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 Department: Department of Psychology
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Impact of Grit on Performance After Mastery- or Performance-oriented Feedback

Impact of Grit on Performance After Mastery- or Performance-oriented Feedback

Date: May 2016
Creator: Auerbach, Alex
Description: Grit and achievement motivation have been predictors of behavior in academia and military settings (Duckworth, Matthews, Peterson, & Kelly, 2007), but to date, research on their effects on sport performance has been limited. Given grit's predictive role in other performance domains, grit may be influential in athletes' long-term goal attainment, interacting with their achievement motives and leading to better performances. Athletes' trait levels of grit may influence how they understand and respond to messages received within motivational climates from key personnel such as from coaches and teammates. We examined potential moderating effects of grit on the relationship between motivational feedback and high school soccer players (N = 71, Mage = 15.81) performance on a soccer task, their desire to persist in the task, and their choices of task difficulty. We used hierarchical multiple regression to test the main effects of feedback and grit and to determine if grit moderated the effects of feedback on performance. Grit was a significant moderator of the feedback-shooting performance relationship, accounting for 3.9% of variance. Simple slopes analysis revealed a significant effect for low (B = 13.32, SEb = 4.44, p = .004, t = 2.99), but not high, (B = 2.11, SEb = 4.31, ...
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Medical comorbidity in the course of bipolar disorder.

Medical comorbidity in the course of bipolar disorder.

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Date: May 2016
Creator: Smith, Patrick M
Description: Bipolar disorder is a serious illness affecting approximately 2-4% of the population and is one of the world’s leading causes of disability. In individuals with bipolar disorder, medical comorbidity associated with cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine disorders is related to increased rates of mortality. Recent updates to multi-system inflammatory related conceptualizations of bipolar disorder focus on the unique power that medical illness and biological processes may play as factors associated with course and outcome in bipolar disorder. The current study examined medical comorbidity and its associations with various demographic and psychological variables in individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features followed for 10 years from their first hospital admission. When compared to an age, gender and race-matched control sample from the population, those with bipolar disorder had significantly higher medical comorbidity across a range of medical diagnoses both at 6 months and 10 years after first hospital admission. Ten years following initial hospitalization, individuals in all three diagnostic groups reported increased rates of diabetes (OR: 2.0 – 3.7), stroke (OR: 4.6 – 7.0) and asthma (OR: 1.9 - 3.1), and individuals with bipolar disorder reported increased rates of cancer (OR = 2.1). A number of psychological ...
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Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Date: May 2016
Creator: Hurst-McCaleb, Dawn
Description: The current case involves a female rape victim. Research has shown the level of victim blaming can be elevated if the victim is a lesbian woman compared to a heterosexual woman. Mock jurors’ responses to personality trait questionnaires (e.g., Belief in a Just World, Attitudes Toward Women, Attitudes Toward Lesbians) and amount of contact they have with homosexual people were employed as predictors of how they would decide victim blaming and perpetrator guilt. Personality trait findings were not good predictors; however, greater contact with homosexuals did decrease negative attitudes toward lesbian victims. Limitations and implications for future research are addressed.
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Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction

Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction

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Date: May 2016
Creator: Liu, Keke
Description: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related disorder that may develop in response to traumatic or stressful events. Dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the disorder. Studies support such dysfunction as being a consequence of PTSD, rather than a precursor. However, most studies of the HPA are either cross-sectional or have been carried out in adults. The aim of the present study was to identify whether HPA dysregulation interacts with stressful experiences to increase the likelihood of developing PTSD symptoms in a community-recruited sample of healthy adolescent girls. Adolescent girls (N = 550) and one of their parents participated. Adolescents’ clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and at a nine month follow-up. Saliva samples were collected from all adolescent participants at waking, 30 minutes after waking, and 8 pm on 3 consecutive days. Flattened diurnal slope of cortisol at baseline was associated with increased PTSD symptoms nine months later. Baseline cortisol awakening response (CAR) per se was not prospectively related to developing PTSD symptoms, but its interactions with stressful experience was associated with elevated PTSD symptoms at follow-up. Effects were small and need to be replicated in samples with more severe stressors, as well as more ...
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Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans' Adaptation to College

Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans' Adaptation to College

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Date: May 2016
Creator: McGuffin, James J
Description: Since 2002, the number of veterans enrolled in universities has nearly doubled, although 30-40% of veterans fail to complete their degree. While research efforts to understand the challenges veterans face transitioning from military life to college has increased in recent years, few studies have looked beyond the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insomnia is the most frequently reported symptom of combat veterans and can have serious implications for college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of insomnia and student veteran adaptation to college relative to civilian students. College students (N = 588) were administered a Background Information Questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Results revealed that students with insomnia reported significantly lower adaptation to college than students without insomnia. Student veterans reported better academic and personal-emotional adaptation to college than civilian students, while civilians reported better social adjustment than veterans. Although combat veterans without insomnia scored consistently higher academic adjustment than non-combat veterans and civilian students, when present insomnia seemed to have a greater negative effect on combat veterans’ academic adjustment relative to civilian students. Furthermore, insomnia mediated the relationship between combat ...
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Social Anxiety and Non-Medical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students

Social Anxiety and Non-Medical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students

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Date: May 2016
Creator: Cloutier, Renee
Description: Current evidence suggests that non-medical prescription stimulant (NMPS) use is on the rise, particularly among college students. Identifying individuals at risk for regular and problematic use is a critical step towards the development of effective intervention efforts. A growing body of work has noted that individuals with elevated levels of social anxiety (SA) or social anxiety disorder are at an enhanced risk for developing substance use problems, including NMPS use disorder. Despite the relevance of SA and NMPS use among college students, no studies have attempted to examine subclinical SA or the relation between SA and NMPS use among college students specifically. Thus, the present study sought to extend this area by testing the relation of SA symptoms and NMPS use frequency among college students. A large online study of college students was conducted (N=1604) to identify 252 NMPS users (18-25 years; 68.3% female). A hierarchical linear regression was used to test the moderation of positive prescription stimulant expectancies on SA symptoms in predicting past year NMPS use frequency. A subsample of 15 participants was also brought into the lab to assess subjective (State Anxiety) and physiological (salivary cortisol) responding to a social stressor task. Overall, the current study did ...
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Stress, Spirituality and Self-Esteem: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in an LGB Sample

Stress, Spirituality and Self-Esteem: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in an LGB Sample

Date: May 2016
Creator: Stephen, Krystal A
Description: In the current study, we aimed to explore the relationship between perceived stress, spirituality and self-esteem and how they are related to psychological QOL. We found that our overall model accounted for 58% of the total variance in psychological QOL (adj. R2 = .58, F(10, 136) = 21.79, p < .001) with stress (β = -.37, p < .01) and self-esteem (β = .45, p < .01) as the significant predictors. Additionally we found that spiritual beliefs and practices moderate the relationship between stress and QOL (adj. R2= .49, F(11, 135) = 13.88, p < .001). Lastly, we conducted a principle component analysis (PCA) on our three variables of interest and outcome variable to determine whether the proposed structure of our measures holds true for our sample (i.e., LGB populations).
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Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test

Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test

Date: December 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Erin
Description: Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
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Determinants of Effort and Associated Cardiovascular Response to a Behavioral Restraint Challenge

Determinants of Effort and Associated Cardiovascular Response to a Behavioral Restraint Challenge

Date: December 2015
Creator: Agtarap, Stephanie
Description: This study directly tested implications of motivation intensity theory on effort to restrain against a behavioral urge or impulse (i.e. restraint intensity). Two factors were manipulated—magnitude of an urge and the importance of successfully resisting it—with cardiovascular (CV) responses related to active coping measured. Male and female undergraduate students were presented with a mildly- or strongly evocative film clip with instructions to refrain from showing any facial response. Success was made more or less important through coordinated manipulations of outcome expectancy, ego-involvement, and performance assessment. As expected, systolic blood pressure responses assessed during the performance period were proportional to the evocativeness of the clip when importance was high, but low regardless of evocativeness when importance was low. These findings support a new conceptual analysis concerned with the determinants and CV correlates of restraint intensity. Implications of the study and associations with current self-regulatory literature are discussed.
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Longitudinal Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Weight Control Behaviors in Female Collegiate Athletes

