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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

Affective and cognitive components of job satisfaction: Scale development and initial validiation.

Description: Job satisfaction is one of the most commonly studied variables in the organizational literature. It is related to a multitude of employee-relevant variables including but not limited to performance, organizational commitment, and intent to quit. This study examined two new instruments measuring the components of affect and cognition as they relate to job satisfaction. It further proposed including an evaluative (or true attitudinal) component to improve the prediction of job satisfaction. Results provide some evidence of both two and three factor structures of affect and cognition. This study found minimal support for the inclusion of evaluation in the measurement of job satisfaction. Affect was found to be the single best predictor of job satisfaction, regardless of the satisfaction measure used. Further development is needed to define the factor structures of affect and cognition as well as the role of these factors and evaluation in the prediction of job satisfaction.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Tekell, Jeremy Kyle

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

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

Correlates of a Past Behavior Interview for the Business Unit Leader: Experience, Motivation, Personality and Cognitive Ability

Description: This research evaluates the relationship between various individual differences constructs and performance on a past behavior interview (PBI)-one of the most popular forms of personnel selection interviews used today-within a sample of business unit leader level incumbents and applicants from organizations across the United States. Correlation analysis is conducted on the relationship between overall performance on a PBI and four work-related constructs: Experience, Motivation, Personality, and Cognitive Ability. The existing literature on PBIs and the four independent variables is critically reviewed. As limited research has been conducted on the influence of Experience and Motivation on PBI performance, this study makes unique contributions to the literature regarding impact of these two constructs. The major hypotheses stated that Experience and Motivation would yield significant, positive correlations with PBI performance while Personality and Cognitive Ability would not be significantly correlated with PBIs. Results partially supported the hypotheses-Experience, Motivation, and Personality were significantly related to overall PBI score, while Cognitive Ability was not. Implications for the findings as well as suggestions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Conner, Lane A.

The Effectiveness of the Geriatric Depression Scale to Distinguish Apathy From Depression in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias.

Description: Early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias in the elderly is critical for improving treatment methods and is a necessary component for improving public health interventions. One of the earliest and most common behavioral syndromes of AD is apathy and is associated with executive dysfunction. Apathy in AD is often misdiagnosed as depression due to an overlap in symptoms. Studies that have found depression to be associated with executive dysfunction have not always controlled for the presence of apathy. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a widely used instrument designed to assess depression in the elderly. This study utilized the GDS and a set of standard neuropsychological instruments to investigate the relationship between apathy, depression, and executive functions in individuals with AD and related dementias. The first objective of this study was to determine if apathy has a greater impact on executive functions compared to depression in AD and related dementias. The second objective was to determine the effectiveness of the GDS as a screen for apathy. The results of the analyses did not support the hypotheses. However, exploratory analyses suggested a possible non-linear relationship with apathy and various levels of dementia severity. Exploratory analysis also suggested mean levels of endorsement for apathy varied by diagnosis. Further research is warranted to investigate this relationship and the GDS endorsement patterns for caregivers regarding their impression of the demented individual.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Davis, Tommy E., Jr.

The Effects of Sequential Versus Referential Montage Neurofeedback Amplitude Training on Qeeg Measures of Phase and Coherence.

Description: An important clinical research question to be answered in the field of neurofeedback (NF) is whether amplitude training affects connectivity between cortical sites. This study hypothesizes that, following NF amplitude training, there will be a difference in QEEG coherence and phase measures between NF training done using referential montages and using sequential montages. The study examined case files of 16 adult clients from the University of North Texas Neurotherapy Lab who had received NF training that consisted of either referential or sequential placement amplitude training (no coherence training) and who received both pre- and post- treatment QEEGs. Sixty-eight percent of the cases consisted of referential placements, while 34% of the cases consisted of sequential placements. All frontal site phase and coherence abnormal z-scores at pre-treatment were converted to deviation scores and compared by general linear model analysis of variance to post-treatment deviation scores. Effect size r-values and eta square values indicate that differences between referential and sequential electrode placements after NF amplitude training are moderately high. This study shows that referential placements tend to increase phase scores and decrease coherence scores, while sequential placements tend to decrease phase scores and increase coherence scores.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ramezani, Amir

Efficacy of neurofeedback for children with histories of abuse and neglect: Pilot study and meta-analytic comparison to other treatments.

Description: This two-part study investigates the effectiveness of neurofeedback training for reducing behavioral problems commonly observed in abused/neglected children, and compares its efficacy to other treatment interventions with this population. Neuro-developmental sequelae of early relationship trauma are explored as an etiological framework for understanding disturbed affect-regulation, which appears central to the behavioral and emotional difficulties commonly experienced by this pediatric population. It is suggested that neurofeedback teaches children to self-regulate brain rhythmicity mechanisms, which in turn affects global improvements in behavior and mood. The pilot study utilizes records of 20 children removed from their biological homes by Child Protective Services. Children were assessed prior to treatment using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA), and again after 30 sessions of individualized, qEEG-guided neurofeedback training. A t-test analysis of pre- and post-scores was computed, and indicated significant improvements following treatment. A meta-analysis of existing literature on treatment interventions with abused/neglected children provides individual and aggregate effect sizes for 33 outcome studies with this clinical population, and contextualizes the results of the present pilot study within other empirically validated treatment modalities. Establishment of an overall effect size for treatment for this pediatric population provides a needed method of comparing research results across studies when control groups may not be ethical or feasible.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Huang-Storms, Lark

An empirical investigation of the influence of age, gender, and occupational level on stress perceptions, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover.

Description: This study investigated relationships of age, gender, and supervisor level with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, stress perception, and turnover intention. The demographics were hypothesized to moderate the stress-satisfaction and commitment-turnover relationships. Hypotheses were tested using both parametric and non-parametric bootstrap methods. Subjects were taken from a national survey of 2,663 public sector IT workers. Missing data were imputed using NORM software. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression indicated a significant direct effect from all main variables and covariates, except for age on turnover intent. No mediating effects were found. Age-Commitment was the only significant higher order modifier relationship, although Gender-Commitment explained substantial variance. LMG statistic results enabled the predictors to be rank ordered with confidence intervals. Best subset bootstrap regression explored all possible predictor orders to confirm which model explained the most variance. The original model and predictor sequence were confirmed. The bootstrap AIC statistic provided a model which maximized explained variance while optimizing parsimony. Since only age had a mediating effect, Hypotheses 1 and 2 were not supported. All other hypotheses were partially confirmed.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Cordas, Jon D.

Evaluation of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR) in a spinal cord injury population.

Description: Spinal cord injury (SCI) is an acute and devastating event that results in significant and permanent life changes for the individuals who are injured, as well as their families and friends. Depression has received more attention from clinicians and researchers than any other psychological issue among persons with SCI. Measurement of depression in this population has a variety of methodological issues, including inconsistent assessments used (self-report versus clinical interviews), varying definitions of depression, inclusion and exclusion of physical symptoms in the assessment process, and use of measures that do not represent DSM-IV criteria for major depressive disorder. The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology - Self-Report (QIDS-SR) and provide descriptive analyses of this measure with persons with SCI. Results showed that somatic symptoms were more frequently endorsed than psychological symptoms in this population. Additionally, scores on the QIDS-SR were significantly associated with a depression diagnosis in the patient's medical chart. However, QIDS-SR scores were not found to be correlated inversely with quality of life scores as predicted. The QIDS-SR was shown to have good internal consistency and convergent validity with patients with SCI. However, it failed to demonstrate construct validity. The QIDS-SR has the potential to be a valid measure with this population and further analysis of the psychometric properties with patients with SCI is warranted.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Reed, Kristin

Examining an eating disorder model with African American women.

Description: In the current study, I examined the general sociocultural model of eating disorders that suggests that sociocultural pressures leads to internalization, which in turn leads to body dissatisfaction and ultimately disordered eating. Because I am testing this model with a sample of African American women, I also am including acculturation as a variable of interest. Specifically, I hypothesized that (a) the experience of more societal pressure to be thin will be related to greater internalization, (b) higher levels of acculturation will be related to greater internalization, (c) internalization of the thin ideal will be directly and positively related to body image concern, and (d) body image concern will be associated with higher levels of disordered eating. It was determined that there is a direct, negative relationship between Level of Identification with Culture of Origin and Internalization. Perceived Pressure was directly and positively related to both Internalization and Body Image Concerns. Body Concerns and Internalization were both directly and positively related to Disordered Eating. These findings suggest that although many of the same constructs related to disordered eating in other ethnic groups are also related to disordered eating among African American women, the relationships between the factors differs across racial/ethnic groups. This information can help clinicians and researchers to better treat and understand the nature of disordered eating behavior and correlates among African American women.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Wood, Nikel Ayanna Rogers

An exercise in story repair: A guided written disclosure protocol for fostering narrative completeness of traumatic memories.

