Now showing items 21-40 of 116

    • Parenting Challenges and Adaptive Strategies: A Qualitative Analysis of Asian Indian Immigrant Families in Canada

      Sodhi, Maninder; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This study examined parenting challenges among Asian Indian immigrant families who migrated from a multicultural society to Canada and how they adapted to their new multicultural environment. I interviewed 19 Indian immigrant parents who have lived in Canada for more than 3 years, asking them to share their parenting challenges and the adaptive strategies they had used to integrate into the Canadian cultural environment. Being with a community of other Indian immigrants and/or members of the extended family played facilitated smoother transitions toward their new cultural environment. Traditional food served as an important bridge to their Indian traditions just as Canadian food served as a bridge to new cultural experiences. At the structural level, all the participants suggested that Canadian schools in the Niagara region should implement a more multicultural perspective. Participants highlighted the importance of family support, community support, and a willingness to accept new lifestyles and career choices.
    • Literacy Intervention for Struggling Readers: Knowledge Mobilization in our Communities

      Johnston, Tara; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This study explored the efficacy of a literacy program as it was offered in partnership between Brock University and the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region. Specifically, this study examined sixteen 5 to 12-year-old children with reading disabilities who participated in a 5-week Spring Reading Program that was associated with an upper year undergraduate course in Child and Youth Studies. In this course, university students worked with children from the local community. The study collected quantitative and qualitative data from children, parents and Brock students. The study also examined the concept of knowledge mobilization by exploring the relationship between a course at Brock and the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara. This partnership was considered a strong example of knowledge mobilization as defined by Brock’s strategic mandate. A mixed methodological approach was utilized in this thesis that included quantitative academic achievement measures and qualitative interviews with student tutors, children and caregivers whose children participated in the program. The focus of the qualitative interviews was to determine the overall experience of the Spring Reading Program and how it encompassed the principles of effective knowledge mobilization. Results of the study indicated that the Spring Reading Program was successful in improving literacy scores in participating children but also successful in improving motivation and self-efficacy in children. In addition to this, the partnership was seen as a successful example of effective knowledge mobilization. Such findings hold important implications for policy and practice surrounding models of schooling and programming that support children’s learning.
    • Turning the Page for Spot: Exploring the Potential of Therapy Dogs to Support Reading Motivation and Positive Reading Behaviours Among Young Children

      Rousseau, Camille Xinmei; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Animal-assisted literacy programs are growing in popularity as research continues to reveal their benefits for promoting children’s reading skills and positive reading behaviours. Struggling readers may benefit the most from canine-assisted literacy programs as these programs may increase children’s motivation to read, which in turn might be associated with improvements in children’s reading performance. However, little is known about how the context of canine-assisted literacy programs can help increase children’s motivation and persistence to read. The purpose of this proof of concept study was to assess the feasibility of engaging children with therapy dogs to help increase children’s reading motivation and persistence. We collected observational and self-report data from several sources (child participants, parents and researchers). Results of multivariate repeated-measures ANOVA with two levels (i.e. two-factor repeated measures design) revealed significant differences in reading motivation and reading persistence as a function of the presence or absence of a therapy dog when children were asked to read a challenging passage. Specifically, the children reported that they were more interested in reading and felt more competent reading a challenging passage when reading in the presence (versus absence) of a therapy dog. Additionally, the children individually spent more time reading in the presence (versus absence) of the therapy dog. The findings from this research will inform the development of animal-assisted literacy programs regarding the potential of canine-assisted reading programs to support children’s reading motivation and persistence.
    • Young Men’s Experiences and Views of Sex Education in Bangladesh: A Foucauldian Discourse Analysis

