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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Psychology
 Decade: 2000-2009
 Degree Discipline: Clinical Psychology
 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

Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women

Date: December 2006
Creator: Garcia-Rea, Elizabeth Ann
Description: 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.
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Adolescent self-mutilating behaviors: Experiential avoidance coupled with imitation?

Adolescent self-mutilating behaviors: Experiential avoidance coupled with imitation?

Date: August 2008
Creator: Howe-Martin, Laura S.
Description: 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.
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Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Date: August 2006
Creator: Wupperman, Peggilee
Description: 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.
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Association between cognition and depression: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of individuals with learning disabilities.

Association between cognition and depression: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study of individuals with learning disabilities.

Date: August 2003
Creator: Schraufnagel, Caitlin D.
Description: 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 ...
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Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Date: May 2000
Creator: Forjaz, Maria João Bettencourt Pereira
Description: 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.
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Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment

Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment

Date: August 2006
Creator: Raina, Karina Christina
Description: 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 ...
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Contextualized risk assessment in clinical practice: Utility of actuarial, clinical, and structured clinical approaches to predictions of violence.

Contextualized risk assessment in clinical practice: Utility of actuarial, clinical, and structured clinical approaches to predictions of violence.

Date: August 2004
Creator: Jackson, Rebecca L.
Description: 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 ...
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A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study of Adolescents and Religion: Views of Risk and Resiliency

A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study of Adolescents and Religion: Views of Risk and Resiliency

Date: August 2009
Creator: Miesse, Colette Ann
Description: 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 ...
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Deficits in Miranda comprehension and reasoning: The effects of substance use and attention deficits.

Deficits in Miranda comprehension and reasoning: The effects of substance use and attention deficits.

Date: August 2009
Creator: Hazelwood, Lisa L.
Description: 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.
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Dementia, Diabetes, and Depression: Relationship to Cognitive Functioning

Dementia, Diabetes, and Depression: Relationship to Cognitive Functioning

Date: August 2009
Creator: Jackson, Lauren Innes
Description: 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 ...
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