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  • ItemEmbargo
    Nothing about us, without us: elevating voices from the autistic community
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Banks, Tiffany N., author; Holmquist-Johnson, Helen, advisor; Williford, Anne, committee member; Brown, Samantha, committee member; Opsal, Tara, committee member; Gabriels, Robin, committee member
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurocognitive, developmental disability that impacts social communication and is associated with restricted and repetitive behaviors. Autistic youth, however, are more likely than their peers to have a co-occurring mental health challenge and less likely to engage in outpatient mental health treatments compared to typically developing peers. Emerging evidence to support the efficacy of complementary and alternative medicines, such as animal-assisted interventions, lacks input from this historically marginalized and oppressed population. In this dissertation, I explore what the experience of engaging in animal-assisted interventions is like for 3 young people. Using a multiple case study analysis, I am sharing the lived experience of difference, voice, and individualization in a therapeutic horseback riding program. Ultimately this dissertation emphasizes the importance of voice in the evidence-based practice model and illustrates the value of being heard and seen in this world, regardless of our differences.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A mirror to humanity: the meaning-making experiences of correctional end-of-life care advocates
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Kaushik, Shivani, author; Currin-McCulloch, Jennifer, advisor; Hogan, Michael, committee member; Yoder, Jamie, committee member; Yuma, Paula, committee member
    The purpose of this study was to explore the mean-making experiences of advocates who strive to implement end-of-life programming in correctional settings. The study included five main exploratory aims: (1) to explore advocates' understanding of end-of-life philosophy; (2) motivating factors of advocates that promote end-of-life caregiving opportunities; (3) barriers to the provision of end-of-life care; (4) how personal, social, and political influences related to correctional end-of-life care shape advocates' meaning-making experiences and; (5) to better inform the general public of this integral need and humane service to combat the stigma related to accessing end-of-life care for incarcerated individuals. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), a qualitative approach which aims to provide detailed examinations of personal lived experience, was incorporated with English-speaking participants, residing in the United States (U.S.), who are 18 years of age or older and identify as advocates for correctional end-of-life care. Participants were recruited with the assistance of professionals who work within the field of end-of-life care in the United States and non-profit, correctional health care advocacy groups. Advocates participated in a recorded interview, via Zoom or telephone, consisting of 15 semi-structured questions which addressed their knowledge of end-of-life care in corrections, recommendations for policy reform, and the meaning-making experiences derived from advocating for essential care to the terminally ill. Participant responses were transcribed and analyzed by maintaining an idiographic focus and providing verbatim quotes. The results revealed advocates' multifaceted meaning-making experiences in championing for humane end-of-life care in corrections: daunting work as motivation; the people are the joy; this is what I'm meant to do; and being a mirror to humanity. Advocates revealed the pertinent need to eradicate punitive ideals to deliver compassionate care. Narratives underscored the significant bonds with imprisoned people and fellow peers advocating for empathy at the end-of-life. These advocates additionally highlighted their inherent aspirations for social justice and health equity. Moreover, opportunities to showcase and celebrate the compassionate skill-set and productivity of peer-volunteers delivering care to their dying peers in corrections surfaced as emotional and inspiring experiences for advocates. The exploration of the meaning-making experiences of correctional end-of-life care advocates provided a unique perspective into the motivating factors and multifarious challenges of implementing and delivering compassionate care to terminally ill incarcerated people. Advocates offer significant and hidden insights into the dying experience of this marginalized population, while navigating the complexities of correctional health care. The knowledge and vigor of advocates serve as key factors in ameliorating appropriate end-of-life care for a continually punished population. The study emphasizes the fundamental need to assess current models of care available to dying incarcerated individuals in the United States and how advocates' participation can enhance end-of-life care in corrections. Further research must investigate current end-of-life programming in corrections, with an emphasis on the unique roles of those delivering care. The essential voices of correctional end-of-life advocates should be integrated into policy reform which seeks to amend dated and unjust practices impacting dying incarcerated individuals.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Empowerment, resilience and impact: understanding women artisans' lives and livelihoods in Africa
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Edgar, Stacey, author; Williford, Anne, advisor; Currin-Mcculloch, Jennifer, committee member; Yuma, Paula, committee member; White, Allison, committee member
