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APA Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Attention bias modification for major depressive disorder: Effects on attention bias, resting state connectivity, and symptom change.Open in a New Window

Cognitive theories of depression posit that selective attention for negative information contributes to the maintenance of depression. The current study experimentally tested this idea by randomly assigning adults with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) to 4 weeks of computer-based attention bias modification designed to reduce negative attention bias or 4 weeks of placebo attention training. Findings indicate that compared to placebo training, attention bias modification reduced negative attention bias and increased resting-state connectivity within a neural circuit (i.e., middle frontal gyrus and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex) that supports control over emotional information. Further, pre- to post-training change in negative attention bias was significantly correlated with depression symptom change only in the active training condition. Exploratory analyses indicated that pre- to post-training changes in resting state connectivity within a circuit associated with sustained attention to visual information (i.e., precuenus and middle frontal gyrus) contributed to symptom improvement in the placebo condition. Importantly, depression symptoms did not change differentially between the training groups—overall, a 40% decrease in symptoms was observed across attention training conditions. Findings suggest that negative attention bias is associated with the maintenance of depression; however, deficits in general attentional control may also maintain depression symptoms, as evidenced by resting state connectivity and depression symptom improvement in the placebo training condition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Neural markers of familial risk for depression: An investigation of cortical thickness abnormalities in healthy adolescent daughters of mothers with recurrent depression.Open in a New Window

Having a mother with major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the strongest predictors of depression in late adolescence and early adulthood. Despite this fact, we know little about the neural mechanisms involved in the intergenerational transmission of risk for depression. Twenty-eight never-disordered daughters of recurrent depressed mothers (high-risk) and 36 never-disordered daughters of never-depressed mothers (low-risk) were scanned using MRI. Scan data were processed to provide measurements of cortical gray matter thickness. A general linear model was conducted at each surface point to assess the main effect of familial risk on cortical structure as well as to explore the interaction of familial risk and age. High-risk girls exhibited significantly thinner cortical gray matter in the right fusiform gyrus relative to low-risk girls. Exploratory analyses indicated interactions of risk group and age in the bilateral anterior insula and right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC); whereas low-risk girls exhibited an inverse association between age and thickness, girls at high risk for depression showed the reverse pattern. Additional exploratory analyses, using scores on the Children’s Sadness Management Scale, indicated that thinner gray matter in the ACC of high-risk girls was associated with greater difficulty in managing sadness. These findings indicate that anomalous reductions in the cortical thickness of the fusiform gyrus may be a marker of risk for MDD. The interaction of age and group for gray matter thickness of the insula and ACC suggests a particularly important role for these regions in risk for depression and warrants additional research in longitudinal studies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


A 3-year longitudinal study of risk for bipolar spectrum psychopathology.Open in a New Window

Current clinical and epidemiological research provides support for a continuum of bipolar psychopathology: a bipolar spectrum that ranges from subthreshold characteristics to clinical disorders. The present research examined risk for bipolar spectrum psychopathology at a 3-year follow-up assessment in a nonclinically ascertained sample of 112 young adults identified by the Hypomanic Personality Scale (HPS). Participants completed diagnostic interviews assessing bipolar psychopathology, borderline personality traits, substance use disorders, impulsivity, and psychosocial functioning. At the original assessment, 18 of the 112 participants met criteria for a bipolar spectrum disorder. At the follow-up, an additional 13 had developed bipolar spectrum disorders. A total of 58% of participants scoring in the upper quartile of the HPS qualified for bipolar spectrum disorders at the follow-up, including 27% with DSM–IV–TR disorders. The HPS predicted new cases and total number of cases of bipolar spectrum disorders, as well as total number of DSM–IV–TR bipolar disorders. The HPS also predicted hyperthymic temperament or history of hypomania, grandiose traits, impulsivity, substance use disorders, psychosocial impairment, and borderline traits. The majority of these effects were significant after removing participants with DSM–IV–TR bipolar disorders from the analyses, suggesting that the results were not driven by a subset of participants with clinical disorders. Overall, these results offer further support for the bipolar spectrum construct and the predictive validity of the HPS as a measure of bipolar spectrum psychopathology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


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 reference list did not contain the items included in the meta-analysis. The online version of this article has been corrected. In addition, a commentary to this article (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2015, Vol. 124, No. 2, pp. 457–459. detailed some errors in the calculation of the total percentage of decedents with a positive BAC in a study utilizing National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) data (Kaplan et al., 2013). The reply to the commentary (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2015, Vol. 124, No. 2, pp. 460–461. addressed how these errors were handled. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2014-42230-001.) [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 124(2) of Journal of Abnormal Psychology (see record 2015-08464-001). 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.] 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)


Pupillary reactivity to sad stimuli as a biomarker of depression risk: Evidence from a prospective study of children.Open in a New Window

The primary aim of the current study was to examine whether physiological reactivity to depression-relevant stimuli, measured via pupil dilation, serves as a biomarker of depression risk among children of depressed mothers. Participants included 47 mother–child dyads. All mothers had a history of major depressive disorder. Pupil dilation was recorded while children viewed angry, happy, and sad faces. Follow-up assessments occurred 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after the initial assessment, during which structured interviews were used to assess for children’s levels of depressive symptoms as well as the onset of depressive diagnoses. Children exhibiting relatively greater pupil dilation to sad faces experienced elevated trajectories of depressive symptoms across the follow-up as well as a shorter time to depression onset. These findings were not observed for children’s pupillary reactivity to angry or happy faces. The current findings suggest that physiological reactivity to sad stimuli, assessed using pupillometry, serves as a potential biomarker of depression risk among children of depressed mothers. Notably, pupillometry is an inexpensive tool that could be administered in clinical settings, such as pediatricians’ offices, to help identify which children of depressed mothers are at highest risk for developing depression themselves. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Examining associations between psychosis risk, social anhedonia, and performance of striatum-related behavioral tasks.Open in a New Window

Both psychosis and anhedonia have been associated to some extent with striatal functioning. The current study examined whether either psychosis risk or social anhedonia was associated with performance on 3 tasks related to striatal functioning. Psychosis risk participants had extremely elevated Perceptual Aberration/Magical Ideation (PerMag) scores (n = 69), with 43% of psychosis risk participants also having semistructured interview-assessed psychotic-like experiences which further heightens their risk of psychotic disorder (Chapman, Chapman, Kwapil, Eckblad, & Zinser, 1994). Compared with both extremely elevated social anhedonia (n = 60) and control (n = 68) groups, the PerMag group exhibited poorer performance on 2 of the striatum-related tasks, the Weather Prediction Task (WPT) and the Learned Irrelevance Paradigm, but not on Finger Tapping. In addition, PerMag participants with psychotic-like experiences were especially impaired on the WPT. Overall, this study arguably provides the first evidence that psychosis risk but not social anhedonia is associated with performance on the WPT, a task thought to be strongly associated with activation in the associative striatum, and also suggests that the WPT might be especially useful as a behavioral measure of psychosis risk. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Altered attentional and perceptual processes as indexed by N170 during gaze perception in schizophrenia: Relationship with perceived threat and paranoid delusions.Open in a New Window

Using gaze information to orient attention and guide behavior is critical to social adaptation. Previous studies have suggested that abnormal gaze perception in schizophrenia (SCZ) may originate in abnormal early attentional and perceptual processes and may be related to paranoid symptoms. Using event-related brain potentials (ERPs), this study investigated altered early attentional and perceptual processes during gaze perception and their relationship to paranoid delusions in SCZ. Twenty-eight individuals with SCZ or schizoaffective disorder and 32 demographically matched healthy controls (HCs) completed a gaze-discrimination task with face stimuli varying in gaze direction (direct, averted), head orientation (forward, deviated), and emotion (neutral, fearful). ERPs were recorded during the task. Participants rated experienced threat from each face after the task. Participants with SCZ were as accurate as, though slower than, HCs on the task. Participants with SCZ displayed enlarged N170 responses over the left hemisphere to averted gaze presented in fearful relative to neutral faces, indicating a heightened encoding sensitivity to faces signaling external threat. This abnormality was correlated with increased perceived threat and paranoid delusions. Participants with SCZ also showed a reduction of N170 modulation by head orientation (normally increased amplitude to deviated faces relative to forward faces), suggesting less integration of contextual cues of head orientation in gaze perception. The psychophysiological deviations observed during gaze discrimination in SCZ underscore the role of early attentional and perceptual abnormalities in social information processing and paranoid symptoms of SCZ. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


The latent structure of personality functioning: Investigating criterion a from the alternative model for personality disorders in DSM–5.Open in a New Window

