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An Exploratory Mixed Method Study of Gender and Sexual Minority Health in Dallas: A Needs Assessment
Gender and sexual minorities (GSM) experience considerably worse health outcomes than heterosexual and cisgender people, yet no comprehensive understanding of GSM health exists due to a dearth of research. GSM leaders in Dallas expressed need for a community needs assessment of GSM health. In response to this call, the Center for Psychosocial Health Research conducted a needs assessment of gender and sexual minority health in Dallas (35 interviews, 6 focus groups). Competency was one area highlighted and shared across existing research. Thus, the current study explored how competency impacts gender and sexual minorities' experience of health care in Dallas. We utilized a consensual qualitative research approach to analyze competency-related contents. The meaning and implications of emerging core ideas were explored. These findings were also used to develop a survey instrument.
Humility and Attachment Style in Adult Romantic Relationships
The goal of this study was to investigate the relationship between adult attachment style, humility, and relationship satisfaction in college student couples. Attachment style--given its significant role in predicting how individuals feel, think, and behave in relationships--was expected to be an important predictor of humility, although this possibility has rarely been studied empirically. The current study found that: (a) attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance were significant, negative predictors of total humility, (b) attachment anxiety (but not attachment avoidance) was a significant, negative predictor of both intrapersonal and interpersonal humility, (c) a romantic partner's attachment avoidance (but not attachment anxiety) was a significant, negative predictor of a target person's relationship satisfaction, and (d) a romantic partner's perceived level of humility was a significant, positive predictor of a target person's relationship satisfaction.
Keep Calm and Play On: The Effects of Grit, Mindfulness, and Goal Orientation on Sport Anxiety and Performance
Achievement motivation theory suggests there are two primary approaches to achievement tasks: to appear competent or to develop a skill. These two different approaches to performance yield different affective and behavioral responses. Athletes holding a performance goal orientation tend to respond to challenges with behaviors exemplifying learned helplessness and increased anxiety. Athletes holding a mastery goal orientation tend to respond to challenges with greater effort and experience less sport-related anxiety. Individual athlete factors, such as grit, mindfulness, and achievement orientation may influence how athletes experience their environment and their levels of sport anxiety, and may interact with athletes' achievement motives to influence performance. I used hierarchical multiple regressions to test the main effects of feedback and mindfulness, and feedback and goal orientation, to determine if either mindfulness or goal orientation moderated the effects of feedback on performance. I also used simple regression to determine the relative predictive strength of mindfulness, grit, and goal orientation on athletes' experience of sport anxiety. Mindfulness, but not goal orientation, was a significant moderator of the feedback-shooting performance relationship, but particularly for athletes low in mindfulness; mastery-goal orientation, independently of feedback, was also a significant predictor of task performance. Mindfulness also emerged as the strongest predictor of reduced sport anxiety. These results suggest that, for athletes low in mindfulness, mastery-involving feedback may be especially helpful. Further, mindfulness may also reduce athlete's sport-related concentration disruption, worry, and somatic anxiety.
Physical Activity and Relationship Functioning: Mediation Roles of Sexual Satisfaction and Self-Esteem
Little research has examined the role of physical activity in relationship functioning. Utilizing two heterosexual subsamples of 618 females and 155 males, results indicated that physical activity was positively correlated with sexual satisfaction and self-esteem for the female subsample, but was not significant for the male subsample. For both subsamples, although physical activity was not a significant unique predictor of relationship functioning in regression analyses, sexual satisfaction and self-esteem each significantly contributed the variance relationship functioning. The findings of this study increase our knowledge of mechanisms that impact sexual satisfaction, self-esteem, and physical activity among women, which in turn can potentially guide treatment planning and interventions.
Self-Weighing: Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Relations to Retired Female Athletes' Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors
Elite and collegiate athletes are subpopulations at increased risk for the development of disordered eating and pathogenic weight management strategies; such risks may extend beyond sport participation into sport retirement. As athletes self-weigh, whether during their time in competitive sport or in retirement, it would be expected that they also experience increases in body dissatisfaction and psychosocial distress. Results suggest both a longitudinal impact, as well as continued cross-sectional relationships between SW and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, former SW (at Time 1) is related to their levels of body satisfaction in relation to the Body factor and the Overall Body at Time 2. Particularly, athletes who weighed themselves 7+ more times a week reported significantly higher levels of body dissatisfaction on the Overall Body factor and the Body factor than retired athletes who did not self-weigh, all other groups did not differ significantly from each other. Cross-sectional relations were found between current (Time 2) SW and Body Satisfaction (Overall Body, and Body factors), Dietary Restraint, and Bulimic Symptomatology. In all cases, those who engaged in SW 7+ times per week had significantly higher scores than all other groups.
A Cross-Cultural Study of Adult Attachment, Social Self-Efficacy, Familismo, and Psychological Wellbeing
Although Latinos are the largest minority group in the country, research examining how different psychological and cultural variables affect Latino individuals' wellbeing is disproportionately developed and cross-cultural comparison studies are particularly scarce. To address these issues, this dissertation research examined cross-cultural adult attachment-social self-efficacy-psychosocial wellbeing conceptual mediational model while investigating the moderator effects of country membership and familismo on the proposed mediational model using a cross-cultural sample of Mexican and Mexican-American university students. A total of 595 participants, including 360 Mexican students from Mexico and 235 Mexican-American students from the United States completed the research questionnaires. Results indicated that social self-efficacy was a significant mediator for the effects of insecure attachment on life satisfaction and conflict resolution in both cultural groups and for the links between attachment insecurity and depressive symptoms in the Mexican-American group. Additionally, moderated mediation analyses showed that country membership was a significant moderator for the links between attachment avoidance and social self-efficacy when life satisfaction, conflict resolution style, and depressive symptoms were the dependent variables, as well as for the direct link between attachment anxiety and physical health symptoms. Familismo was also found to be a significant moderator for the direct effects of attachment anxiety on physical health symptoms and life satisfaction in both groups. Findings are discussed from the attachment and cross-cultural perspectives. Counseling implications, limitations, and future research directions are offered.
Meaning in Life and Psychological Wellness among Latino Immigrants: Role of Attachment, Belongingness, and Hope
Guided by attachment theory and principles of positive psychology, a conceptual model was developed depicting the direct and indirect effects of attachment insecurity, state hope, belongingness, and meaning in life on wellness indicators (i.e., life satisfaction, physical health, and depression) of first generation Latino immigrants in the U.S. Specifically, the present study proposed that the effects of attachment insecurity on Latino immigrants' wellness would be mediated by two tiers of factors. The first tier consisted of state hope (i.e., general state hope, spiritual state hope, mastery state hope) and sense of belonging (i.e., general belongingness; connectedness with mainstream/ethnic community), which represented individual-level and relational factors, respectively, salient in Latino culture. Greater attachment insecurity was hypothesized to contribute to a compromised MIL and poorer wellness by decreasing state hope and sense of belongingness. A total of 352 first-generation Latino immigrants from Texas participated in this study. The exploratory factor analysis on the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale revealed a two-factor factor structure that is different from the two factors of adult attachment typically found with American samples (i.e., anxiety and avoidance). The emerged two factors represent anxious-distancing attachment and comfort-seeking attachment. Results from structural equation modeling analysis showed adequate model fit with the data. The final model indicated that the effects of comfort-seeking attachment on wellness were fully mediated by two layers of mediators (belongingness and state hope as the first layer and meaning in life as the second layer). In addition, the effect of anxious-distancing attachment on wellness was fully mediated by belongingness and meaning in life but not through state hope. Bootstrap methods were used to assess the significance magnitude of these indirect effects. Comfort-seeking attachment explained 13% of the variance in state hope and both attachment variables explained 36% of the variance in sense of belongingness. Anxious-distancing attachment, ...
