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Psi Chi Journal Spring 2009


Volume 14.1 | Spring 2009
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Influences on Career Choice During Adolescence

DoriAnn Adragna, Mesa State College

ABSTRACT: Many theorists have investigated various aspects of career development during adolescence; however, most of these studies have involved college-aged students. The present study specifically investigated career choice and future plans among high school students. To see what factors influence students’ career aspirations, high school students from two high schools completed a questionnaire. The questionnaire asked students about their academic future, career aspirations and expectations, as well as who had been influential in the students’ lives. As hypothesized, academic risk reported by the student influenced future plan aspirations. For example, those students who were at a high academic risk had low aspirations for future plans. Also as predicted, there were no differences between parental occupation and children’s reported job plans. Theoretical implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Effects of Presenting Concern and Therapeutic Relationship on College Counseling Outcomes

Brittany R. Eyler, Eliza Miya Gaskins, and Holly M. Chalk, McDaniel College

ABSTRACT: Given the substantial severity of psychopathology among college students, the current study sought to identify variables associated with positive outcomes among college counseling center clients. The study explored how a client’s presenting concern and therapeutic alliance variables relate to positive counseling outcomes, such as progress and goal attainment. Thirty-two undergraduate counseling clients indicated their presenting concern and rated levels of trust, comfort, goal attainment, and therapy outcomes. Findings revealed that the perceived strength of the therapeutic alliance directly related to positive outcomes in therapy. Unexpectedly, college students who presented with issues of college adjustment and interpersonal problems were more psychologically distressed than those who presented with substance abuse or preexisting conditions.

Complex Environmental Enrichment and Spatial Reference Memory in Middle-Aged Mice

Victoria Koke and Marilyn S. Petro, Nebraska Wesleyan University

ABSTRACT: The effect of different forms of continuous environmental enrichment on the spatial reference memory of 22 middle-aged female CB57BL/6 mice was examined. All mice were socially housed in either standard (social enrichment only) or complex enriched (social and environmental enrichment) cages for 7 weeks. Enhanced spatial memory as tested on the Barnes Maze was observed in the mice experiencing the complex enriched environment. These environmentally enriched mice demonstrated a significantly shorter latency to both find and enter the escape hole, with fewer occurrences of freezing behavior than mice in the social housing group. The combination of enrichment variables improved spatial reference memory more than the single variable in middle-aged mice.

Context Effects and Their Influence on Media Recall

Jacob E. Sauser and Mareike Wieth, Albion College

ABSTRACT: Context effects have been shown to consistently improve memory. Physical context effects and semantic context effects have been demonstrated across several studies. Not much research, however, has investigated potential source context effects. The current research was designed to examine whether source context could increase recall of quotes from popular movies. Participants were asked to remember a set of quotes from the same movie source and a set of quotes from different movie sources. Results showed that participants remembered significantly more quotes from the same movie source than from different movie sources. In addition, participants were more accurate in their recall (they recalled fewer incorrect quotes) when the quotes came from the same movie than from different movies. These findings indicate that source can be an important memory aid.

The Media, Body Evaluation, and Perceptions of Physical Attractiveness Among College-Aged Women and Men

Kinda Tyler, Stella Lopez, and Laura Flores, University of Texas at San Antonio

ABSTRACT: This study assessed 302 undergraduate men and women to investigate the relationship between the media, one’s body evaluation, and self-perceptions of attractiveness. Initial predictions anticipated that the internalization of the media’s idealized body image should decrease perceptions of attractiveness. Second, participants who have a positive appearance evaluation should report positive perceptions of attractiveness. Third, those with a positive body image should report less internalization of the media. There was support for the second and third hypotheses. Positive body evaluation increases perceptions of attractiveness while media sources of the ideal body image influence low body-esteem and self-esteem.

Perceived Psychological Well-Being of Children From Divorced and Nondivorced Families

Julie Woosley, Cara Dennis, Katie Robertson, and Jackie Goldstein, Samford University

ABSTRACT: There is conflicting evidence about the effects of parental conflict versus divorce on child wellbeing, as well as evidence for the existence of stereotypes about children of divorce. This study examined perceptions of child well-being based on parental marital status and conflict level. Thirty-one students taking social science courses at a southern Christian university each read 1 of 4 scenarios and evaluated the well-being of the children in the scenario. Conflict level had a greater impact on perceived well-being of children in intact families than those in divorced families, F(1,27) = 5.06, p = .03, η2 = .16. In general, perceived well-being was lower in the presence of parental conflict, F(1,27) = 22.09, p < .01, η2 = .45, but there was no significant difference, F(1,27) = 3.19, p = .09, η2 = .11, based on marital status. Participants’ perceptions regarding children’s well-being were consistent with findings regarding the actual effects of parental conflict versus divorce.

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