Psychophysiological Patterns of Anxiety in the Development of Physchopathology

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Omoluabi, F.P
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University of Lagos
The project was aimed at achieving two objectives. To determine, first the qualitative value of anxiety that differentiates normals from psychopathological groups and second the magnitude of anxiety of different developmental states of psychopathology. These objectives which have implications for research and therapy have been notable problems in clinical psychology (Martin & Sroufe, 1970). The objectives were achieved in three interrelated studies with a total of 1,330 subjects. In the first study the assessment devices used were standardlized in three sets. The first set consisted of psychophysiological measures. Electromyometer was used to obtain electromyograms (EMG) from five muscle sites of 50 subjects (M = 25, F = 25, mean age = 24.23 years). The bilateral muscle sites were frontalis, sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, and extensor digitorum and peronius tertius. A psychogalvanometer was used to obtain skin conductane level (SCL) from the right palms of the subject while their psychothermogram (PTM) was obtained from the tip of the right middle inger with a psychothermometer. The sphygmomanometer was used to obtain systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) from each subject's right cubital fossa. There was a 21-day test-retest period. The second set of devices comprises 9 psychometric measures. These were two scales of the State - Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the two anxiety and the two depression scales of the Multiples Affect Adjective Checklist (MAACL) and the three scales of the Test Anxiety Inventory (TAI). The 9 measures were administered to 100 subjects (M = 70, F = 30, mean age = 24.42 years) under normal and stressed testing conditions. There was a 72-day testretest period for each of the two testing conditions. The last device was the Psychophysiological Symptoms Checklist (PSC) being developed by the investigator. It was administered to 1,200 subjects (M = 840, F = 360 mean age = 32.86 years). The outcome of the data analysed with Pearson r and t-test statistics showed that all the 9 psychophysiological measures had significant test-retest realiabilities (P < .01, df = 48 r = .32; df = 49, t = 2.4, one-tail). Those for the psychometric measures were similarly significant (P < .01, df = 98 r = .23 df = 99, t = 2.36, one-tail). Also established for the psychometricmeasures was the convergent validity of all the anxiety scales and the construct validity of four of the measures. Paired against depression, the discriminant validity of the anxiety scales was not established. In determining the concurrent validity of both psychophysiological and psychometric measures, the significant 53 out of 153 r coefficients were found to be constituted into 4 main clusters. But, from the outcome of the canonical correlation analysis applied, the initial Wilk's Lambda with a small value of .095 indicated more clusters. Eight (clusters) canonical variates were extracted. The first one with an eigne- value of .58 and a Chi-square value of 92.89 was not significant (P > .05, df = 81, X2 = 101,88), but its canonical correlation coefficient of .76 indicated considerable relationship between the two sets of measures. The canonical structure matrix revealed that the measures that contributed most positively to the relationship were: TAI Total Scale, STAI X - 2, MAACL Today Anxiety, STAIC - 1, EMG extensor digitorum, SCL and EMC trapezius. The measure's respective matrix values of .98, .70, .56.47, .45, .35 and .25 affirmed their concurrent validity. The norms of the two sets of measures obtained in the project were generally lower than those of samples in foreign studies but equivalent to those of samples in Nigerian studies. A reliability coefficient of .835 was obtained with Kuder Richardson Formula 20 for the PSC. In determining the factorial validity of the PSC, 20 factors which met with Kaiser's criterion were obtained from a principal component factor analysis (with iteration of the 1,596 phi coefficients produced from the 57 PSC items. Using Burt-Bank's formula to determine significant factor loadings, 11 of the factors with about 80% of the total variance, were found to conform to Thurstone's Principle. From the clustering of the factor loadings, the first of the varimax rotated factors was identified as "examination anxiety"; it had an eigenvalue of 5.23 and 33% of the total variance. Headache item had the highest frequency of 60.8% while forehead tension item had the highest communality of .56. The normative mean score was 8.81. The 160 subjects for the second study comprised 40 normals (M = 20, F = 20), 40 neurotics (M = 35, F = 5), 40 hospitalized psychotics (M = 20, F = 20) and 40 discharged psychotics (M = 30, F = 10) whose mean ages were 24.13, 29.23, 30.93 and 28.78 years respectively. The 19 standardized measures were administered individually to all the measures than any of the psychophysiological groups. One-way ANOVA showed that the differences were significant in 14 of the measures (P < .05, df = 3/156, f = 2.66). But Scheffe Test showed thatthe psychophysiological groups did not differ significantly from each other in most of the measure ( P > .05, df = 3/156, F(S) = 7.98) and indication that the groups had overlapping patterns of anxiety. The following facts from the Discriminant Analysis of the data confirmed the overlapping. First, with a second Wilk's Lamda as high as .82 only 3 discriminant functions could be extracted. The first discriminant function's eigenvalue of .73 meant moderate discriminatory potential because it had only 52.6% of the total variance and its canonical correlation coefficient of .65 was too close to the coefficients of .55 and .43 for the second and third discriminant function was significant (P < .05, df = 16. x2 = 26.39). Furthermore, the centroids of the groups in reduced space showed that the hospitalized and the discharged psychotic groups were identified with the first and second discriminant functions respectively but the other two groups could not be identified with any function. The predicted group membership also showed that neurotic characteristics overlapped most as only 57.7% of the group members were accurately sampled and the other groups had 12.5% to 17.5 of the characteristics. Finally, 66.04% of the subjects could be correctly classified. Inspite of the overlapping, there were reasonable quantitative differences in the groups' patterns of anxiety. Polynomial Trend Analysis revealed linear developmental trends in the groups' patterns of anxiety in most of the psychological measures in fulfilment of the second objective. Quadratic trends were obtained in those other measures in which the hospitalized psychotic had lower scores than the neurotic group. In the third study, the 20 subjects consisted of 10 all male neurotics and 10 normals (M = 4, F = 6) with mean ages of 24.9 and 23.6 years respectively. Each subject had 9 sessions of therapy in 4 weeks. The therapy consisted of 9.7, and 5 sessions respectively, of diaphragmatic breatheing autogenic relaxation and progressive muscle relaxation in which the techniques were employed in a combined but graduated fashion. All the 19 measures were administered to the subjects in two pretreatment and one post treatment assessment sessions. The two pretreatment scores did not differ significantly for each of the two groups meaning that spontaneous remission from anxiety did not occur before treatment commenced. The neurotic group had higher pretreatment to post treatment conditions, a t - test analysis showed that the neurotic group had significantly higher drops in 8 measures than the normal group (P/.05, df = 18 t 1.73). This finding confirmed the inverse of that of study II inwhich high scores in the measures indicated anxiety and thus fulfilled again the first objective. The role of the events in the onset of anxiety and the role of statistical methods in both impairing and enhancing the interpretation of quantitative patterns of anxiety were discussed. The implications of the local norms on Table II for biofeedback therapy, liedetection, criminology, psychological and medical diagnosis, and future research in Nigeria were noted.
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Anxiety , Physchopathology , Psychophysiological Patterns
Omoluabi, F.P (1988), Psychophysiological Patterns of Anxiety in the Development of Physchopathology, University of Lagos School of Postgraduate Studies Phd Thesis and Dissertation Abstracts, 458pp.