Current Issue

Volume 2: Issue 1, June 2024

Editorial: Promoting Human Flourishing Through Undergraduate Research: Insights From Canyon Journal of Undergraduate Research

Breanna J. Naegeli, PhD
Grand Canyon University, Editor-in-Chief CJUR 

doi:

This June, we eagerly present a new issue of the vastly growing Canyon Journal of Undergraduate Research (CJUR). We are pleased to introduce the editorial staff that has diligently collabo- rated to produce this issue of the journal at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona: Scott Greenberger, EdD, Executive Editor, Breanna Naegeli, PhD, Editor-in-Chief, Katalina Inzunza Herrera, Assistant Editor, Jenny Kuban, Managing Editor, Ramesh Velupillaimani, PhD, Neal Adam, PhD, Tara Chavez, EdD, and Marette Hahn, PhD as Editorial Board Members, and Sandi van Lieu as Copy Editor. For this issue of CJUR, we welcomed the support of 5 undergraduate peer editors under the direction of Assistant Professor, Kimbel Westerson. We sincerely appreciate the on-going dedication, collaboration, and support of this editorial staff.

Editorial



The Impact of Weighing Frequency on Weight Cycling in Post-COVID College Students

Julia Tangel, Grand Canyon University

Makenna Cobb, Grand Canyon University

Megan Otto, Grand Canyon University

Alyssa Morales, Grand Canyon University

Zachary Zeigler, Grand Canyon University

doi: 

The COVID-19 pandemic led to lifestyle changes and weight gain for many, including college students. Regular self-weighing can aid weight management but may also contribute to weight cycling (repeated weight loss and regain), which has negative health impacts. This study examined the relationship between weighing frequency and weight cycling in post-COVID college students. This was an observational, correlational study with 124 college students aged 18-30 years. Participants completed the Weight and Lifestyle Inventory questionnaire assessing weight history, including weight cycling (≥ 10lb weight change) and weighing frequency. Anthropometrics were measured. Statistical analysis included t-tests, correlations, and ANOVA. Results showed that participants averaged 1.2 ± 1.4 weight cycles. Males weighed themselves more frequently than females (p = 0.004). When analyzing both genders, there was a significant positive correlation between weighing frequency and the number of weight cycles (r = 0.293, p = 0.006), which remained for males (r = 0.409, p = 0.005) but not for females. Those weighing daily had significantly more weight cycles than less frequent weighers (p < 0.05). More frequent weighing was associated with greater weight cycling, particularly among males. This contradicts some prior research suggesting the benefits of regular self-weighing for weight control. Potential limitations include the observational design, self-reported data, and sample demographics. Future research could explore psychological factors and employ longitudinal designs to establish causality and develop tailored interventions.

Keywords: Pandemic, Eating disorder, Freshman 15, Young Adult Health

Abstract and Paper



Pinay and Proud: An Interdisciplinary Reflection on Colonization's Detrimental Influence on Establishing Eurocentric Beauty Standards and Personal Ethnic Identity Within my Filipina Experience

Lauren Baker, Grand Canyon University 

doi: 

Across the Filipino/a/x diaspora, members of the community have struggled with the recurrence of colonial mentality and intergenerational trauma. Within the history of the archipelago, the Philippines has experienced generations of colonial presence, violence, and the loss of cultural identity. As a result, members of the Filipino community in the status quo may feel motivated to stifle their Filipino heritage out of shame and self-preservation, because the Philippines has historically been treated and perceived as inferior, or a means to an end. One of the ways that colonial mentality has manifested itself is in the skin whitening industry, in which products containing certain ingredients decrease the amount of melanin present in the skin. However, the skin whitening industry has become a public health crisis, disproportionately affecting women across the diaspora by establishing Eurocentric beauty standards. This interdisciplinary reflection will consider the disciplines of history, economics, and sociology to understand how colonial mentality within a Filipina experience has perpetuated itself, and help discover a path toward empowerment within personal ethnic identity.

Keywords: Philippines, Skin-whitening, colonial mentality, phenotypic bias, colonization, history, economics, sociology

Abstract and Paper


Mindfulness and Stress: Understanding How Awareness Impacts Stress Reduction

Jeremy Varnadore, Grand Canyon University 

Colin J. O'Reilly, Grand Canyon University

Kobe Lage, Grand Canyon University

Aliya Kuester, Grand Canyon University

Ashley Larson, Grand Canyon University

Anisa Barbosa, Grand Canyon University

Sean K. Cuddyer, Grand Canyon University

Dillan McGuckin, Grand Canyon University

Logan Demeter, Grand Canyon University

Elizabeth Moore, Grand Canyon University

doi:


This literature review discusses research on the relationship between mindfulness and stress. It explores the history of mindfulness and theories of mindfulness, including self-determination theory, mindfulness-to-meaning theory, and dispositional mindfulness. The review examines mindfulness’s neurological, biological, psychological, and emotional impacts based on current research. It examines mindfulness interventions and their effectiveness in reducing stress in populations among students, working professionals, and clients undergoing clinical treatment. Studies show mindfulness can lower stress levels, though the impacts vary between populations. Mindfulness is also linked to improvements in behaviors, emotions, and well-being. Meditation practices, including meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques, positively affect biological, psychological, and emotional well-being. As mindfulness continues to expand in the realm of psychology, there is an ongoing opportunity for refining and enhancing interventions. Future research should evaluate the efficacy of novel mindfulness techniques and explore the application of mindfulness in previously unexplored populations, including college students.

Keywords: Mindfulness, Stress

Abstract and Paper

Sheltering Survivors: A Literature Review of Safe Houses for Sex Trafficking Survivors

Allison Limley, Grand Canyon University 

doi: 

Sex trafficking is a prevalent issue in the United States. Even with the scale of this issue, services for survivors have struggled to effectively meet the needs of survivors. Service providers for housing pro- grams have to be able to meet basic needs as well as assist with complex needs necessary for long-term recovery, like mental health and legal services. The present research was compiled to understand better how housing services in the US for survivors of sex trafficking approach aiding survivors and where improvements are necessary. Overall, the findings indicate differences in what programs offer and the availability of services. The residential programs reviewed differ in the category of program they are as well as who they aid. While commonalities were found in struggles for the programs, many of the pro- grams are fundamentally different because of their differing approaches to providing services.

Keywords: Commercial sexual exploitation, sex trafficking, human trafficking, safe houses, residential programs

Abstract and Paper



Novel Phytochemicals in Treating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: A General Review

Foxx Walz, Grand Canyon University

Within the last century, medicinal practices have introduced antibiotic medications to treat bacterial infections in humans. It has been assumed that the excessive prescription of antibiotic medicines has produced antibacterial-resistant pathogenic bacterial populations. The growing concern about antibiotic- resistant bacteria has focused research efforts on naturally occurring phytochemicals. In addition to the traditional use of phytochemicals for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, these compounds have also been found to exhibit bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties. Research has revealed groups of bioactive compounds, termed secondary metabolites, that protect plants against environmental pathogens like herbivores, fungi, and bacteria. Groups of secondary metabolites have been found to inhibit bacterial growth, proving potential use as antibiotic medicines for humans in response to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Secondary metabolites like alkaloids and groups of phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, have been isolated and tested for antibiotic properties in vitro. While phytochemicals individually display successful bacterial inhibition, combination therapies using secondary metabolites with currently distributed antibiotics seem to have synergistic bactericidal effects worth further research. The creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) is one plant that contains secondary metabolites that may serve as future antibiotic medicine for humans. Further development into the isolation of bioactive compounds can offer novel treatments for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in humans.

Keywords: bacteria, antibiotics, secondary metabolites, phenols, creosote

Abstract and Paper



The Mindful Student: Investigating Relationships Between Mindfulness, Locus of Control, and Stress

Jeremy Varnadore, Grand Canyon University

Ashley Larson, Grand Canyon University

Sean K. Cuddyer, Grand Canyon University

Anisa Barbosa, Grand Canyon University

Elizabeth Moore, Grand Canyon University

Rogelio Garcia, Grand Canyon University

Janean Mikutis, Grand Canyon University

doi: 

This study explores the relationship between mindfulness, locus of control, and stress in college students. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment with open-heartedness and non-judgmental awareness. Existing literature suggests that mindfulness is linked to reduced stress and improved well-being. This study investigates the relationship between mindfulness, locus of control, and stress in college students. The study, conducted at a Christian university, employs a correlational design with 126 undergraduate participants. Two Pearson’s r correlational analyses were used to assess the relation- ships between mindfulness and stress and mindfulness and locus of control. Results indicate a negative correlation between mindfulness and stress (r = -.414, p = <.001) and between mindfulness and locus of control (r = -.181, p = .043), supporting the hypothesis that higher levels of mindfulness relate to lower levels of stress and a stronger internal locus of control in college students. Limitations include the use of self-report measures and potential sampling bias from a single university. Future research should incorporate diverse samples from other universities and experimental designs to enhance generalizability and establish causation. The findings support the hypothesis and align with existing literature, emphasizing the potential benefits of mindfulness practices for stress reduction and the development of internal locus of control. Implications for mindfulness interventions to enhance students’ well-being are discussed, and avenues for future research are suggested.

Keywords: Mindfulness, Locus of Control, Stress

Abstract and Paper



Early Life Adversity and Resilience

Sean K. Cuddyer, Grand Canyon University 

Aliya Kuester, Grand Canyon University 

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This literature review examines the theoretical foundations and current empirical research on early life adversity (ELA) and resilience. The authors aim to elucidate the complex effects of ELA and child- hood trauma on an individual’s psychological and physical health outcomes. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative studies, the authors further examine the documented clinical interventions and coping mechanisms for individuals affected by ELA, identifying effective strategies and notable gaps in the cur- rent body of literature. By synthesizing the latest findings, the authors seek to inform clinical practice, guide future research, and highlight the importance of resilience in overcoming the long-term impacts of early life adversity and trauma. The authors map out the existing body of knowledge and shed light on the pathways through which resilience can mitigate the adverse effects of ELA and trauma, offering insights into potential therapeutic and support mechanisms.

Keywords: Early Life Adversity (ELA), Childhood Trauma, Resilience, Adverse Childhood Experiences

Abstract and Paper



A Literature Review: Promoting Healing and Social Justice Through Trauma-Informed Transformations in K-12 Education

Lauren Williams, Grand Canyon University

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The recognition of trauma-informed practices is increasingly gaining traction as current research highlights the negative impacts trauma has on an individual’s holistic well-being and life outcomes. Additionally, studies have proven the lasting effects individuals may experience after enduring traumatic events in childhood. These effects may range anywhere from deviancy in childhood to chronic mental ill- ness in adulthood. As a response to these discoveries, research has begun to explore trauma sensitivity in education. Even more so, how incorporating trauma-informed care in K-12 schools can foster an environment where students flourish and experience healing. While previous studies have primarily examined the presence and effects of trauma-informed practices in K-12 education settings, there remains a gap in current literature regarding the practical implementation of these practices and the underlying fac- tors that influence this transformative shift in K-12 environments. This literature review seeks to explore the complex process of implementing trauma-informed practices in K-12 education and will evaluate the impact cultivating a trauma sensitive school culture has on student well-being and academic outcomes.

Keywords: trauma-informed practices, K-12 education, adverse childhood experiences, well-being

Abstract and Paper



A Review of The Dark Triad, Leadership, and Leadership Styles: The Relationship Between The Dark Triad and Leadership

Colin O'Reilly, Grand Canyon University

Ashley Larson, Grand Canyon University

Zachary Singleton, Grand Canyon University

Anisa Barbosa, Grand Canyon University

Kobe Lage, Grand Canyon University

Kaito Cuddyer, Grand Canyon University

Aliya Kuester, Grand Canyon University

Brennah Molsberry, Grand Canyon University

Dillon McGuckin, Grand Canyon University

Jaelyn Crebbin, Grand Canyon University

Janean Mikutis, Grand Canyon University

Jacob Romero, Grand Canyon University

Jeremy Varnadore, Grand Canyon University

Joseph Yepez, Grand Canyon University

doi: 

This article examines the literature on leadership, the Dark Triad (DT), and potential interventions for DT leaders. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast the behaviors and outcomes of modern leadership styles with that of DT leaders. The paper will also outline potential interventions for fixing adverse behaviors accompanying DT personality traits. When examining the literature, many authors comment on the effective and ineffective aspects of DT leadership, but they lack comprehensive interventions for dealing with leaders who exhibit DT personality traits and behaviors. It is of paramount importance to understand, intervene, and decrease these traits and behaviors in the workplace to boost the overall emotional, psychological, and physical safety of leaders, teams, and corporations. Exploring this could fuel more awareness of dark leader triads and potential interventions instead of merely exploring how these traits are exhibited in leadership or the workplace. This will enable more productivity and well-being in workplaces across the United States.

Keywords: Leadership, Dark Triad

Abstract and Paper

The Changing Lives Outreach Program, Interpersonal Skills, and General Self-Efficacy

Ashley Larson, Grand Canyon University 

Elizabeth Moore, Grand Canyon University 

doi: 

This paper examines the impact of The Changing Lives Outreach Program in developing self-efficacy and communication skills in undergraduate college students. It also aims to investigate the effusiveness of The Changing Lives Outreach Program’s effectiveness, focusing on its goals of developing soft skills in undergraduate psychology and behavioral health students. To assess these goals, researchers compared levels of these skills before and after these students participated in one month of The Changing Lives Outreach Program. The results showed a significant increase in both students’ self-efficacy and interpersonal communication skills over the course of their participation in one semester of The Changing Lives Outreach Program. This study emphasizes the importance of developing these schools to boost career success in these student populations after graduation.

Keywords: General Self-efficacy, Interpersonal Communication, Mastery Experiences, The Changing Lives Outreach Program

Abstract and Paper



Online Publication Date: June 30, 2024

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