      Khan, Tauhid Hossain; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This study has sought to shed light on the dearth of research on sex education in Bangladesh bringing forward young men’s experiences, views, narratives, recollections, and perceptions around sex education. Using social constructionism and poststructuralism, this study addresses the research questions: How did Bangladeshi young men receive sex education during adolescence? How did they interpret their experiences? How did their narratives reproduce and/or disrupt dominant discourses related to sex education, including discourses around sexuality, teenagerhood, masculinity, and manhood? Based on the qualitative data collected from nine in-depth Skype interviews with young men in Bangladesh, nine themes emerged. These themes illustrate - how participants received sex education with the help of peers, pornography, the Internet, media, parents, schools, and religion. This study also reveals that what they learned about sex and sexuality from these sources was often gendered (e.g., reproduced hegemonic masculinity), sexist (e.g., undermined the need for girls’ consent), and naturalized the idea of sex and sexuality as dangerous (e.g., through a focus on sexually infected disease prevention). This study identified dominant discourses around sex education, which are intertwined with social institutions, such as the school; it also illustrates instances which reproduced and disrupted these dominant discourses. Some participants embraced dominant discourses while others disrupted them, and some contradicted themselves. Participants also proposed mixed ways of improving sex education in Bangladesh, especially through designing sex education curriculum. The study draws the attention of the parents, curriculum designers, teachers, policymakers, service providers to young people, and scholars from the Global South to consider these innovations as food for thought to ensure young people’s right to sex education
    • Caregiver Stress: An Exploration of Stressors and Coping Strategies Among Young Carers

      Sexton, Cayleigh; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Young carers (YCs) are children and youth who take on extra responsibilities within their home due to a family member having a physical disability, chronic illness, mental health issues, addiction issues, or parental absence (Aldridge & Becker, 1993; Charles, Stainton, & Marshall, 2008; Stamatopoulos, 2015). YCs may experience increased stress levels and negative psychosocial outcomes due to their caregiving role (Charles et al., 2008; Collins & Bayless, 2013; Frank, Tatum, & Tucker, 1999; Lakman & Chalmers, 2018; Sahoo & Suar, 2010). Objective: This study sought to identify key stressors and coping strategies used by YCs and to determine if coping can moderate the relation between stress and negative outcomes. Methods: A sample of 58 YCs completed self-report questionnaires on stress, coping, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and loneliness. Results: YCs most frequently cited stressors related to recognition of their YC role within and outside of their family. Other stressors included school impacts and social impacts. YCs most frequently used disengagement coping strategies (e.g., wishful thinking or social withdrawal) and less frequently used engagement coping strategies (e.g., problem solving or seeking social support). The results revealed coping did not moderate the relation between stress and the examined negative outcomes within this sample. Implications: The results suggest the need for recognition and validation for YCs and the development of coping skill development programs so that YCs can learn how to cope using more proactive ways such as problem solving and seeking social support.
    • Experiences of Parents Advocating for the “Complicated Child”: A Phenomenologically Oriented Descriptive Exploration

      Janzen, Michelle; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This paper is a phenomenologically oriented descriptive study that analyzed the experiences of parents advocating for a complex child within the special education sector. More specifically the research examined parental experiences during the Individual Education Plan (IEP) and during the Individual Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process. The research analyzed two data sets to answer two main questions: 1) What are the experiences of mothers advocating for a child with multiple diagnoses within the special education structure? 2) What strategies have mothers developed during these advocacy experiences to successful and/or unsuccessful outcomes? The research examined six schoolboard websites in Southern and Central Ontario, ostensibly committed to the inclusion of children requiring accommodations into regular classroom programming and to the engagement of the parents of these children in the development of the Individualized Education Plans (IEP) that make this inclusion possible. Strategies for analyzing these unobtrusive data sets were manifest and latent content analysis. These findings of my manifest content analysis include a) average of 10.6 clicks to find rights based information, b) average of 61.6 tabs and links to navigate through. Latent analysis revealed a) absence of recognizable representative image, b) difficulties for persons whose first language was not English, c) a challenging array of mixed signals, ambiguous messages and obstacles that misdirect and prevent access to information that parents desperately need to participate in the IEP process. The second data set included semi-structured interviews with four mothers, as well as the author’s own experiences, in which parents were asked three subsets of questions; how has their child’s experience of disability impacted their education, what have their experiences been during IEP/IPRC meetings, and how have parents perceived their interactions with educational staff. Through phenomenologically oriented transcript analysis, four major themes were found: abjection/separation, good daughter/bad daughter attributions, dismissal of parental knowledge and concern, and manufacturing. The research indicates that equal access to education for children experiencing disability is, in fact, not equal to their neurotypical peers, and only when a parent is knowledgeable in the IEP/IPRC process, and has figured out how to hold power within the school system, can a child with complex needs obtain reasonable access to accommodations and /or modifications and receive equal access to educational opportunities.
    • The Sex Chronicles: Young Women’s Recollections of Learning About Sex

      Ecclestone, Katrien; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      There is a pervasive social fear surrounding girls’ sexuality. In 2015, Ontario public schools mandated a new version of sex education. There was, and still is, public outcry by many parents over the new curriculum. The concern? We should be protecting children from, and not exposing them to, sexual content. This criticism of the new curriculum highlights the powerful fear around children and sex, and has, in turn, limited the education girls receive about sexual knowledge and pleasure. My research explores how girls in Ontario learn about sex and how this knowledge has influenced their sexual narratives by asking the following questions: When young women at an Ontario University reflect on how and what they learned about sex, what do they recall? How do young women at an Ontario University feel that their learned knowledge about sex has shaped their understanding of their sexual identify, sex lives, sexual desires, and abstinence? My findings highlight that there is a gap between what girls and young women are learning and what they are experiencing. Overall, my thesis advocates for a meaningful and appropriate sex education that provides students – and girls, in particular – with the knowledge they need to make healthy sexual choices. I hope to inspire educators and policy makers to consider the positive implications of a well rounded and practical sex education.
    • Transnational Labour Migration: Experiences of Mid-to-Highly Skilled African Migrant Workers in Doha, Qatar

      Imerion, Eneze; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This study sought to augment the dearth of research on African labour migration to the GCC and Qatar. The study focuses on younger mid-to-highly skilled Africans (from Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe) currently working in Qatar. Attention was given to how racialized positioning intersected with other variables such as nationality, gender and class to shape migrant worker experiences. The study also considered those who migrated to Qatar as organization-sponsored workers and those on so-called free visas. Based on data gathered from 12 Skype and WhatsApp interviews, findings revealed how the sponsorship system gives employers power over employees, often preventing workers from switching jobs—particularly in the case of organization-sponsored workers—and in the case of those on free visas, creating vulnerability to visa racketeering. The study identified further modalities of exploitation such as salary delay and job insecurity, that added to the challenges of remitting money to family members in countries of origin. A majority of participants expressed the desire to eventually leave Qatar and migrate once again to Western countries where they imagined there would be better opportunities for professional growth, children’s education and naturalization.
    • Addressing the Summer Learning Gap Among Children with Reading Difficulties

      Grice, Melanie; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This study explored literacy change and development in children with reading difficulties over the summer months. More specifically, a summer literacy program called S.L.A.M., offered by the Learning Disabilities Association of the Niagara Region, was examined. A multi-lens approach was used to examine the efficacy of the summer literacy program, and the contextual factors associated with its success and the children’s overall success in the program. Fifteen children, ages 6-10, were administered a series of reading-based measures, while facilitators involved with the program’s implementation were interviewed in focus groups, and a daily field journal was maintained by the program Head Facilitator. Results of the study indicated that literacy intervention during the summer months can help to alleviate the summer learning loss and support further literacy development in vulnerable readers. Such findings hold important implications for policy and practice surrounding models of schooling and programming that support children’s learning yearlong.
    • Identifying Antisocial Youth Through Broad and Specific Measures of Personality