The alternative model for the classification of personality disorders (PD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM–5) Section III comprises 2 major components: impairments in personality functioning (Criterion A) and maladaptive personality traits (Criterion B). In this study, we investigated the latent structure of Criterion A (a) within subdomains, (b) across subdomains, and (c) in conjunction with the Criterion B trait facets. Data were gathered as part of an online study that collected other-ratings by 515 laypersons and 145 therapists. Laypersons were asked to assess 1 of their personal acquaintances, whereas therapists were asked to assess 1 of their patients, using 135 items that captured features of Criteria A and B. We were able to show that (a) the structure within the Criterion A subdomains can be appropriately modeled using generalized graded unfolding models, with results suggesting that the items are indeed related to common underlying constructs but often deviate from their theoretically expected severity level; (b) the structure across subdomains is broadly in line with a model comprising 2 strongly correlated factors of self- and interpersonal functioning, with some notable deviations from the theoretical model; and (c) the joint structure of the Criterion A subdomains and the Criterion B facets broadly resembles the expected model of 2 plus 5 factors, albeit the loading pattern suggests that the distinction between Criteria A and B is somewhat blurry. Our findings provide support for several major assumptions of the alternative DSM–5 model for PD but also highlight aspects of the model that need to be further refined. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Poor self-control and harsh punishment in childhood prospectively predict borderline personality symptoms in adolescent girls.Open in a New Window

Developmental theories of borderline personality disorder (BPD) propose that harsh, invalidating parenting of a child with poor self-control and heightened negative emotionality often leads to a coercive cycle of parent–child transactions that increase risk for BPD symptoms such as emotion dysregulation. Although parenting practices and child temperament have previously been linked with BPD, less is known about the prospective influences of caregiver and child characteristics. Using annual longitudinal data from the Pittsburgh Girls Study (n = 2,450), our study examined how reciprocal influences among harsh parenting, self-control, and negative emotionality between ages 5 and 14 predicted the development of BPD symptoms in adolescent girls ages 14 to 17. Consistent with developmental theories, we found that harsh punishment, poor self-control, and negative emotionality predicted BPD symptom severity at age 14. Only worsening self-control between ages 12 and 14, however, predicted growth in BPD symptoms from 14 to 17. Furthermore, the effects of harsh punishment and poor self-control on age 14 BPD symptoms were partially mediated by their earlier reciprocal effects on each other between ages 5 and 14. Our findings underscore the need to address both child and parental contributions to dysfunctional transactions in order to stem the development of BPD symptoms. Moreover, problems with self-regulation in early adolescence may indicate heightened risk for subsequent BPD. Altogether, these results increase our understanding of developmental trajectories associated with BPD symptoms in adolescent girls. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Impaired recollection of visual scene details in adults with autism spectrum conditions.Open in a New Window

Subtle memory deficits observed in autism spectrum conditions (ASC) have often been characterized as reflecting impaired recollection and it has been proposed that a relational binding deficit may underlie the recollection impairment. However, subjective recollection and relational binding have not been measured within the same task in ASC to date and it is unclear whether a relational binding deficit can provide a full account of recollection impairments in ASC. Relational memory has also not been compared with item memory when the demands of the 2 tasks are comparable. To assess recollection, relational memory, and item memory within a single task in ASC, 24 adults with ASC and 24 typically developed adults undertook a change detection memory task that assessed recollection of item-specific and spatial details. Participants studied rendered indoor and outdoor scenes and, in a subsequent recognition memory test, distinguished scenes that had not changed from those that had either undergone an item change (a different item exemplar) or a relational (spatial) change, which was followed by a subjective recollection judgment. The ASC group identified fewer item changes and spatial changes, to a similar degree, which was attributable to a specific reduction in recollection-based recognition relative to the control group. These findings provide evidence that recollection deficits in ASC may not be driven entirely by a relational binding deficit. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Online social communication patterns among emerging adult women with histories of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.Open in a New Window

Little is known about adult women with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, available evidence suggests that they experience social impairment. Online social networking websites such as Facebook have become endemic outlets through which emerging adults communicate with peers. No study has examined the peer interactions of emerging adults with childhood histories of ADHD in this developmentally relevant online domain. Participants in the current study were an ethnically diverse sample of 228 women, 140 of whom met diagnostic criteria for ADHD in childhood and 88 who composed a matched comparison sample. These women were assessed at 3 time points spanning 10 years (mean age = 9.6 at Wave 1, 14.1 at Wave 2, 19.6 at Wave 3). After statistical control of demographic covariates and comorbidities, childhood ADHD diagnosis predicted, by emerging adulthood, a greater stated preference for online social communication and a greater tendency to have used online methods to interact with strangers. A childhood diagnosis of ADHD also predicted observations of fewer Facebook friends and less closeness and support from Facebook friends in emerging adulthood. These associations were mediated by a composite of face-to-face peer relationship impairment during childhood and adolescence. Intriguingly, women with persistent diagnoses of ADHD from childhood to emerging adulthood differed from women with consistent comparison status in their online social communication; women with intermittent diagnoses of ADHD had scores intermediate between the other 2 groups. Results are discussed within the context of understanding the social relationships of women with childhood histories of ADHD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


The impact of autism spectrum disorder and alexithymia on judgments of moral acceptability.Open in a New Window

One’s own emotional response toward a hypothetical action can influence judgments of its moral acceptability. Some individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) exhibit atypical emotional processing, and moral judgments. Research suggests, however, that emotional deficits in ASD are due to co-occurring alexithymia, meaning atypical moral judgments in ASD may be due to alexithymia also. Individuals with and without ASD (matched for alexithymia) judged the moral acceptability of emotion-evoking statements and identified the emotion evoked. Moral acceptability judgments were predicted by alexithymia. Crucially, however, this relationship held only for individuals without ASD. While ASD diagnostic status did not directly predict either judgment, those with ASD did not base their moral acceptability judgments on emotional information. Findings are consistent with evidence demonstrating that decision-making is less subject to emotional biases in those with ASD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


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

Reports an error in "The temporal relationship between posttraumatic stress disorder and problem alcohol use following traumatic injury" by Angela Nickerson, J. Ben Barnes, Mark Creamer, David Forbes, Alexander C. McFarlane, Meaghan O’Donnell, Derrick Silove, Zachary Steel and Richard A. Bryant (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2014[Nov], Vol 123[4], 821-834). The institutional affiliation in the author note for Alexander C. McFarlane was incorrectly listed as Center for Military and Veterans’ Health, University of Adelaide, rather than Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, The University of Adelaide. The online version of this article has been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2014-41510-001.) Chronic alcohol abuse is a major public health concern following trauma exposure; however, little is known about the temporal association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and problem alcohol use. The current study examined the temporal relationship between PTSD symptom clusters (re-experiencing, effortful avoidance, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal) and problem alcohol use following trauma exposure. This study was a longitudinal survey of randomly selected traumatic injury patients interviewed at baseline, 3 months, 12 months, and 24 months following injury. Participants were 1,139 injury patients recruited upon admission from 4 Level 1 trauma centers across Australia. Participants were assessed using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Results indicated that high levels of re-experiencing, effortful avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms at 12 months were associated with greater increases (or smaller decreases) in problem alcohol use between 12 and 24 months. Findings also suggested that high levels of problem alcohol use at 12 months were associated with greater increases (or smaller decreases) in emotional numbing symptoms between 12 and 24 months. These findings highlight the critical importance of the chronic period following trauma exposure in the relationship between PTSD symptoms and problem alcohol use. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Progression in substance use initiation: A multilevel discordant monozygotic twin design.Open in a New Window

Considerable attention has been paid to the “gateway” pattern of drug use initiation in which individuals progress from tobacco and alcohol use to cannabis and other illicit drugs. The extent to which this sequence reflects a causal impact of licit substance use on illicit substance involvement remains unclear. Clarifying the mechanisms underlying substance use initiation may help inform our understanding of risk for psychopathology, as increasing research is demonstrating associations between initiation patterns and heavier involvement. This study examined patterns of substance use initiation using a discordant twin design. Participants were 3,476 monozygotic twins (37% male) from the Australian Twin Registry who reported on their ages of tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis initiation. Multilevel proportional hazard regression models were used to (a) estimate within-twin-pair and between-twin-pair contributions to associations between the ages of onset of different drugs; and (b) examine whether the magnitude of effects differed as a function of the order of substance use initiation. Finding significant effects within twin pairs would support the hypothesis that the age of initiation of a substance causally influences the age of initiation of a subsequent substance. Finding significant effects between twin pairs would support the operation of familial influences that explain variation in the ages of initiation of multiple drugs. Within-twin-pair effects for typical patterns were modest. When initiation was atypical, however, larger within-twin-pair effects were observed and causal influences were more strongly implicated. Results support the utility of examining the timing and ordering of substance use initiation within sophisticated, genetically informative designs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Local area disadvantage and gambling involvement and disorder: Evidence for gene-environment correlation and interaction.Open in a New Window

