Enhancing executive function in preschoolers through a mindfulness-based intervention
by Laura Rosenbaum
Executive functioning includes skills such as maintaining attention, inhibiting attention towards distractions, and making decisions based on incoming information. These skills develop across the lifespan with the most dramatic growth occurring during the preschool years (i.e. ages 3-5; (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University [CDCHU], 2011 ). The development of executive functioning in the preschool years is important as these skills form the foundation for school readiness and future academic achievement, above and beyond intellectual ability (Fitzpatrick et al., 2014). One suggested approach to enhancing executive functioning in preschoolers is through mindfulness-based interventions (MBis). Mindfulness refers to paying attention to the internal and external experiences of the present moment with acceptance and curiosity. Among other positive outcomes, researchers who have explored MBis with school-aged children have reported significant improvements in executive functioning. Although we know that the preschool years are a time of dramatic growth for EF skills and that MBis can improve EF skills in older children, research on the effectiveness of MBis with young children is limited. The purpose of the current study is to evaluate Mini Mind, an MBI developed specifically for preschool-aged children. The intervention includes twelve 20-minute sessions across 6 weeks and focuses on developing curiosity towards and awareness of internal and external experiences. We propose to use a randomized, wait-list active control design with 40 preschool students. We plan to use multiple sources and methods of evaluation to provide a comprehensive understanding of the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of Mini Mind.
The relationship among Gender Role Conflict Normative Male Alexithymia men’s non-romantic relationships, and the psychological well-being of men
by Kan Guvensel
The impact of masculinity on men’s relationships and well-being has received much empirical and theoretical attention by researchers over the past 30 years. Normative Male Alexithymia (NMA; Levant 1992) and Gender Role Conflict (GRC; O’Neil, 2008) have emerged in the literature as empirically supported masculinity-based constructs that could be possible predictors of men’s psychological well-being. The majority of existing studies examined the impact of masculinity in the contexts of men’s romantic relationships. Yet, there exists a paucity of research that examines the triadic intersection of the GRC, NMA, and men’s friendships; and the relationship among these three variables with the psychological well-being of men. The purpose of this study is to examine the triadic relationship of GRC, NMA, and men’s friendships with other men, and the impact of this triadic relationship on men’s psychological well-being. The study will answer the following three research questions: (1) What are the relationships among men’s tolal scores regarding Gender Role Connie! (GCR), Normative Male Alexithymia (NMA), men’s same-sex friendship conflicts, and psychological well-being? (2) Does GRC significantly moderate the effect of NMA and same sex relationship qualities/connicts on men’s psychological well-being? (3) Which model most accurately predicts the relationship between GRS, NMA, men’s same-sex friendships conflicts, and psychological well-being in college men? Data collection will include survey responses from the demographic questionnaires, Normative Male Alexithymia Scale (NMAS; Levant et al., 2006) scores, Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS; O’Neil et al, 1986) scores, Network of Relationships Questionnaire Relationship Qualities Version (NRI-RQV; Buhrmester, 1992; Buhrmester & Furman, 2008) scores, and the Scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB; Ryff, 1989) scores. Bivariate correlation analyses will be conducted to test the relationships among all of the variables. A hierarchical regression analysis with two separate interaction variables will be conducted to test the moderation. The interaction variables will consist of the product of the scores of NRI-RQV and GRCS, and the product of the scores of NMAS and GRCS. Finally, the all possible regression analysis (Pedhazur, 1997) will be conducted to determine the best predictive model.
“Perfectionism, Acculturative Stress, Coping Styles, and Depression among International Students”
by Yi-Shi Hsiao
The present study examined whether adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism, acculturative stress, and three coping strategies (reflective, suppressive, and reactive) have interaction effects in predicting depression. Data were collected from 789 international students at seventeen different college campuses across the United States using an online survey. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that there were significant main effects for adaptive perfectionism, maladaptive perfectionism, acculturative stress, and three coping strategies. Results also indicated that there were four significant two-way interactions among the variables in the prediction of depression. Ineffective coping (suppressive and reactive) moderated the relationship between acculturative stress and depression. Maladaptive perfectionism moderated the relationship between acculturative stress and depression. Reflective coping moderated the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depression only for students with relatively higher maladaptive perfectionism. There were no significant three-way interactions among the variables in the prediction of depression. Implications for counseling and future research suggestions are discussed.
A new frontier of the college alcohol culture: Using hashtags to assess and promote health
by Tammy M. Turner
The college alcohol culture at institutions of higher education (I HE) involves high-risk drinking among students and negative alcohol related consequences that impact individual students and the campus community. College football games are event specific activities associated with higher rates of drinking and negative consequences among students. Social media is part of the college culture and Twitter is a social media platform that is popular during football games. The purpose of this study is to explore the college alcohol culture within Twitter. The social ecological theory will guide the study because it provides a framework for understanding the dynamic interaction between students and the college environment. The dialogic model will guide and operationalize the examination of health education departments’ alcohol prevention communication on Twitter. Specifically, this study has two purposes: A.) To explore IHE athletic associations’ Twitter hashtag conversations for factors related to the college alcohol culture; B.) To examine the use of Twitter as a health communication tool among health promotion departments at IHE. Publicly available tweets within IHE related hashtags between August 1, 2014 and January 2, 2015 will be used for analysis. The IHE included in the sample will be those represented in the 2014 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Classics Football Schedule (n=46),the College Football Bowl Schedule (n=50), Division II Football Championship (n=24), and Division III Football Championship (n=32). The hashtags used most often by the athletic departments or IHE will be used to measure the level or alcohol references and to examine the relationship among alcohol references. institutional factors (i.e., National College Athletic Association division, size of student population, and HBCU status). and environmental factors (i.e., alcohol sales at stadiums during football games). In addition to providing valuable data about the college alcohol culture, Twitter provides a platform for health communication related to alcohol prevention. A quantitative research design will be employed, using factor analyses and hierarchical linear modeling.
The Relationships Among Multiracial Identity, Color-Blind Racial Ideology, and Discrimination in Multiracial Individuals and Implications for Professional Counseling and Counselor Education
by Christen Peeper McDonald
Due to the ongoing growth of the multicultural population in the U.S. (Rockquemore, et. al., 2009; Shih and Sanchez, 2005, 2009) and the continuous struggle minorities face regarding racial attitudes, discrimination, and understanding their own racial identity, it is more important than ever for mental health professionals, including professional counselors and counselor educators, to work to further understand how these factors interact and ultimately impact Multiracial people. The overall purpose of this study is to understand the relationships between the constructs of Multiracial identity, color-blind racial ideology, and discrimination in Multiracial individuals. The specific research questions include: 1) What are the relationships among the total scores of color-blind racial attitudes, experiences of discrimination, and Multiracial identity integration for Multiracial people? 2) Are the experiences of the total scores of perceived discrimination and color-blind racial attitudes predictive of the total score of Multiracial identity integration in Multiracial people? 3) Does color-blind racial attitudes moderate the relationship between discrimination and Multiracial identity? The data will be collected using online questionnaires and will be analyzed using hierarchical regression and moderation analysis, specifically seeking to understand if color-blind racial attitudes serve as a moderating variable. Investigations like the current study have the potential to influence multicultural counseling competencies for professional counselors and counselor educators by providing further knowledge regarding Multiracial individuals that could lead to multiculturally competent care by professional counselors and counselor educators working with Multiracial clients students and supervisees.
A Teacher Like Me: Controlling Images and the Shaping of Black Women Teachers’ Professional Lives
by Tarika Sullivan
Research studies have examined the experiences of African-American women teachers (Henry, 1998) and the impact of controlling images on the lives of people of color (Stephens & Phillips, 2003; Yarbrough & Bennett, 2000). However, there is a paucity of literature that explores how controlling images shape the professional lives of black women educators at the K-12 level. Drawing on critical race (Delgado, 1995; Tate, 1997) and black feminist (Collins, 1991/2000; hooks, 1989) theories, this qualitative study examines the narratives of black women teachers and their encounters with race and racism within the workspace. Questions guiding this line of inquiry were: a.) How do black women teachers believe they are perceived by their professional peers? b.) How do they demonstrate their sense of autonomy and agency towards establishing themselves as caring professionals? c.) In what ways do controlling images influence the professional lives of black women teachers at the K-12 level? Data sources included interviews and focus group sessions from three black women teachers. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Findings suggest 1.) Black women teachers routinely endure a culture of blame as a result of their perceived incompetence; 2.) Despite being blamed they work to ensure the academic, social, and psychological success of their students; 3.) They perceive their professional experiences as differing from their white women counterparts; and 4.) Controlling images of African-American women heighten some black women teachers’ awareness of how they present themselves and are perceived in professional spaces. This study contributes to the larger literature of gendered racism in education. Implications for practice include identifying black women educators as integral to the success of their students. Implications for policy include creating spaces for educators to explore views on race and other structures of oppression, not simply for children, but also for their colleagues. Teacher education can be designed to support educators’ capacity to respond to such meaningful dialogue. This study raises questions about the psychological and physical consequences for black women teachers who continue to work in environments where they are viewed as incompetent.
A Collaborative Inquiry: Working Together to Make Our Reading Recovery Lessons Culturally Responsive
by Danielle Hilaski
Reading Recovery has changed the academic paths of students around the world. Although Reading Recovery serves culturally and linguistically diverse students, Clay (2005b) does not directly address these students in her teaching procedures. Rather she details how teaching practices could be adapted to capitalize on students’ first languages or dialects and their home literacy experiences. The purpose of my study was to examine the professional development experiences of four Reading Recovery teachers who were working with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Specifically, I explored the ways the participating teachers’ beliefs and practices were impacted by their participation in a community of practice focused developing culturally responsive teaching practices within the framework of Reading Recovery. The following research questions guided this qualitative inquiry: 1.) How does participation in a professional development focused on theorizing and implementing culturally responsive teaching practices within the framework of Reading Recovery impact Reading Recovery teachers’ beliefs about teaching culturally and linguistically diverse Reading Recovery students? 2.) How are Reading Recovery teachers’ instructional practices with culturally and linguistically diverse students impacted by their participation in professional development focused on learning about and incorporating students’ linguistic, social, and cultural knowledge into the Reading Recovery framework? The theoretical frameworks that informed my inquiry were sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1934/1986), communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder, 2002) and critical theory (Freire, 1970). Within critical theory, critical race theory (Ladson-Billings, 1998; Yosso, Villalpando, Bernal, & Solorzano, 2001) and culturally relevant pedagogy (Gay, 2010; Ladson-Billings, 1995a, 1995b; Nieto, 2013) further substantiated this study. Data collected included pre- and post-interviews. bi-weekly professional development sessions and debriefings, reflective journals, and artifacts. Through constant comparative analysis (Charmaz, 2006: Glaser and Strauss, 1967), teachers’ beliefs about their culturally and linguistically diverse students were explored, as well as how teachers’ instructional practices shifted.