Browsing ETDs: Virginia Tech Electronic Theses and Dissertations by Department "Adult Learning and Human Resource Development"
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- Adolescent Trauma Treatment in Integrated Primary Care: A Modified Delphi StudyStephen Premo, Jessica Lynee (Virginia Tech, 2019-06-21)Early stressors like trauma can lead to developmental changes that have life-long negative health consequences (Merikangas et al., 2010; Anda et al., 2006). Approximately 1 in 4 youth experience substantial trauma during their developmental years (Merikangas et al., 2010; Duke, Pettingell, McMorris, and Borowsky, 2010). Such findings suggest the need for early intervention and treatment for adolescents exposed to traumatic events and adversity. Ideally, adolescents could be treated within primary care settings where parents overwhelmingly seek services for their children. Primary care settings are sought out at a 94% to 97% rate of services as compared to only a 4% to 33% rate of parents seeking out mental health services (Guevara et al., 2001). Unfortunately, no adolescent trauma-informed interventions have yet been adapted for use in primary care (Glowa, Olson, and Johnson, 2016). This study aimed to fill this critical gap between adolescent mental health issues associated with trauma and adverse childhood experiences and the lack of treatment in integrated primary care settings. The need for trauma-informed treatment for adolescents who have experienced trauma and adverse experiences is especially salient as evidence-based treatment for adolescents in this setting is limited. A modified Delphi approach was employed to address this gap in the research. Two rounds of questionnaires and focus groups were utilized with a panel of experts and youth stakeholders to gain consensus on treatment recommendations. Ultimately, expert panelists and youth stakeholders identified 59 recommendations for adolescent trauma treatment to be delivered in integrated primary care settings.
- Adult Learning in the Workplace: A Conceptualization and Model of the Corporate UniversityBarley, Karen L. III (Virginia Tech, 1998-04-16)By exploring the historical development and current state of the corporate university through literature reviews, case study analyses, and interviews with corporate university practitioners, this study conceptualizes the corporate university. The shortage of knowledgeable workers in technical areas and rapid advances in technology have energized adult learning in the United States. In response to these changes and needs, many corporations have incorporated formal learning programs into their organizations. As conceptualized in this study, the corporate university is Corporate America's vehicle for providing learning programs to their workers with the goal of developing and maintaining a highly skilled, knowledgeable, and adaptable workforce that contributes to organizational performance. Through an historical development and conceptualization based on interviews with corporate university practitioners and case study analyses, this study also examines the strengths and weaknesses of the corporate university. The corporate university does, in fact, provide a useful and innovative way to reach a portion of the adult learning population. Moreover, the corporate university provides learning initiatives that are related to the adult's current and future role in the workplace. In this way, the learning opportunities provided by the corporate university make the knowledge relevant and accessible to the adult learner. However, the corporate university is not founded on adult learning principles and is chartered to consider corporate success rather than individual development. This purpose endangers the corporate university in that it has the potential to exploit the American workforce by forcing undesired learning opportunities. This study identifies a basic component, partnership, that helps many corporate universities avoid employee exploitation and provide learning opportunities that have meaning to both the individual learners and the organization. The partnership component is foregrounded in a model for program development that is presented in this construct for future and current corporate university planners. The model is not tested in this thesis; however, it has been reviewed and endorsed by a panel of corporate university experts. Provided that partnership is considered and integrated into the approach, this study concludes that the corporate university, as a conceptual and an interactive model, is a useful vehicle for reaching the adult learner and for preparing and maintaining an American workforce able to manage change and remain competitive.
