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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Clinical Psychology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women
Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5463/
Adolescent self-mutilating behaviors: Experiential avoidance coupled with imitation?
Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9087/
Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation
Studies of affective forecasting examine people’s ability to predict (forecast) their emotional (affective) responses to future events. Affective forecasts underlie nearly all decisions people make and the actions they take. However, people engage in systematic cognitive errors when making affective forecasts and most often overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional responses. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to affective forecasting errors (e.g., immune neglect) and examining the utility of methods for improving affective forecasting errors (e.g., surrogation) can provide highly valuable information for clinicians as they assist clients in determining their goals both for therapy and for life. The first purpose of the current study was to determine if affective forecasting errors due to immune neglect lead to misjudgments about the relative emotional impact of minor versus moderate negative experiences (i.e., trauma severity). The second purpose was to examine the utility of surrogation for improving affective forecasts. Potential interaction effects between these two variables were also examined. The current study utilized a 2 (Trauma Severity: minor, moderate) X 3 (Prediction Information: surrogation information only, simulation information only, both types of information) experimental design. Undergraduates were recruited via the SONA system and randomly assigned to one of the six experimental conditions. A preliminary study was conducted to obtain surrogation information for use in the main study. All participants in the main study predicted how they would feel 10 minutes after receiving negative personality feedback, using a 10-point scale ranging from (1) very unhappy to (10) very happy. These predictions constitute their affective forecasts. All participants then actually received the negative personality feedback (ostensibly from another participant, a peer, in a nearby room) and reported their actual affective states ten minutes later, using the same scale. These ratings constitute their affective reports. Affective forecasting error was calculated as the difference between affective forecasts and affective reports. Results showed the affective forecasts of participants in the moderate trauma severity condition were significantly less accurate than those of participants in the minor trauma severity condition, providing evidence of immune neglect. Surrogation information significantly improved the accuracy of affective forecasts when participants were deprived of simulation information. Limitations of the current study and implications of the findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149566/
Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment
Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2210/
Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?
Mindfulness is a core component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a widely utilized treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, the import of mindfulness in treating BPD has yet to be demonstrated, and the relationship of mindfulness to BPD constructs is unclear. The current study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relations of mindfulness with BPD features and the underlying constructs of interpersonal problem-solving effectiveness, impulsivity, emotion regulation strategies, and neuroticism in 342 young adults. Mindfulness was significantly related to effectiveness in interpersonal problem-solving, impulsivity and passivity in emotion regulation, and borderline features. Furthermore, mindfulness continued to predict borderline features when controlling for interpersonal problem-solving and impulsive/passive emotion-regulation strategies, as well as when controlling for neuroticism. It is concluded that difficulties with mindfulness may represent a core feature of BPD and that improvement in mindfulness may be a key component of treatment efficacy with BPD. It is recommended that the unique contribution of mindfulness be investigated in future treatment-outcome research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5332/
Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68030/
Association between cognition and depression: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of individuals with learning disabilities.
Over the past twenty years the number of children identified with learning disabilities has risen drastically. In addition, 26 - 40% of these children also experience depression. While cognitive functioning has been demonstrated to be associated with depression, it is unclear whether the mood, vegetative, or cognitive symptoms of depression predict particular cognitive processes and vice versa. The purpose of this study was to determine which particular cognitive processes were associated with specific depressive symptoms and depression as a whole. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test a model which examined how three cognitive processing factors (verbal & visual reasoning, and attention/working memory) were associated with three depressive symptom factors (disturbances in mood, vegetative, and cognitive functioning). The data for SEM came from a large data set of children with learning disabilities (n=227). Model fit results supported the proposed model, and a significant association was found between the attention/working memory factor and the depression symptom factor reflecting disturbances in cognitive functioning. Less robust relationships were observed between verbal reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms and an approach toward the conventional level of significance was noted between visual reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms. Using a sub-sample of original participants who were re-evaluated 20-25 years later (n=40), longitudinal analyses were conducted to determine the predictive power of cognitive functioning and depression over time. There was some indication for the predictive power of visual reasoning performance in childhood on mood symptoms of depression in adulthood. The most robust association at both time 1 and time 2 was between attention/working memory performance and cognitive symptoms of depression. However, the association appeared to be time specific and not predictive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4294/
Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2533/
Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment
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 = 201) were randomly assigned to 4 groups. The effect of pretesting impression formation on posttest performance was investigated. It was hypothesized that compassion has a significant effect on impression formation. The Stouffer's z -method was used to investigate this effect. Results indicated that participants in the experimental groups after completing a mindfulness meditation rated a target person significantly more favorable, compared to participants in the control groups. Results also indicated that pretest had no significant effect on post-test ratings of the impression formation task. Transcendental applications for the inducement and experience of compassion in psychotherapy and the role of compassion in human society are considered. Limitations of this study are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5347/
Contextualized risk assessment in clinical practice: Utility of actuarial, clinical, and structured clinical approaches to predictions of violence.
Assessing offenders' risk of future violent behavior continues to be an important yet controversial role of forensic psychologists. A key debate is the relative effectiveness of assessment methods. Specifically, actuarial methods (see Quinsey et al., 1998 for a review) have been compared and contrasted to clinical and structured clinical methods (see e.g. Hart, 1998; Webster et al., 1997). Proponents of each approach argue for its superiority, yet validity studies have made few formal comparisons. In advancing the available research, the present study examines systematically the type of forensic case (i.e., sexual violence versus nonsexual violence) and type of assessment method (i.e., actuarial, structured clinical, and unstructured clinical). As observed by Borum, Otto, and Golding (1993), forensic decision making can also be influenced by the presence of certain extraneous clinical data. To address these issues, psychologists and doctoral students attending the American Psychology Law Society conference were asked to make several ratings regarding the likelihood of future sexual and nonsexual violence based on data derived from actual defendants with known outcomes. Using a mixed factorial design, each of these assessment methods were investigated for its influence on decision-makers regarding likelihood of future violence and sexually violent predator commitments. Finally, the potentially biasing effects of victim impact statements on resultant decisions were also explored. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4603/
A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study of Adolescents and Religion: Views of Risk and Resiliency
The research literature within the past decade has documented the importance of religiosity and spirituality in helping many adults around the world cope with major life stressors and events. Still, the role of religiosity and spirituality in adolescence is not well-known as research during this developmental period has been limited by sample size, homogeneity of samples, ethnic restrictions, and use of scales with few items. The goal of the current study is to identify and understand adolescent levels of religiousness and spirituality, as well as their roles on later social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. The current study relied upon data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and utilized confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling in order to generate models of the relationships between the various latent variables. The religiosity and spirituality factors in the current study adequately measure religious perceptions and practices of adolescents over time. These constructs also play a role in later emotional well-being and self-esteem. Analyses also found adequate predictive abilities in the other model factors of delinquency, psychological well-being, self-esteem, and the social support. It is concluded from this study that religiosity and spirituality are not interchangeable constructs, and that more robust measures of both factors yield richer results. It is recommended that more comprehensive scales of religiosity and spirituality be developed and investigated in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11023/
Decentering and the Theory of Social Development
The concept of decentering originated with Piaget, who defined decentering as a feature of operational thought, the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives simultaneously. Feffer applied Piaget’s concept of decentering to the cognitive maturity of social content. This study used Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system for stories told about TAT pictures to investigate the developmental hierarchy of decentering for children and adolescents. The participants originated from the Berkeley Guidance Study, a longitudinal sample of more than 200 individuals followed for more than 60 years by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. The hypotheses tested were: (1) chronological age will be positively related to Decentering as reflected in Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scores obtained annually between ages 10 and 13 and at 18; (2) children born into higher class homes would have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (3) children born later in birth order will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (4) children whose parents were observed to have closer bonds with their children at age 21 months will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (5) adolescents with higher scores from the Decentering Q-sort Scale (derived from adolescent Q-sorts) will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; and (6) participants who have higher Age 12 Decentering scores will self-report higher CPI Empathy scale scores at Age 30. A repeated measures ANOVA tested Hypothesis 1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients tested Hypotheses 2-6. Age and Decentering scores were unrelated, as was birth order; social class findings were mixed. Parents’ bonds with child and Age 12 Decentering were negatively correlated (closer bonds predicted higher Decentering), as were Age 12 Decentering and Age 30 Empathy (higher early Decentering predicted lower adulthood Empathy). Girls (age 12) tended to decenter more consistently and had higher Decentering scores than boys. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149590/
Deficits in Miranda comprehension and reasoning: The effects of substance use and attention deficits.
Each year, an estimated 318,000 defendants who do not comprehend the Miranda warnings waive their rights and provide incriminating evidence without the protection of counsel (Rogers, 2008), which make Miranda-related competencies one of the most pervasive pretrial issues. A wide range of issues could potentially affect an individual's capacity to provide a knowing and intelligent waiver. Previous Miranda research has focused narrowly on the effects of cognitive and developmental factors. The current study added to the Miranda literature by examining the impact of two highly prevalent conditions found in correctional populations, attention deficits and substance abuse. Adult defendants in custody (N = 118) were evaluated within 36 hours of arrest in order to assess both chronic psychological disorders and situational variables. Results indicate that attention deficits have a significant impact on defendants' ability to provide a knowing Miranda waiver, whereas substance use profoundly affected their reasoning about Miranda waiver decisions. This study represents the first systematic investigation of the effect of transient mental states on Miranda-related abilities with criminal defendants. Important implications for forensic practice are addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12132/
Dementia, Diabetes, and Depression: Relationship to Cognitive Functioning
The number of adults in the United States who are age 65 or older is rapidly increasing. With longer lifespan comes an increase in chronic diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and depression. This study used archival data from a larger study conducted at the Memory Clinic at John Peter Smith County Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas to examine several hypotheses and research questions related to the influence of type of dementia, presence of Type II diabetes, and presence of depression on neuropsychological test performance. First, this study attempted to identify specific patterns of performance on neuropsychological measures for those with Alzheimer's dementia (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The results indicated that those with MCI perform better than those with AD or VaD on all neuropsychological measures, and that those with VaD perform better than those with AD on a measure of verbal memory. Another purpose of the study was to determine how the presence of Type II diabetes affects this pattern of functioning; the overall finding in this study was that the presence or absence of diabetes did not affect performance on measures of cognitive functioning. Additionally, the study attempted to add to literature examining the influence of depression on older adults with diabetes and/or dementia; no significant differences emerged. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11032/
The Detection of Neuropsychological Malingering
The present study compared the responses of a group of simulating malingerers who were offered a monetary incentive to feign symptoms of a head injury, with the responses of head injured groups both with and without litigation, a forensic parole group, and an honest-responding control group. The following six neuropsychological measures were utilized: Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Finger Oscillation Test, WAIS-R Neuropsychological Instrument (Vocabulary, Information, and Similarities subtests), Booklet Category Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The statistical concepts of floor effect, performance curve, and magnitude of error were examined. Additionally, the statistical differences in the responses of the five groups were analyzed to determine cutting scores for use in distinguishing malingerers from nonmalingerers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4309/
Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors
This study employed a multivariate, multidimensional approach to understanding psychosocial and personality variables associated with institutional maladjustment and recidivism among youthful offenders. Participants included nine hundred serious and chronic male youthful offenders incarcerated in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC); sample sizes varied by analysis. Empirically-validated psychosocial factors (e.g., intelligence, home approval status), past criminal history variables, and two self-report personality measures of empathy and hostility were entered into hierarchical regression and structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses to predict institutional behavior and recidivism at one- and three-year intervals after release from the TYC. Confirmatory factor analysis of the personality measures revealed one underlying factor indicative of their theoretical constructs of empathy and hostility. Some differences were noted between youth in the specialized treatment programs; however, effect sizes were small to moderate. Overall, regression and SEM results indicated the variables accounted for a meaningful proportion of the variance in the outcomes. Specifically, although length of stay in the TYC was associated with institutional behavior, younger age of onset, higher hostility, and greater home disapproval also contributed significantly. Past criminal behavior was predictive of future reoffending, but lower empathy, greater home disapproval, and younger age of onset accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in recidivism. Institutional maladjustment served as a mediator between the psychosocial and personality variables and the recidivism outcomes. Treatment implications are provided, including a discussion of the tenuous association between length of sentence and recidivism and an emphasis on the importance of evaluating dynamic personality and psychosocial variables beyond static measures of past behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5354/
Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females
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There is a lack of clarity in the current literature in how potential etiological factors interact and result in disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to examine an expanded model of Personality, Social Support, Appraisal/Coping Processes, Abuse History, Internalization of Sociocultural Standards, Psychological Disturbances, and Body Disparagement in the development of disordered eating. The current model was evaluated using 276 women in their transition to college, a time period highly associated with symptoms believed to increase a woman's risk for the development of disordered eating including perceived difficulty coping, weight gain, and negative affect. Structural equation modeling was used to allow simultaneous examination of the causal relationships between the factors. Structural analyses confirmed that college women with previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition. Those women who identified the transition as overwhelming were also aware of increased negative mood and psychological states since beginning the school semester. Further, women with previous traumatic sexual experiences appeared to be at additional risk for increased negative affective symptoms. The resulting model confirmed that those women who experience negative mood states and those that endorse strong internalization of cultural values regarding attractiveness encountered increased dissatisfaction and disapproval of their bodies. Finally, women with higher levels of body concern engaged in more eating behaviors associated with disordered eating. The roles of personality functioning and perceived social support could not be identified in the developmental model. The predictive links between constructs in the resulting model provide meaningful information regarding the transition to college and associated risks for development of disordered eating. Validation of the model in an independent sample would provide confirmation of these relationships and longitudinal research examining females' attitudes across crucial developmental periods might provide important information regarding which individuals are most at risk for development of disordered eating. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3170/
The Effects of Assessment Context on State Anxiety and a Neuropsychological Model of Attention
This study investigated the effects of assessment context on state anxiety and attention according to the Mirsky (1996) model of attention. Context varied in the physical testing environment, demeanor of the assessor, and explanation of the purpose of testing. A relaxed condition (RC) and structured medical condition (SMC) distinction was made prior to data collection and the two contexts were designed to reflect contrasting practices of neuropsychologists. Elements of attention evaluated included Encoding (Digit Span), Focusing/Executing (Visual Search and Attention Test), Shifting (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Computerized Version 2), Sustaining, and Stabilizing (Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs). Eighty healthy adult females participated in the study. The findings suggest that the SMC caused higher levels of anxiety and lower valence than the RC, which in turn caused poorer sustained attention and superior shifting attention for this condition. Such interpretations are consistent with several theories on the effects of anxiety on attention. It should be noted, however, that differences observed in attention were limited to select measures. Factor analysis also indicates that the encode, shift, and sustain elements of attention were largely consistent with the factor solution proposed by Mirsky, while findings on the focus/execute and stabilize elements bring into question the construct validity of these aspects of the model. Findings from the study are considered relevant to those interested in attention theory and particularly researchers and clinicians involved in the administration of neuropsychological testing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4326/
Effects of Cautioning and Education in the Detection of Malingered Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
This study examined the effectiveness of cautioning and education on simulating a mild traumatic brain injury on several neuropsychological measures. The measures used included the Word Memory Test (WMT), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales® - Third Edition (WAIS®-III), Wechsler Memory Scales®-3rd Edition instrument (WMS®-III), 16-item version of the Rey Memory Test, and a self-report symptom checklist. Five experimental groups were used including clinical and non-clinical controls, as well as three simulation groups. The design and implementation of this study also attempted to correct several methodological short comings of prior research by increasing the incentives for participants, expanding the generalizability of findings and examining research compliance and participant self-perception through debriefing. Discriminant analysis was utilized to determine if specific functions existed that would correctly classify and distinguish each experimental group. Several discriminant functions had at least moderate canonical correlations and good classification accuracy. Results also include utility estimates given projected varying base rates of malingering. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5247/
Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed to specifically target experiential avoidance (EA) rather than any specific diagnostic category. A functional ACT manual was presented and used to treat diagnostically diverse clients in a large sliding fee-for-service training clinic. A multiple baseline across participants and behaviors research design was used to evaluate session-by-session changes in EA, values identification, valued action, and clinical distress. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) were given to measure processes and outcomes given the functional ACT model presented in the introduction to the paper. Baseline included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II Disorders given across 2-5 50- minute sessions. The treatment phase consisted of 7-10 50-minute sessions. Participants were 10 clients. Four participants completed sufficient treatment sessions (4-9) to test the study hypotheses. Participants generally improved across time, but most improvements could not be attributed to the functional application of ACT due to changes during baseline for AAQ, VLQ-Consistency, and OQ-45. VLQ-Importance significantly improved for all participants given ACT. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84296/
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent training Protocol Based on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Philosophy of Parenting
Thirty-four parents were referred by their CPS caseworkers to participate in one of two ACT for Parenting workshops. These workshops followed a 12 hour treatment protocol based on an acceptance and commitment therapy philosophy of parenting. Briefly, an ACT philosophy of parenting maintains that effective parenting requires awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings as they occur in the context of the parent-child relationship. An ACT philosophy of parenting also relies heavily on the identification and commitment to parenting values. Participants were asked to track acceptance and valuing behavior on a daily basis for 25 days prior to the intervention and 25 days post-intervention, as well as to complete a package of self-report instruments designed to measure both ACT specific and general psychological processes, at three different points (pre-, post- and follow-up). Nineteen parents received the treatment, and of those, seventeen provided follow-up data 3-4 months post-intervention. Results indicate statistically significant changes in the expected directions for scores on the BASC-2 Externalizing Composite as well as on the Meta-Valuing Measure. A total of 10 parents also evidenced clinically significant change in the expected directions on a variety of outcome measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84261/
An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.
Flutists have reported musculoskeletal pain from practicing and performing their instrument. This study was a statistical approach to investigate potential causal risk factors for flute related pain among high school and college students. The study focused on the relationship between flute related pain and musical background or anthropometric measurements including size, strength and flexibility. Subjects included thirty high school and college-aged flutists who were assessed using a questionnaire, bi-lateral anthropometric measurements of the upper-extremities, upper-extremity performance tests for range of motion, isometric strength and rotation speed, and instrument specific questions. Four questions regarding pain associated with flute playing were treated as dependent variables and used for correlation and regression analyses with other independent variables. A six-factor regression model was created and each model was statistically significant. Results of this study show that strength, flexibility, pain spots, and exposure are risk factors for flute related pain. Both left and right pinch strength and right isometric pronation strength were significantly correlated to flutists experiencing pain while playing. Knowledge of these factors in relationship to pain is needed in flute pedagogy to help teachers and performers understand why flutists report pain during and after playing. Additional studies are warranted for replication of this study and for determining the clinical and pedagogical relevance of these findings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6043/
Exploring Psychopathic Personality Traits and Moral Development in a Non-criminal Sample
This study explored psychopathic personality traits among a non-criminal, college undergraduate sample. Much research has been done on conceptualizing the construct of psychopathy, but this work has been conducted primarily with incarcerated individuals using a structured interview, The Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003). The goal of the current study was to assess psychopathic traits among non-criminal individuals using The Self-Report Psychopathy Scale - Version Four (SRP-IV; Paulhus, Neumann, & Hare, in press), and compare how SRP-IV scores were associated with a well recognized semi-structured interview for psychopathy, The Psychopathy Checklist – Screening Version (PCL: SV; Hart, Cox, & Hare, 1995). The study also examined whether psychopathic personality traits could be predicted using a measure of normal-range personality, based on the five-factor model (FFM; Digman, 1990), and a measure developed by Loevinger (1976) related to ego development. Five-Factor Model Rating Form (FFMRF; Mullins-Sweat, Jamerson, Samuel, Olson, & Widiger, 2006) scores and Total Protocol Ratings (TPR score) on the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT; Hy & Loevinger, 1996) were used to predict psychopathy scores. Correlations of SRP-IV scores and PCL: SV scores with FFMRF scores and WUSCT TPR scores were also examined for their uniformity. As predicted, there were significant, negative correlations between FFM domains, Agreeableness and Conscientious, and SRP-IV scores, as well as significant, negative correlations between WUSCT TPR scores and SRP-IV scores. These correlations ranged from small to strong for both SRP-IV overall scores and for SRP-IV factor scores (i.e., Interpersonal Manipulation, Callous Affect, Erratic Lifestyle, and Criminal Tendencies). Additionally, FFM domain scores and WUSCT TPR scores significantly predicted SRP-IV scores. FFM domains, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and WUSCT TPR scores, were the strongest predictors of SRP-IV scores. Similar results were found when FFM domain scores and WUSCT TPR scores predicted SRP-IV factor scores. Results also indicated Agreeableness and Conscientious explained an additional 24% of the variance in psychopathy scores, after controlling for WUSCT TPR scores. Conversely, WUSCT TPR scores explained an additional 5% of the variance in psychopathy scores after controlling for Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Finally, as predicted, the differences in correlations between psychopathy scores (i.e., PCL: SV, SRP-IV), and Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and WUSCT TPR scores were not statistically significant providing evidence that correlates of psychopathic traits can be measured among non-criminal individuals using a self-report measure, the SRP-IV, and that these findings are concordant with those based on a standardized structured assessment for psychopathy. Limitations of the study, implications, and recommendations for future research are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271780/
Factors Affecting Revictimization in Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Structural equation modeling was used to examine how childhood sexual abuse (and other associated variables, such as family functioning and experiencing multiple forms of abuse) relates to revictimization and psychological distress. Participants were women who participated in Project HOW: Health Outcomes of Women interviews, a longitudinal study that spanned six waves of interviews. Only women with a history of childhood sexual abuse were included in the present study (n=178). Experiencing nonsexual child maltreatment in addition to childhood sexual abuse appears directly related to adult sexual and physical revictimization and indirectly related to psychological distress. Childhood sexual abuse alone was not predictive of revictimization or psychological abuse. This suggests that other mediating factors may explain the relation between CSA and revictimization found in other research. Clinical implications based on the results of the present study emphasize the importance of identifying children who have experienced multiple forms of abuse as particularly at risk for future victimization. In addition, providing interventions with a focus on education and empowerment might decrease risk for future violence and subsequent emotional maladjustment. Potential future research could examine the treatment outcomes and efficacy of these interventions as well as identify those mediating factors that increase the risk for adult revictimization for those individuals who experience only childhood sexual abuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30453/
Family Rituals and Resilience: Relationship Among Measures of Religiosity, Openness to Experience, and Trait Anxiety
Rituals are an integral part of society. The focus of research on rituals has been shifting to highlight the effect rituals may produce on individual resilience and ability to function. This study examined the relationships between participation in family rituals and several conceptually related facets of the human experience, including religiosity, openness to experience, and anxiety. Participants responded to questions on an assessment instrument (Family Ritual Questionnaire) designed to measure participation in a broad variety of identified family rituals; they were grouped according to responses on that questionnaire, and the resulting groups were compared on their responses to questionnaires addressing religiosity (Religious Background and Behavior Questionnaire), openness to experience (Revised NEO Personality Inventory Openness to Experiences scale), and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The four-group classification system did not produce significant differences on measures of religiosity, openness to experience, or trait anxiety. Nor were there any significant differences noted when the groups were examined on the basis of the demographic characteristics of age, gender, separation time from family of origin, or academic status. The demographic descriptive which was associated with specific group differences related to adult composition of family of origin: participants described the adults present in their families of origin, and the family types were grouped into traditional, mixed, and nontraditional families. A difference was identified between the traditional and nontraditional families on level of ritualization. This finding may be indicative of a useful direction for subsequent research inquiry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2645/
Feigning cognitive deficits on neuropsychological evaluations: Multiple detection strategies
Individuals undergoing forensic neuropsychological evaluation frequently stand to gain in some manner if neurocognitive dysfunction is diagnosed. As a result, neuropsychologists are customarily asked to test for neurocognitive feigning during the assessment. The current study employed an analogue design with a clinical comparison group to examine the utility of the TOCA (Rogers, 1996) as a measure of feigned neurocognitive impairment. Two groups of simulators (one cautioned about the presence of detection strategies and one not cautioned) were compared to clinical and normal control groups. Fourteen scales were developed based on five detection strategies: symptom validity testing, performance curve, magnitude of error, response time, and floor effect. Each was employed during both verbal and nonverbal tasks. Significant differences were revealed among groups when subjected to ANOVA. Classification rates from subsequent utility estimates and discriminant function analyses on the scales ranged from 58.8% to 100%. Combining strategies yielded a classification rate of 95.7%. The effect of cautioning simulators was modest; however, a trend was noted on some scales for cautioned simulators to appear less obviously impaired than noncautioned. Although the results require crossvalidation, preliminary data suggest that the TOCA is a sensitive and specific measure of feigned neurocognitive performance. Strengths and weaknesses of the study are discussed and directions for future research are proposed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2734/
Functions of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors within adolescent inpatients.
The primary interest of this investigation concerned the self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) of inpatient adolescents. Previous researchers have provided descriptive information regarding either automatic (or intrinsic) and social components using the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI). However, the presence and trends of these components have not firmly been established, suggesting the need to explore this area further. Eighty-two adolescent inpatients were selected and interviewed using the SITBI to evaluate the predictive ability of self-reported self-injurious behavior with regard to social and automatic, negative and positive functions. Results showed that depending on the type of thought or behavior displayed one could discern the motivation behind their actions. Automatic-Negative was seen to have the strongest relationship across all SITB behaviors while Automatic-Negative was not found to be relatively low compared to other SITB behaviors. Both Social-Positive and Social-Negative were found to be present in moderate relationships compared to Automatic in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9731/
Implementation of a Therapy Group for Wives of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Preliminary Outcomes
The purpose of this study was to develop a manualized therapy group for wives or significant others of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing wives' psychological symptoms. A second aim of the study was to determine if women's involvement in the wives group resulted in decreases in their husbands' PTSD symptoms. Women recruited for the study were administered pre-test measures during a screening session. They then participated in a 9-session manualized therapy group designed by the researcher that included psychoeducational, process, and support components. Examples of group topics included psychoeducation regarding PTSD, assertiveness and communication, intimacy, self-care, and stress management. After completing the group sessions, participants were asked to complete post-test measures. Other factors explored in this study included marital satisfaction, perceived social support, general satisfaction with the group, and demographic variables. Results indicated that wives who participated in the group treatment exhibited significant decreases in secondary stress symptoms and increases in marital satisfaction from pre-test to post-test. The majority of participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the group process. Therefore, it appears that the group protocol presented in this study could be a useful tool in the treatment of wives of veterans with PTSD. The results of this study have potential implications regarding the clinical treatment of families of veterans with PTSD and the development of future programs within the VA system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68036/
Intimate Partner Violence Among Female Undergraduates: The Role of Language in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress
Research findings across a variety of samples (e.g., clinical, shelter, hospital) estimate that 31% to 84% of women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study sought to further investigate the abuse-trauma link by examining the relationship between lifetime trauma exposure, type of abuse (i.e., physical, psychological), and perspective-taking abilities (i.e., here-there, now-then). The role of experiential avoidance in the development of PTSD symptoms was also examined. Results indicated that lifetime trauma exposure (β = .31) and psychological abuse (β = .34) were significant predictors of PTSD symptomatology. Additionally, analyses revealed that experiential avoidance (β = .65) was a significant predictor of PTSD symptoms that partially mediated the relationship between IPV and PTSD symptomatology. Implications of findings are discussed as well as future suggestions for research examining type of IPV and PTSD. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84236/
Investigating patterns among demographics, identification practices, interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance.
This study explored potential patterns of association among the demographic characteristics, identification practices, educational interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance (SED) as well as specifically investigated the impact of age at identification with SED and the presence of co-occurring disabilities. Data was gathered from the educational records of students with SED in seven rural to semi-rural districts in Texas. Demographic information included gender, ethnicity, age at identification with SED, and identification with co-occurring disabilities. Identification variables that were investigated include the five federal qualifying criteria for SED, IQ score, and BASC and/or CBCL scores. Intervention variables that were explored included placement setting, restrictiveness of placement setting, type of related services provided, parental attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings, number of multidisciplinary team meetings, and total time spent in special education as a student with SED. Outcome variables that were examined included achievement levels in reading and math, attendance, special education status, and grade retention. Results suggested that earlier identification with SED is related to placement in less restrictive settings, achievement within two years of grade level in reading, and lower average number of absences. The presence of co-occurring disabilities in addition to SED is associated with placement in more restrictive settings and with achievement that is two or more years below grade level in reading and math. Additional findings and implications for future research as well as for current practice are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4328/
Is Mattering what Matters: A Validation Study of the Meta-Valuing Measure of Flexible Valuing
Freely choosing a life direction, or flexible valuing, is a core component of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Initial research suggests that valuing behavior may contribute to psychological well-being, but has been stymied by a lack of an efficient measure. The current study examined the psychometric characteristics of a new measure of flexible valuing, the Meta-Valuing Measure (MVM), in a sample of 532 undergraduates. Exploratory factors analysis revealed 3 orthogonal factors, Valuing (α = .94), Freedom from Values Conflict (α = .92), and Flexibility in Valuing (α = .73). The majority of expected relationships with other constructs were significant including those with measures of values, mindfulness, quality of life, experiential avoidance, and psychological distress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30517/
Late adolescents' parental, peer, and romantic attachments as they relate to affect regulation and risky behaviors.
The current study examined the relationships among attachment styles to parent, peer, and romantic partner, ability to regulate emotion, as well as engagement in sexual behaviors and substance use. Attachment theory and previous research suggests that an individual learns how to manage emotions through the modeling of appropriate techniques and a stable sense of self-worth. These two aspects develop through a secure attachment bond with an important figure. When an individual does not have a secure attachment bond in which to practice adaptive affect regulation strategies, he/she may attempt to manage emotions through external means, such as sexual behaviors or substance use. Overall, results supported these associations, with some notable exceptions. Across attachment sources a secure attachment style was related to lower levels of psychological distress and less engagement in substance use. In contrast to the findings from earlier studies, affect regulation did not mediate the relationship between attachment and substance use, and engagement in sexual behaviors was not significantly related to either attachment style or affect regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9083/
Maladaptive appraisals and intrusive thoughts associated with obsessive compulsive disorder: A semiidiographic approach.
This project investigated the metacognitive strategies used to appraise obsessive thoughts employed by individuals with different anxiety symptoms. Two hundred eighty-seven undergraduate students completed two repertory grids and three anxiety scales. The repertory grids respectively examined the appraisal process of intrusive thoughts both from the perspective of the rater and the rater's imagined average person. Variables quantified from the rep grid related to the construal process of raters' own intrusions, failed to demonstrate robust differences between OCD, non-OCD anxious, and non-anxious individuals. However, it appears that anxious individuals, not just those with OCD, use metacognitive strategies to suppress rigid constructions under perceived social evaluation. Future studies may wish to use related grid variables to explore the relation between obsessions and social anxiety. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4605/
Mediational Roles of Personality Factors and Vengeful Rumination in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Considerable research has demonstrated a link between thoughts of revenge, or vengeful rumination, and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, particularly in situations involving interpersonal trauma. Personality factors have been related to both vengefulness and PTSD. No study to date has simultaneously examined the unique contributions of vengefulness and personality factors in the development of PTSD symptoms. Therefore, the present study addressed these questions in an inpatient sample by comparing contributions of the Big Five personality factors and vengeful rumination to the development of PTSD symptoms through correlation, hierarchical regression, and omnibus regression analyses. Results showed that Neuroticism predicted PTSD symptoms better than other personality factors, that Neuroticism and Agreeableness predicted vengeful rumination in opposite directions, and that personality factors and vengeful rumination each added unique variance in the prediction of PTSD symptoms. Future directions and implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11052/
Metabolic Syndrome and Psychosocial Factors
Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors, including abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting glucose, that commonly cluster together and can result in cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and the components that comprise the syndrome vary by age and by racial/ethnic group. In addition, previous research has indicated that the risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome may be exacerbated by exposure to perceived stress. This study utilized data from the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data sets. It was hypothesized that depression and anxiety (conceptualized as stress in this study) increase the risk of presenting with metabolic syndrome while social support decreases the risk of metabolic syndrome. While results of cross-sectional analysis do not indicate a significant relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome (t = -.84, ns), longitudinal analysis does indicate a significant relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome over time (t = -5.20, p <.001). However, anxiety is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome when the relationship is examined through cross-sectional analysis (t = -1.51, ns) and longitudinal analysis (&#967;² = 13.83, ns). Similarly, social support is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome when examined in cross-sectional (&#967;² = .63, ns) and longitudinal (t = 1.53, ns) analysis. Although level of stress is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome as a whole, there is a significant relationship between stress and both triglyceride level (t = -2.94, p = .003) and blood glucose level (t = -3.26, p = .001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11005/
Miranda Reasoning and Competent Waiver Decisions: Are Models of Legal Decision Making Applicable?
Miranda understanding, appreciation, and reasoning abilities are essential to courts' determinations of knowing and intelligent Miranda rights waivers. Despite the remarkable development of Miranda research in recent decades, studies have generally focused on understanding and appreciation of Miranda rights, but have not examined Miranda reasoning and waiver decisions. Therefore, examining the nature of defendants' decisional capacities constitutes a critical step in further developing theoretical and clinical models for competent Miranda waiver decisions. The current study evaluated Miranda waiver decisions for 80 pretrial defendants from two Tulsa-area Oklahoma jails. Previously untested, the current study examined systematically how rational decision abilities affect defendants' personal waiver decisions. Components from general models of legal decision making, such as decisional competence and judgment models, were examined to determine their applicability to Miranda waiver decisions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271782/
Narcissistic traits and parenting style: A closer look at maladaptive parenting through parent-child observations, parent self-report, and child self-report.
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The thrust of this paper was two-fold, 1) to confirm a 2-factor model of narcissism in women, and 2) to examine the relationship between narcissistic traits in mothers and several variables associated with parenting efficacy. Participants included 193 mother-child dyads. A 2-factor model of narcissism was confirmed in the present sample of mothers, suggesting that narcissistic traits in women may be manifested in distinct Overt and Covert forms. Contrary to expectations, Covert Narcissistic traits in mothers did not significantly correlate with observed parenting behaviors on the PCIA, including Positive Personal Comments (PPC) towards children, Negative Personal Comments (NPC), and Parental Nurturance. However, children's self-reported maternal rejection on the C-PARQ correlated positively with Covert Narcissistic traits in mothers, as did mother's self-reported dysfunctional parenting attitudes on the AAPI-2. Narcissistic traits in mothers correlated most strongly with risk of child physical abuse on the CAPI (r = .70). Results are also presented for the Overt Narcissism factor, which proved to be less stable as a factor. Overall, results emphasize the need for a more comprehensive understanding of narcissism for women, given its potential Implications for children's healthy development and parenting interventions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5558/
Needs of familial caregivers of cancer patients across the advanced cancer disease trajectory.
Familial caregivers are providing increasing amounts of care to advanced cancer patients. Increased understanding of caregivers' needs is vital in providing necessary support to lessen caregiver burden and comorbidity. This study examines particular information needs across a variety of specific events in the advanced cancer disease trajectory. A cross-sectional sample of 107 familial caregivers (24 current and 83 bereaved) of people with advanced cancer completed a needs assessment survey along with a measure of health information-seeking behavior. Analyses extend current research by including more specific disease-related events along the advanced cancer trajectory through bereavement. In all information categories, endorsement of wanted information differed across broad stages of Cancer Progression, Treatment, End of Life, and Post-Patient Death. For all information categories, except Dying and Spirituality, greatest information was wanted at the Cancer Progression stage. Information need also differed across specific events within broad stages. The categories of Disease/Medical and Relating to the Patient were the most endorsed at events involving patient care. Spirituality was least endorsed. At patient death, Caregiver Well-being has the highest endorsement. For events thereafter, information on Caregiver Well-being, Spirituality, Future Outlook, and Family and Close Others was most endorsed. Information needs did not differ based on age or education. Whether or not a caregiver had experienced a given event on the cancer trajectory impacted some categories of information desired at the events of leaving the hospital for home, going into hospice, patient death, immediately after death, and bereavement. In all cases, those who had experienced the event wanted more information. In comparing current to bereaved caregivers, no differences in information endorsement occurred for events of the Cancer progression or Treatment stages. This study also involved the validation and factor analysis the Health Information-Seeking Behavior Survey. Two factors, Health Information-Seeking and Health Information-Avoiding, emerged. Health Information-Seeking correlates positively with some of the information categories at some of the stages. Increased understanding of caregiver needs at specific key events in the advanced cancer illness trajectory can now be used to inform the development of effective familial caregiver education interventions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4637/
Negative affect and positive symptoms of psychosis.
The current study utilized structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the factor-to-factor relations and temporal associations between disturbances in negative affect (NA) and positive symptoms of psychosis (PP). Data were drawn from a large, public-domain data set (MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study). A dimensional approach was used to conceptualize and identify latent variables of NA (depression, anxiety, and guilt) and PP (hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder) among individuals with a diagnosis of primary psychotic disorder. Results showed that anxiety, guilt, and depressed mood modeled an NA latent variable, and that hallucinations and unusual thought content modeled a PP latent variable. As predicted, results revealed strong, significant cross-sectional (synchronous) associations between NA and PP at each measured time-frame, suggesting that NA and PP occurred concurrently within the sample. Contrary to predictions, no significant cross-lagged effect between NA and PP was identified (10 weeks and 20 weeks respectively). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12109/
Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in the Prediction of Cognition, Behavior Problems, and Symptoms at Two-year Follow-up in Youth with Schizotypal Personality Disorder
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Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) exhibit patterns of cognitive deficits, neuromotor disturbances, and behavior problems similar to individuals with schizophrenia, and thus SPD is thought to represent one point on the continuum of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs). Deficits in behavior, cognition, and motor functioning have been implicated as childhood precursors of SSDs and appear to also vary as a function of gender and family history of psychopathology. As such, studies of youth may help in further identification of individuals at risk for SSDs. The current study examined the prospective associations between problem behaviors, neuromotor and neurocognitive functioning, as well as SSD symptoms, at baseline and 2-year follow-up in youth meeting criteria for SPD, other personality disorders, or healthy controls. The neuromotor and neurocognitive measures were able to significantly predict SSD symptoms and behavior problems above and beyond baseline predictors. Overall, the findings provide further support for the role of subcortical motor centers operating together with prefrontal cortical areas in the regulation of higher-order cognitive functioning and in producing the psychiatric features of SSDs. Significant correlations between gender, family history of schizophrenia, and history of head injury with symptoms, behavior, cognition, and motor functioning were also found and highlight the importance of examining the effects of these variables in future investigations. In sum, the current study helped in identifying factors that predict the clinical course of schizotypy and may shed light on the disturbed neural circuitry underlying SSDs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5412/
Neuropsychologic correlates of a normal EEG variant: The mu rhythm.
Although the mu rhythm is traditionally defined as a normal EEG variant, recent evidence suggests that mu may have functional significance in a variety of disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. While an increasing number of articles have focused on the blocking mechanism of mu in relation to various cognitive processes and disorders, few have examined the significance of a prominent mu rhythm in the background EEG. A few studies have examined the relationship between the mu rhythm and psychological disturbance, such as attentional and affective disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that EEG and qEEG variables may be useful in classifying psychiatric disorders, presenting a neurophysiological alternative to traditional symptom-based diagnosis and classification. Thus, the intention of the present study was to examine the relationship between neuropsychological variables, gathered from multiple assessment sources, and the presence of a prominent mu rhythm in the EEG. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without a prominent mu rhythm on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA); although individuals in the mu group showed a pattern of increased impulsivity and performance decrement over time. For adults, no significant differences were observed between groups on psychological variables measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). However, for children, the mu and control groups differed on several behavioral and emotional variables on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results are examined in the context of other research and clinical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9032/
On the subjective distinction between tenderness and joy.
Previous studies have shown that the experience of joy normally accompanies the experience of tenderness or love. Theorists have thus suggested that tenderness is not a distinct emotion, but rather a variety of joy. The present study explored whether it is possible to induce tenderness while inhibiting joy. Participants watched scenes designed to induce different emotions. Results showed that a scene could induce high levels of tenderness and low levels of joy if that scene also induced high levels of sadness. These findings suggest the need to reconsider theoretical assumptions regarding the distinction between tenderness and joy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5455/
Optimism, Health Locus of Control, and Quality of Life of Women with Initial versus Recurrent Breast Cancer
Health Locus of Control (HLOC) and other predictors of Quality of Life (QL) were examined for women with an initial versus recurrent breast cancer diagnosis. Twenty-eight women with an initial breast cancer (IBC) diagnoses and twenty-eight women with recurrent breast cancer (RBC) diagnoses were recruited from doctors' offices and cancer support groups. Correlational analyses were used to assess the relationships between variables. No significant differences were found between women with IBC and RBC on Psychological QL. Doctor HLOC and Psychological QL were related for women with RBC (r = .481, p = .01) and marginally so for women with IBC (r = .329, p = .09). A positive correlation was also found between Doctor HLOC and Functional QL for both women with IBC (r = .464, p = .01) and women with RBC (r = .390, p = .04). After controlling for stage of cancer, women with RBC reported higher Functional QL than did women with IBC. Advanced (stages III or IV) versus early (stages I or II) cancer stage related to lower Functional QL, controlling for initial versus recurrent diagnosis (r = -.283, p = .01). A marginally significant relationship was also found for cancer stage, regardless of initial versus recurrent diagnosis, with higher Overall QL for women with early stages of breast cancer (r = -.157, p = .09). No significant differences in Optimism or Overall QL were found between women with IBC versus RBC. No differences were found between married and single women. This research begins to explore differences in Quality of Life for women with a new versus a recurrent breast cancer diagnosis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2803/
Organized Semantic Fluency and Executive Functioning in an Adult Clinical Sample and a Community Sample
The study investigated an organized semantic fluency task, (the Controlled Animal Fluency Task - CAFT) as a measure of executive functioning (EF) in adults, and the relationship with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Participants (N = 266) consisted of a clinical sample (n = 142) utilizing neuropsychological assessment data collected at an outpatient psychological center, and a community sample (n = 124). The clinical sample was a heterogeneous mixed neurological group including a variety of health conditions and comorbid anxiety and depression. The CAFT Animals by Size demonstrated a significant positive correlation with Category Fluency (r = .71, n = 142, p < .001) , Animal Fluency (r = .70, n = 142, p < .001), and with other, established neuropsychological measures. The CAFT Animals by Size condition demonstrated a significant moderate negative correlation with IADL for the sample as a whole (r = -.46, n = 248, p < .001), and for the clinical sample (r = -.38, n = 129, p < .001), but not for the community sample. In a hierarchical regression analysis, CAFT Animal by Size explained additional variance in IADL (&#916;R2 = .15). In a hierarchical regression analysis predicting IADL with the control variables entered first, followed by Category Fluency, with CAFT Animal by Size entered last, CAFT Animals by Size did not make a significant additional contribution. A stepwise forward regression indicated Category Fluency, education, and Category Switching are better predictors of IADL than CAFT Animals by Size. Normative data for the CAFT were calculated separately for age groups and education levels. Simple logistic regression indicated CAFT Animal by Size was a significant predictor of clinical or community group membership. A second logistic regression analysis indicated the CAFT Animal by Size condition improved the prediction of membership in the clinical versus the community group, compared to the MMSE alone. Applications of the CAFT are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30445/
Parenting Stress: A comparison of mothers and fathers of Disabled and Non-Disabled children
This study compared perceived levels of parenting stress between mothers and fathers of children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), children with developmental disabilities, and normally developing children. The relationship of certain demographic variables, such as Socio-economic Status (SES), number of children, years married, parent age, and child age, as well as social support with parenting stress was also examined for mothers and fathers of these three groups. Identification of factors related to parenting stress in fathers was of particular importance for this study, as fathers are often an underrepresented group within parenting research. Identifying effective methods for predicting high levels of parenting stress is important, as stress has been linked to psychological well-being, potential for abuse, and a greater likelihood of poor adjustment for both parent and child. Results from the present study comparing reported stress levels between groups of parents were supportive of previous studies indicating that parents of children with ADHD and developmentally disabilities experience significantly greater parenting stress, specifically with respect to child characteristics. Significant gender differences were also found between mothers and fathers in terms of parent characteristics related to stress. Fathers reported greater stress in the areas of attachment, while mothers reported more parent role restrictions. Additionally, significant negative relationships were found between parents' perceived helpfulness of informal social support and parenting stress scores in both mothers and fathers, affirming positive effects of social support on stress. Helpfulness of informal social support was also significantly predictive of parenting stress in both mothers and fathers across both the child and parent domains of the PSI, although, it had more predictive power with regard to parent related contributors to parenting stress. Family demographic factors, including age of the child and SES demonstrated some predictive power of parenting stress in mothers. Mothers with younger children and lower SES were more likely to report greater parenting stress. Implications of these results and future directions for research are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2686/
Patterns of Change in Semantic Clustering in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: What Can it Tell Us about the Nature of Clustering Deficits
Semantic clustering has been used as a measure of learning strategies in a number of clinical populations and has been found to be deficient in individuals with Schizophrenia, but less attention has been paid to the dynamic use of this strategy over the course of fixed-order learning trials. In the current study, we examined this pattern of clustering use over trials in a sample of individuals with Schizophrenia, and explored whether the addition of this dynamic information would help us to better predict specific executive deficits. Results suggested that a decrease in semantic clustering across trials was associated with some executive deficits in the predicted manner. Nonetheless, the overall semantic clustering index generally proved more effective for the purposes, suggesting that in this population, the addition of dynamic information in strategy use is not likely to add considerably to clinical prediction and understanding. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2906/
Perceived Racial Discrimination and Psychiatric Outcomes among Asian Americans
The present study related generational status, family dynamics, and perceptions of racial discrimination (PRD) to acute psychiatric outcomes among a nationally representative Asian American sample (N = 2095), using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). High self-reports of PRD were correlated with endorsement of clinical depression and suicidality as predicted. Regression analyses suggested that high PRD, low family cohesion, and high family conflict served as significant predictors of poor mental health independently, but moderator hypotheses predicting the interaction of these factors were not supported. Clinical and research implications are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12210/
Perceptions and attributions of child, spousal, and elder abuse.
Although researchers have studied perceptions regarding sexually abused children, little was known about how other types of abusive events were perceived. This study examined 480 college students' abuse history and perceptions of child, spousal, and elder abuse by varying the respondent, victim, and perpetrator genders. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect were investigated. Perceptions of abusiveness, seriousness, harm, and responsibility were examined, along with the extent of identification with the victims/perpetrators. Participants viewed spousal abuse as less serious and harmful than other abuse types, especially when perpetrated against a male or by a female. Although able to recognize psychological abuse, students did not fully understand what other abuse types entailed. Individuals also showed a considerable amount of blame toward victims. Results further demonstrated important findings about how ethnic identity/orientation, religious affiliation, and history of abuse related to perceptions of abusive events. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4643/
Postcombat Military Job Satisfaction Among Vietnam Helicopter Aviators
This project investigated the relations between recalled job-satisfaction, ability, and task demands in Vietnam era helicopter aviators. It attempted to detect and describe factors present in a dangerous combat environment which may influence some individuals to enjoy and take satisfaction at being exposed to, creating, and participating in the dangerous and life threatening violence involved in helicopter combat. Participants were 30 pilots and crew members retired from the 335th Assault Helicopter Company who were all actively involved in combat in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. This study found that developing a love of war is correlated with anger during combat. The love of war is not correlated with PTSD processes nor is it correlated with specific personality dimensions. The love of war research is a new area. The questions were used to operationalize the love of war represent a significant limitation. This method of operationalizing the love of war concept does not make fine discriminations has questionable content validity. To facilitate accuracy in discriminating between participants when conducting future research in the area, researchers could benefit from constructing a measure with greater content validity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4972/
Predicting termination and continuation status in shelter programs using the Transtheoretical Model with Hispanic battered women.
This study tested the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change in predicting early termination, appropriate termination, and ongoing treatment of Hispanic battered women residing at domestic violence shelters. Self-efficacy, decisional balance, and acculturation were examined in relation to the applicability of this model with the Hispanic women population. One hundred and eight women residing in two shelters for survivors of domestic violence, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, were asked to provide information regarding the problems in their relationships, the pull and the strain of their relationship, their level of temptation to stay in the abusive relationship, and how confident they felt that they would not return to their abuser (The Process of Change in Abused Women Scales- PROCAWS). In addition, the women were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their level of acculturation. This study confirmed the stage of change profiles found in a population of battered women as well as in other clinical populations and the results suggest that this model is applicable to Hispanic populations. The results indicated that the women in this sample could be meaningfully grouped according to their level of involvement in different stages of change. Furthermore, this study provided support for the validity of this theory by finding significant relationships among the profiles of change and the intervening variables that moderate movement across the stages of change. The women in this study differed with regard to their level of temptation to stay in their relationships and the amount of cons they to making changes. The findings also confirmed that the Transtheoretical Model can be used to predict termination status from domestic violence shelter programs. Although there were no significant differences in termination status among the women with different stage of change profiles, a trend existed that women in earlier stages of change terminated earlier and women in later stages of change terminated appropriately. Overall, the results of this study provide evidence for the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model and the usefulness of the PROCAWS in identifying profiles of change that can potentially guide treatment interventions and predict early termination with the Hispanic population. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4283/
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