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Creating and Testing the Reliability of a Family Maltreatment Severity Classification System

Erlanger, Ann C Eckardt; Heyman, Richard E; Slep, Amy M Smith
Child maltreatment and intimate partner abuse determinations often include judgments (e.g., severity) that go beyond whether or not the allegations are founded. Severity ratings inform multiple stakeholders (e.g., researchers, policymakers, clinicians, supervisors) and response pathways (e.g., "differential response" to child maltreatment). However, because severity guidelines typically only provide global direction for raters, these gradations are often of questionable reliability (and thus validity). Extending earlier work developing and implementing reliable and valid family maltreatment substantiation criteria (e.g., Heyman & Slep, 2006, 2009), a classification system for maltreatment severity was created, refined, and field-tested with a sample of clinicians from the largest maltreatment protection agency in the United States The goal was to develop operationalized criteria delineating mild, moderate, and severe maltreatment that could be consistently applied across types of maltreatment, raters, and clinics. To facilitate proper use, a computerized clinical decision support tool for the criteria was created. First, the severity classification system was piloted and refined at four sites throughout the United States. Then, clinicians at these sites (N = 28) and a master reviewer independently rated de-identified cases as part of the clinicians' routine assessments. Agreement between clinicians and the master reviewer was excellent for all types of maltreatment. Implications for practical dissemination are discussed.
PMID: 32990144
ISSN: 1552-6518
CID: 4799982

Family Influences on Caries in Grenada

Mitnick, Danielle; Dills, Ashley; Smith Slep, Amy M; Heyman, Richard E; Giresi, Jill
If high-conflict family environments are cariogenic across cultures, and can be studied in cultures where both these environments and cariogenic dental practices are particularly prevalent, this would afford the opportunity to examine how these two pathways of risk might interact, laying the stage for culturally competent, integrated prevention efforts. The first investigation involved qualitative data about perceptions of oral health and family stressors in Grenadian families with school-aged children. The second study used a questionnaire and observational data to assess relations among oral health behaviors, relationship satisfaction, parenting, and child behavior; it also included a pilot study of Motivational Interviewing. Most of the themes discussed in focus groups suggested overlap between U.S. and Grenadian parents; possible culture-specific issues were high prevalence of single-parent homes, normativity of physical discipline, less preventive dental care, and more fatalistic view of oral health outcomes. Significant associations were found between parent and child oral health behaviors, between child externalizing and internalizing behaviors, and between family variables (e.g., relationship satisfaction, child behavior) and oral health behaviors (e.g., parent flossing, child brush time). The results strongly support the need for research on the relations between family functioning and oral health to be embedded within culture.
PMID: 32916915
ISSN: 2304-6767
CID: 4590262

In-home conversations of couples with advanced cancer: Support has its costs

Reblin, Maija; Otto, Amy K; Ketcher, Dana; Vadaparampil, Susan T; Ellington, Lee; Heyman, Richard E
OBJECTIVE:The goal of this study was to describe the quality of naturalistic communication between patients with advanced cancer and their spouse caregivers using observational methods. We also assessed the association between patient and caregiver communication behaviors and psychological and physical health using the actor-partner interdependence model. METHODS:Data on 81 dyads were gathered as part of a prospective observational study. Patients with advanced cancer and their spouse caregivers completed demographic, physical health, and emotional well-being questionnaires. Cancer and relationship communication captured in "day-in-the-life" audio recordings were coded using Gottman's Turning System to assess the quality of bids for attention and responses. RESULTS:Bids for attention were most often informational (Low Bids) and responses were mostly positive and effortful (Turn Towards); patients and caregivers did not significantly differ in communication behavior. More effortful bids for attention (High Bids) were associated with more positive and effortful responses. Patient communication behaviors were significantly associated with caregiver emotional well-being, whereas caregiver communication behaviors were significantly associated with their own emotional well-being and patient physical health. CONCLUSIONS:While patients may benefit from caregivers' more positive and engaged communication at home, the emotional labor of focusing on and engaging the patient may take a toll on caregivers' own well-being. This work contributes to the understanding of what everyday communication looks like for patients with advanced cancer and their spouse caregivers and how this communication may impact physical and psychological health. Our findings provide a foundation to develop guidelines for psychosocial couple-based interventions.
PMID: 32419243
ISSN: 1099-1611
CID: 4490372

Associations between self-rated physical Health and relationship satisfaction in couples with children

Baucom, Katherine Jw; Giresi, Jill; Heyman, Richard E; Slep, Amy M Smith
The degree to which individual self-rated physical health and concordance of self-rated physical health between partners are associated with relationship satisfaction was examined in a community sample of 399 couples with children. Couples completed self-report assessments of physical health (general health and physical functioning) and relationship satisfaction. Results suggest unique associations between partners' general health and their own relationship satisfaction. Further, higher between-partner concordance in physical functioning was uniquely associated with higher relationship satisfaction in women. Understanding associations between health and relationship processes is crucial and has implications for future research on couple-based interventions to promote physical health.
PMCID:7518011
PMID: 33014407
ISSN: 2055-1029
CID: 4626622

Money matters: an analysis of advanced cancer couples' communication about financial concerns

Xu, Jiayun; Ellington, Lee; Heyman, Richard E; Vadaparampil, Susan T; Reblin, Maija
Even for the insured, cancer treatment can be expensive and financially burdensome for families, especially in advanced disease.
PMID: 31446485
ISSN: 1433-7339
CID: 4054072

Patient aggression toward dental students

Rhoades, Kimberly A; Heyman, Richard E; Eddy, J Mark; Fat, Sammie Jo; Haydt, Nicole C; Glazman, Jacqueline E; Dispirito, Zachary F; Rascon, Allison N; Guerrera, Charlotte M; Wolff, Mark S
Aggression from patients is one of the risks faced by healthcare workers during a typical work week. This risk begins during training. Although rates of patient aggression have been estimated for nursing students and medical residents, studies of aggression toward dental students have not been conducted. To begin to address this knowledge gap, we surveyed 160 D.D.S. student dentists in their third- or fourth years who were attending a large urban college of dentistry during the 2018-2019 academic year. Each class had approximately 375 students, leading to a response rate of 21%. Approximately 28% of students reported experiencing at least 1 instance of physical aggression, 86% reported experiencing at least 1 instance of verbal aggression, and 36% reported experiencing at least 1 instance of reputational aggression. There were no differences in rates of experienced aggression by age or gender, but Hispanic or Latinx students were more likely to experience physical and reputational aggression than non-Hispanic White or Asian students. We discuss implications for dental education, including modifications to training clinic procedures and curriculum additions or modifications that may help prepare students to prevent and address patient aggression within the dental clinic environment.
PMID: 32022267
ISSN: 1930-7837
CID: 4301072

Exploring Mental Health Professionals' Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence-Related Training: Results From a Global Survey

Burns, Samantha C; Kogan, Cary S; Heyman, Richard E; Foran, Heather M; Smith Slep, Amy M; Dominguez-Martinez, Tecelli; Grenier, Jean; Matsumoto, Chihiro; Reed, Geoffrey M
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health problem that has been shown to lead to serious mental health consequences. Due to its frequent co-occurrence with psychiatric disorders, it is important to assess for IPV in mental health settings to improve treatment planning and referral. However, lack of training in how to identify and respond to IPV has been identified as a barrier for the assessment of IPV. The present study seeks to better understand this IPV-related training gap by assessing global mental health professionals' experiences of IPV-related training and factors that contribute to their likelihood of receiving training. Participants were French-, Spanish-, and Japanese-speaking psychologists and psychiatrists (N = 321) from 24 nations differing on variables related to IPV, including IPV prevalence, IPV-related norms, and IPV-related laws. Participants responded to an online survey asking them to describe their experiences of IPV-related training (i.e., components and hours of training) and were asked to rate the frequency with which they encountered IPV in clinical practice and their level of knowledge and experience related to relationship problems; 53.1% of participants indicated that they had received IPV-related training. Clinicians from countries with relatively better implemented laws addressing IPV and those who encountered IPV more often in their regular practice were more likely to have received training. Participants who had received IPV-related training, relative to those without training, were more likely to report greater knowledge and experience related to relationship problems. Findings suggest that clinicians' awareness of IPV and the institutional context in which they practice are related to training. Training, in turn, is associated with subjective appraisals of knowledge and experience related to relationship problems. Increasing institutional efforts to address IPV (e.g., implementing IPV legislation) may contribute to improved practices with regard to IPV in mental health settings.
PMID: 32125216
ISSN: 1552-6518
CID: 4807212

