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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Counseling Psychology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Adult Attachment Patterns, Mental Representation of Self, and Faith: Mediators of Childhood Trauma and Affect-Behavior Regulations in Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to investigate psychological mechanism by which four intra- and inter-personal characteristics of an individual (anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, images of self, and religious faith) mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and each of three affect-behavior regulation problems in adulthood (symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and substance abuse). A total of 401 college student participants completed a packet of 18 surveys including 10 surveys used in the present study. Structural equation modeling was used to test each of three hypothesized structural models (Depression, Eating Disturbances, and Substance Abuse). A series of multi-group analyses conducted to test if each of three hypothesized models is invariant across gender indicated no significant difference between females and males. Thus, the data were combined across gender to test for mediated effects in each of three hypothesized models. The results indicated: (a) for the hypothesized model for depression, anxious attachment patterns, avoidant attachment patterns, and negative self-images, but not religious faith, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and symptoms of depression; (b) for the model for eating disturbances, anxious attachment and negative images of self, but not avoidant attachment and religious faith, fully mediated the association between childhood trauma and disordered eating behaviors; and (3) for the mode for substance abuse, anxious attachment and poor religious faith, but not avoidant attachment and negative self-images, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The findings of the present study have noteworthy implications for treatment. When clients who suffer from symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse report a history of repetitive abuse and neglect by primary caregivers in childhood, clinicians need to assist clients in: (a) understanding an association of childhood maltreatment with affect-behavior regulation problems; (b) being aware of an impact of abuse and neglect by attachment figures in childhood on negative mental representations of self, insecure attachment patterns in close relationship, and poor religious faith; and (c) most importantly, deepening an understanding of how their negative images of self, anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, and/or poor religious faith and practices, rather than parental abuse and neglect in childhood itself, directly predict their presenting symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse problems. In doing so, it is crucial for clinicians to provide clients with secure and comforting therapeutic atmosphere, focus on building trusting working relationship with clients, and be aware of how clients' transference and clinicians' own counter-transference interact with each other and influence therapeutic process and effectiveness. Several important limitations of the present study and implications for future studies were discussed.
Anticipating Work and Family: Experience, Conflict, and Planning in the Transition to Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to examine the development of work and family plans in young adults, and to clarify the long-term stability, prevalence, and consequences of anticipated work-family conflict. The study utilizes Super’s model of career development and social cognitive career theory, as well as research on current work-family interface, as a framework for understanding the period of anticipating and planning for multiple role integration that occurs between adolescence and adulthood. A sample of 48 male and 52 female college students assessed two years prior completed self-report questionnaires measuring work, marriage, and parenting experience; anticipated work-family conflict; and multiple-role planning. Results of this study suggest that students desire both a career and a family, and recognize potential challenges of a multiple-role lifestyle. Such recognition of anticipated work-family conflict varies by conflict domains and measurement methods, but remains stable over two years. Results also suggest that anticipated work-family conflict does not mediate the relationship between experience and planning; instead, marriage experience predicts planning directly. Implications for the findings are discussed as are suggestions for directions of new research concerning anticipated work-family conflict and planning for multiple roles.
Bipolar Disorder in the Family: Impact on Functioning and Adjustment to College
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental disorder, affecting anywhere from 2 to 4 percent of Americans. Though research has indicated that this disorder can be devastating for patients, less is known about how the disorder impacts family members. There is no research that has considered impacts on family members adjusting to college. The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which having a family member with bipolar disorder impacts adjustment to college, as well as factors that might account for worse functioning. Two groups were recruited: students with a bipolar family member (n = 25) and students with no family history of the disorder (n = 50). Participants were interviewed regarding their own histories of a mood disorder, as well as mood disorder histories in their immediate families. They then completed surveys assessing adjustment to college, functioning, caregiving burden, parental relationship, and attachment style. Students with a family history of bipolar disorder had significantly lower social adjustment scores, lower personal-emotional adjustment scores, and lower financial functioning scores than students without this history. Lower scores were found even after controlling for psychopathology. Avoidant attachment behaviors, anxious attachment behaviors, and aspects of the paternal relationship were identified as potential mediators. Caregiving burden was identified as a partial mediator. Implications for families and educational institutions are discussed.
Coaches’ Influence on Male Adolescents’ Achievement Motivation, Psychological Factors, and Sport Participation
The motivational climate, as created by coaches, and athletes’ goal orientations are key constructs in understanding children’s experiences with sport. In this study, the relationship between the perceived motivational climates, male adolescents’ goal orientation, and their experiences of self-esteem, sport competence, enjoyment, and ultimately, intention to continue participating in sport was examined. Participants were 405 male adolescents (Sample A: n = 200; Sample B: n = 205) aged 13-15 years old. Structural equation modeling indicated an overall good fit to the structural model for both data sets. A task goal orientation was predicted by higher levels of coach-created task climate. Participants with higher task goal orientation had greater sport competence, self-esteem, and more enjoyment in sport; enjoyment was the only significant predictor of their intention to continue playing the sport they believe is most important over the next three years.
The Determinants and Consequences of Empathic Parenting: Testing an Expansion of Belsky's Model of Parenting Using SEM
An understanding of factors that enhance empathic parenting behaviors is of considerable importance to the study of child development and to the development of parenting interventions to promote child adjustment. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that predict empathic parenting with older children is of interest since most research examining parental empathy focuses on infants. These were the goals of the current study. Guided by Belsky's 1984 process model of the determinants of parenting that impact child development, an expanded model of the determinants of parenting is proposed that includes various parent, child, and contextual factors of influence. Using data from a community sample, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model's strength in predicting empathically attuned parenting with children ages 5 to 10 years and, ultimately, the child's psychoemotional functioning. Results support the expanded model; however, a reduced model was found to be superior and revealed unique relationships between the determinants of parenting. Specifically, a parent's psychoemotional functioning and childrearing beliefs and attitudes were found to be critical to the parent's ability to engage in empathic parenting behaviors. Other parent factors such as the parent's developmental history of abuse, maladaptive personality traits, and age, along with contextual factors and child characteristics, were found to influence parenting only indirectly through their impact on the parent's level of psychoemotional distress or childrearing beliefs and attitudes. Ultimately, the current findings support Belsky's claim that parent factors are the strongest predictors of empathic parenting. Implications of these findings are many. The results highlight the importance of assessing a parent's childrearing beliefs and attitudes and level of distress in conjunction with characteristics of the child when a family comes in for treatment. Moreover, the results identify many points of intervention to stopping the cycle of abuse.
Development of Disordered Eating in Undergraduate Women: a Test of the Re-conceptualized Objectification Process
The eating disorder literature has long suggested that sociocultural experiences specific to women influence development of bulimic pathology; however, models have differed on the type of experiences that are important and what other variables interact with these experiences to lead to eating pathology. Broader sociocultural theory and objectification theory represent two such differing models, and more recently Moradi hypothesized that integrating elements from both models would provide a better picture of eating disorder development. The present study, therefore, sought to compare these three different models of bulimic pathology development to determine which one provides the best explanation for bulimic outcomes. The sample consisted of 682 undergraduate women between the ages of 18 and 24, recruited from a large southwestern university. Data were collected on-line using a series of questionnaires to measure the constructs of interest and analyzed using structural equation modeling. All three models fit the data well and explained approximately 50% of bulimic outcomes; however, the model based on Moradi’s integrated model provided the most information about the relationships between constructs within the model. The development of bulimic symptomatology appears best explained by a model that focuses on the sociocultural experience of pressures about weight and body size, but also integrates aspects of objectification theory as well. Future research, however, is needed to determine if sexually objectifying experiences, if measured differently, affect women’s development of eating pathology along with pressures.
