Effects of Defensiveness on the Reporting of Personality Disorder Symptoms

Effects of Defensiveness on the Reporting of Personality Disorder Symptoms

Date: December 2011
Creator: Fiduccia, Chelsea E
Description: Personality disorders are not granted the same clinical attention accorded Axis I disorders despite their instrumental role in treatment and outcome. Even when standardized assessments are used, their clinical utility may be limited by an overly favorable self-presentation. The current study focused on defensiveness, the intentional denial of symptomatology, by examining individuals’ ability to minimize their presentation on personality disorder diagnostic measures. Using a within-subjects simulation design, dually diagnosed inpatients were assessed under both honest and defensive conditions. The study used self-report (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV – Axis II – Personality Questionnaire, SCID-II-PQ) and interview-based (Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality, SIDP-IV) diagnostic measures and a self-report measure of favorable self-presentation (Paulhus Deception Scales, PDS). The inpatients were quite capable of hiding maladaptive personality traits on diagnostic measures, with similarly large effect sizes on both the SCID-II-PQ and SIDP-IV. In addition to the PDS, two new detection strategies for identifying defensiveness showed promise.
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Is Mind Wandering the Mechanism Responsible for Life Stress Induced Impairments in Working Memory Capacity?

Is Mind Wandering the Mechanism Responsible for Life Stress Induced Impairments in Working Memory Capacity?

Date: August 2011
Creator: Banks, Jonathan Britten
Description: The relationship between life stress and working memory capacity (WMC) has been documented in college students and older adults. It has been proposed that intrusive thoughts about life stress are the mechanism responsible for the impairments seen in WMC. To examine the mechanism responsible for these impairments the current study attempted to induce intrusive thoughts about personal events. The current study allowed for a test of predictions made by two theories of mind wandering regarding the impact of these intrusive thoughts on WMC task performance. One hundred fifty undergraduates were assigned to a control group, positive event group, or negative event group. Participants in the positive and negative event groups completed a short emotional disclosure about an imagined future positive or negative event, respectively, to induce positive or negative intrusive thoughts. WMC measures were completed prior to and following the emotional writing. Results indicated a significant relationship between WMC and mind wandering, however the writing manipulation did not result in any consistent changes in intrusive thoughts or WMC. The results suggest a causal relationship between WMC and mind wandering. The emotional valence of the intrusive thought altered the impact on WMC. No relationship was seen between the measures of stress ...
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Posttraumatic Growth: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Demographic Predictors

Posttraumatic Growth: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Demographic Predictors

Date: August 2011
Creator: Schuettler, Darnell
Description: Recent trauma research argues trauma results in distinct positive and negative consequences, however; many trauma variables positively correlate with both outcomes. This study examined posttraumatic growth (PTG) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as positive and negative trauma outcomes. Behavioral, cognitive, and demographic correlates and predictors were assessed to help clarify differences between the two outcomes. While several behavioral factors were common to both PTG and PTSD symptoms, centrality of event and problem focused coping were the strongest PTG predictors, whereas centrality of event and avoidant coping were the strongest PTSD predictors. These findings indicate while greater incorporation of a trauma/stressful event into one’s identity is a key component of both PTG and PTSD development, behavioral response may be a determining factor between growth or debilitation.
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Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex

Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex

Date: December 2009
Creator: Malhotra, Damini
Description: 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.
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Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Date: December 2010
Creator: Langley, Alex
Description: Video game addiction often leads to a tremendous burden on those afflicted with the condition, draining their time, resources, and life away until they have nothing left. To further elucidate the problem of video game addiction, the current research examines the level of video game addiction of 111 participants, along with their motivation for their addictive behaviors, the quality of life of addicted individuals, and possible relations between video game addiction and other forms of addiction. Results of the current research indicate a correlation between addictive video game use and depression, alcohol use, a desire for escapism, a need for social interaction, and lack of self-control. The results of a multiple regression indicate that, amongst the various research factors, depression is the factor with the most significant link to addictive video game use, implying a dangerous correlation between mental health and an addictive behavior that some erroneously disqualify as a true addiction.
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Employee Engagement: The Impact of Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical Elements on the Relationship between Employee Engagement and Behavioral Outcomes

Employee Engagement: The Impact of Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical Elements on the Relationship between Employee Engagement and Behavioral Outcomes

Date: August 2014
Creator: Zobal, Cheryl
Description: Data were collected by an external company for a healthcare service firm interested in learning the job-related attitudes of their employees. Thus, archival data from 1,287 employees were collected for a different purpose. The survey consisted of 117 questions covering a broad range of constructs. Consequently, the items were used to derive effective measures of employee engagement and behavioral outcomes, as well as the emotional, mental, spiritual and physical dimensions. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis procedures were used to create scales reflecting these four factors. Interestingly, six scales emerged, logically linking to and further specifying the initial dimensions. These were Organizational Linkage, Manager Relationship, Job Fit, Job Clarity, Work Pressure, and Meaningful Work. To test the hypotheses, six separate regression equations were calculated, which statistically supported modification by each of the dimensions. However, statistical significance of the interactions resulted from having a large sample, given the actual association was too small to be meaningful (e.g., a contribution of 0.6% of the variance). As each of the dimensions had a main effect on the behavioral measure during hypothesis testing, exploratory regression equations were calculated to further understand the interrelationships. Of most interest was finding that in the presence of Engagement, the ...
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Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction

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

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

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

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

Logic, Emotion and Closure: Motivations for Choices of Faith

Date: August 2016
Creator: Jenkins, Elizabeth
Description: Spirituality and religiosity can play key roles in individual lives through influencing health, social relationships, political views, as well as many other facets (Newberg, D'Aquili & Rause, 2001; Milevsky & Levitt, 2004; Hirsh, Walberg & Peterson, 2013). As important as religious and spiritual beliefs are to societies, cultures, and individuals, little is known about which psychological factors determine choices of faith. Although there are likely many determinants of religious, spiritual, atheist or agnostic beliefs, this study explored four possible factors: critical thinking skills, need for cognition, need for emotional comfort/security, and need for closure. Participants included an undergraduate sample and a community sample. It was hypothesized that religious and spiritual individuals will have lower critical thinking skills, lower needs for cognition, higher needs for emotional comfort/security and higher needs for closure than agnostic and atheist individuals. Hypotheses also included potential interactions between these variables in predicting each faith path. Religiosity was measured using the I/E Religious Orientation Scale - Revised (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989) and Spirituality was measured utilizing the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) (Fetzer Institute, 1999). These two faith paths were also self -reported by participants after definitions of each were provided. Atheist and Agnostic beliefs were ...
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An Experimental Study of Bifurcated (Weekend and Weekday) and Unitary (Past Week) Retrospective Assessments of Sleep

An Experimental Study of Bifurcated (Weekend and Weekday) and Unitary (Past Week) Retrospective Assessments of Sleep

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Sethi, Kevin J.
Description: Discordance between weekday and weekend sleep schedules is common (Bonnet & Arand, 1995; Breslau, Roth, Rosenthal, & Andreski, 1997; Machado, Varella, & Andrade, 1998; Strauch & Meier, 1988; Tsai & Li, 2004). Brief retrospective self-report measures are essential for epidemiological research studies (Moul, Hall, Pilkonis, & Buysse, 2004), but self-reports are prone to error in recall, and the greater the variability in nightly sleep, the less reliable are retrospective reports (Babkoff, Weller, & Lavidor, 1996). More accurate self-report responses may be possible if measures prompt participants to consider variations in sleep schedules that are consistent (i.e., weekday and weekend sleep schedules). The current study experimentally examined whether Bifurcated (Weekday and Weekend) retrospective assessments of sleep are more accurate than Unitary (Past Week) assessments. Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of the two versions (Bifurcated vs. Unitary) of the Sleep Questionnaire. One hundred and thirty-one participants were included in the analyses. Results of a a series of analyses demonstrated that the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire provided more accurate and less variable estimates of total sleep time than the Unitary version of the Sleep Questionnaire. Differences between the versions of the Sleep Questionnaire for other sleep variables were less ...
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Self-Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals: The Relationship of Dispositional Self-Control and Blood Glucose

Self-Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals: The Relationship of Dispositional Self-Control and Blood Glucose

Date: August 2016
Creator: Edwards, Kate
Description: Currently, the etiology of obesity is conceptualized as a confluence of environmental, socioeconomic, behavioral, biological and genetic factors. With regard to behavioral factors, some have suggested that a failure of self-control may contribute to the difficulty of an overweight/obese individual because of their inability to resist food or maintain physical activity. Recent research proposed that self-control could be described as similar to a muscle that can be fatigued. Thus, if an individual engages in a self-control task they have lessened ability to utilize self-control on a subsequent task. Theory also suggests self-control may be fueled by a finite resource, identified as blood glucose. The role blood glucose plays is important to understand, especially in overweight and obese populations, as they may be more likely to be insulin resistant. In effect overweight and obese individuals are less likely to adequately process glucose. Therefore overweight/obese individuals might react to self-control tasks differently than normal weight individuals. Participants who were considered normal weight, overweight, and obese were recruited from the UNT research pool. They answered questions about their trait self-control in daily life and engaged in either a task that required them to exert self-control (e.g., resist crossing out a letter unless criteria ...
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Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology

Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology

Date: August 2016
Creator: Lewis, Jonathan James
Description: A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment ...
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A Comparison of Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Memory Specificity Training (MeST) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

A Comparison of Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Memory Specificity Training (MeST) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Date: August 2016
Creator: Maxwell, Kendal Lynn
Description: The effectiveness of memory specificity training (MeST) was compared with standard cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in treatment of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder. Eighteen adults aged 18-36 were randomly assigned to the MeST intervention (n = 9) or to the active control group (n = 9) of CPT. Both treatments were administered in group format across 6 weeks. MeST consisted of 6 weekly sessions, while CPT consisted of 12 biweekly sessions. The trial was undertaken in the Psychology Clinic of the University of North Texas, with randomization to conditions accomplished via computer random number generator. The primary outcome measure was change in PTSD symptoms post-treatment from baseline. Sixteen individuals (13 women and 3 men; MeST n = 8 and CPT n = 8) completed treatment and their data was analyzed. MeST significantly decreased PTSD symptomology at post-treatment and these results were maintained at 3 months post-treatment. MeST was found to be as effective as the established CPT intervention at reducing PTSD symptomology. Both MeST and CPT significantly increased participants' ability to specify memories upon retrieval at post-treatment, with results maintained at follow-up. There were no significant effects of MeST or CPT in ability to increase overall controlled cognitive processing at ...
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Interpersonal Decentering in Relationship Breakups: Social Cognitive Maturity and Distress Recovery in Young Adults

Interpersonal Decentering in Relationship Breakups: Social Cognitive Maturity and Distress Recovery in Young Adults

Date: August 2015
Creator: Tucker, Molly S.
Description: The termination of a romantic relationship, be it by breakup or divorce, is a fairly ubiquitous experience. Most individuals will recover from a traumatic experience of this nature; some however, experience substantial difficulties in recuperating that persist over time. For these individuals, relationship termination can invoke a variety of negative physical and psychological health outcomes. This project examines the role of social cognitive maturity, operationalized as Interpersonal Decentering, in recovery following a relational loss. Participants in this study were assigned to a pre/post control or measurement intensive (four visits) condition over the course of nine weeks. Individuals in the latter condition completed a Stream of Consciousness (SOC) task in which they discussed their breakup experience out loud for four minutes. These narratives were then transcribed and scored using the Interpersonal Decentering manual as adapted for Expressive Writing. Results indicate that – for women only – mature social cognition is inversely related to depressive mood at the initial visit. However, it is not related to initial PSTD symptomatology for men or women, nor does it predict decreases in depression and trauma symptomatology from the initial visit to the nine-week follow-up. Implications, limitations, and future directions for research of this nature are ...
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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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Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Date: May 2013
Creator: Kraha, Amanda
Description: Flashbulb memories are highly vivid and long-lasting memories for events that are emotionally significant and personally important. These memories are held in very high confidence in accuracy over an extended period. In particular, individuals believe that they can remember the personal details surrounding the event such as where they were and what they were doing at the time the event occurred. Evidence from research, however, indicates that this may not be the case. The study of flashbulb memories has typically been confined to negative events such as September 11, 2001. In the current study, we employ the methods of Talarico and Rubin (2003) to investigate flashbulb memory formation to a positive event. The event is the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which resonated as a highly positive event for many Americans evidenced by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate. We examined various memory properties over a one-year period, including vividness, rehearsal, belief in accuracy, and consistency. Results confirm the formation of flashbulb memories to the assassination event, but results did not support many of the proposed hypotheses. Some differences were found for different testing groups (i.e., immediate versus one week ...
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Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Date: August 2013
Creator: Robinson, Emily V.
Description: The accurate assessment of psychopathy constitutes a critical component of forensic assessments addressing offender populations. Among the core characteristics of psychopathy, the interpersonal component of deception and empathic deficits are prominently observed in offenders with psychopathic traits. Given the negative consequences of being classified as a psychopath, offenders may be likely to minimize their psychopathic traits. In particular, no research has investigated whether offenders with psychopathic traits are able to simulate empathy in an effort to mask their cognitive or affective empathy deficits (e.g., lack of remorse about offenses). The present study aims to contribute to the literature with regard to the simulation of empathy. Using a mixed between- and within-subjects design, 81 male detainees were placed into (a) a low psychopathy group, (b) a moderate psychopathy group, or (c) a high psychopathy group based on the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised. For the within-subjects component, all offenders answered empathy questionnaires under genuine and simulation conditions. Results indicate the sample possessed cognitive empathy, but did not display affective empathy under genuine instructions. Under simulation instructions, participants significantly increased their scores on several empathy measures. The implications of simulated empathy and comparisons between groups regarding simulation abilities are discussed.
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Life Beyond Betrayal: the Influence of Self-as-context on Self-complexity and Posttraumatic Stress

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

Date: August 2014
Creator: Sinha, Aditi
Description: While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self ...
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The Glass Is Neither Half Full Nor Empty, It Is Shattered: a Prospective Study of Shattered Assumptions Theory and Psychological Flexibility

The Glass Is Neither Half Full Nor Empty, It Is Shattered: a Prospective Study of Shattered Assumptions Theory and Psychological Flexibility

Date: December 2013
Creator: Schuler, Eric Robert
Description: Shattered assumptions theory posits that each individual has a core set of assumptions about the world and the self, often termed the assumptive world which includes: the world is a benevolent place, the world is meaningful, and the self is worthy. Experiencing a traumatic event is believed to lead individuals to question these assumptions in light of the new contradictory information that causes the assumptive world to shatter, leaving the individual to rebuild a more negative perception of the world and themselves. This rebuilding of a fragile new set of core beliefs is believed to be a cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Although shattered assumptions theory has been widely accepted in the field of trauma psychology, the shattering of the assumptive world has not been empirically supported due to measurement issues and poor research designs. The current study implemented a prospective design to assess a new measure of the individual’s assumptive world when there is an intervening trauma. In a college sample (N = 336), individuals who experienced a traumatic event over the course of the semester (n = 40) evidenced decreases in optimism in their assumptive worlds, in comparison to individuals who did not experience a traumatic ...
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Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

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

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

Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Date: August 2013
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Description: Psychopathy has long been lauded as a premier predictor of negative behavioral outcomes because of its demonstrated associations with violence, antisocial conduct, and institutional maladjustment. Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the relatively equal importance placed on personality features (i.e., a grandiose, deceitful interpersonal style and deficits in affective experience) and behavioral elements (i.e., an impulsive and irresponsible lifestyle marked by social deviance) of the syndrome. However, little research to date has investigated psychopathy dimensions in female samples, particularly as they relate to maladaptive behaviors beyond forensic settings. The current study comprehensively examined personality (i.e., Axis II Cluster B traits and alexithymia) and behavioral (i.e., suicide-related behavior and aggression) expressions of psychopathy in a sample of female inpatients recruited from trauma and dual-diagnosis units at a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. Contrary to expectations, the essential components of psychopathy in female psychiatric patients emphasized APD and NPD traits over features of HPD and BPD, which were relatively similar to elements traditionally highlighted in male psychopathy. On this point, two latent dimensions comprehensively addressed female psychopathy in the current sample: impulsive antisociality and narcissistic and histrionic interpersonal style. Interestingly, psychopathy (M r = .01) and Cluster B traits (M r = .05) ...
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Response to Sexual Trauma in Relation to Event Centrality and Objectified View of Self

Response to Sexual Trauma in Relation to Event Centrality and Objectified View of Self

Date: August 2012
Creator: Knowles, Laura R.
Description: This study examined the potentially differing emotional consequences of sexual versus non-sexual traumas in both a student and a community residing treatment seeking sample of women. The extent to which a trauma survivor considers the traumatic event central to her identity (CES) was examined as a potential mediator between traumatic events and PTSD. Additionally, the extent to which a women views herself and her body as a sexual object, to be valued based on her appearance and sexual usefulness to others (sexual self-objectification: OBCS), was examined as a potential mediator between traumatic event and event centrality. Study results showed survivors of sexual assault reported greater CES and PTSD symptoms (PCL-S) than non-sexual trauma survivors in the student population. Mediation results showed sexual self-objectification (OBCS-Shame) significantly mediated the relationship between trauma type and CES, and CES significantly mediated the relationship between type of trauma and PTSD symptoms in the student population only. Data from the community sample did not support these conclusions as women from this sample reported higher PCL-S, CES, and OBCS-Shame scores across categories of trauma.
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The Influence of Extraversion, Religiosity, and Spirituality on Health Behaviors

The Influence of Extraversion, Religiosity, and Spirituality on Health Behaviors

Date: May 2013
Creator: Jenkins, Elizabeth P.
Description: Religion and spirituality are thought to be of great importance for the meaning and quality of life for many individuals, and research suggests that there may be important health benefits associated with religion and spirituality. Religion and spirituality should be related to health behaviors for a number of reasons. Health behaviors are important contributors to an individual's overall health, illness and mortality. Major negative health behaviors related to health outcomes are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, risky driving, and high risk sexual behaviors. Health behaviors may also be linked to personality traits. The key trait examined for this study was extraversion. It includes adjectives such as being active, assertive, energetic, outgoing, and talkative. In this thesis, I take several hypotheses and explore the influence of extraversion, religiosity, and spirituality on health behaviors.
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The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

Date: August 2012
Creator: Kauffman, Erin, E.
Description: AD/HD medications are shown to be significantly more successful at enhancing attention/concentration performance in individuals with AD/HD than placebo treatments. Few studies, however, have investigated the possibility of a placebo reaction in both medication and placebo groups by comparing placebo treatments to no treatment at all. Using an undergraduate population, I evaluated the effect of expectations about a treatment's efficacy on performance in an attention/concentration task. In addition to cognitive performance outcome measures, I included several physiological measures, such as heart rate variability (HRV) through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Contrary to expectations, no differences were observed in performance on attention tasks or physiological measurements as a result of the believed efficacy of an orally administered placebo treatment.
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