• Age-Related Stigma and the Golden Section Hypothesis

      Widrick, Rebekah M. (2010-03-18)
      The present study used the golden section hypothesis to examine age-related identities. The golden section hypothesis predicts that people will organize incoming information in a ratio-type pattern. When rating phenomena on bipolar constructs, people assign others to the positive pole of the constructs 61.8% of the time and to the negative pole the remaining 38.2% of the time. The present study predicted that people would rate identities of the aging population in accordance with a reverse golden section hypothesis. That is, people would assign negative ratings 61.8% of the time and positive ratings 38.2% of the time. Approximately 148 surveys were analyzed. Along the top of the golden section survey were 15 identities: child, elderly person, grandparent, middle-aged adult, nurse, musician, adolescent, senior citizen, business person, lawyer, secretary, mental patient, homeless person, retired person, and self. Along the left side of the survey were 12 adjective pairs: generous-stingy, pleasant-unpleasant, true-false, fairunfair,active-passive, energetic-lethargic, sharp-dull, excitable-calm, strong-weak, boldtimid, hard-soft, and rugged-delicate. Results indicated that elderly person and senior citizen were rated in a manner consistent with the reverse golden section hypothesis. In keeping with previous findings, the self was rated positively precisely 71% of the time while combined ratings of the remaining identities were consistent with the traditional golden section hypothesis. Finally, it was hypothesized that mental patient and homeless person together would produce a reverse golden section hypothesis, but this hypothesis was not supported. Findings shed light on society’s power to influence thought. Because American society has coupled aging with stigma, people have come to associate erroneous interpretations with certain age-related terms.
    • An arts-informed study: developing my identity as a new music therapist during the COVID-19 crisis

      Gawricki, Jillian T. (2021-01)
      This arts-informed, first-person study examines the growth I have achieved as a new music therapist in vocal psychotherapy training, in my own personal therapy, and as a healthcare worker during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data in this study includes (a) poems I wrote based on these experiences, (b) an analysis of musical improvisations based on these experiences, and (c) the personal excerpts of my clinical experiences, and of my experiences creating these poems and musical improvisations. Through the analysis of the data, eight themes were identified: vocal psychotherapy - reflection, growth, and joy; personal therapy - apprehension, reflection, belonging, and growth; COVID-19 - fear, confusion, and chaos. These themes provide insight into my development as a new music therapy professional with generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety over the course of a year.
    • Becoming “spiritual but not religious”: narratives on family of origin, conversion, and commitment

      Marks, Kaelyn Marie (2021-12)
      This qualitative narrative study explored how individuals raised within organized religion(s) came to associate with the orientation of “Spiritual but Not Religious” (i.e., SBNR). Ten semi-structured interviews delved into topics such as family upbringing, religious environment, spiritual development, cognitive dissonance, and resolutions. Notable parental relationship qualities within categories of being positive, distant, strict, and/or abusive emerged. Parental conflict with at least one parent was a shared experience across the sample. It was more common for conflict with fathers to exist as previous literature has suggested. Compared to those raised in more severely religious environments, those raised within less religious environments were more prone to feeling confident and committed with their present spiritual beliefs. This work contributes to further understanding the various developmental pathways and influences on spirtual identity exploration and commitment. Further considerations and implications of the study are discussed.
    • Ethnic identity and counterfactual thinking

      Pandit-Kerr, Sphoorti A. (2018-05)
      Ethnicity is an important component of many people's identities and ethnic identity is socialized from one generation to another through families, communities, and the wider cultural ecosystem (Browne, 2013; Ashmore et al., 2004). Research suggests that having a strong sense of ethnic identity often helps individuals experience a sense of belonging and acceptance which contributes to well-being (e.g., Umãna-Taylor & Updegraff, 2007). This study examined how and to what degree individuals believe that their ethnic identities have contributed to their current lives. Participants were asked to construct counterfactual lists describing how their lives would be different if they did not have their ethnic identities. This new methodology utilized counterfactual thinking, the process by which people create mental representations of alternatives to past events, states or actions (Byrne 2007), to better understand the relationship between strength of ethnic identity and life satisfaction. A total of 145 participants with mean age of 21.87 years (SD = 3.77) living in the United States and India completed the study online. As expected, correlational analyses revealed a positive relationship between life satisfaction and strength of ethnic identity (r = .23, p = .02). Using an inductive content analysis of the emergent themes, the coding revealed that participants believe that their ethnic identities influence their educational and career choices, relationships with family, friends and significant others, diet/cuisine, health, and their personal characteristics including likes and dislikes. These findings are discussed in the context of the larger ethnic identity literature.
    • Professional identity development in music therapy: a phenomenological inquiry

      McIntyre, Page (2018-05)
      The following research study is a phenomenological inquiry exploring how music therapists develop their professional identities. Three board-certified music therapists were interviewed and asked to describe what has influenced and shaped their professional identity development. Data was analyzed according to the procedures of interpretive phenomenological analysis. The data revealed four emergent themes that music therapists’ described as playing a role in developing their professional identity. The themes are significant experiences, identities in music, intrapersonal skills, and journey of growth. Related literature is reviewed and implications for future research is discussed. The researcher hopes that this study will benefit music therapists by giving them insight into how they can develop and strengthen their own professional identity.
    • Using the IPSQ-Sort to examine identity style of Mandarin speaking adolescents

      Yang, Hai-yun (2011-08-16)
      Berzonsky (1992) described three identity processing styles (informational, normative, and diffuse/avoidant) which people use to manage identity challenges. Different people can utilize different styles to deal with identity crisis, but tend to favor one over the others. In this study, I translated a measure of identity processing style, the Identity Processing Style Q-sort (IPSQ-sort; Pittman, Kerpelman, Lamke, & Sollie, 2009) from English to Mandarin. A back translation technique was used to translate the items; this also included a review by the original author of the IPSQ-sort. Then, I evaluated the validity of the Mandarin version with college students from several universities in Taiwan. Keywords: