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

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

Comparing the 2010 and 2011 Appic Match: Applicant Characteristics and Unmatched Applicant Distress

Description: The internship is one of the most important components of doctoral training in professional psychology. Given the serious problem of the internship imbalance, applicant and program characteristics that constitute a good “fit” with internship training programs have become of greater interest as securing an internship becomes a more competitive process. This study surveyed internship applicants from programs part of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), before and after the 2010 and 2011 match days. Number of interview offers was found to be the factor most consistently associated with successfully matching, and several other applicant characteristics salient to matching and obtaining interview offers were identified, including applicant personality. Additionally, personal accounts, but not empirical evidence, of going unmatched have attested to the psychological distress associated with this event. in the current study, while going unmatched was not found to be equitable to a traumatic stressor, evidence was found to support significant decrease in subjective well-being with respect to immediate distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the predictability of and implications for the match process and internship imbalance, and recommendations are made for future research directions.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hogan, Lindsey R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

Description: The current study investigated the process of change underlying two different evidence-based treatments that yield similar outcome effectiveness in the treatment of depression: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). The phase model of psychotherapeutic change (Howard et al., 1993) change is used to provide both a theoretical and practical framework in which to assess different patterns of change across the treatment modalities. The phase model posits that recovery from distress occurs in three sequential stages: remoralization, remediation and rehabilitation. CT can be conceptualized as a treatment in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms (remediation), whereas IPT can typically be conceptualized as focusing on interpersonal conflicts and functioning (rehabilitation). The study utilized the TDCRP dataset (Elkin et al., 1985). Survival analysis indicated no significant difference in terms of onset or pattern of improvement across treatment orientations. Chi square analyses indicated individuals treated with IPT spend significantly more time engaged in rehabilitation compared to their CT counterparts. Taken together, these findings represent evidence that the process of therapeutic change is similar, if not virtually identical, across therapeutic orientation. The analyses also indicate that the phases of therapy may not necessarily be mutually exclusive and sequential, but may instead represent co-occurring patterns of improvement which are not sequentially determined.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Herbert, Gregory L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Co-Occurrence of Rape Myth Acceptance and Intolerant Attitudes in a Military Sample

Description: Sexual trauma within the military is a widespread issue, and rape myth acceptance has been shown to contribute to its prevalence. Given that the military culture has been shown to lend itself to hypermasculinity and traditional gender role adherence, both of which facilitate aggression toward women, this effect warrants investigation within a military sample. The present study replicated and expanded upon Aosved and Long's (2006) study examining 85 veteran and active duty military members' responses on the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, Attitudes Toward Women Scale (short form), Neosexism Scale, Male Role Norms Inventory (short form), Modern and Old Fashioned Racism Scale, Modern Homophobia Scale, a modified version of the Economic Belief Scale, Fraboni Scale of Ageism, Religious Intolerance Scale, and the Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale (short form). Findings provide support for the co-occurrence of rape myth acceptance with intolerant attitudes, including sexism, hypermasculine gender role ideology, racism, sexual prejudice, classism, ageism, and religious intolerance, both individually and collectively. These results provide insight into the functioning of intolerant attitudes within a military sample, and provide important insight for future research addressing the association between rape myth acceptance and rape proclivity and the perpetration of military sexual assault.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Holtz, Pamela M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impact of Yoga on Mental Well-Being

Description: The present study sought to more rigourously explore outcomes of psychological well-being immediately following a psychotherapeutic yoga class. Specifically, the study hypothesized improvements in state anxiety and subjective well-being as well as an observable relationship between state and trait mindfulness following a yoga intervention, all while controlling for differences between yoga instructors, prior yoga experience, and participant endorsements of psychological symptoms. Previous yoga experience was not found to be a significant factor in any of the tested hypotheses. Findings revealed that psychotherapeutic yoga decreased anxiety and increased subjective well-being, even after controlling for therapist variability, prior yoga experience, and client diagnosis. Results also indicate differential impacts on decreased anxiety and increased subjective well-being by class instructor. This is the first study to examine outcomes of an ongoing yoga based-practices in the naturalistic setting of an outpatient counseling center while rigorously controlling for confounding factors (e.g. therapist variability). Methodological and statistical limitations are discussed in depth, and future directions to improve on this study and clarify the present findings are emphasized.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Gerber, Monica
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Immaturity on Juveniles’ Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning

Description: Over the last several decades, researchers have documented how impaired reasoning by adult offenders impeded the intelligent waiver of Miranda rights. Logically, it stands to reason that juveniles – who are developmentally less mature and have less life experience than their adult counterparts – would possess even greater impairment, thereby heightening their risk for invalid Miranda waivers. Juvenile Miranda research supports this notion; with some researchers finding that psychosocial maturity, among other factors, affect a juvenile’s understanding of their rights. Yet, relatively few studies have examined its relation to Miranda reasoning and decision-making. Thus, the current study investigated the specific role of maturity in juveniles’ Miranda comprehension and reasoning. Participants included 236 legally-involved juveniles recruited from either a juvenile detention center or a juvenile justice alternative education program. The effects of psychosocial maturity were examined on a variety of Miranda-related measures and assessed a broad range of Miranda abilities. It was found that, in general, immature juveniles performed more poorly on all Miranda measures as compared to their mature counterparts. However, the impact of maturity varied considerably depending on the ability. Specifically, maturity was most important in the context of Miranda reasoning. As a novel addition to the literature, the current study also investigated the effects of developmental timing on maturity (i.e., immaturity-delayed versus immaturity-expected) on Miranda abilities.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Sharf, Allyson J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Community Gardening: a Novel Intervention for Bhutanese Refugees Living in the USA

Description: Since 2008, the United States (USA) has resettled thousands of Bhutanese refugees, providing brief financial support and pathways to citizenship. Despite the efforts of governing bodies and voluntary agencies which facilitate resettlement, many refugees struggle with adapting to the vastly different lifestyle, economy, language and social structures. In particular, effectively addressing psychological needs of this population is a challenge for service providers operating within an expensive health care system based on Western constructs of mental health. In response to this challenge, refugee resettlement agencies throughout the country use community gardens to promote psychological healing, self-sufficiency, community engagement, and a return of human dignity. Though success of these programs is being shared in the media, there has yet to be empirical data examining their impact. The current study tested whether Bhutanese refugee engagement in a community garden impacts symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD and somatic complaints. The study also investigated whether community gardening is associated with perceptions of social support and adjustment to life in the United States. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected from 50 adult Bhutanese refugees in Fort Worth, Texas. Gardening was significantly related to increased social support overall, a key factor in overall functionality within communal cultures; and specifically perceived tangible support was increased. A significant effect of gardening was also found for adjustment. Although a significant effect was not found for psychological and somatic symptoms, there is still evidence of effects on somatic complaints. Varying results from quantitative and qualitative data warrant further investigation into the nuanced work of clinical research and advocacy with refugee populations.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Gerber, Monica M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Therapist (Dis)Continuity, Therapeutic Relationship, and (Premature) Termination in a Psychology Training Clinic

Description: Premature termination is a substantial problem with significant adverse effects for clients, therapists, and treatment organizations. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively common phenomenon within mental healthcare settings. Across varied mental healthcare settings, rates of premature termination have reportedly ranged from 19.7 % to 40 %. Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of premature termination in training clinics is substantially higher than in community mental health settings and private practice, with 75 to 80 % of clients ending treatment services prematurely. The purpose of this study was to explore the combined effect of intake therapist continuity or discontinuity, and quality of the therapeutic relationship on premature termination. Intake therapist continuity, measures of working alliance, and termination outcome from 524 clients at the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic were utilized for adults receiving individual therapy services between August 2008 and August 2013. Results of the study suggest intake therapist continuity did not predict subjective termination status (X2(2, n = 524) = 1.61, p = 0.45), nor did it predict change in symptomology status (X2(3, n = 453) = 1.14, p = 0.77). Additionally, working alliance predicted subjective termination status (X2(6, n = 212) = 21.17, p < 0.01), but not change in symptomology status (X2(9, n = 208) = 6.27, p = 0.71). The findings of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research related to client, therapist, treatment, and procedural variables and their impact on premature termination.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attachment Theory Within Clinical Supervision: Application of the Conceptual to the Empirical

Description: Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Wrape, Elizabeth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Initial Validation of the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) in a Sample of OEF/OIF Veterans

Description: Currently, neuropsychologists rely on assessment instruments rooted in century old theory and technology to make evaluations of military personnel’s readiness to return-to-duty or return to their community. The present study sought to explore an alternative by evaluating the validity of a neuropsychological assessment presented within a virtual reality platform. The integration of a neuropsychological assessment into a cognitively and emotionally demanding virtual environment – reminiscent of a combat experience in Iraq – offers a more ecologically valid manner in which to evaluate the cognitive skills required in theater. U.S. military veterans’ (N = 50) performance on the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) was compared with performance on a paper-and-pencil, a computer adapted version of the Stroop task, and the subtests included in the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics-4 (ANAM4) TBI-MIL test battery. Results supported the validity of the VRST, indicating it demonstrates the typical Stroop effect pattern. The emotional salience of the VRST resulted in slowed reaction time compared to the ANAM Stroop. Further, the complex interference condition of the VRST offers opportunities for evaluation of exogenous and endogenous attentional processing. In the evaluation of threat, participants were noted to perform more accurately and more quickly in low threat versus high threat zones. Ancillary inquiries found no clinically meaningful findings regarding the role of deployment or post-concussive symptoms, and mixed findings regarding the effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms on neuropsychological performance among the three tested modalities.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Feil Johnson, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Academic, Social and Emotional Functioning of College Students with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Description: Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is frequently associated with negative occupational, social and psychological outcomes among community samples of adults; as such, it is expected that college students with ADHD face similar struggles. The research targeting this group of individuals, however, is sparse and tempered by significant limitations. The current study aimed to address methodological limitations in the current literature by including instruments to formally diagnosis ADHD and comorbid disorders, utilizing psychometrically sound instruments and comparing functioning of college students with ADHD across gender and subtype. It was hypothesized that participants with ADHD would report lower GPAs, higher levels of emotional distress and negative relationship characteristics than participants without ADHD. It was also hypothesized that participants with ADHD-combined type (ADHD-C) would report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than participants with ADHD-predominately inattentive type (ADHD-I), and that participants with ADHD-I would report higher levels of anxiety and depression than participants with ADHD-C. Women diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of anxiety and depression than men diagnosed with ADHD; whereas, men diagnosed with ADHD were expected to report higher levels of substance and alcohol use than women. MANOVA, ANOVA and Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to test hypotheses. Results revealed no significant differences between the ADHD and comparison group on GPA and relationship characteristics. Participants diagnosed with ADHD did report significantly higher emotional distress than participants in the comparison group. No differences in GPA or relationship characteristics were found across ADHD subtype or gender. Overall, these findings provide evidence to suggest that college students with ADHD are functioning relatively well compared to their non-ADHD peers.
Date: August 2015
Creator: McKelvy, Tara N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Contributing Factors in the Development of Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Among Survivors of Interpersonal Violence

Description: An understanding of factors that contribute to Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) is of considerable importance to inform the prevention and treatment of the disorder. Moreover, gaining a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the etiology of CPTSD is of interest since most research to date focuses on the etiology of PTSD. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to test the hypothesized prediction between childhood exposure to violence, childhood attachment, current interpersonal factors, and CPTSD symptoms. Using data from a community clinic and shelter serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, a partial least squares path analysis approach was employed to test the model’s strength in predicting contributing factors of CPTSD. Results support the proposed model, however, an alternative and more parsimonious model was found to be superior and revealed relationships between interpersonal variables and CPTSD. Specifically, women who reported child abuse and poor attachment with either parent, a perceived lack of current emotional and tangible support, and recent intimate partner violence (IPV) also reported symptoms of CPTSD. However, other variables, such as adult attachment avoidance and anxiety did not influence IPV or CPTSD as expected. Ultimately, the current findings lend support for Herman’s (1992) original conceptualization of CPTSD symptoms observed in survivors of prolonged and repeated trauma. Implications of these findings are discussed and results highlight the importance of assessing the contextual factors (e.g., social support, family environment) when a victim of prolonged trauma comes for treatment. Lastly, treatment implications and specific points of intervention are presented.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Marchesani, Estee Simpkins
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Values in Psychotherapy Process and Outcome

Description: Given the importance of client characteristics and preferences, and therapist expertise to evidence-based practice in psychology, the current study sought to contribute to the literature concerning the role of values in psychotherapy. Personal values of clients and trainee therapists in 29 dyads were examined for relationships between client and therapist values and associations with working alliance and outcomes. Although previous literature in this area has suggested that successful therapy is characterized by an increase in similarity of client and therapist values, the current study did not replicate this finding. However, client perceptions of therapist values were found to be important to working alliance and outcome. Findings are discussed in terms of suggestions for future research as well as implications for clinical practice, including the importance of discussing expectations and preferences with clients.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Hogan, Lindsey R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

The Impact of Causative Genes on Neuropsychological Functioning in Familial Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease: A Meta-Analysis

Description: Mutations of three genes encoding amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2) have been shown to reliably result in familial early-onset Alzheimer's disease (FAD); a rare, but catastrophic, subtype of Alzheimer's disease (AD) marked by symptom emergence before age 65 as well as accelerated cognitive deterioration. The current study represents the first known meta-analysis on the association of APP, PSEN1 or PSEN2 on neurocognitive variables. A total of 278 FAD mutation-carriers (FAD-MC) and 284 cognitively healthy non-mutation-carriers (NC) across 10 independent investigations meeting inclusion criteria were chosen for the current meta-analysis (random effects design). Findings revealed an overarching trend of poorer performance by FAD-MC individuals compared to NC individuals across the majority of cognitive domains identified. Significant differences in effect sizes suggested FAD-MC individuals exhibited worse performance on measures of attention, explicit memory, fluency, primary memory, verbal, and visuospatial functioning. Findings indicative of differential sensitivity to cognitive domain impairments across FAD-MC and NC groups inform neuropsychological descriptions of individuals in preclinical phases of FAD.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Smotherman, Jesse M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Variations in Suicidal Ideation Among Substance Users

