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APA Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Self-referential processing in depressed adolescents: A high-density event-related potential study.Open in a New Window

Despite the alarming increase in the prevalence of depression during adolescence, particularly among female adolescents, the pathophysiology of depression in adolescents remains largely unknown. Event-related potentials (ERPs) provide an ideal approach to investigate cognitive-affective processes associated with depression in adolescents, especially in the context of negative self-referential processing biases. In this study, healthy (n = 30) and depressed (n = 22) female adolescents completed a self-referential encoding task while ERP data were recorded. To examine cognitive-affective processes associated with self-referential processing, P1, P2, and late positive potential (LPP) responses to negative and positive words were investigated, and intracortical sources of scalp effects were probed using low-resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA). Additionally, we tested whether key cognitive processes (e.g., maladaptive self-view, self-criticism) previously implicated in depression related to ERP components. Relative to healthy female subjects, depressed females endorsed more negative and fewer positive words, and free recalled and recognized fewer positive words. With respect to ERPs, compared with healthy female adolescents, depressed adolescents exhibited greater P1 amplitudes following negative words, which was associated with a more maladaptive self-view and self-criticism. In both early and late LPP responses, depressed females showed greater activity following negative versus positive words, whereas healthy females demonstrated the opposite pattern. For both P1 and LPP, LORETA revealed reduced inferior frontal gyrus activity in response to negative words in depressed versus healthy female adolescents. Collectively, these findings suggest that the P1 and LPP reflect biased self-referential processing in female adolescents with depression. Potential treatment implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Memory specificity and mindfulness jointly moderate the effect of reflective pondering on depressive symptoms in individuals with a history of recurrent depression.Open in a New Window

In previously depressed individuals, reflective thinking may easily get derailed and lead to detrimental effects. This study investigated the conditions in which such thinking is, or is not, adaptive. Levels of mindfulness and autobiographical memory specificity were assessed as potential moderators of the relationship between reflective thinking and depressive symptoms. Two hundred seventy-four individuals with a history of three or more previous episodes of depression completed self-report measures of depressive symptoms, rumination—including subscales for reflection and brooding—and mindfulness, as well as an autobiographical memory task to assess memory specificity. In those low in both mindfulness and memory specificity, higher levels of reflection were related to more depressive symptoms, whereas in all other groups higher levels of reflection were related to fewer depressive symptoms. The results demonstrate that the relation between reflective pondering and depressive symptoms varies depending on individual state or trait factors. In previously depressed individuals, the cognitive problem-solving aspect of reflection may be easily hampered when tendencies toward unspecific processing are increased, and awareness of mental processes such as self-judgment and reactivity is decreased. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


From loss to loneliness: The relationship between bereavement and depressive symptoms.Open in a New Window

Spousal bereavement can cause a rise in depressive symptoms. This study empirically evaluates 2 competing explanations concerning how this causal effect is brought about: (a) a traditional latent variable explanation, in which loss triggers depression which then leads to symptoms; and (b) a novel network explanation, in which bereavement directly affects particular depression symptoms which then activate other symptoms. We used data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study and compared depressive symptomatology, assessed via the 11-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), among those who lost their partner (N = 241) with a still-married control group (N = 274). We modeled the effect of partner loss on depressive symptoms either as an indirect effect through a latent variable, or as a direct effect in a network constructed through a causal search algorithm. Compared to the control group, widow(er)s’ scores were significantly higher for symptoms of loneliness, sadness, depressed mood, and appetite loss, and significantly lower for happiness and enjoyed life. The effect of partner loss on these symptoms was not mediated by a latent variable. The network model indicated that bereavement mainly affected loneliness, which in turn activated other depressive symptoms. The direct effects of spousal loss on particular symptoms are inconsistent with the predictions of latent variable models, but can be explained from a network perspective. The findings support a growing body of literature showing that specific adverse life events differentially affect depressive symptomatology, and suggest that future studies should examine interventions that directly target such symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Enhanced error-related brain activity in children predicts the onset of anxiety disorders between the ages of 6 and 9.Open in a New Window

