Friday, June 26, 2015

Hemispheric and Frontal Differentiation in Cognitive Processing in the Wechsler Intelligence Tests

Cinamon C. Romers, School of Psychology

Previous research has focused primarily on left hemisphere brain functioning but there is a dearth of information on right hemisphere, cognitive functioning in the literature. The subtests that make up the Perceptual Reasoning Index of the Wechsler scales were administered to a sample of 241 adults and children to determine if any of these tasks, which claim to measure visuospatial constructs thought to be dependent on right posterior parietal brain areas, actually tap into analytic, left posterior parietal and executive frontal functions.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Grey Matters: A Study of the Cognitive Impact of Color through the Lens of the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion

Carrie Vanetta Perry, School of Psychology

Persuasion is defined as the art of getting what you want (Lakhani, 2005). However, it is also a science, because principles of persuasion can be investigated through scientific methods. The scientific study of persuasion, such as advertising, provides an open access laboratory within which researchers investigate principles of inducement through cognition to better comprehend the psychological theories behind the art of persuasion (Snyder, 1989). The goal of an effective and persuasive mass media campaign is to produce enduring changes in attitudes with behavior consistent results (BehaviourWorks, 2012). For this research project “effective persuasion” is defined as positive or desired changes in audience attitudes and/or behavior (Petty, Barden, & Wheeler, 2009) and is framed by the elaboration Likelihood model of persuasion (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). The underlying purpose of this research study was to determine whether a message that contains black-and-white components was more persuasive than the same message containing color components. The first hypothesis stated that those with a high need for cognition are more likely to donate after viewing a black-and-white message than those with a low need for cognition. Findings from this study suggest that need for cognition did not have a statistically significant impact on participant’s donation action. Hypothesis 2 stated that a black & white message is more likely to generate a donation action than the color equivalent message. Results of the study indicate that color or black-and-white ads have no statistically significant effect on donation response. Over time, the ELM has proven to be a vigorous model for predicting the effects of advertising and marketing messages on consumer attitudes and behavior.

Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Engaging and Maintaining Community Mental Health Center Patients

Kaitlin Boger, School of Educational Leadership for Change

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) (SAMHSA NREPP, 2014a) listed Beating the Blues (BTB) as an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. In this study I examined how BTB works with a sample of U.S. patients, some of whom had severe depression and/or anxiety symptoms. The purpose of this study was to determine what additional aspects could improve the BTB program as used in a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC). I used a mixed method approach to answer these research questions:

1. What aspects of BTB work effectively and efficiently for participants?

2. What aspects of BTB do not work effectively or efficiently and how would participants recommend they be improved?

3. How effective is BTB for people who experience severe depression and/or anxiety?

I gathered data from:

(a) The reports that the software generated which included the participants’ Patient Health Questionnaire-9 item (PHQ-9) score and their Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 item (GAD-7) score.

(b) The Beating the Blues feedback forms, which used 12 questions to gauge how participants felt the program could be improved.

(c) Individual narratives from participants.

I found that, overall, BTB participants at the CMHC benefited from using the BTB program. Participants noted enjoying the coaching aspects of the program as well as the technology aspects of the program. Participants with severe symptoms were not significantly more likely to complete the program than participants with non-severe symptoms. Males were more likely to complete the program than females. Referral sources appeared to impact results; those who were referred by their primary care physicians completed more sessions than those referred by other sources. Implications of the study included considering BTB as a first step when patients have mild to moderate or severe anxiety and/or depression since BTB appears to allow severe participants to decrease into a moderate range.

Keywords: Beating the Blues, computerized cognitive behavioral therapy, patient experience, mixed methods, effective, efficient, depression, anxiety, severe, mental health, community mental health center

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Entrepreneurial Exit Strategies: A Qualitative Study In The Biopharmaceutical Industry

Donna Schubert, School of Human and Organizational Development

This qualitative study explores why and how entrepreneurs develop exit strategies. The study is situated solely in the biopharmaceutical industry in the United States and Canada. Ten founding biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs completed background questionnaires and participated in semi-structured interviews. Data were analyzed using the methods of thematic analysis facilitated by the use of Atlas.ti. The study finds that all biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs developed strategies for their investors, but consistent with prior research less than half developed personal exit strategies. This study also found that the source of funding may impact whether or not exit strategies are developed. Entrepreneurs explained that the infrequent use of personal exit strategies was due to perceived low value of strategizing in this industry with limited exit options, combined with uncertainty and the need for flexibility, rendering exit strategies ineffective. In exploring how biopharmaceutical entrepreneurs develop exit strategies, the study identified five impactful components of the process: the entrepreneur’s motivation to start the venture, his or her personal exit intention, building business value through innovation, the entrepreneur’s psychic income, and effectuation logic. The researcher offers a model of this process. Though the sample size is small, this study provides valuable information for aspiring entrepreneurs and offers intriguing questions for future research.

Key words: Biopharmaceutical, biotechnology, entrepreneur, exit, exit strategy

The Impact of Immigration and Acculturation on Recent Latino Immigrants Suffering from Mental Illness

Ingrid Diaz, School of Psychology

This study focused on the impact of immigration and acculturation on recent Latino immigrants suffering from mental illness. The participants migrated to an inner-city, densely populated area, with prevalent Latino enclaves. All interviewees were adults, self-identified heterosexuals, from Latin American countries, diagnosed with a psychiatric condition within 5 years of arrival to the United States. Subjects included two men and eight women, 24 to 52 years of age, with diverse socioeconomic and educational levels. Participants were legal residents or undocumented immigrants, with an array of psychiatric conditions, ranging from Major Depression Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Common themes that emerged were an idealization of their lives in the country of origin, fear, failure, perceived eminent danger, disillusion, disconnectedness, regret, resentment, self-loathing, promiscuity, and unforgiveness of themselves. Findings indicated that symptomatology presented within the first 6 months to a year of arrival, leading to persistent and severe mental illness.

Key Words: Latinos, immigration, acculturation.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Comparison of Blended, Online, and Face-to-Face Modalities in STEM Programs: The Influence on Student Success and Retention

Wael Abdeljabbar, School of Educational Leadership for Change

Previous educational research has focused intensely on comparison between modalities: namely between face-to-face, hybrid/blended, and online course technologies. This study examined the effect of these three major course instruction modalities on student success and retention in STEM disciplines at one community college in the San Francisco Bay Area. The study used a quantitative research design that incorporated historical student data and survey data. Results showed that the hybrid modality had the most positive effect on student success and retention for a majority of STEM disciplines, followed by face-to-face and online modalities, respectively. The CSIT department performed the most effectively in the hybrid modality. The results of a survey distributed to students indicated that online courses were less preferred, but hybrid courses provided the most benefit. These findings confirmed previous research comparing instruction methods. This study served as an addition to previous research because of the focus exclusively on multiple STEM disciplines at an institution that had never been studied. The results of the study may encourage the community college involved in the study to evaluate and review the online and hybrid learning environments to determine the most effective methodology with regard to student enrollment, retention, and student learning outcomes.

Key words: online learning, hybrid learning, blended learning, course success, course retention, instruction methods, STEM

Friday, May 15, 2015

Does Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous Facilitate Use of Self Skills in Executive/Organizational Coaches?

Charles W. Berke, School of Human and Organization Development

This study explores the ways in which, if at all, coaches who work in organizational settings (also referred to as executive/organizational coaches) and are in recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) account for their ability to use themselves as an instrument in their work. This study proposes that for the participants that process is working the program of AA. The AA program is designed to be one of personal growth and enhanced self-awareness, among other things. This study suggests that one outcome of this growth may be an improved ability to demonstrate use of self skills for executive coaches who are also in recovery through AA. This improved ability could be used in a coach’s work in organizational settings and be one of the mechanisms of change that he or she employs to help his/her clients.

The current study employs a narrative analysis research design. Five executive coaches who are in continuous recovery through AA for at least 5 years share their stories and answer a series of questions related to the topic. The data are gathered, reviewed, and presented along with an intact version of the participants’ story, in the interest of understanding how if at all, they account for and describe the changes they have made through their recovery work. The current study then explores the ways in which these changes, have allowed them, if at all, to use themselves as an instrument in coaching others.

The key findings in this study are that the concept of acceptance, deep and reflective listening, and a spiritual approach to life gained through participation in AA have had a significant impact on the participants’ ability to make and internalize change. This study also finds that the participants are able to describe the ways in which their AA experience has translated to an ability to practice use of self in their work as coaches.

Keywords: Use of self, executive coaching/organizational coaching, alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous, The 12 Steps, recovery, mechanisms of change, AA stories

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

An Enriched Structured Living Environment For Older Adult Male Prisoners Helps to Maintain Cognitive Abilities

Mary Harrison, School of Psychology

Studies have suggested that environmental enrichment may have a significant effect on age-related cognitive decline. The present study was conducted to determine if living in an enriched environment within a prison setting had any effect on cognitive function in older adults. Using 14 instruments that tested executive function/dysfunction, general cognitive flexibility, gestaltic closure, attention span, intellectual ability, emotional state, sensorimotor ability, language, mood, and visual-spatial abilities, we compared the cognitive functioning of two groups of male prisoners age 55 and older. One group of men (True Grit) had been living in an enriched environment for a period of time ranging from 8 months to 7.25 years. The control group was composed of a demographically similar cohort of men who had been living in the general prison population, with minimal environmental enrichment, for a similar period.

The results of the study demonstrated that men in the True Grit group performed better, with effect sizes ranging from small to large, on 13 of the test instruments than did Controls. Scores on tests of executive function suggest that living in an enriched environment was associated with better cognitive flexibility, enhanced verbal fluency, and improved problem-solving ability in comparison to living in the general prison population. On the test of physical mobility and balance (TUG), Controls performed less well than True Grit men, even though their average age was 2 years younger.

Effect size for the six measures of executive function ranged from small to medium in favor of the test group, while effect sizes for six of the other seven measures ranged from medium to high. This suggests that the independent variable (enriched environment) did have a significant effect on maintaining cognitive activity, and might be a useful preventive measure in terms of cognitive decline.

Keywords: “Use it or lose it”; cognitive ability; aging; prisoner; executive function; environmental enrichment; cognitive intervention

How Executive Coaches' Meaning Making Informs Their Choices in Coaching Sessions

Amanda Buschi, School of Human and Organizational Development

Executive coaching as an industry has realized significant growth in the past 30 years (A. Grant, 2009). Increasingly, executives turn to coaches for support and consultation regarding a variety of issues. Although research has focused on several areas related to coaching, none has addressed how executive coaches’ meaning making informs their choices in coaching sessions. Coaches can, for example, choose to hold the space in silence for the client, ask a question, or reflect back what the client has said. The purpose of this study is to explore how executive coaches’ understanding and interpretation informs the choices they make as to the next step in coaching sessions. The theoretical foundation for this research was constructivism, social constructionism, and meaning making. The methodology employed was a qualitative research study using semi-structured telephone interviews with 12 experienced coaches; transcribed interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Meaning making informing coaches’ choices was found to be time driven--past, present, and future--and coach, client, and context driven. The model derived from these findings presents meaning making including past-oriented client-driven perspectives where the history of the coach/client relationship was informing coach choices, present-oriented coach-driven perspectives where coach self-reflection was informing coach choices, and future oriented client-driven perspectives where client goals were informing coach choices.

Key Words: coaching, executive coaching, meaning making, constructivism

Monday, May 11, 2015


Joanne Smikle, School of Human and Organizational Development

The question of why employees stay and commit to long-term care organizations is explored through a qualitative study. A full range of employees, representing the many positions found within a long-term care facility, are included in the study. The narratives, gathered through one-hour interviews, are analyzed through the theories of organizational commitment and motivation-hygiene. As a result of the analysis, transformational leadership emerged as an important theory in this organizational environment.

The findings are grouped into primary themes indicating that the organization inspires positive feelings that impact commitment and retention. Other primary themes include the impact of the behavior of leadership, the sense of connectedness between employees and with customers, and the prevalent opportunities for growth and recognition.

Keywords: organizational commitment, retention, turnover

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Complex Bereavement: An Existential Psychodynamic Study of Temporality and Attachment

Comfort Shields, School of Psychology

This dissertation study examined how patterns of insecure attachment and restrictive temporality (restricting thoughts and emotional affect related to the past and future) relate to adult complex bereavement. While the DSM-V (2013) has for the first time in history included a severe form of grief, called persistent complex bereavement (PCBD) as a subtype of other specified trauma and stressor-related disorders, the scientific literature is lacking a philosophical and theoretical foundation that contextualizes the etiology of PCBD. The literature is increasingly utilizing a framework of attachment theory to understand reactions to loss. However, little is known about how attachment relates to the traumatizing effect related to human finitude. This study draws on Stolorow’s (Stolorow, 2007, 2011, & 2013) existential-psychodynamic theory of traumatic temporality, which holds that individuals who grow up with patterns of caregivers unresponsive to their emotional affect defensively and narrowly reorganize their experience of time when faced with trauma. In this mixed-methods study a sample of adults (N=77) aged 19 to 74 years (M=47) completed a survey measuring: (a) extent of complicated grief through The Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG); (b) temporality (restrictive or non-restrictive) through The Balanced Time Perspective Scale (BTPS); and (c) extent of insecure attachment through The Experiences in Close Relationships-Short Form (ECR-S). A qualitative analysis of narrative data regarding participants’ experiences of grief was also conducted. Six themes were identified, which supported and further enriched the quantitative analyses. Reflections on the researcher’s values and experiences of grief were included as part of the qualitative methodology. Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that restrictive temporality and insecure attachment-anxious style together accounted for 14% of the variance for complicated grief, confirming that participants with a restrictive sense of time and greater extent of insecure attachment experience more complicated grief than those with a non-restrictive sense of time or a greater extent of secure attachment. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for clinical interventions of PCBD, primary prevention efforts, increasing the dialectic of a social and cultural conscience surrounding death and grief, as well as identifying areas for further study.

Doing the Right Thing to Protect Children In Tanzania

Kate McAlpine, School of Human and Organizational Development

In Tanzania many children suffer from violence, neglect, and discrimination. The political economy is such that the masses are left out and unable to mobilize to solve collective action problems. The dilemma for many people is how to be a responsible citizen in a changing country. This study seeks out the narratives of Tanzanian adults who protect children and thus who are confronting the dilemma. A classic grounded theory method is used to analyze their stories and to find out what motivates protectors to take action. An explanatory theory of the basic psychological process of doing the right thing is developed from these narratives. A secondary practical theory is elucidated which draws on the literature of positive psychology, inter-personal neuroscience, community building, social capital, and human development. The practical theory intends to inform the design of programs that encourage more and better protection of children.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Integrative Entrepreneur: A Lifeworld Study of Women Sustainability Entrepreneurs

Jo-Anne Clarke, School of Human and Organizational Development

In response to social and environmental concerns, a new type of entrepreneur has recently entered the research literature on sustainable development in business (Hall, Daneke, & Lenox, 2010). Sustainability entrepreneurs are guided by a strong set of values that place environmental and social well-being before materialistic growth (Abrahamsson, 2007; Choi & Gray, 2008; Parrish & Foxon, 2009; Schaltegger & Wagner, 2011; Young & Tilley, 2006). For them, business success is about maintaining financial stability, while enhancing community and improving the health of our planet. This is reflected in their business design, processes, and work culture. Sustainability entrepreneurs are committed to making business decisions that reduce their carbon footprint, promote local or fair trade, support employee wellness, and give back to the community.

This social phenomenological study explores the lifeworld structures of six women in Calgary who are running small businesses based on sustainability principles. Drawing on the work of Alfred Schütz (1967, 1970a, 1970b; Schütz & Luckmann, 1974), it examines their typifications, stocks of knowledge, and motives, as well as notions of intersubjectivity and spatiality or lived space. From the findings, three Schützian puppets or personal ideal types are constructed to personify values of community, quality, connection, and environmental preservation. Ms. A.L.L. Green, Ms. Carin Relationships, and Ms. I.N. Tentional characterize aspects of the female sustainability entrepreneur that were identified by participants as central to their motives and actions. Together, they form a new general ideal type called the integrative entrepreneur. The integrative entrepreneur personifies the unique contributions of the women interviewed, and extends our understanding of sustainability entrepreneurship in meaningful ways.

Key words: sustainability, entrepreneurship, sustainability entrepreneurs, integrative paradigm, integrative entrepreneur, social phenomenology, Schützian puppets.

Lived Outcomes of Amputees Who Practice Yoga: A Qualitative Study Informed by Phenomenology

Elizabeth (Deedee) Myers, School of Human and Organizational Development

In the United States, there are 507 amputations each day, a number expected to grow with the increases in obesity and diabetes. This study investigated the lived experience of yoga for amputees. The researcher studied the phenomena of amputees doing yoga—ampyogis—for the first time, what the amputees learned about their soma through yoga on the mat, and the significance of transference of their learning from the yoga mat to their lives off the mat. Existing literature defines rehabilitative practices for amputees to take care of daily life necessities, such as learning to walk with a prosthetic, as well as the impact of yoga on multiple populations, such as cancer survivors, those with multiple sclerosis, trauma victims, and children with attention deficit disorders. There is a current body of literature on somatic practices, moving the body with intention to produce a certain outcome in the soma. This was a qualitative study informed by phenomenology. The researcher designed semistructured interviews to follow the participants’ narratives about events that led to amputation, their postamputation felt sense of self, and the impact of yoga on shifts in their felt sense of self. Findings indicate themes of organizing principles for the ampyogis that reflect the embodied motivation to enact change on, through, and with their bodies. Themes observed included demonstrated increased capacity among ampyogis to self-accept, to appreciate their bodies and minds, and to self-generate their choices and decision-making. Findings suggest that participants shifted their somas; and increased capacity for self-accountability regarding somatic choices from, for example, feeling depressed and frustrated, to feeling more alive, balanced, and graceful. Participants reported increased capacity for self-confidence, self-appreciation, and self-accountability. This research adds to literature on yoga as a rehabilitative practice for amputees. It also adds to the body of literature on somatics and shifting the soma through intention and practice. Additionally, this study demonstrates that somatics in action creates change in the soma.

Key Words: amputee, amputee rehabilitation, ampyogi, organizing principle, somatics, transformative learning, yoga

Monday, April 27, 2015

Parents as Partners: Evaluation of an Individualized Program that Offers Autism Collaboration, Education, and Support (ACES) for Parents, Educators, and Clinicians to Improve the Possibilities of Optimal Outcome for Children Diagnosed With Autistic Disorder

Shelley A. Stravitz, School of Educational Leadership for Change

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex, multisystem disorder that continues to affect greater percentages of children and their families worldwide and in the United States. Currently, no known cause or cure for ASD exists. Researchers emphasize genetic studies, while parents need intervention choices for their children with ASD. This study was an evaluation of the 21-year systems-based ACES Program of autism intervention from the stakeholder viewpoints of parents, professionals, and team members. Researchers maintain that parent-led interventions for ASD remain in their infancy. The ACES Program co-creates multidisciplinary, relationship-based parent-led intervention programs based on the child’s unique ASD profile and the needs of the family system to improve possibilities of optimal outcomes.

This mixed-methods evaluation study utilized surveys and telephone interviews of participants who worked with the ACES Program to develop an ACES Family Program team intervention for a minimum of 4 years. The individual viewpoints of the parents, professionals, and volunteer team members in each of the 9 cases demonstrated how the ACES Program was helpful in moving the represented children toward optimal outcomes. The participants informed this study by sharing their challenges, their suggestions to resolve challenges, and their recommendations for improving the ACES Program. They shared their experiences of the wider community regarding ASD that echoed the themes of social justice and structural inequality found through the historical search for ASD prevalence. The qualitative data analysis of the interviews supported the quantitative data analysis of the surveys.

Results indicate that, through the elements of the ACES Program, the parents became empowered leaders of their child’s individualized intervention. The parents, professionals, and volunteer team members agreed that the ACES Program elements that led the child and family toward optimal outcomes included attitudinal changes in the adults, understandable education, team support, team collaboration, and parent-professional partnerships. They offered suggestions for medical and educational professionals to improve practice. Recommendations for practice and ways in which the ACES program can further support children with ASD and their families are included. 

Key Words: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Optimal Outcomes, Parent-Led Individualized Interventions, Understandable Education, Family System Support


Mechtild Uhe, School of Psychology

This study is a primarily qualitative investigation of whether there is a relationship between theoretical orientation and learning from clients among a sample of North American psychologists, and what, if any, effects their learning has had on their personal and professional lives. The study uses the semi-structured interviews of a subsample of 31 psychologist-participants with an almost equal gender ratio in each group (15 male and 16 female psychologists) who report adhering to either a psychoanalytic/psychodynamic (PD) or cognitive-behavioral (CB) theoretical orientation in their clinical practices from an archived dataset (Hatcher et al., 2012). Research in the area of psychotherapist development has often been limited to studies of trainees and early career psychologists, whereby attention was placed on the efficacy and effectiveness of different therapeutic orientations. Little is known about the possible effects of theoretical approaches to practice on the personal and professional growth of psychologists themselves. Employing a qualitative analysis of psychologists’ narratives, the Hatcher et al. (2012) study explored what therapists learned and how they were affected by their clients. The purpose of the present study was to contribute to this relatively unexplored research area related to what psychologists learn from their clients and, in particular, whether and how theory orientation contributed to this learning. The results indicated a weak relationship between theoretical orientation and learning from clients. Some psychologists described learning from clients that involved attending more to topics and concepts aligned with the tenets of their respective orientations. In their anecdotes, CB therapists appeared to express a greater sense of active hands-on and concrete approaches to problem-solving, whereas PD therapists appeared to discuss intermingled, complex problems on a more abstract level. However, PD and CB psychologists expressed mostly similarities in their learning from clients, suggesting that common factors across theoretical approaches underlie what these psychologists learned from their clients.

