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Accuracy of Partner Perception and Relationship Satisfaction: Investigating Masturbatory Habits

Description: An individual's perceptions of various aspects of one's romantic relationship (irrespective of whether or not the perceptions align with reality) often play a critical role in romantic relationship satisfaction. Research has demonstrated that the accuracy of an individual's perception of his or her partner is generally positively related to the individual's romantic relationship satisfaction. However, when perceiving negative or conflictual messages from a partner, an individual's accuracy of perception is negatively associated with his or her romantic relationship satisfaction. Researchers have suggested that poor accuracy in perceiving negative messages might diffuse the negative intention in a way that is less impactful to the relationship. The present study was designed to investigate accuracy in the perception of sexual topics, specifically masturbatory habits. A sample of 93 married couples (186 individuals) responded to questions about (a) their own masturbatory behaviors and (b) their perception of their partners' masturbatory behaviors to determine the accuracy of each partner's perception of his or her partner. The association between accuracy and romantic and sexual relationship satisfaction was explored, along with one potential moderating variable: attitudes toward masturbation. Perceived reason for masturbating, perceived target of arousal during masturbation, and partner's actual reason for masturbating all positively predicted an individual's relationship satisfaction. Partner's actual openness about masturbatory behaviors moderated the association between accuracy of partner perception of openness about masturbation and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. When partners were more open about masturbation, accuracy was a stronger positive predictor of relationship and sexual satisfaction than when partners were less open about masturbation. Results, limitations, areas for future research, and clinical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ramos, Marciana Julia

Associations Between Witnessing the Abuse of a Sibling in Childhood and Experiencing Trauma Related Symptoms in Adulthood

Description: Currently sibling research is burgeoning, yet there is virtually no literature regarding outcomes associated with witnessing the abuse of a sibling. The present study aimed to address this gap in the literature. A sample of 284 university students were surveyed regarding traumatic experiences in childhood and adulthood, the quality of childhood sibling relationships, and the experience of trauma symptoms in adulthood. Regression and moderation analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between witnessing the abuse of a sibling in childhood and trauma symptoms in adulthood and to assess whether sibling relationship quality moderates the association between sibling abuse and trauma symptomology. Results showed that witnessing the abuse of a sibling was associated with depression symptoms in the overall sample and for females reporting about a brother. Also, sibling conflict moderated the relationship between witnessed sibling abuse and externalization in sister-sister dyads. These associations should be considered in terms of the systemic abuse to which participants were exposed. Implications for clinical practice working with sibling-related victimization are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Williams, Jennifer S

Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology

Description: A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment insecurity, impairments in emotion regulation, and decreased mindfulness. Overall, the current study suggests that improving emotion regulation skills and increasing dispositional mindfulness may limit the expression of pathological personality traits. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Lewis, Jonathan James

Attitudes about Caregiving: An Ethnicity by Generation Approach

Description: The goal of this project was to understand ethnic and generational differences in attitudes towards caregiving and expected burden while taking into consideration factors such as gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. One hundred and sixteen young adults (ages 18-25) and 93 middle-age adults (ages 38-62) were enrolled in the study. Participants included European Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Using moderation analysis, two hypotheses were investigated: 1) Ethnicity relates to attitudes towards caregiving, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. 2) Ethnicity and expected burden relate to each other, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. Familism emerged as a moderator in the relationship between ethnicity and expected burden. Results suggested that the strength of the relationship between being African American and expecting burden was less for those with moderate familism (R =.078), slightly higher for low familism (R = .176), and the highest for high familism (R= .261). Additional results indicated that the strength of the relationship between being Hispanic, as opposed to being European American, and expected burden, was higher for middle-aged adults (R =.23) when compared to young adults (R =.19). The current findings lend support to the recently established idea that familism is not protective against burden as it increases one's sense of obligation towards family (Knight & Sayegh, 2010).
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Caballero, Daniela M

