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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

Adolescent Insomnia as a Predictor of Early Adulthood Outcomes

Description: Recent research found insomnia is a risk factor for psychiatric disorders in adults. To see if the same would be true in adolescents, the current study re-analyzed data from a national longitudinal study collected by ADDHealth that evaluated health behaviors in 4552 adolescents (mean age 14.9 years [SD 1.7]) at baseline and again 7-8 years later (n = 3489) during young adulthood. Insomnia was reported by 9.2% of the adolescents. Cross-sectionally, adolescent insomnia was associated with alcohol, cannabis, non-cannabis drugs, and tobacco use, and depression after controlling for gender and ethnicity. Prospectively, adolescent insomnia was a significant risk factor for depression diagnosis, suicidal ideation, and the use of depression and stress prescription medications in young adulthood after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and significant baseline variable. In addition, a trend was noted for suicidal attempts.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Roane, Brandy Michelle

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

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.

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

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

Caregiving Style in Diverse Samples of Caregivers.

Description: With three homogenous caregiver groups (i.e., Alzheimer's caregivers, grandparents raising grandchildren, parents), caregiving styles were explored to determine their reliability and validity, their unique role in predicting caregiver outcomes, and their differences between groups of caregivers. A conceptual framework was adapted to determine the impact of contextual variables, caregiving styles, caregiver appraisal, and mediating variables on caregiving outcomes. A more concise version of the Caregiving Style Scale (CSS) was developed with 49 items yielding an internal consistency coefficient of .74. As expected, three caregiving styles emerged and were positively related to the parallel parenting styles. Across the caregiver samples, there were positive relationships among caregiving style dimensions within the same caregiving style, while those from opposing caregiving styles tended to have negative relationships indicating good convergent and discriminant validity. Authoritative caregiving style dimensions were generally associated with healthier functioning, while authoritarian and permissive caregiving style dimensions were correlated with less healthy functioning. Caregiving style dimensions were among the predictors of several outcome measures, highlighting the importance of their placement in the conceptual framework for caregiver stress and coping. Generally, an unexpected finding was that authoritative caregiving style dimensions tended to predict less adaptive caregiving outcomes, particularly for parents and grandparents, while the impact upon caregiver well-being by authoritarian caregiving style dimensions varied throughout the caregiver groups. Results further indicated that different groups of caregivers tend to take on different caregiving styles, with grandparents and parents tending to differ significantly from Alzheimer's caregivers in their approaches to caregiving.
Date: August 2006
Creator: King, Jennifer Kay

Change in Depression of Spousal Caregivers of Dementia Patients.

Description: Caring for a family member or loved one with dementia places a heavy burden on those providing the care. Caregivers often develop chronic depression because of having to deal with this burden. A great deal of literature has been published discussing coping effectiveness, effects of social support, and other internal and external means of support for the caregiver. However, little has been written about the changes, if any, in depression that the caregiver experiences after the termination of care, either through institutionalization or death of the person with dementia. This study examined whether there is a change in depression of spousal caregivers after institutionalization of the dementia care recipient as well as any changes in depression that may have occurred as a result of the death of the dementia care recipient. Two theoretical models, the wear and tear model and the adaptation model were discussed in terms of caregiver depression after institutionalization of the dementia care recipient. Two other theoretical models, the relief model and the stress model, were discussed in terms of caregiver depression after the death of the dementia care recipient. Datasets from the National Institute on Aging sponsored Health and Retirement Study were analyzed. Results indicate that both male and female spousal caregivers report an increase in depression after the institutionalization or death of the dementia care recipient, but that as time passes, males report a decrease in depression while females continue to report an increase in depression.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Tweedy, Maureen P.

Changes in Quantitative EEG and Low Resolution Tomography Following Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation.

