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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

Efficacy of Juvenile Offender Assessments: Utilization of Recommendations, Measurement Constructs, and Risk Factors

Description: The purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of juvenile offender assessments. Data from 104 juvenile offender assessments were analyzed and followed up with placement, subsequent offending, and outcome data from the juvenile and adult systems. Constructs consistently assessed included intellectual functioning, academic achievement, and personality functioning; however, under-diagnosis of intellectual deficits, learning disabilities, and personality disorders was found. Results indicated the assessment of family functioning, substance use, and social functioning should be included in comprehensive assessments, as they may result in alternative placement and treatment options of benefit to the juvenile offender. A juvenile offender typology proposed by DiCataldo and Grisso (1995) was successfully utilized and proved predictive of recidivism, future harm to others, and outcome.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Van Drie, Barbara G
Partner: UNT Libraries

Lipodystrophy, Body Image and Depression in Hiv Positive Black Women

Description: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seropositive men on highly active antiretroviral therapy treatment (HAART) who experience lipodystrophy syndrome (LD), a side effect of HAART, rate themselves as more depressed than those who did not experience LD(Crane et al., 2008). Furthermore, men who rated their LD symptoms as more severe also scored higher on depression measures than men who experienced less severe symptoms. It is unknown these findings can be generalized to other groups of HIV positive individuals. The current study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by exploring the associations between LD, body image, and depressive symptoms in an archival sample of HIV positive Black women. This study aims to describe the body changes associated with HAART in a Black female sample and explore the relationships between LD, body image, depression, and quality of life. Findings supported past research indicating a correlation between depression and poor body image but did not indicate that body image quality of life moderated the relationship between perceived body changes and depression. Results expanded on the literature by indicating that perceived body changes may be more distressing to Black women with HIV than objective changes. Lastly, findings suggested that Black women may have inaccurate perceptions of their own body changes. These findings are particularly informative for healthcare workers who treat HIV+ women. It is imperative that they consider clients’ self-report as well as clinical symptoms.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Carr, Jarice N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sexual and Nonsexual Boundary Violations Between Sport Psychology Professionals and Their Client-athletes

Description: Sexual attraction (SA), as well as sexual (SBVs) and nonsexual boundary violations (NSBVs), have been identified as matters of ethical concern, being viewed as harmful within mental health or counseling relationships. Much of the literature in the area of SA and SBVs has focused on the counselor-client relationship, but it has been investigated only minimally in the field of sport psychology and specifically with regard to sport psychology professionals (SPPs). Because SA, SBVs, and NSBVs between SPPs and their client-athletes seem to be potentially problematic concerns in need of empirical investigation and practical scrutiny, the aim of this study was to examine: (a) the incidence of SBV and NSBV beliefs and behaviors among SPPs; (b) SPPs' feelings regarding SA for and from client-athletes; and (c) SPPs' willingness to seek supervision to manage their SA beliefs and behaviors towards client-athletes. SPPs (n = 365) completed the Survey of Applied Sport Psychologists (SASP) via e-mail or regular mail. As expected, SPPs experienced SA (40.6%) and generally did not experience strong feelings as a result of the SA. However, of the SPPs experiencing SA, 13.5% of males and 13.8% of females engaged in a SBV with a client-athlete. NSBV behaviors and beliefs are also reported. Chi-squared analyses revealed male SPPs engaged in nonsexual touching with their client-athletes more frequently than female SPPs. T-tests suggested ethically trained SPPs were more likely to seek supervision as a result of SA and view certain NSBVs as good professional behavior in comparison to non-ethically trained SPPs. Appropriate supervision and ethical training for SPPs experiencing SA could be helpful in the management of potential future SBV or NSBV behaviors. Implications for SPPs working with athletes, limitations of the present study, and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Moles, Troy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Is Mindfulness Just Another Ego Depletion Exercise?

