Theses and Dissertations - Department of Human Development and Family Studies

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    College Student Sibling Relationship Quality and Attachment When One Sibling Has a Chronic Illness
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Barlow, Caroline Elizabeth; Casper, Deborah; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Sibling relationship quality and sibling attachment in college students who have a sibling with a chronic illness were investigated through a self-report questionnaire. A comparison group of college students with a sibling were used in the quantitative analyses. There is little prior research regarding college students who have a sibling with a chronic illness, so the research questions are as follows. RQ1: Do college students’ perceptions of the quality of their sibling relationship differ when the sibling has a chronic illness as compared to siblings who do not have a chronic illness? RQ2: Do college students’ perceptions of their attachment to a sibling differ when the sibling has a chronic illness as compared to siblings who do not have a chronic illness? RQ3: How does having a sibling with a chronic illness impact the college students’ perceptions of the quality of the relationship with their sibling? Though no significant difference was found between groups for RQ1 or RQ2, participants explained several ways they felt that their sibling’s chronic illness has impacted their relationship, most of which were a positive impact. Further research is needed to examine the protectiveness well siblings feel towards their ill sibling and how this impacts the sibling relationship. As well as to make the results generalizable to a larger population. Overall, it is clear that participants have strong levels of attachment to their sibling and high levels of positive relationship quality, regardless of if they have a sibling with a chronic illness or not.
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    The effect of military specific stress stressors on military-dependent youth attachment: the role of perceived maternal nurturance
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020-08) Bustos, Louis Angel; Totenhagen, Casey; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Military-dependent youth experience military-specific stressors such as frequent relocation, frequent adjustment to new school environments, and parental separation due to deployment. Current research on military-dependent youth suggests that some develop more resiliency in light of their experiences whereas others take a more deficit approach and suggest some develop less resiliency. The purpose of this study was to explore more fully the implications military specific stressors have on military-dependent youth attachment, and to what extent maternal nurturance buffers any negative effects. Participants were 177 adults between the ages of 18 years to 55 years who grew up in a military family with the father active in the U.S. military during their childhood, mother did not serve in the military at any time during their childhood (birth to 18 years), parents were married to each other during their entire childhood (birth to 18 years), and both parents were still living on their 18th birthday. The results of this study suggest military specific stressors do not significantly influence secure attachment. What this study does highlight is the importance of a nurturing caregiver for developing a secure attachment. Keywords: military, dependent-youth, stressors, attachment, maternal nurturance
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    Facility dogs and child life: synthesizing psychosocial therapies
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Goldstein, Emily Beth; Burns-Nader, Sherwood; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Animal-assisted therapy (AAT) is used to promote coping in stressful situations by allowing a recipient to experience a therapeutic interaction with a trained therapy animal, usually a dog. One type of therapy dog, known as facility dogs, are specifically trained to accompany their handler, often a psychosocial trained professional, and help them complete their job duties. Many children’s hospitals around the United States have facility dog programs in which a trained AAT dog goes to work daily with a psychosocial healthcare worker, such as a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS). The purpose of this case study was to gain insight into how child life specialists who are facility dog handlers prioritize and assess patients, the benefits and difficulties of their job, and the appreciation they receive. Participants were four CCLSs, two of which were a primary handler and two who were secondary handlers. Participants were asked to record information on a checklist after each interaction for 10 total workdays and completed a semi-structured interview. Findings indicated that participants primarily saw patients between the ages of three to eleven, and the most common intervention provided was general anxiety and coping support. In the interviews, the participants mentioned that it is the dog’s specific training, therapeutic value, and ability to bond with patients that allows these interactions to be so successful and impactful. This study provides a foundation for child life programs around the country who want to incorporate this therapeutic modality into their services offered.
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    Children's information sharing from accurate and inaccurate sources
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020-12) Davila, Ana Lucinda; Scofield, Jason; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Children are constantly learning new information from sources that are often, but not always, accurate. Sometimes children may find themselves with an opportunity to share the information they have learned with others. An open question is whether children share this information selectively and, if so, whether their selectivity is related to the accuracy of the original source. In the present study, 4- and 5-year-olds received contradictory information from two sources, one who was accurate and one who was inaccurate. The information came from a variety of domains including math, science, and language. Children were then invited to share the information with a naïve other (an alien named “Zorg”). The results showed that children were selective about what they shared, preferring to share information from the accurate over the inaccurate source. Further results showed that sharing was mostly similar across age and domain.
