Matthew Kim, Doctoral Candidate in Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan - Abbigail Williams, Doctoral Pre-candidate in Social Work & Developmental Psychology, University of Michigan
Monday, April 08, 2013,
12:00 pm 1:00 pm
B247 East Hall
"Motivational characteristics of young children are associated with error-related brain activity"
Presented by: Matthew Kim, PhD Candidate in Developmental Psychology
Abstract: In everyday life, motivation energizes and sustains behavior towards various goals. Individuals of all ages inevitably make mistakes while pursuing these goals, and motivational processes influence how individuals respond after a mistake has been made. While much is known about the neurobiology of errors, the relation between young children’s motivational characteristics and the neurological processes underlying errors has not yet been explored. In this study, young children’s achievement motivation and its relation to the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe) were explored. Results from achievement goal theory indicate that children with learning/mastery goals exhibited a larger Pe than children with performance goals. Results from expectancy-value theory indicate that children with higher expectations of success on a challenging activity exhibited a larger Pe, whereas children who expressed higher levels of intrinsic valuation/enjoyment of the activity exhibited a smaller Pe. The results suggest that individual differences in young children’s achievement motivation are associated with neurophysiological phenomena accompanying error commission and awareness. Implications and directions for future research will be discussed.
Bio: Matthew Kim received his Bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology at New York University, and spent two years on the research staff at MDRC before coming to Michigan. He is currently a third-year doctoral candidate in developmental psychology working with Drs. Fred Morrison and Bill Gehring. Matt’s research interests focus on integrating behavioral, neurological, and educational perspectives in the study of executive functioning in young children. In addition to his graduate studies, Matt studies organ performance at the UM School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and has a crippling obsession with Michigan sports and Euro-style board games.
"The Discontinuity of Offending Among African American Youth in the Juvenile Justice System"
Presented by: Abigail Williams, Joint Doctoral Student in Developmental Psychology and Social Work
Abstract: One of the major goals of the juvenile justice system is the rehabilitation of youth. It is important to determine whether there is any change taking place in the developmental trajectories of youth as a result of contact with the juvenile justice system. Once on the path of criminal justice involvement, many youth continue on to the adult criminal justice system. This is especially the case among African American youth where involvement with the criminal justice system can have lasting negative effects on African American families and communities because former felons face discrimination in employment, housing, and large scale disenfranchisement. Yet little is known about what change occurs in the developmental trajectory of African American youth in the juvenile justice system or what protective factors contribute to African American youth in decreasing their risk of recidivism. This study examines whether developmental change occurs over time as a result of contact with the juvenile justice system. The importance of gender is also examined as there has been evidence which supports different trajectories among male and female offenders within the juvenile justice system. It was hypothesized that having protective factors across both individual and social support domains would decrease the likelihood of re-arrest. The findings indicate that for both boys and girls parental supervision and resistance to anti-social peers reduced recidivism. Among boys, being resistant to anti-social peers had the greatest impact in reducing recidivism. For girls, control of impulsive behavior and having pro-social peers had the greatest impact on reducing recidivism. Implications for practice and policy are also addressed.
Bio: Abigail Williams is a second year graduate student at the University of Michigan in the Joint Social Work and Psychology program. She received her undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and her Masters in Social Work from the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. Her research interests include racial disparities and disproportionality in child serving systems and understanding the developmental trajectories of youth involved with the child welfare, juvenile justice, and mental health systems. She is also interested in social policy as it relates to system reform.