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Psychology

Western Kentucky University

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The Impact Of A Therapist's Language In Computer-Mediated Communication, Robert E. Twidwell Apr 2019

The Impact Of A Therapist's Language In Computer-Mediated Communication, Robert E. Twidwell

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Background: Nearly 45 million adults in the United States live with a mental health disorder and only 43% of them seek treatment. One of the major barriers to seeking treatment is accessibility and can be addressed through telepsychology, or providing services with technology. With technological improvements in written communication, using computer-mediated communication (CMC; e.g. text messaging) has become more regularly used and examined in healthcare. To date, little research has focused on the use of practitioner language in telepsychology.

Method: Two samples (university sample and national sample) totaling 396 participants were asked to rate a therapist on attractiveness (i ...


A Look Into The College Readiness Needs Of First Time College Students, Lindsey Coomer Cox Apr 2019

A Look Into The College Readiness Needs Of First Time College Students, Lindsey Coomer Cox

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study examines the college readiness needs of first year college students based on experiences from students and staff involved with a first year transitional initiative program at Western Kentucky University. The purpose of the study is to share students’ college readiness needs with public school systems in hopes to intervene with these needs before students arrive at college. A total of 45 participants volunteered to be in focus groups, an interview, and complete a survey. Two research questions were proposed: What college readiness needs still exist for first time college students upon entrance to a four year public university ...


Characteristics Of Behavior Rating Scales: Revisited, Ellen Cox Apr 2019

Characteristics Of Behavior Rating Scales: Revisited, Ellen Cox

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

This study was a replication of a study by Hosp et al. (2003), which looked at items on behavior rating scales to determine if they can be used to plan and monitor positive behavior interventions. For this study, ten forms of commonly used behavior rating scales were selected, and the so what and dead man tests were applied on each scale. Each item on the scale was placed into one of four categories: positive action, negative action, lack of positive action, and lack of negative action. Then, these categories were used to rate each scale to determine which subscales survived ...


Is Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing Worth It? A Pragmatic Analysis For Clinicians, Brandon P. Cvengros Apr 2019

Is Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing Worth It? A Pragmatic Analysis For Clinicians, Brandon P. Cvengros

Psychology Capstone Projects

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a treatment developed for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that combines the cognitive processing of trauma with bilateral eye movements (EMs). Research has demonstrated that EMDR can be an efficacious treatment for PTSD. Other common treatments for PTSD include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy (ET). Research has demonstrated that both CBT and ET are efficacious in the treatment of PTSD. EMDR is a controversial treatment, with critics stating that it is very similar to ET and that the novel component, EMs, are irrelevant to treatment outcomes. EMDR has additional time and financial costs ...


Cbt Plus Humor-Based Psychology Interventions: A Review Of The Research, Rachel Thompson Apr 2019

Cbt Plus Humor-Based Psychology Interventions: A Review Of The Research, Rachel Thompson

Psychology Capstone Projects

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been demonstrated to be one of the most popular and useful psychological interventions used today (Ellis & Harper,1975; Bredemeier, Beck, & Grant, 2018; Jaya, Ascone, & Lincoln, 2018). However, a limitation of CBT is that it pathologizes behavior. Positive psychology is a supplementary theory that focuses on increasing positive emotions during psychological interventions and does not pathologize behavior. A limitation of studying positive emotions is due to the overlapping relationships between positive emotions. Positive emotions are highly related and are difficult to measure individually as opposed to negative emotions. Humor, amusement/mirth, is an observable positive emotion. Humor is a distinct ...


Efficacy Of Mindfulness On Stress And Anxiety In Adolescents: A Systematic Review, Callimarie Bell Apr 2019

Efficacy Of Mindfulness On Stress And Anxiety In Adolescents: A Systematic Review, Callimarie Bell

Psychology Capstone Projects

Most mental health problems begin early in life, with 50% of all problems beginning by the age of 14. Thus, adolescents are a vulnerable population and factors impacting their mental health should be examined. One factor is stress. Stress has been linked to both mental and physical health problems, depression, and anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health problem among adolescents. A potential treatment is that of mindfulness. Mindfulness originated from Buddhism and is the non-judgmental acceptance of thought, feelings, and experiences. Mindfulness has been found to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, alleviate chronic pain, and reduce ...