Differences Among Abused and Nonabused Younger and Older Adults as Measured by the Hand Test
The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of participants' abused or nonabused status as it interacted with their age and gender in producing different patterns of Hand Test responses as a function of the age or gender of the card. Participants, 61 young adults (M age = 23) and 60 older adults (M age = 73), were presented with the original Hand Test cards, as well as four alternate versions (e.g., young male, young female, older male, and older female). Expected effects varying by age, gender, and abuse status were not found. Results indicated main effects for participant abuse status, which were largely consistent with previous Hand Test research. Significant interaction effects were also found for participant age by participant abuse status (p < .05), as well as participant age by participant gender by participant abuse status (p < .05). An interaction effect was also found for Hand Test version by participant abuse status (p < .05), Hand Test version by participant age by participant abuse status (p < .05), as well as Hand Test version by participant gender by participant abuse status (p < .05). These results suggest that the alternate forms of the cards may pull for certain responses among abused participants that would not have been identified otherwise via the standard version of the Hand Test, clinical interviews, or other projective and self-report measures of personality. Overall, the variations in Hand Test stimuli interact with participants' abuse status, and warrant the use of alternate versions of the Hand Test as a viable projective measure.
Effect of Loneliness on Older Adults' Death Anxiety
Previous research, as well as theory, has supported the existence of a relationship between death anxiety and loneliness in older adults but a causal examination has not been possible until now. A hypothesized model was developed which states that loneliness will lead to death anxiety mediated by cultural worldview. Longitudinal data was analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling in order to more fully explore this potentially causal relationship. The primary model was supported suggesting that loneliness can lead to death anxiety as mediated by cultural worldview. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Effects of Adult Romantic Attachment and Social Support on Resilience and Depression in Patients with Acquired Disabilities
The acquirement of a disability (e.g., spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, amputation, multi trauma) is a risk factor for psychological disturbance (e.g., depression). Research has established that social support and secure attachment are protective factors against psychological disturbance. Attachment patterns have also been associated with differences in perceived social support. Secure attachment and higher perceived social support have been implicated in greater levels of resilience but need to be validated with a population of individuals who have acquired a disability. The Experiences in Close Relationships, Social Provisions Scale, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Personal Health Questionnaire - 9 Depression Scale, and a Demographic were administered to 102 adult inpatients at a rehabilitation hospital undergoing an individualized rehabilitation program. Two MANOVAs were conducted to examine the direct associations of attachment classifications with the major dependent variables, as well as the various social support subscales. Path analysis tested two mediational models suggested by literature. Model 1 assessed the mediating role of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance on the effect of social support on depression and resilience. Model 2 assessed the mediating role of social support on the effect of attachment anxiety or attachment avoidance on depression and resilience. Partial support was obtained for both models based on fit indices. A small but significant difference in the fit of the models was found, favoring Model 1. Clinical and research implications for this population and the limitations of the study are discussed.
An Examination of Contextual and Process Variables Influencing the Career Development of African-American Male Athletes and Non-Athletes
The purpose of this study was to examine the career development of African-American male athletes and non-athletes. The study utilizes Gottfredson’s circumscription and compromise model of career development as a framework for understanding the way individuals go about selecting different career paths based on various contextual variables and career development processes. A sample of 71 African-American male college students completed self-report questionnaires measuring different aspects of their background make-up, relevant career development processes, and career development outcome variables. Results of the study suggest that non-athlete students have a more developmentally appropriate approach to careers. Results also suggest that perceived career barriers and career locus of control mediate the relationship between athletic status and maturity surrounding careers. Career development is a complicated process and further study on this population is very important, especially when considering athletes. Implications for the findings are discussed as are suggestions for directions of new research concerning African-American career development.
An Examination of the Relationship Between Values, Family Environment, and Risk Behaviors Among College Students
The purpose of this study was to examine the roles that values and the family environment play in young adult engagement in risky behavior. One hundred seventy-two male and female college students between the ages of 18-25 completed a demographics questionnaire, the Aspirations Index which measures seven life-goal contents that represent different values, the Cognitive Appraisal of Risky Events that assesses young adults’ perceptions of the risks and benefits associated with involvement in risky activities as well as past involvement in risky behaviors and the Family Environment Scale to assess participants' perceptions of their current family environment. A series of regression analyses were then used to assess the relationship between three dimensions of the family environment and risky behavior involvement and the relationship between participants' intrinsic and extrinsic values and perceived positive consequences and negative consequences of risky behavior. Results from this study supported the idea that certain dimensions of the family environment are related to risk-taking behavior in emerging adults; however, contrary to previous research, the relationship dimension of the family environment was not predictive of young adult risk-taking. Moreover, family activities that communicate family values did not contribute any additional information to the prediction of risk-taking behavior. Findings from this study suggest that emerging adult values are related to emerging adult perceptions of the hazards and benefits of risky behavior. Results from this study also highlighted the importance of gender and first-generation college status in predicting risk-taking frequency as well as perceived benefits and hazards of risk-taking. Implications for findings of the current study, limitations, and recommendations for future research are also discussed.
