Spotlight on Body Image: The Role of Body Dissatisfaction on the Development of Internalizing Symptoms, Alcohol Abuse, and Self-Harm Among Women With and Without Childhood ADHD

As youth with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) transition into adolescence, they experience body dissatisfaction at higher rates than those without ADHD. Crucially, body dissatisfaction mediates the relation between ADHD and later-life depression. Previous research has shown that women experience higher rates of body dissatisfaction than men–and that such dissatisfaction is linked to depression, anxiety, increased alcohol use, self-harm, and suicidality. Better understanding of these associations and the mechanisms underlying them, especially among women with histories of ADHD, is warranted to further improve interventions. Therefore, Andrew will test the association between body image during adolescence and the adulthood outcomes of depression, anxiety, alcohol abuse, self harm and suicidality in women with ADHD. He will also explore how high-quality family and peer support can buffer against the effects of body dissatisfaction.

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Social Science

The Role of Human C1q Binding Protein (C1qBP) in Immune Recognition of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)

Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is an important viral cause of disease globally especially in immunocompromised persons. Current medications to treat HCMV infections (Ganciclovir) have a poor safety profile, and risk the potential to select for drug resistance. Antibodies and immune cells confer partial protection against HCMV; however, the contribution of other immune defenses such as the complement system remain poorly understood. In this study, Verina will employ a yeast-two-hybrid screen using an HCMV gene library to identify protein-protein interactions with human C1qBP, a multifunctional intracellular complement protein. Following identification, Verina will characterize protein-protein interactions in the context of how C1qBP functions in the Human immune response to HCMV infection. Identification of such HCMV-complement interactions could potentially inform the development of vaccines and novel drugs.

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Mapping the Spatial Pattern of Response to ALIC DBS Using fMRI

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common psychiatric disorder characterized by intrusive anxiety-provoking thoughts and repetitive behaviors. Deep brain stimulation (DBS), an implantable neuromodulation therapy that can effectively modulate neural circuits in the brain using electrical stimulation, has emerged as an approach to treat severe cases of OCD. To address the current need for reliable biomarkers of OCD symptom response to DBS to inform the optimal brain targets for OCD patients, Sushil will evaluate functional MRI data acquired simultaneously to DBS in a cohort of patients with medication-refractory OCD to comprehensively map out the brain’s functional response to DBS at different therapeutic settings. Sushil will investigate the impact of DBS on the brain and uncover basic circuit principles underlying OCD.

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The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia: Examining the Tribunal’s Indirect Contribution to National Healing

Melody’s project examines how the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have contributed to national healing beyond individual prosecutions. While the courts were established in 2003 to provide justice for the estimated 1.7 million individuals who perished during the Khmer Rouge regime, the trials have garnered widespread criticism for having indicted only 5 senior leaders. This research will challenge what is considered an “effective” trial by incorporating measures like improvements in psychosocial support, education, and access to nontraditional healing methods that emerged as a result of the court’s presence. By analyzing literature, and conducting interviews with administrators, public officials, and community leaders during her summer in Cambodia, Melody hopes her findings will provide a fuller understanding of how international criminal tribunals might aid in reconstructing post-conflict environments.

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Social Science

Caretaker-Child Reciprocal Influence on the Development of Gender-Biased Language during Childhood

Parents are influential in the development of gendered language and traits early in childhood, when children begin to develop a sense of self-concept. However, children can also affect parental behaviors in reciprocal social exchanges. Gender-biased language is problematic because it may be linked to the development of prejudices and stereotyping. Neural networks research on word relations (i.e., boy is to doctor as girl is to nurse) developed from massive language corpora like Wikipedia suggest the pervasiveness of gender-biased language in our everyday communication. Christian will extend this research by using naturalistic audio recordings collected from the same families repeatedly, allowing them to quantify reciprocal influences on the rate of parent and child gender-biased language.

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Social Science

The Secret Masters: Conspiracy Fiction in Modern Culture

The global and national turbulence of recent years has resulted in the increased popularity of conspiracy theory as an interpretive lens for world events – prompting both the shift of conspiracy theory from the fringe to the political mainstream and an explosion in conspiracy theory studies. Kevin is researching the connection between conspiracy theory as a social phenomenon and its analogue in literature and pop culture. He seeks to link conspiracy as a political practice with its cultural representation, to better understand the collective myth-making of paranoia. Kevin plans to explore how the treatment of conspiracy in fiction reflects or influences conspiracy theory’s social and political development. His project will analyze the feedback loop of popular culture and popular thought – from Pynchon to Pizzagate, from Mulder and Scully to Infowars.