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    A comparative review of a reggio emilia inspired program for infants and toddlers
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Blocker, Lindsay; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The Reggio Emilia approach is a social constructivist method that fosters children’s creative development through organized focus on symbolic representations (Edwards et al., 2012). This study compared the physical environments and teacher-child interactions in infant and toddler classrooms in a Reggio Emilia Inspired Program (RI) to those of a matched non-Reggio Emilia Inspired Program (NRI). A brief history of the RI approach and the founder, Loris Malaguzzi, key child development theorists, and key teaching principles and strategies of the RI paradigm are reviewed. A RI and a non-RI program, both NAEYC accredited, were compared for quality of teacher-child interactions, classroom environment, children’s behaviors, and development using standardized measures. Participants were two teacher (one RI infant and one RI toddler) and their children. With school closures due to COVID-19, data collection was stopped early at both sites. The findings are presented as a feasibility study. The ITERS-3 was used to assess the classroom environments of the two programs (RI and NRI). Analysis of the ITERS-3 scores failed to reveal that the RI approach promoted a more optimal classroom environment for infants’ and toddler’s learning than the NRI approach. However, closer examination conducted by videotaping an activity in the classroom revealed high-quality teacher-child interactions for both the RI infant and toddler classroom. Interviews in the RI program depicted teachers who view their children as an equal part of the classroom supporting the RI principle of the Image of the Child. This study contributes to the literature on RI programs and raises new questions related to the sensitivity of environmental scales in assessing creative, non-structured, reflexive program.
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    Examining child life's role in pediatric safe cases
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Schmitz, Anna; Burns-Nader, Sherwood; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    A P-SAFE is a Pediatric Sexual Assault Forensic Examination. Children who are sexually abused and meet the criteria for a SAFE undergo this stressful examination. Certified Child Life Specialists provide psychosocial care to such patients to help minimize negative outcomes, but little is known about the role of child life specialists in this population. This study sought to address the gap in the literature concerning the role of child life specialists with P-SAFE patients. In this study, 21 child life specialists were recruited through the Association of Child Life Professionals’ online forum and answered an online survey. The main research questions asked were: 1. What are Certified Child Life Specialists’ roles in the pediatric SAFE population? 2.What are Certified Child Life Specialists’ perspective of the stressors they see children experience during a SAFE? 3. What are the stressors Certified Child Life Specialists experience working in SAFE population? 4. What training do Certified Child Life Specialists have to work with this population? Data was analyzed through SPSS; any text data was analyzed through semantic analysis. In summary, the results showed child life specialists feel their role is beneficial and they utilize a variety of interventions such as preparation, distraction, and play during P-SAFEs. The child life participants reported the most difficult part of working with this population is hearing their stories; whereas, the most rewarding part is being able to help the children cope with the exam. They also perceived that the greatest stressors for the children are the possibility of re-traumatization as well as the lack of knowledge. Lastly, the child life specialists were trained through a variety of ways such as informal on the job training but lacked formalized training. These findings indicated that CCLS perceive that their role is beneficial and important to P-SAFE patients and there needs to be more research and training within this area.
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    Secondary trauma and parenting practices in Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force investigators
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2019) Stewart, Jonathan David; Witte, Tricia H.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Investigating cases of child pornography requires daily exposure to sexually explicit material involving children and may have negative implications on the mental well-being of those in this line of work. Although much research has focused on job-stress and burnout in this profession, there is not enough evidence to understand if this secondary trauma is carried home, whether parenting behaviors are influenced by it, or if these associations differ by gender. This study aimed to identify whether work exposure to sexually explicit material involving children is associated with secondary traumatic stress symptoms among 212 Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force workers and whether these symptoms were associated with participants’ parenting behaviors and concerns about their children’s use of the internet. Participants completed measures from the Internet Parenting Style Instrument, Concern about Information Disclosure Scale, the Warmth and Involvement sections of the Alabama Parenting Questionnaire, and the Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale. Secondary trauma was found to be associated with participants being less likely to stop their children from using the internet when secondary trauma levels were elevated. Secondary trauma was also found to be associated with participant’s concern about their children’s disclosure of information online such that reported concern was higher if secondary trauma levels were elevated. The associations between secondary trauma, stopping behaviors, and concern about information disclosure were both moderated by gender; the associations were stronger for mothers compared to fathers.