Previous research has demonstrated that local area characteristics (such as disadvantage and gambling outlet density) and genetic risk factors are associated with gambling involvement and disordered gambling. These 2 lines of research were brought together in the present study by examining the extent to which genetic contributions to individual differences in gambling involvement and disorder contributed to being exposed to, and were also accentuated by, local area disadvantage. Participants were members of the national community-based Australian Twin Registry who completed a telephone interview in which the past-year frequency of gambling and symptoms of disordered gambling were assessed. Indicators of local area disadvantage were based on census data matched to the participants’ postal codes. Univariate biometric model-fitting revealed that exposure to area disadvantage was partially explained by genetic factors. Bivariate biometric model-fitting was conducted to examine the evidence for gene-environment interaction while accounting for gene-environment correlation. These analyses demonstrated that: (a) a small portion of the genetic propensity to gamble was explained by moving to or remaining in a disadvantaged area, and (b) the remaining genetic and unique environmental variation in the frequency of participating in electronic machine gambling (among men and women) and symptoms of disordered gambling (among women) was greater in more disadvantaged localities. As the gambling industry continues to grow, it will be important to take into account the multiple contexts in which problematic gambling behavior can emerge—from genes to geography—as well as the ways in which such contexts may interact with each other. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Tobacco withdrawal symptoms mediate motivation to reinstate smoking during abstinence.Open in a New Window

Withdrawal-based theories of addiction hypothesize that motivation to reinstate drug use following acute abstinence is mediated by withdrawal symptoms. Experimental tests of this hypothesis in the tobacco literature are scant and may be subject to methodological limitations. This study utilized a robust within-subject laboratory experimental design to investigate the extent to which composite tobacco withdrawal symptomatology level and 3 unique withdrawal components (i.e., low positive affect, negative affect, and urge to smoke) mediated the effect of smoking abstinence on motivation to reinstate smoking. Smokers (≥10 cigarettes per day; N = 286) attended 2 counterbalanced sessions at which abstinence duration was differentially manipulated (1 hr vs. 17 hr). At both sessions, participants reported current withdrawal symptoms and subsequently completed a task in which they were monetarily rewarded proportional to the length of time they delayed initiating smoking, with shorter latency reflecting stronger motivation to reinstate smoking. Abstinence reduced latency to smoking initiation and positive affect and increased composite withdrawal symptom level, urge, and negative affect. Abstinence-induced reductions in latency to initiating smoking were mediated by each withdrawal component, with stronger effects operating through urge. Combined analyses suggested that urge, negative affect, and low positive affect operate through empirically unique mediational pathways. Secondary analyses suggested similar effects on smoking quantity, few differences among specific urge and affect subtypes, and that dependence amplifies some abstinence effects. This study provides the first experimental evidence that within-person variation in abstinence impacts motivation to reinstate drug use through withdrawal. Urge, negative affect, and low positive affect may reflect unique withdrawal-mediated mechanisms underlying tobacco addiction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


The temporal “pulse” of drinking: Tracking 5 years of binge drinking in emerging adults.Open in a New Window

Binge drinking is associated with clinically significant individual-level and public health consequences. The topography of binge drinking may influence the emergence of consequences, but studies of topography require a higher level of temporal resolution than is typically available in epidemiological research. To address topography across the 5 “peak” years of binge drinking (18 to 23 years), we assessed daily binge drinking via successive 90-day timeline follow-back interviews of 645 young adults (resulting in almost 700,000 data points). Results showed a weekend “pulse” of binge drinking that remained consistent across the entire 5 year span, with occasional holiday-based perturbations. Two-part latent growth curve modeling applied to this dataset showed that the often-observed decrease in drinking associated with “maturing out” was due more to decreased participation in binge drinking occasions, rather than to amounts consumed when drinking (intensity). Similarly, the number of binge drinkers varied by day of the week, but the intensity of binge drinking, for those drinking, varied little by day of the week. This approach also showed distinctive predictors for participation and intensity; baseline expectancies and sociability accounted for individual differences in participation, whereas impulsivity-sensation seeking predicted intensity. Individual patterns of binge drinking participation and intensity also predicted drinking consequences over the 5 years of the study. Given these results, binge drinking patterns may serve as a useful phenotype for future research on pathological drinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Nondaily smokers’ experience of craving on days they do not smoke.Open in a New Window

