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The Relationship of Stress, Cognitive Appraisal and Dating Violence

Description: The purpose of the present study was to test a specific path model. It was hypothesized that the relationship between the impact (amount and valence) of stress and an outcome (expressing violence toward a partner) would be mediated by an individual's cognitive appraisal of stressful events. Multiple regression procedures were used to test the model. Standardized beta coefficients indicated the strength of the relationships among the variables. Significant findings indicated that the strength of specific relationships among the ten variables (impact of events, three types of primary appraisal, four types of secondary appraisal and the expression of threats and acts of physical violence toward a partner) differed depending upon subject sex and whether the impact of the events was perceived as positive or negative.
Date: August 1991
Creator: Vitanza, Stephanie A. (Stephanie Andrea)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Experimental Psychological Stress on Human Physiological Functioning: Mediation by Affiliation

Description: This investigation sought to identify differences in the human psychophysiological stress response when mediated by affiliation, by assessing heart rate (HR), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), electrodermal activity (EDA), serum Cortisol (SC) concentration, interleukin-2 (IL-2) concentration, and state anxiety among subjects who underwent an anagram solution task. Thirty male subjects from the University of North Texas were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions and asked to solve a series of difficult anagrams either alone or with a companion. Subjects assigned to the control condition were asked to copy permutations of the anagrams. Before, and immediately after the anagram/copying tasks HR, SBP, DBP were measured, blood samples drawn, and The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) administered to all subjects. EDA was measured throughout all trials. Changes from baseline through the experimental period for all dependent variables were analyzed by employing difference scores derived from contrasting baseline and experimental measures. These scores were subjected to an analysis of variance (ANOVA) resulting in one significant between group effect among all dependent variables examined. Contrary to stated hypotheses, the alone condition significantly differed from the companion and control conditions by demonstrating a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure from baseline through the experimental period. It was concluded that the decrease in systolic blood pressure from baseline through the experimental period for the alone group was a result of chance sampling of individuals possessing unique psychophysiological response patterns. Appraisals of inter-group differences in response patterns across all dependent variables suggest that an insufficient stressor, and limitations in design, statistical analysis, and measurement may have contributed to this investigation's results. Implications of findings were discussed along with suggestions for future research.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Walker, Douglas W. (Douglas Wallace)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Biofeedback on Task Performance

Description: This experiment attempted to study the effectiveness of biofeedback training on an individual's peak performance while performing a stress-provoking task. In a between subjects design 30 individual college students were divided into 2 groups. One group received auditory biofeedback and relaxation training, and the other group received no training. Both groups met the researcher for 1 hour a week for seven weeks. During each session the participant completed a ten-minute Competition and Coaction (C & C) computer software program (Shea, 1992). The biofeedback equipment recorded the physiological state of each of the participants while he/she performed the C & C task. Both groups' physiological values and C & C scores were compared using the SPSS software. The biofeedback group had statistically lower stress values than the non-biofeedback group (Schwartz, 1995). There was no statistical difference between the 2 groups' C & C scores. The STAI Y-1 and Y-2 anxiety inventories were given to each of the participants at the 1st and 7th session to examine the anxiety differences between the 2 groups. There were no statistical differences between the 2 groups' STAI scores. This study's findings show that individuals can be taught to lower their stress response while performing a computer task.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Bruce, Kurt
Partner: UNT Libraries

Control, Commitment, and Challenge: Relationships to Stress, Illness, and Gender

Description: Male and female college students were administered scales assessing their daily hassles, negative life events, control, commitment, challenge, psychological symptomatology, psychological distress, and physical symptomatology. Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that control, commitment, and challenge act in an additive (rather than multiplicative) manner in relation to psychological and physical outcome measures.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Embry, Judy K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Individual Differences in Stress-Reactivity and the Influence of Self-Complexity on Coping Behaviour

