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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

Predicting Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms During Adolescence: A Longitudinal Study of The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysfunction

Description: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a trauma-related disorder that may develop in response to traumatic or stressful events. Dysfunction of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the disorder. Studies support such dysfunction as being a consequence of PTSD, rather than a precursor. However, most studies of the HPA are either cross-sectional or have been carried out in adults. The aim of the present study was to identify whether HPA dysregulation interacts with stressful experiences to increase the likelihood of developing PTSD symptoms in a community-recruited sample of healthy adolescent girls. Adolescent girls (N = 550) and one of their parents participated. Adolescents’ clinical symptoms were assessed at baseline and at a nine month follow-up. Saliva samples were collected from all adolescent participants at waking, 30 minutes after waking, and 8 pm on 3 consecutive days. Flattened diurnal slope of cortisol at baseline was associated with increased PTSD symptoms nine months later. Baseline cortisol awakening response (CAR) per se was not prospectively related to developing PTSD symptoms, but its interactions with stressful experience was associated with elevated PTSD symptoms at follow-up. Effects were small and need to be replicated in samples with more severe stressors, as well as more clinical levels of PTSD. Nevertheless, findings suggest that dysregulated basal HPA functioning may be involved in the development of PTSD symptoms.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Liu, Keke

Role of Combat Exposure and Insomnia in Student Veterans' Adaptation to College

Description: Since 2002, the number of veterans enrolled in universities has nearly doubled, although 30-40% of veterans fail to complete their degree. While research efforts to understand the challenges veterans face transitioning from military life to college has increased in recent years, few studies have looked beyond the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insomnia is the most frequently reported symptom of combat veterans and can have serious implications for college students. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of insomnia and student veteran adaptation to college relative to civilian students. College students (N = 588) were administered a Background Information Questionnaire, the Insomnia Severity Index, the Deployment Risk and Resilience Inventory, and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire. Results revealed that students with insomnia reported significantly lower adaptation to college than students without insomnia. Student veterans reported better academic and personal-emotional adaptation to college than civilian students, while civilians reported better social adjustment than veterans. Although combat veterans without insomnia scored consistently higher academic adjustment than non-combat veterans and civilian students, when present insomnia seemed to have a greater negative effect on combat veterans’ academic adjustment relative to civilian students. Furthermore, insomnia mediated the relationship between combat exposure and veteran’s personal-emotional adjustment to college. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: McGuffin, James J

Social Anxiety and Non-Medical Prescription Stimulant Use among College Students

Description: Current evidence suggests that non-medical prescription stimulant (NMPS) use is on the rise, particularly among college students. Identifying individuals at risk for regular and problematic use is a critical step towards the development of effective intervention efforts. A growing body of work has noted that individuals with elevated levels of social anxiety (SA) or social anxiety disorder are at an enhanced risk for developing substance use problems, including NMPS use disorder. Despite the relevance of SA and NMPS use among college students, no studies have attempted to examine subclinical SA or the relation between SA and NMPS use among college students specifically. Thus, the present study sought to extend this area by testing the relation of SA symptoms and NMPS use frequency among college students. A large online study of college students was conducted (N=1604) to identify 252 NMPS users (18-25 years; 68.3% female). A hierarchical linear regression was used to test the moderation of positive prescription stimulant expectancies on SA symptoms in predicting past year NMPS use frequency. A subsample of 15 participants was also brought into the lab to assess subjective (State Anxiety) and physiological (salivary cortisol) responding to a social stressor task. Overall, the current study did not provide evidence that SA, via retrospective self-report or real-time responding was related to past year NMPS use frequency. Additional research is needed to resolve the discrepancies between the present findings and prior work.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Cloutier, Renee

Stress, Spirituality and Self-Esteem: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in an LGB Sample

Description: In the current study, we aimed to explore the relationship between perceived stress, spirituality and self-esteem and how they are related to psychological QOL. We found that our overall model accounted for 58% of the total variance in psychological QOL (adj. R2 = .58, F(10, 136) = 21.79, p < .001) with stress (β = -.37, p < .01) and self-esteem (β = .45, p < .01) as the significant predictors. Additionally we found that spiritual beliefs and practices moderate the relationship between stress and QOL (adj. R2= .49, F(11, 135) = 13.88, p < .001). Lastly, we conducted a principle component analysis (PCA) on our three variables of interest and outcome variable to determine whether the proposed structure of our measures holds true for our sample (i.e., LGB populations).
Date: May 2016
Creator: Stephen, Krystal A

