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Differential Associations between Psychopathy Factors and Shooter Bias in the Police Officer's Dilemma

Description: The current study assessed abnormal attention in 71 undergraduate men, approximately half of which displayed elevated psychopathic traits, as they attended to cues on the Police Officer's Dilemma. In the computerized task, participants are instructed to shoot men holding guns and not shoot men holding neutral objects. However, research has shown that irrelevant racial cues in the task can influence participants to shoot unarmed Black men more frequently than unarmed White men; a phenomenon termed shooter bias. Contrary to expectations, individuals with elevated psychopathic traits tended to erroneously shoot unarmed Black men more frequently compared to those with low psychopathy scores. Additional analyses indicated that the interpersonal and lifestyle facets were associated with more interference in determining unarmed Black men as not threatening relative to unarmed White men and the affective domain was associated with faster responses to shooting armed Black men relative to armed White men. Additionally, prejudicial attitudes (i.e., social dominance orientation) moderated the relationship between the affective psychopathic traits and shooting armed Black men by increasing the number of armed Black men identified as threatening relative to armed White targets. These findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between psychopathic traits and prejudicial attitudes and recent refinements to etiological theories of psychopathy.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Roy, Sandeep

An Examination of the Language of Psychopaths: Differences in Prosodic Channels of Communication in Psychopathic and Non-Psychopathic Offenders

Description: Natural speech contains a wealth of information relevant to understanding cognitive and affective psychological processes, which are reflected in both prosodic and semantic channels of communication. While differences in semantic channels have been demonstrated among psychopathic versus non-psychopathic individuals, research on the role of prosody in psychopathy is scant. The Computerized Assessment of Natural Speech protocol provides adetailed assessment of macroscopic-level prosody variables related to underlying psychological processes that have been linked to psychopathological conditions. Psychopathy is a condition that involves a number of disruptions in cognitive and affective processes, which theoretically can be tied to various aspects of speech. The present study provides a novel contribution by examining natural speech output in an offender sample in the context of a clinical interview (Psychopathy Checklist – Revised). More specifically, the present study examined variance in prosody across segments of the PCL-R interview designed to elicit both positively and negatively valenced emotional content, across high and low levels of subjective arousal, in psychopathic (n = 49) and non-psychopathic (n = 44) male offenders who were similar in terms of age, education, race/ethnicity, and IQ. Three-factor mixed MANOVAs (Group x Valence x Arousal) were conducted to evaluate differences in prosodic speech displayed by the offenders. Results indicated significant interactions between psychopathic and non-psychopathic offenders across valence and arousal conditions in terms of percentage of silence, average pause length, longest pause length, average within-utterance variation in subjectively defined pitch and articulation variables, and average rate of change in articulation across speech sample. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Walsh, Hannah C

Marital Satisfaction and Parental Mental Health in Associations with Secure-Base Provision to School-Age Children

Description: The current study examines interrelations among family factors in a sample of married couples with children in middle childhood. Specifically, this study tested the associations between parents' mental health, marital satisfaction, and provision of a secure base through emotional sensitivity to the child. We further explored bidirectional and moderation effects between spouses. Participants included 86 heterosexual couples residing in the North Texas community. Using the actor-partner interdependence model, multilevel modeling results indicated that both spouse's mental health symptomology and relationship satisfaction are linked to parent's self-perceived ability to provide a secure base; several gender effects were also found. Additionally, actor relationship satisfaction significantly moderated the association between actor mental health symptomology and secure-base provision. In the context of low actor satisfaction, as the actor's mental health symptomology increases, secure-base provision also increases; however, in the context of high actor satisfaction, as actor's mental health symptomology increases, secure-base provision decreases. Additionally, partner relationship satisfaction significantly moderated the association between partner mental health symptomology and actor secure-base provision. In the context of low partner satisfaction, as partner mental health symptomology increases, actor secure-base provision increases; however, in the context of high partner satisfaction, as partner mental health symptomology increases, actor secure-base provision decreases. Spill-over, compensatory, and cross-over hypotheses, strengths, limitations, implications, and future directions are discussed.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Oosterhouse, Kendra

Mental Illness Stigma, Parent-Child Communication, and Help-Seeking of Young American Adults with Immigrant Parents

Description: This study examined a mediational model of mental illness stigma, parent-child communication about mental health concerns, and help seeking attitudes/behaviors among young adults with at least one immigrant parent while considering the possible moderating effect of acculturation gap. The primary goal of this study was to examine whether the acculturation gap changed the relation between mental illness stigma and communication about personal mental health concerns with immigrant parents, which in turn could become a significant predictor of their help-seeking attitudes, as well as a barrier to seeking professional mental health services. Findings provided support to the direct and indirect effects of mental illness stigma through communication about mental health concerns on attitudes about help-seeking. The acculturation gap hypothesized to be a possible moderator for the stigma-communication about mental health concerns relationship among young adult ABCI was found to be significant for ABCI with a low mainstream culture acculturation gap. Discussion on the findings, limitations of the study, future research directions, and counseling implications are addressed.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Bismar, Danna

Pathways to Prolonged Grief and Posttraumatic Growth: Examining the Roles of Attachment, Identity Distress, and Shattered Assumptions

Description: The sudden or violent death of a loved one (e.g., suicide, homicide, accident, etc.) poses unique challenges for the bereaved. Research has found such losses to be associated with higher levels of chronic psychological distress, now termed Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder in the DSM-5 and Prolonged Grief Disorder in the forthcoming ICD-11. The present study, developed through the lens of Multidimensional Grief Theory (MGT; Kaplow et al., 2013), explored underlying mechanisms and risk and protective factors for both prolonged grief and posttraumatic growth. With a mixed college and community sample of 374 traumatically bereaved adults, results of a path analysis suggest that insecure attachment strategies play a significant role in prolonged grief symptoms through the mediators of identity distress and shattered assumptions. Faced with the traumatic loss of a loved one, the ability and desire to effectively access relationships facilitating intentional processing that promotes cognitive reorganization is predicated on the bereaved's internal working model of attachment. Specifically, attachment anxiety in relation to close others and God, and attachment avoidance in relation to close others, were indirectly associated with prolonged grief. However, attachment avoidance in relation to God was negatively associated with both prolonged grief and posttraumatic growth, and there was no evidence for mediation. One explanation for this could be that individuals endorsing divine attachment avoidance are less likely to make negative religious attributions about the death, which have been associated with chronic psychological distress, but are also less likely to be able to utilize the sacred as a context for growth. By considering traumatically bereaved individuals' internal working model of attachment, level of identity distress, and potentially shattered assumptions, our model accounted for each of MGT's three domains of distress thought to impact post-lost adjustment. That these domains were both inter-related and associated with differential outcomes speaks to the ...
Date: August 2018
Creator: Captari, Laura E

The Relationship of Appearance Pressures, Exercise Behaviors, and Reasons for Exercise to the Psychological Well-Being of Retired Female Athletes

Description: Retirement from sport can be difficult for athletes. Physically, retirement is associated with challenges such as weight gain, muscle loss, and degradation of physical skills. Psychologically, retirement has been linked to increased identity confusion, depression, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating. Research shows that exercise is a way athletes cope with stressors such as psychosocial pressure and retirement. However, exercise is positively correlated with psychological well-being for some individuals, whereas for others exercise is associated with increased levels of depression, anxiety, and body dissatisfaction. Reasons for exercise behavior, as well as the type of exercise in which someone engages, may explain the contrasting psychological outcomes of exercise. I examined perceived societal pressures, exercise, and reasons for exercise in relation to the psychological well-being (i.e., depression, satisfaction with life, body satisfaction) of 218 college female athletes who had been retired from 2-6 years. Through regression analysis, I examined the extent to which the predictors were related to each measure of psychological well-being, controlling for BMI and years since retirement. For life satisfaction (Adj. R2 = .08), exercising to meet potential romantic partner was significant (β = -.158). Higher levels of depressive symptoms (Adj. R2 = .15) were predicted by exercising to improve appearance (β = .198) and feeling pressure to exercise (β = .212). For body satisfaction (Adj. R2 = .42), exercising to prevent illness/injury (β = .197) and to prepare to compete in sport competitions (β = .141) were associated with the increased body satisfaction, whereas a higher BMI (β = -.193) and exercising to improve appearance (β = -.167) were related to decreased body satisfaction. Future research might address psychological predictors immediately post retirement, as this is when retirement may be more stressful.
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Date: August 2018
Creator: Mikesell, Matthew

Transitioning from Sport: Retirement and Former Female Collegiate Athletes' Satisfaction with Life, Depressive Symptomatology, and Body Satisfaction

Description: Retirement from elite sport can be highly distressing for athletes, and many athletes report elevated depression and anxiety or body dissatisfaction when going through this transition. Factors that may be important in determining a higher level of adjustment in retirement include feeling in control of when and how retirement occurs, planning occupationally for after sport, and having achieved sport goals. Thus, we examined how such factors related to former female collegiate athletes (N = 218) satisfaction with life, depression, and body satisfaction. Two to six years post retirement, athletes completed an online questionnaire that measured their satisfaction with life, depressive symptomatology, and body satisfaction; retirement factors were measured by the 12-items from the BALANCE scale. Through regression analyses, we examined the extent to which each of the 12 retirement factors is related to life satisfaction, depression, and body satisfaction; time since retirement was unrelated to these outcomes. Future research might address the transition immediately following retirement utilizing these factors that appear most influential.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Wartalowicz, Karolina Maria

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