- Antecedents and Consequences of Parent Technology Use in Parents of Young ChildrenDevine, Diana Michelle (Virginia Tech, 2024-01-10)The availability of and access to technology has been steadily increasing in recent years. Especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology use in some form is almost a daily occurrence in the United States (Vargo et al., 2021). A growing body of work has been examining familial technoference, which include interruptions to family interactions due to technology use, and a sub-focus of this research has specifically focused on parent-child relationships and technological interruptions. Using a comprehensive theoretical approach including an update to the process model of parenting (Belsky, 1984; Taraban and Shaw, 2018) and support from both attachment theory (Ainsworth et al., 1978; Bowlby, 1969) and ecological theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1977; Bronfenbrenner and Ceci, 1994), the current research examined the role of technology in parent-child interactions with parents of two-year-old children. In Study 1, constructs of parental technoference were explored in parents of children between 24-26 months of age to evaluate latent factors of parent technology use from 60 indicators and to identify parent and family characteristics that might predict the factors of technology use. A nationally recruited online sample of 323 parents of two-year-old children completed a set of questionnaires online to examine constructs of parental technology use and predictors of those constructs for Study 1. A CFA was conducted to evaluate the model fit of multiple indicators of parent technology use loading onto four predicted latent factors: Problematic Technology Use, Technoference with Child and Family, Social Support through Technology, and Technology Use as Regulation. The hypothesized model had poor fit, and an Exploratory Factor Analysis was conducted. In the final model, only 35 indicators emerged as significant factors to be included in the final model to map onto five latent constructs: Missing Out due to Technology, Problematic Technology Behaviors, Preoccupation with Technology, Positive Parenting through Technology, and Social Support through Technology. The final latent constructs parsed apart the predicted Problematic Technology Use into distinct constructs of thought (Preoccupation with Technology), behavior (Problematic Technology Behaviors), and consequence (Missing Out due to Technology), while items from the predicted Technoference with Child and Family mapped onto the more general Missing Out due to Technology (in various contexts, not just that within the family). Items from the predicted Technology Use as Regulation and Social Support through Technology mapped closely onto the Positive Parenting through Technology and Social Support through Technology constructs, respectively, albeit with fewer significant factor loadings than predicted. Next, predictors of the latent constructs (perceived stress, social support, parenting satisfaction, parenting self-efficacy, and both parent and child effortful control) were examined. SEM was conducted to determine predictors of these constructs of technology use. Perceived stress was a significant predictor of all five latent constructs. Parenting self-efficacy was a significant predictor of Problematic Technology Behaviors, Positive Parenting through Technology, and Social Support through Technology. Parenting satisfaction was a significant predictor of Problematic Technology Behaviors, Preoccupation with Technology, Positive Parenting through Technology, and Social Support through Technology. Social support was not a significant predictor of any latent constructs. Parent self-regulation was a significant predictor of Missing Out due to Technology and Positive Parenting through Technology. Child self-regulation was a significant predictor of Preoccupation with Technology, Positive Parenting through Technology, and Social Support through Technology. These findings demonstrate that there are distinct patterns of parental technology use that are differentially related to parent and family characteristics. This insight into characteristics that are associated with distinct types of technology use can be helpful in the development of targeted intervention for parents seeking to change their technology use behaviors. In Study 2, the impacts of parent technology use on parent behavior during parent-child interactions were examined through a repeated measures analysis of variance (RMANOVA) and Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). In a randomized experimental design, 57 primary caregivers of 30–36-month-old children participated in three 5-minute free play sessions with their child in these conditions: control (no technology), television, and smartphone. Parent engagement with technology was scored in each condition, as well as parental sensitivity and involvement. First, RMANOVAs were conducted to explore differences in proportions of parent involvement with child play by condition and mean differences in parental sensitivity. There were significant differences in proportions of levels of parent involvement by condition; however, there were no differences in mean levels of parent sensitivity by condition. Due to a significant interaction between proportions of levels of involvement and order of condition, an HLM was conducted to control for change over time and isolate influences of condition on parent behavior. When time was controlled, there was significant negative effect of TV and a significant negative effect of smartphones on parental involvement. Overall, the findings from Study 2 demonstrated that caregivers are less involved with child play when technology is present, and especially so when smartphones are involved. Though there was not an overall effect of technology on caregiver sensitivity, further analysis did reveal that caregivers who attended to technology did have lower sensitivity scores than caregivers who did not attend to technology. The findings from this study replicate prior experimental work examining the role of background TV on caregiver-child interactions and extend findings to include the negative effect of smartphones on caregiver-child interactions. Together, the two studies provide further insight into parental technology use, understanding both antecedents and consequences of parent technology use in contribution to the overall knowledge of the mechanisms through which parent technology use relates to parenting and parent-child interactions. The findings from these studies combined can be used to develop targeted interventions for caregivers who are interested in making decisions about technology use within their families that are aligned with healthy developmental outcomes.
