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

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

When the Levee Breaks: An SEM Approach to Understanding the Narrative and the Anxiety-Buffer Disruption on PTSD Symptoms

Description: The purpose of the present study was to assess if combining the two frameworks would account for more variance in PTSS than could be accounted for using the frameworks separately. An online community sample from Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk (N = 437), who reported experiencing a prior traumatic event, completed measures that reflected the constructs of narrative centrality, negative affectivity, and death concerns, along with a measure of PTSS. PTSS was regressed on the latent variables of death concerns, narrative centrality, and negative affectivity, along with the latent variable interactions between narrative centrality*death concerns and narrative centrality*negative affectivity. Death concerns was not be predictive of PTSS, whereas narrative centrality and negative affectivity were found to uniquely and interactively account for 77% of the variance in PTSS. Death concerns was found to be a separate construct from negative affectivity. The implications of these findings for the two frameworks are discussed along with future directions. By considering aspects of narrative centrality and negative affectivity, substantial portions of PTSS can be accounted for.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Schuler, Eric Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Resilience and Self-Compassion on Symptoms of Stress and Growth Resulting from Combat Exposure in Service Members

Description: The current study examined the impact of resilience and self-compassion on the relationship between combat exposure and psychological outcomes, specifically post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth. Service members and veterans with combat exposure (N = 143) completed an online survey, through which they were administered a Background Questionnaire, the Combat Exposure Scale, the PTSD Checklist for DSM-5, the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and the Self-Compassion Scale. Results of a path analysis revealed a positive direct effect of combat exposure on post-traumatic stress symptoms and post-traumatic growth and a negative direct effect of self-compassion on post-traumatic stress symptoms. Furthermore, self-compassion moderated the relationship between combat exposure and post-traumatic growth. Implications of these findings and future directions for research are discussed.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Raiche, Emily
Partner: UNT Libraries

Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning: An Investigation of Miranda Abilities in Adult Inpatients

Description: Nearly 700,000 suspects with mental disorders are arrested and Mirandized each year. The current study systematically examined the effects of cognitive deficits and psychological symptoms on both Miranda comprehension and reasoning. The current sample was comprised of 85 adult psychiatric inpatients recruited from University Behavioral Health (UBH), a private psychiatric hospital in North Texas. Unexpectedly, most inpatients demonstrated pervasive deficits in their immediate recall of a representative Miranda warning, omitting approximately four-fifths of its content. In addition, the majority of inpatients evidenced damaging errors in their reasoning about waiver decisions. As a result, 64.7% waived and subsequently confessed after only a 3-5 minute interrogation. Interestingly, impaired verbal ability but not the severity of their symptoms predicted greater deficits in Miranda comprehension.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Winningham, Darby B.
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

Cross-measure Equivalence and Communicability in the Assessment of Depression: a Fine-grained Focus on Factor-based Scales

Description: Depression is heterogeneous, however, depression measures conceptualize it as homogeneous. To help fulfill NIMH's strategic plan to focus on components of depression, this study analyzed the psychometrics of factor-based subscales in the BDI-II, CES-D, IDAS, and IDS. CCA was also used to explore redundancy across measures. Using a diverse sample of symptomatic undergraduates, this study found the IDAS to be the best measure, with complete DSM-IV symptom coverage and psychometrically sound subscales. The other measures did not have consistent subscales or coverage of symptoms. Furthermore, CCA revealed low levels of redundancy across measures. These results serve to disabuse the field of a perception that different measures of equivalently measure depression. Conversion tables were provided to empirically compare scores from different measures.
Date: August 2012
Creator: González, David Andrés
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

Consistency, Consolidation, and Cognition in Autobiographical Memories: a Flashbulb Memory Approach

Description: Flashbulb memories are highly vivid and long-lasting memories for events that are emotionally significant and personally important. These memories are held in very high confidence in accuracy over an extended period. In particular, individuals believe that they can remember the personal details surrounding the event such as where they were and what they were doing at the time the event occurred. Evidence from research, however, indicates that this may not be the case. The study of flashbulb memories has typically been confined to negative events such as September 11, 2001. In the current study, we employ the methods of Talarico and Rubin (2003) to investigate flashbulb memory formation to a positive event. The event is the assassination of Osama bin Laden, which resonated as a highly positive event for many Americans evidenced by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Washington, D.C. and New York City to celebrate. We examined various memory properties over a one-year period, including vividness, rehearsal, belief in accuracy, and consistency. Results confirm the formation of flashbulb memories to the assassination event, but results did not support many of the proposed hypotheses. Some differences were found for different testing groups (i.e., immediate versus one week delay), but these were not replicated at the one year follow-up. Overall, however, it is believed that the current event, while still a flashbulb memory, was not a strong enough event to stir strong emotions and form memories on par with 9/11.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kraha, Amanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Glass Is Neither Half Full Nor Empty, It Is Shattered: a Prospective Study of Shattered Assumptions Theory and Psychological Flexibility

Description: Shattered assumptions theory posits that each individual has a core set of assumptions about the world and the self, often termed the assumptive world which includes: the world is a benevolent place, the world is meaningful, and the self is worthy. Experiencing a traumatic event is believed to lead individuals to question these assumptions in light of the new contradictory information that causes the assumptive world to shatter, leaving the individual to rebuild a more negative perception of the world and themselves. This rebuilding of a fragile new set of core beliefs is believed to be a cause of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Although shattered assumptions theory has been widely accepted in the field of trauma psychology, the shattering of the assumptive world has not been empirically supported due to measurement issues and poor research designs. The current study implemented a prospective design to assess a new measure of the individual’s assumptive world when there is an intervening trauma. In a college sample (N = 336), individuals who experienced a traumatic event over the course of the semester (n = 40) evidenced decreases in optimism in their assumptive worlds, in comparison to individuals who did not experience a traumatic event. The results suggest there is a limited shattering of the assumptive world for those who experienced a traumatic event. Applications, limitations and future directions are discussed.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Schuler, Eric Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Female Psychopathy Predictors: Cluster B Traits and Alexithymia

Description: Psychopathy has long been lauded as a premier predictor of negative behavioral outcomes because of its demonstrated associations with violence, antisocial conduct, and institutional maladjustment. Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the relatively equal importance placed on personality features (i.e., a grandiose, deceitful interpersonal style and deficits in affective experience) and behavioral elements (i.e., an impulsive and irresponsible lifestyle marked by social deviance) of the syndrome. However, little research to date has investigated psychopathy dimensions in female samples, particularly as they relate to maladaptive behaviors beyond forensic settings. The current study comprehensively examined personality (i.e., Axis II Cluster B traits and alexithymia) and behavioral (i.e., suicide-related behavior and aggression) expressions of psychopathy in a sample of female inpatients recruited from trauma and dual-diagnosis units at a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. Contrary to expectations, the essential components of psychopathy in female psychiatric patients emphasized APD and NPD traits over features of HPD and BPD, which were relatively similar to elements traditionally highlighted in male psychopathy. On this point, two latent dimensions comprehensively addressed female psychopathy in the current sample: impulsive antisociality and narcissistic and histrionic interpersonal style. Interestingly, psychopathy (M r = .01) and Cluster B traits (M r = .05) were virtually unrelated to suicide-related behavior in female patients with trauma and substance use histories, but APD and BPD traits were more discerning for impulsive and premeditated aggression than variants of psychopathy. Aggression's relationship to BPD traits is at least partially mediated by alexithymia. These results are discussed in terms of improving evaluation and intervention efforts aimed at identifying and managing psychopathic females beyond forensic settings.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Is Mind Wandering the Mechanism Responsible for Life Stress Induced Impairments in Working Memory Capacity?

Description: The relationship between life stress and working memory capacity (WMC) has been documented in college students and older adults. It has been proposed that intrusive thoughts about life stress are the mechanism responsible for the impairments seen in WMC. To examine the mechanism responsible for these impairments the current study attempted to induce intrusive thoughts about personal events. The current study allowed for a test of predictions made by two theories of mind wandering regarding the impact of these intrusive thoughts on WMC task performance. One hundred fifty undergraduates were assigned to a control group, positive event group, or negative event group. Participants in the positive and negative event groups completed a short emotional disclosure about an imagined future positive or negative event, respectively, to induce positive or negative intrusive thoughts. WMC measures were completed prior to and following the emotional writing. Results indicated a significant relationship between WMC and mind wandering, however the writing manipulation did not result in any consistent changes in intrusive thoughts or WMC. The results suggest a causal relationship between WMC and mind wandering. The emotional valence of the intrusive thought altered the impact on WMC. No relationship was seen between the measures of stress and WMC. The results of the current study suggest that negative intrusive thoughts result in impaired WMC task performance but other types of off-task thoughts may not result in similar impairments.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Banks, Jonathan Britten
Partner: UNT Libraries

Facets of Positive Affect and Risk for Bipolar Disorder: Role of the Behavioral Activation System

Description: Bipolar disorder is characterized by disruptions in mood and affect that occur not only during mood episodes, but during euthymic periods as well. At the same time, sensitivity of the behavioral activation system (BAS) has been implicated in the disorder and is a risk marker for it. Less clear is the relationship between BAS sensitivity and positive affect, particularly lower level facets of positive affect. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between positive affect and vulnerability for mania as assessed using BAS sensitivity. Specifically, the link between daily levels and fluctuations of positive affect and baseline BAS sensitivity was examined. Following the hierarchical model of affect, this study also assessed the relationship between BAS sensitivity and the distinct facets of positive affect. Finally, this study examined whether BAS sensitivity moderates associations between daily rewards and positive affect. Undergraduates (N = 265) from a large university in the South were recruited to complete measures of BAS sensitivity, affect, and mood symptoms at baseline. Using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), participants completed daily surveys assessing affect and engagement with rewarding situations. An exploratory factory analysis revealed a four factor structure of positive affect, consisting of Serenity, Joviality, Attentiveness, and Self-Assurance. Greater daily levels of overall positive affect, as well as the lower order facets of Joviality, Self-Assurance, and Attentiveness, were predicted by heightened BAS sensitivity. In contrast, the facet of Serenity demonstrated minimal associations with BAS sensitivity. The study findings support a multi-faceted structure of positive affect and suggest that certain facets may be more closely related to risk for bipolar disorder. Specifically, Joviality and Self-Assurance may represent maladaptive forms of positive affect, whereas Serenity may function as a protective element against bipolar disorder.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Dornbach-Bender, Allison
Partner: UNT Libraries

Idiographic Temporal Dynamics of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptom Dimensions in Daily Life

Description: Understanding temporal relations among posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom dimensions has received increasing attention in research. However, current findings in this area are limited by group-level approaches, which are based on inter-individual variation. PTSD is a heterogeneous syndrome and symptoms are likely to vary across individuals and time. Thus, it is important to examine temporal relations among PTSD symptom dimensions as dynamic processes and at the level of intra-individual variation. The aim of the present study was to capture temporal dynamics among PTSD symptom dimensions at an individual level using unified structural equation modeling (uSEM). World Trade Center (WTC) 9/11 responders (N = 202) oversampled for current PTSD (18.3% met criteria in past month) were recruited from the Long Island site of the WTC health program. Using ecological momentary assessment (EMA), PTSD symptoms were assessed three times a day over seven consecutive days. The person-specific temporal relations among PTSD symptom dimensions were estimated with individual-level uSEM. For the sample as a whole, hyperarousal played a key role in driving the other three symptom dimensions longitudinally, with the strongest effect in intrusive symptoms. However, daily temporal relations among PTSD symptoms were idiosyncratic. Although hyperarousal was a strong predictor of subsequent symptom severity, only 33.95% of the sample showed this predictive effect while others showed more evident temporal relations between intrusion and avoidance. Implications for personalized health care and recommendations for future research using individual-level uSEM in psychopathology are discussed.
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Date: December 2017
Creator: Schuler, Keke
Partner: UNT Libraries

Association of Personality Facets with Unique Dimensions of PTSD

Description: The present study aims to examine which maladaptive and Big Five personality traits, as well as which lower order facets, are related to symptoms specific to PTSD (i.e., intrusions and avoidance). Unique effects were isolated by controlling for nonspecific general depression that occurs in the disorder but is not specific to it. 707 undergraduate students were administered a self-report online survey to assess their personality, trauma history, PTSD and mood symptoms. Additionally, data from 536 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) responders who have been administered personality, PTSD, and mood surveys as part of a longitudinal study were analyzed. As expected, neuroticism was highly correlated with PTSD, but had fewer associations with PTSD dimensions after controlling for depression. Trust and agreeableness emerged as important, being negatively related to PTSD, while most maladaptive personality domains and facets were positively related to PTSD (perceptual dysregulation had the highest association). Other traits, such as antagonism and openness, were not significantly related to PTSD. There is growing evidence that clinical interventions can change personality traits; the present study provides new personality targets for intervention that are uniquely related to PTSD.
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Date: May 2018
Creator: Shteynberg, Yuliya A
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interpersonal Functioning and Experiential Avoidance: Considering New Measurements and Their Implications

Description: Interpersonal functioning can be conceptualized as being comprised of social skills, connectedness, social cognition, and intimacy. A concept that is related to an examination of interpersonal functioning is experiential avoidance (EA), which can be defined as an unwillingness to experience or remain in contact with unpleasant private events through attempts to avoid or escape from these experience. An examination of EA and interpersonal functioning has not previously taken place. This study thus sought to fill that gap in the literature. The availability of a behavioral-oriented measure of interpersonal functioning aided in this investigation. The relationship of EA and interpersonal functioning to depression and anxiety were also examined, in order to evaluate their relative contributions to psychopathology. Overall, it was found that EA and interpersonal functioning were significantly related. However, the dimensions of EA varied in strength with respect to their relationships with interpersonal functioning. Further, it was found that interpersonal functioning predicted unique variance in both depression and anxiety, and partially mediated the relationship between EA and both anxiety and depression. These results might guide the development of treatment programs and add support to the use of treatments with trans-diagnostic targets.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Steinberg, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Weighing: Longitudinal and Cross-Sectional Relations to Retired Female Athletes' Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behaviors

Description: Elite and collegiate athletes are subpopulations at increased risk for the development of disordered eating and pathogenic weight management strategies; such risks may extend beyond sport participation into sport retirement. As athletes self-weigh, whether during their time in competitive sport or in retirement, it would be expected that they also experience increases in body dissatisfaction and psychosocial distress. Results suggest both a longitudinal impact, as well as continued cross-sectional relationships between SW and disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, former SW (at Time 1) is related to their levels of body satisfaction in relation to the Body factor and the Overall Body at Time 2. Particularly, athletes who weighed themselves 7+ more times a week reported significantly higher levels of body dissatisfaction on the Overall Body factor and the Body factor than retired athletes who did not self-weigh, all other groups did not differ significantly from each other. Cross-sectional relations were found between current (Time 2) SW and Body Satisfaction (Overall Body, and Body factors), Dietary Restraint, and Bulimic Symptomatology. In all cases, those who engaged in SW 7+ times per week had significantly higher scores than all other groups.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Carrigan, Kayla
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

An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

Description: Recent estimates suggest that a large percentage of the population experiences some type of traumatic event over the course of the lifetime, but a relatively small proportion of individuals develop severe, long-lasting problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD). One major goal for trauma researchers is to understand what factors contribute to these differential outcomes, and much of this research has examined correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. An important next step in this line of research is the development of conceptual frameworks to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships among these diverse predictors of PTSD and their predictive power in relation to each other. A framework proposed by Rubin, Boals, and Hoyle centers on the influence of narrative centrality (construal of a traumatic experience as central to one's identity and to the life story) and negative affectivity (the tendency to experience negative emotion and to interpret situations and experiences in a negative light), suggesting many variables may correlate with PTSD symptoms via shared variance with these two factors. With a sample of 477 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, this dissertation project extended the work of Rubin and colleagues by a) utilizing structural equation modeling techniques to simultaneously examine relationships among variables, b) investigating the utility of the model with a carefully-selected list of PTSD correlates, c) extending the model by including PTSD symptom severity, and d) exploring both direct and indirect effects to assess the roles of narrative centrality and negative affectivity as they relate to known PTSD correlates and PTSD symptom severity. PTSD correlates included social support quality and quantity, peritraumatic dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions, perceived injustice, and negative religious coping. Hypotheses were partially supported, and there was some evidence that the model may be effective in distinguishing between variables more and less germane to ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Southard-Dobbs, Shana
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

Intuitive Eating in Adolescents: Testing a Psychosocial Model

Description: Intuitive eating is defined as an adaptive eating process that involves focusing on internal hunger and satiety to guide eating behavior, using those physiological cues rather than emotions to determine when to eat, and choosing what to eat based upon preference and not external rules and expectations. The purpose of this study was to examine intuitive eating within the context of contemporary sociocultural models of eating in 701 early adolescent boys and 769 early adolescent girls. Support was found for the model and suggested that pressures to lose weight or gain muscle, restrictive messages about food from caregivers, and internalization of the thin ideal were related to the early adolescents’ intuitive eating behaviors, suggesting that many of the sociocultural variables that have been found to impact disordered eating are salient for understanding healthy eating behaviors. However, the relations among many of the variables, as well as the model’s ability to explain intuitive eating overall, were stronger in girls than in boys. These findings can be used to help parents and schools begin to teach early adolescents about intuitive eating and how they can resist external pressures that may negatively influence their eating behaviors.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dockendorff, Sally A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Test of an Etiological Model: Disordered Eating in Male Collegiate Athletes

