Author Archives: Susan

Dr. Charles Figley Named Distinguished Psychologist for 2021

Dr. Charles Figley, the Paul Henry Kurzweg Distinguished Chair in Disaster Mental Health,  Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Tulane School of Social Work, and Director of  the Tulane’s award-winning Traumatology Institute, has been named the 2021 Distinguished  Psychologist by the Louisiana Psychological Association (LPA).

LPA Awards Chair, Dr. Laurel Franklin noted that Dr. Figley has exhibited “…exemplary contributions to Psychology. We were especially impressed with the breath of your mentorship,  clinical, and research endeavors in the area of trauma and trauma-related disorders.”

Dr. Figley has served as co-founder of two graduate programs at Tulane. He served as Founding Program Director of Tulane’s Master of Science degree in Disaster Resilience Leadership Program and as Founding Program Director of the City, Culture, and Community PhD Program.

“I was shocked and delighted to be named Distinguished Psychologist by the State Association,”  said Dr. Figley. “Thank you so much. This is among the most welcomed and prized awards I  have received. I am too old to cry but never too old to scream with delight!”

Included among his many accomplishments, Dr. Figley has served on the American  Psychological Association (APA) Council of Representatives and on the Executive Council of  APA’s Division on Trauma Psychology.

He has served on numerous editorial boards including for Family, Systems, and Health, Journal  of Family Psychology, and Traumatology. He is founding editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, the Journal of Family Psychotherapy, and the international journal, Traumatology. He is also Founding Editor of the Book Series Death and Trauma, Innovations in Psychology, and  continues to as Editor of the Psychosocial Stress Book Series.

He has published more 160 refereed journal articles and 25 books as pioneer trauma scholar  and practitioner.

His Encyclopedia of Trauma was named as an Outstanding Academic Title for the 2013-2014  Academic year by Choice, a publication of the American Library Association. The work is an interdisciplinary guide, bringing together concepts from the humanities, all of the social  sciences, and most of the professional fields, for understanding human responses to traumatic events.

His newest book is Psychiatric Casualties: How and Why the Military Ignores the Full Cost of  War, co-authored with Mark C. Russell and published by Columbia University Press.

The authors write, “The psychological toll of war is vast, and the social costs of war’s psychiatric  casualties extend even further.  

Yet military mental health care suffers from extensive waiting lists, organizational scandals,  spikes in veteran suicide, narcotic over-prescription, shortages of mental health professionals,  and inadequate treatment. The prevalence of conditions such as post–traumatic stress disorder is often underestimated, and there remains entrenched stigma and fear of being diagnosed.  Even more alarming is how the military dismisses or conceals the significance and extent of the  mental health crisis.”

Dr. Figley’s Encyclopedia was one of the sources for Tulane’s “MOOC,” one of Figley’s many  innovations at Tulane. An MOOC, sor  Massive Open Online Course, is a trend in higher education that allows for online enrollment extending to other states and even other nations.  Figley’s training invention was the first free course in the world about trauma, and the first MOOC for Tulane.

“It’s the first of its kind anywhere,” said Dr. Figley in a previous interview. “The original MOOC  model was flawed. MOOCs were simply the traditional classroom structure…” They were often  only videotaped lectures moved online and free. But, “They were boring, rigid, and rather  inflexible,” he explained. “We chose to invent a new platform that would make it easier and  more fun for students to use all platforms––ipad, smartphones, computers––to access all  course material, when they wanted it, where they wanted it, and we made it much more  interactive and engaging,” he said.

Dr. Figley has made training others a key element of his vision. He has regularly presented at  the American Psychological Association and regional associations topics such as, “First Do No  Self-Harm––Self-Care Strategies for Psychologists Working with Trauma Survivors,” “Compassion  Fatigue and Promoting Regeneration in Psychologists” and “Stress Management  skills and Developing a Self-Care Plan.”

“Burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, and secondary traumatic stress reactions are  frequently found among psychologists and others who deliver humane human services,” said  Figley. “These problems are an indication of low resilience that can be corrected with proper training for workers and their supervisors. I love helping in this way,” he told the Times.

Dr. Figley enjoys, “A sense of satisfaction of informing psychology and helping psychologists.  Also, I learn lots from practitioners struggling with critical issues never addressed by researchers,” he explained.

Figley’s book First Do No SELF Harm has garnered high praise, “… because it addresses–– finally––the high prices physicians and medical students pay in managing work-related stress,”  he explained.

His work he has had far-reaching influence. In 2018 Dr. Figley and Reggie Ferreir, Director of  the Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, visited Puerto Rico to assess the status of the area  after one year following landfall of the Category 4 hurricane, Maria. Reported by Tulane magazine, the two were working with the Foundation for Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization,  to promote economic and social development.

Figley and Ferreira helped assess the area’s needs in disaster recovery and mental health  services, and also trained organizational leaders in disaster resilience and leadership for recovery.

He is a former professor at both Purdue University (1974-1989) and Florida State University  (1989-2008) and former Fulbright Fellow and Visiting Distinguished Professor at the Kuwait  University (2003-2004). In 2014 Dr. Figley received the John Jay College of Criminal Justice  honorary degree of doctor of letters, honoris causa.

Dr. Figley notes on his website that he has many passions, among these is social justice with  special focus on those overlooked: “This passion emerged in high school, continued during his  service in the US Marine Corps, especially his war service in Vietnam where he worked with his  high school in Springboro, Ohio to collect and ship several tons of school and hygiene supplies  to his Marine unit in Da Nang for distribution to the children at the Catholic orphanage and  school.

After graduation he spent considerable time as a volunteer and as a scholar to help war  veterans cope with their mental health, disaster survivors, secondary trauma survivors, and others who experienced traumatic stress injuries. He continues his humanitarian efforts today,  focusing inequities in the treatment of Native Americans, torture trauma survivors, and the  elimination of on trauma stigma.”

Dr. Figley and wife Dr. Kathy Regan Figley own and operate the Figley Institute, a professional  training company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gov. Signs Budget Bill, Investing in Higher Education

In June, Gov. Edwards signed the budget bill, announcing that the measure invests in many of  the Governor’s key priorities, including increased funding for education, promoting continued  economic recovery from the pandemic, and creating substantial new investments in  infrastructure. 

“In terms of higher education,” said the Governor, “the budget supports a $19.8 million faculty  pay raise, and additional $14.5 million in the funding formula for both four and two year  institutions, fully funds TOPS as well as a historic $11.1 million increase in GO Grant funding. All of this is critical to supporting our educational systems as we come out of a challenging year  and creating first class learning environments in Louisiana,” the Governor said.

According to the press release, Louisiana’s budget uses federal coronavirus recovery dollars in the state’s ongoing response and long-term resurgence following the pandemic, without  creating structural budget issues in the future. Because of these increased revenues, teachers  will receive an $800 pay raise and school support workers will receive a $400 pay raise. These raises are not enough, said the Governor, but they are another critical step forward in reaching our goal of getting teacher pay back to the Southern regional average.

