Publications by authors named "Amy M Bohnert"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on weekdays versus weekend days: a multi-country analysis.

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2021 02 10;18(1):28. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

MRC Epidemiology Unit & Centre for Diet and Activity Research, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Purpose: The Structured Days Hypothesis (SDH) posits that children's behaviors associated with obesity - such as physical activity - are more favorable on days that contain more 'structure' (i.e., a pre-planned, segmented, and adult-supervised environment) such as school weekdays, compared to days with less structure, such as weekend days. The purpose of this study was to compare children's moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) levels on weekdays versus weekend days using a large, multi-country, accelerometer-measured physical activity dataset.

Methods: Data were received from the International Children's Accelerometer Database (ICAD) July 2019. The ICAD inclusion criteria for a valid day of wear, only non-intervention data (e.g., baseline intervention data), children with at least 1 weekday and 1 weekend day, and ICAD studies with data collected exclusively during school months, were included for analyses. Mixed effects models accounting for the nested nature of the data (i.e., days within children) assessed MVPA minutes per day (min/day MVPA) differences between weekdays and weekend days by region/country, adjusted for age, sex, and total wear time. Separate meta-analytical models explored differences by age and country/region for sex and child weight-status.

Results/findings: Valid data from 15 studies representing 5794 children (61% female, 10.7 ± 2.1 yrs., 24% with overweight/obesity) and 35,263 days of valid accelerometer data from 5 distinct countries/regions were used. Boys and girls accumulated 12.6 min/day (95% CI: 9.0, 16.2) and 9.4 min/day (95% CI: 7.2, 11.6) more MVPA on weekdays versus weekend days, respectively. Children from mainland Europe had the largest differences (17.1 min/day more MVPA on weekdays versus weekend days, 95% CI: 15.3, 19.0) compared to the other countries/regions. Children who were classified as overweight/obese or normal weight/underweight accumulated 9.5 min/day (95% CI: 6.9, 12.2) and 10.9 min/day (95% CI: 8.3, 13.5) of additional MVPA on weekdays versus weekend days, respectively.

Conclusions: Children from multiple countries/regions accumulated significantly more MVPA on weekdays versus weekend days during school months. This finding aligns with the SDH and warrants future intervention studies to prioritize less-structured days, such as weekend days, and to consider providing opportunities for all children to access additional opportunities to be active.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12966-021-01095-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7877033PMC
February 2021

School as a Protective Setting for Excess Weight Gain and Child Obesity: A Meta-Analysis.

J Sch Health 2021 Jan 5;91(1):19-28. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660.

Background: The structure provided by school settings even with no specific obesity-intervention may prevent weight gain. This meta-analytic study considered this premise by examining weight outcomes from control groups in published randomized controlled trials of school-year obesity-related interventions conducted in-school and out-of-school.

Methods: A systematic review and random-effects meta-analysis were conducted in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Databases were systematically searched and resulted in 1976 unique citations, with 14 retained for analysis. Analyses examined the change in weight outcomes among control group participants.

Results: For studies (N = 6) reporting body mass index (BMI) (kg/m ) the overall standardized mean difference (SMD) from pre- to post-intervention was 0.085 (raw units 0.278 kg/m ); for studies (N = 9) reporting zBMI, the SMD was 0.022 (0.020 z-scores), for studies (N = 2) reporting waist circumference (cm), the SMD was 0.149 (1.609 cm); for studies (N = 2) reporting BMI percentile, the SMD was 0.064 (0.985 percentiles); and for studies (N = 1) reporting percent body fat, the SMD was 0.031 (0.30 percentage).

Conclusions: Children assigned to control conditions (as part of school-based obesity-related interventions) experience, on average, minimal changes in weight outcomes during the school year. Therefore, routine practices of schools may protect against unhealthy weight gains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12972DOI Listing
January 2021

Binge eating, but not dietary restraint, moderates the association between unhealthy food marketing exposure and sugary food consumption.

Eat Behav 2020 08 20;38:101401. Epub 2020 May 20.

Loyola University Chicago, United States of America.

