Matching Items (39)

135125-Thumbnail Image.png

Exploring Sexual Violence Victimization at Arizona State University

Description

For my honors thesis project in Barrett, the Honors College, I conducted an online college survey that measured student attitudes and perceptions with regard to gender, sexual assault, and domestic

For my honors thesis project in Barrett, the Honors College, I conducted an online college survey that measured student attitudes and perceptions with regard to gender, sexual assault, and domestic violence. In doing so, I also asked students situational questions about their experiences with sexual violence. The research question for the project centered around hidden victims who have been affected by gender-based violence but have yet to report the incident to law enforcement or university officials, despite a number of prominent educational and prevention campaigns on campus and in mainstream media. At the conclusion of the Spring 2016 semester, I received 683 responses from current students at Arizona State University. For the majority of situational questions, 20-30% of individuals answered "yes" to experiencing incidents of sexual violence, many of which focused on if someone had used alcohol/drugs, threats, or physical force to obtain sexual intercourse. For the survey, 11% of women said yes to the question, "have you ever been raped?" Additionally, a significant number of students hesitate to report incidents to law enforcement or university officials because: (1) they were ashamed or embarrassed, (2) wanted to forget it happened, and (3) believed it was a private matter that they wanted to deal with on their own. With this information, university administrators can develop a better understanding of the ASU campus culture as it relates to sexual violence. Additionally, organizational and institutional efforts can be organized and designed to meet the specific needs of our student body with the goal of ultimately reducing the number of sexual assaults that take place.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

135014-Thumbnail Image.png

Do Young-Adult Cannabis Users Show Amotivation? An Analysis of Reports from Third-Party Observers

Description

Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivation-like syndrome among users. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third party observers noticed amotivation among cannabis users. Participants

Cannabis use has been purported to cause an amotivation-like syndrome among users. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether third party observers noticed amotivation among cannabis users. Participants in this study were 72 undergraduate university students, with a mean age of M=19.20 years old (SD=2.00). Participants nominated Informants who knew them well and these informants completed a version of the 18-item Apathy Evaluation Scale. Results indicated that more frequent cannabis use was associated with higher informant-reported levels of amotivation, even when controlling for age, sex, psychotic-like experiences, SES, alcohol use, tobacco use, other drug use, and depression symptoms (β=0.34, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.64, p=.027). A lack of motivation severe enough to be visible by a third party has the potential to have negative social impacts on individuals who use cannabis regularly.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

135094-Thumbnail Image.png

Adolescent Predictors of Marijuana Cessation and Motivations for Quitting Marijuana in a Racially Balanced Adult Non-Treatment Sample

Description

Marijuana is currently the mostly widely used illicit drug in the U.S., and has been for multiple decades (Johnston et. al., 2016). Despite a growing belief that marijuana use is

Marijuana is currently the mostly widely used illicit drug in the U.S., and has been for multiple decades (Johnston et. al., 2016). Despite a growing belief that marijuana use is not harmful, over 4 million Americans have met criteria for marijuana use disorders in the past year alone (CBHSQ, 2015). According to marijuana trajectory studies, about a third of marijuana users will end up quitting later in life, but some \u2014 such as those who meet criteria for dependence \u2014 have a much greater difficultly quitting. Therefore, by looking at marijuana users who were successful in quitting, and comparing them to ongoing adult marijuana users, factors that may assist in helping an individual quit \u2014 such as certain motivations for quitting \u2014 may be identified. To study these issues, data was collected from 507 participants from the Pittsburgh Youth Study. It was found that adolescents who used marijuana weekly for at least one year were likely to be ongoing marijuana users in adulthood and that adolescents who had a warm relationship with their primary caretaker were likely to have quit marijuana by adulthood. It was also found that Black participants were more likely to have legal, monetary, and religious reasons for quitting than were White participants. Furthermore, participants who used regularly in adolescence were likely to list legal reasons, as well as a concern that marijuana use was needed to feel normal. Finally, it was found that not a single motivation for quitting marijuana was associated with a shorter period of abstinence. The implications of these findings for motivations to quit marijuana are the focus of the discussion.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

134869-Thumbnail Image.png

Scientific Detail and Juror Decision-Making in Capital Scenarios

Description

By providing vignettes with manipulated scientific evidence, this research examined if including more or less scientific detail affected decision-making in regards to the death penalty. Participants were randomly assigned one

By providing vignettes with manipulated scientific evidence, this research examined if including more or less scientific detail affected decision-making in regards to the death penalty. Participants were randomly assigned one of the two manipulations (less science and more science) after reading a short scenario introducing the mock capital trial and their role as jury members. Survey respondents were told that a jury had previously found the defendant guilty and they would now deliberate the appropriate punishment. Before being exposed to the manipulation, respondents answered questions pertaining to their prior belief in the death penalty, as well as their level of support of procedural justice and science. These questions provided a baseline to compare to their sentencing decision. Participants were then asked what sentence they would impose \u2014 life in prison or death \u2014 and how the fMRI evidence presented by an expert witness for the defense affected their decision. Both quantitative and qualitative measures were used to identify how the level of scientific detail affected their decision. Our intended predictor variable (level of scientific detail) did not affect juror decision-making. In fact, the qualitative results revealed a variety of interpretations of the scientific evidence used both in favor of death and in favor of life. When looking at what did predict juror decision-making, gender, prior belief in the death penalty, and political ideology all were significant predictors. As in previous literature, the fMRI evidence in our study had mixed results with regards to implementation of the death penalty. This held true in both of our manipulations, showing that despite the level of detail in evidence intended for mitigation, jurors with preconceived notions may still disregard the evidence, and some jurors may even view it is aggravating and thus increase the likelihood of a death sentence for a defendant with such brain abnormalities.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-12

127953-Thumbnail Image.png

Boys With Conduct Problems and Callous-Unemotional Traits: Neural Response to Reward and Punishment and Associations With Treatment Response

Description

Abnormalities in reward and punishment processing are implicated in the development of conduct problems (CP), particularly among youth with callous-unemotional (CU) traits. However, no studies have examined whether CP children

Abnormalities in reward and punishment processing are implicated in the development of conduct problems (CP), particularly among youth with callous-unemotional (CU) traits. However, no studies have examined whether CP children with high versus low CU traits exhibit differences in the neural response to reward and punishment. A clinic-referred sample of CP boys with high versus low CU traits (ages 8–11; n = 37) and healthy controls (HC; n = 27) completed a fMRI task assessing reward and punishment processing. CP boys also completed a randomized control trial examining the effectiveness of an empirically-supported intervention (i.e., Stop-Now-And-Plan; SNAP). Primary analyses examined pre-treatment differences in neural activation to reward and punishment, and exploratory analyses assessed whether these differences predicted treatment outcome. Results demonstrated associations between CP and reduced amygdala activation to punishment independent of age, race, IQ and co-occurring ADHD and internalizing symptoms. CU traits were not associated with reward or punishment processing after accounting for covariates and no differences were found between CP boys with high versus low CU traits. While boys assigned to SNAP showed a greater reduction in CP, differences in neural activation were not associated with treatment response. Findings suggest that reduced sensitivity to punishment is associated with early-onset CP in boys regardless of the level of CU traits.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12-15

133060-Thumbnail Image.png

The Temporal Stability and Predictive Utility of Semiannual Teacher Assessments Across Elementary School

Description

Teacher assessments are often used alongside parent assessments to identify behavioral problems and patterns in school-aged children. These assessments can aid in the diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorders and are

Teacher assessments are often used alongside parent assessments to identify behavioral problems and patterns in school-aged children. These assessments can aid in the diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorders and are used to screen children for targeted delinquency prevention programs. Although researchers have heavily studied the relationship between parent and teacher assessments, not as much research has analyzed teacher assessments alone, specifically semiannual teacher assessments. Teacher assessments are typically conducted during the fall semester, normally a couple months into the school year, or during the spring semester, normally a couple months after the winter break period. Using data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS), we aimed to determine the temporal stability and predictive utility of semiannual teacher assessments of children's behavioral problems from 2nd grade to 5th grade. Results showed that mean assessment scores increased from the fall to the spring semester across all 4 grades. We also found that teacher assessments of behavioral problems in grade school were significantly correlated with future serious violence. Although our statistical model did not identify a specific time period or semester when these assessments were most predictive, we observed a pattern where the spring semesters were more predictive for the younger grades, and the fall semesters were more predictive for the older grades. Future research could aim to understand why this pattern exists and what its implications are.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2018-12

132663-Thumbnail Image.png

A Clash of United States-United Kingdom Criminal Justice Systems: A Way Forward to Better Justice

Description

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this

The United States (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK) have a long and complicated history, but through this they have learned an abundance of things from each other. In this paper, I will argue that the two countries still have much to learn from each other to this day about how to enforce the law and manage crime. An important structure that the United Kingdom helped influence the United States in was the development of their criminal justice system. Although the two country’s values differ, there are great similarities in the ways the two countries deal with crime but numerous differences as well. Looking deeper into the differences between the two systems can help future research identify new and innovative ways to combat crime and actively reduce crime rates. This paper will compare violent crime rates in the USA and UK for four years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017). Doing so will provide evidence regarding the degree to which the police in each country have been able to effectively enforce the law. After evaluating these differences, I will conclude with a discussion of the key items that I believe each country should take from the other to create a path forward to better justice. Our societies are constantly evolving, creating a necessity to progress our laws and aspects of the criminal justice system, and examining internal workings will only tell so much. There is never a reason to stop learning from each other, which is why this type of research is important.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

132231-Thumbnail Image.png

Post-Conviction Polygraph Examinations: Useful or Useless?

