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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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Date Created
2017-05

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Marvel at The Ordinary: A Community-Centered Gratitude Movement

Description

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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Repercussions of Sexual and Physical Trauma: The Impact of Lingering Negative Attitudes about Touch

Description

Humans are social beings, which means interpersonal relationships are important contributors to our psychological health. Our health and behavior is manifested through a dynamic cycle of interacting factors: environmental, personal, and behavioral. Contributing to this interaction, interpersonal relationships provide benefits

Humans are social beings, which means interpersonal relationships are important contributors to our psychological health. Our health and behavior is manifested through a dynamic cycle of interacting factors: environmental, personal, and behavioral. Contributing to this interaction, interpersonal relationships provide benefits such as increased social support and decreased loneliness. The care and attention of relationship partners are communicated in multiple ways, one of which is interpersonal touch. Although touch can communicate positive feelings and support, it can also be used negatively in certain contexts. Unwanted or forced touch occurs when an individual experiences sexual or physical trauma. Experiencing this type of trauma often results in negative psychological consequences. Exactly how sexual or physical trauma—both of which involve unwanted touch—might influence an individual’s attitudes towards touch is important to explore. If an individual feels negatively about interpersonal touch due to previous experience of trauma, this might negatively influence the amount of current touch with a partner, and also the survivor’s psychological well-being.

In the current study, I proposed that previous occurrence of sexual or physical trauma would predict both decreased frequency of touch in a current intimate relationship and poorer individual well-being, and that these relations would be explained by negative touch attitudes. Results supported these hypotheses, suggesting that lingering negative touch attitudes following trauma could be an underlying mechanism affecting social and individual functioning. As seen in our model, these attitudes fully mediated the effects between previous sexual or physical trauma and individual well-being, as well as frequency of touch. This understanding can help provide further insight into the repercussions of trauma and the underlying mechanisms attributing to continued negative effects.

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Created

Date Created
2018

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Social support and problem-solving coping as moderators of the relation between stress and life satisfaction

Description

Numerous psychosocial and health factors contribute to perceived stress, social support, and problem-solving coping relating to overall well-being and life satisfaction in older adults. The effect of social support and problem-solving coping, however, remains largely untested as potential moderators.

Numerous psychosocial and health factors contribute to perceived stress, social support, and problem-solving coping relating to overall well-being and life satisfaction in older adults. The effect of social support and problem-solving coping, however, remains largely untested as potential moderators. The present study was conducted to test whether social support and problem- solving coping would moderate the relation between perceived stress and life satisfaction in older adults. First, I anticipated that stress will be negatively related to life satisfaction at low levels of social support, while at high social support; stress will be unrelated to life satisfaction. Second, I expected that with low problem- solving coping, stress will be negatively related to life satisfaction, whereas, at levels of high problem- solving coping, stress will be unrelated to life satisfaction. Using an experimental survey and interview design with hierarchical regression analyses, I found no support that social support would moderate the relation between stress and life satisfaction. I found support that problem-solving coping moderated the relation between stress and life satisfaction. For individuals who engage in higher levels of problem- solving coping, higher levels of stress predicted lower levels of life satisfaction. On the other hand, at lower levels of problem-solving coping, more stress predicted lower levels of life satisfaction.

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Created

Date Created
2017

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Effect of Social Support on Health Empowerment and Perceived Well-Being in Adults Impacted By Cancer: A Program Evaluation

Description

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of

Background: Cancer impacts the lives of millions of patients, families and caregivers annually
leading to chronic stress, a sense of powerlessness, and decreased autonomy. Social support may improve health empowerment and lead to increased perception of well-being.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of social support provided by a cancer support agency on health empowerment and perceived well-being in adults impacted by cancer.

Conceptual Framework: The Health Empowerment Theory maintains that perceived wellbeing is the desired outcome; mediated by health empowerment through social support, personal growth, and purposeful participation in active goal attainment.

Methods: Twelve adults impacted by cancer agreed to complete online questionnaires at
baseline and at 12 weeks after beginning participation in social support programs provided by a cancer support agency.
Instruments included: Patient Empowerment Scale, The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (SWEMWBS), and The Office of National Statistics (ONS) Subjective Well-Being Questions.

Results: Four participants completed pre and post surveys. An increase was seen in
empowerment scores (pre M = 1.78, SD = 0.35 and post M = 3.05, SD = 0.42). There was no
increase in perceived well-being: SWEMWBS pre (M= 3.71, SD= 0.76), post (M= 3.57, SD=
0.65); ONS pre (M= 7.69, SD= 1.36), post (M= 6.59, SD= 1.52).

Implications: The data showed an increase in health empowerment scores after utilizing social support programs, lending support to the agency’s support strategies. It is recommended that the measures be included in surveys routinely conducted by the agency to continue to assess the impact of programming on health empowerment, and perceived well-being.

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Date Created
2017-05-03