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Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment

Description: Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Buenrostro, Martha

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)

Assessing Defensiveness with the PAI: a Cross Validational Study

Description: The use of scales on the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) to detect defensiveness in criminal and nonclinical samples was evaluated. Forty-five male inmates of a county jail and 38 male undergraduate psychology students were provided with incentives to complete the PAI under two conditions: standard instructions and experimental instructions to feign a specific, positive role. The sequence of instructions was counterbalanced in both samples for the purpose of examining ordering effects. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed, yielding significant main effects of condition, group and order. Additionally, a step-wise discriminant function analysis significantly predicted group membership (i.e., subjects under honest and faking conditions) with a hit rate = 84.4%. Finally, a more effective cutting score for the Positive Impression scale was recommended.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Cashel, Mary Louise

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

Attention and Information Processing Variables in Hypothetically Psychosis-Prone College Students

Description: Considering the explanations of schizophrenia that presume schizophrenia spectrum disorders (e.g., schizotypal personality disorder, schizoaffective disorder, etc.) to be genetically related to schizophrenia, the purpose of this study was to investigate the attention and information processing abilities of individuals who have been identified as schizotypal or psychosis-prone (i.e., schizophrenia spectrum functioning in individuals who do not have schizophrenia). Research indicates that persons identified as psychosis-prone may show attention and information processing deficits similar to individuals with schizophrenia. The identification and description of individuals who later decompensate into schizophrenia would advance the understanding of schizophrenia and its causes. The Chapman's PER-MAG scale (Perceptual Aberration-Magical Ideation) was used to identify 35 hypothetically psychosis-prone college students (schizotypy group) and 42 normal college students (nonschizotypy group) out of the 806 volunteer subjects. Their attention and information processing abilities were measured by COGLAB (a multiparadigmatic cognitive test battery that represents a continuum of cognitive functions, from preattentional to attentional, to conceptual). Their social adjustment was measured by the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS). The hypotheses of the study were that the hypothetically psychosis-prone subjects would perform poorer than controls on COGLAB measures and that COGLAB measures of a more molar nature would better predict social adjustment than would the more molecular tasks. The results of the study did not support the hypotheses as there were no significant differences between the schizotypy group and the nonschizotypy group and the measures of a more molar nature did not better predict social adjustment. Further research might consider increasing the sample size, applying more stringent cut-off criteria for the schizotypy group, and verifying the validity of using PER-MAG, COGLAB, and PAS with this population. Further research also needs to clarify the ways in which those identified as psychosis-prone process information like (or unlike) nonschizotypes and how their current social functioning ...
Date: December 1995
Creator: Ottesen, James McBride

Autostereotypes and Acculturative Stress in Hispanic College Students: Implications on Self-Esteem and Achievement Motivation

Description: This study evaluated the impact of acculturative stress and negative autostereotypes on the level of self-esteem and achievement motivation among subgroups of Hispanic college students. Subjects were classified by generational level as Second-generation (i.e., foreign-born parents), or Other (i.e., first-generation, foreign-born individuals, and third-generation, foreign-born grandparents;). By country/region of origin, subjects were divided into Central-Americans, Puerto-Ricans, Mexican, Mexican-Americans, and South Americans. Results showed that acculturative stress may facilitate loss of self-esteem particularly in Second-generation individuals, while negative autostereotypic attitudes may actually increase the student's level of motivation for achievement, particularly in Mexican-American individuals. Also, country/region of origin overall influenced negative autostereotypic attitudes.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Fantoni, Patricia (Patricia Maria Angelica)

Bias in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Gay Males

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore heterosexual bias in the diagnosis and treatment of gay males. Two hundred-fifty (134 males and 116 females) mental health professionals from the Division of Psychotherapy (29) of the American Psychological Association participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two case history conditions, which presented a 35-year-old male seeking therapy. Both conditions were equivalent with regards to the presenting problem (i.e., diagnostic symptoms) with the exception of his significant other (i.e., gay vs. non-gay condition). Potential bias was measured through a diagnostic rating Likert scale and a treatment plan questionnaire. Other independent variables that could potentially have an effect on diagnostic ratings were explored, such as gender, year of graduation, and theoretical orientation of the respondents. Results of the statistical analyses failed to confirm evidence of heterosexual bias. Implications for further research and training are discussed.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Adams, Pamela (Pamela Ann)

