Donald Stephen Strassberg

Donald Stephen Strassberg
University of Utah | UOU · Department of Psychology

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113
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (113)
Article
Many adolescents and adults engage in sexting: the exchange of nude photos via cellular phones. Most sexting research focuses on associated health risks and negative outcomes (e.g., privacy breaches), with less examination of positive sexting outcomes and the role sexting plays in intimate relationships. In this study, we elicited participants' eva...
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Sexual minorities are disproportionately likely to experience discrimination and stigma which can influence negative outcomes in both psychological and well as physical health. While this has been clearly established, there is less research examining sexual minorities psychosexual adjustment specifically. This is particularly important considering...
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Objectives: Health care providers and educators play critical roles in supporting healthy sexuality development for youth with autism spectrum disorder. There is limited information about the sexual behavior of these youth, especially girls, and about their access to sexuality education or health care services. Methods: This study addressed thes...
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Families are a critical context for healthy sexuality development. This study characterized family sexuality communication for autistic adults (age 18–30) without intellectual disability (n = 117) versus a neurotypical comparison group (n = 319). Parent-reported number of sexuality topics covered did not significantly differ by gender or autism/com...
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Families are critical for supporting healthy sexuality and relationship development for youth with autism. The objective of this study was to describe family sexuality communication for adolescent girls with autism. Participants were 141 parents of autistic daughters who completed an online survey about sexuality development. Most parents relied on...
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Community stakeholders, researchers, and providers are increasingly focused on individual, family, and systemic factors that contribute to positive outcomes for adults on the autism spectrum. Parent expectations for their youth's future are associated with adult outcomes (e.g., employment, school success, independence), yet the mechanism for this e...
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Suppression of certain types of reflexive emotional responses is thought to temporarily deplete executive functions (EF), as evidenced by poorer performance on measures of EF, but does not deplete other, lower-order cognitive processes. This study examined whether similar decrements in performance on EF tests would occur following suppression of se...
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Objectives: To compare robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy with conventional retropubic radical prostatectomy in maintaining pre-surgery levels of urinary and sexual functioning and to evaluate the efficacy of nerve sparing in prostatectomies in protecting urinary functioning. Material and methods: Patients (n = 385) receiving both surgi...
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In the last 8 years, several studies have documented that many adolescents acknowledge having exchanged sexually explicit cell phone pictures of themselves, a behavior termed sexting. Differences across studies in how sexting was defined, recruitment strategies, and cohort have resulted in sometimes significant differences in as basic a metric as w...
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Prior research has examined how heterosexual individuals define sex; however, these studies have rarely focused on sexual minority individuals or included a full range of applicable sexual behaviors. Participants were recruited from a local Pride Festival across two years. Study 1 (N = 329) was primarily descriptive and examined which physically in...
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An inaccurate definition of what constitutes sex can negatively impact the sexual health and wellbeing of patients. This study aimed to determine which behaviors medical students consider to be sex. Survey questions about various sexual behaviors were administered to medical students. All participants agreed that penile-vaginal penetration is sex....
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This study examined the relationship between core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, parental romantic expectations, and parental provision of sexuality and relationship education in an online sample of 190 parents of youth 12-18 years of age with a parent-reported diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Regression analyses were conducted separat...
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When individuals (observers) assess how appealing they find sexual stimuli (targets), which factors matter and to whom? The present study examined how observer and target characteristics interact and impact perceived sexual appeal. Participants were 302 men (206 heterosexual, 96 gay) and 289 women (196 heterosexual, 93 lesbian) between the ages of...
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Personal ads have long served as a potentially rich source of information for social scientists regarding what women and men appear to be looking for in a partner and what they believe potential partners are looking for in them. Almost every study of this type has content analyzed existing personal ads in print media or, more recently, on the Inter...
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The present study assessed the gender-specificity of sexual interest of bisexually-identified men and women, compared to gay men and lesbian women. Utilizing viewing time as a measure of sexual interest, self-identified bisexual men (N = 50) and women (N = 54) rated the sexual appeal of sexually provocative pictures while the amount of time spent v...
