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- Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Therapists from the Oklahoma City Bombing
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Little empirical research has been done to examine the effects that working with traumatized individuals has had on their therapists. It is known that mental health professionals often do suffer ill effects, especially symptoms of secondary traumatic stress disorder. The present investigation tested predictors of secondary traumatic stress disorder in the therapists who provided services for the Oklahoma City bombing. Predictors were therapist social network involvement, years of counseling experience, and amount of self-reported empathy experienced from others. Indicators of secondary traumatic stress were the Frederick Reaction Index-A, the Compassion Fatigue Self-test for Helpers, and the SCL-90R. Hypotheses were tested using a series of hierarchical multiple regressions. Results demonstrated no significance for years of experience or social network, but perceived empathy accounted for 11% of the variance on the SCL-90 and the Compassion Fatigue Self-test for Psychotherapists with social network and years of experience controlled.
- Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment
- Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children.
- Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients
- This study tested the relationship between Social Support, Psychological Distress, and Illness Stress in individuals who report cancer as a health condition. This study was based on archival data obtained from the Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS provides a nationally representative sample of individuals aged 51 to 61 in 1992 and their spouses. The study sample was limited to cancer patients with a spouse or partner (n = 503). A structural equation modeling analysis procedure was used to test the theoretical models. Measures of social support were limited to variables assessing the participant's satisfaction with social support. Evidence was found for the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models. This is congruent with previous research using measures of social support perception. Both the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models predict a negative relationship between Illness Stress and Social Support. In addition, a univariate analysis of variance was used to test the stress buffering model. Similarly to other studies measuring the individual's degree of integration, or its perception, in the social network, the present research supported the only the Main Effect model and not the Stress Buffering model.
- The Relationship Between Neuropsychological Performance and Daily Functioning in Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease
- The results of neuropsychological tests are often used by clinicians to make important decisions regarding a demented patient's ability to competently and/or independently perform activities of daily living. However, the ecological validity of most neuropsychological instruments has yet to be adequately established. The current study examined the relationship between neuropsychological test performance and functional status in 42 individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. A comprehensive battery of cognitive tests was employed in order to assess a wide range of neuropsychological abilities. Functional status was measured through the use of both a performance-based scale of activities of daily living (The Direct Assessment of Functional Status; Loewenstein et al., 1989) as well as by a caregiver/informant-based rating scale (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living; Lawton & Brody, 1969). Findings suggest that neuropsychological functioning is moderately predictive of functional status. Memory performance was the best predictor of functional status in most ADL domains, followed by executive functioning and visuospatial abilities.
- Family Rituals and Resilience: Relationship Among Measures of Religiosity, Openness to Experience, and Trait Anxiety
- Rituals are an integral part of society. The focus of research on rituals has been shifting to highlight the effect rituals may produce on individual resilience and ability to function. This study examined the relationships between participation in family rituals and several conceptually related facets of the human experience, including religiosity, openness to experience, and anxiety. Participants responded to questions on an assessment instrument (Family Ritual Questionnaire) designed to measure participation in a broad variety of identified family rituals; they were grouped according to responses on that questionnaire, and the resulting groups were compared on their responses to questionnaires addressing religiosity (Religious Background and Behavior Questionnaire), openness to experience (Revised NEO Personality Inventory Openness to Experiences scale), and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The four-group classification system did not produce significant differences on measures of religiosity, openness to experience, or trait anxiety. Nor were there any significant differences noted when the groups were examined on the basis of the demographic characteristics of age, gender, separation time from family of origin, or academic status. The demographic descriptive which was associated with specific group differences related to adult composition of family of origin: participants described the adults present in their families of origin, and the family types were grouped into traditional, mixed, and nontraditional families. A difference was identified between the traditional and nontraditional families on level of ritualization. This finding may be indicative of a useful direction for subsequent research inquiry.
- Violence and depression among ethnically diverse, low income women: Mediating and moderating factors
- This longitudinal study examined factors influencing the relationship between sustained partner violence and depression/suicidality among ethnically diverse, low income, community women. The sample at Wave 1 consisted of 303 African American, 273 Euro-American, and 260 Mexican American women in long term relationships with a household income less that twice the poverty threshold. There were no ethnic differences on frequency of partner violence, depression, or suicidality. The moderate relationship between partner violence and women's depression, confirmed previous findings. Frequency, but not recency, of violence predicted depression and suicidal ideation for African Americans and Mexican Americans, even after controlling for earlier depression or ideation. Recent violence did not predict Euro-American's depression or suicidality after controlling for initial scores. Causal and responsibility attributions for partners' violence did not mediate the relationship between violence and depression or suicidality in any ethnic group. However, African American women's attributions of global effects for violence mediated the relationship of violence on depression and suicidal ideation. Poverty level and marital status moderated the relationship between violence and the number of times women seriously considered and actually attempted suicide. Frequent violence was most lethal among the poorest women and marriage provided the least protection for women in the most violent relationships. Specifically, poverty status moderated violence on consideration of suicide for African Americans and Euro-Americans and suicide attempts among Mexican Americans. Marital status moderated partners' violence on suicidal ideation and attempts for Mexican Americans and consideration of suicide for Euro-Americans, but was not a moderator for African Americans' depression or suicidality. Women with different ethnic backgrounds appear to differ in the ways partner violence contributes to their depression and suicidality. Policy implications include the need to offer suicide intervention, particularly for low income women seeking services for violence. Mental health professionals should routinely inquire about partner violence when women present with depression or suicidality. Further, sensitivity to ethnic differences is recommended when confronting women's attributions regarding violence.
- The Relationship Between Racial Identity, Ethnic Identity, and African-American Acculturation and their Contribution to Psychological Well-Being
- Since there are few studies which address the relationships between racial/ethnic identity and acculturation in the African-American community, the purpose of this study was threefold: 1) explore the relationship between racial identity and African-American acculturation; 2) examine racial and ethnic identity associations; and 3) observe the connections between these cultural constructs and psychological well-being. One hundred ninety-four African-American undergraduates from a predominantly White institution and two historically Black colleges completed measures of these constructs, self-esteem, and depression. The findings indicate a relationship between racial identity and acculturation for three of the four Cross (1971) stages (encounter, immersion-emersion, and internalization). Relinquishing the White frame of reference and achieving inner security with their Blackness coincides with immersion in the eight facets comprising African-American culture. Individuals who do not identify with their race (pre-encounter) less often affiliated with their ethnic group. Conversely, achieving racial identity (internalization) was associated with ethnic identity attachment. Finally, the study's findings suggest that identity development may affect how individuals perceive themselves and feel emotionally, which may depend on identity achievement. Pre-encounter stage scores were associated with reports of higher depression and lower self-esteem; whereas, higher internalization individuals reported higher self-esteem. As for ethnic identity, those who have explored options and made commitments to their ethnic group reported fewer symptoms of depression and higher self-esteem. The converse was also true. Community acceptance was predicted to mediate the relationship between acculturation and psychological well-being. Although this was unfounded, the data indicate that traditional individuals living in predominantly White neighborhoods reported more depressive symptoms than did dominant society acculturated individuals living there. Interesting demographic findings and future research directions are provided.
