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 Department: Department of Psychology
Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

Date: August 2014
Creator: Heath, Christopher J.
Description: Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in ...
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Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients

Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients

Date: May 2011
Creator: Payne, Joshua W.
Description: Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores ...
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Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test

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

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

Assessment of Malingering in a Jail Referral Population : Screening and Comprehensive Evaluation

Date: August 1997
Creator: Ustad, Karen L. (Karen Lee)
Description: Psychological assessment of mentally disordered offenders requires a systematic consideration of response styles, including malingering and defensiveness. Important components of these evaluations are standardized diagnostic interviews. However, the ability of offenders to feign mental disorders on such measures to achieve such external incentives as treatment, placement on safer units, or possible release from jail remains uninvestigated. With a known-groups comparison with the data from the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms as a criterion, 24 suspected malingerers were compared to 64 genuine patients on the Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS), the abbreviated SADS-C, the Suicide Probability Scale, and the Referral Decision Scale.
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Assessment of Psychopathy in Incarcerated Females

Assessment of Psychopathy in Incarcerated Females

Date: August 2001
Creator: Jackson, Rebecca L.
Description: Psychopaths constitute only an estimated 1% of the population, yet they are responsible for a disproportionately large number of violent and nonviolent crimes. The literature addressing this syndrome among male offenders is quite extensive. In contrast, psychopathy and its underlying factor structure remains understudied among female offenders. Research has suggested marked gender differences in the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and underlying dimensions of psychopathy. This study examined the dimensions of psychopathy in a female offender sample. The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised and the Self Report Psychopathy-II (SRP-II) were administered to 119 female inmates at Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, TX. Confirmatory factor analyses of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) did not support the use of the traditional two factor male model or a recently proposed two- factor female model. This thesis also addressed females' self-appraisal of PCL-R Factor 1 characteristics as well as the usefulness of the self-administered Self-Report Psychopathy-II as a screen for psychopathy.
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Assessment of the Effects of Interpersonal Openness and Coping Resources on the Psychological Sequelae of Traumatic Victimization

Assessment of the Effects of Interpersonal Openness and Coping Resources on the Psychological Sequelae of Traumatic Victimization

Date: December 2000
Creator: Sedillo, Diane Marie
Description: The present study tested a model addressing whether interpersonal Openness and interpersonal and intrapersonal Coping Resources mediated the relationship between interpersonal Victimization and the Psychological Symptoms women experience as a result of these traumas. Victimization indicators (physical violence, sexual assault, psychological abuse, and revictimization), Coping indicators (optimism, self-esteem, private self-consciousness, social network and therapy), Openness indicators (self-silencing, communal orientation, trust, self-monitoring, and network orientation), and Psychological Symptoms indicators (global distress, dissociation, and suicidal ideation) were examined separately for African American (n = 245), Euro-American (n = 185), and Mexican American (n = 202) women. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that for African American and Euro-American women, Openness partially mediated the victimization-distress relationship. The model for Mexican Americans was the most complex with Openness and intrapersonal Coping fully mediating the psychological effects of victimization. Approximately 50% of the variance in psychological symptoms resulting from victimization was predicted by this model for African American and Euro-American women; over 80% of the variance was predicted for Mexican Americans. Thus, the importance of Openness to relationships in alleviating the psychological sequelae following interpersonal victimization was underscored by the results. Similarities and differences between these models are discussed. Implications of the results for future research and ...
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Association Between Cognition and Depression: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.

Association Between Cognition and Depression: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.

Date: August 2003
Creator: Schraufnagel, Caitlin D.
Description: Over the past twenty years the number of children identified with learning disabilities has risen drastically. In addition, 26 - 40% of these children also experience depression. While cognitive functioning has been demonstrated to be associated with depression, it is unclear whether the mood, vegetative, or cognitive symptoms of depression predict particular cognitive processes and vice versa. The purpose of this study was to determine which particular cognitive processes were associated with specific depressive symptoms and depression as a whole. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test a model which examined how three cognitive processing factors (verbal & visual reasoning, and attention/working memory) were associated with three depressive symptom factors (disturbances in mood, vegetative, and cognitive functioning). The data for SEM came from a large data set of children with learning disabilities (n=227). Model fit results supported the proposed model, and a significant association was found between the attention/working memory factor and the depression symptom factor reflecting disturbances in cognitive functioning. Less robust relationships were observed between verbal reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms and an approach toward the conventional level of significance was noted between visual reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms. Using a sub-sample of original participants who were ...
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Association Between Folate, Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Performance in Demented Elderly.

Association Between Folate, Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Performance in Demented Elderly.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Serova, Svetlana
Description: Dementia is prevalent among elderly people. As the world population ages, it is projected that the number of people affected by dementia may triple in the next 50 years. Over the last two decades, research has focused on identifying potentially modifiable risk factors in development and progression of dementia, such as vitamin B12 and folate. Results concerning the effects of low folate and vitamin B12 on cognitive performance are mixed. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of vitamin deficiency on cognitive functioning in a clinical sample of elderly individuals with cognitive problems using a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. A retrospective chart-review was performed on the 102 records of patients from the Geriatrics Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who presented with cognitive deficits. Charts were reviewed to obtain data on vitamin supplementation, vitamin status, history of chronic conditions and other biochemical data. The available database was used to obtain data on neuropsychological assessment. The study demonstrated mild association between vitamin B12 and folate status and cognitive deficits. There appeared to be a higher cut-off level that is above the traditionally used levels for vitamin B12 and folate deficiency concentrations at which ...
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Associations Between Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in Adults with Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Associations Between Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in Adults with Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Date: May 2004
Creator: Reynolds, Felicia D.
Description: Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) exhibit patterns of cognitive deficits in (1) attention (Lees-Roitman, Cornblatt, Bergman, Obuchowski, Mitropoulou, Keefe, Silverman, & Siever, 1997), (2) memory (Bergman, Harvey, Lees-Roitman, Mohs, Margerm, Silverman, & Siever, 1998), (3) executive functioning (Cadenhead, Perry, Shafer, & Braff, 1999), and recently (4) neuromotor functioning (Neumann & Walker, 1999), similar to individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Furthermore, recent research suggests a link between neuromotor and cognitive functioning in schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) (Neumann & Walker, 2003). The current study is an extension of research on non-drug-induced neuromotor disturbances in individuals with SPD and examines how such disturbances covary with neurocognitive measures. Approximately thirty-three adults (18-65) were rated for SPD symptoms. Motor assessments included a computerized motor task and finger tapping test. Cognitive assessments included measures of attention, verbal and visual memory, and executive functioning. Consistent with previous research, the SPD group displayed significant right hand (left hemisphere) motor disturbances (i.e., increased force and force variability) compared to healthy controls after excluding all cases reporting a history of head injury. In addition, results indicate significant associations between motor, cognitive, and symptom variables. Consistent with previous research, neuromotor functioning and the relationships between motor and cognitive ...
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Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis

Associations Between Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement: A Meditational Analysis

Date: May 2015
Creator: Dorfman, Jocelyn C.
Description: Research has illustrated the interrelatedness of childhood physical fitness and psychological wellbeing, psychological wellbeing and academic achievement, as well as physical fitness and academic achievement. In this study, we proposed that psychological wellbeing (self-esteem and depression) serves as a mediator between physical fitness and academic achievement during adolescence. In a sample of middle school children (N = 1,530), significant correlations were found between all three variables (p.0001). A hierarchical regression analysis was performed to assess the associations between physical fitness, psychological wellbeing, and academic achievement. The regression analysis reported a significant partial mediation effect. The results of this study supported the proposed hypotheses, including a mechanism of psychological wellbeing partially mediating the relationship between physical fitness and academic achievement. The findings of this study support the importance of encouraging activities to promote both physical fitness and psychological wellbeing in schools.
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