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Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Description: This study tested the relationship between Social Support, Psychological Distress, and Illness Stress in individuals who report cancer as a health condition. This study was based on archival data obtained from the Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS provides a nationally representative sample of individuals aged 51 to 61 in 1992 and their spouses. The study sample was limited to cancer patients with a spouse or partner (n = 503). A structural equation modeling analysis procedure was used to test the theoretical models. Measures of social support were limited to variables assessing the participant's satisfaction with social support. Evidence was found for the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models. This is congruent with previous research using measures of social support perception. Both the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models predict a negative relationship between Illness Stress and Social Support. In addition, a univariate analysis of variance was used to test the stress buffering model. Similarly to other studies measuring the individual's degree of integration, or its perception, in the social network, the present research supported the only the Main Effect model and not the Stress Buffering model.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Forjaz, Maria João Bettencourt Pereira

Family Rituals and Resilience: Relationship Among Measures of Religiosity, Openness to Experience, and Trait Anxiety

Description: Rituals are an integral part of society. The focus of research on rituals has been shifting to highlight the effect rituals may produce on individual resilience and ability to function. This study examined the relationships between participation in family rituals and several conceptually related facets of the human experience, including religiosity, openness to experience, and anxiety. Participants responded to questions on an assessment instrument (Family Ritual Questionnaire) designed to measure participation in a broad variety of identified family rituals; they were grouped according to responses on that questionnaire, and the resulting groups were compared on their responses to questionnaires addressing religiosity (Religious Background and Behavior Questionnaire), openness to experience (Revised NEO Personality Inventory Openness to Experiences scale), and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory). The four-group classification system did not produce significant differences on measures of religiosity, openness to experience, or trait anxiety. Nor were there any significant differences noted when the groups were examined on the basis of the demographic characteristics of age, gender, separation time from family of origin, or academic status. The demographic descriptive which was associated with specific group differences related to adult composition of family of origin: participants described the adults present in their families of origin, and the family types were grouped into traditional, mixed, and nontraditional families. A difference was identified between the traditional and nontraditional families on level of ritualization. This finding may be indicative of a useful direction for subsequent research inquiry.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Emmett, Gloria J.

The Relationship Between Neuropsychological Performance and Daily Functioning in Individuals with Alzheimer's Disease

Description: The results of neuropsychological tests are often used by clinicians to make important decisions regarding a demented patient's ability to competently and/or independently perform activities of daily living. However, the ecological validity of most neuropsychological instruments has yet to be adequately established. The current study examined the relationship between neuropsychological test performance and functional status in 42 individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. A comprehensive battery of cognitive tests was employed in order to assess a wide range of neuropsychological abilities. Functional status was measured through the use of both a performance-based scale of activities of daily living (The Direct Assessment of Functional Status; Loewenstein et al., 1989) as well as by a caregiver/informant-based rating scale (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living; Lawton & Brody, 1969). Findings suggest that neuropsychological functioning is moderately predictive of functional status. Memory performance was the best predictor of functional status in most ADL domains, followed by executive functioning and visuospatial abilities.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Tomaszewski, Sarah

The Relationship Between Racial Identity, Ethnic Identity, and African-American Acculturation and their Contribution to Psychological Well-Being

Description: Since there are few studies which address the relationships between racial/ethnic identity and acculturation in the African-American community, the purpose of this study was threefold: 1) explore the relationship between racial identity and African-American acculturation; 2) examine racial and ethnic identity associations; and 3) observe the connections between these cultural constructs and psychological well-being. One hundred ninety-four African-American undergraduates from a predominantly White institution and two historically Black colleges completed measures of these constructs, self-esteem, and depression. The findings indicate a relationship between racial identity and acculturation for three of the four Cross (1971) stages (encounter, immersion-emersion, and internalization). Relinquishing the White frame of reference and achieving inner security with their Blackness coincides with immersion in the eight facets comprising African-American culture. Individuals who do not identify with their race (pre-encounter) less often affiliated with their ethnic group. Conversely, achieving racial identity (internalization) was associated with ethnic identity attachment. Finally, the study's findings suggest that identity development may affect how individuals perceive themselves and feel emotionally, which may depend on identity achievement. Pre-encounter stage scores were associated with reports of higher depression and lower self-esteem; whereas, higher internalization individuals reported higher self-esteem. As for ethnic identity, those who have explored options and made commitments to their ethnic group reported fewer symptoms of depression and higher self-esteem. The converse was also true. Community acceptance was predicted to mediate the relationship between acculturation and psychological well-being. Although this was unfounded, the data indicate that traditional individuals living in predominantly White neighborhoods reported more depressive symptoms than did dominant society acculturated individuals living there. Interesting demographic findings and future research directions are provided.
Date: August 2000
Creator: Wilcots, Kylynnedra D.

