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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Psychology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Overgeneral Memory and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults Exposed to Family Violence

Overgeneral Memory and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults Exposed to Family Violence

Date: May 2010
Creator: Amador, Amy R.
Description: Childhood exposure to familial violence increases risk for adult pathology, namely posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Primary PTSD symptoms of hyperarousal and avoidance are implicated in overgeneral memory (OGM) theory in prior research. Individuals with trauma history tend to report OGMs, or non-specific autobiographical memories, perhaps to avoid unpleasant arousal elicited by recalling specific events. OGM, PTSD, depression, and arousal were assessed in adults with and without familial violence history. Arousal was measured via galvanic skin response (GSR) during an autobiographical memory task (AMT), requiring memory recall in response to emotionally-valenced cue words. Familial violence history was linked to higher incidence of PTSD symptoms. Childhood psychological violence was predictive of adult PTSD. Rates of depression, OGM, and arousal did not significantly vary by violence history. Significant gender differences were found relating to type of violence exposure and adult functioning. Research limitations, clinical implications, and future research suggestions are discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
Understanding Quality of Life in Older Adults

Understanding Quality of Life in Older Adults

Date: May 2010
Creator: Cardona, Laura A.
Description: I analyzed the 2004 and 2006 Health and Retirement Study data to test structural equation models of the quality of life (QOL) construct. The participants (N = 1352) were non-institutionalized individuals aged 42 and older (M = 65.70, SD = 10.88), with an average education of 12.73 years (SD = 2.96) and of varied ethnicities. The results indicated that physical functioning, affective experience, life satisfaction and social support could serve as indicators for a second order QOL factor. Furthermore, the developed QOL model explained 96% of the variance of the CASP-19 (Control, Autonomy, Self-realization and Pleasure), a QOL measure that reflects fulfillment of psychological needs. The results also indicated that Depression and Life Satisfaction are related through reciprocal causation and that Physical Functioning is more likely to cause a change in Depression than the reverse. The results suggest that QOL is a complex, multidimensional concept that should be studied at different levels of analysis.
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Identifying the Level of Prognostic Information Desired by People with Cancer

Identifying the Level of Prognostic Information Desired by People with Cancer

Date: August 2010
Creator: Mallory, Laurel J.
Description: The study explored whether certain factors might be used to distinguish between people with cancer who do or do not want detailed information about their disease progress, do or do not want to be informed if their disease is no longer considered curable, and who do or do not want an estimation of life expectancy if their disease is no longer considered curable. The factors included whether an individual has an internal versus external locus of control, uses an active coping strategy or a planning coping strategy, the level of spirituality, and age. Participants consisted of 51 people with cancer from a cancer center in the state of Washington. Results indicated that 98% wanted detailed information about their disease progress, 94% wanted to be informed if their disease was no longer considered curable, and 78% wanted an estimation of life expectancy if their disease was no longer considered curable. Due to the majority of the participants endorsing the need for prognostic information none of the factors (e.g. coping strategies, locus of control, spirituality) were able to predict the information needs of the patients with cancer. Clinical implications of this study suggest that physicians have an ongoing, open dialogue with their ...
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Optimism, Delay Discounting, and Physical Exercise: The Role of Delay Discounting on Individual Levels of Exercise

Optimism, Delay Discounting, and Physical Exercise: The Role of Delay Discounting on Individual Levels of Exercise

Date: August 2010
Creator: Smith, Lauren Marie
Description: Deciding to exercise requires trade-offs between immediate and delayed benefits. These momentary decisions may be moderated by personality such that patterns of individual behavior emerge. The aim of the current study was to determine if higher levels of optimism and lower levels of delay discounting were related to exercise frequency. A sample of 360 undergraduate students completed a survey study related to understanding the choices made by undergraduates and how other factors relate to their decision-making. The survey included measures of optimism, delayed discounting, and self-reported exercise frequency in four domains: cardiovascular, resistance, sports, active lifestyle. Hierarchical linear regression was used to examine optimism and delay discounting as predictors of exercise frequency. Optimism and delay discounting were negatively correlated, but neither was related to exercise frequency. Furthermore, optimism and delay discounting were not significantly related to frequency spent in cardiovascular, resistance, or active lifestyle exercise. However, women scoring higher in delay discounting were more likely to participate in physical sports. The present study helps inform future research by showing potentially important psychosocial variables related to optimism, delay discounting, and exercise.
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The Utility of the Spatial Span from the Wechsler Memory Scales in a Geriatric Population with Cognitive Impairments

The Utility of the Spatial Span from the Wechsler Memory Scales in a Geriatric Population with Cognitive Impairments

Date: August 2010
Creator: Wiechmann, April
Description: Performance on the Spatial Span subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale has been viewed as an indicator of working memory and visuospatial processing. A number of factors including age and gender have been posited to effect performance on Spatial Span by older adults. The current study examined the impact of various forms of cognitive impairment and severity of impairment on Spatial Span performance. Five hundred thirty-eight individuals between the ages of 65 and 89 were evaluated in a university memory disorders clinic using a battery of neuropsychological tests that included Spatial Span. Participants were grouped by consensus diagnosis into type of cognitive impairment (Alzheimer's disease, vascular disease, amnestic mild cognitive impairment or non-amnestic mild cognitive impairment) or cognitively normal. As expected, an increase in severity of impairment results in a decrease in Spatial Span Total Score. Other findings included a weak relationship between age and Spatial Span Total Score. Gender, as well as age, did not fully account for the decline in Spatial Span Total Score. Spatial Span Forward score was not as good a predictor of severity in that reduction in score for Spatial Span Forward remains relatively stable regardless of level of impairment. Spatial Span Backward performance was ...
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Validation of the Spanish SIRS: Beyond Linguistic Equivalence in the Assessment of Malingering among Spanish Speaking Clinical Populations

Validation of the Spanish SIRS: Beyond Linguistic Equivalence in the Assessment of Malingering among Spanish Speaking Clinical Populations

Date: August 2010
Creator: Correa, Amor Alicia
Description: Malingering is the deliberate production of feigned symptoms by a person seeking external gain such as: financial compensation, exemption from duty, or leniency from the criminal justice system. The Test Translation and Adaptation Guidelines developed by the International Test Commission (ITC) specify that only tests which have been formally translated into another language and validated should be available for use in clinical practice. Thus, the current study evaluated the psychometric properties of a Spanish translation of the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms (SIRS). Using a simulation design with 80 Spanish-speaking Hispanic American outpatients, the Spanish SIRS was produced reliable results with small standard errors of measurement (SEM). Regarding discriminant validity, very large effect sizes (mean Cohen's d = 2.00) were observed between feigners and honest responders for the SIRS primary scales. Research limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.
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Benefits and Costs of Social Interactions Among Firefighters

Benefits and Costs of Social Interactions Among Firefighters

Date: December 2010
Creator: Farnsworth, Jacob
Description: 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.
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Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Date: December 2010
Creator: Langley, Alex
Description: 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.
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Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.

Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.

Date: December 2010
Creator: Hernandez, Nikki
Description: 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.
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Depression in Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Individuals: Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Diet

Depression in Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Individuals: Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Diet

Date: December 2010
Creator: Edwards, Kate G.
Description: 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.
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