Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Conflict Resolution and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refer to the settling of disputes outside of the courtroom. As more states and the federal government began implementing ADR programs, there emerged a trend in higher education to experiment with conflict resolution. According to a recent survey, more than 200 colleges and universities have implemented campus conflict resolution programs. Most of the programs offer one or more forms of mediation for disputes among students, disputes between students and faculty, disputes among faculty, and disputes between staff and administrators. Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) recently conducted a study, partially funded by a grant from the AUM Research Grant-in-Aid Program, in which three separate needs assessment tools (scenario questionnaire, "hot spot map," and conflict matrix) were utilized to assess the need for a campus conflict resolution or mediation service. The sample selected for this study represents about 5% of AUM full-time employees, specifically 26 AUM administrators, faculty, and staff. Preliminary results indicate that the majority of conflict issues or grievances are directed to Deans and Department Heads. The perceived areas of frequent or intense conflict occur in parking lots and residential housing. The classroom also was perceived to be an area that sees more than a normal level of conflict.
ROAD RAGE BEHIND THE WHEEL: A CORRELATIVE STUDY OF PERSONALITY AND DRIVING CHARACTERISTICS. Emily C. Burnett and Krystal T. Eiland, Irene Staik, D. Kristen Gilbert, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama 35115 Originating in the US, the term "road rage" can refer to any display of aggression exhibited by a driver including more extreme acts of aggression such as physical assault. In today's society, "road rage" has become a common expression used to describe a wide spectrum of behaviors including physical or verbal assault or even, in some instances, murder. The current researchers speculate that when combined with specific cues, such as color and type of car, aggressive and competitive tendencies may erupt in road rage. Previous research has not focused specifically on the color and type of car but on the differences of how individuals express aggression. Volunteer students were asked to complete a packet of questionnaires including measures for aggression and competitiveness as well as a researcher-created driving questionnaire and a life goals questionnaire. The packet included a self-esteem measure, which acted as a distractor task. Suggestions for future research and possible applications are discussed.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN POVERTY AND ACHIEVEMENT IN ALABAMA PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS. Donna Hendrix, Jacksonville State University. Research advisor, Jan Case, Department of Mathematical, Computing, and Information Sciences, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 36265.
This paper examines data provided by the Alabama Department of Education to model the relationship between poverty and achievement. Poverty is defined in terms of the percentage of students who participate in the free lunch program, and achievement is measured by SAT scores. All 128 Alabama public school systems were included in the study, and the data is from the 2001-2002 school year. Overall, the average percentage of students who participate in the free lunch program is 51.4% with individual systems ranging from 0% to 100%. The average SAT score is a percentile rank of 54.4 with individual systems ranging from 33 to 89. A linear regression analysis was performed to create a model. The analysis revealed an inverse relationship with a correlation of -.88 between the variables. The equation of the regression line is SAT = 78.6 - .47(Free lunch%). The relationship is significant at p < .001. The conclusion that SAT scores decrease as poverty level increases is not surprising, but the creation of a model to predict the effect of poverty on SAT scores is informative.
CONFLICT MANAGEMENT ON THE UNIVERSITY CAMPUS: AN INVENTORY OF CONFLICT STYLES. Cheryl K. Bullard and Gloria J. McPherson, Dept. of Justice & Public Safety, Auburn University Montgomery, Montgomery, AL 36124.
The purpose of this study was to determine the conflict styles of a sample of the student population at Auburn University Montgomery. Participants included both undergraduate and graduate students (N=349). The sample selected for this study represented approximately 5% of the student body. Participants completed the Conflict Management Inventory (Goldstein, 1999), a standardized personality measure designed to evaluate different styles and emotions students exhibit during conflict situations and perceived conflict situations. The CMI is composed of five factors with fifteen items each. The current study investigated student CMI scores as a function of age, gender and race. Results indicated that the CMI was moderately reliable. Reliability coefficients ([alpha]) for the CMI five factors are as follows: Confrontation = .66, Emotional Expression = .81, Public/Private Behavior = .85, Conflict Avoidance = .78, Self Disclosure = .67, and entire scale = .85. Traditional students (ages 18-24) reported being more confrontational, more emotionally expressive, more likely to display conflict behavior, less likely to avoid conflict and more self-disclosing about grievances than were non-traditional students (ages 25-65). Gender differences also emerged with women being more emotionally expressive and self-disclosing about conflict situations than were men. Men were less likely to avoid conflict than were women. Partially supported by a grant from the AUM Research Grant-in-Aid Program.
REVISING THE COMPUTER HASSLES SCALE USING AN INTERNET BASED QUESTIONNAIRE. Richard A. Hudiburg, Department of Psychology, University of North Alabama, Florence, AL 35632.
The Computer Hassles Scale was developed to measure stress that results from human-computer interactions (HCI). A type of stressor produced from HCI was called a "computer hassle." The Computer Hassles Scale (Hudiburg, 1995), a measure of computer-related stress, was composed of 37 items that reflected the common experiences people had using computers during the 1980s and 1990s. Many of the "hassles" reported are still relevant to computer use but much of the computer use during the 21st Century encompasses the Internet. The current research sought to revise the Computer Hassles Scale by including Internet based computer hassles. This research was conducted using an Internet based research questionnaire (Hudiburg, 2003). A revised Computer Hassles Scale was part of an on-line questionnaire which included measures of global stress and reactivity. Two separate data captures were conducted during 2003 and 2004. The first data capture yielded 200 usable questionnaires and the second data capture yielded 330 usable questionnaires. The most frequent computer hassles were reported for both samples. There were significant correlations between the 71-item revised Computer Hassles Scale and self-reported somatic complaints in both samples (r = .39 and r = .26). In both samples the revised Computer Hassles Scale was significant correlated with a global measure of stress (r = .21 and r = .16). An inconsistent finding was the correlations between the revised Computer Hassles Scale and measure of reactivity (Kohn, 1985) in the two samples (r = .15 and r = .03). Suggestions for further research with the revised Computer Hassles Scale were offered.
INTENSITY OF EXERCISE AND FUNCTIONAL DISABILITY AMONG OLDER ADULTS WITH ARTHRITIS. Nadine T. James, and Kathleen C. Brown, School of Nursing, Univ. Of Ala., Birmingham, AL 35294. Carl W. Miller, U. S. Navy (Retired), Kiln, MS 39556.
Objective: The primary objective of the current study was to examine exercise behavior among older adults with arthritis. Specifically, answers to two research questions were sought: (a) does intensity of exercise predict functional disability and (b) do certain host and psychosocial factors predict exercise behavior? Method: Data were obtained from the 1995 survey of Aging, Status, and the Sense of Control (ASOC) that used a telephone probability sample of 2,592 American households. The ASOC was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (RO1-AG12393). Sampling, pretesting, and interviewing in support of the survey were conducted by the Survey Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois. The ASOC survey data -were made available through the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (Mirowsky & Ross, 2001). Results: Six independently significant predictors were identified through regression analyses: overall health (p=.005), comorbidity (p=.024), depression (p=.043), activities of daily living (ADL) limitations (p=.020), age (p=.020), and employment status (p=.013). Conclusions: Older adults with arthritis who exercised (at any intensity) reported less functional disability than non-exercisers. Participants with poorer health states, more illnesses, symptoms of depression, and greater ADL limitations tended to exercise less. Additionally, those who were older and those who were unemployed were less likely to exercise.
A COMPARISON OF THE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE OF TRADITIONAL UNIVERSITY STUDENTS AND STUDENTS WITH CHILDREN. Leslie Bice and Patricia Rodriguez, Jacksonville State University. Research advisor, Jan Case, Department of Mathematical, Computing, and Information Sciences, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 36265.
This paper summarizes the results of a statistical study undertaken on the campus of Jacksonville State University. One hundred students were surveyed and data was collected concerning enrollment status, marital status, whether the students had children or not. The various categories of students were examined statistically in terms of grade point average. The data was summarized graphically and a two-population hypothesis test for difference in means was conducted. The study revealed that marriage did not impact grade point average, but parenthood did. Those students who were parents had an average grade point average of 3.229 while those students without children had an average grade point average of 3.054. These results are significant with p = .071.
DETERMINANTS OF EMPOWERMENT AMONG USERS OF MICROFINANCE IN UGANDA: THE CASE OF RURAL WOMEN FARMERS. Florence Wakoko, Department of Psychology & Sociology, Columbus State. Univ., Columbus, GA 31907
Rural farmers in Uganda have become increasingly interested in microfinancial resources MFRs (informal credit and savings), that are being promoted nationally as important means for poverty alleviation and women's empowerment. A growing body of literature suggests that MFRs alone are not adequate indicators of women's empowerment and, women's decision-making power is likely to be highest where their inputs to household survival is high relative to men. Based on a survey of 527 Ugandan farmers, this paper explores factors affecting their use of MFRs, and the extent to which these factors and MFRs determine women's relative role in decision-making power over agricultural production and income use.
SIN SICKNESS: GUILT, SHAME AND THE AMERICAN PSYCHE. Rhonda L. Grissom, Department of Psychology, Walden University, Bloomington, IN 47405.
Can sin make us physically sick? Some sins, such as overeating and adultery, have obvious serious physical ramifications such as obesity and risk of exposure to sexually transmitted diseases. However, other sins can influence our psychological state through guilt and shame, which under serious circumstances can lead to stress. Stress, in turn can lead to sickness. This paper explores the link between sin and sickness, as well as how the hidden belief in sin sickness may influence our perception of others and ourselves.