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Remediating Child Attachment Insecurity: Evaluating the Basic Trust Intervention in Adoptive Families

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Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Purpose:This study evaluated the video-feedback intervention Basic Trust in families with internationally adoptive children aged 2–12 years. The intervention aims to reduce child attachment insecurity and behavior problems by enhancing mothers’ and fathers’ sensitivity and mind-mindedness (parents’ capacity to hold in mind the mind of their child).Method:Fifty-three adoptive families participated in a pretest, posttest, and 6-month follow-up assessment. Questionnaires on parenting stress, child attachment insecurity, and behavior problems were administered. Parents’ sensitivity was assessed from free-play observations at home, and mind-mindedness was measured with a describe-your-child interview.Results:Parents reported less child behavior problems, insecure and disorganized attachment, and parenting stress at posttest and follow-up. Parents’ mind-mindedness increased from pre- to post-test but not from pretest to follow-up. Parents’ sensitivity showed an improvement at follow-up.Conclusions:Future studies should investigate whether the present study’s positive results can be replicated under conditions of strict experimental control.


Improving Behavioral Health in Young People: It Is Time for Social Work to Adopt Prevention

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Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Behavioral health problems in young people are often addressed through costly and ineffective treatment, rehabilitation, and control strategies aimed at helping children and adolescents after problems are identified. Evidence indicates that many behavioral health problems can be prevented before they occur, thereby saving significant individual, economic, and social costs. Although policy, practice, and research in reducing behavioral health problems have increased dramatically in the past several decades, social work has been slow to join other disciplines in the critical debate about the most effective and humane ways to prevent behavioral health problems. It is time for social work to adopt prevention as a guiding framework for practice, policy, advocacy, and research in behavioral health settings.


How White Nationalists See What They Want to See in DNA Tests

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What happens when white supremacists on the hate site Stormfront learn that they’re not as white as they thought? Two researchers investigated.


Depression Reduction Among Acupuncture Patients in an Interprofessional Study

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Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Purpose:Acupuncture as a sole treatment was tested for patients with depressive symptoms when seeking treatment in an interprofessional project. This study aims to test the relative effects of depression-specific acupuncture treatment (DSAT) versus nondepression-specific acupuncture treatment (Non-DSAT) on depression scores of patients seeking acupuncture care.Method:In this chart-review quasi-experimental study, former patient charts were randomly selected from a 3-year record at two college-operated acupuncture clinics in Houston. Among them, 62 charts contained depression data measured by the Hopkins Symptoms Checklist-25 (HSCL-25).Results:Data show that 39 patients received DSAT and 23 patients received Non-DSAT, but none of them indicated depression as a reason for treatment. After treatment, although the prevalence rate was lower, the average depression score was higher in both groups. Further analysis with the mixed between-within-subjects analysis of variance showed insignificant group interactive effects on the depression score change.Discussion:Depression outcomes between the two groups were not conclusive. Acupuncture as a depression treatment method should be further tested with a longitudinal research design focusing on patients with depressive symptoms. The role of social workers is essential so that depression screening can be accurately conducted.


A Tablet-Based Volunteer-Mediated Intervention for Cognitively Impaired Older People: A Pretest–Posttest

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Research on Social Work Practice, Ahead of Print.
Purpose:This study evaluated the potential effectiveness of a tablet-based, volunteer-led intervention (Lok Chi In-home Training) for cognitively impaired older people in improving cognitive and emotional health.Method:A one-group pretest and posttest design was adopted, involving 57 community-dwelling older people with cognitive impairments (Montreal Cognitive Score between 13 and 22, without neuropsychiatric behavioral problem). Trained volunteers performed eight in-home training sessions using a tablet to facilitate. Outcome measures include cognitive function, depression, activity of daily living, and instrumental activity of daily living.Results:A paired sample t test indicated that after receiving Lok Chi In-home Training, participants showed significantly large improvements on cognitive ability, moderate improvements on depression, and small improvements on instrumental activity of daily living.Conclusions:This study demonstrated the feasibility and potential benefits of Lok Chi intervention for improving cognition and emotion.