As baby-boomers age and there are more middle-aged citizens than ever before, there is a need to know how their actions and attitudes affect their own health and the health of others. Ananda Easley, Luther College junior of Dubuque, Iowa, is researching the group's psychological and social development that occurs in middle adulthood and how it correlates with alcohol use for her summer research project at the college.
Easley, the daughter of Dale and Jamie Easley, of Dubuque, is a 2015 graduate of Dubuque Senior High School. She is majoring in psychology and environmental studies at Luther.
"One of the most exciting parts was watching our online survey responses coming in real time. After hours and hours in the lab and a good few inches worth of reading material, I could see that all the psychological theories were actually applicable, all our hard work was paying off, and we might actually be able to make a difference in the world. That was the moment when it all just clicked for me," said Easley.
Easley is working with David Bishop, Luther professor of psychology, on her project "Generativity and alcohol consumption in middle adulthood." Generativity is a stage in which energies are directed toward community and helping the next generation.
Easley and Bishop hope to expand on a previous smaller study that found a correlation in that the more generative a person is, the less alcohol they drink. To do this, they conducted, designed and administered a survey using the Loyola Generativity Scale, to measure the characteristic of generativity, and the Khavari Alcohol Test, to measure annual alcohol consumption.
The duo's collaboration is one of 26 summer student-faculty research projects funded through Luther's College Scholars Program and Dean's Office. The Student-Faculty Summer Research projects provide students an opportunity to research topics of interest alongside Luther faculty. This program is one of a wide selection of experiential learning opportunities at Luther intended to deepen the learning process and that are part of Luther's academic core.
The results of the project will be presented at Luther's Student Research Symposium in 2018.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu.