Category Archives: Research News

Children of color—especially Black and Indigenous children—are disproportionately overrepresented in foster care and experience barriers in accessing services and receiving physical and behavioral healthcare compared to their White counterparts. Although racial disparities in mental health outcomes of children in foster care have been examined systematically, less is known about racial disparities in their physical health outcomes. This systematic review aimed to examine disparities in physical health outcomes (i.e., general health, developmental delays and disability, chronic illness, health-compromising behaviors, all-cause mortality) of children in foster care by their race and ethnicity. Click here to view a PDF with full details. 

To date, little to nothing is known about Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) children in foster care although they are overrepresented in some of the child welfare systems in the United States and experience challenges stemming from structural colonialism and displacement. To highlight this often-overlooked population in child welfare research, the current study applied an indigenous model to understand who the NHPI children are in foster care by descriptively examining their sociodemographic, family of origin, geographic characteristics, as well as their placement status with relatives or foster parents who identify as NHPI. Click here to view a PDF with full details. 

In 1990, a report issued by the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect indicated that the state of child safety represented a national emergency. Several approaches to child welfare system reform emerged after the publication of the advisory board’s report, including the implementation of differential response (DR), a system policy that promotes family engagement by allowing child protective services (CPS) to differentiate its response (e.g., investigation or assessment) to reports of child abuse and neglect based on multiple factors such as level of risk, child age, source of reporter, and type of reported maltreatment. Click here to view a PDF with full details. 

The Bhutanese refugee population have been the subject of considerable psychiatric research and intervention due to high rates of psychiatric morbidity, disability, and suicide given prolonged displacement. The central Ohio region hosts the largest Bhutanese refugee population—approximately 30,000 Bhutanese refugees—and this number is expected to increase in the next 5 years. An epidemiological study in the region suggested alarming rates of anxiety symptoms, PTSD, depression, suicide, and substance misuse among resettled Bhutanese refugees in the region. Click here to view a PDF with full details. 

In the US, approximately 7 million families live in poverty. Low household income has been a large focus of poverty research. However, material hardship—defined as everyday challenges related to making ends meet including difficulties paying for housing, utilities, food, or medical care—is common among American families and has not been systematically examined as a complementary indicator of poverty. To fill this knowledge gap, the current study used the Family Stress Model to test the mechanisms by which low household income and material hardship contribute to mothers’ and fathers’ depressive symptoms and destructive interparental conflict (i.e., moderate verbal aggression couples use that could be harmful to the partner relationship). Click here to view a PDF with full details. 

Closeup of hands of a young woman holding hand of an senior lady

In the United States (US), approximately 21 million people are diagnosed with a substance use disorder (SUD); however, only 11% of individuals obtain treatment. One reason is individuals who struggle with SUD are often unable or unwilling to abstain from substance use, which is the prescribed goal in many SUD treatment facilities. This study employed a mixed-methods study design examining perceptions of non-abstinence treatment goals among clinical social workers in the US who specialize in SUD treatment. Click here to view a PDF with full details. 

Given the high burden of child maltreatment, there is an urgent need to know more about resilient functioning among those who have experienced maltreatment. The aims of the study were to: 1) identify distinct profiles of resilience across cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social domains in young children involved in the child welfare system; and 2) examine maltreatment characteristics and family protective factors in relation to the identified resilience profiles. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

happy father and son walk in nature

Father involvement is a key family protective factor that is crucial to children’s healthy development. Identifying distinctive patterns of father involvement and their contributions to diverse aspects of child development among low-income families is an important focus of inquiry that can inform the development of interventions to promote healthy development in vulnerable children. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Families with low income experience high levels of economic insecurity, but less is known about how mothers and fathers in such families successfully navigate coparenting and parenting in the context of material hardship. The current study utilized a risk and resilience framework of testing the Family Stress Model to investigate the underlying family processes linking material hardship and children’s prosocial behaviors in a sample of socioeconomically disadvantaged mother-father families with preschoolers from the Building Strong Families project (N = 452). Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Congratulations to Dr. Shannon Jarrott!

