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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Psychology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Date: August 2009
Creator: Dolan, Diana C.
Description: The presence of cognitive deficits in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well-documented. Specifically, short- and long-term memory, attention/vigilance, and executive function (e.g. processing speed, mental flexibility, and problem solving) are affected. Cognitive deficits in aging occur in similar areas (i.e., memory and processing speed). Given that a greater percentage of older adults experience sleep-disordered breathing as compared to middle-aged adults, it is possible that OSA may account for some of the deficits typically attributed to aging. This study investigated this hypothesis by comparing middle-aged and older adults with and without OSA on computer-based measures of cognitive performance. No effect of OSA or an interaction between OSA and age on cognitive function was found; an effect of age on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, attention, spatial ability/mental flexibility, and both working memory and short-term visual memory was found. This study also explored whether or not cognitive function may be improved in persons with OSA by re-assessing those participants one month after treatment. An effect of treatment on improvements on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, mental flexibility, and short term memory was found. Overall, findings reflect the ability of treatment to improve cognitive function among OSA patients, regardless of lack of deficits ...
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Cohort differences in perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics

Cohort differences in perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics

Date: August 2002
Creator: Utermark, Tamisha L
Description: The present study examined age cohort differences in older and younger adults as they relate to perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics. The present study also assessed whether previous help-seeking behavior influences perceptions of what counselor characteristics would be helpful. The social influence model is used as basis for predictions. The first research hypothesis for the present study was that there would be an age by cohort interaction in perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics at both Time 1 (1991) and Time 2 (2001). The second research hypothesis was that there would be a main effect for cohort, with more recently born cohorts preferring more interpersonal counselor characteristics. The third research hypothesis was that there would be a main effect for age in endorsement of the social influence model. The fourth research hypothesis was that there would be a significant difference between the perceptions of those individuals who had previously sought help from a mental health professional and those individuals who had not sought help, regardless of age and cohort. A revised Adjective Check List (Gough, 1965; Gough & Heilbrum, 1983) was used to assess perceptions of helpful counselor characteristics. Chi-square analyses, MANOVA/supplementary ANOVAs, and exploratory factor analyses were used to test ...
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Collaboration for organization success: Linking organization support of collaboration and organization effectiveness.

Collaboration for organization success: Linking organization support of collaboration and organization effectiveness.

Date: December 2005
Creator: Harris, Cheryl Lynne
Description: What does it take for organizations to support people working together effectively? What does it mean for an organization to be effective? Does successful collaboration lead to more effective organizations? This study explored these questions both theoretically and empirically in an effort to help organizations understand the most important aspects to consider when attempting to achieve collaboration for organization success. The purpose of this study was to fill some of the gaps in the research by taking a broad, holistic approach to exploring the context required to support collaboration at levels of organizations broader than the team and exploring the links between organization support of collaboration and organization effectiveness. In preparation for the current study, the Organization Support of Collaboration model was developed to identify the broad organization design elements that are required to support collaboration. The Organization Effectiveness model was created to provide a holistic view of what it takes for an organization to be considered effective. The present study empirically validated these models and explored the links between them. Data was collected via a web-based questionnaire administered to a broad sample of individuals who work in organizations. Results supported a model of Organization Support of Collaboration with six ...
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College Student Identity and Attitudes Toward Gays and Lesbians

College Student Identity and Attitudes Toward Gays and Lesbians

Date: August 2003
Creator: Tureau, Zachary L.
Description: This study investigates the relationship between an individual's attitude toward gay men and lesbians and their identity development. The sample included 440 undergraduates from a university in the northeast Texas area. Many, if not all, of the factors that are associated with negative attitudes toward gays and lesbians (i.e., restrictive gender-role attitudes, high levels of authoritarianism, perceptions of negative attitudes toward homosexuals within their peer group, little or no contact with homosexuals, and conservative religious ideologies) have a logical relation to identity development. Furthermore, the various functions that attitudes toward gays and lesbians can serve (e.g., value-expression, group membership) were hypothesized to be especially attractive for persons in specific identity statuses. Thus, the case was made that identity development may be a valuable framework in which to understand attitudes toward gays and lesbians. In the current study, attitudes toward gays and lesbians were related to identity development, though the relationship is complex. When comparing persons who were higher and lower on absolutism, attitude toward gays and lesbians were most similar in achieved identity groups, while those who were foreclosed were the most disparate. In the interaction between identity, absolutism and gender role stereotyping, some groups utilized their attitude to express ...
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Comparative analysis of chronic versus acute stressors and their influence on distress consequences at work

Comparative analysis of chronic versus acute stressors and their influence on distress consequences at work

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Date: August 2000
Creator: Crawford, Julie Schwarz
Description: Workplace stress has been found to be a causal agent of psychological distress consequences in employees. Chronic stressors have been well researched, in particular, role conflict, role ambiguity, and work overload have been extensively studied. A meta-analysis was conducted in order to aggregate past research to gain a better understanding of the impact these stressors have on the psychological distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and generalized feelings of stress. Only role ambiguity was found to be a significant contributor to psychological distress, in particular to feelings of depression and stress. In general, however, effect sizes for all three stressors were moderate to large. While chronic stressors have been well researched, acute stressors have been widely overlooked. Since research in this area is limited, the Daily Work Hassles Survey was developed and validated in order to analyze the role daily hassles play in the workplace. The survey yielded two factors, Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. The former of which was found to be significantly related to the distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and general feelings of stress. The ultimate goal of this project was to compare chronic and acute stressors. Results from the daily hassles study were ...
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Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Date: May 2000
Creator: Forjaz, Maria João Bettencourt Pereira
Description: This study tested the relationship between Social Support, Psychological Distress, and Illness Stress in individuals who report cancer as a health condition. This study was based on archival data obtained from the Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS provides a nationally representative sample of individuals aged 51 to 61 in 1992 and their spouses. The study sample was limited to cancer patients with a spouse or partner (n = 503). A structural equation modeling analysis procedure was used to test the theoretical models. Measures of social support were limited to variables assessing the participant's satisfaction with social support. Evidence was found for the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models. This is congruent with previous research using measures of social support perception. Both the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models predict a negative relationship between Illness Stress and Social Support. In addition, a univariate analysis of variance was used to test the stress buffering model. Similarly to other studies measuring the individual's degree of integration, or its perception, in the social network, the present research supported the only the Main Effect model and not the Stress Buffering model.
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Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment

Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment

Date: August 2006
Creator: Raina, Karina Christina
Description: Compassion is one of the fundamental experiences which signify human existence. Person perception is the constructive process with which we form an opinion or judgment of another person. Two experiments (N =277) were conducted in this study. Experiment 1 examined the effects of a mindfulness meditation on compassion in a large sample of young adults. Participants (n =76) were randomly assigned to three groups. Participants in group 1 received the mindfulness meditation, group 2 received an alternate version of the mindfulness meditation (self-focus only), and participants in group 3 were asked to complete an attention task and read a geological text. It was hypothesized that mindfulness meditation is significantly associated with the experience of compassion. Results showed that participants in the experimental group 1 experienced significantly higher levels of compassion compared to participants in the control group 3. The participants in group 2 were not different from experimental group 1 or from control group 3. Gender differences in the effects of meditation on compassion were explored. Different measures yielded conflicting evidence for gender differences in experienced compassion. For the second experiment a Solomon four-group experimental design was employed to examine the possible effects of compassion on person perception. Participants (n ...
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A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of WRAML Scores in a Group of Academically Talented Students

A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of WRAML Scores in a Group of Academically Talented Students

Date: December 2000
Creator: Johnson, Patricia R.
Description: The purpose of this study was to confirm the original factor structure of the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML) utilizing a non-clinical adolescent population. Additional analysis examined the relationship between SAT-M scores and spatial relations ability. Exploratory analyses were conducted to determine ethnic and gender differences on the WRAML and subtests from the DAT. Sixty-four academically talented adolescents completed the WRAML and the mechanical reasoning and spatial relations subtests from the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT). The confirmatory factor analysis found the data obtained to not be a good fit for the factor structure of the WRAML (Sheslow & Adams, 1990). Additional confirmatory analyses were conducted which examined data fit of a three factor model found by reanalyzing the standardization data (Burton et al., 1996; Wasserman & Cambias, 1991) as well as two null models. The data failed to fit any of these three models. No support was found for the second hypothesis that predicted a positive relationship between SAT-M scores and spatial relations ability. Ethnic and gender differences on the WRAML and two DAT subtests were examined and discussed. Limitations of this study were reviewed which may have accounted for the overall lack of results.
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Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kraha, Amanda
Description: 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 ...
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Construct Validity of Psychopathy in Mentally Disordered Offenders: A Multi-trait Multi-method Approach

Construct Validity of Psychopathy in Mentally Disordered Offenders: A Multi-trait Multi-method Approach

Date: May 2003
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.
Description: Psychopathy continues to receive increased attention due to the negative outcomes, including recidivism, violence, and poor treatment amenability. Despite the vast amount of attention psychopathy has received, research on its applications to mentally disordered offenders remains sparse. The current study explored the relationship between psychopathy, depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. It also investigated the comparative fits of two and three-factor models of the PCL-R with mentally disordered offenders. Participants consisted of 96 inmates placed in the mental health pod at Tarrant County Jail. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) with testlets found the three-factor PCL-R model had excellent fit (Robust Comparative Fit Index = 1.00). Psychopathy was found to be a construct independent of mental disorders. Two exceptions were (a) a modest correlation between anxiety and Impulsive and the Irresponsible Lifestyle factor of the PCL-R (r = 0.20) and (b) a modest negative correlation between Deficient Affective Experience of the PCL-R and mania (r = -.37). Based on the current data, treatment programs for mentally disordered offenders are suggested that focus on both behavioral and personality aspects of psychopathy.
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