Research in the Behavioral Sciences Department

The Behavioral Sciences Department offers a 4 course sequence in research methods and statistics taught by Drs. LaBianca, Bailey, Helm, McBride, and Burnett. As a part of their learning experiences, students conduct their own research projects and present the results to the teachers and their classmates. Some students also present their research at regional or national conferences. Many students present at the Annual Midwest Psychological Association Meetings in Chicago. 


Research 2014

In 2014, 22 students traveled with our four psychology professors, Drs. Helm, Burnett, Bailey and Ponce-Rodas, to the Midwest Psychological Association in Chicago, in May 2014. Several of the students presented posters: Kristen Bishop, Nathalie Borges, D'Shawn Harrigan, Melissa Baptiste, Cindy Bonilla, Fredrica St. Hilaire, Eliana Iller, and Michael VanderWaal. Several students worked together to present research: Cassandra Chlevin and Michael VanderWaal, Adam LaFave and Omar Gomez.

Kern Agard and Tunisia Peters, both graduate students in our department presented a poster entitled “Self-Efficacy and its Implications for Development” at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Kylah Allers's, a graduate student presented her poster “Understanding the Relationship of Trauma, Substance Use and Resilience among University Students.” at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Laurie Pierre, a graduate student with our department presented her poster entitled “Evaluating NGO’s Strengths and Weaknesses through the Lens of SPHERE’s Core Standards” at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Carlos Ramos, an alumni of Behavioral Sciences and current M.Div. student worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Pastoral Roles and Their training.” presented at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Carla Veizaga-Udaeta, a Behavioral Sciences alumni and current graduate student with Andrews Education and Psychology Program, worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Why are you such a Violent Misogynist, Brother? For the Bible tells me so!” and presented her poster at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Travis O’Reilly  worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Engagement, Marriage and Gender roles in Deuteronomy 22.” and presented his poster at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Vanessa Rivera, a senior psychology major worked with Dr. Chelbegean on “Clergy Family Life and Pastor’s Kids Stressors" and presented her poster at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.

Michael VanderWaal, a Junior Psychology major worked with Drs. Bailey, McBride and Vander Waal on “Sexual activity, substance use and religious behaviors at a Conservative, Prohibitionist University.”  Michael’s project not only was accepted, but he won the Earhart Emerging Scholar Award provided by MASAL and was given time to present his research to the group at the conference, as well as funds to pay for expenses of attending the conference.

Lianne Wynn, a Behavioral Sciences Minor, presented on “Bullying Behaviors and Correlates among Elementary and Middle School girls in Berrien County” at MASAL at Oakland University in February 2014.


Research 2013

12 students present their research at the Midwest Psychological Association annual meeting in Chicago: Kristen Bishop, Jeremy Grant, Fredrica St. Hilaire, Darien Santana, Kayla Willis, Olivia Titus, Stephanie Gondra, Christon Knutson, Emmanuel Victorin, Khadeja Hupp, Shanyka Delice and Lindsay Dever. The presentations focused on a wide variety of research from hook up culture, internalization of religion and perceptions of well-being and parental relationships to stress, self-concept and resilience.

Three students, Matt Green, Carlos Perrone and Kathryn Conopio presented or were co-presenters at the annual meeting of The American Society of Criminology in November, 2012 in Chicago. The presentations focused on the relationship between family dinners and criminal victimization and suicidality. The analyses showed that the frequency of family dinners significantly related to lower rates of victimization. Drs. Matthews, Chelbegean, McBride, Hopkins and Mrs. Baltazar worked with the students on these presentations.

Dr. Chelbegean and Mrs. Baltazar went with graduate students Kayla Pina, Arian Emmanuel, Ellen and Patrick Dickerson, who presented their research at the Annual Conference of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, held at Hope College in Holland, MI in March, 2013. 


Research 2012

In 2012 6 posters were presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, 3 papers were presented at various venues, and 1 book contribution was published by the Oxford University Press.

Jeffery Hudon wrote a paper on the Tall Hisban Cultural Heritage Project, Jordan. He reported on Excavation and Restoration work in 2011-2012. It was co-authored by Robert Bates and Oystein LaBianca. It will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in November. Jeffery also contributed to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology co-authored by Oystein LaBianca and worked on a paper to be presented at the 7th World Archaeological Conference in Jordan: "East Jordan in Global History: the view from the Madaba Plains" co-authored by Oystein LBianca, Douglas Clark, Larry Herr, Bethany Walker, and Randall Younker.

Sarah Gane Burton presented on her project "National Identity in Jordan: the effects of displacement on identity",  at the Michgan Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Lacy Swaningson presented at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association on the "Use of applied behavior analysis with autistic children".

Jermaine Hanry presented his research on "A new implicit measure of guilt and God concept" at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

David Moskala, Alexander Vitug, and Jermaine Henry presented their research, "Active procrastination, time perspective, and academic self-regulation in University students" at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Autumn Pelkey and Arianna Lashley presented "Factors affecting Ego-depletion" at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Amanda Corea presented "Poverty pertaining to an analysis of attributions and solutions" at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.

Chelsea Powell presented "the Role of African American Clergy in reducing mental health and substance abuse disparities and increasing treatment linkages for congregants" at the 84th Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association.


Research 2011

Jeffrey Hudon and Lacy Barroso read their paper "ASOR and Global History: Past, Present, and Future." They read this paper at the the Annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research. It was co-authored by Robert Bates and Oystein LaBianca.

These students presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association in Chicago.
Vimie Joy Magsino and Seth Wiedmann: "the Factors underlying the free will beliefs of students at a religious university". Their project advisor was Dr. Karl Bailey.
Ashley Raethel: "Implicit attitudes of vegetarians and omnivores toward meat and vegetables"
Oliva Titus: "the affects that personality can have on one's visual attention".
Elkyn Beltre and Carlos Ramos: "The Predictors of attentional variability on a college campus"
David Markham: "the factors between Childhood domestic work and academic performance"
Sungkyng Han and Wing-Man Ting: "the Differences between Asian and Asian-American parenting styles: Permissive, authoritative/flexible" 
Timothy Morse "Patterns in transmission of political values from parents to college students"
Christopher White: "Post traumatic stress disorder and resilience among 2010 Haiti earthquake victims".
Samuel Amoh: "Career Counseling Program for the S. Ghana Conferece of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church"


Research 2010

This year we Submitted 6 projects involving 13 undergraduate and graduate students. 

Jason Miller (PSI CHI REGIONAL AWARD WINNER) "Attitudes towards Women in Power: How Conservative Religious Individuals form Religious and Political Decisions". Dr. Karl Bailey was his advisor.

Ashley Raethel "Neuromythologies and decision making: An Eye Tracking Investigation." Dr. Karl Bailey, advisor.

Elkyn Beltre "Eye Salve for the Righteous? Attentional Biases as Correlates of Religious Behavior and Orientation." Dr. Karl Bailey, advisor.

Cheryl Swaniker & Anthony Weston "The Effect of Loneliness on Visual Attention". Dr. Karl Bailey, advisor.

Omedeli Joseph, Filip Graovac, Chris Reyes and Terri King: "Tolerance among Christian and Muslim University Students in Lebanon." Dr. Herbert Helm, advisor.

Nancy Miller, Cheryl Logan, Dorica Kafunya and Beatrie Dolce: "College-related stress and resiliency." Dr. Herbert Helm, advisor.



Raphael Nawrotzki published multiple titles: “Ways to Approach Climate Change in Developing Countries.” Global Studies Journal, 1(4), “Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for U.S. Agricultural Businesses to Climate Change”  International Journal of Climate Change. The article focuses on agricultural strategies to respond to climate change.

Two other international development students, Polina Kadatska, and Dorica Kafunya, both presented at the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in May, 2009. Dorica's presentation was entitled "Membership in the WTO and Gross Domestic Product", and Polina's presentation was entitled, "How Education Leads to Peace".

Jeff Habinicht won the Regional Psi Chi Award. His topic of research was "Religious Information Processing Bias: A Flicker Design". Jeff also graduated in May with 4.0 GPA.

Jessie Lopez: "Factor Structure of the Beck Depression Inventory II in a University Sample."

Ashley Raethel "Religiosity and Happiness among Conservative Christian Students."

Christina Wallace "Factors that Influence Dietary Choices in Honduras."

Christopher White "Perceived Teacher Math Anxiety And its Relationship to Student Math Anxiety."

Brianna Johnson "Effect of Parent-Child Relationships on Teen Substance Abuse."

Ehren Lichtenwalter  Presented "In the Middle of Nowhere and at the Crossroads of Everywhere: Abatement and Change at Hellenistic Hisban, 332-63 BCE” at Central States Anthropological Society meeting in Urbana, IL. April, 2009.