Recent Submissions

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

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Setzer, Olivia (2022-05-01)
    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 that were conducted on children 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.
  • Social Isolation And Loneliness In The COVID-19 Pandemic

    Krugman, Martin; Lee, Emma (2022-05-01)
    The COVID-19 pandemic is a problem that the world has been facing for just about two and a half years. During this time, governments around the world implemented a variety of mandates – most prevalently lockdowns, quarantines, and other social isolation guidelines – in an attempt to curtail the spread of COVID-19. It makes intuitive sense to expect social isolation to have impacted loneliness levels in the general adult population during the first year of the pandemic, when social isolation related guidelines were widespread. Thus, the present study sought to conduct a search and review of the psychological literature related to the impact of social isolation and other related variables on loneliness in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological databases and studies’ reference sections were searched until a pool of 11 studies was formed. Aside from loneliness, variables that were examined as predictors of loneliness in at least five of the 11 studies were chosen for discussion in the present literature review. Ultimately, it was found that loneliness was high and widespread during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that a number of sociodemographic variables were risk factors for loneliness during this time. However, there were some contradictory findings in the studies regarding whether or not loneliness increased in the general population during this time. Thus, further longitudinal research investigating this phenomenon is warranted.
  • The First School Shooter: Examining Multiple Causation In A Case Of Mass Murder

    Gow, David; Lowe, Madison (2022-05-01)
    Violence in schools and in public settings is an unfortunately growing problem in modern society, and understanding why and how these crimes happen is an integral part to preventing future occurrences. This thesis is a case study of Charles Whitman, the person recognized as perpetrating the first mass shooting on a college campus. This case study examines multiple causation theory using Charles Whitman’s case as an examine and guide for discussion. Areas of discussion include childhood abuse, drug use, self esteem, brain chemistry, social learning, locus of control, limbic system dysfunction, and cancer. It is argued through the case study that multiple causation theory provides the strongest, most encompassing explanation for why a person may end up committing a violent crime. Connections between sections, relation to the Whitman case, and discussion about how multiple causation theory is applicable to preventing similar cases are discussed.
  • How Our Relationships With Ourselves Impact Our Relationships With Others

    Mark, Christopher; Kollman-Veit, Chloe (2022-05-01)
    Out of the many theories as to why and how humans choose their long-term mates, two different models are explored in the present study. Evolutionary models examine the mating strategies used by the two sexes, focusing on the resources each sex can provide to their mate and any subsequent offspring. Alternatively, cognitive models explore the reasons behind a human’s thought processes and potential emotions that contribute to mate choice. Evolutionary models cannot explain all human mating, especially those who cannot reproduce heterosexually. Specifically, the LGBTQ+ community have been historically overlooked regarding these theories. The present study investigated whether human mate preference is most accurately described using a cognitive versus an evolutionary model. It was hypothesized that the mating preference for those who identify as being part of the LGBTQ+ community will be best explained by a cognitive model, while the mating preference of heterosexual participants will be best explained by an evolutionary model. Participants (N=97) were asked to rate certain traits, first for themselves and then for a potential future partner. Results showed that a cognitive model could explain mate preference for both LGBTQ+ and heterosexual individuals [linear regression: df = 1, F = 983.528, p < .0001, R2 = .912] Someone who rated a characteristic in themselves highly would rate that characteristic important in a partner highly as well. Those who recreate this study should try a random sampling method, and further, explore how people’s expression of their sexuality impacts their long-term mate preference.
  • Perspectivas De Acceso Y Tratamiento Para La Salud Mental En La Comunidad Latinx De Los E.E.U.U.

    Dávila Gonçalves, Michele; Hames, Ash (2022-05-01)
    Addressing the mental health crisis in the United States for members of Latinx communities is a matter of sociocultural limitations. Through a qualitative essay written in Spanish, this study investigates the attitudes of Latinx people in the U.S. regarding mental health care and their identity through qualitative face-to-face interviews or via Zoom. I had a group of eight subjects who were between 20 and 35 years old, identified as Latinx while living in the U.S., and were students or employees of a Massachusetts public university. First, the subjects completed a written survey where behavior was evaluated on the search for treatment, knowledge of treatment and its value, stigma, discomfort with the emotions generated, access and cultural barriers. After subjects completed the survey, I used a script of questions to facilitate our discussion of reactions to the survey, personal and relevant anecdotes, and one's own experience when seeking treatment for mental health (example: "Have you gone to therapy?"). I performed a thematic analysis of the information recorded during interviews to look for the significance in regard to the area of psychology. In the second stage of analysis, I collected evidence from the interviews and written sources, and organized them into four themes with three sub-themes for each category. I investigate the four themes of access to resources, discrimination and intersectionality, relationships with family and society, and psychological observations, specifically regarding how public health and psychology workers can improve the effectiveness of mental health care for the Latinx community.
  • Exploring The Line Between Representation And Exploitation Of Disabilities In Entertainment Media

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Crowley, Sophia (2022-05-01)
    Consistent with the sociocultural model, consumption of popular media influences a community's thoughts, opinions, feelings, and actions towards groups of people represented. Because of this it is important that historically marginalized groups of people are accurately represented in the entertainment media. However, this is often not the case, especially in regard to the disabled community. To showcase the lack of representation a content analysis of 100 popular media sources with disabled characters was conducted. These sources were then analyzed to see the types of representation in much of the popular media of today, i.e., if characters were played by an actor with a disability or if the disability was a main plot point of the story. Along with the content analysis, ten qualitative interviews with people within the disabled community were conducted to learn about their views of disability representation, exploitation, and existing examples in the media. These interviews asked questions about their view of representation, exploitation, and opinions on the existing examples in the media. This research found that not only is there a lack of representation in the media, but a lack of accurate representation, and this is viewed as problematic by participants in the current study. This research provides guidance on how the entertainment industry can improve the representation of the disabled community.
  • An Investigation Into Which Techniques Of Play Therapy Are Most Effective Across A Spectrum Of Behaviors In Children

    Gonsalves, Joanna; Boghosian, Jamie (2022-05-01)
    Play Therapy, a type of therapy in which play is used to help a client share their emotions and work through their issues, is a globally used practice (Cassado-Frankel, 2016). It is used to help many children combat their trauma, anxiety, depression, and several other disorders and conditions. This thesis reports on a meta-analysis of 11 previous research studies in the psychological literature research conducted on this subject and an analysis of data collected via an original survey completed by seventeen child therapists in the New England area who use play therapy on a regular basis with their clients. Consistent with previous studies in the literature, survey respondents reported that play therapy is very effective in helping children clients with their struggles. The survey found that the participants believed a play therapy session should be 30-60 minutes on average in order for it to be effective. The survey also found several patterns in which types of play therapy are most commonly practiced for different types of conditions. For example, the most preferred types of play therapy to practice were Child- Centered Play Therapy and Non-Directive Play Therapy. Another pattern found was that play therapy was most popularly practiced with clients who have anxiety disorders and least used with clients who have oppositional defiant disorder.
  • 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 surveymonkey.com 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.
  • 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.

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