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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/
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/
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/
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/
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 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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30501/
The Effect of Relationship Quality on Mental Representations of Social Support and Cardiovascular Reactivity
The aim of the current study was to examine how thinking about qualitatively different social network members may differentially affect cardiovascular reactivity to a subsequent stressor. Eighty-two undergraduates were asked to think and write about different types of relationships preceding a social stressor. No differences between conditions in CVR were found during social support induction phase or the stressor task. Women in the supportive condition were found to have slower SV recovery than those in the ambivalent condition. The results of this study are inconsistent with previous evidence for a relationship between mental representations of social ties and CVR. Future research should seek to rule out confounding variables and clarify this effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103375/
The Effectiveness of Substance use Measures in the Detection of Denial and Partial Denial
Many substance users deny their substance use to avoid negative consequences, thus diluting the accuracy of assessment. To address this issue, indirect items are often included on substance use measures to identify those who deny their use. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of complete denial and partial denial on substance use measures. Partial denial, also termed denial of effects, is the denial of substance use interfering in multiple domains of a person's functioning. The study used a mixed within- and between-subjects design with participants from a dual diagnosis inpatient unit. Each participant completed the study under two different conditions which include an honest condition and an experimental condition (either complete denial or partial denial). Results show that partial denial is distinctly different from complete denial across three self-report substance use measures. Importantly, substance users engaging in these denial conditions were often undetected by these measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68064/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30452/
Effects of Defensiveness on the Reporting of Personality Disorder Symptoms
Personality disorders are not granted the same clinical attention accorded Axis I disorders despite their instrumental role in treatment and outcome. Even when standardized assessments are used, their clinical utility may be limited by an overly favorable self-presentation. The current study focused on defensiveness, the intentional denial of symptomatology, by examining individuals’ ability to minimize their presentation on personality disorder diagnostic measures. Using a within-subjects simulation design, dually diagnosed inpatients were assessed under both honest and defensive conditions. The study used self-report (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV – Axis II – Personality Questionnaire, SCID-II-PQ) and interview-based (Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality, SIDP-IV) diagnostic measures and a self-report measure of favorable self-presentation (Paulhus Deception Scales, PDS). The inpatients were quite capable of hiding maladaptive personality traits on diagnostic measures, with similarly large effect sizes on both the SCID-II-PQ and SIDP-IV. In addition to the PDS, two new detection strategies for identifying defensiveness showed promise. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103313/
The Effects of Positive Emotion, Negative Emotion, Flourishing, and Languishing on Cardiovascular Risk
Positive psychology has led a movement that concentrates on positive characteristics. The current study examined the relationship between positive emotions, negative emotions, flourishing, languishing, and cardiovascular functioning. The study uses guided imagery to help participants recall a negative emotional event and positive emotional event in a counterbalanced order. The reverse order allowed us to examine the differential contributions of stress buffering versus facilitated recovery effects to higher levels of heart rate variability (HRV). The study also examined the relationship between mental health categories and known cardiovascular disease risk. Univariate analysis of variance revealed that positive emotions can serve as a stress buffer and dampen cardiovascular responses to a negative event. Also, analysis revealed a trend for the prediction that positive emotions can facilitate cardiovascular recovery following a negative event. Exploratory analysis did not reveal differences between a facilitated recovery group and a buffering group for cardiovascular measures. Future studies should include tighter control to help compare the differential influences of stress facilitation and stress buffering on cardiovascular functioning. The results from the study indicate that it is still too early to tell whether mental health buffers those individuals from developing CVD, and to answer whether languishing increases the risk of CVD. Longitudinal studies of young individuals without a prior history of any risk of CVD and who are flourishing or languishing might help provide answers to these questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30503/
The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States
Individualist and collectivist cultural approaches describe the relationship between an individual and his or her social surroundings. the current study had a two-fold purpose. the first was to investigate whether Brazilians, like other collective peoples, displayed more group self-representations, categorized items more relationally and paid more attention to context than Americans. the second purpose of this study was to investigate if counter-cultural primes played a role in activating either collective or individual selves. Both American (n = 100) and Brazilian (n = 101) participants were assigned either to a no-prime condition or a counter-cultural prime condition and then were asked to rate emotion cartoons, categorize items, complete the Twenty Statement Test (TST), and choose a representative object. As expected, unprimed Brazilian participants displayed more collectivist patterns on emotional (F[1,196] = 10.1, p = .001, ?²= .049; F[1,196] = 7.9, p = .006, ?²= .038; F[1,196] = 9.0, p = .005, ?²= .044) and cognitive (F[1, 196] = 6.0, p < .01, ?² = .03) tasks than Americans. However, Brazilians offered more individualist self-representations (F[1, 195] = 24.0, p < .001, ?² = .11) than American participants. Priming only had a marginal effect on item categorization (F[1,194] = 3.9, p = .051, ?² = .02). Understanding such cultural differences is necessary in the development of clinicians’ multicultural competence. Therefore, these findings, along with the strengths and limitations of this study and suggestions for future research, are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc115096/
Emotional and Cognitive Coping in Relationship Dissolution
Romantic relationships are important for social development and can impact an individual’s functioning both positively and negatively, especially when the relationship breaks up. Emotional and cognitive coping strategies including emotion approach coping, avoidance, and rumination and variable response to expressive writing intervention were examined in relation to post-dissolution distress. Undergraduate participants randomized into two groups completed measures of cognitive and emotional coping variables and global distress, with the experimental group completing a three-session expressive writing protocol. Writing samples were rated for processing mode, or the degree of vague general statements. Avoidance and rumination demonstrated significant cross-sectional associations with Time 1 distress controlling for demographics and characteristics of the former relationship. Gender moderated the relationship between rumination and distress. Using a matched sub-sample, the groups did not differ on emotional coping variables or distress. Results demonstrate the importance of examining emotional coping strategies in conjunction with relationship dissolution. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149556/
Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed to specifically target experiential avoidance (EA) rather than any specific diagnostic category. A functional ACT manual was presented and used to treat diagnostically diverse clients in a large sliding fee-for-service training clinic. A multiple baseline across participants and behaviors research design was used to evaluate session-by-session changes in EA, values identification, valued action, and clinical distress. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) were given to measure processes and outcomes given the functional ACT model presented in the introduction to the paper. Baseline included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II Disorders given across 2-5 50- minute sessions. The treatment phase consisted of 7-10 50-minute sessions. Participants were 10 clients. Four participants completed sufficient treatment sessions (4-9) to test the study hypotheses. Participants generally improved across time, but most improvements could not be attributed to the functional application of ACT due to changes during baseline for AAQ, VLQ-Consistency, and OQ-45. VLQ-Importance significantly improved for all participants given ACT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84296/
Evaluating Social Factors in Diabetes Management by Mexican American Ethnicity
Differences in Mexican American ethnicity, family and friend social support, and importance of diabetes self-management as related to diabetes management in the older adult population were evaluated with the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2003 Diabetes Study. Comparisons were made between Mexican Americans with Type II diabetes and similar non-Hispanic Caucasian and African American individuals with Type II diabetes. Neither family/friend social support nor importance of diabetes self-management were significant predictors of HbA1c levels. Results did not support the idea that perception of receiving support from family/friends or placing importance on diabetes self-management covaried with lower HbAlc level (family/friend: beta = -.13, t = -1.47, p = .143; self management: beta = .08, t = .55, p = .584). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33167/
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent training Protocol Based on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Philosophy of Parenting
Thirty-four parents were referred by their CPS caseworkers to participate in one of two ACT for Parenting workshops. These workshops followed a 12 hour treatment protocol based on an acceptance and commitment therapy philosophy of parenting. Briefly, an ACT philosophy of parenting maintains that effective parenting requires awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings as they occur in the context of the parent-child relationship. An ACT philosophy of parenting also relies heavily on the identification and commitment to parenting values. Participants were asked to track acceptance and valuing behavior on a daily basis for 25 days prior to the intervention and 25 days post-intervention, as well as to complete a package of self-report instruments designed to measure both ACT specific and general psychological processes, at three different points (pre-, post- and follow-up). Nineteen parents received the treatment, and of those, seventeen provided follow-up data 3-4 months post-intervention. Results indicate statistically significant changes in the expected directions for scores on the BASC-2 Externalizing Composite as well as on the Meta-Valuing Measure. A total of 10 parents also evidenced clinically significant change in the expected directions on a variety of outcome measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84261/
Event Centrality: Debunking the “Bad Science” Myth That Self-reported Posttraumatic Growth Does Not Reflect Positive Change
Despite strong evidence supporting the existence of posttraumatic growth (PTG), some investigators question whether the construct measured by the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) is that of perceived growth or “actual” growth. In a replication of a recent investigation, the present study sought to refine the methodology used by employing the construct of event centrality. Due to its limited sample size, the results of this analysis did not provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that limiting analyses to individuals rating their trauma as high in event centrality improves the ability of the PTGI to reflect “actual” growth. However, results did support the idea that investigations of PTG conducted immediately following a trauma may be more reflective of a coping process, rather than growth. Further research is warranted to investigate the role of event centrality in posttraumatic growth, and the effect of time on the progression of growth following trauma. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149614/
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84166/
An Examination of Maternal Acceptance among Mothers and their Children with ADHD Symptomatology
The current study examined the role of self-reported and child-reported maternal lack of acceptance in increasing the likelihood of developing internalizing and externalizing symptoms among children with ADHD symptomatology. The effects of a social desirability bias on mother’s self-reports of rejection were controlled for. Mother-child agreement about parenting behaviors like warmth/affection, hostility/aggression and indifference/neglect was also investigated. In addition, variables with the potential to affect agreement (i.e., parents’ social desirability bias, child age, child sex) were examined. Participants included 120 boys and 90 girls, 6 to 11 years old (M = 8.25, SD = 1.18) with and without ADHD and their primary parent/guardian (N = 209). Parent and child participants completed self-report instruments separately. Results indicate that the relationship between mother-and-child-reported ADHD symptoms and internalizing symptoms is strongest when mothers exhibit low levels of rejection. Among the ADHD subsample, maternal lack of acceptance acts as a risk factor by strengthening the relationship between hyperactive/impulsive symptoms and externalizing symptoms. In addition, mothers and their children report significantly different levels of parenting behaviors. Child age and child sex were significant predictors of parent-child disagreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84248/
An Examination of Resnick's Model of Malingering: a Pai Study of Feigned Ptsd
Malingered posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses a formidable clinical challenge in personal injury and disability cases because of the apparent ease in feigning PTSD and the supposed link (proximate cause) to the claimed damages. The effective assessment of feigned PTSD is particularly challenging because this diagnosis is both easier to fake than other Axis I disorders and more difficult to detect. As an additional confound, some patients with genuine PTSD produce highly variable, elevated profiles on multiscale inventories that are difficult to distinguish from feigned PTSD. The current study examined whether the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) can effectively differentiate between genuine and feigned PTSD in 109 inpatients from a trauma unit. The two most effective scales were the MAL and the NDS scales. As a primary focus, the current study was the first empirical investigation of Resnick's model of malingered PTSD that is comprised of three subtypes: pure malingering (pure-M), partial malingering (partial-M), and false imputation (false-I). The primary goal was to evaluate whether each feigning group was able to (a) effectively simulate PTSD symptoms and diagnoses and (b) avoid being classified as feigning. The partial-M group proved to be the best feigning group in achieving these two goals. Furthermore, the use of well-defined groups, including an indeterminate band (i.e., unclassified) around each cut score, was explored. Overall, the use of well-defined groups improved accuracy in classification and reduced the number of false-positives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283796/
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