Recent Submissions

  • A Literature Review Of Alternative Approaches To Escape Extinction In Feeding Protocols

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Setzer, Olivia (2021)
    This literature review investigated different treatment packages for feeding protocols in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A literature review was conducted on case studies with participants under the age of eighteen with at least one problem behavior related to feeding. The case studies included were peer-reviewed and published in a journal article in the past twelve years. The review considered a set of variables for each study that included: the number of children who were treated, the effectiveness of the treatment, consistency of results between participants, consistency of results across studies, and follow up treatment effectiveness. Based on the literature reviewed, the results indicated there was no single treatment package that consistently demonstrates a decrease in inappropriate mealtime behavior and an increase in acceptable mealtime behavior. High probability sequences, noncontingent reinforcement, behavioral skills training, least-to-most prompting, and lag schedules of reinforcement were at least moderately effective at decreasing inappropriate mealtime behavior and increasing appropriate mealtime behavior without using escape extinction.
  • Streaming Consciousness: Treading the Conceptual Rapids of Psychological Theory

    Noonan, Anne; Hayden, Felicia Marie (2016-05-01)
    This thesis is the first section in a book length project. The aim of this thesis is to explore the relationship between the academic field of psychology and the creative nature of the field. Through use of memoir, detail, and conscious experience, this thesis is a contemporary interpretation of the theories of Sigmund Freud.
  • The Effect of Instagram on Self-Esteem and Life Satisfaction

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Dion, Nicole Annette (2016-05-01)
    This quasi experiment examined the effects of Instagram, a social media site that consists of posting pictures, on self-esteem and life satisfaction. Specifically, I looked at the effects of following celebrities on Instagram in relation to the ideas of social comparison theory. Traditionally aged college females (N = 51) were assigned to either the control group where they were asked to use Instagram as they normally would, or the experimental group where they were asked to follow 15 specific celebrities for 4-6 weeks. Participants were given a pretest and posttest which included a self-esteem and a life satisfaction survey. There were no statistically significant differences found between the experimental group and the control group, nor between the pretest and posttest scores, and there was no interaction effect between time of measure and experimental group. However, a subgroup of participants that initially followed a minimal amount of celebrities before the experiment showed a decline in their life satisfaction at posttest which approached statistical significance. Further experimental research is needed to confirm that altering one's social comparison group on Instagram can lower life satisfaction among traditionally-aged college females.
  • Medical Mistrust across Different Ethnic Groups

    Todaro, Janet; Ciulla-Monteiro, Susana (2016-06-01)
    This study explores various factors that contribute to medical mistrust among a population of college students from a medium sized, public university. The hypothesis of the study was that ethnic minority status would be related to high levels of medical mistrust. This was tested using a self-authored instrument, which was made available to participants online. Participants were asked to rate various statements pertaining to medical mistrust (i.e. "I feel a high amount of anxiety when going to see a doctor" on a Likert scale, ranging from 1 to 7, 1 indicting that the participant strongly agreed and a 7 indicating strongly disagreed with the statement. Results were analyzed using statistical tests such as independent samples t-tests, one-way analyses of variance, and a factor analysis. While a relationship was not found between ethnicity and medical mistrust, other factors such as gender, age, citizenship status, socio-economic status, and birth country were found to be related to medical mistrust.
  • A 21st Century Update of Gender Portrayal in Caldecott Winners

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Black, Nicole (2016-05-01)
    This study replicated previous studies that investigated the portrayal of gender in Caldecott award-winning books. Past studies found that females were nearly invisible. Females tended to be under-represented in titles, central roles, and illustrations (Weitzman, Eifler, Hokada, & Ross, 1972). In addition, they appeared in the illustrations to be indoors more often than outside and displayed gender-typical behavioral traits. The current study utilizes the methods and procedures of past researchers to present an updated account of gender-portrayal in the Caldecott winners for 2010 through 2015. A content analysis, and a character trait analysis were performed to analyze the books. The researchers found no significant increases or decreases for human single-gendered illustrations and human characters. However, there was a significant increase in the percent of females for non-human single-gendered illustrations and non-human characters. In addition, females were over-represented outdoors, which is in contrast to past research. Furthermore, only three traits were rated as being more salient for females than males: nurturant, rescue and traditional role. Compared with past studies, children's books are becoming more gender equitable in terms of representation, location and behavior traits. However, improvements can still be made to reflect the actuality of societal proportions.
  • The Relationship: Partners’ Behaviors and Their Impact on Overall Satisfaction

    Crone-Todd, Darlene; Boucher, Ashley Christine (2016-05-01)
    Relationships are a top priority for many people, perhaps because relationships fulfill an important human need: love. Relationships tend to be complex and have many predictors related to whether or not a relationship will be satisfying. It is important that one evaluates how satisfied he/she is with the relationship in order to decide whether to continue. If one learns early in the relationship that they are not satisfied, then they can terminate the relationship before it continues too long. Relationship satisfaction was examined in terms of positive and aversive behaviors commonly demonstrated in relationships. The positive behaviors analyzed included support/praise, affection, security, and communication, while the aversive behavior categories included exclusion, deceit, avoidant behaviors, undesirable actions, and potential competitors. A survey was administered through surveymonkey, in which participants completed demographic information, a pre-survey rating of their overall level of relationship satisfaction, questions regarding the frequency of certain behaviors, and a post-survey rating on their level of relationship satisfaction. When analyzing the pre and post survey responses, participants were more satisfied with their relationship after completing the questionnaire. Regarding the pre-survey satisfaction rating, a stepwise regression procedure indicated exclusion and support/praise as having the most significance in a relationship, where as the post satisfaction rating was most closely associated with exclusion, support/praise, deceit, and potential competitors. Therefore, the clearest correlations appear to be exclusion, deceit, support/praise, and potential competitors. Another finding is that filling out the survey changed both the satisfaction level and the predictor variables. It is likely that the behavioral categories tend to produce satisfying relationships because both people in the relationship are experiencing both generic and idiosyncratic reinforcement from the significant other. Also, participants' satisfaction ratings appear to increase as a result of completing the survey. Is is not clear why this is the case; however, it may be that "taking stock" of the positive and aversive behaviors may have led this sample to be more satisfied with their current relationship. These findings suggest that reviewing the positive and negative aspects of a relationship can be beneficial, but more research is indicated.
  • Teachers' Views of Inclusion and Social Development: A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Beliefs

    Gonsalves, Joanna; LaValley, Lindsay (2013-12-01)
    This thesis examines teachers' attitudes towards social skill development and beliefs towards inclusion and social integration in their young students with disabilities, while also examining some of their current practices. With the increasing push toward integrating classrooms, it is important to pay attention to how teachers are adapting to having more students with disabilities in their classrooms and how they are approaching developing social skills among their students. Children with special needs can be at a disadvantage because of the decreased amount of attention paid to their socialization. A sample of elementary teachers, special education teachers, administrators and counselors were surveyed to ascertain their views on the topic, including whether teaching social skills is seen as important or not, what age to start teaching social skills, how much room in curricula do teachers have for developing social skills, and their views on the inclusion of special education students in the general education classroom. The main objective of the study was to compare attitudes and beliefs about inclusion and social integration that are held by elementary teachers with those held by special education teachers, administrators and counselors. Differences emerged in the practical application of social skill training strategies, and in the beliefs about when children should receive the most focused social skill training.
  • Predictors of Undergraduate Choice of Major and Academic Performance in College Females

    Lyons, Teresa; Cornelio, Taicha (2015-05-01)
    The goal of the present research was to determine whether the degree of parental involvement, views of femininity ideology and amount of self-determination impact female college students’ choice of major and performance in college. The purpose of this study also was to gain a better understanding of what influences college students to study certain subjects and for what reasons and to identify trends of major choice and academic performance. The research included a sample of 100 female undergraduate students from an Eastern Massachusetts university. The present study combined the use of surveys and interviews in order to examine if parental involvement, feminine ideology and self-determination predicted college major choice and GPA. The participants took part in an online survey in which they were asked demographic questions and rated statements that had to do with parental involvement, femininity ideology and self-determination. The participants of the survey were also given the opportunity to take part in an interview, in which the researcher asked open-ended questions that required further elaboration. When measuring the effects these variables had on the students’ GPA solely, there was a significant association. In particular, students’ femininity ideas of purity, parent’s school involvement and parent’s beliefs of putting effort were associated with GPA. It was also found that the predictor variables did not have any significant association with female college students’ choices of male-dominant or female-dominant majors. With such results, society may better understand what causes individuals to choose certain areas of study and its relation with how well they actually perform.
  • Mind Changers: Processes of Deliberation and Persuasion in a Civil Retail Discrimination Case

    Evett, Sophia; Sullivan, Cristen (2014-01-01)
    This research seeks to expand on the results of a mock jury civil trial study conducted by Sophia R. Evett, Anne-Marie G. Hakstian, & Liisa A. Burk (2012). In this study, 124 participants were placed on one of 20 juries (10 with black participants and 10 without). All participants were then asked to read a case involving an incident, at a department store. After reading the case, (Harmon vs. Reilly’s Department Store), participants were told that the plaintiff’s claim was either based on racial discrimination or unlawful detention. Deliberation analysis allowed researchers to observe topics used by jurors to persuade other jurors to change their mind from either siding with the plaintiff or the defendant. Results suggest that statements expressing empathy for the plaintiff were more prevalent when jurors found for the plaintiff while statements expressing a lack of empathy were found in juries that sided with the defendant. Statements implying that the case lies on a continuum (statements such as “His actions were not too extreme” or “Some things were right and some things were wrong”) were correlated with a finding for the defendant. Lastly juries that mentioned that the store followed policy were more likely to find for the defendant while statements about the store not following policy did not have an affect on the outcome of the case.
  • What is Missing Here? The Absence of a Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Salem State University’s Early Childhood Teacher Preparation Program

    Schumaker-Murphy, Megan; Noonan, Anne; Morin, Julia (2021-05-01)
    The K-12 student population in the United States is becoming increasingly more diverse in terms of the cultural, linguistic, ethnic, religious, and economic backgrounds of its students, with the racial identity of the students being of particular interest to researchers now that students of color make up around 50% of the school children population (Pennington, 2003). Numerous studies in this area have indicated that in order to meet the learning needs of a diverse student body and make their educational experience more equitable, a teacher must take on a culturally responsive teaching approach. This teaching approach to education has proven to be effective with students from various backgrounds as it builds on both the strengths and learning capacity of the individual student; and creates an expectation for teachers to take responsibility for their students` success, communicate high behavioral and academic expectations address their implicit biases, and work on relationship building and trust within their classroom (Souto-Manning, 2018). However, White people account for almost 90% of both teachers and teacher students in America (Ladson-Billings, 1999), and countless studies have reported that these teachers are ill- prepared to become a culturally responsive teacher, let along be able to address their implicit biases (Jett, 2012). Since the Massachusetts school system is currently seeing an increase in the diversity of its student population, as well as serious issues with segregation making it more likely for teachers to have a class where most of its` children identify as minority students (Rocheleau, 2017), an early childhood teacher preparation college in the area was observed, specifically Salem State University. The courses within the teacher preparations were examined, specifically for the purpose of finding how embedded a culturally responsive pedagogy was in the required courses for graduation. The study then gives recommendations about how to weave culturally responsive teaching and/or principles of culturally responsive teaching throughout the courses within the program, so pre-service teachers will be professionally trained to be culturally responsive educators in their future schools.
  • Analyzing The Relationships Between Alcohol Consumption, Cocaine Use, Relationship Satisfaction And Dependency

    Crone-Todd, Darlene; Miller, Benjamin; Gonsalves, Joanna; McBride, Valerie (2020-05-01)
    Few studies have examined the direct relationship between alcohol consumption and cocaine use while analyzing the impact of social factors on these interactions. This study examined alcohol consumption, cocaine use, and participants’ relationship satisfaction while also investigating the relationships each variable had with alcohol dependency and drug dependency. An online survey was administered through to 100 participants through a link that was posted on several Facebook pages and was sent to a university e-mail list. Of these 100 participants, 19 were excluded due to missing information. Significant relationships were found between alcohol variables, social factors, and dependency. No significant relationships between cocaine use and alcohol were found, however alcohol’s involvement in cocaine users reported last use was analyzed as well as how often they used and whom they were with. Some limitations to this study included a small sample and relying on self-reported data.
  • Is Polydipsia a Predictor of Cognitive Impulsivity?

    Aparicio, Carlos; Lilja, Shannon (2020-05-01)
    Two nonhuman animal models of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the Spontaneously Hypertensive rat (SHR) and Lewis (LEW) rats, were used to explore the possibility that schedule-induced polydipsia is a predictor of cognitive impulsivity. A concurrent-chains procedure consisting of 60 choice cycles was used. Each cycle began with one response on the back lever causing two front levers to extend into the experimental chamber. Choice was measured in the initial link with the levers using Random Interval schedules arranging entries to two terminal links. In one terminal link, the left lever produced one food pellet immediately (SSF). In the other terminal link, the right lever produced 4 food pellets (LLF) after a delay of 0.1, 5, 10, 20, 40 or 80 seconds. A bottle of water could be available (B), or could not be (A) available, to the rats in the choice situation according to an ABABA design. The results showed that the rats discounted the value of the LLF as a function of the delay to deliver it. Both strains of rats drank water during the one-minute blackout following 10 choice cycles during the session. But the SHRs drank more water than the LEWs, especially during the delays to the LLF. A negative correlation between polydipsia and discounting rate suggests that: (1) polydipsia is not a predictor of impulsive choice, and (2) polydipsia is not related to motor impulsivity.
  • Racial Injustices: The Menstrual Health Experiences of African American and Latina Women

    Moore, Sara B.; Martinez, L. Virginia (2020-05-01)
    The goal of this research is to examine racial disparities among college-age African American and Latina women with a focus on menstrual health issues and their experiences with health care. This research includes a literature review that explores the existence of institutionalized racism and sexism in medicine, giving attention to reproductive justice and ultimately menstrual justice for women of color. It also entails four semi-structured, in-depth interviews with African American and Latina women, through which I identified four common themes: 1) the normalization of pain, symptoms, and experiences, 2) feelings of not being taken seriously by medical providers, 3) the disruption of daily activities and self-image, and 4) feelings of frustration that treatments are not working. Previous research supports the findings that women of color are disproportionately disadvantaged compared to their White counterparts in terms of birth outcomes and infant mortality, quality of medical care, and their relationship with medical professionals. Although the area of menstrual justice is particularly understudied, this research sheds light on the experiences of women of color who have sought medical care for menstrual health conditions in the hopes that their health care experiences will not go unnoticed or be dismissed. Medical professionals can draw on this study to address the problem of racial disparities in medical treatment, menstrual health, and health care in general to provide a meaningful and effective path for women of color.
  • Exploring An American Identity Crisis In Emerging Adulthood

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Siefken, Rebecca (2020-05-01)
    This study investigates the possibility of an American Identity crisis in emerging adults, where young, college-aged people are feeling conflicted and possibly rejecting a common American identity. The period of emerging adulthood in many first-world countries is a time between adolescence and adulthood where young adults are able to explore different roles, identities, and ideas independently from their parents, guardians, and hometown (Arnett, 2000). The goal of this research is to listen to young Americans regarding their conceptions of a common American identity and to explore the degree to which they accept or reject this identity for themselves. This research further explores the theme of emerging adults finding their voices and exploring new viewpoints to vocally question ideas that conflict with personal values, and possibly changing the future of America through active involvement as citizens. An original, online survey was created for students at Salem State University that includes open-response and Likert-style questions regarding their own identity and attitudes regarding a perceived common American identity. Qualitative and quantitative analysis are used to examine the possibility of a generational American identity crisis among emerging adults. The intersections between American identity and other participant identities, such as race, sexual orientation, and gender, are also analyzed and discussed.
  • Why Incorporating Translanguaging Practices Into English As A Second Language Programs Will Help Boost English Proficiency And Build Confident English Learners

    Gonzalez, Melanie; Neault, Jillian (2020-05-01)
    English as a second language programs often implement other ways of teaching that do not allow for students to use their native language, requiring the use of English only using various instructional strategies to teach language and content. Translanguaging is a practice allows for students to be able to learn English as well as keeping their identity and culture through using their native language (L1) alongside English. This approach helps students to still learn English and be able to communicate with both their teachers and families at home about their schoolwork. Therefore, this thesis explores educational research done on translanguaging and the benefits that can come from using this way of teaching. To complete this thesis, I performed a literature review in the form of a pedagogical article to show the benefits of translanguaging.
  • Are Future Teachers Ready To Work With Students With Anxiety Disorders?