Parenting Stress: A Comparison of Mothers and Fathers of Disabled and Non-Disabled Children

Description: This study compared perceived levels of parenting stress between mothers and fathers of children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), children with developmental disabilities, and normally developing children. The relationship of certain demographic variables, such as Socio-economic Status (SES), number of children, years married, parent age, and child age, as well as social support with parenting stress was also examined for mothers and fathers of these three groups. Identification of factors related to parenting stress in fathers was of particular importance for this study, as fathers are often an underrepresented group within parenting research. Identifying effective methods for predicting high levels of parenting stress is important, as stress has been linked to psychological well-being, potential for abuse, and a greater likelihood of poor adjustment for both parent and child. Results from the present study comparing reported stress levels between groups of parents were supportive of previous studies indicating that parents of children with ADHD and developmentally disabilities experience significantly greater parenting stress, specifically with respect to child characteristics. Significant gender differences were also found between mothers and fathers in terms of parent characteristics related to stress. Fathers reported greater stress in the areas of attachment, while mothers reported more parent role restrictions. Additionally, significant negative relationships were found between parents' perceived helpfulness of informal social support and parenting stress scores in both mothers and fathers, affirming positive effects of social support on stress. Helpfulness of informal social support was also significantly predictive of parenting stress in both mothers and fathers across both the child and parent domains of the PSI, although, it had more predictive power with regard to parent related contributors to parenting stress. Family demographic factors, including age of the child and SES demonstrated some predictive power of parenting stress in mothers. Mothers with younger children and lower SES ...
Date: December 2000
Creator: Walker, Alexis Philbin

Psychopathy Symptom Profiles and Neuropsychological Measures Sensitive to Orbitofrontal Functioning

Description: This study analyzed the relationship between the OF functioning of 100 incarcerated male offenders and their psychopathy symptoms. The study's rejected hypothesis had predicted a significant relationship between measures of OF functioning and the Defective Affective Experience (DAE) and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioral Style (IIB) factors of the Cooke and Michie (2001) three-factor model of psychopathy. Regression analysis failed to demonstrate a relationship between OF functioning and the DAE and IIB factors. Group differences on OF functioning were not demonstrated between participants in the upper and lower quartiles of a summed DAE and IIB factor score. A general role for OF functioning in criminal behavior was suggested as two OF measures accounted for 14.9% of the variance of criminal convictions.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Wodushek, Thomas R.

Readiness for change as a predictor of treatment effectiveness: An application of the transtheoretical model.

Description: Clinical research suggests that adolescent offenders often do not view their criminal behaviors as problematic and, therefore, are not motivated for treatment. Although customarily defined as a static characteristic, the transtheoretical model (TTM) proposes treatment amenability is dynamic and can be achieved through tailored interventions that motivate individuals for treatment. The current study examines the predictive validity of TTM measures for adolescent offenders at a maximum security correctional facility. In particular, the Stages of Change Scale (SOCS) and Decisional Balance for Adolescent Offenders (DBS-AO) were compared with a more traditional assessment tool utilized in evaluating treatment amenability of juvenile offenders (i.e., Risk-Sophistication-Treatment Inventory; RSTI). One hundred adolescent offenders from the Gainesville State School completed two waves of data collection with a 3-month time interval. Information was collected on offenders' treatment progress between waves. Consistent with TTM research, predictors of treatment progress included low scores on the Cons scale on the DBS-AO and on the Precontemplation scale on the SOCS. Participants in the most advanced levels of treatment also scored high on the Sophistication-Maturity scale on the RSTI and the Impression Management scale on the Paulhus Deception Scale.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Jordan, Mandy J.