- Appalachian Church Leaders: An IPA Study to Understand Their Experiences with Substance MisuseThomas, Michael Evan (Virginia Tech, 2020-03-06)The region of Appalachia in the United States is a diverse region that is full of beauty, mountains, art, and culture. Due to a history of abuse from large corporations, the impact of the decline in coal mining and generational poverty, the region is currently on a road toward recovery. Substance misuse rates are disproportionality high, and there are limited resources available to address the issue. Literature suggests that church leaders may be a potential resource. The goal of the study was to provide a better understanding of the substance misuse epidemic through the eyes of church leaders. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guided this qualitative study. Church leaders (n = 10) were interviewed and four significant themes emerged: narratives used to describe their experiences with substance misuse, the stigma associated with substance misuse, the community impact that substance misuse has on Appalachia, and the lack of understanding and need for training on substance misuse for church leaders and healthcare practitioners. The results of the study are discussed and connected to discussions of the implications for clinical practice, recommendations for further research, and limitations of the study.
- The Association between Early Care and Education and Midlife Outcomes: The Abecedarian 5th Decade Follow-upSonnier-Netto, Mary Elizabeth (Virginia Tech, 2018-04-26)This dissertation focuses on the midlife adjustment of individuals from a longitudinal study in its 5th decade of follow-up. The Abecedarian Project, a prospective randomized control trial (RCT), began in 1972 with the primary goal of preventing cognitive impairments and school failure in children born into impoverished families with multiple risk factors by randomly assigning 111 infants to either an early education (n = 57) or control group (n = 54). This dissertation reports midlife outcomes at ages 39 – 45 for 42 individuals who received the early education treatment and 36 who were controls. This dissertation focuses on two primary hypotheses within a twojournal manuscript format. The first primary hypothesis of this dissertation is that the Abecedarian early education intervention will increase the number of successful outcomes over the lifespan, showing the cumulative effect of positive experiences (Sameroff, 2009) and a sense of personal efficacy (Dweck, 2008; Seeman, 1959). The second primary hypothesis of this dissertation is that response contingent learning and being an active agent in early cognitive and social settings during the first five years of life will provide a strong foundation for future perceptions of control over important areas in one’s life (Furnham & Steele, 1993; Walden & Ramey, 1983; Wallston, Wallston, & DeVellis, 1978). The analysis of midlife indices of strength and risk reveal results favoring the treatment group compared to the controls on both the Midlife Strengths Index (F (1,76) = 15.85, p = .000) and the Midlife Risk Index (F (1,76 = 8.88, p = .004). Additionally, a significant interaction exists between group assignment and IQ at age 48 months for the Midlife Strengths Index (β = -.215, p < .05). Analyses of Locus of Control scales reveal that the control group reports “powerful others” have more influence on both their health behaviors (F (1, 76) = 3.962, p = .05) on the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale and their economic behaviors (F (1, 76) = 5.146, p = .026) within the Economic Locus of Control Scale. Additionally, the control group reported more external economic locus of control than the treatment group with a marginal statistical significance (F (1, 76) = 3.359, p = .071). Results are consistent with the conclusion for children born into multi-risk, economically impoverished families there are lifelong benefits of receiving high-quality early care and education that extend into the midlife years.
- Bisexual Relationships: Investigating the Impact of Attitudes Regarding Bisexuality on Relationship Satisfaction Among Female Same-Gender CouplesNedela, Mary Rachel (Virginia Tech, 2020-01-30)Bisexual individuals experience negativity toward their identities from heterosexual as well as gay and lesbian individuals. While there is a large body of research on the negative mental health consequences due to bi-negativity among individuals who identify as bisexual, little research exists exploring the relational impacts of bi-negativity. Informed by symbolic interaction theory and minority stress theory, this study investigated the impacts of attitudes regarding bisexuality on relationship satisfaction in female same-gender couples with at least one bisexual-identified individual through the following research questions: (a) How, if at all, do the attitudes toward bisexuality of individual partners influence perceptions of relationship satisfaction? and (b) How do partners negotiate the influence of attitudes toward bisexuality on their relationship? To address these questions, data from semi-structured interviews of eight female same-gender couples were analyzed using constructivist grounded theory methodology. Findings indicated that couples moved through a process of the following: pre-relationship factors, relationship formation, relational emotion work, and shared relational meaning. Couples additionally are influenced in each phase of the process by macrosystemic oppressions. Clinical implications to assist mental health professionals better serve these couples were determined.
