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Marvel at The Ordinary: A Community-Centered Gratitude Movement

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This project was generated out of a desire to understand and explore a novel twist on a well-traversed route to happiness. I set out looking for a new perspective on fulfillment and found sustainable, everyday joy through gratitude. In doing

This project was generated out of a desire to understand and explore a novel twist on a well-traversed route to happiness. I set out looking for a new perspective on fulfillment and found sustainable, everyday joy through gratitude. In doing so, I created a space where a group of people could practice and share gratitude as a community. Gratitude is familiar to most as a feeling, but putting intention behind gratitude turns it into an action, and even a virtue. In fact, Roman philosopher Cicero says, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." I created a Facebook community called Marvel at The Ordinary (MATO) applying principles rooted in the Theory of Change to express this greatest virtue. I found both success and earnest support from others in this novel approach to current gratitude practices. Defined by Dr. Robert Emmons, an expert in the science of gratitude, practicing gratitude is a two-step process: "(1.) affirming goodness in one's life, and (2.) recognizing that the sources of this goodness lie at least partially outside of the self." There is substantial research touting the worth of gratitude journaling, in fact, few things have been more repeatedly and empirically vetted than the connection between gratitude and overall happiness and well-being. Yet there is one facet ubiquitously overlooked in current gratitude research: what happens when gratitude journaling is shared with others? With anecdotal evidence, short-form interview analysis, thematic analysis of journaling lexicon, and a case study on the growth and engagement of Marvel at The Ordinary as a social movement, there is reason to believe that a social media-based community centered around gratitude may support and even enhance the practice of gratitude, which is typically practiced in isolation. It was also found that communities of this sort are highly sought after, based on the engagement within and growth of the Facebook group from 50 to 600+ members in a period of 2 months. MATO set out with the aspirations of creating a community which encourages others to gratitude journal, raising awareness about gratitude journaling, and building a community which fosters empathy, optimism, and awareness in an everyday sense. In each of these goals, overwhelming success was found.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Analysis of the Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare Providers in Arizona

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased burdens have been placed on the Arizona healthcare system, and its healthcare providers. Using a survey with a sample of N=308 prescribing providers and nurses in the Arizona healthcare system, the impact of COVID-19 on

During the COVID-19 pandemic, increased burdens have been placed on the Arizona healthcare system, and its healthcare providers. Using a survey with a sample of N=308 prescribing providers and nurses in the Arizona healthcare system, the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of healthcare providers was assessed. The survey used measures to evaluate for physical and emotional wellbeing, burnout, stressors associated with COVID-19, and work-life experiences, and found an overall negative impact on the wellbeing of healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic with increased levels of reported stress and tiredness, concern for the health of family and loved ones, concern for the hardships of patients, lack of alignment between organizational priorities and personal values, and low levels of support and appreciation from socially and from leadership at work.

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2021-05

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Cultural Perceptions of Leisure and Well-being in Rock Climbing Communities of Peru and Arizona, USA

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In December of 2015, I made my way to rural Peru for a few weeks, my first visit to South America. While I was there, I observed a devotion to family and leisure activity, topics that were not heavily prioritized

In December of 2015, I made my way to rural Peru for a few weeks, my first visit to South America. While I was there, I observed a devotion to family and leisure activity, topics that were not heavily prioritized in my experience in Arizona. Upon my return, I became more involved in leisure activities, particularly running, hiking, yoga, and climbing. These involvements noticeably benefitted my health and well-being. The way the Peruvians I met prioritized these subjects fascinated me, and I wanted to study this difference between Arizona and Peru. In July of 2017, I returned to Peru for a semester abroad with my bags packed and the following research questions: 1) Are differences in motivation for rock climbing between Arizona and Peruvian climbers associated with cultural values? 2) Do leisure activities and the amount of time spent on them have an effect on quality of life? 3) Does the degree of climbing specialization impact perceptions of well-being? 4) What characteristics impact perceptions of quality of life among climbers? Are these characteristics affected by country of origin? My prediction was that Peruvians had higher quality of life due to their emphasis on leisure. Through this study, I learned that this conclusion was not as simple as I anticipated.

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Date Created
2019-05

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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

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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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Date Created
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

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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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Date Created
2014