Thesis (MPsych(Clin))--University of South Australia, 1999
01 January 2009
Self-injurious behavior (SIB; e.g., wrist-cutting, burning) is a pervasive coping phenomenon that may be indicative of dysfunctional affect regulation and complex developmental trauma. Previous research findings identify the incidence rate of SIB to be approximately 10% to 15% of the general population with 5% to 10% of those engaging in repetitive or recurring SIB. Other sources identify approximately 2 million individuals active in this behavior within the United States; 70% of those individuals are female. However, limited research has used internet technology as a data gathering tool to access individuals who have engaged in SIB and are apprehensive to participate in face-to-face interviews. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the fundamental nature of SIB using an interpretive-phenomenological methodology via internet interviews. Data were gathered from a convenience sample of 18 adult female participants with a reported history of SIB recruited through SIB oriented websites. The data were analyzed through a phenomenological interpretive approach using axial and thematic coding. Results indicated that SIB is a method of coping with stress and emotions as well as a way to regulate and control affect from perceived historical trauma. These findings may advance empirical evaluation of SIB by expanding research designs and informing practitioners about how those who have engaged in SIB view therapeutic treatment. The positive social change implications include generating knowledge useful for program developers, educators, psychologists, and other invested professionals who search for sound, innovative ways to address SIB among women based on the words and experiences of survivors; potential long-term outcomes include improved coping strategies, reduced incidences of bodily harm and improved self-concepts.
01 January 2010
Previous research has indicated that the majority of individuals who undergo bariatric surgery have histories of psychological disorders. Only a paucity of research has examined the social and emotional effects of bariatric surgery on patients. Using Kelly's personal construct theory as the conceptual framework, this phenomenological study was designed to gain more insight into how this life-altering bariatric surgery transforms patients socially and emotionally. Fifteen participants who had undergone bariatric surgery in the past 10 years were interviewed for the study. The interviews were transcribed and coded. Similar themes found within the interviews were identified as the primary themes of the study. The majority of the participants saw themselves as "the same" in regards to their personality and sense of self, but felt different physically after undergoing surgery. With weight loss, the participants felt more confident and stable than prior to the surgery. The majority of the participants described how they felt more confident in social situations and felt as though they blended in more. This study enhances social change initiatives through allowing medical professionals, mental health professionals, bariatric patients, and the overall community to have a better understanding of the significant psychosocial changes that bariatric patients undergo after surgery. Thus, the findings of this study may aid clinicians and physicians in providing treatments and information to bariatric patients that can assist patients in adjusting and coping effectively to the social and emotional changes and challenges that they will experience post surgery.
Young, Andrea Sharee
<p>The primary goal of this study was to test the role of social determinants, including race/ethnicity, household income, and parent education in predicting child mental health services utilization. Given previously established racial/ethnic disparities in utilization of health care, we were also interested in whether parents perceived barriers to using service differed by service type (medical vs. mental health care) and whether there were racial/ethnic differences in parents' perceived barriers, attitudes about child mental health services. Lastly, we tested whether parents' perceived barriers, attitudes about child mental health services, and insurance status mediated the relationship between social determinants and child mental health service utilization. Participants were a community sample 275 parents (34.2% African American, 36.7% Caucasian, and 29.1% Hispanic) of children ages 9 - 13 years old. Parents were given measures assessing their utilization of child mental health services, beliefs about child mental health services, and perceived barriers to obtaining mental health and medical services. </p><p>Results indicated that minority parents were not less likely than Caucasian parents to seek child mental health services when controlling for parent education, household income, and child problems. Hispanic parents reported barriers as more inhibiting than did African American parents and parents overall reported greater barriers to obtaining mental health services. We found moderate support for insurance status as a mediator between being Hispanic and mental health service utilization. Parent education overall seemed to be an important predictor of child mental health services utilization; parent education predicted parents' reports of stigma and stigma was negatively associated with child mental health service utilization. Potential implications these findings might have for policy and practitioners and directions for future research are discussed. Specifically it may be important to strengthen trust of mental health care providers, increase cultural sensitivity and awareness of parents' attitudes for practitioners, and educate parents about health insurance options and about mental health and mental health care in general.</p> / Dissertation
