June 5 - 8 // 2008

Annual Black Graduate Conference

in Psychology

Table of ConTenTs
Welcome leTTeR HisToRy of THe Black GRaduaTe confeRence in PsycHoloGy acknoWledGemenTs 2008 confeRence commiTTees PRoGRam aT Glance sPeakeR infoRmaTion PosTeR aBsTRacTs (fRiday) PosTeRs aBsTRacTs (saTuRday) PaPeR PResenTaTions camPus maP 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 14 19 27

WelCome To The UniversiTy of miChigan and 2008 blaCk gradUaTe ConferenCe in PsyChology!
June 5, 2008
This year, we are pleased to host 55 graduate students from institutions across the country for the 14th year of the Black Graduate Conference in Psychology (BGCP). As in past conferences, the primary goal of the 2008 BGCP is to provide Black graduate students with a supportive atmosphere in which to present their research and to receive indepth, constructive feedback from fellow graduate students and faculty. A second goal of the conference is to provide students with opportunities to learn about and exchange strategies and experiences that they feel would help them to thrive in graduate school and beyond in formal sessions (expert panels, roundtables) and informal social settings. A final goal is to provide a forum for Black graduate students in psychology to develop long-lasting professional relationships with future colleagues. The BGCP is unique in that it is one of few professional conference experiences you will have where the focus is specifically on Black students and the support and development of their scholarly ideas as well as their professional development. Thus, by being selected as a participant, you are being afforded an opportunity that many peers in your field do not have. The structure of the conference and expected roles of conference participants also differ from traditional professional conference settings. One of the key factors in the success of this conference is the contribution and participation of a collective community – both students and faculty. To achieve this, we keep the conference at a relatively small size, students are expected to attend ALL sessions for the full conference period, and there are no concurrent sessions. This structure results in a unique type of scholarly and bonding experience. In fact, conference participants often continue to connect with one another (and sometimes work together) long after the conference is over! Thus, we encourage you to participate fully in all conference activities and take full advantage of the opportunities to engage with the rich and diverse intellectual community BGCP offers and get to know people who may be future colleagues and friends! Again, welcome to all of you! With your participation, we will continue the conference’s tradition of excellence. We look forward to learning more about you and your research and professional interests and to supporting your development in any ways we can!

Sincerely, The 2008 Black Graduate Conference in Psychology Faculty Committee

Robert Jagers Laura Kohn-Wood Stephanie Rowley Robert Sellers


hisTory of The blaCk gradUaTe ConferenCe in PsyChology
The first Black Graduate Conference in Psychology was held in the spring of 1995 at Howard University. This first conference consisted of faculty and graduate students from Howard University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Each year thereafter, the conference location has rotated among different college/ university institutions. Over the years, the conference has expanded to include African American graduate students from across the country. On average, 30-50 students participate in the conference each year. In addition, 5-10 African American faculty also participate in the conference. Over the years, the host institutions have generously subsidized the expense of the conference in order to make it accessible to as many graduate students as possible. The conference was organized with three goals in mind. The primary goal of the conference is to provide African American graduate students with a supportive atmosphere to present their research and receive constructive feedback from fellow graduate students and faculty. A second goal of the conference is to provide students with an opportunity to exchange strategies and experiences that they feel would help them to thrive in graduate school and beyond. A final goal of the conference is to provide a forum for African American graduate students in psychology to develop long-lasting professional relationships with future colleagues. These goals have been achieved through student presentations and related feedback sessions. In addition, graduate students are encouraged to share their experiences and their strategies for success in formal round table discussions. The conference also includes panel discussions with psychologists in a variety of fields to provide graduate students with important career development information. In accomplishing its goals, the conference has played an important role in the number of African American graduate students interested in and prepared for a research career in psychology. At present, over 25 former participants hold academic positions in psychology departments around the country, while many others have gone on to successful careers outside of the academy.

confeRence HosTs:
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Howard University University of Virginia University of Illinois at Chicago University of Michigan Howard University University of Virginia University of Michigan 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 University of Michigan Howard University University of Michigan University of Cincinnati Purdue University Howard University University of Michigan


The Advisory and Planning Committees would like to thank the following individuals and institutions at the University of Michigan for their generous contribution and support for the 2008 Black Graduate Conference in Psychology:
Black Students Psychological Association College of Literature, Sciences and the Arts Department of Psychology Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies Office of the Provost Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institutes for Social Research


2008 ConferenCe CommiTTees
faculTy commiTTee
Tabbye Chavous, Chair Stephanie Rowley Laura Kohn-Wood Robert Sellers Robert Jagers

ReGisTRaTion commiTTee
Robert Sellers, Faculty Chair Themba Carr Carmela Alcantara Tiffany Haynes Christy Byrd Christina Oney

food/RefResHmenT commiTTee
Laura Kohn-Wood, Faculty Chair Tiffany Griffin Kahlil Ford

PRoGRam commiTTee
Robert Jagers, Faculty Chair Carmela Alcantara Jennifer Maddox Khia Thomas Felicia Webb Ashley Evans


Program aT glanCe
THuRsday June 5, 2008
3:00 – 5:30 Hotel Check Inn Dahlmann Campus Inn, 615 E. Huron St. Ann Arbor, MI (734- 769-2200) Conference Registration, 4th floor lobby, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies (915 E. Washington St.) Reception/ Conference Welcome (Assembly Hall, 4th floor Rackham) Round Table Discussion I: Survival and Support for Graduate School (Graduate Students Only), Amphitheatre, 4th floor Rackham

4:00 – 6:00

5:30 – 6:30 6:30 –8:30

fRiday June 6, 2008
All events on this day will be held at the Department of Psychology, East Hall (530 Church Street) 8:00 – 10:00 8:00 – 9:00 8:45 – 9:15 9:15 – 10:15 10:15 – 11:15 11:15 – 11:30 11:30 – 12:30 12:30 – 2:00 2: 00 – 3:00 3:00 – 3:15 3:15 – 4:15 4:15 – 5:15 5:30 – 6:45 6:45 – 8:30 Conference Registration (Room 4448 East Hall) Breakfast (3rd Floor Atrium East Hall) Welcome Paper Session I (Room 4448 East Hall) Paper Session II (Room 4448 East Hall) Break Workshop on funding opportunities (Room 4448 East Hall) Lunch (Speaker 1:15 – 2:00) Paper Session III (Room 4448 East Hall) Break Poster Session I (Room 4448 East Hall) Paper Sessions IV (Room 4448 East Hall) Dinner (3rd Floor Atrium East Hall) Round Table Discussion II: Careers Outside Academia Panel (4448 East Hall)


saTuRday June 7, 2008
All events on this day will be held on the 4th floor of the Horace H. Rackham School Graduate Studies 8:00 – 9:00 9:00 – 10:00 10:00 – 11:00 11:00 – 11:15 11:15 – 12:15 12:15 – 1:15 1:15 – 2:15 2:15 – 4:00 4:00 – 4:15 4:15 – 5:30 5:30 – 7:30 7:30 – 9:30 Breakfast (Assembly Hall) Paper Session V (Amphitheatre) Paper Session VI (Amphitheatre) Break Poster Session II (East and West Conference Room) Lunch (Assembly Hall) Paper Session VII (Amphitheatre) Round Table Discussion III: Faculty Panel Question & Answer (Amphitheatre) Break Paper Sessions VIII (Amphitheatre) Break (on your own ) Banquet - (Assembly Hall)

