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MEMO-ASAP: Mealtime Effects on Maternal Outcomes- Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum Amongst the COVID Pandemic

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Kate Lindig Psychology Dr. Naomi Ekas Psychology Dr. Chrystyna Kouros Psychology Deborah Rafferty Psychology
Advisor(s): Dr. Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 6, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Title: MEMO-ASAP: Mealtime Effects on Maternal Outcomes- Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum Amongst the COVID Pandemic

Authors: Kate Lindig, Deborah Rafferty, Naomi Ekas, and Chrystyna Kouros

Introduction: Mental health of mothers of children on the autism spectrum has been extensively studied (e.g., Sawyer et al., 2009). Prior studies have found connections between the time commitment and pressure experienced by mothers of autistic children and poor mental health outcomes (Liu et al., 2020). Mealtimes for children on the autism spectrum often create stress for mothers (Ausderau & Juarez, 2013). Children on the autism spectrum often experience various difficulties with feeding and mealtime behaviors, such as limited food variety (Curtin et al., 2015), food neophobia (Kuschner et al., 2015), high rates of food refusal and more restricted food repertoire compared to neurotypical children (Bandini et al., 2019), as well as increased disruptive behaviors around mealtimes (Curtin et al., 2015). While little research has examined how feeding behaviors in autistic children impact mothers’ mental health (e.g., Ausderau & Juarez, 2013), it is possible that these behaviors may exacerbate negative mental health outcomes as mothers spending hours attempting to help their children eat with little fruition likely causes feelings of stress and anxiety. Therefore, this study aims to examine how food restrictiveness and disruptive behavior during mealtimes for children on the autism spectrum affects measures of maternal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has the potential to elevate stress-levels and other negative mental health outcomes for mothers.

Method: Ninety-seven mothers with a child on the autism spectrum served as participants for this study. All mothers participated in October 2020 as a follow-up to a larger study that began prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mothers were mostly white, non-Hispanic (77%), college-educated (45%), with a yearly income greater than $40K (90%). Mothers answered surveys about their children’s mealtime behaviors (BAMBI) and their own mental health (IDAS, NIH PROMIS).

Results: Two separate multiple regressions were performed to examine associations between disruptive mealtime behaviors, such as refusing to stay seated or screaming, and maternal dysphoria and stress. Results indicated a significant, positive association between the number of disruptive behaviors a child or adolescent with ASD exhibited during mealtimes and maternal self-reports of dysphoria, b = 1.24 (SE = .60), t = 2.05, p = .04, R2 = .05, while controlling for everything else in the model. Similarly, there was a significant, positive relation between disruptive mealtime behaviors and maternal self-reports of stress, b = 1.66 (SE = .82), t = 2.02, p = .047, R2 = .09. The relations between limited variety of food and the study outcome variables were non-significant, ps ≥ .09.

Discussion: Autistic children’s disruptive mealtime behaviors were associated with poor maternal mental health outcomes, specifically higher depressive symptoms and greater stress. Consequently, finding ways to lower disruptive mealtime behaviors is important, since they have the potential to impact maternal mental health outcomes. Future research should test various mealtime intervention programs to find the most effective ways for parents to minimize their autistic children’s disruptive mealtime behaviors. Additionally, future research should explore the effects of mealtime behaviors on fathers’ mental health outcomes, since they are often present during their autistic children’s mealtimes. Finally, future research should look specifically at how children on the autism spectrum’s mealtime behaviors at the current time compare to those during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the present study’s data was collected.

Ausderau, K., & Juarez, M. (2013). The impact of autism spectrum disorders and eating challenges on family mealtimes. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent
Nutrition, 5(5), 315–323.
Bandini, L. G., Curtin, C., Eliasziw, M., Phillips, S., Jay, L., Maslin, M., & Must, A. (2019). Food selectivity in a diverse sample of young children with and
without intellectual disabilities. Appetite, 133, 433–440.
Curtin, C., Hubbard, K., Anderson, S. E., Mick, E., Must, A., & Bandini, L. G. (2015). Food selectivity, mealtime behavior problems, spousal stress, and family
food choices in children with and without autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(10), 3308–3315.
Kuschner, E. S., Eisenberg, I. W., Orionzi, B., Simmons, W. K., Kenworthy, L., Martin, A., & Wallace, G. L. (2015). A preliminary study of self-reported food
selectivity in adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorder. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 15-16, 53–59.
Liu, R., Dong, H., Wang, Y., Lu, X., Li, Y., Xun, G., Ou, J., Shen, Y., Xia, K., & Zhao, J. (2020). Sleep problems of children with autism may independently affect
parental quality of life. Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 52(3), 488–499.
Mayes, S. D., Calhoun, S. L., Murray, M. J., & Zahid, J. (2011). Variables associated with anxiety and depression in children with autism. Journal of
Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 23(4), 325–337.
Sawyer, M. G., Bittman, M., La Greca, A. M., Crettenden, A. D., Harchak, T. F., & Martin, J. (2009). Time demands of caring for children with autism: What are
the implications for maternal mental health? Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40(5), 620–628.

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Discrepancies in Ratings of Child Behavior Between Mothers and Fathers of Children with Autism: Associations with Parent and Family Functioning

