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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

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

Effects of Partner Violence and Psychological Abuse on Women's Mental Health Over Time.

Description: This study examined the distinct effects of partner violence and psychological abuse on women's mental health over time. Latent growth modeling was used to examine stability and change over time, evaluating the course and consequences of each form of abuse. The size of women's social support network was examined as a mediator. The sample consisted of 835 African American, Euro-American, and Mexican American low-income women. Participants who completed Waves 1, 2, 3, and 5 were included in the study (n = 585). In general, partner violence decreased over time for all groups, while psychological abuse decreased over time for only Euro-American women. Whereas initial and prolonged exposure to psychological abuse was related to and directly impacted women's mental health, partner violence was only related to initial levels of mental health. Surprisingly, social support was only related to initial violence and distress and had no impact on the rate of change over time. These results have important implications for researchers and health care professionals. First, differences in the pattern of results were found for each ethnic group, reaffirming the notion that counselors and researchers must be sensitive to multicultural concerns in both assessment and intervention. For example, psychological abuse had a greater impact on the mental health of African American and Mexican American women than it did for Euro-American women, suggesting a shift in focus depending on the ethnicity of the client may be warranted. Second, this longitudinal study highlights the importance of future research to considerer individual differences in treating and studying victimized women. Understanding factors that contribute to individual trajectories will help counselors gain insight into the problem and in devising plans to prevent or reduce the occurrence and negative health impact of partner abuse.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Temple, Jeff R.

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

Marital satisfaction among newly married couples: Associations with religiosity and romantic attachment style.

Description: The marriage and family literature has identified a host of factors that contribute to a satisfactory marital union. For example, research on religious congruency has indicated that the more similar partners are in their religious beliefs the higher their reported marital satisfaction. Another construct studied in conjunction with marital satisfaction is adult attachment style. The attachment literature has consistently shown that secure couples tend to report higher marital satisfaction than couples with at least one insecure partner. The purpose of this study was to examine the combined role of religious commitment and attachment in marital satisfaction. Heterosexual couples (N = 184; 92 husbands, 92 wives) without children and married 1-5 years were administered a background information questionnaire, the Religious Commitment Inventory-10, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, and the Experiences in Close Relationships Inventory. Results indicated that couples with congruent religious commitment reported higher marital satisfaction than couples with large discrepancies in religious commitment. Religious commitment did not mediate the relationship between attachment and marital satisfaction, but instead was found to moderate this relationship. Results of this study will benefit clinicians working in the field to help newly married couples negotiate the marital relationship.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Haseley, Jamie L.