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 Department: Department of Psychology
Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility

Development and Validation of a Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility

Date: August 2014
Creator: Schmalz, Jonathan E.
Description: Religion and spirituality are vital aspects of many people’s lives both in the United States and across the globe. Although many constructs and measures exist to describe and assess the experience of pursuing the sacred, the complexity of religious and spiritual experience leads to mixed results in relation to well-being and psychopathological traits. However, in broad terms, the relationship appears positive. Over the past 30 years the need for more refined and useful approaches to the study of religious and spiritual behavior has been repeatedly acknowledged. Although authors wisely caution development of further measures without due cause, extant constructs and measures do not provide clear and consistent results for understanding the influence of one’s relationships to religion and spirituality upon behaviors of clinical interest. The present project drew from the functional contextual concept of psychological flexibility, which provides clarity to understanding the encouragement and maintenance of psychological well-being. A new construct of religious and psychological flexibility is explicated as a functional approach to understanding religious and spiritual behavior in a manner that is useful in research and clinical settings alike. The development and evaluation of the Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility (MRSF) is described. The MRSF evidenced adequate internal ...
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Lean on Me: Social Support Compensation and Risk of Death in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Lean on Me: Social Support Compensation and Risk of Death in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Date: August 2014
Creator: Smith, Lauren M.
Description: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) has an estimated incidence of nearly 11 million US adults aged 65 years and older. Evidence suggests that the quality of the marital relationship is an important factor for diabetes related health outcomes affecting self-management and adherence (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001). However, an individual in need may compensate for primary support that is unavailable or not optimal by looking for other sources of support, which may be important for health outcomes (Rini, et al., 2008). The present study examined compensation for poor spousal support through other social relationships. A total of 12,640 participants reported they had diabetes and were married (Male = 6,317 and Female = 6,323), and of this group 1,084 men and 583 women had died over the course of the study period. Women reported lower spousal support, but significantly more aggregated social support across relationships than men. Few persons reported low spousal support and low support compensation, rendering the cell sizes highly unequal and the associated data uninterpretable. Ancillary analyses were conducted with the idea that some variance in total compensation support may moderate mortality risk finding that higher aggregated social support across non-spousal relationships was associated with lower risk of death accounting ...
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Factors That Influence Athletic Trainers’ Ability to Recognize, Diagnose, and Intervene: Depression in Athletes

Factors That Influence Athletic Trainers’ Ability to Recognize, Diagnose, and Intervene: Depression in Athletes

Date: August 2014
Creator: Nguyen, Thomas TN
Description: Athletic trainers (ATs) are professionals who are most directly responsible for athletes’ health care in a sport environment. ATs work with athletes on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of athletic injury; it is through these interactions that put ATs in an ideal position to recognize the psychological and emotional distress that athletes may suffer. Consequently, the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) has called for ATs to be competent in implementing psychosocial strategies and techniques (e.g., goal-setting, imagery, positive self-talk), recognizing basic symptoms of mental disorders, and identifying and referring athletes in need of psychological help. I explored ATs’ ability to recognize, diagnose, and provide a referral for collegiate athletes who were presenting with symptoms of depression across three different scenarios. The study examined factors that may impact ATs’ abilities in these areas, including AT gender, athlete gender, and type of presenting problem (e.g., athletic injury, romantic relationship, or sport performance issue). Overall, female ATs were better at recognizing depressive symptoms than male ATs, though both were equally proficient at diagnosing depression. Regardless of gender of the AT, gender of the athlete, and presenting problem, ATs were most likely to refer the athletes to a counselor/psychologist, and to a lesser extent sport ...
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Ethnic Differences in Caregiving Style

Ethnic Differences in Caregiving Style

Date: December 2014
Creator: Rodriguez, R. Mishelle
Description: This study explored the caregiving styles of 306 grandparents raising grandchild across three ethnic groups (164 European Americans, 65 Latinos, and 77 African Americans). Significant differences were found in caregiving styles between European Americans and African Americans. Caregiver appraisal (burden, satisfaction, and Mastery) was found to be predictive of caregiving style across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Caregiver style was predictive of grandchild functioning across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Lastly, caregiver style was found to be predictive of grandparent well-being across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Implications are discussed in terms of the complex, multidimensional and culturally embedded nature of the caregiving experience and the importance of considering culture for optimal outcomes.
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Effects of Religious Attendance on Suicidal Ideation: Examining Potential Mediators of Social Support, Locus of Control, and Substance Abuse

Effects of Religious Attendance on Suicidal Ideation: Examining Potential Mediators of Social Support, Locus of Control, and Substance Abuse

Date: August 2014
Creator: Price, Samantha Danielle
Description: Religion has a well-documented relationship with mental health benefits and has consistently demonstrated an impact on several specific mental health concerns, including suicide, generally finding various religious facets to be inversely associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. More specifically, religion has been found to be associated with suicide in a number of ways, including decreased acceptance of suicide, decreased likelihood of suicidal thoughts, decreased likelihood of suicidal attempts, fewer suicide attempts, lower relative risk of suicide, lower suicide rate, and increased reasons for living. Several studies have proposed potential mediators (e.g., social support, locus of control, and substance abuse) of the relationship between religion and mental health, usually in non-clinical samples. The current study sought to examine the association between religious attendance and suicidal ideation using archival data of a clinical sample collected from the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic. Results from this sample revealed no evidence of mediation, instead suggesting a direct effect of religious attendance on suicidal ideation. Two mediation models demonstrated the effects of external locus of control and social support on suicidal ideation. These models are discussed in terms of their directionality, considering the extant research on these associations. Findings of the current study have ...
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Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor

Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor

Date: August 2014
Creator: Wike, Alexandra Elizabeth
Description: Sexual and gender minorities are subjected to discrimination and stigmatization which increase vulnerability to psychological co-morbidities (Mays & Cochran, 2001). The mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to distress in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) communities can be partially elucidated through the minority stress model. The minority stress model argues that minorities are subjected to negative societal attitudes and discrimination that results in excessive psychosocial stress related to their minority position, which is distinct from daily stress. Meyer’s minority stress model is supported by social stress theoriesand data linking discrimination to stress in lgb samples. Researchers suggest that self-esteem buffers the negative effects of adverse experiences but tests of the moderating effect of self-esteem on the discrimination-distress relationship in ethnic and gender minorities yielded mixed results. Szymanski found that self-esteem moderates the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress in a male sexual minority sample, but this has never been tested in a gender-balanced sexual minority sample. We hypothesized that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with lower overall perceived stress in lgbt adults, and that self-esteem acts differentially in lgbt populations to moderate perceived discrimination. We found that discrimination, self-esteem and the interaction effect between discrimination and self-esteem accounted for ...
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The Vulnerability of Self-report Measures of Psychopathy to Positive Impression Management: a Simulation Study with Inmates

The Vulnerability of Self-report Measures of Psychopathy to Positive Impression Management: a Simulation Study with Inmates

Date: August 2014
Creator: Kelsey, Katherine R.
Description: Psychopaths have long been characterized as having a remarkable disregard for the truth, to the extent that deceit is often regarded as a defining characteristic of the syndrome. Scholars described heightened concerns about how psychopaths’ deceitful and manipulative nature could significantly obstruct evaluations of psychopathy. The accurate evaluation of psychopathy is very important in forensic and correctional settings, and in such issues as risk assessment or dangerousness. Although the PCL-R is considered the quasi-gold standard when it comes to evaluating psychopathy, self-report measures have become more widely available and researched. Very few studies specifically evaluated response styles and self-report psychopathy measures despite the significant concerns regarding psychopathy and deception. The current study evaluated the ability of inmates with different levels of psychopathy to successfully engage in positive impression management on the SRP-4, LSRP, and PPI-R. Utilizing a repeated-measures, within-subjects design, 78 male inmates completed the study under genuine and simulation conditions. Overall, inmates were able to significantly lower their scores on all three self-report measures and achieved scores equivalent to and even lower than college and community samples. Inmates with higher levels of psychopathy were able to achieve larger decreases in scores on the PPI-R and on several scales for ...
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Diabetes Status of Mexican Americans: Impact of Country of Birth

Diabetes Status of Mexican Americans: Impact of Country of Birth

Date: December 2014
Creator: Douglas, Megan E.
Description: In order to better tailor treatment to specific populations, factors which contribute to health disparities among different racial/ethnic groups must be examined. Among Mexican American individuals, the high rate of diabetes represents a significant contributor to overall health. The present study focuses on factors affecting diabetes status among Mexican Americans born in either Mexico or the United States using the 2007 – 2008 NHANES data set. Comparisons were made between diabetes status based on self-report and clinical classification using HbA1c. Results indicated that within the diabetic subsample, Mexican Americans born in Mexico were twice as likely to be incorrectly classified as non-diabetic, when they actually were diabetic, when using a self-report method. In contrast, nativity did not result in differences in diabetes incidence using the HbA1c clinical cut-score diagnostic classification. Age, BMI, gender, nativity, and health insurance coverage were found to have varying relationships to diabetes prevalence and HbA1c levels, but time in the U.S. for Mexico-born individuals was not found to uniquely predict diabetes incidence. Analyses also demonstrated that Mexico-born males, as compared to the other groups, had significantly higher HbA1c levels. Further research is necessary to better understand the relationships among these factors. However, findings do demonstrate a ...
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An Exploration of the Criterion and Construct Validity of the Self-compassion Scale

An Exploration of the Criterion and Construct Validity of the Self-compassion Scale

Date: August 2014
Creator: Farnsworth, Jacob K.
Description: Past research indicates that self-compassion has positive implications for psychological health and functioning. However, as a newly specified construct, the literature regarding self-compassion could benefit from a more thorough validation of the primary scale used in this area of research, the Self-Compassion Scale. In the present study, structural path analysis (using Amos) was used to explore the criterion validity of the SCS with four variables which have been theorized to be relevant to self-compassion (caregiver emotional responsiveness, fear of emotion, internalized spirituality, and achievement goal orientation). Initial hypothesis testing indicated support for the path model, with the exception of achievement goals which were not significantly associated with self-compassion. Trimming these paths in a subsequent analysis improved model fit. Interestingly, further analyses of the model indicated that the pairing of participant and parent gender produced substantial differences in path coefficients. Next, correlational and factor analytic methods were used to test the construct validity of the SCS. Correlational analyses found adequate convergent construct validity but some lack of divergent validity between SCS dimensions and conceptually similar constructs (i.e., fear of emotion, social connectedness and self-criticism). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a two-factor model fit the data better than the one-factor model proposed ...
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Family Interaction Patterns, Child Attachment, and Child Emotional Adjustment

Family Interaction Patterns, Child Attachment, and Child Emotional Adjustment

Date: August 2014
Creator: Demby, Kimberly P.
Description: The present study examined the links between whole family interaction patterns, parent-child attachment, and child emotional adjustment in a sample of 86 community families with children between the ages of 8 and 11. Family interactions were observed and coded with the System for Coding Interactions and Family Functioning (SCIFF; Lindahl, 2001). Target children completed the Children’s Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CCSQ; Yunger, Corby, & Perry, 2005), and the Behavior Assessment System for Children- 2nd Edition, Self Report of Personality (BASC-2 SRP; Reynolds &Kamphaus, 2004). Results of hierarchical regressions indicated that Secure and Avoidant attachment each independently predicted children’s emotional symptoms in some models. Family Cohesion and Positive Affect moderated the relationship between father-child attachment and children’s emotional symptoms. Results of the current study support the utility of considering dyadic attachment and family interaction patterns conjointly when conceptualizing and treating children’s emotional outcomes.
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