Considering that anxiety disorders frequently begin before adulthood and often result in chronic impairment, it is important to characterize the developmental pathways leading to the onset of clinical anxiety. Identifying neural biomarkers that can predict the onset of anxiety in childhood may increase our understanding of the etiopathogenesis of anxiety, as well as inform intervention and prevention strategies. An event-related potential (ERP), the error-related negativity (ERN), has been proposed as a biomarker of risk for anxiety and has previously been associated with anxiety in both adults and children. However, no previous study has examined whether the ERN can predict the onset of anxiety disorders. In the current study, ERPs were recorded while 236 healthy children, approximately 6 years of age, performed a go/no-go task to measure the ERN. Three years later, children and parents came back to the lab and completed diagnostic interviews regarding anxiety disorder status. Results indicated that enhanced error-related brain activity at age 6 predicted the onset of new anxiety disorders by age 9, even when controlling for baseline anxiety symptoms and maternal history of anxiety. Considering the potential utility of identifying early biomarkers of risk, this is a novel and important extension of previous work. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Childhood emotional and sexual maltreatment moderate the relation of the serotonin transporter gene to stress generation.Open in a New Window

Emerging evidence suggests that the tendency to generate stressful life events may be, at least in part, genetically determined. However, the role of the early environment in shaping responses to later stressors is crucial to fully specifying biogenetic models of stress generation. The current study examined the moderating role of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual maltreatment on the relation of the serotonin-transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR) polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene to proximal independent, dependent, and dependent-interpersonal life events. This question was tested in a cross-sectional community sample of 297 adolescents and young adults. Childhood maltreatment history and proximal life events were assessed with state-of-the-art interviews that provide independent and standardized ratings of the environmental context. Consistent with the stress generation hypothesis, individuals with the risk s-allele of the serotonin transporter gene reported significantly higher rates of dependent and dependent-interpersonal life events than those homozygous for the l-allele, but only in the context of a history of maternal emotional maltreatment or sexual maltreatment. Neither serotonin transporter gene polymorphisms or childhood maltreatment, or their interaction, were associated with reports of independent life events. The current results demonstrate the importance of considering specificity in the early environmental context when examining the relation of genetic factors to the generation of proximal stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


"Psychophysiologic reactivity, subjective distress, and their associations with PTSD diagnosis": Correction to Pineles et al. (2013).Open in a New Window

Reports an error in "Psychophysiologic reactivity, subjective distress, and their associations with PTSD diagnosis" by Suzanne L. Pineles, Michael K. Suvak, Gabrielle I. Liverant, Kristin Gregor, Blair E. Wisco, Roger K. Pitman and Scott P. Orr (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2013[Aug], Vol 122[3], 635-644). In Table 1 the sample of participants included in Orr et al.’s (1998) paper was incorrectly described as 100% male, rather than 100% female. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2013-30852-003.) Intense subjective distress and physiologic reactivity upon exposure to reminders of the traumatic event are each diagnostic features of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, subjective reports and psychophysiological data often suggest different conclusions. For the present study, we combined data from five previous studies to assess the contributions of these two types of measures in predicting PTSD diagnosis. One hundred fifty trauma-exposed participants who were classified into PTSD or non-PTSD groups based on structured diagnostic interviews completed the same script-driven imagery procedure, which quantified measures of psychophysiologic reactivity and self-reported emotional responses. We derived four discriminant functions (DiscFxs) that each maximally separated the PTSD from the non-PTSD group using (1) psychophysiologic measures recorded during personal mental imagery of the traumatic event; (2) self-report ratings in response to the trauma imagery; (3) psychophysiologic measures recorded during personal mental imagery of another highly stressful experience unrelated to the index traumatic event; and (4) self-report ratings in response to this other stressor. When PTSD status was simultaneously regressed on all four DiscFxs, trauma-related psychophysiological reactivity was a significant predictor, but physiological reactivity resulting from the highly stressful, but not traumatic script, was not. Self-reported distress to the traumatic experience and the other stressful event were both predictive of PTSD diagnosis. Trauma-related psychophysiologic reactivity was the best predictor of PTSD diagnosis, but self-reported distress contributed additional variance. These results are discussed in relation to the Research Domain Criteria framework. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Emotion regulation abnormalities in schizophrenia: Directed attention strategies fail to decrease the neurophysiological response to unpleasant stimuli.Open in a New Window

Previous research provides evidence that individuals with schizophrenia (SZ) have emotion regulation abnormalities, particularly when attempting to use reappraisal to decrease negative emotion. The current study extended this literature by examining the effectiveness of a different form of emotion regulation, directed attention, which has been shown to be effective at reducing negative emotion in healthy individuals. Participants included outpatients with SZ (n = 28) and healthy controls (CN: n = 25), who viewed unpleasant and neutral images during separate event-related potential and eye-movement tasks. Trials included both passive viewing and directed attention segments. During directed attention, gaze was directed toward highly arousing aspects of an unpleasant image, less arousing aspects of an unpleasant image, or a nonarousing aspect of a neutral image. The late positive potential (LPP) event-related potential component indexed emotion regulation success. Directing attention to nonarousing aspects of unpleasant images decreased the LPP in CN; however, SZ showed similar LPP amplitude when attention was directed toward more or less arousing aspects of unpleasant scenes. Eye tracking indicated that SZ were more likely than CN to attend to arousing portions of unpleasant scenes when attention was directed toward less arousing scene regions. Furthermore, pupilary data suggested that SZ patients failed to engage effortful cognitive processes needed to inhibit the prepotent response of attending to arousing aspects of unpleasant scenes when attention was directed toward nonarousing scene regions. Findings add to the growing literature indicating that individuals with SZ display emotion regulation abnormalities and provide novel evidence that dysfunctional emotion-attention interactions and generalized cognitive control deficits are associated with ineffective use of directed attention strategies to regulate negative emotion. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


"The modal suicide decedent did not consume alcohol just prior to the time of death: An analysis with implications for understanding suicidal behavior": Correction to Anestis et al. (2014).Open in a New Window

Reports an error in "The modal suicide decedent did not consume alcohol just prior to the time of death: An analysis with implications for understanding suicidal behavior" by Michael D. Anestis, Thomas Joiner, Jetta E. Hanson and Peter M. Gutierrez (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2014[Nov], Vol 123[4], 835-840). The institutional affiliation in the byline for Jetta E. Hanson was incorrectly listed as Military Suicide Research Consortium, Tallahassee, Florida. Jetta E. Hanson's correct institutional affiliation is provided in the erratum. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2014-42230-001.) We identified and analyzed a total of 92 studies, representing 167,894 suicide decedents, to determine if there is evidence to support what appears to be a widely held cultural, clinical, and scholarly view that many people who die by suicide had been drinking at the time of death. It was determined that, based on weighted averages, approximately 27% of suicide decedents had above-zero blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) at the time of death. We emphasize that it was not 27% who were intoxicated at the time of death; rather, 27% had above-zero BACs and 73% had BACs of 0.00%. Among studies of suicide decedents, BACs differed as a function of race (higher in non-White individuals). We conclude that the role of alcohol use at the time of death may be less than some assume, and this interpretation can inform clinical practice and theories of suicide. Important unanswered questions are posed which will help refine research in this area going forward. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Spatial attentional control is not impaired in schizophrenia: Dissociating specific deficits from generalized impairments.Open in a New Window

A large literature has established that people with schizophrenia are impaired on tasks that require attentional control. However, evidence is mixed as to whether these impairments are specific deficits (Oltmanns & Neale, 1975) or merely reflect a generalized impairment (Dickinson & Harvey, 2009). Recent evidence also suggests visual attentional control for encoding into working memory may be selectively spared in people with schizophrenia (Gold et al., 2006). The current study used a cued backward masking task to investigate 23 people with schizophrenia and 27 healthy controls. People with schizophrenia were hypothesized to perform better on invalidly cued trials when making a simple identification or location judgment. However, we found schizophrenia impaired performance on both valid and invalid cues to the same degree whether the cue was a stored representation (top-down) or presented at the location of the stimulus (bottom-up). In contrast to a large neuropsychological literature, these findings suggest that people with schizophrenia show no specific spatial attentional control deficit. The errors that they make on such task may be consistent with a generalized impairment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Apathy in schizophrenia as a deficit in the generation of options for action.Open in a New Window

Negative symptoms are a core feature of schizophrenia and have been grouped into 2 factors: a motivational factor, which we refer to as apathy, and a diminished expression factor. Recent studies have shown that apathy is closely linked to functional outcome. However, knowledge about its mechanisms and its relation to decision-making is limited. In the current study, we examined whether apathy in schizophrenia is associated with predecisional deficits, that is, deficits in the generation of options for action. We applied verbal protocol analysis to investigate the quantity of options generated in ill-structured real world scenarios in 30 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 21 healthy control participants. Patients generated significantly fewer options than control participants and clinical apathy ratings correlated negatively with the quantity of generated options. We show that the association between measures of psychopathology and option generation is most pronounced in regard to apathy symptoms and that it is only partially mediated by deficits in verbal fluency. This study provides empirical support for dysfunctional option generation as a possible mechanism for apathy in schizophrenia. Our data emphasize the potential importance of predecisional stages in the development and persistence of apathy symptoms in neuropsychiatric disorders and might also inform the development of novel treatment options in the realm of cognitive remediation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Factors of psychopathy and electrocortical response to emotional pictures: Further evidence for a two-process theory.Open in a New Window

The Two-Process theory of psychopathy posits that distinct etiological mechanisms contribute to the condition: (a) a weakness in defensive (fear) reactivity related to affective-interpersonal features, and (b) impaired cognitive-executive functioning, marked by reductions in brain responses such as P3, related to impulsive-antisocial features. The current study examined relations between psychopathy factors and electrocortical response to emotional and neutral pictures in male offenders (N = 139) assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R). Impulsive-antisocial features of the PCL-R (Factor 2) were associated with reduced amplitude of earlier P3 brain response to pictures regardless of valence, whereas the affective-interpersonal dimension (Factor 1) was associated specifically with reductions in late positive potential response to aversive pictures. Findings provide further support for the Two-Process theory and add to a growing body of evidence linking the impulsive-antisocial facet of psychopathy to the broader construct of externalizing proneness. Findings are discussed in terms of current initiatives directed at incorporating neuroscientific concepts into psychopathology classification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Early starting, aggressive, and/or callous–unemotional? Examining the overlap and predictive utility of antisocial behavior subtypes.Open in a New Window

Antisocial behavior (AB) in adolescence predicts problematic outcomes in adulthood. However, researchers have noted marked heterogeneity within the broad group of youth engaging in these destructive behaviors and have attempted to identify those with distinct etiologies and different trajectories of symptoms. In the present study, we evaluate 3 prominent AB subtyping approaches: age of onset, presence of callous–unemotional (CU) traits, and aggressive versus rule-breaking symptoms. We examined the overlap of these subtypes and their predictive validity in a diverse sample of 268 low-income young men followed prospectively from adolescence into emerging adulthood. We found that those with early starting AB were uniquely high on aggressive symptoms but not on CU traits. Early starting AB and both aggression and rule breaking measured during adolescence predicted most subsequent psychiatric and AB outcomes in early adulthood in univariate models, whereas CU traits were only predictive of adolescent arrests, later substance dependence diagnosis, and later CU traits. Finally, after accounting for shared variance among predictor variables, we found that aggressive symptoms explained the most unique variance in predicting several later outcomes (e.g., antisocial personality disorder) over and above other subtyping approaches. Results are discussed in relation to of the use of existing subtyping approaches to AB, noting that aggression and age of onset but not CU traits appear to be the best at predicting later negative outcome. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


