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Contextualized Risk Assessment in Clinical Practice: Utility of Actuarial, Clinical, and Structured Clinical Approaches to Predictions of Violence.

Description: Assessing offenders' risk of future violent behavior continues to be an important yet controversial role of forensic psychologists. A key debate is the relative effectiveness of assessment methods. Specifically, actuarial methods (see Quinsey et al., 1998 for a review) have been compared and contrasted to clinical and structured clinical methods (see e.g. Hart, 1998; Webster et al., 1997). Proponents of each approach argue for its superiority, yet validity studies have made few formal comparisons. In advancing the available research, the present study examines systematically the type of forensic case (i.e., sexual violence versus nonsexual violence) and type of assessment method (i.e., actuarial, structured clinical, and unstructured clinical). As observed by Borum, Otto, and Golding (1993), forensic decision making can also be influenced by the presence of certain extraneous clinical data. To address these issues, psychologists and doctoral students attending the American Psychology Law Society conference were asked to make several ratings regarding the likelihood of future sexual and nonsexual violence based on data derived from actual defendants with known outcomes. Using a mixed factorial design, each of these assessment methods were investigated for its influence on decision-makers regarding likelihood of future violence and sexually violent predator commitments. Finally, the potentially biasing effects of victim impact statements on resultant decisions were also explored.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Jackson, Rebecca L.

Maladaptive appraisals and intrusive thoughts associated with obsessive compulsive disorder: A semiidiographic approach.

Description: This project investigated the metacognitive strategies used to appraise obsessive thoughts employed by individuals with different anxiety symptoms. Two hundred eighty-seven undergraduate students completed two repertory grids and three anxiety scales. The repertory grids respectively examined the appraisal process of intrusive thoughts both from the perspective of the rater and the rater's imagined average person. Variables quantified from the rep grid related to the construal process of raters' own intrusions, failed to demonstrate robust differences between OCD, non-OCD anxious, and non-anxious individuals. However, it appears that anxious individuals, not just those with OCD, use metacognitive strategies to suppress rigid constructions under perceived social evaluation. Future studies may wish to use related grid variables to explore the relation between obsessions and social anxiety.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Hutchinson, Geoffrey

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.
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Date: August 2004
Creator: Collins, Michelle

Needs of familial caregivers of cancer patients across the advanced cancer disease trajectory.

Description: Familial caregivers are providing increasing amounts of care to advanced cancer patients. Increased understanding of caregivers' needs is vital in providing necessary support to lessen caregiver burden and comorbidity. This study examines particular information needs across a variety of specific events in the advanced cancer disease trajectory. A cross-sectional sample of 107 familial caregivers (24 current and 83 bereaved) of people with advanced cancer completed a needs assessment survey along with a measure of health information-seeking behavior. Analyses extend current research by including more specific disease-related events along the advanced cancer trajectory through bereavement. In all information categories, endorsement of wanted information differed across broad stages of Cancer Progression, Treatment, End of Life, and Post-Patient Death. For all information categories, except Dying and Spirituality, greatest information was wanted at the Cancer Progression stage. Information need also differed across specific events within broad stages. The categories of Disease/Medical and Relating to the Patient were the most endorsed at events involving patient care. Spirituality was least endorsed. At patient death, Caregiver Well-being has the highest endorsement. For events thereafter, information on Caregiver Well-being, Spirituality, Future Outlook, and Family and Close Others was most endorsed. Information needs did not differ based on age or education. Whether or not a caregiver had experienced a given event on the cancer trajectory impacted some categories of information desired at the events of leaving the hospital for home, going into hospice, patient death, immediately after death, and bereavement. In all cases, those who had experienced the event wanted more information. In comparing current to bereaved caregivers, no differences in information endorsement occurred for events of the Cancer progression or Treatment stages. This study also involved the validation and factor analysis the Health Information-Seeking Behavior Survey. Two factors, Health Information-Seeking and Health Information-Avoiding, emerged. Health Information-Seeking correlates positively ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Bernard, Lori Lynn

Perceptions and attributions of child, spousal, and elder abuse.

Description: Although researchers have studied perceptions regarding sexually abused children, little was known about how other types of abusive events were perceived. This study examined 480 college students' abuse history and perceptions of child, spousal, and elder abuse by varying the respondent, victim, and perpetrator genders. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, and neglect were investigated. Perceptions of abusiveness, seriousness, harm, and responsibility were examined, along with the extent of identification with the victims/perpetrators. Participants viewed spousal abuse as less serious and harmful than other abuse types, especially when perpetrated against a male or by a female. Although able to recognize psychological abuse, students did not fully understand what other abuse types entailed. Individuals also showed a considerable amount of blame toward victims. Results further demonstrated important findings about how ethnic identity/orientation, religious affiliation, and history of abuse related to perceptions of abusive events.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Altman, Adrianne

The structure of insight in patients with psychosis.

Description: Failure to acknowledge their mental illness occurs in approximately half of all psychotic patients. Interest has been recently been refocused on insight (i.e., awareness of mental illness), and its associations with treatment compliance and better prognosis. Researchers have called into question the traditional factor structure of insight, instead viewing and defining it as a multidimensional and continuous construct. While factor analytic research has suggested that insight is an independent feature of psychotic disorders rather than a secondary manifestation of psychotic symptoms, several factor analytic studies have identified only one higher-order factor. Furthermore, a significant amount of the research literature has assessed insight or analyzed its relationships using only a single insight score. The current study evaluated the structural model of insight and assessed the associations between the different proposed dimensions of insight and psychotic symptoms. One hundred and six participants recruited from both inpatient and outpatient settings with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, psychotic disorder NOS, or bipolar disorder with psychotic features were rated on David's Schedule for Assessing Insight-Expanded Version (SAI-E), Birchwood's Insight Scale (IS), and the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) or the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Structural equation modeling (SEM) was utilized to provide stringent, confirmatory statistical tests of the hypothetical factor models while accounting for measurement error. Principal findings from the current study were that the three factor model of insight was supported and that the insight factors were meaningfully correlated to the two symptom factors. Moreover, the three factor insight model provided significantly better fit than a single factor model of insight.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Gonterman, Andrea R.