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Symposium Proceedings


Note: Presentations are grouped by the student’s area of research (based on the faculty mentor’s academic department), not the student’s academic major.


Poster Session B: 

9:15 - 10:15 am

Communication Sciences and Disorders; Human Development and Family Science; and Psychology (38 posters)




B-01     Mary Vang

Research Collaborators:  Valerie Freeman and Sara Loss

Research Presentation Title:  Second-generation Hmong Americans’ Self-confidence and Self-perceived Competency Communicating in English in a Variety of Settings

Faculty Research Mentor:  Valerie Freeman, Communication Sciences and Disorder


After immigrating to the United States in the late 1970s, Hmong immigrants have integrated into American society including learning a second language, English. In recent years, many researchers have focused their studies on the declination of the Hmong language and the impact this decline has on the Hmong American community. On the other hand, not much research has been done about the acquisition of the English language and its broader impact on the Hmong community. This research project seeks to explore the experiences of second-generation Hmong Americans after learning English and whether being English language learners has affected their self-confidence and self-perceived competency in communicating in English. Data is currently being collected using a mixed method. 15 second-generation Hmong Americans have completed a language background history questionnaire and a semi-structured oral interview using questions from the Bilingual Language Profile, Language Experience and Proficiency Questionnaire (LEAP-Q) and Quantifying Bilingual EXperience (Q-BEx) questionnaire. Preliminary findings include a general satisfaction with current English-speaking abilities and high usage of English in all types of settings. Thematic analysis is being used to identify reoccurring themes such as experience with learning and usage of L1 and l2, experience with language mixing, and the coined term "Hmonglish".


B-02     Lena Kannegiesser and Jordan Bilger

Research Presentation Title:  Demographics of Those Interviewed Through the Deaf Experience & Deaf Expression Project

Faculty Research Mentor:  Valerie Freeman, Communication Sciences and Disorders


Demographics of Those Interviewed Through the Deaf Experience & Deaf Expression

Lena Kannegiesser and Jordan Bilger

In this project, we explore and interview many different types of people who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH), family members, and related professionals. The people interviewed in this study varied significantly in age and type of hearing loss. This includes young children, teenagers, and adults. Thanks to this diversity, we have a large catalog of information and testimonies of the highs and lows that this community has had. This project will provide a resource for parents, educators, health care workers, and anyone else who is DHH or has that person in their life. It also aims to increase understanding for those who don’t have a knowledge of this community and educate about the various routes one can take when deciding what to do about their hearing. Our research will show a visual representation of the diversity of participants that will include age, gender, and types of hearing loss. These demographics are vital to this study for it to reach all kinds of people, despite their differences. Through these interviews we have started to notice some patterns in how experiences differ for people of different ages, genders, degrees of hearing loss and device use. Knowing these differences can be a vital tool in educating parents, educators, and future care givers of those with hearing loss. Over the last two years, we as teams of 6-16 students per semester have conducted interviews with 79 individuals with various backgrounds in hearing loss. These individuals have included parents, teachers of the Deaf, ASL professors, and people a part of the Deaf community. In addition to highlighting the importance of the demographics of these participants, we aim to eventually recognize the common struggles among the DHH community and their stories and struggles. In the future, we aim to discover correlations between multiple areas and walks of life with different points of view. This information will be vital to those who have similar struggles. By having this connection, they will hopefully be able to relate to an individual who shares their experiences. Discovering these similarities is vital to this project and all we hope to achieve.


B-03     Athena Kirby

Research Collaborators:  Valerie Freeman and Trevor Courouleau

Research Presentation Title:  Voice-gender effects on word gender

Faculty Research Mentors:  Valerie Freeman and Trevor Courouleau, Communication Sciences and Disorders


Purpose: Gender is a culturally-dependent construct that can be associated with categories of humans, abstract concepts, and even words. In languages that have explicit gender markings, like French and German, words may have both grammatical gender and conceptual or semantic gender associated with the words’ meanings (i.e., things associated with masculinity or femininity). Grammatical and conceptual gender are not always congruent and may interact cognitively to influence the genders that people associate with words and their meanings. English has very limited grammatical gender, removing that interaction and leaving words with culturally defined gender associations regardless of their sounds or structure (e.g., doll, soft vs ball, tough). Human gender is perceived in voices through combinations of acoustic features like pitch and intonation. This study asks how the perceived gender of a speaker’s voice affects the associated gender of the words they say. Method: In a survey study, college aged students (18-24) rate 20 English words as “very feminine”, “somewhat feminine”, “none/any gender”, “somewhat masculine” or “very masculine” to collect data of perceived gender of the words. In a separate phase, participants listen to people of different gender identities reading the words and rate the words using the same gender scale.  Ratings are compared to show influences of perceived voice-gender on conceptual word gender, with ratings of gender-neutral words determining baseline voice-gender perceptions. Results: Data collection and analysis are in progress and will be completed by April. Relationships between word-gender associations and voice-gender perceptions may give us insight into linguistic and cognitive processes that influence gender perceptions.


B-04     Bailey Smith, Grace Adams and Chelsea Olender

Research Presentation Title:  Collecting Interviews of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Lived Experiences

Faculty Research Mentor:  Valerie Freeman, Communication Sciences and Disorders


This presentation focuses on a portion of the large-scale Deaf Experience, Deaf Expression (DXDX) research project which aims to shed light on lived experiences of the Deaf and hard of hearing communities. This poster will dive into the interview process: how we conduct interviews, their content, and the data we hope to collect from the interviews. The project’s goal is to share our interview collection as an educational resource for those deciding about assistive devices, speech therapy, sign language, schooling options, and many other necessary decisions regarding a child with hearing loss. Each interview follows a similar process. 

Our interviews cover many different demographics of those related to hearing loss. We do interviews with children with hearing loss and their friends or siblings, parents of a child with hearing loss, allies of the Deaf community, adults who are profoundly deaf, and adults who are hard-of-hearing. These interviews follow the same basic structure, with questions regarding personal information, hearing loss and self-advocacy, family, discrimination, education, communication, relationships and social life, accommodations, and advice for others. Upon completing these interviews, we hope to create a database for parents, educators, and researchers on different routes that can be taken when diagnosed with hearing loss.

Our second goal of the DXDX project is to organize the data from the interviews to answer our question at large, what factors contribute to participants’ decisions regarding their hearing technology? Through thematic analysis, we are developing common themes that occur across participants based on exact quotes. We will then analyze the relationships between the themes and the quotes, and how they both relate to our overall question. We hope to determine how these experiences cultivate opinions on hearing aids and cochlear implants.

The DXDX video corpus is a large-scale project that aims to fill the gap in resources for individuals with hearing loss. Although this project is large, the process of interviewing these individuals is just a small portion that can help build resources in the future.


B-05     Hailey Grimmett

Research Collaborators:  Alex Bishop

Research Presentation Title:  The Young2Old Project: Portrait of Living 100 Years from the Eyes of a Child

Faculty Research Mentor:  Alex Bishop, Human Development and Family Science


The purpose of the study is to investigate how young children prospectively perceive growing old and living 100 years. Participants will include children, age 3 to 6 years old, currently enrolled in the Cleo L. Craig Child Development Lab School at Oklahoma State University. Using drawing as a qualitative technique, this study will involve methodologically examination of social and cognitive representations of human aging held by young children. Participants will engage in a three-step participatory process involving an introductory interview, picture drawing exercise, and oral storytelling session.  First, participants will be asked to socially interact in a one-to-one question-and-answer session to gain insight into how young children cognitively construct beliefs and attitudes about the concept of old age. Sample questions will include “What is old;” and “how do you know someone is old?” Participants will then be prompted to think about what they might look like when they are 100 years old. Participants will be asked to draw a self-portrait of this representation on paper. Once participants have completed their drawing, they will be asked to share a brief story and explanation of their self-portrait. Qualitative outcomes from this study will be used to highlight results pertaining to content analyses of self-portrait drawings, as well as oral narrative assessment of verbal descriptions regarding how young child conceptualize living and being 100. Additional insights and links of findings to parental proxy reports of child beliefs and attitudes toward aging will be discussed to further understand qualitative content from self-portrait drawings and oral narratives.


B-06     Bailey Holcomb

Research Presentation Title:  Identifying Predictors of Mental Health Among Mothers Held in Correctional Custody

Faculty Research Mentor:  Alex Bishop, Human Development and Family Science


The aim of this study was to identify predictors of mental health among mothers of children under age 18 currently held in correctional custody. Data was collected from N = 316 women (M = 35.14 years; SD = 6.56 years) under correctional control within the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Respondents were asked to complete a self-report survey that included standardized questions to evaluate history of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), perceived stress, social relations, physical and reproductive health, and spiritual and mental well-being. Of particular interest was identifying distal and proximal variables that predict loneliness, depression, and valuation of life.  Results indicate that ACEs (p < .05), stress (p < .001), and social support (p < .001) represent key predictors of loneliness; whereas ACEs (p< .05) health problems, (p < .001), and interpersonal conflict  (p < .001) emerged as predictors of depression. In addition, reported history of a stillbirth or miscarriage (p <.05), interpersonal conflict (p < .05) and religiosity (p < .001) represented predictors of valuation of life. Predictor variables explained a total of 41% of variation in loneliness and 46% of the variation in depression. However, predictor variables only explained 17% of the variance in valuation of life.  It appears that ACEs are associated with greater feelings of loneliness and depressive symptoms, yet greater interpersonal conflict is associated with increased depressive symptoms and diminished valuation of life.  In addition, loneliness appears to increase amid greater stress encounters but decreases in the presence of greater social support. Furthermore, greater self-reported health conditions contribute to greater depressive symptoms and being more religious improves the valuation of one’s life. Interestingly, reported history of experiencing miscarriage or stillbirth appears to counterintuitively enhance positive perceptions about life. The results have implications for how psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, and pastoral ministers provide therapeutic interventions and programming to incarcerated mothers with a history of trauma exposure and on-going stressors pertaining to their life situation, health and interpersonal relationships. Further discussion of strategies to improve resilience among women held in custody will be highlighted.


B-07     Hailey Minet

Research Collaborators:  Alex Bishop

Research Presentation Title:  Evaluation and Analysis of Self-Reported Adult Mental Health in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Faculty Research Mentor:  Alex Bishop, Human Development and Family Science


The purpose of this study was to examine adult mental health in the aftermath of the COVI D-19 pandemic. Online survey data was collected from N = 316 adults (M = 33.01 years, SD = 15.68 years) using Qualtrics. Survey respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic would contribute to their experience of future mental health conditions. Respondents indicated that over one-third of respondents anticipated encountering four primary mental health conditions in the long-term aftermath of COVID-19. In particular, respondents indicated that they expect to continue experiencing mental health challenges pertaining to anxiety (47.5%), boredom (38.6%), depression (36.4%), and loneliness (34.8%) in the future. Additional analyses were conducted to determine mean-level sex and race differences in current self-reported anxiety, boredom, depression, and loneliness. Adult women maintained significantly higher mean levels of reported depressive symptomatology, F (1, 273) = 5.31, p < .05, and feelings of loneliness, F (1, 253) = 5.34, p < .05, compared to adult men. Mean-level differences by race were not significant. Results appear to indicate that adult women will likely continue to experience greater challenges in their mental health relative to encounters of depressive symptomatology and loneliness in the aftermath of COVID-19. This has implications relative to how counselors and mental health professionals provide services and programming to offset the impact of depressive symptomatology and loneliness among adult women. Further insight into the interconnection of depression and loneliness and potential interventions to improve mental health among adult women in the aftermath of COVID-19 will be highlighted in this presentation.


B-08     Haley Stuckey

Research Collaborators:  Alex Bishop

Research Presentation Title:  Adverse Childhood Experiences of Incarcerated Women from Crime-Offending Families

Faculty Research Mentor:  Alex Bishop, Human Development and Family Science


The purpose of this study was to devise a comparative childhood adversity typology pertaining to women held in correctional custody. Data involved a self-reported survey completed by N = 544 women (M = 39.03 years old; SD = 10.31 years).  Cross-tab analyses were conducted across the 10-item Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Questionnaire using a subdivided sample of women currently incarcerated at the same time as other family members (n = 159); and women currently not incarcerated at the same time as other family members (n = 374). Results indicated that nearly one-third of women in correctional custody are serving a criminal sentence at the same time as another family member. These women endorsed a significantly greater average number of ACEs items (M = 5.57 vs. M = 4.67) compared to those not incarcerated at the same time as other family members F (1, 515) = 10.32, p < .01. Compared to their counterparts, a significantly greater proportion of women incarcerated at the same time as other family members reported ACEs reflecting neglect  (1, N = 528) = 5.16, p <  .05; parental divorce  (1, N = 527) = 5.17, p <  .05; physical abuse/harm  (1, N = 528) = 4.36, p <  .05; living with someone who was an alcoholic or drug user  (1, N = 530) = 10.16, p <  .05; living with a household member suffering from mental illness  (1, N = 526) = 5.74, p <  .05; and having household member go to prison  (1, N = 530) = 18.24, p <  .001. It appears that women who are held in correctional custody simultaneously as other family members originate from households where ACEs exposure to abuse and neglect, parental divorce, substance abuse, mental illness, and incarceration are more commonplace. This has implications relative to how correctional psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, and chaplains provide clinical interventions, services, and programs tailored for women whose family members are simultaneously held in correctional custody. Further discussion surrounding the gendered life course transmission of ACEs within crime-offending families will be highlighted.


B-09     Abbi Bellatti

Research Collaborators:  Courtney Cooper, Zsofia Cohen and Gabriella Atencio

Research Presentation Title:  Eating Behaviors and Alcohol Use in College Students

Faculty Research Mentor:  Kara Kerr, PhD, Psychology


Across the United States, both binge drinking and disordered eating behaviors are prevalent, specifically on college campuses, and often co-occur (Rush et al., 2016). The combination of caloric restriction and binge drinking has been colloquially dubbed, “drunkorexia.” Barry & Piazza-Gardner (2012) found that college students who are highly physically active are more likely to use or abuse alcohol than those who are not, as exercise is used as another means of calorically compensating for copious calories consumed during an episode of binge drinking. Students in Greek life may be at higher risk for these behaviors, as one study reported they found alcohol more central to their college experience and were more preoccupied with thinness than their non-Greek counterparts (Ward et al., 2015). Based on these findings, we sought to examine whether students in Greek life were at higher risk for “drunkorexia” attitudes and behaviors. Participants were recruited through SONA, and data was collected using a series of measures in Qualtrics to assess whether affiliation with a housed fraternity or sorority is associated with increased behaviors and motivations related to drunkorexia. The sample included 560 students aged 18-22. Students completed the Drunkorexia Motives and Behaviors Scale (DMBS), a 52-item measure used to assess compensatory behaviors related to drinking and answered questions regarding their demographic information and involvement in Greek life. An independent t-test was conducted in SPSS to compare DMBS scores between students in housed fraternities and sororities and those who are not. Among total students in the sample, 85.4% of Greek students reported alcohol use, as opposed to 73.2% of non-Greek students. However, when only including the students who reported alcohol use (N=431), no significant differences were found in DMBS scores between Greek (M=83.4, SD=29.2) and non-Greek (M=81.7, SD=26.3) students, t(429)=0.6, p=0.540. These results suggest that Greek students are not at a higher risk for drunkorexia than non-Greek students, but a greater proportion of Greek students choose to consume alcohol. These findings prompt further research in the relationship between Greek life involvement and alcohol use.


