Category Archives: 2015-UCUR-Abstracts

Ambiguity in Romantic Relationship Terminology

Dakota Wilson, Snow College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Ambiguity in language throughout history has always caused problems. In every field there are instances where words mean different things to different people. There seems to be more and more instances today where there is ambiguity in romantic relationship terminology and it is causing confusion and dissatisfaction. In the beginning of the 20th century words like “calling” or “going steady” were popular to describe romantic relationships whereas today “hooking up” and “hanging out” are the dominant terms. Although there have been studies that are very similar to this subject, there is little to no research exactly like it. This study has been made to assess what terminology is being used today to describe relationship terminology, why it has changed over (generational and cultural influences), and how these changes affect the satisfaction of the relationship. Methodology comprised creating a survey, a portion of which was taken from pre-validated tools such as the MSI-R to assess relationship satisfaction. Other portions included basic demographic information, current relationship terminology used, short answer where the participants were asked to describe situations in which they would use particular terms now and in middle school, in which social situations they would use certain terminology, and domains as to what each relationship term entailed in regards to behavior (these were based off of the categories in the MSI-R). The last section asked about terminology that was used in the participants youth to avoid disapproval of cultural or religious leaders if an exclusive relationship was unacceptable but was occurring regardless. Results are in the process of being analyzed.

The Belief in Love Myths and Their Influence on Sexual Relationship Progression in College Age Students

Clair Talley and Melissa Benavides, Snow College

Current research done by Susan Sprecher and Sandra Metts (1989, 1999) discusses the presence of romantic ideals and their effect on the quality of relationships. While this research focused mainly on committed relationships of college-aged students, it did not investigate the influence of these love beliefs on their sexual relationship progression. Other research that does look at why students have sex suggests that it is seen as a right of passage, a gift, a stigma, and even a means by which students can alter their mood. (Humphreys, 2013 and Dawson, Shih, de Moor and Shrier, 2008)

Post Assessment Metacognitive Strategy Sheets Impacts on Subsequent Assessments

Austin Hernandez, Snow College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Student’s study habits are always a matter of concern for both instructors and students themselves. Often times when students are learning a new subject the information the receive about studying centers around how they should study for “that class.” Research has also shown that students regularly overestimate their academic ability. The current research examines what happens if student in introductory courses are given strategy sheets which asks them to examine their study efforts and metacognitive strategies in preparation for the exam. This focuses not on the content, but the process that students use to prepare. The data collected from the students will be analyzed in comparison to their performance on subsequent exams to see if the focus on metacognition can effect a positive result on future exams.

Women’s Voice in Comic Books?

Taylor Pike Casara Reeves, Jennifer Sroka, Snow College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

There is a lot of information about how women’s bodies are portrayed in comic books, we are researching the voice that women have in comic books through time. In our research, we are attempting to find out what women have to say in comic books. We are accomplishing this by taking varying comic books from different publishers, using different teams or superheroes, and analyzing the contribution that women have in each edition. We will also be examining how other characters respond to what the women have to say. Our hypothesis is that women in modern comic books have more to contribute to the plot and the dialogue than women in earlier comic books. However we also suspect that women in comic books will not be given the same input or value as males in the comics.

Productive Personality Types in the Workplace

Ty Palmer, Utah Valley University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

With productivity in the U.S at an unexpected low for the last quarter, it is apparent that employers and employees alike are struggling to meet the financial demands of their companies. Similar to the critical situation Chrysler was facing in 1979, the right leader, Lee Iacocca was all that was needed to save the company from going under. Researchers have studied effective leaders such as Lee Iacocca and their qualities for many generations, but little research has been conducted to gauge employer’s leadership abilities from the perspective of employees. Personality theory has been a topic well researched in the field of Psychology. A personality classification tool generally accepted by most Psychologists today is the Big Five personality characteristics, which are agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, and neuroticism. Many studies have utilized this tool in gathering valuable data about individuals, but few studies have used this tool to evaluate a second person. The Big Five Inventory (BFI) is composed of 50 questions designed to evaluate behavior to determine personality type. The BFI utilizes a 4-point Likert scales, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree to further gauge the prevalence of certain personality traits in a person. The BFI has been created for self-evaluation, so an adapted personality assessment will be constructed to measure a second persons personality. The proposed research would ask employees to take the personality test in behalf of their boss to determine the type of person they are. Participants will also be asked basic questions about their relationship with their boss and how satisfied they are working for them. Specific questions will be asked to determine how productive they want to be at work, and why. Through this study we expect to see a common trend among employees who appreciate one personality characteristic above others. Based on past analyzed studies regarding effective personalities, we anticipate that conscientiousness will be rated to make employees to feel more productive, but less satisfied with their work. The insight gained from this research may provide valuable information and instruction to all employers regarding what characteristics make employees want to be more productive at work.

Exploring the Modes through Which the Wee Care Center Impacts Student Success at Utah Valley University

Alexis Ross, Utah Valley University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

The new Wee Care Center at Utah Valley University opened its doors to students in January of 2014 with an increased capacity, serving 110 children at any given time, double the number of children the old facility could service. Because Utah Valley University has the lowest women success rate in the state (based on data provided by the Women’s Success Center), one of the primary purposes of expanding the Wee Care Center was to increase women’s success and degree completion at UVU. Currently, the Wee Care Center serves approximately 120 students, however, it is unknown how many other Utah Valley University students need childcare services and are not being served by the Wee Care Center. The purpose of this study is to assess the impact of the current services of the students being served by the Wee Care Center, with targeted focus on women, and also to identify the students that could be served, the degree to which their current childcare needs are being met, and how these needs are impacting their student success. This study is a collaborative effort between the Department of Student Leadership and Success Studies, the Women’s Success Center, and the Wee Care Center. The Women’s Success Center will email a digital survey, using Qualtrics, to all Utah Valley University students with children, targeting students with children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, the current population serviced by Wee Care Center. This survey will gather information that will help assess the unmet childcare needs and their influence on student success, including emotional, physical, educational and financial challenges that are commonly presented while simultaneously pursuing a degree and raising children. In addition, the Wee Care Center will administer a paper survey to students being serviced by the center while the students are on site, which should increase the response rate. This survey will explore the ways the Wee Care Center contributes to the student success of those being served by the facility.While it may be too early to determine long-term effects of the Wee Care Center expansion, the objective of this study is to measure the immediate impact on those students who are being served by the new Wee Care Center since its opening, to assess the increased success of students pursuing their educational goals with access to the Wee Care Center, and to explore the level of student success from students with children that are not using the Center.

