Psychology Master's Theses

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 17
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    Enabling Behaviors, Stigmatization, and Attitudes towards Substance Abuse and Bulimia
    (2018) Mattice, Melissa; Dunham, Katherine
    Enabling behaviors may impair the recovery of individuals with substance use and eating disorders. Participants read one of six vignettes portraying a character with either a substance use disorder or bulimia and were asked how they would react. The effects of several factors, such as gender, knowledge of disorder, disorder type, and enabling behaviors, on the likelihood of specific responses were examined for the most common responses. Some notable results included that females were more likely to intend to provide support. Participants who had higher enabling scores were less likely to tell a professional and were more likely to do nothing. Higher stigma scores were observed for those in the other category, which encompassed several less definitive responses. Responses did not vary by character gender, knowledge of disorder, or disorder type. The results point to the need for education and stigma reduction efforts for substance use and eating disorders.
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    Is There a Relationship Between Art and Theory of Mind? A Review of Findings
    (2017) Brucker, Christina; Phillips, Dale
    Art interpretation, or perception of art, reflects the intrapersonal relationship to emotions, thoughts, and seductions that a person experiences while viewing artwork (Barret, 2002). Alongside the importance of artwork interpretation, Theory of Mind (ToM) can be defined as the capacity to imagine or form opinions about the cognitive states of others (Pam, 2016). Together, art interpretation and the measure of one's Theory of Mind could provide further insight into those with weaker ToM abilities. The purpose of this research is to discover whether a relationship between Theory of Mind and art interpretation exists for future directions such as art therapy or ToM interventions.
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    Recognition of and Attitudes Toward Autism Spectrum Disorder in College Students
    (2017) O'Connell, Morgan; Dunham, Katherine
    The present study explored the intended reactions to a hypothetical character with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the effect of several variables on those intended reactions, using a convenience sample of 172 introductory psychology college students. Preliminary analyses of the results were concerning regarding the low recognition of this disorder, and a high endorsement of myths, stigma, and social distance. We predicted that those who correctly identified ASD would state an intention to provide more supportive responses than those who failed to correctly identify the disorder as autism. Frequency counts, chi-squared analyses, and an independent t-test were used to summarize the participants' intended responses to the character, assess the relation between categorical variables, and compare the means of continuous variables by each of the behaviors endorsed. Significantly more participants who correctly identified autism in the vignette said they would offer support to the character than if they did not correctly identify it as autism. Those who said they would provide general support had less personal stigma about the character and lower scores on the Autism Quotient. Participants who said they would do nothing in response had higher preferred social distance scores. No significant effects of participant gender and character gender were found. This research is important for the purposes of education of the public on autism spectrum disorders and how best to support such individuals, especially when transitioning to post-secondary education.
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    Experimental Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior for Participants of a Social Skills Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    (2017) Rothwell, Matthew; Egan, Patricia
    Brief functional analysis for students exhibiting problem behavior with ASD. Goal of study involved determining the function of behavior, in order to provide information for future interventions.
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    Use of PBIS Methods to Reinforce Sportsmanship in a Recreational Setting for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    (2017) Brucker, Julie; Egan, Patricia
    Demonstrate and evaluate the use of a PBIS intervention, "PLAY." Four rules were modeled and a group contingency was used to decrease problem behaviors in a recreational setting. Results showed positive outcomes through the use of PBIS, reinforcing rules, and use of group rewards.