• 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.