DSM-5 alternative personality disorder model traits as maladaptive extreme variants of the five-factor model: An item-response theory analysis.Open in a New Window

Over the past two decades, evidence has suggested that personality disorders (PDs) can be conceptualized as extreme, maladaptive variants of general personality dimensions, rather than discrete categorical entities. Recognizing this literature, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) alternative PD model in Section III defines PDs partially through 25 maladaptive traits that fall within 5 domains. Empirical evidence based on the self-report measure of these traits, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5), suggests that these five higher-order domains share a structure and correlate in meaningful ways with the five-factor model (FFM) of general personality. In the current study, item response theory was used to compare the DSM-5 alternative PD model traits to those from a normative FFM inventory (the International Personality Item Pool–NEO [IPIP–NEO]) in terms of their measurement precision along the latent dimensions. Within a combined sample of 3,517 participants, results strongly supported the conclusion that the DSM-5 alternative PD model traits and IPIP–NEO traits are complimentary measures of 4 of the 5 FFM domains (with perhaps the exception of openness to experience vs. psychoticism). Importantly, the two measures yield largely overlapping information curves on these four domains. Differences that did emerge suggested that the PID-5 scales generally have higher thresholds and provide more information at the upper levels, whereas the IPIP–NEO generally had an advantage at the lower levels. These results support the general conceptualization that 4 domains of the DSM-5 alternative PD model traits are maladaptive, extreme versions of the FFM. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


A cluster analytic examination and external validation of psychopathic offender subtypes in a multisite sample of Canadian federal offenders.Open in a New Window

The present study is a cluster analytic examination and validation of psychopathic offender subtypes from 4 combined samples of Canadian federally incarcerated offenders, most of whom were serving sentences for violent offenses. The men were rated on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 1991, 2003) on the basis of comprehensive file information and 314 cases were extracted using a PCL-R total cut score of 25. Cluster analysis of the 4 PCL-R facets converged at a 2-cluster solution: a primary subtype characterized by prominent interpersonal and affective features of psychopathy and a secondary subtype characterized by comparatively few interpersonal features and high scores on the remaining facets. Validation analyses found that the vast majority of primary psychopathic offenders (74.1%) were White or of non-Aboriginal descent in contrast to the secondary subtype (47.6%). Secondary psychopathic offenders tended to be actuarially higher risk, have greater criminogenic needs, and to make greater amounts of treatment change on criminogenic targets; however, contrary to expectations, within-treatment changes from a violence reduction program were significantly associated with reductions in violent recidivism for primary, but not secondary, variants. There were few differences in rates of recidivism between the groups overall; secondary variants had higher rates of sexual violence which was largely accounted for by individual differences in baseline static risk. Implications for risk assessment, treatment planning, and the classification and etiology of primary and secondary psychopathy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Variants of psychopathy in adult male offenders: A latent profile analysis.Open in a New Window

As measured with the Psychopathy Checklist−Revised (PCL-R), psychopathy is a dimensional construct underpinned by 4 correlated factors: Interpersonal, Affective, Lifestyle, and Antisocial. Theorists and clinicians (e.g., Karpman and Arieti) have posited 2 variants of “primary” or “true” psychopathy, both distinct from so-called “secondary” or “pseudopsychopathy.” We used latent profile analysis to determine if homogeneous classes exist within a sample of 1,451 male offenders with high PCL-R scores (≥ 27). The 4 PCL-R factors were the dependent variables for clustering. A solution with 3 latent classes showed a better fit to the data than did a unitary model without latent classes. Tentative labels for the latent classes are Manipulative (Latent Class 1 [LC1]), Aggressive (Latent Class 2 [LC2]), and Sociopathic (Latent Class 3 [LC3]). The latter class represented an antisocial group that lacked the emotional detachment observed in the other 2 groups. We propose that LC1 and LC2 reflect phenotypic variations on a theme of the traditional construct of psychopathy, and that LC3 is consistent with conceptions of antisocial personality disorder and sociopathy. Replication and external classification with an independent data set of 497 adult male offenders again yielded clearly separable clusters, as well as meaningful differences or trends among latent classes on education, intelligence, symptoms of antisocial personality disorder, and self-reported psychopathic traits and negative affect. The conceptualization of psychopathy in terms of manipulative and aggressive variants is consistent with clinical theory and is empirically grounded. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


The structure of personality pathology: Both general (‘g’) and specific (‘s’) factors?Open in a New Window

Recent editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) conceptualize personality disorders (PDs) as categorical constructs, but high PD co-occurrence suggests underlying latent dimensions. Moreover, several borderline PD criteria resemble Criterion A of the new DSM-5 Section III general criteria for personality pathology (i.e., self and interpersonal dysfunction). We evaluated a bifactor model of PD pathology in which a general factor and several specific factors of personality pathology (PD ‘g’ and ‘s’ factors, respectively) account for the covariance among PD criteria. In particular, we examined the extent to which the borderline PD criteria would load exclusively onto the g-factor versus on both the g- and one or more s-factors. A large (N = 966) sample of inpatients were interviewed for six DSM–IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) PDs using the (Structured Clinical Interview for Personality Disorders (SCID-II; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, Williams, & Benjamin, 1994) with no skip-outs. We ran a series of confirmatory, exploratory, and bifactor exploratory factor analyses on the rated PD criteria. The confirmatory analysis largely replicated the DSM PDs, but with high factor correlations. The “standard” exploratory analysis replicated four of the DSM PDs fairly well, but nearly half the criteria cross-loaded. In the bifactor analysis, borderline PD criteria loaded only on the general factor; the remaining PDs loaded either on both the general and a specific factor or largely only on a specific factor. Results are interpreted in the context of several possibilities to define the nature of the general factor. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Affect regulation and purging: An ecological momentary assessment study in purging disorder.Open in a New Window

Research suggests that affect may play an important role in the propensity to purge among women with purging disorder (PD). However, prior work has been constrained to cross-sectional or laboratory designs, which impact temporal interpretations and ecological validity. This study examined negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) in triggering and maintaining purging in PD using ecological momentary assessment. Women with PD (N = 24) made multiple daily ratings of affect and behavior for 2 weeks. Multilevel models examined associations between affect and purging at different levels of analysis, including a novel analytic approach to address the specificity of changes in affect relative to purging behavior by comparing trajectories of change on purge versus nonpurge days. For trajectories of affect over time, NA increased before purging and decreased following purging on purge days; however, only the decrease in NA following purging was significantly different from the trajectory of NA on nonpurge days. Conversely, PA failed to increase before purging on purge days compared with a matched time-point on nonpurge days. These findings suggest unique roles of PA in triggering and NA in maintaining purging in PD and support models in which purging functions to regulate affect. For comparisons of ratings before and after purging, NA increased and PA decreased after purging, highlighting how different analytic strategies produce different findings requiring integration into affect regulation models. These data provide insight into why women with PD purge after consuming normal amounts of food, a crucial first step for developing effective interventions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Rumination but not distraction increases eating-related symptoms in anorexia and bulimia nervosa.Open in a New Window

Recent models of eating disorders emphasize the importance of ruminative thinking in the occurrence of unhealthy eating behavior. Hence, the aim of the current study was to examine the influence of induced rumination and distraction on the desire to engage in eating-related symptoms in anorexia (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). After a sadness induction, either a ruminative or distractive emotion regulation style was encouraged in women with AN (n = 38), BN (n = 37), and non-eating disordered controls (CG; n = 36). At baseline and after the emotion regulation induction feelings of sadness, desire to abstain from eating (DTA) and desire to binge (DTB) were assessed. Main results reveal that rumination led to a significant increase of DTA in the AN group and of DTB in patients with BN. In the CG, DTA significantly decreased after distraction. Although there were significant increases in subjective sadness in the rumination condition, no changes were found in the distraction condition. The results suggest that rumination in response to sadness has a detrimental effect on eating-related symptoms in eating disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Neural processing of social participation in borderline personality disorder and social anxiety disorder.Open in a New Window

Patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) are known to be highly sensitive to social rejection. Social information processing is assumed to play a key role for this shared psychopathological phenomenon. The first steps in social information processing are to encode social cues and to create a mental representation of the social situation. The aim of the current study was to test whether the perception of social participation in patients with BPD and patients with SAD is biased in this initial stage of social processing. Focus was on the P3b, a brain potential related to stimulus evaluation that has been shown to be a sensitive indicator for the processes of interest. Twenty five unmedicated patients with BPD, 25 unmedicated patients with SAD and 25 healthy controls (HC) played an EEG-compatible version of Cyberball, a virtual ball-tossing paradigm that experimentally induces social inclusion and exclusion. All participants showed a pronounced P3b when excluded. Only patients with BPD showed an enhanced P3b also during the inclusion condition, indicating altered processing of social inclusion. The EEG results for the BPD group were consistent with their self-report data. Patients with BPD felt more excluded during the inclusion condition of Cyberball than both HC and patients with SAD. Furthermore, heightened rejection expectancy (subscale of the Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire) was associated with a smaller difference in the P3b amplitude between inclusion and exclusion. Results indicate a negatively biased perception of social inclusion in BPD already during the initial stage of social processing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Extraversion and psychopathology: A facet-level analysis.Open in a New Window

The goal of this study was to explicate how the lower order facets of extraversion are related to psychopathology. We used a “bottom-up” approach in which specific extraversion scales from 3 comprehensive personality inventories were used to model these facets as latent factors. We collected both self-report and interview measures of a broad range of psychopathology from a large community sample. Replicating previous findings using a similar approach (Naragon-Gainey & Watson, 2014; Naragon-Gainey, Watson, & Markon, 2009), structural analyses yielded four factors: Positive Emotionality, Sociability, Assertiveness, and Experience Seeking. Scores on these latent dimensions were related to psychopathology in correlational analyses and in two sets of regressions (the first series used the four facets as predictors; the second included composite scores on the other Big Five domains as additional predictors). These results revealed a striking level of specificity. As predicted, Positive Emotionality displayed especially strong negative links to depressive symptoms and diagnoses. Sociability also was negatively related to psychopathology, showing particularly strong associations with indicators of social dysfunction and the negative symptoms of schizotypy (i.e., social anxiety, social aloofness, and restricted affectivity). Assertiveness generally had weak associations at the bivariate level but was negatively related to social anxiety and was positively correlated with some forms of externalizing. Finally, Experience Seeking had substantial positive associations with a broad range of indicators related to externalizing and bipolar disorder; it also displayed negative links to agoraphobia. These differential correlates demonstrate the importance of examining personality–psychopathology relations at the specific facet level. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


High-precision visual long-term memory in children with high-functioning autism.Open in a New Window

Domain-general theories of autism rest on evidence that the disorder impacts not only social communication skills but also nonsocial functions such as memory. Yet recognition memory deficits have been inconsistently documented, especially for stimuli other than faces and sentences. Here we tested school-age children with high-functioning autism (ASD) and IQ, and age-matched comparison children on a visual long-term memory task involving more than 100 photographs of objects, faces, cats, houses, and abstract stimuli. Children viewed each photograph for 2 s. After a 10-min filled delay, we assessed recognition memory for object category as well as for specific exemplars. Data supported the presence of a high-capacity and high-precision visual memory in children with ASD. Both category memory and exemplar memory accuracies were above 90% for categories for which a single exemplar had been encoded. When more exemplars per category were encoded, category memory improved, but exemplar memory declined. An exception was face memory, which remained highly accurate even after many faces had been encoded. Our study provided no evidence that visual memory in general, and face memory in particular, is impaired in children with ASD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Commentary on “The modal suicide decedent did not consume alcohol just prior to the time of death: An analysis with implications for understanding suicidal behavior”.Open in a New Window

This is a commentary on a meta-analysis in this journal by Anestis, Joiner, Hanson, and Gutierrez (2014) that analyzed 92 studies reporting data on the presence/absence of alcohol in suicide decedents based on positive blood alcohol concentrations (BACs). The authors conclude that the weighted mean percentage of suicide decedents with positive BACs is 26.9%, a result that is underestimated by 6.7% due to a coding error. The authors argue that acute use of alcohol may not be an important proximal risk factor for suicide based largely on the fact that it is not modal in decedents, a point that overlooks the fact that risk factors need not be modal to be of major public health significance. For example, most traffic fatalities do not involve a driver who had been drinking but this does not imply that alcohol use is unimportant in road deaths. Furthermore, the authors do not discuss controlled studies providing evidence that acute use of alcohol confers marked risk. The authors also predict that the percentage of suicide decedents with positive BACs who are intoxicated is low. However, published data on alcohol levels and suicide in the United States are available and show that most suicide decedents with positive blood tests have BACs at or above the U.S. legal limit of 0.08 g/dl for drinking and driving, with mean BACs well in excess of the legal limit, evidence of intoxication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Response to commentary on “The modal suicide decedent did not consume alcohol just prior to the time of death: An analysis with implications for understanding suicidal behavior”.Open in a New Window

A commentary on our article, “The Modal Suicide Decedent Did Not Consume Alcohol Just Prior to the Time of Death: An Analysis with Implications for Understanding Suicidal Behavior,” published in this issue, was reviewed. We agree with the authors of that commentary regarding a coding error that has now been corrected. While we disagree with several of the points raised by the authors, the majority of our disagreements lie in how the results of our original study are being interpreted. We provide a point-by-point response to that commentary and thank the authors for advancing scientific debate on what we view as a very important issue in understanding the role of alcohol as a risk factor for suicide. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Correction to Lowe et al. (2014).Open in a New Window

Reports an error in "Bidirectional relationships between trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress: A longitudinal study of Detroit residents" by Sarah R. Lowe, Kate Walsh, Monica Uddin, Sandro Galea and Karestan C. Koenen (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2014[Aug], Vol 123[3], 533-544). The prevalences in Table 1 did not correspond to the correct traumatic events due to a misalignment in rows and columns. All other results in the manuscript remain unchanged. The corrected table is provided. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2014-21942-001.) Previous research has documented bidirectional relationships between trauma exposure and posttraumatic stress (PTS), such that individuals who are exposed to more traumatic events are at increased risk of developing PTS, and more severe PTS is associated with more subsequent trauma exposure. However, the empirical literature is limited by a lack of longitudinal studies that include continuous measures of PTS, differentiate between assaultive (e.g., sexual assault, being held up or mugged) and nonassaultive (e.g., serious illness, natural disaster) trauma, and focus on urban contexts. The purpose of this study was to fill these gaps through testing 3-wave cross-lagged panel models of exposure to assaultive and nonassaultive traumatic events and PTS among a large sample of urban-dwelling adults (N = 1,360; 84.4% non-Hispanic Black). In the model including assaultive trauma, more Wave 2 assaultive events were associated with significantly higher Wave 3 PTS. In contrast, in the model including nonassaultive trauma, higher Wave 1 and Wave 2 PTS were associated with more nonassaultive events at Waves 2 and 3, respectively. Taken together, the findings suggest a cycle of adversity wherein urban residents who have experienced assaultive trauma are at risk of more severe PTS, which in turn increases risk for exposure to nonassaultive trauma. This cycle could be tested directly in future studies through models including both types of events. Additional research on the mechanisms that underlie the pathways between PTS and traumatic events could also have implications for policy and practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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