Home Economics--Family Studies and Consumer Sciences students develop an undergraduate thesis prior to beginning upper division course work. The 2007-08 academic year produced the following research findings:
PERCEPTIONS OF THE NEEDS, ISSUES, AND SOLUTIONS OF
The Master's College
Current research suggests adoptive children and families face a variety of challenges, even after the adoptive process has been completed. The purpose of this study was to discover the effects of adoption on post-adoptive children.
The survey instrument used in this
study to discover the effects of adoption on post-adoptive children
was a Likert-Type scale. The survey instrument contained five
questions requiring the population to respond on a scale of 1 to 4:
1 being disagree, 2 somewhat disagree, 3 somewhat agree, and 4
agree. A personal data sheet requested demographic data in addition
to the responses to the five-question survey instrument concerning
their perception of the effects of adoption. The survey instrument
was distributed electronically using online survey collection at
SurveyMonkey.com to those who attend Granite Falls Christian &
Missionary Alliance in Granite Falls, WA; Grace Bible Church in
Marysville, WA; Placerita Baptist Church in Santa Clarita, CA; and
The Master's College in Santa Clarita, CA, during the spring 2009
STATPAK statistical software was employed to examine the data collected during this study, and the One-Dimensional Chi-square statistical test was used for analysis of the data.
It was indicated through the Review of the Literature that adoptive families have a vast array of needs and challenges. It was also indicated that adopted children, as well as adoptive parents, are in need of post-adoptive services in order to enable adjustment and transition within the family, and that these families find post-adoptive services insufficient to fulfill their needs. While this is the case, research also suggested that there is hope for significant resiliency and recovery. The survey conducted by the researcher indicated that selected attenders of Granite Falls Christian & Missionary Alliance, Grace Bible Church, Placerita Baptist Church, and The Master's College agree that programs and services, while inadequate, are helpful to create a stable environment for adoptive families.
The results of the survey instrument
aligned with previous research on the subject, derived from the
Review of the Literature. Since three out of five survey instrument
questions computed Chi-square values were greater than the tabled
Chi-square values at the .05 level of significance, it can be
concluded that while adopted children face many difficulties,
through early intervention and stable caregiving environments, they
can exhibit resiliency. It can also be concluded that parents need
sufficient resources and services to assist them in incorporating
their internationally adopted children into everyday family life as
they encounter medical challenges and seek to avoid post-adoptive
Many children encounter problems once adopted, trying to gain an understanding of their current circumstances in such a new environment, while not losing their identity among their former culture. One way these children can be assisted in these matters is to be involved with their new parents in a support group that incorporates others familiar with their former environment. Another particularly helpful form of interaction is a strong parental attentiveness to the child's behaviors, showing a constant presence in the child's life. This develops a special, secure relationship between child and parent as ideas are shared, ethics are formed, and problems are solved. Parents may find assistance in communicating with other adoptive parents and seeking information through online communities, support groups, and publications. When these are unavailable, they may wish to create such resources, even if they feel they have little to offer, simply to create a forum where others may contribute input. This may foster a community that enables a greater understanding of the post-adoptive issues that may surface as time goes on, thus helping parents to find a solid place of support for their needs as well as for those of their children.
THE PERCEIVED INFLUENCE OF A FATHER ON HIS DAUGHTER'S
The Master's College
According to research conducted by Nielsen "fathers generally have as much or more influence than mothers on many aspects of their daughters' lives. For example, the father has the greater impact on the daughter's ability to trust, enjoy and relate well to the males in her life …well-fathered daughters are usually more self-confident, more self-reliant, and more successful in school and in their careers than poorly-fathered daughters …Daughters with good relationships with their father are also less likely to develop eating disorders" (2007, ¶ 12). Further, "if theorists are correct, it may be assumed that the father-daughter relationship has the potential to shape interaction patterns that surface as women enter into adult college relationships" (Perkins, 2001, 4). The purpose of this study was to determine what, if any, influence a father has on his daughter's development.
A ten-question survey instrument used in this study determined the influence a father has on his daughters' development. A personal data sheet requested demographic data in addition to responses to seven survey questions. Fifty survey instruments were distributed to the students enrolled in The Master's College between the dates of March 23, 2009, and March 27, 2009. Forty-six of the survey instruments were returned directly to the researcher and used in the study. STATPAK was used to examine the data collected, and the One-Dimensional Chi-square test used to interpret the data.
It was indicated through the Review of the Literature that a father does have influence on his daughter's development in all areas, including the areas of body image, sexuality, choice of a romantic partner, views of the opposite sex, social skills and academic goals. The survey results indicated that the students enrolled at The Master's College agreed that a father has influence on his daughter's development in all areas, including the areas of body image, sexuality, choice of a romantic partner, views of the opposite sex, social skills and academic goals.
