Publications

Scholarly Journals--Published

  • Baek, K., Mann, S. K., Alemi, Q., Kumar, A., Newman, P.,..., Montgomery, S. (2018). Impact of heart disease risk factors, respiratory illness, mastery, and quality of life on the health status of individuals living near a major rail yard in southern California. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, 2765. doi. 10.3390/ijerph15122765. The potential health risks for communities that surround railyards have largely been understudied. Mastery and quality of life (QoL) have been associated with self-reported health status in the general population, but few studies have explored this variable among highly vulnerable low-income groups exposed to harmful air pollutants. This study investigates the relationship between self-reported health status and correlates of Heart Disease Risk Factors (HDRF) and Respiratory Illness (RI) with mastery and QoL acting as potential protective buffers. This cross-sectional study of 684 residents residing near a Southern California railyard attempts to address this limitation. Results from three separate hierarchal linear regressions showed that those who reported being diagnosed with at least one type of HDRF and/or RI reported lower perceived health status. For those that lived further from the railyard, mastery and QoL predicted modest increases in perceived health status. Results suggest that mastery and QoL may be helpful as tools in developing interventions but should not solely be used to assess risk and health outcomes as perceived health status may not measure actual health status. (12/2018)
  • Calvo, R., Ortiz, L., Villa, P. & Baek, K. (2018). Latinxs in social work education: A call for action. Journal of Teaching in Social Work38(3), 264-276. This study examines the need for a culturally prepared social workforce to serve the nation’s largest minority group and provides recommendations to address this burgeoning issue. Using the same goal of population parity established by the 2007 Task Force on Latinos in Social Work Education, the authors (a) present an update on Latinxs presence in social work programs, (b) propose a theoretical framework and a conceptual paradigm to prepare future social workers to properly serve Latinx communities, and (c) introduce a case study designed to systematically address this issue. (07/2018)
  • Alemi, Q., Stempel, C., Koga, P. M., Smith, V., Danis, D., Baek, K., & Montgomery, S. (2017). Determinants of health care service utilization among first generation Afghan migrants in Istanbul. International Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 14, 201. doi. 10.3390/ijerph402020201. There is insufficient empirical evidence on the correlates of health care utilization of irregular migrants currently living in Turkey. The aim of this study was to identify individual level determinants associated with health service and medication use. One hundred and fifty-five Afghans completed surveys assessing service utilization including encounters with primary care physicians and outpatient specialists in addition to the use of prescription and nonprescription medicines. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were employed to examine associations between service use and a range of predisposing, enabling, and perceived need factors. Health services utilization was lowest for outpatient specialists (20%) and highest for nonprescription medications (37%). Female gender and higher income predicted encounters with primary care physicians. Income, and other enabling factors such as family presence in Turkey predicted encounters with outpatient specialists. Perceived illness-related need factors had little to no influence on use of services; however, asylum difficulties increased the likelihood for encounters with primary care physicians, outpatient services, and the use of prescription medications. This study suggests that health services use among Afghan migrants in Turkey is low considering the extent of their perceived illness-related needs, which may be further exacerbated by the precarious conditions in which they live. (02/2017)
  • Alemi, Q., Stempel, C., Baek, K., Lares, L., Villa, P., Danis, D., & Montgomery, S. (2016). Impact of post migration living difficulties on the mental health of Afghan migrants residing in Istanbul. International Journal of Population Researchvol. 2016, Article ID 7690697, 8 pages. doi:10.1155/2016/7690697. Background. The sociopolitical situation in Afghanistan continually pushes Afghans to seek safety and better socioeconomic prospects in neighboring and foreign countries. In this paper we examine the mental health of Afghan migrants residing in Istanbul, Turkey, an understudied population at high risk of psychopathology. Methods. We surveyed 158 Afghan migrants to assess psychological distress using a culturally grounded measure of mental health, the Afghan Symptom Checklist [ASCL], and used hierarchical regression analysis to examine the impact of postmigration living difficulties (PMLDs) on mental health. Results. We found that depressive, somatoform, anxiety-like symptoms occurred often, as did a number of culturally salient idioms of distress. Regression analyses showed that while socioeconomic variables and poor physical health status significantly predicted psychological distress, PMLDs exerted the strongest negative effect. The most pressing PMLDs for Afghans in Turkey are poverty, unemployment, lack of treatment for health problems, fears of being deported and related legal challenges, and family-related stressors. Conclusion. Our results point to the importance of the critical need to create culturally sensitive interventions to remediate high levels of psychological distress by addressing related PMLD stressors in a highly vulnerable Afghan migrant population residing in Turkey. (08/2016)
  • Alemi, Q., Stempel, C., Baek, K., Lares, L., Villa, P., Danis, D., & Montgomery, S. (2016). Impact of post migration living difficulties on the mental health of Afghan migrants residing in Istanbul. International Journal of Population Researchvol. 2016, Article ID 7690697, 8 pages. doi:10.1155/2016/7690697. Background. The sociopolitical situation in Afghanistan continually pushes Afghans to seek safety and better socioeconomic prospects in neighboring and foreign countries. In this paper we examine the mental health of Afghan migrants residing in Istanbul, Turkey, an understudied population at high risk of psychopathology. Methods. We surveyed 158 Afghan migrants to assess psychological distress using a culturally grounded measure of mental health, the Afghan Symptom Checklist [ASCL], and used hierarchical regression analysis to examine the impact of postmigration living difficulties (PMLDs) on mental health. Results. We found that depressive, somatoform, anxiety-like symptoms occurred often, as did a number of culturally salient idioms of distress. Regression analyses showed that while socioeconomic variables and poor physical health status significantly predicted psychological distress, PMLDs exerted the strongest negative effect. The most pressing PMLDs for Afghans in Turkey are poverty, unemployment, lack of treatment for health problems, fears of being deported and related legal challenges, and family-related stressors. Conclusion. Our results point to the importance of the critical need to create culturally sensitive interventions to remediate high levels of psychological distress by addressing related PMLD stressors in a highly vulnerable Afghan migrant population residing in Turkey. (08/2016)