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 Department: Department of Psychology
Self-definition and College Adaptation in Students From the Ronald E Mcnair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
While a great deal of psychological research is conducted on college students, less has been done on their adaptation to college. These young adults, as they develop ego identity and differentiate themselves from parents and families, must adjust to the social and academic environment of college. Psychosocial adjustment predicts college retention better than academic predictors do. First generation college students face greater than typical challenges adapting to college. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program exists to aid first generation, lower income undergraduate student who wish to pursue a doctoral degree. Self-definition scored from thematic apperceptive technique stories reflects an individual’s relative freedom from social role constraint. This study examined the role of self-definition and familial understanding and acceptance in this population as predictors of successful adaptation to college. While neither was found to be a significant predictor, family understanding and acceptance was found to be a more defining characteristic of this sample than was self-definition. This suggests that when social support is sufficient, individuals do not need to rely on self-definition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822821/
Longitudinal Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Weight Control Behaviors in Female Collegiate Athletes
Female collegiate athletes have been established as a high-risk group for the development of eating disorders due to the high prevalence rates of clinical and subclinical eating disorders, which have ranged from 1.9% to 16.6% and 4.0% to 26.1%, respectively. Collegiate athletes appear to meet criteria for ED-NOS more often than anorexia or bulimia nervosa, and frequently engage in pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g., dieting, excessive exercise). To date, only a few studies have examined the long-term stability of eating disorders in collegiate female athletes. The current study investigated the prevalence of eating disorders (i.e., eating disordered, symptomatic, and asymptomatic) and pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g, binging, vomiting, laxative use) in 325 NCAA-DI female collegiate gymnasts and swimmers/divers across two time points – the beginning of their competitive seasons (Time 1) and during the final two weeks of their competitive seasons (Time 2). By Time 2, 90% of the athletes classified as eating disordered at Time 1 (n = 20) maintained clinical or subclinical eating disturbances. Of the 83 athletes originally symptomatic, 37.3% remained so and 10.8% became eating disordered. Significantly more athletes became satisfied with their bodies over the course of the season than became dissatisfied. The athletes reported using exercise and dieting/fasting as the most frequent forms of weight control behaviors, each of which were used less frequently at Time 2 than at Time 1. The results support overall stability of eating disorder behaviors and classification over the course of a competitive season. Limitations and implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822790/
Shame Due to Heterosexism, Self-esteem and Perceived Stress: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample
Sexual minorities experience higher levels of stress than heterosexuals, which in turn affects coping and psychological quality of life (PQOL). Although many sexual minorities remain mentally healthy, a higher prevalence of mental disorders among members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities exists; thus, LGB PQOL becomes an important area to examine. Several key factors are related to PQOL: shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress. Using minority stress model, I hypothesized that shame due to heterosexism and perceived stress are negatively correlated with PQOL, while self-esteem is positively correlated with PQOL. I hypothesized that collectively shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress account for a significant proportion of the variance in PQOL, that self-esteem moderates the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL and that age moderates the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. I calculated Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and found shame due to heterosexism was negatively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = -.21, p = .009), perceived stress was negatively correlated with PQOL (r (146) = -.69, p < .001) and self-esteem was positively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = .72, p < .001). I conducted a regression analysis and found our model accounted for 59% of the variance in PQOL (adj. R2 = .59, F(3, 144) = 68.88, p < .001). Self-esteem did moderate the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL (p = .029), but age did not moderate the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. Results suggest perceived stress and self-esteem play key roles in sexual minorities’ PQOL. Implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822796/
Relationship Centrality and Expressive Writing: Understanding Post-breakup Distress
When a romantic relationship ends in dissolution, the ex-partners may experience distress similar to post-traumatic stress or complex grief (i.e., dysphoric mood, feelings of loss, intrusive memories, negative rumination regarding the relationship, and a loss of self-esteem). Interventions designed to reduce post-breakup distress have historically attempted to foster integration of the breakup into the self-narrative through techniques such as expressive writing. Recent research indicates centrality, or heightened integration of an event or concept into an individual’s identity, predicts heightened levels of distress in the case of negative life events, including romantic relationship dissolution. Given the role romantic relationships themselves play in identity formation, exploration is warranted of the potential distress resulting from over-identification with a romantic relationship itself, or relationship centrality, after a breakup has occurred. Furthermore, if an individual has overly-integrated a relationship into their identity, the effectiveness of interventions focusing on further integration of the breakup is called into question. This study explored the centrality of participants’ previous romantic relationships, the distress resulting from the dissolution of those relationships, and the role of expressive writing as a distress reduction tool when centrality is taken into account. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822743/
Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice
Reliability generalization (RG) is a method for meta-analysis of reliability coefficients to estimate average score reliability across studies, determine variation in reliability, and identify study-level moderator variables influencing score reliability. A total of 107 peer-reviewed RG studies published from 1998 to 2013 were systematically reviewed to characterize the meta-analytic methods employed and to evaluate quality of reporting practice against standards for transparency in meta-analysis reporting. Most commonly, RG studies meta-analyzed alpha coefficients, which were synthesized using an unweighted, fixed-effects model applied to untransformed coefficients. Moderator analyses most frequently included multiple regression and bivariate correlations employing a fixed-effects model on untransformed, unweighted coefficients. Based on a unit-weighted scoring system, mean reporting quality for RG studies was statistically less than that for a comparison study of 198 meta-analyses in the organizational sciences across 42 indicators; however, means were not statistically significantly different between the two studies when evaluating reporting quality on 18 indicators deemed essential to ethical reporting practice in meta-analyses. Since its inception a wide variety of statistical methods have been applied to RG, and meta-analysis of reliability coefficients has extended to fields outside of psychological measurement, such as medicine and business. A set of guidelines for conducting and reporting RG studies is provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822810/
Quantitative Eeg Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain
Recent advances in neuroimaging and electromagnetic measurement technology have permitted the exploration of structural and functional brain alterations associated with chronic pain. A number of cortical and subcortical brain regions have been found to be involved in the experience of chronic pain (Baliki et al., 2008; Jensen et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that living with chronic pain shapes the brain from both an architectural and a functional perspective, and that individuals living with chronic pain display altered brainwave activity even at rest. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is a method of spectral analysis that utilizes a fast Fourier transform algorithm to convert analog EEG signals into digital signals, allowing for precise quantification and analysis of signals both at single electrode locations and across the scalp as a whole. An important advance that has been permitted by qEEG analysis is the development of lifespan normative databases against which individual qEEGs can be compared (Kaiser, 2006; Thatcher et al, 2000). Pilot data utilizing qEEG to examine brainwave patterns of individuals with chronic pain have revealed altered EEG activity at rest compared to age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (Burroughs, 2011). The current investigation extended the findings of the pilot study by utilizing qEEG to examine a larger sample of individuals with chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain displayed significantly reduced slow wave activity in frontal, central, and temporal regions. Findings will be presented in terms of specific patterns of altered EEG activity seen in individuals with chronic pain. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822811/
The Role of Injury-related Injustice Perception in Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: an Exploratory Analysis
Research has begun to explore the presence and role of health-related injustice perceptions in samples of individuals who experience chronic pain associated with traumatic injury. Existing studies indicate that higher level of injustice perception is associated with poorer physical and psychosocial outcomes. However, to date, few clinical populations have been addressed. The aim of the current study was to explore injustice perceptions in a sample of individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI), as research suggests that such individuals are likely to experience cognitive elements characteristic of injustice perception (e.g., perceptions of irreparable loss, blame, and unfairness). The study explored the relationship between participants’ level of perceived injustice and several variables associated with outcomes following SCI (depression, pain, and disability) at initial admission to a rehabilitation unit and at three months following discharge. The Injustice Experience Questionnaire was used to measure injustice perceptions. IEQ was found to significantly contribute to depression and anger at baseline. IEQ significantly contributed to depression, present pain intensity, and anger at follow-up. The implication of these preliminary findings may be beneficial for development of future interventions, as many individuals in the United States experience the lifelong physical and psychological consequences of SCI at a high personal and public cost. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822837/
Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test
Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822731/
Determinants of Effort and Associated Cardiovascular Response to a Behavioral Restraint Challenge
This study directly tested implications of motivation intensity theory on effort to restrain against a behavioral urge or impulse (i.e. restraint intensity). Two factors were manipulated—magnitude of an urge and the importance of successfully resisting it—with cardiovascular (CV) responses related to active coping measured. Male and female undergraduate students were presented with a mildly- or strongly evocative film clip with instructions to refrain from showing any facial response. Success was made more or less important through coordinated manipulations of outcome expectancy, ego-involvement, and performance assessment. As expected, systolic blood pressure responses assessed during the performance period were proportional to the evocativeness of the clip when importance was high, but low regardless of evocativeness when importance was low. These findings support a new conceptual analysis concerned with the determinants and CV correlates of restraint intensity. Implications of the study and associations with current self-regulatory literature are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822752/
The Role of Values in Psychotherapy Process and Outcome
Given the importance of client characteristics and preferences, and therapist expertise to evidence-based practice in psychology, the current study sought to contribute to the literature concerning the role of values in psychotherapy. Personal values of clients and trainee therapists in 29 dyads were examined for relationships between client and therapist values and associations with working alliance and outcomes. Although previous literature in this area has suggested that successful therapy is characterized by an increase in similarity of client and therapist values, the current study did not replicate this finding. However, client perceptions of therapist values were found to be important to working alliance and outcome. Findings are discussed in terms of suggestions for future research as well as implications for clinical practice, including the importance of discussing expectations and preferences with clients. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804912/
An Initial Validation of the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (Vrst) in a Sample of Oef/oif Veterans
Currently, neuropsychologists rely on assessment instruments rooted in century old theory and technology to make evaluations of military personnel’s readiness to return-to-duty or return to their community. The present study sought to explore an alternative by evaluating the validity of a neuropsychological assessment presented within a virtual reality platform. The integration of a neuropsychological assessment into a cognitively and emotionally demanding virtual environment – reminiscent of a combat experience in Iraq – offers a more ecologically valid manner in which to evaluate the cognitive skills required in theater. U.S. military veterans’ (N = 50) performance on the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) was compared with performance on a paper-and-pencil, a computer adapted version of the Stroop task, and the subtests included in the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics-4 (ANAM4) TBI-MIL test battery. Results supported the validity of the VRST, indicating it demonstrates the typical Stroop effect pattern. The emotional salience of the VRST resulted in slowed reaction time compared to the ANAM Stroop. Further, the complex interference condition of the VRST offers opportunities for evaluation of exogenous and endogenous attentional processing. In the evaluation of threat, participants were noted to perform more accurately and more quickly in low threat versus high threat zones. Ancillary inquiries found no clinically meaningful findings regarding the role of deployment or post-concussive symptoms, and mixed findings regarding the effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms on neuropsychological performance among the three tested modalities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804913/
Back on the Home Front: Demand/withdraw Communication and Relationship Adjustment Among Student Veterans
Today’s military encompasses a wide variety of families who are affected by deployments in multiple and complex ways. Following deployments, families must reconnect in their relationships and reestablish their way of life. Appropriate and effective communication during this time is critical, yet many military couples struggle with this process. Moreover, student service members/veterans and their families are in a unique position. In addition to coping with changes in their marital relationship, student veterans may feel isolated or unsupported on college campuses, often experiencing anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, or suicidality. The current study seeks to bridge the gap between the military family literature and the student service member/veteran literature by examining how deployment experiences, mental health issues, and communication patterns influence post-deployment relationship adjustment among student veterans. Analyses tested whether communication style and/or current mental health concerns mediate associations between combat experiences and couples’ relationship adjustment, as well as between experiences in the aftermath of battle and relationship adjustment. Results suggest that although posttraumatic stress is significantly related to deployment experiences among student veterans, participants report no significant negative effects of deployment on relationship adjustment. Communication style, however, was significantly associated with relationship adjustment, and a lack of positive communication was found to correlate with PTSD diagnosis. Research and clinical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804849/
The Effects of Attributional Styles on Perceptions of Severely Mentally Ill Offenders: a Study of Police Officer Decision-making
Police officers are allowed considerable discretion within the criminal justice system in addressing illegal behaviors and interpersonal conflicts. Broadly, such resolutions fall into two categories: formal (e.g., arrest) and informal outcomes. Many of these interventions involve persons who have historically faced stigmatization, such as those who have mental disorders, criminal histories, or both (i.e., mentally disordered offenders). On this point, stigma generally includes discriminatory behavior toward the stigmatized person or group and can be substantially influenced by internal and external attributions. In addition, researchers have suggested that internal attributions lead to punishing behaviors and external attributions lead to helping behaviors. The current study examined attributions about offender behavior made by police officers in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of Corrigan’s model. Specifically, this study investigated the effects of officer attributions on their immediate decisions in addressing intentionally ambiguous and minor offenses. Officers provided one of two vignettes of a hypothetical offender who was either mentally disordered or intoxicated and provided their anticipated resolution of the situation. Encouragingly, disposition decision differed by offender condition, with a substantially higher rate of arrests for the intoxicated offender (i.e., the external condition). Corrigan’s model was initially successful for both offender conditions, but was overall more successful for the mentally disordered condition. Results are discussed within the broader context of police policy, such as crisis intervention training, and identification of officers who could benefit from additional mental health trainings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804853/
Effects of Immaturity on Juveniles’ Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning
Over the last several decades, researchers have documented how impaired reasoning by adult offenders impeded the intelligent waiver of Miranda rights. Logically, it stands to reason that juveniles – who are developmentally less mature and have less life experience than their adult counterparts – would possess even greater impairment, thereby heightening their risk for invalid Miranda waivers. Juvenile Miranda research supports this notion; with some researchers finding that psychosocial maturity, among other factors, affect a juvenile’s understanding of their rights. Yet, relatively few studies have examined its relation to Miranda reasoning and decision-making. Thus, the current study investigated the specific role of maturity in juveniles’ Miranda comprehension and reasoning. Participants included 236 legally-involved juveniles recruited from either a juvenile detention center or a juvenile justice alternative education program. The effects of psychosocial maturity were examined on a variety of Miranda-related measures and assessed a broad range of Miranda abilities. It was found that, in general, immature juveniles performed more poorly on all Miranda measures as compared to their mature counterparts. However, the impact of maturity varied considerably depending on the ability. Specifically, maturity was most important in the context of Miranda reasoning. As a novel addition to the literature, the current study also investigated the effects of developmental timing on maturity (i.e., immaturity-delayed versus immaturity-expected) on Miranda abilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804854/
Community-based Participatory Research: Hiv in African American Men Who Have Sex with Men
To date, traditional behavioral interventions have done little to reduce the prevalence and transmission of HIV among African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM), a highly at risk group. Some researchers theorize that the lack of success may be because these interventions do not address contextual factors among AAMSM. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is one approach to research with the potential to lead to effective interventions in the future. CBPR is a collaborative, mixed-methods and multidisciplinary, approach to scientific inquiry, which is conducted with, and within, the community. The current study follows the CBPR approach to engage and develop a relationship with the African American communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Contextual issues were discussed in order to identify emerging themes regarding HIV health related issues among AAMSM to provide the groundwork for continued CBPR research and future interventions with AAMSM in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. To accomplish this goal, researchers began the CBPR process by conducting interviews and focus groups with a sample of approximately 62 (34 from key informant interviews, 28 from focus groups [gender balanced]) AIDS service organization leaders and workers, advocates, medical doctors and community members with first-hand knowledge of HIV health issues in the AAMSM community. Transcripts of these interviews and focus groups were analyzed to identify emerging themes at the societal (religious doctrine, African American Culture, age-related norms and stigma), community (education, religious views/policy and community norms) and individual (disclosure, personal identity, sexual behavior/risk, accessing care and communication) levels. This data was used to create a holistic narrative report that will be used to direct the community advisory board (CAB) and guide future research and interventions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804829/
Social Cognitive Career Theory, Academic Choice Behavior, and Academic Performance in African American College Students
The current study examined the impact that components of Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) have on choice behavior and academic performance in African American or Black, undergraduate students. SCCT is a highly valued and researched theory, but few studies examine the impact that SCCT components have on choice behavior and academic performance in Black college students. This study focused on evaluating SCCT components’ relevance to variables that have been shown to predict later objective career success. This is important because African Americans tend to have significantly lower paying and less prestigious jobs, as well as attain lower levels of education than most other racial populations in the United States. However, there is a paucity of current career development and attainment literature specific to the African American undergraduate population. In an effort to promote understanding of within group differences in SCCT variables that can contribute to educational and career success, 247 African American undergraduates were recruited to participate in this study. The participants completed online questionnaires regarding demographic information, self-efficacy, contextual barriers, contextual supports, choice goals, and choice behavior. Participants also gave permission for researchers to access grades. Findings indicate that academic coping self-efficacy, contextual barriers, and contextual supports may be particularly important to academic choice behavior in African American college students. Further, choice behavior appears to be important to grade point average. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research associated with this study’s findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804833/
Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the Usa
Since 2008, the United States (USA) has resettled thousands of Bhutanese refugees, providing brief financial support and pathways to citizenship. Despite the efforts of governing bodies and voluntary agencies which facilitate resettlement, many refugees struggle with adapting to the vastly different lifestyle, economy, language and social structures. In particular, effectively addressing psychological needs of this population is a challenge for service providers operating within an expensive health care system based on Western constructs of mental health. In response to this challenge, refugee resettlement agencies throughout the country use community gardens to promote psychological healing, self-sufficiency, community engagement, and a return of human dignity. Though success of these programs is being shared in the media, there has yet to be empirical data examining their impact. The current study tested whether Bhutanese refugee engagement in a community garden impacts symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and somatic complaints. The study also investigated whether community gardening is associated with perceptions of social support and adjustment to life in the United States. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 50 adult Bhutanese refugees in Fort Worth, Texas. Gardening was significantly related to increased social support overall, a key factor in overall functionality within communal cultures; and specifically perceived tangible support was increased. A significant effect of gardening was also found for adjustment. Although a significant effect was not found for psychological and somatic symptoms, there is still evidence of effects on somatic complaints. Varying results from quantitative and qualitative data warrant further investigation into the nuanced work of clinical research and advocacy with refugee populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804885/
Forgiving the Unforgivable: Forgiveness in the Context of Lgbt Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) in sexual and gender minority relationships is an underexplored and misunderstood phenomenon. Much of what has been investigated has explored IPV from a heterosexual lens, without taking into account the complexities of these relationship dynamics. Further, outcomes of IPV traditionally focus on negative sequelae, such as depression or anxiety. In this study, we examined the propensity to forgive partner abuse as a means of adaptively coping with the trauma. Further, we looked at resilience as a possible factor in the process of forgiveness. We hypothesized that psychological resilience significantly moderates the forgiveness process in sexual and gender minorities who have experienced IPV. Our sample of 77 gender- and sexual-minority participants completed measures of psychological and physical IPV, resilience, and forgiveness. A regression analysis found our model accounted for 36% of the variance in forgiveness of self (adj. R2=.36, F (4, 72) = 10.34, p < .01) and 20% of forgiveness of others (adj. R2=.20, F (4, 72) = 5.01, p < .01). However, there was no significant moderating effect, nor was IPV a significant contributor to forgiveness. Results suggest trauma does not influence one’s likelihood to forgive, though some personal trait, such as resilience, is more likely to contribute to the forgiveness process. Implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804837/
Interpersonal Decentering in Relationship Breakups: Social Cognitive Maturity and Distress Recovery in Young Adults
The termination of a romantic relationship, be it by breakup or divorce, is a fairly ubiquitous experience. Most individuals will recover from a traumatic experience of this nature; some however, experience substantial difficulties in recuperating that persist over time. For these individuals, relationship termination can invoke a variety of negative physical and psychological health outcomes. This project examines the role of social cognitive maturity, operationalized as Interpersonal Decentering, in recovery following a relational loss. Participants in this study were assigned to a pre/post control or measurement intensive (four visits) condition over the course of nine weeks. Individuals in the latter condition completed a Stream of Consciousness (SOC) task in which they discussed their breakup experience out loud for four minutes. These narratives were then transcribed and scored using the Interpersonal Decentering manual as adapted for Expressive Writing. Results indicate that – for women only – mature social cognition is inversely related to depressive mood at the initial visit. However, it is not related to initial PSTD symptomatology for men or women, nor does it predict decreases in depression and trauma symptomatology from the initial visit to the nine-week follow-up. Implications, limitations, and future directions for research of this nature are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804932/
Cognitive Performance As a Function of Sleep Disturbance in the Postpartum Period
New mothers often complain of impaired cognitive functioning, and it is well documented that women experience a significant increase in sleep disturbance after the birth of a child. Sleep disturbance has been linked to impaired cognitive performance in several populations, including commercial truck drivers, airline pilots, and medical residents, though this relationship has rarely been studied in postpartum women. In the present study 13 pregnant women and a group of 22 non-pregnant controls completed one week of actigraphy followed by a battery of neuropsychological tests and questionnaires in the last month of pregnancy (Time 1) and again at four weeks postpartum (Time 2). Pregnant women experienced significantly more objective and subjective sleep disturbance than the control group at both time points. They also demonstrated more impairment in objective, but not subjective cognitive functioning. Preliminary analyses indicated increased objective sleep fragmentation from Time 1 to Time 2 predicted decreased objective cognitive performance from Time 1 to Time 2, though small sample size limited the power of these findings. Implications for perinatal women and need for future research were discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804950/
The Virtual Classroom As a Tool for the Assessment of Automatic and Controlled Processing in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Assessment of executive functioning in neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., autism) is a crucial aspect of neuropsychological evaluations. The executive functions are accomplished by the supervisory attentional system (SAS) and include such processes as inhibition, switching, and planning. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tends to present similarly to other neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., ADHD). For example, ASD and ADHD may share similar etiological underpinnings in the frontostriatal system of the frontal lobe. Research on executive functioning in ASD has been mixed, thus the precise nature of executive functioning deficits in ASD remains equivocal. In recent years, simulation technologies have emerged as an avenue to assess neurocognitive functioning in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders impacting frontostriatal function. Simulation technology enables neuropsychologists to assess neurocognitive functioning within a testing environment that replicates environments in which the subject is likely to be in everyday life, as well as present controlled, real-world distractions, which may be better able to tap “hot” executive functions. A Virtual Classroom Continuous Performance Test (CPT) has been used successfully to assess attention in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders impacting frontostriatal function. The current study aimed to investigate executive functioning in individuals with high functioning ASD using a new construct driven Stroop assessment embedded into the Virtual Classroom. Group differences were found in the Virtual Classroom with distractions condition, indicating individuals with ASD may be more vulnerable to external interference control than neurotypical individuals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804860/
Intuitive Eating in Adolescents: Testing a Psychosocial Model
Intuitive eating is defined as an adaptive eating process that involves focusing on internal hunger and satiety to guide eating behavior, using those physiological cues rather than emotions to determine when to eat, and choosing what to eat based upon preference and not external rules and expectations. The purpose of this study was to examine intuitive eating within the context of contemporary sociocultural models of eating in 701 early adolescent boys and 769 early adolescent girls. Support was found for the model and suggested that pressures to lose weight or gain muscle, restrictive messages about food from caregivers, and internalization of the thin ideal were related to the early adolescents’ intuitive eating behaviors, suggesting that many of the sociocultural variables that have been found to impact disordered eating are salient for understanding healthy eating behaviors. However, the relations among many of the variables, as well as the model’s ability to explain intuitive eating overall, were stronger in girls than in boys. These findings can be used to help parents and schools begin to teach early adolescents about intuitive eating and how they can resist external pressures that may negatively influence their eating behaviors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804867/
Contributing Factors in the Development of Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors of Interpersonal Violence
An understanding of factors that contribute to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is of considerable importance to inform the prevention and treatment of the disorder. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the etiology of CPTSD is of interest since most research to date focuses on the etiology of PTSD. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to test the hypothesized prediction between childhood exposure to violence, childhood attachment, current interpersonal factors, and CPTSD symptoms. Using data from a community clinic and shelter serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model’s strength in predicting contributing factors of CPTSD. Results support the proposed model, however, an alternative and more parsimonious model was found to be superior and revealed relationships between interpersonal variables and CPTSD. Specifically, women who reported child abuse and poor attachment with either parent, a perceived lack of current emotional and tangible support, and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) also reported symptoms of CPTSD. However, other variables, such as adult attachment avoidance and anxiety did not influence IPV or CPTSD as expected. Ultimately, the current findings lend support for Herman’s (1992) original conceptualization of CPTSD symptoms observed in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Implications of these findings are discussed and results highlight the importance of assessing the contextual factors (e.g., social support, family environment) when a victim of prolonged trauma comes for treatment. Lastly, treatment implications and specific points of intervention are presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804868/
Racial Microaggressions: Relationship to Cardiovascular Reactivity and Affect Among Hispanic/latinos and Non-hispanic Whites
Racial microaggressions are a type of perceived discrimination entailing a brief pejorative message by a perpetrator, whether verbal or nonverbal, intentional or unintentional, about a target person that operates below the level of conscious awareness. Research supports a relationship between perceived discrimination and worse mental and physical health outcomes, with the literature centered mainly on non-Hispanic blacks. Less research exists on how perceived discrimination, specifically racial microaggressions, affects the mental and physical health of Hispanic/Latinos. This study examined how exposure to racial microaggressions, using an experimental design whereby a confederate delivers two types of racial microaggressions, influences affect and cardiovascular reactivity (CVR) among Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites. Results revealed that the experience of racial microaggressions did not evoke larger and longer lasting emotional and physiological arousal among Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic Whites. Future directions are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804968/
Nice Dissertation, for a Girl: Cardiovascular and Emotional Reactivity to Gender Microaggressions
Gender microaggressions are normative messages that communicate harmful stereotypes or attitudes towards women. Research suggests that being the target of microaggresions may contribute to negative mental and physical health outcomes. The current study examined how gender microaggressions affect emotional and physiological reactivity as well as performance on a working memory task. Results indicated condition (i.e., control vs. sexual objectification microaggression vs. denial of sexism microaggression) did not have a significant affect on reactivity or performance. Issues of population bias and essentialism may have played an important role in study findings. Future directions are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804826/
Therapist (Dis)continuity, Therapeutic Relationship, and (Premature) Termination in a Psychology Training Clinic
Premature termination is a substantial problem with significant adverse effects for clients, therapists, and treatment organizations. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively common phenomenon within mental healthcare settings. Across varied mental healthcare settings, rates of premature termination have reportedly ranged from 19.7 % to 40 %. Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of premature termination in training clinics is substantially higher than in community mental health settings and private practice, with 75 to 80 % of clients ending treatment services prematurely. The purpose of this study was to explore the combined effect of intake therapist continuity or discontinuity, and quality of the therapeutic relationship on premature termination. Intake therapist continuity, measures of working alliance, and termination outcome from 524 clients at the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic were utilized for adults receiving individual therapy services between August 2008 and August 2013. Results of the study suggest intake therapist continuity did not predict subjective termination status (X2(2, n = 524) = 1.61, p = 0.45), nor did it predict change in symptomology status (X2(3, n = 453) = 1.14, p = 0.77). Additionally, working alliance predicted subjective termination status (X2(6, n = 212) = 21.17, p < 0.01), but not change in symptomology status (X2(9, n = 208) = 6.27, p = 0.71). The findings of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research related to client, therapist, treatment, and procedural variables and their impact on premature termination. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804891/
Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical
Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804896/
Predictors of the Relationship Between Childhood Maltreatment and Career Decision Self-efficacy Among Undergraduate Students
Vocational disruption for survivors of interpersonal trauma has been noted by both practitioners and researchers. While limited empirical support exists, a firm theoretical framework and a full range of outcomes have not been explored. Guided by the framework of social cognitive career theory (SCCT), a promising framework recommended in the previous literature, the aim of the current study was to explore the function of contextual barriers and supports as predictors of career decision self-efficacy (CDSE). Due to the lack of consistency in previous research and absent theoretical specification of the particular mode of intervening variables, both mediation and moderation were explored using multiple regression. The results indicate the relationship between background factors (i.e., childhood maltreatment) and CDSE was fully mediated by an indirect pathway via personal factors (i.e., trauma-related symptoms) and learning experiences (i.e., anxious and avoidant attachment with a career-related mentor) in the prediction of CDSE. The results also indicate that personal factors (i.e., trauma-related symptoms) function as a moderator between background factors (i.e., childhood maltreatment) and learning experiences as anxious attachment with a career-related mentor. Finally, learning experiences as anxious attachment with a career-related mentor moderated the relationship between personal factors (i.e., trauma-related symptoms) and CDSE. Overall, within the SCCT model, the proposed predictors help explain differences in CDSE as related to childhood maltreatment through mediation and moderation. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804901/
An Exploration of Parenting Styles’ Impact on the Development of Values
The term emerging adulthood was coined during the 21st century to describe human development between adolescence and adulthood, during the ages of 18-25 (Arnett, 2000). During this stage, individuals can explore life areas. Emerging adults beginning college have a unique opportunity to form their identities and develop value systems (Hauser & Greene, 1991). With increasing autonomy, college students have possibilities for positive development and risk; values may be imperative in that differentiation. Furthermore, value systems are believed to play a major role in decision-making (Schwartz, 1992). Parents are influential in values development (Simpson, 2001; Steinberg & Sheffield Morris, 2001). During emerging adulthood, individuals have opportunities to notice discrepancies between their parents’ value system and society. Thus, emerging adults evaluate and choose personal values, which may or may not be similar to those of their parents, peers, or broader culture. Findings from this study indicate female caregivers’ parenting styles and closeness of the parent-child relationship have significant direct effects on the degree to which values are freely chosen. Specifically, Authoritarian parenting style (β = -.43 B = -1.70, p < .001), Authoritative parenting style (β = .12, B = .53, p < .001), and Emotional Support (β = .30, B = 6.80, p < .001) significantly predicted the degree to which values are intrinsically chosen. Only one significant relationship was found for male caregivers; there was a significant positive relationship between the authoritative parenting style and quality of the parent-child relationship (β = .64, B = .10, p < .001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc804871/
Marital Status and Racial/ethnic Differences in Health Outcomes
Substantial evidence demonstrates that marriage is associated with better health outcomes and lower mortality risk. Some evidence suggests that there are gender and race/ethnicity differences between the marriage-health benefits association. However, previous studies on marriage and health have mainly focused on non-Hispanic White-Black differences. Limited information is available regarding the roles of Hispanics. The present study examined marital status, gender, and the differences between non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Blacks, and Hispanics, in health outcomes. A retrospective cohort analysis of 24,119 Hispanic, NH White, and NH Black adults admitted to a large hospital was conducted. A total of 16,661 patients identified as either married or single was included in the final analyses. Consistent with the broader literature, marriage was associated with beneficial hospital utilization outcomes. With respect to differences in these benefits, results suggest that married patients, Hispanic patients, and women, were less likely to experience in-hospital mortality. Similar effects were observed in aggregated length of stay with married Hispanic women hospitalized nearly 2 days less than their single counterparts (6.83 days and 8.66 days, respectively). These findings support existing literature that marriage is associated with health benefits, add to the emerging research of a Hispanic survival advantage, and broaden the understanding of marriage and health in terms of differences by racial/ethnicity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801949/
Prevalence and Predictors of Perinatal Mental Health Outcomes
Prior research has identified risk factors that may contribute to the development of maternal stress reactions following childbirth. Specifically, situational factors (e.g., factors associated with childbirth), individual factors, and personality factors, have been explored in a multitude of prior studies. The current study sought to build upon this literature by examining both risk and resilience in a sample of both mothers and fathers via a prospective longitudinal investigation. Baseline assessment of expectant parents occurred prior to the birth of their child, with additional assessment at approximately 1, 6, and 9 weeks post-childbirth. A total of 50 participants completed all four of these assessments. Results indicated approximately 20% (n = 10) of participants endorsed moderate or greater stress symptoms after birth, while 22% (n = 11) also exhibited symptoms of moderate or greater depressive symptoms. Stress reactions were assessed with the Perinatal Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire (PPQ); validity analyses indicated the PPQ had significantly stronger correlations with convergent measures than discriminant measures. Additionally, participants were randomized into one of two post-delivery study arms: an expressive writing group or an active control group. Although expressive writing results were inconclusive, there was a general effect of time, which may be reflective of a natural recovery process. Given the prevalence of stress and depressive reactions in this sample, and the population, exploration into feasible and accessible treatment interventions is warranted. While these results also suggest a potential natural recovery for some participants, interventions for support in the short-term timeframe after childbirth may continue to be useful. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801915/
Cross-cultural Differences in the Presentation of Depressive Symptoms
Epidemiological studies show that China has a lower prevalence rate of major depression than that of Western countries. The disparity in prevalence is commonly attributed to the tendency of Chinese to somatize depression. Empirical evidence of Chinese somatization has yielded mixed results. The present study thus aimed to 1) examine differences in somatic and psychological symptom reporting between Chinese from Macau and Americans in America and 2) identify cultural and psychological variables that would predict somatization. Independent and interdependent self-construals, sociotropy, and emotional approach coping were hypothesized to predict somatization of depression. Participants included 353 Chinese and 491 American college students who completed self-report measures online. Contrary to prediction, results indicated that Americans endorsed a higher proportion of somatic symptoms than Chinese did. Sociotropy predicted both relative endorsement and severity of somatic symptoms for the American sample, whereas emotional expression coping was related to somatization in the Chinese sample. The findings challenge the common assumption of greater Chinese somatization and highlight the importance of context in understanding the relationships between somatization and cultural and psychological variables. Implications of the present study and future directions are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801937/
Spanish Measurement of Adult Attachment: Reliability and Validity of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale in a Hispanic American Sample
Measures of adult attachment developed in English have been translated and validated in multiple Spanish-speaking countries, yet to this date no self-report adult attachment instrument has been systematically examined for validation with Latinos/Hispanic Americans. The present study examined psychometric properties of a Spanish version of a widely used adult attachment scale, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECRS), with a bilingual college student sample. Following the dual-language split half (DLSH) quantitative method of evaluating semantic equivalence, 209 bilingual, Latinos/Hispanic American college students recruited from a large public university completed a DLSH version of the ECRS (half English, half Spanish). Internal consistency reliability and DLSH reliability were within acceptable limits, although significantly smaller than coefficients of the English ECRS completed by a large Caucasian sample (n = 459); 3- to 8-week test-retest reliability was also adequate. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a two-factor solution with 35 items accounting for 40% of the variance, which was similar to the English ECRS. Convergent validity was supported by findings that showed significant associations of attachment dimensions with social self-efficacy, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and comfort with self-disclosure, but not interpersonal trust. Evidence for discriminant validity was found in that attachment dimensions were not significantly associated with social desirability. Theoretical implications, limitations, and future directions of the study will be discussed based on adult attachment theory and cross-cultural perspectives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801946/
Adult Attachment, Acculturation and Help-seeking of Latino College Students
Based on theoretical reasoning and empirical evidence, the present study examined the unique and shared effects of attachment anxiety, attachment avoidance, and acculturation on attitudes toward seeking professional help among Latino college students. The research participants included 149 bilingual Latino college students from a large, public southwestern university. Results of a multiple regression analysis indicated that attachment avoidance was positively associated with both the recognition of need for psychological help and stigma of seeking professional help. Acculturation to American society was found to be statistically insignificant in predicting help-seeking attitudes in this sample of the population. Findings from exploratory questions suggested that Latino individuals would most likely seek help from parents, close friends, and then professionals. This study suggested that Latino individuals with high attachment avoidance acknowledge the potential benefit of professional help-seeking but distrust the process of approaching others for help. Limitations, implications, and future research directions will be discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc801882/
Refining the Definition and Detection of Response Styles: An Initial Examination of Defensiveness and Feigning on the Personality Inventory for DSM-5
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5) presents an alternate model for personality disorders, blending categorical and dimensional assessment into a hybrid diagnostic procedure. Released concurrently, the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 (PID 5) measures the five domains and 25 facets that comprise the trait components of this hybrid model. However, the PID 5 currently lacks validity indicators to capture intentionally distorted responding. The current study investigated the susceptibility of the PID 5 to defensiveness and feigning among a large sample of undergraduate students. First, a detailed desirability analysis (N = 465) was conducted of the PID 5 items and response options. Responses from the study were used to create three desirability based validity scales. Next, in a between-subjects simulation design (N = 128), the effects of faking were explored at domain and facet levels. As a result, two symptom based validity scales were created. In a separate validation sample (N = 134), the five newly created validity scales were compared with the Paulhus Deception Scales for capturing both defensiveness and feigning. All five scales were evaluated for ruling out faking (i.e., identifying likely genuine respondents) and ruling in either defensiveness or feigning. In most areas, the symptom based scales were more successful than the desirability based scales, though all scales had difficulty identifying defensiveness. These initial results offer fertile ground for additional testing and development of PID 5 validity scales. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799529/
Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis
Research has illustrated the interrelatedness of childhood physical fitness and psychological wellbeing, psychological wellbeing and academic achievement, as well as physical fitness and academic achievement. In this study, we proposed that psychological wellbeing (self-esteem and depression) serves as a mediator between physical fitness and academic achievement during adolescence. In a sample of middle school children (N = 1,530), significant correlations were found between all three variables (p.0001). A hierarchical regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between physical fitness, psychological wellbeing, and academic achievement. The regression analysis reported a significant partial mediation effect. The results of this study supported the proposed hypotheses, including a mechanism of psychological wellbeing partially mediating the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement. The findings of this study support the importance of encouraging activities to promote both physical fitness and psychological wellbeing in schools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799486/
The Relation Between Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence in a Social Information Processing Model Among Young Adults
Dating violence (DV) among young adults, specifically in college settings, is a serious issue with potential severe repercussions – both physically and psychologically – for victims of DV (DV victimization), and even financially on societal institutions as a whole. Exposure to parental intimate partner violence (IPV) has been associated with DV in young adults. Such violent behaviors appear to be associated with a recurrent pattern of aggressive thought processes, content, and arousing emotions. This study investigated the mediating effects of explicit socio-cognitive processes, through the reformulated social information processing (SIP) model, and implicit cognitive processes for exposure to parental IPV on DV perpetration and victimization, as well as the moderating effects of identification with parental figures and emotional arousal for exposure to parental IPV on predicting DV perpetration and victimization. 85 college students (men n = 23, M age = 22.29) were recruited for the study and results revealed that exposure to father-to-mother IPV predicted DV victimization, and that the interaction between exposure to father-to-mother IPV and identification with maternal figure predicted DV victimization. Conversely, identification with a parental figure negatively predicted DV victimization. The results revealed that SIP processes did not mediate the relationship for exposure to parental IPV on DV perpetration, however, SIP process of aggressive responding was positively associated with exposure to father-to-mother IPV and DV perpetration. Next, interaction of exposure to mother-to-father IPV and positive affective arousal is associated with less severe SIP hostile attributions and less positive evaluations of aggression responses. Finally, implicit cognition did not mediate exposure to parental IPV and DV perpetration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799477/
