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The Cross-Validation of AD/HD Instruments and the Relationship to Neurocognitive and Behavioral Measures

Description: The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine the construct validities of comparable AD/HD instruments that were developed according to our current, DSM-IV classification system for AD/HD; and to identify potential +neurocognitive and socioemotional markers for AD/HD. The sample consisted of 145 children ages 8 to 11 years of age who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD), or Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). Children were administered a battery of neurocognitive tests and completed a self-report measure of personality. Parents completed several, AD/HD instruments pertaining to their children. The AD/HD instruments used in this study were the Attention Deficit Disorder Evaluation Scale-Home Version (ADDES), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Test (ADHDT), and the Attention Problems and Hyperactivity scales from the BASC-Monitor (BASC-M). Of interest was how each AD/HD instrument compared to the DSM-IV, particularly in terms of the cross-consistency of AD/HD subtype classifications. The findings showed that the AD/HD instruments classified participants differently from the initial, DSM-IV entry diagnosis. Rates of agreement were better for some of the AD/HD instruments than for others yet there was little overall consistency. The neurocognitive measures used in the study were the Cognitive Assessment System-Basic Battery scales. The socioemotional measures used in the study were two parent-report scales from the BASC-M (Internalizing Problems and Adaptive Skills), and the child report scales from the BASC-Self Report of Personality. Results showed that the neurocognitive measures were relatively insensitive to AD/HD symptomatology while a nearly opposite trend was observed on the socioemotional measures. For the most part, participants classified as the ADHD-Combined Type (ADHD-CT), (regardless of which AD/HD instrument was used) had the most significant impairment in areas of social functioning and emotional symptoms across parent and self-reports.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Hudson, Christine V.

Differences in Perceptual-motor Functioning Between Blind and Sighted Adults: a Neuropsychological Perspective.

Description: The purpose of the study was to explore perceptual-motor differences between blind and sighted adults from a neuropsychological perspective, and to analyze differences within the blind group. Perceptual-motor abilities were examined using the Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation System (CVES), a vocational rehabilitation and neuropsychological battery designed for use with blind populations. The data were processed using Analysis of Covariance. Results showed that sighted persons had better motor abilities, while persons with blindness were more skilled at haptic identification of shape and texture. Analysis within the blind group showed that texture identification skills are better when blindness occurs earlier in life and to the extent that the blindness is total. Later onset blindness and the retention of some functional vision may not lead to a refocusing of attentional states necessary to develop haptic images. New neural connections may develop in persons with congenital/total blindness, a hypothesis in line with recent neuroradiological findings that occipital lobe activation occurs when congenitally blind individuals engage in tactile processing tasks. One implication of the findings is that teaching individuals who retain some functional vision to read Braille is probably counterproductive. These individuals would be better served by learning to use a CCTV and large print books. Future researchers should examine blindness from a multivariate perspective, examining subsets of blind groups based on age at onset, visual status, and other pertinent variables. Other implications are discussed and recommendations for future research are provided.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Joyce, Arthur

The Effect of Web-Based Support as an Adjunct to a Self-Help Smoking Cessation Program

Description: For the past quarter century, the public has been educated and warned about the dangers of smoking, and both smokers and health researchers have been in search of cost-effective, smoking cessation programs that will lead to long-term cessation. This study used a randomized experimental design to investigate the effectiveness of adding Web-based support materials to a nationally sponsored self-help smoking intervention. There was no significant increase in abstinence rates nor progression through the stages of change by those participants who had access to the Web site. However, there were some overall significant trends that suggested these self-help interventions were successful at decreasing daily rates of smoking and nicotine dependency, as well as tended to encourage repeated quit attempts. Although Web-based supports did not appear to increase the effectiveness of the nationally sponsored self-help intervention, this study demonstrated overall 12 week follow-up abstinence rates of 30-32%--greater than what might be expected, given average success rates of other self-help interventions. This study also supports the notion that women may face additional barriers to smoking cessation. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Johs-Artisensi, Jennifer Lynn

Family Environment, Social Support, and Psychological Distress of Women Seeking BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Mutation Testing

Description: Shared characteristics and predictors of psychological distress are beginning to be identified in research on women seeking genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations. This study further explored patterns of psychological distress for 51 community women waiting to receive such genetic test results. There was no significant relationship between psychological distress and family cancer history, personal cancer history, social support networks, and family environment. Women in this sample tended to rely more on females and relatives for support than males and friends. Social support satisfaction was not related to gender or number of relatives providing support. Thirty-four of the 36 women classified on the family environment type were from Personal Growth-Oriented families. Comparisons with normal and distressed family means revealed increased cohesion and expressiveness with decreased conflict, indicative of supportive family environments. Limitations and implications are discussed.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Keenan, Lisa A.

Improving the Definition of Exercise Maintenance: Evaluation of Concepts Related to Adherence

Description: Physical activity has been demonstrated in the literature as an effective way to reduce the risk for development of chronic disease. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of behavior change has been developed as a means to predict and facilitate movement into healthier lifestyle behaviors. The model is centered on "stages of change", which describe a continuum of readiness to engage in a health behavior change. Stages contain temporal, qualitative, and quantitative characteristics. This was a six-month study that evaluated the effectiveness of stage-matched (theorized to be pertaining only to the maintenance stage of change) vs. generic (theorized to be pertaining to anyone, regardless of stage) newsletters in assisting subjects to attain the Maintenance stage of change. It also sought to identify further qualitative characteristics that can differentiate between the Action and Maintenance stages of change. Results indicated that monthly stage-matched newsletters were no more effective in helping subjects reaching Maintenance than were the generic newsletters. Exerciser self-schema was related to stages of change, but those relationships differed from baseline to six-month follow-up, indicating development of exerciser self-schema during the study period. Implications of this are discussed. Other concepts discussed included "structure" of change process, in that three new scores were developed and correlated with self-efficacy as well as intercorrelated. Motivation was also evaluated and compared across levels of success at adhering to exercise during a three-month period. Limitations of the study and implications are discussed.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Wilcox, Susan E.

Organization of Narrative Discourse in Children and Adolescents with Acute Traumatic Brain Injury

Description: Children with a recent history of TBI often demonstrate impaired memory, which can be affected by impaired attention, processing speed or impaired verbal information processing. The purpose of this study was to determine if qualitative differences exist among the narrative recall of TBI patients that is not adequately accounted for by standard scoring methods. Sixty-six TBI subjects ranging in age from 6 to 16 were given the Wide Range and Memory and Learning (WRAML) Story Memory subtest and selected subtests from the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition (WISC-III). Mean elapsed time since injury was 53 days. Recall of the story on the WRAML subtest was hand-recorded by the examiner. A supplemental scoring method accounted for differences in length, errors, and disorganization. Comparisons were made to a randomly selected control group consisting of 16 hospitalized subjects between 7 and 15 years with no history of head injury, neurological condition or event. Findings suggest the WRAML Story Memory subtest is relatively robust in providing information regarding the quality of recall, with the exception of not accounting for the addition of erroneous details. Subjects with both cortical and subcortical injuries were more likely to add superfluous details to their stories. Results also demonstrated significant differences between the TBI subjects and control group in how well the stories were recalled, primarily in the order of details recalled and in retention after a 30 minute delay. Location was not a significant predictor of narrative organization. Although using this comprehensive supplemental scoring system a regular basis has practical limitations, hand-recording the narrative takes relatively little time and does appear to provide useful additional information concerning the nature of the child's verbal memory difficulties. Furthermore, the more knowledgeable the child, parents and teacher are about these difficulties and about remediation strategies, the more likely ...
Date: May 2002
Creator: Thomas, Kathy Lee

Use of the Beck Depression Inventory in Northern Brazil

Description: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a popular screening and research instrument for measuring severity of depression. The instrument was translated to Portuguese for use in Brazil in 1979; however, it was not until recently that its psychometric properties have been tested empirically for the Brazilian population. The purpose of the present study was to explore the BDI's psychometric properties in a northern region of Brazil and to test for possible relationships between certain demographic variables and BDI outcomes. Samples used in this study were from an urban area in Roraima, the northernmost state of Brazil. The BDI showed adequate levels of internal consistency in nonclinical and clinical samples. Female respondents had significantly higher scores than male respondents. Those who had lower levels of education, income, or occupational status had significantly higher scores than those with higher levels of these variables. Adolescents had significantly higher scores than adults from all age groups except those from age 19 to 22. No significant difference was found between those who identified themselves as “indigenous” and those who identified themselves as “non-indigenous.” Regression analysis results showed that the combination of gender, education, and age best accounted for the variance in BDI scores. An ANCOVA revealed that clinically depressed adults had significantly higher BDI scores than nonclinically depressed adults. Factor analysis results showed that there were two main factors in the item structure for both female respondents and male and female respondents combined: one factor of mainly cognitive-affective items and the other factor of mainly somatic items. The results were discussed in terms of the future use of the BDI in Brazil.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Albert, Christopher