• Website Compliance with Ethical Guidelines by Psychologists and Professional Counselors

      Yazvac III, Joseph (2009-08-26)
      There is currently very little research investigating the ethical practice of e-therapy, and none that distinguishes between types of therapists in terms of their compliance with ethical codes pertaining to e-therapy. The American Psychological Association does not have ethical standards specific to the provision of e-therapy but the American Counseling Association does. The purpose of this study was to assess differences in ethical compliance for e-therapy websites sponsored by psychologists and e-therapy websites sponsored by professional counselors. Specific ethics codes for the practice of e-therapy of the American Counseling Association were used to generate an assessment instrument, which served as the measure of ethical compliance for both groups. E-therapy websites primarily sponsored by psychologists or professional counselors were located by predetermined search terms through the Google search engine and then evaluated for compliance. A MANOVA was then conducted to analyze differences between the two groups on compliance with sections A.12.a., A.12.g., and A.12.h. of the American Counseling Association Ethics Code, as well as an aggregate total of all three. Professional counselors were found to be significantly more compliant than psychologists with section A.12.h. and the aggregate total of all sections. However, compliance rates for both groups were generally low, and implications are discussed.
    • An Investigation of the Reliability and Validity of the Caperton Forgiveness Styles Inventory

      Caperton, Duane (2009-08-26)
      This research was an investigation into the process of forgiveness. The analysis of qualitative interviews with nearly 100 participants suggested four different approaches, or styles, of forgiving and non-forgiving. The Intrapersonal style describes people who forgive other people by focusing on their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. The Interpersonal style describes people who forgive other people by focusing on the thoughts, feelings, and actions of the offending persons. The Easy Going style describes the people who never forgive anyone because they rarely or never feel offended and consequently rarely or never feel the need to forgive others. The Grudge Holder style describes people who rarely or never forgive anyone because they generally prefer to hold on to the offense for various reasons. The 26 item Pilot CFSI inventory was investigated for reliability and for convergent and divergent validity in a sample composed of 131 undergraduate and graduate students. Cronbachs’ alphas of the scales showed the Pilot Caperton Forgiveness Style Inventory (CFSI) inventory to be internally consistent. Multiple regressions of CFSI scale results with IPIP Five Factor Model of Personality inventories, Fear-of-Intimacy relationship anxiety inventories, and demographic information demonstrated appropriate divergent validity for the scales. These results along with a varimax rotation factor analysis led to an 18 item Revised CFSI and a three item Humility scale which clearly mediated the forgiving process in some as yet to be determined way and was wholly unrelated to the non- iv forgiving styles. The Intrapersonal forgivers tended to score high on Openness and somewhat higher on Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. They also scored low on fear of intimate relationships. Individuals who reported being “very active in religion” were the only group which showed a preference for the Intrapersonal style. The Interpersonal forgivers tended to score high on Neuroticism, Extroversion, and Conscientiousness, and they also tended to score low on fear of intimate relationships. The Easy Going non-forgivers scored low on Neuroticism, but scored high on fear of intimate relationships. Males were more likely to score high on Easy Going than any other demographic group. The Grudge Holders tended to score high on Neuroticism and low on Agreeableness, and they were high on fear of intimate relationships. The Caperton Forgiveness Style Inventory is a valid and reliable assessment tool of styles of forgiveness and is appropriate for both clinical and research uses.
    • A Program Evaluation: Therapeutic Playgroup for Preschool-Aged Children with Mental Health Needs

      Harden, Denise M. (2010-05-11)
      The understanding of preschool children has been explored in the fields of developmental psychology and early childhood education. The field of school psychology has also increased interest in the assessment of the social and emotional functioning of preschool children (Martin, 1986). Currently, there are changes in national education policy and societal pressures for systematic, professional assessment and intervention with younger children (Executive Office of the President, 1990). In addition, focus has been placed on the incorporation of evidence-based practices into assessment and treatment (Tolan & Dodge, 2005). Mental health services, in particular, aim to address the social and emotional needs of children and families through assessment, effective intervention, and collaboration/consultation. Currently, research in preschool programs specifies the use of a developmental model to meet children’s social-emotional needs, physical well-being, motor development, language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, and approach to learning (National Institute for Early Education Research, 2006). This study extends the literature on effective and comprehensive mental health programs for a preschool aged population by conducting a program evaluation on the effectiveness of a therapeutic playgroup model for providing mental health services to preschool aged children who exhibit social-emotional and behavioral problems due to family stress, abuse, neglect, and possible mental disorders of children and their caregivers. This study utilizes a mixed method design which incorporates data from caregivers, playgroup teachers, child records, and participantobservers. Findings indicate the effectiveness of the Therapeutic Playgroup Program in meeting the behavioral needs of preschool children, as well as overall program goals and objectives. Teacher efficacy was directly linked to effective and efficient behavior and practices in providing mental health services to young children with challenging behaviors.
    • Increasing the Accuracy of the Military's Post-Deployment Mental Health Screening Strategies

      Fass, Daniel (2010-07-20)
      The author investigated the prevalence rates of mental health problems reported by college students and compared them with previously existing data on active duty, reserve, and National Guard Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Participants completed the mental health portion of the Post-Deployment Health Re-Assessment and an additional questionnaire in which the effect of a drug use screen was explored. Subjects were also asked about their intentions to seek mental health or substance abuse treatment and how anonymity affected their treatment seeking and reporting accuracy. Results indicate similar and at times higher rates of mental health problems in the sample of college students and perhaps highlight the problems associated with post-deployment mental health screening, including stigma associated with reporting and seeking mental health treatment. These results signal an underestimation of the mental health concerns of military personnel and highlight the need for anonymous post-deployment screening procedures as well as more anonymous treatment options.
    • The Relationship of Depression with Intrinsic and Extrinsic Components of Religiosity in The Older Adult Female

      Nuval, Jacqueline Anne (2010-07-20)
      The purpose of this doctoral research was to determine whether religious activity and general health would predict depression in older adult women living alone in the community who are widowed, divorced, separated, or never married. Variables considered included intrinsic and extrinsic components of religiosity, level of depression, anxiety and panic attacks, general health, and a group of behaviors classified as Religious Attitudes and Behaviors (RAB), which considered importance of religion, religious participation, regularity of religious observance, and religious organization/social support. Components of extrinsic religiosity and intrinsic religiosity were measured by Intrinsic/Extrinsic – Revised (I/E-R). Levels of depression were measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies in Depression (CES-D). A demographic questionnaire measured the other variables. Of the 118 participants, 82 fit the research criteria, which was that they were over 65 years old, unmarried, living independently and without roommates, not working, and having had no hospitalization within the past two years. A simultaneous regression of this sample resulted in self-perception of health being the only predictor of depression.
    • A Descriptive Study of a Building-Based Team Problem-Solving Process

      Brewer, Alexander B. (2010-09-21)
      The purpose of this study was to empirically evaluate Building-Based Teams for General Education Intervention or BBT for GEI. BBT for GEI is a team problem-solving process designed to assist schools in conducting research-based interventions in the general education setting. Problem-solving teams are part of general education and provide support to students with academic or behavioral concerns by creating individualized interventions that teachers can use in the classroom. Historically, problem-solving teams’ two primary goals were to reduce referrals to special education and improve student performance on academic or behavioral concerns. This study examined the effectiveness of BBT for GEI by analyzing BBT for GEI teams’ alignment with the best practice indicators of intervention design and by evaluating how BBT for GEI teams’ practices predict student outcome. The analysis was done by reviewing permanent products of team GEI practices submitted by elementary school problem-solving teams trained in the BBT for GEI process by the Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education. The teams’ permanent products were rated on 13 quality indicators of intervention design using a Likert type scale of 1-5 on adherence and presence of the indicator. The higher the rating on the scale, the greater the alignment with the identified best practices for that indicator. The quality indicators include the following: (a) behavioral definition, (b) baseline data, (c) problem validation, (d) problem analysis, (e) goal setting, (f) delivery specifics, (g) empiricallysupported content variables, (h) measurement strategy, (i) decision-making plan, (j) progress monitoring, (k) formative evaluation, (l) treatment integrity, and (m) summative evaluation. The average indicator ratings ranged from a low of 1.44 to a high of 3.64. This range suggests that the teams implemented some of the best practice indicators to a high degree, while other indicators were either not implemented to a high degree or not addressed. BBT for GEI teams implemented the Problem Analysis and Plan Development components with the highest fidelity while implementing the Plan Implementation and Plan Evaluation components with the lowest fidelity. When analyzing the themes and commonalities, it became apparent that many teams did not conduct more than their initial meeting in order to implement and monitor a plan. In addition to the 13 indicator ratings, two student outcome ratings were also assigned to teams’ permanent products, Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) and Student Measured Performance (SMP). The average rating for GAS was 2.92. The average for SMP was 1.93. Two multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine the effect the 13 quality indicators have on GAS and SMP. The linear combination of the quality indicators of intervention design ratings was significantly related to both GAS and SMP. Individually, Intervention Plan Development and Problem Analysis were significant predictors of GAS. Four indicators were significant predictors of SMP, Problem Validation, Goal Setting, Intervention Plan Development, and Formative Evaluation.
    • Career Decisions: Goodness-Of-Fit and Attrition of Teachers in Alternative Schools

