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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

Characteristics and Predictors of Success at Two Coed Halfway Houses

Description: The present study evaluated offender characteristics associated with completion of halfway house placement by the inclusion of additional offender characteristics for analysis in addition to those studied in previous research, the analysis of a large number of representative cases, and the use of statistics allowing clear conclusions upon which to base decision making. Data analysis was done in three steps. The first Step was to identify offender characteristics which were associated with completion in halfway house placement. The second step was to see how accurate the offender characteristics identified were in predicting completion of an offender's halfway house stay. The third step was to identify any possible factors which underlie the offender characteristics identified. Discriminant analyses identified ten offender characteristics which were associated with completion of halfway house placement for 521 male offenders and four offender characteristics which were associated with halfway house completion for the group of 33 female offenders studied. These offender characteristics resulted in 75.38 percent correctly classified cases for the male offender group and 96.9 7 percent correctly classified cases for the group of female offenders. Factor analyses resulted in the identification of four factors for the group of male offenders and two factors for the female offender group. Suggestions for future research included replications of the present study leading to the identification of offender groups based on probabilities of successful halfway house completion, and the establishment of halfway house programs tailored to offenders identified as having high or low probabilities of completion.
Date: May 1985
Creator: Sperry, Robert M., 1953-

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-

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)

The Effects of Different Confidentiality Conditions on Adolescent Minor Patients' Self-Report of Behavioral and Emotional Problems

Description: The primary purpose of the present study was to determine if information regarding potential parental or legal guardian access to mental health information would deleteriously impact male and female adolescent psychiatric patients' willingness to self-report personal problems and symptoms.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Drake, David Warren

Factors of Depression in the Elderly: Assessment and Implications for Diagnosis

Description: The problem of assessment and diagnosis of depression in the elderly begins with the definition of depression being indefinite. In this study, the theory of learned helplessness was chosen because of its value in organizing research within a learning theory framework. The Beck Depression Inventory, measures of fluid and crystallized intellectual ability, locus of control, and attribution of success and failure were chosen as variables for an exploratory factor analysis. The purpose of selecting these variables was to assess the cognitive, motivational, and affective components of learned helplessness as they affected the responses of elderly subjects to depression items. Self report measures of income, education, and health, were included to assess the relationship of these variables to depression. A somatic factor was predicted to correlate with an affective factor of depression.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Kunsak, Nancy Elizabeth

Imagery, Psychotherapy, and Directed Relaxation: Physiological Correlates

Description: Thirty outpatients being treated at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center Department of Behavioral Health Psychology were randomly assigned to either a relaxation/imagery training class (R/I), a short-term psychotherapy group (P/G) or a no treatment control group. Subjects had psychological, physiological and immunological data taken before and after treatment. Results indicated that support for the hypothesis that relaxation/imagery training improves the psychological, physiological, and immunological functioning of participants was found.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Baldridge, Jeffrey T. (Jeffrey Turner)

Imaginative Involvement and Hypnotic Susceptibility

Description: J. Hilgard (1970, 1972, 1974, 1979), utilizing an interview format, asserted that a personality variable, namely, an individual's capacity to become imaginatively involved in experiences outside of hypnosis, was significantly correlated with his or her hypnotic susceptibility. Tellegen and Atkinson (1974) operationalized the imaginative involvement variable in a 37-item questionnaire, the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS) that correlated significantly with hypnotic susceptibility (e.g., Crawford, 1982). However, Council, Kirsch, and Hafner (1986) suggested that the relationship between the TAS and hypnotic susceptibility is a context-mediated artifact in that the two correlate only when the TAS is administered within a context clearly identified as involving hypnosis. As the interviews conducted by J. Hilgard (1970, 1972, 1974, 1979) were done within a context clearly identified as involving hypnosis, the possibility exists that the relationship between imaginative involvement and hypnotic susceptibility is also a context-mediated artifact. In a test of this possibility, 86 subjects were interviewed concerning their imaginative involvements. Forty-three subjects were interviewed within a context defined as "research investigating hypnosis" and 43 subjects were interviewed within a context defined as "research investigating imagination." Hypnotic susceptibility was assessed in sessions separate from the interviews. In the present study, an individual's hypnotic susceptibility was not found to be significantly related to his or her imaginative involvement. It appears J. Hilgard's original finding may have been due to chance correlations compounded by subsequent experimenter expectancy effects. It is recommended that J. Hilgard's work be clarified through more extensive replications in which experimenter blindness is assured.
Date: August 1987
Creator: Drake, Stephen Douglas

An Initial Validation of the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) in a Sample of OEF/OIF Veterans

Description: Currently, neuropsychologists rely on assessment instruments rooted in century old theory and technology to make evaluations of military personnel’s readiness to return-to-duty or return to their community. The present study sought to explore an alternative by evaluating the validity of a neuropsychological assessment presented within a virtual reality platform. The integration of a neuropsychological assessment into a cognitively and emotionally demanding virtual environment – reminiscent of a combat experience in Iraq – offers a more ecologically valid manner in which to evaluate the cognitive skills required in theater. U.S. military veterans’ (N = 50) performance on the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) was compared with performance on a paper-and-pencil, a computer adapted version of the Stroop task, and the subtests included in the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics-4 (ANAM4) TBI-MIL test battery. Results supported the validity of the VRST, indicating it demonstrates the typical Stroop effect pattern. The emotional salience of the VRST resulted in slowed reaction time compared to the ANAM Stroop. Further, the complex interference condition of the VRST offers opportunities for evaluation of exogenous and endogenous attentional processing. In the evaluation of threat, participants were noted to perform more accurately and more quickly in low threat versus high threat zones. Ancillary inquiries found no clinically meaningful findings regarding the role of deployment or post-concussive symptoms, and mixed findings regarding the effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms on neuropsychological performance among the three tested modalities.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Feil Johnson, Stephanie

Life Stress, Coping, and Social Support in Adolescents: Cultural and Ethnic Differences

Description: Although much research has examined the impact of life stress and the subsequent development of health symptoms, most of this research has been done with White middle class adults. Similar to the adult research, life stress research with children and adolescents has focused on White middle class individuals. The present study expands the knowledge about the stress process in ethnic/racial adolescents while controlling for the effects of SES. A sample population consisting of 103 Black students, 129 Hispanic students, and 105 White students was compared with respect to stressful events experienced, coping strategies, and social support. Students from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds were included within each ethnic/racial group studied. After experimentally and statistically controlling for the effects of socioeconomic status, significant differences were observed. Black and Hispanic students reported receiving higher levels of Enacted Social Support (actual support) than White students. Contrary to what has been previous suggested, Black and Hispanic students reported having experienced fewer stressful life events than White students. Other ethnic/racial group differences that emerged included differences in ways in which specific patterns of moderator variables served to enhance the relationship between life stress and psychological symptomatology.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Prelow, Hazel (Hazel M.)

Maternal Stress and Cystic Fibrosis

Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between parent and child factors for mothers of children diagnosed with cystic fibrosis to predict mother's psychological distress. Mothers were surveyed to identify measurement models in areas of Child and Parental characteristics and a Full Causal Model of Maternal distress. Factors related to Child Characteristics include general parental stressors and cystic fibrosis specific parental stressors. Factors related to Parental Characteristics include the mother's sense of parental competence and self-esteem. Additional factors related to the Full Causal Model include social support, major and minor life events, and demographics. Results were analyzed using LISREL IV structural equation modeling. Measurement model analysis found a good fit for the Child Characteristics model (Chi Square = 6.85, df = 4, JD = .144, Goodness of Fit Indices = .972) and Parental Characteristics model (Chi Square = 5.89, df = 3, p = .117, Goodness of Fit Indices = .971), but not for the full causal model of maternal distress (Chi Square = 114.98, df = 66, E = .000, Goodness of Fit Indices = .853)
Date: August 1996
Creator: Bizzell, Laurie

Mistrust, Type of Problem, Counselor Ethnicity, Counselor Preference, and Expectations toward Counseling among Black Students

