Session C: 1:45PM – 3:15PM

Social Sciences. Session C – Poster Presentations, Ballroom, Union

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Location:Ballroom, A. Ray Olpin University Union


“Where I Can Be Myself”: Social media and mental health in transgender and non-binary adolescents.
Seth Ririe, Brigham Young University
Kennedy Banks, 
Brigham Young University
Allison WestonBrigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Sarah Coyne, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

The current study utilizes a risk and resilience approach to examine contexts of social media use on mental health among transgender, gender non-binary and cisgender adolescents. Participants included 1,231 adolescents (ages 10-17 years old) from a national quota sample from the United States (55% of the sample identified as female, 39% as male and 6% as transgender, non-binary, or other (TGNB)). In terms of race/ethnicity, 57% identified as White, 15% as Black, 9% as Asian, .3% as American Indian/Alaska Native, 15% as Hispanic/Latin, .1% as Pacific Islander, and 3.3% as mixed or other race/ethnicity. Each completed a series of online questionnaires asking about multiple contexts around social media use (time, type of use, favorite site, social comparisons, mindfulness, taking intentional breaks, cleaning and curating feeds, problematic use, and media literacy programs at their school) and mental health (depression, emotional problems, conduct problems, and body image). There was no association between time spent on social media and any developmental outcome for adolescents in our sample. However, the context of social media use was associated with adolescent mental health, often depending on gender identity. For example, active social media use was highly protective for TGNB youth as was cleaning/curating social media feeds, compared to cisgender adolescents. However, taking intentional breaks from social media was related to worse mental health for TGNB youth, but better mental health for cisgender adolescents. Results were discussed with a focus group of gender diverse adolescents. Implications for youth, parents, educators, and policy makers are discussed.


Effects of Resilience on HRV Following a Stressor
Jared Newton, Brigham Young University
Joseph Rees, Brigham Young University
Matthew Grendell, Brigham Young University
Julia Elmer, 
Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Steffen, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Background. Over the last 30 years, there has been an increase in stress as stressor prevalence and severity has risen (Almeida et al., 2020). This is critical due to the detrimental effects that stress can have on individuals’ physical health (Rawson et al., 1994) and mental health (Snyder et al., 2019). When studying stress, researchers often use heart rate variability (HRV) because it has been established as a measurement of one’s ability to adapt to stressful stimuli (Rajendra Acharya et al., 2006). In addition, high HRV has also been shown to correlate with both better resilience and cortisol modulation (Perna et al., 2020), implying a connection to improved stress management. This study will examine the relationship between resilience and HRV using a standardized protocol and large sample. Hypothesis. If an individual has higher resilience then they will have higher HRV at baseline and will recover back to their baseline after a stressor in comparison to those with lower resilience. Methods. College students were randomly assigned to three different breathing ratio groups, each with different ratios of inhaling/exhaling-40/60, 50/50, or 60/40. Prior to participation, participants completed a battery of measures, including the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC; Connor & Davidson, 2003). During the study, participants were instructed to breathe according to their assigned breathing ratio while data was collected through an EKG, respiration belt, and blood pressure cuff. The protocol consisted of a 5 minute baseline, breathing practice for 15 minutes, a stressor, and a 10 minute recovery period. Results. We hypothesize that the data will show that those with higher resilience will have higher HRV at baseline and during the recovery period in comparison to those with lower levels of resilience.



The effects of writing tutoring on perceived stress
Brooke Curry, Brigham Young University
Marinne Hammond, Brigham Young University
Brynn Pyper, Brigham Young University
Brooke Curry, Brigham Young University
Julia Elmer, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Joyce Adams, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)


While students communicate to writing centers that they feel less stressed following a session, there is little empirical data to support this claim. To address this gap, we conducted a survey in the Brigham Young University Family, Home, and Social Sciences Writing Lab (BYU FHSS Writing Lab). The survey was completed before and after a writing tutoring session by undergraduate students who attended the BYU FHSS Writing Lab to measure the effects of writing tutoring on stress, a relatable emotion of college students. More specifically, we wanted to better understand perceived stress in conjunction with other variables, such as year in school, familiarity with the assigned citation style, whether the student had a plan for their paper, and whether they had visited the BYU FHSS Writing Lab in the past. We wanted to see how each of these variables were affected by a visit to the writing lab, and particularly how students’ perceived stress levels were affected in turn. We discovered that visiting the BYU FHSS Writing Lab did significantly reduce perceived stress levels, and that many other factors play into this such as a student having a plan after their writing session or what year the student was in school. This research is important to writing labs across the country because by implementing our findings, writing centers may be able to maximize the help they provide to students and contribute to their stress relief.


Let’s Jam: Can music alter the response to a stressor?
Tatiana Leroy,
Utah Valley University
Austin Booth
, Utah Valley University
Bethany Blair, Utah Valley Universityy
Ryan Coburn, Utah Valley University
Manuel Quijas Ornelas, Utah Valley University
Kenya Sanchez, Utah Valley University
Brittney Stockholm, Utah Valley University
Vitaliy Walker, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Claudia Jorgensen, Utah Valley University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

When exposed to stressful situations, the human nervous system reacts with the fight or flight response activation. Physiological indicators of the activation of the fight or flight response include a change in body temperature, increased heart rate, blood pressure, and sweating (Sriram, 2012). There is mounting evidence implicating stress as physiologically and psychologically harmful. For example, recent research has found a correlation between chronic exposure to stress and the development of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Furthermore, chronic stress has the potential to change the anatomy of the brain along the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA), which is an important part of the neuroendocrine system, plays a role in the release of stress hormones, and helps regulate moods, emotions, and sexual behaviorisms (Ramiz,, 2013).  When it comes to college students, developing healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress could positively influence their academic performance and it might improve and maintain their psychological and physiological well-being (Skowronek, 2014). Various research studies have been conducted to reveal the therapeutic qualities of music. Music can effectively relieve nervousness, promote mental health, and positively affect students’ psychological states (Chi, 2020). Current research on stress-related outcomes shows that music interventions play a significant role in stress reduction, both on psychological and physiological levels (de Witte et. al, 2020).  The present study focuses on measuring physiological responses (including heart rate, electrodermal skin response, and body temperature) to a potentially stressful situation (a mathematical calculation task) while being exposed to various music genre types (Kirschbaum et al., 1993). We hypothesize that calmer music might reduce stress response, while faster and more upbeat music might increase the stress response. The study will employ a within-subject repeated measures design; the fast-paced and slow-paced music genres will be counterbalanced. After obtaining the baseline physiological measures when no music is played, the participant will be exposed to relaxation/mediation music and fast-beat music.  When exposed to different types of music, the measured differences in physiological response will be used to investigate how different genres of music that vary in tempo may affect the human stress response. Findings on the effects of music manipulation on the human nervous system can be used as additional tools for the management of stress.


Using Color in Amazonian Kichwa
Addy Mangum, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Gregory Thompson, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

This ethnographic thesis discusses color within Ecuadorian Amazonian Kichwa and aims to establish the ways in which color may (or may not) be abstracted, problematize the western imposition of hue as a cultural category, and propose that color is not its own category in Kichwa, but a subset of a cultural category of analogy. Data was originally collected at the Iyarina Research Station in Tena, Ecuador. Methodology included ethnographic interviews with native speakers of Kichwa, participant observation (particularly during the painting of bowls and faces), and elicitation using color wheels and color boards. Color wheels were based on HSV color space controlling for lightness to test for the role of hue and saturation in dividing color space. Color boards were based on those by Munsell (1913), though altered to account for hue, saturation, and lightness, taking an even sampling from the Natural Color System (1979). The thesis includes an overview of color terms, and use of color in communication by native speakers of the Napo and Pastaza Lowland dialects and is divided into two parts. The first part provides an updated, comprehensive list of current color terms, basic and otherwise, including physical and cultural traits with which each term is associated. The development of color terms in Kichwa is compared to the hue model proposed by Berlin and Kay (1969), which is critiqued as problematic, especially in the case of the metonymic term ushpa. The second part examines color in the context of Kichwa cosmology, particularly the relationships between persons, plants, and animals. Analogy is established as a predominant and highly valued cultural category. This thesis concludes that most basic terms are unnecessary and inefficient to Kichwa speakers, who prefer an analogical method to categorize color. It challenges cross-cultural and -lingual assumptions about how color is named, abstracted, and categorized.



Toward Understanding Political Charisma: Its Characteristics & Relationship w/Political Ideology
KC Cushman, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: James Curry, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

This research project examines how Americans perceive charisma in politics. Primarily, it aims to answer two questions. First, what characteristics make a politician charismatic? Second, how does ideological alignment between a candidate and a voter impact the voter’s perception of that candidate’s charisma? To answer these questions, I conducted a survey of 2000 Democratic or Democratic-leaning adults across the United States. The survey asked respondents to rate various characteristics, ranging from attractiveness to trustworthiness, and including overall charisma, of 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates. The survey also asked participants several ideological questions regarding different policy arenas in order to establish which candidate(s) they most ideologically align with. I hypothesize that policy preferences will have an impact on voter perceptions of charisma but will not be the only explanatory factor. Further, I hypothesize that voters will value characteristics like perceived honesty, trustworthiness, and authenticity more than other characteristics.


Correlating the Cognitive Bias Blind Spot with Perseverance
Jordan Davidson, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Frank Drews, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

While a person can generally detect the influence that cognitive bias has had in others’ decision-making, the inaccessibility of bias in one’s own cognition makes it harder to detect bias in their own thoughts and behaviors. This asymmetrical bias detection leads to a statistical impossibility: the large majority of people-approximately 70-80% of individuals-believe they are less biased than the average person, a psychological phenomenon known as the bias blind spot. While this type of self-enhancement can create social consequences, there may also be potential benefits. It is believed that “positive illusions,” such as overestimating one’s abilities and qualities, can lead to higher ambition and perseverance. While few studies have explored benefits to the bias blind spot, we hypothesize that there may be a positive correlation between bias blind spot and perseverance in individuals. Two studies are conducted to test this hypothesis. In the first, we investigate correlations between bias blind spot and perseverance to complete mazes. In the second, we investigate if providing feedback on the participant’s performance compared to the average participant’s performance while completing mazes will correlate with bias blind spot. We discuss in detail the cognitive implications for discovering potential motivating factors to the bias blind spot, how this may lead to attenuating its presence, and how this research fits into the current state of radical political ideology.



Obsessive-Compulsive Symptomology in LGBTQ+ Mormons: The Role of Social Safety
Julia Decker, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Lisa Diamond, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) who hold LGBTQ+ or sexually-diverse/gender-diverse (SGD) identities often face prejudice, ostracization, and discouraging messages from their social communities and religious leaders. Individuals in this population have demonstrated disparities in various facets of health and well-being, including symptoms of scrupulosity related to deficits in social safety. However, there is little research on the presence/absence of social safety and further categories of obsessive-compulsive behavior in SGD members of the LDS church. This study aims to further explore the relationship between social safety and obsessive-compulsive symptoms in this population by looking at scrupulosity and additional obsessive-compulsive subtypes, as well as seeks further insight into the behavioral responses of this population when faced with social or institutional adversity.



Associations Between a Healthy Work-Family Balance and Better Health
Sylvia Brown, Brigham Young University
Nathaniel Call, Brigham Young University
Christine Gore, Brigham Young University
Anna Jorgensen, Brigham Young University
Kelsie Minga, Brigham Young University
Ella Sieg, Brigham Young University
Abigail Williams, Brigham Young University
Michael Thomsen
Abby Baker

Faculty Mentor: Wendy Birmingham, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Background: Blood pressure (BP) has been linked to stress, such that higher stress levels can result in higher BP, and higher BP has been linked to greater cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. BP shows a circadian rhythm such that a healthy cardiovascular profile includes a blood pressure decrease of 10-15% from day to night (i.e., nocturnal dipping) (O’Brien et al., 1988). Many studies have shown nocturnal BP dipping to be a better predictor of CVD than daytime or nighttime ambulatory BP averages. Today most husbands and wives work outside the home and may experience internal conflict when trying to balance multiple at-home responsibilities with all their work responsibilities. These conflicts can increase stress levels for both husbands and wives, which could increase risk for CVD. Balancing work and home responsibilities and reducing these internal conflicts may reduce stress and improve BP outcomes, specifically nocturnal dipping, and thus reduce CVD risks. Aims of this study: To determine if a healthy work-family balance is associated with better nocturnal BP dipping. Methods: 179 participants (mean age: 24.84, SD=4.1; range 21-46; 55.3% male) were recruited from a local university, social media, and the local community. Because physiological measures were taken, exclusion criteria included any medical conditions with a cardiovascular component, and BMI over 29.9 as obesity is correlated with hypertension. Each participant wore an ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) monitor for 24 hours, collecting readings every half hour during the day and once an hour during the night. Participants also completed a demographic questionnaire and a work/family balance questionnaire. We treated nocturnal BP dipping dichotomously (dippers classified according to a dipping ratio of BP night/day; dippers were ≤.90 and non-dippers were >.90) taking the average of the daytime BP and the average of the night-time readings. All analysis was completed through SAS version 9.4. Results: Those who exhibited less conflict between their work responsibilities and home responsibilities showed a healthy dipping profile for both systolic blood pressure (p<.001) and diastolic blood pressure (p<.001). Ancillary analysis showed this effect was more pronounced in women than in men for both systolic BP (p<.001) and diastolic BP (p<.001).  Conclusions: Most individuals work outside the home. An understanding of the necessity of balancing these responsibilities with those at-home responsibilities to reduce CVD risk can help individuals work to improve these imbalances so as to improve health now and in the future. This may be particularly important for women, who often take on more of the household and childcare responsibilities. Working to improve equity between spouses/partners can improve the health of both partners.



Social Safety Among Multiracial Individuals in Utah
Brendan Hatch, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Lisa Diamond, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

This paper examines social safety among multiracial individuals in Utah. The concept of social safety is an aspect of minority stress that proposes even in the absence of apparent threat, people may still feel the need to be on alert or guard themselves from harms that could happen. Social safety then, is a level of personal safety felt that occurs when an individual is not actively on alert, but is able to exist in the moment. Social safety is built through environments that produce reliable sources of sense of belonging, social connection, inclusion, and protection. Individuals with multiracial identities may suffer a unique lack of social safety due to communities that they identify with not fully accepting them as a part of the community. This lack of social safety can happen at multiple levels depending on the individual and how unpredictable they find their communities to be. A consistent lack of social safety in frequented environments can have significant negative impacts to a person’s mental, emotional, and physical health. This thesis is meant to examine the multiracial portion from Dr. Diamond’s research paper examining social safety within marginalized communities. This thesis hypothesizes that multiracial individuals will report experiencing lower rates of social safety within family and community settings.



State Variation of Eligibility in Medicaid Waivers for Disabled Populations
Sydney Kincart, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Phillip Singer, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Medicaid is the most important insurance program for individuals with disabilities as over 10 million people are eligible for Medicaid on the basis of their disability (People with disabilities). Waivers are an important policy tool, allowing states increased flexibility in their programs (National Association of Community Health Centers). The 1915(c) waiver allows states to offer home and community based services (HCBS) to certain groups of people instead of care provided in an institution (National Association of Community Health Centers). Utah has eight different HCBS waivers in place with eligibility ranging from aging to autism (Home and Community Based Services [HCBS] Waiver Programs). However, disability can be invisible, undocumented, and undiagnosed-leaving a vulnerable population without resources for assistance. Adding to the complication of disability and eligibility is the causality dilemma inherent for these individuals. Disability is one of the categorically required eligibility criteria for Medicaid, but individuals need to have a medical diagnosis of disability to be eligible for the program. Without previous access to healthcare, such a diagnosis is unlikely. Although someone may not meet Medicaid’s eligibility criteria, they continue to face disablement through institutional barriers and lack the support that Medicaid would offer. To understand how states have leveraged waivers and their Medicaid programs to provide care for individuals with disabilities, our project analyzes all Medicaid 1915(c) waivers. In our analysis, we have cataloged the current policy landscape of Medicaid waivers related to disability, capturing data on who is eligible, what types of benefits are provided, and the types of disability identified by states. Our work highlights the patchwork nature of Medicaid coverage for individuals with disabilities and disparities in accessing and being eligible for this essential public program.



What Changes Voters’ Perceptions of Inflation?
David Lee, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Josh McCrain, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Inflation is recently a salient topic among voters and policymakers. FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos conducted six polls from April to October 2022 and voters rated inflation as the country’s most critical issue. Voters aren’t the only individuals concerned about inflation. Policymakers are also concerned about inflation and inflation expectations. The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates at an unprecedented rate to control inflation. The Federal Reserve actively monitors long-term inflation expectations to ensure they remain anchored. Therefore, our research sets out to determine if low-cost informational nudges (narratives) on climate change have a causal effect on household inflation expectations. We investigate how households update their inflation expectations in response to low-cost informational nudges (narratives). We use economic and political narratives centered around climate change. We construct our economic narratives on the premise that climate change puts upward pressure on grocery prices. We include the political narrative because one’s political affiliation, conditional on the party that controls the presidency, biases inflation expectations (Bachmann et al. 2019; Gillitzer, Prasad, and Robinson 2021). We include inflation statistics from the Survey of Professional Forecasters to control for the extremeness individuals may have when using specific prices to form their inflation expectations (Bruine de Bruin, van der Klaauw, and Topa 2011). We apply an information provision experiment to US households using Prolific, an online survey platform. We measure their pre-treatment and post-treatment inflation expectations to determine if our narratives influence household inflation expectations. Our contribution is we seek to determine if climate change narratives influence household inflation expectation formation. We also contribute to the literature on personal experiences having a causal effect on inflation expectations. We contribute to the role that communication has on household inflation expectations. Politicians and policymakers stand to benefit from a better understanding of how voters form their inflation expectations because they can better tailor their economic messaging.



The Effect of School Funding Disparities on Economic Inequality
Benvin Lozada, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Jing Yi Zhu, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Since the 1980s, the United States has experienced increased income inequality, which has fueled a variety of social, economic, and political concerns regarding the state of the American Dream and the true nature of opportunities available throughout the country. The U.S. has been lagging behind almost all developed countries in this form of mobility (The White House, 2013). One major contributor to the ability of impoverished peoples to climb up the socioeconomic ladder has been the attainability of education; however, common barriers to education exist in our society that have prevented the classroom from reaching its full potential as an enabler of equity. As a result, it becomes significant to study these barriers in order to understand how to create a fairer system. While many of the inputs of education are important to consider, one of the most critical ones is the methods which schools are funded with; this may not only have an effect on the status of the schools but have lasting ramifications on the life outcomes of the students that learn there. As a result, this research project tackles the following topic: what is the effect of school funding policies on economic inequality? The project employs an instrumental variable method approach to infer causality, utilizing a multitude of datasets on Census information, school district funding, and economic mobility spanning the last 4 decades. This is combined with innovative machine learning models to best model the relationship that is being investigated in this project. While this approach has been worked on in abstract papers for some time, this has not often been practically implemented into studying real-world datasets and issues (Pech and Laloe, 1997) (Xu, Chen, Srinivasan, de Freitas, Doucet, Gretton 2021). I hypothesize that there is a statistically significant relationship between certain school funding policies and the rates of economic mobility in their corresponding communities. If the hypothesis proves to be true, we will be able to ascertain this relationship and make detailed policy recommendations in order to help remedy this source of inequality.


Effects of Natural and Urban Imagery on Error-Related Negativity
Marin Macfarlane, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Amy McDonnell, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Attention Restoration Theory (ART) proposes that urban environments deplete our attentional resources and natural environments counteract this depletion by allowing our attentional system to rest and recuperate (Kaplan, 1995).  Previous research supports the cognitive and physiological benefits of immersion in nature as well as viewing nature imagery, but little research has utilized brain-imaging to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying these benefits.  In the present study, we use electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the effects of viewing nature imagery in comparison to urban imagery on the Error-Related Negativity (ERN), a component of the Event-Related Potential (ERP) related to cognitive control and attention network (AN) activity. Previous research has shown an increase in the ERN amplitude during immersion in nature compared to immersion in an urban environment, indicative of an increase in cognitive control capacity during immersion in nature. We similarly used EEG to measure amplitude of the ERN elicited by a Flanker task after participants viewed either nature or urban imagery to see if just images of nature would have the same effect.  We predicted an increase in the ERN amplitude for the nature imagery condition compared to the urban imagery condition. We found no statistically significant difference in ERN amplitude between the nature and urban imagery conditions, suggesting that the benefits of viewing nature imagery may not have the same neural mechanisms as immersion in nature.  Future research could investigate whether viewing nature imagery for longer periods of time may be necessary to significantly influence the ERN.


A geospatial and climatic analysis of the rise and fall of the Aksumite Empire on the Tigray Plateau, Ethiopia
Talon Roberts, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Mitchell Power, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Ethiopia and the horn of Africa are well known for their vast history of human activity. This history includes some of the oldest hominid remains ever found, as well as many ancient civilizations that have come and gone through time, including the Aksumite Empire. This research strives to understand the environmental and anthropogenic history of the Aksumite Empire through developing a modern baseline with recent climate and geospatial data in the horn of Africa and comparing that data with long-term paleoclimate archives. This research will explore linkages among climate drivers and long-term fire reconstructions from sedimentary charcoal research from samples collected in 2019 near the city of Adigrat, Ethiopia.  Specifically, to investigate what factors may have ultimately led to the collapse of the Aksumite Empire around 700 A.D. The sediment core sample location is documented as once hosting ancient Aksumite farmlands, where intentional burning likely occurred. Through examining current climatic data in the horn of Africa and comparing it with long-term paleoclimate reconstructions (e.g., Lamb et al. 2007; Terwilliger et al. 2011) and a newly created sedimentary-charcoal fire history, this research aims to better understand factors that contributed to the decline of the Aksumite Empire. Specifically, this research explores whether natural environmental factors, anthropogenic factors (e.g., over-exploitation of resources), or potentially a combination of several factors contributed to the demise of the Aksumites.



Parental Involvement in Restorative Justice Programs: Examining Salt Lake Peer Court
Melissa Tyszko, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Rebecca Owen, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Since the early 2000s, social scientists have observed growing contact between youth-especially marginalized youth-and the juvenile justice system in the United States. Diversion programs, such as youth courts, have been used in an attempt to curtail the growing population of court-involved youth by providing an alternative to formal juvenile justice involvement. Salt Lake Peer Court (SLPC) is a restorative-justice based youth court program. SLPC incorporates community service, skill building, and accountability practices to address the offenses of youth participants and reconnect them to their communities. Research on diversion programs like SLPC has shown a promising link between family-involved sentencing and youth success. For example, the use of family therapy can address some factors which are correlated with criminal behavior, by building family relationships and helping youth develop strategies to improve family functioning, which can be extended to other areas of their life. It is difficult, however, to generalize existing research to all diversion programs, due to variations across program structures and approaches. The heterogeneity of diversion programs necessitates a focused examination of SLPC, in order to determine the importance of parental involvement on the success of its participants. This study analyzes transcripts of previously conducted interviews with stakeholders in SLPC-including program directors, adult advisors, peer mentors, and school administration-in order to identify patterns related to parental involvement, family-involved sentencing, and youth success in the program. This analysis will be supplemented with observations conducted during Salt Lake Peer Court hearings in the 2022-2023 school year, and will allow for a greater understanding of how parental involvement may influence the effectiveness of SLPC for youth participants.



Measuring Heart Rate Variability, Stress, and Psychological Symptoms using Biofeedback, CCAPS, and DASS
Emily Hepworth, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Patrick Steffen, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

As levels of distress increase around the world due to a variety of global issues, college students are no exception to the resulting mental health crisis. This has especially been the case since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Recent studies show that levels of depression, anxiety, and psychopathology are currently rising among college students (Buizza & Ghilardi, 2022). With these increasing levels of mental health issues, new measures have arisen to evaluate the specific stressors of college students. This study combines the use of many of these measures to more comprehensively evaluate stressors and mental health symptoms in college students. This includes the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS), which measures stress and arousal in a summative and dimensional model (Lovibond & Lovibond, 1995), as well as the Counseling Center Assessment of Psychological Symptoms (CCAPS-34), which is designed specifically to measure psychological symptoms and distress in college students (Center for Collegiate Mental Health, 2015). To further measure the effects of stress, we measured heart rate variability (HRV) to capture the somatic response to stressors. HRV captures the body’s physical response to stress, as well as being a predictor for anxiety disorders (de la Torre-Luque et al., 2017).  We anticipated those with greater psychological distress and symptoms, as captured by the DASS and CCAPS, will also show a significant reduction in HRV as a response to the stressors in the experiment. We administered the CCAPS and DASS as well as tracked HRV via biofeedback to best measure self-reported and somatic manifestations of stress and anxiety. In addition, we used the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) to induce a controlled stressor within the experiment to establish the relationship between stress and HRV. We anticipate lower HRV for those participants whose CCAPS and DASS scores indicate significant mental health symptoms.


Laughing All the While: Race, Gender, and Recreational Violence in the Mechanisms Fanwork
Katelyn Allred, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor: Joyce Kinkead, Utah State University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

From 1960s housewives exchanging Star Trek zines, to early-internet Harry Potter message boards, to small pockets of community on modern social media, fans have been connecting over their shared love of a source material for decades, and the Internet has made creating and finding both original and fan content more accessible around the globe. This kind of worldwide connection brings people into contact with people they might not meet otherwise, and can foster an awareness of others’ lives and perspectives. Though fandom has always been at least subtextually political, the last few years have brought more and more conscious use of fan spaces as a vehicle for discussion of social issues. Even in spaces that pride themselves on diversity and inclusivity, though, unconscious bias still underlies the conversation. I studied the fandom for the Mechanisms, a queer storytelling folk punk band, to look for how these biases manifest in treatment of canon-typical actions in fanworks about characters based on race and gender, including transness. By surveying fans on their views of characters and analyzing fanfiction for frequency, severity, and treatment of violence perpetrated by canon characters, I found patterns in how characters with different identities were treated, and how these treatments interacted with dominant narratives surrounding people with those identities. While the kind of egregious mischaracterization that started this discussion within the fandom seems to be an outlier and did not appear in my sample, more subtle inequalities do exist. My research offers a snapshot into one fandom, and how in discussions of racial and gender inequality, public conversations, self-reported attitudes, and created content are not necessarily consistent.


The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Participation in College
Nicole Carter, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Chris Anderson, Utah Valley University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

The purpose of this research is to find out if college students with higher Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are less likely to participate in events in college. Previous research shows that students with higher ACEs struggle academically and are less likely to participate in school. Students are more likely to drop out of school as a result. Research also shows that education can mitigate some of the effects of ACEs. A survey was completed by 400 UVU alumni that asks about the ACEs they have experienced and what events they have participated in while in college. These events include being a research or teaching assistant, publishing in a student journal, meeting with advisors, and attending conferences. Statistically significant results would suggest universities should target students with high ACEs in order to increase their participation in college.


Sovereignty and the Great Salt Lake 
Maggie Christianson, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: April Reber, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Starting in the summer of 1847 Utah’s Great Salt Lake has steadily shrunk leading it to reach a historic low in July of 2022 at 4,190.1ft. 170 years of water level records show that continued diversions from waterways that feed the lake, increased temperatures, and drought have all contributed to the lake’s current suboptimal condition. Fears over the outright disappearance of the lake, mimicking the environmental and economic catastrophes that occurred at other drying lakes, have caused Utah residents, researchers, and legislators to open discussions over what can be done to preserve the lake. Our research questions center on recent legislation passed to protect the lake, specifically HB33 which designates water flowing to sovereign lands as a “beneficial use.” Our questions include: How does HB33 contribute to establish sovereign rights for the Great Salt Lake? How does the Great Salt Lake become a sovereign entity? How do multispecies rights become legalized through the aridification of the Great Salt Lake? Employing an interdisciplinary approach, our project seeks to understand the relationship between environmental crises such as the aridification of the Great Salt Lake, the scientific communication with broader publics about this environmental crisis, and the public’s response to that communication. This project’s methods include surveying, interviewing relevant stakeholders, analyzing legislative measures and laws, and using GIS modeling to understand how scientific communication translates to broader audiences.



How Childhood Experiences Affect College Dropout and Success Rates
Deborah Colimon, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Chris Anderson, Utah Valley University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

The college experience can be a great aid in personal development. College can foster feelings of belonging and growth and be an incredible time for many. However, the transition to college life can be a difficult experience, especially for students who have dealt with a great deal of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are various forms of physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction a child may experience. Most people have experienced at least one type of Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) before age 18, and nearly 1 in 6 people have experienced four or more types of ACEs. Research has shown that children who have dealt with a high number of ACEs have more challenges in adulthood than those who did not. This study aims to examine whether there is an association between poor academic behaviors and the dropout prediction of students based off of their reported ACEs and Positive Childhood Experiences (PACEs). We will assess the surveyed responses (n=401) of recent Utah Valley University (UVU) alumni on their experience and success during their undergraduate years, as well as the ACEs and PACEs they have experienced. This data was obtained following IRB approval (protocol #939). We predict that the higher the ACEs the more likely it is that a student struggled academically and or dropped out of UVU or another institution at some point before graduating. The data found from this study can help in navigating how institutions of higher education can most effectively support students in their first semesters at their colleges or universities.



Connections for Success: Social Networking in Virtual University
Clara Cook, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor: Jason Twede, Utah State University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

How have online classes affected university students’ abilities to network and connect, and how has that impacted their feelings towards their university experience and graduation preparation? This poster will explore the answer to this question based on surveys administered to students at Utah State University evaluating their online connection experience and success. It will include an analysis of trends relating to factors influencing the strength of student connections with both instructors and other students in online classrooms as well as overall attitudes and perceptions of success.



Now Growing Grapes: The Post-2012 Political Realignment of Orange County from Red to Purple
Kyle Davis, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Samuel Otterstrom, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

For decades, Orange County has been known for being politically conservative. Even as the rest of California phased through increasingly darker shades of blue in the 1990s and 2000s, the county remained reliably red in elections. Yet in 2016, it supported a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in 80 years, and by 2019, Democrats overtook Republicans in voter registration. Orange County can now best be described as “purple”. This transformation can be attributed to three factors: 1) a declining pool of available Republican votes, 2) recent diversification and in-migration from liberal areas, and 3) conservative and moderate backlash against Trumpism.


Women, Weight, and the Workplace: The Effects of Economic Weight Bias Against Women
Niko Dawson, Weber State University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Koford, Weber State University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Women experience different treatment within the workforce, influenced by remnants of a patriarchal society. Extensive effort has gone into researching the gender pay gap and what forces could be responsible for this societal disadvantage. Meanwhile, studies have shown an overall negative relationship between income and resulting weight, concluding that obesity rates are higher at lower levels of income. However, not much research has been conducted to analyze the likelihood that weight bias at the workplace causes this relationship to be significant when reversed. Using the most recent quantitative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, this paper uses an ordinary least squares regression model of income on weight with additional control variables to examine the effect of weight bias on income for men and women. Additionally, I will explore the consequences of this relationship and how it fits into the overarching issue of the gender pay gap.



Investigating the Potential for EM38 data to Detect Changes in Spatial Patterns in Soil Moisture for Turf Grass Management
Abigail Henrie, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Ruth Kerry, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

The Western United States, including Utah is currently experiencing a “mega drought”. Therefore, the need to limit water use in an efficient way has become essential. Turfgrass, a major vegetation type in urban areas, is the largest irrigated crop in the United States. It performs important ecosystem services such as cooling through evapotranspiration, fixing carbon from the atmosphere, and reducing wild-fire risk. Most residential turfgrass is irrigated using uniform protocols: for example, 20-30 minutes of irrigation every other day. However, more than 50% of irrigated water used on turfgrass is wasted by temporal and spatial misapplications. There are some solutions to this waste of water. Smart sprinklers reduce temporal misapplication by considering the weather of a particular area. Valve-in-head sprinklers can reduce wasted water through reducing spatial misapplications. In addition, sensors can help determine exactly how much water to apply in a certain area. The drawback to sensors is that they are expensive, and one needs ways to extrapolate rates to apply to zones. While spatial zones can be determined in several ways, some are more labor intensive than others. Traditionally, a ground survey would be performed using theta probes, NDVI readers, and infrared thermometers. However, we propose that using the EM38 takes less time and resources to get the similar information. Furthermore, this research works to link sensor measurements from four locations in two fields on the Brigham Young University campus using ground survey, drone survey, and EM38 maps, to determine how irrigation amounts should be varied between existing zones, or zones determined for valve-in-head sprinklers.


Are students entering as scientists? Pre-course Assessment of Undergraduate Student Science Identity
Steven Hughes, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Britt Wyatt, Utah Valley University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

The promotion of a more diverse and accessible environment in science classrooms is a goal espoused by many major educational institutions, and in keeping with that goal, many efforts have been made at an institutional level to introduce more resources for traditionally underserved student populations. At the classroom level, science instructors are responsible for adopting more inclusive pedagogy, modifying their methodologies to best engage students of all backgrounds (Wyatt et al., 2021). One way instructors can support students is by providing experiences that enable them to engage meaningfully with the scientific community in some capacity, allowing opportunities for the development and exploration of their science identity, that is, their perception of themselves as a “science person” (Carlone and Johnson, 2007). Although investigation into student science identity is not a novel concept, most previous research on the subject has focused primarily on science majors at research-focused institutions using purely quantitative measures. The current study aims to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative data regarding student science identity collected from a wider, more diverse population of science students. Current data consists of 1268 student responses, collected from pre-course surveys, which were distributed in 14 classes taught by 16 different instructors, spanning introductory and general education science courses to advanced, upper-division courses. Qualitative coding of responses collected regarding student perceptions of what it means to be a scientist, their self-identification as a scientist, as well as their perceived connectedness to the scientific community at large, reveal notable differences between different student groups while also highlighting relevant consistencies across different courses. For instance, all surveyed courses have students who report feeling disconnected from the scientific community and struggle to understand what it means to have such a connection, meanwhile those that do report feelings of connectedness tend to attribute that feeling as being due to their own native interest in the community at similar rates regardless of their status as a non-major, introductory-major or advanced-major student. We also see shifts in the types of language used to describe scientists as students progress in science majors, incorporating fewer stereotypical examples in their descriptions and emphasizing the role of continual learning as a defining characteristic, while also self-identifying as scientists at higher rates than their non-major or introductory-major fellows. The potential connections of these codes to other aspects of student science motivation and engagement will be explored, and discussion of potential implications of these findings will be discussed along with the benefits of pre-course assessments and other evidence-based approaches in the promotion of in-classroom student science identity formation.


Minority Ethnic Centrality, Affirmation, and Attitudes Toward Mental Health Care
Chandler Peterson, Weber State University

Faculty Mentor: Xin Zhao, Weber State University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

In recent years, there have been dramatic improvements in our ability to seek, utilize, and receive mental health care. Despite these improvements, research has shown that many individuals, especially those belonging to ethnic minority communities still experience difficulty seeking mental health treatment. Previous studies indicate that those who have strong ethnic centrality are more likely to utilize mental health resources than those who do not. Racial discrimination in the health care system, along with associated stigma within their communities surrounding mental health care, establish barriers in pursuing treatment for those who desire the help. The current study seeks to further investigate the relationship between ethnic identity and affirmation, and attitudes toward seeking mental health care. Namely, we assess relationships between participant anxiety, depression, psychological distress, and ethnic identity, as well as attitudes toward seeking mental health treatment and about mental health in general. We hypothesize that participants who have strong ethnic centrality and affirmation will be more willing and less ashamed to seek mental health treatment, as well as having a less stigmatized view of mental health care.



Investigating the Bioavailability of Toxic Heavy Metals in the Soil of Urban Parks in Salt Lake City, Utah
Kirsten Sanders, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Ruth Kerry, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Bingham Copper Mine, Salt Lake Valley, Utah releases toxic heavy metals (copper, lead, zinc and arsenic) into the environment that can have adverse health impacts such as respiratory illness, cancer, heart disease, violent behavior and depression. Uptake of metals by plants can indicate their bioavailability. Soil and grass samples were collected throughout the Salt Lake valley from public parks. A 1 km grid was overlaid on a map of the Salt Lake Valley and parks were chosen from every other grid square resulting in 58 parks. Samples were cut from the turfgrass and topsoil samples (0-10cm) were collected at each park. For large parks two samples were collected at opposite sides of the park. Coordinates were recorded at each sample location. The metal content of the soil samples was determined using a portable X-ray fluorescence analysis and ICP-OES was used to determine the metal content of grass samples. A hyperspectral radiometer was also used to analyze the grass samples. The wavelengths sensitive to enrichment with the heavy metals of interest were determined using separability indices. Correlation analysis was performed to determine the strength of relationships between reflectance values of grass samples in these key wavelengths and heavy metal concentrations in the grass measured using ICP-OES. The correlations between soil heavy metal and grass heavy metal correlations were also used as a measure of bioavailability of the metals. Contamination risk zones are determined through interpolating soil and grass heavy metal contents throughout the Salt Lake valley. Determining the wavelengths that are sensitive to heavy metals in this research suggests that hyperspectral surveys by drone could help identify areas with a high risk of contamination and high degree of heavy metal bioavailability. Drone survey could greatly reduce the cost of sampling and analysis for risk assessment.



Guadalupe Monroy: “Mujer virtuosa, ¿quién la hallará?”
Sarai Silva, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Ignacio Garcia, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Mormon historians have written various accounts relating to early Mormon white women such as Emma Smith, Eliza R. Snow, and Lucy Mack Smith. Only recently have scholars started to look at women such as Jane James Manning and Chieko Okazaki. They have furthered created new historical narratives such as Saints. This shift in inclusive and diverse scholarship in Mormon history will obligate Mormon historians to rethink and relearn not only how to write history, but how to interpret it. This paradigm shift in scholarship will require new methodological frameworks, so as to not recolonize the “other.” Historiography has shown that white interpretation dominates the way church history is looked at, especially when it comes to writing about the “other.” Although unintentional, this sometimes leads scholars to further marginalize and victimize non-white people. This disservice needs to stop, and scholars need to become aware that the “other” can offer us more than a historical tragedy. My presentation will demonstrate how to look at the “other” through a case study using Guadalupe Monroy, a Mexican pioneer, and historian. This case study will focus on the intersection of being Mexican, a woman, and a member of the church through this new paradigm. More importantly, this presentation will show how to include colored women in church history without further colonizing, victimizing, or marginalizing them.


Main and Interactive Effects of Mental Health, Parent Ethnic Socialization, Discrimination on BIPOC Teens’ Ethnic Identity
Emily Takamasa, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Ashley Fraser, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Because racism and discrimination are still prevalent in the U.S., major research organizations for child development have called for research that details Black, Indigenous, and People of Colors’ (BIPOC) developmental experiences and promotes social change. One developmental task relevant to BIPOC teens is ethnic identity formation, which concerns how an individual mediates the meaning of their ethnicity for themselves and within society. This study investigated whether discrimination, internalizing symptomology, parent socialization, and/or interactions of these variables influenced teen ethnic identity, specifically in exploration, resolution, and affirmation to illuminate nuanced ways BIPOC youth can achieve positive ethnic identity. Surveyed participants were adolescents (n = 353, Mage = 15.28, SD = 1.68; 51.6% male) of diverse racial/ethnic groups and socioeconomic backgrounds from all regions of the U.S. Using linear regression, results showed a negative relation between internalizing symptomology and exploration, a positive relation between parent socialization and exploration, a positive relation between parent socialization and resolution, and a negative relation between internalizing symptomology and affirmation. There were also two significant interactive effects such that (1) discrimination had a more negative relation with affirmation under condition of high internalizing, and (2) parent socialization had a more positive relation with affirmation under condition of high internalizing. Results evidence development of ethnic identity in adolescence is subject to multiple interactive influences. Findings highlight an at-risk group of adolescents with higher internalizing symptomology that may need special consideration as they navigate their ethnic identity and experience discrimination. Results also suggest that parents significantly impact their child’s ethnic identity outcomes.


Overlooked and Underdiagnosed: Eating Disorders and Male Athletes
Maria Balaceanu, Utah Tech University

Faculty Mentor: Dannelle Larsen-Rife, Utah Tech University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Eating disorders may be overlooked and underdiagnosed in male athletes. Classification of eating disorders primarily focuses on symptoms experienced by females (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Male athletes are more likely to be diagnosed with anorexia athletica and non-specific eating disorders compared to male non-athletes (Karrer et al., 2020). Symptoms of eating disorders are frequently dismissed by male athletes, parents, and coaches. However, early detection is critical for preventing eating disorders. Practices within some sports promote unhealthy relationships with food, exercise, and the body (Compte et al., 2018). Athletes may have a biological predisposition to body and eating-related disorders. These environments and specific stressors in weight-sensitive sports may cause vulnerable athletes to exhibit eating- and body-disorders in an attempt to attain ideal standards (Firoozjah et al., 2022). Coaches and parents pressure athletes to perform at a competitive level. Which may result in athletes developing an eating disorder, to gain a sense of control over their athletic performance (Bratland-Sanda & Sundgot-Borgen, 2013). Eating disorders in male athletes are often accompanied by previous anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are risk factors associated with eating- and body-related disorders in male athletes (Liu & Cao, 2022). Recognizing male athletes who have an eating disorder is challenging, but is necessary for recovery. This paper will review the literature on male athletes and eating and body-related disorders, propose a revision to the classification of eating and body-disorders, and provide targets for prevention and intervention. Prevention and intervention should raise awareness about male athletes’ eating and body-related disorders. Athletes, families, and athletic coaches should be educated about warning signs of eating disorders as well as effective comprehensive therapeutic interventions. Athletes and their families may be required to make personal sacrifices to promote recovery and focus on their overall health.


Firearm laws by state and severe family violence
Nancy Pasillas, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Sonia  Salari , University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

A vast majority of cases involving family violence, intimate partner homicide suicide (IPHS) and involve perpetrators who are males and have access to a firearm. I will use hundreds of IPHS events from across the nation and compare the State Firearm Law Database from Boston University to examine patterns across states and how restrictive their gun laws for the years examined are. The mentors on this project have found that the regions of the country (e.g northeast) have more restrictions on their gun laws thus they have fewer IPHS events, per capita, compared to the southern and western states. My work dives more deeply into the specific states with a particular problem of high incidence of IPHS and familicide, and how the firearm restrictions for that state compare to areas with lower rates of fatal family violence.


Ethnic Status and Type 1 Diabetes Management in Young Adulthood
Julia Martin, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Cynthia Berg, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Objective: Young adulthood is often characterized as a “high-risk period” for young adults (YA) with T1D as they have higher HbA1c (a metric of glucose control across the last 3-4 months) and poorer self-management compared to other age groups. Disparities along racial/ethnic dimensions can further exacerbate the challenges in maintaining target HbA1c and self-management for YA. However, recent theoretical work argues that racial/ethnic differences could be due to differences in socioeconomic status differences among racial/ethnic groups (Mello & Wiebe, 2020). The present study represents a unique opportunity to examine racial/ethnic differences in HbA1c and self-management in YA while controlling for a number of measures of socioeconomic status (self-reported socioeconomic status, neighborhood disorder based on census code data). In addition, I will examine the differences and disparities that exist in insurance status (public, private, uninsured) and how these relate to HbA1c. Methods: The data come from the READY (REgulating Adherence to Diabetes as Young Adults; Berg et al., 2019) longitudinal study of young adults with T1D recruited at two clinical sites, Utah and Texas.  Two-hundred and forty-seven individuals were recruited in their final year of high school, lived with a parent and had no condition that would prohibit study completion.  The present sample includes individuals who completed baseline measures and for whom census data were available.  Due to changes in Census tracts or non-inclusion in the American Community Survey (ACS), neighborhood characteristic data were not available for 21 participants.  The sample included 59.6% female, 15% Hispanic, 70% non-Hispanic White, 4% Black, 2% Asian, 3% other or multiple race, and age 17.8 (SD-.39 years).  The distribution of ethnic/minority status is representative of the clinics as well as national samples, where T1D is more frequent among non-Hispanic Whites. HbA1c was indexed from HbA1c assay kits obtained from CoreMedical Laboratories.  Socioeconomic status was measured with MacArthur’s subjective social status measure where YA indicated on a ladder where they stand relative to others in their community.  YA home addresses were used to determine their census tract code using the percent of the population living in the area achieving less than a high school, education under 18 living in poverty, and unemployed.  Self-management was measured with the Diabetes Behavior Rating Scale (DBRS) and Self-care Inventory. The primary analysis will involve two multiple regressions (one for HbA1c, one for self-management) with indicators of socioeconomic status entered on the first step and ethnic and minority indicators on the second step. A second set of analyses will explore through Chi-square whether there are ethnic and minority differences in insurance status.  Results: in process. Conclusions: Understanding the racial/ethnic differences in HbA1c and self-management while controlling for socioeconomic status will offer tremendous insight into potential policy implications. I will be able to offer accurate insight and recommendations from a public health perspective.


Impact of Ethnic Studies in K-12 Education in Utah
Haley Tetzlaff, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Thomas Swensen, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

A study to investigate the impact of ethnic studies courses on students, alumni, and teachers in K-12 education in Utah. With UROP funding we will study the impact of K-12 ethnic studies education in Utah. In May of 2022 Utah passed bill SB244 stating the requirement of ethnic studies education in K-12 institutions. Because of this, we plan to conduct a series of oral history interviews with a mix of current students, alumni, and teachers. With this mix we believe we can get a broader range of experiences. Through these interviews we will get an inside look on the substance which ethnic studies instills in our younger generations. Through these interviews we will understand the benefits and/or the disadvantages these courses offer. Interviews will gain insight on the desires of the students and teachers versus what is allowed by the student board and other institutional bodies in Utah. We really want to dive into the growth and the positivity that K-12 ethnic studies courses produce not only in individuals but on a larger societal scale as well. Interviews will be transcribed and submitted at the University of Utah library with findings and final thoughts.


Migration trends across the United States from the 1860’s to present analyzed through Multi-Generational Pull and Ancestral Ties
Jane Selander, Brigham Young University

Faculty Mentor: Samuel Otterstrom, Brigham Young University

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

Generational migration across the United States over the past three centuries has contributed to the spread of peoples across the country and the growth in population across the United States. Cultural characteristics and generational pull have followed these people and diffused and coalesced into the American landscape over the generations following individual and family migration throughout the United States. My research uses queries of genealogical data from the FamilySearch database, which has over one billion names, and is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I illustrate a four generational imprint of Americans across the United States, by querying various base cities in the 1860’s and 1870’s for births of people and then tracing their lineage moving forward in time through generational mapping to the present day. From this analysis I illustrate the movement of generations from a central city and the cultural differences that impact the movement of generations across the United States. From this I am able to analyze the overall generational pull and influence of ancestral ties that exist in the different cities I study.


The Results of Depression on Motor Function
Jasmine Jacobo, University of Utah

Faculty Mentor: Vincent Koppelmans, University of Utah

SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)

There are over 350 million people suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) worldwide. Roughly half of all these patients are resistant to first-line antidepressants [1]. While nearly all existing research in MDD has focused on cognitive and emotional domains, the research being conducted at the University of Utah research park is investigating motor function amongst individuals with depression along with the other characteristic. Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects mood, and one’s actions. “Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home” [2]. With the data collected from the investigation, we can find what treatment is best for the individual going further into diagnosis by looking at their neuro-motor responses and the correlation to accuracy. We hypothesize that depression amongst adults affects their motor skills over time and thus will lead to better approaches to treatment for mental disorders and the subtypes that follow. We propose to build models based on motor composite scores that reflect performance across all motor domains. Based on these data of MDD and control subjects, we expect to detect a significant difference in the following motor measures: 1) grip strength of the dominant and nondominant hand; 2) spiral tracing, 3) 4-meter walk test; and 4) errors made during the walking-while-talking test. In order to test whether these variables are significant, we will furthermore analyze if motor behavioral measures measured while depressed patients are in their treatment phase are predictive of subtypes using statistical analysis. As for our future research, by integrating neurobiological measures obtained using MRI, we will be able to gain important insight into MDD etiology and the role of motor dysfunction in MDD [4]. This will also enable us to develop a better understanding of whether motor dysfunction among various MDD subtypes is transient, or permanent, and the degree to which it can be used as a valid biomarker.


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

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