Now showing items 1-20 of 3451

    • Biking Through the Eyes of Kids: The Lived Experiences of Kids Riding Bikes in their Neighborhood

      Spatazzo, Wesley; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Biking provides kids with a means of being active, social and mobile in the neighborhoods and places they ride. This project aimed to look at the ways in which kids used their bikes and report on their lived experiences. To understand the lived experience of kids’ biking, this project explored the experiences of kids from various neighborhoods in the city of St. Catharines, Ontario. Data collection drew upon the experiences of 12 participants who rode their bike at least once a week, without the presence of an adult. This project was guided by phenomenology and incorporated multiple data collection methods in order to capture the perspectives of kids’ lived experiences as presented by the kids themselves. To accomplish this goal, the study incorporated mobile methods of data collection adapted from Spinney (2011), where kids video recorded parts of their typical bike rides, in addition to sit-down interviews. The data presented by participants was also analyzed through the use of Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as outlined by Smith, Flowers, and Larkin (2013). Using IPA as an analysis framework allowed analysis to be flexible based on the unique experiences presented by the participants. The findings of this study outline 6 themes; Building Spatial Knowledge, Going Out and About, Being and Biking with Others, Maneuvering and Negotiating Others, Getting Away and Finding Peace and Quiet, and Testing Independence. These themes are supported by the accounts participants provided regarding their biking experiences. Based on the findings, this project’s discussion highlights the importance of kids’ independent learning during biking experiences and outlines ways in which kids’ neighborhood biking can be supported by members of the community.
    • The Unfinished Business of Anna Kingsford: Science, Enchantment, and Experiments on Animals

      Goldsmith, Mitchell; Interdisciplinary Humanities Program
      The project takes seriously Dr Anna Kingsford’s (1846-1888) claim that vivisection is a type of sorcery and science, a type of occult or spiritual undertaking believing that the assertion, which gained currency during the 19th–century antivivisection movement and is now overlooked, is yet unfinished and therefore a potentially powerful figuration for current antivivisectionists. To that end, the dissertation provides a critical and intersectional reading of the 19th-century British and European antivivisection movement, the fin de siècle occult revival, and Kingsford’s role in each, often working to bring these worlds together. This historical analysis includes an examination of Victorian attitudes to the period’s changing understanding of gender, species, race, and science. Building on this historical foundation, the dissertation will provide a theoretical discussion of Kingsford’s contemporary resonances with emerging disciplines in the environmental and posthumanities, including critical animal studies, material feminism, feminist posthumanism, and science and technology studies. Many theorists in these fields are interested in reappraising the roles of affect, enchantment, mysticism, and wonder in ethical thinking and human-animal-environmental relations. This project builds on these historical and theoretical insights by providing an “enchanted” analysis of the contemporary laboratory space, experiments on animals, and a reading of three case studies of ongoing animal experimentation paradigms (i.e., maternal deprivation, learned helplessness, and the organizational-activational hypothesis of homosexuality) which I argue lend themselves to a Kingsford-inspired analysis. Furthermore, this project articulates a novel “enchanted animal ethic” involving a feminist and neo-Spinozist articulation of human-animal and environmental ethics that makes space for mystical, non-secular modes of meaning-making, care-centered multispecies community building, and social and political movements. Finally, the project and an enchanted understanding of animal ethics will be useful to interdisciplinary scholars and advocates seeking a paradigm change in the sciences away from experiments on animals and towards a more humane and efficacious science as well as more egalitarian and meaningful relationships with animals and the more-than-human world.
    • Examining the effects of BDNF and exercise training on adipose tissue browning

      Dhaliwal, Roopan; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Exercise increases browning of white adipose tissue (WAT) however, the mechanisms remain unclear. A factor that is released with exercise, brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), has recently been identified as a possible mediator of WAT browning. Direct treatment of cultured adipocytes with BDNF increases mitochondrial quantity and uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) content. The purpose of this study was to examine if BDNF has similar effects on adipose tissue browning as endurance training and whether BDNF and endurance training can produce a synergistic effect. Male C57BL6 mice (10-weeks of age) were randomly assigned into one of four groups (n=12/group): 1) sedentary (SED); 2) endurance training (ET) (treadmill running 1 hour/day); 3) BDNF (0.5 mg/kg·bw); or 4) endurance training and BDNF (ET+BDNF) for 5 days/week for 8 weeks. Body mass and food intake were recorded weekly. Following the 8- week intervention, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure were examined via a Promethion metabolic caging system. Mice were anaesthetized, WAT (subcutaneous and inguinal) and brown adipose tissue (BAT; interscapular) depots were collected for histological and protein analysis. BDNF treatment increased serum BDNF, oxygen consumption and energy expenditure to a similar extent as the ET group. ET and BDNF resulted in decreased adipocyte area. Exercise resulted in higher multilocularity, mitochondrial content, UCP1, and higher innervation of iWAT. While BDNF treatment alone resulted in higher PGC1a. Within eWAT, ET showed decreased adipocyte size and higher dynamin related protein 1 (DRP1) protein content suggesting an increased potential in mitochondrial fission. BDNF treatment shows higher innervation of BAT as well as higher mitochondrial protein content among the exercise trained groups with the addition of BDNF. Overall, BDNF and exercise training are able to increase whole-body energy expenditures through markers of adipose tissue browning in a depot-specific manner with some evidence of additive effects.
    • Improving Patient Flow and Operational Efficiency in Emergency Rooms using a Discrete Event Simulation Approach

      Sethi, Jobandeep Singh; Faculty of Business Programs
      Emergency rooms (ERs) are essential components of the healthcare system, but in recent times, ERs across Canada have been experiencing extended emergency room length of stay (ERLOS), patients leaving without being seen, and overcrowding. The purpose of this research is to address these issues by utilizing a discrete event simulation approach to improve patient flow and operational efficiency. We propose two policies and interventions that can help alleviate the pressure on ERs, improve operational efficiency, and reduce complications associated with delayed treatment. The first policy is an Acute Medical Unit which is hospital unit that is staffed and equipped to receive patients with acute medical illness and provide rapid assessment and treatment to emergency patients. The second policy is an On-Call Physician, a physician who is called when the number of active patients in ER exceeds twice the ER capacity and helps with the increased workload. To develop the simulation model and test the impact of proposed strategies, we use Rockwell Arena 16 and factor in real-life factors associated with ERs such as arrival rates, service times, and patient acuity levels. In addition, the impact of entry and access blocks to and from the ER is examined. An Entry Block prevents patients from accessing treatment in the ER as a result of a lack of capacity. An Access Block prevents patients from accessing a bed in the hospital itself. Both factors have a significant impact on ER operations and efficiency. Our findings indicate that the proposed intervention strategies can reduce the time patients spend waiting for treatment and the number of patients leaving without being seen. This reduces the complications associated with delayed treatment and addresses overcrowding in emergency rooms. Therefore, the proposed policies have the potential to improve patient flow and operational efficiency in ERs. These findings have significant implications for healthcare facilities as they can utilize this simulation model to test various resource planning strategies and make informed decisions to improve patient healthcare experiences.
    • Perception of the Universal Design for Learning in Online Higher Education

      Bailey, Amanda; Center for Applied Disability Studies
      The application and analysis of online education have grown in higher education. However, the paradigm completely and suddenly shifted to online education in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The sudden shift to online education did not allow instructors or students with disabilities (SWD) to systematically adapt their teaching and learning strategies to fit a new education environment. The SWD population faces unique challenges in online education and transitioning to online education changed these challenges and created new barriers. One inclusive education paradigm, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), is considered the best practice for inclusive learning in contemporary education. This thesis explored the instructors’ and SWDs’ perspectives on UDL in online higher education. Specifically, the instructors’ and SWD’s perceptions regarding the application and barriers to implementing the UDL guidelines online were investigated. To address this aim, virtual focus groups were conducted with 14 participants from two populations: instructors (n= 6) and SWD (n= 8). A virtual poll was embedded into the focus groups’ discussions to allow the participants to summarize their experiences, rank UDL Guidelines, and then discuss the outcomes. It was found that SWD had both critical and positive perceptions and experiences with UDL in online higher education while instructors primarily noted positive perceptions. However, instructors faced barriers to implementing the UDL Guidelines online including time and effort, resources, and values. Further research is necessary to address the use, implementation, and barriers of UDL in online higher education.
    • Experiences of Volunteering: A Qualitative Study of Intergenerational Volunteerism in the Snow Buddies Program and Similar Volunteer Initiatives in Niagara

