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Psychology

Utah State University

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Tacting Of Function In College Student Mental Health: An Online And App-Based Approach To Psychological Flexibility, Benjamin Pierce Dec 2019

Tacting Of Function In College Student Mental Health: An Online And App-Based Approach To Psychological Flexibility, Benjamin Pierce

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Mental and emotional health concerns among college students are prevalent and diverse in their symptom presentations. With increasing demands on counseling centers to provide efficient care and to address students with higher acuity or risk for harm, there has been an increased focus on identifying therapeutic targets that underlie a wide breadth of concerns to broaden the scope and impact of mental health services. Psychological inflexibility is one such target and refers to a combination of excessive avoidance of internal experiences coupled with a lack of actions that align with a person’s values. Interventions for psychological inflexibility aim to ...


Responding To Microaggressions: Evaluation Of Bystander Intervention Strategies, Tianyi Xie Dec 2019

Responding To Microaggressions: Evaluation Of Bystander Intervention Strategies, Tianyi Xie

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Ethnic minorities often experience microaggressions that cause psychological distress and increase health risks. Bystander interventions are good ways to intervene when microaggressions take place and provide emotional support for ethnic minority targets. White interveners and interventions that pose low threats to White aggressors are perceived more positively than ethnic minority interveners and interventions that are more confrontational and direct. Furthermore, a support-based intervention that validates White aggressors’ good intention and effort without judgement may help White aggressors feel less defensive and more receptive to the intervention. Asian Americans face unique microaggressive themes and their racial experiences are influenced by the ...


Technology In Parenting Programs: A Systematic Review And Pilot Study Of An App-Based Intervention For Latinx Families, Samantha M. Corralejo Dec 2019

Technology In Parenting Programs: A Systematic Review And Pilot Study Of An App-Based Intervention For Latinx Families, Samantha M. Corralejo

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Technology and psychological treatments have increasingly been used together to increase the reach of psychotherapy and potentially reduce treatment costs. This research focused on how technology has been used to deliver or facilitate treatments focused on behavioral parent training. Behavioral parent training is a research-supported method of improving parenting skills and child behavior. We first reviewed any existing research on the topic, and found that treatments that used technology to teach parenting skills were generally successful at improving parent and child behavior. The review also identified many research questions that have yet to be answered about the cost of such ...


Relationship Maintenance Behaviors And Marital Stability In Remarriage: The Examination Of Stepfamily Constellations And Associated Challenges, Ron C. Bean Dec 2019

Relationship Maintenance Behaviors And Marital Stability In Remarriage: The Examination Of Stepfamily Constellations And Associated Challenges, Ron C. Bean

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Research on stepfamily life in the 21st century reveals unexplored variables at every turn. This is important because around half of American adults report close step-relationships and the challenges and demographic and relational differences for different types of stepfamilies remains unexplored. The first of these studies explored data for 879 husbands and wives couples to explore how positivity, negativity, and sexual interest levels differ depending which of the couple, both partners, or neither had previous children. Wives reported higher levels of marital instability and positivity than husbands. Marital instability was linked with one’s own and one’s partners’ negativity ...


Activity Tracker Measurement Of Physical Activity And Sedentary Time In The Workplace Including An Intervention Involving Reminders To Move, Cassie Dance Dec 2019

Activity Tracker Measurement Of Physical Activity And Sedentary Time In The Workplace Including An Intervention Involving Reminders To Move, Cassie Dance

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Sedentary time and physical inactivity have negative impacts on health and health costs as well as an impact on workplace wellbeing. There is evidence that people are more sedentary and engage in less physical activity on work days. Additionally, sedentary behavior has been found to increase distress and negative mood. Activity trackers such as Fitbits are a useful way to collect and intervene on sedentary behavior and potentially impact other factors of workplace wellbeing in real time and promote self-monitoring. The reminder to move prompts that are now part of Fitbit models provide an innovative and simple way to intervene ...


A Structural Equation Modeling Approach Combining Multitrait-Multimethod Designs With Moderated Mediation Analysis, Kaylee Litson Aug 2019

A Structural Equation Modeling Approach Combining Multitrait-Multimethod Designs With Moderated Mediation Analysis, Kaylee Litson

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Researchers who study clinical and developmental psychology are often interested in answering questions such as how interventions work, when treatment begins to improve health outcomes, or for whom treatment has the greatest impact. Answers to these and similar questions impact the general understanding of health and behavior, and can be imperative for effectively implementing intervention and prevention programs. To evaluate such complex relationships among variables, researchers have turned to moderated mediation analysis. Moderated mediation analysis is a statistical tool used to identify the conditional processes among observed or latent variables. However, in developmental and clinical psychology, variables are regularly measured ...


Resurgence Of Cocaine-Seeking In Rats Following Long Access And Punishment, Rusty W. Nall Aug 2019

Resurgence Of Cocaine-Seeking In Rats Following Long Access And Punishment, Rusty W. Nall

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Strategies that provide access to alternative non-drug rewards are among the most effective at reducing substance use in individuals with substance use disorders, but relapse often occurs when alternative rewards are removed. Relapse induced by the loss of alternative rewards is called resurgence, and represents a challenge to otherwise effective strategies for reducing drug use. An animal model has been useful for studying resurgence, but the extant model has two limitations. First, humans usually refer to the negative consequences of drug use as the reason they stop taking drugs, but the extant model uses drug unavailability to reduce drug seeking ...


Physiological, Behavioral, And Self-Report Outcomes Of Acceptance And Regulation Approaches To Exposures For Intrusive Thoughts, Brooke M. Smith Aug 2019

Physiological, Behavioral, And Self-Report Outcomes Of Acceptance And Regulation Approaches To Exposures For Intrusive Thoughts, Brooke M. Smith

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Cognitive-behavioral therapy that includes exposure, or intentionally and systematically confronting feared situations, is the gold standard psychological treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. However, less than half of those who begin this treatment are considered to have recovered from their disorder at the end of treatment, and this number is even smaller in the months following the end of treatment. Leading theories regarding how treatment changes occur focus on reducing fear, and they do not include “voluntary” (i.e., operant) behaviors, such as avoidance, that are key features of the disorder. Acceptance-based approaches to exposure do not focus on fear reduction, but ...


Depression Mediates The Association Of Disordered Eating Behaviors And Sexual Function In Female Service Members And Veterans, Whitney S. Livingston Aug 2019

Depression Mediates The Association Of Disordered Eating Behaviors And Sexual Function In Female Service Members And Veterans, Whitney S. Livingston

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Poor sexual function is comprised of diminished sexual desire and arousal, presence of sexual pain, inability to reach orgasm, and low satisfaction. Worse sexual function is associated with disordered eating behavior; however, the mechanism through which this association exists remains unclear. Theory of sexual function suggests that depression mediates the association of disordered eating behaviors and poor sexual function in female service members and veterans, but this has yet to be tested empirically. The purpose of the current study was to examine whether depression mediated the association of disordered eating behaviors and sexual dysfunction.

Participants (N=511) were partnered females ...


Examining The Effects Of Familism On The Association Between Parent-Adolescent Conflict, Emotion Regulation, And Internalizing Problems Among Latinx Adolescents, Kenia Carrera Aug 2019

Examining The Effects Of Familism On The Association Between Parent-Adolescent Conflict, Emotion Regulation, And Internalizing Problems Among Latinx Adolescents, Kenia Carrera

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Latinx adolescents report higher levels of anxiety and depression symptoms (i.e., internalizing symptoms) compared to other ethnic groups. Research studies primarily conducted with European American youth have concluded that difficulties in emotion regulation and parent-adolescent conflict are associated with an increased risk for youth internalizing symptoms. Additionally, an important Latinx cultural value, familism, has been identified as a protective factor for internalizing symptoms for Latinx adolescents. Therefore, the current study examined how familism, parent-adolescent conflict, and difficulties in emotion regulation interact to influence the development of internalizing symptoms among Latinx adolescents. It was hypothesized that (a) parent-adolescent conflict and ...


