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    The Association Between Student-Teacher Relationship Quality and Exclusionary Discipline
    (2022-12) Mellerski, Renae; Daly, Bradley; Ostrum-Alongi, Erin; Dudley, Melissa
    Exclusionary discipline practices routinely exclude students from the academic environment through means such as office discipline referrals, suspension, and expulsion. These strategies, in turn, initiate student involvement in the School to Prison Pipeline (STPP). This form of discipline also affects minoritized students disproportionately. Potential points of intervention and prevention of the STPP such as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and Restorative Practice have been discussed by researchers, but student-teacher relationships have not. Student-teacher relationships may be significantly related to exclusionary discipline and thus be a possible point of intervention for educational professionals. The current study investigated the association between student-teacher relationship quality and exclusionary discipline in the form of office discipline referrals (ODR), as well as the role of student minoritized status. Elementary teachers from a suburban school district provided data regarding student-teacher relationship quality, ODRs, and special education classification. Results indicated that student-teacher relationship quality, especially student-teacher conflict, is significantly related to the risk of receiving an ODR. Special education classification was not a significant moderator of these variables. Implications for practice and limitations are discussed.
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    Factors influencing allies’ roles within schools: knowledge, attitudes, and barriers
    (2022-05) Church, Allyson Marie; Burch, Andrea; Daly, Brad; Johnson, Beth
    The current study sought to examine factors influencing LGBTQ allies’ roles within middle and high schools. This was an expansion upon Swanson and Gettinger’s (2016) study by using their Providing Services & Supports for LGBT Youth: Teacher Assessment Survey to further examine LGBTQ-supportive school staff, or allies. First, the association between demographic characteristics and allyship was investigated. Then, since this measure has not been used much in research and is one of the only tools available to survey this population of allies to LGBTQ youth, the validity and reliability of the measure were assessed. Lastly, a path analysis was used to determine the relationship between the subscales of the Providing Services & Supports for LGBT Youth: Teacher Assessment Survey, specifically knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and barriers. Briefly, it was hypothesized that certain demographics would be associated with a higher degree of allyship, the Providing Services & Supports for LGBT Youth: Teacher Assessment Survey would be supported as a valid and reliable measure to be used in future research, and there would be relationships between knowledge and behaviors, and attitudes and behaviors, with both relationships being mediated by barriers. Results indicated limited support for the predictability of demographic characteristics on allyship. Additionally, results from the current sample indicated poor reliability and validity support for this measure, particularly with the knowledge and attitudes scales, likely suggesting these constructs are not measured appropriately by the items that make up each scale. Lastly, knowledge was not found to be a significant predictor of behaviors, whereas attitudes was found to be a significant predictor of behaviors. These relationships were both mediated by barriers.
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    The relationship between teachers’ cultural competence and referrals for multitiered system of supports among racial/ethnic minority students
    (2022) Ferguson, Shanay; Atlas, Jana; Burch, Andrea; Porter, Karen
    The current study examined the relationship between teachers’ cultural competence and Multitiered System of Supports (MTSS) referrals for students belonging to racial/ethnic minority groups. Teachers serving grades kindergarten through five in two schools in a large, urban school district in Connecticut participated in the study. MTSS referrals were examined across three academic years. The MTSS framework addresses both academic and behavioral concerns; both types of referrals were addressed in this study. Cultural competence was measured in two ways: cultural competence training and a self-report questionnaire. The results indicated no significant relationships between teachers’ cultural competence training experiences and MTSS referrals, teachers’ cultural competence and MTSS referrals, and teachers’ cultural competence and the timing of MTSS referrals within the academic year. However, limitations were discussed, including barriers in methodology (i.e., measuring cultural competence) and the small sample size. Additionally, areas for further research were identified, especially as it relates to the MTSS framework, teachers’ cultural competence training, and professional development in the field for cultural competence. Overall, teachers’ training experiences continue to be an area of difficulty to assess. Training experiences rooted in multiculturalism remain an area of need and development for teachers, both pre- and in-service. Future research can be conducted in order to further explore the relationship between teachers’ cultural competence and their MTSS referrals, as well as the MTSS process in schools, as educators continue to learn about and operate within this framework.
