Behavioral Sciences, 2008
  • Behavioral Sciences, 2008



    Academic Advisors are Put to the Test, Honesty is Brutal: Reliability and Validity of an Instrument to Assess Academic Advising
    Ashley L. Aellig, Sara J. Dickson, Megan E. Dwyer, Chelsea L. Francis
    Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    The study’s purpose is to determine the reliability, validity, and usefulness of a survey instrument that provides feedback to faculty advisors and to compare response rates of two methods for administering the survey instrument. The study has four parts; the fourth part is a two-step process. Part A: Department and committee chairs in Capital University’s College of Arts and Sciences assessed content validity of the survey instrument by rating each item for importance to advising and likelihood that the item will provide useful feedback to faculty advisors. Part B: College students assessed the survey instrument's face validity during a focus group. Part C: The students completed the survey instrument twice within a two-week period to determine test-retest reliability. Part D: Data obtained from the campus mail and electronic survey was aggregated, assessed, and shared with each faculty advisor who rated the feedback for how useful it is for improving the individual’s performance as a faculty advisor. Results from the four parts of the study are discussed and the final form of the survey instrument based on these results is presented. It is expected that the survey instrument will be used beginning next year to evaluate academic advising at Capital.



    The Relationship between Social Comparison, Internalization, Media Exposure and Exercise Motivation in College Students
    Linda S. Baker, Kacey Greening
    Mentor: Richard M. Ashbrook

    Previous researchers have theorized that the internalization and social comparison of unrealistic physical ideals from the media and cultural norm has resulted in negative effects. Researchers believe that one of the negative effects of the media is excessive exercising by students for appearance-related reasons (McDonald & Thompson, 1992; Kilpatrick et al., 2004). The present study was designed to measure the relationship between internalization of cultural beauty standards, social comparison, media exposure, and exercise motivations in college students. The study recruited 73 participants from multiple levels of psychology courses. Results showed that participants who were more likely to compare themselves to others and internalized these comparisons were also more likely to exercise for unhealthy reasons. No significant correlations between exercising habits and internalization and frequency of physical comparison nor types of media consumed were found.



    What Good is a Sex Education Program for Middle School Students?
    David Bauser, Brian Peck, Tracie Dodson, Philip Galayda, Linda Baker, Michelle Baker, Nicholas Bucci, Patrick Chenault, Ellen Cook, Anthony Franco, Heath Oberle, Jill Trasin
    Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski, Jody S. Fournier

    Teenage pregnancy and HIV/AIDS rates in the United States are a serious problem. Franklin County, located in central Ohio, has one of the highest pregnancy rates in the state. The BART (Becoming A Responsible Teen) curriculum was designed as a sex education curriculum focusing on HIV/AIDS awareness and decision-making skills for middle school students. The BART curriculum was taught by college students in eight sessions. Participants were middle school students that were recruited from neighborhoods within Franklin County with high rates of teen pregnancies. The participants took pre- and post-tests that assessed knowledge and attitudes about sex and sex-related behaviors. Data were analyzed to determine the efficacy of the BART curriculum. Results showed little change in knowledge or behavior but a high percentage of students said that the program helped them understand the importance of making responsible sexual decisions. The study revealed that students found the program helpful and there is a strong need to continue research. Limitations of the study include participant attrition, frequent absences, and the inability to teach a key session (condom use) to a majority of participants.



    A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Exploring the Transition to College using Techniques from Art Therapy
    Brittany Boch, Hannah Botkin, Kevin C. Eby
    Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski, Michaele Barsnack

    Throughout our lives there are various markers of achievement. These platforms dictate enormous and exciting changes in life. It is well documented that a student's transfer to a university's academic environment is an important event in a young person's life (Chickering & Reisser, 1993; Pancer et al., 2000; Parker et al., 2006). We examined this transition period using techniques from art therapy. Participants drew pictures on paper using crayons and completed a life-stressors survey. Participants were given an adjective list in order to describe how they felt about the transition to college. After completing the drawings, the participants described in writing what they drew. We examined the relationships between the responses to the survey instruments and features within the drawings. The results of this study are examined in the context of the literature on the transition to college.



    Self-Perception of Learning Disabled Students within Mainstreamed Classrooms
    Sara J. Dickson
    Mentor: Jody S. Fournier

    Within the classroom, self-perception of learning disabled students is commonly found to be negative. Mainstreaming of students with learning disabilities is thought to increase their progress and allow them to interact with a greater number of students. This study examines the potential effects on the learning disabled student's self perception in mainstream classrooms and the effect it has on their mental stability Mainstreamed learning disabled students will be compared to learning disabled students who are not mainstreamed to uncover any significant group differences.



    Is Desire to Learn Related to Happiness and Success in School?
    Megan E. Dwyer
    Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski

    Need for cognition (NFC) is described as a stable individual difference in people’s tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activity (Cacioppo & Petty, 1982). Need for cognition reflects cognitive motivation rather than intellectual ability and individual differences in intrinsic motivation to engage in effortful cognitive process. The present study assessed the relationship between need for cognition, life satisfaction, and academic achievement in college students at Capital University. The 18-item short Need for Cognition Scale (NCS; Cacioppo et al., 1984), the 5-item Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener et al., 1985) and self-reported academic measures were used. College students were surveyed during regularly scheduled general education classes. The results of this study may lead to ways to help students better meet their cognitive needs while in college and increase their satisfaction with self.



    Battle of the Sexes: Who Gets Voted Off the Moon?
    Kathy Stevens, Nicole Lehmann, Tyler Cooper, Sophia Whitehouse
    Mentor: Andrea M. Karkowski, Andrea Thomas

    Previous research has shown differences in how men and women communicate (Sommer & Lawrence, 1992; Spender, 1982, 1989; Tannen, 1995). Men are more direct in comparison to women. Women use many indirect methods of communication, especially when they are in a leadership position. This study analyzed the differences in communication between men and women. Traditional undergraduate students at a mid-western liberal arts university were videotaped in small groups with an assigned leader and were instructed to complete a group task. During these sessions, communication behaviors were assessed to determine whether there are differences in the style of directness of communication between male and female participants. Results are discussed in the context of the literature and how the literature applies to the current generation of college students.