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Psi Chi Journal Fall 2016


Volume 21.3 | Fall 2016
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INVITED EDITORIAL: Rethinking and Updating Demographic Questions: Guidance to Improve Descriptions of Research Samples

Jennifer L. Hughes, Abigail A. Camden, and Tenzin Yangchen, Agnes Scott College

ABSTRACT: In this editorial, we encourage authors to rethink and update the demographic questions they use in their research surveys. We argue that this is important for ethical and professional reasons (i.e., inclusion and advancing diversity) and also for research integrity reasons (i.e., accurately describing samples for the purposes of clarity, which impacts generalization of findings and possible replication of findings). We give information about the 5 most commonly used demographic questions in survey research (i.e., gender identity, age, ethnicity and race, education, and location) and other additional demographic questions often found in research (i.e., questions about children, disability, employment, relationship status, religion, sexual orientation, and social class). We list questions and answer choices that we selected after reviewing the research literature, and we include our additional, more inclusive answer choices and coding categories. These modified questions better reflect the complexity of respondents’ identities and provide clarity as to how to assess those identities.

Parent and Child Knowledge and Attitudes Toward Mental Illness: A Pilot Study

Rosemond T. Lorona and Cindy Miller-Perrin, Pepperdine University

ABSTRACT: The present study examined the relationship between children and their parents with regard to their knowledge and attitudes toward mental illness. Previous literature suggested that children may have an incomplete knowledge of mental illness and may perceive it negatively, but was inconclusive as to where children are learning about mental illness. We hypothesized that parents and children would have similar perceptions of mental illness, indicating parental influence on the socialization of their children’s views about mental illness. Data were gathered from 24 pairs of students and parents from a middle school and high school. All parent and child participants completed both a knowledge and attitude assessment, and responses of parents were compared to responses of children. The results showed that children tended to have incomplete knowledge of mental illness and that parents and children had significantly different knowledge and attitudes toward mental illness, t(23) = 3.57, p = .002 and t(23) = -2.96, p = .007, respectively. Correlational analyses indicated that parental attitudes in particular may be related to their children’s knowledge and attitudes (r’s ranging from .02–.69). Future research should include a larger, more diverse sample to examine additional age and sex differences.

The Role of Attachment on Adult Attitudes Toward Interacting With Children

Daina E. Raiffe and Tia Panfile Murphy, Washington College

ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present study was to explore whether attachment security is related to individual differences in young adults’ attitudes toward interacting with children. Seventy-one participants (Mage = 19.41, SD = 1.40) completed the Mother and Father versions of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment and an attitude measure created for this study to assess general feelings toward interacting with children. Correlational analyses revealed that young adults’ self-reported qualities of attachment to their mothers and fathers were associated with their attitudes toward interacting with children, p < .001 and p = .015, respectively. Specifically, greater perceived maternal and paternal attachment security predicted more positive attitudes toward interacting with children. However, a multiple regression analysis, p = .001, showed that, when considering attachment to both parents together, only attachment to the mother significantly predicted attitudes toward interacting with children, p = .006, and not attachment to the father, p = .365. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for attachment theory and adults’ professional interactions with children in the context of education.

The Biasing Effects of Visual Background on Perceived Facial Trustworthiness

Ashley Keres and Christopher R. Chartier, Ashland University

ABSTRACT: Trustworthiness is a quality that many people such as job candidates, coaches, mentors, and even friends look for in others in everyday situations. Research has established that people perceive trustworthiness in a consensual manner, even though these perceptions are not predictive of actual trustworthiness (Rule, Krendl, Ivcevic, & Ambady, 2013). The current study was conducted to see how the environmental context in which a face is seen could have an effect on perceptions of trustworthiness. Fifty-nine participants were shown 36 male faces on wealthy, impoverished, or control backgrounds. These conditions were manipulated within participants. Results indicated that ratings of trustworthiness were affected by both the target face, F(1, 52) = 71.50, p < .001, η2p = .60, and the background context, F(2, 104) = 16.30, p < .001, η2p = .25, of the photo. Implications for these results in criminal justice settings are discussed.

A Brief Report of Time-on-Task Behavior in a Child With Autism: Comparing Material and Social Reinforcement in the Home Environment

Emily A. Abel, Purdue University, Marilyn Gadomski, Liberty University, Matthew T. Brodhead, Purdue University

ABSTRACT: Applied behavior analysis (ABA) involves the use of reinforcement to increase appropriate behaviors in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children with ASD often struggle to remain on-task when completing assignments in the academic setting. However, few studies have explored on-task behavior and attention to academic tasks in the home environment. The present research utilized a case study design and compared the relative effectiveness of material versus social reinforcement on in-home time-on-task behavior in an individual with high-functioning autism (HFA). Results indicated that the participant engaged in a higher percentage of time-on-task behaviors with the use of material reinforcement than social reinforcement in the home environment. Additionally, the participant engaged in more time-on-task behaviors over time with the use of material reinforcement, and less time-on-task behavior over time with the use of social reinforcement. These findings suggested that positive reinforcement may be an effective tool for increasing academic task motivation and on-task behavior in children with HFA. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

How Does Sexual Orientation Affect Perceptions of Single People?

Wendy L. Morris, McDaniel College, Gal Slonim, University of Bamberg, Brittany K. Osburn, McDaniel College

ABSTRACT: Past research has found that single people are perceived more negatively than coupled people. However, in past research, the target’s sexual orientation was not explicitly mentioned. The current experiment manipulated the sexual orientation of targets and also measured the sexual orientation of participants to test whether the relatively negative perceptions of single people are held about people and believed by people regardless of their sexual orientation. Three hundred ninety heterosexual and 226 gay and lesbian participants from Israel and the United States read descriptions of target people. Targets were described as heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; single or in a long-term relationship; and men or women. Although single people were consistently perceived more negatively than coupled people, F(1, 600) = 130.78, p < .001, η2 = .18, participants perceived the differences between coupled and single targets as being largest when they rated targets of the same sexual orientation as themselves, F(1, 600) = 10.38, p =.001, η2 = 0.02. Furthermore, regardless of their own sexual orientation, participants who expressed a stronger desire for a long-term romantic relationship held more negative views of single people compared to coupled people, r = .10, p < .01.

Oral Contraceptive Use Associated With Increased Romantic Relationship Satisfaction

Tenille C. Taggart, Julia F. Hammett, and Emilio C. Ulloa, San Diego State University

ABSTRACT: Hormone fluctuations due to menstruation may cause changes in mood. Oral contraceptives (OCs) stabilize hormone levels. Although inconsistent, some research has found OCs to have a positive impact on women’s mood and affect. Stable mood may in turn lead to positive overflow effects in a woman’s life as seen through increased romantic relationship satisfaction. The current study examined the association between OC use and relationship satisfaction. Data from Waves 3 and 4 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) data set (N = 4,311 women) were used. Women ranged in age from 18 to 28 (M = 22.26, SD = 1.79) at Wave 3 and from 25 to 34 (M = 29.02, SD = 1.73) at Wave 4. Results indicated that women who used OCs at Wave 3 were more satisfied with their relationships at Wave 4 than women who did not use OCs, R2 = .049, F(5, 4048) = 41.65, p < .001; β = .032, p = .041. These results suggest that hormones in OCs may have diffuse downstream effects in the lives of women who take them, including in their romantic relationship satisfaction. This highlights the importance of recognizing the primary and secondary implications of OC use and the need for both women and clinicians to understand the potential benefits of OCs in making informed treatment decisions.

Health Behavior Change Promotion Among Latter-day Saint College Students

Robert R. Wright, Cody Broadbent, Autumn Graves, and Jacob Gibson, Brigham Young University-Idaho

ABSTRACT: Obesity in the United States is a substantial public health concern, making the development of health promotion programs that effectively elicit improvements in health behaviors such as physical activity, proper nutrition, and adequate sleep important. Moreover, although the religiously active population seems to have better overall health, little is known about the effectiveness of health promotional efforts among the active Latter-day Saint (LDS) population, especially among emerging adults (college students). In the current investigation, we examined health behaviors among a religiously active LDS college student population (n = 243) and then evaluated a health behavior promotion program designed to improve physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and sleep quantity in a controlled longitudinal (3 time point) design (n = 73). Our results suggested that active LDS college students were deficient in physical activity (-1.36 days, p < .001, d = 1.93), fruit and vegetable consumption (-2.68 daily servings, p < .001, d = 2.74), and sleep quantity (-1.31 daily hr, p < .001, d = 2.57). Results from our health promotion program suggested significant improvement at posttest in physical activity (+1.10 days, p < .001, d = .91) and several other changes. At follow up, we observed a significant decrease in sugary snack consumption (-0.42 daily servings, p = .009, d = 1.11) and other sustained changes from posttest. Implications of these findings are discussed in terms of health behavior promotion programs, religious institutions, and public health concerns.

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