BYU Hosts Social Science Fair Featuring Student Research on Relevant Social Issues

BYU students will fill BYU’s Wilkinson Center on April 13, 2017 with the tangible evidence of months of mentored research—their Fulton Conference posters. It is a wonderful opportunity for members of the community, parents, other students, and employers to support research that increases everyone’s collective ability to understand the world around us, and to see what great work our undergraduate students are capable of.

The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences will host the 13th Annual Mentored Student Research Conference on Thursday, April 13, 2017. The conference will be in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom from 9 a.m. to noon and is open to the public.

The conference is a unique opportunity for hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students to present their most recent research visually and succinctly. BYU graduate and undergraduate students researched with faculty mentors, research that takes typically a full semester. Students will be present to answer any questions visitors may have about the research.

Topics will include child abuse and its effect on academic ability, internet addiction, depression in college students, social anxiety disorder, and consequences of transgender victimization. The conference will feature research done in the areas of neuroscience, sociology, social work, psychology, family life, geography, anthropology, history, political science, and economics.

Savannah Keenan, a graduate student in the School of Family Life, studied the portrayal of fathers in popular media, and the effects of those portrayals on real-life behavior, for her winning 2016 poster. Her research showed that, every 3.24 minutes, a TV dad acts like a buffoon, and that children responded negatively to those portrayals 48% of the time. “We know that dads are often portrayed negatively in the media,” says Keenan. “But not a lot of research has been done that shows how the father portrayals in the media actually affect real-life behavior and attitudes of children. I think the most important thing we need to know now is: how is this affecting our kids? If these television shows are portraying dads as incompetent— especially when they’re directed toward such a sensitive age group as tweens—what are these kids going to think about their own dads?”

For more information, please visit FultonChair.byu.edu. The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair provides meaningful research and educational experiences for students, faculty, and children. Mary Lou’s passion for educating and elevating others is reflected in the many elements of the chair, established by her husband Ira A. Fulton in 2004 to honor and recognize her example.

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