2013 Best Student Poster Award Recipient: Michelle Conan

Females’ body satisfaction can be influenced by people around them. Research has shown that negative verbal messages from parents are positively correlated with body dissatisfaction in daughters (Hanna & Bond, 2006). Results regarding positive verbal messages are less clear. Research on nonverbal communication from parents is nascent. Researchers estimate that 65% of communication is done nonverbally (Birdwhistell, 1955; Philpott, 1983); people are sensitive to the nonverbal behaviour of others. This study investigated the relationship between perceived nonverbal communication from parents and daughters’ body satisfaction. Self-report measures and a correlational design were used while controlling for the influence of body mass index (BMI). Participants were 103 female undergraduate students from a prairie university. The results of a regression analysis showed that mothers’ immediacy, intimacy (involvement), and intimacy (affection) were unique predictors of daughter’s body satisfaction, even when accounting for BMI. In comparison, fathers’ immediacy, global intimacy, intimacy (affection), intimacy (receptivity/trust), and intimacy (depth) significantly predicted daughter’s body satisfaction when controlling for the influence of BMI. The results have important implications for parents’ potential role in affecting the development of their daughters’ body image.


2013 Best Student Poster Award Recipient: Anna Sverdlik

Attributional retraining (AR) is a motivational intervention that consistently improves academic motivation and achievement in struggling students (Fosterling, 1985). However, recent findings indicate that undergraduates with high self-esteem (HSE) experience unanticipated declines in job interview success after in-person AR, and lower grades after in-person or online AR (Hall et al., 2010, 2011, 2013; cf., defensive HSE, Baumeister et al., 2003; Kernis et al., 1997). The present study evaluates a modified AR intervention aimed at preventing adverse reactions in HSE students by comparing a typical AR program (AR 1) with a revised AR intervention (AR 2) that includes a preliminary reading explicitly reminding HSE students of the reasons underlying their self-worth (ability, accomplishments), as suggested by Steele et al. (1993) and Stake (1982) to reduce defensiveness. Half of the HSE students will be redirected to the modified AR based on their self-esteem levels (question logic, SurveyMonkey). Relative to the typical AR program, the modified intervention should result in fewer adverse reactions by HSE students. The sample will consist of 200 undergraduates at a Canadian university and be compiled by March 2012. Analyses will consist of 2 (low/high self-esteem) x 3 (AR 1, 2; No AR) ANCOVAs (covariates: age, gender, high school grades) on midterm and year-end grades.


2012 Best Student Poster Award Recipient: Sarah Sangster

2012 Best Student Poster Award recipient Abstract:
Goal-setting has proven to be an effective tool in improving undergraduate grades. In this study, the role of anticipated guilt as a mechanism by which this effect occurs was explored. Fifty undergraduate students were approached to complete either a goal-setting program or a control group activity. Participants completed a measure of their anticipated guilt regarding various academic activities. Non-participants from the same classes as the participants also completed the anticipated guilt measure. Academic achievement was assessed by performance on their subsequent midterm exams. It was predicted that goal-setting would have a direct effect on academic achievement and that anticipated guilt would mediate this relationship. Goal setting had a positive effect on academic achievement, however, anticipated guilt was not found to mediate this relationship. It was found that participants both anticipated more guilt regarding academic activities and had higher midterm grades than their non-participant classmates, suggesting that the anticipated guilt-academic performance relationship deserves further study.