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Negative affect and positive symptoms of psychosis.

Description: The current study utilized structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the factor-to-factor relations and temporal associations between disturbances in negative affect (NA) and positive symptoms of psychosis (PP). Data were drawn from a large, public-domain data set (MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study). A dimensional approach was used to conceptualize and identify latent variables of NA (depression, anxiety, and guilt) and PP (hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder) among individuals with a diagnosis of primary psychotic disorder. Results showed that anxiety, guilt, and depressed mood modeled an NA latent variable, and that hallucinations and unusual thought content modeled a PP latent variable. As predicted, results revealed strong, significant cross-sectional (synchronous) associations between NA and PP at each measured time-frame, suggesting that NA and PP occurred concurrently within the sample. Contrary to predictions, no significant cross-lagged effect between NA and PP was identified (10 weeks and 20 weeks respectively).
Date: December 2009
Creator: Crutchfield, Audra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceived Racial Discrimination and Psychiatric Outcomes among Asian Americans

Description: The present study related generational status, family dynamics, and perceptions of racial discrimination (PRD) to acute psychiatric outcomes among a nationally representative Asian American sample (N = 2095), using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). High self-reports of PRD were correlated with endorsement of clinical depression and suicidality as predicted. Regression analyses suggested that high PRD, low family cohesion, and high family conflict served as significant predictors of poor mental health independently, but moderator hypotheses predicting the interaction of these factors were not supported. Clinical and research implications are provided.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Varghese, Anita
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Study of Adolescents and Religion: Views of Risk and Resiliency

Description: The research literature within the past decade has documented the importance of religiosity and spirituality in helping many adults around the world cope with major life stressors and events. Still, the role of religiosity and spirituality in adolescence is not well-known as research during this developmental period has been limited by sample size, homogeneity of samples, ethnic restrictions, and use of scales with few items. The goal of the current study is to identify and understand adolescent levels of religiousness and spirituality, as well as their roles on later social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. The current study relied upon data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health and utilized confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling in order to generate models of the relationships between the various latent variables. The religiosity and spirituality factors in the current study adequately measure religious perceptions and practices of adolescents over time. These constructs also play a role in later emotional well-being and self-esteem. Analyses also found adequate predictive abilities in the other model factors of delinquency, psychological well-being, self-esteem, and the social support. It is concluded from this study that religiosity and spirituality are not interchangeable constructs, and that more robust measures of both factors yield richer results. It is recommended that more comprehensive scales of religiosity and spirituality be developed and investigated in the future.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Miesse, Colette Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Deficits in Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning: The Effects of Substance Use and Attention Deficits.

Description: Each year, an estimated 318,000 defendants who do not comprehend the Miranda warnings waive their rights and provide incriminating evidence without the protection of counsel (Rogers, 2008), which make Miranda-related competencies one of the most pervasive pretrial issues. A wide range of issues could potentially affect an individual's capacity to provide a knowing and intelligent waiver. Previous Miranda research has focused narrowly on the effects of cognitive and developmental factors. The current study added to the Miranda literature by examining the impact of two highly prevalent conditions found in correctional populations, attention deficits and substance abuse. Adult defendants in custody (N = 118) were evaluated within 36 hours of arrest in order to assess both chronic psychological disorders and situational variables. Results indicate that attention deficits have a significant impact on defendants' ability to provide a knowing Miranda waiver, whereas substance use profoundly affected their reasoning about Miranda waiver decisions. This study represents the first systematic investigation of the effect of transient mental states on Miranda-related abilities with criminal defendants. Important implications for forensic practice are addressed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Hazelwood, Lisa L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Dementia, Diabetes, and Depression: Relationship to Cognitive Functioning