“The budget I signed today is a far cry from past years, thanks to increased revenues and additional federal funding to support the state’s recovery from the pandemic,” Gov. Edwards said. “It makes significant investments in education at every level, provides support for families  on Medicaid, those living with disabilities, foster families and adoptive parents working with the  Department of Children and Family Services, and promotes access to important services for the  elderly. It invests in infrastructure, economic development, public safety and our continued  efforts to reform Louisiana’s criminal justice system.

“Thanks to bipartisan cooperation and a commitment to responsible budgeting, Louisiana  enters the next fiscal year more resilient and ready to resume robust economic growth.”

In related news, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) pointed out its list of  bills passed by the legislature that LABI leaders said can change the Louisiana business climate  for the better.

“This has been an extremely collaborative session where legislators worked together to develop innovative solutions for the good of the people of Louisiana,” said Stephen Waguespack,  resident of LABI.

The association pointed out positive legislation for tax reform, transportation infrastructure funding, school choice appeals process, school funding transparency, paycheck protection, and  a ban on deceptive attorney advertising. 

“The bills passed this session— with great bi-partisan support— will untangle Louisiana’s confusing tax code and improve the business climate for those in our state as well as those looking to invest here. While tax reform and infrastructure funding were front-and-center in the public’s eye this session, we can’t overlook some of these long-sought solutions to problems  plaguing our business community. These are major milestones on the path toward economic  opportunity in Louisiana,” said Waguespack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legislature Closes Shop June 10, Gov. Signs HB 477 into Act 238

House Bill 477, put forth by the state psychology board, was signed by the Governor on June 11  and became Act 238. The new law goes into effect August 1, 2021.

Act 238 allows the state psychology board to charge a registration fee for each assistant to a  psychologist, not exceed $50.

Also, the board will be able to charge an application and renewal fee, up to $250, to an  individual who sponsors a continuing professional development (CPD) course or activity and seeks pre-approval. A licensee who seeks pre-approval of a CPD course can be charged $25.

Act 238 also allows the board to charge “reasonable” fees for a CPD activity which may be  offered, sponsored, or co-sponsored by the board.

The board will be able to charge up to $200 for special services such as applications for  authority to conduct telesupervision, for emeritus status, for written or computer-generated  license verifications, or mailing lists.

The measure, authored by Rep. Joe Stagni, was a compromise measure following the  downsizing of a 23-page bill introduced by the psychology board in 2020 and then again this  year. Under pressure from opponents, the board agreed to substitute a “fee bill,” telling sources that without the increased fees the board would not be able to operate in the future.

On the Senate floor, an amendment was attached to the bill by Alexandria Sen. Jay Luneau to  rename the 2009 Act 251. Luneau’s amendment renames Act No. 251 of the 2009 Regular  Session “The Dr. James W. Quillin, MP, Medical Psychology Practice Act.”

The Legislative Fiscal Office note indicates that Act 238 changes should total to $78,750 per  year. The office estimates that $50,000 of this amount will come from continuing professional  development preapproval applications. The Office also estimates initial registration of  unlicensed assistants will grow to 420 and produce revenue of $21,000.

According to the explanation from the Fiscal Office, estimates and reasoning included:

“(1) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Preapproval Applications: 200*$250=
$50,000-$50,000 is presumed based on 1/3 of total revenue for CPD Sponsor preapprovals  observed by the Physical Therapy Board, which has three times as many licensees and requires  the same number of CPD hours.

“(5) Annual Renewal of Registration of Unlicensed Assistant: 420*$50 = $21,000 -LBEP [sic] cites  a 2019 survey where 1/6 of LA licensees report the use of 70 assistants, thus 70*6=420…”

 

 

 

 

 

Gov. Edwards Vetoes Sen. Mizell’s Bill on Women’s Sports

On June 22, Gov. Edwards announced he had vetoed Senate Bill 156 authored by Sen. Beth Mizell during the 2021 Regular Legislative Session. The bill, known as the Fairness in Women’s  Sports Act, sought to prevent transgender girls and women from participating on athletic teams or in sporting events designated for girls or women at elementary, secondary and  postsecondary schools. Gov. Edwards issued the following statement:

“As I have said repeatedly when asked about this bill, discrimination is not a Louisiana value,  and this bill was a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist in Louisiana. Even  the author of the bill acknowledged throughout the legislative session that there wasn’t a single  case where this was an issue.

Further, it would make life more difficult for transgender children, who are some of the most vulnerable Louisianans when it comes to issues of mental health. We should be looking for  more ways to unite rather than divide our citizens. And while there is no issue to be solved by  this bill, it does present real problems in that it makes it more likely that NCAA and professional  championships, like the 2022 Final Four, would not happen in our state. For these and for other reasons, I have vetoed the bill.”

Senator Beth Mizell’s controversial SB 156, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act”, passed both  chambers. The final passage in the House on May 27 was 78 yeas, 19 nays, and 8 absent. The Senate vote was 29 yeas, 6 nays, and 4 absent. It has been sent to the Governor.

During the process numerous co-authors signed onto the measure.

The measure would have required an athletic team or sporting event sponsored by an  elementary, secondary, or postsecondary educational institution to be designated, based upon  the biological sex of team members, as only one of the following:

(1) A males’, boys’, or men’s team;
(2) A females’, girls’, or women’s team;
(3) A coeducational or mixed team or event for students who are biological males or biological  females.

SB 156 would have prohibited a team designated for females, girls, or women from being open  to students who are not biologically female.

Quo Vadis, Aida?

A Review

by Alvin G. Burstein

In Michael Ignatieff’s 1993 book, Blood and Belonging, he explores a phenomenon described by Freud in his 1921 essay, Group Psychology, i.e., the capacity for closely related peoples to hate one another. Ignatieff chose to examine that notion by interviewing individuals in several  contemporary warring groups, including those in the conflict-ridden Balkans after the collapse  of soviet Yugoslavia.

Jasmila Zbanic provides a riveting representation of the havoc that the phenomenon wrought in her 2020 war film, Quo Vadis, Aida?, now available on Amazon Prime. A fictional account, it memorializes the tragedy that unfolded when, in 1995, an element of the Serb army stormed  into the “safe haven” that the United Nations had established in Srebrenica, and carried out an ethnic “cleansing” of the largely Muslim refugees there. Over eight thousand men, women and  children were killed over the next few days.

Zbanic focuses on Aida Selmangic, an erstwhile schoolteacher, working as an interpreter for the UN forces policing the supposed safe zone. The film opens on a meeting of the UN colonel, Karremans, with the mayor of the city. The UN commander is attempting to reassure the mayor that the UN and NATO are committed to ensuring the safe status of the city by instituting air strikes if the Serbian forces violate the UN designation of the city’s safe zone status. Thousands  of refugees, including Aida’s husband and two sons, are pouring into Srebrenica and pleading  for admission to the already overcrowded UN compound. Aida manages to locate her family in  the crowd and uses her status to get them admitted into the facility, persuading Kerremans that her husband, multilingual and highly educated, would be useful as a negotiator with the leader  of the Serb army forces, General Mladic.

As Mladic is leading his marauding forces through the city and toward the UN encampment, Kerremans tries vainly to have the UN/NATO forces initiate the promised airstrikes. His  entreaties fall on deaf bureaucratic ears. Mladic meets with local negotiators, including Aida’s  husband, and promises to help the refugees find a safe place elsewhere. The general sends a team to examine those in the UN encampment to make sure that none there are armed and,  ultimately, sends buses to collect the refugees, separating the women and children from the men. Realizing that Mladic’s assurances are lies, Aida tries frantically to have her husband and  son included with the UN staff evacuating the facility. The UN leaders refuse to help her, even  when she falls on her knees to plead.

Her husband and sons are bundled onto a carrier with other men and herded into a building  where they are machine-gunned.

Years later, after the war and the grisly genocide has run its course, Aida returns to Srebrenica and her role as a teacher. She returns to her old apartment  to find it occupied by a young Serbian woman. Aida asks her if she found any of her pictures in  the apartment and is given a packet of photos. She tells the new tenant that she intends to  resume her residency.

Later, we see Aida walking through a room containing the remains of bodies found in mass  graves. She is able to recognize what is left of her family and collapses in grief. Later still, we see her at her school teaching her class and watching her students—pre-teens—in a dramatic  presentation in which they dance and alternately cover and expose their eyes. Seeing and not-seeing seems fraught with a meaning that the film’s audience must construe. What occurred to  me was this: Some things are so overwhelming that they can only be glimpsed, not stared at.  This is not an easy film to watch, but it is one that is important to see and to remember.

Stress Solutions

Today’s Pregnant Woman Has More to Manage

That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you
cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.
~ Chinese proverb

A friend who was about to become a grandmother for the first time told me of her fears about her daughter’s pregnancy. The doctor was concerned about an early or premature delivery. My  friend confided to me that she was worried that this had something to do with her daughter  being a Type A personality and continuing to work long hours at her job. “Could someone under  that much pressure,” she asked, “expect to have a normal baby?”

My friend wasn’t worried about whether her daughter’s child would have ten fingers and toes,  two eyes and ears, and a nose. She wondered about the baby’s disposition, ability to rest, and  overall health and wellbeing. Intuitively, my friend understood what research is now  confirming:  too much stress during pregnancy, if not properly managed, can affect the baby’s  development in a number of ways. Stress, for example, is now recognized as a primary factor in preterm birth as well as a number of other later childhood problems.

The notion that modern generations are busier and handle more tasks at the same time than  past generations is not only supported by research; it is common sense. While we may not need to plow the fields and do the wash by hand, we are juggling more variables, processing more  information, and facing increasing psychological demands as our society becomes more  technologically advanced. In our fast-paced lives, things change around us rapidly. Change itself is a significant cause of stress because when something in our environment changes, we are  compelled to change our behavior. And changing our behavior can be an emotional event often accompanied by fear, anxiety, and even anger.

One of the things my friends’ daughter did when she became pregnant was to examine lists of  physical and mental symptoms of stress like the one below. This was the first exercise she did  to become more aware of her reactions to the day’s events. These aren’t the only symptoms of  a stressful lifestyle, but hopefully you will find this exercise helpful to help you recognize when  your tension is mounting.

Considering that many people have a misperception of how well they are handling the rising  stress in their lives, how well do you know yourself? Do you find yourself. .?

__ Holding your breath under tension               __ Rapidly shaking your foot while sitting
__ Now and then taking a sudden deep sigh    __ Being very fidgety or irritable
__ Having a racing heart or sweaty palms         __ Jumping to loud or unexpected noises
__ Clenching or wringing your hands                 __ Trembling all over

 

LSBEP Legislation Passes Senate with Some “Work”

House Bill 477, the legislation put forth by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, passed out of the Senate committee after amendments were agreed on and several Senators had their questions answered. The measure passed the Senate floor on May  26 with a vote of 37 to 0.

The measure, authored by Representative Joe Stagni, was a compromise measure following the  downsizing of a 23-page bill introduced by the psychology board in 2020 and then again this  year. Under pressure from opponents, the board agreed to substitute a fee bill, telling sources  that without the increased fees the board would not be able to operate in the future. This  message resonated with the majority of those attending a special meeting of the Louisiana Psychological Association called for by petition of those opposing the measure.

On the Senate floor, an amendment was attached to the bill by Alexandria Sen. Jay Luneau to  rename the 2009 Act 251. Luneau’s amendment names Act No. 251 of the 2009 Regular Session  “The Dr. James W. Quillin, MP, Medical Psychology Practice Act.” This came after the unexpected passing of Dr. Quillin, also from the Alexandria Pineville area, on May 25. The  amendment appeared to prompt numerous additional authors to sign on to the measure.

The digest of the bill as finally passed by the Senate includes the following:

• adds that the board shall charge an application fee for each assistant to a psychologist that  shall not exceed $50;

• adds that the board shall set a renewal fee not to exceed $50 for every assistant to a  psychologist which shall be paid in accordance with present law;

• provides that the board shall assess an application and renewal fee to an individual who sponsors a continuing professional development course or activity and who wishes for the board to review and pre-approve the course or activity. Further provides the application and renewal fee shall not exceed $250;

• provides that the board shall assess an application fee to a licensee who seeks renewal and pre-approval of a continuing professional development course or activity and shall not exceed $25. The application fee shall only apply if a licensee intends to earn a credit for a course or activity in which the sponsor has not sought review or obtained approval by the board;

• stipulates that the board may collect reasonable admission fees from a licensee who attends  a continuing professional development course or activity. Such fee may be collected for any course or activity that is offered, sponsored, or co-sponsored by the board. Proposed law  further provides that the board shall not require attendance for a course or activity which may  be offered, sponsored, or co-sponsored. Such activity shall be an elective for a licensee who  chooses to attends;

• proposed law provides that the board may assess fees not to exceed $200 for the following special services identified by the board: (1) Application for authority to conduct telesupervision.  (2) Application for an inactive license or renewal license status. (3) Application for emeritus  status and renewal. (4) Any written or computer-generated license verification. (5) Any written  or computer-generated disciplinary report. (6) To obtain a duplicate license. (7) To obtain a  duplicate renewal certificate. (8) To obtain a mail list.

The Legislative Fiscal Office note indicates that the changes should total to $78,750 per year.  The office estimates that $50,000 of this amount will come from continuing professional development preapproval applications. The estimate includes 200 annual applications multiplied by $250 each. The Office also estimates initial registration of unlicensed assistants  will grow to 420 and produce revenue of $21,000. The report says this is based on a survey by  the board finding that one sixth of licensees report the use of assistants.

At the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on May 20, Senator Stagni introduced the bill  saying that the psychology board was important and it was having financial problems.

LSBEP Executive Director, Jaime Monic, and Dr. Erin Reuther, current President of the Louisiana Psychological Association, testified in favor of the bill.

Reuther said that “Our membership did hold a meeting last week and it was specifically to discuss this bill and we had record attendance at that meeting and over 72% of the members present at that meeting voted to support this legislation.“

Sen. Mills asked how many license holders in Louisiana and how many of those were  represented in the association. Dr. Reuther answered that there were about 800 licensees and
about a little over 200 represented in the association.

Sen. Barrow asked about the composition of the board. She also asked if the bill was something  the board came up with and then submitted to the membership and then the
membership voted on it.

Dr. Reuther said, “So actually this was a collaborative process, over the last 18 months with all  the major stakeholders in the state including the state board of examiners, the Louisiana Psychological Association, and Louisiana School Psychological Association.”

Sen. McMath asked, “How much money do you think you need?“

Ms. Monic answered, “Most boards that are fully operational and fully funded or able to have
enough in reserves have up to $500-$1 million.“

Sen. McMath asked, “What else do you spend it on other than legal fees?” 

Ms. Monic replied that legal and employees are the major expenses other than office space.

Sen. Stagni said that the psychology board is one of the few professions he knows of that does not fine their doctors and recover their costs. “They have a real crisis,” Sen. Stagni said.

Sen. Mills asked about the definition of the assistant. And also said that he intends to ask the  committee for some clarity. He asked for Ms. Brandi Cannon, Senior Attorney with the Committee, to testify or ask questions in order to “… see if there are pitfalls in moving without more clarification.”

Ms. Cannon said, “So the concern would be that where the law doesn’t currently provide for assistants, this would simply create a new registration class.

“So our concern would be there, that it is fine to put a fee there, but you also need a  substantive provision for this to put the parameters…

“The legislature can tell the board to go and further refine it but we need to create it first. This is a fee bill so you are really trying to avoid substantive provisions potentially.”

Sen. Stagni said he thought the provisions for assistants already existed and Ms. Monic agreed, commenting that supervisory personnel already exist in the statute.

Ms. Cannon asked, “Does it provide for the registration?” and Sen. Stagni said no. Then Cannon said, “So what you’re doing is creating a new registration class.” She said that there must be  clear legislative direction or it “will be open to challenge.”

“We need sign posts, so we have Legislative direction, otherwise it is open to challenge that y’all, the board, would be creating law in affect with your rules. But we can work with you.”

Senator Mills said that there was some “work between here and the floor” to get those issues clarified.

He then asked about fees, saying “Up to $200 for things that are just easy to get  that information, is everyone on the same page? Because there’s some things that are on the Internet that are just click a button and also free services by the board … as where you do certain license verification and I know some boards are almost free on that and here’s a pretty hefty fee. Everybody’s okay with that?”

Ms. Monic said, “A lot of these fees are already in rulemaking yet we are requesting that they be clearly established in statute…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sen. Mizell’s Bill on Women’s Sports Gains Wide Margin of Votes

Senator Beth Mizell’s controversial SB 156, the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act”, passed both chambers.

The final passage in the House on May 27 was 78 yeas, 19 nays, and 8 absent. The Senate vote was 29 yeas, 6 nays, and 4 absent. It has been sent to the Governor.

During the process  numerous co-authors signed onto the measure.

The measure requires an athletic team or sporting event sponsored by an elementary,  secondary, or postsecondary educational institution to be designated, based upon the  biological sex of team members, as only one of the following:

(1) A males’, boys’, or men’s team or event only for students who are biological males.

(2) A females’, girls’, or women’s team or event only for students who are biological females.

(3) A coeducational or mixed team or event for students who are biological males or biological females.

SB 156 prohibits a team designated for females, girls, or women from being open to students  who are not biologically female.

It provides that, nothing in proposed law will be construed to restrict the eligibility of any  student to participate in any intercollegiate, interscholastic, or intramural athletic teams or  sports designated as “males”, “men”, or “boys” or designated as “coed” or “mixed”.

Nothing in proposed law is intended to prevent any school from implementing or maintaining a coed athletic team or sporting event which is open to both biological males and biological  females so long as a female athletic team or sporting event is not disbanded for the purpose of  creating a coed team or event which would thereby result to the detriment of biological female students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Jim Quillin Dies May 25

Dr. James Quillin passed  away May 25 after a short battle with cancer. He died peacefully at his home surrounded by his loved ones, according to the authors of the online obituary.

Dr. Quillin was the undisputed leader of the movement to provide specially trained  psychologists with “prescriptive authority” or RxP. In 2004, many viewed him as the mastermind that behind an almost impossible achievement––the political maneuvering that gave Louisiana  medical psychologists, and the state psychology board, the right to prescribe medication.

The achievement of Louisiana becoming the second state for psychologists to prescribe was  applauded by national groups including the American Psychological Association.

In 2009 Dr. Quillin led a second and successful effort to give medical psychologists more  autonomy by moving them under the medical board, known as Act 251. This Act is being  renamed in honor of Dr. Quillin in the current 2021 legislative session.

Dr. Quillin was the leader of the Louisiana Academy of Medical Psychologists, commonly  referred to as LAMP, and had also served as president of the Louisiana Psychological  Association and as the legislative chair for that organization for many years.

Dr. Quillin was a resident of Pineville Louisiana and attended Louisiana College and  Northwestern State University. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Southern  Mississippi and was a member of the first class of graduates to obtain advanced training in  psychopharmacology.

Memorial article is to follow next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gov. Edwards Signs Ex. Order for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Task Force

Last month, as the nation recognized May 5, 2021 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women  and Girls Awareness Day, Gov Edwards signed a proclamation declaring the same in Louisiana as well as an executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Murdered and  Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

The Task Force will proactively address the myriad causes of MMIWG and recommend  solutions  that can be implemented to protect Indigenous women and girls. Indigenous women suffer murder rates ten-times the national average, one in three will be raped in their lifetimes,  and some 84 percent will be the victims of violence.

This task force seeks to raise public awareness about the ongoing crisis of violence against  indigenous women, said the announcement.

“We must remember that each victim is much more than a number but a loved one, whose  family and friends are searching for answers,” said Gov. Edwards.

“There is a need for urgent action in order to combat this tragedy. Louisiana has a rich  Indigenous heritage with four federally recognized Indian tribes and 11 state recognized tribes. I am grateful that this issue has been brought to the forefront. Louisiana is committed to  partnering with federal, state, interstate, and intertribal efforts to address the injustice and  violence done to indigenous women residing within our nation and our state.”

“This is such a serious issue, and I’m grateful to Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Chairman David  Sickey and others leaders who have been working tirelessly to bring attention to this injustice,”  said First Lady Donna Edwards. “We are committed to doing all we can to help fight this  heartbreaking crime.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Drop to their Lowest Point Gov. Edwards Signs Updated Public Health Emergency Order Ending Most Restrictions

 

Following months of improvement in COVID-19 hospitalizations and with nearly three million  vaccine doses administered, Gov. Edwards signed an updated public health emergency order
last week that removes all remaining business capacity restrictions and the vast majority of masking requirements. The announcement said Louisiana hit its lowest level of COVID-19 hospitalizations since the very early days of the pandemic.”

For nearly 15 months, Louisiana has operated under necessary public health restrictions designed to save lives by slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Edwards said. “Thanks to the wide availability of vaccines and the 1.4 million Louisianans who already have gone sleeves up and after hitting a new low in hospitalizations, the order I have signed today contains the fewest  state-mandated restrictions ever, though local governments and businesses may still  and should feel empowered to take precautions that they see as necessary and prudent,  including mandating masks. To be clear: COVID-19 is not over for our state or for our country.  Anyone who has gotten the vaccine is now fully protected and can enter summer with  confidence.”

According to the newest order, masks will be required in educational settings until the end of  the current academic semester at which time state and local oversight boards will set their own  masking policies. The Louisiana Department of Health will continue to revise guidance and  masking recommendations for summer camps, following CDC guidance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that it was safe for vaccinated people to not wear masks in most settings.

Under order of the State Health Officer, masks continue to be required in healthcare settings, which is a federal mandate. In addition, masks are required on public transportation and in jails
and prisons, as per federal guidance.

Local governments and businesses may choose to have stronger restrictions than the state does and the Governor encourages Louisianans to respect all local or business mandates,  especially when it comes to masking.

The Governor, the Louisiana Department of Health, the CDC and numerous public health officials recommend that unvaccinated individuals continue to wear a face mask in public and  when they are with people outside of their households to reduce their likelihood of contracting  COVID19.

Right now, there are three safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines widely available in nearly 1,500  locations across Louisiana. All Louisianans 18 and older are eligible for any of the approved  vaccines. Louisianans between the ages of 12 and 17 are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine only.

According to the CDC, more than 1.4 million Louisianans are fully vaccinated, around 30.5 percent of the population. The most vaccinated population, by age, is people 65 and older. Nearly 72 percent of people 65 and older in Louisiana are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

On May 14, Gov. Edwards announced that those who are fully vaccinated no longer have to  wear masks indoors except in certain situations including: educational facilities, public transit,  correctional settings, and health care facilities as regulated by LDH. The Gov noted that a  growing number of studies on the COVID vaccines have shown the following: More than 90% effective in real-world settings at preventing mild and severe disease, hospitalization, and death; Effective against the variants currently circulating in the country and state; Those who  are vaccinated are less likely to spread the virus.

There are currently about 1,500 locations in Louisiana that offer the COVID-19 vaccine. For  questions, find a provider or event call the COVID Vaccine Hotline at 855-453-0774.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Words on Bathroom Walls

A Review

by Alvin G. Burstein

When I moved to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to direct the graduate program in  clinical psychology, my wife, who had graduated from that program, was eager for me to meet William S. Verplanck. When she began her studies there, he was the department head; during  his tenure, the department won national attention for its quality. Bill was one of the giants of psychology, individuals who pre-dated the field’s splitting into myriad, siloed specialties: cognition, motivation, social, clinical, counseling, organizational et al. From Bill’s point of view, there was one psychology. It was based, not on contrived experiments, but on careful, systematic observation of the natural behavior of living things, and scrupulously accurate description of the observed regularities. Nothing escaped his interest and his careful
attention. At one point, he sent graduate students to area rest rooms to note what was inscribed on their walls—and published a paper on “latrinalia.” So how could I resist a film titled Words on Bathroom Walls? Especially when I learned that its protagonist was a teenager said to be struggling with schizophrenia—a focus of my own doctoral studies.

The film is an adaptation of a young adult novel by Julia Walton. Released in the summer of 2020, it earned acclaim for the portrayal of its protagonist, Adam Petrazilli, who struggles to
complete high school and aspires to become a professional chef, while coping with delusions and the side effects of being involved in the clinical trial of some experimental drugs. Those struggles culminate in Adam’s coming to own his condition rather trying to hide it and is intended to help de-stigmatizing the “disease.”

Adam’s delusions include experiences of being persecuted. He hallucinates accusations scribbled on the walls of a bathroom and protectors that seem like split-off personalities. The pharmaceutical side effects include uncontrollable tremors and distortions of his gustatory
sense that play havoc with his culinary ambitions. Happily, he finds an ally in an attractive young fellow student, a young woman who protects him when he is being persecuted, not by products of his illness, but by all too predicable teenage lack of tolerance for difference. Adam fears letting her know of his “disease.” She, on the other hand, tries to conceal her  family’s stigma—their poverty. The book was obviously and successfully targeted toward the young adult market. Its themes of amatory and vocational aspiration rang bells. The movie, too, has won accolades, scoring in the 90s in both critical reviews and audience approval ratings by the Rotten Tomato aggregator service. I thought the acting was well done, the characters engaging, and the device of having Adam relating to the camera/audience in scenes of his therapy  sessions extremely effective. On the other hand, the feel good happy ending seemed on the saccharine side and the commitment to genetic/biological models of schizophrenia appeared
overdone.

Stress Solutions

Winnie-the-Pooh and Reducing Stress

Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back
of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of
coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way,
if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.
– A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Most of us are like my friend, Edward Bear. When the stress gets to be too much,
we might not notice. If we do notice, we might say “rough day” and hopefully take
some action to chill out. In general, however, we often just continue down the
stairway in the same way, bumping our heads on every step. We don’t realize
how stressed we are until we overreact to some minor irritation or oversleep
because we don’t hear the alarm. We can all learn a lesson from that “silly old
bear”: If only we could stop bumping for a moment, we might be able to think
more clearly.

As we ponder what we now know about stress and what it can do, I think you will
agree that it is time for a stress-reduction system that will work with our busy
lifestyles. Here are the key points we have to keep in mind when looking for a
good solution:

• It’s not hard to trigger the release of cortisol in our body. Some people have a
busy schedule and a busy mind, which leads to increased and possibly chronic
levels of cortisol in their systems. Others do not have a busy schedule, but their
busy mind never stops, and that definitely keeps a high level of cortisol in their
body and brain.

• People acknowledge that stress is affecting them more than it did in past years.
Our lifestyle seems to generate stress due to active minds and busy schedules.

• While there are many stress-reduction techniques available in our arsenal, most
people do not use them actively and regularly. Some may not use them at all
even though they recognize how stressed they are.

• One of the most effective ways to manage the problem of stress is to take
frequent breaks during the day to stop the mental activity and consequent cortisol
production.

All these points bring us to this logical conclusion: we need a simple and
immediately available system that makes it easy to tell when we are stressed and
then helps us get our stress levels under control. The system needs to be flexible
enough to account for each day’s special stresses and hassles. Some of us have
lived with high cortisol levels long enough that our body has changed the way it
deals with it. Others of us still have a body and nervous system that works the
way nature intended it to work-like a good seesaw. Some of us live super-stressful lifestyles while others do not. Some of us have learned to moderate our
daily activities to take regular little mental holidays or breaks in our thinking and
work, and others of us have a hard time stopping what we are doing or stopping
the worrying and thinking.

The bottom line: to be effective, a stress-reduction system needs to account for all
these factors, and it needs to be a system you can work with not just by going to
the yoga class after work if there is enough time left in your day. Instead, you
need a system you can work with in the background all day long. Next month we
will talk about such a system.

Dr. Newton Named NIH Committee Chair on Lifestyle

Dr. Robert L. Newton Jr., Associate Professor and Director of the Physical Activity and Ethnic  Minority Health Laboratory at Pennington Biomedical, has been named Chairperson of the Lifestyle Change and Behavioral Health Study Section at the National Institutes of Health’s  Center for Scientific Review, announced last month in Pennington News.

Dr. Newton is a psychological scientist whose research focuses on addressing health disparities in African American children, adults, and older adults. Much of his research is conducted in  collaboration with community entities that serve the African American community, including churches, community centers, neighborhoods, and the YMCA.

For almost two decades, Dr. Newton has conducted health promotion research targeting various chronic diseases including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and dementia. Currently he  is the co-principal investigator of two NIH grants examining whether regular exercise can  reduce risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease in older African Americans.

The Lifestyle Change and Behavioral Health Study Section reviews grant applications focused on promoting health behaviors or lifestyle changes that reduce health risks or help people recover  from diseases, conditions or treatments, said the report.

How does he feel about the new position? “I have different feelings about the position,” he said.  “I am very honored that they would select me. It suggests that NIH has faith in my ability  to serve in a leadership role. On the other hand, I feel a bit nervous. This is a position with great  responsibility and I want to make sure that I do the absolute best I can. My job as chairperson is  to make sure that each study gets the appropriate amount of discussion. Researchers from  around the country are counting on me to help make sure their grant receives a fair review.” 

A large part of his job is  ensuring that studies are run successfully, he explained. “Currently,” he said, “the COVID pandemic has adversely impacted our ability to recruit participants into our  studies. Most of my studies recruit African American adults, and it is important to be able to  meet this population in-person in order to establish a level of rapport and trust. However, the  fact that many churches, community centers, and other community entities are not engaging in  in-person activities and there is low attendance at remote events, makes it difficult to reach my  target population,”he said.

“There are other aspects of my job that have been less affected, such as writing grants and  manuscripts, although this did take a bit of a dip during the COVID pandemic. The ray of light has been the increased funding opportunities specifically around the COVID pandemic. I am a part of four newly awarded projects that are seeking to conduct research on various aspects of  COVID 19,” he said.

What are some of the most important contributions from his research for the average person? I think that one of the things that the average person can take away from my research findings  is that community resources help increase exercise. We have shown this in YMCAs, churches,  and neighborhoods,” he explained.

“We have also shown that these community based programs lead to health benefits. Our  weight loss program leads to modest weight loss, and our physical activity programs have lead  to decreased abdominal body fat and increased fitness. These are important changes, because if maintained, they should lead to decreased risk of developing chronic disease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers from Across Louisiana Present Their Work

Regional groups of the American Psychological Association––the Southwestern and the Southeastern Psychological Associations–– held their conferences in March and April.

Psychological scientists, psychologists, and student researchers from across Louisiana presented their work with a host of interesting research projects, some completed and some in
progress. We review the topics and presenters for this issue.

Southwestern Psychological Association

Lake Charles Research Consortium

The Lake Charles research consortium includes scientists from Lake Charles, McNeese,
University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM), and others. For this conference, those in the group included Lawrence S. Dilks, PhD, Clinical Neuropsychologist from Rehabilitation  Neuro-psychology, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, PhD, also from Rehabilitation Neuro-psychology, Charles Short, B.A., also from Rehabilitation Neuropsychology.

Also in the group are Burton J. Ashworth, PhD, from University of Louisiana at Monroe, Larry Wayne Mize, graduate student, Lacy Davis Hitt and Reshmi M. Maharjan Dena Matzenbacher, Department Head at McNeese State University, Kevin L. Yaudes, Assistant Professor at McNeese State University, Logan Guillory, Logan Guillory, Kyle Trenton Godeaux Ashlyn Haley Scheinost, and Mika Danielle Eidson, all from McNeese, are part of this group.

And also Billie Clare Myers, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches Louisiana, is included.

The members presented a SWPA Symposium, “How to Gain Admission to a Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology,” was presented by Dr. Burton Ashworth, Dr. Kimberly Hutchinson; Dr.  Lawrence Dilks; Dr. Billie Myers; and Logan Guillory. They covered, “Upcoming changes in internship and licensing requirements imposed by APA and APPIC will make entry into an approved doctoral program much more complicated and difficult. With so many applicants,  your training, practicum experiences, research, and application must be carefully crafted. “

A Symposium, “10 Things Every Practicum Student Needs to Know About Privacy and HIPPA, was presented by Billie Myers, Burton Ashworth, Kimberly Hutchinson, Lawrence Dilks and Logan Guillory.

Lawrence S. Dilks also presented a Symposium: “How to Start a Private Practice with Your Master’s Degree.” Presenters included Burton Ashworth, Kimberly Hutchinson, Billie Myers, and Logan Guillory.

The topic covered was, “APA’s endorsement of licensing masters level providers will change the clinical environment in ways we cannot yet appreciate. In the next decade hundreds of individuals will acquire their masters, complete the supervision period, and pass the EPPP.  These professionals will then endeavor to open private practices and offer psychological  services to the general public. In a number of places, especially Texas, the regulations are already in place.”

In poster presentations, “Gottschalk-Gleser Content Analysis Scales of Prominent Leaders in History,” was authored by  Burton J. Ashworth, Larry Wayne Mize, Kimberly S.  Hutchinson,and Lawrence S. Dilks.

According to the abstract, researchers chose to investigate both the manifest and latent content of the words spoken by a few of the world’s historically prominent people. Mother Theresa’s  content analysis suggested she experienced moderately high guilt anxiety. Jesus of Nazareth’s beatitudes suggest this man had moderately elevated levels (2 standard deviations above  norm) of achievement motivation and very high levels of hope (above 3 SDs), having the highest  score among the six at 4.014 followed by Ronald Reagan with a 3.304 level and the lowest hope score by Adolph Hitler at 0.116. Martin Luther King presented with significantly elevated levels of death anxiety, which proved to be appropriate, and which was comparable to Jesus’ death anxiety. The data suggest both men knew they were candidates for assassination.

“Salivary Cortisol Levels During I-Leap Testing,” was presented and authored by Burton J.  Ashworth, Larry Wayne Mize, Lacy Davis Hitt, Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, and  Charles Short.

“Associating Brodmann Areas and Neuropsychological Tests to Facilitate Understanding of Deficits,” was authored by Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Burton J. Ashworth, Dena Matzenbacher, Kevin L. Yaudes, Logan Guillory, anCharles Short.

For “Significance of Perceived Parental Warmth in Early Childhood Educational Development,”  authors include Burton J. Ashworth and Eshmi M. Maharjan, also Larry Wayne Mize, Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Logan Guillory, Kyle Trenton Godeaux, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost, and Mika Danielle Eidson. The results suggest that the adolescents who grow up in a  demanding but unresponsive type of family adopt the visual strategy of learning. These people learn best through description and prefer use of figures, pictures, and symbols such as graphs, flow charts or models.

For “Identifying the Demographic Factors of Elderly Adults Receiving Social Security Disability”  and Part 1 & 2, authors are Logan Guillory from McNeese State University, Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Billie Clare Myers, Burton J. Ashworth, Reshmi M. Maharjan n, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost, Kyle Trenton Godeaux, Mika Danielle Eidson, and Larry Wayne Mize. The  results showed multiple variables without any one factor being a specific precursor that  someone would be diagnosed with a disorder resulting in disability.

In “Identifying Seizures and Hypertension as Predictors for Bipolar I Disorder,” authors are Logan Guillory, Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Billie Clare Myers, Burton J. Ashworth, Reshmi M. Maharjan, Kyle Trenton Godeaux, Mika Danielle Eidson, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost,   Larry Wayne Mize.

“Emotional Regulation: Self Esteem Impact on Anger in College Age Students,” is by Burton J.  Ashworth, Reshmi M. Maharjan, Larry Wayne Mize, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Lawrence S. Dilks, Logan Guillory, Kyle Trenton Godeaux, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost, and Mika Danielle Eidson. The  results of this study suggests that higher levels of selfesteem significantly decrease manifestation of anger. 

