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Inmates Attracting Sympathy from Guarding Officers Essay

Inmates Attracting Sympathy from Guarding Officers Essay

Question Description


Behavioral Manipulation Exhibited by Inmates in Correctional Institutions towards attracting Sympathy from Guarding Officers and the Psychological response of the officers towards these manipulation .

Premise: Behavioral Manipulation Exhibited by Inmates in Correctional Institutions towards attracting Sympathy from Guarding Officers and the Psychological response of the officers towards this manipulation.

Problem Statement

One of the things that caught my attention while working as an Official correctional in the state of Kansas was that, whether I liked it or not, for every corner I walked in that correctional facility, at any time of the day or night, I was being observed and analyzed constantly.

Having that look on my shoulders all day caused in me different moods and behaviors that under other circumstances I would not manifest.

Gaps in prior research are centralized to ocular dysfunction (OD). Terman and Terman (1999) report a definitive indication of photopic (cone-mediated) and scoptoic (rod-mediated) dark adaptation influence on circadian rhythm functionality. Dysfunction of this adaptation may lead to specific psychological conditions (i.e. seasonal affective disorder). Detection of current light phase occurs when photoreceptors are functional, allowing the circadian system to decipher the current phase of dark or light and adapt accordingly.

The detection of both the wavelength and diurnal phase of light influences circadian rhythm functionality and is essential in the diagnosis and prevention of CRSDs. Dijk and Lockley (2002) explain the necessity in functional light phase timing for optimal circadian functionality and sleep homeostasis. This expresses the purpose of this experimental study which will compare the quality of sleep for individuals using specific wavelengths of light one hour before bedtime and during sleep session arousals. The independent variable will be the wavelength of light provided. The dependent variable will be participant sleep quality each night the specific wavelength of light is provided. The control variable will be the duration of time the provided bulb is utilized before bed until awakening from the completed sleep session. Once the data is documented, analysis will occur in order to compare individuals possessing an OD and still experiencing CRSD symptoms versus those without OD experiencing no change in CRSD symptoms or improvements within the same sampling group, as well as across groups.


Information focused toward CRSDs and light sensitivity related to OD will assist physicians and behavioral sleep medicine practitioners with devising more effective and efficient treatments. Pinpointing which wavelength of light is effective for treating CRSD sufferers sensitive to light represents the study’s desired outcome. Achievement of this goal is meant to assist physicians and behavioral sleep medicine specialists with devising treatments specific to CRSD type based on the etiology of light sensitivity.

The literature review process revealed that many studies have been concluded regarding exposure and timing of light therapy. Gooley (2008) warns certain ocular disorders (e.g. retinopathy, glaucoma, and cataracts) play a pivotal role in the effectiveness of bright light therapy. Because ocular conditions may directly affect an individual’s sensitivity to specific wavelengths of light, new treatments geared toward OD and wavelength specific therapy must be devised. This study will provide data necessary for cognitive behavioral improvements within the field of behavioral sleep medicine.

Essentially, findings of this study will assist with devising new sleep medicine treatments and implementing those new techniques. New treatments may provide the foundation for lower healthcare costs, fewer secondary and/or co-morbid medical conditions, improved social interactions, and increased functionality within workplace and academic environments. Wolfson and Carskadon (2003) find sleep disorders to be one of the most prevalent influences on academic performance in secondary, primary, and collegiate school settings. In order for society to simply achieve a higher learning level, research is necessary for finding the etiology of CRSDs and effective treatments for all populations.


  1. Bushey, Tononi, and Cirelli (2011) explain the correlation between synaptic strength and sleep deprivation as an effect of the synaptic consumption of energy and space which is caused by the presence of neurotransmitters and other biochemicals necessary for sleep onset.
  2. Dijk and Lockley (2002) offer information regarding the connection between sleep wake timing and normal, functioning circadian rhythms represented by circadian sleep propensity, rhythm sleep homeostasis, and circadian photoreception.
  3. Dodson and Zee (2010) give sound information regarding each of the classified extrinsic and intrinsic CRSDs according to factors such as light, physical activity, socialization, and melatonin, in addition to modulation of circadian rhythms.
  4. Figueiro and Rea (2012) focus on the effect of blue light (short wavelength) on circadian rhythms and the secretion of the hormone cortisol and neurotransmitter melatonin as the mechanism for the development of CRSDs due to specific light exposure.
  5. Kolla, Auger, and Morgenthaler (2012) explain light exposure timing as influential to the onset, diagnosis, and treatment of CRSDs.
  6. Lighting Research Center (2005) reports a recent study which suggests exposing elderly populations to blue light may help reduce the risk of sleep disturbance in those not suffering from ocular deterioration or dysfunction.
  7. Mirick and Davis (2008) suggest CRSDs occur due to fluctuations in neurotransmitter activity, consumption of an improper diet, secretion of stress hormones, and other various processes which rely on or affect functional circadian rhythms influenced by physiological wellness, psychological stability, lifestyle choices, and environmental stimuli (e.g. light exposure and intensity).
  8. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (2011) gives basic information regarding the spectral range of colors and wavelengths of light, especially wavelengths too short or long for the human eye to detect.
  9. Terman and Terman (1999) warn that physicians must be careful when choosing light therapy as a treatment method due to the ability of light sensitivity to affect individuals suffering from CRSDs in both psychological (i.e. depression and anxiety) and physiological (i.e. headaches and muscle weakness) manifestations.
  10. Von Schantz and Archer (2003) report circadian rhythm timing requires activator proteins CLOCK and BMAL1 to bind with a trimeric complex consisting of cryptochromes (CR), period genes (Per), and casein kinase (CK1), resulting in the prevention of transcription which may lead to circadian rhythm dysfunction and sleep disturbance.

Theoretical Framework

This study will employ the use of conceptual framework. Underhill (1991) suggests a study presenting multiple variables and concepts rooted in both current and historical empirical research should be chosen in concordance with the researcher’s personal beliefs and assumptions. This process is best suited with the foundation of conceptual framework. Variables are related based on which wavelength of light therapy treatment is most effective and efficient. Many research studies suggest more than one specific wavelength of light might be capable of altering circadian rhythms; yet none of these studies have tested all main colors of the spectrum in one study. This list would consist of infrared, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, UV, and bright white. Finding these wavelengths could provide cost-efficient treatments for CRSD sufferers.

What must also be considered is the component of timing. According to Dagan and Borodkin (2005) some CRSDs are caused by simply using improper interior lighting or variations of light in the environment. Light sensitivity and intensity during exposure may also trigger circadian dysfunction. Ocular conditions experienced by some CRSD sufferers may be primary to light sensitivity which causes circadian rhythm dysfunction. CRSD sufferers with ocular conditions would not achieve the same positive results after light therapy as CRSD sufferers without ocular conditions. Detection of the current light phase and wavelength of light within the environment is imperative to the onset of a health sleep session. This provides proof of the need for ocular health to be prioritized. Ocular health is apparent in the functionality of circadian rhythms. This study will discuss which specific wavelength of light must be avoided and which implemented within an individual’s environment.

Research Questions

Quantitative RQ1– Which specific wavelength of light is: (a) most influential in circadian rhythm dysfunction and (b) the onset of circadian rhythm sleep disorders, as well as (c) the most beneficial to circadian rhythm functionality?

Hnull: Wavelength of light will not influence the prevalence of sleep disturbances.

Halt1: Wavelength of light will influence sleep disturbances.

Halt2: Long wavelength of light will reduce the prevalence of sleep disturbances.

Halt3: No significant increase or decrease of sleep disturbances will be documented between short wavelengths of light versus long wavelengths of light.

Qualitative RQ2– How do OD and light sensitivity explain the onset of circadian rhythm sleep disorders during exposures of specific wavelengths of light?

Hnull1: OD has no effect on circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Halt1: Ocular deterioration will exhibit light sensitivity to specific wavelengths of light, such as the shortest wavelengths and longest wavelengths.

Hnull2:Sensitivity to light has no effect on circadian rhythm sleep disorders.

Halt2: Exposure to short wavelengths of light will decrease the prevalence of sleep disturbance experienced by participants diagnosed with ocular conditions.

Nature of the Study

Quantitative Data

This study will employ mixed methods research design techniques. One portion of the study involves quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. Because of the comparison between groups representing each of the wavelengths of light being studied, as well as the lack of random assignment of participants to those groups, the quantitative quasi-experimental design seems most suitable for this study (California State University at Long Beach, 2013). During this portion of the study, participants will document several aspects related to the application of specific wavelengths of light used one hour before sleep sessions and during arousals, such as: late onset of sleep, pain, consumed foods and medications, lack of ability in both falling asleep and staying asleep, and mood changes. The first four weeks will generate documentation on the participant’s sleep environment and sleep behaviors.

Pretest surveys will consist of both open and closed-ended questions concerning the current sleep behavior of each participant. The second four weeks will document the change in sleep behaviors once the specified wavelength of light is applied to the sleep environment one hour before bedtime and during arousals. The surveys of the posttest portion in the final four weeks will generate documentation regarding the changes in sleep behavior of each participant. These surveys will also be both open and closed-ended questions. Panels within a before-after, interrupted time-series design will provide the researcher with the information necessary for comparative analysis of planned variations across participants. Once this information is documented, each group representing a wavelength of light will be compared to one another. This will supply the researcher with the necessary data for comparing each group representing a specific wavelength of light with other groups. Results will indicate which wavelength improves sleep health the least and creates the most sleep disturbances versus the wavelength which improves sleep health the most and causes the fewest sleep disturbances over time.

Qualitative Data

The second portion of the study is represented by qualitative research methods. This qualitative data will be collected simultaneously with participant quantitative data. Qualitative data will be rooted in literature reviews of historical research reporting the relationship between sensitivity to light and OD. Surveys will generate phenomenological data collected from participants. This section of the study will be completed while the researcher is waiting for data during both portions of the interrupted time-series design. The second portion will be historical and phenomenological approaches of qualitative design. Each individual within a group will represent a comparative data set of not only the sleep environment, but also the use of a specific wavelength of light within that sleep environment. Historical data will offer information supportive to phenomenological data comparisons per group. For example, historical data might indicate blue wavelengths of light are most effective for individuals with OD in the treatment of CRSDs. Participants supplying phenomenological data may supply information contrary to historical evidence. Background is a necessity to the interpretation of current data. Without that background, no comparison or foundation for research can be met.


The independent variable is represented by specific colors of light (e.g. infrared, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, UV, and bright white). The control variables are represented by the timing of light exposure. Times of exposure would consist of one hour before bedtime and during sleep arousal. The dependent variable is the quality of sleep. Simply, the central research question expressed here is: Does light therapy utilizing specific wavelengths of light administered one hour before bedtime and during arousal of sleep sessions reduce the risk for CRSDs, especially for individuals unable to detect colors or wavelengths of light due to OD?

Levels of Measurement

This study will be represented with the use of the nominal level of measurement. The nominal level will allow the statistical analysis of words with no categorical rank. For example, each color will be represented by assigned numbers: infrared=1 (750nm), red= 2 (650nm), orange=3 (590nm), yellow=4 (570nm), green=5 (510nm), blue=6 (475nm), violet= 7 (400nm), ultraviolet=8 (350nm), and bright white=9 (mixture of violet, red, and blue). This will allow comparative analysis procedures with the elimination of words with the introduction of numerical values. Ordinal data will represent the range of light wavelength provided in the sleep environment of each group for categorization purposes (i.e. yellow: 570-590 and orange: 590-620). The actual wavelength of light provided within the environment purposefully given its numerical value would be indicative of interval data (i.e. 700nm dark red and 670nm bright red). These levels of measurement provide a hierarchy of data which can be analyzed as both single participant and group data sets.

Possible Analytic Strategies

Quantitative Analysis

Comparative analysis has been chosen as the type of analysis most suitable for this study. Diverse data obtained from multiple studies will be necessary for the satisfaction of historical and current data comparisons across groups. With little data available concerning the use of both diverse and varied wavelengths of light, this study will require data collected from more than just one population. Essentially, this study will provide information regarding the rarely studied orange, yellow, and violet wavelengths of light. Therefore, the data collected from multiple historical studies, as well as the current study, will require the use of comparative analysis for the purpose of data comparison. The Georgetown University Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library (2011) and its constituents suggest comparative analysis is suitable for studies requiring a correlation coefficient for covariate data representation across both participant and group data sets. Comparative analysis truly can be time consuming. However, the study will likely benefit most from this analytical approach.

Qualitative Phenomena

During the final stages of the study, historical, phenomenological data will be compared against quantitative data. Data will then be ranked categorically, given meaning, and represented numerically although not an actual numerical value. The simultaneous collection of data by means of both quantitative and qualitative designs for research is indicative of the convergent parallel mixed methods design. Although this is a considerably complex design and data analysis process, information cannot be cross-referenced and analyzed without the use of multiple data sets provided by complex and collaborative methods of research. Each of these 9 groups will be comprised of 5 participants.

Participants diagnosed with a form of OD will represent the 10th group. Each individual within this group will experience each wavelength of light for 5 day intervals. Therefore, the OD group will have altered surveys and an addition of time to study participation than participants in the other 9 groups. Group participant numbers and phenomenological data compared across all sampling groups represent the collaborative effort of both qualitative and quantitative data. This collaboration will achieve an outcome of data analysis and statistical representation.

Mixed Methods Data Analysis

During the final stages of the study, historical, phenomenological data will be compared against quantitative data. The simultaneous collection of data by means of both quantitative and qualitative designs for research is indicative of the convergent parallel mixed methods design. SPSS is a statistical analysis program utilized by researchers for its diversity among methods available for representation. Qualitative analysis would be completed with the use of programs such as NVivo. However, for this study, MedCalc may possibly be the best choice for comparative analysis across groups. MedCalc will perform special tests (i.e. Levene tests for variance equality) in order to assume the appropriate usage of statistical function (MedCalc, 2013). Although this is a considerably complex design and data analysis process, information cannot be cross-referenced and analyzed without the use of multiple data sets provided by complex and collaborative methods of research.

Possible Types and Sources of Information or Data

  • Recruitment will separate participants from disqualified individuals before the study commences.
  • Interviews conducted during the recruiting phase will help find qualified applicants.
  • Snowball sampling will be a minor technique employed for the recruitment of more participants.
  • Individuals seeking participation qualification will undergo written tests which will indicate medical conditions, pharmaceutical consumption, sleep disturbance, and OD require for inclusion qualification or exclusion disqualification.
  • Sleep diaries comprised of both open and closed ended questions and published by the National Sleep Foundation and the National Institutes of Health are to be completed by each participant every day at two times- immediately upon awakening and prior to sleep sessions.
  • Surveys will be prepared for the OD group with relevance to the particular differences experienced during the 5 day durations of exposure and comparisons drawn from each of those wavelengths.
  • The prevalence and variations of circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD) symptoms and diagnosis among participants implementing a specific wavelength of light within the sleep environment and who experience OD versus those with healthy eyesight can be represented with the application of covariate analysis (ANCOVA).
  • Two groups (ocular dysfunction and healthy eyesight), will be tested for sleep disturbance with covariates relational to specific wavelengths of light (infrared, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, ultraviolet, and bright white).
  • ANCOVA analysis will be conducted and represented by utilizing both MedCalc and IBM SPSS software.


This study will utilize environmental triggers to possibly devise new treatment programs for patients suffering from CRSDs. Light therapy is the focal therapy for this study. But due to the variance in environmental light, a CRSD sufferer may benefit from the implementation of a light theme before a sleep session and during times of arousal. Some wavelengths of light must be avoided; other wavelengths may produce no response. However, if even one wavelength proves to help reduce the symptoms of CRSDs in one population, future research on the topic could be justified. These wavelengths have been studied in medical and clinical research trials for a few decades (e.g. the effects of blue light versus white light and seasonal affective disorder treatments). Schwartz and Roth (2008) have indicated a need to sustain stress hormone and neurotransmitter secretion to functional levels in those suffering from CRSDs. Sustaining these functional levels could be easily achieved simply with the use of a specific color of light; purchased as a bulb or color gel manufactured for visual entertainment. Individuals with OD or light sensitivity may not be affected by specific wavelengths due to the lack of ability to detect specific colors. By pinpointing which wavelengths should be avoided and implemented during treatments, this study could prove beneficial to and improve the quality of life in many individuals suffering from CRSDs.


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