- Characteristics of Residential Adult Learning in the FBI National Academy Learning Environment and the Impact on Participant's Attitude of SatisfactionChristenberry, Thomas Catron (Virginia Tech, 2004-09-15)Using the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) 212 th session of the National Academy, a residential adult learning environment, as a case study and the 1996 research on participant's perception of residential adult learning environments by Dr. Jean Anderson Fleming, this study examined the relationship among the characteristics (overarching themes: detachment and continuity and descriptive themes: building relationships in residence, learning in residence, and individual change in residence) and how this relationship impacts the participant's attitude of satisfaction with the program. A 33-item Likert scale, developed by the researcher, was used to collect the data from 244 police officers and the Kropp-Verner Attitude Scale was used for measuring the overall participant attitude of satisfaction with the residential learning environment. Demographic data were also collected from the participants to provide an overall profile of the respondents and each police officer had the opportunity to respond to an open-ended question at the end of the survey. Six hypotheses formed the basis of the study and were investigated through bivariate and multivariate analysis. Univariate analysis was used to describe and summarize the collected demographic data, as well as the frequency responses to each statement by the participants, while multivariate analysis was used to determine the best model for the prediction of satisfaction. Positive relationships existed between each of the five independent variables (detachment, continuity, building relationships in residence, learning in residence, and individual change in residence) and the dependent variable, satisfaction. The overarching themes of detachment and continuity were combined to form a new variable, DECONTI. Individually, (bivariate regression) DECONTI was the most significant predictor of satisfaction, while building relationships in residence exhibited no significance. Multivariate analysis (standard and stepwise regression) suggested that the model of DECONTI, learning in residence, and individual change was the best predictor of satisfaction. The analysis of the characteristics of residential adult learning environments and their impact on participant satisfaction was quantitatively supported in this study. The results of this study supported the assertions of Fleming, the literature, and the research questions, while offering new observations and insights into the effectiveness of residential adult learning environments.
- A Daily Diary Investigation of the Impact of Flexible Work Arrangements on Physical Activity Among University StaffBorowski, Shelby (Virginia Tech, 2019-06-07)The goal of this investigation was to examine personal and environmental factors that may influence levels of daily physical activity in a sample of university staff employees who use flexible work arrangements (flextime or telework). Our first aim was to investigate the link between self-efficacy, perceived barriers, and flexible work arrangements on daily physical activity. Our second aim was to investigate the link between work stress, job burnout, work-to-family conflict and flexible work arrangements on physical activity. Lastly, we investigated if the use of flexible work arrangements buffered the relationship between barriers, as well as job burnout, on physical activity. University staff employees who worked full-time, currently used a flexible work arrangement, lived with at least one family member were eligible to participate. Using a daily diary design, data were collected from 61 university staff employees. Participants completed an initial survey followed by daily diaries over the course of one workweek, resulting in 281 diary days. Data were analyzed with multilevel negative binomial models. Daily barriers and use of flextime were associated with lower physical activity. Self-efficacy, telework, work stress, and work-to-family conflict were not significantly associated with daily physical activity. Flexible work arrangements did not moderate the association between barriers and physical activity. However, flextime moderated the association between job burnout and physical activity. Individuals with high job burnout engaged in more physical activity on flextime days compared to non-flexible workdays. Implications regarding physical activity, flexible work arrangements, and workplace wellness programs are discussed.
