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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Psychology
 Decade: 2010-2019
 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/
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/
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 Behavior Problems and Interparental Conflict: the Moderating Role of Parent-child Attachment
The current study examined the role that parent-child attachment plays in the relationship between marital conflict and the development of behavior problems in adolescents. To evaluate the hypothesis that attachment moderates this relationship, 57 families were recruited via e-mail invitation sent to families that participated in local church youth groups, school organizations, and a treatment program designed for adolescents with behavior problems. One custodial parent and his/her adolescent child completed an online or paper version of a survey consisting of the Achenbach’s Behavior Checklists, the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, and the Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale. Hypotheses were evaluated using Baron and Kenny’s (1986) procedures to test moderating effects with multiple regression analyses. Mother attachment demonstrated a significant moderation effect between the intensity of interparental conflict and the parent’s report of externalizing behavior problems. Specifically, at low conflict intensity levels, relative to low attachment security, high attachment security was associated with fewer externalizing behavior problems, whereas at high intensities of interparental conflict high attachment security was associated with more externalizing behavior problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407793/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33158/
Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation
Studies of affective forecasting examine people’s ability to predict (forecast) their emotional (affective) responses to future events. Affective forecasts underlie nearly all decisions people make and the actions they take. However, people engage in systematic cognitive errors when making affective forecasts and most often overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional responses. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to affective forecasting errors (e.g., immune neglect) and examining the utility of methods for improving affective forecasting errors (e.g., surrogation) can provide highly valuable information for clinicians as they assist clients in determining their goals both for therapy and for life. The first purpose of the current study was to determine if affective forecasting errors due to immune neglect lead to misjudgments about the relative emotional impact of minor versus moderate negative experiences (i.e., trauma severity). The second purpose was to examine the utility of surrogation for improving affective forecasts. Potential interaction effects between these two variables were also examined. The current study utilized a 2 (Trauma Severity: minor, moderate) X 3 (Prediction Information: surrogation information only, simulation information only, both types of information) experimental design. Undergraduates were recruited via the SONA system and randomly assigned to one of the six experimental conditions. A preliminary study was conducted to obtain surrogation information for use in the main study. All participants in the main study predicted how they would feel 10 minutes after receiving negative personality feedback, using a 10-point scale ranging from (1) very unhappy to (10) very happy. These predictions constitute their affective forecasts. All participants then actually received the negative personality feedback (ostensibly from another participant, a peer, in a nearby room) and reported their actual affective states ten minutes later, using the same scale. These ratings constitute their affective reports. Affective forecasting error was calculated as the difference between affective forecasts and affective reports. Results showed the affective forecasts of participants in the moderate trauma severity condition were significantly less accurate than those of participants in the minor trauma severity condition, providing evidence of immune neglect. Surrogation information significantly improved the accuracy of affective forecasts when participants were deprived of simulation information. Limitations of the current study and implications of the findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149566/
African American Father Influences on the Career Development of Emerging Adults
The current study examined the paternal influences on the career development of African American emerging adults. While statistics have shown that many African Americans remain in the lower socioeconomic status bracket and have worse academic and career outcomes, still many African Americans are successful. The literature seems to attribute lack of success to low socioeconomic status, but attributes success to close family relationships. However, most of these studies have focused on maternal relationships and have neglected to include the influence of paternal relationships. Studies that have examined African American fathers have emphasized their negative attributes. Previous studies have also failed to consider the influence of other factors on the career development process such as ethnic identity and psychological adjustment. This study explored the influence of contextual, family, and developmental factors on the career process of African American emerging adults. One hundred sixty-seven African American undergraduate students ages 18 to 25 were recruited for participation in this study. Regression analyses indicated that the quality of the father-child relationship influenced career development, though not in the manner expected. High levels of father support enhanced well-being for individuals with high ethnic identity, but did not produce the same results for individuals with low ethnic identity. Well-being was a significant predictor of career maturity. Explanations, implications, and future directions are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700069/
Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It
The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283819/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84183/
Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy
This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31533/
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/
Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699950/
Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68030/
Attention and Metacognition in the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire
The elaborated intrusion (EI) theory of desire is a cognitive model that describes the processes involved in craving as intrusive thoughts that are elaborated upon leading to dissonance when desires are not met. While the theory is based on a wide body of research, certain theoretical predictions have not been fully examined. Specifically, EI theory argues that mental imagery has a central role in craving, and predicts that attempts to suppress substance-related intrusive thoughts and mental imagery is related to increased craving. Further, EI theory suggests that elaboration of craving imagery is related to attention and working memory processes, however, there are questions about whether differential performance in these domains is related to craving. The current study examined the relationship between attention/working memory performance and alcohol craving in a sample of 119 young adult males. Additionally, metacognition was examined to clarify the phenomenological aspects of craving within EI theory. Attention and working memory performance did not significantly predict intrusive thought and mental imagery elaboration. Individuals with high craving reported significantly higher levels of anxiety, thought suppression, and greater strength and frequency of craving-related mental imagery. They were also more likely to try to control their own thoughts and make negative judgments on their ability to do so. The strength of craving-related intrusive thoughts, not mental imagery, was the most significant predictor of craving. Implications for the understanding of craving and treatment recommendations based on the findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500213/
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/
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/
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/
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/
A Biopsychosocial Model of Dietary Restraint in Early Adolescent Boys
The current study replicated and extended previous research by examining empirically the direct and indirect influence of social pressure (to lose weight and diet), social body comparisons, internalization of the thin ideal, body dissatisfaction, self-esteem, and cardiorespiratory fitness on self-reported dietary restraint in a diverse sample of middle school boys (n = 663); Mage was 12.49 years (SD = .99). With IRB approval, parental consent, and child assent, during annual FITNESSGRAM testing, participants completed questionnaires that measured the study’s constructs. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was determined by the boys’ performance on the PACER running test. The proposed model was examined using structural equation modeling (SEM). Because measures demonstrated univariate and multivariate normality, the maximum likelihood procedure within EQS to examine the measurement and structural models was used. Fit was determined using a two-index procedure. Participants were randomly split into exploratory (Sample A - 331) and confirmatory (Sample B - 332) samples. For Sample A, the measurement and structural models fit the data well. The structural model was confirmed in Sample B, with the same paths being significant and nonsignficant. For both Sample A and Sample B, 35% of the Dietary Restraint variance was explained. These findings support a multifactorial approach to understanding boys’ self-reported dietary restraint, and illuminate the negative influence of sociocultural weight pressures and salutary effects of CRF on early adolescents’ psychosocial well-being and dietary behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700049/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84195/
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/
Childhood Bereavement and Parents’ Relationship With Children
It has long been recognized that childhood bereavement is a risk factor for depression in adulthood. Research also has consistently demonstrated that parental depression is linked to poor parent-child relationship quality. The current study examined whether bereavement in childhood increases likelihood of current depressive symptoms among parents and explored whether this vulnerability in the parent then alters the quality of the parent-child relationship. Archival data for a sample of 86 families (N=176 parents) are drawn from the Family & Kid Connection project led by Dr. Shelley Riggs. Instruments utilized include the Background Information Questionnaire, the Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire, and the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, Multilevel Modeling procedures explored the hypothesis that parental depression mediates the association between parents’ childhood bereavement and their perception of the parent-child relationship. Results show a significant relationship between parental (actor) depressive symptoms and parent-child attachment, indicating the need for therapeutic interventions targeting the parent-child relationship, and not just parents, for parents suffering from depression. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115046/
Chronic Insomnia and Healthcare Utilization in Young Adults
Chronic insomnia is a highly prevalent disorder in general and young adult populations, and contributes a significant economic burden on society. Previous studies have shown healthcare utilization (HCU) is significantly higher for people with insomnia than people without insomnia. One limitation with previous research is accurate measurement of HCU in people with insomnia is difficult due to a high co-morbidity of medical and mental health problems as well as varying operational definitions of insomnia. Assessing HCU in people with insomnia can be improved by applying research diagnostic criteria (RDC) for insomnia, using a population with low rates of co-morbid medical/mental health problems, and measuring HCU with subjective, objective, and predictive methods. The current study found young adults with chronic insomnia had greater HCU than normal sleepers, specifically on number of medications, and chronic disease score (CDS) estimates of total healthcare costs, outpatient costs, and predicted number of primary care visits. The presence of a medical and/or mental health problem acted as a moderating variable between chronic insomnia and HCU. Simple effects testing found young adults with chronic insomnia and a medical/mental health problem had the greatest HCU followed by normal sleepers with a medical/mental health problem, chronic insomnia, and normal sleepers. Exploratory analyses found young adults with chronic insomnia had a greater likelihood of emergency room visits and overnight hospital admissions. More efforts for early identification and intervention of insomnia are necessary to help reduce costs associated with chronic insomnia co-morbid with medical and/or mental health problems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84179/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84226/
Comparing the 2010 and 2011 Appic Match: Applicant Characteristics and Unmatched Applicant Distress
The internship is one of the most important components of doctoral training in professional psychology. Given the serious problem of the internship imbalance, applicant and program characteristics that constitute a good “fit” with internship training programs have become of greater interest as securing an internship becomes a more competitive process. This study surveyed internship applicants from programs part of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), before and after the 2010 and 2011 match days. Number of interview offers was found to be the factor most consistently associated with successfully matching, and several other applicant characteristics salient to matching and obtaining interview offers were identified, including applicant personality. Additionally, personal accounts, but not empirical evidence, of going unmatched have attested to the psychological distress associated with this event. in the current study, while going unmatched was not found to be equitable to a traumatic stressor, evidence was found to support significant decrease in subjective well-being with respect to immediate distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the predictability of and implications for the match process and internship imbalance, and recommendations are made for future research directions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115097/
A Comparison of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a New Sleep Questionnaire, and Sleep Diaries
Self-report retrospective estimates of sleep behaviors are not as accurate as prospective estimates from sleep diaries, but are more practical for epidemiological studies. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the validity of retrospective measures and improve upon them. The current study compared sleep diaries to two self-report retrospective measures of sleep, the commonly used Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a newly developed sleep questionnaire (SQ), which assessed weekday and weekend sleep separately. It was hypothesized that the new measure would be more accurate than the PSQI because it accounts for variability in sleep throughout the week. The relative accuracy of the PSQI and SQ in obtaining estimates of total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE), and sleep onset latency (SOL) was examined by comparing their mean differences from, and correlations with, estimates obtained by the sleep diaries. Correlations of the PSQI and SQ with the sleep diaries were moderate, with the SQ having significantly stronger correlations on the parameters of TST, SE, and sleep quality ratings. The SQ also had significantly smaller mean differences from sleep diaries on SOL and SE. The overall pattern of results indicated that the SQ performs better than the PSQI when compared to sleep diaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177254/
Complex Ptsd As a Less Pejorative Label: Is the Proposed Diagnosis Less Stigmatizing Than Bpd?
Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699965/
Conceptualizing Quality of College Life
The objectives of this study were to mathematically model the quality of college life (QCL) concept and to study the associations between attachment style, emotion regulation abilities, psychological needs fulfillment and QCL via structural equation modeling. Data was collected from 507 undergraduate students (men = 178, women = 329; age M = 21.78 years, SD = 4.37). This data was used to provide evidence for the validity of the College Adjustment Scales (CAS) as a measure of quality of college life. The CAS demonstrated good convergent validity with the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL), Subjective Well-being and Psychological Well-being Scales. Results: Students who were insecurely attached were as likely to feel adequate in their academic and professional endeavors as securely attached students. However, insecurely attached students had lower QCL levels, lower fulfillment of psychological needs and more emotion regulation difficulties than securely attached students. The results also indicated that Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment were positively and strongly associated. Nonetheless, Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment affected QCL through different mechanism. Emotion regulation mediated the path between Anxious Attachment and QCL while the fulfillment of psychological needs mediated the path between Avoidant Attachment and QCL. The fulfillment of psychological needs also mediated the path between emotion regulation and QCL. The described pattern of results was found for three separate models representing 1) the student’s attachment with their romantic partner, 2) best friend and 3) mother. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest a change in primary attachment figure during the college years. Emotion regulation, the fulfillment of psychological needs and QCL were all affected more strongly by the student’s attachment style with their romantic partner and best friend compared to their attachment style with their parents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699982/
Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach
Flashbulb memories are highly vivid and long-lasting memories for events that are emotionally significant and personally important. These memories are held in very high confidence in accuracy over an extended period. In particular, individuals believe that they can remember the personal details surrounding the event such as where they were and what they were doing at the time the event occurred. Evidence from research, however, indicates that this may not be the case. The study of flashbulb memories has typically been confined to negative events such as September 11, 2001. In the current study, we employ the methods of Talarico and Rubin (2003) to investigate flashbulb memory formation to a positive event. The event is the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which resonated as a highly positive event for many Americans evidenced by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate. We examined various memory properties over a one-year period, including vividness, rehearsal, belief in accuracy, and consistency. Results confirm the formation of flashbulb memories to the assassination event, but results did not support many of the proposed hypotheses. Some differences were found for different testing groups (i.e., immediate versus one week delay), but these were not replicated at the one year follow-up. Overall, however, it is believed that the current event, while still a flashbulb memory, was not a strong enough event to stir strong emotions and form memories on par with 9/11. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271846/
Correlates Between Adult Romantic Attachment Patterns and Dimensional Personality Pathology
Previous research has suggested that adult attachment disturbance is related to maladaptic interaction patterns and personality disorder constructs. Specifically, research indicates that those with attachment disturbance are significantly more likely to meet criteria for a number of personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between adult attachment and the new dimensional model of personality disorders scheduled to be released in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Diosrders (5th ed.) in spring 2013. Participants completed the Schedule for Adaptive and Nonadaptive Personality (SNAP) to measure dimensional personality functioning and the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR-R) and the Attachment Prototypes to measure adult attachment patterns. Additionally, select scales from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and the Five Factor Model (FFM) will be utilized as secondary measures of personality patterns. The results suggest strong associations between adult attachment orientations and specific maladaptive personality characteristics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283794/
Correlates of Video Game Addiction
Video game addiction often leads to a tremendous burden on those afflicted with the condition, draining their time, resources, and life away until they have nothing left. To further elucidate the problem of video game addiction, the current research examines the level of video game addiction of 111 participants, along with their motivation for their addictive behaviors, the quality of life of addicted individuals, and possible relations between video game addiction and other forms of addiction. Results of the current research indicate a correlation between addictive video game use and depression, alcohol use, a desire for escapism, a need for social interaction, and lack of self-control. The results of a multiple regression indicate that, amongst the various research factors, depression is the factor with the most significant link to addictive video game use, implying a dangerous correlation between mental health and an addictive behavior that some erroneously disqualify as a true addiction. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33181/
