Social Work Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses

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Undergraduate Research Theses and Honors Research Theses from the College of Social Work. More about the College of Social Work Honors Program is available at:

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    The Accessibility of Mental Health Resources for Foster Care Youth
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Little, Grace; Dellor, Elinam
    Children in the foster care system are far more susceptible to developing mental disorders over the course of their lives than those who do not spend time in foster care. This is due to the amount of complex trauma that the majority of children that are currently in or were previously in the foster care system have endured Furthermore, if a child is not being treated for their mental health disorder, they will be more prone to self-medicate with either drug use, violence or other harmful outlets. This could lead to ongoing problems when youth age out of the system. A young adult that is dealing with an undiagnosed mental health disorder will have an especially difficult time learning to live on their own. Despite this, research has shown that children and youth with a history of foster care involvement are not receiving mental health treatment services. The purpose of this study was to measure the prevalence of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression and anxiety, and barriers to accessing mental health services among individuals with a history (current or previous) of foster care involvement. The was a cross sectional study using an online survey. Eligible individuals had to be over the age of 18 years old and with a history of foster care involvement (current or previous). All of the participants were from Ohio. Participants were asked to report on their own history within the foster care system. The participants also self-reported diagnoses for PTSD, anxiety, and depression. If the participant indicated a diagnosis, they were then asked to describe their experiences with accessing mental health services while in foster care, and if they were currently receiving treatment. A total of 15 participants completed the survey and their responses were analyzed. Findings indicate that while participants reported diagnoses for the three disorders (PTSD, anxiety, depression) the majority did not receive treatment. Furthermore, the participants were reported not being connected with quality health care and with no ongoing treatment following the initial diagnosis. Overall, individuals with a history of foster care are at a greater risk for developing mental health disorders but are not being connected with effective and sustainable resources while they are in the foster care system. These findings point to the need for establishing a system for foster care youth to be connected to resources for mental health when they are aging out of foster care.
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    Factors Influencing Hospice Workers Use of Religion and Spirituality in Patient Care
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Lawson, Clara Eileen; Balaswamy, Shantha
    Research demonstrates the importance of a meaningful link between religion/spirituality (R/S) and the well-being of older adults (Whitehead and Bergeman., 2020; Malone and Dadswell, 2018). There are numerous additional studies that emphasize the benefit of R/S in end-of-life care (Abbas, et al., 2011; Cipriano-Steffens et al., 2021; Richardson, 2014). Selman, et al., (2014) conducted an online international study that surveyed 971 participants from 87 different countries and examined from the practitioner's perspective what is needed in the field of palliative care and found that research on the integration of R/S was needed. Yet, according to a study by Oxhandler, et al., (2015) only 13% of Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) had taken a course in R/S. There is a gap in our knowledge relative to factors that influence the use of R/S within the helping professions (Oxhandler and Giardina, 2017). Therefore, the purpose of this research is to try to identify the extent to which Hospice workers integrate R/S in patient care and what factors influence the use of R/S in patient care. An online survey was used to collect the data (Monkey Survey software). Univariate and bivariate analysis was conducted to analyze the findings. The findings of this study show a majority of respondents are white, female, Christians with a college degree, professional licensure, and are predominately nurses. Even though a majority of the respondents are nurses and nurses tend to follow more of a medical model rather than a social work model which is client self-determination, interestingly, nearly 70% of respondents gather religious and spiritual history from their patients. However, less than 50% of the respondents indicated they were adequately trained to integrate religion/spirituality into patient care. Most of the respondents were religious and their religious attendance was low. Most of the other independent variables were not significantly related to the dependent variables. The only correlations that were significant were the following: use of training was positively correlated with referring patients to other R/S resources were years of experience in hospice care (r = .33, p > .05); frequency of attendance in R/S services is negatively correlated with having confidence in integrating R/S in their work (r = -.34, p > .05); years of experience in hospice care had a moderate correlation with the use of training in practice. The higher number of years of experience in hospice care leads one to be more likely to use their training in R/S when providing care to patients (r = .34, p > .05).