Keywords: therapist development; learning from patients; psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral theory; common factors in psychotherapy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Association of Religious Affiliation With The MMPI-A Alcohol/Drug Problem Acknowledgment Scale In Post-Soviet Russian Adolescents

Angela Buffington, School of Psychology

In the US, studies have found an association between religiosity and substance use. Studies of adolescents in the US have demonstrated an inverse relationship between religiosity and substance use, but no studies to date have examined this relationship in Russian adolescents. The current study used archival data to examine the association between age, gender, religious affiliation, and the MMPI-A Alcohol/Drug Problem Acknowledgement (ACK) scale in a post-Soviet Russian adolescent sample. The sample consisted of 201 participants, with valid data available for 115 participants (65 males and 50 females). Multiple regression analysis was used to test associations between the ACK scale of the MMPI-A with age, gender, and religious affiliation. Contrary to hypotheses, age and gender were not significantly related to acknowledgement of substance abuse in the sample. As hypothesized, religious affiliation inversely related to acknowledgement of substance abuse. Results suggest that being a member of a religious group may deter substance use in Russian youth. Current findings highlight religiosity as a potential protective factor in substance use prevention efforts.

Keywords: Adolescents, Substance Abuse, Religious Affiliation, MMPI-A, Russia

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Changing Workforce: A Critical Study of Multiple Generations Working Together

Mary Jane Woodward, School of Human and Organizational Development

This qualitative study examines the age-related complexities in workforce dynamics in the United States. The generational composition of the workforce is more diverse than ever before. The primary purpose of this study was to identify and evaluate multi-generational differences and similarities in values, attitudes and perceptions (in areas such as education, technology, social responsibility, employer commitment, and meaningful work) between Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Millennials (born 1980-1999) in the workplace. These expected differences and similarities can affect the perceptions that workers have of one another and may influence performance and productivity in the contemporary workforce. A driving theme of the study was workplace wisdom, defined as an organizational process where workers achieve extraordinary results by combining their knowledge and experience with powerful thinking. An important motivation for the research was to explore how workplace wisdom might be facilitated and grow in multi-generational workplaces.

The focus group method explored how the generational perspective of workers, socialized at different periods in time, interconnects at work. In particular, the author used thematic analysis to assess the diverse characteristics of each generation and their views about working alongside workers of other generations. Six themes emerged from the study: work expectations and perspectives, work/life balance, communication gap, age-related stereotypes, older workers/younger supervisors, and workplace wisdom. Findings suggest that there are more similarities than differences between the two cohorts in basic work values and social responsibility, but different in day-to-day workplace interactions. Included among the recommendations offered for future research is for organizational leaders to respond appropriately to align Baby Boomers’ and Millennials’ communication and mentorship skills for corporate sustainability. In addition, findings suggest that as workers progress into further adult stages of development, that accumulation may result in workplace wisdom.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Epilepsy, Self-Management, and Separation-Individuation: Their Relationships

G. Channing Harris, School of Psychology

While research regarding the effects of other chronic illnesses on psychological (i.e., intrapsychic & psychosocial) development has been well established, less is known about the influence of epilepsy on the psychological development of young adults (aged 18 – 40) and how this affects epilepsy self-management. This study evaluated the relationships among epilepsy characteristics, parental overprotection, separation-individuation, psychopathology, peer attachment, and self-management in an international sample of young adult people with epilepsy (PWE). The project was approached drawing from both psychoanalytic and attachment perspectives. One-hundred eighty-five participants between the ages of 18 and 40 completed an online survey, which included a demographic and epilepsy variables survey, the Neurological Disorders Depression Inventory for Epilepsy, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale, the Epilepsy Self-Management Scale, the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, the Separation-Individuation Process Inventory, and the Parental Bonding Instrument. A model, which states that parental overprotection in childhood influences the separation-individuation process and how well young adult PWE manage the illness as they mature into adulthood, was evaluated using structural equation modeling (SEM). Findings indicate that the model fit the data collected quite well. The results indicate that parental overprotection prior to age 16 exerted a direct effect on separation-individuation, which exerted a direct effect on poor self-management, psychopathology, and peer attachment. Separation-individuation also mediated the effects of parental overprotection on poor self-management, psychopathology, and peer attachment. These findings may prove useful for psychology and other disciplines hoping to improve psychosocial wellbeing and self-management in PWE. The results should be used to inform interventions designed to help young adult PWE work through separation-individuation issues and better manage their illness.

KEY WORDS: Epilepsy, Self-Management, Separation-Individuation, Intrapsychic Development, Psychosocial Development, Psychoanalytic Theory, Psychodynamic Theory, Attachment Theory, Parental Overprotection, Epilepsy Self-Management Scale, People with Epilepsy, Younger Adults

A Capacity to Serve and to Lead Across Cultures: Intercultural Leadership and the Experience of American Missionaries

David Sedlacek, School of Human and Organizational Development

In order to better understand what happens when leaders put themselves in a posture that allows them to be influenced by the people they lead, this qualitative study explores the experience of American evangelical Christian missionaries engaged in leadership among people of other cultures. A review of the leadership literature shows how this theme has been examined within several domains of leadership studies. The field of missiology offers additional perspectives to the process of leadership among people of diverse cultures.

The research employs a phenomenological approach to develop a deeper understanding of the nature of intercultural leadership. Eight evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States were interviewed using a protocol designed to identify critical incidents in their experiences in leading people of cultures different from their own. The core findings are written descriptions of key experiences of these leaders that focus upon ways they were influenced by those they lead.

The lived experience of the missionary leaders in this study informs prevalent leadership theories including transformative leadership, servant leadership, and cross-cultural leadership. This study demonstrates and expounds upon the value of relational transparency and cross- cultural servanthood for the intercultural leadership process.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Exploring Effective Peer Group Mentoring: A Qualitative Narrative Study of Executive-Level Professional Women

Jonathan R. Kroll, School of Human and Organizational Development

Exploring Effective Peer Group Mentoring: A Qualitative Narrative Study of Executive-Level Professional Women is an exploratory research inquiry designed to better understand the ways in which peer group mentoring might be constructed and facilitated for effective practice. Peer group mentoring, a constructivist approach to mentorship, is intentionally designed for inclusivity, the distribution of power, and the flattening of hierarchy. Within this mentoring construct, the group members create learning partnerships with their mentoring collaborators. Learning partnerships are such that (a) each individual validates the others as knowers, valued contributors, and valuable to the mentoring experience; (b) the mentoring experience is situated within the experiences of each participant; and (c) learning and meaning-making is mutually constructed.

In-depth interviews with 12 current peer group mentoring participants encouraged these individuals to share their stories-of-experience. Utilizing thematic analysis, four meta-themes emerged (mentoring participant characteristics, mentoring in practice, mentoring topics, and mentoring customs) from the recorded and transcribed interviews. These meta-themes contain a bevy of factors that facilitate effective peer group mentoring.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Developmental Stages of Community Colleges and Their Employees That Emerge as a Result of Offering an Applied Baccalaureate Degree

Suzanne I. Ames, School of Educational Leadership for Change

Complex, changing demands of the workforce are placing pressure on higher education to respond to the needs of local communities more than ever before (Boggs, 2012; Carnevale, Smith, & Strohl, 2010; Floyd & Walker, 2005; McKinney & Morris, 2010; Ruud, Bragg, & Townsend, 2010; Walker, 2005). Coming out of a recession, many state and national leaders are looking to community colleges to help stabilize the economy. Across the country, community colleges are starting applied baccalaureate degrees (BAS) as a way to provide workers with greater skills and knowledge.

BAS degrees combine associate-level job preparation training with advanced thinking and technical skills. Research shows support for these degrees from employers and graduates (Grothe, 2009; Manias, 2007; Shah, 2010). Skeptics question whether community colleges are moving away from their mission of open access and the caliber of the degrees (Cook, 2000; Manzo, 2001; Pederson, 2001).

This dissertation focuses on the first four colleges piloting applied baccalaureate degrees in Washington state. Transcendental phenomenology (Husserl, 1927; Moustakas, 1994) is used to determine the ways a BAS changed employees and colleges. Developmental models are presented in this dissertation to demonstrate changes experienced by employees and colleges. As employees grow and change by experiencing and living through a new phenomenon, they change as humans. As a result, they change the organizations within which they work. This dissertation provides three developmental models: (a) creation of a BAS, (b) stakeholder development, and (c) changes in colleges as a result of employees’ work.

The program development model describes the process of creating a BAS, from determining a need in the community to assuring that a sound financial model supports the degree. Stakeholder developmental models are created for presidents, faculty, student services staff, library directors, and administrative services staff. Common experiences across stakeholder groups include a recommitment to the community college mission and increased pride in their work and their college. Developmental stages of colleges include higher caliber students and a greater level of respect by the community. Together, these developmental stages inform colleges and policymakers contemplating whether to create a BAS, and provide a guide for the effects on internal and external communities.

Key words: community college, applied baccalaureate degree, higher education

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sustainability as Organizational Culture: Uncovering Values, Practices, and Processes

Paul Stillman, School of Human and Organizational Development

Sustainability is a vital but contested topic. In this case study, I explored the experiences of people at all levels in organizations striving to embrace exemplary sustainable practices to uncover key cultural values, practices, and processes. The evolving concept of sustainability was applied within a conceptual framework of organizational culture, phronesis or practical wisdom, and systems theory to inform the empirical research. Twenty-nine on-site, openended, narrative interviews were conducted at four organizations, including a small solar energy company, a major state research university, an iconic outdoor apparel company, and a unique specialty food producer. Interviews were analyzed for sustainability-related primary codes and emergent themes and thematic codes were grouped into four major categories: (a) embedding the mission, (b) living the mission, (c) balancing ideals and practices, and (d) relationships matter. The experientially grounded findings support and refine a synthesized model of organizational sustainability that integrates cultural, phronetic, and systemsoriented elements. In addition, the findings yield a set of actionable values, practices, and processes associated with an organizational culture of sustainability. These benchmarks can, with further adaptation, be utilized to assess progress toward a culture of sustainability in aspiring organizations.

Keywords: sustainability, sustainable practices, organizational culture, phronesis, practical wisdom, systems theory.

Living Essence: Exploring Aesthetic Factors in Leadership Development Experiences

Valerie Nishi, School of Human and Organizational Development

In complex organizational systems, there grows a need for more effective design practices for learning and leadership development. This exploratory case study research improves knowledge and understanding of how aesthetic factors (creation of symbolic objects and acts) influences the experiences of five executive leaders in a leadership development program. Perspectives from organizational studies, transformative learning, and organizational aesthetics provide a theoretical framework for understanding aesthetics and learning. Findings from this study suggest that aesthetic factors can be powerful catalysts for transformative learning for individuals and groups. Aesthetic factors appear to function as a learning technology to access and integrate often intense and conflicting sensory, emotional, somatic, and cognitiveways of knowing in a dynamic relational learning process. As mediators of meaning, aesthetic factors give form and clarity to complex phenomena; stimulate theimagination; generate enjoyment; and accelerate learning through prototyping, storytelling, and co-inquiry. Aesthetic factors demonstrate memorability that supportsembodied learning. A framework for aesthetic learning design is offered as a contribution of this study.

Key words: Leadership development, professional development, organizational aesthetics, organizational development, organizational learning, transformative learning, experiential learning, aesthetic learning, holistic learning, innovation

Two Kinds of Presence: A Comparative Analysis of Face-to-Face and Technology- Based Mediated Communication Methods and the Executive Coaching Experience

Lawrence M Drake II, School of Psychology

The purpose of this study was to explore patterns of the executive coaching experience among clients who use both face-to-face and technology-based mediated communication methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a 24-item instrument administered to 108 female (n = 56) and male (n = 52) participants, ranging in age from 27 to 68. Univariate inferential tests were used to address 8 research questions concerning whether coaching clients experience significantly different levels of presence, self-disclosure, commitment, and engagement in each modality of coaching. According to study results, coaching clients reported a greater ability to self-disclose and greater levels of presence, commitment, and engagement during face-to-face coaching compared to mediated coaching. Contrary to expectations, technology use did not differ between executive coaching clients who preferred face-to-face and those who preferred mediated coaching. Likewise, attitudes toward technology did not differ among coaching clients who preferred face-to-face versus mediated coaching. Finally, there was a trend such that clients who prefer mediated coaching are younger than those who prefer face-to-face coaching.

Key words: Face-to-face, technology-based mediated communication, executive coaching, and modality.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Evidence-Based Interventions to Reduce Psychosocial and Access Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening Among African American Women

Alycia A. Bellah, School of Psychology

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality among women in the United States. In an effort to decrease cancer mortality rates among women, national efforts have encouraged early detection and treatment of breast cancer through mammography. Although cancer impacts individuals across all racial and ethnic groups, African American women have lower rates of screening; higher rates of more lethal types of cancer; higher mortality rates and advanced stage cancer detection more often than their Caucasian counterparts. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a theoretically driven psychological intervention, based on social cognitive theory and motivational interviewing techniques, combined with patient education materials on mammography completion among African American women. In addition, the study’s aim was to identify variables that predict mammography completion among African American women. This study explored the effectiveness of three distinct intervention modalities on the use of mammography among a group of 766 African American women. Results of multilevel analyses for nested data indicate that evidence-based psychological intervention aimed at known barriers to cancer care improves timely mammography completion among African American women [OR = 1.25; 95% CI (1.07, 1.46)].

The results also suggest that collaborative care between primary care and mental health providers may result in improved health outcomes, specifically when working with African American women. Results of the present study offer potential targets for future breast cancer screening campaigns targeted to African American women. The results also offer theoretically sound treatment suggestions to clinicians working with African American women in the field of cancer prevention.

Key Words: cancer, screening, mammography, barriers, collaborative care, integrated care, evidence-based interventions, African American women.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Self-In-Systems: A Formal Theory of The Emergence of Postconventional Systemic Thinking as Object-self Is Found

Steven W. Page, School of Human and Organizational Development

A crescendo of voices calls us to recognize that the complexity and uncertainty of the world of the 21st century challenges us to understand how things are systemically related. The purpose of this study was to explore the capacity for systemic thinking: the capacity to consciously perceive and coordinate multiple interacting systems and reflect upon self as being in relation to systems. This study attempts to identify systemic thinking more precisely, and to explain how it develops. The source of data is the constructive developmental literature, which focuses on changes in the ways individuals construct meaning throughout the lifespan. This literature contains a variety of models indicating the capacity to see how systems are related may occur for a minority of adults during development. This study was exploratory and comparative. A meta-analysis of developmental literature across the lifespan was undertaken using grounded theory method, supported by ATLAS.ti qualitative data analysis software. Literature in the fields of systems thinking and systems intelligence also informed results. Development was explored in terms of self and systems relations rather than subject and object relations. Self-in-systems theory, presented here for the first time, proposes that perceptions of self are always perceptions of self-in-relation-to-systems. It is contended that the literature provides evidence that perceptions of self, systems, and the relationship between them differ among individuals in a manner that indicates a stage-like sequence of development. This development occurs through six levels as described by the self-in-systems (SIS) model of the development of systemic thinking. Although systems are first consciously perceived at the third level, which is conventional, systemic thinking was found to emerge at the postconventional fourth level. At the fourth level, an object-self emerges: a self perceived as always in relation to systems. The fifth level, also postconventional and characterized by a more complex form of systemic thinking, is followed by a sixth trans-personal and trans-systemic level. The SIS model may offer a way to integrate the literature on development across the lifespan. In addition, the model may indicate how to integrate the systems thinking, systems intelligence, and developmental literatures.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ecotones, Boundaries, and Culture: Intersections of Korean American and Other Communities in Howard County, Maryland

Pearl L. Seidman, School of Human and Organizational Development

This research is positioned at the interface between ecological and social systems. In both, how and where we draw boundaries is consequential, as are the relationships in the space between. Do findings from ecology about the nature of ecotones and boundaries apply to social systems at a community level, in particular to individuals who play a bridging role between Korean Americans and their counterparts from Other cultural communities in Howard County, Maryland? The term “Other” is capitalized to denote the plurality of heritages other than Korean that comprise the diverse cultural landscape of Howard County.

In ecology, an ecotone is an intermediary, or transition zone, between two adjacent ecosystems where species from both communities co-mingle. The nexus between distinct communities is typically characterized by greater diversity, tension, adaptive capacity, and resilience. Interstitial spaces cannot be defined without understanding the boundaries that create and maintain them. An ecological boundary classification system (Strayer, Power, Fagan, Pickett, & Belnap, 2003) is contrasted with frameworks in the social sciences, acting as a discursive bridge to increase translatability between disciplines.

Group and individual interviews involved sixteen cultural connectors and leaders of note in the community. Relational research methods acknowledged the interdependent and intersubjective construction of meaning. Thematic analysis was used to organize data.

The cultural ecotone was brought to life through voices that evoked the sources of boundaries and the nuances of diversity and tension. Necessity fueled adaptive capacity, not only for the Korean American community, but for the larger community. Community adaptive capacity was enacted in many examples by the corridor creation functions of cultural connectors. Change is more likely to occur at the intersection of differences. The processes of change dynamics created the environment in which differences unfolded. Findings failed to confirm evidence of community resilience given the definition used.

As migration is an ever increasing area of importance, this additional lens may be of value to researchers and practitioners. This study also creates a more permeable boundary for increased flow across ecological and social disciplines. Ecological and cultural humility or ecohumility is an appropriate stance in this space between.

Key Words: ecotones, cultural ecotones, Korean Americans, boundaries, diversity, tension, adaptive capacity, group interviews, ecological and cultural humility, ecohumility.


Drew R. Suss, School of Human and Organizational Development

Effective leadership is essential for life sciences (LS) organizations developing successful treatments for diseases and reliable sources of food. As the world population grows and ages, the importance of their success increases. Sustainability demands that complex organizations be populated with effective decision makers, but data shows organizational life spans are relatively brief (Agarwal & Gort, 2002). This suggests effective decision making is uncommon. The literature review explored the concept of leadership effectiveness, analyzed the complex systems framework of the adaptive learning management system (ALMS) (Ackoff, 1999a) and the servant leadership (SL) model (Greenleaf, 1977). The analysis found ALMS, and SL theoretically aligned. This suggests SL may encourage effective workplace decisions (EWD) and may therefore be the preferred model for complex organizations as Bass (2000) suggested.

The hypothesis tested was: In LS organizations there is a statistically significant correlation between the workers’ perceptions of servant leadership enacted by LS leaders, and followers’ perceptions that they are empowered to make effective workplace decisions.

A mixed-method approach measured SL and EWD behaviors quantitatively. Two instruments were used: The 30-item SLS survey, developed and validated by van Dierendonck and Nuitjen (2011), and the 8-item EWD instrument validated in a pilot study. The SLS has 8 subscales which enabled multiple factor analyses. Qualitative data were gathered to enable triangulation.

The total sample (n= 77) produced a positive correlation: r =.48, r2 = .22 (p<.0001). Sample participants focused on commercialization (n=43) had a positive correlation: r = 0.37, (p 0.0313). Science-focused participants (n=34) generated a stronger positive correlation: r = 0.59, r2 =.35 (p<.001) with two SLS factors demonstrating significant variance values: Courage and empowerment measured r2 =.33 and r2 =.39 respectively (p <.0001). Qualitative data supported H1. This empirical study produced significant empirical support for H1.

It is the first to show the correlation of servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1970 ) and Ackoff’s (1999a) systems-focused management theory. This lends credence to suggestion that SL is beneficial to organizational sustainability (Bass, 2000; Greenleaf, 1970; Senge, 1990). It provides evidence that leaders who practice SL enable people to grow in their capacity to be effective (Ackoff, 1999a, 1999b).


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Validating a New Measure of Life Stress for the Military

Shenae Whitehead, Student, Psychology; Jeremy Jinkerson; April Harris-Britt, Faculty, Psychology

Military spouses endure stressors that are unique to the military lifestyle. Current research has shown that relocations, separations from family, risk of injury or death, deployments, PTSD, and other factors can negatively impact military families (Easterling & Knox, 2010; Burrell et al, 2006). Unfortunately, there is not an instrument that assesses common military-related spousal stress across all five branches. This study surveyed the common military-related stressors among military spouses in order to construct and validate such a tool. The initial phase utilized a qualitative, focus group design in which over 50 military service members and military spouses were interviewed and asked to discuss the common stressors of military life that they were experiencing. The various stressors identified were compiled and a pool of questions were constructed and compiled in survey format, the Military Family Stressor-Item Pool (MFS-IP), which included questions relating to family, work, education, and health stressors. The second phase utilized a descriptive survey approach, in which a sample of 224 military service members and military spouses completed the MFS-IP, the Life Events Questionnaire (LEQ), and Military Lifestyle Demands Questionnaire (MLDQ).

A sample of n = 132 female military spouses completed the demographic questionnaire and three stessor surveys. Ages ranged from 19 to 56, with a mean age of 32, SD = 7.5. Most participants identified as European-American/White (82.6%), whereas 9% were African-American/Black, 7% were Asian/Pacific Islander, and 5% identified as Other. Participants included 56.8% Army, 27.3% Navy, 8.3% Air Force, 6.8% Marines, and 0.8% Coast Guard military spouses. The majority (93.9%) of participants’ spouses were Active Duty, with 1.5% Reserve, 0.8% National Guard, and 3% Other status. Sixty-one percent of participants’ spouses were enlisted, whereas 39% were officers.

All items from the MFS-IP, LEQ, and MLDQ were analyzed together utilizing exploratory factor analysis (Principle Components Analysis). Eight of the identified components had eigenvalues greater than 1.5 and were above the Scree plot’s point of inflexion. Cumulatively, these components explained 61.42% of the data. These eight components were Personal Health, Business, Educational, Illness/Injury, Relational Difficulties, Deployment/Move Strain, Social & Familial Changes, & Deployment Fears. Because the factors were largely comprised of LEQ items, the resultant instrument was interpreted as an updated version of the LEQ for military spouses, the Life Events Questionnaire – Military Spouse version (LEQ-M). Reliability analyses were conducted for both the total LEQ-M v1.0 and its individual component scales. The total LEQ-M v1.0 was found to be highly reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .889. The Personal Health scale was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .904. The Business component was highly reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .852. The Educational component was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .866. The Illness/Injury component was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .801. The Relational Change component was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .816. (However, its reliability improved to .823 with the deletion of one item.) The Deployment/Move Strain component was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .786. (However, its reliability improved to .797 with the deletion of one item.) The Social & Familial Changes component was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .783. The Deployment Fears component was very reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .859. (However, its reliability improved to .917 with the deletion of one item.) With the deletion of three items, the Life Events Questionnaire – Military Spouse version (v. 1.1) contained 37 items and eight subscales. With the deletion of these three items, the LEQ-M remained highly reliable, Cronbach’s alpha α = .889.

