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Identity formation among lesbians: reviewing Cass' theory twenty years later with an emphasis on media influences

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The current study sought to reevaluate Cass' Theory of sexual identity formation in terms of lesbian identity development over the past twenty years and how media acts as mediation in lesbian identity development. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with only

The current study sought to reevaluate Cass' Theory of sexual identity formation in terms of lesbian identity development over the past twenty years and how media acts as mediation in lesbian identity development. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with only nine useable transcripts analyzed for this thesis. This study is an explanatory investigation into linear stage theory, specifically Cass' theory, as well as the impact of media as a mediator during lesbian identity development. This study had three objectives 1) to gain an understanding of the theory and its components related to lesbian identity development 2) to understand the lesbian identity formation process and 3) to understand the impact and influence if any, media has had on lesbian self-reported identity development. Qualitative methods were used to obtain information and analyze the responses. Results indicate that the participants in this study believed that the coming out process was important. This study's results showed that several of the participants entered each stage of the theory, while others did not. Media had little influence on the identity development, and the participants had mixed reviews of medias portrayal of lesbians. Implications for practice and further research are discussed.

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2011

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The full spectrum: Hispanic understanding of autism in Southern Arizona

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The purpose of this study is to explore the knowledge and attitudes about autism spectrum disorders among Hispanics in the Southwest. The study will also examine perceived barriers in obtaining resources and preferences in accessing health care. Participants (N =

The purpose of this study is to explore the knowledge and attitudes about autism spectrum disorders among Hispanics in the Southwest. The study will also examine perceived barriers in obtaining resources and preferences in accessing health care. Participants (N = 169) were surveyed using the Autism Awareness Survey, which was developed specifically for this research. Significant differences were found between individuals with high acculturation and low acculturation in exposure to autism, knowledge about autism, perceived barriers to obtaining resources and health care, and attitudes towards people with autism. Additionally, the findings also suggest that although the surveyed population was knowledgeable about the symptoms associated with autism, less well known is the etiology and course of the disorder. The research underscores the serious need for both Spanish educational resources and Spanish-speaking health care providers to address the needs of Hispanics with regards to autism, especially with individuals with low levels of acculturation.

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Date Created
2012

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The effect of a therapy dog on the effectiveness of a Child Life intervention with adolescents experiencing grief and loss

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ABSTRACT The experience of grief and loss is a process that can be extremely distressing to anyone, regardless of age. This may be especially true for youth. This study

ABSTRACT The experience of grief and loss is a process that can be extremely distressing to anyone, regardless of age. This may be especially true for youth. This study was designed and conducted to determine the effects of a therapy dog as a therapeutic adjunct in Child Life interventions with adolescents experiencing grief and loss. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The intervention consisted of 3 sessions with a Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS) to address grief. Group 1 (N=14) was the control group, meeting only with the CCLS. Group 2 (N=13) was the experimental group and met with the CCLS with a therapy dog present during the sessions. Participants completed a pre-test and post-test of the Children's Mood Questionnaire. At the end of each session, subjects completed a Therapeutic Engagement Questionnaire. The pet therapy group experienced a significant improvement in mood scores on the Children's Mood Questionnaire following the intervention. However, there were no significant differences between groups on the Therapeutic Engagement Questionnaire during any of the 3 sessions. The data collected from this study indicate that the addition of a therapy dog in grief interventions with adolescents may improve mood outcomes.

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Date Created
2011

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Exploring home visitation as an intervention for child abuse and neglect: is worker-parent alliance predictive of maternal outcomes?

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Home visitation programs are growing in popularity for a variety of social concerns including early childhood abuse and neglect. Healthy Families Arizona (HFAz) uses the home visitation format to deliver early-childhood development and parenting skills for at-risk parents with the

Home visitation programs are growing in popularity for a variety of social concerns including early childhood abuse and neglect. Healthy Families Arizona (HFAz) uses the home visitation format to deliver early-childhood development and parenting skills for at-risk parents with the goal of decreasing incidents of child abuse and neglect (Daro & Harding, 1999). Some research demonstrates that the strength of the worker’s alliance with parents can be significantly predictive of home visitation program completion and decreases in depression for participating mothers, but these findings have little replication (Girvin, DePanfilis, & Daining, 2007). It is important to have a clear understanding of worker-client alliance and how it affects maternal outcomes including program retention and completion so that those working with home visitation interventions can implement programs from an evidence-based perspective, thus increasing efficiency and efficacy of programs.

