Published Studies

A collection of our latest published research.

Recent Publications

Published online: JUly 4, 2021

Authors: Nicole Gilbertson Wilke & Amanda Hiles Howard

Research suggests that children develop best in families, but millions currently reside in residential care centers. Many residential care centers have transitioned their programmes from a residential to a family care model. Using a mixed methods design, the current study examined (1) antecedents to transition, (2) key elements in the process and (3) outcomes of transitioning models of care. Participants included 39 non- government organizations that had fully or partially transitioned to family care. Programmes collectively served 12,325 children and 29,499 families in 22 countries annually. Data revealed programmes perceived the change in the model was better for the families and children served.

Published online: JUNE 22, 2021

Authors: Sarah E. Domoff, Aubrey L. Borgen, Nicole Gilbertson Wilke & Amanda Hiles Howard

Youth with a history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are more likely to develop risky health behaviors. With the increase of media use in the general population, it is likely that these high-risk youth are developing maladaptive behaviors associated with media use (i.e., problematic media use). The goals of this article are (1) to describe symptoms of problematic media use in high-risk youth and (2) to determine whether ACEs are related to problematic media use in this population. Data were collected through online questionnaires from 348 parents or legal guardians of children ages 5 to 18 years, the majority of whom had been adopted. Parents and guardians reported on the child’s history of ACEs and completed the Problematic Media Use Measure-Short Form (PMUM-SF). Almost half of the participants reported that their child had a history of four or more ACEs (48.9%). Caregivers of foster or adopted children reported more symptoms of problematic media use than those reporting on their biological children. After adjusting for covariates, the number of ACEs predicted problematic media use above and beyond variance explained by demographic factors or screen time amount. Children with a history of ACEs had higher problematic media use compared to children without ACEs.

Published online: May 06, 2021

Authors: Amanda R. Hiles Howard, Megan Roberts, Jacqueline N. Gustafson & Nicole Gilbertson Wilke

Millions travel annually for short-term international service trips (STIST). These trips often involve volunteering with vulnerable children, including those in residential care (ex. orphanages). Though a prevalent practice, little research exists regarding how volunteers are prepared and what activities they engage in. The goal of the present study was to provide data on pre-trip preparation, in-country activities, and how these impacted volunteer perceptions of preparation and trip satisfaction.

Additional Published Studies

2021

Published online: May 06, 2021

Authors: Amanda R. Hiles Howard, Megan Roberts, Jacqueline N. Gustafson & Nicole Gilbertson Wilke

Millions travel annually for short-term international service trips (STIST). These trips often involve volunteering with vulnerable children, including those in residential care (ex. orphanages). Though a prevalent practice, little research exists regarding how volunteers are prepared and what activities they engage in. The goal of the present study was to provide data on pre-trip preparation, in-country activities, and how these impacted volunteer perceptions of preparation and trip satisfaction.

2020

Published online: April 04, 2020

Authors: Nicole Gilbertson Wilke, Amanda R. Hiles Howard, Delia Pop, Elli Oswald, & Meredith Morgan

Residential care organisations, such as children’s homes, are well-positioned to reshape their programmes to support family-based models of care. However, new models bring unknown factors, making organisations hesitant to transition programmes. To alleviate concerns and support transition, researchers developed an experiential workshop mirroring the conditions of an organisation transitioning to family care. Workshop participants are guided through a series of activities and discussions detailing the transition of a fictional programme to a family-based model of care.

2019

Published online: JULY 02, 2019

Authors: Amanda R. Hiles Howard, Meredith Morgan & Nicole Gilbertson Wilke

Research has found that childhood adversity is associated with numerous maladaptive outcomes, including insecure attachment, mental health challenges, and problematic media use. As attachment is a primary developmental process that can be affected by childhood adversity, insecure attachment may be one psychological mechanism through which childhood adversity is associated with problematic media use.

Published online: June 26, 2019

Authors Charles H. Zeanah, Nicole G. Wilke, Carole Shauffer, Tamsen Rochat, Amanda H. Howard, & Mary Dozier

Orphanage volunteering (also known as voluntourism or orphan tourism) describes an activity in which short-term volunteers engage in day-to-day caregiving activities with vulnerable children and youth living in residential care. Volunteers (most of whom are from high-income countries) work as temporary caregivers for children (most of whom are in low-income or middle-income countries), typically interacting with them for several hours each day during their visit. Each year, thousands of religious institutions, universities, and non-profit organisations sponsor such volunteer trips. Much of the published research on orphanage volunteering has focused on the effects of the practice on volunteers. We argue that there is also substantial reason for concern about the harm this practice might have on the children—especially in young children (ie, ≤5 years)—being raised in these settings.

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