B-10     Annah Boone

Research Collaborators:  Shelia Kennison

Research Presentation Title:  Daily Behaviours

Faculty Research Mentor:  Shelia Kennison, Psychology


Thirty to fifty percent of the population is not adherent to their medication. This is a problem because individuals who misuse medication are harming their bodies in a way that could result in death. The CDC says that roughly 125,000 deaths per year are caused by medication non-adherence. Understanding why people become non-adherent is the key to solving this problem. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, almost 60% of Americans have at least one chronic illness. Simply applying that to Oklahoma, that estimates to be 2 million people with a chronic illness. My research studied the factors related to medication non-adherence in an undergraduate population who cope with one or more chronic illnesses. We are testing the hypothesis that risk-taking behaviors, adverse childhood experiences (ACES), and low conscientiousness, correlate with non-adherence. We are recruiting approximately 100 participants through the Department of Psychology SONA system. Participants will answer questions about their general risk-taking in daily life (DOSPERT), resilience, Big Five personality traits (i.e., conscientiousness, agreeableness, mood instability, openness, and extraversion), their Trust in the Medical Profession (TIMP), Beliefs on Medicine (BOM), relationship with parents, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). We expect to find that it is possible to use a small number of variables to predict who is likely to be non-adherent with medication. These results can be used by healthcare professionals to create a medication plan specific to each patient and their needs. When people do not take their medication as prescribed, they are risking their lives. Therefore, increasing adherence would be a step in decreasing medication related deaths.


B-11     Jessica DeLong

Research Collaborators:  Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Krystal Duarte, Macayla Smith and Getty Lindsay

Research Presentation Title:  How the Fear of Negative Judgment Correlates with One's Stress Experience During Social Exclusion

Faculty Research Mentor:  Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Psychology


Anxieties surrounding negative judgements being made about oneself may be a significant reason as to why people feel stressed when being faced with social exclusion. In this study, we explore how the fear of negative judgment relates to feelings of stress when an individual is socially excluded. We predict that individuals with a more intense fear of negative judgment will experience higher stress levels when socially excluded. We tested this by socially excluding 27 female participants, individually, from a short conversation with two confederates.. Using a Pearson's R correlation, the results indicated that there is a positive correlation between individuals who have a high fear of negative evaluation and their experience of stress during social exclusion. Generally, those who had a greater fear of negative judgment rated the experience of being socially excluded as more stressful than those with an average or low fear on the negative judgment scale.


B-12     Madison Dill

Research Collaborators:  Sarah Kucker

Research Presentation Title:  Parental Involvement in Novel Word Learning

Faculty Research Mentor:  Sarah Kucker, Psychology


Research suggests that there is a positive correlation between a child’s ability to recognize words both known and novel and overall parental engagement, which includes reading together and spending time in play together. However, less research investigated the effects that parental involvement has on a young child’s confidence in word learning and engagement while reading.  Study one compared parent-reported engagement and activities with their child and the child’s final accuracy and initial confidence on a lab-based language task. To do this, children from 17-36-months were asked to complete referent selection tasks while the guardians of the participants were asked to complete a survey regarding their involvement with the participant. We found that as amount of activities the parent-child pair engaged in increased, so would accuracy and confidence in recognizing known words and learning new ones. The parent-child activities included how much time was spend reading, drawing, doing puzzles and eating meals together.  Study two explored the relationship between the participants vocabulary level and their reading engagement level while reading with their guardians. For this phase we hypothesized that the higher the vocabulary level of the participants, the higher their engagement level will be. To do this, the child-guardian pair was asked to read two books that varied on level of difficulty: below, on, and above the developmental level of this age group. Taken together, it can be concluded that there is a positive correlation between parental engagement and promoting a positive attitude toward reading for their children. In this study, a positive attitude is defined as an increased in accuracy and confidence in recognizing known words and learning new ones as well as overall engagement while reading. Promoting a positive attitude toward reading and learning new words as a young child can have positive effects toward their attitude toward learning in their future. Creating more positive experiences reading with a guardian as a young child might lead to a more positive attitude toward learning as they get older.


B-13     Landon Edwards

Research Presentation Title:  Impact of Testing Environment on Test Anxiety

Faculty Research Mentor:  Maureen Sullivan, Psychology


Introduction: This study examines the effect of testing environment on level of test anxiety. In addition, level of overall anxiety, depression, or stress may also be linked to level of test anxiety. Little research exists on this topic, despite the relevance of exams and test anxiety during an individual’s lifetime in academics and work. We hypothesize that large exam settings, such as a lecture hall, and large numbers of test-takers in a shared space, are associated with higher levels of test anxiety. We predict that test anxiety will be associated with specific parameters of the testing environment, that higher levels of overall anxiety will be associated with higher levels of test anxiety, and that overall anxiety will be more strongly linked to test anxiety than depression and stress levels. Methods: The effect of overall anxiety, depression and stress on test anxiety will also be examined. Students were recruited through SONA; they completed 3 online questionnaires on RedCap (an online survey platform). 339 surveys were returned, and they are currently being reviewed for completion and accuracy. We expect approximately 175 valid responses. A demographic questionnaire assessed descriptive information (e.g., age, sex). The Testing Environment Questionnaire (TEQ) measured testing parameters of exam format, whether the test is open or closed-note, number of students taking the exam in the room, and whether the test is proctored. Depression, anxiety, and overall stress were measured by the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21). TEQ scores will be correlated with total test anxiety scores. Analysis of variance will test the effect of overall anxiety, depression, and stress (DASS-21 scores) on total test anxiety. Results of the study will provide insight into student responses to different testing environments. Results may identify ways to adjust testing environments to minimize test anxiety.


B-14     Emily Files

Research Collaborators:  Shakur Dennis, Logan Folger, Katherine Hein and Stephanie Mullins-Sweatt

Research Presentation Title:  The Cycle of Distrust: How Distrust Scores Predict Stress-related Paranoia and Unstable Relationships in Borderline Personality Disorder

Faculty Research Mentor:  Stephanie Sweatt, Psychology


Purpose / Background: Individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often experience difficulties in interpersonal relationships marked by mistrust. The diagnostic criteria of BPD include unstable relationships characterized by idealization and devaluation as well as transient, stress-related paranoid ideation (APA, 2013). Previous research (Masland & Hooley, 2020) suggests that individuals with a BPD diagnosis demonstrate a higher level of distrust. Similarly, research using general personality traits describes individuals with BPD as experiencing low agreeableness/high antagonism, which includes the facet of trust versus mistrust. This facet describes the assumptions one holds about the intentions of others (Samuel et al., 2012). The goal of this study is to examine the unique contributions of the general personality trait of trust with symptoms of BPD paranoid ideation and unstable relationships in predicting BPD distrust.

Methods: Participants in the current study (n = 520) were part of a larger study, which examined self and informant measures of borderline personality disorder. Sample demographics were mostly young adults (M = 19.49, SD =2.21), who identified as Caucasian (77.7%) and female (71.3%). Participants reviewed a consent form, completed a battery of self-report questionnaires assessing the five-factor model adaptive traits domains and their maladaptive variants and features of BPD. They were debriefed with the requirements of Oklahoma State University’s Institutional Review Board and received course credit. Self-reported measures included the International Personality Item Pool-NEO-120 (Johnson, 2014), the Five-Factor Borderline Inventory (Mullins-Sweatt et al., 2012), and the Multisource Assessment of Personality Pathology (Oltmanns & Turkheimer, 2004). Results:For the statistical analysis, we plan to examine the correlation and unique variance accounted for by symptoms of BPD and personality trait trust in predicting BPD distrust. We hypothesize that individuals with BPD symptoms will report high distrust, as well as distrust predicting variance with unstable relationships and stress-related paranoia. We also hypothesize that BPD symptoms will account for significant unique variance in predicting BPD distrust. Implications: We hope to provide more information regarding trust within borderline. Additionally, we hope to learn more about the relationship between personality trait trust and BPD distrust, as well as understanding the role of distrust in BPD symptoms.


B-15     Jorja Ford, Tami Boutwell, Jade Robinson and Aliyah Dean

Research Collaborators:  Makena Kaylor-Tapscott

Research Presentation Title:  Impact of Caregiver Substance Misuse on Emerging Adults’ Adjustment

Faculty Research Mentor:  Maureen Sullivan, Psychology


Introduction: Children raised by parents who abused substances have been shown to experience many adverse events, such as abuse, neglect, or parental separation (Stein, et al., 2002). With the rise in drug use among all ages, it is expected for the number of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) for children to consequently increase, but how does this affect them as young adults? We examined the association between individual ACEs, distress, and resilience among college students exposed to parental substance misuse. We expected each ACEs item to be positively correlated with distress, and for resilience to be negatively correlated with distress. Methods: Our sample consisted of 196 college students raised by a caregiver who misused substances. Individual adverse experiences were measured via the ACEs scale. The Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to measure distress. Connors-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC 25) measured resilience. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated. Results and Discussion: 30.6% of the sample exhibited elevated distress and 78.6% experienced 2+ ACEs. As expected, individual ACEs items were significantly correlated with DASS-21 total score, with the exception of parental incarceration. In addition, the CD-RISC and DASS-21 were negatively correlated. The results illustrate a wide variety of adverse experiences in individuals exposed to parental substance misuse. Implications of results will be discussed.


B-16     Kameryn Fritz

Research Collaborators:  Andrea Hurtado Morales, Shelia Kennison

Research Presentation Title:  Predicting Personality and Other Traits from Emoji Use on Twitter

Faculty Research Mentor:  Shelia Kennison, Psychology


Prior research has demonstrated that social media users’ personality traits and other personal characteristics can be predicted from the words that they use in personal writing as well as in social media posts. Only a few studies have examined how emoji use on social media is related to users’ characteristics.  In the present research, we examined emoji use in tweets for 76 twitter accounts belonging to undergraduate students (54 women, 22 men) who also completed an online survey in which they reported personal characteristics and their personality traits. Participants provided responses regarding their Big Five personality traits (i.e., extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, and mood instability), their TrueColors type (e.g., compassionate, intellectual, loyal, or adventurous), their general risk-taking in daily life (i.e., recreational, financial, ethical, health/safety, and social), and gender.  We retrieved tweets from accounts using the Twitter API and a python script. The Twitter API allowed us to download 3200 of the most recent tweets for each account. Emojis were extracted from the downloaded tweet files using a java script. The results showed that women tended to use emojis more than men. Lower levels of openness and higher levels of financial risk-taking were related to more frequent use of emojis. In ongoing analyses, we are exploring how the variety of emojis used and the emotional content of the emojis used (i.e., positive or negative) might relate to personal characteristics. We are also exploring how emoji use is related to word usage in tweets.


B-17     Hailey Hackler

Research Presentation Title:  The Pitfalls of Persuasion Through the Lens of Scientology

Faculty Research Mentor:  Sarah Hollingsworth, Psychology


No one ever expects to join a cult. Further, no one wants to join a cult. High control groups know this, and they use it to manipulate all kinds of unsuspecting people. I will apply this question to scientology; scientology is a cult and its various leaders have mastered the tactics of deception, coercion, and exploitation. How can one organization alone deceive so many people? Scientology began with L. Ron Hubbard; his science fiction/fantasy novels are the basis for the doctrines in this high control group. After his passing, the younger and eager David Miscavige happily took Hubbard’s place as leader. The question driving this research is: How does scientology leader David Miscavige utilize Aristotle’s artistic appeals and cognitive dissonance to persuade so many followers to join, maintain commitment, and support the church? I will argue that he does this by creating large-scale, extravagant settings for his speeches and appeals to his audience using Aristotle’s proofs – ethos, pathos, and logos. I also claim that he utilizes beloved celebrities like Tom Cruise in an effort to bring some credibility to the organization which triggers an intense state of cognitive dissonance for members and potential new members. To support my claim, I rely on the method of rhetorical criticism to review his recorded speeches and closely analyze his words, behaviors, and the overall setting. According to Hart, Daughton and LaValley, “rhetorical criticism is the business of identifying rhetoric’s complications and unpacking them thoughtfully” (2018, p. 26). The topic of scientology is complicated, so I will break down the persuasive elements and look at them from different angles. First, I will give a more detailed background of scientology and what their supposed goals are. Next, I will describe the two theories I am using to investigate this area of persuasion which are Aristotle’s Artistic Appeals and Cognitive Dissonance Theory. I will then closely examine one of Miscavige’s speeches that exhibit both theories of persuasion. Lastly, I will close with some educated conclusions drawn from my analysis and research on this topic.


B-18     Abbie Heidenreich

Research Collaborators:  Maureen Sullivan

Research Presentation Title:  The Role of Gesture in Late-Talkers Language Development

Faculty Research Mentor:  Sarah Kucker, Psychology


It is widely accepted that gestures and language develop in parallel over development (Iverson & Goldin-Meadow, 2005); however, there is still great variability in children’s gestures, particularly in children with language delays. Late talkers (LT) are a group of toddlers who have a limited productive vocabulary in comparison to other toddlers their age (Thal & Tobias, 1992). As the toddlers age, some late talkers will “catch-up” with their peers, while others remain delayed (Ellis & Thal, 2008). Researchers have aimed to discover how to tell if a “late-talker” will continue to be delayed or catch up later; gesture development could explain this gap. The current study follows-up with a set of preschool children who previously participated in the lab and were identified as LT when they were 1-3 years old. Children are classified based on their current vocabulary abilities as either “Persistent Delay” (still in the lowest vocabulary percentile) or “Late Bloomer” (now scoring within the normal range for vocabulary skill). These children will engage in a vocabulary test (Expressive Vocabulary Test 3.0; Williams, 2019) as well as a gesture-based task that will consist of an eight-slide story, each slide pairing with at least one symbolic gesture. The experimenter will tell the story using symbolic gestures that follow along with the presented picture book. The participant is then asked to repeat the story back to the experimenter while the visual cues remain on the screen. It is hypothesized that Late Bloomers will use more gestures, while Persistent Delay will use fewer gestures, because their difficulties may stem from broader language difficulties in communication. The goal is to determine if there is a difference in the number of gestures between Persistent Delay and Late Bloomer. Data collection is currently underway with approximately 35 late talkers who have participated. Exploratory analyses will examine differences in symbolic and non-symbolic gestures. The results will emphasize how measuring gesture development could highlight if a late talker will continue to be delayed or catch up in their spoken vocabulary. Research of late talkers should take a multi-faceted approach that includes linguistic as well as motor skills.  


B-19     Tanner Holden

Research Collaborators:  Shelia Kennison

Research Presentation Title:  The Effect of a Human Presence on Venting

Faculty Research Mentor:  Shelia Kennison, Psychology


Venting, which is defined as giving free expression to a strong emotion, is a normal part of many people’s lives and there is much research on it; however, most research examines the positive and negative outcomes of it through different attributions as well as better alternatives to venting. The Social Facilitation Theory suggests that a human presence may increase activation and arousal in people. The aim of the present study is to test the hypothesis that the venter will benefit from a venting session more when there is another person nearby. Three other conditions will be tested: another person far away, a mannequin, and a rock. The prediction is that having a human presence, meaning there is a neutral stimulus as the human vented to will offer no advice or judgment, will have an effect on the venter, whether in a positive or negative way and the effect will not occur in the other three conditions. Participants will be recruited from the Department of Psychology SONA system and randomly assigned to one of four conditions (a human close by, a human faraway, a mannequin, and a rock). Participants will be instructed to vent about a topic from a provided list (e.g., family, friends, finances). The participants complete a survey with questions about their thoughts about venting, personality, emotional regulation, mood, and demographics. Participants will also take a post-survey with questions about their emotions while venting, mood, and feelings about the benefits of the venting session. The mood before venting and after venting will be compared across conditions. If the study finds that participants felt better after venting to a human as opposed to an empty presence then it may show that simply being heard improves mood and may be better than offering advice. If they felt worse, then it may show that a lack of positive or negative attributions leads to individuals feeling ignored. In the event of the different levels of human presence have little to no effect on participants, it may show that Social Facilitation Theory does not apply to emotions and would require further research.


B-20     Jade House and Kendall Carter

Research Collaborators:  Katherina Arteaga, Grace Walker, Cassidy Armstrong and Ashley Cole

Research Presentation Title:  Literature Review: Protective Factors Against Suicidality Among Black Women Using an Intersectionality Approach

Faculty Research Mentor:  Ashley Cole, Psychology


In the United States, suicide is the third leading cause of death among Black women ages 24-34 years old, and the suicide rate has dramatically risen since 1999 (Vance et al., 2022; CDC, 2020). The term “intersectionality” was brought forth by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989, which offered a new understanding of the unique position of Black women who fall within two minority populations and often face multiple forms of discrimination. This coincides with the Black woman suicide paradox, which states that suicidality is less common among Black women in comparison to their White peers, despite facing significantly higher rates of discrimination (Spates, 2011). Research investigating reasons for the existence of this paradox cite the paucity of suicide data that focuses on Black women in comparison to Black men, as well as the misclassification of Black suicide deaths compared to White suicides (Rockett et al., 2006). However, additional research has explored protective factors, such as resiliency, seeking social support (e.g., friends and family), religion and cognitive and behavioral combats (Spates & Slatton, 2017). Specifically, spirituality and having faith in God strengthens resilience among Black women who are experiencing adversity by encouraging self-efficacy and dignity (Lewis et al., 2012). Furthermore, adapting a collectivist prospective and endorsing a strong sense of community protects Black women against suicide by providing communal support (Borum, 2012). Findings from a 2000 study suggest that suicidality and depression symptoms were significantly lower among black college women who received familial support and strong family cohesion (Harris & Molock, 2000). This poster aims to highlight the impact of intersectionality on suicide rates among Black women, as well as discuss the importance of a resiliency perspective.


B-21     Reese Jackson

Research Collaborators:  Sarah Kucker

Research Presentation Title:  YouTube’s Effect on Language Learning in Children

Faculty Research Mentor:  Sarah Kucker, Psychology


YouTube has become the most common form of media consumption for children ages 0-8 (Rideout et. al, 2020). While there is a large body of research into television’s effect on children, there are few studies looking into YouTube’s effect on child learning and their language development. In the first phase of the study, we assessed overall video quality. We recruited 154 primary caregivers of 17-30 month old monolingual English-speaking children.  Parents completed the Media Assessment Questionnaire (MAQ) 2.0 survey (Barr et al., 2020), which includes questions on how long children consume digital media, what kind of technology is being used (i.e. TV, YouTube), and the top three programs they are watching. We then coded the three programs listed for age appropriateness, content quality, design features, and learning objectives in each video to create a composite Video Score. Higher scores indicated a higher quality video. We hypothesize there will be a main effect of the features of the videos on vocabulary and retention performance. Subjects that spend more time watching YouTube videos of lower quality will lead to lower overall vocabulary in Phase 1. The second phase of the study focuses on program pacing and word learning. Here, children will watch a lab-created video introducing four novel nouns at either a fast or slow pace. They will then be tested on their retention for these objects with an on-screen retention test. In Phase 2, we hypothesize there will be a main effect of condition - the children who view the fast-paced video will have a lower retention rate than those who are shown the slow-paced video. Data collection has finished for both phases and coding is in progress. The focus of the current study is the videos themselves, including their quality, content, and pacing. While there is increasing work on overall use of technology in children, little work has explored the content of the videos they are watching. This is a critical gap in the literature as there are a variety of videos available to children on YouTube that can include a wide range of content.


B-22     Emma Jackson

Research Collaborators:  Vidhi Bansal

Research Presentation Title:  Sexual dynamic variability: Examining sex differences in ecologically assessed experiences of extra-pair and in-pair sexual desire

Faculty Research Mentor:  Juliana French, Psychology


Sexual dynamics (e.g., sexual desire) contribute greatly to the quality and maintenance of long-term romantic relationships. In-pair dyadic sexual desire–sexual desire for one’s current relationship partner–is associated with positive outcomes in long-term relationships, such as relationship satisfaction. Alternatively, extra-pair dyadic sexual desire–sexual desire for someone other than one’s current relationship partner–is associated with negative consequences in long-term relationships, such as increased risk of infidelity. However, sexual desire, either directed towards partner or alternative partners, is likely to vary day to day and from moment to moment. Consequently, better understanding daily variations in both in-pair and extra-pair dyadic sexual desire is important for advancing knowledge on sexual desire and its associated relationship outcomes. Of note, classic social psychological theories and existing research suggest that women’s dyadic sexual desire is considerably more variable and dependent on situational contexts than is men’s dyadic sexual desire. Nevertheless, it remains possible that women’s versus men’s variability in sexual desire could depend on whether the target of sexual desire is an in-pair versus extra-pair partner. Drawing upon evolutionary perspectives, we predicted that (a) compared to men, women in ongoing, committed relationships will display greater variability in their in-pair dyadic sexual desire, and (b) compared to women, men in ongoing, committed relationships will exhibit greater variability in their extra-pair sexual desire. To test these predictions, we conducted an ecological momentary assessment study that sampled participants’ in-pair and extra-pair dyadic sexual desire within the context of their everyday lives. Specifically, participants used an app on their mobile devices that delivered brief surveys to them via push notifications three times a day (i.e., once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening) for seven days. The brief surveys assessed participants’ sexual desire for (a) their current partner, (b) someone other than their partner (including people they may see in the media), and (c) desire for self-sexual gratification, which can help distinguish between dyadic versus solitary sexual desire. Data collection is ongoing, so preliminary findings will be presented, and theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.


B-23     Sarah Joslin

Research Collaborators:  Kristen Fields, Stephanie Sirhal, Lucia Ciciolla

Research Presentation Title:  The Impact of Protective and Compensatory Experiences on Emotional Dysregulation in College Students

Faculty Research Mentor:  Lucia Ciciolla, Psychology


BACKGROUND: Emotion dysregulation, or the maladaptive or inflexible use of strategies to regulate emotions (Gratz & Roemer, 2004; D’Agostino et al., 2017), is associated with poorer interpersonal relationships, increased risk for stress and mental health disorders, diminished empathy, and difficulty expressing oneself (Poole et al., 2018). Although emotion dysregulation has been linked to adverse childhood experiences (Morris et al., 2007), less is known about its relationship with positive childhood experiences. Protective and Compensatory Experiences (PACEs), including experiences of camaraderie, fun, support, and unconditional love (Morris et al., 2014), have been found to increase the likelihood of developing healthy relationships, resiliency, and optimism (Crandall et al., 2019) and may serve as a protective factor for those at risk for emotion dysregulation. The current study seeks to explore how PACEs may impact emotion dysregulation among college students. METHODS: Participants included 658 undergraduate students recruited via an online research system (SONA). Participants completed the Protective and Compensatory Experiences survey (PACEs; Morris et al., 2018) and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004). RESULTS: Preliminary analyses showed a negative correlation between PACEs and emotion dysregulation (r = -.27). A one-way ANOVA was conducted to examine mean level differences in emotion dysregulation between low, medium, and high levels of PACEs. Results showed a significant overall association between level of PACEs and emotion dysregulation, F(2, 723) = 17.82, p<.001. Participants with low PACEs in childhood reported higher emotion dysregulation in early adulthood (M = 72.23) compared to participants with medium PACEs (M=64.85) or high PACEs (M=61.27). CONCLUSION: The results suggest that more positive experiences in childhood may help to reduce the risk of emotion dysregulation in adulthood. Strong emotional regulation skills have been shown to contribute to successful autonomous motivation, cooperation, and self-efficacy (D’Agostino et al., 2017), and protective experiences in childhood may bolster these skills to promote better psychosocial functioning in adulthood. Early intervention programs targeted at individual- and community-level supports to foster meaningful relationships, develop creativity and hobbies, and provide adequate resource infrastructure to meet basic needs may protect against future risk for emotion dysregulation.


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B-25     Bailey McLeod

Research Collaborators:  Gina Erato and Lucia Ciciolla

Research Presentation Title:  Anxiety and Depression in College Students with a History of Adverse Childhood Experiences

Faculty Research Mentor:  Lucia Ciciolla, Psychology


BACKGROUND. Current literature demonstrates a strong relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and mental health outcomes in college students (Watt et al., 2019). Specifically, college students with a history of ACEs are at higher risk for experiencing anxiety and depression during college and emerging adulthood (Seon et al., 2022; Watt et al., 2019). However, it is not well-established how different types of ACEs (abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction) may be related to mental health outcomes. The current study examines the impact of abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction on anxiety and depression in college students. METHODS. The sample included 730 college students. The sample was predominantly female (72%) and white (75%). Participants completed online questionnaires through the Psychology Department Research Participant system (SONA) and received course credit. The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) questionnaire is a 10-item retrospective assessment of experiences of neglect, abuse, and household dysfunction (yes/no). Depressive and anxious symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) measures. RESULTS. Linear regression analyses were conducted to examine neglect, abuse, and house dysfunction as predictors of depression and anxiety. Abuse and neglect were associated with symptoms of anxiety, R2 = .095, F = (3, 713) = 24.912, p = .021 and depression, R2 = .154, F = (3, 711) = 43.237, p < .001. However, household dysfunction was not associated with either outcome. Regression coefficients are displayed in Table 1. DISCUSSION. Findings suggest that experiencing abuse or neglect during childhood is a strong predictor of anxiety and depression in college students compared to household dysfunction. These results suggest the proximity and type of exposure to adversity (e.g., threat and deprivation experiences like abuse and neglect) are salient for mental health outcomes. The current findings have implications for campus staff and those working with college students to provide support in preventing and addressing symptoms of depression and anxiety.


B-26     Madison Merideth

Research Collaborators:  Juliana French

Research Presentation Title:  Androgenic versus Non-Androgenic Hormonal Contraceptive Use and Intrasexual Competitiveness Among Women

Faculty Research Mentor:  Juliana French, Psychology


Fluctuations in women’s sex hormones (e.g., estradiol, testosterone) are associated with corresponding fluctuations in intrasexual competitiveness, or female-female competition for a potential mate. As suggested by previous research, changes in women’s testosterone and estradiol levels mediate competitive behaviors that enable women to outcompete other women either in the mating market or in the context of their established relationships. Given the role of women’s sex hormones for their intrasexual competitiveness, hormonal contraceptives such as The Pill—which prevent pregnancy by altering women’s natural hormonal profiles—may alter how women compete. Specifically, hormonal contraceptives suppress the natural ovarian production of estradiol and progesterone by administering synthetic versions of these hormones (e.g., ethinyl estradiol, progestins). Importantly, given that sex hormones share a common synthesis pathway, some of the artificial progestins contained within hormonal contraceptives are manufactured from testosterone molecules. Thus, these synthetic progestins have high androgenicity, meaning they bind to the same androgen receptors that normally bind testosterone, and may therefore elicit behaviors that are robustly associated with testosterone such as intrasexual competition. In this work, we advance two hypotheses: (1) women using a hormonal contraceptive that contains androgenic progestins will report higher intrasexual competitiveness, compared to women using a non-androgenic hormonal contraceptive; and (2) women using a hormonal contraceptive containing a higher (versus lower) dose of androgenic progestins will report higher intrasexual competitiveness. To test these hypotheses, undergraduate women completed questionnaires assessing (a) their hormonal contraceptive use, including instructions to either upload a photo of their hormonal contraceptive packaging or report on the details of the brand and dosage information for their hormonal contraceptive, and (b) their intrasexual competitiveness. We used the submitted photographs and reports of women’s hormonal contraceptive prescriptions to code for the type (androgenic vs non-androgenic) and dosage of progestins contained within them. Results as well as theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.


B-27     Pao Moua

Research Collaborators:  Cassidy Armstrong, Kendall Carter, Anna Denson, Alex Blair, Katherina Arteaga, Grace Walker, Jade House and Ashley Cole

Research Presentation Title:  Literature Review: The Current Progress Against Human Trafficking among American Indian/Alaska Native Communities

Faculty Research Mentor:  Ashley Cole, Psychology


Despite growing research on human trafficking, there is still a dearth of research on the diversity and nuances of issues surrounding human trafficking among ethnic/racial minority groups. This literature review aims to shed light on human trafficking specific to American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN)/Indigenous communities in the US to identify the unique risk factors these communities face that may contribute to elevated rates of sex trafficking. Previous literature has suggested that limited media reporting, as well as discrepancies in reported data, are factors that contribute to elevated rates of sex trafficking among AI/AN communities (Stumblingbear-Riddle et al. 2019).  A second aim of this literature review is to draw attention to the severity of sex trafficking as a larger problem in the context of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) epidemic. As both issues have yet to be thoroughly correlated, it is important to examine similarities between them to better understand how to mitigate these concerns in a manner that actually prevent future victimizaton.  While there are unique characteristics across all victim profiles (e.g. alcoholism, individual situations), there are some commonalities among trafficked victims, including poverty, low education, and substance abuse (Koepplinger 2008; Stumblingbear-Riddle 2019). The current efforts in place to reduce rates of human trafficking at the federal level include the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and S. 1870 SURVIVE ACT (Secure Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment) (Stumblingbear-Riddle 2019). At a community level, AI/AN communities have developed their own initiatives to target the specific needs of each community (Johnson 2012; Pierce 2012). Some of these initiatives include education on sexual health, personal counseling, and improve economic opportunitnies.  Future directions of research in this area to uplift and support AI/AN communities by reducing instances of human trafficking, which could include such as building a social media campaign, providing Indigenous communities with the knowledge and resources that minimize sex trafficking instances, conducting a qualitative study to investigate tribal needs and concerns surrounding the issue.


B-28     Allie Murphy

Research Collaborators:  Ashley Quigley

Research Presentation Title:  The Association Between Maternal Prenatal Life Stress and Infant Sadness at 4-Months Postpartum

Faculty Research Mentor:  Lucia Ciciolla, Psychology


Introduction: Exposure to maternal stress has been associated with increased risk for poorer developmental and psychological outcomes among infants and children (Lautarescu et al., 2020) including depression (Hasanjanzadeh & Faramarzi, 2017). Notably, maternal stress exposure during pregnancy and in the postnatal period have been associated with more difficult infant temperament, such as high negative reactivity (Nolvi et al., 2016). However, there is a lack of research examining specific components and behaviors that make up more difficult temperament, such as sadness (Schetter & Tanner, 2012). Research examining infant sadness has found it to be associated with self-regulation, which has implications for long-term development and mental health (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al., 2020). The current study aims to examine the association between prenatal maternal stress and infant sadness.

Methods: Participants included 31 pregnant mothers and their infants at 16-weeks postpartum. During pregnancy, mothers reported on their experiences of stress over the past 3 months (Life Stress Scale; Ashing-Giwa et al., 2004; 2012). At 16 weeks postpartum, mothers reported on their infant’s temperament (Infant Behavior Questionnaire-Revised; Rothbart & Gartstein, 2003).

Results: Preliminary analyses suggested a positive correlation between mother-reported life stress during pregnancy and infant sadness at 16-weeks (r= .40, p < .05). Linear regression was used to further evaluate the relationship between prenatal life stress and infant sadness while controlling for maternal education and income (B= .057, t= 2.77, p < .01), with results indicating that higher levels of life stress during pregnancy were associated with higher levels of infant sadness at 16 weeks. The model accounted for 17.4% of the variability in infant sadness F(3,27) = 3.10, p < .05. Conclusion: The current study found that elevations in maternal life stress during pregnancy were associated with elevations in infant sadness at four months old. These results suggest the need to screen for general life stressors during pregnancy, as there may be implications for early infant development. By identifying women at risk for general life stress, providers could increase preventative support during pregnancy to reduce maternal stress levels and mitigate the associated risks to early infant social-emotional functioning.


B-29     Bella Onofrio

Research Collaborators:  Thad Leffingwell, Leslie Baldwin

Research Presentation Title:  Attitudes of Future Speech-Language Pathologists about Tobacco Cessation Interventions

Faculty Research Mentor:  Thad Leffingwell, Psychology


Tobacco-use remains a significant public-health problem. Consequences of smoking and second-hand smoking include impacts on speech and language. As a result, the leading professional organization for speech-language pathologists (SLP) includes tobacco interventions in their descriptions of the scope of practice and recommends that SLPs offer tobacco interventions to their patient populations. We investigated attitudes, knowledge and practice intentions of both undergraduate and graduate students preparing for a career as SLP regarding tobacco interventions. We hypothesized that future SLPs would be unaware that tobacco interventions might be part of their future practice. Undergraduate communication sciences majors (n=103) and speech-language pathology MS students (n=24) completed an anonymous online survey. The vast majority of SLP trainees reported tobacco use or interventions were largely absent from their training thus far. Despite that, participants were mostly positive on whether they thought their future practice would include tobacco interventions. A majority of both graduate (70.8%) and undergraduate students (70.1%) reported that their future practice probably, mostly, or definitely would include tobacco interventions. Trainees also reported a number of factors that would influence their likelihood of intervening with client tobacco use in their future practice. The most important factors include training in tobacco interventions, professional practice guidelines, and research on tobacco impacts and intervention efficacy. Limitations and implications for both further research and SLP training will be discussed.


B-30     Hannah Rath

Research Collaborators:  Sarah Kucker

Research Presentation Title:  Longitudinal associations between temperament and language outcomes in late talkers

Faculty Research Mentor:  Sarah Kucker, Psychology


A child’s temperament, or behaviors/inclinations that are consistent across the lifespan, is a major contributing factor to various aspects of psychological development. Temperament is an especially important contributor to early language development (Kucker et al., 2021). For instance, temperament impacts whether children develop language delays or are identified as late talkers (LTs) (Irwin et al., 2002; Paul & Kellogg, 1997). LTs are children who display limited vocabulary for their age but have otherwise typical development. Though some LTs eventually “catch up” to their peers, others develop debilitating language disorders. Work on longitudinal predictors of language outcomes for LTs is scarce, and no work has longitudinally assessed whether temperament differentially predicts language outcomes in LTs. The present study aims to answer this question longitudinally. Time 1 (T1) data about temperament (general extraversion, overall self-control, and general level of fussiness) and LT status was collected when children were between 17- and 42-months-old. Approximately 2-7 years later at Time 2 (T2), these same children were contacted to participate in a follow-up. We are collecting information about the children’s language skills, including mean length of utterance, vocabulary abilities, and language disorder status. Currently, data collection is about 50% complete. According to our power analysis, at least 125 subjects will be run: half will be LTs at T1, and half typically developing at T1. We predict, across all children, there will be a positive correlation between T1 extraversion, T1 conscientiousness, and T2 language outcomes, and a negative correlation between T1 neuroticism and T2 language outcomes. A hierarchical regression will be used to test incremental influence of temperament above LT status with LT status entered into Step 1 and temperament added in Step 2. We hypothesize T1 temperament will predict T2 language skills above and beyond LT status. This knowledge will give caregivers and practitioners more information with which to make intervention decisions for LTs by illuminating variables that impact language outcomes for LTs, which could improve their long-term quality of life.


B-31     Angelique Robinson

Research Collaborators:  Katherine Hein, Logan Folger, Shakur Dennis and Stephanie Mullins-Sweatt

Research Presentation Title:  Impulse Control Difficulties, Limited Access to Emotion Regulation Strategies, and Substance Use

Faculty Research Mentor:  Stephanie Sweatt, Psychology


Purpose/Background: Emotion dysregulation is defined as the difficulty to control or regulate responses to an emotional experience (Compare et al., 2014). Previous literature on depression and borderline personality disorder suggests significant differences in the ways females and males regulate their emotions (Garofalo & Wright, 2016; Nolen-Hoeksema & Aldao, 2011; Zimmermann & Iwanski, 2014). Specifically, males demonstrate higher difficulties with impulse control and accessing emotion regulation strategies compared with females (Kwon et al., 2013; Nolen-Hoeksema & Jackson, 2001). Impulse control difficulties correlate with initiating and maintaining substance use (Moeller & Dougherty, 2002). However, no study has examined the effects of gender on both impulsivity and limited access to emotion regulation strategies in relation to substance use. The goal of this study is to examine the binary gender differences in emotion regulation strategies, impulse control, and substance use within a sample of individuals high in emotion dysregulation. Methods: Participants (N = 171) were a part of a larger ecological momentary assessment study examining components of emotion dysregulation in individuals with clinically significant borderline personality traits. The sample included 76 undergraduate students attending Oklahoma State University and 95 adults within a community sample. Participants completed three self-reported measures to assess impulse control difficulties, lack of access to emotion regulation strategies, and substance use. These measures included a demographic form (e.g., sex), the Maladaptive Behavior Scale (Helle, 2018), and the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004).

Results: Multiple regression analyses will be conducted predicting the presence or absence of substance use, with separate analyses predicting different substance use problems (e.g., alcohol and cannabis). It is hypothesized that substance use will be predicted by male gender, greater impulse control difficulties, and limited access to emotion regulation strategies.

Implications: This study will examine the differences in impulse control difficulties and limited access to emotion regulation strategies within emotion dysregulation within males and females. Understanding these associations will aid in furthering research, interventions, and treatments surrounding emotion dysregulation and maladaptive behaviors.


B-32     Destiny Seaman

Research Collaborators:  Danielle Bethel and Shelia Kennison

Research Presentation Title:  Not-So Sweet Dreams: Adverse Childhood Experiences, Personality Traits, and Dream Theme Frequency

Faculty Research Mentor:  Shelia Kennison, Psychology


Prior research has shown that there is a relationship between adverse childhood experiences (ACES) and nightmares as well as other sleep disorders in adults and children (Kajeepeta et al., 2015). Prior research has also shown that those high in neuroticism tend to have higher ACES (Fletcher & Schurer, 2017). Prior research by Fletcher and Schurer (2017) found that there is a relationship between the ACES and the big five personality traits. In the present research, we examined the relationship between ACES, Big Five personality traits, and the frequency of common dream themes. We hypothesized that people with higher ACE scores will have more nightmares (i.e., more negative dream themes). This hypothesis is consistent with Mathes et al.’s (2022) study showing how childhood experiences are linked to nightmare distress. In an online survey, we evaluated ACES using the 10 items from the adverse childhood experience scale (Felitti et al., 1998), 55 items from the typical dreams’ questionnaire (Nielson et al., 2003), and the Big Five personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientious, mood instability, and openness) (Saucier et al., 1994). The dream themes were also categorized into two groups: negative dream themes vs. positive or neutral dream themes. There were 33 negative dream themes (e.g., being physically attacked) and 22 positive or neutral dream themes (e.g., finding money). We tested 242 undergraduates (98 men, 139 women, 5 as other) participants in an online survey. The results showed that women had higher ACE scores than men and that there is a correlation between ACES, Big Five personality traits, and frequency of dream themes. Participants with higher ACE scores reported both higher frequency of negative and positive dream themes. Participants with more ACES reported higher levels of mood instability and higher levels of openness. The results are consistent with the idea that the negative health outcomes associated with higher ACES scores may be related to sleep disruptions caused by frequent dreaming.


B-33     Macayla Smith

Research Collaborators:  Krystal Duarte, Jessica DeLong and Getty Lindsey

Research Presentation Title:  Mate Poaching for Our Friends?

Faculty Research Mentor:  Jennifer Byrd-Craven, Psychology


A woman’s menstrual cycle influences a variety of her behaviors such as her appearance, mate preferences, and relationships with other women (Durante et al., 2008; Gildersleeve, 2014; Krems et al., 2016). Past research has primarily focused on women’s menstrual cycle in relation to competition on behalf of herself and her mating choices; however, friends are also people we are willing to compete for as they are highly valuable (Renyolds, 2020). To our knowledge, whether women are willing to compete in the mating market on behalf of their friends has yet to be investigated. Thus, in the current study, we aim to investigate if a) women are willing to help their friends mate poach and b) if their cycle influences these decisions.