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The Language of Trinidad and Tobago: Understanding Music and Dance as Archive

With her project, Anaya aims to create an animated archive of dance moves and cultural nuances of Trinidadian experiences. This region has not been explored through creative means, and Anaya wants to accurately portray a slice of a lived experience that has not yet been grappled with within mainstream media. The project will draw on the theoretical works of Professor Kenyatta Hinkle, Sreyashi Jhumki Basu, and Greg Niemeyer. While using her animations in order to partake in this research, she will travel to Trinidad and Tobago to humbly observe, participate in, and gather information based on the lived experiences of her grandparents, cousins and family members, as well as old friends in order to affirm the interpersonal connections she has with the land, the people, and the culture.

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Identity and Shame: Impact of Cultural Factors on Emotional Experiences

Shame is a debilitating, self-conscious emotion associated with a number of risk factors to mental and physical health and wellbeing. Shame is experienced when an individual perceives themself to be inadequate vis-a-vis social and cultural constructs. These constructs play a significant role in how shame is both experienced and regulated, making them vital to its understanding. Still, previous studies have not accounted for the ways in which different cultural factors and intersecting identities work to produce shame and its regulation. Through the use of surveys and diverse participant groups, Sarah’s honors thesis aims to bridge this gap, taking a closer look at the role these factors play in the production, regulation, and consequences of shame.

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Social Science

Partial Oxidation of Ethane Using Copper and Proton MFI Catalysts

Current processes for the production of partially oxidized alkanes constitute a large portion of the energy consumption of the petrochemical industry. The conversion of low cost and readily available alkane feedstocks to more useful unsaturated hydrocarbons and oxygenates while making use of cheap oxidants such as oxygen can circumvent the need to rely on the energy intensive and environmentally harmful processes currently implemented. Through the use of a Cu-MFI catalyst, Ihab plans on tackling this issue by synthesizing a collection of copper catalysts with various copper loadings. Varying the number of residual proton sites within a zeolite crystal, or the addition of CuMFI+HMFI catalyst mixtures with different weight ratios, will be useful for maximizing the selectivity toward the partially oxidized product.

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Exploring Transnational Barriers to Education

Although incarcerated and formerly incarcerated (FI) Californians can obtain a postsecondary education, systemic barriers such as undocumented status and deportation prevent many of them from pursuing a college education. In 2018, an estimated 70,900 non-U.S. citizens were in state and private prison facilities. However, information about FI students’ access to education after deportation is non-existent. Daisy Flores will conduct qualitative interviews of FI students who are deported, along with activists and scholars who are building the prison-to-school pipeline in Mexico. This study will investigate the barriers that undocumented students face once they are deported to Mexico after serving their sentence. The purpose of this study is to find insight into what support is needed and what can be done to aid the development of evidence-based resource programs in Mexico.

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Social Science

Rewriting a Ghostly Feminist History: Complicating National Memory, Identity, and Education in Post/colonial South Korea

From 1932-1945, during the Pacific War, Japan mobilized an imperial agenda in many Asian countries. To prevent Japanese soldiers from sexually exploiting Japanese women, the government created stations in colonized countries to provide sexual “comfort.” This became a formalized system of sexual slavery composed mostly of young, impoverished Korean women; following the war, as South Korea modernized, ‘comfort women’ were largely omitted from national remembrances, rendered invisible in the linear narrative of post/colonial development. Jenny will be traveling to Korea to research at national archives and interview ‘comfort women’ survivors and scholarly experts to examine the enduring, gendered impacts of the Pacific War. Ultimately, her research aims to reimagine the linear, masculine temporality of contemporary Korean history and challenge binary, rigid ways of contemplating national memory, identity, and boundaries.

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Punishment Drift: Vicarious Effects of Community Supervision on Kin Networks

Though many aspects of the criminal punishment system have been explored in research, this project aims to address a gap in analyzing the effects that penal supervision has on kin-networks, post-incarceration. Although there are more people than ever before subject to community supervision in our communities, little is known about how this affects family life, neighborhood dynamics, and society more broadly. The goal of Eli’s project is to better understand the strains being put on the kin-networks of individuals who are under the most widespread form of penal supervision; community supervision via probation and parole. There is a need to explore what the mass expansion of community supervision has had for families, kin networks, and communities outside of the separate impacts of targeted and aggressive policing and hyper-incarceration.

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Social Science

Cult Indictment and Apology: How Early Christians Projected Pagan Polemic onto Mystery Religions

Religious conflict in Late Antiquity has been passed down through surviving Christian and pagan polemic and apology: Letters, diatribes, and speeches attacking or defending either religious viewpoint. Henry will examine five essential Christian texts in Greek with an eye to something specific: The literary treatment of pagan mystery religions, faiths supplementary to mainstream belief where adherents were initiated into exclusive cults to particular deities. Through analysis of these texts and travel to essential sites in Greece and Italy, Henry will investigate what these cults can say about Christian-pagan relations and shed light on popular feelings around these secretive faiths, arguing that all critiques of mystery cults are deflections of indictments Christians themselves received. Henry’s research will build on and challenge modern scholarship’s view of the rise of Christianity and the decline of pagan religions through analysis of this period’s most divisive and tantalizing religious phenomena.

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The Consequences of Mineral Extraction on Indigenous Communities in Oaxaca, Mexico

The process of mining gold has been proven to have detrimental effects on the environment. As foreign investment towards gold mining increases in Oaxaca, Indigenous people are left to face the long-term consequences of mineral extraction. Indigenous foodways are sacred, as food remains central to the reproduction of Indigenous culture. Xitlaly’s research focuses on the impact of ecological degradation, as a result of gold mining, on Indigenous food systems and potential cultural loss in Oaxaca, Mexico. Her research will entail a collection of interviews from local Indigenous peoples in Los Valles Centrales where she will share her findings through the creation of a podcast. Her research is supplemental to the existing Indigenous resistance movement against foreign gold mining and the fight for Indigenous sovereignty.

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Social Science

Equity of Rooted in Nature: Evaluating the Impact of Outdoor Environmental Programs on Camp Aged Youth From Diverse Socioeconomic Backgrounds

Outdoor Education (OE) is a critical component in aiding environmental literacy and improving the general health of our younger generations through fostering a connection to nature. However, studies have shown OE in America is predominantly made up of male and caucasian participants. OE would theoretically benefit youth from a lower socioeconomic background the most, as these youth are deprived of access to nature to a much greater extent, yet youth from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds remain underrepresented in OE. Research on OE’s impact on youth’s connection to nature based on socioeconomic backgrounds is lacking, and Luis hopes his research project this summer will bridge this gap. The findings from this research project will provide guidance for employing best possible methods for prioritizing equity in OE.

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Social Science

Beating the Odds: Is Mental Health at Stake for High-Achieving Children in Poverty in the ABCD Study?

Childhood family income is a powerful predictor of academic achievement and mental health. Here, we ask whether children living in poverty who beat the odds by succeeding academically are subsequently protected from–or more at risk for–internalizing disorders. Prior research indicates that high-performing children in poverty tend to have higher coupling between lateral frontoparietal network (LFPN; supports executive functions), and Default Mode Network (DMN; supports internally-directed thought); this is in contrast to research with high-income children, for whom this pattern of connectivity is linked to worse academic performance, and importantly, more depressive symptomatology. Thus, an open question is whether this pattern of connectivity adaptive for children in poverty has maladaptive long-term consequences, particularly for mental health. In this pre-registration, we plan to analyze longitudinal data from nearly 10,000 children (1,000+ in poverty) in the ABCD study at baseline (ages 9-10y) and two years later (11-12y). We will perform linear mixed effects […]

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I am my Mother: Health Access among Mexican Immigrant Parents and their Children

The term “multi-generational punishment,” was coined by Dr. Laura E. Enriquez in 2015, to name a “distinct form of legal violence wherein the sanctions intended for a specific population spill over to negatively affect individuals who are not targeted.” Natalie’s research aims to expand on existing literature by exploring the effects that legal sanctions have on undocumented parents in the realm of healthcare — how it impacts their own access, and the unintended consequences it has on their children regardless of their own legal status. Through long form interviews with Mexican immigrant parents from the Central Valley, Natalie will address how the children of undocumented parents are impacted. She hopes her findings shed light on the plight of immigrant families and have broader policy implications impacting how healthcare outreach is done with undocumented communities.

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Social Science

Prioritizing and Protecting the Most Vulnerable: An Analysis of Anti-Trafficking Organizational Campaigns in the Bay Area

Anti-trafficking organizations often acknowledge the gendered, racialized statistics of those from vulnerable communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to be trafficked; however, many organizations fail to obtain a distinct orientation towards addressing such realities in their respective services and advocation. Matthew’s project seeks to conduct an analysis of anti-human trafficking campaigns of Bay Area organizations, to see how well, and to what extent, they serve the most vulnerable communities. The methodological approach will consist of semi-structured interviews with the anti-trafficking advocates of the selected organizations accompanied by a document analysis of each organization’s framework, mission statement, and services. Matthew’s research question is centered around examining the extent to which carceral logics are reproduced through state social services and the compatibility of abolitionism in efforts to eradicate sexual exploitation.

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Social Science

Investigating the Correlation between Pupil Dynamics, Behavioral Responses, and Neural Activity

It has been difficult to isolate the neural activity linking a particular visual stimulus to the behavior it triggers. This may be due to variability in neural activity caused by factors such as pupil size fluctuations, and research has shown that pupil dilation reduces neural activity variability. May hypothesizes that pupil dilation prior to presentation of visual stimuli will improve the behavioral response of mice performing a visual contrast detection task. Using two-photon calcium imaging, May will examine the neural activity of mice performing the task while recording their pupils. Examining the correlation between pupil size, behavioral responses, and neural activity could refine our understanding of visual perception, and it is one of the first steps toward developing technology that could encode artificial perception in those who are visually impaired

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