Search Results

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

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

An Investigation of the Phase Model of Psychotherapy Across Therapeutic Orientations: Are Different Approaches Actually All That Different?

Description: The current study investigated the process of change underlying two different evidence-based treatments that yield similar outcome effectiveness in the treatment of depression: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). The phase model of psychotherapeutic change (Howard et al., 1993) change is used to provide both a theoretical and practical framework in which to assess different patterns of change across the treatment modalities. The phase model posits that recovery from distress occurs in three sequential stages: remoralization, remediation and rehabilitation. CT can be conceptualized as a treatment in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms (remediation), whereas IPT can typically be conceptualized as focusing on interpersonal conflicts and functioning (rehabilitation). The study utilized the TDCRP dataset (Elkin et al., 1985). Survival analysis indicated no significant difference in terms of onset or pattern of improvement across treatment orientations. Chi square analyses indicated individuals treated with IPT spend significantly more time engaged in rehabilitation compared to their CT counterparts. Taken together, these findings represent evidence that the process of therapeutic change is similar, if not virtually identical, across therapeutic orientation. The analyses also indicate that the phases of therapy may not necessarily be mutually exclusive and sequential, but may instead represent co-occurring patterns of improvement which are not sequentially determined.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Herbert, Gregory L.
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

Comparing the 2010 and 2011 Appic Match: Applicant Characteristics and Unmatched Applicant Distress

Description: The internship is one of the most important components of doctoral training in professional psychology. Given the serious problem of the internship imbalance, applicant and program characteristics that constitute a good “fit” with internship training programs have become of greater interest as securing an internship becomes a more competitive process. This study surveyed internship applicants from programs part of the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology (CUDCP), before and after the 2010 and 2011 match days. Number of interview offers was found to be the factor most consistently associated with successfully matching, and several other applicant characteristics salient to matching and obtaining interview offers were identified, including applicant personality. Additionally, personal accounts, but not empirical evidence, of going unmatched have attested to the psychological distress associated with this event. in the current study, while going unmatched was not found to be equitable to a traumatic stressor, evidence was found to support significant decrease in subjective well-being with respect to immediate distress. Findings are discussed in terms of the predictability of and implications for the match process and internship imbalance, and recommendations are made for future research directions.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Hogan, Lindsey R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Intuitive Eating Scale: An Examination Among Adolescents

Description: Intuitive eating assesses the degree to which individuals eat based on physiological cues rather than emotional or situational cues. The Intuitive Eating Scale was initially developed using college women. This study extends the work of Tylka and reports on the psychometric evaluation of the Intuitive Eating Scale (IES) in a sample of 515 middle school boys and girls. Exploratory factor analysis uncovered 4 factors: unconditional permission to eat, eating for physical rather than emotional reasons, trust in internal hunger/satiety cues and awareness of internal hunger/satiety cues; confirmatory factor analysis suggested that this 4-factor model adequately fit the data after 4 items with low factor loadings were deleted. Supporting its construct validity, IES scores were negatively related to body mass index, body dissatisfaction, negative affect, pressure for thinness, and internalization of the thin ideal, and were positively related to satisfaction with life, and experiencing greater positive affect.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Dockendorff, Sally A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychological Maltreatment and Adult Attachment: The Protective Role of the Sibling Relationship

Description: A positive sibling relationship may protect individuals against poor developmental outcomes associated with psychological maltreatment. The current study assessed the moderating role of a positive sibling relationship in childhood and adulthood on associations between early psychological maltreatment and adult attachment anxiety and avoidance. College students (N = 270) completed self-report measures of psychological maltreatment, sibling relationship quality, and adult attachment. Psychological maltreatment in childhood was associated with an increase in attachment anxiety and avoidance, while a positive sibling relationship was related to a decrease in levels of attachment anxiety and avoidance. As predicted, a positive childhood sibling relationship mitigated the negative effects of psychological neglect in childhood on attachment. Similarly, a positive sibling relationship decreased the levels of attachment anxiety associated with isolation in childhood.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Collier, Laura C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory and Proposed Personality Traits for the Dsm-v: Association with Mood Disorder Symptoms

Description: The current work assesses the relationship between reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST) and Personality Traits for the DSM-5 (PID-5), to explore the degree to which they are associated with mood disorder symptoms. Participants (N = 138) from a large public university in the South were administered a semi-structured interview to assess for current mood disorder and anxiety symptoms. They were also administered self-report inventories, including the Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and Behavioral Approach System (BAS) scales and the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Results indicate that both the BIS/BAS scales and the PID-5 scales were strongly associated with current mood symptoms. However, the maladaptive personality traits demonstrated significantly greater associations with symptoms compared to the BIS/BAS scales. Results also indicated support for using a 2-factor model of BIS as opposed to a single factor model. Personality models (such as the five factor model) are strongly associated with mood symptoms. Results from this study add to the literature by demonstrating credibility of an alternative five-factor model of personality focused on maladaptive traits. Knowledge of individual maladaptive personality profiles can be easily obtained and used to influence case conceptualizations and create treatment plans in clinical settings.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kilmer, Jared Newman
Partner: UNT Libraries

Attention Biases Associated with Vulnerability to Bipolar Disorder

Description: Bipolar disorder is associated with significant social and occupational impairments, as well as increased risk for substance abuse and suicide. More research is needed to identify potential mechanisms associated with vulnerability to the disorder. Previous research has identified altered processing of emotional information in bipolar and bipolar-prone individuals, including attentional biases which appear to differ based on the current affective state of the individual. The current study applied a sensitive measure of attention (i.e., eye-tracking) to assess whether vulnerability to bipolar disorder, as indexed by hypomanic personality traits, would be correlated with biases in attention to emotional facial stimuli, independent of mood state. Hypomanic personality traits were hypothesized to be associated with greater attention to happy and angry faces, as indexed by faster initial orientation, more frequent gazes, and longer gaze duration for these stimuli. Participants completed self-report measures assessing current mood symptoms, positive and negative affect, and hypomanic personality traits. They then completed two tasks assessing attention for emotional faces. The first was an eye-tracking task, which measured latency to first fixation, total gaze duration and total number of gazes for each emotional face category. The second was a spatial cueing task which assessed both attentional engagement with emotional faces, and ability to disengage attention from this material. Hypomanic personality traits were significantly negatively correlated with latency to orient attention to happy faces. A trend toward decreased latency to orient to angry faces with higher hypomanic personality traits was also demonstrated. Hypomanic traits were not correlated with attention to sad faces. Furthermore, hypomanic traits were associated only with differences in initial orientation of attention, not with continued engagement or disengagement. The results of this study suggest that individuals with higher levels of hypomanic personality traits, who are hypothesized to be at greater risk of developing bipolar disorder, are characterized ...
Date: May 2013
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Impact of Clinician Expectations on Termination Status and Therapeutic Outcome

Description: Given the high rates of premature termination in training clinics, research aimed at understanding client attrition is urgently needed. Recent investigations in this area have implicated expectations of psychotherapy as a strong predictor of premature termination; however, this phenomenon has only been studied from the perspective of client expectations to date. There is reason to believe clinician expectations for the duration and effectiveness of psychotherapy may further impact the likelihood of their clients terminating prematurely. This study sought to address this gap in the literature by examining the association of clinicians' expectations to clients' psychotherapy outcomes and termination status in a training clinic setting. Clinicians were found to hold significantly higher expectations for client improvement than would be expected, and these high expectations were found to be positively correlated with clinically significant change in clients. Implications for improving client retention and treatment outcome in training clinics are discussed.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Connor, Dana R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Early and Current Family Environment Among Inpatient Trauma Survivors: Associations with Multi-type Abuse and Sexual Orientation

Description: The present study is an exploratory analysis of associations among sexual orientation, childhood abuse, and characteristics of both early and current family environment in a sample of 80 inpatient trauma survivors. Participants were administered a background information questionnaire, Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule, the Family Environment Scale and other instruments not analyzed in the current study. Multi-type abuse was significantly associated with low expressiveness and independence and high control in the early family, but no associations emerged with current family characteristics. Results suggest that the intergenerational transmission of family organization and moral-religious orientation occurred in the entire sample, and the transmission of family conflict patterns occurred only in the L/G/B group. Overall, participants perceived improvements in their current family environments compared to their early family environments. Findings yield support for the sexual minority stress model and mixed support for the intergenerational transmission of family characteristics.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Williams, Jennifer S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Development of Disordered Eating in Undergraduate Women: a Test of the Re-conceptualized Objectification Process

Description: The eating disorder literature has long suggested that sociocultural experiences specific to women influence development of bulimic pathology; however, models have differed on the type of experiences that are important and what other variables interact with these experiences to lead to eating pathology. Broader sociocultural theory and objectification theory represent two such differing models, and more recently Moradi hypothesized that integrating elements from both models would provide a better picture of eating disorder development. The present study, therefore, sought to compare these three different models of bulimic pathology development to determine which one provides the best explanation for bulimic outcomes. The sample consisted of 682 undergraduate women between the ages of 18 and 24, recruited from a large southwestern university. Data were collected on-line using a series of questionnaires to measure the constructs of interest and analyzed using structural equation modeling. All three models fit the data well and explained approximately 50% of bulimic outcomes; however, the model based on Moradi’s integrated model provided the most information about the relationships between constructs within the model. The development of bulimic symptomatology appears best explained by a model that focuses on the sociocultural experience of pressures about weight and body size, but also integrates aspects of objectification theory as well. Future research, however, is needed to determine if sexually objectifying experiences, if measured differently, affect women’s development of eating pathology along with pressures.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Hasbrouck, Whitney Neal
Partner: UNT Libraries

Relationships Among Self-esteem, Psychological and Cognitive Flexibility, and Psychological Symptomatology

Description: Previous findings on the relationship between self-esteem and psychological outcomes are inconsistent. Therefore it appears that self-esteem, while related to crucial variables, does not provide a clear, direct, and comprehensive prediction of psychological symptoms. Thus, it was hypothesized that the relationship between self-esteem and symptomatology would be moderated by broader measures of how one interacts with emotional and cognitive stimuli.The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of self-esteem, psychological flexibility, and cognitive flexibility on psychological symptomatology. A sample of 82 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed self-report questionnaires measuring low self-esteem, psychological flexibility, measured inversely as inflexibility, cognitive flexibility, and psychological symptoms. Results of the study suggest that self-esteem (?= -0.59, p < 0.001) and flexibility (both psychological (?= 0.36, p = 0.001) and cognitive (?= 0.21, p < 0.05) are significant predictors of psychological symptoms. In other words, self-esteem is positively correlated with psychological symptoms, while psychological and cognitive flexibility are negatively correlated with psychological symptoms. Neither form of flexibility moderated the relationship between self-esteem and psychological symptoms in this sample. The findings of the current study are discussed as well as suggestions for further research related to self-esteem, psychological and cognitive flexibility, and their impact on psychological outcomes.
Date: December 2012
Creator: Al-Jabari, Rawya, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Altruism and Depression: Exploring This Relationship and the Mechanisms Behind It

Description: The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Wright, Brittney, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Psychosocial Mediators of the Fitness-depression Relationship Within Adolescents

Description: Adolescence is a developmental period during which boys and girls are at high risk of developing major or minor depression. Increases in fitness have been associated with lower levels of depressive symptomatology and improvements in psychological well-being, yet the mechanisms that underlie this relationship have not been thoroughly examined. Three such psychosocial variables (i.e. body satisfaction, social physique anxiety, and physical activity self-efficacy) have been identified as possible mechanisms and although they have theoretical support, additional research is needed to demonstrate empirically the potential effects of these variables. Self-report measures were used to assess the psychosocial variables and the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) in conjunction with age, Body Mass Index [BMI], and sex was used to determine an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2max). Path analyses were used to test the proposed model using version 6.2 EQS Multivariate Software. Results of study revealed that the boys’ and girls’ depressive scores were determined based on the extent that their fitness levels improved their satisfaction with their bodies and lowered the anxiety they experience in relation to real or imagined judgments of their physique. Although all pathways in the model were significant, with the exception of physical activity self-efficacy to depression, differences emerged between the boys and girls in terms of the strength of some of the relations amongst the variables. Limitations include restricted generalizability, self-report measures, and cross-sectional design. Results have implications for individuals in a context intended to improve physical and psychosocial well-being of adolescents.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Sheinbein, Shelly T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Lean on Me: Social Support Compensation and Risk of Death in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes

Description: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) has an estimated incidence of nearly 11 million US adults aged 65 years and older. Evidence suggests that the quality of the marital relationship is an important factor for diabetes related health outcomes affecting self-management and adherence (Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001). However, an individual in need may compensate for primary support that is unavailable or not optimal by looking for other sources of support, which may be important for health outcomes (Rini, et al., 2008). The present study examined compensation for poor spousal support through other social relationships. A total of 12,640 participants reported they had diabetes and were married (Male = 6,317 and Female = 6,323), and of this group 1,084 men and 583 women had died over the course of the study period. Women reported lower spousal support, but significantly more aggregated social support across relationships than men. Few persons reported low spousal support and low support compensation, rendering the cell sizes highly unequal and the associated data uninterpretable. Ancillary analyses were conducted with the idea that some variance in total compensation support may moderate mortality risk finding that higher aggregated social support across non-spousal relationships was associated with lower risk of death accounting for ~3% of the variance in the final model. The current findings demonstrate how an individual can compensate for a poor primary support relationship through a broader support network. These findings should guide future research to focus on how individuals build, maintain, and seek support from social relationships.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Smith, Lauren Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Eight-Year Course of Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder with Psychotic Features

Description: The purpose of the current study was to examine neuropsychological functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features. Data from a large, epidemiological study of patients with first-episode psychosis was used to examine verbal learning and working memory 10 years after onset of psychosis in patients with BD relative to patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and patients with psychotic major depressive disorder (MDD). Cross-sectional comparisons of verbal learning and working memory at the 10-year follow-up mirrored findings of relative performance at the 2-year follow-up (Mojtabai, 2000), as patients with SZ performed significantly worse than patients with psychotic affective disorders. When FEP patients' cognitive performance was examined longitudinally, all groups showed non-significant decline over time, with no significant diagnostic group differences after accounting for current symptoms. More frequent hospitalizations and longer treatment with antipsychotics were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing 10 years after illness onset, but these associations disappeared when controlling baseline cognitive performance. Within the BD sample, current positive and negative psychotic symptoms were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing. After controlling for baseline cognitive performance, markers of clinical course were unrelated to cognitive performance, consistent with existing literature on longitudinal cognitive functioning in patients with BD. The current findings support a neurodevelopmental model of verbal learning and working memory deficits in patients with bipolar disorder.
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Date: August 2016
Creator: Bain, Kathleen Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of a Framework for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Correlates: Exploring the Roles of Narrative Centrality and Negative Affectivity

Description: Recent estimates suggest that a large percentage of the population experiences some type of traumatic event over the course of the lifetime, but a relatively small proportion of individuals develop severe, long-lasting problems (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder; PTSD). One major goal for trauma researchers is to understand what factors contribute to these differential outcomes, and much of this research has examined correlates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity. An important next step in this line of research is the development of conceptual frameworks to foster a deeper understanding of the relationships among these diverse predictors of PTSD and their predictive power in relation to each other. A framework proposed by Rubin, Boals, and Hoyle centers on the influence of narrative centrality (construal of a traumatic experience as central to one's identity and to the life story) and negative affectivity (the tendency to experience negative emotion and to interpret situations and experiences in a negative light), suggesting many variables may correlate with PTSD symptoms via shared variance with these two factors. With a sample of 477 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk, this dissertation project extended the work of Rubin and colleagues by a) utilizing structural equation modeling techniques to simultaneously examine relationships among variables, b) investigating the utility of the model with a carefully-selected list of PTSD correlates, c) extending the model by including PTSD symptom severity, and d) exploring both direct and indirect effects to assess the roles of narrative centrality and negative affectivity as they relate to known PTSD correlates and PTSD symptom severity. PTSD correlates included social support quality and quantity, peritraumatic dissociation, negative posttraumatic cognitions, perceived injustice, and negative religious coping. Hypotheses were partially supported, and there was some evidence that the model may be effective in distinguishing between variables more and less germane to ...
Date: August 2016
Creator: Southard-Dobbs, Shana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Medical Comorbidity in the Course of Bipolar Disorder

Description: Bipolar disorder is a serious illness affecting approximately 2-4% of the population and is one of the world’s leading causes of disability. In individuals with bipolar disorder, medical comorbidity associated with cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine disorders is related to increased rates of mortality. Recent updates to multi-system inflammatory related conceptualizations of bipolar disorder focus on the unique power that medical illness and biological processes may play as factors associated with course and outcome in bipolar disorder. The current study examined medical comorbidity and its associations with various demographic and psychological variables in individuals with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depressive disorder with psychotic features followed for 10 years from their first hospital admission. When compared to an age, gender and race-matched control sample from the population, those with bipolar disorder had significantly higher medical comorbidity across a range of medical diagnoses both at 6 months and 10 years after first hospital admission. Ten years following initial hospitalization, individuals in all three diagnostic groups reported increased rates of diabetes (OR: 2.0 – 3.7), stroke (OR: 4.6 – 7.0) and asthma (OR: 1.9 - 3.1), and individuals with bipolar disorder reported increased rates of cancer (OR = 2.1). A number of psychological and demographic symptoms were examined for their ability to predict the development of medical illness across the assessment interval. Overall rates of medical illness were elevated both early in illness course and 10 years after diagnosis, suggesting that broad sequelae of multi-system inflammation are present early and progress over time.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Smith, Patrick M
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating Preventative Interventions for Depression and Related Outcomes: a Meta-analysis

Description: The burden of depression requires modalities other than individual psychotherapy if we are to reduce it. Over the past two decades preventative programs for depression have been developed and refined for different populations. The six years since the last meta-analysis of preventative interventions—inclusive of all program types—have seen a number of new studies. The current study used the greater statistical power provided by these new studies to analyze moderators of, and sub-group differences in, the effect of these interventions on depression. Moreover, this meta-analysis synthesized effect sizes for outcomes other than, but often related to, depression (e.g., anxiety) and for within-group change scores with the goal of better informing program implementation and evaluation. Twenty-nine studies met inclusion criteria and indicated that small, robust effects exist for reductions in depression diagnoses and symptomatology. Significant effects were also observed for anxiety, general health, and social functioning.
Date: August 2014
Creator: González, David Andrés
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spanish Measurement of Adult Attachment: Reliability and Validity of the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale in a Hispanic American Sample

Description: Measures of adult attachment developed in English have been translated and validated in multiple Spanish-speaking countries, yet to this date no self-report adult attachment instrument has been systematically examined for validation with Latinos/Hispanic Americans. The present study examined psychometric properties of a Spanish version of a widely used adult attachment scale, the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale (ECRS), with a bilingual college student sample. Following the dual-language split half (DLSH) quantitative method of evaluating semantic equivalence, 209 bilingual, Latinos/Hispanic American college students recruited from a large public university completed a DLSH version of the ECRS (half English, half Spanish). Internal consistency reliability and DLSH reliability were within acceptable limits, although significantly smaller than coefficients of the English ECRS completed by a large Caucasian sample (n = 459); 3- to 8-week test-retest reliability was also adequate. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a two-factor solution with 35 items accounting for 40% of the variance, which was similar to the English ECRS. Convergent validity was supported by findings that showed significant associations of attachment dimensions with social self-efficacy, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and comfort with self-disclosure, but not interpersonal trust. Evidence for discriminant validity was found in that attachment dimensions were not significantly associated with social desirability. Theoretical implications, limitations, and future directions of the study will be discussed based on adult attachment theory and cross-cultural perspectives.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Shelton, Andrew J.
Partner: UNT Libraries