• Who's "fat", who's not: sociocultural influences on female adolescent's body image

      Paxton, Lindsay Astheimer (2004-12)
      Sociocultural influences, media, parents and peers, on adolescent females' body image, as perceived by female high school students of a military related community were investigated. A body image survey was administered to 26 adolescent females. Ultimately, the research revealed that media, parents and peer groups influenced adolescent body image and significantly contributed to female students' perceptions and attitudes.
    • What Would Captain Underpants Do? A Literary Analysis Of Children In School

      Carter, Jeanne Noelle; Reyes, Maria (2006)
      Using cultural studies and critical discourse analysis as guiding theories, this study focuses on the literary representation of school experience by analyzing popular children's literature. The study focuses on literature appealing to the 8--12 year-old audience. Books of primary examination include L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series, Barbara Park's Junie B. Jones series, Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby books, Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, Andrew Clemenet's Frindle, C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia series, Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books, Betty McDonald's Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and Walter Dean Meyer's Monster. The general trends found are: (1) Books featuring female protagonists are often concerned with relationships. The protagonists are frustrated that the roles and expectations of school do not allow space for discussing relationships or personal information. (2) Books featuring male protagonists generally focus on themes of power structures and how the students use subversive methods to assert their values in spite of the dominant administrative authority. (3) When books feature children who are working on character or ethical development, those children are often removed from the school context and placed in a more fantastical context. (4) The literature surveyed implies that students value unrealistically committed teachers with no interests outside of the children, who can make lessons clear, relevant, and interactive.
    • Protective Factors Promoting Psychosocial Resilience In Biracial Youths

      Kawakami-Schwarber, Gail K.; Morotti, Alan (2010)
      Resilience in adolescents is the achievement of positive outcomes and the attainment of developmental tasks in the face of significant risk. This study identified protective factors promoting resilience in the development of positive self-identity in biracial youths. The rapidly rising biracial youth population is a vulnerable group facing potentially higher risks for mental health and behavioral issues compared to their monoracial counterparts. Identity development, a central psychosocial task of adolescence, is a complex task for biracial youths since they must integrate two ethnic identities. For biracial youths, mastery of the psychosocial identity developmental task can be daunting as they face stressors such as racial stigmas and negative stereotypes, which may lead to identity problems manifesting during adolescence. Sixteen biracial individuals ranging from age 18 to 29 years participated in this qualitative research project. Comparisons were made to identify patterns and themes for factors affecting self-esteem and ethnic identity level among the participants. Brought to light were culturally-based protective factors stemming from individual, family, and social domains promoting psychosocial resilience in fostering healthy biracial identity resolution. Risk factors unique for the biracial population were also identified. The findings underscore the importance in understanding how the environment shapes and influences the ways biracial youth negotiate their dual identity. The research results can be integrated into appropriate prevention and intervention techniques for application by professionals and families to further healthy identity resolution in biracial youths.
    • Foster Parent Training for the Delivery of Independent Living Skills

      Alley, Kandy; Renes, Susan L.; Cook, Christine R.; Hutchison, Shayle (2013-12)
      Although training is made available to foster parents when they volunteer to share their homes with children in need, the required ten hours for single parents and fifteen hours for coupled parents does not provide enough training for foster parents who are working with youth preparing for independent living to give them the skills they need to succeed. There are many programs designed for youth, but fewer programs are readily available in Fairbanks, Alaska to teach foster parents how to deliver the skills to the youth. Youth leaving foster care continue to have lower outcomes in education, employment, housing, and fiscal management after exiting foster care than children who were raised in traditional homes. The outcome of this literature review is a pamphlet that will assist agencies in educating the parents of foster youth aging out of the foster care system. It will also provide quick access to resources and learning centers that offer training opportunities for foster parents working with youth preparing for independent living.
    • Academic, behavioral and social intervention strategies for elementary children with autistic spectrum disorder

      Flora, Kristin; Cook, Christine; Healy, Joanne; Henze-Nelson, Brenda (2013-12)
      Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience academic, behavioral and social challenges that can interfere with their ability to participate fully in the school environment. School districts are legally mandated to provide services to students with disabilities. This paper provides definitions of ASD, addresses some of the diagnostic testing instruments, describes theoretical approaches, and looks at three evidence-based intervention strategies that could be utilized by a school counselor and staff members to work effectively with students with autism. The first is applied behavioral analysis (ABA) which centers on teaching small, measurable units of behavior systematically. The second intervention is assistive technology (AT) which is comprised of devices that allow a student full access to their learning environment. This can be accomplished through the use of computers (high) or a modified chair (low). The third intervention is Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) which incorporates a schoolwide approach to fostering a healthy and positive environment for students to role-model and practice appropriate behavior for their peers and adults. The final piece included is a districtwide school in-service to provide information to staff about local, state and national resources available to them.
    • Promoting a healthy self esteem for preadolescent girls in a rural elementary school setting

      McCune, Gianna Giusti; Cook, Christine; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie (2014)
      There is a decrease in girls' self-esteem starting in the pre-teen years because self-esteem often becomes closely tied to physical attributes; many girls believe they cannot measure up to societal standards (Gurian, 2012). This drop in self-esteem affects academic achievement and should be addressed in schools. There are programs that focus on this trend designed for urban populations, yet there is a lack of opportunities for preadolescent girls who live in rural communities. This research project focused on the components needed to promote a healthy self-esteem in the rural setting for preadolescent girls. A goal-directed psychoeducational group has been developed, which is guided by empathy, unconditional regard and being genuine to oneself and others in the hope of developing resources for preadolescent girls.
    • Continuing care groups: long term treatment of substance use disorders

      Foote, Olivia; Renes, Susan L.; Cook, Christine R.; Henze-Nelson, Brenda (2014)
      Substance use disorders are chronic diseases that affect individuals, families, and communities. These illnesses frequently require several courses of treatment to achieve abstinence. Inpatient chemical dependency treatment, followed by continuing care, increases abstinence rates regardless of the interventions used within the continuing care program. The largest barrier to successful continuing care programs appears to be patients' attendance and participation. This project aims to create a continuing care program that focuses on increasing patients' attendance adherence in order to support them through their first year of recovery.
    • Differences between gender traits that could impact happiness in marriage

      Crane, Charlie; Morotti, Allan; Cook, Christine R.; Harrison, Lynn (2014)
      Many people quickly find that being married and keeping love going is hard work (Johnson, 2010). The rise in divorce rates over the last four decades, gender equality, and the changing expectations of the 21st century, are influencing the roles in marriage. The intent of this paper is to increase knowledge regarding the changes in marriage, emotional support, and gender trait differences. An application and lesson plan are provided for a psycho-educational group to practice emotional support and learn about gender traits and the expectations of marriage.
    • Using equine-facilitated psychotherapy to treat eating disorders

      Donofry, Susana; Cook, Christine; Healy, Joanne; Harrison, Lynn (2014)
      Eating disorders are pervasive mental disorders that can be accompanied by significant psychological symptoms and comorbidities, such as: suicide, anxiety, and depression. The binging and purging behaviors that often accompany eating disorders can result in significant medical issues such as dehydration, heart arrhythmias, seizures, kidney problems, and death. Eating disorders affect males and females alike, as well as adults and children, and are most predominant among Western cultures. Eating disorders often involve binge eating episodes, periods of starvation, and purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, and excessive exercise. Treatment options for decreasing the symptoms of eating disorders include: pharmacological interventions, psychological interventions, exercise interventions, and equine facilitated psychotherapy (utilizes psychological interventions in combination with equine activities). This literature review provides a basis for a PowerPoint presentation that states the benefits of adding equine-facilitated psychotherapy to the list of top research priorities, as well as describes the benefits and limitations of this newer form of therapy.
    • Utilizing animal assisted interventions in elementary schools

      France, Catherine E.; Cook, Christine; Morotti, Allan; Brashear, Dawn (2014)
      Animal Assisted Interventions in the elementary school counseling setting involves the school counselor choosing to bring in an animal, commonly a dog, to assist in counseling interventions with a student. The counselor uses the dog as a tool to build a secure and trusting rapport with the student. The counselor is the facilitator of the session; the dog is used in a variety of ways to increase and aide in the benefits of the counseling session. This project illustrates the positive impact of the human-animal bond, the steps necessary to bring animal assisted interventions into a school, and the theoretical base that supports animal assisted interventions. This information is also presented as a website to be easily accessible for counselors, parents, and educators.
    • A guide to school-based suicide prevention in Alaska secondary schools

      Sprague, Anna; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2014)
      The purpose of this project is to provide education professionals in the state of Alaska with a practical resource for understanding and distinguishing between evidence-based, best practice, and currently employed school based suicide prevention programs. Programs selected for inclusion were evidence-based and best practice programs recognized by professional organizations including the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP), and are currently listed as accepted programs and resources by the State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Childhood. Programs were evaluated for format, accessibility, research and reviews, and cultural considerations. Nine programs, with 5 others mentioned not meeting all criteria, are presented in a website for easy sharing of information.
    • An anger and aggression group for third and fourth grade students in a rural school setting

      Ley, Heather; Renes, Susan; Simpson, Joni; Strange, Anthony (2014)
      Children deal with anger in many different ways when they are growing up. Many children do not realize that anger is an emotion that needs to be expressed, and it can be done so in a number of positive, constructive ways. This project that resulted in an anger and aggression group for third and fourth grade students in a rural school setting can help children understand why it is so important to understand emotions of anger and learn how to express these emotions positively. The literature suggests by assessing children at a younger age, if parents/guardians, families, counselors and other school staff can combat the issue of school age children being unable to understand their feelings of anger and aggression. Families also need to support their child and the therapist by continuing to help the child learn and grow in the home.
    • Uncovering and enhancing motivation in a residential substance abuse treatment setting

      Morris, Alexandria V.; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; McMorrow, Samantha (2015)
      This project addresses how to enhance motivation in a residential substance abuse setting in order to encourage completion of treatment. This project discusses contingency management, music therapy, family therapy, and motivational interviewing and how they enhance motivation. Contingency management and music therapy were both found to be helpful in increasing motivation in residential settings. Family therapy was also found to increase motivation, but at smaller levels. Motivational interviewing, which is used by many therapists, also enhances motivation in a consumer and is considered an evidenced based practice. The project provides a motivational curriculum for use in a six-week residential treatment program. The curriculum incorporates all four areas found in the literature that can be used to enhance motivation and to uncover motivation and help to engage consumers in treatment.
    • Strategies for Chinese international students to overcome the challenges of studying in the United States

      Chen, Yuerong; Simpson, Joni; McMorrow, Samantha; Renes, Susan L. (2015)
      Using current research and literature, this project discusses the challenges that Chinese international students may have while they experience cultural adjustment in the United States. In addition, this project also examines strategies for Chinese international students to smooth the cultural transition during their stay in the United States. There is research about Chinese immigrants' cultural transition and international students' transitional periods. However, there is a very limited amount of research specifically on Chinese international students' cultural adjustment in the United States. Educating the Chinese international students, educators and counselors in international institutions about the challenges of cultural transition and the strategies to overcome the challenges may potentially help these students when they arrive in the United States. The application of this project is a presentation to international office personnel, counselors who work at university counseling centers and faculty members who have a large population of Chinese international students in their classrooms. The project also offers recommendations for any professionals who work to help Chinese international students to succeed in their study in a new educational system and a new culture.
    • Outpatient care in Fairbanks: supporting people with schizophrenia

      Wiley, Alex; Renes, Susan; Gifford, Valerie; Harrison, Lynn (2015)
      With the current lack of residential treatment facilities, long-term hospitalization, and mental health agencies that can fully support people with schizophrenia in Fairbanks, Alaska, there are many ethical concerns that must be addressed to best support clients with schizophrenia. The ethical considerations present in the success of outpatient care include: a) promoting the welfare of clients, b) utilizing plans that offer reasonable promise of success, c) understanding the limits imposed on the support networks of these clients, and d) the limitations of employment opportunities for these clients in an outpatient setting. Reviewing literature on the experiences of people with schizophrenia revealed three stages of treatment normally experienced: a) acute care, b) transition care, and c) chronic care. Areas most impacted for people with schizophrenia are socialization and work, memory and intelligence, suicide risk and other disorders, and interactions with family, friends and the community. In Fairbanks, Alaska where weather hinders socializing and available services are limited, building many strong support resources is incredibly important to give people with schizophrenia the best chance of recovery and a stable quality of life.
    • School Connectedness: the benefits of a school-based peer-mentoring program for transitioning students in secondary education

      Murdock, Lucy Marie Rabold; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Harrison, Lynn (2015)
      The transition to a new high school can disrupt social networks, cause anxiety, and hinder academic success for secondary students. School-based comprehensive peer-mentoring programs that focus on transitioning secondary students have the potential to alleviate the anxiety of a changing school climate by promoting school connectedness, building peer relationships, and being sensitive to the social, academic, and procedural concerns of transitioning secondary students (Cauley & Jovanovich, 2006). Students who feel connected to school feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment, all of which may guard against student alienation, poor self-esteem, and other deviant behaviors for adolescent youth. The following research paper discusses how focused school-based peer-mentoring programs for adolescents may help to build school and peer connectedness; promote academic achievement, healthy development, and psychological health; increase protective factors; and decrease risky behaviors. A presentation and program guide for secondary administration and staff were developed based on the information found in the literature review.
    • Alaskan school counseling: a career guidance and exploration curriculum for third through sixth grade students