- Feigning Cognitive Deficits on Neuropsychological Evaluations: Multiple Detection Strategies
- Individuals undergoing forensic neuropsychological evaluation frequently stand to gain in some manner if neurocognitive dysfunction is diagnosed. As a result, neuropsychologists are customarily asked to test for neurocognitive feigning during the assessment. The current study employed an analogue design with a clinical comparison group to examine the utility of the TOCA (Rogers, 1996) as a measure of feigned neurocognitive impairment. Two groups of simulators (one cautioned about the presence of detection strategies and one not cautioned) were compared to clinical and normal control groups. Fourteen scales were developed based on five detection strategies: symptom validity testing, performance curve, magnitude of error, response time, and floor effect. Each was employed during both verbal and nonverbal tasks. Significant differences were revealed among groups when subjected to ANOVA. Classification rates from subsequent utility estimates and discriminant function analyses on the scales ranged from 58.8% to 100%. Combining strategies yielded a classification rate of 95.7%. The effect of cautioning simulators was modest; however, a trend was noted on some scales for cautioned simulators to appear less obviously impaired than noncautioned. Although the results require crossvalidation, preliminary data suggest that the TOCA is a sensitive and specific measure of feigned neurocognitive performance. Strengths and weaknesses of the study are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.
- Parenting Stress: A Comparison of Mothers and Fathers of Disabled and Non-Disabled Children
- This study compared perceived levels of parenting stress between mothers and fathers of children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), children with developmental disabilities, and normally developing children. The relationship of certain demographic variables, such as Socio-economic Status (SES), number of children, years married, parent age, and child age, as well as social support with parenting stress was also examined for mothers and fathers of these three groups. Identification of factors related to parenting stress in fathers was of particular importance for this study, as fathers are often an underrepresented group within parenting research. Identifying effective methods for predicting high levels of parenting stress is important, as stress has been linked to psychological well-being, potential for abuse, and a greater likelihood of poor adjustment for both parent and child. Results from the present study comparing reported stress levels between groups of parents were supportive of previous studies indicating that parents of children with ADHD and developmentally disabilities experience significantly greater parenting stress, specifically with respect to child characteristics. Significant gender differences were also found between mothers and fathers in terms of parent characteristics related to stress. Fathers reported greater stress in the areas of attachment, while mothers reported more parent role restrictions. Additionally, significant negative relationships were found between parents' perceived helpfulness of informal social support and parenting stress scores in both mothers and fathers, affirming positive effects of social support on stress. Helpfulness of informal social support was also significantly predictive of parenting stress in both mothers and fathers across both the child and parent domains of the PSI, although, it had more predictive power with regard to parent related contributors to parenting stress. Family demographic factors, including age of the child and SES demonstrated some predictive power of parenting stress in mothers. Mothers with younger children and lower SES were more likely to report greater parenting stress. Implications of these results and future directions for research are also discussed.
- Optimism, Health Locus of Control, and Quality of Life of Women with Initial versus Recurrent Breast Cancer
- Health Locus of Control (HLOC) and other predictors of Quality of Life (QL) were examined for women with an initial versus recurrent breast cancer diagnosis. Twenty-eight women with an initial breast cancer (IBC) diagnoses and twenty-eight women with recurrent breast cancer (RBC) diagnoses were recruited from doctors' offices and cancer support groups. Correlational analyses were used to assess the relationships between variables. No significant differences were found between women with IBC and RBC on Psychological QL. Doctor HLOC and Psychological QL were related for women with RBC (r = .481, p = .01) and marginally so for women with IBC (r = .329, p = .09). A positive correlation was also found between Doctor HLOC and Functional QL for both women with IBC (r = .464, p = .01) and women with RBC (r = .390, p = .04). After controlling for stage of cancer, women with RBC reported higher Functional QL than did women with IBC. Advanced (stages III or IV) versus early (stages I or II) cancer stage related to lower Functional QL, controlling for initial versus recurrent diagnosis (r = -.283, p = .01). A marginally significant relationship was also found for cancer stage, regardless of initial versus recurrent diagnosis, with higher Overall QL for women with early stages of breast cancer (r = -.157, p = .09). No significant differences in Optimism or Overall QL were found between women with IBC versus RBC. No differences were found between married and single women. This research begins to explore differences in Quality of Life for women with a new versus a recurrent breast cancer diagnosis.
- The Relationship between Executive and Psychosocial Functioning in Children Treated for a Brain Tumor
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This study examined the relationship between executive and psychosocial functioning in 45 children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years who had been treated for a brain tumor. Executive functioning deficits can profoundly impact an adult's ability to function successfully in life. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the potential impact of executive functioning deficits on the day-to-day functioning in a pediatric population. The domains of executive functioning assessed included cognitive flexibility, conceptual thinking, sustained attention, and response inhibition. Psychosocial functioning was assessed using both parent and child report. Several significant relationships were found for adolescents ages 15 and older, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. In particular, cognitive flexibility and conceptual thinking were significantly related to parent report of depression and adaptive functioning. Fewer significant relationships with smaller effect sizes were found for younger children. The results may reflect the developmental emergence of executive functioning abilities and late effects of executive functioning deficits upon psychosocial functioning. The correlational design of this study precludes definitive statements regarding the temporal nature of the relationship. Additional research, including longitudinal research and replicatory studies, will be needed to further investigate the developmental consequences of executive functioning impairment.
- Patterns of Change in Semantic Clustering in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: What Can it Tell Us about the Nature of Clustering Deficits
- Semantic clustering has been used as a measure of learning strategies in a number of clinical populations and has been found to be deficient in individuals with Schizophrenia, but less attention has been paid to the dynamic use of this strategy over the course of fixed-order learning trials. In the current study, we examined this pattern of clustering use over trials in a sample of individuals with Schizophrenia, and explored whether the addition of this dynamic information would help us to better predict specific executive deficits. Results suggested that a decrease in semantic clustering across trials was associated with some executive deficits in the predicted manner. Nonetheless, the overall semantic clustering index generally proved more effective for the purposes, suggesting that in this population, the addition of dynamic information in strategy use is not likely to add considerably to clinical prediction and understanding.
