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Applied Use of Video Modeling in Educational and Clinical Settings: A Survey of Autism Professionals

Description: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) display deficits in communication and social interaction that can impact their ability to function in daily environments. To remediate these deficits, it is critical for professionals to use effective interventions. While there are many evidence-based practices (EBPs) identified for ASD (e.g., video modeling), the adoption of these EBPs may not occur automatically. Existing research suggests professionals have a generally favorable impression of video modeling. However, little research has examined opinions and applied use of video modeling, which was the purpose of the present study. Using survey methodology, data were collected from 510 professionals in various disciplines (e.g., special educators, speech-language pathologists [SLPs], and behavior analysts [BCBAs]). Data were analyzed primarily via factor analysis and multiple regression. Factor analysis was used to examine the underlying structure of the instrument, revealing two predominant factors: (1) interest in and (2) perceived accessibility of video modeling. Multiple regression was used to examine which demographic characteristics (e.g., age and years of experience) were associated with each factor. Results indicated that BCBAs and SLPs perceived video modeling as more accessible. In terms of interest, professionals who worked with preschool-aged students, who worked in a suburban location, and who had an extended family member with ASD showed higher interest in video modeling. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Caldwell, Nicole

Construct Validation and Measurement Invariance of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory for Educational Settings

Description: The present study examined the factor structure and measurement invariance of the revised version of the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory (ACSI-28), following adjustment of the wording of items such that they were appropriate to assess Coping Skills in an educational setting. A sample of middle school students (n = 1,037) completed the revised inventory. An initial confirmatory factor analysis led to the hypothesis of a better fitting model with two items removed. Reliability of the subscales and the instrument as a whole was acceptable. Items were examined for sex invariance with differential item functioning (DIF) using item response theory, and five items were flagged for significant sex non-invariance. Following removal of these items, comparison of the mean differences between male and female coping scores revealed that there was no significant difference between the two groups. Further examination of the generalizability of the coping construct and the potential transfer of psychosocial skills between athletic and academic settings are warranted.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Sanguras, Laila Y

Culturally Competent Evaluations

Description: Significant growth in the number of English language learners (ELLs) in U.S. schools is anticipated to continue, demanding that educators and evaluators have the skills necessary to distinguishing language difference from disability and provide appropriate services to these students. However, little research exists examining the role of evaluator's cultural competence in evaluating ELLs for special education; furthermore, what does exist shows that many evaluators report low levels of self-efficacy as it relates to assessing ELLs. The first chapter of the dissertation reports on a review of 21 articles conducted to address best practices for evaluating culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners, evaluator self-efficacy, and recommendations for conducting culturally competent assessments and evaluations. The majority of the articles identified in this review focused on recommendations for best practices for conducting evaluations rather than reporting empirical findings related to the topic. Only one study was identified that focused on appropriate training needed by evaluation staff to effectively discriminate between language difference and a disability. Based on the findings of this review, additional research, using a rigorous methodology is needed. Addressing that need, the second chapter reports the results of a study conducted to examine the effectiveness of Project PEAC3E (Preparing Evaluators to Accurately Conduct Culturally Competent Evaluations), a reform-oriented professional development model, using case-based activities designed to increase evaluators' sense of self-efficacy, cultural competence, and the accuracy of evaluator eligibility decisions for English language learners (ELLs). The study found that Project PEAC3E was effective in increasing evaluator self-efficacy.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Chen, Cristina Rodriguez

High School Teachers' Perceptions of Giftedness, Gifted Education, and Talent Development

Description: In the field of gifted education, there is little research on the perceptions of high school teachers of the gifted about giftedness, good gifted education practices, and the nature and needs of gifted learners. The purpose of this study was to form a deeper understanding of how those educators who guide gifted learners out of high school and into adulthood perceive giftedness and gifted education. This qualitative study, conducted in two phases, took place in a large suburban school district with three large high school systems and was focused on the responses of high school teachers to assess their attitudes, feelings, and opinions about the nature and needs of gifted learners using a grounded theory model of analysis. Data collected from the 11 participants in the first phase of the analysis was combined with that collected from the 13 participants in phase two and validated throughout with continual comparison through memoing. Participants reported a general lack of engagement with scholarly work in the gifted education field as well as a dependence on the school district for effective training in classroom practice. Evidence also suggested a view of giftedness among the participants as an inherent quality of some people who needed to be properly trained in the instructional environment. Implications from this study suggest further research, both qualitative and quantitative, needs to focus on clarifying the perception of giftedness among high school teachers as well as how the delivery of effective training to those teachers can be implemented.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Russell, Joseph

Infants' Perceptions of Mothers Phone Use: Is Mothers' Phone Use Generating the Still Face Effect?

Description: Using a modified still-face procedure the present study explores 3-6-month-old infants' behavioral and physiological responses to mothers' screen distractions during mother-infant interactions. In the modified phone still-face procedure the neutral face of the traditional still face procedure was replaced with mothers' texting on their mobile phones. Infants' cortisol stress responses to mothers' device use were assessed through the collection of 3 infant saliva samples. Infants' behavioral responses including facial expressions, vocalizations, gaze and self-comforting behaviors were also explored. All mother-infant interactions were videoed recorded and coded for analysis. Thirty-four mother-infant dyads participated, average ages for mothers was 29 years and 4.4 months for infants. As predicted, infants demonstrated the changes in affect associated with the still-face effect, with significant differences in positive and negative affect during the play phases and the phone still face phase. As a whole, infants did not respond with increased cortisol responses, however, when individual differences were explored 47% responded with increased stress during mothers' phone distractions. Mother's frequency and attitudes towards device use were also assessed but were unrelated to infant responses. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Kildare, Cory

Using Posterior Predictive Checking of Item Response Theory Models to Study Invariance Violations

Description: The common practice for testing measurement invariance is to constrain parameters to be equal over groups, and then evaluate the model-data fit to reject or fail to reject the restrictive model. Posterior predictive checking (PPC) provides an alternative approach to evaluating model-data discrepancy. This paper explores the utility of PPC in estimating measurement invariance. The simulation results show that the posterior predictive p (PP p) values of item parameter estimates respond to various invariance violations, whereas the PP p values of item-fit index may fail to detect such violations. The current paper suggests comparing group estimates and restrictive model estimates with posterior predictive distributions in order to demonstrate the pattern of misfit graphically.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Xin, Xin

Special Education Teachers Self-Reported Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism in Texas Public Schools

Description: Currently there is extensive literature on evidence-based practices (EBP) for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, there is limited research on whether or not these practices are implemented in the classroom by teachers serving students with ASD. Special education teachers are responsible for the learning outcomes of students across a range of ages and disabilities. This study investigated teachers' self-reported use of EBP and what factors influence implementation. Participants included 129 special education teachers in Texas public schools. Data utilizing descriptive statistics and logistic regression was conducted to determine what factors (i.e., education, employment, teaching experience and training methods) predicted implementation of a particular practice. Although 67% of teachers reported using EBPs, teachers' employment and training experiences did not predict the implementation of a particular practice. Information from this study can be used to enhance professional development for teachers serving students with ASD.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Cowan, Angela K.

University Coursework and Field Experiences: Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions and Experiences with Key Components of Response to Intervention

Description: Pre-service teachers are entering the field as novice practitioners with concerns regarding their ability to confidently and effectively implement key components of response to intervention (RTI). This concurrent mixed-methods study explores pre-service teachers' (N =169) perceptions and experiences with key components of RTI (e.g., screening, multi-tiered evidence-based intervention, progress monitoring, and data-based decision making). A questionnaire in conjunction with open-response items and four focus groups provided data to identify aspects of university coursework and field experiences that contribute to pre-service teachers' perceived ability to confidently implement key components of RTI. The results of this investigation show between group differences in perception and experiences related to RTI. Special education certification seekers reported higher perceived confidence, receiving more coursework, and having more field experiences with RTI than elementary, middle grade, and secondary certification seekers. Among all groups, secondary certification seekers reported the lowest confidence, least amount of coursework, and fewest field experiences with RTI. Pre-service teachers in this study valued coursework and knowledgeable instructors who emphasized the components of RTI and participating in hands-on class activities. Participants noted benefits from or a desire for field experiences with struggling learners and having mentors with knowledge and expertise in RTI. Study findings suggest providing pre-service teachers with comprehensive preparation in RTI during coursework in combination with field experiences working with struggling learners may increase perceived confidence and is valued.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Hovey, Katrina A

Effect Size Reporting and Interpreting Practices in Published Higher Education Journal Articles

Description: Data-driven decision making is an integral part of higher education and it needs to be rooted in strong methodological and statistical practices. Key practices include the use and interpretation of effect sizes as well as a correct understanding of null hypothesis significance testing (NHST). Therefore, effect size reporting and interpreting practices in higher education journal articles represent an important area of inquiry. This study examined effect size reporting and interpretation practices of published quantitative studies in three core higher education journals: Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education. The review covered a three-year publication period between 2013 and 2015. Over the three-year span, a total of 249 articles were published by the three journals. The number of articles published across the three years did not vary appreciably. The majority of studies employed quantitative methods (71.1%), about a quarter of them used qualitative methods (25.7%), and the remaining 3.2% used mixed methods. Seventy-three studies were removed from further analysis because they did not feature any quantitative analyses. The remaining 176 quantitative articles represented the sample pool. Overall, 52.8% of the 176 studies in the final analysis reported effect size measures as part of their major findings. Of the 93 articles reporting effect sizes, 91.4% of them interpreted effect sizes for their major findings. The majority of studies that interpreted effect sizes also provided a minimal level of interpretation (60.2% of the 91.4%). Additionally, 26.9% of articles provided average effect size interpretation, and the remaining 4.3% of studies provided strong interpretation and discussed their findings in light of previous studies in their field.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Stafford, Mehary T.

A Multilevel Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis of the Child Behavior Checklist

Description: Behavioral and emotional problems (BEPs) are known to affect children's ability to shape and maintain effective social relationships. BEPs are typically categorized into two main factors: internalizing and externalizing behaviors. Internalizing behaviors represent introverted problems, directed inwardly to the individual. While externalizing behavior patterns represent behaviors that are directed outwardly. Behaviors, emotions and thoughts are experienced by all people but on a continuum rather than in terms of absence versus presence of the behavior. The child behavior checklist (CBCL) is used to measure BEPs. The system of CBCL (parent form) measures also includes a teacher rating form and a youth self-report. Using 62 teachers and 311 students, the present study assessed convergent and discriminant validity using a correlated trait, correlated method minus one [CT-C(M-1)] model. The results showed low to moderate teacher-student agreement on the traits. To extend the theoretical structure of the teacher and self-report forms, the present study assessed the nested structure of the data using a multilevel model. Results revealed the nested structure of the data should not be ignored.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Powell, Marvin

The Role of Physical Activity and Physical Fitness on Biomarkers Associated with Depression and Cardiovascular Disease

Description: Two important health issues that can develop during young adulthood are related to mental health (e.g., depression) and physical health (e.g., cardiovascular disease). A common characteristic for both of these diseases is low-grade and chronic inflammation, but inflammation is negatively associated with physical activity (PA) and physical fitness. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate how PA and physical fitness were associated with biomarkers for depression and cardiovascular disease. Participants included 41 undergraduates who were considered to be "physical fit" (n = 21, Males = 15) or "physically unfit" (n = 20, Males = 17). They completed a battery of physical fitness assessments (e.g., 20m shuttle run, body fat percentage, handgrip strength, push-ups, blood pressure, and waist circumference), a self-report measure for depression and stress, and wore an accelerometer for one week. Afterwards, blood was drawn to estimate CVD risk using biomarkers for metabolic syndrome (i.e., triglycerides, glucose, and HDL) and inflammation (i.e., C-reactive protein [CRP], interleukin-6, interleukin-1b, and tumor necrosis factor alpha). The physically fit group had more moderate and vigorous PA, lower body fat percentage and handgrip strength scores, and performed better on the VO2max, curl-up, and plank tests compared to the physically unfit group. They also had a healthier profile for CVD (i.e., smaller waist circumference, lower triglycerides and glucose concentrations, higher HDL, and lower CRP) and lower self-reported depression and stress scores compared to the physically unfit group.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Barton, John Mitchell

Parents’ Reported Utilization, Accessibility, and Effectiveness of Academic Support Resources for Military Adolescents at Fort Hood Military Base

Description: Academic support resources are increasingly available to military-connected youth; however, the military community, in general, tends to under-utilize available resources. The research literature has not clearly identified accessibility to military academic support resources or perceived effectiveness of resources as explanations for under-utilization of adolescent support services. The current research study examines military parents' perceptions of academic resource programs looking at how parents' perception of resource accessibility and resource effectiveness were related to program utilization. Based on qualitative analysis of military parent interviews, utilization was related to both accessibility and effectiveness. This research adds to the literature by identifying the relationship to between accessibility and utilization and reported effectiveness and utilization of academic support resources.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Booker, Dana Dean

The Role of Chosen Creativity Measurements in Observed Relationships to Personality

Description: Creativity is a complex construct that is conceptualized and measured in multiple ways. This study examined the relationship between creativity and personality taking this into account. It was hypothesized that applying different conceptions and measures would cause variation in the creativity-personality relationship. The participants (N = 224) were undergraduate students completed six creativity measures, a personality inventory, and a demographic questionnaire. Personality predicted more creative production (R2 = .277) than creative potential (R2 = .176) and more self-reported creativity (R2 = .348) than that which was externally-rated (R2 = .149). Personality predicted creativity beyond demographic and intellect variables, but the effects varied based on the creativity measure. Openness was most consistently and strongly related to creativity. Other personality factors demonstrated suppression effects in multiple models. Overall, the results suggest that despite relatively small effects of personality on creativity, it can help strengthen prediction in creativity models. Implications for educational settings and future research are discussed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Puryear, Jeb S

Stereotypical Science: Exploring High School Occupational Preferences for Science by Sex, Personality, and Cognitive Ability

Description: Circumscription and Compromise theory suggests self-concept and sex stereotype explain occupational preferences, including preferences for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Support exists for sex differences between males and females in both science degrees and science careers. The main thrust of observed sex differences in science lies in the development of occupational interest, as it has been suggested females are encouraged away from science due to stereotypes and social pressure. The present study evaluates high school juniors and seniors (n = 295) to explore their preference for science as indicated by science motivation, attitude, academic experience, and interest. Latent Profile Analysis was used to model profiles of preferences for science with a person-centered approach. Then, the impact of self-concept variables was explored and four profiles of science interest were identified. Sex differences were identified based on science interest, but were not always in favor of males. Covariate analysis indicates vocabulary ability and personality as significantly different for students in the high science interest profile. Implications of these results and future research directions are discussed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Ferguson, Sarah Lynn

Comparing Three Effect Sizes for Latent Class Analysis

Description: Traditional latent class analysis (LCA) considers entropy R2 as the only measure of effect size. However, entropy may not always be reliable, a low boundary is not agreed upon, and good separation is limited to values of greater than .80. As applications of LCA grow in popularity, it is imperative to use additional sources to quantify LCA classification accuracy. Greater classification accuracy helps to ensure that the profile of the latent classes reflect the profile of the true underlying subgroups. This Monte Carlo study compared the quantification of classification accuracy and confidence intervals of three effect sizes, entropy R2, I-index, and Cohen’s d. Study conditions included total sample size, number of dichotomous indicators, latent class membership probabilities (γ), conditional item-response probabilities (ρ), variance ratio, sample size ratio, and distribution types for a 2-class model. Overall, entropy R2 and I-index showed the best accuracy and standard error, along with the smallest confidence interval widths. Results showed that I-index only performed well for a few cases.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Granado, Elvalicia A.

Moral Judgment and Digital Piracy: Predicting Attitudes, Intention, and Behavior Regarding Digital Piracy Using a Modified Version of the Defining Issues Test

Description: Digital piracy, the illegal copying or downloading of copyrighted digital products without approval from the copyright holders, has brought great economic loss to the software and digital media industries. Previous studies using moral developmental theory have not found consistent relationships between moral judgment and attitudes towards digital piracy. While some researchers have developed individual test items to assess relationships between moral judgment and attitudes toward digital piracy, others have relied on the Defining Issues Test (DIT). However, in that the DIT represents a general measure of moral judgment based on broad social issues, it, too, may not adequately assess an individual’s reasoning specific to issues regarding digital piracy. The purpose of this study was to create a reliable instrument (i.e., DP-DIT) modeled after the DIT designed to assess moral judgment regarding digital piracy as well as to examine and compare the ability of both DP-DIT and DIT2-short to predict attitudes, intentions and behaviors regarding digital piracy of college students. Results indicated the reliability of both the DIT2-short and the DP-DIT were discounted, quite likely due to the small number of stories contained in each. DP-DIT appeared to have greater predictive ability due to its advantage in predicting attitudes toward digital piracy, especially using DP-DIT MNS. However, even though here DP-DIT MNS was the strongest predictor of attitudes toward digital piracy, it explained a limited amount of variance. Further research to improve reliability and validity of DP-DIT is warranted.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Wang, Jie

Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice

Description: Reliability generalization (RG) is a method for meta-analysis of reliability coefficients to estimate average score reliability across studies, determine variation in reliability, and identify study-level moderator variables influencing score reliability. A total of 107 peer-reviewed RG studies published from 1998 to 2013 were systematically reviewed to characterize the meta-analytic methods employed and to evaluate quality of reporting practice against standards for transparency in meta-analysis reporting. Most commonly, RG studies meta-analyzed alpha coefficients, which were synthesized using an unweighted, fixed-effects model applied to untransformed coefficients. Moderator analyses most frequently included multiple regression and bivariate correlations employing a fixed-effects model on untransformed, unweighted coefficients. Based on a unit-weighted scoring system, mean reporting quality for RG studies was statistically less than that for a comparison study of 198 meta-analyses in the organizational sciences across 42 indicators; however, means were not statistically significantly different between the two studies when evaluating reporting quality on 18 indicators deemed essential to ethical reporting practice in meta-analyses. Since its inception a wide variety of statistical methods have been applied to RG, and meta-analysis of reliability coefficients has extended to fields outside of psychological measurement, such as medicine and business. A set of guidelines for conducting and reporting RG studies is provided.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Holland, David F.

Teaching Children with Autism to Vocally Mand for Others to Perform an Action

Description: Mand training is a very logical and natural procedure to begin teaching communication skills to individuals with autism. Existing research has documented strategies for teaching children with autism to mand for preferred items, although there are fewer high quality studies on teaching children to mand for other people to perform an action. In addition to improving the general mand repertoire, teaching children to mand for others to perform an action is important because it allows children with autism to communicate ways in which another person could improve their environment by performing a simple action. The purpose of this study was to document a functional relation between mand training and acquisition and generalization of unprompted mands for another person to perform an action. Using a multiple-baseline design across participants, four children with autism were taught to mand for an adult to perform a variety of actions (e.g., to open a container so the child could obtain a preferred item). Results showed that the intervention produced an increase in unprompted mands for actions for all participants. Additionally, all participants demonstrated unprompted mands at or above mastery criteria during all generalization sessions in a different setting and different interventionist. The magnitude of effect was also large for all participants. This study extends the research on mand training by demonstrating a procedure that can be used to teach children with autism specific mands for actions. Additionally, this study will contribute to a body of strong and adequate studies that will eventually lead to mand training being considered an evidence-based practice.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Terry, Callie A.

Parenting Style, Frequency of Electronic Communication with Parents, and the Development of Independence in First Year, First Semester College Students

Description: During the transition to college, emerging adults are expected to develop independence and increase individual responsibility as they live away from home for the first time. Modern electronic communication has enabled emerging adults to maintain frequent, daily contact with the parent, a pattern of communication Hofer refers to as an “electronic tether.” This study examined the link between parenting style and the development of independence of first year, first semester college students. Although these students were in frequent contact with their designated parent, no correlation between frequency of communication and parenting style or independence was found. Both authoritative and helicopter parenting significantly positively predicted attitudinal independence. However, permissive parenting functioned as a significant negative predictor. Authoritarian, permissive, and helicopter parenting significantly positively predicted conflictual independence. However, authoritative parenting functioned as a significant negative predictor. Both authoritative and helicopter parenting significantly positively predicted emotional and functional independence.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Etheridge, Lauri McAfee

Time Series Data Analysis of Single Subject Experimental Designs Using Bayesian Estimation

Description: This study presents a set of data analysis approaches for single subject designs (SSDs). The primary purpose is to establish a series of statistical models to supplement visual analysis in single subject research using Bayesian estimation. Linear modeling approach has been used to study level and trend changes. I propose an alternate approach that treats the phase change-point between the baseline and intervention conditions as an unknown parameter. Similar to some existing approaches, the models take into account changes in slopes and intercepts in the presence of serial dependency. The Bayesian procedure used to estimate the parameters and analyze the data is described. Researchers use a variety of statistical analysis methods to analyze different single subject research designs. This dissertation presents a series of statistical models to model data from various conditions: the baseline phase, A-B design, A-B-A-B design, multiple baseline design, alternating treatments design, and changing criterion design. The change-point evaluation method can provide additional confirmation of causal effect of the treatment on target behavior. Software codes are provided as supplemental materials in the appendices. The applicability for the analyses is demonstrated using five examples from the SSD literature.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Aerts, Xing Qin

Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying in Korean Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities: Examination of Contributing Factors

Description: Children and Adolescents with emotional and behavioral disabilities (EBD) are often involved in aggression, acting out, bullying, violence, substance abuse, and juvenile crime. However, the limited Korean studies have focused primarily on bullying of students with developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities. Therefore, the current study aimed to explore contributing factors to traditional bullying and cyberbullying in Korean children and adolescents with EBD. The current study surveyed 112 students with EBD between ages of 10 and 15 and their parents (guardians). The results revealed that internalizing problem behaviors including anxious/depression, withdrawal/depression, and somatic problems significantly affected traditional bullying victimization of Korean students with EBD. The peer support was a significant factor affecting cyberbullying victimization. Furthermore, the maternal psychological control was a meaningful factor affecting perpetration at school and in cyber world. Based on the findings, the present study described implications regarding prevention and intervention programs for addressing traditional bullying and cyberbullying victimization and perpetration.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Baek, Ji Eun

A Performance Evaluation of Confidence Intervals for Ordinal Coefficient Alpha

Description: Ordinal coefficient alpha is a newly derived non-parametric reliability estimate. As with any point estimate, ordinal coefficient alpha is merely an estimate of a population parameter and tends to vary from sample to sample. Researchers report the confidence interval to provide readers with the amount of precision obtained. Several methods with differing computational approaches exist for confidence interval estimation for alpha, including the Fisher, Feldt, Bonner, and Hakstian and Whalen (HW) techniques. Overall, coverage rates for the various methods were unacceptably low with the Fisher method as the highest performer at 62%. Because of the poor performance across all four confidence interval methods, a need exists to develop a method which works well for ordinal coefficient alpha.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Turner, Heather Jean

Computer Assisted Instruction to Improve Theory of Mind in Children with Autism

Description: Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show significant deficits in communication, emotion recognition, perspective taking, and social skills. One intervention gaining increased attention is the use of computer assisted instruction (CAI) to teach social, emotional and perspective-taking skills to individuals with ASD with the purpose of improving theory of mind skills. This study evaluated the effectiveness of CAI for improving theory of mind skills in four children with high functioning autism ages 5 to 12 years. A single-subject multiple baseline research design across participants was utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of CAI. The software contained 22 instructional scenarios that asked participants to identify emotions of characters based on situational cues displayed in line drawn pictures and audio feedback for correct and incorrect responses. Mind-reading skills were assessed using ten randomly selected scenarios for various emotions and no audio feedback. Visual analysis of the data revealed that all four participants increased mind-reading skills during the CAI condition. Additionally, this study evaluated levels of task engagement during experimental conditions. Three of the four participants showed an increase in task engagement during CAI compared to paper-based social stories used during baseline. Generalization of skills was assessed through the use of social scenarios acted out by family members of participants. All four participants were able to correctly identify emotions displayed in generalization scenarios. Results demonstrated that CAI was an effective and socially viable method for improving ToM skills in children with autism and they could generalize their skills to untrained settings.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Eason, Lindsey R.

Construct Validation of the Social-Emotional Character Development Scale in Belize: Measurement Invariance Through Exploratory Structural Equation Modeling

Description: Social-emotional learning (SEL) measures assessing social-emotional learning and character development across a broad array of constructs have been developed but lack construct validity. Determining the efficacy of educational interventions requires structurally valid measures which are generalizable across settings, gender, and time. Utilizing recent factor analytic methods, the present study extends validity literature for SEL measures by investigating the structural validity and generalizability of the Social-Emotional and Character Development Scale (SECDS) with a large sample of children from schools in Belize (n = 1877, ages 8 to13). The SECDS exhibited structural and generalizability evidence of construct validity when examined under exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM). While a higher order confirmatory factor structure with six secondary factors provided acceptable fit, the ESEM six-factor structure provided both substantive and methodological advantages. The ESEM structural model situates the SECDS into the larger body of SEL literature while also exhibiting generalizability evidence over both gender and time.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Hinerman, Krystal M.