sunday June 8, 2008
9:00 – 10:00 10:00 – 12:00 Breakfast (Rackham 4th floor, Assembly Hall) Round Table Discussion IV: Organizer’s Panel and Wrap Up (Rackham 4th floor, Amphitheatre) Conference concludes (Hotel Checkout)



sPeaker informaTion
James s. Jackson
James S. Jackson’s research focuses on issues of racial and ethnic influences on life course development, attitude change, reciprocity, social support, and coping and health among blacks in the Diaspora. He is past Director of the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and past national president of the Black Students Psychological Association and Association of Black Psychologists. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Contributions to Research Award, Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues, American Psychological Association, and recently received the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award for Distinguished Career Contributions in Applied Psychology from the Association for Psychological Sciences. He is an elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences and serves on several Boards for the National Research Council and the National Academies of Science. He is currently directing the most extensive social, political behavior, and mental and physical health surveys on the African American and Black Caribbean populations ever conducted, “The National Survey of American Life” and the “The Family Survey across Generations and Nations”, and the National Science Foundation and Carnegie Corporation supported “National Study of Ethnic Pluralism and Politics”.

Jacqueline maTTis
Dr. Mattis’ research focuses on the role of religiosity and spirituality in the lives of African American adults. Of central interest in her work are the ways in which religion and spirituality inform prosocial development and positive psychological outcomes (e.g., altruism, volunteerism, civic engagement, optimism, and forgiveness) among African Americans. She received a B.S. from New York University in 1989 and a Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 1995. In 2006, Dr. Mattis was received the GSO Faculty Star Award and the Positive Psychology Young Scholars Award in 2001. She is currently the Chair of the Applied Psychology Department at New York University.


PosTer PresenTaTions
PosTeR session 1 (fRiday):

Name: Salmatu Barrie University: Georgia State University Title of Presentation: Adult Vocabulary Acquisition through Natural Text Abstract: Past research studies have demonstrated relations between vocabulary growth and the types of text that children read (Nagy, Anderson, and Herman, 1985). However there are no studies that have examined vocabulary growth and the types of text that adults read. Our study had three aims: 1) to determine which type of text (i.e., narrative or expository) yields more word learning in adult readers, 2) to examine the reader’s skills that are related to learning from different text types, and 3) to find out if different types of clues will influence word learning word learning. Narrative texts tell a story using elements such as them, plot conflicts, setting and characters (Graesser, 1980). Expository texts explain or inform readers using definition, sequence, categorization, and cause-effect. (Britton & Black, 1985). Participants were asked to read narrative (n=6) and expository (n=6) passages. Within each passage there were 2-4 unfamiliar target words. To asses for reader’s skills, the vocabulary and reading comprehension subtests of the Nelson-Denny (Brown, Fishco & Hanna, 1993) were also administered. Results indicated that college student’s word learning performance was greater for Narrative texts than Expository texts when they demonstrated knowledge using definitions format, t (1, 34) = - 7.13, p= .000. Results also indicated that reading comprehension skill and vocabulary knowledge were related to college students’ definitional accuracy. Regression analysis indicates that the number of clues in a text is a significant predictor of definitional accuracy in both narrative and expository text. Phrase/ Clause and Prior Knowledge were significant predictors of definitional accuracy in expository text while definition/description was better for narrative texts. Future analysis will examine how participant’s social cultural background affects text comprehension.

Name: Jessica Williamson University: Purdue University Title of Presentation: Habitual control: The effect of prosocial motives and self-control on negotiation Abstract: Individuals differ widely in their motivation to maintain positive relations with others. This research explores the hypothesis that persons high on the Big Five dimension of Agreeableness will use more effort than their peers to suppress negative emotions. Past research shows that persons scoring high in Agreeableness consistently evaluate negotiation more favorably than destructive strategies such as power assertion (Graziano, Jensen-Campbell, & Hair, 1996). The precise mechanisms linking prosocial motives to conflict resolution choices is unclear. The present research examines whether a cognitively taxing situation will differentially affect controlled processes in high and low agreeable persons. Two alternative hypotheses were explored: (a) cognitive control will be overloaded in high agreeable persons, leading highs to endorse less negotiation under conditions of cognitive load, or (b) because high agreeable persons are well-practiced in control, highs will not be overloaded and will not differ in performance across load conditions. Participants high and low in Agreeableness (N = 401) were randomly assigned to a 2 (cognitive load: no load, cognitive load) X 3 (resolution strategy: power assertion, disengagement, negotiation) stratified random


block design. Participants completed a measure of Agreeableness and then evaluated strategies for resolving conflicts in various interpersonal situations. A standard experimental procedure was used to manipulate cognitive load during the evaluation of the strategies. Outcomes supported the second hypothesis. The significance and broader implications of these findings will be discussed.

Name: Angel M. Barber University: Howard University Title of Presentation: Impact of Communalism on the performance and engagement outcomes of African American adolescents Abstract: Due to the alarming rates of underperformance and dropout rates of many African American students, the educational system has begun to seek means to reform schools (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007 ). One of the major inquiries to aiding in this reform is to examine and ameliorate the culture of the schools that many African American students attend (Allen, Boykin, Hurley, & Sankofa, 2005; Boykin, Coleman, S.T., Lilja & Tyler, 2004). To this effect, researchers, teachers, and policy makers have begun to examine the underlying mechanisms in culture within performance gap. This proposed study will examine the effects of communalism and individualism in the learning context and learning content of the story and its impact in junior high school students’ performance and engagement levels on a given task. The content in story theme manipulation will include a story where communal or individual relationships, behaviors, and activities are being expressed in the story. There are five hypotheses:(1) Students will perform better in the communal learning context, than in the individual learning context,(2) students will perform significantly higher when the content of the story includes communalism versus individualism,(3) There will be an interaction effect between learning context and story content,(4) performance will be positively correlated with students’ cultural orientation preference, and (5) there will be a positive correlation between performance and engagement. The implications of the proposed study’s findings can help researchers and educators in utilizing student’s cultural assets in order to increase performance and engagement in African American adolescents.

Name: Jennifer O’Neil University: University of Virginia Title of Presentation: Examination of the Risk and Protective Factors for Depression in African American Mothers Abstract: Depression is a disorder that is highly common among low income mothers, particularly African Americans. Studies have shown that, in addition to the general risk factors experienced by mothers of all ethnic groups, African American mothers face adversity from racial oppression and economic hardship. The research examining the factors that influence depressive symptoms specifically within African American mothers is limited. Specifically, few studies have explored the specific pathways by which risk and protective factors affect African American mothers. Also, past studies specifically related to African American mothers have been primarily crosssectional and conducted with small, geographically restricted non-representative samples. The goal of the proposed study is to address some of the gaps in the literature by exploring the pathways by which risk and protective factors influence depressive symptoms in low income African American mothers over time. The sample consists of 204 low income African American mothers from the Early Steps Project, a multi-site, longitudinal, preventative intervention


study. Structural equation modeling will be utilized in order to determine the pattern of risk and protective factors that influence the level of depressive symptoms in the mothers. The risk and protective factors that will be examined include the following 18 variables: income level, education level, marital status, number of adults in the home, number of children in the home, stress level, religious salience and practice, child behaviors, adult-child relationship, general life satisfaction, parental efficacy, neighborhood danger and identification, ethnic identity, substance use, quality of significant other relationship, financial stress, and discrimination.

