Canadian Research in Brief: 25th Edition (February 2011)


The articles listed below can be accessed through the corresponding journal website or accessed at a local library or university.

Canadian Research in Brief: 25th Edition (February 2011)

Hodgins, D.C., & Schopflocher, D.P. (2010). The association between childhood maltreatment and gambling problems in a community sample of adult men and women. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 24(3), 548 – 554.

The purpose of this study was to examine the association between childhood maltreatment and gambling disorders, using data from an ongoing longitudinal study of gambling (the Leisure Lifecycle and Lifestyle Project). The study used random digit dialing to recruit participants from the province of Alberta, Canada. The authors examined the responses of 1,145 adult participants who completed the childhood maltreatment measure at baseline and at the 18 month follow up. Although this is a cross-sectional study, the two time points were examined in order to establish test re-test reliability of the maltreatment variable. Data were weighted, making the results estimates of the provincial population. After reviewing the literature, the authors examined a variety of co-variates, including symptoms of alcohol/other drug use disorder or antisocial disorder, characteristics of the family environment, and indicators of psychological stress. The results indicate that childhood maltreatment is associated with higher frequency of gambling and greater likelihood of gambling problems, even after accounting for the individual and social co-variates. Participants who were male, with more antisocial features, alcohol dependence, stress, and poorer family environments were more likely to have severe gambling problems. This study was limited by its use of retrospective reports of maltreatment to estimate absolute prevalence of child abuse and neglect.

Ivanova, V., & Brown, J. (2010). Support needs of Aboriginal foster parents. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(12), 1796 – 1802.

The authors identify that Aboriginal children are overrepresented in the Canadian child welfare system, and that there is an insufficient number of Aboriginal foster parents to meet the demand for placement. This study used the concept mapping process to learn about the needs of Aboriginal foster parents. This method involves (a) posing questions to participants (b) gathering responses and printing them on separate cards (c) asking participants to sort cards into groups (d) analyzing sorted responses using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. A randomized list of telephone numbers for all licensed foster parents in a central Canadian province was utilized to contact 83 Aboriginal foster parents, ranging in age from 28 to 72. Twenty-four percent of these parents were providing a kinship placement. Based on the concept mapping process, Aboriginal foster parents reported that they require support from the foster care system, including worker support, respite opportunities, and funds. It was believed by participants that these supports would facilitate rapport building between foster parents and children, and would also allow siblings to remain within one foster household. The participants identified the need for specialist support, housing support, as well as assistance in obtaining recreational resources for family outings and activities. Finally, the Aboriginal foster parents wanted more opportunities for education through sharing, for instance skill- and knowledge-building opportunities, education on foster parent rights, support and knowledge sharing among foster families, and more public awareness of fostering. The authors conclude that more research is necessary in order to develop culturally responsive child welfare policies and practices.

Roustit, C., Campoy, E., Chaix, B., & Chauvin, P. (2010). Exploring mediating factors in the association between parental psychological distress and psychosocial maladjustment in adolescence. European Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 19(7), 597 – 604.

This study sought to examine the association between parental psychological distress and adolescent maladjustment, examining adolescent internalizing and externalizing disorders, substance use, and alcohol consumption. The authors then controlled for socioeconomic factors and tested the relevance of adolescent self-esteem, parental emotional support, and extra-familial support as mediators in the relationship between parental psychological distress and adolescent psychosocial maladjustment. Data from the Social and Health Survey of Quebec Children and Adolescents were used. This survey was based on a two-stage cluster random sample of 2,346 individuals aged 13 and 16 enrolled in school, and their 1,983 parents. Binary and multinomial logistic regression models were estimated, structural equation modeling was used to test for mediation, and path analysis was conducted. The results suggest that adolescents living with a highly psychologically distressed parent are more likely to exhibit internalizing and externalizing disorders, as well as lower self-esteem and social support. The standardized total effect of parental distress on internalizing disorders is significantly mediated by self-esteem, parental emotional support, and social support. The authors conclude that the results confirm the need for public health policies aimed at preventing negative mental health outcomes in adolescents by preventing and addressing parental distress.


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Abu Sayem
McGill University, CRCF
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