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 Degree Discipline: Clinical Psychology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
The Detection of Neuropsychological Malingering

The Detection of Neuropsychological Malingering

Date: August 2003
Creator: Liff, Christine D.
Description: 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.
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Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility

Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility

Date: August 2014
Creator: Schmalz, Jonathan E.
Description: 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 ...
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Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors

Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors

Date: August 2006
Creator: Noffsinger, Mary A.
Description: 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 ...
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Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females

Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females

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Date: August 2002
Creator: Tripp, Margaret Murphy
Description: 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 ...
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Disclosure and its Perceived Impact as Mediators of the Long-Term Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse

Disclosure and its Perceived Impact as Mediators of the Long-Term Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse

Date: October 1992
Creator: Phelan-McAuliffe, Debra
Description: 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 ...
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The Effect of Ambiguity on Peak Weightlifting Performance : A Study of Experienced Weightlifters

The Effect of Ambiguity on Peak Weightlifting Performance : A Study of Experienced Weightlifters

Date: December 1994
Creator: Rattan, Randall Hampton
Description: 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.
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The Effect of Hypnotically-Induced Mood Elevation as an Adjunct to Cognitive Treatment of Depression

The Effect of Hypnotically-Induced Mood Elevation as an Adjunct to Cognitive Treatment of Depression

Date: December 1985
Creator: Lucas, Scott Gordon
Description: 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.
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The Effect of Stress, Anxiety-Proneness and Previous Exposure to Familial Abuse on Violence in Later Relationships

The Effect of Stress, Anxiety-Proneness and Previous Exposure to Familial Abuse on Violence in Later Relationships

Date: August 1986
Creator: Rose, Patricia Riddle
Description: 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 ...
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Effectiveness of the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination in Assessing Alzheimer's Disease

Effectiveness of the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination in Assessing Alzheimer's Disease

Date: December 1996
Creator: Begnoche, Normand B.
Description: 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 ...
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Effects of a Psychotherapy Presentation on Asians' Therapy Expectations and Help-Seeking Attitudes

Effects of a Psychotherapy Presentation on Asians' Therapy Expectations and Help-Seeking Attitudes

Date: December 1985
Creator: Plotkin, Rosette Curcuruto
Description: 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.
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