Recent Submissions

  • Children with Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Challenges: A Descriptive Case Study Examining the Integration of Dance and Behaviour Therapy Within Day Treatment

    Kalil, Dana; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Dance is a form of physical activity that may improve motor skills and coordination while simultaneously providing opportunities for social interaction and promote development of socio-emotional skills. A manualized program, Dance with a B-E-A-T! (behaviour analysis and therapy), combines recreational dance with components of behaviour analysis and therapy to help facilitate improvements in motor skills, social skills, emotional regulation, and self-coping. Building on a pilot study completed by Davis et al. (in progress), the present study evaluated a similar program incorporating behavioural components such as antecedent strategies, positive reinforcement, a token economy, relaxation strategies and positive self-talk. In collaboration with day treatment staff of a mental health centre, the dance program was integrated within children’s day treatment. The intensive dance program was offered for five consecutive days to five participants with behavioural challenges (7-9 years) from the same day treatment cohort. The aim of this project was to use a blended behaviour therapy and dance program to teach three dance combinations and examine collateral benefits. Observational probes at pre and post-test measured percent of dance skills completed correctly, and in-person semi-structured interviews with the counsellor and elementary school teacher evaluated satisfaction of the program within day treatment. Results suggested a positive impact on the physical and social skills of participants; increased physical activity and bidirectional use of socio-emotional skills.
  • Acquisition of Joint Attention Skills in Children with Cortical Visual Impairment

    Keith, Avery; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Joint attention (JA) is a skill that is essential to children’s later social and language development. Previous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of various behavioural teaching strategies in increasing children’s responses and initiations of bids for joint attention. However, research has predominantly relied on gaze alternation to evaluate the attainment of joint attention. This is problematic as gaze alternation is not the only method of demonstrating the skill; other sensory modalities can also serve the same function. Accordingly, research on the ability to engage in bids for joint attention is scarce among the child population with cortical visual impairment (CVI). Despite the scarcity, theories suggest children with visual impairment can learn joint attention skills through enriching social experiences. Furthermore, competent caregivers could facilitate these positive experiences by means of body contact, verbalizations, and activities involving singing and rhythm. In the current study, we examined the effectiveness of caregiver-implemented behavioural teaching strategies to teach children with CVI to engage in joint attention related skills. A multiple baseline design across subjects was used with three children between 3-4 years with CVI. In addition, pre to post changes in children’s engagement in joint attention were monitored. The caregiver-implemented behavioural teaching strategies were highly effective in increasing two target JA-related behaviours for one of three participants. Further, the study offers preliminary evidence that JA performance can generalize to a novel caregiver. Potential implications of the study involve allowing for children with CVI to experience more positive social experiences and improving parent-child socialization and play.
  • Understanding Belongingness in Schools for Disabled Students Who Require a High Level of Support

    Primeau, Katherine; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    The principles and practices of belonging are at the heart of inclusion (Slee, 2019, p. 917). The concept of belonging allows for a broadening of the debates around the inclusion/exclusion binary (Mee & Wright, 2009, p. 774). The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand how processes of belongingness do and do not occur in schools for disabled students. A critical disability studies orientation guided the project, specifically, Meekosha and Shuttleworth’s (2017) four principles of CDS. The research questions were: (1) How do the students I work with (autistic students with IDD) develop a sense of belongingness in classrooms and school spaces? (2) What are the conditions in schools that allow belongingness to flourish? (3) What are the conditions in schools that prevent processes of belongingness from occurring? The study was influenced by Jean Clandinin and Micheal Connolly’s conceptual framework for narrative inquiry. G. Thomas Couser’s six guidelines for disability life writing and representation were used as a standard for the construction of the participant narratives. I examined the experiences of two interview participants—an autistic young adult, and a school principal with two disabled daughters. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the interviews and construct themes. Based on the themes, I composed narratives in which I quoted the participants verbatim. Each interview resulted in its own themes, along with one similarity and two differences between the interviews, in relation to the research questions. I further reflected on these findings and their implications for my teaching practice as a special education teacher. The final discussion section answers the research questions through my findings from the participants, which are contextualized in relevant literature and CDS concepts.
  • Assessing a Modified TAGteach Procedure to Increase Accurate and Fluent Performance of Gymnastics Skills in Children via Synchronous Videoconferencing

    Bajcar, Nicole; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Sports offer children and youth opportunities to experience the physiological, physical, and psychological benefits of physical activity; however, in sports like gymnastics, injuries are quite common (Caine, 2003). Therefore, it is essential for coaches to teach athletes proper technique to prevent injury. TAGteach is an intervention package that uses an audible stimulus to provide immediate feedback following the correct performance of a skill (Fogel et al., 2010). To date, no study has (a) evaluated the effectiveness of TAGteach to enhance the fluency of dynamic sports skills or (b) conducted TAGteach remotely via a synchronous videoconferencing platform. We used a concurrent multiple baseline across skills design to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified TAGteach procedure to improve the accuracy and fluent performance of three dynamic gymnastics skills through synchronous videoconferencing with four participants between the ages of 6–11 years. For all participants, the modified TAGteach intervention package increased the accurate and fluent performance of all gymnastics skills, and these gymnastics skills maintained for a minimum of 4 weeks. Results are discussed within the context of intervention implications and suggestions for future research.
  • Assessing the Utility of a Video-Based Motion Capture Alternative in the Assessment of Lumbar Spine Planar Angular Joint Kinematics

    Goncharow, Paul; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Markerless motion capture is a novel technique to measure human movement kinematics. The purpose of this research is to evaluate the markerless algorithm, DeepLabCut (DLC) against a 3D motion capture system (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd., Oxford, UK) in the analysis of planar spine and elbow flexion-extension movement. Data were acquired concurrently from DLC and Vicon for all movements. A novel DLC model was trained using data derived from a subset of participants (training group). Accuracy and precision were assessed from data derived from the training group as well as in a new set of participants (testing group). Two-way SPM ANOVAs were used to detect significant differences between the training vs. testing sets, capture methods (Vicon vs. DLC), as well as potential higher order interaction effect between these independent variables in the estimation of flexion extension angles and variability. No significant differences were observed in any planar angles, nor were any higher order interactions observed between each motion capture modality and the training vs. testing datasets. Bland Altman plots were also generated to depict the mean bias and level of agreement between DLC and Vicon for both training, and testing datasets. Supplemental analyses, suggest that these results are partially affected by the alignment of each participant’s body segments with respect to each planar reference frame. This research suggests that DLC-derived planar kinematics of both the elbow and lumbar spine are of acceptable accuracy and precision when compared to conventional laboratory gold-standards (Vicon).
  • An Exploration of Post-Secondary Students’ Use of an Online Pledge Program to Improve Wellbeing

    Robinson, Meghan; Applied Health Sciences Program
    BACKGROUND: Increasing numbers of post-secondary students report that their stress is so overwhelming it inhibits their academic achievement and impacts their health. On campus, traditional, clinical paradigms for managing mental health by treating individuals already experiencing breakdowns in their ability to cope are no longer keeping pace with need. Adding more accessible, non-clinical interventions that focus on prevention and build individual, collective, and institutional well-being have the potential to enhance students’ capacity for managing significant stressors. This study explores university students’ participation in a new online wellness intervention that uses theory-informed, evidence-based pledges to build coping, caring, and connecting practices. METHODS: Between September 2020 and June 2021, in response to promotional campaigns for the intervention, 966 unique visitors accessed the intervention (website) 2,124 times. 114 individuals completed the brief, researcher-designed online survey assessing demographic characteristics, academic standing, substance use behaviours, and which one of the nine pledges they selected; 89 met eligibility criteria of being Brock students and were included in the study. RESULTS: The final sample consisted of 86.5% female-identifying participants, with an average age of 21.5 years. 21.3% were first-year students. 48.3% reported an average grade between 65-79%; none reported an average grade less than 65%. Past-month alcohol and cannabis consumption was lower than what might be expected in typical post-secondary populations. 69.7% made a pledge that could help themselves cope with their stress (with most choosing to use positive affirmations or intentionally spend time in nature). 16.9% pledged to commit an action that showed others they cared. 13.5% made a pledge that could help make their institution a better place to be. All pledges were selected at least once. Pledge choice was not associated with demographic, academic or substance use characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: This small, preliminary study suggests this online pledge initiative should be further investigated with larger, more diverse samples as a promising avenue to build students’ capacity to cope with stress and form caring and supportive connections on campus. It offers ideas for feasible and low-cost structural changes institutions can make to support the wellbeing of all students.
  • Burnout of Direct Support Workers of Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: A Systematic Review

    Soucie-Vukmanich, Katelyn; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Several work-related, client-related, and personal stressors have shown to increase burnout levels of developmental support workers (DSWs) who support adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). These stressors have included work overload, control, client challenging behaviour, job satisfaction, and much more. However, a previous systematic review by Skirrow and Hatton (2007) reported that there remain no conclusive results about which variables trigger the development of burnout in this population and they reported that burnout levels of this population is average and comparable to other human service professions. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and the methods of Skirrow and Hatton (2007), a systematic review of the literature was completed which reports the consistencies and magnitudes of correlations and predictors of burnout in the population of DSWs supporting adults with IDDs. Classical meta-regression analyses and forest plots were also completed and analyzed to compare the difference in burnout levels in the review completed by Skirrow and Hatton (2007) compared to the sample of burnout levels in this review. The results show that there are several variables which were consistently significantly associated with burnout of this population across studies while other variables were inconsistent in their association with burnout across the studies. For burnout levels, it was found that both emotional exhaustion and personal accomplishment scores have significantly worsened since Skirrow and Hatton’s (2007) review while depersonalization scores have improved. Overall, this research shows the vast array of variables which can impact the development of burnout, where client and work-related variables appear to have a more significant impact on burnout development than personal characteristics of DSWs.
  • An Evaluation of Video Prompting Procedures to Teach First Aid Skills to Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

    Sureshkumar, Brittney; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Unintentional injuries are one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). First aid training involves teaching critical first aid skills, some of which are designed to treat unintentional injuries. To date, no study has (a) evaluated the effects of video prompting procedures to teach first aid skills to children with IDD or (b) attempted to teach these skills to children using a telehealth delivery format. We used a concurrent multiple baseline across skills design to evaluate the effectiveness of video prompting procedures via telehealth to teach five children with IDD to perform first aid on themselves for insect stings, minor cuts, and minor burns under simulated conditions. For all participants, training resulted in large improvements, which maintained for a minimum of 4 weeks. Further, effects of the training generalized to novel confederates for all participants, and these effects maintained for a minimum of 4 weeks. In addition, participants and their caregivers expressed high satisfaction with the video prompting procedures and telehealth experience.
  • General Case Training via Telehealth for Parents of Young Children At-Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Shingleton-Smith, Claire; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Research indicates that young children at-risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show developmental improvements with the implementation of a parent training intervention, although evidence of parent generalization to novel skills is inconsistent. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects on generalization of a parent-mediated early intervention using general case training (GCT) combined with behaviour skills training (BST) via telehealth for young children at-risk for ASD. Six parent-child dyads participated in total. Child target skills were identified through the Parent Observation of Early Markers Scale and confirmed through direct observation. Nine exemplars from three child skill categories that target deficits representative of early signs of ASD were taught to parents using two concurrent multiple baseline across participants designs. Data were collected for the percentage of correct parent teaching skills implemented, as well as the percentage of child correct responses to the target skills. Results demonstrate an increase in parent teaching skills across all trained participants for both trained and untrained child skills. These results provide preliminary support for GCT combined with BST via telehealth as an effective early intervention model.
  • Exploring the Reliability of an Objective Severity Tool to Classify Severe Problem Behaviour

    Morgan, Marie-Chanel; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The term ‘severe’ is a common descriptor for problem behaviour in research and practice. However, it is often applied inconsistently, and at times based on ill-defined or arbitrary criteria. Existing problem behaviour measurement tools often rely solely on caregiver recall (e.g., interviewing primary caregivers). This study explores the reliability of the first iteration of a severity tool employing direct measurement strategies (e.g., response rate, injury severity as evidenced by permanent product) to classify an individual’s problem behaviour severity. Nine Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) raters were recruited, five novice raters and four expert raters. They each experienced two conditions. In the first condition, raters classified the severity of 20 case scenarios without access to the tool. In the second condition, raters classified the severity of 20 novel scenarios after completing the tool for each case. All items of the tool (n=26) had good internal consistency (∝=.831). Intraclass correlations showed a meaningful increase in reliability for both groups when they had access to the tool (novice r=0.860, expert r=0.912) compared to when they did not have access to the tool to rate case severity (novice r=0.781, expert r=0.803). Most raters either strongly agreed or agreed that the severity tool had good applicability across research and clinical settings. This suggests that inconsistencies that may exist in the classification of severe problem behaviour could be mitigated with the proposed tool.
  • The Effects of Behavioural Skills Training on a Parent-Implemented Feeding Treatment via Telehealth

