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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.
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.
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.
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.
Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It
The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
An Analysis of the Performance of a Clinical Sample of African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic Children on the WISC-III
The goals of revision for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition included enhancement of the factor structure, improvement of subtests, and revision of norms. The researchers reported that the very few items that were found to be biased were replaced. The WISC-III performance of a clinical sample of African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic children was analyzed to determine if the test bias was eliminated as claimed in the goals of the revision.
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.
The Assessment of Cognitive Functioning among Patients with Unilateral Visual Neglect: Effects of Field of Presentation and Cueing
Prior evidence has shown a reduction of neglect on line bisection tasks as a function of altered hemispace presentation and left cueing. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of these factors in reducing symptoms of neglect on measures of general cognitive functioning. To examine proposed changes, revised versions of the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices and the Memory-for-Designs (MFD) Test were constructed by placing the target stimuli in the right hemifield. Two experimental presentations, a right hemispace condition and a right hemispace plus left cue prompt condition, were compared to the standard presentation format. The primary hypotheses predicted that RBD neglect patients would reveal enhanced performance on the criterion measures as a result of these manipulations. Significant correlations were predicted between the neglect measures and between the two scoring systems for the MFD. The sample was comprised of 54 hospitalized patients, assigned to either a RBD neglect group (N = 18), a RBD nonneglect group (N = 18) , or an orthopedic control group (N = 18) . Both RBD groups were administered the Mini Inventory of Right Brain Injury, to document the presence and severity of right brain injury. Presence of neglect was assessed via the Schenkenberg Line Bisection Task and the Bells Test for Visual Neglect. Subjects were examined under all three conditions by administering one third of the items for each condition. Neglect subjects demonstrated significantly poorer performance on both criterion measures than the two comparison groups. However, no significant improvement in performance was revealed with right hemispace presentation of stimuli or left cue prompts combined with the right hemispace version. Ancillary predictions concerning correlations for the neglect measures and MFD scoring systems were confirmed. Results are interpreted in terms of increased attentional demands and task complexity. These results suggest that, despite the frequent clinical use of these manipulations in the cognitive assessment of this population, support for the efficacy of these procedures is lacking.
Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences.
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.
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.
Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical
Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
Attention and Information Processing Variables in Hypothetically Psychosis-Prone College Students
Considering the explanations of schizophrenia that presume schizophrenia spectrum disorders (e.g., schizotypal personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, etc.) to be genetically related to schizophrenia, the purpose of this study was to investigate the attention and information processing abilities of individuals who have been identified as schizotypal or psychosis-prone (i.e., schizophrenia spectrum functioning in individuals who do not have schizophrenia). Research indicates that persons identified as psychosis-prone may show attention and information processing deficits similar to individuals with schizophrenia. The identification and description of individuals who later decompensate into schizophrenia would advance the understanding of schizophrenia and its causes. The Chapman's PER-MAG scale (Perceptual Aberration-Magical Ideation) was used to identify 35 hypothetically psychosis-prone college students (schizotypy group) and 42 normal college students (nonschizotypy group) out of the 806 volunteer subjects. Their attention and information processing abilities were measured by COGLAB (a multiparadigmatic cognitive test battery that represents a continuum of cognitive functions, from preattentional to attentional, to conceptual). Their social adjustment was measured by the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS). The hypotheses of the study were that the hypothetically psychosis-prone subjects would perform poorer than controls on COGLAB measures and that COGLAB measures of a more molar nature would better predict social adjustment than would the more molecular tasks. The results of the study did not support the hypotheses as there were no significant differences between the schizotypy group and the nonschizotypy group and the measures of a more molar nature did not better predict social adjustment. Further research might consider increasing the sample size, applying more stringent cut-off criteria for the schizotypy group, and verifying the validity of using PER-MAG, COGLAB, and PAS with this population. Further research also needs to clarify the ways in which those identified as psychosis-prone process information like (or unlike) nonschizotypes and how their current social functioning might be related to their deficiencies.