Longitudinal Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Weight Control Behaviors in Female Collegiate Athletes

Date: December 2015
Creator: Thompson, Alexandra J.
Description: Female collegiate athletes have been established as a high-risk group for the development of eating disorders due to the high prevalence rates of clinical and subclinical eating disorders, which have ranged from 1.9% to 16.6% and 4.0% to 26.1%, respectively. Collegiate athletes appear to meet criteria for ED-NOS more often than anorexia or bulimia nervosa, and frequently engage in pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g., dieting, excessive exercise). To date, only a few studies have examined the long-term stability of eating disorders in collegiate female athletes. The current study investigated the prevalence of eating disorders (i.e., eating disordered, symptomatic, and asymptomatic) and pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g, binging, vomiting, laxative use) in 325 NCAA-DI female collegiate gymnasts and swimmers/divers across two time points – the beginning of their competitive seasons (Time 1) and during the final two weeks of their competitive seasons (Time 2). By Time 2, 90% of the athletes classified as eating disordered at Time 1 (n = 20) maintained clinical or subclinical eating disturbances. Of the 83 athletes originally symptomatic, 37.3% remained so and 10.8% became eating disordered. Significantly more athletes became satisfied with their bodies over the course of the season than became dissatisfied. The athletes reported ...
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Quantitative Eeg Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain

Quantitative Eeg Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain

Date: December 2015
Creator: Burroughs, Ramona D.
Description: Recent advances in neuroimaging and electromagnetic measurement technology have permitted the exploration of structural and functional brain alterations associated with chronic pain. A number of cortical and subcortical brain regions have been found to be involved in the experience of chronic pain (Baliki et al., 2008; Jensen et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that living with chronic pain shapes the brain from both an architectural and a functional perspective, and that individuals living with chronic pain display altered brainwave activity even at rest. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is a method of spectral analysis that utilizes a fast Fourier transform algorithm to convert analog EEG signals into digital signals, allowing for precise quantification and analysis of signals both at single electrode locations and across the scalp as a whole. An important advance that has been permitted by qEEG analysis is the development of lifespan normative databases against which individual qEEGs can be compared (Kaiser, 2006; Thatcher et al, 2000). Pilot data utilizing qEEG to examine brainwave patterns of individuals with chronic pain have revealed altered EEG activity at rest compared to age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (Burroughs, 2011). The current investigation extended the findings of the pilot study by utilizing qEEG to examine ...
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Relationship Centrality and Expressive Writing: Understanding Post-breakup Distress

Relationship Centrality and Expressive Writing: Understanding Post-breakup Distress

Date: December 2015
Creator: Nowlin, Rachel B.
Description: When a romantic relationship ends in dissolution, the ex-partners may experience distress similar to post-traumatic stress or complex grief (i.e., dysphoric mood, feelings of loss, intrusive memories, negative rumination regarding the relationship, and a loss of self-esteem). Interventions designed to reduce post-breakup distress have historically attempted to foster integration of the breakup into the self-narrative through techniques such as expressive writing. Recent research indicates centrality, or heightened integration of an event or concept into an individual’s identity, predicts heightened levels of distress in the case of negative life events, including romantic relationship dissolution. Given the role romantic relationships themselves play in identity formation, exploration is warranted of the potential distress resulting from over-identification with a romantic relationship itself, or relationship centrality, after a breakup has occurred. Furthermore, if an individual has overly-integrated a relationship into their identity, the effectiveness of interventions focusing on further integration of the breakup is called into question. This study explored the centrality of participants’ previous romantic relationships, the distress resulting from the dissolution of those relationships, and the role of expressive writing as a distress reduction tool when centrality is taken into account.
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Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice

Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice

Date: December 2015
Creator: Holland, David F.
Description: Reliability generalization (RG) is a method for meta-analysis of reliability coefficients to estimate average score reliability across studies, determine variation in reliability, and identify study-level moderator variables influencing score reliability. A total of 107 peer-reviewed RG studies published from 1998 to 2013 were systematically reviewed to characterize the meta-analytic methods employed and to evaluate quality of reporting practice against standards for transparency in meta-analysis reporting. Most commonly, RG studies meta-analyzed alpha coefficients, which were synthesized using an unweighted, fixed-effects model applied to untransformed coefficients. Moderator analyses most frequently included multiple regression and bivariate correlations employing a fixed-effects model on untransformed, unweighted coefficients. Based on a unit-weighted scoring system, mean reporting quality for RG studies was statistically less than that for a comparison study of 198 meta-analyses in the organizational sciences across 42 indicators; however, means were not statistically significantly different between the two studies when evaluating reporting quality on 18 indicators deemed essential to ethical reporting practice in meta-analyses. Since its inception a wide variety of statistical methods have been applied to RG, and meta-analysis of reliability coefficients has extended to fields outside of psychological measurement, such as medicine and business. A set of guidelines for conducting and reporting RG ...
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The Role of Injury-related Injustice Perception in Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: an Exploratory Analysis

The Role of Injury-related Injustice Perception in Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: an Exploratory Analysis

Date: December 2015
Creator: Garner, Ashley N.
Description: Research has begun to explore the presence and role of health-related injustice perceptions in samples of individuals who experience chronic pain associated with traumatic injury. Existing studies indicate that higher level of injustice perception is associated with poorer physical and psychosocial outcomes. However, to date, few clinical populations have been addressed. The aim of the current study was to explore injustice perceptions in a sample of individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI), as research suggests that such individuals are likely to experience cognitive elements characteristic of injustice perception (e.g., perceptions of irreparable loss, blame, and unfairness). The study explored the relationship between participants’ level of perceived injustice and several variables associated with outcomes following SCI (depression, pain, and disability) at initial admission to a rehabilitation unit and at three months following discharge. The Injustice Experience Questionnaire was used to measure injustice perceptions. IEQ was found to significantly contribute to depression and anger at baseline. IEQ significantly contributed to depression, present pain intensity, and anger at follow-up. The implication of these preliminary findings may be beneficial for development of future interventions, as many individuals in the United States experience the lifelong physical and psychological consequences of SCI at ...
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Self-definition and College Adaptation in Students From the Ronald E Mcnair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Self-definition and College Adaptation in Students From the Ronald E Mcnair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Date: December 2015
Creator: Vance, Jeffrey Michael
Description: While a great deal of psychological research is conducted on college students, less has been done on their adaptation to college. These young adults, as they develop ego identity and differentiate themselves from parents and families, must adjust to the social and academic environment of college. Psychosocial adjustment predicts college retention better than academic predictors do. First generation college students face greater than typical challenges adapting to college. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program exists to aid first generation, lower income undergraduate student who wish to pursue a doctoral degree. Self-definition scored from thematic apperceptive technique stories reflects an individual’s relative freedom from social role constraint. This study examined the role of self-definition and familial understanding and acceptance in this population as predictors of successful adaptation to college. While neither was found to be a significant predictor, family understanding and acceptance was found to be a more defining characteristic of this sample than was self-definition. This suggests that when social support is sufficient, individuals do not need to rely on self-definition.
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Shame Due to Heterosexism, Self-esteem and Perceived Stress: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Shame Due to Heterosexism, Self-esteem and Perceived Stress: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Date: December 2015
Creator: Bonds,Stacy E.
Description: Sexual minorities experience higher levels of stress than heterosexuals, which in turn affects coping and psychological quality of life (PQOL). Although many sexual minorities remain mentally healthy, a higher prevalence of mental disorders among members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities exists; thus, LGB PQOL becomes an important area to examine. Several key factors are related to PQOL: shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress. Using minority stress model, I hypothesized that shame due to heterosexism and perceived stress are negatively correlated with PQOL, while self-esteem is positively correlated with PQOL. I hypothesized that collectively shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress account for a significant proportion of the variance in PQOL, that self-esteem moderates the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL and that age moderates the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. I calculated Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and found shame due to heterosexism was negatively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = -.21, p = .009), perceived stress was negatively correlated with PQOL (r (146) = -.69, p < .001) and self-esteem was positively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = .72, p < .001). I conducted a regression analysis and found our model accounted for ...
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Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical

Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical

Date: August 2015
Creator: Wrape, Elizabeth R.
Description: Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
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Back on the Home Front: Demand/withdraw Communication and Relationship Adjustment Among Student Veterans