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Vallario, Katrina (2019-05-01)
    Childhood anxiety has garnered attention over the past couple of decades due to high prevalence rates and early onset (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). This study investigated future educators’ attitudes and knowledge regarding childhood anxiety disorders. An original survey was created and administered to education students at a state school in Massachusetts to assess their knowledge about anxiety, gauge their exposure to childhood anxiety, and measure attitudinal ratings about teachers’ role in addressing childhood anxiety. Statistical analyses were conducted to see whether there were any curricular or experiential predictors of participants’ attitudes or knowledge. No statistically significant correlations were found. However, almost all of the participants acknowledged that childhood anxiety was something that will be seen in their classrooms, and nearly half of participants responded with low confidence levels in regard to being adequately prepared to service children with anxiety.
  • Examining Sanity Testing: Past, Present, And Future

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Marchionda, Claudia (2019-05-01)
    This thesis explores the use and validity of sanity testing in the United States. The central question is how the legal determination of criminally insanity impacts the outcomes for accused individuals. The primary sources used in this thesis include federal laws and regulations, forensic psychology research, and case studies. The history of the insanity plea and the role of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders within the courtroom are explored. Also considered are current sanity testing practices, with emphasis on the consequences of type I and type II errors. My research suggests that these definitions are not consistent among the different organizations involved. The sanity plea is reevaluated when the public becomes involved and the nature of society changes. Implications for such inconsistencies are discussed.
  • Improving Tier-1 Mental Health Programs In Schools

    Aparicio, Carlos; LeClerc, Hannah K. (2019-05-01)
    Tier-1 mental health education programs are designed to educate young people about general mental health issues in school settings and everyday life situations. In practice, however, they have not been efficient at delivering a generalized mental health education to individual’s ages 5-18 years old, because these programs do not consider socioeconomic, sociocultural, and gender differences; and these factors are important to effectively educate individuals. The thesis of the present study is that if these factors are included in the design and implementation of tier-1 programs, they will succeed in educating individuals about mental health issues. Accordingly, the present study reviewed research assessing socioeconomic, sociocultural and gender factors in determining the successful implementation of tier-1 mental educational programs. The main findings and their implications to the development and implementation of tier-1 programs are discussed in this paper.
  • Comparing Individual Differences In Literacy Development In Pre-Kindergarteners And Kindergarteners: A Literature Review And A Proposal For Future Research

    Miller, Patrice; Harris, Morgan (2019-05-01)
    The thesis, Comparing Individual Differences in Literacy Development in Pre-Kindergarteners and Kindergarteners, is a literature review that examines some of the research literature, focusing on the different aspect’s researchers examined related to literacy development. The articles focused heavily on children’s self-concept and the home literacy environment that the parents provide for the child. This thesis describes in depth five articles with a connection to either the home literacy environment, or children’s self-concept. The self-concept articles specifically examined how children viewed their own competency in completing school-related tasks. The articles reviewed were chosen because of their connection to the literacy environment and children’s success. From the analysis of these articles a study is proposed in which the home literacy environment would be evaluated, and children would be asked questions related to their self-competence. These two measures would then be related to children’s reading test scores to examine the relative contribution of each of the two predictors to literacy. In addition to the detailed discussion of previous work, this thesis describes in depth the measures that would be used in this study, the HOME, the Harter Self-Competence scale and school measures such as the BAS and PALs.
  • Positive And Negative Effects Of Inclusive Education On Social Development For Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Literature Review

    Scott, Kristina; Coelho, Emily (2019-05-01)
    This research reviewed available literature on the positive and negative effects of educational inclusion on social development for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Autism Spectrum Disorder is a spectrum of disorders characterized by deficits in social skills and nonverbal behaviors. With the prevalence of ASD steadily increasing, students with ASD are more frequently being placed in inclusive education classrooms among their peers without ASD. Research studies conveyed that positive inclusion harbors social inclusion, trained educators and cooperation from peers who are non-disabled. Other studies conveyed that inclusion can be detrimental to a student with ASD’s social development and success. Results of this literature review suggests that there are several supports required within an inclusive education environment in order for social developmental progress to be made for students with ASD.

View more