UNT Theses and Dissertations - 9 Matching Results

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Childhood Bereavement and Parents’ Relationship With Children

Description: It has long been recognized that childhood bereavement is a risk factor for depression in adulthood. Research also has consistently demonstrated that parental depression is linked to poor parent-child relationship quality. The current study examined whether bereavement in childhood increases likelihood of current depressive symptoms among parents and explored whether this vulnerability in the parent then alters the quality of the parent-child relationship. Archival data for a sample of 86 families (N=176 parents) are drawn from the Family & Kid Connection project led by Dr. Shelley Riggs. Instruments utilized include the Background Information Questionnaire, the Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire, and the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model, Multilevel Modeling procedures explored the hypothesis that parental depression mediates the association between parents’ childhood bereavement and their perception of the parent-child relationship. Results show a significant relationship between parental (actor) depressive symptoms and parent-child attachment, indicating the need for therapeutic interventions targeting the parent-child relationship, and not just parents, for parents suffering from depression.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Benson, Karen M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing the 2010 and 2011 Appic Match: Applicant Characteristics and Unmatched Applicant Distress

Description: The internship is one of the most important components of doctoral training in professional psychology. Given the serious problem of the internship imbalance, applicant and program characteristics that constitute a good “fit” with internship training programs have become of greater interest as securing an internship becomes a more competitive process. This study surveyed internship applicants from programs part of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), before and after the 2010 and 2011 match days. Number of interview offers was found to be the factor most consistently associated with successfully matching, and several other applicant characteristics salient to matching and obtaining interview offers were identified, including applicant personality. Additionally, personal accounts, but not empirical evidence, of going unmatched have attested to the psychological distress associated with this event. in the current study, while going unmatched was not found to be equitable to a traumatic stressor, evidence was found to support significant decrease in subjective well-being with respect to immediate distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the predictability of and implications for the match process and internship imbalance, and recommendations are made for future research directions.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hogan, Lindsey R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Examination of Sleep Disparities Among a Racially/ethnically Diverse Sample of Adolescents

Description: Racial, ethnic and gender disparities have been found among a variety of health variables, but to date no study has comprehensively examined whether similar differences exist between sleep variables such as duration, efficiency and quality, in early adolescence. There is a general consensus among previous literature that adolescence is a time when a decrease in total sleep time and an increase in sleep problems are observed. Previous literature, however, mainly focused on the influence of puberty to explain these changes. the current study examined if differences exist between 1462 Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, and African American early adolescents (ages 10-14 years) on sleep duration, efficiency and quality. Results showed that adolescent boys reported significantly longer sleep durations, better sleep quality, shorter sleep onset latencies, and later rise times than girls. Results also showed that sixth graders slept longer than seventh and eighth graders, and that seventh graders woke up much earlier than the other two grades. Lastly, results showed that Caucasian students reported longer sleep onset latencies and lower sleep efficiencies than African American students. Trends were observed for boys having greater sleep efficiencies than girls and for Caucasian students sleeping longer than Hispanic students. Based on the differences observed in our sample, introducing sleep education in middle school is discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Marczyk, Katherine D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring the Relationships Between Mindfulness, Self-compassion, and Ethnic Identity Development

Description: Ethnic identity development is a process that occurs for all individuals, and weakness in ethnic identity is associated with numerous psychosocial difficulties. Security in ethnic identity can be difficult for those exposed to varying attitudes and behaviors in a multicultural society. As such, the current study examined the influence of mindfulness and self-compassion on ethnic identity development. a sample of 479 undergraduate students completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic information, mindfulness, self-compassion, ethnic identity status, and self-esteem. Results suggested that mindfulness and self-compassion are significant negative predictors of ethnic identity, and that self-compassion was a better predictor of ethnic identity status than was mindfulness. Self-compassion did not moderate the relationship between mindfulness and ethnic identity status, as was hypothesized. the sample included primarily Caucasian (n = 278) individuals born in the United States, which likely limited generalizability of findings. Implications of the current findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sinha, Aditi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Forgiveness and Loneliness: Stress and Anxiety’s Correlates in a Student and Clinical Hiv-positive Sample

Description: Persistent periods of stress exacerbate the symptoms of chronic illness. Additionally, loneliness is strongly correlated with stress and both state and trait anxiety. Prolonged periods of loneliness are linked with depression in both clinical and student samples. Forgiveness, a cognitive, emotional, and behavioral response to interpersonal or intrapersonal conflict, is important to social harmony. in this study I describe three studies that examine forgiveness, loneliness, stress, and anxiety in two populations, a student population and an HIV+ clinical population. Study 1 examined how the variables of forgiveness and loneliness are associated with perceived stress in a student sample of undergraduate students. Study 2 examined the same variables (forgiveness, loneliness, and perceived stress) in an HIV-positive clinical population. Finally, study 3 extends the model and examines the relationship of forgiveness and loneliness to variables related to stress, state and trait anxiety. for studies 2 and 3, 63 HIV-positive individuals participated in the cross-sectional correlational study. the data was analyzed in each study using hierarchical linear regression analysis. We also tested the models for the three studies to determine if forgiveness moderates the relationship between loneliness and state and trait anxiety. in study 1, using hierarchical linear regression analyses, I found that increased forgiveness and decreased loneliness was associated with less perceived stress in both a non-clinical and clinical sample of HIV-positive adults. in studies 2 and 3, I conducted hierarchical linear regression analyses and found that increased forgiveness contributed a significant portion of the variance in perceived stress and state and trait anxiety in a non-clinical and HIV-positive sample. I did not find moderation in any of the models.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hill, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interpersonal Factors Related to the Pursuit of a Higher Education Among First Generation Undergraduate Students

Description: The typical educational stressors experienced by college students, in conjunction with developmental stressors such as separation from parents, individuation, and perceived social support, can interact to impact adaptation significantly. First generation college students (students who are the first in their family to attend college) can experience stressors beyond the typical educational stressors experienced by later generation college students, including lack of support from family and peers as well as financial difficulties that can interact to impact the pursuit of an education beyond the undergraduate level. The present study examined factors that may be especially influential in the pursuit of a higher education for first generation college students. Results indicated that aspects of family enmeshment were related to academic motivation for first generation students, but not for later generation students. Exploratory analysis showed that family and finances were mentioned more often among first generation students when compared to later generation students as stressors that strongly influence the desire to continue beyond the undergraduate level.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Aguirre, Jacqueline S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mental Toughness: An Analysis of Sex, Race, and Mood

Description: Mental toughness has become a focus for researchers as coaches, athletes, and others extol its influence in performance success. In this study I examined mental toughness among collegiate athletes, focusing on its potential relationship to different demographic variables and to the athletes’ mood. Two hundred seventy-two student-athletes representing 12 different sports from a southwestern NCAA Division I university, participated by completing the Sports Mental Toughness Questionnaire (SMTQ), the Brief Assessment of Mood (BAM), and providing demographic information. Analyses of variance (ANOVA) assessed differences in mental toughness scores by sex, race, scholarship status, and starting status. Significant differences in mental toughness emerged between Black – White, male – female, and full – partial – zero scholarship athletes. Pearson correlations showed mental toughness was significantly related to lower levels of anxiety, sadness, anger, confusion, fatigue, and total mood disturbance, and higher levels of vigor.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Beck, Nicholas M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychopathic and Antisocial Personality Disorder Traits As Predictors of Reactive and Instrumental Aggression

Description: Aggression has traditionally been subdivided into two correlated, but distinct, subtypes: reactive and instrumental. Reactive aggression (RA) is considered impulsive, emotionally driven behavior, whereas instrumental aggression (IA) is planned and incentive-motivated. This thesis examines the relationships between RA, IA, psychopathy, and antisocial personality disorder (APD) symptoms in male and female offenders recruited from a jail in north Texas. Contrary to predictions, psychopathic traits did not account for more variance in aggression than did APD symptoms. Impulsivity demonstrated slight incremental validity over psychopathy for RA, and to a lesser degree, IA. the continued utility of the reactive-instrumental distinction and implications for professional practice in relation to the current study are examined. Study limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Steadham, Jennifer A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Bmi, Depressive Symptoms, and School Absences Among a Racial/ethnically Diverse Sample of Early Adolescents

Description: The current study examined the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness on differences by sex, race/ethnicity, and SES on BMI, depressive symptoms, and school absences among adolescents. a cross-sectional study was conducted in a north Texas school district, which included 609 Caucasian/Whites, 293 Hispanic/Latinos, and 113 African-American/Black adolescents (10-14 years). Main results of the study showed that that cardiorespiratory fitness was the largest predictor of BMI, followed by race/ethnicity, and then sex. Cardiorespiratory fitness among adolescents was inversely associated with BMI. the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness on BMI appeared to be more salient for non-Hispanic white females and non-Hispanic black females in that the former group had lower BMI scores than the latter group when cardiorespiratory fitness was taken into account; however, results showed that non-Hispanic white females and non-Hispanic black females had similar cardiorespiratory fitness level. Other results showed that SES and sex predicted depressive symptoms in that low SES females endorsed more depressive symptoms relative to high SES males; however, this relationship was non-existent when cardiorespiratory fitness was entered into the model. Additionally, findings indicated that BMI and depressive symptoms equally predicted school absences in that adolescents who had a higher BMI and endorsed more depressive symptoms had more school absences.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Garza, Mariana
Partner: UNT Libraries