Previous Recipients of Ferber/Sudman Awards

(click recipient to view abstract)

2016 Ferber Award Recipient: Sandy Wong, Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science, Dis/abling Mobilities: Urban-Rural Experiences of Visual Impairment, Employment, and Well-Being
The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the U.S. prohibits employment discrimination against individuals with disabilities, yet most continue to experience tremendous difficulty entering the labor market. If work is a critical means to identity formation, political citizenship, and social inclusion, then the condition of persistent unemployment relegates individuals with disabilities to second-class citizenship in an increasingly neoliberal society, one that simultaneously excludes them from the sphere of work and unjustly blames them for their lack of productivity and independence. This dissertation seeks to investigate the relations of power across urban and rural landscapes that impact the differential employment outcomes, well-being, and mobility of individuals who are visually impaired in California. The two main objectives are to examine: 1) the spatial, statistical, and temporal population trends of employment and disability in California in the years following the enactment of the 1990 ADA; and 2) the present-day individual experiences and institutional influences in the San Francisco Bay Area as an in-depth case study. Multiple methods will be used: survey questionnaires, statistical techniques, GIS mapping, semi-structured interviews, and qualitative analysis. This dissertation advances the rehabilitation and psychology scholarship on disability and work by incorporating the role of geographic context. This project asserts that space actively creates and strengthens social processes that continue to marginalize individuals with disabilities; and it investigates in more quantitative and qualitative detail the extent to which place, distance, time, and access factor into a person’s job prospects and mobility. The results of this study will provide insights into issues and initiatives for policy and advocacy intervention, which will be further developed with input from and collaboration with disability organizations and planning agencies.
2016 Sudman Award Recipient: Ben Kern, Department of Kinesiology & Community Health, Barriers to and Facilitators of Physical Education Teacher Change
Quality physical education is instrumental in preparing children to be physically active throughout their lifetime. The importance of quality physical education for children is at an all time high given the rising incidence of childhood obesity however, many current physical education programs lack the type of instruction needed to fulfill the potential health benefits of physical education. Research has shown that targeted changes to physical education programs can increase student learning and physical activity levels as well as improve student health and enjoyment of physical activity. While this kind of positive change is needed and possible, little is known about how to facilitate the pedagogical changes that lead to higher quality instruction. To understand how to promote change, it is necessary to first understand the change process. Currently, the available literature on this topic in physical education is extremely inadequate. Therefore, to better understand the change process, the current study will investigate the behaviors of physical education teachers regarding changes they have made and intend to make in the future, along with the factors that influence their ability to make changes. A mixed-methods study including a quantitative survey of over 2,000 physical educators from six US multi-state regions will be conducted. The survey will provide valuable data regarding the pedagogical change practices of physical education teachers and their dispositions toward the change process. From the pool of survey respondents, 30 teachers will be selected for follow-up interviews in order to more deeply investigate the barriers to and facilitators of pedagogical change. Survey results are also used to classify interviewees as more or less disposed to change and provide data for triangulation of the qualitative results. It is expected that this research will begin to fill a very large void in physical education research and may impact the future of the field.
2016 Ferber Honorable Mention Recipient: Pongsakorn Suppakittpaisarn, Department of Landscape Architecture, Green Stormwater Infrastructure Design, Preference, and Human Health
The environments we live in impact our lives. Some environments invigorate us, reduce our stress, and help us make better decisions. Others make us more anxious, distracted, and physically ill. Recently, U.S. cities have implemented new landscapes to manage stormwater called Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI). Because GSI elements are so new, we know little about the extent to which and by what mechanisms they impact humans. What are people’s preferences for these landscapes? To what extent do they promote well-being and reduce the stress and distraction that people in urban areas often feel? This study plans to address these questions and advance our understanding of how urban nature can improve citizens’ lives by doing three step research: surveying the existing GSI across US cities, surveying people’s preference of GSI, and testing how seeing GSI affect human physical and mental responses. The knowledge provided by the results of this study could help bring nature, including GSI, to every doorstep. These findings will add to a growing body of evidence that shows how urban nature is important to human well-being, and will help encourage policy makers to allow, design, and propose more urban green spaces.
2016 Sudman Honorable Mention Recipient: Amanda Cronkhite, Department of Political Science, The Medium Matters: Political Communication and Behavior in Modern Latin America
My dissertation argues that the development of media institutions in a country shapes political behavior in that country. Specifically I contend that the institutional history and government linkages of different types of media (newspapers, radio, television, Internet) condition their output -- news content. I further argue that the closer media institutions are with political institutions the less political engagement and mobilization we might expect to see from citizens, and vice versa. I present a generalizable theory that I test in Latin America, using multilingual sources to code for media history. I link those institutions to behavior using two cross national datasets -- the World Values Survey and the AmericasBarometer -- as well as original data collected in Bolivia in 2014. Since most existing theories related to political behavior and media were developed in Western industrialized democracies, the survey data from Bolivia amounts to an extreme test of existing theory, to see if the ideas on which political communication bases many of its assumptions actually properly travel to other cultures.
2015 Ferber Recipient: Dongying Li, Department of Landscape Architecture, Space-Time Access to Green Space and Adolescent Stress: Questions of Constraints and Equity
Adolescents with high levels of stress and anxiety are at high risk for a wide range of health and behavioral problems. One often-overlooked way to help adolescents cope with stress is to increase their exposure to green space. Literature has suggested that exposure to green space leads to reduced physiological and psychological levels of stress. However, most studies have defined access to green space as the spatial availability of or proximity to green space of neighborhoods and schoolyards. Limited knowledge has been generated on the full set of spatial, temporal and mobility constraints on access to green space that adolescents face, especially those at high risk for stress and anxiety. This study fills the gaps by examining access to green space and adolescent stress using a space-time accessibility framework. The main objectives are: 1) to examine the extent to which access to green space is associated with adolescent stress; 2) to investigate the extent to which adolescents with low socio-status and high levels of stress and anxiety show less access to green space; and 3) the spatial, temporal and mobility constraints faced by adolescents, especially those of low socioeconomic status. A field study on 150 high school students from four cities in Illinois are conducted. Real-time continuous GPS trajectory, activity diary and levels of stress and anxiety will be collected during a seven-day period. The results of this study will shed light on the multifold constraints to green space access that adolescents with low SES and high risk for stress and anxiety face. The knowledge provided by the results of this study could provide rationale for developing restorative environments that help adolescents recover from and build resilience to stress.