      Michener, Kaitlyn; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      Snow Buddies is an intergenerational volunteer program in the Niagara Region that recruits’ youth volunteers to remove snow and ice from the driveways and walkways of older adult clients with disabilities. Research demonstrates that involvement in intergenerational volunteer programs between older adults and youth can benefit both groups through building communication skills and new relationships (Blais et al., 2017). There is a gap in the literature addressing intergenerational volunteerism between youth and older adults outside of specific contexts, such as long-term care homes (Hickey et al., 2004; Kim & Lee, 2018; Santini et al., 2018). As such, this qualitative research explores youth and older adults’ experience of being a part of the Snow Buddies program and similar volunteer initiatives in general and throughout unique times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth volunteers (ages 14-25), older adult clients (76-87) and one older adults’ family member participated in semi-structured interviews to share their experiences of being a part of the Snow Buddies program or a similar volunteer initiative. Data were gathered from 14 participants: 9 volunteers (55% female), 4 clients, and 1 family member. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to code and analyze all interview transcripts. Participants reported that the Snow Buddies program and similar volunteer initiatives created a sense of belonging through an intergenerational connection, as well as a sense of personal fulfillment for volunteers. They also reported that the program was physically and socially challenging at times for volunteers and clients, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings from this research have program related implications for perceived benefits of an intergenerational volunteer program between youth and older adults, due to its unique study design and participant sample. As well, there are risk mitigation implications for volunteering during a unique time such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Glacial Dynamics and Stratigraphy in the Southern Great Slave Lake Region, Northwest Territories

      Sapera, Jamie; Department of Earth Sciences
      A detailed stratigraphic study was undertaken on a thick (>20 m) glacial diamicton at a former open pit (M-52) in the north-central part of the Pine Point mining district, adjacent to the southern shore of Great Slave Lake. This research augments the established regional Quaternary stratigraphy and investigates the mechanics of till deposition/emplacement throughout a continuous till sequence to understand better the glacial dynamics for the western margin of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The exposures at pit M-52 sit directly on bedrock, and two visibly distinct tills are exposed, a grey till exposed at the base of the section and brown till in the upper portion. When a complete vertical section was cleared and examined, the contact between the two tills was indiscernible and suspected to be gradational over several metres. The gradational contact is likely a product of extensive glacial inheritance and mixing as glacial dynamics shifted during till accretion. The study at pit M-52 was correlated with studies conducted at pits K-62 and O-28. While at M-52, the contact was gradational, the studies at K-62 and O-28 had layered stratigraphy indicating that different depositional environments existed near each other, as described in the subglacial till mosaic model. Micromorphological examination of 25 till samples from pit M-52 show that tills were deposited in a soft subglacial deforming bed. The tills have evidence of multiple generations of deformation beginning with pervasive and transitioning into localized shear strain. Clast fabrics were measured in the section and revealed that the grey till close to the bedrock surface reflects SW ice flow, the upper two clast fabrics display evidence of NW ice flow.
    • Emotion Regulation: Is it More Taxing for Adolescents than for Adults?

      Pakkal, Oya; Department of Psychology
      The capacity to regulate emotions appears to improve with age across adolescence; but adolescence is also a time of heightened emotional intensity (Fjell et al. 2012; Larson & Ham, 1993; Shulman et al., 2016; Steinberg 2008). The coexistence of immature emotion regulation and heightened emotional intensity during adolescents complicates attempts to index improvement in emotion regulation capacity during this period. We used a novel approach to quantify emotion regulation, where participants performed a cognitively taxing working memory task (the N-Back) before and after a manipulation designed to elicit strong negative feelings (anger or embarrassment). Performance on the N-Back should be impaired by strong emotion (Baumeister et al., 2007; Richards, 2004), and failure to improve in performance from time 1 to time 2 on the N-back following emotion elicitation served as our index of difficulties in emotion regulation. To account for emotional intensity, we assessed emotional state before and after the experimental manipulation. We could therefore test whether any age differences in practice-related improvement on the N-back task were robust to adjustment for emotional intensity (the change in the relevant emotion pre- to post-manipulation). A total of 184 participants between the ages of 14 and 17 (Mage = 15.7, SD = 1.1), and 22 and 30 (Mage = 25.7, SD = 2.3) took part in the study. Overall, emotion elicitation interfered with performance on the N-back task in both age groups. As predicted, adolescents’ performance was more impaired than adults’ when the emotion elicited was embarrassment but not anger. This suggests that adolescents’ emotion regulation capacity is weaker than adults’ for at least some emotions. Importantly, this age difference was not attributable to differences in emotional intensity.
    • The economic burden of athletic injuries across 10 years of Canada Games

      Sudiyono, Matthew; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Injuries in elite sports are responsible for a substantial economic burden on host organizations, requiring informed decisions to ensure that injury treatment is delivered in an efficient manner. However, there is a paucity of economic assessments that have been conducted surrounding elite sport injury events in Canada. Objective: To estimate the direct medical and opportunity costs of treating various injuries by volunteer medical professionals at the Canada Games (CG). Method: A decision tree model (DTM) incorporated parameters on injury treatment lengths as estimated from a Delphi survey, injury surveillance data from past CG competitions (2009-2019), institutional spending derived from the Athlete Medical Program, and fee-for-service rates for medical professionals derived from government reports. Expected costs were calculated using probabilities from logistic regression analyses and reported in Canadian Dollars as of 2023. A one-way deterministic sensitivity analysis was undertaken which varied annual spending by ±10%. Results: There were 15,717 injury events reported during initial and follow-up visits at on-site polyclinics between the 2009 and 2019 CG events (6 competitions). Median estimated treatment lengths during initial visits were highest for patellofemoral pain syndromes (30.0 [IQR = 15.0-33.5] minutes) and were highest during follow-up visits for impingement injuries (25.0 [IQR = 14.0-30.0] minutes). Knee, ankle, lumbar, shoulder/clavicle, and thigh injuries, had a cumulative average expected medical cost of about $103, $113, $383, $417, and $172, respectively, per event. After having incurred a knee injury, the average opportunity cost of being treated by a physician, a combination of athletic therapist/physiotherapist, or a combination of massage therapist/chiropractor, were $17, $184, and $35, respectively. 72% of athletes treated by a physician were referred for follow-up care. Overall, the total expected medical and opportunity cost of athletic injuries in CG per year were $156,620 and $378,574, respectively. Conclusion: This thesis reports on estimated medical and opportunity costs associated with treating various athletic injuries at on-site polyclinics at CG. Findings from our study can inform decision-making in medical management to support treatment protocol reform, while also informing economic evaluations of future CG or other elite sport competitions. More research is needed to estimate the broader health system and out-of-pocket costs of athletic injuries at elite sporting events beyond on-site polyclinics.
    • Does physical activity mediate the relationship between loneliness and mental health in Canadian adolescents?

      Chattha, Hussain; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Objectives: Loneliness in adolescents has been consistently increasing over the previous two decades, a trend further exacerbated during to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is particularly concerning considering the links between loneliness and poor mental health. This thesis investigated prospective bidirectional relationships between loneliness and mental health outcomes (anxiety and psychological wellbeing), and additionally, aimed to assess the mediating role of physical activity (PA) within these relationships over a one-year period. Methods: This study used linked student-level survey data of 20,532 Canadian adolescents from the 9th (2020-2021) and 10th (2021-2022) years of the COMPASS study. Cross-lagged panel mediation models were used to test bidirectional associations between loneliness, anxiety symptoms, psychological wellbeing, and PA. Bootstrapping was used to detect mediation effects of PA in the relationships. Models were stratified by gender, and controlled for student grade, family affluence, province, ethnicity, and school-level clustering. Results: Gender-diverse/other adolescents reported higher loneliness frequency and anxiety scores, and lower psychological wellbeing, compared to cis-gender adolescents. Bidirectional relationships between loneliness and anxiety, and loneliness and psychological wellbeing were established in the full sample, with associations varying when stratified by gender. PA did not significantly mediate the relationships between loneliness and the mental health outcomes. Conclusions: Loneliness, anxiety, and psychological wellbeing prospectively and bidirectionally predicted each other, which reinforces current literature that supports loneliness as a risk factor for poor mental health outcomes among adolescents. PA did not mediate these relationships, thus future research should explore novel mediators to help explain the underlying mechanisms in the relationship between loneliness and mental health.
    • The Influence of a High Fat Diet on Mice with and without Myosin Light Chain Kinase: Implications for Muscle Thermogenesis and Obesity

      Scheepstra, Katerina; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Work performed at the cellular level suggests that skeletal myosin light chain kinase (skMLCK) mediated phosphorylation of myosin participates in the regulation of muscle thermogenesis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of skMLCK ablation, and resultant loss of myosin phosphorylation, on murine physiology and metabolism. To this end, we compared the morphology and metabolic rate of wildtype and skMLCK absent mice (skMLCK-/- ) in response to 10 weeks of high fat feeding. A larger metabolic challenge better tests the hypothesis that the ability to phosphorylate myosin RLC will aid wildtype mice (WT) in counteracting the obesogenic effects of a HFD more effectively than skMLCK-/- mice. Adult mice (8-12 weeks) of both genotypes were housed at 30°C (thermoneutrality) and randomly assigned to either a control or high fat feeding group (n = 8 per genotype, total of 32 mice). All mice were weighed twice weekly while dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used at baseline and at week 10 to detect changes in fat and fat-free mass. Metabolic measures such as kcal output as well as behavioural measures such as locomotion, fine movement and food intake were assessed biweekly. At the conclusion of the study, all mice were euthanized, and epididymal white adipose tissue, inguinal white adipose tissue and brown adipose tissue were removed and weighed. Based on cellular studies, it was expected that the absence of myosin phosphorylation would render the skMLCK-/- genotype more susceptible to weight gain than the WT genotype. Contrary to our hypothesis, in vitro data did not translate to effects on whole-body metabolism. WT mice were similarly susceptible to the same morphological and metabolic changes as the skMLCK-/- group when exposed to a high fat diet. Both genotypes consumed the same amount, however, the skMLCK-/- mice were less active and yet, both genotypes gained the same amount of weight. This may suggest a compensatory thermogenic pathway may be at play.
    • Exploring Teachers' Experiences of Teaching Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed Methods Multi-Phase Study

      Dolighan, Tim; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This is a mixed methods multi-phase study that measured teachers’ sense of efficacy for teaching online at the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020. As the pandemic persisted into the 2020-21 school year, the study was expanded to include a second phase that sought to understand teacher efficacy and experience of teaching online one year into the transition to emergency remote online teaching during the pandemic. The aim of this research was to better understand how to best support teachers as they adapted to online teaching and to use the data to build ongoing and professional learning support for effective online teaching. The study examined the impact of prior experience teaching online, experience teaching online during the pandemic, and access to online training on teacher self-efficacy as teachers adapted to online learning in the context of the pandemic. What became clear was that teaching remotely online under emergency measures is different from normal online teaching. The results of the study in the initial phase found correlations between teachers’ sense of efficacy for teaching online with using a learning management system (LMS) before transitioning online. Having had online training and access to virtual tech support were also associated with a higher sense of efficacy. In the second phase, teachers’ collaboration with colleagues to solve issues and learn affected teacher efficacy. The study also found that access to technical and pedagogical support resources impacted teachers’ sense of efficacy and experience teaching online. One outcome of this study is support for the argument distinguishing between emergency remote teaching and learning and online teaching and learning. Further, the findings emerge from this study support recommendations for dedicated teacher professional development that addresses the challenges and opportunities of designing and implementing emergency remote teaching and learning environments.
    • Pre-Service Teachers using Social Media: Self-Concept in Online Spaces

