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- Acculturation Level, Generational Status and Gender: Their Role in Acculturative Stress in Young Adolescent Mexican Americans
- The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between acculturation level, generational status, and gender with acculturative stress. Acculturation level was determined by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) and acculturative stress was determined by the Societal, Attitudinal, Familial and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale-Children's Version (SAFE-C). Subjects included 1268 Hispanic children ages 11-15. In order to validate the usefulness of the ARSMA-II with this sample, analyses were conducted between acculturation level and generational status. The Pearson product moment correlation (r=.44) and the ANOVA between the mean acculturation score and generational status were significant. However, the mean acculturation score from this study was considerably lower than the ARSMA-II score; therefore, new acculturation levels were developed to establish local adolescent norms for the ARSMA-II. All analyses involving acculturation levels were conducted using both the ARSMA-II and new acculturation levels because 300 subjects were reclassified with the new norms. Significant results were similar using both acculturation levels; however, there were more between group differences using the new acculturation levels. It was hypothesized that as acculturation level increased toward the Anglo culture, acculturative stress would decrease. The one-way ANOVA confirmed this relationship. It was also hypothesized that as generational status increased, acculturative stress would decrease. A one-way ANOVA also supported this hypothesis. In order to replicate previous findings on gender, a one-way ANOVA was conducted with acculturative stress and acculturation level. Results for both were non-significant. Overall findings indicate that generational status and acculturation level have a significant impact on acculturative stress in Hispanic children; however, gender does not seem to be a factor. Findings emphasize the importance of addressing cultural issues in the assessment, intervention, and treatment of acculturating Hispanic children. Furthermore, the ARSMA-II appears to be a useful instrument in assessing acculturation level in young adolescent Hispanics though new local adolescent norms for the ARSMA-II were developed from this study.
- Acculturative Processes and Their Impact on Self-Reports of Psychological Distress in Mexican-American Adolescents
- The current study examined the effects of acculturative processes on the self-report of behavioral problems in Hispanic children ages 11-14. Acculturation was measured by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) (ã Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, www.sagepub.com) (Cuellar, Arnold, and Maldonado, 1995) and the self-report of behavioral symptoms was assessed using the Youth Self-Report (ã T.M. Achenbach, Burlington, VT, www.aseba.com) (Achenbach, 1991). It was hypothesized that while both the linear and orthogonal categories of acculturation would account for a significant proportion of the variance in behavior problems in this age group, the orthogonal model would account for a larger proportion of variance due to its multidimensional nature. As well, it was hypothesized that the experimental Marginalization scales of the ARSMA-II would be predictive of behavioral problems. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to test these hypotheses and results were non-significant for the linear, orthogonal, and marginalization categories. The effects of the ethnic/cultural homogeneity of the region from which the sample was drawn, the buffering of social support, and the developmental aspects of ethnic identity are discussed as factors which may have influenced the potential impact of acculturative stress on psychological and behavioral functioning.
- Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy
- This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research.
- Association between folate, vitamin B12 and cognitive performance in demented elderly.
- Dementia is prevalent among elderly people. As the world population ages, it is projected that the number of people affected by dementia may triple in the next 50 years. Over the last two decades, research has focused on identifying potentially modifiable risk factors in development and progression of dementia, such as vitamin B12 and folate. Results concerning the effects of low folate and vitamin B12 on cognitive performance are mixed. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of vitamin deficiency on cognitive functioning in a clinical sample of elderly individuals with cognitive problems using a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. A retrospective chart-review was performed on the 102 records of patients from the Geriatrics Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who presented with cognitive deficits. Charts were reviewed to obtain data on vitamin supplementation, vitamin status, history of chronic conditions and other biochemical data. The available database was used to obtain data on neuropsychological assessment. The study demonstrated mild association between vitamin B12 and folate status and cognitive deficits. There appeared to be a higher cut-off level that is above the traditionally used levels for vitamin B12 and folate deficiency concentrations at which cognitive deficits became more pronounced. Clinical applications, limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.
- Autonomic Balance and Control of Stress for Participants Identified as High or Low Hostile and as Having a Positive or No Family History of Cardiovascular Disease
- The influence of autonomic activation in response to controllable versus noncontrollable stress, anger imagery induction, and relaxation imagery was studied among 80 participants between the ages of 18 and 34. Participants differed in level of trait hostility as assessed by the Irritability Subscale of The Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (Buss & Durkee,1957) and the Ho scale of the Cook-Medley Hostility Inventory (Cook & Medley, 1954). Groups were further subdivided with regards to either having a positive family history of cardiovascular disease or having no significant history. Results were obtained through analyses of electrocardiograph R-R intervals which produced an index of autonomic nervous system activation. Findings supported hypotheses involving the relations between autonomic balance and stress and hostility for the female and male populations. Among both populations, parasympathetic regulation was diminished during anger induction for individuals with high levels of trait hostility and having a family history of cardiovascular disease. Similar results were obtained for men during relaxation imagery induction.
- Behavior Patterns among Children with a History of Metopic Synostosis
- Metopic synostosis is a condition in which the metopic suture of the human cranium fuses prematurely and may be related to poor behavioral inhibition leading to behaviors commonly associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this project was to examine the behavior patterns among children with a history of metopic synostosis. It was hypothesized that children with a history of metopic synostosis would exhibit many of the same behavioral patterns associated with ADHD. It was also hypothesized that children with a history of simple synostosis not involving the metopic suture would not evidence this type of behavioral pattern. In order to test these hypotheses, the behavior of three groups of children was compared including (1) children who had a history of metopic synostosis (M= 7.63 years, SD = 1.92 years), (2) children who had a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture (M= 7.54 years, SD = 1.88 years), and (3) a group of children diagnosed with ADHD (M=7.78 year, SD = 1.87 years). It was found using the Home and School versions of the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (ADDES) that children with a history of metopic synostosis demonstrate significantly more behavioral disturbances than children with a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Teacher Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern similar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Parent Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern dissimilar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture.
- Boston Naming Test with Latencies (BNT-L)
- Although most people have experienced word-finding difficulty at one time or another, there are no clinical instruments able to reliably distinguish normal age-related effects from pathology in word-finding impairment. Two experiments were conducted to establish a modified version of the Boston Naming Test (BNT) that includes latency times, the Boston Naming Test of Latencies (BNT-L), in order to improve the instrument's sensitivity to mild to moderate word-finding impairment. Experiment 1: Latency times on the 60-item BNT (Goodglass et al., 2001) for 235 healthy adults' ages 18-89 years were collected on a representative sample. Qualitative features of the BNT items, statistical analyses, IRT, and demographic considerations of age, gender, education, vocabulary, race and culture, helped create a reduced BNT-L version with 15 of the most discriminating items. Statistically sound and sophisticated normative tables are provided that adjust for unseen covariates. Response latencies did not indicate earlier age-related decline in an optimally healthy sample. Experiment 2: Twenty-three patients referred for neuropsychological testing were administered the BNT-L. Patients referred for evaluation of mild cognitive impairment or possible dementia produced significantly different response BNT-L latencies from the healthy sample whereas patients referred for mild brain injury evaluation did not. Normal word-finding problems were discussed in terms of serial stage models of lexical access, as well as in terms of automatic and controlled cognitive processes in younger and older adults. Statistical process for creating a psychometric instrument using latencies is illustrated.
- Cardiovascular problems as a predictor of later cognitive decline: moderating effect of general and spousal social support.