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    Memories of adult survivors of childhood cancer
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Hinton, Tori Allison; Burns-Nader, Sherwood; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Childhood cancer is a long and intense journey, with many physical and psychological reactions throughout. Childhood cancer survivors recount positive and negative memories about their cancer, including the importance of coping. Coping during childhood cancer has been shown to relate to quality of life after cancer. In this exploratory, qualitative study, we looked more in depth at adult childhood cancer survivors’ memories, specifically in relation to diagnosis, coping and life effects of cancer. Participants (n=27) were recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and answered a demographic questionnaire and a qualitative survey containing questions about their memories of experiencing childhood cancer. For this study, the questions of interest were: 1: What are adult survivors of childhood cancer memories of initial reactions to cancer?; 2: What are adult survivors of childhood cancer memories of coping during cancer?; and 3: What are adult survivors of childhood cancer reflections of the effects of cancer on the person they are today? Text data were then analyzed using a thematic analysis. In the participants’ memories of diagnosis, some important themes emerged, such as a lack of understanding, psychological reactions, a diagnosis story, physical symptoms, and other’s reactions. Participants’ memories of coping also brought about many common themes, such as maintaining function, support, faith, distraction, and avoidance. Cancer also positively impacted their lives at present, such as being stronger and/or resilient, having a different life outlook and/or attitude, and motivation. These findings indicate that adult survivors of childhood cancer do have strong memories about their cancer diagnosis and coping during their cancer experience, as well as that cancer has an ongoing influence in their life post-recovery. Keywords: childhood cancer, coping, effects, memories, survivors
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    Chronic illness and sibling relationships in childhood: associations among parentification, differential treatment, and communication
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Cox, Amanda; Witte, Tricia H.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Using a retrospective survey design, adults who were raised with a chronically ill sibling were asked to report on levels of parentification, differential parenting, and communication/disclosure of the chronic illness during childhood and adolescence as well as the quality of their sibling relationship during childhood. Participants (N=107) were recruited via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) and reported having a sibling with one of the following chronic illnesses: Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle-Cell Disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Becker Muscular Dystrophy, or Hemophilia. A multiple regression examined whether sibling relationship scores could be predicted from sibling differential experiences with mother (Model 1a) and sibling differential experiences with father (Model 1b), with communication scores as a moderator. Results indicated that communication scores significantly predicted sibling relationship scores (p < 0.05) within both Model 1a and 1b. Additionally, sibling differential experiences with their father (p = 0.0241), but not mother (p = 0.3273), predicted sibling relationship scores. A multiple regression was performed to evaluate the degree to which sibling relationship scores could be predicted from parentification scores, with communication scores as a moderator (Model 2). Data analyses found that parentification scores were not predictive of sibling relationship scores. Communication scores significantly predicted relationship scores (p < 0.05), but the interaction (parentification score x communication score) was only marginally significant (p = 0.0655). These findings indicate that communication/disclosure of the chronic illness to the healthy sibling has important implications on the quality of the sibling relationship.
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    Why are we "friends" online with our face-to-face antipathies?
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2018) Green, Tiffany; Casper, Deborah M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This study explored the reasons why emerging adults remain friends online with their face-to-face antipathy. Even further, this study explored to what degree these individuals were interacting with and lurking on their antipathy on the four various social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. It also analyzed the associations among attachment, jealousy and fear of missing with individual lurking online. In this study, the reasons for remaining friends online with their former friend were categorized into eight distinct themes. The themes include hope of reconciliation, attention seeking, aggression, comparison, reconciled, past or present social connection, indifference, and lurking. It was found that the individuals in this study were lurking on their former friend across all social media platforms. Further analysis indicated that some of these individuals were also interacting with their former friend on these platforms. Fear of missing out was positively associated with luring on their former friend on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However, Jealousy was only positively associated with lurking on their former friend on Facebook and Instagram but not Twitter. Generally, individuals remain friends with their antipathy on social media because they have some form of connection with them. Although, the term friend is often used to describe online connection in this study, the term is in fact ambiguous as these individuals who are “friends” on social media are not mutual liking relationships. Further research should continue to look into the various consequences and associations for remaining friends on social media with an antipathy. It should also seek to replicate the themes found within this study for remaining friends with their antipathy on social media.