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore relationships between and among the degree of mistrust black students hold towards Whites, the students' preferences for race of counselor, and the discussion of problems that are sexual in nature. Participants consisted of 60 black females and 51 black males recruited from a university population. All subjects completed the Terrell and Terrell Cultural Mistrust Inventory, Fischer-Turner Attitudes Toward Seeking Professional Psychological Help Scale, Corrigan and Schmidt Counselor Rating Form - Short Form, Tinsley Expectations About Counseling Inventory, and the Thermometer Method Form developed specifically for this project. A multiple regression model was used to explore the hypotheses of this study. The criterion variables consisted of scores on the Expectations About Counseling Form and Counselor Rating Form. Analyses revealed that the most significant predictors of counseling expectations were race of counselor and participant gender. Black students who were asked to assume \ they would see a black counselor had more favorable expectations about counseling than those black students asked to assume they would see a white counselor. Female participants had more favorable expectations about counseling than male participants. Results also indicated that the most significant predictors of counselor ratings were race of counselor and subject mistrust level. Those students asked to assume they would see a black counselor rated the potential counselor more favorably than those students who were asked to assume they would see a white counselor. Black students who scored higher on cultural mistrust rated potential white counselors less favorably than black students who scored lower on cultural mistrust.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Nickerson, Kim J. (Kim Jung)

Preparedness to Counsel HIV-Positive Clients: a Survey of Practitioners

Description: This purpose of this study was to investigate and examine the attitudes of therapists who treat HIV-positive (HIV+) clients. Specifically, therapists' perceptions of their own preparedness in dealing with specific issues and emotions of HIV+ clients were examined. Also, therapists' evaluation of their own efficacy of specific therapeutic approaches with HIV+ clients was examined. These therapists' perceptions and evaluations of all their clients in general were compared to their HIV+ clients. Comparisons were also made within the two groups.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Rowe, Christina J. (Christina Jo)

PTSD in Women following a Disaster: the Effects of Social Support and Gender Differences

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine and compare individuals that had survived a single incidence trauma, the Luby's massacre in Killeen, Texas. Participants answered questions regarding various facets of social support following the trauma, and were also screened for a diagnosis of PTSD. Participants' level of symptoms, specifically depression, anxiety, and phobic anxiety was measured over time with the SCL-90-R. The results of this study indicate that, while women initially experience a higher level of depression and phobic anxiety, there is no gender difference in rate of symptom change over time. This study also found that women were significantly higher than men on desirability, utilization and usefulness of social support. Of the target symptoms, however, only depression correlated with any facet of social support, specifically, desirability. Finally, this study questioned whether individuals would share more similarities with others based on gender or diagnosis. It is suggested by the current data that diagnosis is the better indicator of similarity.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Direiter, Diana C. (Diana Charity)

Stigma and Attributions of Blame toward Persons with AIDS (PWAs)

Description: A sample of 227 undergraduate students was administered pre-intervention paper-and-pencil questionnaires to assess homophobia, fear of AIDS contagion, symbolic representations of AIDS and homosexuality, and specific personality attributes including authoritarianism, religiosity, and conservatism. Participants then read one of eight intervention vignettes about an ill person; these vignettes varied by sexual orientation of the patient, disease (AIDS versus lung cancer), and mode of transmission (in the AIDS conditions). Participants then completed post-intervention measures assessing the degree to which the ill person in the vignette was responsible and to blame for his illness, the level of stigma toward him, and concerns about social interactions with him. Results indicate the following: a) Attributions of personal responsibility are primarily a function of mode of illness transmission; b) fear of AIDS contagion is predictive of stigma and social avoidance of PWAs; and c) AIDS-related stigma and attributions of blame are largely a function of symbolic associations between homosexuality and IV drug abuse (which were previously stigmatized) and AIDS.
Date: August 1996
Creator: Henschel, Peter W. (Peter William)

When Patients Threaten to Kill: A Texas View of Tarasoff

Description: A serious problem confronts the psychologist whose patient threatens, within the privacy of a therapy session, to inflict violent harm upon some third person. Therapists in Texas face a risk of unjust legal liability because of a lack of widely accepted, clearly and fully articulated standards. A questionnaire was submitted to Texas psychologists and Texas judges of mental illness courts. It involved a hypothetical case of a patient who threatened to kill his girlfriend. The hypothesis that no consensus exists at present among psychologists or judges appears to be supported by the data. Comparisons are made of the attitudes of psychologists and judges. Correlations between psychologist attitudes and certain demographic and practice variables are reported. The need for new legislation in Texas concerning legal liability of therapists for the violent behavior of patients is discussed. Proposed legislation for Texas is set out. Among its important features are (1) recognition that continued therapy is itself a protective strategy and (2) establishment of good faith as the standard by which the behavior of the therapist is to be judged.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Morgan, Minor Latham