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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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A Clash of United States-United Kingdom Criminal Justice Systems: A Way Forward to Better Justice

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The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have much to learn from each other to this day about how to enforce the law and manage crime. An important structure that the United Kingdom helped influence the United States in was the development of their criminal justice system. Although the two country’s values differ, there are great similarities in the ways the two countries deal with crime but numerous differences as well. Looking deeper into the differences between the two systems can help future research identify new and innovative ways to combat crime and actively reduce crime rates. This paper will compare violent crime rates in the USA and UK for four years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Doing so will provide evidence regarding the degree to which the police in each country have been able to effectively enforce the law. After evaluating these differences, I will conclude with a discussion of the key items that I believe each country should take from the other to create a path forward to better justice. Our societies are constantly evolving, creating a necessity to progress our laws and aspects of the criminal justice system, and examining internal workings will only tell so much. There is never a reason to stop learning from each other, which is why this type of research is important.

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2019-05

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The Temporal Stability and Predictive Utility of Semiannual Teacher Assessments Across Elementary School

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Teacher assessments are often used alongside parent assessments to identify behavioral problems and patterns in school-aged children. These assessments can aid in the diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorders and are used to screen children for targeted delinquency prevention programs. Although

Teacher assessments are often used alongside parent assessments to identify behavioral problems and patterns in school-aged children. These assessments can aid in the diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorders and are used to screen children for targeted delinquency prevention programs. Although researchers have heavily studied the relationship between parent and teacher assessments, not as much research has analyzed teacher assessments alone, specifically semiannual teacher assessments. Teacher assessments are typically conducted during the fall semester, normally a couple months into the school year, or during the spring semester, normally a couple months after the winter break period. Using data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS), we aimed to determine the temporal stability and predictive utility of semiannual teacher assessments of children's behavioral problems from 2nd grade to 5th grade. Results showed that mean assessment scores increased from the fall to the spring semester across all 4 grades. We also found that teacher assessments of behavioral problems in grade school were significantly correlated with future serious violence. Although our statistical model did not identify a specific time period or semester when these assessments were most predictive, we observed a pattern where the spring semesters were more predictive for the younger grades, and the fall semesters were more predictive for the older grades. Future research could aim to understand why this pattern exists and what its implications are.

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2018-12

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Does Sleep Predict Children's Academic Success?

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Academic success in childhood is crucial for later academic, occupational, and life success (Heckman, 2006; Kuncel, Hezlett, & Ones, 2004; Spengler, Brunner, Damian, Lüdtke, Martin, & Roberts, 2015). Recent research suggests sleep is important for academic success but lacks objective

Academic success in childhood is crucial for later academic, occupational, and life success (Heckman, 2006; Kuncel, Hezlett, & Ones, 2004; Spengler, Brunner, Damian, Lüdtke, Martin, & Roberts, 2015). Recent research suggests sleep is important for academic success but lacks objective measures of sleep (Buckhalt, El-Sheikh, Keller, & Kelly, 2009; Curcio, Ferrara, & De Gennaro, 2006; Dewald, Meijer, Oort, Kerkhof, & Bögels, 2010; Philbrook, Hinnant, Elmore-Staton, Buckhalt, & El-Sheikh, 2017). The purpose of this study was to examine the relations between sleep and academic success among children through objective measures of sleep in order to expand on the literature. Our sample consisted of 381 twins (50.4% male; 56% Caucasian; 36.5% same sex dizygotic) participating in an 8-year assessment from a longitudinal twin study. Actigraphy was used to assess sleep while various measures were used to assess academic success. A series of mixed model regressions were used to test the main predictions, with family entered as a random effect. Sex, age, Hispanic, SES, and zygosity were controlled for. Significant negative relations were revealed between sleep latency and reading and sleep latency and school liking. Additionally, SES was the most consistent significant positive predictor of our measures of academic success. These results suggest sleep and effects of SES should be considered when developing ways to help children’s school performance.

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2018-05

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Mental Health and The Criminal Justice System: An Investigation into the Efficacy of Mental Health Courts

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In an attempt to fix the problem of an abundance of individuals with mental health issues in the criminal justice system, mental health courts have begun to develop as the newest form of problem-solving court. These courts aim to kee

In an attempt to fix the problem of an abundance of individuals with mental health issues in the criminal justice system, mental health courts have begun to develop as the newest form of problem-solving court. These courts aim to keep individuals with easily treatable mental health issues out of prison and connect them with the treatment that they need. This paper is a literature review examining the development and implementation of mental health courts across the United States. The paper first explains the essential elements to a mental health court and how they function. The main claim addressed is that: through the institution of statewide standards as well as the blanket adoption and regular measurement of national performance measures in each accredited mental health court, the large-scale and longitudinal study of mental health courts will become more practical. When these types of studies become more prevalent, the most effective practices of mental health courts will be identified and innovation will follow. The paper develops this claim by explaining the state and national regulations currently in place and the importance of standardization. It then moves into the national performance measures that should then be examined by courts once state standards are in place. The paper then explains the importance of longitudinal study to the proper collection of the significant data needed to solidify the institution of successful mental health courts. By identifying the most effective practices in mental health courts and standardizing them, this system will be able to: better help the individuals involved get appropriate treatment, promote public safety, and more effectively use taxpayer money.

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2018-05

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Do Emotions Make A Difference? Determining if Positive Emotions Moderate the Effectiveness of an Embodied Language Comprehension Intervention

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Previous research demonstrated the overall efficacy of an embodied language intervention (EMBRACE) that taught pre-school children how to simulate (imagine) language in a heard narrative. However, EMBRACE was not effective for every child. To try to explain this variable

Previous research demonstrated the overall efficacy of an embodied language intervention (EMBRACE) that taught pre-school children how to simulate (imagine) language in a heard narrative. However, EMBRACE was not effective for every child. To try to explain this variable response to the intervention, the video recordings made during the four-day intervention sessions were assessed and emotion was coded. Each session was emotion-coded for child emotions and for child-researcher emotions. The child specific emotions were 1) engagement in the task, this included level of participation in the activity, 2) motivation/attention to persist and complete the task, as well as stay focused, and 3) positive affect throughout the session. The child-researcher specific emotions were 1) engagement with each other, this involved how the child interacted with the researcher and under what context, and 2) researcher’s positive affect, this incorporated how enthusiastic and encouraging the researcher was throughout the session. It was hypothesized that effectiveness of the intervention would be directly correlated with the degree that the child displayed positive emotions during the intervention. Thus, the analysis of these emotions should highlight differences between the control and EMBRACE group and help to explain variability in effectiveness of the intervention. The results did indicate that children in the EMBRACE group generally had a significantly higher positive affect compared to the control group, but these results did not influence the ability for the child to effectively recall or moderate the EEG variables in the post-test. The results also showed that children who interacted with the researcher more tended to be in the EMBRACE group, whereas children who did not interact with the researcher more frequently were in the control group, showing that the EMBRACE intervention ended up being a more collaborative task.

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2020-05

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The Rhythm of Running: An Analysis of Preferred Running Tempo

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The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so

The action of running is difficult to measure, but well worth it to receive valuable information about one of our most basic evolutionary functions. In the context of modern day, recreational runners typically listen to music while running, and so the purpose of this experiment is to analyze the influence of music on running from a more dynamical approach. The first experiment was a running task involving running without a metronome and running with one while setting one's own preferred running tempo. The second experiment sought to manipulate the participant's preferred running tempo by having them listen to the metronome set at their preferred tempo, 20% above their preferred tempo, or 20% below. The purpose of this study is to analyze whether or not rhythmic perturbations different to one's preferred running tempo would interfere with one's preferred running tempo and cause a change in the variability of one's running patterns as well as a change in one's running performance along the measures of step rate, stride length, and stride pace. The evidence suggests that participants naturally entrained to the metronome tempo which influenced them to run faster or slower as a function of metronome tempo. However, this change was also accompanied by a shift in the variability of one's step rate and stride length.

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2017-05

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A Child's Ability to Learn Emotion Understanding and Coping Strategies

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Self-regulation in the form of coping with emotions is something that most people have effectively adapted to by adulthood. This is an organically learned process that begins in early childhood through play, parenting, education, and peer interactions. This study examines

Self-regulation in the form of coping with emotions is something that most people have effectively adapted to by adulthood. This is an organically learned process that begins in early childhood through play, parenting, education, and peer interactions. This study examines whether six children aged 4-5 (M age= 4.72, SD= 0.372, 50% female, 100% Caucasian) are able to understand basic emotions and how to cope with them through one of two protocols. The conditions were either directive instruction or embodied cognition, and children were evaluated with a pre and post-test measure. Findings did not indicate any significant effect of the conditions on memorizing coping mechanisms, nor did it indicate that there was a significant improvement in emotion understanding following the sessions. These findings were limited by the sample size and participant interest.

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2017-12

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Going Back in Time: Children’s Word Learning Through Backwards Integration

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For many years now, early word learning in children has been an important subject among many researchers. There are many ways in which children learn word-object pairings including using co-occurrences, forwards integration, and backwards integration. This study primarily focuses on

For many years now, early word learning in children has been an important subject among many researchers. There are many ways in which children learn word-object pairings including using co-occurrences, forwards integration, and backwards integration. This study primarily focuses on backwards integration. Backwards integration entails using learned information to be able to recall a word-object pairing from a previous time. In this thesis, three different studies were conducted with children aged 3-7 years old. In the general task, children were presented with a computerized word-learning task in which they could track word-referent pairings using co-occurrence statistics, forward integration, and backward integration. The goal of Study 1 and Study 2 was to determine the best task design to study backwards integration. The goal of the final study, Study 3, was to provide preliminary data on backwards integration. The overall results indicate that a between subjects design is the most beneficial way to test backwards integration because as a group, children were learning when compared to chance. In addition, the results from Study 3 showed that children were not learning in the task. In general, this suggests that this task may have been very difficult for children to complete. One limitation of Study 3
was that there was a small sample size of only 29 children. In order to account for this, the sample sizes in Study 2 and Study 3 were combined. This combined data did show that children succeeded at the backwards integration condition. It is noteworthy to mention that backwards integration was above chance in Study 2 and in the Study 2 and 3 combination. Therefore, the overall results suggest that children may possibly be able to backwards integrate; however, no evidence of learning in any of the other conditions were present.

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2019-05

Sheldon the Shy Tortoise: A Children's Book About Shyness

Description

This creative project is a children's book entitled Sheldon the Shy Tortoise. Accompanying the story is a literature review of the research on childhood shyness. The purpose of the project is to gain a better of understanding of shyness in

This creative project is a children's book entitled Sheldon the Shy Tortoise. Accompanying the story is a literature review of the research on childhood shyness. The purpose of the project is to gain a better of understanding of shyness in childhood. Topics covered in the literature review include risk factors and causes, negative social and behavioral effects, impact on academics, and treatment options. Using this information, the children's book was written. It aims to be fun for children to read while also providing insight and encouragement into some of the problems related to being shy. The story features animal characters and a relatively simple plot so it is easily understandable by the target audience of late-preschool and early-elementary children. The main character, Sheldon the tortoise, is often physically and metaphorically "stuck in his shell". He wants to participate in social activities but is afraid to do so. Through a series of events and interactions, Sheldon starts to come out of his shell in every sense of the phrase. The book is illustrated using photographs of hand-crocheted stuffed animals representing each of the characters. By incorporating scholarly research into the writing process, children will hopefully be able to gain an understanding of their shyness and ways to help decrease it. Teachers should be able to better understand their shy students and understand some of the unique challenges of working with shy children. This creative project helps convey necessary information to children and families during a critical period of development.

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2016-05