Research is a cornerstone of education at Dominican University of California. Posters in this collection showcase student research presented at conferences.
Therapeutic riding (TR) is a multisensory experience that increases mental and physical heath by emphasizing skills such as verbal and non-verbal communication, behavioral and emotional control, and attention; additionally, improvements in balance and muscle strength occur in the rider (Bass et al., 2009). However, the present literature is lacking in research on how adults with ASD are impacted by participation in TR. The goal of the present study is to determine the impact of TR on social responsiveness and stress levels on adults with ASD which included a sample of 8 therapeutic riding instructors from the United States. Instructors reported on the social responsiveness and stress levels of their adult riders with ASD at the start and end of six weeks of TR. The Adult Social Behavior Scale- Other Report (Horwitz et al., 2016) and an adapted version of the Perceived Stress Scale (Cohen at al., 1983) were used as pre-and post-tests to compare the changes over time. Results of the paired sample t-tests showed no significant changes in observed social behaviors including contact, empathy, interpersonal insight, violations of social conventions, or in observed stress. These findings, though not signifincant, advocate for more research on adults and TR as this is an underserved population in the literature.
Maria Alvarez Pineda
In the United States, patients who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) report having more problems communicating with their children’s doctors (Eneriz-Wieme et al., 2014) and experiencing more discrimination (Zhang et al., 2012) which can lead to increased psychological distress (Torres et al., 2012). The goal of this study was to determine if level of English Proficiency is related to stress levels and discrimination among Latinx parents. Participants consisted of 22 Latinx parents (86.4% Mexican and 90.9% female) in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Acute Stress Appraisals scale (Mendes, et al., 2007) measured parents' stress levels before and after an interview about the parent’s experience taking their children to the doctor. Participants completed a survey that consisted of the Language Fluency Measure (Kim & Chao, 2009), the Adapted Everyday Discrimination Scale (Gonzalez et al., 2016), and demographic questions. Results demonstrated that regardless of Engligh proficency Latinx parents experience discrimination, a communication barrier, and negative feelings when taking their children to the doctor. Parents hope that in the future more interpreters will be available and that doctors will be more understanding. Public health practitioners should use Latinx parents’ aspirations to guide interventions to improve their overall experience taking their children to the doctor.
While on the cancer continuum, individuals report a sense of social isolation due to a lack of understanding among peers about their experiences and diagnoses (Iannarino et al., 2017). Increasingly, social support is given online rather than in person due to the positive language and communication that relies on the written word more than social cues (Warner et al., 2018). Participants in this study were 152 young adults recruited from a private university and via social media platforms. Participants were asked to complete a survey including The Measure of Interpersonal Attraction Social Attraction sub-scale (McCroskey & McCain, 1974) and a measure of virtual and in person support for a peer who is in cancer current treatment or in remission. Results demonstrated that a young adult in remission of cancer is perceived as significantly more socially attractive than a young adult in current treatment of cancer. Other noteworthy results were that females significantly gave higher amounts of social support, both virtually and in-person, to a peer on the cancer continuum than males. Findings advocate for the understanding of the cancer diagnosis by young adults in hopes that their peers on the cancer continuum can receive more social support and be perceived as socially attractive.
Rhoda Maunupau Robertson
Despite the growing number of single parents returning to college to gain a better future for their families, 53% of student parents leave college within 6 years without a degree (Beeler, 2016). However, being hopeful enables student parents to focus on success which increase the probability to attain their goals and success (Snyder et al., 1991). The ability to achieve those goals comes from help-seeking, mentoring, and the ability to seek resources (Snyder et al., 1991). The goal of the present study is to examine levels of hope which enhance help-seeking skills to increase academic success within this population. The sample consisted of 26 single parents that are currently enrolled in community college or 4-year university. Participants were recruited via emails and social media via the snowball method. Constructs were measured with Snyder’s Adult Hope Scale (Snyder et al., 1991) and a help-seeking and academic success scale that were created by the researcher. Results show that positive correlations between hope, help seeking behavior, and perceived academic success. However, despite the positive correlation between these three variables, there is no significant correlation between any of these variables and the current GPA. Supplemental investigation into the amount of time that each participant studied weekly, still showed no significant correlation between GPA and perceived academic success.
