Rawan Atari - The Influence of Multi-Sensory Environment on Physiological Response in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Children with Special Health Care Needs
A research study based on the sensory integration theory was conducted to examine the effects of multi-sensory environment (MSE) on physiological arousal in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and special health care needs. Adapted environments may serve as a mechanism to treat anxiety levels in a population of children who experience more severe generalized anxiety symptoms than typically developing children. The sample consisted of children with community-based diagnoses of ASD and children with special health care needs, primarily children diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) from the Milwaukee Center for Independence (MCFI). Treatment for the autism sample was carried out by a trained MCFI staff member and treatment for children with special health care needs was carried out by a trained physical therapist. Electrodermal response was used as a measure to detect the “fight or flight” response of the sympathetic nervous system. The measurement of electrodermal activity was recorded by a wireless bracelet device that recorded the skin conductance level of the participant prior to entering the sensory room, during treatment in the sensory room, and after exiting the sensory room. Results indicated increased arousal in children with CP, as sensory stimulation was the main goal of physical therapists. Results for the autism sample varied by participant and indicated that treatment needs to be individualized for optimal benefits. Findings support the use of MSE as an alternative technique to improve therapeutic opportunities for children with cerebral palsy by stimulating sensations that are otherwise generally dormant.
Janelli Barrow - African American Women’s Perceptions Related to Childbirth Readiness: Centering versus Traditional Prenatal Care
Background: Perinatal health care disparities are prevalent in the United States be-tween African American women (AAW) and other races. African American women tend to access prenatal care later in pregnancy in comparison to Caucasian women, resulting in a higher risk for inadequate prenatal care and infant mortality (Mikhail, 2000; Ward, Mazul, Ngui, Bridgewater, & Harley, 2012; Child Trends Databank, 2013). Disproportionate infant mortality and prenatal care utilization rates have resulted in a national push to endorse and implement interventions that promote early, adequate, and consistent prenatal care among AAW. Previous research has not compared AAW’s prenatal care experience (traditional or group) during and after the perinatal period.
Purpose: Thus, the purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding of AAW’s perceptions of childbirth readiness based on their prenatal care experience.
Method: One hundred twenty-five AAW will be recruited for this mixed- method study. Participants will be asked to complete a demographic questionnaire at the initial meeting and a Prenatal Care Satisfaction Questionnaire during their 3rd trimester and after pregnancy. Furthermore, the first 10-15 mothers who deliver will be asked to participate in an individual phone interview in which they will further discuss their prenatal care experience and what impact their care had on their readiness for pregnancy and childbirth. Content and thematic analysis will be used to analyze interviews and develop themes.
Findings: It is anticipated that the findings from this research will provide insight what impact PNC have on how AAW perceive their readiness for childbirth.
Brittany A. Bernal
The broad objective of this line of research is to understand how auditory feedback manipulations may be used to elicit involuntary changes in speech articulation. We examine speech sensorimotor adaptation to supplement the development of speech rehabilitation applications that benefit from this learning phenomenon. By manipulating the acoustics of one’s auditory feedback, it is possible to elicit involuntary changes in speech articulation. We seek to understand how virtually manipulating participants’ perception of vowel space affects their speech movements by assessing acoustic variables such as formant frequency changes. Participants speak through a digital audio processing device that virtually alters the perceived size of their vocal tract. It is hypothesized that this modification to auditory feedback will facilitate adaptive changes in motor behavior as indicated by acoustic changes resulting from speech articulation. This study will determine how modifying the perception of vocal tract size affects articulatory behavior, indicated by changes in formant frequencies and changes in vowel space area. This work will also determine if and how the size of the virtual vowel space affects the magnitude and direction of sensorimotor adaptation for speech. The ultimate aim is to determine how important it is for the virtual vowel space to mimic the talker’s real vowel space, and whether or not perturbing the size of the perceived vowel space may facilitate or impede involuntary adaptive learning for speech.
Sensorimotor Adaptation of Speech Through a Virtually Shortened Vocal Tract by Brittany Bernal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
America Davila - Breaking the Cycle: An Examination of Environmental, Cognitive, and Emotional Factors of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization in Adolescence
Recently, intimate partner violence (IPV) has gained considerable attention as a significant social and public health problem affecting not only adults but also adolescents. Based on Bandura’s social learning theory, considerable research has supported a significant link between growing up in a violent home (DV) and youth dating violence. Expanding on previous studies, we explored the cycle of IPV victimization using a sample of 1,067 adolescents (ages 18-25). We examined whether parental support, dating attitudes, and self-esteem are risk and protective factors of receiving dating aggression. The findings indicate that exposure to aggression in the family, low self-esteem, and the acceptance of dating aggression are significant risk factors while high self-esteem and paternal support appear to protect adolescents from the cycle of IPV victimization.
Breaking the Cycle: An Examination of Environmental, Cognitive, and Emotional Factors of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization in Adolescence by America Davila is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Celeste Hernandez - Ethnic Micro-Aggressions and Depression Among Latinos: Nativity, Acculturation, and Education as Contributing Factors
The present study examined the relationship between Latinos’ experience of ethnic microaggressions and depressive symptoms and whether their acculturation, nativity, and education played a significant factor for experiencing ethnic microaggressions. The data consisted of 233 participants. A series of correlations, t-tests, one-way ANOVAs, hierarchal regressions, and two moderated regression analyses were conducted. Results found that experiencing ethnic microaggressions is associated with depressive symptoms. Participants’ nativity and education were not contributing factors to experiencing more or less ethnic microaggressions. Gender served as a moderating variable between the relationship of Anglo-orientation and experiencing ethnic microaggressions. Future research suggestions and implications are discussed.
Brian Jacob and other scholars have pointed out how public housing in inner city areas has affected labor supply, student achievement, and a sense of belonging. However, little research has been conducted on how such particular public housing developments have shaped political orientations among low-income residents. The purpose of this research is to understand whether or not the individuals’ experiences with public housing demolitions across Chicago have affected voting participation, civic engagement, and political interest and efficacy among African-Americans who in the past have lived or currently live in Chicago public housing. Over 35 Chicago public housing residents who were either forced to relocate or who chose to move on their own prior to federal plans for demolition were surveyed. Findings were analyzed by utilizing STATA. Evidence suggests that relocation does not impact political engagement among residents who were forced to relocate; however, analyzing mean scores of survey data that measured voting participation in the 2012 presidential election, local elections, and congressional elections in 2014, residents who were forced to relocate voted at lower levels and were likely to vote at lower rates in the 2014 congressional elections. Also, residents who were forced to relocate demonstrated more neighborhood trust and tended to do favors for their neighbors at higher levels than residents who were not forced to relocate. In addition, evidence suggest that residents who had better than average experiences with Chicago public housing were more political efficacious than residents who had worse than average experiences with public housing. This research ends with a discussion of policy implications explaining how residential mobility impacts voter turnout rates and necessary steps to resolve such issues.
Chicago Public Housing Demolitions and Individual Sense of Political Belonging by Connor Hooper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship faith has to the eleven dimensions that constitute psychological and social well-being. Though there is an existing body of literature concerned with the relationship between faith and well-being, the work examining this relationship among the Hispanic population is limited. With Latinos now constituting the single largest minority population in the United States, we employed data from a sample of 137 Mexican Americans from Wisconsin. We examined the relationship faith salience and religious behaviors have on six dimensions of psychological well-being (Ryff, 2014) and five dimensions of social well-being (Keyes, 1998). Correlations show a significant negative relation between faith salience and autonomy, environmental mastery, and social acceptance. Religious behaviors show a significant positive relation to autonomy and a significant negative relation to social actualization, and social integration. Previous works suggest a positive association between faith and well-being, but our findings provide results contradictory to the literature concerning this relationship.
The Influence of Faith on the Psychosocial Well-Being of Mexican Americans by Edwin Medina is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Previous work has indicated that young men and women engage in drug use in different ways and for different reasons. This research tests Hagan’s Power-Control Theory to examine gender differences in adolescent drug use. This study analyzes randomly selected subsample of data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Questions that led this study were: Do patterns of drug abuse differ by gender? To what extent can Hagan’s Power-Control Theory explain this? Control variables looked at gender, age and race. All adolescents were from the ages of 12-17. Dependent variables looked at drug use (ever, yearly, monthly). Drugs examined were: marijuana, cocaine, crack, heroin, methamphetamines, pain relievers (not medically obtained), and any illicit drug. Instrumental variables looked at parental monitoring in order to apply Power-Control Theory. Employing bivariate tests of association, this study finds that there is inconsistent support between certain types of adolescent drug use and Power-Control Theory. There were no gender differences in drug use. Variables that proved to be statistically significant were: Parents Check if Homework is Done, Parents Limit Time with Friends, and Amount Adolescents Argue with Parents.
In the 86 years of the Academy Awards, 15 African-American actors have won an Academy Award for roles playing slaves, witches, and musicians. The slave role is the most enduring of the three. Only seven African-American women have won an Academy Award. Two of these women won the Best Supporting Actress award for playing similar roles, the mammy. This study analyzes the mammy played by Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Octavia Spencer in The Help (2011) in light of established and recognized stereotypes of African-Americans in film while thinking through what the Academy Award recognized twice in terms of gender and race in media. The goal of this study is to compare the mammy role in Gone with the Wind and The Help and observe the changes of the role between 1939 and 2011 by focusing on four themes— clothing, comic relief, relationship with the White family, and personal life of the character—across both narratives. A narrative analysis anchored in framing theory is used to analyze similarities and differences between the two films. Through this research, the author locates the similarities between the two roles and offers concerns about race representation being rewarded in Hollywood.
Determining the sex of skeletons is problematic in forensic and bio-archaeological research. Past studies demonstrate that bone cells can sometimes contain preserved sex chromosomal material in ancient samples. The sex chromosomes in skeletal remains may allow determination of sex in non-adults. The problem is explored by making 20μ thin sections stained with hematoxylin eosin. The dye highlights inactive X chromosomes (Barr Bodies) of females. The presence of the Barr Body is an indicator of female with an accuracy of greater than 99.9. This approach to identification of sex in unknown skeletons has been demonstrated with remains of individuals deceased as long as 25 years. Intact bone cells have also been observed in Neanderthal and Sauropod fossils and likely contain sex chromosomes. The degree to which bone cells preserve in archaeologically derived skeletal remains is explored here. A sample of 22 thin sections was created and examined for intact bone cells. The survivorship rate of bone cells in this sample is .12. Exposure to moisture facilitates bacterial activity and this is noted to be the single most important variable in determining the degree of preservation of histological structure. This technique has the potential of providing an accurate means of determining sex in non-adult skeletons. This will greatly assist forensic investigators and open new research trajectories into life-ways and life experiences in past populations.