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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Degree Discipline: Clinical Psychology
 Degree Level: Doctoral
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Miranda Reasoning and Competent Waiver Decisions: Are Models of Legal Decision Making Applicable?

Miranda Reasoning and Competent Waiver Decisions: Are Models of Legal Decision Making Applicable?

Date: May 2013
Creator: Blackwood, Hayley L.
Description: Miranda understanding, appreciation, and reasoning abilities are essential to courts' determinations of knowing and intelligent Miranda rights waivers. Despite the remarkable development of Miranda research in recent decades, studies have generally focused on understanding and appreciation of Miranda rights, but have not examined Miranda reasoning and waiver decisions. Therefore, examining the nature of defendants' decisional capacities constitutes a critical step in further developing theoretical and clinical models for competent Miranda waiver decisions. The current study evaluated Miranda waiver decisions for 80 pretrial defendants from two Tulsa-area Oklahoma jails. Previously untested, the current study examined systematically how rational decision abilities affect defendants' personal waiver decisions. Components from general models of legal decision making, such as decisional competence and judgment models, were examined to determine their applicability to Miranda waiver decisions.
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Exploring Psychopathic Personality Traits and Moral Development in a Non-criminal Sample

Exploring Psychopathic Personality Traits and Moral Development in a Non-criminal Sample

Date: May 2013
Creator: Bewsey, Kyle
Description: This study explored psychopathic personality traits among a non-criminal, college undergraduate sample. Much research has been done on conceptualizing the construct of psychopathy, but this work has been conducted primarily with incarcerated individuals using a structured interview, The Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003). The goal of the current study was to assess psychopathic traits among non-criminal individuals using The Self-Report Psychopathy Scale - Version Four (SRP-IV; Paulhus, Neumann, & Hare, in press), and compare how SRP-IV scores were associated with a well recognized semi-structured interview for psychopathy, The Psychopathy Checklist – Screening Version (PCL: SV; Hart, Cox, & Hare, 1995). The study also examined whether psychopathic personality traits could be predicted using a measure of normal-range personality, based on the five-factor model (FFM; Digman, 1990), and a measure developed by Loevinger (1976) related to ego development. Five-Factor Model Rating Form (FFMRF; Mullins-Sweat, Jamerson, Samuel, Olson, & Widiger, 2006) scores and Total Protocol Ratings (TPR score) on the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT; Hy & Loevinger, 1996) were used to predict psychopathy scores. Correlations of SRP-IV scores and PCL: SV scores with FFMRF scores and WUSCT TPR scores were also examined for their uniformity. As predicted, there ...
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Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation

Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation

Date: August 2012
Creator: Burkman, Summer Dae
Description: Studies of affective forecasting examine people’s ability to predict (forecast) their emotional (affective) responses to future events. Affective forecasts underlie nearly all decisions people make and the actions they take. However, people engage in systematic cognitive errors when making affective forecasts and most often overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional responses. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to affective forecasting errors (e.g., immune neglect) and examining the utility of methods for improving affective forecasting errors (e.g., surrogation) can provide highly valuable information for clinicians as they assist clients in determining their goals both for therapy and for life. The first purpose of the current study was to determine if affective forecasting errors due to immune neglect lead to misjudgments about the relative emotional impact of minor versus moderate negative experiences (i.e., trauma severity). The second purpose was to examine the utility of surrogation for improving affective forecasts. Potential interaction effects between these two variables were also examined. The current study utilized a 2 (Trauma Severity: minor, moderate) X 3 (Prediction Information: surrogation information only, simulation information only, both types of information) experimental design. Undergraduates were recruited via the SONA system and randomly assigned to one of the six experimental ...
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Decentering and the Theory of Social Development

Decentering and the Theory of Social Development

Date: August 2012
Creator: Fincher, Jennie
Description: The concept of decentering originated with Piaget, who defined decentering as a feature of operational thought, the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives simultaneously. Feffer applied Piaget’s concept of decentering to the cognitive maturity of social content. This study used Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system for stories told about TAT pictures to investigate the developmental hierarchy of decentering for children and adolescents. The participants originated from the Berkeley Guidance Study, a longitudinal sample of more than 200 individuals followed for more than 60 years by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. The hypotheses tested were: (1) chronological age will be positively related to Decentering as reflected in Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scores obtained annually between ages 10 and 13 and at 18; (2) children born into higher class homes would have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (3) children born later in birth order will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (4) children whose parents were observed to have closer bonds with their children at age 21 months will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (5) adolescents with higher scores from the Decentering Q-sort Scale (derived from adolescent Q-sorts) will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; and (6) ...
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The Role of Experiential Avoidance in Trauma, Substance Abuse, and Other Experiences

The Role of Experiential Avoidance in Trauma, Substance Abuse, and Other Experiences

Date: August 2012
Creator: Pepper, Sarah E.
Description: Experiential avoidance (EA) is a process in which a person attempts to avoid, dismiss, or change experiences such as emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. EA is associated with a number of psychological disorders and is generally harmful to psychological well-being. Various studies have explored the role of EA as a mediator, while others have studied EA as a moderator. The current study aimed to further understand and broaden the knowledge of the role of EA in regard to trauma, substance abuse, aggression, and impulsivity by examining relationships between these variables with EA as a mediator and as a moderator. Experientially avoidant behaviors (i.e., substance abuse, aggression, and impulsivity) were related to higher levels of EA. EA was found to partially mediate the relationship between the number of traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, as well as the relationship between substance abuse and PTSD. EA was also found to moderate the relationship between PTSD symptoms and aggression. Findings from the present study as well as its limitations and future directions for research are discussed.
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Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent training Protocol Based on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Philosophy of Parenting

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent training Protocol Based on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Philosophy of Parenting

Date: August 2011
Creator: O’Brien, Karen M.
Description: Thirty-four parents were referred by their CPS caseworkers to participate in one of two ACT for Parenting workshops. These workshops followed a 12 hour treatment protocol based on an acceptance and commitment therapy philosophy of parenting. Briefly, an ACT philosophy of parenting maintains that effective parenting requires awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings as they occur in the context of the parent-child relationship. An ACT philosophy of parenting also relies heavily on the identification and commitment to parenting values. Participants were asked to track acceptance and valuing behavior on a daily basis for 25 days prior to the intervention and 25 days post-intervention, as well as to complete a package of self-report instruments designed to measure both ACT specific and general psychological processes, at three different points (pre-, post- and follow-up). Nineteen parents received the treatment, and of those, seventeen provided follow-up data 3-4 months post-intervention. Results indicate statistically significant changes in the expected directions for scores on the BASC-2 Externalizing Composite as well as on the Meta-Valuing Measure. A total of 10 parents also evidenced clinically significant change in the expected directions on a variety of outcome measures.
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Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members

Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members

Date: August 2011
Creator: Geddes, Jeffrey D.
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of military deployment on children, and the roles that risk and protective factors and parenting stress play in emotional symptoms and behaviors exhibited by children while their parents are deployed. A sample of 143 parents (recruited from all branches of the military) who remained at home while their spouses were deployed completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic and background information, child internalizing and externalizing behavior, parenting stress, child adaptability, valuing behavior, family cohesion/environment, and parenting behaviors. The sample primarily consisted of mothers (n = 141) and Caucasian individuals (n = 126), which may limit the generalizability of the findings. Results of the study suggest risk factors including parenting stress, corporal punishment, length of time a parent is deployed, and type of deployment (combat vs. non-combat) were predictive of poorer child outcomes. Protective factors including values consistent behavior, child adaptability, and family cohesion were predictive of better childhood outcomes. Parenting stress served as a mediating variable between the relationship of total risk and child outcomes, while values consistent behavior served as a mediating variable between the relationship of protective factors experienced by children and child outcomes. Military deployments not only impact ...
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Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Date: August 2011
Creator: Vander Lugt, Amanda Adcock
Description: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed to specifically target experiential avoidance (EA) rather than any specific diagnostic category. A functional ACT manual was presented and used to treat diagnostically diverse clients in a large sliding fee-for-service training clinic. A multiple baseline across participants and behaviors research design was used to evaluate session-by-session changes in EA, values identification, valued action, and clinical distress. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) were given to measure processes and outcomes given the functional ACT model presented in the introduction to the paper. Baseline included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II Disorders given across 2-5 50- minute sessions. The treatment phase consisted of 7-10 50-minute sessions. Participants were 10 clients. Four participants completed sufficient treatment sessions (4-9) to test the study hypotheses. Participants generally improved across time, but most improvements could not be attributed to the functional application of ACT due to changes during baseline for AAQ, VLQ-Consistency, and OQ-45. VLQ-Importance significantly improved for all participants given ACT.
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Intimate Partner Violence Among Female Undergraduates: The Role of Language in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress

Intimate Partner Violence Among Female Undergraduates: The Role of Language in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress

Date: August 2011
Creator: Larson, Christina Mary
Description: Research findings across a variety of samples (e.g., clinical, shelter, hospital) estimate that 31% to 84% of women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study sought to further investigate the abuse-trauma link by examining the relationship between lifetime trauma exposure, type of abuse (i.e., physical, psychological), and perspective-taking abilities (i.e., here-there, now-then). The role of experiential avoidance in the development of PTSD symptoms was also examined. Results indicated that lifetime trauma exposure (β = .31) and psychological abuse (β = .34) were significant predictors of PTSD symptomatology. Additionally, analyses revealed that experiential avoidance (β = .65) was a significant predictor of PTSD symptoms that partially mediated the relationship between IPV and PTSD symptomatology. Implications of findings are discussed as well as future suggestions for research examining type of IPV and PTSD.
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Implementation of a Therapy Group for Wives of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Preliminary Outcomes

Implementation of a Therapy Group for Wives of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Preliminary Outcomes

Date: May 2011
Creator: Reck-Gordy, Jennifer K.
Description: The purpose of this study was to develop a manualized therapy group for wives or significant others of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing wives' psychological symptoms. A second aim of the study was to determine if women's involvement in the wives group resulted in decreases in their husbands' PTSD symptoms. Women recruited for the study were administered pre-test measures during a screening session. They then participated in a 9-session manualized therapy group designed by the researcher that included psychoeducational, process, and support components. Examples of group topics included psychoeducation regarding PTSD, assertiveness and communication, intimacy, self-care, and stress management. After completing the group sessions, participants were asked to complete post-test measures. Other factors explored in this study included marital satisfaction, perceived social support, general satisfaction with the group, and demographic variables. Results indicated that wives who participated in the group treatment exhibited significant decreases in secondary stress symptoms and increases in marital satisfaction from pre-test to post-test. The majority of participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the group process. Therefore, it appears that the group protocol presented in this study could be a useful tool in the treatment of wives of ...
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