      Mularczyk, Kimberly; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Although antisocial and psychopathic traits have been linked to predatory and violent types of juvenile offending, much of what is known about these traits stems from adult-centered research. Identifying antisocial youth with reliable tools early in development could improve the prognosis of interventions. With a community sample of adolescents (N = 396, Mage = 14.64, SD = 1.52, ngirls = 230, 58%, nboys = 164, 42%), the HEXACO-PIR accounted for 57% of the variance in the APSD-YV. Lower ratings of Honesty- Humility, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness were associated with higher ratings of psychopathy, F(18, 956.49) = 18.347, p < .001, Wilk’s λ = .432. The HEXACO-PI-R was associated with a range of antisocial outcomes, including lower intensity antisocial beliefs and attitudes, however, the APSD-YV had stronger associations with higher intensity antisocial behaviours. Findings suggest that the assessment of youth antisociality may benefit from the inclusion of both broad and specific measures of personality.
    • Rhythm Detection and Production: Relations with Phonological Awareness Skill at School-Entry

      FInlayson, Carolyn; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      The present study examines the connection between phonological awareness and rhythm perception and processing in early school aged children who score low on tests for phonological awareness for the purpose of providing further evidence of the connection between rhythm processing and specific learning disorders related to reading. A sample of grade one students from New Haven Connecticut with a mean age of 6 years, were examined for their perception and tapping performance of rhythm using two tasks; the first task examined rhythm perception in phonologically impaired children using a series of audio cue pairs that varied in beats per bar, notes per bar, note frequency, meter, the presence of a crocheted note and duration. Results indicated that participants with low scores on phonological awareness performed poorly when compared to the control group in cases where the audio pairs had fewer beats per bar, notes per bar and when the rhythm pair did not contain a quarter note. Results of this tasks suggest that less complex audio cues that contain fewer changes in rhythm were harder for phonologically impaired children to differentiate between. When performing on the second task participants were asked to tap their finger in time to an audio cue using a tablet. Performance was examined during four phases where changes were made to either the presence of the audio cue or pace of the rhythm. Results indicated that changes to rates of tapping (either slower or faster), and predicting the rate of tapping when there is no audio cue are all impacted by the presence of a phonological impairment. These results support previous studies which have highlighted the relationship between rhythm tapping performance and delays in reading whereby children who struggle with reading also seem to struggle to keep in time to a rhythmic audio cue. Overall this study continues to support evidence of a relationship between the neural processing of rhythm in conjunction with phonological awareness and reading challenges.
    • Becoming and Remaining an Activist: A Qualitative Study of Animal and Disability Rights Activism among Older Youth

      Aldhelm-White, Corrie; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Drawing on past research findings, this qualitative research study explored seven early childhood (i.e., distal) and current (i.e., proximal) factors self-reported by older youth as being important in shaping their personal life course toward becoming and remaining involved in the animal rights movement: 1) education, 2) gender, 3) lifestyle, 4) parental involvement, 5) first event, 6) empathy, and 7) collective identity. This research study also adopted a comparative lens and explored the similarities and differences in responses between older youth who engaged in animal and dis/ability rights activism. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with six animal rights activists and six dis/ability rights activists ranging in age from 21 – 30 years and Bronfenbrenner’s Bioecological Model of Human Development was applied. The qualitative research findings revealed that in terms of distal factors that are associated with becoming an animal rights activist the participants reported that education, gender, first events, parental involvement, lifestyle, and empathy were all significant factors. Proximally, the participants reported that education, lifestyle, empathy, and collective identity were significant factors associated with remaining an animal rights activist. The comparative analyses revealed the following five factors as relevant to understanding engagement in animal versus dis/ability rights activism: collective identity, first event, parental involvement, empathy, and gender. Unexpected themes were also revealed that help to explain some of the current challenges (i.e., problems within the movement) and benefits (i.e., intersectionality) that participants experience in the animal rights movement.
    • The Adaptiveness of Antisocial Personality Traits: Obtaining Reputation, Resources, and Reproduction Through Bullying

      Provenzano, Daniel; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Adolescents may compete with each other for access to adaptive outcomes (e.g., social, material, and sexual resources) that have reliably led to survival and reproduction in the ancestral past. However, adolescents may have varying levels of success in securing adaptive outcomes depending on their personality. For instance, antisocial personality traits may provide adolescents with competitive advantages through the use of antisocial behaviours such as bullying. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate if adolescents with certain personality traits may use bullying to express those traits adaptively to gain favourable outcomes. A sample of 231 adolescents (113 males, Mage = 14.60, SD = 1.57) completed self-report questionnaires on personality, bullying involvement, social dominance, material resources, and sexual behaviour. Mediation analyses were conducted and offered mixed support for hypotheses. Bullying partially mediated the relation of Honesty-Humility and Agreeableness with social outcomes, although both personality factors also had direct effects on material outcomes and indirect effects on sexual outcomes through bullying. Furthermore, there were no significant partial mediations between Emotionality and any of the adaptive outcomes. Results provide support for the adaptive function of bullying and suggest that adolescents with lower Honesty-Humility and lower Agreeableness may increase the willingness to use bullying to obtain social and sexual goals.
    • The Power of 'Slut': The Construction of 'Slut' and 'Slut-Shaming' in Contemporary Youth Culture

      Turnbull, Cecilia; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      My thesis employs a feminist poststructural framework to understand the meaning and use of the term ‘slut’ and its connection to ‘slut-shaming’ in contemporary youth culture, specifically in relation to the Niagara region. I argue that the term slut is used as a way to police women’s sexuality, and its use and meaning vary depending on gender, ‘race’ and class. The importance of this study is in connection to sexual violence against women, and the complex ways that derogatory language shapes how people view women in relation to sexual violence. Women and men help maintain and perpetuate the term’s harmful meaning, however, the literature suggests the term may have empowering aspects for women and it may be resignified or changed to have more positive meaning. This resignification differs based on a person’s gender, ‘race’, class, etc. and the intersections between them, with women from different cultures noting that the term cannot always be reclaimed based on historical and cultural associations. Findings from my interviews suggest conflicting notions over what the definition of a slut is and its connection to ‘shame’. Most participants felt it was primarily young, white women who used the term against each other, and while some used the term in a playful manner, they did not believe it could be reclaimed as something empowering.
    • Exploring Life History Strategies in Adolescence; Attachment, Personality, and Bullying

      Bastien, Melanie; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      The purpose of the present study was to apply a component of Evolutionary Theory, termed Life History Strategy (LHS), to the study of bullying. The current study aimed to highlight the relationship between environmental pressures, slow and fast LHS, and bullying subtypes. A sample of 261 participants (125 males and 135 females) between the ages of 12 and 18 (M = 14.67, SD = 1.84) was collected from adolescents participating in extracurricular activities. Participants first filled out a questionnaire package assessing: Life History Strategy, bullying frequency, socio-economic status, sexual activity, personality, and attachment. Participants were then randomly assigned to an experimental group, which were primed with a mortality cue, or a control group, which were not primed. Following the priming, participants responded to six hypothetical bullying scenarios. It was predicted that participants with a fast LHS are more likely to use direct forms of bullying and participants with a slow LHS are more likely to use indirect forms of bullying. The results revealed that the prime manipulation was not effective; however, participants with a fast LHS did engage in more verbal bullying (F (1, 261) = 5.27, p <.05) with physical bullying approaching significance. Participants with a fast LHS also had higher levels of avoidant (1, 261) =42.54, p<.05) and anxious (F (1, 261) = 15.56, p<.05) attachment styles. In the present study, individuals with a fast LHS engaged in more direct forms of bullying. These results suggest that environmental pressures can increase the use of bullying as an adaptive strategy. This further highlights the need for interventions to incorporate elements of cost/benefit models that consider bullying as an adaptive strategy which is utilized differently based on environmental circumstances.
    • Cyberbullying, Social Media & Fitness Selfies: An Evolutionary Perspective

