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Using Relational Responding to Examine the Acquisition of Mindfulness and Meditation Material: An Analogue Study

Description: Mindfulness meditation is a growing area of interest for both mental health professionals and the general public alike. Beneficial outcomes are associated with these practices, although the variety of measurement techniques makes research difficult to interpret. Definitions of these constructs are varied, and anecdotal accounts point to the idea that many people hold misconceptions about mindfulness and meditation, even when meanings are made clear. Still, no formal research has been published on misconceptions of mindfulness – or, if they exist, how such misinformation affects acquisition of related skills. Furthermore, mindfulness has been incorporated into therapeutic modalities without much consideration for context, including the client's learning history. The current analogue study examined how the presentation of mindfulness meditations (i.e., inaccurate rationale/meditation and accurate rationale/meditation) affects an individual's practice. Specifically, self-reported mindfulness and meditation skills, mood questionnaires, a matching-to-sample task, and qualitative measurements were used to assess acquisition. Although primary hypotheses did not yield significant findings, results from both preliminary and exploratory analyses demonstrate significant findings with regard to teaching, learning, and measurement related to mindfulness meditation. The results, future directions, and limitations are discussed.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Lester, Ethan G
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating Process Variables in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Description: Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed to specifically target experiential avoidance (EA) rather than any specific diagnostic category. A functional ACT manual was presented and used to treat diagnostically diverse clients in a large sliding fee-for-service training clinic. A multiple baseline across participants and behaviors research design was used to evaluate session-by-session changes in EA, values identification, valued action, and clinical distress. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) were given to measure processes and outcomes given the functional ACT model presented in the introduction to the paper. Baseline included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II Disorders given across 2-5 50- minute sessions. The treatment phase consisted of 7-10 50-minute sessions. Participants were 10 clients. Four participants completed sufficient treatment sessions (4-9) to test the study hypotheses. Participants generally improved across time, but most improvements could not be attributed to the functional application of ACT due to changes during baseline for AAQ, VLQ-Consistency, and OQ-45. VLQ-Importance significantly improved for all participants given ACT.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Vander Lugt, Amanda Adcock
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

The Effects of Priming, Culture, and Context on Perception of Facial Emotion, Self-representation and Thought: Brazil and the United States

Description: Individualist and collectivist cultural approaches describe the relationship between an individual and his or her social surroundings. the current study had a two-fold purpose. the first was to investigate whether Brazilians, like other collective peoples, displayed more group self-representations, categorized items more relationally and paid more attention to context than Americans. the second purpose of this study was to investigate if counter-cultural primes played a role in activating either collective or individual selves. Both American (n = 100) and Brazilian (n = 101) participants were assigned either to a no-prime condition or a counter-cultural prime condition and then were asked to rate emotion cartoons, categorize items, complete the Twenty Statement Test (TST), and choose a representative object. As expected, unprimed Brazilian participants displayed more collectivist patterns on emotional (F[1,196] = 10.1, p = .001, ?²= .049; F[1,196] = 7.9, p = .006, ?²= .038; F[1,196] = 9.0, p = .005, ?²= .044) and cognitive (F[1, 196] = 6.0, p < .01, ?² = .03) tasks than Americans. However, Brazilians offered more individualist self-representations (F[1, 195] = 24.0, p < .001, ?² = .11) than American participants. Priming only had a marginal effect on item categorization (F[1,194] = 3.9, p = .051, ?² = .02). Understanding such cultural differences is necessary in the development of clinicians’ multicultural competence. Therefore, these findings, along with the strengths and limitations of this study and suggestions for future research, are discussed.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Hoersting, Raquel Carvalho
Partner: UNT Libraries

Using Pre-Session Mindfulness to Improve Session Presence and Effectiveness: A Randomized-Controlled Trial

Description: While a significant amount of research illustrates the overall positive effects of therapists' general use of mindfulness, very few studies have addressed whether therapists' use of mindfulness translates to improved psychotherapy outcomes. The present study utilized a randomized-controlled design to test whether a brief mindfulness training program and pre-session mindfulness practice could have a positive impact on therapy; in particular, we hypothesized that mindfulness training and practice would improve ratings on therapeutic presence as rated by clients and therapists and session effectiveness as rated by clients. The present study also examined whether clients' subjective ratings of therapy outcome and therapists' theoretical orientation impacted outcome measures after therapists completed mindfulness training. The 20 participating therapists were randomly assigned to either the mindfulness training (MT) group or control group according to a computer generated randomization list. Results indicated that clients did not significantly improve on outcome measures after completing the mindfulness training. Clients' subjective ratings on a psychotherapy outcome measure did predict changes in their ratings of therapeutic presence. This finding may have important implications for future research examining client characteristics that may moderate the relationship between therapeutic presence and session outcomes. Limitations of the present study and future directions are discussed.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Dunn, Rose
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

The Relation Between Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Dating Violence in a Social Information Processing Model Among Young Adults

Description: Dating violence (DV) among young adults, specifically in college settings, is a serious issue with potential severe repercussions – both physically and psychologically – for victims of DV (DV victimization), and even financially on societal institutions as a whole. Exposure to parental intimate partner violence (IPV) has been associated with DV in young adults. Such violent behaviors appear to be associated with a recurrent pattern of aggressive thought processes, content, and arousing emotions. This study investigated the mediating effects of explicit socio-cognitive processes, through the reformulated social information processing (SIP) model, and implicit cognitive processes for exposure to parental IPV on DV perpetration and victimization, as well as the moderating effects of identification with parental figures and emotional arousal for exposure to parental IPV on predicting DV perpetration and victimization. 85 college students (men n = 23, M age = 22.29) were recruited for the study and results revealed that exposure to father-to-mother IPV predicted DV victimization, and that the interaction between exposure to father-to-mother IPV and identification with maternal figure predicted DV victimization. Conversely, identification with a parental figure negatively predicted DV victimization. The results revealed that SIP processes did not mediate the relationship for exposure to parental IPV on DV perpetration, however, SIP process of aggressive responding was positively associated with exposure to father-to-mother IPV and DV perpetration. Next, interaction of exposure to mother-to-father IPV and positive affective arousal is associated with less severe SIP hostile attributions and less positive evaluations of aggression responses. Finally, implicit cognition did not mediate exposure to parental IPV and DV perpetration.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Chong, Chu Chian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Immaturity on Juveniles’ Miranda Comprehension and Reasoning

Description: Over the last several decades, researchers have documented how impaired reasoning by adult offenders impeded the intelligent waiver of Miranda rights. Logically, it stands to reason that juveniles – who are developmentally less mature and have less life experience than their adult counterparts – would possess even greater impairment, thereby heightening their risk for invalid Miranda waivers. Juvenile Miranda research supports this notion; with some researchers finding that psychosocial maturity, among other factors, affect a juvenile’s understanding of their rights. Yet, relatively few studies have examined its relation to Miranda reasoning and decision-making. Thus, the current study investigated the specific role of maturity in juveniles’ Miranda comprehension and reasoning. Participants included 236 legally-involved juveniles recruited from either a juvenile detention center or a juvenile justice alternative education program. The effects of psychosocial maturity were examined on a variety of Miranda-related measures and assessed a broad range of Miranda abilities. It was found that, in general, immature juveniles performed more poorly on all Miranda measures as compared to their mature counterparts. However, the impact of maturity varied considerably depending on the ability. Specifically, maturity was most important in the context of Miranda reasoning. As a novel addition to the literature, the current study also investigated the effects of developmental timing on maturity (i.e., immaturity-delayed versus immaturity-expected) on Miranda abilities.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Sharf, Allyson J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Interpersonal Decentering in Relationship Breakups: Social Cognitive Maturity and Distress Recovery in Young Adults