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    Do altruistic acts in emerging adults translate to a willingness to forgive?
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Peters, Candace S.; Totenhagen, Casey; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Forgiveness is linked with a host of benefits for the forgiver and is an important predictor of well-being; therefore, it is important to understand what predicts an individual’s willingness to forgive others, especially within emerging adults due to their unique developmental stage (individuation issues and emergence of an understanding of forgiveness) (Subkoviak et al., 1995). This study aimed to explore the association between frequency of altruistic acts and willingness to forgive within emerging adults. Furthermore, pressure-based and pleasure-based motivations were explored to determine if they alter this association. Self-report surveys from emerging adults (N = 177, individuals 18-25 years old) attending a large public university in the southeast were used. Results indicated that frequency of altruistic acts, on their own, did not significantly predict willingness to forgive. Moreover, the results showed that pleasure-based prosocial motivation did not have a significant interaction with altruistic acts in association with willingness to forgive; however, a significant interaction between altruistic acts and pressure-based motives was found. As anticipated, with low pressure-based motives, when altruistic acts increased there was an increase in willingness to forgive; with high pressure-based motives, when altruistic acts increased there was a decrease in willingness to forgive. Future directions concerning willingness to forgive and altruism in emerging adults are discussed. Keywords: willingness to forgive, altruistic acts, prosocial motivations, emerging adults, pleasure, pressure, higher education
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    Adult children caregivers of parents with Alzheimer’s Dementia
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2017) Meyer, Grace Helen; Witte, Tricia H.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Dementia is a neurological disease that affects cognitive functioning. Those who suffer from dementia lose their cognitive abilities and the ability to care for themselves, and as the disease progresses, they often require assistance with daily living. The purpose of this study was to examine familial caregivers – specifically adult children -- of Alzheimer patients. This study investigated (1) sociocultural factors that may contribute to the decision to take on the caregiver role (i.e., gender roles and cultural beliefs); (2) family-level factors that may contribute to burden (i.e., family decision making process, family coping), and (3) health habits associated with caregiver burden (i.e., alcohol and drug use). A total of 391 family caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients were recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website. This study showed that sociocultural factors contribute to the decision to care for a parent, family-level factors contribute to burden, and health habits are associated with that burden.
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    Does group membership affect children's judgments of social transgressions?
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Chapman, Melissa; Scofield, Jason M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Children judge moral transgressions as more serious and more punish-worthy than conventional transgressions (Slomkowski & Killen, 1992; Smetana, 1981). Children also judge the actions of in-group members more favorably than those of out-group members (Aboud, 2003; Zak & Knack, 2001). The current study asked whether children would judge moral and conventional transgressions committed by an in-group member differently when compared to the same acts committed by an out-group member (i.e., act judgments). Additionally, it asked whether children would judge the transgressors themselves differently based on their group status (i.e., in-group, out-group, neutral, and self). Results show that preschool children reliably judge moral and conventional transgressions differently. Compared to children’s judgments of out-group members, their judgments of in-group members were more lenient. Results suggest that group membership does indeed affect how serious or punish-worthy a violation and a violator are judged to be.
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    What not to swear: how do children learn bad words?
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Savage, Shakira Desiree; Scofield, Jason M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Children begin producing taboo words as early as ages one or two years old and produce them at a steady rate until the teenage years. However, little is known about how children acquire taboo words and whether the acquisition of taboo words is similar to the acquisition of other types of words. The current study explores the differences in how children acquire a novel taboo word compared to a novel object word. Three- to 8-year-olds (N=97) saw a short video featuring nonsense words that were framed as either novel object words or novel taboo words. Children identified the nature of the word (i.e., good/bad, right/wrong), reproduced the word, identified the original source of the word, and made several additional judgements about that source. Participants also completed the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) as a measure of receptive vocabulary. Results revealed both older and younger children learn taboo words, but only younger children did so at rate greater than object words. Additionally, taboo words were the only word type not related to increases in vocabulary size.
