Matching Items (17)

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Environmental risks, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and mental health symptomatology in Mexican American youth: a two-study approach

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In this dissertation Mexican American (MA) youths environmental risk contexts, HPA axis functioning and mental health symptomatology were investigated in two separate studies. In the first study, environmental risk contexts

In this dissertation Mexican American (MA) youths environmental risk contexts, HPA axis functioning and mental health symptomatology were investigated in two separate studies. In the first study, environmental risk contexts were examined utilizing a person-centered approach and focusing on MA adolescents' family, peer, and cultural risk factors in fifth grade (N = 750). Environmental contexts were then linked to mental health symptomatology in seventh grade. Results revealed three distinct environmental contexts: Low risk, Moderate risk-language, and High risk-peer. Youth in the High-risk peer context reported the highest levels of symptomatology; greater major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety, conduct disorder (CD)/oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) symptoms than youth experiencing Low risk or Moderate risk-language context. Females, in particular, experiencing the High risk peer context appeared at greatest risk for MDD symptoms. Finally, adolescents in the Moderate risk-language context displayed similar levels of symptoms to the individuals in the Low risk context, with the exception of higher anxiety. This study suggested that MA youth live in unique environmental contexts and these contexts are differentially related to mental health symptomatology. In the second study, 98 MA youth participated in a three-day diurnal cortisol protocol in hopes of linking perceptions of discrimination and HPA diurnal cortisol rhythms. Results revealed that discrimination was related to greater overall cortisol output and marginally related to the cortisol awakening response and evening levels of cortisol. Results suggest that important physiological processes underlie the experiences of discrimination.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Sport participation and alcohol use during adolescence: mediators and moderators explaining the positive relation

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Previous research suggests that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is positive, but small in size. Few explanations for this positive relation have been empirically tested. Theories denote

Previous research suggests that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is positive, but small in size. Few explanations for this positive relation have been empirically tested. Theories denote that the relation between sport participation and alcohol use is explained by peers and that the relation varies based on the models adolescents are exposed to. This study tested mediators (popularity and friends' alcohol use) and moderators (sport-focus, teammates' alcohol use, gender, popularity, and friends' alcohol use) for the relation between sport participation and alcohol use. Analyses were conducted through path models in Mplus v5.1. The sample included 48,390 adolescents (mean age=15.8 years; 51% female) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In the self-administered in-school questionnaire, adolescents reported on their activity participation, alcohol use, friendship nominations, and demographic characteristics. Friend indicators were based on friends' self-reported alcohol use. Results suggested that popularity mediated, but did not moderate the relation between sport participation and alcohol use. In contrast, friends' alcohol use moderated, but did not mediate this relation. The relation was positive and strongest for sport-focused adolescents, and for adolescents whose teammates and sport friends used high levels of alcohol. The findings of this study suggest athletes are at an elevated risk for alcohol use, but not all athletes drink. Peers are important predictors, such that, sport participation may be related to alcohol use, partially, because it promotes adolescents' social status. The sport context is also important, such that, athletes are more likely to use alcohol if they are highly involved in sports, and they have sport friends and teammates who drink. Specific types of athletes, such as popular athletes, should be targeted for alcohol use interventions. Intervention programs should also be designed to capture specific aspects of the sport context, such as teams without no tolerance substance use policies, and highly competitive or stressful sports.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Gendered interactions and their interpersonal and academic consequences: a dynamical perspective

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In response to the recent publication and media coverage of several books that support educating boys and girls separately, more public schools in the United States are beginning to offer

In response to the recent publication and media coverage of several books that support educating boys and girls separately, more public schools in the United States are beginning to offer same-sex schooling options. Indeed, students may be more comfortable interacting solely with same-sex peers, as boys and girls often have difficulty in their interactions with each other; however, given that boys and girls often interact beyond the classroom, researchers must discover why boys and girls suffer difficult other-sex interactions and determine what can be done to improve them. We present two studies aimed at examining such processes. Both studies were conducted from a dynamical systems perspective that highlights the role of variability in dyadic social interactions to capture temporal changes in interpersonal coordination. The first focused on the utility of applying dynamics to the study of same- and mixed-sex interactions and examined the relation of the quality of those interactions to participants' perceptions of their interaction partners. The second study was an extension of the first, examining how dynamical dyadic coordination affected students' self-perceived abilities and beliefs in science, with the intention of examining social predictors of girls' and women's under-representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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  • 2012

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The correlates and consequences of tomboyism: an exploration of gender-related characteristics, peer interactions, and psychosocial adjustment

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The study of tomboys offers useful insights for the field of gender development. Tomboys have been the focus of several studies aimed at defining what a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold,

The study of tomboys offers useful insights for the field of gender development. Tomboys have been the focus of several studies aimed at defining what a tomboy is (Bailey, Bechtold, & Berenbaum, 2002; Plumb & Cowan, 1984; Williams, Goodman, & Green, 1985) and what it means for children and adults who are tomboys (Morgan, 1998; Williams et al., 1985). These and further questions necessitate understanding the correlates and consequences for children exhibiting tomboy behaviors. This study aims to address these gaps in the literature as part of a longitudinal study assessing children's gendered attitudes, relationships, and beliefs. A group of 4th grade girls (N=98), were administered questionnaires asking them about their tomboy gender identity and related behaviors and beliefs. The first research question concerns how we identify tomboys through parent, teacher, and child self-report, and the application of groupings of tomboys as never, sometimes, and always tomboys. It was found that children who fall into different classifications of tomboyism differ on their similarity to own- and other-sex peers on a number of dimensions (e.g. similarity, peer preference, activity preference). Never tomboys had the most similarity and interest to own-sex peers, always tomboys, to other-sex peers, and sometimes tomboys exhibited the most flexibility with interest similar to both own- and other-sex peers. Peer-related adjustment consequences and experiences were considered for the different groups of tomboys, with always tomboys being the most efficacious with other-sex peers, never tomboys being the most efficacious with own-sex peers, and sometimes tomboys showing both own- and other-sex peer interactions and the least exclusion of any group.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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An exploration of environmental influences on elementary school attainment in rural Guatemala

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Increasing elementary school attainment globally remains a key focus for improving internationally child development (UNESCO, 2010), and for girls in particular (UNICEF, 2015). This dissertation was designed to test and

Increasing elementary school attainment globally remains a key focus for improving internationally child development (UNESCO, 2010), and for girls in particular (UNICEF, 2015). This dissertation was designed to test and explore specific areas to target to improve educational attainment for rural indigenous communities using a mixed-methods approach (i.e., quantitative survey of 264 mothers and qualitative interviews with 37 of those mothers 3.5 years later) with a Mayan community in Camanchaj, Guatemala. The first study was designed to examine the educational trajectories available to children in this community (e.g., dropping out, graduating 6th grade) by age, grade, and gender, and identified risks and vulnerabilities for educational attainment. The second study was a logistic regression to examine maternal factors that predict the likelihood of a child graduating from elementary school or dropping out in this community, above and beyond covariates of poverty and health and found that maternal education predicted educational attainment for both boys as girls as well as maternal beliefs about the importance of school for getting a job, which was particularly strong predictor for boys. The third study probed findings from Studies 1 and 2 using Experiential Thematic Analyses and Frequency Analyses to examine processes and cognitions involved in a child’s graduating elementary school, dropping out, and community beliefs and attitudes regarding education and gender equality. Findings highlight the need for interventions that are contextually and culturally appropriate and that consider complex and interacting factors of poverty, health, and gender inequality as well as maternal and community-level attitudes and beliefs to promote elementary school attainment globally.

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  • 2016

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How gender typicality moderates the relation between preadolescents' empathy and acceptance by peers

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Previous research has shown that highly empathic children are generally more emotionally positive, sociable, and altruistic compared to their less empathic peers (Miller & Jansen op de Haar, 1997). These

Previous research has shown that highly empathic children are generally more emotionally positive, sociable, and altruistic compared to their less empathic peers (Miller & Jansen op de Haar, 1997). These traits and behaviors linked with empathy have been associated with positive outcomes such as popularity in the peer group (Decovic & Gerris, 1994). However, a negative relation between these constructs has been found when studied in the context of preadolescence for boys (Oberle, Schonert-Reichl, & Thomson, 2010), suggesting a potential moderating effect of gender typicality since empathy is classified as a communal and therefore stereotypically feminine trait. The current study examines the relation between the constructs of gender, empathy, gender typicality, and peer acceptance in a preadolescent sample, and mixed findings suggest differential effects of empathy on peer acceptance for preadolescent boys and girls. Future research should continue examining these differential effects for boys and girls throughout childhood and adolescence.

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  • 2015

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Masculinity and school engagement in middle school

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The primary goal of this study was to extend previous research on traditional masculinity by examining the longitudinal associations between traditional masculinity, school engagement and attitudes toward school in a

The primary goal of this study was to extend previous research on traditional masculinity by examining the longitudinal associations between traditional masculinity, school engagement and attitudes toward school in a sample of middle school students. Following a sample of 338 (Mage = , SDage = , 54% male, 46% Latino) students from the 7th to 8th grades, I examined how students' self-reported endorsement of and adherence to physical toughness and emotional stoicism norms of masculinity were associated with their engagement with school and their attitudes of school liking and school avoidance. I also examined whether the endorsement and adherence to these norms varied by sex and ethnicity, and whether they changed over the one-year period. Results indicated that endorsing and adhering to masculinity norms of emotional stoicism were negatively associated with school engagement, after controlling for school engagement at Time 1. Furthermore, endorsing and adhering to masculinity norms of physical toughness were negatively associated with attitudes of school liking even when controlling for school liking at Time 1. These results were the same boys and girls, and for Latino and White adolescents. Moreover, results indicated sex, but no ethnicity differences in traditional masculinity, such that males generally reported higher levels of endorsement and adherence to norms of physical toughness and emotional stoicism. There were also identifiable developmental patterns in traditional masculinity over a one-year period. The contributions of these findings to the current scholarship on masculinity, along with their implications for future research and practice, are discussed.

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  • 2015

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Preadolescents' gender typicality: an exploration of multidimensionality

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The goal of this study was to explore the multidimensionality of gender typicality and its relation to preadolescents’ psychological adjustment. With a sample of 378 6th grade students (52%

The goal of this study was to explore the multidimensionality of gender typicality and its relation to preadolescents’ psychological adjustment. With a sample of 378 6th grade students (52% male; M age = 11.44, SD = .56; 48% White), I examined how four specific dimensions of gender typicality (behavior, appearance, activities, and peer preference) predict children’s global sense of typicality; whether children’s global sense of gender typicality, behavior, appearance, activities, and peer preference are differentially predictive of self-esteem, social preference, and relationship efficacy; and whether examining typicality of the other gender is important to add to own-gender typicality. Regression analyses indicated that all four specific typicality dimensions contributed to preadolescents’ overall sense of own- and other-gender typicality (except appearance for own-gender typicality). Generally, all domains of gender typicality were related to the four adjustment outcomes. Own-gender typicality related more strongly to self-esteem, social preference, and own-gender relationship efficacy than did other-gender typicality; other-gender typicality was more strongly related to other-gender relationship efficacy. Relations between typicality and adjustment were stronger for gender-based relationship efficacy than for self-esteem or social preference. Although some differences existed, relations between typicality and adjustment were generally similar across typicality domains. Results implicate the need to measure other-gender typicality in addition to own-gender typicality. Additional contributions and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Exploring developmental patterns and predictors of gender-based relationship efficacy

