Education, Faculty of

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 219
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    The use of fashion as a mood enhancer and its effect on mental health in emerging adults in Canada during a global pandemic
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2023) Wenderski, Malgosia; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Wasilewski, Julia; Jung, Jaehee
    Literature demonstrates that clothing has a positive influence on aspects of mental health, and this study frames the use of clothing to enhance one’s wellbeing as a coping mechanism. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted lifestyles as individuals were isolated in their homes in accordance with lockdown restrictions. There were global reports of isolation and diminished mental health (Rajkumar, 2020). It was unknown if emerging adults continued their high engagement with clothing during the peaks of the pandemic. The relationship between clothing, mood, and mental health is also unknown. This thesis surveyed 574 emerging adults (individuals 18 to 29) in Canada to investigate how the peaks of the pandemic had affected both clothing engagement and the use of clothing as a mood enhancer, and how this relationship impacted mental health. The mixed methods study found that participants either increased or decreased their engagement with clothing. Greater fear of COVID-19 predicted and positively correlated with fashion involvement and mood enhancement through clothing. Emerging adults reported multiple motivations to enhance mood through clothing, including bolstering the self concept, self-esteem, and comfort. While there was no relationship between mood enhancement and mental health, the thematic analysis revealed reports of both positive and negative effects of clothing on mental health. The study found that emerging adults used clothing as a coping mechanism to support their wellbeing. Furthermore, engagement with clothing, or a lack thereof had consequences to their experience. Participants shared that clothing enhanced their self-esteem, mood, self-empowerment, self-congruency, and self-efficacy. Emerging adults who did not sustain high engagement with clothing reported negative impacts to self-esteem, self-efficacy, connection with self, and mood. Future research is encouraged to further explore and clarify the relationship between clothing, mood, and mental health.
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    Blackfoot healing curriculum through storytelling and art: Faceless Dolls, a young-adult illustrated novella
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2023) Heavy Shield, Hali; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Hasebe-Ludt, Erika
    The study “Blackfoot Healing Curriculum Through Storytelling and Art: Faceless Dolls, a Young-Adult Illustrated Novella” is an arts-based dissertation of creative exploration in which I sought healing through storytelling and visual art pedagogy. K-12 programs of study and post-secondary education that incorporate the arts have effectively engaged and connected with teachers and students, particularly with youth. In this thesis, I explored the research question: “How can an illustrated novella that expresses Blackfoot storytelling pedagogy promote learning and healing from trauma?” I chose a qualitive arts-based approach and methodology that aimed to create meaning from written and visual text and to expand my own and my audience’s understanding of my research question. This framework recognizes that art can convey truths about knowledge of the self and others. I included 25 of my own artworks to convey such truths together with the written narrative. Under the umbrella of arts-based research, I engaged in fiction-based research, namely “social fiction” based on Patricia Leavy (2017), to write a realistic and authentic portrayal of a Blackfoot youth’s experience in my home community of the Blood Tribe in southern Alberta. I based my creative and scholarly work on four Blackfoot values: aatsimoyihkaan (spirituality), kimapiitpitsinni (kindness), ikakimaat (do your best) and kakoysin (being aware/observant). I found that my own arts practice, based on these Blackfoot teachings enabled me to experience transformational change through imagination, creativity, and holistic learning and knowing. Colonization and the Residential School system have left a devasting legacy of woundedness and trauma. In doing the research for the novella, I have identified how both traditional and contemporary Indigenous art and storytelling practices can be modes of survival and recovery, heal woundedness, and garner spiritual wisdom and well-being by attending to Blackfoot values in a K-12 education context.
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    Investigating the race-based experiences of ethnic minority law enforcement officers with members of the public
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2023) Fedynets, Bozhena; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Bernes, Kerry B.
    Only 8% of police officers in Canada identify as people of colour, while approximately 26.5% of Canada’s general population identify as people of colour. Law enforcers do not currently mirror the demographics of the populations they serve, as agencies report difficulty recruiting ethnic minority officers who then also have higher resignation rates than their White counterparts. Many studies explore the intraorganizational discrimination and unique challenges faced by ethnic minority officers. However, there is currently no research addressing the public race-based experiences of officers of colour with civilians in the field. This study identifies the types and frequencies of race-based interactions experienced by ethnic minority officers in the field and how these interactions impact officers’ job satisfaction, professional identity, and in turn, intention to resign. Second, this study gathers officers’ suggestions regarding improvements in current policy, recruitment practices, officer training, and available support, as related to officers of colour. This mixed-methods research addresses a major gap in the current literature that supports people of colour entering and maintaining more positive law enforcement careers. Written responses from 49 officers provide insight into the unique challenges faced by ethnic minority officers in the field and the organizational and clinical implications of those events.
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    Accuracy of horse affect assessments: a comparison of equine assisted mental health professionals, non-equine assisted mental health professionals, and laypeople
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2023) Fox, Sebastian A.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Greidanus, Elaine
    In order to know whether a horse’s welfare has been compromised, the professional needs to be able to assess the animal’s behaviour and meaningfully interpret it. Misinterpretation of a horse’s mental state may lead to further misunderstandings of the animal’s behaviour, breakdowns in horse-human communication, and jeopardized wellbeing (Gronqvist et al., 2016; see also Horseman et al., 2016; Mcbride & Long, 2001; Merkies et al., 2018). This study investigated the abilities of (EAMHPs) to assess the affective states of horses. First, an instrument for measuring accuracy was developed by showing a panel of 12 equine behaviour experts 20 videos of horses and asking them to describe the emotional states of the animals. Using the QBA and FCP method, the 10 videos with the highest inter-observer consensus and their associated terms (used to create answer keys) were retained. In the prediction testing phase, those 10 videos were shown to EAMHPs (n = 55), laypeople (n = 94), and non-equine assisted mental health professionals (NEAMHPs; n = 51), who were also asked to generate affectively descriptive terms. These three groups were then graded using the answer keys and awarded total assessment accuracy scores representing how similar their answers were to those of the experts. The participants of the three groups also self-rated their perceived level of horse experience and filled out a related questionnaire. The results found that EAMHPs and laypeople scored significantly higher than the NEAMHPs. However, when horse experience scores were controlled for, the EAMHPs no longer scored significantly higher than the NEAMHPs. Profession and horse experience scores significantly accounted for variation in the total assessment accuracy scores, and the horse experience scores were positively correlated with self-rated levels of horse experience. Those participants who believed they had a high level of horse experience scored significantly higher than those who said they had no horse experience or a low level of experience. The finding that EAMHPs and NEAMHPs score similarly, yet laypeople (significantly) outperform the latter and the former (non-significantly) when assessing the affective states of horses is perplexing. More research is needed to further investigate the involvement of horses in equine assisted therapy practices to ensure that their use remains ethical and that their welfare is not being compromised in exchange for aiding clients.
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    Female gamers’ perceptions of their mental health influenced by the online gaming space
    (Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2023) Fong, Andrea L.; University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education; Beaudin, Lorraine C.
    Video games have become an increasingly popular form of entertainment that can now allow for social bonds to be established and can contribute to an individual’s mental health. This thesis investigates female gamers, and their perceptions of how online gaming may affect their own mental health (n= 197). Previous research has found that female gamers are often treated differently in games based on their gender identity. Utilizing mixed methods, this study furthers the exploration of female gamers’ mental health as they interact with other players during online multiplayer games. Findings suggest that the purpose of the game interactions, views about the community, and the motivations of female gamers determine the effect that negative player-to-player interactions may have on their perceptions of stress levels, loneliness, and social support.