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Ashley Landers

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Assistant Professor, Department of Human Sciences

landers.116@osu.edu

Biography

Ashley L. Landers, PhD, LMFT is an Assistant Professor joining the Human Development and Family Science Program’s Couple and Family Therapy specialization in the Department of Human Sciences at The Ohio State University. She is an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Clinical Fellow, Approved Supervisor, and Minority Fellowship Recipient. As a community-engaged scholar, Ashley’s research predominantly encompasses projects that are co-created in partnership with the American Indian community. The findings of her scholarship have been used to achieve social change in response to identified needs within the American Indian community related to child removal, reunification, and adoption. Her work was recently cited in the Washington State Supreme Court. Ashley’s research focuses on families in child welfare, more specifically marginalized underserved minority families such as American Indian families involved with the child welfare system. In her research, Ashley examines what happens to children following maltreatment (e.g., foster care, adoption, reunification) and how these children and families fare (e.g., maltreatment recurrence, mental health problems, school engagement). The engaged manner in which Ashley approaches her research mirrors her teaching and supervision. Her teaching promotes learning as an engaged collaborative process. Learning is co-created and Ashley invites her students to share their own knowledge and experience in the classroom and to study themselves as they are studying families. Ashley’s areas of clinical specialization include: child welfare, complex trauma, trauma-focused treatments, family reunification, and structural family therapy.

Education

Ph.D., Family Science – Specialization in Couple and Family Therapy, University of Minnesota, 2016

M.S., Marriage and Family Therapy, St. Cloud State University, 2007

B.A., Psychology, St. Cloud State University, 2005

Research Interests

Research Summary

Dr. Landers’ program of research focuses on understanding the outcomes of families engaged with the child welfare system, specifically American Indian children, caregivers, and families impacted by child maltreatment, out-of-home placement, foster care, and adoption. Through examining child welfare and survey data, she studies what happens to American Indian children and their families following separation and how this experience influences their mental health. She explores both child welfare (e.g., reunification, adoption, maltreatment recurrence) and health outcomes (e.g., behavioral problems, mental health service receipt) of American Indian families. She conducts both secondary data analyses and original research using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. She uses a community-based participatory approach to advance the knowledge of child welfare research, policies, and practices related to serving American Indian children and families. Her research translates directly into practice by informing tribal efforts to reunify and welcome home formerly estranged fostered and adopted American Indian children.

American Indian Birthmothers Project

In collaboration with First Nations Repatriation Institute, the American Indian Birthmothers Project explores the grief, loss, and mental health of American Indian birthmothers who lost a child to foster care and/or adoption. In phase one, qualitative interviews were conducted with American Indian birthmothers. Findings revealed that American Indian birthmothers experience ambiguous loss, as well as elevated mental health problems and substance abuse following the loss of a child to foster care and/or adoption. Phase two (currently underway) involves the launch of a quantitative tribal survey which will inform the development of culturally appropriate grief-related mental health services for American Indian birthmothers.

Experiences of Adopted and Fostered Individuals Project

The Experiences of Adopted and Fostered Individuals Project is a community-based participatory research projected conducted in collaboration with First Nations Repatriation Institute. Survey data was collected from American Indian and White adults who were separated from their birth families during childhood by foster care and/or adoption. The project aims to explore the experiences of adopted and fostered individuals related to foster care, adoption, reunification or reconnecting with birth family, tribal connections, mental health, and wellness. The research team is currently examining the process of reunification for American Indian fostered and adopted individuals, relationships with permanent and substitute caregivers, and mental health problems.

Selected Grants

Maternal Mental Health, Grief, Trauma, and Substance Abuse of American Indian Mothers(2021-2022). Family Process Institute, Early Career Research Grant ($5,000).

 

Grief and Mental Health: A Survey of American Indian Mothers(2019-2020). Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Dean’s Faculty Fellowship ($5,000). American Indian Mothers: Grief, Loss, and Mental Health(2018-2019). Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Incentive Grant ($6,000). Grief, Loss, and Mental Health of American Indian Birthmothers Who Lost a Child to Foster Care or Adoption(2017-2018). Virginia Tech, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Niles Research Grant ($4,000).

 

Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems of American Indian Children in the Child Welfare System(2015-2016). American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Minority Fellowship Program, Dissertation Completion Fellowship funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ($8,000).

 

Reunification of American Indian Children in Long-Term Foster Care (2014-2015). American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Minority Fellowship Program, Doctoral Fellowship funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ($19,000).

Selected Publications

Morgan, A. A., Landers, A. L., * Simpson, J. E., Russon, J. M., Case Pease, J., Dolbin-MacNab, M. L., Bland, K. N., & Jackson, J. B. (2021). The transition to teletherapy in marriage and family therapy training settings during COVID-19: What do the data tell us? Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12502

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., * Campbell, A. R., & White Hawk, S. (2021). Abuse after abuse: The recurrent maltreatment of American Indian children in foster care and adoption. Child Abuse and Neglect, 111, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104805

* Miller, C., Jackson, J. B., & Landers, A. L. (2020) Married to a marriage therapist: An insider perspective. The American Journal of Family Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1080/01926187.2020.1750074

Landers, A. L., * Carrese, D. H., & Spath, R. (2019). A decade in review of trends in social work literature: The link between poverty and child maltreatment in the United States. Child Welfare, 97(4), 65-96.  +

McLuckie, A., Landers, A. L., Curran, J., Cann, R., * Carrese, D. H., Nolan, A., Corrigan, K., &  Carrey, N. (2019). A scoping review of mental health prevention and intervention initiatives for infants and preschoolers at-risk for socio-emotional difficulties. Systematic Reviews, 8(1), 1-19. https://dx.doi.org/10.1186%2Fs13643-019-1043-3

Landers, A. L., Dimitropoulos, G., Mendenhall, T. J., Kennedy, A., & Zemanek, L. (2019).  Backing the blue: Trauma in law enforcement spouses and couples. Family Relations, 69(2), 308-319. https://doi.org/10.1111/fare.12393

Landers, A. L., Bellamy, J. L., Danes, S. M., McLuckie, A. & White Hawk, S. (2019).  The reunification of American Indian children in long-term foster care. Journal to the Society of Social Work and Research, 10(4), 501-528. https://doi.org/10.1086/706203

McLuckie, A., Landers, A. L., Rowbotham, M., Landine, J., Schwartz, M., & Ng, D. (2018).  Are parent and teacher reported executive function difficulties associated with parenting stress for children diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? Journal of Attention Disorders. Advance online publication.https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1087054718756196

Landers, A. L., * Morgan, A. A., Danes, S. M., & White Hawk, S. (2018). Does reunification matter? Differences in the social connection to tribe and tribal enrollment of American Indian fostered and adopted adults. Children and Youth Services Review, 94, 347-353. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2018.09.019

Landers, A. L., McLuckie, A., Cann, R., Shapiro, V., Visintini, S., MacLaurin, B., Saini, M.,  Trocmé, N., & Carrey, N. J. (2018). A scoping review of evidence-based interventions available to parents of maltreated children ages 0-5 involved with child welfare services. Child Abuse & Neglect, 76, 546-560. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.09.012

Dimitropoulos, G., Landers, A. L., Freeman, V., Novick, J., Garber, A., & Le Grange, D.  (2018). Open trial for Family-Based Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa for transition age youth. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27(1), 50-61. +

McLuckie, A., Matheson, K., Landers, A. L., Landine, J., Novick, J., Barrett, T., &  Dimitropoulos, G. (2018). The relationship between psychological distress and perception of emotional support in medical students and residents and implications for educational institutions. Academic Psychiatry, 42, 41-47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-017-0800-7

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., Harstad, J., & White Hawk, S. (2017). Finding their way home: Factors associated with reunification for American Indian and White adults. Children and Youth Services Review, 82, 359-364. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.09.002

Landers, A. L., Bellamy, J. L., Danes, S. M., & White Hawk, S. (2017). Internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems of American Indian children in the child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 81, 413-412. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.08.014

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., Ingalls-Maloney, K., & White Hawk, S. (2017). American Indian and White adoptees: Are there mental health differences? American Indian and Alaska Native Mental Health Research, 24(2), 54-75. https://doi.org/10.5820/aian.2402.2017.54

Landers, A. L. & Danes, S. M. (2016). Forgotten children: A critical review of the reunification of American Indian children in the child welfare system. Children and Youth Services Review, 71, 137 -147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.10.043

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., & White Hawk, S. (2015). Finding their way home: The reunification of First Nations adoptees. First Peoples Child & Family Review, 10(2), 18-30. +

* denotes mentored graduate student

Selected Presentations

Landers, A. L. (2020, September). Trauma and law enforcement spouses and couples. Invited Presentation at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Minority Fellowship Program 2020 Master’s Training Institute, Virtual Location.

Landers, A. L., * Simpson, J. E., Gagner, N. E, & Robinson, B. (2021, November). School engagement of American Indian children in child welfare. Interactive paper presentation at the 2021 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., * Carrese, D. H., & White Hawk, S. (2021, November). The grief and loss of American Indian/Alaska Native birthmothers. Interactive poster presentation at the 2021 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

Landers, A. L., * Reichard, K., & Bellamy, J. (2021, November). School engagement of children in out-of-home placement. Interactive poster presentation at the 2021 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

Morgan, A. A., Landers, A. L., & * Simpson, J. E. (2021, November). Predictors of client teletherapy engagement in marriage and family therapy training settings during COVID-19: What do the data tell us? Interactive poster presentation at the 2021 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

* Campbell, A. R., & Landers, A. L. (2020, November). Exploring the impact of work-related traumatic stress on law enforcement couples. Paper presented at the 2020 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

* Simpson, J., Landers, A. L., & White Hawk, S. (2020, November). “I lost my family”: Grief, loss, and identity formation of fostered and adopted American Indian individuals. Paper presented at the 2020 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., * Campbell, A. R., * Merritt, S., & White Hawk, S. (2020, November). Maltreatment of American Indian children in foster care and adoption. Paper presented at the 2020 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

Landers, A. L., * Simpson, J., Gagner, N., & Robinson, B. (2020, November). Beyond borders: Reunifying families in family therapy. Workshop at the 2020 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Virtual Location.

Landers, A. L., * Campbell, A., & * Dowling, L. E. (2019, April). The impact of adverse childhood experiences on parenting. Presented at the Child Abuse Speaker Series, Family Advocacy Program at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Quantico, VA.

Landers, A. L., * Morgan, A. A., Danes, S. M., & White Hawk, S. (2018, November). Does reunification matter? Social connection and tribal enrollment of American Indian adoptees? Paper presented at the 2018 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, San Diego, CA. 

Landers, A. L., * Morgan, A. A., Danes, S. M., Liebler, C., & White Hawk, S. (2018, November). American Indian adoptees/fosterees: Barriers to tribal enrollment. Paper presented at the 2018 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, San Diego, CA. 

Landers, A. L., Bellamy, J., Danes, S. M., Gagner, N., & White Hawk, S. (2018, November). Placement instability of American Indian children in out-of-home care. Paper presented at the 2018 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, San Diego, CA. 

Campbell, A., & Landers, A. L. (2018, November). Family therapy with law enforcement couples. Workshop at the 2018 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Louisville, Kentucky.

Landers, A. L., Letourneau, N., McLuckie, A., Dimitropoulos, G., Ntanda, H., Giesbrecht, G., Campbell, T. S., & The APrON Team (2018, May). Adverse childhood experiences and maternal-infant interaction. Poster presented at the 16th World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) World Congress, Rome, Italy.

Landers, A. L., & White Hawk, S. (2018, April). Mental health findings: First Nations and White fostered and/or adopted individuals. Workshop at the 36th Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, Anchorage, AK.

Landers, A. L., Danes, S. M., White Hawk, S., Harstad, J., & Ingalls­Maloney, K. (2017, November). Contributing factors to reunification for American Indian and White adults. Paper presented at the 2017 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Orlando, FL. 

Landers, A. L., Bellamy, J., Danes, S. M., Gagner, N., & White Hawk, S. (2017, November). Placement instability of American Indian children in long-term foster care. Paper presented at the 2017 National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) Annual Conference, Orlando, FL. 

Landers, A. L., Weiler, L., Gagner, N., & Robinson, B. (2017, October). LGBTQ youth in the foster care system. Workshop at the 2017 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Annual Conference, Atlanta, Georgia.

White Hawk, S., Landers, A. L., & McGeshick, G. (2017, April). Finding their way home: The reunification of First Nations Adoptees: The story behind the data. Workshop at the 35th Annual Protecting Our Children National American Indian Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, San Diego, CA.

* denotes mentored graduate student