• Correlates and outcomes of severe bullying: internalizing maladjustments of adolescent bullies, victims and bully- victims

      Leader, Leanna.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2004-07-09)
      The current study examined the association between involvement in bullying and victimization and internalizing difficulties such as self-esteem, social anxiety, depression and body image. Possible gender differences were also examined. The participants, high school students from Southern Ontario (N=533), were drawn from a larger, data set as part ofa study that was completed by the Youth Lifestyle Choices: Community Research Alliance (YLCCURA). The students completed a self-report questionnaire on a number ofmeasures; including, bullying, victimization, self-esteem, social anxiety, depression and body image. The results of this study suggest that those students who self-identified as victims and bully-victims also report higher levels of anxiety and depression than controls and bullies. Severe victims and bullyvictims had a lower body image than severe bullies and controls, whereas severe bullies seem to have a higher body image score than controls. These results are relevant when considering treatments and interventions for students experiencing adjustment difficulties who may also be at risk for bullying victimization. The results also suggest that particular attention needs to be focused on those adolescents who play multi-roles in bullying situations (i.e., bully-victims), since these students may come to the attention ofthe school system for externalizing behaviours, but may also need assistance for internalizing maladjustments.
    • An in-depth analysis of real and perceived barriers to speech and language program participation for children with speech and language delays : a question of barriers to service?

      Sneyd, Elizabeth J.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2005-05-21)
      The current study investigated the effects that barriers (both real and perceived) had on participation and completion of speech and language programs for preschool children with communication delays. I compared 36 families of preschool children with an identified communication delay that have completed services (completers) to 13 families that have not completed services (non-completers) prescribed by Speech and Language professionals. Data findings reported were drawn from an interview with the mother, a speech and language assessment of the child, and an extensive package of measures completed by the mother. Children ranged in age from 32 to 71 mos. These data were collected as part of a project funded by the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Networks of Centres of Excellence. Findings suggest that completers and non-completers shared commonalities in a number of parenting characteristics but differed significantly in two areas. Mothers in the noncompleting group were more permissive and had lower maternal education than mothers in the completing families. From a systemic standpoint, families also differed in the number of perceived barriers to treatment experienced during their time with Speech Services Niagara. Mothers in the non-completing group experienced more perceived barriers to treatment than completing mothers. Specifically, these mothers perceived more stressors and obstacles that competed with treatment, perceived more treatment demands and they perceived the relevance of treatment as less important than the completing group. Despite this, the findings suggest that non-completing families were 100% satisfied with services. Contrary to predictions, there were no significant differences in child characterisfics and economic characteristics between completers and non-completers. The findings in this study are considered exploratory and tentative due to the small sample size.
    • Linking community variables to parenting behaviours and youth risk behaviours

      Trithardt, Jaselyn Jarvis.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2005-07-14)
      The puq)ose of this thesis is to test a model Hnking community disadvantage and urbanicity factors to parenting variables (i.e., monitoring, warmth, and knowledge) and to youth risk behavior (i.e., substance use and delinquency), measured both concurrently and one year after the assessment of parenting variables. The model builds on the work of Fletcher, Steinberg, and Williams-Wheeler (2004) but a) includes a more comprehensive measure of SES than that conceptualized by Fletcher et al.; b) considers whether the role of community disadvantage is indirectly as well as directly linked to youth risk behavior, by way of its association with parenting variables; c) considers whether level of community urbanicity plays a direct role in predicting both parenting variables and risk behaviors, or whether its influence on risk behaviours is primarily indirect through parenting variables. Both community disadvantage and urbanicity had virtually no relation to parenting and risk behaviour variables. Results found for relations of parenting variables and risk behaviour were similar to Fletcher et al. Although urban youth are typically perceived as being more at risk for substance use and delinquency, no evidence was found for a distinction between urban and rural youth within this sample. Targeting risk behaviour prevention/reduction programs toward only urban youth, therefore, is not supported by these findings.
    • Evaluation of a treatment program for individuals with an intellectual disability who have high risk behaviours

