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Bullying, loneliness, and future responses to stress

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Bully victimization has been associated with blunted cardiovascular responses to stress as well as elevated responses to stress. The difference between these altered physiological responses to stress is largely unknown. This study explored several possible moderators to the relationship between

Bully victimization has been associated with blunted cardiovascular responses to stress as well as elevated responses to stress. The difference between these altered physiological responses to stress is largely unknown. This study explored several possible moderators to the relationship between chronic stress and future cardiac output (an indicator of increased stress) in response to future stressors. These moderators include the difference between social and physical stressors and individual levels of loneliness. Participants were administered measures of loneliness and victimization history, and led to anticipate either a "social" (recorded speech) or "non-social" (pain tolerance test ) stressor, neither of which occurred. EKG and impedance cardiography were measured throughout the session. When anticipating both stressors, loneliness and victimization were associated with increased CO. A regression revealed a three-way interaction, with change in cardiac output depending on victimization history, loneliness, and condition in the physical stressor condition. Loneliness magnified the CO output levels of non-bullied individuals when facing a physical stressor. These results suggest that non- bullied participants high in loneliness are more stressed out when facing stressors, particularly stressors that are physically threatening in nature.

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Date Created
2013

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The effect of stress on self-reported academic performance measures among Hispanic undergraduate students at Arizona State University

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Research on the impact of stress on the academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students is limited, leaving institutions of higher education without needed information about how to better support this growing population of students. The purpose of this study was

Research on the impact of stress on the academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students is limited, leaving institutions of higher education without needed information about how to better support this growing population of students. The purpose of this study was to identify stressors that have a negative impact on academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students. Themes were derived from focus groups and interviews regarding stress, stressors and related academic performance impacts of Hispanic undergraduate students attending a large multi-campus urban university and incorporated into a survey addressing common stressors, their impact on academic performance, stress impact on other areas of life, stress management ability, and demographic characteristics. The survey was administered to a random sample of Hispanic undergraduate students using an online format (n = 169). Descriptive statistics were used to examine frequencies. Stressors were placed into themes and tested for reliability of fit using Cronbach's Alpha. Pearson's Chi-Square and Cramer's V were used to measure association. Significance was set at ¡Ü .05. Overall stress of respondents resulted in serious performance effects among 32.5% of respondents and moderate performance effects among 43.8% of respondents. Stress impeded academic performance at least weekly among 36.1% of respondents. Stressors resulting in the most serious stress and academic performance effects included family, time factors, finances, and academics. Moderate stress and academic performance effects were evident in stressors related to mental health, technology, commuting, personal concerns, physical health and legal problems. The majority of respondents indicated doing a fair (n = 84, 49.7%) or good (n = 52, 30.8%) job managing stress. The remaining 20.0% (n = 33) of respondents did a poor job managing stress. Students with lower grade-point averages managed stress poorly compared to students with higher grade-point averages, X2 (6, N = 163) = 15.222, p = .019, Cramer's V = .019. These findings provide evidence that stressors related to family, time factors, finances, and academics, and overall stress have considerable negative effects on the academic performance of Hispanic undergraduate students. Institutions of higher education can improve academic outcomes among this student population by addressing and reducing the impact of common stressors affecting these students.

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Date Created
2012

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On the brink: experiences of women with mental illness on probation

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This dissertation explores the lives of women who are on the Severely Mentally Ill (SMI) caseload at Maricopa County Adult Probation in Arizona (The Phoenix metro region). The project focuses on three primary issues: (1) what are the pathways to

This dissertation explores the lives of women who are on the Severely Mentally Ill (SMI) caseload at Maricopa County Adult Probation in Arizona (The Phoenix metro region). The project focuses on three primary issues: (1) what are the pathways to the criminal justice and mental health systems for women on the SMI caseload (2) how does discretion and expansive formal social control (both benevolent and coercive) impact the lives of these women on the SMI caseload and (3) what are the gendered aspects to successful completion of SMI probation. To answer these questions a mixed-methods research design was employed. First, in-depth semi-structured interviews were completed with 65 women on the SMI caseload. Second, these interviews were supplemented with a case file review of each participant, and field observations (encompassing roughly 100 hours) were conducted at the Maricopa County Mental Health Court. Third, analysis also included 5.5 years of quantitative intake data from the SMI caseload, exploring demographic information and risk and assessment needs scores. The biographies of the women on the SMI caseload revealed similar histories of victimization, substance abuse, and relationship difficulty that previous pathways research has noted. Additionally, mental health problems directly impacted the path to the criminal justice system for some women on the SMI caseload. Results also showed many aspects of expanded social control for women on the SMI caseload. This expanded control appeared to be gendered at times and often created double binds for women. Finally, quantitative analysis showed that some predictive factors of SMI probation completion were gendered. Policy implications and summaries of findings are discussed.

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Date Created
2013

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Measuring mindfulness-related constructs and the role of meditation in the association between mindfulness-related constructs and mental health among U.S. adults

Description

Mindfulness is a concept derived from the Buddhist discourses of the Satipattana. Interventions that draw on mindfulness have been shown to reduce psychologically distressing symptoms in clinical settings. It has become widely used as a therapeutic technique in counseling, so

Mindfulness is a concept derived from the Buddhist discourses of the Satipattana. Interventions that draw on mindfulness have been shown to reduce psychologically distressing symptoms in clinical settings. It has become widely used as a therapeutic technique in counseling, so it is important to develop an instrument measuring mindfulness-related constructs. This study presents a new instrument measuring the importance of mindfulness-related constructs. Results from an exploratory factor analysis revealed a clear two-factor structure, with the factors named "Present Moment Awareness", and "Compassion and Ethical Behavior." These items were positively correlated with each other and, as expected, negatively correlated with depression. Finally, hours of meditation moderated this association such that the association was stronger among participants who reported higher levels of meditation practice.

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Date Created
2014

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A constructivist grounded theory exploration of wellbeing in female adult sexual assault victims/survivors

Description

The purpose of this constructivist grounded theory study was to explore the perceptions of adult female sexual assault victims/survivors about their wellbeing: their definitions and descriptions of wellbeing; the impact of the assault on wellbeing; and barriers and facilitators to

The purpose of this constructivist grounded theory study was to explore the perceptions of adult female sexual assault victims/survivors about their wellbeing: their definitions and descriptions of wellbeing; the impact of the assault on wellbeing; and barriers and facilitators to achieving wellbeing following assault. Feminist theory provided the sensitizing concepts for this research. Data were collected via semistructured interviews with 22 adult women who had experienced at least one episode of sexual assault at or above the age of 18. Data analysis included first, second, and third level coding techniques, memo writing, and data displays. Participants experienced negative effects to their overall wellbeing as well as to the wellbeing domains of physical, mental, career/economic/financial, relational, and spiritual. The findings of this study support wellbeing as a core category encompassing the five domains listed above, also described in the literature. The participants also confirmed and expounded in depth on the dynamic, interactive, and overlapping nature of each of the domains of wellbeing and their ability to enhance, maintain, or worsen health status and overall wellbeing. In addition, a new construct emerged that cut across all domains, that of safety, and the overarching significance of culture was recognized. Additional research should continue to explore wellbeing in diverse populations of sexual assault victims/survivors. Additional research should also explore the significance and function of safety in sexual assault victims/survivors. Formal and informal supporters of sexual assault victims/survivors should be aware of the complex ways that sexual assault affects women. In addition, they should be aware of helpful resources for sexual assault victims/survivors.

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Date Created
2015

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Constructing masculinities and the role of stay-at-home fathers: discussions of isolation, resistance and the division of household labor

Description

This qualitative study examines how fathers, who stay home with their children and identify as the main care-giver within their family, construct their role as the primary caregiver. I analyze the narratives of stay-at-home fathers focusing on the thematic

This qualitative study examines how fathers, who stay home with their children and identify as the main care-giver within their family, construct their role as the primary caregiver. I analyze the narratives of stay-at-home fathers focusing on the thematic areas of isolation, resistance and the division of household labor. Unlike previous research, I examine the ways in which fathers construct their position as a stay-at-home father separate from the traditional stay-at-home mother role. Consequently, I focus on the constructions of masculinities by stay-at-home fathers that allows for the construction of the stay-at-home role to be uniquely tied to fatherhood rather than motherhood.

In this research, I explore three questions: 1) how do stay-at-home fathers construct their masculinity, specifically in relation to their social roles as fathers, partners, peers, etc.? 2) Is the negotiation of household labor, including care work and household tasks, in these families a reflection of shifting gender roles in the home where the primary caregiver is the father? 3) In what ways does social location and intersecting identities influence the ways in which fathers construct this stay-at-home identity?

My research emphasizes how these fathers understand their role as a stay-at-home father while challenging some traditionally dominant expectations of fatherhood. Specifically, I use themes of isolation, resistance, and the division of household labor in order to understand the multiple ways fathers experience their roles as stay-at-home parents.

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Date Created
2016

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Breaking down the barriers of stigma: understanding and fostering help-seeking behaviors in medical students

Description

Many medical students are reluctant to seek help during the course of their four years of medical school. When they do finally ask for help, some are already burned out or in a crisis. One of the main reasons students

Many medical students are reluctant to seek help during the course of their four years of medical school. When they do finally ask for help, some are already burned out or in a crisis. One of the main reasons students are apprehensive about seeking help is stigma. This mixed methods action research study was conducted to explore whether a help-seeking, anti-stigma campaign improved help-seeking behaviors. The innovation was an anti-stigma campaign consisting of three components: (a) video vignettes of upper class students normalizing help-seeking, (b) a Friends and Family of Medical Students session to educate those closest to the student about medical school, and (c) an anonymous, online mental health screening tool. Data from the General Help-Seeking Questionnaire, individual interviews, and institutional data from the medical school provided information about the effects of the campaign and determined factors influencing help-seeking. Using these strategies, I hoped to normalize help-seeking and break down the barriers of stigma. Major findings included: Students were more likely to seek help from personal resources (close family and friends); Students may be more proactive with personal resources, but need prompting for college or formal resources; Students’ beliefs and attitudes were influenced by those closest to them and; First year students were more likely to seek help than their second year classmates. In addition, data inspired future research ideas and programming regarding the topic of help-seeking in medical school.

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Date Created
2016

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Latino parent perspectives on parental involvement in elementary schools

Description

ABSTRACT The purpose of this research is to provide insight into immigrant Latino parents' perspectives on parental involvement in elementary school settings as influenced by the Title I Family Literacy Program (TFLP). A comparison is made of Latino parents who

ABSTRACT The purpose of this research is to provide insight into immigrant Latino parents' perspectives on parental involvement in elementary school settings as influenced by the Title I Family Literacy Program (TFLP). A comparison is made of Latino parents who have been participating in the TFLP for more than one year, participants new to the program and Latino parents who chose not to participate in the TFLP. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected via a survey and individual interviews of randomly selected members of each comparison group. All research participants were immigrant Latino parents with children at one of ten Title I elementary schools operating a TFLP. The schools are part of a large, urban school district in the Southwest. Findings indicate the TFLP has a positive effect on parental involvement practices of immigrant Latino parents. Participating parents showed increased confidence in their ability to support their children's education and program participants are more engaged in school activities. The results of this study imply participation in the program for one year or more has the most impact on families. Parents who participated for more than one year communicated a high sense of responsibility toward their influence on their child's education and upbringing and an understanding of strategies needed to effectively support their children. This research also identifies barriers parents face to participation in the TFLP and parental involvement in general. Implementation of family literacy programs in other districts would need to follow guidelines similar to this TFLP to achieve comparable results. More research is needed on the effects of this program on parents, children, and school staff.

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Date Created
2012

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Examining the efficacy of the Ninja Mind Training (NMT) program: a mindfulness-based intervention for bullied teens

Description

School bullying is a serious problem for children and adolescents, associated with a multitude of psychological and behavioral problems. Interventions at the individual level have primarily been social skills training for victims of bullying. However, investigators have had mixed results;

School bullying is a serious problem for children and adolescents, associated with a multitude of psychological and behavioral problems. Interventions at the individual level have primarily been social skills training for victims of bullying. However, investigators have had mixed results; finding little change in victimization rates. It has been suggested victims of school bullying have the social skills necessary to be effective in a bullying situation; however they experience intense emotional arousal and negative thoughts leading to an inability to use social skills. One intervention that has been getting increasing acknowledgement for its utility in the intervention literature in psychology is mindfulness. However, there has been no research conducted examining the effects of mindfulness meditation on victims of bullying. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop an online intervention for victims of bullying that utilizes the cutting-edge technique of mindfulness and to determine the efficacy of this intervention in the context of bullying victimization. Participants were 32 adolescents ages 11 to 14 identified by their school facilitators as victims of bullying. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to assess the efficacy of the NMT program versus a treatment as usual (TAU) social skills program. Results revealed significant decreases in victimization and increases in mindfulness among both treatment groups from pre-test to follow-up and post-test to follow-up assessments. There were no differences found between the two treatment groups for mean victimization or mindfulness scores. Overall, the NMT program appears to be a promising online intervention for bullied teens. Directions for future research and limitations of this study were also discussed.

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Date Created
2013

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Perceived group discrimination and problem behavior: the moderating role of traditional cultural values and familial relationships in Mexican American adolescents

Description

A theme in the life experiences of ethnic minority adolescents is the perception of discrimination and its concomitant challenges. Although existing literature has examined the perception of discrimination in adolescents, little research has examined how the cultural and familial setting

A theme in the life experiences of ethnic minority adolescents is the perception of discrimination and its concomitant challenges. Although existing literature has examined the perception of discrimination in adolescents, little research has examined how the cultural and familial setting may heighten or alleviate the impact of perceived discrimination on psychological outcomes in Latino youth. The current study investigated how traditional cultural values and parent-adolescent relationships prospectively interact with perceptions of group based discrimination to influence Latino adolescent mental health, adjustment, and risky behaviors. Data used from the Parents and Youth Study included 194 Mexican American (MA) adolescents. Adolescents reported on their perceptions of group discrimination, endorsement of traditional Mexican cultural values, and parent-child relationships in the 7th grade (Time 1). The study also used indices of externalizing (mother report), internalizing, substance use and risky sexual behavior (adolescent report) in 10th grade (Time 2). The findings demonstrated that traditional Mexican cultural values, particularly familism, moderated the relationship between perceived group discrimination and adolescent sexual behavior. Additionally, a better overall relationship with mother and father buffered the detrimental effects of perceived group discrimination on risky sexual behavior. The current work discusses future directions of how the context of culture and family may shape an adolescent's response to perceived discrimination and the well-being of minorities.

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Date Created
2011