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    Media Literacy: A Direct Instruction Approach for Improving Children's Technical and Social Understanding
    (2021-12) Wascher, Barbara Lee; Gardner, Rachel; Daly, Bradford; Button-Ervin, Amy
    In looking at relevant literature over recent decades, there is a distinct trend of increases in access, use, and ownership of internet-capable devices, social media, and technology in general. Current literature suggests that at least some use of media is ubiquitous. There is also evidence that more consumption of media leads to a higher likelihood of exposure to potential benefits and potential dangers. Media literacy may be an effective method of bridging this figurative gap between high device use and access and potential limited understanding of appropriate online behaviors and skills. Media literacy programs have been found to be effective and can significantly increase understanding of media literacy concepts with students. Nonetheless, there are a variety of gaps in the literature, particularly surrounding elementary students in the United States. The current study explored the effect of a direct instruction media literacy intervention on the understanding of media literacy concepts in fourth and fifth grade students. In addition, the study served as a pilot study for the author-developed Media Literacy Scale (MLS), which was utilized in assessing media literacy understanding differences between pre- and post-test levels. One hundred and twenty-eight fourth and fifth grade students at a small, rural, public elementary school in western New York were recruited for the study. Ninety-six students completed pre-test questionnaire measures regarding their typical exposure to media (i.e., media or device access, ownership, use, and parental rules) and baseline media literacy understanding. Eighty-nine students participated in the discussion and video-based media literacy intervention, as well as completed the post-test questionnaire measures. Descriptive information of fourth and fifth grade students’ device access, ownership, use, and parental rules are provided. Students demonstrated higher baseline media literacy understanding than anticipated. The results indicated that the author-developed MLS scale had acceptable internal reliability. Further, participation in the media literacy direct instruction intervention was found to be significantly effective at increasing media literacy understanding scores. In addition, the intervention was found to be effective regardless device access. The current study indicates that elementary students are an appropriate population to undergo media literacy education. In addition, the current study suggests that participation in media literacy instruction is beneficial and can significantly increase media literacy understanding. Additionally, the study provides empirical support for use of the MLS scale in future research. Further implications for school psychologists, schools, and parents are discussed, in addition to contributions to the literature, limitations, and directions for future research.
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    The Use of Play Therapy by School-Based Mental Health Professionals: An Examination of Current Training, Practices, and Mediating Factors
    (2021-08) Black, Erin Carroll; Burch, Andrea; Lee, Kasie; Atlas, Jana
    The current state of mental health for children living in the United States is a concerning matter. Play therapy is a viable treatment method to serve individuals with various mental health issues (Homeyer & Morrison, 2008). Professionals including school-based mental health counselors (American Counseling Association, 2018), school counselors (American School Counselor association, 2016), and school psychologists (National Association of School Psychology, 2016) all provide mental health services to children in order to assist in their success in all aspects of life and have the ability to use play therapy in this setting. Based on a review of the literature of current training in, use of, and attitude, knowledge, and skills regarding play therapy, a survey was distributed to mental health professionals currently working in the school setting throughout the United States. Analysis of the participants revealed that, of the three groups examined, mental health counselors have the most training in play therapy and use play therapy the most in the school setting. School counselors and school psychologists who are trained more specifically to work in schools, have less training and use it less. As a whole, school-based mental health professionals utilize Child-Centered Play Therapy the most. Further research is recommended for obtaining more information on the demographics of school-based mental health professionals, as well as their training in and use of play therapy in the school setting.
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    Is There a “Happy Filter” on Instagram? The Associations Between Instagram Use, Social Comparison, and Depressive Symptoms
    (2021-07) Zielenski, Alicia; Gardner, Rachel; Shea, Liz; Burch, Andrea
    The current study sought to examine the psychological cohort effects of increased Instagram use in adolescents. Specifically, the associations between Instagram usage and depressive symptoms were examined. Furthermore, the construct of social comparison was measured and investigated as a mediating factor, or a variable that helped to explain the relationship between Instagram usage and depressive symptoms. Briefly, hypotheses included elevated Instagram consumption being associated with elevated levels of social comparison, Instagram usage being associated with elevated levels of depressive symptoms, and finally, Instagram usage being associated with elevated levels of depressive symptoms through social comparison. Results indicated that there is a significant relationship between using Instagram and engaging in more social comparisons while on Instagram. In contrast, there was not a significant relationship between Instagram usage and depressive symptoms directly or indirectly through social comparison.