Targeting dimensions of psychopathy in at-risk youth: Assessment and utility of a focused cognitive behavioral therapy program.

Description: Individuals presenting with high levels of psychopathy demonstrate chronic and severe antisocial behavior and poor treatment outcomes in response to generalized rehabilitative programs. Recent research has examined the relationship between delinquency in child/adolescent populations and subsequent psychopathy. Focusing on community based/referred population of at-risk youth, this study developed and examined the effectiveness of an 18-session, psychopathy-focused, group CBT treatment program. The study incorporated treatment (n = 34) and usual-care comparison (n = 30) groups and a brief follow up period. Treatment outcomes examined measures of psychopathy, anger, impulsivity, motivation for treatment, self-reported problems, and indices of behavior. The treatment program demonstrated reductions in psychopathy on the Interpersonal (d = .55) and Affective facets (d = .24) of the PCL:YV. It also reduced overall impulsivity and improved anger suppression and treatment motivation, particularly among youth presenting with higher levels (relative to this study) of psychopathy. As a result of treatment, decreased incidents with the juvenile justice system were also observed, both during the treatment period and at six weeks follow-up. This study provides an initial empirical foundation for the ongoing development of targeted interventions for youth demonstrating psychopathic traits.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Norlander, Bradley J.

Totality of the circumstances: Factors affecting competence to waive Miranda rights.

Description: Within the discipline of sociology human olfaction is rich with social significance yet remains a poorly charted frontier. Therefore, the following discourse is aimed toward the development of a foundation for the sociological study of olfaction. It is formed by the dual goals of unearthing the social history of olfaction and of providing a viable sociological account of the manner in which smells affect human ontology. From these goals arise the following research questions: (1) Have the meaning and social relevance of odors and the olfactory sensorium changed throughout different periods of history?; (2) How have those in the lineage of eminent sociological thinkers addressed the phenomenon of human olfaction during these periods?; and (3) What is the process by which aromatic stimuli are transformed from simple chemical compounds, drifting in the atmosphere, into sensations in a sensory field and then on to perceived objects, to subjects of judgment and interpretation, and finally to bases of knowledge which form and continually reform individuals in the world? The weaving of the sociohistorical tapestry of smell is undertaken to provide examples from thousands of years lived experiences as to the fluid and sociologically complex nature of individuals' olfactory senses. This historical information is presented in a narrative format and is synthesized from data gleaned from books, advertisements, articles in popular non-scientific magazines, as well as from the findings of studies published in medical/neurological, psychological, anthropological, and sociological scholarly journals. Regarding theoretical aim of this discourse, insights are drawn from Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological theory of human perception for the generation of a framework for the sociological study of olfaction. Merleau-Ponty's theoretical notions are modified, modernized, and refitted to more specifically fit the subject of human olfaction and to include all that has been discovered about the biological specifics of olfactory perception since the ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Harrison, Kimberly S.

Trauma Responses, Abuse History, and Exposure to Violence as Risk Factors in Adolescent Sex and Non-Sex Offenders

Description: Several risk factors have been identified for adolescent sex offenders and non-sex offenders. Such risk factors include physical and/or sexual abuse, and exposure to community and/or domestic violence. Additionally, the presence of disinhibitive factors, such as substance use and exposure to violent or pornographic media are also commonly reported in the backgrounds of both sex and non-sex offenders. Similarly, adolescent offenders have reported traumatic reactions to environmental factors such as abuse and violence. Similarities in exposure to the risk and disinhibitive factors described above between adolescent sex and non-sex offenders do not provide an explanation for why some adolescents commit sex offenses, whereas other adolescent offenders do not. This study investigated the discriminative ability of traumatic reactions as a risk factor between male adolescent sex and non-sex offenders. The inclusion of traumatic reactions increased the accuracy of risk factors distinguishing between sex and non-sex offenders. Thus, not only the presence of risk factors, but also the adolescent's reaction to the risk factors, are important predictors of whether he will commit a sexual offense.
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Date: December 2003
Creator: Briley, Joshua Paul

Deficits in Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning: The Effects of Substance Use and Attention Deficits.

