Monthly Archives: June 2010

Supportive Learning Environments for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Kristen Henriksen, Migette L. Kaup*, Kansas State University

Full manuscript: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/henriksen.html

Abstract: It has been consistently documented that children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) experience difficulty managing the sensory environment due to symptoms and behaviors associated with the disease. Existing literature is examined in order to uncover variables of the built environment that are known to positively or negatively affect the symptoms and behaviors of children diagnosed with ASD. The majority of the existing literature focuses on sensory and spatial issues, while the occurrence of conflicting recommendations serves to magnify the genuine complexity of the disorder. Suggested programming requirements and spatial layouts will aid the interior designer to a certain degree, but due to the scarcity of research that informs the interior designer specifically, new research is conducted in this paper and is combined with data from existing literature to form a matrix of specific design considerations. This will allow designers to utilize the considerations more readily and answer the calling for adaptable, flexible, and thoughtful universal design solutions in the learning environments of children with ASD.

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The Effects of Physical Attractiveness and Socioeconomic Status on Perceived Physical Health

Rania Kaoukis,
Phuong T. Do*,
Purdue University Calumet

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/kaoukis.html

Abstract: Biocultural evolution suggests that humans place a stronger emphasis on socioemotional processes than biological factors in regard to sexual selection. Substantial evidence from past studies reinforces the proposition that mating preferences have a basis in one’s health and well-being. The indication that biological entities prefer to pass on favorable genes to their offspring can be traced back to Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Consistent findings have been observed regarding the influence of development on facial symmetry. Research suggests that facial symmetry reflects developmental stability, indicating how successful one’s genes are in shaping a symmetric organism despite environmental assaults. In line with previous research, the current research proposal examined the effect of facial symmetry (i.e., a biological process) and socioeconomic status (i.e., a socioemotional process) on judgment of perceived health. It was hypothesized that women would judge a man’s health according to his facial features and annual income. Stimuli consisted of individual faces that were separated into two distinct groups based on the degrees of fluctuating asymmetry and then were counterbalanced with two levels of socioeconomic status (i.e., low and high income). Findings indicated the relative importance of both biological and socioeconomic processes in perceived health. Although the hypothetical results are preliminary, these findings suggest practical applications for understanding the biocultural evolutionary process and characteristics of natural selection in mankind.

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The Role of Attractiveness in Dating Selection

Sarah C. Atchley,
Hendrix College

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/atchley.html

Abstract: Current research explores how attractive a person is perceived based on the number of sexual partners the person and the attractiveness of those sexual partners. Without ever witnessing the individual, participants formed opinions of the individual’s level of attractiveness and desirability based on a high or low number of sexual partners and high or low attractiveness levels of those partners.

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Perceived Parental Involvement Positively Correlated With Middle and High School Students’ Self-Esteem

Courtney A. DeSisto,
Ingrid G. Farreras,*
and Christina M. Woody
Hood College

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v9/desisto.html

Abstract: A convenience sample of 132 twelve-eighteen-year-old students from a private middle and high school in the mid-Atlantic was used to determine whether there is a correlation between perceived parental involvement in teenagers’ lives and the adolescents’ self-esteem. A statistically significant correlation was found between perceived parental involvement and self-esteem, and a stepwise regression analysis found that perceived parental involvement and the sex and age of the adolescents predicted 25 percent of the variance in adolescent self-esteem. Female students reported higher self-esteem than male students in all but the 12-year-old group, and self-esteem decreased during middle school but then increased by high school. Implications for future research on parental involvement in teenagers’ lives were discussed.

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