A Comparison of Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms: Memory Specificity Training (MeST) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Description: The effectiveness of memory specificity training (MeST) was compared with standard cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in treatment of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder. Eighteen adults aged 18-36 were randomly assigned to the MeST intervention (n = 9) or to the active control group (n = 9) of CPT. Both treatments were administered in group format across 6 weeks. MeST consisted of 6 weekly sessions, while CPT consisted of 12 biweekly sessions. The trial was undertaken in the Psychology Clinic of the University of North Texas, with randomization to conditions accomplished via computer random number generator. The primary outcome measure was change in PTSD symptoms post-treatment from baseline. Sixteen individuals (13 women and 3 men; MeST n = 8 and CPT n = 8) completed treatment and their data was analyzed. MeST significantly decreased PTSD symptomology at post-treatment and these results were maintained at 3 months post-treatment. MeST was found to be as effective as the established CPT intervention at reducing PTSD symptomology. Both MeST and CPT significantly increased participants' ability to specify memories upon retrieval at post-treatment, with results maintained at follow-up. There were no significant effects of MeST or CPT in ability to increase overall controlled cognitive processing at post-treatment or follow-up. No individual in either group reported any adverse effects during treatment or at 3 months follow-up. MeST appears to hold promise as an efficacious treatment option for PTSD. MeST was as effective as CPT in reducing symptoms of PTSD, but required only half the number of treatment sessions to accomplish these gains. Replication of these findings in larger samples is encouraged.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Maxwell, Kendal Lynn

Development of a Self-Report Measure of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex PTSD (CPTSD) According to the Eleventh Edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11): The Complex Trauma Inventory

Description: The work group editing trauma disorders for the upcoming edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) made several changes. Specifically, they significantly simplified the guidelines for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and added a new trauma disorder called complex PTSD (CPTSD). The new domains for PTSD and the addition of CPTSD require new instruments to assess these novel constructs. We developed a measure of PTSD and CPTSD (Complex Trauma Inventory; CTI) according to the proposed ICD-11 domains, creating several items to assess each domain. We examined the factor structure of the CTI (using both exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses) in two separate samples of diverse college students (n1 = 501; n2 = 500), reducing the original 53 trauma items in the item pool to 21 items. Confirmatory factor analyses supported two highly-correlated second-order factors (PTSD and complex factors), with PTSD (i.e., re-experiencing, avoidance, hyper-arousal) and complex factors (i.e., affect dysregulation, alterations in self-perception and alterations in relationships with others) each loading on three of the six ICD-11-consistent first-order factors (RMSEA = .08, CFI = .92, GFI = .87, SRMR = .06). Internal consistency for PTSD (α = .92) and complex factors (α = .93) are excellent.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Litvin, Justin M

The Effects of Self-Forgiveness, Self-Acceptance, and Self-Compassion on Subclinical Disordered Eating: The Role of Shame

Description: Disordered eating is a general term that describes a wide range of behaviors from diagnosable eating disorders to subclinical patterns of behavior that do not meet criteria for diagnosis (e.g., problematic weight loss behaviors, excessive dieting, bingeing, purging). Disordered eating is prevalent and has a wide range of physical and psychological consequences. Negative self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt have been implicated in the development and maintenance of disordered eating. Positive attitudes toward the self (i.e., self-forgiveness, self-compassion, self-acceptance) may be helpful in reducing shame, guilt, and disordered eating symptoms. In this dissertation, I explored the associations between positive attitudes toward the self, negative self-conscious emotions, and disordered eating in a sample of college students and adults (N = 477). Positive attitudes toward the self were associated with lower levels of disordered eating symptoms, and this relationship was partially mediated by lower levels of negative self-conscious emotions. I concluded by discussing areas for future research and implications for clinical practice.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Womack, Stephanie Dianne

Eight-Year Course of Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features

Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine neuropsychological functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features. Data from a large, epidemiological study of patients with first-episode psychosis was used to examine verbal learning and working memory 10 years after onset of psychosis in patients with BD relative to patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and patients with psychotic major depressive disorder (MDD). Cross-sectional comparisons of verbal learning and working memory at the 10-year follow-up mirrored findings of relative performance at the 2-year follow-up (Mojtabai, 2000), as patients with SZ performed significantly worse than patients with psychotic affective disorders. When FEP patients' cognitive performance was examined longitudinally, all groups showed non-significant decline over time, with no significant diagnostic group differences after accounting for current symptoms. More frequent hospitalizations and longer treatment with antipsychotics were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing 10 years after illness onset, but these associations disappeared when controlling baseline cognitive performance. Within the BD sample, current positive and negative psychotic symptoms were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing. After controlling for baseline cognitive performance, markers of clinical course were unrelated to cognitive performance, consistent with existing literature on longitudinal cognitive functioning in patients with BD. The current findings support a neurodevelopmental model of verbal learning and working memory deficits in patients with bipolar disorder.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie

An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

Description: Recent estimates suggest that a large percentage of the population experiences some type of traumatic event over the course of the lifetime, but a relatively small proportion of individuals develop severe, long-lasting problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD). One major goal for trauma researchers is to understand what factors contribute to these differential outcomes, and much of this research has examined correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. An important next step in this line of research is the development of conceptual frameworks to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships among these diverse predictors of PTSD and their predictive power in relation to each other. A framework proposed by Rubin, Boals, and Hoyle centers on the influence of narrative centrality (construal of a traumatic experience as central to one's identity and to the life story) and negative affectivity (the tendency to experience negative emotion and to interpret situations and experiences in a negative light), suggesting many variables may correlate with PTSD symptoms via shared variance with these two factors. With a sample of 477 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, this dissertation project extended the work of Rubin and colleagues by a) utilizing structural equation modeling techniques to simultaneously examine relationships among variables, b) investigating the utility of the model with a carefully-selected list of PTSD correlates, c) extending the model by including PTSD symptom severity, and d) exploring both direct and indirect effects to assess the roles of narrative centrality and negative affectivity as they relate to known PTSD correlates and PTSD symptom severity. PTSD correlates included social support quality and quantity, peritraumatic dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions, perceived injustice, and negative religious coping. Hypotheses were partially supported, and there was some evidence that the model may be effective in distinguishing between variables more and less germane to ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Southard-Dobbs, Shana

An Experimental Study of Bifurcated (Weekend and Weekday) and Unitary (Past Week) Retrospective Assessments of Sleep

Description: Discordance between weekday and weekend sleep schedules is common (Bonnet & Arand, 1995; Breslau, Roth, Rosenthal, & Andreski, 1997; Machado, Varella, & Andrade, 1998; Strauch & Meier, 1988; Tsai & Li, 2004). Brief retrospective self-report measures are essential for epidemiological research studies (Moul, Hall, Pilkonis, & Buysse, 2004), but self-reports are prone to error in recall, and the greater the variability in nightly sleep, the less reliable are retrospective reports (Babkoff, Weller, & Lavidor, 1996). More accurate self-report responses may be possible if measures prompt participants to consider variations in sleep schedules that are consistent (i.e., weekday and weekend sleep schedules). The current study experimentally examined whether Bifurcated (Weekday and Weekend) retrospective assessments of sleep are more accurate than Unitary (Past Week) assessments. Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of the two versions (Bifurcated vs. Unitary) of the Sleep Questionnaire. One hundred and thirty-one participants were included in the analyses. Results of a a series of analyses demonstrated that the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire provided more accurate and less variable estimates of total sleep time than the Unitary version of the Sleep Questionnaire. Differences between the versions of the Sleep Questionnaire for other sleep variables were less consistent, and the increased length of the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire may have contributed to increased missing and unusable data in this group. Overall, the findings suggest that in both research and clinical work, retrospective measures that examine weekday and weekend sleep separately may offer advantages over retrospective measures that do not differentiate between weekday and weekend sleep.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Sethi, Kevin J.

Feigning ADHD: Effectiveness of Selected Assessment Tools in Distinguishing Genuine from Simulated ADHD

Description: Research indicates that some college students may be strongly motivated to feign AHDD symptoms for desired external incentives, such as stimulant medication or academic accommodations. To date, literature examining feigned ADHD has been primarily focused on ADHD specific self-report measures (e.g., CAARS) and continuous performance tests (e.g., CPTs); however, little attention has been devoted to the use of multi-scale inventories in detecting feigned ADHD. For CPT measures, virtually no literature exists on the effectiveness of the TOVA to identify feigned ADHD, despite its frequent clinical use for establishing this diagnosis. The current study utilized a between-subjects simulation design to validate feigning cut scores on ADHD-specific measures using 66 feigners and 51 confirmed ADHD cases. As prior literature suggested, the results convincingly demonstrated that face-valid ADHD assessment measures were easily faked. Across both TOVA modalities (e.g., Auditory and Visual), the ADHD simulators performed significantly poorer than those diagnosed with ADHD. As an innovative approach, a Dissimulation-ADHD (Ds-ADHD) scale was developed and initially validated. The Ds-ADHD is composed of ten MMPI-2-RF items mistakenly believed to be clinical characteristics associated with ADHD. Requiring cross-validation, Ds-ADHD optimized cut scores and classification of ADHD feigners appears promising. They were clearly distinguishable from ADHD client, as well as those feigning general psychopathology. Recommendations for the utilization of the Ds-ADHD scale, and future directions for research are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Robinson, Emily

Logic, Emotion and Closure: Motivations for Choices of Faith

Description: Spirituality and religiosity can play key roles in individual lives through influencing health, social relationships, political views, as well as many other facets (Newberg, D'Aquili & Rause, 2001; Milevsky & Levitt, 2004; Hirsh, Walberg & Peterson, 2013). As important as religious and spiritual beliefs are to societies, cultures, and individuals, little is known about which psychological factors determine choices of faith. Although there are likely many determinants of religious, spiritual, atheist or agnostic beliefs, this study explored four possible factors: critical thinking skills, need for cognition, need for emotional comfort/security, and need for closure. Participants included an undergraduate sample and a community sample. It was hypothesized that religious and spiritual individuals will have lower critical thinking skills, lower needs for cognition, higher needs for emotional comfort/security and higher needs for closure than agnostic and atheist individuals. Hypotheses also included potential interactions between these variables in predicting each faith path. Religiosity was measured using the I/E Religious Orientation Scale - Revised (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989) and Spirituality was measured utilizing the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) (Fetzer Institute, 1999). These two faith paths were also self -reported by participants after definitions of each were provided. Atheist and Agnostic beliefs were only measured through self-report. Results indicated that both measures of logic (critical thinking skills and need for cognition) and emotional comfort/security (Need to Belong and Religious Motivations) predicted various faith paths. Limitations included sample characteristics and small numbers of Atheist and Agnostic individuals. A better understanding of the motivations for choosing either spiritual or non-spiritual paths may assist in further explanation of the multiple roles each faith choice plays in individual lives.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Jenkins, Elizabeth

"Man Up!": Exploring Intersections of Sport Participation, Masculinity, Psychological Distress and Help-Seeking Attitudes

Description: Contemporary masculinity research has focused on the ways in which socialized masculine ideologies influence, especially negatively, the lives of men. Adherence to traditional masculine norms has been inversely associated with psychological help-seeking yet positively related to psychological distress and substance use. Though sport has been conceptualized as an environment in which masculine ideologies (e.g., emphasis on competition) are learned and reinforced, few studies have quantitatively explored how, or if, masculinity differs in athletes and nonathletes. Using a sample of male collegiate athletes (n = 220) and nonathletes (n =205), this study explored: (a) differences in masculinity between athletes and nonathletes; (b) relations between masculinity and psychological/behavioral outcomes (e.g., depression, substance abuse) in athletes and nonathletes; and (c) the mediational role of self-stigma in the relation between masculinity and help-seeking in athletes and nonathletes. Athletes endorsed greater conformity to masculine norms (CMN) and experienced greater gender role conflict (GRC) than nonathlete peers. Masculinity variables also predicted depressive symptomology and alcohol use in both groups, though accounted for greater variance in nonathletes. Furthermore, self-stigma mediated the relationship between CMN and help-seeking intentions for both athlete and nonathlete men. Clinical implications of these findings and potential directions for future research are discussed. Using a sample of male collegiate athletes (n = 220) and nonathletes (n = 205), this study explored: (a) differences in masculinity between athletes and nonathletes; (b) relations between masculinity and psychological/behavioral outcomes (e.g., depression, substance abuse) in athletes and nonathletes; and (c) the mediational role of self-stigma in the relation between masculinity and help-seeking in athletes and nonathletes. Athletes endorsed greater conformity to masculine norms (CMN) and experienced greater gender role conflict (GRC) than nonathlete peers. Masculinity variables also predicted depressive symptomology and alcohol use in both groups, though accounted for greater variance in nonathletes. Furthermore, self-stigma mediated the relationship ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Ramaeker, Joseph

The Moderating Effect of Religiosity on the Relationship between Attachment and Psychological Wellbeing in a Muslim-American Sample

