Monday, October 31, 2011

Fielding graduate Jane Horan publishes "I Wish I'd Known That Earlier in My Career: the power of positive workplace politics"

I Wish I'd Known That Earlier in My Career: the power of positive workplace politics -- Jane Horan. Published by John Wiley & Sons this month in Singapore and Hong Kong, next month in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and on Amazon.

Political Savvy is an undervalued leadership skill, always in demand but rarely taught. Dispelling the myth that organizational politics is negative, the author takes a different approach, addressing the positive side of workplace politics and providing new ways to embrace corporate politics in order to achieve organizational and career success.

It is NOT about telling people to start their own businesses, but rather how to stay in the company, understand how to work the system more strategically, better understand power bases and corporate conversation more thoroughly. Neither organizations nor schools teach savvy, and few managers learn the necessary skills until it is too late.

The book highlights perception management, personal brand management, remaining visible and strategic power shifts in leadership and business transitions. It provides step by step approaches to politics and recognizing barriers in selling ideas or getting promoted.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fielding graduate Josette Luvmour publishes article in ENCOUNTER: Education for Meaning and Social Justice

Education and the Consciousness of the Developing Child. ENCOUNTER: Education for Meaning and Social Justice Winter, 2011 (Vol. 24, No. 4) -- Josette Luvmour, PhD

Awareness of the consciousness of the developing child is the focus of a new educational vision. In celebrating 60 years of holistic education expressions, this article calls for conscious learning communities that place the consciousness of the whole-child as a primary focus. While considering ideas from consciousness studies, child development, holistic education, and adult development, the author argues that nurturing the child’s consciousness contributes to the adult’s development as educator. The design of an emerging new learning community is reviewed as an example of a network of relationships that focus on the emergence of consciousness in children and their educators and parents with implications for society as a whole.

Keywords: adult development, child development, emergent consciousness, holistic education, relationship model

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mary Jo Ann DeSio completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

The Impact of Special Education Litigation Upon the Key Factors of Job Satisfaction, Level of Stress, and Self-Esteem that Lead to Teacher Attrition and Retention -- Mary Jo Ann DeSio

Mary Jo is an adjunct faculty member at the University of LaVerne.

This research study reveals the stories of 19 special educators who participated in, or were summoned to testify, in one of the forms of special education litigation in the state of California. For most participants, their involvement was in a due process hearing conducted by the Office of Administrative Hearings under contract with the California Department of Education. There is very little information in the literature relative to the social-emotional effect upon special education personnel preparing for and testifying in a due process hearing.

The possibility of being involved in a due process hearing or lawsuit is an ongoing concern that lurks in the subconscious of teachers and administrators (Johnson & Duffett, 2003). Furthermore, "An unwarranted charge and/or the prospect of dealing with litigation can create enormous anxiety and anguish, sometimes enough to derail a career" (p. 3). The purpose of this research study was to explore specific experiences of special educators that may have an effect upon their morale, self-esteem, and stress levels resulting in burnout or decisions to leave the field. Of particular focus was the effect of special education litigation as a catalyst to attrition and retention in special education. This study attempts to fill a large void in a little studied area of special education research.

The study involved the collection of qualitative data using techniques of ethnographic inquiry. Creswell (2003) suggested that when researchers carry out qualitative research to explore a problem or issue that requires detailed or in-depth understanding, direct communication with the individuals who have lived the experience provides the most valid data. The research participants agreed to a one-on-one interview in which they responded to six questions relative to their perceptions about the litigation, and the ways in which they were affected by the experience. A cross-case analysis revealed categories and themes that emerged from the data. The findings indicated special educators are affected by stress and burnout in ways that lead to lack of commitment to the field of special education.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fielding student Roxanne Moore presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Exploring the Relationship between Food Satiety and Eating Environment to Body Mass Index -- Roxanne Moore, Student, School of Psychology

Food satiety as calculated by its Fullness FactorTM (FF) had a significant negative correlation with Body Mass Index (BMI). The eating environment as defined by the various activities associated with eating (AA) showed no significant correlation with BMI.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fielding graduate Jennifer Ruff publishes chapter in Adversity, Healing, and the Development and Practice of a Woman Psychologist

Ruff, J. (2011). Adversity, Healing, and the Development and Practice of a Woman Psychologist. In L. Comas-Diaz & M. B. Weiner (Eds.). Women Psychotherapists: Journeys in healing. New York: Jason Aronson.

