Abstract: Estimating the Prevalence of Personality Disorders in University Student Populations

For my research, I plan to investigate the prevalence of personality disorder (PD) in university students.  My faculty mentor and I have been granted access to a dataset from the Healthy Minds Study, which is a nationally representative survey of over 150,000 university (undergraduate, graduate, professional) students. William & Mary is a member of this network, and we have already had a preliminary look at the self-reported PD prevalence rates from W&M’s approximately 1,800 student participants. My faculty mentor and I noticed that the prevalence estimate at W&M (under 1%) was markedly lower than corresponding estimates from national epidemiological data (9-11%) collected from structured diagnostic interviews (the gold standard for PD assessment). Such a discrepancy was not present for other psychiatric conditions like anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. My plan for the summer is to perform these same analyses in the entire Healthy Minds Study database (growing our sample size from 1,800 to 150,000). I will compare the national self-reported PD prevalence rates to those derived from epidemiological studies, and, assuming the discrepancy between self-reported and interview-based diagnostic rates persists, attempt to explain why PD is so heavily under-diagnosed or under-reported. Although there is a wide body of research on PDs among adults, comparatively little research has addressed the question of PD prevalence among young people. This study will be, to my knowledge, the largest of its kind to date.

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Abstract: Correlations Between Physiological Responsivity to Stress, Anxiety Disorder Vulnerability, and Gender Differences

Hey interweb! I’m Laila, and I’m a sophomore here at the College of William & Mary. I’m a psychology major with an undecided minor (most likely Hispanic Studies or Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies). In my spare time, I enjoy running, eating brussel sprouts, and cooking meals that are far too ambitious for my minimal culinary skills. I could not be more excited to be doing my summer research with the Charles Center!

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Abstract: Gender Roles and Community Participation in Chaguite Nicaragua.

Hi my name is Cait, and I am a Freshman here at William and Mary pursuing a double major in Sociology and Government. I am very excited to have the opportunity to conduct research in my first year here at the college and I look forward to traveling to Nicaragua this May. Using the Community-Based Participatory Model, I will be partnering with the community of Chaguite Nicaragua to understand more about gender roles and the characteristics of those roles in regards to the level and quantity of community participation. Through prompt dialogue and interviews I will ask the women in the community questions centered around women community participation and decision-making, health concerns, and comparisons in leadership and authority they see or experience between men and women in the community. In a three stage process, beginning with a focus group activity, then household interviews, and lastly personal interviews, my goal is to understand and record how gender and gender roles influence the decision-making process in community activities and the level and quantity that women participate in those activities. Through the CBPR method, I will then be able to work with community members to formulate questions and address concerns that women have in the community. In the long term my goal is to understand gender roles in the community to promote inclusiveness between the community members, increase solidarity in the decision-making process, and increase community participation.