UNT Theses and Dissertations - 127 Matching Results

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Absorption, Relaxation, and Imagery Instruction Effects on Thermal Imagery Experience and Finger Temperature

Description: 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.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Durrenberger, Robert Earl, 1951-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Personality Characteristics and Comorbidity

Description: 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.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Austin, Karla Michele
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Maternal Functioning in Families of Children with Autism

Description: 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. ...
Date: August 1996
Creator: Oizumi, Joelle J. (Joelle Julienne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Malingering in a Jail Referral Population : Screening and Comprehensive Evaluation

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Ustad, Karen L. (Karen Lee)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of the Effects of Interpersonal Openness and Coping Resources on the Psychological Sequelae of Traumatic Victimization

Description: 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.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Sedillo, Diane Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Athletes' Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation: Development and Validation of the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Harmison, Robert J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attribution to Deviant and Nondeviant Social Roles

Description: A questionnaire was used to study causal attribution to social roles as influenced by perceived deviance of the role, instructions to identify with the role, and participant gender. The perceived deviance or nondeviance of the roles was determined by a pilot study. The roles were varied randomly through 12 hypothetical events, and identification or nonidentification instructions randomly assigned. The participants were 194 male and female university students. Participants gave the cause of each event and rated the cause on five dimensions: internality, externality, stability, globality, and controllability. Causal attribution to deviant social roles was found to result in a significantly higher across-scales score and to be more internal, less external, and more global than attribution to nondeviant roles. Participant gender showed an interaction with deviance overall and on the dimensions of stability and globality due to significantly higher ratings by women participants than those by men. Identification instructions did not produce a significant effect.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Rohlman, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automaticity and Hemispheric Specialization in Emotional Expression Recognition: Examined using a modified Stroop Task

Description: The main focus of this investigation was to examine the automaticity of facial expression recognition through valence judgments in a modified photo-word Stroop paradigm. Positive and negative words were superimposed across male and female faces expressing positive (happy) and negative (angry, sad) emotions. Subjects categorized the valence of each stimulus. Gender biases in judgments of expressions (better recognition for male angry and female sad expressions) and the valence hypothesis of hemispheric advantages for emotions (left hemisphere: positive; right hemisphere: negative) were also examined. Four major findings emerged. First, the valence of expressions was processed automatically (robust interference effects). Second, male faces interfered with processing the valence of words. Third, no posers' gender biases were indicated. Finally, the emotionality of facial expressions and words was processed similarly by both hemispheres.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Beall, Paula M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Breast Cancer Screening Behaviors of Women of Mexican Descent: A Grounded Theory Approach

Description: A culturally-based theoretical model about how cultural beliefs about cancer and breast cancer screening techniques influence the screening behaviors of women of Mexican descent was developed using grounded theory. Across levels of acculturation and socioeconomic status, 34 women (49 to 81 years old) were interviewed through focus groups. Women who hold more traditional health beliefs about causes, nature, and responsibility with regard to breast cancer are more likely to "feel healthy" and not engage in breast cancer screening. Women who hold more traditional beliefs about propriety of female and health care provider behavior are more likely to "feel indecent" and also not engage in screening. The cultural health belief model is integrated within a sociocultural and a socioeconomic context.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Borrayo, Evelinn A. (Evelinn Arbeth)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Causal Attributions, Attributional Dimensions, and Academic Performance in a School Setting

Description: The attribution model of achievement motivation has been applied to academic achievement as a way of understanding underachievement and as a basis for developing intervention programs. There has been little applied research in this area, however, that supports the use of the model in school settings. The purpose of the present study was to test the applicability of the model to an actual school setting. Subjects were 149 tenth grade students in a large urban school district. In accordance with the model, specific attributions for success or failure were assessed, as well as subjects' perceptions of the locus, stability, and controllability of attributions. Attribution patterns found in previous analog research were not found in a school setting. Immediate effort attributions were the most prevalent, regardless of performance level or outcome. Causal beliefs were found to relate to performance in ways predicted by the model but also in some ways not predicted. Relationships were generally stronger for high performers. Comparing subjects' perceptions of the dimensional properties of attributions across outcomes showed a strong outcome bias. Attributions were perceived as more internal and stable following successes, consistent with previous research. In addition, a performance level bias was found. Low performers rated attributions as less internal, stable, and controllable following successes and more so following failures than did high performers. This bias, termed the underachievement bias, was discussed in terms of its detrimental effects on school performance. The differences between high and low performers regarding perceptions of dimensionalities were consistent with the predictions of the attribution model. It was concluded that the attribution model is applicable to school settings. Suggestions were made that more applied research be conducted, that intervention programs based on this model should target subjects' perceptions of attributions rather than just the specific attributions themselves, and that because of the ...
Date: December 1987
Creator: Huffine, John Harold
Partner: UNT Libraries

Characterization of Tolerance and Cross-tolerance between Noncompetitive N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Antagonists in Rats Trained to Self-administer Ketamine