Attention and Metacognition in the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of Desire
The elaborated intrusion (EI) theory of desire is a cognitive model that describes the processes involved in craving as intrusive thoughts that are elaborated upon leading to dissonance when desires are not met. While the theory is based on a wide body of research, certain theoretical predictions have not been fully examined. Specifically, EI theory argues that mental imagery has a central role in craving, and predicts that attempts to suppress substance-related intrusive thoughts and mental imagery is related to increased craving. Further, EI theory suggests that elaboration of craving imagery is related to attention and working memory processes, however, there are questions about whether differential performance in these domains is related to craving. The current study examined the relationship between attention/working memory performance and alcohol craving in a sample of 119 young adult males. Additionally, metacognition was examined to clarify the phenomenological aspects of craving within EI theory. Attention and working memory performance did not significantly predict intrusive thought and mental imagery elaboration. Individuals with high craving reported significantly higher levels of anxiety, thought suppression, and greater strength and frequency of craving-related mental imagery. They were also more likely to try to control their own thoughts and make negative judgments on their ability to do so. The strength of craving-related intrusive thoughts, not mental imagery, was the most significant predictor of craving. Implications for the understanding of craving and treatment recommendations based on the findings are discussed.
Bias in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Gay Males
The purpose of this study was to explore heterosexual bias in the diagnosis and treatment of gay males. Two hundred-fifty (134 males and 116 females) mental health professionals from the Division of Psychotherapy (29) of the American Psychological Association participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two case history conditions, which presented a 35-year-old male seeking therapy. Both conditions were equivalent with regards to the presenting problem (i.e., diagnostic symptoms) with the exception of his significant other (i.e., gay vs. non-gay condition). Potential bias was measured through a diagnostic rating Likert scale and a treatment plan questionnaire. Other independent variables that could potentially have an effect on diagnostic ratings were explored, such as gender, year of graduation, and theoretical orientation of the respondents. Results of the statistical analyses failed to confirm evidence of heterosexual bias. Implications for further research and training are discussed.
Child Physical Abuse: An Analysis of Social Cognition and Object Relations
This study compared the social cognition and object relations of 39 physically abused children to a clinical group of 39 children with no recorded history of abuse.
Chronically Ill Children: Maternal Stress and Psychological Symptomatology
This study used a parenting stress and coping model to identify predictors of symptomatology for 13 8 mothers of medically compromised children. This model proposed that: child characteristics (severity of the chronic illness and child related parenting stressors); parent characteristics (self-esteem, sense of competence, and parents' perceived stress/distress); and environmental characteristics (social support, general life stressor events, and demographic variables) contribute to psychological symptomatology for these mothers. Multiple regression analysis found a relationship between general life stressor events, severity of the children's chronic conditions, lower satisfaction with social support, lower self-esteem, and younger mothers' ages and greater symptomatology. Trends toward significance were found for more parenting stress and lower parenting sense of competence predicting greater symptomatology. Predicted relationships between family socioeconomic status and parenting daily hassles and symptomatology were not supported.
The Cognitive and Emotional Correlates of Neglect in School Age Children
The purpose of this study was to examine the cognitive and emotional functioning of neglected, physically abused, and clinical control children between six and thirteen years of age who were referred for testing at the Dallas Child Guidance Clinic.
Cognitive Organization, Interpersonal Flexibility and Psychological Maladjustment
Recent research on the contribution of cognitive and social factors to psychopathology has been narrowly focused on isolated cognitive-social aspects of adjustment. This study takes a broader perspective by examining a) cognitive structure in addition to cognitive content and b) general aspects of interpersonal style rather than isolated social behaviors. Maladjustment was. examined with respect to premorbid history as well as current adjustment. The hypotheses were that cognitive integration interacts with cognitive complexity to influence psychological disturbance; that a positive relationship exists between interpersonal flexibility and psychopathology; and that a positive relationship exists between the proportion of ambiguous constructs which they employ and a person's level of psychopathology.
Cognitive Processing Bias in Sexually Aggressive College Men
The study of cognitive factors in sexual aggression has, for the most part, been limited to beliefs and attitudes. The present study sought to detect a rape-supportive schema of sexual relationships that organizes and guides information processing in several cognitive domains: cognitions arising in the context of a simulated sexual situation, memory, person perception, and social reasoning.
Communication and Conflict in Marital Dyads: A Personal Construct Approach
A typology of marital dyads derived from Kelly's (1955) Personal Construct Psychology was used to investigate the communicative behaviors of married companions. Four groups based on Kelly's Commonality (dyadic similarity) and Sociality (dyadic understanding) corollaries were contrasted: similar-understanding, dissimilar-understanding, similar-misunderstanding, and dissimilar-misunderstanding couples. It was expected that dyadic understanding would contribute more to self-disclosure, cooperative involvement, and marital satisfaction than dyadic similarity. Furthermore, it was anticipated that couples high in understanding and low in similarity would represent optimally functioning couples, as evidenced by disclosure, satisfaction, and involvement with each other. Sixty-three married couples who had known each other at least two years completed questionnaire items assessing demographic variables, marital satisfaction (Dyadic Adjustment Scale) and self-reported communication behaviors (Partner Communication Inventory, Dyadic Disclosure Inventory). Each spouse also completed an 8 X 8 Repertory Grid and predicted the mate's responses on the Rep Grid. Subjects then participated in three different audio-taped discussion tasks (an informal conversation, a consensus decision-making task, and a role-played conflict-resolution scene) which were rated for avoidant, competitive, and cooperative responses, as well as overall self-disclosure. Although understanding facilitated disclosure in conflict situations and similarity fostered marital satisfaction, communicative behaviors generally reflected the joint influence of both similarity and understanding. Dissimilar-understanding couples were intensely involved with each other and freely disclosed, but were not highly satisfied. Similar-understanding couples were the most content and had the greatest sense of validation as a couple. Similar-misunderstanding couples restricted their relationship by attempting to avoid expected confrontations. Dissimilar-misunderstanding couples viewed themselves in a socially desirable light, tried to maintain congenial, nonintimate interactions, and were moderately contented. Implications for therapeutic programs, for Kelly's theory, and for future research were discussed.
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.
Comparing the Personal Lives of Psychotherapists and Research Psychologists
Although the personal life of the therapist has been a topic of interest for nearly sixty years there is still a paucity of research in this area. There is also a lack of research into the personal lives of researcher psychologists. In this study 282 psychologists (151 researchers and 131 therapists) who attended regional meetings and seminars sponsored by professional psychological associations in Texas were sampled. Job stressors, personal problems and health concerns, relaxation techniques, life satisfaction, and work impact on personal life were some of the areas examined. The most important stressors associated with research were excessive teaching responsibilities, pressures associated with funding and lack of time for a personal life. For therapists the most important stressors associated with work were suicide attempts by clients, clients showing resistance, and clients being angry. Therapists reported more concerns related to anxiety, depression, and family problems than researchers. Both groups chose exercise/sports and movies/television as their most common methods for relaxation. Therapists were three times more likely to have been in therapy than researchers and once in therapy reported six times the number of hours. Researchers reported less childhood abuse than therapists. However, therapists were more satisfied with their current life, indicating having good friends and liking where they lived more than researchers. Therapists were also more likely to feel that their work had impacted their lives and that these benefits were mostly positive. The array of positive benefits ranged from being a better person to enjoying life more. Overall, results showed that, although therapists generally began life in less happy circumstances, and experienced greater personal problems and health concerns currently, they reported feeling more satisfied with their lives than researchers.
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.
Complex Ptsd As a Less Pejorative Label: Is the Proposed Diagnosis Less Stigmatizing Than Bpd?
Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists.
Conceptualizing Quality of College Life
The objectives of this study were to mathematically model the quality of college life (QCL) concept and to study the associations between attachment style, emotion regulation abilities, psychological needs fulfillment and QCL via structural equation modeling. Data was collected from 507 undergraduate students (men = 178, women = 329; age M = 21.78 years, SD = 4.37). This data was used to provide evidence for the validity of the College Adjustment Scales (CAS) as a measure of quality of college life. The CAS demonstrated good convergent validity with the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL), Subjective Well-being and Psychological Well-being Scales. Results: Students who were insecurely attached were as likely to feel adequate in their academic and professional endeavors as securely attached students. However, insecurely attached students had lower QCL levels, lower fulfillment of psychological needs and more emotion regulation difficulties than securely attached students. The results also indicated that Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment were positively and strongly associated. Nonetheless, Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment affected QCL through different mechanism. Emotion regulation mediated the path between Anxious Attachment and QCL while the fulfillment of psychological needs mediated the path between Avoidant Attachment and QCL. The fulfillment of psychological needs also mediated the path between emotion regulation and QCL. The described pattern of results was found for three separate models representing 1) the student’s attachment with their romantic partner, 2) best friend and 3) mother. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest a change in primary attachment figure during the college years. Emotion regulation, the fulfillment of psychological needs and QCL were all affected more strongly by the student’s attachment style with their romantic partner and best friend compared to their attachment style with their parents.
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.
Correlates and Predictors of Medication Noncompliance in Patients with Schizophrenia
The treatment of schizophrenia today consists of a multi-component system of services. Mental health professionals generally agree that anti-psychotic medications are an essential treatment for schizophrenia. However, adherence to medication regimens by patients with schizophrenia is notoriously poor. To identify correlates and predictors of medication compliance, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS), a semi-structured diagnostic interview, was administered to 90 outpatients with schizophrenia. The results suggest that there are specific variables (i.e., mood symptoms, psychotic symptoms, and socio-demographic variables) that predict medication compliance. In addition, the confirmation of these variables was effective (90.0%) at identifying non-compliant patients. The results suggest that schizophrenia is a complex disorder composed of heterogeneous symptoms. However, a specific group of symptoms is proposed which may provide a screening measure for predicting patients who are likely to be non-compliant with their medications.
Correlates Between Adult Romantic Attachment Patterns and Dimensional Personality Pathology
Previous research has suggested that adult attachment disturbance is related to maladaptic interaction patterns and personality disorder constructs. Specifically, research indicates that those with attachment disturbance are significantly more likely to meet criteria for a number of personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between adult attachment and the new dimensional model of personality disorders scheduled to be released in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Diosrders (5th ed.) in spring 2013. Participants completed the Schedule for Adaptive and Nonadaptive Personality (SNAP) to measure dimensional personality functioning and the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR-R) and the Attachment Prototypes to measure adult attachment patterns. Additionally, select scales from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and the Five Factor Model (FFM) will be utilized as secondary measures of personality patterns. The results suggest strong associations between adult attachment orientations and specific maladaptive personality characteristics.
Criterion Validity of the MMPI-2 in a State Hospital Setting
The current study investigated the criterion validity of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 (MMPI-2) by comparing participants' profiles with other variables, including diagnosis, length of hospitalization, and chronicity. The specific diagnostic groups investigated were depressed (major depressive disorder; dysthymic disorder; and bipolar disorder, depressed), schizophrenic (schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, and schizoaffective disorder), and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Statistical analyses included use of univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs), multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs), regression analyses, and measures of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive power (PPP), and negative predictive power (NPP). MANOVA results indicated significant differences between diagnostic groups on Scales F, 2, 3, 4, 7, ANX. FRS. DEP. BIZ. M f i , LSE, and FAM. There were considerable differences between males and females when separate MANOVAs were performed for gender groups. Cutoff see ires for classification by diagnosis resulted in significant specificity rates and negative predictive power, but sensitivity rates and positive predictive power were not significant.
A Criterion Validity Study of the MMPI-2 and PAI Spanish Versions with DIS Diagnosis: Implications for Clinical Practice
New Spanish versions of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) were assessed with the Spanish translation of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) as the gold standard. Findings from categorical and dimensional analyses suggest that, although the degree of diagnostic concordance of both measures with the DIS was found to be moderately high, the MMPI-2 clinical scales yielded greater specificity but lower sensitivity than the PAI scales on two of four diagnostic categories (i.e., Major Depression, and Schizophrenia). Both measures failed to correctly diagnose Anxiety Disorders, while the MMPI-2 also showed poor diagnostic accuracy with Alcohol Dependence.
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.
A Cross-Sectional Study of Custodial Grandparenting: Stresses, Coping Skills, and Relationships with Grandchildren
This cross-sectional study compared three groups of grandparents, two custodial and one noncustodial, to identify and delineate the unique challenges and expectations faced by custodial grandparents due to their nontraditional roles while attempting to disentangle grandparental role demands from child-specific problems as sources of distress. Those grandparents raising grandchildren demonstrating neurological, physical, emotional, or behavioral problems exhibited the most distress, the most disruption of roles, and the most deteriorated grandparent-grandchild relationships. Although the custodial grandparents raising apparently normal grandchildren demonstrated less distress, less disruption of roles, and less deterioration of the grandparent-grandchild relationship than those grandparents raising grandchildren displaying problems, they still demonstrated higher levels than did traditional grandparents. Those grandparents who reported fewer resources, demonstrated poor attitudes regarding seeking mental health services, and reported raising grandchildren displaying problems had the lowest levels of adjustment.
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.
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.
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.
Denial of Risk: the Effects of Intentional Minimization on Risk Assessments for Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Offenders
Risk assessments for offenders often combine past records with current clinical findings from observations, interviews, and test data. Conclusions based on these risk assessments are highly consequential, sometimes resulting in increased criminal sentences or prolonged hospitalization. Offenders are therefore motivated to intentionally minimize their risk scores. Intentional minimization is especially likely to occur in offenders with high psychopathic traits because goal-directed deception is reflected in many of the core traits of the disorder, such as manipulativeness, glibness, and superficial charm. However, this connection appears to be based on the conceptual understanding of psychopathy, and it has rarely been examined empirically for either frequency or success. The current study examined the connection between psychopathic traits and the intentional minimization of risk factors using a sentenced jail sample. In general, offenders were able to effectively minimize risk on the HCR-20 and SAQ, while the PICTS, as a measure of cognitive styles, was more resistant to such minimization. Psychopathic traits, especially high interpersonal facet scores, led to greater minimization using a repeated measure, simulation design. Important differences in the willingness and ability to use deception were found based on (a) the content of subscales, and (b) the mode of administration (i.e., interview vs. self-report). The important implications of this research are discussed for risk assessment procedures regarding likely areas of deception and its detection. It also informs the growing literature on the connection between psychopathic traits and deception.
Depressed and Nondepressed Students: Judgment of Control, Defensiveness, and Cognitive Functioning
Ninety-six undergraduates were given four tasks under either reward or punishment conditions. Each task consisted of 20 trials of pressing or not pressing a button to make a light come on. Monetary reinforcement was contingent on light onset for all tasks and on accuracy of judgment of control for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th tasks. Cognitive processing was comprehensively assessed for each task by measuring expectancy, judgment of control, perception of environmental stimuli, evaluation of performance, attribution, and reinforcement value. Results showed that subjects were more accurate in moderate than in low control and in low than moderate frequency. Females were more accurate in perceiving environmental stimuli and had lower self-esteem, lower efficacy expectancies, and higher self-rated reinforcement values for monetary incentives than males. Low defensives were accurate in expectancy of control, judgment of control in punishment, and estimation of environmental stimuli. Subjects in reward were more accurate in perceiving reinforcing events and they gave themselves more credit for task performance than subjects in punishment gave themselves blame for comparable performance. Those in punishment had more stable and external attributions and were more anxious, depressed, and hostile. Depressives and nondepressives reacted differently to the monetary contingency on accuracy of judgment of control. Depressives showed overestimation of control immediately after initiation of this contingency, then gradually decreased their estimation until they were relatively accurate on the last task. Nondepressives showed more accurate judgment of control immediately after monetary contingency on accuracy, but returned to overestimation on subsequent tasks. These findings gave partial support to Alloy and Abramson (1979) in that mild depressives became increasingly accurate in judgment of control across tasks. Female depressives, compared to female nondepressives, were less accurate in perceiving environmental stimuli and gave themselves less credit in reward. Although depressives did not set a particularly high criterion for success as suggested by Beck and Seligman, all subjects set criteria for success higher than both estimated and actual maximal control (ps < .05).
Depression and Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease
Depression is an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Altered autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity, a common feature of depression, is also a risk factor for cardiac events in patients with CAD. Heart rate variability (HRV) reflects ANS activity, and reduced HRV predicts morbidity in cardiac populations. The purpose of this study was to determine whether differences in HRV exist between depressed and nondepressed patients with CAD. Twenty-one depressed inpatients, with angiographically documented CAD were retrospectively matched to 21 nondepressed CAD patients by sex, age, and smoking status. Demographic, medical, psychological interview data, and 24-hour ECG recordings were obtained. Depressed subjects had significantly lower HRV, or trends toward lower HRV, than nondepressed subjects, even after controlling for severity of CAD. Subject groups did not differ on left ventricular ejection fraction, history of myocardial infarction, or any other relevant medical variable assessed. These results suggest that depression is associated with decreased HRV in patients with CAD, and may help to explain the increased rates of cardiac events observed in CAD patients with depression.
Detection of Malingering on Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices and the Booklet Category Test
The capacity of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) and the Booklet Category Test (BCT) to discriminate between groups of brain-injured, simulated malingering, and normal participants was investigated in this study. Exploratory analyses were also conducted to examine the differences between groups categorized as sophisticated and naive fakers. Clinical decision rules and discriminant function analyses were utilized to identify malingerers. Clinical decision rules ranged in hit rates from 41% to 78%, in sensitivity from 2% to 100%, and in specificity from 86% to 100%. Discriminant functions ranged in hit rates from 81% to 86%, in sensitivity from 68% to 73% and in specificity from 82% to 87%. Overall, the least helpful detection method examined was below chance responding on either measure, while the most efficient was gross errors for SPM.
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.
Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility
Religion and spirituality are vital aspects of many people’s lives both in the United States and across the globe. Although many constructs and measures exist to describe and assess the experience of pursuing the sacred, the complexity of religious and spiritual experience leads to mixed results in relation to well-being and psychopathological traits. However, in broad terms, the relationship appears positive. Over the past 30 years the need for more refined and useful approaches to the study of religious and spiritual behavior has been repeatedly acknowledged. Although authors wisely caution development of further measures without due cause, extant constructs and measures do not provide clear and consistent results for understanding the influence of one’s relationships to religion and spirituality upon behaviors of clinical interest. The present project drew from the functional contextual concept of psychological flexibility, which provides clarity to understanding the encouragement and maintenance of psychological well-being. A new construct of religious and psychological flexibility is explicated as a functional approach to understanding religious and spiritual behavior in a manner that is useful in research and clinical settings alike. The development and evaluation of the Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility (MRSF) is described. The MRSF evidenced adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis results were positive, but indicate further refinement. Analyses suggested good construct validity of the MRSF in relation to psychological well-being and psychopathology; construct validity in relation to extant constructs in the psychology of religion was varied. Implications and future directions are discussed.
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.
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.
Disclosure and its Perceived Impact as Mediators of the Long-Term Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse
The primary purpose of the present study was to investigate factors associated with childhood sexual abuse which mediate long-term effects. Of particular interest were the mediators of disclosure and its perceived impact, as well as variables related to the severity of the abuse. Also of interest were impact areas related to a history of molestation which have received little attention in the literature. Five hundred and seventy-five female undergraduates completed an extensive questionnaire with measures of family background, childhood and adult sexual experiences, health status, and psychological variables. Of these subjects, 286 reported at least one incident of child sexual abuse. It was hypothesized that those females with histories of sexual abuse who received a positive response to their disclosure of abuse would demonstrate more adaptive adult functioning as compared to those victims receiving a negative response, or those who never disclosed. Significant differences were not detected among the three groups on the outcome measures. A number of reasons were explored for why these differences may not have been detected in the present investigation. Although differences were not detected for disclosure status, significant differences were detected between females reporting a history of child sexual abuse and those reporting no abuse on all of the outcome measures. Specifically, sexual abuse victims were more likely than nonvictims to be sexually revictimized in adulthood. Potential explanations for this finding were explored in a discriminant function analysis predicting revictimization status. Further, abused females had significantly higher levels of depression, dissociation, and perceptual disturbances when compared to their nonabused peers. Sexual abuse victims also reported more health symptoms across various bodily systems and had more negative attributions about their physical health status. Differences between the abused and nonabused groups on levels of perceptual disturbance and perceived physical health status are particularly noteworthy since previous research has detected these symptoms only through clinical samples.
The Effect of Ambiguity on Peak Weightlifting Performance : A Study of Experienced Weightlifters
Recent studies in the area of sport and exercise science have suggested that weightlifting performance may be significantly improved under ambiguous conditions—namely, when the amount to be lifted is unknown. In the present study, procedural concerns from previous studies examining the effect of ambiguity were noted and a methodological variation was introduced.
The Effect of Hypnotically-Induced Mood Elevation as an Adjunct to Cognitive Treatment of Depression
Cognitive therapy for the treatment of depression has generated substantial research indicating its effectiveness and it is currently considered among the most viable conceptualizations of depression. However, it has remained controversial because its methods do not directly address emotional symptoms in depressed persons. Treatment of depressed emotions is a primary focus of hypnotic mood elevating techniques. These techniques enable depressed persons to experience positive emotions during hypnosis sessions and to re-experience them daily concurrent with performance of certain specified behaviors. This study evaluated the efficacy of a multicomponent treatment which combines the techniques of cognitive therapy and hypnotic mood elevation in the treatment of depressed persons. The three treatment conditions constructed for this investigation were cognitive therapy plus hypnotic mood elevation, cognitive therapy plus pseudo-biofeedback, and no treatment waiting list.
The Effect of Stress, Anxiety-Proneness and Previous Exposure to Familial Abuse on Violence in Later Relationships
Abuse in adult relationships as affected by stress, anxiety-proneness, and exposure to abuse as a child was examined using 579 North Texas State University undergraduates, Frequency and levels of abuse observed or received as a child and received or expressed as an adult were measured using a modification of Straus' Conflicts Tactics Scale (1979). Anxiety-proneness was determined by scores received on Spielberger's (1970) State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Current levels of stress for the past two years were measured using the Life Experiences Survey (Sarason, 1978). Overall frequencies for received and expressed abuse (including physical and verbal abuse) in adult relationships were quite high (62.9 percent and 73.8 percent respectively). Females reported expressing significantly more abuse than did males. No gender differences were found for the receipt of abuse. Gender differences in types of violence were also examined. In addition, multiple regression was used to determine predictor variables for the expression and receipt of abuse. For males, receiving abuse as a child, positive stress scores, higher levels of anxiety-proneness, and observing father's abuse of mother significantly predicted expressing abuse as an adult. Observing mother's abuse of father and positive stress scores significantly predicted receiving abuse as an adult. For females, having received abuse as a child and trait anxiety were significant predictors for the expression of adult abuse. Receiving abuse as a child was the only significant predictor for the receipt of adult abuse. The greater impact of observing abuse between parents on males was discussed. In addition, difficulties confronting researchers in this area and the possible explanations for more frequent reports of female expression of abuse were examined.
Effectiveness of the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination in Assessing Alzheimer's Disease
Accurate, early diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease is becoming increasingly important in light of its growing prevalence among the expanding older-aged adult population. Due to its ability to assess multiple domains of cognitive functioning and provide a profile of impairment rather than a simple global score, the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE) is suggested to better assess such patterns of cognitive deficit for the purpose of diagnosis. The performance of the NCSE was compared with that of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) for diagnostic sensitivity in a sample of patients diagnosed as having probable Alzheimer's Disease. The strength of correlation between severity of cognitive impairment on these tests and report of behavior problems on the Memory and Behavior Problems Checklist (MBPC) was also explored, as was performance on the NCSE and report of behavior problems using the MBPC in predicting Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scan results. The NCSE was found to exhibit greater sensitivity to physician diagnosis of probable Alzheimer's Disease relative to two versions (Serial 7's or WORLD) of the MMSE (.90, .77 and .68, respectively). While both measures were found to correlate significantly with the report of behavior problems, only a moderate proportion (NCSE = .22 and MMSE = .33) of the explained variance was accounted for by either test. Severity of cognitive impairment on the NCSE was found to be significant, though small in estimate of its effect size, for predicting the absence/presence of pathognomic findings on SPECT scans. In contrast, the report of behavior problems on the MBPC did not significantly predict SPECT scan outcomes. The NCSE would appear to be a sensitive tool for the identification of the extent and severity of cognitive impairment found among demented individuals; however, it may be "over"-sensitive to such diagnosis. Although relationships between cognitive impairment and behavior problems and/or neuroradiological findings are observed, their meaningfulness remains with the need for further, more detailed, study using standardized criteria for comparison purposes.
Effects of a Psychotherapy Presentation on Asians' Therapy Expectations and Help-Seeking Attitudes
The effectiveness of an educational psychotherapy presentation on Asians' therapy expectations and help-seeking attitudes was investigated. Subjects were foreign-born Asian university students. Compared to a non-Asian American normative sample, the Asian group demonstrated significantly less accurate expectations about therapy and less positive attitudes about seeking help for psychological problems. A psychotherapy presentation was used to modify expectations and attitudes. It consisted of an audiotaped lecture on therapist and client roles and the types of problems discussed in therapy. It also included a written transcript of therapist-client dialogues for subjects to read. The experimental group, which received the presentation, was compared to placebo control and delayed-treatment control groups. The psychotherapy presentation did not modify Asians' expectations or attitudes more than the control groups. Instead, all three groups showed improvement at posttest. Because there is a clear need to assess further the therapy expectations and attitudes of Asians, future research was recommended.