Reintroduction and Questions

Laura Dolson (
Sun, 16 Oct 1994 15:24:24 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Dr. Neimeyer,

I am a graduate student at the Calfornia School of Professional
Psychology (San Diego), who wrote you a few letters (snailmail)
about a 1.5-2 years ago regarding my dissertation, building on your
death threat work. You were very kind at that time, sending me some
literature and giving some advice.

My project has met with a few snags and stalls, but basically I am
nearing completion of my proposal process. (Or so I hope - it's a
bit tricky, as my advisor is on sabbatical in rural Mexico and I
just found out we're moving 400+ miles to the north due to my husband's
change of job!)

I was VERY happy to see your name come up on the PCP list, and I hope
you would be willing to have some correspondence with me on my project.

The essence of my project is a path analysis wherein I expect that death
threat will predict psychological adjustment, through coping strategy as
a mediator, in asymptomatic HIV+ men. I am predicting that death threat
will correlate with coping strategy in a way similar to Greg Neimeyer et
al's 1983 paper on physicians, where low death threat predicts more active

If you have time, I hope you could briefly answer some questions for

1) Do you have any current thoughts on my design, or know of any concurrent
work in this area?

2) Do you still feel that the TI is the best measure of death threat?
I have seen references in the literature to the IRG, but I am not sure
what measure that is. I briefly considered the DART, but that seems
unwieldy for my purposes.

3) All references to scoring that I have found refer to the dichotomous
version, not the Likert version which you kindly sent me. When scoring
the continuous version, are the numbers merely subtracted? Is any
attention given to the distance from midpoint of each score, or is
it just the differences between scores? If the latter, would this
apply if the two scores being compared (say, death and self on a given
construct) were on the same side of the midpoint?

4) Are there any score ranges which are considered to be "high" or "low"
in and of themselves? (That is, not being correlated with any other

5) This seems to me to be a Dumb Question, but why is the index always
referred to as the TI and not the DTI? Is it because of the self/ideal
self component? I'm not sure whether or not to use the Ideal Self section.
I really can't figure where it fits in theoretically.

Thanks so much for your attention to my project, both past and present.

Glad I finally found you on the net!

Best wishes-

Laura Dolson