Ashley Butler-Hines

In Funded Scholars
Ashley Butler-Hines
Ashley Butler-Hines




Assistant Professor
Baylor College of Medicine

Professional Bio

Dr. Butler-Hines is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Psychology at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). She received her Doctoral and Master’s Degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida.  She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Dillard University in New Orleans.

Dr. Butler Hines’s research aims to help eliminate racial/ethnic disparities in early childhood mental health through the development of multi-level interventions to increase minority parent engagement in integrated behavioral health services that address early childhood mental health.

Prior to her academic appointment at BCM, Dr. Butler-Hines completed a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the National Research Council, administered through the Ford Foundation. During the fellowship, Dr. Butler-Hines built upon skills in clinical trial research methods and analysis by obtaining training in health services research methods. Research under the postdoctoral fellowship included completion of a pilot study to assess African American and Latino parent engagement in a mental health intervention delivered in community-based pediatric primary care to address early childhood prosocial behavioral functioning. Dr. Butler-Hines has conducted several supplementary studies to NIMH-funded randomized controlled intervention trials. The supplementary studies centered on African American child mental health assessment and intervention engagement.

Project Description

Background: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health has emphasized the importance of culturally and linguistically appropriate services to eliminate racial/ethnic health disparities. One strategy for addressing culturally appropriate services is to adapt interventions for minority groups. Intervention cultural adaptations can be defined as systematic modifications of an intervention to consider language, culture, and context in a way that is compatible with cultural patterns, meanings, and values.

An increasing number of evidence-based interventions that target parents to prevent or decrease behavior problems in early childhood have been culturally adapted for minority groups. Interventions that are adapted for the cultural context of minorities may improve minority parent engagement (enrollment, attendance, and dropout) and thus, may have implications for decreasing racial/ethnic disparities in early intervention engagement. Systematic reviews have reported positive child outcomes of culturally adapted interventions; however, a review could not be identified that has specifically synthesized parent engagement in adapted interventions.

Purpose/ Specific Aims: The purposes of this project are to (a) synthesize the literature on minority parent engagement in adapted interventions that aim to promote prosocial behavioral functioning, prevent behavior problems, or treat behavior problems in early childhood, and (b) describe how interventions that target parents to address early childhood behavior are adapted and implemented within local service agencies in Houston, Texas that primarily serve minority children. The specific aims include:

1.      To describe methods used to develop cultural adaptations when designing interventions for racial/ethnic minorities that are (a) reported in the relevant literature and/or (b) used by staff at local service agencies.

2.      To identify types of cultural adaptations (a) reported in the relevant literature and/or (b) implemented by local service agencies.

3.      To determinewhether culturally adapted interventions show higher parent engagement compared to non-adapted interventions.

My New Connections Experience

A senior-level research informed me of the various career development opportunities provided through the New Connections Program. I became convinced of the potential value of New Connections to my career after joining the New Connections Listserv, which disseminated essential learning and networking opportunities. I applied to the New Connections Program because of the opportunity to receive research funding for a project that is aligned with my agenda, and to engage in methodological training and career development experiences that represent logical next steps for my career focused on mental health disparities in early childhood. I applied to New Connections to increase the visibility and impact of my research, research collaboration, and ability to translate research into policy.

Receiving an award through the New Connections Program provided external research funds during my first year as an assistant professor, and is positioning me to become an independently funded researcher early in my career. Participating in New Connections sponsored events has increased my professional network and potential research collaborators.

Research Interests

The aim of my research agenda is to increase mental health service engagement among racial/ethnic minority children and families. There are two arms to my research portfolio. The first component of my work concentrates on identifying factors associated with mental health service disparities. The second line of research focuses on formulating multi-level interventions to increase mental health service engagement among low-income minority children with mental health needs. Specific focus includes interventions to increase minority parent engagement in integrated mental health services to promote positive early childhood mental health.

The Details
  • New Connections Status: Junior Investigator
  • RWJF Team/Portfolio: Vulnerable Populations
  • Project Name: Systematic Review of Parent Engagement in Culturally Adapted Interventions to Address Early Childhood Prosocial Behavioral Functioning

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