    This three article dissertation shines a light on women artisans and examines the often overlooked role they play in establishing and maintaining resilient communities in developing countries. While women's empowerment and opportunities through entrepreneurship has received significant attention through the lens of sustainable development and poverty alleviation, little scholarship has examined the unique attributes of the artisan sector, the second largest employer in developing countries. Artisan craft work not only meets women's economic needs as necessity entrepreneurs, but also creates significant social, environmental, and cultural impacts locally, nationally, and globally. Therefore, I present three unique studies and establish a conceptual framework to explore the ripple effect of artisan entrepreneurship in the craft sector. I further connect the social work and social entrepreneurship literature and explore the role social work can play in supporting and advancing artisan work as empowering work for women. Study one is a systematic literature review (SLR) that identifies the critical role artisan employment plays in empowering marginalized women in Africa and defines how social workers can engage in effecting change with women artisans experiencing poverty. Study two provides an instrumental case study of an artisan social enterprise in Zambia exploring the values and practices of the organization that contributed to community resilience, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The final study employs a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach to identifying and exploring the social and environmental impact of artisan ventures in Zambia. Taken together this research highlights the importance of artisan craft employment for women in Africa, illustrates the impact of artisan enterprises on community resilience as well as social and environmental impact, and presents critical areas for future research exploration, as well as the policy and practice implications of this important sector.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Seeing with our own eyes: youth reveal strengths in Mathare using photovoice
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Parker, Sarah Noyes, author; Dakin, Emily, advisor; Amell, Jim, advisor; Banning, Jim, committee member
    In this study, adolescent residents of the Mathare slum of Nairobi, Kenya documented their strengths and the strengths of their community using the Photovoice methodology, a participatory qualitative research approach. This study also sought to explore the utility of the Photovoice method for empowering youth in the Mathare slum and as a tool for social action. Research was conducted in collaboration with the Mwelu Foundation, a youth based photography program in Mathare slum. Adolescent and community strengths were a focus of this project given that the majority of prior research related to the Mathare slum has been oriented towards documenting its deplorable conditions with a lack of focus on its capabilities and resources. Template analysis was used to code the data, with resilience, resourcefulness, identity, purpose, and community resources emerging as themes related to adolescent and community strengths. Empowerment of the Mathare youth and social action related to the Mathare slum are deemed viable outcomes of the Photovoice method. Implications of the relevance of the photovoice method for social work practice are discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Underrespresented minority medical (URiM) students: a social work approach to identifying factors affecting their experience
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Richards, Regina D., author; Buchan, Victoria, advisor; Gandy, John, committee member; Jennings, Louise, committee member; Scott, Malcolm, committee member
    A major injustice in the United States is the wide disparity in health care across racial/ethnic, gender and economic lines. The lack of URiM (underrepresented in medicine) physicians is a major cause of health care disparities: health care is enhanced when the physician is race-concordant with the patient. Many URiM students have negative experiences that can impact their motivation, performance, well-being and future careers. The major goal of this research is to gain an understanding of URiM student experience as a basis for changes within the student's Ecosystem. Using a social work approach and thematic analysis to gain a better understanding of the URiM experience at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU SOM), four themes emerged: (a) Overall Experience: URiM experience is multifactorial, reflecting positive, negative and ambivalent experiences and can change through time. (b) Impacts of Explicit Racism, Microaggressions and Low/Insufficient Diversity. (c) Negative Impact of Incongruence: URiM students expressed dissatisfaction at the incongruence between the medical school messaging about valuing diversity and the reality experienced by the students. (d) Sense of Belonging: multifactorial and dynamic: It is a significant factor in student experience, has multiple meanings for the students, and can change through time. In addition to the above four themes, one key result is a new definition of Sense of Belonging. Student recommendations combined with the researcher's experience were used to generate implications for programs and student support services. These results can be used to inform program development, coaching, advising and system level improvements. This will achieve the research goal of improving the experiences of URiM students and thus potentially their motivation, performance, well-being and future careers.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Youth aged out of care: their perceptions of their experiences in out-of-home care
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Arabi, Abdulhamid EL, author; Buchan, Victoria, advisor; Tungate, Susan, committee member; Eunhee, Choi, committee member; Morgan, George, committee member
