Featured Articles Fall 2013

dpThe Antecendents and Consequences of Racial/Ethnic Discrimination During Adolescence
Aprile D. Benner and Sandra Graham
Developmental Psychology 49(8): 1602-1613, 2013
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Abstract: In the current study, we examined the precursors and consequences of discrimination for 876 Latino, African American, and Asian American adolescents (Mage = 16.9 years, SD = 0.43). The race/ethnic characteristics of schools and neighborhoods influenced adolescents’ perceptions of the race/ethnic climates of these contexts. In turn, adolescents who viewed climates more negatively were more likely to perceive discriminatory treatment by school personnel, peers, and societal institutions. Discrimination from these 3 sources exerted differential influence on developmental outcomes: Greater discrimination from school personnel was associated with poorer academic performance, greater discrimination from peers was associated with more psychological maladjustment, and greater societal discrimination was associated with heightened racial awareness. Relations were consistent across race/ethnic groups and gender. Implications for intervening to reduce racial discrimination and other social stigmas are discussed.

Journal of Policy Analysis and ManagementDiscouraging Disadvantaged Fathers' Employment: An Unintended Consequence of Policies Designed to Support Families
Maria Cancian, Carolyn J. Heinrich, and Yiyoon Chung
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 31(4): 758-784, 2013
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Abstract: Substantial declines in employment and earnings among disadvantaged men may be exacerbated by child support enforcement policies that are designed to help support families but may have the unintended consequence of discouraging fathers’ employment. Disentangling causal effects is challenging because high child support debt may be both a cause and a consequence of unemployment and low child support order compliance. We used childbirth costs charged in unmarried mothers’ Medicaid-covered childbirths, from Wisconsin administrative records, as an exogenous source of variation to identify the impact of debt. We found that greater debt has a substantial negative effect on fathers’ formal employment and child support payments, and that this effect is mediated by fathers’ prebirth earnings histories.

CyberpsychologySharing, Liking, Commenting, and Distressed? The Pathway Between Facebook Interaction and Psychological Distress

Wenhong Chen and Kye-Hyoung Lee
Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking DOI:10.1089/cyber.2012.0272, 2013
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Abstract: Studies on the mental health implications of social media have generated mixed results. Drawing on a survey of college students (N=513), this research uses structural equation modeling to assess the relationship between Facebook interaction and psychological distress and two underlying mechanisms: communication overload and self-esteem. It is the first study, to our knowledge, that examines how communication overload mediates the mental health implications of social media. Frequent Facebook interaction is associated with greater distress directly and indirectly via a two-step pathway that increases communication overload and reduces self-esteem. The research sheds light on new directions for understanding psychological well-being in an increasingly mediated social world as users share, like, and comment more and more.

addPerceived Pubertal Timing and Recent Substance Use Among Adolescents
Jennifer Cance Duncan, Susan T. Ennett, Antonio A. Morgan-Lopez, Vangie A. Foshee, and Anna E. Talley
Addiction 108(10): 1845-1854, 2013
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Abstract: Aims: To determine the longitudinal associations between perceived pubertal timing and recent substance use between the ages of 11 and 17 years. Design, setting and participants: A school-based cohort sequential study of adolescents in rural North Carolina, USA (n = 6892, 50% female) in the 6–8th grades at baseline and interviewed across five consecutive semesters. Measurements: Self-administered questionnaires in a group setting measured perceived pubertal development using the Pubertal Development Scale and adolescents reported past 3-month use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana. Latent class growth analysis determined the longitudinal relationships between perceived pubertal timing (early, on-time and late) and use of the three substances. Findings: A negative quadratic model was the best-fitting model for all three substances. Higher proportions of early developers had used cigarettes and marijuana within the past 3 months at age 11 compared with on-time (P < 0.001 and P = 0.013) and late developers (P = 0.010 and P = 0.014) and a higher proportion of early developers had recently used alcohol at age 11 compared with on-time adolescents (P < 0.001). However, the proportion of recent cigarette and marijuana users increased more across adolescence for on-time adolescents compared with early developers (P = 0.020 and P = 0.037). Desistance in the proportion of substance users was similar for all adolescents (all P > 0.050). Conclusions: Adolescents who believe they are more advanced in puberty than their peers are more likely to have used cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana recently compared with adolescents who believe they are on-time or late developing; these findings are mainly due to differences in use at age 11.

jgHelp With "Strings Attached": Offspring Perceptions That Middle-Aged Parents Offer Conflicted Support
Karen L. Fingerman, Yen-Pi Cheng, Kelly E. Cichy, Kira S. Birditt, and Steven Zarit
Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbt032, 2013
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Abstract: Objectives: Middle-aged adults often provide beneficial support to grown children. Yet, in some relationships, grown children may feel beholden or intruded upon when they receive parental help. The purpose of this study was to examine such conflicted support in relationships between middle-aged parents and young adults. Methods: Middle-aged parents (aged 40–60, n = 399) and their grown children (n = 592) participated. Parents rated perceptions of providing support and relationship quality with each child. Grown children indicated whether their mothers and fathers provided conflicted support and rated their perceptions of parental support, relationship quality, and other factors. Results: Multilevel models revealed that offspring’s perceptions of conflicted support were associated with (a) parents’ evaluations about providing support (e.g., greater stress and beliefs that grown children should be autonomous), (b) poorer quality relationships, and (c) offspring having more problems. Discussion: Findings suggest that perceptions of conflicted support are embedded in a larger constellation of relationship problems and underlying distress for parents and children. These patterns may reflect lifelong difficulties in the tie or that arise in adulthood. Researchers might seek to understand how dyads experiencing such conflicted support differ from more normative relationships characterized by warmth and well-received support.

