UMD-PRC Reports and Briefs

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This archive contains a collection of reports and briefs created by the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC), a CDC-funded research unit in the Behavioral and Community Health Department of the School of Public Health. Technical reports summarize original analyses, research briefs translate academic articles published by UMD-PRC investigators, and policy briefs communicate the implications of proposed or enacted policy based on scientific evidence.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 15
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    The paradox of progress for sexual and gender diverse youth
    (Current Opinion in Psychology, 2022) Fish, Jessica N.; Russell, Stephen T.
    In this essay, we explore diversity in sexual and gender identities, with a focus on implications of the current politicized moment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning youth. As youth come out at younger ages, their personal identity development collides with the adolescence period characterized by peer influence, stigma, and possible victimization. We consider the changing and diverse experiences of coming out in adolescence for sexual and gender diverse youth. The current social and political moment offers possibilities for new identities, yet anti-LGBTQ + legislative and policy actions have crucial implications for health and wellbeing for youth.
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    Be YOU!: A collaborative effort to address minority stress for LGBTQ + youth in school settings
    (Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 2022) Fish, Jessica N.; Kapostasy, Sarah; Russell, Stephen T.
    LGBTQ youth often experience unsafe school climates and are at greater risk for compromised mental health relative to their heterosexual and cisgender peers. The psychological mediation model posits that these health inequities are produced by minority stress, which operates through several key mechanisms: rumination, emotion regulation, and coping. Efforts toward designing social services that might address these mechanisms, and thus improve LGBTQ youth well-being, are limited. Informed by empirical research and therapeutic practices, Be YOU! was conceived as a school-based empowerment program that provides LGBTQ youth with an accessible, safe space where they build skills to reduce rumination and promote emotion regulation and coping strategies for dealing with minority stressors. Developed collaboratively among a local LGBTQ youth center, a local school-based community organization, and university researchers, the Be YOU! partnership effectively circumvented barriers to accessing social services for LGBTQ youth. Findings from the pilot program evaluation showed that youth participation was associated with increased emotion regulation and decreased rumination. The practical impact on and positive feedback from LGBTQ youth suggest that there are measurable benefits and longterm promise in strategic multi-sector partnerships that address social services needs of LGBTQ youth and strengthen their ability to navigate minority stress.
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    “Each week feels like a mountain”: The impact of COVID-19 on mental health providers’ well-being and clinical work.
    (Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 2023) Mittal, Mona; Morgan, Amy A.; Du, Jingshuai; Jiang, Jessica; Boekeloo, Bradley; Fish, Jessica N.
    The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic has placed a tremendous strain on health care providers. Although there is a burgeoning body of literature on how COVID-19 has impacted frontline health care workers (i.e., providers treating COVID-19 patients), little attention has been dedicated to second-line workers (i.e., providers treating the mental health of people impacted by COVID-19). In this article, we present findings from a thematic analysis of open-text responses (n = 136) examining how COVID-19 shaped both the well-being of second-line workers, specifically mental health providers, as well as their clinical work in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Results indicated that mental health providers were experiencing significant COVID-19-related burnout and poor physical and mental health outcomes. Participants described diminished negative effects on the quality of their clinical care from the burnout and trauma associated with COVID-19. Many also demonstrated resilience, identifying the duality of both negative (e.g., exhaustion) and positive (e.g., pride in helping others) meaning derived from their second-line work experiences. We conclude with recommendations for preventing and addressing burnout among mental health professionals in the era of COVID-19 and subsequent health emergencies.
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    Professional Expectations of Provider LGBTQ Competence: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go
    (Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 2022) Williams, Natasha D.; Winer, Brennan; Aparicio, Elizabeth M.; Smith-Bynum, Mia A.; Boekeloo, Bradley O.; Fish, Jessica N.
    Introduction: Mental and behavioral health professional organizations use their governing documents to set expectations of provider competence in working with LGBTQ+ clients. Method: The codes of ethics and training program accreditation guidelines of nine mental and behavioral health disciplines (n=16) were analyzed using template analysis. Results: Coding resulted in fives themes: mission and values, direct practice, clinician education, culturally competent professional development, and advocacy. Expectations for provider competency vary greatly across disciplines. Conclusion: Having a mental and behavioral health workforce that is uniformly competent in meeting the unique needs of LGBTQ populations is key for supporting the mental and behavioral health of LGBTQ persons.
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    What motivates community mental and behavioral health organizations to participate in LGBTQ+ cultural competency trainings?
    (American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 2022) Fish, Jessica N.; King-Marshall, Evelyn, C.; Williams, Natasha D.; Aparicio, Elizabeth M.; Tralka, Hannah M.; Boekeloo, Bradley O.
    The constantly evolving language, understanding, and cultural context regarding the mental health of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and gender diverse individuals (LGBTQ+) require mental health providers to obtain LGBTQ+ cultural competency training to be affirmative and effective with this population. Unfortunately, many providers are not obtaining this ongoing training and mental health disparities continue to plague LGBTQ+ populations. Guided by the Consolidation Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), we conducted eight focus groups with community mental and behavioral health organization (MBHO) administrators (e.g., directors, clinical supervisors) and therapists to explore what factors facilitated or inhibited their adoption and implementation of a multicomponent LGBTQ+ cultural competency training program that required administrator and therapist participation in multiple learning sessions over several months (i.e., workshop, clinical consultation, and organizational technical assistance). Results from template analysis supported CFIR-aligned themes, including characteristics of individuals, inner setting, outer setting, and process, and two additional codes—marketing and other/previous training opportunities—emerged from the focus group data. Findings suggest that therapists are motivated to engage in such a program because they want to feel more efficacious, and administrators see the benefits of LGBTQ+ training programs for their clientele and marketing. Barriers to adoption and implementation include cost and personnel resistance, although participants believed these barriers were surmountable. Emphasizing therapist efficacy, clientele need, and benefits for marketing mental and behavioral health services could motivate MBHOs’ and therapists’ adoption and implementation of LGBTQ+ cultural competency training.