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Antecedents of the Psychological Adjustment of Children and Grandparent Caregivers in Grandparent-Headed Families

Description: Grandparent-headed families are diverse in nature and represent a rapidly growing family type. While challenges facing grandparent caregivers are well documented, less is known about the well-being of their grandchildren, with many early studies relying on small samples of convenience. This study used an existing large national database, the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), to compare differences in well-being of both children and grandparent caregivers across the independent variables of family type, ethnicity, gender, and age. Findings suggested better mental health and less parental aggravation for caregivers in traditional two parent intact families as compared to grandparents co-parenting in a multi-generation home, skipped generation grandparents (raising their grandchild with no parent present) or single parents. Skipped generation grandparents in particular reported most caregiver aggravation. Child physical health was reported to be worse by skipped generation grandparent caregivers. Behavior problems were reported to be worse for children in grandparent headed households than those in traditional families, particularly for teenagers raised in skipped generation households by their grandmothers. Specific results, limitations and future directions for research on grandparent-headed households were discussed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jooste, Jane Louise

The Effectiveness of a Learning Strategies Course on College Student-Athletes' and Non-Athletes' Adjustment, Academic Performance, and Retention after the First Two Years of College

Description: This study replicated and extended previous research I had performed that suggested that a student success course is an effective intervention to assist student-athletes in the adjustment to college. Participants in the current study included 4 groups of students, including (1) non-athletes and (2) student-athletes who were mandated and enrolled in the student success course, and (3) non-athletes and (4) student-athletes who were not mandated and did not enroll in the student success course. Overall, results from the current study suggested that the student success course was effective in helping non-athletes and student-athletes learn key cognitive strategies that are necessary for college success. In addition, results indicated that after taking the student success course, academically at-risk students earned equivalent grades, percentage of hours passed, and retention rates compared to their peers who were not classified as being academically underprepared. Finally, adjustment patterns of all groups were examined, with particular emphasis on the decrease in adjustment over the course of the semester that was demonstrated by the student-athletes. Intervention implications and future research directions are discussed, specifically in terms of how to address the unique needs of college freshmen student-athletes.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Tebbe, Carmen M.

The evaluation of Project SCORE: A life skills program for an inner city high school.

Description: Project SCORE: Life Skills for Future Success, is a structured, 20-lesson curriculum, designed to help students develop academic and life skills, as well as self-responsibility, commitment, optimism, respect, and excellence. The curriculum was presented during 36, 90-minute class periods over the fall semester of the students' freshmen year. The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of Project SCORE at improving grades, learning strategies, self esteem and coping skills with freshmen students at an inner-city high school. In order to evaluate the program, students completed paper-pencil surveys at the beginning and end of the semester in which they were enrolled in the Project SCORE class. In addition, teachers completed evaluations on their perceptions of each student's peer relationships, classroom behavior, mood, and activity level. All teachers and students involved in the course were asked to complete an evaluation to determine their level of satisfaction with the course and areas in need of improvement. Lastly, information pertaining to grades, discipline and standardized test scores were used to determine the impact of SCORE. Participants were 333 9th grade students at a large 4A high school in Texas. Findings suggest that SCORE had a positive effect on coping resources, study skills and grades during the semester students were enrolled in the course. Specifically, students reported significantly higher levels of school self concept and improved coping resources at the end of the semester long course. Lastly, students and teachers believed SCORE to be helpful in easing the transition into high school and at teaching the various life and study skills.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jones, Gretchen M.

Psychological benefits of sport participation and physical activity for adolescent females.

Description: Recent research has suggested that the effects of sport on well-being are mediated by psychological characteristics such as physical self-concept, instrumentality and positive body images; in addition, sport was found to be related to these psychological benefits for high school girls. However, physical self-concept played a central role by mediating the sport -body image and sport instrumentality relationships. Positive body image and instrumentality, in turn, predicted greater psychological well-being. The purpose of this investigation was to replicate earlier studies, and to examine these relationships with non-sport physical activity. Sport and physical activity were expected to contribute to higher physical self-concept, which in turn, would contribute positively to instrumentality and body image. Further, instrumentality and body image would be positively related to psychological well-being. Participants were 355 9th (n = 170) and 10th (n = 193) graders and they completed measures of involvement in sport/physical activities, physical self-concept, instrumentality, body satisfaction, self-esteem, satisfaction with life, depression, and demographics. Structural equation modeling was utilized to analyze the data. Overall, for both sport and physical activity, the models fit the data well (sport model: NNFI=.95, CFI=.96, SRMR=.08, RMSEA=.09, physical activity model: NNFI=.96, CFI=.97, SRMR=.08, RMSEA=.09). Specifically, sport participation was positively related to physical self-concept (R2 = .47); physical self-concept related to body image (R2 = .30) and instrumentality (R2 = .23); Physical activity was positively related to physical self-concept (R2 = .61); physical self-concept related to body image (R2 = .30) and instrumentality (R2 = .26). For both models, positive body image and higher levels of instrumentality contributed to greater psychological well-being (R2 = 66). These results highlight the importance of developing physical competence for high school girls through sport participation and physical activity.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Boyer, Elizabeth M.

The relationships between goal orientation, perfectionism, parental involvement, peer climate, enjoyment, and intention to continue in sport in children.

Description: This investigation examined the relationships between parental involvement, peer-initiated climates, and perfectionism to goal orientation as well as children's enjoyment and the intention to continue playing sport in youth sport. Participants were 188 athletes, 100 boys (M = 12.06, SD = 1.06) and 88 girls (M = 12.18, SD = .73). The athletes completed the TEOSQ, Sport MPS, PIAS, and the PeerMCYSQ. Parental support and peer task environment was related to girls' and boy's task orientation. For boys, personal standards, parental pressure, and fewer concerns over mistakes, also were related to task orientation. Ego orientation was related to peer-initiated ego and task climates, for the boys. For the girls, higher personal standard was the only variable related to ego orientation. For enjoyment, task orientation was the strongest predictor for the girls and the only predictor for the boys for enjoyment. The fewer concerns girls had over mistakes the more enjoyment they reported. For girls and boys, intention to continue playing next season was predicted only by enjoyment. However, results were varied when intention to play next year was examined. For boys, no predictors were discovered whereas for girls, higher levels of enjoyment and task orientation, and lower levels of parental support and pressure related to intention.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Braddock, LaTisha Lynn