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Developmental Stressors and Associated Coping Skills in the Development of Disordered Eating in College Females

Description: There is a lack of clarity in the current literature in how potential etiological factors interact and result in disordered eating. The purpose of this study was to examine an expanded model of Personality, Social Support, Appraisal/Coping Processes, Abuse History, Internalization of Sociocultural Standards, Psychological Disturbances, and Body Disparagement in the development of disordered eating. The current model was evaluated using 276 women in their transition to college, a time period highly associated with symptoms believed to increase a woman's risk for the development of disordered eating including perceived difficulty coping, weight gain, and negative affect. Structural equation modeling was used to allow simultaneous examination of the causal relationships between the factors. Structural analyses confirmed that college women with previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition. Those women who identified the transition as overwhelming were also aware of increased negative mood and psychological states since beginning the school semester. Further, women with previous traumatic sexual experiences appeared to be at additional risk for increased negative affective symptoms. The resulting model confirmed that those women who experience negative mood states and those that endorse strong internalization of cultural values regarding attractiveness encountered increased dissatisfaction and disapproval of their bodies. Finally, women with higher levels of body concern engaged in more eating behaviors associated with disordered eating. The roles of personality functioning and perceived social support could not be identified in the developmental model. The predictive links between constructs in the resulting model provide meaningful information regarding the transition to college and associated risks for development of disordered eating. Validation of the model in an independent sample would provide confirmation of these relationships and longitudinal research examining females' attitudes across crucial developmental periods might provide important information regarding ...
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Date: August 2002
Creator: Tripp, Margaret Murphy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Males' Support Toward Females After Sexual Assault

Description: The current study explored the relations among rape myths, attitudes toward rape victims, perceived social support, sex role, and social reactions in a male undergraduate sample (N = 205). Males who have provided support to a sexual assault victim were compared to those who have not provided support to a sexual assault victim on several measures. Social reactions of those who have provided support to a sexual assault victim were compared to hypothetical reactions provided by individuals who have not previously provided support. Results indicated that rape related attitudes and beliefs did not differ between those who have and have not provided support to a sexual assault victim. In addition, individuals who were responding to a hypothetical situation reported that they would provide more positive social support than individuals who were responding to an actual situation. Implications for clinical work and future research in this area are discussed.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Reck, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reducing the risk of disordered eating among female college students: A test of alternative interventions.

Description: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a cognitive-dissonance based intervention in reducing disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The intervention program created dissonance through discussion, exercises, and homework aimed at addressing and countering internalized sociocultural pressures, beliefs and values about women's bodies, attractiveness, and worth in the U.S. Seventy-seven female undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: cognitive-dissonance, combined cognitive-dissonance, healthy weight placebo control, and wait-list control To determine effectiveness of the intervention, MANCOVA procedures were used, with Time 1 scores serving as the covariate. Overall, the women who received the dissonance based interventions produced the strongest effects among measures assessing sociocultural pressures, internalization, and body dissatisfaction in comparison to the control group, and experienced significant reductions in dieting behaviors and bulimic symptoms over the course of the study, suggesting that the creation of dissonance via the intervention assisted the women in reducing eating disorder risk factors.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Smith Machin, Ariane Leigh
Partner: UNT Libraries

Success Factors among Early College Entrants

Description: This study explored how various intrapersonal, familial, and life-goal characteristics related to the academic and personal success of first semester early college entrants attending the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at the University of North Texas. The study sought to identify which intrapersonal factors and external factors affected grades, behavioral markers, and life satisfaction during the students' first semester at TAMS. Baseline data from TAMS entrance material such as standardized achievement test scores, previous grade point averages (GPA's), advanced courses taken, and other academic activities and awards were collected. Data were also collected from the students prior to their entry to the start of TAMS related to family cohesiveness, motivation, and career goals. Data from parents were gathered prior to the start of TAMS regarding parenting styles, demographics, parents' educational levels, careers, and income levels, as well as the child's homework, extracurricular activities, and other time demands. First semester grades, a measure of life satisfaction since the program began, and behavior reports from staff members were used as outcome/success indicators. These additional data were used to examine the relationship between success and familial/interpersonal/life goal factors.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hoggan, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries

Individual attachment styles and the correspondence/compensation hypotheses in relation to depression and depressive experiences.

