Loma Linda University

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Kelly Morton, PhD
Professor, Family Medicine
School of Medicine
Associate Professor, Psychology
Member, Experimental Psychology, SST, Faculty of Graduate Studies
Publications    Scholarly Journals--Published
  • Morton, K.R., Lee, J.W., Haviland, M.G., & Fraser, G. (2011).  Religious engagement in a risky family model predicting health in older black and white Seventh-day Adventists. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

    ( 1/2011 )
  • Haviland, M.G., Morton, K.R., Oda, K., & Fraser, G. E. (2009-in press).  Traumatic experiences, major life stressors, and self-reporting a physician-given fibromyalgia diagnosis. Psychiatry Research. ( 12/2009 )
  • Przekop,P., Haviland,M.G., Morton, K.R., Oda, K., Fraser, G.E. (2009). Risk Factors for Pain-Related Restrictions among Women with Fibromyalgia.  Manuscript submitted for publication to European Journal of Pain. ( 12/2009 )
  • Webb, A.P., Ellison, C.G., McFarland, M.J., Lee, J.W., Morton, K.R., & Walters , J. (2009).  Divorce, Religious Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in a Conservative Protestant Religious Group.  Manuscript submitted for publication to Family Relations. ( 12/2009 )
  • Lee, J.W., Morton, K.R., Walters, J., Bellinger, D., Butler, T.L., Wilson, C., Walsh, E., Ellison, C.G., McKenzie, M.M., & Fraser, G.E. (2008).  Cohort profile:  The biopsychosocial religion and health study (BRHS).  International Journal of Epidemiology, 1-9. ( 12/2008 )
  • Morton, K.R., Worthley, J.S., Testerman, J.K., Mahoney, M.L.. "Defining features of moral sensitivity and moral motivation: Pathway to moral reasoning in medical students.." Journal of Moral Education 35.3 (2006): 387-406. ( 9/2006 )
  • Morton, K.R., Worthley, J.S., Testerman, J.K., Mahoney, M.L. . "Defining features of moral sensitivity and moral motivation: Pathways to moral reasoning in medical students." Journal of Moral Education 35.3 (2006): 387-406. ( 1/2006 )
    Kohlberg?s theory of moral development explores the roles of cognition and emotion but focuses primarily on cognition. Contemporary postformal theories lead to the conclusion that skills resulting from cognitive-affective integration facilitate consistency between moral judgment and moral behavior. Rest?s four-component model of moral development delineates these skills specifically. The components, moral motivation, moral sensitivity, moral reasoning and moral character, operate as multidimensional processes that facilitate moral development and subsequently promote moral behavior. The relationships between these components have been relatively unexplored, thereby missing the opportunity to unpackage the processes underlying moral growth and development. In this study, moral motivation (spirituality), moral sensitivity (postformal skills) and moral reasoning are operationalized to examine the mediational effects of moral sensitivity in medical students. In the complex moral environment of medical students, opportunities arise to question values and develop cognitive-affective skills, among them spirituality and postformal thinking which are linked to increases in postconventional moral reasoning. The models tested indicate that moral sensitivity mediates the relationship between moral motivation and moral reasoning.
  • Morton K R, Lee J W, Haviland M G, & Fraser G E. (2012). Religious Engagement in a Risky Family Model Predicting Health in Older Black and White Seventh-Day Adventists. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 4(4), 298-311. ( 11/2012 - Present ) Link...
    In a structural equation model, associations among latent variables-Child Poverty, Risky Family exposure, Religious Engagement, Negative Social Interactions, Negative Emotionality, and Perceived Physical Health-were evaluated in 6,753 Black and White adults aged 35-106 years (M = 60.5, SD = 13.0). All participants were members of the Seventh-day Adventist church surveyed in the Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study. Child Poverty was positively associated with both Risky Family exposure (conflict, neglect, abuse) and Religious Engagement (intrinsic religiosity, religious coping, religiousness). Risky Family was negatively associated with Religious Engagement and positively associated with both Negative Social Interactions (intrusive, failed to help, insensitive, rejecting) and Negative Emotionality (depression, negative affect, neuroticism). Religious Engagement was negatively associated with Negative Emotionality and Negative Social Interactions. Negative Social Interactions was positively associated with Negative Emotionality, which had a direct, negative effect on Perceived Physical Health. All constructs had indirect effects on Perceived Physical Health through Negative Emotionality. The effects of a risky family environment appear to be enduring, negatively affecting one's adult religious life, emotionality, social interactions, and perceived health. Religious engagement, however, may counteract the damaging effects of early life stress.
  • Przekop P, Haviland M G, Zhao Y, Oda K, Morton K R, & Fraser G E. (2012). Self-reported physical health, mental health, and comorbid diseases among women with irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, or both compared with healthy control respondents. J Am Osteopath Assoc, 112(11), 726-35. ( 11/2012 - Present )
    CONTEXT: Physicians often encounter patients with functional pain disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia (FM), and their co-occurrence. Although these diseases are diagnosed exclusively by patients' report of symptoms, there are few comparative studies about patients' perceptions of these diseases. OBJECTIVE: To compare perceptions of these conditions among 4 groups-3 clinical groups of older women with IBS, FM, or both disorders (IBS plus FM) and 1 similarly aged control group of women with no IBS or FM-using their responses to survey questions about stressful life events, general physical and mental health, and general medical, pain, and psychiatric comorbidities. Method: Using data from the Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study survey, responses from women were compared regarding a number of variables. To compare stress-related and physical-mental health profiles across the 4 groups, 1-way analyses of variance and chi(2) tests (with Tukey-Kramer and Tukey post hoc tests, respectively) were used, with alpha set to .05. RESULTS: The present study comprised 3811 women. Participants in the control group, the IBS group, the FM group, and the IBS plus FM group numbered 3213 (84.3%), 366 (9.6%), 161 (4.2%), and 71 (1.9%), respectively, with a mean (standard deviation) age of 62.4 (13.6), 64.9 (13.7), 63.2 (10.8), and 61.1 (10.9) years, respectively. In general, participants in the control group reported fewer lifetime traumatic and major life stressors, better physical and mental health, and fewer comorbidities than respondents in the 3 clinical groups, and these differences were both statistically significant and substantial. Respondents with IBS reported fewer traumatic and major life stressors and better health (ratings and comorbidity data) than respondents with FM or respondents with IBS plus FM. Overall, respondents with both diseases reported the worst stressors and physical-mental health profiles and reported more diagnosed medical, pain, and psychiatric comorbidities. CONCLUSION: The results revealed statistically significant, relatively large differences in perceptions of quality of life measures and health profiles among the respondents in the control group and the 3 clinical groups.
  • Webb A P, Ellison C G, McFarland M J, Lee J W, Morton K, & Walters J. (2010). Divorce, Religious Coping, and Depressive Symptoms in a Conservative Protestant Religious Group. Family Relations, 59(5), 544-557. ( 12/2010 - Present ) Link...
    A long tradition of research demonstrates that divorce is a risk factor for depressive symptoms. Although a growing literature examines links between religious factors and marital quality and stability, researchers have neglected the role of religion in successful or problematic coping following divorce. Building on Pargament's seminal work on religious coping, we outline relevant theory concerning several specific religious coping styles. Hypotheses are then tested using data from a large sample of members of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. Results indicate that several types of religious coping bear a direct inverse association with depressive symptoms and also buffer the deleterious effects of divorce on this outcome. Several promising future directions and suggestions for practitioners are identified.
  • Haviland M G, Morton K R, Oda K, & Fraser G E. (2010). Traumatic experiences, major life stressors, and self-reporting a physician-given fibromyalgia diagnosis. Psychiatry Research, 177(3), 335-341. ( 5/2010 - Present ) Link...
    The contribution of stress to the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia has been the subject of considerable debate. The primary purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between traumatic and major life stressors and a fibromyalgia diagnosis in a large group of older women and men. Data were from the federally funded Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study, and subjects were 10,424 of the 10,988 survey respondents-two-thirds women and one-third men-providing responses to a fibromyalgia question. Average age was 61.0 +/- 13.5 years. A physician-given fibromyalgia diagnosis in a subject's lifetime was reported by 3.7% of the sample, 4.8% of the women and 1.3% of the men. In two multivariable logistic regression models (all respondents and women only, controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and education), two traumatic experience types (sexual and physical assault/abuse) were associated with a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Two other trauma types (life-threatening and emotional abuse/neglect) and major life stress experiences were not. The highest odds ratios in both models were those for sexual assault/abuse followed by physical assault/abuse. The relationship between age and fibromyalgia was curvilinear in both models (odds ratios rising until approximately age 63 and declining thereafter). In the all-subjects model, being a woman increased the odds of a fibromyalgia diagnosis, and in both models, fibromyalgia was associated with being White (versus non-White) and lower education. We recommend that researchers investigate the relationship between stress and fibromyalgia in concert with genetic and biomarker studies. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Przekop P, Haviland M G, Morton K R, Oda K, & Fraser G E. (2010). Correlates of Perceived Pain-Related Restrictions among Women with Fibromyalgia. Pain Medicine, 11(11), 1698-1706. ( 0/2010 - Present )
    Objective. To identify correlates of perceived pain-related restrictions in a community sample of women with fibromyalgia. Method. The fibromyalgia group was composed of white women with a self-reported, physician-given fibromyalgia diagnosis (N=238) from the Biopsychosocial Religion and Health Study (BRHS). BRHS respondents had participated in the larger Adventist Health Study-2. To identify associations with pain-related restrictions, we used hierarchical linear regression. The outcome measure was subjects' pain-related restrictions (one SF-12 version 2 item). Predictors included age, education, body mass index (BMI), sleep apnea, and fibromyalgia treatment in the last year, as well as standardized measures for trauma, major life stress, depression, and hostility. To better interpret the findings, painrelated restrictions also were predicted in women with osteoarthritis and no fibromyalgia. Results. Women with fibromyalgia reporting the more severe pain-related restrictions were those who had experienced trauma accompanied by physical pain, were older, less educated, more depressed, more hostile, had high BMI scores, and had been treated for fibromyalgia in the last 12 months (adjusted R-2=0.308). Predictors in women with osteoarthritis were age, BMI, treatment in the last 12 months, experience of a major life stressor, and greater depression symptom severity (adjusted R-2=0.192). Conclusions. In both groups, age, BMI, treatment in the last 12 months, and depression predicted painrelated restrictions. Experience of a traumatic event with physical pain was the strongest predictor in the fibromyalgia group. These findings may be useful in constructing novel treatments and prevention strategies for pain-related morbidity in fibromyalgia patients.
  • Lee J W, Morton K R, Walters J, Bellinger D L, Butler T L, . . . Fraser G E. (2009). Cohort Profile: The biopsychosocial religion and health study (BRHS). International Journal of Epidemiology, 38(6), 1470-1478. ( 12/2009 - Present ) Link...
  Scholarly Journals--Accepted
  • Przekop, P., Haviland, M.G., Zhao, Y., Oda K., Morton K.R., Fraser G.E. (2012-in press).  Perceived physical and mental health and co-morbid diseases among women with irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, neither, or both disorders.  The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. ( 1/2012 )