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Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodríguez' Featured Publication Spotlight:

Amador Buenabad, N. G., Sánchez Ramos, R., Schwartz, S., Gutiérrez López, M. L., Díaz Juárez, A. D., Ortiz Gallegos, A. B., González Ortega, T. G., Vázquez Pérez, L., Medina-Mora Icaza, M. E., Domenech Rodríguez, M. M., & Villatoro Velázquez, J. A. (2019). Cluster Randomized Trial of a Multicomponent School-Based Program in Mexico to Prevent Behavioral Problems and Develop Social Skills in Children. Child & Youth Care Forum

Melanie Domenech Rodríguez

Spotlight by Dr. Melanie Domenech Rodríguez.

How does this publication fit into your line of research?

This publication fits perfectly into my program of research to address mental health disparities in Latinx populations by cultural adapting and evaluating GenerationPMTO interventions tailored for Latinx families. In the past, I developed a model for cultural adaptation, which was used to develop the manual used in this RCT. I helped develop the CAPAS-Mx manual and train the CAPAS-Mx interventionists. Our work in Mexico continues, and the broader program of research continues to expand to Texas, Chile, and beyond.

What makes this publication special?

This publication is the result of nearly two decades of work with dear colleagues in Mexico City. I supported the development and implementation of the child social skills intervention, Huellitas, in the early 2000s under the guidance of Jorge Villatoro. I then supported the cultural adaptation and implementation of CAPAS-Mx in the early 2010s under the leadership of Nancy Amador. The initial RCT led to this multicomponent RCT. It has been a very rich and long-standing collaboration.

How were your students involved in this publication?

My students are not co-authors on this specific publication, but they have been involved in the overall project of culturally adapting PMTO to diverse Latinx contexts. Jesús Rodríguez, Melissa Donovick, Kee Striats, Elisaida Méndez, Eliza Torres, and Ana Baumann were all involved in the early years of culturally adapting and delivering CAPAS-Logan. Jesús, Melissa, Ana, Audrey Schwartz and I published on the early findings in Logan. Later, Jeisianne Rosario and Samantha Corralejo were involved in the implementation and write-up of Padres Preparados, another culturally-adapted PMTO intervention. More recently, Alejandro Vázquez has been working with the Mexico team on epidemiological data that can support the rationale for providing parenting services to caregivers in Mexico. María de la Caridad Álvarez is examining the parent-child observations using the RCT data in Mexico and testing a new coding system that holds promise for increasing the feasibility of using observational data. Roughly half of the students I have mentored have been involved in these projects, and their wisdom and contributions permeate the work.

What are the ripple effects from this publication?

The ripples are many. First, addressing health disparities requires that providers consider context (e.g., culture, social and economic status, local policies) in the development, delivery and evaluation of health-advancing interventions. The findings suggest that a culturally-adapted intervention is effective in a Mexican context. The publication is one of many in a broader effort to understand how to best tailor psychological interventions for a diverse public, and it contributes to a small but burgeoning literature. There is also a bias in the research that is produced partly by the overabundance of publications from the U.S. and the under-representation of scholarship from diverse countries; a publication from work conducted in Mexico provides an important perspective to the existing research in the field. Finally, our team is now extending our work to Chile, and the lessons learned with Latinxs in Logan, Michigan, Texas, and Mexico City will help tremendously in the Chile implementation.

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