UNT Theses and Dissertations - 39 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

Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation

Description: Studies of affective forecasting examine people’s ability to predict (forecast) their emotional (affective) responses to future events. Affective forecasts underlie nearly all decisions people make and the actions they take. However, people engage in systematic cognitive errors when making affective forecasts and most often overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional responses. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to affective forecasting errors (e.g., immune neglect) and examining the utility of methods for improving affective forecasting errors (e.g., surrogation) can provide highly valuable information for clinicians as they assist clients in determining their goals both for therapy and for life. The first purpose of the current study was to determine if affective forecasting errors due to immune neglect lead to misjudgments about the relative emotional impact of minor versus moderate negative experiences (i.e., trauma severity). The second purpose was to examine the utility of surrogation for improving affective forecasts. Potential interaction effects between these two variables were also examined. The current study utilized a 2 (Trauma Severity: minor, moderate) X 3 (Prediction Information: surrogation information only, simulation information only, both types of information) experimental design. Undergraduates were recruited via the SONA system and randomly assigned to one of the six experimental conditions. A preliminary study was conducted to obtain surrogation information for use in the main study. All participants in the main study predicted how they would feel 10 minutes after receiving negative personality feedback, using a 10-point scale ranging from (1) very unhappy to (10) very happy. These predictions constitute their affective forecasts. All participants then actually received the negative personality feedback (ostensibly from another participant, a peer, in a nearby room) and reported their actual affective states ten minutes later, using the same scale. These ratings constitute their affective reports. Affective forecasting error was calculated as the difference between ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Burkman, Summer Dae
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

Body Dissatisfaction, Disordered Eating Behaviors and Body Image Quality of Life in African American Women with Hiv

Description: The purpose of the current study was to further our understanding of the subjective experience of middle-age African American women who are HIV+ and on highly active antiretroviral therapy, particularly how self-reported lipodystrophy (LD), levels of body dissatisfaction, body image quality of life, and engagement in disordered eating behaviors are related. Multiple regression, MANOVA, MANCOVA, ANOVA, and chi-square were utilized to test hypotheses. Results revealed that HIV+ and HIV- women did not differ significantly on their levels of body dissatisfaction or drive for thinness. When HIV+ women were examined in more detail a pattern emerged: women who self-reported fat hypertrophy had significantly higher levels of body dissatisfaction, bingeing, but not purging, and dietary restriction and fear of weight gain compared to women who did not self-report LD. About 75% of the sample was overweight or obese, and when BMI was controlled for, these differences persisted for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors for fat hypertrophy, but not fat atrophy. Overall, the findings indicate that the type of LD, specifically hypertrophy, is more related to body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behaviors, than LD in general. Clinical implications and limitations of these findings are discussed.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Hammon, Sarah A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Decentering and the Theory of Social Development

Description: The concept of decentering originated with Piaget, who defined decentering as a feature of operational thought, the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives simultaneously. Feffer applied Piaget’s concept of decentering to the cognitive maturity of social content. This study used Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system for stories told about TAT pictures to investigate the developmental hierarchy of decentering for children and adolescents. The participants originated from the Berkeley Guidance Study, a longitudinal sample of more than 200 individuals followed for more than 60 years by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. The hypotheses tested were: (1) chronological age will be positively related to Decentering as reflected in Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scores obtained annually between ages 10 and 13 and at 18; (2) children born into higher class homes would have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (3) children born later in birth order will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (4) children whose parents were observed to have closer bonds with their children at age 21 months will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (5) adolescents with higher scores from the Decentering Q-sort Scale (derived from adolescent Q-sorts) will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; and (6) participants who have higher Age 12 Decentering scores will self-report higher CPI Empathy scale scores at Age 30. A repeated measures ANOVA tested Hypothesis 1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients tested Hypotheses 2-6. Age and Decentering scores were unrelated, as was birth order; social class findings were mixed. Parents’ bonds with child and Age 12 Decentering were negatively correlated (closer bonds predicted higher Decentering), as were Age 12 Decentering and Age 30 Empathy (higher early Decentering predicted lower adulthood Empathy). Girls (age 12) tended to decenter more consistently and had higher Decentering scores than boys.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Fincher, Jennie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Devaluing Stigma in the Context of Forgiveness, Coping and Adaptation: a Structural Regression Model of Reappraisal

Description: The 2010 National HIV/AIDS Strategy outlined three important goals for managing the current HIV pandemic in the U.S.: (1) reduce the number of people who become infected with HIV; (2) improve access to health care and health-related outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLH/A); and (3) reduce HIV-related health disparities. Each of these goals tacitly depends upon reducing HIV-related stigma, and this study examined how HIV+ individuals evaluate coping efforts to overcome stigma’s impact on quality of life (QOL). a structural regression model was developed to instantiate the reappraisal process described by Lazarus and Folkman’s transactional theory of stress and coping, and this model indicated that maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and perceived stigma, which supports the prediction that coping efficacy is related to stress reduction. Additionally, maladaptive coping fully mediated the relationship between dispositional forgiveness and QOL, supporting the contention that forgiveness is a critical aspect to the evaluative process that influences how PLH/A cope with stigma. Lastly, the model showed that when PLH/A engaged in maladaptive coping to mitigate stress-related stigma, these individuals experienced increased stigmatization and reported significantly lower levels of health-related QOL. in contrast, PLH/A that reported higher levels of dispositional forgiveness were significantly less likely to use maladaptive coping to overcome stigma. Therefore, dispositional forgiveness works through coping to alter perceptions regarding stigmatization, while indirectly influencing attitudes related to health distress, mental health, and cognitive and social functioning. the theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Gates, Michael S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of Disordered Eating in Undergraduate Women: a Test of the Re-conceptualized Objectification Process

Description: The eating disorder literature has long suggested that sociocultural experiences specific to women influence development of bulimic pathology; however, models have differed on the type of experiences that are important and what other variables interact with these experiences to lead to eating pathology. Broader sociocultural theory and objectification theory represent two such differing models, and more recently Moradi hypothesized that integrating elements from both models would provide a better picture of eating disorder development. The present study, therefore, sought to compare these three different models of bulimic pathology development to determine which one provides the best explanation for bulimic outcomes. The sample consisted of 682 undergraduate women between the ages of 18 and 24, recruited from a large southwestern university. Data were collected on-line using a series of questionnaires to measure the constructs of interest and analyzed using structural equation modeling. All three models fit the data well and explained approximately 50% of bulimic outcomes; however, the model based on Moradi’s integrated model provided the most information about the relationships between constructs within the model. The development of bulimic symptomatology appears best explained by a model that focuses on the sociocultural experience of pressures about weight and body size, but also integrates aspects of objectification theory as well. Future research, however, is needed to determine if sexually objectifying experiences, if measured differently, affect women’s development of eating pathology along with pressures.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hasbrouck, Whitney Neal
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

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

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

Female Orgasm From Intercourse: Importance, Partner Characteristics, and Health

Description: Previous research indicates that women prefer orgasms triggered by penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI) as compared to those triggered by direct manual stimulation of the clitoris. However, for reasons that are not well understood, most women are unable to reach PVI orgasms as often as they desire. In addition, it is unclear why many women prefer PVI orgasms to those triggered by direct clitoral stimulation. This study developed a more precise measure of PVI orgasm frequency and evaluated key predictors of this frequency, including duration of intercourse, physical and psychological health, and partner traits with implications for either mating quality or relationship quality. The present study also measured PVI orgasm importance and investigated why it is important for many women. The sample consisted of 835 adult women with experience in PVI. Mean PVI orgasm frequency was 50%, with 39.4% of women never or rarely having PVI orgasms, 37.1% sometimes having PVI orgasms, and 23.5% almost always or always having PVI orgasms. As a median response, women believed that PVI orgasm was “very important” and perceived importance was correlated with orgasm frequency (r = .31, p < .001), as were reasons for importance. Duration of intercourse showed a linear relationship with PVI orgasm frequency, but this finding was qualified for women at the low and high extremes of the orgasm frequency distribution. Body esteem, anxiety during intercourse, exercise, and general pain predicted PVI orgasm frequency. Sensitive male traits, although valued by women even more highly than alpha male traits, showed notably weaker relationships with PVI orgasm than did male alpha traits. This is consistent with evolutionary theories of orgasm, and it supports the view that the female orgasm may function to favor some males over others in terms of sire choice. Clinical and theoretical implications of the present findings are discussed.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Powers, Catherine R.
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

Harmony Or Discord: Disordered Eating and Personality Traits of College Music Majors

Description: Personality traits, such as neuroticism, perfectionism, and a narrow self-concept have been identified as risk factors for eating disorders or have been found at higher rates in those with eating disorders (e.g., Brannan & Petrie, 2008; Cash & Deagle, 1997; Cervera et al., 2003). Musicians exhibit many of these personality traits associated with eating disorders (e.g., Kemp, 1981), however eating disorder prevalence has not been studied in musicians. The present study examined the prevalence of eating disorders and pathogenic weight control behaviors among college music majors. This study also compared personality traits (i.e., neuroticism, perfectionism, musician identity) between music majors and nonmajors and examined which personality traits best predicted bulimic symptomatology. Participants were 93 female and 126 male undergraduate students majoring in music and a nonmusician comparison group of 310 women 140 men from the same university. Music majors and nonmajors did not differ from each other with regards to eating disorder prevalence rates. Exercising and fasting/strict dieting were the primary means of weight control amongst all participants. With regards to personality traits, female and male music majors reported higher levels of perfectionism than their nonmajor counterparts and male music majors reported higher levels of neuroticism than male nonmajors. After controlling for BMI, neuroticism and doubts about actions predicted bulimic symptoms in female music majors, whereas concern over mistakes predicted bulimic symptomatology among men majoring in music. Findings suggest that any additional appearance-based pressures from the music environment do not translate into increased levels of eating pathology. Music majors higher levels of perfectionism and neuroticism may help them to succeed within the music and perform at a high level. Lastly, personality dimensions of neuroticism and concern over making mistakes predict disordered eating in all students.
Date: August 2012
Creator: DiPasquale, Laura D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Heterosexist Harassment and Rejection, Emotional Social Support and Perceived Stress in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Description: The minority stress theory suggests LGBs experience greater stress levels due to their sexual minority identities; thus, they are more prone to psychological distress. Poor mental health is linked to internalized homophobia and heterosexism. However, affirmative social support may mitigate the stress response via the buffering hypothesis. My model posits that LGBs are more likely to report perceived stress; however, affirmative social support can mitigate stress. I investigated the relationship between perceived stress and sexual minority identity. I explored the relationship between heterosexism, emotional support and perceived stress and the moderating role of social support in my LGB sample. I conducted a hierarchical linear regression to test my model, which accounted for 29% of the variance in perceived stress. Heterosexism and emotional support were significantly associated with perceived stress. I failed to find a moderating role of emotional support. Limitations, strengths, future research and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Fritz, Sarah-Mee Hesse
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

The Peer Created Motivational Climate in Youth Sport and Its Relationship to Psychological Outcomes and Intention to Continue in Sport Among Male Adolescents

Description: Social agents in the youth sport domain (coaches, parents, and peers) play a crucial role in developing the motivational approaches of youth sport athletes. One theory which has been useful in explaining the important role of such social agents has been Achievement Goal Theory (Nicholls, 1989). Specifically, Achievement Goal Theory was used to delineate various peer behaviors as being task-involving (Ntoumanis & Vazou, 2005) and was used to predict subsequent relationships relationship between the task-involving motivational-climate created by teammates and athletes’ mastery goal orientations and self-esteem, sport competence, enjoyment, and intention to continue playing sport. Participants were 405 boys aged 12-15 years. Using structural equation modeling, an exploratory analysis and confirmatory analysis revealed that higher levels of task-involving behaviors from peers predicted mastery goal orientation. Participants with higher mastery goal orientation reported greater sport competence, self-esteem, and more enjoyment; enjoyment was the strongest predictor of intention to continue. These findings both emphasize the importance of peer relationships within sport on a variety of motivationally and psychologically salient outcomes and provide direction for the development of training programs targeted to create positive and healthy sport experiences.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Atkins, Matthew R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predictors of Hiv-related Neurocognitive Impairment in an Hiv/aids Population

Description: Although, in the United States HIV infectivity has increased, survival rates have also improved due to highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). Adherence to HAART successfully prevents the progression of AIDS and AIDS-related morbidity for many living with HIV. Unfortunately, HAART’s permeability into the central nervous system (CNS) is limited; thus, the prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) still persists. The health belief model (HBM) is the theory often used to explain and predict behavior in relation to chronic illness. This model incorporates perceptions of susceptibility, vulnerability, and severity towards a particular illness, and beliefs regarding perceived efficacy and benefits of treatment. This study expands the existing model. Many who live with HIV have a long history of negative experiences, such as stigmatization, traumatic events, and discrimination. I examined supplementary psychosocial and physiological predictor variables, such as stigma, trauma, ethnicity, general medical conditions, HIV-opportunistic infections, and falls; all relevant to disease progression in HIV. Previous researchers found links between stigma and immune function, trauma and memory, ethnicity and neuropsychological impairment, and symptom load and CNS-related alterations. Therefore, this study examined how these different psychosocial predictor variables are associated with HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. My model explained 38.6% of the variance in the outcome variable, and I found that trauma (B = -.15, OR = .87; CI 95% = .75, 1.0, p = .05), ethnicity (B = 2.2, OR = 9.0, CI 95% = 1.68, 48.48, p =.01), general medical conditions (B = .30, OR = 1.34; CI 95% = 1.0, 1.81, p = .05), and falls (B = 2.0, OR = 7.2; CI 95% = 1.1, 47.0, p = .04), were all significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. However, contrary to my hypothesis, HIV-related opportunistic infections and HIV-related stigma were not significant predictors of HIV-related neurocognitive impairment. I hope that my results ...
Date: August 2012
Creator: Steinberg, Tara, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries