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Body Image as Mediated by Age, Sex, and Relationship Status

Description: Traditionally, body image research has focused on young women. However, there are indications of cultural shifts which extend physical appearance pressures to both men and women, as well as to middle-aged and older adults. Two hundred and ten subjects were administered objective body image measures including the Figure Rating Scale, the Body Shape Questionnaire, and the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire, as well as projective measures including the Holtzman Inkblot Technique and the Draw-A-Person. The NEO-Five Factor Inventory and the Social Anxiety Subscale were also used to explore variables which might covary with body image. A 3 X 2 X 2 Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) was utilized with social desirability as the covariate.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Cooper, Caren C. (Caren Connie)

Ambiguity of Loss, Anticipatory Grief, and Boundary Ambiguity in Caregiver Spouses and Parents

Description: The purpose of the present cross-sectional study was to examine the effects of ambiguity of loss and type of caregiver-to-patient relationship on anticipatory grief, negative physical and psychological outcomes associated with grief, and boundary ambiguity in family caregivers of chronically ill patients. Questionnaires were completed by 23 parents of ill children and 30 spouses of ill mates. Using an original and a revised concept for level of ambiguity, partial support was found for the prediction that parents and spouses in high ambiguity of loss circumstances would report more anticipatory grief than those in low ambiguity ones. Contrary to prediction, a slight but nonsignificant trend occurred for parents and spouses in low ambiguity situations to report more negative physical and psychological effects associated with grief as well. Level of ambiguity was not found to impact boundary ambiguity as had been hypothesized. Spouses reported more boundary ambiguity than parents, regardless of level of ambiguity of the loss. Contrary to prediction that parents would report less anticipatory grief and more negative physical and psychological outcomes than spouses, generally, no significant differences were found between the two groups. However, using the original concept of ambiguity, parents did tend to recall more past grief than spouses. The study highlighted several methodological concerns which impact research on loss and grief, particularly the difficulty involved in recruiting participants with subsequent occurrence of sampling bias, rudimentary status of available measurement tools, and a host of potentially confounding personal and sociodemographic variables. The present study supports a view of the loss which occurs in families dealing with chronic illness as a complex process whose impact on grief, distress, and family upheaval is influenced by multiple factors. Such factors include both the ambiguity of the loss and the type of family relationship involved. Complex research of a longitudinal nature using ...
Date: August 1993
Creator: Rider, Jan, K. (Jan Kathleen)

The Effects of Parental Divorce and Conflict on Adolescent Separation-Individuation

Description: The influence of parental marital status and parental conflict on the separation-individuation process of college students was investigated in the present study. Past studies have suggested that parental divorce and parental conflict accelerate separation. However, no studies have measured more than one dimension of separation-individuation. In this study the process of separation-individuation was operationalized as involving three dimensions: psychological separation from parents (Psychological Separation Inventory); emotional attachments to parents and peers (Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment); and the development of an identity (Extended Objective Measure of Ego Identity Status). The sample consisted of 120 male and 120 female undergraduates between the ages of 18 and 22, one-half with parents who were married and one-half with parents who had divorced in the last five years. Subjects completed self-report measures of parental conflict, psychological separation, attachment to parents and to peers, and identity status. Predictions that parental conflict would affect students in intact families differently than their peers with divorced parents were not supported. Instead, parental divorce and conflict were found to have different effects on the components of the separation-individuation process. Subjects reporting higher parental conflict levels described more independent functioning, more negative feelings toward parents, less attachment to parents and to peers, and greater exploration of identity-related issues in comparison to those reporting low levels of conflict. Subjects with parents who had recently divorced reported lower attachment to parents, and greater identity exploration and reluctance to commit to an identity than subjects from intact families. Males reported greater independence from and less attachment to parents, and had committed to an identity without exploration less often than females. Results suggest that parental divorce and conflict may influence adolescent development in different ways. Exploratory analyses suggested that measures of conflict style are more highly related to indices of separation-individuation than measures ...
Date: August 1993
Creator: Marsh, Greg (Gregory Gene)