      Coulter, Deidre S. (2010-09-21)
      Teachers are the most important element in the education system (Stronge, 2002). However, studies of teachers in certain sectors are lacking. The paucity of research on teachers who work in the alternative school environment was a driving force behind this study, which is a case study of the characteristics of alternative schools, perceptions of teacher training, attrition, and goodness-of-fit. Interviews with teachers, administrators, and support staff in an alternative school were used to investigate interactions between teachers and students and between colleagues. Classroom observations of the teachers were used to help explore the classroom climate. Emergent themes such as communication, administrative support, and a holistic view of the student population are explored using the filter of symbolic interaction theory in order to describe the characteristics of effective alternative school teachers, administrators, and staff. Symbolic interaction theory uses the internal shorthand that individuals develop to identify how their actions reflect their thoughts and feelings about the setting in which they find themselves. Implications for future research on the teacher-environment fit in alternative schools are discussed.
    • Examining Validity Characteristics of the MMPI-2 PSY-5 Psychoticism Scale

      Covarrubias, Enrique G. (2010-09-21)
      The purpose of this study is to firmly establish the facet scales of the Personality Psychopathology Five (PSY-5) Psychoticism scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Second Edition (MMPI-2). Arnau, Handel, and Archer (2005) recently developed facet scales for the MMPI-2 PSY-5 scales using principal component analyses. The results of this study and the original published study were compared to determine if similar facet scales are found for the MMPI-2 PSY-5 Psychoticism scale. Participants were drawn from three different samples: the MMPI-2 normative sample, an inpatient sample from a mid-Atlantic region, and a college sample from a Midwestern university. Item-level principal component analyses and factor analyses were utilized to determine which scales yield better clinical utility. Although the results show some consistency in the MMPI-2 PSY-5 Psychoticism facet scales between the current and original study, differences were noted which indicate that the psychometric properties of the facet scales have yet to be empirically established. Clinical and research implications for the facet scales are discussed.
    • School Climate, Teacher Satisfaction, and Receptivity to Change

      Daar, Sherri Eaton-Bin (2010-09-22)
      The purpose of this study was to explore what school climate factors influence teacher job satisfaction and receptivity to change. A survey based upon current literature was developed to assess teacher perceptions of the factors which may influence job satisfaction and receptivity to change. A regression analysis was conducted to determine impact of the nine school climate factors on teacher job satisfaction. A second regression was conducted using the nine school climate domains and satisfaction to evaluate which factors had an impact on teacher receptivity to change. Study findings indicated that (a) study participants report there to be two factors which influence job satisfaction in an educational environment: administration and instructional management, (b) participants’ also reported there to be three factors which influence receptivity to change: administration, student academic orientation and student activities.
    • The Impact of Material Factors on Female Juvenile Delinquency Trends

      Price, Anne Marie (2010-09-22)
      This study examined the difference between female juvenile delinquents and nondelinquents in relationship to a combination of maternal factors (negative maternal behaviors, occupational stress, perceived social support, and maternal parenting stress). Participants were 128 biological mothers of daughters between the ages of 12 and 18 who were either mothers of clients or were clients themselves of a Midwest community health center in one of several clinics in Martinsville, Mooresville, Bedford, Bloomington, and Spencer, Indiana. Participants completed six questionnaires, including: the Demographics Questionnaire, the Maternal Behavior Index, the Adolescent Behavior Survey, the Occupational Crisis Survey, the Duke Social Support Inventory, and the Maternal Parenting Measure of Stress. A discriminate function analysis was conducted to determine if the maternal factors of negative maternal behaviors, occupational stress, perceived social support, and maternal parenting stress could be used to predict membership in the following groups for female adolescents: delinquents and nondelinquents. Results indicated that mothers who reported more negative behaviors, perceived less social support, and felt more parenting stress were more apt to have daughters who engaged in delinquent acts.
    • Barriers to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Intervention Implementation in the Public School Setting

      The present study examined the impact of potential barriers on commonly recommended school-based interventions for children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The interventions included were the Daily Behavioral Report Card, token reinforcement, response cost, instructional style changes, and classroom environment changes. The potential barriers studied were the time teachers spent on an intervention, the level of parent support, the level of child difficulty, the acceptability of an intervention, the perceived fairness of an intervention, and the level of administrative support. The study also examined the potential relationship between teachers‟ stress levels and the number of barriers they perceive to these interventions. Previous research has looked at the barriers to intervention implementation in the home setting, but there has been a gap in the research that addresses problems that may hinder teachers in implementing commonly recommended interventions. The present study examined responses from 62 teachers that were recruited from one Midwestern state and one Southern state. Data was collected through an online survey that was sent out to teachers‟ public domain email and was analyzed using Repeated Measure ANOVAs and Pearson Correlations. There were significant differences across interventions on each potential barrier. Teacher stress was also positively correlated with the number of barriers they perceived. Additionally, the level of teacher stress positively correlated with the barriers of time, level of child difficulty, perceived fairness of an intervention, and the level of administrative support.
    • The Impact of Acculturation on Self-Reported Measures of Self-Efficacy with International Counseling Students

      Leggett, Jonathan (2011-03-16)
      The purpose of this study was to investigate how acculturation strategies relate to self-reported ratings of self-efficacy for international counseling students. Acculturation strategy usage may provide an important insight into the self-efficacy estimates of international students. Forty-three participants were recruited via e-mail from counseling programs within the United States. Participants were briefly instructed regarding the online completion of a demographic questionnaire, the Abbreviated Multidimensional Acculturation Scale ([AMAS-ZABB] Zea, Asner-Self, Birman, & Buki, 2003), and the Counseling Self-Estimate Inventory ([COSE] Larson et al., 1992). Thirty-four participants completed the AMAS-ZABB and thirty-one participants completed the COSE. Findings revealed the most common acculturation style to be the integrated style, and significant relationships existed between international students‟ Orientation to Host culture and self-efficacy scores. Time in the United States was significantly related to international students‟ Orientation to Host culture.
    • Examining Variables Related to Help-seeking and Victimization Differences after Coercive Intercourse

      Faulkner, Ginger (2011-06-17)
      The issue of sexual violence against women has been an area of interest to psychological researchers because of its importance and prevalence in America. A problem that has been attracting more attention recently is sexual coercion against women, especially on college campuses. Researchers have consistently found that over half of college women have been victim to coercive sexual encounters (Struckman-Johnson, Struckman-Johnson, & Anderson, 2003) making this a serious problem in need of greater understanding. Researchers have also found that sexual coercion can cause a variety of problems, yet victims typically do not seek help after these experiences (Fisher, Daigle, Cullen, & Turner, 2003; Siegel, Golding, Stein, Burnam, & Sorenson, 1990). Thus, understanding factors that can encourage sexual coercion victims to seek help is important. Additionally, researchers have reported inconsistent results regarding differences between women who have and have not experienced sexual coercion (Bernard, Bernard, & Bernard, 1985; Faulkner, Kolts, & Hicks, 2008). A clearer understanding of victimization differences would allow for greater insight into sexual coercion. The first purpose of this study was to explore if sexual assertiveness (SA), sexual self-esteem (SSE), and rape myth acceptance (RMA) predicted help-seeking behaviors in college women who had experienced coercive intercourse. A stepwise multiple regression analysis was utilized to determine whether the variables SA, SSE, and RMA predicted a significant proportion of the variance in help-seeking behaviors after a coercive experience. The second aspect of this study was to examine whether the variables of SA, SSE, and RMA differed between women who have and have not experienced coercive intercourse. This was determined through a multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA). Results indicated no significant relationship between SA, SSE, and RMA and help-seeking behaviors. However, significant differences were found between victims and non-victims of coercive intercourse on SA and SSE.

      Richardson, Tracy G. (2011-07-20)
      Songwriting has been used as an effective intervention for persons with a wide range of therapeutic needs. However, a literature search revealed that songwriting is underrepresented in the music therapy research literature, indicating that music therapists may perceive they do not have the abilities to effectively use songwriting interventions in therapy sessions. The purposes of this study were: (a) to investigate the impact of a songwriting training session on the songwriting knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavior of music therapists; (b) to evaluate the songwriting training program; and (c) to explore the impact of the training on perceived barriers and clinical practice. Participants were 32 board-certified music therapists who chose to attend a songwriting training session between November 2009 and April 2010. The 32 participants completed a pre-test, attended a five-hour songwriting training session, and completed a post-test. However, only 17 of the 32 persisted through all phases of the study by submitting the follow-up test six weeks after the training. Results showed a statistically significant increase in songwriting knowledge, self-efficacy, and behavior from pre-test to follow-up. Additionally, change in knowledge was found to predict change in self-efficacy from pre-test to post-test but not from pre-test to follow-up. Participants reported being highly satisfied with the training. Thematic analysis of open-ended questions confirmed the quantitative results, with participants indicating a positive impact of songwriting training on perceived barriers and clinical practice. Implications for clinical practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.

      Schwartz, Erin Coale (2011-07-20)
      Affiliation with religious organizations is prevalent in the United States and within some of these organizations negative messages about lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals are regularly espoused. Exposure to such homophobic sentiment has been found to have a detrimental impact on the mental health of sexual minorities and thereby, makes the exploration of religiosity and homophobia an imperative. This study examined differences in homophobia among the sociodemographic variables of gender, age, education level, religious affiliation, frequency of attendance at religious services, and amount of contact with lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Additionally, a stepwise multiple regression was conducted to determine which religiosity variables were the best predictors of homophobia. The religiosity variables used in the study were Religious Fundamentalism, Quest, Immanence, as well as Intrinsic and Extrinsic religious orientations. Significant differences in homophobia were found for gender, age, religious affiliation, frequency of attendance at religious services, and number of known lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Religious Fundamentalism and Intrinsic religious orientation were found to be the best predictors of homophobia.

      Wiggins, Keya (2011-07-20)
      The “N-word” has been a pop-culture topic of interest which has fueled many heated discussions within the African American community. Given the history of the word nigger in America, the use of the word nigga among some African Americans may cause confusion among those who do not understand the phenomenon of African Americans‟ perceptions of the “N-word.” The present research was conducted to explore the phenomenon of African Americans‟ perceptions of both the words nigger and nigga in the context of racial identity attitudes. A primarily qualitative embedded mixed method model was utilized to gather information about feelings of group membership and African Americans‟ perceptions of the words nigger and nigga. The Cross Racial Identity Scale (CRIS) was used to identify participant‟s racial identity attitudes, and all of the participants in this study strongly agreed with attitudes associated with internalized identities. A qualitative analysis resulted in three themes including: (a) nigger is a universally negative and unacceptable term, (b) nigga is acceptable when used by African Americans, and (c) the public use of nigga is inappropriate. An overall profile interpretation of each identity type resulted in the finding that several of the attitudes associated with Cross‟s Nigrescence Theory, specifically assimilation, racial self hatred, anti-White, Afrocentric, and multiculturalist inclusive, were reflected in the qualitative themes. Implications for theory, research, and practice are addressed.
    • Adoptive Parents’ Perceptions of Their Open Versus Closed Adoptions

      Nebol, Begum (2011-09-20)
      The author presents a research study on adoptive parents’ perceptions of their own open versus closed adoptions. The main research interest behind this study was to identify similarities and differences between open versus closed adoption methods. Thus, this paper offers description and exploratory analysis of the adoption literature as well as discussion of the findings of this research study.
    • Teacher Self-Efficacy Beliefs Related to Chronic Disruptive Behavior

      Jones, Kalinda R. (2011-09-20)
      In the current study, elementary teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding working with students displaying chronic disruptive behavior (CDB) were explored. CDB was defined as persistent observable actions that have a negative impact on academic or social functioning. To address the infrequently researched construct of self-efficacy beliefs specific to teaching students exhibiting CDB, a modified version of the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (short form) was used. Factor analysis results indicated the three self-efficacy factors of instructional strategies self-efficacy, classroom management self-efficacy, and student engagement self-efficacy. No significant relationships were found between each of the three types of teacher self-efficacy beliefs and the combination of the demographic variables of education level, years of teaching experience, and gender. No significant difference was found in self-efficacy beliefs among the teaching focus areas of general education, special education, and specialty education. Potential relationships were explored with each type of teacher self-efficacy beliefs and teachers’ current and past experience working with students displaying CDB, past training and desire for future professional development related to working with students with CDB, and perceived support when working with students displaying CDB. Past training and perceived support were significantly related to both instructional self-efficacy beliefs and student engagement self-efficacy beliefs. Previous experience, past training, and perceived support were significantly related to classroom management self-efficacy beliefs. Implications for research and practice regarding teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs when working with students displaying chronic disruptive behavior are discussed.
    • The Risk Factors of Alcohol Abuse Among College Athletes

      Jones, Jacob (2011-09-20)
      Self-concept theory was used as a theoretical basis to investigate the utility of social norms alcohol prevention programs designed for college athletes. The predictive relationship among alcohol use and athletic identity, competitiveness, drinking game participation, and level of sport participation was investigated. It was discovered that drinking game participation is a significant predictor of total weekly alcohol use above and beyond the other predictors. In addition, drinking game participation and organized recreational sport participation were significant predictors of total binge drinking episodes. While controlling for drinking game participation and competitiveness, no significant differences were found in the amount of alcohol consumed by the participants in different levels of sport participation (intramural, intercollegiate, organized recreational, other sport). It was demonstrated that individuals not currently participating in sports with an athletic identity in the same range as current athletes consumed alcohol at similar rates to current athletes, thus supporting athletic identity as an appropriate way of classifying athlete status. These results highlight the importance of drinking game participation in the alcohol use of college athletes and the validity of applying self-concept theory to social norms alcohol prevention programs.
    • Using Growth Rate of Reading Fluency to Predict Performance on Statewide Achievement Tests

      Hinkle, Rachelle Whittaker (2011-09-20)
      Federal legislation has prescribed the increased use of statewide achievement tests as the culmination of a student’s knowledge and ability at the end of a grade level; however, schools need to be able to predict those who are at-risk of performing poorly on these high-stakes tests. Three studies served to identify a means of predicting statewide achievement test scores in either third or eighth grade based on CBM reading scores and rates of improvement at first, second, and third grades or third, fourth, and fifth grades using readily available statistical procedures. One-half of the third-grade data was used in Study 1, while the prediction equation generated in Study 1 was validated on the second half in Study 2. The results of Study 1 indicated that, of the sample of over 1,200 third-grade students who took the third-grade statewide achievement test, the second- and third-grade spring CBM reading scores explained the highest amount of variability in third-grade reading scores; however, reading rate of improvement was also significant. The prediction equation from Study 1 was cross-validated in Study 2 on over 1,200 third-grade students, which indicated that there was more than 95 percent concordance that those who were predicted to pass the third-grade statewide test did pass. However, when using the second-grade spring cut score of 90 words read correctly per minute, the accuracy of prediction was diminished. In Study 3, using nearly 250 eighth-grade students’ scores, reading fluency scores in third, fourth and fifth grades explained approximately 30 percent of statewide achievement test scores; however, rate of improvement was not significant in any of the grades.