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APA Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Older maternal age is associated with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in young adult female offspring.Open in a New Window

The evidence regarding older parental age and incidence of mood disorder symptoms in offspring is limited, and that which exists is mixed. We sought to clarify these relationships by using data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. The Raine Study provided comprehensive data from 2,900 pregnancies, resulting in 2,868 live born children. A total of 1,220 participants completed the short form of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21) at the 20-year cohort follow-up. We used negative binomial regression analyses with log link and with adjustment for known perinatal risk factors to examine the extent to which maternal and paternal age at childbirth predicted continuous DASS-21 index scores. In the final multivariate models, a maternal age of 30–34 years was associated with significant increases in stress DASS-21 scores in female offspring relative to female offspring of 25- to 29-year-old mothers. A maternal age of 35 years and over was associated with increased scores on all DASS-21 scales in female offspring. Our results indicate that older maternal age is associated with depression, anxiety, and stress symptoms in young adult females. Further research into the mechanisms underpinning this relationship is needed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Participant, rater, and computer measures of coherence in posttraumatic stress disorder.Open in a New Window

We examined the coherence of trauma memories in a trauma-exposed community sample of 30 adults with and 30 without posttraumatic stress disorder. The groups had similar categories of traumas and were matched on multiple factors that could affect the coherence of memories. We compared the transcribed oral trauma memories of participants with their most important and most positive memories. A comprehensive set of 28 measures of coherence including 3 ratings by the participants, 7 ratings by outside raters, and 18 computer-scored measures, provided a variety of approaches to defining and measuring coherence. A multivariate analysis of variance indicated differences in coherence among the trauma, important, and positive memories, but not between the diagnostic groups or their interaction with these memory types. Most differences were small in magnitude; in some cases, the trauma memories were more, rather than less, coherent than the control memories. Where differences existed, the results agreed with the existing literature, suggesting that factors other than the incoherence of trauma memories are most likely to be central to the maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder and thus its treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Depression and reduced neural response to emotional images: Distinction from anxiety, and importance of symptom dimensions and age of onset.Open in a New Window

Abnormal patterns of attention to threat and reward have been proposed as potential mechanisms of dysfunction in anxiety and unipolar depressive disorders. However, few studies have simultaneously examined whether these patterns of attention are shared among disorders or distinguish between them. In the present study, we recorded the Late Positive Potential (LPP), an event-related potential and putative index of motivated attention, from 145 patients with anxiety and unipolar depressive disorders and 32 controls, as they viewed blocks of rewarding and threatening images, respectively. We found that a current diagnosis of depression was associated with a reduced LPP to rewarding visual stimuli. This appeared to be specific to a subgroup of individuals with early onset depression; this subgroup was also characterized by a reduced LPP to threatening images. Anxiety diagnosis and age of onset of anxiety, whether comorbid with depression or not, was unrelated to the magnitude of the LPP. Finally, a transdiagnostic symptom dimension measuring current severity of suicidal ideation was related to a reduced LPP to both rewarding and threatening images. These data suggest that dysfunction in neural markers of attention to threat and reward can effectively distinguish features of depression from anxiety, particularly early onset depression, and may track suicidal ideation across disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Emotion in bipolar I disorder: Implications for functional and symptom outcomes.Open in a New Window

Despite the centrality of emotion disturbance in neurobiological models of bipolar disorder, the behavioral literature has not yet clearly identified the most central aspects of emotion disturbance in bipolar disorder. Toward this aim, we gathered a battery of emotion-related measures in 67 persons diagnosed with bipolar I disorder as assessed with the SCID and a well-matched control group of 58 persons without a history of mood disorders. Those with bipolar disorder were interviewed monthly until they achieved remission, and then tested on emotion measures. A subset of 36 participants with bipolar disorder completed symptom severity interviews at 12-month follow-up. Factor analyses indicated 4 emotion factor scores: Negative Emotion, Positive Emotion, Reappraisal, and Suppression. Bivariate analyses suggested that bipolar disorder was tied to a host of emotion disturbances, but multivariate analyses suggested that bipolar disorder was particularly tied to elevations of Negative Emotion. High Negative Emotion, low Positive Emotion, and high Suppression were conjointly related to lower functioning. Reappraisal predicted declines in depression over time for those with bipolar disorder. Findings highlight the importance of considering the overall profile of emotion disturbance in bipolar disorder. Emotion and emotion regulation appear central to a broad range of outcomes in bipolar disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Chronic environmental stress and the temporal course of depression and panic disorder: A trait-state-occasion modeling approach.Open in a New Window

Both acute stressful life events and ongoing strains are thought to confer vulnerability to emotional disorders. Unremitting stressful conditions may be particularly pathogenic, but prior research has struggled to delimit chronic versus transient stressful experiences. We aimed to isolate stable stressors—theorized to be indicators of a latent stress proneness trait—and to examine their effects on the temporal course of depression and panic disorder. We recruited 677 patients diagnosed with an emotional disorder and administered interviews for psychopathology and life stress 3 times over 12-month intervals. Trait-state-occasion modeling revealed that 74% of the variance in life stress was stable over the follow-up period. These stable stressors were associated with a more refractory course of depression and, to a smaller degree, panic disorder over time. In addition, neither gender nor participation in cognitive–behavioral therapy affected the persistence of environmental stress over the study time frame. We discuss implications of these findings for explaining depression recurrence, improving psychological interventions for emotional disorders, and the measurement and evaluation of stress proneness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Chronic anger as a precursor to adult antisocial personality features: The moderating influence of cognitive control.Open in a New Window

Anger is among the earliest occurring symptoms of mental health, yet we know little about its developmental course. Further, no studies have examined whether youth with persistent anger are at an increased risk of exhibiting antisocial personality features in adulthood, or how cognitive control abilities may protect these individuals from developing such maladaptive outcomes. Trajectories of anger were delineated among 503 boys using annual assessments from childhood to middle adolescence (ages ∼7–14). Associations between these trajectories and features of antisocial personality in young adulthood (age ∼28) were examined, including whether cognitive control moderates this association. Five trajectories of anger were identified (i.e., childhood-onset, childhood-limited, adolescent-onset, moderate, and low). Boys in the childhood-onset group exhibited the highest adulthood antisocial personality features (e.g., psychopathy, aggression, criminal charges). However, boys in this group were buffered from these problems if they had higher levels of cognitive control during adolescence. Findings were consistent across measures from multiple informants, replicated across distinct time periods, and remained when controlling for general intelligence and prior antisocial behavior. This is the first study to document the considerable heterogeneity in the developmental course of anger from childhood to adolescence. As hypothesized, good cognitive control abilities protected youth with persistent anger problems from developing antisocial personality features in adulthood. Clinical implications and future directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Cleckley’s psychopaths: Revisited.Open in a New Window

The most influential figure in the study of psychopathy is Hervey Cleckley, the author of the widely cited text, “The Mask of Sanity” (Cleckley, 1941, 1955). Researchers often refer to Cleckley when disputing what should belong within a conceptualization or assessment of psychopathy, at times disagreeing as to what Cleckley meant or intended. Cleckley though included within his text 15 detailed case studies of prototypic psychopaths. The current study was the first to provide systematic ratings of these 15 cases, including ratings with respect to (a) the 16 Cleckley criteria (e.g., anxiousness and inadequately motivated antisocial behavior), (b) 33 additional traits included within or considered for more recently developed measures and models of psychopathy (e.g., boldness, fearlessness, disobliged, cruelty, and aggression), and (c) 30 traits of the 5-factor model of general personality. The results are discussed with respect to implications for both historic and current models of psychopathy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Normal cognitive conflict resolution in psychosis patients with and without schizophrenia.Open in a New Window

Schizophrenia is thought to be associated with impairments of executive functions, among which conflict control functions play an important role. The available evidence, however, suggests that conflict control is intact in schizophrenia, despite being based on methods that have successfully unveiled conflict control problems in other disorders. Differences between schizophrenia patients and healthy controls in stimulus perception, selective attention, alertness, processing speed and reaction time variability may have been previously overlooked. By controlling for these potential confounders, the present experiments were aimed to be more rigorous tests of the hypothesis that psychosis and schizophrenia are associated with impairments of conflict control. To that end, 27 healthy controls and 53 recent-onset psychosis patients with (n = 27) and without schizophrenia (n = 26) with comparable age, intelligence, and education level, performed three iconic conflict control tasks: the Simon task, the Eriksen flanker task, and the Stroop task, all equipped with neutral trials, and analyzed for various potential confounders. They further performed a battery of standard neuropsychological tests. Schizophrenia patients showed no increased conflict effects in any of the 3 tasks for any alternative measures used. Nonschizophrenia patients only showed abnormally increased response competition in the Simon task. All patients nevertheless demonstrated impaired control of attention and verbal memory. These findings indicate that the type of conflict control engaged by conflict tasks is intact in recent-onset schizophrenia, suggesting that a major component of executive function is spared in schizophrenia. We discuss these findings in terms of proactive and reactive control. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Recollection rejection of new items in individuals with first-episode psychosis.Open in a New Window

Many objects seen for the first time look familiar because they resemble known objects. To overcome this feeling of familiarity and detect novelty, memories of known objects must be recollected and compared to new objects. This experiment examines whether recollection performed when perceiving new items (i.e., recollection rejection) is abnormal in people who experienced a first episode of psychosis (FEP). Recollection of old items is impaired in this clinical population but it has not yet been demonstrated that this impairment influences the processing of new items. Eighteen FEP participants and 19 healthy controls completed an episodic memory task consisting of a study phase and a recognition phase. All the new objects looked familiar because they resembled the studied objects. Brain activity underlying false recognition and correct rejection of new objects was measured with functional resonance magnetic imaging and compared across groups. Behavioral responses to new items were not significantly different between the 2 groups. However, the between-groups analysis revealed significant differences in brain activity in the left middle frontal gyrus, the left inferior parietal lobule, the right superior parietal lobule, and the right temporal fusiform gyrus during the correct rejection of new items. This activity seems related to recollection rejection and suggests that FEP patients do not normally recollect information of past events when they process new items. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Longitudinal associations between social anxiety disorder and avoidant personality disorder: A twin study.Open in a New Window

Social anxiety disorder (SAD) and avoidant personality disorder (AvPD) are frequently co-occurring psychiatric disorders with symptomatology related to fear of social situations. It is uncertain to what degree the 2 disorders reflect the same genetic and environmental risk factors. The current study addresses the stability and co-occurrence of SAD and AvPD, the factor structure of the diagnostic criteria, and genetic and environmental factors underlying the disorders at 2 time points. SAD and AvPD were assessed in 1,761 young adult female twins at baseline and 1,471 of these approximately 10 years later. Biometric models were fitted to dimensional representations of SAD and AvPD. SAD and AvPD were moderately and approximately equally stable from young to middle adulthood, with increasing co-occurrence driven by environmental factors. At the first wave, approximately 1 in 3 individuals with AvPD had SAD, increasing to 1 in 2 at follow-up. The diagnostic criteria for SAD and AvPD had a two-factor structure with low cross-loadings. The relationship between SAD and AvPD was best accounted for by a model with separate, although highly correlated (r = .76), and highly heritable (.66 and .71) risk factors for each disorder. Their genetic and environmental components correlated .84 and .59, respectively. The finding of partially distinct risk factors indicates qualitative differences in the etiology of SAD and AvPD. Genetic factors represented the strongest time-invariant influences, whereas environmental factors were most important at the specific points in time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


General and specific attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder factors of children 4 to 6 years of age: An exploratory structural equation modeling approach to assessing symptom multidimensionality.Open in a New Window

We tested first-order factor and bifactor models of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM) to adequately summarize the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, (DSM–IV–TR) symptoms observed in a Spanish sample of preschoolers and kindergarteners. Six ESEM and CFA models were estimated based on teacher evaluations of the behavior of 638 children 4 to 6 years of age. An ESEM bifactor model with a central dimension plus 3 specific factors (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) showed the best fit and interpretability. Strict invariance between the sexes was observed. The bifactor model provided a solution to previously encountered inconsistencies in the factorial models of ADHD in young children. However, the low reliability of the specific factors casts doubt on the utility of the subscales for ADHD measurement. More research is necessary to clarify the nature of G and S factors of ADHD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)


Altered subjective reward valuation among drug-deprived heavy marijuana users: Aversion to uncertainty.Open in a New Window

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States and its use is rising. Nonetheless, scientific efforts to clarify the risk for addiction and other harm associated with marijuana use have been lacking. Maladaptive decision-making is a cardinal feature of addiction that is likely to emerge in heavy users. In particular, distorted subjective reward valuation related to homeostatic or allostatic processes has been implicated for many drugs of abuse. Selective changes in responses to uncertainty have been observed in response to intoxication and deprivation from various drugs of abuse. To assess for these potential neuroadaptive changes in reward valuation associated with marijuana deprivation, we examined the subjective value of uncertain and certain rewards among deprived and nondeprived heavy marijuana users in a behavioral economics decision-making task. Deprived users displayed reduced valuation of uncertain rewards, particularly when these rewards were more objectively valuable. This uncertainty aversion increased with increasing quantity of marijuana use. These results suggest comparable decision-making vulnerability from marijuana use as other drugs of abuse, and highlights targets for intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
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