Emotional flooding in response to negative affect in couple conflicts: Individual differences and correlates

Malik, Jill; Heyman, Richard E; Smith Slep, Amy M
This study explored whether individual differences in self-reported emotional flooding were associated with observational behaviors and experienced and displayed anger during a 10-min problem solving discussion. A sample of 233 married or cohabiting couples, comprising 4 groups (distressed with intimate partner violence [IPV], distressed/nonIPV, satisfied/IPV, and satisfied/nonIPV) was recruited via random digit dialing. Consistent with predictions, both men's and women's flooding were positively associated with partners' negative affect variables, including partners' experienced and displayed anger, as well as positively associated with their own anger. A multinomial logistic regression revealed significant differences between flooding in prediction of couples' group status; specifically that higher levels of emotional flooding were reported by distressed and IPV couples compared with other types of couples. Finally, couples that included at least 1 member high on self-reported emotional flooding were less effective in solving problems during the conflict discussion. Implications and future directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
PMID: 31393141
ISSN: 1939-1293
CID: 4034172

Self-reporting DSM-5/ICD-11 clinically significant intimate partner violence and child abuse: Convergent and response process validity

Heyman, Richard E; Snarr, Jeffery D; Slep, Amy M Smith; Baucom, Katherine J W; Linkh, David J
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and International Classification of Diseases-11th Revision (ICD-11; proposed) now include criteria for clinically significant (a) intimate partner violence (IPV) and neglect and (b) child abuse and neglect. However, existing measures of IPV and child abuse do not allow for assessment of established criteria. The current study examines the convergent and response process validity of the Family Maltreatment (FM) measure of clinically significant physical and psychological IPV and child abuse. Participants (N = 126) completed the FM via computer and measures of IPV (Revised Conflict Tactics Scale; Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996) and child abuse (Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scale; Straus, Hamby, Finkelhor, Moore, & Runyan, 1998) via paper-and-pencil. Participants who endorsed acts of aggression on the FM completed an audio-recorded computerized interview recounting the 2 most severe incidents. Verbalized incidents (n = 138) were coded for clinically significant family maltreatment. Results largely supported the convergent validity of the FM. Agreement of acts endorsed on the FM with those endorsed on convergent measures was excellent for IPV and physical child abuse, yet poor for psychological child abuse. Further, in support of the response process validity of the FM, comparison with observer ratings of interviews indicated few "false positives" and no "false negatives" on the FM across the examined types of clinically significant IPV and child abuse. In summary, the FM is a promising measure for the assessment of clinically significant physical and psychological abuse as defined in the DSM-5 and ICD-11 (proposed). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
PMID: 31328945
ISSN: 1939-1293
CID: 3988472

Communication between Advanced Cancer Patients and Their Family Caregivers: Relationship with Caregiver Burden and Preparedness for Caregiving

Otto, Amy K; Ketcher, Dana; Heyman, Richard E; Vadaparampil, Susan T; Ellington, Lee; Reblin, Maija
Cancer impacts spouse caregivers, especially when couples engage in dyadic coping around the cancer. Communication is a key factor in this process. Our goals were to describe cancer-related communication between advanced cancer patients and their spouse caregivers, and to describe how dyadic communication patterns are related to caregivers' reported burden and preparedness for caregiving. Caregivers completed measures of caregiver burden and preparedness for caregiving. Then, the patient and caregiver were asked to interact with each other in two structured discussions: a neutral discussion and a problem discussion focused on cancer. Discussions were coded using the Rapid Marital Interaction Coding System (RMICS2). Caregivers reported moderate levels of preparation and burden. Greater caregiver hostility communication predicted higher levels of caregiver burden, whereas greater caregiver dysphoric affect communication predicted lower levels of caregiver burden. Whereas positivity was more common than hostility in couples' communication, patient hostility was a significant predictor of caregiver preparedness. Patient neutral constructive problem discussion was also associated with increased caregiver preparedness. Caregiver outcomes are an understudied component to dyadic cancer research. Our paper describes observational data on cancer-related communication between caregivers and advanced cancer patients and communication's influence on caregiver outcomes. This work provides the foundation for future evidence-based communication interventions that may influence both patient and caregiver outcomes.
PMID: 31910681
ISSN: 1532-7027
CID: 4271182