The recent shift to a culture of competence has permeated several areas of professional psychology, including competency identification, competency-based education training, and competency assessment. A competency framework has also been applied to various programs and specialty areas within psychology, such as clinical, counseling, clinical health, school, cultural diversity, neuro-, gero-, child, and pediatric psychology. Despite the spread of competency focus throughout psychology, few standardized measures of competency assessment have been developed. To the authors' knowledge, only four published studies on measures of competency assessment in psychology currently exist. While these measures demonstrate significant steps in progressing the assessment of confidence, three of these measures were designed for use with individual programs, two of these international (i.e., UK and Taiwan). The current study applied the seminal Competency Benchmarks, via a recently adapted benchmarks form (i.e., Practicum Evaluation form; PEF), to practicum students at the University of North Texas. In addition to traditional supervisor ratings, the present study also involved self-, peer supervisor, and peer supervisee ratings to provide 360-degree evaluations. Item-response theory (IRT) was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PEF and inform potential revisions of this form. Supervisor ratings of competency were found to fit the Rasch model specified, lending support to use of the benchmarks framework as assessed by this form. Self- and peer-ratings were significantly correlated with supervisor ratings, indicating that there may be some utility to 360-degree evaluations. Finally, as predicted, foundational competencies were rated as significantly higher than functional competencies, and competencies improved significantly with training. Results of the current study provide clarity about the utility of the PEF and inform our understanding of practicum-level competencies.
Although the experience of trauma is associated with a great deal of psychological distress, it may also lead to meaningful positive change, known as posttraumatic growth (PTG), evidenced as progression in areas of life appreciation, intimacy in relationships, sense of personal strength, new possibilities, and spiritual development. Utilizing an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) perspective, the current study explored whether self-compassion helped to explain the willingness to approach and make sense of a trauma, leading to growth. A sample of 758 undergraduate students completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-compassion does partially predict PTG and support for how self-compassion may be understood in relation to PTG is provided. Implications of the current study's findings, as well as suggestions for future research related to trauma within a college population, are discussed.
The effects of childhood exposure to parental intimate partner violence (EPIPV) on dating violence (DV) were examined through two layers of mediations. Based on attachment theory, individuals who are exposed to parental intimate partner violence are less likely to experience secure parent-child attachment, which in turn transfers to insecure adult attachment that is prone to perceive significant others as less trustworthy and less reliable as well as higher likelihood of over-reacting and/or staying in an unhealthy relationship. In the second layer of mediation, insecure adult attachment would lead to biased SIP which in turn, would result in an increase of DV. A total of 327 university students participated in the study by voluntarily completing the research questionnaires. Among them, 253 reported having experienced mild to severe DV and were included in the final data set. The data analyses procedures included examinations of the measurement models and structural equation modeling (SEM) analyses. Findings from the final models best supported by the data indicated that EPIPV predicted both dating violence perpetration and victimization and that EPIPV predicted adult attachment anxiety and avoidance, both of which are consistent with existing literature. However, findings revealed that EPIPV did not predict SIP and SIP was not predictive of DV perpetration. In addition, neither adult attachment anxiety nor attachment avoidance was predictive of DV perpetration and victimization. For DV victimization SEM model, adult attachment anxiety predicted SIP, however, SIP did not predict DV victimization. Findings are discussed based on DV literature and attachment theory. Limitations, clinical implications, and future research directions are also outlined.
Previous research has revealed heterogeneity in outcome trajectories among individuals seeking psychotherapy. However, questions remain as to the number, nature, and predictors of these trajectories. Therefore, the present study had three aims: 1) to identify heterogeneous latent groups among treatment trajectories of 212 clients with major depressive disorder (MDD) seeking psychotherapy at a community mental health training clinic; 2) to identify significant associations between clinical and demographic variables and group membership; and 3) to identify correlations between trajectory shape and positive treatment outcome. Prior to treatment, participants provided demographic information and completed symptom severity ratings. Once in treatment, participants completed a self-report of distress via the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) at every session. Growth mixture modeling was utilized to identify distinct patient subgroups based on outcome trajectories among the sample. Three distinct latent classes of treatment trajectory were identified, providing evidence of heterogeneity in treatment trajectories among individuals with MDD. Baseline distress, pre-treatment work problems, and sleep difficulties were found to be predictive of an individual's membership in a specific trajectory group. Finally, specific shapes of change, namely early response and sudden gains, were associated with positive treatment outcome. Findings from this study can be used to identify patients at risk for treatment failure, allowing clinicians to intervene earlier to enhance mid-treatment feedback and prognosis.
