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 Degree Discipline: Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine
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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The effectiveness of the Geriatric Depression Scale to distinguish apathy from depression in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

The effectiveness of the Geriatric Depression Scale to distinguish apathy from depression in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Davis, Tommy E., Jr.
Description: 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 ...
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The effects of perceived locus of control and dispositional optimism on chronic pain treatment outcomes.

The effects of perceived locus of control and dispositional optimism on chronic pain treatment outcomes.

Date: December 2004
Creator: Worsham, Scott L.
Description: 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 ...
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The Effects of Positive Emotion, Negative Emotion, Flourishing, and Languishing on Cardiovascular Risk

The Effects of Positive Emotion, Negative Emotion, Flourishing, and Languishing on Cardiovascular Risk

Date: August 2010
Creator: Purdum, Michael B.
Description: 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 ...
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Efficacy of neurofeedback for children with histories of abuse and neglect: Pilot study and meta-analytic comparison to other treatments.

Efficacy of neurofeedback for children with histories of abuse and neglect: Pilot study and meta-analytic comparison to other treatments.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Huang-Storms, Lark
Description: 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 ...
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Evaluation of skill maintenance, performance factors, and external validity in a behavioral parent training program.

Evaluation of skill maintenance, performance factors, and external validity in a behavioral parent training program.

Date: August 2009
Creator: Scherbarth, Andrew J.
Description: 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 ...
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Evaluation of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR) in a spinal cord injury population.

Evaluation of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR) in a spinal cord injury population.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Reed, Kristin
Description: 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 ...
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Family Environment, Social Support, and Psychological Distress of Women Seeking BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Mutation Testing

Family Environment, Social Support, and Psychological Distress of Women Seeking BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Mutation Testing

Date: August 2002
Creator: Keenan, Lisa A.
Description: 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.
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Female Orgasm From Intercourse:  Importance, Partner Characteristics, and Health

Female Orgasm From Intercourse: Importance, Partner Characteristics, and Health

Date: August 2012
Creator: Powers, Catherine R.
Description: 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 ...
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Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Date: August 2013
Creator: Valentine, Lisa. M.
Description: 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.
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