    Child out-of-home care in the United States is dating back to the early nineteenth century. Since then out of home care has taken different forms and shapes. This journey of evolution has been combined with a lot of controversy due to the ongoing debate over the best interest of child within the continuum of care. This continuum of care ranged from the most restrictive approach represented by residential care, to the least restrictive approach, represented by kin ship care or foster family. Ironically, the out-of-home care literature in The United States as well as in the other western countries, indicates its poor outcomes when it comes to education, employment and housing. This study drew attention to the importance of social support, educational support, and family-like practices to improve outcomes for youth aging out-of-care. Suggestions by the youth on how to improve out-of-home care were also collected and reported. Significant differences were found between each of the concepts of social support, family-like experiences and total support and the length of time in out-of-home care. Those youth with fewer years of out-of-home care reported more support. Social relationships also were stressed among children, peers, caregivers, and professionals due to the influence they may have on cared-after children lives. Findings may fill some of the gap in the literature available on social relationship dynamics in out-of-home care environments. Findings may also help caregivers and professionals understand social relationships dynamics and their effects on ageing out of care youth outcomes. Suggestions were provided to policy makers and decision makers in providing the needed services to children in foster care.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effects of social networks on the wellbeing of formerly homeless adults in supportive housing: a mixed-method case study
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2018) Addo, Reuben, author; Buchan, Victoria, advisor; Gloeckner, Gene, committee member; Unnithan, Prabha, committee member; Yuma, Paula, committee member
    Although a number of studies have investigated the social networks of homeless individuals, very few studies have investigated social networks of formerly homeless individuals in supportive housing programs. How social networks influence the wellbeing of adults in supportive housing programs is limited in the literature. This study explored the nature of social networks and the effects of social networks on psychological wellbeing of formerly homeless adults in a supportive housing program. A mixed-method embedded-design case study was utilized for this study, combining both quantitative and qualitative methods. Quantitative methods were predominant, with qualitative data used to compliment the quantitative strand. Data from (N = 80) formerly homeless adults were collected to examine the effects of social networks on psychological wellbeing. A subset of (n = 20) participants were selected to explore the nature of social networks prior to entering a supportive housing program. Analyses included descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, multiple regressions, and conditional process modeling. Results indicate social network variables differed by demographic and situational characteristics. Network size and emotional closeness, for example, varied by gender. Participants with lower perceived social support also tended to have lower psychological wellbeing. Perceived social support mediated the relationship between social network structure and psychological wellbeing. Qualitative results suggest participants restricted their social interactions while they were homeless. Their experiences prior to entering homelessness and during homelessness shaped the structure of their social interactions. Based on the results of this study, I recommend that supportive housing programs include initial assessments of social networks, especially supportive networks, in order for social support interventions to be incorporated in case management plans for participants with low perceived social support. Qualitative results suggest homeless interventions may include assisting homeless individuals to develop positive social support networks.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Public child welfare caseworker retention in Colorado: a mixed methods study
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2018) Raven, Denise M., author; Orsi, Rebecca, advisor; Holmquist-Johnson, Helen, committee member; Yuma, Paula, committee member; Gloeckner, Gene, committee member
    Retention of caseworkers in public child welfare has been a concern for the past few decades. High turnover rates can impact outcomes for children and families, and the caseworkers who remain. This sequential, explanatory, mixed methods study used both quantitative data, collected by electronic survey, and qualitative data, collected in focus groups with caseworkers and interviews with supervisors of caseworkers to learn more about caseworkers in eleven Colorado counties. Results from the survey, which included validated scales Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL), Leader-Member Exchange, and Psychological Safety showed a relatively healthy workforce in terms of psychological and organizational factors with a strong commitment to child welfare work. In line with previous research, good supervision and support from supervisors, and work team contribute to retention. One of the ProQOL subscales, compassion satisfaction, a sense of professional competence and self-efficacy, was strongly correlated with intent to stay in one's current position. Another subscale from the ProQOL, burnout, was strongly correlated with decreased intent to stay. Focus groups with caseworkers revealed other stressors not included in the survey questions that influence intent to stay or leave. These included paperwork, caseload size in relation to the amount of paperwork, upper management making policy decisions without a clear understanding of the impact on caseworkers' workloads, sometimes negative focus on deficits, lack of practice flexibility, and poor communication. Lack of communication or poor communication encompasses pending policy changes, practice changes, and the progress of efforts to improve conditions for caseworkers based on their input and requests. Recommendations for change include reducing paperwork; improving communication; improving relationships between supervisors and caseworkers, and managers and caseworkers; and removing barriers to direct service with families.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Youth attendance at dependency court proceedings: a mixed methods study of judicial officers and youth
