Developing Evidence-Based Interventions to Address Poverty
The McSilver Institute's studies are defined by collaboration with community stakeholders, including public policy makers, organizations providing direct services to poverty-impacted individuals and affected communities, at every stage of the process. An understanding of the links between individuals, families, and communities to their external environments, as well as the interrelatedness of race and poverty, guide the institute's research efforts.
Robin Hood Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation Funded Study:
Safe Mothers, Safe Children
The SMSC initiative involves the delivery of a multi-pronged intervention (P-STAIR) that enhances the identification, case management, and treatment of mothers with PTSD receiving child welfare preventive services with the aim of reducing PTSD, depression and the risk of repeat child maltreatment recidivism.
Ample Table for Everyone Foundation Funded Study:
Family & Food Matters to Pregnant Women
Family and Food to Pregnant Women aims to create awareness of the unique effect of food insecurity on pregnant women and their developing child; promote overall access to and intake of appropriately nutrient-dense foods for pregnant women to maximize in utero development; and create and examine a maternity support group service delivery strategy on outcomes related to stress and food security for women in WIC Centers and a maternity shelter.
FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Family Groups for Urban Youth with Disruptive Behavior
Principal Investigator: Mary M. McKay, PhD
This study is testing the scalability of innovative family-centered approaches designed to strengthen the parenting skills of caregivers to effectively help poverty-impacted youth with behavioral difficulties.
VUKA: Supporting HIV-Infected Youth in South Africa
Principal Investigator: Mary M. McKay, PhD
The VUKA Family Program (VUKA) study aims to meet the urgent need for theory-driven, empirically-informed, effective and sustainable HIV Prevention and care approaches for the unprecedented numbers of perinatally HIV-infected youth in South Africa.
FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS
Targeted Intervention to Increase Mental Health Treatment among Depressed Black Adolescents
Principal Investigator, Michael A. Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH
This purpose of this study is to pilot test an engagement strategy to enhance the utilization of mental health treatment of depressed Black adolescents in school mental health services.
This study was also funded in part by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Improving Child Behavior Using Task-Shifting to Implement MFGs in Child Welfare
Principal Investigator: Geetha Gopalan, PhD
The purpose of this study is to refine and pilot-test task-shifting strategies to support the implementation of a family-focused, Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) to reduce child behavioral difficulties in low-resourced child welfare settings.
Mobile Health Solutions for Behavioral Skill Implementation through Homework
Principal Investigator: Anil Chacko, PhD
This study involves creating and testing a phone application (“app”) to supplement treatment individuals are receiving for mental health issues. The new app provides educational, interactive games that patients can do between treatments in order to promote skill acquisition.
CHAMP + Asia: Supporting HIV-infected Youth in Thailand
Principal Investigator: Mary M. McKay, PhD
The Collaborative HIV Prevention and Adolescent Mental Health Project, or CHAMP+, develops and examines family-friendly prevention and care interventions for perinatally HIV-infected (pHIV+) youth and their parents/guardians. The program test was expanded to Asia.
FUNDED PILOT STUDIES
An Exploration of Health and Mental Health of Formerly Imprisoned Adults With Serious Mental Illnesses
Principal Investigators: Dr. Stacey Barrenger
Mass incarceration disproportionately affects persons with mental illnesses. The experience of incarceration poses several physical and mental health risks due to the stresses and circumstances associated with imprisonment. Persons with mental illnesses are more likely to experience physical and sexual victimization and attempt suicide while incarcerated. They also may have difficulty following rules or act inappropriately due to their psychiatric symptoms drawing attention from correctional officers. While we know something about correctional officers’ attitudes towards those incarcerated with mental illnesses, little is known about the prison experiences of persons with mental illnesses, their interactions with corrections officers, and the impact of these experiences on their overall physical and mental health. This study examines how individuals with mental illnesses experience incarceration including interactions with correctional officers and the effects of incarceration on their physical and mental health and will lead to a framework for understanding these interactions.
Treatment Adherence to Type 2 Diabetes Protocols among Maya Women of Western Guatemala: An Intervention
Principal Investigators: Dr. Liliana Goldín
Diabetes Mellitus affects a large sector of the population of Guatemala and the world, with many individuals never diagnosed. It results in serious and often preventable health consequences.
Unfortunately, adequate care and education is not accessible to large segments of the Guatemalan population, particularly indigenous Maya.This study aims to utilize an intervention designed to improve adherence to treatment protocols for Type 2 Diabetes. The study follows a CMF theoretical framework (communicate, motivate, facilitate) and is conducted in partnership with Guatemalan research organization Estudio 1360 and with two public hospitals of the western highlands.
Social Representations and Community Health Equity: A Critical, Community-Based Mixed Methods Study
Principal Investigators: Dr. Kimberly Hudson
This study aims to explore community members’ concepts of health and how those concepts reflect and respond to social representations of health for the purpose of understanding how multiple social identities at the individual level of experience intersect and interact with systemic inequities at the social, structural, economic and environmental levels.
FUNDED PILOT STUDIES
On Shame as a Psychosocial Dimension of Poverty: A Complementary Study in the United States
Principal Investigators: Mary M. McKay, PhD & Robert Walker, PhD
Co-Principal Investigators: Lawrence Aber, PhD & Gary Parker, MSW
It has been suggested that shame is universally associated with poverty, reduces individual agency and may contribute to the persistence of poverty. Shame is said to be felt internally, but it is also externally imposed by others and sometimes as stigma in the framing, design and implementation of public policy. Qualitative research was conducted to explore these contentions in the US context, adding to a comparative international study (PI: Walker), and as a prelude to the development of a quantitative study to test a causative model in the context of developing “shame-proofed” policy recommendations.
Family and Food Matters!
Principal Investigator: Kara Dean-Assael, LMSW
The effects of food insecurity may be greater than is generally understood. There is a current gap in the literature and services focusing on the relationship between caregiver stress, family functioning, and food insecurity. This research aims to further explore these intersections and address this gap in research and services.
Measuring Inequality of Opportunity and Assessing its Origins in Public Policies across the Developed World
Principal Investigator: Patrick J. Egan, PhD
This study employed a new measurement strategy that was the first to assess the extent to which inequality of opportunity contributes to overall inequality. Initial work using this measure showed that in the United States, inequality of opportunity explains roughly half of overall inequality in non-black Americans’ present day socio-economic status. Egan expanded his research to investigate how inequality of opportunity has shifted over time across the world's advanced industrial democracies; the extent to which its contribution to overall inequality has changed; and whether these two trends were affected by the policies adopted by left- and right-wing governments.
Double Advantage or Double Disadvantage: Bilingual, Family SES, and Race/Ethnicity in Shaping Social and Emotional Developmental Trajectories for Children of Immigrants
Principal Investigator: Wen‐Jui Han, MSW, PhD
Concentrated immigration from Latin America and Asia has increased the use of non-English languages in the home, and the children of immigrant families are projected to account for a large portion of the growth in the school-aged population in the coming years. Professor Wen‐Jui Han’s project used a nationally representative cohort of approximately 20,000 children who entered kindergarten in the 1998-1999 school year to examine factors that explain the social and emotional developmental trajectory of children of immigrants with different language backgrounds.
An Examination of Peer Delivered Support for High‐Need, Impoverished Families
Principal Investigator: Mary Acri, PhD
Conducted in partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the goals of this pilot study were to characterize families who are receiving peer-delivered family support services, investigate the services being provided by family peer advocates, and examine the association between family support services and child outcomes.
Mechanisms in Neuro‐Development (MIND)
Principal Investigators: Clancy Blair, PhD & C. Cybele Raver, PhD
Professors Clancy Blair and C. Cybele Raver conducted a pilot study on the role of poverty-related risks in predicting low-income preschoolers’ stress physiology, immune function, and neurocognitive function. In addition, they carried out a short-term longitudinal analysis of these key, yet underexplored, child outcomes as a function of children’s first year in high quality preschool.
Promoting Resilience in Head Start Families with Children with Special Needs
Principal Investigators: Barbara Schwartz, PhD & Judy Grossman, PhD
Professors Barbara Schwartz and Judy Grossman designed this study to provide services for families living in poverty who experience cumulative stress and risk factors associated with poor child and family outcomes. The objectives were to increase Head Start staff capacity to provide family-centered services to parents who have preschool children with disabilities enrolled in the Lenox Hill Head Start Program; to evaluate parent discussion groups for families who have children receiving special education services enrolled in their program; and to develop training materials and group protocols to implement in other settings.
Planning for Partnership: A Proposal to Develop a Strategic Plan for a School‐University Collaboration
Principal Investigators: Pedro Noguera, PhD
Through a feasibility study, Professor Pedro Noguera developed a collaborative university-school-community partnership in order to provide critical services to local schools while also creating a variety of opportunities for research and internships for scholars and students across all the schools of NYU.
Adaptation of a Family Intervention for Demobilized Colombian Youth and their Foster Families
Principal Investigators: Laura Velez, MSW & Elene Garay, MSW
The purpose of this project between the McSilver Institute and the Bogotá, Colombia-based CRAN Foundation is to collaboratively adapt and develop a psychosocial family based intervention with the participants in the Tutor Homes (i.e., foster family) program for youth demobilized from the armed conflict in Colombia. The study aims to adapt different evidence-based family interventions to develop a core intervention to support the families and youth in the integration process.
Center for Collaborative Inner-City Child Mental Health Services Research (CCCR)
The Center for Collaborative Inner-City Child Mental Health Services Research (CCCR), a Developing Center funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, collaborated with the New York State Office of Mental Health, as well as family and community advocacy boards, to organize multi-disciplinary researchers who conduct research on children’s mental health services. Directed by McSilver Faculty Fellow Dr. Mary McKay, the CCCR was specifically focused on the development and testing of novel clinical practices and service delivery models informed by existing empirical findings, as well as the outcomes associated with intensive collaboration between researchers, practitioners, youth and families. Additionally, the CCCR sought to mentor new investigators of color, particularly those engaged in direct clinical practice, who also wished to gain experience conducting urban services research. The CCCR completed its work in early 2015.
The Community Technical Assistance Center of New York (CTAC)
The Community Technical Assistance Center of New York (CTAC), funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health and directed by the McSilver Institute, advances the effective and efficient provision of clinic treatment to adults, children, and families who rely on public sector services to meet their mental health needs. CTAC provides a wide range of training, consultation, and educational resources free-of-charge to state-licensed mental health clinics to help them address the challenges associated with recent changes in clinic regulations, financing, and overall healthcare reforms, with the goal of improving patient outcomes.
The Managed Care Technical Assistance Center (MCTAC)
The Managed Care Technical Assistance Center (MCTAC), funded by New York State’s Office of Mental Health and Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and directed by the McSilver Institute, was launched in summer 2014 to assist all substance use and mental health providers transition to Medicaid managed care. MCTAC offers providers free tools and trainings to help them maintain the health of their organizations and improve service delivery and outcomes for their clients.