Description: Athletes may be at increased risk for developing disordered eating and pathogenic weight control behaviors due to pressure for their bodies to look a certain way and perform at a high level (Sundgot-Borgen & Torstveit, 2004). Petrie and Greenleaf (2013) proposed a psychosocial model to explain the development of athletes’ disordered eating behaviors. Specifically, they suggested that unique weight/body pressures of the sport environment, general societal pressures about attractiveness, internalization of societal appearance ideals, body dissatisfaction, drive for muscularity, negative affect, and dietary restraint combine and contribute to the development of bulimic symptomatology. The aim of the current study is to test the Petrie and Greenleaf model in a large, nation-wide, diverse sample of male collegiate athletes. Participants were male collegiate athletes (N = 731; Mage = 19.91, SD = 1.50) representing 17 sports and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Divisions I, II, and III. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire and measures designed to assess their experiences of the above constructs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the pathways proposed in the Petrie and Greenleaf (2013) etiological model. Results suggest that sport pressures, such as those from coaches and teammates about weight, the importance of appearance, and looking good in a uniform, are significant factors in understanding disordered eating among male collegiate athletes. These pressures were related directly to all other variables in the model, including increased body dissatisfaction, experiencing more negative emotions, restricting caloric intake, and engaging in behaviors to increase muscularity. In the end, it was these variables – negative affect, drive for muscularity, dietary restraint, and body dissatisfaction– that explained over 30% of the variance in the athletes’ bulimic symptomatology.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Chatterton, Justine M.
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

Relationships Among Self-esteem, Psychological and Cognitive Flexibility, and Psychological Symptomatology

Description: Previous findings on the relationship between self-esteem and psychological outcomes are inconsistent. Therefore it appears that self-esteem, while related to crucial variables, does not provide a clear, direct, and comprehensive prediction of psychological symptoms. Thus, it was hypothesized that the relationship between self-esteem and symptomatology would be moderated by broader measures of how one interacts with emotional and cognitive stimuli.The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of self-esteem, psychological flexibility, and cognitive flexibility on psychological symptomatology. A sample of 82 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed self-report questionnaires measuring low self-esteem, psychological flexibility, measured inversely as inflexibility, cognitive flexibility, and psychological symptoms. Results of the study suggest that self-esteem (?= -0.59, p < 0.001) and flexibility (both psychological (?= 0.36, p = 0.001) and cognitive (?= 0.21, p < 0.05) are significant predictors of psychological symptoms. In other words, self-esteem is positively correlated with psychological symptoms, while psychological and cognitive flexibility are negatively correlated with psychological symptoms. Neither form of flexibility moderated the relationship between self-esteem and psychological symptoms in this sample. The findings of the current study are discussed as well as suggestions for further research related to self-esteem, psychological and cognitive flexibility, and their impact on psychological outcomes.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Trajectories of Burden and Depression in Caregivers Following Traumatic Injury: The Role of Resilience

Description: As part of an effort to understand psychological consequences among family members of patients sustaining a traumatic injury, medical research has turned to the role of resilience – or the ability to bounce back from and maintain psychological well-being in the wake of an adverse event— in mitigating the potential distress (i.e., depression and burden) of caregiving (Bonanno, 2004; Roberson et al., under review). This study sought to examine the ability for trait-resilience to predict trajectories of distress over the course of a year among 124 family members and loved ones of patients admitted to a Level I Trauma Center. A cross-lagged path model examining resilience, burden, and depression at baseline, 3, 6, and 12 months after injury showed that, while depression strongly predicted later burden, resilience was not a significant predictor of either outcome in the model. When depression and burden were subjected to a person-centered analysis (i.e., latent growth curve analysis), two major classes were identified: caregivers with high, chronic distress (33% of the sample) and low-moderate distress that declined over time. A three-class solution for caregiver burden further identified a moderate, increasing trajectory class. Predictive discriminant analyses revealed that trait-resilience was a major differentiating trait between class membership (rs = .23 for depression; rs = .32 for burden); further, presence of PTSD symptoms at baseline, gender, and history of depression were shown to be strong factors in distinguishing class membership across both outcomes. This study helps shed insight into the well-being of caregivers in the wake of a loved one's traumatic injury, in addition to possible identifying risk factors while patients are still admitted in the ICU. Lastly, the study provides alternatives for analyses that focus on longitudinal outcomes, particularly person- vs. variable-centered solutions.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Agtarap, Stephanie D
Partner: UNT Libraries