Dementia Caregiver Coping Strategies And Caregiver-Care Recipient Relationship Closeness: Associations With Care-Recipient Outcomes, Stephanie Behrensberg Aug 2019

Dementia Caregiver Coping Strategies And Caregiver-Care Recipient Relationship Closeness: Associations With Care-Recipient Outcomes, Stephanie Behrensberg

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This project used data from the Dementia Progression Study, a longitudinal, population-based study based out of Cache County, Utah. Statistical models were used to examine the association between caregiver factors, the care environment, and cognitive outcomes in persons with dementia. Mediational analyses were also used to examine if the care environment, inferred for nutritional status, engagement in physical and cognitively stimulating activities, mediated the relationship between the closeness/caregiver coping strategies and cognition in persons with dementia. Results showed that closer caregiver-care recipient relationships were associated with better nutritional status and more engagement in number of cognitively stimulating activities as ...


“Get Tough!”: A Case Study On The Development Of The Sport Ethic In Youth Lacrosse, Ross Budziszewski May 2019

“Get Tough!”: A Case Study On The Development Of The Sport Ethic In Youth Lacrosse, Ross Budziszewski

All Graduate Plan B and other Reports

While participation in youth sport is often linked with positive psychosocial and physical outcomes (Holt et al., 2017), this context can also cultivate ideals that lead to the development of unethical beliefs as well as unsafe sport practices (Al-Yaarbi & Kavussanu, 2017). The sport ethic is described as the deviant overconformity by an athlete to fit societal expectations of a sport’s high-performance culture (Hughes & Coakley, 1991). Strong beliefs in the sport ethic can lead to moral disengagement, antisocial behavior, and viewing sport like warfare (Shields, Funk, & Bredemeier, 2015). Although the sport ethic has been examined in competitive adult sport (Coakley ...


Exploring The Impact Of Positive Peer Views Of Girls On School Engagement In Middle School Girls, Christine E. Hansen May 2019

Exploring The Impact Of Positive Peer Views Of Girls On School Engagement In Middle School Girls, Christine E. Hansen

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study focused on the types of messages female middle school students receive about their gender from their peers. Specifically, it looked at microaggressions, which are sexist messages from peers, and microaffirmations, which are positive and affirming messages from peers. There were four goals of this study. First, to check if the Students Affirming Girls in Middle School scale (SAG-MS), a scale created for this study, could consistently measure microaggressions and microaffirmations. Second, to look at the relationship between when girls experience puberty and microaggressions and microaffirmations. Third, to measure any differences in the number of microaggressions and microaffirmations girls ...


Religiosity, Perfectionism, And Parenting Practices In A Latter-Day Saint (Lds) Sample, Trisha Chase May 2019

Religiosity, Perfectionism, And Parenting Practices In A Latter-Day Saint (Lds) Sample, Trisha Chase

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Parenting practices greatly influence child behavior. It is important to study the relationship between parenting practices and child behavior in specific religious contexts. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) have not been extensively studied in the psychological literature despite there being a relatively large number of LDS individuals in the U.S. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of religiosity on parenting practices and child behavior outcomes in an LDS sample. The influence of perfectionism on religiosity and parenting practices was also studied. The relationship between parents’ interpretation of the bible ...


Experience Of Microaggressions: White Bystanders’ Physiological And Psychological Reactions, Alexandra K. Reveles May 2019

Experience Of Microaggressions: White Bystanders’ Physiological And Psychological Reactions, Alexandra K. Reveles

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The negative impacts of discriminatory events to the physiological and psychological stress of the recipient has been thoroughly documented. However, there is little to no evidence about the impacts to bystanders of these events, particularly White bystanders. Psychological impacts may emerge through academic achievement, which has implications for educational institutions and their diversity initiatives. This study examined the impact of witnessing discriminatory events on academic achievement, biological markers of distress, and emotional distress.

Academic achievement was negatively impacted for participants in the microaggression and blatant racism conditions when compared to a control condition. Study participants also experienced negative emotional impacts ...


