Studies of affective forecasting examine people’s ability to predict (forecast) their emotional (affective) responses to future events. Affective forecasts underlie nearly all decisions people make and the actions they take. However, people engage in systematic cognitive errors when making affective forecasts and most often overestimate the intensity and duration of their emotional responses. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to affective forecasting errors (e.g., immune neglect) and examining the utility of methods for improving affective forecasting errors (e.g., surrogation) can provide highly valuable information for clinicians as they assist clients in determining their goals both for therapy and for life. The first purpose of the current study was to determine if affective forecasting errors due to immune neglect lead to misjudgments about the relative emotional impact of minor versus moderate negative experiences (i.e., trauma severity). The second purpose was to examine the utility of surrogation for improving affective forecasts. Potential interaction effects between these two variables were also examined. The current study utilized a 2 (Trauma Severity: minor, moderate) X 3 (Prediction Information: surrogation information only, simulation information only, both types of information) experimental design. Undergraduates were recruited via the SONA system and randomly assigned to one of the six experimental conditions. A preliminary study was conducted to obtain surrogation information for use in the main study. All participants in the main study predicted how they would feel 10 minutes after receiving negative personality feedback, using a 10-point scale ranging from (1) very unhappy to (10) very happy. These predictions constitute their affective forecasts. All participants then actually received the negative personality feedback (ostensibly from another participant, a peer, in a nearby room) and reported their actual affective states ten minutes later, using the same scale. These ratings constitute their affective reports. Affective forecasting error was calculated as the difference between ...
The impact of environmental influences on depression has been well established by research. In particular, it is known that receiving/perceiving adequate social support has a protective influence on depression. Less is known about the protective benefits of providing support to others, namely in the form of altruistic, empathetic, or prosocial behavior. While research has shown that having altruistic attitudes and engaging in altruistic behaviors has a positive impact on physical health and mental well-being, studies on the association between altruistic attitudes and/or behavior and depression are limited. The present study examined the relationship between altruism and depression, and hypotheses were tested that allow for explanation of why altruism may protect against depression. A sample of 303 participants was recruited from the University of North Texas and the surrounding community. Participants completed an online survey that examined their altruistic activities, details regarding these activities, their prosocial attitudes, and their current level of depression. Results did not support that level of involvement in altruistic activities is directly related to depression severity. However, outcomes from involvement in altruistic activities, including sense of overburden from participating in altruistic activities, level of social interaction with other helpers and those helped during altruistic activities, and sense of life satisfaction and purpose gained from participating in altruistic activities, were significantly related to depression severity. These results suggest that participating in altruistic activities that are not perceived as overburdening may lead to outcomes that could positively impact depression. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Incidents and awareness of sports-related concussion have grown in recent years, attracting attention in both the academic and popular press. These concussions can lead to the rapid onset of neurological dysfunctions, as well as a variety of subjective symptoms. Although concussive sequelae are typically considered transient, debate remains about the persistent effects of repeated traumatic contact during sport participation. Although research has examined the complications of head trauma found in traditionally popular sports (e.g., football, soccer, boxing), little research has focused on the growing sport of mixed-martial-arts (MMA). Research specifically pertaining to MMA is in nascent stages, but to-date studies suggest that concussive injuries for this sport are prevalent and the training regimens of these athletes may place them at a high risk for concussive or subconcussive head traumas—as well as the accompanying neurological difficulties. The current study is the first to assess cognitive profiles of MMA athletes using an objective neuropsychological assessment instrument. Among 56 athletes (28 MMA athletes and 28 athletes not exposed to head traumas), no neuropsychological differences were found between groups of athletes. Additionally, no aspects of MMA training regimen shared a reliable relationship with neuropsychological performance or subjective concussive symptoms. This suggests non-professional participation in MMA may not typically pose a significant risk for cumulative concussions and associated adverse neuropsychological consequences.
The recent shift to a culture of competence has permeated several areas of professional psychology, including competency identification, competency-based education training, and competency assessment. A competency framework has also been applied to various programs and specialty areas within psychology, such as clinical, counseling, clinical health, school, cultural diversity, neuro-, gero-, child, and pediatric psychology. Despite the spread of competency focus throughout psychology, few standardized measures of competency assessment have been developed. To the authors' knowledge, only four published studies on measures of competency assessment in psychology currently exist. While these measures demonstrate significant steps in progressing the assessment of confidence, three of these measures were designed for use with individual programs, two of these international (i.e., UK and Taiwan). The current study applied the seminal Competency Benchmarks, via a recently adapted benchmarks form (i.e., Practicum Evaluation form; PEF), to practicum students at the University of North Texas. In addition to traditional supervisor ratings, the present study also involved self-, peer supervisor, and peer supervisee ratings to provide 360-degree evaluations. Item-response theory (IRT) was used to evaluate the psychometric properties of the PEF and inform potential revisions of this form. Supervisor ratings of competency were found to fit the Rasch model specified, lending support to use of the benchmarks framework as assessed by this form. Self- and peer-ratings were significantly correlated with supervisor ratings, indicating that there may be some utility to 360-degree evaluations. Finally, as predicted, foundational competencies were rated as significantly higher than functional competencies, and competencies improved significantly with training. Results of the current study provide clarity about the utility of the PEF and inform our understanding of practicum-level competencies.
Currently, only the TSI assesses complex traumatic reactions and patient response styles. However, its feigning scale, ATR, uses a flawed detection strategy and is potentially confounded by experiences of complex PTSD. As a consequence, clinicians using the TSI to evaluate severely traumatized patients have no useful method for discriminating genuine and feigned responding. Several detection strategies have demonstrated utility within evaluations of feigned trauma including the assessment of rare symptoms, symptom combinations, symptom selectivity, and symptom severity. The current study created scales on the TSI according to these strategies using a development sample of 107 severely traumatized patients. Validation of all TSI feigning scales was then performed with a second independent sample of 71 severely traumatized patients using a mixed simulation design. Results found support for each scale's convergent validity with SIRS primary scales (M rs = .52) and discriminant validity with measures of defensiveness on the SIRS (M rs = -.07) and TSI (M rs = -.19). Each scale also produced expectedly mild to moderate relationships with SADS-C clinical scales (M rs = .32) and the SCID-IV PTSD module (M rs = -.02). Support for their criterion validity was only moderate (M ds = .69) when comparing the scores of genuine patients to those simulating disability. Potential explanations for this trend were reviewed, including (a) the impact of comorbidity, (b) the restrictions associated with creating embedded feigning scales, and (c) the influence of simulator knowledge in analogue designs. Limitations of the study and future avenues of research were discussed.
