UNT Theses and Dissertations - 9 Matching Results

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Adult Attachment Patterns, Mental Representation of Self, and Faith: Mediators of Childhood Trauma and Affect-Behavior Regulations in Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to investigate psychological mechanism by which four intra- and inter-personal characteristics of an individual (anxious and avoidant adult attachment patterns, images of self, and religious faith) mediate the relationship between childhood trauma and each of three affect-behavior regulation problems in adulthood (symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and substance abuse). A total of 401 college student participants completed a packet of 18 surveys including 10 surveys used in the present study. Structural equation modeling was used to test each of three hypothesized structural models (Depression, Eating Disturbances, and Substance Abuse). A series of multi-group analyses conducted to test if each of three hypothesized models is invariant across gender indicated no significant difference between females and males. Thus, the data were combined across gender to test for mediated effects in each of three hypothesized models. The results indicated: (a) for the hypothesized model for depression, anxious attachment patterns, avoidant attachment patterns, and negative self-images, but not religious faith, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and symptoms of depression; (b) for the model for eating disturbances, anxious attachment and negative images of self, but not avoidant attachment and religious faith, fully mediated the association between childhood trauma and disordered eating behaviors; and (3) for the mode for substance abuse, anxious attachment and poor religious faith, but not avoidant attachment and negative self-images, fully mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The findings of the present study have noteworthy implications for treatment. When clients who suffer from symptoms of depression, disordered eating behaviors, and/or substance abuse report a history of repetitive abuse and neglect by primary caregivers in childhood, clinicians need to assist clients in: (a) understanding an association of childhood maltreatment with affect-behavior regulation problems; (b) being aware of an impact of abuse ...
The Determinants and Consequences of Empathic Parenting: Testing an Expansion of Belsky's Model of Parenting Using SEM
An understanding of factors that enhance empathic parenting behaviors is of considerable importance to the study of child development and to the development of parenting interventions to promote child adjustment. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that predict empathic parenting with older children is of interest since most research examining parental empathy focuses on infants. These were the goals of the current study. Guided by Belsky's 1984 process model of the determinants of parenting that impact child development, an expanded model of the determinants of parenting is proposed that includes various parent, child, and contextual factors of influence. Using data from a community sample, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model's strength in predicting empathically attuned parenting with children ages 5 to 10 years and, ultimately, the child's psychoemotional functioning. Results support the expanded model; however, a reduced model was found to be superior and revealed unique relationships between the determinants of parenting. Specifically, a parent's psychoemotional functioning and childrearing beliefs and attitudes were found to be critical to the parent's ability to engage in empathic parenting behaviors. Other parent factors such as the parent's developmental history of abuse, maladaptive personality traits, and age, along with contextual factors and child characteristics, were found to influence parenting only indirectly through their impact on the parent's level of psychoemotional distress or childrearing beliefs and attitudes. Ultimately, the current findings support Belsky's claim that parent factors are the strongest predictors of empathic parenting. Implications of these findings are many. The results highlight the importance of assessing a parent's childrearing beliefs and attitudes and level of distress in conjunction with characteristics of the child when a family comes in for treatment. Moreover, the results identify many points of intervention to stopping the cycle of abuse.
Differences Among Abused and Nonabused Younger and Older Adults as Measured by the Hand Test
The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of participants' abused or nonabused status as it interacted with their age and gender in producing different patterns of Hand Test responses as a function of the age or gender of the card. Participants, 61 young adults (M age = 23) and 60 older adults (M age = 73), were presented with the original Hand Test cards, as well as four alternate versions (e.g., young male, young female, older male, and older female). Expected effects varying by age, gender, and abuse status were not found. Results indicated main effects for participant abuse status, which were largely consistent with previous Hand Test research. Significant interaction effects were also found for participant age by participant abuse status (p < .05), as well as participant age by participant gender by participant abuse status (p < .05). An interaction effect was also found for Hand Test version by participant abuse status (p < .05), Hand Test version by participant age by participant abuse status (p < .05), as well as Hand Test version by participant gender by participant abuse status (p < .05). These results suggest that the alternate forms of the cards may pull for certain responses among abused participants that would not have been identified otherwise via the standard version of the Hand Test, clinical interviews, or other projective and self-report measures of personality. Overall, the variations in Hand Test stimuli interact with participants' abuse status, and warrant the use of alternate versions of the Hand Test as a viable projective measure.
Effect of Loneliness on Older Adults' Death Anxiety
Previous research, as well as theory, has supported the existence of a relationship between death anxiety and loneliness in older adults but a causal examination has not been possible until now. A hypothesized model was developed which states that loneliness will lead to death anxiety mediated by cultural worldview. Longitudinal data was analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling in order to more fully explore this potentially causal relationship. The primary model was supported suggesting that loneliness can lead to death anxiety as mediated by cultural worldview. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Effects of Adult Romantic Attachment and Social Support on Resilience and Depression in Patients with Acquired Disabilities
The acquirement of a disability (e.g., spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, amputation, multi trauma) is a risk factor for psychological disturbance (e.g., depression). Research has established that social support and secure attachment are protective factors against psychological disturbance. Attachment patterns have also been associated with differences in perceived social support. Secure attachment and higher perceived social support have been implicated in greater levels of resilience but need to be validated with a population of individuals who have acquired a disability. The Experiences in Close Relationships, Social Provisions Scale, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Personal Health Questionnaire - 9 Depression Scale, and a Demographic were administered to 102 adult inpatients at a rehabilitation hospital undergoing an individualized rehabilitation program. Two MANOVAs were conducted to examine the direct associations of attachment classifications with the major dependent variables, as well as the various social support subscales. Path analysis tested two mediational models suggested by literature. Model 1 assessed the mediating role of attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance on the effect of social support on depression and resilience. Model 2 assessed the mediating role of social support on the effect of attachment anxiety or attachment avoidance on depression and resilience. Partial support was obtained for both models based on fit indices. A small but significant difference in the fit of the models was found, favoring Model 1. Clinical and research implications for this population and the limitations of the study are discussed.
Measuring Male Body Dissatisfaction: Factorial and Construct Validity of the Body Parts Satisfaction Scale for Men
Given the centrality of body dissatisfaction in the manifestation of health risk behaviors (e.g., eating disorders, muscle dysmorphia) and psychological distress in men, the ability to measure it accurately is essential. Across two studies, the psychometric properties and factor structure of a new measure of male body satisfaction were established. The Body Parts Satisfaction Scale for Men (BPSS-M) was found to have three scores: full body muscularity and leanness (18 items), upper body (12 items), and legs (4 items). All three scores were internally and temporally reliable, and support was found for the convergent, discriminant, and concurrent validity of the scores. The BPSS-M represents an advance in the measurement of male body image, providing researchers and clinicians with a versatile and valid way to assess this important construct.
Parent Psychopathology, Marital Adjustment, and Child Psychological Dysfunction: The Mediating Role of Attachment and Sibling Relationship
This study is part of a larger research project examining family attachment processes. The current study tests a family process model that postulates the mediating role of parent-child attachment and sibling relationship quality in the associations of parent psychopathology or marital adjustment to children's psychological dysfunction. A community sample of 86 families with at least one school-aged (8-12 years) child was recruited from area schools and organizations. Families came to the UNT Family Attachment Lab, where they participated in research tasks, including interviews, self-report instruments, and videotaped interaction tasks. Specific questionnaires used in this study included the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire, the Security Scale, the Behavior Assessment System for Children, the Symptom Assessment-45 Questionnaire, and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. Using a single indicator for each variable, path analyses tested three paternal models, three maternal models, and three systemic models using different informants' (i.e., father, mother, child) reports of child functioning as the outcome variable. Results of this study highlight the positive relationship between parent marital adjustment and parent-child attachment security, as well as the inverse relationship between maternal psychopathology and mother-child attachment security. In addition, the inverse relationship between parent-child attachment security and child psychological dysfunction was significant across nearly all paternal and maternal models. Particularly noteworthy was the consistent mediating influence of attachment security in the association between marital adjustment and child psychological dysfunction across paternal and maternal models.
The Relationship Between Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder Symptomatology: An Examination of Moderating Variables
The purpose of this study was to examine whether Psychological Well-Being (comprised of self-esteem, optimism, satisfaction with life, and self-determination), perfectionism, body surveillance, and neuroticism moderated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms after controlling for social desirability and actual physical size. 847 female undergraduate students participated in the study. Participants completed an online questionnaire packet. An exploratory factor analysis determined that self-determination, optimism, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life loaded on to one factor representing Psychological Well-Being. Hierarchical moderated regression (HMR) was used to control for the influences of social desirability and body mass index on bulimic symptoms and then determine the main and interactive effects of body dissatisfaction and each moderator. Four variables (neuroticism, body surveillance, concern over mistakes, and doubts about actions) strengthened the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptomatology, whereas Psychological Well-Being weakened the relationship. Parental expectations, parental criticism, and personal standards did not moderate the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptomatology.
The Role of Attachment in the Intergenerational Transmission of Abuse: From Childhood Victimization to Adult Re-Victimization and Distress
Research indicates that victims of childhood abuse are at increased risk for transmitting violence in adulthood-a phenomenon known as the intergenerational transmission of abuse (ITA). Adult survivors of childhood victimization (i.e., child abuse or witnessed parental violence) are at increased risk for becoming abusive parents, perpetrators of intimate partner violence, and victims of intimate partner violence. The current study examined the latter form of ITA, in which a survivor of childhood victimization is re-victimized in adulthood by intimate partner violence. Attachment theory has been used to explain the ITA by positing that abuse is transmitted across generations via insecure attachment. The purpose of this study was to use structural equation modeling to test the attachment theory of ITA by examining the role of childhood and adult attachment in predicting re-victimization and symptoms of distress in adulthood. In the hypothesized model, childhood victimization by one's parents was hypothesized to predict adult intimate partner violence victimization through insecure attachment relationships in childhood (with one's parents) and adulthood (with one's partner). Furthermore, adult romantic attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were hypothesized to predict different symptoms of distress. Self-report measures from 59 adult woman seeking services for intimate partner victimization at a domestic violence clinic were analyzed using a partial least squares path analysis. Results supported a reduced model in which insecure attachments in childhood and adulthood significantly predicted the ITA, but only through father-child attachment and not mother-child attachment. In addition, adult romantic attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance predicted different symptoms of distress. Results supported the attachment theory of the ITA and highlighted the importance of examining outcomes of adult attachment anxiety and avoidance separately. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.