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Poster Session

NYSPA’s 2020 Annual Poster Session
at NYSPA's 2020 Virtual Convention
October 17-18, 2020


The Poster Session is held each year during NYSPA's Annual Convention, and enables participants to present their recent research and writing to an interested professional audience.

2020 Poster Award Winners

Adult Development & Aging Division Grant
2020 Grant Winner - Katie DiCola

Winner(s) will receive $300 and a 2-year student membership to NYSPA (includes all divisions of interest). Up to four grants are available.

Independent Practice Division Grace Lauro Award
2020 Award Winner - Fayel Mystafiz
Posters that are solely authored by students are eligible for the Independent Practice Division's Grace Lauro Award, 2-year membership and a monetary award up to $300. Up to three awards are available.

Roy Aranda Award
2020 Award Winner - Clint Hougen
Winner will receive $300 and a 2-year membership to NYSPA (includes all divisions of interest).


Poster Session Agenda

Saturday, October 17, 2020

10:15 – 10:45 am

Assessing hospitalized adolescents’ readiness to engage in therapy: Relationships with personality prototype ratings and the Youth Self-Report
Presenters: Ibrahim Mohammad Faisal Sabri and Jeswin Joy, MBBS.

Background: Hospitalizing adolescents is the most expensive treatment modality and inpatient beds have been reduced (Blanz & Schmidt, 2000) and many psychiatric inpatient services, because of economic pressures, are not able to provide all patients with individual psychotherapy. Providers are in need of a measure that is easy to use and score which could reliably assess patients’ ability to engage in inpatient psychotherapy.

Methods: We consented 72 adolescents admitted to an acute inpatient setting. 52.8% were male with the average age of 15.7 (1.18) years old. 40.8% were Caucasian, 25.4% African American, 25.4% Hispanic/Latino, 2.8% Asian and 5.6% other. The main primary diagnosis was mood disorder (60%) followed by conduct disorder/oppositional defiant disorder (30%). Patients completed the Youth Self-Report (YSR) at admission. The patient’s individual and group therapist completed the Shedler Westen Assessment Procedure - Prototype Matching (SWAP-P) at discharge and both clinician score was averaged together. The unit psychiatrist completed the RIPS after the initial psychiatric evaluation at admission to the unit. All raters were blind to each other’s’ ratings.

Results: Results revealed the RIPS was correlated with clinician-reported SWAP-P prototypes for Antisocial/Psychopathic Personality (r=-.56, p


11:00 – 11:30 am

The Impact of Identity on Coping and Life Satisfaction
Presenter: Erica Coleman

This project will examine how coping with different life events effect life satisfaction. Particularly looking at how different identities such as gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity might impact this relationship. Previous studies have found that people in the LGBT+ community have specific stressors and/or hardships than heterosexual counterparts. However, current research fails to address how certain minority groups such as transgender youth cope with life events (Budge et al., 2018). Lazarus (1991) explained coping to be the actions one takes that either help them overcome an event or lead them to harm. Of course this is all situational. Coping strategies may be different using race, ethnicity, gender, and gender identity as a mediator. Youth tend to use coping strategies just like any adult would but individuals from minority groups use far more coping strategies (Miller 2006). The aim of this study is to see how people of different identities cope with life events and how their coping styles can translate into overall life satisfaction.


2:45 – 3:15 pm

Impact of PTSD on SUD treatment outcomes
Presenter: Nina Z. Dadabhoy

Those with a comorbid diagnosis of SUD-PTSD have significantly higher odds of having nearly all other psychiatric disorders – both Axis I and II diagnoses – compared with either diagnosis alone (Blanco, Pérez-Fuentes, Okuda, & Wang, 2013; Korte, Bountress, Tomko, Killeen, Maria, & Back, 2017; Torchalla, Nosen, Rostam, & Allen, 2012; Wieferink, de Haan, Dijkstra, Fledderus, & Kok, 2017). A larger percentage of those with SUD-PTSD engage in mental health treatment than those with SUD-only (Simpson et al., 2019), and understanding differences in the severity of mental health symptomatology throughout the course of treatment between those groups can help us to better tailor an integrative treatment for individuals with SUD-PTSD. Extending this research, the present analysis examines the differences in symptoms between those with self-reported PTSD-SUD and those with SUD-only at both intake and three months into a course of SUD-focused, CBT-based treatment. We hypothesize that those with SUD-PTSD, if their PTSD is left untreated, will continue to have higher rates of other mental health symptomatology.


3:30 – 4:00 pm

2020 Roy Aranda Award Winner
Mindfulness and Context Sensitivity: Establishing the Relationship between Awareness of the Internal and External Environments

Presenter: Clint Hougen

To date, no research has established the relationship between context sensitivity to one’s external environment and mindfulness, a state and trait of directed attention to one’s internal environment. This study provides preliminary evidence that context sensitivity and specific factors of mindfulness are positively correlated. Participants (N = 164) were recruited on MTurk and Adelphi’s participant management system SONA, and completed our on-line survey hosted on Qualtrics. Participants completed Informed Consent and demographic information as well as both the Context Sensitivity Index (CSI), a scenario-based measure of individual differences in context sensitivity and the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), a 15-item self-report questionnaire that measures five factors of mindfulness including observation, description, acting with awareness, non-judgement and non-reactivity. As participants were a part of a larger study, they also completed measures of daily activity and body connection. Initial analysis demonstrates a moderate positive correlation between context sensitivity and acting with awareness, r(163) = .459, p < .05, and between context sensitivity and non-judgement, r(163) = .387, p < .05. Other factors of mindfulness did not significantly correlate with context sensitivity. These preliminary findings underscore the importance of awareness and nonjudgement in context sensitivity and therefore, self-regulation. Further analysis will shed light on the relationship between mindfulness and context sensitivity and specific subject variables.


4:15 – 4:45 pm

Mentor Support and Family Planning for Psychology Graduate Students of Color
Presenter: Jaya Mallela

Support from mentors affects the professional and personal experiences of psychology graduate students. For doctoral students of color and students who are parents, support from academics, especially those with similar demographics or families, is a factor that can be key to academic and professional success. However, little is known about how mentor support affects female doctoral students of color (FDSCs) who are parents. It was hypothesized that FDSCs experience less professional support from mentors than white doctoral students, especially support related to family planning. As part of a larger study, N = 399 psychology graduate students and their mentors completed an online survey investigating family planning and parenting in doctoral level psychology programs. This set of analyses compares the experiences of FDSCs to white female graduate students (n = 68) in terms of professional support received from mentors related to career and family planning. A linear regression was calculated for each group to predict the mediating impact of professional support received from mentors on the relationship between race and family planning decisions, while controlling for financial stability and fertility concerns. Results indicated important relationships between race, mentor support, and level of difficulty in making family planning decisions. Understanding how mentors support FDSCs who are parents, especially the level of mentor support this population receives compared to Caucasian women who are parents, is important in bringing awareness to systemic obstacles that particularly marginalized groups such as women of color experience in the academic pipeline.


5:45 – 6:15 pm

The Growing Field of Occupational Therapy
Presenter: Angela Koziarz

Maintaining the growth of psychology as a profession is critical given that psychology has important contributions it can offer to society. Providing psychology majors with a better understanding of career options and opportunities for applying psychology in different professions is critical. Careers in allied health such as occupational therapy are more closely related to psychology than students perceive. Occupational therapists can work in many settings treating various populations. One of these populations involves working with individuals who are chronically mentally ill, those suffering with substance abuse disorders, as well as those living with physical disability and challenges. In recent years the field of occupational therapy has expanded immensely in terms of its popularity and practice in the health field. Within the next 30 years, there is a projected job increase of 30%. Despite the growth of the field, occupational therapy is still relatively unknown, and is often compared to the field of physical therapy due to the public’s lack of familiarity with occupational therapy. The purpose of the proposed on-line study is to research and gain a deeper understanding of the public’s knowledge and perceptions about the field of occupational therapy. This information can be used to design materials to educate the public about the uses and benefits of occupational therapy. It can also be used to promote occupational therapy as a viable career option.


Sunday, October 18, 2020

11:00 – 11:30 am

The Language of Child Psychoanalysis: Winnicott and "The Piggle"
Presenter: Amanda Kalmutz

A detailed case illustration of ‘on demand’ child analysis, “The Piggle” offers readers insight into the techniques and interpretations employed by Dr. Winnicott in his last child treatment, as well as an understanding of his anxious patient’s reactions to this treatment over their two and half years together. “The Piggle” is striking in its honesty, including contemporaneous process notes free from the corrective bias of hindsight, making this a child analysis treatment especially worthy of study. Using NVivo qualitative data analysis software to analyze word frequencies obtained from transcripts of Winnicott’s sessions with The Piggle, this study seeks to identify the evolution of themes throughout the analysis as well as the synchronicity (and, at times, incongruity) between Winnicott and The Piggle’s language throughout different stages of treatment, perhaps related to his technique. This study will also use chi square analyses to compare Winnicott and The Piggle’s language use and will create words clouds to visually illustrate findings. Although nonverbal information, such as body language, prosody, and symptomatic reactions after sessions provide important data for understanding this treatment, this study’s focus is the verbal clues that emerge during Winnicott and The Piggle’s sessions together. Examining the evolution of themes and synchronicity between Winnicott and The Piggle’s language, via word counts, will help to shed light on issues addressed in treatment as well as Winnicott and The Piggle’s collaboration together as the analysis progressed.


11:45 am – 12:15 pm

School Psychologists' Current Understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Presenters: Rachel Gottlieb and Sandy Wong

Currently, more children are receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) than at any other time in history (Wilkinson, 2017). The purpose of this study was to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the relationship among variables associated with school psychologists' knowledge and stigma of ASD. Four hundred fifty-four school psychologists participated in an online survey. It was hypothesized that higher levels of school psychologists’ knowledge of ASD would be associated with lower levels of stigma of ASD, as measured by the ASK-Q (Harrison et al., 2017). Participants who indicated having no stigma of ASD compared to those who reported having stigma of ASD demonstrated marginally significantly more knowledge of ASD. Additionally, it was hypothesized that Knowledge of ASD, ASD-specific training of school psychologists, school psychologists’ usage of evidence-based assessment practices when conducting ASD evaluations, and school psychologists’ competence in the administration of autism-specific measures, would be statistically correlated with one another. Results suggest that knowledge of ASD is significantly correlated with confidence in working with individuals with ASD. School psychologists’ competence in the administration of autism-specific measures exhibited a significant positive correlation with ASD-specific training and confidence in working with individuals with ASD. School psychologists’ usage of evidence-based assessment practices when conducting ASD evaluations is significantly related to ASD-specific training. Further, results revealed that ASD-specific training is significantly correlated with confidence. Strengths and limitations of the study are discussed and directions for future research are provided.


12:30 – 1:00 pm

Social Ecological and Individual Determinants of Dietary Behaviors: A Thematic Content Analysis of Nutritionists' Accounts
Presenters: Alexander Dean Bracken, B.A., Deborah Fish Ragin, Ph.D., Jessica Francavilla, M.A. and Julia Wefferling, M.A.

Diet-related diseases are a public health concern (Caspard et al., 2017). While some research indicates that health-focused intervention strategies improve diet (Anderson et al., 2001; Ogawa, 2011), other findings are contradictory (van Assema, Steenbakkers, van Keulen, & Brug, 2006). There is a need to understand the factors that influence peoples’ dietary behaviors. Recently, nutritionists known as Registered Dieticians (RDs) have emerged in grocery retailers, providing free services for customers. 1. What is the function of the RD in supermarkets? 2. What factors describe nutritionist-consumer interactions? 3. Can nutritionists outside of health-related environments positively impact individuals’ health outcomes? The current study employed focus groups using a facilitator to obtain responses from a sample of RDs from northern New Jersey (n = 7). All sessions were tape-recorded and then transcribed. The authors collaboratively identified 23 themes. The first two authors and a third rater categorized each utterance into the 23 themes. Using Fleiss’ (1971) kappa to analyze 289 out of 345 utterances, a favorable reliability was established (k =.805 [p < .001, CI .805-.806]). Results indicated that RDs’ functions mostly included promotion, developing owner/manager relations, using a tailored approach, providing evidence-based education, and observing programs. Results also suggested that nutritionist-consumer interactions were mostly guided by values, demographics, cultural preferences, medical issues, and fads. Store-based nutritionists seem uniquely qualified and situated to positively impact people’s nutritional choices. Furthermore, store-based RDs reflect the growing need for accessibility and affordability in health interventions.


2:00 – 2:30 pm

Pediatric Behavioral Stoplight Program: Increasing Safety and Communication for Patients and Staff
Presenter: Jessica Simmons

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: In this country, children are increasingly admitted to hospitals for issues related to self-harm, suicidal ideation, aggression, behavioral concerns, and need for psychiatric medication management. Unfortunately, the unique needs of a psychiatric population are not always met within the standard rules of a medical setting. Accordingly, safety issues and concerns have been raised regarding how to best manage this patient population. The objective of this project aimed to implement a behavioral intervention at SUNY Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital to increase safety and communication for pediatric patients and staff.

METHODS: A multidisciplinary team was created and met bi-weekly for several months to discuss patient safety concerns related to this patient population with the goal of creating a behavior program using evidenced-based research and methods from other children’s hospitals. The intervention aimed to (1) provide education and training to staff on how to work with aggressive patients, (2) improve communication among staff about psychiatric patients, and (3) help standardize behavioral expectations between staff, patients, and their families.

RESULTS: The Pediatric Behavioral Stoplight Program was created and implemented. Six-month policy review revealed hospital staff reported more positive interactions with patients resulting in improved patient safety. Additionally, less ambiguity of patient rules and expectations have provided staff more opportunities to be consistent with and reduce emotional dysregulation amongst patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This behavioral program allows for structure and containment of pediatric patients who fall within the targeted population, providing safety and space needed to prepare patients for next steps in treatment.


2:45 – 3:15 pm

2020 Independent Practice Division Grace Lauro Award Winner
The Effects of In-Group Identification on Mental Health Stigma in College Students
Presenter: Fayel Mustafiz

Students with mental health conditions can feel stigmatized by their peers and may also have less perceived social support. However, it is thought that we are more likely to view someone more favorably if we perceive them as part of our in-group when sharing a common identity. Thus, an online survey was administered to undergraduate CUNY Hunter College students (N =152) to investigate whether high in-group identification vs. low in-group identification will lead to a more favorable view of a peer with mental illness compared to a peer with stress. First, participants rated group identification with a hypothetical peer describing their Hunter College experience in an audio clip. Then, they rated perceived similarity and social distance from the peer after it was revealed that the peer had either mental illness or stress. Multiple regression analyses revealed that irrespective of mental health state, high in-group identification led to more perceived similarity (β = -.13, SE = .03, p = .00) and less social distance (β = .72, SE = .15, p = .00) from the peer. However, high ingroup identification with the peer with mental illness did not lead to more perceived similarity (β = -.04, SE = .03, p = .12) and less social distance (β = -.22, SE = .15, p = .1505) compared to the peer with stress. These results are important in order to better understand how group identification can affect the level of stigma held toward students with mental illness to reduce barriers to care.


3:30 – 4:00 pm

2020 Adult Development & Aging Division Grant Winner
The Relationship between Parenting Style and Identity Development in Emerging Adults
Presenter: Katie DiCola

This study examines the connection between family and identity development. Specifically, the relationship between perceived parenting styles (Authoritative, Authoritarian, and Permissive) and levels of commitment (Identification with commitment & Commitment making) and exploration (Exploration in-breadth & Exploration in-depth) were examined. Participants consisted of young adults (N= 104) between the ages of 18-25 years who were asked to complete a variety of self-report measures including demographic variables, the Parenting Styles and Dimensions Questionnaire Short Version (PSDQ), and the Dimensions of Identity Development Scale (DIDS). A Pearson's correlation found a significant positive correlation between authoritative parents and exploration in depth (r (79) = .329, p < .01). Additionally, an inverse relationship between authoritative mothers and exploration in-breadth was found (r (80) = -.225, p < .05). A One-Way ANOVA also revealed a difference approaching significance among authoritarian mothers and exploration in breadth (F (2, 82) = 3.43, p < .09).

These findings suggest that authoritative parents might promote their children to explore new experiences within existing commitments rather than exploring completely new opportunities. The findings may imply that emerging adults with authoritative parents develop into healthy well-adjusted adults. Additionally, the results suggest that authoritarian mothers might promote their children to explore new opportunities as opposed to exploring within existing commitments. This finding may indicate that emerging adults with authoritarian mothers take more time exploring their identity. These findings imply that parenting style may predict emerging adult's levels of commitment and exploration and that future research is needed to better understand this relationship.


4:15 – 4:45 pm

Attitudes Toward Smartphone Devices for Mental Health Treatment
Presenter: Ilana Pomerantz

This study explored predictors of attitudes (intentions and preferences) to access smartphone-based mental health treatments relative to face-to-face services. Guided by previous studies, four domains were investigated: demographics; technology factors; psychopathology; and beliefs regarding medical conditions. It was hypothesized that these domains would be significantly associated with both intentions and preferences regarding the use of smartphone-based mental health treatments. Additionally, the study investigated the impact of a brief psychoeducational intervention regarding smartphone-based mental health treatments on attitudes to use these treatments. It was expected that the psychoeducational intervention would lead to an increase in preference to use smartphones for mental health treatment relative to face-to-face services and an increase in intentions to use smartphone-based mental health treatments both with and without therapist assistance in the future. One hundred and ninety-seven adults (aged 18-66+) completed an online protocol involving questions relating to the four domains, attitudes toward the use of smartphone-based mental health treatments and face-to-face services, and demographics. Results indicated that the psychoeducational intervention had no effect on participants’ future intentions to use smartphone-based interventions or their preference for using smartphone-based interventions over face-to-face therapies. Additionally, regression analyses indicated that there were relatively few significant predictors of either participants’ preference or intentions. The strongest predictor of preference was previous use of smartphones for mental health treatments. Living in more rural locations and being older uniquely predicted participants’ intentions to use smartphone-based mental health treatments with and without therapist assistance. Study limitations, areas of future research, and clinical implications are discussed.