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Acculturation and Sociocultural Influences as Predictors of Family Relationships and Body Image Dissatisfaction in African American, Hispanic American, and European American Women

Description: Ethnic differences in etiological factors linked to body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders were examined. In addition, the interaction of acculturation and body image dissatisfaction in influencing minority women's relationships with their parents was investigated. Participants consisted of 302 undergraduates from three ethnic groups: Caucasian, Hispanic American, and African American women who were administered self-report measures. Differences were not found between the groups in body image dissatisfaction. Low self-esteem, internalization of the thin ideal, and family emphasis on weight and appearance were all related to more body image dissatisfaction for each of these groups; however, differences in degree of endorsement were also noted between the ethnic groups on these factors. Based on the interaction findings (body image x acculturation) separation from one's mother was found in the area of attitudes and emotions for the Hispanic sample but not for the African American sample on any of the parent scales. Areas for future research and implications for diagnosis and treatment of minority populations are also discussed.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Garcia-Rea, Elizabeth Ann

Acculturation Level, Generational Status and Gender: Their Role in Acculturative Stress in Young Adolescent Mexican Americans

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between acculturation level, generational status, and gender with acculturative stress. Acculturation level was determined by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) and acculturative stress was determined by the Societal, Attitudinal, Familial and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale-Children's Version (SAFE-C). Subjects included 1268 Hispanic children ages 11-15. In order to validate the usefulness of the ARSMA-II with this sample, analyses were conducted between acculturation level and generational status. The Pearson product moment correlation (r=.44) and the ANOVA between the mean acculturation score and generational status were significant. However, the mean acculturation score from this study was considerably lower than the ARSMA-II score; therefore, new acculturation levels were developed to establish local adolescent norms for the ARSMA-II. All analyses involving acculturation levels were conducted using both the ARSMA-II and new acculturation levels because 300 subjects were reclassified with the new norms. Significant results were similar using both acculturation levels; however, there were more between group differences using the new acculturation levels. It was hypothesized that as acculturation level increased toward the Anglo culture, acculturative stress would decrease. The one-way ANOVA confirmed this relationship. It was also hypothesized that as generational status increased, acculturative stress would decrease. A one-way ANOVA also supported this hypothesis. In order to replicate previous findings on gender, a one-way ANOVA was conducted with acculturative stress and acculturation level. Results for both were non-significant. Overall findings indicate that generational status and acculturation level have a significant impact on acculturative stress in Hispanic children; however, gender does not seem to be a factor. Findings emphasize the importance of addressing cultural issues in the assessment, intervention, and treatment of acculturating Hispanic children. Furthermore, the ARSMA-II appears to be a useful instrument in assessing acculturation level in young adolescent Hispanics though new ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Manning, Suzanne C.

Acculturative Processes and Their Impact on Self-Reports of Psychological Distress in Mexican-American Adolescents

Description: The current study examined the effects of acculturative processes on the self-report of behavioral problems in Hispanic children ages 11-14. Acculturation was measured by the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMA-II) (ã Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, www.sagepub.com) (Cuellar, Arnold, and Maldonado, 1995) and the self-report of behavioral symptoms was assessed using the Youth Self-Report (ã T.M. Achenbach, Burlington, VT, www.aseba.com) (Achenbach, 1991). It was hypothesized that while both the linear and orthogonal categories of acculturation would account for a significant proportion of the variance in behavior problems in this age group, the orthogonal model would account for a larger proportion of variance due to its multidimensional nature. As well, it was hypothesized that the experimental Marginalization scales of the ARSMA-II would be predictive of behavioral problems. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to test these hypotheses and results were non-significant for the linear, orthogonal, and marginalization categories. The effects of the ethnic/cultural homogeneity of the region from which the sample was drawn, the buffering of social support, and the developmental aspects of ethnic identity are discussed as factors which may have influenced the potential impact of acculturative stress on psychological and behavioral functioning.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Garrison, Lance A.

An Actor-Partner Interdependence Model of Attachment Processes, Conflict Resolution, and Psychological Abuse on Relationship Quality in a Community Sample of Heterosexual Couples.

Description: The purpose of this study is to determine whether adult attachment style, psychological abuse in the marriage, conflict resolution strategies, and gender are associated with relational quality in childless couples in the early years of their marriage. Data were collected from 92 married couples who were recruited from university campuses, churches, and community organizations through e-mails, flyers, newspaper advertisements and mailings. Conceptualizing the interdependence of dyadic data from the actor-partner interdependence model (APIM), multilevel linear modeling (MLM) was used to analyze differences within and between couples. It was hypothesized that higher levels of attachment anxiety or avoidance, psychological abuse, and maladaptive conflict resolution strategies would be associated with lower relational quality. Results indicated that attachment avoidance had stronger associations with relational quality than did attachment anxiety, and that higher levels of attachment avoidance were associated with lower relational quality. Additionally, findings indicated a direct negative relationship between both actor and partner psychological abuse and the actor's relational quality. The discussion section addresses strengths and limitations of the present study as well as directions for future research.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Bretz, Karen

Adolescent Self-Mutilating Behaviors: Experiential Avoidance Coupled with Imitation?

Description: Repetitive self-mutilation (RSM) has become increasingly prevalent among adolescents. Empirical research has pinpointed several correlates of this behavior, but the initiation and maintenance of RSM among adolescents are not well understood. The experiential avoidance model (EAM) proposes that self-mutilation is a behavior that allows for the avoidance or alteration of unwanted internal experiences, and that it is negatively reinforced with repetition. The current study explored the usefulness of the EAM as an explanatory theory for adolescent RSM, with the additional incorporation of issues of social context. Adolescents (N = 211) from three school-based samples completed self-report questionnaires. One-third of students reported at least one incident of purposeful, non-suicidal self-mutilation and 16% had engaged in self-mutilation repeatedly within the past 6 months. Both regression and group analyses indicated that adolescents who engage in RSM report greater psychological distress, a greater incidence of functionally equivalent behaviors, and greater exposure to self-mutilation among peers and/or in the media, when compared to their counterparts who have not engaged in RSM. Suicidal ideation/behaviors were consistently the strongest predictors of current self-mutilation behaviors. Clinical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Howe-Martin, Laura S.

Adult Attachment and Posttraumatic Growth in Sexual Assault Survivors.

Description: Posttraumatic growth, defined as positive psychological changes in the aftermath of adversity and suffering, is a relatively recent focus in psychological research. The addition of this concept to the literature has provided a new, more resiliency-based framework through which to view survivors of various forms of trauma. Despite estimates that over half of all sexual assaults are not reported to the authorities, current crime statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime (Campbell & Wasco, 2005). Given the large percentage of the population that is impacted by sexual assault, it is essential that professionals better understand the factors that influence the successful healing and growth that can occur post-trauma. The purpose of this study was to further expand the literature on posttraumatic growth in sexual assault survivors by considering this phenomenon through the lens of attachment theory. Specifically, this study tested a proposed model of the inter-relationships among subjective and objective perceptions of threat during the sexual assault, adult romantic attachment, and posttraumatic growth. It was hypothesized that adult romantic attachment and parent-child attachment would mediate the relationship between subjective, or perceived threat, defined as the victim's perception of life threat, and objective threat, defined as the severity of the sexually aggressive act perpetrated on the victim, and posttraumatic growth. Finally, it was hypothesized that subjective threat appraisal would better predict posttraumatic growth than objective threat appraisal. Contrary to hypotheses, results of the study indicated that adult romantic attachment and parent-child attachment did not mediate the relationship between subjective and objective threat appraisal and posttraumatic growth. Thus, both path analytic models were not viable. However, exploratory analysis indicated that both subjective and objective threat appraisal were directly related to posttraumatic growth, with subjective perceived threat appraisal accounting for more of the variance.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Gwynn, Stacy Roddy

Age and Responses to the Events of September 11, 2001

Description: Following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, many turned to the field of psychology for greater understanding of the impact of such events and guidance in supporting our citizens. This study sought to gain greater understanding of the differential impact of the September 11th attack on individuals by investigating the influence of age, psychological hardiness, and repression versus sensitization as forms of coping behavior on psychological health. Both an initial cross-sectional sample (172 young adults & 231older adults) and a short-term longitudinal follow-up (39 young adults & 58 older adults) were included in the study. Older age, psychological hardiness and the use of a repressing coping style were found to each individually relate to greater resilience/less dysfunction at both time one and two. For young adults, high hardy repressors faired best, followed by high hardy sensitizers. Low hardy young adults demonstrated similar levels of dysfunction regardless of coping style (repressions/sensitization). For older adults, coping style impacted both high and low hardy individuals equally, with high hardy repressors demonstrating greater functioning. This study attempted to gain greater insight into explanations for these and previous findings of greater resilience among older adults. In explaining the greater resilience of older adults, it seems that coping style is highly important, while hardiness and the impact of history-graded events does not explain the resilience of older adults.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Holmes, D. Nicole

Agreement Between Self and Other Ratings in Multi-Rater Tools: Performance, Alternative Measures, and Importance.

Description: Multi-rater tools also referred to as 360-degree feedback tools, are frequently used in addition to traditional supervisory appraisals due to sources (i.e., supervisor, peer, direct report) unique perspectives and opportunities to view different aspects of job performance. Research has found that the differences among sources are most prevalent between self and other ratings, and the direction of agreement is related to overall job performance. Research has typically focused on one form of agreement, the direction of an individual's self-ratings compared to others' ratings. The current study expanded on past research on rater agreement using a data set (n = 215) consisting of multi-rater data for professionals participating in a leadership development process. The study examined the ability to predict job performance with three different measures of self-other agreement (i.e., difference between overall mean scores (difference), mean absolute difference across items (difference), and mean correlation across items (similarity)). The study also examined how the relationships may differ across performance dimensions. The final purpose was to explore how the importance of the performance dimensions, as rated by the participant, may moderate the relationship between self-other agreement and job performance. Partial support for study's hypotheses was found. The direction and difference measures of agreement on the overall multi-rater tool and performance dimensions accounted for a significant amount of the variance in job performance. The relationship between the similarity measure of agreement and job performance, and the moderating effect of importance were not supported in the current study.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Grahek, Myranda

Antecedents of Commitment to and Support of a Proposed Change Initiative in a Southern Baptist Congregation.

Description: This study extends research findings directed at a micro-focus of change by assessing individual organizational members' perspectives and psychological constructs influencing change efforts by an organization. The change initiative in question regards the construction of a new facility and subsequent relocation to said facility. Moral commitment to the organization (negative), change initiative's fit with organizational vision, and social influence significantly contributed to variance in members' affective commitment to change. Trust in leadership and normative commitment to the organization (NCO) significantly contributed to variance in members' normative commitment to change. Continuance commitment to the organization and participation (negative) significantly contributed to variance in members' continuance commitment to change. NCO, change initiative's fit with organizational vision, and participation significantly contributed to variance in support of the proposed change initiative. Affective commitment to the organization (negative), NCO (negative), trust in leadership (negative), and disruption of influence significantly contributed to variance in members' intent to leave the organization.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Lee, Audra

Antecedents of the Psychological Adjustment of Children and Grandparent Caregivers in Grandparent-Headed Families

Description: Grandparent-headed families are diverse in nature and represent a rapidly growing family type. While challenges facing grandparent caregivers are well documented, less is known about the well-being of their grandchildren, with many early studies relying on small samples of convenience. This study used an existing large national database, the National Survey of America's Families (NSAF), to compare differences in well-being of both children and grandparent caregivers across the independent variables of family type, ethnicity, gender, and age. Findings suggested better mental health and less parental aggravation for caregivers in traditional two parent intact families as compared to grandparents co-parenting in a multi-generation home, skipped generation grandparents (raising their grandchild with no parent present) or single parents. Skipped generation grandparents in particular reported most caregiver aggravation. Child physical health was reported to be worse by skipped generation grandparent caregivers. Behavior problems were reported to be worse for children in grandparent headed households than those in traditional families, particularly for teenagers raised in skipped generation households by their grandmothers. Specific results, limitations and future directions for research on grandparent-headed households were discussed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Jooste, Jane Louise

Are Deficits in Mindfulness Core Features of Borderline Personality Disorder?

Description: Mindfulness is a core component of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a widely utilized treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, the import of mindfulness in treating BPD has yet to be demonstrated, and the relationship of mindfulness to BPD constructs is unclear. The current study utilized structural equation modeling to examine the relations of mindfulness with BPD features and the underlying constructs of interpersonal problem-solving effectiveness, impulsivity, emotion regulation strategies, and neuroticism in 342 young adults. Mindfulness was significantly related to effectiveness in interpersonal problem-solving, impulsivity and passivity in emotion regulation, and borderline features. Furthermore, mindfulness continued to predict borderline features when controlling for interpersonal problem-solving and impulsive/passive emotion-regulation strategies, as well as when controlling for neuroticism. It is concluded that difficulties with mindfulness may represent a core feature of BPD and that improvement in mindfulness may be a key component of treatment efficacy with BPD. It is recommended that the unique contribution of mindfulness be investigated in future treatment-outcome research.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Wupperman, Peggilee

Assessment of the Effects of Interpersonal Openness and Coping Resources on the Psychological Sequelae of Traumatic Victimization

Description: The present study tested a model addressing whether interpersonal Openness and interpersonal and intrapersonal Coping Resources mediated the relationship between interpersonal Victimization and the Psychological Symptoms women experience as a result of these traumas. Victimization indicators (physical violence, sexual assault, psychological abuse, and revictimization), Coping indicators (optimism, self-esteem, private self-consciousness, social network and therapy), Openness indicators (self-silencing, communal orientation, trust, self-monitoring, and network orientation), and Psychological Symptoms indicators (global distress, dissociation, and suicidal ideation) were examined separately for African American (n = 245), Euro-American (n = 185), and Mexican American (n = 202) women. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that for African American and Euro-American women, Openness partially mediated the victimization-distress relationship. The model for Mexican Americans was the most complex with Openness and intrapersonal Coping fully mediating the psychological effects of victimization. Approximately 50% of the variance in psychological symptoms resulting from victimization was predicted by this model for African American and Euro-American women; over 80% of the variance was predicted for Mexican Americans. Thus, the importance of Openness to relationships in alleviating the psychological sequelae following interpersonal victimization was underscored by the results. Similarities and differences between these models are discussed. Implications of the results for future research and intervention are addressed.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Sedillo, Diane Marie

Association Between Cognition and Depression: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study of Individuals with Learning Disabilities.

Description: Over the past twenty years the number of children identified with learning disabilities has risen drastically. In addition, 26 - 40% of these children also experience depression. While cognitive functioning has been demonstrated to be associated with depression, it is unclear whether the mood, vegetative, or cognitive symptoms of depression predict particular cognitive processes and vice versa. The purpose of this study was to determine which particular cognitive processes were associated with specific depressive symptoms and depression as a whole. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to test a model which examined how three cognitive processing factors (verbal & visual reasoning, and attention/working memory) were associated with three depressive symptom factors (disturbances in mood, vegetative, and cognitive functioning). The data for SEM came from a large data set of children with learning disabilities (n=227). Model fit results supported the proposed model, and a significant association was found between the attention/working memory factor and the depression symptom factor reflecting disturbances in cognitive functioning. Less robust relationships were observed between verbal reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms and an approach toward the conventional level of significance was noted between visual reasoning and cognitive depressive symptoms. Using a sub-sample of original participants who were re-evaluated 20-25 years later (n=40), longitudinal analyses were conducted to determine the predictive power of cognitive functioning and depression over time. There was some indication for the predictive power of visual reasoning performance in childhood on mood symptoms of depression in adulthood. The most robust association at both time 1 and time 2 was between attention/working memory performance and cognitive symptoms of depression. However, the association appeared to be time specific and not predictive.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Schraufnagel, Caitlin D.

Association Between Folate, Vitamin B12 and Cognitive Performance in Demented Elderly.

Description: Dementia is prevalent among elderly people. As the world population ages, it is projected that the number of people affected by dementia may triple in the next 50 years. Over the last two decades, research has focused on identifying potentially modifiable risk factors in development and progression of dementia, such as vitamin B12 and folate. Results concerning the effects of low folate and vitamin B12 on cognitive performance are mixed. The main objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of vitamin deficiency on cognitive functioning in a clinical sample of elderly individuals with cognitive problems using a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. A retrospective chart-review was performed on the 102 records of patients from the Geriatrics Clinic at the University of North Texas Health Science Center who presented with cognitive deficits. Charts were reviewed to obtain data on vitamin supplementation, vitamin status, history of chronic conditions and other biochemical data. The available database was used to obtain data on neuropsychological assessment. The study demonstrated mild association between vitamin B12 and folate status and cognitive deficits. There appeared to be a higher cut-off level that is above the traditionally used levels for vitamin B12 and folate deficiency concentrations at which cognitive deficits became more pronounced. Clinical applications, limitations and suggestions for future research were discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Serova, Svetlana

The Athlete Leader Role: Interaction of Gender, Sport Type, and Coaching Style.