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    College students and their relationships with parents
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Bruchas, Emily Therese; Curtner-Smith, Mary Elizabeth; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This study identified college age emerging adults’ perceptions of their parents’ parenting as it relates to three constructs of parenting and how those constructs related to the emerging adults’ psychological well-being during the transition to college. Participants in this study were traditional college students at The University of Alabama who were single, never married, between the ages of 18 and 22 years, and have heterosexual parents. The emerging adults surveyed perceived three separate constructs of their parents’ parenting: warmth/support, hovering and intrusion, and taking over. Participants who perceived high parental warmth and support reported better psychological well-being in all areas of assessment (anxiety, stress, loneliness, depression, and GPA). Those who perceived parents to be hovering and intruding or taking over their life reported lower levels of psychological well-being, although GPA was unrelated.
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    Differences in affect through medical play
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2016) Davis, Fairfax; Burns-Nader, Sherwood; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Child life specialists use play as a central mechanism to teach and communicate with their patients. Play allows children to learn, engage in their surroundings, and express themselves. A variety of types of play, including pretend and medical play, can be seen within the work of child life specialists. Few studies have examined medical play outside of the hospital, with no studies examining the affect displayed in medical play. The purpose of this research study is to examine the differences in affect expressed in children through non-medical themed pretend play and medical pretend play. Thirty-seven children, three to four years old, participated in the study. This study aimed to examine medical play outside of the hospital setting. Fantasy, positive expression, and additional pretend play qualities were analyzed to determine participants’ affect during medical play. Participants also engaged in pretend play without a medical theme as a mode of comparison. During non-medical themed pretend play, participants’ played the role of the pizza maker. During medical play, participants’ played the role of the doctor. The play sessions lasted a maximum of 10 minutes each, and they were recorded. Videos were then coded to examine the affect displayed in each play session. Children were asked to self report their feelings during the play sessions. The findings indicated that differences in affect do exist between non-medical themed pretend play and medical play. Children displayed more affect in the pizza play sessions than the medical play sessions. In addition, differences in affect were demonstrated between the quality of fantasy, comfort level, and frequency of play with children displaying more fantasy, comfort, and frequency of affect during play. Participants played longer with the pizza play items and reported more positive feelings after non-medical themed pretend play than medical pretend play. Children who are feeling unpleasant emotions have been found to display less affect and engage in less play. Considering this, the current study may suggest that medical play is associated with unpleasant thoughts decreasing the expression of affect and length of play. Adults providing medical play to children, such as child life specialists, should be sensitive to the cues provided during such play, including affect, and provide support to increase normalization and positive feelings during medical play.
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    The development of young children's emotion regulation and their mothers' coping strategies
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2015) Schaefers, Kelly Wilson; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This study sought to establish correlations between maternal emotion regulation strategies and children’s emotion regulation understanding. Ninety-seven children three-to-six years old, together with their mothers, participated. Mothers completed the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) and Vignette and Strategy Questionnaire (VSQ) to report on their use of six emotion regulation strategies (reappraisal, suppression, passive, expressing, problem-solving, and seeking). Children participated in a puppet task designed to measure the child’s ability to identify healthy emotion regulation strategies. A multiple linear regression using the child’s age, the six maternal emotion regulation strategies, and the child’s performance on the puppet task revealed that only the child’s age significantly predicted performance. Positive correlations were found between reappraisal use and expressing, problem-solving, and seeking strategies. Suppression was negatively correlated with expressing. Contrary to expectations, passive strategy use did not correlate to either reappraisal or suppression. The findings suggest that mothers' coping strategies do not seem to impact young children's emotion regulation. Rather, young children's knowledge of healthy ways to control emotions appears to develop with age.
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    Children's evaluations of moral and conventional retaliations
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2015) Williams, Laurie; Scofield, Jason M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Recent research has found that children are able to effectively interpret and justify situations of moral provocation and retaliation and that their disapproval of provocation increases with age (Astor, 1994; Smetana, Campione-Barr & Yell, 2003). The current study aimed to discover whether children judge moral provocation and retaliation as worse than conventional provocation and retaliation, and if these judgments changed depending on the pattern in which the acts occur. 47 adults and 106 children (aged 4-9) were presented with 8 conditions that combine moral violations and retaliations with conventional violations and retaliations. These conditions were designed to present participants with violations and retaliations that came from within the same domain, and some that came from different domains, (i.e., ‘matched’ and ‘mismatched’ domain conditions). It was hypothesized that in all scenarios, children would judge acts of moral transgressions and retaliations as worse and more punishable than conventional. Findings showed that unprovoked transgressions were judged as worse than provoked transgressions, with the most leniency being for provoked transgressions in the conventional domain. Children between ages 4-6 displayed the least leniency for retaliations when compared to older children and adults.
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    Child life iPad distraction: a psychosocial tool for children receiving an injection
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2015) Atencio, Stephanie; Burns-Nader, Sherwood; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Distraction is a common and effective type of nonpharmacological intervention that offers support to children during medical procedures. Distraction helps children shift their attention away from a procedure to something more positive and engaging. Child life specialists are health care professionals who utilize distraction as a way to promote children's coping. Child life specialists are frequently using the iPad for interventions, including distraction, yet little research has examined the iPad as an effective distraction tool in pediatric health care. Also, few studies examine the psychosocial support that is provided by child life specialists during distraction. The purpose of this research was to assess the effectiveness of iPad distraction provided by a child life specialist on children receiving an injection at a pediatric clinic. Forty-one child participants, from 4- to 11-years-old, were randomly assigned to one of two groups: the standard iPad group and the child life iPad group. The standard iPad group received iPad distraction, but did not receive the component of child life. The child life iPad group received iPad distraction during an injection with psychosocial support from a child life specialist. Each child engaged with the iPad prior to the injection to provide familiarity and instruction on the specified iPad activity he or she would use. Children from 4- to 7-years-old engaged in "Talking Tom" and children 8- to 11-years-old played "Cut the Rope." Once the nurse entered the room to administer the injection, children in the child life iPad group were encouraged to continue playing the selected activity and were positively redirected to the iPad during the injection by the child life specialist. Children in the standard iPad group were not encouraged to continue engaging with the iPad, yet still had access to the iPad activity. The findings show that child life iPad distraction did not benefit those who received psychosocial support during the injection more than those who did not receive the psychosocial support. Gender and age differences were noted on children's pain and emotions during the injection with males and older children showing less pain and emotional behavior compared to females and younger children.
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    Exploring contexts that facilitate optimal infant and toddler verbal and non-verbal communication
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2015) Gunn, Lindy; Hernandez-Reif, Maria; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Associations were examined between amount and type of communicative behavior and several contexts: child's age, communication partner (e.g., adult, peer), communication style (i.e., adult- or child-directed), and temperament. Researchers removed a common bias featured in much of the research on infant and toddler communication, the use of a mother or a classroom caregiver as the communication partner. To remove this bias, the children participated in four trials: one solo (alone) play for baseline information, one peer-play and two adult-child play interactions (one adult-directed and one child-directed). Twenty two infants and toddlers from 6-to-26 months of age were videotaped and coded for nonverbal communication (e.g. showing, pointing, taking, and offering gestures) and verbal communication (e.g. vocalizations or non-word utterances and verbalizations or speaking words that were understood by the researchers), as well as affect (mood) during the four trials. A temperament scale was also completed by each child's teacher to examine the relationship between temperament and children's communicative behaviors. Researchers hypothesized: 1) Toddlers will verbally communicate (includes both vocalizations and verbalizations) more than infants; 2) All children will vocalize and verbalize more with adults than with peers; 3) The adult-directed trial will encourage higher amounts of communication from all children than the child-directed trial; and 4) Children with higher intensity, activity, approachability, positive mood and adaptability scores on the Carey Temperament Scale will vocalize and gesture more frequently in all trials. Data analyses revealed that toddlers communicated more than infants the adult-directed trials yielded more communication than the solo and peer trials did, though the toddlers held the weight of the interactions when both groups were combined; the two adult trials were comparable, and not significantly different from each other. Temperament did not appear to affect young children's communication production, with the exception of a negative correlation between positive mood ratings and overall communication. Several other analyses examining correlations between other behaviors were also significant. In sum, contexts that facilitate optimal interactions differ for infants and toddlers. Adults should keep these results in mind when communicating with very young children, as there is more than one "optimal" context of communication for infants and toddlers.