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Adolescents who have sexually offended have unique treatment needs. For mental health professionals to adequately address these unique needs, further research is necessary. To that end, we explored the assessment of sexual interest (which may play an integral role in understanding potential for sexual reoffending) in a sample of 103 male adolescent...
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This study examined how people define having sex utilizing a new approach to this area of research. A total of 267 men and 327 women rated their degree of confidence that engaging in each of 21 physically intimate behaviors (e.g., penile-vaginal intercourse) counted as "having sex" and then qualitatively explained their reasoning. Separate ratings...
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Research on adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has focused on promoting independence and optimizing quality of life, yet the areas of sexual development and sexuality has been largely neglected. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages pediatricians to address sexuality issues in youth with disabilities to foste...
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Research shows that pedophilic (PED) child molesters exhibit slower performance speed and greater performance accuracy when compared to nonpedophilic (N-PED) child molesters or other criminal and noncriminal controls. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether these differences reflect a slow/deliberate response style among PEDS (as we...
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Recently, a phenomenon known as sexting, defined here as the transfer of sexually explicit photos via cell phone, has received substantial attention in the U.S. national media. To determine the current and potential future impact of sexting, more information about the behavior and the attitudes and beliefs surrounding it must be gathered, particula...
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Among men who commit sexual offenses against children, at least 2 distinct groups can be identified on the basis of the age of the primary targets of their sexual interest; pedophiles and nonpedophiles. In the present report, across 2 independent samples of both types of child molesters as well as controls, a total of 104 men (53 pedophilic and 51...
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The Multiphasic Sex Inventory (MSI; Nichols & Molinder, 1984) is a self-report measure frequently used in the assessment of sex offenders. Scores on the MSI are often used to assess levels of pedophilic interest. However, the question of whether men with pedophilia represent a unique group distinguished by their sexual interests, or whether they ar...
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There is increasing evidence of neurocognitive dysfunction among child molesters, supporting the notion of brain anomalies among pedophiles. However, approximately half of child molesters are not pedophilic (i.e., are not primarily attracted to children), and neurocognitive differences between pedophilic (PED) and nonpedophilic (NPED) child moleste...
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This study examined the lifetime and 4-week prevalence of postcoital dysphoria (PCD) and its relationship with psychological distress and reports of past sexual abuse. Among 222 female university students, 32.9% reported having ever experienced PCD whereas 10% reported experiencing PCD in the previous 4 weeks. Multiple regression analyses revealed...
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The present study assessed the category-specificity of sexual interest of gay men and lesbians toward an understanding of the possible interaction of sex and sexual orientation that may exist in this phenomenon. Utilizing viewing time as a measure of sexual interest, we had participants (N = 99) rate the sexual appeal of sexually provocative pictur...
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The present study compared facial and prosodic affect recognition abilities among pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters and community-dwelling controls. Pedophilic child molesters are characterized by primary sexual interest in prepubescent children, whereas nonpedophilic child molesters are characterized by offending against children despit...
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Although some evidence exists that child molesters may be characterized by structural and functional brain abnormalities, findings across studies are inconsistent. Past cognitive research in this area has been extensively criticized for relying on conceptually weak batteries, measures of questionable reliability, and poorly defined samples (i.e., f...
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The present study assessed viewing time as a measure of sexual interest in self-identified heterosexual men and women. Participants (N = 106) rated the sexual appeal of sexually provocative pictures while the length of time they spent viewing each picture was unobtrusively measured. As hypothesized, (1) men and women viewed opposite sex pictures si...
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This exploratory study compares objective personality test findings among physicians exhibiting different forms of misconduct. The importance of delineating distinctive personality characteristics by type of offence is that such characterizations can direct therapy and prognosis for remediation. Eighty-eight physicians referred to the Vanderbilt Co...
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To determine whether a new computer-administered battery (Behavioral Dyscontrol Scale-Electronic Version; BDS-EV) can detect subtle executive weaknesses among individuals with a self-reported history of mild head trauma (MHT), and to compare the utility of this battery to the original, non-electronic BDS and other traditional executive measures. Bo...
Book
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Although sexual psychophysiology has made great strides over the past few decades, the progress made has not been accompanied by much effort to integrate research findings or to stimulate methodological and theoretical discussions among researchers. Yet this new research area has the potential to make substantial contributions to understanding a wi...
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Communication problems are believed to play a central role in many sexual dysfunctions. The present study behaviorally assessed communication patterns within heterosexual couples in which the woman was experiencing female orgasmic disorder and within two groups of control couples. The sexually dysfunctional couples evidenced significantly poorer co...
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The flexibility of sexual orientation in men and women was examined by assessing self-reported change over time for three dimensions of sexual orientation (sexual fantasy, romantic attraction, and sexual behavior) across three categorical classifications of current sexual orientation (heterosexual, bisexual, and gay). The primary purpose of the stu...
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Communication problems are among the most common complaints brought to couples' counseling and are believed to play a central role in the development and maintenance of many sexual dysfunctions. The present study examined self-reported communication patterns within heterosexual couples where the wife is experiencing anorgasmia and within two groups...
Article
Personal ads are a potentially rich source of information on relationships, particularly mating strategies. Most research on personal ads has been limited to content analyses of naturally occurring ads. In this study, four "female seeking male" ads were placed on two large Internet bulletin boards specializing in such ads. The four ads, differing p...
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This study examined the independent and interactive effects of sexual explicitness and degrading themes toward women on mens' attitudes following exposure to video presentations of male-female interactions. Subjects were 83 male college students who viewed video vignettes under one of four stimulus conditions: (a) sexually explicit/degrading, (b) s...
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The concurrent, criterion-related and discriminant validity of four of the MMPI-2 content scales were examined within a population of 309 patients being evaluated for the treatment of chronic pain. Utilizing both self-report and therapist-derived criteria, the MMPI-2 content scales designed to assess symptoms of anxiety (ANX), depression (DEP), low...
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Men with premature ejaculation (PE) exhibit diminished control over and short latency to ejaculation. The present study attempted to delineate further characteristics of men with PE and to address a number of presumed hypotheses regarding the etiology of this disorder. Twenty-six men with PE were compared with an age-matched group of 13 sexually fu...
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The present study examined college men's (N = 35) differential ability to suppress sexual arousal as a function of (a) stimulus media (audio-only vs. audiovisual), (b) experience with the procedure, and (c) novelty of the stimulus material. Further, galvanic skin response (GSR) and finger pulse amplitude (FPA) were examined as possible methods of d...
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Objective: Men with premature ejaculation (PE) exhibit diminished control over and short latency to ejaculation. The present study attempted to delineate further characteristics of men with PE and to address a number of presumed hypotheses regarding the etiology of this disorder. Methods: Twenty-six men with PE were compared with an age-matched gro...
Article
The view that physical and mental health are reciprocally and inseparably related is well accepted today. Physicians in almost all specialties are confronted daily with patients for whom no organic cause for presenting symptoms is discernible, patients whose emotional reactions aggravate existing physical disorders, and patients whose impaired phys...
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Twenty-three premature ejaculators (PEs) and 11 control subjects were administered 25 mg of clomipramine in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design study. During 2-week trials, subjects took either the drug or the placebo 4 to 6 hours prior to sexual activity. Daily diary data revealed that, for both groups, orgasmic latency was signif...
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Attitudinal and experiential correlates of sexual fantasies involving force or coercion against the fantasizer were studied in 137 college women. Results revealed that (i) virtually every woman reported engaging in sexual fantasy on a regular basis, (ii) more than half the subjects reported having engaged in a force fantasy, (iii) those reporting f...
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The concurrent validity of 4 of the new content scales of the MMPI-2 was evaluated in samples of college students from the US (n = 271) and Australia (n = 208). Utilizing an incremental validity evaluative strategy, the MMPI-2 content scales designed to assess symptoms of Anxiety, Depression, Low Self-Esteem, and Anger were examined. The results ar...
