UNT Theses and Dissertations - 651 Matching Results

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Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It

Description: 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.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Wright, Brittney, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Alzheimer's Disease and Attention: An Investigation into the Initial Stage of Information Processing

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1990
Creator: Houtz, Andrew W. (Andrew William)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Ambiguity of Loss, Anticipatory Grief, and Boundary Ambiguity in Caregiver Spouses and Parents

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1993
Creator: Rider, Jan, K. (Jan Kathleen)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of the Performance of a Clinical Sample of African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic Children on the WISC-III

Description: 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.
Date: December 1998
Creator: Ewing, Melissa L. (Melissa Lynn)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anger Reduction in Closed Head Injured Individuals with Group Social Skills Training

Description: 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.
Date: May 1990
Creator: Nicolette, Myrna K. (Myrna Kay)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Antecedents of Commitment to and Support of a Proposed Change Initiative in a Southern Baptist Congregation.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Lee, Audra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Antecedents of the Psychological Adjustment of Children and Grandparent Caregivers in Grandparent-Headed Families

Description: 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.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jooste, Jane Louise
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anticipating Work and Family: Experience, Conflict, and Planning in the Transition to Adulthood

Description: 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.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Campbell, Elizabeth L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Disorders: Their Relationship and Reduction with Neurotherapy

Description: 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.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Fisher, Christopher, Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Applied Sport Psychology Consultation: Effects of Academic Training, Past Athletic Experience, and Interpersonal Skill on Female Athletes' Ratings

Description: 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.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Hankes, Douglas M. (Douglas Michael)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Description: 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.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Wupperman, Peggilee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessing Adolescent Personality and Interactional Style with the Rorschach and the Personality Inventory for Youth

Description: 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.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Wheeler, Ann C.
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

Assessing the Psychological Impact of Fertility Treatment

Description: 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.
Date: August 1997
Creator: McKenna, Kenneth A. (Kenneth Allen)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Brain Damage: Discriminant Validity of a Neuropsychological Key Approach with the McCarron-Dial System

Description: 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.
Date: December 1985
Creator: Norton, Carole Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Assessment of Cognitive Functioning among Patients with Unilateral Visual Neglect: Effects of Field of Presentation and Cueing

Description: 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 ...
Date: August 1992
Creator: Soukup, Vicki Marlene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Cognitive Performance in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

Description: 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.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Heath, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients

Description: 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.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Payne, Joshua W.
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

Association Between Cognition and Depression: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Schraufnagel, Caitlin D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Association Between Folate, Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Performance in Demented Elderly.

Description: 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.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Serova, Svetlana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Associations Between Witnessing the Abuse of a Sibling in Childhood and Experiencing Trauma Related Symptoms in Adulthood

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Williams, Jennifer S
Partner: UNT Libraries