A growing body of research has documented associations between personality disorders (PDs) and attachment disturbance, and yet, attachment disturbance does not necessarily guarantee the development of PD pathology. Thus, understanding the mechanisms mediating the relationship between attachment disturbance and PD pathology remains an open area of research. One area with sound theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that attachment disturbances are associated with emotion regulation difficulties, as well as maladaptive interpersonal patterns of behavior. However, the research conducted thus far has predominately focused on borderline personality disorder, at the exclusion of other PD domains, and also has not broadened the scope of research to include other relevant psychological processes that may clarify how personality pathology and attachment disturbance are interrelated. Using a large independent sample of college (n = 946) and community-based individuals (n = 271), the current study aimed to (1) examine how the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5) PD trait domains would be differentially associated with maladaptive attachment processes and emotion regulation problems, and (2) explore whether deficits in mindfulness and emotion regulation mediated the relationship between disturbed attachment and PD trait domains. Findings suggested that the PID-5 PD trait domains have general and specific relations to attachment insecurity, impairments in emotion regulation, and decreased mindfulness. Overall, the current study suggests that improving emotion regulation skills and increasing dispositional mindfulness may limit the expression of pathological personality traits. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Attachment theory has established itself as applicable to many types of relationships, encompassing caregiver-child, romantic, interpersonal, and psychotherapeutic interactions. This project sought to investigate the application of attachment theory to clinical supervision. Using suggestions put forth in previous work by Watkins and Riggs, this study examined the dyadic interactions inherent in both supervision and attachment. Using the working alliance as determination of the quality of supervision, attachment styles, leader-follower attachment, and attachment-based expectations were explored as predictors for supervisor-trainee dyad outcome in a training clinic for doctoral psychology students. The study design is longitudinal and prospective. Findings indicate the necessity of measurement of supervisory-specific attachment rather than general attachment, the stability of working alliance over time, and the large contribution of the leader-member attachment framework to the understanding of supervisory attachment. Implications include the importance of maintaining hierarchical, evaluative boundaries within supervisory relationship, consistent with a leader-follower dynamic.
The elaborated intrusion (EI) theory of desire is a cognitive model that describes the processes involved in craving as intrusive thoughts that are elaborated upon leading to dissonance when desires are not met. While the theory is based on a wide body of research, certain theoretical predictions have not been fully examined. Specifically, EI theory argues that mental imagery has a central role in craving, and predicts that attempts to suppress substance-related intrusive thoughts and mental imagery is related to increased craving. Further, EI theory suggests that elaboration of craving imagery is related to attention and working memory processes, however, there are questions about whether differential performance in these domains is related to craving. The current study examined the relationship between attention/working memory performance and alcohol craving in a sample of 119 young adult males. Additionally, metacognition was examined to clarify the phenomenological aspects of craving within EI theory. Attention and working memory performance did not significantly predict intrusive thought and mental imagery elaboration. Individuals with high craving reported significantly higher levels of anxiety, thought suppression, and greater strength and frequency of craving-related mental imagery. They were also more likely to try to control their own thoughts and make negative judgments on their ability to do so. The strength of craving-related intrusive thoughts, not mental imagery, was the most significant predictor of craving. Implications for the understanding of craving and treatment recommendations based on the findings are discussed.
The goal of this project was to understand ethnic and generational differences in attitudes towards caregiving and expected burden while taking into consideration factors such as gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. One hundred and sixteen young adults (ages 18-25) and 93 middle-age adults (ages 38-62) were enrolled in the study. Participants included European Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics. Using moderation analysis, two hypotheses were investigated: 1) Ethnicity relates to attitudes towards caregiving, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. 2) Ethnicity and expected burden relate to each other, moderated by gender, generation, familism, and acculturation. Familism emerged as a moderator in the relationship between ethnicity and expected burden. Results suggested that the strength of the relationship between being African American and expecting burden was less for those with moderate familism (R =.078), slightly higher for low familism (R = .176), and the highest for high familism (R= .261). Additional results indicated that the strength of the relationship between being Hispanic, as opposed to being European American, and expected burden, was higher for middle-aged adults (R =.23) when compared to young adults (R =.19). The current findings lend support to the recently established idea that familism is not protective against burden as it increases one's sense of obligation towards family (Knight & Sayegh, 2010).
The effectiveness of memory specificity training (MeST) was compared with standard cognitive processing therapy (CPT) in treatment of individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder. Eighteen adults aged 18-36 were randomly assigned to the MeST intervention (n = 9) or to the active control group (n = 9) of CPT. Both treatments were administered in group format across 6 weeks. MeST consisted of 6 weekly sessions, while CPT consisted of 12 biweekly sessions. The trial was undertaken in the Psychology Clinic of the University of North Texas, with randomization to conditions accomplished via computer random number generator. The primary outcome measure was change in PTSD symptoms post-treatment from baseline. Sixteen individuals (13 women and 3 men; MeST n = 8 and CPT n = 8) completed treatment and their data was analyzed. MeST significantly decreased PTSD symptomology at post-treatment and these results were maintained at 3 months post-treatment. MeST was found to be as effective as the established CPT intervention at reducing PTSD symptomology. Both MeST and CPT significantly increased participants' ability to specify memories upon retrieval at post-treatment, with results maintained at follow-up. There were no significant effects of MeST or CPT in ability to increase overall controlled cognitive processing at post-treatment or follow-up. No individual in either group reported any adverse effects during treatment or at 3 months follow-up. MeST appears to hold promise as an efficacious treatment option for PTSD. MeST was as effective as CPT in reducing symptoms of PTSD, but required only half the number of treatment sessions to accomplish these gains. Replication of these findings in larger samples is encouraged.
Clinicians’ attitudes and behaviors toward patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are affected by the label’s stigma. Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) was proposed as a comprehensive and less stigmatizing diagnostic category for clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. Given considerable similarities across both disorders’ diagnostic criteria, the CPTSD framework holds promise as a means to improve therapists’ attitudes towards clients with BPD and a history of complex trauma. However, this quality of CPTSD had not yet been examined empirically. Using vignettes in a between-subjects experimental design, this study investigated whether CPTSD is a less stigmatizing label than BPD for trauma survivors. Participants were 322 practicing psychotherapists. Evidence of BPD stigma was found, as was an affinity for CPTSD. Results generally supported CPTSD as a less stigmatizing label than BPD; therapists presented with a CPTSD-labeled vignette were somewhat less likely to blame the client for her symptomatic behavior and expected slightly stronger working alliance with the client than therapists presented with the BPD-labeled vignette. However, therapists’ agreement with the BPD diagnosis and theoretical orientation were found to be more salient than diagnostic label in affecting concepts related to the stigmatization of BPD clients. Additionally, familiarity with CPTSD was related to more favorable attitudes toward the client and her course of treatment. Regardless of CPTSD’s recognition as a formal diagnosis, education about the construct is widely recommended for therapists.
The objectives of this study were to mathematically model the quality of college life (QCL) concept and to study the associations between attachment style, emotion regulation abilities, psychological needs fulfillment and QCL via structural equation modeling. Data was collected from 507 undergraduate students (men = 178, women = 329; age M = 21.78 years, SD = 4.37). This data was used to provide evidence for the validity of the College Adjustment Scales (CAS) as a measure of quality of college life. The CAS demonstrated good convergent validity with the World Health Organization Quality of Life measure (WHOQOL), Subjective Well-being and Psychological Well-being Scales. Results: Students who were insecurely attached were as likely to feel adequate in their academic and professional endeavors as securely attached students. However, insecurely attached students had lower QCL levels, lower fulfillment of psychological needs and more emotion regulation difficulties than securely attached students. The results also indicated that Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment were positively and strongly associated. Nonetheless, Anxious Attachment and Avoidant Attachment affected QCL through different mechanism. Emotion regulation mediated the path between Anxious Attachment and QCL while the fulfillment of psychological needs mediated the path between Avoidant Attachment and QCL. The fulfillment of psychological needs also mediated the path between emotion regulation and QCL. The described pattern of results was found for three separate models representing 1) the student’s attachment with their romantic partner, 2) best friend and 3) mother. Additionally, the study’s findings suggest a change in primary attachment figure during the college years. Emotion regulation, the fulfillment of psychological needs and QCL were all affected more strongly by the student’s attachment style with their romantic partner and best friend compared to their attachment style with their parents.
Previous research has suggested that adult attachment disturbance is related to maladaptic interaction patterns and personality disorder constructs. Specifically, research indicates that those with attachment disturbance are significantly more likely to meet criteria for a number of personality disorders, including borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations between adult attachment and the new dimensional model of personality disorders scheduled to be released in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Diosrders (5th ed.) in spring 2013. Participants completed the Schedule for Adaptive and Nonadaptive Personality (SNAP) to measure dimensional personality functioning and the Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR-R) and the Attachment Prototypes to measure adult attachment patterns. Additionally, select scales from the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and the Five Factor Model (FFM) will be utilized as secondary measures of personality patterns. The results suggest strong associations between adult attachment orientations and specific maladaptive personality characteristics.
The concept of decentering originated with Piaget, who defined decentering as a feature of operational thought, the ability to conceptualize multiple perspectives simultaneously. Feffer applied Piaget’s concept of decentering to the cognitive maturity of social content. This study used Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scoring system for stories told about TAT pictures to investigate the developmental hierarchy of decentering for children and adolescents. The participants originated from the Berkeley Guidance Study, a longitudinal sample of more than 200 individuals followed for more than 60 years by the Institute of Human Development at the University of California, Berkeley. The hypotheses tested were: (1) chronological age will be positively related to Decentering as reflected in Feffer’s Interpersonal Decentering scores obtained annually between ages 10 and 13 and at 18; (2) children born into higher class homes would have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (3) children born later in birth order will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (4) children whose parents were observed to have closer bonds with their children at age 21 months will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; (5) adolescents with higher scores from the Decentering Q-sort Scale (derived from adolescent Q-sorts) will have higher Age 12 Decentering scores; and (6) participants who have higher Age 12 Decentering scores will self-report higher CPI Empathy scale scores at Age 30. A repeated measures ANOVA tested Hypothesis 1. Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients tested Hypotheses 2-6. Age and Decentering scores were unrelated, as was birth order; social class findings were mixed. Parents’ bonds with child and Age 12 Decentering were negatively correlated (closer bonds predicted higher Decentering), as were Age 12 Decentering and Age 30 Empathy (higher early Decentering predicted lower adulthood Empathy). Girls (age 12) tended to decenter more consistently and had higher Decentering scores than boys.
Risk assessments for offenders often combine past records with current clinical findings from observations, interviews, and test data. Conclusions based on these risk assessments are highly consequential, sometimes resulting in increased criminal sentences or prolonged hospitalization. Offenders are therefore motivated to intentionally minimize their risk scores. Intentional minimization is especially likely to occur in offenders with high psychopathic traits because goal-directed deception is reflected in many of the core traits of the disorder, such as manipulativeness, glibness, and superficial charm. However, this connection appears to be based on the conceptual understanding of psychopathy, and it has rarely been examined empirically for either frequency or success. The current study examined the connection between psychopathic traits and the intentional minimization of risk factors using a sentenced jail sample. In general, offenders were able to effectively minimize risk on the HCR-20 and SAQ, while the PICTS, as a measure of cognitive styles, was more resistant to such minimization. Psychopathic traits, especially high interpersonal facet scores, led to greater minimization using a repeated measure, simulation design. Important differences in the willingness and ability to use deception were found based on (a) the content of subscales, and (b) the mode of administration (i.e., interview vs. self-report). The important implications of this research are discussed for risk assessment procedures regarding likely areas of deception and its detection. It also informs the growing literature on the connection between psychopathic traits and deception.
Religion and spirituality are vital aspects of many people’s lives both in the United States and across the globe. Although many constructs and measures exist to describe and assess the experience of pursuing the sacred, the complexity of religious and spiritual experience leads to mixed results in relation to well-being and psychopathological traits. However, in broad terms, the relationship appears positive. Over the past 30 years the need for more refined and useful approaches to the study of religious and spiritual behavior has been repeatedly acknowledged. Although authors wisely caution development of further measures without due cause, extant constructs and measures do not provide clear and consistent results for understanding the influence of one’s relationships to religion and spirituality upon behaviors of clinical interest. The present project drew from the functional contextual concept of psychological flexibility, which provides clarity to understanding the encouragement and maintenance of psychological well-being. A new construct of religious and psychological flexibility is explicated as a functional approach to understanding religious and spiritual behavior in a manner that is useful in research and clinical settings alike. The development and evaluation of the Measure of Religious and Spiritual Flexibility (MRSF) is described. The MRSF evidenced adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis results were positive, but indicate further refinement. Analyses suggested good construct validity of the MRSF in relation to psychological well-being and psychopathology; construct validity in relation to extant constructs in the psychology of religion was varied. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Police officers are allowed considerable discretion within the criminal justice system in addressing illegal behaviors and interpersonal conflicts. Broadly, such resolutions fall into two categories: formal (e.g., arrest) and informal outcomes. Many of these interventions involve persons who have historically faced stigmatization, such as those who have mental disorders, criminal histories, or both (i.e., mentally disordered offenders). On this point, stigma generally includes discriminatory behavior toward the stigmatized person or group and can be substantially influenced by internal and external attributions. In addition, researchers have suggested that internal attributions lead to punishing behaviors and external attributions lead to helping behaviors. The current study examined attributions about offender behavior made by police officers in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of Corrigan’s model. Specifically, this study investigated the effects of officer attributions on their immediate decisions in addressing intentionally ambiguous and minor offenses. Officers provided one of two vignettes of a hypothetical offender who was either mentally disordered or intoxicated and provided their anticipated resolution of the situation. Encouragingly, disposition decision differed by offender condition, with a substantially higher rate of arrests for the intoxicated offender (i.e., the external condition). Corrigan’s model was initially successful for both offender conditions, but was overall more successful for the mentally disordered condition. Results are discussed within the broader context of police policy, such as crisis intervention training, and identification of officers who could benefit from additional mental health trainings.
The purpose of the current study was to examine neuropsychological functioning in patients with bipolar disorder (BD) with psychotic features. Data from a large, epidemiological study of patients with first-episode psychosis was used to examine verbal learning and working memory 10 years after onset of psychosis in patients with BD relative to patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and patients with psychotic major depressive disorder (MDD). Cross-sectional comparisons of verbal learning and working memory at the 10-year follow-up mirrored findings of relative performance at the 2-year follow-up (Mojtabai, 2000), as patients with SZ performed significantly worse than patients with psychotic affective disorders. When FEP patients' cognitive performance was examined longitudinally, all groups showed non-significant decline over time, with no significant diagnostic group differences after accounting for current symptoms. More frequent hospitalizations and longer treatment with antipsychotics were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing 10 years after illness onset, but these associations disappeared when controlling baseline cognitive performance. Within the BD sample, current positive and negative psychotic symptoms were associated with poorer performance on cognitive testing. After controlling for baseline cognitive performance, markers of clinical course were unrelated to cognitive performance, consistent with existing literature on longitudinal cognitive functioning in patients with BD. The current findings support a neurodevelopmental model of verbal learning and working memory deficits in patients with bipolar disorder.
The burden of depression requires modalities other than individual psychotherapy if we are to reduce it. Over the past two decades preventative programs for depression have been developed and refined for different populations. The six years since the last meta-analysis of preventative interventions—inclusive of all program types—have seen a number of new studies. The current study used the greater statistical power provided by these new studies to analyze moderators of, and sub-group differences in, the effect of these interventions on depression. Moreover, this meta-analysis synthesized effect sizes for outcomes other than, but often related to, depression (e.g., anxiety) and for within-group change scores with the goal of better informing program implementation and evaluation. Twenty-nine studies met inclusion criteria and indicated that small, robust effects exist for reductions in depression diagnoses and symptomatology. Significant effects were also observed for anxiety, general health, and social functioning.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) was developed to specifically target experiential avoidance (EA) rather than any specific diagnostic category. A functional ACT manual was presented and used to treat diagnostically diverse clients in a large sliding fee-for-service training clinic. A multiple baseline across participants and behaviors research design was used to evaluate session-by-session changes in EA, values identification, valued action, and clinical distress. The Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-2 (AAQ2), Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ), and Outcome Questionnaire (OQ-45) were given to measure processes and outcomes given the functional ACT model presented in the introduction to the paper. Baseline included the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I and II Disorders given across 2-5 50- minute sessions. The treatment phase consisted of 7-10 50-minute sessions. Participants were 10 clients. Four participants completed sufficient treatment sessions (4-9) to test the study hypotheses. Participants generally improved across time, but most improvements could not be attributed to the functional application of ACT due to changes during baseline for AAQ, VLQ-Consistency, and OQ-45. VLQ-Importance significantly improved for all participants given ACT.
Thirty-four parents were referred by their CPS caseworkers to participate in one of two ACT for Parenting workshops. These workshops followed a 12 hour treatment protocol based on an acceptance and commitment therapy philosophy of parenting. Briefly, an ACT philosophy of parenting maintains that effective parenting requires awareness and acceptance of thoughts and feelings as they occur in the context of the parent-child relationship. An ACT philosophy of parenting also relies heavily on the identification and commitment to parenting values. Participants were asked to track acceptance and valuing behavior on a daily basis for 25 days prior to the intervention and 25 days post-intervention, as well as to complete a package of self-report instruments designed to measure both ACT specific and general psychological processes, at three different points (pre-, post- and follow-up). Nineteen parents received the treatment, and of those, seventeen provided follow-up data 3-4 months post-intervention. Results indicate statistically significant changes in the expected directions for scores on the BASC-2 Externalizing Composite as well as on the Meta-Valuing Measure. A total of 10 parents also evidenced clinically significant change in the expected directions on a variety of outcome measures.
Malingered posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) poses a formidable clinical challenge in personal injury and disability cases because of the apparent ease in feigning PTSD and the supposed link (proximate cause) to the claimed damages. The effective assessment of feigned PTSD is particularly challenging because this diagnosis is both easier to fake than other Axis I disorders and more difficult to detect. As an additional confound, some patients with genuine PTSD produce highly variable, elevated profiles on multiscale inventories that are difficult to distinguish from feigned PTSD. The current study examined whether the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) can effectively differentiate between genuine and feigned PTSD in 109 inpatients from a trauma unit. The two most effective scales were the MAL and the NDS scales. As a primary focus, the current study was the first empirical investigation of Resnick's model of malingered PTSD that is comprised of three subtypes: pure malingering (pure-M), partial malingering (partial-M), and false imputation (false-I). The primary goal was to evaluate whether each feigning group was able to (a) effectively simulate PTSD symptoms and diagnoses and (b) avoid being classified as feigning. The partial-M group proved to be the best feigning group in achieving these two goals. Furthermore, the use of well-defined groups, including an indeterminate band (i.e., unclassified) around each cut score, was explored. Overall, the use of well-defined groups improved accuracy in classification and reduced the number of false-positives.
Previous research has shown that alcohol abuse may cause a deficit in frontal lobe functioning, specifically, areas of the frontal lobe that are related to executive function. Additionally, problems with executive function have been related to increased difficulty in managing cravings to addictive substances. The current study explored the relationship between alcohol use and performance on measures of executive functioning in a sample of 121 traditional college students. Students were given 5 measures of executive function designed to explore mental set shifting, updating, inhibition, sustained attention, and planning. These measures were used to examine the relationship between executive function and craving as measured by the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale. Levels of alcohol use were also examined using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in relation to executive function performance and family history of alcohol abuse.
Researchers have previously identified substance use and borderline personality disorder as factors that increase risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This study explored the relationship between these factors in samples of students and individuals seeking outpatient treatment. Supplemental data collected via the internet (MTurk) also looked at experiential avoidance (EA) with the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth. The Structured Clinical Interview for the DSM-IV, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Scale for Suicide Ideation, and Personality Assessment Inventory- Borderline Features Scale elicited information regarding severity and/or frequency of substance use, suicidal thoughts, and borderline features respectively. Additionally, the Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire was administered to the UNT sample. The UNT sample analyses indicate substance use moderates, strengthening, the relationship between borderline features and current suicidal thoughts. However, severity of suicidal thoughts was lower for individuals high in both borderline features and substance use disorder symptoms compared to those low in borderline features and high in substance use symptoms. The MTurk sample analyses suggest substance use functions as a mediator. A robust relationship existed between substance use severity and EA, showing substance use as a behavioral marker for EA. In conclusion, concurrent treatment of substance use and borderline personality features would be beneficial in reducing risk for suicidal thoughts. Further investigation into the role and utility of addressing EA is warranted.