Psychosocial Predictors of Eating Disorder Classification: Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Analyses
There is growing concern for eating pathology and body dissatisfaction in sports; particularly, in sports that emphasize a lean body type. In 325 female collegiate swimmers/divers and gymnasts, we examined psychosocial well-being (i.e., perception of weight pressures, levels of internalization, body satisfaction, dietary intent, negative affect) at the beginning and end of an athletic season and predict their eating disorder classification at the end of their athletic season. Logistic regressions revealed that a model containing all 14 predictors at the beginning and end of an athletic season significantly predicted eating disorder classification at the end of an athletic season. Specifically, in the longitudinal logistic regression, with every one unit of increase on a measure of the pressure felt within the sport environment regarding their weight and every unit increase on a measure of their intentions to diet, respectively, the female athletes were 49% and 89% more likely to be classified in the subclinical/clinical group at the end of their sport season. Surprisingly, with every one unit of increase on a measure of sociocultural pressure to exercise, female athletes were 43% less likely to be classified in the subclinical/clinical group six months later. The cross-sectional logistic regression found that only dietary restraint was significant. Specifically, with every one unit of increase on a measure of their intentions to diet the female athletes were 3.6 times more likely to be classified in the subclinical/clinical group at the end of their sport season. The implications of this study may emphasize the importance of body healthy sport systems to reduce sport specific pressures and dieting among female collegiate athletes. Limitations of this study include self-report measures and longitudinal timeframe was only across one athletic season.
Family and Cultural Influences on Latino Career Development and Academic Success
There is an extensive amount of research on academic success and career development, but most of the literature has focused on the process of White participants. While some of the studies have examined samples from ethnic minority populations, the majority of studies use these populations as comparison groups, studying between-group differences as opposed to within-group differences. The literature is especially lacking in the area Latino academic success and career development. The current study examined how family and culture, specifically socioeconomic status, acculturation, and the quality of the parent-emerging adult relationship, influence the academic success and career development of Latino emerging adults. Eighty-three Latino undergraduate students ages 18 – 24 were recruited for participation in this study. Results indicated that valuing the role of work (career salience) significantly predicted the maturity and positivity of attitudes toward work (career maturity) in Latino emerging adults. Additionally, while family demographic and cultural variables did not seem to have a significant impact on academic success and career development, first-generation college student status, career salience, and conflict in the parent-emerging adult relationship lent some insight into the variation of levels of career maturity in a Latino sample. Furthermore, first-generation student status also impacted the relationship between career maturity and GPA.
Eating Disorder Diagnosis and the Female Athlete: From College Sport to Retirement
Female athletes have been established as a high-risk group for disordered eating due to the high prevalence rates of clinical (i.e., 1.9% to 19.9%) and subclinical eating disorders (i.e., 7.1% to 49.2%). To date, only a few studies have examined the long-term stability of eating disorders in collegiate female athletes, a design that will allow examination of change in prevalence rates over time. Additionally, researchers have attempted to identify psychosocial risk factors in the development of disordered eating, but short time frames (e.g., competitive season, one year) during which data was collected have limited their findings. The current study investigated the progression in prevalence of eating disorder classification (i.e., eating disordered [ED], subclinical ED, asymptomatic), pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g., laxative use, vomiting), and the predictive ability of psychosocial risk factors (e.g., body dissatisfaction, negative affect) from the time in which female athletes were active collegiate competitors (Time 1) to a time six years later, in which the women were retired (Time 2). By Time 2, the women were categorized as asymptomatic (69.9%), subclinical ED (26.9%), and clinical ED (3.1%). The prevalence of those who were disordered (i.e., either subclinical or clinical ED) increased from 22.8% (Time 1) to 30.1% (Time 2). The athletes, both as active competitors and retired, reported using exercise and dieting/fasting as the most frequent forms of weight control, but to a much lesser degree when retired. The full model explained 14.9% to 21.1% of the variance in disordered eating categories, and correctly classified 73.6% of the athletes in the sample. Dietary intent and sadness significantly predicted their being classified in the disordered eating group. Early intervention efforts that address eating, body image concerns, proper nutrition, and how to eat healthfully when athletes are competing are important and may help to alleviate future distress. Additional clinical ...
Attachment, Coping, and Psychiatric Symptoms among Military Veterans and Active Duty Personnel: A Path Analysis Study
The purpose of this study was to examine the role of attachment processes and coping strategies in the development of psychiatric symptoms among military veterans and active duty personnel. Data were obtained from 268 male and female military veterans and active duty personnel. A path analysis was conducted to estimate the relationships between attachment processes, coping strategies, and psychiatric symptoms. Findings demonstrated that greater levels of attachment anxiety were related to increased levels of avoidant coping and psychiatric symptoms, while higher levels of attachment avoidance were related to avoidant coping and PTSD symptoms, as well as decreased levels of problem-focused coping. Alcohol use was associated with psychiatric symptoms. Avoidant coping, but not problem-focused coping, was associated with psychiatric symptoms and partially mediated the relationship between anxious attachment and psychiatric symptoms. Avoidant coping also fully or partially mediated the relationships of avoidant attachment to depression and PTSD symptoms. The findings of this study increase our knowledge of mechanisms that contribute to psychiatric symptoms among military populations, which in turn can guide treatment planning and interventions.
The Effects of Multicultural Discussions and Supervisory Working Alliance on Multicultural Counseling Competence
This study examined the influence of multicultural training, multicultural discussions in supervision, and the supervisory working alliance on multicultural counseling competence. The sample consisted of 57 doctoral counseling interns, doctoral graduate students and post-doctoral students in counseling and clinical psychology. Participants completed several instruments including a demographic questionnaire, the Supervisory Working Alliance Inventory - Trainee, and the Multicultural Counseling Inventory. They filled out two questionnaires created for this study, one assessing multicultural discussions in supervision and another quantifying their multicultural training experience. Data analyses included multiple hierarchical regression, utilizing the Hayes PROCESS macro. Multicultural discussions in supervision moderated the relationship between the supervisory working alliance and multicultural counseling competence, but did not significantly moderate the relationship between multicultural training and multicultural counseling competence. Findings suggest that when multicultural discussions in supervision are positive, they significantly increases the strength of the relationship between good supervisory working alliance and multicultural counseling competence in psychology trainees. The findings may inform supervision practices and improve multicultural counseling competence in psychology graduate student trainees.
Return to Sport: Improving Athletes' Confidence and Mindset Post-ACL Surgery
This study explored the impact of three psychological interventions over seven weeks - goal setting (GS), GS and imagery (IM), and GS and mindful self-compassion (MSC) - on 20 athletes' (Mage = 16.75 years) pain, cognitive appraisal, depression reinjury anxiety, psychological readiness to return to sport, and range of motion (ROM). IM and GS interventions have demonstrated initial effectiveness; however, no study has examined MSC in relation to post-ACL recovery. All athletes experienced significant decrease in pain (F(2) = 97.30, p = .000) from Week 1 to Week 7 and a significant increase in ROM from Week 2 to Week 7 (F(1) = 77.93, p = .000). All athletes experienced significantly higher depression at Week 1 compared to both Week 2 and Week 7 (F(2) = 9.01, p = .001), and significantly higher difficulty coping with their injury at Weeks 1 and 2 compared to Week 7 (F(2) = 6.32, p = .005). There were no statistically significant effects found between the intervention groups at Weeks 1, 2, and 7. However there were moderate effect sizes between interventions which suggest MSC and IM could help athletes cope with their injury during the first few weeks after surgery, and GS may contribute towards less depression at seven weeks post-surgery. Limitations include small sample size, low power, and use of self-report measures. Results have implications for orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and health professionals working with athletes recovering from serious sport injury.
A Systemic Model for Family Functioning: Mutual Influences of Spousal Attachment, Marital Adjustment, and Coparenting
The current study examined direct and indirect influences of romantic attachment processes, marital adjustment, and the coparenting relationship on family functioning. Data was collected from a community sample of 86 heterosexual couples with a child aged eight to eleven living in the home. Both spouses completed a demographic questionnaire, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, the Coparenting Scale, and the Self-Report Family Inventory as part of a larger study on family processes in middle childhood. Data analysis included multilevel modeling, utilizing the actor-partner interdependence model. Results indicated that marital adjustment mediated the association between attachment processes and family functioning, suggesting that a healthy marital relationship is an important variable that helps explain links between attachment security and the family functioning. Findings also highlighted the benefit of conceptualizing adult romantic attachment, marital, and coparental subsystems within a systemic framework.
Using Possible Selves to Examine the Impact of Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness on the Career Development of College Students with Hidden Disability
The purpose of the study was to examine the impact of internalized stigma of mental illness on the career development of college students with hidden disabilities. The availability of research investigating career variables within this population is limited and is primarily focused within the vocational rehabilitation arena. Therefore, one of the goals of the current study was to link separate bodies of literature on college students with disabilities, career development, and internalized stigma of mental illness. The second goal was to examine the interaction of internalized stigma of mental illness between career decision self-efficacy and career exploration on the perceived likelihood of achieving hoped for occupational possible selves (OPS). The study included college students with hidden disabilities and investigated variables related to mental illness and career. Participants were administered a background information questionnaire, the Career Decision Self-Efficacy scale (CDSE-SF), selected subscales of the Career Exploration Survey (CES), and the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness scale (ISMI). Contrary to hypotheses, career decision making self-efficacy, career self-exploration, and internalized stigma of mental illness did not have a direct effect on the perceived likelihood of achieving hoped for OPS. However, career environment exploration did have a direct and positive association with perceived likelihood of achieving hoped for OPS. Results further indicated internalized stigma of mental illness did not moderate the effect of career decision self-efficacy and career exploration on the perceived likelihood of achieving one's hoped for occupational self. Study implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Neurocognitive Effects of Gist Reasoning Training in Student-Athletes with Concussions, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities
Concussions, attention-deficit disorder (ADHD), and learning disabilities can adversely impact learning and academic achievement, particularly with respect to attention, memory, and executive functioning; fortunately, cognitive training can be beneficial and remediating these weaknesses. One such program, strategic memory advanced reasoning training (SMART), utilizes a top-down approach to train individuals in executive, higher-ordered thinking strategies including strategic attention, integration, and innovation to facilitate information synthesis and enhance cognitive efficiency. Thus, the purpose of the study is to examine whether SMART improved performances on various neuropsychological measures tapping into attention, processing speed, memory, and executive functioning for college student-athletes with neurological conditions (e.g., concussions, ADHD, LD). Student-athletes were randomly assigned to the SMART program or a "wait-list" control group and were administered a neuropsychological battery at baseline, immediately following the intervention, and after a four-month delay. Results showed that participants benefited from SMART with respect to working memory immediately following the intervention after controlling for baseline scores. The benefits of working memory also persisted after four months. Additionally, SMART was beneficial for improving attention, but only after four months after the intervention. The findings of the current study were consistent with previous studies which showed positive effects of SMART on working memory with a variety of populations (e.g., children, adolescents, older adults, Veterans, brain-injured patients); however, the current study did not see improved performance on other aspects of executive functioning which contradict prior research. Statistical differences between the present study and prior research regarding SMART may be explained in methodology, participant characteristics, research setting, and/or limitations. Future studies may include combining cognitive training as the intervention and utilizing neuroimaging alongside cognitive training to examine the relationship between structural/functional change with neuropsychological performance.
Self-Enhancement Processes in Couples
Self-enhancement is a process by which individuals misperceive themselves by viewing themselves in a positively biased manner. Past research indicates that self-enhancement can have both positive and negative effects on romantic relationships. The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the role of self-enhancement in unmarried dating couples (N = 124 couples; 248 individuals) with respect to conflict, dyadic adjustment, causal and responsibility attributions, and possible moderators between self-enhancement and dyadic adjustment. The results are organized in four sections. First, I found a curvilinear relationship between participant self-enhancement and conflict. At very low and very high levels of self-enhancement there were increased levels of conflict. Second, participant self-enhancement was positively associated with positively associated with increased participant dyadic adjustment, but there was no relationship between participant self-enhancement and partner dyadic adjustment. Third, there was no relationship between participant self-enhancement and causal and responsibility attributions. Fourth, forgiveness and commitment did not moderate the relationship between self-enhancement and dyadic adjustment; however, there were main effects for both forgiveness and commitment - both forgiveness and commitment were positively associated with dyadic adjustment. I conclude by discussing limitations, areas of future research, and implications for counseling.
The Role of Cultural Self-Construal and Autonomy on Athlete Preference for Intervention
Self-construal (SC) refers to the way people perceive their identities in relation to self and others (Markus & Kitayama, 1991b). It has been found in the literature to influence thinking, decision-making, and preferences (e.g., Sung, Choi, & Tinkham, 2012) which suggests that a person's SC may affect her/his preference on psychological interventions. However, no empirical studies can be located that examined this relationship. The study examined the effects of independent SC, interdependent SC, general autonomy (GA), and sport autonomy (SA) on athletes' preferences and desire to use the interventions in the future, especially how these relations might vary as a function of the type of intervention. It was hypothesized that the relationship between each of the predictors and preference for and desire to use intervention would be moderated by the type of intervention received. Four hundred and thirty-one current and former athletes were recruited to participate in this study. Participants completed a questionnaire that measured SC, GA, and SA and were then randomly assigned to receive one of two self-talk interventions, representing either a self- or other-focused intervention. Participants were asked to rate their preference for and desire to use the given intervention in the future. Results found positive significant relationships with all predictors and intervention preference, in both self- and other-focused groups. Initial hierarchical multiple and logistic regression analyses did not support a significant moderation effect of intervention type on the relationships between the independent and dependent variables. However, a post-hoc analysis that conducted a hierarchical multiple regression with participants separated by gender found a significant moderation effect of intervention type on the relationship between independent SC and preference for intervention for females only. Additional post-hoc analyses were conducted to replicate Sung et al.'s (2012) analysis procedures in which the SC continuous variables were transformed into categorical ones, and ...
"Man Up!": Exploring Intersections of Sport Participation, Masculinity, Psychological Distress and Help-Seeking Attitudes
Contemporary masculinity research has focused on the ways in which socialized masculine ideologies influence, especially negatively, the lives of men. Adherence to traditional masculine norms has been inversely associated with psychological help-seeking yet positively related to psychological distress and substance use. Though sport has been conceptualized as an environment in which masculine ideologies (e.g., emphasis on competition) are learned and reinforced, few studies have quantitatively explored how, or if, masculinity differs in athletes and nonathletes. Using a sample of male collegiate athletes (n = 220) and nonathletes (n =205), this study explored: (a) differences in masculinity between athletes and nonathletes; (b) relations between masculinity and psychological/behavioral outcomes (e.g., depression, substance abuse) in athletes and nonathletes; and (c) the mediational role of self-stigma in the relation between masculinity and help-seeking in athletes and nonathletes. Athletes endorsed greater conformity to masculine norms (CMN) and experienced greater gender role conflict (GRC) than nonathlete peers. Masculinity variables also predicted depressive symptomology and alcohol use in both groups, though accounted for greater variance in nonathletes. Furthermore, self-stigma mediated the relationship between CMN and help-seeking intentions for both athlete and nonathlete men. Clinical implications of these findings and potential directions for future research are discussed. Using a sample of male collegiate athletes (n = 220) and nonathletes (n = 205), this study explored: (a) differences in masculinity between athletes and nonathletes; (b) relations between masculinity and psychological/behavioral outcomes (e.g., depression, substance abuse) in athletes and nonathletes; and (c) the mediational role of self-stigma in the relation between masculinity and help-seeking in athletes and nonathletes. Athletes endorsed greater conformity to masculine norms (CMN) and experienced greater gender role conflict (GRC) than nonathlete peers. Masculinity variables also predicted depressive symptomology and alcohol use in both groups, though accounted for greater variance in nonathletes. Furthermore, self-stigma mediated the relationship ...
Observed Parenting Aspects of Child Compliance in Custodial Grandfamilies
Custodial grandmothers and grandchild (aged 4 to 12) dyads (N = 170) completed self-report, other-report, and an observational task that captured child HI, expressive social support, and custodial grandmother-grandchild compliance variables. A multivariate analysis of covariance tested differences between high and low hyperactivity-inattention on observed parenting variables while controlling for child age. While overall results were not significant, there were significant differences between child age and observed parenting variables. A hierarchical regression model revealed that, when controlling for age, child hyperactivity-inattention does not moderate the relationship between commands given by a custodial grandmother and child compliance, but revealed that direct commands from the grandmother predicted compliance. A second hierarchical regression model suggested that encouragement and praise (versus criticism and discouragement) from a grandmother moderated the relationship between grandmother commands and child compliance, when controlling for child age. It appeared that when grandmothers gave indirect commands more frequently, encouragement and praise instead of criticism was associated with greater compliance. In dyads with frequent direct commands given, compliance was high, however dyads who scored high in direct commands with criticism and discouragement were most likely to comply. This study adds to the literature by providing insight into the challenges and strengths for this unique, growing population.
The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame
Disordered eating is a general term that describes a wide range of behaviors from diagnosable eating disorders to subclinical patterns of behavior that do not meet criteria for diagnosis (e.g., problematic weight loss behaviors, excessive dieting, bingeing, purging). Disordered eating is prevalent and has a wide range of physical and psychological consequences. Negative self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt have been implicated in the development and maintenance of disordered eating. Positive attitudes toward the self (i.e., self-forgiveness, self-compassion, self-acceptance) may be helpful in reducing shame, guilt, and disordered eating symptoms. In this dissertation, I explored the associations between positive attitudes toward the self, negative self-conscious emotions, and disordered eating in a sample of college students and adults (N = 477). Positive attitudes toward the self were associated with lower levels of disordered eating symptoms, and this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of negative self-conscious emotions. I concluded by discussing areas for future research and implications for clinical practice.
The Relationship Between Shame and Attachment Styles
Despite research documenting the association between shame and aspects of poor psychological functioning, shame's adverse effects have remained largely invisible in modern societies. Shame has been described as the "attachment emotion" (Lewis, 1980), yet, there is little research that examines the relationship between attachment style and shame, and conclusions from this research are tempered by methodological limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations with a quasi-experimental design and employed measures of state and trait shame, shame coping styles, an Emotional Stroop task for assessing implicit shame, and a shame mood induction procedure (MIP). This methodology provided a basis to examine differences by attachment style for 271 university students in state, trait, and implicit shame, as well as the use of maladaptive shame coping styles at baseline and following a shame MIP. Additionally, a qualitative analysis of the shame MIP written responses was conducted to provide a more nuanced understanding of the task used to elicit feelings of shame and individual differences in events identified as shame-triggering. Results revealed that students evidencing an insecure attachment style (i.e., preoccupied, fearful, or dismissive). reported significantly more state and trait shame compared to students evidencing a secure attachment style after the shame MIP. Individuals with an insecure attachment also demonstrated significant increases in state shame from baseline to post-MIP. Additionally, students with a preoccupied or fearful attachment style were also significantly more likely to endorse utilizing maladaptive shame coping strategies compared to students with a secure attachment style. Clinical implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
The Pursuit of Optimal Performance: The Effect of Mastery- and Ego-Oriented Feedback on Sport Performance, Task Difficulty Selection, Confidence, and Anxiety
Within an achievement motivation theoretical framework, there are factors thought to most heavily influence performance and task difficulty selection. More specifically, motivational climates, feedback, confidence, and anxiety have all been identified as important factors influencing outcomes within performance settings. Much of the literature in the area of achievement motivation has focused on on the effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance within academic settings and has received limited attention in the sport psychology literature within an athletic setting. Given the demonstrated effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance, the importance of performance within the athletic context, and the scant literature examining the effects of feedback on athletic performance, the influence of feedback on sport performance needed to be empirically examined. The primary aim of this study was to provide a clearer understanding of the relationship of factors influencing athletic performance, with the ultimate goal of moving research toward a greater understanding of how optimal performance is achieved. As a result, this research may prove applicable to researchers, coaches, and athletes working toward optimal performance. In this study, I examined how mastery- and ego-oriented feedback influenced youth athletes' soccer performance, task difficulty selection, confidence, and anxiety. Youth soccer athletes (n = 71) participated in a soccer kicking task consisting of two trials. Between subjects ANCOVA analyses revealed athletes receiving mastery-oriented feedback performed significantly better on the soccer kicking task than athletes receiving ego-oriented feedback. No differences were discovered on task difficulty selection, confidence, or anxiety. Providing athletes mastery-oriented feedback before or after skill execution could be helpful in the development of athletic skill development and performance. Limitations of the present study and questions to examine in future research are also discussed.
Accuracy of Partner Perception and Relationship Satisfaction: Investigating Masturbatory Habits
An individual's perceptions of various aspects of one's romantic relationship (irrespective of whether or not the perceptions align with reality) often play a critical role in romantic relationship satisfaction. Research has demonstrated that the accuracy of an individual's perception of his or her partner is generally positively related to the individual's romantic relationship satisfaction. However, when perceiving negative or conflictual messages from a partner, an individual's accuracy of perception is negatively associated with his or her romantic relationship satisfaction. Researchers have suggested that poor accuracy in perceiving negative messages might diffuse the negative intention in a way that is less impactful to the relationship. The present study was designed to investigate accuracy in the perception of sexual topics, specifically masturbatory habits. A sample of 93 married couples (186 individuals) responded to questions about (a) their own masturbatory behaviors and (b) their perception of their partners' masturbatory behaviors to determine the accuracy of each partner's perception of his or her partner. The association between accuracy and romantic and sexual relationship satisfaction was explored, along with one potential moderating variable: attitudes toward masturbation. Perceived reason for masturbating, perceived target of arousal during masturbation, and partner's actual reason for masturbating all positively predicted an individual's relationship satisfaction. Partner's actual openness about masturbatory behaviors moderated the association between accuracy of partner perception of openness about masturbation and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. When partners were more open about masturbation, accuracy was a stronger positive predictor of relationship and sexual satisfaction than when partners were less open about masturbation. Results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications are discussed.
Associations Between Witnessing the Abuse of a Sibling in Childhood and Experiencing Trauma Related Symptoms in Adulthood
Currently sibling research is burgeoning, yet there is virtually no literature regarding outcomes associated with witnessing the abuse of a sibling. The present study aimed to address this gap in the literature. A sample of 284 university students were surveyed regarding traumatic experiences in childhood and adulthood, the quality of childhood sibling relationships, and the experience of trauma symptoms in adulthood. Regression and moderation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between witnessing the abuse of a sibling in childhood and trauma symptoms in adulthood and to assess whether sibling relationship quality moderates the association between sibling abuse and trauma symptomology. Results showed that witnessing the abuse of a sibling was associated with depression symptoms in the overall sample and for females reporting about a brother. Also, sibling conflict moderated the relationship between witnessed sibling abuse and externalization in sister-sister dyads. These associations should be considered in terms of the systemic abuse to which participants were exposed. Implications for clinical practice working with sibling-related victimization are discussed.
Parent-adolescent Attachment, Bullying and Victimization, and Mental Health Outcomes
Traditional and cyber bullying have been identified as universal problematic issues facing adolescents, and research is needed to understand correlates associated with these phenomena. Structural equation modeling analyses examined associations between attachment to parents, traditional and cyber bullying or victimization, and mental health outcomes among 257 high school students (Average age 15.9 years). Key patterns emerged, including associations between maternal attachment and mental health outcomes; victimization and mental health concerns; and bullying and victimization in both traditional and cyber contexts. The role of attachment to mothers and fathers varied by context. Findings extend the literature by identifying risk factors in adolescence associated with bullying and victimization, as well as suggesting appropriate prevention and intervention strategies to increase adolescent well-being.
Back on the Home Front: Demand/Withdraw Communication and Relationship Adjustment Among Student Veterans
Today’s military encompasses a wide variety of families who are affected by deployments in multiple and complex ways. Following deployments, families must reconnect in their relationships and reestablish their way of life. Appropriate and effective communication during this time is critical, yet many military couples struggle with this process. Moreover, student service members/veterans and their families are in a unique position. In addition to coping with changes in their marital relationship, student veterans may feel isolated or unsupported on college campuses, often experiencing anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress, or suicidality. The current study seeks to bridge the gap between the military family literature and the student service member/veteran literature by examining how deployment experiences, mental health issues, and communication patterns influence post-deployment relationship adjustment among student veterans. Analyses tested whether communication style and/or current mental health concerns mediate associations between combat experiences and couples’ relationship adjustment, as well as between experiences in the aftermath of battle and relationship adjustment. Results suggest that although posttraumatic stress is significantly related to deployment experiences among student veterans, participants report no significant negative effects of deployment on relationship adjustment. Communication style, however, was significantly associated with relationship adjustment, and a lack of positive communication was found to correlate with PTSD diagnosis. Research and clinical implications are discussed.
Social Cognitive Career Theory, Academic Choice Behavior, and Academic Performance in African American College Students
The current study examined the impact that components of Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) have on choice behavior and academic performance in African American or Black, undergraduate students. SCCT is a highly valued and researched theory, but few studies examine the impact that SCCT components have on choice behavior and academic performance in Black college students. This study focused on evaluating SCCT components’ relevance to variables that have been shown to predict later objective career success. This is important because African Americans tend to have significantly lower paying and less prestigious jobs, as well as attain lower levels of education than most other racial populations in the United States. However, there is a paucity of current career development and attainment literature specific to the African American undergraduate population. In an effort to promote understanding of within group differences in SCCT variables that can contribute to educational and career success, 247 African American undergraduates were recruited to participate in this study. The participants completed online questionnaires regarding demographic information, self-efficacy, contextual barriers, contextual supports, choice goals, and choice behavior. Participants also gave permission for researchers to access grades. Findings indicate that academic coping self-efficacy, contextual barriers, and contextual supports may be particularly important to academic choice behavior in African American college students. Further, choice behavior appears to be important to grade point average. Implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research associated with this study’s findings are discussed.
Intuitive Eating in Adolescents: Testing a Psychosocial Model
Intuitive eating is defined as an adaptive eating process that involves focusing on internal hunger and satiety to guide eating behavior, using those physiological cues rather than emotions to determine when to eat, and choosing what to eat based upon preference and not external rules and expectations. The purpose of this study was to examine intuitive eating within the context of contemporary sociocultural models of eating in 701 early adolescent boys and 769 early adolescent girls. Support was found for the model and suggested that pressures to lose weight or gain muscle, restrictive messages about food from caregivers, and internalization of the thin ideal were related to the early adolescents’ intuitive eating behaviors, suggesting that many of the sociocultural variables that have been found to impact disordered eating are salient for understanding healthy eating behaviors. However, the relations among many of the variables, as well as the model’s ability to explain intuitive eating overall, were stronger in girls than in boys. These findings can be used to help parents and schools begin to teach early adolescents about intuitive eating and how they can resist external pressures that may negatively influence their eating behaviors.
Predictors of the Relationship Between Childhood Maltreatment and Career Decision Self-efficacy Among Undergraduate Students
Vocational disruption for survivors of interpersonal trauma has been noted by both practitioners and researchers. While limited empirical support exists, a firm theoretical framework and a full range of outcomes have not been explored. Guided by the framework of social cognitive career theory (SCCT), a promising framework recommended in the previous literature, the aim of the current study was to explore the function of contextual barriers and supports as predictors of career decision self-efficacy (CDSE). Due to the lack of consistency in previous research and absent theoretical specification of the particular mode of intervening variables, both mediation and moderation were explored using multiple regression. The results indicate the relationship between background factors (i.e., childhood maltreatment) and CDSE was fully mediated by an indirect pathway via personal factors (i.e., trauma-related symptoms) and learning experiences (i.e., anxious and avoidant attachment with a career-related mentor) in the prediction of CDSE. The results also indicate that personal factors (i.e., trauma-related symptoms) function as a moderator between background factors (i.e., childhood maltreatment) and learning experiences as anxious attachment with a career-related mentor. Finally, learning experiences as anxious attachment with a career-related mentor moderated the relationship between personal factors (i.e., trauma-related symptoms) and CDSE. Overall, within the SCCT model, the proposed predictors help explain differences in CDSE as related to childhood maltreatment through mediation and moderation. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.
A Test of an Etiological Model: Disordered Eating in Male Collegiate Athletes
Athletes may be at increased risk for developing disordered eating and pathogenic weight control behaviors due to pressure for their bodies to look a certain way and perform at a high level (Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). Petrie and Greenleaf (2013) proposed a psychosocial model to explain the development of athletes’ disordered eating behaviors. Specifically, they suggested that unique weight/body pressures of the sport environment, general societal pressures about attractiveness, internalization of societal appearance ideals, body dissatisfaction, drive for muscularity, negative affect, and dietary restraint combine and contribute to the development of bulimic symptomatology. The aim of the current study is to test the Petrie and Greenleaf model in a large, nation-wide, diverse sample of male collegiate athletes. Participants were male collegiate athletes (N = 731; Mage = 19.91, SD = 1.50) representing 17 sports and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions I, II, and III. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire and measures designed to assess their experiences of the above constructs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the pathways proposed in the Petrie and Greenleaf (2013) etiological model. Results suggest that sport pressures, such as those from coaches and teammates about weight, the importance of appearance, and looking good in a uniform, are significant factors in understanding disordered eating among male collegiate athletes. These pressures were related directly to all other variables in the model, including increased body dissatisfaction, experiencing more negative emotions, restricting caloric intake, and engaging in behaviors to increase muscularity. In the end, it was these variables – negative affect, drive for muscularity, dietary restraint, and body dissatisfaction– that explained over 30% of the variance in the athletes’ bulimic symptomatology.
Academic, Social and Emotional Functioning of College Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with negative occupational, social and psychological outcomes among community samples of adults; as such, it is expected that college students with ADHD face similar struggles. The research targeting this group of individuals, however, is sparse and tempered by significant limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations in the current literature by including instruments to formally diagnosis ADHD and comorbid disorders, utilizing psychometrically sound instruments and comparing functioning of college students with ADHD across gender and subtype. It was hypothesized that participants with ADHD would report lower GPAs, higher levels of emotional distress and negative relationship characteristics than participants without ADHD. It was also hypothesized that participants with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C) would report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than participants with ADHD-predominately inattentive type (ADHD-I), and that participants with ADHD-I would report higher levels of anxiety and depression than participants with ADHD-C. Women diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of anxiety and depression than men diagnosed with ADHD; whereas, men diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than women. MANOVA, ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to test hypotheses. Results revealed no significant differences between the ADHD and comparison group on GPA and relationship characteristics. Participants diagnosed with ADHD did report significantly higher emotional distress than participants in the comparison group. No differences in GPA or relationship characteristics were found across ADHD subtype or gender. Overall, these findings provide evidence to suggest that college students with ADHD are functioning relatively well compared to their non-ADHD peers.
Contributing Factors in the Development of Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors of Interpersonal Violence
An understanding of factors that contribute to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is of considerable importance to inform the prevention and treatment of the disorder. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the etiology of CPTSD is of interest since most research to date focuses on the etiology of PTSD. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to test the hypothesized prediction between childhood exposure to violence, childhood attachment, current interpersonal factors, and CPTSD symptoms. Using data from a community clinic and shelter serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model’s strength in predicting contributing factors of CPTSD. Results support the proposed model, however, an alternative and more parsimonious model was found to be superior and revealed relationships between interpersonal variables and CPTSD. Specifically, women who reported child abuse and poor attachment with either parent, a perceived lack of current emotional and tangible support, and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) also reported symptoms of CPTSD. However, other variables, such as adult attachment avoidance and anxiety did not influence IPV or CPTSD as expected. Ultimately, the current findings lend support for Herman’s (1992) original conceptualization of CPTSD symptoms observed in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Implications of these findings are discussed and results highlight the importance of assessing the contextual factors (e.g., social support, family environment) when a victim of prolonged trauma comes for treatment. Lastly, treatment implications and specific points of intervention are presented.
The Influence of Family and Cultural Values on the Career Development of Asian Americans
Factors influencing the career development of Asian Americans have included family influences, including parental expectations and parent-young adult relationship, and adherence to Asian cultural values. Variables such as interests and values have been shown to be important factors in the career-related decisions of western, European American culture individuals, although interests have been found to be less important for Asian Americans. Research suggests that parental expectations and adherence to traditional Asian values have more influence on career development among this population. Sandhu found in 2011 that parental expectations are highly linked with career choice of a specific Asian subgroup. The current study examined the relationship between parental expectations, acculturation, career values, adherence to Asian cultural values, the parent-young adult relationship, and career choice in the Asian American population. The values gap between the parents’ and young adults’ cultural values as well as the gap’s effects on the parent-child relationship were assessed. A sample of 173 self-identified Asian Americans aged 18 to 25 were recruited from across the US to complete an Internet survey consisting of demographic questions, career choice questions, a measure of acculturation, an assessment of career-related values, an assessment of adherence to Asian cultural values, and an assessment of the parent-young adult relationship. Results from hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed that the prestige of parents’ career expectations was a significant predictor of the prestige of young adults’ expected career choices. Although other family and process variables were not found to be significant predictors of young adults’ career choices, interesting correlations were noted among many of these variables.
Factorial Validity and Measurement Invariance of the Test of Performance Strategies, Sport Anxiety Scale, and the Golf Performance Survey Across Age Groups
The purpose of this study was to examine the factorial validity and measurement equivalence of the Test of Performance Strategies (TOPS; Thomas, Murphy, & Hardy, 1999); the Sport Anxiety Scale (SAS; Smith, Smoll, & Schultz, 1990); and the Golf Performance Survey (GPS; Thomas & Over, 1994) across age groups in a representative sample of amateur golfers. Based on archival data, participants comprising this study were 649 younger adult (n = 237) and older adult (n = 412) amateur golfers who played in the Dupont World Amateur Golf Championship in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The participants completed a set of questionnaires including psychological skills and strategies (e.g., self-talk, goal setting, imagery, etc.) used during competition, sport-specific competitive trait anxiety, and psychomotor skills and involvement in golf. Results demonstrated that the original factor structure of the TOPS competition subscale, the SAS, and the GPS, did not adequately fit the data among this sample of younger and older adult amateur golfers. Further exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses established evidence of factorial validity with the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS with both younger and older adult amateur golfers. Configural, metric, scalar, and strict measurement invariance were identified in relation to the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS across age cross-group comparisons. In general, the analyses demonstrated support that the TOPS competition subscale, SAS, and the GPS can be utilized with confidence with older adult amateur golfers, as well as conducting group comparisons with younger adult amateur golfers. The findings from this study have several future research directions and practical implications for structuring effective interventions with older adult amateur athletes.
Pathways From ADHD Symptoms to Obesity in a College Population
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is more recently being recognized as a lifetime disorder that continues to affect individuals into their adult lives. Recent research studies have found connections between ADHD and overweight/obesity. The current study was designed to further explore these relationships and better understand the connections between these two constructs among 340 college students. It was hypothesized that the ADHD symptoms (i.e., inattention and impulsivity) would positively predict depressive symptoms, which in turn would predict emotional/binge eating and lead to overweight/obesity. Additionally, it was hypothesized that impulsivity would predict substance use, which would predict emotional/binge eating and also predict overweight/obesity. The model was tested and exhibited excellent fit. ADHD positively predicted depressive symptoms, which in turn positively predicted emotional/binge eating and led to overweight/obesity. Further, ADHD symptoms also positively predicted substance use, which in turn predicted emotional/binge eating and led to overweight/obesity. All paths were statistically significant and findings suggest there are at least two paths that connect ADHD symptoms and overweight/obesity in adults. The current results are of importance to practicing clinicians because they provide increased clarity and depth regarding the connections and relationship between symptoms of ADHD and overweight/obesity.
A Biopsychosocial Model of Dietary Restraint in Early Adolescent Boys
The current study replicated and extended previous research by examining empirically the direct and indirect influence of social pressure (to lose weight and diet), social body comparisons, internalization of the thin ideal, body dissatisfaction, self-esteem, and cardiorespiratory fitness on self-reported dietary restraint in a diverse sample of middle school boys (n = 663); Mage was 12.49 years (SD = .99). With IRB approval, parental consent, and child assent, during annual FITNESSGRAM testing, participants completed questionnaires that measured the study’s constructs. Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) was determined by the boys’ performance on the PACER running test. The proposed model was examined using structural equation modeling (SEM). Because measures demonstrated univariate and multivariate normality, the maximum likelihood procedure within EQS to examine the measurement and structural models was used. Fit was determined using a two-index procedure. Participants were randomly split into exploratory (Sample A - 331) and confirmatory (Sample B - 332) samples. For Sample A, the measurement and structural models fit the data well. The structural model was confirmed in Sample B, with the same paths being significant and nonsignficant. For both Sample A and Sample B, 35% of the Dietary Restraint variance was explained. These findings support a multifactorial approach to understanding boys’ self-reported dietary restraint, and illuminate the negative influence of sociocultural weight pressures and salutary effects of CRF on early adolescents’ psychosocial well-being and dietary behaviors.
Finding Out on Facebook: a Qualitative Analysis of Adolescents’ Experiences Following a Suicide Cluster
Suicide clusters have been identified in many populations; however, research exploring the role of online communication in the aftermath of a suicide cluster is extremely limited. This study used the Consensual Qualitative Research method to analyze interviews of ten high school students following a suicide cluster in a small suburban school district. Interviewee’s responses were organized into 4 domains: the suicide, impact, perceptions of school environment, and recovery. The role of social networking emerged as a common theme across domains, suggesting broad relevance to adolescents’ experience following the suicide of a peer. Implications for clinical intervention and research are discussed.
Ethnic Differences in Caregiving Style
This study explored the caregiving styles of 306 grandparents raising grandchild across three ethnic groups (164 European Americans, 65 Latinos, and 77 African Americans). Significant differences were found in caregiving styles between European Americans and African Americans. Caregiver appraisal (burden, satisfaction, and Mastery) was found to be predictive of caregiving style across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Caregiver style was predictive of grandchild functioning across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Lastly, caregiver style was found to be predictive of grandparent well-being across the entire sample, and differentially by ethnic group. Implications are discussed in terms of the complex, multidimensional and culturally embedded nature of the caregiving experience and the importance of considering culture for optimal outcomes.
Family Interaction Patterns, Child Attachment, and Child Emotional Adjustment
The present study examined the links between whole family interaction patterns, parent-child attachment, and child emotional adjustment in a sample of 86 community families with children between the ages of 8 and 11. Family interactions were observed and coded with the System for Coding Interactions and Family Functioning (SCIFF; Lindahl, 2001). Target children completed the Children’s Coping Strategies Questionnaire (CCSQ; Yunger, Corby, & Perry, 2005), and the Behavior Assessment System for Children- 2nd Edition, Self Report of Personality (BASC-2 SRP; Reynolds &Kamphaus, 2004). Results of hierarchical regressions indicated that Secure and Avoidant attachment each independently predicted children’s emotional symptoms in some models. Family Cohesion and Positive Affect moderated the relationship between father-child attachment and children’s emotional symptoms. Results of the current study support the utility of considering dyadic attachment and family interaction patterns conjointly when conceptualizing and treating children’s emotional outcomes.
Supervisors, Trainees, and Client Outcomes in the Training Clinic: Toward an Understanding of Relational Factors
Estimates of healthy years of life lost due to mental illness are increasing, calling greater attention to the provision of effective psychotherapy services. Hypothesized to be the key mechanism through which competencies are developed in trainee clinicians and subsequent client outcomes, clinical supervision is deserving of greater attention. Drawing on a sample of supervisors, trainees, and clients from a training clinic, the present study sought to clarify the relational factors that could facilitate the asserted supervisor-client outcome link and to better understand if, and how, clinical supervisors influence client outcomes. With the exception of supervisor openness to experience, supervisor factors did not predict meaningful variance in client outcomes. Trainee extraversion and openness to experience predicted significant variance in leader-member exchange and supervisory working alliance. Dispositional trainee factors (e.g., personality) appear to impact trainee perceptions of the supervisory relationship. Implications for training and development are discussed, in addition to directions for future research.
Sexual Behavior During the Emerging Adult Years: Attachment and Social Support Perspectives
The purpose of this study was to better understand sexual development during the transition to adulthood. Previous research was extended by testing models that examined direct effects of romantic attachment and social support on emerging adults’ sexual outcomes, as well as models that examined the mediating role of sexual motivations in those associations. Undergraduate students (n = 290, 66% female) completed questionnaires that assessed romantic attachment, social support, sexual motives, risky sexual behaviors, and health-promoting sexual beliefs. Results indicated romantic attachment strongly predicted sexual functioning, such that higher levels of attachment insecurity were associated with fewer health-promoting sexual beliefs and more risky sexual behaviors. Attachment anxiety was most closely associated with sexual outcomes for females, while attachment avoidance was a stronger predictor of sexual outcomes for males. Furthermore, coping but not intimacy motivations were found to partially mediate the link between attachment anxiety and health-promoting sexual beliefs for females. Although overall relationships between social support and sexual outcomes were not significant as hypothesized, links between specific support sources and sexual outcomes emerged during further analysis. Conclusions underscore the usefulness of attachment theory as a framework for understanding sexual behavior and provide further support for the importance of considering gender differences when examining the interplay between the attachment and sexual systems. Practical implications for sexual health prevention and intervention efforts are discussed.
African American Father Influences on the Career Development of Emerging Adults
The current study examined the paternal influences on the career development of African American emerging adults. While statistics have shown that many African Americans remain in the lower socioeconomic status bracket and have worse academic and career outcomes, still many African Americans are successful. The literature seems to attribute lack of success to low socioeconomic status, but attributes success to close family relationships. However, most of these studies have focused on maternal relationships and have neglected to include the influence of paternal relationships. Studies that have examined African American fathers have emphasized their negative attributes. Previous studies have also failed to consider the influence of other factors on the career development process such as ethnic identity and psychological adjustment. This study explored the influence of contextual, family, and developmental factors on the career process of African American emerging adults. One hundred sixty-seven African American undergraduate students ages 18 to 25 were recruited for participation in this study. Regression analyses indicated that the quality of the father-child relationship influenced career development, though not in the manner expected. High levels of father support enhanced well-being for individuals with high ethnic identity, but did not produce the same results for individuals with low ethnic identity. Well-being was a significant predictor of career maturity. Explanations, implications, and future directions are discussed.
Role Importance, Affectional Solidarity, and Depression Among Familial Caregivers for Older Adults
In the United States, familial caregivers provide approximately 80% of the long term elderly care and are at risk for mental health problems. As family members provide care, relationships shift from mutual support to increasing dependency on the caregivers, who in turn often experience a shift in self-concept from their prior relational role to include identification as caregiver for the care recipient. Affectional solidarity, or emotional relationship quality, can influence how caregivers experience their shifting role in relationship to a loved one. The study examined whether role importance is associated with caregiver depression over time, and tested the moderating role of affectional solidarity in this association. A subset of caregivers (N = 57) from the Longitudinal Study of Generations constituted the sample from which role importance, affectional solidarity, and Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression reports were analyzed using longitudinal hierarchical regression. Findings did not support hypotheses. Results suggested that affectional solidarity may be important to consider among familial caregivers as a potential protective factor for depression. Implications for future research and practitioners are discussed.
The Relations Between Perceived Parent, Coach, and Peer Created Motivational Climates, Goal Orientations, and Mental Toughness in High School Varsity Athletes
Determining the factors that contribute to mental toughness development in athletes has become a focus for researchers as coaches, athletes, and others extol its influence on performance success. In this study we examined a model of mental toughness development based on achievement goal theory, assessing the relations between motivational climates, goal orientations, and mental toughness. Five hundred ninety-nine varsity athletes, representing 13 different sports from six different high schools in a southwestern United States school district, participated in the study. Athletes completed self-report measures assessing parent, peer, and coach motivational climates, goal orientations, and their mental toughness. Initially, I examined the measurement model and found it fit the data well both in the exploratory (SRMR = .06; CFI = .94) and confirmatory (SRMR = .06; CFI = .95) samples. Second, the structural model was examined and found to fit the data well in both the exploratory (SRMR = .08; CFI = .93) and confirmatory samples (SRMR = .07, CFI = .95). Parent task-involving climate, (β = .55; p < .05) and coach task-involving climate (β = .32; p < .05), but not peer task-involving climate (β = .05), were associated with task goal orientation (R2 = .57). Ego goal orientation (R2 = .32) was explained by peer ego-involving climate (β = .15; p < .05), parent ego-involving climate (β = .39; p < .05), and coach ego-involving climate (β = .16; p < .05). Finally, only task goal orientation (β = .75; p < .05) was related to the athletes’ mental toughness (R2 = .56); the ego goal orientation pathway was not significant (β = .04). These results speak to the potential positive influence of parents and coaches on athletes’ mental toughness through their endorsement of task-involving messages and pursuits leading to the development of a task goal orientation.
Standardization of a Memory Test with an Elderly Population
The Aronson Shopping List is a short-term memory test which integrates current knowledge of brain-behavior relationships in assessment. The test was designed to detect deficiency in fluid intelligence. The goal of this study was to standardize the test on an elderly population. The sample was composed of 67 males and females whose ages ranged from 62 to 89 years. It was found that recent stressful events did not account for variation of performance on the ASL. The reliability of the test, established by means of a test and alternate form retest procedure, was found to be .70 after an average of eleven months. Percentiles are presented indicating performance comparisons. Further experimentation would be needed to establish whether the test would be useful to designate organic brain pathology.
Personality Characteristics of Pediatric Leukemia Patients: Their Mothers' Perceptions
The improving prognosis for pediatric leukemia patients requires that involved professionals increase attention to the emotional adjustment of these children. This study was designed to determine (a) how mothers of leukemia patients perceived their children's personalities in order to identify any specific emotional difficulties which these children may experience and (b) if their perceptions differed from either mothers of cystic fibrosis and diabetes patients or mothers of healthy children. Subjects included 24 mothers in each of three groups: leukemia, other illness, and healthy. Children in both illness groups received higher scores than healthy children on Adjustment, Achievement, Somatic Concern, Depression, Psychosis, and Social Skills scales as measured by the Personality Inventory for Children; however, only the leukemic children were rated higher in areas of Anxiety and Withdrawal. Implications for treatment and future research are discussed.
An Investigation of Black Stepmother Stress
Much research conducted on stepmothers has not been racially representative. This includes Janice Nadler's (1976) research on three psychological stresses (anxiety, depression, and anger) of stepmotherhood. To investigate the stress of black stepmotherhood, this study replicated a portion of Nadler's investigation on a black sample. It was hypothesized that 1) black stepmothers would report more stress than black natural mothers; and that 2) black stepmothers would report more stress than the white stepmothers in Nadler's study. The data indicated no significant difference in the levels of stress experienced by black stepmothers and black natural mothers. Overall, white stepmothers reported more stress than black stepmothers. The former may be attributable to black stepmothers and natural mothers having the same support system, the black extended family.
Rational Behavior Therapy in a Retirement Community
The objectives of this investigation were to develop, implement, and determine the effects of rational behavior therapy for residents in a retirement community. The question addressed was, "Will rational behavior therapy, relative to a discussion group and control group, exhibit significant changes in level of rational thinking and depression?" Drawing upon a cognitive theory of depression relevant to the aged population and upon rational behavior therapy literature, it was hypothesized that short-term rational behavior therapy intervention would be significantly related to a modification of belief systems and a decrease in depression. The participants were residents of two retirement communities. There were 25 subjects who completed the study through posttest assessment. These subjects were randomly assigned to three groups and assessed at pretest, posttest, and follow-up. The experimental group did not experience the hypothesized significant increase in level of rational thinking and decrease in level of depression. Possible explanations are given for lack of expected effects. Overall, the discussion group had more significant increases in rational thinking than the experimental and control groups.
Reframing Loneliness in Adult Females Who Vary in Dependency and Locus of Control
Reframing in counseling offers the client a different framework for symptoms, thereby allowing the client a perspective that leads to change or no need for change. Using a loneliness measure as the dependent variable, 58 females underwent one of three treatments: positive reframing, self-control statements, or a waiting list control procedure. Two two-way analyses of covariance used an independent measure of dependency for the first analysis and a measure of perceived control for the second. Treatment type was the second dimension for each analysis. A significant interaction resulted for control by treatment F (2, 51) = 3.24; p < .05). A Newman-Keuls revealed significant differences for those who perceived themselves as in control, where reframing was more effective than either the control procedure (q_r = 3.56; p < .05) or those who perceived others as in control (q_r = 3.21; p < .05).