    Alami, Arezu; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Extensive research has established the effectiveness of in-person behavioural skills training (BST; i.e., instruction, modeling, rehearsal, feedback) to teach individuals to perform a variety of novel skills, including how to implement behaviour analytic treatments for food selectivity. To date, no study has evaluated the effects of a telehealth BST training package to teach parents to serve as primary interventionists and implement a feeding treatment with their child at home. We used a multiple baseline across participants design to evaluate the effectiveness of a telehealth BST training package to teach parents to implement a sequential presentation and nonremoval of the spoon feeding treatment with their child in their home. We found the telehealth BST training package was an effective means of teaching parents to implement a feeding treatment and contribute to the existing literature on parent-implemented feeding treatments to increase children’s consumption of low-preferred food. Results are discussed within the context of treatment implications and suggestions for future research.
  • An Analysis of Behavioural Interventions for Transition Difficulties of Children and Youth with Developmental Disabilities

    Jichici, Brynn; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Successfully transitioning from one activity, task, or location to another is an important adaptive skill. For children and youth with developmental disabilities, these transitions can be especially problematic. The purpose of the current study was to systematically examine behavioural studies aimed at improving activity, task, and location transitions for children and youth with developmental disabilities. Four electronic databases (Education Source, Eric, PubMed, and PsycINFO) were searched resulting in 1,439 studies for initial data analyses. Of these studies, 19 met full inclusion criteria and were subjected to additional analyses. Key characteristics of the final sample were described. Existing behavioural treatments incorporated intervention strategies such as visuals, prompting using assisted technology, and video modelling across various settings. Rigour assessments of the final 19 studies resulted in a majority of “weak” quality studies (n =15). Overall, it appears that behavioural interventions may be effective in treating transition difficulties among this population; however, additional research is required.
  • Exploring Vision and Visionary Leadership in Head Coaches of Canadian University Large Team Sports

    Milligan, Matthew; Applied Health Sciences Program
    The concept of vision has been identified as a key contributor to effective leadership (cf. Donoso-Morales et al., 2017), where vision is related to both change and empowering organizational members to collaborate toward achieving goals (Sashkin, 1988). Scholars (cf. Collins & Porras, 1996) noted that regardless of the leader’s abilities and the quality of vision, the vision is meaningless unless the leader develops a ‘plan’ that includes actionable and measurable processes and an effective communication strategy. Large team sports (i.e., football, rugby) employ large roster sizes and demand from both athletes and coaches a unique and high level of specialization. As team leader, the head coach is responsible for leading all team members towards achieving a common goal. The purpose of this study was to explore if and how Canadian university large team sport head coaches conceive, develop and enact their vision to achieve their desired goals. To fulfill the study’s purpose, a pragmatic qualitative research design was used to study large team sport head coaches. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews, which were thematically analyzed (Braun & Clarke, 2006) to elicit themes most useful in answering the research questions. From the analysis, the coaches’ plans to enact their vision were found to be focused on student-athletes’ holistic development. Coaches were found to use communication and role-modeling strategies to enact their respective visions for their teams. These findings suggest that large team sport head coaches have an opportunity to concurrently impact their student-athletes’ lives beyond the on-field sport experience while fielding competitive teams.
  • Examining the Strengths, Experiences, and Needs of Canadian Post-Secondary Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Pilot Study

    Young, Kaitlyn; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Post-secondary students with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) represent an underserved and underrepresented population in post-secondary environments and research. A study in the United Kingdom found that post-secondary students with ASD reported a higher frequency of thoughts about withdrawing from studies and difficulties with adjustment compared to other students. However, Canadian research exploring the experiences and needs of Autistic post-secondary students is limited. Additionally, few studies have reported the perspectives of post-secondary students on the autism spectrum directly. The purpose of this study was to develop and pilot a survey designed to examine the self-reported strengths, experiences, and needs of Canadian post-secondary students with ASD. The development of this survey was guided by steering committee members with relevant lived experiences. Pilot testing was conducted with a sample of 13 individuals who self-identified with ASD and had recently attended or were currently attending college or university in Ontario. This thesis was divided into three separate studies. Study 1 described an effective application of a participatory action research approach to develop a survey. Study 2 reported preliminary findings following pilot testing of the survey. Strengths reported by participants were mainly academic, while areas of limitation included social challenges and barriers within the post-secondary environment. Participants generally reported positive sentiments regarding services accessed. Study 3 described the process for gathering feedback for survey revision from pilot participants, which highlighted a preference for quantitative questions and provided suggestions for revision for future iterations of the survey. Recommendations for future research were discussed.
  • Evaluating the Effects of Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®) Mediator Training Via Telehealth Using Behavioural Skills Training and General Case Training

