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Association of Personality Facets with Unique Dimensions of PTSD

Description: The present study aims to examine which maladaptive and Big Five personality traits, as well as which lower order facets, are related to symptoms specific to PTSD (i.e., intrusions and avoidance). Unique effects were isolated by controlling for nonspecific general depression that occurs in the disorder but is not specific to it. 707 undergraduate students were administered a self-report online survey to assess their personality, trauma history, PTSD and mood symptoms. Additionally, data from 536 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) responders who have been administered personality, PTSD, and mood surveys as part of a longitudinal study were analyzed. As expected, neuroticism was highly correlated with PTSD, but had fewer associations with PTSD dimensions after controlling for depression. Trust and agreeableness emerged as important, being negatively related to PTSD, while most maladaptive personality domains and facets were positively related to PTSD (perceptual dysregulation had the highest association). Other traits, such as antagonism and openness, were not significantly related to PTSD. There is growing evidence that clinical interventions can change personality traits; the present study provides new personality targets for intervention that are uniquely related to PTSD.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Shteynberg, Yuliya A

Effects of Bodily Arousal on Desire to Drink Alcohol among Trauma-Exposed Emerging Adult College Students

Description: Alcohol consumption on college campuses is a major public health concern, particularly among emerging adults. Extant literature has identified trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress as robust risk factors for problematic alcohol use. However, the mechanisms underlying this association are less well-studied. Research indicates that bodily arousal is a fundamental feature of trauma exposure and posits that internal stimuli (e.g., heart pounding) at the time of trauma may manifest into conditioned cues that can trigger posttraumatic responding and related symptomatology, including alcohol use. However, past work supporting these assertions have used paradigms purposefully designed to evoke memories of the trauma, making it difficult to conclude whether the subsequent alcohol craving was due more to the explicit memory cue or the associated bodily arousal. The current study examined whether an implicit, trauma-relevant cue of bodily arousal (via hyperventilation) – independent of any explicit memory cue – would elicit increased desire to drink among 80 (Mage = 20.34; 63.8% female) trauma-exposed, emerging adult students. Results found no statistically significant difference in change in alcohol craving between the hyperventilation and control tasks. However, exploratory analyses indicated that trauma type (i.e., interpersonal/non-interpersonal) may moderate this relationship; more specifically, individuals reporting interpersonal trauma as their most traumatic event evidenced a significantly greater increase in desire to drink following hyperventilation compared to the non-interpersonal index trauma group. Generally, results suggest that bodily arousal, without an explicit trauma reminder, is not a specific and/or powerful enough trauma-relevant cue to reliably influence alcohol cravings across all trauma exposed emerging adult students. Suggestions for future directions to help in identifying at-risk subgroups, as well as methodological and procedural improvements, are discussed.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Kearns, Nathan T

Examining the Clinical Utility of Research Domain Criteria in an Outpatient Sample

Description: This study examined the clinical utility of the recently released National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) research domain criteria (RDoC) by replicating and extending earlier work by using a demographically novel sample. Information retrieval and natural language processing of archival clinical records was used to achieve two main objectives: (1) estimate how well the RDoC domains match language used by clinicians by creating domain scores and (2) examine the differences between the DSM's and RDoC's ability to predict treatment outcome using these domain scores and DSM diagnoses. The social systems RDoC category was found to be the strongest predictor of treatment outcome across all diagnostic measures.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Love, Patrick K

Feeling Fat and Depressed: Positive Dimensions of Self-Concept Lessen that Relationship for College Men

Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine if positive family, social, and/or academic dimensions of SC weaken (i.e., moderate) the direct relationship between physical SC (i.e., a person's evaluation of their physique, adiposity, and weight) and depressive symptoms in a sample of adult men. A convenience sample of 239 college men completed self-report measures including the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale-2 (TSCS-2) and Symptom Checklist-90 Revised. Hierarchical regressions revealed that family and social SC were significant moderators of the relationship between physical SC and depressive symptoms, suggesting how men see themselves in their family and social systems affects the aforementioned relationship. Academic SC, however, was not a significant moderator; it was negatively related to depressive symptoms no matter how men felt about their physical selves. Our findings suggest that feeling positively about one's relationships may protect men with poor physical SC from experiencing symptoms of depression at the rates or intensity of their similarly body dissatisfied peers who do not report positive family or social SC. An additional simultaneous regression assessed the contribution of various dimensions of SC to the prediction of depressive symptoms, physical (7.76%), social (8.02%) and academic (6.62%) self-concept accounted for significant amount of variance in symptoms of depression which family SC (2.61%) did not. College counselors who assist men presenting with poor physical SC or depressive symptoms should assess for the other problem, as they commonly co-occur. In addition, they may consider helping them to improve the quality of their relationships in family and social systems as reasonable interventions for both depression and poor physical SC. Importantly, men who experience their academic SC as deficient should be considered at-risk for depression, although more research is needed to help identify the types of students who report low academic SC. In addition, men with symptoms of depression would ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: McGregor, Carlie C

From Childhood Maltreatment to Depressive Symptoms in Adulthood: The Roles of Self-Compassion and Shame

Description: We hypothesized that the formation of malevolent introjects undermines the development of self-compassion, which in turn produces greater feelings of shame. We hypothesized that these feelings of shame account for concurrent depressive symptoms in adulthood. To test these hypotheses, we proposed a multiple mediator mediation model in which our independent variable was childhood maltreatment. We modeled child maltreatment as negatively predicting our first mediator, self-compassion, which in turn positively predicted internalized shame. We modeled internalized shame as positively predicting scores on our dependent variable, adult depressive symptoms. Participants were 158 adults fluent in English who were community members and college students living in a southwestern American metroplex. The model accounted for 61.8% of the variance in depressive symptoms in adulthood. A significant indirect effect from child maltreatment passed through both our mediators and ended in depressive symptoms in adulthood. We discuss limitations and theoretical and clinical implications, and future directions.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Ross, Nicholas Dutra

Larks and Hearts: Circadian Mismatch and Effort Intensity

Description: My experiment concerned the influence of chronobiological (circadian) rhythm on fatigue, effort, and cardiovascular (CV) response. It evaluated responses of morning people (Larks) presented an easy or difficult recognition memory task at a time congruent or incongruent with their rhythm. Based on an extension of a conceptual analysis of fatigue influence, my central prediction was that circadian rhythm would combine interactionally with task difficulty to determine effort and associated CV responses. Specifically, effort and associated CV responses were expected to be (1) positively correspondent to task difficulty in the morning (stronger where difficulty is high), but (2) negatively correspondent to difficulty in the evening (stronger where difficulty is low). Preliminary results showed concerning gender effects on difficulty appraisal of the task, thus we examined women and men's data separately. CV findings for women were broadly, but not completely, consistent with predictions. Analyses revealed no group differences in CV response for Lark men.
Date: May 2018
Creator: Carbajal, Ivan

The Revised Stress-Related Growth Scale: Improving the Measurement of Posttraumatic Growth

Description: This study evaluated a revised version of the Stress-Related Growth Scale (SRGS-R). The SRGS-R has two major differences from the Stress-Related Growth Scale (SRGS). It uses neutral wording of items instead of the original positively worded items, and it uses positive and negative scaling choices. This study included participants (N = 764) recruited through Amazon MTurk. There were three versions of the SRGS-R tested - the SRGS with neutral wording of items only (SRGS-R-N), the SRGS with positive and negative scaling only (SRGS-R-S), and the SRGS-R, with both changes. We randomly assigned participants to complete one of four PTG measures - the SRGS-R-N, SRGS-R-S, SRGS-R, or the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI). The PTGI elicited the largest levels of reported PTG, while the SRGS-R elicited the smallest levels. The two modified versions displayed scores between the SRGS-R and the PTGI in the small and moderate growth groups. In the current study the SRGS-R was negatively related to PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety (negative, but not statistically significant), global distress (negative, but not statistically significant), and avoidance-focused coping (negative, but not statistically significant), and positively related to positive well-being, quality of life, problem-focused coping, and emotion-focused coping. In comparison, the PTGI was unrelated to depression, anxiety, and global distress, and positively related to PTSD symptoms, positive well-being, quality of life, and all three coping styles. These findings provide further evidence that the SRGS-R is an improvement over the PTGI in measuring actual growth, while limiting illusory growth. We found the combination of these changes yields the greatest improvements in measurement. By improving the measurement of PTG, we can reduce the variation in reported PTG following traumatic events found throughout the literature. This will allow researchers and clinicians to better identify which factors contribute to growth following traumatic events, and aid them in designing ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Bedford, Lee

