UNT Libraries - Browse


Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Therapists from the Oklahoma City Bombing

Description: Little empirical research has been done to examine the effects that working with traumatized individuals has had on their therapists. It is known that mental health professionals often do suffer ill effects, especially symptoms of secondary traumatic stress disorder. The present investigation tested predictors of secondary traumatic stress disorder in the therapists who provided services for the Oklahoma City bombing. Predictors were therapist social network involvement, years of counseling experience, and amount of self-reported empathy experienced from others. Indicators of secondary traumatic stress were the Frederick Reaction Index-A, the Compassion Fatigue Self-test for Helpers, and the SCL-90R. Hypotheses were tested using a series of hierarchical multiple regressions. Results demonstrated no significance for years of experience or social network, but perceived empathy accounted for 11% of the variance on the SCL-90 and the Compassion Fatigue Self-test for Psychotherapists with social network and years of experience controlled.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Landry, Lisa Pinkenburg

Affective Reactions and Psychosocial Functioning in the Course of Psycho-Educational Assessment

Description: Every day, children throughout the United States are given psychological evaluations for many different clinical and psycho-educational purposes. Very little research has attempted to investigate children's responses to the experience of having intellectual and achievement tests administered. The goal of the current research was to explore the effect a psycho-educational evaluation has on children in areas of self-concept and anxiety. Dependent variables consisted of pre- and post-test measures of anxiety and self-concept. A total of 75 children in the 4th 5th and 6th grades were recruited after referral for evaluation and possible placement in the Talented and Gifted Program or Special Education. This study employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-tests, multiple regression analysis, and correlational analysis. Findings included initial evidence that children endorsed decreased anxiety after psycho-educational assessments rather than increased anxiety, suggesting that fear of unknown situations may be more anxiety provoking than the actual situation itself, potentially beneficial findings for psychology and psychometric professionals who evaluate children daily. Students endorsement of academic self-concept significantly predicted anxiety after a psycho-educational evaluation, indicating that students who feel capable in academic areas may endorse less anxiety after an evaluation than students who do not feel academically capable. Finally, negative verbal interaction with parents significantly predicted lower general self-concept scores, providing evidence that the manner in which parents verbally relate to their children may have significant impact for the mental health of children.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Buenrostro, Martha

Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Description: This study tested the relationship between Social Support, Psychological Distress, and Illness Stress in individuals who report cancer as a health condition. This study was based on archival data obtained from the Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS provides a nationally representative sample of individuals aged 51 to 61 in 1992 and their spouses. The study sample was limited to cancer patients with a spouse or partner (n = 503). A structural equation modeling analysis procedure was used to test the theoretical models. Measures of social support were limited to variables assessing the participant's satisfaction with social support. Evidence was found for the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models. This is congruent with previous research using measures of social support perception. Both the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models predict a negative relationship between Illness Stress and Social Support. In addition, a univariate analysis of variance was used to test the stress buffering model. Similarly to other studies measuring the individual's degree of integration, or its perception, in the social network, the present research supported the only the Main Effect model and not the Stress Buffering model.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Forjaz, Maria João Bettencourt Pereira

The Relationship Between Neuropsychological Performance and Daily Functioning in Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease

Description: The results of neuropsychological tests are often used by clinicians to make important decisions regarding a demented patient's ability to competently and/or independently perform activities of daily living. However, the ecological validity of most neuropsychological instruments has yet to be adequately established. The current study examined the relationship between neuropsychological test performance and functional status in 42 individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. A comprehensive battery of cognitive tests was employed in order to assess a wide range of neuropsychological abilities. Functional status was measured through the use of both a performance-based scale of activities of daily living (The Direct Assessment of Functional Status; Loewenstein et al., 1989) as well as by a caregiver/informant-based rating scale (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living; Lawton & Brody, 1969). Findings suggest that neuropsychological functioning is moderately predictive of functional status. Memory performance was the best predictor of functional status in most ADL domains, followed by executive functioning and visuospatial abilities.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Tomaszewski, Sarah

Family Rituals and Resilience: Relationship Among Measures of Religiosity, Openness to Experience, and Trait Anxiety

Description: Rituals are an integral part of society. The focus of research on rituals has been shifting to highlight the effect rituals may produce on individual resilience and ability to function. This study examined the relationships between participation in family rituals and several conceptually related facets of the human experience, including religiosity, openness to experience, and anxiety. Participants responded to questions on an assessment instrument (Family Ritual Questionnaire) designed to measure participation in a broad variety of identified family rituals; they were grouped according to responses on that questionnaire, and the resulting groups were compared on their responses to questionnaires addressing religiosity (Religious Background and Behavior Questionnaire), openness to experience (Revised NEO Personality Inventory Openness to Experiences scale), and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The four-group classification system did not produce significant differences on measures of religiosity, openness to experience, or trait anxiety. Nor were there any significant differences noted when the groups were examined on the basis of the demographic characteristics of age, gender, separation time from family of origin, or academic status. The demographic descriptive which was associated with specific group differences related to adult composition of family of origin: participants described the adults present in their families of origin, and the family types were grouped into traditional, mixed, and nontraditional families. A difference was identified between the traditional and nontraditional families on level of ritualization. This finding may be indicative of a useful direction for subsequent research inquiry.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Emmett, Gloria J.

Violence and depression among ethnically diverse, low income women: Mediating and moderating factors

Description: This longitudinal study examined factors influencing the relationship between sustained partner violence and depression/suicidality among ethnically diverse, low income, community women. The sample at Wave 1 consisted of 303 African American, 273 Euro-American, and 260 Mexican American women in long term relationships with a household income less that twice the poverty threshold. There were no ethnic differences on frequency of partner violence, depression, or suicidality. The moderate relationship between partner violence and women's depression, confirmed previous findings. Frequency, but not recency, of violence predicted depression and suicidal ideation for African Americans and Mexican Americans, even after controlling for earlier depression or ideation. Recent violence did not predict Euro-American's depression or suicidality after controlling for initial scores. Causal and responsibility attributions for partners' violence did not mediate the relationship between violence and depression or suicidality in any ethnic group. However, African American women's attributions of global effects for violence mediated the relationship of violence on depression and suicidal ideation. Poverty level and marital status moderated the relationship between violence and the number of times women seriously considered and actually attempted suicide. Frequent violence was most lethal among the poorest women and marriage provided the least protection for women in the most violent relationships. Specifically, poverty status moderated violence on consideration of suicide for African Americans and Euro-Americans and suicide attempts among Mexican Americans. Marital status moderated partners' violence on suicidal ideation and attempts for Mexican Americans and consideration of suicide for Euro-Americans, but was not a moderator for African Americans' depression or suicidality. Women with different ethnic backgrounds appear to differ in the ways partner violence contributes to their depression and suicidality. Policy implications include the need to offer suicide intervention, particularly for low income women seeking services for violence. Mental health professionals should routinely inquire about partner violence when women ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: VanHorn, Barbara

The Relationship Between Racial Identity, Ethnic Identity, and African-American Acculturation and their Contribution to Psychological Well-Being

Description: Since there are few studies which address the relationships between racial/ethnic identity and acculturation in the African-American community, the purpose of this study was threefold: 1) explore the relationship between racial identity and African-American acculturation; 2) examine racial and ethnic identity associations; and 3) observe the connections between these cultural constructs and psychological well-being. One hundred ninety-four African-American undergraduates from a predominantly White institution and two historically Black colleges completed measures of these constructs, self-esteem, and depression. The findings indicate a relationship between racial identity and acculturation for three of the four Cross (1971) stages (encounter, immersion-emersion, and internalization). Relinquishing the White frame of reference and achieving inner security with their Blackness coincides with immersion in the eight facets comprising African-American culture. Individuals who do not identify with their race (pre-encounter) less often affiliated with their ethnic group. Conversely, achieving racial identity (internalization) was associated with ethnic identity attachment. Finally, the study's findings suggest that identity development may affect how individuals perceive themselves and feel emotionally, which may depend on identity achievement. Pre-encounter stage scores were associated with reports of higher depression and lower self-esteem; whereas, higher internalization individuals reported higher self-esteem. As for ethnic identity, those who have explored options and made commitments to their ethnic group reported fewer symptoms of depression and higher self-esteem. The converse was also true. Community acceptance was predicted to mediate the relationship between acculturation and psychological well-being. Although this was unfounded, the data indicate that traditional individuals living in predominantly White neighborhoods reported more depressive symptoms than did dominant society acculturated individuals living there. Interesting demographic findings and future research directions are provided.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Wilcots, Kylynnedra D.

Feigning Cognitive Deficits on Neuropsychological Evaluations: Multiple Detection Strategies

Description: Individuals undergoing forensic neuropsychological evaluation frequently stand to gain in some manner if neurocognitive dysfunction is diagnosed. As a result, neuropsychologists are customarily asked to test for neurocognitive feigning during the assessment. The current study employed an analogue design with a clinical comparison group to examine the utility of the TOCA (Rogers, 1996) as a measure of feigned neurocognitive impairment. Two groups of simulators (one cautioned about the presence of detection strategies and one not cautioned) were compared to clinical and normal control groups. Fourteen scales were developed based on five detection strategies: symptom validity testing, performance curve, magnitude of error, response time, and floor effect. Each was employed during both verbal and nonverbal tasks. Significant differences were revealed among groups when subjected to ANOVA. Classification rates from subsequent utility estimates and discriminant function analyses on the scales ranged from 58.8% to 100%. Combining strategies yielded a classification rate of 95.7%. The effect of cautioning simulators was modest; however, a trend was noted on some scales for cautioned simulators to appear less obviously impaired than noncautioned. Although the results require crossvalidation, preliminary data suggest that the TOCA is a sensitive and specific measure of feigned neurocognitive performance. Strengths and weaknesses of the study are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Bender, Scott D.

Parenting Stress: A Comparison of Mothers and Fathers of Disabled and Non-Disabled Children

Description: This study compared perceived levels of parenting stress between mothers and fathers of children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), children with developmental disabilities, and normally developing children. The relationship of certain demographic variables, such as Socio-economic Status (SES), number of children, years married, parent age, and child age, as well as social support with parenting stress was also examined for mothers and fathers of these three groups. Identification of factors related to parenting stress in fathers was of particular importance for this study, as fathers are often an underrepresented group within parenting research. Identifying effective methods for predicting high levels of parenting stress is important, as stress has been linked to psychological well-being, potential for abuse, and a greater likelihood of poor adjustment for both parent and child. Results from the present study comparing reported stress levels between groups of parents were supportive of previous studies indicating that parents of children with ADHD and developmentally disabilities experience significantly greater parenting stress, specifically with respect to child characteristics. Significant gender differences were also found between mothers and fathers in terms of parent characteristics related to stress. Fathers reported greater stress in the areas of attachment, while mothers reported more parent role restrictions. Additionally, significant negative relationships were found between parents' perceived helpfulness of informal social support and parenting stress scores in both mothers and fathers, affirming positive effects of social support on stress. Helpfulness of informal social support was also significantly predictive of parenting stress in both mothers and fathers across both the child and parent domains of the PSI, although, it had more predictive power with regard to parent related contributors to parenting stress. Family demographic factors, including age of the child and SES demonstrated some predictive power of parenting stress in mothers. Mothers with younger children and lower SES ...
Date: December 2000
Creator: Walker, Alexis Philbin

Optimism, Health Locus of Control, and Quality of Life of Women with Initial versus Recurrent Breast Cancer

