• Mindfulness-based outdoor behavioral healthcare for individuals with autism spectrum disorder: possibilities, suggestions, and challenges

      Gluckman, Nicole (2021-05)
      The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder has been rapidly increasing. Traditional treatment interventions such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been very successful in targeting specific behaviors to shape and reinforce, thus eliminating problem behaviors such as self-injury and aggression. However, comprehensive treatment options are being developed with more of a focus on the strengths of the individual. These treatment options seek to use the natural environment in order to form positive relationships, increase self-esteem, and lead to a greater quality of life. In this paper, I synthesize research on outdoor-based interventions, and propose mindfulness as a fundamental building block for an outdoor-based therapy for individuals with autism to foster psychological and emotional growth in addition to established social and behavioral benefits. Future research should seek to make this approach as inclusive as possible so that it can be of benefit to individuals of various ages, dispositions, and tendencies (i.e. speaking or non-speaking).
    • Narrative identity and agency: association between mood and psychological well-being

      Fitapelli, Brianna (2021-05)
      Narrative research is an evolving methodology that has been utilized in research and clinical practice. This study seeks to understand how the structure of narratives predict psychological well-being and mood, and how processing information in narrative form immediately affects respondents. A survey was created on Qualtrics and through an all-student email and social media, a recruitment script was advertised for individuals 18 years or older and English speaking. In this randomized, between-subject design, we gathered 289 complete datasets where one of three randomly assigned prompts asked the participant to write about a positive or negative event or list the foods they recently consumed. All narratives were coded for agency by the first author and 25% of narratives were also coded by one independent rater with an 86% agreement. Results indicated that participants who wrote about a positive life experience had higher levels of positive mood and agentic features. Further, higher levels of agency were associated with specific aspects of psychological well-being. The type of memory one recalls therefore may be beneficial for not only the self, but for relationships with others.