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 Degree Discipline: Psychology
 Degree Level: Master's
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder

Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder

Date: May 2013
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie
Description: 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 ...
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Early and Current Family Environment Among Inpatient Trauma Survivors: Associations with Multi-type Abuse and Sexual Orientation

Early and Current Family Environment Among Inpatient Trauma Survivors: Associations with Multi-type Abuse and Sexual Orientation

Date: May 2013
Creator: Williams, Jennifer S.
Description: 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.
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Impact of Clinician Expectations on Termination Status and Therapeutic Outcome

Impact of Clinician Expectations on Termination Status and Therapeutic Outcome

Date: May 2013
Creator: Connor, Dana R.
Description: Given the high rates of premature termination in training clinics, research aimed at understanding client attrition is urgently needed. Recent investigations in this area have implicated expectations of psychotherapy as a strong predictor of premature termination; however, this phenomenon has only been studied from the perspective of client expectations to date. There is reason to believe clinician expectations for the duration and effectiveness of psychotherapy may further impact the likelihood of their clients terminating prematurely. This study sought to address this gap in the literature by examining the association of clinicians' expectations to clients' psychotherapy outcomes and termination status in a training clinic setting. Clinicians were found to hold significantly higher expectations for client improvement than would be expected, and these high expectations were found to be positively correlated with clinically significant change in clients. Implications for improving client retention and treatment outcome in training clinics are discussed.
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The Influence of Extraversion, Religiosity, and Spirituality on Health Behaviors

The Influence of Extraversion, Religiosity, and Spirituality on Health Behaviors

Date: May 2013
Creator: Jenkins, Elizabeth P.
Description: Religion and spirituality are thought to be of great importance for the meaning and quality of life for many individuals, and research suggests that there may be important health benefits associated with religion and spirituality. Religion and spirituality should be related to health behaviors for a number of reasons. Health behaviors are important contributors to an individual's overall health, illness and mortality. Major negative health behaviors related to health outcomes are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, risky driving, and high risk sexual behaviors. Health behaviors may also be linked to personality traits. The key trait examined for this study was extraversion. It includes adjectives such as being active, assertive, energetic, outgoing, and talkative. In this thesis, I take several hypotheses and explore the influence of extraversion, religiosity, and spirituality on health behaviors.
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Masturbation and Relationship Satisfaction

Masturbation and Relationship Satisfaction

Date: May 2013
Creator: Ramos, Marciana Julia
Description: Relationship satisfaction often declines after marriage or cohabitation and between 40-50% of marriages end in divorce. Furthermore, many couples who stay together report feeling unsatisfied in their relationships. Thus, it is important to examine factors that contribute to enduring and satisfying relationships. One factor that has been closely linked to relationship satisfaction is the sexual relationship of the couple. One aspect of the sexual relationship that has received little attention is masturbation. Although most psychologists hold positive views about masturbation, and recommend masturbation in many instances, the empirical data examining the association between masturbation and relationship satisfaction has mixed findings, with the majority of studies reporting a small negative relationship between these variables. The purpose of the present study was to further explore the association between masturbation and relationship satisfaction, focusing on possible moderators and mediators of this relationship including: masturbation guilt, openness with an individual's partner about masturbation, gender, object of arousal during masturbation, and reason for masturbating. Overall, masturbation frequency did not have a significant association with relationship satisfaction. However, the object of arousal during masturbation and openness about masturbation moderated the association between masturbation frequency and relationship satisfaction. Specifically, individuals who (a) used objects of arousal other ...
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Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Proposed Personality Traits for the Dsm-v: Association with Mood Disorder Symptoms

Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Proposed Personality Traits for the Dsm-v: Association with Mood Disorder Symptoms

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kilmer, Jared Newman
Description: The current work assesses the relationship between reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) and Personality Traits for the DSM-5 (PID-5), to explore the degree to which they are associated with mood disorder symptoms. Participants (N = 138) from a large public university in the South were administered a semi-structured interview to assess for current mood disorder and anxiety symptoms. They were also administered self-report inventories, including the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and Behavioral Approach System (BAS) scales and the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Results indicate that both the BIS/BAS scales and the PID-5 scales were strongly associated with current mood symptoms. However, the maladaptive personality traits demonstrated significantly greater associations with symptoms compared to the BIS/BAS scales. Results also indicated support for using a 2-factor model of BIS as opposed to a single factor model. Personality models (such as the five factor model) are strongly associated with mood symptoms. Results from this study add to the literature by demonstrating credibility of an alternative five-factor model of personality focused on maladaptive traits. Knowledge of individual maladaptive personality profiles can be easily obtained and used to influence case conceptualizations and create treatment plans in clinical settings.
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Body Dissatisfaction, Disordered Eating Behaviors and Body Image Quality of Life in African American Women with Hiv

Body Dissatisfaction, Disordered Eating Behaviors and Body Image Quality of Life in African American Women with Hiv

Date: December 2012
Creator: Hammon, Sarah A.
Description: 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.
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Heterosexist Harassment and Rejection, Emotional Social Support and Perceived Stress in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Heterosexist Harassment and Rejection, Emotional Social Support and Perceived Stress in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Date: December 2012
Creator: Fritz, Sarah-Mee Hesse
Description: The minority stress theory suggests LGBs experience greater stress levels due to their sexual minority identities; thus, they are more prone to psychological distress. Poor mental health is linked to internalized homophobia and heterosexism. However, affirmative social support may mitigate the stress response via the buffering hypothesis. My model posits that LGBs are more likely to report perceived stress; however, affirmative social support can mitigate stress. I investigated the relationship between perceived stress and sexual minority identity. I explored the relationship between heterosexism, emotional support and perceived stress and the moderating role of social support in my LGB sample. I conducted a hierarchical linear regression to test my model, which accounted for 29% of the variance in perceived stress. Heterosexism and emotional support were significantly associated with perceived stress. I failed to find a moderating role of emotional support. Limitations, strengths, future research and implications are discussed.
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Relationships Among Self-esteem, Psychological and Cognitive Flexibility, and Psychological Symptomatology

Relationships Among Self-esteem, Psychological and Cognitive Flexibility, and Psychological Symptomatology

Date: December 2012
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya, M.
Description: Previous findings on the relationship between self-esteem and psychological outcomes are inconsistent. Therefore it appears that self-esteem, while related to crucial variables, does not provide a clear, direct, and comprehensive prediction of psychological symptoms. Thus, it was hypothesized that the relationship between self-esteem and symptomatology would be moderated by broader measures of how one interacts with emotional and cognitive stimuli.The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of self-esteem, psychological flexibility, and cognitive flexibility on psychological symptomatology. A sample of 82 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed self-report questionnaires measuring low self-esteem, psychological flexibility, measured inversely as inflexibility, cognitive flexibility, and psychological symptoms. Results of the study suggest that self-esteem (?= -0.59, p < 0.001) and flexibility (both psychological (?= 0.36, p = 0.001) and cognitive (?= 0.21, p < 0.05) are significant predictors of psychological symptoms. In other words, self-esteem is positively correlated with psychological symptoms, while psychological and cognitive flexibility are negatively correlated with psychological symptoms. Neither form of flexibility moderated the relationship between self-esteem and psychological symptoms in this sample. The findings of the current study are discussed as well as suggestions for further research related to self-esteem, psychological and cognitive flexibility, ...
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Sibling Relationship Quality: Associations with Marital and Coparenting Subsystems

Sibling Relationship Quality: Associations with Marital and Coparenting Subsystems

Date: December 2012
Creator: Guinn, Megan D.
Description: Marital relationships play an important role in family functioning and in the development of sibling relationships. From a family systems perspective, other subsystems within the family, such as coparenting interactions, could explain the effects of the marital relationship on sibling bonds. Specifically, the quality of the coparenting relationship may mediate the association between marital functioning and sibling relationship quality. The current study examined relationships between these three subsystems (marital, coparenting, and sibling) as self-reported by mothers, fathers, and children with siblings. As part of a larger project, families with a child aged 8 to 11 and at least one sibling (N = 75) completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and the Coparenting Scale (both completed by mother and father), as well as the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire (completed by target child). Results suggested that marital functioning is a significant predictor of functioning within the coparenting relationship. Predicted associations did not emerge between sibling relationship quality and marital or coparenting relationships, with minor exceptions, and the coparenting relationship did not mediate the association between marital and sibling relationship quality. Implications of the current findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries
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