Sleep Duration, Sleep Insufficiency, and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Chronic short sleep duration is also a significant public health problem and has been linked to several markers and outcomes of cardiovascular disease. To date, inconsistency of assessments of sleep duration and insufficiency, use of covariates, and cardiovascular disease measurement across studies limits strong conclusions about the relationship between sleep duration, sleep insufficiency, and cardiovascular disease. The current study examined the association between sleep duration, sleep insufficiency, and a marker of preclinical coronary heart disease (i.e., carotid intima-media thickness) in a community sample using a cross-sectional design. Some evidence for a relationship between sleep duration and cIMT was found, with longer sleep duration predicting higher cIMT in some segments. Additionally, the interaction between sleep duration and sleep insufficiency was significant. However, neither of these effects were significant after adjusting for age and in some cases race/ethnicity, suggesting demographics may explain this association. Actigraphy and sleep diary duration assessments demonstrated significantly different correlations with cIMT in some segments, suggesting the nature of the assessment method may impact the strength or direction of the relationship between sleep duration and cIMT. Limitations and future directions are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799484/
The Influence of Family and Cultural Values on the Career Development of Asian Americans
Factors influencing the career development of Asian Americans have included family influences, including parental expectations and parent-young adult relationship, and adherence to Asian cultural values. Variables such as interests and values have been shown to be important factors in the career-related decisions of western, European American culture individuals, although interests have been found to be less important for Asian Americans. Research suggests that parental expectations and adherence to traditional Asian values have more influence on career development among this population. Sandhu found in 2011 that parental expectations are highly linked with career choice of a specific Asian subgroup. The current study examined the relationship between parental expectations, acculturation, career values, adherence to Asian cultural values, the parent-young adult relationship, and career choice in the Asian American population. The values gap between the parents’ and young adults’ cultural values as well as the gap’s effects on the parent-child relationship were assessed. A sample of 173 self-identified Asian Americans aged 18 to 25 were recruited from across the US to complete an Internet survey consisting of demographic questions, career choice questions, a measure of acculturation, an assessment of career-related values, an assessment of adherence to Asian cultural values, and an assessment of the parent-young adult relationship. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that the prestige of parents’ career expectations was a significant predictor of the prestige of young adults’ expected career choices. Although other family and process variables were not found to be significant predictors of young adults’ career choices, interesting correlations were noted among many of these variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799461/
Heart Rate Variability as an Indicator of Stress and Resilience in HIV+ Adults: An Analysis of a Stigma Related Stress Induction
Learning of a positive diagnosis of HIV may be one of the most challenging and stressful events in life. The memory of this event is emotionally laden, and even years later evokes an emotional response. Similarly, many people living with HIV (PLH) have memories of the first time they were treated differently because of their diagnosis. While research frequently examines the subjective of stress, few studies have examined biological markers of stress in people living with HIV. Heart Rate Variability offers a non-invasive measure of stress. Beyond serving as a biological marker for stress, changes in HRV are also associated with emotional functioning. Research demonstrates decreased HRV levels in patients with Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD. We conducted a repeated measures MANOVA to examine effects of stress induction on HRV in individuals with high and low levels of HIV-related stigma. We found that the high stigma group was significantly different from the low stigma group in regard to changes in participants’ HRV, Wilks’ λ = .50, F (1, 51) = 11.63, p < .001. A hierarchical linear regression examined the relationship between HRV and other measures of stress (Heart Rate and Blood Pressure). We found that systolic blood pressure and heart rate in the stress condition were predictive of HRV (adjusted R2=.29, F (5,46) =4.07, p<.01). Results of our study support the use of HRV as a measure of stress in HIV-positive adults. Additionally, the results of our study demonstrate significant relationships between stigma, social support and stress in HIV-positive adults. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799494/
Employee Engagement: The Impact of Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical Elements on the Relationship between Employee Engagement and Behavioral Outcomes
Data were collected by an external company for a healthcare service firm interested in learning the job-related attitudes of their employees. Thus, archival data from 1,287 employees were collected for a different purpose. The survey consisted of 117 questions covering a broad range of constructs. Consequently, the items were used to derive effective measures of employee engagement and behavioral outcomes, as well as the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical dimensions. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis procedures were used to create scales reflecting these four factors. Interestingly, six scales emerged, logically linking to and further specifying the initial dimensions. These were Organizational Linkage, Manager Relationship, Job Fit, Job Clarity, Work Pressure, and Meaningful Work. To test the hypotheses, six separate regression equations were calculated, which statistically supported modification by each of the dimensions. However, statistical significance of the interactions resulted from having a large sample, given the actual association was too small to be meaningful (e.g., a contribution of 0.6% of the variance). As each of the dimensions had a main effect on the behavioral measure during hypothesis testing, exploratory regression equations were calculated to further understand the interrelationships. Of most interest was finding that in the presence of Engagement, the main effects of only Organizational Linkage and Job Fit reached significance. However, when Engagement was not included, four of the six dimensions made a significant contribution to Behavioral Outcomes. Overall, there was support for previous conceptualizations. From the scientist-practitioner perspective, the six factors identified in this study may be more useful than the four initially proposed. The distinctions give practitioners additional information to use in interventions to improve employee behavior and retention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799489/
Racial/Ethnic Differences in Social Support
Despite a substantially greater risk factor profile, Hispanics in the United States (US) consistently demonstrate better health outcomes compared to their non-Hispanic White counterparts, an epidemiologic phenomenon termed the Hispanic Mortality Paradox. Emerging hypotheses suggest cultural values regarding relational interconnectedness and social support may help to explain these surprising health outcomes. The present study sought to inform these hypotheses via two aims: the first was to examine racial/ethnic differences in perceived social support, and the second was to examine the relationship between acculturation and perceived social support among Hispanic college students. Non-Hispanic White, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic college students (N = 330) completed an online survey for course credit. Contrary to expectations, no racial/ethnic differences in perceived social support were observed, nor was an association between acculturation and perceived social support evident among the sampled Hispanic students. The limited sample size, homogeneity in social support levels across groups, and the restricted range of age and acculturation may have obscured relationships that may exist outside the college environment. Future work should consider a more heterogeneous sampling strategy to better assess these associations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799548/
To Weigh or Not to Weigh? Relation to Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Amongst Female Collegiate Athletes
Collegiate and elite female athletes have been identified as a subpopulation at heightened risk for disordered eating and pathogenic weight management practices. It was hypothesized that this increases risk may be related to sport specific pressures (such as team conducted weigh-ins), or the use and frequency of self-weighing. It appears that mandatory, team conducted weigh-ins are not salient to female athletes in regards to experiencing internalization, body image concerns, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology. Results, however, indicate that frequency of engagement in self-weighing may be influential in the engagement of disordered eating symptoms. Specifically, athletes who weighed themselves three or more times per week reported significantly more internalization of general societal ideals and athletic body ideals. For body image concerns, athletes who weighed three or more times per week reported being more concerned with their body size/shape than all others. With respect to dietary behaviors, athletes who weighed themselves three or more times per week reported engaging in significantly more caloric restriction than did those who weighed less frequently. For negative affect, the athletes who weighed themselves three or more times per week reported significantly higher levels of both anger and guilt. Finally for bulimic symptomatology, athletes who weighed themselves three or more times a week had significantly higher levels than those who weighed once or twice or not at all. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799536/
Factorial Validity and Measurement Envariance of the Test of Performance Strategies, Sport Anxiety Scale, and the Golf Performance Survey Across Age Groups
The purpose of this study was to examine the factorial validity and measurement equivalence of the Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS; Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999); the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS; Smith, Smoll, & Schultz, 1990); and the Golf Performance Survey (GPS; Thomas & Over, 1994) across age groups in a representative sample of amateur golfers. Based on archival data, participants comprising this study were 649 younger adult (n = 237) and older adult (n = 412) amateur golfers who played in the Dupont World Amateur Golf Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The participants completed a set of questionnaires including psychological skills and strategies (e.g., self-talk, goal setting, imagery, etc.) used during competition, sport-specific competitive trait anxiety, and psychomotor skills and involvement in golf. Results demonstrated that the original factor structure of the TOPS competition subscale, the SAS, and the GPS, did not adequately fit the data among this sample of younger and older adult amateur golfers. Further exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses established evidence of factorial validity with the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS with both younger and older adult amateur golfers. Configural, metric, scalar, and strict measurement invariance were identified in relation to the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS across age cross-group comparisons. In general, the analyses demonstrated support that the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS can be utilized with confidence with older adult amateur golfers, as well as conducting group comparisons with younger adult amateur golfers. The findings from this study have several future research directions and practical implications for structuring effective interventions with older adult amateur athletes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc799546/
Finding Out on Facebook: a Qualitative Analysis of Adolescents’ Experiences Following a Suicide Cluster
Suicide clusters have been identified in many populations; however, research exploring the role of online communication in the aftermath of a suicide cluster is extremely limited. This study used the Consensual Qualitative Research method to analyze interviews of ten high school students following a suicide cluster in a small suburban school district. Interviewee’s responses were organized into 4 domains: the suicide, impact, perceptions of school environment, and recovery. The role of social networking emerged as a common theme across domains, suggesting broad relevance to adolescents’ experience following the suicide of a peer. Implications for clinical intervention and research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699975/
Life Beyond Betrayal: the Influence of Self-as-context on Self-complexity and Posttraumatic Stress
While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self and psychological health, are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699906/
Psychosocial Mediators of the Fitness-depression Relationship Within Adolescents
Adolescence is a developmental period during which boys and girls are at high risk of developing major or minor depression. Increases in fitness have been associated with lower levels of depressive symptomatology and improvements in psychological well-being, yet the mechanisms that underlie this relationship have not been thoroughly examined. Three such psychosocial variables (i.e. body satisfaction, social physique anxiety, and physical activity self-efficacy) have been identified as possible mechanisms and although they have theoretical support, additional research is needed to demonstrate empirically the potential effects of these variables. Self-report measures were used to assess the psychosocial variables and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in conjunction with age, Body Mass Index [BMI], and sex was used to determine an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2max). Path analyses were used to test the proposed model using version 6.2 EQS Multivariate Software. Results of study revealed that the boys’ and girls’ depressive scores were determined based on the extent that their fitness levels improved their satisfaction with their bodies and lowered the anxiety they experience in relation to real or imagined judgments of their physique. Although all pathways in the model were significant, with the exception of physical activity self-efficacy to depression, differences emerged between the boys and girls in terms of the strength of some of the relations amongst the variables. Limitations include restricted generalizability, self-report measures, and cross-sectional design. Results have implications for individuals in a context intended to improve physical and psychosocial well-being of adolescents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699904/
Conceptualizing Quality of College Life
The objectives of this study were to mathematically model the quality of college life (QCL) concept and to study the associations between attachment style, emotion regulation abilities, psychological needs fulfillment and QCL via structural equation modeling. Data was collected from 507 undergraduate students (men = 178, women = 329; age M = 21.78 years, SD = 4.37). This data was used to provide evidence for the validity of the College Adjustment Scales (CAS) as a measure of quality of college life. The CAS demonstrated good convergent validity with the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL), Subjective Well-being and Psychological Well-being Scales. Results: Students who were insecurely attached were as likely to feel adequate in their academic and professional endeavors as securely attached students. However, insecurely attached students had lower QCL levels, lower fulfillment of psychological needs and more emotion regulation difficulties than securely attached students. The results also indicated that Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment were positively and strongly associated. Nonetheless, Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment affected QCL through different mechanism. Emotion regulation mediated the path between Anxious Attachment and QCL while the fulfillment of psychological needs mediated the path between Avoidant Attachment and QCL. The fulfillment of psychological needs also mediated the path between emotion regulation and QCL. The described pattern of results was found for three separate models representing 1) the student’s attachment with their romantic partner, 2) best friend and 3) mother. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest a change in primary attachment figure during the college years. Emotion regulation, the fulfillment of psychological needs and QCL were all affected more strongly by the student’s attachment style with their romantic partner and best friend compared to their attachment style with their parents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699982/
Complex Ptsd As a Less Pejorative Label: Is the Proposed Diagnosis Less Stigmatizing Than Bpd?
Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699965/
The Influence of Perceived Stress on Insulin Resistance in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Objective: To identify whether perceived stress is a risk-factor for higher cortisol levels and greater insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetic patients, using data from participants with and without diabetes in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), specifically MIDUS II, Project 4. The following hypotheses were tested: (H1a) greater perceived stress would be associated with higher cortisol for Type 2 diabetic participants, (H1b) the perceived stress/cortisol relationship would be stronger for people with Type 2 diabetes than for those without it, (H2) greater perceived stress would be associated with higher Homeostatic Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR, insulin-resistance) for Type 2 diabetic participants, (H3a) subjective well-being would moderate the perceived stress/insulin resistance relationship for Type 2 diabetic participants, and (H3b) depression would moderate the perceived stress/insulin resistance relationship for Type 2 diabetic participants. Method: MIDUS, a longitudinal study of over 7,000 American adults, explores biopsychosocial factors that could contribute to variance in mental/physical health. Only complete data were utilized. Type 2 participants (n=115) consisted of 54 males and 62 females ranging in age from 36 to 81 years. Non-diabetic participants (n=1097) consisted of 470 males and 627 females ranging in age from 34 to 84 years. Results: None of the predicted relationships were statistically significant. Waist to hip ratio was significantly related to insulin resistance (r = .31, p = .001). Conclusions: Future studies should collect information about the type and duration of stressors in addition to perceptions about stress for those with Type 2 diabetes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc699935/
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