Senior Honors Students Present Research

Senior Honors Students Present Research

group poster sessions 2012
Thirteen School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) seniors in the undergraduate honors program presented posters of their research projects on June 1. All are students of Penelope Peterson, SESP dean, and teaching assistant Jesse Sparks, a doctoral student in the Learning Sciences program. Assistant Dean Susan Olson coordinated the event. Following is a description of each student's research.

Isabella Villa Bahamon
Isabella Villa Bahamon
Social Policy
Afro-Colombian Studies: A Study of Its Implementation in Bogota Public Schools
The purpose of this study was to collect descriptive data on the ways in which Afro-Colombian Studies, a multicultural curriculum, is implemented by teachers within the classroom setting in Bogota public schools. Although the curriculum is required by law, implementation relies heavily on dedication of individual teachers.
Adviser: Mary Pattillo, PhD
Reader: Carol D. Lee, PhD

Allison Frost
Allison Frost
Human Development and Psychological Services
Daily Life with Depressive Symptoms: Gender Differences in Everyday Emotional and Interpersonal Experiences
This study investigated how adolescents differed across gender and depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms and gender interacted only with the presence of strong negative emotions, with females in the high depressive symptom group experiencing them the most.
Adviser: Emma Adam, PhD
Reader: Alissa Chung, PhD

Curie Lee
Curie Lee
Social Policy
Academic Success, Supports and Faith in Foster Youth
This study looks at faith as a support for foster youth 18 to 25 years old, exploring its potential in providing consistent motivation at a time when legal supports fall away. Faith as an informal and formal support network is significant in motivating foster youth to set and achieve academic goals.
Adviser: Edd Taylor, PhD
Reader: Mesmin Destin, PhD

Kristin Lewis
Kristin Lewis
Human Development and Psychological Services
Infants’ Categorization of Animate and Inanimate Objects Based on Linguistic Information Alone
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether infants can use semantic information from words they know to help them learn new words. Evidence indicates the 18- to 22-month-olds use semantic information of a familiar verb to help learn the meaning of a novel noun.
Adviser: Sandra Waxman, PhD
Reader: David Uttal, PhD

Sharon Lo
Sharon Lo
Human Development and Psychological Services
Adolescent Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Relations with High School Performance and College Enrollment
This study investigated the extent to which adolescent depressive and anxiety disorders impact grade point average and college enrollment. Results indicated that having experienced a clinically significant depressive disorder by junior year of high school was associated with a 72.4 percent reduction in the odds of attending a four-year college.
Adviser: Emma Adam, PhD
Reader: Rick Zinbarg, PhD

Eupha McCrary
Eupha McCrary
Human Development and Psychological Services
Examining the Role of Childhood Structure in Determining the Paternal Involvement of African American Men
This study investigated how an African American man’s experienced father involvement during childhood affects his own father involvement as an adult. Results showed higher levels of experienced father involvement in childhood correlated with higher levels of father involvement as an adult.
Adviser: Jelani Mandara, PhD
Reader: Carol D. Lee, PhD

Jennifer Mahlum
Jennifer Mahlum
Human Development and Psychological Services
The “I” in Hooking Up: An Exploration of the Self-Concept in Today’s Non-Committal Culture
This study investigated whether individuals experienced malleability of self-concept within commitment-less romantic/sexual encounters. Elevated attachment anxiety did not predict individuals’ selves being more malleable in non-committal contexts, but feeling positively toward hooking up predicted individuals being more susceptible to self-concept confusion.
Adviser: Wendi Gardner, PhD
Reader: Mesmin Destin, PhD

Elizabeth Nick
Elizabeth Nick
Human Development and Psychological Services
Adolescent Coping: Associations with Age, Family Functioning and Depressive Symptoms
Survey data were used to determine how adolescents report coping. Significant associations were found between family functioning variables and depressive symptoms, with maternal closeness predicting fewer depressive symptoms and paternal distance predicting more. Both age and family functioning moderated the association between coping and depressive symptoms.
Adviser: Alissa Chung, PhD
Reader: Emma Adam, PhD

Tulsi Parida
Tulsi Parida
Social Policy
What Inspires Confidence?: Information, Confidence and Disappointments in Community Colleges
This study sought to determine what inspires confidence of success in community college students. Analyses showed private college students to have higher confidence and fewer disappointments than public college students, although they have no more information. Clear structure of private college academic programs might encourage students’ confidence.
Adviser: Jim Rosenbaum, PhD
Reader: Simone Ispa-Landa, PhD

Heather Polonsky
Heather Polonsky
Social Policy
Local Wellness Policies: A Recipe for Healthy Schools?
This research examined the impact of the Local Wellness Policy mandate for reducing child obesity by focusing on physical education curricula, nutrition policies and rates of obesity. Analyses revealed that nutrition policies did not change significantly, and average obesity increased significantly.
Adviser: Diane Schanzenbach, PhD
Reader: Elizabeth Barden, PhD

Sharona Sernik
Sharona Sernik
Human Development and Psychological Services
The Effect of Jewish Religious Observance on College Women’s Perceptions of Marriage
This study seeks to understand varying perceptions of marriage among Jewish college women. The main differences were due to differences in religious observance. Strong similarities were found between Jewish women who chose to become observant and woman born to religious homes who were religious their whole lives.
Adviser: Regina Logan, PhD
Reader: Cara Tuttle Bell

Joshua Swenson
Joshua Swenson
Human Development and Psychological Services
Religious Faith and Personality: Faith Development, Ego Development and Big Five Personality Traits
This study examined relationships between personality and religious faith development in a sample of 126 religious adults. Results revealed that openness and ego development were both positively correlated with higher stages of faith development.
Adviser: Dan McAdams, PhD
Reader: Lallene Rector, PhD

Angela Kim
Angela Kim
Social Policy
Becoming a School Principal: Novice School Principals’ Role Perception and Evolving Framing of Students during their First Year on the Job
The purpose of this study was to understand how novice principals perceive their role, how they frame students within these roles, and how, if at all, they change throughout the year. Kim categorized principals based on the way they perceived their roles: CEOs, who were data driven with respect to students; Nurturers, who showed parental care for students; and Community Leaders, who built framings of students based on other stakeholders.
Reader: Jim Spillane, PhD
Reader: Mark Smylie, PhD

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 9/13/12