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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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