Publications by authors named "Barbara J Myers"

12 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Factors contributing to infant overfeeding in low-income immigrant Latina mothers.

Appl Nurs Res 2015 Nov 13;28(4):316-21. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

School of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.

Background: Approximately 10% of U.S. infants and toddlers are considered overweight. Hispanic infants persistently show higher prevalence rates for being overweight compared to other infants. Little is known about factors promoting excessive infant weight gain in Latinos.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe multidimensional factors and maternal feeding practices that may correlate with infant overfeeding in Latina mothers.

Methods: Participants were 62 low-income immigrant Latina mothers and their infants. Study measures were: acculturation; maternal feeding beliefs and practices; food availability; temperament; 24-hour dietary recall; and infant's weight-for-height z score.

Results: In regression models adjusted for infant's age, healthier feeding practices were significantly predicted by maternal education and infant's age. Most mothers preferred feeding their infants either formula or a combination of breast milk and formula. A significant proportion of the infants were overweight or obese and yet some mothers displayed difficulty recognizing this problem.

Conclusion: Future intervention efforts should focus primarily on the promotion of healthy feeding practices that discourage overfeeding and support exclusive breastfeeding among this ethnic group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2015.03.007DOI Listing
November 2015

Professionals' reported provision and recommendation of psychosocial interventions for youth with autism spectrum disorder.

Behav Ther 2015 Jan 12;46(1):68-82. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Virginia Commonwealth University.

Children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receive intervention services from multiple professionals across disciplines. Little is known about services for youth with ASD in community settings. The purpose of this study was to provide data on professionals' self-reported practices across different classes of psychosocial interventions for youth with ASD. A multidisciplinary (medicine/nursing, education, occupational/physical therapy, psychology, social work, and speech-language pathology/audiology) sample (N=709; 86% female; 86% White) of professionals who endorsed providing clinical services to youth with ASD was recruited through convenience sampling (listservs, etc.) and stratified random sampling (online provider listings). Professionals completed a survey on intervention practices with youth with ASD, specifically on their own provision of, as well as their recommendation/referral of, psychosocial interventions (focused intervention practices [FIPs], comprehensive treatment models [CTMs], and other interventions). Hierarchical multiple regression models showed discipline differences in self-reported provision and recommendation of evidence-based FIPs; training variables and unfamiliarity with FIPs predicted rates of providing and recommending. FIPs were reportedly provided and recommended at higher rates than CTMs. Descriptive data are presented on professionals' reported practice of other psychosocial interventions (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy). This study highlights the usefulness of examining not only provision of services but also recommendation/referral practices: professionals are important sources of information for families. Implications of the results are discussed in terms of the importance of disseminating intervention information to professionals and the need for consensus on terminology used to classify interventions and on criteria used to evaluate intervention efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2014.02.002DOI Listing
January 2015

Who Is Likely to Commit to a Career With Older Adults?

Gerontol Geriatr Educ 2016 Apr-Jun;37(2):208-28. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

c Department of Psychology , Virginia Commonwealth University , Richmond , Virginia , USA.

Gerontology, as an academic discipline, provides professionals with the conceptual knowledge and the skills necessary to address the complexities of working with a diverse aging population. We know little about what attracts professionals to the aging field and what maintains commitment to these careers. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of career motivation, job satisfaction, anxiety about aging, and professional identity in relation to career commitment among those working with older adults. Participants (N = 756) were recruited through organizations and institutions serving older adults and responded to an online survey. Participants' motivation for working with older adults, level of job satisfaction, and exposure to formal gerontological education significantly predicted career commitment. In addition, aging anxiety mediated the relationship between job satisfaction and career commitment. This study sheds lights on perspectives of professionals working with older adults and highlights areas for future gerontological research and training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02701960.2014.954042DOI Listing
October 2017

Managing the health care needs of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder: the parents' experience.

Fam Syst Health 2014 Sep 9;32(3):328-37. Epub 2014 Jun 9.

School of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Parents of adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience the challenges of navigating the health care system, locating information about ASD, lacking an understanding of prescribed medications, and experiencing minimal social support from health care providers. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of parents who manage the health needs of an adolescent with ASD. Qualitative interviews were conducted at a university setting with 12 parents of 10 adolescents with ASD residing in Central Virginia. Data were analyzed using Moustakas' method in which the phenomenologist asks the following questions: What are the individual's experiences and in what context did they experience them? This study maximized credibility using 3 strategies: prolonged engagement, peer debriefing, and member checking. "Parents needing assistance" emerged as the essence of the parents' experiences. Four themes representing the essential challenging elements of the parents' experiences included concern with medications, frustrations with health care services, recognizing secondary health issues, and the need for resources and services. Findings of the current study revealed key factors to be considered in the development and delivery of health care for adolescents with ASD. These include creating and planning interventions for parents, sharing information about resources and services, and collaborating with others in the health care field. Additional research, both qualitative and quantitative, is needed to understand how parents and adolescents with ASD experience this transitional period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0037180DOI Listing
September 2014

Factors contributing to infant overfeeding with Hispanic mothers.

