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Counseling Psychology News

Work of UW-Madison’s Valdez spotlighted in journal Family Process

November 15, 2013

UW-Madison’s Carmen Valdez is the lead author of a report that is the featured article in the latest edition of the journal Family Process.

Valdez, an associate professor with the School of Education’s Department of Counseling Psychology, is a member of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Children, Youth and Families. Her work is focused on improving the psychological well-being of Latino families.

Carmen ValdezThe article is titled, “Feasibility, Acceptability and Preliminary Outcomes of the Fortalezas Familiaries Intervention for Latino Families facing Maternal Depression.”

The Fortalezas Familiares (Family Strengths) Program is a family-focused intervention for Latina mothers with depression, other family caregivers and children 9 to 17 years old. The study specifically reports on the feasibility of recruiting and enrolling families into the intervention, families’ perceived value of the intervention, and the intervention’s preliminary clinical and family outcomes.

When Valdez arrived at UW-Madison in 2006, she began linguistically and culturally adapting the Keeping Families Strong program for Latino immigrant families.

This adapted intervention, Fortalezas Familiares, has received a great deal of support by the professional and lay communities, and has been delivered in Madison since 2010.

According to an abstract of the paper: “This pilot study examined the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary outcomes of a linguistically and culturally adapted intervention for immigrant Latina mothers with depression and their families. Fortalezas Familiares (Family Strengths) is a community-based, 12-week, multifamily group intervention that aims to increase communication about family processes leading up to and affected by the mother's depression, build child coping and efficacy, enhance parenting competence and skills, and promote cultural and social assets within the family.”

The abstract continues: “In terms of feasibility, of 16 families who enrolled and participated in the intervention, 13 families attended more than 90 percent of meetings and completed the intervention. Posttests reported positive changes following the intervention, including improved psychological functioning, increased family and marital support and enhanced family functioning, as reported by mothers and other caregivers. Mothers also reported decreased conduct and hyperactivity problems among their children. Children reported positive changes in their psychological functioning and coping, parenting warmth and acceptance, and overall family functioning.”

A YouTube video of Valdez explaining the paper is available here.

• Valdez also is the lead author of a recent paper published in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences that is titled, “Consequences of Arizona’s Immigration Policy on Social Capital Among Mexican Mothers with Unauthorized Immigration Status."

This paper’s abstract states: “This study explores the consequences of increasingly restrictive immigration policies on social capital among Mexican mothers with unauthorized immigrant status in Arizona. Three focus groups conducted in Arizona explore how mothers’ experiences with immigration policies have affected their neighborhood, community, and family ties. Focus group content and interactions revealed that perceived racial profiling was common among mothers and led to fear of family separation.”

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