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Effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Brain Function as Measured by Quantitative EEG, Neuropsychological, and Psychological Tests

Description: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has been the subject of much recent controversy as a result of Rind, Tromovitch and Bauserman's (1998) meta-analytic examination of CSA, which found a weak relationship between CSA and self-reported psychopathology in college samples. There have been few studies of CSA which look beyond self-report. The present study is an exploration of the relationships between CSA, quantitative electroencephalographic (QEEG), neuropsychological, and psychological measurements in 24 high-functioning, unmedicated CSA adults who were matched for age, gender, and handedness with a group of adults without CSA (NCSA). The objectives of this study were to: 1) examine EEG abnormalities associated with CSA, 2) investigate QEEG cortical coherence in the groups using neuroelectric Eigen image (NEI) connectivity indices (Hudspeth, 1999), 3) integrate personality differences associated with CSA with EEG differences, and 4) better understand left versus right hemisphere functioning in CSA using intelligence testing. An examination of QEEG cortical coherence revealed moderate to large effect sizes indicating patterns of decreased connectivity between brain regions on the right frontally in the delta band, and frontally and centro-temporally on the right in the alpha band, and posteriorly in the alpha and beta bands, as well as in the cross-correlation; increased connectivity between brain regions was evidenced centrally across the motor strip and on the left temporally in the delta band, which differentiated the groups. Large effect sizes obtained on measures of personality were related to poorer adjustment for CSA adults in comparison to NCSA adults. In contrast to prior findings with clinical groups (Black, Hudspeth, Townsend, & Bodenhamer-Davis, 2002; Ito et al., 1993), hypotheses related to QEEG cortical coherence (left hemisphere alpha hypercoherence and right hemisphere theta hypocoherence), EEG abnormalities, and IQ (Verbal less than Performance) were not supported. Walker's (2003) theoretical modular coherence model was utilized to integrate coherence and personality ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Black, Lisa Myers

Emotional Intelligence at Mid Life: A Cross Sectional Investigation of Structural Variance, Social Correlates, and Relationship to Established Personality and Ability Taxonomies

Description: Emotional Intelligence (EI) has been relatively unstudied after young adulthood. Yet there are a variety of reasons to expect that EI may be different at mid life than in young adulthood. Normative life experiences may lead to increases in EI, and as the array of different environments and experiences increases with age, one might expect greater individual differences in EI. Similarly, if EI is located somewhere at the intersection of personality and intelligence, as some have speculated, it may follow a course of structural differentiation similar to cognitive abilities. EI may be more closely linked to social variables such as loneliness and friendships at mid life, and its relation to established personality and ability factors such as the Big Five (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) and fluid and crystallized abilities may also vary with age. These hypotheses were investigated in samples of 292 young adults and 246 mid life adults, using the Schutte Self Report Emotional Intelligence Inventory, the NEO-Five Factor Personality Inventory, markers of crystallized and fluid ability from Horn's Crystallized/Fluid Sampler, and a variety of other measures. Mid life adults scored higher on overall EI scores, but evidenced no greater range of individual differences than did young adults. A series of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed no greater differentiation in the mid life sample either among dimensions of EI or between EI and personality and intelligence variables. Finally, EI appeared equally predictive of social variables in each sample. Results are discussed from the perspective of lifespan and aging literature on emotion, personality, and social functioning. Qualifications for the inference of age-related change in cross sectional designs are considered, along with advantages and disadvantages of factor-analytic and covariance structure modeling methodology. Implications, particularly for psychotherapy with each age group, are discussed.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Chapman, Benjamin P.

Identity development across the lifespan.

Description: In an extension of Louden's work, this study investigated identity development across the lifespan by applying Erickson's and Marcia's identity constructs to two developmental models, the selective optimization and compensation model and a holistic wellness model. Data was gathered from traditionally aged college freshmen and adults older than 60 years of age. Uncommitted identity statuses and work and leisure wellness domains were endorsed across both groups, suggesting that identity for these groups is in a state of fluctuation yet entailing participation as a productive member of society. Emerging adult findings imply that identity diffused and moratorium identity styles are more similar in terms of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional functioning than past literature suggests for this age group. Findings also indicate that identity development is not a process completed by older adulthood, but is an ongoing, lifelong process perhaps driven by contextual factors such as health changes, unpredictable life events, social support group changes, and others. Coping method utilization and overall wellness varied between the two age groups. Conceptually, the SOC model can be viewed as embedded within each of the wellness domains such that selection, optimization, and compensation activities may be carried out within each of the various domains and serve to enhance existing functioning within each domain rather than simply compensating for lost functioning. Possible explanations of the results as well as implications for clinical practice, higher education, and future research are provided.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Louden, Linda L.

Religiosity and spirituality in younger and older adults.

Description: The present study examined the use of MacDonald's Expressions of Spirituality instrument with a younger and older adult sample. Specifically, MacDonald's proposed five factor model was assessed for fit with a sample of college age participants as well as a sample of adults over the age of 65. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to assess the fit of this model with samples, and this was followed by an exploratory factor analysis, and the results were considered in light of measurement equivalence and the definitions of the constructs of religiosity and spirituality. Further analyses examined levels of religiousness as well as relationships between religiousness/spirituality and potential correlates, such as postformal thinking, life events including changes and losses, emotional and physical well-being, and family upbringing, comparing young and older adult samples. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis revealed a solution with a better fit than MacDonald's model for both younger and older adults. While the number of factors were the same for both samples, item loadings and cross-loadings differed between the younger and older adult samples. Exploratory factor analysis yielded a four factor solution, with religiousness and spirituality items loading onto one factor. With regard to measurement equivalence, findings appear to indicate that the five factor solution and MacDonald's Expressions of Spirituality instrument may not be as useful with older adults. Additionally, findings are discussed with regard to the measurement of the constructs of religiosity and spirituality. In addition to measurement issues, several findings pointed to differences between the younger and older adult samples. For young adults, more life changes were related to higher levels of postformal thinking, but for older adults more life losses were related to higher levels of postformal thinking. Also, the older adult sample had higher levels of religiousness than the young adult sample. Several results were ...
Date: August 2005
Creator: Clarke, Shailagh