- Economic Strain and Remarried Couples: Actor-Partner Interdependence Modeling of the Indirect Effects of Financial Conflict on Economic Strain and Marital OutcomesCarrese, Domenica Holzle (Virginia Tech, 2020-06-02)Remarriages account for about one third of all marriages in the United States, however the research on remarried couple outcomes is limited, particularly with regard to finances and financial conflict. The family economic stress model theorizes that economic hardship promotes economic strain, which in turn promotes emotional distress and conflict patterns that have negative impacts on relationship satisfaction and relationship stability. This study used secondary cross-sectional dyadic data to conduct an actor-partner interdependence path analysis of 158 remarried couples to examine the direct and indirect effects of each spouse's perception of economic strain on their own marital satisfaction and stability, as well as on their spouse's marital satisfaction and stability, with financial conflict as an intermediary variable. Tests for indirect effects indicated that financial conflict strongly influences the relationship between economic strain and the marital outcomes (i.e., satisfaction and stability); none of the direct paths between economic strain and the marital outcomes were significant when accounting for financial conflict as a mechanism. Results indicated that, in the context of a remarriage, a person's perception of how much they have conflict about finances is a key mechanism that explains the association between that person's perception of economic strain and their marital satisfaction and stability, regardless of household income and marriage length. Clinicians who lack specific training in financial management but work with remarried couples experiencing economic strain and financial conflict may still be able to intervene effectively to improve relationship quality by helping spouses reduce interpersonal conflict.
- The Effects of Out-of-Home Placement on the School Engagement of Maltreated ChildrenReichard, Kasey Danielle (Virginia Tech, 2019-06-11)Children in the child welfare system face a multitude of challenges following maltreatment. These children frequently go on to report poor outcomes in many facets of their life, including education. It is thought that children who are removed from their home following maltreatment and placed in out-of-home placement (OHP), experience even more challenges due to their removal from their home and environment. The literature surrounding maltreated children's educational outcomes suggest that these children struggle in school when compared to children who have not experienced maltreatment. However, literature surrounding the educational outcomes of maltreated children who experience OHP, versus maltreated children who do not experience OHP, tend to collectively present with mixed results. The purpose of this study was to isolate the effect of OHP on the educational outcome of, school engagement, to get a clearer picture of how OHP affects the educational outcomes of maltreated children. This study utilized data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW II) with a total sample of 1,490 children. Propensity score matching was employed to isolate the effect of OHP on school engagement. The results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in the school engagement of maltreated children who experience OHP, when compared to the school engagement on maltreated children who remain in-home. Direction for future research, and clinical implications are addressed.
- Emotional Intimacy in Transition: Interpersonal Processes in Transgender-Cisgender Romantic RelationshipsSmithee, Lauren (Virginia Tech, 2021-06-17)Relationships in which one partner is transgender are disproportionately challenging compared to other LGBQ+ relationships (Gamarel et al., 2014; Pulice-Farrow et al., 2017). While research has yet to examine how transgender-cisgender couples experience emotional intimacy, it is theorized that this process may be critical for relationship health during gender transition. This study explored how transgender-cisgender couples experience emotional intimacy during their transition process. Symbolic interactionism was used to examine the questions: (1) How do perceptions of couple emotional intimacy influence how each partner assigns meaning to their experiences with transitioning? and (2) How do partners communicate about their emotional experiences during their transition process? Constructivist grounded theory was used to analyze individual interviews with 20 transgender and cisgender participants (ten couples) using group-level analysis. The process model that emerged from the data indicated that transgender and cisgender partners experienced emotional tensions internally and within their relationships as they created meaning from their experiences with transitioning. Tensions created pathways for partners to emotionally withdraw from or engage in communication about their experiences. Communication processes ebbed and flowed as partners created meaning for their relationship in transition. When couples engaged in communication, they created shared meaning about their experiences and strengthened emotional intimacy. Data revealed that these processes of building and sustaining emotional intimacy were interactional and iterative. Recommendations for research and clinical work with these couples are provided, in light of these findings.
