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1.  Applying Resilience Promotion Training Among Special Forces Police Officers 
SAGE open  2015;5(2):10.1177/2158244015590446.
Police Special Forces (a.k.a. special weapons and tactics [SWAT]) officers are tasked with responding to the most critical situations, including incidents that require specialized skills and equipment beyond typical policing activities. In this study, we tested the feasibility of applying Arnetz and colleagues’ resilience promotion training that was developed for patrol officers to SWAT team officers (n = 18). The resilience promotion training program included psychoeducation focused on police stress and resilience, and the practice of resilience promotion techniques (controlled breathing and imagery) while listening to audio-recorded critical incident scenarios. The aims of this study were to (a) examine if a resilience training program was relevant and accepted by SWAT team officers and (b) assess participants’ physiological stress responses (heart rate, respiration) during the resilience training sessions to note if there were improvements in stress responding over time. Our findings revealed that participants were able to significantly reduce their average heart rate and improve their ability to engage in controlled respiration (i.e., breathing) during simulated critical incidents over the course of the 5-day training. Improvements in stress responding were observed even when the critical incident scenarios became more graphic. Results suggest that an intervention to reduce stress responses of SWAT officers to critical incident scenarios works in a simulated training setting. Translation of these findings to real-world occupational hazards is a recommended next step.
PMCID: PMC4484868  PMID: 26137394
police special forces; resilience promotion; critical incidents; physiological reactivity
2.  Thursday’s child: The role of adverse childhood experiences in explaining mental health disparities among lesbian, gay, and bisexual U.S. adults 
This study examined how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) may explain disparities in poor mental health between lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) and heterosexual adults. Data are from three U.S. states’ 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys (n=20,060) that included sexual orientation, ACE inventory, and mental distress. LGB status was significantly associated with mental distress (OR=1.85 [1.14–3.02]). Once incorporating ACE scores into the multiple regression analysis, LGB status was no longer associated with mental distress (OR=1.28 [0.76–2.16]). The results corroborate previous research that LGB individuals report greater prevalence of childhood adversity than their heterosexual peers, which may explain LGB adulthood health disparities.
PMCID: PMC4512235  PMID: 25367679
3.  Comparing the Rates of Early Childhood Victimization across Sexual Orientations: Heterosexual, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Mostly Heterosexual 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(10):e0139198.
Few studies have examined the rates of childhood victimization among individuals who identify as “mostly heterosexual” (MH) in comparison to other sexual orientation groups. For the present study, we utilized a more comprehensive assessment of adverse childhood experiences to extend prior literature by examining if MH individuals’ experience of victimization more closely mirrors that of sexual minority individuals or heterosexuals. Heterosexual (n = 422) and LGB (n = 561) and MH (n = 120) participants were recruited online. Respondents completed surveys about their adverse childhood experiences, both maltreatment by adults (e.g., childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and childhood household dysfunction) and peer victimization (i.e., verbal and physical bullying). Specifically, MH individuals were 1.47 times more likely than heterosexuals to report childhood victimization experiences perpetrated by adults. These elevated rates were similar to LGB individuals. Results suggest that rates of victimization of MH groups are more similar to the rates found among LGBs, and are significantly higher than heterosexual groups. Our results support prior research that indicates that an MH identity falls within the umbrella of a sexual minority, yet little is known about unique challenges that this group may face in comparison to other sexual minority groups.
PMCID: PMC4596800  PMID: 26444428
4.  Lifetime Victimization and Physical Health Outcomes among Lesbian and Heterosexual Women 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e101939.
Lifetime victimization experiences, including child sexual abuse (CSA), child physical abuse (CPA), adult sexual assault (ASA), and adult physical assault (APA), are associated with health problems.
To examine relationships between cumulative victimization and physical health among heterosexual and lesbian women and determine whether these relationships differ by sexual identity.
Large samples of heterosexual (n = 482) and lesbian women (n = 394) were interviewed. Questions included lifetime victimization experiences and physical health problems.
Compared to women who reported no childhood victimization, those who reported experiencing both CSA and CPA were 44% more likely to report health problems and women who experienced all four types of victimization (CSA, CPA, APA, ASA) were nearly 240% as likely to report physical health problems. Interaction analyses revealed the association between victimization and physical health did not differ by sexual identity.
Although lesbians were more likely to report all types of victimization, results suggest that victimization conferred increased physical health risks regardless of sexual identity.
PMCID: PMC4113221  PMID: 25068978
5.  Disparities in Adverse Childhood Experiences among Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Adults: Results from a Multi-State Probability-Based Sample 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54691.
Adverse childhood experiences (e.g., physical, sexual and emotional abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence, parental discord, familial mental illness, incarceration and substance abuse) constitute a major public health problem in the United States. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) scale is a standardized measure that captures multiple developmental risk factors beyond sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (i.e., sexual minority) individuals may experience disproportionately higher prevalence of adverse childhood experiences.
To examine, using the ACE scale, prevalence of childhood physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and childhood household dysfunction among sexual minority and heterosexual adults.
Analyses were conducted using a probability-based sample of data pooled from three U.S. states’ Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys (Maine, Washington, Wisconsin) that administered the ACE scale and collected information on sexual identity (n = 22,071).
Compared with heterosexual respondents, gay/lesbian and bisexual individuals experienced increased odds of six of eight and seven of eight adverse childhood experiences, respectively. Sexual minority persons had higher rates of adverse childhood experiences (IRR = 1.66 gay/lesbian; 1.58 bisexual) compared to their heterosexual peers.
Sexual minority individuals have increased exposure to multiple developmental risk factors beyond physical, sexual and emotional abuse. We recommend the use of the Adverse Childhood Experiences scale in future research examining health disparities among this minority population.
PMCID: PMC3553068  PMID: 23372755

Results 1-5 (5)