UNT Theses and Dissertations - 669 Matching Results

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Absorption, Relaxation, and Imagery Instruction Effects on Thermal Imagery Experience and Finger Temperature
A skill instruction technique based on cognitive behavioral principles was applied to thermal imagery to determine if it could enhance either subjective or physiological responsiveness. The effects of imagery instruction were compared with the effects of muscle relaxation on imagery vividness, thermal imagery involvement, and the finger temperature response. The subjects were 39 male and 29 female volunteers from a minimum security federal prison. The personality characteristic of absorption was used as a classification variable to control for individual differences. It was hypothesized that high absorption individuals would reveal higher levels of imagery vividness, involvement, and finger temperature change; that imagery skill instruction and muscle relaxation would be more effective than a control condition; and that the low absorption group would derive the greatest benefit from the imagery task instruction condition. None of the hypotheses was supported. Finger temperature increased over time during the experimental procedure but remained stable during thermal imagery. The results suggest that nonspecific relaxation effects may best account for finger temperature increases during thermal imagery. Results were discussed in relation to cognitive-behavioral theory and the characteristic of absorption.
Academic, Social and Emotional Functioning of College Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with negative occupational, social and psychological outcomes among community samples of adults; as such, it is expected that college students with ADHD face similar struggles. The research targeting this group of individuals, however, is sparse and tempered by significant limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations in the current literature by including instruments to formally diagnosis ADHD and comorbid disorders, utilizing psychometrically sound instruments and comparing functioning of college students with ADHD across gender and subtype. It was hypothesized that participants with ADHD would report lower GPAs, higher levels of emotional distress and negative relationship characteristics than participants without ADHD. It was also hypothesized that participants with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C) would report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than participants with ADHD-predominately inattentive type (ADHD-I), and that participants with ADHD-I would report higher levels of anxiety and depression than participants with ADHD-C. Women diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of anxiety and depression than men diagnosed with ADHD; whereas, men diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than women. MANOVA, ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to test hypotheses. Results revealed no significant differences between the ADHD and comparison group on GPA and relationship characteristics. Participants diagnosed with ADHD did report significantly higher emotional distress than participants in the comparison group. No differences in GPA or relationship characteristics were found across ADHD subtype or gender. Overall, these findings provide evidence to suggest that college students with ADHD are functioning relatively well compared to their non-ADHD peers.
Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women
Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed.
Acculturation in African American College Women and Correlates of Eating Disorders
Although eating disorders have been the focus of much research, the inclusion of minority populations has been minimal. A recent review of the literature by Dolan (1991) has found that eating disorders were most likely to be present in non-White women who were exposed to Western societies and cultures. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine personality, physical, and cultural correlates of bulimic symptomatology in a sample of African American college women. The Bulimia Test Revised (BULIT-R) was used to assess bulimia symptoms. The African American Acculturation Scale (AAAS), the Beliefs about Attractiveness Scale Revised (BAAR factors 1 and 2), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), the Centers for Epidemiological Depression Scale (CES-D), Body Parts Satisfaction Scale (BPSS), and body mass were the independent variables hypothesized to predict bulimic symptoms. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that body mass, depression, and low self-esteem were the best predictors of bulimic symptomatology, together accounting for 38% of the variance. Beliefs about attractiveness and body satisfaction were related to bulimic symptoms but not when considered simultaneously with the other variables. Acculturation was not predictive of bulimic symptoms. 0-ordered correlations revealed that beliefs about attractiveness and body satisfaction were correlated with bulimic symptoms. Acculturation was not related to any variables except depression. Implications for counseling interventions as well as directions for future research are discussed.
Acculturation Level, Generational Status and Gender: Their Role in Acculturative Stress in Young Adolescent Mexican Americans
The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between acculturation level, generational status, and gender with acculturative stress. Acculturation level was determined by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) and acculturative stress was determined by the Societal, Attitudinal, Familial and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale-Children's Version (SAFE-C). Subjects included 1268 Hispanic children ages 11-15. In order to validate the usefulness of the ARSMA-II with this sample, analyses were conducted between acculturation level and generational status. The Pearson product moment correlation (r=.44) and the ANOVA between the mean acculturation score and generational status were significant. However, the mean acculturation score from this study was considerably lower than the ARSMA-II score; therefore, new acculturation levels were developed to establish local adolescent norms for the ARSMA-II. All analyses involving acculturation levels were conducted using both the ARSMA-II and new acculturation levels because 300 subjects were reclassified with the new norms. Significant results were similar using both acculturation levels; however, there were more between group differences using the new acculturation levels. It was hypothesized that as acculturation level increased toward the Anglo culture, acculturative stress would decrease. The one-way ANOVA confirmed this relationship. It was also hypothesized that as generational status increased, acculturative stress would decrease. A one-way ANOVA also supported this hypothesis. In order to replicate previous findings on gender, a one-way ANOVA was conducted with acculturative stress and acculturation level. Results for both were non-significant. Overall findings indicate that generational status and acculturation level have a significant impact on acculturative stress in Hispanic children; however, gender does not seem to be a factor. Findings emphasize the importance of addressing cultural issues in the assessment, intervention, and treatment of acculturating Hispanic children. Furthermore, the ARSMA-II appears to be a useful instrument in assessing acculturation level in young adolescent Hispanics though new ...
Acculturative Processes and Their Impact on Self-Reports of Psychological Distress in Mexican-American Adolescents
The current study examined the effects of acculturative processes on the self-report of behavioral problems in Hispanic children ages 11-14. Acculturation was measured by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) (ã Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, www.sagepub.com) (Cuellar, Arnold, and Maldonado, 1995) and the self-report of behavioral symptoms was assessed using the Youth Self-Report (ã T.M. Achenbach, Burlington, VT, www.aseba.com) (Achenbach, 1991). It was hypothesized that while both the linear and orthogonal categories of acculturation would account for a significant proportion of the variance in behavior problems in this age group, the orthogonal model would account for a larger proportion of variance due to its multidimensional nature. As well, it was hypothesized that the experimental Marginalization scales of the ARSMA-II would be predictive of behavioral problems. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to test these hypotheses and results were non-significant for the linear, orthogonal, and marginalization categories. The effects of the ethnic/cultural homogeneity of the region from which the sample was drawn, the buffering of social support, and the developmental aspects of ethnic identity are discussed as factors which may have influenced the potential impact of acculturative stress on psychological and behavioral functioning.
Accuracy of Partner Perception and Relationship Satisfaction: Investigating Masturbatory Habits
An individual's perceptions of various aspects of one's romantic relationship (irrespective of whether or not the perceptions align with reality) often play a critical role in romantic relationship satisfaction. Research has demonstrated that the accuracy of an individual's perception of his or her partner is generally positively related to the individual's romantic relationship satisfaction. However, when perceiving negative or conflictual messages from a partner, an individual's accuracy of perception is negatively associated with his or her romantic relationship satisfaction. Researchers have suggested that poor accuracy in perceiving negative messages might diffuse the negative intention in a way that is less impactful to the relationship. The present study was designed to investigate accuracy in the perception of sexual topics, specifically masturbatory habits. A sample of 93 married couples (186 individuals) responded to questions about (a) their own masturbatory behaviors and (b) their perception of their partners' masturbatory behaviors to determine the accuracy of each partner's perception of his or her partner. The association between accuracy and romantic and sexual relationship satisfaction was explored, along with one potential moderating variable: attitudes toward masturbation. Perceived reason for masturbating, perceived target of arousal during masturbation, and partner's actual reason for masturbating all positively predicted an individual's relationship satisfaction. Partner's actual openness about masturbatory behaviors moderated the association between accuracy of partner perception of openness about masturbation and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. When partners were more open about masturbation, accuracy was a stronger positive predictor of relationship and sexual satisfaction than when partners were less open about masturbation. Results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications are discussed.
An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model of Attachment Processes, Conflict Resolution, and Psychological Abuse on Relationship Quality in a Community Sample of Heterosexual Couples.
The purpose of this study is to determine whether adult attachment style, psychological abuse in the marriage, conflict resolution strategies, and gender are associated with relational quality in childless couples in the early years of their marriage. Data were collected from 92 married couples who were recruited from university campuses, churches, and community organizations through e-mails, flyers, newspaper advertisements and mailings. Conceptualizing the interdependence of dyadic data from the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), multilevel linear modeling (MLM) was used to analyze differences within and between couples. It was hypothesized that higher levels of attachment anxiety or avoidance, psychological abuse, and maladaptive conflict resolution strategies would be associated with lower relational quality. Results indicated that attachment avoidance had stronger associations with relational quality than did attachment anxiety, and that higher levels of attachment avoidance were associated with lower relational quality. Additionally, findings indicated a direct negative relationship between both actor and partner psychological abuse and the actor's relational quality. The discussion section addresses strengths and limitations of the present study as well as directions for future research.
Adolescent Behavior Problems and Interparental Conflict: the Moderating Role of Parent-child Attachment
The current study examined the role that parent-child attachment plays in the relationship between marital conflict and the development of behavior problems in adolescents. To evaluate the hypothesis that attachment moderates this relationship, 57 families were recruited via e-mail invitation sent to families that participated in local church youth groups, school organizations, and a treatment program designed for adolescents with behavior problems. One custodial parent and his/her adolescent child completed an online or paper version of a survey consisting of the Achenbach’s Behavior Checklists, the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment, and the Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale. Hypotheses were evaluated using Baron and Kenny’s (1986) procedures to test moderating effects with multiple regression analyses. Mother attachment demonstrated a significant moderation effect between the intensity of interparental conflict and the parent’s report of externalizing behavior problems. Specifically, at low conflict intensity levels, relative to low attachment security, high attachment security was associated with fewer externalizing behavior problems, whereas at high intensities of interparental conflict high attachment security was associated with more externalizing behavior problems.
Adolescent Self-Mutilating Behaviors: Experiential Avoidance Coupled with Imitation?
Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Adult Attachment and Posttraumatic Growth in Sexual Assault Survivors.
Posttraumatic growth, defined as positive psychological changes in the aftermath of adversity and suffering, is a relatively recent focus in psychological research. The addition of this concept to the literature has provided a new, more resiliency-based framework through which to view survivors of various forms of trauma. Despite estimates that over half of all sexual assaults are not reported to the authorities, current crime statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime (Campbell & Wasco, 2005). Given the large percentage of the population that is impacted by sexual assault, it is essential that professionals better understand the factors that influence the successful healing and growth that can occur post-trauma. The purpose of this study was to further expand the literature on posttraumatic growth in sexual assault survivors by considering this phenomenon through the lens of attachment theory. Specifically, this study tested a proposed model of the inter-relationships among subjective and objective perceptions of threat during the sexual assault, adult romantic attachment, and posttraumatic growth. It was hypothesized that adult romantic attachment and parent-child attachment would mediate the relationship between subjective, or perceived threat, defined as the victim's perception of life threat, and objective threat, defined as the severity of the sexually aggressive act perpetrated on the victim, and posttraumatic growth. Finally, it was hypothesized that subjective threat appraisal would better predict posttraumatic growth than objective threat appraisal. Contrary to hypotheses, results of the study indicated that adult romantic attachment and parent-child attachment did not mediate the relationship between subjective and objective threat appraisal and posttraumatic growth. Thus, both path analytic models were not viable. However, exploratory analysis indicated that both subjective and objective threat appraisal were directly related to posttraumatic growth, with subjective perceived threat appraisal accounting for more of the variance.
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 ...
Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Personality Characteristics and Comorbidity
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is surrounded by confusion and controversy regarding its definition, course, etiology and treatment. Among adults, ADHD is rarely considered a diagnostic reality of primary importance and is often overlooked. This study provides descriptive validity for adult ADHD in distinguishing it from controls, and identifying both a pure condition and one wrought with comorbidity.
Aerobic Conditioning: Effects on Locus of Control, Mood States, and General Well-Being
This study was conducted to examine the sequelae of cardiovascular conditioning on locus of control, short-term mood, and psychological well-being. A pre-post test design, with control group, was used to measure the effects of a one month program of aerobic conditioning on adult volunteers. This study also sought to examine ways in which fitness changes covaried with psychological changes, and to describe patterns of change taking place during aerobic conditioning.
Affective Forecasting: the Effects of Immune Neglect and Surrogation
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 ...
Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment
Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children.
African American Father Influences on the Career Development of Emerging Adults
The current study examined the paternal influences on the career development of African American emerging adults. While statistics have shown that many African Americans remain in the lower socioeconomic status bracket and have worse academic and career outcomes, still many African Americans are successful. The literature seems to attribute lack of success to low socioeconomic status, but attributes success to close family relationships. However, most of these studies have focused on maternal relationships and have neglected to include the influence of paternal relationships. Studies that have examined African American fathers have emphasized their negative attributes. Previous studies have also failed to consider the influence of other factors on the career development process such as ethnic identity and psychological adjustment. This study explored the influence of contextual, family, and developmental factors on the career process of African American emerging adults. One hundred sixty-seven African American undergraduate students ages 18 to 25 were recruited for participation in this study. Regression analyses indicated that the quality of the father-child relationship influenced career development, though not in the manner expected. High levels of father support enhanced well-being for individuals with high ethnic identity, but did not produce the same results for individuals with low ethnic identity. Well-being was a significant predictor of career maturity. Explanations, implications, and future directions are discussed.
Age and Responses to the Events of September 11, 2001
Following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, many turned to the field of psychology for greater understanding of the impact of such events and guidance in supporting our citizens. This study sought to gain greater understanding of the differential impact of the September 11th attack on individuals by investigating the influence of age, psychological hardiness, and repression versus sensitization as forms of coping behavior on psychological health. Both an initial cross-sectional sample (172 young adults & 231older adults) and a short-term longitudinal follow-up (39 young adults & 58 older adults) were included in the study. Older age, psychological hardiness and the use of a repressing coping style were found to each individually relate to greater resilience/less dysfunction at both time one and two. For young adults, high hardy repressors faired best, followed by high hardy sensitizers. Low hardy young adults demonstrated similar levels of dysfunction regardless of coping style (repressions/sensitization). For older adults, coping style impacted both high and low hardy individuals equally, with high hardy repressors demonstrating greater functioning. This study attempted to gain greater insight into explanations for these and previous findings of greater resilience among older adults. In explaining the greater resilience of older adults, it seems that coping style is highly important, while hardiness and the impact of history-graded events does not explain the resilience of older adults.
Age/Cohort Differences in Aspects of the Self-System
Age/cohort differences in several aspects of the self-system were investigated utilizing a sentence completion paradigm. Eighty-eight adults over age sixty and one hundred eight adults under age forty served as subjects. Subjects were asked to complete 30 self-referent sentence stems which were pre-structured to elicit information from the self-system. Responses were subjected to a content analysis utilizing a coding system which contained concepts used by subjects in their self-representations. Contents were coded for dimensions conceptually related to Physical Health, Autonomy, Self-Evaluation, Depression, Spirituality, and Altruism. Frequencies of codings were counted and subjected to statistical analysis for performing age group comparisons.
Agreement Between Self and Other Ratings in Multi-Rater Tools: Performance, Alternative Measures, and Importance.
Multi-rater tools also referred to as 360-degree feedback tools, are frequently used in addition to traditional supervisory appraisals due to sources (i.e., supervisor, peer, direct report) unique perspectives and opportunities to view different aspects of job performance. Research has found that the differences among sources are most prevalent between self and other ratings, and the direction of agreement is related to overall job performance. Research has typically focused on one form of agreement, the direction of an individual's self-ratings compared to others' ratings. The current study expanded on past research on rater agreement using a data set (n = 215) consisting of multi-rater data for professionals participating in a leadership development process. The study examined the ability to predict job performance with three different measures of self-other agreement (i.e., difference between overall mean scores (difference), mean absolute difference across items (difference), and mean correlation across items (similarity)). The study also examined how the relationships may differ across performance dimensions. The final purpose was to explore how the importance of the performance dimensions, as rated by the participant, may moderate the relationship between self-other agreement and job performance. Partial support for study's hypotheses was found. The direction and difference measures of agreement on the overall multi-rater tool and performance dimensions accounted for a significant amount of the variance in job performance. The relationship between the similarity measure of agreement and job performance, and the moderating effect of importance were not supported in the current study.
Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It
The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Alzheimer's Disease and Attention: An Investigation into the Initial Stage of Information Processing
This study explores the possibility that attentional deficits are an early clinical symptom of Alzheimer's disease. The three goals are to demonstrate that individuals with Alzheimer's disease are impaired on tasks of attentional processing, to compare the sensitivity of currently used measures of attention to attentional dysfunction, and to compare the behavioral response styles (errors of commission) of Alzheimer's disease subjects and non-impaired subjects. The subjects were 22 males and 46 females with a mean age of 70.76 years. Thirty-six had the presumptive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease; 18 were identified as mildly impaired and 18 as moderately impaired on the Cognitive Capacity Screening Examination. The remaining 32 subjects comprised the non-impaired control group. Five measures of attention were administered to all participants: the Digit Span Subtest of the WAIS-R, the Seashore Rhythm Test of the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Battery, the Vigilance and Distractibility tasks of the Gordon Diagnostic System, and the Concentration/Interference task. The results show a significant difference in attentional processing between normal (non-impaired) subjects and subjects diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. All measures of attention used in this study, except the Concentration/Interference task, differentiated normal subjects from moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects. The Digit Span Subtest and the Seashore Rhythm Test were unable to differentiate between normals and mildly impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects or between mildly and moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects. The Gordon Diagnostic System was able to distinguish normals form mildly impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects and mildly from moderately impaired Alzheimer's disease subjects. On the Gordon Diagnostic System the Alzheimer's disease subjects made significantly more errors of commission than did the normal subjects. This investigation concludes that attentional processing dysfunction occurs in the dementing process associated with Alzheimer's disease. The findings suggest that the Gordon Diagnostic System is a more sensitive technique for assessing attentional dysfunction than the ...
Ambiguity of Loss, Anticipatory Grief, and Boundary Ambiguity in Caregiver Spouses and Parents
The purpose of the present cross-sectional study was to examine the effects of ambiguity of loss and type of caregiver-to-patient relationship on anticipatory grief, negative physical and psychological outcomes associated with grief, and boundary ambiguity in family caregivers of chronically ill patients. Questionnaires were completed by 23 parents of ill children and 30 spouses of ill mates. Using an original and a revised concept for level of ambiguity, partial support was found for the prediction that parents and spouses in high ambiguity of loss circumstances would report more anticipatory grief than those in low ambiguity ones. Contrary to prediction, a slight but nonsignificant trend occurred for parents and spouses in low ambiguity situations to report more negative physical and psychological effects associated with grief as well. Level of ambiguity was not found to impact boundary ambiguity as had been hypothesized. Spouses reported more boundary ambiguity than parents, regardless of level of ambiguity of the loss. Contrary to prediction that parents would report less anticipatory grief and more negative physical and psychological outcomes than spouses, generally, no significant differences were found between the two groups. However, using the original concept of ambiguity, parents did tend to recall more past grief than spouses. The study highlighted several methodological concerns which impact research on loss and grief, particularly the difficulty involved in recruiting participants with subsequent occurrence of sampling bias, rudimentary status of available measurement tools, and a host of potentially confounding personal and sociodemographic variables. The present study supports a view of the loss which occurs in families dealing with chronic illness as a complex process whose impact on grief, distress, and family upheaval is influenced by multiple factors. Such factors include both the ambiguity of the loss and the type of family relationship involved. Complex research of a longitudinal nature using ...
An Analysis of the Performance of a Clinical Sample of African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic Children on the WISC-III
The goals of revision for the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition included enhancement of the factor structure, improvement of subtests, and revision of norms. The researchers reported that the very few items that were found to be biased were replaced. The WISC-III performance of a clinical sample of African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic children was analyzed to determine if the test bias was eliminated as claimed in the goals of the revision.
Anger Reduction in Closed Head Injured Individuals with Group Social Skills Training
In the present study, an anger management treatment program was compared to a pseudo-social skills training program (self-help group) and waiting list control group to determine its effectiveness in reducing irritable/angry behavior in head injured subjects. Subjects consisted of 28 adults with previous head injury trauma who had difficulty with excessive irritability and anger. Subjects averaged 35.4 years of age and had an average of 8.9 years post head injury. Treatment consisted of 10 group sessions over a five week period. Anger management training was designed to teach subjects self management skills aimed at reducing the frequency of angry acting out behavior. Training methods included role playing, relaxation training, assertiveness training and cognitive restructuring. The pseudo-social skills training group was a self-help group designed to encourage discussion of irritability problems without teaching specific coping techniques. To assure some degree of homogeneity in cognitive abilities among subjects, minimum eligibility scores were required on five subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale - Revised and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. Dependent measures were pre and posttreatment scores obtained from five categories of the Katz Adjustment Scale - Relative form: belligerence, negativity, general psychopathology, social obstreperousness, and social role functioning. In addition, pre and posttreatment recordings of observed angry/irritable behavior in the subjects were obtained from a significant other. Results failed to reveal statistically significant differences on the dependent measures between the three study groups. In addition, analysis failed to reveal any significant variables that predicted outcome. It is evident that much more organized research is needed to further investigate the possibilities of treatment for various problems encountered by those with head injuries.
Antecedents of Commitment to and Support of a Proposed Change Initiative in a Southern Baptist Congregation.
This study extends research findings directed at a micro-focus of change by assessing individual organizational members' perspectives and psychological constructs influencing change efforts by an organization. The change initiative in question regards the construction of a new facility and subsequent relocation to said facility. Moral commitment to the organization (negative), change initiative's fit with organizational vision, and social influence significantly contributed to variance in members' affective commitment to change. Trust in leadership and normative commitment to the organization (NCO) significantly contributed to variance in members' normative commitment to change. Continuance commitment to the organization and participation (negative) significantly contributed to variance in members' continuance commitment to change. NCO, change initiative's fit with organizational vision, and participation significantly contributed to variance in support of the proposed change initiative. Affective commitment to the organization (negative), NCO (negative), trust in leadership (negative), and disruption of influence significantly contributed to variance in members' intent to leave the organization.
Antecedents of the Psychological Adjustment of Children and Grandparent Caregivers in Grandparent-Headed Families
Grandparent-headed families are diverse in nature and represent a rapidly growing family type. While challenges facing grandparent caregivers are well documented, less is known about the well-being of their grandchildren, with many early studies relying on small samples of convenience. This study used an existing large national database, the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), to compare differences in well-being of both children and grandparent caregivers across the independent variables of family type, ethnicity, gender, and age. Findings suggested better mental health and less parental aggravation for caregivers in traditional two parent intact families as compared to grandparents co-parenting in a multi-generation home, skipped generation grandparents (raising their grandchild with no parent present) or single parents. Skipped generation grandparents in particular reported most caregiver aggravation. Child physical health was reported to be worse by skipped generation grandparent caregivers. Behavior problems were reported to be worse for children in grandparent headed households than those in traditional families, particularly for teenagers raised in skipped generation households by their grandmothers. Specific results, limitations and future directions for research on grandparent-headed households were discussed.
Anticipating Work and Family: Experience, Conflict, and Planning in the Transition to Adulthood
The purpose of this study was to examine the development of work and family plans in young adults, and to clarify the long-term stability, prevalence, and consequences of anticipated work-family conflict. The study utilizes Super’s model of career development and social cognitive career theory, as well as research on current work-family interface, as a framework for understanding the period of anticipating and planning for multiple role integration that occurs between adolescence and adulthood. A sample of 48 male and 52 female college students assessed two years prior completed self-report questionnaires measuring work, marriage, and parenting experience; anticipated work-family conflict; and multiple-role planning. Results of this study suggest that students desire both a career and a family, and recognize potential challenges of a multiple-role lifestyle. Such recognition of anticipated work-family conflict varies by conflict domains and measurement methods, but remains stable over two years. Results also suggest that anticipated work-family conflict does not mediate the relationship between experience and planning; instead, marriage experience predicts planning directly. Implications for the findings are discussed as are suggestions for directions of new research concerning anticipated work-family conflict and planning for multiple roles.
Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy
This study investigated the relationship among anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances and the treatment of these three disorders through neurotherapy. Research suggests that these conditions commonly co-occur in the general population and that central nervous system (CNS) arousal may play a primary role in the development and maintenance of these disorders. Several recent studies suggested that neurotherapy, a biofeedback-based treatment for CNS dysregulation, might be an effective treatment for comorbid conditions, particularly the ones of interest here, depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. This investigation used a clinical case-series design to assess pre/post neurotherapy changes on objective measures of anxiety, depression, and sleep and to determine whether changes in anxiety and depression then predict improvements in sleep quality. Data for 23 participants (10 males) were obtained from files of adults (Mage = 40.22 years, SD = 16.20) who received at least 15 neurotherapy sessions (M = 47.83 sessions, SD = 22.23) the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab. Matched pair t-tests revealed that symptoms of sleep disturbance, depression, and anxiety showed significant improvements following neurotherapy. Neurotherapy treatment effect sizes generally ranged from moderate to large (d = .414 - .849). Multiple regression analysis found that changes in self-reported anxiety symptoms, but not depressive symptoms, predicted observed improvements in sleep quality (adjusted R2 = .26). Last, the implications and limitations were discussed in relation to neurotherapy practice and the associated research.
Applied Sport Psychology Consultation: Effects of Academic Training, Past Athletic Experience, and Interpersonal Skill on Female Athletes' Ratings
Applied sport psychology consultation is a relatively new phenomenon with limited empirical underpinnings. The purpose of the study was to evaluate three applied sport psychology consultant personal and professional characteristics within Strong's social influence model that have been suggested to impact consultants' effectiveness in working directly with athletes and their performance problems. The three consultant characteristics were academic training, past athletic experience, and interpersonal skill. Division I female athletes (N = 187) read written preconsultation information and watched a 10- minute vignette between a consultant and an athlete. Participants completed the Counselor Rating Form-Short (CRFS), the Sport Psychology Consultant Evaluation Form (CEF), and questions concerning willingness to work with the consultant. The data from the dependent measures were analyzed by a 2 (level of consultant academic training) X 2 (level of consultant past athletic experience) X 2 (level of consultant interpersonal skill) MANOVA. Results indicated that applied sport psychology consultants' academic training and past athletic experience had only limited influence on the participants' perceptions about the consultants. The Division I female athletes unambiguously rated consultants with positive interpersonal skills more favorably on all dependent measures regardless of the consultants' level of academic training or past athletic experience. Directions for future research and implication of the findings on training and certification in applied sport psychology are discussed.
Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?
Mindfulness is a core component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a widely utilized treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, the import of mindfulness in treating BPD has yet to be demonstrated, and the relationship of mindfulness to BPD constructs is unclear. The current study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relations of mindfulness with BPD features and the underlying constructs of interpersonal problem-solving effectiveness, impulsivity, emotion regulation strategies, and neuroticism in 342 young adults. Mindfulness was significantly related to effectiveness in interpersonal problem-solving, impulsivity and passivity in emotion regulation, and borderline features. Furthermore, mindfulness continued to predict borderline features when controlling for interpersonal problem-solving and impulsive/passive emotion-regulation strategies, as well as when controlling for neuroticism. It is concluded that difficulties with mindfulness may represent a core feature of BPD and that improvement in mindfulness may be a key component of treatment efficacy with BPD. It is recommended that the unique contribution of mindfulness be investigated in future treatment-outcome research.
Assessing Adolescent Personality and Interactional Style with the Rorschach and the Personality Inventory for Youth
An investigation was undertaken to examine two measures of personality and their utility with adolescent patient populations. The Rorschach, scored using Exner's (1991) Comprehensive System (2nd Ed.), and the Personality Inventory for Youth (PIY; Lachar & Gruber, in press) were explored as to their ability to distinguish inpatients from outpatients, males from females, and diagnostic groups from one another. COP, AG, CDI, DEPI, SCZI, and HVI scores on the Rorschach were utilized, as were the DIS, SOM, FAM, RLTY, WDL, and SSK scores from the PIY.
Assessing Maternal Functioning in Families of Children with Autism
Mothers and siblings of children with autism incur stressors that impact their well-being more adversely than mothers of children with ADHD or normally developing children. In Study 1, twenty-six mothers of children with autism (Group 1) were compared to 24 mothers of children with ADHD (Group 2) and 24 mothers with normally developing children (Group 3). All families included a normally developing child (ages 4 to 12). Measures to delineate levels of maternal functioning were administered. Results for Study 1 indicated that mothers of children with autism had higher levels of psychological symptomatology, higher parenting stress, poorer perceptions of their family environment and their ability to parent the siblings, and higher perceptions of internalized problems of the siblings than mothers with normally developing children. These findings support the literature stating that mothers of children with autism may experience increased levels of maternal stress. The reciprocal nature of the parent-child relationship suggests that parents should be involved in meeting the needs of siblings in these families. A subgroup of Group 1 mothers participated in a parent group that occurred simultaneously with a sibling group. Mothers were randomly assigned to participate in a parent/sibling group, a sibling only group, or a wait-list group. Intervention efficacy was assessed using Study 1 measures plus measures designed specifically for the intervention. Overall results of study 2 indicated that mothers in the deluxe intervention perceived their parenting of the siblings to have improved after the intervention when compared to the standard and wait-list groups. This suggested that concurrent mother/sibling intervention provided the mothers with beneficial information and contributed to their enhanced sense of competence about parenting the siblings. In addition, mothers in the deluxe intervention perceived their family environment and the behaviors of the sibling to get worse at post-intervention, but return to baseline over time. ...
Assessing the Psychological Impact of Fertility Treatment
This controlled descriptive study was designed to investigate the psychological status of couples who are engaged in advanced fertility treatments. A battery of psychological test instruments, including the Millon Behavioral Health Inventory (MBHI), the Health Attribution Test (HAT), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSDS), was used to measure psychological variables that have been shown in the infertility research literature to be associated with the psychological experiences of infertility patients. The scores from the four assessment instruments were compared with those of pregnant couples in childbirth education classes to differentiate the impact of stress associated with fertility treatment from the stress experienced by third trimester pregnant couples. Eighty-five subjects (42 male and 43 female) volunteered for the study and completed packets of questionnaires. The groups were designated Treatment (infertile couples) and Control (pregnant couples). The resulting data were collected and analyzed on the basis of group mean scores on the test instruments.
Assessment of Brain Damage: Discriminant Validity of a Neuropsychological Key Approach with the McCarron-Dial System
The present study investigates the predictive accuracy of a key approach to interpretation of the verbal-spatialcognitive (VSC) and sensorimotor (SM) factors of the McCarron-Dial System (MDS). The subjects include 99 brain damaged and 30 normal adults. The following research questions are addressed: (a) Does the neuropsychological key classify brain damaged and non-brain damaged subjects at a level significantly above chance? (b) Among the brain damaged subjects, does the neuropsychological key identify right brain damage, left brain damage and diffuse brain damage at an accuracy level significantly above chance? (c) Is the neuropsychological key approach superior to the empirical model derived from discriminant function analysis in predictive accuracy? The neuropsychological key correctly classifies 90% of the cases as brain damaged and 90% of the cases as non-brain damaged, for a total of 89.9% predictive accuracy. The obtained Kappa coefficient of .74 is statistically significant. The key accurately classifies 71.4% of the brain damaged group as right damage, 70% as left damage, and 93.8% as diffuse damage, for a total predictive accuracy of 7 9.5%. The Kappa coefficient of .68 is statistically significant. Chi square analysis of the difference between the key approach and multiple discriminant function analysis reveals that no significant difference is present between the accuracy of the two approaches in differentiating between brain damaged and non-brain damaged, or in differentiating among left, right and diffuse brain damage. The results support the validity of a neuropsychological key approach to interpretation of the McCarron-Dial System, although cross-validation is indicated to confirm the stability of these results. Differences in sex, educational level and racial composition of the comparison groups may have affected the results obtained. Refinement of the key in future research and the addition of test instruments assessing memory, auditory processing, attention and emotional/behavioral variables are recommended.
The Assessment of Cognitive Functioning among Patients with Unilateral Visual Neglect: Effects of Field of Presentation and Cueing
Prior evidence has shown a reduction of neglect on line bisection tasks as a function of altered hemispace presentation and left cueing. The present study was conducted to examine the effect of these factors in reducing symptoms of neglect on measures of general cognitive functioning. To examine proposed changes, revised versions of the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices and the Memory-for-Designs (MFD) Test were constructed by placing the target stimuli in the right hemifield. Two experimental presentations, a right hemispace condition and a right hemispace plus left cue prompt condition, were compared to the standard presentation format. The primary hypotheses predicted that RBD neglect patients would reveal enhanced performance on the criterion measures as a result of these manipulations. Significant correlations were predicted between the neglect measures and between the two scoring systems for the MFD. The sample was comprised of 54 hospitalized patients, assigned to either a RBD neglect group (N = 18), a RBD nonneglect group (N = 18) , or an orthopedic control group (N = 18) . Both RBD groups were administered the Mini Inventory of Right Brain Injury, to document the presence and severity of right brain injury. Presence of neglect was assessed via the Schenkenberg Line Bisection Task and the Bells Test for Visual Neglect. Subjects were examined under all three conditions by administering one third of the items for each condition. Neglect subjects demonstrated significantly poorer performance on both criterion measures than the two comparison groups. However, no significant improvement in performance was revealed with right hemispace presentation of stimuli or left cue prompts combined with the right hemispace version. Ancillary predictions concerning correlations for the neglect measures and MFD scoring systems were confirmed. Results are interpreted in terms of increased attentional demands and task complexity. These results suggest that, despite the frequent clinical ...
The Assessment of Cognitive Functioning of Persons with Schizophrenia: Identification of Neuropsychological Markers
The present study was conducted to clarify and expand knowledge of cognitive functioning in chronic schizophrenia patients (N=21) as compared to a bipolar group (N=20) and a normal group (N=20).
Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences.
Assessment of Competencies Among Doctoral Trainees in Psychology
The recent shift to a culture of competence has permeated several areas of professional psychology, including competency identification, competency-based education training, and competency assessment. A competency framework has also been applied to various programs and specialty areas within psychology, such as clinical, counseling, clinical health, school, cultural diversity, neuro-, gero-, child, and pediatric psychology. Despite the spread of competency focus throughout psychology, few standardized measures of competency assessment have been developed. To the authors' knowledge, only four published studies on measures of competency assessment in psychology currently exist. While these measures demonstrate significant steps in progressing the assessment of confidence, three of these measures were designed for use with individual programs, two of these international (i.e., UK and Taiwan). The current study applied the seminal Competency Benchmarks, via a recently adapted benchmarks form (i.e., Practicum Evaluation form; PEF), to practicum students at the University of North Texas. In addition to traditional supervisor ratings, the present study also involved self-, peer supervisor, and peer supervisee ratings to provide 360-degree evaluations. Item-response theory (IRT) was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PEF and inform potential revisions of this form. Supervisor ratings of competency were found to fit the Rasch model specified, lending support to use of the benchmarks framework as assessed by this form. Self- and peer-ratings were significantly correlated with supervisor ratings, indicating that there may be some utility to 360-degree evaluations. Finally, as predicted, foundational competencies were rated as significantly higher than functional competencies, and competencies improved significantly with training. Results of the current study provide clarity about the utility of the PEF and inform our understanding of practicum-level competencies.
Assessment of Competencies among Doctoral Trainees in Psychology
The recent shift to a culture of competence has permeated several areas of professional psychology, including competency identification, competency-based education training, and competency assessment. A competency framework has also been applied to various programs and specialty areas within psychology, such as clinical, counseling, clinical health, school, cultural diversity, neuro-, gero-, child, and pediatric psychology. Despite the spread of competency focus throughout psychology, few standardized measures of competency assessment have been developed. To the authors' knowledge, only four published studies on measures of competency assessment in psychology currently exist. While these measures demonstrate significant steps in progressing the assessment of confidence, three of these measures were designed for use with individual programs, two of these international (i.e., UK and Taiwan). The current study applied the seminal Competency Benchmarks, via a recently adapted benchmarks form (i.e., Practicum Evaluation form; PEF), to practicum students at the University of North Texas. In addition to traditional supervisor ratings, the present study also involved self-, peer supervisor, and peer supervisee ratings to provide 360-degree evaluations. Item-response theory (IRT) was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PEF and inform potential revisions of this form. Supervisor ratings of competency were found to fit the Rasch model specified, lending support to use of the benchmarks framework as assessed by this form. Self- and peer-ratings were significantly correlated with supervisor ratings, indicating that there may be some utility to 360-degree evaluations. Finally, as predicted, foundational competencies were rated as significantly higher than functional competencies, and competencies improved significantly with training. Results of the current study provide clarity about the utility of the PEF and inform our understanding of practicum-level competencies.
Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed.
Assessment of Malingering in a Jail Referral Population : Screening and Comprehensive Evaluation
Psychological assessment of mentally disordered offenders requires a systematic consideration of response styles, including malingering and defensiveness. Important components of these evaluations are standardized diagnostic interviews. However, the ability of offenders to feign mental disorders on such measures to achieve such external incentives as treatment, placement on safer units, or possible release from jail remains uninvestigated. With a known-groups comparison with the data from the Structured Interview of Reported Symptoms as a criterion, 24 suspected malingerers were compared to 64 genuine patients on the Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS), the abbreviated SADS-C, the Suicide Probability Scale, and the Referral Decision Scale.
Assessment of the Effects of Interpersonal Openness and Coping Resources on the Psychological Sequelae of Traumatic Victimization
The present study tested a model addressing whether interpersonal Openness and interpersonal and intrapersonal Coping Resources mediated the relationship between interpersonal Victimization and the Psychological Symptoms women experience as a result of these traumas. Victimization indicators (physical violence, sexual assault, psychological abuse, and revictimization), Coping indicators (optimism, self-esteem, private self-consciousness, social network and therapy), Openness indicators (self-silencing, communal orientation, trust, self-monitoring, and network orientation), and Psychological Symptoms indicators (global distress, dissociation, and suicidal ideation) were examined separately for African American (n = 245), Euro-American (n = 185), and Mexican American (n = 202) women. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that for African American and Euro-American women, Openness partially mediated the victimization-distress relationship. The model for Mexican Americans was the most complex with Openness and intrapersonal Coping fully mediating the psychological effects of victimization. Approximately 50% of the variance in psychological symptoms resulting from victimization was predicted by this model for African American and Euro-American women; over 80% of the variance was predicted for Mexican Americans. Thus, the importance of Openness to relationships in alleviating the psychological sequelae following interpersonal victimization was underscored by the results. Similarities and differences between these models are discussed. Implications of the results for future research and intervention are addressed.
Association Between Cognition and Depression: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.
Over the past twenty years the number of children identified with learning disabilities has risen drastically. In addition, 26 - 40% of these children also experience depression. While cognitive functioning has been demonstrated to be associated with depression, it is unclear whether the mood, vegetative, or cognitive symptoms of depression predict particular cognitive processes and vice versa. The purpose of this study was to determine which particular cognitive processes were associated with specific depressive symptoms and depression as a whole. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test a model which examined how three cognitive processing factors (verbal & visual reasoning, and attention/working memory) were associated with three depressive symptom factors (disturbances in mood, vegetative, and cognitive functioning). The data for SEM came from a large data set of children with learning disabilities (n=227). Model fit results supported the proposed model, and a significant association was found between the attention/working memory factor and the depression symptom factor reflecting disturbances in cognitive functioning. Less robust relationships were observed between verbal reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms and an approach toward the conventional level of significance was noted between visual reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms. Using a sub-sample of original participants who were re-evaluated 20-25 years later (n=40), longitudinal analyses were conducted to determine the predictive power of cognitive functioning and depression over time. There was some indication for the predictive power of visual reasoning performance in childhood on mood symptoms of depression in adulthood. The most robust association at both time 1 and time 2 was between attention/working memory performance and cognitive symptoms of depression. However, the association appeared to be time specific and not predictive.
Association Between Folate, Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Performance in Demented Elderly.
Dementia is prevalent among elderly people. As the world population ages, it is projected that the number of people affected by dementia may triple in the next 50 years. Over the last two decades, research has focused on identifying potentially modifiable risk factors in development and progression of dementia, such as vitamin B12 and folate. Results concerning the effects of low folate and vitamin B12 on cognitive performance are mixed. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of vitamin deficiency on cognitive functioning in a clinical sample of elderly individuals with cognitive problems using a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. A retrospective chart-review was performed on the 102 records of patients from the Geriatrics Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who presented with cognitive deficits. Charts were reviewed to obtain data on vitamin supplementation, vitamin status, history of chronic conditions and other biochemical data. The available database was used to obtain data on neuropsychological assessment. The study demonstrated mild association between vitamin B12 and folate status and cognitive deficits. There appeared to be a higher cut-off level that is above the traditionally used levels for vitamin B12 and folate deficiency concentrations at which cognitive deficits became more pronounced. Clinical applications, limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.
Associations Between Witnessing the Abuse of a Sibling in Childhood and Experiencing Trauma Related Symptoms in Adulthood
Currently sibling research is burgeoning, yet there is virtually no literature regarding outcomes associated with witnessing the abuse of a sibling. The present study aimed to address this gap in the literature. A sample of 284 university students were surveyed regarding traumatic experiences in childhood and adulthood, the quality of childhood sibling relationships, and the experience of trauma symptoms in adulthood. Regression and moderation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between witnessing the abuse of a sibling in childhood and trauma symptoms in adulthood and to assess whether sibling relationship quality moderates the association between sibling abuse and trauma symptomology. Results showed that witnessing the abuse of a sibling was associated with depression symptoms in the overall sample and for females reporting about a brother. Also, sibling conflict moderated the relationship between witnessed sibling abuse and externalization in sister-sister dyads. These associations should be considered in terms of the systemic abuse to which participants were exposed. Implications for clinical practice working with sibling-related victimization are discussed.
The Athlete Leader Role: Interaction of Gender, Sport Type, and Coaching Style.
Effective leadership is a concept shown to be important for successful team performance in the fields of business, education, and sport. In sport, the role of the athlete leader has been under-examined and specifically, how coaching behaviors can affect athlete leader behaviors and how various leadership models (e.g., trait, behavioral, situational) relate to the athlete leader role has never been studied. The present study examined how autocratic, democratic, and collaborative coaching styles affect the athlete leader behavior preferences of athletes of different genders and sport types. Three coach scenarios reflecting the three aforementioned coaching styles were created so that athletes could imagine that they were coached by the individual presented in the scenario and then rate what type of athlete leader behaviors that they would prefer given the style of the coach that they read about. Results showed that the coach scenarios failed to have a significant impact; however, significant differences were discovered between men and women and between individual and team sport athletes on variables measuring preferred performance/task, relationship, motivation, and representation behaviors. Data were gathered on the style of athletes' current coach and this variable also produced significant differences for such behaviors as resolving conflict, providing positive reinforcement, and acting respectfully towards others. In addition, exploratory analyses showed that athletes who hold different leadership positions prefer different athlete leader behaviors. The current study seemed to offer concrete evidence on how coaching style can affect athlete leader preferences and how the athlete leader role can be explained by trait, behavioral, and situational leadership theories; however, future studies will have to further explore the impact that a coach's style can have on the behavior of athlete leaders as well as analyzing the relationship between athlete leaders and teammates utilizing the transformational leadership approach.
Athletes' Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation: Development and Validation of the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire
The purpose of the study was to create a questionnaire to identify underlying dimensions of athletes' attitudes toward seeking sport psychology consultation. A total of 1138 athletes (625 males, 513 females) representing 36 sports from four levels of participation were used to develop the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire (SPAQ). In Study I, exploratory factor analysis produced a two-factor solution that accounted for 37.1% of the overall variance: (a) belief in the credibility of sport psychology (14 items) and (b) preference for similarity with a sport psychology consultant (SPC) (7 items). Three items were omitted following item analysis, and nine items were eliminated after failing to load higher than the cut-off value of .40 on either of the factors. In Study II, confirmatory factor analysis supported the two-factor model, and multigroup comparison in Study III demonstrated that the model fit well for both male and female samples. As for validity, the SPAQ factors predictably (a) distinguished between athletes with and without previous experience with a SPC, (b) related to ratings of helpfulness/satisfaction related to a previous experience with a SPC, and (c) correlated with willingness to see a SPC for help in the future. Also, the SPAQ factors were related, as predicted, to (a) belief that practicing sport psychology skills will lead to desirable outcomes, (b) interpersonal openness, and (c) affective prejudice toward identified outgroups but were not related to level of self-concept as hypothesized. Contrary to predictions, Gender X Race X SPC experience MANOVAs revealed no gender or racial differences in attitudes toward sport psychology consultation. It was concluded that the SPAQ is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing a set of important attitudinal dimensions with regard to seeking sport psychology consultation and a useful instrument for research and practice. Theoretical and empirical support for the interpretation of the ...
Athletic Trainers and Psychological Disorders Among Athletes: An Examination of Their Abilities to Recognize, Diagnose and Intervene.
Utilizing an analogue research design conducted via the Internet, this study assessed athletic trainers' abilities to recognize, diagnose, and intervene with a hypothetical athlete experiencing depression, and examined the impact of their gender, athlete gender, and athlete's presenting problem on their decisions. Athletic trainers' perceived competency in using psychosocial interventions with athletes, history of referring athletes to psychology professionals, and training backgrounds in psychology also were examined. Participants (270 male and 370 female certified athletic trainers) were randomly assigned to one of six conditions (Athlete Gender X Presenting Problem). After reading the appropriate vignette, they completed questions related to the athlete's psychological symptoms and diagnosis, referral recommendations, and use of psychosocial interventions if working with the athlete. The vignettes were identical except for the athlete's gender and problem. Overall, athletic trainers accurately identified the athlete's depressive symptoms/diagnosis and need for psychological referral. They rated the athlete significantly higher in Depressive Symptoms than in Anger/Agitation Symptoms and Compulsive Behavioral Symptoms, and as more likely to be experiencing a depressive disorder compared to an adjustment disorder, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder, or substance abuse disorder. Female athletic trainers provided significantly higher ratings of Depressive Symptoms than males and the injured athlete was rated significantly higher in Anger/Agitation than the performance problem athlete. Diagnosis ratings were not influenced by athlete gender, athletic trainer gender, or type of problem. Athletic trainers were most likely to refer the athlete to a psychology professional compared to an allied health professional, treating the athlete themselves, or doing nothing. Presenting problem significantly impacted referral recommendations. If treating the athlete themselves, athletic trainers were significantly more likely to use supportive interventions than cognitive-behavioral techniques; they felt significantly more competent in providing supportive interventions. Competency in both interventions was significantly enhanced if athletic trainers completed psychology coursework. Findings suggest that athletic ...
Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology
A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment insecurity, impairments in emotion regulation, and decreased mindfulness. Overall, the current study suggests that improving emotion regulation skills and increasing dispositional mindfulness may limit the expression of pathological personality traits. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.