The purpose of the current study was to examine neuropsychological functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features. Data from a large, epidemiological study of patients with first-episode psychosis was used to examine verbal learning and working memory 10 years after onset of psychosis in patients with BD relative to patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and patients with psychotic major depressive disorder (MDD). Cross-sectional comparisons of verbal learning and working memory at the 10-year follow-up mirrored findings of relative performance at the 2-year follow-up (Mojtabai, 2000), as patients with SZ performed significantly worse than patients with psychotic affective disorders. When FEP patients' cognitive performance was examined longitudinally, all groups showed non-significant decline over time, with no significant diagnostic group differences after accounting for current symptoms. More frequent hospitalizations and longer treatment with antipsychotics were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing 10 years after illness onset, but these associations disappeared when controlling baseline cognitive performance. Within the BD sample, current positive and negative psychotic symptoms were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing. After controlling for baseline cognitive performance, markers of clinical course were unrelated to cognitive performance, consistent with existing literature on longitudinal cognitive functioning in patients with BD. The current findings support a neurodevelopmental model of verbal learning and working memory deficits in patients with bipolar disorder.
Given the alarmingly high rates of premature termination in training clinics, research aimed at understanding the course of change and treatment outcomes in training clinics deserves considerable attention. Additionally, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness of psychotherapy training and whether more training is actually associated with better client outcomes. Thus, this study sought to investigate whether clinicians' level of training and experience were related to a variety of clients' outcomes (e.g., well-being, symptom reduction, and life functioning) based on the phase model of psychotherapy. Unfortunately, confirmatory factor analysis of the OQ45.2 did not support the three-factor conceptual model paralleling the phase model. Rather, a two-factor model of best fit was identified. Neither clinicians' level of clinical training nor therapeutic orientation were found to be related to client improvements. However, this finding may have been attenuated by limited variance in client outcomes. Implications for clinical training and future outcome research methodologies are discussed.
The goal of this project was to understand ethnic and generational differences in attitudes towards caregiving and expected burden while taking into consideration factors such as gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. One hundred and sixteen young adults (ages 18-25) and 93 middle-age adults (ages 38-62) were enrolled in the study. Participants included European Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Using moderation analysis, two hypotheses were investigated: 1) Ethnicity relates to attitudes towards caregiving, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. 2) Ethnicity and expected burden relate to each other, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. Familism emerged as a moderator in the relationship between ethnicity and expected burden. Results suggested that the strength of the relationship between being African American and expecting burden was less for those with moderate familism (R =.078), slightly higher for low familism (R = .176), and the highest for high familism (R= .261). Additional results indicated that the strength of the relationship between being Hispanic, as opposed to being European American, and expected burden, was higher for middle-aged adults (R =.23) when compared to young adults (R =.19). The current findings lend support to the recently established idea that familism is not protective against burden as it increases one's sense of obligation towards family (Knight & Sayegh, 2010).
A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment insecurity, impairments in emotion regulation, and decreased mindfulness. Overall, the current study suggests that improving emotion regulation skills and increasing dispositional mindfulness may limit the expression of pathological personality traits. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Research indicates that some college students may be strongly motivated to feign AHDD symptoms for desired external incentives, such as stimulant medication or academic accommodations. To date, literature examining feigned ADHD has been primarily focused on ADHD specific self-report measures (e.g., CAARS) and continuous performance tests (e.g., CPTs); however, little attention has been devoted to the use of multi-scale inventories in detecting feigned ADHD. For CPT measures, virtually no literature exists on the effectiveness of the TOVA to identify feigned ADHD, despite its frequent clinical use for establishing this diagnosis. The current study utilized a between-subjects simulation design to validate feigning cut scores on ADHD-specific measures using 66 feigners and 51 confirmed ADHD cases. As prior literature suggested, the results convincingly demonstrated that face-valid ADHD assessment measures were easily faked. Across both TOVA modalities (e.g., Auditory and Visual), the ADHD simulators performed significantly poorer than those diagnosed with ADHD. As an innovative approach, a Dissimulation-ADHD (Ds-ADHD) scale was developed and initially validated. The Ds-ADHD is composed of ten MMPI-2-RF items mistakenly believed to be clinical characteristics associated with ADHD. Requiring cross-validation, Ds-ADHD optimized cut scores and classification of ADHD feigners appears promising. They were clearly distinguishable from ADHD client, as well as those feigning general psychopathology. Recommendations for the utilization of the Ds-ADHD scale, and future directions for research are discussed.