Description: The termination of a romantic relationship, be it by breakup or divorce, is a fairly ubiquitous experience. Most individuals will recover from a traumatic experience of this nature; some however, experience substantial difficulties in recuperating that persist over time. For these individuals, relationship termination can invoke a variety of negative physical and psychological health outcomes. This project examines the role of social cognitive maturity, operationalized as Interpersonal Decentering, in recovery following a relational loss. Participants in this study were assigned to a pre/post control or measurement intensive (four visits) condition over the course of nine weeks. Individuals in the latter condition completed a Stream of Consciousness (SOC) task in which they discussed their breakup experience out loud for four minutes. These narratives were then transcribed and scored using the Interpersonal Decentering manual as adapted for Expressive Writing. Results indicate that – for women only – mature social cognition is inversely related to depressive mood at the initial visit. However, it is not related to initial PSTD symptomatology for men or women, nor does it predict decreases in depression and trauma symptomatology from the initial visit to the nine-week follow-up. Implications, limitations, and future directions for research of this nature are discussed.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Tucker, Molly S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Exploration of Parenting Styles’ Impact on the Development of Values

Description: The term emerging adulthood was coined during the 21st century to describe human development between adolescence and adulthood, during the ages of 18-25 (Arnett, 2000). During this stage, individuals can explore life areas. Emerging adults beginning college have a unique opportunity to form their identities and develop value systems (Hauser & Greene, 1991). With increasing autonomy, college students have possibilities for positive development and risk; values may be imperative in that differentiation. Furthermore, value systems are believed to play a major role in decision-making (Schwartz, 1992). Parents are influential in values development (Simpson, 2001; Steinberg & Sheffield Morris, 2001). During emerging adulthood, individuals have opportunities to notice discrepancies between their parents’ value system and society. Thus, emerging adults evaluate and choose personal values, which may or may not be similar to those of their parents, peers, or broader culture. Findings from this study indicate female caregivers’ parenting styles and closeness of the parent-child relationship have significant direct effects on the degree to which values are freely chosen. Specifically, Authoritarian parenting style (β = -.43 B = -1.70, p < .001), Authoritative parenting style (β = .12, B = .53, p < .001), and Emotional Support (β = .30, B = 6.80, p < .001) significantly predicted the degree to which values are intrinsically chosen. Only one significant relationship was found for male caregivers; there was a significant positive relationship between the authoritative parenting style and quality of the parent-child relationship (β = .64, B = .10, p < .001).
Date: August 2015
Creator: Mannon, Kristi A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sleep in Early Adolescence: an Examination of Bedtime Behaviors, Nighttime Sleep Environment, and Parent-set Bedtimes Among a Racially/ethnically Diverse Sample

Description: Early adolescence (e.g., 10-14 years old) is a time during which health habits and behaviors first develop that carry over into adulthood. This age range is also a time when changes are often first observed in typical sleep patterns, such as a delay in bedtimes, decreased total sleep times, and increased sleep problems. Electronic media and social networking have become essential to adolescent interpersonal communication and are negatively associated with adolescent sleep. Room and/or bed sharing practices and having a parent-set bedtime are still common in this age range, though no study has examined the relationship between these culturally influenced practices and the sleep of racially/ethnically diverse early adolescents. The current study examined if differences exist between 1272 Caucasian, Hispanic/Latino, and African American early adolescents (ages 10-14 years) on self-reported bedtime, SOL, TST, and sleep efficiency, and whether these differences persist when taking into account presence of electronic media in the bedroom (i.e., TV, videogame console, computer, cellphone), media use at bedtime (i.e., watching TV, playing video/computer games, social networking, texting), room sharing, and parent-set bedtimes. Preliminary results showed that females reported worse sleep than males (i.e., longer sleep onset latency, shorter TST, and lower sleep efficiency, with a trend for having a later bedtime), and that African Americans and Hispanics reported later bedtimes than Caucasians, Hispanics reported shorter sleep onset latency and longer sleep efficiency than Caucasians, and African Americans reported shorter total sleep time than Caucasians. Presence of any type of media in the bedroom or use of any type of electronic media at bedtime was associated with later bedtimes and shorter total sleep times, but not with SOL or sleep efficiency. Parent-set bedtimes were associated with earlier bedtimes, longer sleep onset latency, longer TST, and lower sleep efficiency. After controlling for significant bedtime factors, only the main ...
Date: August 2015
Creator: Marczyk Organek, Katherine D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder: Gender Differences in Empathy and Alexithymia