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Sarah Madison Psychology Chrystyna Kouros Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 5, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes deficits in reciprocal social communication and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities (APA, 2013).
Previous work has found disagreement between parents in their perception of characteristics of their child (Duhig et al., 2000). These differences in perception have been termed ‘informant discrepancies’ and have been linked, in neurotypical (NT) families, to phenomena within the family system such as maternal depression and family distress levels (Christensen et al., 1992; Whiffen et al., 1990). Previous work with NT and ADHD children also found that mothers rated their child’s symptoms as more severe than fathers did (Langberg et al., 2010; Christensen et al., 1992). There is, however, a paucity of research examining possible discrepancies between parents of autistic children (Stratis & Lecavalier, 2015). Because the entire family is impacted by characteristics of each individual member, parents of children with autism may differ from parents of NT children and consequently, research utilizing parents of NT children may not generalize to parents of ASD children.
The current study seeks to examine possible patterns of discrepancies in parents’ perception of their child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors in parents with ASD children. I aim to determine the rate at which parents agree about their child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors and to determine which parent perceives behaviors as more severe when parents disagree. Lastly, I aim to determine whether discrepancies in parent perception of child behavior predict depression for either parent.
Participants in this multi-site study included 117 mothers and fathers with a child between 10 and 17 years old with autism. Parents were required to be married or cohabitating for at least one year, to be living with their child at least 50% of the time, and to be able to read and speak English. Their children were required to have a community diagnosis of ASD and must not have a co-occurring intellectual disability. Mothers’ average age was 43.15 years (SD = 6.42) and fathers’ average age was 44.99 years (SD = 6.90). The majority of parents were White and reports of annual family income revealed that 47% earned more than $100,000. Families came to the testing site and completed a series of questionnaires.
The Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL: Achenbach, 1999) was used to measure parents’ perceptions of their child’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors. The CBCL contains a total of 73 items and two subscales; one for internalizing behaviors (mothers, α = .87; fathers, α = .86) and one for externalizing behaviors (mothers, α =.92; fathers, α = .91). Using a three-point Likert-type scale, parents were asked whether statements about their children were not true, somewhat true, or always true in the last two months. Parent depression was measured using the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (IDAS; Watson et al., 2007). This 64 item measure uses a five point Likert-type scale (1 = not at all, 5 = extremely) to measure how true statements are of the participant in the previous two weeks.
Parent scores were considered to be discrepant if they were more than half of a standard deviation apart. Raw scores were converted to Z scores in SPSS and the difference between Z scores was calculated. Analyses revealed that about half of parents agreed about their child’s symptoms while half disagreed for both internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Additionally, when parent did disagree, fathers rated behavior as more severe about half of the time, while mothers rated behavior as more severe the other half of the time (see Table 1 for precise descriptives).
Table 1. Percentage of instances of parent agreement, mother rating higher than father, and father rating higher than mother for internalizing and externalizing behaviors.
Externalizing Behaviors Internalizing Behaviors
Agreement groups Percentage Agreement groups Percentage
In agreement 50.90 In agreement 50.90
Mothers > fathers 24.10 Mothers > fathers 24.10
Fathers > mothers 25.00 Fathers > mothers 25.00

Further analyses will be conducted using polynomial regression with response surface analysis to determine whether discrepancies in parent perception of their child’s internalizing or externalizing symptoms predict depression for either parent.
Results revealed that parents agreed about their child’s symptoms about half of the time for both internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Additionally, in instances where parents disagreed, mothers rated behaviors higher than fathers half of the time and lower than fathers half of the time for both internalizing and externalizing behaviors. This is inconsistent with prior work using parents of NT children, which found that mothers tended to rate child behavior higher than fathers. Further work needs to assess both the potential factors contributing to each discrepancy type and possible individual and family outcomes associated with each type.
Analyses will be run before the conference to determine whether the discrepancies in parents’ perception of their child’s symptoms predict depression for the mothers or fathers included in our sample.


Achenbach, T. M. (1999). The Child Behavior Checklist and related instruments. In M. E. Maruish (Ed.), The use of psychological testing for treatment planning and outcomes assessment., 2nd ed. (pp. 429–466). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Christensen, A., Margolin, G., & Sullaway, M. (1992). Interparental agreement on child behavior problems. Psychological Assessment, 4, 419–425.
Duhig, A. M., Renk, K., Epstein, M. K., & Phares, V. (2000). Interparental agreement on internalizing, externalizing, and total behavior problems: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 7(4), 435–453.
Stratis, E. A., & Lecavalier, L. (2015). Informant agreement for youth with autism spectrum disorder or intellectual disability: A meta-analysis. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(4), 1026–1041.
Watson, D., O'Hara, M. W., Simms, L. J., Kotov, R., Chmielewski, M., McDade-Montez, E. A., & Stuart, S. (2007). Development and validation of the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms (IDAS). Psychological assessment, 19(3), 253.

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An examination of the effect of temporal and spatial arrangement of stimuli on spatial choice behavior with pigeons

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Jordan Nerz Psychology Sara Bond Psychology Zoe Brous Psychology Nate Jones Psychology Kenneth Leising Psychology Taryn Pittman Psychology
Advisor(s): Kenneth Leising Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 5, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

In a feature-positive discrimination, responding to a target stimulus (A) is reinforced only when presented with a feature stimulus (X), but not when presented alone (XA+/A-). The manner in which animals solve this type of discrimination is affected by the temporal arrangement of the feature-target compound. Presenting the compound in a serial fashion (X --> A) results in X acquiring the ability to set the occasion to respond to A. When the compound is presented simultaneously (X:A), X could either directly control responding or X and A could form a unique stimulus configuration (i.e., configural learning). The present experiment used a spatial occasion setting procedure with pigeons to examine the ability of a feature (a diffuse background color) to modulate responding to a landmark (LM). For two of the feature-positive trial types, the feature and LM were presented simultaneously, and the LM and goal were always in the same spatial location (simultaneous/static). During other trial types, the feature preceded the presentation of the LM and the location of the LM and goal varied across trials (serial/dynamic). Responding was reinforced at the location to right or left of the landmark when presented with an occasion setter (static: +<-- WA, XB -->+, dynamic: +<--YC, ZD-->+), but not on LM-only trials. Transfer tests (WB, XA, YD, ZC) were used to differentiate between the features as occasion setters or direct control/configurations. The results of LM transfer tests will be discussed with respect to the mechanisms of feature-positive discrimination learning.

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Knowing when to shut up: Specific neurons control the suppression of vocal respiration

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Mariana Nguyen Psychology Rachel Arnold Psychology
Advisor(s): Brenton Cooper Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 8, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Human language is an action wherein one plans for, produces, and terminates sound production. Errors in motor planning and production lead to vocal dysfluency. Motor control of respiration is critical for a myoelastic-aerodynamic sound generation mechanism that is used by humans and many other vocalizing animals. Developing our understanding of how the forebrain assumes control of brainstem respiratory circuitry is essential for understanding language initiation, execution, and termination. Songbirds are an animal model for speech production in humans because of the numerous similarities between song learning and production and language acquisition and speech production. Zebra finches sing a learned song that is composed of a motif of 4-7 syllables. The motif is repeated multiple times to form a song bout. Here we explore how a cell-type specific class of neurons control sound termination in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata). In songbirds, motor production of song requires activity in premotor and motor cortical analogues HVC (letters used as proper name) and RA (robust nucleus of the arcopallium), respectively. Using an AAV (adeno-associated virus) as a viral vector and Cre-dependent expression of a red-shifted opsin (ChRmine), neurons in premotor cortex that project to motor cortex (HVCRA neurons) produced and inserted soma-targeted, membrane-bound ion channels that allowed for light-dependent manipulation of ongoing cellular activity. Using real-time recording of singing, optical stimulation was timed with the production of individual song syllables. Light stimulation was delivered while birds produced self-initiated and female-directed songs, as well as during quiet respiration. We measured respiratory pressure in birds while they were singing by inserting a small piece of silastic tubing into the anterior thoracic air sac. Singing was reliably disrupted by optical illumination of HVCRA neurons. During the production of song, optogenetic activation of HVCRA neurons resulted in a truncation of the ongoing song respiratory pattern within ~25 ms for female-directed songs and ~32 ms for self-initiated songs. Measures of ongoing respiration during HVCRA stimulation outside of singing had no measurable effects on respiration. These data demonstrate that ongoing song motor patterns can be interrupted via activation of a specific class of neurons, and that the effect is mediated by suppression of ongoing respiratory patterns. However, the suppression of respiration is state-dependent. When birds typically sing faster (female-directed song), the termination occurred faster compared to when they sing more slowly (self-initiated song). Further, outside of song, optical activation of the neurons did not affect ongoing respiration. This suggests that forebrain control of respiration is “permitted” only during song. The underlying neural mechanisms allowing for this state-dependent switch remain to be elucidated. The forebrain control of song termination requires robust activation of HVCRA neurons to suppress brainstem respiratory circuitry. Similar suppression of respiratory circuits may control the termination of human speech.

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The Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Counselor’s Manual Project: A Descriptive Study

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Rosemary Odem Psychology Erin Razuri Psychology
Advisor(s): Danica Knight Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 5, Position 3, 1:45-3:45

Introduction: TBRI is an attachment-based model of care for children and youth who have experienced relational trauma. TBRI has been used in a number of service settings, but there is a lack of research on TBRI in clinical and counseling services.   
Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study is to evaluate behaviors and trauma symptoms among foster and adopted children whose families received clinical services using the TBRI Counselor’s Manual. 
Methods: This study used a one group, pre-post design. Caregivers seeking clinical services for their foster and adopted children (n=14) completed the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Young Children (TSCYC) or Trauma Symptoms Checklist for Children (TSCC) prior to treatment and again after 18 family sessions with a clinician using the TBRI Counselor’s Manual.  
Results: Although statistical analyses were limited by the small sample size, descriptive statistics suggest that CBCL and TSCYC/TSCC scores were trending in positive directions. Specifically, mean t scores for most CBCL and TSCYC/TSCC subscales improved, including mean scores for attention problems, aggressive behaviors, and anger. Further, the percentage of participants with scores in the clinical/borderline range dropped for most subscales, including attention problems, aggressive behaviors, anger, arousal, as well as for the composite scales of internalizing problems and externalizing problems.   
Discussion: Preliminary findings suggest that TBRI may help improve behavior and trauma symptoms among adopted and foster children whose families participate in TBRI-based clinical services. Limitations include a high rate of attrition and lack of a control group. Further research is needed to establish the effectiveness of the intervention in improving outcomes for adopted and foster children and families.

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College-Related Well-Being in Emerging Adults: The Role of Helicopter Parenting and Entitlement

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Roxy Odiorne Psychology Naomi Ekas Psychology Chrystyna Kouros Psychology Sarah Madison Psychology Anastasiia Pavolva Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 5, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Introduction: During emerging adulthood, the dynamics of the parent-child relationship change such that parents need to support their child’s independence and autonomy (Padilla-Walker et al., 2019). Engaging in helicopter parenting, where parents excessively monitor their adult children, is associated with greater mental health problems for emerging adults (Schiffrin et al., 2014). Emerging adults who experience greater helicopter parenting also report higher levels of entitlement (Segrin et al., 2012). As emerging adults transition to attending college, perhaps living away from home for the first time, they may experience challenges that negatively impact their mental health. However, there is a lack of research that focuses on how helicopter parenting impacts well-being specifically related to students’ college experience. Thus, the overall goal of the current study was to examine associations between helicopter parenting and emerging adult’s college-related well-being. A second aim was to determine the extent to which psychological and academic entitlement (i.e., the belief that academic success is deserved and the avoidance of personal responsibility) mediated these associations.

Method: Participants included 657 undergraduate students at two private universities in the United States. Participants completed an online survey composed of several measures evaluating the participants’ parents’ helicopter parenting behaviors and the participants’ own academic entitlement, psychological entitlement, and college related well-being. Measures used in the current analyses included the Helicopter Parenting and Autonomy Supportive Behavior Scale (Schiffrin et al., 2014), the academic entitlement scale (Chowning & Campbell, 2009), the Psychological Entitlement Scale (Campbell et al., 2004), and the College Student Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire (CSSWQ; Renshaw, 2016).

Results: Multiple mediation was used to investigate the extent to which academic entitlement – externalized responsibilities and entitled expectations -- and psychological entitlement mediated the association between helicopter parenting and well-being related to the college experience. Results revealed that helicopter parenting positively predicted each measure of entitlement, ps ≤ .001; but, only academic entitlement – externalized responsibilities significantly predicted college related well-being (b path), b = -5.82, SE = .71, p ≤ .001. The 95% confidence interval of the indirect effect using 5,000 bootstrap reiterations did not include zero [-1.25, -0.47], suggesting a significant indirect effect of helicopter parenting on college related well-being through academic entitlement – externalized responsibilities.

Discussion: Although helicopter parenting was associated with higher levels of each form of entitlement, only academic entitlement served as a mediator of the association between helicopter parenting and college related well-being. Students with higher levels of externalized responsibility generally avoid taking personal responsibility for their academic difficulties, instead blaming failures on others (e.g., their college professors). It is possible that these students were accustomed to having their parents manage academic tasks, particularly when they were living at home. However, now that they are living away from home and attending college, they feel entitled to expect similar treatment from their professors. These findings are important for college administrators and others working with college students to identify students who may be particularly vulnerable for struggling during the transition to college.

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How Does Prior Knowledge Impact Students' Study Order Decisions?

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Matt Olivares Psychology Addison Babineau Psychology Michelle Rivers Psychology Addison Williams Psychology
Advisor(s): Uma Tauber Psychology Michael Pelch Geological Sciences
Location: Second Floor, Table 8, Position 3, 11:30-1:30

How does Prior Knowledge Impact Students’ Study Order Decisions?
Matthew N. Olivares, Addison P. Williams, Addison L. Babineau, Michelle L. Rivers, Sarah K. Tauber, & Michael A. Pelch

Learning complex concepts is essential for student success, but it is often challenging. To improve student concept learning, researchers have identified study strategies that can significantly increase student performance (Samani & Pan, 2021). One strategy that has a profound effect on complex concept learning is study order. Prior research has found that memory performance is better when concepts are studied in an interleaved order (i.e., studying multiple concepts mixed together) compared to a blocked order (i.e., studying one concept multiple times before moving to the next; Brunmair & Richter, 2019). One factor that may impact students’ study order decisions (i.e., the decision to interleave or to block) is prior knowledge. We hypothesized that students with more knowledge about a topic would choose to interleave more during learning than would students with less knowledge. To evaluate this hypothesis, we conducted a two-part study to explore the study order decisions of undergraduate students enrolled in Introductory Geology at TCU (i.e., “Understanding the Earth”). During session one of the study, students learned to classify categories of rocks (i.e., igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary) by either studying the rocks or by completing practice tests. After each learning trial, students could block their study by selecting to study another example from the same rock category (e.g., study multiple igneous rocks in a row); or they could interleave their study by selecting to study an example from a different rock category (e.g., study one igneous rock, then one sedimentary rock). After the first session, students completed activities and lectures in their Introductory Geology course aimed at increasing their knowledge of rock classifications. Then, students completed session two of the study by restudying the rock categories, making study order decisions, and taking a final test on rock classification. We will examine students’ study order decisions at session one (i.e., low prior knowledge) as compared to their study order decisions at session two (i.e., high prior knowledge).

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Teaching Procedures in Computer-Assisted Foreign-Language Vocabulary Instruction

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Harrison Perry Psychology Juliana Oliveira Psychology
Advisor(s): Anna Petursdottir Psychology
Location: First Floor, Table 2, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

The goal of the present study was to compare the effects of two presentation formats when teaching Icelandic words through computer-assisted instruction: In the high-density constructed response condition, the participant was shown a word in Icelandic and asked to type the Icelandic word in every trial. In the pair-test condition, most trials simply presented the Icelandic word paired with a word in English and typing was required only in intermittent probe trials. Ten undergraduate students will participate in the study. Five Icelandic words are assigned to each condition. The assignment of stimuli to conditions is counterbalanced across participants. Pre and post-tests included translation trials, in which the participants were either presented with an Icelandic word and asked to give its equivalent in English, or vice versa. Preliminary data suggest similar acquisition curves in both conditions.

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A Comparison of Anxiolytic Behavior in Long-Evans Rats Consuming Cannabidiol (CBD) and TgF344-AD Fischer Rats in an Elevated Plus Maze

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Taryn Pittman Psychology Sara Bond Psychology Kelly Brice Psychology Tracy Centanni Psychology Logun Gunderson Psychology Ken Leising Psychology Cokie Nerz Psychology
Advisor(s): Kenneth Leising Psychology
Location: Second Floor, Table 1, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to have anxiolytic effects on behavior when injected (Blessing et al, 2015). In Experiment 1, we investigated whether we could replicate these findings in rats using acute voluntary oral consumption of non-pharmaceutical grade CBD oil at 60mg/kg in Long-Evans rats, with a control group consuming coconut oil (COC). A test was given two hours after consumption to observe any anxiolytic effect of CBD using an elevated plus maze. It was hypothesized that CBD rats would spend more time in the open arms of the elevated plus maze than the control group; however, results revealed that there was no difference between groups. Experiment 2 utilized Fischer rats as subjects to observe the difference in anxiolytic behaviors of TgF344-AD and wild-type (WT) rats and determine if our previous test apparatus was a sufficient measure of anxiety. Previous research has found that AD rats spent less time in the open arms of an elevated plus maze than WT counterparts (Pentkowski et al., 2018). There was no significant difference between the WT and AD rats; however, there was a significant difference between the Fischer rats (WT and AD) and Long-Evans rats (CBD and COC) with the Long-Evans rats spending more time in the open arms than the Fischer rats. Results will be discussed regarding possible factors for finding similar behavior across rats.

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Development of the Opioid-Treatment Linkage Model Resource Guide to Strengthen Parole Officers’ Role in Promoting Linkage to Community Services for Individuals Involved in the Justice System

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Brooke Preston Psychology Jennifer Lux Psychology Amanda Wiese Psychology Chelsea Wood Psychology
Advisor(s): Jennifer Becan Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 11, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Development of the Opioid-Treatment Linkage Model Resource Guide to Strengthen Parole Officers’ Role in Promoting Linkage to Community Services for Individuals Involved in the Justice System

Brooke Preston, Jennifer Becan, PhD, Jennifer Lux, PhD, Chelsea Wood, MPH, Amanda L. Wiese, MS, Kevin Knight, PhD

As funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Justice Community Opioid Innovation Network (JCOIN) seeks to improve health outcomes for individuals who are at risk for using opioids upon release from correctional facilities. Specifically, JCOIN aims to increase linkage and receipt of community substance use and medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) treatment within 18 communities across Texas, New Mexico, and Illinois. This system-level initiative will leverage and facilitate cooperation between community corrections staff and community-based treatment providers by providing training on innovative and best practices and service provider lists. Specifically, the Opioid-Treatment Linkage Model (O-TLM) Resource Guide is being designed to help provide parole officers knowledge of the Behavioral Health Services Cascade, which outlines the process of screening, assessment, and referral to health providers, and the treatment that clients undergo. The O-TLM Resource Guide includes information on evidence-based practices and resources that will aid parole officers in more effectively guiding their clients through each step of the services cascade. Additionally, local community provider lists and maps are being created to increase parole officers’ awareness of screening, assessment, and treatment facilities within their community. The list includes a comprehensive catalogue of providers, the services they offer, and their contact information. These guides will hopefully make it easier for parole officers to more actively link clients to community substance use and MOUD services that match the specific client needs.

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Lionizing Those who Agree and Demonizing Those who Disagree: Effects on Attitude Extremity

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Carlos Rebollar Psychology Kaleigh Decker Psychology Charles Lord Psychology
Advisor(s): Charles Lord Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 5, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Past research has shown that merely thinking about an attitude object can result in self-generated attitude polarization (Tesser, 1978). The current study examined the effects of a specific type of thought—extrapolating traits about proponents and opponents of a social issue—on participants’ post-manipulation attitudes. Participants completed an online survey in which they either extrapolated traits about people who support or oppose legalized abortions, or listed synonyms of experimenter-provided personality traits. Participants who extrapolated reported more positive attitudes towards those who agreed and more negative attitudes toward those who disagreed with the participant’s position on abortion than participants who wrote synonyms. Additionally, extremity of extrapolated traits predicted more positive (negative) post-manipulation attitudes towards those who agreed (disagreed) with the participant’s position on abortion. Our findings extended past research on mere thought by offering new insights into a specific thought strategy that can lead to attitude polarization.

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Molding Melanin Magic Mentorship Program

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Kayla Thomas Psychology
Advisor(s): Casey Call Psychology
Location: Basement, Table 7, Position 1, 1:45-3:45

Historically women and minorities have been underrepresented in the STEM field. What about individuals who identify as minority women? Their representation in the STEM field is even less than that of White women or minority men. How do we change this phenomenon and increase diversity in the STEM field? This is the question many leaders face every day when trying to increase diversity in their STEM oriented companies, college programs, and departments. Previous research has shown that enrichment programs that help “bridge the gap” between the majority and minority in the STEM field can be beneficial to minority individuals' pursuing a career in this area. (Brown et al., 2020). One aspect that contributes to the pursuance and retention of minority individuals in the STEM field is mentorship. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of mentorship on female minority high school students that wish to pursue a career in the STEM field. This topic is important to examine because it can help contribute to data on how to diversify the STEM field by targeting students in high school who wish to pursue STEM degrees in college. The mentorship program in this study helps prepare students to pursue STEM degrees in college by pairing them with a mentor who is currently a minority female in college pursuing a STEM degree and addressing topics such as college applications, resume building, mental health, time management, and navigating STEM classes in college. A series of pre-, during-, and post- surveys were administered via Qualtrics during the mentor program in the 2021/2022 academic school year. The surveys assessed participants' attitudes and feelings toward college, their knowledge and understanding of essential things needed to complete a college application, and if they were able to foster a meaningful relationship with their mentor.

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Evaluating Class Reorganization in Equivalence-Based Instruction

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Michael Tomlinson Psychology Juliana Sequeira Cesar de Oliveira Psychology
Advisor(s): Anna Petursdottir Psychology
Location: Third Floor, Table 10, Position 1, 11:30-1:30

The purpose of the present study was to extend previous studies in our lab that evaluated the stability of classes of stimuli that were learned through Equivalence-based instruction (EBI) and Complete Instruction (CI) procedures. Sixty undergraduate students received training to establish three stimulus classes with four members in each class. The students were randomly assigned to two groups: EBI – in which they received training for some of the relations – and CI – that targeted all possible relations between the members of each class. After undergoing training and equivalence test (Phase 1), participants received contingency reorganization training (Phase 2). In the reorganization phase, new relations between stimuli were established as correct. Stability was evaluated in an immediate contingency-reversal post-test. Overall, there was no statistical difference between EBI and CI groups. Participants made more errors in trials that tested derived changed relations than in trials that tested derived unchanged relations between stimuli.

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Examining Parental Alcohol Use, Gender and Peer Relationships as Predictors of Substance Use Severity

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Addison Williams Psychology Vinisha Inaganti Psychology Jen Pankow Psychology Brooke Preston Psychology Stephanie Villaire Psychology Kha Hoai Boa Vu Psychology Amanda Weise Psychology
Advisor(s): Jennifer Pankow Psychology
Location: First Floor, Table 6, Position 2, 1:45-3:45

Examining Parental Alcohol Use, Gender, and Peer Relationships as Predictors of Substance Use Severity
Vinisha Inaganti, Brooke Preston, Kha Hoai Bao Vu, Addison Williams

In the United States, issues with substance use among adolescents has grown in its prevalence, and past research has shown a continuity in substance use amongst children with substance involved parents. In adolescence, young men tend to report higher rates of alcohol use when compared to young women. As such, we were interested in examining gender as a moderating factor on the relationship between parental alcohol use and substance use severity. Amazon’s MTurk was used to recruit 185 participants with a history of substance use to complete a series of surveys. Participants reported parental alcohol use during childhood and involvement with pro-social peers. Results revealed gender did not moderate the relationship between parental substance use and respondents’ self-reported substance use. However, there were strong correlations among substance use severity, parental alcohol use, and involvement with pro-social peers. Specifically, respondents who were the child of a mother who experienced problems with alcohol were 3.12 time more likely to have a severe SUD. This effect was not observed when paternal alcohol use was examined as a predictor of substance use severity (p = .651). Respondents involved with pro-social peers are less likely to have a severe substance use disorder (p < .001). Together, children whose mothers struggled with alcohol use were more likely to develop a severe substance use disorder. In contrast, having a father who struggled with alcohol use did not affect respondents’ involvement with substance use. Furthermore, having a peer support system reduces subsequent substance use, regardless of parental alcohol use.

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The Effect of Helicopter Parenting on College Students’ Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Self-Efficacy

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Alyssa Alanis Psychology Naomi Ekas Psychology Chrystyna Kouros Psychology Deborah Rafferty Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 4, 01:10 PM

Introduction: Helicopter parenting, a parenting style defined by high parental control and warmth, (has been shown to negatively impact college age students through higher rates of depression and anxiety (Lubbe, 2018; Padilla-Walker & Nelson, 2012). Further, helicopter parenting may inhibit college students’ academic performance (Love, 2019) and feelings of success (Deci & Ryan, 2012). Overparenting has also been associated with maladaptive traits in adult children, including a sense of entitlement (Segrin, 2012). The goal of the current study is to explore the mediating role of self-efficacy in relationship between helicopter parenting and college student outcomes. It is hypothesized that helicopter parenting will increase depressive symptoms, decrease well-being, and increase students’ sense of entitlement.
Methods: Six-hundred sixty-five undergraduate psychology students were recruited through SONA to participate in the study at two Southern private universities. Participants answered a battery of online questionnaires about their interactions and relationships with their parent, reporting on their perceptions of their parents’ helicopter parenting behaviors, family environment, and personality. Students also completed questionnaires about their personality, mental health, academic achievement, and substance use.
Results: In order to test Lubbe and colleagues (2018) proposed four-factor helicopter parenting model, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed in MPlus version 8 (Muthén & Muthén, 2001-2014). The four subscales of the Bifactor Model of Helicopter parenting were used as indicators for the latent variable, Helicopter parenting, and was the hypothesized confirmatory factor analysis model. Based on Hu and Bentler’s (1999) criteria for adequate model fit, results of the CFA indicated the model had good fit, χ2 (2) = .720¸ p ≤ .001; RMSEA ≤ .001, 90% Confidence Intervals (CI) [≤.001,.005]; CFI = 1.00; SRMR = .005. To test the relationship between helicopter parenting and college student outcomes and the mediating role of self-efficacy, a structural regression model was performed with the ML estimator and 10,000 bootstraps. Results of the first model indicated good fit, χ2 (17) = 34.72¸ p = .007; RMSEA = .040, 90% Confidence Intervals (CI) [.020,.058]; CFI = .989; SRMR = .021. The indirect paths through self-efficacy from helicopter parenting to psychological entitlement (95% CI: [-.45, -.06]), academic entitlement, (95% CI: [.16, .71]) depressive symptoms (95% CI: [.37, 1.42]), and subjective well-being (95% CI: [-.16, -.05]), were all significant. Therefore, as helicopter parenting increases, self-efficacy decreases, which predicts lower levels of psychological entitlement and subjective well-being and higher levels of depressive symptoms and academic entitlement.
Discussion: Helicopter parenting behavior during the college years is not developmentally appropriate for parents to engage in and has been associated with negative outcomes for their college-aged child. The main goal of the study was to examine the relationship between helicopter parenting and college student outcomes and the mediating role of self-efficacy. Results of the current study support previous findings which suggest helicopter parenting has been associated with lower levels of mental health and well-being and higher rates of entitlement. The results also indicate that the relationship between helicopter parenting and student outcomes is mediated by self-efficacy.

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Employment Decisions in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Allie Benson Psychology Naomi Ekas Psychology Deborah Rafferty Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 6, 12:46 PM

Title: Employment Decisions in Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Naomi Ekas, Ph.D., Deborah Rafferty, Allie Benson

Introduction: It is very common for at least one parent of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to quit their job to care for this child (Stoner & Stoner, 2016). Some research suggests that parents of children with ASD are four times as likely to quit, change, or not take a job compared to parents with typically developing children (Montes & Halterman, 2008). These high rates of career disruption can have effects on both the parent quitting their career and the one continuing their career. Typically, it is mothers of children with ASD whose careers are impacted the most. Mothers disproportionately quit their jobs compared to fathers to care for a child with ASD and the mothers who continue their professional career face issues at work such as working fewer hours, having to change jobs, and not accepting promotions (Baker & Drapela, 2010). However, there is a dearth of prior research that examines why parents of children with ASD decide to quit their jobs or remain working outside the home after their child’s diagnosis. Thus, the first goal of this current study is to determine the factors underlying the reason mothers of children with ASD decide to quit her job versus continuing to work outside of the home.

Due to the array of challenges mothers face in caring for a child with ASD, these mothers face several mental health challenges. In general, research suggests that mothers of children with ASD experience more stress, less self-efficacy and parental competence, and lower overall health ratings than parents of typically developing children and children with other special needs (Herring et al., 2006; Pisula, 2007; Yamada et al., 2007). However, there is a dearth of research on the effects staying in a career versus quitting work to care for a child with ASD have on a mother of a child with ASD’s mental health. Thus, the second goal of this research is to determine the effects quitting a job to care for a child with ASD has on a mother’s mental health versus the effects staying in a career while parenting a child with ASD have on a mother’s mental health.

Methods: We recruited mothers of children with ASD who chose to remain in the professional workforce while raising their child with ASD and who quit their job to care for their child with ASD. All mothers reside in the United States, are married, and have a child with ASD between the ages of 10 and 17. Participants completed a 45-60 minute online Qualtrics survey that included demographic measures, mental health measures, and questions about their employment decisions.

Results/Discussion: Data is still being collected for this study. We will utilize SPSS to perform statistical techniques.

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Experience with Extrinsic Rewards does not Undermine Intrinsic Motivation in Rats

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Sara Bond Psychology Kenneth Leising Psychology Marisa Melo Psychology Tanner Raab Psychology
Advisor(s): Kenneth Leising Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 4, 02:15 PM

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation satisfy biological needs or desires. Behavior that is intrinsically motivated is not followed by any apparent reward, except for the behavior itself. Behavior that is extrinsically motivated is followed a separate, observable reward. The overjustification hypothesis states that after engaging in behavior as a means to an extrinsic reward, there will be a reduction in one’s intrinsic motivation to engage the behavior. The current study observed whether the overjusitification effect occurs in rats when using lever pressing as a measure of intrinsic motivation. For all rats, intrinsic motivation was measured in Phase 1 by the number of lever presses made by each rat in the absence of any observable reward. In Phase 2, one group continued to lever press without reward (Control), while the other group received a sucrose pellet (extrinsic reward) for each lever press. Lever pressing in the absence of reward (intrinsically motivated) was again measured in Phase 3. The extrinsic reward group emitted more lever pressing in the sessions at the start of Phase 3. Lever pressing decreased thereafter, but stabilized at a higher rate than the control group. The groups were then switched before Phase 2 was repeated. The overjustification effect was not observed in our study, but rather, reinforcement protected the response from habituation.

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Family Functioning and Parent Mental Health in Families of Color with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Racial Protests

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Olivia Buchanan Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology Lynn Hampton Interdisciplinary Anna Petursdottir Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 4, 02:55 PM

Introduction: There is a vast range of deficits and behavioral issues associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which leads families with children with ASD to experience greater amounts of stress compared to families of neurotypical children (Bayat & Schuntermann, 2013). An additional factor that may exacerbate the stress families with children with ASD are under is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has contributed to disrupted routines and increased anxiety and can result in an increase in challenging behavior for some individuals with ASD (Autism Speaks, 2020). In addition to the stress of the pandemic, the current social unrest evident by national racial protests following the killing of George Floyd may exacerbate stress in families, particularly families of color. The current study aims to contribute to the paucity of research regarding parent mental health and family functioning in families of color with children with ASD. Due to the stress of raising a child with ASD being exacerbated by the pandemic and the racial inequality protests in families of color, I hypothesized that families of color with children with ASD would experience higher rates of stress and have poorer family functioning compared to White families.
Methods: Participants were caregivers of children with ASD who were recruited from the community through local schools, flyers, and online advertisements. Participants completed a Qualtrics survey in April and the second survey in July. The surveys included questions regarding parents’ stress, anxiety, and depression levels associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and how this impacted family function. To analyze stress-levels regarding the racial protests that began in May, the July survey included questions regarding levels of distress about the protests and how families perceived their interactions with the police.
Results/Discussion: The data for the current study is still being analyzed.

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The effects of extrapolation and trait imageability on self-radicalization

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Claire Clark Psychology Kaleigh Decker Psychology Charles Lord Psychology
Advisor(s): Charles Lord Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 5, 01:42 PM

Previous research has found that people can become self-radicalized (i.e., adopt more extreme attitudes in the absence of new information) by merely thinking about a group. A number of studies in our research lab have also found that people can become self-radicalized when they engage in a specific type of thought strategy, namely extrapolating from known to unknown traits about a group. The current experiment examined whether differences in trait imageability, or the ability to form a mental image of a trait, influence the effects of extrapolation on self-radicalization toward a negatively perceived outgroup. We found that regardless of trait imageability, participants who extrapolated reported more extreme attitudes and behavioral intentions toward the outgroup compared to control participants. More importantly, however, participants who extrapolated to traits that were difficult to form a mental image of subsequently reported more extreme attitudes and behavioral intentions toward the outgroup, compared to participants who extrapolated to traits that were easy to form a mental image of and compared to control participants. The current results established an initial link between self-radicalization and thinking about trait information that is relatively difficult to process.

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Investigating Metacognitive Biases: Connections Between Fluency Effects and Beliefs in Individualized Learning Styles

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Rebecca Curran Psychology Mary Hargis Psychology
Advisor(s): Mary Hargis Psychology Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 2, 03:35 PM

Previous work illustrates that people’s judgments of the memorability of stimuli is affected by the perceptual features of those stimuli, even when there is no actual difference in memory (Rhodes & Castel, 2008). There is, however, a gap in the research about how such metacognitive illusions relate to other common misconceptions about how memory works. The present study examined the connection between so-called perceptual fluency effects and the common misconception that students learn best when content is presented in line with their individualized learning styles (e.g., auditory learners, visual learners, etc.). Participants were asked questions to gauge their perceptions of learning styles, then studied and made judgments about words that were presented in either large or small fonts (a manipulation that has been shown to affect judgments, but not actual memory performance). After a delay, participants took a free recall test, and were asked to make a global judgment about whether they remembered the large or small words better. We found that 43.47% of participants endorsed visual learning styles, 21.75% endorsed kinesthetic learning styles, 8.69% endorsed auditory learning styles, and the other 26.09% did not endorse a specific learning style. We also examine the relationship between learning styles and fluency effects.
Keywords: individualized learning styles, fluency effects, judgments of learning, metacognitive biases

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Influence of Socioeconomic Status on Rhythm Perception in Children with and without Dyslexia

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Nathania Davis Psychology Abby Engelhart Psychology John Solorzano Restrepo Psychology Vishal Thakkar Psychology
Advisor(s): Tracy Centanni Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 2, 02:39 PM

Influence of socioeconomic status on rhythm perception in children with and without dyslexia
Nathania Davis, Vishal Thakkar, John Solorzano Restrepo, Abby Engelhart, Tracy Centanni
Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129

Development of strong reading skills takes years of practice and instruction, but such skills are critical for future success academically, vocationally, and in everyday life. In spite of the early start to reading instruction in the United States, up to 15 percent of children fail to learn to read and approximately 21 percent of adults meet the Department of Education’s criteria for low English literacy (NCES, 2014). One risk factor for poor reading outcomes is the child’s socioeconomic status (SES). Previous research has demonstrated a significant and positive relationship between children’s SES and their reading abilities, such that children from more advantaged backgrounds develop better reading skills (Bowey, 1995), (Corso, 2016). Interestingly, reading skills may also be correlated with rhythm perception. Children who struggle to read also appear to struggle in the ability to detect slight changes in rhythmic patterns (Overy et al., 2003). It is currently unknown why these two skills are related and whether SES impacts the development of rhythm perception. The goal of the current study was to examine the SES-rhythm relationship among typically developing children (TD) and those with dyslexia (DYS). Data were collected from 36 TD children and 25 DYS children. Children completed a series of virtual reading assessments and information about the child’s history and home environment was collected from the parents. Children then completed a rhythm matching task (Dolloghan and Campbell, 1998) in which they heard two patterns and reported whether they were the same or different. Early analyses suggest that SES and rhythm processing are not significantly related. We discuss the implications of these findings on the development of rhythm-based interventions for children who are at risk for lower reading skills.

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The effects of Induced Gratitude and Pride On Children's Ability to Delay Gratification

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Connie Deighton Psychology Deborah Rafferty Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi EKAS Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 1, 02:15 PM

Delay of gratification refers to the ability to wait for a preferred reward over an immediate reward. For children, this ability serves as an important predictor of future outcomes (e.g., Mischel et al., 1989). Previous studies have identified several strategies that children utilize in order to delay gratification and most research points to cognitive processes as the key strategy for aiding in children’s ability to delay gratification. However, a newer body of research with adults suggests that emotions, such as gratitude, might be manipulated, and thus might serve as a constructive strategy for delaying gratification (DeSteno et al., 2011). This study is the first to examine whether positive emotions influence a child’s ability to delay gratification.

Four and five-year-old children (n = 74) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions - pride, gratitude, and control - and completed a drawing task prior to the delay of gratification task. In the pride group, children completed a drawing and then were given praise. In the gratitude group, children were instructed to draw something they were thankful for and then describe it when they finished. In the control group, children were given a single black crayon and asked to draw 5 lines and given no feedback. Children were then told they could have more of a preferred reward if they waited for 15 minutes in their chair, but to ring the bell if they wanted to stop and have less of the reward (e.g., marshmallows, goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, etc.). The total amount of time they waited was recorded. In additional, the frequency of performing various behaviors was coded. These included distraction (looking away from the reward), verbal (talking about the reward v. talking about other things), and interacting with the reward (touching, smelling, tasting, eating).

The three groups did not differ on any demographic characteristics (child age, child gender, ethnicity, household income, parent education). There were no significant differences between groups on the amount of time they delayed gratification, F(2, 72)=2.07, p=.13. Children in the praise (M=17.42, SD=7.18) and gratitude groups (M=16.92, SD=8.34) engaged in significantly greater amounts of distraction, F(2,72)=4.30, p=.017, compared to the control group (M=11.48, SD=8.18).

Research with adults has shown that positive emotions play an important role in delaying gratification. The current study provides evidence that this is also true for younger children. Although all groups of children performed equally well with respect to the time they waited, there were important differences in the types of strategies they used. Focusing attention away from the source of temptation is generally found to be an effective strategy and one that translates across situations. For example, distracting oneself during an anger-eliciting situation is also effective in reducing negative emotions. Therefore, teachers and parents should consider implementing interventions that focus on teaching children to generate positive emotions when encountering potentially challenging situations.

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Blood alcohol concentration, open field activity, and c-Fos expression after consumption

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Annamarie DeMarco Psychology Sara Guarino Psychology Chris Hagen Psychology
Advisor(s): Mauricio Papini Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 6, 03:27 PM

Alcohol consumption is a pervasive element of today’s culture with serious individual and social consequences. Consequently, understanding the effects of alcohol on behavior and the brain is vital to unpack the motivation for drinking and potentially help treat individuals with alcohol use disorder. This experiment utilized a rat model of voluntary alcohol consumption using a high (66%) concentration of ethanol. Traditionally, it has been thought that rats reject such high concentrations of alcohol. However, it has been repeatedly demonstrated in our lab that rats will drink such high concentrations of alcohol at a rate equal to water and will even work to have access to alcohol as a reward. In this study, rats were given access to either 66% ethanol or water in their home cages for 1-hour sessions. After some of these sessions, rats were placed in the open field chamber to assess locomotor activity and blood was drawn to measure blood alcohol content. After a final consumption session, brains were extracted to investigate differences in brain activity in specific regions of the brain. The results showed that after 66% alcohol consumption rats had increased activity in the periphery of the open field chamber, increased blood alcohol concentration, and increased brain activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insular cortex, and nucleus accumbens. All together, these results suggest that rats will consume high concentrations of alcohol and find such concentrations rewarding.

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You Are What You (Are Willing To) Eat: Willingness to Try New Foods Impacts Perceptions of Sexual Unrestrictedness and Desirability

Type: Graduate
Author(s): Matthew Espinosa Psychology Hannah Bradshaw Psychology Alexander Darrell Psychology Sarah Hill Psychology Summer Mengelkoch Psychology
Advisor(s): Sarah Hill Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 6, 01:02 PM

Here, we examine the impact of one’s willingness to try new foods on others’ perceptions of sexual unrestrictedness and desirability as a sexual and romantic partner. Guided by insights from past research, we hypothesized that targets who are willing to try new foods would be perceived as being more desirable sexual and romantic partners (Study 1) and as being less sexually restricted (Studies 2-4) than targets who are unwilling to try new foods. Results supported this hypothesis (Studies 1-4) and indicated that this pattern is specific to willingness to try new foods, and not willingness to try new things, generally (Study 3). Additionally, results revealed that the relationship between willingness to try new food and perceptions of sexual unrestrictedness are driven by perceptions of target’s relatively lower levels of sexual disgust sensitivity and not by the belief that the target is in better health or has superior immune function (Study 4). Together, these results suggest that people’s willingness to try new foods may impact how they are perceived by prospective dates and mates.

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Ethnic Differences in Parents’ Ability to Identify Internalizing Symptoms in their Adolescent Children: Does Their Ability to Identify Symptoms in Others Matter?

Type: Undergraduate
Author(s): Keana Gonzales Psychology
Advisor(s): Naomi Ekas Psychology
Location: Zoom Room 1, 02:31 PM

Background: Adolescent depression and anxiety has adverse effects if not treated, such as substance abuse, educational underachievement, teen pregnancy, social isolation, and suicidal ideation (Kamin et al. 2014). The possible reoccurrence of these disorders further emphasizes the need for early identification and diagnosis for teens. Although the prevalence of adolescent depression is high, many adolescents do not receive mental health services, such as talk therapy or medication. One possibility is that parents are not correctly identifying their child’s depressive and anxiety symptoms and may dismiss symptoms as being normative adolescent behavior. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether parents of adolescents were able to accurately identify symptoms of depression and anxiety in hypothetical adolescents and the extent to which their accuracy predicted their ability to identify symptoms in their adolescent. Ethnic differences between Hispanic and non-Hispanic parents were also examined.

Methods: Eighty-one mother-adolescent dyads participated in the current study (23% Hispanic). Dyads completed a series of surveys and clinical interviews in a laboratory setting. Adolescent depressive and anxiety symptoms were measured using the Child Depression Inventory (CDI) and Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders (SCARED), which were completed by the mothers and adolescents. Mothers were presented with a series of vignettes which described the behaviors of hypothetical adolescents. Five of the vignettes described symptoms of anxiety and depression in male and female adolescents. After reading each vignette mothers were asked to identify the symptoms and whether they thought the adolescent had a problem and needed help. Responses were coded by trained research assistants (currently in progress) and a score reflecting the proportion of symptoms correctly identified will be calculated.

Analysis Plan: Separate discrepancy scores (mother v. child report) for child depressive and anxiety symptoms will be calculated. Higher discrepancy scores suggest that mothers and adolescents do not agree on the level of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Next, separate simple regressions will be performed to determine the extent to which mothers’ symptom identification accuracy on the vignettes predicts the discrepancy score. Any necessary covariates (e.g., child gender, age, etc.) will be included. Finally, parent ethnicity (Hispanic v. non-Hispanic) will be added as a moderator to determine whether the aforementioned relationship differs by ethnicity.

These findings have essential implications for early identification in children who are at risk or may become depressed. Parents who are not able to see depressive symptoms early in their own children may never be able to give their child the help they desperately need. Equipping parents with the right information on depressive and anxiety symptoms is vital for early intervention to occur. Identifying possible ethnic differences will help as cultural differences can be a factor in early intervention. Parents can then be guided in better understanding their children’s individual signs and symptoms and be able to intervene before it is too serious. Overall this information will help more adolescents receive treatment as parents will be understanding of their own potential bias with their children.

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