Cross-measure Equivalence and Communicability in the Assessment of Depression: a Fine-grained Focus on Factor-based Scales
Depression is heterogeneous, however, depression measures conceptualize it as homogeneous. To help fulfill NIMH's strategic plan to focus on components of depression, this study analyzed the psychometrics of factor-based subscales in the BDI-II, CES-D, IDAS, and IDS. CCA was also used to explore redundancy across measures. Using a diverse sample of symptomatic undergraduates, this study found the IDAS to be the best measure, with complete DSM-IV symptom coverage and psychometrically sound subscales. The other measures did not have consistent subscales or coverage of symptoms. Furthermore, CCA revealed low levels of redundancy across measures. These results serve to disabuse the field of a perception that different measures of equivalently measure depression. Conversion tables were provided to empirically compare scores from different measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149597/
Daily-collected Sleep Diaries Compared to Weekly-collected Sleep Diaries Via Actigraph Concordance
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Both sleep diaries and actigraphy have been recommended to assess sleep in research and clinical settings. Investigators have traditionally used sleep diaries that were completed daily by participants and collected weekly but have recently begun using sleep diaries that are both completed and collected daily. No research had previously assessed the agreement between daily-collected sleep diaries and actigraph data over one week. Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to use daily- or weekly-collected sleep diaries. Sleep parameters obtained from these measures were compared to each other via concordance with concurrent actigraph data. It was hypothesized that daily-collected sleep diaries would have greater concordance with actigraphy than weekly-collected sleep diaries. Results indicated that daily-collected sleep diaries provided more reliable data than weekly-collected sleep diaries, but the differences were not statistically significant. Additional aims examined self-reported sleep diary adherence, the participation day number, and day of the week. There were trends for the Daily group to have better adherence. Overall concordance did not change based on the day number or day of the week. Both sleep diaries yield comparable sleep parameter data, suggesting that clinicians and researchers can use either method to estimate sleep parameters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500117/
Decentering and the Theory of Social Development
The concept of decentering originated with Piaget, who defined decentering as a feature of operational thought, the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives simultaneously. Feffer applied Piaget’s concept of decentering to the cognitive maturity of social content. This study used Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system for stories told about TAT pictures to investigate the developmental hierarchy of decentering for children and adolescents. The participants originated from the Berkeley Guidance Study, a longitudinal sample of more than 200 individuals followed for more than 60 years by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. The hypotheses tested were: (1) chronological age will be positively related to Decentering as reflected in Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scores obtained annually between ages 10 and 13 and at 18; (2) children born into higher class homes would have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (3) children born later in birth order will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (4) children whose parents were observed to have closer bonds with their children at age 21 months will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (5) adolescents with higher scores from the Decentering Q-sort Scale (derived from adolescent Q-sorts) will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; and (6) participants who have higher Age 12 Decentering scores will self-report higher CPI Empathy scale scores at Age 30. A repeated measures ANOVA tested Hypothesis 1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients tested Hypotheses 2-6. Age and Decentering scores were unrelated, as was birth order; social class findings were mixed. Parents’ bonds with child and Age 12 Decentering were negatively correlated (closer bonds predicted higher Decentering), as were Age 12 Decentering and Age 30 Empathy (higher early Decentering predicted lower adulthood Empathy). Girls (age 12) tended to decenter more consistently and had higher Decentering scores than boys. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149590/
Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.
Previous research suggests there are a number of variables that are associated with the expression of schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) symptoms. Such variables include childhood trauma, depression and anxiety, substance use, normal-range personality traits, ethnicity, and gender. However, research to date has not examined all of these variables in a single study to determine how they may be interrelated or differentially related to SPD symptom domains. Of particular interest is the association of these variables as explained by the diathesis-stress model. This study utilized a convenience sample of 298 undergraduate students to examine a continuous range of scores for symptoms of SPD and how the interrelation of biological factors such as gender and ethnicity and psychosocial factors and stressors such as childhood trauma and personality traits, specifically neuroticism and extroversion, influence the expression of SPD symptoms. It was predicted that anxiety, depression, stress, and childhood trauma would positively correlate to SPD symptoms. It was also hypothesized that neuroticism and substance use would positively correlate to schizotypal traits and extroversion would be negatively correlated to schizotypal traits as measured by the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief. It was further hypothesized that psychosocial stressors would be moderated by the aforementioned biological factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33163/
Denial of Risk: the Effects of Intentional Minimization on Risk Assessments for Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Offenders
Risk assessments for offenders often combine past records with current clinical findings from observations, interviews, and test data. Conclusions based on these risk assessments are highly consequential, sometimes resulting in increased criminal sentences or prolonged hospitalization. Offenders are therefore motivated to intentionally minimize their risk scores. Intentional minimization is especially likely to occur in offenders with high psychopathic traits because goal-directed deception is reflected in many of the core traits of the disorder, such as manipulativeness, glibness, and superficial charm. However, this connection appears to be based on the conceptual understanding of psychopathy, and it has rarely been examined empirically for either frequency or success. The current study examined the connection between psychopathic traits and the intentional minimization of risk factors using a sentenced jail sample. In general, offenders were able to effectively minimize risk on the HCR-20 and SAQ, while the PICTS, as a measure of cognitive styles, was more resistant to such minimization. Psychopathic traits, especially high interpersonal facet scores, led to greater minimization using a repeated measure, simulation design. Important differences in the willingness and ability to use deception were found based on (a) the content of subscales, and (b) the mode of administration (i.e., interview vs. self-report). The important implications of this research are discussed for risk assessment procedures regarding likely areas of deception and its detection. It also informs the growing literature on the connection between psychopathic traits and deception. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500221/
Depression in Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Individuals: Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Diet
About 8.3% of individuals diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM) are diagnosed with comorbid depression, a higher rate than the general adult population. This project examined the differences of depression symptoms experienced between diabetic and matched non-diabetic individuals and the relationship of daily activity and nutrition behaviors with depression between these groups. The 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was utilized to assess: depression symptoms, diabetic glycemic control as measured by glycoginated hemoglobin (HbA1c), amount of physical activity, percentage of macronutrients, daily frequencies of foods consumed, and the use of nutritional food labels to make food choices. A sample of diabetic (n = 451) and non-diabetic individuals (n = 451) were matched to on age, gender, ethnicity, and education. The diabetic individuals experienced greater depression on both continuous and ordinal diagnostic variables. Counter to expectation, there was no relationship observed between depression and HbA1c in diabetic individuals, r = .04, p > .05. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33146/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28454/
Devaluing Stigma in the Context of Forgiveness, Coping and Adaptation: a Structural Regression Model of Reappraisal
The 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy outlined three important goals for managing the current HIV pandemic in the U.S.: (1) reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV; (2) improve access to health care and health-related outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLH/A); and (3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. Each of these goals tacitly depends upon reducing HIV-related stigma, and this study examined how HIV+ individuals evaluate coping efforts to overcome stigma’s impact on quality of life (QOL). a structural regression model was developed to instantiate the reappraisal process described by Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional theory of stress and coping, and this model indicated that maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and perceived stigma, which supports the prediction that coping efficacy is related to stress reduction. Additionally, maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and QOL, supporting the contention that forgiveness is a critical aspect to the evaluative process that influences how PLH/A cope with stigma. Lastly, the model showed that when PLH/A engaged in maladaptive coping to mitigate stress-related stigma, these individuals experienced increased stigmatization and reported significantly lower levels of health-related QOL. in contrast, PLH/A that reported higher levels of dispositional forgiveness were significantly less likely to use maladaptive coping to overcome stigma. Therefore, dispositional forgiveness works through coping to alter perceptions regarding stigmatization, while indirectly influencing attitudes related to health distress, mental health, and cognitive and social functioning. the theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115083/
Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility
Religion and spirituality are vital aspects of many people’s lives both in the United States and across the globe. Although many constructs and measures exist to describe and assess the experience of pursuing the sacred, the complexity of religious and spiritual experience leads to mixed results in relation to well-being and psychopathological traits. However, in broad terms, the relationship appears positive. Over the past 30 years the need for more refined and useful approaches to the study of religious and spiritual behavior has been repeatedly acknowledged. Although authors wisely caution development of further measures without due cause, extant constructs and measures do not provide clear and consistent results for understanding the influence of one’s relationships to religion and spirituality upon behaviors of clinical interest. The present project drew from the functional contextual concept of psychological flexibility, which provides clarity to understanding the encouragement and maintenance of psychological well-being. A new construct of religious and psychological flexibility is explicated as a functional approach to understanding religious and spiritual behavior in a manner that is useful in research and clinical settings alike. The development and evaluation of the Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility (MRSF) is described. The MRSF evidenced adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis results were positive, but indicate further refinement. Analyses suggested good construct validity of the MRSF in relation to psychological well-being and psychopathology; construct validity in relation to extant constructs in the psychology of religion was varied. Implications and future directions are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700031/
Development of a Differential Neurocognitive Profile for Alzheimer’s Dementia and Vascular Dementia
Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) is among the most common diseases in the Geriatric population, and its prevalence is expected to quadruple by 2047.Vascular Dementia (VaD) is the second most frequent cause of dementia, with studies indicating VaD accounts for 10-20% of dementia cases across the globe. A diagnostic model differentiating AD and VaD would be clinically and scientifically valuable, considering the treatment approaches for these conditions are different. Although there are differences between AD and VaD on their neuropsychological profiles, a diagnostic model that successfully differentiates AD and VaD on neuropsychological testing has not been developed, despite previous attempts. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by examining two diagnostic models used to predict the conversion of AD from mild cognitive impairment, and a third model was proposed to differentiate AD from VaD. We conducted ROC Analyses using the variables LM II Standard Score, Animals Total, and CDRS Sum based on a previous diagnostic model. The sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of mild VaD were calculated for all possible scores of each test measure. The Animals Total cutoff score of 7 achieved excellent sensitivity and specificity, receiving 96% and 92%, respectively. In this sample, patients who could name at least seven animals under 60 seconds were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD. LM II Scaled Score also achieved statistical significance (p <0.001) and a cutoff score of 4 received 96% sensitivity and 77% specificity. Patients who achieved an LM II Scaled Score of 4 or higher were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500158/
The Development of Disordered Eating Among Female Undergraduates: A Test of Objectification Theory
Objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) has been used to explain how mechanisms related to socialization, sexual objectification, and psychological variables interact to predict mental health difficulties. Among a sample of 626 undergraduate women (age 18-24), this study empirically tested components of Moradi and Huang’s (2008) model and extended it by including additional socialization experiences (i.e., sexual abuse, societal pressures regarding weight and body size). Structural equation modeling analyses suggested that the model provided a good fit to the data and the model was tested in the confirmatory sample. Across the two samples, high levels of Body Shame and low levels of Internal Bodily Awareness directly led and high levels of Societal Pressures Regarding Weight and Body Size, Internalization of Cultural Standards of Beauty, and Self-objectification indirectly led to increased Bulimic Symptomatology and accounted for 65 to 73% of the variance in Bulimic Symptomatology. A history of sexual abuse and sexual objectification were not consistently supported within the model and do not appear to be as salient as the experience of societal pressures regarding weight and body size in understanding women’s experience of bulimic symptomatology. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84267/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149600/
Diabetes Status of Mexican Americans: Impact of Country of Birth
In order to better tailor treatment to specific populations, factors which contribute to health disparities among different racial/ethnic groups must be examined. Among Mexican American individuals, the high rate of diabetes represents a significant contributor to overall health. The present study focuses on factors affecting diabetes status among Mexican Americans born in either Mexico or the United States using the 2007 – 2008 NHANES data set. Comparisons were made between diabetes status based on self-report and clinical classification using HbA1c. Results indicated that within the diabetic subsample, Mexican Americans born in Mexico were twice as likely to be incorrectly classified as non-diabetic, when they actually were diabetic, when using a self-report method. In contrast, nativity did not result in differences in diabetes incidence using the HbA1c clinical cut-score diagnostic classification. Age, BMI, gender, nativity, and health insurance coverage were found to have varying relationships to diabetes prevalence and HbA1c levels, but time in the U.S. for Mexico-born individuals was not found to uniquely predict diabetes incidence. Analyses also demonstrated that Mexico-born males, as compared to the other groups, had significantly higher HbA1c levels. Further research is necessary to better understand the relationships among these factors. However, findings do demonstrate a need for more objective disease classification, particularly when examining immigration status and diabetes. Additionally, the complexity of these interactions establishes a need for specific health intervention for foreign-born populations which might be missed by self-report screening asking about presence of disease and exacerbated by an oversimplification of the “healthy immigrant effect”. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699863/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30509/
Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor
Sexual and gender minorities are subjected to discrimination and stigmatization which increase vulnerability to psychological co-morbidities (Mays & Cochran, 2001). The mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to distress in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) communities can be partially elucidated through the minority stress model. The minority stress model argues that minorities are subjected to negative societal attitudes and discrimination that results in excessive psychosocial stress related to their minority position, which is distinct from daily stress. Meyer’s minority stress model is supported by social stress theoriesand data linking discrimination to stress in lgb samples. Researchers suggest that self-esteem buffers the negative effects of adverse experiences but tests of the moderating effect of self-esteem on the discrimination-distress relationship in ethnic and gender minorities yielded mixed results. Szymanski found that self-esteem moderates the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress in a male sexual minority sample, but this has never been tested in a gender-balanced sexual minority sample. We hypothesized that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with lower overall perceived stress in lgbt adults, and that self-esteem acts differentially in lgbt populations to moderate perceived discrimination. We found that discrimination, self-esteem and the interaction effect between discrimination and self-esteem accounted for 53 percent of the total variance in perceived stress scores, ∆R2 = .38; adj. R2 = .53, F(12, 133) = 14.47, p < .001.When we tested whether self-esteem moderated the relationship between discrimination and stress, discrimination was positively related to stress, β = .13, t(144) = 2.14, p < .05, and self-esteem was negatively related to stress, β = -.63, t(144) = -10.26, p < .001. The interaction between self-esteem and discrimination positively correlated with stress, β = .14, t(144) = 2.29, p < .05. Our findings suggest that self-esteem may alleviate the impact of discrimination on perceived stress, which has important implications for interventions designed to reduce stress in lgbt communities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699842/
Early and Current Family Environment Among Inpatient Trauma Survivors: Associations with Multi-type Abuse and Sexual Orientation
The present study is an exploratory analysis of associations among sexual orientation, childhood abuse, and characteristics of both early and current family environment in a sample of 80 inpatient trauma survivors. Participants were administered a background information questionnaire, Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule, the Family Environment Scale and other instruments not analyzed in the current study. Multi-type abuse was significantly associated with low expressiveness and independence and high control in the early family, but no associations emerged with current family characteristics. Results suggest that the intergenerational transmission of family organization and moral-religious orientation occurred in the entire sample, and the transmission of family conflict patterns occurred only in the L/G/B group. Overall, participants perceived improvements in their current family environments compared to their early family environments. Findings yield support for the sexual minority stress model and mixed support for the intergenerational transmission of family characteristics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271916/
The Effect of a Brief Acceptance-Based Protocol on Health Related Relational Framing
Behavior analysts who study verbal behavior theorize that people derive relationships between stimuli - forming stimulus classes such that psychological functions transfer among stimuli and therefore affect behavior. Verbal processes are thought to play a role in cancer patients' behavioral flexibility. The current study examined if an analogue intervention produced changes in relations between health-relevant stimuli from pre- to post-test in patient and student samples. A matching-to-sample (MTS) task required participants to form three 4-member classes that included health, treatment, or neutral terms. Participants next listened to either an acceptance-based or a control-based rationale and therapy exercise, or a distracter task. Then, they were re-exposed to the MTS task. Latencies and accuracies for learning each class as well as between condition differences were examined. Finally, changes in ratings of stimuli from pre to post analogues were measured. Differences in stimuli ratings were seen in the student sample, reflecting transfer of function and some reduction in responsiveness to stimuli following intervention, but overall no learning performances are found. Discussion explores the consistency of the findings with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) theory in light of the seemingly lack of findings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30488/
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