Worcester State University

 

Psychology Abstracts


PERFECTIONISM, SOCIAL SUPPORT, AND STRESS AMONG UNDERGRADUATES

Christine Becerra and Champika K. Soysa, Ph.D.

Perfectionism was higher among first-year students than sophomores. Perfectionism was associated with both debilitating achievement anxiety and overall stress. In addition, dimensions of perfectionism that reflect personal expectations like concerns about mistakes, doubts about actions, and personal standards were associated with debilitating anxiety, while dimensions reflecting parental expectations and parental criticism, were not. Increasing perceived social support from family was associated with decreasing overall stress, but not debilitating anxiety. Women reported greater debilitating anxiety than men, and men reported greater facilitating anxiety than women. Finally, both perfectionism and debilitating achievement anxiety contributed unique variance to overall stress.

 

ROLE OF COLLEGE STUDENTS IN CARING FOR SICK OR ELDERLY FAMILY MEMBERS

Mary Jane Rosati

Faculty Adviser: Pearl Mosher-Ashley, Ph.D.

As the US population ages, the need for caregivers for sick or disabled elders becomes more urgent. College students may be called upon to help with this care by their families. The family care giving literature is vast but there is little focus on young adults as caregivers. The present study was designed to explore the role Worcester State College students play, if any, in caring for sick, disabled, or elderly family members. Seventy WSC students were recruited and surveyed from the psychology pool at the college. They answered questions on levels of involvement in caring for sick, disabled, or elderly family members along with their experiences of stress.

 

AN ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS THEORY PERSPECTIVE OF TRAUMA AND RESILIENCE IN POST TSUNAMI SOUTHERN SRI LANKA.

Champika K. Soysa, Ph.D.

Trauma and resilience were examined from an Ecological Systems Theory perspective in Sri Lankan adolescents post-tsunami (N=60). At three months post-tsunami, adolescents reported greater severity of PTSD symptoms with high tsunami-exposure compared with low tsunami-exposure. Consistent with previous research, reexperiencing and hyperarousal severity was greater than avoidance- numbing severity. Coping ef0fectiveness, family support, and local-government support were lower with high-exposure compared to low-exposure. Symptom severity decreased across time. Resilience at three months was negatively associated with PTSD symptom severity at 12 months. While PTSD symptom severity at three and 12 months were related, this relationship disappeared when accounting for resilience.

 

ASSIGNMENTS AND COURSE CONTENT IN TEACHING DIVERSITY. IN R. A. GURUNG & L. R. PRIETO (EDS.), GETTING CULTURE: INCORPORATING DIVERSITY ACROSS THE CURRICULUM. STERLING, VA: STYLUS PUBLISHING.

Champika K. Soysa Ph.D., Lori J. Dawson, Ph.D., Bonnie G. Kanner, Ph.D., Marc J. Wagoner, Ph.D., and Emily G. Soltano, Ph.D.
This chapter represents a sample of teaching strategies used in the Psychology Department at a small, four-year liberal arts state college in Massachusetts. The college has identified the need to enhance diversity initiatives and international perspectives in the classroom in its strategic plan, thereby demonstrating considerable commitment to these issues. The chapter addresses examples of in-class exercises, outside-class experiences, and broader discussions about engaging students in diversity issues and international perspectives, in the undergraduate psychology curriculum.

 
 
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