• Undergraduate Students’ Gender Self-Esteem and Attitudes Towards Transmen, Transwomen, Gay Men, and Lesbian Women

      Glotfelter, Michael Ann (2012-10-22)
      Research on individuals who do not conform to traditional sexual norms has increased over the past two decades, but there still remains little research on attitudes towards transpeople (i.e., individuals who violate gender norms). The goal of the current research is to contribute to knowledge regarding attitudes towards transpeople who continue to be subjected to prejudice, violence, and discrimination based on non-conformity. The current research explores and compares gender differences in attitudes towards lesbian women, gay men, transwomen (i.e., male-to-female transsexuals or men who deviate greatly from male gender norms and a male gender identity), and transmen (i.e., female-to-male transsexuals or women who deviate greatly from female gender norms and a female gender identity). Social Identity Theory (SIT), as it relates to gender self-esteem, is used as a theoretical framework to help explain prejudice towards lesbian women, gay men, and transpeople. The possible relationship between gender self-esteem and prejudice is also examined. The sample consisted of 402 heterosexual undergraduates with 195 (48.5%) women and 207 (51.5%) men. Participants completed the Genderism and Transphobia Scale, the Transphobia Scale, the Modern Homonegativity Scale, a gender specific Collective Self-Esteem Scale, and the Social Desirability Scale-17. Consistent with other research, heterosexual men reported significantly higher levels of prejudice toward lesbian women, gay men and transpeople compared to women. Men reported significantly more negative attitudes toward gay men compared to lesbian women, and reported more possible violence toward and discomfort around transwomen than transmen. In contrast to men, heterosexual women reported similar levels of sexual prejudice toward gay men and lesbian women and more discomfort around a transman than a transwoman. Both men and women reported more teasing of transwomen compared to transmen. Men with high gender self-esteem reported more sexual prejudice toward gay men and lesbian. These results were not found for heterosexual women who reported high gender self-esteem.. This research will contribute to knowledge and awareness of what factors affect and predict negative attitudes, prejudice, and violence against sexual and gender minorities. This current research suggests some similarities as well as differences in the prediction of sexual prejudice and transprejudice. Additionally, the results suggest that SIT can be a useful framework to begin to understand both sexual prejudice and transprejudice. Furthermore, although there are some similarities in the predictors of sexual prejudice and transprejudice for heterosexual women and men, the differences are important enough to suggest some divergence in how social identities interact with gender to influence prejudicial attitudes. Finally, greater awareness regarding sexual prejudice and transprejudice can lead to more effective interventions to decrease prejudice and violence.
    • Use of the Combination of the Brief and Basc-2 in Assessment of ADHD

      Knoll, Andrea R. (2014-03-18)
      ADHD is one of the most frequently diagnosed childhood disorders in the United States today; however, diagnostic specificity remains challenging. Accepted models of ADHD routinely highlight the role of executive function (EF) deficits as a core feature of ADHD. However, performance based measures of EF do not consistently discriminate between ADHD and no-ADHD clinical groups. Research has supported use of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) in discriminating between ADHD and no-ADHD and between subtypes. However, EF deficits can occur for various reasons. Broad range behavior rating scales help identify areas of behavioral concern that may aid clinicians in understanding EF deficits. The purpose of this study was to assess whether using the BRIEF in combination with the Behavior Assessment System for Children-2 (BASC-2) would better discriminate ADHD from no-ADHD in a clinical population than either measure alone. Participants included 115 children referred to an ADHD evaluation clinic. Contrary to hypotheses, a combination of scales from the BRIEF and BASC-2 did not result in higher diagnostic classification as compared to each measure alone. The best classification rate was found when combining the BRIEF-Behavior Regulation-parent and BRIEF-Metacognitive Index-teacher. This finding is in congruence with best practice guidelines that recommend using multiple raters when assessing for ADHD.
    • Voluntary control of penile tumescence while receiving both cognitive and physical stimulation.

      Carpenter, Todd M (2012-04-19)
      Voluntary control of erectile responses represents a serious threat to the validity of phallometry( or penile plethysmography).Cognitive methods,such as not attending to the sexual stimuli or distraction through the use of fantasy,may be used effectively to distort phallometric measures.The primary purpose of this study was to explore the degree of control men have over their sexual arousal while receiving both cognitive and vibrotactile stimulation.More specifically,this study examined the ability of males to suppress penile tumescence to preferred sexual stimuli as well as their ability to enhance tumuscence to nonpreferred and neutral stimuli.Participants were randomly assigned to view one of three 4-minute video clips(heterosexual scene,homosexual scene,or neutral scene) while also receiving low-level penile vibrotactile stimulation. A 3 X 2 X 2 mixed model MANOVA was used to analyse the data.The results indicated that while receiving low-level vibrotactile stimulation,participants were able to "enhance" sexual arousal when instructed to do so regardless of video type but had much greater difficulty "suppressing" sexual arousal to the preferred video.Furthermore, under "enhance" instructions,mean and peak tumescence measures were not significantly difficult when comparing men who viewed a heterosexual VS homosexual video.The findings of this study are somewhat inconsistent with those of previous research and raise important issues clinically,theoretically and legally regarding the use of penile plethysmography.
    • Working Memory and Executive Functioning Impairment as Endophenotypes of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

      Iati, Carina A. (2012-10-19)
      Evidence indicates that impairments in working memory and executive functioning exist in individuals who have decompensated into schizophrenia, as well as their genetic relatives. Few studies, however, have examined whether these impairments function as premorbid indicators of vulnerability to schizophrenia-related disorders in the absence of genetic relatedness for risk determination. According to Meehl’s (1962, 1990) model of schizotypy individuals vulnerable to schizophrenia-related disorders evidence subtle symptoms of vulnerability, referred to as endophenotypes, regardless of whether eventual decompensation occurs. The present study represents a cross-sectional portion of a larger longitudinal study, and investigates whether individuals who demonstrate an elevated risk for future development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders also demonstrate these impairments compared to a normal-risk group in a sample of college students. Risk status was determined by participants’ Wisconsin Schizotypy Scale (WSS) scores. Working memory subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–IV (WAIS-IV) and Wechsler Memory Scale-IV (WMS-IV) were compared across individuals determined to be at high risk (psychometric schizotypes; PS) and a matched comparison (MC) sample. Executive functioning, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST), was also compared across these groups. It was hypothesized that schizotypes would exhibit impairment in both of these abilities. Additionally, it was hypothesized that a linear relationship would exist between level of deviancy demonstrated on the WSS and the level of impairment demonstrated on executive functioning and working memory tasks. Results failed to support the hypothesis that aggregate working memory or executive functioning deficits were significantly related to schizotypy. However, performance on the WMS-IV Visual Working Memory Index (VWMI) and the Spatial Addition subtest of this measure indicated impaired performance by PS participants compared to the MC group. Similarly, this investigation failed to find support for a linear relationship between level of impairment and deviance on PerAb and MagId WSS subscales. However, scores on the SocAnh scale did demonstrate an inverse relationship with performance on the VWMI. Further analyses which grouped the PS participants by symptom presentation, revealed that individuals exhibiting a negative symptom presentation, as indicated by deviant scores on the SocAnh scale, demonstrated impairment in visual working memory in comparison to both the MC group and their Per-Mag counterparts who exhibited more positive symptoms. This result is in agreement previous investigations that have specified visual working memory impairment as being related to negative symptom presentation (Cameron, 2002; Park et al., 2003). These results may be influenced by characteristics of the present sample, as the majority of individuals who reported symptoms did so on negative symptom dimensions, with only 6 individuals reporting positive symptomology. Negative symptom dimensions have been proposed to be related to working memory impairment (Gooding & Tallent, 2002), whereas positive symptoms have been proposed to be related to impairment in executive functioning (Donohoe et al., 2006; Lenzenweger & Korfine, 1994). The relative lack of individuals with positive symptom presentation in the current sample likely led to the lack of any notable results with regard to executive functioning. Results of this investigation aid our understanding of the course of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and join the broad body of literature investigating candidate endophenotypes. Future directions for related research include continued investigation into the differences between verbal and visual working memory as related to schizophrenia spectrum disorders, investigation of the present candidate endophenotypes alongside other proposed markers of liability, and longitudinal investigation to determine whether individuals possessing candidate endophenotypes exhibit a greater number of schizophrenia spectrum symptoms.
    • Working Memory and Executive Functioning Impairment as Endophenotypes of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

      Iati, Carina A. (2014-03-18)
      Evidence indicates that impairments in working memory and executive functioning exist in individuals who have decompensated into schizophrenia, as well as their genetic relatives. Few studies, however, have examined whether these impairments function as premorbid indicators of vulnerability to schizophrenia-related disorders in the absence of genetic relatedness for risk determination. According to Meehl’s (1962, 1990) model of schizotypy individuals vulnerable to schizophrenia-related disorders evidence subtle symptoms of vulnerability, referred to as endophenotypes, regardless of whether eventual decompensation occurs. The present study represents a cross-sectional portion of a larger longitudinal study, and investigates whether individuals who demonstrate an elevated risk for future development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders also demonstrate these impairments compared to a normal-risk group in a sample of college students. Risk status was determined by participants’ Wisconsin Schizotypy Scale (WSS) scores. Working memory subtests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–IV (WAIS-IV) and Wechsler Memory Scale-IV (WMS-IV) were compared across individuals determined to be at high risk (psychometric schizotypes; PS) and a matched comparison (MC) sample. Executive functioning, as measured by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task (WCST), was also compared across these groups. It was hypothesized that schizotypes would exhibit impairment in both of these abilities. Additionally, it was hypothesized that a linear relationship would exist between level of deviancy demonstrated on the WSS and the level of impairment demonstrated on executive functioning and working memory tasks. Results failed to support the hypothesis that aggregate working memory or executive functioning deficits were significantly related to schizotypy. However, performance on the WMS-IV Visual Working Memory Index (VWMI) and the Spatial Addition subtest of this measure indicated impaired performance by PS participants compared to the MC group. Similarly, this investigation failed to find support for a linear relationship between level of impairment and deviance on PerAb and MagId WSS subscales. However, scores on the SocAnh scale did demonstrate an inverse relationship with performance on the VWMI. Further analyses which grouped the PS participants by symptom presentation, revealed that individuals exhibiting a negative symptom presentation, as indicated by deviant scores on the SocAnh scale, demonstrated impairment in visual working memory in comparison to both the MC group and their Per-Mag counterparts who exhibited more positive symptoms. This result is in agreement previous investigations that have specified visual working memory impairment as being related to negative symptom presentation (Cameron, 2002; Park et al., 2003). These results may be influenced by characteristics of the present sample, as the majority of individuals who reported symptoms did so on negative symptom dimensions, with only 6 individuals reporting positive symptomology. Negative symptom dimensions have been proposed to be related to working memory impairment (Gooding & Tallent, 2002), whereas positive symptoms have been proposed to be related to impairment in executive functioning (Donohoe et al., 2006; Lenzenweger & Korfine, 1994). The relative lack of individuals with positive symptom presentation in the current sample likely led to the lack of any notable results with regard to executive functioning. Results of this investigation aid our understanding of the course of schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and join the broad body of literature investigating candidate endophenotypes. Future directions for related research include continued investigation into the differences between verbal and visual working memory as related to schizophrenia spectrum disorders, investigation of the present candidate endophenotypes alongside other proposed markers of liability, and longitudinal investigation to determine whether individuals possessing candidate endophenotypes exhibit a greater number of schizophrenia spectrum symptoms.