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Using Pre-Session Mindfulness to Improve Session Presence and Effectiveness: A Randomized-Controlled Trial

Description: 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.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Dunn, Rose

The Relationship Between Shame and Attachment Styles

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Atkins, Sarah Ann

The Pursuit of Optimal Performance: The Effect of Mastery- and Ego-Oriented Feedback on Sport Performance, Task Difficulty Selection, Confidence, and Anxiety

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Moles, Troy

Attitudes about Caregiving: An Ethnicity by Generation Approach

Description: 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).
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Caballero, Daniela M

The Moderating Effect of Religiosity on the Relationship between Attachment and Psychological Wellbeing in a Muslim-American Sample

Description: Although research on attachment theory has grown exponentially in the field of psychology, few studies exist that examine this theory among young Muslim-American adults, despite the fact that Muslim-Americans represent a significant and growing segment of the U.S. population. The first goal of the current study was to replicate the results of previous studies demonstrating a strong relationship between attachment and the selected wellbeing indicators of psychological symptoms and life satisfaction. The second goal of the proposed study was to examine the relationships among maternal attachment, Islamic religiosity, and psychological wellbeing. Findings provided partial support to the direct effects of attachment and religiosity variables on particular outcome variables but did not support the moderating effect of religiosity. High maternal Control was found to be predictive of less psychological distress, whereas both maternal control and care were found to be negatively associated with an interpersonal behaviors aspect of religiosity. In addition, those who endorsed practicing Islamic rituals were found to report less life satisfaction, and individuals who viewed the world through an Islamic lens reported higher psychological distress. Discussion on the findings, limitations of the study, future research directions, and counseling implications are addressed.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Khan, Arubah

Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Lewis, Jonathan James

Feigning ADHD: Effectiveness of Selected Assessment Tools in Distinguishing Genuine from Simulated ADHD

Description: 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.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Robinson, Emily

Social Anxiety and Non-Medical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students

Description: Current evidence suggests that non-medical prescription stimulant (NMPS) use is on the rise, particularly among college students. Identifying individuals at risk for regular and problematic use is a critical step towards the development of effective intervention efforts. A growing body of work has noted that individuals with elevated levels of social anxiety (SA) or social anxiety disorder are at an enhanced risk for developing substance use problems, including NMPS use disorder. Despite the relevance of SA and NMPS use among college students, no studies have attempted to examine subclinical SA or the relation between SA and NMPS use among college students specifically. Thus, the present study sought to extend this area by testing the relation of SA symptoms and NMPS use frequency among college students. A large online study of college students was conducted (N=1604) to identify 252 NMPS users (18-25 years; 68.3% female). A hierarchical linear regression was used to test the moderation of positive prescription stimulant expectancies on SA symptoms in predicting past year NMPS use frequency. A subsample of 15 participants was also brought into the lab to assess subjective (State Anxiety) and physiological (salivary cortisol) responding to a social stressor task. Overall, the current study did not provide evidence that SA, via retrospective self-report or real-time responding was related to past year NMPS use frequency. Additional research is needed to resolve the discrepancies between the present findings and prior work.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Cloutier, Renee

Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction

Description: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related disorder that may develop in response to traumatic or stressful events. Dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the disorder. Studies support such dysfunction as being a consequence of PTSD, rather than a precursor. However, most studies of the HPA are either cross-sectional or have been carried out in adults. The aim of the present study was to identify whether HPA dysregulation interacts with stressful experiences to increase the likelihood of developing PTSD symptoms in a community-recruited sample of healthy adolescent girls. Adolescent girls (N = 550) and one of their parents participated. Adolescents’ clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and at a nine month follow-up. Saliva samples were collected from all adolescent participants at waking, 30 minutes after waking, and 8 pm on 3 consecutive days. Flattened diurnal slope of cortisol at baseline was associated with increased PTSD symptoms nine months later. Baseline cortisol awakening response (CAR) per se was not prospectively related to developing PTSD symptoms, but its interactions with stressful experience was associated with elevated PTSD symptoms at follow-up. Effects were small and need to be replicated in samples with more severe stressors, as well as more clinical levels of PTSD. Nevertheless, findings suggest that dysregulated basal HPA functioning may be involved in the development of PTSD symptoms.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Liu, Keke

Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans' Adaptation to College

Description: Since 2002, the number of veterans enrolled in universities has nearly doubled, although 30-40% of veterans fail to complete their degree. While research efforts to understand the challenges veterans face transitioning from military life to college has increased in recent years, few studies have looked beyond the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insomnia is the most frequently reported symptom of combat veterans and can have serious implications for college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of insomnia and student veteran adaptation to college relative to civilian students. College students (N = 588) were administered a Background Information Questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Results revealed that students with insomnia reported significantly lower adaptation to college than students without insomnia. Student veterans reported better academic and personal-emotional adaptation to college than civilian students, while civilians reported better social adjustment than veterans. Although combat veterans without insomnia scored consistently higher academic adjustment than non-combat veterans and civilian students, when present insomnia seemed to have a greater negative effect on combat veterans’ academic adjustment relative to civilian students. Furthermore, insomnia mediated the relationship between combat exposure and veteran’s personal-emotional adjustment to college. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: McGuffin, James J

Stress, Spirituality and Self-Esteem: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in an LGB Sample

Description: In the current study, we aimed to explore the relationship between perceived stress, spirituality and self-esteem and how they are related to psychological QOL. We found that our overall model accounted for 58% of the total variance in psychological QOL (adj. R2 = .58, F(10, 136) = 21.79, p < .001) with stress (β = -.37, p < .01) and self-esteem (β = .45, p < .01) as the significant predictors. Additionally we found that spiritual beliefs and practices moderate the relationship between stress and QOL (adj. R2= .49, F(11, 135) = 13.88, p < .001). Lastly, we conducted a principle component analysis (PCA) on our three variables of interest and outcome variable to determine whether the proposed structure of our measures holds true for our sample (i.e., LGB populations).
Date: May 2016
Creator: Stephen, Krystal A

Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Description: The current case involves a female rape victim. Research has shown the level of victim blaming can be elevated if the victim is a lesbian woman compared to a heterosexual woman. Mock jurors’ responses to personality trait questionnaires (e.g., Belief in a Just World, Attitudes Toward Women, Attitudes Toward Lesbians) and amount of contact they have with homosexual people were employed as predictors of how they would decide victim blaming and perpetrator guilt. Personality trait findings were not good predictors; however, greater contact with homosexuals did decrease negative attitudes toward lesbian victims. Limitations and implications for future research are addressed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hurst-McCaleb, Dawn

Impact of Grit on Performance After Mastery- or Performance-oriented Feedback

Description: Grit and achievement motivation have been predictors of behavior in academia and military settings (Duckworth, Matthews, Peterson, & Kelly, 2007), but to date, research on their effects on sport performance has been limited. Given grit's predictive role in other performance domains, grit may be influential in athletes' long-term goal attainment, interacting with their achievement motives and leading to better performances. Athletes' trait levels of grit may influence how they understand and respond to messages received within motivational climates from key personnel such as from coaches and teammates. We examined potential moderating effects of grit on the relationship between motivational feedback and high school soccer players (N = 71, Mage = 15.81) performance on a soccer task, their desire to persist in the task, and their choices of task difficulty. We used hierarchical multiple regression to test the main effects of feedback and grit and to determine if grit moderated the effects of feedback on performance. Grit was a significant moderator of the feedback-shooting performance relationship, accounting for 3.9% of variance. Simple slopes analysis revealed a significant effect for low (B = 13.32, SEb = 4.44, p = .004, t = 2.99), but not high, (B = 2.11, SEb = 4.31, p = .63, t = .49), grit on task success. Grit was not a significant moderator of task difficulty selection or task persistence. These results suggest that for those high in grit, feedback about natural ability or hard work is not particularly influential on performance. However, for low grit athletes, type of feedback matters.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Auerbach, Alex

Medical Comorbidity in the Course of Bipolar Disorder

Description: Bipolar disorder is a serious illness affecting approximately 2-4% of the population and is one of the world’s leading causes of disability. In individuals with bipolar disorder, medical comorbidity associated with cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine disorders is related to increased rates of mortality. Recent updates to multi-system inflammatory related conceptualizations of bipolar disorder focus on the unique power that medical illness and biological processes may play as factors associated with course and outcome in bipolar disorder. The current study examined medical comorbidity and its associations with various demographic and psychological variables in individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features followed for 10 years from their first hospital admission. When compared to an age, gender and race-matched control sample from the population, those with bipolar disorder had significantly higher medical comorbidity across a range of medical diagnoses both at 6 months and 10 years after first hospital admission. Ten years following initial hospitalization, individuals in all three diagnostic groups reported increased rates of diabetes (OR: 2.0 – 3.7), stroke (OR: 4.6 – 7.0) and asthma (OR: 1.9 - 3.1), and individuals with bipolar disorder reported increased rates of cancer (OR = 2.1). A number of psychological and demographic symptoms were examined for their ability to predict the development of medical illness across the assessment interval. Overall rates of medical illness were elevated both early in illness course and 10 years after diagnosis, suggesting that broad sequelae of multi-system inflammation are present early and progress over time.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Smith, Patrick M

Longitudinal Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Weight Control Behaviors in Female Collegiate Athletes

Description: Female collegiate athletes have been established as a high-risk group for the development of eating disorders due to the high prevalence rates of clinical and subclinical eating disorders, which have ranged from 1.9% to 16.6% and 4.0% to 26.1%, respectively. Collegiate athletes appear to meet criteria for ED-NOS more often than anorexia or bulimia nervosa, and frequently engage in pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g., dieting, excessive exercise). To date, only a few studies have examined the long-term stability of eating disorders in collegiate female athletes. The current study investigated the prevalence of eating disorders (i.e., eating disordered, symptomatic, and asymptomatic) and pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g, binging, vomiting, laxative use) in 325 NCAA-DI female collegiate gymnasts and swimmers/divers across two time points – the beginning of their competitive seasons (Time 1) and during the final two weeks of their competitive seasons (Time 2). By Time 2, 90% of the athletes classified as eating disordered at Time 1 (n = 20) maintained clinical or subclinical eating disturbances. Of the 83 athletes originally symptomatic, 37.3% remained so and 10.8% became eating disordered. Significantly more athletes became satisfied with their bodies over the course of the season than became dissatisfied. The athletes reported using exercise and dieting/fasting as the most frequent forms of weight control behaviors, each of which were used less frequently at Time 2 than at Time 1. The results support overall stability of eating disorder behaviors and classification over the course of a competitive season. Limitations and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Thompson, Alexandra J.

The Role of Spirituality in Ethnic Minority Patients with COPD

Description: COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and is the sixth leading cause of death for low-to middle income countries (Downs & Appel, 2006; GOLD, 2011). COPD is a largely preventable disease due to the lifestyle factors that heavily contribute to disease onset and severity. Although traditionally COPD research has focused on health outcomes related to risk factors, compliance, comorbid psychological and physical conditions, and treatment interventions, a growing body of research suggests religious and spiritual factors may play an equally important role in health outcomes for several medical conditions, including pulmonary disease. However, studies of this kind have not specifically examined COPD nor have they examined the role of religious and spiritual beliefs in COPD management among ethnic minority patients. As such, the current study aimed to examine whether spiritual ethnic minority patients with COPD hold religious fatalistic attitudes and less active religious problem solving . A sample of 35 ethnic minority patients from the Louis. B. Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center (LSCVAMC) Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic in Cleveland, OH. were recruited to participate in the study. Due to the acknowledgeable limitations of the present study, results are preliminary but convey associations between religious health fatalistic beliefs and religious problem solving approaches. Implications and areas of future study are discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Bell, Keisha

Relationship Centrality and Expressive Writing: Understanding Post-breakup Distress

Description: When a romantic relationship ends in dissolution, the ex-partners may experience distress similar to post-traumatic stress or complex grief (i.e., dysphoric mood, feelings of loss, intrusive memories, negative rumination regarding the relationship, and a loss of self-esteem). Interventions designed to reduce post-breakup distress have historically attempted to foster integration of the breakup into the self-narrative through techniques such as expressive writing. Recent research indicates centrality, or heightened integration of an event or concept into an individual’s identity, predicts heightened levels of distress in the case of negative life events, including romantic relationship dissolution. Given the role romantic relationships themselves play in identity formation, exploration is warranted of the potential distress resulting from over-identification with a romantic relationship itself, or relationship centrality, after a breakup has occurred. Furthermore, if an individual has overly-integrated a relationship into their identity, the effectiveness of interventions focusing on further integration of the breakup is called into question. This study explored the centrality of participants’ previous romantic relationships, the distress resulting from the dissolution of those relationships, and the role of expressive writing as a distress reduction tool when centrality is taken into account.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Nowlin, Rachel B.

Shame Due to Heterosexism, Self-esteem and Perceived Stress: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Description: Sexual minorities experience higher levels of stress than heterosexuals, which in turn affects coping and psychological quality of life (PQOL). Although many sexual minorities remain mentally healthy, a higher prevalence of mental disorders among members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities exists; thus, LGB PQOL becomes an important area to examine. Several key factors are related to PQOL: shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress. Using minority stress model, I hypothesized that shame due to heterosexism and perceived stress are negatively correlated with PQOL, while self-esteem is positively correlated with PQOL. I hypothesized that collectively shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress account for a significant proportion of the variance in PQOL, that self-esteem moderates the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL and that age moderates the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. I calculated Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and found shame due to heterosexism was negatively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = -.21, p = .009), perceived stress was negatively correlated with PQOL (r (146) = -.69, p < .001) and self-esteem was positively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = .72, p < .001). I conducted a regression analysis and found our model accounted for 59% of the variance in PQOL (adj. R2 = .59, F(3, 144) = 68.88, p < .001). Self-esteem did moderate the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL (p = .029), but age did not moderate the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. Results suggest perceived stress and self-esteem play key roles in sexual minorities’ PQOL. Implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Bonds, Stacy E.

Determinants of Effort and Associated Cardiovascular Response to a Behavioral Restraint Challenge

Description: This study directly tested implications of motivation intensity theory on effort to restrain against a behavioral urge or impulse (i.e. restraint intensity). Two factors were manipulated—magnitude of an urge and the importance of successfully resisting it—with cardiovascular (CV) responses related to active coping measured. Male and female undergraduate students were presented with a mildly- or strongly evocative film clip with instructions to refrain from showing any facial response. Success was made more or less important through coordinated manipulations of outcome expectancy, ego-involvement, and performance assessment. As expected, systolic blood pressure responses assessed during the performance period were proportional to the evocativeness of the clip when importance was high, but low regardless of evocativeness when importance was low. These findings support a new conceptual analysis concerned with the determinants and CV correlates of restraint intensity. Implications of the study and associations with current self-regulatory literature are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Agtarap, Stephanie

Anger, Forgiveness and Mindfulness: Correlates of Perceived Stress in an LGB Sample

Description: A sexual minority is someone who identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). According to the Minority Stress Model (Meyer, 2003), sexual minorities encounter significant levels of stress due to their minority group status, thus they are more likely to experience perceived stress. Our cross-sectional, correlational study aimed to explore the relationships between forgiveness, mindfulness and anger and how they are related to perceived stress in a convenience sample of ethnically diverse LGB adults. We hypothesized that: 1) anger is positively associated with perceived stress; 2) forgiveness is negatively associated with perceived stress; 3) mindfulness is negatively associated with perceived stress; and 4) anger, forgiveness and mindfulness account for a significant proportion of the variance in perceived stress. 5) The relationship between anger and perceived stress is moderated by forgiveness. 6) The relationship between anger and perceived stress is moderated by mindfulness. Among LGB adults, the extant literature does not address these four variables in conjunction and the relationships between anger, forgiveness, mindfulness and stress has yet to be explored. Various statistical analyses were conducted, including a hierarchical linear regression to test our model. We found that our overall model accounted for 36% of the total variance in perceived stress (F(5, 142) = 17.31, p <.01) with anger (β = .31, t = 3.55, p = .001) and forgiveness (β = -.21, t = -2.56, p < .05) as the significant predictors. Contrary to prediction, forgiveness and mindfulness did not moderate the relationship between anger and perceived stress in our LGB sample. Limitations, strengths, future research and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Schumacher, Matthew Robert

Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test

Description: Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Erin

Weigh-in Environment and Weight Intentionality and Management of Female Collegiate Athletes

Description: Research suggests that female athletes, in particular, experience “sport-environment” pressures such as: weight, performance, and body image demands from their coaches, teammates, and judges. These influences in tandem with society’s portrayal of the thin ideal are thought to considerably increase the risk of developing disordered eating problems in this population. Although numerous studies have been conducted over the past decade on the prevalence of eating disorders and pathogenic weight control behaviors among female athletes, few have examined in detail the weight pressures that exist within the sport environment, such as whether or not (and how often) athletes are weighed by their coaches, and how athletes respond to those pressures in terms of weight management practices. In the proposed study, we will examine the weigh-in environment, weight satisfaction, weight management practices, menstrual health, and reported source of nutritional guidance. The sample includes 414 NCAA Division I female collegiate swimmers/divers and gymnasts drawn from 26 universities across the U.S. Participants anonymously completed a series of questionnaires as part of a larger study on student-athlete health and well-being. This study found that 41% of athletes were weighed, and most often by an athletic trainer in private. Despite most weigh-ins were reportedly conducted in a positive manner, the majority of the athletes who were weighed (75%) reported using at least one strategy to manage their weight prior to weigh-ins (e.g. restrict food, increase exercise). Athletes desire to lose weight, caloric intake, and menstrual cycles were not related to whether athletes were or were not weighed. The majority of athletes received qualified nutritional guidance about how to healthfully manage their weight. Overall, weighing is occurring in a more positive manner than expected; however, athletes are continuing to report using unhealthy weight management strategies at a high rate. It seems important for athletic departments to set ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Tackett, Bailey

Self-definition and College Adaptation in Students From the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Description: While a great deal of psychological research is conducted on college students, less has been done on their adaptation to college. These young adults, as they develop ego identity and differentiate themselves from parents and families, must adjust to the social and academic environment of college. Psychosocial adjustment predicts college retention better than academic predictors do. First generation college students face greater than typical challenges adapting to college. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program exists to aid first generation, lower income undergraduate student who wish to pursue a doctoral degree. Self-definition scored from thematic apperceptive technique stories reflects an individual’s relative freedom from social role constraint. This study examined the role of self-definition and familial understanding and acceptance in this population as predictors of successful adaptation to college. While neither was found to be a significant predictor, family understanding and acceptance was found to be a more defining characteristic of this sample than was self-definition. This suggests that when social support is sufficient, individuals do not need to rely on self-definition.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Vance, Jeffrey Michael

Quantitative EEG Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain

Description: Recent advances in neuroimaging and electromagnetic measurement technology have permitted the exploration of structural and functional brain alterations associated with chronic pain. A number of cortical and subcortical brain regions have been found to be involved in the experience of chronic pain (Baliki et al., 2008; Jensen et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that living with chronic pain shapes the brain from both an architectural and a functional perspective, and that individuals living with chronic pain display altered brainwave activity even at rest. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is a method of spectral analysis that utilizes a fast Fourier transform algorithm to convert analog EEG signals into digital signals, allowing for precise quantification and analysis of signals both at single electrode locations and across the scalp as a whole. An important advance that has been permitted by qEEG analysis is the development of lifespan normative databases against which individual qEEGs can be compared (Kaiser, 2006; Thatcher et al, 2000). Pilot data utilizing qEEG to examine brainwave patterns of individuals with chronic pain have revealed altered EEG activity at rest compared to age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (Burroughs, 2011). The current investigation extended the findings of the pilot study by utilizing qEEG to examine a larger sample of individuals with chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain displayed significantly reduced slow wave activity in frontal, central, and temporal regions. Findings will be presented in terms of specific patterns of altered EEG activity seen in individuals with chronic pain.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Burroughs, Ramona D.