Academic and Social Functioning of College Students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Description: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complicated psychiatric disorder that is typically first diagnosed in childhood and associated with negative outcomes in adulthood such as poor academic performance and difficulties with social relationships. ADHD can be difficult to accurately diagnose in adulthood, given the absence of clear, agreed upon ADHD symptomology in adults. In the current study, two raters used psychometrically sound instruments and diagnostically valid assessment techniques on an archival dataset to create three distinct groups: ADHD [2/3 with other mental health diagnosis (OMH)], OMH only, and no diagnosis. Findings support the value of comprehensive assessment, combined with a thorough evaluation of the material by a trained clinician, for the accurate diagnosis of ADHD for research purposes. Comparisons were made across groups to infer that college students with ADHD have lower grade point averages and academic self-concept than students without mental health diagnoses. Yet, contrary to much of the current literature, college students with ADHD seem to create as strong, deep, supportive and harmonious relationships with loved ones and close friends as their non-diagnosed peers. Clinicians working with college students with ADHD may use the results of the current study to better inform conceptualization, better recognize the innate resilience college students with ADHD likely have, and inform treatment interventions.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Calmenson, Nina

Ethnic and Sexual Minority Differences in the Prediction of Disordered Eating and Exercise Behaviors in College Men

Description: Despite growing evidence of their prevalence, clinical and subclinical disordered eating behaviors among men continue to be understudied phenomena. When compared to females, predictors of male disordered eating vary across ethnic groups, suggesting cultural influences on disordered eating. Moreover, gay and bisexual men experience pronounced levels of body dissatisfaction, sensitivity to societal body image standards, and subsequent disordered eating when compared to straight men and gay women. This study investigated possible differences in prediction of disordered eating among intersections of male ethnicity and sexuality. We approached this question through a transtheoretical lens that integrated intersectionality and minority stress theories. Archival data from a sample of African American, Latino, and White college men were analyzed using hierarchical multiple regression. Predictors of emotional and binge eating behaviors differed across ethnicity, in that body dissatisfaction and media internalization for African American and Latino males exhibit the strongest unique associations with emotional and binge eating behaviors, while the strongest unique predictors of emotional and binge eating behaviors among White males are depressive symptoms and low self-esteem. Moreover, African American sexual identity and depressive symptoms interact, as gay or bisexual men report stronger unique associations between depression symptoms and emotional and binge eating. All predictors (i.e., body dissatisfaction, depression symptoms, low self-esteem, media internalization, and sexual minority identity) were unable to explain sufficient variance in over exercise behaviors in African American men. Results suggest ethnicity and sexual orientation are meaningful to the experience of disordered eating in men, and that underlying mechanisms may exhibit differing associative patterns across ethnic identity. Clinicians working with ethnically and sexually diverse male disordered eating populations may use the results to better inform treatment interventions and conceptualization. These findings also support the value of intersectional quantitative methodology and the limits of relying on single-axis identity as a predictive element.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Pereira, Andrew

Facets of Positive Affect and Risk for Bipolar Disorder: Role of the Behavioral Activation System