What We Do At Work: Time-Space Intelligence in Child Protective Services

Colette Michelle Street, Student, Human & Organizational Development

What do Child Protective practitioners do at work? What do they think and feel about their day-to-day duties? In the aftermath of various child fatalities in Los Angeles County, the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) is beginning a massive reorganization effort in order to strengthen work processes for keeping children safe. Many of the fatality cases had parents or Caregivers that utilized hostility and sometimes violent behavior toward the social workers, which may have prevented access to and spatial movement within the home environment. In addition, super-polychronicity while conducting home visits creates unnecessary distraction for social workers because of completing administrative tasks that could be addressed by clerical staff. The ability to complete tasks and conduct accurate safety assessments, including their own personal safety, requires social workers to manage chronos time and to remain open for auspicious moments. Thus, the question of inquiry is: When engaging in day-to-day workplace relations, in what ways do Child Protective Services (CPS) practitioners utilize Time-Space Intelligence? Furthermore, what does this mean for the future of child safety, practitioner safety, and Child Protection Practice?

The 11 participants, consisting of three (3) Supervising Children’s Social Workers and eight (8) Children’s Social Workers eagerly provided their voices via a narrative methodology to help the profession expand and create new ideas for CPS practice. Through their voices, the Time-Space Intelligence Assessment Loop for Child Protection © was created. It is a new Framework that incorporates the practitioners’ inductive/intuitive capacities along with empirical evidence.

Rape Trial Jurors Biased by Sexual Orientation and Victim Gender but Not Race

Shaneika Smith, Student, Psychology; Damon Taylor, Student, Psychology; Kristine Jacquin, Faculty, Psychology

This research examined the influence of victim gender, victim and defendant sexual orientation, and victim and defendant race on juror decisions in a rape trial. Participants (N = 505) found the defendant guiltier when he was accused of raping a homosexual victim compared to a heterosexual victim. The defendant was judged guiltier when he was heterosexual and the victim was male, or when he was homosexual and the victim was female. Victim and defendant race did not impact juror decisions. The results suggest that sexual orientation should not be revealed in rape trials to reduce the risk of juror bias.

The Fat Man Sang and It Ain't Over: An Autoethnographic Study in Obesity and Discrimination

Sebastian J. Romeo, Student, Educational Leadership for Change

This autoethnographic dissertation explored my personal accounts of the dynamics that are associated with how society views and treats obese individuals and the negative impact it has with regards to overcoming personal barriers that impair one’s ability to overcome obesity. Using three personal scenarios, I explored and exposed issues surrounding obesity and weight discrimination (Andreyeva et al. 2008; Puhl& Heuer, 2012). The first scenario, exposed how media portrays obese individuals through theatre and how this influences society’s perception of them and self-perceptions as well. In the second scenario, I point to the treatment I received from both teachers and fellow students in elementary school. I highlight this particular time period because these experiences caused me to turn to food for emotional comfort that caused long lasting negative effects (Danielsen et al., 2012; O’Moore & Kirkham, 2001). In the third scenario, I point to discriminatory encounters that I had with various healthcare professionals, which have serious health implications (Amy et al., 2005). My intent was to provide insight into how these three influential systems contribute to negative self-perceptions of obese individuals. Recommendations for educators and health care professionals are:

- Continued work with obese people to become healthy and emotionally well

- Informing/educating society that people are obese for many reasons

- Informing/educating that normalcy occurs in all body types

-Continued support and education of zero tolerance of bullying policies

- Health Professional should focus their discussions from appearance to health behaviors

Will DSM-5 become obsolete in 2015?

Ashlee Oroczo, Student Psychology; Keith D. McGoldrick, Student, Psychology; Sandra Viggiani; Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Alumna; Lawrence Dilks; Chelsi King; Kelly DeRoche; Adrian Julian

Purpose: The series of guides referred to as The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) were propagated by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to facilitate communication among professionals, establish a standard nomenclature and promote research in the behavioral sciences. The first DSM, published in 1951 enjoyed wide acceptance and was followed by four generations of texts. Most of the world, however, for both medical and psychiatric diagnosis, preferred the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) manuals supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) that is in its 10th edition. The DSM-IV/5 and ICD-10 are not harmonious in the realm of mental health and the ICD has been gaining influence with clinicians, government agencies and the insurance industry.

Method: The new DSM-5 has numerous attributes and has functioned admirably since its introduction. Its more notable features include establishing a standard for diagnosis across the United States, enhancing diagnostic communication among different professions, providing a consistent foundation for billing and reimbursement, and integrating biological advancements into the diagnostic schema.

The DSM-5 has not been without its detractors who have pointed out it failed to live up to its promise of a new concise diagnostic model, had large response variances in reliability studies in field trials, was rushed into production for economic reasons, lacked transparency during its construction, was unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, and lacked harmony with ICD-10.

Results: Unlike DSM-5 that addresses only psychiatric-behavioral issues ICD-10 addresses all medical subspecialties in 68,000 diagnostic codes. Only section “F” addresses mental health issues but its F codes were constructed in conjunction with other medical disorders.

The ICD-10 was developed for the same reasons as the DSM-5 but was promoted worldwide by the United Nation’s World Health Organization and has more adherents. Its attributes include coordinating mental health diagnosis with other medical problems, data analysis is cross-cultural and global, the data base is more extensive, there are a greater number of specifiers resulting in more specific diagnosis, and finally it is expandable beyond numeric codes.

Discussion: The most recent edition of the DSM acknowledges the importance of ICD-10 by including the alphanumeric code numbers in the body of the text. In the forward of DSM-5 it acknowledges this is to facilitate the transition from ICD-9 to ICD-10 in October of 2015 for all medical specialties, not just psychiatry.

With the adoption of ICD-10 the underlying value of the DSM-5 may be called into question. If ICD-10 continues to grow in popularity with clinicians, is utilized by the insurance industry and possesses a better, broader research basis, and is accepted as the world standard there might not be an economic or scientific reason to maintain DSM-5. The APA has emphasized the similarities in the two systems but it is the similarities not the differences that may be the DSM-5’s downfall. It will simply be redundant.

Living Essence: Exploring Aesthetic Factors in Leadership Development Experiences

Valerie J. Nishi, Alumna, Human & Organizational Development

New frameworks and practices are needed to foster leadership, learning and innovation in complex organizational systems. This exploratory case study improves understanding of how aesthetic factors (creation of symbolic objects and acts) influenced the experiences of five executives in a leadership development program involving aesthetic design approaches. Perspectives from organizational studies, transformative learning and organizational aesthetics provide a cross-disciplinary lens for understanding aesthetics and learning.

This study found that aesthetic factors were catalysts for transformative learning by increasing self awareness through the integration of sensory, emotional and rational ways of knowing. This enabled participants to challenge habitual meaning making systems, reflect on assumptions, and shift their perspectives and actions. Participants described the safe, caring, and physically beautiful learning environment as instrumental to their ability to be open, creative, and vulnerable, and to form strong learning relationships within the group. Creative, playful and novel activity generated feelings of lightness and enjoyment that enabled difficult and conflicting feelings to be accessed and resolved. Aesthetic objects served as tools to support expression, co-inquiry and embodied memory that gave rapid form, meaning and clarity to an emerging vision for their leadership. From these results, a framework for aesthetic learning design was developed as a unique contribution of this study.

Blame Is Not a Game: Healthcare Leaders’ Perspectives on Blame in the Workplace

Cheryl Mitchell, Alumna, Human & Organizational Development

This exploratory research increases knowledge and understanding of blame in the workplace. Attribution theory, moral philosophy, and social cognition provided a theoretical framework to understand individual blame determination as a precursor to understand systemic blame. Systemic blame is informed by complex systems theory and research on “no blame” cultures in a healthcare setting.

Interpretive description, supported by applied thematic analysis, provided the methodological framework for this qualitative study. The 17 senior leaders interviewed for this research study were selected through purposive sampling, and individually had an average 28 years of experience in healthcare. The semi-structured interviews were designed to gather experiences and stories that informed the participants’ perspectives on blame in the workplace.

Constant comparative thematic analysis of the data resulted in four main findings. First, blame is prevalent in the workplace. Second, blame begets blame through a vicious cycle of blame. In this cycle there is often unwarranted blame. Blame feels bad, which results in fear of blame and avoidance of blame. One way to avoid blame is to blame someone else. This positive reinforcing feedback loop of blame creates a culture of blame. Third, a culture of blame includes characteristics of risk aversion and mistrust. Risk aversion decreases innovation, and mistrust decreases transparent communication. Fourth, blame has an inverse relationship to accountability, where less blame may result in more accountability. These findings both confirm and contradict the current literature. The resulting conclusion is blame is not a game.

A Neuropsychological Perspective of Left Hemianopsias

Keith D. McGoldrick, Student, Psychology; Ashlee Oroczo, Student, Psychology; Sandra Viggiani; Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Alumna; Lawrence Dilks; Chelsi King; Adrian Julian; Kelly DeRoche

Purpose: Hemianopsia is a form of blindness in one half of the visual field. Hemianopsias are typically right or left and split along the vertical midline of the eye. The most common underlying cause is cerebral vascular accident, infection, brain tumor or some form of trauma, especially involvement in a motor vehicle accident. The term Homonymous is added if the visual loss is bilateral and on the same side of each eye. As the brain is counterlateral for vision the visual loss is opposite to the impaired area. Thus, insult to the right side of the brain or the right visual tract will cause a left fields and vise versa. Homonymous hemianopsias are more common than unilateral hemianopsias. This presentation will compare and contrast a bilateral and unilateral left hemianopsias and the subsequent sequella.

Method: Patient One: A 53-year-old female who was injured in a motor vehicle accident and later diagnosed with Cognitive Disorder secondary to Traumatic Brain Injury. She demonstrated a left homonymous hemianopsia, loss of global cognitive ability, mild impairment in attention, deficiency in recent visual and auditory memory, and motor apraxia. Preserved skills centered on tactile and auditory sensory abilities, expressive and receptive language, and higher order executive functions. Secondary issues revolved around depression and anxiety. The patient’s premorbid history was unremarkable.

Patient Two: An 80-year-old female who suffered a cerebral vascular accident at the age of 79. She demonstrated a left hemonianopsia in her right eye with the left eye being unencumbered. Her neuropsychological evaluation was significant for global cognitive decline, impairment in attention, deficiency in immediate and recent visual memory, poor visual analysis, color blindness (post CVA only). Her most significant loss was reading as she suffered word blindness (visual anomia) in this realm. Preserved abilities centered on auditory memory, expressive speech and left fine motor ability. The patient denied depression and anxiety and measures were negative. Her premorbid history was significant for a CVA occurring 20 years earlier.

Procedure: Both clients were evaluated on an outpatient basis. Each was evaluated in two four-hour sessions in a cool, quiet room by a licensed neuropsychologist and a certified assistant. Tests were administered and scored according to the publisher’s instructions. Protocols of administration were similar but not identical. No unusual circumstances occurred to contaminate the findings. The Protocols and results were reviewed with each client.

Client one experienced many more visual problems and was unable to complete a number of standardized tests. Her overall level of functioning however was judged to be better than client two.

Discussion: In considering the totality of the test data it should be recognized that the level of impairment of client two is greater than the impairment of client one with the exception of vision. It should also be evident that the array of impaired skills versus preserved skills in explaining overall presentation is more complex than simply noting that left the hemisphere manages right vision and motor abilities and vice versa. Multiple variables have been in play to construct the ultimate sequella. An analysis of vision reveals that client one has more visual impairment than just field deficits. There is clear evidence of color loss in client number two suggesting more occipital involvement than parietal. It is likely that client one had a more localized leason to the anterior parietal and right optic tract while client two experienced a more complex and evolving CVA encompassing a greater volume of tissue which affected more structures and functions. Client one enjoys a better prognosis. The limitations of this study stem from the differences in the ages of the participants and the underlying etiology; TBI vs. CVA. Future research might focus on combining neuropsychological assessment with MRI data.

Comorbid Cognitive Disorders in Adolescent Males in Residential Treatment: Prevalence Rates and Treatment Recommendations

Keith D. McGoldrick, Student, Psychology; Ashlee Oroczo, Student, Psychology; Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Alumna; Lawrence Dilks; Sandra Viggiani; Chelsi King; Adrian Julian; Kelly DeRoche

Objective: Adolescent males in residential treatment facilities often present with a combination of psychiatric and cognitive problems. When the presence of a psychiatric disorder is combined with a cognitive disorder treatment can be far more challenging, result in poor prognoses, and require continual need for treatment and services. Furthermore, psychotherapeutic approaches may require adaptation to attend to cognitive impairments. This combination of a psychiatric disorder and a cognitive disorder is defined as a comorbid cognitive disorder (CCD) (Bogacki & McGoldrick, 2014). This poster presents results from a pilot study to assess the CCD prevalence in a residential treatment facility and provide treatment recommendations.

Methods: Chart reviews of 25 adolescent males admitted to a residential treatment facility were reviewed for cognitive and educational functioning. All residents were court ordered for treatment, had at least one previous residential treatment facility admission, and diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder. Wechsler Adult Inelegance Tests, Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) and Wide Range Achievement Test, Fourth Edition (WRAT-4) scores were analyzed for CCD Criteria.

Results: The age range of males admitted to the locked residential unit ranged from 16 to 19 years old. Mean standard scores for the WAIS-IV were: FSIQ = 77, VCI = 80.4, PRI = 84.2, WMI = 78.9, and PSI = 77.9. WRAT-4 mean scores were: Word Reading = 87.5, Sentence Comprehension = 77.1, Spelling = 87.9, Math Computation = 78.4, and Reading Composite = 81.4.

Conclusions: Often treatment in residential facilities focuses on the psychiatric and behavioral disorders with little focus on the cognitive functioning. The results of this study suggest the prevalence of CCD in adolescent males in a residential treatment facility is high with 72% falling in the borderline range on the WAIS-IV FSIQ. Educationally, the majority held broad academic abilities at or below the fifth grade level: Word Reading = 55%, Sentence Comprehension = 55%, Spelling – 55%, and Math Computation = 70%. These results indicate that these adolescents in residential facilities need to have these comorbid conditions must be treated in unison. Treatment considerations will be discussed.