Spontaneous affirmations have been associated with greater levels of happiness (Emmanuel et al., 2018), and self-esteem has found to be fostered through positive regard from others (Rogers, 1951 as cited by Maxwell & Bachkirova, 2010). Past research shows that delivering virtual messages through a mobile phone is a widely accessible method in facilitating behavior changes (Sharifi et al., 2013). The goal of this study is to examine how virtual positive affirmations via mobile app or text message can increase self-esteem and well-being. Twenty-three participants were recruited from psychology courses, mostly females aged 18-22 and of Asian descent. Participants were sent a pre-test survey consisting of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), the Flourishing Scale (Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2009), and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener et al., 1985). They were randomly assigned to either the mobile app or the text condition and received two virtual affirmations daily for two weeks. At the end of the two weeks they were asked to retake the survey as a post-test measure. Significant increases were found between pre-test and post-test scores for self-esteem, flourishing, and satisfaction with life, yet no significant differences were found between changes in scores of participants in the text versus mobile app conditions. Findings suggest that virtual positive affirmations have a significant beneficial impact on reported self-esteem and well-being.
Studies investigating motivations for listening to sad music typically report claims by listeners that an improved mood is amongst the primary reasons for listening to sad music (Saarikallio, 2008). But, evidence shows that moods generally decrease when we listen to sad music (Saarikallio & Erkkilä, 2007). However, sad music can also bring about some psychological benefits. People with high tendencies towards reflectiveness may find that sad music can be used as a tool for processing their negative emotions resulting in an overall improvement in mood (Garrido & Schubert, 2013; Trapnell & Campbell, 1999). Sample consisted of 50 participants of college students from classrooms and social media. The survey asked a sample of college students to measure their moods before and after listening to a sad piece of self selected music. Trapnell and Campbell’s Rumination Reflection Questionnaire (1999) measured whether participants were ruminators. Additionally students were asked about their perception of psychological benefits of listening to sad music when experiencing negative emotions. It was found that people had a decrease in positive emotion after listening to their selected song. However, there was no change in participants' negative emotions after listening to their song. Ruminators did not experience more or less change than non-ruminators after listening to the sad music. Participants who felt more positive emotion before listening to the song felt less negative emotion after listening to the song.
The societal view that criminals are inherently dangerous is a view exceedingly present in American culture. Prior research suggests that education significantly improves knowledge and positive attitudes towards stigmatized groups (Lam et al, 2019) which this present study hopes to expand on. The present study tested the impact of a brief educational intervention on stigma against criminals. Participants included 141 participants (81.8% females and 17.5% males), recruited from a private university in Northern California and through various social media platforms. Participants were randomly assigned into four different conditions created by manipulating two variables (educational video vs. no video; vignette about a violent vs. nonviolent criminal). Results demonstrated a significant difference in the social and task attraction of criminals such that participants viewed nonviolent criminals as more socially and task attractive than violent criminals. Secondly, results demonstrated no significant difference in social and task attraction of criminals between those that watched the educational video and those who did not. Finally, the results demonstrated no significant interaction between crime severity and its impact on the effectiveness of the educational video. However, the study did demonstrate a significant main effect for crime severity and education, with positive perceptions of nonviolent criminals enhanced particularly with the viewing of the educational video. Results suggest that through the use of education, negative perceptions towards criminals can be changed for the better.
Effects of Self-Efficacy and Stigmatization when Managing Patients with Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
People who suffer with addiction are more likely to be treated as outsiders, which result in social disadvantages and maltreatment in a medical setting. This is because substance abuse can be perceived as deviating from social norms (Henderson & Dressler, 2017).
Higher post-secondary education on addiction could reduce stigmatization and improve self-efficacy for better healthcare outcomes. Previous research has revealed that appropriate training is important when forming nonjudgmental attitudes towards drug users (Baldwin et al., 2006).
The purpose of this study is to address the gap between post-secondary education, reducing stigmatization and improving self-efficacy among healthcare professionals
Chances are, we all know someone who has had their life affected by depression and anxiety; and we have all experienced these feelings on some level. What if the key to unlocking these problems lied within every one of us -- inside of our gut? The research topic being explored is the relationship between gut health and mood disorders. The question of interest is: Does the use of probiotic supplementation have an effect on feelings of depression?
Connection between gut health and mental health is significant as approximately 6.7% of adults in the U.S. suffer from major depressive disorder. There has been an observed association between gut health disorders and mood disorders, mainly anxiety and depression. Those who demonstrate anxiety and depression have an increased likelihood of developing abnormal gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. This raises the possibility of bi-directionality between the brain and the gut, meaning that GI health may have an effect on mental health and vice versa.
This relationship is important to explore. Probiotics, bacteria that are beneficial to the body, have grown in popularity as a gut health supplement which may have an affect on the brain. There is much reason to suspect and explore the relationship between probiotic supplements and depression.
Decerie Mendoza, Tracy P. Ye, Martina C. Dualan, and Elena A. Javier
Current research on children with Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) lacks inclusion of qualitative outcomes on the child’s daily occupational performance. Standardized measurements are frequently utilized and provide useful information, however, can be less sensitive to change (Berry Kravis et al., 2013) and miss capturing family perspectives and improvements within meaningful occupations. This research incorporates family perspectives via semi-structured interviews to promote an in-depth understanding about FXS and its impact on child and family occupations in addition to standardized assessment scores through in-depth case study analysis. This study used a mixed method research design examining four male participants who were given sertraline in an in-depth case study analysis. Caregivers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol at baseline and at six months post-treatment to discuss their child, occupations, and any potential impacts of sertraline. Baseline and post-testing standardized assessment results were compared to the occupation centered semi-structured interviews. The data was collected from a pre-existing database in a previous study determining the outcome measures of sertraline. Dedoose software was used to code for categories and themes found in the FXS family interviews. Results indicated that standardized assessments have limited sensitivity to fully capture the lived experiences of families with FXS. Standardized assessments test for performance skills that may not necessarily translate to daily occupations as reported by families. While future practitioners should use standardized assessments in their evaluations, they should also include what families report in their daily lives to fully conclude the child’s abilities to participate and engage in their daily occupations
- Gender stereotypes divide men and women along biological, emotional, and cognitive lines. This social construct can be summed up by the phrase “men are from Mars, women are from Venus.”
- The sex of a person is the biological category of male or female and gender is the social aspect of being male or female (Robinson et al., 2001).
- Social constructs thatpromote gender stereotypes can have an impact on the suppression of biological responses (Brody, 1997). This thinking influences behaviorin men and women that is self-fulfilling to gender stereotypes (Baez et al., 2017).
- This may have an effect on how men and women perceive the equity and satisfaction within romantic relationships
The CDC recorded an increase from 7.2 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 1987 to 18.0 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2014 with 60% of those being preventable (Reproductive Health, 2018). Birthing a child can be a significant and emotional experience (Hans et al., 2013). Unfortunately, continuous support during labor and delivery has become a privilege instead of a basic right in a hospital setting (Hodnett, Gates, Hofmeyr, & Sakala, 2005). A study on doula support during labor and delivery showed that women feel there is a lack of information being provided by medical staff in a hospital (Campero et al, 1998).
The goal of the present study is to determine whether there is a difference in delivery outcomes between mothers that utilize a doula and/or midwife during childbirth versus those who only used standard physicians. The study included a sample of approximately 50 adult women that had at least one personal experience with childbirth. Participants were recruited via Facebook and through personal relationships. Participants were asked to complete an online survey including the following measures: Scale of Women’s Perception for Supportive Care Given During Labor (Uludag, & Mete, 2015), Childbirth Perceptions Questionnaire (Padawer, Fagan, Janoff-Bulman, Strickland, & Chorowski, 1988), Birth Satisfaction Scale (Jefford, Hollins Martin, & Martin, 2018), and Fear of Birth Scale (Stoll, & Hall, 2013). I hypothesize that women who utilized a doula and/or midwife during labor and delivery, had a more pleasant birthing experience, felt more prepared, and were less likely to have a cesarean birth than women who only used western medicine support.
The question of whether attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is over-diagnosed in adolescents has been a recent topic of research. Through research studies, a trend for potential over-diagnosis has been found. Misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis mainly occur due to societal norms clouding perceptions of the disorder. (Bruchmüller et al., 2012)
Classroom inclusivity is an area that could potentially improve misdiagnosis and over-diagnosis of ADHD. Inclusive classroom training can spread both awareness and understanding about the disorder, ultimately reducing misconceptions about ADHD.
The present study explored several hypotheses: Hypothesis
1: Students’ perception of their ADHD knowledge is not correlated with their actual knowledge of ADHD. Hypothesis
2: Pre-service teachers will more accurately refer students who display ADHD than the general population of student participants. Hypothesis
3: Students with more inclusive classroom training will more accurately refer students who display ADHD.
Catherine Anne Datu, Nicholas Wing Or, Megan Melody Valentine, and Megan Jeanne Velcich
The purpose of this research study is to identify if there are physiological response patterns associated with self-reported sensory over-responsiveness (SOR) in typical adults. SOR is the most common sensory modulation disorder and negatively affects the daily experiences of those that report SOR. The first phase of the study consisted of phone interviews where participants were screened for any potential characteristics that could affect physiological function. Then, the SRQ and AASP were used in conjunction to identify low and high SOR, typical adults. The last phase utilized the Sensory Challenge Protocol, which is both standardized and randomized, to expose participants to auditory, olfactory and tactile stimuli while collecting electrodermal response (EDR) data. This research has three major findings. First, EDR differences between high and low SOR groups are not significant, however, the high SOR group had generally higher EDR for almost all stimuli. Second, there was a strong correlation for inter- stimuli EDR, informing us that each individual has a general response style to stimuli regardless of their self-report. Lastly, there is no correlation between self-reported SOR and EDR. It is hypothesized that self-reported SOR is shaped by habituation, coping skills and varying life experiences. EDR can help support the experiences of those with high SOR, however it is not sensitive enough for diagnostic/clinical purposes. Additionally, when an individual has sensitivity in one area, there is likely sensitivity in other sensory areas as well but may be masked by coping skills, habituation or modulation.
It is a universal understanding that in order for nature to survive, humans must live responsibly. In October 2018 at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading scientists issued a twelve year ultimatum to change our environmental habits (National Geographic, 2018). However, the critical issue of climate change has not evoked a correspondingly serious and crucial response among the general public.
Ecological identity, otherwise known as Environmental identity, refers to how one views oneself in relation to the natural world, and a part of how we form our self-concept (Clayton, 2013).
Past research has shown that humans feel a greater responsibility to nature when they are directly exposed to it. For example, Clayton, Luebke, Saunders, Matiasek, & Grajal (2014) found that feeling connected to animals at the zoo or an aquarium was significantly associated with cognitive and emotional responses to climate change.
Other research has proposed that having a strong ecological identity in adulthood may have developed through greater exposure to nature during one’s childhood (Kals, Shumaker, & Montada, 1999).
The purpose of the present study was to more closely examine the relationship between childhood exposure to nature and adulthood ecological identity
- Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), also called sugary drinks, are drinks that have added sugar or other sweetener.
- Consumption of SSBs is a risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.
- Food deserts are areas that lack the access to affordable healthy foods and drinks.
- Americans living in food deserts lack essential nutrients in their diets.
- Previous research has shown that SSBs increase the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease for all people.
- Previous research has also shown that food deserts is associated to high consumption of SSBs.
- The paper will be a review of the soda tax laws and also attempt to measure soda consumption with certain health outcomes by using food deserts as a proxy variable, as maybe the soda consumption-food desert measure can be used in the future to evaluate the impact of the soda tax in jurisdictions that have enacted that legislation.
Victoria L. Grajeda
This toolkit was created to help shed light on the impact a stressful high school environment can have on today’s youth, and provide teachers and parents with up-to-date information on what resources are available within the county of Marin. When working with adolescents, it is important to consider environmental threats to their mental health (i.e., lack of sleep) in order to make proper referrals and treatment plans. A study done by Kelley, Lockley, Kelley, & Evans (2017) implemented a 10:00 a.m. start time at an urban school in England. By delaying school start times, Kelley et. al found that absences related to illness were reduced by 50 percent compared to national rates. In general, school systems in the United States are not currently structured to ensure students can function at their maximum potential, and their academics, health, and relationships are deteriorating as a result. More importantly, suicide is becoming more prevalent in high schools within the United States, which means prevention programs need to be reevaluated or implemented to help Marin youth cope with existing trauma. This guide will psychoeducate the community on anxiety and depression; potential risk factors, how to help, and what treatment options are available.
The Effects of Perceived Discrimination and Acculturative Stress on Ethnic Minority Your Adult Self-Esteem and Anxiety
- Minority college students are at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes and self-esteem issues considering acculturative stress and perceived discrimination(Gomez et al.,2011).
- How discrimination is viewed by the individual and how they adjust to dominant culture plays an important role in self-esteem(Halletal.,2015).
- Studies following the relationship between perceived discrimination and acculturative stress rarely look into mental health outcomes along with self-esteem(Paukertetal.,2006;Weietal,2013).
- This research may provide insight into the mechanisms which affect psychological distress(Tonsingetal,2016).
The Efficacy of Live Music Therapy on Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Among College Students and Working Adults
- There are an estimated 264 million people living with Anxiety Disorders, and an estimated 322 million people living with Depression (WHO, 2017)
- Live music has been found to be more effective than recorded music in decreasing anxiety levels in cancer patients and patients with mental health disorders in various studies (Bailey, 1983; Ferrer, 2007).
- Chiasson et. al (2013) demonstrated that patients observed in an intensive ward unit experienced a decreased pain by 27% when exposed to live spontaneous harp music.
- This study aims to explore how frequent exposure to live & recorded music can be therapeutic to help cope with stress, anxiety, and depression
Naomi Grace Wong, Jacob Joseph Gantan, Ivy Annahi Torres-Flores, and Heather Anne August
Dementia is a neurological disease, causing behavioral and cognitive symptoms, that progressively impairs an individual’s ability to engage in meaningful activities. Progressive deterioration associated with dementia impacts occupational performance and independence and quality of life. Sensory based interventions, such as drumming groups, have been hypothesized to be a non-pharmacological intervention for individuals with dementia. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a sensory based intervention program, in this case participation in a drumming group, on functional engagement during self-feeding for individuals with dementia. Researchers gathered data over the course of two days using the Functional Behavior Profile, Self-Feeding Questionnaire, Visual Analog Scale, and the Agitated Behavior Scale as outcome measures. The first day was a baseline day, during which participants did not participate in the drumming group. Researchers completed observational questionnaires measuring the participant’s agitation and mood prior to lunch, and during lunch. On the second day, the participants engaged in the drumming group. Agitation, mood, and function was observed before and after the drumming group, and during lunch. Mood was elevated and increased engagement was observed during the drumming group. The effect of the drumming group did not carry over into self-feeding. There was a 20 minute wait period in between the drumming group and lunch time, which may have affected the results. Recommendations for future research include the evaluation of arousal and engagement during the drumming group and its effect on occupational performance.
Chelsea Golding, Chantelle Bond, Vhernna Fernandez, and Eizelle Barrientos
Objective: The purpose of this research was to empirically examine the occupational impact of assistive technology - AT (with a specific focus on word prediction, text to speech and speech recognition) from the perspectives of the end user, family and school personnel (e.g. teachers, therapists & specialists) across various contexts (e.g. home, school, community).
Method: Qualitative data included semi-structured interviews, audio and video recordings, and records reviews. The data was coded and analyzed using a constant comparison method to identify themes pertaining to the occupational use of AT and thusly the impact to overall occupational performance.
Findings: Six themes were identified: people, match, features, context, facilitators and barriers. Each theme was central to the implementation of AT and occupational performance. We additionally found that there was a lack of occupational therapy (OT) involvement in the interdisciplinary AT team.
Discussion: AT has a positive impact on occupational performance and quality of life for the end user and family across contexts. Facilitators and barriers to AT were present within each prominent theme. We have proposed a theoretical model encapsulating how AT supports occupational performance. We further assert that there is a role for OT as an active member on the interdisciplinary AT team when considering the occupational impact of AT.
Hannah Gibeson, Kelly Yerby, Molly Smith, and Brittany Yung
Understanding the lived experiences of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) using video modeling (VM) while engaging in Maker activities is an essential part of occupational therapy research. Participants in this study were four individuals with ASD recruited from a project-based studio located in San Rafael, CA, and one staff member. The qualitative portion of this study analyzed the lived experiences and perspectives of the individuals with ASD and their service provider through qualitative semi-structured interview methods. The quantitative portion of this study analyzed the effectiveness of VM for Maker activities during the activity of making a box using a machine called a ShopBotⓇ. Quantitative analysis included staff assistance and client performance during standard instruction and subsequent VM intervention. Researchers found that with the VM intervention, staff assistance decreased and client performance increased. Three themes pertinent to use of the VM for the ASD population emerged; what worked, what could be changed, and where else VM could be used. VM helps individuals with ASD learn Maker activities. VM is clear, consistent, and easy to understand for individuals with ASD. Occupational Therapists can utilize VM as another method to teach individuals with ASD new skills, Maker activities, and occupations.
Coffee is a substance people consume daily, but there are inconclusive and conflicting results from studies about the positive and negative effects of coffee and caffeine. For example, evidence from one study links lower levels of stress with coffee consumption while another study concluded drinking coffee results in sleep disruption. Given this information, there are numerous factors that contribute to why people drink coffee and the effects it has on each individual. The purpose of this study is to see if there are patterns between demographics, coffee consumption, and perceptions to understand how students, staff, and faculty at Dominican University of California perceive coffee and any factors that could contribute to their views.
Marian Perez, Elaine Wong, and Michelle Perryman
Objective: The objective of this research is to determine whether the implementation of sensory activity schedule in a preschool classroom can increase the on-task behaviors of the students.
Methods: Three students were recruited to participate in a quantitative multiple single subject design with qualitative follow-up study. The participants performed sensorimotor activities before circle time and were monitored for frequency of their off-task behavior using a time sampling frequency data collection. Afterwards, the head teacher was interviewed to discuss the experience.
Results: Off-task behavior decreased from baseline on all three children, which supports the efficacy of sensory activity schedule in reducing off-task behavior. Cultural disconnect, classroom dynamics, and scheduling conflict were identified as barriers to successful implementation of sensory activity schedule.
Conclusion: Occupational therapists are encouraged to conduct a needs assessment before starting a research to identify potential barriers. More research is needed to determine the long-term effectiveness of sensory activity schedule in a classroom.