The Role of Individuation Processes in the Launching of Children into Adulthood

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which levels of individuation and separation in adulthood would predict adjustment to the empty nest transition. Two-hundred and twenty-seven adults (M age = 48) who had experienced the empty nest within the last year completed a battery of scales assessing individuation from family of origin, spouse, and children as well as measures of adjustment, role strain, coping, and sex role attitudes. MANOVAS and hierarchical regression analyses suggested that levels of individuation from one's family of origin, spouse, and children differentially affect one's adjustment to, and coping with, the experience of launching of the youngest child from the home. Empty nest parents who are less differentiated from their own parents, from their spouses, and from their children reported a more negative impact of the empty nest in terms of more overall stress and role strain, more negative mood, and less life satisfaction than did empty nest parents who were more differentiated with regard to parents, spouse, and children. Results regarding the impact of individuation on empty nest adjustment regarding sex role attitudes were less clear cut, and may reflect cohort differences in work role opportunities for women and a parallel redefinition of the work role/parent role dichotomy for men. The data also suggest that women and men experience the empty nest transition differently, with women experiencing more distress and negative mood, supporting the notion that women, who define themselves in a context of relationship may experience more distress at a time when significant relationships are in flux. However, additional results which indicated significantly more proactive and adaptive coping strategies for women as compared to men suggest that women can meet the demands of the new definitions of themselves and their relationships in a relatively positive and adaptive way. The results ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Hobdy, Juli

The Long-Term Effects of Bereavement: A Longitudinal Study

Description: The purpose of the present study was to examine the applicability of a model of bereavement to the long-term adjustment to loss. Based on Allen's (1990) model, it was predicted that the variables experienced competence, perceived resources, and the impact of the loss would contribute strongly to overall long-term bereavement adjustment. It was also predicted that time and multiple losses would impact adjustment to loss.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Roberts, Laura McCoy

Age/Cohort Differences in Aspects of the Self-System

Description: Age/cohort differences in several aspects of the self-system were investigated utilizing a sentence completion paradigm. Eighty-eight adults over age sixty and one hundred eight adults under age forty served as subjects. Subjects were asked to complete 30 self-referent sentence stems which were pre-structured to elicit information from the self-system. Responses were subjected to a content analysis utilizing a coding system which contained concepts used by subjects in their self-representations. Contents were coded for dimensions conceptually related to Physical Health, Autonomy, Self-Evaluation, Depression, Spirituality, and Altruism. Frequencies of codings were counted and subjected to statistical analysis for performing age group comparisons.
Date: May 1994
Creator: Hanselka, Larry L. (Larry Lynn)

Social Support as an Intervention for Parents of Children with ADHD

Description: Social support needs have neither been formally addressed nor assessed in prior research with parents of children of special needs. Typically, behavioral management skills, specific knowledge about the disorder/illness/handicap, parents' self-perception, and participants' evaluation of program effectiveness have been measured. Research information collected to date supports the exploration of social support as a treatment intervention. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine perceived social support for parents of children with ADHD who completed a parent training program. The program, entitled "ADHD Parent Training," included information about ADHD, behavior management strategies, child advocacy, and a social support component. Upon completing the ADHD Parent Training program, parents were expected to perceive a significantly greater amount of social support than they did prior to treatment. In addition, the relationship between change in perceived social support and the more traditionally assessed outcomes of parent training was examined (parent's satisfaction with treatment, parent's perception of child's progress, and teacher's perception of child's progress).
Date: December 1994
Creator: Robert, Rhonda S. (Rhonda Simone)

Detecting Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults: a Validation Study of Selected Screening Instruments

Description: The present study investigated the criterion-based validity of the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Cognitive Capacity Screening Examination (CCSE), and the Neurobehavioral Cognitive Status Examination (NCSE) in a sample of older adults with suspected cognitive impairment. As cognitive screening tests, the MMSE, CCSE, and NCSE should predict performance relative to a more thorough testing procedure. In the present study, performance on the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (HRNTB) was employed as the criterion measure. Scores on the General Neuropsychological Deficit Scale (G-NDS), a global performance measure computed from the HRNTB, served as the standard by which to judge the presence of cognitive impairment. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of each screening test, as well as how well each screening test correlated with the G-NDS, were investigated. Results of this investigation found that, although the MMSE, CCSE, and NCSE were all significantly correlated with the G-NDS, only the NCSE demonstrated an appropriate balance between high sensitivity and specificity. When a rigorous neuropsychological evaluation was employed as the criterion standard, the NCSE accurately detected the presence of cognitive impairment: in 82% of the cases. The MMSE and CCSE, however, failed to detect cognitive deficits in approximately 80% of the cases. These findings strongly suggest that the MMSE and CCSE may have limited utility in the identification of cognitive impairment in older adults. The heightened sensitivity of the NCSE appears to be the result of several unigue features of the instrument, including a multidimensional scoring system and a graded series of increasingly difficult items within each ability area. Future studies need to examine the utility of the NCSE in other geriatric settings, as well as with more diverse populations suffering from a variety of organic mental syndromes.
Date: May 1993
Creator: McBride-Houtz, Patricia (Patricia Ann)

Effects of Psychoeducation on Opinions about Mental Illness, Attitudes toward Help Seeking, and Expectations about Psychotherapy

Description: The effect of psychoeducation on opinions about mental illness, attitudes toward help seeking, and expectations about psychotherapy were investigated. One group served as a control, one group read a written lecture on information about mental illness, and one group read a written lecture on information about psychotherapy. The control group, and experimental groups immediately after reading the lecture, completed demographic information, Attitudes Toward Help Seeking-Short Form, Expectations About Counseling-Brief Form, Nunnally Conceptions of Mental Illness Questionnaire, and three College Adjustment Scales (Depression, Anxiety, Self Esteem). Participants were asked to complete the same measures four weeks after the initial assessment. Results: No significant improvement in attitudes toward help seeking was demonstrated in either experimental group, at either time of testing. Expectations about psychotherapy were significantly improved in both experimental groups, which remained significant at Time 2. Opinions about mental illness demonstrated an immediate significant improvement in attitudes with the mental illness lecture group, however this effect did not remain at Time 2. The psychotherapy lecture group did not have significantly improved opinions about mental illness at either time of testing. The control group did not produce any significant changes between Time 1 and Time 2 testing. Experimental group scores demonstrated similarity with those who had previous experience with psychotherapy. No relationship was found between level of adjustment and attitudes toward help seeking, expectations about psychotherapy, or opinions about mental illness at either time of testing.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Gonzalez, Jodi Marie

The Use of Coping Strategies in Depressed and Nondepressed Chronic Pain Patients

Description: This study investigated the relationship between preferred coping strategies, and major stressors for nondepressed, and depressed chronic pain patients. The subjects for this study were 67 chronic pain patients who are participating in a pain/spinal rehabilitation program. The information collected from the individuals or their records included: (1) basic demographic information, (2) level of activity, (3) level of perceived pain, (4) medication usage, (5) therapist rating of level of stabilization, (6) scores on three inventories including the Coping Strategies Questionnaire, the Ways of Coping Checklist, and the Beck Depression Inventory. Analyses included an examination of the relationship between level of depression and (1) type of stressors, (2) coping strategies, and (3) level of perceived pain. Further analyses included multiple regression with outcome as defined by therapist ratings at the end of treatment, and patients' ratings at follow up as the criterion variables.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Henson, C. D. (Connie Dee)

Assessing Adolescent Personality and Interactional Style with the Rorschach and the Personality Inventory for Youth

Description: An investigation was undertaken to examine two measures of personality and their utility with adolescent patient populations. The Rorschach, scored using Exner's (1991) Comprehensive System (2nd Ed.), and the Personality Inventory for Youth (PIY; Lachar & Gruber, in press) were explored as to their ability to distinguish inpatients from outpatients, males from females, and diagnostic groups from one another. COP, AG, CDI, DEPI, SCZI, and HVI scores on the Rorschach were utilized, as were the DIS, SOM, FAM, RLTY, WDL, and SSK scores from the PIY.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Wheeler, Ann C.

Career Counseling with Academically Talented Students

Description: Academically talented college students have unique development needs that often go unmet. One area that is currently attracting more attention in the academically talented literature is career counseling. The purpose of the present study was to compare the effectiveness of individual and group career counseling interventions. Subjects included 54 students from a special Texas program that provides the opportunity for gifted students to attend college during their final two years of high school. One instrument used assessed identity, confidence, career goals, and professional identity. The second instrument evaluated whether the subjects had recently discussed career concerns, were seeing a vocational counselor, or seeking career information. A pre-test was followed by group or individual intervention, and a post-test was conducted two months later. Results indicated an overall decrease on the instrument assessing professional identity and career goals. This study revealed no difference in effectiveness between group or individual interventions. Further research in this area is necessary to develop and refine the most effective career counseling interventions for the academically talented student.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Rowe, Kirk (Kirk Lee)

Sexual Identity Development and Occupational Choice in Gay Men

Description: This purpose of this study was to validate the concept of homosexual identity formation using psychosocial personality measures and occupational congruence. Of additional interest was personality or occupational congruence differences which may exist between men who choose to enter job fields stereotyped as gay and those who do not choose those fields.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Elbel, Jacquelyn L. (Jacquelyn Louise)

The Effects of Parental Marital Status, Just World Beliefs, and Parental Conflict on Trust in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships

Description: The effects of divorce on trust in intimate heterosexual relationships were investigated using a sample of 478 college students (156 males, 322 females). Subjects were asked to respond to scenarios and questionnaires assessing parental marital status, just world beliefs, parental conflict, and trust. Attitudes toward divorce and common problems were also assessed.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Taylor, Bryce E. (Bryce Ernest)

Perceptions of Social Support among Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Pre- and Post-Parent Training

Description: The literature demonstrates that children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often experience peer rejection as a result of their difficulties with interpersonal interactions. The manner in which children with ADHD process social information and the extent to which social difficulties may adversely impact these children has remained unclear. In the first part of the study, the perceptions of social support between boys (ages 7 to 11 years) with and without ADHD were compared. An analysis of variance procedure (ANOVA) was performed and children with ADHD were found to perceive significantly lower levels of social support from their classmates than normal peers at pretreatment. The groups did not differ significantly with regard to perceptions of parent, teacher, and close friend support. In the second part of the study, the role of ADHD parent training and its effectiveness in decreasing problem-behaviors, ameliorating social problems, and enhancing perceptions of social support was examined. Repeated measures MANOVAs revealed a significant rater (mother and teacher) by time (pretreatment and posttreatment) interaction effect for total behavior problems, externalizing behavior problems, internalizing behavior problems, and social problems. On each scale, mothers reported more behavior problems than teachers at pretreatment, but fewer problems than teachers at posttreatment assessment. Main effects were not detected. ANOVAs performed on social support ratings by children with ADHD demonstrated a significant increase in their perceptions of parental support between pretreatment and posttreatment. Children's ratings of teacher, close friend, and classmate support did not differ significantly between pretreatment and posttreatment. The findings suggest that children with ADHD are socially perspicacious and sensitive to subtle changes within their social support systems. The parent training program appeared to help with the amelioration of problem behaviors in the home, but results did not indicate generalization of improvements to the classroom. Implications of the findings were discussed ...
Date: August 1994
Creator: Askins, Martha Ann

A Comparison of Middle Aged and College Aged Adults' Perceptions of Elder Abuse

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of (a) respondent age, (b) age and gender of perpetrator and victim, and (c) history of experienced violence on perceptions of elder abuse. Two-hundred and one (N = 201) middle-aged adults and 422 college students were assessed. Measures included adaptations of the Severity of Violence Against Women Scale and Elder Abuse Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions Scale-Revised. Middle-aged respondents viewed psychological behaviors more harshly than young. Middle-aged females and young males were less tolerant of middle-aged perpetrators. While past performance of elder abuse was predictive of future elder abuse, history of childhood abuse was not. Exploratory analyses examined middle-aged respondents' judgments of abusive behaviors and perceptions based on age of perpetrator. Middle-aged and young adults' willingness to respond to dimensions of quality, severity, and reportability were also examined.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Childs, Helen W. (Helen Warren)

Problem Solving Cognitive Processes in Younger and Older Adults

Description: The purpose of the present study was to examine cognitive abilities and problem solving processes of young and older adults. Specifically, three areas of inquiry were investigated: possible age-related differences in problem solving cognitive abilities, possible differences in cognitive processes used during problem solution, and possible differences in determinants of problem solving cognitive processes.
Date: December 1993
Creator: McGregor, Patricia A. (Patricia Ann)

The Relationship of Adult Attachment Styles to Working Models and Behaviors in Marriage

Description: The relationship between adult attachment style and romantic relationship quality in marriage relationships was explored. Romantic relationship quality was measured at the working model (or perceptual) and the behavioral levels. No previous research had investigated romantic relationship quality as reflecting specific attachment related perceptions of self and spouse or as attachment related behaviors. Two hundred and six married subjects were recruited from university campuses, churches, and on an individual basis. Most of the subjects were white, middle class, and had children. Subjects completed self-report questionnaires measuring adult attachment style, working model of self and romantic partner, and reports of relationship behaviors of self and romantic partner. The first hypothesis proposed that attachment style differences would be seen in specific attachment related working models of self and romantic partner. The second hypothesis proposed that attachment style differences would be seen in reports of attachment related behaviors for self and romantic partner. Hypotheses were tested using multivariate analysis of variance.
Date: March 1994
Creator: Creath, Maxine Kay

Performance of Brain-Injured versus Non-Brain-Injured Individuals on Three Versions of the Category Test

Description: To date, no research exists examining criterion-related validity of alternate, computerized forms of the Category Test. The intent of this study was to address criterion-related validity of three full forms of the Category Test. In that, the goal was to examine equivalency of each version in their ability to differentiate brain-injured from non-brain-injured individuals. Forty-nine (N = 49) healthy adults and 45 (N = 45) brain-injured adults were tested using three versions of the Category Test, the BDI, and the WAIS-R NI. ANOVA indicated no significant differences between versions of the Category Test or an interaction between Category Test version and group membership on the total error score. MANOVA performed between versions of the Category Test and Subtest error scores indicated significant differences between versions on Subtest 3 and Subtest 6. Group membership (brain-injured v. non-brain-injured) produced a significant main effect on all subtests of the Category Test except Subtest 2. Several exploratory analyses were performed examining the relationship between neuropsychological impairment, group membership based on Category Test error scores, and the WAIS-R NI. Clinical applications, such as the use of serial testing to index neurorehabilitation gains, were discussed.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Mercer, Walt N. (Walt Neilson)

Children's Perceptions of Family Environment in Step and Intact Families

Description: This purpose of this research study was to identify key differences that distinguish stepfamilies from intact families with regard to individual members' perceptions of family environment and family functioning. Additionally, an initial look at how membership in a stepfamily impacts the young children's perceptions of interpersonal family functioning is offered.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Elliott, Lisa M.

The Influence of Separation, Attachment and Family Processes on the Career Exploratory Behavior of Late Adolescents

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the idea that a late adolescent's career exploration activities may be influenced by levels of attachment to and psychological separation from family, family health, and family structure. It was proposed that higher levels of self and environmental exploration would be associated with positive family relationships and adequate levels of psychological separation and attachment. Cognitive and demographic variables were included as control measures. Measures of family health, attachment, separation, family structure, career exploration, career decision making self efficacy, and beliefs in the usefulness of engaging in self and environmental exploration were administered to 304 undergraduates from intact families. Multiple regression analyses were employed to examine the contribution of the independent variables measuring family processes to the variability in the dependent variables of self and environmental exploration, after controlling for the variability associated with the control measures. The demographic variables were age, gender, class standing, and decision status about a major. Results indicated that the best predictors of career exploration in late adolescence were the cognitive variables. Beliefs in the usefulness of self exploration were the best predictor of self exploration, whereas career decision making self efficacy was the best predictor of environmental exploration. Measures of attachment and psychological separation were not substantially related to career exploration. A weak relationship between family structure and self exploration was found, however contrary to theoretical predictions, it suggested that problems in the parent child relationship may facilitate rather than inhibit this career development activity. Findings also suggested a relationship between variables of family processes and career decision making self efficacy. Future research might explore the idea that separation, attachment and family variables influence cognitive beliefs, which in turn effect career development. The demographic variables emerged as minimally important in predicting exploratory behavior. Results were discussed with regard ...
Date: December 1992
Creator: Moreault, Anne-Marie

Training and Practice Effects on Performance Attributions Among Non-Depressed and Depressed Older Persons

Description: Previous research examining the impact of training and practice effects on modifying performance of fluid intelligence tasks (Gf) and crystallized intelligence tasks (Gc) were extended to include self-rated performance attributions among non-depressed and depressed older persons. The following general questions were addressed. How does level of depression affect performance on Gf and Gc measures and performance attributions? How does level of depression and degree of benefit from either training or practice relate to changes in attributional styles? The framework used for predicting shifts in attributional styles was the reformulated learned helplessness model. Three hundred twenty-five community-dwelling older persons completed the Gf/Gc Sampler, Beck Depression Inventory, and Attributions for Success/Failure Questionnaire at pretest, posttest (one week), and follow-up (one month). Between the pretest and posttest sessions, subjects participated in one of three experimental conditions; (a) cognitive (induction) training, (b) stress inoculation training, and (c) no-contact control groups. The results from univariate and multivariate analysis of covariance procedures provided partial support for the hypotheses. At pretest, both non-depressed and depressed older persons had internal attributional styles, although based on differential performance outcomes. The depressed persons were found to have more failure experiences as a result of their significantly poorer performance on Gf tasks, versus the non-depressed. Specific Gf training effects were documented regarding attributional shifts for the non-depressed, while there were no changes on their attributional style due to practice on either Gf or Gc tasks. In contrast, only differential practice effects were documented for depressed subjects across Gf and Gc tasks. The importance of assessing personality dimensions in older persons and their xelationship to training and practice effects were discussed, in addition to limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Segal, Carolyn