Description: Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the importance of affective features of the syndrome in perpetuating social deviance. However, little research has directly investigated the callousness that psychopathic offenders display toward society and their victims. The current study investigated the roles of empathy and alexithymia in psychopathy among male and female incarcerated offenders, particularly in distinguishing psychopathy from antisocial personality disorder. Gender differences were also investigated. Regarding empathy, as predicted, group differences were largest between psychopathic and non-psychopathic offenders; no reliable differences emerged between psychopathic and APD-only offenders. In contrast, alexithymia robustly distinguished between offenders with prominent psychopathic traits, those with only APD, and those with neither condition. Psychopathic females unexpectedly exhibited slightly higher levels of alexithymia than their male counterparts, while empathic deficits were relatively consistent across genders. These findings are discussed in terms of improving assessment methods for the accurate identification and treatment of offenders with prominent psychopathic features.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Rogstad, Jill E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

History of Childhood Abuse and Posttraumatic Growth's Effects on Reactions to Subsequent Traumatic Events

Description: Previous research indicates that those with a history of abuse have an increased risk to experience subsequent traumatic events. This study utilized a convenience sample of undergraduate students to examine the reaction of those with a history of abuse to subsequent traumatic experiences. In addition, the study assessed the level of posttraumatic growth an individual experiences following childhood abuse. The level of posttraumatic growth was examined to determine if the growth allowed for participants to better handle successive traumas. Those with a history of abuse experienced higher levels of symptomology following a successive traumatic event. Results did not support the hypothesis that among those with a history of abuse, lower levels of posttraumatic growth would predict higher levels of symptoms following a later trauma. Implications and limitations of the study, as well as directions for future research are discussed.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Bezner, Stephanie K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Vulnerability of Self-report Measures of Psychopathy to Positive Impression Management: a Simulation Study with Inmates

Description: Psychopaths have long been characterized as having a remarkable disregard for the truth, to the extent that deceit is often regarded as a defining characteristic of the syndrome. Scholars described heightened concerns about how psychopaths’ deceitful and manipulative nature could significantly obstruct evaluations of psychopathy. The accurate evaluation of psychopathy is very important in forensic and correctional settings, and in such issues as risk assessment or dangerousness. Although the PCL-R is considered the quasi-gold standard when it comes to evaluating psychopathy, self-report measures have become more widely available and researched. Very few studies specifically evaluated response styles and self-report psychopathy measures despite the significant concerns regarding psychopathy and deception. The current study evaluated the ability of inmates with different levels of psychopathy to successfully engage in positive impression management on the SRP-4, LSRP, and PPI-R. Utilizing a repeated-measures, within-subjects design, 78 male inmates completed the study under genuine and simulation conditions. Overall, inmates were able to significantly lower their scores on all three self-report measures and achieved scores equivalent to and even lower than college and community samples. Inmates with higher levels of psychopathy were able to achieve larger decreases in scores on the PPI-R and on several scales for each measure. Another key finding was the identification of promising PPI-R Virtuous Responding Scale cut scores that can be utilized within forensic populations. Results indicate self-report measures should not be used to replace the PCL-R or comprehensive assessment of psychopathy in forensic evaluations; however, they do provide additional useful information and may be beneficial in other clinical settings.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Kelsey, Katherine R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Self Blame in Sexual Assault Survivors and Attributions to Other Sexual Assault Survivors

Description: Previous research indicates that survivors of sexual assault often blame themselves for the assault. Research has also shown that people blame the perpetrator in some situations and the survivor in other situations involving sexual assault. The purpose of this study was to discover if survivors of sexual assault who blame themselves tend to blame other survivors (survivor blame) in situations different from their own. Another purpose was to assess whether or not sexual assault survivors who do not blame themselves for their attack tend to blame other survivors. The participants' attributional style was also assessed in order to understand the relations between self-blame and survivor blame in situations involving sexual assault. Findings indicated that certain types of attributional style are related to self-blame in sexual assault survivors and blame toward sexual assault survivors depicted in vignettes. This indicates that attributional style may have important implications in the clinical setting to aid sexual assault survivors who experience self-blame, as well in educating society about sexual assault and the ultimate responsibility of perpetrators.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Pepper, Sarah E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

No place to call home: Cultural homelessness, self-esteem and cross-cultural identities.

Description: The study examined relations between a cross-cultural geographically mobile childhood and adult cultural identity, attachment to cross-cultural identities (CCIs) and self-esteem. CCIs are loosely defined identities (e.g., third culture kids [TCKs], military brats, missionary kids) that describe some individuals' childhood cross-cultural experience. The 475 participants spent at least two years before age 18 in a culture different from their parents' and completed an online survey including childhood cross-cultural experiences, Cultural Homelessness Criteria, Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and Self Label Identity Measure (SLIM) that captured strength of affirmation, belonging and commitment to any CCI. Cultural homelessness (CH) was related to lower self-esteem; higher SLIM scores was related to higher self-esteem and lower CH. TCKs reported lower self-esteem than non-TCKs and older participants experienced less CH and higher self-esteem. SLIM scores buffered the CH-self-esteem relationship, whereas a TCK CCI and having more cross-culturally experienced social networks did not.
Date: May 2009
Creator: Hoersting, Raquel Carvalho
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

Risk and Resilience Faced by Children of Deployed Service Members

Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of military deployment on children, and the roles that risk and protective factors and parenting stress play in emotional symptoms and behaviors exhibited by children while their parents are deployed. A sample of 143 parents (recruited from all branches of the military) who remained at home while their spouses were deployed completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic and background information, child internalizing and externalizing behavior, parenting stress, child adaptability, valuing behavior, family cohesion/environment, and parenting behaviors. The sample primarily consisted of mothers (n = 141) and Caucasian individuals (n = 126), which may limit the generalizability of the findings. Results of the study suggest risk factors including parenting stress, corporal punishment, length of time a parent is deployed, and type of deployment (combat vs. non-combat) were predictive of poorer child outcomes. Protective factors including values consistent behavior, child adaptability, and family cohesion were predictive of better childhood outcomes. Parenting stress served as a mediating variable between the relationship of total risk and child outcomes, while values consistent behavior served as a mediating variable between the relationship of protective factors experienced by children and child outcomes. Military deployments not only impact the service members, but also their families at home. Further study and identification of risk and protective factors faced by military children and families are imperative. Implications of findings are discussed as well as suggestions for future research concerning deployment and impact on military families (e.g. identification and empirical validation of programs to support military families.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Geddes, Jeffrey D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Randomized Clinical trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in a College Student Population

Description: Nearly 10% of college students experience chronic insomnia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi) is an empirically validated multi-component treatment that has been demonstrated to produce reliable and durable benefits in the general adult population. However, there have been no studies examining the effectiveness of multi-component CBTi in a college student population, even though many studies have examined the efficacy of single treatment modalities. These young adults are different from the general adult population because they are in a unique transitional developmental phase as they are maturing from adolescence into adulthood, they are sleepier than adults, they tend to have irregular sleep schedules, and their living situations are often different from the general adult population. In this study college students with chronic insomnia were randomly assigned to either six sessions of CBTi or a wait list control (WLC) group. All participants completed sleep diaries, sleep measures, and psychosocial measures. The results indicated students who received CBTi showed improvements in sleep efficiency (SE), sleep onset latency (SOL), number of awakenings (NWAK), time awake after sleep onset (WASO), and sleep quality (SQ). They also had decreased insomnia severity (ISI), dysfunctional beliefs about sleep (DBAS), and general fatigue (MFI), as well as increases in global sleep quality (PSQI).
Date: August 2011
Creator: Zimmerman, Marian Rose
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Parent training Protocol Based on an Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Philosophy of Parenting

Description: Thirty-four parents were referred by their CPS caseworkers to participate in one of two ACT for Parenting workshops. These workshops followed a 12 hour treatment protocol based on an acceptance and commitment therapy philosophy of parenting. Briefly, an ACT philosophy of parenting maintains that effective parenting requires awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings as they occur in the context of the parent-child relationship. An ACT philosophy of parenting also relies heavily on the identification and commitment to parenting values. Participants were asked to track acceptance and valuing behavior on a daily basis for 25 days prior to the intervention and 25 days post-intervention, as well as to complete a package of self-report instruments designed to measure both ACT specific and general psychological processes, at three different points (pre-, post- and follow-up). Nineteen parents received the treatment, and of those, seventeen provided follow-up data 3-4 months post-intervention. Results indicate statistically significant changes in the expected directions for scores on the BASC-2 Externalizing Composite as well as on the Meta-Valuing Measure. A total of 10 parents also evidenced clinically significant change in the expected directions on a variety of outcome measures.
Date: August 2011
Creator: O’Brien, Karen M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The role of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and parental misperceptions in risk for child physical abuse

Description: Voice over IP (VoIP) is a key enabling technology for the migration of circuit-switched PSTN architectures to packet-based IP networks. However, this migration is successful only if the present problems in IP networks are addressed before deploying VoIP infrastructure on a large scale. One of the important issues that the present VoIP networks face is the problem of unwanted calls commonly referred to as SPIT (spam over Internet telephony). Mostly, these SPIT calls are from unknown callers who broadcast unwanted calls. There may be unwanted calls from legitimate and known people too. In this case, the unwantedness depends on social proximity of the communicating parties. For detecting these unwanted calls, I propose a framework that analyzes incoming calls for unwanted behavior. The framework includes a VoIP spam detector (VSD) that analyzes incoming VoIP calls for spam behavior using trust and reputation techniques. The framework also includes a nuisance detector (ND) that proactively infers the nuisance (or reluctance of the end user) to receive incoming calls. This inference is based on past mutual behavior between the calling and the called party (i.e., caller and callee), the callee's presence (mood or state of mind) and tolerance in receiving voice calls from the caller, and the social closeness between the caller and the callee. The VSD and ND learn the behavior of callers over time and estimate the possibility of the call to be unwanted based on predetermined thresholds configured by the callee (or the filter administrators). These threshold values have to be automatically updated for integrating dynamic behavioral changes of the communicating parties. For updating these threshold values, I propose an automatic calibration mechanism using receiver operating characteristics curves (ROC). The VSD and ND use this mechanism for dynamically updating thresholds for optimizing their accuracy of detection. In addition to unwanted calls ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: LaBorde, Cicely T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Negative affect and positive symptoms of psychosis.

Description: The current study utilized structural equation modeling (SEM) to examine the factor-to-factor relations and temporal associations between disturbances in negative affect (NA) and positive symptoms of psychosis (PP). Data were drawn from a large, public-domain data set (MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study). A dimensional approach was used to conceptualize and identify latent variables of NA (depression, anxiety, and guilt) and PP (hallucinations, delusions, and thought disorder) among individuals with a diagnosis of primary psychotic disorder. Results showed that anxiety, guilt, and depressed mood modeled an NA latent variable, and that hallucinations and unusual thought content modeled a PP latent variable. As predicted, results revealed strong, significant cross-sectional (synchronous) associations between NA and PP at each measured time-frame, suggesting that NA and PP occurred concurrently within the sample. Contrary to predictions, no significant cross-lagged effect between NA and PP was identified (10 weeks and 20 weeks respectively).
Date: December 2009
Creator: Crutchfield, Audra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of skill maintenance, performance factors, and external validity in a behavioral parent training program.

Description: Child maltreatment affects 900 thousand children in the U.S. every year and impacts all areas of daily functioning. Behavioral parent training (BPT) programs have effectively taught parenting and demonstrated externally valid outcomes (i.e., lower recidivism rates). Skill maintenance assessments for BPTs have mixed results. The Behavior Management and Parenting Services (BMAPS) program has shown effective skill training for court-mandated families. This study assessed skill maintenance and performance factors that may have impaired parents using an ABAB single-case research design in Phase 1 & external validity with a survey in Phase 2. Results for Phase 1 found that most BMAPS parents acquired all parenting tools to criteria, dropped below criteria at the 3 month probe, then fully demonstrated their regained skills after a brief review. Psychological and classroom factors do not appear to have systematically influenced performance at any time, although homework completion was associated with better scores at the end of class. Phase 2 results found a 91% reunification rate and a 0% recidivism rate over 1-3 years. All limitations aside, it appears that the BMAPS program is able to effectively train skills to criteria and these skills can be sustained with a booster session. The vast majority of parents we contacted were reunified with their children and none were involved with additional charges of child maltreatment.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Scherbarth, Andrew J.
Partner: UNT Libraries