Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error

Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error

Date: December 2011
Creator: Schmalz, Jonathan
Description: Researchers raise concerns that the diagnostic approach can create stigma and lead to clinical inferences that focus on dispositional characteristics at the expense of situational variables. From social cognitive theory to strict behavioral approaches there is broad agreement that situation is at least as important as disposition. The present study examined the clinical inferences of graduate student clinicians randomly presented a diagnosis (borderline PD) or no diagnosis and either randomly given context information or no context information before watching a videotaped clinical interaction of a fabricated client. Responses to a questionnaire assessing dispositional or situational attributions about the client’s behavior indicated a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder did not significantly increase dispositional attributions and did not significantly moderate the importance of contextual factors. A notable difference between the attributions made by psychodynamic and third wave behavioral respondents was observed. Conceptual and experimental limitations as well as future directions are discussed.
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Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Date: August 2011
Creator: Vander Lugt, Amanda Adcock
Description: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed to specifically target experiential avoidance (EA) rather than any specific diagnostic category. A functional ACT manual was presented and used to treat diagnostically diverse clients in a large sliding fee-for-service training clinic. A multiple baseline across participants and behaviors research design was used to evaluate session-by-session changes in EA, values identification, valued action, and clinical distress. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) were given to measure processes and outcomes given the functional ACT model presented in the introduction to the paper. Baseline included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II Disorders given across 2-5 50- minute sessions. The treatment phase consisted of 7-10 50-minute sessions. Participants were 10 clients. Four participants completed sufficient treatment sessions (4-9) to test the study hypotheses. Participants generally improved across time, but most improvements could not be attributed to the functional application of ACT due to changes during baseline for AAQ, VLQ-Consistency, and OQ-45. VLQ-Importance significantly improved for all participants given ACT.
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The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States

The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States

Date: December 2011
Creator: Hoersting, Raquel Carvalho
Description: Individualist and collectivist cultural approaches describe the relationship between an individual and his or her social surroundings. the current study had a two-fold purpose. the first was to investigate whether Brazilians, like other collective peoples, displayed more group self-representations, categorized items more relationally and paid more attention to context than Americans. the second purpose of this study was to investigate if counter-cultural primes played a role in activating either collective or individual selves. Both American (n = 100) and Brazilian (n = 101) participants were assigned either to a no-prime condition or a counter-cultural prime condition and then were asked to rate emotion cartoons, categorize items, complete the Twenty Statement Test (TST), and choose a representative object. As expected, unprimed Brazilian participants displayed more collectivist patterns on emotional (F[1,196] = 10.1, p = .001, ?²= .049; F[1,196] = 7.9, p = .006, ?²= .038; F[1,196] = 9.0, p = .005, ?²= .044) and cognitive (F[1, 196] = 6.0, p < .01, ?² = .03) tasks than Americans. However, Brazilians offered more individualist self-representations (F[1, 195] = 24.0, p < .001, ?² = .11) than American participants. Priming only had a marginal effect on item categorization (F[1,194] = 3.9, p = ...
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Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.

Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.

Date: December 2010
Creator: Hernandez, Nikki
Description: Previous research suggests there are a number of variables that are associated with the expression of schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) symptoms. Such variables include childhood trauma, depression and anxiety, substance use, normal-range personality traits, ethnicity, and gender. However, research to date has not examined all of these variables in a single study to determine how they may be interrelated or differentially related to SPD symptom domains. Of particular interest is the association of these variables as explained by the diathesis-stress model. This study utilized a convenience sample of 298 undergraduate students to examine a continuous range of scores for symptoms of SPD and how the interrelation of biological factors such as gender and ethnicity and psychosocial factors and stressors such as childhood trauma and personality traits, specifically neuroticism and extroversion, influence the expression of SPD symptoms. It was predicted that anxiety, depression, stress, and childhood trauma would positively correlate to SPD symptoms. It was also hypothesized that neuroticism and substance use would positively correlate to schizotypal traits and extroversion would be negatively correlated to schizotypal traits as measured by the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief. It was further hypothesized that psychosocial stressors would be moderated by the aforementioned biological factors.
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No place to call home: Cultural homelessness, self-esteem and cross-cultural identities.

No place to call home: Cultural homelessness, self-esteem and cross-cultural identities.

Date: May 2009
Creator: Hoersting, Raquel Carvalho
Description: The study examined relations between a cross-cultural geographically mobile childhood and adult cultural identity, attachment to cross-cultural identities (CCIs) and self-esteem. CCIs are loosely defined identities (e.g., third culture kids [TCKs], military brats, missionary kids) that describe some individuals' childhood cross-cultural experience. The 475 participants spent at least two years before age 18 in a culture different from their parents' and completed an online survey including childhood cross-cultural experiences, Cultural Homelessness Criteria, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and Self Label Identity Measure (SLIM) that captured strength of affirmation, belonging and commitment to any CCI. Cultural homelessness (CH) was related to lower self-esteem; higher SLIM scores was related to higher self-esteem and lower CH. TCKs reported lower self-esteem than non-TCKs and older participants experienced less CH and higher self-esteem. SLIM scores buffered the CH-self-esteem relationship, whereas a TCK CCI and having more cross-culturally experienced social networks did not.
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Predicting The Impact Of Abuse: Is Experiential Avoidance A Mediator?

Predicting The Impact Of Abuse: Is Experiential Avoidance A Mediator?

Date: December 2011
Creator: Mannon, Kristi, A.
Description: Intimate partner violence (IPV) occurs between two individuals who have formerly been or are currently in an intimate relationship. IPV includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats of physical or sexual violence, and emotional abuse (Kernic, Wolf, & Holt, 2000; Rennison & Welchans, 2000). Experiencing IPV is associated with a serious impact on psychological health (Afifi, MacMillan, Cox, Asmundson, Stein, & Sareen, 2008; Calvete, Corral , & EstΘvez, 2008). Research on other forms of trauma indicates that experiential avoidance (EA) plays an important role in psychological distress and psychopathology. Thus, it was hypothesized that EA would play a key role in the impact of IPV. Using the Baron and Kenny (1986) method, the current study examined whether EA was a mediator between IPV severity and psychological distress, and whether EA was a mediator between IPV severity and PTSD symptomology, more specifically. In addition, mediational analyses were run to determine if suppression changed the relationships between IPV severity and psychological distress, or IPV severity and PTSD symptomology. Using the same methods, EA and suppression were both also examined as mediators between psychological/verbal abuse severity and psychological distress, and between psychological/verbal abuse severity and PTSD symptomology. No significant results were found in a ...
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Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder: Gender Differences in Empathy and Alexithymia

Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder: Gender Differences in Empathy and Alexithymia

Date: August 2011
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Description: Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the importance of affective features of the syndrome in perpetuating social deviance. However, little research has directly investigated the callousness that psychopathic offenders display toward society and their victims. The current study investigated the roles of empathy and alexithymia in psychopathy among male and female incarcerated offenders, particularly in distinguishing psychopathy from antisocial personality disorder. Gender differences were also investigated. Regarding empathy, as predicted, group differences were largest between psychopathic and non-psychopathic offenders; no reliable differences emerged between psychopathic and APD-only offenders. In contrast, alexithymia robustly distinguished between offenders with prominent psychopathic traits, those with only APD, and those with neither condition. Psychopathic females unexpectedly exhibited slightly higher levels of alexithymia than their male counterparts, while empathic deficits were relatively consistent across genders. These findings are discussed in terms of improving assessment methods for the accurate identification and treatment of offenders with prominent psychopathic features.
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Childhood Learning: Examining Attitudes toward School and Learning Ability

Childhood Learning: Examining Attitudes toward School and Learning Ability

Date: May 2009
Creator: Geddes, Jeffrey D.
Description: A child's ability to learn in school and school performance are affected by various factors. Variables that affect learning and academic performance in 46 children, 4 - 7 years old, were examined. Children, parents, and teachers completed questionnaires rating children's attitudes and behavior toward school. Children completed a computerized matching-to-sample (MTS) task. The MTS trained the children to form 3 stimulus classes. One stimulus class included three arbitrary stimuli, the others contained a positively or negatively valenced stimulus, a school-related stimulus, and an arbitrary stimulus. Class formation performance was assessed. Rate of learning predicted attitudes toward school, school attitudes predicted academic performance; however a hypothesized mediation effect of attitudes was not demonstrated. No significant differences in rate of forming stimulus classes containing emotionally valenced and school stimuli were found. Future directions for intervention in the early education of students who have poor attitudes toward school are discussed.
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Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members

Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members

Date: August 2011
Creator: Geddes, Jeffrey D.
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of military deployment on children, and the roles that risk and protective factors and parenting stress play in emotional symptoms and behaviors exhibited by children while their parents are deployed. A sample of 143 parents (recruited from all branches of the military) who remained at home while their spouses were deployed completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic and background information, child internalizing and externalizing behavior, parenting stress, child adaptability, valuing behavior, family cohesion/environment, and parenting behaviors. The sample primarily consisted of mothers (n = 141) and Caucasian individuals (n = 126), which may limit the generalizability of the findings. Results of the study suggest risk factors including parenting stress, corporal punishment, length of time a parent is deployed, and type of deployment (combat vs. non-combat) were predictive of poorer child outcomes. Protective factors including values consistent behavior, child adaptability, and family cohesion were predictive of better childhood outcomes. Parenting stress served as a mediating variable between the relationship of total risk and child outcomes, while values consistent behavior served as a mediating variable between the relationship of protective factors experienced by children and child outcomes. Military deployments not only impact ...
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A Randomized Clinical trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in a College Student Population

A Randomized Clinical trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in a College Student Population

Date: August 2011
Creator: Zimmerman, Marian Rose
Description: Nearly 10% of college students experience chronic insomnia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) is an empirically validated multi-component treatment that has been demonstrated to produce reliable and durable benefits in the general adult population. However, there have been no studies examining the effectiveness of multi-component CBTi in a college student population, even though many studies have examined the efficacy of single treatment modalities. These young adults are different from the general adult population because they are in a unique transitional developmental phase as they are maturing from adolescence into adulthood, they are sleepier than adults, they tend to have irregular sleep schedules, and their living situations are often different from the general adult population. In this study college students with chronic insomnia were randomly assigned to either six sessions of CBTi or a wait list control (WLC) group. All participants completed sleep diaries, sleep measures, and psychosocial measures. The results indicated students who received CBTi showed improvements in sleep efficiency (SE), sleep onset latency (SOL), number of awakenings (NWAK), time awake after sleep onset (WASO), and sleep quality (SQ). They also had decreased insomnia severity (ISI), dysfunctional beliefs about sleep (DBAS), and general fatigue (MFI), as well as increases in ...
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