Summer Research Fellowships Funded Proposals
Thank you to all who submitted proposals for summer research fellowships. The following are the funded proposal descriptions and bio sketches:
Serving Immigrant Populations through Evidence-Based Parenting Interventions
Jose Ruben Parra-Cardona, Assistant Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy Program
The U.S. is experiencing an unprecedented wave of immigration. Unfortunately, the children of vulnerable immigrant families, such as Latinos, often have access to mental health services only when their children develop serious disruptive behaviors. Therefore, there is a great need to culturally adapt and disseminate evidence-based preventive interventions among vulnerable immigrant populations.
Our proposed program of collaborative research will culturally adapt an evidence-based parenting intervention known as Parent Management Training-Oregon (PMTO). PMTO was developed with funding from the National Institute of Mental Health and has proven to be efficacious in improving the mental health of children living in at-risk families, as indicated by 9-year follow-up data. A qualitative preliminary study, conducted by the principal investigator and a team of MSU researchers, has provided evidence that Latino immigrant parents consider that this type of intervention would support their parenting efforts as well as their immigration experience. We will also evaluate the implementation feasibility and initial efficacy of the culturally adapted intervention and integrate a program of community-based prevention research in collaboration with MSUE.
The proposed research design will consist of a randomized clinical trial with three treatment conditions: (a) translated-only PMTO, (b) culturally adapted PMTO, and (c) wait-list control group. We expect that when compared with the translated-only version of PMTO and control at treatment completion, the culturally adapted version of PMTO will have the highest rates of participant engagement and retention, as well as the highest treatment effects. We expect that this culturally adapted intervention will contribute toward the reduction of health disparities experienced by Latino immigrants because it will offer the benefits of an evidence-based intervention while remaining responsive to the cultural values and experiences of this ethnic group.
Parra-Cardona completed his dissertation on adolescent fathers of Mexican descent and designed and implemented a parenting program especially for this population. As a result of implementing this study, Parra-Cardona was given a national dissertation award by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). Currently, Parra-Cardona has integrated a research team with investigators from across the nation and local community partners (i.e., Lansing School District, Cristo Rey church, and Michigan Head Start Association). This research team is currently implementing a qualitative study that explores the parenting experiences of Latino parents in this community. Findings will be used to develop and implement a culturally adapted version of the program Parent Management Training Oregon (PMTO), which is an evidence-based prevention intervention developed by Marion Forgatch and her OSLC associates. Parra-Cardona also has published in the areas of cultural identity formation and cultural competence.
Investigating the Impact of a Self-Administered, Evidence-Based Intervention with Preschool Teachers of Children At-risk for Later Behavioral Problems
John S. Carlson, Assoaciate Professor, Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education
The Incredible Years Teacher Training
Program is one of the few intervention programs to reduce preschool children’s externalizing behaviors and promote social competence that has a strong evidence base. Much of that evidence base, however, has yet to be substantiated because this program is disseminated and used within communities that do not have grant support for implementation studies. Pilot research that I have conducted in collaboration with my community partners at Capital Area Community Services, Inc. (CACS) of Lansing, Michigan indicated that Head Start teachers found this classroom management program easy to carry out, highly acceptable, and effective in reducing target children’s disruptive behavior and promoting positive behavior in the classroom. This fellowship opportunity will provide a chance to further disseminate the self-administered version of the program via applied research methods to a broader array of teachers. Partnering with the MSU Extension Office will allow us to further investigate the merits of this efficient and effective classroom management program by identifying sites or preschool programs that might be interested in furthering their capacity to promote successful social, emotional, and behavioral development in young children.
Carlson is an associate professor in the APA-Accredited School
Psychology Program in the College of Education. His research interests include evidence-based mental health prevention and intervention treatment programs for children and adolescents. These include parent and teacher training programs, psychopharmacological approaches, and the use of systematic screening of social, emotional, and behavioral needs within preschool populations. He is currently Principal Investigator of a Michigan Department of Community Health funded grant titled An Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Michigan’s Child Care Expulsion Prevention Initiative, and two Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services within the United States Department of Education doctoral training grants titled Interdisciplinary Leadership Training in the Transportability of Evidence-based Interventions to Diverse Populations: Addressing Behavioral Problems in Early Childhood and Interdisciplinary Leadership Training in Evidenced-based Interventions and Prevention Programs for Children Exhibiting Disruptive Behaviors.