Save the Date!
The 2014 KPA Foundation Spring Academic Conference is scheduled for Saturday, March 29th at Asbury University in Wilmore, KY.
2013 KPA Foundation Spring Academic Conference Event Wrap Up
Putting Psychology to Work
The 2013 KPA Foundation Spring Academic Conference was held on Saturday, March 30th at the University of Louisville. Annually, the SAC provides a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to present their research in juried competitions, learn about career options and paths, develop practical skills, attend workshops, and network with fellow Kentucky psychology students. Congratulations to Dr. Patrick Pössel, winner of the Graduate Mentor of the Year Award, and to Bellarmine University's team for winning the Psych Bowl competition. Winners of other awards, including research prizes and multicultural scholarships, have been listed below. Faculty members from most of the Commonwealth's Psychology Departments, and many other volunteers participated in the Conference as judges, research consultants, mentors, coaches, and more. This year's SAC was attended by more than 200 participants overall.
1st Place: Tao Jiang - Eastern Kentucky University.The relationships among self-construal, contingencies of self-worth and self-esteem in Chinese people.
This research examined the relationships among self-construal (SC), contingencies of self-worth (CSW), and trait self-esteem, and how SC and CSW affect the change of state self-esteem in response to negative feedback among Chinese people. Participants were 134 university students (68 men, 66 women) from Nanjing University in China, ranging from 18 to 24 years of age (M = 20.88, SD = 1.44). They completed several measures, including the Self-construal Scale, Relational-Independent Self-construal Scale, Contingencies of Self-worth Scale, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). Then, 70 participants (36 men, 34 women) were randomly selected from the 134 students. They were randomly assigned into one of two negative feedback conditions (academic failure and social exclusion). After feedback, the 70 participants completed the state self-esteem scale, which was adapted from RSES. The results showed that Chinese people were significantly higher in collective SC and relational SC than in independent SC, and the more collective SC people had, the higher their self-esteem. Moreover, for Chinese people, relational SC was more related to the CSWs of family support and other s approval, and collective SC was more related to the CSW of virtue. Independent SC was negatively or not related to the CSWs. Finally, Chinese people who were high in relational SC had lower state self-esteem after experiencing social exclusion, compared to those who had a low relational SC. Faculty Advisor: Jonathan S. Gore, Ph.D.
2nd Place:Ian A. Boggero & Tory Eisenlohr-Moul - University of Kentucky. The influence of pain and executive functioning in predicting chronic disease score in older adults.
Aging is accompanied by increases in pain symptoms and declines in executive functions (EF) that put older adults at risk for chronic disease (CD). The current study tested whether changes in these factors interacted to predict future CD score. Participants included 150 community-dwelling older adults who provided data every 6 months for 5 years. Pain, EF, and a medication data was collected at each wave. Multilevel lagged analysis revealed a significant pain X EF interaction such that when participants experienced higher than usual pain at the last wave, lower levels of EF predicted greater CD score at the next wave. The relationship between EF and CD score was not significant when pain levels were low. The results suggest that increasing pain co-occurring with decreasing EF may put older adults at a particular health risk. Immunological pathways mediating this relationship should be tested in future research.
Faculty Advisor: Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Ph.D.
1st Place: Chelsea Benham, Gwynne Rose, Leah Oberst, Katie Stevenson & Blaine Lewis - Centre College.The effect of energy drinks on visual attention task performance.
Energy drinks are often advertised as a way to increase energy and alertness when experiencing fatigue. Previous research conducted on caffeine only showed a change in brainwave activity suggesting increased arousal levels during a visual attention task (Ruijter et. al, 2000). Despite extensive research conducted on caffeine’s effects on attention, few studies have investigated the effects of energy drinks. The present study will compare placebo, caffeine only, and energy drink conditions (same amount of caffeine plus an “energy blend”) during a visual attention task. Results indicate a slight difference between the placebo condition and the caffeine and energy drink conditions for brain activity associated with the recognition of a stimulus. Results did not show a difference between the energy drink and caffeine only conditions for reaction time or brain activity. Results suggest that energy drinks are effective at increasing attention, but this is most likely due to their caffeine content. Faculty Advisor: KatieAnn Skogsberg, Ph.D.
2nd Place: Nolan Williams, Casey Fitzpatrick & Elizabeth Knox - Morehead State University. Getting over betrayal: Links between post-betrayal reactions and coping for men versus women.
Romantic betrayals have been linked to negative health consequences in past research (e.g., Goldsmith, Freyd, & DePrince, 2012; Kelley, Weathers, Mason, & Pruneau, 2012). Because understanding coping may be key in reducing such consequences, our study sought to investigate the relationship between coping styles used after betrayal and mental/physical symptoms that were occurring at the time. Surveys were completed by 123 community volunteers (55 males/68 females) who indicated the post-betrayal mental and physical health symptoms they experienced and coping strategies they used to manage their experience. Correlational analyses by sex suggested several coping strategies (e.g., coping through emotional/instrumental support seeking, mental/behavioral disengagement, venting, denial, alcohol/drug use, and suppression of competing activities) were negatively correlated with depression, anxiety, trauma reactions, and stress-related physical symptoms for men; however, few coping strategies were related to health indicators for women. Future research is advised to help us better understand this sex-related difference. Faculty Advisor: Laurie L. Couch, Ph.D.
Graduate Research Paper Competition Results
Four papers were selected to present a 12-minute talk summarizing their research project.The student selected for "Best Paper Presentation" received a $100 cash prize along with a 1 day complimentary registration to the 2013 KPA Annual Convention.
1st Place: Miranda Westbrook, B.S. - Eastern Kentucky University. The impact of personality, mindfulness, and symptoms on response to brief meditation.
Mindful awareness is described as: (1) awareness “in the moment”; (2) that involves acceptance/non-judgment; and (3) is intentional (Kabat-Zinn, 1984). This awareness has gained popularity for use in therapeutic settings, based on consistent findings that mindfulness-based interventions have a beneficial effect on psychological and physical functioning (Baer, 2003; Grossman, et al., 2004). However, the factors that predict the extent to which one may engage in and benefit from the use of a one-time mindful meditation session have not been thoroughly investigated. The current study sought to investigate such factors, including personality characteristics, affect, psychological symptoms, and dispositional mindfulness. Results indicated that the ability to enter a mindful state was positively correlated with extraversion, while negatively so with neuroticism and psychological symptoms. Additionally, though most individuals experienced some reduction in negative affect from the induction, individuals high in neuroticism and psychological symptoms experienced the greatest benefits. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Emily Lykins
2013 Outstanding Mentor Award Winner
Patrick Pössel, Dr. rer. soc University of Louisville
2013 Multicultural Professional Development Award Winner
Krystal Frieson, M.S., Ed.S. University of Kentucky
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