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    An Analysis of the Behavioral Health Response Training Provided to EMS Personnel
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Gardner, Anna; Dellor, Elinam; Freisthler, Bridget
    Among Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems, calls related to behavioral health crises have increased at an exponential rate. This rise in call volume is accompanied by the increase in the expectations of pre-hospital personnel such as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics related to the provision of pre-hospital psychosocial care. However, this increase in expectation has not correlated with an increase in the training of EMS personnel to respond to behavioral health calls. The purpose of this study is to examine the level and type of behavioral health training among EMTs and paramedics, and the extent to which they contribute to perceived preparedness when responding to behavioral health calls in the central Ohio area. Eligible participants were Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel [Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics] over the age of 18 who currently are employed in central Ohio (Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, and Union counties). Study participants completed an online survey indicating the level of type of training they received and rated their perceived comfort and preparedness for different facets of response during behavioral health calls. Participants also offered their opinions on behavioral healthcare response systems and trainings in other parts of the United States, including the Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets (CAHOOTS) program in Eugene, Oregon, and the Shaker Heights Crisis Response Team in Ohio. 12 EMS personnel completed an online survey. Independent group t-tests were conducted from survey data to detect mean differences in level of preparedness by type and level of training. The study found that EMS personnel receive much of their training related to behavioral health patient care while responding to calls in the field. Therefore, personnel do not feel their training increased confidence related to different facets of patient care. Lastly, if further training programs related to behavioral health were to be provided in central Ohio, EMS personnel would be eager to participate. Findings from this study can be used to inform the creation of better mental health emergency response programs in central Ohio. This would benefit not only those in behavioral health crisis, but also EMS personnel’s safety and their maximization of time and resources.
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    Diabetic Management at Food Pantries: An Undergraduate Research Thesis
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Mirabile, Rylee; Kaiser, Michelle
    Food insecurity is defined as having "limited access to or availability of food or a limited or uncertain ability to acquire food in socially acceptable ways" (Holben & Pheley, 2006, p.1). In Franklin County, Ohio, over 12.8% of households are food insecure (Feeding America, 2021). Individuals who experience food insecurity are at a higher risk for chronic illnesses, like Type II Diabetes. Food pantries offer emergency and short-term solutions to bridge the nutritional gap for food insecure individuals and households. This community-based research study explores the effects of psychoeducational interventions in the food pantry setting on self-reports of diabetic management. Resources provided to food pantry clients relate to diet, exercise, community resource use, and mental well-being. The study takes place at NNEMAP Food Pantry in Columbus, Ohio with 17 food pantry clients who have Type II Diabetes. This study is utilizing multi-method data collection over a 6-week period. Study participants responded to open and close-ended survey questions about their predicted and actual use of provided resources. The intention was to have participants complete a post-test survey, but due to attrition, this part of the study was not completed. This study found that individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes struggle the more with diet-related management versus medication adherence or exercise changes. This study highlighted the differences in food security at the food pantry level, shedding light on how public benefit cuts may increase food pantry participation. Results also show that food pantries need to adapt how often clients can use their services, so that individuals will not need to travel so far to meet their nutritional needs.
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    Nature Relatedness and Well-being in Older Adults in Northwestern Ohio
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Robertson, Samantha; Kagotho, Njeri
    Background: Research indicates that interaction with the natural environment facilitates positive wellbeing. Studies from a wide range of disciplines confirm that contact with the natural environment has the potential to affect mental and physical health including, lower rates of anxiety and depression, improved immune system functioning and blood glucose levels, and overall positive functional health status. While research on the role of nature relatedness on the overall well-being of urban-dwelling older adults does exist, there remains a clear gap on research with older adults living in rural areas. Informed by Bronfenbrenner's Theory of Human Ecology, this study examines the effects of spending time in nature on the psychosocial wellbeing of older adults in two rural Ohio counties. Methods: Using convenience sampling methods, this study enrolled non-institutionalized older adults (50 years and over) residing in Northwest, Ohio. The data was collected through an online survey hosted on OSU Qualtrics in November-December 2022. Open and closed-ended questions were used and asked about participants' characteristics, interaction with nature, and physical and mental health. Results: A total of 73 responses were received but 6 responses were omitted from analysis due to being outside the study age-range (N=67). The average respondent was 63.84 years old (M= 63.84, SD= 7.09) and lived in a mean household of 2.09 members. Approximately 48% of the respondents reported an annual household income of above $91,000 and approximately 61% identified as female. Preliminary analysis indicates that on average, participants spent 22.35 hours in nature each month with the most common outdoor activities listed as hiking, gardening, and walking. Participants identified challenges to spending time in nature including physical mobility, time, and the weather. Approximately 92% rated their mental health as either good or very good, and 71.7% rated their physical health as good or very good. An emerging and unexpected finding from qualitative responses was around spirituality. Participants described a spiritual connection and specifically mentioned God and their relationship to God as integral to their connection with the natural environment. Discussion: As the World Health Organization's Age Friendly Movement continues to gain momentum in rural areas, and as we are grappling with the long-term change in the climate, there is need for more studies on the well-being of older Americans as they navigate their natural environment.
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    Puzzling Pictures: Feasibility Study of a Collage Art Trauma Reprocessing Intervention for LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults
    (The Ohio State University, 2023-05) Mathew-Santhosham, Ray; McInroy, Lauren
    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual and/or gender minority (LGBTQ+) individuals are at high risk for adverse mental behavioral, and physical health outcomes due to the prejudice and discrimination they experience at both individual and institutional levels. Compared to the general United States (US) population, LGBTQ+ adults report experiencing more trauma during their childhood and are more likely to be victimized as adults. Systemic barriers to healthcare for LGBTQ+ people are compounded by a lack of culturally responsive care to counter the historic pathologization of sexual and gender minority identities. In this feasibility study, an art intervention (Puzzling Pictures) was developed and tested to address the trauma reprocessing needs of the LGBTQ+ population. Using the cutting and pasting technique of collage art, participants were guided through a series of sessions wherein they identified traumatic memories and positive memories during or following trauma, and subsequently developed core beliefs to be represented in an art piece telling their personal trauma narrative. Findings show the intervention was perceived as highly satisfactory, logical, helpful, and appropriate for participants' goals. Participants indicated they experienced low levels of discomfort and anxiety during participation. Participants' symptoms of traumatic stress were significantly reduced from the pre-test (M=15.6, SD=3.44) compared to post-test (M=8.4, SD=3.05); t=6.22, p=0.002. Trends of decreased difficulty in emotional regulation and increased coping skills were also found. Trauma narratives and core beliefs shifted from shame-based to strengths-based with an emphasis on the decentering of trauma. More research must be conducted with a larger data pool and sample with diverse educational backgrounds as well as higher levels of trauma to determine further efficacy of the Puzzling Pictures intervention.
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    Understanding Needs and Challenges of African American Students Enrolled in the Moritz College of Law
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Walker, Nahla; Karandikar, Sharvari
    There is currently a vast amount of underrepresentation of Students of Color who attend law school. However, the even greater amount of inconclusive documentation accounting for the experiences of Black law school students is concerning. Documenting the issues that Black students face in educational pursuits of obtaining their Juris Doctorate is what will eventually evoke change and help them excel in their greatest potential. Thus, the aim of this study was to support the exigency of enhanced supportive measures for African American Students enrolled in the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State. In an effort to evaluate the conditions in which African American Students have endured in their journey to arrive at the Moritz College of Law, an exploratory study was utilized through cross-sectional interviews to gather qualitative descriptive data. Each interview consisted of a series of questions related to constructs and lived realities of childhood and adolescent experiences, impact of COVID on the lack of legal opportunities for students, challenges faced during 1L through 3L, and methods of responding to adversity. Based on 12 in-depth interviews with adults who identify themselves as underrepresented minorities within the African American community, the results of this study present different barriers that are divided into two groups: institutional barriers and internalized barriers. This study demonstrates that if adequate steps are not taken to improve diversity and inclusion, the minoritized population at Moritz College of Law will continue to face more challenges as they navigate gaps in equities within the legal profession. It is pivotal to acknowledge and study the social determinants that persist in African American communities that directly affect students of color in law schools.
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    Exploring the Role of Weight Stigma in the Development of Eating Disorders among Food-Insecure People
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Kretschmer, Andy; Ruch, Donna
    Although a small body of research exists that describes the relationship of food insecurity (FI), eating disorder (ED) pathology, and the role of weight stigma (WS) in the development of EDs, little is known about the specific impact of WS on food-insecure people, let alone those among them with significant, clinical ED pathology. The aims of this mixed-methodological study were (1) to quantitatively describe the nature and prevalence of EDs and WS internalization in a group of food-insecure people (n=45) in central Ohio; and (2) to derive themes governing compensatory disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) in order to qualitatively describe the role that experiencing WS plays in the development of eating disorders, and particularly the use of compensatory disordered eating behaviors (i.e., vomiting, exercise, restriction, laxative and diuretic abuse) among a food-insecure sample. Participants were recruited from a central Ohio food pantry. Survey data gathered from participants was analyzed to describe the prevalence and severity of FI, ED pathology, WS internalization, and relationships between these variables. Consistent with prior studies, this study demonstrates that FI is correlated with high rates of ED pathology, and that WS internalization is significantly correlated with ED pathology (P <.001). The results of this quantitative examination have been used to purposively sample respondents for the upcoming qualitative portion of this study. Consistency across studies examining EDs and FI as well as the influence of WS internalization on ED pathology implies that this is likely a widespread issue. Further qualitative and intervention research is needed to understand the systemic issues facing this population, potential barriers to treatment, and to determine specific and culturally competent care and support needs of this population.
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    "If I Don't Do It, No One Else Will" Narratives on the Mental Wellbeing of Eldest Daughters in sub-Saharan African Immigrant Households
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Bah, Fatoumata; Kagotho, Njeri
    Black immigrant women are especially susceptible to poor psychological outcomes and yet female immigrants of sub-Saharan African (SSA) descent remain a highly understudied population. Cumulative migration stressors, poverty, and socio-cultural factors contribute to high mental health risks in this sub-population. While the literature is mixed, birth-order has been correlated with mental health risk factors, with firstborns reporting higher emotional disorders and lower education achievement. This phenomenological study examines how birth-order and transnational experiences inform the psychological well-being of women from SSA. Convenience sampling was used to recruit college-age women (N=11) who were the eldest daughters of their families. Participants were invited to schedule two interviews at least 1-month apart. Two cycles of analysis were followed (cycle 1: descriptive, in vivo, and process coding; cycle 2: axial coding). Methodological rigor was optimized through reflexivity, journaling, peer check-in, and team coding. Atlas.TI was used to analyze the data. All participants self-identified as cis-gender females, age range 18-24, and were first or second-generation immigrants. The average household had 3 siblings with most respondents identifying as 'first-daughter' and two as eldest daughter still living in the household. Participants contextualized their narratives around family and college experiences and described their changing identities at the intersection of multiple cultures. Three themes emerged: Locus of Control, Identity, and Transnationalism. These women were hopeful about their future, and credited parenting strategies (they sometimes viewed as problematic) and social interactions as large contributors to their drive and academic motivations. They often feel overwhelmed with the expectations and responsibilities they are expected to fulfill both outside and inside of the home. These findings point to the need for further research to facilitate inclusive spaces in higher education and mental health settings for young sub-Saharan African women living in these transnational spaces.
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    Spirituality, Identity and Belonging: Exploring Mental Well Being among the Coptic Community in the United States
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Bibawy, Juliana; Maleku, Arati
    The Coptic population is a native Egyptian Christian population representing a minority status in their country of origin and religious identification. As a minoritized Orthodox Christian population in a constitutionally Islamic state of Egypt, the Copts have endured suffering in their homeland, which in most cases, forced them to migrate from the only home they know and brought many challenges to their migration. The Coptic diaspora in the United States is a minority representative religious diaspora community, which remains hidden and largely understudied. Mental well-being remains to be a huge concern among the Coptic diaspora population in the United States. Using a quantitative online survey design, this study aimed to explore the role of spirituality, identity, and sense of belonging on the overall mental well-being among the Coptic community in the United States. The online survey used quantitative measures on spiritual experience, belonging, identity, anxiety, and depression and few open-ended questions on the meaning of mental health, Coptic identity, and issues in the Coptic community. Quantitative findings of the study (N= 171) showed high levels of spirituality and Coptic identity, challenged sense of belonging, and high levels of anxiety and depression faced among survey respondents. Qualitative findings from the open-ended questions corroborated quantitative findings and highlighted mental health as a significant problem facing the Coptic population. Three themes emerged from the qualitative data: (1) meaning of mental health; (2) Coptic community identity; and (3) issues facing Coptic community: challenged sense of identity and mental health. Findings provide implications for culturally appropriate spiritual practices and collaboration with faith-based institutions to implement targeted mental health programs. This study sheds light on the experiences of minority-representative diasporas and unravels the role of spirituality in addressing mental health issues.
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    Exploring Firefighter Preference Regarding Critical Incident Stress Debriefing as a Post-Critical Incident Intervention
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Sarabia, Joselyn; Dellor, Elinam; Freisthler, Bridget
    Firefighters have a higher risk of developing negative mental health outcomes due to the high-risk nature of the job and cumulative trauma exposure. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) is a commonly utilized intervention in the fire service that aims to minimize psychological and emotional harm and prevent the development of negative mental health outcomes. However, limited research has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of CISD specific to this population. The purpose of this study is to explore firefighter preference regarding CISD as a post-critical intervention and examine self-reported secondary traumatic stress and coping self-efficacy. 540 career firefighters completed an online survey. Specific demographic and employment factors varied by each objective and analytic sample; however, the majority of study participants were Caucasian, non-Hispanic males. The study found that the majority of firefighters preferred CISD as compared to informal peer support, formal one-on-one counseling, and no intervention (47.9%); while no intervention was the second largest preference (27.8%). Firefighters who participated in CISD had significantly higher levels of secondary traumatic stress symptoms (STSS) as compared to firefighters who were offered and declined to participate after controlling for other factors (p <0.05), and the association was driven by men (p < 0.05). Lastly, firefighters who preferred CISD and those who preferred formal one-on-one counseling had significantly lower levels of firefighter coping self-efficacy and trauma coping self-efficacy as compared to firefighters who preferred no intervention (p < 0.05 and < 0.01 respectively). Findings from this study can be used to inform the practices utilized by the Columbus Division of Fire to address the stress and trauma experienced among its firefighters, as well as direct the implementation of future research to bridge the gap in knowledge on firefighter intervention preference.
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    Usefulness of Sexuality Education for Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder without Intellectual Disabilities
    (The Ohio State University, 2022-05) Ball, Olivia H.; Warren, Keith
    Little research about the effectiveness of prescribed sexuality education for adolescent individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis without the presence of intellectual disabilities has been published. Common misconceptions and stereotypes portray the idea that autistic individuals do not wish to engage in romantic relationships and previous research continues to dispel this false narrative. To fill this gap, the authors of this research study surveyed adults 18-24 years old who self-disclosed an ASD diagnosis and previously completed a sexuality education class in school during their adolescence. Using data from previously published research, the authors hypothesized that autistic individuals did not learn or retain information related to sexuality education key concepts outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) ((1) relationships, (2), values, rights, culture and sexuality, (3) understanding gender, (4) violence and staying safe, (5) skills for health and well-being, (6) the human body and development, (7) sexuality and sexual behavior, (8) sexual and reproductive health). Through this research study, it was found that individuals who attended a private institution while enrolled in a sexuality education instruction scored statistically lower on the "Sexual Knowledge Questionnaire" than those who attended a public institution.
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    Exploring Marginalized Youth Access to Outdoor Spaces for Recreation in Columbus, OH: Perspectives of Greater Hilltop Community Youth Service Providers
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Parsons, Nuurah; Jarrott, Shannon
    There is an ever-growing body of research regarding the role of the natural environment in relation to children's development and health. Erik Erikson identified eight developmental stages; adolescence (ages 12-18) is the fifth stage. The main developmental challenge at this stage is identity versus role confusion. During this stage youth ego identity begins to crystalize (Orenstein 2020). Development can be defined as "a lasting change in the way in which a person perceives and deals with [their] environment" (Bronfenbrenner 1979, p. 3). Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory of development identifies five nested structures where development is profoundly affected by events occurring in settings the developing person is present in, and settings the developing person is not present (Bronfenbrenner 1979). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified five social determinants of health: economic stability, education, social and community context, health and health care, and neighborhood and built environment. Using perspectives of organizers, and administrators who work with youth in the Greater Hilltop area, I addressed how marginalized adolescents access outdoor spaces for recreation in their community. Specifically, I explored what outdoor places and spaces adolescents' access for recreation, how they use it, strengths and barriers to currently available outdoor space and association with adolescent health. Results of the study captured how the ecological systems domains influence adolescent access to outdoor spaces for recreation in the Greater Hilltop community and health. All systems were reflected in interview responses except the chronosystem. The mesosystem was the most identified system, which is consistent as the majority of interviewees are involved with adolescents in the out of school setting. This research affirms the need for more research to understand the relationship between natural outdoor recreation spaces in the urban environment and adolescent health.
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    Utilizing Online Table-Top Roleplaying Games to Build Resilience and Coping Skills in LGBTQ+ Youth
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Bayes, Christina; McInroy, Lauren
    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and other sexual and/or gender minority (LGBTQ+) adolescents are at increased risk for mental health issues as a result of the stressors they are exposed to due to their LGBTQ+ identities. This stress— resulting from factors such as prejudice; individual, interpersonal, and institutional discrimination; and microaggressions—can also have negative effects on their overall wellbeing. This pilot feasibility and evaluation study adapted a table-top roleplaying game (similar to Dungeons and Dragons) to fit themes relative to the struggles of LGBTQ+ youth in an online format. The game magnifies and personifies themes like anxiety, depression, internalized stigma, and discrimination (both interpersonal and structural). Players collectively learn and implement relevant coping mechanisms to overcome these challenges. The study found that adapting an LGBTQ+ focused table-top roleplaying game to an online format was feasible and acceptable to participants and that the game is effective at its objectives, indicating significant changes for most outcomes of interest; results indicate that resilience and coping skills increased while risk factors decreased. While more research is needed to validate preliminary outcomes, this pilot study confirmed the potential for online table-top roleplaying games to reach a wide audience and help reduce risk factors while building resilience and coping skills in minoritized adolescent populations.
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    Understanding the Mental Health Needs and Technological Treatment Implications for Vulnerable Youth: A Focus Group with Practitioners
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Businger, Allie; Cash, Scottye
    Although all youth witnessed the extreme shift in exposure to negative risks and experiences over the past century, a particular category of youth witnesses the impacts at a higher rate. This category is vulnerable youth, and includes youth who are homeless, maltreated, in foster care, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) or Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). Vulnerable youth disproportionately experience mental health and wellbeing challenges. Literature shows that practitioners working with this population have a critical role in mitigating those challenges through technological services and resources. To explore these challenges and technological treatment implications, a total of six practitioners completed a virtual focus group. Transcripts were analyzed using content analysis. Participants shared challenges vulnerable youth face to meet basic, social and emotional, educational, technological and mental health needs. They reported limitations to in-person mental health services. Technology use, specifically applications (apps), can provide support to vulnerable youth and address the perceived challenges to meet various needs. More research is required to understand vulnerable youth's mental health and wellbeing and best practices for utilizing technology into youth mental health services.