Restrained eaters, those who exercise dietary restraint and often experience dietary lapses, may be particularly susceptible to food marketing. Findings are mixed as to whether restrained eaters consume more food after exposure to unhealthy food marketing, and little is known about whether food marketing may have more impact on those who exercise successful dietary restraint as compared with those who experience dietary lapses, such as binge eating. In the current study, participants were 38 young women, ages 18-22 years old. Both dietary restraint and binge eating were measured by the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire. Participants viewed both unhealthy food commercials and non-food commercials two separate times in the laboratory, and ad libitum candy intake was subsequently measured. Results indicated that participants who endorsed binge eating ate significantly more candy than those who did not endorse binge eating after they viewed unhealthy food commercials F (1, 35) = 20.49, p < .001, η2 = 0.37, but not after viewing non-food commercials. No significant differences in candy eaten emerged when comparing those who endorsed dietary restraint as compared to those who did not, regardless of commercial type. Findings demonstrate the importance of specific operational definitions of restrained eating to consider the differences between those who report binge eating, and those who do not. They also suggest that individuals who engage in binge eating may be particularly susceptible to overeating in response to unhealthy food marketing, marking a possible area for intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2020.101401DOI Listing
August 2020

Variability of Sleep and Relations to Body Weight Among First-Year College Students.

Int J Behav Med 2021 Apr;28(2):227-237

Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, USA.

Background: Existing research suggests that greater sleep variability may increase risk for weight gain. College often marks a transition to a less consistent daily schedule, which may adversely impact sleep routines and further increase risk for weight gain. The current study is among the first to explore relations between nighttime sleep variability and daytime sleep (napping) and body weight among first-year college students.

Methods: Using daily diary methods, first-year college students (N = 307; 84.7% female) self-reported their sleep for seven days. Several indices were created to capture sleep variability for reported bedtime, wake time, and sleep duration, including weekday versus weekend differences (WvW), day to day differences (D2D), and overall standard deviation (SD). Napping was also assessed. Based on body mass index (BMI), individuals were categorized as underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese.

Results: Across indices, students' sleep varied over an hour on average across the week. Hierarchical regressions revealed that greater differences in wake time D2D, wake time SD, and sleep duration WvW were all associated with higher BMI, after accounting for gender, depressive symptoms, and sleep duration. Longer napping was also associated with higher BMI, using the same covariates. Finally, greater sleep variability was reported by overweight and obese than healthy weight individuals.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that sleep variability, particularly wake times and napping may be important modifiable sleep behaviors to investigate in future studies. More longitudinal research is needed to explore relations between multiple facets of sleep variability and weight gain, including possible mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12529-020-09888-3DOI Listing
April 2021

Examining childhood obesity through the lens of developmental psychopathology: Framing the issues to guide best practices in research and intervention.

Am Psychol 2020 Feb-Mar;75(2):163-177

Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan.

Rates of childhood overweight and obesity among youth in the United States remain historically high and can persist into adulthood, resulting in increased health care expenditures, comorbidities, and reduced quality of life. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how principles drawn from developmental psychopathology (DP) can be applied to enhance current conceptualizations of obesity risk during childhood and beyond. DP is a theoretical perspective that has reshaped the landscape of childhood mental health by using principles of developmental science to model complex processes leading to maladaptation or dysfunction with biological, psychological, and contextual roots. This article focuses on 2 broad interrelated DP tenets: (a) examination of developmental pathways considered both normative and nonnormative as well as processes of individual variation and the nature of developmental change and (b) articulation of complex transactional and transformational processes over time that incorporate both biobehavioral and social-contextual factors embedded in multilevel models. By illustrating how these DP tenets can expand on current childhood obesity knowledge, this article offers a novel perspective that closely aligns central developmental processes with childhood obesity risk and may enrich conceptual models and spark new directions for childhood obesity research, leading ultimately to more effective intervention and prevention efforts necessary to slow or, ideally, reverse, the obesity epidemic. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/amp0000581DOI Listing
January 2021

Chronic Stress and Food Insecurity: Examining Key Environmental Family Factors Related to Body Mass Index Among Low-Income Mexican-Origin Youth.

Fam Community Health 2019 Jul/Sep;42(3):213-220

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.

Low-income children of Mexican immigrants are at high risk for obesity. Drawing on a sample of 104 Mexican American children (Mage = 8.39 years; 61% female), this longitudinal study considered relations between food insecurity and chronic stress (ie, parent report and hair cortisol measurement) on body mass index (BMI) and examined whether stress moderated associations between food insecurity and BMI. Analyses revealed that undocumented status was associated with food insecurity and chronic stress but not when accounting for poverty. Food insecurity was only associated with higher BMI for children with the highest hair cortisol. Results suggest that chronic stress may impact body weight among food-insecure children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FCH.0000000000000228DOI Listing
October 2019

Family entropy: understanding the organization of the family home environment and impact on child health behaviors and weight.

Transl Behav Med 2019 05;9(3):413-421

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Child obesity is a major public health issue with a high disease burden. Although numerous contributing factors have been identified, the family home environment is a central context of influence that requires deeper understanding. The level of organization in the family home environment may influence obesity and obesogenic behaviors, but the literature has suffered from the lack of a strong overarching construct and model to guide this area of research. Family entropy is a conceptual framework that fills this gap by representing the level of organization across the home environment. The current study empirically assesses family entropy using factor analysis in a longitudinal sample of 968 children measured yearly from Grades 3 to 6 as part of the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Mixed modeling using MPLUS examined the influence of family entropy on child weight both directly and indirectly through weight-related health behaviors (i.e., sleep and physical activity), and considered the moderating role of socioeconomic status (SES). Results suggest that family entropy is comprised of distinct elements of household organization and disorganization, which are moderately related. Household disorganization may be particularly detrimental to child sleeping behavior both concurrently and over time in families of both high and low SES. The study concludes with recommendations for advancing understanding of the home environment by using nuanced measurement strategies, and incorporating support for household organization within child obesity prevention and intervention efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibz042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520802PMC
May 2019

Executive function and dietary intake in youth: A systematic review of the literature.

Appetite 2019 08 20;139:197-212. Epub 2019 Apr 20.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Despite increasing evidence that childhood obesity may be related to impairments in executive function, the evidence supporting the relation between executive function (EF) and dietary intake, a key factor linked to obesity, is mixed. Although research from the obesity literature often interprets EF as a factor that may influence dietary intake, there is also evidence that dietary intake may influence EF. Drawing on a developmental perspective, this systematic review examines the literature on the link between executive function (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) and dietary intake in youth through the inclusion of cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies aimed at altering either dietary intake or EF as a way to influence the other. In total, 5650 studies were screened for eligibility. Twenty-six studies met inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Results indicated that the relation between executive function and dietary intake is equivocal. Although there is some support for a cross-sectional relation between executive function and dietary intake, the lack of longitudinal studies makes it difficult to make conclusions about directionality. Findings from intervention studies do not support the effectiveness of short-term manipulations on dietary intake to change subsequent EF, and few intervention studies exist that explicitly aim to "train" EF to change subsequent dietary intake. Furthermore, the wide variety of measures used to assess EF and dietary intake, and the lack of consideration of the role that weight status may play in the relation between EF and dietary intake, make overall interpretation of the literature more difficult. In sum, there is a need for more prospective research examining a variety of ages, domains of EF, and weight statuses, taking into account developmental factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2019.04.013DOI Listing
August 2019

Green Schoolyards in Low-Income Urban Neighborhoods: Natural Spaces for Positive Youth Development Outcomes.

Front Psychol 2018 25;9:805. Epub 2018 May 25.

Nutrition Policy Institute, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Berkeley, CA, United States.

Children from low-income families are increasingly growing up in urban areas with limited access to nature. In these environments, strategies that promote access to natural outdoor spaces, such as green schoolyards, may enhance positive youth development outcomes by promoting physical activity (PA) and prosocial behavior, as well as increasing perceptions of safety. The current study examines children's PA and social interactions, as well as caregiver and teacher perceptions of safety, injuries, teasing/bullying, and gang activity on three newly renovated green schoolyards in low-income urban neighborhoods. A multi-method strategy, including behavioral mapping and caregiver- and teacher-reported surveys, was utilized at three time points to examine positive youth development outcomes and maintenance of effects over time. Analyses revealed that children evidenced a range of PA on the green schoolyards and demonstrated significant decreases in sedentary activity over time. The majority of children were engaged in social interactions with peers on the green schoolyards when observed. Less than 3% of interactions were negative and follow-up analyses found significant increases in positive interactions on the green schoolyards up to 24 months post-renovation. Caregivers and teachers reported increased perceptions of safety, fewer injuries, less teasing/bullying, and less gang-related activity on the renovated green schoolyards in comparison to the pre-renovation schoolyards, and these effects were maintained up to 32 months post-renovation. Overall, the study suggests that green schoolyards may promote positive development outcomes among youth living in urban, low-income neighborhoods by providing natural and safe spaces for PA and prosocial behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00805DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5980974PMC
May 2018

Organized Activity Involvement among Urban Youth: Understanding Family- and Neighborhood- Level Characteristics as Predictors of Involvement.

J Youth Adolesc 2018 08 22;47(8):1697-1711. Epub 2018 Feb 22.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Research examining factors that predict youth's involvement in organized activities is very limited, despite associations with positive outcomes. Using data from 1043 youth (49% female; 46.4% Hispanic, 35.4% African American, 14.0% Caucasian, and 4.2% other) from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods, this study examined how characteristics of parents (supervision, warmth) and neighborhoods (perceived neighborhood safety and collective efficacy) predict patterns of adolescents' involvement in organized activities concurrently (i.e., intensity) and longitudinally (i.e., type and breadth). Parental supervision predicted adolescents' participation in organized activities across multiple waves. Neighborhood violence was positively associated with concurrent participation in organized activities after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES), whereas higher neighborhood collective efficacy predicted greater breadth in organized activity participation across time. These findings have important implications regarding how to attract and sustain organized activity participation for low-income, urban youth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-018-0823-8DOI Listing
August 2018

Dimensions of organized activity involvement among Latino youth: Impact on well-being.

J Adolesc 2017 Oct 3;60:130-139. Epub 2017 Sep 3.

Loyola University Chicago, Department of Psychology, 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL, 60660, USA.

Well-being, including self- and academic perceptions, is a key element of Latino adolescents' experiences. One factor that may be related to well-being among Latino adolescents is organized activity (OA) involvement. Drawing on a risk and resilience framework and utilizing principles of positive youth development, the current study aimed to examine this relation using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) with nested data from 660 Latino-identified youth in the National Education Longitudinal Study: 88 (NELS:88). Furthermore, home language, sex, and family SES were explored as possible moderators of relations between dimensions of OA and well-being. After accounting for prior levels of well-being, results suggest that OA participation, particularly OA intensity, is related to greater self-worth, locus of control, and educational expectations, and that the4se relations may be even stronger for youth from low-SES backgrounds. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2017.07.001DOI Listing
October 2017

Relations Between Executive Functions, Social Impairment, and Friendship Quality on Adjustment Among High Functioning Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

J Autism Dev Disord 2017 Sep;47(9):2861-2872

Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL, 60626, USA.

High functioning adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often have adjustment difficulties, specifically loneliness and depression. To better understand contributing factors, the current study evaluated associations between several Executive Function (EF) domains, social impairment, and friendship quality on depressive symptoms and loneliness in this population. Participants included 127 high functioning ASD adolescents and a parent/caregiver. Results indicated significant levels of parent-reported EF impairment which were positively correlated with increased levels of loneliness and depressive symptoms. Social impairment was identified as a significant mediator between all studied EF domains and adjustment, while friendship quality only partially mediated the relation between emotional control and loneliness. These results have implications for treatments focusing both on social skills and adjustment in adolescents with ASD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-017-3205-2DOI Listing
September 2017

Improving Urban Minority Girls' Health Via Community Summer Programming.

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2017 Dec 31;4(6):1237-1245. Epub 2017 Mar 31.

Public Health Sciences, Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL, USA.

Summertime has emerged as a high-risk period for weight gain among low-income minority youth who often experience a lack of resources when not attending school. Structured programming may be an effective means of reducing risk for obesity by improving obesogenic behaviors among these youth. The current multi-method study examined sedentary time, physical activity, and dietary intake among low-income urban minority girls in two contexts: an unstructured summertime setting and in the context of a structured 4-week community-based summer day camp program promoting physical activity. Data were analyzed using paired-sample t tests and repeated-measure analyses of variance with significance at the p < .05 level. Results evidenced no significant differences in total calories and fat consumed between the unstructured and structured settings. Participants exhibited significant increases in fruit consumption and physical activity and significant decreases in sedentary time of over 2 h/day and dairy consumption when engaged in structured summer programming. All improvements were independent of weight status and age, and African-American participants evidenced greater changes in physical activity during programming. The study concludes that structured, community-based summertime programming may be associated with fewer obesogenic behaviors in low-income urban youth and may be a powerful tool to address disparities in weight gain and obesity among high-risk samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40615-016-0333-xDOI Listing
December 2017

Parent Perceptions of Child Weight Status in Mexican-Origin Immigrant Families: An Investigation of Acculturation, Stress, and Coping Factors.

J Immigr Minor Health 2018 Apr;20(2):441-447

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W Sheridan Road, Coffey Hall 208, Chicago, IL, 60660, USA.

Parents often underestimate their child's weight status, particularly when the child is overweight or obese. This study examined acculturation, stress, coping, and involuntary responses to stress and their relation to estimation of child's weight status among Mexican-origin immigrant families. Eighty-six families provided data on child's height and weight, caregiver's perception of their child's weight status, and caregiver's responses to acculturation, stress, and coping scales. Parents underestimated their child's weight status, particularly when the child was overweight or obese. Although acculturation and stress were not associated with accuracy, parents' responses to stress were linked to parent perceptions. Parents who reported more frequent use of involuntary engagement (e.g., rumination, physiological arousal) were more accurate. Future research, as well as healthcare providers, should consider how parents manage and respond to stress in order to fully understand the factors that explain weight perceptions among Mexican-origin immigrant parents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10903-017-0569-5DOI Listing
April 2018

Sleep is in for Summer: Patterns of Sleep and Physical Activity in Urban Minority Girls.

J Pediatr Psychol 2016 Jul 29;41(6):692-700. Epub 2016 Feb 29.

Department of Public Health Sciences, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, and.

Objective: Urban minority girls are at risk for summertime weight gain, and may also experience insufficient summertime sleep. Few studies have objectively measured sleep in this population or examined correlates, including physical activity (PA). This study is the first to objectively describe summertime sleep among urban minority girls.

Methods: Data were collected at a community-based summer program that promoted PA (n = 60 girls, ages 10-14 years), at two time points: before beginning programming (T1; unstructured context) and during the final week of programming (T2; structured context).

Results: At both time points, participants experienced shorter nighttime sleep than the recommended amount for girls their age. African American girls recorded significantly less sleep than Latina girls in the unstructured context. Findings also suggest that sleep schedules have an influential role in youths' abilities to obtain adequate sleep.

Conclusion: Overall, summertime sleep is an understudied health behavior that may be important to consider among minority youth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsw009DOI Listing
July 2016

Understanding affluent adolescent adjustment: The interplay of parental perfectionism, perceived parental pressure, and organized activity involvement.

J Adolesc 2015 Jun 29;41:56-66. Epub 2015 Mar 29.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660, USA.

This cross-sectional study examined relations between affluent adolescent adjustment and culturally salient factors within parent-child relationship and extracurricular domain. Bootstrapping techniques evaluated mediated effects among parental perfectionism, perceived parental pressure, intensity of organized activity (OA) involvement, and adolescent adjustment (i.e., depressive and anxiety symptoms, life satisfaction) within a sample of 10th graders and their parents (n = 88 parent-child pairs) from four high schools in affluent communities. Findings indicated that adolescents with more perfectionistic parents perceived more parental pressure and experienced poorer adjustment. Results also demonstrated that affluent adolescents who perceived more parental pressure were more intensely involved in OAs, but that higher OA intensity was linked to better adjustment. Findings highlight the importance of considering parental perfectionism when understanding adolescent behaviors and psychological outcomes, confirm the negative direct effects of parental pressure on adjustment, and corroborate prior research dispelling that highly intense OA involvement is linked to adolescent maladjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2015.03.005DOI Listing
June 2015

The cost of perfection with apparent ease: Theoretical foundations and development of the Effortless Perfectionism Scale.

Psychol Assess 2015 Dec 30;27(4):1147-59. Epub 2015 Mar 30.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago.

Effortless perfection is a term used to describe an intense pressure to be perfect without visible effort (Yee, 2003), and is thought to be linked to several indicators of maladjustment among college-age youth (Ruane, 2012; Yee, 2003). Although effortless perfectionism (EP) is a phenomenon referenced in popular culture, empirical support for this construct is needed. In addition to conceptualizing and discussing the theoretical underpinnings of EP, this paper describes the development of an instrument to assess EP: the 10-item Effortless Perfectionism scale (EPS). The responses of a large sample of students from a Midwestern university (N = 1,270) were used to develop a 1-factor measurement model for the EPS. The EPS showed good internal consistency and test-retest reliability, and demonstrated convergent, discriminant, and incremental validity in relation to other perfectionism scales, as a predictor of psychosocial adjustment, and as a mediator of the effects of gender on adjustment. The present study supports the reliability and construct validity of the EPS as a self-report measure of EP, a distinct type of perfectionism that warrants future investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000109DOI Listing
December 2015

Moving beyond attendance: lessons learned from assessing engagement in afterschool contexts.

New Dir Youth Dev 2014 Dec;2014(144):45-58

Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy, Connecticut College.

Youth engagement is the least researched, but potentially most important, aspect of participation in afterschool programs. The level of youth engagement can vary across programs, across youth within a program, and within individual youth over time. Engagement is important for both recruiting and retaining participants, and has been associated with more positive academic outcomes over time. This chapter integrates perspectives from practitioners, researchers, and the school engagement literature. Reasons why engagement is an important dimension of afterschool programming, different methods for assessing engagement, key features of engaging afterschool programs, and implications for practice are also outlined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/yd.20112DOI Listing
December 2014

Active summers matter: evaluation of a community-based summertime program targeting obesogenic behaviors of low-income, ethnic minority girls.

New Dir Youth Dev 2014 ;2014(143):133-50

Loyola University Chicago.

Low-income minority females are disproportionately affected by obesity. The relevance of summer months to weight gain is often overlooked. Some evidence suggests that summer programming, such as day camps, may offer increased opportunities for structured physical activities resulting in less weight gain. This study examined the effectiveness of Girls in the Game, a six-hour four-week sports and fitness summer camp program, in increasing physical activity (PA) and reducing body mass index and media use. Statistically significant increases were observed in four physical activity measures including total PA, MVPA, average number of ten-minute bouts of MVPA, and minutes participants spent in bouts of at least ten minutes of MVPA. This chapter highlights the importance of investigating the potential relationships among weight, physical activity, sedentary time, media use, and participation in summer camp programming.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/yd.20107DOI Listing
December 2016

Regrouping: organized activity involvement and social adjustment across the transition to high school.

New Dir Child Adolesc Dev 2013 ;2013(140):57-75

Loyola University Chicago, USA.

Although organized activities (OAs) have been established as important contexts of development, limited work has examined the role of OAs across the high school transition in buffering adolescents' social adjustment by providing opportunities for visibility and peer affiliation. The transition to high school is characterized by numerous changes and OAs may provide an important setting for establishing and maintaining peer relationships during this tumultuous time. This study included 151 8th grade U.S. students (58% male) who were assessed across the transition to high school (spring of 8th and 9th grade). Continuous involvement in academic activities across the transition and becoming involved (i.e., initiation) in community/service activities following the transition was associated with fewer depressive symptoms in the spring of 9th grade. Continuous involvement in sports and initiation of academic activities was associated with having more friendships. In addition, links between OAs and loneliness were only evident among females. There appear to be significant social benefits for OA involvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cad.20037DOI Listing
September 2013

Brief report: adolescent adjustment in affluent communities: the role of motivational climate and goal orientation.

J Adolesc 2013 Apr 22;36(2):423-8. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Loyola University Chicago, USA.

Researchers now recognize that affluent youth experience tremendous achievement pressures, yet contributing factors or outcomes are rarely explored. Using a sample of affluent adolescents, the present study investigates the mediating role of goal orientation (GO) on relations between school motivational climate (MC) and adolescent adjustment. Adolescents from four high schools completed measures of MC (i.e., Performance and Mastery), GO (i.e., Ego and Task), and adjustment (i.e., depressive symptoms, anxiety, and life satisfaction). Performance climates were associated with more adjustment problems while Mastery climates were associated with fewer adjustment problems. Adolescents with higher Ego orientation reported more depressive and anxiety symptoms, while adolescents with higher Task orientation indicated fewer depressive symptoms and greater life satisfaction. Adolescent Task orientation mediated the relations between Mastery climate and two adjustment outcomes (i.e., depressive symptoms and life satisfaction). Results suggest the importance of non-competitive achievement-oriented values and collaborative school contexts in adolescent adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2012.11.009DOI Listing
April 2013

Sport type and interpersonal and intrapersonal predictors of body dissatisfaction in high school female sport participants.

Body Image 2013 Mar 17;10(2):210-9. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Department of Psychology, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN 55967, USA.

Through multiple group structural equation modeling analyses, path models were used to test the predictive effects of sport type and both interpersonal (i.e., mothers' body dissatisfaction, family dynamics) and intrapersonal factors (i.e., athletic self-efficacy, body mass index [BMI]) on high school female sport participants' (N=627) body dissatisfaction. Sport types were classified as esthetic/lean (i.e., gymnastics), non-esthetic/lean (i.e., cross-country), or non-esthetic/non-lean (i.e., softball). Most participants reported low body dissatisfaction, and body dissatisfaction did not differ across sport types. Nevertheless, mothers' body dissatisfaction was positively associated with daughters' body dissatisfaction for non-esthetic/lean and non-esthetic/non-lean sport participants, and high family cohesion was predictive of body dissatisfaction among non-esthetic/lean sport participants. Across sport types, higher BMI was associated with greater body dissatisfaction, whereas greater athletic self-efficacy was associated with lower body dissatisfaction. These findings highlight the complex relationship between interpersonal and intrapersonal factors and body dissatisfaction in adolescent female sport participants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.11.001DOI Listing
March 2013

Understanding threshold effects of organized activity involvement in adolescents: sex and family income as moderators.

J Adolesc 2012 Feb 12;35(1):107-18. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60660, USA.

The current study examined the curvilinear links between involvement in organized activities (OA) and sport activities specifically and various indicators of psychological and social development. Participants included 150 9th and 10th graders (57% females) from an urban, selective-enrollment high school. Eligibility for admission is based on city residence, high GPA, and high scores on standardized tests and an admission exam. Findings indicated that benefits of OA involvement leveled off at approximately 5-7 h/week, with diminishing returns for adolescents participating in more than 10 h/week. Results also suggest that OA involvement uniquely impacts male and lower-income participants. Males reported threshold effects in terms of perceived friendship competence and depressive symptoms. Male sport participants and lower-income adolescents reported a similar pattern for loneliness. Findings suggest that among a high achieving sample of urban adolescents, social and psychological benefits are linked to moderate but not intense involvement in OAs and sports.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.05.004DOI Listing
February 2012

The development and evaluation of a portion plate for youth: a pilot study.

J Nutr Educ Behav 2011 Jul-Aug;43(4):268-73. Epub 2011 Mar 1.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.

Objective: To develop and evaluate a portion plate for adolescents (Nutri-plate).

Methods: Sixteen African American adolescents (mean age = 12.94 years; 66% male) were randomized to participate in either plate design or nutrition education sessions. Adolescents' input was used to create the Nutri-plate, and participants' food selection and intake was evaluated.

Results: Adolescents indicated the plate should include simple yet colorful visual and textual information about healthful eating. Participants left less food on their plate when dining with the Nutri-plate as compared with a plain plate (P < .01). Examination of effect sizes suggested that when using the Nutri-plate, participants selected less food overall (d = 0.73), more fruit (d = -0.64), more broccoli au gratin (d = -0.85), and less steamed broccoli (d = 0.87). Participants with higher body mass index selected a greater amount of healthful food when using the Nutri-plate (P < .05).

Conclusions And Implications: Further evaluation is needed to determine the influence of a portion plate on adolescents' nutritional behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2010.07.007DOI Listing
September 2011

Developing and improving after-school programs to enhance youth's personal growth and adjustment: a special issue of AJCP.

Am J Community Psychol 2010 Jun;45(3-4):285-93

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.

Participating in after-school programs (ASPs) has become a common experience for children. This special issue provides a perspective on the current status of research on ASPs. This introductory article overviews the historical and current context of ASPs and then describes a developmental ecological model to guide research in this area. The model offers a framework from which to organize and synthesize the research presented in this issue. Key principles include a holistic view of development that recognizes interrelations between multiple domains of youth adjustment, attention to multiple, relevant factors within and outside of youth that affect development, examining the dynamic interplay between persons, program features, and other contexts over time, and understanding the active role of youth in affecting their own development. These principles are examined in relation to five main areas: youth characteristics, social ecologies, program features, participation, and short- and long-term outcomes. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10464-010-9298-9DOI Listing
June 2010

Examining the potential of community-based after-school programs for Latino youth.

Am J Community Psychol 2010 Jun;45(3-4):417-29

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Results are presented from two pilot studies examining the potential influence of community-based after-school programs (ASPs) on regionally diverse Latino youth of varying ages. Study 1 examined relations between dimensions of ASP attendance and content, and ethnic identity development, and self-worth in urban Latino adolescents. In this study, higher ratings of the ASP's emphasis on ethnic socialization were associated with a more developed ethnic identity, while greater intensity of ASP participation and perceptions of ASP quality were associated with higher levels of self-worth. Study 2 examined relations between ASP participation and development of concentration and emotion regulation skills in rural Latino grade-school youth. In this study, youth who regularly attended the ASP demonstrated significantly better concentration and regulation skills than those who did not regularly attend, if they exhibited preexisting concentration and regulation problems. Findings illustrate how ASPs with varying strategies, activities, and assessment tools can be evaluated in the interest of designing future large-scale investigations into ASPs and Latino positive youth development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10464-010-9313-1DOI Listing
June 2010

Organized activity involvement, depressive symptoms, and social adjustment in adolescents: ethnicity and socioeconomic status as moderators.