Description: Given increasing interest in the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness, limitations of its treatment utility are frequently questioned. As such, the purpose of the study was to examine the effects of mindfulness on a subsequent self-control task in a sample of college students. A total of 67 participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a control condition, an experimental mindfulness-only condition or a comparison expectancy-plus-mindfulness condition to investigate the utility of mindfulness practice when motivated by an outcome of increased self-control. Results did not indicate a difference in persistence on a difficult task between conditions, regardless of the manipulation. Conceptual and experimental limitations of current study’s findings, as well as future directions, are discussed.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Connally, Melissa Londoño
Partner: UNT Libraries

Acculturation and Feminist Endorsement on Control of Health and Health Behaviors in Hispanic Females

Description: Hispanic women are the fastest growing population in the United States. Thus, it is important to explore health disparities that affect this population and better understand potential causes. Several explanations have been proposed for disparities that exist including turning to cultural alternatives rather than conventional medicine, low numbers of health insurance enrollments among Hispanics, and acculturation. However, little attention has been given to explanations that take into account the unique experiences of Hispanic women. The present study explored these experiences through investigation of endorsement of feminist attitudes (e.g., gender role adherence and beliefs that men and women should be treated equally in society) and level of acculturation. Undergraduate Hispanic women (18-24 years of age, M = 20.25, SD = 1.51) at the University of North Texas completed measures including the Multidimensional Health Questionnaire, the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II, and the Liberal Feminist Attitude and Ideology Scale. Although results indicate that acculturation was not significant in the sample, feminist endorsement was found to be positively correlated with health-esteem, health-efficacy, and internal-health locus of control. Limitations and recommended directions for future research are explored.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Garner, Ashley Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Racial/ethnic Differences in Hospital Utilization for Cardiovascular-related Events: Evidence of a Survival and Recovery Advantage for Latinos?

Description: Evidence continues to demonstrate that racial/ethnic minority groups experience a disproportionate burden of disease and mortality in cardiovascular-related diseases (CVDs). However, emerging evidence suggests a health advantage for Latinos despite a high risk profile. The current study explored the hospital utilization trends of Latino and non-Latino patients and examined the possibility of an advantage for Latinos within the context of CVD-related events with retrospective data collected over a 12-month period from a local safety-net hospital. Contrary to my hypotheses, there was no advantage for in-hospital mortality, length of stay or re-admission in Latinos compared to non-Latinos; rather, Latinos hospitalized for a CVD-related event had a significantly longer length of stay and had greater odds for re-admission when compared to non-Latinos. Despite data suggesting a general health advantage, Latinos may experience a relative disparity within the context of hospital utilization for CVD-related events. Findings have implications for understanding the hospital utilization trends of Latinos following a CVD-related event and suggest a call for action to advance understanding of Latino cardiovascular health.
Date: May 2014
Creator: García, James J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Daily-collected Sleep Diaries Compared to Weekly-collected Sleep Diaries Via Actigraph Concordance

Description: Both sleep diaries and actigraphy have been recommended to assess sleep in research and clinical settings. Investigators have traditionally used sleep diaries that were completed daily by participants and collected weekly but have recently begun using sleep diaries that are both completed and collected daily. No research had previously assessed the agreement between daily-collected sleep diaries and actigraph data over one week. Undergraduate students were randomly assigned to use daily- or weekly-collected sleep diaries. Sleep parameters obtained from these measures were compared to each other via concordance with concurrent actigraph data. It was hypothesized that daily-collected sleep diaries would have greater concordance with actigraphy than weekly-collected sleep diaries. Results indicated that daily-collected sleep diaries provided more reliable data than weekly-collected sleep diaries, but the differences were not statistically significant. Additional aims examined self-reported sleep diary adherence, the participation day number, and day of the week. There were trends for the Daily group to have better adherence. Overall concordance did not change based on the day number or day of the week. Both sleep diaries yield comparable sleep parameter data, suggesting that clinicians and researchers can use either method to estimate sleep parameters.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Francetich, Jade M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Factor Analysis of Health Concerns in the Chronic Back Pain Patient-MMPI2

Description: The purpose of this study was to analyze the factor structure of items pertaining to health on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI2) for chronic back pain patients in comparison to a control group. The results may be used as groundwork for developing an MMPI2 subscale to describe this population. The groups differed in the sequence of the resulting factors and the percentage of variance accounted for by each factor. The factors extracted when evaluating the control group were titled in order: Poor Physical Health, Digestive Difficulties, Equilibrium, Depression/Malaise, and Multiple Somatic Complaints. Resulting factors for the pain group were: Depression/Malaise, Digestive Difficulties, Multiple Somatic Complaints, Headaches/Dizziness, and Neurological Reaction/Poor Physical Health.
Date: August 1991
Creator: McGee-Hall, Joanne M. (Joanne Moore)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Neuropsychological Dysfunction Associated with Dental Office Environment

Description: Five chemicals indigenous to the dental office environment that may cause toxic effects are formaldehyde, phenol, acrylic, mercury, and nitrous oxide. These chemicals create abnormal stress on physiological and psychological systems of the body resulting in symptomatology and pathology when the body defenses can no longer maintain homeostasis by adaptation. This study demonstrated serious behavioral consequences of chemical and heavy metal exposure. This study provided evidence that a significant percentage of dental office personnel who are exposed to the dental office chemicals show psycho neurological dysfunction. It was concluded that these individuals suffer adverse reactions to the chemicals in their work environment. The problem areas included perceptual motor difficulty in cognitive functioning, concern with bodily functions, despondency, and interpersonal problems.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Murry, Joe Mitchell
Partner: UNT Libraries

Test Order Effects on Children's Rorschachs

Description: Thirty-three children from a community sample, ages 5 to 13, were administered the Rorschach Inkblot Test, along with projective Draw-an-Animal and Draw-a-Person tasks and other psychological measures. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three test order conditions: Draw-an-Animal followed by the Rorschach, Draw-a-Person followed by the Rorschach, and Rorschach before any other projective test. The number of Human and Animal contents in the test records was examined. Analysis showed no significant differences among the three groups for production of the content variables, suggesting that the Rorschach Inkblot Test is relatively robust with respect to test order effects.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Coyle, Edward L. (Edward Louis), 1965-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Massage Therapy: Mind/Body Effects on Chronic Pain Patients

Description: This study assessed the influence of massage therapy on the psychobiology of chronic pain patients. A pre- and posttest design measured the effects of a one-month treatment program Twenty outpatients and twenty inpatients of two chronic pain treatment programs, were administered several psychological and physiological tests before and after the study. Experimental subjects received massage therapy twice a week for one month in addition to their other therapies. Control subjects continued with their regular treatment modalities for one month. Results showed statistically significant differences (p < .05) on 5 of the 17 psychological variables and on the electromyograph levels. Analysis of Holmes-Rahe scores suggested that these differences were not attributable to the artifact effect of differential life stress.
Date: December 1988
Creator: Lockart, Esther
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Validity Study of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale with Autistic Adolescents: Two Methods

Description: Autistic symptoms appear to change during adolescence. This study replicates an earlier one (McCallon, 1985) which attempted to validate the use of the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) with adolescents. The standard observation method of administration was used. Additionally, information obtained in structured parent interviews was used to score a CARS. Subjects were nine autistic and nine nonautistic retarded adolescents from 13 to 21 years of age. Results suggested that the CARS, administered either way, validity discriminates between retarded adolescents who are diagnosed as autistic and those with other handicaps. Methodological limitations of the present study are discussed.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Rebillet, Susan Bates
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Comprehensive Neuropsychological Screening Device for Adults: Reliability of Parallel Forms

Description: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the reliability of parallel-forms of the Comprehensive Neuropsychological Screening Device (CNS). Forty-five subjects ranging in age from 16 to 69 were administered Form A and Form B of the CNS at two week intervals. Results indicated that the CNS has adequate test-retest reliability. The results suggest the applicability of using the CNS as a screening device for brain dysfunction.
Date: December 1991
Creator: Ganci, Maria
Partner: UNT Libraries

