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Spanish Measurement of Adult Attachment: Reliability and Validity of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale in a Hispanic American Sample

Description: Measures of adult attachment developed in English have been translated and validated in multiple Spanish-speaking countries, yet to this date no self-report adult attachment instrument has been systematically examined for validation with Latinos/Hispanic Americans. The present study examined psychometric properties of a Spanish version of a widely used adult attachment scale, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECRS), with a bilingual college student sample. Following the dual-language split half (DLSH) quantitative method of evaluating semantic equivalence, 209 bilingual, Latinos/Hispanic American college students recruited from a large public university completed a DLSH version of the ECRS (half English, half Spanish). Internal consistency reliability and DLSH reliability were within acceptable limits, although significantly smaller than coefficients of the English ECRS completed by a large Caucasian sample (n = 459); 3- to 8-week test-retest reliability was also adequate. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a two-factor solution with 35 items accounting for 40% of the variance, which was similar to the English ECRS. Convergent validity was supported by findings that showed significant associations of attachment dimensions with social self-efficacy, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and comfort with self-disclosure, but not interpersonal trust. Evidence for discriminant validity was found in that attachment dimensions were not significantly associated with social desirability. Theoretical implications, limitations, and future directions of the study will be discussed based on adult attachment theory and cross-cultural perspectives.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Shelton, Andrew J.

To Weigh or Not to Weigh? Relation to Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors Amongst Female Collegiate Athletes

Description: Collegiate and elite female athletes have been identified as a subpopulation at heightened risk for disordered eating and pathogenic weight management practices. It was hypothesized that this increases risk may be related to sport specific pressures (such as team conducted weigh-ins), or the use and frequency of self-weighing. It appears that mandatory, team conducted weigh-ins are not salient to female athletes in regards to experiencing internalization, body image concerns, dietary restraint, negative affect, and bulimic symptomatology. Results, however, indicate that frequency of engagement in self-weighing may be influential in the engagement of disordered eating symptoms. Specifically, athletes who weighed themselves three or more times per week reported significantly more internalization of general societal ideals and athletic body ideals. For body image concerns, athletes who weighed three or more times per week reported being more concerned with their body size/shape than all others. With respect to dietary behaviors, athletes who weighed themselves three or more times per week reported engaging in significantly more caloric restriction than did those who weighed less frequently. For negative affect, the athletes who weighed themselves three or more times per week reported significantly higher levels of both anger and guilt. Finally for bulimic symptomatology, athletes who weighed themselves three or more times a week had significantly higher levels than those who weighed once or twice or not at all.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Carrigan, Kayla

Diabetes Status of Mexican Americans: Impact of Country of Birth

Description: In order to better tailor treatment to specific populations, factors which contribute to health disparities among different racial/ethnic groups must be examined. Among Mexican American individuals, the high rate of diabetes represents a significant contributor to overall health. The present study focuses on factors affecting diabetes status among Mexican Americans born in either Mexico or the United States using the 2007 – 2008 NHANES data set. Comparisons were made between diabetes status based on self-report and clinical classification using HbA1c. Results indicated that within the diabetic subsample, Mexican Americans born in Mexico were twice as likely to be incorrectly classified as non-diabetic, when they actually were diabetic, when using a self-report method. In contrast, nativity did not result in differences in diabetes incidence using the HbA1c clinical cut-score diagnostic classification. Age, BMI, gender, nativity, and health insurance coverage were found to have varying relationships to diabetes prevalence and HbA1c levels, but time in the U.S. for Mexico-born individuals was not found to uniquely predict diabetes incidence. Analyses also demonstrated that Mexico-born males, as compared to the other groups, had significantly higher HbA1c levels. Further research is necessary to better understand the relationships among these factors. However, findings do demonstrate a need for more objective disease classification, particularly when examining immigration status and diabetes. Additionally, the complexity of these interactions establishes a need for specific health intervention for foreign-born populations which might be missed by self-report screening asking about presence of disease and exacerbated by an oversimplification of the “healthy immigrant effect”.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Douglas, Megan E.