The term emerging adulthood was coined during the 21st century to describe human development between adolescence and adulthood, during the ages of 18-25 (Arnett, 2000). During this stage, individuals can explore life areas. Emerging adults beginning college have a unique opportunity to form their identities and develop value systems (Hauser & Greene, 1991). With increasing autonomy, college students have possibilities for positive development and risk; values may be imperative in that differentiation. Furthermore, value systems are believed to play a major role in decision-making (Schwartz, 1992). Parents are influential in values development (Simpson, 2001; Steinberg & Sheffield Morris, 2001). During emerging adulthood, individuals have opportunities to notice discrepancies between their parents’ value system and society. Thus, emerging adults evaluate and choose personal values, which may or may not be similar to those of their parents, peers, or broader culture. Findings from this study indicate female caregivers’ parenting styles and closeness of the parent-child relationship have significant direct effects on the degree to which values are freely chosen. Specifically, Authoritarian parenting style (β = -.43 B = -1.70, p < .001), Authoritative parenting style (β = .12, B = .53, p < .001), and Emotional Support (β = .30, B = 6.80, p < .001) significantly predicted the degree to which values are intrinsically chosen. Only one significant relationship was found for male caregivers; there was a significant positive relationship between the authoritative parenting style and quality of the parent-child relationship (β = .64, B = .10, p < .001).
This study explored psychopathic personality traits among a non-criminal, college undergraduate sample. Much research has been done on conceptualizing the construct of psychopathy, but this work has been conducted primarily with incarcerated individuals using a structured interview, The Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003). The goal of the current study was to assess psychopathic traits among non-criminal individuals using The Self-Report Psychopathy Scale - Version Four (SRP-IV; Paulhus, Neumann, & Hare, in press), and compare how SRP-IV scores were associated with a well recognized semi-structured interview for psychopathy, The Psychopathy Checklist – Screening Version (PCL: SV; Hart, Cox, & Hare, 1995). The study also examined whether psychopathic personality traits could be predicted using a measure of normal-range personality, based on the five-factor model (FFM; Digman, 1990), and a measure developed by Loevinger (1976) related to ego development. Five-Factor Model Rating Form (FFMRF; Mullins-Sweat, Jamerson, Samuel, Olson, & Widiger, 2006) scores and Total Protocol Ratings (TPR score) on the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT; Hy & Loevinger, 1996) were used to predict psychopathy scores. Correlations of SRP-IV scores and PCL: SV scores with FFMRF scores and WUSCT TPR scores were also examined for their uniformity. As predicted, there were significant, negative correlations between FFM domains, Agreeableness and Conscientious, and SRP-IV scores, as well as significant, negative correlations between WUSCT TPR scores and SRP-IV scores. These correlations ranged from small to strong for both SRP-IV overall scores and for SRP-IV factor scores (i.e., Interpersonal Manipulation, Callous Affect, Erratic Lifestyle, and Criminal Tendencies). Additionally, FFM domain scores and WUSCT TPR scores significantly predicted SRP-IV scores. FFM domains, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness, and WUSCT TPR scores, were the strongest predictors of SRP-IV scores. Similar results were found when FFM domain scores and WUSCT TPR scores predicted SRP-IV factor scores. Results also indicated ...
Structural equation modeling was used to examine how childhood sexual abuse (and other associated variables, such as family functioning and experiencing multiple forms of abuse) relates to revictimization and psychological distress. Participants were women who participated in Project HOW: Health Outcomes of Women interviews, a longitudinal study that spanned six waves of interviews. Only women with a history of childhood sexual abuse were included in the present study (n=178). Experiencing nonsexual child maltreatment in addition to childhood sexual abuse appears directly related to adult sexual and physical revictimization and indirectly related to psychological distress. Childhood sexual abuse alone was not predictive of revictimization or psychological abuse. This suggests that other mediating factors may explain the relation between CSA and revictimization found in other research. Clinical implications based on the results of the present study emphasize the importance of identifying children who have experienced multiple forms of abuse as particularly at risk for future victimization. In addition, providing interventions with a focus on education and empowerment might decrease risk for future violence and subsequent emotional maladjustment. Potential future research could examine the treatment outcomes and efficacy of these interventions as well as identify those mediating factors that increase the risk for adult revictimization for those individuals who experience only childhood sexual abuse.
Research indicates that some college students may be strongly motivated to feign AHDD symptoms for desired external incentives, such as stimulant medication or academic accommodations. To date, literature examining feigned ADHD has been primarily focused on ADHD specific self-report measures (e.g., CAARS) and continuous performance tests (e.g., CPTs); however, little attention has been devoted to the use of multi-scale inventories in detecting feigned ADHD. For CPT measures, virtually no literature exists on the effectiveness of the TOVA to identify feigned ADHD, despite its frequent clinical use for establishing this diagnosis. The current study utilized a between-subjects simulation design to validate feigning cut scores on ADHD-specific measures using 66 feigners and 51 confirmed ADHD cases. As prior literature suggested, the results convincingly demonstrated that face-valid ADHD assessment measures were easily faked. Across both TOVA modalities (e.g., Auditory and Visual), the ADHD simulators performed significantly poorer than those diagnosed with ADHD. As an innovative approach, a Dissimulation-ADHD (Ds-ADHD) scale was developed and initially validated. The Ds-ADHD is composed of ten MMPI-2-RF items mistakenly believed to be clinical characteristics associated with ADHD. Requiring cross-validation, Ds-ADHD optimized cut scores and classification of ADHD feigners appears promising. They were clearly distinguishable from ADHD client, as well as those feigning general psychopathology. Recommendations for the utilization of the Ds-ADHD scale, and future directions for research are discussed.
Psychopathy has long been lauded as a premier predictor of negative behavioral outcomes because of its demonstrated associations with violence, antisocial conduct, and institutional maladjustment. Traditional conceptualizations of psychopathy highlight the relatively equal importance placed on personality features (i.e., a grandiose, deceitful interpersonal style and deficits in affective experience) and behavioral elements (i.e., an impulsive and irresponsible lifestyle marked by social deviance) of the syndrome. However, little research to date has investigated psychopathy dimensions in female samples, particularly as they relate to maladaptive behaviors beyond forensic settings. The current study comprehensively examined personality (i.e., Axis II Cluster B traits and alexithymia) and behavioral (i.e., suicide-related behavior and aggression) expressions of psychopathy in a sample of female inpatients recruited from trauma and dual-diagnosis units at a psychiatric hospital in Dallas, Texas. Contrary to expectations, the essential components of psychopathy in female psychiatric patients emphasized APD and NPD traits over features of HPD and BPD, which were relatively similar to elements traditionally highlighted in male psychopathy. On this point, two latent dimensions comprehensively addressed female psychopathy in the current sample: impulsive antisociality and narcissistic and histrionic interpersonal style. Interestingly, psychopathy (M r = .01) and Cluster B traits (M r = .05) were virtually unrelated to suicide-related behavior in female patients with trauma and substance use histories, but APD and BPD traits were more discerning for impulsive and premeditated aggression than variants of psychopathy. Aggression's relationship to BPD traits is at least partially mediated by alexithymia. These results are discussed in terms of improving evaluation and intervention efforts aimed at identifying and managing psychopathic females beyond forensic settings.
The purpose of this study was to develop a manualized therapy group for wives or significant others of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and to evaluate its effectiveness in reducing wives' psychological symptoms. A second aim of the study was to determine if women's involvement in the wives group resulted in decreases in their husbands' PTSD symptoms. Women recruited for the study were administered pre-test measures during a screening session. They then participated in a 9-session manualized therapy group designed by the researcher that included psychoeducational, process, and support components. Examples of group topics included psychoeducation regarding PTSD, assertiveness and communication, intimacy, self-care, and stress management. After completing the group sessions, participants were asked to complete post-test measures. Other factors explored in this study included marital satisfaction, perceived social support, general satisfaction with the group, and demographic variables. Results indicated that wives who participated in the group treatment exhibited significant decreases in secondary stress symptoms and increases in marital satisfaction from pre-test to post-test. The majority of participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the group process. Therefore, it appears that the group protocol presented in this study could be a useful tool in the treatment of wives of veterans with PTSD. The results of this study have potential implications regarding the clinical treatment of families of veterans with PTSD and the development of future programs within the VA system.
Currently, neuropsychologists rely on assessment instruments rooted in century old theory and technology to make evaluations of military personnel’s readiness to return-to-duty or return to their community. The present study sought to explore an alternative by evaluating the validity of a neuropsychological assessment presented within a virtual reality platform. The integration of a neuropsychological assessment into a cognitively and emotionally demanding virtual environment – reminiscent of a combat experience in Iraq – offers a more ecologically valid manner in which to evaluate the cognitive skills required in theater. U.S. military veterans’ (N = 50) performance on the Virtual Reality Stroop Task (VRST) was compared with performance on a paper-and-pencil, a computer adapted version of the Stroop task, and the subtests included in the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics-4 (ANAM4) TBI-MIL test battery. Results supported the validity of the VRST, indicating it demonstrates the typical Stroop effect pattern. The emotional salience of the VRST resulted in slowed reaction time compared to the ANAM Stroop. Further, the complex interference condition of the VRST offers opportunities for evaluation of exogenous and endogenous attentional processing. In the evaluation of threat, participants were noted to perform more accurately and more quickly in low threat versus high threat zones. Ancillary inquiries found no clinically meaningful findings regarding the role of deployment or post-concussive symptoms, and mixed findings regarding the effect of posttraumatic stress symptoms on neuropsychological performance among the three tested modalities.
Research findings across a variety of samples (e.g., clinical, shelter, hospital) estimate that 31% to 84% of women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The current study sought to further investigate the abuse-trauma link by examining the relationship between lifetime trauma exposure, type of abuse (i.e., physical, psychological), and perspective-taking abilities (i.e., here-there, now-then). The role of experiential avoidance in the development of PTSD symptoms was also examined. Results indicated that lifetime trauma exposure (β = .31) and psychological abuse (β = .34) were significant predictors of PTSD symptomatology. Additionally, analyses revealed that experiential avoidance (β = .65) was a significant predictor of PTSD symptoms that partially mediated the relationship between IPV and PTSD symptomatology. Implications of findings are discussed as well as future suggestions for research examining type of IPV and PTSD.
For response styles, malingering describes the deliberate production of feigned symptoms by persons seeking external gain such as financial compensation, exemption from duty, or leniency from the criminal justice system. In contradistinction, defensiveness occurs when patients attempt to downplay their symptoms of psychological impairment. Both of the aforementioned response styles can markedly affect the accuracy of diagnosis, especially on self-reports, such as multiscale inventories. As an important oversight, no studies have been conducted to examine the effect of culturally specific response styles on profile validity and the classification of malingering among Hispanic American clinical populations. The current study investigated whether the Spanish Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) effectively distinguished between Spanish-speaking outpatient groups randomly assigned to honest, feigning, and defensive experimental conditions. In examining the results, PAI malingering indicators utilizing Rare Symptoms strategies (NIM and MAL) demonstrated moderate to large effect sizes. For defensiveness, Spanish PAI indicators also demonstrated moderate to very large effect sizes (M d = 1.27; range from 0.94 to 1.68). Regarding psychometric properties, Spanish PAI validity scales, provide adequate to good data on reliability and discriminant validity. Clinical utility of the Spanish PAI increases as different cut scores are employed.
The current study investigated the process of change underlying two different evidence-based treatments that yield similar outcome effectiveness in the treatment of depression: Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT). The phase model of psychotherapeutic change (Howard et al., 1993) change is used to provide both a theoretical and practical framework in which to assess different patterns of change across the treatment modalities. The phase model posits that recovery from distress occurs in three sequential stages: remoralization, remediation and rehabilitation. CT can be conceptualized as a treatment in which the primary focus is on the treatment of symptoms (remediation), whereas IPT can typically be conceptualized as focusing on interpersonal conflicts and functioning (rehabilitation). The study utilized the TDCRP dataset (Elkin et al., 1985). Survival analysis indicated no significant difference in terms of onset or pattern of improvement across treatment orientations. Chi square analyses indicated individuals treated with IPT spend significantly more time engaged in rehabilitation compared to their CT counterparts. Taken together, these findings represent evidence that the process of therapeutic change is similar, if not virtually identical, across therapeutic orientation. The analyses also indicate that the phases of therapy may not necessarily be mutually exclusive and sequential, but may instead represent co-occurring patterns of improvement which are not sequentially determined.
Freely choosing a life direction, or flexible valuing, is a core component of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Initial research suggests that valuing behavior may contribute to psychological well-being, but has been stymied by a lack of an efficient measure. The current study examined the psychometric characteristics of a new measure of flexible valuing, the Meta-Valuing Measure (MVM), in a sample of 532 undergraduates. Exploratory factors analysis revealed 3 orthogonal factors, Valuing (α = .94), Freedom from Values Conflict (α = .92), and Flexibility in Valuing (α = .73). The majority of expected relationships with other constructs were significant including those with measures of values, mindfulness, quality of life, experiential avoidance, and psychological distress.
While current research indicates that traumas high in social betrayal are more closely associated with symptoms of posttraumatic stress and identity disturbances than are traumas low in betrayal, the psychological mechanisms by which identity problems occur are less understood. The current project explored the relationships between traumas high and low in betrayal and their influence on self-complexity, through the RFT and ACT conceptualization of three types of self-experiencing: self-as-content, self-as-process, and self-as-context. The roles of experiential avoidance, dissociation, and severity of PTSD symptoms were also considered within this framework. A sample of 548 undergraduate students at the University of North Texas completed online self-report questionnaires, and results suggested that self-as-context more strongly predicted PTSD symptoms than trauma exposure, dissociation, and experiential avoidance. Moreover, high betrayal trauma was found to be a stronger negative predictor of self-as-context than low betrayal trauma. Exposure to trauma was found to significantly predict self-complexity, and self-as-context more strongly predicted self-complexity than did self-as-process. Interestingly, self-as-context did not moderate the relationship between trauma exposure and PTSD symptoms, nor between trauma exposure and self-complexity. Implications of the current study’s findings, as well as suggestions for further research related to the impact of interpersonal betrayal on the self and psychological health, are discussed.
Miranda understanding, appreciation, and reasoning abilities are essential to courts' determinations of knowing and intelligent Miranda rights waivers. Despite the remarkable development of Miranda research in recent decades, studies have generally focused on understanding and appreciation of Miranda rights, but have not examined Miranda reasoning and waiver decisions. Therefore, examining the nature of defendants' decisional capacities constitutes a critical step in further developing theoretical and clinical models for competent Miranda waiver decisions. The current study evaluated Miranda waiver decisions for 80 pretrial defendants from two Tulsa-area Oklahoma jails. Previously untested, the current study examined systematically how rational decision abilities affect defendants' personal waiver decisions. Components from general models of legal decision making, such as decisional competence and judgment models, were examined to determine their applicability to Miranda waiver decisions.
United States post-secondary education continues to see an increase in Hispanic enrollment, particularly those of Mexican heritage. The present study was designed to examine this population’s experience of stress, anxiety and academic approach-avoidance conflict. Data were collected at North Texas postsecondary institutions. Participants (N = 197) completed an online survey including a Picture Story Exercise (PSE), open-ended responses to hypothetical scenarios, and self-report measures. The current study utilized a mixed-method approach integrating content analysis measures and self-reports. Results indicated that anxiety symptoms expressed to academic, familial, and minority social situations differed, partial η2=.39; with the academic scenario including the highest and minority social scenario the lowest anxiety. Results suggested that Mexican-American college students may express cognitive and affective symptoms of anxiety more frequently than physical symptoms on scenarios but not on self-report scales (Personality Assessment Inventory Anxiety; PAI Anxiety). PSE responses suggested that Conflict and Drive for Goal Orientation were frequent among this sample. Academic Total Anxiety and Academic Physical Anxiety related positively to PSE Conflict, while Academic Cognitive Anxiety related negatively to PSE Positive Outcomes. Exploratory models predicting PSE variables from Academic Anxiety and PAI Anxiety were inconclusive but suggested that gender accounted for significant variance in PSE scores.
The study investigated an organized semantic fluency task, (the Controlled Animal Fluency Task - CAFT) as a measure of executive functioning (EF) in adults, and the relationship with instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). Participants (N = 266) consisted of a clinical sample (n = 142) utilizing neuropsychological assessment data collected at an outpatient psychological center, and a community sample (n = 124). The clinical sample was a heterogeneous mixed neurological group including a variety of health conditions and comorbid anxiety and depression. The CAFT Animals by Size demonstrated a significant positive correlation with Category Fluency (r = .71, n = 142, p < .001) , Animal Fluency (r = .70, n = 142, p < .001), and with other, established neuropsychological measures. The CAFT Animals by Size condition demonstrated a significant moderate negative correlation with IADL for the sample as a whole (r = -.46, n = 248, p < .001), and for the clinical sample (r = -.38, n = 129, p < .001), but not for the community sample. In a hierarchical regression analysis, CAFT Animal by Size explained additional variance in IADL (ΔR2 = .15). In a hierarchical regression analysis predicting IADL with the control variables entered first, followed by Category Fluency, with CAFT Animal by Size entered last, CAFT Animals by Size did not make a significant additional contribution. A stepwise forward regression indicated Category Fluency, education, and Category Switching are better predictors of IADL than CAFT Animals by Size. Normative data for the CAFT were calculated separately for age groups and education levels. Simple logistic regression indicated CAFT Animal by Size was a significant predictor of clinical or community group membership. A second logistic regression analysis indicated the CAFT Animal by Size condition improved the prediction of membership in the clinical versus the community ...
Given the alarmingly high rates of premature termination in training clinics, research aimed at understanding the course of change and treatment outcomes in training clinics deserves considerable attention. Additionally, more research is needed to understand the effectiveness of psychotherapy training and whether more training is actually associated with better client outcomes. Thus, this study sought to investigate whether clinicians' level of training and experience were related to a variety of clients' outcomes (e.g., well-being, symptom reduction, and life functioning) based on the phase model of psychotherapy. Unfortunately, confirmatory factor analysis of the OQ45.2 did not support the three-factor conceptual model paralleling the phase model. Rather, a two-factor model of best fit was identified. Neither clinicians' level of clinical training nor therapeutic orientation were found to be related to client improvements. However, this finding may have been attenuated by limited variance in client outcomes. Implications for clinical training and future outcome research methodologies are discussed.
The purpose of this study is to examine the structure of neurobehavioral symptoms in service members with physical and/or psychological trauma to determine the diagnostic specificity of these symptoms. Previous literature has demonstrated that orthopedic injured, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and healthy controls shared similar levels of postconcussive symptom complaints, which suggest that postconcussion-like symptoms are not unique to MTBI. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first study examining this phenomenon in a sample of recently redeployed service members. Dimensional analysis of the PCL-C and NSI using SEM did not produce a model that was consistent with previous literature and principle component analyses did not produce a simple solution for posttraumatic stress or neurobehavioral symptoms. Thus, the study does not provide evidence for construct validity for either instrument. Implications for these findings are that clinicians need to be aware that these instruments may not be measuring coherent constructs within this population as purported and should judiciously interpret and report the results of these instruments.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM 5) presents an alternate model for personality disorders, blending categorical and dimensional assessment into a hybrid diagnostic procedure. Released concurrently, the Personality Inventory for DSM 5 (PID 5) measures the five domains and 25 facets that comprise the trait components of this hybrid model. However, the PID 5 currently lacks validity indicators to capture intentionally distorted responding. The current study investigated the susceptibility of the PID 5 to defensiveness and feigning among a large sample of undergraduate students. First, a detailed desirability analysis (N = 465) was conducted of the PID 5 items and response options. Responses from the study were used to create three desirability based validity scales. Next, in a between-subjects simulation design (N = 128), the effects of faking were explored at domain and facet levels. As a result, two symptom based validity scales were created. In a separate validation sample (N = 134), the five newly created validity scales were compared with the Paulhus Deception Scales for capturing both defensiveness and feigning. All five scales were evaluated for ruling out faking (i.e., identifying likely genuine respondents) and ruling in either defensiveness or feigning. In most areas, the symptom based scales were more successful than the desirability based scales, though all scales had difficulty identifying defensiveness. These initial results offer fertile ground for additional testing and development of PID 5 validity scales.
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of military deployment on children, and the roles that risk and protective factors and parenting stress play in emotional symptoms and behaviors exhibited by children while their parents are deployed. A sample of 143 parents (recruited from all branches of the military) who remained at home while their spouses were deployed completed online self-report questionnaires measuring demographic and background information, child internalizing and externalizing behavior, parenting stress, child adaptability, valuing behavior, family cohesion/environment, and parenting behaviors. The sample primarily consisted of mothers (n = 141) and Caucasian individuals (n = 126), which may limit the generalizability of the findings. Results of the study suggest risk factors including parenting stress, corporal punishment, length of time a parent is deployed, and type of deployment (combat vs. non-combat) were predictive of poorer child outcomes. Protective factors including values consistent behavior, child adaptability, and family cohesion were predictive of better childhood outcomes. Parenting stress served as a mediating variable between the relationship of total risk and child outcomes, while values consistent behavior served as a mediating variable between the relationship of protective factors experienced by children and child outcomes. Military deployments not only impact the service members, but also their families at home. Further study and identification of risk and protective factors faced by military children and families are imperative. Implications of findings are discussed as well as suggestions for future research concerning deployment and impact on military families (e.g. identification and empirical validation of programs to support military families.
Experiential avoidance (EA) is a process in which a person attempts to avoid, dismiss, or change experiences such as emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. EA is associated with a number of psychological disorders and is generally harmful to psychological well-being. Various studies have explored the role of EA as a mediator, while others have studied EA as a moderator. The current study aimed to further understand and broaden the knowledge of the role of EA in regard to trauma, substance abuse, aggression, and impulsivity by examining relationships between these variables with EA as a mediator and as a moderator. Experientially avoidant behaviors (i.e., substance abuse, aggression, and impulsivity) were related to higher levels of EA. EA was found to partially mediate the relationship between the number of traumatic experiences and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, as well as the relationship between substance abuse and PTSD. EA was also found to moderate the relationship between PTSD symptoms and aggression. Findings from the present study as well as its limitations and future directions for research are discussed.
Given the importance of client characteristics and preferences, and therapist expertise to evidence-based practice in psychology, the current study sought to contribute to the literature concerning the role of values in psychotherapy. Personal values of clients and trainee therapists in 29 dyads were examined for relationships between client and therapist values and associations with working alliance and outcomes. Although previous literature in this area has suggested that successful therapy is characterized by an increase in similarity of client and therapist values, the current study did not replicate this finding. However, client perceptions of therapist values were found to be important to working alliance and outcome. Findings are discussed in terms of suggestions for future research as well as implications for clinical practice, including the importance of discussing expectations and preferences with clients.
Premature termination is a substantial problem with significant adverse effects for clients, therapists, and treatment organizations. Unfortunately, it is also a relatively common phenomenon within mental healthcare settings. Across varied mental healthcare settings, rates of premature termination have reportedly ranged from 19.7 % to 40 %. Perhaps not surprisingly, the rate of premature termination in training clinics is substantially higher than in community mental health settings and private practice, with 75 to 80 % of clients ending treatment services prematurely. The purpose of this study was to explore the combined effect of intake therapist continuity or discontinuity, and quality of the therapeutic relationship on premature termination. Intake therapist continuity, measures of working alliance, and termination outcome from 524 clients at the University of North Texas Psychology Clinic were utilized for adults receiving individual therapy services between August 2008 and August 2013. Results of the study suggest intake therapist continuity did not predict subjective termination status (X2(2, n = 524) = 1.61, p = 0.45), nor did it predict change in symptomology status (X2(3, n = 453) = 1.14, p = 0.77). Additionally, working alliance predicted subjective termination status (X2(6, n = 212) = 21.17, p < 0.01), but not change in symptomology status (X2(9, n = 208) = 6.27, p = 0.71). The findings of the current study are discussed, as well as suggestions for further research related to client, therapist, treatment, and procedural variables and their impact on premature termination.
While a significant amount of research illustrates the overall positive effects of therapists' general use of mindfulness, very few studies have addressed whether therapists' use of mindfulness translates to improved psychotherapy outcomes. The present study utilized a randomized-controlled design to test whether a brief mindfulness training program and pre-session mindfulness practice could have a positive impact on therapy; in particular, we hypothesized that mindfulness training and practice would improve ratings on therapeutic presence as rated by clients and therapists and session effectiveness as rated by clients. The present study also examined whether clients' subjective ratings of therapy outcome and therapists' theoretical orientation impacted outcome measures after therapists completed mindfulness training. The 20 participating therapists were randomly assigned to either the mindfulness training (MT) group or control group according to a computer generated randomization list. Results indicated that clients did not significantly improve on outcome measures after completing the mindfulness training. Clients' subjective ratings on a psychotherapy outcome measure did predict changes in their ratings of therapeutic presence. This finding may have important implications for future research examining client characteristics that may moderate the relationship between therapeutic presence and session outcomes. Limitations of the present study and future directions are discussed.
Values and valuing behavior have many conceptualizations. Despite how they are defined, values have a significant impact on behavior and are idiosyncratic in nature. The present study reviewed values research and sought to explore values identification and successful valued living among an archived sample of university students. Specifically, in a convenience sample of 282 undergraduate students, variables that affect values identification and behavior such as ethnicity, gender, psychological distress, and psychological flexibility were identified. Results indicated that university students identified with more than one valued living domain (as measured by the PVQ) and that contextual factors such as ethnicity, gender, age, and religiosity/spirituality were associated with specific values endorsed. Furthermore, psychological distress, including depression and anxiety (as measured by the DASS) was negatively correlated with values purity – the extent to which values are freely chosen. Finally, psychological flexibility (low experiential avoidance as measured by the AAQ-2), predicted values purity and successful living in accordance with identified values, and the relationship between these two variables was mediated by psychological flexibility.
Psychopaths have long been characterized as having a remarkable disregard for the truth, to the extent that deceit is often regarded as a defining characteristic of the syndrome. Scholars described heightened concerns about how psychopaths’ deceitful and manipulative nature could significantly obstruct evaluations of psychopathy. The accurate evaluation of psychopathy is very important in forensic and correctional settings, and in such issues as risk assessment or dangerousness. Although the PCL-R is considered the quasi-gold standard when it comes to evaluating psychopathy, self-report measures have become more widely available and researched. Very few studies specifically evaluated response styles and self-report psychopathy measures despite the significant concerns regarding psychopathy and deception. The current study evaluated the ability of inmates with different levels of psychopathy to successfully engage in positive impression management on the SRP-4, LSRP, and PPI-R. Utilizing a repeated-measures, within-subjects design, 78 male inmates completed the study under genuine and simulation conditions. Overall, inmates were able to significantly lower their scores on all three self-report measures and achieved scores equivalent to and even lower than college and community samples. Inmates with higher levels of psychopathy were able to achieve larger decreases in scores on the PPI-R and on several scales for each measure. Another key finding was the identification of promising PPI-R Virtuous Responding Scale cut scores that can be utilized within forensic populations. Results indicate self-report measures should not be used to replace the PCL-R or comprehensive assessment of psychopathy in forensic evaluations; however, they do provide additional useful information and may be beneficial in other clinical settings.
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