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Paddle With A Purpose: A Synthesis on My Perspective on Cultivating an Intentional Life of Happiness

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Happiness is an enormously broad topic that has recently gained momentum in the workplace, literature, media and society. There are many interconnected topics and themes contributing to the overall state of being happy. In my book, I dive into the

Happiness is an enormously broad topic that has recently gained momentum in the workplace, literature, media and society. There are many interconnected topics and themes contributing to the overall state of being happy. In my book, I dive into the most important topics that contribute to daily and global happiness. Each of the following topics are explored within the evidence-based literature and juxtaposed with my own life experience and perspective. First, I will explore society’s impact on happiness. Society shapes our perspective more than we realize, so it is important to debunk what rings true to us individually and what does not. Next, I’ll share with you my favorite thing in life—gratitude. Gratitude is the easiest way to transition a negative affect into a positive state of being. In chapter three I will discuss how language and perspective shape our experiences. Word choice and self-talk are extremely impactful in your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others. Chapter four is about complaining and how it serves us and inhibits us. There are many functions to complaining, like self-awareness and enhanced interpersonal relationships as well as consequences like being a draining friend to be around. Then I’ll share about the phenomenon of emotional contagion and compassion and finish it up with the final chapter about being present and practicing happiness in our daily lives. It is most important to live a life full of intentional daily actions. The tone of my book is conversational and meant to serve as an inspirational tool to aide in achieving a happier life.

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2017-05

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The Relationship between Biculturalism and Mental Health Outcomes among College-bound Latino Adolescents

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Cultural beliefs and behaviors can serve as both risk and protective processes for Latino adolescents, with some recent empirical work suggesting the important protective role of bicultural values (e.g., endorsing high levels of both mainstream culture and culture of origin).

Cultural beliefs and behaviors can serve as both risk and protective processes for Latino adolescents, with some recent empirical work suggesting the important protective role of bicultural values (e.g., endorsing high levels of both mainstream culture and culture of origin). We expanded on past research to explore whether bicultural values were associated with internalizing (depressive, anxiety, stress) symptoms and externalizing (alcohol use) symptoms among a sample of Latino adolescents preparing to begin college. We hypothesized biculturalism to protect against all negative outcomes. Our sample consisted of 209 college-bound Latino adolescents (65% female; 85.1% Mexican descent; 10.6% 1st generation, 62% 2nd generation) who were enrolled in university for the coming fall. All multivariate models included sex, ethnicity, parent education, and immigrant generation status as covariates. Correlations and multivariate analyses revealed that higher bicultural values were associated with lower depressive symptoms, lower anxiety symptoms, lower stress, and greater alcohol use. Gender was shown to moderate the relationship between biculturalism and alcohol use. Overall, findings suggested that greater bicultural values were associated with lower endorsement of internalizing symptoms for all participants, but higher endorsement of alcohol use over the last year for the highly bicultural females. Biculturalism may be particularly protective for Latino adolescents who are preparing to attend college given the need for them to transition into an environment with high acculturative demands. However, our results also highlight that these bicultural females may be at greater risk for alcohol use and related problems.

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2017-12

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Assisted Cycling Improves Cognitive and Motor Functioning in Adolescents with Down Syndrome

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This study examines cognitive and motor function in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to three groups consisting of an assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., exercise accomplished through the use

This study examines cognitive and motor function in adolescents with Down syndrome (DS) following an 8-week assisted cycling therapy intervention. Forty-four participants were randomly assigned to three groups consisting of an assisted cycling (AC) (i.e., exercise accomplished through the use of a motor), a voluntary cycling (VC) (self-selected cadence), and a no cycling (NC) control group. Both ACT and VC groups rode a stationary bicycle for three 30-minute sessions a week, for a total of eight weeks. Participants completed cognitive testing that assessed information processing and manual dexterity at the beginning and at the end of the 8-week intervention. Consistent with our hypothesis, the results showed that information processing and manual dexterity improved following 8 weeks of cycling for the ACT group. These results were not seen for individuals in the voluntary and non-exercise groups. Our results suggest that assisted cycling therapy may induce permanent changes in the prefrontal cortex in adolescents with DS.

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2015-05

Explaining Motor Imagery: Mirror Neurons as a Physiological Mechanism

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This project, which consists of a review article and an applied creative project, proposes mirror neurons as being a physiological mechanism for motor imagery. The review article highlights similarities between motor imagery research and research on mirror neurons. The research

This project, which consists of a review article and an applied creative project, proposes mirror neurons as being a physiological mechanism for motor imagery. The review article highlights similarities between motor imagery research and research on mirror neurons. The research is roughly divided into three types of studies: neuroimaging studies, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and electromyography (EMG) studies, and electroencephalography (EEG) studies. The review also discusses the associative hypothesis of mirror neuron origin as support for the hypothesis and concludes with an assessment of conflicting research and the limitations of the hypothesis. The applied creative project is an instructional brochure, aimed at anyone who teaches motor skills, such as dance teachers or sports coaches. The brochure takes the academic content of the review and presents it in a visually pleasing, reader-friendly fashion in an effort to educate the intended audience and make the research more accessible. The brochure also prescribes research-based suggestions for how to use motor imagery during teaching sessions and how to get the best benefits from it.

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2015-05

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The Effects of Paper Color on Anxiety Correlated With Test Performance

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Color is an inseparable part of our world as it exists in everything we perceive (Hemphill, 1996). With this constant exposure to colors, it has been widely acknowledged that colors have a distinct effect on a person's feelings and emotions

Color is an inseparable part of our world as it exists in everything we perceive (Hemphill, 1996). With this constant exposure to colors, it has been widely acknowledged that colors have a distinct effect on a person's feelings and emotions (Hemphill, 1996). In fact, researcher have found that color perception evolved as an adaptation to increase fitness for animals (Bryne & Hilbert, 2003). For humans, color is a part of many everyday associations from temperature to traffic lights to sporting events. Taking this a step further, researchers have studied the effects of color on psychological functioning and physiological responses, including anxiety. A substantial body of research developed a base of information to support the idea that color has a significant effect on humans' emotions, perceptions and behaviors. I set out to test the effects of color on test anxiety and the relationship between anxiety and test performance. It was hypothesized that paper colors red, blue, and green would have an effect on anxiety with red having the most robust effect. It was also hypothesized that there would be a correlation between test performance and anxiety. Fifty undergraduate students took a ten-question brainteaser test printed on one of the three paper colors. Results displayed a significant mead difference between the three test group colors and a significant correlation between test performance and anxiety. This study was then repeated using the colors white, blue, and red. Fifty-eight undergraduate students took the same ten-question brainteaser test. These results failed to suggest a significant mean difference between the three test groups and failed to suggest a correlation between performance and anxiety. These findings conflict with the first study, and therefore, are of interest. Possibilities for these findings are the frequency of occurrence of white and social desirability. Future directions include testing for trait anxiety prior to data collection and using physiological measures to test anxiety. Still, these results can be applied in classroom settings, office environments, and airports.

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2013-05