      Downes, Taylor; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      With the expansion of personal interactions to online spaces, specifically through social media, individual identity and self-concept development can be subjected to a variety of interactions, experiences, and comparisons. For pre-service teachers (PTs), interactions through social media can be experienced through a personal and professional lens. This research aimed to understand better the relationship between PT self-concept and social media use. A survey design method with Likert scale instruments was used to determine potential correlations between PT self-concept clarity and self-presentation across personal and professional spheres online. Univariate correlational analyses were run between the four Likert scale tools, and results indicated a weak, positive relationship between self-concept clarity and self-presentation. Self-concept differentiation was addressed by analyzing the open-ended questions at the end of the survey, using a thematic qualitative approach. Results of the qualitative analysis suggested that PTs exhibited a high level of self-concept differentiation as they considered the content of what they posted and presented online for both personal and professional accounts, meaning they accurately utilized the desired self-concept traits for the differing environments. The findings showed that PTs’ self-presentation in online spaces often aligned with their understanding of who they are and who they want to be, and they consider a variety of scenarios when presenting themselves online, including future careers, self-image, and the professionalism of teaching. The findings also showed that PTs compare themselves to others within the program, often feeling a sensation of intimidation, competitiveness, and perfectionism. An implication for teacher education is for programs to provide additional support for PTs who struggle to navigate the competitiveness of a professional program, their own professional identity, and the concept of moral and ethical duties within their roles as PTs and future teachers.
    • Treating Yourself in a Fairway: Examining the Contribution of Self-Compassion and Well-Being on Performance in a Putting Task

      Burgess, Melanie; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Researchers have advocated for greater insight into the relationship between self-compassion and well-being on performance. Grounded in this understanding, the purpose of this study was to examine the unique and combined contribution of self-compassion and well-being on performance in a putting task. It was hypothesized that self-compassion and well-being would predict performance. Using a cross-sectional design, male golfers (N = 87, Mage = 54.94; SDage = 15.37 years) completed the Self-Compassion Scale - Athlete Version and the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale immediately prior to a golf putting task. The putting task consisted of 15 consecutive putts from 7 feet on an outdoor practice putting green. The number of putts holed served as an indicator of actual performance. Perceived performance was measured using a self-reported single-item indicator. Participants holed an average of 7.77 (SD = 3.15) putts. Perceived performance was rated as neither good or bad (M = 2.56; SD = 1.00) across the 5-point response scale. Results from the linear regression analyses showed that self-compassion did not significantly predict putts holed (β = -0.171, 95% CI -2.12, 0.23, p = 0.11; ƒ2 = .03) or perceived performance (β = -0.171, 95% CI -2.12, 0.23, p = 0.11; ƒ2 = .04). Similarly, well-being was not predictive of putts holed (β = -0.013, 95% CI -1.38, 1,23, p = 0.91; ƒ2 = .00) or perceived performance (β = -0.157, 95% CI -0.79, 0.12, p = 0.12; ƒ2 = .03). Overall, conclusions from this research offer converging evidence that the psychological resources of self-compassion and well-being do not impact actual or perceived performance in adult male golfers. Greater insight into whether, and if so under what conditions, self-compassion and well-being are associated with performance outcomes in sport warrants additional empirical scrutiny. Funding: Match of Minds.
    • Emotions, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Emotion Regulation for Academic Writing: A Collective Case Study with Doctoral Students

      Julien, Karen; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Dealing with feedback, managing uncertainty regarding writing expectations, and juggling multiple demands are all part of making progress with academic writing. Emotion regulation can enable an academic writer to manage these emotion-related experiences and contribute to writing productivity. A writing group might be particularly beneficial to provide emotion regulation support from others through interpersonal emotion regulation. The purpose of this research was to understand the emotion experiences of doctoral student writers while engaged in academic writing in a social context, the ways in which graduate students experience emotions related to their academic writing, how interpersonal emotion regulation is enacted in social writing contexts, and which intrapersonal and interpersonal emotion regulation strategies support academic writing productivity. To investigate these experiences, in the current collective case study research, four doctoral student writers were led individually through meme elicitation during an initial interview to explore their previous emotion experiences in academic writing. Subsequent multi-participant writing group sessions were offered online and video recorded to document the ways in which the participants and the group facilitator (the researcher) provided interpersonal emotion regulation in that context. During and after each writing group session, participants were invited to complete a brief questionnaire about their emotions and their experiences in the group. Final individual interviews provided participants the opportunity to recount their emotion experiences while writing in the group context. Findings indicate that these doctoral student writers experienced a wide variety of emotions in relation to their academic writing. Participants reported a desire to feel positive, activating emotions while they were engaged in academic writing. These same emotions, including happiness, contentment, and engagement, for example, were reported when they were most satisfied with their writing progress after a writing group session. These doctoral student writers used a variety of interpersonal emotion regulation techniques to support each other, most frequently empathic concern and validation. Participants found emotions to be an important factor in writing motivation. They reported using strategies such as breaking the task into smaller pieces, working for shorter time periods, and compartmentalizing their tasks when they were feeling unmotivated to write.
    • Understanding Transitions for Disabled Students from Secondary to Post-Secondary Education Using Ecological Systems Theory: A Mixed Methods Approach

      Sheppard, Rachel; Center for Applied Disability Studies
      This thesis explored the transition planning experiences from secondary to post-secondary education of disabled students. Transition planning is essential for disabled students to access accommodations in higher education (Newman et al., 2016). Recent changes have been proposed by the Government of Ontario Education Technical Sub-committee to help improve transitions for disabled students by working to remove barriers to transition planning (Government of Ontario, 2021). To date, transition planning processes typically follow an individual model (Small et al., 2013). However, this model has yielded limited results in successfully removing barriers. Further research suggests that an ecological systems approach may be more promising for supporting disabled students in their transition planning process (Small et al., 2013). Based on the literature on transition planning and ecological systems theory, this thesis followed a mixed methods explanatory design using initial surveys and follow-up interviews to contextualize students' experiences. Using the Government of Ontario's recommendations, an initial survey was developed and distributed to disabled first and second-year students at Brock University (n=16). Follow-up interviews were also conducted with participants to contextualize their experiences and discuss recommendations (n=4). A descriptive analysis of quantitative survey results as well as a thematic analysis of qualitative survey responses and follow-up interview responses provides understating on barriers students face and how the government of Ontario’s recommendations may reduce these barriers. The findings of this research demonstrate the need for interdependent supports in transition planning for disabled students when transitioning from secondary to post-secondary education.

      Muniz Correa, Marcelo Victor; Centre for Biotechnology
      Human PI4K-IIIβ is an 89 kDa phosphatidylinositol (PI) kinase that phosphorylates its substrate headgroup at position C-4, thus producing PI(4)P. This phosphoinositide is the most abundant in the trans-Golgi network where it is essential for secretory vesicle formation, as well as the precursor for other phosphoinositides that are crucial for intracellular signalling. Among others, phosphoinositide homeostasis in eukaryotic membranes rely on PI kinases and PI transfer proteins (PITPs). In yeast, the PITP Sec14p is known to exchange PI and phosphatidylcholine between lipid bilayers in vitro and proposed to present PI to be phosphorylated by the PI4-kinase Pik1 in a heterotypic ligand exchange fashion. However, the precise mechanism by which this interaction occurs has yet to be elucidated. To explore how and if PITPs and PI4K-IIIβ work as hypothesized, we expressed and purified recombinant human PI4K-IIIβ in Escherichia coli and assayed lipid kinase activity using an optimized real-time, vesicle-based fluorescence assay. After comparing different affinity tags, deletion mutants and expressing cell lines, GST-tagged wild-type PI4K-IIIβ was chosen and expressed in Rosetta 2(DE3) cells with a 2.5-fold increase in the native protein yield when compared to other methods. Proteins were further purified by an addition heat shock protein removal wash. The resulting PI4K-IIIβ displayed activity comparable to the commercially available, insect cell expressed counterpart. Optimization of the activity assay afforded a robust assay that displayed protein concentration dependent response while using unilamellar liposomes as the substrate. Agreeing with previous reports, the activity of PI4K-IIIβ was greatly reduced by wortmannin and increased by Triton X-100. The activity of PI4K-IIIβ was tested in the presence of active human PITPα and PITPβ, as well as yeast Frequenin and Sec14p, but none of them elicited a reproducible enhancement on PI(4)P production by PI4K-IIIβ. A similar pattern was observed with the human PI3-kinase, PIK3C3. Our results demonstrate that a PI presentation model based on heterotypic exchange may not occur in vitro, suggesting either that PITPs’ role in phosphoinositide production could rely uniquely on maintaining sufficient PI pools in the Golgi membrane or that additional protein partners may be required for the regulation of PI4K-IIIβ by PITPs.
    • Stress from Academics, Stress from Interpersonal Relationships and Academic Burnout Among Chinese Adolescents

      Bingyu, Liu; Department of Child and Youth Studies
      The current study examined relations between stress and academic burnout, and the moderating role of adaptive academic coping between stress from academics and academic burnout among adolescents. Potential stress leading to academic burnout included stress from academics and stress from interpersonal relationships (stress from teacher, parental, peer relationships). Five-hundred and eighteen students (48.26% male, 14 to 15 years old) from one middle school in China participated in this study. Structural equation modeling indicated that (1) academic burnout was significantly predicted by stress from academics and stress from parental relationships, but was not significantly predicted by stress from teacher and peer relationships, and (2) adaptive academic coping significantly moderated the association between stress from academics and academic burnout, after controlling for the effects of sex, age, socioeconomic status, and grade ranking. This study provided insight into which types of stress perceived by Chinese adolescents (e.g., stress from academics and interpersonal relationships) predicted academic burnout, and how adaptive academic coping might mitigate links between academic stress and academic burnout. Recommendations of the current study are discussed in terms of government, school and teacher, and parental aspects.
    • The Effect of Jack Chapters on the Mental Health Help Seeking Attitudes of Canadian Secondary Students in the COMPASS Study

      Goddard, Jessica; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Background: School-based peer-led mental health literacy (MHL) programs may be effective tools to reduce stigma, and improve MHL and help seeking attitudes in adolescent populations. The objectives of this thesis were to evaluate the effectiveness of Jack Chapters—a school-based peer-led MHL program—on the mental health help seeking attitudes of Canadian secondary students at the (1) school- and (2) student-level in all students, and (3) in students with anxiety and/or depression. Methods: Linked survey data from the COMPASS study collected during the 2017/18 (T1) and 2018/19 (T2) academic years study were used. The total sample included 5808 students at 30 Ontario secondary schools, of which 3194 students had clinically-relevant anxiety and/or depression scores. COMPASS school-level and Jack Chapters data were used to determine the intervention schools (i.e., schools that implemented Jack Chapters at both timepoints). Four control schools were matched per one intervention school based on school size and urbanicity. A t-test was used to compare the difference in help-seeking reluctancy at the school-level by study group and between timepoints. Generalized logistic mixed models were used to determine the effectiveness of the Jack Chapters program on help seeking attitudes at the student-level between timepoints. Results: At the school-level, there was a significantly greater increase in help seeking reluctancy between intervention schools compared to control schools from T1 to T2. In both the total sample and the subsample, there were higher odds of students being reluctant to seek help at T2 if they were reluctant at T1, however, study group was not a significant predictor of this relationship. Having lower family and friend support were associated with an increase in reluctancy at T2 for both the total and subsample populations, and in the total sample, an increase in school connectedness was associated with a decrease in reluctancy at T2. Conclusions: This study adds to the sparse literature on the effectiveness of improving school-based peer-led MHL initiatives on mental health help seeking attitudes among adolescent populations. Despite the strengths of Jack Chapters, our null results indicate that programming can improve. Findings may inform program targeting for specific populations within the school.
    • Distributed Supervised Statistical Learning

      khalili Mahmoudabadi, Amir; Department of Mathematics
      We live in the era of big data, nowadays, many companies face data of massive size that, in most cases, cannot be stored and processed on a single computer. Often such data has to be distributed over multiple computers which then makes the storage, pre-processing, and data analysis possible in practice. In the age of big data, distributed learning has gained popularity as a method to manage enormous datasets. In this thesis, we focus on distributed supervised statistical learning where sparse linear regression analysis is performed in a distributed framework. These methods are frequently applied in a variety of disciplines tackling large scale datasets analysis, including engineering, economics, and finance. In distributed learning, one key question is, for example, how to efficiently aggregate multiple estimators that are obtained based on data subsets stored on multiple computers. We investigate recent studies on distributed statistical inferences. There have been many efforts to propose efficient ways of aggregating local estimates, most popular methods are discussed in this thesis. Recently, an important question about the number of machines to deploy is addressed for several estimation methods, notable answers to the question are reviewed in this literature. We have considered a specific class of Liu-type shrinkage estimation methods for distributed statistical inference. We also conduct a Monte Carlo simulation study to assess performance of the Liu-type shrinkage estimation methods in a distributed framework.