- An Examination of the Nature and Experience of Community Collaboration in Extension Education for At-Risk Populations in VirginiaBoard, Barbara A. (Virginia Tech, 2005-04-27)For several decades, a growing realization has evolved that a single entity often cannot address complex issues. Collaboration has been touted as an effective approach to addressing such issues and is generally defined as multiple parties jointly identifying problems, developing a shared vision for addressing those problems, and sharing resources and responsibilities for a determined solution. In spite of the growing literature regarding collaboration, the predominant focus has been on advocacy, leaving a void in the literature concerning the processes and behaviors involved in establishing community collaboration. In essence, the importance of collaboration is widely recognized; how to collaborate is not as noted. Therefore, it is essential to examine the experience of community collaboration. The purpose of this study was to investigate a collaborative community experience in the context of extension education for children, youth, and families at risk in four localities in Virginia. The following research questions were addressed: a) What has been the nature and experience of collaboration for Extension Leadership councils (ELCs) involved with children, youth, and families at risk (CYFAR) projects; b) What has contributed to successful collaboration in Extension education with the CYFAR projects; and c) What have been the challenges to collaboration for the CYFAR projects? The qualitative case study design utilized in-depth face-to-face interviews with seventeen community representatives in the selected localities involved in the experience. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcriptions were analyzed to determine themes, patterns, and common ways of thinking. Findings, which revealed that ELCs were primarily involved in situation analysis, illuminated the following perceived contributions to successful collaboration: having a process for involvement, addressing a need, commitment of those involved, leadership, and paid staff. Challenges to collaboration were identified as lack of time to commit, lack of understanding of collaboration, and pre-existing ways of thinking and acting. The results have implications for Cooperative Extension understanding how ELC involvement can occur in programming and the collaborative nature of their educational process with the community. The findings will also contribute to human service providers' understanding of contributions and challenges to collaboration and to the emerging body of knowledge on collaboration.
- Examining the relationship among context, cognition, and conflict management in the workplaceNussbaum, Barbara B. (Virginia Tech, 2009-02-27)Conflict is a component of interpersonal interactions, neither inevitable nor innately bad, but often commonplace (Deutsch & Coleman, 2000; Schellenberg, 1996). Conflict interactions that occur in the workplace can impact individuals, relationships, and the organization as a whole. This experimental study was framed from a contingency perspective to examine the extent to which specific contextual variables of a workplace conflict would influence participant responses in that interaction. During the study, 389 individuals responded to an online questionnaire containing a description of a hypothetical workplace conflict interaction with one level of three manipulated context variables (i.e., conflict type, verb abstraction level, and sex of parties). The context variables were hypothesized to influence participants' responses that included attitudes toward the interaction, subjective norms, appraisals of personal control and external control, and attributions of the locus of causality. This cognitive set of variables was hypothesized to explain respondents' behavioral intentions in that conflict. The four conflict behavioral intentions used in this study were control, nonconfrontation, compromise, and integrate. Analyses of the data included multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), canonical correlation analysis, and hierarchical multiple regression. The results of MANOVA were that context had modest effects on cognition and behavioral intention, examined in separate analyses. The conflict type, using a task versus relationship categorization, appeared to be the most salient of the context variables having effects on many of the cognitive measures in this study. Two other contextual variables, sex of conflict initiator and abstraction level of the verbs used to describe the conflict scenario had statistically significant results, but much lesser effects. The sex of the respondent played a minimal role in a statistically significant 3-way interaction with abstraction-level and sex of initiator. The cognitive variables together explained 29% of the variance in the set of conflict behavioral intentions using canonical correlation analysis. When the data were analyzed with hierarchical multiple regression, the context and cognitive variables explained statistically significant proportions of the variance in each behavioral intention that ranged from 7% (of control), 15% (of nonconfrontation), 19% (of compromise), to 20% (of integrate). Different patterns of context and cognitive variables influenced each of the conflict behavioral intentions. These findings present a challenge to hold two ideas together, the context and the individual, in future research and current practice. The results of this study lend support to a contingency perspective that aspects of the context, when salient to a party in the conflict, will have effects on participant responses in that interaction.
- The Experience of Being Partnered With a Couples Therapist: A Qualitative InquiryMiller, Christine Marie (Virginia Tech, 2018-06-21)This qualitative phenomenological study explored the experience of being in a romantic relationship with a couples therapist. Fourteen spouses participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using descriptive phenomenology and themes were identified through meaning units. A majority of spouses experienced ambiguity on whether aspects of their couple relationship were influenced by their therapist partner’s profession or their therapist partner’s personality. Aspects of the therapist partner’s career did spillover into the couple’s relationship, such as limited time spent together, finances, confidentiality, and their therapist partner’s relationship expertise. Spouses talked about the benefits of their therapist partner’s expertise to their couple relationship, such as their therapist partner’s advice and relational skills. At the same time that spouses wanted their therapist partner’s expertise to be present in the couple relationship, spouses also did not want their therapist partner to be their therapist. Nevertheless, spouses felt pride and protectiveness of their therapist partner’s profession. Spouses helped their therapist partner by supporting, listening, and encouraging their partner’s profession. Clinical implications and directions of future research were addressed.
- Exploring Sibling Relationships in Latino/a/x Immigrant FamiliesAlmeyda, Patricia Christina (Virginia Tech, 2021-01-15)Siblings are the longest lasting relationships most individuals may experience in their life. What makes sibling relationships unique is the overlap of both shared and unshared experiences. While there is limited research on the mechanisms behind sibling relationships in general, research on Latino/a/x sibling relationships is even more limited. The limited research on Latino/a/x siblings from immigrant families has found they have an impact on each other's cultural adaptations. The current study explored the influence of the acculturation cultural adaptation processes to the U.S. and how this adaptation may impact Latino/a/x sibling relationships. Semi-structured dyadic interviews were conducted with eight sibling dyads (N = 8) and dyadic analysis methods from Tkachuk et al. (2019) were used to analyze the qualitative data. The findings suggest that the sibling relationship is influenced by parental and cultural expectations, unique experiences pertaining to growing up (e.g., sibling positionality), and their shared experiences of growing up in the United States (i.e., shared cultural navigation). Findings regarding the importance of family are congruent with current literature on Latino/a/x immigrant families and a new finding that emerged related to the validation of younger siblings on the experiences of the older siblings. Clinical implications suggest clinicians familiarizing themselves with cross-cultural sibling relationships and the benefits of having siblings in therapy. Limitations and recommendations for future study are discussed.
- Exploring the Impact of Work-Related Traumatic Stress on Law Enforcement CouplesCampbell, Avery Renee (Virginia Tech, 2020-07-23)Studies exploring the impact of work-related traumatic stress on law enforcement couples are limited. Such studies suggest that when work-related traumatic stress impacts law enforcement professionals, their spouses may experience secondary traumatic stress and serve in a supportive role following trauma exposure. Grounded in secondary traumatic stress theory, this study explored the impact of work-related traumatic stress on law enforcement couples. Semi-structured dyadic interviews were conducted with law enforcement couples (N = 7) using transcendental phenomenology. Three themes emerged within the data that captured the essence of law enforcement couple experiences of work-related traumatic stress: (1) the stressful nature of the law enforcement profession, (2) the impact of work-related traumatic stress on the couple relationship, and (3) resilient couple characteristics. The impact of work-related traumatic stress manifested in couple's communication, role responsibilities and parenting, and commitment to the relationship and the profession. Whereas the impact of work-related traumatic events differed for the law enforcement professional and their spouse based on the type of traumatic event, overall work-related traumatic stress led couples to engage in a meaning making process and activation of resilient couple coping characteristics. Given the significant impact that work-related traumatic stress has on the law enforcement couple dyad, couples therapy interventions are needed for law enforcement professionals and their spouses.
- Family Experiences of Single Sexual Minority Women from the Baby BoomLavender-Stott, Erin Suzanne (Virginia Tech, 2018-04-30)Most individuals spend more than half their lives as single due to divorce, widowhood, and remaining single (Simpson, 2016). Singlehood, in general, has meant not being in a heterosexual relationship. Historically, lesbian women have been considered single because their relationships were not legally recognized. Single women and lesbian women have had more choices to live outside heterosexual marriage, financially and with social acceptability, in the later portion of the 20th century and in the early 21st century than previously. Single sexual minority women of the baby boom came of age during this time and are beginning to plan for and enter into old age. This study used qualitative methods to study how single sexual minority women of the baby boom cohort defined family and planned for their later years. Women from the baby boom cohort who are currently single and identify as a sexual minority were connected to their family of origin and extended families in their youth, focused on romantic relationships during adulthood, and currently identify their family as biological and chosen family. The women had formal and informal plans for their future as they continue to age. Limitations, future directions, and implications are also discussed.
