Category Archives: 2015-UCUR-Abstracts

Referential Worlds: Concepts of Selfhood and Social Context among Telugu Transnational Families

Stéfanie Morris, Brigham Young University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

This study seeks to explain intergenerational changes in reference and selfhood for Telugu parents and for their emigrant children and grandchildren. I argue that individuals have indexical worlds—landscapes of familiarity, signs, meaning, material, and experience. These worlds are open systems, ever changing and growing as the universe and all things in it act and are acted upon (people, animals, rocks, trees, ideas, and more). Challenges often arise when individuals leave an area where they can easily connect to other individuals’ similar indexical worlds. An inability to fully understand the signs and meanings of other contexts or people often causes individuals to feel a sense of dissociation. I argue that for all people, referential worlds connect to feelings of selfhood, or belonging, as well as influence relations between generations as traditional customs and practices are syncretized with their new environment.

Johnson: Criminally Negligent or Negligently Criminal?

Frederic Van De Water, Dixie State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

In the Fall of 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson chose to escalate American participation in the Vietnam War Conflict based on false intelligence information about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Once Johnson realized the full truth of the event, he was caught in a public relations trap since he had already announced that the United States had been attacked. Throughout the Johnson administration, there was a large discrepancy between public relations messages to the American people and internal statements about the actual mission, objectives, and success of the war. In the early days of the Nixon administration, Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, a senior consultant from the RAND Corporation, leaked thousands of pages of classified documents about this phenomenon to the New York Times in hopes of bringing an end to the Vietnam War. Since this time, many historians and policy analysts have utilized this limited collection to study the war. In 2011, the Obama Administration had the National Archives release the complete set of documents online. Utilizing this expanded collection, I will compare and contrast how the Johnson administration’s message either conflicted or at times coincided with what was being done in Vietnam as part of wider Department of Defense policy.

The Intent of Assassination

Braxton Larson, Dixie State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy publicly praised President Ngo Dinh Diem for his leadership “to the defense of freedom” and protecting the Vietnamese from “unprovoked subversion and terror.” Ironically within the year, after Buddhist monks started setting themselves on fire in protest of Diem, Kennedy ordered his assassination for his role as an oppressor of his people. Was this change of policy based upon a change in Diem, or a change in the intelligence information President Kennedy was receiving? If his previous information had been correct, was President Kennedy intentionally lying to the American people? Questions like these plagued politicians, military leaders, and the general public during the Vietnam War. Now with the release of the full collection of the “Pentagon Papers,” researchers can definitively document most discrepancies between the rhetoric and the reality of that controversial conflict. This paper will explore these questions about the Kennedy administration, more specifically asking the vital question if the entire origins of the conflict were based upon lies.

Communication Reflections: Desired and Actual Talk in Home Hospice Care

Sarah Nagel and Allyson Brome, University of Utah

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Communication between family caregivers and hospice nurses is important in caring for cancer patients at end-of-life. However, little systematic research has been done to determine what topics are discussed, how much communication occurs in different topics, and helpfulness for caregivers. This study aims to assess caregivers’ perception of these variables. As part of a larger study of nurse-family caregiver communication in home hospice cancer care, caregivers completed a survey assessing how much caregivers wanted to talk about 6 different topics, how much they actually talked about each topic, and perceived discussion helpfulness. Descriptive statistics were calculated and paired-samples t-tests were conducted to determine differences in the actual versus desired amount of topics’ communication. 209 family caregivers of home hospice cancer patients completed the survey. 95% of caregivers were white, 124 were spouses, 66 were children, 61 were men. Average caregiver age was 58.71 (SD=13.91). Average length of hospice enrollment was 25.5 days (Median= 12.00; SD=30.07). The most common topic for both actual and desired communication was symptom discussions, followed by coping with care; death/dying; coping with stress; memories/reminiscing; religion/spirituality (Mean Range Actual=4.53-1.89; Desired=4.58-1.89). Communication was seen as helpful regardless how much they wanted to talk about specific variables (Mean Range=3.00-4.62). Paired samples t-tests revealed no significant differences between actual and desired variables for any topic except for coping with stress, which was discussed less than the caregiver would have liked (t=2.38, df=207, p=.018). This study found that caregivers desired more or less communication about varying topics, and for the most part, this was reflected in actual conversation. All conversations between nurses and caregivers were considered helpful by caregivers. Though based on retrospective self-report data, study findings support current hospice nurse communication with family caregivers. However, nurses could improve on addressing caregivers’ coping with stress, which has implications for nursing education.

Children’s and Adolescents’ Moral Development and Self-Event Connections in Accounts of Harm

Kara Henrie, Stacia Bourne, and Cecilia Wainryb, University of Utah

Social and Behavioral Sciences

People draw conclusions about themselves from personal experiences; these are self-event connections (McLean, Pasupathi, and Pals, 2007). Little is known about children’s and adolescent’s self-event connections. The present study examined the types of connections 5-, 10-, and 16-year-olds formed in accounts of two types of moral transgressions: those in which they thought “it was my fault” and those which they thought “it was not my fault.” We hypothesized that connections made with “it is my fault” events would be more negative than those made with “it is not my fault” events and that children and adolescents would form self-event connections that differed with age. We expected 5- and 10-year olds would form morally relevant connections proportionately more often than 16-year-olds, and we expected the 16-year-olds would form proportionately more connections that described a stable sense of self. Forty children in each age group provided two narrative accounts of doing harm: an “it was my fault” experience, and an “it was not my fault” experience. Following these accounts, participants were prompted to construct a self-event connection. Types of self-event connections were coded as follows: (a) temporal scope: back then, now/across time, or going forward; (b) valence: negative or non-negative (e.g., “I am a bad person,” “I am friendly”); (c) relevance: moral or non-moral (e.g., “I am caring,” “I am forgetful”); and (d) generality: general or contextual. Preliminary results indicate that all age groups make negative connections equally frequently and make morally relevant and negative connections more often in “my fault” than in “not my fault” transgressive experiences. Sixteen-year-olds make connections describing the self as continuous across time more often than the other age groups. Finally, 5-year-olds are more likely to make no self-event connections and make connections that are morally relevant.

Children and Adolescent’s Guilt Proneness and Moral Judgments of Their Own Transgressions

Marshall Grimm and Stacia Bourne, University of Utah

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Despite youth’s efforts to act in morally acceptable ways, it is inevitable that they will hurt or cause harm to others (Wainryb and Recchia, 2013). Hurt feelings may be caused by purposeful misdeeds, but they also may be caused through accidents, pursuit of instrumental goals, or misunderstandings. Most older children and adolescents seem to consider both their justifiable reasons and the hurt that they caused when they judge their harmful actions. This dual focus leads many youth to evaluate their transgressions as not entirely negative (e.g., as mixed – both wrong and not wrong). Some children may be less likely to see that there are justifiable reasons that underlie some transgressive actions. For instance, it is likely that children and adolescents who feel excessive guilt for their transgressive actions will make moral judgments that are more exclusively negative. Some youth are dispositionally more guilt prone than others (Tangney 1990). Therefore, we expect that guilt prone children and adolescents will judge their transgressions more negatively than those that are not guilt prone. To examine the relationship between youths’ guilt proneness and their moral judgments of their own transgressions, we assessed 80 children and adolescents (M age = 12.86). Guilt proneness was found to be a significant predictor of moral judgments. Specifically, youth who were more guilt prone made more negative judgments. Having a clear picture of the relationship between guilt proneness and moral judgments can help parents of guilt prone kids to scaffold their children to consider the many complex features of moral transgressions and to understand it is sometimes appropriate to judge their actions as simultaneously both wrong and not wrong.

An Environmental Reconstruction of Lake Channel, Idaho, from Microfaunal Remains

Madalyn Page, Brandi Allred, and David Byers, Utah State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Relative abundances of small mammals often monitor environmental conditions due to these animals’ high sensitivity to climatic fluctuations. In this study, we document small mammal remains recovered from recently deposited owl pellets collected in Lake Channel, Idaho, located on the Snake River Plain. These pellets were dissected and cataloged according to diagnostic and non-diagnostic osteological characteristics. Following standard procedure, we used the crania and mandibles for MNI calculations, as well as species-level identification of small mammals. After identifying the small mammals down to species level, we compared our results to a habitat profile that suggests the microfaunal remains occupy both xeric and mesic habitats. These results remain consistent with the present day dune and riparian environments found in Lake Channel. Further analyses will compare this present day base-line climatic model to recently excavated small mammal assemblages documenting ancient Lake Channel climates.

Attitude is Everything: Relationship Expectations, Sexual Attitudes, Literacy, and Behavior

Michelle Hammon, Lyndsey Craig, RonJai Staton, Christy Fiscer, Tina Brough, Zachary Olson, Deborah
Decker, and Justin Nuckles, Dixie State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Beliefs and expectations about romantic relationships play an important role in an individual’s sexual attitudes and behavior. Sexual literacy, including accurate sexual knowledge, experience, and ease of individual sexuality, informs healthy sexual attitudes and behavior. Research suggests sexual literacy is associated with sexual attitudes and behaviors. Attachment representations, sexual literacy, sexual attitudes and behaviors were assessed through an online survey administered to individuals over the age of 18. Participants with low sexual literacy scores were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior and had more negative sexual attitudes compared to individuals with higher sexual literacy scores. Anxious ambivalent and avoidant attachment representations were associated with negative sexual attitudes and risky sexual behavior. Results suggest the inclusion of attachment representation awareness in sexual education may promote healthy sexual behaviors.

The Impact of Evidence-Based Parent Education in Organized Youth Sport: A Pilot Study

Michael King, Utah State University

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Nine in ten North American youth participate in organized sport during childhood and/or adolescence (Clark, 2010; Jellineck and Durant, 2004; USDHHS, 2010). However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2000, 2001), youth sport is increasingly being driven by adults and is becoming less centered on the athletes who participate. As parents continue to invest a growing percentage of family resources into the athletic development and success of their children, the “appropriate” level of parental involvement in youth sport has become a polarizing cultural debate. Although extant research illuminates developmentally appropriate parent involvement behaviors, researchers and practitioners have yet to systematically disseminate this information to parents. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to design, implement, and test an evidence-based education program for parents in organized youth sport. Parents (39 fathers and 42 mothers) from seven youth soccer teams were randomly assigned to one of three implementation conditions (full, partial, or non). At preseason, parents and athletes (41 boys and 40 girls) were administered T1 surveys. Parents (n = 18) in the full-implementation condition attended a 45-minute Parent Sport Seminar and were given the Evidence-Based Guide for Parenting in Organized Youth Sport. Parents (n = 36) in the partial-implementation condition were given the Guide. Parents (n = 27) in the non-implementation condition did not take part in the Seminar and were not given the Guide. At postseason, parents and athletes on all seven teams were administered T2 surveys. Data reveal a positive impact of the parent education program on parent and child experiences. This parent education program has the potential to enhance children’s sport enjoyment and motivation, and therefore holds the potential to enhance health, positive parent-child interaction in sport and youth well-being throughout adolescence and into adulthood.

Bringing the Benefits of Nature Indoors; Difficulties with Attention Restoration Experiments in the Laboratory

Chalise Carlson, Jason Watson, David L. Strayer, Eve Miller, and Ashley Pyne, University of Utah

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Attention Restoration Theory (ART) promotes the concept that attentional resources requiring focused thoughtfulness are revitalized by the easy or “soft” inherent captivation we experience in natural surroundings. Oppositely, loud urban settings are considered attentional resource eradicators. Atchley, Strayer and Atchley (2012) strengthened the ART premise in an experiment using the Remote Associates Test (RAT), a measure of creative cognition. In their experiment, the RAT scores gathered from backpackers on the last day of a four day hike sans technology were significantly higher than those of a separate group of backpackers before embarking on a similar excursion. In our experiment, we controlled for extraneous variables by presenting the experiment indoors utilizing videos of attention depleting (urban) and attention stimulating (nature) environments. Early trials employing pre-video, post-video RAT scores as the measures of restoration found comparable results to the outdoor studies with a 12% increase in the nature group’s scores and a 5% increase in the urban group’s scores. However, our attempt to increase the effect by doubling the video viewing time resulted in a loss of effect, slanting the data toward the urban group as the most improved. F(1,208)=3.22, p=.07. Moving forward with Attention Restoration Theory, we feel there is validity in outdoor experiments. Immersion into the outdoors likely produces a sufficiently powerful influence which overcomes the RAT’s indirect measure of cognition. Additionally we exert that potential exists for the indoor studies as well. Indoor experiments, lacking the immersive quality, would likely benefit from a more sensitive, direct measure of attention. Further, future studies should also consider utilizing representative stimulus shown to maximally induce restoration, such as scenes evoking “mystery” or “fascination” (ie. a winding path disappearing into a dense forest.) Future application of these specific attributes may intensify indoor results.