Honours Theses

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Honours theses authored by undergraduate students in Department of Psychology.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 7
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    An Evaluation of the Paths Curriculum in the Context of Theories of Social-Emotional Development
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2019-10) Foley, Bláthnaid
    Experiencing trauma, particularly within the primary caregiving environment can have a negative effect on the development of social-emotional skills, particularly self-regulation in children. School success is dependent upon social-emotional skills making it important for schools to have programs that teach social-emotional skills. PATHS is a social-emotional learning program widely used in schools in Nova Scotia. The study examined whether PATHS is a good curriculum to use in schools with children who have experienced trauma using a framework based on research about social-emotional learning and the developmental needs of traumatized children identified by the Attachment Regulation Competency (ARC) model. In general, the PATHS curriculum introduces social-emotional skills in a manner that could be beneficial for all students, but additional supports would likely be needed to address the individual areas of competency and difficulty and build the necessary skills of children who have experienced trauma. Recommendations are about implementing PATHS in a real school environment.
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    Evidence Based Best Practices in the Teaching of Written Expression: Implications for the Atlantic Provinces Educational Outcomes
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2013) Roberts, Crystal D.
    This thesis examined evidence-based best practices in the teaching of written expression in two phases. The first phase, linked evidence-based research on writing instruction directly to Atlantic Canada Curriculum outcomes (Grades 4-6) in writing. In the second phase, the Teaching in Action document (Nova Scotia Department of Education, 2007) was analyzed to determine the nature of evidence for the components of effective instruction as explained by the Learning Oriented Teaching (LOT) model (Cate, Snell, Mann, & Vermunt, 2004). Effective components in instruction include the development of basic writing skills, metacognitive skills, motivation and the gradual release of responsibility from teacher to student. This thesis can benefit Nova Scotia teachers as it can serve as a clear and simple reference that links empirically supported teaching practices to curriculum outcomes. It also provides recommendations to enrich outcomes within the English language arts curriculum.
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    Validation and Characterization of a New Attention Task in Typically Developing Children and Adolescents
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2012-09) Fisher, Megan Joan
    Research has shown that our attentional system is comprised of three different networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control. While much research has been completed on these attentional networks, studies have most often employed the Attention Network Task (ANT). Even though the ANT is widely used in attentional research and has been revised, modified and/or adapted to be child-friendly, the fact remains that it has several psychometric and methodologically limitations. The purpose of the present study was to examine the validity of the Combined Attentional Systems Task (CAST), a new attentional task developed in response to the limitations of the ANT. A total of twenty-four typically developing children and adolescents (ages 8-16) completed the CAST. Overall, results yielded the expected main effects for orienting, alerting and executive control. Age effects were also found for participant reaction times for orienting and executive control. These findings provide support for the validity of the CAST in the age range examined in the current study.
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    Linking recommendations from psycho-educational reports to curriculum outcomes for the Atlantic Provinces: Examining evidence-based practices in reading instruction.
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2008-08) Kara K., MacLeod-MacDougall
    This thesis examined evidence-based practices in instruction for students struggling to acquire reading skills. These practices were then used to formulate recommendations which relate to the Atlantic Canada English language arts curriculum outcomes. The two main purposes for this thesis were to better inform school psychologists and teachers about evidence-based practices in reading instruction for students who struggle with reading; and to relate psycho-educational recommendations to the curriculum outcomes provided in the Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum, both in the Elementary K-3 (e.g., New Brunswick Department of Education Curriculum Development Branch, 1998) and Grades 4-6 (e.g., Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture, 1998) documents.
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    Sleep Assessment in the Practice of School Psychology
    (Mount Saint Vincent University, 2012-08) Abbass, Jennifer
    Objective: The purpose of this thesis was to explore the sleep assessment and intervention practices of school psychologists in Nova Scotia, and to identify the sleep education they received during their school psychology training. Methods: Through an on-line questionnaire, school psychologists answered questions regarding the frequency with which they take a sleep history with students and caregivers, the frequency with which recommendations are made regarding sleep behaviours, and the types of recommendations made. The participants’ education in sleep assessment and interventions was obtained. Demographic information, including gender, number of years in practice, and parental status, was also obtained. In addition, participants completed the HEXACO, a measure of personality traits. Results: 97% of the 30 participants indicated that they received no training in sleep assessment or interventions for sleep problems during their education. The largest groups of respondents reported taking sleep histories with students, and also with caregivers, only 0-20% of the time. The large majority (76%) of participants indicated they make recommendations involving sleep behaviours 0%-20% of the time. There were no gender differences in sleep assessment and intervention practices. The frequency with which school psychologists make sleep behaviour recommendations differed significantly between parents and non-parents and also correlated significantly with field experience. Parental status, years of experience and HEXACO personality variables did not show a significant relationship with sleep assessment practices. Conclusion: These results highlight the importance of strengthening the sleep curriculum within school psychology programs, and provide a strong, quantifiable, case for supporting continuing professional development in the area of sleep.