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Conflict Resolution Strategies in Young Children: Do They Do What They Say?
This study examined the consistency between verbal responses to hypothetical conflict scenarios and the actual conflict resolutions techniques children apply in everyday play. Twenty-one children were interviewed and observed in order to determine their conflict resolution strategies. During the interview process, each child was asked to finish 6 hypothetical conflict scenarios. During the observation portion, each child was observed in 2 conflict scenarios. Significant (p < .05) differences were found with regards to verbal responses for 3 scenarios, verbal and behavioral responses of females (females exhibited more socially acceptable conflict resolution strategies in their verbal responses, yet less socially acceptable conflict resolution strategies in their behavioral responses), and socially acceptable responses to conflict in verbal strategies. Results were discussed in light of previous research comparing gender differences and peer relationships to conflict resolution strategies.
Determination of the Optimal Number of Strata for Bias Reduction in Propensity Score Matching.
Previous research implementing stratification on the propensity score has generally relied on using five strata, based on prior theoretical groundwork and minimal empirical evidence as to the suitability of quintiles to adequately reduce bias in all cases and across all sample sizes. This study investigates bias reduction across varying number of strata and sample sizes via a large-scale simulation to determine the adequacy of quintiles for bias reduction under all conditions. Sample sizes ranged from 100 to 50,000 and strata from 3 to 20. Both the percentage of bias reduction and the standardized selection bias were examined. The results show that while the particular covariates in the simulation met certain criteria with five strata that greater bias reduction could be achieved by increasing the number of strata, especially with larger sample sizes. Simulation code written in R is included.
Dimensions of Social Network Position As Predictors of Employee Performance.
Research of social networks has revealed that certain components of network position can have an impact on organizational effectiveness, yet relatively little research has been conducted on network position and individual performance. This study sought to determine if a relationship exists between an employee's social network position and an individual's job performance. The participant organization was a network of individuals within an Information Technology (IT) department at a major defense company. A social network analysis (SNA) was conducted to determine the employee's network position, measured by centrality and constraint. Centrality refers to the extent to which an individual is connected to others. Constraint refers to how constrained or inhibited an individual is within the network. Performance was measured by annual appraisal ratings provided by the employee's supervisor. Hierarchical regression analysis was performed to determine relationships between the dependent variable (performance) and independent variables of centrality and constraint. Secondary variables also studied in relation to the model included education level, service years (tenure), job grade, and age. The overall model revealed 17% of variance explained. The primary predictors of network position, centrality and constraint, were not statistically significant predictors of performance ratings. Three variables, job grade, tenure and age, were found to be statistically significant predictors of employee performance. Further research is suggested to provide additional insight into the predictive value of these variables.
The Effect of Participation in Advanced Placement And/or Dual Credit on Four-year Graduation Rates.
Advanced Placement and dual credit programs are designed for high school students and are used to earn college credit and possibly gain college admissions advantages. The present research examined the impact of participation in one or both programs on four-year college graduation rates. Findings indicated significant differences between the programs as well as with students who did not participate in either program. Students in AP achieved the highest four-year graduation rate, followed by students in dual credit, both programs, and neither program. These findings indicate the need for further study to determine whether the programs substantially contribute to four-year graduation rates and what the implications are.
Parents’ Reported Utilization, Accessibility, and Effectiveness of Academic Support Resources for Military Adolescents at Fort Hood Military Base
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.
Stereotypical Science: Exploring High School Occupational Preferences for Science by Sex, Personality, and Cognitive Ability
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.
The Role of Chosen Creativity Measurements in Observed Relationships to Personality
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.
The Role of Physical Activity and Physical Fitness on Biomarkers Associated with Depression and Cardiovascular Disease
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.
A Multilevel Multitrait-Multimethod Analysis of the Child Behavior Checklist
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.
Parent Involvement and Science Achievement: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis
This study examined science achievement growth across elementary and middle school and parent school involvement using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study – Kindergarten Class of 1998 – 1999 (ECLS-K). The ECLS-K is a nationally representative kindergarten cohort of students from public and private schools who attended full-day or half-day kindergarten class in 1998 – 1999. The present study’s sample (N = 8,070) was based on students that had a sampling weight available from the public-use data file. Students were assessed in science achievement at third, fifth, and eighth grades and parents of the students were surveyed at the same time points. Analyses using latent growth curve modeling with time invariant and varying covariates in an SEM framework revealed a positive relationship between science achievement and parent involvement at eighth grade. Furthermore, there were gender and racial/ethnic differences in parents’ school involvement as a predictor of science achievement. Findings indicated that students with lower initial science achievement scores had a faster rate of growth across time. The achievement gap between low and high achievers in earth, space and life sciences lessened from elementary to middle school. Parents’ involvement with school usually tapers off after elementary school, but due to parent school involvement being a significant predictor of eighth grade science achievement, later school involvement may need to be supported and better implemented in secondary schooling.
University Coursework and Field Experiences: Pre-Service Teachers' Perceptions and Experiences with Key Components of Response to Intervention
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.
Special Education Teachers Self-Reported Use of Evidence-Based Practices for Students with Autism in Texas Public Schools
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.
Time Series Data Analysis of Single Subject Experimental Designs Using Bayesian Estimation
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.
A Structural and Psychometric Evaluation of a Situational Judgment Test: The Workplace Skills Survey
Some basic but desirable employability skills are antecedents of job performance. The Workplace Skills Survey (WSS) is a 48-item situational judgment test (SJT) used to assess non-technical workplace skills for both entry-level and experienced workers. Unfortunately, the psychometric evidence for use of its scores is far from adequate. The purpose of current study was two-fold: (a) to examine the proposed structure of WSS scores using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), and (b) to explore the WSS item functioning and performance using item response theory (IRT). A sample of 1,018 Jamaican unattached youth completed the WSS instrument as part of a longitudinal study on the efficacy of a youth development program in Jamaica. Three CFA models were tested for the construct validity of WSS scores. Parameter estimations of item difficulty, item discrimination, and examinee’s proficiency estimations were obtained with item response theory (IRT) and plotted in item characteristics curves (ICCs) and item information curves (IICs). Results showed that the WSS performed quite well as a whole and provided precise measurement especially for respondents at latent trait levels of -0.5 and +1.5. However, some modifications of some items were recommended. CFA analyses showed supportive evidence of the one-factor construct model, while the six-factor model and higher-order model were not achieved. Several directions for future research are suggested.
Resilience Among Graduates From Alternative Education Programs
Research has shown that students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) typically have poor life outcomes. Students with EBD who are placed in an alternative education setting are likely to continue a path toward failure without carefully designed effective services. Existing studies have independently examined resilience in children and youth and alternative education settings. However, there is a gap in research examining resilience in students who have graduated from alternative education settings. Using semi-structured interviews, the present interpretive and descriptive qualitative study sought to explore factors of resilience in individuals who graduated from alternative education settings. The study sought to identify elements, specific to alternative education settings, that have contributed to resilience in young adulthood and to further our understanding of how alternative education placements have contributed to the participants’ current life status. Findings revealed three themes specific to alternative education settings that contributed to participants’ resilience: teachers who show that they care about their students, a positive learning environment, and a small student-teacher ratio where participants were able to get more one-on-one instruction. Additionally, two other themes arose from the data: having a supportive family and an innate sense of self.
Criterion Validity of Common Career Interest Inventories: Relative Efficacy with High School Seniors
Professional school counselors frequently use career interest inventories as part of a comprehensive guidance program to help students create a post-secondary school plan. The present study evaluates the validity of three commonly used interest inventories, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Self-Directed Search, and Strong Interest Inventory on field of study choice for graduating high school seniors (N = 616) from a large, suburban high school in Texas. Students identified their intended postsecondary field of study category, were randomly assigned using stratification to three groups, and each group completed a different inventory. Group membership was evaluated to establish covariate balance on a wide variety of indicators. Data from each group was evaluated to determine the extent to which the inventory predicted the chosen field of study, as well as Other and Undeclared categories using logistic regression models. None of the inventory models suggest that the inventory accurately predicts Other or Undeclared outcomes. For students selecting intended postsecondary fields of study, the Self Directed Search predicts such outcomes better than other measures. Professional school and career counselors should consider the SDS in addition to narrative counseling strategies to add greater precision with career decision making among clients and students.
Traditional Bullying and Cyberbullying in Korean Children and Youth with Emotional and Behavioral Disabilities: Examination of Contributing Factors
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.
The Impact of HIPPY on Maternal Self-Efficacy
Parenting self-efficacy refers to the ability of parents to have confidence in their abilities to effectively parent their children. Parenting self-efficacy can be divided into two types: (a) general parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s overall sense of ability to effectively parent; and (b) task-specific parenting self-efficacy, which is defined as a parent’s confidence level to perform specific parenting tasks, such as teaching and nurturing (tested in this study). The study applied Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory to an analysis of (a) the effect of the HIPPY program in interaction with family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy and (b) the effect of the interaction of family and neighborhood variables on parenting self-efficacy. A group of 138 HIPPY mothers and a group of 76 comparison mothers who did not receive HIPPY services were surveyed. The sample was largely Hispanic. Results indicated HIPPY predicts task-specific parenting self-efficacy for teaching tasks, but not general parenting self-efficacy or task-specific efficacy for nurturance. Many family variables that reflected Hispanic family values were unique predictors of all three types of parenting self-efficacy, both in analyses involving interactions with HIPPY and with neighborhood variables. Neighborhood variables solely predicted general parenting self-efficacy. Moderation effects were found for the interaction between family conflict and neighborhoods in predicting general parenting self-efficacy, and the interactions between family control and all three types of parenting self-efficacy. Overall, the bioecological model was inapplicable to urban, Hispanic mothers in the surveyed population because of the lack of interaction effects found in the study.
A Performance Evaluation of Confidence Intervals for Ordinal Coefficient Alpha
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.
Parenting Style, Frequency of Electronic Communication with Parents, and the Development of Independence in First Year, First Semester College Students
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.
Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice
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.
Teaching Children with Autism to Vocally Mand for Others to Perform an Action
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.
Moral Judgment and Digital Piracy: Predicting Attitudes, Intention, and Behavior Regarding Digital Piracy Using a Modified Version of the Defining Issues Test
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.
Comparing Three Effect Sizes for Latent Class Analysis
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.
Structural Validity and Item Functioning of the LoTi Digital-Age Survey.
The present study examined the structural construct validity of the LoTi Digital-Age Survey, a measure of teacher instructional practices with technology in the classroom. Teacher responses (N = 2840) from across the United States were used to assess factor structure of the instrument using both exploratory and confirmatory analyses. Parallel analysis suggests retaining a five-factor solution compared to the MAP test that suggests retaining a three-factor solution. Both analyses (EFA and CFA) indicate that changes need to be made to the current factor structure of the survey. The last two factors were composed of items that did not cover or accurately measure the content of the latent trait. Problematic items, such as items with crossloadings, were discussed. Suggestions were provided to improve the factor structure, items, and scale of the survey.
Teachers' Perspectives on Student Problematic Behavior and Social Skills
The research investigation reported herein examined program outcomes of student problem behavior and social skills, based on teachers' perspectives, before and after early behavioral intervention services. The study targets students in kindergarten through grade five who are identified by the school system for being at-risk for being labeled with emotional and behavioral disorders. Students identified received early intervention services based on individualized positive behavioral supports (i.e., social skills training, functional behavioral assessment, and team collaboration). Teachers completed a teacher form of the Social Skills Rating System before and after the student received program services to determine differences in social skills and problematic behavior pre- and post- program early intervention services. An analysis was also made of the differences among gender, ethnicity, and grade according to the teachers' perspectives. Data indicated statistically significant results in the area of social skills and problem behavior. The results indicate early intervention services that teach social skills and use functional behavioral assessments to deal with problem behavior are beneficial to children displaying behavior challenges.
Knowledge and Training in Autism Spectrum Disorders Among Special Education Administrators.
A significant rise in the number of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) served in today's schools requires special education administrators to possess knowledge in this area. The purpose of this study was to determine the general knowledge of special education administrators concerning ASD and knowledge of educational programming, to explore their educational training and professional development experiences in ASD, to identify the training needs of special education administrators in ASD, and to determine if knowledge, training and experience in ASD predict litigation. Using survey methods, data were collected from a sample of 106 special education administrators in Texas. Data revealed special education administrators were most knowledgeable of general characteristics, common myths, and instructional strategies, and less knowledgeable of eligibility criteria. Knowledge regarding educational programming for learners with ASD produced mixed results. Logistic regression analysis revealed general autism knowledge, knowledge of educational programming, training, and experience in ASD were not factors predicting litigation. Although results indicated none of the factors explored in this study were predictors of litigation, areas of need regarding professional development were identified. Implications for future research are also discussed.
Effects of the Why Try Social Skills Program on Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders at an Alternative Campus
Approximately 20% of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) are sent to an alternative campus for their lack of social competence. Social skills training (SST) is an evidence-based intervention to help increase social competence for students with E/BD, but there is limited research that addresses SST for students with E/BD at alternative campuses. A mixed-methods design was utilized to examine SST at an alternative campus for students with E/BD. Pre-intervention data were collected for students' attendance, grades, office disciplinary referrals, and behavioral rating scales, after which, the Why Try SST program was implemented. Following the intervention, the same type of data were collected. Nonparametric statistics guided the quantitative analysis, because of the small population being studied. Differences from pre- to post-intervention were examined. Triangulation methods drove the qualitative data collection and analysis through observations, student interviews, and teacher interviews. Students exhibited significant differences from pre- to post-intervention in the number of office disciplinary referrals and several areas on the behavioral rating scales. Important insight into motivation and perceptions was gained through the observations and interviews.
Knowledge and Confidence of Speech-Language Pathologists Regarding Autism
The increased prevalence rate of autism has immense implications for speech language pathologists (SLPs) who are directly involved in the education and service delivery for students with autism. However, few studies have documented the effectiveness of the knowledge and confidence of SLPs regarding autism. The purpose of this study was to measure the knowledge and confidence of SLPs regarding autism and the extent to which their educational and professional training prepared them to work effectively with this population. An online survey was administered to and returned by 336 SLPs nation-wide. Two multiple linear regressions were conducted to determine the variables that explained overall knowledge and confidence. The number of students with autism on one's caseload explained most of the variance. Independent sample t-test results depicted knowledge and confidence scores of SLPs who were behaviorally trained versus those who were not behaviorally trained. SLPs who were behaviorally trained had higher mean scores on measures of knowledge and confidence when compared to those without formal behavioral training. Finally, a bivariate correlation was conducted to explore the relationship between knowledge and confidence of SLPs, however, results were not statistically significant.
A follow-up study of a masters program for teachers of students with emotional/behavioral disorders.
Educators today are faced with a worthy goal. Every student, including those with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), must be taught by a qualified teacher. However, recruiting, training, and retaining quality special education teachers continue to confound the field. The purpose of this study was to determine if the completion of a NCATE/CEC (National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/Council for Exceptional Children) approved masters program specializing in EBD from a well-known university increased the confidence in knowledge and skills of special educators, the numbers of special educators, and/or the retention of special educators working with students with EBD. The sample in this study was composed of 199 students who had completed the master's degree in special education who specialized in emotional/behavioral disorders from 1985 to 2005. Data were compiled from 80 students at a response rate of approximately 40%. Additionally, five respondents participated in face-to-face interviews. The data did not lend themselves to the quantitative analysis and thus pose a limitation to the generalizability of this study. However, combined with the qualitative analysis, the study provided a rich analysis of a program whose graduates stay in the field of special education providing services to students with EBD.
Heard but not seen: Instructor-led video and its effect on learning.
Educators and instructional designers are seeking ways to increase levels of learning. One of the ways this is being done is through cognitive load theory which attempts to reduce cognitive load through a better understanding of working memory and the factors that impact its function. Past studies have found that working memory processes visual and auditory information using separate and non-sharable resources (dual coding theory) and that by properly utilizing multimedia elements, information processing in working memory is more efficient (multimedia learning). What is not known is the effect that instructor-led video, which uses the visual channel but delivers no information, has on the cognitive load of the learner. Further, will the introduction of multimedia elements make the information processing of the learner more efficient? This study examined three ways in which instructional designers may create a more efficient learning environment through a better understanding of multimedia learning. First, by using the theories of multimedia learning, I examined a more efficient use of sensory memory. By minimizing extraneous load, which communication theory calls noise, on working memory through increased utilization of the visual and auditory channels, the effectiveness of instruction was increased. Secondly, the multimedia effect, defined as using visual helps and guides with spoken and written text, was shown to assist working memory in processing new information into existing schema. Last, by using the personalization principle set forth by Clark and Mayer (2008), I used both the video feed and multimedia together to foster a more social or conversational presentation to the learner.
The Relationships Between Perceived Parenting Style, Academic Self-Efficacy and College Adjustment of Freshman Engineering Students
This study examined the relationships between perceived parenting styles, academic self-efficacy, and college adjustment among a sample of 31 freshman engineering students. Through the administration of self-report surveys and chi-square analyses, strong academic self-efficacy was demonstrated in students who reported authoritative maternal parenting. These findings support previous research on the relationship between academic self-efficacy and parenting styles. Implications were drawn for parents and future research.
The Big Five Personality Characteristics of World of Warcraft Players
This study is a comparative analysis of the personality characteristics of a sample of World of Warcraft players (n = 147) and a large normative sample (n = 20,993). The 120-item International Personality Item Pool, based on the five factor model, is used. Independent t-tests were conducted and statistical significance was found for some factors; however, the effect sizes were small, indicating a limited practical difference between the two groups.
The Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program’s Effect on Academic Achievement of TAKS Tests
This study investigated the effectiveness of the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program on school readiness. The HIPPY program uses home-based instruction to aid parents in teaching their children school readiness skills. The curriculum in this program includes literacy, math, and social skills. Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills assesses the academic achievement of students in different grade levels and in various subject areas. The chi square test revealed that the children in the HIPPY program were more likely to have higher passing rates on the first administration of TAKS Reading, Math and Science sections compared to non-participants. The implementation of early intervention and parental involvement programs such as HIPPY helps to facilitate students‟ success.
Spatial Ability, Motivation, and Attitude of Students as Related to Science Achievement
Understanding student achievement in science is important as there is an increasing reliance of the U.S. economy on math, science, and technology-related fields despite the declining number of youth seeking college degrees and careers in math and science. A series of structural equation models were tested using the scores from a statewide science exam for 276 students from a suburban north Texas public school district at the end of their 5th grade year and the latent variables of spatial ability, motivation to learn science and science-related attitude. Spatial ability was tested as a mediating variable on motivation and attitude; however, while spatial ability had statistically significant regression coefficients with motivation and attitude, spatial ability was found to be the sole statistically significant predictor of science achievement for these students explaining 23.1% of the variance in science scores.
Personnel Preparation in Special Education: An Exploration of Autism Spectrum Disorders Programmatic Changes in Institutions of Higher Education Teacher Training Programs
Programmatic change related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) training in special education teacher education programs across the U.S. and institutional variables that influenced change were examined. Variables included institutions’ current coverage of autism content in coursework and institution enrollment. One faculty member from each identified institution was invited to participate in the study. Data were collected from 136 special education faculty using an exploratory survey instrument, the National Survey on ASD Preparation in Undergraduate Special Education Teacher Training Programs (NSAP). This study was designed around themes which emerged from empirical and pragmatic research findings conceptualizing prevalent issues in personnel preparation for ASD including critical knowledge and skills needed by teachers to effectively serve students with ASD. Results indicated a significant number of programmatic changes (66%) remain to be implemented in undergraduate special education programs at institutions participating in the study.
Missing Data Treatments at the Second Level of Hierarchical Linear Models
The current study evaluated the performance of traditional versus modern MDTs in the estimation of fixed-effects and variance components for data missing at the second level of an hierarchical linear model (HLM) model across 24 different study conditions. Variables manipulated in the analysis included, (a) number of Level-2 variables with missing data, (b) percentage of missing data, and (c) Level-2 sample size. Listwise deletion outperformed all other methods across all study conditions in the estimation of both fixed-effects and variance components. The model-based procedures evaluated, EM and MI, outperformed the other traditional MDTs, mean and group mean substitution, in the estimation of the variance components, outperforming mean substitution in the estimation of the fixed-effects as well. Group mean substitution performed well in the estimation of the fixed-effects, but poorly in the estimation of the variance components. Data in the current study were modeled as missing completely at random (MCAR). Further research is suggested to compare the performance of model-based versus traditional MDTs, specifically listwise deletion, when data are missing at random (MAR), a condition that is more likely to occur in practical research settings.
The Roles Elementary School Counselors Perform in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
This nation-wide study investigated elementary school counselors (ESC) self-reported: (a) professional background and training; (b) general knowledge of autism spectrum disorders (ASD); (c) attitudes towards ASD; and (d) roles performed with students identified with ASD. Also investigated was the predictive relationships between professional background, training, knowledge, and attitudes on roles (counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination) performed with students identified with ASD. Descriptive statistics were utilized to address professional background, training, knowledge, attitude and characteristics of ESC participants. These variables were also examined in relationship to the four role types. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) and Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to test for significant relationships. A series of four multiple regression analyses predicting each of the total roles scores for counseling, consultation, curriculum, and coordination were also conducted. Results of the study suggest (a) ESC have limited training experiences of ASD, leading to self-education about this population of students, (b) ESC possess general knowledge about ASD, (c) overall, ESC have positive attitudes towards ASD, and (d) ESC perform all conceptualized roles in the education of students with ASD. Regression models revealed eight predictors found to influence roles: total knowledge, attitudes, geographic setting, U.S. region, years practiced, conference training, self-education, and ASD caseload. Significantly associated with performing roles across all four domains was the number of students with ASD on ESC caseload.
Student Scores on Advanced Placement Exams: Gender Variables
The results of the Advanced Placement exams given to students in 2006 were disaggregated according to gender. The level of performance was compared between males and females using Cohen's d. The standardized differences between male and female performance group levels were compared to previous results for the 1992 Advanced Placement (AP) exams. One purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the male-favored results that existed in 1992 still existed in the 2006. This study found that differences still exist in results based on gender and no real progress has been made in reducing the gap in achievement between males and females. A second purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the local data to the national data set to see if scores in Brazosport were similar to scores collected at the national level. To determine if similar results would be obtained at the local level the results of 267 Advanced Placement exams taken by 190 students from Brazsosport Independent School District in 2006 were disaggregated according to gender. The level of performance was compared between males and females using Hedge's g. Because of limited sample size, only 9 Advanced Placement exams were reviewed at the local level. This study found that the results from Brazosport were, in many cases, quite different from those found on the national level and there was no pattern to explain the variation among the differences. This study supports the collection of local data for monitoring gender bias that might exist on Advanced Placement exams. The data collected in the current study indicates that individual district progress in overcoming gender differences that historically have existed in specific scores on the AP exam might be overlooked if only national data is reviewed.
A Quantitative Modeling Approach to Examining High School, Pre-Admission, Program, Certification and Career Choice Variables in Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs
The purpose of this study was to examine if there is an association between effective supervision and communication competence in divisions of student affairs at Christian higher education institutions. The investigation examined chief student affairs officers (CSAOs) and their direct reports at 45 institutions across the United States using the Synergistic Supervision Scale and the Communication Competence Questionnaire. A positive significant association was found between the direct report's evaluation of the CSAO's level of synergistic supervision and the direct report's evaluation of the CSAO's level of communication competence. The findings of this study will advance the supervision and communication competence literature while informing practice for student affairs professionals. This study provides a foundation of research in the context specific field of student affairs where there has been a dearth of literature regarding effective supervision. This study can be used as a platform for future research to further the understanding of characteristics that define effective supervision.
Condom Use Among College Students
With the spread of the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus and sexually transmitted diseases, it is extremely important for sexually active individuals to protect themselves properly if they decide to engage in sexual intercourse. Knowledge of HIV and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome has been associated with safer sexual practices, but knowledge alone does not totally explain risky sexual practices. This study examined how 154 college students' knowledge of HIV/AIDS, relationship status, perceptions of condom use, and perceptions of personal risk affect condom use during sexual intercourse. The impact of trust and love justifications along with the approval of peers were also examined. Perceptions of condom use and perceptions of personal risk were compared by gender and ethnicity; how perception of personal risk is related to condom use and condom use intentions was also examined. Condom use intention was found to be a significant predictor of condom use, and a significant difference of means for condom use intentions was reported between individuals who used condoms during their last experience with sexual intercourse and those who did not use condoms during their last sexual experience
Comparing the Effects of Home Versus Clinic-Based Parent Training for Children with Autism
Research with parents on managing child problem behavior typically measures either child or parent behavior. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of training parents to implement a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) in a non-trained natural environment utilizing a Multiple Probe Design across Participants. Participants included four parent-child dyads. Measurement variables included parents' use of effective and ineffective strategies and child problem behavior. Intervention involved training parents to understand and implement the BIP using effective strategies, modeling the effective procedures, and providing feedback following parent implementation of procedures. Results showed that the intervention was very effective in promoting skill generalization of parents and decreasing child problem behavior. The findings have implications for research and clinical practice.
Maternal employment: Factors related to role strain.
Past literature suggests that working mothers are at an increased risk for experiencing role strain compared to other employed adults. The current study investigated attitudes and beliefs of 783 working mothers of 15-month-old children using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. Working mothers' levels of role strain was associated with perceived social support, attitudes toward maternal employment, job and parental role quality, financial stress, and depression. Negative attitudes toward maternal employment predicted maternal separation anxiety, while positive attitudes toward employment did not affect separation anxiety. These findings have implications for the importance of decreasing role strain in working mothers.
Analysis of School Discipline with a Focus on Characteristics of Hispanic Adolescents with Learning Disabilities from a Low-Socioeconomic Area
The research reported herein examined the emotional and behavioral characteristics of adolescent Hispanic students with and without learning disabilities from a middle school in north central Texas. The data were based on all students enrolled at the campus (N = 986), but focused on 55 students of Hispanic descent with learning disabilities and 55 students without. The data accrued for this study utilized a school discipline database. In addition, a 43-item behavioral rating scale was completed on each student of the more focused group. Methods of data analysis were derived from descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, and multiple regression measurements. The results indicate that Hispanic students with learning disabilities often exhibit more disruptive behaviors.
The Effects of Positive Behavioral Supports in Schools since the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997 based on 2001 SLIIDEA Data
Congress in 1997 recognized that there were some issues and concerns that had emerged surrounding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and sought to address these issues and concerns by mandating a national evaluation on the implementation and progress toward improving outcomes for students with disabilities. The Study of the State and Local Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act was designed to address how the amendments of IDEA were being implemented by states, school districts, and schools. This mixed methods study examined the first year of data collected from the six-year Study of the State and Local Implementation of IDEA (SLIIDEA) and analyzing 20 case studies that used interviews of special education personnel and principals, conducted at the local school level. Data from the national survey were examined in light of findings from the case studies. The case studies brought out the varying opinions on implementation success at the local level. Further case studies for each year of the study would be helpful in determining the level of implementation locally and the significant insights of local school personnel on whether these initiatives have worked.
Stratified item selection and exposure control in unidimensional adaptive testing in the presence of two-dimensional data.
It is not uncommon to use unidimensional item response theory (IRT) models to estimate ability in multidimensional data. Therefore it is important to understand the implications of summarizing multiple dimensions of ability into a single parameter estimate, especially if effects are confounded when applied to computerized adaptive testing (CAT). Previous studies have investigated the effects of different IRT models and ability estimators by manipulating the relationships between item and person parameters. However, in all cases, the maximum information criterion was used as the item selection method. Because maximum information is heavily influenced by the item discrimination parameter, investigating a-stratified item selection methods is tenable. The current Monte Carlo study compared maximum information, a-stratification, and a-stratification with b blocking item selection methods, alone, as well as in combination with the Sympson-Hetter exposure control strategy. The six testing conditions were conditioned on three levels of interdimensional item difficulty correlations and four levels of interdimensional examinee ability correlations. Measures of fidelity, estimation bias, error, and item usage were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the methods. Results showed either stratified item selection strategy is warranted if the goal is to obtain precise estimates of ability when using unidimensional CAT in the presence of two-dimensional data. If the goal also includes limiting bias of the estimate, Sympson-Hetter exposure control should be included. Results also confirmed that Sympson-Hetter is effective in optimizing item pool usage. Given these results, existing unidimensional CAT implementations might consider employing a stratified item selection routine plus Sympson-Hetter exposure control, rather than recalibrate the item pool under a multidimensional model.
Marital conflict and marital satisfaction among Latina mothers: A comparison of participants in an early intervention program and non-participants.
The purpose of the study was to better understand marital conflict and marital satisfaction among Latina mothers in the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program. Latina mothers living in a marriage or in a committed relationship (n = 91) reported levels of marital conflict and marital satisfaction. Between both groups, non-HIPPY mothers reported significantly less marital satisfaction and more conflict associated with affection than HIPPY mothers. A negative correlation (r = -.495, p <.001, n = 91) indicated that more satisfaction was related to less marital conflict. Out of ten marital conflicts, religion, leisure time, drinking, and other women (outside the relationship) best explained how satisfied mothers were in their relationship with their spouse. In this study, participants who were in the HIPPY program may have more support and higher marital quality. Social service programs such as HIPPY may help families build stronger marriages. Further research on Latino/Hispanic culture and values are important when developing culturally sensitive marriage and couples education.
Teacher Turnover among Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders
The purpose of this study was to investigate factors that compel teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (E/BD) to quit or stay in their job. Invitations to participate in the study were sent to a sample of educators from each the four census regions of the United States who currently work or have worked in the past worked with students with E/BD and have participated in one or more of the Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders (CCBD) professional development events. A total of 156 educators responded to the online survey and 9 participated in the focus groups. Quantitative information generated from the survey was analyzed using frequency distributions and ANOVA, whereas, qualitative information were analyzed by summarizing and sorting information into different categories. The results were presented in narrative and tabular form and organized in response to each of the research questions. The projected high teacher turnover as depicted in the findings, were mainly attributed to workplace variables and classroom conditions. Both variables are likely to be associated with high levels of dissatisfaction and lack of commitment eventually leading to decisions by teachers of students with E/BD to leave their job. Most respondents perceived themselves as being adequately prepared for responsibilities associated with teaching students with E/BD. The low variances associated with the grouping variable, career decisions did not explain a significant amount of variance in perceived levels of preparedness with regards to implementation of various program components and instructional activities. Hence, teacher qualifications and perceptions did not play a significant role in career decisions made by teachers of students with E/BD. In addition, findings reveal the need for all future teachers regardless of their certification to take specialized courses in special education to ensure that all teachers understand the unique characteristics and needs of students with ...
Attenuation of the Squared Canonical Correlation Coefficient Under Varying Estimates of Score Reliability
Research pertaining to the distortion of the squared canonical correlation coefficient has traditionally been limited to the effects of sampling error and associated correction formulas. The purpose of this study was to compare the degree of attenuation of the squared canonical correlation coefficient under varying conditions of score reliability. Monte Carlo simulation methodology was used to fulfill the purpose of this study. Initially, data populations with various manipulated conditions were generated (N = 100,000). Subsequently, 500 random samples were drawn with replacement from each population, and data was subjected to canonical correlation analyses. The canonical correlation results were then analyzed using descriptive statistics and an ANOVA design to determine under which condition(s) the squared canonical correlation coefficient was most attenuated when compared to population Rc2 values. This information was analyzed and used to determine what effect, if any, the different conditions considered in this study had on Rc2. The results from this Monte Carlo investigation clearly illustrated the importance of score reliability when interpreting study results. As evidenced by the outcomes presented, the more measurement error (lower reliability) present in the variables included in an analysis, the more attenuation experienced by the effect size(s) produced in the analysis, in this case Rc2. These results also demonstrated the role between and within set correlation, variable set size, and sample size played in the attenuation levels of the squared canonical correlation coefficient.
A Hierarchical Regression Analysis of the Relationship Between Blog Reading, Online Political Activity, and Voting During the 2008 Presidential Campaign
The advent of the Internet has increased access to information and impacted many aspects of life, including politics. The present study utilized Pew Internet & American Life survey data from the November 2008 presidential election time period to investigate the degree to which political blog reading predicted online political discussion, online political participation, whether or not a person voted, and voting choice, over and above the predication that could be explained by demographic measures of age, education level, gender, income, marital status, race/ethnicity, and region. Ordinary least squares hierarchical regression revealed that political blog reading was positively and statistically significantly related to online political discussion and online political participation. Hierarchical logistic regression analysis indicated that the odds of a political blog reader voting were 1.98 the odds of a nonreader voting, but vote choice was not predicted by reading political blogs. These results are interpreted within the uses and gratifications framework and the understanding that blogs add an interpersonal communication aspect to a mass medium. As more people use blogs and the nature of the blog-reading audience shifts, continuing to track and describe the blog audience with valid measures will be important for researchers and practitioners alike. Subsequent potential effects of political blog reading on engagement, discussion, and participation will be important to understand as these effects could impact the political landscape of this country and, therefore, the world.