Description: Research suggests that substance use is a risk factor for increased suicidal ideation. This study explored the relationship between substance use, suicidal ideation, and impulsivity in a sample of college students and individuals seeking outpatient treatment. Participants were interviewed for information on severity of suicidal ideation and substance use. Participants completed the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire, the substance use section of the Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, the Scale for Suicide Ideation, and the UPPS-P Impulsivity Behavior Scale. These measures were used to determine the amount of variance in suicidal ideation accounted for by substance use. Variables reflecting substance use classification, frequency, and severity were used to predict severity of suicidal ideation.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Nichols, Erica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Competencies among Doctoral Trainees in Psychology

Description: The recent shift to a culture of competence has permeated several areas of professional psychology, including competency identification, competency-based education training, and competency assessment. A competency framework has also been applied to various programs and specialty areas within psychology, such as clinical, counseling, clinical health, school, cultural diversity, neuro-, gero-, child, and pediatric psychology. Despite the spread of competency focus throughout psychology, few standardized measures of competency assessment have been developed. To the authors' knowledge, only four published studies on measures of competency assessment in psychology currently exist. While these measures demonstrate significant steps in progressing the assessment of confidence, three of these measures were designed for use with individual programs, two of these international (i.e., UK and Taiwan). The current study applied the seminal Competency Benchmarks, via a recently adapted benchmarks form (i.e., Practicum Evaluation form; PEF), to practicum students at the University of North Texas. In addition to traditional supervisor ratings, the present study also involved self-, peer supervisor, and peer supervisee ratings to provide 360-degree evaluations. Item-response theory (IRT) was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PEF and inform potential revisions of this form. Supervisor ratings of competency were found to fit the Rasch model specified, lending support to use of the benchmarks framework as assessed by this form. Self- and peer-ratings were significantly correlated with supervisor ratings, indicating that there may be some utility to 360-degree evaluations. Finally, as predicted, foundational competencies were rated as significantly higher than functional competencies, and competencies improved significantly with training. Results of the current study provide clarity about the utility of the PEF and inform our understanding of practicum-level competencies.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Price, Samantha
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Self-Compassion in Posttraumatic Growth

Description: Although the experience of trauma is associated with a great deal of psychological distress, it may also lead to meaningful positive change, known as posttraumatic growth (PTG), evidenced as progression in areas of life appreciation, intimacy in relationships, sense of personal strength, new possibilities, and spiritual development. Utilizing an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) perspective, the current study explored whether self-compassion helped to explain the willingness to approach and make sense of a trauma, leading to growth. A sample of 758 undergraduate students completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-compassion does partially predict PTG and support for how self-compassion may be understood in relation to PTG is provided. Implications of the current study's findings, as well as suggestions for future research related to trauma within a college population, are discussed.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Connally, Melissa Londoño
Partner: UNT Libraries

Trajectories of Treatment Change among Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: Predictors and Associations with Outcomes

Description: Previous research has revealed heterogeneity in outcome trajectories among individuals seeking psychotherapy. However, questions remain as to the number, nature, and predictors of these trajectories. Therefore, the present study had three aims: 1) to identify heterogeneous latent groups among treatment trajectories of 212 clients with major depressive disorder (MDD) seeking psychotherapy at a community mental health training clinic; 2) to identify significant associations between clinical and demographic variables and group membership; and 3) to identify correlations between trajectory shape and positive treatment outcome. Prior to treatment, participants provided demographic information and completed symptom severity ratings. Once in treatment, participants completed a self-report of distress via the Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) at every session. Growth mixture modeling was utilized to identify distinct patient subgroups based on outcome trajectories among the sample. Three distinct latent classes of treatment trajectory were identified, providing evidence of heterogeneity in treatment trajectories among individuals with MDD. Baseline distress, pre-treatment work problems, and sleep difficulties were found to be predictive of an individual's membership in a specific trajectory group. Finally, specific shapes of change, namely early response and sudden gains, were associated with positive treatment outcome. Findings from this study can be used to identify patients at risk for treatment failure, allowing clinicians to intervene earlier to enhance mid-treatment feedback and prognosis.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Kilmer, Jared Newman
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries