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The Relationship Between Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Disorders and Motivation for Treatment

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Brooke Preston Psychology Francesca Gentea Psychology Liliana Guadagno Psychology Christopher Gutierrez Psychology Ava Harkness Psychology Elizabeth Joseph Psychology Kevin Knight Psychology Madison Milligan Psychology Emily Watts Psychology
Advisor(s): Amanda Wiese Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 1, Position 2, 11:30-1:30

Stigma, or the negative social attitude towards an attribute of a perceived individual (American Psychological Association, 2023), could contribute to treatment avoidance among people experiencing problems related to their mental health. In a previous study, stigma towards mental health treatment had a negative impact on college students' willingness to see psychologists or psychiatrists (Komiya et al., 2000). The current study collected surveys from 59 college undergraduates to describe the internalized stigma felt by those with mental health disorders (MHDs) compared to the level of stigma reported by individuals without a MHD. Results indicated that participants with a diagnosed MHD were more likely ready for treatment than those with an undiagnosed MHD. Treatment readiness and social support were positively correlated, as was problem recognition and MHD stigma (n = 23; ps < .05). These results provide knowledge on how internalized and externalized stigma affects the willingness of individuals who are struggling with MHDs to receive treatment, which can be used to better inform the development of interventions and awareness programs.

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A Child’s Journey: Pregnancy to Adulthood in Four Countries

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Samantha Ritz Psychology
Advisor(s): Casey Call Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 5, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

The purpose of this study is to describe and compare the culturally perceived aspects of childhood, from pregnancy to adulthood, of four different countries. The elements of childhood included in this research relate to different attitudes towards and aspects of childhood events (e.g., childbirth, education, puberty), childhood milestones, rites of passage, and reaching adulthood. The four focus countries include France, the United States of America, India, and Kenya. To obtain data, 4-5 participants from each country were interviewed via Zoom, in-person, or by email. The objective of the research is to explore how childhood experiences vary in different communities and uncover common themes that appear in this period of life. Through these interviews, we (1) gain knowledge on how each country values children and childhood events, (2) step out of the expectations of the western world to evaluate how children globally are raised, and (3) discover common themes amongst various cultures in child rearing.

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Effects of learner behavior on derived stimulus relations

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Ethan Rohm Psychology Anna Petursdottir Psychology
Advisor(s): Anna Petursdottir Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 9, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Humans, are capable of is finding a relationship between two objects that are otherwise unrelated based on similar shared relationships i.e. if A = B and B = C, then A = C. Despite not being told A = C, a person makes this inference by using their prior experiences and events in a relational network. Previous research has examined effects of learning strategies on this outcome, visualization. In a derived relational task referred to as the intraverbal naming task, participants are taught the names to various images, and then later taught certain names are related. Then participants are tested on the relationships between different pictures in a match to sample test (derived relations). In previous studies, participants who were instructed to visualize the images when taught the words pairs performed better at correctly identifying image relational pairs than non-instructed participants. However, in a recent study participants asked to engage in verbal mnemonics during the word pairing stage, performed equally as well as the visualization group in the match to sample test. The current study seeks further compare the effects of two different instructed behaviors, using more monitorable learning behaviors than previous studies. During the intraverbal phase, one group of participants will be instructed to draw images related to the word pairs; another group will be instructed to complete verbal mnemonic exercises on paper, and a third will receive instructions to simply copy the word pairs from the screen.

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Adverse Childhood Environments and Salivary Habituation to Food Stimuli

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Gabriella Schock Psychology Matthew Espinosa Psychology Sarah Hill Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 8, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

Previous research on life history theory has suggested that childhood environments characterized by low socioeconomic status (SES) and exposure to high levels of unpredictability reliably predict unhealthy eating and greater risk of obesity. While perhaps evolutionarily advantageous in adverse environments, disordered eating behaviors can contribute to obesity risk. For example, higher levels of environmental unpredictability and lower childhood SES predict less mindful eating and more eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) through its impact on body awareness. Furthermore, slower salivary habituation (i.e., decreasing salivation over time) to new foods has been displayed in obese individuals. These previous findings highlight a largely unexplored area addressing the biological mechanisms linking childhood environment and obesity. The current research aimed to explore whether childhood environment leads to EAH due to changes in salivary habituation. We hypothesized that individuals from low SES and highly unpredictable childhood environments would exhibit less salivary habituation to food stimuli. We tested this hypothesis using a sample of 116 female undergraduates. We began by measuring participants’ blood glucose levels to control for physiological hunger levels. Then, we measured participants’ saliva responses to baseline stimuli (0.5 ml water), habituating stimuli (lemon lollipops), and novel stimuli (green lollipops) over the course of 14 trials using the Strongin-Hinsie-Peck technique. In addition to measuring saliva production and blood glucose levels, participants also completed surveys assessing their childhood SES and childhood unpredictability. Consistent with our prediction, the results demonstrated that childhood SES significantly predicted levels of salivary habituation, such that higher levels of childhood SES were associated with greater salivary habituation. Overall, this suggests that women from lower childhood SES environments habituated to the food stimuli less than women from higher childhood SES environments. This relationship may explain why individuals from low childhood SES environments exhibit greater eating in the absence of hunger, and therefore, greater risk for obesity. We discuss the implications of these results in understanding how interactions between early life environments and evolutionary biology influence the development and progression of disordered eating behaviors.

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Child and Adolescent Wellbeing Scale (CAWS)

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Rayisa Shelashska Psychology Logan Hackney Psychology Danica Knight Psychology
Advisor(s): Danica Knight Psychology
Location: First Floor, Table 3, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

Aim. This study aims to explore the feasibility, acceptability, appropriateness, and reliability of a new observational assessment tool - the Child and Adolescent Wellbeing Scale (CAWS), designed to evaluate socio-emotional health and attachment patterns in children and adolescents.
Background. There is significant interest in child trauma and interventions, and therefore a need for an assessment tool to assess child-level outcomes of trauma-informed interventions, care, and services. The CAWS was created to address this gap, providing a measure rooted in child-caregiver attachment and relational trauma. The CAWS is a 25-item scale with three subscales: Connection, Regulation, and Felt-Safety, which align with Bath’s Three Pillars of Trauma-Informed Care.
Method. Twenty mental health clinicians were trained to use the CAWS during two virtual sessions. Following training, each participant independently observed and rated 15 pre-recorded video interactions between children and their caregivers (totaling 300 independent ratings). Clinicians provided feedback on the CAWS instrument content and format after rating the videotaped interactions; validated measures were used to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness of the instrument. Reliability estimates were calculated using the generalizability theory.
Results. Ninety-four percent of participants (95% white, 85% female, median age 40.5 years, 100% Master’s degree) reported that administering the CAWS was feasible (i.e., implementable, doable), 100% indicated it was acceptable (i.e., appealing, meets approval), and 100% indicated it was appropriate (i.e., suitable, applicable). Additionally, 100% of participants reported that they would likely use the CAWS in their practice. The CAWS demonstrated excellent inter-rater reliability overall (R1F = .82), was a reliable measurement of systematic change in children (Rc = .94), and reliability emphasized the stable individual difference between children (RKF = .98).
Conclusion. The current study demonstrates the CAWS as a promising evaluation tool with excellent reliability, feasibility, acceptability, and appropriateness. Additional studies should investigate the CAWS instrument's validity further, focusing on its applicability in field settings and its utility in measuring change over time.

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The Relationship between Childhood Environment, Inflammation, and Immune Function

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Sam Smith Smith Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology Katja Cunningham Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 4, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

Previous research finds that childhood socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with chronic inflammation and exaggerated inflammatory responses to stress in adulthood. Some researchers have hypothesized that elevated inflammation may function to promote better immune function in environments with greater pathogen and injury stressors, like low SES environments. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between stress, inflammation, and immune function among adults from different childhood environments. Participants reported their childhood SES, completed a baseline measure of their perceived immune function, and provided an intravenous blood sample to measure baseline inflammation. Then, participants were randomly assigned to either the stress of control condition of the Trier Social Stress Test before reporting their perceived immune function and providing another blood sample. Inflammatory response was measured by examining the changes in participants’ levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines taken before and after the stressor. Perceived immune function was measured by examining the changes in participants’ perceived immune function from baseline to after the stressor. A measure of actual immune function was obtained by examining the ability of participants’ white blood cells to destroy E. coli particles, in vitro. The results reveal no relationship between stress-induced inflammation and immune function among those with low childhood SES. These findings suggest that although individuals with low childhood SES have elevated levels of inflammation, it does not benefit their immune function later in life.

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Does Recall Improve Delayed Feedback for Correcting Older Adults’ Health-related Misconceptions?

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Emily Smith Psychology Addison Babineau Psychology Uma Tauber Psychology
Advisor(s): Uma Tauber Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 5, Position 3, 11:30-1:30

Many believe that the flu shot can result in the flu. This a common health-related misconception; the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu, as it does not contain the whole live flu virus. Health-related misconceptions such as this can have a significant impact on the choices people make. Thus, correcting health-related misconceptions is essential, especially for older adults (typically 65+ years of age) who are more vulnerable to illness than are younger adults. Sitzman et al. (2022) found that when provided with immediate feedback and detailed explanations, both older adults and younger adults can correct many of their health-related misconceptions. However, there are instances in which feedback on a misconception can only be delivered after a delay, rather than immediately. For example, one may encounter health-related misconceptions online, but not receive feedback on their misconceptions until their next doctor’s appointment, months later. The aim of the current research was to explore how delayed feedback impacts the correction of health-related misconceptions in older adults and younger adults. Further, we explored how recalling prior answers to health-related questions may improve the effectiveness of delayed feedback. To explore these factors, we manipulated feedback timing (immediate feedback versus delayed feedback) and answer recall (recall initial answer versus no recall) between-participants for both younger adult and older adult participants. To begin the experiment, participants completed a true/false test on health-related knowledge and common health-related misconceptions (e.g., “Memories after a drinking “blackout” can be recovered with the correct method”). After answering each question, some participants were provided immediate and detailed feedback (e.g., “You are correct! This statement is false. Memory functioning is impaired when there is too much alcohol in the body and thus, a “blackout” occurs because a full memory was never made. However, people can build false memories based on what they are told or believe happened”). Other participants received delayed feedback; they received detailed feedback after they finished the entire test. Prior to receiving feedback, some participants were asked to recall their initial answer and some participants were not. Several days later, participants completed a true/false test on the same health-related misconceptions to determine the proportion of corrected misconceptions. We predicted that when participants did not recall their initial answer, immediate feedback would result in more corrected health-related misconceptions as compared to delayed feedback. However, when participants recalled their initial answer, delayed feedback would result in more corrected health-related misconceptions as compared to immediate feedback. Further, we predicted that both older adults and younger adults would benefit from recalling their initial answer when receiving delayed feedback. The results of the present research provide insight into the effect of delayed feedback on correcting health-related misconceptions for older and younger adults, as well as interventions that improve delayed feedback. These findings contribute to the development of effective strategies for correcting health-related misconceptions, particularly for older adults. By improving health-related knowledge through delayed feedback, older and younger adults can make more well-informed health decisions.

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A Prospective Methodology for Examining the Effect of Helicopter Parenting on Adult Child Outcomes

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Stephanie Villaire Psychology Sarah Madison Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 3, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

The phenomenon of helicopter parenting, or a parent’s overinvolvement in their children’s lives, has been previously studied in populations of college students. Helicopter parenting is associated with negative effects on child well-being and parental closeness in this population. Current research is sparse, however, with very little research examining helicopter parenting in non-college student populations. The current study aims to (1) replicate previous findings on the effects of helicopter parenting in a non-student population; (2) explore the relationship between helicopter parenting and wellbeing substance use, and justice involvement; and (3) examine associations between demographic variables and helicopter parenting. This poster focuses on the methodology being implemented in the current study, as well as an examination of current literature surrounding helicopter parenting.

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The Relationship between Stress, Inflammation, and Impulsivity

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Owen Wilson Psychology Katja Cunningham Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 4, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

Individuals from stressful environments, such as those who grew up with low socioeconomic status (SES), exhibit an inflammatory response to stress which reflects a physiological present focus. Despite the negative long-term effects of elevated inflammation, the bodies of people with low childhood SES favor immediate survival under stressful conditions, at the expense of long-term health. However, less is known about whether people from low SES childhood environments also exhibit a psychological present focus in response to stress. The current research was designed to experimentally examine the impact of stress exposure on the impulsive decision making of undergraduates from various economic backgrounds. Participants completed baseline measurements of impulsivity, including their self-reported ability to delay gratification and sense of self-control. Next, participants were randomly assigned to either the stress or control condition of the Trier Social Stress Test, before completing the impulsivity measurements again and providing information about their childhood environment and demographics Psychological present focus was measured by comparing baseline and post-stress levels of impulsivity. Preliminary results indicate that stress exposure does not impact the psychological present-focus of people with relatively high childhood SES. However, results trended such that people with relatively low childhood SES reported a reduced ability to delay gratification and lower self-control after experiencing stress, compared to control. These patterns suggest a psychological present-focus in response to stress among those from stressful early life environments. However, results are preliminary and data collection is still ongoing.

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Social exclusion influences women's mating strategies: The role of chronic exclusion concern

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Catherine Wise Psychology Matthew Espinosa Psychology Sarah Hill Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 9, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Social connection, and the protection it provides, was a determining factor for our ancient ancestors’ ability to achieve their evolutionary goals of survival and reproduction. In turn, social exclusion, the loss of this connection, posed a serious threat to these goals, spurring the development of several cognitive and behavioral recovery strategies to combat its harmful effects. One potential strategy for women following experiences of social exclusion is increased motivation to engage in short-term sexual relationships that may quickly alleviate the safety and affiliative concerns associated with social exclusion. However, the relationship between social exclusion and women’s short-term mating (STM) motives remains relatively unexamined. The present research investigated the influence of social exclusion on women’s STM motives, and how individual differences in chronic concerns about exclusion influence this relationship. I predicted that being socially excluded, compared to included, would lead women to have increased STM motives. Furthermore, I predicted that individuals’ differences in chronic concerns about exclusion would moderate this relationship. To test these hypotheses, I primed feelings of social exclusion and inclusion using the future alone paradigm, and then measured several dimensions of unpartnered women’s self-reported STM motives (including sexual unrestrictedness, openness to sexual intercourse, and desired mate investment). Results did not support the hypothesized relationship. Instead, they indicated that excluded women exhibited lower STM motives, specifically less sexual unrestrictedness, than included women. However, this relationship was moderated by chronic exclusion concerns, such that, for socially excluded women, the more chronically concerned with social exclusion they were, the greater their expressed sexual unrestrictedness. For social included women, their trait exclusion concerns were unrelated to their expressed sexual unrestrictedness. Thus, for women that have chronically high exclusion concerns, increased sexual unrestrictedness following social exclusion may be a compensatory mechanism to mitigate the negative effects of being excluded. The implications of these findings for women’s interpersonal and intimate relationships will be discussed.

(Presentation is private)


Mind body dualism and existential concerns

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Jieming Xiao Psychology
Advisor(s): Cathy Cox Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 9, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Terror management theory suggests that the potential for anxiety from the awareness of death can be buffered by a cultural worldview. Mind-body dualism, the belief that the mind and the body are separate, might affect people’s mortality concerns. Given that the body is threatening given its vulnerability to death, individuals who perceive the mind and body as being connected (vs. separate) should experience higher mortality-related thoughts and defense of their cultural beliefs. Past research found that mind-body dualism was related to afterlife belief, which was able to buffer existential concerns (Heflick et al., 2015). Based on these findings, the current research investigated how mind-body dualism moderated the effect of the creaturely body on death-related concerns. The result showed that people who perceived the mind-body relationship as more separate showed significantly fewer death concerns after reading an essay emphasizing the creatureliness of the body, whereas people who held beliefs in a more interrelated mind-body relationship showed heightened death concerns after the creaturely body prime.

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Sport nostalgia predicts greater sportspersonship attitudes.

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Leilani Arriazola Psychology Sophie Kemp Psychology Julie Swets Psychology Jieming Xiao Psychology
Advisor(s): Cathy Cox Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 4, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, increases prosocial behavior. Research has demonstrated that when a former competitive athlete reflects on their time participating in their sport, they experience feelings of nostalgia. Applying the prosocial nature of nostalgia to an athletic domain, it was hypothesized in the current study that sport-specific nostalgia would predict greater sportsmanship attitudes among athletes. To test this, we primed former competitive athletes with sport nostalgia by instructing them to write about a memory from playing their sport. Then they completed items about their sportsmanship attitudes, such as respecting opponents and officials. Results showed that nostalgia-primed participants reported greater sportsmanship attitudes compared to a control group. This is consistent with research showing that nostalgic reflection increases prosocial attitudes and behavior. In future work we plan to examine these findings in current competitive athletes to give further insight into the role that nostalgia plays in sport settings.

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Developing a brain connectome for reward loss: assessing c-Fos expression in response to consummatory and Pavlovian models of frustration

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Adriana Ayestas Psychology Christopher Hagen Psychology Payton Watters Psychology Julia Wrobel Psychology
Advisor(s): Mauricio Papini Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 2, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

Background: Reward loss is accompanied by a stress response affecting emotion and health. Problem: A comprehensive map of brain activity, or connectome, during an episode involving reward loss remains to be worked out. A connectome is being developed using the protein c-Fos expressed in recently activated neurons. Method: Experimental animals were exposed to reward loss (high-to-low sucrose and pellet downshift), whereas control animals had access only to the small or only to the large reward. c-Fos expression was measured in brain slices obtained after the reward loss event using immunohistochemistry. Brain activity levels in experimental and control animals were determined based on c-Fos expression in several key brain areas. Results: c-Fos expression was found to be higher in areas involved in negative emotion and lower in areas involved in reward processing in downshifted vs. unshifted groups. Contribution: This novel approach will continue to help identify the brain connectome underlying reward loss, that is the set of excited and inhibited areas when the organism is experiencing a loss.

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Potential Anxiolytic Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) using Voluntary Oral Consumption in Rats

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Sara Bond Psychology Zoe Brous Psychology Jennie Chuah Psychology Nate Jones Psychology Ken Leising Psychology Maria Mendoza Psychology Cokie Nerz Psychology Taryn Pittman Psychology
Advisor(s): Kenneth Leising Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 5, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

Research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) can act as an anxiolytic when injected (Blessing et al, 2015). We investigated whether these findings could be replicated in rats using chronic (12 day) voluntary oral consumption of non-pharmaceutical grade CBD oil at 20mg/kg. A control group consumed distilled water. An elevated plus maze (Test 1), open field (center vs. outer, light vs. dark, Test 2 and 3), and running wheel (Test 4) were used to examine the anxiolytic effect of CBD beginning on day 12 of administration and two hours after consumption. One test occurred each day. It was hypothesized that CBD rats would spend more time in the open arms of the elevated plus maze than the control group, and more time in the center and lit areas of the open field compared to the control rats. For the running wheel, we expected the CBD rats to turn the wheel more times than the control group. Results revealed that in the open field, the CBD group spent more time in the center compared to the control group, as was expected. There were no other differences between groups. These results are discussed with respect to administration route, timing of test, and type of test.

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How does varied practice influence vocabulary learning?

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Cami Ciesielski Psychology Mary Hargis Psychology Hannah Hausman Psychology Matthew Rhodes Psychology
Advisor(s): Mary Hargis Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 4, Position 3, 11:30-1:30

Varied practice, or studying many different examples of a given topic, can be a more effective method for learning a concept compared to studying one example repeatedly, as demonstrated in motor learning (e.g., Kerr & Booth, 1978) and category learning (e.g., Wahlheim et al., 2012). The present study examined how varied practice affects learning vocabulary from examples used in sentences. Although potentially beneficial for long-term understanding, varied practice can make initial vocabulary learning challenging because the example sentences for a given term may vary greatly. The current study presented participants with a sentence and asked them to select the correct vocabulary word that completed the sentence. For half of the vocabulary terms, participants were tested on that vocabulary word in the same sentence repeatedly (constant practice); for the other half of the words, participants were tested on that vocabulary word in different sentences (varied practice). Participants were also asked to answer questions about their attention during the task. After a short delay, participants took a final test to investigate how well they could identify the studied vocabulary words in novel sentences. The results will be discussed in terms of desirable difficulties, the distinction between learning and performance, and whether the type of practice may influence attention.

(Presentation is private)


Improving Young and Older Adults’ Memory for Medication Side Effects

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Mary Clark Psychology Kate Lindig Psychology
Advisor(s): Uma Tauber Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 12, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

Learning and correctly remembering health information is important at all ages, and it can be particularly important in later adulthood (65+ years old). Thus, interventions focused on identifying methods to improve young and older adults’ health knowledge and memory for medication information are valuable. We developed a cognitive intervention relying on methods that have been identified to be effective for enhancing learning. Specifically, prior research has established that retrieval practice (recalling information from memory) can be a powerful tool for learning other kinds of information. Our goal was to evaluate the degree to which a retrieval practice intervention would improve younger and older adults’ self-regulated learning of medication side effects. Younger adults from TCU and older adults from the community were recruited to participate. Participants who received the intervention were given information about repeated retrieval practice that emphasized the effectiveness of this strategy for improving memory. Specifically, the intervention indicated that they should recall each medication’s side effects correctly 3 times during learning, and they should continue to space their retrieval practice until they met this goal. All participants learned medication names paired with a side-effect. They made decisions about when to study, engage in retrieval practice, and stop learning the list of medication-side effect pairs. Younger and older adults’ who received the intervention made better study decisions relative to those who did not. Further, the intervention enhanced both younger and older adults’ memory for medication side effects relative to control conditions. These outcomes suggest that our evidence-based intervention can help young and older adults learn and remember critical health information, which may assist them in monitoring for adverse outcomes during medication usage.

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Rapid Visual Processing Abilities in Children with and without Dyslexia

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Remington Crossnoe Psychology Logun Gunderson Psychology Vishal Thakkar Psychology
Advisor(s): Tracy Centanni Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 4, Position 2, 11:30-1:30

Developmental Dyslexia (DD) is a heritable disorder that effects approximately 5-12% of children (Shaywitz et al., 1990) and persists in 4-6% of adults (Schulte-Korne & Remschmidt, 2003). In those with dyslexia, reading dysfunction is caused by phonological impairments that may result from neurological low-level sensory-processing mechanisms. Previous research suggests that rapid autonomized naming (RAN) deficits are the most reported deficit in adults with dyslexia (Araújo, et al., 2019), however it is unknown whether the RAN deficit is caused by general rapid processing deficits or a specific letter-sound binding problem. This experiment was designed to address this unknown question by measuring rapid visual processing deficits and their relation to reading skills in children with dyslexia. Children (N=103) were recruited during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a larger study of rapid stimulus processing in dyslexia. Out of the 103 children screened, 77 qualified for use in the study (33 neurotypical, 33 dyslexia, and 11 compensated dyslexia). Children completed two visual processing tasks online. The first was a rapid serial visual perception task (RSVP; Amador-Campos et al., 2015) which evaluates rapid stimulus processing of one or more symbol and letter. The second was a visuo-spatial working memory task (VSWM; Sander, Werkle-Bergner, & Lindenberger, 2011) that evaluates working memory and visual acuity at different speeds. Accuracy and reaction times were measured for each task. While we found no group differences on any task or condition, there were main effects of target number for RSVP accuracy and of set size and speed for VSWM. These results demonstrate that the tasks were adequately difficult but that those with dyslexia did not exhibit specific deficits on either task, even when the stimuli were printed letters. This suggests that RAN deficits in children with dyslexia may not originate from rapid visual perception deficits, but some other neural mechanism.

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Relationship between self-care inquiry and stress levels of adolescents with substance use disorders

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Kendall Drummond Psychology
Advisor(s): Casey Call Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 5, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Relationship between Self-Care Inquiry and Stress Levels In Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders

Adolescents living with substance use disorders are presented with a multitude of challenges when confronted with the reality of recovery from their addiction. Despite numerous interventions used to assist adolescents as they seek rehabilitation, few interventions focus on everyday stressors or triggers that contribute to substance use. Research has shown that stress significantly impacts substance use. This study aims to evaluate whether inquiring about self-care strategies used by adolescents seeking recovery from a substance use disorder will reduce stress levels, thus improving chances of adolescents maintaining recovery. Adolescents participating in outpatient treatment at a recovery facility were recruited for this study and were asked to fill out surveys once a week for four weeks about their level of stress and activities that they were doing for self-care.

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Existential Isolation and Well-being among Single Persons

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Olivia Egloff Psychology Caroline Loy Psychology Samantha Negrete Psychology Julie Swets Psychology
Advisor(s): Cathy Cox Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 1, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Romantic relationships are a popular subject in the psychological research realm, but their social counterparts, singles, are overlooked. Further, whereas loneliness is well-studied, existential isolation (EI), the subjective sense that one is alone in one’s experience and that others cannot understand their perspective, is a construct that could provide insight to singles. Our research will examine single adults and how they might experience EI if they do not have single friends who can reasonably share their same experience (i.e., if most of them are in relationships). Single participants will estimate the proportion of their social circle (friends and family) who are single vs. in relationships. We predict that singles whose friends are mostly in romantic relationships will experience higher EI. On the other hand, we predict that single people with mostly single friends will not experience the same high level of EI. We will also measure EI in comparison to different well-being measures (e.g., self-esteem, happiness). It is hypothesized that singles will experience higher EI and lower well-being if most of their friends are not single.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health and Marital Functioning in Mothers and Fathers of Autistic Children

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Madeline Filippi Psychology Naomi Ekas Psychology Chrystyna Kouros Psychology Deborah Rafferty Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 2, Position 2, 11:30-1:30

Title: The Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health and Marital Functioning in Mothers and Fathers of Autistic Children

Authors: Maddy Filippi, Deborah Rafferty, Naomi Ekas, Chrystyna Kouros

Introduction: Mothers and fathers of autistic children face many mental health and relationship challenges compared to parents of neurotypical children, including higher levels of stress (e.g., Benson, 2006; Weitlauf et al., 2014), more marital dysfunction (e.g., Shtayeermman et al., 2013; Sim et al., 2016), and increased likelihood of divorce (e.g., Hartley, 2010; Shtayermman, 2013). The sudden closure of schools and transitioning to online services at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated the stress levels of parents with a disability, including negatively affecting various aspects of home life (Marchetti et al., 2020). The purpose of this study was to compare differences in marital relationship quality and psychological distress in mothers and fathers of autistic children at multiple points throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the mental health and marital satisfaction in mothers and fathers of autistic children were compared to population norms at all timepoints.

Methods: Mothers and fathers of autistic children who were part of a larger longitudinal study participated in a supplemental study examining the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify for the main study, parents had to be married or living together for a year, have an autistic child that lived with them 50% of the time, and be able to read and speak English. From the original sample of 119 couples, 94 mothers and 58 fathers answered surveys about their mental health (anxiety, stress, dysphoria), marital functioning (conflict and satisfaction), and the symptom severity of their autistic child at three time points (April, July, and October 2020) after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: A series of independent t-tests examined the differences between mothers’ and fathers’ reported levels of mental health, marital functioning, and child symptom severity. At all timepoints, mothers’ parenting responsibilities and anxiety levels were significantly higher than fathers’, ps ≤ .043. Mothers’ levels of stress and dysphoria were significantly higher in October 2020 than fathers’, ps ≤ .012. Compared to pre-pandemic population norms, mothers reported significantly higher stress at all timepoints (ps ≤ .006), while fathers only reported significantly higher levels of anxiety in April 2020 (p ≤ .001). Fathers also reported lower levels of dysphoria compared to population norms at all timepoints (ps ≤ .016).

Conclusion: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, mothers of autistic children appeared to have more negative outcomes compared to fathers of autistic children. Mothers reported more parenting responsibilities compared to fathers, as well as higher rates of stress. In October 2020 when school districts re-opened, mothers reported higher levels of stress and dysphoria compared to fathers. Further, compared to pre-pandemic populations, parents of autistic children reported more stress and fathers reported reduced dysphoria. Overall, parents of autistic children appeared to face negative outcomes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and displayed higher rates of stress and dysphoria than parents at pre-pandemic populations. However, any conclusions generated from data reported by fathers are limited based on the reduced sample size.


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Hartley, S. L., Barker, E. T., Seltzer, M. M., Floyd, F., Greenberg, J., Orsmond, G., & Bolt, D. (2010). The relative risk and timing of divorce in families of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(4), 449–457.
Marchetti, D., Fontanesi, L., Mazza, C., Di Giandomenico, S., Roma, P., & Verrocchio, M. C. (2020). Parenting-related exhaustion during the Italian COVID-19 lockdown. Journal of pediatric psychology, 45(10), 1114-1123.
Shtayermman, O. (2013). Stress and marital satisfaction of parents to children diagnosed with autism. Journal of family social work, 16(3), 243-259.

Sim, A., Cordier, R., Vaz, S., & Falkmer, T. (2016). Relationship satisfaction in couples raising a child with autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review of the literature. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 31, 30-52.

Weitlauf, A. S., Vehorn, A. C., Taylor, J. L., & Warren, Z. E. (2014). Relationship satisfaction, parenting stress, and depression in mothers of children with autism. Autism, 18(2), 194-198.

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Examining The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem on the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Anxiety

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Holli Fullbright Psychology Michelle Coad Psychology Lindsay Dills Interdisciplinary Elizabeth Joseph Psychology Porter Maggiore Biology Jen Pankow Psychology Amanda Weise Psychology
Advisor(s): Jen Pankow Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 3, Position 3, 1:45-3:45


Examining The Mediating Role of Self-Esteem on the Relationship Between Adverse Childhood Experiences and Anxiety
Holli Fullbright, Michelle Coad, Lindsay Dills, Porter Maggiore
Texas Christian University, Fort Worth

Background: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events during childhood that have lasting effects into adulthood, being associated with poorer health and psychosocial well-being. The present study investigates the relationship between ACEs, self-esteem, and anxiety among people with a history of justice involvement. We predicted that ACEs would be negatively correlated with self-esteem. Self-esteem, in turn, would be negatively correlated with anxiety.
Methods: Data were collected from 216 people with a self-reported history of substance use and justice-involvement using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Participants were required to be 18 years of age or older and fluent in the English language. Eligible participants who consented to participate in the study were asked to complete a 25-minute online survey and were compensated $1 for their time.
Results: Analyses revealed that more childhood adversity was significantly related to both higher anxiety and lower self-esteem. Further, self-esteem was significantly related to anxiety while controlling for ACEs. When self-esteem was included in the model, the relationship between ACEs and anxiety was no longer significant. In other words, self-esteem statistically mediated the relationship between childhood adversity and anxiety.
Conclusion: Findings indicate that self-esteem may be an important target for treatment among clients with histories of childhood adversity and anxiety. Self-esteem may serve as a protective factor against anxiety for clients who report a history of childhood abuse or neglect.

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The effects of biased extrapolation on extreme attitudes toward a social group.

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Collin Glasscock Psychology Claire Clark Psychology Kaleigh Decker Psychology
Advisor(s): Charles Lord Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 7, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

Past research has shown that individuals can think themselves into more extreme attitudes in the absence of learning new information about an attitude object (Tesser, 1978). Less is known, however, about whether certain types of thinking, or thought strategies, are more likely than others to make attitudes more extreme. The current study assessed whether and how a specific type of thought strategy—extrapolating beyond what is known about a social group’s personality traits—can make attitudes more extreme in the absence of new information. Participants first learned moderate trait information about two (fictitious) social groups and then self-generated extrapolations about one of the social group’s traits and reviewed the initial trait information for the second social group. Attitudes were more extreme toward the social group whose initial traits participants extrapolated than the social group whose initial traits participants reviewed. These findings extended past research and theory on the processes by which attitudes can become more extreme in the absence of new information.

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Predicting Student Psychological Entitlement: Comparing Helicopter Parenting and Parental Control

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Julianne Hymel Psychology Naomi Ekas Psychology Chrystyna Kouros Psychology Deborah Rafferty Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: First Floor, Table 1, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

Introduction: Some may believe that helicopter parenting and controlling parenting behaviors are the same, but parental control as a parenting style is distinct and separate from helicopter parenting (LeMoyne & Buchanan, 2011). Helicopter parenting is a widely known parenting style that is characterized by the tendency for parents to be over-involved in the lives of their children in attempts to shield children from experiencing pain, discomfort, or failure (Padilla-Walker & Nelson, 2012). Helicopter parenting behaviors have been linked to concerning child outcomes, however, including lowered student academic motivation and achievement (Schiffrin & Liss, 2017), decreased psychological well-being (LeMoyne & Buchanan, 2011), and increased feelings of depression and anxiety (Set, 2020). Parental control, alternatively, is characterized by complete control of the child’s life while expecting compliance with parent demands without exception. Child outcomes as a result of parental control also differ such that these children tend to have greater academic achievement (Watabe & Hibbard, 2014). The goal of the current study was to further explore how parents’ helicopter parenting and controlling parenting behaviors differ in predicting their students’ psychological entitlement. It was hypothesized that both helicopter parenting and controlling parenting behaviors will predict higher student psychological entitlement with helicopter parenting predicting a greater increase.
Methods: Six hundred sixty-five undergraduate psychology students at two Southern private universities were recruited through SONA. Participants answered a battery of online questionnaires about their relationship with their parent, their parent’s personality traits, and their helicopter parenting and controlling parenting behaviors. Additionally, participants answered questions about their own personality traits, academic achievement, and overall well-being.
Results: A simultaneous multiple regression was performed to explore the association between parents’ helicopter parenting and parental control scores on their students’ psychological entitlement scores. The results showed a significant association between helicopter parenting and student psychological entitlement, b = 1.54, SE = .57, t = 2.70, p = .007, R2 = .01, with increases in helicopter parenting scores predicting an increase in student psychological entitlement scores. There was also a marginally significant association between parental control and child psychological entitlement, b = -.10, SE = .05, t = 1.95, p = .052, R2 = .01, with increases in parental control scores predicting a decrease in child psychological entitlement scores. These results suggest that helicopter parenting behaviors predict higher student psychological entitlement whereas controlling parenting behaviors predict lower student psychological entitlement. For exploratory purposes, another variable, student gender, was entered into the model to assess whether gender was a predictor of student psychological entitlement. Gender was dummy coded using females as the reference group coded as 0. The results showed that there was no significant association between students’ gender and psychological entitlement scores, b = .38, SE = .83, t = .46, p = .646, R2 = .000, suggesting that gender is not associated with one’s psychological entitlement.
Discussion: Helicopter parenting and parental control are two, distinct styles of parenting that result in differing effects on student psychological entitlement. The results of the study support the hypothesis that helicopter parenting would predict a greater increase in psychological entitlement compared to parental control, however, the results refuted the claim that both parenting styles would predict increases in psychological entitlement as parental control predicted a moderately significant decrease in entitlement. Future research should examine whether these results replicate among more racially diverse and younger samples. Having a richer understanding of the parental contributors to the development of child psychological entitlement over the span of childhood and adolescence will aid professionals in identifying and changing problematic parental behaviors to decrease these outcomes.

LeMoyne, T., & Buchanan, T. (2011). Does “hovering” matter? Helicopter parenting and its effect on well-being. Sociological Spectrum, 31(4), 399-418.
Padilla‐Walker, L.M., & Nelson, L.J. (2012). Black Hawk down? Establishing helicopter parenting as a distinct construct from other forms of parental control during emerging adulthood. Journal of Adolescence, 35(5), 1177-90.
Schiffrin, H.H., & Liss, M. (2017). The effects of helicopter parenting on academic motivation. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26, 1472-1480.
Set, Z. (2020). The mediating role of inflated sense of self and impulsivity in the relationship between helicopter parenting and psychological symptoms. Archives of Neuropsychology, 57(4), 318-324.
Watabe, A., & Hibbard, D. R. (2014). The influence of authoritarian and authoritative parenting on children’s academic achievement motivation: A comparison between the United States and Japan. North American Journal of Psychology, 16(2), 359–382.

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Assessing staff attitudes and needs in a trauma-informed organization: a mixed-methods study

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Ally Jackson Psychology Casey Call Psychology Jaclyn Ibarra Psychology Elizabeth Joseph Psychology Allison May Psychology Abigail Meder Psychology Talia Washington Psychology
Advisor(s): Casey Call Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 4, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Assessing staff attitudes and needs in a trauma-informed organization: a mixed-methods study
Background: Prior research has found that high burnout rates are prevalent in organizations that work
with individuals who have experienced trauma. Furthermore, high burnout is associated with secondary
traumatic stress, which can affect staff’s ability to provide care to clients. Therefore, the purpose of the
current study was to identify staff satisfaction and departmental needs at an organization specializing in
family services for those who have experienced trauma.
Methods: An online survey, including qualitative and quantitative questions, was developed via
Qualtrics and emailed to one non-profit organization. The results are comprised of responses from 20
Result: Overall, the participants rated their organization favorably. The average burnout and secondary
traumatic stress levels were low, which indicates no issues present in these categories. Simple linear
regression was used to test if burnout significantly predicted secondary traumatic stress. It was found
that burnout significantly predicted secondary traumatic stress (β = .57, p = .001). These results were
corroborated by qualitative data from staff, where staff demonstrated a general positive experience
within their work environment. However, when prompted staff identified aspects of the organization
that could be improved: the low number of staff employed, staff coordination and training, open
communication between coworkers and supervisors, reinstating staff events, and increased access to
mental health services.
Limitations: This study is limited by its small sample size and may not be generalizable to other
organizations, as only one organization was assessed.
Conclusion: The current study found that burnout predicts secondary traumatic stress. Overall, the staff
assessed feel that their organization is a positive work environment but identified areas for
improvement such as the number of staff, training, communication, the addition of social events, and
access to mental health services. Addressing staff concerns could reduce staff burnout and increase
satisfaction. Additionally, ensuring that staff needs are met could also benefit clients, as staff and
organizational factors are related to the quality of services.

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An Examination of Perceived Valence of Deterministic Outcomes and Moral Behavior

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Sophia Jones Psychology Sara Bond Psychology Jennie Chuah Psychology Nate Jones Psychology Kenneth Leising Psychology Jordan Nerz Psychology
Advisor(s): Kenneth Leising Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 2, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

A deterministic position claims that all events, including human choice behavior, are caused by other events (e.g., a person’s environment and past experiences). In contrast, indeterminism, or free will, maintains that a decision can emanate solely from within (i.e., independent of external influences). Previous research found that participants who read deterministic passages cheated more on an arithmetic test than those who read free will passages (Vohs & Schooler, 2008). The current research examined how the valence of the outcomes in passages influenced behavior (i.e., cheating). Experiment 1 examined how positive or negative participants rated passages that described an action within a deterministic or indeterministic universe that ended in a positive (e.g., a rescued child), negative (e.g., a lost child), or neutral (e.g., a child sitting) outcome. In Experiment 2, participants read one of the above mentioned passages followed by an additional 9 passages and comprehension questions. After reading each passage, a click to a “Show Questions” button made the passage disappear and the comprehension questions appear. To manipulate cheating, on some passages, the questions were automatically displayed while the passage was visible. Participants could answer the questions with the passage visible or click “Show Questions” to remove it. Results will be discussed in terms of the reported valence and the number of times “show questions” was clicked.

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