J Youth Adolesc 2009 Oct 28;38(9):1187-98. Epub 2009 May 28.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.

The current cross-sectional study investigated the links between various dimensions of organized activity involvement and depressive symptoms, loneliness, and peer victimization in an ethnically and economically diverse sample of adolescents (N = 152; 58% female). Results indicate that adolescents who were involved in organized activities for more years also reported lower levels of loneliness. There was evidence of diminishing returns when adolescents were very highly involved in organized activities; those who were either under- or over-involved reported the highest levels of depressive symptoms. Conversely, findings indicate that adolescents who participated in a narrow or wide range of activity contexts reported the lowest levels of depressive symptoms. In addition, results suggested that the relation between organized activity involvement and adjustment differs among adolescents from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Findings from the current study also underscore the importance of considering multiple indices of activity involvement when assessing its association with adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-009-9417-9DOI Listing
October 2009

Relationships between discretionary time activities, emotional experiences, delinquency and depressive symptoms among urban African American adolescents.

J Youth Adolesc 2009 Apr 11;38(4):587-601. Epub 2008 Oct 11.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.

Using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM), this cross-sectional study examined mediated and moderated associations between different types of discretionary time activities and depressive symptoms and delinquency among a sample of 246 (107 boys, 139 girls) fifth through eighth grade urban African American adolescents. More time spent in passive unstructured activities was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms only for adolescents residing in less dangerous neighborhoods, whereas more time spent in active unstructured activities was associated with higher levels of delinquency only if adolescents resided in more dangerous neighborhoods. Alienation was positively associated with depressive symptoms and delinquency, but neither alienation nor positive affect mediated the relationship between activities and adjustment. These findings suggest the importance of considering neighborhood environment issues when determining what types of discretionary time activities are most beneficial for urban African American young adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-008-9336-1DOI Listing
April 2009

Prospective relations between organized activity participation and psychopathology during adolescence.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2007 Dec 30;35(6):1021-33. Epub 2007 Jun 30.

Department of Psychology, Loyola University-Chicago, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.

This longitudinal study examined psychopathology as a predictor and outcome of organized activity involvement during high school among 198 adolescents who varied in risk for psychopathology as a function of their mother's depression history. Higher levels of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in eighth grade significantly predicted lower levels of involvement in academic clubs during high school, over and above risk and SES. Tobacco use prior to high school predicted lower levels of involvement overall and in academic clubs and performance arts. Controlling for psychopathology prior to high school, higher levels of activity involvement were associated with lower levels of externalizing symptoms, less tobacco use, and fewer diagnoses of behavior disorders and substance abuse in 12th grade. The positive association between risk and adolescent psychopathology was not buffered by adolescent activity involvement. Overall, these findings suggest that involvement in organized activities may contribute to lower levels of externalizing psychopathology during high school even when controlling for prior psychopathology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-007-9152-1DOI Listing
December 2007

Emotional competence and aggressive behavior in school-age children.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2003 Feb;31(1):79-91

Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA.

Examined emotional competence in 87 children, aged 7-10 years, who varied with respect to reports of aggressive behavior to determine whether individual differences in emotional competence characterize children with higher levels of aggressive behavior. Emotional competence was assessed during a 1-hr lab visit that included (a) an observational period consisting of a modified disappointment paradigm, (b) assessment of cognitive and language abilities, and (c) 2 structured emotion interviews. Children with higher levels of aggressive behavior exhibited more intense and frequent expressions of anger, both as reported by mothers and as observed during the disappointment paradigm. Less sophisticated ability to identify the causes of emotion also characterized children with higher levels of aggressive behavior. Gender moderated the relation between aggressive behavior and type of emotion identified such that reports of happiness (in response to receiving a disappointing prize) were associated with lower levels of reported aggressive behavior for boys. The value of assessing children's emotional competence in the context of an emotionally arousing situation is suggested by these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/a:1021725400321DOI Listing
February 2003