The effectiveness of memory specificity training (MeST) was compared with standard cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in treatment of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder. Eighteen adults aged 18-36 were randomly assigned to the MeST intervention (n = 9) or to the active control group (n = 9) of CPT. Both treatments were administered in group format across 6 weeks. MeST consisted of 6 weekly sessions, while CPT consisted of 12 biweekly sessions. The trial was undertaken in the Psychology Clinic of the University of North Texas, with randomization to conditions accomplished via computer random number generator. The primary outcome measure was change in PTSD symptoms post-treatment from baseline. Sixteen individuals (13 women and 3 men; MeST n = 8 and CPT n = 8) completed treatment and their data was analyzed. MeST significantly decreased PTSD symptomology at post-treatment and these results were maintained at 3 months post-treatment. MeST was found to be as effective as the established CPT intervention at reducing PTSD symptomology. Both MeST and CPT significantly increased participants' ability to specify memories upon retrieval at post-treatment, with results maintained at follow-up. There were no significant effects of MeST or CPT in ability to increase overall controlled cognitive processing at post-treatment or follow-up. No individual in either group reported any adverse effects during treatment or at 3 months follow-up. MeST appears to hold promise as an efficacious treatment option for PTSD. MeST was as effective as CPT in reducing symptoms of PTSD, but required only half the number of treatment sessions to accomplish these gains. Replication of these findings in larger samples is encouraged.
While a significant amount of research illustrates the overall positive effects of therapists' general use of mindfulness, very few studies have addressed whether therapists' use of mindfulness translates to improved psychotherapy outcomes. The present study utilized a randomized-controlled design to test whether a brief mindfulness training program and pre-session mindfulness practice could have a positive impact on therapy; in particular, we hypothesized that mindfulness training and practice would improve ratings on therapeutic presence as rated by clients and therapists and session effectiveness as rated by clients. The present study also examined whether clients' subjective ratings of therapy outcome and therapists' theoretical orientation impacted outcome measures after therapists completed mindfulness training. The 20 participating therapists were randomly assigned to either the mindfulness training (MT) group or control group according to a computer generated randomization list. Results indicated that clients did not significantly improve on outcome measures after completing the mindfulness training. Clients' subjective ratings on a psychotherapy outcome measure did predict changes in their ratings of therapeutic presence. This finding may have important implications for future research examining client characteristics that may moderate the relationship between therapeutic presence and session outcomes. Limitations of the present study and future directions are discussed.
Premature termination is a substantial problem with significant adverse effects for clients, therapists, and treatment organizations. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively common phenomenon within mental healthcare settings. Across varied mental healthcare settings, rates of premature termination have reportedly ranged from 19.7 % to 40 %. Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of premature termination in training clinics is substantially higher than in community mental health settings and private practice, with 75 to 80 % of clients ending treatment services prematurely. The purpose of this study was to explore the combined effect of intake therapist continuity or discontinuity, and quality of the therapeutic relationship on premature termination. Intake therapist continuity, measures of working alliance, and termination outcome from 524 clients at the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic were utilized for adults receiving individual therapy services between August 2008 and August 2013. Results of the study suggest intake therapist continuity did not predict subjective termination status (X2(2, n = 524) = 1.61, p = 0.45), nor did it predict change in symptomology status (X2(3, n = 453) = 1.14, p = 0.77). Additionally, working alliance predicted subjective termination status (X2(6, n = 212) = 21.17, p < 0.01), but not change in symptomology status (X2(9, n = 208) = 6.27, p = 0.71). The findings of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research related to client, therapist, treatment, and procedural variables and their impact on premature termination.
Police officers are allowed considerable discretion within the criminal justice system in addressing illegal behaviors and interpersonal conflicts. Broadly, such resolutions fall into two categories: formal (e.g., arrest) and informal outcomes. Many of these interventions involve persons who have historically faced stigmatization, such as those who have mental disorders, criminal histories, or both (i.e., mentally disordered offenders). On this point, stigma generally includes discriminatory behavior toward the stigmatized person or group and can be substantially influenced by internal and external attributions. In addition, researchers have suggested that internal attributions lead to punishing behaviors and external attributions lead to helping behaviors. The current study examined attributions about offender behavior made by police officers in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of Corrigan’s model. Specifically, this study investigated the effects of officer attributions on their immediate decisions in addressing intentionally ambiguous and minor offenses. Officers provided one of two vignettes of a hypothetical offender who was either mentally disordered or intoxicated and provided their anticipated resolution of the situation. Encouragingly, disposition decision differed by offender condition, with a substantially higher rate of arrests for the intoxicated offender (i.e., the external condition). Corrigan’s model was initially successful for both offender conditions, but was overall more successful for the mentally disordered condition. Results are discussed within the broader context of police policy, such as crisis intervention training, and identification of officers who could benefit from additional mental health trainings.
Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
The term emerging adulthood was coined during the 21st century to describe human development between adolescence and adulthood, during the ages of 18-25 (Arnett, 2000). During this stage, individuals can explore life areas. Emerging adults beginning college have a unique opportunity to form their identities and develop value systems (Hauser & Greene, 1991). With increasing autonomy, college students have possibilities for positive development and risk; values may be imperative in that differentiation. Furthermore, value systems are believed to play a major role in decision-making (Schwartz, 1992). Parents are influential in values development (Simpson, 2001; Steinberg & Sheffield Morris, 2001). During emerging adulthood, individuals have opportunities to notice discrepancies between their parents’ value system and society. Thus, emerging adults evaluate and choose personal values, which may or may not be similar to those of their parents, peers, or broader culture. Findings from this study indicate female caregivers’ parenting styles and closeness of the parent-child relationship have significant direct effects on the degree to which values are freely chosen. Specifically, Authoritarian parenting style (β = -.43 B = -1.70, p < .001), Authoritative parenting style (β = .12, B = .53, p < .001), and Emotional Support (β = .30, B = 6.80, p < .001) significantly predicted the degree to which values are intrinsically chosen. Only one significant relationship was found for male caregivers; there was a significant positive relationship between the authoritative parenting style and quality of the parent-child relationship (β = .64, B = .10, p < .001).
Currently, neuropsychologists rely on assessment instruments rooted in century old theory and technology to make evaluations of military personnel’s readiness to return-to-duty or return to their community. The present study sought to explore an alternative by evaluating the validity of a neuropsychological assessment presented within a virtual reality platform. The integration of a neuropsychological assessment into a cognitively and emotionally demanding virtual environment – reminiscent of a combat experience in Iraq – offers a more ecologically valid manner in which to evaluate the cognitive skills required in theater. U.S. military veterans’ (N = 50) performance on the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) was compared with performance on a paper-and-pencil, a computer adapted version of the Stroop task, and the subtests included in the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics-4 (ANAM4) TBI-MIL test battery. Results supported the validity of the VRST, indicating it demonstrates the typical Stroop effect pattern. The emotional salience of the VRST resulted in slowed reaction time compared to the ANAM Stroop. Further, the complex interference condition of the VRST offers opportunities for evaluation of exogenous and endogenous attentional processing. In the evaluation of threat, participants were noted to perform more accurately and more quickly in low threat versus high threat zones. Ancillary inquiries found no clinically meaningful findings regarding the role of deployment or post-concussive symptoms, and mixed findings regarding the effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms on neuropsychological performance among the three tested modalities.
Given the importance of client characteristics and preferences, and therapist expertise to evidence-based practice in psychology, the current study sought to contribute to the literature concerning the role of values in psychotherapy. Personal values of clients and trainee therapists in 29 dyads were examined for relationships between client and therapist values and associations with working alliance and outcomes. Although previous literature in this area has suggested that successful therapy is characterized by an increase in similarity of client and therapist values, the current study did not replicate this finding. However, client perceptions of therapist values were found to be important to working alliance and outcome. Findings are discussed in terms of suggestions for future research as well as implications for clinical practice, including the importance of discussing expectations and preferences with clients.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5) presents an alternate model for personality disorders, blending categorical and dimensional assessment into a hybrid diagnostic procedure. Released concurrently, the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 (PID 5) measures the five domains and 25 facets that comprise the trait components of this hybrid model. However, the PID 5 currently lacks validity indicators to capture intentionally distorted responding. The current study investigated the susceptibility of the PID 5 to defensiveness and feigning among a large sample of undergraduate students. First, a detailed desirability analysis (N = 465) was conducted of the PID 5 items and response options. Responses from the study were used to create three desirability based validity scales. Next, in a between-subjects simulation design (N = 128), the effects of faking were explored at domain and facet levels. As a result, two symptom based validity scales were created. In a separate validation sample (N = 134), the five newly created validity scales were compared with the Paulhus Deception Scales for capturing both defensiveness and feigning. All five scales were evaluated for ruling out faking (i.e., identifying likely genuine respondents) and ruling in either defensiveness or feigning. In most areas, the symptom based scales were more successful than the desirability based scales, though all scales had difficulty identifying defensiveness. These initial results offer fertile ground for additional testing and development of PID 5 validity scales.
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences.
The burden of depression requires modalities other than individual psychotherapy if we are to reduce it. Over the past two decades preventative programs for depression have been developed and refined for different populations. The six years since the last meta-analysis of preventative interventions—inclusive of all program types—have seen a number of new studies. The current study used the greater statistical power provided by these new studies to analyze moderators of, and sub-group differences in, the effect of these interventions on depression. Moreover, this meta-analysis synthesized effect sizes for outcomes other than, but often related to, depression (e.g., anxiety) and for within-group change scores with the goal of better informing program implementation and evaluation. Twenty-nine studies met inclusion criteria and indicated that small, robust effects exist for reductions in depression diagnoses and symptomatology. Significant effects were also observed for anxiety, general health, and social functioning.
