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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Psychology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It

Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wright, Brittney, C.
Description: 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 ...
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Correlates Between Adult Romantic Attachment Patterns and Dimensional Personality Pathology

Correlates Between Adult Romantic Attachment Patterns and Dimensional Personality Pathology

Date: August 2013
Creator: Ernest, Kimberly Dawn
Description: 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.
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An Examination of Resnick's Model of Malingering: a Pai Study of Feigned Ptsd

An Examination of Resnick's Model of Malingering: a Pai Study of Feigned Ptsd

Date: August 2013
Creator: Wooley, Chelsea N.
Description: 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, ...
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Fear of Alzheimer's Disease in Middle to Late Adulthood: a Two Year Investigation of Change Versus Stability

Fear of Alzheimer's Disease in Middle to Late Adulthood: a Two Year Investigation of Change Versus Stability

Date: August 2013
Creator: Page, Kyle S.
Description: The term dementia refers to a progressive decline in cognitive functioning resulting in a significant impairment in daily living. Given the devastating impacts of the disease and lack of a cure, it is reasonable to expect people fear developing a dementia. Alzheimer's disease ranks high among the most feared diseases in national samples of the American population. As a topic of study, little is known about the determinants of fear of Alzheimer's disease and how this fear may change as a function of aging, time, or experience. The current study sought to fill this gap by investigating the nature of changes in fear of Alzheimer's disease by following participants (N = 227) over the course of two years. Volunteers completed measures on fear of dementia, knowledge about Alzheimer's disease, knowledge about the aging process, personality traits, memory self-efficacy, anxiety about aging, and Alzheimer's-related experiences (i.e., family history, caregiving experience, number of people known with the disease, personal diagnosis, etc.). Results supported the notion that fear for becoming a burden to others, a component of fear of dementia, decreased over the two years. In addition, personality traits and memory self-efficacy mediated the two-year change in concerns about perceived symptoms of cognitive ...
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Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Date: August 2013
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Description: Psychopathy has long been lauded as a premier predictor of negative behavioral outcomes because of its demonstrated associations with violence, antisocial conduct, and institutional maladjustment. Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the relatively equal importance placed on personality features (i.e., a grandiose, deceitful interpersonal style and deficits in affective experience) and behavioral elements (i.e., an impulsive and irresponsible lifestyle marked by social deviance) of the syndrome. However, little research to date has investigated psychopathy dimensions in female samples, particularly as they relate to maladaptive behaviors beyond forensic settings. The current study comprehensively examined personality (i.e., Axis II Cluster B traits and alexithymia) and behavioral (i.e., suicide-related behavior and aggression) expressions of psychopathy in a sample of female inpatients recruited from trauma and dual-diagnosis units at a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. Contrary to expectations, the essential components of psychopathy in female psychiatric patients emphasized APD and NPD traits over features of HPD and BPD, which were relatively similar to elements traditionally highlighted in male psychopathy. On this point, two latent dimensions comprehensively addressed female psychopathy in the current sample: impulsive antisociality and narcissistic and histrionic interpersonal style. Interestingly, psychopathy (M r = .01) and Cluster B traits (M r = .05) ...
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Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Date: August 2013
Creator: Valentine, Lisa. M.
Description: Research evidence is suggestive of a strength model of self-control, also known as ego depletion, in social psychological literature. Engaging in an initial task of self-control depletes a limited resource, resulting in less self-control on a subsequent, unrelated task. The strength model of self-control has been applied to many practical, everyday situations, such as eating behaviors among dieters. Newer studies suggest that blood glucose is the resource consumed during acts of self-control. Consuming glucose seems to "replete" individuals who have been depleted, improving performance and self-control. The current study aimed to examine the effects of ego-depletion on restrained eaters. The hypothesis was that restrained eaters who were depleted by a task of self-control would exhibit more disinhibition on a taste-test task than would restrained eaters who were not depleted. However, if the participants were given glucose following the depletion task, then their self-control would be "repleted" and they would exhibit similar control to that of the non-depleted participants. Contrary to expectations there were no differences between the groups in terms of total amount of cookies consumed. These results are inconsistent with a glucose model of self-control. Suggestions for future research and implications of the findings are discussed.
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An Investigation of Malingering and Defensiveness Using the Spanish Pai Among Spanish-speaking Hispanic American Outpatients

An Investigation of Malingering and Defensiveness Using the Spanish Pai Among Spanish-speaking Hispanic American Outpatients

Date: August 2013
Creator: Correa, Amor Alicia
Description: For response styles, malingering describes the deliberate production of feigned symptoms by persons seeking external gain such as financial compensation, exemption from duty, or leniency from the criminal justice system. In contradistinction, defensiveness occurs when patients attempt to downplay their symptoms of psychological impairment. Both of the aforementioned response styles can markedly affect the accuracy of diagnosis, especially on self-reports, such as multiscale inventories. As an important oversight, no studies have been conducted to examine the effect of culturally specific response styles on profile validity and the classification of malingering among Hispanic American clinical populations. The current study investigated whether the Spanish Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) effectively distinguished between Spanish-speaking outpatient groups randomly assigned to honest, feigning, and defensive experimental conditions. In examining the results, PAI malingering indicators utilizing Rare Symptoms strategies (NIM and MAL) demonstrated moderate to large effect sizes. For defensiveness, Spanish PAI indicators also demonstrated moderate to very large effect sizes (M d = 1.27; range from 0.94 to 1.68). Regarding psychometric properties, Spanish PAI validity scales, provide adequate to good data on reliability and discriminant validity. Clinical utility of the Spanish PAI increases as different cut scores are employed.
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An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

Date: August 2013
Creator: Herbert, Gregory L.
Description: The current study investigated the process of change underlying two different evidence-based treatments that yield similar outcome effectiveness in the treatment of depression: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). The phase model of psychotherapeutic change (Howard et al., 1993) change is used to provide both a theoretical and practical framework in which to assess different patterns of change across the treatment modalities. The phase model posits that recovery from distress occurs in three sequential stages: remoralization, remediation and rehabilitation. CT can be conceptualized as a treatment in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms (remediation), whereas IPT can typically be conceptualized as focusing on interpersonal conflicts and functioning (rehabilitation). The study utilized the TDCRP dataset (Elkin et al., 1985). Survival analysis indicated no significant difference in terms of onset or pattern of improvement across treatment orientations. Chi square analyses indicated individuals treated with IPT spend significantly more time engaged in rehabilitation compared to their CT counterparts. Taken together, these findings represent evidence that the process of therapeutic change is similar, if not virtually identical, across therapeutic orientation. The analyses also indicate that the phases of therapy may not necessarily be mutually exclusive and sequential, but may ...
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Mutual Influences in Romantic Attachment, Religious Coping, and Marital Adjustment

Mutual Influences in Romantic Attachment, Religious Coping, and Marital Adjustment

Date: August 2013
Creator: Pollard, Sara E.
Description: This study examined associations among romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance, positive and negative religious coping, and marital adjustment in a community sample of 81 heterosexual couples. Both spouses completed the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR), a brief measure of religious coping (Brief RCOPE), the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), and a demographic questionnaire as part of a larger study. Multilevel modeling (MLM) for the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used. Attachment avoidance was inversely related to positive religious coping. In contrast, attachment anxiety was directly related to negative religious coping. Positive religious coping buffered the relationship between attachment avoidance and marital adjustment. In contrast, attachment anxiety was detrimental to marital adjustment regardless of positive religious coping, and positive religious coping was related to higher marital adjustment only in the context of low attachment anxiety. Surprisingly, the spouse's attachment anxiety was inversely related to the respondent's marital adjustment only when the respondent reported low levels of negative religious coping, whereas in the context of high negative religious coping, the partner's attachment anxiety was related to higher marital adjustment. Results support using attachment theory to conceptualize religious coping and the consideration of both attachment and religious coping constructs in counseling.
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The Role of Attachment in Perceptions of Interparental Conflict and Behavior Problems in Middle Childhood

The Role of Attachment in Perceptions of Interparental Conflict and Behavior Problems in Middle Childhood

Date: August 2013
Creator: Cusimano, Angela Marie
Description: The current study investigated the association of interparental conflict, parent-child attachment, and children's behavior problems in middle childhood. Although the effects of interparental conflict have been studied extensively, there has been little research done in the developmental period of middle childhood. This study examined the potential mediating role of the attachment relationship between parents and children in a community sample consisting of 86 two-parent families with at least one child between the ages of 8-11. Path modeling procedures indicated that attachment security serves as a mediator between interparental conflict and child behavior problems based on child reports. In particular, child-reported attachment security to the mother significantly mediated the association between children's perceptions of threat from interparental conflict and child-reported internalizing and inattentive/hyperactive symptoms. Child-reported attachment security to the father was not a significant mediator and mediation was not supported in parent-report models. The current findings have implications for families experiencing conflict and speak to the importance of attachment in the parent-child relationship when explaining the association between instances of interparental conflict and child behavioral outcomes. In particular, parents who engage in conflict can prevent the damaging effects of that conflict by making the conflict less overt, explaining to children the ...
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