Dr. Jarrott recently received a USDA grant entitled, “Building Relationships Intergenerationally through Guided Mentoring – BRIDGE2Health: An intergenerational mentoring program.”

This five-year $1.28M project takes an intergenerational community-based participatory research approach to programming in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and Amherst County, Virginia.

The focal population will be teenagers, approximately half of whom are in foster and kinship (e.g., grandparent) care, and older adult participants, including volunteers affiliated with a local partner. Annual cohorts of paired teen and older adult mentors will engage in a train-the-trainer model by which participants build skills with age peers and then with intergenerational partners before engaging in community outreach.

By engaging teens and older adults as partners in evidence-based curricula to identify needs and assets to which they can jointly respond through bi-directional mentoring, we anticipate achievement of short-term goals that include formation of trusting, supportive relationships, positive social norms, and belonging. Long-term goals include teen skill building and resilience and older adults’ generative achievement. The two communities, working with OSU Extension, and VCE, will have better coordinated, sustainable services reflecting community needs.

COVID-19 is likely to have negatively impacted foster families, but few data sources are available to confirm this. The current study used Reddit social media data to examine how foster families were faring in the early months of the pandemic. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Congratulations to PhD candidate Kathryn Coxe!

Kathryn recently received an NIH F31 predoctoral fellowship for her grant, “Implementation of Traumatic Brain Injury Screening in Behavioral Healthcare Organizations.”

This fellowship is through the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and will support Kathryn as she carries out her dissertation research. It also supports two years of ongoing mentored training that will be focused on implementation science and traumatic brain injury interventions. Kathryn’s research will investigate whether provider-level characteristics and innovation-level factors affect traumatic brain injury (TBI) screening adoption in behavioral healthcare contexts to inform implementation strategies aimed to increase TBI screening adoption in behavioral healthcare.

To share a little more about the significance of this award, to our knowledge Kathryn is the first ever doctoral student to submit and receive an F31 in this history of the college. Within NINDS, this is also one of few grants awarded to a social scientist (most focus on neuroscience and basic sciences​). These are incredibly competitive and prestigious awards that signify strong potential for an NIH-funded research career.

Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Mendoza!

She recently received a National on Deafness and Other Communication (NIDCD) diversity supplement for parent award, “SES-Related Disparities in Early Language Development and Child Risk for Developmental Language Disorder,” with funding just under $200,000!

The two-year project will focus on understanding how the COVID-19 crisis, and related changes in caregiver distress and interactions with infants, affects infant language development over a 12-month period.

Innovative aspects of this supplemental grant include collecting multiple caregiver-infant interactions, including secondary caregiver-infant interactions, and using smartphone technology to conduct in-home assessments among vulnerable groups who are often left out of digital data collection studies, including COVID-19 studies. This supplemental award will provide Nancy the opportunity to be part of an experienced research team under the mentorship of Dr. Laura Justice, OSU College of Education and Human Ecology.

Congratulations to Dr. Camille R. Quinn who is celebrating an impressive amount of research much of which impacts African American youth. Her work has also been picked up by a variety of news outlets and websites from around the country. See below for highlights and links.

Recent research from Quinn’s reveals that:
• Caregivers’ trauma may filter down to younger generations and specifically trigger PTSD among Black girls in the juvenile justice system. Read more.
• Black teens and young adults living in public housing are a “hidden population” when it comes to suicide prevention efforts. Read more.