Chronically Ill Children: Maternal Stress and Psychological Symptomatology

Description: This study used a parenting stress and coping model to identify predictors of symptomatology for 13 8 mothers of medically compromised children. This model proposed that: child characteristics (severity of the chronic illness and child related parenting stressors); parent characteristics (self-esteem, sense of competence, and parents' perceived stress/distress); and environmental characteristics (social support, general life stressor events, and demographic variables) contribute to psychological symptomatology for these mothers. Multiple regression analysis found a relationship between general life stressor events, severity of the children's chronic conditions, lower satisfaction with social support, lower self-esteem, and younger mothers' ages and greater symptomatology. Trends toward significance were found for more parenting stress and lower parenting sense of competence predicting greater symptomatology. Predicted relationships between family socioeconomic status and parenting daily hassles and symptomatology were not supported.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Driskill, Gail

Cognitive Processing Bias in Sexually Aggressive College Men

Description: The study of cognitive factors in sexual aggression has, for the most part, been limited to beliefs and attitudes. The present study sought to detect a rape-supportive schema of sexual relationships that organizes and guides information processing in several cognitive domains: cognitions arising in the context of a simulated sexual situation, memory, person perception, and social reasoning.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Porter, James F. (James Franklin)

Comparing Quality of Life: American and Portuguese Cancer Patients with Hematological Malignancies

Description: The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences and similarities of quality of life (QoL) in American and Portuguese cancer patients with hematological malignancies as well as the robustness of the measures cross-culturally. Portuguese participants were 98 patients and 49 accompanying persons and the American participants were 55 patients and 22 accompanying persons. Fifty (Portuguese sample) to 40% (American sample) of the patients came with an accompanying person who answered the questionnaire concerning the patient's QoL. The two cultural groups were characterized in terms of QoL (measured by the SF-36 and the FLIC), social support (Social Support Scale), socio-demographic and clinical variables. Portuguese patients reported a higher QoL. However, this result could be attributable to the fact that the two cultural samples differ in socio-economic status. The measures seem to be comparable for the Portuguese and American samples, at least in what concerns reliability and concurrent validity.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Forjaz, Maria João

Comparing Stress Buffering and Main Effects Models of Social Support for Married and Widowed Older Women

Description: Social support has been shown to lessen the negative effects of life stress on psychological and physical health. The stress buffering model and the main effects model of social support were compared using two samples of women over the age of 50 who were either married or recently widowed. These two groups represent low and high uncontrollable major life stress respectively. Other life stress events were also taken into account. Measures assessed current level of life stress, perceived social support, satisfaction with social support, and psychological symptomatology. Results using overall psychological health as the dependent variable support the main effects model.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Murdock, Melissa E. (Melissa Erleene)

Comparing the Personal Lives of Psychotherapists and Research Psychologists

Description: Although the personal life of the therapist has been a topic of interest for nearly sixty years there is still a paucity of research in this area. There is also a lack of research into the personal lives of researcher psychologists. In this study 282 psychologists (151 researchers and 131 therapists) who attended regional meetings and seminars sponsored by professional psychological associations in Texas were sampled. Job stressors, personal problems and health concerns, relaxation techniques, life satisfaction, and work impact on personal life were some of the areas examined. The most important stressors associated with research were excessive teaching responsibilities, pressures associated with funding and lack of time for a personal life. For therapists the most important stressors associated with work were suicide attempts by clients, clients showing resistance, and clients being angry. Therapists reported more concerns related to anxiety, depression, and family problems than researchers. Both groups chose exercise/sports and movies/television as their most common methods for relaxation. Therapists were three times more likely to have been in therapy than researchers and once in therapy reported six times the number of hours. Researchers reported less childhood abuse than therapists. However, therapists were more satisfied with their current life, indicating having good friends and liking where they lived more than researchers. Therapists were also more likely to feel that their work had impacted their lives and that these benefits were mostly positive. The array of positive benefits ranged from being a better person to enjoying life more. Overall, results showed that, although therapists generally began life in less happy circumstances, and experienced greater personal problems and health concerns currently, they reported feeling more satisfied with their lives than researchers.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Radeke, JoAnn Taylor

Comparison of Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Tests in Adults

Description: Two continuous performance tests were administered to normal adult subjects. The mode of presentation (visual or auditory) and the type of task (vigilance or distractibility) were varied, and their effects on performance measured. Data were collected on eighty-two subjects, and results indicated that auditory presentation of stimuli increased the difficulty of both tasks. Results also suggest that the distractibility task administered in either mode was more difficult than the vigilance task. Intercorrelations among the four continuous performance tasks are provided. Normative data are presented on all four tasks administered. A measure of symptoms of attention-deficit disorder in adults, the Adult Behavior Checklist, was found to correlate significantly with another measure of pathology, the SCL-90-R.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Taylor, Cindy J.

Correlates and Predictors of Medication Noncompliance in Patients with Schizophrenia

Description: The treatment of schizophrenia today consists of a multi-component system of services. Mental health professionals generally agree that anti-psychotic medications are an essential treatment for schizophrenia. However, adherence to medication regimens by patients with schizophrenia is notoriously poor. To identify correlates and predictors of medication compliance, the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS), a semi-structured diagnostic interview, was administered to 90 outpatients with schizophrenia. The results suggest that there are specific variables (i.e., mood symptoms, psychotic symptoms, and socio-demographic variables) that predict medication compliance. In addition, the confirmation of these variables was effective (90.0%) at identifying non-compliant patients. The results suggest that schizophrenia is a complex disorder composed of heterogeneous symptoms. However, a specific group of symptoms is proposed which may provide a screening measure for predicting patients who are likely to be non-compliant with their medications.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Duncan, Julianne Christine

Criterion Validity of the MMPI-2 in a State Hospital Setting

Description: The current study investigated the criterion validity of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory - 2 (MMPI-2) by comparing participants' profiles with other variables, including diagnosis, length of hospitalization, and chronicity. The specific diagnostic groups investigated were depressed (major depressive disorder; dysthymic disorder; and bipolar disorder, depressed), schizophrenic (schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder, and schizoaffective disorder), and borderline personality disorder (BPD). Statistical analyses included use of univariate analyses of variance (ANOVAs), multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVAs), regression analyses, and measures of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive power (PPP), and negative predictive power (NPP). MANOVA results indicated significant differences between diagnostic groups on Scales F, 2, 3, 4, 7, ANX. FRS. DEP. BIZ. M f i , LSE, and FAM. There were considerable differences between males and females when separate MANOVAs were performed for gender groups. Cutoff see ires for classification by diagnosis resulted in significant specificity rates and negative predictive power, but sensitivity rates and positive predictive power were not significant.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Connell, Richard (Richard Nicholas), 1965-

A Criterion Validity Study of the MMPI-2 and PAI Spanish Versions with DIS Diagnosis: Implications for Clinical Practice

Description: New Spanish versions of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) were assessed with the Spanish translation of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) as the gold standard. Findings from categorical and dimensional analyses suggest that, although the degree of diagnostic concordance of both measures with the DIS was found to be moderately high, the MMPI-2 clinical scales yielded greater specificity but lower sensitivity than the PAI scales on two of four diagnostic categories (i.e., Major Depression, and Schizophrenia). Both measures failed to correctly diagnose Anxiety Disorders, while the MMPI-2 also showed poor diagnostic accuracy with Alcohol Dependence.
Date: May 1995
Creator: Fantoni, Patricia (Patricia Maria Angelica)

A Cross-Sectional Study of Custodial Grandparenting: Stresses, Coping Skills, and Relationships with Grandchildren

Description: This cross-sectional study compared three groups of grandparents, two custodial and one noncustodial, to identify and delineate the unique challenges and expectations faced by custodial grandparents due to their nontraditional roles while attempting to disentangle grandparental role demands from child-specific problems as sources of distress. Those grandparents raising grandchildren demonstrating neurological, physical, emotional, or behavioral problems exhibited the most distress, the most disruption of roles, and the most deteriorated grandparent-grandchild relationships. Although the custodial grandparents raising apparently normal grandchildren demonstrated less distress, less disruption of roles, and less deterioration of the grandparent-grandchild relationship than those grandparents raising grandchildren displaying problems, they still demonstrated higher levels than did traditional grandparents. Those grandparents who reported fewer resources, demonstrated poor attitudes regarding seeking mental health services, and reported raising grandchildren displaying problems had the lowest levels of adjustment.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Emick, Michelle Adrianna

Depression and Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Coronary Artery Disease

Description: Depression is an independent risk factor for morbidity and mortality in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Altered autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity, a common feature of depression, is also a risk factor for cardiac events in patients with CAD. Heart rate variability (HRV) reflects ANS activity, and reduced HRV predicts morbidity in cardiac populations. The purpose of this study was to determine whether differences in HRV exist between depressed and nondepressed patients with CAD. Twenty-one depressed inpatients, with angiographically documented CAD were retrospectively matched to 21 nondepressed CAD patients by sex, age, and smoking status. Demographic, medical, psychological interview data, and 24-hour ECG recordings were obtained. Depressed subjects had significantly lower HRV, or trends toward lower HRV, than nondepressed subjects, even after controlling for severity of CAD. Subject groups did not differ on left ventricular ejection fraction, history of myocardial infarction, or any other relevant medical variable assessed. These results suggest that depression is associated with decreased HRV in patients with CAD, and may help to explain the increased rates of cardiac events observed in CAD patients with depression.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Saunders, Roger D. (Roger Dean)

Detection of Malingering on Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices and the Booklet Category Test

Description: The capacity of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) and the Booklet Category Test (BCT) to discriminate between groups of brain-injured, simulated malingering, and normal participants was investigated in this study. Exploratory analyses were also conducted to examine the differences between groups categorized as sophisticated and naive fakers. Clinical decision rules and discriminant function analyses were utilized to identify malingerers. Clinical decision rules ranged in hit rates from 41% to 78%, in sensitivity from 2% to 100%, and in specificity from 86% to 100%. Discriminant functions ranged in hit rates from 81% to 86%, in sensitivity from 68% to 73% and in specificity from 82% to 87%. Overall, the least helpful detection method examined was below chance responding on either measure, while the most efficient was gross errors for SPM.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Isler, William C. (William Charles)

Differences between Acknowledged and Unacknowledged Rape: Occurrence of PTSD

Description: This study examined the relation between level of rape acknowledgement and levels of PTSD symptoms reported in female college students. Subjects were administered the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES), the PTSD Interview, and a demographics questionnaire. Subjects were then grouped into the following categories based on their responses to the SES: reported rape victims, acknowledged rape victims, unacknowledged rape victims, and a control group of non-rape subjects. Small sample analyses did not reveal the expected linear relation between the two variables. Only the acknowledged group showed greater PTSD symptoms. The unacknowledged and control groups did not significantly differ on overall PTSD symptom severity, or on any cluster of PTSD symptoms. Naturalistic selection factors are discussed that could have affected the outcome of the study.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Ovaert, Lynda B.

Disclosure and its Perceived Impact as Mediators of the Long-Term Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse

Description: The primary purpose of the present study was to investigate factors associated with childhood sexual abuse which mediate long-term effects. Of particular interest were the mediators of disclosure and its perceived impact, as well as variables related to the severity of the abuse. Also of interest were impact areas related to a history of molestation which have received little attention in the literature. Five hundred and seventy-five female undergraduates completed an extensive questionnaire with measures of family background, childhood and adult sexual experiences, health status, and psychological variables. Of these subjects, 286 reported at least one incident of child sexual abuse. It was hypothesized that those females with histories of sexual abuse who received a positive response to their disclosure of abuse would demonstrate more adaptive adult functioning as compared to those victims receiving a negative response, or those who never disclosed. Significant differences were not detected among the three groups on the outcome measures. A number of reasons were explored for why these differences may not have been detected in the present investigation. Although differences were not detected for disclosure status, significant differences were detected between females reporting a history of child sexual abuse and those reporting no abuse on all of the outcome measures. Specifically, sexual abuse victims were more likely than nonvictims to be sexually revictimized in adulthood. Potential explanations for this finding were explored in a discriminant function analysis predicting revictimization status. Further, abused females had significantly higher levels of depression, dissociation, and perceptual disturbances when compared to their nonabused peers. Sexual abuse victims also reported more health symptoms across various bodily systems and had more negative attributions about their physical health status. Differences between the abused and nonabused groups on levels of perceptual disturbance and perceived physical health status are particularly noteworthy since previous research ...
Date: October 1992
Creator: Phelan-McAuliffe, Debra

Distress and Causal Attributions Associated with Caring for Family Members with Senile Dementia

Description: A sample of 22 persons who care for relatives exhibiting initial symptoms of senile dementia were administered paper-and- pencil questionnaires to determine their level of subjective burden and psychological symptomatology. Each participant's attributional style was measured on an internal-external dimension, and their causal attributions regarding their relative's symptomatic behaviors were assessed. Results indicated that attributional style did not predict specific attributions about illness-related behaviors, but the tendency to not blame an afflicted relative for their behavior was predictive of subjective burden and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Subjective burden was found to predict feelings of hostility in caregivers.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Henschel, Peter W. (Peter William)