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Save the Date - Saturday, March 26, 2011
The 2011 KPAF Spring Academic Conference is scheduled for March 26, 2011 and will be hosted by Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY.  Details coming soon!

2010 KPAF Spring Academic Conference Wrap-Up
Promoting the Professional Development of Kentucky's Students 

Looking Ahead: Your Future in Psychology

The 2010 KPA Foundation Academic Conference was held on Saturday, March 27th at the University of Louisville.  The Conference focused on student mentoring and provided a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to present their research in juried competitions, learn about career options and paths, and develop practical skills and network with fellow students from all across the state.  Students had the opportunity to  meet with psychologists from a wide range of specialties, interests, and careers during a new event we called Career Directions:  Psychologists on Parade.  Overall, there were more than 250 students and faculty at this year's conference, a new conference record!

Many thanks to all the faculty members, advisors, early career psychologists and other professionals, and graduate students who volunteered as presenters, poster and presentation judges, Psych Bowl officials, Psychologists on Parade participants, and general advisors.  Your commitment to students and to academic psychology in Kentucky made the event a success.

Conference Program

Event Photo Gallery!

Academic Conference Forum

2010 Event Sponsors

We would like to thank the following sponsors for helping make this conference so successful!

Hosting Sponsor: University of Louisville, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences

Additional Sponsors:

23rd Annual Psych Bowl Competition

Ten Psych Bowl teams competed for the championship this year.  Bellarmine University took the title for the third year in a row! 

Champions:  Bellarmine University
Runners Up: Thomas More College

Psych Bowl Competition Winners - Through the Years

Poster Research Competition Results

There were 18 Graduate Division posters and 42 Undergraduate Division posters entered in the competition this year - all competing for cash prizes totaling $850. 

Poster Research Abstracts

Graduate Division

1st Place: Zachary W. Adams, Karen J. Derefinko & Donald R. Lynam, University of Kentucky.

  • Facets of Impulsivity as Unique Predictors of Substance Use and Abuse.
    Impulsivity has been implicated as a robust risk factor for substance use, but recent work suggests that impulsivity is not a unitary construct. The current project tested the differential predictive utility of four facets of impulsivity (urgency, premeditation, perseverance, and sensation-seeking) for various outcomes related to substance use and misuse (e.g., frequency, volume, problems, variety) in the transition from high school to college. Participants (n = 230) completed personality questionnaires, a life history calendar of substance use, and other substance use measures. Principal components analysis was used to examine the validity of the four-factor model of impulsivity. The resulting factors were then used to predict substance use variables. Differential relations were observed between each impulsivity facet and aspects of substance use. Results highlight the unique role of each facet in predicting patterns of substance use in young adulthood and carry important implications for future work on preventing problematic substance use. (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Richard Milich)

2nd Place: Crystal A. Day, University of Louisville.

  • Characterizing Achievement Motivation Orientation of Children from Low- and Middle-Income Families.
    The current study examined achievement motivation orientation in 126 preschool-aged children from low- and middle-income families. Children s motivation orientation was assessed as being performance-oriented or mastery-oriented using a challenging puzzle task. Children s verbalizations during the task were also coded into performance concern, disengaged, and negative self-evaluation categories. Analysis were conducted to examine differences between income groups in motivation orientation and verbalizations. Patterns of motivation orientation in preschool-aged children from low- and middle-income families did not differ; however, children from low-income families made a significantly higher proportion of performance-related verbalizations while working on the task. The findings support the examination of children s private speech as a way to assess cognitive processes underlying achievement motivation. In addition to providing a novel way to identify differences in achievement motivation, the findings suggest the potential utility of designing interventions that promote positive private speech as a way of supporting mastery-oriented motivation in young children.
    (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Barbara Burns)

Undergraduate Division

1st Place: Kera Ti V. King & Suzannah M. Chapman, Morehead State University.

  • Personality, Life Satisfaction, and Relational Patterns of the Cheating Heart.
    Surprisingly, little is known empirically about the potential differences between romantic cheaters and non-cheaters. One study has suggested that they differ in terms of personality (Orzeck & Lung, 2005), but few other studies have been noted. The present study sought to extend previous research on the topic, to include additional variables. Participants were 243 college student volunteers, who completed surveys as part of their participation in a subject pool. As part of a larger study, the survey was comprised of demographic questions and several other measures. Based on responses to the single-item cheating status measure, participants were separated into two groups: the self-indentified cheaters (26.3% of the sample) and the self-identified non-cheaters (73.7% of the sample). Results suggested that cheaters scored higher on neuroticism, cynicism, anxiety about relationships, and the love styles ludus and mania where as, non-cheaters scored higher on extraversion, agreeableness, life satisfaction, and trust. (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Laurie Couch)

2nd Place: Kelly Burton, Eastern Kentucky University.

  • The Role of Personality in Tendencies Toward Charity Advertisements
    The tendency to define oneself in terms of close relationships is called relational-interdependent self-construal. Past research has found that highly relational people rate charity advertisements that emphasize relational responsibility more favorably than others. The current experiment examined the role of relational self-construal in behavioral responses to charity advertisements. This study tested the hypothesis that highly relational people would be more likely to take a flyer than those with low relational self-construal. In this experiment, 90 participants were randomly assigned to receive a packet of Red Cross advertisements that either emphasized a personal or relational responsibility, followed by a questionnaire assessing attitudes toward the advertisements. Behavioral helping was assessed by whether or not participants took the Red Cross flyer. The results showed that highly relational people were significantly more likely to take the flyer than others. Implications for how charities can target based on personality are discussed. (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jonathan Gore)

Honorable Mention: Katherine Rapier, Georgetown College.

  • Do the Perseverant Lead Happier Lives?
    Previous literature has analyzed the effect of perseverance on academic and job performance (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007). No existing study has analyzed the relationship between this trait and happiness or subjective well-being. Students of a small liberal arts college (N=150) completed three empirically-valid scales to assess this relationship. Duckworth's GRIT scale was used to measure two facets of perseverance: consistency of interest and perseverance of effort. Peterson, Park, and Seligman's Happiness Profile was used to evaluate happiness orientation in four categories: pleasure, engagement, meaning, and victory. The Fordyce Emotions Questionnaire was used to evaluate subjective well-being. It is hypothesized that high levels of perseverance in both categories will correspond with lower levels of pleasure happiness and subjective well-being as well as higher levels victory and engagement happiness. Results will be examined for clinical and broader research implications. (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Price)

Graduate Research Paper Competition Results

There were six presentations in this year's competition.  In addition to valuable presentation experience for all the participants, the author of the 1st Place paper has the opportunity to present during the November KPA Annual Convention in.

1st Place: Kate Niehaus, M.S., University of Louisville.

  • School Climate, Risky Behavior, and Self-Concept During the Transition to Middle School
    The current study examines the extent to which school climate (i.e., students feelings toward school and the number of adults with whom students have a positive relationship) is associated with risk-taking behaviors and self-concept in a group of sixth-grade students from high poverty backgrounds. Data were collected from 547 students attending two middle schools in a large public school district. Regression analysis showed that students who held higher self-confidence at school, believed their teachers cared about them personally, and felt connected to more adults in their school were less likely to engage in risky behaviors at the end of sixth grade. Results point to the importance of the student-teacher relationship and overall school climate in helping students make a safe and successful transition to middle school. (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Rudasill)

2nd Place: Jennifer Poe & John J. Hayslip, University of Kentucky.

  • Treatment Decision Making in Follicular Lymphoma: Patient Preferences regarding Involvement of Physicians
    Follicular lymphoma (FL) is an indolent cancer, however, patients commonly experience multiple relapses and face complicated treatment decision making (TDM). This study examined preferences and attitudes of FL survivors on the involvement of significant others (SOs) in TDM. FL survivors (N = 31) completed questionnaires assessing the desired TDM roles of physicians, family and friends. Most participants preferred to share responsibility with their doctors. Nearly all (96%) participants reported taking their specialist s opinion very seriously regarding whether they should receive chemotherapy. Sixty-one percent of participants preferred to make decisions after considering SOs opinions. Participants reported taking the opinions of spouses most seriously regarding the decision to receive chemotherapy (78%), followed by their children (63%) and other family members (48%). Some participants also reported considering the opinions of friends (33%) and colleagues (22%). Data suggest that the majority of patients wish involve SOs in the TDM process. (Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jamie Studts)

Paper Presentation Abstracts

2010 Outstanding Mentor Award Winners

Graduate Division:

  • Jamie L. Studts, Ph.D., University of Kentucky
  • David T. Susman, Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Undergraduate Division

  • Jonathan S. Gore, Ph.D., Eastern Kentucky University

2010 Conference Committee Members

A special thank you goes out to this year's committee members who helped make this event a huge success! 

  • Nekeisha Briggs, M.S.* (Co-Chair)
  • Laura Gabel, M.A.* (Co-Chair)
  • Bernie Bettinelli, Ed.D.
  • Karen Eisenmenger, M.A.*
  • Steven Kniffley*
  • Nate Mitchell, Ph.D.
  • Jennifer Richardson, M.A.
  • David Wen*
    *Graduate Students

Psych Bowl Coordinators

  • Pam Cartor, Ph.D.
  • Allison From, Psy.D.
  • Paul Hager, Ph.D. 

Academic Conference Forum

2009 Conference Wrap-Up – View paper & poster abstracts from last year submissions

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