Description: The influence of self-complexity on coping behaviour and emotional adjustment is explored. The Role Construct Repertory Grid (REPGrid) Community of Selves procedure is used to assess self-complexity. Following a structured interview format, subjects completed a battery of measures including the REPGrid, Self-Rating Depression Scale, Hassles Scale, Major Stress Scale, and Coping Index. Results indicate that complex individuals utilize a wider variety of coping behaviours than less complex individuals, although the perceived severity of stressful events was. no different between groups. Micro-analyses at the individual self level revealed mixed or null results. Finally, more dysphoric individuals reported using more negative coping behaviours (drinking, smoking) than individuals not experiencing dysphoric mood. Findings are discussed a) in terms of the utility of the REPgrid in the assessment and understanding of self-complexity and its' relationship to mental health processes, b) in accordance with a person-event transactional model of health and illness, and c) in terms of the relevance to those psychotherapies that emphasize and encourage people to develop distinctions among their self-aspects, as well as new ways of construing the world, and new behavioural options, e.g. Fixed Role Therapy.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Longhorn, Alison J. (Alison Jane)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Life Stress and Adjustment: Effects of Cognitive Content and Cognitive Organization

Description: Individual differences of cognitive organization and content were investigated as they relate to adaptation to remote, recent, and immediate life stress. Outside the field of stress, prior researchers have implicated cognitive organization with adjustment and cognitive content with specific psychopathology. As for behavioral adaptation to life stress, cognitive organization was viewed as a major factor in emotional vulnerability and adjustment, and cognitive content as a major factor in the mood disturbance of depression. Behavioral adaptation was defined in terms of current emotional vulnerability, adjustment and negative changes in the immediate (last six months), recent (over six months), and remote (over one year) past.
Date: May 1985
Creator: Hickox, Sherrie Danene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative Models of the Impact of Social Support on Psychological Distress in Cancer Patients

Description: This study tested the relationship between Social Support, Psychological Distress, and Illness Stress in individuals who report cancer as a health condition. This study was based on archival data obtained from the Wave 1 of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS provides a nationally representative sample of individuals aged 51 to 61 in 1992 and their spouses. The study sample was limited to cancer patients with a spouse or partner (n = 503). A structural equation modeling analysis procedure was used to test the theoretical models. Measures of social support were limited to variables assessing the participant's satisfaction with social support. Evidence was found for the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models. This is congruent with previous research using measures of social support perception. Both the Stress Prevention and the Support Deterioration models predict a negative relationship between Illness Stress and Social Support. In addition, a univariate analysis of variance was used to test the stress buffering model. Similarly to other studies measuring the individual's degree of integration, or its perception, in the social network, the present research supported the only the Main Effect model and not the Stress Buffering model.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Forjaz, Maria João Bettencourt Pereira
Partner: UNT Libraries

Structural Equation Model of Variables Associated with Family Functioning among a Nationally Representative Sample of Families with a Child with Autism

Description: Previous research indicates that stressors experienced by a family, the perceived level of burden assigned by the family to the stressor, and the utilization of resources predict family functioning. The current study utilized a nationally representative sample of families of children with autistic disorder to determine if previously proposed models of family functioning accurately conceptualized family functioning within a representative sample. Structural equation modeling was utilized to test the double ABCX and the linear ACBX models of family functioning. With slight modifications, the double ABCX model was supported, thus indicating that pileup of stressors, perception of burden, and utilization of resources each have unique predictive ability for family functioning, with perception of burden demonstrating the highest amount of predictive ability. Results, implications, and limitations of the study are discussed.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bezner, Stephanie K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychological Stress Reactivity and Recovery: The Role of Cognitive Appraisals, Ethnicity and Sex

Description: The aim of this research was to investigate the role of sex, ethnicity and cognitive appraisals, separately and in combination, on the physiological stress response. One hundred and eight undergraduate students from two North Texas universities participated in the study. They were subjected to a laboratory stressor and heart rate, peripheral temperature and cortisol levels were measured pre-, during-, and post- stressor. Perceived stress and cognitive appraisals were measured via self-report. Multivariate analysis of variance tests were conducted to analyze the main and interaction effects during baseline, reactivity and post-stress recovery. Results indicated some significant main effects for sex and ethnicity but no consistent pattern of results or interactions among variables were revealed. The study's implications and areas of future research are discussed.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Malhotra, Damini
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stress Level, Background Variables, Premorbid Health Ratings, and Severity of Psychological Disorders Using DSM-III-R Ratings

Description: This study predicted that individuals diagnosed as having higher levels of stress, based upon DSM-III-R, Axis IV ratings, would also be diagnosed as having more severe forms of mental illness. Conversely, it predicted that individuals with higher premorbid health ratings, according to DSM-III-R, Axis V, would be diagnosed as having less severe forms of mental illness. Highly significant correlations were found between stress ratings and severity of disorder. Significant inverse relationships were also found between Axis V ratings and disorder severity. Additionally, several other demographic variables were significantly correlated with severity of disorder.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Eads, Julie A. (Julie Anne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Psychological Stress and Personality upon Athletic Performance of Intercollegiate Tennis Players

Description: This investigation was designed to study coach and self-appraised groupings of intercollegiate tennis players who yield to stress and withstand stress and to determine if personality differences existed between groups. Subjects were 75 intercollegiate tennis players from Texas. A stress inventory and the Cattell Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire were instruments utilized in the study. Data were subjected to hierarchical profile-groupings, three-way analyses of variance, and a correlational analysis. Conclusions of the study were that intercollegiate tennis players and male and female players respond to stress differently; intercollegiate tennis players and male and female players who experience different levels of stress have different personalities; and players and coaches do not evaluate the ability to cope with stress similarly.
Date: March 1978
Creator: Reed, Rebecca Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Life Stress and Industrial Accidents

Description: Traditional personality research on accident behavior has produced conflicting opinions as to the traits that describe the "accident-prone" personality type. Other research has shown that psychosocial life stress, while partially determining the temporal onset of a variety of illnesses, may also be a factor contributing to increased accident liability. This study examined the role of temporary and stress-producing life changes in groups of accident-free and accident-involved industrial employees. The accident sample was found to have significantly higher stress over baseline during the period of accident involvement, but generally lower pre-accident levels than the non-accident sample. A cause-effect analysis of the data from within the accident-involved sample proved inconclusive. Several implications for future research and managerial actions to alleviate stress were also discussed.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Huddleston, Charles T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of Stress Among Sixteen and Seventeen Year Old Adolescents

Description: To determine major areas of stress for adolescents, ninety-six sixteen and seventeen year olds were given a questionnaire which listed thirty-two situations which the subjects ranked in degrees of stress. The hypotheses examined the degree of family related and social related stress, the relationship of stress to age and sex, and the correlation between grade average and degree of stress. The first three hypotheses were tested by the t-test for mean differences. The fourth hypothesis used a Spearman rank order correlation coefficient. There was a difference in social stress and family stress, but no significant difference in stress of males and females or sixteen and seventeen year olds, and no significant correlation between grades and stress.
Date: August 1980
Creator: Merlick, Judith Sinclair
Partner: UNT Libraries

Neuroticism and Religious Coping Styles as Mediators of Depressive Affect and Perceived Stress

Description: Previous researchers have shown that the collaborative, self-directing, and deferring styles of religious coping result in different outcomes of depression under different levels of perceived stress. Neuroticism has also been shown to affect coping effectiveness overall or choice of coping method. However, little work has been done to investigate the association between neuroticism and the choice or effectiveness of religious coping styles in particular, or on the association of neuroticism and perceived stress. The present study addressed research questions by examining relations among neuroticism, perceived stress, objective life events, religious and non-religious coping styles, effectiveness of coping styles, and depression. Hierarchical multiple regression and correlational techniques found that religious coping styles predict depression, religious and non-religious coping correspond, and neuroticism predicts perceived stress beyond situational stressors. Neuroticism did not predict use of religious coping styles, but remaining personality factors were successful in predicting coping. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Crostley, Jeremy T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Discrimination and Perceived Stress in Sexual and Gender Minorities: Self-esteem As a Moderating Factor

