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 Degree Discipline: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
Cognitive differences between congenitally and adventitiously blind individuals.

Cognitive differences between congenitally and adventitiously blind individuals.

Date: August 2003
Creator: Hupp, Gregory S.
Description: 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 ...
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Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Date: August 2009
Creator: Dolan, Diana C.
Description: 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 ...
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A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of WRAML Scores in a Group of Academically Talented Students

A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of WRAML Scores in a Group of Academically Talented Students

Date: December 2000
Creator: Johnson, Patricia R.
Description: 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.
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The cross-validation of AD/HD instruments and the relationship to neurocognitive and behavioral measures

The cross-validation of AD/HD instruments and the relationship to neurocognitive and behavioral measures

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Hudson, Christine V.
Description: 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 ...
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A culturally sensitive intervention in pain management settings: Use of dichos in multi-ethnic pain groups.

A culturally sensitive intervention in pain management settings: Use of dichos in multi-ethnic pain groups.

Date: December 2005
Creator: Riley, Celeste Arden
Description: 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. ...
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Development and Psychometric Validation of the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory

Development and Psychometric Validation of the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory

Date: August 2004
Creator: Harvey, Michelle B.
Description: 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 ...
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Differences in perceptual-motor functioning between blind and sighted adults: A neuropsychological perspective.

Differences in perceptual-motor functioning between blind and sighted adults: A neuropsychological perspective.

Date: December 2002
Creator: Joyce, Arthur
Description: 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. ...
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The Effect of a Brief Acceptance-Based Protocol on Health Related Relational Framing

The Effect of a Brief Acceptance-Based Protocol on Health Related Relational Framing

Date: August 2010
Creator: Madrigal-Bauguss, Jessica A.
Description: 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.
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The Effect of Web-Based Support as an Adjunct to a Self-Help Smoking Cessation Program

The Effect of Web-Based Support as an Adjunct to a Self-Help Smoking Cessation Program

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Johs-Artisensi, Jennifer Lynn
Description: 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.
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The Effectiveness of an Electronic-Mail Campaign to Modify Stress Levels, Mood States, and Coping Techniques Among Employed Adults

The Effectiveness of an Electronic-Mail Campaign to Modify Stress Levels, Mood States, and Coping Techniques Among Employed Adults

Date: August 2003
Creator: Hoke, Cassandra N.
Description: 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 ...
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