Description: Effective leadership is a concept shown to be important for successful team performance in the fields of business, education, and sport. In sport, the role of the athlete leader has been under-examined and specifically, how coaching behaviors can affect athlete leader behaviors and how various leadership models (e.g., trait, behavioral, situational) relate to the athlete leader role has never been studied. The present study examined how autocratic, democratic, and collaborative coaching styles affect the athlete leader behavior preferences of athletes of different genders and sport types. Three coach scenarios reflecting the three aforementioned coaching styles were created so that athletes could imagine that they were coached by the individual presented in the scenario and then rate what type of athlete leader behaviors that they would prefer given the style of the coach that they read about. Results showed that the coach scenarios failed to have a significant impact; however, significant differences were discovered between men and women and between individual and team sport athletes on variables measuring preferred performance/task, relationship, motivation, and representation behaviors. Data were gathered on the style of athletes' current coach and this variable also produced significant differences for such behaviors as resolving conflict, providing positive reinforcement, and acting respectfully towards others. In addition, exploratory analyses showed that athletes who hold different leadership positions prefer different athlete leader behaviors. The current study seemed to offer concrete evidence on how coaching style can affect athlete leader preferences and how the athlete leader role can be explained by trait, behavioral, and situational leadership theories; however, future studies will have to further explore the impact that a coach's style can have on the behavior of athlete leaders as well as analyzing the relationship between athlete leaders and teammates utilizing the transformational leadership approach.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Wildman, Jonathan C. Jr.

Athletes' Attitudes Toward Seeking Sport Psychology Consultation: Development and Validation of the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire

Description: The purpose of the study was to create a questionnaire to identify underlying dimensions of athletes' attitudes toward seeking sport psychology consultation. A total of 1138 athletes (625 males, 513 females) representing 36 sports from four levels of participation were used to develop the Sport Psychology Attitudes Questionnaire (SPAQ). In Study I, exploratory factor analysis produced a two-factor solution that accounted for 37.1% of the overall variance: (a) belief in the credibility of sport psychology (14 items) and (b) preference for similarity with a sport psychology consultant (SPC) (7 items). Three items were omitted following item analysis, and nine items were eliminated after failing to load higher than the cut-off value of .40 on either of the factors. In Study II, confirmatory factor analysis supported the two-factor model, and multigroup comparison in Study III demonstrated that the model fit well for both male and female samples. As for validity, the SPAQ factors predictably (a) distinguished between athletes with and without previous experience with a SPC, (b) related to ratings of helpfulness/satisfaction related to a previous experience with a SPC, and (c) correlated with willingness to see a SPC for help in the future. Also, the SPAQ factors were related, as predicted, to (a) belief that practicing sport psychology skills will lead to desirable outcomes, (b) interpersonal openness, and (c) affective prejudice toward identified outgroups but were not related to level of self-concept as hypothesized. Contrary to predictions, Gender X Race X SPC experience MANOVAs revealed no gender or racial differences in attitudes toward sport psychology consultation. It was concluded that the SPAQ is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing a set of important attitudinal dimensions with regard to seeking sport psychology consultation and a useful instrument for research and practice. Theoretical and empirical support for the interpretation of the ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Harmison, Robert J.

Athletic Trainers and Psychological Disorders Among Athletes: An Examination of Their Abilities to Recognize, Diagnose and Intervene.

Description: Utilizing an analogue research design conducted via the Internet, this study assessed athletic trainers' abilities to recognize, diagnose, and intervene with a hypothetical athlete experiencing depression, and examined the impact of their gender, athlete gender, and athlete's presenting problem on their decisions. Athletic trainers' perceived competency in using psychosocial interventions with athletes, history of referring athletes to psychology professionals, and training backgrounds in psychology also were examined. Participants (270 male and 370 female certified athletic trainers) were randomly assigned to one of six conditions (Athlete Gender X Presenting Problem). After reading the appropriate vignette, they completed questions related to the athlete's psychological symptoms and diagnosis, referral recommendations, and use of psychosocial interventions if working with the athlete. The vignettes were identical except for the athlete's gender and problem. Overall, athletic trainers accurately identified the athlete's depressive symptoms/diagnosis and need for psychological referral. They rated the athlete significantly higher in Depressive Symptoms than in Anger/Agitation Symptoms and Compulsive Behavioral Symptoms, and as more likely to be experiencing a depressive disorder compared to an adjustment disorder, anxiety disorder, sleep disorder, or substance abuse disorder. Female athletic trainers provided significantly higher ratings of Depressive Symptoms than males and the injured athlete was rated significantly higher in Anger/Agitation than the performance problem athlete. Diagnosis ratings were not influenced by athlete gender, athletic trainer gender, or type of problem. Athletic trainers were most likely to refer the athlete to a psychology professional compared to an allied health professional, treating the athlete themselves, or doing nothing. Presenting problem significantly impacted referral recommendations. If treating the athlete themselves, athletic trainers were significantly more likely to use supportive interventions than cognitive-behavioral techniques; they felt significantly more competent in providing supportive interventions. Competency in both interventions was significantly enhanced if athletic trainers completed psychology coursework. Findings suggest that athletic ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Albinson, Courtney Brooks

Attachment Processes, Stress Processes, and Sociocultural Standards in the Development of Eating Disturbances in College Women

Description: Minimal empirical research using longitudinal data to explore integrative models of eating disorder development exists. The purpose of this study was to further explore multidimensional models incorporating parental attachment, history of stress, appraisal/coping processes, internalization of the thin-ideal, negative affect, body image, and eating disordered behavior using prospective, longitudinal data. The models were evaluated using 238 participants who completed an initial series of self-report questionnaires during their first semester in college and completed follow-up questionnaires 6 months and 18 months later. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among the factors. Analyses confirmed that college freshman with insecure parental attachment relationships and those with a history of previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition; these conditions predicted increased negative affect and increased eating disturbances. Women who reported experiencing negative affect and those that endorsed internalization of the thin-ideal also reported higher levels of body dissatisfaction; these women engaged in more disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. A second model investigating negative affect as mediating the relationship between the appraisal/coping process and eating disturbances also revealed that experiencing difficulties with the transition to college predicted later negative mood states. Further, women who reported increased negative affect also reported increased eating disturbances. Finally, cross-lagged and simultaneous effects between selected factors were evaluated. Results from these analyses are mixed, but they provide additional information about the predictive relationships among factors that play a role in the development of eating disorders. The results of this study provide valuable information about the development of eating disorders that can be used to aid prevention and treatment. Examination of these models in a large independent sample might provide confirmation of these relationships, and investigation of the models during different developmental periods might ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bradford, Jennifer Wolf

Automaticity and Hemispheric Specialization in Emotional Expression Recognition: Examined using a modified Stroop Task

Description: The main focus of this investigation was to examine the automaticity of facial expression recognition through valence judgments in a modified photo-word Stroop paradigm. Positive and negative words were superimposed across male and female faces expressing positive (happy) and negative (angry, sad) emotions. Subjects categorized the valence of each stimulus. Gender biases in judgments of expressions (better recognition for male angry and female sad expressions) and the valence hypothesis of hemispheric advantages for emotions (left hemisphere: positive; right hemisphere: negative) were also examined. Four major findings emerged. First, the valence of expressions was processed automatically (robust interference effects). Second, male faces interfered with processing the valence of words. Third, no posers' gender biases were indicated. Finally, the emotionality of facial expressions and words was processed similarly by both hemispheres.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Beall, Paula M.

Autonomic Balance and Control of Stress for Participants Identified as High or Low Hostile and as Having a Positive or No Family History of Cardiovascular Disease

Description: The influence of autonomic activation in response to controllable versus noncontrollable stress, anger imagery induction, and relaxation imagery was studied among 80 participants between the ages of 18 and 34. Participants differed in level of trait hostility as assessed by the Irritability Subscale of The Buss-Durkee Hostility Inventory (Buss & Durkee,1957) and the Ho scale of the Cook-Medley Hostility Inventory (Cook & Medley, 1954). Groups were further subdivided with regards to either having a positive family history of cardiovascular disease or having no significant history. Results were obtained through analyses of electrocardiograph R-R intervals which produced an index of autonomic nervous system activation. Findings supported hypotheses involving the relations between autonomic balance and stress and hostility for the female and male populations. Among both populations, parasympathetic regulation was diminished during anger induction for individuals with high levels of trait hostility and having a family history of cardiovascular disease. Similar results were obtained for men during relaxation imagery induction.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Nelson, Charles

