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 Degree Discipline: Psychology
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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/
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/
Cognitive and perceptual-motor indicators of lateralized vs. diffuse brain damage in adults.
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Among the goals of the neuropsychological assessment are to detect the presence of brain damage, localize which areas of the brain may be dysfunctional and describe subsequent functional impairments. The sensitivity of neuropsychological instruments in carrying out these functions is a question of some debate. The purpose of this study is to determine the utility of lateralizing indicators from the WAIS-III, McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND) and Haptic Visual Discrimination Test (HVDT), from the McCarron-Dial System Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (MDS), in ascertaining the presence or absence of brain damage as well as location of lesion. The classification accuracies of using performance level indicators from these tests and lateralizing indicators, alone and together, were compared. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3287/
Comparative analysis of chronic versus acute stressors and their influence on distress consequences at work
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Workplace stress has been found to be a causal agent of psychological distress consequences in employees. Chronic stressors have been well researched, in particular, role conflict, role ambiguity, and work overload have been extensively studied. A meta-analysis was conducted in order to aggregate past research to gain a better understanding of the impact these stressors have on the psychological distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and generalized feelings of stress. Only role ambiguity was found to be a significant contributor to psychological distress, in particular to feelings of depression and stress. In general, however, effect sizes for all three stressors were moderate to large. While chronic stressors have been well researched, acute stressors have been widely overlooked. Since research in this area is limited, the Daily Work Hassles Survey was developed and validated in order to analyze the role daily hassles play in the workplace. The survey yielded two factors, Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. The former of which was found to be significantly related to the distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and general feelings of stress. The ultimate goal of this project was to compare chronic and acute stressors. Results from the daily hassles study were contrasted to the results of the aforementioned meta-analysis. It was found that the chronic stressors of role ambiguity, role conflict, and overload are significantly greater predictors of selected distress consequences than the acute factors of Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. However, when somatic complaints was employed as the dependent variable, no significant differences were found between chronic and acute stressors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2579/
Depression, activities of daily living, and retirement.
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Depression is a common clinical and subclinical psychiatric disorder in the middle-age to older adult population. This study examined the relationship between depression and activities of daily living (ADLs) in middle-age to older adults. This study examined longitudinal data from the 1998, wave 4, and 2000, wave 5, of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Panel Study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. A negative cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between higher ADL scores and depression was hypothesized. A goal of the present study was to determine the temporal precedence of these two constructs using a cross-lag panel design to first examine the cross-sectional relationship between ADLs and depression at time-one and at time-two, and then the time-one to time-two longitudinal relationships to examine temporal precedence possible causal relationships. Finally, differences in these correlational relationships by retirement status and then by marital status were tested. There were several interesting findings, including those who were retired in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs (i.e., worse functioning), but also reported better health than those who were working in both 1998 and 2000. Similarly, those people who were not married in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs but better health than those who were married in both 1998 and 2000. Married individuals reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were not married. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5220/
The effect of punishment threat on children's ability to resist temptation to transgress and lie
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Children's response to a resistance-to-temptation (RTT) task was investigated under three punishment threat conditions: negative consequence, removing an anticipated reward, and no explicit punishment. Ninety first and second graders participated in the RTT task and seventy-three parents completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children and the Psychopathy Screening Device. As only 4% of children transgressed, results are unclear. Hypotheses tested using approximations of transgression showed no differences in RTT. Children with temperaments characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, attention problems, and conduct problems (HIA-CP) had the highest levels of psychopathic traits compared to all others. In addition, spanked children were rated as having significantly more behavioral problems than non-spanked children. Limitations of the current study and suggestions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3018/
Employee empowerment: Relationships between location in the hierarchy, span of control, and industry type on perceptions of empowerment.
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The current study seeks to examine the relationships between perceptions of employee empowerment and perceptions of leadership, span of control, and industry type. Participants were gathered from an archival source employing a high school alumni e-mail group (n = 361) and a survey from 9 organizations (n = 647) and combined into a larger sample (n = 1008). The participants took Bodner's (2005) Assessment of Employee Empowerment and Assessment of Empowering Leadership instruments. Support was found to suggest that people report being less empowered than they believe that top management would report about them. Also, participants reported that their leader was less empowering than they believed top management would report about the leader. Span of control was found to impact perceptions of empowerment. Production workers reported feeling more empowered than workers in service industries. Participants did not report that leaders were more empowering if they were higher in the hierarchy (executive) than lower levels (coach, employee). Also, a respondent's position did not affect the relationship between job type and feelings of empowerment. This study suggests that the organizational design (span of control) and industry type may affect empowerment initiatives, while lower levels of the organization may view empowerment much differently than top management. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5306/
An Examination of Methodological Rigor and Its Effects on Organizational Development and Change Outcomes
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Organizational development and change (ODC) is a broad field because change occurs in all organizations, occurs at multiple organizational levels, consists of numerous interventions, and can impact multiple outcomes. Many ODC efforts attempt to examine the effectiveness of their initiatives, yet fail to account for the quality, or rigor of their methods. The purpose of this paper is to examine how methodological rigor and intervention implementation quality impact ODC outcomes. The results indicate that overall methodological rigor is not a significant predictor of organizational change outcomes; however, several individual rigor criteria exhibit predictive power. Implementation quality is a significant predictor of organizational outcomes, but in a negative direction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4741/
Examining Career Transitions during Mid-Adulthood through the Lens of Bioecological and Microdevelopmental Research
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Using hierarchical multiple linear regression, this study examined the predictive relationship between micro-career transitions and career related outcomes and how those relationships were moderated by equilibration style. Participants (n = 177) answered an online survey which included a variety of measures for control, predictor, moderator, and outcome criterion (i.e., demographic descriptors, Instrumentality, Openness, Job Insecurity, Social Support Satisfaction, Microtransitions, Equilibration Style, Job Satisfaction, Job Burnout, Life Dissatisfaction, and Career Optimism). Research questions addressed the nature of micro-career transitions (e.g., frequencies, average stress ratings, category types), their predictive relationship with job and career outcomes, and the moderating role of Identity Styles on that relationship. Micro-career transitions were described according to responses for the research sample (n = 638). Significant effects were discovered between microtransitions and career outcomes (p < .05 and .01). Equilibration styles were also established as having a moderating effect on the predictive relationship between microtransitions and career outcomes (p < .05 and .01). Interaction terms were decomposed to examine the direction of significant moderating effects. In all cases where interaction terms were significant, moderators enhanced the negative predictive relationship between microtransitions and career outcomes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12115/
Investigation of relational and overt aggression among boys and girls.
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Given the paucity of research that has been conducted on aggression in girls (see Keenan, Loeber, & Green, 1999, for a review), it is important to examine different behavioral manifestations of aggression that may be more prevalent among girls than boys, such as relational aggression (see Crick et al., 1999, for a review). Relational aggression consists of behaviors that harm others through damage to their peer relationships or the threat of such damage (e.g., spreading rumors about a peer so that others will reject him/her, social exclusion; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a particular subset of youth who are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior (Henker & Whalen, 1999; Whalen & Henker, 1985). The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of relational aggression among children with attention problems as compared to the general population. Gender differences in relational aggression were also examined. In the current study, participants included 91 3rd-5th grade public school students. Teacher ratings of aggressive behavior and attention problems were obtained. Parents also completed measures to assess attention problems and social-psychological adjustment. Contrary to prediction, results indicated children with attention problems were not more aggressive than children without attention problems, regardless of the type of aggressive behavior assessed (i.e., relational or overt aggression). With respect to gender differences in relational aggression, results indicate the well-known gender effect for relational aggression only applies to Caucasian students in this sample, as a gender effect for relational aggression was not obtained for Hispanic students. Thus, the gender effect for relational aggression should not be considered a robust finding generalizable to all ethnic groups. Finally, relationally aggressive children were reported to be as well-adjusted as their non-relationally aggressive peers, which is not consistent with previous research. Regardless of aggression status, Hispanic children exhibited higher levels of delinquent behavior and anxiety/depression compared to Caucasian children. Findings are discussed in terms of measurement issues and within a cultural context. The limitations of the current study and directions for future research are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4257/
Job Embeddedness as a Predictor of Voluntary Turnover: Validation of a New Instrument
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Voluntary turnover has become a problem for many organizations in today's society. The cost of this turnover reaches beyond organizational impact, but also affects the employees themselves. For this reason, there has been a plethora of research conducted by both academicians and practitioners on the causes and consequences of voluntary turnover. The purpose of this study is to test the validity and generalizability of the job embeddedness model of voluntary turnover to the information technology (IT) industry. The IT field has been plagued with high turnover rates in recent years. In this study, the job embeddedness model (Mitchell et al., 2001) is applied to a population sample consisting of health care information technology employees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4370/
Measuring change in university counseling center students: Using symptom reduction and satisfaction with services to propose a model for effective outcome research
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Abstract This study proposes a model for meeting increasingly mandated outcome research objectives in a university counseling center setting. It is proposed that counseling centers utilize their existing intake forms, along with an annual satisfaction survey to determine the effectiveness of counseling services. Effectiveness is defined as improvement and measured by the reduction of the symptoms or presenting concerns with which the client initially presented. It also introduces the Relative-Change Index (R-Chi) as an objective way to quantify intra-individual change occurring as a result of therapy. This new mathematical procedure allows for a more meaningful assessment of the client's degree of improvement, relative to their potential for improvement. By re-administering the problem checklist, routinely included as part of the initial paperwork for each client at intake, again post-therapy, it is possible to quantify improvement by measuring the difference in distressing concerns. Additionally, including a subjective, retrospective survey question asking the client to indicate their perceived rate if improvement at follow-up provides construct validity and allows for correlational comparisons with R-Chi. Results suggest that student/client ratings of the degree to which the services they received satisfactorily addressed their presenting concerns were significantly rated to their R-Chi score. This model suggests that the framework guiding client outcome research should include measures of the client's level of distress, improvement in reducing the distress, and satisfaction with services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2268/
Organizational development: A comparison of individual and organizational level change.
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Organizational change and development (OCD) has been studied by researchers to identify the effectiveness of change initiatives. Because of the broad scope of interventions in OCD, these studies have covered a range of areas including multiple interventions and the methodological rigor used by researchers. However, few have looked at organizational versus individual change within an organization, to examine whether individual change is more effective than organizational change. The purpose of this study is to determine if organizational change occurs in a top down or bottom up manner. A meta-analysis was conducted using 238 field experiments. Each study was coded for intervention and organizational outcome and for individual or organizational level variables. Effect sizes were calculated for each study, each level, and each level by intervention and outcome measure. Results indicate that while OCD interventions overall had a moderate effect size, the level of intervention or outcome was not a moderating variable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4819/
Perceived Change in Behavior Associated with Peer Feedback in Work Teams
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This study investigated if the use of a team feedback system resulted in peers perceiving a change in behavior. Personality variables such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion were examined as possible moderators. Self-ratings and peer ratings were collected from 164 individuals through the use of the Center for Collaborative Organizations' Team Feedback System. Using polynomial regression, it was determined that time 1 peer ratings predicted behavior change and the combination of conscientiousness variables moderated peer perceived behavior change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4815/
Positive and Negative Affect: Differential Impact of Optimism, Pessimism, and Coping in People Living with HIV/AIDS
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People living with HIV/AIDS (PLH) struggle with depression. Recent research suggests that depression affects medical regimen adherence, disease progression, and risky sexual behaviors. The present study uses a stress and coping theory viewing HIV-related stigma and physical symptoms as stressors in PLH. Results suggest whereas symptoms and stigma consistently predict negative affect, positive affect, and overall depression, the role of optimism, pessimism, active coping, denial, and behavioral disengagement is not as clear. Pessimism and denial predict negative affect and depression. Optimism and behavioral disengagement predict depression and positive affect. Active coping only predicts positive affect. Focusing on positive and negative affect as distinct components that contribute to overall depression may help researchers develop interventions more effectively. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4804/
Psychological and Sociodemographic Predictors of Psychological Distress in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Testing Participants within a Community Based Genetic Screening Program
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Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the first two breast cancer susceptibility genes identified, carry as much as an 85% lifetime risk of developing breast, ovarian or other cancers. Genetic testing for mutations in these two genes has recently become commercially available. There have been varying amounts of psychological distress noted among women with a family history of breast cancer. Distress has been observed to impact psychological functioning, activities of daily living, and the practice of breast cancer surveillance behaviors. Within the genetic screening process, psychological distress has been shown to impact the decision to undergo genetic screening, the comprehension and retention of risk assessment information, as well as affecting the subject following the receipt of the genetic test results. Little work has been done to examine predictors of distress within at risk subjects. This study examines psychological distress among 52 community women presenting for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutation testing. Predictors of distress included family cancer history, education, age, Ashkenazi ethnicity, and Internality and Powerful Others Health Locus of Control. Vulnerable sub-groups of patients include younger women, women with higher levels of education and women of Ashkenazi ethnicity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2565/
Reactions of psychotherapists in training to religious questions
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This project investigated the spiritual well-being (SWB) of psychotherapists in training and their physiological reactions to religious questions posed by a mock client. Electrodermal activity served as an index of physiological arousal interpreted as anxiety. Thirteen psychotherapists in training at the University of North Texas were recruited. They participated in a simulated intake session with a mock client who asked the psychotherapist neutral questions, personal-other questions (POQs), and personal-religious questions (PRQs). It was discovered that the level of SWB did not affect subjects' anxiety responses to PRQs. There also was no difference in subjects' anxiety responses for POQs between high and low SWB therapists. However, psychotherapists did experience some anxiety associated with questions related to their counseling experience and expertise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2755/
The roles of intimacy motivation and mutuality in relation to depression and interpersonal problems.
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There is extensive research on depression and interpersonal problems, but research has not addressed these concepts in relation to mutuality and human motivation. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to consider the associations between intimacy motivation and mutuality of closest relationships and how, when combined, the two connect to depressive experiences and the occurrence of interpersonal problems. Of the 7 original hypotheses suggested, 2 were supported while 5 were not. Perhaps the most interesting finding, and certainly the one with the most practical application, came from the two supported hypotheses. The analyses show that interpersonal problem subtypes are associated with specific depressive subtypes by operationalizing the demand/withdraw pattern of conflict. The exploratory findings also suggest a possible mediation of gender and depression by mutuality. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5594/
Sex and Gender Differences in Perceived and Actual Leadership Performance: Self- and Subordinate Views
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The purpose of this study was to examine how male and female leaders view their own effectiveness as compared to their objective performance. This study also examined sex and gender differences in subordinate's views of male and female leaders. Forty-two mixed-sex groups led by appointed male and female leaders were observed to assess objective and perceived leader effectiveness. Gender role of participants was assessed using the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). No sex or gender differences were found in objective leadership effectiveness. An unexpected finding was that male and female leaders perceived themselves accurately as leaders. Significant differences were found in the way male subordinates rated men and women leaders when taking into account gender role. Results indicated that the study of gender bias in leadership is complex and should be examined in conjunction with gender role. Social role theory helps to explain this bias. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4147/
Simulating Statistical Power Curves with the Bootstrap and Robust Estimation
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Power and effect size analysis are important methods in the psychological sciences. It is well known that classical statistical tests are not robust with respect to power and type II error. However, relatively little attention has been paid in the psychological literature to the effect that non-normality and outliers have on the power of a given statistical test (Wilcox, 1998). Robust measures of location exist that provide much more powerful tests of statistical hypotheses, but their usefulness in power estimation for sample size selection, with real data, is largely unknown. Furthermore, practical approaches to power planning (Cohen, 1988) usually focus on normal theory settings and in general do not make available nonparametric approaches to power and effect size estimation. Beran (1986) proved that it is possible to nonparametrically estimate power for a given statistical test using bootstrap methods (Efron, 1993). However, this method is not widely known or utilized in data analysis settings. This research study examined the practical importance of combining robust measures of location with nonparametric power analysis. Simulation and analysis of real world data sets are used. The present study found that: 1) bootstrap confidence intervals using Mestimators gave shorter confidence intervals than the normal theory counterpart whenever the data had heavy tailed distributions; 2) bootstrap empirical power is higher for Mestimators than the normal theory counterpart when the data had heavy tailed distributions; 3) the smoothed bootstrap controls type I error rate (less than 6%) under the null hypothesis for small sample sizes; and 4) Robust effect sizes can be used in conjuction with Cohen's (1988) power tables to get more realistic sample sizes given that the data distribution has heavy tails. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2846/