Description: Sexual and gender minorities are subjected to discrimination and stigmatization which increase vulnerability to psychological co-morbidities (Mays & Cochran, 2001). The mechanisms through which discrimination contributes to distress in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) communities can be partially elucidated through the minority stress model. The minority stress model argues that minorities are subjected to negative societal attitudes and discrimination that results in excessive psychosocial stress related to their minority position, which is distinct from daily stress. Meyer’s minority stress model is supported by social stress theoriesand data linking discrimination to stress in lgb samples. Researchers suggest that self-esteem buffers the negative effects of adverse experiences but tests of the moderating effect of self-esteem on the discrimination-distress relationship in ethnic and gender minorities yielded mixed results. Szymanski found that self-esteem moderates the relationship between discrimination and psychological distress in a male sexual minority sample, but this has never been tested in a gender-balanced sexual minority sample. We hypothesized that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with lower overall perceived stress in lgbt adults, and that self-esteem acts differentially in lgbt populations to moderate perceived discrimination. We found that discrimination, self-esteem and the interaction effect between discrimination and self-esteem accounted for 53 percent of the total variance in perceived stress scores, ∆R2 = .38; adj. R2 = .53, F(12, 133) = 14.47, p < .001.When we tested whether self-esteem moderated the relationship between discrimination and stress, discrimination was positively related to stress, β = .13, t(144) = 2.14, p < .05, and self-esteem was negatively related to stress, β = -.63, t(144) = -10.26, p < .001. The interaction between self-esteem and discrimination positively correlated with stress, β = .14, t(144) = 2.29, p < .05. Our findings suggest that self-esteem may alleviate the impact of discrimination on perceived stress, which ...
Date: August 2014
Creator: Wike, Alexandra Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with Adoptive Families: Effects on Child Behavior, Parent-Child Relationship Stress, and Parental Empathy

Description: This randomized controlled study is a preliminary investigation on the effects of Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT) with 61 adoptive parents. The participants in this study identified themselves as the following: 54 European American, 3 Black American, 3 Hispanic/Latino, and 1 individual who chose not to indicate ethnicity. The study included 23 couples and 15 individual mothers. The CPRT is a structured, time limited approach that trains caregivers to be an active participant as a therapeutic change agent in their child's life. Results from a two (group) by two (measures) split plot ANOVA indicated that adoptive parents who participated in 10 weeks of CPRT reported statistically significant decreases in child behavior problems and parent child-relationship stress. Statistically significant increases in parent empathy were also reported by raters blinded to the study. CPRT demonstrated a medium to large treatment effect on reducing children's behavior problems and parent-child relationship stress. In addition, CPRT demonstrated a large treatment effect on increasing parental empathy. The results of the study provide preliminary support for CPRT as a responsive intervention for adoptive parents and their children.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Carnes-Holt, Kara
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Effects of Parenting Stress and Academic Self-Concept on Reading Ability in a Clinic Referral Sample

Description: This study investigated the relationships among the variables of parenting stress, academic self-concept, and reading ability. The purpose of this study was to determine whether parenting stress and academic self-concept contributed to the child's reading ability. Two hypotheses were investigated in an effort to accomplish this purpose. The subjects used in this study were forty-nine children and their primary caretakers referred to The Child and Family Resource Center, The University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, during the academic years of 1994 through 1999. Subjects ranged in age from seven to eighteen years of age. Academically, the subjects ranged from first graders through eleventh graders. All subjects lived in and attended schools in Denton County or neighboring counties. Parental employment ranged from unskilled laborers to medical doctors. The participating families included biological, step, adoptive, single, and divorced families. Abidin's Parenting Stress Index was used to measure parental stress experienced by the primary caretaker. The Intellectual and School Status cluster of the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale was used to measure the child's academic self-concept and the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised provided a measure of the child's reading ability. Test scores were obtained following a review of The Child and Family Resource Center's documented files. Multiple regression statistics revealed no significant relationship between neither parenting stress and the child's reading ability nor the child's academic self-concept and reading ability. Standardized beta coefficients and bivariate correlation results indicated a relationship between academic self-concept and reading ability. Additional research is recommended for future research that encompasses a larger and more diverse sample.
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Date: May 2001
Creator: Maldonado, Michele L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Chronically Ill Children: Maternal Stress and Psychological Symptomatology

Description: This study used a parenting stress and coping model to identify predictors of symptomatology for 13 8 mothers of medically compromised children. This model proposed that: child characteristics (severity of the chronic illness and child related parenting stressors); parent characteristics (self-esteem, sense of competence, and parents' perceived stress/distress); and environmental characteristics (social support, general life stressor events, and demographic variables) contribute to psychological symptomatology for these mothers. Multiple regression analysis found a relationship between general life stressor events, severity of the children's chronic conditions, lower satisfaction with social support, lower self-esteem, and younger mothers' ages and greater symptomatology. Trends toward significance were found for more parenting stress and lower parenting sense of competence predicting greater symptomatology. Predicted relationships between family socioeconomic status and parenting daily hassles and symptomatology were not supported.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Driskill, Gail
Partner: UNT Libraries

Does Unemployment Become a Major Stressor in the Evolution of Chronic Pain?

Description: Pain has been described as the most complex human experience and most frequent reason patients seek medical treatment. Few people fail to experience the pain associated with disease, injury, or medical/surgical procedures. However, the impact of unemployment that results from chronic pain suffering has not been widely researched. To present a comprehensive view of the effect unemployment has upon the chronic pain experience, this study focused upon stress philosophy, chronic pain, employment, and coping effectiveness. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), and a Personal Data Questionnaire (PDQ) were administered to 96 persons (four groups of 24 subjects) representing either unemployed or employed and either chronic or non-chronic (acute) pain populations.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Rumzek, Harold A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comparison of Academic Stress Experienced by Students at an Urban Community College and an Urban University

Description: The present study compared the academic stress levels of 450 college sophomore students at a public university and a public two-year college. This investigation also explored the levels of academic stress by institutional type, age, gender, and ethnicity. Data were obtained from having the subjects complete the Academic Stress Scale, a questionnaire which lists thirty five stress items found in the college classroom. Analysis of variance and t-tests were used to analyze the data. There were 225 subjects each in the community college group and the university group. The university group had a statistically significant higher mean stress score than the community college group. 294 traditional age (23 and younger) and 156 nontraditional age (24 and over) subjects stress levels were compared. It was found that the traditional age college student group experienced a statistically significant higher academic stress level in both academic settings. Group means were compared between the stress scores of 245 female and 205 male subjects. At both the community college and university levels, the female group had a statistically significant higher level of academic stress. The academic stress levels were also compared according to ethnicity. The minority group consisted of 104 subjects and 346 subjects comprised the non-minority group. At the community college, the minority group had a statistically significant higher level of academic stress. However, at the university level, there was no statistically significant difference by ethnicity. Examinations, final grades, term papers, homework, and studying for examinations were ranked as being stressful by the largest percentage of all the subjects. It was found in this study that levels of academic stress differ significantly by institutional type, age, gender, and ethnicity. Implications for college students, instructors, and administrators , based on this study's conclusions, are offered.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Benson, Larry G. (Larry Glen)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Police officers: Perception of self, occupational role, and occupational events.

Description: This study examined police officers' perceptions of self, occupational role and their relation to perceived stress and posttraumatic stress symptomology. Self-report measures for the study variables were completed by 101 police officers. Hypotheses predicted that perception of self and role would be associated with perception of stress and that perception of the stress would mediate PTSD symptomology. Neuroticism, job quality and general job satisfaction were the main predictors of stress. Stress levels mediated between 1) job quality and the symptoms of anxious arousal and impaired self-reference; 2) general job satisfaction and the symptoms of defensive avoidance and dissociation; and 3) neuroticism and the symptom of defensive avoidance. This implies that police officers' job quality, their feelings of general job satisfaction, and low levels of neuroticism are important in alleviating stress and subsequent psychological sequela.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Piper, Lynn J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

How Parenting Stress and Discouragement Impact Functioning Within Stepfamilies

Description: The study analyzed how parenting stress and discouragement affect stepfamily functioning. Whether the parent was a biological parent or stepparent, whether the stepparent was a stepmother or stepfather, or whether the marriage had been formed more or less than two years was also considered. One assumption made was that increased parenting stress and discouragement will lead to decreased family functioning. Other assumptions were that there will be more increased parenting stress and discouragement and decreased family functioning found in stepparents than biological parents, in stepmothers more than stepfathers, and in parents in families formed less than two years more than those in families formed more than two years. Complete data was collected from 30 subjects. Three instruments were used in the study. The Parenting Stress Index measures how much stress parents experience in areas relating to how they see their child and how they see themselves as parents. The Discouragement Scale for Adults was developed to measure the Adlerian concept of discouragement in an adult population. The Family Assessment Device measures how a family functions.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Roberson, Mary Larson
Partner: UNT Libraries

Total Stress Load Inventory: A Validation Study

Description: The purpose of this study was to validate a stress inventory which would differentiate between a normative group and a patient population suffering from environmental illness. The hypotheses of this study were: (1) the Total Stress Load Inventory would be predictive in discriminating between clinical ecology patients and a normative group; (2) each section or subscale of the Total Stress Load Inventory would be predictive of psychological, cognitive, nutritional, and/or medical factors.
Date: December 1986
Creator: Sherck-O'Connor, Robin
Partner: UNT Libraries