Description: Although research on attachment theory has grown exponentially in the field of psychology, few studies exist that examine this theory among young Muslim-American adults, despite the fact that Muslim-Americans represent a significant and growing segment of the U.S. population. The first goal of the current study was to replicate the results of previous studies demonstrating a strong relationship between attachment and the selected wellbeing indicators of psychological symptoms and life satisfaction. The second goal of the proposed study was to examine the relationships among maternal attachment, Islamic religiosity, and psychological wellbeing. Findings provided partial support to the direct effects of attachment and religiosity variables on particular outcome variables but did not support the moderating effect of religiosity. High maternal Control was found to be predictive of less psychological distress, whereas both maternal control and care were found to be negatively associated with an interpersonal behaviors aspect of religiosity. In addition, those who endorsed practicing Islamic rituals were found to report less life satisfaction, and individuals who viewed the world through an Islamic lens reported higher psychological distress. Discussion on the findings, limitations of the study, future research directions, and counseling implications are addressed.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Khan, Arubah

Observed Parenting Aspects of Child Compliance in Custodial Grandfamilies

Description: Custodial grandmothers and grandchild (aged 4 to 12) dyads (N = 170) completed self-report, other-report, and an observational task that captured child HI, expressive social support, and custodial grandmother-grandchild compliance variables. A multivariate analysis of covariance tested differences between high and low hyperactivity-inattention on observed parenting variables while controlling for child age. While overall results were not significant, there were significant differences between child age and observed parenting variables. A hierarchical regression model revealed that, when controlling for age, child hyperactivity-inattention does not moderate the relationship between commands given by a custodial grandmother and child compliance, but revealed that direct commands from the grandmother predicted compliance. A second hierarchical regression model suggested that encouragement and praise (versus criticism and discouragement) from a grandmother moderated the relationship between grandmother commands and child compliance, when controlling for child age. It appeared that when grandmothers gave indirect commands more frequently, encouragement and praise instead of criticism was associated with greater compliance. In dyads with frequent direct commands given, compliance was high, however dyads who scored high in direct commands with criticism and discouragement were most likely to comply. This study adds to the literature by providing insight into the challenges and strengths for this unique, growing population.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Portner, Laura Collier

Phases of Change in Psychotherapy Across Levels of Clinician Training

Description: Given the alarmingly high rates of premature termination in training clinics, research aimed at understanding the course of change and treatment outcomes in training clinics deserves considerable attention. Additionally, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness of psychotherapy training and whether more training is actually associated with better client outcomes. Thus, this study sought to investigate whether clinicians' level of training and experience were related to a variety of clients' outcomes (e.g., well-being, symptom reduction, and life functioning) based on the phase model of psychotherapy. Unfortunately, confirmatory factor analysis of the OQ45.2 did not support the three-factor conceptual model paralleling the phase model. Rather, a two-factor model of best fit was identified. Neither clinicians' level of clinical training nor therapeutic orientation were found to be related to client improvements. However, this finding may have been attenuated by limited variance in client outcomes. Implications for clinical training and future outcome research methodologies are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Connor, Dana R.

The Pursuit of Optimal Performance: The Effect of Mastery- and Ego-Oriented Feedback on Sport Performance, Task Difficulty Selection, Confidence, and Anxiety

Description: Within an achievement motivation theoretical framework, there are factors thought to most heavily influence performance and task difficulty selection. More specifically, motivational climates, feedback, confidence, and anxiety have all been identified as important factors influencing outcomes within performance settings. Much of the literature in the area of achievement motivation has focused on on the effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance within academic settings and has received limited attention in the sport psychology literature within an athletic setting. Given the demonstrated effects of mastery- and ego-oriented feedback on performance, the importance of performance within the athletic context, and the scant literature examining the effects of feedback on athletic performance, the influence of feedback on sport performance needed to be empirically examined. The primary aim of this study was to provide a clearer understanding of the relationship of factors influencing athletic performance, with the ultimate goal of moving research toward a greater understanding of how optimal performance is achieved. As a result, this research may prove applicable to researchers, coaches, and athletes working toward optimal performance. In this study, I examined how mastery- and ego-oriented feedback influenced youth athletes' soccer performance, task difficulty selection, confidence, and anxiety. Youth soccer athletes (n = 71) participated in a soccer kicking task consisting of two trials. Between subjects ANCOVA analyses revealed athletes receiving mastery-oriented feedback performed significantly better on the soccer kicking task than athletes receiving ego-oriented feedback. No differences were discovered on task difficulty selection, confidence, or anxiety. Providing athletes mastery-oriented feedback before or after skill execution could be helpful in the development of athletic skill development and performance. Limitations of the present study and questions to examine in future research are also discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Moles, Troy

The Relationship Between Shame and Attachment Styles

Description: Despite research documenting the association between shame and aspects of poor psychological functioning, shame's adverse effects have remained largely invisible in modern societies. Shame has been described as the "attachment emotion" (Lewis, 1980), yet, there is little research that examines the relationship between attachment style and shame, and conclusions from this research are tempered by methodological limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations with a quasi-experimental design and employed measures of state and trait shame, shame coping styles, an Emotional Stroop task for assessing implicit shame, and a shame mood induction procedure (MIP). This methodology provided a basis to examine differences by attachment style for 271 university students in state, trait, and implicit shame, as well as the use of maladaptive shame coping styles at baseline and following a shame MIP. Additionally, a qualitative analysis of the shame MIP written responses was conducted to provide a more nuanced understanding of the task used to elicit feelings of shame and individual differences in events identified as shame-triggering. Results revealed that students evidencing an insecure attachment style (i.e., preoccupied, fearful, or dismissive). reported significantly more state and trait shame compared to students evidencing a secure attachment style after the shame MIP. Individuals with an insecure attachment also demonstrated significant increases in state shame from baseline to post-MIP. Additionally, students with a preoccupied or fearful attachment style were also significantly more likely to endorse utilizing maladaptive shame coping strategies compared to students with a secure attachment style. Clinical implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Atkins, Sarah Ann

Self-Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals: The Relationship of Dispositional Self-Control and Blood Glucose

Description: Currently, the etiology of obesity is conceptualized as a confluence of environmental, socioeconomic, behavioral, biological and genetic factors. With regard to behavioral factors, some have suggested that a failure of self-control may contribute to the difficulty of an overweight/obese individual because of their inability to resist food or maintain physical activity. Recent research proposed that self-control could be described as similar to a muscle that can be fatigued. Thus, if an individual engages in a self-control task they have lessened ability to utilize self-control on a subsequent task. Theory also suggests self-control may be fueled by a finite resource, identified as blood glucose. The role blood glucose plays is important to understand, especially in overweight and obese populations, as they may be more likely to be insulin resistant. In effect overweight and obese individuals are less likely to adequately process glucose. Therefore overweight/obese individuals might react to self-control tasks differently than normal weight individuals. Participants who were considered normal weight, overweight, and obese were recruited from the UNT research pool. They answered questions about their trait self-control in daily life and engaged in either a task that required them to exert self-control (e.g., resist crossing out a letter unless criteria is met) or a control task (e.g., cross out a letter without restriction). All participants then engaged in a subsequent self-control task to assess if engaging in the initial self-control task reduced performance on the subsequent self-control task compared to the control task. The current research findings were not in line with previous research, in that a depletion effect in self-control was not observed; in neither the normal weight individuals nor the overweight and obese groups. There were several limitations that may have contributed to these findings including; higher DSC than observed in the general population and a possible adaptation ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Edwards, Kate

Stigma, Spirituality and Psychological Quality of Life in People Living with HIV: A Mixed Methods Approach

Description: HIV is a potentially fatal virus that affects over 1,148,200 people in the United States. Due to the minority status that comes with living with HIV, PLH (people living with HIV) often encounter various aspects of stigma due to HIV, which contributes to suppressed overall psychological quality of life (PQOL).While the relationship between stigma and PQOL in PLH is well documented, little research examines mediators of this relationship. We hypothesized that spirituality (as measured by sense of peace, forgiveness of self and perceived fulfillment of life's goal) mediates the relationship between stigma and PQOL (as measured by depression, mental health and stress). We used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design which utilizes two distinct phases of the research process: quantitative (QUANT) analysis followed by qualitative (QUAL) analysis. Results of the QUANT phase suggest spirituality is a partial mediator in the relationship between stigma and PQOL in PLH. In the QUAL phase, we interviewed 15 PLH to elaborate on the relationships between the three constructs. We found PLH endorsed personalized stigma most frequently. Similarly, our results also indicate PLH experience stress, depression and anxiety as a result of their HIV status. Lastly, participant's interviewed most commonly described their spiritual beliefs as relating to religion or God, which is in contrast to how spirituality was conceptualized in the quantitative portion of our study. In all, QUAL results confirmed QUANT findings, with the one main difference between how spirituality was conceptualized between the QUANT and QUAL qualitative portions of our study. Results highlight the importance of clinicians inquiring about PLH's PQOL, experiences of stigma and spiritual beliefs.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Purser, Megan

Using Pre-Session Mindfulness to Improve Session Presence and Effectiveness: A Randomized-Controlled Trial

Description: While a significant amount of research illustrates the overall positive effects of therapists' general use of mindfulness, very few studies have addressed whether therapists' use of mindfulness translates to improved psychotherapy outcomes. The present study utilized a randomized-controlled design to test whether a brief mindfulness training program and pre-session mindfulness practice could have a positive impact on therapy; in particular, we hypothesized that mindfulness training and practice would improve ratings on therapeutic presence as rated by clients and therapists and session effectiveness as rated by clients. The present study also examined whether clients' subjective ratings of therapy outcome and therapists' theoretical orientation impacted outcome measures after therapists completed mindfulness training. The 20 participating therapists were randomly assigned to either the mindfulness training (MT) group or control group according to a computer generated randomization list. Results indicated that clients did not significantly improve on outcome measures after completing the mindfulness training. Clients' subjective ratings on a psychotherapy outcome measure did predict changes in their ratings of therapeutic presence. This finding may have important implications for future research examining client characteristics that may moderate the relationship between therapeutic presence and session outcomes. Limitations of the present study and future directions are discussed.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Dunn, Rose

Impact of Grit on Performance After Mastery- or Performance-oriented Feedback

Description: Grit and achievement motivation have been predictors of behavior in academia and military settings (Duckworth, Matthews, Peterson, & Kelly, 2007), but to date, research on their effects on sport performance has been limited. Given grit's predictive role in other performance domains, grit may be influential in athletes' long-term goal attainment, interacting with their achievement motives and leading to better performances. Athletes' trait levels of grit may influence how they understand and respond to messages received within motivational climates from key personnel such as from coaches and teammates. We examined potential moderating effects of grit on the relationship between motivational feedback and high school soccer players (N = 71, Mage = 15.81) performance on a soccer task, their desire to persist in the task, and their choices of task difficulty. We used hierarchical multiple regression to test the main effects of feedback and grit and to determine if grit moderated the effects of feedback on performance. Grit was a significant moderator of the feedback-shooting performance relationship, accounting for 3.9% of variance. Simple slopes analysis revealed a significant effect for low (B = 13.32, SEb = 4.44, p = .004, t = 2.99), but not high, (B = 2.11, SEb = 4.31, p = .63, t = .49), grit on task success. Grit was not a significant moderator of task difficulty selection or task persistence. These results suggest that for those high in grit, feedback about natural ability or hard work is not particularly influential on performance. However, for low grit athletes, type of feedback matters.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Auerbach, Alex

Medical Comorbidity in the Course of Bipolar Disorder

Description: Bipolar disorder is a serious illness affecting approximately 2-4% of the population and is one of the world’s leading causes of disability. In individuals with bipolar disorder, medical comorbidity associated with cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine disorders is related to increased rates of mortality. Recent updates to multi-system inflammatory related conceptualizations of bipolar disorder focus on the unique power that medical illness and biological processes may play as factors associated with course and outcome in bipolar disorder. The current study examined medical comorbidity and its associations with various demographic and psychological variables in individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features followed for 10 years from their first hospital admission. When compared to an age, gender and race-matched control sample from the population, those with bipolar disorder had significantly higher medical comorbidity across a range of medical diagnoses both at 6 months and 10 years after first hospital admission. Ten years following initial hospitalization, individuals in all three diagnostic groups reported increased rates of diabetes (OR: 2.0 – 3.7), stroke (OR: 4.6 – 7.0) and asthma (OR: 1.9 - 3.1), and individuals with bipolar disorder reported increased rates of cancer (OR = 2.1). A number of psychological and demographic symptoms were examined for their ability to predict the development of medical illness across the assessment interval. Overall rates of medical illness were elevated both early in illness course and 10 years after diagnosis, suggesting that broad sequelae of multi-system inflammation are present early and progress over time.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Smith, Patrick M

Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Description: The current case involves a female rape victim. Research has shown the level of victim blaming can be elevated if the victim is a lesbian woman compared to a heterosexual woman. Mock jurors’ responses to personality trait questionnaires (e.g., Belief in a Just World, Attitudes Toward Women, Attitudes Toward Lesbians) and amount of contact they have with homosexual people were employed as predictors of how they would decide victim blaming and perpetrator guilt. Personality trait findings were not good predictors; however, greater contact with homosexuals did decrease negative attitudes toward lesbian victims. Limitations and implications for future research are addressed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hurst-McCaleb, Dawn