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A Theory of Change: How the Mind, the Heart, and the Future can be Shaped Through Creative Expression

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The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary

The goal of this thesis was to create a theory of change for an annual Multicultural Arts Camp (MAC) that offers youth with trauma histories opportunities to cultivate protective factors associated with resilience. MAC is designed to promote four primary protective outcomes among its participants: (1) safety, (2) self-expression, (3) skill-building and (4) self-efficacy through exploration of various multicultural art forms and connecting with caring adults. The theory of change was informed by my observations during my experience as a MAC volunteer and my review of academic literature to better define and understand how various factors involved in the MAC program are linked to resilience processes. Arts programming can provide opportunities for youth who have experienced trauma to feel safe enough to engage in self-expression and build corresponding skills that promote feelings of self-efficacy. Building these protective factors thereby strengthens children’s capacity for resilience. Accordingly, the theory of change articulates program activities and processes that promote these outcomes among participating youth. Program directors may draw on the theory of change for strategic planning and evaluation efforts assessing the program’s processes and corresponding impact.

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2020-05

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Mindfulness, Compassion, Resilience and Well-being in College Students

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This paper will use a national cross-sectional survey approach to look at the association between trainable mind-body qualities (mindfulness and self-compassion) with well-being and resilience in 111 college students across the U.S.. Specifically, it will investigate (1) the relationship between

This paper will use a national cross-sectional survey approach to look at the association between trainable mind-body qualities (mindfulness and self-compassion) with well-being and resilience in 111 college students across the U.S.. Specifically, it will investigate (1) the relationship between trainable qualities (mindfulness, self-compassion) and the resilience, and subjective well-being in students, and (2) compare how these variables were distributed based on enrollment in a college course on compassion. After examination of descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations, comparative analyses were also employed to determine whether enrollment in compassion college courses had any relationship to one’s scores. Results: Respondents included 12 students enrolled in Compassion college course, and 99 students who were not. Both mindfulness and self-compassion showed significant positive correlations with well-being and resilience in all students, and in subgroups based on enrollment at p < .01. Additionally, students enrolled in the course averaged 3 points higher scores across all measures except resilience, where scores were about the same. Conclusions: In all college students, regardless of their enrollment in Compassion, well-being and resilience are positively correlated with both mindfulness and self-compassion. Furthermore, scores based on enrollment in “Compassion” yielded higher levels of mindfulness, self-compassion, resilience, and well-being.

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2019-05

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Benefits of high intelligence: Potential moderating effects of emotion regulation and friendship quality

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Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions are on the rise in adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015; Bridge, Asti, & Horowitz, 2015). Parents, school administrators, and therapists are searching for resiliency factors with in at-risk groups to aid

Depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts or actions are on the rise in adolescents (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015; Bridge, Asti, & Horowitz, 2015). Parents, school administrators, and therapists are searching for resiliency factors with in at-risk groups to aid students in need. In previous work, Luthar and Zigler (1992) reported that intelligent youth are more resilient than less intelligent youth under low stress conditions but they lose their advantage under high stress conditions. This study examined whether intelligence (reflected in grade point average; GPA) and maladaptive (internalizing and externalizing symptoms) behaviors are negatively related in adolescents, and tested whether level of stress, reflected in emotion regulation and friendship quality, moderated that association. It also probed whether the relationships differ by gender. Sixth-graders (N=506) were recruited with active parental consent from three middle schools. Adolescents completed self-report questionnaires Regarding demo graphics, maladaptive behaviors, emotion regulation, and friendship quality, and GPA data were collected from the school. Regression analyses found that GPA was negatively related to externalizing symptoms. Girls with poor friendship communication report significantly higher maladaptive behaviors. This relation was more pronounced for girls with high GPAs, as predicted. Results support the theory that intelligent female adolescents are more reactive under adverse circumstances. Future efforts should follow students through middle school into high school to evaluate whether friendships remain important to adjustment, hold for boys as well as girls, and have implications for relationship interventions.

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2017-12

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Addressing Childhood Trauma in the Classroom

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Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of

Over the past few years, the issue of childhood trauma in the United States has become significant. A growing number of children are experiencing abuse, neglect, or some other form of maltreatment each year. Considering the stressful home lives of maltreated children, the one sure sanctuary is school. However, this idea requires teachers to be actively involved in identifying and caring for the children who need it most. Traumatic childhood experiences leave lasting scars on its victims, so it is helpful if teachers learn how to identify and support children who have lived through them. It is unfortunate that teachers will most likely encounter children throughout their career who have experienced horrendous things, but it is a reality. With this being said, teachers need to develop an understanding of what traumatized children live with, and learn how to address these issues with skilled sensitivity. Schools are not just a place where children learn how to read and write; they build the foundation for a successful life. This project was designed to provide teachers with a necessary resource for helping children who have suffered traumatic experiences. The methodology of this project began with interviews with organizations specializing in working with traumatized children such as Arizonans for Children, Free Arts for Abused Children, The Sojourner Center, and UMOM. The next step was a review of the current literature on the subject of childhood trauma. The findings have all been compiled into one, convenient document for teacher use and distribution. Upon completion of this document, an interactive video presentation will be made available through an online education website, so that distribution will be made simpler. Hopefully, teachers will share the information with people in their networks and create a chain reaction. The goal is to make it available to as many teachers as possible, so that more children will receive the support they need.

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2016-05

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Integrating Music in the Classroom

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A look at the benefits of the integration of music in the classroom. This thesis focuses on how music supports brain development and how that affects the ways children learn the classroom. It also highlights how current teachers feel about

A look at the benefits of the integration of music in the classroom. This thesis focuses on how music supports brain development and how that affects the ways children learn the classroom. It also highlights how current teachers feel about integrating music in the classroom and the best practices used for integrating music. Lastly, this thesis contains strategies on how to integrate music in the classroom using the Common Core standards as well as personal compositions written using Common Core standards.

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2013-05