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Is Mattering what Matters: A Validation Study of the Meta-Valuing Measure of Flexible Valuing

Description: Freely choosing a life direction, or flexible valuing, is a core component of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Initial research suggests that valuing behavior may contribute to psychological well-being, but has been stymied by a lack of an efficient measure. The current study examined the psychometric characteristics of a new measure of flexible valuing, the Meta-Valuing Measure (MVM), in a sample of 532 undergraduates. Exploratory factors analysis revealed 3 orthogonal factors, Valuing (α = .94), Freedom from Values Conflict (α = .92), and Flexibility in Valuing (α = .73). The majority of expected relationships with other constructs were significant including those with measures of values, mindfulness, quality of life, experiential avoidance, and psychological distress.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Taravella, Cicely C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship Between Body Dissatisfaction and Eating Disorder Symptomatology: An Examination of Moderating Variables

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine whether Psychological Well-Being (comprised of self-esteem, optimism, satisfaction with life, and self-determination), perfectionism, body surveillance, and neuroticism moderated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms after controlling for social desirability and actual physical size. 847 female undergraduate students participated in the study. Participants completed an online questionnaire packet. An exploratory factor analysis determined that self-determination, optimism, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life loaded on to one factor representing Psychological Well-Being. Hierarchical moderated regression (HMR) was used to control for the influences of social desirability and body mass index on bulimic symptoms and then determine the main and interactive effects of body dissatisfaction and each moderator. Four variables (neuroticism, body surveillance, concern over mistakes, and doubts about actions) strengthened the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptomatology, whereas Psychological Well-Being weakened the relationship. Parental expectations, parental criticism, and personal standards did not moderate the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptomatology.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Brannan, Megan E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

College Student Resilience: Selected Effects of Service-Learning

Description: Resilience implies the concept of buoyancy. Specifically, it denotes an individual's capacity to persevere and even do well in the face of adversity. Service-learning is pedagogy often used to enable students to apply classroom learning in a real world context. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of service-learning upon college student resilience. The study utilized a convenience sample of undergraduate students (N = 172) across three disciplines including counseling, social work and kinesiology. In a pre-post test design, the CD-RISC was employed to measure resilience of the experimental and control groups. Factor analysis of the CD-RISC was also conducted in order to explore interrelationship of the variables among the data. One undergraduate sample (N = 210) was used to conduct the EFA before determining a best fit factor structure for this study's population. A repeated measures analysis of variance was employed to detect any differences between pre-post test groups. No statistical significance was found across pre and post-test among the two groups (p=.49, η2=.00). However significant results were found between the experimental and control groups (p=.00, η2 =.09). Examination of mean score differences among demographic variable yielded interesting findings across the three disciplines as well as between age and gender of the participants. Findings indicated students given freedom of choice within service-learning logistics scored greatest gains in resilience.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Mercer, J. Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries

Optimism, Delay Discounting, and Physical Exercise: The Role of Delay Discounting on Individual Levels of Exercise

Description: Deciding to exercise requires trade-offs between immediate and delayed benefits. These momentary decisions may be moderated by personality such that patterns of individual behavior emerge. The aim of the current study was to determine if higher levels of optimism and lower levels of delay discounting were related to exercise frequency. A sample of 360 undergraduate students completed a survey study related to understanding the choices made by undergraduates and how other factors relate to their decision-making. The survey included measures of optimism, delayed discounting, and self-reported exercise frequency in four domains: cardiovascular, resistance, sports, active lifestyle. Hierarchical linear regression was used to examine optimism and delay discounting as predictors of exercise frequency. Optimism and delay discounting were negatively correlated, but neither was related to exercise frequency. Furthermore, optimism and delay discounting were not significantly related to frequency spent in cardiovascular, resistance, or active lifestyle exercise. However, women scoring higher in delay discounting were more likely to participate in physical sports. The present study helps inform future research by showing potentially important psychosocial variables related to optimism, delay discounting, and exercise.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Smith, Lauren Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Demographic and Psychosocial Contributions to the Expression of Schizotypal Personality Traits.

Description: Previous research suggests there are a number of variables that are associated with the expression of schizotypal personality disorder (SPD) symptoms. Such variables include childhood trauma, depression and anxiety, substance use, normal-range personality traits, ethnicity, and gender. However, research to date has not examined all of these variables in a single study to determine how they may be interrelated or differentially related to SPD symptom domains. Of particular interest is the association of these variables as explained by the diathesis-stress model. This study utilized a convenience sample of 298 undergraduate students to examine a continuous range of scores for symptoms of SPD and how the interrelation of biological factors such as gender and ethnicity and psychosocial factors and stressors such as childhood trauma and personality traits, specifically neuroticism and extroversion, influence the expression of SPD symptoms. It was predicted that anxiety, depression, stress, and childhood trauma would positively correlate to SPD symptoms. It was also hypothesized that neuroticism and substance use would positively correlate to schizotypal traits and extroversion would be negatively correlated to schizotypal traits as measured by the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire-Brief. It was further hypothesized that psychosocial stressors would be moderated by the aforementioned biological factors.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hernandez, Nikki
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determinants of Mental Health Problems Among College Students

Description: Many college students have reported struggling with mental health problems while dealing with challenging demands of college. The initial theoretical framework for this research was Pearlin's stress process model (SPM). Building on the SPM, the three additional mediating variables of perceived control, meaninglessness, and financial worries were added to create a composite model for the research. Mental health outcomes in the model were measured by a comprehensive range of factors, which included: psychological distress, suicide, substance abuse, and anger. Data were collected from a non-probability convenience sample of 463 undergraduate students attending a large state supported university in the southwestern region of the United States. Among the social status variables measured, being married, female, and white were significant predictors of poor mental health in the sampled college students. Poor self-image, feeling of meaninglessness, and worrying about current and future finances were significant mediating variables. Poor mental health could make individuals overwhelmed and discouraged. This is a formula for failure in college. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the correlates of mental health problems among college students. A greater understanding means that families and college administrations will have better ideas about how to intervene to reduce the stress of students and to focus the available and often limited resources to help young adults in their college experience.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Mirbaha-Hashemi, Fariba
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Objectification, Body Image, Eating Behaviors, and Exercise Dependence among College Females

Description: The purposes of this study were to examine the associations between (a) self-objectification, (b) body shame, (c) appearance anxiety, and (d) exercise dependence. Participants (N = 155) completed a demographic questionnaire and a survey packet including the Body Surveillance subscale and Body Shame subscale of the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale, Appearance Anxiety Scale, Eating Attitudes Test 26, and the Exercise Dependence Scale. Correlations were conducted revealing associations between self-objectification, body shame, appearance anxiety, and eating attitudes. Associations were also found between body shame and exercise dependence. Partial correlations were conducting revealing body shame and appearance anxiety mediated the relationship between self-objectification and eating attitudes. Body shame also mediated the relationship between self-objectification and exercise dependence.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Kessler, Kelly L.
Partner: UNT Libraries