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Psychology students recognized for posters at research event

Published on December 12, 2023

Psychology students recognized for posters at research event

First-prize winner Tim Jacques presents his work at the fall 2023 Psychological Science Research Event.

Samantha Shatas presents her project on the relationship between stress and compulsive buying in college students.

Attendees watch a presentation by senior Ali Junior Ezedine.

Six psychology students at Eastern Connecticut State University were recently recognized for the quality of their research posters. Timothy Jacques, Kaylee Drobish, Victoria Janosi, Kylie Rataic, Stacie Kinlen and Samantha Shatas won “best poster” awards at the fall 2023 Psychological Science Research Event on Dec. 4. Senior Ali Junior Ezedine also presented his research on the relationship between physical activity and creativity in young adults.

Poster winners were selected from a total of 46 presentations based on several criteria “related to the content, poster appliance and presentation,” said Christopher Krebs, assistant professor of psychological science.

“The students who won the event had the highest ratings across those criteria,” said Krebs. Jacques’s poster won first prize; the remaining four posters tied for second.

Jacques researched the relationship between aggression, masculine honor, sexist beliefs and gender. “I found that men were not significantly more aggressive (than women),” said Jacques, “but masculine honor beliefs and sexist beliefs were strongly correlated to aggression, supporting two of three hypotheses.” His research was overseen by Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, professor of psychological science.

Drobish presented a project titled “Examining the Relationship Between Moral Disengagement and Antisocial and Prosocial Behavior in College Sport.” She measured this relationship using two scales related to behavior in sports.

“The results of my study found a significant, moderate relationship between moral disengagement and antisocial behaviors toward teammates during competition,” said Drobish, whose research was also overseen by Salters-Pedneault.

“I am honored to be recognized for my research,” said Drobish. “It has been a long process but extremely rewarding to see it all come together.”

Kaylee Drobish presents her work on moral disengagement and prosocial/antisocial behavior in college athletes.

Victoria Janosi's poster presenting her work on rumination, burnout and sleep quality

The research team of Kylie Rataic (left) and Stacie Kinlen.

Janosi researched three issues plaguing college students: rumination, burnout and sleep quality. Overseen by Peter Bachiochi, professor of psychological science, Janosi’s research found that higher levels of rumination and burnout negatively impact sleep quality. Janosi found no gender differences in sleep quality in her project.

Rataic and Kinlen teamed up to research children’s most significant mental health problems as reported by children and their caregivers at mental health clinics. Their study had more than 1,500 participants compiled from the archival data of Connecticut therapists. Their research was overseen by Phyllis Lee, assistant professor of psychological science.

Their results showed that the top problem reported by children was anxiety, while the top problem reported by caregivers was conduct. “Future research could include the agreement between the top problem for the child and the caregiver to research how similar or different they are, and the reasoning for those results,” said Kinlen.

Shatas, meanwhile, researched a topic relevant to many during the holiday season: the relationship between stress and compulsive buying. “I chose this as my research topic because I noticed that when I am under large amounts of stress, I will compulsively buy something,” said Shatas. “I wanted to investigate if other college students did this as well.”

While her research showed no relationship between stress and compulsive buying, it did show a gender difference in both measures, as females reported higher levels of stress and compulsive buying than males. Shatas hopes that her research will help lead college students to more constructive ways of coping with stress than compulsive buying.

Shatas’s faculty mentor was Anthony Girasoli, lecturer of psychological science. Her feelings about the completion of her research were shared by her peers: “It was wonderful to see all of our hard work pay off.”

Girasoli also supervised the research of Ezedine on how physical activity affects creativity in young adults. Ezedine found that in one domain, called self/everyday, females scored significantly higher than males. Past research has found that males score higher than females in the mechanical/scientific domain. His study found this, too, but his sample size was small. "I believe my study would have found more significant results if I had more participants," Ezedine said.

"I was interested in conducting this research because I play guitar and feel myself playing better when I exercise consistently," he said.

Written by Noel Teter