Nondaily, or intermittent smokers (ITS), represent a growing pattern in adult smoking that needs to be explained by models of drug dependence. ITS regularly and voluntarily abstain from smoking, yet have difficulty quitting. We examine potential accounts of ITS’ smoking by exploring their experience of craving and withdrawal on the days they abstain. For 3 weeks, 146 ITS and 194 daily smokers used the Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) to monitor craving, withdrawal, and smoking in real-time. ITS’ craving (p < .001) and arousal (p < .001) were significantly lower on the 34.4% of days when they abstained (compared with days they smoked), and they experienced no increases in withdrawal symptoms. ITS who abstained for longer experienced lower craving, even on their first day of abstinence (p < .001). Within strata defined by longest duration of abstinence (1, 2–3, 4–6, ≥7 days), craving did not change over time, demonstrating no increase as resumption of smoking approached. Craving increased only at the moment smoking resumed. Furthermore, duration of abstinence runs varied more within persons than across persons. These findings contradict the predictions of a model positing that craving recurs at fixed intervals. Findings are consistent with the hypothesis that ITS’ smoking is cued or primed by particular stimuli rather than by temporal cycles. These analyses demonstrate that ITS do not experience increased craving or withdrawal on days they do not smoke, and show neither signs of classical dependence nor regular cycles of craving and smoking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Extraversion and the rewarding effects of alcohol in a social context.Open in a New Window

The personality trait of extraversion has been linked to problematic drinking patterns. Researchers have long hypothesized that such associations are attributable to increased alcohol-reward sensitivity among extraverted individuals, and surveys suggest that individuals high in extraversion gain greater mood enhancement from alcohol than those low in extraversion. Surprisingly, however, alcohol administration studies have not found individuals high in extraversion to experience enhanced mood following alcohol consumption. Of note, prior studies have examined extraverted participants—individuals who self-identify as being highly social—consuming alcohol in isolation. In the present research, we used a group drinking paradigm to examine whether individuals high in extraversion gained greater reward from alcohol than did those low in extraversion and, further, whether a particular social mechanism (partners’ Duchenne smiling) might underlie alcohol reward sensitivity among extraverted individuals. Social drinkers (n = 720) consumed a moderate dose of alcohol, placebo, or control beverage in groups of 3 over the course of 36 min. This social interaction was video-recorded, and Duchenne smiling was coded using the Facial Action Coding System. Results indicated that participants high in extraversion reported significantly more mood enhancement from alcohol than did those low in extraversion. Further, mediated moderation analyses focusing on Duchenne smiling of group members indicated that social processes fully and uniquely accounted for alcohol reward-sensitivity among individuals high in extraversion. Results provide initial experimental evidence that individuals high in extraversion experience increased mood-enhancement from alcohol and further highlight the importance of considering social processes in the etiology of alcohol use disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Do sleep disturbances and psychotic-like experiences in adolescence share genetic and environmental influences?Open in a New Window

Sleep disturbances regularly co-occur with clinical psychotic disorders and dimensions of psychotic-like experiences (PLEs). One possible explanation for this, which has yet to be tested, is that similar genetic or environmental influences underlie sleep disturbances and vulnerability to PLEs. We conducted a twin study to test this possibility in relation to sleep disturbances and six specific PLEs in adolescence in the general population. Approximately 5,000 16-year-old twin pairs completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and Insomnia Severity Index. PLEs were assessed using the Specific PLEs Questionnaire, comprising five self-report subscales (Paranoia, Hallucinations, Cognitive Disorganization, Grandiosity, and Anhedonia) and one parent-report subscale (Negative Symptoms). The associations between these measures were tested using structural equation twin model fitting. Paranoia, Hallucinations, and Cognitive Disorganization displayed moderate and significant correlations with both sleep measures (0.32–.42), while Negative Symptoms, Anhedonia, and Grandiosity showed lower correlations (0.01–0.17). Genetic and environmental influences significantly overlapped across PLEs (Paranoia, Hallucinations, Cognitive Disorganization) and both types of sleep disturbance (mean genetic and nonshared environmental correlations = 0.54 and 0.24, respectively). These estimates reduced, yet remained significant, after controlling for negative affect. The association between PLEs with sleep disturbances in adolescence is partly due to genetic and environmental influences that are common to them both. These findings indicate that the known neurobiology of sleep disturbance may provide clues regarding the causes of PLEs in adolescence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


A person-centered approach to examining heterogeneity and subgroups among survivors of sexual assault.Open in a New Window

This study identified subgroups of female sexual assault survivors based on characteristics of their victimization experiences, validated the subgroup structure in a second cohort of women recruited identically to the first, and examined subgroups’ differential associations with sexual risk/safety behavior, heavy episodic drinking (HED), psychological distress symptomatology, incarceration, transactional sex, and experiences with controlling and violent partners. The community sample consisted of 667 female survivors of adolescent or adult sexual assault who were 21 to 30 years old (M = 24.78, SD = 2.66). Eligibility criteria included having unprotected sex within the past year, other HIV/STI risk factors, and some experience with HED, but without alcohol problems or dependence. Latent class analyses (LCA) were used to identify subgroups of women with similar victimization experiences. Three groups were identified and validated across 2 cohorts of women using multiple-group LCA: contact or attempted assault (17% of the sample), incapacitated assault (52%), and forceful severe assault (31%). Groups did not differ in their sexual risk/safety behavior. Women in the forceful severe category had higher levels of anxiety, depression, and trauma symptoms; higher proportions of incarceration and transactional sex; and more experiences with controlling and violent partners than did women in the other 2 groups. Women in the forceful severe category also reported a higher frequency of HED than women in the incapacitated category. Different types of assault experiences appear to be differentially associated with negative outcomes. Understanding heterogeneity and subgroups among sexual assault survivors has implications for improving clinical care and contributing to recovery. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Predicting psychosis across diagnostic boundaries: Behavioral and computational modeling evidence for impaired reinforcement learning in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with a history of psychosis.Open in a New Window

There is increasing evidence that schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) share a number of cognitive, neurobiological, and genetic markers. Shared features may be most prevalent among SZ and BD with a history of psychosis. This study extended this literature by examining reinforcement learning (RL) performance in individuals with SZ (n = 29), BD with a history of psychosis (BD+; n = 24), BD without a history of psychosis (BD−; n = 23), and healthy controls (HC; n = 24). RL was assessed through a probabilistic stimulus selection task with acquisition and test phases. Computational modeling evaluated competing accounts of the data. Each participant’s trial-by-trial decision-making behavior was fit to 3 computational models of RL: (a) a standard actor–critic model simulating pure basal ganglia—dependent learning, (b) a pure Q-learning model simulating action selection as a function of learned expected reward value, and (c) a hybrid model where an actor–critic is “augmented” by a Q-learning component, meant to capture the top-down influence of orbitofrontal cortex value representations on the striatum. The SZ group demonstrated greater reinforcement learning impairments at acquisition and test phases than the BD+, BD−, and HC groups. The BD+ and BD− groups displayed comparable performance at acquisition and test phases. Collapsing across diagnostic categories, greater severity of current psychosis was associated with poorer acquisition of the most rewarding stimuli as well as poor go/no-go learning at test. Model fits revealed that reinforcement learning in SZ was best characterized by a pure actor–critic model where learning is driven by prediction error signaling alone. In contrast, BD−, BD+, and HC were best fit by a hybrid model where prediction errors are influenced by top-down expected value representations that guide decision making. These findings suggest that abnormalities in the reward system are more prominent in SZ than BD; however, current psychotic symptoms may be associated with reinforcement learning deficits regardless of a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th Edition; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) diagnosis. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Intergenerational continuity in parents’ and adolescents’ externalizing problems: The role of life events and their interaction with GABRA2.Open in a New Window

We examine whether parental externalizing behavior has an indirect effect on adolescent externalizing behavior via elevations in life events, and whether this indirect effect is further qualified by an interaction between life events and adolescents’ GABRA2 genotype (rs279871). We use data from 2 samples: the Child Development Project (CDP; n = 324) and FinnTwin12 (n = 802). In CDP, repeated measures of life events, mother-reported adolescent externalizing, and teacher-reported adolescent externalizing were used. In FinnTwin12, life events and externalizing were assessed at age 14. Parental externalizing was indexed by measures of antisocial behavior and alcohol problems or alcohol dependence symptoms in both samples. In CDP, parental externalizing was associated with more life events, and the association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing varied as a function of GABRA2 genotype (p ≤ .05). The association between life events and subsequent adolescent externalizing was stronger for adolescents with 0 copies of the G minor allele compared to those with 1 or 2 copies of the minor allele. Parallel moderation trends were observed in FinnTwin12 (p ≤ .11). The discussion focuses on how the strength of intergenerational pathways for externalizing psychopathology may differ as a function of adolescent-level individual differences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Codevelopment of psychopathic features and alcohol use during emerging adulthood: Disaggregating between- and within-person change.Open in a New Window

