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An Evidence-Based Resource for Faculty Addressing Non-Course-Specific Student Needs

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The goal of this thesis was to create a resource addressing non-course-specific (NCS) student needs that College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA) faculty can provide to their students when appropriate. Students attend faculty office hours for a variety of

The goal of this thesis was to create a resource addressing non-course-specific (NCS) student needs that College of Integrative Sciences and Arts (CISA) faculty can provide to their students when appropriate. Students attend faculty office hours for a variety of reasons, and not all are academic in nature. Data was collected in order to determine which resources were lacking in addressing these needs. Student need was identified through a 13-item survey regarding faculty perception of NCS student needs, including the primary reason for office hour visitation and the primary sources of stress, academic advising, and time management complaints from their students. Additionally, feedback was collected regarding faculty perception of available resources and likelihood of utilizing a new resource. Throughout the Downtown, Tempe, and Polytechnic campuses, 24 faculty responded. It was found that work stress, familial stress, academic advising requests, and students comments of being overwhelmed were the primary NCS student needs as perceived by faculty. Additionally, the majority of faculty reported not feeling fully equipped to address these needs. This information was used to create a resource compiling a list of University and off-campus tools that students can access to address these needs. The resource combined data from faculty and from the literature to address general and specific issues of stress, academic advising, feeling ‘off,’ and recovery and was created a double-sided handout to be used electronically or for print. It is currently available for faculty use. With further research, this resource could be expanded or refined to address the needs of a larger population of students in different colleges or on different campuses. Eventually, this could be used as a University-wide tool.

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2019-05

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You're Not a Potato: Communicating Body Positivity in a World of Self-Hate

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This research explores how to best communicate positive body images to women. This project was intended to improve a blog I created my freshmen year in college called You're Not A Potato where I used original illustrations to tell a

This research explores how to best communicate positive body images to women. This project was intended to improve a blog I created my freshmen year in college called You're Not A Potato where I used original illustrations to tell a narrative about body image issues. The thesis begins with an historical overview of body image issues and finds that women have been dealing with high levels of body dissatisfaction since the Victorian era. The thesis then recaps the role of traditional media as well as contemporary social media and the role they play in imposing rigid beauty ideals on women's bodies. After an analysis of social media culture, it becomes evident women still communicate about their bodies in a negative manner, not only towards themselves, but towards others. To address this issue, I define the Body Positive movement and explore how public figures are using social media to implement Body Positivity. To conclude this project, I utilize my new-found knowledge in body positive communication by impacting my university campus community. I started a "You're Not a Potato" Campaign for Body Pride week with the help of the ASU Wellness Team and designed and facilitated several engaging programs that reflected the values of the Body Positive movement to our students. Through this research, I discovered how our appearance-based culture has stolen self-confidence from young women today, but by the end of this project, I explain how we can attempt to rebuild our culture by effectively communicating self-love and body acceptance in our online and physical communities.

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2018-05

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Becoming a Parent: An Analysis of Romantic Relationship Conflict, Self-esteem, and Mental Health

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Numerous studies have established that during the transition to parenthood couples experience changes within their relationship as well as in their overall mental health. The present study examines these changes specifically through conflict interactions. The author proposes the more conflict

Numerous studies have established that during the transition to parenthood couples experience changes within their relationship as well as in their overall mental health. The present study examines these changes specifically through conflict interactions. The author proposes the more conflict that occurs within a relationship, the lower each individual's self-esteem; the lowered self-esteem then leads to signs of depression. The present study's analysis consisted of two primary aims: 1) examine the association between romantic relationship conflict and mental health by using a proposed mediational pathway, in which self-esteem explains the connection, and 2) explore gender differences. The study aims were examined using secondary data analyses of Dr. Kristin Mickelson's study on couples transitioning to parenthood (Baby TIME Study). Results varied by conflict type as well as gender. When conflict was measured by perceived negative spousal interactions, results showed that the proposed mediational pathway was significant for men, but not for women. When conflict was measured by frequency of spousal arguments, results showed that the proposed mediational pathway was significant for women, but not for men. Furthermore, the results from this analysis indicate that during the transition to parenthood, men and women are affected by conflict differently in regards to their self-esteem and further their reported levels of depression.

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2018-05

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Mental Health in the Undocuqueer Community

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Trauma is increasingly experienced by people in transit as border militarization increases migrants’ exposure to violence and forces them into more precarious situations. For queer migrants, this includes situations where they are more likely to experience persecution and sexual

Trauma is increasingly experienced by people in transit as border militarization increases migrants’ exposure to violence and forces them into more precarious situations. For queer migrants, this includes situations where they are more likely to experience persecution and sexual violence. This paper explores the availability of care for queer undocumented migrants in the United States after surviving a precarious and potentially deadly journey from their country of origin to the US, as well as forms of alternative care developed by the undocuqueer community. In particular, it focuses on access to care for LGBT migrants, who face stigmatization on multiple levels and as a result are more likely than their straight counterparts to experience extreme mental health consequences pre-, in-, and post-transit. Faced with a number of obstacles that prevent them from receiving appropriate mental health care, the undocuqueer community utilizes various strategies to ensure that the health and needs of the community are supported. I argue that in spite of facing traumatic experiences and being unable to fully access healthcare to alleviate these problems in the US, LGBT migrants demonstrate extreme resilience and resist the mechanisms that otherwise threaten their mental well-being.

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2021-05

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The Impact of Social Media Messaging on Mental Health and Its Stigmas: A Case Study Approach

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While people are scrolling through their various social media apps, they encounter messaging that does not necessarily promote good mental health. Rather, images, posts, and videos often make a mockery of those with mental health problems, leaving the viewers to

While people are scrolling through their various social media apps, they encounter messaging that does not necessarily promote good mental health. Rather, images, posts, and videos often make a mockery of those with mental health problems, leaving the viewers to believe that mental health problems often lead to dangerousness, criminality, and unpredictability. It then is essential that social media messaging about mental health, and its stigmas are analyzed and solutions to promote better mental health messages on these platforms are implemented because they affect everyone. Anti-stigma campaigns may be useful in bringing awareness to mental health and its stigmas, so two anti-stigma campaigns, Stamp Out Stigma and StigmaFree, were analyzed in this study. To understand the types of messages people are receiving about mental health and its stigmas from anti-stigma organizations on social media platforms, three research questions were developed. A thematic analysis was conducted that included 205 posts from 2021 that came from the campaigns' Facebook and Twitter accounts. Several themes emerged for each research question as well as multiple limitations for this study. Ultimately, social media messaging about mental health and its stigmas must continue to be researched.

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2022-05

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Humanitarian Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Services: Comparing Models Across Global-Oriented Organizations

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The refugee crisis is a mounting issue beginning to capture the world’s attention. Consequently, the concerning rise of these numbers indicates that more and more humans are experiencing the traumatic and distressing experience of displacement. While theory on psychosocial well-being

The refugee crisis is a mounting issue beginning to capture the world’s attention. Consequently, the concerning rise of these numbers indicates that more and more humans are experiencing the traumatic and distressing experience of displacement. While theory on psychosocial well-being has been prevalent in the social sciences, global-oriented humanitarian organizations are beginning to recognize the growing need for its implementation in reactionary models. This study is a critical literature review aiming to answer the question of how several of these international humanitarian organizations’ existing models on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services compare to theory and literature on psychosocial well-being. The units analyzed in this comparison are organizations such as the USAID, UNHCR, and War Child as they are compared to theorists and contributors to the field of psychosocial well-being such as Abraham Maslow (1970), Urie Bronfenbrenner (1981), The National Center of PTSD (2006), and the work of Kanagaratnam, et.al (2021). The critical literature review yields a comparison between organizations that highlights the interventionist strengths of the USAID according to the National Center of PTSD, community-building and technical strengths of the UNHCR as it is similar to Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Model (1981), and War Child’s strengths in support-building in the psychosocial ecosystem as well as a modern and innovative development of programs as recommended by the Refugee Mental Health Framework (Kanagaratnam, et. al, 2021). The researcher recommends that future studies be conducted to assess the efficacy of these models, as the international community and displaced populations benefit from quality, evidence-informed psychosocial support services.

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2022-05

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Equine Assisted Learning: An Evidence-Based Intervention for Families

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Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy

Background: It is estimated that 50% of all mental illness arises prior to age 14, an incident attributed in part to disruptions and imbalances within the family system. Equine assisted learning is a complementary and alternative approach to family therapy which is being used increasingly to promote mental health in both adults and children. This study sought to build and deliver an evidence-based, family-centered equine assisted learning program aimed at promoting family function, family satisfaction and child social-emotional competence, and to measure its acceptability and preliminary effect.

Method: Twenty families with children 10 years and older were recruited to participate in a 3-week equine assisted learning program at a therapeutic riding center in Phoenix, Arizona. Sessions included groundwork activities with horses used to promote life skills using experiential learning theory. The study design included a mixed-method quasi-experimental one-group pretest posttest design using the following mental health instruments: Devereaux Student Strengths Assessment, Brief Family Assessment Measure (3 dimensions), and Family Satisfaction Scale to measure child social-emotional competence, family function, and family satisfaction, respectively. Acceptability was determined using a Likert-type questionnaire with open-ended questions to gain a qualitative thematic perspective of the experience.

Results: Preliminary pretest and posttest comparisons were statistically significant for improvements in family satisfaction (p = 0.001, M = -5.84, SD = 5.63), all three domains of family function (General Scale: p = 0.005, M = 6.84, SD = 9.20; Self-Rating Scale: p = 0.050, M = 6.53, SD = 12.89; and Dyadic Relationship Scale: p = 0.028, M = 3.47, SD = 7.18), and child social-emotional competence (p = 0.015, M = -4.05, SD 5.95). Effect sizes were moderate to large (d > 0.5) for all but one instrument (Self-Rating Scale), suggesting a considerable magnitude of change over the three-week period. The intervention was highly accepted among both children and adults. Themes of proximity, self-discovery, and regard for others emerged during evaluation of qualitative findings. Longitudinal comparisons of baseline and 3-month follow-up remain in-progress, a topic available for future discussion.

Discussion: Results help to validate equine assisted learning as a valuable tool in the promotion of child social-emotional intelligence strengthened in part by the promotion of family function and family satisfaction. For mental health professionals, these results serve as a reminder of the alternatives that are available, as well as the importance of partnerships within the community. For therapeutic riding centers, these results help equine professionals validate their programs and gain a foothold within the scientific community. Additionally, they invite future riding centers to follow course in incorporating evidence into their programs and examining new directions for growth within the mental health community.

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2019-05-02