Ground-breaking studies on personality disorders in children.
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Research

2019 Studies

The following were conducted by doctoral students from St. John’s University, supervised by:

Dr. Mark Terjesen, Professor of Psychology at St. John’s University:

  • American Psychological Association Fellow (Divisions 1, 2, 16, 52)
  • Past President (2015), Division of International Psychology (Division 52), American Psychological Association
  • Treasurer (2014-2016), School Psychology Division (Division 16), American Psychological Association

 

Integrating Technology to Treat Anxiety among Youth

By Mayra Reyes & Michelle Thirkield (doctoral students from St. John’s University)

  • The OST program was delivered over an 8-week period for 45-minute sessions
  • There were 8 participants who received all 8 weeks of the OST program.
  • A repeated-measures t test was conducted to determine whether participation in the intervention decreased total self-reported anxiety scores from pre-intervention (M = 58.50; SD = 8.7) to post-intervention (M = 53.38; SD = 8.035). Results indicated a nonsignificant decrease in self-reported total anxiety scores, t(7) = 1.786, p = .117. However, several significant decreases were indicated for the following subscales: separation anxiety/phobia, t(7) = 3.374, p = .012; social anxiety, t(7) = 2.597, p = .036; humiliation/rejection, t(7) = 3.087, p = .018; physical symptoms, t(7) = 2.906, p = .023, and tense/restlessness, t(7) = 4.468, p =.003.
  • A repeated-measures t test was conducted to determine whether child participation in the intervention decreased total anxiety scores on parent report from pre-intervention (M = 68.71; SD = 8.597) to post-intervention (M=55.71; SD = 10.981). Results indicated a significant difference in total anxiety scores following participation in the intervention, t(6) = 3.036, p = .023. Significant decreases were indicated for the following subscales: parent reported separation and phobias, t(6) = 9.413, p = .000, and Generalized Anxiety, t(6) = 3.278, p = .017

An evaluation of the On Second Thought: From Iffy to Witty Thoughts (OST)) delivered via SMART technology for students experiencing anger-related difficulties

Delivered by: Vanessa Rumie and Aimee Baez (doctoral students from St. John’s University)

  • Number of weeks: 8
  • Sample size: N = 4
  • Demographics: 50% male, 50% female
  • Mean age: 9.25
  • Anger was measured by the Anger Regulation and Expression Scales(ARES) self-report total scores
  • A repeated-measures t-test was conducted to determine whether the OST intervention significantly decreased participants total anger prior to the program (M = 46.00; SD = 8.83) to 8 weeks after the program had ended (M = 31.25; SD = 3.50).
  • Results indicated a statistically significant reduction in total anger after the program had ended, t (3) = 4.005, p < .028 (2-tailed).
  • There was a 32% drop in anger pre to post
  • There was a 20% reduction in anger pre to follow up

 

RCI:

  • Participants 1, 2, and 3 all showed a statistically significant change from pre to post-treatment on the ARES self-report total score; and all 4 participants demonstrated a statistically significant change from pre to follow up, and post to follow up treatment on the ARES self-report total score.

 

 

2018 Study

A second single-subject design study of the On Second Thought (OST): From Iffy to Witty Thoughts program delivered via SMART technology was conducted. Three children with anxiety participated in the group intervention, which met weekly for eight weeks. Anxiety symptoms, behavioral and emotional difficulties, automatic thoughts, and irrational beliefs were assessed at pre-treatment, post-treatment, and follow-up time points. Significant improvement was found in the domains of anxiety symptoms, internalizing problems, emotional symptoms, personal adjustment, externalizing problems, behavioral symptoms, adaptive skills, and negative automatic thoughts. Improvement was also found for additional outcomes which did not reach significance. The participants appeared to enjoy the activities, as well as the SMART technology component of the program.

The above intervention was conducted by Alexa K. Pata, B.A., and Natasha Kostek, M.A., doctoral students at St. John’s University in New York.

 

2016 Pilot Study

A single-subject design that investigated, On Second Thought: From Iffy to Witty Thoughts (OST) program delivered via SMART technology was examined. Two children with anxiety participated in the group intervention in a simulated school environment. Several outcomes that measured anxiety, behavioral and emotional difficulties, automatic thoughts/irrational beliefs, and academics were assessed at post-treatment and follow-up. Between the participants, significant improvements were found in the areas of anxious symptoms, internalizing problems, emotional symptoms, negative automatic thoughts, and adaptive skills. Non-significant improvements were also found on several outcomes and gains were largely maintained at follow-up.

 

2015 Survey

A survey completed by 280 school psychologists and school administrators investigated how important various factors are when it comes to the On Second Thought:  From Iffy to Witty Thoughts (OST) program. Survey participants were randomly assigned to one of four descriptions of the OST program. Each description was identical aside from manipulations regarding session length and means of delivery. The survey examined perceived acceptability of the program, effectiveness of the program, willingness to use the program, appropriateness of the program, and overall benefit of the program. In addition, the survey investigated the extent to which various factors impacted individuals’ perceptions of the program, including number of sessions, program cost, program content, the evidence-base of the program, and the means of program delivery. Participants had favorable ratings of all four of the OST vignettes, which did not significantly differ. In terms of factors of importance when it comes to interventions, evidence-base and content of the program were rated as most important. The lowest rated factors were cost and number of sessions.

The above were conducted by Dr. Stephanie Schwartz while she was a doctoral student at St. John’s University in New York.

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