The graduate students in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara will hold a research festival on Monday, November 16 from 8 am – 3: 15 pm in the McCune Conference Room, 6046 HSSB. All sessions are free and open to the public. The Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology Department is a scientist-practitioner program, one of only 12 programs nationally that is accredited by the American Psychological Association for combined training in all three core substantive areas of psychology.
8:00 - 8:10
8:10 - 8:30
Enhancing Student Attitudes About Bullying: A pilot study of the Promoting Positive Peer Relationships (P3R) Classroom Resource
Bullying is a significant challenge for students around the world, and it is especially common at the middle school level. Contemporary intervention research suggests an exigent need for programs aiming to reduce and prevent bullying via promoting positive peer relationships among students. In response to this need, this study examined the effectiveness of a brief, classroom oriented, film-based bullying prevention program – Promoting Positive Peer Relationships – in enhancing middle-school students’ attitudes towards various aspects of bullying. This presentation highlights the results from this study and discusses their limitations and implications for future scholarship and practice.
8:30 – 8:50
Prevailing Interventions for Bullying in School
In an effort to understand how schools are coping with incidents of peer victimization, this study explored the types of related interventions currently being offered by public schools in California. School psychologists’ perceptions of the importance of the available interventions were also examined (n = 96). The interventions reported to be the most widely available were a) whole-school no tolerance policies and b) school to home communication. Generally, the endorsed availability of interventions decreased as the intensity level of intervention increased. Interventions endorsed as most important were a) the whole-school no tolerance policy; b) general school climate interventions; c) school to home communication; and d) education of school personnel about bullying. Analyses examining the relative use of primary, secondary, and tertiary interventions revealed that school psychologists report primary intervention as most important for reducing levels of bullying at their schools. Analyses also revealed that the differences between psychologists’ ratings on each of the levels of the intervention hierarchy were significant. Implications for further scholarship and practice are discussed.
8:50 – 9:10
Relations between Students’ Perceptions of School Connectedness and Peer Victimization
Lindsey O’Brennan Grimm
This study examines the relations between students’ perceptions of school connectedness and their self-reported rates of victimization (physical, verbal, and relational), as well as perceived reasons for peer victimization (ethnicity, sexuality). Data come from 7th-, 9th-, and 11th-grade students who completed the California Healthy Kids Survey as part of an evaluation of a Safe School/Healthy Students project (N = 111). Multivariate analyses indicate that the main effects of both school connectedness and grade level are significant, in addition to the interaction between the two. Follow-up univariate ANOVAs reveal that school connectedness is significantly related to students’ experiences of all forms of victimization and perceived reasons for victimization, whereas grade level is only related to student’s experiences with physical victimization and ethnicity as a perceived reason for bullying. Implications for research and school-based intervention are discussed.
9:10 – 9:30
Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale: Research and Implications
Despite its widespread use, there has been limited examination of the psychometric properties of the Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) scale. In the current study, a sample of 504 Australian high school students were administered the PSSM along with other scales including the Child Depression Inventory and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results from exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses indicated that PSSM should be used as a multidimensional instrument. Factor analysis procedures yielded three factors that represent related aspects of students’ perceptions of their school membership: caring relations, acceptance, and rejection. After selecting groups who were high or low on two of the factors, a two-way MANOVA was conducted. It was determined that those students who were lowest on both acceptance and rejection were at the greatest risk of deleterious psychosocial outcomes. Sub-patterns and additional results are discussed.
9:30 – 9:50
Measuring Student Engagement through Teacher Report
Until now the most utilized way of measuring student engagement is through self-report measures. Currently, preliminary studies are examining the psychometrics of one self-report measure, the Student Engagement in Schools Questionnaire, in grade levels 6 through 12. However, best practices in school psychology emphasize using multiple sources to obtain student information; input from these other sources help professionals understand an individual. This study aims to examine the Teacher Report Form, which is a measure of student engagement, to be used in conjunction with the Student Engagement in Schools Questionnaire. The results demonstrate predicted correlations between student and teacher reports, in addition to support for good internal consistency for the Teacher Report Form. This measure proves that it may be used to provide helpful information when measuring this construct. Future directions and implications for school psychologists are also discussed.
9:50 – 10:05
10:05 – 10:25
Hope as a Factor Related to Thriving & Resilience
Historically, many researchers have looked at the negative effects of trauma, crisis and adverse or life-threatening events; however, for more than 25 years, researchers have found that positive changes, as well as negative changes, can occur as a result of facing an adverse event, crisis, or trauma and have made an effort to look more into this phenomenon (Calhoun & Tedeschi, 2008). A mixed methodological study was conducted in order to explore the constructs of hope, thriving, and resilience in the Santa Barbara Latino/a Community. A total of 103 Latino/a participants from Santa Barbara County were recruited from local parks (i.e, soccer fields) and completed a series of scales (i.e., Hope Scale, Resilience Scale, and Thriving Scale), a demographic questionnaire, and answered five open ended questions (i.e., brief interview). The data was analyzed using both qualitative and quantitative research methods; specifically, the researcher conducted both correctional analysis and used thematic analysis to analyze the data collected. The results indicate that hope, resilience, and thriving play varying roles in this particular sample.
10:25 – 10:45
Biculturalism: Behaviors, Values, Cultural Knowledge, and Community Inclusion
Elisa Hernandez, Collie Conoley, & Rafael Hernandez
The present study evaluates whether a more comprehensive model of biculturalism, including values, behaviors, cultural knowledge and community inclusion, offers stronger correlates to beneficial outcomes than the standard focus on attitudes and behaviors. We hypothesized that the comprehensive model would better predict positive outcomes (i.e., higher GPA’s, increased well-being, reduced stress, and reduced depression). Survey data from 45 undergraduate students identifying as Mexican American were analyzed. Results indicated that different psychological outcomes were associated with different components of the bicultural conceptualization. The comprehensive model was important in that no one indicator predicted all of the outcome variables. Our findings suggest the use of a more comprehensive measurement of biculturalism for future research in order to clarify past contradictory findings. Without multidimensional assessment procedures, researchers may be missing key information that can help better explain their findings and theoretical understanding of biculturalism. This research also suggests the development of specific interventions for well-being distinctive from depression.
10:45 – 11:05
Cultural Priming Influences on Values and Behaviors in Mexican American Undergraduates
Rafael Hernandez, Collie Conoley, & Elisa Hernandez
This study explored the malleability of bicultural Mexican American college students’ endorsement of values and behaviors associated with Mexican versus dominant American cultures in different contexts, as well as the association of subjective well-being with the size of the shifts due to the contexts. Participants were primed for Mexican cultural identity salience in one context, and American cultural identity salience in another. Half of the participants were primed to have an independent self-construal, and the other half were primed to have an interdependent self-construal. It was hypothesized that the different cultural identity primes (Mexican vs. American) would cause shifts in the reports of cultural values and behaviors in Mexican American college students, and that these shifts would differ between self-construal conditions. Results revealed that behaviors associated with Mexican culture shifted across the two cultural identity primes, but only for the participants primed to have a relational (i.e., interdependent) self-construal. The association of specific primes to changes in self-reports and the significance of the results are presented in the paper.
11:05 – 11:25
Perceived Discrimination among Iranian Descent Emerging Adults: Validation of the Brief Perceived Discrimination Scale
Sholeh I. Mireshghi, Maryam Kia-Keating, & Nazneen Bahrassa
In spite of the drastic increase in hate crime rates against Middle Easterners post-September 11th, their experiences with discrimination have been largely overlooked. As such, the present study examined the psychometric properties of the Brief Perceived Discrimination Scale (BPDS, Pituc, Jung, & Lee, in press) adapted for use with a Middle Eastern sample. Participants included 217 emerging adults (ages 18-25) of Iranian descent living in the U.S. or Canada. The BPDS demonstrated good internal consistency, with a Cronbach’s alpha of .87. Convergent and concurrent validity were assessed using bivariate correlations with Major, Kaiser, O’Brien, and McCoy’s (2007) Perceptions of Discrimination scale (r = .49, p < .01), Cohen, Karmack, and Mermelstein’s (1983) Perceived Stress Scale (r = .25, p < .01) and Kessler et al.’s (2002) Kessler-10 scale of general mental health (r = .16, p < .05). No differences were found in perceptions of discrimination across gender, generational status, or family socioeconomic status. This study’s findings suggest that the BPDS is appropriate for measuring perceived discrimination among Middle Eastern samples. Given the dearth of empirical studies on this population, the high levels of reported experiences of discrimination, and the significant relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health, future research examining these issues among Iranian-Americans is vital.
11:25 – 11:45
Bridging the Gap between High School and College: Implications of High School Drinking Patterns on the Effectiveness of a College's Harm Reduction Intervention
This study evaluates 407 undergraduate college students mandated to participate in a college’s harm reduction, early intervention program. Participants are required to complete pre- and post-intervention surveys, including the Daily Drinking Questionnaire (DDQ) to assess total number of drinks, maximum number of drinks, and average number of drinking days per week the month prior to and after the intervention, as well as during high school. Participants were categorized based on their reported high school drinking patterns as no drinking, moderate drinking, and binge (high-risk) drinking. These groups were used to predict initial college drinking patterns and response to the intervention. The relationship of high school blackouts to college drinking was also examined. Significant differences were found among groups, with high-risk high school users drinking more in college than other groups. Findings on drinking trajectories from high school to college for academically successful, high-risk drinkers are discussed.
11:45 – 12:30
12:30 – 12:50
Other Aspects of Adolescent Obesity: Unhealthy Behaviors, Depression, and Academic Achievement
Renee Danielle Singh, M.Ed.
As rates of adolescent obesity continue to rise, so does our understanding of the physiological effects of the condition. But should the physiological effects of adolescent obesity be our only concern as researchers? The purpose of this study was to highlight the importance of understanding the “other” aspects of adolescent obesity—namely how adolescent obesity relates to unhealthy behaviors, depression, and academic achievement. In addition to the above, an attempt was made to establish depression as a mediator of the relationships between weight status and engagement in unhealthy behaviors, and weight status and academic achievement. Participants included approximately 15,686 students in grades 6 through 11 who contributed data to the 1997-1998 Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC) survey overseen by the World Health Organization (WHO) (WHO, 1998). With regard to statistical analyses, the author used a variety of techniques including Kruskal-Wallis tests, Mann-Whitney U tests, and multiple regression to address her research questions. The results indicate that adolescents of different weight statuses differ in terms of their engagement in alcohol use and substance abuse, hours of exercise, and academic achievement.