Anger, Forgiveness and Mindfulness: Correlates of Perceived Stress in an LGB Sample

Description: A sexual minority is someone who identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). According to the Minority Stress Model (Meyer, 2003), sexual minorities encounter significant levels of stress due to their minority group status, thus they are more likely to experience perceived stress. Our cross-sectional, correlational study aimed to explore the relationships between forgiveness, mindfulness and anger and how they are related to perceived stress in a convenience sample of ethnically diverse LGB adults. We hypothesized that: 1) anger is positively associated with perceived stress; 2) forgiveness is negatively associated with perceived stress; 3) mindfulness is negatively associated with perceived stress; and 4) anger, forgiveness and mindfulness account for a significant proportion of the variance in perceived stress. 5) The relationship between anger and perceived stress is moderated by forgiveness. 6) The relationship between anger and perceived stress is moderated by mindfulness. Among LGB adults, the extant literature does not address these four variables in conjunction and the relationships between anger, forgiveness, mindfulness and stress has yet to be explored. Various statistical analyses were conducted, including a hierarchical linear regression to test our model. We found that our overall model accounted for 36% of the total variance in perceived stress (F(5, 142) = 17.31, p <.01) with anger (β = .31, t = 3.55, p = .001) and forgiveness (β = -.21, t = -2.56, p < .05) as the significant predictors. Contrary to prediction, forgiveness and mindfulness did not moderate the relationship between anger and perceived stress in our LGB sample. Limitations, strengths, future research and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Schumacher, Matthew Robert

Assessment of Hot and Cool Executive Functioning Following Trauma Using the Traditional Stroop Task, Emotional Stroop Task, and a Novel Implicit Association Test

Description: Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event and develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) frequently show deficits in both primarily “cool” and “hot” cognitive executive functions (e.g., traditional & emotional Stroop tasks, respectively) that can be impacted by high affective salience. Given the dimensional nature of psychopathology, questions remain about individuals within the general population who have experienced trauma but do not meet full criteria for PTSD and yet may manifest problems in these areas, especially areas of hot and cool executive functioning (EF). Thus, the current project was designed to assess hot and cool EF in a relatively large sample of individuals from the general population who have experienced trauma and currently demonstrate sub-clinical levels of post-traumatic symptoms. The Stroop task, Emotional Stroop task, and a novel modified Implicit Association Test were utilized to assess EF across a spectrum of individuals with varying traumatic histories and level of post-traumatic symptoms. Results suggest that a greater frequency of trauma experiences was moderately associated with worse performance on both hot and cool executive functioning measures. Specifically, females within the sample evidenced a close relationship between traumatic experiences, post-trauma symptoms, and executive functioning. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Sullivan, Erin

Determinants of Effort and Associated Cardiovascular Response to a Behavioral Restraint Challenge

Description: This study directly tested implications of motivation intensity theory on effort to restrain against a behavioral urge or impulse (i.e. restraint intensity). Two factors were manipulated—magnitude of an urge and the importance of successfully resisting it—with cardiovascular (CV) responses related to active coping measured. Male and female undergraduate students were presented with a mildly- or strongly evocative film clip with instructions to refrain from showing any facial response. Success was made more or less important through coordinated manipulations of outcome expectancy, ego-involvement, and performance assessment. As expected, systolic blood pressure responses assessed during the performance period were proportional to the evocativeness of the clip when importance was high, but low regardless of evocativeness when importance was low. These findings support a new conceptual analysis concerned with the determinants and CV correlates of restraint intensity. Implications of the study and associations with current self-regulatory literature are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Agtarap, Stephanie

Longitudinal Prevalence of Disordered Eating and Weight Control Behaviors in Female Collegiate Athletes