Examining the Intersections of Sexual Orientation, Race, and Gender in the Juvenile Legal System in Utah

George Zamantakis, University of Utah

Social and Behavioral Sciences

This thesis examines the intersections of race, gender, sexual orientation, and age as they relate to queer* youth in Utah who were engaged in the juvenile legal system. Few authors, activists, and academics have taken a stand against the prison system. However, several, such as Michelle Alexandra and Angela Y. Davis, have begun to voice the inequitable conditions through which people of color are funneled into the prison industrial complex and laws are racially biased, so as to relegate people of color to a space of invisibility. Even fewer, though, have examined how this conversation relates to queer* identity (queer* meaning an umbrella term for lesbian, gay, bisexual, etc.). In order to understand these unique experiences, interviews will be conducted with individuals who self-identify as queer* and were at one point involved in the juvenile legal system. The study is a qualitative report on the abuse, trauma, and victimization that these youth have faced in their unique experience, as well as the ways in which they entered the system. While the study has not yet been conducted, much has been learned through an in-depth literature review, finding that there is little literature to document these experiences. There are few calls for change and abolition. There are even fewer calls to dismantle systems of oppression that are leading these youth into the criminal legal system. This paper is meant to be a call to action.

Utah Resident Climate Change Beliefs as Predictors of Residential Water Use and Local Water Conservation Policies

Grant Holyoak, Utah State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

While extensive research has been performed on the effects of climate change on water resources, little analysis has been performed that examines how a population’s belief about climate change affects its residential water use behaviors and its support of local water resources policies. This study, as an appendage of the extensive NSF-funded “iUtah” Project (innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability), seeks to fill this gap in the research through statistical analysis of a household survey distributed to over 2,000 Utah households during the summer of 2014. Surveys were distributed and collected through a revolutionary “drop-off/pick-up” methodology yielding a highly representative response rate. The project analyzes Utahan responses in both an analytical and an explanatory fashion, demonstrating how belief or disbelief in anthropogenic climate change is predictive of specific residential water use behaviors. The effects of climate change beliefs are also examined as predictors of resident support of potential local water conservation policies. Enormously beneficial to the arena of water conservation policy, this project leads to a better understanding of how climate change beliefs predict water use, allowing for more efficient strategy in the implementation of specific water conservation practices across American communities.

Organizational Pressures Limiting the Ability of Utah Social Service Agencies to Serve the Unauthorized Immigrant Population

Grant Holyoak, Utah State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Extant research has identified a number of gaps in the social services available to immigrants in the U.S. and, relatedly, the impacts of these gaps on immigrant well-being. Less research has analyzed the factors that impact how social service organizations respond to the needs of immigrants. Understanding the constraints and opportunities such organizations face is key to identifying ways to successfully remedy critical resource gaps. Data for this study were collected through in-depth interviews with leaders from two dozen Utahan agencies, which offer services ranging from educational promotion to religious humanitarianism. Drawing on organizational theory, this research advances the field by identifying the coercive, mimetic, and normative pressures that social service organizations face and how these pressures shape organizations’ responsiveness to the needs of immigrant communities. Cultural, organizational, and legal variables are identified as inhibitors to the ability of these agencies to meet the needs of this population, and recommendations are given regarding the abatement of these pressures. The policy implications of this analysis are applicable on the local, state, and national levels, and prove essential to the continued debates surrounding the service of this marginalized demographic.

Self-reported Reasons for Motivation to Exercise and Association with Mental Health

Thomas White and Jason Woodruff, Brigham Young University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Exercise has been shown to be an effective adjunct to therapy in combating depression symptoms (Josefsson, Lindwall, and Archer, 2014; Seime and Vickers, 2006; Stathopoulou, Powers, Berry, Smits, and Otto, 2006). However, it can be difficult to motivate individuals who experience depressive symptoms to begin and maintain an exercise routine (Seime and Vickers, 2006). Here we investigate which motivations might help those who demonstrate symptoms of depression to begin and maintain an exercise regimen. This study examined Frequency and Duration of exercise as well as motivation to exercise and relationship to scores on a Depression scale. A sample of 184 BYU undergraduate students taking psychology classes participated in the study. Controlling for gender, we collected data regarding participants’ current Depression symptoms, exercise regimens, and motivations for exercising (for Sociality, Competition, and Fitness). Multiple regression analyses showed Duration and Frequency of exercise were negatively correlated with Depression. Furthermore, motivation for Fitness was positively correlated with Depression scores and Competition was negatively correlated with Depression scores. We also found that Motivation for Sociality was negatively correlated with Depression scores. We explore possible reasons for these findings. Overall, we show that Sociality and Competition may be the most potent motivators in helping college students maintain motivation to exercise. To our knowledge, there are few studies that have examined motivation to exercise in junction with depression symptoms. The results have practical implications for clinicians who may recommend exercise to their clients to encourage exercising to reduce depressive symptoms.