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs 2014 Mar-Apr;43(2):139-59. Epub 2014 Feb 6.

Objective: To evaluate existing evidence on factors potentially contributing to infant overfeeding among Hispanic mothers that may explain the high infant overweight rates often seen among this ethnic group.

Data Sources: Electronic databases including CINHAL and MEDLINE were searched for relevant studies published from 1998 to January 2012. Related article searches and reference list searches were completed on all included studies.

Study Selection: Thirty-five studies (nine qualitative, 15 cross-sectional, nine cohort, and two longitudinal) were identified that met the following inclusion criteria: (a) studies of Hispanic-only or multiethnic mothers, (b) studies of healthy full-term infants or toddlers, (c) studies in which a majority of the sample included children within the target age group (0-24 months of age), and (d) studies conducted in the United States. The methodological quality of the studies ranged from fair to excellent.

Data Extraction: Data extraction included content related to Hispanic infant feeding and weight gain.

Data Synthesis: Reviewed research fell into three main foci of inquiry: breastfeeding and formula-feeding beliefs, attitudes, and practices; family and cultural influences of maternal feeding beliefs and practices; and maternal perceptions of infant feeding satiety and weight gain. The Preferred Reporting Items of Systematic Reviews Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for data extraction and reporting the results of this integrative review.

Conclusion: Three major feeding practices and beliefs among Hispanic mothers potentially contribute to infant overfeeding. Hispanic mothers are more likely to practice nonexclusive breastfeeding, initiate early introduction of solid foods including ethnic foods, and perceive chubbier infants as healthy infants. Cultural norms driving family influences and socioeconomic factors play a role in the feeding tendencies of Hispanics. Empirical research is needed to further define the primary factors that influence Hispanic mothers feeding decisions and practices that contribute to excessive weight gain in their infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1552-6909.12279DOI Listing
March 2015

Relationship processes and resilience in children with incarcerated parents.

Monogr Soc Res Child Dev 2013 Jun;78(3):vii-viii, 1-129

Human Development and Family Studies, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, 1500 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, USA.

Children with incarcerated parents are at risk for a variety of problematic outcomes, yet research has rarely examined protective factors or resilience processes that might mitigate such risk in this population. In this volume, we present findings from five new studies that focus on child- or family-level resilience processes in children with parents currently or recently incarcerated in jail or prison. In the first study, empathic responding is examined as a protective factor against aggressive peer relations for 210 elementary school age children of incarcerated parents. The second study further examines socially aggressive behaviors with peers, with a focus on teasing and bullying, in a sample of 61 children of incarcerated mothers. Emotion regulation is examined as a possible protective factor. The third study contrasts children's placement with maternal grandmothers versus other caregivers in a sample of 138 mothers incarcerated in a medium security state prison. The relation between a history of positive attachments between mothers and grandmothers and the current cocaregiving alliance are of particular interest. The fourth study examines coparenting communication in depth on the basis of observations of 13 families with young children whose mothers were recently released from jail. Finally, in the fifth study, the proximal impacts of a parent management training intervention on individual functioning and family relationships are investigated in a diverse sample of 359 imprisoned mothers and fathers. Taken together, these studies further our understanding of resilience processes in children of incarcerated parents and their families and set the groundwork for further research on child development and family resilience within the context of parental involvement in the criminal justice system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/mono.12017DOI Listing
June 2013

Promoting the development of professional identity of gerontologists: an academic/experiential learning model.

Gerontol Geriatr Educ 2013 5;34(2):176-96. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Department of Gerontology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23284, USA.

Graduate education in gerontology has an essential role in providing the foundational knowledge required to work with a diverse aging population. It can also play an essential role in promoting best-practice approaches for the development of professional identity as a gerontologist. The primary goal of this study was to determine what factors predict the professional identity and career path of gerontologists. In addition, the study explored how experiential learning influenced professional identity for newcomers to the field and for those experienced in an aging-related field ("professional incumbents"). Graduates (N = 146) of Association for Gerontology in Higher Education-affiliated graduate programs participated. Professional identity as a gerontologist was predicted by length of time in the field, age, satisfaction with coworkers, and satisfaction with opportunities for advancement. Experiential learning contributed to professional identity in important but different ways for newcomers to the field and for professional incumbents. The inclusion of an academic/experiential learning model within graduate gerontology programs promotes the development of professional identity and career path for all graduate students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02701960.2012.718008DOI Listing
January 2014

Mother-infant synchrony during infant feeding.

Infant Behav Dev 2012 Dec 13;35(4):669-77. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

VCU Health System, Richmond, VA 23298, United States.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to test a coding system, the Maternal-Infant Synchrony Scale (MISS), for assessing synchrony of feeding interaction between a mother and her preterm infant. The secondary aim was to describe mother and preterm infant synchrony during feeding and the change over time.

Methods: A descriptive, longitudinal design using data collected during an earlier study was employed, using a sample dataset from 10 mother-infant dyads that completed three data collection points. The Noldus Observer XT 8.0 (Noldus Information Technology b.v., 2006) was used for data review and coding. The MISS was created from pilot data and definitions further refined. The frequency of occurrence for select behaviors and the percentage of time behaviors occurred during the feeding and the changes in behaviors over the three observations periods were calculated.

Results: The synchrony tool developed in this study demonstrates that changes occur in mother and infant behavior over time. Mothers were attentive and focused during feedings and monitored their infants' sucking intently but there was little interaction between the dyad. Infant attempts at interaction were greater than the mother attempts to engage her infant. The influence of infant maturation on feeding behaviors was evident across observations.

Conclusion: This study revealed behaviors that are descriptive of the interaction and can be used to develop interventions that would support the developing relationship. Use of the MISS with a larger sample size and a cohort of healthy, term newborns is needed to establish the MISS as a valid and reliable measure of synchrony.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infbeh.2012.06.003DOI Listing
December 2012

How many doctors does it take to make an autism spectrum diagnosis?

Autism 2006 Sep;10(5):439-51

Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Parents of children with pervasive developmental disorders (n = 494) were surveyed to determine their level of satisfaction with the process of getting an autism spectrum diagnosis. Participants in this web-based study (mean age = 37.8 years) came from five countries and reported on children with an average age of 8.3 years (range = 1.7 to 22.1). All children had a diagnosis of either autism (59.9%), Asperger syndrome (23.5%), or PDD-NOS (16.6%). Higher levels of parental education and income were associated with earlier diagnosis and greater satisfaction with the diagnostic process. Parents were more satisfied with the diagnostic process when they saw fewer professionals to get the diagnosis and when the children received the diagnoses at younger ages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362361306066601DOI Listing
September 2006

Child abuse potential among mothers of substance-exposed and nonexposed infants and toddlers.

Child Abuse Negl 2006 Feb 7;30(2):145-56. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.

Objective: The purpose of this longitudinal study was to determine whether there were differences in child abuse potential among mothers who were nonusers, drug users who accepted treatment, and drug users who rejected offers of treatment, over the first 2 years of their children's lives.

Method: Participants were mothers of 140 infants, classified into Nonuser (n = 48), Treatment (n = 72), or Refuser (n = 20) groups. The Child Abuse Potential (CAP) Inventory [Milner, J. S. 1980. The Child Abuse Potential Inventory: Manual. Webster, NC: Psytec Corporation] was administered when infants were 4, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months.

Results: Results of mixed-model analyses of variances showed no group differences on CAP Inventory abuse scale scores. There were significant group differences in lie scale scores on the CAP Inventory, such that lie scale scores for the Nonuser group were significantly higher than lie scale scores for the Treatment group.

Conclusions: Overall, results support the position that low-income women with many risk factors in their lives are at high risk for potential child abuse, but that their drug use status and drug treatment status does not differentiate them from their nonuser peers from a similar social and demographic background.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2005.10.007DOI Listing
February 2006

Hope, social support, and behavioral problems in at-risk children.

Am J Orthopsychiatry 2005 Apr;75(2):211-9

Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2018, USA.

This study investigated the effects of hope, social support, and stress on behavioral problems in a high-risk group of 65 children of incarcerated mothers. Children with low levels of hope had more externalizing and internalizing problems. Children who perceived less social support had more externalizing problems, and children who had experienced more life stressors reported more internalizing problems. Regression analyses indicated that hope contributed unique variance to both internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems after social support and stress were controlled. These findings suggest that being confident in one's ability to overcome challenges and having a positive outlook function as protective factors, whereas being less hopeful may place a child at risk for developing adjustment problems. Whether it is possible to foster agency and teach pathways to children with lower levels of hope is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0002-9432.75.2.211DOI Listing
April 2005

Prenatal cocaine exposure and infant performance on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale.

Subst Use Misuse 2003 Dec;38(14):2065-96

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23284-2018, USA.

Drug-exposed infants did not differ from nonexposed infants on Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) clusters or on birth characteristics. Infants (n = 137) born to three groups of low-income mothers--cocaine and poly-drug-using mothers in a drug user treatment group (n = 76) and in a treatment rejecter group (n = 18), and to a nonuser group (n = 43)--were examined at 2 days and 2-4 weeks. The motor cluster improved and regulation of state worsened from time 1 to 2. There were no interactions of group by time. Regression analyses were conducted to see whether group differences might either emerge or disappear after removing effects of competing variables, but they did not. Power analysis showed that sample size was sufficient to have detected group differences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1081/ja-120025126DOI Listing
December 2003