- Individuals are living longer now than they have in the past. As a result, there is an increased incidence in illnesses that are more prevalent in later life. One group of illnesses that is more prevalent is age related dementia. Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are two common types of dementia found in the older adult population. Recent research suggests that these two types of dementia may both have a vascular component that is instrumental in their development. Not only may this vascular component be present in both these illnesses, but also it may be related to a more severe cognitive decline in the aging process. Results indicate that both cardiovascular disease and general and spousal social support in middle age are all three independent significant predictors of mild cognitive impairment and other non-normative cognitive impairment in later life. However, results do not indicate that social support moderates the relationship between cardiovascular disease and cognition.
- Changes in quantitative EEG and low resolution tomography following cranial electrotherapy stimulation.
- The effects of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on human EEG and brain current density were evaluated by quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) and low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). A total of 72 research subjects were provided with a single session of CES, 38 were provided with 0.5 Hz CES while 34 were provided with 100 Hz CES. The qEEG paired t-tests revealed that in both frequencies of CES there was a significant (.05) increase in alpha relative power with concomitant decreases in delta and beta relative power. The 0.5 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of delta activity, while the 100 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of beta activity; suggesting some difference may exist in the EEG response to different frequencies of CES. The changes found in qEEG relative power were consistent with the affective and cognitive effects of CES reported in the literature, such as increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. Statistically significant changes for qEEG values other than relative power, such as coherence, amplitude asymmetry, phase lag and power ratios were also found. The LORETA paired t-tests found statistically significant (.05) increases in cortical and subcortical theta and alpha frequency current density with concomitant decreases in delta and beta current density. The effects of CES on current density varied by frequency, but did not show a differential in response based on proximity to the contacts, or structures within the brain. Statistically significant changes in current density were found in all 2394 gray matter voxels represented by LORETA, indicating a whole brain response to the CES stimulus. The qEEG and LORETA findings revealed that a single 20-minute session of CES does have a significant effect on the cortical and subcortical activity of the human brain resulting in activity consistent with decreased anxiety and increased relaxation.
- Clustering of Behavioral Data for Identification of Presumptive Subtypes of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children
- The objective of the present study was to investigate Amen's formulations of subtypes of AD/HD initially identified by brain imaging techniques, through the use of behavioral checklist data. And in testing Amen's theory of six separate subtypes of AD/HD, to identify and differentiate the subtypes based on symptom presentation. Data was obtained through retrospective chart reviews (N=161) of children between the ages of 5 and 12 who met the criteria for the major symptoms observed in AD/HD and were referred for a previous comprehensive AD/HD evaluation. Data from behavioral checklist (CBCL and DBRS-IV) were matched to Amen's Subtype Symptom Checklist and each subject was given a percentage score for six subtype symptoms. Cluster analysis reliably found six clusters and each subject was labeled according to their symptom presentation. The clusters found were labeled as AD/HD - Combined Type, AD/HD - Predominately Inattentive Type, AD/HD - Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, Ad/HD - Combined Type with Obsessive-Compulsive features, AD/HD - Combined Type with Obsessive/Compulsive and Conduct Disorder features and Undifferentiated AD/HD. However, the present study did not find evidence of subtypes that corresponded to Amen's Temporal Lobe ADD or Limbic ADD. Discriminant function analysis of the six clusters found that the variables in the model (symptom percentage scores) significantly discriminated the subtype classification. Also, 76% of all cases were correctly classified according to their symptom presentation. Potential limitations of the sample and the data used for interpretation were discussed. Limitations of the study warrant further investigation making use of multi-modal assessment tools which relate well with brain imaging techniques, such as neuropsychological measures of attention and concentration, laboratory based measures of activity, continuous performance tests measuring inattention and impulsivity, and QEEG data measuring brain wave information. A multi-modal approach to investigating symptom subtypes of AD/HD would likely provide increased reliability and validity of differential diagnosis, and therefore, more effective treatment of children with the presenting symptomology of AD/HD. The diagnostic and clinical implications' of each cluster subtype symptomology found in the present study was discussed as well.
- Cognitive differences between congenitally and adventitiously blind individuals.
- It is apparent from the historical perspective regarding the theories of cognitive development and the cognitive functioning of individuals with visual impairments, that sight plays a major role in the development of certain cognitive processes. However, the affects of visual impairment on cognitive development remain to be at issue. Since sight seems to be highly integral in cognitive development beginning in the early stages of physical development, about the sixth month of life, and then begins to diminish in importance as verbal communication develops around eighteen months, then it should stand to reason that significant visual impairment or blindness occurring prior to this time would adversely impact an individual's cognitive development. Conversely, the occurrence of visual impairment or blindness after this critical period of development would have less of an impact. Cognitive theorists have proposed that visually impaired or blind persons may have developed different cognitive pathways to acquire, process, and accommodate sensory information. As a result, visually impaired or blind (VI/B) persons may "think differently" than sighted individuals. The present study was designed to address these issues as they relate to cognitive and neuropsychological development at various stages of growth and to examine possible differences in neuropsychological functioning dependent on the level of visual functioning a person retains; e.g. both the issues of age at onset and degree of impairment. It was also designed to study the possible interaction effects of degree of impairment with the age of onset. Findings indicated that the only differences in cognitive functioning appear to be related to age of onset and not the level of visual impairment. The findings further suggested that congenitally blind individuals have indeed developed alternate methods of cognitively processing nonverbal, abstract, or complex information, especially information involving a high degree of spatial orientation. Implications of this study may influence the educational methods used to teach congenitally blind individuals in order to reinforce these alternate pathways and facilitate more effective means of negotiating in a sighted environment.
- Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- The presence of cognitive deficits in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well-documented. Specifically, short- and long-term memory, attention/vigilance, and executive function (e.g. processing speed, mental flexibility, and problem solving) are affected. Cognitive deficits in aging occur in similar areas (i.e., memory and processing speed). Given that a greater percentage of older adults experience sleep-disordered breathing as compared to middle-aged adults, it is possible that OSA may account for some of the deficits typically attributed to aging. This study investigated this hypothesis by comparing middle-aged and older adults with and without OSA on computer-based measures of cognitive performance. No effect of OSA or an interaction between OSA and age on cognitive function was found; an effect of age on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, attention, spatial ability/mental flexibility, and both working memory and short-term visual memory was found. This study also explored whether or not cognitive function may be improved in persons with OSA by re-assessing those participants one month after treatment. An effect of treatment on improvements on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, mental flexibility, and short term memory was found. Overall, findings reflect the ability of treatment to improve cognitive function among OSA patients, regardless of lack of deficits when compared to those without OSA.
- A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of WRAML Scores in a Group of Academically Talented Students
- The purpose of this study was to confirm the original factor structure of the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML) utilizing a non-clinical adolescent population. Additional analysis examined the relationship between SAT-M scores and spatial relations ability. Exploratory analyses were conducted to determine ethnic and gender differences on the WRAML and subtests from the DAT. Sixty-four academically talented adolescents completed the WRAML and the mechanical reasoning and spatial relations subtests from the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT). The confirmatory factor analysis found the data obtained to not be a good fit for the factor structure of the WRAML (Sheslow & Adams, 1990). Additional confirmatory analyses were conducted which examined data fit of a three factor model found by reanalyzing the standardization data (Burton et al., 1996; Wasserman & Cambias, 1991) as well as two null models. The data failed to fit any of these three models. No support was found for the second hypothesis that predicted a positive relationship between SAT-M scores and spatial relations ability. Ethnic and gender differences on the WRAML and two DAT subtests were examined and discussed. Limitations of this study were reviewed which may have accounted for the overall lack of results.
- The cross-validation of AD/HD instruments and the relationship to neurocognitive and behavioral measures
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The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine the construct validities of comparable AD/HD instruments that were developed according to our current, DSM-IV classification system for AD/HD; and to identify potential +neurocognitive and socioemotional markers for AD/HD. The sample consisted of 145 children ages 8 to 11 years of age who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Children were administered a battery of neurocognitive tests and completed a self-report measure of personality. Parents completed several, AD/HD instruments pertaining to their children. The AD/HD instruments used in this study were the Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Test (ADHDT), and the Attention Problems and Hyperactivity scales from the BASC-Monitor (BASC-M). Of interest was how each AD/HD instrument compared to the DSM-IV, particularly in terms of the cross-consistency of AD/HD subtype classifications. The findings showed that the AD/HD instruments classified participants differently from the initial, DSM-IV entry diagnosis. Rates of agreement were better for some of the AD/HD instruments than for others yet there was little overall consistency. The neurocognitive measures used in the study were the Cognitive Assessment System-Basic Battery scales. The socioemotional measures used in the study were two parent-report scales from the BASC-M (Internalizing Problems and Adaptive Skills), and the child report scales from the BASC-Self Report of Personality. Results showed that the neurocognitive measures were relatively insensitive to AD/HD symptomatology while a nearly opposite trend was observed on the socioemotional measures. For the most part, participants classified as the ADHD-Combined Type (ADHD-CT), (regardless of which AD/HD instrument was used) had the most significant impairment in areas of social functioning and emotional symptoms across parent and self-reports.
- A culturally sensitive intervention in pain management settings: Use of dichos in multi-ethnic pain groups.
- The present study explored whether use of Spanish language sayings, or dichos, improved group climate within multi-ethnic chronic pain groups. Use of this form of figurative language fits within psychological theory identifying use of metaphor as a means of promoting change and creating new meaning. Further, metaphor use is consistent with the broader aims of experiential therapy. Group climate was measured by group members' self reports using the Group Climate Questionnaire-Short Form. A pilot study involving Latino Americans in medical and non-medical contexts aided in categorizing dichos as high versus low-relevance. It was anticipated that clients would rate high-relevance sessions as involving greater engagement, and less conflict and avoidance than low-relevance groups. Participants were recruited from four multidisciplinary pain management clinics offering similar programs. Once every four to six weeks, group leaders were provided with a list of either high or low-relevance dichos, and were blind to the existence of dichos categories. Three hierarchical regression analyses were employed to determine whether dichos relevance, characterized as low, mixed or highly relevant, contributed to variance in group conflict, avoidance and engagement. Dichos familiarity was the last variable entered into the regression equation, with gender, ethnicity and acculturation score entered in sequential fashion. Consistent with predictions, low-relevance groups yielded higher conflict scores than all groups combined. Also, high-relevance groups predicted lower avoidance when compared to all groups. In contrast to hypotheses, high-relevance groups predicted lower ratings of group engagement when compared to all groups. Post-hoc analysis indicated the mixed-relevance groups yielded significantly higher engagement scores than the low and high-relevance groups. Implications of these findings are discussed in relation to impact on approaches to group therapy with Latino American clients, and within the chronic pain population. Limitations of the study and recommendations for future research are offered.
- Development and Psychometric Validation of the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory
- The present study contributes to the widening body of spirituality research by conceptualizing it as a state-trait construct. A new measure of spirituality, the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory (STSI), was created and validated according to psychometric methods of test construction. In its current form, the STSI contains seven state spirituality items and six trait spirituality items. A thorough review of the literature identified common themes in spirituality definitions and assisted in developing definitions of trait and state spirituality. Internal consistency for the trait scale was .88 and for the state scale, .68. Good test-retest reliability was found with coefficients of .84 for trait spirituality and .81 for state spirituality. Results from a preliminary undergraduate sample as well as from the validation sample yielded a two-factor solution. In general, items determined by expert panels as trait items loaded on one factor and items deemed to be state items loaded on the second factor. Multitrait multimethod analysis yielded mixed findings for convergent, divergent, and concurrent validity for the spirituality and religiosity traits. Methods consisted of paper-and-pencil cognitive and behavioral measures. Cognitive measures were more likely to support convergent/divergent validity than were behavioral measures. A major emphasis in the study was to determine whether state and/or trait spirituality were able to predict current health status and provide evidence for predictive validity. Positive relationships were identified between trait spirituality and the mental health measures of the Short Form-36® (SF-36). In contrast, it was negatively related to the Role-Physical scale. State spirituality was inversely related to the Physical Component scale. These findings are discussed within the context of minimal research using the SF-36 and spirituality measures. The MTMM analysis was limited by available spirituality and religiosity measures that contain only cognitive or behavioral items. Suggestions for future research are offered.
- Development of a Differential Neurocognitive Profile for Alzheimer’s Dementia and Vascular Dementia
- Alzheimer’s Dementia (AD) is among the most common diseases in the Geriatric population, and its prevalence is expected to quadruple by 2047.Vascular Dementia (VaD) is the second most frequent cause of dementia, with studies indicating VaD accounts for 10-20% of dementia cases across the globe. A diagnostic model differentiating AD and VaD would be clinically and scientifically valuable, considering the treatment approaches for these conditions are different. Although there are differences between AD and VaD on their neuropsychological profiles, a diagnostic model that successfully differentiates AD and VaD on neuropsychological testing has not been developed, despite previous attempts. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by examining two diagnostic models used to predict the conversion of AD from mild cognitive impairment, and a third model was proposed to differentiate AD from VaD. We conducted ROC Analyses using the variables LM II Standard Score, Animals Total, and CDRS Sum based on a previous diagnostic model. The sensitivity and specificity for the diagnosis of mild VaD were calculated for all possible scores of each test measure. The Animals Total cutoff score of 7 achieved excellent sensitivity and specificity, receiving 96% and 92%, respectively. In this sample, patients who could name at least seven animals under 60 seconds were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD. LM II Scaled Score also achieved statistical significance (p <0.001) and a cutoff score of 4 received 96% sensitivity and 77% specificity. Patients who achieved an LM II Scaled Score of 4 or higher were highly likely to be diagnosed with VaD.
- Differences in perceptual-motor functioning between blind and sighted adults: A neuropsychological perspective.
- The purpose of the study was to explore perceptual-motor differences between blind and sighted adults from a neuropsychological perspective, and to analyze differences within the blind group. Perceptual-motor abilities were examined using the Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES), a vocational rehabilitation and neuropsychological battery designed for use with blind populations. The data were processed using Analysis of Covariance. Results showed that sighted persons had better motor abilities, while persons with blindness were more skilled at haptic identification of shape and texture. Analysis within the blind group showed that texture identification skills are better when blindness occurs earlier in life and to the extent that the blindness is total. Later onset blindness and the retention of some functional vision may not lead to a refocusing of attentional states necessary to develop haptic images. New neural connections may develop in persons with congenital/total blindness, a hypothesis in line with recent neuroradiological findings that occipital lobe activation occurs when congenitally blind individuals engage in tactile processing tasks. One implication of the findings is that teaching individuals who retain some functional vision to read Braille is probably counterproductive. These individuals would be better served by learning to use a CCTV and large print books. Future researchers should examine blindness from a multivariate perspective, examining subsets of blind groups based on age at onset, visual status, and other pertinent variables. Other implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided.
- Does Unemployment Become a Major Stressor in the Evolution of Chronic Pain?
- Pain has been described as the most complex human experience and most frequent reason patients seek medical treatment. Few people fail to experience the pain associated with disease, injury, or medical/surgical procedures. However, the impact of unemployment that results from chronic pain suffering has not been widely researched. To present a comprehensive view of the effect unemployment has upon the chronic pain experience, this study focused upon stress philosophy, chronic pain, employment, and coping effectiveness. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and a Personal Data Questionnaire (PDQ) were administered to 96 persons (four groups of 24 subjects) representing either unemployed or employed and either chronic or non-chronic (acute) pain populations.
- The Effect of a Brief Acceptance-Based Protocol on Health Related Relational Framing
- Behavior analysts who study verbal behavior theorize that people derive relationships between stimuli - forming stimulus classes such that psychological functions transfer among stimuli and therefore affect behavior. Verbal processes are thought to play a role in cancer patients' behavioral flexibility. The current study examined if an analogue intervention produced changes in relations between health-relevant stimuli from pre- to post-test in patient and student samples. A matching-to-sample (MTS) task required participants to form three 4-member classes that included health, treatment, or neutral terms. Participants next listened to either an acceptance-based or a control-based rationale and therapy exercise, or a distracter task. Then, they were re-exposed to the MTS task. Latencies and accuracies for learning each class as well as between condition differences were examined. Finally, changes in ratings of stimuli from pre to post analogues were measured. Differences in stimuli ratings were seen in the student sample, reflecting transfer of function and some reduction in responsiveness to stimuli following intervention, but overall no learning performances are found. Discussion explores the consistency of the findings with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) theory in light of the seemingly lack of findings.
- The Effect of Web-Based Support as an Adjunct to a Self-Help Smoking Cessation Program
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For the past quarter century, the public has been educated and warned about the dangers of smoking, and both smokers and health researchers have been in search of cost-effective, smoking cessation programs that will lead to long-term cessation. This study used a randomized experimental design to investigate the effectiveness of adding Web-based support materials to a nationally sponsored self-help smoking intervention. There was no significant increase in abstinence rates nor progression through the stages of change by those participants who had access to the Web site. However, there were some overall significant trends that suggested these self-help interventions were successful at decreasing daily rates of smoking and nicotine dependency, as well as tended to encourage repeated quit attempts. Although Web-based supports did not appear to increase the effectiveness of the nationally sponsored self-help intervention, this study demonstrated overall 12 week follow-up abstinence rates of 30-32%--greater than what might be expected, given average success rates of other self-help interventions. This study also supports the notion that women may face additional barriers to smoking cessation. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
- The Effectiveness of an Electronic-Mail Campaign to Modify Stress Levels, Mood States, and Coping Techniques Among Employed Adults
- The present study was conducted to explore the effectiveness of a worksite stress management program delivered via electronic mail (e-mail). One hundred and thirty-seven employed adults (36 males, 102 females; mean age = 29.46) from several diverse businesses consented to participate. The volunteers completed Cohen's Perceived Stress Scale, the Daily Hassles Scale, the Daily Work Hassles Scale, the TCU Self-Ratings Scales, and a demographic and opinion questionnaire. Individuals in the treatment group received e-mail messages twice weekly and had access to a website for three months about a variety of cognitive-behavioral techniques for managing worksite stress. A MANCOVA of post-intervention stress levels indicated that individuals who received the stress management messages perceived the same amount of stressors and hassles as individuals who did not receive the messages [F (5, 86) = 0.95, p = .45]. However, a MANCOVA of post-intervention perceived mood states revealed a tendency for individuals in the treatment group to be less depressed, anxious, and angry than individuals in the control group [F (3, 92) = 2.44, p = .07]. Demographic variables did not influence the outcome variables and pre- and post-test absenteeism and illness rates were similar for treatment and control groups. Coping skill usage was similar in amount and frequency, but differed in quality between the groups. The findings of the present study indicate that health promotion programs can be feasibly and effectively delivered via e-mail in the worksite.
- The effectiveness of the Geriatric Depression Scale to distinguish apathy from depression in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
- Early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias in the elderly is critical for improving treatment methods and is a necessary component for improving public health interventions. One of the earliest and most common behavioral syndromes of AD is apathy and is associated with executive dysfunction. Apathy in AD is often misdiagnosed as depression due to an overlap in symptoms. Studies that have found depression to be associated with executive dysfunction have not always controlled for the presence of apathy. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a widely used instrument designed to assess depression in the elderly. This study utilized the GDS and a set of standard neuropsychological instruments to investigate the relationship between apathy, depression, and executive functions in individuals with AD and related dementias. The first objective of this study was to determine if apathy has a greater impact on executive functions compared to depression in AD and related dementias. The second objective was to determine the effectiveness of the GDS as a screen for apathy. The results of the analyses did not support the hypotheses. However, exploratory analyses suggested a possible non-linear relationship with apathy and various levels of dementia severity. Exploratory analysis also suggested mean levels of endorsement for apathy varied by diagnosis. Further research is warranted to investigate this relationship and the GDS endorsement patterns for caregivers regarding their impression of the demented individual.
- The effects of perceived locus of control and dispositional optimism on chronic pain treatment outcomes.
- The financial cost for health care and lost productivity due to chronic pain has been estimated at over $70 billion per year. Researchers have attempted to discover the psychosocial and personality factors that discriminate between people who learn to cope well with chronic pain and those who have difficulty adjusting. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of perceived locus of control and dispositional optimism on chronic pain treatment outcomes. Subjects reported significantly lower post-treatment pain levels as compared with pre-treatment levels (M = 0.66, SD = 1.58), t(45) = 2.85, p = .007 (two-tailed), but decreased pain was not associated with scores on the internality dimension of the Pain Locus of Control Scale (PLOC) or on the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) (a measure of dispositional optimism). Overall, participants' increased coping ability was associated with scores on the LOT-R, but not with scores on the internality dimension of the PLOC. Subjects with the lowest pre-treatment scores on the LOT-R demonstrated significantly greater increases in post-treatment coping ability than those with the highest scores (F(2,40) = 3.93, p < .03). Participants with the highest pre-treatment scores on both the PLOC internality dimension and the LOT-R demonstrated greater post-treatment coping ability (F(2,32) = 4.65, p < .02), but not less post-treatment pain than other subjects. Participants' post-treatment LOT-R scores were significantly higher than their pre-treatment scores (M = 2.09, SD = 3.96), t(46) = 3.61, p = .001 (two-tailed), but post-treatment PLOC internality scores were not significantly higher than pre-treatment scores. Implications of these results are discussed.
- The Effects of Positive Emotion, Negative Emotion, Flourishing, and Languishing on Cardiovascular Risk
- Positive psychology has led a movement that concentrates on positive characteristics. The current study examined the relationship between positive emotions, negative emotions, flourishing, languishing, and cardiovascular functioning. The study uses guided imagery to help participants recall a negative emotional event and positive emotional event in a counterbalanced order. The reverse order allowed us to examine the differential contributions of stress buffering versus facilitated recovery effects to higher levels of heart rate variability (HRV). The study also examined the relationship between mental health categories and known cardiovascular disease risk. Univariate analysis of variance revealed that positive emotions can serve as a stress buffer and dampen cardiovascular responses to a negative event. Also, analysis revealed a trend for the prediction that positive emotions can facilitate cardiovascular recovery following a negative event. Exploratory analysis did not reveal differences between a facilitated recovery group and a buffering group for cardiovascular measures. Future studies should include tighter control to help compare the differential influences of stress facilitation and stress buffering on cardiovascular functioning. The results from the study indicate that it is still too early to tell whether mental health buffers those individuals from developing CVD, and to answer whether languishing increases the risk of CVD. Longitudinal studies of young individuals without a prior history of any risk of CVD and who are flourishing or languishing might help provide answers to these questions.
- Efficacy of neurofeedback for children with histories of abuse and neglect: Pilot study and meta-analytic comparison to other treatments.
- This two-part study investigates the effectiveness of neurofeedback training for reducing behavioral problems commonly observed in abused/neglected children, and compares its efficacy to other treatment interventions with this population. Neuro-developmental sequelae of early relationship trauma are explored as an etiological framework for understanding disturbed affect-regulation, which appears central to the behavioral and emotional difficulties commonly experienced by this pediatric population. It is suggested that neurofeedback teaches children to self-regulate brain rhythmicity mechanisms, which in turn affects global improvements in behavior and mood. The pilot study utilizes records of 20 children removed from their biological homes by Child Protective Services. Children were assessed prior to treatment using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and again after 30 sessions of individualized, qEEG-guided neurofeedback training. A t-test analysis of pre- and post-scores was computed, and indicated significant improvements following treatment. A meta-analysis of existing literature on treatment interventions with abused/neglected children provides individual and aggregate effect sizes for 33 outcome studies with this clinical population, and contextualizes the results of the present pilot study within other empirically validated treatment modalities. Establishment of an overall effect size for treatment for this pediatric population provides a needed method of comparing research results across studies when control groups may not be ethical or feasible.
- Evaluation of skill maintenance, performance factors, and external validity in a behavioral parent training program.
- Child maltreatment affects 900 thousand children in the U.S. every year and impacts all areas of daily functioning. Behavioral parent training (BPT) programs have effectively taught parenting and demonstrated externally valid outcomes (i.e., lower recidivism rates). Skill maintenance assessments for BPTs have mixed results. The Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) program has shown effective skill training for court-mandated families. This study assessed skill maintenance and performance factors that may have impaired parents using an ABAB single-case research design in Phase 1 & external validity with a survey in Phase 2. Results for Phase 1 found that most BMAPS parents acquired all parenting tools to criteria, dropped below criteria at the 3 month probe, then fully demonstrated their regained skills after a brief review. Psychological and classroom factors do not appear to have systematically influenced performance at any time, although homework completion was associated with better scores at the end of class. Phase 2 results found a 91% reunification rate and a 0% recidivism rate over 1-3 years. All limitations aside, it appears that the BMAPS program is able to effectively train skills to criteria and these skills can be sustained with a booster session. The vast majority of parents we contacted were reunified with their children and none were involved with additional charges of child maltreatment.
- Evaluation of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR) in a spinal cord injury population.
- Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an acute and devastating event that results in significant and permanent life changes for the individuals who are injured, as well as their families and friends. Depression has received more attention from clinicians and researchers than any other psychological issue among persons with SCI. Measurement of depression in this population has a variety of methodological issues, including inconsistent assessments used (self-report versus clinical interviews), varying definitions of depression, inclusion and exclusion of physical symptoms in the assessment process, and use of measures that do not represent DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR) and provide descriptive analyses of this measure with persons with SCI. Results showed that somatic symptoms were more frequently endorsed than psychological symptoms in this population. Additionally, scores on the QIDS-SR were significantly associated with a depression diagnosis in the patient's medical chart. However, QIDS-SR scores were not found to be correlated inversely with quality of life scores as predicted. The QIDS-SR was shown to have good internal consistency and convergent validity with patients with SCI. However, it failed to demonstrate construct validity. The QIDS-SR has the potential to be a valid measure with this population and further analysis of the psychometric properties with patients with SCI is warranted.
- Family Environment, Social Support, and Psychological Distress of Women Seeking BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Mutation Testing
- Shared characteristics and predictors of psychological distress are beginning to be identified in research on women seeking genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. This study further explored patterns of psychological distress for 51 community women waiting to receive such genetic test results. There was no significant relationship between psychological distress and family cancer history, personal cancer history, social support networks, and family environment. Women in this sample tended to rely more on females and relatives for support than males and friends. Social support satisfaction was not related to gender or number of relatives providing support. Thirty-four of the 36 women classified on the family environment type were from Personal Growth-Oriented families. Comparisons with normal and distressed family means revealed increased cohesion and expressiveness with decreased conflict, indicative of supportive family environments. Limitations and implications are discussed.
- Female Orgasm From Intercourse: Importance, Partner Characteristics, and Health
- Previous research indicates that women prefer orgasms triggered by penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) as compared to those triggered by direct manual stimulation of the clitoris. However, for reasons that are not well understood, most women are unable to reach PVI orgasms as often as they desire. In addition, it is unclear why many women prefer PVI orgasms to those triggered by direct clitoral stimulation. This study developed a more precise measure of PVI orgasm frequency and evaluated key predictors of this frequency, including duration of intercourse, physical and psychological health, and partner traits with implications for either mating quality or relationship quality. The present study also measured PVI orgasm importance and investigated why it is important for many women. The sample consisted of 835 adult women with experience in PVI. Mean PVI orgasm frequency was 50%, with 39.4% of women never or rarely having PVI orgasms, 37.1% sometimes having PVI orgasms, and 23.5% almost always or always having PVI orgasms. As a median response, women believed that PVI orgasm was “very important” and perceived importance was correlated with orgasm frequency (r = .31, p < .001), as were reasons for importance. Duration of intercourse showed a linear relationship with PVI orgasm frequency, but this finding was qualified for women at the low and high extremes of the orgasm frequency distribution. Body esteem, anxiety during intercourse, exercise, and general pain predicted PVI orgasm frequency. Sensitive male traits, although valued by women even more highly than alpha male traits, showed notably weaker relationships with PVI orgasm than did male alpha traits. This is consistent with evolutionary theories of orgasm, and it supports the view that the female orgasm may function to favor some males over others in terms of sire choice. Clinical and theoretical implications of the present findings are discussed.
- Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters
- Research evidence is suggestive of a strength model of self-control, also known as ego depletion, in social psychological literature. Engaging in an initial task of self-control depletes a limited resource, resulting in less self-control on a subsequent, unrelated task. The strength model of self-control has been applied to many practical, everyday situations, such as eating behaviors among dieters. Newer studies suggest that blood glucose is the resource consumed during acts of self-control. Consuming glucose seems to "replete" individuals who have been depleted, improving performance and self-control. The current study aimed to examine the effects of ego-depletion on restrained eaters. The hypothesis was that restrained eaters who were depleted by a task of self-control would exhibit more disinhibition on a taste-test task than would restrained eaters who were not depleted. However, if the participants were given glucose following the depletion task, then their self-control would be "repleted" and they would exhibit similar control to that of the non-depleted participants. Contrary to expectations there were no differences between the groups in terms of total amount of cookies consumed. These results are inconsistent with a glucose model of self-control. Suggestions for future research and implications of the findings are discussed.
- Health message framing : motivating cardiovascular risk factor screening in young adults.
- As the leading cause of death in the United States, coronary heart disease (CHD) is a growing public health problem, despite the fact that many risk factors for the disease are preventable, especially if addressed early in life. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of loss-framed versus gain-framed versus information-only health messages on both intention to attend and actual attendance at an appointment to get screened for CHD risk factors (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia). It was hypothesized that a population of young adults would be more likely to view screening for CHD risk factors as a low-risk, health-affirming behavior as opposed to a risky, illness-detecting behavior and would thus be more strongly influenced by gain-framed messages than loss-framed messages. Additional goals included the exploration of the extensively researched individual health beliefs of perceived threat (as defined by the health belief model) and health locus of control as they relate to message frames. One hundred forty-three undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either the loss-framed, gain-framed, or information-only control conditions. Framing manipulation checks revealed that participants failed to discern differences in the tone and emphasis of the experimental pamphlets. As a result, no tests of framing effects could be conducted. Sixteen (11.2%) of the 143 participants who participated in Part 1 of the experiment participated in Part 2 (i.e., attended a risk factor screening appointment). Multiple regression analysis revealed risk index, age, and powerful others health locus of control as significant predictors of screening intention. Gender was the only demographic or health related variable that was significantly related to screening outcome, such that women were more likely to get screened than men. Limitations and recommendations are discussed.