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2018) Sullivan, Ann, author; Buchan, Victoria, advisor; Tungate, Susan, committee member; Unnithan, Prabha, committee member; Winokur, Marc, committee member
    Children who have experienced abuse or neglect enter into the complex child welfare and legal systems. The court determines the needs and the consequences to the family members involved as well as the best interest of the child including, at times, where the child will reside. Dependency court is a complex process that involves many hearings as well as multiple child welfare professionals serving in differing roles. In all of this, there are very few legal protections for children or youth throughout the child welfare and judicial processes. Federal law was passed to support youth opportunity to be consulted with, in an age appropriate manner, regarding in permanency and transition hearings. (42 U.S.C. 675(5)(C). Currently, there are not consistent practiced between dependency court judicial officers pertaining to youth participation in court proceedings. In addition to differing opportunities for youth to access due process participation, challenges to youth inclusion exist because of logistical barriers as well as concerns of the best interest of the youth. The purpose of this convergent mixed methods study was to both explore youth perceptions and experiences through individual survey and focus group discussion as well as, to gather in-depth interview information from dependency court judicial officers. The qualitative findings obtained from judicial officer interviews described judicial officer perspectives and considerations about youth participation at hearings. The convergent study design supported compiling of feedback from two distinct groups to better understand and describe issues related to youth attendance at dependency court as well as obtain recommendations for future court practices. Both youth and judicial officers identified important benefits to youth inclusion in court proceedings. Both groups indicated that youth should be provided options for the manner that they would choose to participate in the court hearing and that the youth's wishes should guide how the youth make their opinions known to the court. Additionally, both youth and judicial officers recognized that youth inclusion in court proceedings has the potential to empower youth and to inform the court when implemented thoughtfully. However, if not implemented with care, some youth risk being further harmed through inclusion in court proceedings. Judicial officers identified the need for leadership and collaborative planning with child welfare professionals to advance practice changes that expand opportunities for youth participation at dependency court hearings
  • ItemOpen Access
    School social workers' perceptions of electronic media on practice
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2017) Keeney, Adrianne Jane, author; Buchan, Victoria, advisor; Quijano, Louise, committee member; Hughes, Shannon, committee member; Marx, Nick, committee member
    Electronic media has provided new challenges and opportunities for school social workers. The use of electronic communication to interact with others is a normative and daily part of life for children, adolescents, and adults. Currently there are few, if any guidelines regarding electronic media behavior and standards for school social work practice. The purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions, beliefs, and experiences from the perspective of school social workers on how electronic communication has affected their practice. A phased research design with quantitative and qualitative components was utilized for this exploratory research. Data from (N=379) school social workers practicing in the United States were collected. A combination of descriptive, correlation, exploratory factor analysis, and analysis of variance were used to analyze differences and associations among school social worker responses based on current age of the practitioner, community of practice, and student population served. Age associations were found with the incorporation of electronic elements in service delivery as well as digital knowledge being perceived as a factor impacting the ability to effectively problem solve. School social workers' incorporation of electronic media into service delivery was found to vary depending on the student population served. Age, community of practice or population served were not found to be a contributing factor to ethical dilemmas encountered or the perceived need for electronic media policies to further inform practice. Guidelines related to mandated reporting in regards to electronic communication and social media boundary guidelines were the top two policies that respondents identified needing the most to further inform their practice. Results suggest that school social workers perceive their practice is affected due to electronic media and these perceptions may differ based upon age, community of practice and population served. It is hoped that the results of this research would be used to guide: (1) recommendations for professional practice policies and social work education; (2) future research that will further inform school social work practice and support school social workers providing services in a digital era.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Measuring adolescent sense of belonging: development of an instrument incorporating gender, ethnicity, and age
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2017) Harrison, Shannon, author; Buchan, Victoria, advisor; Orsi, Rebbeca, committee member; Gandy, John, committee member; Canetto, Silvia, committee member