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    Cognitive Flexibility Growth Patterns and Speech and Language Skills Among School Age Children
    (2021-05) Miller, Erica Anne; Atlas, Jana; Burch, Andrea; Pulos, Stephen
    This study investigated the cognitive flexibility trajectories of children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. The study utilized the longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Class of 2010-2011 (ECLS-K:2011) to conduct latent class growth analysis and growth mixture models to better understand cognitive flexibility changes over time. A diverse sample of 14,173 children from 970 schools from the ECLS-K:2011 dataset was included. The findings suggested that cognitive flexibility (CF) development has multiple growth trajectories, depending on students’ initial levels of CF (their intercept) and their rate of change (slope). Results indicated that a model with five trajectories, or classes, best fit the data, although most of the sample (81.2%) belonged to one class. Those with higher socioeconomic status typically performed better, especially for initial cognitive flexibility levels. Speech and language deficits were also found to increase the probability of being in both an at-risk trajectory class (54%) and remediated class (28%). Both of these classes contained individuals whose initial starting cognitive flexibility was well below expected levels. These findings support the idea that a single growth curve would not fully take into account all children’s growth trajectories of where they began and their rate of change. It also includes supporting evidence that a deficit of speech and language skills increases the probability that a student will struggle significantly with CF skills. Implications include points for building CF skills for elementary students, possible interventions, and educational policy regarding speech and language skills as well as socioeconomic status.
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    Validation of the School Principals’ Servant Leadership Behaviors Scale with a population from the United States
    (2020-11) Thurston, Kim Marie; Fugate, Mark
    The purpose of this study was to validate the results of Ekinci’s original research study conducted to the School Principals’ Servant Leadership Behaviors Scale (SPSLBS), a scale measuring the servant leadership behaviors of school principals (2015). Ekinci’s scale was developed for use in Turkey and had not been validated for use in the United States. This instrument was selected due to the importance of having a method of assessing principal leadership that is based on the perceptions of their teachers and because no other servant leadership scale has been developed to specifically looks at servant leadership within the educational setting. Elementary and middle school teachers from participating New York State and Pennsylvania schools were the primary sampling unit and data was collected by administering the SPSLBS. Results were promising as the multidimensional structure of the SPSLBS was able to be replicated with a sample from the United States using Confirmatory Factor Analysis. The instrument was found to be a reliable measure with satisfactory convergent and discriminant validity. Similar to the original study, the factors correlated well enough to be viewed as constructs measuring the overall servant leadership behavior of school principals, but differently enough to demonstrate that the scale is made up of individual factors and is not just a unidimensional scale. Overall, the goodness-of-fit of the model was adequate. Additional analyses identified no significant difference between the teachers’ perceptions regarding their school principals’ servant leadership behaviors based on their gender, which differed from the original study. However, teacher perceptions did differ significantly according to their length of employment with their current principal, but did not follow this same pattern as in the original study. The current study initiated the process of strengthening the adaptability and usefulness of the SPSLBS within a broader cultural and geographical context.
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    Social Network Site Use and Body Image Among Adolescents
    (2020) Koktowski, Krysten; Atlas, Jana; Burch, Andrea; Furlong, Nancy; Gardner, Rachel
    This study analyzed the relationships between social network site use and body image in adolescents, while taking into account internalized body ideals. Social network sites are a newer form of social media and the research base on them and the effects of interacting with them continues to grow. This study looked at and compared visually-oriented social network sites and non-visually-oriented sites. Further, this study included males, which isn’t often done, so comparisons between gender could be made. There were 94 male and female participants, in grades 9-12, from two school districts in rural western New York. Analyses showed that the social networking site use measures lacked strong statistical backing (i.e., reliability and validity), indicating adolescents’ potential difficulty with accurate social network site use reporting and a need for better measures. Thus, results should be interpreted with caution. Results indicated that greater usage of social network sites was not related to body image. It was found that greater internalization of appearance ideals was significantly related to poorer body image for both male and female adolescents. For male participants only, a relationship was found that ran contrary to what was hypothesized; male participants who endorsed more visually-oriented social network site use reported more positive body image. For both males and females, there was a relationship between parental education and body image. Additionally, for males, there were also relationships found between parental education and internalization, body mass index (BMI) and body image, and BMI and internalization. These findings encourage further examination of these newer forms of media, internalized body ideals, and body image in adolescence. Additionally, this study demonstrates the need for further research that includes male adolescents.
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    Overparenting and its Association with Externalizing Problems in Young Children
    (2020) Schmidinger, Nicole; Burch, Andrea; Curtin, Kevin; Lichtman, Louis
    Overparenting is a concept that has gained recent popularity in media and research. It is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of overinvolvement in a child’s life. Overparenting can prevent children from developing the appropriate skills required to manage difficulties. Although previous studies have linked overparenting to various adverse effects in young adults, none have explored the presence of externalizing problems in young children. The current study looked to explore whether the presence of overparenting is associated with a presence of externalizing problems in school-aged children while controlling for SES, gender, and family composition. In addition, this study looked to examine whether parent and teacher ratings of externalizing behaviour in children differ with the presence of overparenting. Caregivers of children in kindergarten through eighth grade completed a demographics survey, an overparenting survey, and a measure of child externalizing behaviour. Classroom teachers completed an additional measure of child externalizing behaviour. The results of this study provide evidence of a relationship between overparenting and externalizing behaviour as findings indicate that overparenting is a statistically significant predictor of change in externalizing behaviour. Results did not present insight on the difference between parent and teacher ratings or identify significant relationships between SES, gender, and family composition with overparenting. These insignificant findings are likely due to a small sample size, limited variability with regard to participant characteristics, and inadequate statistical power. It is important that future research address these limitations in order to further explore the current findings.
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    Beyond a Runner's High: Assessing the Relationship Between Trait Mindfulness and Running Activity in Adolescents
    (2020) McGlynn, Bridget Anne; Gardner, Rachel; Burch, Andrea; Hall, Hollie
    Mindfulness has been increasingly demonstrated as an effective intervention for improving various mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, stress levels, and quality of life. In more recent years, studies have examined the effectiveness of mindfulness-based programs in eliciting such benefits in children and adolescents, and have seen promising results. Furthermore, children also experience positive outcomes such as improvements in school functioning, internalizing and externalizing problems, prosocial behavior, and focus. Exercise is another strategy that has been shown to improve psychological functioning, and research is emerging on the connection between exercise and mindfulness, both as a practice and as an outcome. Findings have shown that those who are higher in levels of trait mindfulness demonstrate increased physical activity and improved diet. Other studies found that mindfulness interventions can have a positive impact on sports performance, and also that exercise participation can lead to an increase in trait mindfulness. This relationship among youth populations has yet to be discussed in the literature. The present study asked questions related to running activity and trait mindfulness levels in adolescents over time, as well as the presence of music while running and its relationship with trait mindfulness. To answer these questions, high- school students were surveyed before and after the duration of a pre-determined period of heightened running. Results indicated that participation in running activity was not a significant predictor of trait mindfulness change. The presence of music while running was found to have a significant negative relationship with trait mindfulness levels. Limitations of the study design, as well as implications for school psychologists and future directions are discussed.
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    Teaching the Teachers to Educate Students With Severe Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms: How Are Teacher Training Programs Preparing Preservice Teachers?
    (2020-04) Donnelly, Samuel Joseph; O'Connell, Lynn; Daly, Bradford; Button, Amy
    The inclusion of students with severe disabilities (SWSD) in general education classes is becoming increasingly prevalent. Consequently, general education teachers need to have adequate training to meet the unique learning needs of this population. While general education teachers have professed a willingness to include these students, many of them feel underprepared and undertrained to meet the needs of SWSD in inclusive settings. This study investigated the current ways in which teacher training programs are preparing preservice general education teachers to educate SWSD in inclusive classrooms. The directors of teacher education programs in New York State completed surveys about the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions of teacher candidates related to SWSD. The results of the study indicate that most programs in the study require courses on special education, inclusive education, universal design, and exceptionalities. Additionally, most programs in the study required inclusive practicum experiences and provided some practice using evidence-based inclusive techniques. That said, the data also indicate a lack of course work and practicum experiences specific to preparing for work with SWSD, as well as a lack of prioritization of certain inclusive professional dispositions. As such, teacher training programs in NYS should consider taking steps to alter their coursework and field experience to incorporate more information about SWSD, greater opportunities to practice inclusive techniques, and more extensive opportunities to interact with SWSD during practicum experiences.
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    A Growth Mindset Intervention with Elementary-Age Children
    (2020) Wolferd, Jaclyn; Burch, Andrea; Lowry, Michele; Gardner, Rachel
    Growth Mindset has become a popular topic in education over the last decade. It refers to a theory of intelligence developed by Carol Dweck in which it is believed that a person can increase their intelligence through hard work, dedication, and commitment to the educational process. Many of Dweck’s research has consisted of work with middle school and high school students. However, this theory has gained significant popularity in elementary schools, with many hallways adorned with popular growth mindset phrases and classroom activities. Brainology is a research-based intervention program created by MindsetWorks, Inc. with the purpose of developing a growth mindset for students. This quasi-experimental study sought to be the first of its kind by utilizing Brainology in an elementary school setting while examining this interventions’ effectiveness with third grade students. The Brainology program was delivered to students over a six-week time period from May 2019 through June 2019. Pretest and posttest data were collected via the Mindset Assessment Profile (MAP) and a comparison group was used as a control for the experimental group. At the end of the intervention, a multiple regression analysis was used to examine the data. This model was chosen in order to determine the influence that a growth mindset intervention would have on student mindset, when controlling for gender, prior mindset, and participation in the intervention. Overall results were significant, especially for gender (females) and pretest score. The results indicated that students began the study endorsing a high score on the MAP indicating a growth mindset. However, the validity of the MAP assessment was questioned based on a review of past studies utilizing a similar measure created by Dweck. Therefore, further research in needed to establish this intervention as a reliable method for increasing mindset with all elementary-age children.
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    Surviving or Thriving: An Exploratory Analysis Measuring the Awareness and Perceptions of Educators Toward the Social-emotional needs of Siblings of Children With Disabilities
    (2019-12) Barnes, Jalisa A.; Fugate, Mark
    There are approximately 6 million children in the U.S. who receive special education services to address an identified disability. Many of these children live with typically developing siblings (referred to in this study as "Siblings"). Research suggests that although Siblings may be negatively affected by the needs of the disabled child, there is potential for higher levels of positive outcomes in the social and emotional development of Siblings if they are given opportunities to learn about disabilities and develop positive coping skills. Further research determined that Siblings are mainly considered in the context of their homes and families, however there is little information about how Sibling experiences impact their social and emotional functioning in other settings, including school. This study was designed to determine whether educators are aware of Sibling experiences and how they affect their academic and behavioral performances in school, and the level to which they perceive the potential for positive outcomes as a result of Sibling experiences. Lastly, this study purposed to determine whether educators perceived the need for Sibling support to be a school responsibility as well as home. Results suggest a limited awareness of Sibling needs in educators and generally negative perceptions about Sibling experiences and outcomes. Results also suggested that educators may not consider themselves to be catalysts for Sibling outcomes and are not responsible to support their needs in the school setting.
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    The Relationship Between Mindfulness and Academic Achievment in Middle School Students
    (2019) Gugino-Sullivan, Diana Marie; Roth, Rachel; Atlas, Jana
    The field of mindfulness has grown significantly in terms of interest, research, and practice. However, as mindfulness-related research regarding the adult population has significantly increased, there is limited mindfulness-focused research as it relates to youth. Additionally, research is needed to identify whether measures of mindfulness relate to children’s academic achievement. Given that a great deal of the existing research related to mindfulness is based on intervention studies, it is important to recognize the importance of correlational data in order to determine potential relationships between variables. Therefore, the current study evaluated scores from two psychometrically-sound measures of trait mindfulness for youth (i.e., the Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure, the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale-Children) and New York State standardized English language arts (ELA) and mathematic academic scores. Participants were 161 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from a public school in upstate New York. Results supported internal consistency reliability and concurrent validity for both the CAMM and MAAS-C. Further, a significant and positive relationship was found between the MAAS-C and mathematic scaled scores and ELA level scores, although the CAMM was not significantly correlated with any of the academic measures. Lastly, the sample was analyzed by grade level and a significant relationship was found between the MAAS-C and ELA and math achievement among sixth grade students. These findings indicate that the MAAS-C may be the better measure when evaluating mindfulness among sixth grade students. Further research should investigate the predictive power of the MAAS-C and academic achievement.
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    The Transparency and Monitoring of the Dignity for All Students Act
    (2019) Long, Leigh Ann; Fugate, Mark
    This study examines the relative effectiveness of New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) reporting system, as well as the quantitative patterns of reported incidents of harassment and discrimination made by schools in New York State. Qualitative analyses were conducted on 5 years of DASA data submitted by NYS schools to the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Specifically, trends were examined to see if differences appeared for school reports of incidents according to school type, grade level organization, level of need/resource, and discrimination/harassment category. Reports made by Rest of State schools indicated higher number of harassment reports made over time, while New York City schools reported fewer incidents over time. Both regions reported that harassment occurs most frequently in secondary schools (primarily the middle/junior high grades). NYS schools in Large Cities reported more incidents of harassment, compared to other economic groups/locale. There has been some concern expressed by the NYS Commissioner regarding the relatively low number of incidents reported overall by the state. Recommendations for reporting were made to schools in August 2016. Data were examined and no significant differences were observed in reports made by schools before and after the Letter to Colleague (August, 2016) was released to NYS schools. Harassment reports for NYS schools were compared to national reports of student survey data on bullying and hate crimes. While statistical analyses were not conducted, it was observed that students in secondary grades reported more incidents of harassment, similar to NYS. A number of unanswered questions remain as to the effectiveness of the DASA system in NYS. While great efforts have been made to understand the harassment taking place in schools, this remains a reactive approach to bullying assessment, and perhaps a more preventative or proactive system should be considered to reduce the numbers of incidents reported by schools.
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    More Than One Perspective: Participatory Action Research of Curricular Racial Integration in an American Higher Education University
    (2019) Yearwood, Danielle; Atlas, Jana
    Since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision in 1954, which stated that legally-supported school segregation was harmful to children’s self-concept, researchers and educators have questioned whether the intended goals of racial integration were ever successfully accomplished. As America continues to become more racially diverse, it is increasingly important to ensure that schools are preparing students to be productive, successful citizens in a multicultural world. Institutions of higher education are the ideal setting to work on social justice, the process towards and end goal of equity and equality. College students typically have the opportunity to interact with other students from diverse backgrounds, and with appropriate social and educational opportunities, can graduate with the skills and knowledge to be leaders in their communities or other settings, promote social justice, and achieve genuine racial integration. This study used Participatory Action Research (PAR) as the qualitative approach and Critical Race Theory as the underlying paradigm to investigate the effects of an Afrocentric Psychology course on a diverse group of undergraduate students at a Predominantly White Institution (PWI). Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the author evaluated participants’ quantitative changes in their racial identities as well as the quality and quantity of interracial friendships; reflected on their qualitative experiences of learning a new perspective through participation in an Afrocentric Psychology course; and worked collaboratively towards social justice in the university community. Quantitative data were used to inform reflection, and qualitative data described how (the process through which) social justice occurred. Statistical analysis indicated that the effects of class enrollment on quantity and quality of interracial friendships, as well as racial identity, were not significant for students overall. However, there was a statistically significant change in racial identity for White students enrolled in the Afrocentric Psychology class. Qualitative data analysis indicated that students who completed the Afrocentric psychology course were aware of social justice issues related to racial oppression in curriculum and pedagogy on their campus, reflected on their personal beliefs regarding race, and developed an overall interest in diversity-related courses. Students reported having a positive Afrocentric course experience, and many students requested that this course or a similar one be offered again in the future. Through Participatory Action Research, students in an American higher education setting engaged in social justice. Social justice is a necessary component of a genuinely integrated society, and includes taking action and racial inclusivity at multiple levels. This action, progressive work towards inclusivity, respect, and equality needs to be incorporated into institutions of higher education. The results of the current study suggest that students responded well when exposed to Afrocentric conceptualizations of the cognitions and behaviors of individuals of African descent. Findings suggest that we as Americans can continue to work towards the goals of integration by including more than one perspective in institutions of higher education, and have a meaningful experience in the process.
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    The Relationship Between Executive Functioning and Externalizing Behavior Problems During Elementary School
    (2019) Longo, Zachary Thomas; O'Connell, Lynn
    The present study investigated the relationship between two major components of executive functioning (EF) and externalizing behavior problems (EBP) during the early elementary years. More specifically, Working Memory (WM) and Cognitive Flexibility (CF) measured in kindergarten through second grade were used to predict teacher ratings of EBP in the spring of second grade utilizing the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten class of 2010-2011 (ECLS-K) dataset. Path analysis was implemented in order to understand the predictive relationship of WM and CF on EBP, as well as to uncover the developmental influence of WM on CF. After controlling for race, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES), results indicated that lower levels of EF predicted a higher magnitude of EBP, as measured by teacher rating. Specifically, of all the time points for WM and CF, only fall of kindergarten CF and fall of second grade WM significantly predicted EBP, but only to a small degree. Developmentally, WM was also found to predict later levels of CF at numerous timepoints, providing support to the notion that successful CF is built upon development of WM as one cannot flexibly shift between perspectives until one can hold a perspective in present awareness first.
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    Why Parents Seek Private Psychoeducational Evaluations at Personal Expense
    (2019) Jerome, Erin Betsy; O'Connell, Lynn
    This was an exploratory study that sought to answer why parents seek private psychoeducational evaluations for their children. Parents from a national sample (N = 139) answered survey and narrative response items including demographic information, parent characteristics, child characteristics, as well as items related to satisfaction, trust, and conflict with their child’s school. Results indicated that parents seek private psychoeducational evaluation due to belief that private psychoeducational evaluations are of better quality, school evaluations are biased, and school refusal to complete evaluations. The majority of parents had low levels of satisfaction and trust with both the special education process and school personnel. In addition, this study began to evaluate the impact of private psychoeducational evaluation on the parent-school relationship and found that parent responses indicated that schools were often resistant to both reviewing the private psychoeducational evaluation as well as resistant to the results of private psychoeducational evaluations.
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    Oats, Peas, Beans, and Early Literacy Skills Grow: A Program Evaluation of Education Through Music
    (2019-04) Lehman, Laura Diane; Atlas, Jana
    The acquisition of literacy skills is a complex and multi-faceted process that begins long before typical school-based literacy instruction. The present study sought to examine and expand research regarding the independent and interactive contributions of neuropsychological development, movement, play, and music on the development of literacy skills. The current study investigated Education Through Music, a play-based music-education program that incorporated all of these elements, to determine if their use in an everyday classroom environment impacted literacy-skill development, in particular phonological awareness. Participants included 76 (35 girls, 41 boys) typically-developing, native English-speaking kindergarten students from a school district located in Northern California. Phonological awareness skills were measured at four time periods over the course of a school year using the Phonological Awareness Test 2. Relative to non-music-oriented classroom controls, students participating in Education Through Music classrooms demonstrated significantly higher performance in the areas of segmentation (i.e., using sentences, syllables, and phonemes) as well as rhyming production. Results provide initial support for the use of vocal music in the classroom as it relates to early literacy skill development.