Publications by authors named "Jill Denner"

7 Publications

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Math interest and self-concept among latino/a students: Reciprocal influences across the transition to middle school.

J Adolesc 2019 08 11;75:22-36. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Department of Psychology, Florida Atlantic University, 3200 College Avenue, Davie, FL, 33431, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Psychological factors like math interest and self-concept typically decline between late childhood and early adolescence; both are key to math achievement. The present study examined the reciprocal interplay between math interest and self-concept across the transition into middle school, and whether associations are moderated by success attributions.

Methods: A total of 263 (120 boys, 143 girls) Latino students (M = 10.5 years at outset) from an agricultural community in California (USA) completed surveys at three time points, from the end of primary school to the first year of middle school. Surveys measured math self-concept and math interest, as well as attributions to success in math. Cross-lagged panel models examined possible bidirectional associations between math self-concept and math interest, and whether attributions of success moderated these association.

Results: Lower initial levels of math self-concept anticipated greater declines in math interest, an association that was buffered by attributions of math success. The smallest declines in math interest occurred among adolescents who had both the highest math self-concept and were most inclined to attribute success in math to internal factors like studying. These associations remained when potential confounding variables (e.g., school grades, conduct problems) were included.

Conclusion: The results replicate, in an understudied sample of Latino/a youth, the oft-reported link from low math self-concept to declining interest in math. Unique to this study is evidence of the protection afforded by belief in the efficacy of studying. The findings offer important guidance for teachers and parents seeking to mobilize resources for underperforming students.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.06.015DOI Listing
August 2019

Maternal Psychological Control and Its Association with Mother and Child Perceptions of Adolescent Adjustment: More Evidence on the Strength of Shared Perspectives.

J Youth Adolesc 2016 10 21;45(10):2151-63. Epub 2016 Mar 21.

ETR Associates, 100 Enterprise Way, Suite G300, Scotts Valley, CA, 95066, USA.

Mothers and adolescents hold distinct albeit correlated views of their relationship and of one another. The present study focuses on disentangling these independent views. Concurrent associations between maternal psychological control and children's adjustment are examined at two time points in order to identify the degree to which associations reflect (a) views that are shared by mothers and adolescents, and (b) views that are unique to mothers and adolescents. A total of 123 (56 % female) U.S. Latino/a adolescents (M = 10.4 years old at the outset) and their mothers reported on maternal psychological control, children's conduct problems, and children's anxiety, twice within a 5-month period. Data were collected at the close of primary school when the adolescents were in grade 5 and again at the beginning of middle school, when they were in grade 6. Results from conventional correlations indicated that mother- and adolescent-reports yielded similar associations between maternal psychological control and adolescent adjustment. Common fate model analyses partitioned results into variance shared across mother and adolescent reports and variance unique to mother and adolescent reports. Results differed for anxiety and conduct problems. Shared views indicated that greater maternal psychological control was associated with heightened child conduct problems; there were no associations unique to either reporter. In contrast, unique reporter views indicated that greater maternal psychological control was associated with child anxiety; there were no associations involving shared views. Although mother- and adolescent-reports agree that maternal psychological control is correlated with children's adjustment, there is considerable divergence in results when associations are partitioned according to shared and unique reporter views. Associations between maternal psychological control and children's anxiety are more apt to be inflated by same-reporter variance bias than are associations between maternal psychological control and children's conduct problems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10964-016-0467-5DOI Listing
October 2016

Dyadic Instruction for Middle School Students: Liking Promotes Learning.

Learn Individ Differ 2015 Dec;44:33-39

Research Department, ETR Associates.

This study examines whether friendship facilitates or hinders learning in a dyadic instructional setting. Working in 80 same-sex pairs, 160 (60 girls, 100 boys) middle school students ( = 12.13 years old) were taught a new computer programming language and programmed a game. Students spent 14 to 30 ( = 22.7) hours in a programming class. At the beginning and the end of the project, each participant separately completed (a) computer programming knowledge assessments and (b) questionnaires rating their affinity for their partner. Results support the proposition that liking promotes learning: Greater partner affinity predicted greater subsequent increases in computer programming knowledge for both partners. One partner's initial programming knowledge also positively predicted the other partner's subsequent partner affinity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2015.11.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4681000PMC
December 2015

An exploratory study of adolescent pimping relationships.