The Effects Of Message Matching In Climate Change Persuasion, Matthew R. Penner Apr 2019

The Effects Of Message Matching In Climate Change Persuasion, Matthew R. Penner

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Public opinions of climate change are not consistent with the reality that climate change is occurring. Effective persuasive messages must be created to ensure that irreparable damage to the environment is prevented. This study investigated the cognitive processes that occur when an individual is exposed to a persuasive message regarding environmental concerns that is matched to an individual’s personality characteristics like right wing authoritarianism and purity.

Messages on two environmental topics (solar panels and the Environmental Protection Agency) were created. Each topic was framed in multiple ways to test hypotheses about personality-based message matching. Participants completed a thought listing ...


Rapid Assessment Of Problem Solving For Kids (Raps-K), Hannah Perdew Apr 2019

Rapid Assessment Of Problem Solving For Kids (Raps-K), Hannah Perdew

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

The Rapid Assessment of Problem Solving (RAPS) is a clinical assessment of verbal problem solving skills created by Dr. Robert Marshall and colleagues (Marshall, 2003). The assessment, originally developed for adults, is based on the well-known twenty questions game. The clinician administering the assessment chooses a target picture and the participant asks yes or no questions to eliminate incorrect answers and, eventually, identify the target picture. Question asking efficiency, indicated by the number of choices eliminated, is considered to reflect levels of cognitive functioning, specifically problem solving. Recently, the RAPS has been utilized with typically developing children and children with ...


Physician Stress: Is The Electronic Health Record To Blame?, Zack Ward Apr 2019

Physician Stress: Is The Electronic Health Record To Blame?, Zack Ward

Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to explore the potential relationship between Family Medicine physician burnout and the electronic health record. To do so, this study utilized the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory to assess burnout among physicians, along with specific questions regarding usage of the electronic health record and measurement of physician perceptions of the electronic health record. Members of the Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians were sent two separate invitations to participate in the study twice over a one-month period via email.

The study yielded no significant differences in Family Medicine physician demographics and their degree of burnout, or the ...


Participation In Extracurricular Activities And Academic Achievement: A Comprehensive Review, Erin Morris, Apr 2019

Participation In Extracurricular Activities And Academic Achievement: A Comprehensive Review, Erin Morris,

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

At school, students are provided numerous opportunities to use their skills and abilities to complete tasks or solve problems. Students are considered to have academic success when they meet specific criteria on outcomes such as grade point averages (GPA), scores on standardized tests, and skill acquisition across areas like reading and math. Given the importance of academic achievement (AA) as an outcome measure, researchers have attempted to study certain variables that may relate to or predict AA. Extracurricular activities (EAs) are defined as school-sanctioned activities that students can participate in outside of the traditional school day. Participation in EAs has ...


Mental Health Stigma In College Students By Academic Major, Kristen Miller Apr 2019

Mental Health Stigma In College Students By Academic Major, Kristen Miller

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Stigma is best defined as the disapproval and shame felt by people who display characteristics not widely accepted in society. Although mental illness has become more prevalent in society through advocacy and awareness campaigns, it fails to be accepted and often individuals may feel shame that prevents them from seeking help (Dyrbye, Eacker, Durning, Brazeau, Moutier, Massie, S., et al, 2015; Givens & Tjia, 2002). Physicians in particular have been shown to have decreased help-seeking behaviors for psychological issues due to fear of professional repercussions (Dyrbye et al., 2015). Physicians also show increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and elevated rates of suicide compared to their age and gender-matched peers (Lindeman, Laara, Hakko, & Lonnqvist, 1996). Medical students also show similar levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and internalization of stigma towards mental health (Givens &Tjia, 2002; Zisook, Young, Doran, Downs, Hadley, et al., 2016). The current study aimed to replicate these findings in an undergraduate population by comparing the levels of stress, anxiety, depression, and internalization of mental health stigma between pre-professional students (pre-medicine ...


The Use Of Music In The Cinematic Experience, Sarah Schulte Apr 2019

The Use Of Music In The Cinematic Experience, Sarah Schulte

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

To portray the radical importance of music in stimulating emotion within cinema, to appeal to an audience’s selective attention to sounds, and to detail the process of creating an original film score, I have scored WKU student Tori Mills’ short film Come Up for Air. Film music is traditionally defined as any music that accompanies a film, though today it more specifically refers to music intended to advance the film’s narrative. Music has played an increasingly important role in transmitting emotion to film audiences, feeding the psychological connection between spectator and on-screen action. To achieve this emotional connection ...


Substance Abuse Treatment In Prison Settings: A Systematic Review, Emilee Cline Oct 2018

Substance Abuse Treatment In Prison Settings: A Systematic Review, Emilee Cline

Psychology Capstone Projects

A significant relationship between criminal behavior and substance abuse exists, which leads to a large proportion of individuals in the prison system who meet criteria for a substance use disorder. This review compares empirically-supported treatments for substance use disorder to current substance abuse treatment programs offered in United States prisons. A review of current literature indicates that Therapeutic Communities are the most common form of substance abuse treatment provided, and often these are combined with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy groups. Special treatment considerations are provided based on the type of substance used, gender, and ethnicity. Empirically-supported treatments are currently being implemented by ...


Substance Abuse Treatment In Prison Settings: A Systematic Review, Emilee Cline Oct 2018

Substance Abuse Treatment In Prison Settings: A Systematic Review, Emilee Cline

Psychology Capstone Projects

A significant relationship between criminal behavior and substance abuse exists, which leads to a large proportion of individuals in the prison system who meet criteria for a substance use disorder. This review compares empirically-supported treatments for substance use disorder to current substance abuse treatment programs offered in United States prisons. A review of current literature indicates that Therapeutic Communities are the most common form of substance abuse treatment provided, and often these are combined with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy groups. Special treatment considerations are provided based on the type of substance used, gender, and ethnicity. Empirically-supported treatments are currently being implemented by ...


Parent Perception Of The Working Alliance, Parent Self-Efficacy, And Parent Locus Of Control As Predictors Of Child Therapy Outcome, Christopher Glenn Chandler Oct 2018

Parent Perception Of The Working Alliance, Parent Self-Efficacy, And Parent Locus Of Control As Predictors Of Child Therapy Outcome, Christopher Glenn Chandler

Dissertations

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact that parent-therapist working alliance, parent self-efficacy, and parent locus of control have on child therapy outcomes. Bordin’s model of the working alliance provides a framework for measuring the collaboration between the parents and therapists while Social Cognitive Theory informs the decision to assess parent self-efficacy and parent locus of control.

The research questions were as follows: 1) Does a strong parent and therapist working alliance, as perceived by the parent, predict improved outcomes in child counseling? 2) Does parent self-efficacy predict outcomes in child counseling? 3) Does parent locus ...


White-Identifying Populations' Perceptions Of Muslims In The United Kingdom And United States, Ashley Gilliam Oct 2018

White-Identifying Populations' Perceptions Of Muslims In The United Kingdom And United States, Ashley Gilliam

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Much of Western society is engaging with complex ideas and events such as multiculturalism, immigration, assimilation, and terrorism. The United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) are relevant to this larger discussion considering the 2016 finalization of the ‘Brexit’ decision to leave the European Union and the recent travel restriction policies in the US targeting some countries with Islam as majority religious affiliation. Given these events, my larger research question addresses how majority populations view minority groups. Several studies have provided a view of how Muslims in the West form their own identities (Hopkins, 2011; Modood & Ahmad, 2007; Peek et al ...


Student Attitudes Toward Sex Offender Policies And Laws In An Era Of High Profile Sex Crimes In The News, Amber Bennett Oct 2018

Student Attitudes Toward Sex Offender Policies And Laws In An Era Of High Profile Sex Crimes In The News, Amber Bennett

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

This is a study looking at the attitudes that undergraduate college students taking introductory sociology and criminology courses have toward sex offender policies and laws such as community notification, residence restrictions, and the registry system. Voluntary participants were also asked to look at the appropriateness of the punishment given to perpetrators in case studies based off real cases. Results showed that there are potential gender differences in the attitudes about appropriateness of notification and the registration of sex offenders. There were less favorable attitudes toward chemical and surgical castration. Further research should be done to look at different types of ...


Cyberbullying And School Climate, Emily Payton Fisher Jul 2018

Cyberbullying And School Climate, Emily Payton Fisher

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between demographic variables known to predict bullying and victimization, traditional bullying victimization, cyberbullying victimization, and school climate. Participants were 214 fourth and fifth grade students from three elementary schools in Warren County, Kentucky. Students answered demographic questions and completed a series of surveys including the Positive Experience Checklist and the School Climate Survey Suite. Demographic variables and traditional bullying victimization were regressed on the students’ perception of school climate (Model 1). Additionally, cyberbullying victimization was included in a second block to estimate its explanatory value (Model 2). The present study ...


Enhancing A Middle School Student's Self-Management Skills In The Classroom, Lanie Jean Rudisill Jul 2018

Enhancing A Middle School Student's Self-Management Skills In The Classroom, Lanie Jean Rudisill

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Self-regulation (SR) and executive functioning (EF) are important factors for successful student outcomes. Research suggests that executive skills facilitate the process of behavioral self-regulation. Well-developed SR and EF skills make learning more likely. Proper SR has the ability to improve attention levels and EF includes the use of working memory, both of which are essential components of the information processing system that students use continuously. One type of SR, referred to as self-management, involves a cycle of observing and recording one’s own behavior, then evaluating one’s self-assessments against those of an external observer. Self-management interventions have previously been ...


Mindful Eating And Eating Pathology: Correlation Between The Mindful Eating Questionnaire And The Eating Disorder Inventory-3rd Edition, Soujanya Sreedhara Chetluru Jul 2018

Mindful Eating And Eating Pathology: Correlation Between The Mindful Eating Questionnaire And The Eating Disorder Inventory-3rd Edition, Soujanya Sreedhara Chetluru

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between mindful eating and eating pathology. This was accomplished by using two measures, the Eating Disorder Inventory, Third Edition (EDI-3), and the Mindful Eating Questionnaire (MEQ). Participants included in this study were 134 students from a midsized mid-south university who were asked to complete a demographics measure, EDI-3, and MEQ. Only three scales from the EDI-3 were considered; Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, and Body Dissatisfaction. Combined they provide an Eating Disorder Risk Composite (EDRC) score. Results indicated that there was no significant relationship between the MEQ overall score and the ...


Toward A Sociology Of Autism, Jessica Nashia Simpson Jul 2018

Toward A Sociology Of Autism, Jessica Nashia Simpson

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication. Recent studies within the social sciences have espoused a need to reconceptualize autism out of the domain of the intrapersonal and into the realm of the sociocultural. Semi-structured in-depth interviewing was used to examine the selfperceptions and experiences of twelve people who identified as on the autism spectrum. Social scientists have tended to grant the topic of autism to the domain of psychology; as a result autistic perception has been stigmatized resulting in the exclusion of autistic perspectives in knowledge production on the lived experiences of autistic ...


Effect Of Bullying On Emotional Distress In A Fourth And Fifth Grade Sample, Katherine Koper Marcum Jul 2018

Effect Of Bullying On Emotional Distress In A Fourth And Fifth Grade Sample, Katherine Koper Marcum

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The purpose of this study was to examine the difference of self-reported emotional problems between low levels and high levels of victimization. Participants included 214 fourth and fifth grade students from a southcentral county in Kentucky. Students answered demographic questions and completed a series of surveys including the Personal Experiences Checklist and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. The study was completed via computer-based questionnaire and focused on victimization within the last month. Results show that students who reported higher levels of victimization reported higher levels of emotional problems when compared to students who reported lower levels of victimization. The current ...


School Psychologists And Suicide Risk Assessment: Role Perception And Competency, Kristen Herner Erps Jul 2018

School Psychologists And Suicide Risk Assessment: Role Perception And Competency, Kristen Herner Erps

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

As the second leading cause of death for adolescents, suicide has become one of the biggest concerns for school personnel. School psychologists are often expected to be the most competent and able to lead in suicide prevention efforts, however, studies have shown a lack of preparedness in crisis intervention and, more specifically, suicide risk assessment. This study surveyed practicing school psychologists (N = 92) to explore their perception of both their role and competency in suicide risk assessment. While school psychologists reported having varying roles within their district related to suicide risk assessment, the majority endorsed having a role at the ...


Client Perceptions Of The Utilization Of Mindfulness Activities In Therapy, Anissa S. Pugh Jul 2018

Client Perceptions Of The Utilization Of Mindfulness Activities In Therapy, Anissa S. Pugh

Dissertations

The aim of the current study was to examine client perceptions of the use of mindfulness activities in the therapeutic process. For this current study, 21 participants completed a seven-item demographic questionnaire, a 39-item Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and a 10-item Mindfulness Experience Questionnaire. The present study investigated three research questions. Research Question 1 looked at how clients perceived the effectiveness of the use of mindfulness activities in therapy. The next research question examined how clients viewed the addition of mindfulness activities to be an acceptable treatment approach based on personal values and beliefs. The third research question for this ...


