• Empowered and disempowered voices of low-income people with disabilities on the initiation of government-funded, managed health care

      McAuliff, Kathleen; Viola, Judah; Keys, Christopher; Back, Lindsey T.; Williams, Amber E.; Steltenpohl, Crystal N.
      The health and healthcare of vulnerable populations is an international concern. In 2011, a Midwestern state within the U.S. mandatorily transitioned 38,000 Medicaid recipients from a fee-for-service system into a managed care program in which managed care companies were contracted to provide recipients’ healthcare for a capitated rate. In addition to cost savings through reductions in preventable and unnecessary hospital admissions, the goals of the managed care program (MCP) included: (1) access to a more functional support system, which can support high and medium risk users in the development of care plans and coordination of care, and (2) choice among competent providers. The population transitioned was a high-need, high-cost, low-income, and low-power group of individuals. The evaluation research team used focus groups as one of many strategies to understand the experience of users during the first two years of this complex change effort. The article explores empowerment in terms of users and their family caregivers’ ability to make meaningful choices and access resources with regard to their healthcare. Specifically, factors empowering and disempowering users were identified within three thematic areas: (1) enrollment experiences, (2) access to care and (3) communication with managed care organizations and providers. While the change was not optional for users, a disempowering feature, there remained opportunities for other empowering and disempowering processes and outcomes through the transition and new managed care program. The results are from 74 participants: 65 users and 9 family caregivers in 11 focus groups and six interviews across two waves of data collection. MCP users felt disempowered by an initial lack of providers, difficulty with transportation to appointments, and challenges obtaining adequate medication. They felt empowered by having a choice of providers, good quality of transportation services and clear communication from providers and managed care organizations. Recommendations for increasing prospects for the empowerment of healthcare users with disabilities within a managed care environment are presented.
    • A Community-Based “Street Team” Tobacco Cessation Intervention by and for Youth and Young Adults

      Saw, Anne; Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Bankston-Lee, Kimberly; Tong, Elisa K.
      Most tobacco users initiate use as youth or young adults. To promote tobacco cessation for this group and encourage non-users’ engagement in tobacco control efforts, a community-based organization developed a “Street Team” brief outreach intervention that enlisted youth and young adults to encourage their peers to stop tobacco use through a brief intervention. Street Team members provided education, a Quit Kit, and referrals to cessation resources at a total of 27 community events over a four-year period. Tobacco users (n = 279) completed assessments of tobacco use, quit intention, and quit self-efficacy at baseline. Self-reports of cessation outcomes including past week abstinence were assessed 1-, 3-, and 6-months post-intervention. Perceptions of the intervention were gathered from Street Team members (n = 28) and intervention participants post-intervention. T-tests and χ2-tests were used to compare those who completed at least one follow-up assessment to those lost to follow-up. Time effects were analyzed using fixed effect models. Missing = using analyses indicate 16.1, 18.6, and 12.5% 7-day quit rate at 1-, 3-, and 6-months follow-up. Feedback from intervention participants indicate the intervention was acceptable and that discussions with Street Team members and provision of quit kits motivated tobacco users to consider quitting. All Street Team members responded positively to their participation in the intervention. This Street Team approach for youth and young adults is promising as an effective approach to the promotion of tobacco cessation among users and engagement and empowerment in tobacco control efforts among non-users.
    • The Psychological Science Accelerator: Advancing Psychology Through a Distributed Collaborative Network

      Moshontz, Hannah; Campbell, Lorne; Ebersole, Charles R.; IJzerman, Hans; Urry, Heather L.; Forscher, Patrick S.; Grahe, Jon E.; McCarthy, Randy J.; Musser, Erica D.; Antfolk, Jan; et al.
      Concerns about the veracity of psychological research have been growing. Many findings in psychological science are based on studies with insufficient statistical power and nonrepresentative samples, or may otherwise be limited to specific, ungeneralizable settings or populations. Crowdsourced research, a type of large-scale collaboration in which one or more research projects are conducted across multiple lab sites, offers a pragmatic solution to these and other current methodological challenges. The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA) is a distributed network of laboratories designed to enable and support crowdsourced research projects. These projects can focus on novel research questions or replicate prior research in large, diverse samples. The PSA’s mission is to accelerate the accumulation of reliable and generalizable evidence in psychological science. Here, we describe the background, structure, principles, procedures, benefits, and challenges of the PSA. In contrast to other crowdsourced research networks, the PSA is ongoing (as opposed to time limited), efficient (in that structures and principles are reused for different projects), decentralized, diverse (in both subjects and researchers), and inclusive (of proposals, contributions, and other relevant input from anyone inside or outside the network). The PSA and other approaches to crowdsourced psychological science will advance understanding of mental processes and behaviors by enabling rigorous research and systematic examination of its generalizability.
    • Justify Your Alpha