Description

A polygraph exam attempts to measure “truthfulness” based on several physiological factors—such as changes in heart rate, breathing, sweating, and other physical responses. Ever since the polygraph exam was invented

A polygraph exam attempts to measure “truthfulness” based on several physiological factors—such as changes in heart rate, breathing, sweating, and other physical responses. Ever since the polygraph exam was invented in 1921, however, it has been surrounded by heavy controversy. The largest controversy is whether or not polygraph exams are scientifically valid. Aside from debate over whether “truthfulness” can actually be scientifically measured, polygraph testing is vulnerable to factors like the skill level of the examiner, the IQ of the subject, the setting of the exam, and finally, the ability for subjects to employ “countermeasures.” Countermeasures include physical movements, mental exercises, drug use, and biofeedback training. In addition to these drawbacks, the polygraph exam is not admissible in court. Despite this, the polygraph can still serve other purposes—anywhere from assisting in the law enforcement hiring process to classifying the behavior of convicted sex offenders. Polygraph examinations may be administered at various points during a criminal investigation, both pre-conviction and post-conviction. For example, when a criminal investigation first begins, a subject may be polygraphed to be eliminated as a suspect. Once charges are filed against an individual for an offense, law enforcement may polygraph the subject to obtain more information. After conviction, an offender may be polygraphed at various points during their incarceration, as a part of research studies, as well as part of monitoring sex offenders. In the United States, more than thirty states require that polygraph exams be administered to monitor sex offenders. These periodic exams help track sexual offender’s therapeutic progress, identify risk factors, and shed light on any new offenses. This thesis paper provides a synthesis of the current state of literature surrounding the use of post-conviction polygraphs on sex offenders by outlining the numerous advantages and disadvantages.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

129390-Thumbnail Image.png

"Fundamentally Flawed?" Exploring the Use of Policy Disagreements in Judicial Downward Departures for Child Pornography Sentences

Description

Research Summary:
Using U.S. Sentencing Commission data, this study assesses whether judicial downward departures are more prevalent among child pornography offenders compared with a matched sample of defendants convicted of

Research Summary:
Using U.S. Sentencing Commission data, this study assesses whether judicial downward departures are more prevalent among child pornography offenders compared with a matched sample of defendants convicted of other offenses. Additionally, we examine reasons given by judges when departing from the guidelines for these offenders. We found that child pornography defendants received significant reductions in sentences by way of judicial downward departures.

Policy Implications:
In 2007, the Supreme Court considerably altered the federal sentencing process. In Kimbrough v. United States (2007), the Court held that judicial departures were permissible on grounds of a policy disagreement. Many circuit courts have authorized sentencing judges to depart from the guidelines in child pornography cases based on such a policy disagreement. The findings of this study suggest that judicial downward departures for these offenders cannot be explained by individual characteristics, such as race, gender, or age, and may be indicative of a specific disagreement with this particular sentencing policy. An examination of the reasons provided by judges supports the hypothesis that judges may be attempting to remedy what they perceive as unjustly harsh sentencing guidelines.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05-01

129520-Thumbnail Image.png

Cumulative Disadvantage: Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Prosecution and Sentencing

Description

Current research on criminal case processing typically examines a single decision-making point, so drawing reliable conclusions about the impact that factors such as defendants’ race or ethnicity exert across successive

Current research on criminal case processing typically examines a single decision-making point, so drawing reliable conclusions about the impact that factors such as defendants’ race or ethnicity exert across successive stages of the justice system is difficult. Using data from the New York County District Attorney's Office that tracks 185,275 diverse criminal cases, this study assesses racial and ethnic disparity for multiple discretionary points of prosecution and sentencing. Findings from multivariate logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the effects of race and ethnicity vary by discretionary point and offense category. Black and Latino defendants were more likely than White defendants to be detained, to receive a custodial plea offer, and to be incarcerated—and they received especially punitive outcomes for person offenses—but were more likely to benefit from case dismissals. The findings for Asian defendants were less consistent but suggest they were the least likely to be detained, to receive custodial offers, and to be incarcerated. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theoretical perspectives on racial bias and cumulative disadvantage in the justice system.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-08-01