Description: The number of adults in the United States who are age 65 or older is rapidly increasing. With longer lifespan comes an increase in chronic diseases such as dementia, diabetes, and depression. This study used archival data from a larger study conducted at the Memory Clinic at John Peter Smith County Hospital in Ft. Worth, Texas to examine several hypotheses and research questions related to the influence of type of dementia, presence of Type II diabetes, and presence of depression on neuropsychological test performance. First, this study attempted to identify specific patterns of performance on neuropsychological measures for those with Alzheimer's dementia (AD), vascular dementia (VaD), or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The results indicated that those with MCI perform better than those with AD or VaD on all neuropsychological measures, and that those with VaD perform better than those with AD on a measure of verbal memory. Another purpose of the study was to determine how the presence of Type II diabetes affects this pattern of functioning; the overall finding in this study was that the presence or absence of diabetes did not affect performance on measures of cognitive functioning. Additionally, the study attempted to add to literature examining the influence of depression on older adults with diabetes and/or dementia; no significant differences emerged.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Jackson, Lauren Innes
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mediational Roles of Personality Factors and Vengeful Rumination in the Development of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Description: Considerable research has demonstrated a link between thoughts of revenge, or vengeful rumination, and the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, particularly in situations involving interpersonal trauma. Personality factors have been related to both vengefulness and PTSD. No study to date has simultaneously examined the unique contributions of vengefulness and personality factors in the development of PTSD symptoms. Therefore, the present study addressed these questions in an inpatient sample by comparing contributions of the Big Five personality factors and vengeful rumination to the development of PTSD symptoms through correlation, hierarchical regression, and omnibus regression analyses. Results showed that Neuroticism predicted PTSD symptoms better than other personality factors, that Neuroticism and Agreeableness predicted vengeful rumination in opposite directions, and that personality factors and vengeful rumination each added unique variance in the prediction of PTSD symptoms. Future directions and implications are discussed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Crostley, Jeremy T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Metabolic Syndrome and Psychosocial Factors

Description: Metabolic syndrome is a constellation of risk factors, including abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high fasting glucose, that commonly cluster together and can result in cardiovascular disease. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and the components that comprise the syndrome vary by age and by racial/ethnic group. In addition, previous research has indicated that the risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome may be exacerbated by exposure to perceived stress. This study utilized data from the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data sets. It was hypothesized that depression and anxiety (conceptualized as stress in this study) increase the risk of presenting with metabolic syndrome while social support decreases the risk of metabolic syndrome. While results of cross-sectional analysis do not indicate a significant relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome (t = -.84, ns), longitudinal analysis does indicate a significant relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome over time (t = -5.20, p <.001). However, anxiety is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome when the relationship is examined through cross-sectional analysis (t = -1.51, ns) and longitudinal analysis (&#967;² = 13.83, ns). Similarly, social support is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome when examined in cross-sectional (&#967;² = .63, ns) and longitudinal (t = 1.53, ns) analysis. Although level of stress is not significantly related to metabolic syndrome as a whole, there is a significant relationship between stress and both triglyceride level (t = -2.94, p = .003) and blood glucose level (t = -3.26, p = .001).
Date: August 2009
Creator: Tweedy, Maureen P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structural Equation Model of Variables Associated with Family Functioning among a Nationally Representative Sample of Families with a Child with Autism

Description: Previous research indicates that stressors experienced by a family, the perceived level of burden assigned by the family to the stressor, and the utilization of resources predict family functioning. The current study utilized a nationally representative sample of families of children with autistic disorder to determine if previously proposed models of family functioning accurately conceptualized family functioning within a representative sample. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test the double ABCX and the linear ACBX models of family functioning. With slight modifications, the double ABCX model was supported, thus indicating that pileup of stressors, perception of burden, and utilization of resources each have unique predictive ability for family functioning, with perception of burden demonstrating the highest amount of predictive ability. Results, implications, and limitations of the study are discussed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bezner, Stephanie K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Functions of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors within adolescent inpatients.

Description: The primary interest of this investigation concerned the self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) of inpatient adolescents. Previous researchers have provided descriptive information regarding either automatic (or intrinsic) and social components using the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI). However, the presence and trends of these components have not firmly been established, suggesting the need to explore this area further. Eighty-two adolescent inpatients were selected and interviewed using the SITBI to evaluate the predictive ability of self-reported self-injurious behavior with regard to social and automatic, negative and positive functions. Results showed that depending on the type of thought or behavior displayed one could discern the motivation behind their actions. Automatic-Negative was seen to have the strongest relationship across all SITB behaviors while Automatic-Negative was not found to be relatively low compared to other SITB behaviors. Both Social-Positive and Social-Negative were found to be present in moderate relationships compared to Automatic in general.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Thomas, Peter F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Adolescent Self-Mutilating Behaviors: Experiential Avoidance Coupled with Imitation?

Description: Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Howe-Martin, Laura S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Late adolescents' parental, peer, and romantic attachments as they relate to affect regulation and risky behaviors.

Description: The current study examined the relationships among attachment styles to parent, peer, and romantic partner, ability to regulate emotion, as well as engagement in sexual behaviors and substance use. Attachment theory and previous research suggests that an individual learns how to manage emotions through the modeling of appropriate techniques and a stable sense of self-worth. These two aspects develop through a secure attachment bond with an important figure. When an individual does not have a secure attachment bond in which to practice adaptive affect regulation strategies, he/she may attempt to manage emotions through external means, such as sexual behaviors or substance use. Overall, results supported these associations, with some notable exceptions. Across attachment sources a secure attachment style was related to lower levels of psychological distress and less engagement in substance use. In contrast to the findings from earlier studies, affect regulation did not mediate the relationship between attachment and substance use, and engagement in sexual behaviors was not significantly related to either attachment style or affect regulation.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ingle, Sarah J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Neuropsychologic correlates of a normal EEG variant: The mu rhythm.

Description: Although the mu rhythm is traditionally defined as a normal EEG variant, recent evidence suggests that mu may have functional significance in a variety of disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. While an increasing number of articles have focused on the blocking mechanism of mu in relation to various cognitive processes and disorders, few have examined the significance of a prominent mu rhythm in the background EEG. A few studies have examined the relationship between the mu rhythm and psychological disturbance, such as attentional and affective disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that EEG and qEEG variables may be useful in classifying psychiatric disorders, presenting a neurophysiological alternative to traditional symptom-based diagnosis and classification. Thus, the intention of the present study was to examine the relationship between neuropsychological variables, gathered from multiple assessment sources, and the presence of a prominent mu rhythm in the EEG. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without a prominent mu rhythm on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA); although individuals in the mu group showed a pattern of increased impulsivity and performance decrement over time. For adults, no significant differences were observed between groups on psychological variables measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). However, for children, the mu and control groups differed on several behavioral and emotional variables on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results are examined in the context of other research and clinical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Simms, Lori A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Readiness for change as a predictor of treatment effectiveness: An application of the transtheoretical model.

Description: Clinical research suggests that adolescent offenders often do not view their criminal behaviors as problematic and, therefore, are not motivated for treatment. Although customarily defined as a static characteristic, the transtheoretical model (TTM) proposes treatment amenability is dynamic and can be achieved through tailored interventions that motivate individuals for treatment. The current study examines the predictive validity of TTM measures for adolescent offenders at a maximum security correctional facility. In particular, the Stages of Change Scale (SOCS) and Decisional Balance for Adolescent Offenders (DBS-AO) were compared with a more traditional assessment tool utilized in evaluating treatment amenability of juvenile offenders (i.e., Risk-Sophistication-Treatment Inventory; RSTI). One hundred adolescent offenders from the Gainesville State School completed two waves of data collection with a 3-month time interval. Information was collected on offenders' treatment progress between waves. Consistent with TTM research, predictors of treatment progress included low scores on the Cons scale on the DBS-AO and on the Precontemplation scale on the SOCS. Participants in the most advanced levels of treatment also scored high on the Sophistication-Maturity scale on the RSTI and the Impression Management scale on the Paulhus Deception Scale.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Jordan, Mandy J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reducing the risk of disordered eating among female college students: A test of alternative interventions.

Description: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a cognitive-dissonance based intervention in reducing disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The intervention program created dissonance through discussion, exercises, and homework aimed at addressing and countering internalized sociocultural pressures, beliefs and values about women's bodies, attractiveness, and worth in the U.S. Seventy-seven female undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: cognitive-dissonance, combined cognitive-dissonance, healthy weight placebo control, and wait-list control To determine effectiveness of the intervention, MANCOVA procedures were used, with Time 1 scores serving as the covariate. Overall, the women who received the dissonance based interventions produced the strongest effects among measures assessing sociocultural pressures, internalization, and body dissatisfaction in comparison to the control group, and experienced significant reductions in dieting behaviors and bulimic symptoms over the course of the study, suggesting that the creation of dissonance via the intervention assisted the women in reducing eating disorder risk factors.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Smith Machin, Ariane Leigh
Partner: UNT Libraries

The relationship between interpersonal dependency and therapeutic alliance: Perspectives of clients and therapists.

Description: Both interpersonal dependency and the importance of the therapeutic alliance to successful psychotherapy outcomes have been widely studied. However, these two areas of study rarely have been viewed conjointly despite the reportedly large number of clients with dependency who present for treatment. This study elucidated the relationship between interpersonal dependency and the therapeutic alliance. Additional hypotheses explored client-therapist agreement on alliance strength in relation to client interpersonal dependency. Participants were graduate student therapists (N = 26) and their individual psychotherapy clients (N = 40) in a training clinic at a large, southwestern university. Within their first three sessions of psychotherapy, participating clients told nine Thematic Apperception Test stories and completed structured self-report measures of adult attachment, social desirability, and psychological symptoms. Interpersonal dependency was scored from the TAT stories, using the TAT Oral Dependency (TOD) scoring system developed by Masling, Rabie, and Blondheim (1967) and Huprich (2008). Three sessions following initial data collection, participating clients and their therapists completed structured self-report measures of the therapeutic alliance. Analyses revealed that interpersonal dependency was not significantly associated with client and therapist alliance ratings or the congruence between client and therapist alliance ratings. However, specific scoring categories of the TOD were associated with client alliance scores in opposing directions. In contrast to hypotheses, self-reported attachment-related dependency was significantly related to client alliance ratings and to the congruence between therapist and client alliance ratings. Clients with higher levels of self-reported attachment-related dependency rated the alliance less favorably, in agreement with their therapists, than did clients with lower levels of attachment-related dependency. Additional analyses were unsuccessful in replicating findings from previous research on interpersonal dependency. The clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Mitchell, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-inflicted and other-inflicted intentional burns versus unintentional burns: A comparison study.

