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The impact of organizational learning and training on multiple job satisfaction factors.

Description: This study explored benefits of providing employee training and development beyond the specific content covered in such interventions. The relationship between training and development opportunities, and associated factors (job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intent) were significant among participants. Implications for training and development investment returns are considered. Previous research has identified training and development as an antecedent to perceived organizational support. Results failed to confirm perceived organizational support as mediating the relationship between training and organizational commitment. Age was found to be significantly correlated with job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intent, while education level was not found to have an impact. Limitations of this study, practical implications and recommendations for further study are discussed.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Barcus, Sydney Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Differential Scoring Patterns on the Clock Drawing Test: a Comparison of Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer's Dementia.

Description: This study examined differences in scoring patterns among those diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia and vascular dementia on the clock-drawing test. Archival clock drawing data was retrieved on 279 patients presenting at a county hospital-based memory clinic. Analysis of drawings was based on frequency of qualitative errors, as well as an overall quantitative score. Mean comparisons found those patients with Alzheimer's dementia to perform worse on both quantitative and qualitative scoring measures. However, Pearson's chi-squared test revealed a significantly higher rate of spacing errors among subjects with vascular dementia. Such lends support to my hypothesis that impaired executive functioning in vascular dementia patients would lead to poor qualitative performance. Logistic regression found significant predictive ability for the qualitative criteria in diagnosis (χ2 = 25.49, p < .001), particularly the rate of omission (z = 8.96, p = .003) and addition errors (z = 7.58, p = .006). Such findings hold important implications for the use of qualitative criteria in cognitive screening assessments.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Everitt, Alaina
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

The Effects of Defensiveness and Social Desirability on the Reporting of Personality Traits

Description: Psychological assessment relies on accurate and forthright reporting to determine valid clinical presentations. However, it has long been recognized that examinees may be motivated to present a "better picture" through Positive Impression Management (PIM). Within the PIM domain, two distinct motivations (i.e., defensiveness and social desirability) emerge that have not been clearly differentiated in empirical literature. This thesis addressed the research gap for detecting PIM distortion of personality pathology, utilizing the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). In this investigation, 106 psychiatric inpatients were recruited from the adult Co-Occurring Disorders and Trauma Programs at University Behavioral Health. Using a mixed within- and between-subjects design, participants engaged in simulation via scenarios to be considered for a highly valued rehabilitation program (defensiveness) or employment (social desirability). As expected, inpatients showed elevated levels of problematic personality traits when reporting genuinely, but suppressed them under PIM conditions. These findings highlight that the PID-5, like all multiscale inventories, is highly vulnerable to intentional PIM distortion. Interestingly, respondents in the social desirability condition generally engaged in more total denial than those in the defensiveness condition. Empirically- and theoretically-based validity scales were developed to identify simulators and differentiate between conditions. Besides PIM, higher levels of experienced stigma were associated with more personality pathology, particularly the domain of Detachment. In addition, ancillary analyses showed strong convergence of the PID-5 with its hierarchical trait model to the DSM-IV categorical model. Continued research to detect PIM distortion, and more importantly to differentiate between PIM motivations, is essential for accurate clinical assessment of personality disorder traits and effective treatment planning.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Williams, Margot Maryanne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Culture and Mental Health Help-Seeking Attitudes in Mexico.

Description: This study was designed to investigate 1) the cultural factors involved with Mexican citizens' attitudes toward seeking professional psychological help and 2) Mexican citizens' explanatory models of mental distress. Questionnaire data from 110 Mexican college students indicate that those who report a higher tolerance for stigma report lower endorsement of both the construct of personalismo and the machismo. Respondents who reported more interpersonal openness also reported a lower endorsement of the machismo construct. Participants from a large city reported significantly more stigma tolerance than those from a small city. Regression analyses reveal machismo as a significant predictor of stigma tolerance. Qualitative data was collected to provide additional in-depth information. Study results could be used to provide culturally appropriate mental health services.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Gomez, Steven David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Husband's and Daughter's Role Strain During Breast Cancer Hospice Patient Caregiving and Bereavement Adjustment

Description: Current literature regarding caregiver bereavement adjustment has advanced two competing models explaining adjustment in relation to caregiver interrole conflict: the Relief Model and Complicated Grief Model. This research has primarily focused on the experience of those providing care to dementia patients. This study tests these competing models of bereavement adjustment for husband and daughter caregivers of breast cancer hospice patients. For husbands, greater psychological strain and health strain were predictive of greater difficulty with bereavement adjustment, supporting the Complicated Grief Model of bereavement adjustment. For daughters, strain was not a significant predictor of bereavement adjustment, and thus did not support either bereavement adjustment model. While daughter caregivers experienced more role strain than husband caregivers during patient care, the degree of role strain was predictive of bereavement adjustment for husbands but not for daughters, suggesting that relationship type (husbands versus daughters) between caregiver and patient impacts which factors influence bereavement adjustment.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Bernard, Lori Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Application of a Health Service Utilization Model to a Low Income, Ethnically Diverse Sample of Women

Description: A model for health care utilization was applied to a sample of low income women. Demographic Predisposing, Psychosocial Predisposing, Illness Level, and Enabling indicators were examined separately for African American (n = 266), Anglo American (n = 200), and Mexican American (n = 210) women. Structural Equation Modeling revealed that for African American and Anglo American women, Illness Level, the only significant path to Utilization, had a mediating effect on Psychosocial Predisposing indicators. The model for Mexican Americans was the most complex with Enabling indicators affecting Illness Level and Utilization. Psychosocial Predisposing indicators were mediated by Illness Level and Enabling indicators which both directly affected Utilization. Implications of the results for future research are addressed.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Keenan, Lisa A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Depression, Activities of Daily Living, and Retirement

Description: Depression is a common clinical and subclinical psychiatric disorder in the middle-age to older adult population. This study examined the relationship between depression and activities of daily living (ADLs) in middle-age to older adults. This study examined longitudinal data from the 1998, wave 4, and 2000, wave 5, of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a National Panel Study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. A negative cross-sectional and longitudinal relationship between higher ADL scores and depression was hypothesized. A goal of the present study was to determine the temporal precedence of these two constructs using a cross-lag panel design to first examine the cross-sectional relationship between ADLs and depression at time-one and at time-two, and then the time-one to time-two longitudinal relationships to examine temporal precedence possible causal relationships. Finally, differences in these correlational relationships by retirement status and then by marital status were tested. There were several interesting findings, including those who were retired in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs (i.e., worse functioning), but also reported better health than those who were working in both 1998 and 2000. Similarly, those people who were not married in both 1998 and 2000 reported fewer ADLs but better health than those who were married in both 1998 and 2000. Married individuals reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who were not married.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Jackson, Lauren Innes
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stories: A Revision of the Willingness & Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (WAM-C/A)

Description: In its earliest stages, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999) with youths appears to be a promising therapeutic approach. Experiential willingness and committed action are two foci of ACT, making their assessment an integral part of therapy. Field tests have found validity problems with the Willingness and Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (WAM-C/A). The current study utilized the Story Version of the Willingness and Action Measure for Children and Adolescents (SWAM-C/A). Results supported the relationship between the SWAM-C/A and measures of experiential avoidance and mindfulness. Factor analysis indicated the presence of several distinct willingness and action factors. These results support the need for continued work on measurement of willingness and action in youth.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Larson, Christina Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

Historical Changes in Elderly Cohorts' Attitudes toward Mental Health Services

Description: Older adults' attitudes toward mental health services have received little research attention. Overall, older adults are thought to hold relatively negative attitudes. In this study, Analysis 1 investigated historical shifts in attitudes toward mental health services among three independent samples of older adults, separated by 14-year and 9-year intervals (1977 sample, N = 90; 1991 sample, N = 101; 2000 sample, N = 99). Analysis 2 compared two samples of older and younger adults, each separated by a 9-year interval (Older Adults: 1991 sample, N = 93; 2000 sample, N = 91 and Younger Adults: 1991 sample, N = 131; 2000 sample, N = 147). Participants completed a questionnaire containing five, internally consistent scales assessing multiple dimensions of mental health attitudes (Openness, Biases, Range of Knowledge, Breadth, Help Seeking Attitudes). Analyses suggested that the 1991 and 2000 samples of older adults had more positive attitudes than did the 1977 sample. However, a sustained trend for more positive attitudes beyond 1991 was not seen. In fact, no differences existed between 1991 and 2000 samples with exception of two. Older and younger adults together had lower Biases and Breadth scores in 2000 than in 1991. Age effects, gender effects, and interactions were also examined. Possible historical influences were discussed along with implications for the delivery of mental health care to future cohorts of older adults.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Currin, James B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychological and Sociodemographic Predictors of Psychological Distress in BRCA1 and BRCA2 Genetic Testing Participants within a Community Based Genetic Screening Program

Description: Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the first two breast cancer susceptibility genes identified, carry as much as an 85% lifetime risk of developing breast, ovarian or other cancers. Genetic testing for mutations in these two genes has recently become commercially available. There have been varying amounts of psychological distress noted among women with a family history of breast cancer. Distress has been observed to impact psychological functioning, activities of daily living, and the practice of breast cancer surveillance behaviors. Within the genetic screening process, psychological distress has been shown to impact the decision to undergo genetic screening, the comprehension and retention of risk assessment information, as well as affecting the subject following the receipt of the genetic test results. Little work has been done to examine predictors of distress within at risk subjects. This study examines psychological distress among 52 community women presenting for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutation testing. Predictors of distress included family cancer history, education, age, Ashkenazi ethnicity, and Internality and Powerful Others Health Locus of Control. Vulnerable sub-groups of patients include younger women, women with higher levels of education and women of Ashkenazi ethnicity.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Lesniak, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Assessment of Feigning with the Trauma Symptom Inventory: Development and Validation of new Validity Scales with Severely Traumatized Patients

Description: Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Payne, Joshua W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Methodological Issues in Malingering Research: The Use of Simulation Designs

Description: The accurate determination of malingering relies on the use of validated and clinically relevant assessment measures. Simulation design is the most often-used research design to accomplish this. However, its external validity is sometimes questioned. The goal of the thesis was to systematically evaluate these major elements: situation, incentives, and coaching. The situation in simulation studies can vary from relevant (academic failure in a college population) to irrelevant (capital murder) for the samples being studied. Incentives refer to the external motivation given to improve simulators' performance and can be positive (extra credit and monetary reward) or negative (extra time and effort). Finally, coaching refers to whether the participant receives any information on detection strategies that are designed to identify feigners. Using a large undergraduate sample in a factorial design, results indicate that a scenario familiar to the participants generally improved the believability of their responses. Coaching also improved the ability to feign convincingly, while incentive type was not associated with any change in scores. The implications of these findings for future research designs and the connection to practice are discussed.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Gillard, Nathan D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Competency to Stand Trial: A Systematic Evaluation and Validation of the GCCT, MacCAT-CA, and ECST as Competency Measures

Description: Competency to stand trial cases constitute the largest percentage of forensic referrals for clinical psychologists. Furthermore, research suggests that the use of forensic measures facilitates the decisions of competency made by forensic examiners. This study investigated the construct validity of three competency measures: (a) the GCCT-MSH, (b) the MacCAT-CA, and (c) the ECST with 100 adult males incarcerated at the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, TX. Construct validity was investigated via the use of a multitrait-multimethod research design for the three-prong conceptualization of the Dusky standard. Results indicated that current competency measures do an adequate job of assessing for factual understanding, but lack construct validity for two prongs: rational understanding and the ability to consult with counsel. In addition, the atypical presentation scales of the both GCCT and the ECST performed well at screening individuals for feigning. Finally, prediction of competency from clinical variables was also investigated. Psychotic symptoms and overall impairment were the strongest predictors of incompetency.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Grandjean, Nicole Rae
Partner: UNT Libraries

Validation of clinical screens for suicidality and severe mental disorders for jail inmates.

Description: Psychologists and other mental health professionals working in correctional institutions bear the considerable responsibility for identifying, diagnosing, and treating mentally disordered inmates. The importance of these responsibilities has been recognized in recent years because of the burgeoning population of inmates in general and the higher numbers of inmates with mental illness in particular. Research has demonstrated that the screens currently used in correctional settings to identify mentally disordered and suicidal inmates are either unvalidated or generally ineffective. This study investigates the validity of different mental health screens in a jail population. Inmates from the Grayson County Jail were administered three screens: the Referral Decision Scale (RDS), Personality Assessment Screener (PAS), and the Mental Disability/Suicide Intake Screen (MDSIS). Criterion measures were the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (SADS) for Axis I disorders and the Suicide Probability Scale (SPS) for suicidal ideation. Results indicate that each screen most effectively assessed one clinical domain: the RDS for psychosis, the MDSIS for suicidality, and the PAS for depression. Gender differences were observed in screen items most effective for classifying inmates by suicide risk level.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Harrison, Kimberly S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An exploration of parental sensitivity and child cognitive and behavioral development.

Description: The current study attempted to show the relationship of paternal sensitivity and maternal sensitivity and their possible influences on child cognitive and behavioral development. This study used data collected as part of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care, which is a longitudinal, multi-site study. Correlation and regression analyses were computed to examine relationships between the variables at child age 6 and 36 months. Results indicated paternal sensitivity was a significant positive predictor of child cognitive abilities and a negative predictor of both fathers' reports of children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Maternal sensitivity was a significant negative predictor of mothers' reports of children's externalizing behaviors. Interpretations of these results and directions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Ingle, Sarah J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Biopsychosocial Approach to Understanding, Subtyping, and Treating Depression: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey - Replication.

Description: The most effective and useful way to diagnose and subtype depression has been a long debated topic which even now does not have a definite answer. The biopsychosocial approach to diagnosis may be a solution to this problem by linking various etiologies to symptom presentation. The biopsychosocial model, in regard to depression, takes into account biological risk factors/contributors, psychological or cognitive risk factors/contributors, and social risk factors/contributors to depression when making diagnosis and subtyping determinations. However, the most effective way to use this model in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of depression is not yet clear. In this study, the utility of the biopsychosocial model as an effective approach to conceptualizing and treating depression was assessed by testing hypotheses that showed that etiological contributors are related to the presence and differential presentation of depression, and that these etiologically-based subtypes of depression respond differently to different forms of treatment. These hypotheses were tested using data from the National Comorbidity Survey - Replication (NCS-R). Results showed that the biopsychosocial model can effectively predict the presence, severity and chronicity of depression, and may inform specific biopsychosocially-based subtypes. No conclusions could be drawn regarding success in treatment based on the biopsychosocial model. Future directions for research based on the current study are discussed.
Date: May 2011
Creator: McGill, Brittney C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceptions of Control and Social Support: Correlates of HIV-Related Self-Efficacy

Description: This study examines the extent to which locus of control and social support are linked to self-efficacy with regard to disease management in HIV-positive adults. Perceived ability to effectively manage illness was measured with the Self-Efficacy for Managing Chronic Disease Scale. Scores from the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and the Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale were used as predictors. The gender-balanced sample (N = 69) of HIV+ adults was primarily African-American (65.3%) and European American (30.5%), with a mean age of 47 years (SD = 8.37). Correlational analyses suggested significant positive relationships between self-efficacy, social support, and locus of control due to powerful others. A regression analysis found that the model accounted for 23% of the variance in self-efficacy (adj. R-squared =.23, F (5, 63) = 4.81, p < .01), with social support (&#946; = .37, t = 3.28, p < .01) and locus of control (&#946; = .25, t = 2.26, p < .05) both significant predictors. Results suggest that social support and locus of control contribute to the belief that HIV can be managed. Interestingly, an external locus of control contributed to this belief, perhaps due to the perception of a physician, religious icon, or partner as a "powerful other." Results suggest that a strong supportive relationship with a trusted other along with enhanced social support typically associated with group-based interventions may improve health outcomes by increasing self-efficacy in disease management in HIV-positive adults.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Lopez, Eliot Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries

Executive Control of Craving: An Examination of College Students

Description: Previous research has shown that alcohol abuse may cause a deficit in frontal lobe functioning, specifically, areas of the frontal lobe that are related to executive function. Additionally, problems with executive function have been related to increased difficulty in managing cravings to addictive substances. The current study explored the relationship between alcohol use and performance on measures of executive functioning in a sample of 121 traditional college students. Students were given 5 measures of executive function designed to explore mental set shifting, updating, inhibition, sustained attention, and planning. These measures were used to examine the relationship between executive function and craving as measured by the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale. Levels of alcohol use were also examined using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in relation to executive function performance and family history of alcohol abuse.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Yates, Robert Dean, III
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating Social Factors in Diabetes Management by Mexican American Ethnicity

Description: Differences in Mexican American ethnicity, family and friend social support, and importance of diabetes self-management as related to diabetes management in the older adult population were evaluated with the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS) 2003 Diabetes Study. Comparisons were made between Mexican Americans with Type II diabetes and similar non-Hispanic Caucasian and African American individuals with Type II diabetes. Neither family/friend social support nor importance of diabetes self-management were significant predictors of HbA1c levels. Results did not support the idea that perception of receiving support from family/friends or placing importance on diabetes self-management covaried with lower HbAlc level (family/friend: beta = -.13, t = -1.47, p = .143; self management: beta = .08, t = .55, p = .584).
Date: December 2010
Creator: Huerta, Serina
Partner: UNT Libraries

Neuropsychologic correlates of a normal EEG variant: The mu rhythm.

Description: Although the mu rhythm is traditionally defined as a normal EEG variant, recent evidence suggests that mu may have functional significance in a variety of disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis. While an increasing number of articles have focused on the blocking mechanism of mu in relation to various cognitive processes and disorders, few have examined the significance of a prominent mu rhythm in the background EEG. A few studies have examined the relationship between the mu rhythm and psychological disturbance, such as attentional and affective disorders. Increasing evidence suggests that EEG and qEEG variables may be useful in classifying psychiatric disorders, presenting a neurophysiological alternative to traditional symptom-based diagnosis and classification. Thus, the intention of the present study was to examine the relationship between neuropsychological variables, gathered from multiple assessment sources, and the presence of a prominent mu rhythm in the EEG. Results did not show a statistically significant difference between individuals with and without a prominent mu rhythm on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA); although individuals in the mu group showed a pattern of increased impulsivity and performance decrement over time. For adults, no significant differences were observed between groups on psychological variables measured by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2). However, for children, the mu and control groups differed on several behavioral and emotional variables on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results are examined in the context of other research and clinical implications are discussed.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Simms, Lori A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Longitudinal Study of Loneliness and Depression as Predictors of Health in Mid- to Later Life

Description: The longitudinal relationship between loneliness and depression as predictors of chronic health conditions in middle-aged to older adults was investigated utilizing data collected by the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a national representative longitudinal study of health, retirement, and aging, conducted by the Institute for Social Research (ISR) Survey Research Center (SRC) at the University of Michigan, funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. The correlation between these loneliness and depression was moderate (r = .32 to r = 51). The single-item subjective self-report of loneliness was found to be an adequate measure of loneliness. A cross-lagged panel correlation and regression design was used to examine the longitudinal relationship between loneliness, depression, and chronic health conditions. A temporal precedence was indicated implying a causal relationship with depression leading to subsequent loneliness. The relationship between recurring loneliness and chronic health conditions was weak (r = .13).
Date: May 2008
Creator: Chlipala, M. Linda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predicting Counter-Productive Workplace Behavior: Item Level Analysis of an Integrity Test

Description: Counter-productive workplace behavior (CWB) is defined as any intentional behavior on the part of an organization member viewed by the organization as contrary to its legitimate interests. A growing body of literature reveals that individual variables and pre-employment integrity tests can play a strong role in the prediction of CWB. The empirical literature has failed to clarify which type of individual level antecedents, or types of integrity test items, are more predictive of CWB. The current study evaluated data collected from restaurant employees (N=464) that measured items relating to personality tendencies, attitudes toward acceptance of counter-productive behaviors, work and high school background, and admissions of counter-productive behavior. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed a mediocre fit to a typology of CWB (interpersonal CWB vs. organizational CWB). Correlation analysis revealed that only specific attitudinal items and empirically keyed biodata items were significantly related to CWB. Hierarchical regression analysis found that attitudinal items paralleling admissions of CWB contributed variance beyond that of other personality and work and high school background antecedents.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Impelman, Kevin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Childhood Learning: Examining Attitudes toward School and Learning Ability

Description: A child's ability to learn in school and school performance are affected by various factors. Variables that affect learning and academic performance in 46 children, 4 - 7 years old, were examined. Children, parents, and teachers completed questionnaires rating children's attitudes and behavior toward school. Children completed a computerized matching-to-sample (MTS) task. The MTS trained the children to form 3 stimulus classes. One stimulus class included three arbitrary stimuli, the others contained a positively or negatively valenced stimulus, a school-related stimulus, and an arbitrary stimulus. Class formation performance was assessed. Rate of learning predicted attitudes toward school, school attitudes predicted academic performance; however a hypothesized mediation effect of attitudes was not demonstrated. No significant differences in rate of forming stimulus classes containing emotionally valenced and school stimuli were found. Future directions for intervention in the early education of students who have poor attitudes toward school are discussed.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Geddes, Jeffrey D.
Partner: UNT Libraries