Classification accuracy of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) in detecting noncredible cognitive performance in neuropsychological outpatientsWardin, Lydia 01 October 2015 (has links)
<p> The current study sought to examine the classification accuracy of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) as an embedded performance symptom validity test (PVT) among three different samples. The sample of interest included 110 participants with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). For comparison, the study included 69 participants with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) (STBI) and 155 non-neurological patients with mixed depression/anxiety psychiatric diagnoses (PSYCH). Furthermore, a logistically derived combination of Number Correct, Perseverative Responses, and Trials to First Category was created as an additional predictor variable named WCSTCOMB. Results indicated significant group differences between the credible performance (PASS) and non-credible performance (FAIL) groups for the PSYCH sample in the following variables: Number of Trials, Total Errors, Perseverative Errors, Perseverative Responses, Number of Categories Completed, and WCSTCOMB. Significant group differences in the STBI sample were found in the following variables: Number of Trials, Total Errors, Perseverative Errors, Perseverative Responses, Number of Categories Completed, and WCSTCOMB. The study found no significant differences in the WCST variables between the PASS and FAIL groups in the mTBI sample. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis found that Perseverative Responses and WCSTCOMB had acceptable classification accuracy of at least .70 in the PSYCH group. In the STBI group, ROC analysis found that the following WCST variables had at least acceptable classification accuracy of at least .70 for the following: Number of Trials, Total Errors, Perseverative Errors, Perseverative Responses, Number of Categories Completed, and WCSTCOMB. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive power, negative predictive power, and recommended raw cutoff scores were provided for WCST variables with acceptable classification accuracy. Acceptable classification accuracy was not found among any WCST variables in the mTBI sample. Results do not provide support for the WCST as an embedded PVT among those with mTBI. However, results did provide support for the WCST as embedded PVTs with populations with moderate to severe TBI and depressed/anxious outpatients.</p>
Schaefer, Lauren M.
01 January 2013
The Physical Appearance Comparison Scale (PACS; Thompson, Heinberg, & Tantleff, 1991) is a widely used 5-item measure that assesses an overall tendency to compare one's own appearance to the appearance of others in social situations. Research using the PACS and other measures of appearance comparison has shown this construct to be related to higher levels of body dissatisfaction and eating pathology. However, the measure is limited in that it only assesses comparison tendencies within a narrow range of social contexts and body sites. In the current investigation, the PACS was revised to examine a broader range of social contexts (e.g., in public, at work or school, at the gym, etc.) and dimensions of appearance (e.g., body shape, weight, body fat, etc.). The PACS-R was administered to 1,176 college females, along with measures of body satisfaction, eating pathology, sociocultural influences on appearance, and self-esteem. In Study 1, exploratory factor analysis and parallel analysis using one half of the total sample was conducted. Results indicated that a single factor should be retained. Study 2 utilized the remaining half of the total sample to conduct confirmatory factor analysis, item analysis, and to examine the convergent validity and predictive validity of the PACS-R. Modification indices from the confirmatory factor anlaysis indicated several pairs of items with correlated errors, and were used to guide elimination of highly redundant items from the scale. These analyses resulted in an 11-item scale that demonstrated excellent internal consistency, as well as significant associations in the hypothesized direction with measures of body satisfaction, eating pathology, sociocultural influences on appearance, and self-esteem. Regression analyses demonstrated the utility of the PACS-R in predicting theorized outcomes (i.e., body satisfaction and eating pathology). Overall, results indicate that the PACS-R is a reliable and valid tool for assessing appearance comparison tendencies in women.
Processes and mechanisms of change in integrative behavioral couple therapy| A case study of one couple with distress over child rearingSchachter, Jessica S. 01 August 2015 (has links)
<p> Marital distress is common and can have a tremendous influence on an entire family. Spousal conflict related to children is known to have a particularly negative impact on both the parenting and marital relationship. A number of evidence-based therapies exist to support couples in need including integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT; Jacobson & Christensen, 1998), which focuses on emotional acceptance and behavior change as mechanisms that improve marital satisfaction. While IBCT is well documented as an effective treatment with lasting outcomes (Christensen, et al., 2004), how and why IBCT works remains less clear. The current study used qualitative methodology to increase understanding of IBCT and expand upon literature related to marital conflict and child rearing. Recommended case study methods were combined with the spirit and steps of discovery-oriented research to provide a rich description of change processes and mechanisms associated with therapeutic progress. The research questions posed in this study were designed to mirror the components and phases of the Doss (2004) framework for studying change in psychotherapy, and were addressed in the context of a selected course of IBCT for a couple who presented with conflicts about child rearing. Results included detailed reports of the client and therapy change processes, change mechanisms, and treatment outcomes for the selected couple. These results revealed that acceptance growth and behavior change taking place over the course of therapy lead to increased marital satisfaction and a reduction of conflict related to child rearing. Important findings about how and why IBCT works were discussed. Future research might examine change processes in unsuccessful treatments so as to continue to refine therapies and expand upon knowledge of how and why therapies work.</p>
Burke, Hillary Saasha
28 August 2015
<p> This study examines the lived experience of families who engage in nature. While an emerging research base is developing concerning the impact of natural settings on well-being, this study seeks to add to nascent clinical literature by using phenomenological methods, with the goal of revealing and explicating the constituents of the essence of an experience in nature. In all, 13 participants were recruited, 7 of whom were female and 6 of whom were male, across 5 different families. While each individual participant’s experience was unique, 13 key constituent themes emerged from the study. These themes included (a) positive impact on one’s state on being, (b) elicitation of a special and unique feeling, (c) expectancy and frequency of outings, (d) heightened feelings of familial connection and closeness, (e) vivid memories of nature experiences, (f) caution toward dangerous aspects of nature, (g) recommendations to build capacity of outings, (h) increased physical activity, (i) lack of distractions innate to the experience, (j) intention and planning, (k) a respect for and desire to protect nature, (l) enhanced communication in nature, and (m) a desire to share aspects of nature with others.</p>
01 August 2001
Belief in parapsychological/paranormal phenomena is widespread in the American public (Gallup & Newport, 1991). Messer and Griggs (1989) reported that misinformation through the media, including uncritical reports of events and pseudodocumentaries about paranormal phenomena, is a possible reason for the substantial belief in the paranormal evidenced by the American public. The realm of the parapsychological is a particularly important area of research, especially to those who teach psychology. Messer and Griggs (1989) provided evidence that the prevalence of belief in the paranormal was also rather extensive in a sample of college students. Belief and involvement in certain paranormal phenomenon has been correlated with lower grades in an introductory psychology class (Messer & Griggs, 1989). Furthermore, Singer and Benassi (1981) proposed that the level of paranormal belief in the general public should be used as an index of social dislocation and of the inadequacy of the U.S.'s program of science education. Since discussions of the parapsychological/paranormal are most likely to occur in psychology classes, it is important that teachers have methods that they can employ to help their students become skeptical consumers of paranormal claims. Previous researchers have demonstrated that skepticism of paranormal claims can be increased among traditional and nontraditional college samples; however, they did so using elaborate or time consuming procedures (Banziger, 1983; Morris, 1981). This study was designed to examine the effects of exposure to skeptical inquiry on the paranormal beliefs of college students. The researcher assessed the effectiveness of a short video presentation, depicting skeptical explanations of certain paranormal phenomena, on increasing students' skepticism towards claims of the paranormal. Eighty-seven students from various psychology courses served as the participants. Five days prior to their viewing of the video, students were required to complete a series of questionnaires including the Anomalous Experience Inventory (AEI), the Paranormal Belief Scale (PBS), and a General Questionnaire (GQ). Since the AEI and the PBS were found to significantly correlate, the participants were initially classified as believers or skeptics based on their responses to the AEI. After viewing the video, the participants were again asked to complete the AEI and the PBS. Paired t-tests were employed to analyze the pre and posttest PBS scores of the believers and skeptics to determine the effects of exposure to the video. Analysis of the data revealed that the video was effective in increasing skepticism of paranormal phenomena among those initially classified as believers.
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