cdpSpanking and Child Development: We Know Enough Now to Hitting Our Children
Elizabeth T. Gershoff
Child Development Perspectives 7(3): 133-137, 2013
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Abstract: Spanking remains a common, if controversial, childrearing practice in the United States. In this article, I pair mounting research indicating that spanking is both ineffective and harmful with professional and human rights opinions disavowing the practice. I conclude that spanking is a form of violence against children that should no longer be a part of American childrearing.

sfWhat's So Special about STEM? A Comparison of Women's Retention in STEM and Professional Occupations
Jennifer L. Glass, Sharon Sassler, Yael Levitte, and Katherine M. Michelmore
Social Forces DOI:10.1093/sf/sot092, 2013
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Abstract: We follow female college graduates in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and compare the trajectories of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)-related occupations to other professional occupations. Results show that women in STEM occupations are significantly more likely to leave their occupational field than professional women, especially early in their career, while few women in either group leave jobs to exit the labor force. Family factors cannot account for the differential loss of STEM workers compared to other professional workers. Few differences in job characteristics emerge either, so these cannot account for the disproportionate loss of STEM workers. What does emerge is that investments and job rewards that generally stimulate field commitment, such as advanced training and high job satisfaction, fail to build commitment among women in STEM.

jpIndividual Differences in the Relationship Transition Context: Links to physiological Outcomes
Elizabeth Keneski, Elizabeth A. Schoenfeld, and Timothy J. Loving
Journal of Personality DOI:10.111/jopy.12057, 2013
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Abstract: The identification of relationship-relevant individual differences is central to elucidating how relationship experiences differentially impact individuals’ health. To this end, we highlight the utility of studying the influence of individual differences on physiological outcomes (e.g., cortisol reactivity and recovery) in the context of normative relationship transitions. We argue that relationship transitions, such as falling in love and the process of committing to marry one's partner, amplify the influence of individual differences on relationship processes and, by extension, on physiological outcomes. Two such individual differences are highlighted—namely, relationship-focused processing and dependence—and suggestions for future work are provided.

psBayes Plus Brass: A New Procedure for Estimating Total Fertility in a Large Set of Small Areas from Sparse Census Data
Carl P. Schmertmann, Suzana M. Cavenaghi, Renato M. Assunção, and Joseph E. Potter
Population Studies DOI:10.1080/00324728.2013.795602, 2013
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Abstract: Estimates of fertility in small areas are valuable for analysing demographic change, and important for local planning and population projection. In countries lacking complete vital registration, however, small-area estimates are possible only from sparse survey or census data that are potentially unreliable. In these circumstances estimation requires new methods for old problems: procedures must be automated if thousands of estimates are required; they must deal with extreme sampling variability in many areas; and they should also incorporate corrections for possible data errors. We present a two-step procedure for estimating total fertility in such circumstances and illustrate it by applying the method to data from the 2000 Brazilian Census for over 5,000 municipalities. Our proposed procedure first smoothes local age-specific rates using Empirical Bayes methods and then applies a new variant of Brass's P/F parity correction procedure that is robust to conditions of rapid fertility decline.

ssrBlack-White Differences in Maternal Age, Maternal Birth Cohort, and Period on Infant Mortality in the U.S. 1983-2002
Daniel A. Powers
Social Science Research 42(4): 1033-1045, 2013
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Abstract: We investigate three interrelated sources of change in infant mortality rates over a 20 year period using the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) linked birth and infant death cohort files. The effects of maternal age, maternal birth cohort, and time period of childbirth on infant mortality are estimated using a modified age/period/cohort (APC) model that identifies age, period, cohort effects. We document black–white differences in the patterning of these effects and find that maternal age effects follow the predictable U-shaped pattern, net of period and cohort, but with a less steep gradient in the black population. The largest relative maternal age-specific disparity in IMR occurs among older African American mothers. Cohort effects, while considerably smaller than age and period effects, present an interesting pattern of a modest decline in IMR among later cohorts of African American mothers coupled with an increasing IMR among the same cohorts of non-Hispanic whites. However, period effects dominate the time trends, implying that period-related technologies overwhelmingly shape US infant survival in today’s population. These general findings are mirrored in APC analyses carried out for several leading underlying causes of infant mortality.

ssqRacial and Social Class Differences in How Parents Respond to Inadequate Achievement: Consequences for Children's Future Achievement
Keith Robinson and Angel L. Harris
Social Science Quarterly DOI:10.1111/ssqu.12007, 2013
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Abstract: Objective: Despite numerous studies on parental involvement in children's academic schooling, there is a dearth of knowledge on how parents respond specifically to inadequate academic performance. This study examines whether (1) racial differences exist in parenting philosophy for addressing inadequate achievement, (2) social class has implications for parenting philosophy, and (3) parents’ philosophies are consequential for children's academic achievement. Methods: Using data from the Child Development Supplement (N = 1,041) to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we sort parents into two categories—those whose parenting repertoires for addressing poor achievement include punitive responses and those whose repertoires do not. We then determine whether racial differences exist between these categories and how various responses within the aforementioned categories are related to students’ academic achievement. Results: The findings show that white and black parents have markedly different philosophies on how to respond to inadequate performance, and these differences appear to impact children's achievement in dramatically different ways. Conclusion: Educators and policymakers should pay particular attention to how parents respond to inadequate achievement as imploring parents of inadequately performing students to be more involved without providing them with some guidance might exacerbate the problem.

jgWidowhood and Depression: New Light on Gender Differences, Selection, and Psychological Adjustment
Isaac Sasson and Debra Umberson
Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences DOI:10.1093/geronb/gbt058, 2013
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Abstract: Objectives: To document short- and long-term trajectories of depressive symptoms following widowhood and to test whether these trajectories vary by gender and anticipatory spousal loss. Method: Eight waves of prospective panel data from the Health and Retirement Study, over a 14-year period, are used to evaluate gender differences in depressive symptoms following widowhood in late midlife. Short-term trajectories are modeled using a linear regression of change in Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) score on duration of widowhood. Long-term trajectories are modeled using a mixed-effects hierarchical linear model of CES-D scores over time. Results: We find no gender differences in bereavement effects on depressive symptoms in either short or long term, net of widowhood duration. When spousal death is anticipated, both men and women return to their prewidowhood levels of depressive symptoms within 24 months of becoming widowed. Across marital groups, the continuously married are better off compared with the widowed even prior to spousal loss, whereas early, long-term widowhood is associated with worse outcomes compared with late widowhood. Discussion: Although men and women do not differ in trajectories of depressive symptoms following widowhood, given similar circumstances, women are distinctly disadvantaged in that they are more likely to become widowed and under less favorable conditions.  

jcfsMaternal Knowledge and Behaviors Regarding Discipline: The Effectiveness of a Hands-On Education Program in Positive Guidance
Rachel Saunders, Laura McFarland-Piazza, Deborah Jacobvitz, Nancy Hazen-Swann, Rosalinda Burton
Journal of Child and Family Studies 22(3): 322-334, 2013
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Abstract: This study examined which method is most effective in supporting parents to use positive guidance techniques, a lecture-based only parent training series or a lecture-based plus hands-on parent training series. Maternal characteristics of depression, stress level, and attitudes towards positive guidance were explored as possible moderators. In this sample of 49 mother–child dyads, results indicated that the cognitive understanding of the use of positive guidance over time of the participants in the lecture-based only versus the lecture-based plus hands-on groups did not significantly differ. However, both groups improved in their cognitive understanding of positive guidance over time. Results also indicated that the behavioral use of positive guidance over time of the participants in both groups significantly differed. Further investigation revealed that, although the two groups did not differ in their behavioral use of positive guidance before the program, the lecture-based plus hands-on group improved over time whereas the lecture-based only group did not. Depression, stress level, and attitudes towards positive guidance did not moderate the effects of being in either group on participants’ behavioral use of positive guidance. Findings showed that all participants gained a better understanding of effective parenting techniques, but a hands-on component in parent training programs may be necessary for parents to incorporate these strategies into their parenting behaviors. The results have implications for early childhood professionals working with parents to address children’s behavior issues, as well as for the design of parent-support programs.

sfIt's Who You Work With: Effects of Workplace Shares of Nonstandard Employees and Women in Japan
Wei-hsin Yu
Social Forces 92(1): 25-57, 2013
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Abstract: Previous research on workplace composition has not addressed how the share of nonstandard employees affects individual workers' opportunities and well-being. Moreover, existing studies generally assume that the effect of a group's numerical representation is mediated through the group's relative power and status within establishments. This study asks whether workplace composition matters when the size of each social group has little impact on its relative status. Specifically, I examine the economic and psychological consequences of the proportions of nonstandard employees and women in Japanese workplaces, where both groups are typically secondary workers who lack power regardless of their relative size. The results indicate that working in establishments with modest proportions of nonstandard employees enhances individuals' wages and likelihood of promotion, but working in those with higher proportions is detrimental. Conversely, the greater the share of nonstandard employees in a workplace, the more likely all workers are to suffer psychologically. Workplace gender composition is also linked to Japanese workers' reported chances of promotion and life satisfaction, but it is relevant to fewer worker outcomes than employment-status composition. This analysis underscores the need to consider workplace demography, even if the power and status gaps between different social groups vary little with each group's share within establishments. In addition, the findings suggest that the global trend of increasing nonstandard work arrangements has a more extensive impact on disparities among workers than prior research implies.