This book describes the real-life journeys of women psychotherapists: why each woman chose this profession and what she learned about others; and most importantly, about herself in this choice. Most critically, these women now share how they have integrated this wisdom into their everyday lives. While psychotherapists may also be authors, few write books about their journeys in the profession. Women Psychotherapists: Journeys in Healing is one of those rare books. Each contributor invites her readers onto the road traveled by the woman who listens to others needing her help and guides them into living a more joyous, successful life, even as she moves towards greater fulfillment in her own life.

This book reveals what makes a woman become a psychotherapist, the process of conducting psychotherapy from a female perspective, and the journey from being a woman psychotherapist to becoming a female healer. Filled with tales of wisdom, resilience, and hope, this anthology is an essential source for women psychotherapists, trainees in psychotherapy, and all those women who wish to become healers -- Melba Vasquez, PhD,. American Psychological Association President, 2011

Review: "This treasure provides unique and invaluable views into the life experiences of a very diverse group of experienced women psychotherapists. The stunningly good anthology provides insights about how these amazing women's life circumstances contributed to their development. Mental health professionals and consumers, both women and men alike, will identify and resonate with the encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring stories of struggles and triumphs." -- Melba Vasquez, PhD, American Psychological Association President, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fielding students Stephanie Steinman, Edward Tomaich, and faculty member Marilyn Freimuth present at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Differences in Identifying Substance Use Disorders in Adolescents and Adults by Mental Health Providers -- Stephanie Steinman, MS, LPC, CSAC, Student, School of Psychology, Edward Tomaich, MA, LPC, Student, School of Psychology and Marilyn Freimuth, PhD, Faculty, School of Psychology

Out of 111 mental health providers who reported that they routinely address alcohol and drug use with patients, only 42.4% gave a possible diagnosis of a substance use disorder (SUD) after reading a vignette describing an adolescent experiencing symptoms of a substance use disorder (SUD) compared to 12.6% who offered a diagnosis for an adult experiencing symptoms of an SUD. This poster examines possible reasons as to why mental health providers are more likely to consider an SUD diagnosis in adolescents and offers recommendations for providers.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fielding student Shirley Mayton will present at the 2nd Global Conference of The Value of Work

Emotions and Organizations: What is Healthy? -- Shirley M. Mayton

To be presented at the 2nd Global Conference of The Value of Work held in Prague, Czech Republic, Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, 2011.

My submission was based on a KA 703 Depth paper completed with David Blake-Willis and involves the exploration of the foundational epistemological and cultural paradigms that can result in the unhealthy and harmful suppression and marginalization of authentic emotional expression in the Western workplace. The paper explores alternative models and ways of organizing that could enable incorporating healthy and resilient emotional processes at work. I will be presenting virtually, and the paper will be published in the post-conference proceedings. - Shirley M. Mayton

Details about the conference are available at the conference website -

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fielding faculty member Jeff Frakes publishes article in The Systems Thinker

A New Path to Understanding Systems Thinking.  The Systems Thinker, Volume 22, Number 8 Octoberr 2011. 2011 PEGASUS 2 COMMUNICATIONS, INC. -- Jeff Frakes

This article describes a study conducted utilizing the MBTI to assess the relationship between the four main dimensions of the MBTI and 17 systems thinking practices. The article also provides suggested practices and tools to enhance systems thinking.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fielding faculty members David Willis and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu present at Summer Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Transcultural Japan - At the Borderlands of Race, Gender, and Identity -- David Blake Willis, PhD, Faculty, School of Human and Organizational Development and Stephen Murphy-Shigematsu, EdD, Faculty, School of Human and Organizational Development

"Transcultural Japan: At the borderlands of race, gender, and identity" is a critical examination of the frontiers of culture, of mixed and pure, of becoming and being Other in Japan, of the multiple intersections of identities (cultural, class, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.) and the narratives and conversations about these identities in Japanese urban settings. We talk about the variety of diversity in Japan from the inside, especially the ways in which the voices of difference in the urban megacity of Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto open up challenges to the dominant orthodoxy about Japan, revealing an extraordinarily complex new society in sharp contrast to commonly believed images of what is Japan and Japanese society.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fielding students Jennifer Oeding, JoAnn West, Kevin Weatherly, and faculty member Rae Newton present at Summer Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Sexual Behavior Among Child Witnesses to Intimate Partner Violence -- Jennifer Oeding, MA, Student, School of Psychology, JoAnn West, MA, Student, School of Psychology, Kevin Weatherly, MA, Student, School of Psychology and Rae Newton, PhD, Faculty, School of Psychology

Data taken from the Longitudinal Studies on Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN) project were analyzed to examine whether witnessing intimate partner violence (IPV) significantly affected sexual behaviors at age twelve, and whether such effects would be moderated by depression. This study built on existing bodies of research in three domains: the impact of witnessing IPV on children, the development of depression during childhood, and the sexual behavior of children (up to and including age 12). Research has explored the connections between these variables, but no single study has examined the relationship among the three variables.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fielding student Elsie Uffelmann presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Predicting Recovery in Alcohol-dependent Individuals with Primary Depression: Focus on Craving and Simple Carbohydrate Consumption -- Elsie Uffelmann, Student, School of Psychology

Psychobiological variables were the main focus of this study on alcohol recovery and relapse in a subgroup of alcohol-dependent individuals (ADs) who were depressed before becoming addicted. Data gleaned from questionnaires and food logs indicated that alcohol craving predicted shorter recovery time among six variables studied. Relapses correlated positively with sugar consumption and depression, and sweet craving correlated positively with depression. Responses to open-ended questions, categorized by themes, revealed a sharp increase in sugar consumption in early recovery and that the same three affects -- sadness, fear, and anger -- presaged the consumption of both alcohol and sugar. Results provided support for the self-medication hypothesis (SMH) (Khantzian & Albanese, 2008) and suggested that alcohol craving and negative affect should be monitored and managed during treatment.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fielding faculty member Pamela Rutledge presents at eComm 2011

Emerging Communications Conference 2011
How Emerging Technologies are Increasing Intrinsic Motivation -- Pamela Rutledge

What do posting a YouTube video, texting a donation to the Red Cross, creating a Facebook profile or searching for a Halo 2 cheat have in common? They are self-motivated actions that provide immediate feedback and satisfy a basic human need to have an impact on the environment.

Every day people engage with the information they want, need, or enjoy based on the belief that they are able to get it and use it. By examining this simple assumption, we can understand how it has a profound psychological impact by shifting the locus of control to the user.

Not only does this redefine social contracts at all levels, it radically changes an individual's sense of competence, autonomy and relatedness, the critical factors that facilitate intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is the first step in the upward spiral that leads to engagement, flow, resilience, and creativity.

I want to share my excitement about the psychological potential of emerging technologies with the audience at eComm. Through thoughtful design, they can ignite a revolution in innovation, creativity, and learning.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fielding graduate Jerry Wellman publishes Improving Project Performance: Eight Habits of Successful Project Teams

Improving Project Performance: Eight Habits of Successful Project Teams, Palgrave Macmillan, Nov. 2011 -- Jerry L. Wellman

Jerry L. Wellman is a consultant and an assistant professor at Midway College teaching in their MBA program. For the past two years he has worked with GE Aviation Systems in the U.S. and Europe to improve their project management training. Prior to his retirement from Honeywell, Wellman was Vice President of a business unit within Honeywell International. He is also certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Management Professional and is a Six Sigma Blackbelt. He holds a BSEE, an MBA, an MA in Human and Organizational Development, and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems.

The approach to project management is too often formulaic, describing what should be done and how to do it, but not adequately describing why those actions are important. Improving Project Performance outlines the what and how of project management, emphasizing why actions matter, the overall intention of the formulaic steps, and the strengths or weakness of various tools and techniques. Successful project teams must understand and focus intently on what Wellman describes as the eight essential habits of successful project teams:

-Nurture a shared vision of what is to be accomplished
-Translate that vision into a coherent set of performance specifications
-Have an integrated plan for accomplishing the purpose
-Measure their performance against the plan and their progress toward the requirements
-Allow for uncertainty
-Manage change
-Continually act to influence their future

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fielding graduate Holly McKinzie Beene wins Fulbright to lecture in Bacau, Romania.

Fulbright Scholar, Spring 2012, for lecturing at Vasile Alecsandri University of Bacau, Romania -- Holly McKinzie Beene

The project focus is intercultural communication theory and communication competence. The centerpiece of the project is a special topics course "Communication, Culture, and Globalization" for graduate students studying in either (a) Anglophone Cultures & Communication Practices or (b) English & Discursive Practices. Collateral activities include establishing an American Culture Club and facilitating Digital Storytelling workshops. 

The Department has requested special attention to (a) imagology, the development of national stereotypes; and (b) glocalization, the integration of local and global forces through a heightened understanding of cultural components.  Glocalization, originally applied to business and manufacturing processes, is also of interest in terms of various "literacies." Brooks & Normore (2010) expand on educational components and nine domains leading to glocal competence: political literacy, economic literacy, cultural literacy, moral literacy, pedagogical literacy, information literacy, organizational literacy, spiritual and religious literacy, and temporal literacy. [Brooks, Jeffrey S. and Anthony H. Normore. Educational Leadership and Globalization: Literacy for a Glocal Perspective. Educational Policy 24.1 (2010): 52-82.]

Monday, October 10, 2011

Katherine Weber completes dissertation in the School of Educational Leadership and Change

Gender and Grade Level Differences in Interest, Perceived Personal Capacity, and Involvement in Technology and Engineering-Related Activities -- Katherine Weber

Katherine Weber is a Lead Writer for the Children's Teaching Materials of the New Apostolic Church International. She is also a gender equity specialist in STEM fields, a state facilitator for the STEM Equity Pipeline Project (, and the lead contact for the PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project.

Society has become increasingly technological, demanding that all citizens have a level of technological literacy. In order for this to occur, both males and females must participate in technology-related activities to achieve an adequate level of technological literacy. Despite individual and organizational efforts, females continue to be underrepresented in STEM-related occupations. This is especially true in many engineering-related fields. Jolly, Campbell and Perlman (2004) devised the Engagement, Capacity, and Continuity (ECC) Trilogy. With each factor of the trilogy in place, Jolly et al. found that female representation increased in STEM. The purpose of this study was to identify whether Jolly, Campbell, and Perlman’s (2004) Engagement, Capacity, and Continuity Trilogy could be utilized by teachers in technology and engineering program settings to examine their students’ interest (engagement), perceived personal capacity (capacity), as well as participation in technology and engineering-related activities (continuity). This descriptive study surveyed 556 female and male middle school and high school students enrolled in Technology and Engineering classes. The results of this study revealed that when students indicated a high interest and a high perceived personal capacity, and when they participated in technology and engineering-related activities, they also indicated an interest in pursuing a career in engineering. The results also revealed that the male students continued to be encouraged by technology and engineering teachers, parents, and counselors to pursue a career in engineering more than female students. This startling finding should draw some concern; both males and females should be equally encouraged to consider engineering as a career. Technology and engineering teachers should implement activities that appeal to both males and females. Parents should encourage their daughters to participate in informal learning opportunities to nurture their daughters’ interest in STEM-related areas. Counselors should gain an awareness of the scope and diversity of different engineering fields so they can advise both male and female students to consider careers in engineering. In order for the United States to be competitive and innovative at the global level, female representation and contributions in STEM fields must increase.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fielding students, graduates, and faculty members collaborate on The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: From Theory to Practice

The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: From Theory to Practice

Editors and contributing authors Leni Wildflower, PhD, PCC and Diane Brennan, MBA, MCC are leading consultants, educators and coach practitioners.

Leni envisioned and launched Fielding Graduate University’s evidence based coaching program. Diane took on leadership roles in the International Coach Federation, serving as ICF global president in 2008.

Janet Baldwin Anderson, PhD
Jacqueline Binkert, PhD
Diane Brennan, MBA, MCC
Katrina Burrus, PhD, MCC
Mary Ann Burke, PhD
Mary Wayne Bush, EdD
Francine Campone, EdD, MCC
Dian Christian, MBA, MSOD, PCC
Ann L Clancy, PhD
David Clutterbuck
Connie Corley, MSW, PhD
David B Drake, PhD
Sherry Harsch-Porter, BSBA, MA
Laura Hauser, MA, PCC
Kate Hefferon, PhD
Tony Latimer, MCC
John Leary-Joyce, MA
David Megginson, PhD
Ed Modell, JD, PCC
Mary M Nash, PhD, PCC
Cinnie Noble, LLM, ACC, CMed
Kathy Norwood, Med, PCC
Linda J Page, PhD
Jonathan Passmore, PhD
Jenny Rogers
Katrina Rogers, PhD
Jennifer Sellers, PCC
Irene F Stein, PhD
Reinhard Stelter, PhD
Karen Tweedie, PCC
ChloƩ Tong, MSc
Terrie Lupberger, MCC
Leni Wildflower, PhD, PCC
Carol Wilson