Description: Flutists have reported musculoskeletal pain from practicing and performing their instrument. This study was a statistical approach to investigate potential causal risk factors for flute related pain among high school and college students. The study focused on the relationship between flute related pain and musical background or anthropometric measurements including size, strength and flexibility. Subjects included thirty high school and college-aged flutists who were assessed using a questionnaire, bi-lateral anthropometric measurements of the upper-extremities, upper-extremity performance tests for range of motion, isometric strength and rotation speed, and instrument specific questions. Four questions regarding pain associated with flute playing were treated as dependent variables and used for correlation and regression analyses with other independent variables. A six-factor regression model was created and each model was statistically significant. Results of this study show that strength, flexibility, pain spots, and exposure are risk factors for flute related pain. Both left and right pinch strength and right isometric pronation strength were significantly correlated to flutists experiencing pain while playing. Knowledge of these factors in relationship to pain is needed in flute pedagogy to help teachers and performers understand why flutists report pain during and after playing. Additional studies are warranted for replication of this study and for determining the clinical and pedagogical relevance of these findings.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Tomczyk, Daniel A.

An Exploration of the Relationship between Worry and Other Verbal Phenomena

Description: This study hypothesized a direct relationship among three verbal phenomena: derived relational responding, verbal intelligence, and worry. It also hypothesized that experiential avoidance would mediate the relationship between derived relational responding and worry. Overall, results from this study failed to support a relationship between worry and the other two verbal phenomena, however, results did support a relationship between derived relational responding and verbal intelligence. Additionally, results indicated a significant relationship between experiential avoidance and worry. Future research should clarify the relationship among the three primary variables of interest, improve measurement of these variables, be more sensitive to external validity, and promote the study of acceptance-based treatments that target experiential avoidance.
Date: May 2008
Creator: O'Brien, Karen M.

Functions of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors within adolescent inpatients.

Description: The primary interest of this investigation concerned the self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) of inpatient adolescents. Previous researchers have provided descriptive information regarding either automatic (or intrinsic) and social components using the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI). However, the presence and trends of these components have not firmly been established, suggesting the need to explore this area further. Eighty-two adolescent inpatients were selected and interviewed using the SITBI to evaluate the predictive ability of self-reported self-injurious behavior with regard to social and automatic, negative and positive functions. Results showed that depending on the type of thought or behavior displayed one could discern the motivation behind their actions. Automatic-Negative was seen to have the strongest relationship across all SITB behaviors while Automatic-Negative was not found to be relatively low compared to other SITB behaviors. Both Social-Positive and Social-Negative were found to be present in moderate relationships compared to Automatic in general.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Thomas, Peter F.

Health message framing : motivating cardiovascular risk factor screening in young adults.

Description: As the leading cause of death in the United States, coronary heart disease (CHD) is a growing public health problem, despite the fact that many risk factors for the disease are preventable, especially if addressed early in life. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of loss-framed versus gain-framed versus information-only health messages on both intention to attend and actual attendance at an appointment to get screened for CHD risk factors (i.e., hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia). It was hypothesized that a population of young adults would be more likely to view screening for CHD risk factors as a low-risk, health-affirming behavior as opposed to a risky, illness-detecting behavior and would thus be more strongly influenced by gain-framed messages than loss-framed messages. Additional goals included the exploration of the extensively researched individual health beliefs of perceived threat (as defined by the health belief model) and health locus of control as they relate to message frames. One hundred forty-three undergraduate students were randomly assigned to either the loss-framed, gain-framed, or information-only control conditions. Framing manipulation checks revealed that participants failed to discern differences in the tone and emphasis of the experimental pamphlets. As a result, no tests of framing effects could be conducted. Sixteen (11.2%) of the 143 participants who participated in Part 1 of the experiment participated in Part 2 (i.e., attended a risk factor screening appointment). Multiple regression analysis revealed risk index, age, and powerful others health locus of control as significant predictors of screening intention. Gender was the only demographic or health related variable that was significantly related to screening outcome, such that women were more likely to get screened than men. Limitations and recommendations are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Link-Malcolm, Jessica

Heart rhythm variability in persons with chronic pain.

Description: The present study evaluated the utility of heart rhythm coherence (HRC) feedback to reduce the reported pain intensity of patients enrolled in a multimodal pain management program. Participants were recruited and assigned to a usual treatment group (UT) or a heart rhythm coherence feedback group (UT+HRC). It was hypothesized that UT+HRC participants who achieved heart rhythm coherence would report a reduction of pain intensity, as measured by the McGill Pain Inventory. For those whose pain intensity decreased, it was also expected that their self reported levels of depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-Second Edition and state anger as measured by the State Trait Anger Inventory would decrease. It is also hypothesized that with a reduction in pain levels, anger, and depression, blood pressure would also decrease among those who had high blood pressure prior to the intervention. Multivariate analyses of variance (MANOVA) were used to investigate the relationship between treatment condition, coherence status and pain levels. A series of independent t-tests were utilized to investigate the change in pain, depression, and state anger from baseline to posttest, followed by Pearson product moment correlation coefficients on difference scores to understand the relationship between the outcome variables for Hypothesis 2. Standard multiple regression analyses were computed using difference scores to determine if the outcome measures were significant predictors of systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure. Results indicated a failure to reject the null with regard to hypothesis one. No relationship between treatment assignment, coherence status or pain levels were found. Hypothesis 2 was partially supported. Although there was a positive significant relationship between depression and anger when utilizing difference scores, these affective measures were not related to difference scores on either pain measure. In regard to Hypothesis 3, there was also a failure to reject the null. None of ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Saxon, LaDonna Christine

The impact of training and learning on three employee retention factors: Job satisfaction, commitment and turnover intent in technical professionals.

Description: The purpose of this study is to explore the benefits of providing employee training and learning beyond the specific content covered in such interventions, and how personality constructs might moderate those benefits. Training refers to the imparting of specific knowledge and tasks. Learning involves processes and skills that support on the job learning experiences. This study builds on previous research linking training and development to increased job satisfaction, and reduced turnover intent, by considering additional factors. The relationships between independent variables training, learning, task variety and task significance and outcome variables job satisfaction, commitment and turnover intent are assessed. Personality constructs of need for achievement and growth need strength are explored as possible moderating variables. This research was conducted using archival data (N = 500) collected from technical professionals employed by fourteen organizations in the Southwest United States. Both task variety and task significance were found to significantly predict all three outcome variables. Growth need strength was found to moderate the prediction of commitment by task variety. Need for achievement was found to moderate the prediction of job satisfaction, commitment and turnover intent by training and learning. Need for achievement was also found to moderate the prediction of both commitment and turnover intent by task significance.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Barcus, Sydney Anne

Individual attachment styles and the correspondence/compensation hypotheses in relation to depression and depressive experiences.

Description: Two hundred twenty individuals participated in the present study from a university population. The study examined the relationship among attachment styles to caregivers, relationship with God, depressive symptomology, and depressive experiences. Attachment theorists have suggested a connection between childhood attachment to caregivers and current attachment to God through the idea that individuals have "working models" that form how they interpret present relationships. For the most part, the results of the current study supported the idea of correspondence between attachment to caregiver and attachment to God. Individual attachment styles to caregivers matched their attachment style to God. However, when caregiver religiousness was included as a moderating variable, results supported the theory of combined compensation-correspondence for those with insecure attachments to caregivers. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to compensate for their insecure attachment bonds through participation in religious activity, whereas their internal, private relationship with God corresponded with their previous insecure attachment bonds. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to endorse symptoms of depression and report introjective, but not anaclitic, depressive experiences. With respect to attachment to God, introjective depressive experiences were positively related to both anxious and avoidant attachments, whereas, anaclitic depressive experiences were positively related only to anxious attachment to God. Anxious attachment to God was found to partially mediate the relationship between insecure attachment to caregivers and depression symptoms. Finally, attachment effects were similar across gender, ethnicity, and age, with some notable exceptions.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hill, Mary Kathleen

