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- Personality and the prediction of outcome following rehabilitation in persons with acquired brain injuries: The Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD).
- Neuropsychological rehabilitation following acquired brain injury is increasingly recognized as essential with the advancements in research evidence of its effectiveness, particularly as current estimates of disability following the most common forms of brain injury (traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular accident) are so high. Improvements in predictive capabilities of researchers and clinicians are paramount in designing effective interventions. As many variables associated with outcome following brain injury are not controllable (e.g. severity of the injury, age, education), it is essential that rehabilitation programs design interventions to target those variables that are susceptible to amelioration. While personality factors have been shown to affect outcome in other medical illnesses, only a few studies have examined the influence of personality on outcome following neurorehabilitation for acquired brain injury. The results of these studies have been mixed. This study used the Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD) to predict outcome as measured by the Mayo-Portland Adaptability Index (MPAI-4) following brain injury rehabilitation in a heterogeneous sample of persons with acquired brain injuries (N = 50). It was hypothesized that specific coping styles scales from the MBMD (Introversive, Dejected, Oppositional), which are based on Millon's personality system, would predict outcome. Results indicated that both the Introversive and Oppositional coping styles scales accounted for significant amounts of variance in outcome beyond that accounted for by the severity of the injury alone (p < .001). In both cases, individuals with mild/moderate-moderate/severe limitations following completion of the rehabilitation program had significantly higher scores on the Introversive and Oppositional coping compared to individuals with more successful outcomes. The hypothesis that a dejected coping style would predict outcome was not supported. Implications for rehabilitation are discussed in the context of Millon's personality system.
- Individual attachment styles and the correspondence/compensation hypotheses in relation to depression and depressive experiences.
- Two hundred twenty individuals participated in the present study from a university population. The study examined the relationship among attachment styles to caregivers, relationship with God, depressive symptomology, and depressive experiences. Attachment theorists have suggested a connection between childhood attachment to caregivers and current attachment to God through the idea that individuals have "working models" that form how they interpret present relationships. For the most part, the results of the current study supported the idea of correspondence between attachment to caregiver and attachment to God. Individual attachment styles to caregivers matched their attachment style to God. However, when caregiver religiousness was included as a moderating variable, results supported the theory of combined compensation-correspondence for those with insecure attachments to caregivers. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to compensate for their insecure attachment bonds through participation in religious activity, whereas their internal, private relationship with God corresponded with their previous insecure attachment bonds. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to endorse symptoms of depression and report introjective, but not anaclitic, depressive experiences. With respect to attachment to God, introjective depressive experiences were positively related to both anxious and avoidant attachments, whereas, anaclitic depressive experiences were positively related only to anxious attachment to God. Anxious attachment to God was found to partially mediate the relationship between insecure attachment to caregivers and depression symptoms. Finally, attachment effects were similar across gender, ethnicity, and age, with some notable exceptions.
- The theory of planned behavior and adherence to a multidisciplinary treatment program for chronic pain.
- The primary objective of this study was to examine the association between the theory of planned behavior (TBP) and adherence to a multidisciplinary pain center (MPC) treatment program for chronic pain. While the results of several studies have provided support for the efficacy of MPC treatment in chronic pain, the problems of adherence and attrition are important. TPB is a cognitive/social model of behavior that has been used to predict a variety of behaviors, although it has never been used to predict adherence to a multidisciplinary chronic pain treatment program. It was predicted that Adherence would be predicted by Intentions and that Intentions would be predicted by 1) Perceived Social Norms, 2) Perceived Behavioral Control, 3) Attitudes Toward New Behavior (completing the treatment program), and 4) Attitude Toward Current Behavior (maintaining current treatment and coping strategies). It was found that the total Intentions scores did not predict the total Adherence scores. However, Intentions was predicted by 1) Perceived Behavioral Control, 2) Attitudes Toward New Behavior (completing the treatment program), and 3) Attitude Toward Current Behavior (maintaining current treatment and coping strategies). The finding that Perceived Social Norms did not predict Intentions was consistent with results of previous studies with the TBP. The secondary objective was to examine the extent to which MPC treatment affects patients' attitudes towards behaviors that are associated with successful pain management. The majority of the patients (82%) developed a more favorable attitude toward the program and their average report of the importance of the program was 6.78 on a 10-point scale. The majority of patients (74%) reported experiencing a greater decrease in pain than expected, and the average amount of pain decrease was 5.39 on a 10-point scale.
- Improving the Definition of Exercise Maintenance: Evaluation of Concepts Related to Adherence
- Physical activity has been demonstrated in the literature as an effective way to reduce the risk for development of chronic disease. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change has been developed as a means to predict and facilitate movement into healthier lifestyle behaviors. The model is centered on "stages of change", which describe a continuum of readiness to engage in a health behavior change. Stages contain temporal, qualitative, and quantitative characteristics. This was a six-month study that evaluated the effectiveness of stage-matched (theorized to be pertaining only to the maintenance stage of change) vs. generic (theorized to be pertaining to anyone, regardless of stage) newsletters in assisting subjects to attain the Maintenance stage of change. It also sought to identify further qualitative characteristics that can differentiate between the Action and Maintenance stages of change. Results indicated that monthly stage-matched newsletters were no more effective in helping subjects reaching Maintenance than were the generic newsletters. Exerciser self-schema was related to stages of change, but those relationships differed from baseline to six-month follow-up, indicating development of exerciser self-schema during the study period. Implications of this are discussed. Other concepts discussed included "structure" of change process, in that three new scores were developed and correlated with self-efficacy as well as intercorrelated. Motivation was also evaluated and compared across levels of success at adhering to exercise during a three-month period. Limitations of the study and implications are discussed.
- Predicting Weight Loss in Post Surgical Laparoscopic Banding Patients
- The present study was a retrospective chart review (N=128) that investigated the efficacy of profiles derived from the three factors of the Eating Inventory® test (EI) - cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger - to predict successful weight loss in post surgical laparoscopic banding patients at 6 and 9 months post surgery. Although the EI is commonly used in bariatric presurgical assessment, few studies have found consistent relationships between presurgical factor scores and subsequent weight loss in this population. Based on restraint theory, 7 profiles (high CR, super high CR, high D, super high D, high H, super high H, and null) were derived from the raw scores on the subscales of the EI and tested for weight loss predictive ability using direct logistic regression. Results were mixed with high CR, super high CR, and null profiles accurately predicting successful weight loss. Raw scores on the three factors (cognitive restraint, disinhibition, and hunger) were tested individually for predictive ability using direct logistic regression. Overall results indicated that the profile model accurately predicted more cases than the general factor model. This study significantly contributes to both the bariatric presurgical assessment literature and the restraint theory literature. Suggestions for future research are offered.
- The Relationship Between Sleep Variables and Headache
- Headache pain impacts most of the population at some point in life, at an enormous cost to day-to-day functioning. Determination of the variables that are associated with prevalence and severity of headaches has been inconsistent. One area that deserves more attention is the relationship between headaches and sleep. For instance, several sleep parameters may precipitate or exacerbate headaches, but previous research often used inconsistent and limited assessments of both headaches and sleep, making results difficult to interpret and compare. The current study seeks to extend previous research by using more comprehensive and empirically validated assessment techniques to study the relationship between sleep and headaches in a healthy sample. Greater self-reported sleep quality is related to lower headache frequency and severity, and lower self-reported sleep quality is characteristic of individuals having migraine-type headaches. Greater sleep efficiency is related to lower headache severity and shorter headache duration. Greater sleep onset latency is related to longer headache duration and greater headache severity. Greater number of nighttime awakenings is related to greater headache severity and is characteristic of individuals having a diagnosable headache disorder (either tension-type or migraine-type). Stress appeared to be a partial mediator between self-reported sleep quality and headache severity. Further experimental studies may clarify causality between sleep and headache.
- Clustering of Behavioral Data for Identification of Presumptive Subtypes of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children
- The objective of the present study was to investigate Amen's formulations of subtypes of AD/HD initially identified by brain imaging techniques, through the use of behavioral checklist data. And in testing Amen's theory of six separate subtypes of AD/HD, to identify and differentiate the subtypes based on symptom presentation. Data was obtained through retrospective chart reviews (N=161) of children between the ages of 5 and 12 who met the criteria for the major symptoms observed in AD/HD and were referred for a previous comprehensive AD/HD evaluation. Data from behavioral checklist (CBCL and DBRS-IV) were matched to Amen's Subtype Symptom Checklist and each subject was given a percentage score for six subtype symptoms. Cluster analysis reliably found six clusters and each subject was labeled according to their symptom presentation. The clusters found were labeled as AD/HD - Combined Type, AD/HD - Predominately Inattentive Type, AD/HD - Predominately Hyperactive-Impulsive Type, Ad/HD - Combined Type with Obsessive-Compulsive features, AD/HD - Combined Type with Obsessive/Compulsive and Conduct Disorder features and Undifferentiated AD/HD. However, the present study did not find evidence of subtypes that corresponded to Amen's Temporal Lobe ADD or Limbic ADD. Discriminant function analysis of the six clusters found that the variables in the model (symptom percentage scores) significantly discriminated the subtype classification. Also, 76% of all cases were correctly classified according to their symptom presentation. Potential limitations of the sample and the data used for interpretation were discussed. Limitations of the study warrant further investigation making use of multi-modal assessment tools which relate well with brain imaging techniques, such as neuropsychological measures of attention and concentration, laboratory based measures of activity, continuous performance tests measuring inattention and impulsivity, and QEEG data measuring brain wave information. A multi-modal approach to investigating symptom subtypes of AD/HD would likely provide increased reliability and validity of differential diagnosis, and therefore, more effective treatment of children with the presenting symptomology of AD/HD. The diagnostic and clinical implications' of each cluster subtype symptomology found in the present study was discussed as well.
- Acculturation Level, Generational Status and Gender: Their Role in Acculturative Stress in Young Adolescent Mexican Americans
- The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between acculturation level, generational status, and gender with acculturative stress. Acculturation level was determined by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) and acculturative stress was determined by the Societal, Attitudinal, Familial and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale-Children's Version (SAFE-C). Subjects included 1268 Hispanic children ages 11-15. In order to validate the usefulness of the ARSMA-II with this sample, analyses were conducted between acculturation level and generational status. The Pearson product moment correlation (r=.44) and the ANOVA between the mean acculturation score and generational status were significant. However, the mean acculturation score from this study was considerably lower than the ARSMA-II score; therefore, new acculturation levels were developed to establish local adolescent norms for the ARSMA-II. All analyses involving acculturation levels were conducted using both the ARSMA-II and new acculturation levels because 300 subjects were reclassified with the new norms. Significant results were similar using both acculturation levels; however, there were more between group differences using the new acculturation levels. It was hypothesized that as acculturation level increased toward the Anglo culture, acculturative stress would decrease. The one-way ANOVA confirmed this relationship. It was also hypothesized that as generational status increased, acculturative stress would decrease. A one-way ANOVA also supported this hypothesis. In order to replicate previous findings on gender, a one-way ANOVA was conducted with acculturative stress and acculturation level. Results for both were non-significant. Overall findings indicate that generational status and acculturation level have a significant impact on acculturative stress in Hispanic children; however, gender does not seem to be a factor. Findings emphasize the importance of addressing cultural issues in the assessment, intervention, and treatment of acculturating Hispanic children. Furthermore, the ARSMA-II appears to be a useful instrument in assessing acculturation level in young adolescent Hispanics though new local adolescent norms for the ARSMA-II were developed from this study.
- The utility of the McCarron-Dial System in determining location of brain lesion.
- Among the goals of neuropsychological assessment are to detect the presence of brain damage, localize which areas of the brain may be dysfunctional, and describe subsequent functional impairments. The sensitivity of neuropsychological instruments in carrying out these functions has long been a question of debate. The purpose of the present study was to determine the utility of various performance level indictors and lateralizing indicators from the McCarron-Dial System Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (MDS) in ascertaining the presence or absence of brain damage as well as location of lesion. Models used in the present study appear to provide increased classification accuracy compared to other studies utilizing the MDS. The MDS was also shown to be comparable to other well-known neuropsychological batteries, including the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (HRB) and the Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery (LNNB) with regard to distinguishing between those with brain damage and normal controls, and also localizing brain lesion. The results of this study offer clinicians parsimonious models to evaluate for presence of lesion and its location so this information may be used to make accurate, thorough diagnoses and appropriate treatment and rehabilitation recommendations.
- Treatment Outcomes Related to EEG-Biofeedback for Chemical Dependency: Changes in MMPI-2 (University of Minnesota) Personality Measures and Long Term Abstinence Rates
- Peniston and Kulkosky (1989, 1990) demonstrated the effectiveness of alpha-theta EEG-Biofeedback (EEG-BFB) in treating inpatient alcoholics noting significant improvements in depression, psychopathology, serum β-endorphin levels, and abstinence rates. The present study is an extension of a previously unpublished replication of the Peniston EEG-BFB protocol with 20 chemically dependent outpatients (Bodenhamer-Davis, Callaway, & DeBeus, 2002). Fifteen subjects were "high risk for re-arrest" probationers. Data for the EEG-BFB group was collected from archival records. Subjects completed an average of 39 sessions (SD = 6.096), with 33 of those being EEG-BFB. Pre/post-treatment MMPI-2s (University of Minnesota) were collected and follow-up (4-11 years) data obtained (abstinence rates, re-arrests in some cases). Treatment effects were evaluated by comparing assessment data (pre/post) and documenting abstinence rates. Post-treatment MMPI-2 results were within normal limits, with several scales significantly reduced from baseline suggesting less psychopathology. Results were then compared to 20 subjects receiving standard addiction treatment (OT-CD group), but not EEG-BFB. OT-CD subjects completed a 2-week inpatient program followed by 18 outpatient sessions. Pre/post assessment and follow-up data was collected on the OT-CD group. The OT-CD group's post-assessment results showed three elevations (MMPI-2 scales 4/6/8), suggestive of characteriological problems. Post-MMPI-2 results of the two groups were compared via ANCOVAs. Findings indicated no significant differences between groups on targeted scales; however, there was a trend for the EEG-BFB group to have lower scores. Follow-up data was obtained on 13 EEG-BFB subjects. Results indicated 92% (n = 12) were sober, with 8% (n = 1) claiming significantly reduced alcohol intake. Probationer re-arrest and revocation rates were collected on the subset of probationers (n = 14 out of 15). The majority of the probationers (79%, n = 11) had not been re-arrested nor had their probation been revoked. Short-term follow-up information (35-131 days post-assessment), available at the time of writing, for the OT-CD group (N = 13) showed 85% (n = 11) were sober, with 15% (n = 2) relapsed. Limitations and implications of the study are discussed.
- Partner abuse: Health consequences to women.
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Intimate partner violence is endemic in the United States. According to the American Medical Association (1992), one-fifth to one-third of women will sustain violence from a partner or ex-partner in their lifetime. The relevant literature was organized by ICD-9-CM categories. This study examined the health consequences of partner abuse in a sample of community women using a sample consisting of 564 women in three ethnic groups. Because prior research has failed to account for variations by type of abuse on health consequences, this study assessed psychological abuse, violence and sexual aggression by women's partners. To determine whether or not different types of abuse had an effect on women's health, hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. The regression equations were calculated for women within each ethnic group to facilitate identification of similarities and differences and to control for ethnic differences in risk for specific diseases. The results were consistent with past research on health consequences of abuse and extended the prior literature by showing that psychological abuse had a pervasive effect on health conditions, distress and use of health care resources. Additionally, ethnic differences emerged. As expected, ethnicity appeared to function as a moderator. Clinical implications and recommendations are made for future research, suggesting the development of a new assessment tool for partner abuse screening.
- Identifying AD/HD subtypes using the cognitive assessment system and the NEPSY
- The purpose of this study was to examine the ability of the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS) and the NEPSY, A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, to differentiate between the subtypes of Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). The CAS and NEPSY are neuropsychological instruments which provide norms for AD/HD children in general. This study examined the performance of the two subtypes of AD/HD on the CAS and NEPSY. In addition, this study examined the performance of the two AD/HD groups on the Screening Test for Auditory Processing Disorders (SCAN). Since AD/HD children tend to have difficulty with language, the SCAN was used to determine if any of the AD/HD subjects had auditory processing difficulties that might impact their performance on the CAS and/or NEPSY subtests. The sample consisted of 118 children between the ages of 8 and 12 years of age. Using the DSM-IV criteria, the children were diagnosed as having three types of AD/HD: A Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type (AD/HD-HI), a Predominantly Inattentive Type (AD/HD-I) and a Combined Type The subtypes were also identified by the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES-H). Only two subtypes, AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C, were identified by the ADDES-H. There were not enough AD/HD-HI subjects to include in the study. Therefore, this study focused on the AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C subtypes. A binomial logistic regression analysis was conducted on the AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C subtypes with selected subtests of the NEPSY and the four PASS Scales of the CAS. Results indicated a significant difference between the AD/HD-I and AD/HD-C groups on the Tower subtest of the NEPSY and the Planning Scale of the CAS. The Tower and the Planning Scale are both purported measures of executive functioning; however, results of the Planning Scale were in an unexpected direction. No significant difference was found between the two AD/HD groups on the other subtests examined. The results of the SCAN analysis suggested there were no significant differences in auditory processing between the two AD/HD groups. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
- Behavior Patterns among Children with a History of Metopic Synostosis
- Metopic synostosis is a condition in which the metopic suture of the human cranium fuses prematurely and may be related to poor behavioral inhibition leading to behaviors commonly associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this project was to examine the behavior patterns among children with a history of metopic synostosis. It was hypothesized that children with a history of metopic synostosis would exhibit many of the same behavioral patterns associated with ADHD. It was also hypothesized that children with a history of simple synostosis not involving the metopic suture would not evidence this type of behavioral pattern. In order to test these hypotheses, the behavior of three groups of children was compared including (1) children who had a history of metopic synostosis (M= 7.63 years, SD = 1.92 years), (2) children who had a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture (M= 7.54 years, SD = 1.88 years), and (3) a group of children diagnosed with ADHD (M=7.78 year, SD = 1.87 years). It was found using the Home and School versions of the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (ADDES) that children with a history of metopic synostosis demonstrate significantly more behavioral disturbances than children with a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Teacher Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern similar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Parent Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern dissimilar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture.
- Changes in quantitative EEG and low resolution tomography following cranial electrotherapy stimulation.
- The effects of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on human EEG and brain current density were evaluated by quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) and low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). A total of 72 research subjects were provided with a single session of CES, 38 were provided with 0.5 Hz CES while 34 were provided with 100 Hz CES. The qEEG paired t-tests revealed that in both frequencies of CES there was a significant (.05) increase in alpha relative power with concomitant decreases in delta and beta relative power. The 0.5 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of delta activity, while the 100 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of beta activity; suggesting some difference may exist in the EEG response to different frequencies of CES. The changes found in qEEG relative power were consistent with the affective and cognitive effects of CES reported in the literature, such as increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. Statistically significant changes for qEEG values other than relative power, such as coherence, amplitude asymmetry, phase lag and power ratios were also found. The LORETA paired t-tests found statistically significant (.05) increases in cortical and subcortical theta and alpha frequency current density with concomitant decreases in delta and beta current density. The effects of CES on current density varied by frequency, but did not show a differential in response based on proximity to the contacts, or structures within the brain. Statistically significant changes in current density were found in all 2394 gray matter voxels represented by LORETA, indicating a whole brain response to the CES stimulus. The qEEG and LORETA findings revealed that a single 20-minute session of CES does have a significant effect on the cortical and subcortical activity of the human brain resulting in activity consistent with decreased anxiety and increased relaxation.
- Type D Personality and Coping Style as Predictors of Cardiovascular Risk
- Although cardiovascular disease (CVD) does not occur until mid to late life for most adults, the presence of risk factors for CVD, such as high blood pressure (BP) and high cholesterol, has increased dramatically in young adults. Type D personality consists of two personality traits, negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI), and has repeatedly been shown to be an independent predictor of hard medical outcomes (e.g. morbidity and mortality) in cardiac patients. The present study examined the relationships between Type D personality (high NA and high SI), coping strategies, and physiological markers of cardiovascular health in a sample of non-medical, university students. Measures of cardiovascular risk included high frequency heart rate variability (HF HRV), calculated LDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure (SBP). Regression analyses revealed that higher use of social supportive coping was a significant predictor of calculated LDL cholesterol. Social supportive coping was also shown to moderate the relationship between Type D personality and HF HRV. Interventions that target psychological and physiological mechanisms associated with CVD are well developed. Clear identification of young adults who are at risk of developing CVD is necessary to intervene in a manner that could potentially save lives. Additional systematic research, especially if it is longitudinal, will help to clarify the ability of Type D personality and coping to predict CVD.
- Heart rhythm variability in persons with chronic pain.
- The present study evaluated the utility of heart rhythm coherence (HRC) feedback to reduce the reported pain intensity of patients enrolled in a multimodal pain management program. Participants were recruited and assigned to a usual treatment group (UT) or a heart rhythm coherence feedback group (UT+HRC). It was hypothesized that UT+HRC participants who achieved heart rhythm coherence would report a reduction of pain intensity, as measured by the McGill Pain Inventory. For those whose pain intensity decreased, it was also expected that their self reported levels of depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition and state anger as measured by the State Trait Anger Inventory would decrease. It is also hypothesized that with a reduction in pain levels, anger, and depression, blood pressure would also decrease among those who had high blood pressure prior to the intervention. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to investigate the relationship between treatment condition, coherence status and pain levels. A series of independent t-tests were utilized to investigate the change in pain, depression, and state anger from baseline to posttest, followed by Pearson product moment correlation coefficients on difference scores to understand the relationship between the outcome variables for Hypothesis 2. Standard multiple regression analyses were computed using difference scores to determine if the outcome measures were significant predictors of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Results indicated a failure to reject the null with regard to hypothesis one. No relationship between treatment assignment, coherence status or pain levels were found. Hypothesis 2 was partially supported. Although there was a positive significant relationship between depression and anger when utilizing difference scores, these affective measures were not related to difference scores on either pain measure. In regard to Hypothesis 3, there was also a failure to reject the null. None of the outcome measures utilized in this study emerged as being significantly related to changes in systolic or diastolic blood pressure. Limitations of the study and implications for future research are offered.
- Psychological characteristics contributing to performance on neuropsychological tests and effort testing.
- The issue of effortful patient performance has been an area of clinical interest in individuals with minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Clinical attention to this area has increased largely because of an increase in the number of worker's compensation claims, injury-related lawsuits and/or insanity defense pleas. As patients are presented with the opportunity for secondary gain, the issue of optimum performance on neuropsychological measures becomes salient. In addition to neurocognitive deficits, there are psychological characteristics associated with mTBI including depression, emotional disturbance, personality changes, and other psychopathology. This study utilized the MSVT, a set of standard neuropsychological instruments, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) to investigate the relationships between effort, psychological characteristics, and neuropsychological functioning in individuals with minor traumatic brain injuries. The first objective of this study was to determine which psychological factors were related to effort in mTBI. The second objective was to determine if there were differences between groups that performed poorly on effort testing and groups that performed adequately on effort testing, based on relevant psychological characteristics. The results of the analyses supported the first hypothesis. Hysteria was inversely related to effort, and Mania was positively related to effort on one of five measures of effort. The second hypothesis was not supported.
- The cross-validation of AD/HD instruments and the relationship to neurocognitive and behavioral measures
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The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine the construct validities of comparable AD/HD instruments that were developed according to our current, DSM-IV classification system for AD/HD; and to identify potential +neurocognitive and socioemotional markers for AD/HD. The sample consisted of 145 children ages 8 to 11 years of age who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Children were administered a battery of neurocognitive tests and completed a self-report measure of personality. Parents completed several, AD/HD instruments pertaining to their children. The AD/HD instruments used in this study were the Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Test (ADHDT), and the Attention Problems and Hyperactivity scales from the BASC-Monitor (BASC-M). Of interest was how each AD/HD instrument compared to the DSM-IV, particularly in terms of the cross-consistency of AD/HD subtype classifications. The findings showed that the AD/HD instruments classified participants differently from the initial, DSM-IV entry diagnosis. Rates of agreement were better for some of the AD/HD instruments than for others yet there was little overall consistency. The neurocognitive measures used in the study were the Cognitive Assessment System-Basic Battery scales. The socioemotional measures used in the study were two parent-report scales from the BASC-M (Internalizing Problems and Adaptive Skills), and the child report scales from the BASC-Self Report of Personality. Results showed that the neurocognitive measures were relatively insensitive to AD/HD symptomatology while a nearly opposite trend was observed on the socioemotional measures. For the most part, participants classified as the ADHD-Combined Type (ADHD-CT), (regardless of which AD/HD instrument was used) had the most significant impairment in areas of social functioning and emotional symptoms across parent and self-reports.
- A Confirmatory Factor Analysis of WRAML Scores in a Group of Academically Talented Students
- The purpose of this study was to confirm the original factor structure of the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML) utilizing a non-clinical adolescent population. Additional analysis examined the relationship between SAT-M scores and spatial relations ability. Exploratory analyses were conducted to determine ethnic and gender differences on the WRAML and subtests from the DAT. Sixty-four academically talented adolescents completed the WRAML and the mechanical reasoning and spatial relations subtests from the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT). The confirmatory factor analysis found the data obtained to not be a good fit for the factor structure of the WRAML (Sheslow & Adams, 1990). Additional confirmatory analyses were conducted which examined data fit of a three factor model found by reanalyzing the standardization data (Burton et al., 1996; Wasserman & Cambias, 1991) as well as two null models. The data failed to fit any of these three models. No support was found for the second hypothesis that predicted a positive relationship between SAT-M scores and spatial relations ability. Ethnic and gender differences on the WRAML and two DAT subtests were examined and discussed. Limitations of this study were reviewed which may have accounted for the overall lack of results.
- Predictors of Use and Outcomes of Youth and Family Centers
- This study analyzed data from Dallas Public Schools and Dallas Youth and Family Centers (YFCs) to explore variables associated with referrals to and utilization of Youth and Family Centers. Data from students enrolled in third, eighth or tenth grade during the 1996-1997, 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 school years were analyzed to determine the reasons for YFC referral and utilization, and to compare standardized test scores and attendance. Of the 6956 students in third, eighth and tenth grades initially referred to YFCs during those three school years, 5173 (74.3%) made at least one YFC visit. The 5173 students made an average of 2.69 visits and accessed an average of 1.18 services per year. Medical visits accounted for 42.5% of YFC visits, and mental health visits accounted for 46% of YFC visits. Results of logistic regression analyses indicate a significant difference for utilization upon referral and continued use of the YFC when the constant is compared to a set of predictor variables. For both analyses, the predictor variables were Chapter I status, LEP status, reason for referral, gender, special education status, ethnicity, distance from home school to referral YFC, food stamp eligibility and referral source. While outcome data regarding attendance and scores on standardized tests was limited to records available, results suggest that mean reading scores for eighth graders were significantly higher during Year 1 for the group that accessed YFC services. School attendance was better for eighth graders who made continued use of a YFC. Use of medical services by third graders was associated with a gain in attendance rather than a slight loss for the third graders who did not access medical services upon referral. Results of this study were limited by missing data for several records. The competitive atmosphere of health care service delivery and the practical need to know about service delivery at the sites should make data management a priority.
- Hierarchical neuropsychological functioning in pediatric survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is one of the most common types of pediatric cancers. Improvements in treatment within the last 20 years have resulted in reduced mortality and a greater focus upon quality of life. Several researchers have documented neuropsychological impairments in children following treatment for ALL; however, there have not been any comparative studies documenting differences in neuropsychological functioning based upon treatment modality despite the documented effects of radiation therapy and combined radiation/chemotherapy upon the developing brain. In addition, past studies have focused on unitary measures, ignoring the hierarchical relationship between basic cognitive functions and more abstract skills. This study examined the neuropsychological functioning of 81 children who were treated for ALL at a metropolitan children's hospital. All children were tested a minimum of two years after the final treatment session and were administered the NEPSY. Results do not support any interactions or main effects with the exception of the age of the child at diagnosis. Children diagnosed prior to the age of 5 showed greater impairments on tasks measuring attention, memory, and visuospatial reasoning in comparison to peers diagnosed after age 6.
- The Effect of Web-Based Support as an Adjunct to a Self-Help Smoking Cessation Program
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For the past quarter century, the public has been educated and warned about the dangers of smoking, and both smokers and health researchers have been in search of cost-effective, smoking cessation programs that will lead to long-term cessation. This study used a randomized experimental design to investigate the effectiveness of adding Web-based support materials to a nationally sponsored self-help smoking intervention. There was no significant increase in abstinence rates nor progression through the stages of change by those participants who had access to the Web site. However, there were some overall significant trends that suggested these self-help interventions were successful at decreasing daily rates of smoking and nicotine dependency, as well as tended to encourage repeated quit attempts. Although Web-based supports did not appear to increase the effectiveness of the nationally sponsored self-help intervention, this study demonstrated overall 12 week follow-up abstinence rates of 30-32%--greater than what might be expected, given average success rates of other self-help interventions. This study also supports the notion that women may face additional barriers to smoking cessation. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
- Autonomic Balance and Control of Stress for Participants Identified as High or Low Hostile and as Having a Positive or No Family History of Cardiovascular Disease
- The influence of autonomic activation in response to controllable versus noncontrollable stress, anger imagery induction, and relaxation imagery was studied among 80 participants between the ages of 18 and 34. Participants differed in level of trait hostility as assessed by the Irritability Subscale of The Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (Buss & Durkee,1957) and the Ho scale of the Cook-Medley Hostility Inventory (Cook & Medley, 1954). Groups were further subdivided with regards to either having a positive family history of cardiovascular disease or having no significant history. Results were obtained through analyses of electrocardiograph R-R intervals which produced an index of autonomic nervous system activation. Findings supported hypotheses involving the relations between autonomic balance and stress and hostility for the female and male populations. Among both populations, parasympathetic regulation was diminished during anger induction for individuals with high levels of trait hostility and having a family history of cardiovascular disease. Similar results were obtained for men during relaxation imagery induction.
- Treatment efficacy in a chronic pain population: Pre- to post-treatment.
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The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of a multidisciplinary pain management program on five measures of subjective psychosocial factors. Ninety-five participants in the comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment group and the standard medical intervention control group were surveyed about various psychosocial factors using Axis II of the West Haven - Yale Multidimensional Pain Inventory (MPI), pre- to post-treatment. It was hypothesized that post-treatment levels would be significantly lower than pre-treatment levels for all five psychosocial variables. Additionally, gender and ethnicity variables were examined. Based on preliminary analyses indicating pre-treatment differences between the experimental and control group, five 2 x 2 x 3 analyses of covariances (ANCOVAs) were used to examine the above hypotheses. Results indicated significant differences between the treatment conditions on measures of control, with the comprehensive group feeling more in control than the standard group at post-treatment. No other significant main effects for treatment condition were found on the measures of pain severity, interference with daily activities, negative mood, or social support. However, a significant gender main effect was found for social support at post-treatment, with females reporting more social support than males. A significant gender x ethnicity interaction was also found for post-treatment control, with African-American females exhibiting higher levels of control than the other groups. Finally, a significant gender x treatment condition was found for negative mood, with males in the comprehensive group reporting more affective distress than those in the standard group. In this study, control appeared to be an integral factor in the chronic pain sample and greatly improved with comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment; while other areas of relative efficacy were not confirmed in this population.
- Neurocognitive Variables Underlying Group Performance on a Measure of Effort: The Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT)
- This study utilized the Medical Symptom Validity Test (MSVT) and a set of standard neuropsychological instruments to determine the underlying construct of the MSVT that accounts for effort in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) patients by comparing/contrasting mTBI with dementia and an analog simulation. The results indicate that a common underlying neurocognitive construct (memory) exists between mTBI and dementia patients, which may account for poor effort as measured by the MSVT. Other underlying factors emerged for both groups, though they did not point to a common construct. This finding suggests that the overall effect of brain injury in neurologically impaired groups also impacts effort performance as measured by the MSVT. Similarly impaired performance patterns also emerged between mTBI and dementia groups in sub-groups that failed effort measures. Thus, failed effort tests may be a function of more pronounced deficits in these groups, rather than a function of effort. Finally, although similar effort profiles were noted between mTBI and analog simulators, the analog group was unable to mimic the neurocognitive effects of mTBI.
- The effectiveness of the Geriatric Depression Scale to distinguish apathy from depression in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias.
- Early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias in the elderly is critical for improving treatment methods and is a necessary component for improving public health interventions. One of the earliest and most common behavioral syndromes of AD is apathy and is associated with executive dysfunction. Apathy in AD is often misdiagnosed as depression due to an overlap in symptoms. Studies that have found depression to be associated with executive dysfunction have not always controlled for the presence of apathy. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a widely used instrument designed to assess depression in the elderly. This study utilized the GDS and a set of standard neuropsychological instruments to investigate the relationship between apathy, depression, and executive functions in individuals with AD and related dementias. The first objective of this study was to determine if apathy has a greater impact on executive functions compared to depression in AD and related dementias. The second objective was to determine the effectiveness of the GDS as a screen for apathy. The results of the analyses did not support the hypotheses. However, exploratory analyses suggested a possible non-linear relationship with apathy and various levels of dementia severity. Exploratory analysis also suggested mean levels of endorsement for apathy varied by diagnosis. Further research is warranted to investigate this relationship and the GDS endorsement patterns for caregivers regarding their impression of the demented individual.
- Cognitive Dysfunction in Middle-Aged Adults vs. Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- The presence of cognitive deficits in obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is well-documented. Specifically, short- and long-term memory, attention/vigilance, and executive function (e.g. processing speed, mental flexibility, and problem solving) are affected. Cognitive deficits in aging occur in similar areas (i.e., memory and processing speed). Given that a greater percentage of older adults experience sleep-disordered breathing as compared to middle-aged adults, it is possible that OSA may account for some of the deficits typically attributed to aging. This study investigated this hypothesis by comparing middle-aged and older adults with and without OSA on computer-based measures of cognitive performance. No effect of OSA or an interaction between OSA and age on cognitive function was found; an effect of age on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, attention, spatial ability/mental flexibility, and both working memory and short-term visual memory was found. This study also explored whether or not cognitive function may be improved in persons with OSA by re-assessing those participants one month after treatment. An effect of treatment on improvements on processing speed, distinguishing stimuli rapidly, mental flexibility, and short term memory was found. Overall, findings reflect the ability of treatment to improve cognitive function among OSA patients, regardless of lack of deficits when compared to those without OSA.
- Development and Psychometric Validation of the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory
- The present study contributes to the widening body of spirituality research by conceptualizing it as a state-trait construct. A new measure of spirituality, the State-Trait Spirituality Inventory (STSI), was created and validated according to psychometric methods of test construction. In its current form, the STSI contains seven state spirituality items and six trait spirituality items. A thorough review of the literature identified common themes in spirituality definitions and assisted in developing definitions of trait and state spirituality. Internal consistency for the trait scale was .88 and for the state scale, .68. Good test-retest reliability was found with coefficients of .84 for trait spirituality and .81 for state spirituality. Results from a preliminary undergraduate sample as well as from the validation sample yielded a two-factor solution. In general, items determined by expert panels as trait items loaded on one factor and items deemed to be state items loaded on the second factor. Multitrait multimethod analysis yielded mixed findings for convergent, divergent, and concurrent validity for the spirituality and religiosity traits. Methods consisted of paper-and-pencil cognitive and behavioral measures. Cognitive measures were more likely to support convergent/divergent validity than were behavioral measures. A major emphasis in the study was to determine whether state and/or trait spirituality were able to predict current health status and provide evidence for predictive validity. Positive relationships were identified between trait spirituality and the mental health measures of the Short Form-36® (SF-36). In contrast, it was negatively related to the Role-Physical scale. State spirituality was inversely related to the Physical Component scale. These findings are discussed within the context of minimal research using the SF-36 and spirituality measures. The MTMM analysis was limited by available spirituality and religiosity measures that contain only cognitive or behavioral items. Suggestions for future research are offered.
- Predictors of Hiv-related Neurocognitive Impairment in an Hiv/aids Population
- Although, in the United States HIV infectivity has increased, survival rates have also improved due to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). Adherence to HAART successfully prevents the progression of AIDS and AIDS-related morbidity for many living with HIV. Unfortunately, HAART’s permeability into the central nervous system (CNS) is limited; thus, the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still persists. The health belief model (HBM) is the theory often used to explain and predict behavior in relation to chronic illness. This model incorporates perceptions of susceptibility, vulnerability, and severity towards a particular illness, and beliefs regarding perceived efficacy and benefits of treatment. This study expands the existing model. Many who live with HIV have a long history of negative experiences, such as stigmatization, traumatic events, and discrimination. I examined supplementary psychosocial and physiological predictor variables, such as stigma, trauma, ethnicity, general medical conditions, HIV-opportunistic infections, and falls; all relevant to disease progression in HIV. Previous researchers found links between stigma and immune function, trauma and memory, ethnicity and neuropsychological impairment, and symptom load and CNS-related alterations. Therefore, this study examined how these different psychosocial predictor variables are associated with HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. My model explained 38.6% of the variance in the outcome variable, and I found that trauma (B = -.15, OR = .87; CI 95% = .75, 1.0, p = .05), ethnicity (B = 2.2, OR = 9.0, CI 95% = 1.68, 48.48, p =.01), general medical conditions (B = .30, OR = 1.34; CI 95% = 1.0, 1.81, p = .05), and falls (B = 2.0, OR = 7.2; CI 95% = 1.1, 47.0, p = .04), were all significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. However, contrary to my hypothesis, HIV-related opportunistic infections and HIV-related stigma were not significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. I hope that my results will contribute to revisions of older health models as well as suggest avenues for primary and secondary prevention and intervention to address those living with HIV/AIDS.
- QEEG and LORETA findings in children with histories of relational trauma.
- Abuse and neglect occurring in childhood have been associated with a number of functional and physiological effects on the brain. This study extends previous research that investigated the quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) patterns in children with histories of relational trauma through the inclusion of additional participants and measures. As in previous studies, the relative power, absolute power, and coherence values in children with histories of abuse were compared to the Neuroguide database. Results did not show any significant differences in relative or absolute power in the theta range. Similarly, there were no significant coherence differences. Database comparisons were also made using low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) in order to determine which sub-cortical brain structures may be affected by abuse or trauma, though there were no significant differences in any frequency (0-30Hz). A review of the literature suggests that the prevalence of mu in normal adults and children ranges from 0 to 19%. The present study found a mu prevalence rate of 60.6% in the children who experienced abuse or neglect. Finally, comparisons were made between participants who demonstrate a mu pattern and those who do not to determine if this pattern is associated with certain behavioral and/or attention problems as assessed by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Tests of Variables of Attention (TOVA), respectively. There were no significant differences between children with a mu pattern versus children who did not exhibit a mu pattern on the Social Problems, Thought Problems, or Attention subscale scores on the CBCL or on the Commission subscale score on the TOVA.
- Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy
- This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research.
- Transportation trauma and psychological morbidity: Anxiety, depression, PTSD and perceived control in a hospitalized sample.
- Transportation-related collisions are ubiquitous and often traumatic. Identifying post-collision psychological distress and the characteristics of the collision survivor that lead to distress are vital to the development of early and appropriate interventions. The goals of this study were: 1) to use a questionnaire as opposed to a typical diagnostic interview, 2) to confirm that psychological distress is present in currently hospitalized transportation-related collision survivors, 3) to confirm that different types of distress co-occur, 4) to determine if distress is more likely to occur in those who have had prior distress, and 5) to explore the relationship between symptoms of distress and perception of control by self, others, and God/Higher Power of past, present, and future collision-related events. Subjects were 100 English speaking adult inpatients, 16 years and older, who were less than 3 weeks post-injury, and receiving some rehabilitation. Participants completed a questionnaire which included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS) as well as questions regarding demographics, details of the collision/injury, alcohol/drug use, pain, past and present stressors, social support, and perceptions of life change. Information about head injury and collision-concurrent alcohol and/or drug use was collected from the patient's medical chart. Compared to other traumatic experiences (e.g., physical/sexual abuse, war combat), transportation-related collisions share the characteristics of being sudden, unexpected, relatively brief in duration, and potentially lethal. Prior studies used diagnostic interviews to identify psychological distress in post hospitalized collision survivors. This study used questionnaire-based depression, anxiety, and trauma symptom inventories in a currently hospitalized sample and included head injured patients. As hypothesized there was a significant correlation between the CES-D total score and the BAI total score [Hypothesis 1], the DTS total score [Hypothesis 2], and collision concurrent alcohol and/or drug use (as indicated by medical chart records or score on the CAGE) [Hypothesis 3]. Further, there was a significant correlation between the patient's self-reported history of depression, anxiety, or stress reaction and CES-D, BAI, and DTS total scores, respectively [Hypothesis 4]. Also as hypothesized, perceived personal control of the past "events that caused the collision" was significantly correlated with the CES-D total score [Hypothesis 5] while perceived control of the present "life in general right now" was negatively correlated to the CES-D total score [Hypothesis 6]. Contrary to hypothesis, perceived control of the present "recovery process right now" was not correlated to the CES-D total score [Hypothesis 6] nor was perceived control of the future "preventing a collision like this from happening...again" [Hypothesis 7]. Perception of control by "others" of the present "recovery process right now" was negatively correlated to the CES-D total score. Results support the theory that perceived personal control of past traumatic events increases the likelihood of psychological distress. Some evidence of post traumatic growth was found.
- Treatment Effects Related to EEG-Biofeedback for Crack Cocaine Dependency: Changes in Personality and Attentional Variables
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EEG biofeedback (neurotherapy) has been demonstrated as effective in the treatment of alcoholism, as evidenced by Peniston and Kulkosky's research efforts. These neurotherapy pioneers evaluated the efficacy of alpha-theta brain wave biofeedback as a treatment for chronic alcohol abuse, citing 80% abstinence rates as measured by improvements in psychopathology, serum beta endorphin levels, and long-term alcohol abstinence. Most research with alpha-theta EEG biofeedback has addressed alcohol addiction. Cocaine is now considered to be the most common drug problem of patients entering treatment for drug abuse. To date, only one controlled study has been published that researched alpha-theta neurofeedback in the treatment of "crack" cocaine addiction. The present study was an extension of a 4-year EEG-biofeedback treatment outcome project underway at a faith-based homeless mission in Houston, Texas, with male "crack" cocaine addicts. Changes in personality, attention, and impulsivity were measured following 30 sessions of a non-individualized EEG -biofeedback protocol. Experimental subjects received a variant of the Peniston-Kulkosky alpha-theta protocol for 30 sessions while controls received all elements of the experimental protocol except the EEG biofeedback. Assessment measures included the MMPI-2 and the IVA. Although experimental subjects showed greater mean improvement on most MMPI basic scales and all IVA Attention related measures, results indicated no significant differences between control and experimental groups. The present study did not result in significant differences between control and experimental groups on attentional or personality variables in crack cocaine addicts. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed.
- Use of the Beck Depression Inventory in Northern Brazil
- The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a popular screening and research instrument for measuring severity of depression. The instrument was translated to Portuguese for use in Brazil in 1979; however, it was not until recently that its psychometric properties have been tested empirically for the Brazilian population. The purpose of the present study was to explore the BDI's psychometric properties in a northern region of Brazil and to test for possible relationships between certain demographic variables and BDI outcomes. Samples used in this study were from an urban area in Roraima, the northernmost state of Brazil. The BDI showed adequate levels of internal consistency in nonclinical and clinical samples. Female respondents had significantly higher scores than male respondents. Those who had lower levels of education, income, or occupational status had significantly higher scores than those with higher levels of these variables. Adolescents had significantly higher scores than adults from all age groups except those from age 19 to 22. No significant difference was found between those who identified themselves as “indigenous” and those who identified themselves as “non-indigenous.” Regression analysis results showed that the combination of gender, education, and age best accounted for the variance in BDI scores. An ANCOVA revealed that clinically depressed adults had significantly higher BDI scores than nonclinically depressed adults. Factor analysis results showed that there were two main factors in the item structure for both female respondents and male and female respondents combined: one factor of mainly cognitive-affective items and the other factor of mainly somatic items. The results were discussed in terms of the future use of the BDI in Brazil.
- Women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk: Cancer worry, psychological distress, and risk recall accuracy.
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This follows an earlier study of the same data set, which, through its findings, presented new questions that are investigated in this study. Both studies used a prospective controlled design, wherein women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk were randomized into two groups. Subjects receiving an audiotaped recording of their genetic consultation (tape group) were compared to subjects who also had a genetic consultation but did not receive an audiotaped recording of it (no-tape group). Participants were drawn from attendees at the genetic clinics of two London hospitals and included 115 women with a family history of breast cancer. Cancer worry and psychological distress were assessed before genetic consultation (baseline), and at one- and six-month follow-ups by post. Objective risk was estimated by the geneticist during the consultation, and subjective risk was assessed at one month follow-up. The goals of the current study were to investigate relationships between cancer worry, psychological distress, and recall of genetic risk for breast cancer in a sample of women receiving genetic counseling for breast cancer risk, and to investigate the role sociodemographic variables on cancer worry, psychological distress, or risk recall for these women. Results for this sample of women with a family history of breast cancer found that there were consistent relationships between cancer worry, psychological distress, objective risk, and subjective risk before and after genetic consultation. This suggests that women=s psychological responses are appropriate to their level of cancer risk. There were no differences found between the tape and no-tape groups for objective or subjective risk, or for nearness of recall accuracy or degree of under-/over-estimation. Provision of an audiotaped recording of the genetic consultation did not appear to enhance recall of risk information. The role of sociodemographic variables on the psychological and risk variables assessed in this study was very minor. Age was mildly correlated with cancer worry, and employment was predictive of cancer worry only at baseline.
- Role of Parental Anxiety on Pediatric Feeding Disorders
- The proposed study examined the relationship between parental anxiety, measured both subjectively (via self-report questionnaires) and objectively (via salivary cortisol) and the child's feeding progress. Children diagnosed with a feeding disorder were recruited with their parents at Our Children's House at Baylor (n=19; 11 females, 8 males). The patients and their parents were housed in the clinic for an eight-week intensive multidisciplinary pediatric feeding disorder treatment program. Calorie intake was recorded daily as outcome measures of treatment progression. Parental anxiety was measured by the Pediatric Inventory for Parents (PIP), state anxiety on the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and by salivary cortisol at three different time points. The present study attempted to examine whether parental feeding (phase three of treatment program) would continue to cause a decrease in the child's caloric intake. In averaging ten meals prior to parental feeding in comparison to the average of ten meals following parental feeding, there was no significant difference as measured by a t-test. Paired t-tests examined parental anxiety from time one to time two and found that salivary cortisol increased significantly t(15) = -6.07, p = .000 from Time 1 (M = 2.30, SD = 1.64) to Time 2 (M = 5.24, SD = 2.58). This demonstrated that while parental anxiety increased as measured by salivary cortisol, the children continued to make improvements. This may be the result of the multidisciplinary feeding program which encompassed a strong behavioral component and parent training. Even though the current results did not demonstrate a direct relationship between parental stress and caloric intake, parental stress as measured by salivary cortisol did increase.
- Pathophysiology and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in the Progression of Metabolic Syndrome
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Disparities exist in the U.S. between the health status of African American and Hispanic individuals and the health status of non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals across all age groups. Those minority individuals age 55 and over are more likely to suffer from specific health disparities in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer than their white majority counterparts. Among the most common chronic disorders experienced within this age group are obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all three of which collectively form what has recently become known as metabolic syndrome. As of 2004, metabolic syndrome is diagnosable once criteria are clinically significant for a variety of different risk factors designated by the World Health Organization. However, like many syndromes these criteria are not stable across individuals, and leaves variability between individuals being diagnosed. It has been seen that each of the above mentioned racial/ethnic groups experience the individual risk factors at disproportionate rates, making it plausible that metabolic syndrome could be experienced in distinctly different ways depending upon racial/ethnic background. Using two nationally representative data sets, it is first largely evident that African American and Hispanic individuals are reaching higher peak rates of diabetes and cardiovascular disease much earlier in age than are non-Hispanic Caucasian individuals. The study goes on to reveals that the metabolic syndrome appears to follow one underlying progressive syndrome that begins with obesity and progresses towards heart disease. Each of the racial/ethnic groups experience significantly different progressions of the syndrome across time. Behavioral analysis found significant differences in health behaviors across the three groups; however a more pervasive lack of initiative in practicing preventive health behaviors is also present. The study achieved a higher understanding of individual differences within metabolic syndrome and insight into how and at what time in the lifespan health services can be most beneficial in providing preventive services to culturally diverse populations.
- Pediatric Feeding Disorders: A Controlled Comparison of Multidisciplinary Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment of Gastrostomy Tube Dependent Children
- The efficacy of multidisciplinary inpatient and outpatient treatment for transitioning children with severe pediatric feeding disorders from gastrostomy tube dependency to oral nutrition was investigated utilizing caloric and fluid intakes as an outcome measure. The study involved 29 children ages 12 months to 5 years of age with gastrostomy tube dependency. Treatments were provided by speech therapists, occupational therapist, dietician and psychologist for a 30 day period. Four treatment groups were evaluated and average intakes compared at 4 observation periods including pretreatment, initiation of treatment, completion of treatment at 30 days and 4 month follow-up. Children receiving inpatient treatment for feeding disorders evidenced significant differences in oral caloric intake from pretreatment to discharge than outpatient treatment (p < .01) and wait list control group (p = .04). Oral caloric intake from discharge to 4 month follow up yielded no significant differences indicating treatment gains were maintained. Change in environment and caretaker showed a significant effect for the inpatient group (d = 1.89). Effects of treatment by age and weight at 4 month follow up were also analyzed.
- Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex
- The aim of this research was to investigate the role of sex, ethnicity and cognitive appraisals, separately and in combination, on the physiological stress response. One hundred and eight undergraduate students from two North Texas universities participated in the study. They were subjected to a laboratory stressor and heart rate, peripheral temperature and cortisol levels were measured pre-, during-, and post- stressor. Perceived stress and cognitive appraisals were measured via self-report. Multivariate analysis of variance tests were conducted to analyze the main and interaction effects during baseline, reactivity and post-stress recovery. Results indicated some significant main effects for sex and ethnicity but no consistent pattern of results or interactions among variables were revealed. The study's implications and areas of future research are discussed.
- An item response theory analysis of the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Task.
- The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Task (ROCFT) has been a standard in neuropsychological assessment for six decades. Many researchers have contributed administration procedures, additional scoring systems and normative data to improve its utility. Despite the abundance of research, the original 36-point scoring system still reigns among clinicians despite documented problems with ceiling and floor effects and poor discrimination between levels of impairment. This study is an attempt to provide a new method based upon item response theory that will allow clinicians to better describe the impairment levels of their patients. Through estimation of item characteristic curves, underlying traits can be estimated while taking into account varying levels of difficulty and discrimination within the set of individual items. The ultimate goal of the current research is identification of a subset of ROCFT items that can be examined in addition to total scores to provide an extra level of information for clinicians, particularly when they are faced with a need to discriminate severely and mildly impaired patients.
- Natural Course of Adolescent Insomnia: Patterns and Consequences
- Approximately 2-11% of adolescents report chronic insomnia. The study used an archival data set from ADDHealth that assessed adolescent health and health-related behaviors. Adolescents (N = 4102) provided data at baseline (Time 1) and at 1-year follow-up (Time 2). Participants were excluded if no ethnicity, gender, or insomnia data were given at Time 1 or 2. Females were more likely to report insomnia than males at Times 1 and 2. In addition, adolescents with remitted insomnia were significantly younger than adolescents without insomnia at Times 1 and 2. Analyses found a prevalence of 9.6%, a remittance of 6.2%, an incidence of 4.4%, and a chronicity of 2.9%. At Time 1 and 2, AWI were significantly more likely to have depression, suicidal behaviors, and behavioral problems in school than AWOI. At Time 2, incidence and chronic insomnia increased the risk of depression, suicidal behaviors and behavioral problems in school. Risk and protective factors analyses indicated psychological counseling was associated with both remitted and chronic insomnia and depression was associated with incidence insomnia.
- The relationship between racial discrimination induced anger and smoking among Black adolescents.
- This study explored whether a relationship exists between smoking behaviors and racial discrimination induced anger among Black adolescents. Participants consisted of 134 Black adolescents from 14 to 18 years of age who frequently visited a recreation center in the Northeast. Forty-four participants were males and 90 were females. All participants were administered a modified version of the CAGE questionnaire, a background information questionnaire, and a measure designed to assess the extent to which they feel angry because they had been discriminated against. Only age was found to be predictive of scores on the CAGE. Only gender was found to be predictive of smoking frequency. The Black Anger Measure (BAM) was significantly correlated with smoking behaviors. Some implications for theory, research and practice are suggested.
- NEPSY profiles in children diagnosed with different ADHD subtypes.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) subtypes (predominantly hyperactive/impulsive, ADHD-HI; predominantly inattentive, ADHD-IA; combined, ADHD-C) exhibit distinct neuropsychological profiles, using the Attention and Executive Function subtests of the Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment, (NEPSY) and the omission and commission scores obtained on the Conners' Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II), a test that assesses attention processes. The sample was selected using archival data collected in a neurodevelopmental clinic over the past decade and consisted of 138 children between the ages of 6 and 12 years old. Using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.) (DSM-IV) criteria, the children were placed in either the ADHD-HI (n = 40), ADHD-IA (n = 35), or ADHD-C (n = 36) group, or a symptom free comparison group (n = 27). It was hypothesized that children with elevations on the impulsivity/ hyperactivity (ADHD-HI and ADHD-C) scale would be impaired on measures of inhibition and those with elevations on the inattention scale (ADHD-IA and ADHD-C) would be impaired on tests of attention, vigilance, and other executive functions. A one-way multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) was conducted (Group X Task), with significant results for overall main effect for group on the 7 dependent variables post hoc tests using the Tukey's honestly significant difference (HSD) revealed the following: the ADHD-HI group scored significantly lower on tests that require behavioral inhibition processes (Knock and Tap, Statue and CPT-Commission errors). The ADHD-IA group scored significantly lower on tests of problem-solving and planning (Tower) but not on tests of attention as was expected. The ADHD-C group scored significantly lower on tests of inhibition, attention, and other executive functions (Auditory Attention Response Set, Visual Attention, Tower, Knock and Tap, Statue, and CPT-Omission and CPT-Commission errors). Overall results suggest that the NEPSY Attention and Executive Function subtests are able to differentiate ADHD subtypes. Recommendations for future research are discussed.
- Predictors of Successful Aging: Associations between Social Network Patterns, Life Satisfaction, Depression, Subjective Health, and Leisure Time Activity for Older Adults in India
- Aging in the new millennium is greatly influenced by both global and region-specific factors. In Asia, the aged population is increasing at a faster rate than both Europe and North America, making issues related to older adults needing immediate attention of researchers & planners. This study aims at identifying the predictors of successful aging. Successful aging as a construct often has an integration of good social engagement, sense of purpose in life, maintaining cognitive capacity and functional autonomy. One hundred fifty participants in India completed the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire, Geriatric Depression Scale, Health Awareness Schedule, and the Leisure Time Activity Record. Firstly, it is mainly evident that social support network is larger for older adults residing in a joint family as compared to a nuclear family setup. Further, married males in a joint family have the largest network size compared to all the other groups. The study however, reveals an interesting reverse trend of widowed females having a larger network size compared to widowed males. Statistical analysis found measures of successful aging to be highly correlated with each other, with subjective health and depression being significant predictors of life satisfaction. Further, life satisfaction, depression levels, and leisure time activities were all significant predictors of subjective health. Significant gender differences were found on life satisfaction and subjective health with married males living in joint families reporting the highest scores on all the above measures. In addition, widowed women showed the highest levels of depression, which relates to their lower life satisfaction, poor ratings of health and low involvement in leisure activities. The study achieved a higher understanding of successful aging and presented a novel finding of educational level being significantly correlated with all measures of successful aging. This study is the first of its kind to measure successful aging in an urban Asian-Indian population. However, more research is needed to examine other age-related variations to enable generalization of results to a larger culturally diverse population.
- Health message framing : motivating cardiovascular risk factor screening in young adults.
- As the leading cause of death in the United States, coronary heart disease (CHD) is a growing public health problem, despite the fact that many risk factors for the disease are preventable, especially if addressed early in life. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of loss-framed versus gain-framed versus information-only health messages on both intention to attend and actual attendance at an appointment to get screened for CHD risk factors (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia). It was hypothesized that a population of young adults would be more likely to view screening for CHD risk factors as a low-risk, health-affirming behavior as opposed to a risky, illness-detecting behavior and would thus be more strongly influenced by gain-framed messages than loss-framed messages. Additional goals included the exploration of the extensively researched individual health beliefs of perceived threat (as defined by the health belief model) and health locus of control as they relate to message frames. One hundred forty-three undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either the loss-framed, gain-framed, or information-only control conditions. Framing manipulation checks revealed that participants failed to discern differences in the tone and emphasis of the experimental pamphlets. As a result, no tests of framing effects could be conducted. Sixteen (11.2%) of the 143 participants who participated in Part 1 of the experiment participated in Part 2 (i.e., attended a risk factor screening appointment). Multiple regression analysis revealed risk index, age, and powerful others health locus of control as significant predictors of screening intention. Gender was the only demographic or health related variable that was significantly related to screening outcome, such that women were more likely to get screened than men. Limitations and recommendations are discussed.
- Influence of executive function on medication adherence in neurologically impaired and non-impaired elderly.
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Medication non-compliance has become one of the most prevalent reasons for hospitalization and doctor's visits by the elderly. As the elderly population is more likely to have decreased cognitive abilities, it is suggested that neuropsychological factors, especially executive function, are more influential in medication non-compliance than once thought. This study looked at executive function performance on a traditional battery of neuropsychological tests, self-report of perceived ability to perform executive function tasks, and the newly developed Pillbox Test, a performance based IADL measure. The Pillbox Test is designed to replicate a type of medication-management specific IADL as a means to asses executive function. Standard executive function measures only tap a portion of executive function, but it is believed that the Pillbox Test incorporates all four theoretical domains of executive function. The multiple measures of executive function performance were compared in three prevalent subgroups of the elderly population (mixed neurological group, cardiac medical-control group, and healthy community-control group). Results found significant differences, where the community-control and cardiac groups outperformed the mixed neurological group on the large majority of executive function tasks. Smaller differences were also noted between the community-control and cardiac groups and between the cardiac and mixed neurological groups. Together, these findings provide support for the diagnostic prevalence of mild cognitive impairment in the older adult cardiac population. Results also indicated the level of executive dysfunction on standardized neuropsychological measures was highly correlated with performance on both the Pillbox Test and the IADL based Direct Assessment of Functional Status measure. Finally, the Pillbox Test has moderate to strong ecological validity with 75% sensitivity and 87.5% specificity for five or more errors on this test.
- Cardiovascular problems as a predictor of later cognitive decline: moderating effect of general and spousal social support.
- Individuals are living longer now than they have in the past. As a result, there is an increased incidence in illnesses that are more prevalent in later life. One group of illnesses that is more prevalent is age related dementia. Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are two common types of dementia found in the older adult population. Recent research suggests that these two types of dementia may both have a vascular component that is instrumental in their development. Not only may this vascular component be present in both these illnesses, but also it may be related to a more severe cognitive decline in the aging process. Results indicate that both cardiovascular disease and general and spousal social support in middle age are all three independent significant predictors of mild cognitive impairment and other non-normative cognitive impairment in later life. However, results do not indicate that social support moderates the relationship between cardiovascular disease and cognition.
- Cognitive differences between congenitally and adventitiously blind individuals.
- It is apparent from the historical perspective regarding the theories of cognitive development and the cognitive functioning of individuals with visual impairments, that sight plays a major role in the development of certain cognitive processes. However, the affects of visual impairment on cognitive development remain to be at issue. Since sight seems to be highly integral in cognitive development beginning in the early stages of physical development, about the sixth month of life, and then begins to diminish in importance as verbal communication develops around eighteen months, then it should stand to reason that significant visual impairment or blindness occurring prior to this time would adversely impact an individual's cognitive development. Conversely, the occurrence of visual impairment or blindness after this critical period of development would have less of an impact. Cognitive theorists have proposed that visually impaired or blind persons may have developed different cognitive pathways to acquire, process, and accommodate sensory information. As a result, visually impaired or blind (VI/B) persons may "think differently" than sighted individuals. The present study was designed to address these issues as they relate to cognitive and neuropsychological development at various stages of growth and to examine possible differences in neuropsychological functioning dependent on the level of visual functioning a person retains; e.g. both the issues of age at onset and degree of impairment. It was also designed to study the possible interaction effects of degree of impairment with the age of onset. Findings indicated that the only differences in cognitive functioning appear to be related to age of onset and not the level of visual impairment. The findings further suggested that congenitally blind individuals have indeed developed alternate methods of cognitively processing nonverbal, abstract, or complex information, especially information involving a high degree of spatial orientation. Implications of this study may influence the educational methods used to teach congenitally blind individuals in order to reinforce these alternate pathways and facilitate more effective means of negotiating in a sighted environment.
- Differences in perceptual-motor functioning between blind and sighted adults: A neuropsychological perspective.
- The purpose of the study was to explore perceptual-motor differences between blind and sighted adults from a neuropsychological perspective, and to analyze differences within the blind group. Perceptual-motor abilities were examined using the Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES), a vocational rehabilitation and neuropsychological battery designed for use with blind populations. The data were processed using Analysis of Covariance. Results showed that sighted persons had better motor abilities, while persons with blindness were more skilled at haptic identification of shape and texture. Analysis within the blind group showed that texture identification skills are better when blindness occurs earlier in life and to the extent that the blindness is total. Later onset blindness and the retention of some functional vision may not lead to a refocusing of attentional states necessary to develop haptic images. New neural connections may develop in persons with congenital/total blindness, a hypothesis in line with recent neuroradiological findings that occipital lobe activation occurs when congenitally blind individuals engage in tactile processing tasks. One implication of the findings is that teaching individuals who retain some functional vision to read Braille is probably counterproductive. These individuals would be better served by learning to use a CCTV and large print books. Future researchers should examine blindness from a multivariate perspective, examining subsets of blind groups based on age at onset, visual status, and other pertinent variables. Other implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided.
- The Effect of a Brief Acceptance-Based Protocol on Health Related Relational Framing
- Behavior analysts who study verbal behavior theorize that people derive relationships between stimuli - forming stimulus classes such that psychological functions transfer among stimuli and therefore affect behavior. Verbal processes are thought to play a role in cancer patients' behavioral flexibility. The current study examined if an analogue intervention produced changes in relations between health-relevant stimuli from pre- to post-test in patient and student samples. A matching-to-sample (MTS) task required participants to form three 4-member classes that included health, treatment, or neutral terms. Participants next listened to either an acceptance-based or a control-based rationale and therapy exercise, or a distracter task. Then, they were re-exposed to the MTS task. Latencies and accuracies for learning each class as well as between condition differences were examined. Finally, changes in ratings of stimuli from pre to post analogues were measured. Differences in stimuli ratings were seen in the student sample, reflecting transfer of function and some reduction in responsiveness to stimuli following intervention, but overall no learning performances are found. Discussion explores the consistency of the findings with acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) theory in light of the seemingly lack of findings.