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The Effects of Mental Health and Familial Support on Childhood Cancer Patients

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Children with cancer can experience decreased emotional health along with deteriorating
physical health compared to children without cancer. Many studies have been done to examine the effects of emotional distress and mental health on the cancer patient, as well as

Children with cancer can experience decreased emotional health along with deteriorating
physical health compared to children without cancer. Many studies have been done to examine the effects of emotional distress and mental health on the cancer patient, as well as the role of familial support. It was found that children with cancer may suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, and socio-emotional problems as a result of the trauma of being diagnosed and treated for a pervasive, life-threatening disease. Late effects may also worsen co-morbid mental health disorders. Childhood cancer patients who experience co-morbid mental health problems of depression and anxiety end up having a longer duration of recovery, as well as a worsened outcome than others with a single disorder (Massie, 2004). It was also shown that family members are affected emotionally and mentally from dealing with childhood cancer. Not only is the cancer patient at risk for PTSD during or after treatment, but also family members (National Cancer Institute, 2015). Siblings of the child with cancer may experience feelings of loneliness, fear, and anxiety, as the parent’s attention is focused on the child suffering with cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (2015), familial problems can affect the child’s ability to adjust to the diagnosis and treatment in a positive way. However, children with strong familial and social support adjust easier to living with cancer. A common theme found in literature is that regular mental health checkups during and after cancer treatment is important for quality of life. Therefore, it is important for all childhood cancer patients and their families to receive information about mental health awareness, as well as therapeutic interventions that are developed for families caring for a child with cancer.

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2019-05

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Teachers' Responses to Students' Anxiety: How Does it Impact Students' School Experiences?

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With an increase in the discussion around mental health in general, there needs to be research geared toward how educational professionals may assist a student who struggles with anxiety symptoms or disorders. This study aimed to determine how students with

With an increase in the discussion around mental health in general, there needs to be research geared toward how educational professionals may assist a student who struggles with anxiety symptoms or disorders. This study aimed to determine how students with anxiety and anxiety disorders are impacted by teachers' responses to their anxiety manifestations, both positive and negative, in terms of their school experience. This study also investigated students' suggestions for how teachers may effectively assist a student who struggles with anxiety. This study used self-reported data from students from an honors college via a survey and focus groups in order to investigate these topics. The results found that students value student-teacher relationships and communication, flexibility (accommodations), and empathy from the teacher. Results suggest it is important for teachers to get to know a student and understand his or her challenges before making judgments.

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2018-12

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Mental Health in India

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In this creative thesis, I traveled to India and used my month long summer vacation back home to interview people about mental health in India. I talked to a therapist and four students about depression to find out what the

In this creative thesis, I traveled to India and used my month long summer vacation back home to interview people about mental health in India. I talked to a therapist and four students about depression to find out what the situation is in India, contributing factors, experiences and stigma unique to depression among students in India, what the government is doing, and possible solutions or steps that can be taken to help students struggling with mental health problems. I also went to mainstream and special schools to meet special educators who work with differently abled children, occupational therapists, parents of differently abled children, and a student with Asperger’s in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to find out about the stigma surrounding differently abled children and their education path.
My efforts have culminated in the creation of the website mentalhealthinindia.com that can be used as a resource both by people in India as well as those abroad who are curious to learn about the stigma surrounding depression and differently abled children in India.

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2019-05

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Bidirectional Relationship Between Parenting and Problem Behaviors: A Longitudinal Genetically Informed Design

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While previous research has investigated the influence parenting styles have on child behavior, there has not been consistent findings on how child behavior in return influences parenting. This study goes beyond the literature by examining bidirectional influences of combined dyad

While previous research has investigated the influence parenting styles have on child behavior, there has not been consistent findings on how child behavior in return influences parenting. This study goes beyond the literature by examining bidirectional influences of combined dyad for emotional availability and early problem behaviors (composited across 12 and 30 months) predicting parental warmth, authoritarian parenting, internalizing, externalizing and ADHD symptoms at age eight. This study also examined whether genetic or environmental factors were driving these behaviors. Participants were from the ongoing Arizona Twin Project (N=340 twin children). 25% of the twins were monozygotic, 35% were same-sex dizygotic, and 35% were opposite-sex dizygotic twins. Preliminary correlations showed bidirectional effects between early emotional availability, problem behaviors and parental warmth, authoritarian parenting, internalizing, externalizing and ADHD symptoms at age eight; however, once twin dependence and covariates were controlled for, the bidirectional effects were no longer significant. One important finding emerged: early problem behaviors were predictive of later problem behaviors at eight years. The study also found that externalizing and ADHD symptoms were more heritable than emotional availability, early problem behaviors, and internalizing symptoms. Therefore, interventions should be developed addressing the environmental influences that contribute to early problem behaviors.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Age of Social Transition, Parental Acceptance, and Mental Health of Transgender Adults

Description

The rates of anxiety, depression, and attempted suicide for transgender individuals are extremely elevated relative to the general population. Yet, little research has been conducted about the transgender population regarding social transition (an individual presenting as their authentic/true gender, one

The rates of anxiety, depression, and attempted suicide for transgender individuals are extremely elevated relative to the general population. Yet, little research has been conducted about the transgender population regarding social transition (an individual presenting as their authentic/true gender, one different than the gender they were assigned at birth, in the context of everyday life) and parental acceptance. Both of which have been shown to impact the mental health of transgender individuals. The purposes of this study were: (1) To characterize a sample of transgender adults on their age of awareness of their authentic gender identity and their age of social transition. (2) Examine whether age of social transition, (3) parental acceptance, and (4) the gap in time between age of awareness and age of social transition (awareness-transition gap) were related to mental health. (5) Examine whether parental acceptance was related to age of social transition or to awareness-transition gap. (6) Examine whether age of social transition or awareness-transition gap interact with parental acceptance as correlates of mental health. The sample consisted of 115 transgender adults, ages 18 to 64. Measures were separated into 7 subheadings: demographics, transgender
on-cisgender identity, age of awareness, age of social transition, primary caregiver acceptance, secondary caregiver acceptance, and mental health. Hypotheses were partially supported for age of social transition with mental health, parental acceptance with mental health, and awareness-transition gap with parental acceptance. This study investigated under studied concepts of social transition and parental acceptance that appear to have an effect on the mental health of transgender adults.

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Date Created
2018-05

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A Cross-cultural Analysis of the Emotional Effects of Climate Change

Description

Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social

Climate change presents a significant threat to human health, both mental and physical; as a result, it has become one of the most commonly discussed phenomena of the 21st century. As many people are aware, a wide range of social and physical factors affects mental health. However, many people fail to realize that these increases global temperatures also have a significant impact on mental health as a result of increased vulnerability that is often manifested through one's emotions. By analyzing perceptions of people across the globe, in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Fiji, we were able to pinpoint these emotions and trace them individual's feelings of worry, distress, and hope that resulted from their perceived impacts on climate change. Overall, we found that people tend to have overall more negative emotional reaction when it comes to the perceived effects of climate change. Of the respondents, more men than women expressed concern regarding the various negative implications. Finally, those in the United Kingdom exhibited a stronger emotional response, followed by those in New Zealand and Fiji, respectively.

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2017-05

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You Can't Cry While Drinking (Coffee)

Description

The desire for normalcy is constant, regardless of how unattainable one knows it is. As it seems, the harder one tries for a normal life, the harder it becomes to find it. The more life I experience, the more I

The desire for normalcy is constant, regardless of how unattainable one knows it is. As it seems, the harder one tries for a normal life, the harder it becomes to find it. The more life I experience, the more I realize that normalcy is a construct, completely based in generalizable concepts. Normal will vary from person to person, and even within that, life always provides plenty of deviations from the norm. Within those deviations lies trauma. Trauma is difficult to handle, period. It is even more difficult to handle alone. You Can't Cry While Drinking (Coffee) follows a collegiate arts student as she strives for normalcy while dealing with her mother's terminal diagnosis. This piece focus on alienation, mental health, relationships between women, and the damage that ignoring trauma can cause. It views her actions through the lens of comedy, as laughter can convey a vast and accessible range of emotions. Throughout my college career, I have gone through a significant amount of life stressors, beyond the traditional college work load. Instead of becoming overcome with grief from the traumas I have dealt with, I decided to analyze my life from an outside perspective, taking pieces to share with others. In my observations and experience, sharing stories of hardships with others is mutually beneficial. It allows the individual to come to terms with what they have experience while allowing others to not feel alone if they are struggling with their own lives. There is a considerable amount of comfort in the realization that one does not have to go through traumatic experiences alone. This creative project was performed March 2nd through the 5th. The public exposure was a substantial portion of the process, as sharing trauma was integral to the study of this thesis.

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2017-05

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Relations Between Gender Typicality and Adjustment in Adolescence

Description

The degree to which adolescents describe themselves as gender typical, as defined by their interests, activities, personal qualities, and other characteristics, is related to a broad range of adjustment indices. The goal of this thesis was to review studies conducted

The degree to which adolescents describe themselves as gender typical, as defined by their interests, activities, personal qualities, and other characteristics, is related to a broad range of adjustment indices. The goal of this thesis was to review studies conducted between 2000 and 2017 to provide a summary and critique of this research. A total of 18 studies were reviewed. The majority of findings indicate a positive association between gender typicality and beneficial adjustment outcomes, and a negative association between gender typicality and poor adjustment outcomes. Suggestions for future research and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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Date Created
2017-05

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

Description

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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An Anxious Person's Guide to Getting Better

Description

More than 260 million people suffer from an anxiety disorder worldwide, with 40 million in the U.S. alone—18% of the American population. And that label includes everything from Social Anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

More than 260 million people suffer from an anxiety disorder worldwide, with 40 million in the U.S. alone—18% of the American population. And that label includes everything from Social Anxiety and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to phobias and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Thus, people with anxiety may not have a singular cause for their worry, but a myriad number of them that influence every aspect of their lives. And, that doesn’t include people who’ve never been formally diagnosed and don’t receive proper medication or therapy.

Unfortunately, medication has many possible side effects, and both medication and therapy are often expensive. However, there are alternatives for someone dealing with anxiety. This book proposal offers a range of solutions for anxiety management, from do it yourself techniques like guided imagery and yoga, to biofeedback devices like HeartMath, to research trials on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, as well as Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation. The idea was not to outline every potential solution for anxiety, but to educate people on available opportunities and empower them to take control.

Though anxiety can be managed and reduced, there is no cure. That’s because anxiety is a normal part of life, and in most cases a helpful evolutionary tool to keep people on track. But, when this anxiety becomes a burden on someone’s life, there is a plethora of alternative solutions available. Understanding anxiety and learning to manage it is not an impossible task. This thesis provides an introduction to the idea and then allows the reader to move forward on their own path as they choose.

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2018-05