Description: Burn injuries are associated with significant mortality and morbidity. Intentional burn injuries are not well understood, and warrant study to improve adjustment and outcomes. The present study examined group differences between intentional and unintentional burn injuries, comparing individuals with self-inflicted (SIB; n=109) and other-inflicted (OIB; n=109) burns to an unintentional burn (UB) group. Compared to UB, those with intentional (SIB, OIB) burn injuries were more likely to be young, female, unmarried, unemployed, abuse substances, and have positive alcohol/drug screens at hospital admission. Individuals with intentional burns report more psychological distress, lower quality of life in some areas, and lower life satisfaction. When SIB and OIB were examined individually, OIB were more likely to be African American compared to SIB and UB. OIB also had more anxiety and paranoia than UB. SIB was more likely than OIB and UB to have had medical problems or psychiatric disorders and treatment prior to the burn injury. Those with SIB were 3 times more likely than UB to die in the hospital even after controlling for age, severity of burn, and inhalation injuries. Moreover, the SIB group had high rates of suicidal ideation at discharge and follow-up. Treatment implications for burn treatment providers were discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ranucci, Melissa B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Targeting dimensions of psychopathy in at-risk youth: Assessment and utility of a focused cognitive behavioral therapy program.

Description: Individuals presenting with high levels of psychopathy demonstrate chronic and severe antisocial behavior and poor treatment outcomes in response to generalized rehabilitative programs. Recent research has examined the relationship between delinquency in child/adolescent populations and subsequent psychopathy. Focusing on community based/referred population of at-risk youth, this study developed and examined the effectiveness of an 18-session, psychopathy-focused, group CBT treatment program. The study incorporated treatment (n = 34) and usual-care comparison (n = 30) groups and a brief follow up period. Treatment outcomes examined measures of psychopathy, anger, impulsivity, motivation for treatment, self-reported problems, and indices of behavior. The treatment program demonstrated reductions in psychopathy on the Interpersonal (d = .55) and Affective facets (d = .24) of the PCL:YV. It also reduced overall impulsivity and improved anger suppression and treatment motivation, particularly among youth presenting with higher levels (relative to this study) of psychopathy. As a result of treatment, decreased incidents with the juvenile justice system were also observed, both during the treatment period and at six weeks follow-up. This study provides an initial empirical foundation for the ongoing development of targeted interventions for youth demonstrating psychopathic traits.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Norlander, Bradley J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents: An Evaluation of the WISC-III Four Factor Model and Individual Cluster Profiles

Description: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability among children and adolescents in the US. Children and adolescents who sustain moderate and severe head injuries are much more likely to evidence significant deficits in neuropsychological functioning when compared with children with mild head injuries. Information about the recovery process and functional sequelae associated with moderate and severe head injuries remains limited, despite clear indications that children who experience such injuries typically exhibit notable deficits in intellectual functioning, particularly during the acute phase of recovery. Thus, the present study was conducted to augment research on intellectual functioning in children with moderate or severe head injuries. To accomplish this, the study first examined the proposed factor model of the WISC-III in children with moderate and severe TBI. Given high prevalence rates and similar trends in cognitive impairment, particularly within the frontal lobe structures (e.g., disrupted cognitive flexibility and divided attention), the study also examined this same factor model for a group of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and compared it with the model fit from the TBI group. In the second phase of the study, both the TBI and AHDH groups were evaluated to determine if distinct WISC-III index score cluster profiles could be identified. Lastly, the cluster groups for both the TBI and ADHD samples were validated using important demographic and clinical variables, as well as scores from independent neuropsychological measures of attention, executive functioning, and working memory. Parent reports of psychological and behavioral functioning were also used in an attempt to further distinguish the cluster groups. Study limitations and future research implications were also discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Shafer, Micheal E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.

Description: Flutists have reported musculoskeletal pain from practicing and performing their instrument. This study was a statistical approach to investigate potential causal risk factors for flute related pain among high school and college students. The study focused on the relationship between flute related pain and musical background or anthropometric measurements including size, strength and flexibility. Subjects included thirty high school and college-aged flutists who were assessed using a questionnaire, bi-lateral anthropometric measurements of the upper-extremities, upper-extremity performance tests for range of motion, isometric strength and rotation speed, and instrument specific questions. Four questions regarding pain associated with flute playing were treated as dependent variables and used for correlation and regression analyses with other independent variables. A six-factor regression model was created and each model was statistically significant. Results of this study show that strength, flexibility, pain spots, and exposure are risk factors for flute related pain. Both left and right pinch strength and right isometric pronation strength were significantly correlated to flutists experiencing pain while playing. Knowledge of these factors in relationship to pain is needed in flute pedagogy to help teachers and performers understand why flutists report pain during and after playing. Additional studies are warranted for replication of this study and for determining the clinical and pedagogical relevance of these findings.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Tomczyk, Daniel A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Totality of the circumstances: Factors affecting competence to waive Miranda rights.

Description: Within the discipline of sociology human olfaction is rich with social significance yet remains a poorly charted frontier. Therefore, the following discourse is aimed toward the development of a foundation for the sociological study of olfaction. It is formed by the dual goals of unearthing the social history of olfaction and of providing a viable sociological account of the manner in which smells affect human ontology. From these goals arise the following research questions: (1) Have the meaning and social relevance of odors and the olfactory sensorium changed throughout different periods of history?; (2) How have those in the lineage of eminent sociological thinkers addressed the phenomenon of human olfaction during these periods?; and (3) What is the process by which aromatic stimuli are transformed from simple chemical compounds, drifting in the atmosphere, into sensations in a sensory field and then on to perceived objects, to subjects of judgment and interpretation, and finally to bases of knowledge which form and continually reform individuals in the world? The weaving of the sociohistorical tapestry of smell is undertaken to provide examples from thousands of years lived experiences as to the fluid and sociologically complex nature of individuals' olfactory senses. This historical information is presented in a narrative format and is synthesized from data gleaned from books, advertisements, articles in popular non-scientific magazines, as well as from the findings of studies published in medical/neurological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological scholarly journals. Regarding theoretical aim of this discourse, insights are drawn from Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological theory of human perception for the generation of a framework for the sociological study of olfaction. Merleau-Ponty's theoretical notions are modified, modernized, and refitted to more specifically fit the subject of human olfaction and to include all that has been discovered about the biological specifics of olfactory perception since the ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Harrison, Kimberly S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women

Description: Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Garcia-Rea, Elizabeth Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

Neuromotor and Neurocognitive Functioning in the Prediction of Cognition, Behavior Problems, and Symptoms at Two-year Follow-up in Youth with Schizotypal Personality Disorder

Description: Individuals diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) exhibit patterns of cognitive deficits, neuromotor disturbances, and behavior problems similar to individuals with schizophrenia, and thus SPD is thought to represent one point on the continuum of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs). Deficits in behavior, cognition, and motor functioning have been implicated as childhood precursors of SSDs and appear to also vary as a function of gender and family history of psychopathology. As such, studies of youth may help in further identification of individuals at risk for SSDs. The current study examined the prospective associations between problem behaviors, neuromotor and neurocognitive functioning, as well as SSD symptoms, at baseline and 2-year follow-up in youth meeting criteria for SPD, other personality disorders, or healthy controls. The neuromotor and neurocognitive measures were able to significantly predict SSD symptoms and behavior problems above and beyond baseline predictors. Overall, the findings provide further support for the role of subcortical motor centers operating together with prefrontal cortical areas in the regulation of higher-order cognitive functioning and in producing the psychiatric features of SSDs. Significant correlations between gender, family history of schizophrenia, and history of head injury with symptoms, behavior, cognition, and motor functioning were also found and highlight the importance of examining the effects of these variables in future investigations. In sum, the current study helped in identifying factors that predict the clinical course of schizotypy and may shed light on the disturbed neural circuitry underlying SSDs.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Greher, Felicia Reynolds
Partner: UNT Libraries

On the subjective distinction between tenderness and joy.

Description: Previous studies have shown that the experience of joy normally accompanies the experience of tenderness or love. Theorists have thus suggested that tenderness is not a distinct emotion, but rather a variety of joy. The present study explored whether it is possible to induce tenderness while inhibiting joy. Participants watched scenes designed to induce different emotions. Results showed that a scene could induce high levels of tenderness and low levels of joy if that scene also induced high levels of sadness. These findings suggest the need to reconsider theoretical assumptions regarding the distinction between tenderness and joy.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Kalawski, Juan Pablo
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