Asbury hosts Kentucky Psychological Foundation’s annual conference

Published 12:12 pm Thursday, April 11, 2019

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From staff reports

At Asbury University, students are provided a wealth of opportunities to engage in their field of study on campus and beyond through conferences, workshops and other professional and networking events.
The most recent example of this came March 30, as Asbury hosted the 2019 Spring Academic Conference of the Kentucky Psychological Foundation (KPF) in its Kinlaw Library.
Each year, the conference provides a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to attend workshops, develop practical skills, present research in juried competitions and network with fellow students from across Kentucky.
This year’s conference, entitled Why Psychology, featured workshops highlighting psychology’s uniqueness within the social sciences, and the distinctions between psychological services and other professions’ approaches to mental health treatments.
The undergraduate panel discussion included psychologists with ties to Asbury. Participants included Dr. Carol Matthews, an educational psychologist and adjunct faculty member; Dr. Mike Yoder, an industrial and organizational psychologist and business professor; Dr. Janet Dean, a clinical psychologist and psychology professor; Dr. Steve Stratton, Asbury Theological Seminary professor; and Dr. Jonathan Raymond, a social psychologist.
Current students Shauna McKain and Claire Goodrum moderated the panel.
The research symposium included a presentation from Alyssa Martin, who won the undergraduate research competition at the conference last year with her project entitled, “The Mediating Role of Shame in the Relationship Between Thoughts about God and Mental Health.”  Martin also received the 2018 Scholar of Excellence in the Sciences Award at SEARCH, Asbury’s annual academic symposium. Dean served as her faculty sponsor.
Six Asbury students working with Dean presented their original research at the Spring Academic Conference. These students include: Kyra Christie, “The Mediating Role of Thoughts and Attachment to God in the Relationship Between Enneagram Personality Type and Mental Health;” Kaiha Hovanec, “The Effects of Public Versus Private Proclamation on Opinion Change;” Alex Ledford, “Gender Roles, Religion and Self-Discrepancies;” Noelle Peace, “Social Interaction, Gameplay and Mood” and “Social Media and Relationships;” Shauna McKain and Claire Goodrum, “Understanding the Mediation Effect of Perfectionism and Scrupulosity Between Religiosity and Attachment to God.”
McKain found it especially fulfilling to share her hard work and admire the hard work of her fellow students at the conference. Her research explored the complex relationship between religiosity and perfectionism.
“I wanted to discover the relationships between perfectionism, attachment to God and how we live out our faith through religious practices,” McKain said. “More specifically, I wanted to see if attachment to God mediates the relationship between perfectionism and different forms of religiosity. I found that an anxious attachment to God does mediate the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and organizational religiosity.”
For McKain, the research experience she’s gained through Asbury’s Psychology Department has given her the confidence to enter the field after graduating from Asbury in May.
“Research experience in undergrad is so important for psychology students who want to pursue grad school,” McKain said. “After presenting my research at two conferences, I feel more confident and excited about research and going further in the field of psychology.”
With the help of SEARCH and Asbury’s Psychology Department, McKain and Goodrum also presented their research poster at the 2019 Annual International Convention of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies in Dallas, Texas on March 22.
At the event, Dean also presented a workshop on her research, entitled “Holding Faith and Sexual Identity Together: Sexual Minority Students’ Patterns of Holding and Their Related Self-Perceptions, Mental Health and College Experiences.”

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