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Cognitive Engagement in Later Life: Descriptive and Explanatory Findings

Description: Findings on the relationship between engagement in lifestyle and cognitive functioning are not consistent; some authors report that engagement in lifestyle predicts an individual's cognitive functioning; while other report that an individual's cognitive functioning predicts the type and level of engagement an individual participates in. The current study will use longitudinal data (N = 235) to investigate the bidirectional relationship between engagement (engaged lifestyle activities) and cognition (crystallized & fluid intelligence). Despite inconsistent findings it is proposed that cognitive functioning may be better understood when examining how stimulation of activity, need for cognition, and openness to experience affect engagement in an active lifestyle. As such the current study will investigate if stimulation of activity, need for cognition, and openness to experience moderate the relationship between engaged lifestyles and cognitive functioning. The results, limitations and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Abdullah, Bashir

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

Interpersonal Factors Related to the Pursuit of a Higher Education Among First Generation Undergraduate Students

Description: The typical educational stressors experienced by college students, in conjunction with developmental stressors such as separation from parents, individuation, and perceived social support, can interact to impact adaptation significantly. First generation college students (students who are the first in their family to attend college) can experience stressors beyond the typical educational stressors experienced by later generation college students, including lack of support from family and peers as well as financial difficulties that can interact to impact the pursuit of an education beyond the undergraduate level. The present study examined factors that may be especially influential in the pursuit of a higher education for first generation college students. Results indicated that aspects of family enmeshment were related to academic motivation for first generation students, but not for later generation students. Exploratory analysis showed that family and finances were mentioned more often among first generation students when compared to later generation students as stressors that strongly influence the desire to continue beyond the undergraduate level.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Aguirre, Jacqueline S.

Relationships Among Self-esteem, Psychological and Cognitive Flexibility, and Psychological Symptomatology

Description: Previous findings on the relationship between self-esteem and psychological outcomes are inconsistent. Therefore it appears that self-esteem, while related to crucial variables, does not provide a clear, direct, and comprehensive prediction of psychological symptoms. Thus, it was hypothesized that the relationship between self-esteem and symptomatology would be moderated by broader measures of how one interacts with emotional and cognitive stimuli.The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of self-esteem, psychological flexibility, and cognitive flexibility on psychological symptomatology. A sample of 82 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed self-report questionnaires measuring low self-esteem, psychological flexibility, measured inversely as inflexibility, cognitive flexibility, and psychological symptoms. Results of the study suggest that self-esteem (?= -0.59, p < 0.001) and flexibility (both psychological (?= 0.36, p = 0.001) and cognitive (?= 0.21, p < 0.05) are significant predictors of psychological symptoms. In other words, self-esteem is positively correlated with psychological symptoms, while psychological and cognitive flexibility are negatively correlated with psychological symptoms. Neither form of flexibility moderated the relationship between self-esteem and psychological symptoms in this sample. The findings of the current study are discussed as well as suggestions for further research related to self-esteem, psychological and cognitive flexibility, and their impact on psychological outcomes.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya, M.

The Relation of Perceived Motivational Climate, Mindset, and Achievement Goal Orientation to Grit in Male High School Soccer Players

Description: Grit is defined as "perseverance and passion for long-term goals." Although studied in relation to various outcomes, such as retention and academic performance, few studies have examined variables that may contribute to grit's development. Further, few studies have examined this construct in relation to sport performance or within athletic environments, despite its clear connection to sport-related constructs like mental toughness and resilience. Thus, based in achievement motivation theory, this study examined the relations of the perceived motivational climate as defined by athletes' perceptions of the coaches' behaviors (task vs. ego), athletes' perceptions of their achievement goal orientation (task vs. ego), athletes' perceptions of their implicit theory (i.e., fundamental beliefs regarding whether or not ability can change; growth vs. fixed), and athletes' perception of their level of grit. Male varsity soccer players (N = 81; Mage = 15.80 ± .81) from a large metropolitan area in the south central U.S. completed questionnaires measuring these achievement motivation constructs. The full regression model was significant, accounting for 18% of the grit variance, F(6, 74) = 2.77, p = .017. Within the full model, having a growth mindset (β = .25, p = .035) and endorsing a task goal orientation (β = .36, p = .004) predicted higher levels of grit for the athletes. Neither the coach-created motivational climate, nor the athletes' ego orientation or fixed mindset, were significantly predicted their grit scores. Consistent with Dweck and Duckworth, components of achievement motivation theory, particularly related to a task or growth perspective, may play an important role in athletes' developing a perspective that allows them to work effectively and diligently toward long-term goals.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Albert, Erin

An Examination of Methodological Rigor and Its Effects on Organizational Development and Change Outcomes

Description: Organizational development and change (ODC) is a broad field because change occurs in all organizations, occurs at multiple organizational levels, consists of numerous interventions, and can impact multiple outcomes. Many ODC efforts attempt to examine the effectiveness of their initiatives, yet fail to account for the quality, or rigor of their methods. The purpose of this paper is to examine how methodological rigor and intervention implementation quality impact ODC outcomes. The results indicate that overall methodological rigor is not a significant predictor of organizational change outcomes; however, several individual rigor criteria exhibit predictive power. Implementation quality is a significant predictor of organizational outcomes, but in a negative direction.
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Date: May 2005
Creator: Alexander, Sandra G.

Retrospective Perceptions of Parent-child Relations as a Variable in Personality Traits of Prison Inmates

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the retrospective perceptions of parent-child relations as measured by the Roe-Siegelman Parent-Child Relations Questionnaire (PCR), personality characteristics as they appear on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and types of crimes of prison inmates, specifically divided into aggressive and non-aggressive crimes.
Date: August 1971
Creator: Allston, Rose B.

Relations between Child Molesters' Self-Perceptions and Treatment Engagement

Description: Researchers emphasize the role of cognitions in sex offenders' molesting behaviors. Although cognitions are important, little research has examined child molesters' thoughts about themselves in relation to their engagement in treatment. In this study, the NEO-Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) was administered to 67 child molesters. Child sexual offenders rated themselves and their view of a typical child molester using two NEO-PI-R versions. The degree to which child sex offenders identify themselves with their view of a typical child molester, and this agreement's relation with engagement in treatment, were investigated. The view that child sex offenders hold about themselves in relation to a typical child molester showed no relation to treatment engagement or length of time in treatment. However, this self-perception was related to the number of children abused.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Altman, Adrianne

Overgeneral Memory and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults Exposed to Family Violence

Description: Childhood exposure to familial violence increases risk for adult pathology, namely posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. Primary PTSD symptoms of hyperarousal and avoidance are implicated in overgeneral memory (OGM) theory in prior research. Individuals with trauma history tend to report OGMs, or non-specific autobiographical memories, perhaps to avoid unpleasant arousal elicited by recalling specific events. OGM, PTSD, depression, and arousal were assessed in adults with and without familial violence history. Arousal was measured via galvanic skin response (GSR) during an autobiographical memory task (AMT), requiring memory recall in response to emotionally-valenced cue words. Familial violence history was linked to higher incidence of PTSD symptoms. Childhood psychological violence was predictive of adult PTSD. Rates of depression, OGM, and arousal did not significantly vary by violence history. Significant gender differences were found relating to type of violence exposure and adult functioning. Research limitations, clinical implications, and future research suggestions are discussed.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Amador, Amy R.

HIV-Associated Dementia: Cofactors as Predictors of Severity of Neurocoenitive Deficits

Description: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between a set of cofactors and severity of cognitive impairment, to determine if there were any factors which significantly predicted more severe neurocognitive deficits in persons with AIDS. Twenty-four male volunteers recruited from community groups and physician referrals participated. Subjects completed several self-report questionnaires eliciting information regarding demographics and risk factor variables, in addition to a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests. A severity of cognitive impairment summary score was computed for each subject, reflecting both the number of impaired tests and their distance in the impaired direction from normative data. Neither CD4 count, number of months since diagnosis of AIDS, number of AIDS-related illnesses, number of recent stressors, history of head injury/LOC, history of substance use, current or past psychiatric disorder, history of learning disability nor history of other medical illness were found to be significantly related to severity of cognitive impairment in this sample, after controlling for the effects of age, level of education, estimated premorbid IQ and mood status. However, no reliable conclusions could be drawn from this study because the small sample size resulted in an unacceptably low level of statistical power for the desired regression analysis. Exploratory analyses of variance revealed no significant group differences for any of the covariate or cofactor variables when subjects falling at the low, middle, and high ranges of severity of impairment were compared, with the exception of a possible inverse relationship with CD4 count. This was consistent with an exploratory stepwise regression analysis in which only CD4 count entered the model. Some potential limitations of the operational definitions used for the variables in this study were identified, and modifications were suggested. The results of additional exploratory analyses comparing group differences between the "globally impaired" and "unimpaired" subjects (Maj et ...
Date: December 1996
Creator: Anderson, Deborah E. (Deborah Elaine), 1967-

The Relationship of Children's Perception of Parental Punitiveness toward Aggression and their Church Attendance

Description: One of the main purposes of the present study was to use a parental punitiveness scale, that was developed on the assumption that parental punitiveness is a function of the situation in which aggression takes place. This in turn was used to determine what relationship a child's perception of parental discipline toward aggression has to varying degrees of church attendance of the child.
Date: August 1970
Creator: Arnold, Russell L.

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

Compulsive Sexual Behavior and Personality Characteristics : A Comparative Analysis

Description: The purpose of the present study was to compare the scores of the Beck Depression Inventory, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Coopersmith Inventory of heterosexual men with compulsive sexual behavior (N = 22), homosexual men with compulsive sexual behavior (N = 19), heterosexual men without compulsive sexual behavior (N = 38), and homosexual men without compulsive sexual behavior (N = 8). The Sex Addiction Screening Test was used to determined placement in a group. Findings revealed men who exhibit compulsive sexual behavior are significantly more depressed, experience lower self-esteem and have higher state anxiety (situational) than controls.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Austin, Christopher Joe

Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Personality Characteristics and Comorbidity

Description: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is surrounded by confusion and controversy regarding its definition, course, etiology and treatment. Among adults, ADHD is rarely considered a diagnostic reality of primary importance and is often overlooked. This study provides descriptive validity for adult ADHD in distinguishing it from controls, and identifying both a pure condition and one wrought with comorbidity.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Austin, Karla Michele

Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder

Description: Bipolar disorder is associated with significant social and occupational impairments, as well as increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. More research is needed to identify potential mechanisms associated with vulnerability to the disorder. Previous research has identified altered processing of emotional information in bipolar and bipolar-prone individuals, including attentional biases which appear to differ based on the current affective state of the individual. The current study applied a sensitive measure of attention (i.e., eye-tracking) to assess whether vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as indexed by hypomanic personality traits, would be correlated with biases in attention to emotional facial stimuli, independent of mood state. Hypomanic personality traits were hypothesized to be associated with greater attention to happy and angry faces, as indexed by faster initial orientation, more frequent gazes, and longer gaze duration for these stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures assessing current mood symptoms, positive and negative affect, and hypomanic personality traits. They then completed two tasks assessing attention for emotional faces. The first was an eye-tracking task, which measured latency to first fixation, total gaze duration and total number of gazes for each emotional face category. The second was a spatial cueing task which assessed both attentional engagement with emotional faces, and ability to disengage attention from this material. Hypomanic personality traits were significantly negatively correlated with latency to orient attention to happy faces. A trend toward decreased latency to orient to angry faces with higher hypomanic personality traits was also demonstrated. Hypomanic traits were not correlated with attention to sad faces. Furthermore, hypomanic traits were associated only with differences in initial orientation of attention, not with continued engagement or disengagement. The results of this study suggest that individuals with higher levels of hypomanic personality traits, who are hypothesized to be at greater risk of developing bipolar disorder, are characterized ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie

The impact of organizational learning and training on multiple job satisfaction factors.

Description: This study explored benefits of providing employee training and development beyond the specific content covered in such interventions. The relationship between training and development opportunities, and associated factors (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intent) were significant among participants. Implications for training and development investment returns are considered. Previous research has identified training and development as an antecedent to perceived organizational support. Results failed to confirm perceived organizational support as mediating the relationship between training and organizational commitment. Age was found to be significantly correlated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intent, while education level was not found to have an impact. Limitations of this study, practical implications and recommendations for further study are discussed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Barcus, Sydney Anne

Organizational development: A comparison of individual and organizational level change.

Description: Organizational change and development (OCD) has been studied by researchers to identify the effectiveness of change initiatives. Because of the broad scope of interventions in OCD, these studies have covered a range of areas including multiple interventions and the methodological rigor used by researchers. However, few have looked at organizational versus individual change within an organization, to examine whether individual change is more effective than organizational change. The purpose of this study is to determine if organizational change occurs in a top down or bottom up manner. A meta-analysis was conducted using 238 field experiments. Each study was coded for intervention and organizational outcome and for individual or organizational level variables. Effect sizes were calculated for each study, each level, and each level by intervention and outcome measure. Results indicate that while OCD interventions overall had a moderate effect size, the level of intervention or outcome was not a moderating variable.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Barnett, Michelle L.