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 Degree Discipline: Clinical Psychology
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Posttraumatic Stress and Neurobehavioral Symptoms
The purpose of this study is to examine the structure of neurobehavioral symptoms in service members with physical and/or psychological trauma to determine the diagnostic specificity of these symptoms. Previous literature has demonstrated that orthopedic injured, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and healthy controls shared similar levels of postconcussive symptom complaints, which suggest that postconcussion-like symptoms are not unique to MTBI. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first study examining this phenomenon in a sample of recently redeployed service members. Dimensional analysis of the PCL-C and NSI using SEM did not produce a model that was consistent with previous literature and principle component analyses did not produce a simple solution for posttraumatic stress or neurobehavioral symptoms. Thus, the study does not provide evidence for construct validity for either instrument. Implications for these findings are that clinicians need to be aware that these instruments may not be measuring coherent constructs within this population as purported and should judiciously interpret and report the results of these instruments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407833/
Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It
The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283819/
Correlates Between Adult Romantic Attachment Patterns and Dimensional Personality Pathology
Previous research has suggested that adult attachment disturbance is related to maladaptic interaction patterns and personality disorder constructs. Specifically, research indicates that those with attachment disturbance are significantly more likely to meet criteria for a number of personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between adult attachment and the new dimensional model of personality disorders scheduled to be released in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Diosrders (5th ed.) in spring 2013. Participants completed the Schedule for Adaptive and Nonadaptive Personality (SNAP) to measure dimensional personality functioning and the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR-R) and the Attachment Prototypes to measure adult attachment patterns. Additionally, select scales from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and the Five Factor Model (FFM) will be utilized as secondary measures of personality patterns. The results suggest strong associations between adult attachment orientations and specific maladaptive personality characteristics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283794/
An Examination of Resnick's Model of Malingering: a Pai Study of Feigned Ptsd
Malingered posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses a formidable clinical challenge in personal injury and disability cases because of the apparent ease in feigning PTSD and the supposed link (proximate cause) to the claimed damages. The effective assessment of feigned PTSD is particularly challenging because this diagnosis is both easier to fake than other Axis I disorders and more difficult to detect. As an additional confound, some patients with genuine PTSD produce highly variable, elevated profiles on multiscale inventories that are difficult to distinguish from feigned PTSD. The current study examined whether the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) can effectively differentiate between genuine and feigned PTSD in 109 inpatients from a trauma unit. The two most effective scales were the MAL and the NDS scales. As a primary focus, the current study was the first empirical investigation of Resnick's model of malingered PTSD that is comprised of three subtypes: pure malingering (pure-M), partial malingering (partial-M), and false imputation (false-I). The primary goal was to evaluate whether each feigning group was able to (a) effectively simulate PTSD symptoms and diagnoses and (b) avoid being classified as feigning. The partial-M group proved to be the best feigning group in achieving these two goals. Furthermore, the use of well-defined groups, including an indeterminate band (i.e., unclassified) around each cut score, was explored. Overall, the use of well-defined groups improved accuracy in classification and reduced the number of false-positives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283796/
Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia
Psychopathy has long been lauded as a premier predictor of negative behavioral outcomes because of its demonstrated associations with violence, antisocial conduct, and institutional maladjustment. Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the relatively equal importance placed on personality features (i.e., a grandiose, deceitful interpersonal style and deficits in affective experience) and behavioral elements (i.e., an impulsive and irresponsible lifestyle marked by social deviance) of the syndrome. However, little research to date has investigated psychopathy dimensions in female samples, particularly as they relate to maladaptive behaviors beyond forensic settings. The current study comprehensively examined personality (i.e., Axis II Cluster B traits and alexithymia) and behavioral (i.e., suicide-related behavior and aggression) expressions of psychopathy in a sample of female inpatients recruited from trauma and dual-diagnosis units at a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. Contrary to expectations, the essential components of psychopathy in female psychiatric patients emphasized APD and NPD traits over features of HPD and BPD, which were relatively similar to elements traditionally highlighted in male psychopathy. On this point, two latent dimensions comprehensively addressed female psychopathy in the current sample: impulsive antisociality and narcissistic and histrionic interpersonal style. Interestingly, psychopathy (M r = .01) and Cluster B traits (M r = .05) were virtually unrelated to suicide-related behavior in female patients with trauma and substance use histories, but APD and BPD traits were more discerning for impulsive and premeditated aggression than variants of psychopathy. Aggression's relationship to BPD traits is at least partially mediated by alexithymia. These results are discussed in terms of improving evaluation and intervention efforts aimed at identifying and managing psychopathic females beyond forensic settings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283811/
An Investigation of Malingering and Defensiveness Using the Spanish Pai Among Spanish-speaking Hispanic American Outpatients
For response styles, malingering describes the deliberate production of feigned symptoms by persons seeking external gain such as financial compensation, exemption from duty, or leniency from the criminal justice system. In contradistinction, defensiveness occurs when patients attempt to downplay their symptoms of psychological impairment. Both of the aforementioned response styles can markedly affect the accuracy of diagnosis, especially on self-reports, such as multiscale inventories. As an important oversight, no studies have been conducted to examine the effect of culturally specific response styles on profile validity and the classification of malingering among Hispanic American clinical populations. The current study investigated whether the Spanish Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) effectively distinguished between Spanish-speaking outpatient groups randomly assigned to honest, feigning, and defensive experimental conditions. In examining the results, PAI malingering indicators utilizing Rare Symptoms strategies (NIM and MAL) demonstrated moderate to large effect sizes. For defensiveness, Spanish PAI indicators also demonstrated moderate to very large effect sizes (M d = 1.27; range from 0.94 to 1.68). Regarding psychometric properties, Spanish PAI validity scales, provide adequate to good data on reliability and discriminant validity. Clinical utility of the Spanish PAI increases as different cut scores are employed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283782/
An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?
The current study investigated the process of change underlying two different evidence-based treatments that yield similar outcome effectiveness in the treatment of depression: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). The phase model of psychotherapeutic change (Howard et al., 1993) change is used to provide both a theoretical and practical framework in which to assess different patterns of change across the treatment modalities. The phase model posits that recovery from distress occurs in three sequential stages: remoralization, remediation and rehabilitation. CT can be conceptualized as a treatment in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms (remediation), whereas IPT can typically be conceptualized as focusing on interpersonal conflicts and functioning (rehabilitation). The study utilized the TDCRP dataset (Elkin et al., 1985). Survival analysis indicated no significant difference in terms of onset or pattern of improvement across treatment orientations. Chi square analyses indicated individuals treated with IPT spend significantly more time engaged in rehabilitation compared to their CT counterparts. Taken together, these findings represent evidence that the process of therapeutic change is similar, if not virtually identical, across therapeutic orientation. The analyses also indicate that the phases of therapy may not necessarily be mutually exclusive and sequential, but may instead represent co-occurring patterns of improvement which are not sequentially determined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283862/
Values and Valuing in a College Population
Values and valuing behavior have many conceptualizations. Despite how they are defined, values have a significant impact on behavior and are idiosyncratic in nature. The present study reviewed values research and sought to explore values identification and successful valued living among an archived sample of university students. Specifically, in a convenience sample of 282 undergraduate students, variables that affect values identification and behavior such as ethnicity, gender, psychological distress, and psychological flexibility were identified. Results indicated that university students identified with more than one valued living domain (as measured by the PVQ) and that contextual factors such as ethnicity, gender, age, and religiosity/spirituality were associated with specific values endorsed. Furthermore, psychological distress, including depression and anxiety (as measured by the DASS) was negatively correlated with values purity – the extent to which values are freely chosen. Finally, psychological flexibility (low experiential avoidance as measured by the AAQ-2), predicted values purity and successful living in accordance with identified values, and the relationship between these two variables was mediated by psychological flexibility. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283808/
Exploring Psychopathic Personality Traits and Moral Development in a Non-criminal Sample
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 were significant, negative correlations between FFM domains, Agreeableness and Conscientious, and SRP-IV scores, as well as significant, negative correlations between WUSCT TPR scores and SRP-IV scores. These correlations ranged from small to strong for both SRP-IV overall scores and for SRP-IV factor scores (i.e., Interpersonal Manipulation, Callous Affect, Erratic Lifestyle, and Criminal Tendencies). Additionally, FFM domain scores and WUSCT TPR scores significantly predicted SRP-IV scores. FFM domains, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and WUSCT TPR scores, were the strongest predictors of SRP-IV scores. Similar results were found when FFM domain scores and WUSCT TPR scores predicted SRP-IV factor scores. Results also indicated Agreeableness and Conscientious explained an additional 24% of the variance in psychopathy scores, after controlling for WUSCT TPR scores. Conversely, WUSCT TPR scores explained an additional 5% of the variance in psychopathy scores after controlling for Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Finally, as predicted, the differences in correlations between psychopathy scores (i.e., PCL: SV, SRP-IV), and Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and WUSCT TPR scores were not statistically significant providing evidence that correlates of psychopathic traits can be measured among non-criminal individuals using a self-report measure, the SRP-IV, and that these findings are concordant with those based on a standardized structured assessment for psychopathy. Limitations of the study, implications, and recommendations for future research are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271780/
Miranda Reasoning and Competent Waiver Decisions: Are Models of Legal Decision Making Applicable?
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271782/
Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation
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 conditions. A preliminary study was conducted to obtain surrogation information for use in the main study. All participants in the main study predicted how they would feel 10 minutes after receiving negative personality feedback, using a 10-point scale ranging from (1) very unhappy to (10) very happy. These predictions constitute their affective forecasts. All participants then actually received the negative personality feedback (ostensibly from another participant, a peer, in a nearby room) and reported their actual affective states ten minutes later, using the same scale. These ratings constitute their affective reports. Affective forecasting error was calculated as the difference between affective forecasts and affective reports. Results showed the affective forecasts of participants in the moderate trauma severity condition were significantly less accurate than those of participants in the minor trauma severity condition, providing evidence of immune neglect. Surrogation information significantly improved the accuracy of affective forecasts when participants were deprived of simulation information. Limitations of the current study and implications of the findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149566/
Decentering and the Theory of Social Development
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) participants who have higher Age 12 Decentering scores will self-report higher CPI Empathy scale scores at Age 30. A repeated measures ANOVA tested Hypothesis 1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients tested Hypotheses 2-6. Age and Decentering scores were unrelated, as was birth order; social class findings were mixed. Parents’ bonds with child and Age 12 Decentering were negatively correlated (closer bonds predicted higher Decentering), as were Age 12 Decentering and Age 30 Empathy (higher early Decentering predicted lower adulthood Empathy). Girls (age 12) tended to decenter more consistently and had higher Decentering scores than boys. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149590/
The Role of Experiential Avoidance in Trauma, Substance Abuse, and Other Experiences
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc149651/
Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84296/
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent training Protocol Based on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Philosophy of Parenting
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84261/
Intimate Partner Violence Among Female Undergraduates: The Role of Language in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84236/
Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members
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 the service members, but also their families at home. Further study and identification of risk and protective factors faced by military children and families are imperative. Implications of findings are discussed as well as suggestions for future research concerning deployment and impact on military families (e.g. identification and empirical validation of programs to support military families. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84206/
Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68030/
Executive Control of Craving: An Examination of College Students
Previous research has shown that alcohol abuse may cause a deficit in frontal lobe functioning, specifically, areas of the frontal lobe that are related to executive function. Additionally, problems with executive function have been related to increased difficulty in managing cravings to addictive substances. The current study explored the relationship between alcohol use and performance on measures of executive functioning in a sample of 121 traditional college students. Students were given 5 measures of executive function designed to explore mental set shifting, updating, inhibition, sustained attention, and planning. These measures were used to examine the relationship between executive function and craving as measured by the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale. Levels of alcohol use were also examined using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in relation to executive function performance and family history of alcohol abuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68067/
Implementation of a Therapy Group for Wives of Veterans with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Preliminary Outcomes
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 veterans with PTSD. The results of this study have potential implications regarding the clinical treatment of families of veterans with PTSD and the development of future programs within the VA system. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc68036/
Factors Affecting Revictimization in Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Structural equation modeling was used to examine how childhood sexual abuse (and other associated variables, such as family functioning and experiencing multiple forms of abuse) relates to revictimization and psychological distress. Participants were women who participated in Project HOW: Health Outcomes of Women interviews, a longitudinal study that spanned six waves of interviews. Only women with a history of childhood sexual abuse were included in the present study (n=178). Experiencing nonsexual child maltreatment in addition to childhood sexual abuse appears directly related to adult sexual and physical revictimization and indirectly related to psychological distress. Childhood sexual abuse alone was not predictive of revictimization or psychological abuse. This suggests that other mediating factors may explain the relation between CSA and revictimization found in other research. Clinical implications based on the results of the present study emphasize the importance of identifying children who have experienced multiple forms of abuse as particularly at risk for future victimization. In addition, providing interventions with a focus on education and empowerment might decrease risk for future violence and subsequent emotional maladjustment. Potential future research could examine the treatment outcomes and efficacy of these interventions as well as identify those mediating factors that increase the risk for adult revictimization for those individuals who experience only childhood sexual abuse. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30453/
Is Mattering what Matters: A Validation Study of the Meta-Valuing Measure of Flexible Valuing
Freely choosing a life direction, or flexible valuing, is a core component of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Initial research suggests that valuing behavior may contribute to psychological well-being, but has been stymied by a lack of an efficient measure. The current study examined the psychometric characteristics of a new measure of flexible valuing, the Meta-Valuing Measure (MVM), in a sample of 532 undergraduates. Exploratory factors analysis revealed 3 orthogonal factors, Valuing (α = .94), Freedom from Values Conflict (α = .92), and Flexibility in Valuing (α = .73). The majority of expected relationships with other constructs were significant including those with measures of values, mindfulness, quality of life, experiential avoidance, and psychological distress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30517/
Organized Semantic Fluency and Executive Functioning in an Adult Clinical Sample and a Community Sample
The study investigated an organized semantic fluency task, (the Controlled Animal Fluency Task - CAFT) as a measure of executive functioning (EF) in adults, and the relationship with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Participants (N = 266) consisted of a clinical sample (n = 142) utilizing neuropsychological assessment data collected at an outpatient psychological center, and a community sample (n = 124). The clinical sample was a heterogeneous mixed neurological group including a variety of health conditions and comorbid anxiety and depression. The CAFT Animals by Size demonstrated a significant positive correlation with Category Fluency (r = .71, n = 142, p < .001) , Animal Fluency (r = .70, n = 142, p < .001), and with other, established neuropsychological measures. The CAFT Animals by Size condition demonstrated a significant moderate negative correlation with IADL for the sample as a whole (r = -.46, n = 248, p < .001), and for the clinical sample (r = -.38, n = 129, p < .001), but not for the community sample. In a hierarchical regression analysis, CAFT Animal by Size explained additional variance in IADL (&#916;R2 = .15). In a hierarchical regression analysis predicting IADL with the control variables entered first, followed by Category Fluency, with CAFT Animal by Size entered last, CAFT Animals by Size did not make a significant additional contribution. A stepwise forward regression indicated Category Fluency, education, and Category Switching are better predictors of IADL than CAFT Animals by Size. Normative data for the CAFT were calculated separately for age groups and education levels. Simple logistic regression indicated CAFT Animal by Size was a significant predictor of clinical or community group membership. A second logistic regression analysis indicated the CAFT Animal by Size condition improved the prediction of membership in the clinical versus the community group, compared to the MMSE alone. Applications of the CAFT are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30445/
Negative affect and positive symptoms of psychosis.
The current study utilized structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the factor-to-factor relations and temporal associations between disturbances in negative affect (NA) and positive symptoms of psychosis (PP). Data were drawn from a large, public-domain data set (MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study). A dimensional approach was used to conceptualize and identify latent variables of NA (depression, anxiety, and guilt) and PP (hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder) among individuals with a diagnosis of primary psychotic disorder. Results showed that anxiety, guilt, and depressed mood modeled an NA latent variable, and that hallucinations and unusual thought content modeled a PP latent variable. As predicted, results revealed strong, significant cross-sectional (synchronous) associations between NA and PP at each measured time-frame, suggesting that NA and PP occurred concurrently within the sample. Contrary to predictions, no significant cross-lagged effect between NA and PP was identified (10 weeks and 20 weeks respectively). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12109/
Perceived Racial Discrimination and Psychiatric Outcomes among Asian Americans
The present study related generational status, family dynamics, and perceptions of racial discrimination (PRD) to acute psychiatric outcomes among a nationally representative Asian American sample (N = 2095), using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). High self-reports of PRD were correlated with endorsement of clinical depression and suicidality as predicted. Regression analyses suggested that high PRD, low family cohesion, and high family conflict served as significant predictors of poor mental health independently, but moderator hypotheses predicting the interaction of these factors were not supported. Clinical and research implications are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12210/
A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study of Adolescents and Religion: Views of Risk and Resiliency
The research literature within the past decade has documented the importance of religiosity and spirituality in helping many adults around the world cope with major life stressors and events. Still, the role of religiosity and spirituality in adolescence is not well-known as research during this developmental period has been limited by sample size, homogeneity of samples, ethnic restrictions, and use of scales with few items. The goal of the current study is to identify and understand adolescent levels of religiousness and spirituality, as well as their roles on later social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. The current study relied upon data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and utilized confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling in order to generate models of the relationships between the various latent variables. The religiosity and spirituality factors in the current study adequately measure religious perceptions and practices of adolescents over time. These constructs also play a role in later emotional well-being and self-esteem. Analyses also found adequate predictive abilities in the other model factors of delinquency, psychological well-being, self-esteem, and the social support. It is concluded from this study that religiosity and spirituality are not interchangeable constructs, and that more robust measures of both factors yield richer results. It is recommended that more comprehensive scales of religiosity and spirituality be developed and investigated in the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11023/
Deficits in Miranda comprehension and reasoning: The effects of substance use and attention deficits.
Each year, an estimated 318,000 defendants who do not comprehend the Miranda warnings waive their rights and provide incriminating evidence without the protection of counsel (Rogers, 2008), which make Miranda-related competencies one of the most pervasive pretrial issues. A wide range of issues could potentially affect an individual's capacity to provide a knowing and intelligent waiver. Previous Miranda research has focused narrowly on the effects of cognitive and developmental factors. The current study added to the Miranda literature by examining the impact of two highly prevalent conditions found in correctional populations, attention deficits and substance abuse. Adult defendants in custody (N = 118) were evaluated within 36 hours of arrest in order to assess both chronic psychological disorders and situational variables. Results indicate that attention deficits have a significant impact on defendants' ability to provide a knowing Miranda waiver, whereas substance use profoundly affected their reasoning about Miranda waiver decisions. This study represents the first systematic investigation of the effect of transient mental states on Miranda-related abilities with criminal defendants. Important implications for forensic practice are addressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc12132/
Dementia, Diabetes, and Depression: Relationship to Cognitive Functioning
The number of adults in the United States who are age 65 or older is rapidly increasing. With longer lifespan comes an increase in chronic diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and depression. This study used archival data from a larger study conducted at the Memory Clinic at John Peter Smith County Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas to examine several hypotheses and research questions related to the influence of type of dementia, presence of Type II diabetes, and presence of depression on neuropsychological test performance. First, this study attempted to identify specific patterns of performance on neuropsychological measures for those with Alzheimer's dementia (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The results indicated that those with MCI perform better than those with AD or VaD on all neuropsychological measures, and that those with VaD perform better than those with AD on a measure of verbal memory. Another purpose of the study was to determine how the presence of Type II diabetes affects this pattern of functioning; the overall finding in this study was that the presence or absence of diabetes did not affect performance on measures of cognitive functioning. Additionally, the study attempted to add to literature examining the influence of depression on older adults with diabetes and/or dementia; no significant differences emerged. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11032/
Mediational Roles of Personality Factors and Vengeful Rumination in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Considerable research has demonstrated a link between thoughts of revenge, or vengeful rumination, and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, particularly in situations involving interpersonal trauma. Personality factors have been related to both vengefulness and PTSD. No study to date has simultaneously examined the unique contributions of vengefulness and personality factors in the development of PTSD symptoms. Therefore, the present study addressed these questions in an inpatient sample by comparing contributions of the Big Five personality factors and vengeful rumination to the development of PTSD symptoms through correlation, hierarchical regression, and omnibus regression analyses. Results showed that Neuroticism predicted PTSD symptoms better than other personality factors, that Neuroticism and Agreeableness predicted vengeful rumination in opposite directions, and that personality factors and vengeful rumination each added unique variance in the prediction of PTSD symptoms. Future directions and implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11052/
Metabolic Syndrome and Psychosocial Factors
Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors, including abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting glucose, that commonly cluster together and can result in cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and the components that comprise the syndrome vary by age and by racial/ethnic group. In addition, previous research has indicated that the risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome may be exacerbated by exposure to perceived stress. This study utilized data from the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data sets. It was hypothesized that depression and anxiety (conceptualized as stress in this study) increase the risk of presenting with metabolic syndrome while social support decreases the risk of metabolic syndrome. While results of cross-sectional analysis do not indicate a significant relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome (t = -.84, ns), longitudinal analysis does indicate a significant relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome over time (t = -5.20, p <.001). However, anxiety is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome when the relationship is examined through cross-sectional analysis (t = -1.51, ns) and longitudinal analysis (&#967;² = 13.83, ns). Similarly, social support is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome when examined in cross-sectional (&#967;² = .63, ns) and longitudinal (t = 1.53, ns) analysis. Although level of stress is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome as a whole, there is a significant relationship between stress and both triglyceride level (t = -2.94, p = .003) and blood glucose level (t = -3.26, p = .001). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11005/
Structural Equation Model of Variables Associated with Family Functioning among a Nationally Representative Sample of Families with a Child with Autism
Previous research indicates that stressors experienced by a family, the perceived level of burden assigned by the family to the stressor, and the utilization of resources predict family functioning. The current study utilized a nationally representative sample of families of children with autistic disorder to determine if previously proposed models of family functioning accurately conceptualized family functioning within a representative sample. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test the double ABCX and the linear ACBX models of family functioning. With slight modifications, the double ABCX model was supported, thus indicating that pileup of stressors, perception of burden, and utilization of resources each have unique predictive ability for family functioning, with perception of burden demonstrating the highest amount of predictive ability. Results, implications, and limitations of the study are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11059/
Functions of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors within adolescent inpatients.
The primary interest of this investigation concerned the self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) of inpatient adolescents. Previous researchers have provided descriptive information regarding either automatic (or intrinsic) and social components using the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI). However, the presence and trends of these components have not firmly been established, suggesting the need to explore this area further. Eighty-two adolescent inpatients were selected and interviewed using the SITBI to evaluate the predictive ability of self-reported self-injurious behavior with regard to social and automatic, negative and positive functions. Results showed that depending on the type of thought or behavior displayed one could discern the motivation behind their actions. Automatic-Negative was seen to have the strongest relationship across all SITB behaviors while Automatic-Negative was not found to be relatively low compared to other SITB behaviors. Both Social-Positive and Social-Negative were found to be present in moderate relationships compared to Automatic in general. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9731/
Adolescent self-mutilating behaviors: Experiential avoidance coupled with imitation?
Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9087/
Late adolescents' parental, peer, and romantic attachments as they relate to affect regulation and risky behaviors.
The current study examined the relationships among attachment styles to parent, peer, and romantic partner, ability to regulate emotion, as well as engagement in sexual behaviors and substance use. Attachment theory and previous research suggests that an individual learns how to manage emotions through the modeling of appropriate techniques and a stable sense of self-worth. These two aspects develop through a secure attachment bond with an important figure. When an individual does not have a secure attachment bond in which to practice adaptive affect regulation strategies, he/she may attempt to manage emotions through external means, such as sexual behaviors or substance use. Overall, results supported these associations, with some notable exceptions. Across attachment sources a secure attachment style was related to lower levels of psychological distress and less engagement in substance use. In contrast to the findings from earlier studies, affect regulation did not mediate the relationship between attachment and substance use, and engagement in sexual behaviors was not significantly related to either attachment style or affect regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9083/
Neuropsychologic correlates of a normal EEG variant: The mu rhythm.
Although the mu rhythm is traditionally defined as a normal EEG variant, recent evidence suggests that mu may have functional significance in a variety of disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. While an increasing number of articles have focused on the blocking mechanism of mu in relation to various cognitive processes and disorders, few have examined the significance of a prominent mu rhythm in the background EEG. A few studies have examined the relationship between the mu rhythm and psychological disturbance, such as attentional and affective disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that EEG and qEEG variables may be useful in classifying psychiatric disorders, presenting a neurophysiological alternative to traditional symptom-based diagnosis and classification. Thus, the intention of the present study was to examine the relationship between neuropsychological variables, gathered from multiple assessment sources, and the presence of a prominent mu rhythm in the EEG. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without a prominent mu rhythm on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA); although individuals in the mu group showed a pattern of increased impulsivity and performance decrement over time. For adults, no significant differences were observed between groups on psychological variables measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). However, for children, the mu and control groups differed on several behavioral and emotional variables on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results are examined in the context of other research and clinical implications are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9032/
Readiness for change as a predictor of treatment effectiveness: An application of the transtheoretical model.
Clinical research suggests that adolescent offenders often do not view their criminal behaviors as problematic and, therefore, are not motivated for treatment. Although customarily defined as a static characteristic, the transtheoretical model (TTM) proposes treatment amenability is dynamic and can be achieved through tailored interventions that motivate individuals for treatment. The current study examines the predictive validity of TTM measures for adolescent offenders at a maximum security correctional facility. In particular, the Stages of Change Scale (SOCS) and Decisional Balance for Adolescent Offenders (DBS-AO) were compared with a more traditional assessment tool utilized in evaluating treatment amenability of juvenile offenders (i.e., Risk-Sophistication-Treatment Inventory; RSTI). One hundred adolescent offenders from the Gainesville State School completed two waves of data collection with a 3-month time interval. Information was collected on offenders' treatment progress between waves. Consistent with TTM research, predictors of treatment progress included low scores on the Cons scale on the DBS-AO and on the Precontemplation scale on the SOCS. Participants in the most advanced levels of treatment also scored high on the Sophistication-Maturity scale on the RSTI and the Impression Management scale on the Paulhus Deception Scale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9079/
Reducing the risk of disordered eating among female college students: A test of alternative interventions.