12:50 – 1:10
English Learners as Word Callers: Prevalence and Implications for Practice
The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of word callers among an elementary school predominantly English Learner (EL) population, both developmentally across grade level and by language proficiency level. To this end, assessment data was collected and analyzed from second through fifth grade students (N = 266). When compared to previous studies on word callers, the findings indicated a much higher prevalence of word callers among this population. However, this prevalence did not vary as a function of grade or language proficiency level. These results indicated that there is a need to consider both the reading fluency and comprehension skills of ELs when conducting assessments, planning for instruction, and choosing interventions. Criteria and assessments for accurately identifying word callers among ELs are discussed.
1:10 – 1:30
The Relationship between Reading Motivation and Reading Achievement among English Language Learners
Elementary-aged children’s reading achievement and motivations for reading among a sample of Hispanic and linguistically diverse students were examined. Reading motivation was significantly correlated with reading fluency and comprehension. Older students had lower reading motivation than the youngest students, with expectations for future success declining more rapidly than the values they place on reading. In addition, students’ reading motivation did not differ based on their English language proficiency but native English speakers had higher reading motivation than students whose native language is not English. These results suggest that factors associated with native language status may influence the reading motivations of linguistically diverse student populations.
1:30 – 1:50
The BASC-2 BESS Teacher Rating Scale: Predicting Academic Outcomes across Ethnicities
The BASC-2 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System Teaching Rating Scale (BESS TRS) was recently developed as a way to identify children who might be at risk for behavioral or emotional problems. The current study investigated whether the BESS TRS scores differentially predict outcomes for students of different ethnic backgrounds (i.e., Hispanic and non-Hispanic). Investigations of differential prediction were examined to ensure screeners such as the BESS TRS are reliable and valid for use with all minority populations. BESS TRS ratings were collected for 186 second through fifth grade students; a majority of the students were from a cultural minority. Two moderated multiple regression models were tested to determine if ethnicity impacts the relationship between BESS and standardized test scores (i.e., California Standardized Tests on English-language arts [ELA] and math). Results indicate the BESS TRS scores consistently predicted math achievement across ethnicity, but did not predict ELA scores across ethnicities. Results also indicated students who are Hispanic consistently underperform non-Hispanic students in ELA. Interpretation of findings, implications for practice, limitations, and areas for future research are highlighted.
1:50 – 2:05
2:05 – 2:25
A Longitudinal Comparison of Language Assessments in Young Children with Autism
This research examines how inferences about children’s language ability may be influenced by the assessment tool used. As part of a longitudinal treatment outcome study, thirty-nine nonverbal children were administered five language assessments at three timepoints. These language assessments included the Express One Word Picture Vocabulary Test, Mullen Scales of Early Development (Expressive Language Subscale), Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (Communication Index), Macarthur Child Development Inventory (Words Produced), and a 10-minute naturalistic communication probe with primary caregiver (functional word count). Results indicate that there is weak correlation between most assessments prior to treatment and strong correlation between most assessments post treatment. Clinical differences were found between language captured on assessments even when correlated. These results have important implications for the role of motivation in assessment and the importance of multimodal language assessment in this population.
2:25 – 2:45
Improving Motivation for Academics in Children with Autism
Many children with autism show very little interest in academic assignments and exhibit disruptive behavior when assignments are presented. Research indicates that incorporating specific motivational variables such as choice, interspersal of maintenance tasks, and natural reinforcers during intervention leads to improvements in core symptoms of autism and may possibly be effective in academic areas. Using a multiple baseline across children and behaviors design with four pre- and elementary school children with autism, we assessed whether the above variables could be incorporated into academic tasks to improve performance and interest. Results indicated that the intervention decreased the children’s latency to begin academic tasks, improved their rate of performance and interest, and decreased their disruptive behavior.
2:45 – 3:05
Using Self-Management to Target Reciprocal Social Conversation in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Mi Na Park, M.A., Lynn K. Koegel, Ph.D., and Robert L. Koegel, Ph.D.
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often lack the ability or have difficulty effectively using language in various social contexts. This difficulty is often demonstrated in deficits in reciprocal social conversation, or the ability to sustain a verbal exchange through initiations and expansion of conversational topics. The inability or reluctance to use language in a social manner severely limits social interactions and exacerbates the risk of social withdrawal and isolation that is commonly experienced by individuals with ASD. A non-concurrent multiple baseline design was used to examine the effectiveness of a self-management intervention on targeting reciprocal social conversation skills in individuals with ASD. The results suggest improvements in sustained conversation exchanges through increased elaboration of conversation topics and reciprocal question-asking or initiations.
3:05 - 3:15
[Students presenting at the festival are available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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