Description: Health Locus of Control (HLOC) and other predictors of Quality of Life (QL) were examined for women with an initial versus recurrent breast cancer diagnosis. Twenty-eight women with an initial breast cancer (IBC) diagnoses and twenty-eight women with recurrent breast cancer (RBC) diagnoses were recruited from doctors' offices and cancer support groups. Correlational analyses were used to assess the relationships between variables. No significant differences were found between women with IBC and RBC on Psychological QL. Doctor HLOC and Psychological QL were related for women with RBC (r = .481, p = .01) and marginally so for women with IBC (r = .329, p = .09). A positive correlation was also found between Doctor HLOC and Functional QL for both women with IBC (r = .464, p = .01) and women with RBC (r = .390, p = .04). After controlling for stage of cancer, women with RBC reported higher Functional QL than did women with IBC. Advanced (stages III or IV) versus early (stages I or II) cancer stage related to lower Functional QL, controlling for initial versus recurrent diagnosis (r = -.283, p = .01). A marginally significant relationship was also found for cancer stage, regardless of initial versus recurrent diagnosis, with higher Overall QL for women with early stages of breast cancer (r = -.157, p = .09). No significant differences in Optimism or Overall QL were found between women with IBC versus RBC. No differences were found between married and single women. This research begins to explore differences in Quality of Life for women with a new versus a recurrent breast cancer diagnosis.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Graci, Gina

The Relationship between Executive and Psychosocial Functioning in Children Treated for a Brain Tumor

Description: This study examined the relationship between executive and psychosocial functioning in 45 children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years who had been treated for a brain tumor. Executive functioning deficits can profoundly impact an adult's ability to function successfully in life. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the potential impact of executive functioning deficits on the day-to-day functioning in a pediatric population. The domains of executive functioning assessed included cognitive flexibility, conceptual thinking, sustained attention, and response inhibition. Psychosocial functioning was assessed using both parent and child report. Several significant relationships were found for adolescents ages 15 and older, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. In particular, cognitive flexibility and conceptual thinking were significantly related to parent report of depression and adaptive functioning. Fewer significant relationships with smaller effect sizes were found for younger children. The results may reflect the developmental emergence of executive functioning abilities and late effects of executive functioning deficits upon psychosocial functioning. The correlational design of this study precludes definitive statements regarding the temporal nature of the relationship. Additional research, including longitudinal research and replicatory studies, will be needed to further investigate the developmental consequences of executive functioning impairment.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Falla, Karen M.

Patterns of Change in Semantic Clustering in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: What Can it Tell Us about the Nature of Clustering Deficits

Description: Semantic clustering has been used as a measure of learning strategies in a number of clinical populations and has been found to be deficient in individuals with Schizophrenia, but less attention has been paid to the dynamic use of this strategy over the course of fixed-order learning trials. In the current study, we examined this pattern of clustering use over trials in a sample of individuals with Schizophrenia, and explored whether the addition of this dynamic information would help us to better predict specific executive deficits. Results suggested that a decrease in semantic clustering across trials was associated with some executive deficits in the predicted manner. Nonetheless, the overall semantic clustering index generally proved more effective for the purposes, suggesting that in this population, the addition of dynamic information in strategy use is not likely to add considerably to clinical prediction and understanding.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Edwards, Kimberly

Spirituality, health locus of control, and wellness in organizational health promotion and wellness programs

Description: The relationship between an individual's level of spirituality, health locus of control, and participating in wellness activity was investigated. The relationship between spirituality, health locus of control on physical health was also investigated. The research question was based on prior studies that reported people who are more spiritual are healthier. Does their spirituality lead to increased levels of health, or are individual's who are more spiritual more likely to proactively take control of their health and engage in health promoting behaviors? One hundred and fifteen male and female employees completed The Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS), a spirituality measure, The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, a measure of locus of control related to health and healthcare, and The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Health Risk Appraisal, a self-report measure of participation in health behaviors. Physical measures of health were obtained by obtaining Body Mass Index, blood pressure readings, and a cholesterol screening. The current study looked at level of spirituality (internal, external), level of health locus of control (internal, powerful other, chance) and participation in wellness/health promoting behaviors and health. Correlational analyses were performed on the relationship between spirituality and health locus of control. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed on the internal spirituality and internal health locus of control to examine the relationship between spirituality, health locus of control and positive health behaviors and level of physical health. Stepwise discriminant function analysis using spirituality and health locus of control as predictor variables for the health-behavior criterion variables were performed. Discussion of the results, limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research were presented.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Gauthier, Janine E.