    Studies incorporating the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (ITS) have largely excluded the association of adolescents with the ITS construct, thwarted belonging. A closer examination of the ITS was necessary, due to its potential for providing information regarding suicide risk. The purpose of this study was to develop a Sense of Belonging Measure, to examine whether and how the construct, thwarted sense of belonging, applied to adolescents, specifically by gender, ethnicity, and age group. Data (N = 10,148) from the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A, 2001-2004) was analyzed. Adolescents aged 13-18 completed the the survey. An exploratory factor analysis and Cronbach's alpha testing determined that the variables in the Sense of Belonging Measure reliably measured the concepts that the literature identified as being related to adolescent belonging. A three way analysis of variance (ANOVA) produced statistically significant main effects of age groups, and of ethnicity, on sense of belonging. An unexpected statistically significant interaction effect of gender and ethnicity on sense of belonging was produced. It is recommended that this measure be clinically tested in mental health settings, to further determine the utility of the construct "thwarted sense of belonging," in its application to adolescents.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Early childhood mental health consultation: care providers' experiences of the consultative relationship
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2017) Kniegge, Krystal, author; Yuma, Paula, advisor; Miles, Brenda, committee member; Barrett, Karen, committee member
    This study examines child care teachers' experiences receiving early childhood mental health consultation (ECMHC). Although there is substantial research demonstrating that ECMHC is an effective intervention in helping teachers better address challenging behaviors in their classroom and promote a more nurturing classroom environment, there has not been any published research to date investigating teachers' personal experiences receiving consultation. Considering that teachers are the primary focus of most ECMHC interventions, the purpose of this study was to examine child care teachers' personal experiences receiving consultation. Eight child care teachers were interviewed for this study, and data from these interviews were used to construct a theoretical model for how child care teachers experience consultation. Results from this study indicated that most teachers found consultation to be helpful in addressing challenges and promoting protective factors in child care. The most meaningful components of the consultative relationship as identified by participants were consistency, confidence in the confidentiality of consultation, and teachers' perception of consultants' positive emotional responsiveness. The most significant benefits identified by participants were: 1) having space to speak freely, 2) brainstorming in consultation, 3) processing personal concerns in consultation, 4) feeling validated as a teacher, 5) gaining additional knowledge and skills, and 6) growing in self-awareness. Challenges experienced within the consultative relationship included unmet expectations of receiving immediate feedback from consultants, wanting consultants to spend more time working directly with children, and dealing with inconsistency in consultation. These results indicate the most helpful components of consultation, and speak to the challenges that arose in consultation, providing consultants and researchers with valuable insight into how ECMHC affects child care teachers. By examining the helpful and challenging dynamics of consultation identified by child care teachers, consultants and researchers can consider ways to expand and improve future implementation of ECMHC.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Ethical dilemmas in college campus victim advocacy
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2016) Woods, Kathryn Scott, author; Bubar, Roe, advisor; Tungate, Sue, committee member; Opsal, Tara, committee member; Cespedes, Karina, committee member; McShane, Katie, committee member
    This dissertation examines ethical dilemmas in college campus victim advocacy. Dilemmas were identified by experts in the field of college campus victim advocacy. A Grounded Theory approach was used to identify categories of dilemmas, and interviews were conducted with experts in the field. Ultimately, dilemmas were identified that led to participants experiencing significant institutional trauma. These dilemmas related, not to working with individual survivors, but rather to working within broken systems and navigating complicated relationships with other professionals. Participants’ own and survivors’ identities were also explored, and ultimately also related back to systems and the “bad” professionals working within them. Based on these findings, implications for future research are discussed.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Examining college students in recovery from a Substance Use Disorder through interpretative phenomenological analysis
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2016) Worfler, Kelsey Rae, author; Quijano, Louise, advisor; Gandy, John, committee member; Miller, Lisa, committee member
    The purpose of this study was to examine the dichotomous relationship of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) recovery and the collegiate environment. Increasingly, academic institutions are implementing Collegiate Recovery Programs (CRPs) to address these environmental challenges and specifically support their students in recovery maintenance from a SUD. By conducting a needs assessment, the challenges recovering college students confront in this environment were investigated, as well as the specific needs of this minority student population. A review of current literature indicated previous studies focused on established CRPs and recovering students already engaged with these resources. This study differed greatly in that it was conducted at Colorado State University (CSU), an academic institution currently lacking campus-based SUD recovery resources; thus this study revealed the cognitions on the challenges and needs of recovering college students who, despite a lack of acknowledgement, continue to thrive in higher education. CSU is currently in the planning stages of CRP implementation; this needs assessment assisted in determining many effective potential service provisions for a campus-based SUD recovery maintenance program at this institution. Four key informant interviews were conducted with Colorado State University (CSU) students who self-identify as being in recovery maintenance from a SUD and the subsequent qualitative data was examined to extract corroborating themes through the use of Jonathan Smith’s Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). These key informant interviews consisted of nine open-ended questions about the recovering students’ experiences of simultaneously attending college while maintaining their SUD recovery. Although many questions surrounded their cognitions about challenges and needs of this student population, the participants were also requested to discuss other topics pertaining to recovery. The quadripartite IPA process was thoroughly conducted with each interview to determine corroborated “Central Themes” and, concurrently, the transcriptions were consistently referenced to isolate excerpts from participants and validate these themes. This qualitative analysis process is suggested to be most effective when the researcher is extremely knowledgeable about, and/or identifies as a part of, the population being studied; due to this aspect of IPA, specific effort was made to mitigate researcher bias throughout this study (Brocki & Wearden, 2006). This study suggests IPA is an effective explorative method when dissecting smaller amount of qualitative data and discussing the cognitions of individuals who may be hidden or stigmatized within a social system; this method of analysis also proved to be effective in comprehensively assessing characteristics of recovering college students within a given social context. The findings of this study revealed, not only challenges and needs of recovering college students, but also other characteristics pertaining to this student population. This study suggests the two main challenges recovering students confront in the collegiate environment are the environmental influences to reengage in substance abuse and the isolation experienced resulting from stigma associated with not using psychoactive substances while attending higher education. This study additionally suggests the greatest need for recovering college students is to combat this isolation through interacting with likeminded peers who are also committed to recovery lifestyle. Recovering students greatly emphasized the need for sober activities where recovering students could socialize, find mutual support, and fully engage in the college experience, as well as a campus-based locale to find respite from environmental influences. At an academic institution without supportive SUD recovery resources, recovering students desire a CRP that is located in a “safe” campus location, and provides substance-free housing specifically designed for willingly abstinent students. The term safety was referenced multiple times by recovering students; this study suggests these students feel the need to protect themselves, and their SUD recovery, while attending college. Although participants reported difficulties cohabiting off campus with individuals who drink, they assumed residing on campus would pose additional challenges and discussed the of necessity on-campus recovery housing. Concurrently with evaluating the needs and challenges of recovering college students, this study suggests other consistent characteristics exist among this student population. Recovering college students associated the term “recovery” with living differently and consistently making different choices while concurrently not abusing substances. Many attributed their initial success achieving SUD recovery to engaging in Twelve-Step Facilitated Groups (TFGs), such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Although recovering students report varied current attendance at TFGs, they comprehensively reported regularly engaging in both healthy daily habits and activities related to their SUD recovery maintenance program. Using a standardize formula endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), it is estimated that approximately 450 CSU students identify as being in recovery maintenance from a SUD and/or are currently seeking treatment for their problem (Texas Technical University [TTU], 2005). This study lastly suggests recovering college students desire acknowledgement within their academic institution, as well as the opportunity to prosper both academically and socially.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The effect of initiating trauma informed care on clients' perception of safety
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2012) Radmore, J. Laural, author; Amell, James W., advisor; Dakin, Emily, committee member; Kuk, Linda, committee member
    In 2011, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) initiated the integration of Trauma Informed Care (TIC) concepts into the agency philosophy, policies, and procedures. Trauma Informed Care (TIC) is a model of agency operation and service delivery based on the concepts of Trauma Theory that assumes a universal trauma history in order to make services inclusive for trauma survivors and provides physical and emotional safety for the clients seeking services. The first step was to gain support from the administration with the second step in the praxis being to train every CCH employee, regardless of job title and full-time status, in the concepts of Trauma Theory and Trauma Informed Care. This involved full day trainings in non-violent crisis intervention and on-line trainings in trauma for employees with supplemental training for supervisors in order to make TIC part of the hiring process and the daily conversation in meetings, group and individual supervision with employees, program development, and service delivery. The final step was to introduce trauma screening, which began with pilot programs in July of 2012 and will be integrated into the remainder programs by the end of 2013. Previous studies have found that the homeless population experiences trauma at a higher rate than the housed population (Clarke, Williams, Percy, & Kim,1995, Kim, Ford, Howard, & Bradford ,2010, & Perron, Alexander-Eitzman, Gillespie, & Pollio, 2008). They also report higher instances of childhood trauma than the general population. Due to these facts, it is probable that integrating TIC into service agencies that serve the homeless will benefit the clients' feelings of safety, thus leading to better access to services. This study explores the effect of initiating a trauma informed care model on clients' perception of physical and emotional safety at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. Moreover, this study examines whether clients reported feeling more physically and emotionally safe after a year of TIC integration into the CCH organizational culture. Since 2004, CCH has conducted an annual Customer Satisfaction Survey that is derived from the Mental Health Statistics Improvement Program (MHSIP) Consumer Survey. The survey was designed to gather the most valuable information with the least amount of burden. The intention was to use the collected data to guide program improvements. Survey items assess consumer perceptions regarding the appropriateness of services, the quality of services, their participation in treatment, and outcomes they have experienced. In an effort to better assess the level of Trauma Informed Care at The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, three new questions were added to the 2011 Customer Satisfaction Survey. Respondents were asked if CCH staff inquired about traumatic or difficult experiences. They were also asked to rate their level of agreement with statements regarding physical and emotional safety at CCH. The answers to these questions on the 2011 survey served as a baseline regarding how clients perceived safety before any TIC initiatives were introduced at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. In this study, the 2011 results were compared to the 2012 results in order to see if the introduction of Trauma Informed Care at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless had an effect on perceptions of physical and emotional safety among CCH clients. This study found that CCH participants reported high levels of physical safety in 2011 and 2012. Similarly, CCH participants indicated high perceptions of emotional safety in 2011 to 2012. This study also compared the perception of physical and emotional safety of respondents who indicated that they were asked about traumatic events in their lives with the perception of physical and emotional safety of respondents who indicated that they were not asked about traumatic events in their lives. The respondents who indicated that they were asked about traumatic events in their lives reported higher feelings of both physical and emotional safety that respondents who indicated that they were not asked about traumatic events in their lives to a level of statistical significance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Animal-assisted therapy as an intervention for reducing depression among long-term care residents
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Condit, Angela, author
    The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of animal-assisted intervention on reducing depression and loneliness among older adults residing in a long-term care facility. Forty-eight residents from one long-term care facility in a northern Colorado city participated in the study. Subjects who met established criteria completed the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS - 30) and the UCLA Loneliness Scale. The subjects were randomly distributed into a control or an experimental group. Both groups received usual care; but the experimental group also received the animal assisted intervention for 15 minutes each week for a 12-week period. At the end of the twelve weeks, both groups were given the GDS-30 and the UCLA Loneliness Scales as post-tests. The results of the pre- and post-tests were analyzed using paired samples t-tests, which showed a statistically significant reduction in both depression and loneliness for the treatment and control groups. To determine if there were differences between groups, independent samples t-tests using gain scores were conducted. There were no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups on the depression and loneliness measures. The findings show that animal-assisted activity (AAA) intervention is associated with decreased levels of depression and loneliness among the elderly in long-term care facilities who choose to participate in AAA. Implications for social work practice and future research were identified.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dispelling domestic violence myths among graduate social work students
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014) Wootan Merkling, Ariel, author; Quijano, Louise, advisor; Orsi, Rebecca, committee member; Kuk, Linda, committee member
    Numerous studies have found that graduate social work students are not adequately prepared to provide appropriate services and interventions for victims of domestic violence. Social Work graduate programs find themselves under intense pressure to provide quality education covering many topics in a relatively short amount of time. As a result, schools do not always offer semester length classes on domestic violence. This study seeks to fill a gap in the literature by studying the experiential learning activity In Her Shoes that is often used for community education in the context of graduate social work classes. Results suggest that providing time limited interventions on the topic of domestic violence has potential to reduce student acceptance of domestic violence myths. However, time limited interventions do not appear to be effective at increasing student sense of professional efficacy. Recommendations for additional research as well as increased curriculum content on the subject of domestic violence are also included.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Initial development of a measure to link psychotherapy-seeking adults with appropriate theoretically derived treatment
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014) Neujahr, Nicholas E., author; Cesnales, Nicole I., advisor; Dakin, Emily K., committee member; Anderson, Sharon, committee member
    A multitude of differing theoretical approaches to psychotherapy exist in practice today. Many researchers have attempted to prove the superior effectiveness of one theoretical approach over another, yet most findings point to the overall equal effectiveness of psychotherapy across such theoretical approaches, a phenomenon known as the "do-do bird verdict." While some investigators continue to focus research efforts on therapists' approaches to treatment, more emphasis is being placed on clients' contribution to the therapeutic process. Despite this shift, little research exists that investigates clients' ability to relate to and incorporate any of the various models of treatment they may potentially encounter in treatment. The development of a measure intended to link psychotherapy-seeking adults with the appropriate theoretically based treatment is described, with an emphasis on clinical application. A panel of nine (n=9) clinical experts was recruited to review 117 items constructed to reflect six major theoretical approaches to psychotherapy. Inter-rater reliability and content validity were determined to determine the 48 strongest items. A cognitive interview was conducted to further determine clarity and understanding of these items, as well as to identify the five strongest items per domain to constitute the 30-item final measure. An outline for developing valid items that constitute the measure is provided, including recruitment and use of a panel of clinical experts to review and revise the instrument for content validity and clarity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Spinning in circles: poverty alleviation ventures in Larimer County, Colorado
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014) Distaso, Cheryl Alane, author; Bundy-Fazioli, Kim, advisor; Bubar, Roe, committee member; Valdez, Norberto, committee member
    Weaving together grounded theory and autoethnography as methodologies, this thesis interrogates two companion antipoverty initiatives in Larimer County, Colorado. The initiatives studied were Bridges out of Poverty and the Circles Campaign, during the years 2012 and 2013, when they were being piloted locally by funding provided by Bohemian Foundation. Data used in the study include website materials, YouTube videos, notes gathered at public meetings, autoethnographic memos, and artifacts such as tax forms, reports, and other public documents. This study concludes that the initiatives have no reliable efficacy data, reinforce stereotypes, and do not examine root causes of poverty. It is argued that the initiatives are ineffective and dangerous, as they engage in victim blaming and offer the false illusion that poverty is being addressed in our community. Recommendations for the implementation of effective poverty alleviation approaches are given.
  • ItemOpen Access
    From traditional to equine-assisted psychotherapy: mental health practitioners' experiences
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2014) Lee, Ping-Tzu, author; Granger, Ben, advisor; Dakin, Emily, committee member; Jennings, Louise, committee member; Quijano, Louise, committee member
    This study explored equine-assist psychotherapy (EAP) mental health practitioners' experiences with horses and EAP, examined the differences between EAP and traditional psychotherapy from these participants' perspectives, and developed the biophilia hypothesis as a potential theory for EAP. This study was conducted using a constructivist narrative approach. It was guided by Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis, which suggests that humans have an innate tendency to pay attention to animals and nature. The biophilia hypothesis also suggests that the more humans come to understand other creatures, the more humans value both other creatures and themselves. The primary analytic strategies were a zoom model and a thematic analysis. The zoom model focused on how participants told their stories and attempted to keep each participant's overall story intact to preserve sequences. The thematic analysis emphasized the content of stories and focused on finding patterns in segments of the participants' stories. Using concepts from the biophilia hypothesis, I suggest that the zoom model is analogous to art and that the thematic analysis is analogy to science. I conducted two semi-structured, individual, face-to-face interviews with eight participants (four social workers and four counselors) who had at least two years of experience with practicing both traditional psychotherapy and EAP. Each interview lasted one to two hours. After transcribing each interview, I combined inductive and deductive coding and utilized the computer-assisted qualitative software N-Vivo 10 to assist with the thematic analysis. Participants described evolving relationships with horses they started from low awareness to high awareness about their relationships with horses, and then they moved to value horses' roles as teachers in their lives. Participants described practicing EAP for both personal and professional reasons. Furthermore, they indicated that they drew from horses' strengths to complement their therapeutic work. Participants indicated that they are much less active in EAP sessions than they are in traditional psychotherapy. Specifically, participants indicated that in EAP sessions they stay quiet, are guided by horses, ask important questions, and accept that the therapeutic environment is much less controlled than in traditional psychotherapy settings. Drawing from the biophilia hypothesis, participants' roles and strategies in EAP are similar to naturalists' roles and strategies in a field, and this view of therapists represents a paradigm shift in psychotherapy. Participants stated that EAP decreases the power differential between clients and therapists. They also indicated that it provides a non-verbal and masculine approach that may be appealing to clients who are not comfortable in traditional psychotherapy settings. I discussed various theoretical and practice implications from this study for social work and the larger field of mental health treatment. Furthermore, I provide recommendations for future studies, including studying equine specialists, conducting interdisciplinary research, and exploring the uniqueness of EAP.