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 Department: Department of Psychology
Life Beyond Betrayal: the Influence of Self-as-context on Self-complexity and Posttraumatic Stress

Life Beyond Betrayal: the Influence of Self-as-context on Self-complexity and Posttraumatic Stress

Date: August 2014
Creator: Sinha, Aditi
Description: While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self ...
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Pathways From Adhd Symptoms to Obesity in a College Population

Pathways From Adhd Symptoms to Obesity in a College Population

Date: August 2014
Creator: Marcom, Leslee Johnson
Description: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more recently being recognized as a lifetime disorder that continues to affect individuals into their adult lives. Recent research studies have found connections between ADHD and overweight/obesity. The current study was designed to further explore these relationships and better understand the connections between these two constructs among 340 college students. It was hypothesized that the ADHD symptoms (i.e., inattention and impulsivity) would positively predict depressive symptoms, which in turn would predict emotional/binge eating and lead to overweight/obesity. Additionally, it was hypothesized that impulsivity would predict substance use, which would predict emotional/binge eating and also predict overweight/obesity. The model was tested and exhibited excellent fit. ADHD positively predicted depressive symptoms, which in turn positively predicted emotional/binge eating and led to overweight/obesity. Further, ADHD symptoms also positively predicted substance use, which in turn predicted emotional/binge eating and led to overweight/obesity. All paths were statistically significant and findings suggest there are at least two paths that connect ADHD symptoms and overweight/obesity in adults. The current results are of importance to practicing clinicians because they provide increased clarity and depth regarding the connections and relationship between symptoms of ADHD and overweight/obesity.
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Personality and Mental Health Attitudes Among Us Army Rotc Cadets

Personality and Mental Health Attitudes Among Us Army Rotc Cadets

Date: August 2014
Creator: Holtz, Pamela M.
Description: With the current military mental health crisis, it is important to understand the role of the leader in military mental health. First, the impact of military leader behaviors on the well-being of military personnel is reviewed. Next, the role of leader attitudes as a precursor to leader behaviors is discussed. The relation of leader behaviors to leader personality using the NEO Five Factor Model (FFM) is reviewed, as well as the relation of prejudicial attitudes to the NEO FFM personality factors. A research project is described that attempted to draw these concepts together, assessing the NEO FFM personality dimensions and mental health attitudes of US Army ROTC cadets, the future leaders of the US Army. No significant relations were observed between NEO FFM personality traits and mental health attitudes, even after controlling for Impression Management. Also, the predicted positive correlation between positive mental health attitudes and Impression Management was not found. These results suggest that more research and more refined measures are needed in the area of leader attitudes toward soldier mental health problems, and how those attitudes might impact the soldiers.
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Psychopathic Traits and Insecure Attachment Patterns in Community-based Subgroups

Psychopathic Traits and Insecure Attachment Patterns in Community-based Subgroups

Date: August 2014
Creator: Carter, Rachel M.
Description: There is a growing body of research on psychopathic traits in non-clinical populations. This emerging research has documented the prevalence of psychopathic traits in the general population and demonstrated that psychopathy has a similar latent structure as well as similar correlates (e.g., violent behavior, alcohol abuse, and lower intelligence) to forensic/offender samples. Relatedly, there is strong evidence insecure attachment patterns in adulthood are associated with many personality disorders, including psychopathy, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between attachment and psychopathic traits in non-clinical samples (albeit, convenience samples of college students). Thus, two aims of the current study are to: 1) describe and explore the manifestation and expression of psychopathic traits in a large, community-based sample and 2) examine associations between adult attachment disturbances and psychopathic traits in diverse sociodemographic subgroups. Using a cross-sectional design, results showed mean-level psychopathy factor score differences existed only when considering single sociodemographic factors (e.g., age), not an interaction of those factors. Psychopathy factor profiles were also consistent across groups, with higher levels of lifestyle followed by interpersonal, affective, and antisocial traits reported. Regarding the second aim, findings indicated support for the positive association between disturbed attachment patterns in adult relationships and psychopathic ...
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Psychosocial Mediators of the Fitness-depression Relationship Within Adolescents

Psychosocial Mediators of the Fitness-depression Relationship Within Adolescents

Date: August 2014
Creator: Sheinbein, Shelly T.
Description: Adolescence is a developmental period during which boys and girls are at high risk of developing major or minor depression. Increases in fitness have been associated with lower levels of depressive symptomatology and improvements in psychological well-being, yet the mechanisms that underlie this relationship have not been thoroughly examined. Three such psychosocial variables (i.e. body satisfaction, social physique anxiety, and physical activity self-efficacy) have been identified as possible mechanisms and although they have theoretical support, additional research is needed to demonstrate empirically the potential effects of these variables. Self-report measures were used to assess the psychosocial variables and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in conjunction with age, Body Mass Index [BMI], and sex was used to determine an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2max). Path analyses were used to test the proposed model using version 6.2 EQS Multivariate Software. Results of study revealed that the boys’ and girls’ depressive scores were determined based on the extent that their fitness levels improved their satisfaction with their bodies and lowered the anxiety they experience in relation to real or imagined judgments of their physique. Although all pathways in the model were significant, with the exception of physical activity self-efficacy to depression, ...
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The Relations Between Perceived Parent, Coach, and Peer Created Motivational Climates, Goal Orientations, and Mental Toughness in High School Varsity Athletes

The Relations Between Perceived Parent, Coach, and Peer Created Motivational Climates, Goal Orientations, and Mental Toughness in High School Varsity Athletes

Date: August 2014
Creator: Beck, Nicholas M.
Description: Determining the factors that contribute to mental toughness development in athletes has become a focus for researchers as coaches, athletes, and others extol its influence on performance success. In this study we examined a model of mental toughness development based on achievement goal theory, assessing the relations between motivational climates, goal orientations, and mental toughness. Five hundred ninety-nine varsity athletes, representing 13 different sports from six different high schools in a southwestern United States school district, participated in the study. Athletes completed self-report measures assessing parent, peer, and coach motivational climates, goal orientations, and their mental toughness. Initially, I examined the measurement model and found it fit the data well both in the exploratory (SRMR = .06; CFI = .94) and confirmatory (SRMR = .06; CFI = .95) samples. Second, the structural model was examined and found to fit the data well in both the exploratory (SRMR = .08; CFI = .93) and confirmatory samples (SRMR = .07, CFI = .95). Parent task-involving climate, (β = .55; p < .05) and coach task-involving climate (β = .32; p < .05), but not peer task-involving climate (β = .05), were associated with task goal orientation (R2 = .57). Ego goal orientation ...
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Religiosity As a Coping Resource for Depression and Disease Management Among Older Diabetic Patients

Religiosity As a Coping Resource for Depression and Disease Management Among Older Diabetic Patients

Date: August 2014
Creator: Dzivakwe, Vanessa G.
Description: Compared to the general population, diabetic patients experience a higher prevalence of depression, which can often exacerbate diabetic symptoms and complicate treatment. Studies show that religion is associated with both better physical health and better psychological functioning; however, studies incorporating religion and depression among diabetic individuals are scarce. The present study addressed this gap in the literature by examining archival data from the 2008 and 2010 data waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Cross-sectional findings confirmed that stronger religiosity was positively correlated with perceived diabetes control and positive diabetes change, and negatively correlated with total number of depressive symptoms and total number of weeks depressed. Longitudinal findings confirmed that stronger religiosity in 2008 was positively correlated with perceived diabetes change in 2010 and negatively correlated with total number of depressive symptoms in 2010. Logistic regression and multiple regression analyses were performed to test four moderation models. Results showed that religiosity significantly moderated the relationship between perceived diabetes control and total number of weeks depressed. More specifically, for diabetics with low levels of religiosity, whether they believed their diabetes was under control or not did not make a significant difference in the total number of weeks depressed. However, high ...
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Role Importance, Affectional Solidarity, and Depression Among Familial Caregivers for Older Adults

Role Importance, Affectional Solidarity, and Depression Among Familial Caregivers for Older Adults

Date: August 2014
Creator: Benson, Karen M.
Description: In the United States, familial caregivers provide approximately 80% of the long term elderly care and are at risk for mental health problems. As family members provide care, relationships shift from mutual support to increasing dependency on the caregivers, who in turn often experience a shift in self-concept from their prior relational role to include identification as caregiver for the care recipient. Affectional solidarity, or emotional relationship quality, can influence how caregivers experience their shifting role in relationship to a loved one. The study examined whether role importance is associated with caregiver depression over time, and tested the moderating role of affectional solidarity in this association. A subset of caregivers (N = 57) from the Longitudinal Study of Generations constituted the sample from which role importance, affectional solidarity, and Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression reports were analyzed using longitudinal hierarchical regression. Findings did not support hypotheses. Results suggested that affectional solidarity may be important to consider among familial caregivers as a potential protective factor for depression. Implications for future research and practitioners are discussed.
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Sexual Behavior During the Emerging Adult Years: Attachment and Social Support Perspectives

Sexual Behavior During the Emerging Adult Years: Attachment and Social Support Perspectives

Date: August 2014
Creator: Stillo, Nicole D.
Description: The purpose of this study was to better understand sexual development during the transition to adulthood. Previous research was extended by testing models that examined direct effects of romantic attachment and social support on emerging adults’ sexual outcomes, as well as models that examined the mediating role of sexual motivations in those associations. Undergraduate students (n = 290, 66% female) completed questionnaires that assessed romantic attachment, social support, sexual motives, risky sexual behaviors, and health-promoting sexual beliefs. Results indicated romantic attachment strongly predicted sexual functioning, such that higher levels of attachment insecurity were associated with fewer health-promoting sexual beliefs and more risky sexual behaviors. Attachment anxiety was most closely associated with sexual outcomes for females, while attachment avoidance was a stronger predictor of sexual outcomes for males. Furthermore, coping but not intimacy motivations were found to partially mediate the link between attachment anxiety and health-promoting sexual beliefs for females. Although overall relationships between social support and sexual outcomes were not significant as hypothesized, links between specific support sources and sexual outcomes emerged during further analysis. Conclusions underscore the usefulness of attachment theory as a framework for understanding sexual behavior and provide further support for the importance of considering gender differences ...
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Supervisors, Trainees, and Client Outcomes in the Training Clinic: Toward an Understanding of Relational Factors

Supervisors, Trainees, and Client Outcomes in the Training Clinic: Toward an Understanding of Relational Factors

Date: August 2014
Creator: Rieck, Troy P.
Description: Estimates of healthy years of life lost due to mental illness are increasing, calling greater attention to the provision of effective psychotherapy services. Hypothesized to be the key mechanism through which competencies are developed in trainee clinicians and subsequent client outcomes, clinical supervision is deserving of greater attention. Drawing on a sample of supervisors, trainees, and clients from a training clinic, the present study sought to clarify the relational factors that could facilitate the asserted supervisor-client outcome link and to better understand if, and how, clinical supervisors influence client outcomes. With the exception of supervisor openness to experience, supervisor factors did not predict meaningful variance in client outcomes. Trainee extraversion and openness to experience predicted significant variance in leader-member exchange and supervisory working alliance. Dispositional trainee factors (e.g., personality) appear to impact trainee perceptions of the supervisory relationship. Implications for training and development are discussed, in addition to directions for future research.
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