Description: Each year, an estimated 318,000 defendants who do not comprehend the Miranda warnings waive their rights and provide incriminating evidence without the protection of counsel (Rogers, 2008), which make Miranda-related competencies one of the most pervasive pretrial issues. A wide range of issues could potentially affect an individual's capacity to provide a knowing and intelligent waiver. Previous Miranda research has focused narrowly on the effects of cognitive and developmental factors. The current study added to the Miranda literature by examining the impact of two highly prevalent conditions found in correctional populations, attention deficits and substance abuse. Adult defendants in custody (N = 118) were evaluated within 36 hours of arrest in order to assess both chronic psychological disorders and situational variables. Results indicate that attention deficits have a significant impact on defendants' ability to provide a knowing Miranda waiver, whereas substance use profoundly affected their reasoning about Miranda waiver decisions. This study represents the first systematic investigation of the effect of transient mental states on Miranda-related abilities with criminal defendants. Important implications for forensic practice are addressed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Hazelwood, Lisa L.

Feigning Cognitive Deficits on Neuropsychological Evaluations: Multiple Detection Strategies

Description: Individuals undergoing forensic neuropsychological evaluation frequently stand to gain in some manner if neurocognitive dysfunction is diagnosed. As a result, neuropsychologists are customarily asked to test for neurocognitive feigning during the assessment. The current study employed an analogue design with a clinical comparison group to examine the utility of the TOCA (Rogers, 1996) as a measure of feigned neurocognitive impairment. Two groups of simulators (one cautioned about the presence of detection strategies and one not cautioned) were compared to clinical and normal control groups. Fourteen scales were developed based on five detection strategies: symptom validity testing, performance curve, magnitude of error, response time, and floor effect. Each was employed during both verbal and nonverbal tasks. Significant differences were revealed among groups when subjected to ANOVA. Classification rates from subsequent utility estimates and discriminant function analyses on the scales ranged from 58.8% to 100%. Combining strategies yielded a classification rate of 95.7%. The effect of cautioning simulators was modest; however, a trend was noted on some scales for cautioned simulators to appear less obviously impaired than noncautioned. Although the results require crossvalidation, preliminary data suggest that the TOCA is a sensitive and specific measure of feigned neurocognitive performance. Strengths and weaknesses of the study are discussed and directions for future research are proposed.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Bender, Scott D.

Contextualized Risk Assessment in Clinical Practice: Utility of Actuarial, Clinical, and Structured Clinical Approaches to Predictions of Violence.

Description: Assessing offenders' risk of future violent behavior continues to be an important yet controversial role of forensic psychologists. A key debate is the relative effectiveness of assessment methods. Specifically, actuarial methods (see Quinsey et al., 1998 for a review) have been compared and contrasted to clinical and structured clinical methods (see e.g. Hart, 1998; Webster et al., 1997). Proponents of each approach argue for its superiority, yet validity studies have made few formal comparisons. In advancing the available research, the present study examines systematically the type of forensic case (i.e., sexual violence versus nonsexual violence) and type of assessment method (i.e., actuarial, structured clinical, and unstructured clinical). As observed by Borum, Otto, and Golding (1993), forensic decision making can also be influenced by the presence of certain extraneous clinical data. To address these issues, psychologists and doctoral students attending the American Psychology Law Society conference were asked to make several ratings regarding the likelihood of future sexual and nonsexual violence based on data derived from actual defendants with known outcomes. Using a mixed factorial design, each of these assessment methods were investigated for its influence on decision-makers regarding likelihood of future violence and sexually violent predator commitments. Finally, the potentially biasing effects of victim impact statements on resultant decisions were also explored.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Jackson, Rebecca L.

Social Attitudes toward Men and Women with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Description: Although men are more likely to experience traumatic events, the risk of developing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is at least twice as high in women than in men after exposure to comparable traumas. These findings are more consistent in response to some types of trauma (e.g., assaultive violence) than others (e.g., natural disaster). There has been very little systematic study of the sources of these gender differences. This study began to explore the contribution of gender-related beliefs about appropriate responses to trauma by investigating the impact of victim sex and trauma type as well as participant sex, sex-role orientation, and personal trauma history on attitudes towards victims. Ninety-three male and 179 female students were administered the Bem Sex Role Inventory, the Trauma History Questionnaire, and a vignette measure of attitudes towards victims. Participants evaluated male victims significantly less favorably than female victims, and females had more positive attitudes towards victims than males. Feminine sex-typed and androgynous women rated victims more favorably than masculine sex-typed men and women. The interaction between sex of victim and trauma type was not significant. A positive relation was observed between personal trauma exposure and attitudes towards male victims among male participants only. These findings contribute towards a theoretical understanding of gender and PTSD, and also have important clinical applications.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Mendelsohn, Michaela

Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females

Description: There is a lack of clarity in the current literature in how potential etiological factors interact and result in disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to examine an expanded model of Personality, Social Support, Appraisal/Coping Processes, Abuse History, Internalization of Sociocultural Standards, Psychological Disturbances, and Body Disparagement in the development of disordered eating. The current model was evaluated using 276 women in their transition to college, a time period highly associated with symptoms believed to increase a woman's risk for the development of disordered eating including perceived difficulty coping, weight gain, and negative affect. Structural equation modeling was used to allow simultaneous examination of the causal relationships between the factors. Structural analyses confirmed that college women with previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition. Those women who identified the transition as overwhelming were also aware of increased negative mood and psychological states since beginning the school semester. Further, women with previous traumatic sexual experiences appeared to be at additional risk for increased negative affective symptoms. The resulting model confirmed that those women who experience negative mood states and those that endorse strong internalization of cultural values regarding attractiveness encountered increased dissatisfaction and disapproval of their bodies. Finally, women with higher levels of body concern engaged in more eating behaviors associated with disordered eating. The roles of personality functioning and perceived social support could not be identified in the developmental model. The predictive links between constructs in the resulting model provide meaningful information regarding the transition to college and associated risks for development of disordered eating. Validation of the model in an independent sample would provide confirmation of these relationships and longitudinal research examining females' attitudes across crucial developmental periods might provide important information regarding ...
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Tripp, Margaret Murphy

Pregnancy Loss: Disenfranchised Grief and Other Psychological Reactions

Description: It is widely acknowledged in the literature that grief is most intense when it is experienced by parents whose children have died. However, as recently as 20 years ago, mothers whose children died at birth or before the pregnancy had reached full term were often dismissed as merely medical patients, and their psychological reactions were not considered or acknowledged by professionals, their friends, or their families. More recently fields such as psychology have recognized that women who have experienced pregnancy loss have complex psychological reactions to their loss. The present study examined the patterns of grief of women who have had a pregnancy end in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth and the ways in which these women gave meaning to their experiences. Participants were asked to complete several measures including the Perinatal Grief Scale (PGS), the Hogan Grief reaction Checklist (HGRC), the Perceived Social Support Scale (PSS), and the Inventory of Social Support (ISS). The participants also wrote a narrative account of their loss experience. These narratives were content analyzed to delineate common themes. The findings indicated several important factors which may be useful in understanding and assisting in post-loss adjustment.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Clower, Christen E.

The Detection of Neuropsychological Malingering

Description: The present study compared the responses of a group of simulating malingerers who were offered a monetary incentive to feign symptoms of a head injury, with the responses of head injured groups both with and without litigation, a forensic parole group, and an honest-responding control group. The following six neuropsychological measures were utilized: Rey 15-Item Memory Test, Controlled Oral Word Association Test, Finger Oscillation Test, WAIS-R Neuropsychological Instrument (Vocabulary, Information, and Similarities subtests), Booklet Category Test, and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. The statistical concepts of floor effect, performance curve, and magnitude of error were examined. Additionally, the statistical differences in the responses of the five groups were analyzed to determine cutting scores for use in distinguishing malingerers from nonmalingerers.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Liff, Christine D.

The Effects of Assessment Context on State Anxiety and a Neuropsychological Model of Attention

Description: This study investigated the effects of assessment context on state anxiety and attention according to the Mirsky (1996) model of attention. Context varied in the physical testing environment, demeanor of the assessor, and explanation of the purpose of testing. A relaxed condition (RC) and structured medical condition (SMC) distinction was made prior to data collection and the two contexts were designed to reflect contrasting practices of neuropsychologists. Elements of attention evaluated included Encoding (Digit Span), Focusing/Executing (Visual Search and Attention Test), Shifting (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Computerized Version 2), Sustaining, and Stabilizing (Continuous Performance Test-Identical Pairs). Eighty healthy adult females participated in the study. The findings suggest that the SMC caused higher levels of anxiety and lower valence than the RC, which in turn caused poorer sustained attention and superior shifting attention for this condition. Such interpretations are consistent with several theories on the effects of anxiety on attention. It should be noted, however, that differences observed in attention were limited to select measures. Factor analysis also indicates that the encode, shift, and sustain elements of attention were largely consistent with the factor solution proposed by Mirsky, while findings on the focus/execute and stabilize elements bring into question the construct validity of these aspects of the model. Findings from the study are considered relevant to those interested in attention theory and particularly researchers and clinicians involved in the administration of neuropsychological testing.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Greher, Michael R.

Investigating patterns among demographics, identification practices, interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance.

Description: This study explored potential patterns of association among the demographic characteristics, identification practices, educational interventions, and educational outcomes for students with serious emotional disturbance (SED) as well as specifically investigated the impact of age at identification with SED and the presence of co-occurring disabilities. Data was gathered from the educational records of students with SED in seven rural to semi-rural districts in Texas. Demographic information included gender, ethnicity, age at identification with SED, and identification with co-occurring disabilities. Identification variables that were investigated include the five federal qualifying criteria for SED, IQ score, and BASC and/or CBCL scores. Intervention variables that were explored included placement setting, restrictiveness of placement setting, type of related services provided, parental attendance at multidisciplinary team meetings, number of multidisciplinary team meetings, and total time spent in special education as a student with SED. Outcome variables that were examined included achievement levels in reading and math, attendance, special education status, and grade retention. Results suggested that earlier identification with SED is related to placement in less restrictive settings, achievement within two years of grade level in reading, and lower average number of absences. The presence of co-occurring disabilities in addition to SED is associated with placement in more restrictive settings and with achievement that is two or more years below grade level in reading and math. Additional findings and implications for future research as well as for current practice are discussed.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Gonzalez, Christine

Functions of self-injurious thoughts and behaviors within adolescent inpatients.

Description: The primary interest of this investigation concerned the self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) of inpatient adolescents. Previous researchers have provided descriptive information regarding either automatic (or intrinsic) and social components using the Self-Injurious Thoughts and Behaviors Interview (SITBI). However, the presence and trends of these components have not firmly been established, suggesting the need to explore this area further. Eighty-two adolescent inpatients were selected and interviewed using the SITBI to evaluate the predictive ability of self-reported self-injurious behavior with regard to social and automatic, negative and positive functions. Results showed that depending on the type of thought or behavior displayed one could discern the motivation behind their actions. Automatic-Negative was seen to have the strongest relationship across all SITB behaviors while Automatic-Negative was not found to be relatively low compared to other SITB behaviors. Both Social-Positive and Social-Negative were found to be present in moderate relationships compared to Automatic in general.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Thomas, Peter F.

Patterns of Change in Semantic Clustering in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders: What Can it Tell Us about the Nature of Clustering Deficits

Description: Semantic clustering has been used as a measure of learning strategies in a number of clinical populations and has been found to be deficient in individuals with Schizophrenia, but less attention has been paid to the dynamic use of this strategy over the course of fixed-order learning trials. In the current study, we examined this pattern of clustering use over trials in a sample of individuals with Schizophrenia, and explored whether the addition of this dynamic information would help us to better predict specific executive deficits. Results suggested that a decrease in semantic clustering across trials was associated with some executive deficits in the predicted manner. Nonetheless, the overall semantic clustering index generally proved more effective for the purposes, suggesting that in this population, the addition of dynamic information in strategy use is not likely to add considerably to clinical prediction and understanding.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Edwards, Kimberly