Narrative Identities Of Early-Return Missionaries From The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, Jillian Ferrell May 2019

Narrative Identities Of Early-Return Missionaries From The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, Jillian Ferrell

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Leaving home to become a missionary is important for many young adults in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (CJC). Some missionaries return home from their missions before their anticipated return date and struggle to make sense of who they are while facing judgment from members within the church communities and families. Little is known about the experience of identity development for early return missionaries (ERMs). There have not been many chances for ERMs to share what it means to them to have come home early from their mission. This study investigated the process of how ERMs make ...


Youth Prevention Programs: A Framework For Conducting Mediation Meta-Analyses, Morgan A. Kawamura May 2019

Youth Prevention Programs: A Framework For Conducting Mediation Meta-Analyses, Morgan A. Kawamura

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Often for prevention program designs, researchers are interested in understanding the processes through which a program impacts a targeted outcome. Mediation analysis assists in identifying not only how a program influences an outcome, but also which intermediate variables (i.e., mediators) cause the effects between a program and an outcome to occur. Mediation analysis explains why a program works, which is useful for program developers in creating effective prevention and intervention-based programs.

To make use of mediation analysis findings for preventive intervention programs, researchers need a comprehensive understanding of the mediators between various programs and outcomes. However, a comprehensive examination ...


The Use Of A Values Affirming Intervention: Does It Impact Math Scores And Semester Grade Point Averages In A Student Support Services Population, Amy L. Debruler May 2019

The Use Of A Values Affirming Intervention: Does It Impact Math Scores And Semester Grade Point Averages In A Student Support Services Population, Amy L. Debruler

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

College students who are from low income families, have disabilities, or are the first in their family to attend college are more likely to struggle socially and academically in a college setting. Promoting college graduation within these disadvantaged populations is critical for increased life wellness. Previous researchers studied to see if when students wrote about their personal beliefs if it would lead to higher levels of academic confidence and better academic performance (as measured by grades). This study expanded upon those previous studies to look specifically at whether a values-affirming writing intervention provided to at risk students in a federally ...


Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Adhd): Relationship Between Parental Symptomatology, Child Behaviors, And Parenting Behaviors, Robyn Jeppson-Frandsen May 2019

Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Adhd): Relationship Between Parental Symptomatology, Child Behaviors, And Parenting Behaviors, Robyn Jeppson-Frandsen

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience impairment in cognitive, scholastic/vocational and interpersonal domains. The goal of this study was to gain more information how adult ADHD symptomatology impacts parenting behaviors, specifically, overreactivity and laxness. This study found that parental ADHD symptoms were associated with greater overreactive parenting behavior. Differences between mothers and fathers were assessed and no significant difference in ADHD symptomatology or parenting behaviors were found. The combination of adult ADHD symptoms and child behavior, above and beyond parental depression, was found to be a statistically significant predictor of parental overreactive behavior, while this was not the ...


Antisocial Behaviors In Everyday Life Of A College Student, Ari Romo, Tiana Rowley Apr 2019

Antisocial Behaviors In Everyday Life Of A College Student, Ari Romo, Tiana Rowley

Student Research Symposium

Some Scholars have posited that antisocial behaviors associated with maladaptive lifestyles. Previous experiments identify correlations between prosocial traits and antisocial characteristics using statistical methods of data from a variety of personality tests and surveys. We know prosocial and antisocial behaviors have traits that affect everyday relationships, but there is limited research on how certain characteristics (e.g. psychopathy, heroism, impulsivity, rule breaking, etc.) in antisocial behaviors influence an individual's everyday work and school environment. By conducting an experimental design based off of a series of personality questionnaires and surveys pertinent to possible influencing factors of antisocial behaviors (such as ...


Using Animal-Assisted Therapy To Treat Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mary Strong Apr 2019

Using Animal-Assisted Therapy To Treat Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder, Mary Strong

Student Research Symposium

This paper looks at the studies of the relationship between those with autism spectrum disorder and therapy animals in order to determine how effective therapy animals are in reducing problem behaviors and increasing social interaction. For this literature review, nine different studies have been reviewed to answer the research question over a variety of settings. In the nine different studies that were reviewed the animals used were either dogs, horses, or guinea pigs. These studies were used to determine which of these animals were more effective in a therapeutic setting, and more effective in the improvement of the symptoms in ...


A Place For Everyone: Assessing Recreational Opportunities For Children In Urban, Suburban, And Rural Communities Across The United States, Emily Cook Apr 2019

A Place For Everyone: Assessing Recreational Opportunities For Children In Urban, Suburban, And Rural Communities Across The United States, Emily Cook

Student Research Symposium

Despite an increased need to remain physically active, data suggest that fitness levels decrease across childhood and adolescence (Cooper, 2010). While anecdotal reports often blame this phenomenon on a normalized increase in meal portion size and adolescents' inclination toward screen time (e.g., gaming, media, entertainment), researchers are beginning to investigate the community and family level barriers that may limit or prevent structured and unstructured physical activity among children and adolescents. In line with these efforts, the present research was designed to address the potential link of community infrastructure and youth well-being across a range of communities in the United ...


The Art Of Seduction: Male Perceptions Of Sexual Willingness, Lisa Starrett Mar 2019

The Art Of Seduction: Male Perceptions Of Sexual Willingness, Lisa Starrett

Research on Capitol Hill

The United States continues to have the highest sexual assault rates of any developed nation.

The vast majority of sexual assault research studies exclusively female survivors. This overlooks half of the nation’s population. To find holistic solutions, we must address both genders.

The current study addresses:

  • The male experience
    Recent research shows significant numbers of men react with shock, guilt, shame, and depression when confronted with sexual assault charges. This opens questions of intent.
  • Confirmation bias & “echo chambers”
    Social media and preference tracking amplify our tendency to see information that confirms our existing worldview. This further separates genders.
  • Environmental ...


Identification And Transformation Difficulty In Problem Solving: Electrophysiological Evidence From Chunk Decomposition, Zhonglu Zhang, Yu Luo, Chaolun Wang, Christopher M. Warren, Qi Xia, Qiang Xing, Bihua Cao, Yi Lei, Hong Li Feb 2019

Identification And Transformation Difficulty In Problem Solving: Electrophysiological Evidence From Chunk Decomposition, Zhonglu Zhang, Yu Luo, Chaolun Wang, Christopher M. Warren, Qi Xia, Qiang Xing, Bihua Cao, Yi Lei, Hong Li

Psychology Faculty Publications

A wealth of studies have investigated how to overcome experience-based constraints in creative problem solving. One such experience-based constraint is the tendency for people to view tightly organized visual stimuli as single, unified percepts, even when decomposition of those stimuli into component parts (termed chunk decomposition) would facilitate problem solving. The current study investigates the neural underpinnings of chunk decomposition in creative problem solving by analyzing event-related potentials. In two experiments, participants decomposed Chinese characters into the character’s component elements and then used the base elements to form a new valid character. The action could require decomposing a “tight ...


Preliminary Validation And Reliability Assessment Of A 10-Item Tacting Of Function Scale, Benjamin G. Pierce, Michael E. Levin Jan 2019

Preliminary Validation And Reliability Assessment Of A 10-Item Tacting Of Function Scale, Benjamin G. Pierce, Michael E. Levin

Psychology Faculty Publications

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) takes a functional perspective on behavior and supports clients in responding in values consistent ways to their internal experiences. The capacity to notice and label the functions of one's ongoing behavior may be an important skill in functional interventions such as ACT, which may facilitate other facets of these interventions. However, this skill has never been assessed as a potentially relevant behavioral process. The ability to notice and label the functions of one's behavior may be defined as tacting of the function of behavior, because it involves providing a verbal response (a label ...


