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Researchers identify children with emotional behavior difficulties
Date:4/14/2014

ccessibility and feasibility of using the diagnostic measure in an educational context, substance use among caregivers and poverty among the three (orphaned) groups to see if there's anything special to being a child orphaned by AIDS because they're lots of things going on like desertion, or parents dying in accidents or violence, " said Sharp.

Sharp notes the findings of the research study indicated poverty may wash out any of the effects between the children, "so it almost doesn't matter if the children are orphaned by AIDS, they are going to be at risk for emotional and behavioral problems anyway because they are so poor."

What Sharp found through the study was the diagnostic tool to identify children with emotional behavior disorders that she thought would be used by teachers in schools for intervention was too complicated to work in the educational system.

"A more strategic point of intervention is to work with community-based organizations (CBO), often run by women in the community who themselves may be HIV-positive, poor, uneducated, mostly. But these organizations take these orphans in after school because of their problems at home, and they come and get a meal at the CBO," said Sharp. "We discovered these CBOs are highly motivated to work with us for intervention purposes, but beyond giving them a meal they don't know what to do with them."

The follow-up study Sharp plans to conduct is an intervention to help CBO care workers develop skills to respond to the emotional and cognitive needs of the children.

"Now, there is a validated population-based screen and an interview-based measure that can be done to help identify children," said Sharp. "What's lacking is the translation into actually using the research findings. I think there will need to be further research to see what are the barriers stopping people from using these assessment tools in all these settings they work in," said Sharp.

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Contact: Melissa Carroll
mcarroll@uh.edu
713-743-8153
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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