Social Attitudes toward Men and Women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Description: Although men are more likely to experience traumatic events, the risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is at least twice as high in women than in men after exposure to comparable traumas. These findings are more consistent in response to some types of trauma (e.g., assaultive violence) than others (e.g., natural disaster). There has been very little systematic study of the sources of these gender differences. This study began to explore the contribution of gender-related beliefs about appropriate responses to trauma by investigating the impact of victim sex and trauma type as well as participant sex, sex-role orientation, and personal trauma history on attitudes towards victims. Ninety-three male and 179 female students were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory, the Trauma History Questionnaire, and a vignette measure of attitudes towards victims. Participants evaluated male victims significantly less favorably than female victims, and females had more positive attitudes towards victims than males. Feminine sex-typed and androgynous women rated victims more favorably than masculine sex-typed men and women. The interaction between sex of victim and trauma type was not significant. A positive relation was observed between personal trauma exposure and attitudes towards male victims among male participants only. These findings contribute towards a theoretical understanding of gender and PTSD, and also have important clinical applications.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Mendelsohn, Michaela

Sexual orientation self-label, behavior, and preference: College students in Taiwan and the USA

Description: The relationships among self-labeled sexual orientation, sexual preferences, and sexual behaviors were examined in samples from Taiwan and the USA. Subsamples matched on gender, age, and marital status were created to reduce sexual orientation cell size discrepancies and demographic differences. Sexual orientation self-label, the Kinsey Scale of Sexual Orientation, and a modified version for preference were used to assess participants' sexual orientation, behavior, and preference, respectively. Additional measures included an adaptation of the Early Sexual Experiences Checklist, and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist for psychological distress. For both Taiwan and USA subsamples, heterosexual participants reported significantly greater congruence between sexual orientation identity and preference than did nonheterosexual participants. A high proportion of the Taiwan sample were celibate, precluding analyses of congruence between sexual orientation identity and sexual behavior. Congruence between sexual behavior and preference in the USA sample was negatively correlated with psychological distress. In a cross-cultural comparison between the Taiwan and USA women (n = 176), the two samples reported similar congruence between sexual orientation identity and preference. Exploratory analyses revealed that heterosexual participants' sexual orientation label was more “public, ” (more categories of people who knew the participants' sexual orientation), than was nonheterosexuals' in both Taiwan and the USA. In Taiwan, heterosexual and nonheterosexual participants reported similar proportions who were celibate. A gender difference within the USA subsample included that men reported significantly greater congruence than did women regarding sexual orientation identity and congruence between behavior and preference. Analyses comparing self-labeled sexual orientation groups on unwanted childhood sexual experiences and age of earliest voluntary sexual activity were not significant. This study's limitations included small numbers of bisexual (USA n = 27, Taiwan n = 17) or homosexual (USA n = 35, Taiwan n = 9) participants, prohibiting distinctions between them. Recommended future research includes examining the self-labeling process, Asian ...
Date: August 2002
Creator: Roberts, Mary Kathryn

Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females

Description: There is a lack of clarity in the current literature in how potential etiological factors interact and result in disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to examine an expanded model of Personality, Social Support, Appraisal/Coping Processes, Abuse History, Internalization of Sociocultural Standards, Psychological Disturbances, and Body Disparagement in the development of disordered eating. The current model was evaluated using 276 women in their transition to college, a time period highly associated with symptoms believed to increase a woman's risk for the development of disordered eating including perceived difficulty coping, weight gain, and negative affect. Structural equation modeling was used to allow simultaneous examination of the causal relationships between the factors. Structural analyses confirmed that college women with previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition. Those women who identified the transition as overwhelming were also aware of increased negative mood and psychological states since beginning the school semester. Further, women with previous traumatic sexual experiences appeared to be at additional risk for increased negative affective symptoms. The resulting model confirmed that those women who experience negative mood states and those that endorse strong internalization of cultural values regarding attractiveness encountered increased dissatisfaction and disapproval of their bodies. Finally, women with higher levels of body concern engaged in more eating behaviors associated with disordered eating. The roles of personality functioning and perceived social support could not be identified in the developmental model. The predictive links between constructs in the resulting model provide meaningful information regarding the transition to college and associated risks for development of disordered eating. Validation of the model in an independent sample would provide confirmation of these relationships and longitudinal research examining females' attitudes across crucial developmental periods might provide important information regarding ...
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Tripp, Margaret Murphy

Pregnancy Loss: Disenfranchised Grief and Other Psychological Reactions

Description: It is widely acknowledged in the literature that grief is most intense when it is experienced by parents whose children have died. However, as recently as 20 years ago, mothers whose children died at birth or before the pregnancy had reached full term were often dismissed as merely medical patients, and their psychological reactions were not considered or acknowledged by professionals, their friends, or their families. More recently fields such as psychology have recognized that women who have experienced pregnancy loss have complex psychological reactions to their loss. The present study examined the patterns of grief of women who have had a pregnancy end in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth and the ways in which these women gave meaning to their experiences. Participants were asked to complete several measures including the Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS), the Hogan Grief reaction Checklist (HGRC), the Perceived Social Support Scale (PSS), and the Inventory of Social Support (ISS). The participants also wrote a narrative account of their loss experience. These narratives were content analyzed to delineate common themes. The findings indicated several important factors which may be useful in understanding and assisting in post-loss adjustment.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Clower, Christen E.

The Effects of Assessment Context on State Anxiety and a Neuropsychological Model of Attention

Description: This study investigated the effects of assessment context on state anxiety and attention according to the Mirsky (1996) model of attention. Context varied in the physical testing environment, demeanor of the assessor, and explanation of the purpose of testing. A relaxed condition (RC) and structured medical condition (SMC) distinction was made prior to data collection and the two contexts were designed to reflect contrasting practices of neuropsychologists. Elements of attention evaluated included Encoding (Digit Span), Focusing/Executing (Visual Search and Attention Test), Shifting (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Computerized Version 2), Sustaining, and Stabilizing (Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs). Eighty healthy adult females participated in the study. The findings suggest that the SMC caused higher levels of anxiety and lower valence than the RC, which in turn caused poorer sustained attention and superior shifting attention for this condition. Such interpretations are consistent with several theories on the effects of anxiety on attention. It should be noted, however, that differences observed in attention were limited to select measures. Factor analysis also indicates that the encode, shift, and sustain elements of attention were largely consistent with the factor solution proposed by Mirsky, while findings on the focus/execute and stabilize elements bring into question the construct validity of these aspects of the model. Findings from the study are considered relevant to those interested in attention theory and particularly researchers and clinicians involved in the administration of neuropsychological testing.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Greher, Michael R.

Investigating patterns among demographics, identification practices, interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance.

Description: This study explored potential patterns of association among the demographic characteristics, identification practices, educational interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance (SED) as well as specifically investigated the impact of age at identification with SED and the presence of co-occurring disabilities. Data was gathered from the educational records of students with SED in seven rural to semi-rural districts in Texas. Demographic information included gender, ethnicity, age at identification with SED, and identification with co-occurring disabilities. Identification variables that were investigated include the five federal qualifying criteria for SED, IQ score, and BASC and/or CBCL scores. Intervention variables that were explored included placement setting, restrictiveness of placement setting, type of related services provided, parental attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings, number of multidisciplinary team meetings, and total time spent in special education as a student with SED. Outcome variables that were examined included achievement levels in reading and math, attendance, special education status, and grade retention. Results suggested that earlier identification with SED is related to placement in less restrictive settings, achievement within two years of grade level in reading, and lower average number of absences. The presence of co-occurring disabilities in addition to SED is associated with placement in more restrictive settings and with achievement that is two or more years below grade level in reading and math. Additional findings and implications for future research as well as for current practice are discussed.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Gonzalez, Christine

The Detection of Neuropsychological Malingering

Description: The present study compared the responses of a group of simulating malingerers who were offered a monetary incentive to feign symptoms of a head injury, with the responses of head injured groups both with and without litigation, a forensic parole group, and an honest-responding control group. The following six neuropsychological measures were utilized: Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Finger Oscillation Test, WAIS-R Neuropsychological Instrument (Vocabulary, Information, and Similarities subtests), Booklet Category Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The statistical concepts of floor effect, performance curve, and magnitude of error were examined. Additionally, the statistical differences in the responses of the five groups were analyzed to determine cutting scores for use in distinguishing malingerers from nonmalingerers.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Liff, Christine D.

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

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

Predicting termination and continuation status in shelter programs using the Transtheoretical Model with Hispanic battered women.

Description: This study tested the applicability of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change in predicting early termination, appropriate termination, and ongoing treatment of Hispanic battered women residing at domestic violence shelters. Self-efficacy, decisional balance, and acculturation were examined in relation to the applicability of this model with the Hispanic women population. One hundred and eight women residing in two shelters for survivors of domestic violence, located in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, were asked to provide information regarding the problems in their relationships, the pull and the strain of their relationship, their level of temptation to stay in the abusive relationship, and how confident they felt that they would not return to their abuser (The Process of Change in Abused Women Scales- PROCAWS). In addition, the women were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their level of acculturation. This study confirmed the stage of change profiles found in a population of battered women as well as in other clinical populations and the results suggest that this model is applicable to Hispanic populations. The results indicated that the women in this sample could be meaningfully grouped according to their level of involvement in different stages of change. Furthermore, this study provided support for the validity of this theory by finding significant relationships among the profiles of change and the intervening variables that moderate movement across the stages of change. The women in this study differed with regard to their level of temptation to stay in their relationships and the amount of cons they to making changes. The findings also confirmed that the Transtheoretical Model can be used to predict termination status from domestic violence shelter programs. Although there were no significant differences in termination status among the women with different stage of change profiles, a trend existed that women in earlier stages of ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Weisz, Adriana V.

Psychopathy Symptom Profiles and Neuropsychological Measures Sensitive to Orbitofrontal Functioning

Description: This study analyzed the relationship between the OF functioning of 100 incarcerated male offenders and their psychopathy symptoms. The study's rejected hypothesis had predicted a significant relationship between measures of OF functioning and the Defective Affective Experience (DAE) and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioral Style (IIB) factors of the Cooke and Michie (2001) three-factor model of psychopathy. Regression analysis failed to demonstrate a relationship between OF functioning and the DAE and IIB factors. Group differences on OF functioning were not demonstrated between participants in the upper and lower quartiles of a summed DAE and IIB factor score. A general role for OF functioning in criminal behavior was suggested as two OF measures accounted for 14.9% of the variance of criminal convictions.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Wodushek, Thomas R.

Trauma Responses, Abuse History, and Exposure to Violence as Risk Factors in Adolescent Sex and Non-Sex Offenders

Description: Several risk factors have been identified for adolescent sex offenders and non-sex offenders. Such risk factors include physical and/or sexual abuse, and exposure to community and/or domestic violence. Additionally, the presence of disinhibitive factors, such as substance use and exposure to violent or pornographic media are also commonly reported in the backgrounds of both sex and non-sex offenders. Similarly, adolescent offenders have reported traumatic reactions to environmental factors such as abuse and violence. Similarities in exposure to the risk and disinhibitive factors described above between adolescent sex and non-sex offenders do not provide an explanation for why some adolescents commit sex offenses, whereas other adolescent offenders do not. This study investigated the discriminative ability of traumatic reactions as a risk factor between male adolescent sex and non-sex offenders. The inclusion of traumatic reactions increased the accuracy of risk factors distinguishing between sex and non-sex offenders. Thus, not only the presence of risk factors, but also the adolescent's reaction to the risk factors, are important predictors of whether he will commit a sexual offense.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Briley, Joshua Paul