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    Comparison of Demographic Data between Fathers with and without Paternal Postpartum Depression, Especially during the Covid-19 Pandemic
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Yu, Yunzi; Lee, Mo-Yee
    In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to paternal postpartum depression (PPD). In order to better understand paternal PPD, this study was to determine whether there were statistically significant differences in participants' demographics and responses to COVID- 19 related questions between fathers with and without PPD, and also explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on paternal PPD. This study was a quantitative survey study and used SPSS conducting chi-square tests and frequency analysis to get results. It recruited participants and distributed survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Findings of the study showed that there were statistically significant differences between PPD father group and non-PPD father group among 1) participant's age 2) participant's sexual orientation; 3) whether participants have been employed full-time; 4) participant's ability to pay rent; 5) whether participant's partner has been diagnosed with PPD; 6) whether participant's relationship with their partner has been changed because of the birth of their infant. As for factors related to COVID-19 pandemic, statistically significant differences between two group were found among 1) participant's COVID-19 test results 2) whether participants have been hospitalized for COVID-19; 3) whether participants have been self-isolated for COVID-19; 4) whether participant's relationship with their partner has been changed because of COVID-19; 5) how participants thought COVID-19 impact their mental health. Most of the participants (n=205) thought that COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted their financial ability, social life, ability to seek help, and mental health. However, 52.19% of the participants thought that COVID-19 positively influenced their experience of being a father.
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    The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on College Student Wellbeing
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Imhoff, Leah; Love, Randi; Begun, Audrey
    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on society. For college students, there are important questions to ask about the extent to which the pandemic, associated public health measures, and the related economic downturn added to stress and affected students' wellbeing. While we know quite a bit about how many stressors (e.g., housing stress, economic stress, worry about physical and mental health, and worry about grades) affect college students in normal times, we do not know how these stressors played out during the COVID crisis (Ettman, Abdalla, Cohen, Sampson, Vivier & Galea, 2020).To find out, I conducted an exploratory survey of college students at The Ohio State University and collected quantitative and qualitative data on self-reported well-being across three periods: before the pandemic, during the initial lockdown in the spring and summer of 2020, and the fall and winter of 2020-21. Findings suggest that, relative to the pre-pandemic period, many college students experienced declines in self-reported wellbeing that persisted into the fall and winter of 2020-21. Respondents who report a decline in well-being attribute it to a variety of pandemic-related factors, especially disruptions in living situations, social isolation, and worry about health – both their own and the health of loved ones. However, worry about grades actually went down during the pandemic and students report that a variety of supportive measures taken by their instructors and institution helped alleviate academic stress.
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    The School-to-Prison Pipeline among Black American Boys in Central Ohio: The Influence of Childhood Trauma
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Cox, Cariah; Davis, Alan
    Introduction: Studies indicate that Black-American boys overpopulate the Juvenile Justice System (JJS). This overpopulation is a result of the school-to-prison pipeline; a national trend where children are transferred out of public schools into the JJS. This study expands upon the school-to-prison pipeline literature by examining if childhood trauma, measured using the Adverse Childhood Experiences Questionnaire (ACEs; Possible range 0-10; higher scores = more trauma), is a contributing factor leading Black-American boys into the school-to-prison pipeline. Methods: A mixed method cross-sectional design was used to collect data on Black American ex-juvenile male offenders in central Ohio (n=67; mean age=25.7, SD=4.0). Aims:1) examine whether the number of ACEs were associated with the age that Black-American juveniles became involved in the JJS, the number of years incarcerated, or the frequency of school discipline (expulsion/suspension) began; 2) explore if the school security and discipline measures within the schools of Black-American boys in Central Ohio schools; 3) explore perspectives regarding what is needed to deter Black-American juveniles' entry into the school-to-prison pipeline in central Ohio schools; and 4) investigate the racial composition of teachers and cultural factors related to the school environment of Black-American boys when they engaged in the JJS. Results: Participants' mean age of adjudication was 13.1(SD=2.6) and the mean ACEs score was 6.1 (SD=4.0). Regarding Aim 1, there was no statistically significant relationship between ACE scores and the age juveniles encountered the JJS (r= -.10; p=0.203). There was a marginally significant relationship between ACE scores and the length of sentencing (r = .019; p =. 057)., Regarding Aim 2, a positive relationship between ACE scores and frequency of suspension was found (r=.29; p=0.035), showing that the more childhood trauma experienced in the sample, the more times they were suspended as an adolescent. Additionally, 82% of participants were suspended more than once. Next, findings revealed that increased levels of school security impacted school discipline and racial inequities. Specifically, a significant positive relationship was found between police officers being present in their school and number of times they were suspended/expelled (r=.24; p=.027). Another positive relationship was revealed between metal detectors being present in their school and wrongdoing suspiciousness because of race (r=.32; p=.004). Moreover, there was a significant negative relationship between ACEs scores and the school security measure, security guards (r =-.37; p = .001); meaning presence of school security guards was associated with lower ACEs scores. The disciplines related to each level of security shows that the more militant the security, the more severe the consequence (i.e., school discipline, racial inequalities) and report of more ACEs. Regarding Aim 3, exploration of racial compositions of teachers revealed a positive correlation between being subjected to unfair treatment from a teacher because of race and being suspected of wrong because of race (r=0.34, p=0.003). Regarding Aim 4, participants reported wanting family love (36%) and opportunities assisting with academic/professional career goals (26%) during adolescence. Conclusion: The findings from this study indicate that increased trauma is positively correlated with increased school discipline measures such as metal detectors and police officers being present within school buildings compared to security guards. Given these findings, school administrators should consider having a guidance counselor or social worker evaluate trauma history and the needs of a child prior to resorting to disciplinary actions. Future research is needed to design better education interventions addressing the needs of Black-American boys prior to taking disciplinary actions, with a focus on helping them cope with childhood trauma.
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    Preclearing the Way to Vote: A Proponent Testimony for the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) MacNeill, Caroline; Kagotho, Njeri
    To demonstrate how my double majors in social work and political science, I chose to write and present a Congressional testimony of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. This legislation aims to establish a Section 4 coverage formula for jurisdictions that would be subject to preclearance procedures under the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court ruled that the existing formula authorized in 2008 was unconstitutional in Shelby County v. Holder. If a jurisdiction, which could consist of a state, county, or township, is determined to be covered by the Section 4 formula, that jurisdiction must receive preclearance, or approval, from the United States Attorney General or a U.S. District of Columbia Court before they change any voting practices. I chose this bill because learning about the Shelby County v. Holder case in my political science class is what introduced me to my interest in voting rights. I continued to pursue my interest by taking classes in political science about voting. I then gained the necessary skills to advocate for voting rights through my macro social work classes and my social work field placement, where I practiced voter engagement and advocacy. By writing this testimony, I have the opportunity to apply the knowledge of the history and current practices of voting that I learned in my political science major while practicing the advocacy skills that I gained in my social work major. After the testimony, I then reflect on my experiences in my double-major pathway, what I have learned from them, and how they have prepared me for my future after graduation.
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    Black First-Generation College Students' Strengths
    (The Ohio State University, 2021-05) Worthy, Sly, Jr.; Bowen, Natasha
    The study in this article investigated the strengths of Black first-generation college students (FGCS) at The Ohio State University. Participants consisted of 119 Black FGCS, from the age of 18-25, who attended Ohio State. This cross-sectional quantitative study utilized a Qualtrics survey and the VIA-IS-P character strengths survey from the VIA Institute on Character. The results revealed that Black FGCS scored the highest in Kindness, Fairness, Perspective, Honesty, and Curiosity. Males scored higher in Curiosity, Creativity, and Bravery than females. Hope, Leadership, Gratitude, Bravery, Zest, and Perseverance had a positive correlation with age. Students who identified as Pell Grant eligible or who were unsure about their Pell Grant status scored lower in Bravery and Leadership than those who were not Pell Grant eligible. Students who had a grade point average of 3.0 – 3.499 scored higher in Creativity, Bravery, and Zest than students who had a grade point average below 3.0 and 3.5 and above. This study established that Black FGCS scored high in all 24-character strengths measured. Therefore, their lower performance on average in higher education is not due to character flaws, but more likely to environmental factors. The findings suggest we should build interventions around this population's strengths, we need to conduct more research on the population, and develop a consistent definition for what a first-generation college student is.