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The Impact of Campus Outdoor Spaces on Student Happiness: A Case Study of the ASU Tempe Campus

Description

College and university campuses can play an important role in a student’s life, and campus outdoor spaces have the ability to positively impact various aspects of student health and well-being. It has long been understood that natural environments can promote

College and university campuses can play an important role in a student’s life, and campus outdoor spaces have the ability to positively impact various aspects of student health and well-being. It has long been understood that natural environments can promote health and well being, and in recent years research has begun to examine the impact of parks and landscapes in urban settings on subjective well-being (SWB). Subjective well-being (aka “happiness”) refers to
one’s self-reported measure of well-being and is thought of as having a high level of positive affect, low level of negative affect, and high degree of life satisfaction (Diener, 1984).

This study was conducted to assess the interrelationships between affective experiences, SWB, and usage of campus outdoor spaces in order to learn how outdoor spaces on the Arizona State University (ASU) Tempe campus can be enhanced to increase SWB and usage. In total, 832 students completed a survey questionnaire 1,140 times for six campus outdoor spaces. The results showed that students experience the greatest amount of happiness in the Secret Garden
and James Turrell ASU Skyspace, relaxation/restoration is the affective experience most strongly related to SWB, and SWB is negatively correlated with frequency of visits but positively link with duration of visits. To improve student happiness and usage of outdoor spaces on campuses, planners and designers should work on increasing the relaxing/restorative qualities of existing
locations, creating new spaces for relaxation/restoration around campus, reducing the perception of crowding and noise in large spaces, increasing fun/excitement by adding stimuli and/or opportunities for activity and entertainment, and adding equipment necessary for students to perform the activities they want. In addition to the ASU Tempe campus, the methodology and
findings of this research could be used to improve outdoor spaces on other college and university campuses and other types of outdoor environments.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Does Inclusivity Really Matter? The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in Farm-Based Internship Programs

Description

Current farming demographics in the United States indicate an aging and overwhelmingly white group of farmers, stimulating the need for engaging a younger and more diverse population. There is an opportunity to engage these populations through farm-based internship and apprenticeshi

Current farming demographics in the United States indicate an aging and overwhelmingly white group of farmers, stimulating the need for engaging a younger and more diverse population. There is an opportunity to engage these populations through farm-based internship and apprenticeship programs, which are immersive programs on small-scale, sustainable farms. These programs are unique in providing hands-on training, housing, meals, and a stipend in return for labor, presenting a pathway to social empowerment. The potential outcomes of increasing diversity and inclusion in farm programs are absent from the research on the benefits of diversity and inclusion in other work environments, such as the corporate setting. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at determining levels of diversity and inclusion in United States farm-based internship programs, and the viability of these programs as an effective opportunity to engage marginalized young people in farming. The study of 13 farm owners and managers across the U.S. found that the participants are focused on fostering education and training, environmental benefits, and a sense of community in their respective programs. All participants either want to establish, or believe they currently have, an inclusive workplace on their farm, but also indicated a barrier to inclusivity in the lack of a diverse applicant pool. Future recommendations for removing that barrier and involving more young, diverse interns include increased outreach and access to these programs, the use of inclusive language, and further research.

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2017-05

Communicating Sustainability Solutions Through Photojournalism

Description

Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics to understand. Sustainability scientists and practitioners need ways to meaningfully

Strategies and interventions have promoted the sustainability of urban communities, but effective communication of these solutions is lacking. Documentation of current solutions tends to be dense and difficult for non-academics to understand. Sustainability scientists and practitioners need ways to meaningfully and intelligibly communicate their experiences to the lay public. This project sought to visually present sustainable community development solutions to address this communication barrier. Members of urban/community gardens in Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, and Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, were photographed, interviewed. Their feedback was then examined to assess the degree to which photographs can tell a holistic sustainability story.
The photographs focused on aspects of life and behaviors that have contributed to happiness in local communities. A website was created and a gallery event was mounted for public review and discussion. Gallery attendees and website visitors were asked to complete a survey to assess (1) gained knowledge of sustainability solutions, and (2) how effective a tool photography is as a means of sustainability solutions communication.
This visual medium allowed people think about how to incorporate sustainable community solutions into their own lives and may have changed people’s interest in, and thoughts about, overall sustainability and sustainable solutions. The survey results demonstrated that photographs can successfully communicate sustainability ideas. Specifically, viewers gained an increased awareness of how community and urban gardening can increase happiness, well-being, and sense of community. This visual approach can continue to be used to more successfully communicate additional sustainability solutions ideas and methods to the public.

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2017-11-15

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College students' social interactions: costs and benefits of joining campus organizations

Description

There is limited research on bullying among college students and even less research on hazing behaviors among students who are in a campus organization. Previously used scales were created for use with children and were not behavior specific, leaving out

There is limited research on bullying among college students and even less research on hazing behaviors among students who are in a campus organization. Previously used scales were created for use with children and were not behavior specific, leaving out adult experiences college students may encounter and asking about bullying in general which leaves the definition up to the responder. This study aimed to create an instrument that examines behavior specific experiences with college students and their peers, in the general college setting and specific to a campus organization they belong to. Five hundred and two undergraduate students completed surveys of college experiences, affect, and well-being. Results indicate one factor for college bullying and one factor for hazing in college organizations. Bullying and hazing were found to be similar but different, with students having more experiences with bullying and the two experiences having different relations to affect and well-being. This study lends to the growing literature on bullying experiences of adults and begins the necessary evaluation of hazing in college organizations.

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Date Created
2016

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The influence and role of arts on community well-being

Description

Arts and culture function as indispensable parts of humans’ lives. Numerous studies have examined the impact and value of arts and culture, from individual quality of life to overall community health. However, research has been less focused on identifying the

Arts and culture function as indispensable parts of humans’ lives. Numerous studies have examined the impact and value of arts and culture, from individual quality of life to overall community health. However, research has been less focused on identifying the influence of crucial dimensions of arts and culture on overall community well-being, and contributing to understanding the intertwining connection between these elements and community well-being. To explore the dimensions of arts and cultural resources and community well-being, and in turn, to present the relationship between them in a community, this dissertation was based on three subsequent studies. A total of 518 counties were included in the analysis. Specifically, this study is unique in that it sought evidence based on county-level data drawn on the Local Arts Index (LAI) from Americans for the Arts (AFA) and County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHRR) variables to provide an arts-community measurement system suggesting critical and meaningful variables among a wide range of existing data. The results revealed the positive impacts of arts and cultural resources on community well-being. Each arts and cultural domain also has critical relationships with community individual, social, and economic well-being. Specifically, the ‘arts business’ domain was considerably associated with community individual well-being and comprehensive community well-being. The ‘arts consumption’ domain showed synthetically significant associations with community’s individual and economic well-being, and by extension, influenced comprehensive community well-being. Lastly, the ‘arts nonprofits’ domain was related to all the components of community well-being. In conclusion, residents’ arts consumption and the existence of arts and cultural/creative industries, including arts nonprofits, are constantly suggested as key to improving county-level community well-being. This study centers on presenting a more realistic vision of how arts and cultural resources are associated with community well-being components. Recognizing the power of arts and cultural resources in society and bolstering them to promote community well-being is a global issue of the utmost pertinence. Thus, research utilizing a longitudinal data-driven approach is likely to continue measuring the impact of arts and culture, and examining how they are related to and can strengthen community well-being.

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Date Created
2016

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The feasibility of a spirituality-based wellness program on stress reduction and health behavior change

Description

Introduction: Several faith-based or faith-placed programs have focused on the physical dimension of wellness in efforts to improve health by increasing physical activity and improving diet behaviors. However, these programs were not designed to intervene on the mental dimension of

Introduction: Several faith-based or faith-placed programs have focused on the physical dimension of wellness in efforts to improve health by increasing physical activity and improving diet behaviors. However, these programs were not designed to intervene on the mental dimension of wellness which is critical for stress reduction and health behavior change. Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility of a spirituality-based stress reduction and health behavior change intervention using the Spiritual Framework of Coping (SFC) model. Methods: This study was a quasi-experimental one group pretest posttest design. The study was a total of eight weeks conducted at a non-denominational Christian church. Participants were recruited from the church through announcements and flyers. The Optimal Health program met once a week for 1.5 hours with weekly phone calls during an additional four week follow-up period. Feasibility was assessed by the acceptability, demand, implementation, practicality, integration, and limited efficacy of the program. Analysis: Frequencies for demographics were assessed. Statistical analyses of feasibility objectives were assessed by frequencies and distribution of responses to feasibility evaluations. Limited efficacy of pretest and posttest measures were conducted using paired t-test (p <.05). Results: The Optimal Health Program was positively accepted by participants. The demand for the program was shown with average attendance of 78.7%. The program was successfully implemented as shown by meeting session objectives and 88% homework completion. The program was both practical for the intended participants and was successfully integrated within the existing environment. Limited efficacy changes within the program were mostly non-significant. Conclusion: This study tested the feasibility of implementing the Optimal Health program that specifically targeted the structural components of the Spiritual Framework of Coping Model identified to create meaning making and enhance well-being. This program may ultimately be used to help individuals improve and balance the spiritual, mental, and physical dimensions of wellness. However, length of study and limited efficacy measures will need to be reevaluated for program success.

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Date Created
2012

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Domain control as a predictor of life satisfaction within people with and without physical disabilities

Description

Life satisfaction in people with physical disabilities is on average lower than people without disabilities. This reduction in life satisfaction may be due to a reduction in domain control. This study examines how domain control predicts life satisfaction when added

Life satisfaction in people with physical disabilities is on average lower than people without disabilities. This reduction in life satisfaction may be due to a reduction in domain control. This study examines how domain control predicts life satisfaction when added to a model of other salient life satisfaction predictors. Using email survey methodology, five separate scales where used on two separate populations; people with (n= 44) and without (n= 43) a physical disability to determine each groups life satisfaction. It was found that when domain control is added to the bottom-up theory of life satisfaction, the independent direct relationships of domain control, domain importance, positive affect, and negative affect are eliminated from a stepwise multiple regression equation with domain satisfaction being the only significant predictor (â = 4.38, p< .001 for people with a physical disabilities and â = 5.48, p< .001 for people without a physical disability) of life satisfaction. The study results demonstrate that life satisfaction is predicted the same way for people with and without disabilities.

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Date Created
2010

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The influence of religiosity on psychological well-being and life satisfaction in an elderly population

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ABSTRACT The major hypothesis tested in this research is that the psychological well-being and life satisfaction of elderly adult individuals can be predicted from religiosity (organizational and non-organizational religious beliefs and behaviors). The sample consisted of 142 adults between the

ABSTRACT The major hypothesis tested in this research is that the psychological well-being and life satisfaction of elderly adult individuals can be predicted from religiosity (organizational and non-organizational religious beliefs and behaviors). The sample consisted of 142 adults between the ages of 65-90, with the majority in the 65-70 age group (48%) (SD = 1.176). The entire sample resides in the state of Arizona, in both urban and rural communities. Participants were administered a questionnaire which requested demographic information, and three instruments: the Duke University Religion Index (the DUREL), and the Affect Balance Scale and the Life Satisfaction Index - Z (LSIZ). Correlational and Multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relation between these adults' psychological well-being, life satisfaction and their religiosity. Independent t-tests were also used to examine possible sex, ethnic and religiosity effects on psychological well-being and life satisfaction. Findings revealed that psychological well-being and life satisfaction are higher when religiosity is higher, regardless of sex or ethnicity. These findings are consistent with those of previous research in this field.

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2012

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Dyadic outcomes of gratitude exchange between family caregivers and their siblings

Description

Family caregivers are a quickly growing population in American society and are potentially vulnerable to a number of risks to well-being. High stress and little support can combine to cause difficulties in personal and professional relationships, physical health, and emotional

Family caregivers are a quickly growing population in American society and are potentially vulnerable to a number of risks to well-being. High stress and little support can combine to cause difficulties in personal and professional relationships, physical health, and emotional health. Siblings are, however, a possible source of protection for the at-risk caregiver. This study examines the relational and health outcomes of gratitude exchange between caregivers and their siblings as they attend to the issue of caring for aging parents. Dyadic data was collected through an online survey and was analyzed using a series of Actor-Partner Interdependence Models. Intimacy and care conflict both closely relate to gratitude exchange, but the most significant variable influencing gratitude was role. Specifically, caregivers are neither experiencing nor expressing gratitude on the same level as their siblings. Expressed gratitude did not relate strongly or consistently to well-being variables, though it did relate to diminished negative affect. Implications for theory, the caregiver, the sibling, the elder, the practitioner, and the researcher are addressed in the discussion.

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Date Created
2014

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Perceived control of the attribution process: measurement and theory

Description

The primary objective of this study was to develop the Perceived Control of the Attribution Process Scale (PCAPS), a measure of metacognitive beliefs of causality, or a perceived control of the attribution process. The PCAPS included two subscales: perceived control

The primary objective of this study was to develop the Perceived Control of the Attribution Process Scale (PCAPS), a measure of metacognitive beliefs of causality, or a perceived control of the attribution process. The PCAPS included two subscales: perceived control of attributions (PCA), and awareness of the motivational consequences of attributions (AMC). Study 1 (a pilot study) generated scale items, explored suitable measurement formats, and provided initial evidence for the validity of an event-specific version of the scale. Study 2 achieved several outcomes; Study 2a provided strong evidence for the validity and reliability of the PCA and AMC subscales, and showed that they represent separate constructs. Study 2b demonstrated the predictive validity of the scale and provided support for the perceived control of the attribution process model. This study revealed that those who adopt these beliefs are significantly more likely to experience autonomy and well-being. Study 2c revealed that these constructs are influenced by context, yet they lead to adaptive outcomes regardless of this contextual-specificity. These findings suggest that there are individual differences in metacognitive beliefs of causality and that these differences have measurable motivational implications.

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2014