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2015 - SRCD Biennial Meeting Pages: unavailable || Words: unavailable || 
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1. Ravindran, Niyantri., McElwain, Nancy. and Kramer, Laurie. "Mothers’ Distress in Response to Others’ Distress: Contributions to Parenting in a Challenging Situation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Mar 19, 2015 <Not Available>. 2020-02-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p956034_index.html>
Publication Type: Individual Poster
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Personal distress has been defined as “a self-focused, aversive affective reaction to the apprehension of another’s emotion, associated with the desire to alleviate one’s own, but not the other’s distress” (Eisenberg & Eggum, 2009, p. 72). Relatedly, Dix (1991) theorized that parents who experience high levels of negative emotions (such as personal distress) may focus on reducing their own arousal rather than attending to their child’s cues and, in turn, may react less supportively. Yet, little is known empirically about the degree to which personal distress relates to parenting during challenging parent-child situations. Additionally, because personal distress is an emotional reaction specifically to others’ distress, children who display more negative emotions may be susceptible to receiving less support from mothers who experience high levels of personal distress. Thus, we investigated mothers’ distress as a predictor of maternal behavior observed during a challenging snack-delay task, and we explored whether mothers’ distress moderated the relation between child anger proneness and maternal behavior. We hypothesized that mothers’ distress would be associated with greater maternal withdrawal and use of negative control and fewer supportive parenting behaviors, and that child anger proneness would be related to less optimal parenting when maternal distress was high.

Participants were 128 mothers and their 33-month old children (66 girls). Mothers’ distress was measured via the Personal Distress subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1991) and the Distress Reactions subscale of the Coping with Toddlers' Negative Emotions Scale (Spinrad et al., 2004). The two subscale scores (r = .44) were standardized and averaged. Mothers’ and fathers’ reports on the Anger Proneness subscale of the Toddler Behavior Questionnaire (Goldsmith, 1996) were also averaged (r = .53). Maternal behaviors, measured observationally during a 5-minute snack-delay task, were coded as present/absent in 10-second intervals. Three composites scores were examined: (a) support (e.g., indirect suggestions, praise, and reasoning), (b) negative control (e.g., verbal prohibitions), and (c) withdrawal (e.g., detached behaviors).

We tested three hierarchical regression models in which maternal support, negative control, and withdrawal were the dependent variables, respectively. As shown in Table 1, the main effect of maternal distress on support was non-significant, but the Distress x Anger interaction was significant: greater anger-proneness was related to less maternal support in the snack delay, but only when maternal distress was high (see Figure 1). The model predicting negative control was nonsignificant. In contrast, greater maternal distress was associated with more maternal withdrawal, although the Distress x Anger interaction was non-significant (see Table 1).

Results support the notion that mothers’ personal distress is associated with greater maternal withdrawal during challenging interactions with children, perhaps stemming from a desire to alleviate the mother’s own, rather than the child’s, emotional state. Further, children who are high on temperamental anger may be especially vulnerable to receiving less supportive parenting when mothers also experience high levels of personal distress. In sum, mothers’ tendency to experience personal distress in response to others’ distress may be an important risk factor for maladaptive parenting behaviors that have been linked, in turn, to less optimal outcomes in children.

2013 - SCRA Biennial Meeting Words: 297 words || 
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2. Watson, Aran. "Distress and Healing from an Invisible War: Idioms of distress amongst youth exposed to prolonged, acute violence and ‘atmospheric’ terror" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SCRA Biennial Meeting, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, <Not Available>. 2020-02-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p649017_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: A significant body of research validates that trauma-exposure can have significant adverse effects on young people, particularly when exposure is prolonged and/or severe (Briere 2001 et al.; van der Kolk et al., 2005). Yet the trajectory of response to chronic and on-going exposure in childhood has been shown to be much more complex and varied in its expression compared to single, acute episodes of trauma exposure (Cloitre et al., 2009). The specific characteristics of distress of youth (ages 13-21) exposed to ongoing, acute exposure to violence within communities subject to multiple levels of violence is dramatically less understood. Likewise, the distinctions between disorder and distress responses in low-resource communities with ongoing violence exposure are not clearly defined (Bulhan, 1985; Wessels, 2010). Even less understood is how youth themselves actively identify and address their own distress in the context violence and low-access to relevant mental health supports. Emerging research has shown that utilizing locally validated measures may be more sensitive to distress than traditional assessment tools and can enhance service provision (Betancourt et al., 2010; Miller, 2006). The aim of this research project is to examine two related questions: (1) what are the characteristics of trauma exposure and expressions of distress amongst youth exposed to multiple types of interpersonal trauma and community-based violence?, and (2) What strategies of coping and support do young people utilize to increase their resilience or post-traumatic growth in the face of chronic trauma-exposure? This project utilizes participatory research methods for identifying idioms of distress and community mental health needs, as well as to produce a local measure of distress. The project is aimed at informing the development of more culturally relevant measurement of youth distress in communities of on-going violence as well as improving service delivery in communities burdened with complex trauma exposure.

2005 - American Sociological Association Pages: 22 pages || Words: 4685 words || 
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3. Saint Onge, Jarron., Downey, Liam. and Boardman, Jason. "The Impact of Industrial Activity on Psychological Distress in the Detroit Metropolitan Area" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 12, 2005 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p23321_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This study examines the association between residential proximity to industrial activity and psychological distress. Using individual level data from the 1995 Detroit Area Study, industrial activity data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory, and demographic data from the U.S. census, we find that residential proximity to industrial activity increases psychological distress among survey respondents. This association holds after controlling for individual and neighborhood level correlates.

2007 - American Sociological Association Pages: 19 pages || Words: 7850 words || 
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4. He, Wei. "Role Transformation, Re-Socialization and Psychological Distress" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, TBA, New York, New York City, Aug 11, 2007 Online <PDF>. 2020-02-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p182854_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Previous research on the association between role and mental distress emphasizes role acquisition or loss (e.g., the number-emphasized role accumulation theory and the expected role acquisition perspective). From these perspectives, expected role absence is detrimental to mental health. I argue that absence of expected roles does not necessarily lead to damage on mental health at any time, and the role configurations incorporated with expected role are not always beneficial. To clarify the relationship between roles and mental health, the life stage should be taken into consideration. From the perspective of the hardship in the resocialization process, I propose that (1) expected role transformation phases no matter of getting, losing or failing to get the expected roles are associated with higher distress than transformation stunting phases; (2) the impact of expected role absence on distress varies by phase and gender: in the expected role transformation stunting phase, keeping out of the expected role repertoires is not necessarily related to more mental distress; role configurations impact more to women’s mental health than men’s. Using data drawn from a 1990 national probability sample of 1978 respondents age from 18 to 90, this paper found that the stunting phases are related to lowest average distress level in life, and the impact of expected role repertoires absence on the mental health varies by life phase and gender. In spite of the prevalence of expected-role holders in the stunting phase, expected role repertoires absence are not significantly associated with more mental distress, compared with the highly positive correlation between expected role absence and mental distress in role transformation phase. However, some role repertoires incorporated with expected role in the transformation life stage have not positive effect on mental health. From the re-socialization perspective, when approaching middle life, most of the people are either expected role holders or abnormal successful role transformation actors, which shed a light on the lowest average distress level of this phase in life time.

2004 - International Communication Association Pages: 30 pages || Words: 11635 words || 
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5. Gardner, Paula. "New Women At Risk: Pathologizing Bleeding, Eating, Birth, Distress, and Aging" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA, May 27, 2004 Online <.PDF>. 2020-02-29 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p112862_index.html>
Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper argues that hysteria shares numerous symptoms with other periods in western history during which women’s bodies and behaviors of women have been pathologized. It tracks these similarities by deconstructing the “symptoms” ascribed to different disorders applied to women, including neurosis in the 1950’s, personality disorders and post traumatic stress disorder in the 1980's, and in the latter 20th century, depression. Even while psychiatric literature describes depression as a disease that doesn’t discriminate, this study argues that the psychiatric discourse works specifically to dub women’s coping mechanisms and low productivity as dysfunctional. By drawing out the similarities among 20th century “female” disorders, the study contends that depression and depression-linked diagnoses have become normalized in the late 20th century. More, this cultural comfort with naming women’s distress as disorder has allowed for new “technologies” of behavioral discipline to arise, namely activities of self-scrutiny, self-diagnosis, an appetite for psychopharmaceutical drugs and self-conducted treatments, and finally, new diagnosis created by mainstream media.

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