Description: Bipolar disorder is characterized by disruptions in mood and affect that occur not only during mood episodes, but during euthymic periods as well. At the same time, sensitivity of the behavioral activation system (BAS) has been implicated in the disorder and is a risk marker for it. Less clear is the relationship between BAS sensitivity and positive affect, particularly lower level facets of positive affect. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between positive affect and vulnerability for mania as assessed using BAS sensitivity. Specifically, the link between daily levels and fluctuations of positive affect and baseline BAS sensitivity was examined. Following the hierarchical model of affect, this study also assessed the relationship between BAS sensitivity and the distinct facets of positive affect. Finally, this study examined whether BAS sensitivity moderates associations between daily rewards and positive affect. Undergraduates (N = 265) from a large university in the South were recruited to complete measures of BAS sensitivity, affect, and mood symptoms at baseline. Using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), participants completed daily surveys assessing affect and engagement with rewarding situations. An exploratory factory analysis revealed a four factor structure of positive affect, consisting of Serenity, Joviality, Attentiveness, and Self-Assurance. Greater daily levels of overall positive affect, as well as the lower order facets of Joviality, Self-Assurance, and Attentiveness, were predicted by heightened BAS sensitivity. In contrast, the facet of Serenity demonstrated minimal associations with BAS sensitivity. The study findings support a multi-faceted structure of positive affect and suggest that certain facets may be more closely related to risk for bipolar disorder. Specifically, Joviality and Self-Assurance may represent maladaptive forms of positive affect, whereas Serenity may function as a protective element against bipolar disorder.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Dornbach-Bender, Allison

Cultural Humility, Religion, and Health in Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) Populations

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the religion – health link in a sample of adults and undergraduate students (N = 555) that identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB), and to explore how perceptions of cultural humility of religious individuals and groups toward LGB individuals affect the relationship between religion and health. First, I found religious commitment among LGB individuals was positively correlated with satisfaction in life, but it was negatively correlated with physical health. Second, I found that cultural humility moderated the relationship between religious commitment and satisfaction in life for LGB individuals involved in a religious community. The lowest levels of satisfaction with life were found for individuals with low religious commitment and perceived the cultural humility of their religious community to be low. However, cultural humility did not moderate the relationship between religious commitment and mental and physical health outcomes. Third, I found cultural humility did not moderate the relationship between religious commitment and minority stress (i.e., internalized homophobia). Fourth, I found that cultural humility was a significant positive predictor of motivations to forgive a hurt caused by a religious individual. I conclude by discussing limitations, areas for future research, and implications for counseling.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Mosher, David Keith

Cardiovascular Response to a Behavioral Restraint Challenge: Urge Magnitude Influence in Men and Women

Description: Agtarap, Wright, Mlynski, Hammad, and Blackledge took an initial step in providing support for the predictive validity of a new conceptual analysis concerned with behavioral restraint, defined as active resistance against a behavioral impulse or urge. The current study was designed to partially replicate and extend findings from their study, employing a common film protocol and a procedure for inducing low- and high levels of fatigue. Analyses on key data indicated that the fatigue manipulation was ineffective. On the other hand, they supported the suggestion that behavioral restraint should be proportional to the strength of an urge being resisted so long as success is perceived as possible and worthwhile. Analyses also provided evidence of gender differences for this behavioral restraint task. Women showed relatively enhanced CV responses to my manipulation of urge magnitude, performed less well, rated the behavioral restraint challenge as harder, and rated success on the more difficult behavioral restraint task as more important. A broad indication is that men and women can differ in the strength of impulses they experience in response to stimulus presentations as well as in the importance they place on resisting the impulses.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Mlynski, Christopher

Development of an Outcome Measure for Use in Psychology Training Clinics

Description: The ability to monitor client change in psychotherapy over time is vital to quality assurance in service delivery as well as the continuing improvement of psychotherapy research. Unfortunately, there is not currently a comprehensive, affordable, and easily utilized outcome measure for psychotherapy specifically normed and standardized for use in psychology training clinics. The current study took the first steps in creating such an outcome measure. Following development of an item bank, factor analysis and item-response theory analyses were applied to data gathered from a stratified sample of university (n = 101) and community (n = 261) participants. The factor structure did not support a phase model conceptualization, but did reveal a structure consistent with the theoretical framework of the research domain criteria (RDoC). Suggestions for next steps in the measure development process are provided and implications discussed.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Davis, Elizabeth C.

The Effects of Defensiveness and Social Desirability on the Reporting of Personality Traits

Description: Psychological assessment relies on accurate and forthright reporting to determine valid clinical presentations. However, it has long been recognized that examinees may be motivated to present a "better picture" through Positive Impression Management (PIM). Within the PIM domain, two distinct motivations (i.e., defensiveness and social desirability) emerge that have not been clearly differentiated in empirical literature. This thesis addressed the research gap for detecting PIM distortion of personality pathology, utilizing the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). In this investigation, 106 psychiatric inpatients were recruited from the adult Co-Occurring Disorders and Trauma Programs at University Behavioral Health. Using a mixed within- and between-subjects design, participants engaged in simulation via scenarios to be considered for a highly valued rehabilitation program (defensiveness) or employment (social desirability). As expected, inpatients showed elevated levels of problematic personality traits when reporting genuinely, but suppressed them under PIM conditions. These findings highlight that the PID-5, like all multiscale inventories, is highly vulnerable to intentional PIM distortion. Interestingly, respondents in the social desirability condition generally engaged in more total denial than those in the defensiveness condition. Empirically- and theoretically-based validity scales were developed to identify simulators and differentiate between conditions. Besides PIM, higher levels of experienced stigma were associated with more personality pathology, particularly the domain of Detachment. In addition, ancillary analyses showed strong convergence of the PID-5 with its hierarchical trait model to the DSM-IV categorical model. Continued research to detect PIM distortion, and more importantly to differentiate between PIM motivations, is essential for accurate clinical assessment of personality disorder traits and effective treatment planning.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Williams, Margot Maryanne

The Effects of Resilience and Self-Compassion on Symptoms of Stress and Growth Resulting from Combat Exposure in Service Members

Description: The current study examined the impact of resilience and self-compassion on the relationship between combat exposure and psychological outcomes, specifically post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth. Service members and veterans with combat exposure (N = 143) completed an online survey, through which they were administered a Background Questionnaire, the Combat Exposure Scale, the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and the Self-Compassion Scale. Results of a path analysis revealed a positive direct effect of combat exposure on post-traumatic stress symptoms and post-traumatic growth and a negative direct effect of self-compassion on post-traumatic stress symptoms. Furthermore, self-compassion moderated the relationship between combat exposure and post-traumatic growth. Implications of these findings and future directions for research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Raiche, Emily

Emerging Adults Delay Mental Illness Treatment: Another Manifestation of Experiential Avoidance?

Description: Emerging adulthood is a term coined to recognize 18 to 25 year-olds who engage in self-exploration while not yet fully identifying as adults. Many emerging adult college students experience stress, anxiety, and depression. Although many colleges provide affordable and available mental health resources for students, many students who need help appear to not utilize these services. Gaining greater understanding of underlying processes that influence psychological treatment-seeking behavior is imperative. The current study sought to explore the role experiential avoidance (EA) plays as a treatment-seeking barrier in the context of emerging adulthood. Undergraduate students completed online measures of emerging adulthood dimensions, psychological symptoms, EA, self-stigma of, perceived public stigma of, intentions to, and attitudes and beliefs towards seeking treatment, treatment seeking behavior, and a demographics questionnaire. Binomial hierarchical logistic regressions and correlational analyses examined the relationship of EA and treatment-seeking behaviors, accounting for known barriers and emerging adult characteristics. After controlling for demographic variables, results indicated that EA was significantly positively correlated with self-stigma (r = .187), p < .001), perceived public stigma (r = .178, p < .001), intentions (r - .207, p < .001), psychological symptoms (r = .713, p < .001), and attitudes and beliefs (r = .009, p = .003). These and other findings are discussed further, along with the study limitations and implications, as well as possible future directions for work in this area.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Hulsey, Teresa

The Impact of Causative Genes on Neuropsychological Functioning in Familial Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease: A Meta-Analysis

Description: Mutations of three genes encoding amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2) have been shown to reliably result in familial early-onset Alzheimer's disease (FAD); a rare, but catastrophic, subtype of Alzheimer's disease (AD) marked by symptom emergence before age 65 as well as accelerated cognitive deterioration. The current study represents the first known meta-analysis on the association of APP, PSEN1 or PSEN2 on neurocognitive variables. A total of 278 FAD mutation-carriers (FAD-MC) and 284 cognitively healthy non-mutation-carriers (NC) across 10 independent investigations meeting inclusion criteria were chosen for the current meta-analysis (random effects design). Findings revealed an overarching trend of poorer performance by FAD-MC individuals compared to NC individuals across the majority of cognitive domains identified. Significant differences in effect sizes suggested FAD-MC individuals exhibited worse performance on measures of attention, explicit memory, fluency, primary memory, verbal, and visuospatial functioning. Findings indicative of differential sensitivity to cognitive domain impairments across FAD-MC and NC groups inform neuropsychological descriptions of individuals in preclinical phases of FAD.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Smotherman, Jesse M

Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning: An Investigation of Miranda Abilities in Adult Inpatients

Description: Nearly 700,000 suspects with mental disorders are arrested and Mirandized each year. The current study systematically examined the effects of cognitive deficits and psychological symptoms on both Miranda comprehension and reasoning. The current sample was comprised of 85 adult psychiatric inpatients recruited from University Behavioral Health (UBH), a private psychiatric hospital in North Texas. Unexpectedly, most inpatients demonstrated pervasive deficits in their immediate recall of a representative Miranda warning, omitting approximately four-fifths of its content. In addition, the majority of inpatients evidenced damaging errors in their reasoning about waiver decisions. As a result, 64.7% waived and subsequently confessed after only a 3-5 minute interrogation. Interestingly, impaired verbal ability but not the severity of their symptoms predicted greater deficits in Miranda comprehension.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Winningham, Darby B.

The Relation of Sport Involvement and Gender to Fitness, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Concept in Middle School Students

Description: In the current study, the relation of the frequency of sport participation and gender to CRF, muscular strength and flexibility, body composition, physical activity self-efficacy, and physical self-concept in a sample of 629 sixth graders were examined. Because both physical activity and sport participation have been related to similar outcomes, activity through physical education was controlled by including only 6th graders who were part of a required school class. MANCOVA analyses demonstrated that sport involvement was significantly related to improvements in physical fitness (i.e., CRF and muscular strength), physical activity self-efficacy, and physical self-concept (CRF and muscular strength). The interaction between sport involvement and gender was not significant, suggesting these relationships existed equally for the boys and girls.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Clevinger, Kristina J

Relations among Parental Responding to Offspring Emotion, Emotion Approach Coping, and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms among Trauma-Exposed College Students

Description: The present investigation evaluated whether dispositional use of emotional approach coping partially accounts for the association between parental response to emotional expression and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in a sample of 252 trauma-exposed individuals drawn from a pool of college students and college-age members of the community at-large. An online survey assessed parental reactions to participants' negative emotions during childhood (i.e., offspring retrospective report), as well as participant trauma history, PTSS, and use of emotional approach coping. Findings complement literature illustrating the long-lasting implications of the parent-child relationship, such that both supportive and unsupportive parenting were related to PTSS. Supportive parental reactions also were related to emotional expression, but not emotional processing, and unsupportive reactions did not significantly relate to either aspect of emotional approach coping. Notably, emotional approach coping strategies were unrelated to PTSS in the full sample, and thus the indirect effects models were not supported. Post hoc analyses indicated preliminary support for the indirect effect of emotional expression on the relation between supportive parenting and PTSS in the local college student sample (n = 117). Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Dziurzynski, Kristan E.

Sexual Identity and Social Anxiety in Emerging Adulthood

Description: Elevated social anxiety (SA) is linked to issues with emotional distress, substance use, and social anxiety disorder (SAD). Notwithstanding concerns of how sexuality has been defined in the extant literature, emerging evidence suggests that the prevalence of SA and related challenges may be disproportionately present among sexual minorities, including lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (LGBs). This trend may be especially relevant within the developmental context of emerging adulthood, an important period for development of sexual identity, and a time when individuals are already predisposed to heightened feelings of SA. The present study examined the relationship between sexual orientation (measured using sexual identity, sexual attraction, and past romantic and sexual behavior) and social anxiety (related to social interaction and social performance) among emerging adults. minority sexual identities [Welch's F(5,48.08) = 5.56, p = .002, ηp2 = .02.], same-sex attraction [Welch's F(4,108.06) = 11.27, p < .001, ηp2 = .04], and same-sex romantic [Welch's F(5,85.91) = 6.88, p < .001, ηp2 = .03] and sexual experiences[F(5,61.95) = 8.88, p < .001, ηp2 = .04], particularly among those who indicated attraction to multiple sexes. Findings support research that indicates that sexual minority adults experience higher levels of SA than majority (i.e., heterosexual, opposite-sex oriented) adults, and that assessment of sexuality may reflect number of sexual minorities identified. Future directions including intersections of race/ethnicity and gender are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Akibar, Alvin

Adolescents' Social Networking Use and Its Relationship to Attachment and Mental Health

Description: Adolescents spend much of their time using the internet and electronic media. Since its inception, the use of online social networking (OSN) sites by adolescents continues to grow. With the proliferation of OSN, it is critical to examine how this activity affects psychological development, but better measurement tools are needed. As researchers struggle to keep up with this rapidly growing field, many gaps remain in the literature investigating the interrelations between adolescent's OSN use and mental health outcomes. Research examining the relationship between OSN and mental health outcomes, specifically depression and anxiety, has produced mixed results suggesting that other factors influence this association. A large research literature documents associations between attachment and mental health. Given that attachment also affects interpersonal communication, several studies have investigated links between attachment and OSN use in adult and college populations. Results indicated that even though attachment to father was independently related to anxiety and depression symptoms, it was not a significant moderator for mental health and OSN. Attachment to mother was a significant moderator for anxiety and depression and several OSN subscales. Based on this information, a greater focus on youth's interpersonal connection and social skills both online and offline may be beneficial when treating adolescents experiencing anxiety or depression.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Woolford, Brittany

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

Coping Strategy as Mediator between Parental Attachment and the Parent-Child Relationship

Description: Previous research has shown that adult attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are associated with both coping strategy use and the parent-child relationship. Additionally, research has shown that coping strategy is associated with aspects of the parent-child relationship. The current study aimed to further examine associations between parental romantic attachment, coping strategy use, and the parent-child relationship. It was hypothesized that coping strategy use would mediate the relationship between parental romantic attachment and aspects of the parent-child relationship. Participants included 86 heterosexual couples (N = 176 parents) from the Family and Kid Connection project archival dataset. Instruments included a demographic questionnaire, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, a brief measure of coping, and the Attachment and Relational Frustration Subscales of the Parenting Relationship Questionnaire. An actor-partner independence model was proposed and tested via multilevel modeling. Higher levels of parental attachment anxiety predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Father's attachment avoidance also predicted poorer father-child relationships. Higher levels of both parental attachment dimensions predicted greater use of avoidant emotional coping. Finally, greater use of avoidant emotional coping predicted poorer parent-child relationships. Results partially supported proposed mediational hypotheses. Two mediational paths were supported by results: an actor-actor path in which fathers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between fathers' romantic attachment avoidance and father-child attachment, and an actor-actor path in which mothers' avoidant emotional coping mediated the association between mothers' romantic attachment anxiety and mother-child attachment.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Baxter, Lauren N