Back on the Home Front: Demand/withdraw Communication and Relationship Adjustment Among Student Veterans

Date: August 2015
Creator: Carver, Kellye Diane Schiffner
Description: Today’s military encompasses a wide variety of families who are affected by deployments in multiple and complex ways. Following deployments, families must reconnect in their relationships and reestablish their way of life. Appropriate and effective communication during this time is critical, yet many military couples struggle with this process. Moreover, student service members/veterans and their families are in a unique position. In addition to coping with changes in their marital relationship, student veterans may feel isolated or unsupported on college campuses, often experiencing anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, or suicidality. The current study seeks to bridge the gap between the military family literature and the student service member/veteran literature by examining how deployment experiences, mental health issues, and communication patterns influence post-deployment relationship adjustment among student veterans. Analyses tested whether communication style and/or current mental health concerns mediate associations between combat experiences and couples’ relationship adjustment, as well as between experiences in the aftermath of battle and relationship adjustment. Results suggest that although posttraumatic stress is significantly related to deployment experiences among student veterans, participants report no significant negative effects of deployment on relationship adjustment. Communication style, however, was significantly associated with relationship adjustment, and a lack of positive communication was ...
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Cognitive Performance As a Function of Sleep Disturbance in the Postpartum Period

Cognitive Performance As a Function of Sleep Disturbance in the Postpartum Period

Date: August 2015
Creator: Wilkerson, Allison K.
Description: New mothers often complain of impaired cognitive functioning, and it is well documented that women experience a significant increase in sleep disturbance after the birth of a child. Sleep disturbance has been linked to impaired cognitive performance in several populations, including commercial truck drivers, airline pilots, and medical residents, though this relationship has rarely been studied in postpartum women. In the present study 13 pregnant women and a group of 22 non-pregnant controls completed one week of actigraphy followed by a battery of neuropsychological tests and questionnaires in the last month of pregnancy (Time 1) and again at four weeks postpartum (Time 2). Pregnant women experienced significantly more objective and subjective sleep disturbance than the control group at both time points. They also demonstrated more impairment in objective, but not subjective cognitive functioning. Preliminary analyses indicated increased objective sleep fragmentation from Time 1 to Time 2 predicted decreased objective cognitive performance from Time 1 to Time 2, though small sample size limited the power of these findings. Implications for perinatal women and need for future research were discussed.
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Community-based Participatory Research: Hiv in African American Men Who Have Sex with Men

Community-based Participatory Research: Hiv in African American Men Who Have Sex with Men

Date: August 2015
Creator: Miller, James MS
Description: To date, traditional behavioral interventions have done little to reduce the prevalence and transmission of HIV among African American men who have sex with men (AAMSM), a highly at risk group. Some researchers theorize that the lack of success may be because these interventions do not address contextual factors among AAMSM. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is one approach to research with the potential to lead to effective interventions in the future. CBPR is a collaborative, mixed-methods and multidisciplinary, approach to scientific inquiry, which is conducted with, and within, the community. The current study follows the CBPR approach to engage and develop a relationship with the African American communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Contextual issues were discussed in order to identify emerging themes regarding HIV health related issues among AAMSM to provide the groundwork for continued CBPR research and future interventions with AAMSM in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. To accomplish this goal, researchers began the CBPR process by conducting interviews and focus groups with a sample of approximately 62 (34 from key informant interviews, 28 from focus groups [gender balanced]) AIDS service organization leaders and workers, advocates, medical doctors and community members with first-hand knowledge of HIV health issues in ...
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Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the Usa

Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the Usa

Date: August 2015
Creator: Gerber, Monica M.
Description: Since 2008, the United States (USA) has resettled thousands of Bhutanese refugees, providing brief financial support and pathways to citizenship. Despite the efforts of governing bodies and voluntary agencies which facilitate resettlement, many refugees struggle with adapting to the vastly different lifestyle, economy, language and social structures. In particular, effectively addressing psychological needs of this population is a challenge for service providers operating within an expensive health care system based on Western constructs of mental health. In response to this challenge, refugee resettlement agencies throughout the country use community gardens to promote psychological healing, self-sufficiency, community engagement, and a return of human dignity. Though success of these programs is being shared in the media, there has yet to be empirical data examining their impact. The current study tested whether Bhutanese refugee engagement in a community garden impacts symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and somatic complaints. The study also investigated whether community gardening is associated with perceptions of social support and adjustment to life in the United States. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 50 adult Bhutanese refugees in Fort Worth, Texas. Gardening was significantly related to increased social support overall, a key factor in overall functionality within communal cultures; ...
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Contributing Factors in the Development of Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors of Interpersonal Violence

Contributing Factors in the Development of Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors of Interpersonal Violence

Date: August 2015
Creator: Marchesani, Estee S.
Description: An understanding of factors that contribute to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is of considerable importance to inform the prevention and treatment of the disorder. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the etiology of CPTSD is of interest since most research to date focuses on the etiology of PTSD. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to test the hypothesized prediction between childhood exposure to violence, childhood attachment, current interpersonal factors, and CPTSD symptoms. Using data from a community clinic and shelter serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model’s strength in predicting contributing factors of CPTSD. Results support the proposed model, however, an alternative and more parsimonious model was found to be superior and revealed relationships between interpersonal variables and CPTSD. Specifically, women who reported child abuse and poor attachment with either parent, a perceived lack of current emotional and tangible support, and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) also reported symptoms of CPTSD. However, other variables, such as adult attachment avoidance and anxiety did not influence IPV or CPTSD as expected. Ultimately, the current findings lend support for Herman’s ...
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The Effects of Attributional Styles on Perceptions of Severely Mentally Ill Offenders: a Study of Police Officer Decision-making

The Effects of Attributional Styles on Perceptions of Severely Mentally Ill Offenders: a Study of Police Officer Decision-making

Date: August 2015
Creator: Steadham Jennifer A.
Description: Police officers are allowed considerable discretion within the criminal justice system in addressing illegal behaviors and interpersonal conflicts. Broadly, such resolutions fall into two categories: formal (e.g., arrest) and informal outcomes. Many of these interventions involve persons who have historically faced stigmatization, such as those who have mental disorders, criminal histories, or both (i.e., mentally disordered offenders). On this point, stigma generally includes discriminatory behavior toward the stigmatized person or group and can be substantially influenced by internal and external attributions. In addition, researchers have suggested that internal attributions lead to punishing behaviors and external attributions lead to helping behaviors. The current study examined attributions about offender behavior made by police officers in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of Corrigan’s model. Specifically, this study investigated the effects of officer attributions on their immediate decisions in addressing intentionally ambiguous and minor offenses. Officers provided one of two vignettes of a hypothetical offender who was either mentally disordered or intoxicated and provided their anticipated resolution of the situation. Encouragingly, disposition decision differed by offender condition, with a substantially higher rate of arrests for the intoxicated offender (i.e., the external condition). Corrigan’s model was initially successful for both offender conditions, but was ...
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Effects of Immaturity on Juveniles’ Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning

Effects of Immaturity on Juveniles’ Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning

Date: August 2015
Creator: Sharf, Allyson J
Description: Over the last several decades, researchers have documented how impaired reasoning by adult offenders impeded the intelligent waiver of Miranda rights. Logically, it stands to reason that juveniles – who are developmentally less mature and have less life experience than their adult counterparts – would possess even greater impairment, thereby heightening their risk for invalid Miranda waivers. Juvenile Miranda research supports this notion; with some researchers finding that psychosocial maturity, among other factors, affect a juvenile’s understanding of their rights. Yet, relatively few studies have examined its relation to Miranda reasoning and decision-making. Thus, the current study investigated the specific role of maturity in juveniles’ Miranda comprehension and reasoning. Participants included 236 legally-involved juveniles recruited from either a juvenile detention center or a juvenile justice alternative education program. The effects of psychosocial maturity were examined on a variety of Miranda-related measures and assessed a broad range of Miranda abilities. It was found that, in general, immature juveniles performed more poorly on all Miranda measures as compared to their mature counterparts. However, the impact of maturity varied considerably depending on the ability. Specifically, maturity was most important in the context of Miranda reasoning. As a novel addition to the literature, the ...
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