B-34     Huntyr Terry

Research Collaborators:  Maureen Sullivan

Research Presentation Title:  Physicians’ Experiences with Patients Involved in Foster Care System

Faculty Research Mentor:  Maureen Sullivan, Psychology


Background: Going to the doctor at least once a year is a recommendation for every individual to ensure they are healthy. Most individuals follow through with this, but some may not be able to take advantage of this. Furthermore, nontraditional families such as foster care have been identified as being at risk for poor health outcomes in adulthood and developing chronic health problems (Rebbe et al., 2018). Several research studies have examined foster care and the adult outcomes; however, there are not many that cover the topic of healthcare and its relation to the foster care system. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between caring for patients with involvement in the foster care system, how physicians are trained, and influences that may affect the type of care given to these patients. We hypothesize that these individuals are treated differently than other patients and are often a group that goes overlooked. Furthermore, we hypothesize that there is little training offered to physicians to learn more about this group of individuals or how to provide better care for them. This study proposes that the link between involvement in the foster care system and the healthcare system is weak, and that there are several ways it could be strengthened in the future. Methods: Participants were recruited through the Oklahoma Medical Board database and 300 physicians were randomly selected. These physicians were sent a letter on February 20th, 2023 explaining the study and given a link to a survey using the REDCap platform. The survey assessed demographic and descriptive information, and questions assessing previous experiences with patients involved in foster care, influences on care, and any trainings they have undergone. Results: Data collection will be complete by March 24th and data analysis will include descriptive statistics for each question. These results will be informative on the level of training physicians have received for caring for individuals raised in foster care, their experience treating these individuals, and challenges they have faced when providing care to these individuals. Discussion: Implications for research and recommendations for new training methods among physicians will be discussed.


B-35     Tayler Truitt

Research Collaborators:  Dara Zwemer

Research Presentation Title:  Children’s Accuracy and Confidence in Lineup Recognition and Eyewitness Memory

Faculty Research Mentor:  Kara Moore, Psychology


Accurate eyewitness identification is important for ensuring accuracy in court rulings. This study aims to identify differences between children’s accuracy in lineup recognition across different ages and the relationship between a child’s accuracy and their confidence (i.e., that the child’s choice corroborated who they saw). Inaccurate eyewitness identifications are costly to the innocent person and to the justice system, and, in general children perform more poorly as eyewitnesses than adults. Understanding how development impacts lineup recognition can help us assess the validity of an eyewitness identification. The present study utilizes virtual reality (VR) goggles to display a 360-degree, realistic park scene in which a minor crime occurs. The children are then asked to make an identification as well as a confidence statement which helps us determine the validity of the eyewitness identification. We expect that the older a child is, the more accurate and confident their identifications will be. This study presents ecologically valid stimuli which will help aid us in our understanding of how age impacts lineup recognition, gauge the merit given to children’s eyewitness identification testimonies, and allow us the use of this data for future court decisions. Further research is necessary to understand how and why age impacts lineup recognition and eyewitness memory.


B-36     Ryen Turk

Research Collaborators:  M. Andrea Hurtado-Morales

Research Presentation Title:  Empathy’s Downside: The Role of Empathy and Autism Traits in Happiness

Faculty Research Mentor:  Shelia Kennison, Psychology


Prior research has shown that high empathetic people may be more prone to depression than others (Yan et al., 2021). The present research investigated the relationship between empathy and happiness. We hypothesized that empathetic people may be vulnerable to reduced happiness (and higher levels of depression symptoms) because they may be particularly affected by other people and the dynamics of social relationships, which can be negative and stressful. Also, we hypothesized that those with lower autism traits, which have been found to be related to empathy, may have higher depression systems and lower happiness. Those with more autism traits tend to report lower levels of empathy and higher happiness. We tested the hypothesis in an online survey with 204 undergraduates (105 men, 99 women). We assessed happiness (Oxford Happiness Questionnaire, Hills & Argyle, 2002), depression symptoms (CESD-R, Eaton, Muntaner, Smith, Tien, Ybarra, 2004), empathy (IRI, Davis, 1980; EQ, Baron-Cohen & Wheelwright, 2004), autism traits (AQ, Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Skinner, Martin, & Clubley, 2001), and social network size (SNI, Cohen et al., 1997). The results supported the hypotheses. In separate multiple regression analyses, we treated happiness and depression symptoms as dependent variables. For each analysis, we entered the following predictor variables simultaneously: sex, the four components of the IRI (empathetic concern, perspective taking, fantasy, and personal distress), the autism quotient, the empathy quotient, and the social network size. Both models were significant. For both models, the only significant predictors were personal distress, which is one of the empathy components in the IRI and autism quotient. Those reporting higher levels of personal distress also reported lower levels of happiness and higher levels of depression symptoms. Those recording higher levels of autism traits also recorded higher levels of happiness and lower levels of depression symptoms. The results highlight the downside of empathy and a possible protective aspect of autism traits.


B-37     Grace Walker

Research Collaborators:  Alex Blair, Katherina Arteaga, Anna Denson, Kendall Cater, Cassidy Armstrong, Jade House

Research Presentation Title:  Literature Review of the Traditional Use of Tobacco as a Cultural Practice and Harm Reduction Effort for Indigenous Communities

Faculty Research Mentor:  Ashley Cole, Psychology


This literature review aims to highlight cultural strengths and protective health factors associated with traditional/ceremonial tobacco (versus commercial tobacco) use among Indigenous communities. While commercial cigarette smoking rates have decreased over the past 50+ years in the US, Indigenous communities continue to smoke commercial tobacco at higher rates compared to other racial/ethnic groups, and thus, experience significantly higher tobacco-related health inequities. Traditional use of the tobacco plant, most often Nicotiana rustica or Nicotiana tabacum, may include smoking (but not inhaling), burning for offering, smudging in ceremonies, or sprinkling on the bed of an ill person for healing among Indigenous communities. Unlike traditional tobacco, commercial tobacco refers to a product (i.e., cigarettes, chewing tobacco) containing thousands of added chemical compounds associated with cancer-related disparities. Furthermore, the negative health outcomes associated with commercial tobacco use, such as premature death, remain a significant cause for concern in public health efforts. Contemporarily, an issue arises from the use of commercial tobacco use in traditional practices, out of convenience or lack of knowledge about the cultural significance, which can result in earlier initiation of tobacco use, and reduce cultural respect for the plant. Interventions developed with predominantly non-Hispanic White (NHW) populations are typically less effective for Indigenous populations due to a lack of cultural considerations. Recent research suggests that Indigenous populations benefit from culturally inclusive adaptations for tobacco control and tobacco dependence interventions. This literature review will identify effective ways to address the need for culturally inclusive efforts to reduce tobacco-related health disparities while also acknowledging the unique difference between using traditional tobacco and commercial tobacco use. In addition, it will discuss results from previous studies that suggest protective factors associated with engaging in these cultural practices. These findings will inform future studies that investigate whether traditional tobacco use could be promoted for Indigenous communities as a way that supports traditional tobacco use in tandem with reducing the harm of commercial cigarette smoking and chewing tobacco for Indigenous communities.


B-38     Sarah Ziehme

Research Presentation Title:  Cyclic effects of familial gender norms on children’s gendered toy preferences

Faculty Research Mentor:  Sarah Kucker, Psychology


Children’s ideas about gender stereotypes and expectations regarding gender roles start forming at age 2. This sets the foundation for how they interact with their environment throughout childhood. Research suggests that parents influence the development of gender ideas in such young children. When examining toys, caregivers who hold stronger stereotypes may provide their children with more toys reflecting those stereotypes (e.g. more dolls for girls), instilling gender stereotypes in the children, creating a cyclic effect (Endendijk et al., 2019). However, most of this work has examined children in adolescence exclusively. The current study examines children’s toy preferences in relation to their caregiver’s gender stereotypes. Here, toy colors and genderedness are manipulated in an online study to examine children’s preference for and their ability to identify gender stereotypes in toys. Children aged 3.5-4.5 years were grouped by stereotypical color (pink or blue) or grouped by who stereotypically plays with them (boys or girls). Over Zoom, children will be asked to select either their favorite toy or the boy/girl toy from an array of two selected items that are contracting in colors or gender. A modified SRES Scale (Beere, 1984) will be given to parents to assess if they adhere to gendered norms. Data collection is nearly complete. It is hypothesized that children will select based on color  when choosing freely but based on gender norms when selecting /girl toy”. If color is kept neutral, children are expected to pick toys that stereotypically fit their gender. Households with fluid gender roles amongst parents may have children with choices less driven by gender norms. Taken together, the results may show that children by age 3 are picking up on gender stereotypes, even if they may have different personal preferences from societal norms. Importantly, how parents demonstrate gender roles influences the child’s perception of gender. If gender roles are stricter in the household, this may lead children expressing their gender more stereotypically with age. Future work can assess the effects of having non-heteronormative family and how that influences gender.

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