Behavior Patterns among Children with a History of Metopic Synostosis

Description: Metopic synostosis is a condition in which the metopic suture of the human cranium fuses prematurely and may be related to poor behavioral inhibition leading to behaviors commonly associated with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The purpose of this project was to examine the behavior patterns among children with a history of metopic synostosis. It was hypothesized that children with a history of metopic synostosis would exhibit many of the same behavioral patterns associated with ADHD. It was also hypothesized that children with a history of simple synostosis not involving the metopic suture would not evidence this type of behavioral pattern. In order to test these hypotheses, the behavior of three groups of children was compared including (1) children who had a history of metopic synostosis (M= 7.63 years, SD = 1.92 years), (2) children who had a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture (M= 7.54 years, SD = 1.88 years), and (3) a group of children diagnosed with ADHD (M=7.78 year, SD = 1.87 years). It was found using the Home and School versions of the Attention Deficit Disorders Evaluation Scale (ADDES) that children with a history of metopic synostosis demonstrate significantly more behavioral disturbances than children with a history of simple craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Teacher Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern similar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving the metopic suture. Using the BASC Parent Rating Form it was found that children with a history of metopic synostosis have a behavior pattern dissimilar to children diagnosed with ADHD and a dissimilar behavior pattern compared to children who have a history of craniosynostosis not involving ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Kuper, Bradley D.

Bidirectional Effects Between Engaged Lifestyle and Cognition in Later Life: Exploring the Moderation Hypothesis for Personality Variables.

Description: Longitudinal data (N = 263) was used to investigate the bidirectional relationship between engagement (engaged lifestyle activities) and cognition (crystallized & fluid intelligence). Extroversion and openness to experience were also tested as moderators of the relationship between engagement and cognition. Results showed that the relationship between engagement at Wave 1 and cognition at Wave 2 did not differ from the relationship between cognition at Wave 1 and engagement at Wave 2. Testing for moderation with regression indicated that neither extroversion nor openness was moderating the relationship between engagement and cognition in either direction. Structural equation models provided further summary evidence that the relationships among engagement at Wave 1, extroversion, openness, and cognition at Wave 2 were not strong. However, a strong limitation to these results was the measurement error associated with a new measure of engagement.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Starkweather, Jonathan

Boston Naming Test with Latencies (BNT-L)

Description: Although most people have experienced word-finding difficulty at one time or another, there are no clinical instruments able to reliably distinguish normal age-related effects from pathology in word-finding impairment. Two experiments were conducted to establish a modified version of the Boston Naming Test (BNT) that includes latency times, the Boston Naming Test of Latencies (BNT-L), in order to improve the instrument's sensitivity to mild to moderate word-finding impairment. Experiment 1: Latency times on the 60-item BNT (Goodglass et al., 2001) for 235 healthy adults' ages 18-89 years were collected on a representative sample. Qualitative features of the BNT items, statistical analyses, IRT, and demographic considerations of age, gender, education, vocabulary, race and culture, helped create a reduced BNT-L version with 15 of the most discriminating items. Statistically sound and sophisticated normative tables are provided that adjust for unseen covariates. Response latencies did not indicate earlier age-related decline in an optimally healthy sample. Experiment 2: Twenty-three patients referred for neuropsychological testing were administered the BNT-L. Patients referred for evaluation of mild cognitive impairment or possible dementia produced significantly different response BNT-L latencies from the healthy sample whereas patients referred for mild brain injury evaluation did not. Normal word-finding problems were discussed in terms of serial stage models of lexical access, as well as in terms of automatic and controlled cognitive processes in younger and older adults. Statistical process for creating a psychometric instrument using latencies is illustrated.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Budd, Margaret Anne

Cardiovascular Problems as a Predictor of Later Cognitive Decline: Moderating Effect of General and Spousal Social Support.

Description: Individuals are living longer now than they have in the past. As a result, there is an increased incidence in illnesses that are more prevalent in later life. One group of illnesses that is more prevalent is age related dementia. Alzheimer's disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) are two common types of dementia found in the older adult population. Recent research suggests that these two types of dementia may both have a vascular component that is instrumental in their development. Not only may this vascular component be present in both these illnesses, but also it may be related to a more severe cognitive decline in the aging process. Results indicate that both cardiovascular disease and general and spousal social support in middle age are all three independent significant predictors of mild cognitive impairment and other non-normative cognitive impairment in later life. However, results do not indicate that social support moderates the relationship between cardiovascular disease and cognition.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Earnheart, Kristie