Kate Guastaferro

Kate Guastaferro
Kate Guastaferro

Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Associate Director of the Center for the Advancement and Dissemination of Intervention Optimization

Professional overview

Kate Guastaferro, PhD is an intervention scientist by training, her work is devoted to the development, optimization, implementation and evaluation of effective, efficient, affordable and scalable interventions with high public health impact. She is an expert in the multiphase optimization (MOST) strategy and her expertise is in parent-focused, multicomponent behavioral interventions to prevent child maltreatment. Dr. Guastaferro co-led a statewide trial focused on the coordinated implementation of three evidence-base child sexual abuse prevention programs; included in this trial was the parent-focused child sexual abuse program that she developed, piloted and evaluated. Her current work is focused on the integration of intervention optimization into the prevention of child maltreatment.

Prior to joining NYU, Dr. Guastaferro was an assistant research professor in human development and family studies at the Pennsylvania State University, and an affiliate of its Prevention Research Center and Child Maltreatment Solutions Network. In 2020, she was awarded the Victoria S. Levin Award for Early Career Success in Young Children’s Mental Health Research from the Society for Research in Child Development. She has been published in Child Maltreatment, Translational Behavioral Medicine, and the American Journal of Public Health.

Dr. Guastaferro received her PhD and MPH from Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, and her BA in anthropology from Boston University. She also completed a year of postdoctoral training at the Pennsylvania State University.

Education

Postdoctoral Fellow, Prevention and Methodology Training Program (T32 DA017629), The Pennsylvania State University
PhD Public Health, Georgia State University
MPH Health Promotion, Georgia State University
BA Anthropology, Boston University

Honors and awards

Victoria S. Levin Award, Society for Research on Child Development (2020)
NIH Loan Repayment Program Award: Toward the Optimization of Behavioral Interventions to Prevent Child Maltreatment (201820192020)
Public Health Achievement Award, Georgia State University (2016)
Scarlet Key Honor Society, Boston University (2008)

Publications

Publications

American Single Father Homes: A Growing Public Health Priority

Shipe, S. L., Ayer, L., & Guastaferro, K. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

112

Issue

1

Page(s)

21-23

An Early Palliative Care Telehealth Coaching Intervention to Enhance Advanced Cancer Family Caregivers’ Decision Support Skills: The CASCADE Pilot Factorial Trial

Dionne-Odom, J. N., Wells, R. D., Guastaferro, K., Azuero, A., Hendricks, B. A., Currie, E. R., Bechthold, A., Dosse, C., Taylor, R., Reed, R. D., Harrell, E. R., Gazaway, S., Engler, S., McKie, P., Williams, G. R., Sudore, R., Rini, C., Rosenberg, A. R., & Bakitas, M. A. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Volume

63

Issue

1

Page(s)

11-22
Abstract
Abstract
Context: Patients with advanced cancer often involve family caregivers in health-related decision-making from diagnosis to end-of-life; however, few interventions have been developed to enhance caregiver decision support skills. Objectives: Assess the feasibility, acceptability, and potential efficacy of individual intervention components of CASCADE (CAre Supporters Coached to be Adept DEcision Partners), an early telehealth, palliative care coach-led decision support training intervention for caregivers. Methods: Pilot factorial trial using the multiphase optimization strategy (October 2019-October 2020). Family caregivers and their care recipients with newly-diagnosed advanced cancer (n = 46 dyads) were randomized to1 of 8 experimental conditions that included a combination of one of the following three CASCADE components: 1) effective decision support psychoeducation; 2) decision support communication training; and 3) Ottawa Decision Guide training. Feasibility was assessed by completion of sessions and questionnaires (predefined as ≥80%). Acceptability was determined through postintervention interviews and participants’ ratings of their likelihood to recommend. Measures of effective decision support and caregiver and patient distress were collected at Twelve and Twenty four weeks. Results: Caregiver participants completed 78% of intervention sessions and 81% of questionnaires; patients completed 80% of questionnaires. Across conditions, average caregiver ratings for recommending the program to others was 9.9 on a scale from 1-Not at all likely to 10-Extremely likely. Individual CASCADE components were observed to have potential benefit for effective decision support and caregiver distress. Conclusion: We successfully piloted a factorial trial design to examine components of a novel intervention to enhance the decision support skills of advanced cancer family caregivers. A fully-powered factorial trial is warranted. Key Message: We pilot tested components of CASCADE, an early palliative care decision support training intervention for family caregivers of patients with advanced cancer. CASCADE components were acceptable and the trial design feasible, providing promising future directions for palliative care intervention development and testing. Pilot results will inform a fully-powered trial.

Parent-Focused Sexual Abuse Prevention: Results From a Cluster Randomized Trial

Guastaferro, K., Felt, J. M., Font, S. A., Connell, C. M., Miyamoto, S., Zadzora, K. M., & Noll, J. G. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Child Maltreatment

Volume

27

Issue

1

Page(s)

114-125
Abstract
Abstract
This study tested whether a child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention program, Smart Parents–Safe and Healthy Kids (SPSHK), could be implemented as an additional module in evidence-based parent training and whether the added module might detract from the efficacy of the original program. In a cluster randomized trial, six community-based organizations were randomized to deliver Parents as Teachers (PAT) with SPSHK (PAT+SPSHK) or PAT as usual (PAT-AU). CSA-related awareness and protective behaviors, as well as general parenting behaviors taught by PAT were assessed at baseline, post-PAT, post-SPSHK, and 1-month follow-up. Multilevel analyses revealed significant group by time interactions for both awareness and behaviors (ps <.0001), indicating the PAT+SPSHK group had significantly greater awareness of CSA and used protective behaviors more often (which were maintained at follow-up) compared to the PAT-AU group. No differences were observed in general parenting behaviors taught by PAT suggesting adding SPHSK did not interfere with PAT efficacy as originally designed. Results indicate adding SPHSK to existing parent training can significantly enhance parents’ awareness of and readiness to engage in protective behavioral strategies. Implementing SPHSK as a selective prevention strategy with at-risk parents receiving parent training through child welfare infrastructures is discussed.

Parenting and Mental Health needs of Young, Maltreated parents: implications for Prevention of intergenerational child maltreatment

Aparicio, E. M., Channell Doig, A., Jasczynski, M., Robinson, J. L., Huq, M., Yoo, J. H., Hillig, E., Lee, K., Berkowitz, A., Guastaferro, K., Jones, G., & Bernardi, C. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Family Violence
Abstract
Abstract
Purpose: Children of young parents are at elevated risk for child abuse and neglect due to myriad challenges. Despite the dual need for parenting support and mental health support, most literature and programs separate these and do not address maltreated parenting youths’ intergenerational context. The current study explores parenting and mental health needs as intertwined, uplifting experiences of young adult mothers with child maltreatment histories, professionals serving them, and mothers’ own caregivers. Method: Through a community-engaged research process, this grounded theory study was co-conceptualized and conducted through a university-community-based organization partnership. We conducted in-depth interviews with 23 participants: nine young, maltreated mothers aged 18–25 (M = 20.9) years, 14 professionals and two caregivers. Data were collected in the community and analyzed using grounded theory methods. We transcribed each interview and analyzed the transcripts using a structured process of open, focus, axial, and selective/theoretical coding. Rigor was enhanced through several strategies including reflexivity and member checking. Results: Grounded theory analysis produced a detailed model of the process of accessing and receiving mental health and parenting support among young, maltreated mothers, including (1) Reckoning with the Impact of Childhood and Adolescent Trauma on Mental Health and Parenting; (2) Reaching Out; (3) Receiving Parenting Support; (4) Receiving Mental Health Support; and (5) Seeking a Change. Conclusions: Findings support a comprehensive approach for supporting young parents in improving the trajectories of their families through integrated approaches to parenting and mental health intervention.

Recruiting and retaining first-year college students in online health research: Implementation considerations

Guastaferro, K., Tanner, A. E., Rulison, K. L., Miller, A. M., Milroy, J. J., Wyrick, D. L., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of American College Health
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: Decreasing participation in intervention research among college students has implications for the external validity of behavioral intervention research. We describe recruitment and retention strategies used to promote participation in intervention research across a series of four randomized experiments. Method: We report the recruitment and retention rates by school for each experiment and qualitative feedback from students about recommendations for improving research participation. Results: There was considerable variation among schools’ recruitment (4.9% to 64.7%) and retention (12% to 67.8%) rates. Student feedback suggested study timing (e.g., early in the semester), communication strategies (e.g., social media), and incentive structure (e.g., guaranteed incentives) could improve research participation. The highest survey participation rate was observed at the university which mandated students to complete the intervention (but not the survey). Conclusions: Intervention scientists must consider the population and study context to make informed decisions related to recruitment and retention strategies.

Taking a School-Based Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program to Scale: a Cost Analysis

Shipe, S. L., Guastaferro, K., Noll, J. G., Connell, C. M., Morgan, P. L., & Crowley, D. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Prevention Science

Volume

23

Issue

8

Page(s)

1394-1403
Abstract
Abstract
Cost analyses are used to determine overall costs of implementing evidence-based programming and may help decision makers determine how best to allocate finite resources. Child sexual abuse (CSA), regularly viewed as a human rights violation, is also a public health concern estimated to impact 27% of females and 5% of males by age 18. Universal, school-based CSA programs are one prevailing prevention strategy. However, there are no known cost analyses of school-based CSA prevention programming, thereby limiting potential scalability. Using the ingredients method, this cost analysis presents the findings of implementing Safe Touches, an evidence-based universal prevention program, across four sites (i.e., counties) in one mid-Atlantic state. Reaching a total of 14,235 s grade students, results indicate an average cost of $43 per student, an average classroom cost of $859, an average district cost of $10,637, and an average site cost of $154,243. There was a noted decrease in costs when more students were reached, suggesting a need to focus efforts on bolstering the reach of implementation efforts. Sensitivity analyses explored variations in implementation constraints such as personnel and facilities suggesting a range of per-student costs (lower-bound per-student cost = $34; upper-bound per-student cost = $64). Findings presented herein may be used to inform future universal CSA prevention efforts by providing detailed information about the costs of large-scale implementation of an evidence-based program among elementary-aged children.

The preparation phase in the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST): A systematic review and introduction of a reporting checklist

Landoll, R. R., Vargas, S. E., Samardzic, K. B., Clark, M. F., & Guastaferro, K. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Translational Behavioral Medicine

Volume

12

Issue

2

Page(s)

291-303
Abstract
Abstract
Multicomponent behavioral interventions developed using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) framework offer important advantages over alternative intervention development models by focusing on outcomes within constraints relevant for effective dissemination. MOST consists of three phases: preparation, optimization, and evaluation. The preparation phase is critical to establishing the foundation for the optimization and evaluation phases; thus, detailed reporting is critical to enhancing rigor and reproducibility. A systematic review of published research using the MOST framework was conducted. A structured framework was used to describe and summarize the use of MOST terminology (i.e., preparation phase and optimization objective) and the presentation of preparation work, the conceptual model, and the optimization. Fifty-eight articles were reviewed and the majority focused on either describing the methodology or presenting results of an optimization trial (n = 38, 66%). Although almost all articles identified intervention components (96%), there was considerable variability in the degree to which authors fully described other elements of MOST. In particular, there was less consistency in use of MOST terminology. Reporting on the MOST preparation phase is varied, and there is a need for increased focus on explicit articulation of key design elements and rationale of the preparation phase. The proposed checklist for reporting MOST studies would significantly advance the use of this emerging methodology and improve implementation and dissemination of MOST. Accurate reporting is essential to reproducibility and rigor of scientific trials as it ensures future research fully understands not only the methodology, but the rationale for intervention and optimization decisions.

Virtual Delivery of A School-Based Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program: A Pilot Study

Guastaferro, K., Holloway, J. L., Trudeau, J., Lipson, L. B., Sunshine, S., Noll, J. G., & Pulido, M. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2022

Journal title

Journal of Child Sexual Abuse

Volume

31

Issue

5

Page(s)

577-592
Abstract
Abstract
Universal child sexual abuse (CSA) prevention is a public health priority. The prevailing prevention strategy is school-based CSA prevention programming. School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for flexible modes of delivery, including virtual programs. This pilot examined the virtual delivery of an evidence-based, school-based CSA prevention program, Safe Touches, designed to teach CSA-related knowledge and concepts. Using mixed methods, the pilot sought to determine the feasibility of the virtually delivered CSA prevention program. One school district that had previously received Safe Touches in-person participated. A total of 176 second grade students participated in the virtual workshop. Post-workshop survey responses from virtual (N = 37) and in-person workshops (N = 60) were compared descriptively. Mean item scores and response patterns from students who received the virtual workshop were nominally comparable to the student scores from the in-person workshop. Following the virtual workshop, one teacher notified the research team of a disclosure of CSA. Qualitative input from the facilitator and school staff was positive, indicating high student engagement. Results suggest the viability and feasibility of virtual school-based CSA preventive programs. Investment in virtual modes of delivery would ensure all students have access to CSA prevention programming in the future.

A Hybrid Evaluation-Optimization Trial to Evaluate an Intervention Targeting the Intersection of Alcohol and Sex in College Students and Simultaneously Test an Additional Component Aimed at Preventing Sexual Violence

Tanner, A. E., Guastaferro, K. M., Rulison, K. L., Wyrick, D. L., Milroy, J. J., Bhandari, S., Thorpe, S., Ware, S., Miller, A. M., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

Volume

55

Issue

12

Page(s)

1184-1187
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), we previously developed and optimized an online behavioral intervention, itMatters, aimed at reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI) among first-year college students by targeting the intersection of alcohol use and sexual behaviors. Purpose: We had two goals: (a) to evaluate the optimized itMatters intervention and (b) to determine whether the candidate sexual violence prevention (SVP) component (included at the request of participating universities) had a detectable effect and therefore should be added to create a new version of itMatters. We also describe the hybrid evaluation-optimization trial we conducted to accomplish these two goals in a single experiment. Methods: First year college students (N = 3,098) at four universities in the USA were individually randomized in a hybrid evaluation-optimization 2 × 2 factorial trial. Data were analyzed using regression models, with pre-test outcome variables included as covariates in the models. Analyses were conducted separately with (a) immediate post-test scores and (b) 60-day follow-up scores as outcome variables. Results: Experimental results indicated a significant effect of itMatters on targeted proximal outcomes (norms) and on one distal behavioral outcome (binge drinking). There were no significant effects on other behavioral outcomes, including the intersection of alcohol and sexual behaviors. In addition, there were mixed results (positive short-term effect; no effect at 60-day follow-up) of the SVP component on targeted proximal outcomes (students' self-efficacy to reduce/prevent sexual violence and perceived effectiveness of protective behavioral strategies). Conclusions: The hybrid evaluation-optimization trial enabled us to evaluate the individual and combined effectiveness of the optimized itMatters intervention and the SVP component in a single experiment, conserving resources and providing greatly improved efficiency. Trial Registration: NCT04095065.

Applying the Multiphase Optimization Strategy for the Development of Optimized Interventions in Palliative Care

Wells, R. D., Guastaferro, K., Azuero, A., Rini, C., Hendricks, B. A., Dosse, C., Taylor, R., Williams, G. R., Engler, S., Smith, C., Sudore, R., Rosenberg, A. R., Bakitas, M. A., & Dionne-Odom, J. N. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Journal of Pain and Symptom Management

Volume

62

Issue

1

Page(s)

174-182
Abstract
Abstract
Recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses have reported positive benefit of multicomponent “bundled” palliative care interventions for patients and family caregivers while highlighting limitations in determining key elements and mechanisms of improvement. Traditional research approaches, such as the randomized controlled trial (RCT), typically treat interventions as “bundled” treatment packages, making it difficult to assess definitively which aspects of an intervention can be reduced or replaced or whether there are synergistic or antagonistic interactions between intervention components. Progressing toward palliative care interventions that are effective, efficient, and scalable will require new strategies and novel approaches. One such approach is the Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST), a framework informed by engineering principles, that uses a systematic process to empirically identify an intervention comprised of components that positively contribute to desired outcomes under real-life constraints. This article provides a brief overview and application of MOST and factorial trial design in palliative care research, including our insights from conducting a pilot factorial trial of an early palliative care intervention to enhance the decision support skills of advanced cancer family caregivers (Project CASCADE).

Parent and Child Reports of Parenting Behaviors: Agreement Among a Longitudinal Study of Drug Court Participants

Guastaferro, K., Osborne, M. C., Lai, B. S., Aubé, S. S., Guastaferro, W. P., & Whitaker, D. J. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Frontiers in Psychiatry

Volume

12
Abstract
Abstract
Identifying ways to support children of parents with substance use disorder is a critical public health issue. This study focused on the parent-child relationship as a critical catalyst in child resilience. Using data from a longitudinal cohort study, the aims of this study were to: (1) examine the agreement between parent and child reports of parenting behaviors and (2) describe the association between agreement and child mental health. Participants were 50 parent-child dyads that included parents enrolled in an adult drug court and their children, aged 8–18. Overall, agreement (i.e., concordance) between parent and child reports of parenting was slight to fair. Parents reported their parenting behaviors to be slightly more positive than how children rated the same behaviors in the areas of: involvement, 0.53 (SD = 0.80); positive parenting, 0.66 (SD = 0.87), and monitoring behaviors, 0.46 (SD = 0.90). Parents also rated themselves, in comparison to their children's reports, as using less inconsistent discipline, −0.33 (SD = 1.00), and less corporal punishment, 0.13 (SD = 1.01). Agreement was related to some, but not all, child mental health outcomes. When parents rating their parenting as more positive than their child reported, that had a negative effect on child self-esteem and personal adjustment. Contrary to hypotheses, we did not find a significant relationship between positive parenting and internalizing problems. Findings have implications for obtaining parent and child reports of parenting within the drug court system, and for identifying children at higher risk for externalizing problems.

Provider Attitudes and Self-Efficacy When Delivering a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Module: An Exploratory Study

Guastaferro, K., Font, S. A., Miyamoto, S., Zadzora, K. M., Walters, K. E., O’Hara, K., Kemner, A., & Noll, J. G. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Health Education and Behavior
Abstract
Abstract
Background: As constant figures in children’s lives, parents are key in protecting children from sexual abuse. One barrier to reaching parents is that the topic can be difficult to broach and is sensitive in nature. Such barriers can interfere with implementation and fidelity of evidence-based prevention strategies that are focused on reducing rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Aims: In this exploratory study, we examine provider attitudes about delivering CSA-specific content in an evidence-based prevention module and their self-efficacy. Method: Thirty-three providers participated in three surveys: prior to a skills-oriented training on how to deliver the CSA prevention module (pretraining), immediately posttraining, and 6 months posttraining. Changes in self-reported willingness to deliver content, beliefs about parents’ role in CSA prevention, and confidence about their ability to deliver content were assessed over time. Open-ended questions were coded thematically to reinforce quantitative findings. Results: Prior to training, providers were worried that parents would respond negatively to CSA content and were concerned about their comfort level discussing victimization and sexual development. Findings suggest that skill-oriented training and provision scripts effectively supported providers and improved confidence in delivering CSA prevention content. Discussion: Provider self-efficacy is an important element of implementation fidelity. This exploratory study demonstrated that, though providers may approach CSA content with wariness and trepidation, adequate skills-oriented training can reduce negative attitudes and increase perceived efficacy in the actual delivery of CSA content that persists through implementation. Conclusion: Skills-based training can significantly enhance fidelity in the delivery of difficult content included in parent-focused preventative interventions.

Sexual sensation seeking, hookups, and alcohol consumption among first-year college students

Thorpe, S., Ware, S., Tanner, A. E., Kugler, K. C., Guastaferro, K., Milroy, J. J., & Wyrick, D. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Journal of American College Health

Volume

69

Issue

8

Page(s)

897-904
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: To explore sexual sensation seeking (SSS) among an ethnically-diverse sample of first-year college students and their hookup behaviors. Participants: 1,480 first-year college students who hooked up in the last 30 days were recruited from four universities in 2016. Methods: Students completed an online survey before completing an online STI and alcohol prevention intervention. Results: Male and sexual minority students had significantly higher SSS scores compared to female and heterosexual students respectively. Students with higher SSS scores were less likely to report condom use at last vaginal and anal hookup, more likely to hookup under the influence of alcohol and participate in a wide range of sexual behaviors. There were no significant mean differences in SSS scores by level of intoxication during their last hookup. Conclusion: These findings highlight the role of SSS in predicting sexual risk behaviors of first-year college students and the overall low SSS scores among this sample.