Validity of the Health Belief Model as a Predictor of Activity in Younger and Older Adults

Description: The present investigation assessed Health Belief Model (HBM) variables and a measure of physical activity for both younger and older adults. Results of discriminant analyses suggest HBM variables and physical activity can predict age-group membership with 89% accuracy. The younger sample (n = 88; M= 21.5 years) was significantly more anxious about aging, perceived more barriers to exercise, less control from powerful others, and more social support than the older sample (n = 56; M = 71.8 years). For the younger sample, those who perceived more benefits of exercise, had social support, were male, and were less anxious about aging were more active. For the older sample, those who perceived more benefits of exercise were more likely to be active.
Date: August 1993
Creator: Weigand, Daniel A. (Daniel Arthur)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Social skills training for individuals with schizophrenia: Evaluation of treatment outcome and acquisition of social and cognitive skills.

Description: Social and cognitive skill acquisition were evaluated in 33 (male=24, female=11) outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. A social skills training treatment group (n=19) was compared to a wait-list control (n=14). Participants' mean age was 41 years, mean number of hospitalizations 10.4, and mean number of years with diagnosis 15.8. Assessment measures included WAIS-III Picture Arrangement subtest, Social Cue Recognition Test, COGLAB, WMS-III Word List subtest, and SADS-C. Results did not support the main hypotheses of improved social and cognitive skills in the treatment group. Participants with better memory and attention at pre-testing also did not show an advantage in social skills improvement. Contrary to hypotheses, the control group improved the most on some social and cognitive measures. Several supplemental hypotheses yielded the following results: lack of volunteer participation from paranoid schizophrenia individuals; evidence that schizoaffective disorder participants may be less cognitively impaired and better able to benefit from social skills training; and younger, less chronic participants with better attentional capacities may benefit most from social skills training. Findings are discussed in light of the possibility that improving social skills might not improve social and cognitive functioning, at least with the dosage of social skills training provided in this study. Limitations such as a sampling bias and small study size are also considered as possible explanations for the pattern of findings. Clinical and research implications are discussed to apply and extend the current findings.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Conner, Dianna Holden
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

Religiosity and spirituality in African American children.

Description: An exploratory study was conducted to augment the current literature on religiosity and spirituality by identifying and systematically measuring the salient variables and underlying constructs regarding spirituality and religion in African American families and their children between the ages of 7 to 12. The study examined psychosocial correlates, such as self-esteem and ethnic identity, and their impact on religiosity and spirituality. This study sought to validate the Age-Universal I/E Scale for use with African American children occurred with this study and pilot the African American Children's Ethnic Identity Scale (ACHEIDS). Through qualitative and quantitative research this study found multiple correlations associated with religion, spirituality, age, gender, aspects of self-esteem, and ethnic identity. Regression analyses were also conducted to identify predictive variables associated with the I/E.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Miesse, Colette A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Risk Factors for Vascular Dementia

Description: Dementia is a devastating disorder that commonly affects people over the age of 65. Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are the most common forms of dementias. A number of studies have implicated cardiovascular risks as important factors in the development of dementia. These risks include high-risk behaviors such as smoking and risks related at least partially to health behaviors such as diet and exercise. This study examines a group of cardiovascular risk factors, as defined by the Framingham study, to ascertain if they are predictors of dementia. A retrospective chart review of 481consecutive patients seen in a geriatric medicine clinic produced a sample of 177 individuals diagnosed with dementia and 304 individuals without a dementia diagnosis. Relative risk ratio (RRR) results indicate that a history of hypertension (RRR= 1.80, p = .009) and a history of hypercholesterolemia (RRR = 1.85, p = .016) are significant predictors of Alzheimer's disease. A history of tobacco use (RRR = 2.18, p = .01) is a significant predictor of vascular dementia. Stepwise regression analyses indicate that hypercholesterolemia is an independent predictor of dementia (b = -.113, p = .009) and hypercholesterolemia (b = -.104, p = .018) and hypertension (b = -.094, p = .031) clustered together have an additive risk factor effect. These results are discussed in terms of the importance of specific health behaviors in the development and possible prevention of dementia.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Cornett, Patricia F.
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Examination of Methodological Rigor and Its Effects on Organizational Development and Change Outcomes

Description: Organizational development and change (ODC) is a broad field because change occurs in all organizations, occurs at multiple organizational levels, consists of numerous interventions, and can impact multiple outcomes. Many ODC efforts attempt to examine the effectiveness of their initiatives, yet fail to account for the quality, or rigor of their methods. The purpose of this paper is to examine how methodological rigor and intervention implementation quality impact ODC outcomes. The results indicate that overall methodological rigor is not a significant predictor of organizational change outcomes; however, several individual rigor criteria exhibit predictive power. Implementation quality is a significant predictor of organizational outcomes, but in a negative direction.
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Date: May 2005
Creator: Alexander, Sandra G.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Minority Stress, Spirituality and Psychological Quality of Life in a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Sample

Description: Unique factors associated with the experience of spirituality and religiosity for many in lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) communities include minority stress. Using structural equation modeling, we examined whether minority stress mediates the relationship between spirituality and psychological quality of life (QOL). Results indicate minority stress mediates the relationship between spirituality and psychological QOL for gay men and bisexuals. However, minority stress is not a significant mediator for lesbians. Therefore, lesbians may experience minority stress and its relationship to psychological QOL differently than gay men and bisexuals due to higher societal acceptance. This study provides support for examining lesbians, gay men and bisexuals separately rather than as one sexual minority group.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Purser, Megan M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Positive and Negative Affect: Differential Impact of Optimism, Pessimism, and Coping in People Living with HIV/AIDS

Description: People living with HIV/AIDS (PLH) struggle with depression. Recent research suggests that depression affects medical regimen adherence, disease progression, and risky sexual behaviors. The present study uses a stress and coping theory viewing HIV-related stigma and physical symptoms as stressors in PLH. Results suggest whereas symptoms and stigma consistently predict negative affect, positive affect, and overall depression, the role of optimism, pessimism, active coping, denial, and behavioral disengagement is not as clear. Pessimism and denial predict negative affect and depression. Optimism and behavioral disengagement predict depression and positive affect. Active coping only predicts positive affect. Focusing on positive and negative affect as distinct components that contribute to overall depression may help researchers develop interventions more effectively.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: Ranucci, Melissa B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Perceived Change in Behavior Associated with Peer Feedback in Work Teams

Description: This study investigated if the use of a team feedback system resulted in peers perceiving a change in behavior. Personality variables such as conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion were examined as possible moderators. Self-ratings and peer ratings were collected from 164 individuals through the use of the Center for Collaborative Organizations' Team Feedback System. Using polynomial regression, it was determined that time 1 peer ratings predicted behavior change and the combination of conscientiousness variables moderated peer perceived behavior change.
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Date: August 2005
Creator: DeJarnett, Nicole
Partner: UNT Libraries

Decisional Balance Scale: Restructuring a Measurement of Change for Adolescent Offenders

Description: The transtheoretical model has a substantial history of measuring the change process. Hemphill and Howell validated the Stages of Change Scale (SOCS) on adolescent offenders. The current study expands their research by developing an additional component of the TTM, the Decisional Balance Scale for Adolescent Offenders (DBS-AO). This measure assesses movement through the stages of change and provides insight into mechanisms through which adolescent offenders attempt to change their criminal behaviors. Two hundred thirty-nine adolescent offenders at the Gainesville State School completed the SOCS, DBS-AO, Paulhus Deception Scales (PDS), and the Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD). The study found the DBS-AO is psychometrically sound, demonstrates excellent reliability and has an underlying three-factor solution: Cons, Pros-Self, and Pros-Others. Offenders in the early stages of change scored significantly higher on the Cons scale. Offenders actively changing their behavior scored significantly higher on the Pro-Self and Pros-Other scales.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Jordan, Mandy
Partner: UNT Libraries