Next Steps For Training And Education In Professional Psychology: Advancing The Science And Expanding Our Reach, Debora J. Bell, Jennifer L. Callahan, Georita M. Frierson, Theodore R. Burnes, Susan L. Crowley, Stephen R. Mccutcheon Jan 2019

Next Steps For Training And Education In Professional Psychology: Advancing The Science And Expanding Our Reach, Debora J. Bell, Jennifer L. Callahan, Georita M. Frierson, Theodore R. Burnes, Susan L. Crowley, Stephen R. Mccutcheon

Psychology Faculty Publications

As TEPP’s new editorial team begins their term, the authors discuss their vision for the journal as a forum for thoughtful conceptual examination and sound empirical investigation of current issues in health service psychology (HSP) education and training. The editorial team articulates three primary goals for the journal, including (1) engaging the broad training community in sharing its best conceptual and empirical work relevant to the varied levels, settings, and areas of education and training in HSP; (2) advancing the science of education and training through strong empirical research; and (3) expanding our emphasis on the sociocultural context in ...


Does A Brief Mindfulness Training Enhance Heartfulness In Students? Results Of A Pilot Study, Myriam Rudaz, Thomas Ledermann, Michael P. Twohig, Michael E. Levin Jan 2019

Does A Brief Mindfulness Training Enhance Heartfulness In Students? Results Of A Pilot Study, Myriam Rudaz, Thomas Ledermann, Michael P. Twohig, Michael E. Levin

Psychology Faculty Publications

(1) Background: There is robust evidence that mindfulness trainings enhance mindfulness as operationalized in Western psychology, but evidence about their effect on aspects of heartfulness is sparse. This study seeks to test whether a brief mindfulness training enhances heart qualities, including self-compassion, gratitude, and the generation of feelings of happiness.

(2) Methods: Eighteen students enrolled in a mindfulness training that was offered as part of an interdisciplinary class. The training consisted of five training sessions and four booster sessions of 45 minutes each over the course of nine weeks. Mindfulness was measured with the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire-Short Form (FFMQ-SF ...


Exploring The Link Between Genetics, Chronic Stress, And Depression, Michael Woller Dec 2018

Exploring The Link Between Genetics, Chronic Stress, And Depression, Michael Woller

Undergraduate Research and Creative Opportunities (URCO) Grant Program

Depression is a very debilitating mental illness that affects about 7% of the American Population [1] and up to about 350 million people worldwide [2]. Since the cause for depression and the reason why some individuals are more vulnerable than others are currently unclear, studying paradigms that model depression in animals, such as the learned helplessness paradigm, is useful to explore possible mechanisms and devise new treatments. To explore a possible link between genetics, chronic stress and depression, we have exposed mice vulnerable to stress to an inescapable forced swim paradigm. During the forced swim test, the mice were monitored ...


How Children Describe Negative Adoption Experiences, Mckenzie Paskett Dec 2018

How Children Describe Negative Adoption Experiences, Mckenzie Paskett

Undergraduate Honors Capstone Projects

Adoption faces stigmas from society which affects peoples' perceptions of adoptees, their birth parents, and adoptive parent s; one of the most prominent being that adoption is the "second best" route to getting children (Baxter, Norwood, Asbury, & Scharp , 2014). Adoption success is mixed with some adapting well, while others have negative experience s. Studying themes about how and why negative adoption experiences happen could be beneficial to preventing them in the future. There is a unique perspective between parents and children and so the central research question for this study is: how do children describe their negative adoption experiences? Facebook ...


Effect Of Acceptance Versus Psychoeducation On Hoarding, Clarissa W. Ong Dec 2018

Effect Of Acceptance Versus Psychoeducation On Hoarding, Clarissa W. Ong

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Hoarding disorder (HD) is a mental health condition characterized by difficulty letting go of possessions, resulting in clutter that prevents use of active living spaces. Consequences associated with hoarding include strained family relationships, distress for children in the home, and increased burden on social services. Currently, the most empirically supported treatment for HD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which includes such components as education about the nature of hoarding, challenging unhelpful thoughts, and exposure to distressing stimuli. Despite its demonstrated effectiveness, CBT does not result in clinically significant improvement for at least 50% of individuals, indicating the need for alternative interventions ...