- Family Processes in Family Group ChatsResor, Jessica M. (Virginia Tech, 2021-09-28)Family group chats are a popular form of technology-mediated communication. Family group chats represent an understudied area of family communication. In this qualitative multi-method study, I aimed to investigate how and why families use family group chats and how family processes are enacted within them. This grounded theory study was informed by family systems theory and uses and gratifications theory. Families participated in multi family member group interviews and were invited to submit the last one-month's history of their family group chat. Forty-nine participants from thirteen families across the United States participated in this study. I identified four themes from the data: (1) entering the chat, (2) growing and aging with the group chat, (3) accepting terms and conditions, and (4) holding the invisible string. I present a theoretical explanation of how these themes interact. Family group chats held a significant place in family life that extended family members' availability to one another and kept them in near constant contact, even when they were separated by geographic distance. I propose the possibility of family group chats as a protective factor to increase family functioning. This research generates future directions for the field and has implications for families, professionals who work with families, and group chat application developers. It provides one of the earliest investigations into family group chats from a family science perspective.
- Gender Role Reversal: Civilian Husbands of United States Military Servicewomen Defining Masculinity as Tied-Migrant WorkersDowling, Laura Emily (Virginia Tech, 2020-06-02)Employment of male spouses of female service members in the United States military (i.e., civilian husbands of servicewomen) is frequently affected when they geographically relocate due to their wives' military service. Because of persisting societal norms for husbands as primary breadwinners in marriages and the majority of military couples being comprised of male service members married to female civilian spouses, civilian husbands of servicewomen may experience a gender role reversal in their identity as a spouse and as a provider within their relationships and military culture. This qualitative study examined the experiences of civilian husbands of servicewomen in their positions as tied-migrant workers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 civilian husbands who experienced at least one geographic relocation due to their wife's military service. Descriptive phenomenological analysis was used to discover the essence of participants' experiences. Themes around defining masculinity, being a minority in the military, and being a non-traditional gender provider in a tied-migrant worker role emerged. Participants expanded their masculine identities to include performing traditionally feminine tasks as well as placing value on egalitarianism in their spousal relationships when they experience barriers to breadwinning. Limitations (e.g., predominantly White and exclusively heterosexual sample, potential biases in recruitment and analysis, no explicit exploration of how gender role reversal and mental health intersect) and directions for future research to resolve limitations and expand on the current study are presented. Clinical recommendations for psychotherapists are provided with an emphasis on using emotionally focused therapy with couples consisting of civilian husbands and servicewomen.
- Grandfamilies and Grandchild Adverse Childhood Experiences: An Examination of Service Needs, Utilization, and Best PracticesStucki, Bradford David (Virginia Tech, 2022-05-31)Grandfamilies, or families in which grandparents are raising their grandchildren, often form due to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) experienced by the grandchildren. ACEs have been linked to multiple negative short- and long-term behavioral and emotional consequences for children. Yet, having an ACE history does not guarantee negative outcomes, as protective factors such as positive relationships with a safe and caring adult, healthy family functioning, and utilization of formal services can mitigate the negative effects of ACEs. Researchers have regularly called on families to seek timely intervention and services for ACEs; however, many grandparents raising grandchildren report negative interactions with service providers as well as service delivery. Limited research has explored the extent to which grandfamilies with ACEs may have experienced similar interactions while seeking and using formal services. Guided by Andersen's (1995) Behavioral Model of Health Service Use, this qualitative study sought to explore (1) the service needs of grandchildren with an ACE history who are being raised by their grandparents; (2) the service needs of grandparents raising grandchildren with an ACE history; (3) the process of seeking services when grandparents raising a grandchild with an ACE history look for services for their grandchild; and (4) best practices for delivering services to grandfamilies with an ACE history. The research questions were primarily addressed through via interviewing 10 grandparents from Central Appalachia who were raising a grandchild with an ACE history and by conducting two focus groups of 8 to 12 formal service providers with experience working with grandparents raising grandchildren with an ACE history. Interview data were analyzed using grounded theory and focus group data were analyzed through thematic analysis. Study findings indicated that grandchildren have emotional and developmental needs. Grandparents described needs related to the emotional impact of raising a grandchild with an ACE history, family and parent involvement, and parenting a grandchild with an ACE history. Study results also highlighted how grandparents can expect to encounter barriers throughout the service seeking and delivery process. Study results also highlighted the critical nature of having a strong relationship with a service provider and the importance of a service provider reducing barriers, being attentive to grandfamily needs, and involving the grandparent in the treatment process. Finally, results from the focus groups revealed best practices such as providing grandparents with education on ACEs, being aware of intergenerational ACE cycles, and engaging in assessment and intervention when working with this population. Implications for clinical practice as well as directions for future research are discussed.