Theses and Dissertations

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    An experimental therapy for opioid withdrawal syndrome
    (2023-12-04) Reed, Yvonne; Malin, David H.; Moreno, Georgina
    The ongoing opioid crisis in the United States needs alternative therapeutics. To explore the role of the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor in opioid physical dependence and withdrawal syndrome, morphine dependent rats were treated with pimavanserin, a highly selective 5-HT2A inverse agonist in current medical use. In experiment 1, rats were rendered morphine-dependent after seven days of continuous infusion at 0.6 mg/kg/hr. On the seventh day, morphine infusion ceased, and a day later, rats were injected with either 0.3 or 1.0 mg/kg pimavanserin or saline. A non-morphine dependent saline-infused control group received only saline. One hour post injection, rats were observed under blind conditions for somatically expressed behavioral withdrawal signs utilizing a validated observation checklist. Compared to morphine dependent/saline-injected rats, the non-dependent rats and both morphine-dependent pimavanserin dose groups exhibited significantly reduced withdrawal signs, p < .001, based on Tukey’s HSD test for non-independent pairwise comparisons. The higher pimavanserin dose (1.0 mg/kg) fully reversed the effect of morphine infusion on withdrawal signs, while the lower dose (0.3 mg/kg) largely reversed it. In experiment 2, utilizing only non-dependent/salineinfused rats, pimavanserin showed no significant effect on overall withdrawal signs. Given pimavanserin’s high selectivity for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, these findings indicate that the activity of this receptor plays a role in opioid physical dependence. These results suggest the need for further research on pimavanserin as a novel therapeutic for managing the aversive withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal syndrome.
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    "Your Poor and Humble Petitioner": Political Agency in the Petitions of the Essex County Witchcraft Crisis, 1692-1712
    (2023-11-28) Allen, Amanda; Dugre, Neal T; Hales, Barbara
    This thesis contextualizes the witchcraft crisis of 1692 within the realm of late seventeenth-century popular politics by examining how residents of Essex County utilized petitions to navigate a period of societal turmoil and, ultimately, bring an end to the witch trials. Although the civic dimensions of witch-hunting in New England certainly have not been ignored, historians have yet to connect colonists' response to the witchcraft crisis with the growth of the public sphere. Similarly, both personal and collective petitioning in Massachusetts Bay Colony has received minimal scholarly attention. Putting this essential political process in conversation with witchcraft brings a trend of local political activism to light. Drawing upon petitions issued by ordinary people from 1692 through 1712, this thesis identifies the social, economic, and legal arguments that petitioners used to attack the validity of the witch trials and the far-reaching consequences of unchecked witch-hunting on Essex County towns. It contends that the extraordinary circumstances of the witchcraft crisis afforded such individuals an unprecedented opportunity to assert their political agency, and that petitioning allowed local communities to hold their colony government responsible for their role in perpetuating the negative side effects of the witch trials. Petitioners' efforts to overturn the witch trials, seek exoneration for the falsely accused, and demand accountability from colonial administrators demonstrate that residents of Essex County were agents of political change and that the witchcraft crisis is an integral example of how witch-hunting intersected with regional politics.
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    Examining the Influence of Dispositions and Practices on Student Achievement of Elementary Principals in Title I Schools
    (2023-12-06) Lightfoot, Traci; Corrales, Antonio; Peters, Michelle; Grace, Jennifer; O'Brien, Randall
    This qualitative phenomenological study examined the influence of leadership dispositions and practices on student achievement in Title I schools. Because of the many duties principals are asked to undertake, it is often difficult for principals to assume the role of instructional leadership. The role of principal has expanded to engage an explicit focus on increasing student achievement through equitable outcomes (DeMatthews et al., 2020). Despite education reforms of the past few decades, more low income children tend to underachieve and drop out of school than do their middle- and high-income peers (Maxwell, 2016). According to Mestry (2017), ineffective leaders are often unskilled and unprepared and are placed in or continue a cycle of having low-performing schools. Since Title I schools predominantly cater to poor students, often the harmful effect of poverty on the school climate is particularly more pronounced compared to the non-Title I schools (Roy, 2019). Educational leaders and staffs in Title I schools need to believe that they can make a difference in their students’ lives as well as make the students believe that they have the capability to become successful in school and life (Benson, 2003). Therefore, a gap may exist for principals to utilize distinct actions across multiple leadership domains to effectively manage the operations and promote high quality instruction that increases academic achievement in high poverty schools. However, defining and clarifying the principal’s impact on campus performance continues to remain challenging (Hutton, 2019). A deeper understanding of poverty and the value of invested adults in student’s future success in life, can be a valuable resource in challenging communities to promote sustainable progress in closing the achievement gap.
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    How fast is too fast: An analysis of the relationship between audio comprehension and playback speed
    (2023-11-30) Ruiz, Rigoberto; Kelling, Nicholas; Lucas, Amy; Subramanian, Shreerekha
    A lack of research regarding audio-only comprehension has created inconsistency in what would be considered average performance in terms of comprehension. Most research has focused on coupling this with video components leading to varying results due to cueing and a lack of standardizing testing methods. Given the advent of audio-only in an educational setting through means such as lectures and podcasts, understanding how those who engage with them using tools such as playback manipulation is becoming increasingly important. This study analyzes the effect of playback speed on comprehension and attempts to find the range where comprehension decreases. Participants underwent five different assessments ranging from 1 to 2 times original playback speed in increasing increments of .25, testing their comprehension between trials. Findings suggest that prior to the speed of 1.75 times, individuals should not expect a drop off in terms of performance. This suggests advising individuals to utilize playback manipulation tools across modalities, leading to a 40% decrease in time required to listen to the material.
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    The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on social capital
    (2023-12-04) Alzahrani, Najwa Said; McMullen, Mike; Lucas, Amy
    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of society, including social relationships and connections. In this study, I investigated the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on social capital. Using a quantitative approach, I measured various dimensions of social capital, focusing on social trust, social networks, and civic connections before, during, and after the pandemic to explore the changes caused by the pandemic on social capital. After careful analysis of 119 responses using SPSS, I found that social trust results in unique patterns with strong bonding within familiar circles like family, neighbors, and government's institutions, while a low level of trust was evident regarding diverse groups. In terms of social networks, family relationships thrived during the pandemic, and new friendships emerged, showing a strong indicator of bonding and bridging social capital. However, a decrease was observed in deeper friendships during and after the pandemic. Nevertheless, participants expressed satisfaction with their means of contacting others during the pandemic and 80% of participants were willing to continue using the same mode of communication in the post-pandemic era. Amidst the upheaval, civic engagement displayed a slight increase, particularly in ethnic associations, religious-affiliated groups, seniors, and youth groups. However, the pandemic circumstances led to a general reduction in participation in civil society organizations. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted various dimensions of social capital. The findings of this study have important implications for policymakers, community leaders, and individuals as we navigate the challenges of the pandemic and work to build stronger, more resilient communities in the post-pandemic world.
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    Academic Self-Efficacy, Perseverance, and Growth Mindset: Impact on First-Generation Student Success
    (2023-11-20) Sever, Jana; Richardson, Timothy; Peters, Michelle; Divoll, Kent; Tello, Angelica
    First-generation students are faced with a variety of challenges in their quest for a college degree. Because of the unique hurdles they face, this population experiences challenges with navigating the college experience and is at a higher risk of not completing college. The purpose of this sequential mixed-methods study was to examine whether academic self-efficacy, perseverance, and growth mindset can predict first-generation student success. A sample of first-generation students was recruited from a multi-campus community college system in Texas. Ninety-three students completed three questionnaires: College Academic Self-Efficacy Scale (CASES), Short Grit Scale (Grit-S), and the Implicit Theories of Intelligence Questionnaire (Self-Theory). To capture the voice of first-generation students, eight individuals agreed to take part in semi-structured interviews. Although the results of the quantitative portion of the study did not find that the composite score on CASES, Grit-S, or the Implicit Theories of Intelligence Questionnaire (Self-Theory) could predict student success, the results from the qualitative portion of the study suggested the participants felt that academic self-efficacy, perseverance, and growth mindset contributed to student success. Additional research is needed to explore factors that contribute to first-generation student success.
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    A Study of the Effectiveness of Statewide Mandated Professional Development
    (2023-11-20) Walsh, Elizabeth; Raymond, Roberta D; Pule, Heather; Lastrapes, Renee; Cooper, Jane
    The purpose of this mixed methods study was to investigate the impact and effectiveness of state mandated professional development on participant knowledge and practice while highlighting participant experiences with the professional development. This study utilized embedded pre and posttest module scores of 64 participants and interview data from ten participants who attended the blended model of the Texas House Bill 3 Reading Academies during the 2021-2022 school year. The quantitative results of this study indicated statistically significant growth in teacher knowledge based on the pre and posttest module scores on all modules except establishing a literacy community. The qualitative data revealed four major themes and four subthemes. The major themes were conflicting experiences with professional development, challenges with delivery/modality of professional development, background experience makes a difference in professional development, and professional development implementation. Within the delivery theme, the following sub themes emerged: authenticity, feedback, collaboration, and time. The results revealed overall negative experiences and some impact on classroom practice. Additionally, interview data revealed the Texas House Bill 3 Reading Academies blended model of delivery as ineffective for some participants while effective for few participants for various reasons. The research concludes with implications for campus, district, and state leaders and recommendations for future research.
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    Examining the impact of veteran-centric support on academic success, retention, and degree completion of students utilizing post-9/11 GI Bill at a public university
    (2023-11-07) Parekh, Dipal Nish; Wagner, Paul A.; Divoll, Kent; Grace, Jennifer; Dement, Marilyn
    During the post-war period, American higher education experiences exponential growth in veteran enrollment. As post-9/11 GI Bill is the most utilized VA education benefits, the U.S. Dept. of VA spends billions of dollars annually on the GI Bill. Yet, veterans’ retention and degree completions are much lower compared to other nontraditional students at public universities. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of veteran students. A descriptive phenomenological approach used to understand the challenges and barriers veteran students encounter as they transition into academia and the impact of veteran-centric support services have on the students’ overall academic success, retention, and degree completion goals. A purposeful sample of eleven diverse veteran students participated in semi-structured interviews. The questions were guided by Schlossberg’s Transition Theory and the 4S Model found mixed perceptions of the veteran support offered on campus. All participants emphasized the importance of having veteran-centric support services on campus with more visibility and more resources, especially for graduate-level students. Data analysis found that 55% of participants perceived veteran support office to have a positive influence on their overall academic success, retention, and degree completion goals in terms of GI Bill process.
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    A case study of teacher and administrator perceptions of the implementation of Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model and its influence on student achievement in science and on levels of English language acquisition
    (2023-11-14) Duff, Kelly Ray; Huss-Keeler, Rebecca; Gracia, Louis; Waters, Carol; Williams-Duncan, Omah
    Recognizing the underperformance of emergent bilingual students, when compared to the academic achievement of their English-speaking peers, is a current and vital topic of discussion and research in the United States. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine the perceptions of fifth-grade science teachers and school district administrators of the implementation of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model and its influence on the student achievement of emergent bilinguals in science and on levels of English language acquisition. Two theoretical frameworks were used to ground the study and enhance understanding: Cummins (1984, 2000) theory of language acquisition and Vygotsky’s (1986) social constructivist perspective. The research questions explored: 1) What were the teachers’ perspectives of their implementation of the SIOP model in fifth-grade science? and 2) What were the administrators’ perspectives of the implementation of the SIOP model in fifth-grade science? A purposeful sampling of the participants, fifth-grade science teachers and school and district administrators, were interviewed to provide a more in-depth understanding about classroom implementation of the SIOP model with emergent bilingual students. A constant comparative analysis was used to analyze that teacher focus group and administrator interview data to yield emergent themes. Drawing from the data, the teachers voiced a strong need to integrate the instructional support received in science with the SIOP model, time to purposefully plan with these two components in mind, and vertically align accountability in teaching science. Time for follow-up to reflect on effective teaching practices with EB students was also valued. Data from the administrator interviews resulted in initiating a needs assessment with their teachers to glean areas of improvement needed in science with EB students, coordinating support between teachers and content specialists, and providing additional professional development for teaching growth in the SIOP model. With the knowledge of the lag in academic achievement of EB students in comparison to their non-EB peers, especially in the area of science learning, teachers may advocate on a deeper level about the specific professional development and instructional supports that are needed to address the diverse learning needs of EB students.
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    Differential Effects of Goal Setting and Planning Characteristics on Academic Performance Among School-Aged Children and Adolescents in School-Based Motivational Interviewing
    (2023-08-07) Bagheri, Rojan 1989-; Strait, Gill; Elkins, Sara; Bartsch, Robert
    School-Based Motivational Interviewing (SBMI) is a type of Motivational Interviewing (MI) utilized in the academic setting to increase students' motivation and academic performance (Strait et al., 2014; Strait et al., 2017). Prior research has shown inconsistent effects of SBMI on adolescents' academic performance. To better understand factors that may make SBMI more effective, this study examines extant data from two randomized control trials (n = 191) that found different effects of SBMI on middle school students' grades (Strait et al., 2017). Specifically, trained raters rated goals participants set while participating in SBMI based on established SMART goal characteristics: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely (Doran, 1981, as cited in Lawlor & Hornyak, 2012). A two-level hierarchical linear model investigated the relationship between service providers' educational background and SMART goal attributes on students' post-treatment grades in English Language Arts (ELA), math, and science. The findings revealed that middle school students with graduate providers (i.e., graduated from college and enrolled in or starting clinical or school psychology doctoral programs in the forthcoming semester) exhibited significantly improved grades in ELA and math compared to those with undergraduate student providers (i.e., service providers with minimal prior experience in implementing either behavioral or academic interventions), corroborating Strait et al.’s (2017) hypothesis. The results also showed that the total SMART goal score had an unexpected statistically significant negative relationship with post-treatment ELA grades, which may relate to variance in scores and the method of scoring of the non-goal sheet completers. The findings also indicated that the Specificity of SMART goals had a negative relationship with ELA grades and that flexibility in goal setting (e.g., replacing a rigid daily reading goal with a flexible monthly book completion goal) may be beneficial. For math, the Attainable SMART goal characteristic had a marginally significant negative effect, while Relevance had a marginally significant positive impact on post-treatment grades. A mediation analysis did not support a significant indirect effect of provider education on grades through SMART scores. This study emphasizes the importance of service providers’ educational background and flexible, relevant goal-setting in SBMI. Recommendations include employing graduate-level service providers and examining how the SMART goal criteria can be tailored and modified to align with the unique characteristics and objectives of SBMI interventions in schools (e.g., making necessary adjustments to accommodate the developmental levels of students, cultural diversity, or specific challenges within the educational context). Future research should investigate how SMART goal setting is implemented in SBMI (e.g., refined SMART goal rubrics, how each sub-item characteristic is phrased, and what it is inquiring about).
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    An Examination of the Relationships Between Parent-Professional Partnerships and Parental Empowerment for Students Who Received Special Education Services Throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic
    (2023-09-07) Wiedeman, Dawn; Beavers, Elizabeth; Peters, Michelle; Huss-Keeler, Rebecca; Grace, Jennifer
    The purpose of this study was to investigate relationships between parent-professional partnerships and parent empowerment for elementary students who received special education services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Elementary parents in southeast Texas who had children who received special education services throughout the COIVD-19 pandemic when children participated in online learning were solicited to complete Family-Professional Partnership Scale and the Parent Empowerment and Efficacy Measure (PEEM). The data were analyzed using frequencies, percentages, and a Pearson’s product-moment correlation (r) to determine the relationships between parent-professional partnerships and parental empowerment for elementary students who received special education services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The solicited parents were also invited to participate in individual interviews. Findings indicated that a high number of parents felt empowered to meet their child’s overall needs throughout the pandemic, and that parents highly perceived parent-professional partnerships as influencing their relationships with professionals throughout the pandemic. Results also showed that as parent-professional partnerships increase, parental empowerment also increases.
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    Examining the overlap between resiliency and coping measures
    (2023-07-31) Baulch, Christopher L; Walther, Christine; Elkins, Sara
    Resilience and coping are two distinct psychological concepts, but they are often used interchangeably in the literature (Morales-Rodriguez et al., 2021). Resilience is the ability to return to a pre-exposure physiological and psychological state during and immediately after an event, and coping is the behavior that an individual may engage in to manage stressors (Rice & Liu, 2016a). Research has consistently reported a relation between resilience and coping styles (Rice & Liu, 2016b; Wu et al., 2020); however, it is unclear if widely used measures of resilience and coping may be measuring the same construct rather than unique facets of the two constructs. This study examined associations among frequently used measures of resilience and coping to determine how much overlap may be present. Participants were 237 students at a suburban commuter campus in Houston, Texas, and data were collected during the Fall 2022 semester. Participants were 18 – 65 years of age (M = 24.80, SD = 7.61), racially/ethnically diverse (37.34% Hispanic/Latinx/Spanish, 33.48% White/Caucasian, 10.30% Multiracial, 8.58% African American/Black/African, 6.44% Asian), and predominantly cisgender female (73.82%). Participants completed an online self-report survey including common resilience (i.e., CD-RISC 27, Resiliency Appraisal Scale, and Brief Resilience Scale) and coping (i.e., Brief-COPE Questionnaire and Brief Resilient Coping Scale) measures. Even though there were significant correlations among many of the measures (r’s = -.36 - .61, all p’s < .05), with effect sizes ranging from small to large, results suggest that the measures captured at least some unique aspects of the constructs. Future research would benefit from examining individual items in the measures to further understand what is shared and what is unique in commonly used measures of resilience and coping, as well as how to use these results in an operationalized way for individuals outside of trauma-informed care. 
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    Utilization of behavioral health within a Patient Centered Medical Home model for childhood Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD).
    (2022-07-28) Gomez, Jocelyn; Elkins, Sara R; Marek, Ryan J; Chapman, Stephanie G; Morgan, Valerie R
    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common pediatric referrals in primary care. Standard of care treatment for ADHD includes stimulant medication, behavioral therapy, and school interventions. However, traditional biomedical primary care settings often fall short in providing these services in a single setting. Instead, patients have to seek services from many providers throughout the community. Health disparities including race/ethnicity and gender are associated with limited access to primary care and behavioral health services for children with ADHD. The Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model could help underserved communities receive access to ADHD treatment. In this model, primary care physicians work collaboratively with behavioral health specialists to provide services. This study investigated ethnic and gender differences in behavioral health services as measured by the total number of outpatient visits with primary care providers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and master’s-level behavioral health specialists at a PCMH setting versus a traditional healthcare setting (comparison group). This study also investigated the likelihood of receiving ADHD medication management under a PCMH model compared to a traditional healthcare model, after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Data for this study was derived from an existing Medicaid database of patients seeking behavioral health services. A total of 2,724 cases were analyzed; 1,362 from PCMH and 1,362 from traditional fee-for-service clinics in the community. Results from this study suggest the number of encounters with behavioral health increases when psychology is integrated within primary care as opposed to a traditional setting. There was a main effect with regard to ethnicity, suggesting that those who identify as White have more encounters than Hispanic and African Americans, regardless of setting. There was also a statistically significant interaction with ethnicity and type of provider seen suggesting that the type of provider is influenced by a family’s ethnicity. Finally, the likelihood of patients receiving medication was 37.6% greater at a PCMH setting than traditional setting. The current findings suggest having psychology integrated in primary care increases access to an interdisciplinary treatment plan for ADHD. Future studies should investigate the barriers African American and Hispanic families encounter that affect the number of completed visits.
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    Perceived Power and Conspiracy Theory Belief
    (2021-12-09) Peavy, Elizabeth B.; Johnston, Amanda; Brewer, Lauren E.; Hentges, Beth
    As conspiracy theories become increasingly intertwined with politics, it is important to understand the formation of conspiracy theory belief. Currently in the field of psychology, there is no consensus regarding the factors that lead to conspiracy theory endorsement. As this field of study is relatively new, research has yet to explore the role of perceived power, the power that one feels they have regardless of real-world power. I argue that decreased perceived power is related to an increased endorsement of conspiracy theories. A diverse sample of 347 participants were recruited via MTurk to complete a series of questionnaires. Perceived power was measured through a questionnaire regarding participants’ personal perceived privilege and oppression based on six aspects of identity: gender, religion, race, sexual orientation, economic status, and political affiliation. Participants were also asked to rate their belief in political conspiracy theories. When asked directly to rate their privilege and oppression, decreased privilege ratings or increased oppression ratings led to higher conspiracy theory belief in: cisgender men asked about gender privilege or oppression, White participants asked about race privilege or oppression, heterosexuals asked about sexual orientation privilege or oppression, and Christians asked about religious privilege or oppression. Additionally, Republicans who reported higher political affiliation oppression also reported higher belief in conspiracies. However, cisgender women who reported higher gender privilege reported higher belief in conspiracies. The same is true for atheists with higher perceived religious privilege and Black participants with higher perceived race privilege.
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    How Facets of Perfectionism Relate to Positive Psychology and Psychopathology-Related Factors
    (2021-08-10) Velasquez, Kenia M.; Bistricky, Steven; Marek, Ryan; Johnston, Amanda M.
    Perfectionism has frequently been considered an underlying dispositional trait found in various forms of psychopathology. Perfectionism has been operationalized as setting high personal standards and self-evaluating based on reaching unrealistic goals. However, there may be two key facets of perfectionism, adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism (i.e., positive striving and maladaptive evaluative concerns), that could be associated with distinct outcomes related to overall functioning. The adaptive facet of perfectionism may be associated with positive characteristics such as hope and curiosity, two psychological processes that promote positive affect, personal growth, and motivation to achieve. Another potentially relevant adaptive characteristic, quiet ego, also involves an orientation toward personal growth and mindful non-defensiveness in relation to others. However, the relationships among perfectionism and these positive psychological factors have been under-examined empirically. In this study, along with the examination of positive psychology constructs, relevant constructs associated with maladaptive outcomes were included to increase understanding of personality dispositions that may contribute negatively to perfectionism. A total of 289 students completed online questionnaires to assess levels of hope, curiosity, quiet ego, rejection sensitivity, fear of negative evaluation and facets of perfectionism. Hierarchical linear regression analysis results were consistent with hypothesized relationships linking hope and curiosity with positive striving perfectionism, and linking fear of negative evaluation, rejection sensitivity, and quiet ego with maladaptive evaluative concerns perfectionism. However, small, unexpected relationships were also found. Study findings support the interrelated nature of facets of perfectionism with constructs empirically related to both positive and negative outcomes.
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    Acceptance, Loss, and Death Attitudes
    (2022-07-05) Millmann, Megan Marie; Short, Mary; Marek, Ryan; Kannenberg , Heather
    The awareness of mortality is undeniably emotion provoking. A person’s attitude toward death has a strong predictive impact on psychological wellbeing. Therefore, it is important to understand factors that shape these attitudes. The primary aim of this study was to explore the influence of exposure to death through human loss on death attitudes from an ACT framework. Specifically, the study sought to understand how characteristics of the loss (i.e., cause of death, relationship to deceased, relationship closeness) impact death attitudes. Data was collected from 226 individuals that have experienced a loss of another human. The survey utilized standardized measures including the Death Attitudes Profile-Revised, Multidimensional Psychological Flexibility Inventory, and Religious Commitment Inventory-10 to investigate differences in death attitudes across varying demographics (age, religion, SES) when considering characteristics of the loss and specific ACT processes. Correlation analyses revealed greater number of losses experienced to be associated with lower levels of fear and greater levels of acceptance toward death. Hierarchical regression analyses found age, traumatic losses, ACT processes (acceptance and values), and commitment to religion, to be significant predictors of neutral acceptance attitudes toward death. Additionally, age and acceptance were significant predictors of death avoidance. Results have implications for the importance of individuals to intentionally be mindful of mortality and engage with the death and dying process of significant others. Exposure to and active awareness of death will increase overall acceptance and mortality. Further, the present study hypothesizes ACT as a potential intervention for negative attitudes toward death and psychological disorders where negative death attitudes essentially contribute to the maintenance of the disorder.
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    Examining the Influence of Social Capital on Early College and Dual Credit Traditional High School Underrepresented Students Enrolled in College Courses
    (2021-07-16) Verhofstad, Selene; Williams-Duncan, Omah; Peters, Michelle; Jones, Lisa; Divoll, Kent
    There have been multiple studies discussing the success and perceptions of students in early colleges and dual credit, showing their views on how ECHS or dual credit has helped them in college readiness. Despite the success of these programs, various factors impact student success, such as early colleges struggling to adapt to the high rigor and expectations of college courses. Dual credit traditional high school underrepresented students are also faced with drawbacks such as issues with their credits and grades. This study examined the influence of social capital on early college and dual credit traditional high school underrepresented students enrolled in college courses. The purpose of this study is to examine the social capital of early college and dual credit traditional high school underrepresented students and their perceptions regarding college readiness and their high school experiences. This study examined student perceptions in the areas of attitude towards college, academic achievement, teacher expectations and interactions, college prepation, school wide support, guidance and counseling, and parent engagement. Data were collected from a purposeful sample of seniors in early college and dual credit across five high schools. 154 students across five high schools responded to the survey and complete the open-ended questions. Of the 154 students, 20 completed interviews, which consisted of 10 early college and 10 dual credit students. The results of the study showed that there was a statistically significant difference between both early college and dual credit students in the areas of school wide support, teacher expectations and interactions, and guidance and counseling. The interview revealed differences between early college and dual credit students in support from AVID classes.
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    The New Forest School: Rituals of Resistance and Re-Memberment in Life on the Margin (Bogotá, Colombia)
    (2023-05-03) Lewis, Brandon Bernard; Kovic, Christine; Woldu, Dawit
    By way of exploring how pillars of transnationalism, faith, and history are harnessed by migrants as a means to purposeful ends in potentially hostile urban environments, this study proceeds to investigate the religious phenomena that occur at the intersections of devotion and diaspora, belief and history, and gender and generation within the divergent migrant enclaves of Bogotá. Specifically, this study asks: If and how is [diasporic] religion operationalized among Bogotá’s migrant undercaste and how is it tied to resistance and hope? Furthermore, how do contemporary contours of Structural Violence and Deathworlds impact the rise and survival of such religions? More precisely, how have aspects of two uniquely syncretic and diasporic religions, Cuban Santería and Maria Lionza (from Venezuela), been deployed and subsequently altered (or rather, extended) by migrant devotees in Bogotá and for what purpose(s)? Within the various contexts of this study, ”Rituals of Resistance” and “Re-memberment” are defined respectively as transcendental reformations/survival mechanisms and as the process of reclaiming (or reframing) historical, subconscious influences/modes of feeling that have been lost and/or transplanted due to dynamics of diaspora. From a set of five ethical encounters, which utilize the kinetic ethnographic tool of Street Phenomenology “Go Alongs,” a myriad of historically-deep and culturally-broad conceptualizations, via these individuals’ transitory experiences, of what the sacred is and where it can be found come to light. Appropriately so, with the intent to understand why and how the aforementioned extensions of tradition occur alongside movement, this analysis duly applies an ontological microscope to both initiated and liminal spaces and imaginaries that have deftly avoided it; while the noted increase of subaltern, diasporic religious influences in Colombia’s ciudad cosmopolita continue to be largely neglected in scholarly discourse beyond the prevailing quest to uncover bundanga (the mysterious).
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    Attachment Theory and Sex Ed: Exploring Hispanic/Latina Mother’s Confidence and Expectations When Discussing Sexual Health with Their Daughters
    (2023-09-07) Mora De Luna, Frida; Short, Mary; Enciso Domínguez, Giazú
    Effective and open communication about sexual and reproductive health can have a positive effect on the health outcomes of Hispanic/Latina youth; however, parents face numerous barriers when attempting to engage in such communication. Given that maternal figures are frequently the primary educators in sexual health matters, this study seeks to examine the internal processes associated with mothers' intentions to discuss sex-related topics with their daughters. A digital flyer was used to recruit 79 Hispanic/ Latina mothers to complete a survey on this topic. Results indicate mothers who reported a high level of avoidance related to attachment tend to have lower levels of self-efficacy, while mothers who reported a high level of anxiety related to attachment are more likely to experience lower levels of positive emotions and cognitions when it comes to their expectations about the outcome of conversations with their daughters. The results of this study indicate that the attachment dimensions play a significant role in parental intentions to engage in sexual health conversations. Specifically, it is crucial to focus on enhancing viii self-efficacy and fostering a sense of responsibility among mothers in educating their daughters about sexual and reproductive health. By prioritizing these factors, efforts to increase maternal engagement in sexual health conversations can be more effective and potentially result in better sexual health outcomes for Hispanic/ Latina youth.
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    Assessing and Predicting Social Emotional Learning Competencies in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    (2022-08-02) Hartnett, Hannah Hyatt; Schanding, George T; Elkins, Sara R; Hentges, Beth
    Social emotional learning skills, or SEL, is a burgeoning area of study which includes areas such as responsible decision making, self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship skills which are essential in order to successfully navigate the world. These SEL skills are likely delayed for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Some of the hallmarks that individuals with ASD often face are deficits in the acquisition of social and emotional skills and awareness of these skills in others. Given that individuals with ASD struggle within these areas, this project sought to investigate a narrowed focus into the development of SEL skills, specifically, by looking at how factors such as IQ, gender, ethnicity, and SES influence skill development. This paper posed two questions: 1.) What are the typical SEL competencies exhibited by individuals (aged 3-21) with ASD? 2.) To what extent does intellectual functioning (e.g., Full Scale IQ) influence the overall SEL competency of an individual with ASD (when considering individual factors of SES, gender, race/ethnicity)? For the first question, data was collected from a previous study which included SELSI parent ratings of neurotypical children. This data was then used to compare to new data collected from this study where caregivers completed the SELSI for their children with ASD. The two groups were compared on the parent reported SELSI using group means. When comparing the two groups among individuals aged 6-11, it was found that neurotypical individuals were rated higher across all areas. For the second question, hierarchical linear regressions were used to examine whether individual factors impacted SEL competencies. The first step in the models included individual variables of gender, race/ethnicity, and SES. The second step in the models added IQ to determine the additional variance predicted above that of the demographic variables. Results of the models indicated that individual variables were not significant predictors of SEL; however, IQ was a significant predictor of SEL skills in preschool and child samples only. The results of this project suggest SEL skills lag in development for individuals with ASD compared to their neurotypical peers and may be important to consider in educational assessment and intervention planning.