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The Impact on the Level of Fear of Children involved with the BACA Organization

Principal Investigator: Dee Ray, Ph.D., LPC-S, NCC, RPT-S, Professor of the Counseling Program, Director of the Child and Family Resource Clinic at the U. of N. Texas, Denton TX

Co-Investigator and Founder of BACA: J. P. Lilly, (Chief) MS, LCSW,Registered Play Therapist/Supervisor

Co-Investigator: Nancy Gallina, Ph.D., LCSW, Associate Dean and Director of the MSW Program, Touro College , NY, Clinical Advisor of the BACA LI NY Chapter

Project Coordinator: Paula S. MacIan, Ph.D., (Doc) Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice, BACA OK State Clinical Advisor

 

PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

The purpose of this study is to measure the impact on the level of fear of children who have been involved with the BACA Organization.This study was a survey using two standardized measures administered to guardians over the phone regarding the feelings and behaviors of the children in their care: The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS) were administered over 4 time periods; time 1 (prior to intervention before the guardians and children met with members of the local BACA chapter), time 2 (2 weeks after the Level 1 in which the family met the BACA chapter members), time 3 (in 6 months) and time 4 (in 1 year).The results presented here are preliminary analyses of 61 of a projected 130 participants (data collection is ongoing). The study is a one way repeated measure ANOVA design. The subjects were located in 15 states across the US, 43 females and 18 males ranging in age from 3 to 17. The type of abuse identified was 10 (physical), 38 (sexual), 1 (other), and 12 (not identified).

Results of the SDQ

Overall stress: statistically significant (p<.001) with a large effect size across time periods indicating that the children’s total difficult behaviors decreased over the time of intervention;all time periods were statistically significant and improved from pretest. Results of the Emotional Distress and Hyperactivity and Attentional Problems subscales were clinically significant (p<.001) across the 4 time periods with a large effect size indicating that the children’s difficulties decreased over the time of intervention with improvement across all time periods. The behavioral difficulties (p=.028) and difficulties getting along with other children (p=.003) subscales were statistically significant with large effect size across time periods. Results for both subscales indicated that children’s difficulties decreased over the time of intervention with steady decrease from time 1 to time 4 although all time periods did not reach clinical significance. The kind and helpful behavior subscale did not reach clinical significance (p=.81) across time periods with negligible effect size.

Results for the BESS

Due to missing data,5 participants were not included in the analysis. There was a clinically significant difference (p<.001) with a large effect size across time periods; all time periods were statistically significant and improved from pretest. Reports indicated that children’s total emotional and behavioral problems decreased over the time of intervention. Participants as a group began intervention in the elevated range (61 – 70) and ended intervention in the normal range (10 – 60). Furthermore, 38 of the 56 participants began intervention in the elevated or extremely elevated range. Of those 38, 30 participants demonstrated decreased scores from beginning to end of intervention and 18 decreased substantially from the elevated or extremely elevated range.

These are the preliminary results of an ongoing study. Post hoc analyses may include whether or not the child participated in therapy, if they moved or if they had to testify in court at any point during the 4 time periods.

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B.A.C.A. ® (Bikers Against Child Abuse) is an international organization with membership in chapters and states in the United States and (9) countries. B.A.C.A.’s ® mission is to help children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. This is accomplished by providing group support for the child during a stressful time and then withdrawing once the crisis is over. B.A.C.A.® is a volunteer organization. It requires those interested in joining the B.A.C.A. ® organization participate as a Support member, that they pass an NCIC background check, be mentored by a patched B.A.C.A. ® member who will sponsor and guide them for not less than one year and that they attend required training’s during that time.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate services provided by B.A.C.A. ® to children who have been abused and are feeling afraid. According to a National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS), during 2006, 905,000 children were documented victims of maltreatment and nearly 3.6 million children received Child Protective Service (CPS) investigations or assessments. From 1995 – 1997, the Center for Disease Control, in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego, collected data from approximately 17000 participants that indicated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys was sexually abused before the age of 18. The Violence Study by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002 estimated that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under the age of 18 were forced to have sex or experienced other forms of sexual violence. Children traumatized by abuse need a trusted and safe place to express feelings and extra support through the process of coping (Oaklander, 1988). They have experienced the world as unsafe and perceive adults as untrustworthy (Gil, 1991). B.A.C.A. ® serves to offer an intervention to help children feel safe and less distressed. The principal investigator, Dee Ray, Ph.D., has been a consultant to B.A.C.A. ® on this research project to help determine the effectiveness of its services.
Two questionnaires were used that have been recognized by professionals to assess the levels of distress in children from age 3 to 18 (the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System (BESS). The findings to date are based on completed questionnaires for 61 out of 128 children, administered 4 times to guardians of the child over a period of one year. These preliminary findings indicate that overall stress, emotional and behavioral problems decreased over time from the baseline (before the child met with the B.A.C.A. ® team) to one year indicating that the children who are receiving B.A.C.A. ® support are experiencing decreased distress.