The Role Of Self-Care As It Pertains To Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, And Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline Staff, Crystal T. Henson Jul 2018

The Role Of Self-Care As It Pertains To Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, And Secondary Traumatic Stress Among Suicide Prevention Crisis Hotline Staff, Crystal T. Henson

Dissertations

The present study was designed to explore the role of an agency/supervisor to increase self-care participation among suicide prevention crisis hotline staff. The impact self-care participation was found to increase compassion satisfaction while decreasing both burnout and secondary traumatic stress in this population of helpers. Self-care is meant to be a preventative measure to help increase an individual’s overall well-being and can also impact job satisfaction. As helpers, self-care is often recommended to those individuals with whom they are working; however, helpers have historically not followed their own recommendations. Research has shown that those helpers with higher levels ...


The Effects Of Teacher Demographics, Self-Efficacy, And Student Gender On Behavioral Referrals, Morgan E. Hestand Jul 2018

The Effects Of Teacher Demographics, Self-Efficacy, And Student Gender On Behavioral Referrals, Morgan E. Hestand

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The current study examined the most common reason for behavioral referrals and the effects of student gender, teacher age, teacher experience, and school setting on reasons for behavioral referrals to the schools intervention team or the Individual Education Plan (IEP) team. Additionally, it examined the self-efficacy of teachers and compared the self-perceptions of teaching general education students with behavior problems with perceptions of teaching students identified as having an Emotional Disturbance (ED). Participants included 179 general education teachers, grades K-12, from the state of Kentucky and additional teachers recruited from Facebook from across the U.S. Participants completed a survey ...


Fostering Peace And Leadership: A Project For The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, Tomo Brown May 2018

Fostering Peace And Leadership: A Project For The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, Tomo Brown

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

The Black Mambas are members of a majority-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa that preserves wildlife in the world’s most targeted site for rhinoceros poaching. Despite the Black Mambas’ successes, the organization’s director has expressed concerns of a potential leadership issue in the unit, for which he seeks to identify the source and resolve accordingly. To assist in realizing these efforts, the researchers of this project traveled to South Africa and conducted work analysis interviews with 18 of the 34 members of the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit. Semi-structured interviews were used to collect qualitative data on participants’ perceptions ...


The Role Of Traditional And Cyberbullying Victimization In Predicting Emotional Difficulties In Elementary Schools, Sarah Bleam May 2018

The Role Of Traditional And Cyberbullying Victimization In Predicting Emotional Difficulties In Elementary Schools, Sarah Bleam

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Bullying victimization is a pressing concern in schools across the United States. Victimization to bullying has been associated with various negative outcomes in a child’s life. Of concern, victims can experience emotional difficulties, such as anxiety and depression, that can have lifelong implications for a child. For this reason, identifying victimization as a contributing factor is imperative for successful intervention in schools. We measured traditional and cyberbullying victimization experiences and emotional difficulties in 214 fourth and fifth grade students in the Southeastern United States. A multiple linear regression and sequential regression analysis identified that traditional and cyber victimization contributed ...


The Relationships Among Moral Judgement, Social Identification, And Stigmitization, Rebecca Isaacs Apr 2018

The Relationships Among Moral Judgement, Social Identification, And Stigmitization, Rebecca Isaacs

Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Stigma has had a perceived link with the concept of morality since the Grecian era (Goffman, 1963). The purpose of this study was to see if there was a correlation between moral judgement (using the Defining Issues Test 2; DIT2), social identification (using the Identification with all Humanity Scale; IWAHS) and stigma attributions toward those with mental illness. Specifically, whether those with a heightened sense of identification with all humanity and more developed moral judgement schemas are less likely to make negative stigma attributions toward persons with mental illness. The results this study supported correlations between those variables and the ...


The Influence Of A Proposed Margin Criterion On The Accuracy Of Parallel Analysis In Conditions Engendering Underextraction, Justin M. Jones Apr 2018

The Influence Of A Proposed Margin Criterion On The Accuracy Of Parallel Analysis In Conditions Engendering Underextraction, Justin M. Jones

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

One of the most important decisions to make when performing an exploratory factor or principal component analysis regards the number of factors to retain. Parallel analysis is considered to be the best course of action in these circumstances as it consistently outperforms other factor extraction methods (Zwick & Velicer, 1986). Even so, parallel analysis could benefit from further research and refinement to improve its accuracy. Characteristics such as factor loadings, correlations between factors, and number of variables per factor all have been shown to adversely impact the effectiveness of parallel analysis as a means of identifying the number of factors (Pearson ...