      McKay, Leslie.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      In the past two decades numerous programs have emerged to treat individuals with developmental disabilities who have sexual offending behaviours. There has, however been very few studies that systematically examine the effectiveness of long term treatment with this population. The present research examines the therapeutic outcomes of a multi-modal behaviour approach with six individuals with intellectual disabilities previously charged with sexual assault. The participants also exhibited severe behavioural challenges that included verbal aggression, physical aggression, destruction and self-injury. These six participants (5 males, 1 female) were admitted to a Long Term Residential Treatment Program (LTRTP), due to the severity of their behaviours and due to their lack of treatment success in other programs. Individualized treatment plans focused on the reduction of maladaptive behaviours and the enhancing of skills such as positive coping strategies, socio-sexual knowledge, life skills, recreation and leisure skills. The treatment program also included psychiatric, psychological, medical, behavioural and educational interventions. The participants remained in the Long Term Residential Treatment Program (LTRTP) program from 181 to 932 days (average of 1.5 years). Pre and post treatment evaluations were conducted using the following tools: frequency of target behaviours, Psychopathology Inventory for Mentally Retarded Adults (PIMRA), Emotional Problems Scale (EPS), Socio-Sexual Knowledge and Attitudes Assessment Tool (SSKAAT-R) and Quality of Life Questionnaire (QOL-Q). Recidivism rates and the need for re-hospitalization were also noted for each participant. By offering high levels of individualized interventions, all six participants showed a 37 % rate of reduction in maladaptive behaviours with zero to low rates of inappropriate sexualbehaviour, there were no psychiatric hospitalizations, and there was no recidivism for 5 of 6 participants. In addition, medication was reduced. Mental health scores on the PIMRA were reduced across all participants by 25 % and scores on the Quality of Life Questionnaire increased for all participants by an average of 72 %. These findings add to and build upon the existing literature on long term treatment benefits for individuals with a intellectual disability who sexually offend. By utilizing an individualized and multimodal treatment approach to reduce severe behavioural challenges, not only can the maladaptive behaviours be reduced, but adaptive behaviours can be increased, mental health concerns can be managed, and overall quality of life can be improved.
    • Early detection and intervention for infants at risk of autism spectrum disorders

      Regehr, Kaleigh.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2006-05-19)
      Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by abnonnal social interactions and communications as well as repetitive and restricted activities and interests. There is evidence of a genetic component, as 5% of younger siblings are diagnosed if their older sibling has been diagnosed. Autism is generally not diagnosed until age 3 at the earliest, yet it has been shown that early intervention for children with autism can greatly increase their functioning. Because of this, it is important that symptoms of autism are identified as early as possible so that diagnosis can occur as soon as possible to allow these children the earliest intervention. This thesis was divided into two parts. The first looked at the psychometrics of two proposed measures, the Parent Observation Checklist (POC), administered monthly, and the Infant Behavior Summary Evaluation (mSE), administered bimonthly, to see if they can be used with the infant population to identify autistic symptoms in infants who are at high risk for autism or related problems because they have an older sibling with autism. Study 1 reported acceptable psychometric properties of both the POC and IBSE in terms of test-retest reliability, internal consistency, construct validity and predictive validity. These results provide preliminary evidence that parent report measures can help to detect early symptoms of ASD in infants. The POC was shown to differentiate infants who were diagnosed from a matched group that was not diagnosed by 3 years of age. The second part of this thesis involved a telephone interview of parents who reported developmental and/or behavior problems in their high-risk infants that may be early signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). During the interview, a service questionnaire was administered to see what interventions (including strategies recommended by the researchers) their at risk infants and affected older siblings were receiving, how satisfied the parents were with them and how effective they felt the interventions were. 3 Study 2 also yielded promising results. Parents utilized a variety of services for at risk infants and children with ASD. The interventions included empirically validated early intervention (e.g., ABA) to non-empirically validated treatments (e.g., diet therapy). The large number of nonempirically validated treatments parents used was surprising, yet parents reported being involved and satisfied, and thought that the services were effective. Parents' perceptions of their stress levels went down slightly and feelings of competence rose when they accessed services for their infants. Overall, the results of this thesis provide new evidence that parent-report methods hold promise as early detection instruments for ASD in at-risk infants. More research is needed to further validate these instruments as well as to understand the variables related to the parents' choice of early intervention for their at risk and affected children.
    • A Foucaultian analysis of power relations in child protection case work with youth and families

