West Chester University
  • West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Recent publications
Background: Health Locus of Control (HLOC) is the degree to which individuals believe that their health outcomes are controlled by 'external' factors - environmental forces, chance, fate, other people, or some higher power - or by 'internal' factors - their own behavior or action. Most of the literature on HLOC associates an Internal Health Locus of Control (IHLOC) to pro-health behaviors and better health outcomes. However, a few studies also suggest that in chronic illnesses, an External Health Locus of Control (EHLOC) could be beneficial with respect to pro-health behaviors and perceptions of Quality of Life (QoL), challenging assumptions about what leads to the most effective psychological coping in the face of difficult circumstances. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic immune condition of the central nervous system and the most frequent cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults, often despite treatment. Method: The primary goal of this non-experimental, cross-sectional, quantitative study of 89 individuals with MS was to explore the HLOC of individuals with MS, and to identify whether holding an EHLOC positively impacts the MS patients' perceived QoL while taking into consideration their level of disability. Results: This research found that individuals with higher disability scores tended to hold more EHLOC beliefs, and that there was a significant correlation between QoL and holding EHLOC beliefs. Conclusion: This study was able to capture the importance of control beliefs in the QoL of individuals with MS with higher disability. The clinical implications of the findingare explored and areas for further research are suggested.
Abstract Comprehensive understanding of evolution is essential to full and meaningful engagement with issues facing societies today. Yet this understanding is challenged by lack of acceptance of evolution as well as misconceptions about how evolution works that persist even after student completion of college-level life science courses. Recent research has suggested that active learning strategies, a focus on science as process, and directly addressing misconceptions can improve students’ understanding of evolution. This paper describes an innovative, inquiry-based laboratory curriculum for introductory biological anthropology employing these strategies that was implemented at West Chester University (WCU) in 2013–2016. The key objectives were to help students understand how biological anthropologists think about and explore problems using scientific approaches and to improve student understanding of evolution. Lab activities centered on scenarios that challenged students to solve problems using the scientific method in a process of guided inquiry. Some of these activities involved application of DNA techniques. Formative and summative learning assessments were implemented to measure progress toward the objectives. One of these, a pre- and post-course evolution concepts survey, was administered at WCU (both before and after the implementation of the new curriculum) and at three other universities with more standard introductory biological anthropology curricula. Evolution survey results showed greater improvement in understanding from pre- to post-course scores for WCU students compared with students at the comparison universities (p
The impact of reduced social contact on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic has been identified as a major public health concern. While personality factors such as attachment style have been associated with psychological distress during the pandemic, the longitudinal relevance of these factors and the role of daily social contact in mitigating distress remains poorly understood. This study evaluated the impact of social contact and attachment style on changes in loneliness over an 8-week experience sampling period during the COVID-19 pandemic. A general adult sample (n = 184) recruited online completed measures of psychological distress, attachment, and loneliness via smartphone. Loneliness and daily social contact were assessed twice per week for eight weeks, yielding 1124 unique observations. During the experience sampling period, proximal increases in loneliness were associated with decreased daily in-person contact. In contrast, participants who described themselves as having fewer interactions via text, phone, or videoconferencing, as well as those with higher anxious and avoidant attachment traits, reported greater experiences of loneliness over time. These findings suggest the relevance of both enduring personality characteristics and daily social behaviors as risk factors for loneliness during the pandemic, pointing to potential targets for clinical intervention and future empirical study.
The impact of legislation in shaping social norms has captured both scholarly and practitioner attention in the past decades. However, limited understanding exists on how social legislation can create economic value for firms and thereby strengthen the business case for such legislation. We attempt to theorize and test this phenomenon in the context of marriage equality. We first attempt to understand the role of state-wise same-sex marriage social legislation on financial performance of firms headquartered in states where the legislation is passed. Adapting the model of institutional racism to the context of heterosexism, we then develop a framework to examine the role of societal-cultural, institutional, and individual factors in shaping the effect of state-wise same-sex marriage legislation on firm performance. In a sample of publicly traded U.S. firms, we conduct a difference-in-difference analysis to test and find support for our arguments.
Extending research on realistic job previews (RJPs) and signaling theory, we propose realistic previews of onboarding as an essential, but often overlooked, component of RJPs, particularly in situations for which there may be unique, challenging, or displeasing aspects of the newcomer onboarding experience. Using a sample of over 200 working adults in various industries, we empirically tested two mechanisms explaining the effects of realistic onboarding preview during the recruitment phase—the self-selection effect and adjustment of expectations effect—in a randomized vignette experiment. We found realistic previews of a potentially disagreeable onboarding period increased withdrawal of candidacy decisions of participants and lowered their expectations. Our findings suggest that a realistic onboarding preview as part of the RJP has a significant impact on both the decision to stay in (vs. drop out of) a candidate pool as well as candidates’ expectations regarding the hiring organization.
Ecosystems in the Anthropocene face pressures from multiple, interacting forms of environmental change. These pressures, resulting from land use change, altered hydrologic regimes, and climate change, will likely change the synchrony of ecosystem processes as distinct components of ecosystems are impacted in different ways. However, discipline-specific definitions and ad hoc methods for identifying synchrony and asynchrony have limited broader synthesis of this concept among studies and across disciplines. Drawing on concepts from ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, and biogeochemistry, we offer a unifying definition of synchrony for ecosystem science and propose a classification framework for synchrony and asynchrony of ecosystem processes. This framework classifies the relationships among ecosystem processes according to five key aspects: (1) the focal variables or relationships representative of the ecosystem processes of interest, (2) the spatial and temporal domain of interest, (3) the structural attributes of drivers and focal processes, (4) consistency in the relationships over time, and (5) the degree of causality among focal processes. Using this classification framework, we identify and differentiate types of synchrony and asynchrony, thereby providing the basis for comparing among studies and across disciplines. We apply this classification framework to existing studies in the ecological, hydrologic, geomorphic, and biogeochemical literature and discuss potential analytical tools that can be used to quantify synchronous and asynchronous processes. Furthermore, we seek to promote understanding of how different types of synchrony or asynchrony may shift in response to ongoing environmental change by providing a universal definition and explicit types and drivers with this framework.
Flashy hydrology and high solute loads in stormflow are well-studied effects of the built environment on urban streams. The physical and chemical interactions between inflowing stormwater of urban streams and their termination in large impoundments, however, is poorly understood. Determining the spatial distribution of urban stormwater in reservoirs is an important step in understanding the effects of the heat and contaminant loads in these systems, which provide multiple services for adjacent cities. Here, we show that signals of stormwater from a small urban stream can propagate more than 800 m from the stream mouth. Stormflow can also break down the thermal stratification that exists during non-storm periods. Because the relative volume of inflowing water relative to stored water in a reservoir embayment determines the distance stormwater propagates, management of both the urban landscape (which affects runoff volumes) and of reservoir water levels affects the spatial footprint of urban stormwater. The physical and chemical effects of stormwater may have significant implications for nutrient and pollutant transport through and biogeochemical reactions in reservoirs, as well as habitat for organisms and processing of organic matter and greenhouse gases in these dynamic ecosystems.
The conformational change of poly (methacrylic acid) (PMAA) at various pH values is well studied; however, the application of PMAA in the field of analytical chemistry has been very limited. This investigation takes advantage of the conformational change of PMAA at various pH levels and the conformational change induced by metal ions. By adjusting the pH, thiophene-phenylanilide-acridinium molecules can serve as a turn-on sensor for Hg²⁺ ions. In pH 7.4 buffer with PMAA molecules, the sensor is selectively turned on by Hg²⁺ ions to display strong charge shift state (CSH) emission at 560 nm. The intensity shows linear response to the concentration of Hg²⁺ ions between 0.020 mM to 0.151 mM with a detection limit in nanomolar range. The quantum yield of sensor molecules in PMAA/mercury (II) mixture at near neutral pH is comparable to that in PMAA solution in acidic condition without mercury (II) ions. The effect of pH, temperature, polymer size, and polymer concentration on emission intensity were investigated. The sensor showed excellent percent recovery (98.4% to 103%) of spiked mercury (II) ions in real water samples. The sensing mechanism is likely through intrachain and interchain coordination of mercury (II) ions with the carboxyl groups on the side chain of PMAA to induce an extended coil conformation of PMAA. Calculations support the conclusion that the size and geometry of the binding sites formed inside PMAA are suitable to incorporate sensor molecules, suppress photo-induced electron transfer pathway, and enhance the charge shift state emission of sensor molecules.
The study of biological form is a vital goal of evolutionary biology and functional morphology. We review an emerging set of methods that allow scientists to create and study accurate 3D models of living organisms and animate those models for biomechanical and fluid dynamic analyses. The methods for creating such models include 3D photogrammetry, laser and CT-scanning, and 3D software. New multi-camera devices can be used to create accurate 3D models of living animals in the wild and captivity. New websites and virtual reality/augmented reality devices now enable the visualization and sharing of these data. We provide examples of these approaches for animals ranging from large whales to lizards and show applications for several areas: Natural history collections; body condition/scaling, bioinspired robotics, computational fluids dynamics (CFD), machine learning, and education. We provide two data sets to demonstrate the efficacy of CFD and machine learning approaches and conclude with a prospectus.
Objective To characterize Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (UCPPS) pain and urinary symptom trajectories with up to 9 years of follow-up and evaluate whether initial 1-year trajectories are associated with longer-term changes. Materials and Methods Data were analyzed from the Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Chronic Pelvic Pain (MAPP) Network's prospective observational protocols including the Epidemiology and Phenotyping Study (EPS; baseline to Year 1), EPS Extension (EXT; Years 1-5), and Symptom Patterns Study (SPS: 3-year study; Years 3-9). Adults with Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Syndrome or Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome provided patient-reported assessments biweekly (EPS), every 4 months (EXT), or quarterly (SPS). Primary outcomes were composite pain (0-28) and urinary (0-25) severity scores. Multi-phase mixed effects models estimated outcomes over time, adjusted for baseline severity and stratified by EPS symptom trajectory. Results 163 participants (52% women; mean ± SD age 46.4 ± 16.1 years) completed EPS and enrolled in EXT; 67 also enrolled in SPS. Median follow-up was 4.6 years (range 1.3-9.0). After 1 year: 27.6%, 44.8% and 27.6% and 27.0%, 38.0% and 35.0% were improved, stable or worse in pain and urinary symptom severity, respectively. On average, pain and urinary symptom scores did not change further during EXT and SPS periods. Conclusions Women and men with UCPPS showed remarkable stability in pain and urinary symptom severity for up to 9 years, irrespective of their initial symptom trajectory, suggesting UCPPS is a chronic condition with stable symptoms over multiple years of follow-up.
In nature, many animals dive into water at high speeds, e.g., humans dive from cliffs, birds plunge, and aquatic animals porpoise and breach. Diving provides opportunities for animals to find prey and escape from predators and is a source of great excitement for humans. However, diving from high platforms can cause severe injuries to a diver. In this study, we demonstrate how similarity in the morphology of diving fronts unifies the slamming force across diving animals and humans. By measuring a time-averaged impulse that increases linearly with the impact height, we are able to estimate the unsteady hydrodynamic forces that an average human body experiences during the slamming phase of a feet-first, hand-first, or head-first dive. We evaluate whether the unsteady forces put the diver at risk of muscle or bone injuries for a particular diving height. Therefore, this study sheds light on a hydrodynamics-based protocol for safe high diving and an evolutionary driver for animal morphology.
Purpose The persistent requirement of self-management for diabetes impacts quality of life (QoL), yet the literature for impact of diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) on QoL in youth has not been synthesized and reported. The purpose of this review was to systematically identify and describe the state of the science exploring the impact of DSMES on self-reported QoL in youth with type 1 diabetes (T1DM) or type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Methods A modified Cochrane review was conducted. Retained studies were published in the English language between January 1, 2007, and March 31, 2020. Included studies specified that the intervention had diabetes education addressing at least 1 or more of The Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists’ ADCES7 Self-Care Behaviors TM (ADCES7™) and used an established self-reported QoL measure. Retained studies were assessed for risk of bias. Results Eleven studies reported in 12 articles were retained. The interventions were primarily delivered to youth with T1DM or T2DM and included caregivers/families in some studies. The ADCES7™ were addressed across the retained studies. Five of the 11 studies assessed QoL as the primary outcome and 6 studies as a secondary outcome. Conclusion To enhance the QoL outcomes and to provide insight into how to positively impact self-perceptions of QoL, ongoing generic and diabetes-specific QoL assessments are warranted for youth with T1DM or T2DM. Further research is needed in structured DSMES programs to help reduce variability in research designs, methods, measures, and outcomes to generate evidence for best practices that can be translated and disseminated into real-world settings.
This study investigates the identity development of teacher leaders in an, urban school district who participated in a Noyce Master Teaching Fellow, program. We identify tensions that arose from involvement in this, external community of practice (CoP) and changes in teacher leader, meanings and practices in their school CoPs. Qualitative key findings, indicate that as boundary crossers, (1) teacher leader activities surfaced, tensions between CoPs, promoting boundary competence, and (2), participation in an external CoP reshaped their identities, especially as, mentors. Implications include recognizing that external CoPs can support, learning mechanisms for addressing educational issues, for example, teacher, retention.
This study is an Asian ecofeminist reading of two Great Mother Goddesses, Seolmundae (the Creator of Jeju Island in Korea) and Nüwa (the Protector Goddess of Chinese mythology). Nüwa (yin) cannot be reduced to just a counter part of Fuxi (yang) while Seolmundae cannot be shadowed as one of many other creation myths. Rather, they are the Great Mother, the Divine Feminine as the fecundity of Life, the healing Spirit, and the caring Heart which we have to discover and rescue from our forgotten histories to transform violent culture into caring and healing culture. The purpose of this study is to say yes to salim (enlivening, healing, caring-Life with a capital L) and to say no to disruptions of Life (war, violence, destroying nature) as we witness the physical and spiritual sufferings and degradation caused by oppression of those that rendered subaltern. Discovering the Goddess is our ethical imperative for expanding healing culture and loving nature and recognizing the agencies/subjectivities of the subaltern, including Asian women and nature.
Social workers and public health professionals in the U.S. were profoundly impacted by COVID-19, systemic racism, and the 2020 U.S. presidential election. This study examined their external job support, burnout, and job satisfaction in the context of these circumstances. The findings suggest respondents, who had graduate degrees in social work or public health, overemphasized their job satisfaction and underemphasized their burnout. While social work and public health professionals felt satisfied with their labor, not acknowledging burnout limits the amount of support they may access to effectively continue the work. Interestingly, participants who had more administrative functions reported higher job satisfaction scores and lower burnout scores. Traditionally, those in administrative positions have more control over their schedule and work responsibilities. Findings suggest that more training, opportunities for self-care, and discussions about safety and systemic racism are needed in the workplace for social workers and public health professionals.
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2,521 members
O.R. Pagan
  • Department of Biology
Julie Tennille
  • Graduate Social Work Department
Anil K Kandalam
  • Department of Physics
James Mc Laughlin
  • Department of Mathematics
Melissa A Whidden
  • Department of Kinesiology
700 South High St., 19383, West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Head of institution
Greg R. Weisenstein