, Theressa L. Labarrie

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Disasters, both natural and human-made, are on the rise. While disasters affect everyone, the most vulnerable populations are often hardest hit. Our nation’s youth are among the most vulnerable, suffering the most severe psychological repercussions. This is a population in need of empirically supported post-disaster mental health interventions. However, the research on mental health treatments for post-disaster trauma treatment among youth is still in its developmental stages. There is no known synthesis of treatment interventions for youth and their families, even though there is clear evidence that this population is among the most vulnerable to the effects of disaster ...


Effects Of Religious Participation On Negative Mental Health Symptoms Among Low-Income, Urban African American Adolescents, Alfonso L. Floyd Aug 2016

Effects Of Religious Participation On Negative Mental Health Symptoms Among Low-Income, Urban African American Adolescents, Alfonso L. Floyd

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

African American adolescents living in low-income, urban neighborhoods are at high risk for developing psychological problems due to increased exposure to urban stressors. Given the complexity and chronic nature of these stressors, protective factors such as involvement in one’s religious institution may protect adolescents from harmful stressors associated with living in urban, low-income neighborhoods. This thesis sought to examine whether religious participation is an effective moderator of the relation between urban stressful life experiences and internalizing/externalizing psychological outcomes among low-income, urban African American adolescents. Two dimensions of religious participation, organizational and non-organizational, were examined as potential moderators of ...


An Innovative Approach To Preventing Depression: Examining The Experiences Of Mothers And Daughters Who Participate In The Cities Mother-Daughter Project, Tasha M. Brown Aug 2016

An Innovative Approach To Preventing Depression: Examining The Experiences Of Mothers And Daughters Who Participate In The Cities Mother-Daughter Project, Tasha M. Brown

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

The current study employed qualitative inquiry to examine the experiences of mothers and daughters who participated in the Cities Mother-Daughter Project, an intervention aimed at preventing depression in low-income urban African-American girls, study participants included 9 mothers and 9 daughters. Qualitative analysis was used to examine the subjective experiences of mothers and daughters who participated in the Cities Mother-Daughter Project. Seven overarching themes emerged when participants reflected on their experience in the group intervention: 1) value of group, 2) desire for continued intervention, 3) suggestions for improvement, 4) skills learned in group, 5) mother-daughter relationship, 6) personal change, and 7 ...


Associations Between Social Status Insecurity And Relational Aggression In Chinese Adolescents: Moderations Of Social Cognitive Prosesses, Yunyi Long Jun 2016

Associations Between Social Status Insecurity And Relational Aggression In Chinese Adolescents: Moderations Of Social Cognitive Prosesses, Yunyi Long

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Adolescents pay close attention to their social status and actively pursue it through certain social behaviors. Previous studies have revealed that when adolescents feel their social standing is unsafe, namely having social status insecurity, they often use relational aggression to cope with it. However, what roles different social cognition processes play on the association between social status insecurity and relational aggression are unclear in the literature. Additionally, given that the relationship between relational victimization and relational aggression has also been observed in the literature, social status insecurity may also exert an important mediating impact on such an association. Nevertheless, few ...


Prospective Predictors Of Adolescent Bmi: Parenting Style, Gender, And Weight Perception, Trey V. Dellucci Nov 2015

Prospective Predictors Of Adolescent Bmi: Parenting Style, Gender, And Weight Perception, Trey V. Dellucci

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Obesity affects both adolescents and adults worldwide (Popkin & Doak, 1998). Determining which factors contribute to risk factors to the high prevalence of obesity in America is important because excess weight can negatively affect both physical health and psychosocial functioning (Kolotkin, Meter, & Williams, 2001). Few longitudinal studies have assessed the association between parenting styles and adolescent’s body mass index (BMI; Rhee et al, 2006). Past research has shown that parents greatly influence adolescent’s body image (Al Sabbah et al., 2009). Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the current study examined the influence of parenting styles on adolescent’s weight over time (Harris et al., 2009). Additionally, we tested a mediation model on the relationship between parenting style and adolescent’s BMI through weight perception. The final aim of this study was to determine whether weight perception differed by gender. The current study failed to find an association ...


Executive Functioning In The Context Of Urban Poverty: An Examination Of Poverty Related Stress And Its Relationships To Academic Achievement, Jacquelyn L. Doxie Nov 2014

Executive Functioning In The Context Of Urban Poverty: An Examination Of Poverty Related Stress And Its Relationships To Academic Achievement, Jacquelyn L. Doxie

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Living in urban poverty has been linked to numerous negative conditions that disproportionately expose low-income urban youth and their families to severe and chronic stressors (Collins et al., 2010; DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith, 2012; Sznitman, Reisel, and Romer, 2011). Research has consistently shown a strong relationship between these stressors and numerous negative outcomes that can impact an adolescent emotionally, behaviorally, and academically (Conger et al., 2002). This dissertation is focused on the area of academic achievement, an outcome consistently found to be negatively impacted by poverty (Rouse and Fantuzzo, 2009). Based on Bronfenbrenner’s model of bio-ecological human development (Bronfenbrenner ...


The Impact Of Culture And Neighborhood Context On The Mental Health Of Latino Youth, William Martinez Aug 2014

The Impact Of Culture And Neighborhood Context On The Mental Health Of Latino Youth, William Martinez

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Latino youth are members of an ethnic group that shares similar values, customs, beliefs, and, often, the Spanish language, that serve as protective factors for some youth. The extent to which these factors are protective across neighborhood contexts has yet to be explored. The present study adds to the literature on contextual correlates of mental health symptomatology in Latino adolescents by examining individual cultural dimensions as protective factors, and environmental risk and protective factors through the lens of the person-environment fit theory (Caplan, 1987). Specifically, the person-environment fit theory is evaluated by proposing that the fit between a Latino youth ...


Sexy But Not Sexual: An Examination Of The Sexual Narratives Of African American Adolescent Females, April Timmons Aug 2014

Sexy But Not Sexual: An Examination Of The Sexual Narratives Of African American Adolescent Females, April Timmons

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Much of the research on sexuality during adolescence has focused on the potential negative sequelae of adolescent sexual behavior such as STI acquisition or teenage pregnancy. Researchers have begun to advocate for examining adolescent sexuality as a normative aspect of adolescent development. One aspect of this examination would be to form a more complete understanding of how adolescents develop their sexual identity – their conceptualization of themselves as a sexual being. Erickson’s (1968) identity development theory asserts that identity is developed internally and shaped by the social environment.

Development of a healthy sexual identity may be particularly difficult for African ...


Individual And Community Factors Associated With Thriving Among African American Adolescents In The Context Of Stressors, Adia Shani Gooden Aug 2013

Individual And Community Factors Associated With Thriving Among African American Adolescents In The Context Of Stressors, Adia Shani Gooden

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation used the transactional-ecological framework along with principles from positive youth development literature to examine naturally occurring individual and contextual factors

that promote thriving among African American adolescents. Specifically, this study examined how religiosity, religious support, racial identity, and communalism relate to thriving. This study

also assessed the negative influence of stressors on thriving in order to understand how thriving manifests in the context of risk factors. This cross-sectional study included 152 youth

participants who were surveyed at five Black churches on the south side of Chicago. Structural equation modeling was used to assess whether the proposed model fit ...


Identifying Barriers And Facilitators Of Successful School-Based Mental Health And Behavioral Programs Delivered In The Context Of Urban Poverty: A Qualitative Exploration Of Perspectives From Service Providers And Youth, Farahnaz K. Farahmand Aug 2013

Identifying Barriers And Facilitators Of Successful School-Based Mental Health And Behavioral Programs Delivered In The Context Of Urban Poverty: A Qualitative Exploration Of Perspectives From Service Providers And Youth, Farahnaz K. Farahmand

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this study was to identify the barriers and facilitators of successful mental health and/or behavioral programs implemented within inner-city schools. The impetus for this study came from prior meta-analytic research which demonstrated programs being offered within inner-city schools, as a whole, showed very low effect sizes, with many of the programs offered to youth within these settings showing iatrogenic effects. The use of qualitative methods, specifically a phenomenological approach, provided an in-depth understanding of 1) service providers' experience(s) delivering mental health and/or behavioral programs in inner-city schools; and, 2) low-income, urban youths' experience(s ...


Natural Mentoring Relationships As A Buffer Against The Negative Effects Of Stressors On Academic Outcomes Of Latino Adolescents, Claudio Rivera Nov 2012

Natural Mentoring Relationships As A Buffer Against The Negative Effects Of Stressors On Academic Outcomes Of Latino Adolescents, Claudio Rivera

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

This cross-sectional study examined 192 Latino adolescents in their ninth grade of high school. A resiliency theory framework was used for this study. The purpose of the study was to determine if natural mentoring relationships served a compensatory and protective role against stressors on the academic outcomes of Latino adolescents in their first year of high school. Using multiple hierarchical regression analyses, it was determined that stressors and mentoring relationship quality had main effects and interaction effects on the academic outcomes of Latino adolescents. Thus, support for the compensatory and protective model of resilience was provided in some aspects of ...


Continuity Of Conduct And Substance Use Disorders Among Adolescents In The One Year And Two Years Following Exposure To Substance Abuse Treatment, Brian Mcmanus Aug 2012

Continuity Of Conduct And Substance Use Disorders Among Adolescents In The One Year And Two Years Following Exposure To Substance Abuse Treatment, Brian Mcmanus

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

The current study utilized a sample of 138 adolescents from a short-term inpatient chemical dependency recovery hospital. Analyses utilized scales from the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN), a semi-structured interview that was administered multiple times over the two years after treatment intake. Analyses examined the persistence of substance abuse, conduct disorder symptomatology, delinquent behavior, and mental distress following treatment. A primary goal of the study was to examine whether adolescents with severe conduct disorder (i.e., those engaging in behaviors causing considerable harm to others) followed different trajectories than their mild/moderate counterparts. This inquiry was predicated largely on ...


Parenting Patterns In Urban African American Families: Raising Healthy Adolescents In The Context Of Economic Hardship And Community Violence, Donald Hamilton Tyler Jun 2012

Parenting Patterns In Urban African American Families: Raising Healthy Adolescents In The Context Of Economic Hardship And Community Violence, Donald Hamilton Tyler

College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

The aims of the current study were to identify natural patterns of environmental risk conditions and parenting practices in African American families, assess the similarities and differences between the parenting patterns and mainstream parenting types, clarify the efficacy of each parenting pattern in reducing risk and promoting adolescent adjustment, consider key variables that may influence these processes, and thereby advance understanding of African American child rearing in social-ecological context. A case-centered approach featuring cluster analysis was utilized to permit exploration of multiple child rearing behaviors across the dimensions of parental warmth and control and to afford examination of multiple combinations ...