UNT Theses and Dissertations - 12 Matching Results

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Acculturation and Depression in Older Mexican American Adults: the Role of Social Support

Description: Despite socioeconomic disadvantages, less acculturated Mexican Americans tend to exhibit better mental health than their more acculturated counterparts. However, in the case of older Mexican American adults, research has demonstrated the opposite to be true (Gonzalez, Haan, & Hinton, 2001). A variable of interest potentially responsible for this difference is social support. Thus, the current study proposed to investigate the mediation and moderation effects that social support has on the relationship between acculturation and depression in older Mexican American adults age 60 or older. Data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) was analyzed. Results showed that the mediating effect of contact with one’s children (-.109*) and the moderating effect of total social support and contact with one’s children (-.127*; -.103*) were statistically significant in the relationship between acculturation and depression. Although these effects are small they may still hold important implications for better understanding this population.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Caballero, Daniela
Partner: UNT Libraries

Back in My Hands: The Role of Self-Forgiveness and Stigma in HIV-Positive Adults

Description: While advancements in treatment have made HIV a more manageable disease, only recently have psychosocial variables associated with the health of persons living with HIV (PLH) began to receive increased scrutiny. HIV-related stigma, considered by some researchers to be a “second epidemic,” is one such psychosocial variable and is associated with negative physiological and psychological health outcomes. In an effort to alleviate the effects of stress, increased research attention has focused on forgiveness as a teachable coping strategy. Current forgiveness interventions demonstrate encouraging results in decreasing anger and neutralizing stress but have not been applied to HIV-positive populations. In this study, Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional model of stress and coping (1984) and Prochaska and Velicer’s transtheoretical model of health behavior (1997) were utilized as theoretical frameworks to inform a randomized clinical trial that examines coping skills, particularly forgiveness, in PLH and perceived HIV-related stigma. An ethnically diverse sample of HIV-positive adults (n = 57) was randomized into a treatment or control group. The treatment group participated in six weeks of cognitive-behavioral group therapy that focused on the teaching of forgiveness as an effective coping tool while the control group was psychoeducational in nature and did not involve mention of forgiveness. Data was obtained on a variety of medical and psychosocial variables, including types of forgiveness (dispositional forgiveness, forgiveness of self, forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of situations) and perceived HIV-related stigma. Data were collected at three time points: at baseline (Time 1) prior to randomization of participants to the treatment or control group, immediately post intervention (Time 2), and at six-month follow-up (Time 3). Importantly, forgiveness was shown to be a teachable skill that PLH can use to potentially improve mental health. Men in the treatment group reported significantly higher levels of dispositional forgiveness and self-forgiveness than men in the ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hua, William Q.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, a New Sleep Questionnaire, and Sleep Diaries

Description: Self-report retrospective estimates of sleep behaviors are not as accurate as prospective estimates from sleep diaries, but are more practical for epidemiological studies. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the validity of retrospective measures and improve upon them. The current study compared sleep diaries to two self-report retrospective measures of sleep, the commonly used Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and a newly developed sleep questionnaire (SQ), which assessed weekday and weekend sleep separately. It was hypothesized that the new measure would be more accurate than the PSQI because it accounts for variability in sleep throughout the week. The relative accuracy of the PSQI and SQ in obtaining estimates of total sleep time (TST), sleep efficiency (SE), and sleep onset latency (SOL) was examined by comparing their mean differences from, and correlations with, estimates obtained by the sleep diaries. Correlations of the PSQI and SQ with the sleep diaries were moderate, with the SQ having significantly stronger correlations on the parameters of TST, SE, and sleep quality ratings. The SQ also had significantly smaller mean differences from sleep diaries on SOL and SE. The overall pattern of results indicated that the SQ performs better than the PSQI when compared to sleep diaries.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Sethi, Kevin J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cross-measure Equivalence and Communicability in the Assessment of Depression: a Fine-grained Focus on Factor-based Scales

Description: Depression is heterogeneous, however, depression measures conceptualize it as homogeneous. To help fulfill NIMH's strategic plan to focus on components of depression, this study analyzed the psychometrics of factor-based subscales in the BDI-II, CES-D, IDAS, and IDS. CCA was also used to explore redundancy across measures. Using a diverse sample of symptomatic undergraduates, this study found the IDAS to be the best measure, with complete DSM-IV symptom coverage and psychometrically sound subscales. The other measures did not have consistent subscales or coverage of symptoms. Furthermore, CCA revealed low levels of redundancy across measures. These results serve to disabuse the field of a perception that different measures of equivalently measure depression. Conversion tables were provided to empirically compare scores from different measures.
Date: August 2012
Creator: González, David Andrés
Partner: UNT Libraries

Emotional and Cognitive Coping in Relationship Dissolution

Description: Romantic relationships are important for social development and can impact an individual’s functioning both positively and negatively, especially when the relationship breaks up. Emotional and cognitive coping strategies including emotion approach coping, avoidance, and rumination and variable response to expressive writing intervention were examined in relation to post-dissolution distress. Undergraduate participants randomized into two groups completed measures of cognitive and emotional coping variables and global distress, with the experimental group completing a three-session expressive writing protocol. Writing samples were rated for processing mode, or the degree of vague general statements. Avoidance and rumination demonstrated significant cross-sectional associations with Time 1 distress controlling for demographics and characteristics of the former relationship. Gender moderated the relationship between rumination and distress. Using a matched sub-sample, the groups did not differ on emotional coping variables or distress. Results demonstrate the importance of examining emotional coping strategies in conjunction with relationship dissolution.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Wrape, Elizabeth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Event Centrality: Debunking the “Bad Science” Myth That Self-reported Posttraumatic Growth Does Not Reflect Positive Change

Description: Despite strong evidence supporting the existence of posttraumatic growth (PTG), some investigators question whether the construct measured by the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI) is that of perceived growth or “actual” growth. In a replication of a recent investigation, the present study sought to refine the methodology used by employing the construct of event centrality. Due to its limited sample size, the results of this analysis did not provide strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that limiting analyses to individuals rating their trauma as high in event centrality improves the ability of the PTGI to reflect “actual” growth. However, results did support the idea that investigations of PTG conducted immediately following a trauma may be more reflective of a coping process, rather than growth. Further research is warranted to investigate the role of event centrality in posttraumatic growth, and the effect of time on the progression of growth following trauma.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Johnson, Stephanie Feil
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factor Analysis of the Spouse Observation Checklist-revised Using Attachment Theory As an Organizational Framework

Description: The purpose of the current study was to investigate the factor structure of the Spouse Observation Checklist-Revised using attachment theory as an organizational framework. The study used archival data from a community sample of 92 heterosexual childless couples married 1-5 years and 4 lesbian couples (N = 192). Separate exploratory factor analysis on the Perception of Self-Behavior and Perception of Partner-Behavior items revealed symmetrical 4-factor structures with factors reflecting emotional support, physical intimacy, instrumental support, and disengagement. Separate analyses examined associations of the four identified factors with the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale to begin to place the SOC-R within a nomological network.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Heffel, Carly J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Prevalence of Eating Disorders and Pathogenic Weight Control Behaviors Among Male Collegiate Athletes

Description: Training in sport environments that emphasize leanness and muscularity may damage athletes' body image and negatively influence male athletes' eating behaviors and attitudes. The Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis and the Bulimia Test – Revised were completed anonymously online by 732 male intercollegiate athletes. Most male collegiate athletes were classified as asymptomatic (82.9%), followed by symptomatic (16%) and eating disordered (1.1%). The most common forms pathogenic behaviors were excessive exercise (51.6%), binge eating (21.4%), and dieting or fasting (20.5%). Results suggested that athletes who participate in weight class sports are at higher risk for developing these behaviors than endurance sport or ball game athletes. Counseling and other implications for professionals working with athletes are discussed.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Chatterton, Justine M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

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.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Kauffman, Erin, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sleep Loss and Risk-taking Behavior

Description: While sleep loss has been shown to have detrimental effects on cognitive, physiological, and psychological processes, it has only recently been investigated as a possible causal factor of risk-taking behavior (i.e., a conscious choice to engage in dangerous behavior despite knowledge of possible loss or harm). Among the few studies that have been conducted in this field, the majority found that as individuals become sleepier, their propensity to engage in risk-taking behavior increased. The results of the current study indicated a positive relationship between increased sleep loss and two measures of specific risk-taking behavior (i.e., substance use, sexual compulsivity), but no significant relationship between sleep loss and measures of general risk-taking behavior. There was some evidence for temporal stability of the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), though scores on the IGT were not related to scores on other measures of risk-taking, nor to measures of sleep loss. Negative mood was found to partially mediate the relationship between sleep loss and substance use, as well as the relationship between sleep loss and sexual compulsivity.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Womack, Stephanie D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spousal Support and Diabetes Management: the Role of Gender and Religion

Description: One in four adults over the age of 60 suffers from diabetes. Around 85%-90% of individuals who have diabetes suffer from Type II diabetes. The prevalence of individuals with diabetes is expected to increase. This paper addresses the influence spousal support, friend support, and religion all have on diabetes mellitus. Gender difference in relation to spousal support benefits has also received limited attention. The limited amount of studies that have examined gender differences in relation to spousal support and diabetes management indicate that diabetic men benefit the most from spousal support due to their wives active involvement in meal preparation and grocery shopping. The results showed that neither spousal support nor religious salience was significantly related to diabetes management. There were observed gender differences in religious salience (males = 4.84, females = 5.36, p < .001) and positive spousal support (males = 3.19, females = 3.02, p <.001), but none of the major hypotheses were supported.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Estevez, Rosemary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Pre-session Mindfulness to Improve Therapy Presence

Description: While a significant amount of research illustrates the positive effects of therapists’ use of mindfulness, few studies have addressed whether therapists’ mindfulness actually improves psychotherapy outcomes. Additionally, no existing research has examined whether therapists’ use of a mindfulness exercise immediately before meeting with a client could also have a positive impact on the following session. The purpose of this study was to test whether engaging in a centering exercise 5-10 minutes before a session could have a positive impact on therapy, in particular on the therapists’ ability to remain present in session. Results indicated that the trainee therapists did not report changes in mindfulness after the brief mindfulness training program. Results also indicated that completing the centering exercise before a session did not appear to impact client ratings of therapeutic presence and session outcomes. The results suggest that more intensive training in mindfulness may be necessary to impact psychotherapy outcomes.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Dunn, Rose A.
Partner: UNT Libraries