Psychopaths have long been characterized as having a remarkable disregard for the truth, to the extent that deceit is often regarded as a defining characteristic of the syndrome. Scholars described heightened concerns about how psychopaths’ deceitful and manipulative nature could significantly obstruct evaluations of psychopathy. The accurate evaluation of psychopathy is very important in forensic and correctional settings, and in such issues as risk assessment or dangerousness. Although the PCL-R is considered the quasi-gold standard when it comes to evaluating psychopathy, self-report measures have become more widely available and researched. Very few studies specifically evaluated response styles and self-report psychopathy measures despite the significant concerns regarding psychopathy and deception. The current study evaluated the ability of inmates with different levels of psychopathy to successfully engage in positive impression management on the SRP-4, LSRP, and PPI-R. Utilizing a repeated-measures, within-subjects design, 78 male inmates completed the study under genuine and simulation conditions. Overall, inmates were able to significantly lower their scores on all three self-report measures and achieved scores equivalent to and even lower than college and community samples. Inmates with higher levels of psychopathy were able to achieve larger decreases in scores on the PPI-R and on several scales for each measure. Another key finding was the identification of promising PPI-R Virtuous Responding Scale cut scores that can be utilized within forensic populations. Results indicate self-report measures should not be used to replace the PCL-R or comprehensive assessment of psychopathy in forensic evaluations; however, they do provide additional useful information and may be beneficial in other clinical settings.
The objectives of this study were to mathematically model the quality of college life (QCL) concept and to study the associations between attachment style, emotion regulation abilities, psychological needs fulfillment and QCL via structural equation modeling. Data was collected from 507 undergraduate students (men = 178, women = 329; age M = 21.78 years, SD = 4.37). This data was used to provide evidence for the validity of the College Adjustment Scales (CAS) as a measure of quality of college life. The CAS demonstrated good convergent validity with the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL), Subjective Well-being and Psychological Well-being Scales. Results: Students who were insecurely attached were as likely to feel adequate in their academic and professional endeavors as securely attached students. However, insecurely attached students had lower QCL levels, lower fulfillment of psychological needs and more emotion regulation difficulties than securely attached students. The results also indicated that Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment were positively and strongly associated. Nonetheless, Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment affected QCL through different mechanism. Emotion regulation mediated the path between Anxious Attachment and QCL while the fulfillment of psychological needs mediated the path between Avoidant Attachment and QCL. The fulfillment of psychological needs also mediated the path between emotion regulation and QCL. The described pattern of results was found for three separate models representing 1) the student’s attachment with their romantic partner, 2) best friend and 3) mother. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest a change in primary attachment figure during the college years. Emotion regulation, the fulfillment of psychological needs and QCL were all affected more strongly by the student’s attachment style with their romantic partner and best friend compared to their attachment style with their parents.
While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self and psychological health, are discussed.
Researchers have previously identified substance use and borderline personality disorder as factors that increase risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This study explored the relationship between these factors in samples of students and individuals seeking outpatient treatment. Supplemental data collected via the internet (MTurk) also looked at experiential avoidance (EA) with the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth. The Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Scale for Suicide Ideation, and Personality Assessment Inventory- Borderline Features Scale elicited information regarding severity and/or frequency of substance use, suicidal thoughts, and borderline features respectively. Additionally, the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire was administered to the UNT sample. The UNT sample analyses indicate substance use moderates, strengthening, the relationship between borderline features and current suicidal thoughts. However, severity of suicidal thoughts was lower for individuals high in both borderline features and substance use disorder symptoms compared to those low in borderline features and high in substance use symptoms. The MTurk sample analyses suggest substance use functions as a mediator. A robust relationship existed between substance use severity and EA, showing substance use as a behavioral marker for EA. In conclusion, concurrent treatment of substance use and borderline personality features would be beneficial in reducing risk for suicidal thoughts. Further investigation into the role and utility of addressing EA is warranted.
Religion and spirituality are vital aspects of many people’s lives both in the United States and across the globe. Although many constructs and measures exist to describe and assess the experience of pursuing the sacred, the complexity of religious and spiritual experience leads to mixed results in relation to well-being and psychopathological traits. However, in broad terms, the relationship appears positive. Over the past 30 years the need for more refined and useful approaches to the study of religious and spiritual behavior has been repeatedly acknowledged. Although authors wisely caution development of further measures without due cause, extant constructs and measures do not provide clear and consistent results for understanding the influence of one’s relationships to religion and spirituality upon behaviors of clinical interest. The present project drew from the functional contextual concept of psychological flexibility, which provides clarity to understanding the encouragement and maintenance of psychological well-being. A new construct of religious and psychological flexibility is explicated as a functional approach to understanding religious and spiritual behavior in a manner that is useful in research and clinical settings alike. The development and evaluation of the Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility (MRSF) is described. The MRSF evidenced adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis results were positive, but indicate further refinement. Analyses suggested good construct validity of the MRSF in relation to psychological well-being and psychopathology; construct validity in relation to extant constructs in the psychology of religion was varied. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists.
The present study explored the possibility of applying Koppitz's developmental scoring techniques of mental maturity to retarded adults. The following hypotheses were tested: 1) that there is a significant correlation between the Koppitz HFD Test scores and the WAIS Full Scale scores; 2) that the correlation between the Koppitz HFD Test scores and the WAIS Performance Scale scores is also significant. Statistical computations did confirm the latter hypothesis but not the former one.
This study investigated whether a salicylate-restricted diet (eliminating foods containing artificial additives and natural salicylates) could effectively reduce hyperactivity in children more so than a diet not restricting salicylates (ostensibly restricting foods containing refined sugar). Ten hyperactive children, nine boys and one girl, were matched on their pre-treatment activity rates and assigned to either a salicylate-restricted diet (Group I) or a diet not restricting salicylates (Group II). After approximately nine weeks, post-treatment activity rates were obtained, and a significant difference in favor of the salicylate-restricted diet group was found with this diet group exhibiting a significantly lower mean post-treatment activity rate in comparison to the group placed on a diet not restricting salicylates (p<.05). Implications for diagnosis and treatment of hyperactivity in children were discussed.
An avoidance response was conditioned to three stimuli presented in serial order. Following conditioning, each group of subjects received a different treatment procedure. The group I procedure involved distributed CS trials, contingent, non-anxious CS terminations, and individualized treatment durations. Group 2 subjects received massed CS trials, non-contingent CS terminations, and non-individualized treatment durations. Group 3 subjects experienced distributed CS trials, contingent non-anxious CS terminations, and non-individualized treatment durations. Individual izing treatment duration (termination contingent upon operational ized measure of anxiety dissipation) was found to significantly hasten the extinction of avoidance responses. Implications for the effective practice of implosive therapy were discussed. Yoked control methods were criticized for confounding the variable of individualization of the yoked variable.
This study was undertaken to determine whether the Mini-Mult is able to function as well as the MMPI for a limited clinical purpose, the discrimination of psychosis and neurosis by Goldberg's rule. The smaller size of the Mini-Mult (71 items) allows conservation of time .and energy by subjects and professionals. Thirty male residents of the Austin State Hospital completed two standard MMPIs and one oral Mini-Mult. A fourth set of scores was obtained by extracting Mini-Mult from the first MMPI. Correlations and tests of significance were computed for raw scores and Goldberg's index scores. Results indicate no significant differences in the discrimination of psychosis and neurosis between the MMPI and the Mini-Mult.
To assess psychologically unhealthy Protestant beliefs a Religious Sentence Completion Inventory (RSCI), and scoring Manual, were developed from a pilot study. In the main study 103 undergraduate students were subjects. Interscorer reliability for the RSCI was .83. Results revealed significant positive correlations between the RSCI, and maladjustment validity criteria: a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) total weighted score; and MPI clinical scales 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8; but not validity scale F; for females. Only MMPI scale 6 correlated with the RSCI for males. These data appear to partially support the proposition that whether Protestant beliefs hinder or do not hinder mental health depends upon the particular kind of beliefs a Protestant holds.
This study compared women with a highly positive interest in becoming mothers with women having little interest in having children,with respect to biographical data, childrearing attitudes, and personality characteristics. One hundred twenty-one undergraduate college women were administered a biographical questionnaire, the Parental Attitude Research Instrument, the Adjective Check List, and an attitude index designed to assess level of interest in having children. A statistical analysis revealed the remarkable similarity of the two groups of women, as the groups differed significantly in only two areas. Women with little interest in having children scored higher on the subscale Ascendancy of the Mother, and the women also differed in their view of the ideal situation for an adult woman.
The purpose of this research study was to compare the treatment effects of relaxation therapy and the tranquilizing agent Chlordiazepoxide (Librium). The subjects were 37 hospitalized alcoholics who had been identified as anxious. Elevations of scales two and seven of the MMPI was used as a criterion of anxiety. Thirteen subjects were given Librium, 12 were given a placebo, 12 were given nine sessions of relaxation therapy. Although the results did not indicate significant differences among the three groups, the relaxation group showed the least amount of anxiety at post-testing. It was concluded that relaxation therapy was equal to drug therapy in effectiveness and thus more desirable due to the lack of undesirable side effects. Suggestions for further research were given.
The remedial effects of specific techniques outlined by the Frostig Developmental Test of Visual Perception were studied in two groups of children diagnosed as dyslexic: a treatment group of thirty, and a control group of thirty who were not available for immediate treatment. Initial testing indicated that all children utilized in the study were dyslexic, and after a treatment period of three months, post-testing was administered to both groups.
The present study examined the effect of first-list stimulus context (color versus no color) and two degrees of first-list learning (twenty trials versus five trials) on cue selection and transfer of training. College students learned two paired-associate lists consisting of highly similar trigrams as the stimulus terms and nouns as the response terms. The second list consisted of twelve items presented on homogeneous white backgrounds for eighteen trials. Four secondlist items represented each of three transfer paradigms--A -B,A-B; A-B,A-C; and A-BC-D. It was concluded that color context draws attention to the color-backed items during the early stages of learning but is not selected for encoding until the later stages of learning.
This study attempted to reduce three response classes in the verbal behavior of a forty-three-year-old female graduate student. Consequences were placed on interruptions, illogical statements, and total time talking. Specifically, a response rate was taken on the three response classes, and contingent money withdrawal for exceeding defined limits was used as punishment. The treatment was generally effective in reducing interruptions, illogical statements, and total time talking to one half the baseline level, but the follow-up phase suggests that some form of maintainance procedure would be needed to maintain the rate at the lower level.
In order to test Eysenck's hypothesis that introverts would condition faster than extroverts, twenty undergraduates were given muscle tensing and muscle relaxing trials using a feedback myograph to obtain electrical activity levels of the frontalis muscle. The subjects were divided into two groups of ten each. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was used to select ten students classified as introverts and ten classified as extroverts. .Both groups were given forty thirty-second trials to learn muscle relaxing and tensing. Analysis of covariance indicated a significant within trials effect for both the relaxation and tensing trials. No significant differences were found, however, between the introverts and the extroverts in either the muscle relaxing or muscle tensing training.
An investigation of concurrent validity of the Non-ah Speech Disturbance Ratio (Non-ah SDR) with the State Form of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Twenty male college students talked on an anxiety-arousing topic before female audiences who rated observed anxiety. Each subject completed the State and Trait Forms of the STAI. Reliabilities were, by the Intraclass correlation for Raters on Day 1, .63 (p<.01) and Day 2, .20 (p<.05). Pearson's r for scorers was .98 (p<.01). The Non-ah SDR and all other measures of anxiety correlated. A partial correlation test found the naive ratings significantly determined by manifest speech disturbance, as measured by the Non-ah SDR. Certain categories of speech disturbance were only infrequently utilized and added little to the measure as a whole.
The present study was designed to determine the effect of skin-temperature-biofeedback training on cellular proliferation in three psoriasis patients. It was hypothesized that (a) psoriasis patients would be able to consciously decrease skin temperature of psoriatic tissue, and (b) there would be a positive correlation between rate of cellular proliferation and temperature change. Results obtained indicated biofeedback training to be effective in decreasing the surface temperature of psoriatic tissue. A 2 X 7 analysis of variance for two repeated measures indicated the change in skin temperatures as a function of sample period to be significant, F (6,26) = 3.29, p < .02. Generalization of temperature-training effects from the biofeedback to the no-feedback condition were observed. Rate of proliferation decreased from pretraining to posttraining biopsies.
This study hypothesized that paranoid schizophrenia and schizo-affective, depressed type schizophrenia could be differentiated by the Internalizer-Externalizer, Regulated- Flexible, and Role Uniform-Role Adaptable dimensions of the Personality Assessment System. The Personality Assessment System methodology utilizes the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale to measure these dimensions. All hypotheses were statistically confirmed. The difficulty of applying the Personality Assessment System to psychopathological regressive states is cited. Recommendations include utilizing the Personality Assessment System with other groups in the institutional setting and within diagnostic categories.
Anxiety levels of partially sighted were compared with totally blind people. Using the Anxiety Scale for the Blind, the primary hypothesis tested was that the partially sighted would manifest more anxiety than would the totally blind. The study was designed to ascertain whether the primary hypothesis would hold within the structure of this study, and to obtain information useful in future anxiety studies of the visually handicapped. A residential center for the blind furnished subjects, facilities, and biographical data. The primary hypothesis lacked statistical significance at the .05 level as did comparisons of anxiety levels by age, sex, economic need, and age at onset. The use of a different instrument may be indicated for future studies.
To investigate the efficacy of a cognitive approach applied to problems of motivation, anxiety, and test-wiseness in a group test situation, programmed texts were used to Condition a repertoire of verbal responses relevant to each of these problems. Five sixth grade classes composed of 118 Students total were administered Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Tests in a pretest-posttest design. For the five groups, ANCOVA demonstrated a significant effect on raw scores, but not on IQ. Significant IQ and raw score gains were found for the combination group over the control group. Due to treatment lower IQ level students of the combination group made greater raw score gains than upper IQ level students.
An experiment was conducted to study the role of "positive expectancy" when utilizing anxiety-relief conditioning. Fourteen male and female undergraduate psychology students were selected as subjects (Ss), based on pre-test scores obtained on the "Snake Intimacy Test" (SIT). Ss were matched according to pre-SIT scores and randomly assigned to the "positive expectancy" or "no expectancy" groups. Anxiety relief conditioning was administered without variation. Only the rationale given each group describing what was transpiring was different. The statistical results revealed significant improvement by both groups. Also, the "positive expectancy" group improved significantly over the "no expectancy" group. Therefore, "positive expectancy" is apparently a sufficient, but not necessary, variable of anxiety-relief conditioning.
Internal-external locus of control was studied in relationship to the religious phenomena "glossolalia." Contrary to the main hypothesis formulated, glossolalics were found significantly more internal in locus of control than non-tongues speakers. Intercorrelations were studied between the variables of I-E, age, length of church membership, income level, educational level, and perceived control by God, for tongue-speaker and non-tongue-speaker groups. Chisquare comparisons were made between the groups on educational level, income level, and perceived control by God, with significant differences being found in educational level. Additional analysis was made between I-E and the variables of educational levels, income levels, and perceived control by God. Historical and current interpretations of the personality of glossolalics are challenged. The construct validity of the Rotter scale for use with religious populations is challenged.
The primary concern in today's educational system is the rate of progress students achieve in the classroom. Research has shown token reinforcement programs to be an effective method of increasing rate of work in the classroom; however, token economies are time consuming and do not meet the needs of all classroom situations. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of the use of free time as a reinforcer in increasing rate of speed in working arithmetic problems and peer acceptance (how well an individual is accepted by his peers). The data indicated that free time as a positive reinforcer did increase the rate of speed in working arithmetic problems correctly; however, it did not affect peer acceptance.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether and to what extent free association following exposure to written material would affect the memory of that material, and whether the effect upon memory would vary with age of the subject. A test of learning (immediate retention) resulted in a significant difference in performance between young and old women--the older learning less. Free association was not found to be significant as a mnemonic aid to either age group, and was compared with characteristics of other more common mnemonics. Suggestions for additional research are discussed.
The Purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of the repression-sensitization dimension and leisure preferences, specifically threatening versus nonthreatening physical activity and television program preferences. The hypotheses were that sensitizers would prefer threatening (violent) television programs and threatening (competitive) physical activities to a significantly greater degree than repressors. Sixty college undergraduates were designated repressors, sensitizers, or middle group by their scores on Byrne's Repression-Sensitization Scale. Preference sheets determined subjects' preferences for threatening and nonthreatening television programs and physical activities. Simple analyses of variance revealed no significant differences in repressors', sensitizers', or middle group's preferences for threatening television programs or physical activities, and thus the hypotheses were rejected. Non-significant tendencies in the data, in hypothesized directions, suggest further research.
This study was an investigation of the relationship between the self-concepts of hearing-impaired children and the self-concepts of normal hearing children. Sixty-four hearing-impaired children and nineteen normal hearing children were given the Primary Self- Concept Inventory, the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, and were rated by a teacher using the Bristol Social Adjustment Guide. The differences between means were analyzed and tested for significance. It was concluded that there is no difference between the self concept of the hearing-impaired child and the self-concept of the normal hearing child. It was further concluded that the instruments currently available for measuring self-concept are poor and inadequate. Further research on the self-concept of the hearing impaired child was recommended.
This study investigated the value of headache presence during elecromyographic (EMG) feedback relaxation training and the contribution made by home relaxation practice in the elimination of tension headache. Eighteen participants, mainly coeds in their twenties, recorded headache and medication data for two baseline weeks, and were assigned to one of three training groups. Group A received EMG feedback training with headache presence during the session and home relaxation practice. Group B received EMG feedback without headache Presence and home practice. Group C received only home relaxation practice. Statistically significant treatment differences were not found, but declining trends of headache activity and medication use tend to support the efficacy of EMG training with headache presence.
This study attempted to clarify the relationship between visuo-spatial abilities and reading achievement at the first and fifth grades. Groups of good and poor readers were selected at each grade level on the basis of student's scores on the Wide Range Achievement Test in Reading. All subjects had obtained an I.Q. score of ninety or better. The sample was composed of twenty-one females and twenty-seven males. Four tests from the Reitan-Indiana Neuropsychological Battery were given to assess visuo-spatial ability. It was hypothesized that visuo-spatial abilities are related positively to reading achievement and that this relationship is approximately equal at the two grade levels. Statistical analyses of results gave partial support to the first hypothesis.
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