      Gibbs, Helen.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2006-11-04)
      This thesis takes some steps in examining the child protection system from a position that is rarely discussed. Specifically, I explore how Foucault's concept of disciplinary power can be used to demonstrate how power operates within the client/worker relationship. This relationship is shown to be quite complex with power flowing bidirectionally, rather than hierarchically. Instead of viewing power imbalances as a function of state control, I show how the client/worker relationship is constituted by the worker, the client, the organization and the social body. A postmodern auto ethnography is used to document my journey as I expose the disciplinary practices and instruments that I was subject to and used with my clients. 2 Given that the child protection system is constantly shifting and changing in order to improve its ability to safeguard children a greater emphasis is required to examine how workers operate within this complex, overwhelming and multi-dimensional world. This thesis has shown that by engaging in a reflexive examination of my position of power different approaches to making intervention beneficial to all involved become available. This is important if child protection work aims to work with clients rather than on clients.
    • Exploring the experiences of parents with children who have communication delays, as a population at risk for the development of behavioural concerns

      Vogin, Kaarina M.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2007-05-21)
      Existing research identifies preschoolers with communication delays as a population at risk for the development of behavioural concerns. This risk increases when additional environmental factors such as parental stress and family conflict are also present. Research has also shown that behavioural concerns can be stable over time when they develop early. However, early intervention has been shown to be effective in addressing these concerns. The effectiveness of early intervention in addressing both child and family outcomes increases when interventions are delivered in a family-centred approach. This research project made use of data related to child behaviour and parenting, gathered through the Family Resource Project which explored the parenting experiences and resource access and allocation decisions of families who have preschool children with and without communication delays. Cluster analysis was used to explore whether there were identifiable clusters of children and families within each sample. Interview data fi"om each identified family cluster was then explored further, to identify how parents described their child's behaviour and their experience of parenting. Results show that, within this sample, parents of preschoolers with communication delays described their child's behaviour and their experience of parenting differently than did parents of children without communication delays. Results also showed that within this sample parents experiencing parental stress and/or family conflict described their child's behaviour and their experience of parenting differently than did parents from other clusters. Results suggest support for early intervention and the use of family-centred intervention, particularly for families of children with communication delays.
    • A sequential analysis of therapist scaffolding and child concept formation in narrative therapy

      Ramey, Heather.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2007-07-14)
      Narrative therapy is a postmodern therapy that takes the position that people create self-narratives to make sense of their experiences. To date, narrative therapy has compiled virtually no quantitative and very little qualitative research, leaving gaps in almost all areas of process and outcome. White (2006a), one of the therapy's founders, has recently utilized Vygotsky's (1934/1987) theories of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) and concept formation to describe the process of change in narrative therapy with children. In collaboration with the child client, the narrative therapist formalizes therapeutic concepts and submits them to increasing levels of generalization to create a ZPD. This study sought to determine whether the child's development proceeds through the stages of concept formation over the course of a session, and whether therapists' utterances scaffold this movement. A sequential analysis was used due to its unique ability to measure dynamic processes in social interactions. Stages of concept formation and scaffolding were coded over time. A hierarchical log-linear analysis was performed on the sequential data to develop a model of therapist scaffolding and child concept development. This was intended to determine what patterns occur and whether the stated intent of narrative therapy matches its actual process. In accordance with narrative therapy theory, the log-linear analysis produced a final model with interactions between therapist and child utterances, and between both therapist and child utterances and time. Specifically, the child and youth participants in therapy tended to respond to therapist scaffolding at the corresponding level of concept formation. Both children and youth and therapists also tended to move away from earlier and toward later stages of White's scaffolding conversations map as the therapy session advanced. These findings provide support for White's contention that narrative therapists promote child development by scaffolding child concept formation in therapy.
    • Understanding the polyvocality of autism discourse : a critical autoethnographic approach