The results of the survey instrument aligned with the previous research on the subject, as stated in the Review of the Literature. Since the computed Chi-square value of the one question that aligned with the first research question was greater than the tabled Chi-square value at the .05 level of significance, it can be implied that a father does have influence on his daughter at each stage of development. Also, since the computed Chi-square values of the six questions that aligned with the second research question were greater than the tabled Chi-square value at the .05 level of significance, it can be implied that a father influences his daughter's choice of a romantic partner, view of the opposite sex, sexuality, body image, social skill, and academic goals. Therefore, it can be suggested that a father has influence on his daughter's development in many areas of her life.
THE PERCEIVED INFLUENCE OF FAMILY TOGETHERNESS ON JUNIOR
The Master's College
Current research suggests that family leisure has encouraged the involvement and interaction with children in a way that fulfills both parental and social discourse. The connection between the amount of time families spend together and the types of activities they participate in has been implied to affect an overall parent to child family relationship. The purpose of the study was to observe how pre-teens from the ages of 12 to 14 are impacted by the relationships they have with their family environments inside and outside of the home.
The survey instrument used in this study observed the impact of family involvement on the maturation of pre-teens (12-14 years of age). A personal data sheet requested demographic data in addition to the responses to five survey questions based on a Yes or No scale. The survey instrument was distributed to 12-14 year old students enrolled at Santa Clarita Christian School, Santa Clarita, California, between the dates of March 23, 2009, and March 25, 2009. The students received the survey instrument from their teachers, and the survey instruments were returned through the administrative assistant, Mrs. Corona Mayhugh. Out of the 153 survey instruments distributed and returned, 82 were tabulated and used in the study. STATPAK was employed to examine the data during the study, and the One-Dimensional Chi-square statistical test was used for the analysis of the data.
It was indicated throughout the Review of the Literature that planned family involvement plays a distinct role in the maturation of junior high students ages 12-14 years old. The results of the survey instrument that was distributed reflected that families are incorporating planned activities on either a weekly or monthly basis within the forms of sport related activities as well as various other planned activities. The results also showed that families are actively discussing family related plans amongst each other to gain input. In contrast, results also indicated that there was a significant lack of whole family participation while implicating that the time spent as a whole family are times that are anticipated. Overall, the study indicated that family togetherness is an effective method to grow stronger family bonds as well as strengthen developmental progression.
Through various current research and
the results collected, family togetherness and positive
developmental influence are concepts that should be linked. The
development of communication skills that will be evident throughout
a pre-teen's academic, spiritual, and social life stems from the
examples that are provided by their parent's actions, reactions,
and habits. Likewise, as a pre-teen views their parents' and other
family members' behavior, character qualities that will permeate
throughout all aspects of life will develop and expand as they
continue to mature. Family togetherness envelops the significant
role in the way a pre-teen's pattern of thinking is being directed
through the execution of family time by way of parental
involvement. It can be perceived that the influence of family
togetherness on pre-teen junior high students has the potential to
effect the furtherance of substantial societal behaviors.
THE EFFECTS OF OLDER CHILD ADOPTION ON THE FAMILY
The Master's College
According to statistics, the majority of the children that are in need of homes are 4 years old or older. People looking to adopt children are less likely to consider adopting an older child due to the developmental issues and behavioral problems that an older child is perceived to have. The purpose of the study is to consider the effects on the family unit when the adoption of (an) older child(ren) occurs.
The survey instrument used in this study was designed to determine the potential effects of older child adoption on the family. Pursuant to the treatment, data were collected through a survey instrument with five Likert-style questions. In addition, demographical data of the participants was requested. 78 copies of the survey instrument were distributed to selected residents in Snohomish County, Washington, and to selected students at The Master's College in Santa Clarita, California, during the spring of 2009. A total of 34 of the instruments were completed, returned and used in the study. STATPAK was used to examine the collected data, and the One-Dimensional Chi-square test was used to analyze the data at a .05 level of significance.
Through the Review of the Literature, five predominant problems with adopted children, particularly older children, were identified. These are developing a sense of belonging, getting along with siblings in the adoptive family, establishing his or her identity, dealing with loss and grief, and making the adoption successful, stable and permanent. The data collected from the distribution of the survey instrument supported this information, showing that all five areas were perceived to be problems by people in general. The analysis of the data also suggested that an increase in the age at adoption intensifies the difficulties faced by the child establishing his or her identity, coping with loss, and having an adoption that is not disrupted and does not result in failure.
Although the majority of the children that are in need of adoption are older, potential adoptive parents are less likely to consider adopting an older child because of perceived developmental and behavioral issues in older children. These issues seem to magnify as the age at adoption is extended. However, the reason developmental and behavioral issues arise is not only because of the child's personality or character. Problems affecting the adoptee and the adoptive family come also as a result of the circumstances in which the adoptee has previously been placed. These can include multiple foster care placements or previous adoption failures. It follows that a child who has been in such circumstances for a longer period of time will have more problems in their development and behavior. The past of each adoptive parent will also affect the outcome of the adoption, whether the parents recognize that or not. In light of many potential problems, adoptees and adoptive families need support and assistance from therapists and counselors as they exert effort toward a successful and permanent adoption. Success in an older child adoption is not impossible, but it does entail many challenges.
THE PERCEPTIONS OF THE PORTRAYAL OF MEN IN THE MEDIA
The Master's College
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the portrayal of fathers in the media. Fathers are being "dumbed down" and pushed aside.
Data was collected through an electronically generated survey. The survey was created to determine the views the subjects had on fathers and their role in media. Three demographic questions were asked with nine Likert-type attitudinal scale questions. The Likert-type attitudinal scale was used to determine how strongly they agreed or disagreed with each statement. The survey instrument was limited to selected parents in the Santa Clarita Valley and students at The Master's College located in Santa Clarita, California, during the spring 2009 semester.. A total of 33 copies of the instrument were completed and returned. Thirty-three were used in this study. The research questions were analyzed using STATPAK. The One-Dimensional Chi-square test was used to calculate the data using a .05 level of significance.
It was indicated through the Review of the Literature that the media's portrayal of men affects the family. The results of the survey instrument indicated that the subjects believe that the media can affect a child's attitudes and beliefs. The survey results also indicated that there are many influences, including divorce and feminism, that contribute to the current portrayal of men in the media.
There will always be millions of people watching the media because it is a way of entertainment. The media is extremely powerful. Events and outings will get planned around the certain time a television show starts because the loyal viewers want to watch right as it is being shown. The Super Bowl is a perfect example to show how people will dedicate time and money just for the enjoyment of television. When so much time is spent invested in the media, its views and opinions begin to become the viewer's opinions. When certain attitudes and portrayals are being repeatedly shown, it becomes normal and then begins to become a stereotype.
Fathers are extremely important when rearing children and they affect their children's lives physiologically, emotionally, spiritually, educationally, and physically. When a child is being reared around the media they may think this negative portrayal of fathers is true. Many children grow up without a father present and their views of fatherhood could be completely shaped by the way they are shown in television.
THE EFFECTS OF OPEN ADOPTION ON THE BIRTHPARENTS, ADOPTIVE FAMILIES, AND ADOPTED CHILD
The Master's College
The process of adoption has gone from a trend of being almost exclusively closed to a new trend of keeping an adoption open. Many people not involved in adoption but who might become a part of the adoption process should be aware of the different effects of open adoption. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of open adoption on the adopted child, biological parents, and adoptive parents.
The survey instrument used in this study was used to determine what selected members of Grace Bible Church of Bakersfield and students enrolled in the Home Economics-Family and Consumer Sciences 300 class believed or knew about the effects of open adoption on the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted child. The survey instrument that was used employed a Likert-type attitudinal scale. A personal data sheet requested demographic data in addition to the responses to the six survey questions. The survey instrument was distributed in the spring of 2009 electronically through surveymonkey.com and returned through the same website.
It was found through the Review of the Literature that open adoption has been shown to mainly have positive effects on the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted children. The results of the survey instrument show that the majority of members at Grace Bible Church of Bakersfield and classmates in the Home Economics-Family and Consumer Sciences class at The Master's College also believe that open adoption has mainly positive effects on all the parties involved and that an adoption should be as open as possible.
Open adoption is becoming a more frequent practice in the adoption process and its effects should be made known to the greater population. According to the subjects in this study, any negative effects that are present are negated by the positive effects. However, none of the subjects were adopted children and thus they lack a knowledge base of how open adoption affects the child.
This study suggested that most people have a high view of open adoption and its effects. Whether or not the subjects actually have experience in adoption remains unknown.
Visit the Kappa Omicron Nu website to view previous students' published research findings (www.kon.org). Click on URC, volume 1, for the research results of Brianna (Cooper) Gillen, Sarah (Maloney) Hughes, and Danielle Tasmajian; volume 4 for Ophelia Yuen's findings; volume 5 for Kimiko (Fujita) Parker, Kwalombota Mahalihali, and Corinne (Shook) Thomas; volume 6 for Jessica Boyer, Sara Howard, Danielle Devore, and Stacy Truelove; volume 7 for Salome Bronnimann; volume 8 for Sarah Danielsson, Rebekka Kelly, and Anna Tsang.