Paper Session IV, Panel B: Social Sciences Panel

March 29 2019
2:45pm – 4:00pm
Location: Herrick 322



  • Christian Saldanca
  • Shelby Massey
  • Kayla Thomas
  • Meleah Marquis
  • Innekè Vargas


Project Title: Effectiveness of Foreign Aid Channels in Boosting Economic Growth in Developing Economies
Author Name(s): Christian Saldana
Sponsoring Faculty Name:  Dr. William Miles
University: Wichita State University

Project Abstract:  This study analyzes the impact of Net Official Development Assistance (ODA), Multilateral ODA, and Bilateral ODA has on developing economies growth. It includes 68 countries from 1990 to 2015. With trillions of dollars being used for foreign aid throughout the decades, it is important to analyze whether it is creating the intended goal of economic growth. The independent variables analyzed were capital formation from 1990 to 2015, GDP per capita in 1990, average secondary education attainment in 1990, population growth from 1990 to 2015, and average Net ODA, Multilateral ODA, and Bilateral ODA as a fraction of GNI from 1990 to 2015. The dependent variable was GDP per capita growth from 1990 to 2015. The data collected from the World Bank Open Data was measured with a least squares regression. Net, Multilateral, and Bilateral ODA all had negative coefficients and were significant at the 10% level. Capital formation was positive and significant at the 5% level. Population growth and initial GDP per capita were both negative and significant. Secondary education level was also negative and significant. This study supports the idea that foreign aid is ineffective and possibly detrimental to developing economies. The result suggests that foreign aid keeps developing economies from growing by removing incentives that drive economic growth and by their susceptibility to be funneled out by corrupt government workers. Before considering potential policies based on the findings, further research needs to be done to confirm this finding by analyzing the role of corruption in recipient countries government and remove the possibility of endogeneity.


Project Title: The Body’s Discomfort with the Body: Terror in the Church
Author Name(s):  Shelby Massey
Sponsoring Faculty Name: Dr. Scott Drabenstot
University: Southern Nazarene University

Project Abstract:  Terror Management Theory makes the argument that when individuals are faced with death anxiety, they will try to raise their self-esteem as a way to try to make meaning and have value in the cultural context (Greenberg, Solomon, & Pyszcznski, 1987). Recent literature indicates that accumulating money protects against existential threats by raising self-esteem (Hanley & Wilhelm, 1992) and by providing security (Cheng, Chen, & LuoKogan, 2008). Religion is another coping mechanism that is used against mortality salience because it provides the hope of an afterlife (Ardelt and Koenig, 2006). Beck (2004) found that individuals who are defensive in their theology will avoid thoughts of Jesus having physical flaws while he lived on earth because it reminds them of their own physical mortality. This study proposes that because individuals find it difficult to face embodiment due to an increase in death anxiety, other forms of religious engagement will be pursued. However, Wesleyan theology indicates that Christians should show grace to others not just by aiding them spiritually, but also by demonstrating God’s love by meeting physical needs.  The purpose of this study was to test Terror Management Theory (Greenberg, Solomon, & Pyszcznski, 1987) within the context of the reported activities of churches within the Church of the Nazarene denomination. The responses of 5,411 United States churches in the 2017 Annual Pastors’ Report and Supplemental Report questionnaire were examined. Ministries listed on the Supplemental Report were divided into three categories: Embodied, spiritual, and neutral. It was also hypothesized that individuals with a higher income will be more likely to engage in ministries pertaining to spiritual growth because money serves as another way to protect against existential anxiety. Lastly, it was predicted that the Church will have more conversions over baptisms. This is because individuals will feel more comfortable with a verbal conversion of faith, rather than demonstrating an act in front of others that represents dying and coming back to life, which is a reminder of their own mortality. Two of the three hypotheses were fully supported, and one was partially supported. The findings are discussed and future studies are proposed.

Project Title: Child’s Play in Healthcare: The United States’ Transition to Preventive Care

Author Name(s): Kayla Thomas
Sponsoring Faculty Name:  Dr. Gina Weaver
University: Southern Nazarene University

Project Abstract: A great deal of medical case studies has proven the positive benefits and current conflicts of preventive healthcare across the global. With the United States’ medical transition lagging compared to the developed world, Americans’ life expectancies continue to decrease, and medical expenses continue to increase. Unfortunately, parent-led preventive care administration comes with many conflicts such as one’s personal experience, cultural beliefs, and educational background. Many attempts to make the medical transition from cure-focus to preventive care result to selective immunization accessibility and increase health insurance rates for the middle- and upper-class. In order to fully benefit from this research, I propose a preventive healthcare policy infusing the government’s need to protect its citizens and the parent’s needs for more medical insight. The Preventive Care Act (PCA) policy starts at the state levels of government, then advances through multiple chains of commands, finally reaching parental choice. To enforce the PCA, governors and state officials will exercise police powers to educate the public about existing community resources, partner with community organizations, and share their preventive healthcare efforts. The United States` transition to preventive healthcare will save money and, more importantly, lives, and became a healthier nation to guide the global industry.

Project Title: Two Roads to Love: Compassion through Religious Orientation and Personality Characteristics

Author Name(s): Meleah Marquis
Sponsoring Faculty Name:  Dr. Anna Harper
University: Southern Nazarene University

Project Abstract: Pommier (2011) proposed three dimensions of compassion: acts of kindness, mindfulness of distress, and perception of common humanity. While the kindness dimension is characterized by action, the mindfulness and common humanity dimensions emphasize empathic cognitions. Given these differences, two factors that may impact the compassion include religious orientation and personality. Beck (2004) proposed two orientations to Christianity. A security orientation emphasizes spiritual comfort, while a growth orientation sensitizes a person to the existence of suffering. Extraversion and openness to experience are two personality traits that describe characteristic ways of being (Lee & Ashton, 2008). The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationships between two religious orientations, two personality characteristics, and two facets of compassion. It was hypothesized that higher security orientation would be associated with lower growth orientation, higher extraversion, lower openness to experience, higher acts of kindness, and lower perception of common humanity. It was hypothesized that higher growth orientation would be associated with lower security orientation, higher openness to experience, lower extraversion, higher perception of common humanity, and no relationship with acts of kindness. Extraversion was expected to mediate the relationship between security orientation and acts of kindness, while openness was expected to mediate the relationship between growth orientation and perception of common humanity.  Students from two Christian universities were recruited to participate in the study for credit in psychology classes. Community adults were recruited through social media. From the sample of 357 participants, 72.5% were women. Their ages ranged from 18 to 76 years (M = 24.73, SD = 9.25). Participants completed an online survey which included the Defensive Theology Scale (DTS; Beck, 2004), Batson Quest Scale (Batson, 1976; Batson & Schoenrade, 1991), HEXACO-60 (Ashton & Lee, 2009), and Compassion Scale (Pommier, 2011).  Bivariate correlations were conducted to determine the relationships among theological orientations, personality traits, and facets of compassion. Higher security orientation was associated with lower growth, higher extraversion, lower openness to experience, higher acts of kindness, and lower perception of common humanity. Higher growth was associated with lower security orientation, higher openness to experience, lower extraversion, higher perception of common humanity, and lower acts of kindness. Analyses indicated that extraversion mediated the relationship between security orientation and acts of kindness, while openness to experience partially mediated relationship between growth and perception of common humanity.
These findings highlight the importance of assessing multiple dimensions of religious experience when engaging in counseling and congregational interventions.

Project Title: Assessing Health Literacy and Stroke Symptomatology in Older Adults

Author Name(s): Inneké L. Vargas
Sponsoring Faculty Name: Dr. Amy Chesser
University: Wichita State University

Project Abstract: Timely identification of stroke symptoms and factors is integral to the survival of stroke sufferers. The purpose of this study is to determine a baseline of stroke knowledge and identify the best practices to broaden education and preventative measures. This study is an experimental design of 30 participants with 28 complete profiles divided into a three-phase grouping: support staff and non-medical personnel, older adult residents of the senior living facility, and family members and caregivers. Each phase was given a pre-test, received treatment through an educational presentation, and was administered a post-test to assess retention. The data show a positive correlation of education and post-test retention.