      Lakens, Daniel; Adolfi, Federico G.; Albers, Casper J.; Anvari, Farid; Apps, Matthew A. J.; Argamon, Shlomo E.; Baguley, Thom; Becker, Raymond B.; Benning, Stephen D.; Bradford, Daniel E.; et al.
      In response to recommendations to redefine statistical significance to P ≤ 0.005, we propose that researchers should transparently report and justify all choices they make when designing a study, including the alpha level.
    • Me Time, or We Time? Age Differences in Motivation for Exercise

      Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Shuster, Michael; Peist, Eric; Pham, Amber; Mikels, Joseph A
      Background and Objectives Increasing exercise continues to be an important health issue for both older and younger adults. Researchers have suggested several methods for increasing exercise motivation. Socioemotional selectivity theory (SST) posits that people’s motivation shift from future-oriented instrumental goals to present-oriented emotionally meaningful goals as we age, which provides insight into how people’s motivations for exercise may differ for older versus younger adults. The aim of our study was to examine how exercise motivation differs for older versus younger adults. Research Design and Methods Older (greater than 59 years old) and younger (aged 18–26 years) adults participated in focus groups. They discussed exercise motivation (or lack thereof), motivators and barriers to exercise, and preferences about when, where, and with whom they exercise. Focus group transcripts were analyzed using direct content analysis and iterative categorization. Results Consistent with SST, younger adults generally preferred to exercise alone to achieve instrumental fitness goals, whereas older adults preferred to exercise with others. Additionally, older adults tend to consider peripheral others (e.g., strangers, acquaintances), as a positive rather than a negative influence. Discussion and Implications SST provides a framework for exploring age-related shifts in exercise motivation. Additionally, the positivity effect was reflected in how older adults evaluated the influence of peripheral others. Motivational messages could be tailored to increase health behavior changes by focusing on instrumental exercise goals for younger adults and exercise focused on meaningful relationships for older adults.
    • Do Others Understand Us? Fighting Game Community Member Perceptions of Others’ Views of the FGC

      Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Reed, Jordan; Keys, Christopher
      Our perceptions of how well others understand us and our communities can affect how we see ourselves, as well as how we perceive and interact with others. Community psychologists may be interested in examining community meta-stereotypes, or how community members believe outsiders see them. The current mixed-methods study asked fighting game community (FGC) members about their perceptions of outsiders’ understanding of the FGC. We collected data from 496 FGC members, who provided descriptions of others’ perceptions of the FGC, reasons these perceptions exist, and their reactions to these perceptions. The data supported our hypotheses that FGC members feel misunderstood by non-members; gaming affiliation and media affiliation each had significant effects on FGC members’ ratings of others’ understanding. Non-gaming media were perceived as exhibiting especially high levels of misunderstanding. Respondents’ negative comments focused on non-gaming media’s overreliance on outdated stereotypes and lack of research into the community. Recommendations for community psychologists, researchers, FGC members, and media outlets are included, which may allow various stakeholders to explore key issues and sources of friction. Finally, future research directions are discussed.
    • Giving Community Psychology Away: A case for open access publishing

      Steltenpohl, Crystal N.; Daniels, Katherine M.; Anderson, Amy J.
      Amidst increased pressure for transparency in science, researchers and community members are calling for open access to study stimuli and measures, data, and results. These arguments coincidentally align with calls within community psychology to find innovative ways to support communities and increase the prominence of our field. This paper aims to (1) define the current context for community psychologists in open access publishing, (2) illustrate the alignment between open access publishing and community psychology principles, and (3) demonstrate how to engage in open access publishing using community psychology values. Currently, there are several facilitators (e.g. an increasing number of open access journals, the proliferation of blogs, and social media) and barriers (e.g. Article Processing Charges (APCs), predatory journals) to publishing in open access venues. Openly sharing our research findings aligns with our values of (1) citizen participation, (2) social justice, and (3) collaboration and community strengths. Community psychologists desiring to engage in open access publishing can ask journals to waive APCs, publish pre-prints, use blogs and social media to share results, and push for systemic change in a publishing system that disenfranchises researchers, students, and community members.
    • Community Psychology at a Regional University: On Engaging Undergraduate Students in Applied Research

      McKibban, Amie R.; Steltenpohl, Crystal N.
      Engaging students in service learning projects grounded in community psychology values and practices when working in a rural, conservative area provides several challenges and opportunities for faculty members. The authors share processes and outcomes from three case examples taking place between 2010 and 2013: (1) running focus groups and survey development with a local YMCA branch that predominantly serves people of color in low income housing, (2) the development of a strategic plan for the implementation of an art crawl in the local downtown community, and (3) the development and execution of an asset map evaluating supportive resources and spaces available to the local LGBTQA community. The authors reflect on feedback from students and community partners. These case examples highlight the complexity of balancing students’ skillsets, work and other life obligations, and desire to use classroom knowledge in community settings. It also highlights the importance of preparing community partners for working on applied research. We provide recommendations based on each project’s challenges and successes for universities and communities of similar demographics. Working in rural, conservative settings provide their own challenges and opportunities, but are well worth it if implemented in an intentional way, and more research is needed to strengthen our understanding of how best to engage students from a variety of social and political backgrounds.
    • Toward the future: A conceptual review and call for research and action with online communities

      Steltenpohl, Crystal N.
      The internet allows people to connect with virtually anyone across the globe, building communities based on shared interests, experiences, and goals. Despite the potential for furthering our understanding of communities more generally through exploring them in online contexts, online communities have not generally been a focus of community psychologists. A conceptual, state-of-the-art review of eight major community psychology journals revealed 23 descriptive or empirical articles concerning online communities have been published in the past 20 years. These articles are primarily descriptive and can be organized into four categories: community building and maintenance (seven articles, 30.43%), community support (six articles, 26.09%), norms and attitudes (six articles, 26.09%), and advocacy (four articles, 17.39%). These articles reflect a promising start to understanding how we can utilize the internet to build and enhance communities. They also indicate how much further we have to go, both in understanding online communities and certain concepts regarding community psychology more generally. Community psychologists involved in practice and applied settings specifically may benefit from understanding online communities as they become integral components of advocacy, community organizing, and everyday life.
    • Meat and Mental Health: a Systematic Review of Meat Abstention and Depression, Anxiety, and Related Phenomena

      Dobersek, Urska; Wy, Gabrielle; Adkins, Joshua; Altmeyer, Sydney; Krout, Kaitlin; Lavie, Carl; Archer, Edward
      Objective: To examine the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health and well-being. Methods: A systematic search of online databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Medline, and Cochrane Library) was conducted for primary research examining psychological health in meat-consumers and meat-abstainers. Inclusion criteria were the provision of a clear distinction between meat-consumers and meat-abstainers, and data on factors related to psychological health. Studies examining meat consumption as a continuous or multi-level variable were excluded. Summary data were compiled, and qualitative analyses of methodologic rigor were conducted. The main outcome was the disparity in the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and related conditions in meat-consumers versus meat-abstainers. Secondary outcomes included mood and self-harm behaviors Results: Eighteen studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria; representing 160,257 participants (85,843 females and 73,232 males) with 149,559 meat-consumers and 8584 meat-abstainers (11 to 96 years) from multiple geographic regions. Analysis of methodologic rigor revealed that the studies ranged from low to severe risk of bias with high to very low confidence in results. Eleven of the 18 studies demonstrated that meat-abstention was associated with poorer psychological health, four studies were equivocal, and three showed that meat-abstainers had better outcomes. The most rigorous studies demonstrated that the prevalence or risk of depression and/or anxiety were significantly greater in participants who avoided meat consumption. Conclusion: Studies examining the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health varied substantially in methodologic rigor, validity of interpretation, and confidence in results. The majority of studies, and especially the higher quality studies, showed that those who avoided meat consumption had significantly higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm behaviors. There was mixed evidence for temporal relations, but study designs and a lack of rigor precluded inferences of causal relations. Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health.
    • The Influence of Confucianism on the Emergence and Regulation of Nonprofits in China

      Engbers, Trent
      In 2009, The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA) of the People’s Republic of China commissioned a study of international experiences with the use of direct and indirect public policies for nonprofit organizations to deliver social and human services. While the study does produce a number of practical and interesting policy recommendations for the MoCA, there is an inherent problem with this type of research in that it assumes that lessons learned from one county context can be applied to other political and cultural domains without recognizing the unique cultural elements that shape the policy context. In China, a major cultural consideration is the influence of Confucian and Neo-Confucian traditions and beliefs. The Confucian tradition with its focus on the group over the individual and on responsibilities over rights seems to be highly conducive to fostering a robust system of nonprofit organizations (Fukuyama, 1995). However, the conclusion of this paper is the influence of Confucianism is complex and that is sometimes helps and sometimes hinders the development of the nonprofit sector. This study examines four Confucian values (Shu 恕, Ren 仁, Li 礼 and Wu lun 五伦) and their impact on the sector today.