Dissertations from School of Arts and Sciences

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Childhood Sexual Abuse and Comorbid PTSD and Depression in Impoverished Women
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Psychology. The Catholic University of America, Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression frequently co-occur, with the comorbid condition sometimes referred to as posttraumatic depression. Previous research has suggested that posttraumatic depression in women with a history of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is associated with more severe psychiatric symptoms, impaired functioning, and suicidality, and it is thus imperative to study the specific elements that may contribute to the severity of this condition. The current study sought to determine the role of negative trauma-related cognitions and PTSD symptom clusters on depression severity for CSA survivors. Data were part of a larger archival database from a randomized controlled trial of the Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model (TREM) group intervention. All participants in the current study (N = 235) were female survivors of CSA and suffered from comorbid PTSD and depression, and the majority (88%) were African American. At the time of the study, most of these women were unemployed and many were either homeless, lived with family or friends, or lived independently in their own rented home. Participants were given a full battery of measures by means of an interview, including assessments of demographics and trauma history, recent trauma, levels of depressive symptoms, PTSD symptom cluster severity, and negative distorted beliefs following trauma. Results indicated that a more extensive history of CSA was associated with more severe PTSD symptoms. Women who experienced limited CSA reported less severe PTSD symptoms than women who experienced both moderate and severe CSA. There were no significant differences in PTSD and depressive symptoms between moderate and severe CSA. As predicted, there were strong correlations between trauma-related cognition subscales, PTSD symptom clusters, and depression severity. Recent trauma was associated with negative thoughts about the world, but counter to prediction, was not related to PTSD and depression severity. A multiple regression analysis indicated that trauma-related negative cognitions about the self and more severe PTSD arousal and avoidant symptoms significantly predicted depression severity. Findings suggest that although many factors may impact the severity of depression, it is important to focus on trauma-related negative cognitions about the self, PTSD arousal, and PTSD avoidant symptoms when treating female survivors of CSA., Made available in DSpace on 2011-06-24T17:11:47Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 DePetrillo_cua_0043A_10144display.pdf: 527675 bytes, checksum: fcba4a9322dcbdf296b43c7c476128b4 (MD5)
Chronic Alcohol Consumption Impairs Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis and Microtubule-Dependent Nuclear Translocation in Hepatocytes
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Biology. The Catholic University of America, The molecular basis for alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity is not well-understood. We sought to further explore a known protein trafficking defect caused by chronic alcohol exposure: receptor internalization from the hepatocyte plasma membrane, and a hypothesized defect in microtubule-dependent nuclear translocation of transcription factors. We hypothesized that both of these defects are caused by ethanol-induced protein hyperacetylation. Previously, we determined that the clathrin-mediated internalization of asialoglycoprotein receptor (ASGP-R) was impaired in ethanol-treated WIF-B cells, whereas the internalization of a glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein internalized via a caveolae/raft-mediated pathway was not changed. ASGP-R internalization was also impaired by trichostatin-A (TSA), a drug that induces global protein hyperacetylation, providing evidence that hyperacetylation is indeed associated with this defect. We examined a panel of proteins and compounds internalized by different mechanisms in control and ethanol-treated WIF-B cells. Markers known to be internalized via clathrin-mediated endocytosis were impaired, whereas the internalization of markers for caveolae/raft-mediated-, fluid phase-, or non-vesicle-mediated mechanisms was not altered after ethanol exposure. We conclude that clathrin-mediated endocytosis is selectively impaired by ethanol exposure. Previously we found that alcohol exposure led to increased microtubule acetylation and stability in WIF-B cells and livers from ethanol-fed rats. Because dynamic microtubules are known to regulate nuclear translocation of some transcription factors, we examined whether alcohol-induced microtubule acetylation and stability impair nuclear translocation. Representing factors that undergo directed nuclear delivery, we examined the growth hormone-induced translocation of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 5B (STAT5B) and the interleukin 6 (IL-6) -induced translocation of STAT3. Representing factors that are sequestered in the cytoplasm by microtubule attachment until ligand activation, we examined the Transforming Growth Factor-Beta (TGF-Beta) -induced translocation of Smad2/3. Ethanol exposure impaired the translocation of STAT3 and STAT5B, but not Smad2/3. STAT5B translocation was decreased to similar extents by taxol or trichostatin A, agents that promote microtubule acetylation in the absence of alcohol. Thus, the alcohol-induced impairment of STAT nuclear translocation can be explained by increased microtubule acetylation. Only ethanol-treatment impaired STAT5B activation, indicating microtubule acetylation is not important for this process. Together, these results suggest that deacetylase agonists may be effective therapeutics for treating alcoholic liver disease., Made available in DSpace on 2012-11-01T17:08:13Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Fernandez_cua_0043A_10369display.pdf: 4456009 bytes, checksum: e87206ccfadd525162b1f25330528627 (MD5)
Chronic Alcohol Consumption Leads to Hepatic Lysine Hyperacetylation: Mechanisms and Consequences
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Biology. The Catholic University of America, Although the clinical manifestations of alcoholic liver disease are well-described, little is known about the molecular basis for liver damage. We have been using hepatic WIF-B cells to examine ethanol-induced liver injury. These cells polarize in culture and maintain liver-specific activities including the ability to metabolize alcohol. Ethanol metabolism leads to the formation of highly reactive metabolites that covalently modify DNA, lipids and proteins. More recently, it is apparent that chronic ethanol consumption leads to increased post-translational protein modifications of the natural repertoire including acetylation. This reversible modification on lysine residues modulates multiple cellular processes. These studies were aimed at further characterizing ethanol-induced protein acetylation. Previously, we observed that ethanol induces microtubule hyperacetylation and stability and this requires ethanol metabolism. To determine the mechanism for increased microtubule acetylation, we examined the microtubule deacetylase, HDAC6. While ethanol does not alter its distribution or activity, HDAC6 protein levels are decreased 25%. Furthermore, ethanol impairs HDAC6-microtubule binding, likely due to ethanol-induced tubulin modifications. Therefore, lower HDAC6 levels combined with decreased microtubule binding leads to increased tubulin acetylation. Ethanol consumption has been shown to impair clathrin-mediated internalization and addition of trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of HDAC6 that leads to hyperacetylation, mimicked this defect. Using a morphological approach, it was determined that ethanol and TSA impairs clathrin internalization at a late stage of vesicle budding. We further determined that ethanol impairs dynamin-membrane binding and association with members of the clathrin machinery. Dynamin is the GTPase responsible for vesicle fission and decreased membrane association likely contributes to impaired internalization. A proteomics screen to identify novel ethanol-induced hyperacetylated proteins revealed that both actin and cortactin were hyperacetylated. Cortactin is thought to promote actin polymerization and mediate dynamin assembly on the necks of invaginated coated pits. Since cortactin acetylation disrupts its actin association, it is possible that ethanol-induced actin and cortactin hyperacetylation prevent proper dynamin recruitment and vesicle fission. Recently, a specific deacetylase activator, resveratrol, was shown to attenuate fatty liver in alcohol-exposed mice indicating that lysine acetylation plays a dominant role in regulating hepatic function and reducing acetylation is a promising novel therapeutic strategy., Made available in DSpace on 2011-06-24T17:13:55Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Shepard_cua_0043A_10193display.pdf: 15930768 bytes, checksum: 9fbaaf9ccdc05097b964fe4265db4cd9 (MD5)
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 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)
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 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)
Constituent Postponement in Biblical Hebrew Verse
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. The Catholic University of America, The structure of Biblical Hebrew (BH) verse remains an open question today despite the extensive amount of investigation that the question has inspired. Much headway has been made in terms of describing the features and devices that find expression in BH verse, but little has been done to make a compelling and consistent distinction between BH verse and BH prose. The question remains: what differentiates BH verse from prose? One distinguishing feature of BH verse can be found in its "relaxed" syntactic structure, wherein certain syntactic constructions that would be unviable in prose are acceptable in verse. One such construction is the occurrence of syntactic constituent postponements that are viable in the environment of verse but not in prose. In the verbal clause, such postponement would include (1) irregular subject- and (2) object-placement in a clause after constituents that they would normally precede in prose, and (3) placement of the verb in the third constituent position of a clause, a position that excludes the verb according to the syntactic rules of prose. A close analysis and evaluation of the constituent postponements found only in BH verse are required to develop a more precise description of that corpus. This study gathers all of the cases of verb-, subject- and object-postponement found in a broad sample of BH verse, categorizes the occurrences, and evaluates their relationship to poetic devices such as syntactic, semantic, and phonological parallelism and gapping, and syntactic dependency. This project begins with an assessment of constituent order rules for verbal clauses in BH prose, or more particularly Classical Biblical Hebrew (CBH) prose, which provides a "control" against which postponement in BH verse could be viewed in relief. The sample of BH verse included Genesis 49, Exodus 15, Numbers 23-24, Deuteronomy 32 and 33, Judges 5, 2 Samuel 1, Psalms 1-25, 78, 106, and 107, Isaiah 40-48, Habakkuk 3, Zephaniah 1-3, Zechariah 9. This corpus is designed to reflect a variety of biblical texts which represent diverse periods, genres, and subjects. Occurrences of constituent postponement were culled from this sample corpus, analyzed, categorized, and evaluated., Made available in DSpace on 2012-06-01T16:44:18Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Redd_cua_0043A_10327display.pdf: 916703 bytes, checksum: 7c748b065e956d1950cc7ce71621cc5f (MD5)
Constructing the People's Home: The Political and Economic Origins and Early Development of the "Swedish Model" (1879-1976)
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Politics. The Catholic University of America, When Marquis Childs published his book The Middle Way in 1936, he laid the foundation that inspired the quest for an efficient welfare state. The Folkhemmet, or "people's home," initiated by the Social Democrats symbolized the "Swedish Way" and resulted in a generous, redistributive welfare state system. By the early 1970s, experts marveled at Sweden's performance because the Swedish model managed to produce the second-wealthiest economy as measured by per capita GDP with virtually no cyclical unemployment.This dissertation demonstrates that capitalist and pre-industrial cultural forces dominated Swedish economic policy development throughout the years that the Social Democrats constructed Folkhemmet. The Swedish economy operated as a variety of capitalism that infused unique traditional cultural characteristics into a "feudal capitalism." The system was far more market-oriented, deregulated, and free from direct government ownership or control than most assumed then or now. A process of negotiation and reason, mixed with pragmatism and recognition of valuing opportunity over principles, drove Swedish modernization.Eventually, the entire society became commoditized through gender equalization efforts, resulting in greater individualism and an increased breakdown of informal communal or collective functions. Gradually, the nature of individual initiative and incentive within capitalism undermined Folkhemmet's goals and aspirations. Modernization dismembered traditional Swedish households and values as the economy experienced increasingly higher taxes and long-term industrial decline. Post-industrial jobs financed by government taxes eventually choked the supply of foreign direct investment, as well as domestic capital investment levels. When the private sector ceased to produce enough jobs to fund the highly taxed system, Folkhemmet experienced a crisis.The creation of public sector jobs intended mainly to push more women into the workforce resulted in numerous inefficiencies and financial problems. High taxation accelerated the decomposition of traditional civic relations. Moral hazards taxed honesty and eroded the common trust that had enabled the formation of this unique method of economic policymaking. What Childs initially communicated was a process of policy development dictated by gradualism and moderation, not a political system that could be transplanted across the globe. Thus, his "middle way of politics" should have been phrased the "moderate way of policy making.", Made available in DSpace on 2011-03-01T11:45:34Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Baker_cua_0043A_10178display.pdf: 1799892 bytes, checksum: 581e8715375a11e1d33353bcd4536ae3 (MD5)
Contemplative Leadership in Catholic Schools: Employed by Principals, Experienced by Teachers, and Its Impact on Teachers’ Care for the Spiritual Lives of Students
Research demonstrates that the dual mission of Catholic schools, which integrates academic and spiritual growth, requires unique leadership from its principals (Bryk et. al 1993; Ciriello, 1996, 1998; Coleman & Hoffer, 1987; Cook, 2001, Jacobs, 2002). Contemplative leadership is a model suited to the distinctive principalship of the Catholic school. Contemplative principals, who understand and utilize reflective decision making based on Gospel values, Church tradition, and their personal Catholic character, employ a needed and “unique rationale for decision making” (Schuttloffel, 2008, p. 3). This reflective decision making along with other components of contemplative leadership behavior and the individual Catholic character of principals provides a leadership construct that guides teachers toward an understanding that this educational community is concerned with the student’s mind and soul (Schuttloffel, 1999, 2008, 2013). This study examined the extent to which contemplative leadership is practiced by principals and experienced by teachers while exploring the relationships between the formation of these principals and the use of contemplative practices and teachers’ experience of contemplative leadership and their care for students’ spiritual lives. Participants for this study included principals and teachers from three dioceses in Michigan. Surveys were sent to the principals and teachers of 75 schools. Sixty-one schools (81.3%) participated with a total of 56 principals and 295 teachers who completed the survey. Two surveys were developed for this study: Principals’ Contemplative Leadership Practices Survey and Teachers’ Experience of Contemplative Practice Survey. This study uncovers three major findings: Contemplative leadership is practiced by principals and experienced by teachers at a high level; there is a significant and positive relationship between the formation of principals and their use of contemplative practice; the most important finding is that there is a significant and positive connection between teachers’ perception of contemplative leadership and teachers’ care for students’ spiritual lives. These findings provide current principals, priests, diocesan leadership, and those in Catholic higher education insight into contemplative leadership practices and its impact on teachers’ care for students’ spiritual lives., Educational leadership, Catholic School Leadership, Contemplative Leadership, Students' Spiritual Lives, Teachers' care for Students Spiritual Lives, Education, Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Education. The Catholic University of America
Cultivating Strategic Thinking in the National Security Council: A Critical Study of the Eisenhower and Kennedy Mechanism
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. Politics. The Catholic University of America, This dissertation examines the Eisenhower and Kennedy National Security Council mechanisms to explore the impact of organization on the cultivation of strategic thinking for grand strategy formulation. There is a substantial amount of scholarship on the Presidency, the National Security Council, and the National Security Advisor, but no scholarship on the practice of strategic thinking for strategy formulation. This research builds on presidential scholarship by introducing the work of strategic theorists Colin Gray, Harry Yarger, and Ross Harrison to study the correlation between National Security Council organization and the discipline of strategic thinking.The work of this dissertation takes an historical and archival approach to studying two diverse organizational approaches to the National Security Council mechanism. President Eisenhower established formal organization for the integration of information, policy deliberation, and policy implementation. President Kennedy established informal organization for accelerated decision-making, innovative policy solutions, and decisive policy implementation. This dissertation studies the constituent parts of each National Security Council mechanism to assess which system fostered strategic thinking more efficiently. Further, this study examines the manner in which each President operated within the mechanism to practice persuasion, increase his influence, and extend his span of control for the successful implementation of policy.The argument made here is the importance of organization and staff work for strategic thinking to occur. In essence, strategic thinking is a disciplined approach to strategy formulation. It begins with the strategic appraisal, which helps the policymaker gain a greater understanding of the strategic environment. Continuing the appraisal process through the five competencies of strategic thinking, the policymaker can examine complex problems from different angles. This discipline results in the articulation of the strategic objective, the desired strategic effects, and the selection of a strategy and its supporting capabilities to achieve the end-state.The research takes an organizational and historical approach to each President's National Security Council mechanism and how each used the mechanism to practice strategic thinking. For the modern Presidency, Eisenhower and Kennedy's methodologies for incorporating strategic thinking in the formulation of grand strategy and crisis management serve as instructive paradigms.
The Cultural Transition and the Attitudes of Polish Immigrant Families Towards Divorce and Parental Authority in the United States, 1931-1940
Degree awarded: Ph.D. History. The Catholic University of America, The Cultural Transition and the Attitudes of Polish Immigrant Families Towards Divorce and Parental Authority in the United States, 1931-1940Fr. Stanislaw Hajkowski, S.Chr.Director: Leslie Tentler, Ph.D.Preaching the Gospel to the poor has always been emphasized by Christianity and the development of the radio at the beginning of the Twenties created a new, powerful tool to use for this task. Many leaders of religious communities noticed in the new invention an opportunity and used radio broadcast to both convert the unbelievers and provide teaching and support to faithful. The historical literature on early twentieth-century radio preachers in the United States includes numerous studies on Protestant and Catholic radio preachers; for example, a Protestant minister, S. Parkes Cadman began using radio broadcasts in 1923 and reached an audience of five million and in the 1930s, a famous radio evangelist, the Roman Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin, had forty million listeners tuning in to his programs.In English historical literature very little attention has been given so far to Father Justyn Figas, a Conventual Franciscan, who began his broadcasting career in 1926 and, by the end of Thirties he had an audience of close to three million listening to his broadcasts. Father Justyn's programs, delivered in Polish, were addressed mainly to the Polish immigrants in the United States. This dissertation examines Father Justyn's radio talks and questions from the listeners to show the change in the attitudes of the first and second generation of Polish immigrants in the Thirties towards marriage unity and parental authority, the key values of the Christian family. In the new social and cultural environment the immigrant family acted like a sensitive barometer registering the social, cultural and religious pressures of the time.After analyzing the materials available in the Archives in Athol Springs, New York about Father Justin's Rosary Hour, this dissertation concludes that the immigrant family, often based on the patriarchal authority of the father supported by society and the Church, had no chance of surviving in the liberal American cultural environment. However, the values of parental authority and marriage unity were still practiced by these immigrant individuals and families who absorbed into their value system an appreciation for "wise" enculturation into the new society and education., Made available in DSpace on 2011-02-24T20:46:45Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 Hajkowski_cua_0043A_10135display.pdf: 3558997 bytes, checksum: 5d981d1b3f1b5eade5464aa0ba869f37 (MD5)

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