By Samuel Nesin-Perna
The College of Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, invites you to attend a Master's Thesis defense by Sam Nesin-Perna on "The Interaction of Mental Health and Executive Function Among Neurodiverse University Students."
Candidate Name: Sam Nesin-Perna
Degree: Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Studies
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Time: 1 to 2 p.m.
Location: Coburn Hall Room 275 South Campus
Thesis/Dissertation Title: The Interaction of Mental Health and Executive Function Among Neurodiverse University Students
- Advisor Ashleigh Hillier, Ph.D. Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell (Chair)
- Yan Wang Ph.D, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell
- John William McKenna Ph.D, Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell
- David Schena II B.S., Psychology, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Brief Abstract: Studies have shown that being neurodivergent can result in challenging experiences as a child that result in mental health implications in young adulthood. One of these challenges of neurodivergence that is measured is executive function (EF), which involves skills such as planning, attention, and prioritization of tasks. However, little previous research directly dives into the relationship between EF and mental health. To address this gap in the literature, the following study collected data on college students' EF and mental health. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to test if EF and status (if someone was either neurodivergent or neurotypical) were predictors in the outcome of mental health. The results showed that EF and status were significant predictors of mental health, however, the effect sizes were small, thus concluding that future research needs larger sample sizes to study this subject matter.