Division III

  Abstracts Submitted: Division III - Graduate students (2 + years) - Social & Behavioral Sciences


PATH ANALYSIS OF FACTORS AFFECTING STUDENT OUTCOMES AND CONTINUED PARTICIPATION AFTER COMPLETING ALNU 1100 BASICS OF PATIENT CARE AT EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

Dr. Melessia Webb, College of Nursing, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614

The purpose of this study was to test a causal analytic model for predictors of course outcomes and a second causal model for predictors of continued participation in post-secondary education. The demographic characteristics were compared for students who continued to participate in post-secondary education and those who did not continue to participate in post-secondary education after completing ALNU 1100 Basics of Patient Care at East Tennessee State University. The two models selected for testing were Henry and Basile’s (1994) “Decision Framework” for students’ decisions to continue participation, and Donaldson and Graham’s (1999) “Model of College Outcomes for Adults”, which focused on student outcomes. A review of recent literature was also conducted to ascertain and further identify additional factors. A descriptive correlational research design was used without any sampling (total population of interest was studied). The student population for this study consisted of all students who had enrolled and completed ALNU 1100 Basics of Patient Care course at East Tennessee State University. Causal models were developed using path analysis based on hierarchical multivariate linear and logistic regression. The factors that influenced student outcomes and continued participation in higher education were examined from the students’ perspectives, and causal models were constructed and presented in diagrammatic, tabular, and narrative form. The main findings were that the causal models in the present study were not the same as either the Donaldson and Graham model or the Henry and Basile model. There were as many similarities as differences, however the similarities were striking in both cases. Results from this study revealed that students, who continued in education, were males with a higher education level than average. There was also a tendency for those with a few children and high household incomes to be associated with continued participation. The most important categorical predictor of continued participation......


GENDER DIFFERENCES IN WORKING MEMORY IN HUMANS TESTED ON A VIRTUAL MORRIS WATER MAZE

Ivy A. Click and Russell W. Brown, Department of Psychology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614

Male and female differences in spatial learning ability are known to exist across many different species. There are also acknowledged differences between men and women on a variety of spatial tasks including mental rotation, object location, spatial perception tasks, and spatial navigation. In the rodent literature, the standard for measuring place learning ability is the Morris water maze. In this task, subjects are required to use spatial cues outside of a circular pool of water to locate a hidden platform located beneath the surface of the water. Many different training regimens of the Morris water maze exist, including a working memory version commonly known as the match-to-place version. In this version of the task the platform is moved to a new location each day. We used a computerized version of the Morris water task to assess human gender differences in spatial navigation and working memory. Participants are placed into a virtual environment of a three-dimensional room containing a virtual pool of water surrounded by spatial cues. Participants use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate around the pool. In the first experiment, we gave participants a series of 20 trials, with the release point and platform location moving every two trials, and averaged each pair of trials together to form a trial block. Acquisition latency, path length, heading error, and first movement were analyzed. Men demonstrated significantly reduced acquisition latencies compared to women, showing a male superiority on this version of the task utilizing this training methodology. No significant differences were seen in path length, first movement, or heading error. However, a significant difference between males and females was observed when analyzing the first trial of the trial blocks only on heading error, suggesting that the men may have been able to adjust to the changing platform location more quickly than the women. In a second experiment, the participants were again given 20 trials, however, the release point and platf....