CUA Dissertations

Pages

A Church Apart: The Catholic Church in the Rural South, 1939-1990
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. History. The Catholic University of America, This dissertation examines Catholicism in the rural South to answer three questions. The first is how did priests and lay Catholics engage in a pluralistic American society before and after Vatican II while drastically outnumbered? The second is what did it mean to be part of the universal Catholic Church while isolated geographically, socially, and institutionally? Finally, how do we balance the impact of major national and international events on the Catholicism in the rural South with the importance of local context? This dissertation seeks to answer these questions by examining the history of seven parishes - four pastored by Glenmary Home Missioners and three pastored by non-Glenmarians - in the rural South between 1939 and 1990.Throughout much of the twentieth century, Southern Catholics were regarded with suspicion by their neighbors without the protections offered by numbers or their own confessional institutions. Catholics in the rural South dealt with this in two ways. The first was by emphasizing their Southerness. Apart from their religious beliefs, they were virtually indistinguishable from their fellow Southerners, and their views on politics, economics, and race hewed much closer to their non-Catholic neighbors than their co-religionists in the North. The second way Catholics in the rural South dealt with an inhospitable religious climate was to make a conscious choice to be Catholic. There was no "cultural" Catholicism here, and minus institutional support, they emphasized the signifiers, such as liturgy, sacred space, and the priest, that marked them as religiously separate. They wanted to be good Southerners, but they wanted to belong to Rome too. The dissertation finds that Catholicism in the rural South could not have grown during the second half of the twentieth century without the New Deal and World War II stimulating the region's economic modernization or the support and priests offered by Catholicism in the urban North. The Civil Rights Movement and Second Vatican Council altered what it meant to be Catholic here as well. Rural Southern Catholics viewed these national and international events primarily through the lens of local concerns, which reinforced their sense of isolation and Southerness.
The Church as Communion in Small Christian Communities in South Korea
Degree awarded: S.T.D. Systematic Theology. The Catholic University of America, The Church as Communion in Small Christian Communities in South KoreaDaesup Kim, S.T.D.Director: Msgr. Paul McPartlan, D. Phil.In light of the development of an ecclesiology of communion in the Catholic Church in recent decades, the Catholic Church in South Korea has implemented a structure of small Christian communities (SCCs) in each parish. However, there has been a lack of real understanding and analysis of SCCs in terms of the idea of the Church as communion. Instead, they have generally been regarded as one of the best ways for evangelization and for parish renewal. This seems to be because the SCCs have been implemented while mostly focusing on the mission of the Church, without fully considering the essential nature of the Church as a whole. This dissertation traces the implementation and establishment of SCCs in the Church of South Korea. It then analyzes this development in light of the ecclesiology of communion developed on the universal level in the teaching of Vatican II and subsequent magisterial teachings (noting Christological, ecclesial, and evangelical dimensions of the idea), and on the regional level in the documents of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC; noting especially understandings of communion as liberation, as dialogue, and as harmony).It is concluded that SCCs in South Korea have promoted communion in the Church, especially in terms of personal communion with Jesus Christ through meditation on the Gospel, friendlier communion among the parishioners, more active participation of the laity in the parish and in the evangelization of their neighborhood. However, there are still some issues to be resolved and points to be developed, in order to find a truly inculturated model for the SCCs and proper methods of Gospel-sharing and of lay spirituality fitting for the Korean environment. The dissertation makes suggestions towards that end.SCCs have been true expressions of ecclesial communion and centers of evangelization in South Korea. Accordingly, it can be said that with the help of the SCC movement the Church in South Korea is in process toward becoming a true local Church, a true Church-in-communion., Made available in DSpace on 2011-06-24T17:11:19Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Kim_cua_0043A_10209display.pdf: 2179467 bytes, checksum: d836c95e20613fff563f812f46ed37d0 (MD5)
The Church as the Bride of Christ in Magisterial Teaching from Leo XIII to John Paul II
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Systematic Theology. The Catholic University of America, The Church as the Bride of Christ in Magisterial Teaching from Leo XIII to John Paul IIAndrew W. Lichtenwalner, Ph.D.Director: Msgr. Paul McPartlan, S.T.L., D.Phil.The image of the Church as the Bride of Christ is a long-standing and preeminent ecclesial image that continues to offer insights and provoke questions for ecclesiology. Interest in ecclesial bridal imagery reemerged with particular intensity in the Catholic Church in the first half of the twentieth century through the ressourcement. While the magisterium of Pope John Paul II is particularly well-known for its use of spousal imagery, there was a significant trajectory of teaching on the Church as the Bride of Christ in preceding papal and conciliar teaching. This dissertation investigates (1) the use of ecclesial bridal imagery in twentieth-century papal and conciliar teaching from Leo XIII to John Paul II, and (2) the significance and implications of such usage for ecclesiology. The study first surveys the historical use of ecclesial bridal imagery, illustrating the image's traditional application in various areas of theology. It then discusses the notion of metaphor in preparation for the subsequent analysis of the nature and use of ecclesial bridal imagery. An exposition of the papal and conciliar teaching follows, wherein key themes and patterns of use of bridal imagery are identified. In particular, the study finds with Pius XII's teaching a clear shift and intensification in the use of bridal imagery. John Paul II's use of the imagery is therefore contextualized within a broader range of previous teaching. Finally, the study evaluates the span of this usage found in twentieth-century teaching and considers its relevance for ongoing questions concerning the personhood of the Church, the relation of bodily and bridal imagery, men and women in the Church, and the Church's identity and eschatological fulfillment. The study concludes by considering the enduring and prophetic value of ecclesial bridal imagery. As an emblematic and irreducible metaphor, the image of the Church as the Bride of Christ offers a unique window to the mystery of the Church and discloses a dynamic and dramatic ecclesial identity meant to be lived and realized by every member of the Church., Made available in DSpace on 2012-06-01T16:44:12Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Lichtenwalner_cua_0043A_10294display.pdf: 3558523 bytes, checksum: da199a3a28f5b9cfd4c97ce2eba257ad (MD5)
The Church of the East at Three Critical Points in its History
This dissertation seeks to examine changes in the identity of the Church of the East over a span of several centuries particularly in relation to events and experiences undergone by this church body in its own milieu. It aims to do this through the analysis of key texts by or about prominent church figures and secondary texts which establish the context for these men in each of three separate time periods. The figures under investigation are Mar Babai the Great at the turn of the 7th century during the last years of the Sassanid Empire, Catholicos Timothy I in the height of Abbasid Culture at the turn of the 9th Century, and Mar Yaballaha III during the Pax Mongolica at the end of the 13th century. This dissertation asserts that these men acted as representatives of their churchmen in their day, and that said representation, judging by the esteem in which they were held, extended to subsequent generations. Because of this, an analysis of their milieu and their responses to it provided in their writings grants insight into their corporate identity in their respective time periods, and what variations exist can be described as identity shifts. In this way, this dissertation establishes that the Church of the East in the Sassanid period was working to establish an identity as the Church of the Persian Empire, in distinction from that of the Romans, and furthermore, due to their lofty connections, they were highly anticipating the acceptance of their faith by the leadership of their empire. By the time of Timothy, a century and a half later, due to the religious inclinations of their new political masters, such aspirations were at least in part abandoned locally, but at the further extents of the church’s reach, a greater degree of freedom was granted its members. This freedom contributed to the state of the Church of the East in the final period, where distant unexpected church members came home at the head of an army to establish a kingdom, and Church of the East leadership understandably interpreted this to mean that they might finally have a Christian king. Such aspirations proved short lived. This dissertation shows that there were a number of Church of the East identity points that shifted over the centuries, but two stand out as prominent: 1. their relationship with their political rulers including the role their ecclesiastical group played in society, and 2. the role of missionary outreach in the life of their church., Middle Eastern literature, History, Religious history, Asia, Babai, Church of the East, Islam, Timothy I, Yaballaha, Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. The Catholic University of America
Citizens of Heaven: Conservative American Protesant Reactions to New Deal Legislation
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. History. The Catholic University of America, In September 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a letter to clergymen across the nation asking for feedback, counsel, and advice. This project examines two separate, but connected questions. First, what compelled Roosevelt to send the letter, which represented a departure from his established patterns of gauging public opinion? Second, what can we learn from the responses submitted by conservative Protestant ministers? The project begins with a detailed investigation of Roosevelt's letter- what compelled the President to send it, how was it prepared, and how were the responses compiled. This is followed by an examination of the letters received from conservative Protestant ministers from seven representative states, specifically focusing on their responses to federal relief aid, Social Security, New Deal agricultural programs, and their assessment of the current spiritual state of the nation.Roosevelt's decision to send the letter demonstrates his view of clergymen as spokesmen for their congregations. He was confident that religious leaders were capable of providing access to the sentiments of their congregants, which were difficult to otherwise discern before widespread political polling. The conservative clergymen's responses help us to see a direct link between the political activism of the fundamentalists during the Progressive Era and the emergence of a powerful Christian Right in the 1950s. Though these conservative Protestant clergymen did not play a significant role in national politics during the 1930s, they did not retreat from political and civic activity. They saw themselves as informed citizens and community leaders qualified to offer unbiased counsel. Though they respected government authority, their primary allegiance was to God. They advocated for more intentional interaction between the President and religious leaders, committed to support government actions that reflected Christian principles, and offered specific criticism of programs and legislation that threatened God's authority. The clergymen urged Roosevelt to heed their counsel, confident that God would use them to usher in a period of genuine religious revival and renewed spiritual fervor across the nation, which they believed was necessary for true stability.
Closest in Friendship? Al-Jahiz' Profile of Christians in Abbasid Society in “The Refutation of Christians” (Al-Radd 'ala al-Nasara)
Abbasid society in ninth-century Iraq faced the challenge of reconciling the role of its many non-Muslim citizens with Islamic norms and governance, as seen in “The Refutation of Christians” by al-Jahiz (d. 868/869 [255 A.H.]). Al-Jahiz moved in circles only one step removed from those of the Christian and Jewish intellectuals he came to criticize in the work, and he likely composed it just prior to Caliph al-Mutawakkil’s watershed reforms in non-Muslim policy. Thus, the “Refutation” is a primary source for understanding shifting Muslim sensibilities toward Christians’ societal role in a religiously diverse realm, but its polemic approach makes it problematic to analyze historically. This dissertation seeks to make “The Refutation of Christians” more accessible as a historical source by performing a contextual analysis of its argumentation.Al-Jahiz’ rhetorical strategy is to explain away factors behind popular Muslim preferences for Christians over Jews, and then to advance positive reasons for considering Christians more harmful than Jews. Argumentation analysis using the pragma-dialectical approach highlights salient social points at issue between Christians and Muslims of the time. First, al-Jahiz’ dispute is not directly with Christians, but with Muslims who show them too much respect and liberality. Second, he must reframe certain facts about Christians that are too generally accepted to contradict, including memories of Arabs’ pre-Islamic and early Islamic contacts with Christians, and Christian intellectuals’ crucial role in perpetuating Greek scientific works. He turns these favorable perceptions into liabilities, arguing that Christians’ intellectualism diverts weak Muslims from the faith and their social position violates Christian-Muslim agreements. Finally, in contrast to the jurists’ approach, he argues for enforcing the original intention of these agreements rather than trying to demonstrate specific historical stipulations. Al-Jahiz’ ideology aligns with al-Mutawakkil’s Qur'anically charged edicts, in that Christians, far from being “closest in friendship” (5:82), are those with whom believers must not make any alliance (5:51). As such, the “Refutation” reveals the battle lines between more lenient, popular Muslim attitudes and a stricter position promoted by al-Jahiz and enforced by al-Mutawakkil., Degree awarded: Ph.D. Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. The Catholic University of America
Cognitive and executive functioning in 15-month-old children following traumatic brain injury prior to age one year
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America, Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the most common cause of death and acquired brain insult in American children, and therefore a major public health concern. Children less than one year of age are disproportionately likely to sustain a TBI, but this age group has been relatively neglected in the TBI research literature. In young school-age children, significant age-at-injury effects have been found in that children injured at younger ages tend to have worse outcome. This is in contrast to the predicted pattern of neuroplasticity, with younger brains tending to demonstrate greater plasticity. Additionally, studies of children after TBI reveal significant impact on control of attention, working memory, planning, and inhibitory control (executive functions (EF).) These areas often remain persistently compromised, even when overall cognitive functioning shows good recovery. Little is known about how the early components of EF may be affected when TBI occurs in infancy. The current study examined the relationship between injury variables (severity and age-at-injury) and cognitive and executive functioning in 15-month-old children following TBI sustained prior to one year of age. Nineteen children who sustained a TBI and 15 uninjured children were tested at 15 months of age. Cognitive functioning was measured with the Mental Scale of the Bayley-II. Working memory and inhibitory control were measured with a manual delayed response task (A-Not-B.) In the current study, children with TBI performed worse on average than uninjured children in overall cognitive functioning and executive functioning. Earlier age-at-injury was associated with poorer cognitive functioning at all severity levels. Earlier age-at-injury was associated with poorer EF performance in children with milder injuries, but not in those with more severe injuries. Results of the current study also support the use of an early "marker" task (the A-Not-B delayed response task) that appears sensitive to impairments in early components of executive functioning. The current study adds to the small body of knowledge about outcome after TBI in infancy and provides a strong case for routine neurodevelopmental follow-up as the standard of care for these children., Made available in DSpace on 2011-02-24T20:46:02Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Coleman_cua_0043A_10067display.pdf: 2749676 bytes, checksum: 467b87cf685bec3a7d63805254cc5e8d (MD5)
Cognitive Behavioral and Integrative Treatment of Abused Children: Examining Cognitive and Emotional Processes and Developmental Considerations
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America, Maltreated and abused children often experience a wide range of psychological and physical problems, including emotional avoidance and negative post-traumatic cognitions, and present to treatment with a broad range of developmental abilities. The present study explored trauma-related beliefs, emotion regulation, and verbal engagement, and their relation to symptoms in 42 children with complex trauma histories who presented for a treatment outcome study of trauma-focused integrated play therapy (TF-IPT) and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT). As predicted, emotion regulation deficits and negative trauma-related beliefs at baseline corresponded with greater psychological symptoms, with distinct patterns emerging. Across treatment conditions, negative trauma-related beliefs decreased significantly from pre- to post-treatment and verbal engagement increased significantly across sessions; both changes corresponded significantly with reductions in symptomatology. Contrary to prediction, no significant improvements in emotion regulation capacities were found (although for children in the TF-IPT condition means were in the expected direction), and improvement in emotion regulation was not related to change on any measure of psychological symptoms. Treatments also did not differ significantly in their ability to decrease trauma-related beliefs, improve emotion regulation, or facilitate verbal engagement, although only children in TF-CBT showed significant improvement in trauma cognitions. Additionally, simple meditational analyzes using a non-parametric bootstrapping approach indicated no indirect effect of treatment group by any mediators tested for symptom improvement. Even though the study's statistical power was limited by the presence of only 22 treatment completers and replication is needed, results suggest that remediating children's trauma-related cognitions is important in trauma treatment, while emotion regulation capacities may be more difficult to impact therapeutically (or to measure meaningfully). Additionally, future interventions that enhance children's verbal engagement in treatment may increase treatment effectiveness. Integrative treatments such as TF-IPT may hold promise, especially for young children with immature cognitive and language capacities. Further research, including a larger randomized controlled clinical trial of both TF-CBT and TF-IPT, would be beneficial in developing better understandings of these mechanisms of change for abused children and the differential effects of treatments on underlying process variables., Made available in DSpace on 2013-02-08T16:06:02Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Krueger_cua_0043A_10390display.pdf: 1159704 bytes, checksum: 517d91881ea6388c1af26411f32a95c0 (MD5)
Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality (CAMS): Adherence to a Flexible Clinical Framework
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America, The Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality framework (CAMS; Jobes, 2006) has amassed more consistent empirical support to date than most other suicide-focused psychosocial approaches for actively treating adult patients. This support has led to multiple variations of CAMS training being delivered to mental health practitioners across several settings. However, no research has examined the extent to which such training impacts participants' self-reported adherence to the CAMS therapeutic philosophy and recommended CAMS practice behaviors, or whether adherence varies as a function of contextual variables (i.e., the type of training received, therapist factors, and primary work setting/agency support). The present study was designed to address this gap, using an online survey of 120 practitioners who completed some form of CAMS training or read the CAMS manual with the intention of applying it in clinical practice. Results indicated moderate to high adherence to the CAMS therapeutic philosophy, which is comparable to other studies gauging the impact of suicide-focused training. Similarly, participants reported relatively high adherence to CAMS practice, in line with other suicide-focused training studies and, in fact, higher than findings on adherence to interventions for other psychiatric issues. Older and more experienced clinicians, those with doctoral degrees, and those whose work was guided more from a CBT perspective had higher adherence to the CAMS therapeutic approach. Additionally, adherence to CAMS philosophy as measured by comfort using CAMS-consistent statements was higher for men, those with more of a CBT orientation, clinicians who received more intensive training, and those working in outpatient or Veterans Administration medical centers as opposed to counseling centers. Finally, therapist confidence in using CAMS with patients was positively related to both adherence types. On the whole, adherence to philosophy and practice did not vary consistently as a function of any contextual variable, which suggests that practitioners receiving CAMS training can successfully subscribe to the CAMS therapeutic philosophy and implement CAMS-specific practices regardless of their broader contexts. Future investigations of CAMS training should assess self-reported CAMS-related attitudes and beliefs before and immediately after training, as well as actual behavior change in clinical practice., Made available in DSpace on 2014-06-20T15:48:49Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Crowley_cua_0043A_10515display.pdf: 773733 bytes, checksum: f36b07d1936a3a2c9297326c68ff36f6 (MD5)
Comfort as Experienced by Thai Older Patients with Advanced Cancer
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Nursing. The Catholic University of America, your words, Made available in DSpace on 2011-03-01T11:47:06Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Tanatwanit_cua_0043A_10165display.pdf: 15872978 bytes, checksum: 8b9c912761df91d98f089ffbc697f0e5 (MD5)
Communication, Communion and Conflict in the Theologies of Gregory Baum and Patrick Granfield
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Systematic Theology. The Catholic University of America, Communion, communication, and conflict are interrelated realities of great importance for the life and mission of the church. These realities themselves and the relationships between them are in need of theological refinement and assessment, because conflict necessarily affects the church's ability to communicate the message of salvation, and to experience communion.Within a North American and Roman Catholic context, Canadian theologian Gregory Baum (b.1923) and U.S. theologian Patrick Granfield (1930-2014) present ways of perceiving the relationships between these three realities. Through an analysis of the salient dimensions of their respective theologies, this dissertation explores their respective understandings of the church, and identifies ways in which their approaches complement each other, with particular attention paid to the themes of communion, communication and conflict.Baum reflected on these three realities with respect to the church's life and mission to the world, articulating an ecclesial spirituality. Granfield did so primarily with respect to the church's institutional life. Considering their works together offers a means to deepen the church's experience of the mystery of communion via a renewed approach to its communication of the divine promise, while acknowledging conflict as a force which need not be destructive, but which can be harnessed for creative growth.The works of both men show that the implementation of an ecclesiology of communion in the church today requires an awareness that communion is more than simply a theological notion of union with God, that communication in the church is more than speech alone, and that conflict in the church need not be divisive or destructive. Rather, communion in the church must always be concretely expressed in order to be experienced, communication is the sharing of the whole person, and conflict can be attended to in a way which strengthens communion and does not undermine it. By their attention to these three realities in the church, both Baum and Granfield have provided important reflections, not only on how the church lives and functions, but on how it can remain faithful to its divine calling and mission in a continually challenging and complex era.
A Communication Enrichment Retreat for Catholic Korean-American Couples Employing the Trinitarian Mode of Communication
Degree awarded: D.Min. Pastoral Studies. The Catholic University of America, AbstractGood communication, as the ability to exchange precise meanings, leads couples to a deeper mutual understanding and works as a key to enhancing marital intimacy and satisfaction. Communication has been a fundamental issue, particularly for first generation Korean-American couples who have been challenged by the pressure of adapting to the new cultural situation of living in the United States. While still constrained by a strong tendency to maintain Confucian paradigm of marital communication and thereby avoid dialogue, these couples have felt the growing need both for effective communication that deals with tensions and conflicts among themselves and for real dialogue that results in a healthier marriage. The Trinitarian mode of marital communication, which is derived from the marriage analogy of the Trinity, could serve as a Catholic ideal of marital communication. As characterized by the triple interaction of silence, listening, and dialogue in conformity with God's Trinitarian communion of love among God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it will help Catholic Korean-American couples share their life and love together "in the Lord" at a deeper level and enhance mutual understanding and intimacy in the Second Vatican Council's vision of marriage as "the intimate community of life and love." A Trinitarian Couple Communication that employs "reflection, validation, and empathy" and involves the perspective of silence, of listening, and of dialogue may function as a workable model for daily use to help couples reduce misunderstanding and unnecessary conflicts among themselves and gain more satisfaction and intimacy in marital relationships.This Project in Ministry was carried out in two parts. Accordingly, Part One laid the theoretical foundation for the Project by researches in Catholic Theology of Marriage, Marriage in Traditional Korean Confucianism, Korean-American Marriage in the Challenge of Cultural Transition, and a Catholic Ideal of marital Communication. Upon this foundation, Part Two designed, implemented, and evaluated through surveys the actual retreat program. This Project in Ministry may serve as an effective and workable educational model to enrich marital communication, particularly for Catholic Korean-American couples who have alienated themselves from the existing marriage programs because of the language and cultural barrier., Made available in DSpace on 2011-02-24T20:47:15Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Jung_cua_0043D_10016display.pdf: 617000 bytes, checksum: 5dbd8534ed6a9ee049683f0e5728c787 (MD5)
A Comparative Study of the Hermeneutics of Henri de Lubac and Hans-Georg Gadamer Concerning Tradition, Community and Faith in the Interpretation of Scripture
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Systematic Theology. The Catholic University of America, This dissertation investigates and compares the hermeneutics of the French Jesuit theologian, Henri de Lubac (1896-1991), and the German philosopher, Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2001). The writings of both Gadamer and de Lubac continue to generate scholarly investigation, including proposals to apply their insights to contemporary biblical interpretation. Although de Lubac and Gadamer were contemporaries, they never directly engaged each other's writings; this dissertation brings their thought into dialogue. Chapter One provides a biographical overview of the lives of both scholars by situating the texts that will be examined within the broader context of each work. Since de Lubac approached the subject of biblical interpretation chiefly as an historian of exegesis, the first step in this comparative investigation is a formulation of de Lubac's hermeneutical principles. Chapter Two, which constitutes the major portion of this dissertation, analyzes de Lubac's works Catholicisme, Histoire et Esprit, Exegese medievale, and La Posterite spirituelle de Joachim de Flore in view of understanding his hermeneutics. An historical account of the formation of de Lubac's theology of the four-fold sense of Scripture is provided, together with a description of its final synthesis. This chapter proposes that de Lubac's later works must be read in light of his writings of the 1930s in order to grasp the scope of his desired integration of traditional interpretation and modern science. It also provides a more detailed analysis of the exegetical import of La Posterite spirituelle than previous literature. Although the writings of Gadamer concern general hermeneutics, he occasionally applied his theories to biblical interpretation. Chapter Three examines Gadamer's Wahrheit und Methode in order to compare his hermeneutics with those of de Lubac that were presented in Chapter Two. The conclusion appraises the similarities between de Lubac and Gadamer in their treatment of the role of tradition and community in interpretation. The conclusion also explores the tension between their views on the role of faith in interpretation and suggests that certain principles of Gadamer's general hermeneutics may provide the philosophical support that de Lubac desired for his theological hermeneutics of Scripture. An appendix analyzes the textual relationship of Histoire et Esprit to its sources.
Comparing Judicial Instructions About Confession Evidence in a Criminal Case
Most false confessors will plead, or will be found, guilty at trial in the U.S. DNA exonerations indicate that false confessions are the second leading cause of wrongful conviction. Jurors have an incomplete understanding of the factors that affect confession evidence. This study sought to sensitize mock jurors to factors that can increase or decrease the strength of confession evidence, by way of a novel set of modified (“enhanced”) jury instructions. The enhanced instructions combined best-practice standard (“general”) criminal case instructions with empirical findings about factors occurring before, during, and after an interrogation that impact confession reliability. Participants (N= 314) read a weak or strong murder trial transcript online, followed by general or enhanced jury instructions. The key evidence in the trial was the defendant’s confession, gathered by police using either coercive (weak case) or appropriate (strong case) tactics. The cases differed in 11 key details. For example, in the weak case, police employed coercive tactics, such as lying about the existence of incriminating evidence against the suspect, whereas in the strong case, the police ensured the suspect’s sobriety prior to the interview and recorded the interview in its entirety. Altogether, 64% of the general instruction group convicted the defendant in the weak case and 74% in the strong case—a 10% difference that was not statistically significant. In contrast, 60% of the enhanced group convicted thedefendant in the weak case and 78% in the strong case—an 18% difference that was significant. The enhanced instruction participants were 1.47 times more likely to render a guilty verdict in the strong case than the weak case compared to the general instruction participants. This is the first study to demonstrate that jury instructions can sensitize jurors to confession evidence, without making them more skeptical about confession evidence in general. However, 30% of participants who considered the confession to be involuntary still convicted the defendant, and the enhanced instructions did not lower convictions for involuntary confessions. Implications are discussed for educating jurors and legal professionals about confession evidence., Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America
Comparing Pain in Patients Undergoing Percutaneous Versus Transjugular Techniques of Liver Biopsy
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Nursing. The Catholic University of America, ABSTRACTNo study was found in the initial review of the literature comparing pain experienced by patients using the medical technique of Percutaneous Liver Biopsy (PLB) as compared to Transjugular Liver Biopsy (TLB). The relevance of this study derives from the general lack of research on this important subject related to the pain liver biopsy patients' experience. In addition, no studies were found in the literature comparing pain experienced during PLB and TLB using both the Numeric Pain Scale (NPS) and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). This study compared the experience of pain between patients who had the PLB procedure versus the TLB. This prospective, descriptive, comparative, quantitative study used the NPS and VAS with 32 post-liver biopsy patients to measure their pain prior to the biopsy procedure and at 2, 4 and 6 hours following the biopsy. In this study the NPS and VAS were both found to be reliable pain measures with alpha coefficients of 0.94 for the NPS and 0.91 for the VAS. Using the Grand mean for pain scores over time, the magnitude of the TLB pain was found to be 2.2 times greater than the pain PLB patients reported. Following the computed F value (1,30)=4.43, p<.05 using the NPS and using the VAS, F(1,30)=5.53, p<.03, post-hoc comparisons were used that found a statistically significant higher level of pain for the TLB patient as compared to the PLB patient prior to the biopsy (t[20.5]=2.2, p=0.038) and 2 hours after the procedure (t[24.4]=2.3, p=0.03 for the NPS. Part of being a nurse is to intervene effectively and holistically to relieve pain and prevent its' long-term effects, as anxiety or fear over the possibility of needing another liver biopsy in the future is worrisome to patients. In addition, practicing nurses should use research to guide the effective relief of acute pain in their liver biopsy patients. The findings of this study may help to guide how nurses and physicians can reduce liver biopsy pain. The conclusions of this study are that:1. There was a statistically significant difference in pain during liver biopsy between the TLB and the PLB patient, with the pain being greater in the TLB patient.2. The higher level of pain for the TLB patient as compared to the PLB patient was found to occur prior to the biopsy and 2 hours after the biopsy.3. The NPS and the VAS are reliable tests for measuring pain in liver biopsy patients.
Comparing Teaching Aids for how to Evaluate Eyewitness testimony in a Criminal Case
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America, Although eyewitness identifications are a common form of evidence presented in criminal trials, analyses of actual cases and studies of mock jurors suggest that people are not skilled at evaluating eyewitness accuracy. Laypeople tend to rely on factors that are not diagnostic of identification accuracy, such as the eyewitness's confidence, and they tend to underestimate factors that are diagnostic of identification accuracy, such as proper interview and lineup procedures. The present study compared the effects of three teaching aids on participants' sensitivity to eyewitness evidence in either a strong or weak eyewitness identification scenario. The interview-identification-eyewitness (I-I-Eye) experimental aid directed participants to first attend to how law enforcement interviewed the eyewitness, second evaluate the identification procedures, and third determine what eyewitness factors during the crime could have impacted the eyewitness's identification accuracy. The Neil v. Biggers control aid presented five criteria that are the current legal standard for evaluating eyewitness evidence. The Jury Duty control aid described aspects of the criminal trial process. The strong and weak transcript scenarios differed on factors relevant to the fairness of the eyewitness interview and the lineup (system variables). Participants were 293 undergraduate students. A 3 (teaching aid) x 2 (trial transcript strength), between-groups factorial design was employed. Participants in the I-I-Eye group rendered significantly more correct verdicts for the strong case and marginally more correct verdicts for the weak case than those in either control group. Importantly, only the I-I-Eye participants demonstrated sensitivity by ruling guilty more often in the strong case (55%) than in the weak case (16%). Thus, the I-I-Eye participants not only learned about eyewitness factors, but were able to integrate this information with other case details so as to reach a correct verdict. Moreover, participants in the I-I-Eye group were more likely to list characteristics of the crime scene (estimator variables) and police procedures (system variables), and less likely to list the lack of forensic evidence in the case, as the reason for their verdict. We discuss how to use the I-I-Eye heuristic to teach laypersons and professionals in the criminal justice system how to evaluate eyewitness evidence., Made available in DSpace on 2011-06-24T17:13:03Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Pawlenko_cua_0043A_10201display.pdf: 1032885 bytes, checksum: 90e296418992bf9c1cbf68b945c40db0 (MD5)
A Comparison of Mindfulness-Based Programs for Stress in University Students
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America, Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has demonstrated the ability to reduce stress in various populations, including university students, although a commitment to eight sessions and daily 45-minute formal mindfulness meditations may be a hindrance for some students. Other mindfulness-based interventions (e.g., acceptance and commitment therapy) use brief mindfulness exercises and informal practice without formal meditations. The present study compared a six-session workshop for stress management in undergraduate and graduate students that used formal mindfulness meditations and informal practice (Mindful Stress Management; MSM) to one that focused on brief mindfulness exercises and informal practice (Mindful Stress Management-Informal; MSM-I), as well as to a wait-list control. MSM participants exhibited significant within-group changes on all measures, and when compared to the wait-list control, greater levels of mindfulness, decentering, self-compassion, and lower stress. Students in MSM-I had significant within-group changes on a subset of measures (mindfulness, decentering, self-compassion, stress, depression, rumination, and worry), and greater mindfulness and self-compassion compared to the wait-list. MSM participants showed more improvement in self-compassion, psychological inflexibility, and stress than did those in MSM-I. Mediational analyses on mindfulness and mindfulness-related variables found that increases in one facet of mindfulness (nonreactivity to inner experience) and self-compassion, and decreases in worry mediated reductions in stress for MSM participants, while no mediator reached significance for students in MSM-I. Finally, there was no significant relation between the amount of formal meditation practice (for MSM participants) and informal mindfulness practice (for MSM-I participants) and reductions in psychological distress (stress, anxiety, or depression) or increases in mindfulness. Overall, results suggest that a 6-week program with formal mindfulness meditations and informal practice is a more promising intervention for undergraduate and graduate student stress than one that uses brief mindfulness exercises and informal practice., Made available in DSpace on 2013-11-05T15:05:17Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Hindman_cua_0043A_10395display.pdf: 1655667 bytes, checksum: 796c6d4a8507155a013152597232cbf7 (MD5)
Competition Among States: Case Studies in the Political Role of Remote Sensing Capabilities
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Politics. The Catholic University of America, Competition Among States: Case Studies in the Political Role of Remote Sensing Capabilities Audrey Ann Ammons, Ph.D. Director: Wallace J. Thies, Ph.D. International politics is a competitive realm. One of the most powerful modern advantages in this competitive world is the ownership of independent and autonomous remote sensing satellites. Few have this venue for competition and those that do belong to a very exclusive groups of states. Kenneth Waltz, author of Theory of International Politics, theorized that states emulate the innovations, strategies and practices of those countries with the greatest capability and ingenuity. As Waltz explains, states will emulate the leader in an anarchic realm to attain the same capabilities that helped the hegemon attain or maintain its status. Waltz referred to this as a tendency toward sameness of the competitors. Modern-day states that pursue global preeminence often exhibit exceptional risk-taking and significant technological innovation. They also challenge the recognized hegemon in an area of expertise and leadership. Realists would say that these states are emulating the behavior of the states they view as successful in order to maintain or improve their position in the world order. Realists also point out that strategic interests lead states to try to gain or at least neutralize those areas that, if controlled by an adversary, could menace them. Realist writers suggest that states will be reluctant to cede control of an important new technology to another state, even a friendly one, lest they find themselves permanently disadvantaged in an on-going contest for wealth, influence and even preeminence. The purpose of this research is to investigate if remote sensing capabilities are a venue of competition among modern states and one that they view as a potential path to global preeminence. Why do some states expend scarce resources to develop and maintain an indigenous remote sensing capability when it appears that they can acquire much of the end product from other sources at a reasonable cost? If this is true, it should be possible to confirm that states acquire end-to-end remote sensing capabilities as a means to maintain or improve their position in the world order. These states are willing to devote significant resources in order to control this technology because they believe successful states have used remote sensing technology as a means to acquire and maintain their preeminent position. States that own and operate remote sensing capabilities must take considerable risks and apply technological innovation to succeed. Whether the technology is an historical example such as a sixteenth century ship or its modern equivalent--a twenty-first century satellite--the potential rewards are the same: military advantage, commercial markets, and global recognition., Made available in DSpace on 2011-02-24T20:45:26Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Ammons_cua_0043A_10103display.pdf: 856645 bytes, checksum: cd8e3f9711a1c2cf01e6109bd309bd9a (MD5)

Pages