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 Department: Department of Psychology
Fear of Alzheimer's Disease in Middle to Late Adulthood: a Two Year Investigation of Change Versus Stability

Fear of Alzheimer's Disease in Middle to Late Adulthood: a Two Year Investigation of Change Versus Stability

Date: August 2013
Creator: Page, Kyle S.
Description: The term dementia refers to a progressive decline in cognitive functioning resulting in a significant impairment in daily living. Given the devastating impacts of the disease and lack of a cure, it is reasonable to expect people fear developing a dementia. Alzheimer's disease ranks high among the most feared diseases in national samples of the American population. As a topic of study, little is known about the determinants of fear of Alzheimer's disease and how this fear may change as a function of aging, time, or experience. The current study sought to fill this gap by investigating the nature of changes in fear of Alzheimer's disease by following participants (N = 227) over the course of two years. Volunteers completed measures on fear of dementia, knowledge about Alzheimer's disease, knowledge about the aging process, personality traits, memory self-efficacy, anxiety about aging, and Alzheimer's-related experiences (i.e., family history, caregiving experience, number of people known with the disease, personal diagnosis, etc.). Results supported the notion that fear for becoming a burden to others, a component of fear of dementia, decreased over the two years. In addition, personality traits and memory self-efficacy mediated the two-year change in concerns about perceived symptoms of cognitive ...
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Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Date: August 2013
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Description: 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) ...
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Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Date: August 2013
Creator: Valentine, Lisa. M.
Description: Research evidence is suggestive of a strength model of self-control, also known as ego depletion, in social psychological literature. Engaging in an initial task of self-control depletes a limited resource, resulting in less self-control on a subsequent, unrelated task. The strength model of self-control has been applied to many practical, everyday situations, such as eating behaviors among dieters. Newer studies suggest that blood glucose is the resource consumed during acts of self-control. Consuming glucose seems to "replete" individuals who have been depleted, improving performance and self-control. The current study aimed to examine the effects of ego-depletion on restrained eaters. The hypothesis was that restrained eaters who were depleted by a task of self-control would exhibit more disinhibition on a taste-test task than would restrained eaters who were not depleted. However, if the participants were given glucose following the depletion task, then their self-control would be "repleted" and they would exhibit similar control to that of the non-depleted participants. Contrary to expectations there were no differences between the groups in terms of total amount of cookies consumed. These results are inconsistent with a glucose model of self-control. Suggestions for future research and implications of the findings are discussed.
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Internalizing-externalizing Psychopathology and Personality Pathology As Predictors of Treatment Rejection in Substance Users

Internalizing-externalizing Psychopathology and Personality Pathology As Predictors of Treatment Rejection in Substance Users

Date: August 2013
Creator: Lewis, Jonathan James
Description: Substance use disorders (SUDs) are often comorbid with other psychopathology such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. While some research suggests individuals with comorbid psychopathology are more likely to seek substance use treatment than those with independent disorders, other studies have also shown many individuals with dual diagnoses still never seek treatment. Moreover, few studies have tried to elucidate the underlying structure of SUD treatment rejection, and instead examined it in more simplistic terms. In addition, studies have tended to examine the impact of individual disorders on treatment rejection, but have not incorporated an empirically supported approach to conceptualizing psychopathology in terms of comorbidity between broad latent dimensions referred to as internalizing (e.g., depression, anxiety) and externalizing (e.g., antisocial personality disorder, polysubstance use) psychopathology. Modeling psychopathology in terms of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology is becoming a prominent approach to understanding mental disorders, yet little research to date has investigated the effects these broad dimensions have on SUD treatment rejection. The current study utilized latent variable modeling techniques to (1) determine the latent structure of SUD treatment rejection in a large U.S. sample, and investigate whether treatment rejection is a multidimensional construct; and (2), to explore the ability of ...
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An Investigation of Malingering and Defensiveness Using the Spanish Pai Among Spanish-speaking Hispanic American Outpatients

An Investigation of Malingering and Defensiveness Using the Spanish Pai Among Spanish-speaking Hispanic American Outpatients

Date: August 2013
Creator: Correa, Amor Alicia
Description: 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.
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An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

Date: August 2013
Creator: Herbert, Gregory L.
Description: 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 ...
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Mental Toughness Training for Police Officers: the Impact of a Stress Inoculation Program on Police Stress

Mental Toughness Training for Police Officers: the Impact of a Stress Inoculation Program on Police Stress

Date: August 2013
Creator: Rosmith, Eric S.
Description: This study examined the impact that a stress inoculation training (SIT) program had on a small-sized city police department in the southwestern U.S. Specifically, the aim of this study was to investigate how a SIT program impacted police officer self-reported levels of organizational stress, operational stress, perceived life stress, and mood states. All 24 participants were recruited from a population of 132 sworn, active duty police officers and were pre-tested through administration of a questionnaire packet containing a host of measures related to demographics, organizational stressors, operational stressors, general life stressors, and mood states. Participants were then randomly assigned to one of the following treatment conditions: (1) delayed training; (2) SIT program; and (3) SIT plus booster program. On completion of the SIT program, members of each of the treatment conditions were re-assessed through the administration of the aforementioned questionnaire packet. Subsequent to conducting the booster sessions, participants from each treatment condition took part in a second, and final, follow-up assessment. Results suggested that organizational stress was decreased for participants in the SIT program, particularly at follow-up. Results also suggested that energy (i.e., vigor) was increased for participants in the SIT plus booster program at both post-test and follow-up. Furthermore, ...
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Minority Stress, Spirituality and Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Minority Stress, Spirituality and Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Date: August 2013
Creator: Purser, Megan M.
Description: Unique factors associated with the experience of spirituality and religiosity for many in lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities include minority stress. Using structural equation modeling, we examined whether minority stress mediates the relationship between spirituality and psychological quality of life (QOL). Results indicate minority stress mediates the relationship between spirituality and psychological QOL for gay men and bisexuals. However, minority stress is not a significant mediator for lesbians. Therefore, lesbians may experience minority stress and its relationship to psychological QOL differently than gay men and bisexuals due to higher societal acceptance. This study provides support for examining lesbians, gay men and bisexuals separately rather than as one sexual minority group.
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A Multi-method Approach to Examining Stress and Anxiety Among Mexican American College Students

A Multi-method Approach to Examining Stress and Anxiety Among Mexican American College Students

Date: August 2013
Creator: Durón, Kelly M.
Description: United States post-secondary education continues to see an increase in Hispanic enrollment, particularly those of Mexican heritage. The present study was designed to examine this population’s experience of stress, anxiety and academic approach-avoidance conflict. Data were collected at North Texas postsecondary institutions. Participants (N = 197) completed an online survey including a Picture Story Exercise (PSE), open-ended responses to hypothetical scenarios, and self-report measures. The current study utilized a mixed-method approach integrating content analysis measures and self-reports. Results indicated that anxiety symptoms expressed to academic, familial, and minority social situations differed, partial η2=.39; with the academic scenario including the highest and minority social scenario the lowest anxiety. Results suggested that Mexican-American college students may express cognitive and affective symptoms of anxiety more frequently than physical symptoms on scenarios but not on self-report scales (Personality Assessment Inventory Anxiety; PAI Anxiety). PSE responses suggested that Conflict and Drive for Goal Orientation were frequent among this sample. Academic Total Anxiety and Academic Physical Anxiety related positively to PSE Conflict, while Academic Cognitive Anxiety related negatively to PSE Positive Outcomes. Exploratory models predicting PSE variables from Academic Anxiety and PAI Anxiety were inconclusive but suggested that gender accounted for significant variance in PSE scores.
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Mutual Influences in Romantic Attachment, Religious Coping, and Marital Adjustment

Mutual Influences in Romantic Attachment, Religious Coping, and Marital Adjustment

Date: August 2013
Creator: Pollard, Sara E.
Description: This study examined associations among romantic attachment anxiety and avoidance, positive and negative religious coping, and marital adjustment in a community sample of 81 heterosexual couples. Both spouses completed the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECR), a brief measure of religious coping (Brief RCOPE), the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), and a demographic questionnaire as part of a larger study. Multilevel modeling (MLM) for the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM) was used. Attachment avoidance was inversely related to positive religious coping. In contrast, attachment anxiety was directly related to negative religious coping. Positive religious coping buffered the relationship between attachment avoidance and marital adjustment. In contrast, attachment anxiety was detrimental to marital adjustment regardless of positive religious coping, and positive religious coping was related to higher marital adjustment only in the context of low attachment anxiety. Surprisingly, the spouse's attachment anxiety was inversely related to the respondent's marital adjustment only when the respondent reported low levels of negative religious coping, whereas in the context of high negative religious coping, the partner's attachment anxiety was related to higher marital adjustment. Results support using attachment theory to conceptualize religious coping and the consideration of both attachment and religious coping constructs in counseling.
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