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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

Mock Juror Effects of Blame and Conviction in Rape Cases: Do Attitudes, Beliefs, and Contact with Homosexuals Matter?

Description: The current case involves a female rape victim. Research has shown the level of victim blaming can be elevated if the victim is a lesbian woman compared to a heterosexual woman. Mock jurors’ responses to personality trait questionnaires (e.g., Belief in a Just World, Attitudes Toward Women, Attitudes Toward Lesbians) and amount of contact they have with homosexual people were employed as predictors of how they would decide victim blaming and perpetrator guilt. Personality trait findings were not good predictors; however, greater contact with homosexuals did decrease negative attitudes toward lesbian victims. Limitations and implications for future research are addressed.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Hurst-McCaleb, Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Logic, Emotion and Closure: Motivations for Choices of Faith

Description: Spirituality and religiosity can play key roles in individual lives through influencing health, social relationships, political views, as well as many other facets (Newberg, D'Aquili & Rause, 2001; Milevsky & Levitt, 2004; Hirsh, Walberg & Peterson, 2013). As important as religious and spiritual beliefs are to societies, cultures, and individuals, little is known about which psychological factors determine choices of faith. Although there are likely many determinants of religious, spiritual, atheist or agnostic beliefs, this study explored four possible factors: critical thinking skills, need for cognition, need for emotional comfort/security, and need for closure. Participants included an undergraduate sample and a community sample. It was hypothesized that religious and spiritual individuals will have lower critical thinking skills, lower needs for cognition, higher needs for emotional comfort/security and higher needs for closure than agnostic and atheist individuals. Hypotheses also included potential interactions between these variables in predicting each faith path. Religiosity was measured using the I/E Religious Orientation Scale - Revised (Gorsuch & McPherson, 1989) and Spirituality was measured utilizing the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality (BMMRS) (Fetzer Institute, 1999). These two faith paths were also self -reported by participants after definitions of each were provided. Atheist and Agnostic beliefs were only measured through self-report. Results indicated that both measures of logic (critical thinking skills and need for cognition) and emotional comfort/security (Need to Belong and Religious Motivations) predicted various faith paths. Limitations included sample characteristics and small numbers of Atheist and Agnostic individuals. A better understanding of the motivations for choosing either spiritual or non-spiritual paths may assist in further explanation of the multiple roles each faith choice plays in individual lives.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Jenkins, Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Experimental Study of Bifurcated (Weekend and Weekday) and Unitary (Past Week) Retrospective Assessments of Sleep

Description: Discordance between weekday and weekend sleep schedules is common (Bonnet & Arand, 1995; Breslau, Roth, Rosenthal, & Andreski, 1997; Machado, Varella, & Andrade, 1998; Strauch & Meier, 1988; Tsai & Li, 2004). Brief retrospective self-report measures are essential for epidemiological research studies (Moul, Hall, Pilkonis, & Buysse, 2004), but self-reports are prone to error in recall, and the greater the variability in nightly sleep, the less reliable are retrospective reports (Babkoff, Weller, & Lavidor, 1996). More accurate self-report responses may be possible if measures prompt participants to consider variations in sleep schedules that are consistent (i.e., weekday and weekend sleep schedules). The current study experimentally examined whether Bifurcated (Weekday and Weekend) retrospective assessments of sleep are more accurate than Unitary (Past Week) assessments. Participants were randomly assigned to complete one of the two versions (Bifurcated vs. Unitary) of the Sleep Questionnaire. One hundred and thirty-one participants were included in the analyses. Results of a a series of analyses demonstrated that the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire provided more accurate and less variable estimates of total sleep time than the Unitary version of the Sleep Questionnaire. Differences between the versions of the Sleep Questionnaire for other sleep variables were less consistent, and the increased length of the Bifurcated version of the Sleep Questionnaire may have contributed to increased missing and unusable data in this group. Overall, the findings suggest that in both research and clinical work, retrospective measures that examine weekday and weekend sleep separately may offer advantages over retrospective measures that do not differentiate between weekday and weekend sleep.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Sethi, Kevin J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self-Control in Overweight and Obese Individuals: The Relationship of Dispositional Self-Control and Blood Glucose

Description: Currently, the etiology of obesity is conceptualized as a confluence of environmental, socioeconomic, behavioral, biological and genetic factors. With regard to behavioral factors, some have suggested that a failure of self-control may contribute to the difficulty of an overweight/obese individual because of their inability to resist food or maintain physical activity. Recent research proposed that self-control could be described as similar to a muscle that can be fatigued. Thus, if an individual engages in a self-control task they have lessened ability to utilize self-control on a subsequent task. Theory also suggests self-control may be fueled by a finite resource, identified as blood glucose. The role blood glucose plays is important to understand, especially in overweight and obese populations, as they may be more likely to be insulin resistant. In effect overweight and obese individuals are less likely to adequately process glucose. Therefore overweight/obese individuals might react to self-control tasks differently than normal weight individuals. Participants who were considered normal weight, overweight, and obese were recruited from the UNT research pool. They answered questions about their trait self-control in daily life and engaged in either a task that required them to exert self-control (e.g., resist crossing out a letter unless criteria is met) or a control task (e.g., cross out a letter without restriction). All participants then engaged in a subsequent self-control task to assess if engaging in the initial self-control task reduced performance on the subsequent self-control task compared to the control task. The current research findings were not in line with previous research, in that a depletion effect in self-control was not observed; in neither the normal weight individuals nor the overweight and obese groups. There were several limitations that may have contributed to these findings including; higher DSC than observed in the general population and a possible adaptation ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Edwards, Kate
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attachment Insecurity, Emotion Regulation Difficulties, and Mindfulness Deficits in Personality Pathology

Description: A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment insecurity, impairments in emotion regulation, and decreased mindfulness. Overall, the current study suggests that improving emotion regulation skills and increasing dispositional mindfulness may limit the expression of pathological personality traits. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Lewis, Jonathan James
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cognitive Engagement in Later Life: Descriptive and Explanatory Findings

Description: Findings on the relationship between engagement in lifestyle and cognitive functioning are not consistent; some authors report that engagement in lifestyle predicts an individual's cognitive functioning; while other report that an individual's cognitive functioning predicts the type and level of engagement an individual participates in. The current study will use longitudinal data (N = 235) to investigate the bidirectional relationship between engagement (engaged lifestyle activities) and cognition (crystallized & fluid intelligence). Despite inconsistent findings it is proposed that cognitive functioning may be better understood when examining how stimulation of activity, need for cognition, and openness to experience affect engagement in an active lifestyle. As such the current study will investigate if stimulation of activity, need for cognition, and openness to experience moderate the relationship between engaged lifestyles and cognitive functioning. The results, limitations and implications are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Abdullah, Bashir
Partner: UNT Libraries

Denial of Risk: the Effects of Intentional Minimization on Risk Assessments for Psychopathic and Nonpsychopathic Offenders

Description: Risk assessments for offenders often combine past records with current clinical findings from observations, interviews, and test data. Conclusions based on these risk assessments are highly consequential, sometimes resulting in increased criminal sentences or prolonged hospitalization. Offenders are therefore motivated to intentionally minimize their risk scores. Intentional minimization is especially likely to occur in offenders with high psychopathic traits because goal-directed deception is reflected in many of the core traits of the disorder, such as manipulativeness, glibness, and superficial charm. However, this connection appears to be based on the conceptual understanding of psychopathy, and it has rarely been examined empirically for either frequency or success. The current study examined the connection between psychopathic traits and the intentional minimization of risk factors using a sentenced jail sample. In general, offenders were able to effectively minimize risk on the HCR-20 and SAQ, while the PICTS, as a measure of cognitive styles, was more resistant to such minimization. Psychopathic traits, especially high interpersonal facet scores, led to greater minimization using a repeated measure, simulation design. Important differences in the willingness and ability to use deception were found based on (a) the content of subscales, and (b) the mode of administration (i.e., interview vs. self-report). The important implications of this research are discussed for risk assessment procedures regarding likely areas of deception and its detection. It also informs the growing literature on the connection between psychopathic traits and deception.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Gillard, Nathan D.
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

An Examination of Resnick's Model of Malingering: a Pai Study of Feigned Ptsd

Description: Malingered posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses a formidable clinical challenge in personal injury and disability cases because of the apparent ease in feigning PTSD and the supposed link (proximate cause) to the claimed damages. The effective assessment of feigned PTSD is particularly challenging because this diagnosis is both easier to fake than other Axis I disorders and more difficult to detect. As an additional confound, some patients with genuine PTSD produce highly variable, elevated profiles on multiscale inventories that are difficult to distinguish from feigned PTSD. The current study examined whether the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) can effectively differentiate between genuine and feigned PTSD in 109 inpatients from a trauma unit. The two most effective scales were the MAL and the NDS scales. As a primary focus, the current study was the first empirical investigation of Resnick's model of malingered PTSD that is comprised of three subtypes: pure malingering (pure-M), partial malingering (partial-M), and false imputation (false-I). The primary goal was to evaluate whether each feigning group was able to (a) effectively simulate PTSD symptoms and diagnoses and (b) avoid being classified as feigning. The partial-M group proved to be the best feigning group in achieving these two goals. Furthermore, the use of well-defined groups, including an indeterminate band (i.e., unclassified) around each cut score, was explored. Overall, the use of well-defined groups improved accuracy in classification and reduced the number of false-positives.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Wooley, Chelsea N.
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

Posttraumatic Growth: Behavioral, Cognitive, and Demographic Predictors

Description: Recent trauma research argues trauma results in distinct positive and negative consequences, however; many trauma variables positively correlate with both outcomes. This study examined posttraumatic growth (PTG) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as positive and negative trauma outcomes. Behavioral, cognitive, and demographic correlates and predictors were assessed to help clarify differences between the two outcomes. While several behavioral factors were common to both PTG and PTSD symptoms, centrality of event and problem focused coping were the strongest PTG predictors, whereas centrality of event and avoidant coping were the strongest PTSD predictors. These findings indicate while greater incorporation of a trauma/stressful event into one’s identity is a key component of both PTG and PTSD development, behavioral response may be a determining factor between growth or debilitation.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Schuettler, Darnell
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

Correlates of Video Game Addiction

Description: Video game addiction often leads to a tremendous burden on those afflicted with the condition, draining their time, resources, and life away until they have nothing left. To further elucidate the problem of video game addiction, the current research examines the level of video game addiction of 111 participants, along with their motivation for their addictive behaviors, the quality of life of addicted individuals, and possible relations between video game addiction and other forms of addiction. Results of the current research indicate a correlation between addictive video game use and depression, alcohol use, a desire for escapism, a need for social interaction, and lack of self-control. The results of a multiple regression indicate that, amongst the various research factors, depression is the factor with the most significant link to addictive video game use, implying a dangerous correlation between mental health and an addictive behavior that some erroneously disqualify as a true addiction.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Langley, Alex
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

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

Glucose As an Energy Source to Increase Self-control in Restrained Eaters

Description: Research evidence is suggestive of a strength model of self-control, also known as ego depletion, in social psychological literature. Engaging in an initial task of self-control depletes a limited resource, resulting in less self-control on a subsequent, unrelated task. The strength model of self-control has been applied to many practical, everyday situations, such as eating behaviors among dieters. Newer studies suggest that blood glucose is the resource consumed during acts of self-control. Consuming glucose seems to "replete" individuals who have been depleted, improving performance and self-control. The current study aimed to examine the effects of ego-depletion on restrained eaters. The hypothesis was that restrained eaters who were depleted by a task of self-control would exhibit more disinhibition on a taste-test task than would restrained eaters who were not depleted. However, if the participants were given glucose following the depletion task, then their self-control would be "repleted" and they would exhibit similar control to that of the non-depleted participants. Contrary to expectations there were no differences between the groups in terms of total amount of cookies consumed. These results are inconsistent with a glucose model of self-control. Suggestions for future research and implications of the findings are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Valentine, Lisa. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Response to Sexual Trauma in Relation to Event Centrality and Objectified View of Self