Description: Ketamine and phencyclidine (PCP) are noncompetitive antagonists of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type of ligand-gated glutamate receptors. Both agents have high abuse liability, and may produce dependence. Tolerance to the reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse is widely regarded as a key component of the dependence process. Therefore, the present study was conducted to examine whether tolerance develops to the reinforcing effects of ketamine, and whether PCP and dizocilpine, a noncompetitive NMDA antagonist with negligible abuse liability, produce cross-tolerance to the reinforcing effects of ketamine. Further, identification of the neural mechanisms that underlie tolerance to the reinforcing effects of drugs may yield information regarding drug dependence.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Ward, Amie S. (Amie Sue)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Children's Perceived Contingencies of Teacher Reinforcements, Perceptions of Competence, and Academic Performance

Description: There are two principal definitions of response-reinforcer contingency in the current literature which Scott and Piatt (1985) have labeled the phi coefficient and Rescorla index. For both definitions, contingencies are sensitive to two conditional probabilities of reinforcement, that given the occurrence and that given the non-occurrence of the criterion response. However, phi coefficient is sensitive also to the probability of the criterion response. In order to examine the relationship between children's perceived contingencies of teacher reinforcements, as defined by the phi coefficient and Rescorla index, and the children's perceptions of competence and measures of their academic performances, 119 5th grade children (54 boys and 65 girls) were studied. Two variables derived specifically from the phi coefficient, the probability of children's responses and the probability of teacher reinforcements, were also examined in their relationship to perceived contingencies and academic performance. In general, children's perceptions of teachers as both contingently rewarding and punishing, as defined by the phi coefficient and Rescorla index, were predictive of good academic performance by the children and teachers rating them as academically competent. Childrens' perceptions of their academic competence were also predictive of their academic performances and teacher ratings. The children's perceptions of academic competence were related to their reporting themselves as likely to produce positive achievement behavior but unlikely to produce negative achievement behavior. No significant relationship was found between the children's perceived contingencies of teacher reinforcements and their perceptions of their own academic competence. These results were discussed as supporting Bandura's self-efficacy theory. Thus, expectations of reinforcement contingency and expectations of personal competence jointly determine actual competence. The contingency findings support the utility of the Children's Perceived Contingencies of Reinforcements Questionnaire as a measure of contingency in the applied setting.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Dietz, Don Anthony
Partner: UNT Libraries

Client-Therapist Interaction and Perceived Therapeutic Outcome

Description: This study sought to determine the therapeutic effectiveness of client-therapist dyads in a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed adolescents. The theories of George Kelly's personal construct psychology were utilized in assessing the dyadic relationship. The four elements investigated were organizational similarity, understanding, organizational congruency and predominant selves. The sample consisted of 140 dyads comprised of 10 adolescent boys and girls and 14 therapeutic staff of a residential treatment center in the southwest United States. Responses to Kelly's Role Construct Repertory Test were compared to four relational factors—parental/respect, identity, problem-solving, and sexual/affection—and two rating scales of client-therapist preference and ratings of therapeutic effectiveness. Contrary to expectations, as content similarity among dyads composed of clients and staff increased, there was not an increase in functional aspects of the therapy relationship. Possible mitigating factors may have been level of client disturbance and/or methodological issues relating to how organizational similarity was determined. Dyadic understanding was not found to be related to perceptions of the therapy relationship. This may be a function of adolescent of adolescent clients' need for independence and resistance to adult understanding and control. Therapy dyads with a moderate level of lateral or vertical organizational congruence were not found to be curvilinearly related to functional aspects of the therapy relationship. However, a weak linear relationship regarding client perceptions of the therapy relationship was noted on four measures. Several methodological recommendations related to the instruments used to determine therapeutic effectiveness and the means of eliciting personal constructs on the REP test.
Date: December 1988
Creator: Fogle, Joseph Edwin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Clinical Correlates of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - Adolescent (MMPI-A) for a Male Delinquent Population

Description: The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was one of the most widely used psychological tests administered to adolescents. The MMPI-A is a revised version of the MMPI that was developed specifically for adolescents. The purpose of this study is to establish clinical correlates for the MMPI-A standard scale codetypes.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Cashel, Mary Louise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cognitive Indices of Criminal Thought: Criminals Versus Non-Criminals

Description: The ability of several psychometric instruments to differentiate between criminal and non-criminal subjects was investigated. The subjects in the study consisted of fifty male individuals between the ages of 18 and 55, half of which had been convicted of one crime and half of which had no history of criminal activity. The tests administered consisted of the Psychopathic Deviation Scale from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the Psychopathic Deviation Scale of the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire, and two tests designed by the author. The author's tests consisted of the Test of Criminal Cognitions which evaluated antisocial thought patterns and cognitive flexibility, and the Social Semantics Test which assessed individual role definitions. The Test of Criminal Cognitions was administered as a part of a structured interview, and all other scales were administered in a paper and pencil format. The results indicated that the Psychopathic Deviation Scale of the MMPI, and a portion of both the Test of Criminal Cognitions and the Social Semantics Scales differentiated between the groups at the .05 level or better. These findings indicated that criminals tend to be significantly less flexible in their thought and tend to view others in a much more narcissistic manner than non-criminals. The results also indicated that these tests can be utilized to discriminate between criminals and non-criminals. It was additionally noted that the Psychopathic Deviation Scale of the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire did not consistently differentiate between the groups and should not be considered a valid instrument for discriminating between these groups.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Krusen, Richard Montgomery, 1954-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative Analysis of Chronic Versus Acute Stressors and Their Influence on Distress Consequences at Work

Description: Workplace stress has been found to be a causal agent of psychological distress consequences in employees. Chronic stressors have been well researched, in particular, role conflict, role ambiguity, and work overload have been extensively studied. A meta-analysis was conducted in order to aggregate past research to gain a better understanding of the impact these stressors have on the psychological distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and generalized feelings of stress. Only role ambiguity was found to be a significant contributor to psychological distress, in particular to feelings of depression and stress. In general, however, effect sizes for all three stressors were moderate to large. While chronic stressors have been well researched, acute stressors have been widely overlooked. Since research in this area is limited, the Daily Work Hassles Survey was developed and validated in order to analyze the role daily hassles play in the workplace. The survey yielded two factors, Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. The former of which was found to be significantly related to the distress consequences of depression, tension/anxiety, somatic complaints, and general feelings of stress. The ultimate goal of this project was to compare chronic and acute stressors. Results from the daily hassles study were contrasted to the results of the aforementioned meta-analysis. It was found that the chronic stressors of role ambiguity, role conflict, and overload are significantly greater predictors of selected distress consequences than the acute factors of Interpersonal Hassles and Task Hassles. However, when somatic complaints was employed as the dependent variable, no significant differences were found between chronic and acute stressors.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Crawford, Julie Schwarz
Partner: UNT Libraries

Compulsive Sexual Behavior and Personality Characteristics : A Comparative Analysis

Description: The purpose of the present study was to compare the scores of the Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Coopersmith Inventory of heterosexual men with compulsive sexual behavior (N = 22), homosexual men with compulsive sexual behavior (N = 19), heterosexual men without compulsive sexual behavior (N = 38), and homosexual men without compulsive sexual behavior (N = 8). The Sex Addiction Screening Test was used to determined placement in a group. Findings revealed men who exhibit compulsive sexual behavior are significantly more depressed, experience lower self-esteem and have higher state anxiety (situational) than controls.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Austin, Christopher Joe
Partner: UNT Libraries

Construct Use and Self-Aspect Change in Recovery From Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery: a Personal Construct Analysis

Description: Cognitive ratings that use bipolar constructs based upon similarity and contrast have been shown to be biased towards the similarity pole in approximately a 62/38 ratio. This bias has also been known to shift in the contrastive direction for individuals who have psychiatric problems. This quantitative measure of cognitive change has a potential for characterizing cognitive changes that occur during the disease process, including recovery from disease. The present study investigated changes in self-aspect ratings and bipolar construct use in adult male veterans who had undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Results indicated that treatment subjects' self-aspect and construct ratings were more negative than controls'. Results also indicated that all subjects rated core interpersonal self-aspects closest to the expected bias, while self-aspects related to cardiac recovery problems were rated in the most contrastive direction. The results finally suggested that the greatest degree of change for the treatment subjects were in emotionally generated constructs. The results suggested a preliminary validation for characterizing cognitive changes in the disease process by measuring shifts in bipolar construct ratings.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Zolten, Avram J. (Avram Jeffery)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Construct Validity of Psychopathy in Mentally Disordered Offenders: A Multi-trait Multi-method Approach

Description: Psychopathy continues to receive increased attention due to the negative outcomes, including recidivism, violence, and poor treatment amenability. Despite the vast amount of attention psychopathy has received, research on its applications to mentally disordered offenders remains sparse. The current study explored the relationship between psychopathy, depression, anxiety, and psychotic disorders. It also investigated the comparative fits of two and three-factor models of the PCL-R with mentally disordered offenders. Participants consisted of 96 inmates placed in the mental health pod at Tarrant County Jail. A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) with testlets found the three-factor PCL-R model had excellent fit (Robust Comparative Fit Index = 1.00). Psychopathy was found to be a construct independent of mental disorders. Two exceptions were (a) a modest correlation between anxiety and Impulsive and the Irresponsible Lifestyle factor of the PCL-R (r = 0.20) and (b) a modest negative correlation between Deficient Affective Experience of the PCL-R and mania (r = -.37). Based on the current data, treatment programs for mentally disordered offenders are suggested that focus on both behavioral and personality aspects of psychopathy.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.
Partner: UNT Libraries