Now showing items 1-20 of 3536

    • The Influence of Affect on Cognitive Breadth

      Chung, Andrew; Department of Psychology
      Affect plays a critical role in how broadly one processes and thinks about information. Breadth of cognition is shown to relate to, and be influenced by, affect that varies in valence (negative and positive), arousal (high/activated and low/deactivated) and motivational intensity (approach and withdrawal). While extensive work has shown support for the influence of affect on breadth of attention (attentional breadth), there is less research on affect and breadth of thought (conceptual breadth). The present dissertation investigates: 1) the relationship between various measures of conceptual breadth, 2) how individual differences in naturally occurring affect relate to conceptual breadth, 3) how anticipating and experiencing gains and losses influence conceptual breadth, 4) how differences in trait behavioral approach (BAS) and inhibition (BIS) relate to conceptual breadth in a monetary incentive paradigm, and 5) how individual differences in affect relate to filtering of irrelevant information. In Study 1, three varied conceptual breadth tasks appropriately estimated a conceptual breadth latent variable. Individual differences in naturally occurring affect were shown to relate to the common conceptual breadth variability where those who had low arousal positive affect showed greater conceptual breadth. In Study 2 conceptual breadth scores did not differ when anticipating gains and losses versus experiencing gains and losses. However, BAS, but not BIS, modulated the effect of large incentives on cognitive categorization where those low in BAS had higher conceptual breath following large losses and those high in BAS had larger conceptual breadth following large gains. In Study 3, individual differences in naturally occurring positive affect did not relate to the tendency to bind irrelevant and relevant information into memory (hyper-binding) in a meaningful way across four studies, However, hyper-binding was found in all studies including age groups where hyper-binding has not typically been shown before. Evidence from the current dissertation supports the significant role of affect in conceptual breadth, whether affect is naturally occurring or influenced by incentives, and provides evidence that individual differences in affect do not underlie individual differences in hyper-binding.
    • Investigating the Role of Parental Care and Executive Function in the Neurodevelopment of Psychopathy: A Moderated Expression Model of “Successful” Psychopathy

      Gauthier, Nathalie Yvonne; Department of Psychology
      Psychopathy has been an important risk factor in predicting maladaptive outcomes and antisocial behaviour. However, some research has also explored “successful” psychopathy: individuals with psychopathic traits who avoid negative outcomes (e.g., criminal or antisocial behaviour) and/or those whose psychopathic traits are used to their advantage. The Moderated Expression model (Lilienfeld et al., 2015) posits that that while successful and unsuccessful psychopaths have the same core personality traits, other factors can moderate how these traits are manifested. For example, the quality of parental care, as well as executive function (EF) skills are among the potential factors in predicting antisocial outcomes in individuals with psychopathic traits, yet to date, research has not looked at these together in predicting psychopathy success. The program of study presented in this dissertation explored these factors through a Moderated-Expression framework: Study 1 used an adolescent sample of 229 girls and 165 boys from the community, and examined the role of parental care in predicting success outcomes in youth with Callous-Unemotional (CU) traits. Study 2 expanded on this and examined the role of parental warmth and neglect on success outcomes in adults with psychopathic traits, both directly, and through their effect on EF skills. This study recruited a community sample of 293 men and 301 women. Importantly, Study 2 included multiple sub-components of EF, in order to help address the mixed findings in the research to date, and to ascertain how these functions may work together. Both studies included multiple maladaptive outcomes as well as a proxy measure of social success. Overall, both studies found that (a) parental warmth decreased the strength of the relationship between the core psychopathic traits and multiple maladaptive outcomes; (b) parental neglect increased the risk of anti-sociality and multiple maladaptive outcomes; (c) the pattern of effects differed depending on the gender of the participant and of the parent. Furthermore, while girls and women were lower in overt physical aggression, psychopathic traits still predicted relational aggression, other maladaptive outcomes, and lower social success, highlighting the importance of using diverse measures of success and to look at the patterns across and within gender.
    • Writing Self-Efficacy of Elementary Students With Learning Disabilities

      Gishen, Roselyn; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Writing is an important academic skill that many students with learning disabilities (LDs) find difficult to master. To acquire basic literacy skills, early intervention and appropriate accommodations are crucial for these learners. In the context of writing achievement, self-efficacy refers to students’ beliefs about their abilities to accomplish specific writing tasks. Past literature has demonstrated a bidirectional relationship between self-efficacy and writing performance. However, while research has explored writing self-efficacy in elementary students, little is known about the experiences of students with LDs. Using a mixed methods approach, this research project explored the writing self-efficacy and writing skills of 29 students with LDs in Grades 3-6 and explored the perspectives of 21 students and 22 parents. The study employed a multi-modal survey instrument (Zumbrunn et al., 2020) to determine whether writing self-efficacy varies across grade levels, a writing activity to assess students’ writing skills, and one-on-one semi-structured interviews with students and their parents to explore perspectives on writing and perceived learning needs. The results revealed that students in Grades 3 and 4 had lower levels of self-efficacy for self-regulation than students in Grade 5. As well, interviews yielded rich descriptions of parents’ and students’ attitudes, thoughts, and feelings toward writing and effective instruction. These findings extend theories of pragmatism, inclusion, and social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2012). Implications for the findings will inform teachers’ approaches to writing instruction and interventions for struggling writers. Future research might consider the role of additional sociodemographic and motivational variables and extend the present study to additional student populations.
    • Memetic Algorithm for Large-Scale Real-World Vehicle Routing Problems with Simultaneous Pickup and Delivery with Time Windows

      Gibbons, Ethan; Department of Computer Science
      The vehicle routing problem is a combinatorial optimization problem which has many real-world applications from supply chain management to public transportation. Many variants of the vehicle routing problem (VRP) exist with different constraints to reflect a variety of transportation scenarios faced by different industries. In this thesis, we examine the VRP variant referred to as the vehicle routing problem with simultaneous pickup and delivery with time windows (VRPSPDTW). In particular, we tackle a set of 20 recently released large-scale VRPSPDTW problem instances that were derived from the data of actual customers served by the transportation company known as JD Logistics. A memetic algorithm (MA) using an altered version of the Best-Cost-Route-Crossover is proposed and applied to this problem set. The proposed MA is able to find new best known solutions and performs better on average for all 20 instances in comparison to previous efforts. Comparative experiments are performed with other state-of-the-art crossovers to validate the effectiveness of the altered BCRC when used in the proposed MA. In addition, the dynamic VRPSPDTW (DVRPSPTW) is introduced by providing a mathematical formulation of the problem and transforming existing VRPSPDTW instances into dynamic instances. We perform a preliminary study on these dynamic instances using the proposed MA in conjunction with a simple but effective vehicle loading strategy, and the results are provided to promote further research into this dynamic variant.
    • A Comparative Study of Evolutionary Algorithms and Particle Swarm Optimization Approaches for Constrained Multi-Objective Optimization Problems

      McNulty, Alanna; Department of Computer Science
      Many real-world problems in the fields of science and engineering contain multiple conflicting objectives which need to optimized simultaneously, as well as additional problem constraints. These problems are referred to as constrained multi-objective optimization problems (CMOPs). CMOPs do not have a single optimal solution, but instead a set of optimal trade-off solutions where an improvement in one objective worsens another. Recently, many constrained multi-objective evolutionary algorithms (CMOEAs) have been introduced for solving CMOPs. Each of these computational intelligence algorithms can be classified into one of four different approaches, which are the classic CMOEAs, co-evolutionary approaches, multi-stage approaches, and multi-tasking approaches. An extensive survey and comparative study of the aforementioned algorithms on a variety of benchmark test problems, including real-world CMOPs, is carried out in order to determine the current state-of-the-art CMOEAs. Additionally, this work proposes a multi-guide particle swarm optimization (MGPSO) for the constrained multi-objective problems. MGPSO is a multi-swarm approach, which has previously been effectively applied to other challenging optimization problems in the literature. This work adapts MGPSO for solving CMOPs and compares its performance against the aforementioned existing computational intelligence techniques. The comparative study showed that the algorithmic performance was problem-dependent. Lastly, while the proposed MGPSO approach was likewise problem-dependent, it was found to perform best for some of the real-world problems, namely the process, design and synthesis problems, and had competitive performance in the power system optimization problems.
    • Inner Spirit/Fire and Indigenous Student/Researcher Identity: Differing Spaces from an Ojibway Perspective

