Session B: 10:45AM – 12:15PM

Social Sciences. Session B – Oral Presentations. Collegiate Room, Union

SESSION B (10:45AM-12:15PM)
COLLEGIATE ROOM, A. Ray Olpin University Union


The Impact of COVID-19 on Marriage and Divorce Rates
Kathryn Grendell, Brigham Young University
Kimalie Nye, Brigham Young University
Samantha Bailey, Brigham Young University
Olivia Black, Brigham Young University
Seth Driggs, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor Spencer James, Brigham Young University

SESSION B 10:45-11:00AM
Collegiate, Union
Social Sciences

The economic recession between 2008-2010 impacted many facets of life across the globe. For instance, marriage rates declined slightly while suicide rates rose as a result of the economic recession. We predicted that because of this change, during the recession in several Western countries, divorce and suicide rates would both increase. After the Great Recession, we predicted that marriage and divorce rates would be correlated among several Western countries. Using data from the Global Families Research Initiative at Brigham Young University, collated from different data sources such as the United Nations, the individual country’s department of statistics, and through correspondence with international statistics bureaus, our results suggest that while divorce and suicide had a significant correlation between the years 2008-2019, marriage and divorce only were significantly correlated between 2013-2019. Marriage and suicide had no correlation for any of the years between 2008-2019. These findings suggest that as divorce rates rose, marriage rates fell during the few years during and after the recession. It was not until 2013 that marriage and divorce began to stabilize together. Additionally, suicide and divorce appeared to rise in conjunction with one another and then fall and stabilize, and this is a pattern that has continued to present itself over the last decade. Future studies may consider how the COVID-19 pandemic further influenced the relationships between these rates.


Indifference Coping: Understanding Stigma and HIV-Spreading Behaviors.
Ives Hong, Utah Tech University

Faculty Mentor Dannelle Larsen-Rife, Utah Tech University

SESSION B 11:25-11:40AM
Collegiate, Union
Social Sciences

Human Immunodificiency Virus (HIV) causes men who have sex with other men (MSM) to sustain serious health problems. When HIV progresses to AIDS, the immune system deteriorates increasing the risk of opportunistic infections, chronic disease and potentially death. Due to the many physical health complications, mental health implications may be overlooked. HIV stigma may contribute to poor mental health and seeking autonomy and relationality as a method of coping. Thus, people infected with HIV may engage in disease-spreading behaviors such as not testing for sexually transmitted infections, and engaging in unprotected sex to cope with the psychological burden of HIV. One behavior seen in MSM is gift-giving, or the process of intentionally transmitting HIV to a partner (Klein, 2014) as an act of relationality and self-determination (Thorneycoft & Smilges, 2022). People who have HIV may feel isolated and a loss of control over their mental and physical health status. Gift-giving may provide a way to cope with indifference and some sexual liberty. Consensual gift-giving is “generationing” while nonconsensual gift-giving is known as “stealthing.” Despite the lack of discussion amongst MSM, gift-giving behaviors are prevalent in gay pornography and real sexual encounters (Klein, 2014; Brennan, 2016). Whether gift-giving is consensual or not, it plays an important role in disease transmission. There is a paucity of research about gift-giving in MSM, especially potential psychological explanations for the practice. The proposed study will examine the association between gift-giving and HIV stigma. It is expected HIV stigma, depression and anxiety will be associated with gift-giving behaviors. Participants will be approximately 400 MSM who will complete measures of HIV stigma, depression and anxiety, and gift-giving behaviors (unprotected sex, generationing and stealthing). Results from this study may inform prevention and intervention efforts around behaviors associated with sexually transmitted diseases and HIV stigma.


Leadership and Success at Southern Utah University
Benz Wycklendt , Southern Utah University

Faculty Mentor Katie  Englert , Southern Utah University

SESSION B 11:45-12:00PM
Collegiate, Union
Social Sciences

We do not have to be a politician to be a leader. We can all make a difference, because leadership is not about position but rather influence. Leaders are best when people know they barely exist. When a job is done, a leader’s aim is fulfilled. Leadership is a choice, but not a rank.
In this paper, several interviewees reminded me that action without a vision is simply passing time. Vision without action implies the same concept of daydreaming. If we drive a car without a destination, a leader will get lost. So to rephrase, a leader without passion and enthusiasm will lack credibility if they do not make a genuine difference.


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Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program Copyright © 2023 by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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