Description: Two hundred twenty individuals participated in the present study from a university population. The study examined the relationship among attachment styles to caregivers, relationship with God, depressive symptomology, and depressive experiences. Attachment theorists have suggested a connection between childhood attachment to caregivers and current attachment to God through the idea that individuals have "working models" that form how they interpret present relationships. For the most part, the results of the current study supported the idea of correspondence between attachment to caregiver and attachment to God. Individual attachment styles to caregivers matched their attachment style to God. However, when caregiver religiousness was included as a moderating variable, results supported the theory of combined compensation-correspondence for those with insecure attachments to caregivers. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to compensate for their insecure attachment bonds through participation in religious activity, whereas their internal, private relationship with God corresponded with their previous insecure attachment bonds. Individuals with insecure attachment to caregivers were more likely to endorse symptoms of depression and report introjective, but not anaclitic, depressive experiences. With respect to attachment to God, introjective depressive experiences were positively related to both anxious and avoidant attachments, whereas, anaclitic depressive experiences were positively related only to anxious attachment to God. Anxious attachment to God was found to partially mediate the relationship between insecure attachment to caregivers and depression symptoms. Finally, attachment effects were similar across gender, ethnicity, and age, with some notable exceptions.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Hill, Mary Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationships Between Perceived Parenting Style, Academic Self-Efficacy and College Adjustment of Freshman Engineering Students

Description: This study examined the relationships between perceived parenting styles, academic self-efficacy, and college adjustment among a sample of 31 freshman engineering students. Through the administration of self-report surveys and chi-square analyses, strong academic self-efficacy was demonstrated in students who reported authoritative maternal parenting. These findings support previous research on the relationship between academic self-efficacy and parenting styles. Implications were drawn for parents and future research.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Shaw, Nancy Elaine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Moderators of the sociocultural internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship among female undergraduates.

Description: The sociocultural model of eating pathology is an empirically-supported model explaining eating disorder etiology. The model poses that body dissatisfaction and subsequent eating pathology stems from the unrealistic standards formulated by Westernized society. Although the model has strong empirical support, variables within the model do not account for 100% of the variance in disordered eating. Thus, the current researcher attempted to explore potential moderating factors in the sociocultural model of eating disorders that may help to explain variance currently unaccounted for. In particular, the researcher focused on the relationship between sociocultural internalization and body dissatisfaction, given that this relationship has not been previously explored within the literature. Based on theoretical support, the researcher chose several potential variables to test, including perfectionism, neuroticism, body surveillance, and shame. Primary analyses tested each variable for moderating effects using hierarchical moderated regression, but no significant findings were shown. Results of post hoc analyses showed all variables had significant mediating effects, with the exception of self-oriented perfectionism. The discussion section addresses consistency with previous research, limitations of the present study, treatment implications and guidelines for future research.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Latimer-Kern, Kelsey M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reflections on the Development of Children of Alcoholics

Description: The specific purpose of this study was to try and understand why unique experiences of living with an alcoholic parent could create developmental deficits which emotionally challenge COAs' when faced with the life lessons a college environment offers. This study offered four possible explanations for experiencing challenges in its theoretical background: (1) psychosocial development, (2) the epistemology of alcoholism and its effects on the family, (3) personality development and the concurrence of building resilience, and (4) the college environment itself, with the phenomenon of binge drinking--forcing COAs to confront family alcoholism. A total of 7 participated in this study--4 men and 3 women. Despite the dynamic differences in the answers overall, all 7 participants acknowledged one important concept. When the participants were asked about their own drinking habits, each participant said, though in different ways, they had to be careful with their drinking habits. Participants seemed to be aware that whether alcoholism is genetic or a learned addiction, they were at risk of becoming alcoholics themselves. This study found overall, as previous literature suggests, no matter how COAs are studied, they are found to be a heterogeneous population. Specifically, this study's results points out that they are indeed heterogeneous, yet similar in that all participants in this study, it could be argued, exhibit some vulnerability in regard to parental alcoholism.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Weise, Molly Amanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Financial Aid on Persistence: Application of the Financial Nexus Model

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the financial nexus between college choice and persistence for full-time, first-time, first-year freshman college students. The theoretical framework of this study was the financial nexus construct developed by St. John, Paulsen, and Starkey (1996) and Paulsen and St. John (1997). This is the first study to apply the financial nexus construct to full-time, first-time, first-year freshman population; the first to examine baccalaureate/comprehensive and doctoral/research institutions in both public and private sectors separately. The results of this study found that (1) overall, it is slightly evident that there is a financial nexus between college choice and persistence among full-time, first-time, first-year freshman students; (2) the nexus between college choice and persistence may be different by the Carnegie Classification, and (3) the pattern of the direct effects of financial variables (i.e., tuition and financial aid) on persistence was different from the previous results. Unlike in the previous studies, tuition increases appeared to have a positive effect on the enrollment of full-time, first-time, first-year freshman students attending institutions of all Carnegie Classifications. The result suggests that price may reveal a "quality effect" and that higher tuition institution may signal higher quality. In both public and private institution students, students of comprehensive/baccalaureate institutions were more sensitive to tuition than those of research/doctoral institution. This result may raise fundamental questions about the tuition price responsiveness of full-time, first-time, first-year freshman students. The results indicate that public students were more sensitive to grants than private students. Also, students attending comprehensive/ baccalaureate institutions were more sensitive to grants than those of research/doctoral institutions in both sectors.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Hwang, Dae-Yeop
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychological correlates of eating disorders: Exploring the continuum perspective.

Description: Psychological and behavioral characteristics of female undergraduates with varying levels of disordered eating, as measured by the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnoses (Q-EDD; Mintz, O'Halloran, Mulholland, & Schneider, 1997), were investigated. Results suggest that the Q-EDD is an appropriate instrument for measuring eating disorder symptomatology. Greater disordered eating was associated with more bulimic, dieting, and weight fluctuation symptoms, higher impression management and approval-seeking needs, more dichotomous thinking, self control, and rigid weight regulation, and increased concern with body shape and dissatisfaction with facial features. Eating-disordered and symptomatic women evidenced more severe eating disorder behaviors and psychological distress than asymptomatic women. Findings are congruent with a redefined discontinuity perspective of eating disorder symptomatology. Treatment implications and campus-wide preventions are suggested.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Cohen, Diane L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Family dynamics and students' characteristics as predictors of undergraduate college student adjustment.

Description: The problem addressed is to ascertain how selected factors impacted the adjustment of undergraduate university students. Undergraduate university students (n=382) from the University of North Texas completed measures of basic student information, perceived level of family support and level of parental attachment, and perceived level of college student adjustment. Parental Attachment and Family Support were found to positively correlate to the level of adjustment to college. Analyses of these data reveal a statistically significant difference in student adjustment to college when comparing the participants by age, university classification, and living arrangement. Further analysis reveals that there is a statistically significant difference between gender, race, students' marital status, and parents' marital status when measuring the outcome of perceived family support. Perceived level of parental attachment differs significantly when comparing students by their race, marital status, and their parents' marital status.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Moore, Lindsey Kathryn
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of the Self-Efficacy Scores of Preservice Teachers Based on Initial College Experience

Description: The purpose of this study was to determine if any statistically significant difference exists between the self-efficacy scores of student teachers who began their college experience at the community college level and student teachers who began their education at the university level. The study was used to determine whether or not the type of initial college experience impacted the first two years of college study, in relation to the development of a sense of self-efficacy at the end of the program of study. Self-efficacy data were gathered from beginning student teachers at two comparative institutions. The participants were enrolled in the colleges of education at two large metropolitan universities. One university was located in southern Texas and the other was located in north central Texas. The Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale was the instrument used, as well as a researcher-made questionnaire that collected demographic data. In addition to pattern of education, other independent variables included age, gender, ethnicity, certification level sought by the participant, and the number of contact hours spent by the participant in early field experiences in K-12 classrooms. A multiple regression analysis indicated no statistically significant difference in the composite score of the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, a measure of self-efficacy. The TSES also loads on three factors: Instructional Strategies, Classroom Management, and Student Engagement. Multiple regression analyses of the individual factor scores indicated no statistically significant predictive ability for self-efficacy on any of the subscales across initial college experience. Multiple regression analyses as well as MANOVAs were conducted to determine if the demographic variables of gender, age, ethnicity, G.P.A, certification level, and contact hours impacted TSES scores. The dependent variable was the general self-efficacy scores and the individual factor scores (i.e., Student Engagement, Instructional Strategies and Classroom Management) of student teachers as measured by the ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Ritchie, Kelly Renea
Partner: UNT Libraries

Personality Correlates of Eating Disorder Symptomatology in a Nonclinical Sample of Female Undergraduates

Description: Research indicates the existence of an eating disorder continuum. The two-component model of disordered eating suggests that certain personality traits may increase an individual's vulnerability to develop more severe variants of disordered eating symptomatology. The present study investigates pre-clinical elevations on a measure of personality based on the Five-Factor Model (FFM) and pre-clinical elevations on a measure of eating disorder symptomatology in a sample of nonclinical undergraduates. The personality dimensions Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Agreeableness accounted for 7% of the variability in Body Dissatisfaction. Subcomponents comprising the personality dimensions of the FFM as determined by Saucier (1998) (see Appendix A) were analyzed. The Self-Reproach and Intellectual Interests subcomponents were the strongest predictors of Drive for Thinness and Body Dissatisfaction. The subcomponent Sociability was the strongest predictor of Bulimia. Findings present implications for prevention and treatment interventions. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine the temporal directionality of personality and disturbed eating.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Baker, Kristine Genovese
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving self-efficacy in college students: A modified adventure therapy program.

Description: Adventure therapy employs a technique in which therapists use controlled amounts of stress to bring about change in the behavior of clients. One of the domains in which adventure therapy reports improvement is that of self-efficacy. Perceived self-efficacy is the belief that individuals have in their ability to overcome and change their situation in life. This study examines the effect of a modified adventure therapy program on the perceived self-efficacy of college students who were enrolled in an Outdoor Pursuits course at a major metropolitan university. Students received 16 weeks of outdoor adventure therapy programming that culminated in a voluntary weekend camping trip. The students were administered the General Self-Efficacy (GSE) scale on the second day of class to determine a baseline level of self-efficacy to be compared to the posttest completed on the last day of class. The study examined 3 consecutive semesters of archival data collected by the researcher while instructing the course. Fifty-six participants across the 3 semesters were usable for data analysis. The results show there is a significant difference between students' level of perceived self-efficacy from pre- to posttest, and no difference in the effect on gender, classification of students, or the participation of the student in the weekend campout. Therefore, the 16 week program improved students' perceived self-efficacy regardless of whether or not they participated in the weekend campout.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Peebles, Larry Mason
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attachment Processes, Stress Processes, and Sociocultural Standards in the Development of Eating Disturbances in College Women

Description: Minimal empirical research using longitudinal data to explore integrative models of eating disorder development exists. The purpose of this study was to further explore multidimensional models incorporating parental attachment, history of stress, appraisal/coping processes, internalization of the thin-ideal, negative affect, body image, and eating disordered behavior using prospective, longitudinal data. The models were evaluated using 238 participants who completed an initial series of self-report questionnaires during their first semester in college and completed follow-up questionnaires 6 months and 18 months later. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among the factors. Analyses confirmed that college freshman with insecure parental attachment relationships and those with a history of previous stressful experiences appraised the adjustment to college as more stressful and reported feeling less able to cope with the transition; these conditions predicted increased negative affect and increased eating disturbances. Women who reported experiencing negative affect and those that endorsed internalization of the thin-ideal also reported higher levels of body dissatisfaction; these women engaged in more disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. A second model investigating negative affect as mediating the relationship between the appraisal/coping process and eating disturbances also revealed that experiencing difficulties with the transition to college predicted later negative mood states. Further, women who reported increased negative affect also reported increased eating disturbances. Finally, cross-lagged and simultaneous effects between selected factors were evaluated. Results from these analyses are mixed, but they provide additional information about the predictive relationships among factors that play a role in the development of eating disorders. The results of this study provide valuable information about the development of eating disorders that can be used to aid prevention and treatment. Examination of these models in a large independent sample might provide confirmation of these relationships, and investigation of the models during different developmental periods might ...
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bradford, Jennifer Wolf
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Media Exposure on Body Satisfaction, Beliefs About Attractiveness, Mood and Bulimic Symptomatology Among College Women

Description: The research of Stice et al. (1994) and Stice and Shaw (1994) proposed several mechanisms that may mediate the adverse effects of media exposure to the thin ideal including internalization of the thin-ideal, negative affect, and body dissatisfaction. The purpose of this study was to extend initial research of Stice and Shaw (1994) by incorporating two forms of media (e.g., TV and Magazines) to assess the effects of exposure to the media portrayal of ideal body shape on women's mood, body satisfaction, and internalization of societal values concerning attractiveness. The relation of these variables to bulimic symptomatology was examined. The current study improved upon Stice and Shaw's study (1994) by matching participants' scores on BMI, level of negative affect, and level of body satisfaction before random assignment to the experimental conditions. Female undergraduates aged 18 to 25 years participated in premeasure (N = 198) and post measure (N = 164) conditions. Results from repeated mulitvariate analysis indicated media exposure to ideal-body images demonstrated no significant changes in women's affect, body satisfaction or endorsement of the thin ideal. Indirect support for the sociocultural theory of eating disorders was provided by multiple regression analyses that demonstrated lower levels of satisfaction with size and shape of body and higher levels of negative affect predicted bulimic symptomatology in women. Future research should determine which females are at greater risk than others for the development of body dissatisfaction, negative mood, and internalization of U.S. values of attractiveness in response to media related messages communicating a thin ideal.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Varnado, Jessica Lea
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Relationship of Parental Attachment, Peer Attachment, and Self-Concept to the Adjustment of First-Year College Students

Description: The transition to college is usually the first time many late adolescents live apart from their parents for an extended period, making it an important developmental task (Kenny, 1987) that requires a variety of adaptational resources. Bowlby's (1969/1982, 1973, 1980) attachment theory has been refined by Kenny and Rice (1995) to explain how internal working models of late adolescents are the bases of the adaptational resources that determine the quality of adjustment to college. The Kenny and Rice model may be interpreted to suggest that external resources should include relationships with parents and friends, while internal resources can include self-concept. According to the authors, "these resources are assumed to moderate or buffer the effects of developmental challenges and stressful events on adjustment" (p.437). The purpose of the present study was to extend and further clarify the ways that quality attachment relationships and positive self-concept conjointly may promote healthy adaptation in the college milieu. In particular, the present study examined the influence of self-concept as a mediating variable with respect to attachment and healthy adjustment to college. Students from Freshman Psychology classes completed measures to assess their attachment relationships with each parent, their attachment relationships with peers, their level of self-concept, and their perceived adaptation to college. These measures were completed by students of traditional age (ages 18-20) within the first year of starting college. The results of the study indicate that: 1) a relationship exists between attachment and self-concept; 2) attachment is associated with college adjustment; 3) self-concept is related to college adjustment, and functions as a mediator variable between attachment and college adjustment; 4) there were no gender effects in the levels of mother or father attachment, and females reported higher levels of peer attachment; and 5) there were no gender effects in overall levels self-concept, but females reported ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Selby, Jeanne Costello
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exploring Relationships Between Recalled Parenting and Anaclitic and Introjective Depression

Description: This study related college students' remembered early relationships with parents to their depression symptoms and to dependent and self-critical subjective feelings. Undergraduates (N = 217, 118 female, 99 male) provided information regarding their current level of depression, overall functioning, subjective feelings of depression (Depressive Experiences Questionnaire), negative thoughts, interpersonal functioning, and recollections of their parents' behavior and attitudes. Depression symptoms were related to dependent and self-critical feelings and to recalled low parental care and high parental control. However, for women, paternal affection and, for men, paternal control, were unrelated to depression symptoms. Other results are inconclusive but, overall, provide evidence for the usefulness of Blatt's theory in assessing depression via dependent and self-critical subjective feelings.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Weisz, Adriana V.
Partner: UNT Libraries