- Spirituality, health locus of control, and wellness in organizational health promotion and wellness programs
- The relationship between an individual's level of spirituality, health locus of control, and participating in wellness activity was investigated. The relationship between spirituality, health locus of control on physical health was also investigated. The research question was based on prior studies that reported people who are more spiritual are healthier. Does their spirituality lead to increased levels of health, or are individual's who are more spiritual more likely to proactively take control of their health and engage in health promoting behaviors? One hundred and fifteen male and female employees completed The Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS), a spirituality measure, The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, a measure of locus of control related to health and healthcare, and The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Health Risk Appraisal, a self-report measure of participation in health behaviors. Physical measures of health were obtained by obtaining Body Mass Index, blood pressure readings, and a cholesterol screening. The current study looked at level of spirituality (internal, external), level of health locus of control (internal, powerful other, chance) and participation in wellness/health promoting behaviors and health. Correlational analyses were performed on the relationship between spirituality and health locus of control. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed on the internal spirituality and internal health locus of control to examine the relationship between spirituality, health locus of control and positive health behaviors and level of physical health. Stepwise discriminant function analysis using spirituality and health locus of control as predictor variables for the health-behavior criterion variables were performed. Discussion of the results, limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research were presented.
- Social Attitudes toward Men and Women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Although men are more likely to experience traumatic events, the risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is at least twice as high in women than in men after exposure to comparable traumas. These findings are more consistent in response to some types of trauma (e.g., assaultive violence) than others (e.g., natural disaster). There has been very little systematic study of the sources of these gender differences. This study began to explore the contribution of gender-related beliefs about appropriate responses to trauma by investigating the impact of victim sex and trauma type as well as participant sex, sex-role orientation, and personal trauma history on attitudes towards victims. Ninety-three male and 179 female students were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory, the Trauma History Questionnaire, and a vignette measure of attitudes towards victims. Participants evaluated male victims significantly less favorably than female victims, and females had more positive attitudes towards victims than males. Feminine sex-typed and androgynous women rated victims more favorably than masculine sex-typed men and women. The interaction between sex of victim and trauma type was not significant. A positive relation was observed between personal trauma exposure and attitudes towards male victims among male participants only. These findings contribute towards a theoretical understanding of gender and PTSD, and also have important clinical applications.
- Sexual orientation self-label, behavior, and preference: College students in Taiwan and the USA
- The relationships among self-labeled sexual orientation, sexual preferences, and sexual behaviors were examined in samples from Taiwan and the USA. Subsamples matched on gender, age, and marital status were created to reduce sexual orientation cell size discrepancies and demographic differences. Sexual orientation self-label, the Kinsey Scale of Sexual Orientation, and a modified version for preference were used to assess participants' sexual orientation, behavior, and preference, respectively. Additional measures included an adaptation of the Early Sexual Experiences Checklist, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist for psychological distress. For both Taiwan and USA subsamples, heterosexual participants reported significantly greater congruence between sexual orientation identity and preference than did nonheterosexual participants. A high proportion of the Taiwan sample were celibate, precluding analyses of congruence between sexual orientation identity and sexual behavior. Congruence between sexual behavior and preference in the USA sample was negatively correlated with psychological distress. In a cross-cultural comparison between the Taiwan and USA women (n = 176), the two samples reported similar congruence between sexual orientation identity and preference. Exploratory analyses revealed that heterosexual participants' sexual orientation label was more “public, ” (more categories of people who knew the participants' sexual orientation), than was nonheterosexuals' in both Taiwan and the USA. In Taiwan, heterosexual and nonheterosexual participants reported similar proportions who were celibate. A gender difference within the USA subsample included that men reported significantly greater congruence than did women regarding sexual orientation identity and congruence between behavior and preference. Analyses comparing self-labeled sexual orientation groups on unwanted childhood sexual experiences and age of earliest voluntary sexual activity were not significant. This study's limitations included small numbers of bisexual (USA n = 27, Taiwan n = 17) or homosexual (USA n = 35, Taiwan n = 9) participants, prohibiting distinctions between them. Recommended future research includes examining the self-labeling process, Asian American student sexual behaviors, and incorporating frequency and intrusiveness when assessing unwanted childhood sexual experiences.
- Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females
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There is a lack of clarity in the current literature in how potential etiological factors interact and result in disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to examine an expanded model of Personality, Social Support, Appraisal/Coping Processes, Abuse History, Internalization of Sociocultural Standards, Psychological Disturbances, and Body Disparagement in the development of disordered eating. The current model was evaluated using 276 women in their transition to college, a time period highly associated with symptoms believed to increase a woman's risk for the development of disordered eating including perceived difficulty coping, weight gain, and negative affect. Structural equation modeling was used to allow simultaneous examination of the causal relationships between the factors. Structural analyses confirmed that college women with previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition. Those women who identified the transition as overwhelming were also aware of increased negative mood and psychological states since beginning the school semester. Further, women with previous traumatic sexual experiences appeared to be at additional risk for increased negative affective symptoms. The resulting model confirmed that those women who experience negative mood states and those that endorse strong internalization of cultural values regarding attractiveness encountered increased dissatisfaction and disapproval of their bodies. Finally, women with higher levels of body concern engaged in more eating behaviors associated with disordered eating. The roles of personality functioning and perceived social support could not be identified in the developmental model. The predictive links between constructs in the resulting model provide meaningful information regarding the transition to college and associated risks for development of disordered eating. Validation of the model in an independent sample would provide confirmation of these relationships and longitudinal research examining females' attitudes across crucial developmental periods might provide important information regarding which individuals are most at risk for development of disordered eating.
- Pregnancy Loss: Disenfranchised Grief and Other Psychological Reactions
- It is widely acknowledged in the literature that grief is most intense when it is experienced by parents whose children have died. However, as recently as 20 years ago, mothers whose children died at birth or before the pregnancy had reached full term were often dismissed as merely medical patients, and their psychological reactions were not considered or acknowledged by professionals, their friends, or their families. More recently fields such as psychology have recognized that women who have experienced pregnancy loss have complex psychological reactions to their loss. The present study examined the patterns of grief of women who have had a pregnancy end in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth and the ways in which these women gave meaning to their experiences. Participants were asked to complete several measures including the Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS), the Hogan Grief reaction Checklist (HGRC), the Perceived Social Support Scale (PSS), and the Inventory of Social Support (ISS). The participants also wrote a narrative account of their loss experience. These narratives were content analyzed to delineate common themes. The findings indicated several important factors which may be useful in understanding and assisting in post-loss adjustment.
- The Effects of Assessment Context on State Anxiety and a Neuropsychological Model of Attention
- This study investigated the effects of assessment context on state anxiety and attention according to the Mirsky (1996) model of attention. Context varied in the physical testing environment, demeanor of the assessor, and explanation of the purpose of testing. A relaxed condition (RC) and structured medical condition (SMC) distinction was made prior to data collection and the two contexts were designed to reflect contrasting practices of neuropsychologists. Elements of attention evaluated included Encoding (Digit Span), Focusing/Executing (Visual Search and Attention Test), Shifting (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Computerized Version 2), Sustaining, and Stabilizing (Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs). Eighty healthy adult females participated in the study. The findings suggest that the SMC caused higher levels of anxiety and lower valence than the RC, which in turn caused poorer sustained attention and superior shifting attention for this condition. Such interpretations are consistent with several theories on the effects of anxiety on attention. It should be noted, however, that differences observed in attention were limited to select measures. Factor analysis also indicates that the encode, shift, and sustain elements of attention were largely consistent with the factor solution proposed by Mirsky, while findings on the focus/execute and stabilize elements bring into question the construct validity of these aspects of the model. Findings from the study are considered relevant to those interested in attention theory and particularly researchers and clinicians involved in the administration of neuropsychological testing.
- Investigating patterns among demographics, identification practices, interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance.
- This study explored potential patterns of association among the demographic characteristics, identification practices, educational interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance (SED) as well as specifically investigated the impact of age at identification with SED and the presence of co-occurring disabilities. Data was gathered from the educational records of students with SED in seven rural to semi-rural districts in Texas. Demographic information included gender, ethnicity, age at identification with SED, and identification with co-occurring disabilities. Identification variables that were investigated include the five federal qualifying criteria for SED, IQ score, and BASC and/or CBCL scores. Intervention variables that were explored included placement setting, restrictiveness of placement setting, type of related services provided, parental attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings, number of multidisciplinary team meetings, and total time spent in special education as a student with SED. Outcome variables that were examined included achievement levels in reading and math, attendance, special education status, and grade retention. Results suggested that earlier identification with SED is related to placement in less restrictive settings, achievement within two years of grade level in reading, and lower average number of absences. The presence of co-occurring disabilities in addition to SED is associated with placement in more restrictive settings and with achievement that is two or more years below grade level in reading and math. Additional findings and implications for future research as well as for current practice are discussed.
- The Detection of Neuropsychological Malingering
- The present study compared the responses of a group of simulating malingerers who were offered a monetary incentive to feign symptoms of a head injury, with the responses of head injured groups both with and without litigation, a forensic parole group, and an honest-responding control group. The following six neuropsychological measures were utilized: Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Finger Oscillation Test, WAIS-R Neuropsychological Instrument (Vocabulary, Information, and Similarities subtests), Booklet Category Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The statistical concepts of floor effect, performance curve, and magnitude of error were examined. Additionally, the statistical differences in the responses of the five groups were analyzed to determine cutting scores for use in distinguishing malingerers from nonmalingerers.
- Association Between Cognition and Depression: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.
- Over the past twenty years the number of children identified with learning disabilities has risen drastically. In addition, 26 - 40% of these children also experience depression. While cognitive functioning has been demonstrated to be associated with depression, it is unclear whether the mood, vegetative, or cognitive symptoms of depression predict particular cognitive processes and vice versa. The purpose of this study was to determine which particular cognitive processes were associated with specific depressive symptoms and depression as a whole. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test a model which examined how three cognitive processing factors (verbal & visual reasoning, and attention/working memory) were associated with three depressive symptom factors (disturbances in mood, vegetative, and cognitive functioning). The data for SEM came from a large data set of children with learning disabilities (n=227). Model fit results supported the proposed model, and a significant association was found between the attention/working memory factor and the depression symptom factor reflecting disturbances in cognitive functioning. Less robust relationships were observed between verbal reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms and an approach toward the conventional level of significance was noted between visual reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms. Using a sub-sample of original participants who were re-evaluated 20-25 years later (n=40), longitudinal analyses were conducted to determine the predictive power of cognitive functioning and depression over time. There was some indication for the predictive power of visual reasoning performance in childhood on mood symptoms of depression in adulthood. The most robust association at both time 1 and time 2 was between attention/working memory performance and cognitive symptoms of depression. However, the association appeared to be time specific and not predictive.
- Predicting termination and continuation status in shelter programs using the Transtheoretical Model with Hispanic battered women.
- This study tested the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change in predicting early termination, appropriate termination, and ongoing treatment of Hispanic battered women residing at domestic violence shelters. Self-efficacy, decisional balance, and acculturation were examined in relation to the applicability of this model with the Hispanic women population. One hundred and eight women residing in two shelters for survivors of domestic violence, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, were asked to provide information regarding the problems in their relationships, the pull and the strain of their relationship, their level of temptation to stay in the abusive relationship, and how confident they felt that they would not return to their abuser (The Process of Change in Abused Women Scales- PROCAWS). In addition, the women were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their level of acculturation. This study confirmed the stage of change profiles found in a population of battered women as well as in other clinical populations and the results suggest that this model is applicable to Hispanic populations. The results indicated that the women in this sample could be meaningfully grouped according to their level of involvement in different stages of change. Furthermore, this study provided support for the validity of this theory by finding significant relationships among the profiles of change and the intervening variables that moderate movement across the stages of change. The women in this study differed with regard to their level of temptation to stay in their relationships and the amount of cons they to making changes. The findings also confirmed that the Transtheoretical Model can be used to predict termination status from domestic violence shelter programs. Although there were no significant differences in termination status among the women with different stage of change profiles, a trend existed that women in earlier stages of change terminated earlier and women in later stages of change terminated appropriately. Overall, the results of this study provide evidence for the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model and the usefulness of the PROCAWS in identifying profiles of change that can potentially guide treatment interventions and predict early termination with the Hispanic population.
- Psychopathy Symptom Profiles and Neuropsychological Measures Sensitive to Orbitofrontal Functioning
- This study analyzed the relationship between the OF functioning of 100 incarcerated male offenders and their psychopathy symptoms. The study's rejected hypothesis had predicted a significant relationship between measures of OF functioning and the Defective Affective Experience (DAE) and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioral Style (IIB) factors of the Cooke and Michie (2001) three-factor model of psychopathy. Regression analysis failed to demonstrate a relationship between OF functioning and the DAE and IIB factors. Group differences on OF functioning were not demonstrated between participants in the upper and lower quartiles of a summed DAE and IIB factor score. A general role for OF functioning in criminal behavior was suggested as two OF measures accounted for 14.9% of the variance of criminal convictions.
- Trauma Responses, Abuse History, and Exposure to Violence as Risk Factors in Adolescent Sex and Non-Sex Offenders
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Several risk factors have been identified for adolescent sex offenders and non-sex offenders. Such risk factors include physical and/or sexual abuse, and exposure to community and/or domestic violence. Additionally, the presence of disinhibitive factors, such as substance use and exposure to violent or pornographic media are also commonly reported in the backgrounds of both sex and non-sex offenders. Similarly, adolescent offenders have reported traumatic reactions to environmental factors such as abuse and violence. Similarities in exposure to the risk and disinhibitive factors described above between adolescent sex and non-sex offenders do not provide an explanation for why some adolescents commit sex offenses, whereas other adolescent offenders do not. This study investigated the discriminative ability of traumatic reactions as a risk factor between male adolescent sex and non-sex offenders. The inclusion of traumatic reactions increased the accuracy of risk factors distinguishing between sex and non-sex offenders. Thus, not only the presence of risk factors, but also the adolescent's reaction to the risk factors, are important predictors of whether he will commit a sexual offense.
- Perceptions and attributions of child, spousal, and elder abuse.
- Although researchers have studied perceptions regarding sexually abused children, little was known about how other types of abusive events were perceived. This study examined 480 college students' abuse history and perceptions of child, spousal, and elder abuse by varying the respondent, victim, and perpetrator genders. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect were investigated. Perceptions of abusiveness, seriousness, harm, and responsibility were examined, along with the extent of identification with the victims/perpetrators. Participants viewed spousal abuse as less serious and harmful than other abuse types, especially when perpetrated against a male or by a female. Although able to recognize psychological abuse, students did not fully understand what other abuse types entailed. Individuals also showed a considerable amount of blame toward victims. Results further demonstrated important findings about how ethnic identity/orientation, religious affiliation, and history of abuse related to perceptions of abusive events.
- Needs of familial caregivers of cancer patients across the advanced cancer disease trajectory.
- Familial caregivers are providing increasing amounts of care to advanced cancer patients. Increased understanding of caregivers' needs is vital in providing necessary support to lessen caregiver burden and comorbidity. This study examines particular information needs across a variety of specific events in the advanced cancer disease trajectory. A cross-sectional sample of 107 familial caregivers (24 current and 83 bereaved) of people with advanced cancer completed a needs assessment survey along with a measure of health information-seeking behavior. Analyses extend current research by including more specific disease-related events along the advanced cancer trajectory through bereavement. In all information categories, endorsement of wanted information differed across broad stages of Cancer Progression, Treatment, End of Life, and Post-Patient Death. For all information categories, except Dying and Spirituality, greatest information was wanted at the Cancer Progression stage. Information need also differed across specific events within broad stages. The categories of Disease/Medical and Relating to the Patient were the most endorsed at events involving patient care. Spirituality was least endorsed. At patient death, Caregiver Well-being has the highest endorsement. For events thereafter, information on Caregiver Well-being, Spirituality, Future Outlook, and Family and Close Others was most endorsed. Information needs did not differ based on age or education. Whether or not a caregiver had experienced a given event on the cancer trajectory impacted some categories of information desired at the events of leaving the hospital for home, going into hospice, patient death, immediately after death, and bereavement. In all cases, those who had experienced the event wanted more information. In comparing current to bereaved caregivers, no differences in information endorsement occurred for events of the Cancer progression or Treatment stages. This study also involved the validation and factor analysis the Health Information-Seeking Behavior Survey. Two factors, Health Information-Seeking and Health Information-Avoiding, emerged. Health Information-Seeking correlates positively with some of the information categories at some of the stages. Increased understanding of caregiver needs at specific key events in the advanced cancer illness trajectory can now be used to inform the development of effective familial caregiver education interventions.
- Maladaptive appraisals and intrusive thoughts associated with obsessive compulsive disorder: A semiidiographic approach.
- This project investigated the metacognitive strategies used to appraise obsessive thoughts employed by individuals with different anxiety symptoms. Two hundred eighty-seven undergraduate students completed two repertory grids and three anxiety scales. The repertory grids respectively examined the appraisal process of intrusive thoughts both from the perspective of the rater and the rater's imagined average person. Variables quantified from the rep grid related to the construal process of raters' own intrusions, failed to demonstrate robust differences between OCD, non-OCD anxious, and non-anxious individuals. However, it appears that anxious individuals, not just those with OCD, use metacognitive strategies to suppress rigid constructions under perceived social evaluation. Future studies may wish to use related grid variables to explore the relation between obsessions and social anxiety.
- Contextualized Risk Assessment in Clinical Practice: Utility of Actuarial, Clinical, and Structured Clinical Approaches to Predictions of Violence.
- Assessing offenders' risk of future violent behavior continues to be an important yet controversial role of forensic psychologists. A key debate is the relative effectiveness of assessment methods. Specifically, actuarial methods (see Quinsey et al., 1998 for a review) have been compared and contrasted to clinical and structured clinical methods (see e.g. Hart, 1998; Webster et al., 1997). Proponents of each approach argue for its superiority, yet validity studies have made few formal comparisons. In advancing the available research, the present study examines systematically the type of forensic case (i.e., sexual violence versus nonsexual violence) and type of assessment method (i.e., actuarial, structured clinical, and unstructured clinical). As observed by Borum, Otto, and Golding (1993), forensic decision making can also be influenced by the presence of certain extraneous clinical data. To address these issues, psychologists and doctoral students attending the American Psychology Law Society conference were asked to make several ratings regarding the likelihood of future sexual and nonsexual violence based on data derived from actual defendants with known outcomes. Using a mixed factorial design, each of these assessment methods were investigated for its influence on decision-makers regarding likelihood of future violence and sexually violent predator commitments. Finally, the potentially biasing effects of victim impact statements on resultant decisions were also explored.
- The structure of insight in patients with psychosis.
- Failure to acknowledge their mental illness occurs in approximately half of all psychotic patients. Interest has been recently been refocused on insight (i.e., awareness of mental illness), and its associations with treatment compliance and better prognosis. Researchers have called into question the traditional factor structure of insight, instead viewing and defining it as a multidimensional and continuous construct. While factor analytic research has suggested that insight is an independent feature of psychotic disorders rather than a secondary manifestation of psychotic symptoms, several factor analytic studies have identified only one higher-order factor. Furthermore, a significant amount of the research literature has assessed insight or analyzed its relationships using only a single insight score. The current study evaluated the structural model of insight and assessed the associations between the different proposed dimensions of insight and psychotic symptoms. One hundred and six participants recruited from both inpatient and outpatient settings with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic disorder NOS, or bipolar disorder with psychotic features were rated on David's Schedule for Assessing Insight-Expanded Version (SAI-E), Birchwood's Insight Scale (IS), and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) or the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was utilized to provide stringent, confirmatory statistical tests of the hypothetical factor models while accounting for measurement error. Principal findings from the current study were that the three factor model of insight was supported and that the insight factors were meaningfully correlated to the two symptom factors. Moreover, the three factor insight model provided significantly better fit than a single factor model of insight.
- Postcombat Military Job Satisfaction Among Vietnam Helicopter Aviators
- This project investigated the relations between recalled job-satisfaction, ability, and task demands in Vietnam era helicopter aviators. It attempted to detect and describe factors present in a dangerous combat environment which may influence some individuals to enjoy and take satisfaction at being exposed to, creating, and participating in the dangerous and life threatening violence involved in helicopter combat. Participants were 30 pilots and crew members retired from the 335th Assault Helicopter Company who were all actively involved in combat in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. This study found that developing a love of war is correlated with anger during combat. The love of war is not correlated with PTSD processes nor is it correlated with specific personality dimensions. The love of war research is a new area. The questions were used to operationalize the love of war represent a significant limitation. This method of operationalizing the love of war concept does not make fine discriminations has questionable content validity. To facilitate accuracy in discriminating between participants when conducting future research in the area, researchers could benefit from constructing a measure with greater content validity.
- Totality of the circumstances: Factors affecting competence to waive Miranda rights.
- Within the discipline of sociology human olfaction is rich with social significance yet remains a poorly charted frontier. Therefore, the following discourse is aimed toward the development of a foundation for the sociological study of olfaction. It is formed by the dual goals of unearthing the social history of olfaction and of providing a viable sociological account of the manner in which smells affect human ontology. From these goals arise the following research questions: (1) Have the meaning and social relevance of odors and the olfactory sensorium changed throughout different periods of history?; (2) How have those in the lineage of eminent sociological thinkers addressed the phenomenon of human olfaction during these periods?; and (3) What is the process by which aromatic stimuli are transformed from simple chemical compounds, drifting in the atmosphere, into sensations in a sensory field and then on to perceived objects, to subjects of judgment and interpretation, and finally to bases of knowledge which form and continually reform individuals in the world? The weaving of the sociohistorical tapestry of smell is undertaken to provide examples from thousands of years lived experiences as to the fluid and sociologically complex nature of individuals' olfactory senses. This historical information is presented in a narrative format and is synthesized from data gleaned from books, advertisements, articles in popular non-scientific magazines, as well as from the findings of studies published in medical/neurological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological scholarly journals. Regarding theoretical aim of this discourse, insights are drawn from Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological theory of human perception for the generation of a framework for the sociological study of olfaction. Merleau-Ponty's theoretical notions are modified, modernized, and refitted to more specifically fit the subject of human olfaction and to include all that has been discovered about the biological specifics of olfactory perception since the time of his writing. Taken in sum, this effort is an access point to the understanding of how olfactory sensory perceptions flow toward the ontological unfolding of individuals.
- Effects of Cautioning and Education in the Detection of Malingered Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- This study examined the effectiveness of cautioning and education on simulating a mild traumatic brain injury on several neuropsychological measures. The measures used included the Word Memory Test (WMT), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales® - Third Edition (WAIS®-III), Wechsler Memory Scales®-3rd Edition instrument (WMS®-III), 16-item version of the Rey Memory Test, and a self-report symptom checklist. Five experimental groups were used including clinical and non-clinical controls, as well as three simulation groups. The design and implementation of this study also attempted to correct several methodological short comings of prior research by increasing the incentives for participants, expanding the generalizability of findings and examining research compliance and participant self-perception through debriefing. Discriminant analysis was utilized to determine if specific functions existed that would correctly classify and distinguish each experimental group. Several discriminant functions had at least moderate canonical correlations and good classification accuracy. Results also include utility estimates given projected varying base rates of malingering.
- Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors
- This study employed a multivariate, multidimensional approach to understanding psychosocial and personality variables associated with institutional maladjustment and recidivism among youthful offenders. Participants included nine hundred serious and chronic male youthful offenders incarcerated in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC); sample sizes varied by analysis. Empirically-validated psychosocial factors (e.g., intelligence, home approval status), past criminal history variables, and two self-report personality measures of empathy and hostility were entered into hierarchical regression and structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses to predict institutional behavior and recidivism at one- and three-year intervals after release from the TYC. Confirmatory factor analysis of the personality measures revealed one underlying factor indicative of their theoretical constructs of empathy and hostility. Some differences were noted between youth in the specialized treatment programs; however, effect sizes were small to moderate. Overall, regression and SEM results indicated the variables accounted for a meaningful proportion of the variance in the outcomes. Specifically, although length of stay in the TYC was associated with institutional behavior, younger age of onset, higher hostility, and greater home disapproval also contributed significantly. Past criminal behavior was predictive of future reoffending, but lower empathy, greater home disapproval, and younger age of onset accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in recidivism. Institutional maladjustment served as a mediator between the psychosocial and personality variables and the recidivism outcomes. Treatment implications are provided, including a discussion of the tenuous association between length of sentence and recidivism and an emphasis on the importance of evaluating dynamic personality and psychosocial variables beyond static measures of past behavior.
- Stressors, Social Support, and Stress Reactions: A Meta-Analysis
- This study examined, via a meta-analysis, the relations among stressors, social support, and stress reactions. Unexpectedly, small to medium negative, but robust effect sizes were found for the stressors-social support relation. As expected the stressor-stress reaction relation was positive, and the social support-stress reaction relation was negative. Both relations had small to medium effect sizes that ranged from weak to very robust. The direct effect of social support on the stressor-stress reaction was generally supported, whereas the suppressor and mediating models were not supported. Furthermore, the findings were inconclusive for the moderator effect of social support. Non-interpersonal traumas appear different in the stressor-social support and social support-stress reaction relations compared to other trauma types. These findings have important clinical implications.
- Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment
- Compassion is one of the fundamental experiences which signify human existence. Person perception is the constructive process with which we form an opinion or judgment of another person. Two experiments (N =277) were conducted in this study. Experiment 1 examined the effects of a mindfulness meditation on compassion in a large sample of young adults. Participants (n =76) were randomly assigned to three groups. Participants in group 1 received the mindfulness meditation, group 2 received an alternate version of the mindfulness meditation (self-focus only), and participants in group 3 were asked to complete an attention task and read a geological text. It was hypothesized that mindfulness meditation is significantly associated with the experience of compassion. Results showed that participants in the experimental group 1 experienced significantly higher levels of compassion compared to participants in the control group 3. The participants in group 2 were not different from experimental group 1 or from control group 3. Gender differences in the effects of meditation on compassion were explored. Different measures yielded conflicting evidence for gender differences in experienced compassion. For the second experiment a Solomon four-group experimental design was employed to examine the possible effects of compassion on person perception. Participants (n = 201) were randomly assigned to 4 groups. The effect of pretesting impression formation on posttest performance was investigated. It was hypothesized that compassion has a significant effect on impression formation. The Stouffer's z -method was used to investigate this effect. Results indicated that participants in the experimental groups after completing a mindfulness meditation rated a target person significantly more favorable, compared to participants in the control groups. Results also indicated that pretest had no significant effect on post-test ratings of the impression formation task. Transcendental applications for the inducement and experience of compassion in psychotherapy and the role of compassion in human society are considered. Limitations of this study are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided.
- Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?
- Mindfulness is a core component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a widely utilized treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, the import of mindfulness in treating BPD has yet to be demonstrated, and the relationship of mindfulness to BPD constructs is unclear. The current study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relations of mindfulness with BPD features and the underlying constructs of interpersonal problem-solving effectiveness, impulsivity, emotion regulation strategies, and neuroticism in 342 young adults. Mindfulness was significantly related to effectiveness in interpersonal problem-solving, impulsivity and passivity in emotion regulation, and borderline features. Furthermore, mindfulness continued to predict borderline features when controlling for interpersonal problem-solving and impulsive/passive emotion-regulation strategies, as well as when controlling for neuroticism. It is concluded that difficulties with mindfulness may represent a core feature of BPD and that improvement in mindfulness may be a key component of treatment efficacy with BPD. It is recommended that the unique contribution of mindfulness be investigated in future treatment-outcome research.
- Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women
- Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed.
- On the subjective distinction between tenderness and joy.
- Previous studies have shown that the experience of joy normally accompanies the experience of tenderness or love. Theorists have thus suggested that tenderness is not a distinct emotion, but rather a variety of joy. The present study explored whether it is possible to induce tenderness while inhibiting joy. Participants watched scenes designed to induce different emotions. Results showed that a scene could induce high levels of tenderness and low levels of joy if that scene also induced high levels of sadness. These findings suggest the need to reconsider theoretical assumptions regarding the distinction between tenderness and joy.
- Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in the Prediction of Cognition, Behavior Problems, and Symptoms at Two-year Follow-up in Youth with Schizotypal Personality Disorder
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Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) exhibit patterns of cognitive deficits, neuromotor disturbances, and behavior problems similar to individuals with schizophrenia, and thus SPD is thought to represent one point on the continuum of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs). Deficits in behavior, cognition, and motor functioning have been implicated as childhood precursors of SSDs and appear to also vary as a function of gender and family history of psychopathology. As such, studies of youth may help in further identification of individuals at risk for SSDs. The current study examined the prospective associations between problem behaviors, neuromotor and neurocognitive functioning, as well as SSD symptoms, at baseline and 2-year follow-up in youth meeting criteria for SPD, other personality disorders, or healthy controls. The neuromotor and neurocognitive measures were able to significantly predict SSD symptoms and behavior problems above and beyond baseline predictors. Overall, the findings provide further support for the role of subcortical motor centers operating together with prefrontal cortical areas in the regulation of higher-order cognitive functioning and in producing the psychiatric features of SSDs. Significant correlations between gender, family history of schizophrenia, and history of head injury with symptoms, behavior, cognition, and motor functioning were also found and highlight the importance of examining the effects of these variables in future investigations. In sum, the current study helped in identifying factors that predict the clinical course of schizotypy and may shed light on the disturbed neural circuitry underlying SSDs.
- Narcissistic traits and parenting style: A closer look at maladaptive parenting through parent-child observations, parent self-report, and child self-report.
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The thrust of this paper was two-fold, 1) to confirm a 2-factor model of narcissism in women, and 2) to examine the relationship between narcissistic traits in mothers and several variables associated with parenting efficacy. Participants included 193 mother-child dyads. A 2-factor model of narcissism was confirmed in the present sample of mothers, suggesting that narcissistic traits in women may be manifested in distinct Overt and Covert forms. Contrary to expectations, Covert Narcissistic traits in mothers did not significantly correlate with observed parenting behaviors on the PCIA, including Positive Personal Comments (PPC) towards children, Negative Personal Comments (NPC), and Parental Nurturance. However, children's self-reported maternal rejection on the C-PARQ correlated positively with Covert Narcissistic traits in mothers, as did mother's self-reported dysfunctional parenting attitudes on the AAPI-2. Narcissistic traits in mothers correlated most strongly with risk of child physical abuse on the CAPI (r = .70). Results are also presented for the Overt Narcissism factor, which proved to be less stable as a factor. Overall, results emphasize the need for a more comprehensive understanding of narcissism for women, given its potential Implications for children's healthy development and parenting interventions.
- An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.
- Flutists have reported musculoskeletal pain from practicing and performing their instrument. This study was a statistical approach to investigate potential causal risk factors for flute related pain among high school and college students. The study focused on the relationship between flute related pain and musical background or anthropometric measurements including size, strength and flexibility. Subjects included thirty high school and college-aged flutists who were assessed using a questionnaire, bi-lateral anthropometric measurements of the upper-extremities, upper-extremity performance tests for range of motion, isometric strength and rotation speed, and instrument specific questions. Four questions regarding pain associated with flute playing were treated as dependent variables and used for correlation and regression analyses with other independent variables. A six-factor regression model was created and each model was statistically significant. Results of this study show that strength, flexibility, pain spots, and exposure are risk factors for flute related pain. Both left and right pinch strength and right isometric pronation strength were significantly correlated to flutists experiencing pain while playing. Knowledge of these factors in relationship to pain is needed in flute pedagogy to help teachers and performers understand why flutists report pain during and after playing. Additional studies are warranted for replication of this study and for determining the clinical and pedagogical relevance of these findings.
- Adolescent Self-Mutilating Behaviors: Experiential Avoidance Coupled with Imitation?
- Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
- Late adolescents' parental, peer, and romantic attachments as they relate to affect regulation and risky behaviors.
- The current study examined the relationships among attachment styles to parent, peer, and romantic partner, ability to regulate emotion, as well as engagement in sexual behaviors and substance use. Attachment theory and previous research suggests that an individual learns how to manage emotions through the modeling of appropriate techniques and a stable sense of self-worth. These two aspects develop through a secure attachment bond with an important figure. When an individual does not have a secure attachment bond in which to practice adaptive affect regulation strategies, he/she may attempt to manage emotions through external means, such as sexual behaviors or substance use. Overall, results supported these associations, with some notable exceptions. Across attachment sources a secure attachment style was related to lower levels of psychological distress and less engagement in substance use. In contrast to the findings from earlier studies, affect regulation did not mediate the relationship between attachment and substance use, and engagement in sexual behaviors was not significantly related to either attachment style or affect regulation.
- Readiness for change as a predictor of treatment effectiveness: An application of the transtheoretical model.
- Clinical research suggests that adolescent offenders often do not view their criminal behaviors as problematic and, therefore, are not motivated for treatment. Although customarily defined as a static characteristic, the transtheoretical model (TTM) proposes treatment amenability is dynamic and can be achieved through tailored interventions that motivate individuals for treatment. The current study examines the predictive validity of TTM measures for adolescent offenders at a maximum security correctional facility. In particular, the Stages of Change Scale (SOCS) and Decisional Balance for Adolescent Offenders (DBS-AO) were compared with a more traditional assessment tool utilized in evaluating treatment amenability of juvenile offenders (i.e., Risk-Sophistication-Treatment Inventory; RSTI). One hundred adolescent offenders from the Gainesville State School completed two waves of data collection with a 3-month time interval. Information was collected on offenders' treatment progress between waves. Consistent with TTM research, predictors of treatment progress included low scores on the Cons scale on the DBS-AO and on the Precontemplation scale on the SOCS. Participants in the most advanced levels of treatment also scored high on the Sophistication-Maturity scale on the RSTI and the Impression Management scale on the Paulhus Deception Scale.
- The relationship between interpersonal dependency and therapeutic alliance: Perspectives of clients and therapists.