Name: Angela Jones University: Fisk University Title of Presentation: Racial-ethnic identity, academic stress, and academic self concept in African American youth Abstract: Measures of racial-ethnic identity, academic stress, and academic self concept were administered to African American males and females enrolled in 5th-8th grade at traditional public and academic magnet schools. Results of three way ANOVAs revealed: (1) an interaction of grade level*gender on REI embedded achievement, (2)an interaction of grade level*school type interaction on REI awareness of racism, and(3) a main effect of school type on academic self concept. Results of a multiple regression analysis indicate that REI embedded achievement and academic stress predict academic self concept. Implications of the study include to increase levels of REI embedded achievement for African American youth in middle school.

Name: Kristin N. Dukes University: Tufts University Title of Presentation: Does Afrocentric Bias Apply to Black Women? Abstract: Research indicates that Blacks with more Afrocentric features are stereotyped to a greater degree than Blacks with fewer Afrocentric features (Blair, et al., 2002; Livingston and Brewer, 2002; Maddox and Gray, 2002). However, the majority of this research has only examined evaluations of male targets leaving the question: Does Afrocentric Bias apply to Black women? The current experiments examined this question. In Experiment One participants rated the likelihood (1-not at likely to 5-very likely) that several stereotypic traits or behaviors were associated with high or low Afrocentric Black women. Results suggest that Afrocentricity did not influence evaluations of Black women (t(26) = .029, ns). Research by Dukes and Maddox (2007) has shown that features indirectly related to race (e.g. attire, name) interact with Afrocentricity to impact evaluations of Black males. Expanding on these finding, in Experiment Two participants rated the likelihood that several stereotypic traits and behaviors were associated with Black women ranging in Afrocentricity (high or low) and name (Afrocentric and Eurocentric). Similar to the results of Experiment One, Afrocentricity did not impact evaluations of Black women (F (1, 36) = 2.32, ns). However, name did influence stereotypic evaluations -- Black women with Afrocentric names (M=2.90; SD=.37) were stereotyped to a greater degree than Black women with Eurocentric names (M=2.25; SD=.35) (F (1, 36) = 90.99, p<.0001). The current findings suggest that Black women may not be stereotyped in a manner similar to Black men on the basis of Afrocentricity.


Name: La’Trice Montgomery University: University of Cincinnati Title of Presentation: Moderators of the Relation between MET and Substance Abuse Outcomes for African Americans Abstract: Based on a meta-analysis of 72 clinical trials, motivational interventions, which are client-centered approaches that enhance intrinsic motivation in the client to change their behaviors, yielded a larger effect size for ethnic minority populations than White populations. This pattern offers promise that motivational interventions may produce positive outcomes among African Americans. Thus, the current study will determine the efficacy of Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET-one type of motivational intervention) on substance abuse outcomes and retention rates among African Americans. This study will also examine potential moderators (as suggested by the literature), namely age, gender, drug type, availability of ancillary services and phase of treatment. Neither the identification of moderators nor the durability of effects has been examined in an African American sample. This study is a secondary analysis of Clinical Trial Network 004: Motivational Interviewing to Improve Treatment Engagement and Outcome in Individuals Seeking Treatment for Substance Abuse, which includes data from 201 African Americans in this sample of 423 participants who participated in either MET or treatment as usual across five different community mental health settings. Individuals who sought outpatient treatment for any substance abuse disorder and who had used drugs within the past 28 days, were 18 years of age or older, were willing to participate in the protocol and were able to understand and provide written informed consent were eligible to participate in the study.

Name: Christy Byrd University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: Racial Identity and Academic Achievement in the Context of Neighborhoods Abstract: Disadvantaged neighborhoods are often portrayed as risks for African Americans (Leventhal & BrooksGunn, 2000), while racial identity has been shown to act as a protective factor in some situations (Caldwell, et al., 2004; Wong, et al., 2003). This study examines the role of racial identity in moderating the impact of neighborhood social disorganization on achievement. The sample consists of 534 African American eighth-graders and their parents. Social disorganization was measured by a combination of Census variables and parents’ ratings of their neighborhoods, aggregated at the Census tract level. Racial identity was measured by connection to ethnic group (Wong, et al., 2003), pride, and importance of race. Academic outcomes included GPA, number of absences, and valuing of school. Plan of analysis: Cluster analysis will be performed on the neighborhood social disorganization variables. Analysis of covariance will be used to test differences in cluster membership on academic outcomes, while controlling for family socioeconomic status. Finally, regression analyses will test whether racial identity variables predict outcomes differently for each cluster. Additionally, we will consider contextual influences on racial identity by testing for cluster differences. This study is unique in several ways: it takes into account neighborhoods in the study of racial identity, and it uses cluster analysis rather than linear indexes of neighborhood risk. We predict that clusters will differ on academic outcomes and that racial identity will enhance outcomes for those who are more disadvantaged.


Name: Angela White University: University of Connecticut Title of Presentation: A temporal analysis exploring the correlation between political climate and Blacks’ collective self-esteem Abstract: Collective self-esteem is defined as “the self-evaluation of one’s social group” (Blaine & Crocker, 1995, p. 1033). Differing levels of collective self-esteem may lead positive or negative psychological outcomes. Thus, it is important to understand factors that influence collective self-esteem. The present analysis examined the effect that the political climate has on Blacks’ collective self-esteem. Conservative political ideology emphasizes the acceptance of group inequalities as inevitable while liberal political ideology emphasizes egalitarianism. Therefore, it was hypothesized that a conservative political climate will lead to lower levels of Blacks’ collective self-esteem relative to more liberal political climates. For this analysis, political climate was defined as the political party affiliation of the president in a given year. Data was used from the American National Election Studies. A total of 5,146 Black respondents participated in these interviews. The results of the analyses of variance demonstrate that political climate does have a significant main effect on Black’s collective self-esteem: Blacks’ collective self-esteem was lower during Republican administrations than during Democrat administrations. Furthermore, Blacks’ collective selfesteem decreased significantly more as the political climate changed from Democratic to Republican than when the political climate changed from Republican to Democratic or when the political climate did not change. Overall, political climate accounted for a very small percentage of the variance in Blacks’ collective self-esteem. Future studies will utilize a more accurate measure of collective self-esteem and examine variables that may moderate the effect of political climate on Blacks’ collective self-esteem.

Name: Stephanie Smith University: University of Cincinnati Title of Presentation: Examining avoidance coping in African American women with co-morbid substance use and PTSD Abstract: Previous research shows that exposure to traumatic events is predictive of substance use and PTSD during adulthood. Avoidance coping strategies those coping strategies employed to avoid dealing with a stressful event or trauma. Avoidance coping strategies are also associated with psychological distress and trauma. Individuals who use avoidance coping are more likely to engage in substance use and more likely to develop Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. However, few studies have examined avoidance coping methods among substance using African American women. Studies have consistently found that this particular population is more likely to be exposed to traumatic experience. Avoidance coping is also associated with peritraumatic coping among women (likely to increase dissociative feature associated with PTSD). Additionally, co-morbid substance use and anxiety disorders are often difficult to treat. The goal of this study is to determine avoidance coping strategies used by substance using African American women with PTSD.


PosTeR session 2: (saTuRday):

Name: Mona A. Taylor University: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Title of Presentation: What’s Abstinence? How African American Girls’ Make Meaning of Sexual Abstinence Abstract: African American adolescent girls are disproportionately affected by new cases of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 2005). Consequently, there has been an increased need to 1) understand factors related to the practice of risky behavior (e.g., early initiation of sexual engagement) and 2) implement effective educational programs that target this population. Abstinence-only programs have been enforced to enlighten participants about the option of abstinence with hopes that the decision to practice sexual abstinence will result in delayed onset of sexual activity and ultimately reduce the risks of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (Miller, Boyer, & Cotton, 2004). Unfortunately, few interventions have resulted in significant increases in abstinent behavior (DiCenso, Guyatt, Willan, & Griffith, 2002). More importantly, little is known about why these programs have been unsuccessful. In an attempt to address the potential failure of some programs, it may be necessary to acknowledge the politically charged issue of abstinence versus safer sex education. Program evaluators should consider the meaning participants assign to the practice of abstinence and identify what influences their negotiation of abstinence as an option. The current research examines the perspective of adolescent girls’ decision to practice sexual abstinence as members of an abstinence-only program. The goal is to give voice to adolescent girls as consumers of such programs with the aim toward understanding how they make meaning of the word abstinence and how this interpretation is influenced by the broader social context in which they are embedded.

Name: Katie Chipungu University: University of Miami Title of Presentation: Differences in Perceived Stress for Black and Hispanic Adolescents Abstract: Research has shown that aspects of ethnic identity and culture may buffer stress for minorities. This study examined differences in perceived stress between Black and Hispanic adolescents. Seventy adolescents (54% Black, 46% Hispanic) with elevated blood pressure (>90th percentile adjusted for age, gender and height) served as participants. The Multi-group Inventory of Ethnic Identity, Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) and self-efficacy were measured prior to randomization and after three months of lifestyle intervention. Blacks reported more perceived stress than Hispanics on both occasions (ts>2.14, ps < .05). Multiple regression analyses were done to predict PSS controlling for ethnic identity, self-efficacy, treatment, gender, and parent education. For Blacks, the model accounted for 45% of the variance at time 1 and 47% of the variance at time 2 (Fs(5, 32) > 5.15, ps < .01) with ethnic identity (bs= -.43 to -.42, ps < .01) and gender (b= 4.32 to 4.82, p < .02) significantly predicting PSS. For Hispanics, at time 2, the model significantly accounted for 37% of the variance (F(5, 26) = 3.02, p < .03) with self-efficacy (b= -.22, p < .01) significantly predicting PSS. These findings suggest there may be a need to tailor stress interventions to different psychosocial constructs. Interventions that harness aspects of culture may be appropriate for Blacks, while improving skill competence may be relevant for Hispanics.


Name: Stephanie Fitzpatrick University: University of Miami Title of Presentation: Minimal Intervention May be Appropriate for Black Adolescents with Elevated Blood Pressure Abstract: This study examined the effect of lifestyle intervention on blood pressure(BP) in Black adolescents. Nutrition, physical activity, and stress management were addressed. Participants included 59 (36 boys; 23 girls) Black adolescents, 15-17 years old, with BP &#8805; 90th percentile for age, gender, and height. Participants were randomized into one of three treatments: minimal(90-minute session with parent and adolescent, n=17), moderate (10 group and two optional parent sessions, n=25), or intense (six individual, twelve group, and six optional parent sessions, n=17). Participants were assessed at baseline, 3, 6, and 9 months. Latent growth modeling was used to examine change in BP over 9 months. Systolic BP (SBP) declined an average of .92 mm Hg per month (p < .05) for the minimal group and declined, but not significantly, an average of .63 mm Hg per month for the moderate group. For the intense group, SBP increased an average of .90 mm Hg per month (p < .05). Mandatory parental attendance may have contributed to the minimal treatment effects. Controlling for parental attendance, the moderate group declined in SBP an average of .99 mm Hg per month (p < .05); the intense group did not significantly increase. Minimal intervention may be appropriate in reducing SBP in Black adolescents. Parental involvement may facilitate adolescents making healthy changes. Implementation of a minimal intervention for Blacks with elevated BP may be cost effective in health care facilities.

Name: Charles L. Wells, IV University: Wayne State University Title of Presentation: Do Diversity Perceptions Influence Job Satisfaction and Intentions to Leave? Abstract: America’s workforce is continually becoming more diverse, which has sparked the interest of researchers to investigate employee perceptions of diversity within their place of employment. Much of the research findings suggest that perceptions of diversity influence employee job satisfaction and intent to leave. However, many studies have not addressed the reasons why employees are ultimately satisfied while working, or intend to leave. This study tests a structural equation model to gain insight on how perceptions of diversity influence job satisfaction and intentions to leave. The quality of organizational communication and perceived fairness of organizational policies directed at diversity related issues are examined as mediators.

Name: Valerie Jones University: Stanford University Title of Presentation: The Effects of Underrepresentation: How Increased Effort Leads to Poor Preparation Strategies Abstract: A series of studies revealed that members of underrepresented groups feel heightened pressure to work harder than their peers and experience increased stress in settings where their group lacks numerical representation. Study 1 demonstrated that female students majoring in fields where women are significantly underrepresented (e.g., math) felt heightened pressure to work harder and reported putting forth greater effort in these domains (e.g., studying longer hours). Study 2 found that women felt increased pressure to work harder and reported greater


stress in anticipation of a math task when told that their numbers were decreasing (versus increasing) in math/ science domains. Further, though these women put forth greater effort to prepare for the math task, they exhibited poor preparation strategies in anticipation of completing the math task (e.g., rushing through more practice items). These findings also extend to race: African Americans felt heightened pressure to work harder and report putting forth greater effort on academic tasks when they lacked numerical representation in academic settings. This research suggests that underrepresentation may cause individuals to feel that they must work harder than those in the majority because they feel that they are required to provide more evidence of their competence (Biernat & Kobrynowicz, 1997). We are currently exploring whether this phenomenon affects the efficacy, performance, retention, and the physiological health (e.g., stress) of members of underrepresented groups.