The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) in Child Maltreatment Prevention Research

Guastaferro, K., Strayhorn, J. C., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2021

Journal title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Volume

30

Issue

10

Page(s)

2481-2491
Abstract
Abstract
Each year hundreds of thousands of children and families receive behavioral interventions designed to prevent child maltreatment; yet rates of maltreatment have not declined in over a decade. To reduce the prevalence and prevent the life-long negative consequences of child maltreatment, behavioral interventions must not only be effective, but also affordable, scalable, and efficient to meet the demand for these services. An innovative approach to intervention science is needed. The purpose of this article is to introduce the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) to the field of child maltreatment prevention. MOST is an engineering-inspired framework for developing, optimizing, and evaluating multicomponent behavioral interventions. MOST enables intervention scientists to empirically examine the performance of each intervention component, independently and in combination. Using a hypothetical example of a home visiting intervention and artificial data, this article demonstrates how MOST may be used to optimize the content of a parent-focused in-home intervention and the engagement strategies of an intervention to increase completion rate to identify an intervention that is effective, efficient, economical, and scalable. We suggest that MOST will ultimately improve prevention science and hasten the progress of translational science to prevent child maltreatment.

When Home is Not Safe: Media Coverage and Issue Salience of Child Maltreatment during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Black First-Year College Students’ Alcohol Outcome Expectancies

Thorpe, S., Tanner, A. E., Ware, S., Guastaferro, K., Milroy, J. J., & Wyrick, D. L. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

American Journal of Health Education

Volume

51

Issue

2

Page(s)

78-86
Abstract
Abstract
Background: Alcohol outcome expectancies (AOEs) are associated with college students’ varied alcohol consumption. Existing research on AOEs focuses primarily on heterosexual White students. Thus, it is important to explore how the intersection of multiple identities such as race, gender, and sexual orientation influence the endorsement of specific AOEs. Purpose: This paper examines AOEs among Black first-year college students, with specific attention to the influence of gender and sexual orientation. Methods: Participants were 307 Black students from four universities in the United States. We conducted bivariate analyses using the 2-factor and 4-factor B-CEOA scale. Results: Most students did not hold positive AOEs such as tension reduction and sexual enhancement. Students were more likely to endorse negative AOEs such as behavioral and cognitive impairment and social risk. Discussion: Black first-year college students reported more negative expectations associated with alcohol use, including those related to negative social risks and consequences. Thus, AOEs may serve as a protective factor against alcohol use among Black college students. Translation to Health Education Practice: Alcohol interventions should be tailored to focus on the intersection of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Culturally relevant alcohol interventions have the potential to reduce the immediate and long-term consequences of alcohol use.

Drug Court as an Intervention Point to Affect the Well-Being of Families of Parents with Substance Use Disorders

Guastaferro, K., Guastaferro, W. P., Brown, J. R., Holleran, D., & Whitaker, D. J. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Substance Use and Misuse

Volume

55

Issue

7

Page(s)

1068-1078
Abstract
Abstract
Background: A high proportion of justice-involved individuals have a substance use disorder and many of those individuals serve in a caregiving role to a child under 18. Given the negative impact of substance use and justice-involvement on the wellbeing of children, the criminal justice system may offer a unique intervention point with high public health impact. This study describes characteristics of adult drug court participants (DCP) that affect the wellbeing of their children and families and compares the DCP parenting and mental health characteristics to their child’s other caregiver in order to understand how parenting differs within drug court families. Method: Data were collected from a sample of 100 DCP; 58 had a matched other caregiver. Drug court data regarding substance use and criminogenic risk/need were collected. Analyses differentiated the parenting behaviors and mental health needs of DCP from other caregivers. Results: The DCP were at moderate to high risk for recidivism and presented with multiple and significant criminogenic and psychosocial functioning needs. Risk for potential maltreatment and poor parenting behaviors were elevated, and significantly higher compared to other caregivers. DCP demonstrated clinically elevated mental health needs, and were significantly different across all indicators of mental health compared to other caregivers. Conclusions: Adult drug courts address the occurrence of substance use disorders but there are additional needs to be intervened upon. Adult drug courts may be a viable intervention point to address issues of parenting and mental health to improve the wellbeing of criminal justice-involved individuals, their children, and families.

Engagement in Home Visiting Services during the Transition from Pregnancy to Postpartum: A Prospective Mixed Methods Pilot Study

Damashek, A., Kothari, C., Berman, A., Chahin, S., Lutzker, J. R., Guastaferro, K., Whitaker, D. J., Shanley, J., & Self-Brown, S. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Volume

29

Issue

1

Page(s)

11-28
Abstract
Abstract
Objectives: This pilot study used a prospective mixed methods approach to examine predictors of retention in services during the transition from pregnancy to postpartum. Home visiting programs that serve pregnant women are an important means of improving child and maternal well-being. Providing services to women during the transition from pregnancy to postpartum is particularly important, because children under the age of 1 are at high risk for mortality. Morever, mothers face amplified levels of stress during the postpartum period. Unfortunately, home visiting programs in the United States that support pregnant and postpartum women suffer from high rates of attrition. General research on home visiting engagement suggests that the client-provider relationship is an important factor in predicting client engagement in services; however, few studies have examined factors related to maternal engagement during the transition from pregnancy to postpartum. Methods: Measures administered during pregnancy for 39 pregnant women were used to predict attrition up to 15 months postpartum. Semi-structured interviews were conducted at 3 months postpartum with 33 of the original 39 women to qualitatively assess factors related to engagement in services during the transition from pregnancy to postpartum. Results: Both quantitative and qualitative analyses indicated that clients’ perceptions of the client-provider relationship was a critical factor in maintaining mothers’ engagement in services. Both types of analyses indicated that perceived provider reliability was related to mothers’ engagement in services. Quantitative analyses also found that perceived provider cultural competence predicted engagement in services. Other findings from qualitative analyses indicated that mothers’ perception of the home visitor as trustworthy/supportive, personable/having good communication skills, knowledgeable, and collaborative/flexible, were factors that mothers noted when discussing engagement in services. Conclusions: These results advance the literature on engagement in home visiting services by overcoming some of the limitations of previous literature and may have implications for home visitor training.

Engagement in Home Visiting: An Overview of the Problem and How a Coalition of Researchers Worked to Address this Cross-model Concern

Guastaferro, K., Self-Brown, S., Shanley, J. R., Whitaker, D. J., & Lutzker, J. R. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Volume

29

Issue

1

Page(s)

4-10
Abstract
Abstract
Home visiting is a widely supported intervention strategy for parents of young children who are in need of parenting skill improvement. However, parental engagement limits the potential public health impact of home visiting, as these programs often have low enrollment rates, as well as high attrition and low completion rates for those who enroll in these programs. The Coalition for Research on Engagement and Well-being (CREW) provided support for three pilot projects representing different home visiting models and aspects of engagement. The results of these pilot projects are presented in this special section. The purpose of this commentary is to introduce CREW and highlight the importance of a cross-model project to improve engagement among home visiting programs.

itMatters: Optimization of an online intervention to prevent sexually transmitted infections in college students

Wyrick, D. L., Tanner, A. E., Milroy, J. J., Guastaferro, K., Bhandari, S., Kugler, K. C., Thorpe, S., Ware, S., Miller, A. M., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Journal of American College Health

Volume

70

Issue

4

Page(s)

1-11
Abstract
Abstract
Objective: To describe an iterative approach to developing an online intervention targeting the intersection of alcohol use and sexual behaviors among first year college students. Methods and Participants: Using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), we conducted two iterative optimization trials to: (1) identify candidate intervention components (i.e., descriptive norms, injunctive norms, outcome expectancies, perceived benefits of protective behavioral strategies, and self-efficacy to use strategies); (2) revise components; and (3) identify the optimized intervention. Participants were first year college students at six geographically diverse universities (optimization trial 1 N = 5,880; optimization trial 2 N = 3,551) Results: For both optimization trials, the results indicated that only descriptive and injunctive norms produced a significant effect (p<.05). Conclusions: The iterative process of MOST allowed us to develop an optimized intervention which is an essential tool to maximize intervention effectiveness and efficiency to improve uptake, sustainability, and public health impact.

Substance Use and Mental Health Outcomes During Emerging Adulthood Among Individuals With Different Patterns of Child Maltreatment

Guastaferro, K., & Bray, B. C. (n.d.).

Publication year

2020

Journal title

Emerging Adulthood

Volume

8

Issue

6

Page(s)

542-547
Abstract
Abstract
The aim of the current study was to identify patterns of child maltreatment experienced prior to age 18 and examine the relationship between those patterns and substance use and mental health disorders among emerging adults. Data were from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. The analytic sample consisted of 5,194 adults between 18 and 25 years old. Latent class analysis revealed a three-class model: Rare Maltreatment (59%); Occasional Maltreatment, Rare Sexual Abuse (37%); and Frequent Maltreatment, Some Sexual Abuse (4%). Risk of substance use disorders and poor mental health was higher for the two classes who experienced maltreatment; however, those with Frequent Maltreatment had higher risk of poor mental health, but not substance use disorders compared to those with Occasional Maltreatment. Patterns of child maltreatment are important predictors of substance use and mental health disorders in emerging adulthood, but different patterns may necessitate specific intervention efforts.

A Methodological Review of SafeCare®

Guastaferro, K., & Lutzker, J. R. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Volume

28

Issue

12

Page(s)

3268-3285
Abstract
Abstract
Objectives: More than 500,000 children experience neglect each year in the United States, yet few evidence-based parent-training programs focus primarily on preventing and mitigating the risk factors for neglect. A notable exception is SafeCare®. This review focuses on the research designs used at three phases of the SafeCare model: development, evaluation, and dissemination. Methods: Presented in chronological order, the purpose is to highlight the 40-year evidence-base of the SafeCare model and to demonstrate that certain research designs are specific to phases of intervention development. Results: The cumulative evidence from those 40 years for the SafeCare model and its predecessor is powerful. Conclusions: Future research with a variety of experimental designs related to dissemination and implementation research are discussed.

A Parent-focused Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program: Development, Acceptability, and Feasibility

Guastaferro, K., Zadzora, K. M., Reader, J. M., Shanley, J., & Noll, J. G. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Journal of Child and Family Studies

Volume

28

Issue

7

Page(s)

1862-1877
Abstract
Abstract
Objectives: Child sexual abuse (CSA) affects nearly 60,000 children in the U.S. annually. Although prevention efforts targeting adults in the community and school-aged children have been somewhat successful, there is a clear gap in the current prevention efforts: parents. Generalized parent-education (PE) programs have effectively reduced the rates of physical abuse and neglect; however, currently no PE program targets risk factors for CSA specifically. We sought to develop a brief parent-focused CSA prevention module to be added onto existing PE programs thereby leveraging the skills and implementation infrastructure to ensure sustainability. Methods: In three phases, we developed the curriculum, refined content and presentation while simultaneously developing and psychometrically evaluating a measurement tool, and conducted an acceptability and feasibility pilot. These phases are described in detail such that intervention scientists wishing to develop a module to be added onto existing programs can follow our procedures. Results: The results of each phase are described so that the reader can see how information gleaned in one part of a phase informed subsequent phases of research. This was an iterative process of development, refinement, and piloting. Conclusions: The resultant parent-focused CSA prevention module is designed to be added onto extant evidence-based PE programs. The module, and the additive approach of the intervention, will be evaluated in a future randomized controlled trial.

Achieving the goals of translational science in public health intervention research: The multiphase optimization strategy (MOST)

Guastaferro, K., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

American journal of public health

Volume

109

Page(s)

S128-S129

Is Sexual Abuse a Unique Predictor of Sexual Risk Behaviors, Pregnancy, and Motherhood in Adolescence?

Noll, J. G., Guastaferro, K., Beal, S. J., Schreier, H. M., Barnes, J., Reader, J. M., & Font, S. A. (n.d.).

Publication year

2019

Journal title

Journal of Research on Adolescence

Volume

29

Issue

4

Page(s)

967-983
Abstract
Abstract
This study tested sexual abuse as a unique predictor of subsequent adolescent sexual behaviors, pregnancy, and motherhood when in company with other types of maltreatment (physical abuse, neglect) and alternative behavioral, family, and contextual risk factors in a prospective, longitudinal study of maltreated (n = 275) and comparison (n = 239) nulliparous females aged 14–19 years old assessed annually through 19 years old. Hierarchical regression was used to disentangle risk factors that account for the associations of maltreatment type on risky sexual behaviors at 19 years old, adolescent pregnancy, and adolescent motherhood. Findings indicate that sexual and physical abuse remain significant predictors of risky sexual behaviors, and that sexual abuse remains a significant predictor of adolescent motherhood when alternative explanatory variables are controlled.

Contact

kate.guastaferro@nyu.edu 708 Broadway New York, NY, 10003