From the Preface:
As coaches we have responsibilities: to master the skills of our trade, to work on the issues in ourselves that might obstruct or distort our dealings with clients, to be ethical, to acknowledge limitations and recognize boundaries, to justify the trust clients put in us. We also have a responsibility to understand the intellectual underpinnings of our fledgling profession.

Some of us have an instinctive ability to draw people toward greater insight; some of us have to work at it. But we all need to understand what we do when we coach, to recognize that coaching has not sprung fully formed from the protocols of our coaching schools or the minds of individuals, however dynamic and innovative, but has grown from a rich tilth of wisdom and study.

Some of this knowledge is the direct history of coaching. Much of it could be thought of as coaching’s prehistory—ideas developed in entirely independent fields before coaching in its modern sense was conceived of. But far from dry or dutiful, these explorations have the power to continually reignite our sense of coaching as a living practice.

In each of the chapters that follow there is a progression from theory to application, studying first a model or a set of findings in the context of a particular discipline and then identifying the implications for the practicing coach. There is a mind‐opening diversity in this, but also a striking unanimity. Coaching may derive from the confluence of many rivers, but it flows with its own powerful current.

“Anyone who is serious about improving the quality of coaching will find The Handbook an
invaluable resource that reflects the breadth and richness of the growing evidence‐based
approach to coaching practice.”

For more information on publications by members of the Fielding research community, visit

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fielding graduate Seval R. Aksu completes dissertation in the School of Psychology

Acculturation Experiences and Personality Characteristics among Turkish Americans -- Seval R. Aksu

Seval Aksu is currently working as a Psychotherapist and Postdoctoral Intern at Community Mental Health Council, Mountain View, CA.

This study investigated how the two dimensions (heritage culture and mainstream culture identification) and four strategies (integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization) of acculturation are associated with personality and mental health of first-generation Turkish Americans, people who were born in Turkey and immigrated to the United States. To measure personality and psychopathology, MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF RC scales were used. This study was significant for employing a newer (i.e., bidimensional) conceptualization of acculturation, RC scales (purer and psychometrically more appealing versions of the original clinical scales), on a Turkish American community sample. Results indicated that lower mainstream-culture identification was associated with higher scores on Demoralization (RCd), Somatic Complaints (RC1), Low Positive Emotions (RC2), Cynicism (RC3), and Dysfunctional Negative Emotions (RC7) scales; and lower heritage-culture identification was associated with higher scores on Demoralization (RCd), Cynicism (RC3), and Antisocial Behavior (RC4) scales to the direction of psychopathology. The findings of this study are consistent with previous studies that found different levels of acculturation to have differential impact on MMPI-2/MMPI-2-RF performance, and studies that found higher identification with both mainstream culture and heritage culture to be associated with more favorable mental health outcomes. Findings provided support for the premise that both mainstream and heritage cultures simultaneously offer benefits in cross-cultural living. In addition, findings of the study showed support for the bidimensional model of acculturation and challenged unidimentional model of acculturation as most participants demonstrated high identification with both mainstream and heritage cultures. In addition, while there was a significant and positive association between length of residence and mainstream culture identification (r =.25, p < .01), there was an extremely small and statistically insignificant association between length of residence and heritage culture.

Key Words: MMPI-2-RF, MMPI-2, RC scales, acculturation, acculturation strategies, bidimensional model of acculturation, unidimensional model of acculturation, Turkish Americans, immigration, mental health.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fielding graduate Hamdy Youssef presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

The Role Of Globalization And Institution In Shaping Local Knowledge In The National Awards For Excellence Program In Egypt -- Hamdy Youssef, PhD, Alumnus (2007), School of Human and Organizational Development

The purpose of this research is to study the National Awards for Excellence (NAFE) program in Egypt which was adopted from what is known in the USA as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Program. I extended the current stock of knowledge by exploring multiple theoretical accounts and building on Michael Burawoy’s (1998) extended case method in which I used ethnographic interviews and observation as the primary source of data collection.