Description: Female collegiate athletes have been established as a high-risk group for the development of eating disorders due to the high prevalence rates of clinical and subclinical eating disorders, which have ranged from 1.9% to 16.6% and 4.0% to 26.1%, respectively. Collegiate athletes appear to meet criteria for ED-NOS more often than anorexia or bulimia nervosa, and frequently engage in pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g., dieting, excessive exercise). To date, only a few studies have examined the long-term stability of eating disorders in collegiate female athletes. The current study investigated the prevalence of eating disorders (i.e., eating disordered, symptomatic, and asymptomatic) and pathogenic weight control behaviors (e.g, binging, vomiting, laxative use) in 325 NCAA-DI female collegiate gymnasts and swimmers/divers across two time points – the beginning of their competitive seasons (Time 1) and during the final two weeks of their competitive seasons (Time 2). By Time 2, 90% of the athletes classified as eating disordered at Time 1 (n = 20) maintained clinical or subclinical eating disturbances. Of the 83 athletes originally symptomatic, 37.3% remained so and 10.8% became eating disordered. Significantly more athletes became satisfied with their bodies over the course of the season than became dissatisfied. The athletes reported using exercise and dieting/fasting as the most frequent forms of weight control behaviors, each of which were used less frequently at Time 2 than at Time 1. The results support overall stability of eating disorder behaviors and classification over the course of a competitive season. Limitations and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Thompson, Alexandra J.

Quantitative Eeg Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain

Description: Recent advances in neuroimaging and electromagnetic measurement technology have permitted the exploration of structural and functional brain alterations associated with chronic pain. A number of cortical and subcortical brain regions have been found to be involved in the experience of chronic pain (Baliki et al., 2008; Jensen et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that living with chronic pain shapes the brain from both an architectural and a functional perspective, and that individuals living with chronic pain display altered brainwave activity even at rest. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is a method of spectral analysis that utilizes a fast Fourier transform algorithm to convert analog EEG signals into digital signals, allowing for precise quantification and analysis of signals both at single electrode locations and across the scalp as a whole. An important advance that has been permitted by qEEG analysis is the development of lifespan normative databases against which individual qEEGs can be compared (Kaiser, 2006; Thatcher et al, 2000). Pilot data utilizing qEEG to examine brainwave patterns of individuals with chronic pain have revealed altered EEG activity at rest compared to age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (Burroughs, 2011). The current investigation extended the findings of the pilot study by utilizing qEEG to examine a larger sample of individuals with chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain displayed significantly reduced slow wave activity in frontal, central, and temporal regions. Findings will be presented in terms of specific patterns of altered EEG activity seen in individuals with chronic pain.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Burroughs, Ramona D.

Relationship Centrality and Expressive Writing: Understanding Post-breakup Distress

Description: When a romantic relationship ends in dissolution, the ex-partners may experience distress similar to post-traumatic stress or complex grief (i.e., dysphoric mood, feelings of loss, intrusive memories, negative rumination regarding the relationship, and a loss of self-esteem). Interventions designed to reduce post-breakup distress have historically attempted to foster integration of the breakup into the self-narrative through techniques such as expressive writing. Recent research indicates centrality, or heightened integration of an event or concept into an individual’s identity, predicts heightened levels of distress in the case of negative life events, including romantic relationship dissolution. Given the role romantic relationships themselves play in identity formation, exploration is warranted of the potential distress resulting from over-identification with a romantic relationship itself, or relationship centrality, after a breakup has occurred. Furthermore, if an individual has overly-integrated a relationship into their identity, the effectiveness of interventions focusing on further integration of the breakup is called into question. This study explored the centrality of participants’ previous romantic relationships, the distress resulting from the dissolution of those relationships, and the role of expressive writing as a distress reduction tool when centrality is taken into account.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Nowlin, Rachel B.

Reliability Generalization: a Systematic Review and Evaluation of Meta-analytic Methodology and Reporting Practice

Description: Reliability generalization (RG) is a method for meta-analysis of reliability coefficients to estimate average score reliability across studies, determine variation in reliability, and identify study-level moderator variables influencing score reliability. A total of 107 peer-reviewed RG studies published from 1998 to 2013 were systematically reviewed to characterize the meta-analytic methods employed and to evaluate quality of reporting practice against standards for transparency in meta-analysis reporting. Most commonly, RG studies meta-analyzed alpha coefficients, which were synthesized using an unweighted, fixed-effects model applied to untransformed coefficients. Moderator analyses most frequently included multiple regression and bivariate correlations employing a fixed-effects model on untransformed, unweighted coefficients. Based on a unit-weighted scoring system, mean reporting quality for RG studies was statistically less than that for a comparison study of 198 meta-analyses in the organizational sciences across 42 indicators; however, means were not statistically significantly different between the two studies when evaluating reporting quality on 18 indicators deemed essential to ethical reporting practice in meta-analyses. Since its inception a wide variety of statistical methods have been applied to RG, and meta-analysis of reliability coefficients has extended to fields outside of psychological measurement, such as medicine and business. A set of guidelines for conducting and reporting RG studies is provided.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Holland, David F.

The Role of Injury-related Injustice Perception in Adjustment to Spinal Cord Injury: an Exploratory Analysis

Description: Research has begun to explore the presence and role of health-related injustice perceptions in samples of individuals who experience chronic pain associated with traumatic injury. Existing studies indicate that higher level of injustice perception is associated with poorer physical and psychosocial outcomes. However, to date, few clinical populations have been addressed. The aim of the current study was to explore injustice perceptions in a sample of individuals who have sustained a spinal cord injury (SCI), as research suggests that such individuals are likely to experience cognitive elements characteristic of injustice perception (e.g., perceptions of irreparable loss, blame, and unfairness). The study explored the relationship between participants’ level of perceived injustice and several variables associated with outcomes following SCI (depression, pain, and disability) at initial admission to a rehabilitation unit and at three months following discharge. The Injustice Experience Questionnaire was used to measure injustice perceptions. IEQ was found to significantly contribute to depression and anger at baseline. IEQ significantly contributed to depression, present pain intensity, and anger at follow-up. The implication of these preliminary findings may be beneficial for development of future interventions, as many individuals in the United States experience the lifelong physical and psychological consequences of SCI at a high personal and public cost.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Garner, Ashley N.

Self-definition and College Adaptation in Students From the Ronald E Mcnair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program

Description: While a great deal of psychological research is conducted on college students, less has been done on their adaptation to college. These young adults, as they develop ego identity and differentiate themselves from parents and families, must adjust to the social and academic environment of college. Psychosocial adjustment predicts college retention better than academic predictors do. First generation college students face greater than typical challenges adapting to college. The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program exists to aid first generation, lower income undergraduate student who wish to pursue a doctoral degree. Self-definition scored from thematic apperceptive technique stories reflects an individual’s relative freedom from social role constraint. This study examined the role of self-definition and familial understanding and acceptance in this population as predictors of successful adaptation to college. While neither was found to be a significant predictor, family understanding and acceptance was found to be a more defining characteristic of this sample than was self-definition. This suggests that when social support is sufficient, individuals do not need to rely on self-definition.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Vance, Jeffrey Michael

Shame Due to Heterosexism, Self-esteem and Perceived Stress: Correlates of Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Description: Sexual minorities experience higher levels of stress than heterosexuals, which in turn affects coping and psychological quality of life (PQOL). Although many sexual minorities remain mentally healthy, a higher prevalence of mental disorders among members of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities exists; thus, LGB PQOL becomes an important area to examine. Several key factors are related to PQOL: shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress. Using minority stress model, I hypothesized that shame due to heterosexism and perceived stress are negatively correlated with PQOL, while self-esteem is positively correlated with PQOL. I hypothesized that collectively shame due to heterosexism, self-esteem and perceived stress account for a significant proportion of the variance in PQOL, that self-esteem moderates the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL and that age moderates the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. I calculated Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and found shame due to heterosexism was negatively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = -.21, p = .009), perceived stress was negatively correlated with PQOL (r (146) = -.69, p < .001) and self-esteem was positively correlated with PQOL (r(146) = .72, p < .001). I conducted a regression analysis and found our model accounted for 59% of the variance in PQOL (adj. R2 = .59, F(3, 144) = 68.88, p < .001). Self-esteem did moderate the relationship between perceived stress and PQOL (p = .029), but age did not moderate the relationship between shame due to heterosexism and PQOL. Results suggest perceived stress and self-esteem play key roles in sexual minorities’ PQOL. Implications are discussed.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Bonds, Stacy E.