UNT Theses and Dissertations - 28 Matching Results

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Family and Cultural Influences on Latino Emerging Adults' Career Development

Description: There is an extensive amount of research on career development, but most of the constructs studied have focused on content-oriented variables rather than process-oriented variables. While some of the studies have examined samples from ethnic minority populations, the majority of studies use ethnic minority populations as comparison groups, studying between-group differences as opposed to within-group differences. The literature is especially deficient in the are of Latino career development. The current study will examine how family and culture influence the career development of Latino emerging adults. This study will explore the influence of socioeconomic status and acculturation on the career salience and career maturity of Latino emerging adults. The quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship will also be explored for its influence on career development outcomes in this population. One hundred fifty Latino undergraduate students ages 18-24 will be recruited for participation in this study. The participants will complete questionnaires regarding demographic information, acculturation, the quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship, career salience, and career maturity.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Rodriguez, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Causative Genes on Neuropsychological Functioning in Familial Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease: A Meta-Analysis

Description: Mutations of three genes encoding amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2) have been shown to reliably result in familial early-onset Alzheimer's disease (FAD); a rare, but catastrophic, subtype of Alzheimer's disease (AD) marked by symptom emergence before age 65 as well as accelerated cognitive deterioration. The current study represents the first known meta-analysis on the association of APP, PSEN1 or PSEN2 on neurocognitive variables. A total of 278 FAD mutation-carriers (FAD-MC) and 284 cognitively healthy non-mutation-carriers (NC) across 10 independent investigations meeting inclusion criteria were chosen for the current meta-analysis (random effects design). Findings revealed an overarching trend of poorer performance by FAD-MC individuals compared to NC individuals across the majority of cognitive domains identified. Significant differences in effect sizes suggested FAD-MC individuals exhibited worse performance on measures of attention, explicit memory, fluency, primary memory, verbal, and visuospatial functioning. Findings indicative of differential sensitivity to cognitive domain impairments across FAD-MC and NC groups inform neuropsychological descriptions of individuals in preclinical phases of FAD.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Smotherman, Jesse M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigation of Relational and Overt Aggression Among Boys and Girls

Description: Given the paucity of research that has been conducted on aggression in girls (see Keenan, Loeber, & Green, 1999, for a review), it is important to examine different behavioral manifestations of aggression that may be more prevalent among girls than boys, such as relational aggression (see Crick et al., 1999, for a review). Relational aggression consists of behaviors that harm others through damage to their peer relationships or the threat of such damage (e.g., spreading rumors about a peer so that others will reject him/her, social exclusion; Crick & Grotpeter, 1995). Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are a particular subset of youth who are at increased risk for exhibiting aggressive behavior (Henker & Whalen, 1999; Whalen & Henker, 1985). The purpose of the present study was to assess the prevalence of relational aggression among children with attention problems as compared to the general population. Gender differences in relational aggression were also examined. In the current study, participants included 91 3rd-5th grade public school students. Teacher ratings of aggressive behavior and attention problems were obtained. Parents also completed measures to assess attention problems and social-psychological adjustment. Contrary to prediction, results indicated children with attention problems were not more aggressive than children without attention problems, regardless of the type of aggressive behavior assessed (i.e., relational or overt aggression). With respect to gender differences in relational aggression, results indicate the well-known gender effect for relational aggression only applies to Caucasian students in this sample, as a gender effect for relational aggression was not obtained for Hispanic students. Thus, the gender effect for relational aggression should not be considered a robust finding generalizable to all ethnic groups. Finally, relationally aggressive children were reported to be as well-adjusted as their non-relationally aggressive peers, which is not consistent with previous research. Regardless of aggression status, Hispanic ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Long, Melissa M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Job Embeddedness as a Predictor of Voluntary Turnover: Validation of a New Instrument

Description: Voluntary turnover has become a problem for many organizations in today's society. The cost of this turnover reaches beyond organizational impact, but also affects the employees themselves. For this reason, there has been a plethora of research conducted by both academicians and practitioners on the causes and consequences of voluntary turnover. The purpose of this study is to test the validity and generalizability of the job embeddedness model of voluntary turnover to the information technology (IT) industry. The IT field has been plagued with high turnover rates in recent years. In this study, the job embeddedness model (Mitchell et al., 2001) is applied to a population sample consisting of health care information technology employees.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Besich, John S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Measuring Change in University Counseling Center Students: Using Symptom Reduction and Satisfaction with Services to Propose a Model for Effective Outcome Research

Description: Abstract This study proposes a model for meeting increasingly mandated outcome research objectives in a university counseling center setting. It is proposed that counseling centers utilize their existing intake forms, along with an annual satisfaction survey to determine the effectiveness of counseling services. Effectiveness is defined as improvement and measured by the reduction of the symptoms or presenting concerns with which the client initially presented. It also introduces the Relative-Change Index (R-Chi) as an objective way to quantify intra-individual change occurring as a result of therapy. This new mathematical procedure allows for a more meaningful assessment of the client's degree of improvement, relative to their potential for improvement. By re-administering the problem checklist, routinely included as part of the initial paperwork for each client at intake, again post-therapy, it is possible to quantify improvement by measuring the difference in distressing concerns. Additionally, including a subjective, retrospective survey question asking the client to indicate their perceived rate if improvement at follow-up provides construct validity and allows for correlational comparisons with R-Chi. Results suggest that student/client ratings of the degree to which the services they received satisfactorily addressed their presenting concerns were significantly rated to their R-Chi score. This model suggests that the framework guiding client outcome research should include measures of the client's level of distress, improvement in reducing the distress, and satisfaction with services.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Quick, Cynthia L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Medical Comorbidity in the Course of Bipolar Disorder

Description: Bipolar disorder is a serious illness affecting approximately 2-4% of the population and is one of the world’s leading causes of disability. In individuals with bipolar disorder, medical comorbidity associated with cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine disorders is related to increased rates of mortality. Recent updates to multi-system inflammatory related conceptualizations of bipolar disorder focus on the unique power that medical illness and biological processes may play as factors associated with course and outcome in bipolar disorder. The current study examined medical comorbidity and its associations with various demographic and psychological variables in individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features followed for 10 years from their first hospital admission. When compared to an age, gender and race-matched control sample from the population, those with bipolar disorder had significantly higher medical comorbidity across a range of medical diagnoses both at 6 months and 10 years after first hospital admission. Ten years following initial hospitalization, individuals in all three diagnostic groups reported increased rates of diabetes (OR: 2.0 – 3.7), stroke (OR: 4.6 – 7.0) and asthma (OR: 1.9 - 3.1), and individuals with bipolar disorder reported increased rates of cancer (OR = 2.1). A number of psychological and demographic symptoms were examined for their ability to predict the development of medical illness across the assessment interval. Overall rates of medical illness were elevated both early in illness course and 10 years after diagnosis, suggesting that broad sequelae of multi-system inflammation are present early and progress over time.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Smith, Patrick M
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Moderating Effect of Religiosity on the Relationship between Attachment and Psychological Wellbeing in a Muslim-American Sample

Description: Although research on attachment theory has grown exponentially in the field of psychology, few studies exist that examine this theory among young Muslim-American adults, despite the fact that Muslim-Americans represent a significant and growing segment of the U.S. population. The first goal of the current study was to replicate the results of previous studies demonstrating a strong relationship between attachment and the selected wellbeing indicators of psychological symptoms and life satisfaction. The second goal of the proposed study was to examine the relationships among maternal attachment, Islamic religiosity, and psychological wellbeing. Findings provided partial support to the direct effects of attachment and religiosity variables on particular outcome variables but did not support the moderating effect of religiosity. High maternal Control was found to be predictive of less psychological distress, whereas both maternal control and care were found to be negatively associated with an interpersonal behaviors aspect of religiosity. In addition, those who endorsed practicing Islamic rituals were found to report less life satisfaction, and individuals who viewed the world through an Islamic lens reported higher psychological distress. Discussion on the findings, limitations of the study, future research directions, and counseling implications are addressed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Khan, Arubah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Organizational development: A comparison of individual and organizational level change.

Description: Organizational change and development (OCD) has been studied by researchers to identify the effectiveness of change initiatives. Because of the broad scope of interventions in OCD, these studies have covered a range of areas including multiple interventions and the methodological rigor used by researchers. However, few have looked at organizational versus individual change within an organization, to examine whether individual change is more effective than organizational change. The purpose of this study is to determine if organizational change occurs in a top down or bottom up manner. A meta-analysis was conducted using 238 field experiments. Each study was coded for intervention and organizational outcome and for individual or organizational level variables. Effect sizes were calculated for each study, each level, and each level by intervention and outcome measure. Results indicate that while OCD interventions overall had a moderate effect size, the level of intervention or outcome was not a moderating variable.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Barnett, Michelle L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceived Change in Behavior Associated with Peer Feedback in Work Teams

Description: This study investigated if the use of a team feedback system resulted in peers perceiving a change in behavior. Personality variables such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion were examined as possible moderators. Self-ratings and peer ratings were collected from 164 individuals through the use of the Center for Collaborative Organizations' Team Feedback System. Using polynomial regression, it was determined that time 1 peer ratings predicted behavior change and the combination of conscientiousness variables moderated peer perceived behavior change.
Date: August 2005
Creator: DeJarnett, Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Positive and Negative Affect: Differential Impact of Optimism, Pessimism, and Coping in People Living with HIV/AIDS

Description: People living with HIV/AIDS (PLH) struggle with depression. Recent research suggests that depression affects medical regimen adherence, disease progression, and risky sexual behaviors. The present study uses a stress and coping theory viewing HIV-related stigma and physical symptoms as stressors in PLH. Results suggest whereas symptoms and stigma consistently predict negative affect, positive affect, and overall depression, the role of optimism, pessimism, active coping, denial, and behavioral disengagement is not as clear. Pessimism and denial predict negative affect and depression. Optimism and behavioral disengagement predict depression and positive affect. Active coping only predicts positive affect. Focusing on positive and negative affect as distinct components that contribute to overall depression may help researchers develop interventions more effectively.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Ranucci, Melissa B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction

Description: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related disorder that may develop in response to traumatic or stressful events. Dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the disorder. Studies support such dysfunction as being a consequence of PTSD, rather than a precursor. However, most studies of the HPA are either cross-sectional or have been carried out in adults. The aim of the present study was to identify whether HPA dysregulation interacts with stressful experiences to increase the likelihood of developing PTSD symptoms in a community-recruited sample of healthy adolescent girls. Adolescent girls (N = 550) and one of their parents participated. Adolescents’ clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and at a nine month follow-up. Saliva samples were collected from all adolescent participants at waking, 30 minutes after waking, and 8 pm on 3 consecutive days. Flattened diurnal slope of cortisol at baseline was associated with increased PTSD symptoms nine months later. Baseline cortisol awakening response (CAR) per se was not prospectively related to developing PTSD symptoms, but its interactions with stressful experience was associated with elevated PTSD symptoms at follow-up. Effects were small and need to be replicated in samples with more severe stressors, as well as more clinical levels of PTSD. Nevertheless, findings suggest that dysregulated basal HPA functioning may be involved in the development of PTSD symptoms.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Liu, Keke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychological and Sociodemographic Predictors of Psychological Distress in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Testing Participants within a Community Based Genetic Screening Program

Description: Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the first two breast cancer susceptibility genes identified, carry as much as an 85% lifetime risk of developing breast, ovarian or other cancers. Genetic testing for mutations in these two genes has recently become commercially available. There have been varying amounts of psychological distress noted among women with a family history of breast cancer. Distress has been observed to impact psychological functioning, activities of daily living, and the practice of breast cancer surveillance behaviors. Within the genetic screening process, psychological distress has been shown to impact the decision to undergo genetic screening, the comprehension and retention of risk assessment information, as well as affecting the subject following the receipt of the genetic test results. Little work has been done to examine predictors of distress within at risk subjects. This study examines psychological distress among 52 community women presenting for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutation testing. Predictors of distress included family cancer history, education, age, Ashkenazi ethnicity, and Internality and Powerful Others Health Locus of Control. Vulnerable sub-groups of patients include younger women, women with higher levels of education and women of Ashkenazi ethnicity.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Lesniak, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reactions of psychotherapists in training to religious questions

Description: This project investigated the spiritual well-being (SWB) of psychotherapists in training and their physiological reactions to religious questions posed by a mock client. Electrodermal activity served as an index of physiological arousal interpreted as anxiety. Thirteen psychotherapists in training at the University of North Texas were recruited. They participated in a simulated intake session with a mock client who asked the psychotherapist neutral questions, personal-other questions (POQs), and personal-religious questions (PRQs). It was discovered that the level of SWB did not affect subjects' anxiety responses to PRQs. There also was no difference in subjects' anxiety responses for POQs between high and low SWB therapists. However, psychotherapists did experience some anxiety associated with questions related to their counseling experience and expertise.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Hutchinson, Geoffrey
Partner: UNT Libraries

Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans' Adaptation to College

Description: Since 2002, the number of veterans enrolled in universities has nearly doubled, although 30-40% of veterans fail to complete their degree. While research efforts to understand the challenges veterans face transitioning from military life to college has increased in recent years, few studies have looked beyond the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insomnia is the most frequently reported symptom of combat veterans and can have serious implications for college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of insomnia and student veteran adaptation to college relative to civilian students. College students (N = 588) were administered a Background Information Questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Results revealed that students with insomnia reported significantly lower adaptation to college than students without insomnia. Student veterans reported better academic and personal-emotional adaptation to college than civilian students, while civilians reported better social adjustment than veterans. Although combat veterans without insomnia scored consistently higher academic adjustment than non-combat veterans and civilian students, when present insomnia seemed to have a greater negative effect on combat veterans’ academic adjustment relative to civilian students. Furthermore, insomnia mediated the relationship between combat exposure and veteran’s personal-emotional adjustment to college. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: McGuffin, James J
Partner: UNT Libraries

The roles of intimacy motivation and mutuality in relation to depression and interpersonal problems.

Description: There is extensive research on depression and interpersonal problems, but research has not addressed these concepts in relation to mutuality and human motivation. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to consider the associations between intimacy motivation and mutuality of closest relationships and how, when combined, the two connect to depressive experiences and the occurrence of interpersonal problems. Of the 7 original hypotheses suggested, 2 were supported while 5 were not. Perhaps the most interesting finding, and certainly the one with the most practical application, came from the two supported hypotheses. The analyses show that interpersonal problem subtypes are associated with specific depressive subtypes by operationalizing the demand/withdraw pattern of conflict. The exploratory findings also suggest a possible mediation of gender and depression by mutuality.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Hill, Mary Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sex and Gender Differences in Perceived and Actual Leadership Performance: Self- and Subordinate Views

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine how male and female leaders view their own effectiveness as compared to their objective performance. This study also examined sex and gender differences in subordinate's views of male and female leaders. Forty-two mixed-sex groups led by appointed male and female leaders were observed to assess objective and perceived leader effectiveness. Gender role of participants was assessed using the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). No sex or gender differences were found in objective leadership effectiveness. An unexpected finding was that male and female leaders perceived themselves accurately as leaders. Significant differences were found in the way male subordinates rated men and women leaders when taking into account gender role. Results indicated that the study of gender bias in leadership is complex and should be examined in conjunction with gender role. Social role theory helps to explain this bias.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Rivero, Arlene Jean
Partner: UNT Libraries

Simulating Statistical Power Curves with the Bootstrap and Robust Estimation

Description: Power and effect size analysis are important methods in the psychological sciences. It is well known that classical statistical tests are not robust with respect to power and type II error. However, relatively little attention has been paid in the psychological literature to the effect that non-normality and outliers have on the power of a given statistical test (Wilcox, 1998). Robust measures of location exist that provide much more powerful tests of statistical hypotheses, but their usefulness in power estimation for sample size selection, with real data, is largely unknown. Furthermore, practical approaches to power planning (Cohen, 1988) usually focus on normal theory settings and in general do not make available nonparametric approaches to power and effect size estimation. Beran (1986) proved that it is possible to nonparametrically estimate power for a given statistical test using bootstrap methods (Efron, 1993). However, this method is not widely known or utilized in data analysis settings. This research study examined the practical importance of combining robust measures of location with nonparametric power analysis. Simulation and analysis of real world data sets are used. The present study found that: 1) bootstrap confidence intervals using Mestimators gave shorter confidence intervals than the normal theory counterpart whenever the data had heavy tailed distributions; 2) bootstrap empirical power is higher for Mestimators than the normal theory counterpart when the data had heavy tailed distributions; 3) the smoothed bootstrap controls type I error rate (less than 6%) under the null hypothesis for small sample sizes; and 4) Robust effect sizes can be used in conjuction with Cohen's (1988) power tables to get more realistic sample sizes given that the data distribution has heavy tails.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Herrington, Richard S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social Anxiety and Non-Medical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students

Description: Current evidence suggests that non-medical prescription stimulant (NMPS) use is on the rise, particularly among college students. Identifying individuals at risk for regular and problematic use is a critical step towards the development of effective intervention efforts. A growing body of work has noted that individuals with elevated levels of social anxiety (SA) or social anxiety disorder are at an enhanced risk for developing substance use problems, including NMPS use disorder. Despite the relevance of SA and NMPS use among college students, no studies have attempted to examine subclinical SA or the relation between SA and NMPS use among college students specifically. Thus, the present study sought to extend this area by testing the relation of SA symptoms and NMPS use frequency among college students. A large online study of college students was conducted (N=1604) to identify 252 NMPS users (18-25 years; 68.3% female). A hierarchical linear regression was used to test the moderation of positive prescription stimulant expectancies on SA symptoms in predicting past year NMPS use frequency. A subsample of 15 participants was also brought into the lab to assess subjective (State Anxiety) and physiological (salivary cortisol) responding to a social stressor task. Overall, the current study did not provide evidence that SA, via retrospective self-report or real-time responding was related to past year NMPS use frequency. Additional research is needed to resolve the discrepancies between the present findings and prior work.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Cloutier, Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries