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Cognitive and Perceptual-Motor Indicators of Lateralized vs. Diffuse Brain Damage in Adults.

Description: Among the goals of the neuropsychological assessment are to detect the presence of brain damage, localize which areas of the brain may be dysfunctional and describe subsequent functional impairments. The sensitivity of neuropsychological instruments in carrying out these functions is a question of some debate. The purpose of this study is to determine the utility of lateralizing indicators from the WAIS-III, McCarron Assessment of Neuromuscular Development (MAND) and Haptic Visual Discrimination Test (HVDT), from the McCarron-Dial System Neuropsychological Assessment Battery (MDS), in ascertaining the presence or absence of brain damage as well as location of lesion. The classification accuracies of using performance level indicators from these tests and lateralizing indicators, alone and together, were compared.
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Date: December 2002
Creator: Gregory, Erin Kathleen Taylor

The relationship of personality traits to depression in a geriatric population.

Description: In later life, adverse life events, disability, health problems, inadequate social support, and personality traits hypothesized to be important risk factors for depression. Sample included 35 older (65-84) physical rehabilitation patients in a large metropolitan hospital. Statistical analysis included Pearson Product Moment correlations and multiple regression results. Perceived physical health, instrumental ADLs, life satisfaction, extraversion, and conscientiousness are inversely related to depressive symptom severity; neuroticism is positively related to depressive symptom severity. Regression models predicted depressive symptom severity, PANAS negative effect and PANAS positive affect. Neuroticism, insrumental ADLs, and age are significant predictors of depressive symptom severity; neuroticism and age are signficant predictors of PANAS negative affect, while extraversion is a significant predictor of PANAS positive affect. Personality factors, level of functioning, and age are important factors relating to mood. Limitations of this study include: small sample size with special characteristics (high level of SES); incomplete personal and family history of psychiatric problems; and lack of clinical comparison sample.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Wright, Anna M.

Adolescent Psychopathy in an Adjudicated Male Population: The Role of Sensation Seeking, Impulsivity, and Externalizing Disorders

Description: Psychopathy, as conceptualized by Cleckley (1941), describes a constellation of psychological and behavioral correlates including superficial charm, untruthfulness, lack of remorse or shame, poor judgment, and failure to learn from experience. Based on Cleckley's initial work, Hare (1991) developed a two-factor model of psychopathy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, conduct disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder have on adolescents classified as psychopaths. The participants consisted of 79 adjudicated male adolescents in a maximum-security facility. As hypothesized, adolescent male psychopaths had higher levels of sensation seeking, impulsivity, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. A discriminant function analysis found that sensation seeking, impulsivity, ADHD, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder was moderately useful in classifying adolescent psychopathy. The results suggest that behavioral dysregulation is an important aspect of adolescent psychopathy. The relationship of these data to theories of adolescent psychopathy is discussed.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Vitacco, Michael J.

Automaticity and Hemispheric Specialization in Emotional Expression Recognition: Examined using a modified Stroop Task

Description: The main focus of this investigation was to examine the automaticity of facial expression recognition through valence judgments in a modified photo-word Stroop paradigm. Positive and negative words were superimposed across male and female faces expressing positive (happy) and negative (angry, sad) emotions. Subjects categorized the valence of each stimulus. Gender biases in judgments of expressions (better recognition for male angry and female sad expressions) and the valence hypothesis of hemispheric advantages for emotions (left hemisphere: positive; right hemisphere: negative) were also examined. Four major findings emerged. First, the valence of expressions was processed automatically (robust interference effects). Second, male faces interfered with processing the valence of words. Third, no posers' gender biases were indicated. Finally, the emotionality of facial expressions and words was processed similarly by both hemispheres.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Beall, Paula M.

Efficacy of Juvenile Offender Assessments: Utilization of Recommendations, Measurement Constructs, and Risk Factors

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of juvenile offender assessments. Data from 104 juvenile offender assessments were analyzed and followed up with placement, subsequent offending, and outcome data from the juvenile and adult systems. Constructs consistently assessed included intellectual functioning, academic achievement, and personality functioning; however, under-diagnosis of intellectual deficits, learning disabilities, and personality disorders was found. Results indicated the assessment of family functioning, substance use, and social functioning should be included in comprehensive assessments, as they may result in alternative placement and treatment options of benefit to the juvenile offender. A juvenile offender typology proposed by DiCataldo and Grisso (1995) was successfully utilized and proved predictive of recidivism, future harm to others, and outcome.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Van Drie, Barbara G

Psychological correlates of eating disorders: Exploring the continuum perspective.

Description: Psychological and behavioral characteristics of female undergraduates with varying levels of disordered eating, as measured by the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses (Q-EDD; Mintz, O'Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997), were investigated. Results suggest that the Q-EDD is an appropriate instrument for measuring eating disorder symptomatology. Greater disordered eating was associated with more bulimic, dieting, and weight fluctuation symptoms, higher impression management and approval-seeking needs, more dichotomous thinking, self control, and rigid weight regulation, and increased concern with body shape and dissatisfaction with facial features. Eating-disordered and symptomatic women evidenced more severe eating disorder behaviors and psychological distress than asymptomatic women. Findings are congruent with a redefined discontinuity perspective of eating disorder symptomatology. Treatment implications and campus-wide preventions are suggested.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Cohen, Diane L.

Competency to Stand Trial: A Systematic Evaluation and Validation of the GCCT, MacCAT-CA, and ECST as Competency Measures

Description: Competency to stand trial cases constitute the largest percentage of forensic referrals for clinical psychologists. Furthermore, research suggests that the use of forensic measures facilitates the decisions of competency made by forensic examiners. This study investigated the construct validity of three competency measures: (a) the GCCT-MSH, (b) the MacCAT-CA, and (c) the ECST with 100 adult males incarcerated at the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, TX. Construct validity was investigated via the use of a multitrait-multimethod research design for the three-prong conceptualization of the Dusky standard. Results indicated that current competency measures do an adequate job of assessing for factual understanding, but lack construct validity for two prongs: rational understanding and the ability to consult with counsel. In addition, the atypical presentation scales of the both GCCT and the ECST performed well at screening individuals for feigning. Finally, prediction of competency from clinical variables was also investigated. Psychotic symptoms and overall impairment were the strongest predictors of incompetency.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Grandjean, Nicole Rae