      Bussa, Sarah (2015)
      This project reviews the existing literature on career development in children, and demonstrates the importance of school counselors facilitating career exploration and development with students of an elementary age. Although research suggests career development begins in childhood, and the American School Counselor Association and Alaska School Counselor Association require a career component to school counseling programs, few resources are available to elementary school counselors for developing an effective career curriculum. School counselors working with kindergarten through second grade students can reference An Alaskan Career Education Curriculum for Grades Kindergarten to Second (Zanazzo, 2014) for support in developing career lessons for younger elementary students. This project aims to provide Alaskan school counselors with a curricular resource to assist in the creation of a career curriculum that guides third through sixth grade students in career development.
    • Examining the feasibility of implementing a matrix model intensive outpatient program in a remote Alaskan setting

      Ponziano, Frank; Gifford, Valerie; Renes, Susan; McMorrow, Samantha (2015)
      Significance: The Matrix Model is possibly the only evidenced-based, intensive outpatient approach for addiction that has been shown to be effective at treating addiction. However, the model has not been evaluated for its effectiveness in remote Alaskan settings, such as Fairbanks, Alaska. Specific Aim: This study examined the feasibility of the Matrix Model compared to Treatment as Usual (TAU) in Fairbanks, Alaska. TAU is defined as any other outpatient substance abuse treatment (SAT) other than Matrix Model treatment program. The model's philosophy will be examined, and a method for determining its feasibility for implementation in Fairbanks, Alaska, will be outlined. This project will provide a method for an agency to examine their readiness and philosophical compatibility for the Matrix Model. This research intends to explore contextual variables, such as environment, culture, policy, participant barriers, funding, and organizational philosophy. Methods: This study has reviewed the literature regarding evidence-based, intensive outpatient programs, other treatment philosophies, and the contextual variables that affect program implementation in the literature. Moreover, this study provides an analysis of the Matrix Model versus TAU to help guide a Fairbanks agency considering Matrix Model Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). IOP is a 12 to 16 week intensive outpatient SAT that meets for 9 or more hours per week that integrates individual, family, and group counseling along with weekly drugs screens. Implications: This project aims to contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the Matrix Models effectiveness compared to TAU in remote Alaskan settings.
    • Improving postsecondary transitions for students in rural Alaska: applying solution focused brief therapy in the school setting

      Elliott, Jill M.; Cook, Christine; Gifford, Valerie; Simpson, Joni (2015)
      Successful postsecondary transitions present several challenges for adolescents, and statistics show that Alaska Native youth experience additional adverse conditions and risks compared to their peers in the dominant culture. An effective intervention plan may assist rural Alaskan students in obtaining desirable education and increase opportunities for achieving personal and professional goals. This project is focused on answering the following research questions: What research has been done to show that SFBT groups could be effective in rural school settings to aid in postsecondary transitions? What components are necessary to include in an effective transition support plan for rural Alaskan students? A literature review was conducted to gain insight as to the aspects of Alaska Native culture that influence counseling outcomes, information regarding current postsecondary transition programs that are available, and the key facets of career development interventions for adolescents. This research guided the creation of a small group counseling curriculum that is grounded in the tenets of Solution Focused Brief Therapy and Family Systems Theory. The activities and discussion that are incorporated into the project target high schools in rural Alaska, and are designed to increase awareness, enhance self-efficacy, and embrace family, community and culture as vital supports in the career development process of adolescents.
    • Supporting parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders

      Grennan, Lindsey; Cook, Christine; Healy, Joanne; Harrison, Lynn (2015)
      According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (ADEED), in the year 2013, 1,110 children with an ASD were enrolled across all the school districts within the state of Alaska (ADEED, 2013). Children with an ASD experience social, behavioral and academic difficulties and parents raising children with an ASD face numerous challenges related to meeting the needs of their child and family (Hall & Graff, 2010; Murphy, Christian, Caplin, & Young, 2007; Solomon & Chung, 2012). This paper reviews current research on experiences of ASD diagnoses for children and parents, and the efficacy of parental engagement with social support and family therapy. The literature review informed the creation of a PowerPoint presentation and a handbook that discuss the experiences of children and parents related to ASDs, describe the research to support the efficacy of local resources, and present the local resources for parents of children with ASDs.