- Both interpersonal dependency and the importance of the therapeutic alliance to successful psychotherapy outcomes have been widely studied. However, these two areas of study rarely have been viewed conjointly despite the reportedly large number of clients with dependency who present for treatment. This study elucidated the relationship between interpersonal dependency and the therapeutic alliance. Additional hypotheses explored client-therapist agreement on alliance strength in relation to client interpersonal dependency. Participants were graduate student therapists (N = 26) and their individual psychotherapy clients (N = 40) in a training clinic at a large, southwestern university. Within their first three sessions of psychotherapy, participating clients told nine Thematic Apperception Test stories and completed structured self-report measures of adult attachment, social desirability, and psychological symptoms. Interpersonal dependency was scored from the TAT stories, using the TAT Oral Dependency (TOD) scoring system developed by Masling, Rabie, and Blondheim (1967) and Huprich (2008). Three sessions following initial data collection, participating clients and their therapists completed structured self-report measures of the therapeutic alliance. Analyses revealed that interpersonal dependency was not significantly associated with client and therapist alliance ratings or the congruence between client and therapist alliance ratings. However, specific scoring categories of the TOD were associated with client alliance scores in opposing directions. In contrast to hypotheses, self-reported attachment-related dependency was significantly related to client alliance ratings and to the congruence between therapist and client alliance ratings. Clients with higher levels of self-reported attachment-related dependency rated the alliance less favorably, in agreement with their therapists, than did clients with lower levels of attachment-related dependency. Additional analyses were unsuccessful in replicating findings from previous research on interpersonal dependency. The clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
- Targeting dimensions of psychopathy in at-risk youth: Assessment and utility of a focused cognitive behavioral therapy program.
- Individuals presenting with high levels of psychopathy demonstrate chronic and severe antisocial behavior and poor treatment outcomes in response to generalized rehabilitative programs. Recent research has examined the relationship between delinquency in child/adolescent populations and subsequent psychopathy. Focusing on community based/referred population of at-risk youth, this study developed and examined the effectiveness of an 18-session, psychopathy-focused, group CBT treatment program. The study incorporated treatment (n = 34) and usual-care comparison (n = 30) groups and a brief follow up period. Treatment outcomes examined measures of psychopathy, anger, impulsivity, motivation for treatment, self-reported problems, and indices of behavior. The treatment program demonstrated reductions in psychopathy on the Interpersonal (d = .55) and Affective facets (d = .24) of the PCL:YV. It also reduced overall impulsivity and improved anger suppression and treatment motivation, particularly among youth presenting with higher levels (relative to this study) of psychopathy. As a result of treatment, decreased incidents with the juvenile justice system were also observed, both during the treatment period and at six weeks follow-up. This study provides an initial empirical foundation for the ongoing development of targeted interventions for youth demonstrating psychopathic traits.
- Self-inflicted and other-inflicted intentional burns versus unintentional burns: A comparison study.
- Burn injuries are associated with significant mortality and morbidity. Intentional burn injuries are not well understood, and warrant study to improve adjustment and outcomes. The present study examined group differences between intentional and unintentional burn injuries, comparing individuals with self-inflicted (SIB; n=109) and other-inflicted (OIB; n=109) burns to an unintentional burn (UB) group. Compared to UB, those with intentional (SIB, OIB) burn injuries were more likely to be young, female, unmarried, unemployed, abuse substances, and have positive alcohol/drug screens at hospital admission. Individuals with intentional burns report more psychological distress, lower quality of life in some areas, and lower life satisfaction. When SIB and OIB were examined individually, OIB were more likely to be African American compared to SIB and UB. OIB also had more anxiety and paranoia than UB. SIB was more likely than OIB and UB to have had medical problems or psychiatric disorders and treatment prior to the burn injury. Those with SIB were 3 times more likely than UB to die in the hospital even after controlling for age, severity of burn, and inhalation injuries. Moreover, the SIB group had high rates of suicidal ideation at discharge and follow-up. Treatment implications for burn treatment providers were discussed.
- Neuropsychologic correlates of a normal EEG variant: The mu rhythm.
- Although the mu rhythm is traditionally defined as a normal EEG variant, recent evidence suggests that mu may have functional significance in a variety of disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. While an increasing number of articles have focused on the blocking mechanism of mu in relation to various cognitive processes and disorders, few have examined the significance of a prominent mu rhythm in the background EEG. A few studies have examined the relationship between the mu rhythm and psychological disturbance, such as attentional and affective disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that EEG and qEEG variables may be useful in classifying psychiatric disorders, presenting a neurophysiological alternative to traditional symptom-based diagnosis and classification. Thus, the intention of the present study was to examine the relationship between neuropsychological variables, gathered from multiple assessment sources, and the presence of a prominent mu rhythm in the EEG. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without a prominent mu rhythm on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA); although individuals in the mu group showed a pattern of increased impulsivity and performance decrement over time. For adults, no significant differences were observed between groups on psychological variables measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). However, for children, the mu and control groups differed on several behavioral and emotional variables on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results are examined in the context of other research and clinical implications are discussed.
- Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents: An Evaluation of the WISC-III Four Factor Model and Individual Cluster Profiles
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among children and adolescents in the US. Children and adolescents who sustain moderate and severe head injuries are much more likely to evidence significant deficits in neuropsychological functioning when compared with children with mild head injuries. Information about the recovery process and functional sequelae associated with moderate and severe head injuries remains limited, despite clear indications that children who experience such injuries typically exhibit notable deficits in intellectual functioning, particularly during the acute phase of recovery. Thus, the present study was conducted to augment research on intellectual functioning in children with moderate or severe head injuries. To accomplish this, the study first examined the proposed factor model of the WISC-III in children with moderate and severe TBI. Given high prevalence rates and similar trends in cognitive impairment, particularly within the frontal lobe structures (e.g., disrupted cognitive flexibility and divided attention), the study also examined this same factor model for a group of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compared it with the model fit from the TBI group. In the second phase of the study, both the TBI and AHDH groups were evaluated to determine if distinct WISC-III index score cluster profiles could be identified. Lastly, the cluster groups for both the TBI and ADHD samples were validated using important demographic and clinical variables, as well as scores from independent neuropsychological measures of attention, executive functioning, and working memory. Parent reports of psychological and behavioral functioning were also used in an attempt to further distinguish the cluster groups. Study limitations and future research implications were also discussed.
- Reducing the risk of disordered eating among female college students: A test of alternative interventions.
- The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a cognitive-dissonance based intervention in reducing disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The intervention program created dissonance through discussion, exercises, and homework aimed at addressing and countering internalized sociocultural pressures, beliefs and values about women's bodies, attractiveness, and worth in the U.S. Seventy-seven female undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: cognitive-dissonance, combined cognitive-dissonance, healthy weight placebo control, and wait-list control To determine effectiveness of the intervention, MANCOVA procedures were used, with Time 1 scores serving as the covariate. Overall, the women who received the dissonance based interventions produced the strongest effects among measures assessing sociocultural pressures, internalization, and body dissatisfaction in comparison to the control group, and experienced significant reductions in dieting behaviors and bulimic symptoms over the course of the study, suggesting that the creation of dissonance via the intervention assisted the women in reducing eating disorder risk factors.