2015 Sudman Recipient: Katherine Ann Magerko, Department of Human and Community Development, Healthy Hearts in Family Child Care: What is the Current State of Provider Health?
2015 Ferber Honorable Mention Recipient: Kate Usry, Deptartment of Political Science, The Consequences of Traumatic Life Experiences for Civic Engagement
Trauma is a well-studied concept in psychological research, encompassing a variety of life experiences that involve actual or threatened harm to one’s physical integrity, including: military combat, personal assaults, violent crimes, natural and human-caused disasters, life-threatening medical conditions, and deaths in the immediate family. Somewhat surprisingly, a handful of recent studies suggest that certain types of traumatic life events are associated with more involvement in politics. Based on this research, it is tempting to conclude there is a bright side to traumatic life experiences: victims have a political voice. However, I expect this is true for some experiences, and not others. In particular, I question whether trauma leads to increased political engagement when the experience is also associated with a lack of social support. In this dissertation project, I use existing datasets to systematically examine the relationship between various types of traumas, social support, and several possible political responses. Additionally, I interview clients at the local rape crisis center. Rape is a unique type of trauma, both in terms of victims’ willingness to report their experiences, as well as the insufficient institutional and societal support they often face. Indeed, in existing national surveys, very few people divulge that they have been sexually assaulted, despite what is known about the prevalence of this experience. In order to understand how rape affects one’s engagement with politics, a more targeted, and sensitive sampling strategy is needed. I expect that for most, being the victim of sexual assault is associated with a decline in political engagement, which has consequences for the issue’s public visibility.
2015 Sudman Honorable Mention Recipient: Stephanie Timm, Deptartment of Urban and Regional Planning, Learning from Singapore: The Role of Cultural and Behavioral Factors in Sustainable Water Planning
The water planning and modeling methods that are currently used to guide urban areas toward more dependable and safe supplies of drinking water have not been able to adequately address the water scarcity challenges many face. Most water management plans and models still lack the integration of cultural and behavioral understanding that is critical for interventions (e.g., water conservation campaigns, implementation of recycled water infrastructure) to be successful (Wester et al., 2015). This research uses the uniquely successful example of Singapore’s integrated water management strategy to: 1) understand the cultural and behavioral barriers to providing safe and sustainable drinking water in water-scarce urban areas, 2) create a framework that can help planners identify these potential barriers, and 3) determine the efficacy of this framework. I use Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior (1991) as a theoretical base for the analysis of water behavioral and cultural data collected in Singapore through a combination of participant observation, semi-structured interviews and a nationally representative mail survey that was distributed to a random sample of 2,000 households. Each method uncovers distinct layers of behavioral and cultural detail, which will then be linked with more generalizable dimensions of national culture such as power distance and collectivism/individualism (Hofstede, 2001) to build an analytical framework. It is hoped that this framework will help urban planning practitioners better understand the often tacit and elusive behavioral / cultural components that make many sustainable strategies referenced from abroad successful in their original context.
2014 Ferber Recipient: Ryan Summers, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, A Statewide Examination of Attitudes toward Science among Illinois Students in Grades 5-12
National leaders, policymakers, and educators have expressed concerns over the declining number of students studying science and pursuing science-related careers. Research recommends promoting favorable attitudes toward science, scientists, and learning science as a viable strategy for increasing student engagement with science. This dissertation adds to existing research in two ways. First, the project will produce a valid and reliable tool for assessing precollege students’ attitudes toward science. The development of this tool is necessary because existing tools are plagued with numerous flaws, namely their poor design, unreliability, and failure to incorporate modern research. Second, the project will provide a comprehensive perspective of students’ attitudes toward science, collecting responses from students across Illinois and encompassing schools with a wide range of characteristics. By including students from grades 5–12 in the study, the factors contributing to students’ attitudes as well as patterns in their responses will be identified. Surely, students’ experiences with the teaching and learning of science in K–12 classrooms shape their attitudes and could have long-lasting effects in terms of their pursuit of or disengagement from the sciences. Similarly, factors like students’ perceived relevance of science to their lives and perceived difficulty of science class contribute to their attitudes-and ultimately their decision to engage with science in the future. This research will lead to a better understanding of how students’ attitudes inform their choices. Improved methods of measurement and more expansive studies will allow researchers in the future to specifically target and remedy the negative aspects of science and the science-learning experience in an effort to stimulate students’ decisions to continue the study of science.
2014 Sudman Recipient: Deborah Linares, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, A Case for Mixed Item Response Theory: The Cancer Health Literacy Measure--Breast and Cervical Cancer
Uruguay has the second highest breast cancer incidence rate in Latin America, and cervical cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. The lives of women can be improved through early detection of both cancers, but there is a dearth of information about factors influencing early cancer screening in Uruguay; further, research in this area is hampered by the lack of a tool to assess these factors among Uruguayan women. Thus, the field of cancer prevention is substantially hindered and cannot move forward without a valid measure. Information obtained through such a measure can help health professionals understand psychosocial barriers preventing women from screening and develop targeted health education interventions. This study aims to address this gap using mixed item response theory (IRT) to examine and refine the first Uruguayan breast and cervical cancer measure. Mixed IRT-more specifically explanatory item response modeling and mokken scaling (a nonparametric scaling procedure)-is a novel and uncommon approach, making this one of the first public health studies to use this beneficial procedure. Using such methodology will help move the field of Uruguayan cancer prevention forward by creating the first cultural and conceptual knowledge measure to articulate psychosocial processes influencing breast and cervical cancer screening. Thus, this study will contribute to survey research by providing a tangible example of how mixed IRT surpasses traditional IRT to provide more information for developing a concise, theoretically driven, and psychometrically sound measure for clinical and health education settings. Study findings will extend the field by bridging theory with advanced statistics to create a tool for practitioners to improve screening rates and cancer education.
2013 Ferber Recipient: Seung Won Hong, Department of Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership, A Study of the Relationships among Perceived Job Context Factors, Information-Seeking Behaviors, Work Engagement, and Future Role Intent among Korean Project Managers

Project work is widely used in today’s organizations as evidenced by the growing number of employees who are being asked to take on a project manager role. For instance, most all of the technical work done by engineers and information technology staff is embedded within a project. Thus, project management has become critical for organizational success. In spite of the emerging importance of project management, little information is available about how employees cope with the unique challenges they experience when they take on this role. In particular, little is known about the job context that might influence the performance of project management behaviors and future intent to perform in this role. Previous research identifies information-seeking behavior as a major coping strategy for employees in uncertain job environments, which in turn shapes their attitudes, performance, and organizational tenure. 

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of job context factors (coworker trust, job autonomy) that influence the extent of information-seeking behavior as well as work engagement among professional employees who have taken on a project management role. Furthermore, this study explores to extent to which the individuals' experience in this role influences their intent to perform in this role in the future. A cross-sectional survey design is used for this to collect survey data from managers who have project management roles in Korean organizations. As part of the study, two survey instruments (information-seeking behavior scale and future role intent) that reflect the job characteristics of project managers have been developed. Study findings will not only add to the knowledge about project management, but also about the effect on individuals who perform in this role, such as job performance and retention. The study should have practical implications on guiding human resource development professionals on the need to develop programs to help employees better anticipate and meet the requirements of this critical job role.
2013 Sudman Recipient: Yannick Atouba, Department of Communication, How Does Interorganizational Collaboration Work? Examining Interorganizational Collaboration among Human Services Nonprofits
Over the past three decades, interorganizational collaboration among human services nonprofits has dramatically increased to the point where collaborative partnerships among these organizations have become one of the hallmarks of the new millennium. However, despite that increasing popularity and the attention nonprofit collaborations have received in the academic literature in recent decades, the factors that influence the processes and effectiveness of these collaborative partnerships are not known, as they have rarely been empirically investigated. This dissertation examines interorganizational collaboration among nonprofits involved in the administration of human services in the State of Illinois. Specifically, the project empirically investigates how the founding conditions of nonprofit partnerships (partner selection) impact the collaborative challenges/processes (trust, communication, and conflict management) that they go through and their effectiveness. The state of Illinois, with its abundance of human services organizations and the prominent role they play in people’s lives, provides a unique context for the scientific study of how nonprofits work together, the processes of such collaborations, and their effectiveness. This study is important because it will make an important contribution to our understanding of how and why nonprofits collaborate the way they do and the impact that the why and the how of nonprofit partnerships have on their ability to be effective. In other words, this study will contribute to knowledge of how to make nonprofits collaborative partnerships more effective. Such knowledge has important practical implications for the nonprofit community because it could help nonprofits collaborate in ways that make their collaborations more effective, sustainable, and impactful to the communities they serve.
2013 Ferber Honorable Mention: Milo Dodson, Department of Educational Psychology, The Word That Makes You Go Hmmm: Exploring the Relation between African Americans’ Linguistic Ideologies, Racial Identity Attitudes, and Usage of the N-Word
Although the word nigger is a volatile and contentious racial epithet, variations on the word have emerged that may represent an expression of different attitudes and opinions. For example, individuals that use the word nigga may argue that it allows for a reshaping of the word nigger so that it can be used to endear and to empower. Conversely, other individuals argue that using the word nigga only further perpetuates negative stereotypes of African Americans and that despite good intentions, the word should not be used. Taking the history and sociology of the word nigger into consideration, in the current study, I hypothesize that because the word nigga is racially charged, individuals’ decision to use or not use the word may be connected to their racial identity attitudes and their linguistic ideologies they use to express themselves. I thus explore the associations among racial identity, linguistic ideologies, and general understanding of the word nigga. Due to the cultural relevance the n-word has within the Black community, it is of particular interest to use participants who identify as belonging to this racial-ethnic group. Two-hundred-and-eighty-five African Americans completed a Web-based survey to explore their linguistic ideologies (i.e., beliefs about socially embedded words), racial identity attitudes, and usage of the word nigga. The current study used a transformative-emancipatory mixed methods approach. Specifically, participants completed a survey with standard measures and open-ended items and two interviews were conducted with Dr. Cornel West and hip-hop artist Common to add to the analysis. The data were integrated during analysis and combined during the presentation of the data.
2013 Sudman Honorable Mention: Neil Vander Most, Department of Political Science, Rethinking Integration: What We Can Learn from Social Psychology
European national governments continue to have difficulty managing the vast amount of North African and Middle Eastern immigrants entering their lands. The many cultural differences between these migrants and native Europeans often make successful integration difficult. My study challenges usefulness of thinking about integration according to the stark binary of assimilation and multiculturalism. I believe there are unexplored “hybrid” integration strategies, residing between assimilation and multiculturalism, which will be more successful in creating social cohesion. In my field research, I will conduct surveys with native-born citizens in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands and Bruges, Belgium. I will ask all respondents to evaluate short vignettes describing hypothetical integration policies. Some of these vignettes will be informed by these aforementioned “hybrid” integration strategies. By carefully manipulating the exposure of the vignettes, I will be able to accurately measure the effectiveness and popularity of different policy options. My research will be able to not only quantify a historically qualitative phenomenon but also provide concrete guidance about an increasingly important political issue.
2012 Ferber Recipient: Matthew Spears, Department of Political Science, Typical but Exclusive: The Effects of European Identity among Ordinary Citizens
To what extent does European integration increase EU citizens' sense of obligation toward Europeans living in other EU member states? Spears argues that as Europe is made more salient, citizens who feel that they personally exhibit subjectively defined European characteristics become more likely to extend support to other Europeans who also exhibit these characteristics. Among individuals who do not believe that they share many European characteristics, a salient "Europe" will only heighten the perception of difference between them and other Europeans. Spears intends to test these propositions by fielding survey experiments in four EU member states, where respondents will answer a battery of questions after they are primed to think of one of the following: Europe, their nation, both their nation and Europe, or neither their nation nor Europe.
2012 Sudman Recipient: Yushu Zhu, School of Architecture, Effects of Neighborhood Public Space on Community Collective Efficacy: An Empirical Research in Reformed China

The scholarship in building community capacity by way of cultivating community social capital and community spirit through design of the neighborhood built environment has spawned heated debates in the West; however, such concepts as "community social capital," "community attachment," and "community collective efficacy" have been rather alien to Chinese people due to limited opportunities for grassroots civic participation in the Maoist era. This study aims to explore how the neighborhood public space contributes to community collective efficacy (CCE)--i.e., the willingness of a local population to work collectively to solve community problems--in commodity housing estates in China, which bear resemblance to the western New Urbanism neighborhood because of clear physical boundary, public space, mixed land use, etc. Previous studies have suggested that neighborhood public space may contribute to CCE through two pathways--one through building community social capital (e.g., neighborly mutual trust, social norms) and the other through cultivating intra-psychic community sentiment (i.e., neighborhood attachment). The study will examine the two competing mechanisms.

The study will be carried out in Guangzhou in southern China. Zhu will adopt a mixed-method aapproach combining quantitative and qualitative methods. Particularly, administering a random-sampled quantitative survey is a critical part of the research, which allows for a systematic examination of the relationship between neighborhood physical settings, social environment, and community participation. A case study using ethnographic approaches then follows to serve as an in-depth demonstration of the mechanisms through which public space, community social capital, neighborhood attachment, and CCE affect one another and to solicit information that cannot be gathered by the quantitative survey.

2011 Ferber Recipient 1: Jioni Lewis, Department of Educational Psychology, Gendered Racial Microaggressions among Black Women: Construction & Initial Validation of a Scale

While there has been increased attention to subtle and contemporary forms of racism and sexism in the psychology literature, most of this research focuses on race or gender, not their intersection. Sue’s theory of microaggressions (i.e., brief and commonplace verbal and behavioral slights and insults towards a person based on their race, gender, or sexual orientation) might be useful in exploring the intersection of racism and sexism. Previous research suggests that microaggressions may be experienced differently based on the intersection of one’s race and gender, but there currently are no quantitative measurement tools to assess these experiences.

The purpose of this project is to construct and validate a scale to assess gendered racial microaggressions for Black women. Using on-line survey methodology to survey 600 Black women and best practices for scale development research, I will conduct a four-phase study: (1) scale construction, (2) initial validation to assess factor structure of scale, (3) further validation to assess construct validity, and (4) two-week test-retest reliability estimates. This scale will be one of the few quantitative scales designed to measure the experience of intersecting identities. Study findings will add to the literature by providing researchers with a tool to measure the relations between perceived gendered racial microaggressions and a variety of psychological health outcomes.
2011 Ferber Recipient 2: Sahan Dissanayake,Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics, Estimating Value & Tradeoffs in Ecosystem Restoration: Evidence from a Choice Experiment Survey of Preferences for Restoring Grasslands
Understanding the value of preserving and restoring ecosystems is vital for conservation. Recent studies have shown that incorporating public preferences and economic considerations can lead to a more efficient allocation of resources for conservation. As part of my research, I conduct a choice experiment survey to understand the values of different facets of restored grasslands. I focus on grasslands because the massive loss of grasslands in North America stresses wildlife and reduces ecosystem services; further, unlike with wetlands or forests, there is no economic valuation research that helps policy makers quantify the value of restoring grassland habitats. This research makes three contributions to the nonmarket valuation and conservation literatures. First, I estimate the values of multiple facets of grassland ecosystems. Second, I analyze the public’s willingness to trade off between several common measures of conservation success. Third, I analyze how existing grasslands (or in general public goods) affect the willingness to pay for restoring new grasslands (providing new public goods). In addition, I construct the survey instrument and the sampling strategy to test three specific questions that contribute to the survey literature. Results of this study will be valuable to environmental economists, conservation planners, ecologists, and survey researchers.
2011 Sudman Recipient: Dana Joseph, Department of Psychology, Leader & Follower Emotional Competence, Dyadic Exchange, & Behavioral Engagement: A Mediated Actor-Partner Interdependence Model
In recent decades, organizational science has recognized the importance of studying the relationship between a leader and follower by paying increased attention to leader-member exchange (LMX), a theory based on the premise that leaders form a unique exchange relationship with each follower. This relationship-based approach to leadership proposes that high-quality relationships are characterized by the mutual exchange of trust, respect, loyalty, intimacy, support, and honesty. However, previous investigations of the construct have rarely assessed the mutual exchange between a leader and follower. The current paper attempts to remedy this problem by assessing both leader and follower reports of the LMX relationship and by analyzing the data at the appropriate level of analysis. In addition, because of the relational nature of LMX, the current work proposes that emotional intelligence (i.e., how well a person perceives, understands, and regulates emotion) is a key component involved in the development of leader-follower LMX relationships. Although previous research has recognized the importance of emotional intelligence in certain types of leadership, the current paper is the first to examine the role of both leader and follower emotional intelligence in LMX relationships at work.
2010 Ferber Recipient: Eric Micheels, Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics. Market Orientation in the Illinois Beef Industry: Measurement, Relationships, and Implications
Over the past several decades, the agricultural marketplace has transitioned from a completely price driven, homogeneous, commodity market to a highly differentiated and fragmented product market characterized by heterogeneous consumers, firms, and value offerings. Examples of this change are seen in product differentiation strategies such as grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and organic soybeans. While the strategic landscape may have changed, many beef producers still focus their scarce managerial and capital resources solely on the improvement of production efficiency, often leading to mediocre performance. Within these new complex agricultural markets, such as the beef value chain, market oriented producers may be able to better utilize non-price signals to create value opportunities, and thus achieve superior performance. Utilizing a sample of Illinois beef producers, this study uses existing measurement scales and a postal survey to empirically assess the level of market orientation, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational learning among Illinois beef producers, and measures the relationship these unobservable resources have on firm performance. This research contributes to the existing literature by assessing the market orientation of single-decision maker firms managed by the owner as opposed to management teams of large organizations. Findings show that even within the context of production agriculture a market orientation is a significant driver of firm performance. Secondly, this research shows that market oriented firms are able to clearly define how they provide value, and what impact value discipline clarity has on firm performance.
2010 Sudman Recipient 1: Joshua Jackson, Department of Psychology. The Effect of Educational Experiences on Personality Trait Development
Recent research finds that education is associated with positive life outcomes like health and income for reasons other than gains in knowledge or cognitive skills. Specifically, non-cognitive skills, such as personality traits, predict many of the same outcomes as educational experiences and likely change in response to educational experiences. The current study examines the joint development of educational experiences and personality traits across a four-wave, six-year longitudinal study during early adulthood. Three main questions are addressed: First, are individuals with certain personality traits more likely to select into specific educational experiences? Secondly, are these educational experiences associated with changes in personality traits over time? And finally, what is the direction of this relationship? This study aims to better understand the skills that education imparts, and by doing so hopefully helps to reveal why education is so valuable to an individual.
2010 Sudman Recipient 2: Eeshani Kandpal, Department of Agricultural & Consumer Economics. The Impact of Social Networks on Women’s Power & Child Nutrition in India
I quantify the impact of network-based learning and influence on measures of female power and child nutrition in rural India. Empowering women to have greater say in child rearing may generate greater and more lasting benefits to children than nutrition supplementation. While researchers have used proxy reports or correlates like caste to trace networks, I map networks by surveying friends of respondents. I use participation in a women’s education program to identify increases in female power, and stronger, more diverse networks. I also study the mechanisms through which networks affect individuals, namely learning and influence. My results linking networks to child nutrition should inform child health policy. Finally, I characterize the benefits of using survey data rather than proxies in identifying networks.
2009 Ferber Recipient: Nallely Galván, Department of Educational Psychology, Experiences of Ethnic-Related Discrimination & Their Health Outcomes among Mexican Immigrants
Latino immigrants in the U.S. have become the target of an increased number of hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiments. Changes in immigration climate, including the establishment of the 2002 Home Security Act, have also led authorities to increase the number of raids and illegal arrests against documented and undocumented immigrants. Mexican immigrants may perceive these acts as discriminatory and related to their race and/or ethnicity. Research among racial and ethnic minorities has found that perceived discrimination is significantly and positively associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes. However, very few of the existing investigations have focused on the discrimination experiences of Latino immigrants. The present study utilizes a survey interview methodology to examine Mexican immigrants’ experiences of discrimination, the influence these have on their physical and mental health, and the ways they cope with such experiences. The investigation is guided by the Transactional Stress and Coping Model and the Model of Racism-related Stress and Wellbeing, which scholars have used to investigate the link between stress and health. The analysis will be based on quantitative and qualitative data generated through individual structured interviews with 150 adult Mexican immigrants residing in Illinois. It is expected that Mexican immigrants who report more perceived discrimination experiences will report poor overall physical health and exhibit more symptoms of depression compared to those who report less or no discrimination. Findings from this study have the potential to advance the health and psychology field by providing a better understanding of this contemporary and ongoing phenomenon. An understanding of this topic can also lead to further research areas, treatment interventions, and training opportunities.
2009 Sudman Recipient: Yuanyuan Zhang, Department of Communication, Exposure to Sexual Media & College Students’ Risky Sexual Behavior & Sexual Regret: A Longitudinal Study
Risky sexual behavior and sexual regret represent serious public health problems among college students. Mass media may play a critical role in these sexual outcomes, because previous studies have shown that 1) media are a large part of college students’ daily lives, 2) sexual content is prevalent in the media, and 3) the brain regions of emerging adults that are associated with emotional control and behavioral regulation have not fully developed by the college years. However, little is known about whether and how exposure to sexual media may influence college students’ risky sexual behavior and sexual regret. This project addresses this gap by exploring three questions. First, what is the long-term relationship between exposure to sexual media and college students’ risky sexual behavior? Second, what are the possible factors that influence this relationship? Third, how is risky sexual behavior related to sexual regret within media contexts? To answer these questions, undergraduate students are surveyed twice four to six months apart. Focus group interviews are also conducted for instrument development. The results of this project promise to advance the knowledge of media effects on college students’ sexuality, and to help make policy recommendations about how media could be altered to benefit young adults.
2008 Ferber Recipient: Sergio Wals, Department of Political Science, Immigrants' Political Suitcases: A Theory of Imported Socialization
If a person lived for 30 years in Mexico or Nicaragua or Taiwan or Slovakia before immigrating to the U.S., it is hard to imagine that experiences in that country of origin did not leave a lasting imprint, a lasting imprint relevant to political behavior once the person arrived in the U.S. Yet, strikingly, prior research has paid no serious attention to socialization influences that cross nations' borders. No work has peeked inside the immigrant's political suitcase to assess whether socialization has been imported. This research project contends that we must do so if we are to develop more comprehensive accounts of immigrants' patterns of political behavior. Hence, this dissertation represents a critical first step toward development and testing of a theory of imported socialization. It seeks to understand how immigrants' political socialization experiences in their countries of origin shape the way they view the new polity after migration; the extent to which immigrants' political baggage affect their degree of political engagement and the direction of that engagement; and finally for how long the content of immigrants' political suitcases remains consequential throughout their civic lives in America.
2008 Sudman Recipient: Hua Qin, Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, The Impacts of Rural-to-Urban Labor Migration on Rural Environmental Conservation: Empirical Evidence from Chongqing, Southwest China
The relationship between population and the environment holds an important role in research on the linkage between human society and ecological systems. As the most populous nation in the world and a country with vast supplies of natural resources, China provides a particularly important case for population and environment research. The increasing rural-to-urban labor migration in China since the early ‘80s has formed the largest population flow in world history. The primary objective of this study is to obtain a better understanding of how rural out-migration impacts the rural environment through its influence on household livelihoods and community interaction processes. The analysis will be based mainly on empirical data collected from Chongqing Municipality , where the rural-to-urban labor migration rate is currently the highest in China. This research will use a mixed-methods approach to combine both quantitative and qualitative methods. Specifically, three different methods of data collection and analysis will be employed: secondary data, household surveys, and key informant interviews. The rural household survey is a critical component in this research as it is the key mode to collect primary quantitative data. This study will be the first in-depth research on the impacts of rural-to-urban labor migration on the rural environment in China . The research findings will have the potential to provide policy implications for China 's endeavor to construct a “resource-efficient and environment-friendly” society.
2008 Ferber Honorable Mention: Karin Hendricks, Department of Music Education, The Relationship between the Sources of Self-Efficacy& Changes in Competence Perception during an All-State Orchestra Event
The belief that talents are malleable and that achievement can be developed through determination and effort has led music teachers to seek out strategies that more effectively motivate their students. However, self-efficacy perception, a potentially profound catalyst in achievement motivation, has received little attention in music education inquiry. This study seeks to clarify key environmental and intrapersonal influences upon musical ability development by observing the sources of self-efficacy within the context of a high school All-State Orchestra environment. By so doing, this research intends to illustrate means for fostering musical self-belief, motivation, and subsequent achievement. Surveys were adapted from prior self-efficacy research to reflect the distinctive requirements of a large instrumental ensemble rehearsal setting. Research studies in self-efficacy perception not only help to explain human behavior, but they may also aid in the empowering of individuals as they come to recognize the potential control they have over their own beliefs, behaviors, circumstances, and abilities. Therefore, by observing the sources of musical self-efficacy within a challenging performance environment, this study can assist music educators in more fully understanding how competence beliefs enable musicians to attain greater levels of musical and self-mastery.
2008 Sudman Honorable Mention: Jennifer Lodi-Smith, Department of Psychology, Examining the Social Investment Hypothesis: The Relationship of Social Role Investment & Personality Trait Development in Adulthood
This dissertation addressed how the commitments people make to important social roles relate to changes in personality traits. At two different times, a sample of 312 Illinois residents age 19 to 86 were surveyed. Four primary conclusions can be drawn from my dissertation findings. First, while the specific patterns varied between age groups, investment in family and community roles related to conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability across adulthood during the first wave of assessment. Second, personality traits during the first wave of surveys predicted changes in social role involvement over the time. For example, for older adults, agreeableness predicted increases in overall levels of involvement in social roles. Third, involvement in social roles at the beginning of the study influenced changes in personality traits over time. This pattern was especially robust for individuals over 60. For example, involvement in family and community roles during the first assessment predicted increases in both conscientiousness and emotional stability during older adulthood. Finally, social investment and personality traits changed together over time. While these relationships varied somewhat with age group, a general pattern emerged across all three age groups such that normative patterns of change (i.e., spending less time with one's family of origin during young adulthood; becoming more invested in work in midlife) corresponded to increasing conscientiousness, agreeableness, and emotional stability. These patterns revealed a complex relationship between how social roles and personality traits develop over time, highlighting many important lifespan experiences from establishing adult roles to caregiving.
2007 Ferber Recipient: Sarah Kiefer, Department of Educational Psychology, Beliefs about the Causes of Social Success: Development during Early Adolescence, Consequences for Students’ Social Goals, and Variations by Gender and Ethnicity
This longitudinal survey research study examines the development of beliefs about social success and how these beliefs shape the social goals that young adolescents pursue in their peer relationships. Social goals are an important part of social competence and have been found to be important to not only students’ social adjustment but also academic engagement and achievement. Thus, it is important to understand the factors that shape these goals. Self-reports of beliefs about the social world (e.g., responsibility, sincerity, status, toughness, and pretending to care) in the fall of the school year are used to predict subsequent social goals in both sixth and seventh grades. It is likely that adolescents’ beliefs about social success in the peer world will play a role in shaping the goals they pursue in their own peer relationships. This is the first study to examine changes in early adolescents’ social goals and beliefs about social success over time, using a longitudinal design across the transition from elementary to middle school. Further, this study examines the antecedents of social goals, while previous research has been predominantly cross-sectional and focused on the consequences of social goals. This study utilizes an urban, low-income, and racially diverse sample population and explores gender and ethnic variations in beliefs and social goals. Thus, this study expands our understanding of social goals during early adolescence by highlighting the unique impact of beliefs about social success on the goals that adolescents pursue with peers, and has implications for developing effective strategies and interventions to support students’ social goals in school.
2007 Sudman Recipient: James Melton, Department of Political Science, Rediscovering the Party System & Its Effect on Voter Turnout
By defining the choices available for citizens to choose from, the structure of a country’s party system can influence whether its citizens turn out to vote. Three characteristics of a country’s party system—the number of parties, their competitiveness, and their distribution on a left-right ideological continuum—are especially crucial. To date, scholars’ explanations of voter turnout across countries tend to either ignore or pay little attention to how these party system characteristics affect people’s decisions to turn out and vote. This dissertation seeks to identify how each of the three characteristics of the party system, as well as the three in combination, influence turnout. To test the effects of these characteristics, I will undertake a study that combines surveys and experiments. The subjects for the experiments will be both U.S. and Canadian citizens. The experimental design will allow me to manipulate each of the three party system characteristics to determine their independent and joint effects. Moreover, this design will help to alleviate several problems found when using surveys alone, specifically over-reporting of voter turnout and imprecise estimates of party position. The pilot studies I have conducted thus far suggest each of these characteristics has a significant effect on turnout, with competitiveness and the ideological distribution of parties having the largest effects.
2006 Ferber Recipient 1: Kathryn Branscomb, Department of Human & Community Development, Undergraduate Students as Parents: Managing Multiple Roles during Emerging Adulthood
Stressors associated with managing family, school, and work demands place many student parents at risk for dropping out of school, and their young children at risk for exposure to poverty and inadequate child care. This study will examine the experiences and support needs of low-income 18–25 year old undergraduate student parents at colleges across the U.S. Research questions will examine how student parents’ role management capabilities and support needs vary by their developmental characteristics, sociodemographics, and existing sources of support. Undergraduate student parents will be recruited nationally from doctoral granting, masters granting, baccalaureate, and associates colleges to participate in a web-based survey. Campus child center directors at each location will also be surveyed to determine services available at each site and their perceptions of student parent needs. By addressing a gap in the existing literature and informing the practices of policy-makers and program specialists, results of this project will ultimately facilitate the creation of campus-based programming to strengthen young student parents’ abilities to complete their educations while successfully navigating family and work roles.
2006 Ferber Recipient 2: Ruchi Bhanot, Department of Human & Community Development, Links between Parents' Differential Intrusive Support & Girls' Math Ability Perceptions
This dissertation addresses the continuing gender gap in enrollment in math and science academic fields by females that has been partly attributed to their lower perceptions of their abilities in these subjects. These perceptions begin declining for girls as early as middle school, although girls’ performance equals that of boys. Parents are important socializers of girls’ ability perceptions, as parents’ own gender stereotyped evaluations of abilities influence their daughters’ perceptions. Further, it appears that parents convey these stereotypes while helping with homework. Using a family-systems approach, this dissertation examines whether parents’ differential treatment of brothers and sisters while doing math homework reminds daughters of their parents’ ability stereotypes about math. Using parent and sibling survey reports, I examine how parents’ treatment of children within the same family is linked to girls’ ability perceptions in math.
2006 Sudman Recipient: Dustin Wood, Department of Psychology, Development of Dispositions & Behaviors in Random & Self-Matched Freshman Roommate Pairs
My research is broadly concerned with understanding how an individual’s dispositions and personality characteristics are impacted by one's social environment. A difficulty in studying the impact of social environments on personality development is that people select their own social environments to a considerable extent, making similarity between individuals and their environments difficult to interpret. Within my dissertation, I have focused on understanding personality and dispositional development within a unique social environment: the context of randomly-assigned freshman roommates. By conducting a panel survey of these roommates over three waves—starting before they have met one another, and resurveying them at two points later in the school year—I hope to demonstrate that these roommates begin the school year no more similar to one another than would be expected by chance, but become more similar with the passing of time on dimensions including interests and preferences, social activities, and potentially more basic personality traits such as orderliness and extraversion. Additionally, by contrasting these roommates with self-matched roommates, I hope to improve our understanding of the role of selecting one’s interpersonal environment in personality development.
2005 Ferber Recipient: Meera Murthi, Department of Educational Psychology, Communal Violence against Women in India: Responses from Hindu & Muslim Communities
This transnational survey research is concerned with violence against women (VAW) in the context of the escalating violence between Hindu and Muslim groups in India. This conflict and the ensuing violence are more commonly known as communal violence. The primary question this study seeks to address is how do attitudes toward women, Hindu/Muslim communities, and violence against women and communities influence attributions of blame when assessing communal violence against Hindu and Muslim women? Communalist discourse and conflicts thrive on stereotypes and negative attitudes about women and communities, and incite violence by perpetuating these misconceptions. This research thus approaches the topic of VAW by first examining the gendered positions of women, and then by assessing their positions as community members (i.e., as Hindus or Muslims). This study utilizes a survey interview methodology with Hindu and Muslim women and men from six neighborhoods in Mumbai—three that have experienced violence and three that have maintained peace. This research is an attempt to bring together theoretical insights from the distinct literatures on gender violence and communalism, because the discourse and the violence in communal conflicts target women as victims. The findings from this research will be used for education and violence prevention programs conducted by women’s groups and NGOs in Mumbai, dealing with issues of violence and communalism. In a country that has witnessed increasing polarization of communities and marginalization of women, this study is a timely effort to promote awareness and psycho-education around these issues.
2005 Sudman Recipient: Elizabeth Radziszewski, Department of Political Science, Social Networks, Public Opinion, & Foreign Policy: The Roots of Support for EU Membership & the War in Iraq in Eastern Europe
From facilitating a search for employment in urban Africa to disseminating information about elections in a small town in California, social networks are an intrinsic part of our lives, often dictating the emergence of norms that shape social and political attitudes. In their simplest form, social networks represent immediate relationships with friends and family. They also include more distant, yet local bonds formed among inhabitants of villages, towns, and leaders of their communities. How then, do social discussions and interactions—phenomena deeply ingrained in so many environments across the globe—influence public opinion on foreign policy and affect the direction of international negotiations? This project studies the role of personal social networks—informal interpersonal discussions and interactions—and their ultimate significance in shaping public opinion and political attitudes of policymakers on foreign policy. Focusing on Poland as a case study and relying on survey data and in-depth interviews, the project examines how network relations shape views on two critical, yet very different foreign initiatives: European integration and involvement in the war in Iraq. It also traces the mechanism through which networks induce conformity with particular beliefs on foreign policy.
2004 Ferber Recipient 1: María-Isabel Martínez-Mira, Department of Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese, Mood Simplification: Adverbial Clauses in Heritage Spanish
In Spanish, the comparison of events to the actual world and the speakers' degree of commitment to what their message conveys can be expressed by the use of indicative mood (to express actuality) or the subjunctive mood (to express non-actuality). Several studies suggest that the Spanish of second and successive generations of U.S.-born, simultaneous English-Spanish bilinguals shows mood simplification— an increasing use of the indicative mood in linguistic contexts where monolingual Spanish speakers would use the subjunctive. This research will examine the use of subjunctive mood in the Spanish of U.S.-born, second generation Spanish-English adult simultaneous bilinguals with Mexican heritage in three specific linguistic structures: purpose sentences with para que (“in order to”), temporal sentences with cuando (“when”), and concessive sentences with aunque (“although”). Despite the simplification process, these structures retain a higher use of the subjunctive. The idea is to determine what features of these structures favor the maintenance of subjunctive and if such simplification can be attributed to contact with English (which has very few cases of subjunctive) or to other linguistic factors.
2004 Ferber Recipient 2: Kevin Rock, Department of Business Administration, Unpacking Dispersed Work: How Social Context Affects Social Networks, Learning, & Attachment
The goal of this dissertation is to understand the challenges and benefits associated with telecommuting and other forms of mobile work. A survey of a Fortune 500 company will uncover the relationships between where people spend their time working, from whom they receive information and advice, and how effective they are at learning. Use of communication technology also will be assessed as technology often facilitates connections between mobile workers and organizations. The results promise to further our understanding of mobile work and will help organizations manage mobile workers more effectively.
2004 Sudman Recipient: Young Mie Kim, Department of Speech Communication, Acquiring Political Information on the Web: Issue Publics, Domain-Specificity, & Motivated Information Processing
The landscape of available political information in America has changed dramatically during the past three decades. Of key importance is the rapid development of the Internet, and there is some consensus that this medium has the potential to bring significant changes to the American democratic system. However, we know little about how and why individuals use the Internet in political decision making. This project addresses this gap and focuses on the impact of individuals' personal agendas on information selection behavior. It examines how issue publics—groups of people strongly interested in particular political issues—and the general public differ in their Internet information selection patterns and how these patterns influence political knowledge acquisition and voting decisions. The project also focuses on information processing by emphasizing citizen motivation for Internet information selection. Methodologically, the project directly measures naturally occurring Web site viewing at the page level using a specially developed computer program to assess citizens' online information selection behavior. This online information selection data is matched with online survey data with a unique user ID and password at an individual level. Using adult samples, data collection is being done in the context of the 2004 Illinois Senate Election. This project is expected to contribute significantly to the field's development of survey data collection and analysis techniques as well as to our understanding of the changing role of the information environment in the American democratic system.
2003 Ferber Recipient: Leo Zulu, Department of Geography, Rescaling Conservation: The Political Ecology of Community-Based Forest Management in Southern Malawi
Over the past decade, community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), the re-scaling of conservation to the village level, has become the vogue in Africa. But initial evidence suggests that CBNRM often fails to meet its promise of improvements in local participation in forestry initiatives, economic and administrative efficiency, social equity, development, and resource management. This research seeks to investigate CBNRM's actual effects within the context of miombo woodland use in southern Malawi. The study will use diverse research methodologies within a geographic political ecology framework. It uses 1) satellite remote sensing and image analyses to characterize recent forest cover change, 2) spatially explicit regression analyses with geographic information systems (GIS) to provide a linkage to possible social-spatial and biophysical factors associated with that change, and 3) various interview and survey methods to provide contextual information on institutional arrangements and relations of power involving forests and forest use in the study area.
2003 Sudman Recipient: Reeshad Dalal, Department of Psychology, Meta-Analytic & Experience-Sampling Investigations into the Structure of Behavior at Work
Do the same employees who vandalize machinery also support and defend organizational objectives? Could a given employee simultaneously argue with his/her supervisor and volunteer to do extra work? More generally, one could ask whether behavior such as stealing, vandalism, ignoring instructions, and spreading malicious rumors about coworkers is necessarily the “opposite” of behavior such as praising the organization to outsiders, doing everything a “good” employee would do, and helping coworkers. These queries speak directly to the structure of employee work behavior, and answering them would greatly aid us in determining how to accurately measure employee performance. The present research attempts not only to shed light on these questions, but also to analyze certain cognitive aspects of survey responding. Study 1 is a quantitative review of existing published cross-sectional (static) research in the area. Study 2 adopts a dynamic approach and examines the structure of work behavior over time.
2002 Ferber Recipient: Fabio Fonti, Department of Business Administration, When One Relationship Is Not Enough: Toward a Theory of Multiplex Embeddedness
This work investigates how being involved simultaneously in many types of relationships with other industry members can constrain or enhance organizational performance. Although many studies have shown how an organization is influenced by its interaction with other members of an industry, they have focused only on one type of relationship at a time. More realistically, within the same industry each organization is involved simultaneously in many relationships with other organizations (e.g. communication, advice, knowledge transfer, etc.), which all at the same time affect its choice of action. Mr. Fonti investigated such multiplexity through a 12-month field study of a whole industry. Using in-depth surveys, he conducted 90-minute face-to-face interviews with entrepreneurs and CEOs from every firm in a specific industry, during which he collected information on flows of communication, trust, and knowledge transfer between the organizations in the industry. This in turn allowed Mr. Fonti to plot the interorganizational structure of the industry as a whole. Preliminary results show that higher levels of multiplex embeddedness (i.e., simultaneous involvement in many relationships with other organizations) are associated with higher organizational performance.
2002 Sudman Recipient: Junyong Kim, Department of Business Administration, Counterfactual Thinking: An Underlying Mechanism of Post-purchase Evaluation & Satisfaction
To explain wide variation in satisfaction judgments following equivalent consumption experience and to explain seemingly inconsistent patterns of repeat buying behavior, a dual-mechanism framework of counterfactual thinking that integrates the two distinctive mechanisms of counterfactual thinking—automatic and deliberate process—is proposed. A scale that probes both automaticity and motivational aspects of thought generation process is developed to investigate the nature of post-consumption evaluation process that leads to different counterfactual thoughts. Results from two experimental studies and one panel survey show that when post-consumption evaluation is focused on the outcome, the process is largely automatic, and consumers will feel less satisfied if the outcome is irreversible rather than reversible. However, when the focus of the evaluation is on the decision itself and if consumers consider themselves highly responsible (e.g., they did not rely on another's advice) for the decision, a deliberate mechanism dominates the process and consumers may feel more satisfied if the outcome is irreversible.