• Alaska Native females: understanding body image dissatisfaction in a culturally diverse country

      Naegele, Karaline M.; Cook, Christine; Renes, Susan; Harrison, Lynn (2013-05)
      The current study was conducted to expand literature on body image dissatisfaction (BID) in Alaska Native females. As BID has been a concern for European American females, and many minority groups in America, professionals should examine all cultural groups for the presence of BID. The research was comprised of qualitative interviewing methods. Interviews were conducted with Alaska Native female participants between the ages of 18 and 23 years, attending the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Research questions addressed whether or not Alaska Native females experience BID, and if so how BID develops and manifests for this population. The study found that all participants experienced BID beginning in adolescence. The development and manifestation of BID varied on an individual basis, reflecting other research findings.
    • Alaskan Physicians' Knowledge, Attitudes, And Behaviors Related To Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

      Dewane, Sarah L.; Brems, Christine; Rivkin, Inna; Johnson, Mark E.; Eldridge, Gloria (2010)
      Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy, constitute the leading known preventable birth defects in the US. Given high prevalence rates and lifetime costs of FASDs in Alaska, it is imperative that healthcare providers have an adequate foundation of knowledge related to FASDs, as well as a strong sense of self-efficacy vis-a-vis their personal capacity to engage in primary and secondary prevention activities. The purpose of this study was to examine Alaskan physicians' self-reported levels of knowledge, attitudes, and practice behaviors related to FASDs, and identify effective ways to educate and train physicians about primary and secondary FASD prevention. Study goals were accomplished via an explanatory mixed methods research design involving three distinct phases; namely, a quantitative, qualitative, and application phase. Through study participation, Alaskan physicians shared their perceptions and opinions about systemic and professional barriers that affect educational and training needs related to FASD prevention and clinical intervention, as well as challenges that impede access to care for individuals who are affected by FASDs. Results based on surveys from 243 physicians and interviews with 24 key informants revealed that physicians are generally knowledgeable about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. However, physicians are in need of support to provide effective services related to FASD prevention and intervention. These needs include: 1) specialized education during medical school and residency; 2) easily accessible continuing education opportunities; 3) development and dissemination of best practice protocols related to FASD care; 4) workforce development to increase referral options for patients; and 5) changes to healthcare systems to support primary and secondary prevention practices. Clearly, many challenges and obstacles identified by physicians are beyond their control and need to be addressed not only as independent practice issues but as larger medical education and healthcare systems issues. Given these realities and findings, the study concludes with suggestions and resources for physicians related to needed changes in FASD-related practice behaviors, as well as recommendations about how universities, medical schools, healthcare systems, and State and federal entities can better support physicians' efforts to reduce and treat these entirely preventable birth defects.
    • Factors Contributing To Weight Gain Among College Freshman And Beyond

      Chipp, Cody L.; Brems, Christiane; Johnson, Mark; Metzger, Jesse; Rivkin, Inna (2012)
      Background: Linked with a higher risk of life threatening illnesses, obesity in the United States has become an epidemic, with a prevalence rate of overweight and obese adults of nearly 68%. Obesity rates have accelerated over the past two decades and one crucial developmental period for weight gain is among emerging adults attending college. Using an explanatory mixed-method design, this study examined contributing factors to weight gain among college students, including eliciting university stakeholders' perceptions of supports and barriers to exercising and healthy eating among students. Method: Data collection for the quantitative phase of the study consisted of two waves, baseline and 2-year follow-up. Students completed psychosocial and anthropometric measures (height, weight, and body fat percentage). Data collected for the qualitative phase of the study consisted of key informant interviews with university administrators (n=15) and seven student focus groups (n=34 students). Qualitative analyses were conducted with NVivo software and multiple coders, using a grounded theory approach to elicit major themes. Results: Students gained 1.5lbs (p>.05), with 34% of participants gaining over 5 lbs and 17% over 10 lbs. Participants who gained weight were men, ate more calories from sweets or desserts, and consumed fewer calories from fats. Increase in calories from desserts or sweets increased odds of weight gain (OR=1.075, CI=1.01-1.14) and body fat (OR=1.106, CI=1.036-1.181). Contextualizing the quantitative findings, students and administrators identified several themes that support healthy living, including access to nutritious food and physical amenities. Both groups also identified barriers, including easy access to high-calorie foods, limited recreation facilities, and policy challenges. Administrators spoke of extant health promotion efforts; however, students did not perceive active health promotion initiatives on campus. Conclusions: Dietary habits were identified drivers of weight gain among students. Extant campus supports and barriers to exercise and healthy eating among students were equally identified by students and administrators with great reliability. Implications for future health promotion efforts, food availability, recreation, and physical amenities are discussed in the context of clears sets of recommendations for stakeholder groups. Future research should explore specific dietary foods that are increasing weight and develop targeted preventions/interventions for individuals at risk.
    • Not only an athlete: a curriculum for athletes at NCAA institutions

      Sawchuk, Jamie; Cook, Christine; Sheppard, Dani; Simpson, Joni (2016)
      Despite there being plenty of research regarding identity, athletic identity, and athlete transition, there is limited research on assisting athletes with blending their athletic identity with other roles in their life. Most retired athletes have difficulties letting go of their athletic identity, creating a new non-athletic identity and getting a job. Olympic committees, professional sport organizations, and collegiate athletics have created different transition programs for their athletes to aid them in transitioning to their life upon athletic retirement by helping them realize skills learned from sport are transferrable into the workforce and other areas of life. Researchers have found that athletes should not let go of their athletic identity; but rather learn to blend their athletic identity with their other identities. The following examines the extent to which student-athletes identify with their athletic identity, athletic retirement symptoms, and current athlete transition programs. The end product is a four year curriculum geared towards college level student-athletes.
    • 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.
    • A school-based intervention program for preadolescent girls experiencing body dissatisfaction

      Taylor, Chelsea; Renes, Susan; Dahl, Heather; McMorrow, Samantha (2018-05)
      Body dissatisfaction and poor body image are issues girls are facing in their preadolescent years. Research is demonstrating that preadolescent girls need intervention programs to help support them with the struggles of body image and self-acceptance. This project uses the literature and established research to provide school counselors with a program to help meet the needs of preadolescent girls struggling with body dissatisfaction and promote body acceptance and body positivity.
    • Self Silencing in Children and Adolescents

      Walz, Gena L. (1998-05)
      Self silencing is the theorized tendency to abnormally suppress expression of one’s own needs for the sake of a significant relationship Thought to be a predominately female behavior, self silencing has mainly been empirically studied in adults and has been associated with depression in women. To determine the extent, the approximate age of onset and the gender distribution of self silencing behavior in boys and girls, the Silencing the Self Scale (STSS) (Jack & Dill, 1992) was administered to twelfth grade students, and a modified version of this scale for children (STSS-C) was developed, tested and administered to fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade students. No significant differences in self silencing were observed between genders at any grade level. However significant age related differences in self silencing behavior were demonstrated in both boys and girls. In addition, these age related patterns differed significantly between boys and girls.
    • Shudder: Poems And Essays On Cancer, Care, And Healing

      Mohatt, Nathaniel Vincent; Burleson, Derick (2011)
      This book chronicles my journey in understanding and coming to terms with my father's illness and death. In 2005 he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), and in 2008 I traveled with him to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In 2010 he died suddenly after his cancer transformed into an aggressive form of large cell lymphoma. The introductory personal essay ties together the trip to MD Anderson with writings from poetry and psychology, chronicling my experience with cancer care. The essay unveils an intimate relationship between art, the creation and experience of beauty, the provision of health care, and the meaning of healing. Like art, health care and healing are experienced in "the attempt," the process of trying to attain (health or beauty) without the ability to realize perfection. The poems weave together visions from the MD Anderson trip, other encounters with cancer, and pieces of my family's life after his death with a wide variety of images, memories, characters, and spirits. The poems begin with scenes and people from MD Anderson, then move to poems about coming into sense, discovery of the internal wild, and preparation for a time of sorrow. The later poems grapple with understanding the disease and my father's relationship with illness and conclude with in a continuation of "the attempt" even after death.