Featured Articles Spring 2011

Racial and Ethnic Variation in the Predictors of Maternal Parenting Stress
Jodi Berger Cardoso, Yolanda C. Padilla, McClain Sampson
Journal of Social Service Research 5:429-444, 2010
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Abstract: Little is known about racial and ethnic disparities in maternal parenting stress. Using Belsky's (1984) conceptual model, which characterizes parenting stress as a function of maternal and child characteristics and social context, we examine determinants of parenting stress among Mexican American mothers in comparison to non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black mothers. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being (FFCWB) Study, we analyze a sample of 2,898 mothers. According to our findings, patterns of parenting stress for non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black mothers are fairly consistent with Belsky's model. However, for Mexican American mothers, social support, but not partner support, ameliorates parenting stress, and depression is not associated with parenting stress. Importantly, despite significant social disadvantage, parenting stress levels in Mexican American mothers do not significantly differ from those of non-Hispanic Whites. Specific recommendations are made to practitioners for culturally competent responses to parenting stress with Mexican American Families.

Intermarriage and the Intergenerational Transmission of Ethnic Identity and Human Capital for Mexican Americans
Brian Duncan and Stephen J. Trejo
Journal of Labor Economics 29:195-227, 2011
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Abstract: We investigate whether selective intermarriage and endogenous ethnic identification interact to hide some of the intergenerational progress achieved by the Mexican-origin population in the United States. In part, we do this by comparing an "objective" indicator of Mexican descent (based on the countries of birth of the respondent and his parents and grandparents) with the standard "subjective" measure of Mexican self-identification (based on the respondent's answer to the Hispanic-origin question). For third-generation Mexican American youth, we show that ethnic attrition is substantial and could produce significant downward bias in standard measures of attainment that rely on ethnic self-identification.

The Effects of Parental Marital Discord and Divorce on the Religious and Spiritual Lives of Young Adults
Christopher G. Ellison, Anthony B. Walker, Norval D. Glenn, and Elizabeth Marquardt
Social Science Research 40:538-551, 2011
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Abstract: A growing literature reveals that parental divorce and marital discord can have undesirable effects on the mental health and social well-being of children, some ofwhich extend well into adulthood. Our study augments this body of work by focusing on the interplay of divorce and discord in shaping the religious and spiritual lives of young adults. Several discrete subgroups of young adults are identified in terms of parentalmarital status and degree of parents'marital conflict, andmultiple religious and spiritual outcomes are considered. Data are taken fromthe National Survey on the Moral and Spiritual Lives of Young Adults from Divorced and Intact Families, a nationwide US telephone survey of approximately 1500 young adults ages 18-35 conducted in 2001. Findings confirm that persons raised by parents in intact, happy,low-conflict marriages tend to score higher on most religious and spiritual outcomes. However, offspring from divorced families and those from intact high-conflict families differ on some outcomes, but not others. Indicators of traditional institutional religious practices and beliefs appear more vulnerable to the effects of parental divorce and discord than personal spiritual beliefs and practices. Overall, findings reveal a rich but complex set of relationships between family background and religious and spiritual lives among young adults.

Contraindications to Combined Oral Contraceptives Among Over-the-Counter Compared With Prescription Users
Daniel Grossman, Kari White, Kristine Hopkins, Jon Amastae, Michele Shedlin, and Joseph E. Potter
Obstetrics & Gynecology 117(3), 2011
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To compare the estimated proportion of contraindications to combined oral contraceptives between women who obtained combined oral contraceptives in U.S. public clinics compared with women who obtained combined oral contraceptives over the counter (OTC) in Mexican pharmacies.  METHODS: We recruited a cohort of 501 women who were residents of El Paso, Texas, who obtained OTC combined oral contraceptives in Mexico and 514 women who obtained combined oral contraceptives from family planning clinics in El Paso. Based on self-report of World Health Organization category 3 and 4 contraindications and interviewer-measured blood pressure, we estimated the proportion of contraindications and, using multivariable-adjusted logistic regression, identified possible predictors of contraindications.  RESULTS: The estimated proportion of any category 3 or 4 contraindication was 18%. Relative contraindications (category 3) were more common among OTC users (13% compared with 9% among clinic users, P=.006). Absolute contraindications (category 4) were not different between the groups (5% for clinic users compared with 7% for OTC users, P=.162). Hypertension was the most prevalent contraindication (5.6% of clinic users and 9.8% of OTC users). After multivariable adjustment, OTC users had higher odds of having contraindications compared with clinic users (odds ratio [OR] 1.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.11-2.29). Women aged 35 years or older (OR 5.30, 95% CI 3.59-7.81) and those with body mass index 30.0 or more (OR 2.24, 95% CI 1.40-3.56) also had higher odds of having contraindications.  CONCLUSION: Relative combined oral contraceptive contraindications are more common among OTC users in this setting. Progestin-only pills might be a better candidate for the first OTC product given their fewer contraindications.

Accent, Perpetual Foreigner Stereotype, and Perceived Discrimination as Indirect Links Between English Proficiency and Depressive Symptoms in Chinese American Adolescents
Su Yeong Kim, Yijie Wang, Shiying Deng, Rocio Alvarez, and Jing Li
Developmental Psychology, 47:289-301, 2011
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Abstract: The current study uses Garcı´a Coll et al.'s (1996) developmental competence model of ethnic minority children and Kim's (1999) racial triangulation theory as frameworks for investigating the mechanisms whereby early adolescent English proficiency relates to perceived discriminatory experiences and adolescent depressive symptoms. Data from 444 adolescents (239 girls and 205 boys, with a mean age of 13.0 years for Wave 1 and 17.0 years for Wave 2) and their parents living in major metropolitan areas of Northern California were collected. The structural equation modeling analyses indicate that selfreported low levels of English proficiency among Chinese American adolescents in middle school are related to these same students later reporting that they speak English with an accent in high school, which in turn relates significantly to their perceiving that they have been stereotyped as perpetual foreigners. For girls, a perpetual foreigner stereotype relates to perceptions of chronic daily discrimination, increasing the risk of depressive symptoms. For boys, the path is different: A perpetual foreigner stereotype is apparently related to discriminatory victimization experiences, which increase the risk of depressive symptoms.

Promoting Folic Acid to Spanish-Speaking Hispanic Women: Evaluating Existing Campaigns to Guide New Development
Michael Mackert, LeeAnn Kahlor, Kristi Silva, and Yolanda Padilla
Women & Health 50:376-295, 2010
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Abstract: Hispanic women are 1.5-3 times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to have a child affected by neural tube defects. This disparity exists in spite of varied interventions designed to address the problem. The purpose of this research was to investigate Hispanic women's knowledge of folic acid, perceptions of existing education campaigns, and provide guidance for future promotion efforts. Three focus groups with Hispanic mothers (N = 18) were conducted to garner insights on these issues. Results suggested that these women understood the benefits of folic acid, did not see major cultural barriers to consuming folic acid-rich foods, and did not perceive insurmountable challenges to consuming a multivitamin with folic acid. For many women, an initial pregnancy served as their initial cue to action, suggesting a need for the continued development of education strategies that communicate the benefits of folic acid supplementation prior to pregnancy. Such strategies may necessitate targeting younger audiences, including teenagers.

The Third Therapeutic System: Faith Healing Strategies in the Context of a Generalized AIDS Epidemic
Nicolette D. Manglos and Jenny Trinitapoli
Journal of Health and Social Behavior 52:107-122, 2011
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Abstract: Faith healing in sub-Saharan Africa has primarily been studied qualitatively among Pentecostal-Charismatic groups, and considered as its own phenomenon with little attention to its relationship to other modes of healing. Using data from Malawi, a religiously diverse African country with high HIV prevalence, we find that faith healing is pervasive across multiple religious traditions. For individuals, attending a faith healing congregation is associated with lower levels of generalized worry about AIDS, and this association is driven by those who switched churches before AIDS became widespread in rural areas. Use of condoms and traditional medicine are, on the other hand, positively associated with worry about AIDS. We argue that faith healing can be understood as a third therapeutic system that coexists with the well-documented biomedical and traditional systems. The success of faith healing approaches lies in their unique ability to combine individual-pragmatic and communal-ritualized aspects of healing to inform interpretations of the AIDS epidemic and its consequences.

A note on race, ethnicity and nativity differentials in remarriage in the United States
Catherine B. McNamee and R. Kelly Raley
Demographic Research 24:293-312, 2011
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Abstract: The objectives of this study are to produce up-to-date estimates of race/ethnic/nativity differentials for remarriage and repartnership among women in the United States and to see if these differences are due to across-group differences in demographic characteristics. First, we produce lifetable estimates of remarriage and repartnering for white, black, U.S. born Latina and foreign born Latina women. Next, we estimate race/ethnic/nativity differentials for remarriage and repartnership using event-history analysis with and without controls for demographic characteristics. The results suggest a continued overall decline in remarriage rates, while many women repartner by cohabitating. Whites are more likely than blacks or Latinas to remarry and they are also more likely to repartner. Race/ethnic/nativity differentials remain even after accounting for variations in demographic characteristics. This suggests that race/ethnic/nativity differentials in remarriage and repartnering rates, rather than ameliorating disadvantages associated with divorce, reinforce these differentials.

Parental Acceptance and Illegal Drug Use among Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Adolescents: Results from a National Survey
Yolanda C. Padilla, Catherine Crisp, and Donna Lynn Rew
Social Work 55(1):265-275, 2010
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Abstract: Although gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) adolescents face many of the same developmental challenges as do heterosexual adolescents, they must also deal with the stress of being part of a stigmatized group. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which family support and involvement with the queer community may buffer the effects of life stress on substance use among GLB youths. Drawing on a large national online survey, the authors examined drug use in 1,906 GLB youths 12 to 17 years of age. Overall, 20 percent of the youths reported using illegal substances in the past 30 days. Results from multivariate analyses revealed that stress, as measured by suicidal ideation, significantly increased the risk of drug use. A positive reaction from the mother to the youth's coming out served as a significant protective factor, whereas involvement in a queer youth group had no effect. The authors found evidence that, for GLB adolescents, parental acceptance of sexual identity is an important aspect of a strong family relationship and, thus, has important ramifications for their healthy development. Implications of the findings for social work practice are discussed.

Continuation of Prescribed Compared With Over-the-Counter Oral Contraceptives
Joseph E. Potter, Sarah McKinnon, Kristine Hopkins, Jon Amastae, Michele Shedlin, Daniel A. Powers, and Daniel Grossman
Obstetrics & Gynecology 117(3), 2011
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Abstract:OBJECTIVE: To estimate differences in continuation of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) between U.S. resident women obtaining pills in U.S. family planning clinics compared with over-the-counter in  Mexican pharmacies.  METHODS: In El Paso, Texas, we recruited 514 OCP users who obtained pills over the counter from a Mexican pharmacy and 532 who obtained OCPs by prescription from a family planning clinic in El Paso. A baseline interview was followed by three consecutive surveys over 9 months. We asked about date of last supply, number of pill packs obtained, how long they planned to continue use, and experience of side effects. Retention was 90%, with only 105 women lost to follow-up.  RESULTS: In a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model, discontinuation was higher for women who obtained pills in El Paso clinics compared with those who obtained their pills without a prescription in Mexico (hazard ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-2.3). Considering the number of pill packs dispensed to clinic users, discontinuation rates were higher (hazard ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.7) for clinic users who received one to five pill packs. However, there was no difference in discontinuation between clinic users receiving six or more pill packs and users obtaining pills without a prescription.  CONCLUSION: Results suggest providing OCP users with more pill packs and removing the prescription requirement would lead to increased continuation.

Assessing Group Differences in Estimated Baseline Survivor Functions From Cox Proportional Hazard Models
Daniel A. Powers
Sociological Methods and Research 39:157-187, 2010
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Abstract: The author discusses the general problem of evaluating differences in adjusted survivor functions and develops a heuristic approach to generate the expected events that would occur under a Cox proportional hazards model. Differences in the resulting expected survivor distributions can be tested using generalized log rank tests. This method should prove useful for making other kinds of comparisons and generating adjusted life tables. The author also discusses alternative specifications of the classical Cox model that allow time-varying effects and thus permit a more direct assessment of group differences at various points in time. He implements recently developed semiparametric approaches for estimating time-varying effects, which permit statistical tests of group difference in effects as well as tests of time-invariant effects. He shows that these approaches can provide insight into the nature of time-varying effects and can help reveal the temporal dynamic of group differences.

Questioning a White Male Advantage in STEM: Examining Disparities in College Major by Gender and Race/Ethnicity
Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Barbara King
Educational Researcher 39(9):656-664, 2011
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Abstract: The authors analyze national data on recent college matriculants to investigate gender and racial/ethnic disparities in STEM fields, with an eye toward the role of academic preparation and attitudes in shaping such disparities. Results indicate that physical science/engineering (PS/E) majors are dominated by men, but not, however, disproportionately by White men. After accounting for high school preparation, the odds of declaring a PS/E major are two times greater for Black males than for White males, and Black females are closer than White females to closing the gap with White males. The authors find virtually no evidence that math attitudes contribute to disparities in choice of a PS/E major. Finally, in contrast to PS/E fields, biological sciences draw relatively equitably from all groups.

Emergence of a Gene × Socioeconomic Status Interaction on Infant Mental Ability Between 10 Months and 2 Years
Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, Mijke Rhemtulla, K. Paige Harden, Eric Turkheimer, and David Fask
Psychological Science 22(1): 125-133, 2011
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Abstract: Recent research in behavioral genetics has found evidence for a Gene × Environment interaction on cognitive ability: Individual differences in cognitive ability among children raised in socioeconomically advantaged homes are primarily due to genes, whereas environmental factors are more influential for children from disadvantaged homes. We investigated the developmental origins of this interaction in a sample of 750 pairs of twins measured on the Bayley Short Form test of infant mental ability, once at age 10 months and again at age 2 years. A Gene × Environment interaction was evident on the longitudinal change in mental ability over the study period. At age 10 months, genes accounted for negligible variation in mental ability across all levels of socioeconomic status (SES). However, genetic influences emerged over the course of development, with larger genetic influences emerging for infants raised in higher-SES homes. At age 2 years, genes accounted for nearly 50% of the variation in mental ability of children raised in high-SES homes, but genes continued to account for negligible variation in mental ability of children raised in low-SES homes.