Description: This study examined the potentially differing emotional consequences of sexual versus non-sexual traumas in both a student and a community residing treatment seeking sample of women. The extent to which a trauma survivor considers the traumatic event central to her identity (CES) was examined as a potential mediator between traumatic events and PTSD. Additionally, the extent to which a women views herself and her body as a sexual object, to be valued based on her appearance and sexual usefulness to others (sexual self-objectification: OBCS), was examined as a potential mediator between traumatic event and event centrality. Study results showed survivors of sexual assault reported greater CES and PTSD symptoms (PCL-S) than non-sexual trauma survivors in the student population. Mediation results showed sexual self-objectification (OBCS-Shame) significantly mediated the relationship between trauma type and CES, and CES significantly mediated the relationship between type of trauma and PTSD symptoms in the student population only. Data from the community sample did not support these conclusions as women from this sample reported higher PCL-S, CES, and OBCS-Shame scores across categories of trauma.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Knowles, Laura R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Influence of Extraversion, Religiosity, and Spirituality on Health Behaviors

Description: Religion and spirituality are thought to be of great importance for the meaning and quality of life for many individuals, and research suggests that there may be important health benefits associated with religion and spirituality. Religion and spirituality should be related to health behaviors for a number of reasons. Health behaviors are important contributors to an individual's overall health, illness and mortality. Major negative health behaviors related to health outcomes are smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, risky driving, and high risk sexual behaviors. Health behaviors may also be linked to personality traits. The key trait examined for this study was extraversion. It includes adjectives such as being active, assertive, energetic, outgoing, and talkative. In this thesis, I take several hypotheses and explore the influence of extraversion, religiosity, and spirituality on health behaviors.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Jenkins, Elizabeth P.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Expectations on Attention Performance

Description: AD/HD medications are shown to be significantly more successful at enhancing attention/concentration performance in individuals with AD/HD than placebo treatments. Few studies, however, have investigated the possibility of a placebo reaction in both medication and placebo groups by comparing placebo treatments to no treatment at all. Using an undergraduate population, I evaluated the effect of expectations about a treatment's efficacy on performance in an attention/concentration task. In addition to cognitive performance outcome measures, I included several physiological measures, such as heart rate variability (HRV) through respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA). Contrary to expectations, no differences were observed in performance on attention tasks or physiological measurements as a result of the believed efficacy of an orally administered placebo treatment.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Kauffman, Erin, E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spousal Support and Diabetes Management: the Role of Gender and Religion

Description: One in four adults over the age of 60 suffers from diabetes. Around 85%-90% of individuals who have diabetes suffer from Type II diabetes. The prevalence of individuals with diabetes is expected to increase. This paper addresses the influence spousal support, friend support, and religion all have on diabetes mellitus. Gender difference in relation to spousal support benefits has also received limited attention. The limited amount of studies that have examined gender differences in relation to spousal support and diabetes management indicate that diabetic men benefit the most from spousal support due to their wives active involvement in meal preparation and grocery shopping. The results showed that neither spousal support nor religious salience was significantly related to diabetes management. There were observed gender differences in religious salience (males = 4.84, females = 5.36, p < .001) and positive spousal support (males = 3.19, females = 3.02, p <.001), but none of the major hypotheses were supported.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Estevez, Rosemary
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

Oh G-d, A Borderline: Clinical Diagnostics As Fundamental Attribution Error

Description: Researchers raise concerns that the diagnostic approach can create stigma and lead to clinical inferences that focus on dispositional characteristics at the expense of situational variables. From social cognitive theory to strict behavioral approaches there is broad agreement that situation is at least as important as disposition. The present study examined the clinical inferences of graduate student clinicians randomly presented a diagnosis (borderline PD) or no diagnosis and either randomly given context information or no context information before watching a videotaped clinical interaction of a fabricated client. Responses to a questionnaire assessing dispositional or situational attributions about the client’s behavior indicated a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder did not significantly increase dispositional attributions and did not significantly moderate the importance of contextual factors. A notable difference between the attributions made by psychodynamic and third wave behavioral respondents was observed. Conceptual and experimental limitations as well as future directions are discussed.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Schmalz, Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries