Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD – Slide of the Week

Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD - Slide of the Week

Title: Probability of Retention between MIDUS 2 (2004-2006) and MIDUS 3 (2013-2014) by Developmental Disabilities Parenting Status and Race/Ethnicity

Citation: Song, J., Dembo, R. S., DaWalt, L. E., Ryff, C. D., & Mailick, M. R. (forthcoming). Improving Retention of Diverse Samples in Longitudinal Research on Developmental Disabilities. American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Abstract: Developmental disabilities (DD) research has depended on volunteer and clinical samples, with limited racial/ethnic diversity. This study focused on improving diversity and retention in DD research. The sample included 225 parents with a child with DD and 4,002 parents without children with DD from diverse racial/ethnic groups, drawn from MIDUS, a national longitudinal study. Unexpectedly, parents of children with DD from diverse racial/ethnic groups were more likely to participate longitudinally than other groups. Relative participant payment was a factor that enhanced their likelihood of retention. This research illustrates how large national studies can be leveraged to increase representativeness and ongoing participation of diverse racial/ethnic groups, especially in combination with other factors, such as parenting a child with DD.

About the Lab: The Lifespan Family Research program is dedicated to understanding the impact of having a child with a developmental disability on the family as well as the role of the family in supporting healthy development for individuals with disabilities such as ASDs and fragile X syndrome. Smith DaWalt’s work examines trajectories of development for adolescents and adults with disabilities and the contextual factors associated with positive outcomes. Her research also centers on developing and evaluating intervention programming for youth and young adults with ASD. For example, with funding from NIMH, Smith DaWalt is currently conducting a randomized waitlist control trial of a psychoeducation intervention for young adults with ASD and their families. Also, in partnership with colleagues at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and San Diego State University, the lab is employing an implementation science framework to test a comprehensive treatment model for high school students with ASD. This study includes a sample of over 500 students from 60 high schools across the country (including 20 high schools in Wisconsin). Through these efforts, they seek to understand how to best support individuals with disabilities and their families during life course transitions.

Investigator: Leann Smith DaWalt, PhD

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