“Associating Brodmann Areas and Neuropsychological Tests to Facilitate Understanding of Deficits,” was presented by Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Burton J. Ashworth, Dena Matzenbacher, Kevin L. Yaudes, Logan Guillory, and Charles Short. According to the abstract, “The final product is a chart depicting the interrelationship of each Brodmann area, listing of its  neurological functions, related functional deficits and neuropsychological tests that best assess these functions. Five Broadman areas do not correlate with known human neuroanatomy and  therefore were not addressed.”

“Traumatic Brain Injury: Analyzing the Different Degrees of Impairment after Injury,” was  presented. Authors are Logan Guillory, Lawrence S. Dilks, Kimberly S. Hutchinson, Billie Clare Myers, Burton J. Ashworth, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost, Kyle Trenton Godeaux, Mika Danielle Eidson,  Reshmi M. Maharjan and Larry Wayne Mize. This experiment seeks to look at the varying degrees of brain functioning among those who have suffered a TBI.”

The same authors presented, “The Relationship between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Onset of PTSD.” This experiment seeks to look at the different rates of brain functioning among those who have suffered a TBI as well as the likelihood of developing PTSD. Researcher seed to help  explain who is more likely to make a full recovery.

“A Case Presentation of Dandy-Walker Syndrome,” was presented and authored by Kimberly S.  Hutchinson, Lawrence S. Dilks, Billie Clare Myers, Burton J. Ashworth, Logan Guillory, Larry Wayne Mize, Reshmi M. Maharjan, Kyle Trenton Godeaux, Ashlyn Haley Scheinost and Mika  Danielle Eidson.

Louisiana Tech

Matthew Young from Louisiana Tech University and faculty sponsor Tilman Sheets presented, “Examining Expressive and Instrumental Traits as Predictors  of Emotional Empathy,” as part of the SWPA Undergraduate Student Competition.

From the abstract, “Over the past three decades, empathy has been decreasing in young adults.  Along with generational changes to empathy, society’s understanding of gender has been changing.” Conclusions included, “Expressivity as a predictor indicates that the empathy  difference may be due to the influence of gender stereotypes and norms. Other important factors may be biology and empathy aversion.”

“Does Generativity Explain Conservatives’ Environmental Attitudes?” was presented by Christina  Cantu, Graduate Assistant at LaTech, along with other numerous researchers from University of Texas and University of North Texas.

McNeese State

“Students’ Perceptions of Factors That Influence Academic Success,” was presented by Linda  Loraine Brannon, Ph.D. from McNeese State University, along with Dena Matzenbacher,  Department Head at McNeese State University, and Haden Paul Cooley, also representing   McNeese State University. “Our research will provide such information about a more extensive  list of factors contributing to college success and also allow for identification of external factors  not included in previous research.”

Southeastern

Researchers at Southeastern Louisiana University, under the guidance and direction of Dr.  Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan, presented numerous research articles in projects at the Southwestern  Psychological Association convention. Dr. Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan leads The  Research Incubator for Psychology Students (RIPS) “The Impact of Life Events on Body Image,”  was authored by Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan, Ph.D., Kayli Alphonso Coleman, B.S., Christian Olivia Ledet, Savannah Hays, Jade Renee Horton, and Katherine A. Hernandez, Southeastern Louisiana University.

“Preliminary results indicate that females experience higher levels of body image  concern, lower body appreciation and lower self-esteem than male participants, but males  experience more concerns about muscularity. Males reported more dissatisfaction with their  exercise habits than their eating habits or weight. Females were dissatisfied with their eating,  exercise and weight.”

“Political Attitudes of Neutral Party Affiliation and Non-Voters,” was presented by authors Paula  J. Varnado-Sullivan, Ph.D., Danielle Eliser, B.A. and Kayli Alphonso Coleman, B.S.

According to  the abstract, the study was to examine the opinions and attitudes of no affiliation or non- voters. Data collection has just begun––to date, 122 participants have completed the survey.  Across all affiliations, time was indicated as the biggest impediment to voting. No  differences were found for political orientation and the Dark Triad characteristics. Results are preliminary and data collection is ongoing.”

For, “Political Attitudes of Neutral Party Affiliation and NonVoters (Part 2): The Impact of an Impending Election,” authors are Danielle Eliser, B.A., Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan, Ph.D., and Cherie Nicole Arthur, B.A.

“Is Stigmatization of Anorexia Nervosa Impacted by Degree of Weight Loss or the Visual Depiction of Weight Status?” was presented by authors Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan, Ph.D., Kayli Alphonso Coleman, B.S., Christian Olivia Ledet, Peter Brent Schneckenburger, and Garrett Voison.

“Impact of Social Support on Academic Success,” was presented by authors Danielle Eliser, B.A.,  Elise Laurent, Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan, Ph.D., and Cherie Nicole Arthur, B.A.

“Does Drug Type Impact the Stigmatization of Substance Use Disorder? was presnted by  authors Kayli Alphonso Coleman, B.S., Paula J. Varnado-Sullivan, Ph.D., and Danielle Eliser, B.A.

University of Louisiana– Lafayette

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette had several research labs presenting their findings and their projects at this year’s convention. Brooke Ozenne Breaux, PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette presented, “Searching for truth: Truth decay, epistemic  beliefs, and individual differences.” Authors included Ariel Ruiz and Trey M. Delcambre.

“We found some evidence to suggest that authority but not tenacity is likely to be a factor that  college students use as evidence of truth. As for the role of individual differences, we found that responses to individual items did not differ significantly based on age, race/ethnicity, college  major, or political affiliation.”

For, “Factors that influence the production of death-related language,” authors are Brooke Ozenne Breaux, Marissa Claire Pitt, Marissa Pitt, Peyton Delaney Corwin, Tayla Patrice Weary, Brionne Wright, and Krystal Ariana Dean. “…we argue that spirituality is useful for predicting the type of language that people will produce when they are put into situations where talking about death cannot be avoided; […]”

“Is ‘fake news’ just a new name for propaganda?” was part of the Online Cognitive Psychology  Talk Session 1. Authors are Brooke Ozenne Breaux, Natalie Ann Dauphinet, and Robert B. Michael.

“We conclude that even though there is evidence of significant overlap between the two terms in the minds of speakers, the terms ‘fake news’ and “propaganda” are not typically viewed as synonymous. Adding complexity to this finding is that the way people define these terms can  differ based on their political affiliation, with liberals more likely to view the terms as distinct  and to view propaganda as less negative than fake news.”

Dr. Amy Brown’s research team also presented numerous studies. “The Theory of Planned Behavior: Predicting Bystanders’ Intention to Intervene,” was presented and authors are Haley N. Dunagin, Dylan Anthony John, Kade Theriot, and Amy Lynn Brown. “Our findings support the applicability of the TPB for predicting bystander intention to prevent SA.”

“Alcohol’s Role in the Association between Hooking up and Psychological Well-Being,” is authored by Dylan Anthony John, Gabriel Paul Hunter and Amy Lynn Brown.