The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a cognitive-dissonance based intervention in reducing disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The intervention program created dissonance through discussion, exercises, and homework aimed at addressing and countering internalized sociocultural pressures, beliefs and values about women's bodies, attractiveness, and worth in the U.S. Seventy-seven female undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: cognitive-dissonance, combined cognitive-dissonance, healthy weight placebo control, and wait-list control To determine effectiveness of the intervention, MANCOVA procedures were used, with Time 1 scores serving as the covariate. Overall, the women who received the dissonance based interventions produced the strongest effects among measures assessing sociocultural pressures, internalization, and body dissatisfaction in comparison to the control group, and experienced significant reductions in dieting behaviors and bulimic symptoms over the course of the study, suggesting that the creation of dissonance via the intervention assisted the women in reducing eating disorder risk factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9029/
The relationship between interpersonal dependency and therapeutic alliance: Perspectives of clients and therapists.
Both interpersonal dependency and the importance of the therapeutic alliance to successful psychotherapy outcomes have been widely studied. However, these two areas of study rarely have been viewed conjointly despite the reportedly large number of clients with dependency who present for treatment. This study elucidated the relationship between interpersonal dependency and the therapeutic alliance. Additional hypotheses explored client-therapist agreement on alliance strength in relation to client interpersonal dependency. Participants were graduate student therapists (N = 26) and their individual psychotherapy clients (N = 40) in a training clinic at a large, southwestern university. Within their first three sessions of psychotherapy, participating clients told nine Thematic Apperception Test stories and completed structured self-report measures of adult attachment, social desirability, and psychological symptoms. Interpersonal dependency was scored from the TAT stories, using the TAT Oral Dependency (TOD) scoring system developed by Masling, Rabie, and Blondheim (1967) and Huprich (2008). Three sessions following initial data collection, participating clients and their therapists completed structured self-report measures of the therapeutic alliance. Analyses revealed that interpersonal dependency was not significantly associated with client and therapist alliance ratings or the congruence between client and therapist alliance ratings. However, specific scoring categories of the TOD were associated with client alliance scores in opposing directions. In contrast to hypotheses, self-reported attachment-related dependency was significantly related to client alliance ratings and to the congruence between therapist and client alliance ratings. Clients with higher levels of self-reported attachment-related dependency rated the alliance less favorably, in agreement with their therapists, than did clients with lower levels of attachment-related dependency. Additional analyses were unsuccessful in replicating findings from previous research on interpersonal dependency. The clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9060/
Self-inflicted and other-inflicted intentional burns versus unintentional burns: A comparison study.
Burn injuries are associated with significant mortality and morbidity. Intentional burn injuries are not well understood, and warrant study to improve adjustment and outcomes. The present study examined group differences between intentional and unintentional burn injuries, comparing individuals with self-inflicted (SIB; n=109) and other-inflicted (OIB; n=109) burns to an unintentional burn (UB) group. Compared to UB, those with intentional (SIB, OIB) burn injuries were more likely to be young, female, unmarried, unemployed, abuse substances, and have positive alcohol/drug screens at hospital admission. Individuals with intentional burns report more psychological distress, lower quality of life in some areas, and lower life satisfaction. When SIB and OIB were examined individually, OIB were more likely to be African American compared to SIB and UB. OIB also had more anxiety and paranoia than UB. SIB was more likely than OIB and UB to have had medical problems or psychiatric disorders and treatment prior to the burn injury. Those with SIB were 3 times more likely than UB to die in the hospital even after controlling for age, severity of burn, and inhalation injuries. Moreover, the SIB group had high rates of suicidal ideation at discharge and follow-up. Treatment implications for burn treatment providers were discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9046/
Targeting dimensions of psychopathy in at-risk youth: Assessment and utility of a focused cognitive behavioral therapy program.
Individuals presenting with high levels of psychopathy demonstrate chronic and severe antisocial behavior and poor treatment outcomes in response to generalized rehabilitative programs. Recent research has examined the relationship between delinquency in child/adolescent populations and subsequent psychopathy. Focusing on community based/referred population of at-risk youth, this study developed and examined the effectiveness of an 18-session, psychopathy-focused, group CBT treatment program. The study incorporated treatment (n = 34) and usual-care comparison (n = 30) groups and a brief follow up period. Treatment outcomes examined measures of psychopathy, anger, impulsivity, motivation for treatment, self-reported problems, and indices of behavior. The treatment program demonstrated reductions in psychopathy on the Interpersonal (d = .55) and Affective facets (d = .24) of the PCL:YV. It also reduced overall impulsivity and improved anger suppression and treatment motivation, particularly among youth presenting with higher levels (relative to this study) of psychopathy. As a result of treatment, decreased incidents with the juvenile justice system were also observed, both during the treatment period and at six weeks follow-up. This study provides an initial empirical foundation for the ongoing development of targeted interventions for youth demonstrating psychopathic traits. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9055/
Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents: An Evaluation of the WISC-III Four Factor Model and Individual Cluster Profiles
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among children and adolescents in the US. Children and adolescents who sustain moderate and severe head injuries are much more likely to evidence significant deficits in neuropsychological functioning when compared with children with mild head injuries. Information about the recovery process and functional sequelae associated with moderate and severe head injuries remains limited, despite clear indications that children who experience such injuries typically exhibit notable deficits in intellectual functioning, particularly during the acute phase of recovery. Thus, the present study was conducted to augment research on intellectual functioning in children with moderate or severe head injuries. To accomplish this, the study first examined the proposed factor model of the WISC-III in children with moderate and severe TBI. Given high prevalence rates and similar trends in cognitive impairment, particularly within the frontal lobe structures (e.g., disrupted cognitive flexibility and divided attention), the study also examined this same factor model for a group of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compared it with the model fit from the TBI group. In the second phase of the study, both the TBI and AHDH groups were evaluated to determine if distinct WISC-III index score cluster profiles could be identified. Lastly, the cluster groups for both the TBI and ADHD samples were validated using important demographic and clinical variables, as well as scores from independent neuropsychological measures of attention, executive functioning, and working memory. Parent reports of psychological and behavioral functioning were also used in an attempt to further distinguish the cluster groups. Study limitations and future research implications were also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9033/
An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.
Flutists have reported musculoskeletal pain from practicing and performing their instrument. This study was a statistical approach to investigate potential causal risk factors for flute related pain among high school and college students. The study focused on the relationship between flute related pain and musical background or anthropometric measurements including size, strength and flexibility. Subjects included thirty high school and college-aged flutists who were assessed using a questionnaire, bi-lateral anthropometric measurements of the upper-extremities, upper-extremity performance tests for range of motion, isometric strength and rotation speed, and instrument specific questions. Four questions regarding pain associated with flute playing were treated as dependent variables and used for correlation and regression analyses with other independent variables. A six-factor regression model was created and each model was statistically significant. Results of this study show that strength, flexibility, pain spots, and exposure are risk factors for flute related pain. Both left and right pinch strength and right isometric pronation strength were significantly correlated to flutists experiencing pain while playing. Knowledge of these factors in relationship to pain is needed in flute pedagogy to help teachers and performers understand why flutists report pain during and after playing. Additional studies are warranted for replication of this study and for determining the clinical and pedagogical relevance of these findings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc6043/
Totality of the circumstances: Factors affecting competence to waive Miranda rights.
Within the discipline of sociology human olfaction is rich with social significance yet remains a poorly charted frontier. Therefore, the following discourse is aimed toward the development of a foundation for the sociological study of olfaction. It is formed by the dual goals of unearthing the social history of olfaction and of providing a viable sociological account of the manner in which smells affect human ontology. From these goals arise the following research questions: (1) Have the meaning and social relevance of odors and the olfactory sensorium changed throughout different periods of history?; (2) How have those in the lineage of eminent sociological thinkers addressed the phenomenon of human olfaction during these periods?; and (3) What is the process by which aromatic stimuli are transformed from simple chemical compounds, drifting in the atmosphere, into sensations in a sensory field and then on to perceived objects, to subjects of judgment and interpretation, and finally to bases of knowledge which form and continually reform individuals in the world? The weaving of the sociohistorical tapestry of smell is undertaken to provide examples from thousands of years lived experiences as to the fluid and sociologically complex nature of individuals' olfactory senses. This historical information is presented in a narrative format and is synthesized from data gleaned from books, advertisements, articles in popular non-scientific magazines, as well as from the findings of studies published in medical/neurological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological scholarly journals. Regarding theoretical aim of this discourse, insights are drawn from Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological theory of human perception for the generation of a framework for the sociological study of olfaction. Merleau-Ponty's theoretical notions are modified, modernized, and refitted to more specifically fit the subject of human olfaction and to include all that has been discovered about the biological specifics of olfactory perception since the time of his writing. Taken in sum, this effort is an access point to the understanding of how olfactory sensory perceptions flow toward the ontological unfolding of individuals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5169/
Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women
Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5463/
Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in the Prediction of Cognition, Behavior Problems, and Symptoms at Two-year Follow-up in Youth with Schizotypal Personality Disorder
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Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) exhibit patterns of cognitive deficits, neuromotor disturbances, and behavior problems similar to individuals with schizophrenia, and thus SPD is thought to represent one point on the continuum of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs). Deficits in behavior, cognition, and motor functioning have been implicated as childhood precursors of SSDs and appear to also vary as a function of gender and family history of psychopathology. As such, studies of youth may help in further identification of individuals at risk for SSDs. The current study examined the prospective associations between problem behaviors, neuromotor and neurocognitive functioning, as well as SSD symptoms, at baseline and 2-year follow-up in youth meeting criteria for SPD, other personality disorders, or healthy controls. The neuromotor and neurocognitive measures were able to significantly predict SSD symptoms and behavior problems above and beyond baseline predictors. Overall, the findings provide further support for the role of subcortical motor centers operating together with prefrontal cortical areas in the regulation of higher-order cognitive functioning and in producing the psychiatric features of SSDs. Significant correlations between gender, family history of schizophrenia, and history of head injury with symptoms, behavior, cognition, and motor functioning were also found and highlight the importance of examining the effects of these variables in future investigations. In sum, the current study helped in identifying factors that predict the clinical course of schizotypy and may shed light on the disturbed neural circuitry underlying SSDs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5412/
On the subjective distinction between tenderness and joy.
Previous studies have shown that the experience of joy normally accompanies the experience of tenderness or love. Theorists have thus suggested that tenderness is not a distinct emotion, but rather a variety of joy. The present study explored whether it is possible to induce tenderness while inhibiting joy. Participants watched scenes designed to induce different emotions. Results showed that a scene could induce high levels of tenderness and low levels of joy if that scene also induced high levels of sadness. These findings suggest the need to reconsider theoretical assumptions regarding the distinction between tenderness and joy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5455/
Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?
Mindfulness is a core component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a widely utilized treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, the import of mindfulness in treating BPD has yet to be demonstrated, and the relationship of mindfulness to BPD constructs is unclear. The current study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relations of mindfulness with BPD features and the underlying constructs of interpersonal problem-solving effectiveness, impulsivity, emotion regulation strategies, and neuroticism in 342 young adults. Mindfulness was significantly related to effectiveness in interpersonal problem-solving, impulsivity and passivity in emotion regulation, and borderline features. Furthermore, mindfulness continued to predict borderline features when controlling for interpersonal problem-solving and impulsive/passive emotion-regulation strategies, as well as when controlling for neuroticism. It is concluded that difficulties with mindfulness may represent a core feature of BPD and that improvement in mindfulness may be a key component of treatment efficacy with BPD. It is recommended that the unique contribution of mindfulness be investigated in future treatment-outcome research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5332/
Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment
Compassion is one of the fundamental experiences which signify human existence. Person perception is the constructive process with which we form an opinion or judgment of another person. Two experiments (N =277) were conducted in this study. Experiment 1 examined the effects of a mindfulness meditation on compassion in a large sample of young adults. Participants (n =76) were randomly assigned to three groups. Participants in group 1 received the mindfulness meditation, group 2 received an alternate version of the mindfulness meditation (self-focus only), and participants in group 3 were asked to complete an attention task and read a geological text. It was hypothesized that mindfulness meditation is significantly associated with the experience of compassion. Results showed that participants in the experimental group 1 experienced significantly higher levels of compassion compared to participants in the control group 3. The participants in group 2 were not different from experimental group 1 or from control group 3. Gender differences in the effects of meditation on compassion were explored. Different measures yielded conflicting evidence for gender differences in experienced compassion. For the second experiment a Solomon four-group experimental design was employed to examine the possible effects of compassion on person perception. Participants (n = 201) were randomly assigned to 4 groups. The effect of pretesting impression formation on posttest performance was investigated. It was hypothesized that compassion has a significant effect on impression formation. The Stouffer's z -method was used to investigate this effect. Results indicated that participants in the experimental groups after completing a mindfulness meditation rated a target person significantly more favorable, compared to participants in the control groups. Results also indicated that pretest had no significant effect on post-test ratings of the impression formation task. Transcendental applications for the inducement and experience of compassion in psychotherapy and the role of compassion in human society are considered. Limitations of this study are discussed and suggestions for future research are provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5347/
Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors
This study employed a multivariate, multidimensional approach to understanding psychosocial and personality variables associated with institutional maladjustment and recidivism among youthful offenders. Participants included nine hundred serious and chronic male youthful offenders incarcerated in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC); sample sizes varied by analysis. Empirically-validated psychosocial factors (e.g., intelligence, home approval status), past criminal history variables, and two self-report personality measures of empathy and hostility were entered into hierarchical regression and structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses to predict institutional behavior and recidivism at one- and three-year intervals after release from the TYC. Confirmatory factor analysis of the personality measures revealed one underlying factor indicative of their theoretical constructs of empathy and hostility. Some differences were noted between youth in the specialized treatment programs; however, effect sizes were small to moderate. Overall, regression and SEM results indicated the variables accounted for a meaningful proportion of the variance in the outcomes. Specifically, although length of stay in the TYC was associated with institutional behavior, younger age of onset, higher hostility, and greater home disapproval also contributed significantly. Past criminal behavior was predictive of future reoffending, but lower empathy, greater home disapproval, and younger age of onset accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in recidivism. Institutional maladjustment served as a mediator between the psychosocial and personality variables and the recidivism outcomes. Treatment implications are provided, including a discussion of the tenuous association between length of sentence and recidivism and an emphasis on the importance of evaluating dynamic personality and psychosocial variables beyond static measures of past behavior. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5354/
Stressors, Social Support, and Stress Reactions: A Meta-Analysis
This study examined, via a meta-analysis, the relations among stressors, social support, and stress reactions. Unexpectedly, small to medium negative, but robust effect sizes were found for the stressors-social support relation. As expected the stressor-stress reaction relation was positive, and the social support-stress reaction relation was negative. Both relations had small to medium effect sizes that ranged from weak to very robust. The direct effect of social support on the stressor-stress reaction was generally supported, whereas the suppressor and mediating models were not supported. Furthermore, the findings were inconclusive for the moderator effect of social support. Non-interpersonal traumas appear different in the stressor-social support and social support-stress reaction relations compared to other trauma types. These findings have important clinical implications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5349/
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