Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sexual Behavior and Quality of Life in Persons with Schizophrenia in an Outpatient Population

Denise Marie Stephens, Fielding's School of Psychology

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between sexual behavior and quality of life (QOL) within a sample of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.  Subjects were recruited from mental health clinics in Southern California.  They include 102 male and female outpatients between 18 and 65 years of age with a clinical diagnosis of schizophrenia, which was confirmed through review of medical records.  Demographic variables including gender, ethnicity, sexual behavior, and QOL were assessed. The Arizona Sexual Experiences Scale Total Score (ASEX) and the Changes in Sexual Functioning Questionnaire-14 Total Score (CSFQ-14) were used to predict QOL, represented by the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire-Short Form Total Score (Q-LES-Q-SF).  Multiple regression analysis examined the three hypotheses.  Sexual behavior was found to have a predictive effect on the QOL in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Limitations that may have influenced the findings include the use of self-report measures and the issue of sexual behavior being a sensitive and personal subject matter for individuals to report.  Implications and recommendations for future research are identified to further examine the needs of the targeted population.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Sexual Behavior, Quality of Life

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Influence of Religion on Bullying Behaviors

Jolyn JB DePriest, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

The purpose of this research is to explore the role of religion in the discrimination and bullying of LGBT individuals and their lived experiences. Bullying behaviors have escalated in schools, workplaces, and houses of worship, particularly against members of the LGBT community. Suicides among victims of bullying have become commonplace. Programs and projects to explore the religious influence are scarce or ignored. The foundation of this research was based on a grounded theory design through semi-structured qualitative interviews. A total of 26 LGBT individuals, 13 males and 13 females, shared their perspective on the place religion holds in their lives relating to struggles and experiences. The participants experienced bullying directly and indirectly as a result of religious beliefs and its’ influence in the workplace, family, place of worship, and school setting. They shared the culminating life decisions made to compensate for the lived experience of isolation, and judgment stemming from their sexual orientation. The data revealed a connection between religious doctrines fueling discrimination sanctioning bullying behavior and LGBT dissociation to organized religion and association with spirituality.

Key Words: bullying, bullycide, rankism, religion, LGBT.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Intersecting Identities of Individuals in the Workplace: A Phenomenological Study of the Lived Experiences

Annette John-Baptiste, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

Diversity literature has often neglected analysis of how individuals with intersecting identities experience work omitting within-group differences in their diversity and inclusion efforts. This study begins to document the paradoxical experiences of people of color with multiple intersecting identities in the workplace. All seven participants were white-collar professionals possessing a salient feature or characteristic that set them apart from the dominant White male group and had membership in at least one subordinate historically marginalized or stigmatized social identity group. This qualitative phenomenological study employed the intersectionality framework to gain insight into the experiences of participants’ intersecting identities in the workplace. Four themes emerged: microaggressions, emotions, coping mechanisms, and unequal access. Coping mechanism encompassing assimilation, suppression of social identity categories, and safe spaces as subsections, manifested as the central reason particpants felt partially included.

Results provide insight into within-group diversity of intersecting identities based on race/ethnicity, gender, religious affiliation, and sexual orientation and the paradoxical experience of being marginalized and having privilege.  Moreover shared experiences across social identity groups revealed new findings of similar experiences among Black gay men and Black women being hypersexualized and experiences around the “glass ceiling” phenomenon being much lower than previously noted in White women.  Additionally, insights about the dichotomies around being bilingual were uncovered identifying another gap in literature.

By excavating the unique voices of participants situated at the intersections of multiple social identities, their realities were illuminated. Because intersectionality investigates the simultaneous experiences of multiple intersecting identities and how power is maintained and recreated in the workplace it can uncover many of the inequalities among men and women that must be dealt with and have yet to be discovered.

Key Words: multiple identities, intersectionality, microaggressions, inclusion, diversity

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Adult Child's Lived Experience In a Difficult Offspring-Parent Relationship

Katty Coffron, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

This study examines the experiences of 12 adult children who have a difficult relationship with their parent. To be included in the study, relationship difficulties were required to be described as long-term, substantial, and intractable. This study adds to the adult attachment literature related to respect to sub-optimal attachment between mid-life adult children and their parents.

Solidarity, ambivalence, and attachment theoretical perspectives informed this study. Participants were asked to discuss how they perceive and experience the difficulties in the adulthood relationship with their parent, the choices they have made with respect to closeness and distance in the relationship, and how at peace they are with their choices in the relationship.

The researcher used semi-structured interview techniques, and the transcript analysis was performed with a primary goal of ensuring that the findings stayed close to the participants’ words. Thematic analysis techniques were used to identify themes across participant interviews.

With respect to difficulties, participants spoke about (a) specific difficult parental behaviors (critical/overbearing, rejecting, emotionally labile, and emotionally unavailable); (b) unmet attachment needs; (c) attachment injuries; and (d) co-creation of problems. With respect to coping, participants spoke about (a) attempting to talk to the parent about difficulties; (b) using physical and emotional distance to cope; and (c) learning to accept the self and the parent.

Findings provide strong evidence that most participants remained attached to their parent in adulthood, despite the difficult relationship. Clinical implications and opportunities for future research are offered.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Impact of Executive Coaching on Small Businesses and Franchisees

Steven Thomas Whiteside, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

The question for this research was: Does executive coaching impact the success of franchisees? Six volunteer franchisees participated in 3-month coaching engagements, where different coaching methods and philosophies were utilized, such as co-active, facilitative, cognitive-behavioral, leadership, and positive as well as other executive coaching methods from which it was hoped franchisees would benefit.

An independent professional coach interviewed the participants at the end of six sessions. Through narrative analysis and a qualitative approach, the participants’ experiences of being coached were reviewed in depth to discover if they found the coaching experience successful.

The outcome of the research showed that overwhelmingly, the participants found the executive coaching experience to be a positive one. Four main findings were revealed: (a) coachees were the ones who decided if the coaching was successful or not for them, (b) participants had not set high expectations for their coaching experience, (c) participants identified six main categories of learning, and (d) trust between coach and coachee was built at the first coaching session.

Participants identified the most significant competencies they had learned communication, time management, confidence building, how to clear their mind, and business development. Six conclusions were developed to help coaches in their future work with franchisees and small businesses: (a) previous background of a coach is important for a successful coaching engagement; (b) success is achieved through meeting goals, facilitating change, and learning; (c) trust between the coach and coachee is a necessity; (d) multiple factors influence future hiring of a coach; (e) coaching can enhance an inner understanding through learning and change; and (f) through developing their own emotional intelligence and self-awareness skills, franchisees will be more able to resolve issues with their franchisors.

Lastly, I developed a theory of the 7 Cs, which reflects the seven large bodies of knowledge that can be worked on for a lifetime and from which all franchisees can benefit: create trust, confidence building, clear and effective communication, concentrated time management, continuous learning, coordinated business development, and clear the mind. To make sure no harm came to the participants, Fielding Graduate University’s research ethics policy was strictly followed.

Key words: co-active coaching, cognitive-behavioral coaching, leadership coaching, positive coaching, executive coaching, communication, time management, confidence building, franchisee, franchisor, franchise, business development

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Conversations that Matter Concerning the Career Success of Young Adult African American Women

Anita L. Polite-Wilson, Fielding's School of Human & Organizational Development

The intent of this exploratory qualitative study, using large-group process as action research, was to introduce young adult African American women to concepts related to career success through the process of a facilitated learning conversation.

The dialogue process chosen was that of The World Café. It was used to discuss the following research question: “What knowledge, skills, and attitudes do young adult African American women need in order to prepare themselves for career success?”

Young adult African American women between the ages of 26 to 35 and African American women ages 46 and older participated in the study together. By co-creating knowledge about what constituted career success, the group collectively determined that the most important element to career success is a career-oriented attitude in young adult African American women.

This study demonstrated that people who feel connected through joint dialogue are more willing to embark on a path of joint discovery that facilitates the revelation of deep patterns, beliefs, and perhaps action. The uniqueness of The World Café method is that it is designed to build relationships at the table. This notion underscores the importance of inviting young adult African American women to cultivate transformative relationships situated within the safety of a mentoring community. Such an environment encourages freedom of thought and experimentation with the developmental process of meaning making crucial for young adults.

These results have shown that engaging different generations of African American women to discuss elements of career success can provide insights for all participants.

African American Women, Young Adult Development, Mentoring Communities, Transformative Relationships, Large-Group Process as Action Research, The World Café, Career Success Factors, Career-Oriented Knowledge, Career-Oriented Skills, Career-Oriented Attitudes

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Multicultural Competence in Psychology Graduate Trainees

Vijaya Siddalingappa, Fielding's School of Psychology

The rationale for addressing diversity competency in trainees is due to the diversification of minority population the U. S. It is important to study multicultural counseling competence (MCC) due to the increase in ethnic minority population. As future psychologists, psychology graduate trainees need to develop MCC to address the low utilization rates of mental health services by Asian Americans. Multicultural research and literature emphasizes the importance of knowledge and awareness of the client’s worldviews in increasing multicultural counseling competency in therapists, and psychology trainees. It has been well documented that a competent counselor is one who not only understands his or her worldview, but also takes an active stance in understanding the worldview of the client.

This study addressed the call for increased multicultural competence in relation to worldviews of individualism-collectivism in general, and more specifically whether trainees’ endorsement of Collectivism worldview (most important to Asian Americans) will impact their self-perceived multicultural counseling competence with Asian American clients.

Results indicate that endorsement of collectivism worldview was significantly related to their self-perceived multicultural counseling competence.

Key words: multicultural counseling; perceived multicultural counseling competency; collectivism worldview.