Renee Fontenot, Lauren Neumeyer, Fatema Chowdhury Progga presented “Using measures of perceived social support to predict psychological distress.” Dr. Amy Brown was the faculty  sponsor. “The significant correlations found in this study were in line with previous research:  people with more support report less psychological distress.”

Dr. Hung-Chu Lin, and her team from University of Louisiana at Lafayette presented several  projects.

“Same Amount of Childhood Adversity but Different Health Symptoms: Two-Generation  Comparisons,” was presented by authors Dr. Hung-Chu Lin, Whitney Storey, Michelle Jeanis, PhD, Maddison Knott and Kathie Li.

“An emerging line of research has pointed to the continuity of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) across generations. […] The results indicated that the average ACE score of college  students did not differ from that of their caregivers. Moreover, ACES of the two generations were significantly correlated with each other.”

“How Stress Relates to Somatic Symptoms Varies by Attachment Anxiety,” is authored by Hung-Chu Lin, PhD, Madeline M. Jones, B.S., Maddison Knott, Whitney Storey, M. S., and Michelle  Jeanis, PhD.

“Stress and attachment anxiety were positively correlated with physical symptoms, […] The  results revealed the moderation role of attachment anxiety in the relation between stress and somatic symptoms. Considering the robust link between stress and somatic symptoms reliably reported in the literature, attachment security (low on attachment anxiety) appeared to act as a buffer against the negative impacts on somatic functioning.”

For the SWPA Graduate Student Competition, Madeline M. Jones, B.S. and Maddison Knott  authored, ” Specific ACEs items relate to mental and physical symptoms and attachment  insecurity.” Faculty Sponsors were Dr. Hung-Chu Lin, Ms. Whitney Storey, Dr. Michelle Jeanis. “These findings indicate that specific ACEs items relate to mental and physical outcomes  differently than others.”

“Differences in men’s perceived acceptability and non-conforming gender expression based on  depiction,” was presented by authors Madeline M. Jones, B.S and Hung-Chu Lin, PhD.

“Non-Judging Inner Experiences Buffer the Impact of Childhood Adversity on Somatic  Symptoms,” was presented and authored by Kathie Li, Hung-Chu Lin, PhD, and Margot Hasha, PhD, MSW.

“Results demonstrated that a higher level ACEs experienced during childhood was positively  associated with a higher level of somatic symptoms in emerging adulthood, and aspects of  mindfulness, specifically non-judging of inner experiences, served as a buffer for the negative impacts of somatic symptoms.”

Faculty member Dr. Manyu Li and her team presented several projects. “Impact of self-affirmation and perception of history on acceptance of privilege,” was presented and authored by Melanie Rochelle Cohen and Manyu Li. It is expected that participants in the self-affirmation condition will score the highest on the White Privilege Scale, those in the threat condition will score the lowest, and the relationship will be moderated by perception of history.

Authors Cheyane Mitchell and faculty sponsor Manyu Li presented, “The Impact of Race and  Gender on Sources of Belonging and Desire to Succeed.”

For “Social stigma towards people with Borderline Personality Disorder: An experimental  study,” authors are Karina Santiago, Assistant Professor University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Manyu Li.

“It is expected that the results of this randomized experimental study will allow us to see how  the label of BPD, paired with a description of varying severity of behaviors will affect people’s  perception of a person with BPD. “

Valanne L. MacGyvers, Ph.D. leads an active research group at Lafayette and presented  numerous papers at the convention.

MacGyvers and her team presented a SWPA Symposium, “Incorporating research projects into  a graduate course: Presenting the process and projects.” Authors and presenters were Valanne L. MacGyvers, Taylor Gage, MaKensey Sanders, Samantha R. Shurden, Madison N. Istre, Marissa Claire Pitt, Allison Liberto, anf Kristin TellezMonnery (Independent). The discussant, former  SWPA president, was Theresa Wozencraft.

Authors William Raymond Curth, Jr. and Valanne L. MacGyvers presented two projects on Harry Potter.

One was, “Harry Potter Fanship and Identity Development” was reviewed and explained.

“Fans of fictional works may incorporate aspects of those works into their identity through  identification with the characters and themes of a series. This study examines how the identities of Harry Potter fans may be associated with the series.”

For “Pilot Measure of Thematic and Fantastical Elements in the Harry Potter Series,” authors  noted, “After running the results through five levels of factor analysis, the researchers found  two distinct factors that represent Thematic and Fantastical elements.”

Authors Taylor Gage and Valanne L. MacGyvers, presented two studies on Active shooter  training. The first was, “Active Shooter Trainings: An Effectiveness Study.” According to the  abstract, this study is ongoing. “This study examined different methods of training to find the effectiveness of different trainings for college students on variables such as knowledge of  training, safety, self-efficacy, and perceived probability.”

For, “The Components of Active Shooter Training: A Content Analysis,” the researchers will “…  evaluate about 50 different ASRTP for ease of learning for children and for adults.

“Does Mental Health Trump Beauty?” was presented by authors Allison Liberto and Valanne L.  MacGyvers. The expected findings are that when participants believed the subject had a  psychopathology, they gave lower attractiveness ratings.

Authors Valanne L. MacGyvers, and Audra P. Jensen, M.S. (University of Northern Illinois) along  with Krista R. Malley and Christopher Veal of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, presented,  “Leadership and Followership: Beyond Mindset.”

According to the abstract, “It is the effective followers who actually contribute the most to  creating successful outcomes. Understanding the differences in what makes a good leader or a  good follower is an important research activity. The purpose of this research was to examine various factors of incoming college freshmen, to see which of them were associated with  leadership and followership. […] Feeling properly prepared for college, having a good work ethic  and emotional maturity are all related to both leadership and followership…”.

Authors MacGyvers, Jensen, and Veal also presented, “Mindset and parenting as predictors of  leadership and followership.”

According to the abstract, regression analyses revealed that mindset is significant in predicting  both leadership, and followership, such that the fixed mindset was associated with lower scores  on both leadership and followership. Further, maternal and paternal permissiveness significantly predicted the fixed mindset.

Valanne L. MacGyvers and David Richard Perkins, Associate Professor of Psychology, ULL,  presented, “Empathizing and systemizing as an advising tool: A pilot study.”

Authors David Richard Perkins, Mateo Chavez, and Valanne L. MacGyvers, presented, “Music  and math: The effects of key and tempo on mathematics anxiety.”

Brittany R. Milton and David Richard Perkins presented, “Evaluating the Effectiveness of an  Alcohol Education Program at UL-Lafayette.”

“Analysis of high risk groups showed that fraternity and sorority members demonstrated levels  of drinking-related behaviors at rates much higher than students not in fraternities and  sororities. […] This study offers data contributing to the larger discussion of factors influencing drinking and how to promote decreases in problematic drinking.”

Theresa Wozencraft, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, joined  with her students and colleagues also to present research.

“Loss and Well-Being in Gulf Coast Natural Disaster Victims,” was authored and presented by  Alexandra Grantadam Nordman, Theresa A. Wozencraft and Manyu Li. Researchers explored  the relationship between levels of loss in a natural disaster and well-being, in a sample of  natural disaster victims residing in Louisiana or Texas. As predicted, peri-disaster WB scores were lower than current WB scores.