      Grubb, Sarah.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2007-09-23)
      Currently, much of the autism literature supports the notion that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is a deviation from what is considered "normal" and, accordingly, that it is in need of early remediation. This thesis explored alternative constructions of autism and pathology by drawing on theorists from other disciplines, such as cultural studies (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987, 1965, 1972, 1975,1980, 2003), critical psychology (Parker, 1995, 2002, 2005, 2007), disability studies (Danforth,1997, 1999, 2000; Skrtic, 1995, 1996) and anti-psychiatry (Basaglia, 1987). In an attempt to show how our accounts of the world encompass constructions rooted in language and our own histories of thinking about topics that interest us, this research took an autoethnographic approach to understanding autism discourse. Instead of denying the researcher's existence and personal investment in the research, the author attempted to implicate "the self in the research by acknowledging her own assumptions, biases and ideologies about autism discourse and practice. Thus, tensions between the self and other, personal and political become woven into the fabric, creating a personal, subjective, and partial account of the phenomenon. This research was intended to explicate and interrogate some of the taken-for-granted Truths which guide our practices with people with autism. This alternative critical framework focused on understanding autism as a discourse and explored the way these dominant autism constructions function in society. Furthermore, positioning "the self in the research was meant to illustrate the fundamental need for self-reflective practice in the social sciences.
    • Bullying as a social process : factors influencing bystander behaviour

      Kingston, Shauna.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      Bullying was approached as a social phenomenon in the present study. The central aim of this thesis was to uncover some of the factors that contribute to the attitudes and behavioural choices of bystanders during bullying situations. With this type of information, interventions can be tailored to change the behaviour of bystanders during bullying situations, and thus the ethos of the larger group. Thus, acting to alter the available sources of reinforcement for bullying behaviour and peer intervention attempts. Six hundred and twenty-six students participated. Students were sampled from grades 4 (n=140), 5 (n=l 13), 7 (n=205), and 8 (n=168). Students were measured for their involvement in bullying and victimization, as well as for involvement in the following bystander behaviours: encouraging, onlooking, defending, and seeking adult support. In addition, students were measured for tolerance of deviance, pro-victim attitudes, social anxiety and fear, and self-efficacy for peer intervention. Last, students were asked to complete a series of qualitative measures, including a series of hypothetical vignettes and open-ended questions. Analyses centered on the following areas: 1) rates of bullying, victimization, and bystander behaviour; 2) the influence of age and gender on bystander behaviour; 3) the characteristics associated with students who predominantly report involvement with defending, seeking adult assistance, encouraging, and onlooking behaviour; and 4) the influence of past involvement with bullying and victimization on bystander behaviour. b .--' -i . k Rates of bullying, victimization, and bystander behaviour were comparable to findings in the existing literature, where male students were more likely than female students to report involvement in both bullying and victimization. Boys were more likely than girls to report participation in encouraging and onlooking behaviours, while being less likely to report involvement in defending and seeking adult assistance. Partly consistent with existing findings, older students were more likely to report involvement in bullying, encouraging, and onlooking behaviour than younger students, who were more likely to report victimization, defending, and seeking adult assistance. Self-identified encouragers and onlookers reported a similar array of characteristics, in that they tended express high levels of tolerance of deviance, while expressing low levels of pro-victim attitudes and self-efficacy for peer intervention. Likewise, self-identified defenders and seekers of adult assistance tended to report a similar array of characteristics to each other, in that they tended to report low levels of tolerance of deviance, while expressing high levels of pro-victim attitudes and self efficacy for peer intervention. Additionally, self-identified bullies and self-identified bully-victims tended to report increased involvement in encouraging and onlooking, whereas self-identified victims tended to report increased involvement in defending behaviour and seeking adult assistance. Results are discussed in terms of implications for bullying prevention and intervention. Specifically, evidence from the present study suggests that as bystanders, students predominantly act to either support bullying acts or to support the victims of these acts, or alternatively, to actively remain outside bullying situations. Thus, encouraging students to make small changes in the way they express these sentiments during bullying situations would act to alter the culture of the larger peer group and the sources of reinforcement available for bullying acts as well as peer intervention attempts.
    • Learning to be literate : parental empowerment in early literacy interventions