J Prim Prev 2014 Apr;35(2):113-7

ETR Associates, 4 Carbonero Way, Scotts Valley, CA, 95066, USA,

In the last decade, public attention to the problem of commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) has grown. This exploratory qualitative study examines adolescent pimping relationships, including how urban youth perceive these types of relationships. Study data stem from interviews with three young adult informants with first-hand knowledge of adolescent pimping, as well as three gender-specific focus group discussions with a convenience sample of 26 urban high school students who have first- or second-hand knowledge of adolescent pimping. Findings indicate that respondents believe teen pimping exists in their schools and communities, and that those exploited typically do not self-identify as victims. Respondents also believed that younger pimps are more likely to use violence to induce compliance among the girls they exploit, whereas older pimps are more likely to emotionally manipulate young women into exploitation. Further, respondents indicated that some young people agreed to exchange or sell sex for money as a favor to their boyfriends or girlfriends, and some young people believed that selling sex is acceptable under certain circumstances. The growing attention to CSEC provides an important opportunity to expand prevention efforts to reach those most affected and at risk for exploitation. The findings highlight critical areas for augmenting traditional content in school-based HIV/STI and sexuality education classes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10935-014-0338-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4079071PMC
April 2014

Interventions to reduce sexual risk behaviors among youth in alternative schools: a randomized controlled trial.

J Adolesc Health 2013 Jul 3;53(1):68-78. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Research Department, ETR Associates, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA.

Purpose: This paper presents results from a randomized controlled trial that assessed the short- and longer-term impact of a skills-based HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum, service learning, and the combination.

Methods: The study featured a four-arm experimental design involving 47 classrooms (765 youth) from continuation high schools. Classrooms were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum only; (2) service learning only; (3) HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum plus service learning; or (4) an attention control curriculum. Students completed 3 surveys over 18 months. Multi-level analysis was used to adjust for the correlation among students within the same classroom and school, and the correlation of repeated measurements.

Results: Participants were 53% male (mean age: 16.2 years). The majority of youth reported being Hispanic/Latino or African-American (37.9% and 22.3%, respectively). Students in the HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum condition were less likely to have vaginal intercourse without a condom in the 3 months prior to the survey [odds ratio (OR) = .58, p = .04]; these effects diminished by final follow-up. The program also significantly reduced students' exposure to risky situations. These changes were not significant in the service learning only or combined intervention conditions relative to control.

Conclusion: This study is one of a few controlled studies of HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention programs in continuation settings, and suggests the curriculum was effective in changing selected risk behaviors in the short term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691297PMC
July 2013

Integrating service learning into a curriculum to reduce health risks at alternative high schools.

J Sch Health 2005 May;75(5):151-6

ETR Associates, 4 Carbonero Way, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA.

Service learning has been identified as a promising approach to reduce sexual risk behavior, among other outcomes. This study used qualitative data analysis to offer suggestions for optimally integrating service learning into a program to reduce sexual risks among alternative school students. Data were collected from student participants in the All4You! Project using classroom materials, focus groups, and individual interviews. Project educators and project staff also provided data through summary forms and field notes. Qualitative data analysis revealed 5 strategies for creating positive service experiences for alternative school students: (1) find appropriate service-learning sites, (2) create staff support, (3) maintain appropriate student participation and behavior; (4) enhance student reflection on service-learning experiences, and (5) address students' self-images.
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May 2005

Predictors of HIV transmission among migrant and marginally housed Latinos.

AIDS Behav 2005 Jun;9(2):201-10

Research Department, Education, Training, Research Associates, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA.

This study examined predictors of HIV-related sexual risk taking in a high risk and understudied convenience sample of 366 predominantly Mexican, migrant adults without stable housing. The sample included 27% men who have sex with men, 28% injectors of illegal drugs, and 21% sex workers. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that sexual risk taking was predicted by low condom self-efficacy, high-risk behavior, and being female. Interestingly, those who engaged in the highest-risk behaviors were more likely to use condoms consistently during sex, although they carried condoms less.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-005-3901-3DOI Listing
June 2005