Name: Terry-Lee Howard University: Howard University Title of Presentation: The effects of the Aban Aya Youth Project on Teacher -Rated Social Competence and Problem Behaviors Abstract: Studies indicate that urban low-income African American youth can benefit from school-based programs designed to reduce problem behaviors and foster social skills. The Aban Aya Youth Project (AAYP) was a culturally grounded, school-based program for youth from grades 5 through 8. Previous studies have demonstrated AAYP’s violence prevention effects using youth self-reports. This study used pre and posttest ratings of problem behaviors and social competence by fifth grade classroom teachers to examine possible short-term intervention effects for boys and girls. Twelve schools were placed in either: 1) a classroom social skills program (SDC), 2) a school/family/ community program (SC), which combined the SDC with parental, school and community support activities, or 3) a health education program (HEC) that focused only on health and nutrition. Of the 668 fifth graders in the study, roughly half (49.5%) were male. Teacher ratings were based on three problem behavior subscales: acting out, withdrawal and aggression and three social competence subscales : frustration tolerance, assertiveness and prosocial skills. Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that, at posttest, teachers rated boys and girls in the intervention conditions as displaying significantly more assertiveness and pro-social skills than control condition counterparts. No significant intervention effects were found for externalizing problem behaviors, although participants in the control condition had lower withdrawal scores that those in the intervention conditions. Future studies will consider internalizing problems among African American youth, possible intervention effects on changes over time in teacher ratings, and the correspondence between teacher ratings and child self-reports.

Name: Nicole Walden University: University at Albany, State University of NY Title of Presentation: Effort-Based Failures: When Learning Goals and Effort Attributions are not Protective Abstract: Dweck’s social cognitive theory of motivation (Dweck, 1999; Dweck & Leggett, 1988) posits that performance goals engender helpless responses to failure characterized in part by negative affect and selfrecrimination. This effect of performance goal orientation (PGO) is understood to emerge due to ability-focused performance attributions. The present research investigated the effect of PGO on responses to failure attributed to low effort. In two studies, participants imagined themselves experiencing failures, and reported their anticipated


affect and cognitions. In study 1, one group read scenarios in which failure occurred due to low ability, and another group read scenarios in which failure was due to insufficient effort. Regression analyses revealed PGO to be significantly associated with anticipation of negative affect and self-recrimination following failure, in both the low ability and the low effort groups. In Study 2, we examined whether implicit theories of effort could explain negative responses to low effort failure. 261 undergraduates read scenarios portraying failure due to low effort. Regression analyses again revealed PGO to predict negative responses to failure. Additional analyses examined the interactive effects of goal orientation and implicit theories of effort and ability. A significant interaction emerged for implicit theory of effort. For those endorsing an entity theory of sloth (i.e. the belief that an individual’s diligence/laziness is fixed), PGO significantly predicted negative affect and self-recrimination. These results suggest that the social cognitive theory of motivation may be extended to account for the effects of achievement goals on responses to both low ability and low effort failures.

Name: Phia Salter University: University of Kansas Title of Presentation: Race-based or cultural? Multidimensional identity and perceptions of racism in the past and present Abstract: The present research investigates how knowledge of historical racism and different constructions of identity inform perceptions of racism in Hurricane Katrina. In addition to the group difference in perceptions of racism reported in the media and observed in previous research, we hypothesized a positive relationship between Black history knowledge and perception of racism in Katrina-related events. Results supported our primary hypotheses. Perceptions of racism were positively related to accurate awareness of historical racism among students attending a predominantly White institution (PWI) and a historically Black institution (HBCU). Although national identification (Collective Self Esteem; Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992) was negatively related to perceiving racism in both samples, the negative relationships between racial identification and both racism perception and knowledge of historical racism were only true among participants from the PWI. Among the HBCU participants, various conceptions of Black identity were differentially related to perceptions of racism and historical knowledge. Assimilationist ideology (Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity; Sellers et al., 1997) was negatively related to perceptions of racism, but was not related to knowledge about historical racism. In contrast, Black nationalist ideology was positively related to both perceiving racism and knowledge about racism in America’s past. From a cultural psychology perspective, these findings suggest that divergent perceptions of racism are not just “racial,” but are associated with particular understandings of the past and the social world.

Name: Jennifer Maddox University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: Family and Community Effects on Developmental Assets in Early Adolescence Abstract: Developmental assets are factors that can promote youth thriving and are indicators of positive development. Using data from the Aban Aya Youth Project (AAYP), relationships between the external and internal developmental assets of youth will be explored. In particular, this study will examine the relationship between family processes, neighborhood bonding, and developmental outcomes in early adolescence. In this investigation, the


sample consisted of 489 5th grade children and their parents. Parents were 96% African American and 94% female. Fifty percent of the child sample was female and lived in two-parent households. Participants were administered surveys at the beginning of the academic year. External developmental assets were measured by parent reports of parent-child communication, parental monitoring, and parental strictness. Neighborhood bonding was assessed via items related to parents’ sense of connection with their neighbors. Youth outcomes were assessed using self-reports of positive academic and social values, resistance efficacy (drugs and sexual activity) and teacher-rated socialemotional competence. Preliminary findings indicated that parental support variables did not significantly predict children’s’ drug and sex resistance efficacy. However, parental support did predict children’s endorsement of positive values (F= 2.62, p= .05). In addition, there were no significant relationships between parental support variables and teacher-rated social-emotional competence. Multiple regression techniques will explore the ways in which parental demographics, neighborhood bonding, and support variables influence youth outcomes.

Name: Larry D Keen II University: Howard University Title of Presentation: Cardiovascular Risk Factors as Predictors of Memory Abstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 17 million deaths in the world each year, and it is the leading cause of death among adults. The elderly appear to be the most vulnerable age group for this disease. While there is a sizable literature that points to the relationship between aging and CVD risk factors, very few studies have looked at CVD risk factors in a middle-aged sample. The present study sought to identify the best predictors (CVD risk factors) of performance on a verbal memory task in a middle-aged sample. Included among the CVD risk factors that we examined in this study were cholesterol (triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels and C - reactive protein (CRP). The participants in this preliminary study were 105 African American adults (mean age= 45.6 years) provided blood samples and baseline blood pressure readings prior to neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychological testing consisted of the administration of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and several other neuropsychological measures. When these CVD risk factors were submitted to a stepwise multiple regression procedure, YOE, Triglycerides, DBP and Gender emerged as significant predictors of CVLT Total Free Recall task, accounting for approximately 37% of the total variance. These findings will be examined in terms of conditions that contribute to impaired vascular health and memory functions in a middle age population. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 17 million deaths in the world each year, and it is the leading cause of death among adults. The elderly appear to be the most vulnerable age group for this disease. While there is a sizable literature that points to the relationship between aging and CVD risk factors, very few studies have looked at CVD risk factors in a middle-aged sample. The present study sought to identify the best predictors (CVD risk factors) of performance on a verbal memory task in a middleaged sample. Included among the CVD risk factors that we examined in this study were cholesterol (triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) levels and C - reactive protein (CRP). The participants in this preliminary study were 105 African American adults (mean age= 45.6 years) provided blood samples and baseline blood pressure readings prior to neuropsychological testing. Neuropsychological testing consisted of the administration of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and several other neuropsychological measures. When these CVD risk factors were submitted to a stepwise multiple regression procedure, YOE, Triglycerides, DBP and Gender emerged as significant predictors of CVLT Total Free Recall task, accounting for approximately 37% of the total variance. These findings will be examined in terms of conditions that contribute to impaired vascular health and memory functions in a middle age population.


PaPer PresenTaTions
Name: Khia A. Thomas University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: “She May Well Have Invented Herself:” An Exploration of Gender Attitudes among Black Women Abstract: Across the formative years, African American women are exposed to a variety of messages which serve to shape their understandings of womanhood. Making sense of these various, and oftentimes, conflicting messages, Black women negotiate a developmental process of incorporating and/or rejecting certain beliefs from her “sense of self,” doing so in a social context that devalues the core of her identity as Black and female (hooks, 1988 , 1993 ; Shorter-Gooden & Washington, 1996 ). A dearth of literature exists that addresses the endorsement of gender attitudes among African American women. Particularly crucial to this developmental process is the navigation of hegemonic gender notions, which most adequately describe White womanhood and are levied comparatively against other ethnic groups of women, alongside intersectional gender notions, such as the “Strong Black Woman (SBW),” that articulate race-specific gendered expectations. How do Black women negotiate dual gender expectations of hegemonic and intersectional notions of womanhood, and in what ways are these expectations navigated throughout the collegiate environment? One-hour long interviews were conducted with 13 African American undergraduate women at a large Midwestern university. Preliminary data indicate that African American women struggle to resist negative, stigmatizing stereotypes by adhering to the cultural expectations outlined through the “Strong Black Woman” stereotype. Participants readily acknowledge the existence of negative perceptions of Black women as “single mothers, welfare mothers, and hoes,” actively confront those stereotypes in their day-to-day life, and accordingly, subscribe to the “Strong Black Woman” as a positive alternative to African American womanhood.

Name: Ndidi A. Okeke University: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Title of Presentation: The Developmental Progression of Academic Stereotype Endorsement in African American Youth Abstract: Adolescence is a key period for identity development. During this time, individuals are attempting to shape and understand themselves, and cues (e.g. societal stereotypes) from the broader society influence this process. Indeed, adolescents tend to be especially aware of and sensitive to how they are viewed by others. Erikson describes how adolescents are “sometimes morbidly preoccupied with what they appear to be in the eyes of others.” For members of ethnic minority groups, constructing an identity also involves developing a sense of self in relation to an ethnic/cultural group. During this process, ethnic minority adolescents become aware of societal stereotypes about their racial group. Thus, stereotypes that are prevalent in a particular society have the potential to influence an individual’s sense of self. Unfortunately, stereotypes about the academic ability of African Americans have largely been negative. One prevalent race stereotype in the United States is that African Americans are not as smart as Whites. For African American adolescents, awareness or endorsement of this stereotype may negatively impact self-perceptions. However, little research has examined the awareness, endorsement, or potential repercussions of race-related academic stereotypes in African American youth. Moreover, because of increasing cognitive and social


sophistication with age, stereotypes might have different influences on youth as they proceed through adolescence. Thus, major purposes of the present investigation are to examine, in a sample of 135 African American youth, normative levels of race stereotype endorsement as well as how such beliefs are related to identity beliefs and achievement motivation as African American youth transition from middle school to high school.

Name: Tiffany Brannon University: Stanford University Title of Presentation: Defining African American Culture and Selfhood as Bicultural Abstract: In the classic poem Heritage, Harlem Renaissance poet Countee Cullen beckons the question ‘what is Africa to me.’ This quest to understand the importance and relevance of Africa to the identity of African Americans is echoed in the ‘concern’ that psychologist Wade Nobles outlines in a review of research on the Black self-concept. Specifically, Nobles writes “the concern here is with what kind of cognitive organization exists as a function of the African world-view jibing and/or colliding with the American (Western) world-view” (1973). Notably, this question of the importance of an African, as well as an American (Western), world-view in the construction of self for African Americans has largely been unresolved in the field of cultural psychology. The present paper proposes a theoretical conceptualization that argues that an accurate and holistic examination of the African American self-concept requires a bicultural frame. This argument is presented in the context of a review of psychological literature, as well as historical texts. The proposed conceptualization is empirically tested using the phenomenon of frame-switching, alternating between two or more cultural frames, and a Prisoner’s Dilemma game paradigm. Finally, a bicultural frame is applied to an examination of ideal affect in African American contexts.

Name: Melissa E. Wynn University: Howard University Title of Presentation: Race Self Complexity in Education: Intelligence Theories and Achievement of Black Adolescents Abstract: Implicit theories of intelligence (entity versus incremental) are internalized within the person, are a subset of the broader theories about the self, and have long-term effects on a person’s academic achievement. For Black adolescents, the relationship between intelligence and achievement is consistent with that of other racial groups (Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007). Conceptualizations of intelligence are formed within a cultural historical context and may prove to be especially vulnerable to the evolving social milieu. It is hypothesized that the psychological significance of race adds a layer of complexity to the internalized beliefs of intelligence for Black persons. Utilizing the Race Self Complexity (Winston et al., 2004) theoretical framework, the present study seeks to examine the correlates and consequences of Black adolescents’ implicit theories of intelligence on their academic beliefs, behaviors and outcomes. This study was conducted with a sample of 116 sixth through eight graders at an urban public charter middle school during the fall of 2007; and is part of a larger mixed-methods longitudinal study examining the role of students’ achievement motivation, identity, social relationships, and perceptions of school culture in mathematics and science success. Descriptive and regression analyses revealed no correlation of


intelligence theories with any motivational constructs, but obtained significant correlations with both quarter grades and self-handicapping behaviors. Future research should be conducted to determine the influence that complex beliefs about race and intelligence may play in limiting or facilitating multiple pathways to academic success for Black adolescents.

Name: Aletha M. Harven University: University of California, Los Angeles Title of Presentation: The Relation between Adolescents’ Perceptions of Racial Discrimination and their Achievement Goals Abstract: The present study explored the impact that adolescents’ perceptions of racial discrimination had on their achievement goals. Self-esteem and various dimensions of racial identity were examined for their moderating effects. Surveys from 361 African American (49% male, 51% female) seventh grade students were analyzed. These students were taking part in a larger longitudinal study of peer relations, in which they were recruited from 11 middle schools in the greater metropolitan area of Los Angeles. It was hypothesized that racial discrimination in different contexts (e.g., institutional, school, and peer) would have a negative impact on students’ achievement goals (e.g., masteryapproach, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals). It was further hypothesized that high selfesteem and a strong racial identity would buffer (or reduce) these negative relations. Regression analyses revealed that only perceived institutional and peer-related discrimination had a negative impact on students’ mastery-approach goals, particularly among African American males. Further analyses found one dimension of racial identity- racial centrality- to moderate the negative relation between institutional discrimination and mastery-approach goals. That is, institutional discrimination had a significantly negative impact on students’ mastery-approach goals when racial centrality (the extent to which race is central to one’s identity) was low or one standard deviation below the mean. While not significant, the opposite was true when racial centrality was high or one standard deviation above the mean, suggesting that high racial centrality might buffer the negative effects of racial discrimination on students’ achievement goals. Findings will be discussed to address adolescents’ experiences with racial discrimination in various contexts.

Name: Jennifer Burrell University: Howard University Title of Presentation: Race Self Complexity in Education: What is the Meaning of “Acting Black”? Abstract: From the theoretical framework of Race Self Complexity (Winston et al., 2004), this study explores the psychological significance and complexity of race meaning in the lives of Black adolescent students. Adolescence is a unique period in the life-cycle where an individual must answer the question: Who am I? Within most existing research on academic identity, the frequent interpretation is that African American students devalue education to avoid “acting White” (Ogbu, 2000)—an hypothesis that also has been perpetuated in the media and in the community. Therefore, Black adolescents have the added task of psychologically negotiating the meaning of Blackness and Whiteness in their lives in defining their academic identity. Taking a studentcentered perspective, this study pursues the following research question: What does “acting Black” mean to Black students and is this meaning predictive of their beliefs about the importance of education? This study is


a part of a larger mixed-methods longitudinal study that was conducted in fall 2007 at an urban public charter middle school examining the role of students’ achievement motivation, identity, social relationships, and perceptions of school cultural characteristics in mathematics and science success. Participants were in grades sixth through eighth (n=116). In a thematic content analysis using a Cultural Integrity Theoretical Orientation (Boykin, 2004), the meaning of “acting Black” was interpreted to have varying valence from negative to neutral to positive. Linear regression analysis suggested there is an important link between Black students’ internalized view of the meaning of “acting Black” and their beliefs regarding the importance of education. Results suggest scholars in education and psychology should consider theoretical and methodological approaches that allow for the psychological meaning and significance of race to be constructed from the student’s perspective.

Name: Alicia Anderson University: Howard University Title of Presentation: Black Model Phenomena Theory: The Intersection of Achievement Motivation and Racial Identity Abstract: The need for a complex understanding of African American achievement motivation is paramount if we are to address major issues in education. But, what is the achievement motivation of African American students? This theoretical paper attempts to provide a comprehensive conceptualization of African American achievement motivation by introducing the Black Model Phenomena Theory as a mediator in the relationship between motivation and racial identity. African American children are indeed motivated but it seems that motivation alone is not enough to steer these students down the path to academic success. This suggests that there are other factors that must be considered. To address this, some studies have examined the home environment and family factors and the role each play in the motivation and academic achievement of African American children (Bailey & Boykin, 2001; Turner & Johnson, 2003). Other studies have looked at school factors (Fenzel & OBrennan, 2007), but gaps remain in the literature regarding the complex role that racial identity plays in African American achievement motivation. Qualitative motivational studies have found ethnicity to be a recurring theme in the motivation of high achieving African American students (Grant, Battle, Murphy and Heggoy, 1999; Grantham, 2004). For instance, participants in the studies by Grant et al. (1999) and Grantham (2004) expressed their desire to be positive Black role models and prove to everyone that they could achieve. These studies set the stage for the introduction of the Black Model Phenomena--the notion that African American students are achieving for the whole race.

Name: John Johnson University: University of California at Santa Cruz Title of Presentation: The Complex Role of the Black Student Union in Higher Education Abstract: Research on student attrition has shown that campus involvement or social integration can have a significant impact on student persistence (Furr & Ellig, 2002). A contentious racial climate on a college campus, however, makes it difficult for Black students to feel like they belong and inhibits their involvement in campus life. The Black Student Union (BSU) often emerges as a response to the “sociocultural alienation” Black students at predominantly White academic institutions experience. The BSU provides a safe space for Black students to celebrate their culture and connect with peers. In addition to having a positive impact on individual students, BSUs help to


create a culturally pluralistic campus environment that celebrates diversity and honors the different histories and experiences of all students at predominantly White educational institutions (Sidanius, Van Laar, Levin & Sinclair, 2004). While the BSU is often a source of support for many students, it also alerts its members to the pervasiveness of Black marginalization, White privilege, and institutional racism on campus. Hearing the expressed frustrations of their peers encountering similar situations across campus may leave BSU involved students feeling more dissatisfied with their institution than their uninvolved peers. At the same time, the sense of community and support they experience via involvement with the BSU can promote their persistence and satisfaction with the institution. This paper presents the results from a study of institutional satisfaction and perceptions of the campus climate between Black students involved with the BSU on campus and Black students unaffiliated with the BSU.

Name: Santiba Campbell University: University of Delaware Title of Presentation: The Campus Conundrum: Comparing African-Americans at HBCUs and PWIs Abstract: Researchers have explored the differences in the beliefs and philosophies of African American students attending Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCU) versus African American students attending Predominantly White Institutions (PWI). But the question remains, does the varied college environments result in differences in the cultural and racial ideologies that these students develop? This present study begins to explore these differences, specifically as they relate to racial identity and the degree to which these students express sensitivity to subtle and overt displays of race-relevant events on campus. Participants from a PWI (N = 47) and a HBCU (N = 50) completed a measure of racial identity (Multidimensional Inventory of Black Identity (MIBI; Seller et al, 1997) and judged the degree to which 15 racially sensitive events were racist, intentionally harmful and had the potential to have produced negative feelings. Results show significant differences between the schools for intent and feelings such that students at the PWI experienced the scenarios as more intentional and emotionally harmful than the students at the HBCU. There was no difference for level of racism. In regards to racial identity, there was also a significant difference between the two schools. The HBCU was higher in Nationalist which emphasizes uniqueness to being Black while the PWI was higher in Oppressed Minority, which includes a coalition of minority statuses. Interestingly, Centrality did not differ for the students. This finding suggests that regardless of the type of school an African American chooses to attend; race is a core part of their self-concept.

Name: Felecia Webb University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: The Effects of Compassionate and Self-Image Goals in African American Students Abstract: African American students deal with situations that put them at risk for not excelling academically. Past research has shown that social support, mental health, and self-regulation are important for academic achievement. But, what predicts social support, mental health, and self-regulation? 48 African American freshmen completed bi-weekly measures of goals, social support, mental health and academic self-regulation over their 1st semester of college. On days when students had higher compassionate goals they also reported higher social support, better mental health, and more self-regulation. The effects of compassionate goals occur both within a given time point and


carry over 3-4 days later. On the other hand, on days when students had higher self-image goals they also reported lower social support, poorer mental health, and less self-regulation. Again, the effects of self-image goals occur both within a given time point and carry over 3-4 days later. Finally, students’ goals predict objective measures of first semester grades. These results suggest that, especially for this at-risk population, student’s goals can create an environment in which they can succeed.

Name: John Paul Stephens University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: Coordination in Music-Making: Primary elements of organizing? Abstract: In this paper, I discuss preliminary findings of my study of intragroup coordination through musicmaking. As a performative task, music-making explicitly implicates the processes of coordination. In the context of a choral singing group and small groups in the lab, individuals demonstrate various cognitive, affective and behavioral elements that may be key to coordination quality. Of primary interest are the relationships between distributed attention, the feeling of “being group”, and the responsiveness of actions performed between group members with coordination quality. This work emphasizes the role of relationality in organizing, and hopes to uncover the mechanisms by which micro-level individual behaviors influence macro-level, group or “organizational” performance. Preliminary findings will be presented, and feedback on potential future directions is welcome.

Name: Yzette Lanier University: Howard University Title of Presentation: “Let’s Talk About Stress”: Examining the Role of Stress on Adjustment among African American Youth Abstract: Stress among American adolescents is a major health concern. Research suggests that stress has negative implications for adolescents’ physical and mental well-being. This is particularly noteworthy considering the pervasiveness of stress among American youth. A report by Reuters Health found that approximately one-third of American adolescents indicated being “stressed-out” on a daily basis while the remaining two-thirds reported feeling stressed at least once a week. Moreover, there is evidence that these findings may be exacerbated for youth of certain racial/ethnic groups. For example, black youth are likely to experience additional stress due to such factors as living in impoverished environmental conditions and possessing a denigrated social status. Accordingly, this study explores the impact of stress on psychosocial adjustment among African American early adolescents. Three significant, yet stressful, contextual settings are considered: family, school, and larger society. In addition, the protective role of private regard, a component of racial identity, is examined. Hierarchical regression analyses will be conducted and study findings will be discussed.


Name: Diana N. Edwards University: Howard University Title of Presentation: The Motivation of High- and Low-Achieving African-American Adolescents from SingleParent Households Abstract: Historically and currently African-American children perform at lower levels than most other ethnic groups in their academic pursuits. More specifically, African-American adolescents from single-parent households are performing lower than their counterparts from dual-parent households (Bankston & Caldas, 1998). This study seeks to utilize the motivation theory as a framework to identify factors that account for the varying levels of academic achievement among young African-American adolescents from single-parent households. Typically the researchers who study the relationships between household structure and school achievement have no theory upon which the research is derived from, and thus have no theoretical framework to explain their findings. I propose that motivation theory, more specifically the concepts of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, will provide a meaningful framework for explaining differences in achievement among African-American adolescents from single-parent households. This study will use qualitative interviews and a questionnaire to examine the underlying motivational factors related to whether young adolescents in single-parent households either fail or succeed in academic pursuits. Twenty urban African-American middle school students are the participants in the study. Their ages range from 10 to 15 years. A thematic content analysis will provide insight into the differences in the motivational patterns of children who are categorized as being either high or low achieving. It is hopeful that this study will identify new issues that researchers have not previously addressed that account for differences in achievement within this population.

Name: Debra L. Morehead University: Howard University Title of Presentation: C-Reactive Protein, Depression, and Blood Pressure in a Community-Based Study of African Americans Abstract: Studies show that depressive symptoms and high blood pressures (BPs) are associated with elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), especially among African Americans. CRP is an acute-phase reactant that is produced by the liver in response to many disease conditions. Depression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. Blood pressure is measured and yields two readings, systolic and diastolic. When blood pressure is consistently above 140/90, physicians diagnose hypertension. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between CRP, depression, and blood pressure in a community-based study of African Americans. Hypotheses: 1) Higher depression scores will be associated with elevated CRP levels. 2) Higher blood pressures will be associated with elevated CRP levels. Methods: African Americans (N=213), males (n=103) and females (n=110), 18 years of age and older, residing in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia, were the participants in this study. ELISA assay procedures were used to determine serum CRP levels. Depressive symptoms were assessed by use of the BDI-II and the NEO-PI-R. Three blood pressure readings were taken to assess hypertension. As predicted, depression, as assessed by the BDI-II, showed an association with CRP on: past failure (r=.284, p≤0.01), loss of pleasure (r=.181, p≤0.05), guilty feelings (r=.166, p≤0.05), worthlessness (r=.189, p≤0.01), loss of energy (r=.145, p≤0.05), changes in sleeping pattern (r=.290, p≤0.01 ), changes in appetite (r=.220, p≤0.01), and tiredness or fatigue (r=.153, p≤0.05). Depression, as assessed by the NEO-PI-R, showed an association with CRP on: sometimes I feel completely worthless (r=.277, p≤0.01), I have sometimes experienced a deep sense of guilt and sinfulness (r=.170, p≤0.05), and Too often, when things go wrong, I get discouraged and feel like giving up (r=.183, p≤0.05). Systolic blood pressures at baseline were


associated with CRP (systolic: r=.148, p≤0.05). These findings support the idea that both elevated blood pressures and depressive symptomotology are inflammatory related diseases and risk factors for hypertension and clinical depression. There is a need to investigate the underlying biopsychosocial mechanisms that contribute to the problem of elevated CRP levels.

Name: Courtney D. Cogburn University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: Race and Gender: Discrimination and Identity among African American Adolescents Abstract: While it is evident that negative race-based experiences are salient for African American youth, gender may also be a prominent feature in their educational experiences. Although a great deal of research has focused on the role of gender in adolescent adjustment, much less attention has been given to the ways that gender may relate to the educational and social development of ethnic minority youth (Irvine, 1996; Noguera, 2003). Cogburn & Chavous (2007) examined experiences of race and gender discrimination in classrooms among African American adolescents. These analyses indicated no significant difference in racial discrimination mean scores between boys (µ= .265, SD= 1.1) and girls (µ= .007, SD= 1.0). Boys, however, reported higher mean gender discrimination scores (µ= .275, SD= 1.0). Gender and racial discrimination generally related to more depressive symptoms (F (5, 418) = 15.37, p< .000) and lower academic achievement (F (5, 371)= 121.7, p< .000). These and other findings suggest that: 1) race and gender discrimination may impact academic and psychological outcomes in distinct ways for girls and boys and 2) it is important to ask both African American boys and girls about their experiences with gender. The present paper builds on this previous research and discusses possible theoretical frameworks and empirical approaches that may be helpful in assessing racial and gender discrimination and identity. This work seeks to contribute to our understanding of how we should assess experiences of race and gender among African American adolescents as well as how these youth are impacted by and cope with these experiences.

Name: Themba Carr University: University of Michigan Title of Presentation: Using Mixed Methods to Explore Parent Perceptions of Caring for a Child with Autism Abstract: The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased dramatically in recent years, with the most recent data reporting one out of every 152 children affected with the disorder. There are no differences in the prevalence of ASD across racial and class boundaries, but there are discrepancies in how early African American children are diagnosed and whether they receive early intervention. This paper will discuss the quantitative findings of a study examining the perceived negative impact of raising a child with ASD in African American and Caucasian families and will propose future research plans for combining quantitative and qualitative methods to pursue the following research objectives: 1) To increase participation of African American families in research on ASD, 2) to study the influence of culture and social class on African Americans perceptions of, and experiences with ASD, and 3) to study how cultural and economic variables affect parents’ diagnosis-seeking and treatment-seeking behavior. By addressing these research objectives, we hope to identify areas of strength and difficulty in underserved families caring for children with ASD that will result in the better design and implementation of diagnostic and treatment services available to diverse populations.


CamPUs maP

Julia Donovan Darlow, Ann Arbor Laurence B. Deitch, Bingham Farms Olivia P. Maynard, Goodrich Rebecca McGowan, Ann Arbor Andrea Fischer Newman, Ann Arbor Andrew C. Richner, Grosse Pointe Park S. Martin Taylor, Grosse Pointe Farms Katherine E. White, Ann Arbor Mary Sue Coleman, ex officio

The University of Michigan, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The University of Michigan is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity for all persons regardless of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or Vietnam-era veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions. Inquiries or complaints may be addressed to the Senior Director for Institutional Equity and Title IX/Section 504 Coordinator, Office of Institutional Equity, 2072 Administrative Services Building, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1432, 734-763-0235, TTY 734-647-1388. For other University of Michigan information call 734-764-1817.

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