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Manners Award


Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Awards

Recipients  ·  Announcement

2017 Manners Awardees
Dunn-Lewis  ·  Wright

“Determining Barriers, Facilitators, and Preferences Related to Resistance Exercise in Older Adults”

Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, PhD
Courtney Dunn-Lewis, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine and Nutrition, Department of Health and Physical Activity, University of Pittsburgh

Despite the health benefits of resistance exercise (RE) for older adults, their participation in it is low. The reasons for this are not known. To develop feasible and acceptable interventions to increase RE in older adults, we must uncover barriers, facilitators, and the types of RE that are most enjoyable in older adults. 
Aim 1: Using a Social-Ecological Framework, elucidate social, structural, and personal barriers & facilitators to engagement in RE among older adults.
  • We will examine how the intersection of environment, living situation, transportation, functional status, work/financial status, region, and demographics impact general exercise participation in Allegheny County. We hypothesize that a complex interaction of regional, occupational, and other factors disproportionately impact exercise participation among low-income and/or black individuals.
  • We will perform a quantitative survey to assess: older adults’ barriers (psychosocial, environmental) to RE; estimated percent of Allegheny adults over 55 who meet guidelines for RE; RE knowledge; comfort and safety concerns. We hypothesize RE barriers of access, knowledge, fear, time, and lack of social support.
  • Using findings from a and b, conduct focus groups with adults over 55 years to confirm, refine, and uncover factors that encourage and hinder engagement in resistance exercise.
Aim 2: Explore enjoyability, tolerability, and acceptability of different RE exercises, techniques, and methods with the goal of ultimately developing an optimal exercise physiology-based training intervention (EPTI).
  • Perform quantitative survey to assess: RE knowledge; comfort and safety concerns.
  • Conduct focus groups with adults over 55 years in which participants will perform and discuss specific resistance exercises under observation and supervision.

"Multimethod Assessment of Momentary Stress Processes in Personality Pathology"

Aidan G.C. Wright, PhD
Aidan G.C. Wright, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology,
University of Pittsburgh

Personality disorders (PDs) are prevalent, chronic, debilitating, and potentially life-threatening psychiatric disorders representing serious clinical and public health concerns. Major theoretical models posit that PDs reflect the maladaptive expression of personality traits via dynamic processes that are unpredictable, extreme, or mismatched to environmental cues. Furthermore, it is argued these dynamic processes both predispose individuals to stressful experiences and arise from maladaptive self-regulation in response to stressors in the environment. Although these dynamic processes likely reflect the maintenance mechanisms of PDs, and despite the fact that they provide optimal targets for clinical interventions, they remain understudied and poorly understood.
The goal of this project is to use ecological momentary assessment (EMA) techniques and passive sensing via smartphones to study the contextualized dynamic processes of stress and responses to that stress, and how levels of PD traits amplify or dampen those processes. We propose following a group of individuals with a range of PD traits over the course of 14 days using smartphones to intensively sample their stressors, behaviors, and social context in daily life as it is lived. Participants will respond to brief momentary questionnaires in situ throughout the course of their day. By augmenting standard random EMA measurements with a novel microburst assessment approach and innovative quantitative models, this study will provide a new look into the affective course following experienced stressful events. In addition, this project adopts a multimethod approach by marrying well-validated self-reported assessments of experienced stress, affect, and social context with passively measurement of social context (e.g., audio sampling of milieu, location tracking, use of social media) and ambulatory psychophysiology (i.e., wrist-worn activity and heartrate tracking).


Manners Award

Award Overview

Each year, the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) awards the Steven D. Manners Research Development Awards to promising research projects in the social, behavioral, and policy sciences on campus. These awards honor the memory of Steve Manners, a sociologist who began working at the Center in 1974 and served as its Assistant Director from 1989 until his death in September 2000. His research and service to the Center and the University community were dedicated to improving social conditions in the urban environment.

Steven MannersSteven D. Manners

We will make two awards of up to $20,000 each, contingent upon the quality of applications and availability of funds. The proposed research must align with UCSUR's mission of working collaboratively to conduct interdisciplinary research that improves communities and addresses social, economic, health, and policy issues most relevant to society. Full-time faculty, post docs, and research associates from all University of Pittsburgh campuses may apply.

Manners Award Summary List

Center for Social & Urban Research
3343 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260