Apology and Forgiveness in Couples

Description: Following a transgression, interpersonal forgiveness is one strategy used to restore harmony between the victim and offender. Research also suggests that forgiveness can promote psychological and physical health. Research has shown that an apology from the offender may facilitate the forgiveness process. The majority of studies suggest that when a victim receives an apology, they experience higher levels of forgiveness toward their offender. The purpose of this thesis was to explore the association between apology and forgiveness in a sample of adults and undergraduate students (N = 803). The results are organized in three sections. First, I found a positive relationship between apology and forgiveness, replicating prior research. Second, I created a new measure of transgression severity, and provided evidence of internal consistency, construct validity, and criterion-related validity for this measure. Third, I tested two variables hypothesized to moderate the association between apology and forgiveness. First, there was some evidence that perceived offender humility moderated the association between simple apology and forgiveness. Offenders who were perceived as being more humble when providing a simple apology were granted more forgiveness than their less humble counterparts. Second, there was some evidence that transgression severity moderated the association between a complete apology and forgiveness, but the effect was in the opposite direction as hypothesized. For individuals who reported a transgression of high severity, there was a stronger association between the completeness of an apology and forgiveness than for individuals who reported a transgression of low severity. I conclude by discussing limitations, areas for future research, and implications for counseling.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Reyna, Samuel H.

Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor

Description: Sexual and gender minorities are subjected to discrimination and stigmatization which increase vulnerability to psychological co-morbidities (Mays & Cochran, 2001). The mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to distress in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) communities can be partially elucidated through the minority stress model. The minority stress model argues that minorities are subjected to negative societal attitudes and discrimination that results in excessive psychosocial stress related to their minority position, which is distinct from daily stress. Meyer’s minority stress model is supported by social stress theoriesand data linking discrimination to stress in lgb samples. Researchers suggest that self-esteem buffers the negative effects of adverse experiences but tests of the moderating effect of self-esteem on the discrimination-distress relationship in ethnic and gender minorities yielded mixed results. Szymanski found that self-esteem moderates the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress in a male sexual minority sample, but this has never been tested in a gender-balanced sexual minority sample. We hypothesized that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with lower overall perceived stress in lgbt adults, and that self-esteem acts differentially in lgbt populations to moderate perceived discrimination. We found that discrimination, self-esteem and the interaction effect between discrimination and self-esteem accounted for 53 percent of the total variance in perceived stress scores, ∆R2 = .38; adj. R2 = .53, F(12, 133) = 14.47, p < .001.When we tested whether self-esteem moderated the relationship between discrimination and stress, discrimination was positively related to stress, β = .13, t(144) = 2.14, p < .05, and self-esteem was negatively related to stress, β = -.63, t(144) = -10.26, p < .001. The interaction between self-esteem and discrimination positively correlated with stress, β = .14, t(144) = 2.29, p < .05. Our findings suggest that self-esteem may alleviate the impact of discrimination on perceived stress, which ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Wike, Alexandra Elizabeth

Effects of Religious Attendance on Suicidal Ideation: Examining Potential Mediators of Social Support, Locus of Control, and Substance Abuse

Description: Religion has a well-documented relationship with mental health benefits and has consistently demonstrated an impact on several specific mental health concerns, including suicide, generally finding various religious facets to be inversely associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. More specifically, religion has been found to be associated with suicide in a number of ways, including decreased acceptance of suicide, decreased likelihood of suicidal thoughts, decreased likelihood of suicidal attempts, fewer suicide attempts, lower relative risk of suicide, lower suicide rate, and increased reasons for living. Several studies have proposed potential mediators (e.g., social support, locus of control, and substance abuse) of the relationship between religion and mental health, usually in non-clinical samples. The current study sought to examine the association between religious attendance and suicidal ideation using archival data of a clinical sample collected from the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic. Results from this sample revealed no evidence of mediation, instead suggesting a direct effect of religious attendance on suicidal ideation. Two mediation models demonstrated the effects of external locus of control and social support on suicidal ideation. These models are discussed in terms of their directionality, considering the extant research on these associations. Findings of the current study have implications for welcoming the incorporation of salient religious topics throughout treatment in mental health settings, including discussion of religious attendance among those clients who have identified religion as a personal value.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Price, Samantha Danielle

An Exploration of the Criterion and Construct Validity of the Self-Compassion Scale

Description: Past research indicates that self-compassion has positive implications for psychological health and functioning. However, as a newly specified construct, the literature regarding self-compassion could benefit from a more thorough validation of the primary scale used in this area of research, the Self-Compassion Scale. In the present study, structural path analysis (using Amos) was used to explore the criterion validity of the SCS with four variables which have been theorized to be relevant to self-compassion (caregiver emotional responsiveness, fear of emotion, internalized spirituality, and achievement goal orientation). Initial hypothesis testing indicated support for the path model, with the exception of achievement goals which were not significantly associated with self-compassion. Trimming these paths in a subsequent analysis improved model fit. Interestingly, further analyses of the model indicated that the pairing of participant and parent gender produced substantial differences in path coefficients. Next, correlational and factor analytic methods were used to test the construct validity of the SCS. Correlational analyses found adequate convergent construct validity but some lack of divergent validity between SCS dimensions and conceptually similar constructs (i.e., fear of emotion, social connectedness and self-criticism). Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that a two-factor model fit the data better than the one-factor model proposed by the author of the SCS. The incremental validity of the two-factor model was supported by incorporating a two-factor SCS in the path analysis. In sum, these findings generally support the criterion validity of the SCS through meaningful associations with theoretically relevant variables but cautions that these associations are strongly influenced by gender. It is also strongly recommended that a two-factor model of the SCS be explored in further research to ascertain its incremental utility for understanding self-compassion’s positive effects on psychological health.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Farnsworth, Jacob K.

Factors That Influence Athletic Trainers’ Ability to Recognize, Diagnose, and Intervene: Depression in Athletes

Description: Athletic trainers (ATs) are professionals who are most directly responsible for athletes’ health care in a sport environment. ATs work with athletes on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of athletic injury; it is through these interactions that put ATs in an ideal position to recognize the psychological and emotional distress that athletes may suffer. Consequently, the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) has called for ATs to be competent in implementing psychosocial strategies and techniques (e.g., goal-setting, imagery, positive self-talk), recognizing basic symptoms of mental disorders, and identifying and referring athletes in need of psychological help. I explored ATs’ ability to recognize, diagnose, and provide a referral for collegiate athletes who were presenting with symptoms of depression across three different scenarios. The study examined factors that may impact ATs’ abilities in these areas, including AT gender, athlete gender, and type of presenting problem (e.g., athletic injury, romantic relationship, or sport performance issue). Overall, female ATs were better at recognizing depressive symptoms than male ATs, though both were equally proficient at diagnosing depression. Regardless of gender of the AT, gender of the athlete, and presenting problem, ATs were most likely to refer the athletes to a counselor/psychologist, and to a lesser extent sport psychology consultant (SPC). ATs viewed referrals to an SPC as most appropriate for presenting problems related to sport (i.e., performance problem or injury). The results highlight a possible bias in referrals to an SPC, in that SPCs may not be considered an appropriate referral source for romantic relationship problems. Implications for ATs and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Nguyen, Thomas TN

The Influence of Perceived Stress on Insulin Resistance in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Description: Objective: To identify whether perceived stress is a risk-factor for higher cortisol levels and greater insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetic patients, using data from participants with and without diabetes in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), specifically MIDUS II, Project 4. The following hypotheses were tested: (H1a) greater perceived stress would be associated with higher cortisol for Type 2 diabetic participants, (H1b) the perceived stress/cortisol relationship would be stronger for people with Type 2 diabetes than for those without it, (H2) greater perceived stress would be associated with higher Homeostatic Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR, insulin-resistance) for Type 2 diabetic participants, (H3a) subjective well-being would moderate the perceived stress/insulin resistance relationship for Type 2 diabetic participants, and (H3b) depression would moderate the perceived stress/insulin resistance relationship for Type 2 diabetic participants. Method: MIDUS, a longitudinal study of over 7,000 American adults, explores biopsychosocial factors that could contribute to variance in mental/physical health. Only complete data were utilized. Type 2 participants (n=115) consisted of 54 males and 62 females ranging in age from 36 to 81 years. Non-diabetic participants (n=1097) consisted of 470 males and 627 females ranging in age from 34 to 84 years. Results: None of the predicted relationships were statistically significant. Waist to hip ratio was significantly related to insulin resistance (r = .31, p = .001). Conclusions: Future studies should collect information about the type and duration of stressors in addition to perceptions about stress for those with Type 2 diabetes.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Phillips, Amanda S.

Personality and Mental Health Attitudes Among US Army ROTC Cadets

Description: With the current military mental health crisis, it is important to understand the role of the leader in military mental health. First, the impact of military leader behaviors on the well-being of military personnel is reviewed. Next, the role of leader attitudes as a precursor to leader behaviors is discussed. The relation of leader behaviors to leader personality using the NEO Five Factor Model (FFM) is reviewed, as well as the relation of prejudicial attitudes to the NEO FFM personality factors. A research project is described that attempted to draw these concepts together, assessing the NEO FFM personality dimensions and mental health attitudes of US Army ROTC cadets, the future leaders of the US Army. No significant relations were observed between NEO FFM personality traits and mental health attitudes, even after controlling for Impression Management. Also, the predicted positive correlation between positive mental health attitudes and Impression Management was not found. These results suggest that more research and more refined measures are needed in the area of leader attitudes toward soldier mental health problems, and how those attitudes might impact the soldiers.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Holtz, Pamela M.

Psychopathic Traits and Insecure Attachment Patterns in Community-based Subgroups

Description: There is a growing body of research on psychopathic traits in non-clinical populations. This emerging research has documented the prevalence of psychopathic traits in the general population and demonstrated that psychopathy has a similar latent structure as well as similar correlates (e.g., violent behavior, alcohol abuse, and lower intelligence) to forensic/offender samples. Relatedly, there is strong evidence insecure attachment patterns in adulthood are associated with many personality disorders, including psychopathy, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between attachment and psychopathic traits in non-clinical samples (albeit, convenience samples of college students). Thus, two aims of the current study are to: 1) describe and explore the manifestation and expression of psychopathic traits in a large, community-based sample and 2) examine associations between adult attachment disturbances and psychopathic traits in diverse sociodemographic subgroups. Using a cross-sectional design, results showed mean-level psychopathy factor score differences existed only when considering single sociodemographic factors (e.g., age), not an interaction of those factors. Psychopathy factor profiles were also consistent across groups, with higher levels of lifestyle followed by interpersonal, affective, and antisocial traits reported. Regarding the second aim, findings indicated support for the positive association between disturbed attachment patterns in adult relationships and psychopathic traits, although these associations differed in males and females of different age groups. Finally, there was some support for attachment processes acting as a social development pathway toward psychopathy, as insecure attachments in adulthood partially mediated the relationships between age and interpersonal, affective, and lifestyle traits of psychopathy.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Carter, Rachel M.

Psychosocial Mediators of the Fitness-depression Relationship Within Adolescents

Description: Adolescence is a developmental period during which boys and girls are at high risk of developing major or minor depression. Increases in fitness have been associated with lower levels of depressive symptomatology and improvements in psychological well-being, yet the mechanisms that underlie this relationship have not been thoroughly examined. Three such psychosocial variables (i.e. body satisfaction, social physique anxiety, and physical activity self-efficacy) have been identified as possible mechanisms and although they have theoretical support, additional research is needed to demonstrate empirically the potential effects of these variables. Self-report measures were used to assess the psychosocial variables and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in conjunction with age, Body Mass Index [BMI], and sex was used to determine an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2max). Path analyses were used to test the proposed model using version 6.2 EQS Multivariate Software. Results of study revealed that the boys’ and girls’ depressive scores were determined based on the extent that their fitness levels improved their satisfaction with their bodies and lowered the anxiety they experience in relation to real or imagined judgments of their physique. Although all pathways in the model were significant, with the exception of physical activity self-efficacy to depression, differences emerged between the boys and girls in terms of the strength of some of the relations amongst the variables. Limitations include restricted generalizability, self-report measures, and cross-sectional design. Results have implications for individuals in a context intended to improve physical and psychosocial well-being of adolescents.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Sheinbein, Shelly T.

Athletic Trainers and Sport Psychology: Knowledge, Experience and Attitudes

Description: Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) play a unique role in sport environments as the primary medical staff available to athletes. Thus, ATCs are well positioned to oversee athletes’ physical and psychological well-being. Although sport psychologists (SPs) have been identified as a potential resource for ATCs, previous studies have reported a lack of collaboration between SPs and ATCs. This study aimed to (a) examine ATCs’ views regarding professional roles for both ATCs and SPs, (b) explore ATCs’ referral behaviors, (c) evaluate ATCs belief in the credibility of sport psychology across demographic (i.e., gender, age) and experiential variables (i.e., access to SPs), and (d) examine ATCs’ involvement in sport psychology. Four hundred ninety-six ATCs (265 men, 231 women) completed and returned the questionnaire. ATCs viewed assisting in the psychological recovery of athletes as the most acceptable professional role for fellow ATCs; aiding in the psychological recovery of injured athletes and teach mental skills were identified by ATCs as the most appropriate roles for SPs. In considering an athlete experiencing interpersonal difficulties (e.g., relationship problems), a mixed design ANOVA revealed a ATC sex by referral option interaction; female and male ATCs indicated they would likely refer the athlete to a counselor/therapist, followed by a SP, however, female ATCs reported a greater likelihood of referring to a counselor/therapist than male ATCs whereas male ATCs indicated a greater likelihood of referring to a SP. Further, ATCs’ regular access to SPs and completion of formal sport psychology coursework were identified as variables associated with greater belief in the credibility of sport psychology. These results suggest that access and previous experience with SPs remain significant variables associated with ATCs views about, and belief in, the work of SPs. Implications for sport psychology professionals and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ramaeker, Joseph P.

Daily-collected Sleep Diaries Compared to Weekly-collected Sleep Diaries Via Actigraph Concordance

Description: Both sleep diaries and actigraphy have been recommended to assess sleep in research and clinical settings. Investigators have traditionally used sleep diaries that were completed daily by participants and collected weekly but have recently begun using sleep diaries that are both completed and collected daily. No research had previously assessed the agreement between daily-collected sleep diaries and actigraph data over one week. Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to use daily- or weekly-collected sleep diaries. Sleep parameters obtained from these measures were compared to each other via concordance with concurrent actigraph data. It was hypothesized that daily-collected sleep diaries would have greater concordance with actigraphy than weekly-collected sleep diaries. Results indicated that daily-collected sleep diaries provided more reliable data than weekly-collected sleep diaries, but the differences were not statistically significant. Additional aims examined self-reported sleep diary adherence, the participation day number, and day of the week. There were trends for the Daily group to have better adherence. Overall concordance did not change based on the day number or day of the week. Both sleep diaries yield comparable sleep parameter data, suggesting that clinicians and researchers can use either method to estimate sleep parameters.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Francetich, Jade M.

Is Mindfulness Just Another Ego Depletion Exercise?

Description: Given increasing interest in the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness, limitations of its treatment utility are frequently questioned. As such, the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of mindfulness on a subsequent self-control task in a sample of college students. A total of 67 participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a control condition, an experimental mindfulness-only condition or a comparison expectancy-plus-mindfulness condition to investigate the utility of mindfulness practice when motivated by an outcome of increased self-control. Results did not indicate a difference in persistence on a difficult task between conditions, regardless of the manipulation. Conceptual and experimental limitations of current study’s findings, as well as future directions, are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Connally, Melissa Londoño

Lipodystrophy, Body Image and Depression in Hiv Positive Black Women

Description: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive men on highly active antiretroviral therapy treatment (HAART) who experience lipodystrophy syndrome (LD), a side effect of HAART, rate themselves as more depressed than those who did not experience LD(Crane et al., 2008). Furthermore, men who rated their LD symptoms as more severe also scored higher on depression measures than men who experienced less severe symptoms. It is unknown these findings can be generalized to other groups of HIV positive individuals. The current study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by exploring the associations between LD, body image, and depressive symptoms in an archival sample of HIV positive Black women. This study aims to describe the body changes associated with HAART in a Black female sample and explore the relationships between LD, body image, depression, and quality of life. Findings supported past research indicating a correlation between depression and poor body image but did not indicate that body image quality of life moderated the relationship between perceived body changes and depression. Results expanded on the literature by indicating that perceived body changes may be more distressing to Black women with HIV than objective changes. Lastly, findings suggested that Black women may have inaccurate perceptions of their own body changes. These findings are particularly informative for healthcare workers who treat HIV+ women. It is imperative that they consider clients’ self-report as well as clinical symptoms.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Carr, Jarice N.

Racial/ethnic Differences in Hospital Utilization for Cardiovascular-related Events: Evidence of a Survival and Recovery Advantage for Latinos?

Description: Evidence continues to demonstrate that racial/ethnic minority groups experience a disproportionate burden of disease and mortality in cardiovascular-related diseases (CVDs). However, emerging evidence suggests a health advantage for Latinos despite a high risk profile. The current study explored the hospital utilization trends of Latino and non-Latino patients and examined the possibility of an advantage for Latinos within the context of CVD-related events with retrospective data collected over a 12-month period from a local safety-net hospital. Contrary to my hypotheses, there was no advantage for in-hospital mortality, length of stay or re-admission in Latinos compared to non-Latinos; rather, Latinos hospitalized for a CVD-related event had a significantly longer length of stay and had greater odds for re-admission when compared to non-Latinos. Despite data suggesting a general health advantage, Latinos may experience a relative disparity within the context of hospital utilization for CVD-related events. Findings have implications for understanding the hospital utilization trends of Latinos following a CVD-related event and suggest a call for action to advance understanding of Latino cardiovascular health.
Date: May 2014
Creator: García, James J.

Sexual and Nonsexual Boundary Violations Between Sport Psychology Professionals and Their Client-athletes

Description: Sexual attraction (SA), as well as sexual (SBVs) and nonsexual boundary violations (NSBVs), have been identified as matters of ethical concern, being viewed as harmful within mental health or counseling relationships. Much of the literature in the area of SA and SBVs has focused on the counselor-client relationship, but it has been investigated only minimally in the field of sport psychology and specifically with regard to sport psychology professionals (SPPs). Because SA, SBVs, and NSBVs between SPPs and their client-athletes seem to be potentially problematic concerns in need of empirical investigation and practical scrutiny, the aim of this study was to examine: (a) the incidence of SBV and NSBV beliefs and behaviors among SPPs; (b) SPPs' feelings regarding SA for and from client-athletes; and (c) SPPs' willingness to seek supervision to manage their SA beliefs and behaviors towards client-athletes. SPPs (n = 365) completed the Survey of Applied Sport Psychologists (SASP) via e-mail or regular mail. As expected, SPPs experienced SA (40.6%) and generally did not experience strong feelings as a result of the SA. However, of the SPPs experiencing SA, 13.5% of males and 13.8% of females engaged in a SBV with a client-athlete. NSBV behaviors and beliefs are also reported. Chi-squared analyses revealed male SPPs engaged in nonsexual touching with their client-athletes more frequently than female SPPs. T-tests suggested ethically trained SPPs were more likely to seek supervision as a result of SA and view certain NSBVs as good professional behavior in comparison to non-ethically trained SPPs. Appropriate supervision and ethical training for SPPs experiencing SA could be helpful in the management of potential future SBV or NSBV behaviors. Implications for SPPs working with athletes, limitations of the present study, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Moles, Troy

The Glass Is Neither Half Full Nor Empty, It Is Shattered: a Prospective Study of Shattered Assumptions Theory and Psychological Flexibility

Description: Shattered assumptions theory posits that each individual has a core set of assumptions about the world and the self, often termed the assumptive world which includes: the world is a benevolent place, the world is meaningful, and the self is worthy. Experiencing a traumatic event is believed to lead individuals to question these assumptions in light of the new contradictory information that causes the assumptive world to shatter, leaving the individual to rebuild a more negative perception of the world and themselves. This rebuilding of a fragile new set of core beliefs is believed to be a cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Although shattered assumptions theory has been widely accepted in the field of trauma psychology, the shattering of the assumptive world has not been empirically supported due to measurement issues and poor research designs. The current study implemented a prospective design to assess a new measure of the individual’s assumptive world when there is an intervening trauma. In a college sample (N = 336), individuals who experienced a traumatic event over the course of the semester (n = 40) evidenced decreases in optimism in their assumptive worlds, in comparison to individuals who did not experience a traumatic event. The results suggest there is a limited shattering of the assumptive world for those who experienced a traumatic event. Applications, limitations and future directions are discussed.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Schuler, Eric Robert

Perceived Parent-child Relationship Quality’s Moderation Effect on the Acculturation-wellbeing Relationship Among Young Adults From Immigrant Families

Description: The current study examined relationships among acculturation, parent-child relationship quality, and selected wellbeing indicators (health-related quality of life, life satisfaction, anxiety, depression, and stress) among a group of young adults from immigrant families of Asian and Hispanic descent. The first goal of the current study was to replicate previous research demonstrating a mixed relationship between acculturation and the wellbeing indicators. The second was to explain this relationship by testing for a moderation effect of parental care on the acculturation-wellbeing relationship. An examination of differences between members of the two ethnic groups on all measured variables served an exploratory purpose. Participants included 204 participants of Asian (N =80) and Hispanic (N = 124) descent who came from an immigrant family, or a family in which at least one parent was born outside of the U.S. Eligible respondents were also current students at the University of the North Texas who fell within the age range of 18-24, and the data for the current study was selected from a larger dataset (N = 1064). Results indicated that higher acculturation levels had a positive effect on each wellbeing indicator. Father Care and Mother Care were found to be significantly positively correlated with most outcome variables but neither parental care variable moderated the acculturation-wellbeing relationship. Asian and Hispanic participants differed on a number of predicting and outcome variables. Implications of the findings, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Griffin, Allison M.

Social Support As a Moderating Factor Between Mental Health Disruption and College Adjustment in Student Veterans

Description: Research has indicated that OEF/OIF veterans are experiencing mental health concerns following deployment. While there are increasing numbers of veterans returning to higher education institutions after discharging from the military, there is a scarcity of empirical research investigating student veterans’ experiences as they transition into college. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether social support moderates the effects of psychological distress on college adjustment among a sample of student veterans. Participants were administered a Background Information Questionnaire, measures of psychological distress (i.e., GAD-7, PHQ-9, IES-R), Multidimensional Scales of Perceived Social Support, and the Student Adjustment to College Questionnaire. Multiple regressions revealed significant main effects for the variables of interest, but analyses failed to support the hypothesis that perceived social support would moderate the effects of psychological distress on college adjustment.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Campbell, Robyn

Ability of Offenders with Psychopathic Traits to Simulate Cognitive and Affective Empathy

Description: The accurate assessment of psychopathy constitutes a critical component of forensic assessments addressing offender populations. Among the core characteristics of psychopathy, the interpersonal component of deception and empathic deficits are prominently observed in offenders with psychopathic traits. Given the negative consequences of being classified as a psychopath, offenders may be likely to minimize their psychopathic traits. In particular, no research has investigated whether offenders with psychopathic traits are able to simulate empathy in an effort to mask their cognitive or affective empathy deficits (e.g., lack of remorse about offenses). The present study aims to contribute to the literature with regard to the simulation of empathy. Using a mixed between- and within-subjects design, 81 male detainees were placed into (a) a low psychopathy group, (b) a moderate psychopathy group, or (c) a high psychopathy group based on the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised. For the within-subjects component, all offenders answered empathy questionnaires under genuine and simulation conditions. Results indicate the sample possessed cognitive empathy, but did not display affective empathy under genuine instructions. Under simulation instructions, participants significantly increased their scores on several empathy measures. The implications of simulated empathy and comparisons between groups regarding simulation abilities are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Robinson, Emily V.

Acculturation and Feminist Endorsement on Control of Health and Health Behaviors in Hispanic Females

Description: Hispanic women are the fastest growing population in the United States. Thus, it is important to explore health disparities that affect this population and better understand potential causes. Several explanations have been proposed for disparities that exist including turning to cultural alternatives rather than conventional medicine, low numbers of health insurance enrollments among Hispanics, and acculturation. However, little attention has been given to explanations that take into account the unique experiences of Hispanic women. The present study explored these experiences through investigation of endorsement of feminist attitudes (e.g., gender role adherence and beliefs that men and women should be treated equally in society) and level of acculturation. Undergraduate Hispanic women (18-24 years of age, M = 20.25, SD = 1.51) at the University of North Texas completed measures including the Multidimensional Health Questionnaire, the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II, and the Liberal Feminist Attitude and Ideology Scale. Although results indicate that acculturation was not significant in the sample, feminist endorsement was found to be positively correlated with health-esteem, health-efficacy, and internal-health locus of control. Limitations and recommended directions for future research are explored.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Garner, Ashley Nicole

Internalizing-externalizing Psychopathology and Personality Pathology As Predictors of Treatment Rejection in Substance Users

Description: Substance use disorders (SUDs) are often comorbid with other psychopathology such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders. While some research suggests individuals with comorbid psychopathology are more likely to seek substance use treatment than those with independent disorders, other studies have also shown many individuals with dual diagnoses still never seek treatment. Moreover, few studies have tried to elucidate the underlying structure of SUD treatment rejection, and instead examined it in more simplistic terms. In addition, studies have tended to examine the impact of individual disorders on treatment rejection, but have not incorporated an empirically supported approach to conceptualizing psychopathology in terms of comorbidity between broad latent dimensions referred to as internalizing (e.g., depression, anxiety) and externalizing (e.g., antisocial personality disorder, polysubstance use) psychopathology. Modeling psychopathology in terms of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology is becoming a prominent approach to understanding mental disorders, yet little research to date has investigated the effects these broad dimensions have on SUD treatment rejection. The current study utilized latent variable modeling techniques to (1) determine the latent structure of SUD treatment rejection in a large U.S. sample, and investigate whether treatment rejection is a multidimensional construct; and (2), to explore the ability of internalizing psychopathology, externalizing psychopathology, and personality pathology to predict the SUD treatment rejection factor(s). The current study relied on use of a general population sample of 43,093 individuals from the first wave of National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism's National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) study. Support was found for the hypothesis that SUD treatment rejection would be a multidimensional construct. Exploratory structural equation modeling indicated a three-factor model best fit the data. Operational definitions and clinical implications of these three treatment rejection factors ("Objective barriers," "Psychological barriers," and "Self-focused barriers") are discussed. Among internalizing psychopathology, ...
Date: August 2013
Creator: Lewis, Jonathan James