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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 3:15pm
Exposure to Violence -Aldeli Alban Reyna, Kathryn Howell, Laura Miller-Graff

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Exposure to Violence:

Abstract #77
Saying Yes: Effective Practices for Sheltering Abused Women with Mental Health and Addiction Issues
Presenter: Aldeli Alban Reyna
Abused women who experience mental health and/or addiction issues face restricted access to shelters and transition houses serving abused women. Historically, shelter staff lacked training and knowledge about mental health and addiction issues, and felt challenged to accommodate them and maintain a safe, comfortable environment for other women and children seeking shelter. This paper reports a research study into innovative practices recently adopted in shelters for abused women to enhance resilience of women presenting with mental health and addiction issues and lower barriers to access. It also explores how these practices can be transferred to shelters for abused women in other communities. Low barrier shelters support women’s resilience through practices and policies that encourage staff to:
• engage in reflective practice, let the client lead;
• work from women’s strengths;
• use a trauma-informed approach;
• say “yes” rather than “no”.
Results from this study will help transfer learning from the best practices collected from resilient shelters to other shelters, and overall help improve access to shelter and support services for abused women with mental health and/or addictions issues.

Abstract #124
 Enhancing Positive Parenting via a Strengths-Based Intervention for Families Experiencing Intimate Partner Violence: The Role of Child Functioning
Presenter: Kathryn Howell
This study examined the effectiveness of an evidence-based intervention in strengthening positive parenting practices among mothers who experienced intimate partner violence. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention (n=58) or waitlist comparison (n=62) condition. Mothers in the intervention participated in the Moms’ Empowerment Program (MEP) while her child participated in the Preschool Kids’ Club (PKC). The MEP builds parenting competence, addresses parenting fears, and strengthens community connections. The PKC improves social skills, enhances coping, builds conflict resolution strategies, and identifies feelings surrounding violence. The intervention utilizes a transactional framework in which enhancing the social and emotional adjustment of mothers is thought to concurrently reduce her child’s adjustment difficulties. Participants were assessed at baseline and post-intervention or waitlist period. The multivariate linear regression model for change in positive parenting was significant (F(7,91)=2.92, p=.008, R2=.19). Women exhibited more change in positive parenting if the family participated in the intervention (β=.20; p=.047).  Additionally, greater change in children’s externalizing problems (β=.37; p=.011) and emotion regulation abilities (β=.28; p=.038) were associated with larger improvements in positive parenting. Findings suggest that rather than focusing solely on problematic functioning, interventions should also target adaptive qualities, including emotion regulation, to enhance parenting abilities in women exposed to violence.

Abstract #230
Examining A Cognitive-Emotional Model Of Resilience In Young Adults Exposed To Violence During Childhood
Presenter: Laura Miller-Graff
Objective:  The primary aims of the current study were to consider accuracy of young adults’ beliefs about the prevalence of violence and to determine how accurate appraisals and emotion regulation are associated with resilient functioning in the context of childhood exposure to violence (CVE).  Method: College students (n=369) drawn from two geographic regions of the United States responded to an online survey assessing CVE, perceptions about the prevalence of violence, emotion regulation skills, mental health, and resilience.  Descriptive statistics and structural equation modeling were used to describe cognitive distortions and the potential protective roles of accurate appraisals and emotion regulation abilities after CVE.  Results: Findings indicated that many college students overestimate the prevalence of violence.  Both cognitive distortions regarding the prevalence of violence and emotion dysregulation were linked to lower levels of resilience.   Conclusion:  Results suggest the importance of including assessments of childhood exposure to violence as a part of standard practice in college counseling centers.  Campus campaigns should be crafted to enhance accurate perceptions about rates of violence while simultaneously providing students with the opportunity to engage in treatment that may facilitate the development of other protective mechanisms, such as emotion regulation. 

avatar for Kathryn Howell

Kathryn Howell

University of Memphis
Kathryn H. Howell, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Memphis. Dr. Howell is best known for her intervention work with women and children coping with violence and other adversities, including evaluation of the Kids’ Club and Moms... Read More →

Laura Miller-Graff

Associate Professor, Psychology & Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
Dr. Miller’s research examines the developmental effects of exposure to violence in childhood. With a focus on children who have multiple traumatic exposures, she investigates resulting patterns of resilience and psychopathology, including the development of posttraumatic stress... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 3:15pm EDT
Vroom Room A&A Lower Floor, King's College

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