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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Psychology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Denial of Risk: the Effects of Intentional Minimization on Risk Assessments for Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Offenders

Denial of Risk: the Effects of Intentional Minimization on Risk Assessments for Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Offenders

Date: August 2013
Creator: Gillard, Nathan D.
Description: 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. ...
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Attention and Metacognition in the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire

Attention and Metacognition in the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire

Date: August 2013
Creator: Yates III, Robert D.
Description: 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 ...
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Development of a Differential Neurocognitive Profile for Alzheimer’s Dementia and Vascular Dementia

Development of a Differential Neurocognitive Profile for Alzheimer’s Dementia and Vascular Dementia

Date: August 2013
Creator: Hill, Jonathan
Description: 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 ...
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A Multi-method Approach to Examining Stress and Anxiety Among Mexican American College Students

A Multi-method Approach to Examining Stress and Anxiety Among Mexican American College Students

Date: August 2013
Creator: Durón, Kelly M.
Description: United States post-secondary education continues to see an increase in Hispanic enrollment, particularly those of Mexican heritage. The present study was designed to examine this population’s experience of stress, anxiety and academic approach-avoidance conflict. Data were collected at North Texas postsecondary institutions. Participants (N = 197) completed an online survey including a Picture Story Exercise (PSE), open-ended responses to hypothetical scenarios, and self-report measures. The current study utilized a mixed-method approach integrating content analysis measures and self-reports. Results indicated that anxiety symptoms expressed to academic, familial, and minority social situations differed, partial η2=.39; with the academic scenario including the highest and minority social scenario the lowest anxiety. Results suggested that Mexican-American college students may express cognitive and affective symptoms of anxiety more frequently than physical symptoms on scenarios but not on self-report scales (Personality Assessment Inventory Anxiety; PAI Anxiety). PSE responses suggested that Conflict and Drive for Goal Orientation were frequent among this sample. Academic Total Anxiety and Academic Physical Anxiety related positively to PSE Conflict, while Academic Cognitive Anxiety related negatively to PSE Positive Outcomes. Exploratory models predicting PSE variables from Academic Anxiety and PAI Anxiety were inconclusive but suggested that gender accounted for significant variance in PSE scores.
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Personality Factors and Trust in Placebo Medical Trials

Personality Factors and Trust in Placebo Medical Trials

Date: August 2013
Creator: Baker, Brandon Wade Roger
Description: Prior research has reported that individual differences influence both placebo and nocebo responses. The present study examined how individual personality, as well as trust, influence placebo/nocebo belief and symptom reporting after receiving an inert capsule that for some was described as an active “cognitively-enhancing” trial medication. Individuals (N = 104) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: condition A participants were told they’d received the medication, condition B participants were told they’d received a placebo, and condition C participants were told, via random assignment, each would receive either the medication or placebo (after the experiment this condition listed the group – medication or placebo - each believed s/he was in). The study was completed in the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center to provide context in a medical setting. Of the 104 participants, 46 (44.2%) were either placed by experimental design or self-report in the medication group. Participants with a belief in medication ingestion, regardless of condition (i.e., A or C), reported significantly more symptoms (M = 16.65, SD = 3.178), than participants who believed they had ingested a placebo (M = 14.21, SD = 2.58), t (102) = 4.32, p = .001. Aspects of Neuroticism and Extroversion, as ...
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Mental Toughness Training for Police Officers: the Impact of a Stress Inoculation Program on Police Stress

Mental Toughness Training for Police Officers: the Impact of a Stress Inoculation Program on Police Stress

Date: August 2013
Creator: Rosmith, Eric S.
Description: This study examined the impact that a stress inoculation training (SIT) program had on a small-sized city police department in the southwestern U.S. Specifically, the aim of this study was to investigate how a SIT program impacted police officer self-reported levels of organizational stress, operational stress, perceived life stress, and mood states. All 24 participants were recruited from a population of 132 sworn, active duty police officers and were pre-tested through administration of a questionnaire packet containing a host of measures related to demographics, organizational stressors, operational stressors, general life stressors, and mood states. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of the following treatment conditions: (1) delayed training; (2) SIT program; and (3) SIT plus booster program. On completion of the SIT program, members of each of the treatment conditions were re-assessed through the administration of the aforementioned questionnaire packet. Subsequent to conducting the booster sessions, participants from each treatment condition took part in a second, and final, follow-up assessment. Results suggested that organizational stress was decreased for participants in the SIT program, particularly at follow-up. Results also suggested that energy (i.e., vigor) was increased for participants in the SIT plus booster program at both post-test and follow-up. Furthermore, ...
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Adolescent Behavior Problems and Interparental Conflict: the Moderating Role of Parent-child Attachment

Adolescent Behavior Problems and Interparental Conflict: the Moderating Role of Parent-child Attachment

Date: December 2013
Creator: Daubs, Carlyn
Description: 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.
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Examining High School Coaches’ Likelihood to Refer To, Interest in Working With, and Plans to Hire a Sport Psychologist

Examining High School Coaches’ Likelihood to Refer To, Interest in Working With, and Plans to Hire a Sport Psychologist

Date: December 2013
Creator: Austin, Harlan
Description: The primary goal of the current study was to extend previous research suggesting that coaches are the primary gatekeepers who may be a barrier to working with athletes by examining high school coaches likelihood to refer to, interest in, and intention to hire a sport psychologist. Specifically, the current study examined relationships between high school coaches’ sex, age, and type of sport coached (i.e., contact vs. non-contact) and their likelihood to refer athletes to a sport psychologist for a variety of presenting issues (i.e., poor attentional focus, poor leadership, family issues, etc.). It also examined relationships between coaches’ sex, age, and type of sport coached (i.e., contact vs. non-contact) and their interest in working with a sport psychologist. Finally, the study examined reasons why coaches did not plan to hire a sport psychologist. An examination of the possible reasons that high school coaches do not plan to hire a sport psychologist served an exploratory purpose. Participants included 450 coaches who coached high school sports in the United States. Results indicated that female coaches and non-contact sport coaches were more likely to refer athletes to a sport psychologist for a variety of referral issues than male coaches and coaches of contact ...
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Postoperative Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery

Postoperative Neuropsychological Outcomes in Pediatric Patients Undergoing Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Surgery

Date: December 2013
Creator: Bailey, Laurie J.
Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric subjects undergoing temporal lobe surgery, and then compare the outcomes between subjects in the iMRI and the standard operating suites. This study involved 77 children ages one to 21 years (M = 11.98) at time of surgery for intractable epilepsy. Forty-seven returned for repeat neuropsychological assessment. At baseline, subjects with early onset of epilepsy (≤ 7 years) scored worse on a measure of attention (p = .02), FSIQ (p < .01), perceptual reasoning (p < .01), and processing speed (p = .06). At one-year follow-up, interactions were observed for the response style domain of the attention measure (p = .03), FSIQ (p = .06) and working memory (p = .08). Follow-up at one year, for the group as a whole, revealed decline in verbal memory (p = .04) and reading comprehension (p = .02); and improvement for word reading (p = .05). No significant differences were observed between the iMRI and standard operating suite. Though, hemisphere, duration of epilepsy, preoperative seizure frequency, lesional disease, seizure type, presence of epileptogenic focus, and number of lobes involved accounted for variance in neuropsychological outcomes. These results provide further support for ...
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Posttraumatic Stress and Neurobehavioral Symptoms

Posttraumatic Stress and Neurobehavioral Symptoms

Date: December 2013
Creator: Klein, Robert S.
Description: The purpose of this study is to examine the structure of neurobehavioral symptoms in service members with physical and/or psychological trauma to determine the diagnostic specificity of these symptoms. Previous literature has demonstrated that orthopedic injured, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and healthy controls shared similar levels of postconcussive symptom complaints, which suggest that postconcussion-like symptoms are not unique to MTBI. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first study examining this phenomenon in a sample of recently redeployed service members. Dimensional analysis of the PCL-C and NSI using SEM did not produce a model that was consistent with previous literature and principle component analyses did not produce a simple solution for posttraumatic stress or neurobehavioral symptoms. Thus, the study does not provide evidence for construct validity for either instrument. Implications for these findings are that clinicians need to be aware that these instruments may not be measuring coherent constructs within this population as purported and should judiciously interpret and report the results of these instruments.
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