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The MMPI performance of 122 men convicted of a sexual offense against a child was examined to determine if meaningful subgroups of these offenders could be identified. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct MMPI profile types, which were found to differ significantly on a variety of psychological, psychosexual, and offense related variables. The...
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Biases associated with volunteering for studies in human sexuality were studied. Beginning with a sample of over 1000 introductory psychology students, subjects participated in a two-phase study in which those willing and unwilling to volunteer for a variety of sexuality studies were compared. In both phases of this study, volunteers were significa...
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The hypothesis that women would be more aroused to explicit erotica containing a romantic (rather than nonromantic) theme while men would not be affected by the thematic manipulation was tested, 164 college students (91 male and 73 female), 21 years of age and older, viewed one of four video vignettes taken from commercially available sexually expl...
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Forty-two women, meeting criteria for bulimia, completed the MMPI. Cluster analysis of their scores revealed two distinct profile types. The first cluster, comprising about 64% of subjects, produced a mean profile in which only the Pd scale exceeded a t score of 70. In contrast, about 36% of subjects yielded a cluster-derived mean profile that was...
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Comments on P. Assalian's (see record 1994-34045-001) article reviewing the research on early ejaculation (EE). Assalian concludes that the possibility that this disorder may result from a physiologically determined hypersensitivity to sexual stimulation should be explored further. B. M. McCarthy (see record 1994-34322-001) and L. Tiefer (1994) h...
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Researchers and clinicians have long argued that cognition is an important component of sexual arousal. We tested the hypothesis that self‐schema activation is one of the cognitive processes involved in sexual arousal to audiovisual stimuli. College students (105 males and females) individually viewed an erotic videotape that contained 20 66‐millis...
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The MMPI scores were studied for 430 male and 180 female Australian chronic pain patients. Analysis revealed mean MMPI profiles (i.e., elevated Hypochondriasis, Hysteria, and Depression clinical scales) and 3 cluster-analytically derived profile types that corresponded closely to findings in the literature on US chronic pain patients. Further, at l...
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Patients diagnosed as having mild or moderate primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer's type (PDDAT), and normal elderly subjects were tested for spatial order and a spatial recognition memory. Results for spatial order memory indicated that compared to normal elderly subjects, patients with mild PDDAT showed an impaired memory only for the...
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This study examined MMPI-2 performance in a sample of 110 (60 female, 50 male) Australians aged 60–96. In addition, it evaluated the concurrent validity of four of the MMPI-2''s new Content Scales (DEP, ANX, LSE, and HEA). Descriptive results revealed a pattern of MMPI-2 relative highs (scales L, Hs, and D) and lows (scales Pd, Pa, and Ma) that was...
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In my original article (Strassberg, 1991) I described (1)some of the changes introduced by the MMPI-2, (2) possible interpretive dilemmas created by these changes, and (3) strategies for dealing with these dilemmas. In their reply to my paper, Ben-Porath and Graham (preceding paper) suggest that the differences between the MMPI-2 and the MMPI (1) a...
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Forty-eight adult male volunteers attempted to suppress sexual arousal while viewing a sexually explicit videotape and generate an arousal response while viewing a neutral videotape. Attendance to the stimuli was assured by requiring subjects to provide an ongoing verbal description of the videotape they were viewing. While significant effects in c...
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While the new MMPI-2 has the potential to provide more and better clinically relevant information than its predecessor, its introduction also creates several important problems for clinicians and researchers. In particular, the new norms and the use of uniform (rather than linear) T-scores result in the same raw scores on the two tests yielding cli...
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Sex therapists have long argued that anxiety is the primary psychological mechanism that underlies the interference with sexual arousal that is responsible for such conditions as erectile failure. However, laboratory research on anxiety's effects has yielded mixed results. Studies have found that sexual arousal may be unaffected, disrupted, or even...
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Despite the prevalence of premature ejaculation and the success in its treatment, researchers have yet to offer a compelling, empirically based theory regarding its nature or etiology. This study explored a model that argues that anxiety may not be necessary for the existence of this dysfunction. Fifteen premature ejaculators (PEs) and 17 nonpremat...
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Twenty-four orgasmic and 10 anorgasmic women, ages 21-40, provided continuous self-report measures of sexual arousal while viewing explicit videotape segments depicting a variety of sexual activities. They also completed several questionnaires designed to assess sexual attitudes, knowledge, and guilt. As compared to the orgasmic women, the anorgasm...
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Despite the popularity of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), there exists a relative dearth of normative and validity research regarding its use with persons over the age of 60. Our investigation was designed to examine the MMPI performance of both a normal and a clinical sample of older men and women. Specifically, a nonpatien...
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Pregnancy among adolescents/young adults continues at epidemic levels despite widespread concern regarding its social and psychological consequences. Cognitive psychologists point out that active decisions and behaviors such as those involved in effective contraception are facilitated or inhibited by any of a number of relevant attitudes and belief...
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The consistent finding that normal but not neurotic subjects reciprocate the level of self-disclosure they first receive from a stranger was investigated. Seventy-four subjects (40 normals and 34 neurotics) rated tape recordings and transcripts of interactions that were either reciprocal or nonreciprocal in terms of the intimacy of the self-disclos...
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The hypothesis that premature ejaculators (PEs) are less able than non-premature ejaculators (NPEs) to evaluate accurately their level of physiologically determined sexual arousal was tested. Twenty-six men (13 PEs and 13 NPEs) viewed a variety of videotaped vignettes, some of which were excerpts from sexually explicit films. Concurrent subjective...
Article
Four scripts that varied on dimensions of disclosure intimacy (high vs. low) and sex role of contents (masculine vs. feminine) were prepared. Each script was attributed to a male author half the time and a female author half the time. These scripts were presented to 80 male and 80 female undergraduate subjects, each of whom believed the script he o...
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The dwelling on personally significant past experiences, reminiscence, is a common phenomenon, particularly among the elderly. This paper explores the potential value associated with the use of reminiscence in group psychotherapy, particularly with elderly populations. After reviewing the various functions (both adaptive and maladaptive) that remin...
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108 undergraduates were divided into 6 all-male 6-person groups, 6 all-female 6-person groups, and 6 mixed-sex 6-person groups that convened for 5 hrs, during which time Ss completed 5 exercises designed to promote group cohesiveness, personal exploration, and interpersonal learning. Ss completed a group cohesiveness and a projected group learning...
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Self-disclosure reciprocity was investigated in third -and sixth-grade boys and girls. Results indicated that preadolescents hearing intimate disclosure input spent more time disclosing intimately than did preadolescents hearing nonintimate disclosure input. Girls spent significantly more time than boys in intimate disclosure and total disclosure a...
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32 college males with either normal or neurotic MMPI profiles participated in a dyadic interaction via telephone with a confederate who disclosed at either a high or low level of intimacy. Following the confederate's disclosure, Ss disclosed as long and as intimately as they cared to. Ratings of Ss' disclosures revealed that (a) normal Ss exposed t...
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112 chronic pain patients (mean age 48.4 yrs) completed the MMPI upon entering either an anesthesiologic or a psychiatric treatment program. Pretreatment MMPI performance was found to be successful in predicting patient outcome an average of 20 mo following treatment, with the K (Test-Taking Attitude), Hypochondriasis, Hysteria, and Masculinity an...
Article
112 chronic pain patients (mean age 48.4 yrs) completed the MMPI upon entering either an anesthesiologic or a psychiatric treatment program. Pretreatment MMPI performance was found to be successful in predicting patient outcome an average of 20 mo following treatment, with the K (Test-Taking Attitude), Hypochondriasis, Hysteria, and Masculinity and...
Article
The comparative self-esteem and psychological well-being of female-to-male transsexuals, homosexuals, and heterosexuals (patient and nonpatient) were studied. Results indicated that individual candidates for sex-change surgery varied appreciably in self-concept and adjustment, and as a group were indistinguishable from psychiatric controls. Nonpati...