First, I developed an understanding of how a national program in a developing country can adopt Western business practices in response to the challenge of globalization while at the same time; translate these practices into the national culture of its own. Second, I explored the dynamics within institutional settings that impact, foster or constrain the NAFE program.

The research findings contribute to theory development in two areas: first, how legitimacy building is theorized from an institutional perspective; and second, the impact of micro-level routinization on knowledge creation and organizational learning. The findings also explore the relationship between theory and practice (or structure and action), thus raising questions about relations between the two.

Like any exploratory research, I end with more questions than answers that may help understand the emergent institutional qualities of new practices. I argue that there is a need for more research to understand institutions by using multiple levels of analysis and drawing on broader disciplines and fields; and how connecting institutions at one level may create new institutions at another. In particular, further research using other theoretical frameworks such as social network, social capital, power relations, or evolutionary economics could help understand the complex nature of institutions.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fielding graduate Wendy Tilton presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Adult Professional Development: Can Brain-Based Teaching Strategies Increase Learning Effectiveness? -- Wendy Tilton, Student, School of Educational Leadership and Change

Brain-based teaching strategies, compared to facilitative student-centered teaching strategies, were employed with 62 real estate professionals in a quasi-mixed-methods study. Participants attended a 2-day proprietary real estate continuing education course.

Both the experimental and control groups received the same facilitative instruction, as required by the course provider. The experimental group received additional brain-based teaching interventions. Quantitative analysis using independent samples t tests revealed no differences between scores for the groups; however, a repeated-measures t test revealed improved scores from the pretest to the posttest for both groups.

Results of analyses of covariance indicated no differences between the groups. Demographic and lifestyle characteristics of participants showed no significant differences between the groups. Pearson correlations revealed no relationship between test scores and lifestyle characteristics. Post-course ratings and course and instructor evaluations revealed no differences between the groups. Post-course interviews with participants revealed the instructor’s influence on the learning experience and that the participants reported employing the new knowledge in their practice. It was concluded that the additional brain-based teaching interventions had no significant effect on participant outcomes; however, student-centered teaching techniques did result in significant learning.

For more information on research poster sessions at Fielding, visit 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fielding graduate Darlene Wheeler presents at National Session 2011

Fielding Graduate University
Research Poster Session at National Session 2011
Alexandria, VA

Digit Span with a Linguistically Diverse Latina/Latino Population: A Cross-Language Study -- Darlene Wheeler, PhD, Alumna (2010), School of Psychology

Variance in language is an important characteristic of the substantial Hispanic population residing in the United States. Insufficient consideration of that language diversity may bias clinical assessment and confound research. Cross-disciplinary research literature indicates there are group differences in performance on auditory digit span tasks based on language of administration (English > Spanish), perhaps, secondary to the increased number of syllables for digit words in Spanish over English – one component of phonological loop theory of working memory. This study included examination of how the language of administration (English or Spanish) of the Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (NAB) Digits Forward/Digits Backward Test affected performance for 5 language groups using the Bilingual Dominance Scale (Dunn & Fox Tree, 2009) to weight 3 bilingual groups. Further, whether adapting digit span tasks by developing alternative items more comparable in word length would reduce or eliminate the mean differences in performance among groups was explored. Study participants (N=74) were volunteers recruited from community settings. A repeated measures design using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), statistically controlling for education, was employed to compare performance on the NAB versus adapted digit span tasks. Results were mixed with language and task types (NAB/adapted, digits forward/backward) affecting performance and interacting divergently. Significant main effects were found for language (English > Spanish) on digits forward and for education (more > less) on digits backward tasks. Mean group differences persisted on adapted digits forward and backward measures although they were reduced in the adapted condition and there was no significant difference between English and Spanish on the backward adapted measure. Insufficient power due, in part, to insufficient subgroup sample size; and the effect of repetition inhibition on adapted tasks may have contributed to this result. Language dominance, highly correlated with length of education in U.S., affects performance on regular digit span tasks (forward and backward) for bilingual groups (English-weighted and Balanced > Spanish-weighted) . Study participants reported using various sensory modalities and strategies to aid in digit recall. Comparison to English normative samples of scores on digit span tasks administered in Spanish is inappropriate. Further, when administered in English to those who are of indeterminate extent bilingual, any comparison should be made only with caution.