      Busser, Dianne.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      Considerable research has focused on the success of early intervention programs for children. However, minimal research has focused on the effect these programs have on the parents of targeted children. Many current early intervention programs champion family-focused and inclusive programming, but few have evaluated parent participation in early interventions and fewer still have evaluated the impact of these programs on beliefs and attitudes and parenting practices. Since parents will continue to play a key role in their child's developmental course long after early intervention programs end, it is vital to examine whether these programs empower parents to take action to make changes in the lives of their children. The goal of this study was to understand parental influences on the early development of literacy, and in particular how parental attitudes, beliefs and self efficacy impact parent and child engagement in early literacy intervention activities. A mixed method procedure using quantitative and qualitative strategies was employed. A quasi-experimental research design was used. The research sample, sixty parents who were part of naturally occurring community interventions in at- risk neighbourhoods in a south-western Ontario city participated in the quantitative phase. Largely individuals whose home language was other than English, these participants were divided amongst three early literacy intervention groups, a Prescriptive Interventionist type group, a Participatory Empowering type group and a drop-in parent- child neighbourhood Control group. Measures completed pre and post a six session literacy intervention, on all three literacy and evidence of change in parental empowerment. Parents in all three groups, on average, held beliefs about early literacy that were positive and that were compatible with current approaches to language development and emergent literacy. No significant change in early literacy beliefs and attitudes for pre to post intervention was found. Similarly, there was no significant difference between groups on empowerment scores, but there was a significant change post intervention in one group's empowerment score. There was a drop in the empowerment score for the Prescriptive Interventionist type group, suggesting a drop in empowerment level. The qualitative aspect of this study involved six in-depth interviews completed with a sub-set of the sixty research participants. Four similar themes emerged across the groups: learning takes place across time and place; participation is key; success is achieved by taking small steps; and learning occurs in multiple ways. The research findings have important implications for practitioners and policy makers who target at risk populations with early intervention programming and wish to sustain parental empowerment. Study results show the value parents place on early learning and point to the importance of including parents in the development and delivery of early intervention programs. groups, were analyzed for evidence of change in parental attitudes and beliefs about early literacy and evidence of change in parental empowerment. Parents in all three groups, on average, held beliefs about early literacy that were positive and that were compatible with current approaches to language development and emergent literacy. No significant change in early literacy beliefs and attitudes for pre to post intervention was found. Similarly, there was no significant difference between groups on empowerment scores, but there was a significant change post intervention in one group's empowerment score. There was a drop in the empowerment score for the Prescriptive Interventionist type group, suggesting a drop in empowerment level. The qualitative aspect of this study involved six in-depth interviews completed with a sub-set of the sixty research participants. Four similar themes emerged across the groups: learning takes place across time and place; participation is key; success is achieved by taking small steps; and learning occurs in multiple ways. The research findings have important implications for practitioners and policy makers who target at risk populations with early intervention programming and wish to sustain parental empowerment. Study results show the value parents place on early learning and point to the importance of including parents in the development and delivery of early intervention programs.
    • Exploring the emergent literacy needs of preschoolers with language impairments

      Vervaeke, Sherri-Leigh.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-05-21)
      Current research indicates the need to identify and support children at-risk for reading difficulties as early as possible. Children with language impairments are one group of children who have been shown to be at-risk for literacy problems. Their difficulties likely stem from the challenges they tend to experience with acquiring emergent literacy skills as preschoolers. Very little empirical work has been done with preschoolers with language impairments to explore the nature of their emergent literacy development or their response to interventions which target emergent literacy skills. In the present study, 55 preschoolers with language impairments were recruited from a speech and language centre in Southern Ontario. The nature of the relationship between children's early language and literacy skills was explored using measures of their written language awareness, phonological awareness and oral language abilities, in an attempt to better understand how to conceptualize their emergent literacy abilities. Furthermore, a between-subjects design was used to compare two language interventions: an experimental emergent literacy intervention and a standard intervention based on traditional models of speech and language therapy. Results indicated that preschooler's emergent literacy abilities can be understood as a broad, multi-dimensional construct consisting of three separate but interrelated components: written language awareness, phonological awareness, and oral language. The emergent literacy-enhanced intervention was generally superior to the standard language intervention in improving children's skills in written language awareness, and children with the most severe impairments seemed to benefit the most from the experimental intervention. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as areas for future research are discussed. .
    • Bridging the gap between post-secondary students with disabilities and faculty members with their perceptions of access and accommodation

      Donato, Krystine A.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-06-01)
      The purpose of this study was to identify factors related to successful university course completion for students with disAbilities including the knowledge that faculty members and students with disAbilities have about accommodation issues; the accommodations that students with disAbilities and faculty use and find effective in the university setting; faculty members' perceptions of and attitudes toward students with disAbilities; and the attitudes that students with disAbilities have toward faculty. Fiftyseven participants were involved in the research, eight students with disabilities and forty-nine faculty members. The main objective of the research was to describe how the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of students and faculty members, and organizational supports interact to support students' academic success. The utilization and effectiveness of accommodations to overcome barriers associated with disAbility in a post-secondary setting are described in relation to students' and faculty members' perceptions of academic success.
    • Supporting and maximizing communication between individuals with intellectual disabilities and health care providers

      Klassen, K.T. Kajsa.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-09-23)
      The goal of the present study was to examine the barriers to access in health services faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID), as well as the nature of communication between people with ID and those who are directly involved in supporting their health and well being. The study included in-depth interviews with five adults who have been identified as having ID and are supported by a community agency, five community agency support staff and four physicians who are specialists in supporting people who have ID. A qualitative content analysis approach facilitated the comparative exploration of key themes that each participant group saw as positive or negative influences on health care access and on effective health care communication. Themes drawn from the findings emphasize the unique roles each of these groups plays within the dialogical framework of the health care encounter. Of particular importance to informants was the issue of people with ID being seen as full participants in their own health care who, like all people, are unique individuals and not simply members of an identified or marginalized group. Participants across groups emphasized the need for the health care recipient to be known as an individual who is an expert in her/his own health and well being and, therefore, entitled to full participation with the support of but not control by others.
    • A multidimensional measurement approach and analysis of children's motivation for reading, attributional style, and reading achievement

      Fulmer, Sara M.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-11-04)
      The present study investigates the usefulness of a multi-method approach to the measurement of reading motivation and achievement. A sample of 127 elementary and middle-school children aged 10 to 14 responded to measures of motivation, attributions, and achievement both longitudinally and in a challenging reading context. Novel measures of motivation and attributions were constructed, validated, and utilized to examine the relationship between ~ motivation, attributions, and achievement over a one-year period (Study I). The impact of classroom contexts and instructional practices was also explored through a study of the influence of topic interest and challenge on motivation, attributions, and persistence (Study II), as well as through interviews with children regarding motivation and reading in the classroom (Study III). Creation and validation of novel measures of motivation and attributions supported the use of a self-report measure of motivation in situation-specific contexts, and confirmed a three-factor structure of attributions for reading performance in both hypothetical and situation-specific contexts. A one-year follow up study of children's motivation and reading achievement demonstrated declines in all components of motivation beginning at age 10 through 12, and particularly strong decreases in motivation with the transition to middle school. Past perceived competence for reading predicted current achievement after controlling for past achievement, and showed the strongest relationships with reading-related skills in both elementary and middle school. Motivation and attributions were strongly related, and children with higher motivation Fulmer III displayed more adaptive attributions for reading success and failure. In the context of a developmentally inappropriate challenging reading task, children's motivation for reading, especially in terms of perceived competence, was threatened. However, interest in the story buffered some ofthe negative impacts of challenge, sustaining children's motivation, adaptive attributions, and reading persistence. Finally, children's responses during interviews outlined several emotions, perceptions, and aspects of reading tasks and contexts that influence reading motivation and achievement. Findings revealed that children with comparable motivation and achievement profiles respond in a similar way to particular reading situations, such as excessive challenge, but also that motivation is dynamic and individualistic and can change over time and across contexts. Overall, the present study outlines the importance of motivation and adaptive attributions for reading success, and the necessity of integrating various methodologies to study the dynamic construct of achievement motivation.
    • An assessment of autism knowledge in the medical field

      Campbell, Lindsay.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2008-11-04)
      Once thought to be rare, pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) are now recognized as the most common neurological disorders affecting children and one of the most common developmental disabilities (DD) in Canada (Autism Society of Canada, 2006). Recent reports indicate that PDDs currently affect 1 in 150 children (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). The purpose of this research was to provide an understanding of medical resident and practicing physicians' basic knowledge regarding PDDs. With a population of children with PDDs who present with varying symptoms, the ability for medical professionals to provide general information, diagnosis, appropriate referrals, and medical care can be quite complex. A basic knowledge of the disorder is only a first step in providing adequate medical care to individuals with autism and their families. An updated version of Stone's (1987) Autism survey was administered to medical residents at four medical schools in Canada and currently practicing physicians at three medical schools and one community health network. As well, a group of professionals specializing in the field ofPDDs, participating in research and clinical practice, were surveyed as an 'expert' group to act as a control measure. Expert responses were consistent with current research in the field. General findings indicated few differences in overall knowledge between residents and physicians, with misconceptions evident in areas such as the nature of the disorder, qualitative characteristics of autism, and effective interventions. Results were also examined by specialty and, while pediatricians demonstrated additional accurate 11 knowledge regarding the nature of the disorder and select qualitative impairments, both residents and practicing physicians demonstrated misconceptions about PDDs. This preliminary study replicated the findings of Stone (1987) and Heidgerken (2005) concerning several misconceptions of PDDs held by residents and practicing physicians. Future research should focus on additional replications with validated measures as well as the gathering of qualitative information, in order to inform the medical profession of the need for education in PDDs at training and professional levels.
    • A black-focused school : black Canadian youth and the mainstream curriculum

      Davis, Megan K.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      ABSTRACT When asked about the proposal for a black-focused school, black youth from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) voiced their agreement with elements of the proposal, but resisted the idea of implementing the proposal by creating a separate school. Although media representations and Dei (1996, 2006) provide insight into what Torontonians' reactions are to the proposed blackfocused school there has been no such information documented on what black youth in the GTA think about the project. This is the first known study that attempts to fill that gap by providing a representation of black youths' voices obtained via focus groups. The study examines what black youth know and think about the proposal, and why they largely disagree with the blackfocused school proposal. While the findings of this study indicate that the participants saw many positive elements of the proposal, they did not support the implementation of a black-focused school as they saw the creation of a separate space for the school as a negative thing. The youth had trouble conceptualizing 'black-focused schooling' as an alternative approach to mainstream education, which had an impact on whether they choose to, or could, respond to questions that precisely related to the black-focused school project. The study concludes that the youth could not visualize what the school would look like and how it would operate because they draw on liberal racist discourses (e.g. colour-blindness, blaming the victim, and equal opportunity) when thinking about their educational experiences; however, there was a clear contradiction in the way the youths' voices reflected an awareness of the role of race in education experiences. It was evident when they talked about fear of stigmatization, but when using liberal discourses the youth discounted the role of race, and seemed not to be aware of its role in educational experiences. These findings pose important implications for educators, would-be educators, administrators, the TDSB and proponents of the black-focused school.
    • Global migration : patriarchy, propoganda and the well- being of women and children

      McGowan, Annmarie J.; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      This critical analysis explores the conflicted position of women as ''trailing spouses" and the effects on families who relocate globally under the auspices of a multinational corporation, by utilizing a discursive analysis of two contemporary films and available literature. Current portrayals of women and children in contemporary media provide emotional yet conflicting images of the perfect woman, wife, mother, child and family. The basic tenets of a North American patriarchal economic system are being televised around the world. Technological advancements have made it possible to advertise political agendas on a global television screen. Much of what we see is propaganda couched in films and advertisements that are designed to romantic~e the practice of deriving profits from the unpaid labor of woman and invisibility of children and child rearing. I intend to show that the materiality of trailing a spouse globally conflicts with these romanticized images and supports feminist literature that asserts the notion that mothers and children are oppressed and managed for the benefit of capital.
    • Acknowledging mother's lived experience of raising a child with Autism : a phenomenological inquiry

      Posavad, Jamie; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2009-03-09)
      Autism is one of those human ambiguities that forces vigilant open-mindednesssometimes this open-mindedness comes without choice, for example when you become the mother of a child with autism. Recent reports indicate that Pervasive Developmental Disorders affect 1 in 150 children (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007). This also means that there are many families caring for children with autism. The purpose of this research was to explore the day to day lived experiences of mothers caring for a child with autism. With a drastic increase in children diagnosed with autism, and very little research on mothers themselves, assisting in articulating lived experiences from mothers themselves seemed like an acceptable first step. Mothers were asked to journal for a period of one month, once a week, as well as participate in a focus group. Findings from both of these techniques were analyzed using underpinnings from Amelio Giorgi and Max van Manen. General findings indicate that mothers present poignant narratives about living with their child. It becomes clear that mothers are stressed, and live a complicated and often contradictory existence. Many days are fraught with struggle, anticipation, watchful eyes, judgment and guilt. There is a constant battle waging; the one within themselves, and the one with an uninformed and uncooperative public. Given that this research contributes to an extremely small body of qualitative research on mothers, future research should continue to gain insight from mothers, without classifying or categorizing their words. Their words speak volumes. Professionals may know autism, but mothers know their children.
    • Examining the inclusion experiences of students with intellectual disabilities : a study focusing on the transition from elementary to secondary school

      Trent-Kratz, Marion Edna; Department of Child and Youth Studies (Brock University, 2009-03-09)
      Transitioning from elementary to secondary school is a major event in adolescents' lives and can be associated with academic, social, and emotional challenges (Shaffer, 2005; Sirsch, 2003). Considerably less research has focused on the transitional experiences of students with intellectual disabilities (lD) as they enter secondary school and the role of educational inclusion in this process (Noland, Cason, & Lincoln, 2007). Conceivably, students with ID who leave inclusive elementary schools, where they have been educated alongside their peers without ID, and who enter segregated secondary educational placements may experience unique social and emotional challenges (Farmer, Pearl, & Van Acker, 1996; Fryxell & Kennedy, 1995; Shaffer, 2005). This study examined the transitional experiences of 6 students with ID and the role of educational inclusion, with a focus on elementary to secondary school transitions from inclusive to segregated settings and vice versa. This study included the collection of multiple sources of data. Semi-structured interviews with 6 caregivers and students with ID were conducted. Students' Individual Education Transitional Plans were discussed in caregivers' interviews to determine how they shaped students' educational inclusion experiences (Ontario Ministry of Education & Training, 1999/2000/2004). Parts ofthe following questionnaires were "qualitized" (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 1998) and administered orally: "Youth Self-Report" (YSR; Achenbach, 2001 c) and "Child Behaviour Checklist Caregivers Form" (CBLC/6-18; Achenbach, 200la). The findings of this study contribute to the literature on educational inclusion by highlighting the positive/negative social and emotional impact of congruent and incongruent transitional experiences of students with ID and the role of educational inclusion.