Spirituality, health locus of control, and wellness in organizational health promotion and wellness programs

Description: The relationship between an individual's level of spirituality, health locus of control, and participating in wellness activity was investigated. The relationship between spirituality, health locus of control on physical health was also investigated. The research question was based on prior studies that reported people who are more spiritual are healthier. Does their spirituality lead to increased levels of health, or are individual's who are more spiritual more likely to proactively take control of their health and engage in health promoting behaviors? One hundred and fifteen male and female employees completed The Spiritual Involvement and Beliefs Scale (SIBS), a spirituality measure, The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, a measure of locus of control related to health and healthcare, and The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Health Risk Appraisal, a self-report measure of participation in health behaviors. Physical measures of health were obtained by obtaining Body Mass Index, blood pressure readings, and a cholesterol screening. The current study looked at level of spirituality (internal, external), level of health locus of control (internal, powerful other, chance) and participation in wellness/health promoting behaviors and health. Correlational analyses were performed on the relationship between spirituality and health locus of control. Hierarchical multiple regressions were performed on the internal spirituality and internal health locus of control to examine the relationship between spirituality, health locus of control and positive health behaviors and level of physical health. Stepwise discriminant function analysis using spirituality and health locus of control as predictor variables for the health-behavior criterion variables were performed. Discussion of the results, limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research were presented.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Gauthier, Janine E.

Neuropsychologic correlates of a normal EEG variant: The mu rhythm.

Description: Although the mu rhythm is traditionally defined as a normal EEG variant, recent evidence suggests that mu may have functional significance in a variety of disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. While an increasing number of articles have focused on the blocking mechanism of mu in relation to various cognitive processes and disorders, few have examined the significance of a prominent mu rhythm in the background EEG. A few studies have examined the relationship between the mu rhythm and psychological disturbance, such as attentional and affective disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that EEG and qEEG variables may be useful in classifying psychiatric disorders, presenting a neurophysiological alternative to traditional symptom-based diagnosis and classification. Thus, the intention of the present study was to examine the relationship between neuropsychological variables, gathered from multiple assessment sources, and the presence of a prominent mu rhythm in the EEG. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without a prominent mu rhythm on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA); although individuals in the mu group showed a pattern of increased impulsivity and performance decrement over time. For adults, no significant differences were observed between groups on psychological variables measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). However, for children, the mu and control groups differed on several behavioral and emotional variables on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results are examined in the context of other research and clinical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Simms, Lori A.

The relationship between interpersonal dependency and therapeutic alliance: Perspectives of clients and therapists.

Description: Both interpersonal dependency and the importance of the therapeutic alliance to successful psychotherapy outcomes have been widely studied. However, these two areas of study rarely have been viewed conjointly despite the reportedly large number of clients with dependency who present for treatment. This study elucidated the relationship between interpersonal dependency and the therapeutic alliance. Additional hypotheses explored client-therapist agreement on alliance strength in relation to client interpersonal dependency. Participants were graduate student therapists (N = 26) and their individual psychotherapy clients (N = 40) in a training clinic at a large, southwestern university. Within their first three sessions of psychotherapy, participating clients told nine Thematic Apperception Test stories and completed structured self-report measures of adult attachment, social desirability, and psychological symptoms. Interpersonal dependency was scored from the TAT stories, using the TAT Oral Dependency (TOD) scoring system developed by Masling, Rabie, and Blondheim (1967) and Huprich (2008). Three sessions following initial data collection, participating clients and their therapists completed structured self-report measures of the therapeutic alliance. Analyses revealed that interpersonal dependency was not significantly associated with client and therapist alliance ratings or the congruence between client and therapist alliance ratings. However, specific scoring categories of the TOD were associated with client alliance scores in opposing directions. In contrast to hypotheses, self-reported attachment-related dependency was significantly related to client alliance ratings and to the congruence between therapist and client alliance ratings. Clients with higher levels of self-reported attachment-related dependency rated the alliance less favorably, in agreement with their therapists, than did clients with lower levels of attachment-related dependency. Additional analyses were unsuccessful in replicating findings from previous research on interpersonal dependency. The clinical and research implications of these findings are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Mitchell, Jessica L.