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 Degree Discipline: Psychology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy
The accurate assessment of psychopathy constitutes a critical component of forensic assessments addressing offender populations. Among the core characteristics of psychopathy, the interpersonal component of deception and empathic deficits are prominently observed in offenders with psychopathic traits. Given the negative consequences of being classified as a psychopath, offenders may be likely to minimize their psychopathic traits. In particular, no research has investigated whether offenders with psychopathic traits are able to simulate empathy in an effort to mask their cognitive or affective empathy deficits (e.g., lack of remorse about offenses). The present study aims to contribute to the literature with regard to the simulation of empathy. Using a mixed between- and within-subjects design, 81 male detainees were placed into (a) a low psychopathy group, (b) a moderate psychopathy group, or (c) a high psychopathy group based on the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised. For the within-subjects component, all offenders answered empathy questionnaires under genuine and simulation conditions. Results indicate the sample possessed cognitive empathy, but did not display affective empathy under genuine instructions. Under simulation instructions, participants significantly increased their scores on several empathy measures. The implications of simulated empathy and comparisons between groups regarding simulation abilities are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283859/
Absorption, Relaxation, and Imagery Instruction Effects on Thermal Imagery Experience and Finger Temperature
A skill instruction technique based on cognitive behavioral principles was applied to thermal imagery to determine if it could enhance either subjective or physiological responsiveness. The effects of imagery instruction were compared with the effects of muscle relaxation on imagery vividness, thermal imagery involvement, and the finger temperature response. The subjects were 39 male and 29 female volunteers from a minimum security federal prison. The personality characteristic of absorption was used as a classification variable to control for individual differences. It was hypothesized that high absorption individuals would reveal higher levels of imagery vividness, involvement, and finger temperature change; that imagery skill instruction and muscle relaxation would be more effective than a control condition; and that the low absorption group would derive the greatest benefit from the imagery task instruction condition. None of the hypotheses was supported. Finger temperature increased over time during the experimental procedure but remained stable during thermal imagery. The results suggest that nonspecific relaxation effects may best account for finger temperature increases during thermal imagery. Results were discussed in relation to cognitive-behavioral theory and the characteristic of absorption. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332431/
Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Anxiety Among Hispanic Undergraduates
First generation college students face some unique challenges in the pursuit of higher education. Aside from academic stressors, there are stressors related to social and cultural transitions which may exacerbate pre-existing emotional or psychological distress. Research suggests that acculturation influences psychological well-being and development. The current study examined the relationships between acculturation, acculturative stress, socio-economic status, and symptoms of anxiety among first-generation college students of Hispanic origin. Participants (N = 125) included those who were first in their family to attend college and were primarily female, of traditional college age, and of Mexican heritage. All measures were self-report and were completed online. Overall, this study was inconclusive as most analyses were underpowered. The present study failed to support a relationship between style of acculturation and symptoms of anxiety, although, experiencing Anglo marginality was related to high levels of acculturative stress and anxiety. Finally, regression analysis revealed that acculturative stress, age, and Anglo marginalization were significant predictors of anxiety and accounted for 31% of variance in anxiety. Implications of the present study were discussed. Further study with adequate power is highly recommended. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68072/
Acculturation and Depression in Older Mexican American Adults: the Role of Social Support
Despite socioeconomic disadvantages, less acculturated Mexican Americans tend to exhibit better mental health than their more acculturated counterparts. However, in the case of older Mexican American adults, research has demonstrated the opposite to be true (Gonzalez, Haan, & Hinton, 2001). A variable of interest potentially responsible for this difference is social support. Thus, the current study proposed to investigate the mediation and moderation effects that social support has on the relationship between acculturation and depression in older Mexican American adults age 60 or older. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) was analyzed. Results showed that the mediating effect of contact with one’s children (-.109*) and the moderating effect of total social support and contact with one’s children (-.127*; -.103*) were statistically significant in the relationship between acculturation and depression. Although these effects are small they may still hold important implications for better understanding this population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149567/
Acculturation and Feminist Endorsement on Control of Health and Health Behaviors in Hispanic Females
Hispanic women are the fastest growing population in the United States. Thus, it is important to explore health disparities that affect this population and better understand potential causes. Several explanations have been proposed for disparities that exist including turning to cultural alternatives rather than conventional medicine, low numbers of health insurance enrollments among Hispanics, and acculturation. However, little attention has been given to explanations that take into account the unique experiences of Hispanic women. The present study explored these experiences through investigation of endorsement of feminist attitudes (e.g., gender role adherence and beliefs that men and women should be treated equally in society) and level of acculturation. Undergraduate Hispanic women (18-24 years of age, M = 20.25, SD = 1.51) at the University of North Texas completed measures including the Multidimensional Health Questionnaire, the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II, and the Liberal Feminist Attitude and Ideology Scale. Although results indicate that acculturation was not significant in the sample, feminist endorsement was found to be positively correlated with health-esteem, health-efficacy, and internal-health locus of control. Limitations and recommended directions for future research are explored. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500136/
Acculturation, Parental Control, and Adjustment among Asian Indian Women
The present study examines the relationship between acculturation, parental control, and psychological adjustment among adult first and second-generation Asian Indian women who have immigrated, or whose parents have immigrated to the United States, from the Indian state of Kerala. Data from 73 participants indicate second-generation immigrants report poorer psychological adjustment than do their counterparts. Additionally, regression analyses reveal discomfort towards Kerala culture significantly predicts depressive symptoms, while high maternal control predicts self-esteem. Qualitative data were collected to provide richer understanding of immigrants' adaptation to the U.S. Implications of this research may impact mental health practitioners' ability to improve quality of life with Asian Indian women from Kerala. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3600/
Achievement Orientation and Learned Helplessness in Women
One hundred and fifty-five Texas juries were examined to determine the sex of the person elected foreman. Because the role of the foreman is traditionally a male role and a leadership role, it was hypothesized that few women would strive for the position of foreman and that few would be elected to it. It is believed that the proportion of women foremen is a reflection of lack of achievement orientation (or learned helplessness) on the part of women in this situation, and of the degree to which members of the group have internalized the concept that women are less competent than men for a traditionally male leadership role. Of the 155 foremen only 14 were women, a finding which is significant at the .00001 level. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc663047/
ADHD Symptomology and Overweight Among College Men
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a childhood disorder that often persists into adulthood. Among adults, ADHD is highly comorbid with addictive behaviors (e.g., substance abuse and dependence), and depressive disorders. Recently, an association between ADHD and obesity has been reported in the literature; emotional and binge eating may be “addictive behaviors” that contribute to weight gain in this population. The purpose of this study was to test competing models of the hypothesized link between ADHD symptomology and overweight. Specifically, in Model 1, symptoms of depression are expected to mediate the relationship between symptoms of impulsivity and inattention and emotional and binge eating which, in turn, leads to weight gain (i.e., increased BMI). In Model 2, however, the impulsive symptoms have direct relationships with emotional and binge eating in addition to being mediated by depressive symptoms. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to test how the models fit the data of 790 college men. Both models fit the data well, with Model 2 being preferred because of its greater connection to theory. All paths were significant indicating that increased impulsive and inattentive symptoms predicted increased symptoms of depression that, in turn, predicted increased emotional/binge eating, which has a direct and positive relationship with increased BMI. Moreover, impulsive symptoms were also directly related to emotional/binge eating, suggesting different paths to overweight across ADHD subtypes. The findings of the current study elucidate the links between ADHD symptoms and overweight (i.e., increased BMI). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103337/
Adolescent Insomnia as a Predictor of Early Adulthood Outcomes
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Recent research found insomnia is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders in adults. To see if the same would be true in adolescents, the current study re-analyzed data from a national longitudinal study collected by ADDHealth that evaluated health behaviors in 4552 adolescents (mean age 14.9 years [SD 1.7]) at baseline and again 7-8 years later (n = 3489) during young adulthood. Insomnia was reported by 9.2% of the adolescents. Cross-sectionally, adolescent insomnia was associated with alcohol, cannabis, non-cannabis drugs, and tobacco use, and depression after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Prospectively, adolescent insomnia was a significant risk factor for depression diagnosis, suicidal ideation, and the use of depression and stress prescription medications in young adulthood after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and significant baseline variable. In addition, a trend was noted for suicidal attempts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5399/
Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders
Psychopathy, as conceptualized by Cleckley (1941), describes a constellation of psychological and behavioral correlates including superficial charm, untruthfulness, lack of remorse or shame, poor judgment, and failure to learn from experience. Based on Cleckley's initial work, Hare (1991) developed a two-factor model of psychopathy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder have on adolescents classified as psychopaths. The participants consisted of 79 adjudicated male adolescents in a maximum-security facility. As hypothesized, adolescent male psychopaths had higher levels of sensation seeking, impulsivity, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. A discriminant function analysis found that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder was moderately useful in classifying adolescent psychopathy. The results suggest that behavioral dysregulation is an important aspect of adolescent psychopathy. The relationship of these data to theories of adolescent psychopathy is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3198/
Adult Attachment, Acculturation and Help-seeking of Latino College Students
Based on theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence, the present study examined the unique and shared effects of attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and acculturation on attitudes toward seeking professional help among Latino college students. The research participants included 149 bilingual Latino college students from a large, public southwestern university. Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that attachment avoidance was positively associated with both the recognition of need for psychological help and stigma of seeking professional help. Acculturation to American society was found to be statistically insignificant in predicting help-seeking attitudes in this sample of the population. Findings from exploratory questions suggested that Latino individuals would most likely seek help from parents, close friends, and then professionals. This study suggested that Latino individuals with high attachment avoidance acknowledge the potential benefit of professional help-seeking but distrust the process of approaching others for help. Limitations, implications, and future research directions will be discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801882/
Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Personality Characteristics and Comorbidity
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is surrounded by confusion and controversy regarding its definition, course, etiology and treatment. Among adults, ADHD is rarely considered a diagnostic reality of primary importance and is often overlooked. This study provides descriptive validity for adult ADHD in distinguishing it from controls, and identifying both a pure condition and one wrought with comorbidity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279399/
Affective and cognitive components of job satisfaction: Scale development and initial validiation.
Job satisfaction is one of the most commonly studied variables in the organizational literature. It is related to a multitude of employee-relevant variables including but not limited to performance, organizational commitment, and intent to quit. This study examined two new instruments measuring the components of affect and cognition as they relate to job satisfaction. It further proposed including an evaluative (or true attitudinal) component to improve the prediction of job satisfaction. Results provide some evidence of both two and three factor structures of affect and cognition. This study found minimal support for the inclusion of evaluation in the measurement of job satisfaction. Affect was found to be the single best predictor of job satisfaction, regardless of the satisfaction measure used. Further development is needed to define the factor structures of affect and cognition as well as the role of these factors and evaluation in the prediction of job satisfaction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9024/
Alcohol Use, Violence, and Psychological Abuse in Intimate Relationships
Women in distressed relationships who had sustained severe psychological abuse and either no, moderate, or severe violence from their partner were included (N = 93). Men's and women's alcohol use did not differ with level of violence. Different patterns were found in the moderate violence group regarding women's beliefs about their partner's substance problem, men's psychological abuse, and the relationship of men's and women's quantity of alcohol use and times intoxicated. Uncertainty resulting from moderate violence may strengthen the emotional impact of psychological abuse. Even when psychological abuse is exacerbated by violence, women may use active coping techniques rather than drinking to cope with abusive relationships. The findings suggest that an inordinate focus on alcohol abuse may be ineffective in combating the problem of domestic violence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279331/
An Analysis of Retention of Factual Material Presented in Song and Story Form
The purpose of the present study is to determine if music is effective in increasing the learning and retention of meaningful, verbal material with emotionally disturbed children of normal intelligence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130548/
An Analysis of the Relationship between Performance on the Revised Bender Visual-motor Gestalt Test and Scores on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
The primary problem of this study was to determine the relationship between BGT performance, as indexed by the Developmental Scoring System of Koppitz, and performance on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc130742/
An Analysis of the Relationships of the Perceptions of College Environment by Existing Groups and Subgroups on the Campus of a Small Church-affiliated College
The CUES II was used to investigate and analyze the campus environment of a small church-affiliated college in California. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131592/
Anger, Forgiveness and Mindfulness: Correlates of Perceived Stress in an Lgb Sample
A sexual minority is someone who identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). According to the Minority Stress Model (Meyer, 2003), sexual minorities encounter significant levels of stress due to their minority group status, thus they are more likely to experience perceived stress. Our cross-sectional, correlational study aimed to explore the relationships between forgiveness, mindfulness and anger and how they are related to perceived stress in a convenience sample of ethnically diverse LGB adults. We hypothesized that: 1) anger is positively associated with perceived stress; 2) forgiveness is negatively associated with perceived stress; 3) mindfulness is negatively associated with perceived stress; and 4) anger, forgiveness and mindfulness account for a significant proportion of the variance in perceived stress. 5) The relationship between anger and perceived stress is moderated by forgiveness. 6) The relationship between anger and perceived stress is moderated by mindfulness. Among LGB adults, the extant literature does not address these four variables in conjunction and the relationships between anger, forgiveness, mindfulness and stress has yet to be explored. Various statistical analyses were conducted, including a hierarchical linear regression to test our model. We found that our overall model accounted for 36% of the total variance in perceived stress (F(5, 142) = 17.31, p <.01) with anger (β = .31, t = 3.55, p = .001) and forgiveness (β = -.21, t = -2.56, p < .05) as the significant predictors. Contrary to prediction, forgiveness and mindfulness did not moderate the relationship between anger and perceived stress in our LGB sample. Limitations, strengths, future research and implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822763/
Anxiety Relief Conditioning: a Critical Review and Supportive Experiment
An experiment was conducted to separate the effects of anxiety relief conditioning from other variables which may be operative within that paradigm. A review of the literature revealed that no definitive investigations had been conducted, and critiques of these investigations were offered. Also, the distinction between aversion relief and anxiety relief conditioning procedures was detailed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131619/
Apology and Forgiveness in Couples
Following a transgression, interpersonal forgiveness is one strategy used to restore harmony between the victim and offender. Research also suggests that forgiveness can promote psychological and physical health. Research has shown that an apology from the offender may facilitate the forgiveness process. The majority of studies suggest that when a victim receives an apology, they experience higher levels of forgiveness toward their offender. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the association between apology and forgiveness in a sample of adults and undergraduate students (N = 803). The results are organized in three sections. First, I found a positive relationship between apology and forgiveness, replicating prior research. Second, I created a new measure of transgression severity, and provided evidence of internal consistency, construct validity, and criterion-related validity for this measure. Third, I tested two variables hypothesized to moderate the association between apology and forgiveness. First, there was some evidence that perceived offender humility moderated the association between simple apology and forgiveness. Offenders who were perceived as being more humble when providing a simple apology were granted more forgiveness than their less humble counterparts. Second, there was some evidence that transgression severity moderated the association between a complete apology and forgiveness, but the effect was in the opposite direction as hypothesized. For individuals who reported a transgression of high severity, there was a stronger association between the completeness of an apology and forgiveness than for individuals who reported a transgression of low severity. I conclude by discussing limitations, areas for future research, and implications for counseling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699962/
The Application of a Health Service Utilization Model to a Low Income, Ethnically Diverse Sample of Women
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A model for health care utilization was applied to a sample of low income women. Demographic Predisposing, Psychosocial Predisposing, Illness Level, and Enabling indicators were examined separately for African American (n = 266), Anglo American (n = 200), and Mexican American (n = 210) women. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that for African American and Anglo American women, Illness Level, the only significant path to Utilization, had a mediating effect on Psychosocial Predisposing indicators. The model for Mexican Americans was the most complex with Enabling indicators affecting Illness Level and Utilization. Psychosocial Predisposing indicators were mediated by Illness Level and Enabling indicators which both directly affected Utilization. Implications of the results for future research are addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2570/
Assessing Learning Disabilities: Effectiveness of the Symbol Language and Communication Battery (SLCB)
This study examined whether the Symbol Language and Communication Battery (SLCB), a measure of learning disabilities (Lds), could identify children with Lds. In addition, possible behavioral differences were examined between unidentified and identified children. Eighty-five students (26 with school identified Lds; 59 unidentified) in the 4th and 5th grade participated in the study. Results indicated that the SLCB has good potential as a supplemental/screening measure of Lds. The SLCB was most effective in identifying children when SLCB diagnoses were restricted to the areas of reading, math, and writing. This study also found that teachers reported more behavioral problems in children with an SLCB diagnosis than children without a diagnosis, whereas unidentified children with SCLB diagnoses reported more behavioral problems than identified children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2501/
Assessing Maternal Functioning in Families of Children with Autism
Mothers and siblings of children with autism incur stressors that impact their well-being more adversely than mothers of children with ADHD or normally developing children. In Study 1, twenty-six mothers of children with autism (Group 1) were compared to 24 mothers of children with ADHD (Group 2) and 24 mothers with normally developing children (Group 3). All families included a normally developing child (ages 4 to 12). Measures to delineate levels of maternal functioning were administered. Results for Study 1 indicated that mothers of children with autism had higher levels of psychological symptomatology, higher parenting stress, poorer perceptions of their family environment and their ability to parent the siblings, and higher perceptions of internalized problems of the siblings than mothers with normally developing children. These findings support the literature stating that mothers of children with autism may experience increased levels of maternal stress. The reciprocal nature of the parent-child relationship suggests that parents should be involved in meeting the needs of siblings in these families. A subgroup of Group 1 mothers participated in a parent group that occurred simultaneously with a sibling group. Mothers were randomly assigned to participate in a parent/sibling group, a sibling only group, or a wait-list group. Intervention efficacy was assessed using Study 1 measures plus measures designed specifically for the intervention. Overall results of study 2 indicated that mothers in the deluxe intervention perceived their parenting of the siblings to have improved after the intervention when compared to the standard and wait-list groups. This suggested that concurrent mother/sibling intervention provided the mothers with beneficial information and contributed to their enhanced sense of competence about parenting the siblings. In addition, mothers in the deluxe intervention perceived their family environment and the behaviors of the sibling to get worse at post-intervention, but return to baseline over time. This suggests that the intervention may have initially brought some difficulties to the surface that were resolved over time. Results will be discussed with their implications for further research and clinical intervention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277724/
Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test
Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822731/
Assessment of Malingering in a Jail Referral Population : Screening and Comprehensive Evaluation
Psychological assessment of mentally disordered offenders requires a systematic consideration of response styles, including malingering and defensiveness. Important components of these evaluations are standardized diagnostic interviews. However, the ability of offenders to feign mental disorders on such measures to achieve such external incentives as treatment, placement on safer units, or possible release from jail remains uninvestigated. With a known-groups comparison with the data from the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms as a criterion, 24 suspected malingerers were compared to 64 genuine patients on the Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS), the abbreviated SADS-C, the Suicide Probability Scale, and the Referral Decision Scale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278712/
Assessment of Psychopathy in Incarcerated Females
Psychopaths constitute only an estimated 1% of the population, yet they are responsible for a disproportionately large number of violent and nonviolent crimes. The literature addressing this syndrome among male offenders is quite extensive. In contrast, psychopathy and its underlying factor structure remains understudied among female offenders. Research has suggested marked gender differences in the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and underlying dimensions of psychopathy. This study examined the dimensions of psychopathy in a female offender sample. The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised and the Self Report Psychopathy-II (SRP-II) were administered to 119 female inmates at Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, TX. Confirmatory factor analyses of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) did not support the use of the traditional two factor male model or a recently proposed two- factor female model. This thesis also addressed females' self-appraisal of PCL-R Factor 1 characteristics as well as the usefulness of the self-administered Self-Report Psychopathy-II as a screen for psychopathy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2890/
Assessment of the Effects of Interpersonal Openness and Coping Resources on the Psychological Sequelae of Traumatic Victimization
The present study tested a model addressing whether interpersonal Openness and interpersonal and intrapersonal Coping Resources mediated the relationship between interpersonal Victimization and the Psychological Symptoms women experience as a result of these traumas. Victimization indicators (physical violence, sexual assault, psychological abuse, and revictimization), Coping indicators (optimism, self-esteem, private self-consciousness, social network and therapy), Openness indicators (self-silencing, communal orientation, trust, self-monitoring, and network orientation), and Psychological Symptoms indicators (global distress, dissociation, and suicidal ideation) were examined separately for African American (n = 245), Euro-American (n = 185), and Mexican American (n = 202) women. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that for African American and Euro-American women, Openness partially mediated the victimization-distress relationship. The model for Mexican Americans was the most complex with Openness and intrapersonal Coping fully mediating the psychological effects of victimization. Approximately 50% of the variance in psychological symptoms resulting from victimization was predicted by this model for African American and Euro-American women; over 80% of the variance was predicted for Mexican Americans. Thus, the importance of Openness to relationships in alleviating the psychological sequelae following interpersonal victimization was underscored by the results. Similarities and differences between these models are discussed. Implications of the results for future research and intervention are addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2698/
Associations Between Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in Adults with Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) exhibit patterns of cognitive deficits in (1) attention (Lees-Roitman, Cornblatt, Bergman, Obuchowski, Mitropoulou, Keefe, Silverman, & Siever, 1997), (2) memory (Bergman, Harvey, Lees-Roitman, Mohs, Margerm, Silverman, & Siever, 1998), (3) executive functioning (Cadenhead, Perry, Shafer, & Braff, 1999), and recently (4) neuromotor functioning (Neumann & Walker, 1999), similar to individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Furthermore, recent research suggests a link between neuromotor and cognitive functioning in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) (Neumann & Walker, 2003). The current study is an extension of research on non-drug-induced neuromotor disturbances in individuals with SPD and examines how such disturbances covary with neurocognitive measures. Approximately thirty-three adults (18-65) were rated for SPD symptoms. Motor assessments included a computerized motor task and finger tapping test. Cognitive assessments included measures of attention, verbal and visual memory, and executive functioning. Consistent with previous research, the SPD group displayed significant right hand (left hemisphere) motor disturbances (i.e., increased force and force variability) compared to healthy controls after excluding all cases reporting a history of head injury. In addition, results indicate significant associations between motor, cognitive, and symptom variables. Consistent with previous research, neuromotor functioning and the relationships between motor and cognitive functioning varied as a function of Time of Day (TOD) of testing. Understanding the relationship between neuromotor and neurocognitive functioning may help elucidate the neural systems that contribute the symptoms characteristic of SSDs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4492/
Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis
Research has illustrated the interrelatedness of childhood physical fitness and psychological wellbeing, psychological wellbeing and academic achievement, as well as physical fitness and academic achievement. In this study, we proposed that psychological wellbeing (self-esteem and depression) serves as a mediator between physical fitness and academic achievement during adolescence. In a sample of middle school children (N = 1,530), significant correlations were found between all three variables (p.0001). A hierarchical regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between physical fitness, psychological wellbeing, and academic achievement. The regression analysis reported a significant partial mediation effect. The results of this study supported the proposed hypotheses, including a mechanism of psychological wellbeing partially mediating the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement. The findings of this study support the importance of encouraging activities to promote both physical fitness and psychological wellbeing in schools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799486/
Athletes' Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation: Development and Validation of the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire
The purpose of the study was to create a questionnaire to identify underlying dimensions of athletes' attitudes toward seeking sport psychology consultation. A total of 1138 athletes (625 males, 513 females) representing 36 sports from four levels of participation were used to develop the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire (SPAQ). In Study I, exploratory factor analysis produced a two-factor solution that accounted for 37.1% of the overall variance: (a) belief in the credibility of sport psychology (14 items) and (b) preference for similarity with a sport psychology consultant (SPC) (7 items). Three items were omitted following item analysis, and nine items were eliminated after failing to load higher than the cut-off value of .40 on either of the factors. In Study II, confirmatory factor analysis supported the two-factor model, and multigroup comparison in Study III demonstrated that the model fit well for both male and female samples. As for validity, the SPAQ factors predictably (a) distinguished between athletes with and without previous experience with a SPC, (b) related to ratings of helpfulness/satisfaction related to a previous experience with a SPC, and (c) correlated with willingness to see a SPC for help in the future. Also, the SPAQ factors were related, as predicted, to (a) belief that practicing sport psychology skills will lead to desirable outcomes, (b) interpersonal openness, and (c) affective prejudice toward identified outgroups but were not related to level of self-concept as hypothesized. Contrary to predictions, Gender X Race X SPC experience MANOVAs revealed no gender or racial differences in attitudes toward sport psychology consultation. It was concluded that the SPAQ is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing a set of important attitudinal dimensions with regard to seeking sport psychology consultation and a useful instrument for research and practice. Theoretical and empirical support for the interpretation of the SPAQ factor structure, directions for future research, and practical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2641/
Athletic Trainers and Sport Psychology: Knowledge, Experience and Attitudes
Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) play a unique role in sport environments as the primary medical staff available to athletes. Thus, ATCs are well positioned to oversee athletes’ physical and psychological well-being. Although sport psychologists (SPs) have been identified as a potential resource for ATCs, previous studies have reported a lack of collaboration between SPs and ATCs. This study aimed to (a) examine ATCs’ views regarding professional roles for both ATCs and SPs, (b) explore ATCs’ referral behaviors, (c) evaluate ATCs belief in the credibility of sport psychology across demographic (i.e., gender, age) and experiential variables (i.e., access to SPs), and (d) examine ATCs’ involvement in sport psychology. Four hundred ninety-six ATCs (265 men, 231 women) completed and returned the questionnaire. ATCs viewed assisting in the psychological recovery of athletes as the most acceptable professional role for fellow ATCs; aiding in the psychological recovery of injured athletes and teach mental skills were identified by ATCs as the most appropriate roles for SPs. In considering an athlete experiencing interpersonal difficulties (e.g., relationship problems), a mixed design ANOVA revealed a ATC sex by referral option interaction; female and male ATCs indicated they would likely refer the athlete to a counselor/therapist, followed by a SP, however, female ATCs reported a greater likelihood of referring to a counselor/therapist than male ATCs whereas male ATCs indicated a greater likelihood of referring to a SP. Further, ATCs’ regular access to SPs and completion of formal sport psychology coursework were identified as variables associated with greater belief in the credibility of sport psychology. These results suggest that access and previous experience with SPs remain significant variables associated with ATCs views about, and belief in, the work of SPs. Implications for sport psychology professionals and recommendations for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500065/
Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is associated with significant social and occupational impairments, as well as increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. More research is needed to identify potential mechanisms associated with vulnerability to the disorder. Previous research has identified altered processing of emotional information in bipolar and bipolar-prone individuals, including attentional biases which appear to differ based on the current affective state of the individual. The current study applied a sensitive measure of attention (i.e., eye-tracking) to assess whether vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as indexed by hypomanic personality traits, would be correlated with biases in attention to emotional facial stimuli, independent of mood state. Hypomanic personality traits were hypothesized to be associated with greater attention to happy and angry faces, as indexed by faster initial orientation, more frequent gazes, and longer gaze duration for these stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures assessing current mood symptoms, positive and negative affect, and hypomanic personality traits. They then completed two tasks assessing attention for emotional faces. The first was an eye-tracking task, which measured latency to first fixation, total gaze duration and total number of gazes for each emotional face category. The second was a spatial cueing task which assessed both attentional engagement with emotional faces, and ability to disengage attention from this material. Hypomanic personality traits were significantly negatively correlated with latency to orient attention to happy faces. A trend toward decreased latency to orient to angry faces with higher hypomanic personality traits was also demonstrated. Hypomanic traits were not correlated with attention to sad faces. Furthermore, hypomanic traits were associated only with differences in initial orientation of attention, not with continued engagement or disengagement. The results of this study suggest that individuals with higher levels of hypomanic personality traits, who are hypothesized to be at greater risk of developing bipolar disorder, are characterized by differences in their initial orientation of attention to positive emotional stimuli, independent of their current mood state. This finding is indicative of biased information processing in individuals with vulnerability to bipolar disorder. Such a bias may have important clinical implications for individuals with a vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as it may represent a mechanism by which vulnerability leads to increased, and at times problematic, engagement with rewarding stimuli. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271775/
Attribution to Deviant and Nondeviant Social Roles
A questionnaire was used to study causal attribution to social roles as influenced by perceived deviance of the role, instructions to identify with the role, and participant gender. The perceived deviance or nondeviance of the roles was determined by a pilot study. The roles were varied randomly through 12 hypothetical events, and identification or nonidentification instructions randomly assigned. The participants were 194 male and female university students. Participants gave the cause of each event and rated the cause on five dimensions: internality, externality, stability, globality, and controllability. Causal attribution to deviant social roles was found to result in a significantly higher across-scales score and to be more internal, less external, and more global than attribution to nondeviant roles. Participant gender showed an interaction with deviance overall and on the dimensions of stability and globality due to significantly higher ratings by women participants than those by men. Identification instructions did not produce a significant effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2178/
Attributional Style as a Predictor of Academic Success for Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Disorder in Postsecondary Education
Thirty one students with learning disabilities (LD) and/or with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) completed a combined Academic Attributional Style and Coping with Academic Failures Questionnaire. The reformulated learned helplessness model (Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978) predicted that students with negative attributional styles (i.e., internal-stable-global attributions) experienced motivational, cognitive, and emotional deficits. The present study examined college achievement (grade point average) of students with LD and/or ADHD. The Prediction that students with LD and/or ADHD with negative attributional styles would achieve less academic success than comparable students with positive attributional styles (i.e., extenal-unstable-specific attributions) was supported by the research results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279301/
Automaticity and Hemispheric Specialization in Emotional Expression Recognition: Examined using a modified Stroop Task
The main focus of this investigation was to examine the automaticity of facial expression recognition through valence judgments in a modified photo-word Stroop paradigm. Positive and negative words were superimposed across male and female faces expressing positive (happy) and negative (angry, sad) emotions. Subjects categorized the valence of each stimulus. Gender biases in judgments of expressions (better recognition for male angry and female sad expressions) and the valence hypothesis of hemispheric advantages for emotions (left hemisphere: positive; right hemisphere: negative) were also examined. Four major findings emerged. First, the valence of expressions was processed automatically (robust interference effects). Second, male faces interfered with processing the valence of words. Third, no posers' gender biases were indicated. Finally, the emotionality of facial expressions and words was processed similarly by both hemispheres. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3267/
Back in My Hands: The Role of Self-Forgiveness and Stigma in HIV-Positive Adults
While advancements in treatment have made HIV a more manageable disease, only recently have psychosocial variables associated with the health of persons living with HIV (PLH) began to receive increased scrutiny. HIV-related stigma, considered by some researchers to be a “second epidemic,” is one such psychosocial variable and is associated with negative physiological and psychological health outcomes. In an effort to alleviate the effects of stress, increased research attention has focused on forgiveness as a teachable coping strategy. Current forgiveness interventions demonstrate encouraging results in decreasing anger and neutralizing stress but have not been applied to HIV-positive populations. In this study, Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping (1984) and Prochaska and Velicer’s transtheoretical model of health behavior (1997) were utilized as theoretical frameworks to inform a randomized clinical trial that examines coping skills, particularly forgiveness, in PLH and perceived HIV-related stigma. An ethnically diverse sample of HIV-positive adults (n = 57) was randomized into a treatment or control group. The treatment group participated in six weeks of cognitive-behavioral group therapy that focused on the teaching of forgiveness as an effective coping tool while the control group was psychoeducational in nature and did not involve mention of forgiveness. Data was obtained on a variety of medical and psychosocial variables, including types of forgiveness (dispositional forgiveness, forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of situations) and perceived HIV-related stigma. Data were collected at three time points: at baseline (Time 1) prior to randomization of participants to the treatment or control group, immediately post intervention (Time 2), and at six-month follow-up (Time 3). Importantly, forgiveness was shown to be a teachable skill that PLH can use to potentially improve mental health. Men in the treatment group reported significantly higher levels of dispositional forgiveness and self-forgiveness than men in the control group at six-month follow up. Additionally, self-forgiveness at Time 1 and self-forgiveness at Time 3 significantly accounted for 34% and 28% of the variance, respectively, in HIV-related stigma at Time 3. Though self-forgiveness was shown to be better than forgiveness of others in predicting HIV-related stigma, the forgiveness intervention was not effective in reducing overall HIV-related stigma in PLH. HIV-related stigma is likely more complex than originally conceptualized. Implications and future directions in improving interventions to mitigate HIV-related stigma are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149612/
Behavior Rehearsal Combined with Anxiety Relief Conditioning : A New Assertion Training Paradigm and Its Relative Efficacy
An experiment was conducted to investigate the relative effectiveness of a combined behavior rehearsal anxiety relief conditioning paradigm with a more conventional behavioral rehearsal program in the treatment of deficient assertive behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131596/
A Behavioral Approach to Modifying Self-Concept in the Classroom
The problem with which this investigation was concerned was that of assessing the effects of token reinforcement on children's self-concept. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131620/
A Behavioral Approach Toward Strengthening Self-concept in Mental Retardates
The objective of this study was to systematize a method of strengthening self-concept in mental retardates through the use of operant conditioning techniques. This objective was pursued by investigating the effect of rewarding positive responses about self. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131306/
Beliefs of Internal Versus External Control and Their Relationship to Stage of Moral Judgment
This investigation sought to explore the relationship of Julian Rotter's concept of internal versus external control (I-E) to stages of moral judgment. The I-E dimension is defined as the attribution by the individual of responsibility for behavioral outcomes to either oneself or to outside entities. The internal oriented person believes that the events in which he is involved lie within his control. Conversely, the external oriented person believes that the events that happen to him are controlled by other factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131407/
The Bender-Gestalt Test and Its Relationships with Intelligence and Organicity in Neurologically Impaired and Emotionally Disturbed Children
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the differences in performance of a sample of children with organically based test behavior and learning disabilities and those children whose disorders are functional in origin. It is the purpose of this paper to determine if there exists a particular profile on the Bender Gestalt and the WISC that would help to differentiate these two diagnostic categories which at some levels of behavior are quite similar. The present study is an attempt to compare the WISC and the BGT of emotionally disturbed children with the WISC and the BGT of those children who have been diagnosed as neurologically impaired. It is more important today than ever before to ascertain a correct estimate of ability, the reasons for difficulties in learning and behavioral problems of young school age children, while at the same time taking into consideration the global intelligence and potentials of the individual. This eminates from the growing interest in, and work with, the different diagnostic categories of children by clinics and schools. This increased interest is evident in the larger number of diagnostic personnel associated with the school systems and more individualized types of instruction for the child with unusual difficulties or abilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc663267/
Benefits and Costs of Social Interactions Among Firefighters
Despite high levels of exposure, firefighter posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rates are unclear. Likewise, questions remain regarding how social interactions and beliefs about emotion might interact to influence PTSD in firefighters. In this study, U.S. urban firefighters (N = 225) completed measures of social support, negative social interactions, and fear of emotion which were then used via regression analyses to predict PTSD symptoms. Each independent variable predicted PTSD beyond variance accounted for by demographic variables. Additionally, fear of emotion emerged as the strongest individual predictor of PTSD and a moderator of the relation between social interactions and PTSD symptoms. These findings emphasize the importance of beliefs about emotion; both in how these beliefs might influence the expression of PTSD symptoms, and in how the social networks of trauma survivors might buffer distress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33149/
Biological and Environmental Determinants of Self-conception : Implications for Empathy
The purpose of this study was to determine if two elements of self-conception, environment and biology, influenced trait and dyadic measures of empathy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278416/
The Biopsychosocial Approach to Understanding, Subtyping, and Treating Depression: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey - Replication.
The most effective and useful way to diagnose and subtype depression has been a long debated topic which even now does not have a definite answer. The biopsychosocial approach to diagnosis may be a solution to this problem by linking various etiologies to symptom presentation. The biopsychosocial model, in regard to depression, takes into account biological risk factors/contributors, psychological or cognitive risk factors/contributors, and social risk factors/contributors to depression when making diagnosis and subtyping determinations. However, the most effective way to use this model in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of depression is not yet clear. In this study, the utility of the biopsychosocial model as an effective approach to conceptualizing and treating depression was assessed by testing hypotheses that showed that etiological contributors are related to the presence and differential presentation of depression, and that these etiologically-based subtypes of depression respond differently to different forms of treatment. These hypotheses were tested using data from the National Comorbidity Survey - Replication (NCS-R). Results showed that the biopsychosocial model can effectively predict the presence, severity and chronicity of depression, and may inform specific biopsychosocially-based subtypes. No conclusions could be drawn regarding success in treatment based on the biopsychosocial model. Future directions for research based on the current study are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68013/
Birth Order and Parent-Child Relations
The purpose of this study was to investigate the birth order differences in perception of parental child-rearing practices in one-and two-sibling families. The two-sibling families were separated into all the possible sex permutations (male-male, female-female, male-female, female-male) to assess the influence of sex of sibling in viewing the parents' child-rearing practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131549/
Body Dissatisfaction, Disordered Eating Behaviors and Body Image Quality of Life in African American Women with Hiv
The purpose of the current study was to further our understanding of the subjective experience of middle-age African American women who are HIV+ and on highly active antiretroviral therapy, particularly how self-reported lipodystrophy (LD), levels of body dissatisfaction, body image quality of life, and engagement in disordered eating behaviors are related. Multiple regression, MANOVA, MANCOVA, ANOVA, and chi-square were utilized to test hypotheses. Results revealed that HIV+ and HIV- women did not differ significantly on their levels of body dissatisfaction or drive for thinness. When HIV+ women were examined in more detail a pattern emerged: women who self-reported fat hypertrophy had significantly higher levels of body dissatisfaction, bingeing, but not purging, and dietary restriction and fear of weight gain compared to women who did not self-report LD. About 75% of the sample was overweight or obese, and when BMI was controlled for, these differences persisted for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors for fat hypertrophy, but not fat atrophy. Overall, the findings indicate that the type of LD, specifically hypertrophy, is more related to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors, than LD in general. Clinical implications and limitations of these findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177208/
Breast Cancer Screening Behaviors of Women of Mexican Descent: A Grounded Theory Approach
A culturally-based theoretical model about how cultural beliefs about cancer and breast cancer screening techniques influence the screening behaviors of women of Mexican descent was developed using grounded theory. Across levels of acculturation and socioeconomic status, 34 women (49 to 81 years old) were interviewed through focus groups. Women who hold more traditional health beliefs about causes, nature, and responsibility with regard to breast cancer are more likely to "feel healthy" and not engage in breast cancer screening. Women who hold more traditional beliefs about propriety of female and health care provider behavior are more likely to "feel indecent" and also not engage in screening. The cultural health belief model is integrated within a sociocultural and a socioeconomic context. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278174/
Causal Attributions, Attributional Dimensions, and Academic Performance in a School Setting
The attribution model of achievement motivation has been applied to academic achievement as a way of understanding underachievement and as a basis for developing intervention programs. There has been little applied research in this area, however, that supports the use of the model in school settings. The purpose of the present study was to test the applicability of the model to an actual school setting. Subjects were 149 tenth grade students in a large urban school district. In accordance with the model, specific attributions for success or failure were assessed, as well as subjects' perceptions of the locus, stability, and controllability of attributions. Attribution patterns found in previous analog research were not found in a school setting. Immediate effort attributions were the most prevalent, regardless of performance level or outcome. Causal beliefs were found to relate to performance in ways predicted by the model but also in some ways not predicted. Relationships were generally stronger for high performers. Comparing subjects' perceptions of the dimensional properties of attributions across outcomes showed a strong outcome bias. Attributions were perceived as more internal and stable following successes, consistent with previous research. In addition, a performance level bias was found. Low performers rated attributions as less internal, stable, and controllable following successes and more so following failures than did high performers. This bias, termed the underachievement bias, was discussed in terms of its detrimental effects on school performance. The differences between high and low performers regarding perceptions of dimensionalities were consistent with the predictions of the attribution model. It was concluded that the attribution model is applicable to school settings. Suggestions were made that more applied research be conducted, that intervention programs based on this model should target subjects' perceptions of attributions rather than just the specific attributions themselves, and that because of the differences among subjects in perceptions of dimensional properties of attributions, researchers should obtain a direct measure of subjects' perceptions rather than assuming them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc330619/
Change in Depression of Spousal Caregivers of Dementia Patients.
Caring for a family member or loved one with dementia places a heavy burden on those providing the care. Caregivers often develop chronic depression because of having to deal with this burden. A great deal of literature has been published discussing coping effectiveness, effects of social support, and other internal and external means of support for the caregiver. However, little has been written about the changes, if any, in depression that the caregiver experiences after the termination of care, either through institutionalization or death of the person with dementia. This study examined whether there is a change in depression of spousal caregivers after institutionalization of the dementia care recipient as well as any changes in depression that may have occurred as a result of the death of the dementia care recipient. Two theoretical models, the wear and tear model and the adaptation model were discussed in terms of caregiver depression after institutionalization of the dementia care recipient. Two other theoretical models, the relief model and the stress model, were discussed in terms of caregiver depression after the death of the dementia care recipient. Datasets from the National Institute on Aging sponsored Health and Retirement Study were analyzed. Results indicate that both male and female spousal caregivers report an increase in depression after the institutionalization or death of the dementia care recipient, but that as time passes, males report a decrease in depression while females continue to report an increase in depression. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5338/
Changes in Peabody Picture Vocabulary Scores as a Function of Differential Familiarity and Social Class Membership
The present study was designed to investigate the discrepancy in test performance between the upper-middle-class and lower-class kindergarten-age child as a function of differential familiarity with test content. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc131600/
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