Description

Segregation into own-gender peer groups, a common developmental pattern, has many potentially negative short- and long-term consequences. Understanding the social cognitive processes underlying intergroup processes may lead to a better

Segregation into own-gender peer groups, a common developmental pattern, has many potentially negative short- and long-term consequences. Understanding the social cognitive processes underlying intergroup processes may lead to a better understanding of, and a chance to improve, intergroup relations between boys and girls; however, until recently gender-typed cognitions have not received a lot of attention. Therefore, in two complementary studies, this dissertation examines developmental patterns and predictors of a particular type of social cognition, gender-based relationship efficacy (GBRE). The first study examines mean-level and interindividual stability patterns of GBRE longitudinally in two developmental periods: childhood and pre-adolescence. Specifically, the first study examined children’s and pre-adolescents’ GBRE toward own- (GBRE-Own) and other-gender (GBRE-Other) peers over a one-year period. Using a four factor repeated measures analysis of variance, the results indicated that GBRE-Own is significantly higher than GBRE-Other across both cohorts. GBRE-Other, however, increased from childhood to pre-adolescence. Stability and cross-lag effects were examined using a multi-group panel analysis and revealed that GBRE-Own and GBRE-Other were stable. Additionally, high levels of GBRE-Own led to lower levels of GBRE-Other one year later, but high levels of GBRE-Other led to higher levels of GBRE-Own. Implications for understanding segregation processes and suggestions for future research are discussed.

The second study examined potential affective/cognitive, behavioral, and contextual predictors of GBRE-Other in pre-adolescence. Several hypotheses were tested using panel models and regression analyses, but there was limited support. Results indicated that GBRE-Other predicted more positive attitudes toward other-gender peers and higher preferences for other-gender peer interaction and that, for boys, anxious attitudes toward other-gender peers negatively predicted GBRE-Other and, for girls, parental attitudes toward their children’s other-gender friendships negatively predicted GBRE-Other. The lack of significant findings in the second study should be interpreted cautiously. In general, GBRE is an important construct and more research is needed to fully understand the developmental progression and implications.

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  • 2017

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Examining neighborhood, maternal, and cultural influences on Mexican-origin adolescent mothers' educational outcomes

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Mexican-origin adolescent females have the highest birthrate of all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Further, teen mothers are at significant risk for poor outcomes, including low educational attainment. Therefore,

Mexican-origin adolescent females have the highest birthrate of all other ethnic groups in the U.S. Further, teen mothers are at significant risk for poor outcomes, including low educational attainment. Therefore, examining predictors of Mexican-origin teen mothers' educational attainment was the main goal of the current study. Future-oriented beliefs such as educational aspirations and expectations are suggested to have positive implications for adolescents' educational attainment in general. Therefore, guided by bioecological, social capital, status attainment, social learning, and collective socialization of neighborhood theories, the current study examined neighborhood, maternal, and cultural predictors of 190 Mexican-origin parenting adolescents' educational aspirations, expectations, and attainment. With respect to maternal predictors, the study examined mother figures' (i.e., grandmothers') educational attainment, and aspirations and expectations for the adolescent as predictors of adolescents' educational attainment. Using a multi-informant, longitudinal analytic model, results suggest that adolescents' educational expectations, rather than aspirations, significantly predicted adolescents' attainment one year later. Additionally, grandmothers' educational attainment was indirectly associated with adolescents' educational attainment via the educational expectations of both the grandmother and the adolescent. Further, the neighborhood context indirectly informed adolescents' educational attainment via both grandmothers and adolescents' educational expectations. Finally, adolescents' ethnic identity affirmation was significantly associated with adolescents' educational attainment two years later. Implications regarding the importance of educational expectations and ethnic identity affirmation for at-risk parenting adolescents' educational attainment will be discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014