      Trudeau, Lyn; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      This research explored my personal journey as an Indigenous student traversing a doctoral program in a Canadian university. Contrary to ample literature on Indigenous students portrayed from a deficit standpoint, my research offers an alternative narrative by expounding on areas that kept my Inner/Spirit Fire burning and contributed to my success. In the spirit of reconciling educative spaces, I employed Etuaptmumk/Two-Eyed Seeing (E/TES) as a theoretical framework to bridge and equate Indigenous knowledge with western knowledge in the academy. Honouring oral traditions of the Anishinaabeg, I use Indigenous autoethnography (IA) coupled with arts-based research to tell my story. Gathering data, I engaged in ceremony and used creative images/artwork to convey my truths through lived experiences and realities. I thus employed reflexive thematic analysis (RTA) as it specifically draws from a researcher’s cultural background and personal experience to interpret the data, enabling me to present authentic Ojibway-Anishinaabe perceptions. This research offers insightful threads that cross time and space, acknowledge the power of relationships and story, and recognize other-than human “beings” and realms as part of our Earth Walk. Further, themes indicate educative institutions can become sites of reclamation for Indigenous persons and students in a Eurocentric academic environment. Thus, I situate myself within an Indigenous concept of Seven Forward Seven Back to honour my ancestors and welcome emerging and future Indigenous scholars to support cultural survivance.
    • Ending the cycle: Scholars' perspectives on hazing prevention

      Lamothe, Richard; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The purpose of this study is to synthesize the knowledge of hazing experts to explore hazing prevention techniques. Preventing hazing in sport has been studied, analyzed, and explored through various research designs centered on strategies of athlete education, cultural change, and replacement activities. However, literature has lacked a study that compares and integrates these methods within the practice of prevention. This study begins to conceptually fill that void. To critically examine, compare, and integrate hazing prevention methods, published hazing scholars were surveyed using the Delphi technique. All participants had published at least one peer-reviewed publication on hazing written in English. Using the Delphi technique, participants were surveyed three times, with each iteration being developed from the results of the previous survey. The first survey had fifteen participants, the second had fourteen, and the third had eleven. The survey responses were analyzed using thematic coding. Participating scholars provided detailed descriptions of best practices with prevention strategies centered on athlete education, cultural change, and replacement activities. Importantly, participating scholars identified that all hazing prevention methods should be implemented as much as possible as they are often connected, interrelated, and have the potential to be most effective when utilized together.
    • A Comparison of Methods for Teaching Discrimination of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/Training Processes in Samples of Verbal Behaviour

      Manuge, Taylor; Center for Applied Disability Studies
      Accurate identification of the six core processes of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy/ Training (ACT) is foundational for practitioners, yet no published research has compared methods for teaching this skill. This exploratory study compared the efficacy and efficiency of two methods (discrimination training, DT and self-paced, mastery-based training, SPMB) for training graduate students to identify ACT processes using speech samples. Two ACT processes were selected as training targets based on a logical analysis conducted with six behaviour analysts trained in ACT. Respondents rated fusion/defusion and lack of present moment awareness (PMA)/PMA to be of relatively equal discrimination difficulty. The training procedures were compared in an adapted alternating treatment design embedded within a delayed concurrent multiple baseline design across three students. In the DT condition modules, participants viewed training videos, completed exercises, whereas in the SPMB condition modules, participants read chapters of an ACT text in the SPMB condition modules. Following modules in either condition, participants completed skill assessments to assess their ability to discriminate the target ACT skills. Participants listened to samples of verbal behaviour then selected which ACT process they observed. Skill assessment results suggest that the most efficacious training method is SPMB. However, when false positives (identifying a sample of verbal behaviour as the target skill when it is the control skill) are included in scoring, DT is the more efficacious training method. Participants did not rate one training method more favorably than the other. Findings have the potential to inform future ACT research and ultimately increase the effectiveness of ACT interventions.
    • Exploring the common practices that exist within the dynamic approach of virtual and onsite movement-based programming for young people living with autism spectrum disorder (autism)

      Hicks, Stephanie; Applied Health Sciences Program
      The purpose of this study was to describe, analyze, and understand the common practices that exist within the dynamic approach of virtual and onsite programming across different organizations with a focus on movement-based programming for children and youth living with autism spectrum disorder (autism). Previous research suggested that it would be a missed opportunity for learning, development, and engagement to disregard a hybrid or virtual program delivery model. This study used public domain data sets to investigate and analyze current practices in the methods of program delivery for activity for children living with autism. The researcher examined both manifest and latent content, and discerned common practices of program delivery through application and completion of a prompt-based checklist. The findings were developed through a multi-level content analysis and contribute to insights about current and common practices relating to the impact of the hybridization of movement-based programs for children with autism. This study demonstrated that organizations are primarily transitioning back to on-site programming options as society enters the state of an endemic, and it raises concerns as to why the priority and level of virtual access has been taken away. The findings could lead to further research around program delivery practices and communication as members of the community move away from the pandemic mindset. Further research is necessary to continue investigating how hybrid program delivery should be prioritized in future years increasing pathways of participation.
    • Training Preservice Behaviour Analyst Intervention Skills in a Virtual Reality Environment

      Owusu, Gifty; Center for Applied Disability Studies
      Preservice behaviour analysts need a wide range of professional skills and shaping is one of the critical skills they must learn. This study trained preservice behaviour analysts to acquire shaping skills in a virtual reality environment using the Portable Operant Research Teaching Lab (PORTL). To date no known study has (a) evaluated the effectiveness of shaping skills training to preservice behaviour analyst or (b) attempted to teach these skills in virtual environment format. We used an AB design across participants with three preservice behaviour analysts to learn shaping skills in a virtual reality environment using the PORTL curriculum. The shaping skills comprised creating a teaching plan, setting up for a session, delivering reinforcement, and evaluating a session. For all participants, training resulted in improvement in shaping skills. Participants also maintained the shaping skills for a minimum of two weeks. Further, the effect of the training generalized to a novel learner for all participants. Additionally, participants showed high satisfaction with shaping skills in virtual reality (VR) environment.
    • An Exploration of Canadian and Nigerian High Performance Women Wrestlers’ Authentic Leadership Development Experiences in a Male-Dominated Sport

      Adeniyi, Aminat Oluwafunmilayo; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Sport management scholars have uncovered benefits from adopting an authentic leadership style among sport coaches (Kim et al., 2020), sport administrators/athletic directors (Cotrufo, 2014), and non-profit sport organization board members (Takos et al., 2018). However, there has been no scholarly attempt to learn about the experiences of high-performance women wrestlers who might aspire to become authentic leaders. Given the ongoing disparities between men and women leaders in sport organizations, arguably more should be done to understand the experiences of (and then support) future sport leaders who are women. Thus, this research study addresses these gaps by answering the research questions: (1) What are the authentic leadership development experiences of Canadian and Nigerian high-performance women wrestlers? (2) What are the formal and informal authentic leadership development experiences of women who participate in a male-dominated sport? (3) What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of formal and informal authentic leadership development training among Canadian and Nigerian high-performance women wrestlers? Participants (n=11) engaged in one semi-structured interview that revealed their mostly informal authentic leadership development (Luthans & Avolio, 2003) experiences as members of their respective national teams. Analysis of the transcripts (65,342 words and 188 pages) followed Braun & Clarke (2006). Findings revealed five major themes and several sub-themes. Canadian and Nigerian high-performance women wrestlers’ authentic leadership development was found to be impacted and influenced by the athletes’ background influences and parental support. Participants reported developing authentic traits (i.e., resilience, optimism, confidence, and hope) that supported their development as authentic leaders both on (and off) the mat. Participants shared their experience being bullied and body-shamed for their participation in a male-dominated sport and indicated feeling both supported by and frustrated with their national sport organization/federation.
    • Solvent-free zinc-catalysed hydroboration of esters

      Zakarina, Raikhan; Department of Chemistry
      This study presents the synthesis of a novel hemilabile bidentate amido phosphine sulfide III-10 ligand and introduces a new synthetic route to the previously reported amido/phosphine III- 12 and amido phosphine oxide III-11 analogues. The present study outlines the synthesis, isolation and characterization of zincII methyl complexes III-13 and III-14 supported by III-10 and III-12, respectively. The catalytic applications of these complexes in the hydroboration of several organic substrates, including esters, nitriles, and quinoline, have been documented. When esters were subjected to the reaction conditions involving III-14 and HBcat, it was shown that ZnMe2 is formed in situ. It was then established that ZnMe2 was an active catalyst for efficient reduction of esters, resulting in moderate to good yields.
    • The Maillard reaction in traditional method sparkling wine

      Charnock, Hannah M.; Department of Biological Sciences
      The development of “aged” aromas in sparkling wine is often an indicator of quality and is characterized by caramel and toasted qualities. Compounds responsible for these aromas are derived via the Maillard reaction (MR), a non-enzymatic condensation between sugars and amino acids capable of generating a myriad of aroma compounds in a complex reaction cascade. During the production of traditional method sparkling wines, several major aging intervals take place, including the storage of reserve base wines, after the second alcoholic fermentation, and during the storage of finished wines. The work presented in this dissertation investigated the influence of amino acid and sugar precursors, plus the potential catalytic role of metal ions, on the formation of MR-associated products (MRPs) during base wine and sparkling wine aging. Four primary research objectives were addressed. The metal ion content of commercial sparkling wines produced in Niagara was established, and to our knowledge, this study represents the first report on sparkling wine metal profiles. Differences in metal composition were identified between production methods and styles, and calcium and magnesium were confirmed to be the most abundant divalent metal ions, highlighting their candidacy for involvement in MR pathways in wine. In a subsequent study, the influence of calcium and magnesium on the formation of MRPs was assessed in modified base wine treated with varying sugar and amino acid combinations during accelerated aging at 50 degrees C. Aging duration and amino acid additions were primary drivers of variation among MRPs, with calcium and magnesium having a lesser effect. A separate set of studies aimed to identify the impact of different sugar-types in dosage, the final sugar addition during production, on the formation of both MRPs and metabolite levels in sparkling wines during cellar aging. Aging duration had a greater influence on MRP and metabolite composition compared to sugar type, demonstrating that aging conditions for sparkling wine are central to the evolution of the wine matrix. This work contributes novel information to understanding the MR in mild conditions and can inform future research focused on optimizing sparkling wine composition and aging to enhance flavour in accordance with consumer preferences.
    • The Application of Chaos Game Representations and Deep Learning for Grapevine Genetic Testing

      Vu, Andrew; Department of Computer Science
      The identification of grapevine species, cultivars, and clones associated with desired traits such as disease resistance, crop yield, crop quality, etc., is an important component of viticulture. True-to-type identification has proven to be very critical and yet very challenging for grapevine due to the existence of a large number of cultivars and clones and the historical issues of synonyms and homonyms. DNA-based identification, superior to morphology-based methods in accuracy, has been used as the standard genetic testing method, but not without shortcomings. To overcome some of the limitations of the traditional microsatellite-marker based on genetic testing, we explored a whole genome sequencing (WGS)-based approach by taking advantage of the latest next-generation sequencing technologies (NGS) for achieving the best accuracy and better availability at affordable cost. To address the challenges of the extremely high dimensional nature of the WGS data, we examined the effectiveness of using Chaos Game Representation (CGR) for representing the genome sequence data and the use of deep learning in visual analysis for species and cultivar identification. We found that CGR images provide a meaningful way of capturing patterns and motifs for use with visual analysis, with the best prediction results demonstrating a 0.990 mean balanced accuracy in classifying a subset of five species. Our preliminary research highlights the potential for CGR and deep learning as a complementary tool for WGS-based species-level and cultivar-level classification.
    • A Quest for Equity in School Mathematics in Ontario: Connecting Black Secondary Students’ School Experiences and Achievement to Principal Leadership

      Morvan, Jhonel; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education
      Research literature on the mathematics achievement of Black students has mainly come from the United States and focused on achievement gaps with a deficit-based discourse perpetuating racial segregation and racism against Black students. The scarcity of Canadian research on the academic success, or lack thereof, of Black students in school mathematics is staggering. This mixed methods study sought to examine the relationships between the overall school experience (OSE) and the emotional well-being (EWB) of Black secondary students and their achievement in mathematics, and how principal leadership was related to these students’ OSE and EWB. Using a rich dataset from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and semi-structured interviews with five principals and vice-principals, this research employed four critical frameworks (critical social theory, sociocultural theory, critical race theory, and transformative leadership) to argue against this deficit ideology and to position OSE, EWB, and principal leadership as key determinants of Black students’ mathematics achievement. The findings of the study supported that Black students were disproportionately overrepresented in the Grade 9 applied mathematics assessment of the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) and less likely than any other racial groups to meet provincial standards. A binary logistic regression confirmed that a White student at the TDSB is almost four times more likely to meet provincial standards in Grade 9 EQAO mathematics assessment than a Black student. This model also established that both the OSE and the EWB were statistically significant predictors of achievement in the Grade 9 EQAO mathematics assessment. Research participants pointed to principal leadership, curriculum implementation, relationship building, and participation and engagement, among other things, as having the potential to significantly impact Black students’ OSE, EWB, and mathematics achievement. These findings add to the limited literature on Black students’ mathematics achievement and offer a significant contribution to the conversations aiming at challenging all educators, school leaders, and policymakers to address anti-blackness sentiments and anti-Back racism in school mathematics. Lastly, implications of these different results pointed to directions for future research aiming at understanding the situation of Black students in mathematics classes.
    • Effects of cross-fostering on behaviour and neural development in Octodon degus pups

      Attlas, Gurprince; Department of Psychology
      Parental care is essential for social, behavioural, and neural development in offspring. In rodents, parental separation affects the amount of parental care and progression of offspring development. Work to date has focused on maternal and paternal deprivation, but it is unclear how cross-fostering, another form of parental-offspring instability, can affect offspring behaviour and brain development. Stress significantly suppresses neurogenesis and increases inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus, but this can vary between sexes. Octodon degus are highly social rodents with precocial offspring that can receive care from both parents, allowing us to study the effect of early life stress on pup development. This study investigated the effect of cross-fostering on parental care, offspring behaviour and hippocampal development in female and male degus. At postnatal day 8, degus were assigned to either control (pups remained with parents and siblings), partial cross-foster (CF; one pup/litter was cross-fostered), or full CF (the entire litter was cross-fostered). At weaning (5-weeks-old), offspring brains were collected for immunohistochemistry to examine DG volume and expression of immature neurons (using doublecortin, DCX) and microglia (using Iba-1). Partial and full CF did not affect parental care provided by parents compared to controls. In offspring, play fighting behaviour was significantly higher in partial CF females compared to controls. Males initiated play fighting more often than female pups but were not affected by CF. Partial and full CF did not affect the DG volume and optical density of DCX compared to control pups. Full CF pups had fewer ameboid microglia in the dorsal DG compared to controls. In the ventral DG, full CF pups had more intermediate microglia than controls. Our study indicates partial CF affects play fighting behaviour in females, while full CF affects microglia morphology in both sexes suggesting potential changes in hippocampal inflammation and plasticity. This indicates that CF category affects females and males differently depending on the endpoint measured and that these effects do not seem to be associated with changes in parental care. This study contributes to our understanding of how early life environments affect offspring behaviour and brain development in both sexes
    • The Effects of Strength Spotting on Self-Reported Parenting Competence and Parent-Child Relationship Quality in Parents of Autistic Youth

      Yu, Kevin Han Xiang; Center for Applied Disability Studies
      Autism research has often focused on the deficits and challenges experienced by younger children on the spectrum, resulting in the underrepresentation of autistic youth and adolescent populations. Moreover, the emphasis on deficits may negatively impact the quality of parent-child relationships and self-perceived parenting abilities among parents of autistic children. Alternatively, strengths-based interventions such as Strength Spotting may facilitate a shift toward recognizing the positive characteristics of autistic people and benefit families with children on the spectrum. The present pilot study sought to explore the effects of Strength Spotting on parent-child relationship quality and self-reported parenting competence among parents of autistic youth. Nine parents participated in the study, where they learned about and implemented Strength Spotting with their autistic children. We used a pre-post-test design to measure parent-child relationship quality and parenting competence changes. The results revealed non-significant differences in relationship quality, with moderate to large effect sizes suggesting potential improvements. In contrast, parenting competence significantly improved with large effects when comparing pre- and post-intervention stages. Despite the non-significant changes in relationship quality, this study demonstrated high social validity and, to our knowledge, was the first to apply Strength Spotting with parents of youth on the autism spectrum. These preliminary findings hold promise for autistic people and their families, highlighting the importance of recognizing positive behaviours among autistic family members. Furthermore, positively oriented interventions such as Strength Spotting may also have beneficial personal and clinical implications for autistic people and their families.
    • Advancing Resilience and Equity in Canadian Municipal Climate Adaptation

      Lepp, Madison; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
      Effective climate adaptation must build resilience and advance social equity. Most municipalities now recognize the importance of furthering resilience and equity in their climate adaptation planning. To date, however, there has been limited attention to whether municipalities are currently incorporating resilience and equity into their planning and how to assess status and track progress towards resilience and equity in climate adaptation. Accordingly, this research responds to the need to better understand how principles of resilience and equity are articulated in Canadian municipal climate adaptation plans (Study One) and to develop a framework to strengthen resilience and equity in municipal climate adaptation (Study Two). Study One evaluates ten Canadian municipal adaptation plans through a content analysis. Plans were evaluated using a coding protocol consisting of 26 indicators based on 10 principles of resilience and equity. The analysis revealed three key findings that are important for policy and practice: (1) Canadian municipal adaptation plans prioritize resilience over equity, (2) complex theories of resilience were less commonly operationalized, and (3) distributional equity is insufficiently operationalized in Canadian municipal adaptation plans. Study Two conducts a literature review and survey with municipal practitioners (n=15) to develop an index to assess resilience and equity in municipal climate adaptation planning. The Climate Resilience and Equity (CRE) Index is comprised of 10 principles and 26 indicators. The index is a first step in advancing an approach to strengthen our understanding of how indicators of resilience and equity are integrated into municipal adaptation planning. The CRE Index could be used by researchers and practitioners to mainstream resilience and equity in municipal climate adaptation planning and decision-making. Overall findings have many implications for theory and practice including, but not limited to, improved climate adaptation, enhanced community well-being, and the fostering of more inclusive and sustainable urban development. This thesis highlights the value of centring resilience and equity in adaptation planning, emphasizing that a comprehensive approach not only bolsters municipalities' capacity to navigate climate challenges but also contributes to broader societal goals, ensuring that no community is left vulnerable in the face of environmental change.
    • Paper Parks or Protection: Evaluating Atlantic Canada's Marine Protected Areas

      McIntyre, Sydney; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre
      Reversing biodiversity loss is one of society’s most pressing challenges. In response, marine protected areas (MPAs) are arguably one of the most effective conservation solutions. Yet, the outcomes of MPAs are highly variable. Some deliver positive biodiversity outcomes while others are criticized for being “paper parks”; a term used to describe protected areas that are designated on paper but offer little contributions towards the conservation of nature. The current protection levels of Canada’s MPAs are largely unknown. In this major research paper (MRP), I evaluated the protection levels for eight MPAs located in Canada’s Atlantic Ocean. The analysis revealed that over half (62.5%) of Atlantic MPAs are incompatible with conservation due to the heavy presence of offshore oil, fishing, and shipping. These results suggest that enhancing the levels of protection in the MPAs on Canada’s east coast is required for MPAs to contribute effectively to biodiversity conservation and human well-being.
    • Investigating Individual Differences in the Aftereffects of Self-Control Exertion

      Stirpe, Jacob; Department of Psychology
      The aftereffects of self-control exertion have been debated by psychologists over the last two decades. Among those who claim there are aftereffects of self-control exertion, some contend that self-control acts as a limited resource that depletes as you use it (Baumeister, Heatherton, & Tice, 1994), while others suggest that exerting self-control provokes a change in attention and motivation from ‘have-to’ goals to ‘want-to’ goals (Inzlicht & Schmeichel, 2012). Main effects of self-control exertion have been found that support both of these theories, but so have many null results. Individual difference models have rarely been applied to these theories despite the fact that they could potentially account for the mixed pattern of results. Indeed, individual differences in trait approach motivation have been found to moderate the aftereffects of self-control on emotionally neutral cognition tasks but have yet to be investigated in tasks with motivationally salient, approach-related goals or stimuli. The current study looked to investigate how self-control exertion will affect subsequent behaviour in approach-based tasks and whether or not this behaviour is moderated by individual differences in trait approach motivation and/or value driven attention. Across two studies, participants reported trait levels of approach motivation and value-driven attention, were assigned to exert high or low levels of self-control, and were then presented with a gambling task (Study 1) or an RSVP image detection task with low and high approach-motivated images (Study 2). The results did not show evidence of a main effect of self-control exertion in either study, but Study 2 showed some evidence of individual differences in trait approach motivation and self-control exertion interacting to modulate attention to approach-motivated stimuli. Specifically, participants who had just exerted high levels of self-control and were low in trait reward responsiveness showed a greater effect of approach motivated stimuli than those low in reward responsiveness and/or those who did not just exert self-control. The present results fail to provide support for either competing self-control theory but suggest that individual differences can play a significant role in the aftereffects of self-control exertion.