Additionally, just a remarkable, Dr. Quinn:
• Was reappointed to the Governor’s Council on Juvenile Justice. Her term began on January 29, 2021, and will end on October 31, 2023.
• Provided written testimony in support of SB256, which passed.
• Moderated and shared remarks during a live, national virtual session on Girls in the Juvenile Justice System called “Conversations on the Road to Unlocked” in May prior to the “Unlocked” national conference in October 2021 in Philadelphia, PA.
• Worked with CSW PhD candidates Oliver Beer and Rebecca Phillips to publish an article examining stress, coping strategies and health outcomes among social workers in Ohio. Read more.
• Hosted “Do More, Do It Now,” a presentation focused on Black girls and young women in the juvenile justice system and part of the Kirwan Institute’s bi-weekly forum series.
• Served on a special panel of experts discussing the HBO documentary, “True Justice,” which highlights the work of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative.

For more information on Quinn, click here.

The College of Social Work is pleased to announce its new Age-Friendly Innovation Center (AFIC).

The mission of AFIC is to innovate with older adults through research, education and engagement to ensure inclusion and build resiliency to make communities more age-friendly. This will be achieved through collaborating with Ohio State interdisciplinary faculty, students and community partners.

Building off five years of progress, the AFIC will continue to prioritize the contributions of older residents to improve social, built and health environments that support livability for people of all ages and abilities. The new center will be located at Rev1 Labs, 1275 Kinnear Road and will be celebrated in an upcoming event.

For more information about the work of age-friendly, click here or contact Director Katie White at

African American youth have the highest suicide death rate increase among any other racial/ethnic minority group, from 2.55 per 100,000 in 2007 to 4.82 per 100,000 in 2017, and are becoming the group most likely to die by suicide in the United States. Guided by ecodevelopmental theory, we investigated the relationship between parental incarceration and substance misuse and their association with suicidal planning in a sample of African American youth and young adults. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Congratulations to Dr. Alan Davis whose recently published research shows the impact psychedelic drugs may have in several areas.

Who may benefit most from psychedelics used in therapy?

In March, Davis published research showing that patients who are open to new experiences and willing to surrender to the unknown may benefit most from psychedelics used as therapy for mental health disorders. The study can be viewed online in the journal ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science.

To read the complete press release, click here.

Davis’ research was picked up by multiple news sources including News Medical, Science Daily, Medical Xpress, Mirage News and Newswise.

One psychedelic experience may lessen trauma of racial injustice

Late last year, Davis’ also published new research showing that just one positive experience on a psychedelic drug may help reduce the lasting trauma of racial injustice in Black, Indigenous and people of color. The study can be viewed online in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

To read the press release, click here.

Davis’ research was picked up in several news sources including The New York Post, Whole Foods, ANI: South Asia’s leading multimedia news agency reaching Canada and India, Yahoo!, British news outlet and The College Fix.

To learn more about Davis, click here.

This research was part of a larger study conducted in 2014 by a food mapping team who geo-coded over 700 surveys and collected data about food access, food shopping patterns, neighborhood environments, health conditions, food insecurity, and sociodemographic characteristics in Columbus, OH. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

Results of this randomized clinical trial demonstrated the efficacy of psilocybin-assisted therapy in producing large, rapid, and sustained antidepressant effects among patients with MDD. These data expand the findings of previous studies involving patients with cancer and depression as well as patients with treatment-resistant depression by suggesting that psilocybin may be effective in the much larger population of MDD. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

The College of Social Work is at the forefront in the fight against the opioid epidemic in Ohio with multiple research collaborations, grants, and community partnerships. The College of Social work is involved in a variety of studies to understand the impact of the opioid epidemic on individuals, families, and communities. Click here to view a PDF with full details.

The social connectedness of diverse older adults has important implications for their health and well-being. Transportation plays an important role in the social connectedness and social integration of older adults. Despite the increasing number of diverse older adults nationally and locally, there is limited information on factors influencing their transportation behaviors. To address this gap, this study explored barriers and facilitators of transportation among diverse older adults, particularly older immigrants and refugees in Columbus.
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Black girls bear a higher burden of juvenile justice involvement in the United States, relative to other racial/ethnic female groups. Emerging evidence suggests that system involvement is related to trauma histories and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study investigated the associations between individual, family, and peer factors and their relationship to PTSD among Black girls with juvenile justice involvement.
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