This study hypothesizes a significant relationship exists between Working Alliance Inventory (WAI) scores and Healthy Families Parenting Inventory scores, and that WAI scores predict maternal outcomes from the HFPI. Bivariate correlation analysis determined a significant positive relationship exists between WAI scores and home visitation completion rates (r=0.320, p= .042), and found no other significant relationships. Regression analysis found WAI scores are predictive home visitation completion.

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Date Created
2015

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The effects of an internet-based self-compassion writing intervention for adults with mental illness

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Multiple studies have found that writing with self-compassion about a difficult event helps promote mental health and improve affect in college students and non-clinical populations (Johnson & O'Brien, 2013; Leary et al, 2007; Shapira & Mongrain, 2010). This study

Multiple studies have found that writing with self-compassion about a difficult event helps promote mental health and improve affect in college students and non-clinical populations (Johnson & O'Brien, 2013; Leary et al, 2007; Shapira & Mongrain, 2010). This study investigated whether a self-compassion writing intervention would lead to increases in self-compassion and proactive coping and reductions in depression and physical symptoms in a sample of individuals with different types of mental illness. This study also looked more broadly at the feasibility of conducting an online randomized trial on individuals with mental illness, including psychotic disorders, on Amazon MTurk. Individuals with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and/or depression on Amazon MTurk were recruited and randomly assigned to either a (1) treatment condition in which participants wrote with self-compassion or a (2) neutral condition in which participants wrote about how they spent their time. Participants were asked to write for 20 minutes each day for three consecutive days. Outcome measures were administered at baseline, after the three-day intervention, and one month later. Computerized linguistic analysis (LIWC; Pennebaker et al., 2015) was also used to analyze participants' writing to determine if the intervention had the intended effect. Both the treatment and control groups showed significant improvements in self-compassion, proactive coping, general mental health and physical health following the intervention and both groups showed significant improvements in self-compassion, proactive coping and general mental health between the post-test and 1-month follow-up. In addition, the self-compassion writing group's positive affect improved significantly more than the control group after the wave 1 writing intervention and the control group's negative affect improved significantly more than the self-compassion writing group after the wave 2 writing intervention. Overall, the results suggest both self-compassion writing and writing about how one spends one's time may be beneficial for individuals with mental illness with different needs. Moreover, it was found Amazon MTurk may not be a reliable platform for recruiting individuals with psychotic disorders, and that the prevalence of individuals with any mental illness on MTurk may be equal or greater than the prevalence of any mental illness in the general population.

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Date Created
2018

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Understanding Staff Influence on the Ecological Group Home Environment

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In response to the need to accurately define group home types, this dissertation focused on providing a clear and distinct definition of the types of group home care, an articulated understanding of the role of group home staff, and an

In response to the need to accurately define group home types, this dissertation focused on providing a clear and distinct definition of the types of group home care, an articulated understanding of the role of group home staff, and an awareness of the impact individuals working in group homes have on the lives of the youth they serve and their influence on the group home environment. Using the qualitative research method Grounded Theory, ten in-depth interviews were conducted with staff who both currently work in group homes, and staff who have left the group home environment. The research question was “What is the influence of group home staff on the ecological environment of the group home?” Ecological framework was the overarching theory, and participants were asked questions regarding their relationships with youth and their impressions of staff impact within the group home. Data analysis influenced by Grounded Theory produced 5 themes: Walking into the unknown, in loco parentis with two sub- themes consanguinity and group home as a home, engagement with two sub- themes of staff/staff engagement and staff/youth engagement, staff impact on youth, with three sub-themes, managing transitions, loss and boundaries, and the final theme of supervisor support. The results indicate that staff do have an impact on the group home, both positive and negative. Also, the group home operates as an intricate ecological environment containing relationships and interactions that influence multiple internal systems. Currently there is a gap in the literature as it relates to clarity within definition of care settings. This dissertation provided a clear definition for the chosen research environment, non-locked, non-therapeutic group home. The results of this dissertation have implications for group home agencies and more broadly child welfare agencies and child welfare social workers in regard to hiring practices, training and supervision. This dissertation provides a springboard for a future research on the ecological group home environment and the people who work there and are responsible for the care of vulnerable children.

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Date Created
2018