- Heart rhythm variability in persons with chronic pain.
- The present study evaluated the utility of heart rhythm coherence (HRC) feedback to reduce the reported pain intensity of patients enrolled in a multimodal pain management program. Participants were recruited and assigned to a usual treatment group (UT) or a heart rhythm coherence feedback group (UT+HRC). It was hypothesized that UT+HRC participants who achieved heart rhythm coherence would report a reduction of pain intensity, as measured by the McGill Pain Inventory. For those whose pain intensity decreased, it was also expected that their self reported levels of depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition and state anger as measured by the State Trait Anger Inventory would decrease. It is also hypothesized that with a reduction in pain levels, anger, and depression, blood pressure would also decrease among those who had high blood pressure prior to the intervention. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to investigate the relationship between treatment condition, coherence status and pain levels. A series of independent t-tests were utilized to investigate the change in pain, depression, and state anger from baseline to posttest, followed by Pearson product moment correlation coefficients on difference scores to understand the relationship between the outcome variables for Hypothesis 2. Standard multiple regression analyses were computed using difference scores to determine if the outcome measures were significant predictors of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Results indicated a failure to reject the null with regard to hypothesis one. No relationship between treatment assignment, coherence status or pain levels were found. Hypothesis 2 was partially supported. Although there was a positive significant relationship between depression and anger when utilizing difference scores, these affective measures were not related to difference scores on either pain measure. In regard to Hypothesis 3, there was also a failure to reject the null. None of the outcome measures utilized in this study emerged as being significantly related to changes in systolic or diastolic blood pressure. Limitations of the study and implications for future research are offered.
- Hierarchical neuropsychological functioning in pediatric survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most common types of pediatric cancers. Improvements in treatment within the last 20 years have resulted in reduced mortality and a greater focus upon quality of life. Several researchers have documented neuropsychological impairments in children following treatment for ALL; however, there have not been any comparative studies documenting differences in neuropsychological functioning based upon treatment modality despite the documented effects of radiation therapy and combined radiation/chemotherapy upon the developing brain. In addition, past studies have focused on unitary measures, ignoring the hierarchical relationship between basic cognitive functions and more abstract skills. This study examined the neuropsychological functioning of 81 children who were treated for ALL at a metropolitan children's hospital. All children were tested a minimum of two years after the final treatment session and were administered the NEPSY. Results do not support any interactions or main effects with the exception of the age of the child at diagnosis. Children diagnosed prior to the age of 5 showed greater impairments on tasks measuring attention, memory, and visuospatial reasoning in comparison to peers diagnosed after age 6.
- Identifying AD/HD subtypes using the cognitive assessment system and the NEPSY
- The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS) and the NEPSY, A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, to differentiate between the subtypes of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). The CAS and NEPSY are neuropsychological instruments which provide norms for AD/HD children in general. This study examined the performance of the two subtypes of AD/HD on the CAS and NEPSY. In addition, this study examined the performance of the two AD/HD groups on the Screening Test for Auditory Processing Disorders (SCAN). Since AD/HD children tend to have difficulty with language, the SCAN was used to determine if any of the AD/HD subjects had auditory processing difficulties that might impact their performance on the CAS and/or NEPSY subtests. The sample consisted of 118 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years of age. Using the DSM-IV criteria, the children were diagnosed as having three types of AD/HD: A Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type (AD/HD-HI), a Predominantly Inattentive Type (AD/HD-I) and a Combined Type The subtypes were also identified by the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES-H). Only two subtypes, AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C, were identified by the ADDES-H. There were not enough AD/HD-HI subjects to include in the study. Therefore, this study focused on the AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C subtypes. A binomial logistic regression analysis was conducted on the AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C subtypes with selected subtests of the NEPSY and the four PASS Scales of the CAS. Results indicated a significant difference between the AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C groups on the Tower subtest of the NEPSY and the Planning Scale of the CAS. The Tower and the Planning Scale are both purported measures of executive functioning; however, results of the Planning Scale were in an unexpected direction. No significant difference was found between the two AD/HD groups on the other subtests examined. The results of the SCAN analysis suggested there were no significant differences in auditory processing between the two AD/HD groups. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
- Improving the Definition of Exercise Maintenance: Evaluation of Concepts Related to Adherence
- Physical activity has been demonstrated in the literature as an effective way to reduce the risk for development of chronic disease. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change has been developed as a means to predict and facilitate movement into healthier lifestyle behaviors. The model is centered on "stages of change", which describe a continuum of readiness to engage in a health behavior change. Stages contain temporal, qualitative, and quantitative characteristics. This was a six-month study that evaluated the effectiveness of stage-matched (theorized to be pertaining only to the maintenance stage of change) vs. generic (theorized to be pertaining to anyone, regardless of stage) newsletters in assisting subjects to attain the Maintenance stage of change. It also sought to identify further qualitative characteristics that can differentiate between the Action and Maintenance stages of change. Results indicated that monthly stage-matched newsletters were no more effective in helping subjects reaching Maintenance than were the generic newsletters. Exerciser self-schema was related to stages of change, but those relationships differed from baseline to six-month follow-up, indicating development of exerciser self-schema during the study period. Implications of this are discussed. Other concepts discussed included "structure" of change process, in that three new scores were developed and correlated with self-efficacy as well as intercorrelated. Motivation was also evaluated and compared across levels of success at adhering to exercise during a three-month period. Limitations of the study and implications are discussed.
- Individual attachment styles and the correspondence/compensation hypotheses in relation to depression and depressive experiences.
- Two hundred twenty individuals participated in the present study from a university population. The study examined the relationship among attachment styles to caregivers, relationship with God, depressive symptomology, and depressive experiences. Attachment theorists have suggested a connection between childhood attachment to caregivers and current attachment to God through the idea that individuals have "working models" that form how they interpret present relationships. For the most part, the results of the current study supported the idea of correspondence between attachment to caregiver and attachment to God. Individual attachment styles to caregivers matched their attachment style to God. However, when caregiver religiousness was included as a moderating variable, results supported the theory of combined compensation-correspondence for those with insecure attachments to caregivers. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to compensate for their insecure attachment bonds through participation in religious activity, whereas their internal, private relationship with God corresponded with their previous insecure attachment bonds. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to endorse symptoms of depression and report introjective, but not anaclitic, depressive experiences. With respect to attachment to God, introjective depressive experiences were positively related to both anxious and avoidant attachments, whereas, anaclitic depressive experiences were positively related only to anxious attachment to God. Anxious attachment to God was found to partially mediate the relationship between insecure attachment to caregivers and depression symptoms. Finally, attachment effects were similar across gender, ethnicity, and age, with some notable exceptions.
- Influence of executive function on medication adherence in neurologically impaired and non-impaired elderly.
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Medication non-compliance has become one of the most prevalent reasons for hospitalization and doctor's visits by the elderly. As the elderly population is more likely to have decreased cognitive abilities, it is suggested that neuropsychological factors, especially executive function, are more influential in medication non-compliance than once thought. This study looked at executive function performance on a traditional battery of neuropsychological tests, self-report of perceived ability to perform executive function tasks, and the newly developed Pillbox Test, a performance based IADL measure. The Pillbox Test is designed to replicate a type of medication-management specific IADL as a means to asses executive function. Standard executive function measures only tap a portion of executive function, but it is believed that the Pillbox Test incorporates all four theoretical domains of executive function. The multiple measures of executive function performance were compared in three prevalent subgroups of the elderly population (mixed neurological group, cardiac medical-control group, and healthy community-control group). Results found significant differences, where the community-control and cardiac groups outperformed the mixed neurological group on the large majority of executive function tasks. Smaller differences were also noted between the community-control and cardiac groups and between the cardiac and mixed neurological groups. Together, these findings provide support for the diagnostic prevalence of mild cognitive impairment in the older adult cardiac population. Results also indicated the level of executive dysfunction on standardized neuropsychological measures was highly correlated with performance on both the Pillbox Test and the IADL based Direct Assessment of Functional Status measure. Finally, the Pillbox Test has moderate to strong ecological validity with 75% sensitivity and 87.5% specificity for five or more errors on this test.
- An item response theory analysis of the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Task.
- The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Task (ROCFT) has been a standard in neuropsychological assessment for six decades. Many researchers have contributed administration procedures, additional scoring systems and normative data to improve its utility. Despite the abundance of research, the original 36-point scoring system still reigns among clinicians despite documented problems with ceiling and floor effects and poor discrimination between levels of impairment. This study is an attempt to provide a new method based upon item response theory that will allow clinicians to better describe the impairment levels of their patients. Through estimation of item characteristic curves, underlying traits can be estimated while taking into account varying levels of difficulty and discrimination within the set of individual items. The ultimate goal of the current research is identification of a subset of ROCFT items that can be examined in addition to total scores to provide an extra level of information for clinicians, particularly when they are faced with a need to discriminate severely and mildly impaired patients.
- Natural Course of Adolescent Insomnia: Patterns and Consequences
- Approximately 2-11% of adolescents report chronic insomnia. The study used an archival data set from ADDHealth that assessed adolescent health and health-related behaviors. Adolescents (N = 4102) provided data at baseline (Time 1) and at 1-year follow-up (Time 2). Participants were excluded if no ethnicity, gender, or insomnia data were given at Time 1 or 2. Females were more likely to report insomnia than males at Times 1 and 2. In addition, adolescents with remitted insomnia were significantly younger than adolescents without insomnia at Times 1 and 2. Analyses found a prevalence of 9.6%, a remittance of 6.2%, an incidence of 4.4%, and a chronicity of 2.9%. At Time 1 and 2, AWI were significantly more likely to have depression, suicidal behaviors, and behavioral problems in school than AWOI. At Time 2, incidence and chronic insomnia increased the risk of depression, suicidal behaviors and behavioral problems in school. Risk and protective factors analyses indicated psychological counseling was associated with both remitted and chronic insomnia and depression was associated with incidence insomnia.
- NEPSY profiles in children diagnosed with different ADHD subtypes.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes (predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, ADHD-HI; predominantly inattentive, ADHD-IA; combined, ADHD-C) exhibit distinct neuropsychological profiles, using the Attention and Executive Function subtests of the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, (NEPSY) and the omission and commission scores obtained on the Conners' Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II), a test that assesses attention processes. The sample was selected using archival data collected in a neurodevelopmental clinic over the past decade and consisted of 138 children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) (DSM-IV) criteria, the children were placed in either the ADHD-HI (n = 40), ADHD-IA (n = 35), or ADHD-C (n = 36) group, or a symptom free comparison group (n = 27). It was hypothesized that children with elevations on the impulsivity/ hyperactivity (ADHD-HI and ADHD-C) scale would be impaired on measures of inhibition and those with elevations on the inattention scale (ADHD-IA and ADHD-C) would be impaired on tests of attention, vigilance, and other executive functions. A one-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) was conducted (Group X Task), with significant results for overall main effect for group on the 7 dependent variables post hoc tests using the Tukey's honestly significant difference (HSD) revealed the following: the ADHD-HI group scored significantly lower on tests that require behavioral inhibition processes (Knock and Tap, Statue and CPT-Commission errors). The ADHD-IA group scored significantly lower on tests of problem-solving and planning (Tower) but not on tests of attention as was expected. The ADHD-C group scored significantly lower on tests of inhibition, attention, and other executive functions (Auditory Attention Response Set, Visual Attention, Tower, Knock and Tap, Statue, and CPT-Omission and CPT-Commission errors). Overall results suggest that the NEPSY Attention and Executive Function subtests are able to differentiate ADHD subtypes. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
- Neurocognitive implications of diabetes on dementia as measured by an extensive neuropsychological battery.
- Diabetes is a disease with a deleterious pathology that currently impacts 4.5 million individuals within the United States. This study examined the ability of a specific neuropsychological battery to identify and classify dementia type, investigated the impact of diabetes on cognition and analyzed the ability of the memory measures of the 7 Minute Screen (7MS) and the Rey-Osterrieth Recall to correctly categorize dementia type when not used in combination with a full battery. The battery in addition to exhaustive patient history, medical chart review and pertinent tests were used in initial diagnosis. Results indicated the battery was sufficient in the identification and classification of dementia type. Within the sample, diabetes did not appear to significantly impact overall battery results whereby only two measures were minimally affected by diabetes. Finally, the memory measures of the 7MS and the Rey-Osterrieth Recall were sufficient to predict membership into the Alzheimer's (AD) and vascular dementia (VD) groups with 86.4% accuracy. The classification percentage dropped to 68.3% with addition of the mild cognitive impairment category. The full battery correctly classified AD and VD dementia 87.5% and appeared to be the most robust.
- Neurocognitive Variables Underlying Group Performance on a Measure of Effort: The Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT)
- This study utilized the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) and a set of standard neuropsychological instruments to determine the underlying construct of the MSVT that accounts for effort in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients by comparing/contrasting mTBI with dementia and an analog simulation. The results indicate that a common underlying neurocognitive construct (memory) exists between mTBI and dementia patients, which may account for poor effort as measured by the MSVT. Other underlying factors emerged for both groups, though they did not point to a common construct. This finding suggests that the overall effect of brain injury in neurologically impaired groups also impacts effort performance as measured by the MSVT. Similarly impaired performance patterns also emerged between mTBI and dementia groups in sub-groups that failed effort measures. Thus, failed effort tests may be a function of more pronounced deficits in these groups, rather than a function of effort. Finally, although similar effort profiles were noted between mTBI and analog simulators, the analog group was unable to mimic the neurocognitive effects of mTBI.
- Organization of Narrative Discourse in Children and Adolescents with Acute Traumatic Brain Injury
- Children with a recent history of TBI often demonstrate impaired memory, which can be affected by impaired attention, processing speed or impaired verbal information processing. The purpose of this study was to determine if qualitative differences exist among the narrative recall of TBI patients that is not adequately accounted for by standard scoring methods. Sixty-six TBI subjects ranging in age from 6 to 16 were given the Wide Range and Memory and Learning (WRAML) Story Memory subtest and selected subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition (WISC-III). Mean elapsed time since injury was 53 days. Recall of the story on the WRAML subtest was hand-recorded by the examiner. A supplemental scoring method accounted for differences in length, errors, and disorganization. Comparisons were made to a randomly selected control group consisting of 16 hospitalized subjects between 7 and 15 years with no history of head injury, neurological condition or event. Findings suggest the WRAML Story Memory subtest is relatively robust in providing information regarding the quality of recall, with the exception of not accounting for the addition of erroneous details. Subjects with both cortical and subcortical injuries were more likely to add superfluous details to their stories. Results also demonstrated significant differences between the TBI subjects and control group in how well the stories were recalled, primarily in the order of details recalled and in retention after a 30 minute delay. Location was not a significant predictor of narrative organization. Although using this comprehensive supplemental scoring system a regular basis has practical limitations, hand-recording the narrative takes relatively little time and does appear to provide useful additional information concerning the nature of the child's verbal memory difficulties. Furthermore, the more knowledgeable the child, parents and teacher are about these difficulties and about remediation strategies, the more likely the child will have a successful learning experience upon return to the classroom.
- Partner abuse: Health consequences to women.
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Intimate partner violence is endemic in the United States. According to the American Medical Association (1992), one-fifth to one-third of women will sustain violence from a partner or ex-partner in their lifetime. The relevant literature was organized by ICD-9-CM categories. This study examined the health consequences of partner abuse in a sample of community women using a sample consisting of 564 women in three ethnic groups. Because prior research has failed to account for variations by type of abuse on health consequences, this study assessed psychological abuse, violence and sexual aggression by women's partners. To determine whether or not different types of abuse had an effect on women's health, hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. The regression equations were calculated for women within each ethnic group to facilitate identification of similarities and differences and to control for ethnic differences in risk for specific diseases. The results were consistent with past research on health consequences of abuse and extended the prior literature by showing that psychological abuse had a pervasive effect on health conditions, distress and use of health care resources. Additionally, ethnic differences emerged. As expected, ethnicity appeared to function as a moderator. Clinical implications and recommendations are made for future research, suggesting the development of a new assessment tool for partner abuse screening.
- Pathophysiology and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Progression of Metabolic Syndrome
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Disparities exist in the U.S. between the health status of African American and Hispanic individuals and the health status of non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals across all age groups. Those minority individuals age 55 and over are more likely to suffer from specific health disparities in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than their white majority counterparts. Among the most common chronic disorders experienced within this age group are obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all three of which collectively form what has recently become known as metabolic syndrome. As of 2004, metabolic syndrome is diagnosable once criteria are clinically significant for a variety of different risk factors designated by the World Health Organization. However, like many syndromes these criteria are not stable across individuals, and leaves variability between individuals being diagnosed. It has been seen that each of the above mentioned racial/ethnic groups experience the individual risk factors at disproportionate rates, making it plausible that metabolic syndrome could be experienced in distinctly different ways depending upon racial/ethnic background. Using two nationally representative data sets, it is first largely evident that African American and Hispanic individuals are reaching higher peak rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease much earlier in age than are non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals. The study goes on to reveals that the metabolic syndrome appears to follow one underlying progressive syndrome that begins with obesity and progresses towards heart disease. Each of the racial/ethnic groups experience significantly different progressions of the syndrome across time. Behavioral analysis found significant differences in health behaviors across the three groups; however a more pervasive lack of initiative in practicing preventive health behaviors is also present. The study achieved a higher understanding of individual differences within metabolic syndrome and insight into how and at what time in the lifespan health services can be most beneficial in providing preventive services to culturally diverse populations.
- Pediatric Feeding Disorders: A Controlled Comparison of Multidisciplinary Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment of Gastrostomy Tube Dependent Children
- The efficacy of multidisciplinary inpatient and outpatient treatment for transitioning children with severe pediatric feeding disorders from gastrostomy tube dependency to oral nutrition was investigated utilizing caloric and fluid intakes as an outcome measure. The study involved 29 children ages 12 months to 5 years of age with gastrostomy tube dependency. Treatments were provided by speech therapists, occupational therapist, dietician and psychologist for a 30 day period. Four treatment groups were evaluated and average intakes compared at 4 observation periods including pretreatment, initiation of treatment, completion of treatment at 30 days and 4 month follow-up. Children receiving inpatient treatment for feeding disorders evidenced significant differences in oral caloric intake from pretreatment to discharge than outpatient treatment (p < .01) and wait list control group (p = .04). Oral caloric intake from discharge to 4 month follow up yielded no significant differences indicating treatment gains were maintained. Change in environment and caretaker showed a significant effect for the inpatient group (d = 1.89). Effects of treatment by age and weight at 4 month follow up were also analyzed.
- Personality and the prediction of outcome following rehabilitation in persons with acquired brain injuries: The Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD).
- Neuropsychological rehabilitation following acquired brain injury is increasingly recognized as essential with the advancements in research evidence of its effectiveness, particularly as current estimates of disability following the most common forms of brain injury (traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular accident) are so high. Improvements in predictive capabilities of researchers and clinicians are paramount in designing effective interventions. As many variables associated with outcome following brain injury are not controllable (e.g. severity of the injury, age, education), it is essential that rehabilitation programs design interventions to target those variables that are susceptible to amelioration. While personality factors have been shown to affect outcome in other medical illnesses, only a few studies have examined the influence of personality on outcome following neurorehabilitation for acquired brain injury. The results of these studies have been mixed. This study used the Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD) to predict outcome as measured by the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Index (MPAI-4) following brain injury rehabilitation in a heterogeneous sample of persons with acquired brain injuries (N = 50). It was hypothesized that specific coping styles scales from the MBMD (Introversive, Dejected, Oppositional), which are based on Millon's personality system, would predict outcome. Results indicated that both the Introversive and Oppositional coping styles scales accounted for significant amounts of variance in outcome beyond that accounted for by the severity of the injury alone (p < .001). In both cases, individuals with mild/moderate-moderate/severe limitations following completion of the rehabilitation program had significantly higher scores on the Introversive and Oppositional coping compared to individuals with more successful outcomes. The hypothesis that a dejected coping style would predict outcome was not supported. Implications for rehabilitation are discussed in the context of Millon's personality system.
- Personality Factors and Trust in Placebo Medical Trials
- Prior research has reported that individual differences influence both placebo and nocebo responses. The present study examined how individual personality, as well as trust, influence placebo/nocebo belief and symptom reporting after receiving an inert capsule that for some was described as an active “cognitively-enhancing” trial medication. Individuals (N = 104) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: condition A participants were told they’d received the medication, condition B participants were told they’d received a placebo, and condition C participants were told, via random assignment, each would receive either the medication or placebo (after the experiment this condition listed the group – medication or placebo - each believed s/he was in). The study was completed in the UNT Student Health and Wellness Center to provide context in a medical setting. Of the 104 participants, 46 (44.2%) were either placed by experimental design or self-report in the medication group. Participants with a belief in medication ingestion, regardless of condition (i.e., A or C), reported significantly more symptoms (M = 16.65, SD = 3.178), than participants who believed they had ingested a placebo (M = 14.21, SD = 2.58), t (102) = 4.32, p = .001. Aspects of Neuroticism and Extroversion, as well as trust were correlated with symptom reporting and/or placebo/nocebo responses. It appears that that personality is part of a combination including trust, context and expectations. It is recommended that future research on personality and placebo effects consider the role of individual factors, context and communication of expectations.
- Predicting Weight Loss in Post Surgical Laparoscopic Banding Patients
- The present study was a retrospective chart review (N=128) that investigated the efficacy of profiles derived from the three factors of the Eating Inventory® test (EI) - cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger - to predict successful weight loss in post surgical laparoscopic banding patients at 6 and 9 months post surgery. Although the EI is commonly used in bariatric presurgical assessment, few studies have found consistent relationships between presurgical factor scores and subsequent weight loss in this population. Based on restraint theory, 7 profiles (high CR, super high CR, high D, super high D, high H, super high H, and null) were derived from the raw scores on the subscales of the EI and tested for weight loss predictive ability using direct logistic regression. Results were mixed with high CR, super high CR, and null profiles accurately predicting successful weight loss. Raw scores on the three factors (cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger) were tested individually for predictive ability using direct logistic regression. Overall results indicated that the profile model accurately predicted more cases than the general factor model. This study significantly contributes to both the bariatric presurgical assessment literature and the restraint theory literature. Suggestions for future research are offered.