      DiFonzo, Amanda; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      The general goal of the current research was to explore how social media influences a variety of aspects of young adults’ lives, including motivation to be physically fit, and bullying behaviors. The specific objectives were to investigate the link amongst selfie, social media use, and cyberbullying in relation to physical fitness through the lens of evolutionary psychology. Brock University students (N = 83, 73.5% female) between the ages of 17 and 25 were recruited who have had some level of experience with fitness or living an active lifestyle. Participants completed self-report measures based on bullying/victimization experiences, cyberbullying, personality, narcissism, self-esteem, selfie use, physical activity, and self-body image. Based on evolutionary principles, it was hypothesized that those who post selfies are more likely to have been previously victimized. It was also hypothesized that males would have a stronger drive towards being physically fit, females would be more likely to be positively motivated to work out after viewing fitness selfies, and males would be more likely to view their peers as competitors and to have higher levels of jealousy. The results suggest that females were more likely to be motivated when viewing these fitness selfies, but also were more likely to be jealous of the types of body shapes posted. There was little effect on males in regards to viewing fitness selfies, suggesting that females are overall more engaged and influenced by this type of social media. The overall implications of the study suggest that technology and social media do encompass positive and beneficial qualities. Furthermore, social media should be engaged judiciously to educate young people about its positive use as well as inform them about the possible negative impacts of the digital world.
    • The Influence of Personality and Children’s Facial Cues on Parenting Behaviours

      Franklin, Prarthana; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Children’s facial cues, such as cuteness, health, happiness, and resemblance to parent, influence caregiving perceptions and behaviours. This thesis investigated whether parents’ personality traits increase/decrease sensitivity to these cues. Results showed that parents’ scores on the HEXACO Honesty-Humility scale were negatively related to observed parent affection when judge’s ratings of children’s health were moderate and high, and parents’ scores on the HEXACO Emotionality scale were negatively related to observed parent monitoring when judge’s ratings of children’s happiness were low and high. Further for Emotionality, scores of Emotionality: Attachment were negatively related to parent monitoring and support when ratings of children’s happiness were high, and scores of Emotionality: Worry were positively related to parent support when ratings of children’s health were high. These results suggest that parenting is related to both parents’ and children’s characteristics and certain combinations of parent personality and children’s facial cues may be associated with neglectful parenting.
    • Learning Management System Adoption in the University: Exploring the Experiences of Canadian and International Students

      Arhinful, Lydia; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Using the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model, this paper seeks to explore student’s experiences in using Sakai, a learning management system at Brock University. Adopting a mixed methods approach, the study examined the effects of performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions on user satisfaction. Further inquiries were made on the moderating effects of both gender and the technology experiences of students and how these variables impacted their experiences. The results indicate that although students perceive Sakai as a useful learning tool, they were concerned about the platform’s ease of use. Aside from technology experience the results showed that gender and the cultural background of students did not determine the extent to which a student would achieve satisfaction using Sakai.
    • Southern Ontario Principals' Perspectives on Recess in Low-Income Neighbourhoods

      Vaantaja, Erin; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Elementary school recess is now generally understood to be a necessary part of a child’s school day. Therefore, it is important to move beyond research regarding the need for recess and capture the logistics and experiences of those directly involved. The present study utilizes a descriptive, exploratory approach to understand principals’ experiences of recess in low-income neighbourhoods. Participants included 12 principals from an elementary school board in Southern Ontario. Opened-ended questions regarding principals’ general recess experiences and their recess definitions were asked, along with self-report measures of recess activities, student engagement, supervision ratios, recess rules and restrictions, as well as suggestions for future improvements. The results revealed considerable inconsistencies across schools. This is important information as it is indicative of the need policy and guidelines in order to maximize a safe and positive recess environment for children.
    • The Paradox of Reading Disabilities: Assessing Creative Potential in Children at-risk for Reading Disabilities

      Scruton, Hilary; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      This study explores the profiles of children who are at-risk for reading disabilities on both traditional reading-based tasks and measures of creativity. Twenty-six (26) children referred to the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region were administered a series of reading-based measures, as well as measures of creativity and creative thinking. It was hypothesized that children at-risk for reading disabilities may be predisposed to characteristics aligned with creative thinking. Results of the study indicated that children at-risk for learning disabilities demonstrated phonological awareness abilities that were statistically significantly discrepant from their creative thinking skills. The sample of children in this study often demonstrated significantly below average phonological processing skills and creativity skills that were within average limits. In several cases, participants had creativity skills that were well above average. Such findings hold important implications for policy and practice around supporting children with reading disabilities.