Family Variables in the Cultural and Psychological Adjustment of Third Culture Kids
Third culture kids are children raised in globally mobile families who have left their culture of origin to reside in a host culture. As this relocation occurs during childhood, the child combines the values, traditions, and norms of both cultures thereby creating a third culture, a unique culture created by the parent’s integration of the home culture, the host culture, and the domains of the organizational culture. Emotional Stability was found to mediate the relationship between family of origin Expression and Composite distress. Though this was the only hypothesized model that was supported, other interesting findings include that when participants were categorized by industry, statistically significant differences were found between Military, Missions, and the Other group on all of the scales. These differences are likely due to a cohort effect, given that the military family mean age was as much as twenty years higher than the other groups.
Fear of Alzheimer's Disease in Middle to Late Adulthood: a Two Year Investigation of Change Versus Stability
The term dementia refers to a progressive decline in cognitive functioning resulting in a significant impairment in daily living. Given the devastating impacts of the disease and lack of a cure, it is reasonable to expect people fear developing a dementia. Alzheimer's disease ranks high among the most feared diseases in national samples of the American population. As a topic of study, little is known about the determinants of fear of Alzheimer's disease and how this fear may change as a function of aging, time, or experience. The current study sought to fill this gap by investigating the nature of changes in fear of Alzheimer's disease by following participants (N = 227) over the course of two years. Volunteers completed measures on fear of dementia, knowledge about Alzheimer's disease, knowledge about the aging process, personality traits, memory self-efficacy, anxiety about aging, and Alzheimer's-related experiences (i.e., family history, caregiving experience, number of people known with the disease, personal diagnosis, etc.). Results supported the notion that fear for becoming a burden to others, a component of fear of dementia, decreased over the two years. In addition, personality traits and memory self-efficacy mediated the two-year change in concerns about perceived symptoms of cognitive decline. In predicting fear for various aspects of Alzheimer's disease, anxiety about aging and experience/exposure to the disease emerged as prominent predictors. These results highlight dementia concerns and offer guidance for early interventions, such as an open communication with family and health care providers about fear of dementia.
Harmony Or Discord: Disordered Eating and Personality Traits of College Music Majors
Personality traits, such as neuroticism, perfectionism, and a narrow self-concept have been identified as risk factors for eating disorders or have been found at higher rates in those with eating disorders (e.g., Brannan & Petrie, 2008; Cash & Deagle, 1997; Cervera et al., 2003). Musicians exhibit many of these personality traits associated with eating disorders (e.g., Kemp, 1981), however eating disorder prevalence has not been studied in musicians. The present study examined the prevalence of eating disorders and pathogenic weight control behaviors among college music majors. This study also compared personality traits (i.e., neuroticism, perfectionism, musician identity) between music majors and nonmajors and examined which personality traits best predicted bulimic symptomatology. Participants were 93 female and 126 male undergraduate students majoring in music and a nonmusician comparison group of 310 women 140 men from the same university. Music majors and nonmajors did not differ from each other with regards to eating disorder prevalence rates. Exercising and fasting/strict dieting were the primary means of weight control amongst all participants. With regards to personality traits, female and male music majors reported higher levels of perfectionism than their nonmajor counterparts and male music majors reported higher levels of neuroticism than male nonmajors. After controlling for BMI, neuroticism and doubts about actions predicted bulimic symptoms in female music majors, whereas concern over mistakes predicted bulimic symptomatology among men majoring in music. Findings suggest that any additional appearance-based pressures from the music environment do not translate into increased levels of eating pathology. Music majors higher levels of perfectionism and neuroticism may help them to succeed within the music and perform at a high level. Lastly, personality dimensions of neuroticism and concern over making mistakes predict disordered eating in all students.
Measuring Male Body Dissatisfaction: Factorial and Construct Validity of the Body Parts Satisfaction Scale for Men
Given the centrality of body dissatisfaction in the manifestation of health risk behaviors (e.g., eating disorders, muscle dysmorphia) and psychological distress in men, the ability to measure it accurately is essential. Across two studies, the psychometric properties and factor structure of a new measure of male body satisfaction were established. The Body Parts Satisfaction Scale for Men (BPSS-M) was found to have three scores: full body muscularity and leanness (18 items), upper body (12 items), and legs (4 items). All three scores were internally and temporally reliable, and support was found for the convergent, discriminant, and concurrent validity of the scores. The BPSS-M represents an advance in the measurement of male body image, providing researchers and clinicians with a versatile and valid way to assess this important construct.
Mutual Influences in Romantic Attachment, Religious Coping, and Marital Adjustment
This study examined associations among romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance, positive and negative religious coping, and marital adjustment in a community sample of 81 heterosexual couples. Both spouses completed the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR), a brief measure of religious coping (Brief RCOPE), the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), and a demographic questionnaire as part of a larger study. Multilevel modeling (MLM) for the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used. Attachment avoidance was inversely related to positive religious coping. In contrast, attachment anxiety was directly related to negative religious coping. Positive religious coping buffered the relationship between attachment avoidance and marital adjustment. In contrast, attachment anxiety was detrimental to marital adjustment regardless of positive religious coping, and positive religious coping was related to higher marital adjustment only in the context of low attachment anxiety. Surprisingly, the spouse's attachment anxiety was inversely related to the respondent's marital adjustment only when the respondent reported low levels of negative religious coping, whereas in the context of high negative religious coping, the partner's attachment anxiety was related to higher marital adjustment. Results support using attachment theory to conceptualize religious coping and the consideration of both attachment and religious coping constructs in counseling.
The Parent-Initiated Task Motivational Climate and Factors Influencing Eighth Grade Boys’ Intention to Continue Sports
The motivational climate, as defined by parents’ behaviors, and athletes’ goal orientations are essential in understanding children’s experiences with sport. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived motivational climate created by parents, and its relationship to psychological outcomes experienced by adolescent male athletes in youth sports. In particular, the parent created task climate was examined through its influence on goal orientation and subsequently to psychological outcomes experienced in sport, specifically, sport competence, self-esteem, enjoyment, and intention to continue participating in sport. Participants were 405 8th grade male athletes (mean age = 13.5); (Sample A: n = 205; Sample B: n = 200). As expected, the task-oriented parent initiated motivational climate was associated with the boys’ mastery goal orientation. Participants with higher mastery goal orientation had greater sport competence, self-esteem, and more enjoyment in sport. Intention to continue playing sport was predicted primarily by their level of enjoyment, and secondarily by their increased feelings of self-esteem.
Parent Psychopathology, Marital Adjustment, and Child Psychological Dysfunction: The Mediating Role of Attachment and Sibling Relationship
This study is part of a larger research project examining family attachment processes. The current study tests a family process model that postulates the mediating role of parent-child attachment and sibling relationship quality in the associations of parent psychopathology or marital adjustment to children's psychological dysfunction. A community sample of 86 families with at least one school-aged (8-12 years) child was recruited from area schools and organizations. Families came to the UNT Family Attachment Lab, where they participated in research tasks, including interviews, self-report instruments, and videotaped interaction tasks. Specific questionnaires used in this study included the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire, the Security Scale, the Behavior Assessment System for Children, the Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire, and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Using a single indicator for each variable, path analyses tested three paternal models, three maternal models, and three systemic models using different informants' (i.e., father, mother, child) reports of child functioning as the outcome variable. Results of this study highlight the positive relationship between parent marital adjustment and parent-child attachment security, as well as the inverse relationship between maternal psychopathology and mother-child attachment security. In addition, the inverse relationship between parent-child attachment security and child psychological dysfunction was significant across nearly all paternal and maternal models. Particularly noteworthy was the consistent mediating influence of attachment security in the association between marital adjustment and child psychological dysfunction across paternal and maternal models.
The Peer Created Motivational Climate in Youth Sport and Its Relationship to Psychological Outcomes and Intention to Continue in Sport Among Male Adolescents
Social agents in the youth sport domain (coaches, parents, and peers) play a crucial role in developing the motivational approaches of youth sport athletes. One theory which has been useful in explaining the important role of such social agents has been Achievement Goal Theory (Nicholls, 1989). Specifically, Achievement Goal Theory was used to delineate various peer behaviors as being task-involving (Ntoumanis & Vazou, 2005) and was used to predict subsequent relationships relationship between the task-involving motivational-climate created by teammates and athletes’ mastery goal orientations and self-esteem, sport competence, enjoyment, and intention to continue playing sport. Participants were 405 boys aged 12-15 years. Using structural equation modeling, an exploratory analysis and confirmatory analysis revealed that higher levels of task-involving behaviors from peers predicted mastery goal orientation. Participants with higher mastery goal orientation reported greater sport competence, self-esteem, and more enjoyment; enjoyment was the strongest predictor of intention to continue. These findings both emphasize the importance of peer relationships within sport on a variety of motivationally and psychologically salient outcomes and provide direction for the development of training programs targeted to create positive and healthy sport experiences.
Psychological Maltreatment and Adult Attachment: The Protective Role of the Sibling Relationship
A positive sibling relationship may protect individuals against poor developmental outcomes associated with psychological maltreatment. The current study assessed the moderating role of a positive sibling relationship in childhood and adulthood on associations between early psychological maltreatment and adult attachment anxiety and avoidance. College students (N = 270) completed self-report measures of psychological maltreatment, sibling relationship quality, and adult attachment. Psychological maltreatment in childhood was associated with an increase in attachment anxiety and avoidance, while a positive sibling relationship was related to a decrease in levels of attachment anxiety and avoidance. As predicted, a positive childhood sibling relationship mitigated the negative effects of psychological neglect in childhood on attachment. Similarly, a positive sibling relationship decreased the levels of attachment anxiety associated with isolation in childhood.
The Relationship Between Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder Symptomatology: An Examination of Moderating Variables
The purpose of this study was to examine whether Psychological Well-Being (comprised of self-esteem, optimism, satisfaction with life, and self-determination), perfectionism, body surveillance, and neuroticism moderated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms after controlling for social desirability and actual physical size. 847 female undergraduate students participated in the study. Participants completed an online questionnaire packet. An exploratory factor analysis determined that self-determination, optimism, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life loaded on to one factor representing Psychological Well-Being. Hierarchical moderated regression (HMR) was used to control for the influences of social desirability and body mass index on bulimic symptoms and then determine the main and interactive effects of body dissatisfaction and each moderator. Four variables (neuroticism, body surveillance, concern over mistakes, and doubts about actions) strengthened the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptomatology, whereas Psychological Well-Being weakened the relationship. Parental expectations, parental criticism, and personal standards did not moderate the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptomatology.
The Role of Attachment in Perceptions of Interparental Conflict and Behavior Problems in Middle Childhood
The current study investigated the association of interparental conflict, parent-child attachment, and children's behavior problems in middle childhood. Although the effects of interparental conflict have been studied extensively, there has been little research done in the developmental period of middle childhood. This study examined the potential mediating role of the attachment relationship between parents and children in a community sample consisting of 86 two-parent families with at least one child between the ages of 8-11. Path modeling procedures indicated that attachment security serves as a mediator between interparental conflict and child behavior problems based on child reports. In particular, child-reported attachment security to the mother significantly mediated the association between children's perceptions of threat from interparental conflict and child-reported internalizing and inattentive/hyperactive symptoms. Child-reported attachment security to the father was not a significant mediator and mediation was not supported in parent-report models. The current findings have implications for families experiencing conflict and speak to the importance of attachment in the parent-child relationship when explaining the association between instances of interparental conflict and child behavioral outcomes. In particular, parents who engage in conflict can prevent the damaging effects of that conflict by making the conflict less overt, explaining to children the reasons for the conflict, and providing children with some assurance that a secure parent-child and interparental relationship is still present, despite the conflict.
The Role of Attachment in the Intergenerational Transmission of Abuse: From Childhood Victimization to Adult Re-Victimization and Distress
Research indicates that victims of childhood abuse are at increased risk for transmitting violence in adulthood-a phenomenon known as the intergenerational transmission of abuse (ITA). Adult survivors of childhood victimization (i.e., child abuse or witnessed parental violence) are at increased risk for becoming abusive parents, perpetrators of intimate partner violence, and victims of intimate partner violence. The current study examined the latter form of ITA, in which a survivor of childhood victimization is re-victimized in adulthood by intimate partner violence. Attachment theory has been used to explain the ITA by positing that abuse is transmitted across generations via insecure attachment. The purpose of this study was to use structural equation modeling to test the attachment theory of ITA by examining the role of childhood and adult attachment in predicting re-victimization and symptoms of distress in adulthood. In the hypothesized model, childhood victimization by one's parents was hypothesized to predict adult intimate partner violence victimization through insecure attachment relationships in childhood (with one's parents) and adulthood (with one's partner). Furthermore, adult romantic attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were hypothesized to predict different symptoms of distress. Self-report measures from 59 adult woman seeking services for intimate partner victimization at a domestic violence clinic were analyzed using a partial least squares path analysis. Results supported a reduced model in which insecure attachments in childhood and adulthood significantly predicted the ITA, but only through father-child attachment and not mother-child attachment. In addition, adult romantic attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance predicted different symptoms of distress. Results supported the attachment theory of the ITA and highlighted the importance of examining outcomes of adult attachment anxiety and avoidance separately. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Testing a Comprehensive Model of Muscle Dysmorphia Symptomatology in a Nonclinical Sample of Men
As increasing emphases are placed on the importance of a muscular male physique in Westernized culture, more men are experiencing eating, exercise, and body image (EEBI) disturbances. Clinician-researchers have identified a syndrome, termed muscle dysmorphia (MD), in which individuals, usually men, are pathologically preoccupied with their perceived lack of muscularity. The current study tested a modified version of an extant theoretical model of MD symptomatology as well as an alternative model of MD symptomatology. Over 700 adult men completed a demographic questionnaire, a symptom inventory, a self-esteem questionnaire, a measure of perfectionism, a measure of the media’s influence on EEBI disturbances, and measures of body dissatisfaction and MD symptoms. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to examine the goodness of fit of the proposed models. Overall, the first model demonstrated poor fit with the data. Conversely, the alternative model fit the data adequately. The alternative model was cross validated with a second sample, and also fit this data adequately.
Value Development in Emerging Adulthood: the Influence of Family
The purpose of this study was to better understand value development in an emerging adult, college student population, and to further define, identify and clarify family characteristics that influence values. Theories have sought to examine the developmental influences in emerging adulthood, but little research exists examining the role of the family, particularly in regards to value development. The current study reviewed the literature on emerging adulthood, values, and self-determination theory with attention to family influence. Questions addressed in this study included: 1) are perceived parent values predictors of emerging adult values, 2) will the quality of communication between parents and emerging adults and the presence of an emotionally supportive relationship with both mother and father moderate the relationship between the perception of parent values and emerging adult values, and 3) does the family environment influence the types of values emerging adults perceive to be important to their parents? For this purpose, 200 college students completed 5 different self-report questionnaires measuring the constructs of values, perceived parent values, family environment variables, family communication variables, and quality of relationship with both father and mother. Parents of college students completed a self-report questionnaire measuring their socialization values for their children and a questionnaire measuring family communication; however, the small number of parent responses prevented the data from being used in statistical tests. Multiple regression analyses indicated that perceived parent values predicted emerging adult values. Moderation analyses showed that family communication and the quality of the relationship with father and mother did not strengthen the relationship between perceived parent values and emerging adult values. Lastly, a warm family environment and family activities were significantly related to how important emerging adults’ perceived intrinsic values to be to both their father and mother. Family structure was significantly positively correlated the importance emerging adults’ perceived their fathers to place on extrinsic values, but not their mothers. Implications for the findings of the current study will be discussed, as well as, limitations and future research recommendations.