    Treszl, Alyssa; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    The Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®) is often used by children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a means of functional communication. Although there is extensive research indicating that PECS is an evidence-based intervention for children with ASD (e.g., Wong et al., 2015), little is known about how best to train parents to support their child’s PECS use. Of those studies that do explore parent training approaches, few measure the caregiver’s fidelity implementing PECS or explore whether parents generalize or maintain skills post-training. Similarly, little is known about how to train parents to implement PECS via telehealth. The purpose of the current study was to bridge the gap between PECS and telehealth research and to explore strategies to help parents support their child’s PECS use at home. One father-mother dyad was recruited. The father was the primary training recipient (i.e., parent trainee). The mother participated in training sessions as the role play partner (i.e., surrogate parent). Researchers used behavioural skills training (BST) to teach target PECS skills and applied strategies of general case training (GCT) to actively program for generalized behaviour change. A multiple baseline design across skills was used to monitor the father’s fidelity during mediator training sessions and a multiple probe design was embedded to monitor both the father’s and mother’s fidelity in the natural environment with their child. Results demonstrated that the parent trainee acquired PECS skills within the training setting. However, parents did not reliably demonstrate all of the PECS skills in the generalization setting during follow-up.
  • Stakeholders in Dance: An Intrinsic Case Study Examining Facilitator Perspectives of Dance with a B-E-A-T

    Pontone, Madeline; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Recreational dance programs with specific behavioral adaptations for individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities can provide an opportunity for the enjoyment of dance, and potential improvements in motor skills, social skills, or behaviors related to self-efficacy. This intrinsic case study builds on a pilot study of a recreational dance program, Dance with a B-E-A-T (behavior analysis and therapy), with behavioral adaptations for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Facilitators of the program included three graduate students working as behavior therapists. We aimed to discover, through semi-structured interviews, what components facilitators perceived to be effective, components that they perceived to be challenging, successes or challenges with implementation, as well as their overall perceptions of this blended program. A thematic analysis, with a deductive approach, of interview data previously collected from parents of participants in the program was conducted to inform interview questions for facilitators, and to provide the framework for coding facilitator data. A similar thematic analysis was carried out for facilitator interview transcripts. The key themes identified during this analysis included: (1) Blending Recreational Dance and Behavior Therapy as Novel, (2) Benefits of the Program, and (3) Refinements and Recommendations. Facilitators and parents perceived this novel program to have effective components such as individualized behavioral adaptations, and an enjoyable environment with positive social interactions. Recommendations for future programs include refining behavioral components such as thinning the schedule of reinforcement, increasing training for facilitators to address existing barriers to implementation, and extending the length of the program to be consistent with motor development research. This study will add to limited research on recreational dance programs for this population.
  • Exploring the utility of differing methodological approaches to measure meaningful change in treatment and intervention scenarios

    Ross, Bailey; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    A large focus in social science research is geared towards establishing the effectiveness of treatments to help and support the population and provide best empirical data to researchers, practitioners, and policy makers. To support evidence-based practice and policy, findings from studies are synthesized in reviews and meta-analyses to verify the most effective treatments. However, due to differing metrics to describe effects found, single-case designs (SCD) have been excluded in such reviews and meta-analyses. This hinders the dissemination of valuable findings from studies that use SCD methodologies. The present study employs a unique dataset to exemplify differing methodological approaches to measure meaningful change from a treatment. The dataset, obtained from Vause and colleagues (2018), contained both a group-based design in the form of a randomized controlled trial and SCD methodologies on the same participants undergoing treatment. Thus, a d-statistic was calculated from the SCD methodology, also referred to as a between-case standardized mean difference effect size (ESBC) and was compared with the group-based effect sizes originally found by Vause and colleagues. The effect sizes corroborated with each other, such that a large effect was deduced from both the SCD analysis (g = 1.22) and the average effect from the group-based analyses (g = 0.99). In addition, the ESBC was found per participant allowing comparisons between individual effects and the overall outcome. Furthermore, this study explored how the acquired ESBC estimates complements traditional SCD methodologies including visual analysis and overlap statistics. By utilizing statistical techniques such as this software, many behaviors, participants, and data points can be analyzed simultaneously. Moreover, a forest plot can be generated with the results, providing a different perspective than what is normally available to SCD researchers. Finally, the most valuable consequence to note is the acquisition of a ESBC that results in the form of Hedges’ g, which can be compared across SCDs and between-group experimental designs. This is the first known study to explore and compare the effect size estimates of a treatment on participants’ behaviors that was evaluated as a SCD as well as a group-based design.
  • Parent Training in Multicomponent Behavioural Interventions to Reduce Challenging Behaviours in Children with ASD: A Scoping Review

    O'Neill, Paige; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) demonstrate challenging behaviours including aggression, noncompliance, and self-injury. Applied behaviour analysis (ABA) has been shown to be effective for reducing these challenging behaviours in children with ASD through various strategies including reinforcement, extinction, or a combination of methods. Previous research has shown that parents can be trained to effectively implement ABA- based interventions with their child in order to address skill deficits and behaviour excesses, including problem behaviour. Reviews examining single-case design studies (which allow for the examination of outcomes for individual participants and are highly prevalent in the behaviour analytic literature) of parent training and parent- implemented interventions to reduce problem behaviour are lacking. The present study conducted a comprehensive review of single case design studies of parent training on multicomponent ABA-based interventions to reduce problem behaviour in children with ASD. Results indicate strengths and weaknesses of the current literature with respect to scientific rigour and risk of bias. Parent and child demographics, the method of parent training, the nature of parent-implemented interventions, the topography and function of child challenging behaviours, and the presence of follow-up and social validity information are described for each study. Strengths and limitations of the current review are discussed, and future directions are suggested.
  • Evaluating the Outcomes of a Quit and Win Contest Among Young Adults Enrolled in Post-Secondary Schools and Not in Post-Secondary Schools

    Jean-Pierre, Beeverly; Applied Health Sciences Program
    Abstract Objective: This study compares Quit and Win contest outcomes for young adults enrolled in post-secondary schools and young adults not enrolled in post-secondary schools. Participants: Of the 4,299 18-to-29-year-olds who enrolled in the 2019 Wouldurather... contest to quit smoking and agreed to participate in the study. 535 (12.4%) were retained in the final sample: 207 were attending post-secondary schools and 328 were not attending post-secondary schools. Methods: Participants answered baseline questions addressing demographics and smoking/quitting behaviours and intentions. Six weeks after the start of the contest, participants completed an Intervention Check assessing use of contest supports (emails, Facebook group), perceived value of the prize, and use of quit aids. Abstinence outcomes were assessed 3 months after the start of the contest. Results: At follow-up, 21.9% of participants reported 3 months of total abstinence from smoking, with no difference between those attending and not attending post-secondary schools Χ2(1, 533) = 0.9. Confidence to remain smoke free increased significantly over time F(1, 115) = 32.2, p < .01The prize was highly-valued; use of contest supports was moderate. Adjusted logistic regression revealed abstinence was not associated with contest supports or valuing the prize. Conclusion: Community and campus health professionals should consider pooling their resources to offer all young adults a single contest with a large prize. Dose-response relationships of contest supports to quitting should be explored.
  • Exploring the Development of Identity and Community Amongst Disabled Youth on Instagram

    Tollan, Kristen; Center for Applied Disability Studies
    This study explores the ways in which disabled young people use Instagram as a platform for developing their identity and building community, both online and off. Based on the social models of disability, particularly the affirmation model as proposed by Swain & French (2000), and the principles of photovoice and other social media-based methodologies, the study explored the publicly accessible Instagram accounts of eight participants ranging in age from 19-24, with each account providing 21 photos and associated captions for analysis. From the collection of observational notes, four themes were developed and examined, noting their connections to the concepts of identity and community: social media trends; disability, chronic illness and mental health; friends, family, and the greater community; and positivity, gratitude and giving back. The study demonstrates the uniqueness of Instagram as a tool for self-expression and the importance of studying disability in relation to current internet practices. The study concludes with possible directions for further research to fill the existing gap within this area of literature.

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