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 Degree Discipline: Psychology
Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Date: August 2013
Creator: Robinson, Emily V.
Description: The accurate assessment of psychopathy constitutes a critical component of forensic assessments addressing offender populations. Among the core characteristics of psychopathy, the interpersonal component of deception and empathic deficits are prominently observed in offenders with psychopathic traits. Given the negative consequences of being classified as a psychopath, offenders may be likely to minimize their psychopathic traits. In particular, no research has investigated whether offenders with psychopathic traits are able to simulate empathy in an effort to mask their cognitive or affective empathy deficits (e.g., lack of remorse about offenses). The present study aims to contribute to the literature with regard to the simulation of empathy. Using a mixed between- and within-subjects design, 81 male detainees were placed into (a) a low psychopathy group, (b) a moderate psychopathy group, or (c) a high psychopathy group based on the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised. For the within-subjects component, all offenders answered empathy questionnaires under genuine and simulation conditions. Results indicate the sample possessed cognitive empathy, but did not display affective empathy under genuine instructions. Under simulation instructions, participants significantly increased their scores on several empathy measures. The implications of simulated empathy and comparisons between groups regarding simulation abilities are discussed.
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Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Anxiety Among Hispanic Undergraduates

Acculturation, Acculturative Stress, and Anxiety Among Hispanic Undergraduates

Date: May 2011
Creator: Durón, Kelly M.
Description: First generation college students face some unique challenges in the pursuit of higher education. Aside from academic stressors, there are stressors related to social and cultural transitions which may exacerbate pre-existing emotional or psychological distress. Research suggests that acculturation influences psychological well-being and development. The current study examined the relationships between acculturation, acculturative stress, socio-economic status, and symptoms of anxiety among first-generation college students of Hispanic origin. Participants (N = 125) included those who were first in their family to attend college and were primarily female, of traditional college age, and of Mexican heritage. All measures were self-report and were completed online. Overall, this study was inconclusive as most analyses were underpowered. The present study failed to support a relationship between style of acculturation and symptoms of anxiety, although, experiencing Anglo marginality was related to high levels of acculturative stress and anxiety. Finally, regression analysis revealed that acculturative stress, age, and Anglo marginalization were significant predictors of anxiety and accounted for 31% of variance in anxiety. Implications of the present study were discussed. Further study with adequate power is highly recommended.
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Acculturation and Depression in Older Mexican American Adults: the Role of Social Support

Acculturation and Depression in Older Mexican American Adults: the Role of Social Support

Date: August 2012
Creator: Caballero, Daniela
Description: Despite socioeconomic disadvantages, less acculturated Mexican Americans tend to exhibit better mental health than their more acculturated counterparts. However, in the case of older Mexican American adults, research has demonstrated the opposite to be true (Gonzalez, Haan, & Hinton, 2001). A variable of interest potentially responsible for this difference is social support. Thus, the current study proposed to investigate the mediation and moderation effects that social support has on the relationship between acculturation and depression in older Mexican American adults age 60 or older. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) was analyzed. Results showed that the mediating effect of contact with one’s children (-.109*) and the moderating effect of total social support and contact with one’s children (-.127*; -.103*) were statistically significant in the relationship between acculturation and depression. Although these effects are small they may still hold important implications for better understanding this population.
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Acculturation, Parental Control, and Adjustment among Asian Indian Women

Acculturation, Parental Control, and Adjustment among Asian Indian Women

Date: May 2007
Creator: Varghese, Anitha
Description: The present study examines the relationship between acculturation, parental control, and psychological adjustment among adult first and second-generation Asian Indian women who have immigrated, or whose parents have immigrated to the United States, from the Indian state of Kerala. Data from 73 participants indicate second-generation immigrants report poorer psychological adjustment than do their counterparts. Additionally, regression analyses reveal discomfort towards Kerala culture significantly predicts depressive symptoms, while high maternal control predicts self-esteem. Qualitative data were collected to provide richer understanding of immigrants' adaptation to the U.S. Implications of this research may impact mental health practitioners' ability to improve quality of life with Asian Indian women from Kerala.
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ADHD Symptomology and Overweight among College Men

ADHD Symptomology and Overweight among College Men

Date: December 2011
Creator: Johnson, Leslee M.
Description: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a childhood disorder that often persists into adulthood. Among adults, ADHD is highly comorbid with addictive behaviors (e.g., substance abuse and dependence), and depressive disorders. Recently, an association between ADHD and obesity has been reported in the literature; emotional and binge eating may be “addictive behaviors” that contribute to weight gain in this population. The purpose of this study was to test competing models of the hypothesized link between ADHD symptomology and overweight. Specifically, in Model 1, symptoms of depression are expected to mediate the relationship between symptoms of impulsivity and inattention and emotional and binge eating which, in turn, leads to weight gain (i.e., increased BMI). In Model 2, however, the impulsive symptoms have direct relationships with emotional and binge eating in addition to being mediated by depressive symptoms. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was employed to test how the models fit the data of 790 college men. Both models fit the data well, with Model 2 being preferred because of its greater connection to theory. All paths were significant indicating that increased impulsive and inattentive symptoms predicted increased symptoms of depression that, in turn, predicted increased emotional/binge eating, which has a direct and positive ...
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Adolescent Insomnia as a Predictor of Early Adulthood Outcomes

Adolescent Insomnia as a Predictor of Early Adulthood Outcomes

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Date: December 2006
Creator: Roane, Brandy Michelle
Description: Recent research found insomnia is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders in adults. To see if the same would be true in adolescents, the current study re-analyzed data from a national longitudinal study collected by ADDHealth that evaluated health behaviors in 4552 adolescents (mean age 14.9 years [SD 1.7]) at baseline and again 7-8 years later (n = 3489) during young adulthood. Insomnia was reported by 9.2% of the adolescents. Cross-sectionally, adolescent insomnia was associated with alcohol, cannabis, non-cannabis drugs, and tobacco use, and depression after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Prospectively, adolescent insomnia was a significant risk factor for depression diagnosis, suicidal ideation, and the use of depression and stress prescription medications in young adulthood after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and significant baseline variable. In addition, a trend was noted for suicidal attempts.
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Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders

Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders

Date: August 2002
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.
Description: Psychopathy, as conceptualized by Cleckley (1941), describes a constellation of psychological and behavioral correlates including superficial charm, untruthfulness, lack of remorse or shame, poor judgment, and failure to learn from experience. Based on Cleckley's initial work, Hare (1991) developed a two-factor model of psychopathy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder have on adolescents classified as psychopaths. The participants consisted of 79 adjudicated male adolescents in a maximum-security facility. As hypothesized, adolescent male psychopaths had higher levels of sensation seeking, impulsivity, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. A discriminant function analysis found that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder was moderately useful in classifying adolescent psychopathy. The results suggest that behavioral dysregulation is an important aspect of adolescent psychopathy. The relationship of these data to theories of adolescent psychopathy is discussed.
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Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Personality Characteristics and Comorbidity

Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Personality Characteristics and Comorbidity

Date: August 1998
Creator: Austin, Karla Michele
Description: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is surrounded by confusion and controversy regarding its definition, course, etiology and treatment. Among adults, ADHD is rarely considered a diagnostic reality of primary importance and is often overlooked. This study provides descriptive validity for adult ADHD in distinguishing it from controls, and identifying both a pure condition and one wrought with comorbidity.
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Affective and cognitive components of job satisfaction: Scale development and initial validiation.

Affective and cognitive components of job satisfaction: Scale development and initial validiation.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Tekell, Jeremy Kyle
Description: Job satisfaction is one of the most commonly studied variables in the organizational literature. It is related to a multitude of employee-relevant variables including but not limited to performance, organizational commitment, and intent to quit. This study examined two new instruments measuring the components of affect and cognition as they relate to job satisfaction. It further proposed including an evaluative (or true attitudinal) component to improve the prediction of job satisfaction. Results provide some evidence of both two and three factor structures of affect and cognition. This study found minimal support for the inclusion of evaluation in the measurement of job satisfaction. Affect was found to be the single best predictor of job satisfaction, regardless of the satisfaction measure used. Further development is needed to define the factor structures of affect and cognition as well as the role of these factors and evaluation in the prediction of job satisfaction.
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Alcohol Use, Violence, and Psychological Abuse in Intimate Relationships

Alcohol Use, Violence, and Psychological Abuse in Intimate Relationships

Date: August 1998
Creator: Falla, Karen M.
Description: Women in distressed relationships who had sustained severe psychological abuse and either no, moderate, or severe violence from their partner were included (N = 93). Men's and women's alcohol use did not differ with level of violence. Different patterns were found in the moderate violence group regarding women's beliefs about their partner's substance problem, men's psychological abuse, and the relationship of men's and women's quantity of alcohol use and times intoxicated. Uncertainty resulting from moderate violence may strengthen the emotional impact of psychological abuse. Even when psychological abuse is exacerbated by violence, women may use active coping techniques rather than drinking to cope with abusive relationships. The findings suggest that an inordinate focus on alcohol abuse may be ineffective in combating the problem of domestic violence.
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