Publications by authors named "Cassandra Berbary"

7 Publications

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ADVANCE integrated group intervention to address both substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration by men in substance use treatment: a feasibility randomised controlled trial.

BMC Public Health 2021 05 25;21(1):980. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Biostatistics and Health Informatics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF, UK.

Background: Substance use is a risk factor for intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. Delivering perpetrator interventions concurrently with substance use treatment shows promise.

Methods: The feasibility of conducting an efficacy and cost-effectiveness trial of the ADVANCE 16-week intervention to reduce IPA by men in substance use treatment was explored. A multicentre, parallel group individually randomised controlled feasibility trial and formative evaluation was conducted. Over three temporal cycles, 104 men who had perpetrated IPA towards a female (ex) partner in the past year were randomly allocated to receive the ADVANCE intervention + substance use treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 54) or TAU only (n = 50) and assessed 16-weeks post-randomisation. Participants' (ex) partners were offered support and 27 provided outcome data. Thirty-one staff and 12 men who attended the intervention participated in focus groups or interviews that were analysed using the framework approach. Pre-specified criteria assessed the feasibility of progression to a definitive trial: 1) ≥ 60% of eligible male participants recruited; 2) intervention acceptable to staff and male participants; 3) ≥ 70% of participants followed-up and 4) levels of substance use and 5) IPA perpetrated by men in the intervention arm did not increase from average baseline level at 16-weeks post-randomisation.

Results: 70.7% (104/147) of eligible men were recruited. The formative evaluation confirmed the intervention's acceptability. Therapeutic alliance and session satisfaction were rated highly. The overall median rate of intervention session attendance (of 14 compulsory sessions) was 28.6% (range 14.3-64.3% by the third cycle). 49.0% (51/104) of men and 63.0% (17/27) of their (ex) partners were followed-up 16-weeks post-randomisation. This increased to 100% of men and women by cycle three. At follow-up, neither substance use nor IPA perpetration had worsened for men in the intervention arm.

Conclusions: It was feasible to deliver the ADVANCE intervention in substance use treatment services, although it proved difficult to collect data from female (ex)partners. While some progression criteria were met, others were not, although improvements were demonstrated by the third cycle. Lessons learned will be implemented into the study design for a definitive trial of the ADVANCE intervention.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN79435190 prospectively registered 22nd May 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12889-021-11012-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8147906PMC
May 2021

A meta-analytic review of the relationship between cyber aggression and substance use.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2021 04 9;221:108510. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, United States.

Background: Prior research has demonstrated that various substances of abuse play a contributing role to acts of physical and verbal aggression. It is less clear if and to what extent substance use is associated with an increased risk in perpetrating cyber aggression, an emerging form of aggressive behavior that occurs through digital communication.

Methods: A comprehensive review of the literature resulted in 15 studies and 18 unique samples from which effect size estimates were calculated.

Results: Analyses resulted in a moderate, significant mean observed correlation indicating that individuals who engaged in substance use were more likely than those who did not to perpetrate cyber aggression (r = 0.24, k = 18, 95% CI = 0.20, 0.28). Comparing data across types of substances revealed that alcohol use represents a stronger risk factor for cyber aggression than nicotine, cannabis, or other illicit drugs. Results also suggest a stronger relationship between substance use and cyber aggression among older than younger samples and in the context of intimate partner rather than peer aggression. Comparable estimates of substance-related cyber aggression emerged across types of cyber aggression and perpetrator gender.

Conclusions: Further research is required to increase confidence in estimates used in moderation analyses. As with traditional aggression, alcohol use appears to represent a risk factor for cyber aggression, though it is unclear if the disinhibitory properties of alcohol are the mechanism of action for substance-related cyber aggression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108510DOI Listing
April 2021

A meta-analytic review of the relationship between cyber aggression and substance use.

Drug Alcohol Depend 2021 04 9;221:108510. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, United States.

Background: Prior research has demonstrated that various substances of abuse play a contributing role to acts of physical and verbal aggression. It is less clear if and to what extent substance use is associated with an increased risk in perpetrating cyber aggression, an emerging form of aggressive behavior that occurs through digital communication.

Methods: A comprehensive review of the literature resulted in 15 studies and 18 unique samples from which effect size estimates were calculated.

Results: Analyses resulted in a moderate, significant mean observed correlation indicating that individuals who engaged in substance use were more likely than those who did not to perpetrate cyber aggression (r = 0.24, k = 18, 95% CI = 0.20, 0.28). Comparing data across types of substances revealed that alcohol use represents a stronger risk factor for cyber aggression than nicotine, cannabis, or other illicit drugs. Results also suggest a stronger relationship between substance use and cyber aggression among older than younger samples and in the context of intimate partner rather than peer aggression. Comparable estimates of substance-related cyber aggression emerged across types of cyber aggression and perpetrator gender.

Conclusions: Further research is required to increase confidence in estimates used in moderation analyses. As with traditional aggression, alcohol use appears to represent a risk factor for cyber aggression, though it is unclear if the disinhibitory properties of alcohol are the mechanism of action for substance-related cyber aggression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.108510DOI Listing
April 2021

Online Crowdsourcing as a Quasi-Experimental Method for Collecting Data on the Perpetration of Alcohol-Related Partner Aggression.

Trauma Violence Abuse 2020 Aug 10:1524838020946807. Epub 2020 Aug 10.

Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA.

Cross-sectional survey, prospective, and experimental data have been evaluated to better understand the role of alcohol as a contributing cause of intimate partner aggression. Laboratory-based alcohol administration studies provide controlled data regarding causality, but the use of this methodology lacks ecological validity and has been hampered by rigorous procedural and financial demands. Online crowdsourcing is an emerging pseudoexperimental methodology with low costs, rapid data collection, access to diverse populations, greater ecological validity, and the potential to facilitate prolific research to supplement the chronic scarcity of experimental data. The current rapid review first summarizes prior methodological approaches to investigating the proximal influence of alcohol on partner aggression, then reviews prior crowdsourcing research in the disparate areas of alcohol and partner aggression, then describes aggression paradigms that may be readily adapted to online administration. We conclude by introducing recommendations for future quasi-experimental research investigating alcohol-related partner aggression research using the online crowdsourcing methodology. Initial evidence suggests that online crowdsourcing may yield appropriate samples and that existing paradigms may be adapted to rapidly, efficiently, and ethically supplement experimental alcohol-related partner aggression research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1524838020946807DOI Listing
August 2020

A study protocol to assess the feasibility of conducting an evaluation trial of the ADVANCE integrated intervention to address both substance use and intimate partner abuse perpetration to men in substance use treatment.

Pilot Feasibility Stud 2020 11;6:62. Epub 2020 May 11.

9School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh, 8-9 Hope Park Square, Edinburgh, 8HQ 9NW UK.

Background: Strong evidence exists that substance use is a contributory risk factor for intimate partner abuse (IPA) perpetration. Men in substance use treatment are more likely to perpetrate IPA than men from the general population. Despite this, referral pathways are lacking for this group. This trial will assess the feasibility of conducting an evaluation trial of a tailored integrated intervention to address substance use and IPA perpetration to men in substance use treatment.

Methods/design: ADVANCE is a multicentre, parallel-group individually randomised controlled feasibility trial, with a nested formative evaluation, comparing an integrated intervention to reduce IPA + substance use treatment as usual (TAU) to TAU only. One hundred and eight men who have perpetrated IPA in the past 12 months from community substance use treatment in London, the West Midlands, and the South West will be recruited. ADVANCE is a manualised intervention comprising 2-4 individual sessions (2 compulsory) with a keyworker to set goals, develop a personal safety plan and increase motivation and readiness, followed by a 12-session weekly group intervention delivered in substance use services. Men will be randomly allocated (ratio 1:1) to receive the ADVANCE intervention + TAU or TAU only. Men's female (ex) partners will be invited to provide outcome data and offered support from integrated safety services (ISS). Regular case management meetings between substance use and ISS will manage risk. Outcome measures will be obtained at the end of the intervention (approximately 4 months post-randomisation) for all male and female participants. The main objective of this feasibility trial is to estimate parameters required for planning a definitive trial including rates of consent, recruitment, and follow-up by site and group allocation. Nested formative evaluation including focus groups and in-depth interviews will explore the intervention's acceptability to participants, group facilitators, keyworkers and ISS workers. Secondary outcomes include substance use, IPA, mental health, self-management, health and social care service use, criminal justice contacts, and quality of life.

Discussion: Findings from this feasibility trial will inform the design of a multicentre randomised controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of the ADVANCE intervention for reducing IPA and improving the well-being of female (ex)partners.

Trial Registration: ISRCTN79435190.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40814-020-00580-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7212681PMC
May 2020

Problematic alcohol use as a risk factor for cyber aggression within romantic relationships.

Am J Addict 2018 Jun 6. Epub 2018 Jun 6.

Rochester Institute of Technology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rochester, New York.

Background And Objectives: Cyber aggression has emerged as a modern form of intimate partner violence which has yet to undergo sufficient research necessary to identify risk factors that may increase the likelihood or severity of cyber aggressive behavior toward a relationship partner. Prior research offers contradictory findings pertaining to the relationship between problematic alcohol use and cyber aggression.

Methods: We recruited 100 (40 female) adult participants through online crowdsourcing to complete a series of questionnaires assessing traditional partner violence, cyber aggression, and problematic alcohol use.

Results: Forty-two percent of the sample reported perpetrating cyber relational aggression and 35% reported perpetrating cyber privacy invasion during the year prior to study participation. Traditional partner violence was associated with both forms of cyber aggression. Problematic alcohol use was only associated with privacy invasion after accounting for demographic factors and traditional partner violence.

Discussion And Conclusions: Cyber aggression was prevalent among the current adult sample. Results suggest that problematic alcohol use is a risk factor for cyber privacy invasion but not cyber relational aggression.

Scientific Significance: Findings add to and clarify the nascent, conflicting results that have emerged from prior research on alcohol-related cyber aggression. (Am J Addict 2018;XX:1-7).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ajad.12736DOI Listing
June 2018

Teachers' Perceptions of Bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Students in a Southwestern Pennsylvania Sample.

Behav Sci (Basel) 2015 May 28;5(2):247-63. Epub 2015 May 28.

Department of Counseling, Psychology, and Special Education, Duquesne University, 409C Canevin Hall, 600 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15282, USA.

This study was designed to ascertain teachers' perceptions of bullying of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth. In a sample of 200 educators (61.0% female; 96.5% White) from a county in southwestern Pennsylvania, there was a significant positive relationship between the teachers' perceptions of the supportiveness of school staff towards students regardless of sexual orientation and those teachers' reports of the frequency of bullying victimization experienced by LGBTQ students. Teachers' perceptions of a higher level of staff and student support was associated with higher reported frequencies of students' use of derogatory language about LGBTQ individuals and various types of bullying of LGBTQ students. Teachers with a lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation were found to rate the school staff and students as significantly less supportive of students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression in comparison to heterosexual teachers. Finally, teachers who either were unaware of or believed that their school lacked an anti-bullying policy reported significantly higher rates of physical bullying victimization of LGBTQ students when compared to the rates observed by teachers who reported knowledge of their schools' anti-bullying policies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/bs5020247DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493447PMC
May 2015
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