Interpersonal Decentering and Psychopathology in a University Clinic Sample

Description: This study examined the relationship between interpersonal decentering and symptoms of psychopathology among 48 clients from the Psychology Clinic at the University of North Texas. The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R®) instrument were administered to clients along with demographic packets. Interpersonal decentering was assessed using Melvin Feffer's Interpersonal Decentering Scoring System for the TAT. It was hypothesized that higher scores of global symptom severity would be associated with lower scores of interpersonal decentering. Higher scores of paranoid ideation, psychoticism, and hostility were also hypothesized to be associated with lower scores of interpersonal decentering. Results did not support these hypotheses. However, exploratory analyses revealed a significant correlation between higher scores of phobic anxiety and lower scores of interpersonal decentering. Results also provided information regarding the three methods for calculating interpersonal decentering summary scores.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Burkman, Summer D.

An item response theory analysis of the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figure Task.

Description: The Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Task (ROCFT) has been a standard in neuropsychological assessment for six decades. Many researchers have contributed administration procedures, additional scoring systems and normative data to improve its utility. Despite the abundance of research, the original 36-point scoring system still reigns among clinicians despite documented problems with ceiling and floor effects and poor discrimination between levels of impairment. This study is an attempt to provide a new method based upon item response theory that will allow clinicians to better describe the impairment levels of their patients. Through estimation of item characteristic curves, underlying traits can be estimated while taking into account varying levels of difficulty and discrimination within the set of individual items. The ultimate goal of the current research is identification of a subset of ROCFT items that can be examined in addition to total scores to provide an extra level of information for clinicians, particularly when they are faced with a need to discriminate severely and mildly impaired patients.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Everitt, Alaina

Late adolescents' parental, peer, and romantic attachments as they relate to affect regulation and risky behaviors.

Description: The current study examined the relationships among attachment styles to parent, peer, and romantic partner, ability to regulate emotion, as well as engagement in sexual behaviors and substance use. Attachment theory and previous research suggests that an individual learns how to manage emotions through the modeling of appropriate techniques and a stable sense of self-worth. These two aspects develop through a secure attachment bond with an important figure. When an individual does not have a secure attachment bond in which to practice adaptive affect regulation strategies, he/she may attempt to manage emotions through external means, such as sexual behaviors or substance use. Overall, results supported these associations, with some notable exceptions. Across attachment sources a secure attachment style was related to lower levels of psychological distress and less engagement in substance use. In contrast to the findings from earlier studies, affect regulation did not mediate the relationship between attachment and substance use, and engagement in sexual behaviors was not significantly related to either attachment style or affect regulation.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ingle, Sarah J.

Longitudinal Study of Loneliness and Depression as Predictors of Health in Mid- to Later Life

Description: The longitudinal relationship between loneliness and depression as predictors of chronic health conditions in middle-aged to older adults was investigated utilizing data collected by the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a national representative longitudinal study of health, retirement, and aging, conducted by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) Survey Research Center (SRC) at the University of Michigan, funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. The correlation between these loneliness and depression was moderate (r = .32 to r = 51). The single-item subjective self-report of loneliness was found to be an adequate measure of loneliness. A cross-lagged panel correlation and regression design was used to examine the longitudinal relationship between loneliness, depression, and chronic health conditions. A temporal precedence was indicated implying a causal relationship with depression leading to subsequent loneliness. The relationship between recurring loneliness and chronic health conditions was weak (r = .13).
Date: May 2008
Creator: Chlipala, M. Linda

Negative affect, introversion and physiological markers of cardiovascular disease.

Description: Cardiovascular risk factors have expanded to include personality and other psychological characteristics. Negative affect (NA) has a longstanding history in cardiovascular health, but the path by which NA leads to cardiovascular disease (CVD) is yet to be defined. The following study examined the relationship of high NA and low extroversion (EX) with physiological cardiovascular markers in a sample of non-medical, professional adults. Our results indicated that individuals high in NA and low in EX displayed a significantly lower platelet count and a significantly higher mean platelet volume. Individuals high in NA displayed a significantly lower cholesterol risk ratio, while individuals high in EX displayed significantly higher platelet counts. Personality was not significantly related to blood pressure, high or low density lipoproteins. Understanding the relationships among psychological variables and physiological markers will help clinical researchers design interventions that reduce the likelihood of CVD.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Martin, Luci A.