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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Language: English
 Degree Discipline: Psychology
Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis

Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis

Date: May 2015
Creator: Dorfman, Jocelyn C.
Description: 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.
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Racial/Ethnic Differences in Social Support

Racial/Ethnic Differences in Social Support

Date: May 2015
Creator: Goans, Christian R. R.
Description: 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.
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The Relation Between Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence in a Social Information Processing Model Among Young Adults

The Relation Between Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence in a Social Information Processing Model Among Young Adults

Date: May 2015
Creator: Chong, Chu Chian
Description: 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 ...
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Sleep Duration, Sleep Insufficiency, and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness

Sleep Duration, Sleep Insufficiency, and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness

Date: May 2015
Creator: Dietch, Jessica R.
Description: 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.
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To Weigh or Not to Weigh? Relation to Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Amongst Female Collegiate Athletes

To Weigh or Not to Weigh? Relation to Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Amongst Female Collegiate Athletes

Date: May 2015
Creator: Carrigan, Kayla
Description: 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 ...
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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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Apology and Forgiveness in Couples

Apology and Forgiveness in Couples

Date: August 2014
Creator: Reyna, Samuel H.
Description: Following a transgression, interpersonal forgiveness is one strategy used to restore harmony between the victim and offender. Research also suggests that forgiveness can promote psychological and physical health. Research has shown that an apology from the offender may facilitate the forgiveness process. The majority of studies suggest that when a victim receives an apology, they experience higher levels of forgiveness toward their offender. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the association between apology and forgiveness in a sample of adults and undergraduate students (N = 803). The results are organized in three sections. First, I found a positive relationship between apology and forgiveness, replicating prior research. Second, I created a new measure of transgression severity, and provided evidence of internal consistency, construct validity, and criterion-related validity for this measure. Third, I tested two variables hypothesized to moderate the association between apology and forgiveness. First, there was some evidence that perceived offender humility moderated the association between simple apology and forgiveness. Offenders who were perceived as being more humble when providing a simple apology were granted more forgiveness than their less humble counterparts. Second, there was some evidence that transgression severity moderated the association between a complete apology and ...
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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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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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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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