The current study examined whether there is a bidirectional association between changes in alcohol use and psychopathic features during the transition into emerging adulthood. The nature of this association was investigated among a large sample of serious male adolescent offenders (N = 1,170) across 7 annual assessments (ages ∼17–23), with a focus on disaggregating between- and within-person change. Findings indicated that there was significant variability between participants in their rate of change of psychopathic features and alcohol use throughout this period of development. Both, between- and within-person increases in alcohol use tended to parallel increases in psychopathic features during the transition into emerging adulthood. In addition, evidence indicated that during years when adolescents consumed more alcohol than normal, they experienced higher than usual levels of self-reported psychopathic features at the subsequent assessment. The relevance of these findings for public policy and their potential to inform treatments and interventions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Undifferentiated negative affect and impulsivity in borderline personality and depressive disorders: A momentary perspective.Open in a New Window

Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) often report experiencing several negative emotions simultaneously, an indicator of “undifferentiated” negative affect. The current study examined the relationship between undifferentiated negative affect and impulsivity. Participants with a current BPD (n = 67) or depressive disorder (DD; n = 38) diagnosis carried an electronic diary for 28 days, reporting on emotions and impulsivity when randomly prompted (up to 6 times per day). Undifferentiated negative affect was quantified using momentary intraclass correlation coefficients, which indicated how consistently negative emotion items were rated across fear, hostility, and sadness subscales. Undifferentiated negative affect at the occasion-level, day-level, and across 28 days was used to predict occasion-level impulsivity. Multilevel modeling was used to test the hypothesis that undifferentiated negative emotion would be a significant predictor of momentary impulsivity above and beyond levels of overall negative affect. Undifferentiated negative affect at the occasion and day levels were significant predictors of occasion-level impulsivity, but undifferentiated negative affect across the 28-day study period was only marginally significant. Results did not differ depending on BPD or DD status, though individuals with BPD did report significantly greater momentary impulsivity and undifferentiated negative affect. Undifferentiated negative affect may increase risk for impulsivity among individuals with BPD and depressive disorders, and the current data suggest that this process can be relatively immediate as well as cumulative over the course of a day. This research supports the consideration of undifferentiated negative affect as a transdiagnostic construct, but one that may be particularly relevant for those with BPD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


(Dis)connected: An examination of interoception in individuals with suicidality.Open in a New Window

Sensing one’s internal physiological sensations is a process known as interoception. Several lines of research suggest that poor interoception may facilitate engagement in dangerous self-harm. In 2 studies, we investigated interoceptive abilities in individuals with differing degrees of suicidality. In Study 1, we compared interoception in controls (n = 27) and suicide ideators (n = 35), planners (n = 14), and attempters (n = 30). We found that those with suicidality had worse interoception than controls. Further, attempters reported worse interoception than planners or ideators. In Study 2, we compared interoception in psychiatric outpatients who had (n = 136) or had not (n = 459) attempted suicide. Again, we found that attempters reported worse interoception than nonattempters. In addition, we found that recent attempts were more strongly associated with interoceptive deficits than distant attempts. Together, our findings suggest that interoception is impaired in individuals with suicidality. Furthermore, the extent to which interoception is disturbed may differentiate not only between those who desire suicide from those who attempt suicide, but also between recent and distant suicide attempters. Impaired interoception may be important for engaging in serious self-injury; thus, reestablishing one’s connection to the body may aid in the prevention of suicidal behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)


Method matters: Understanding diagnostic reliability in DSM-IV and DSM-5.Open in a New Window

Diagnostic reliability is essential for the science and practice of psychology, in part because reliability is necessary for validity. Recently, the DSM-5 field trials documented lower diagnostic reliability than past field trials and the general research literature, resulting in substantial criticism of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. Rather than indicating specific problems with DSM-5, however, the field trials may have revealed long-standing diagnostic issues that have been hidden due to a reliance on audio/video recordings for estimating reliability. We estimated the reliability of DSM-IV diagnoses using both the standard audio-recording method and the test–retest method used in the DSM-5 field trials, in which different clinicians conduct separate interviews. Psychiatric patients (N = 339) were diagnosed using the SCID-I/P; 218 were diagnosed a second time by an independent interviewer. Diagnostic reliability using the audio-recording method (N = 49) was “good” to “excellent” (M κ = .80) and comparable to the DSM-IV field trials estimates. Reliability using the test–retest method (N = 218) was “poor” to “fair” (M κ = .47) and similar to DSM-5 field-trials’ estimates. Despite low test–retest diagnostic reliability, self-reported symptoms were highly stable. Moreover, there was no association between change in self-report and change in diagnostic status. These results demonstrate the influence of method on estimates of diagnostic reliability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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