Description: The effects of cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) on human EEG and brain current density were evaluated by quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) and low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). A total of 72 research subjects were provided with a single session of CES, 38 were provided with 0.5 Hz CES while 34 were provided with 100 Hz CES. The qEEG paired t-tests revealed that in both frequencies of CES there was a significant (.05) increase in alpha relative power with concomitant decreases in delta and beta relative power. The 0.5 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of delta activity, while the 100 Hz CES decreased a wider frequency range of beta activity; suggesting some difference may exist in the EEG response to different frequencies of CES. The changes found in qEEG relative power were consistent with the affective and cognitive effects of CES reported in the literature, such as increased relaxation and decreased anxiety. Statistically significant changes for qEEG values other than relative power, such as coherence, amplitude asymmetry, phase lag and power ratios were also found. The LORETA paired t-tests found statistically significant (.05) increases in cortical and subcortical theta and alpha frequency current density with concomitant decreases in delta and beta current density. The effects of CES on current density varied by frequency, but did not show a differential in response based on proximity to the contacts, or structures within the brain. Statistically significant changes in current density were found in all 2394 gray matter voxels represented by LORETA, indicating a whole brain response to the CES stimulus. The qEEG and LORETA findings revealed that a single 20-minute session of CES does have a significant effect on the cortical and subcortical activity of the human brain resulting in activity consistent with decreased anxiety and increased relaxation.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Kennerly, Richard C.

Cognitive Complexity and Construct Extremity in Social and Life Event Construing in Persons with Varied Trauma History

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine cognitive complexity, extremity, and the relationship between social repertory grids and life events repertory grids (LERG) in people who report a history of trauma. Effects of type of trauma on complexity and extremity scores of each type of grid were examined. Prior research into repertory grids and trauma has used only one type of grid, predominantly social grids or LERGs. Therefore, a natural, progressive step in the grid research involved investigating how individuals integrate social and life event constructs. It was hypothesized, and results show, that there is a positive correlation between complexity scores and extremity scores of social grids and LERGs. However it was not found that there was a negative correlation between trauma history and complexity scores, and that trauma acts as a moderator for cognitive complexity. Instead, it appears that the social facet of experience is key to understanding perception of traumatic experiences. Additionally, number of traumas experienced might affect social construct elaboration.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Shafenberg, Stacey

Compassion and Person Perception: An Experiment

Description: Compassion is one of the fundamental experiences which signify human existence. Person perception is the constructive process with which we form an opinion or judgment of another person. Two experiments (N =277) were conducted in this study. Experiment 1 examined the effects of a mindfulness meditation on compassion in a large sample of young adults. Participants (n =76) were randomly assigned to three groups. Participants in group 1 received the mindfulness meditation, group 2 received an alternate version of the mindfulness meditation (self-focus only), and participants in group 3 were asked to complete an attention task and read a geological text. It was hypothesized that mindfulness meditation is significantly associated with the experience of compassion. Results showed that participants in the experimental group 1 experienced significantly higher levels of compassion compared to participants in the control group 3. The participants in group 2 were not different from experimental group 1 or from control group 3. Gender differences in the effects of meditation on compassion were explored. Different measures yielded conflicting evidence for gender differences in experienced compassion. For the second experiment a Solomon four-group experimental design was employed to examine the possible effects of compassion on person perception. Participants (n = 201) were randomly assigned to 4 groups. The effect of pretesting impression formation on posttest performance was investigated. It was hypothesized that compassion has a significant effect on impression formation. The Stouffer's z -method was used to investigate this effect. Results indicated that participants in the experimental groups after completing a mindfulness meditation rated a target person significantly more favorable, compared to participants in the control groups. Results also indicated that pretest had no significant effect on post-test ratings of the impression formation task. Transcendental applications for the inducement and experience of compassion in psychotherapy and the role of ...
Date: August 2006
Creator: Raina, Karina Christina

Depression, Activities of Daily Living, and Retirement

Description: Depression is a common clinical and subclinical psychiatric disorder in the middle-age to older adult population. This study examined the relationship between depression and activities of daily living (ADLs) in middle-age to older adults. This study examined longitudinal data from the 1998, wave 4, and 2000, wave 5, of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Panel Study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. A negative cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between higher ADL scores and depression was hypothesized. A goal of the present study was to determine the temporal precedence of these two constructs using a cross-lag panel design to first examine the cross-sectional relationship between ADLs and depression at time-one and at time-two, and then the time-one to time-two longitudinal relationships to examine temporal precedence possible causal relationships. Finally, differences in these correlational relationships by retirement status and then by marital status were tested. There were several interesting findings, including those who were retired in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs (i.e., worse functioning), but also reported better health than those who were working in both 1998 and 2000. Similarly, those people who were not married in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs but better health than those who were married in both 1998 and 2000. Married individuals reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were not married.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Jackson, Lauren Innes

Development of a Multidimensional Approach to Understanding Youthful Offenders: The Influence of Psychosocial and Personality Risk Factors

Description: This study employed a multivariate, multidimensional approach to understanding psychosocial and personality variables associated with institutional maladjustment and recidivism among youthful offenders. Participants included nine hundred serious and chronic male youthful offenders incarcerated in the Texas Youth Commission (TYC); sample sizes varied by analysis. Empirically-validated psychosocial factors (e.g., intelligence, home approval status), past criminal history variables, and two self-report personality measures of empathy and hostility were entered into hierarchical regression and structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses to predict institutional behavior and recidivism at one- and three-year intervals after release from the TYC. Confirmatory factor analysis of the personality measures revealed one underlying factor indicative of their theoretical constructs of empathy and hostility. Some differences were noted between youth in the specialized treatment programs; however, effect sizes were small to moderate. Overall, regression and SEM results indicated the variables accounted for a meaningful proportion of the variance in the outcomes. Specifically, although length of stay in the TYC was associated with institutional behavior, younger age of onset, higher hostility, and greater home disapproval also contributed significantly. Past criminal behavior was predictive of future reoffending, but lower empathy, greater home disapproval, and younger age of onset accounted for a substantial portion of the variance in recidivism. Institutional maladjustment served as a mediator between the psychosocial and personality variables and the recidivism outcomes. Treatment implications are provided, including a discussion of the tenuous association between length of sentence and recidivism and an emphasis on the importance of evaluating dynamic personality and psychosocial variables beyond static measures of past behavior.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Noffsinger, Mary A.

Differential Scoring Patterns on the Clock Drawing Test: a Comparison of Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Dementia.

Description: This study examined differences in scoring patterns among those diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia and vascular dementia on the clock-drawing test. Archival clock drawing data was retrieved on 279 patients presenting at a county hospital-based memory clinic. Analysis of drawings was based on frequency of qualitative errors, as well as an overall quantitative score. Mean comparisons found those patients with Alzheimer's dementia to perform worse on both quantitative and qualitative scoring measures. However, Pearson's chi-squared test revealed a significantly higher rate of spacing errors among subjects with vascular dementia. Such lends support to my hypothesis that impaired executive functioning in vascular dementia patients would lead to poor qualitative performance. Logistic regression found significant predictive ability for the qualitative criteria in diagnosis (χ2 = 25.49, p < .001), particularly the rate of omission (z = 8.96, p = .003) and addition errors (z = 7.58, p = .006). Such findings hold important implications for the use of qualitative criteria in cognitive screening assessments.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Everitt, Alaina

Effects of Cautioning and Education in the Detection of Malingered Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Description: This study examined the effectiveness of cautioning and education on simulating a mild traumatic brain injury on several neuropsychological measures. The measures used included the Word Memory Test (WMT), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales® - Third Edition (WAIS®-III), Wechsler Memory Scales®-3rd Edition instrument (WMS®-III), 16-item version of the Rey Memory Test, and a self-report symptom checklist. Five experimental groups were used including clinical and non-clinical controls, as well as three simulation groups. The design and implementation of this study also attempted to correct several methodological short comings of prior research by increasing the incentives for participants, expanding the generalizability of findings and examining research compliance and participant self-perception through debriefing. Discriminant analysis was utilized to determine if specific functions existed that would correctly classify and distinguish each experimental group. Several discriminant functions had at least moderate canonical correlations and good classification accuracy. Results also include utility estimates given projected varying base rates of malingering.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Scholtz, Brendon P.

Employee empowerment: Relationships between location in the hierarchy, span of control, and industry type on perceptions of empowerment.

Description: The current study seeks to examine the relationships between perceptions of employee empowerment and perceptions of leadership, span of control, and industry type. Participants were gathered from an archival source employing a high school alumni e-mail group (n = 361) and a survey from 9 organizations (n = 647) and combined into a larger sample (n = 1008). The participants took Bodner's (2005) Assessment of Employee Empowerment and Assessment of Empowering Leadership instruments. Support was found to suggest that people report being less empowered than they believe that top management would report about them. Also, participants reported that their leader was less empowering than they believed top management would report about the leader. Span of control was found to impact perceptions of empowerment. Production workers reported feeling more empowered than workers in service industries. Participants did not report that leaders were more empowering if they were higher in the hierarchy (executive) than lower levels (coach, employee). Also, a respondent's position did not affect the relationship between job type and feelings of empowerment. This study suggests that the organizational design (span of control) and industry type may affect empowerment initiatives, while lower levels of the organization may view empowerment much differently than top management.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Turner, Jon T., Jr.

Examining Employee Satisfaction, Customer Service and Customer Satisfaction in a Retail Banking Organization

Description: In the increasingly competitive world of retail banking, organizations are focusing their attention on customer service as a means of increasing customer loyalty and retention. With this goal of increasing customer retention, the link between the attitudes of the service provider (employee satisfaction), the customer interaction behaviors that those attitudes lead to (customer service quality), and the attitudes that those behaviors generate in the customer (customer satisfaction) has become an increasingly important area of investigation. The goal of this research is to analyze the relationships that exist between these three variables: employee satisfaction, customer service quality, and customer satisfaction in a mid-sized retail bank. Data from three separate surveys collected during the same time period in 137 branches of a regional bank are analyzed using multiple regression analysis to determine whether relationships and interactions exist at a banking center level. While results of the analyses did not show a significant relationship between the variables, issues relevant to this determination are discussed and conclusions drawn regarding the nature of these constructs.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Simpson, Eric Phillip

Family Influences on Young Adult Career Development and Aspirations

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine family influences on career development and aspirations of young adults. Theories and research have examined the influence parents have on children's career development, but because of the multiple factors that influence career choices, understanding the family's influence is complex. The current study utilized ideas from self-determination, attachment, and career development theories to develop a framework for understanding how families influence young adult career development and aspirations. Rather than directly influencing career decisions, the family was proposed to influence processes within individuals that directly influence successful career development. This study used hierarchical regression analyses to test whether different aspects of family relationships and the family environment affect processes within young people, which in turn influence career development. A sample of 99 female and 34 male undergraduate students between 18 and 20 (mean age 18.67) completed questionnaires. Results support the idea that different aspects of the family influence diverse factors of career development and future aspirations. The achievement orientation of the family was predictive of career salience and extrinsic aspirations. Conflict with mothers was predictive of career salience, yet support and depth in the relationship with mothers and low amounts of conflict in the relationship with fathers were predictive of career maturity. High career salience was also predictive of career maturity. The hypothesis that factors play a mediating role between the family and career development variables was not supported. These findings suggest future research should assess multiple aspects of the family and multiple facets regarding career development to more fully understand this process. In addition, findings support the idea that career counselors should assess family functioning when helping young people in their career development journey.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bergen, Rebecca June-Schapeler

Gender differences in a prototypical analysis of psychopathy.

Description: Psychopathy research has focused primarily on characteristics of male offenders. With little empirical knowledge on psychopathy in women, gender differences within psychopathy are not well understood. To gain a better understanding of these differences, the current study used prototypical analysis to compare ratings of 242 forensic experts when considering their most representative case of male or female psychopathy. The present study investigated gender differences for psychopathic traits and Cluster B personality disorder criteria. Most aspects of psychopathy were less prototypical of female psychopaths than males. In particular, the antisocial behavior facet does not appear to apply to males and females equally. The distinction between Cluster B disorders and psychopathy was more ambiguous in females than males; however, the affective deficits facet differentiated psychopathy from Cluster B disorders across genders. Current research also raises the question of potential diagnostic gender bias in the assessment of psychopathy.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Hazelwood, Lisa L.

History of Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Growth's Effects on Reactions to Subsequent Traumatic Events

Description: Previous research indicates that those with a history of abuse have an increased risk to experience subsequent traumatic events. This study utilized a convenience sample of undergraduate students to examine the reaction of those with a history of abuse to subsequent traumatic experiences. In addition, the study assessed the level of posttraumatic growth an individual experiences following childhood abuse. The level of posttraumatic growth was examined to determine if the growth allowed for participants to better handle successive traumas. Those with a history of abuse experienced higher levels of symptomology following a successive traumatic event. Results did not support the hypothesis that among those with a history of abuse, lower levels of posttraumatic growth would predict higher levels of symptoms following a later trauma. Implications and limitations of the study, as well as directions for future research are discussed.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bezner, Stephanie K.

Individual Perceptions of a Proposed Pressure to be Positive in America

Description: Positive psychology has become influential in research and practice. However, some have criticized positive psychologists who focus solely on the virtues of being positive. A tyrannical pressure to be positive may potentially exist in positive psychology, as well as mainstream United States culture. The following study explored perceptions of this theory using focus groups of individuals who differed in coping style, social desirability, and depression. Results suggest that individuals are affected by social pressures to be positive, and the expression of both positive and negative emotions is determined by social pressures, rules, context, and consequences. Although emotional expression, especially negativity, is contraindicated in several social contexts, there are also social, psychological, and physical benefits to all types of emotional expression.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Mitchell, Jessica L.

Influence of executive function on medication adherence in neurologically impaired and non-impaired elderly.

Description: Medication non-compliance has become one of the most prevalent reasons for hospitalization and doctor's visits by the elderly. As the elderly population is more likely to have decreased cognitive abilities, it is suggested that neuropsychological factors, especially executive function, are more influential in medication non-compliance than once thought. This study looked at executive function performance on a traditional battery of neuropsychological tests, self-report of perceived ability to perform executive function tasks, and the newly developed Pillbox Test, a performance based IADL measure. The Pillbox Test is designed to replicate a type of medication-management specific IADL as a means to asses executive function. Standard executive function measures only tap a portion of executive function, but it is believed that the Pillbox Test incorporates all four theoretical domains of executive function. The multiple measures of executive function performance were compared in three prevalent subgroups of the elderly population (mixed neurological group, cardiac medical-control group, and healthy community-control group). Results found significant differences, where the community-control and cardiac groups outperformed the mixed neurological group on the large majority of executive function tasks. Smaller differences were also noted between the community-control and cardiac groups and between the cardiac and mixed neurological groups. Together, these findings provide support for the diagnostic prevalence of mild cognitive impairment in the older adult cardiac population. Results also indicated the level of executive dysfunction on standardized neuropsychological measures was highly correlated with performance on both the Pillbox Test and the IADL based Direct Assessment of Functional Status measure. Finally, the Pillbox Test has moderate to strong ecological validity with 75% sensitivity and 87.5% specificity for five or more errors on this test.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Zartman, Andrea Leigh

A Longitudinal Study of Rape Attitude Correlates among College Men

Description: Research has linked rape victim-blaming attitudes (VBAs) with gender role stereotyping, negative peer attitudes towards women, and acceptance of interpersonal violence. The current study analyzed longitudinal questionnaire data of college men (n=166) from White and Smith's (2001) study of college student victimization. Results indicate that VBAs can be conceptualized as either overt or covert, and that the covert VBA was more strongly correlated with alcohol use, sexualized peer attitudes, traditional gender stereotypes, need for sexual dominance, and perpetration of dating aggression. The covert VBA was also correlated with rape proclivity one year later, and partially mediated relationships between earlier variables and later rape proclivity. Additionally, endorsement of chivalry moderated the relationship between traditional gender stereotypes and the covert VBA, casting new perspective on the role of chivalry. Overall, results demonstrate the importance of targeting subtle expressions of VBAs in educational programs, and the need for longitudinal studies on rape attitude development.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Howe-Martin, Laura S.