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Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females

Description: There is a lack of clarity in the current literature in how potential etiological factors interact and result in disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to examine an expanded model of Personality, Social Support, Appraisal/Coping Processes, Abuse History, Internalization of Sociocultural Standards, Psychological Disturbances, and Body Disparagement in the development of disordered eating. The current model was evaluated using 276 women in their transition to college, a time period highly associated with symptoms believed to increase a woman's risk for the development of disordered eating including perceived difficulty coping, weight gain, and negative affect. Structural equation modeling was used to allow simultaneous examination of the causal relationships between the factors. Structural analyses confirmed that college women with previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition. Those women who identified the transition as overwhelming were also aware of increased negative mood and psychological states since beginning the school semester. Further, women with previous traumatic sexual experiences appeared to be at additional risk for increased negative affective symptoms. The resulting model confirmed that those women who experience negative mood states and those that endorse strong internalization of cultural values regarding attractiveness encountered increased dissatisfaction and disapproval of their bodies. Finally, women with higher levels of body concern engaged in more eating behaviors associated with disordered eating. The roles of personality functioning and perceived social support could not be identified in the developmental model. The predictive links between constructs in the resulting model provide meaningful information regarding the transition to college and associated risks for development of disordered eating. Validation of the model in an independent sample would provide confirmation of these relationships and longitudinal research examining females' attitudes across crucial developmental periods might provide important information regarding ...
Date: August 2002
Creator: Tripp, Margaret Murphy

Narcissistic traits and parenting style: A closer look at maladaptive parenting through parent-child observations, parent self-report, and child self-report.

Description: The thrust of this paper was two-fold, 1) to confirm a 2-factor model of narcissism in women, and 2) to examine the relationship between narcissistic traits in mothers and several variables associated with parenting efficacy. Participants included 193 mother-child dyads. A 2-factor model of narcissism was confirmed in the present sample of mothers, suggesting that narcissistic traits in women may be manifested in distinct Overt and Covert forms. Contrary to expectations, Covert Narcissistic traits in mothers did not significantly correlate with observed parenting behaviors on the PCIA, including Positive Personal Comments (PPC) towards children, Negative Personal Comments (NPC), and Parental Nurturance. However, children's self-reported maternal rejection on the C-PARQ correlated positively with Covert Narcissistic traits in mothers, as did mother's self-reported dysfunctional parenting attitudes on the AAPI-2. Narcissistic traits in mothers correlated most strongly with risk of child physical abuse on the CAPI (r = .70). Results are also presented for the Overt Narcissism factor, which proved to be less stable as a factor. Overall, results emphasize the need for a more comprehensive understanding of narcissism for women, given its potential Implications for children's healthy development and parenting interventions.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Collins, Michelle

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.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Greher, Felicia Reynolds

The Relationship between Executive and Psychosocial Functioning in Children Treated for a Brain Tumor

Description: This study examined the relationship between executive and psychosocial functioning in 45 children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years who had been treated for a brain tumor. Executive functioning deficits can profoundly impact an adult's ability to function successfully in life. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the potential impact of executive functioning deficits on the day-to-day functioning in a pediatric population. The domains of executive functioning assessed included cognitive flexibility, conceptual thinking, sustained attention, and response inhibition. Psychosocial functioning was assessed using both parent and child report. Several significant relationships were found for adolescents ages 15 and older, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. In particular, cognitive flexibility and conceptual thinking were significantly related to parent report of depression and adaptive functioning. Fewer significant relationships with smaller effect sizes were found for younger children. The results may reflect the developmental emergence of executive functioning abilities and late effects of executive functioning deficits upon psychosocial functioning. The correlational design of this study precludes definitive statements regarding the temporal nature of the relationship. Additional research, including longitudinal research and replicatory studies, will be needed to further investigate the developmental consequences of executive functioning impairment.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Falla, Karen M.

Trauma Responses, Abuse History, and Exposure to Violence as Risk Factors in Adolescent Sex and Non-Sex Offenders

Description: Several risk factors have been identified for adolescent sex offenders and non-sex offenders. Such risk factors include physical and/or sexual abuse, and exposure to community and/or domestic violence. Additionally, the presence of disinhibitive factors, such as substance use and exposure to violent or pornographic media are also commonly reported in the backgrounds of both sex and non-sex offenders. Similarly, adolescent offenders have reported traumatic reactions to environmental factors such as abuse and violence. Similarities in exposure to the risk and disinhibitive factors described above between adolescent sex and non-sex offenders do not provide an explanation for why some adolescents commit sex offenses, whereas other adolescent offenders do not. This study investigated the discriminative ability of traumatic reactions as a risk factor between male adolescent sex and non-sex offenders. The inclusion of traumatic reactions increased the accuracy of risk factors distinguishing between sex and non-sex offenders. Thus, not only the presence of risk factors, but also the adolescent's reaction to the risk factors, are important predictors of whether he will commit a sexual offense.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Briley, Joshua Paul