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APA Journal of Abnormal Psychology

Stress sensitivity and stress sensitization in psychopathology: An introduction to the special section.Open in a New Window

The goal of this special section is to examine the mechanisms of enhanced sensitivity and sensitization to stress as they influence the etiology and pathophysiology of psychopathology. The 12 articles in the section focus on some of the most crucial and unanswered questions regarding the underlying mechanisms and functional consequences of stress sensitivity and stress sensitization in psychopathology. They address the constructs of stress sensitivity and stress sensitization using state-of-the-art, and often novel, methodologies. The special section also focuses on an important terminological distinction between two related but distinct stress mechanisms that are often conflated. Individuals who are sensitive to stress possess this characteristic as a putative trait that develops through genetically mediated transactional relations between temperamental characteristics and the early contextual environment. In contrast, individuals who are sensitized to stress become so over time through repeated exposure to external, as well as endogenous, stressors. Enhanced stress sensitivity and sensitization have been included in conceptual models of psychopathology. Yet, the specific mechanisms by which these stress processes impact the onset and course of psychiatric disorders are not fully understood. These articles focus on several mechanistic accounts of stress sensitivity and sensitization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Kindling of life stress in bipolar disorder: Comparison of sensitization and autonomy models.Open in a New Window

Research on life stress in bipolar disorder largely fails to account for the possibility of a dynamic relationship between psychosocial stress and episode initiation. The kindling hypothesis (Post, 1992) states that over the course of recurrent affective disorders, there is a weakening temporal relationship between major life stress and episode initiation that could reflect either a progressive sensitization or progressive autonomy to life stress. The present study involved a comprehensive and precise examination of the kindling hypothesis in 102 participants with bipolar II disorder that allowed for a direct comparison of sensitization and autonomy models. Polarity-specific tests were conducted across the continuum of event severity with respect to impact and frequency of life events. Hypotheses were polarity- and event-valence specific and were based on the stress sensitization model. Results were only partially consistent with the sensitization model: Individuals with more prior mood episodes had an increased frequency of minor negative events before depression and of minor positive events before hypomania. However, the number of past episodes did not moderate relationships between life events and time until prospective onset of mood episodes. These results are more consistent with a sensitization than an autonomy model, but several predictions of the sensitization model were not supported. Methodological strengths, limitations, and implications are discussed regarding putative changes in stress reactivity that may occur with repeated exposure to mood episodes in bipolar II disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Rumination predicts heightened responding to stressful life events in major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.Open in a New Window

Although studies have documented heightened stress sensitivity in major depressive disorder (MDD) and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. One possible mechanism is the tendency to ruminate in response to stress. We used ecological momentary assessment to study ruminative thoughts after stressful events in 145 adults with MDD, GAD, comorbid MDD-GAD, or no psychopathology. Diagnosed individuals reported more event-related rumination than controls, even after adjusting for event stressfulness. Rumination was equally common in MDD and GAD and was especially severe among comorbid cases. More rumination immediately after the event predicted poorer affect, more maladaptive behavior, and more MDD and GAD symptoms at the next signal, even when pre-event levels of these variables were controlled. Rumination mediated, but did not moderate, the association of stress with affect and with symptoms. Stress-related rumination was more deleterious for diagnosed than healthy individuals, more intense for more severe clinical cases, and more persistent for cases with a greater temperamental vulnerability for emotional disorders. These results implicate rumination as a mechanism of stress sensitivity and suggest pathways through which it may maintain depression and anxiety in everyday life. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Psychotic reactivity to daily life stress and the dopamine system: A study combining experience sampling and [¹⁸F]fallypride positron emission tomography.Open in a New Window

Stressful life events increase the risk for psychosis, and the subjective experience of stress related to daily life activities drives moment-to-moment variation in psychotic intensity. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies suggest that dopaminergic (DAergic) activity mediates the behavioral response to an experimental stressor. However, it is not known how alterations in this DAergic stress response relate to the subjective experience of stress in real life situations assessed in momentary assessment studies. This study combined [¹⁸F]fallypride PET with an Experience Sampling ambulatory assessment approach to examine the association between the prefrontal DAergic response to experimentally induced stress and real life psychotic reactivity to the subjective experience of stress in daily life. Healthy first-degree relatives of individuals with a psychotic disorder (N = 14) and healthy controls (N = 11) participated in (a) a psychosocial [¹⁸F]fallypride PET stress paradigm and (b) an experience sampling study, using a structured diary approach. Mixed multilevel random intercept models revealed that stress-induced [18F]fallypride displacement, indicative of DAergic activity, in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) was associated with psychotic reactivity to daily life stress in the entire sample. Lower levels of [¹⁸F]fallypride displacement to stress predicted increased psychotic reactivity to daily life stress. This study combined PET neuroimaging with real life behavioral assessments in the investigation of psychotic symptoms; we showed decreased [¹⁸F]fallypride displacement to stress in VMPFC to be associated with increased psychotic reactivity to daily life stress. The preliminary evidence in this study demonstrates that it is possible to acquire a grasp on how brain function is associated with contextualized experience, which has relevance for neuroimaging studies in general. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

A two-factor model of relapse/recurrence vulnerability in unipolar depression.Open in a New Window

The substantial health burden associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) is a product of both its high prevalence and the significant risk of relapse, recurrence, and chronicity. Establishing recurrence vulnerability factors (VFs) could improve the long-term management of MDD by identifying the need for further intervention in seemingly recovered patients. We present a model of sensitization in depression vulnerability, with an emphasis on the integration of behavioral and neural systems accounts. Evidence suggests that VFs fall into 2 categories: dysphoric attention and dysphoric elaboration. Dysphoric attention is driven by fixation on negative life events, and is characterized behaviorally by reduced executive control, and neurally by elevated activity in the brain’s salience network. Dysphoric elaboration is driven by rumination that promotes overgeneral self- and contextual appraisals, and is characterized behaviorally by dysfunctional attitudes, and neurally by elevated connectivity within normally distinct prefrontal brain networks. Although few prospective VF studies exist from which to catalogue a definitive neurobehavioral account, extant data support the value of the proposed 2-factor model. Measuring the continued presence of these 2 VFs during recovery may more accurately identify remitted patients who would benefit from targeted prophylactic intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Cortisol reactivity to stress among youth: Stability over time and genetic variants for stress sensitivity.Open in a New Window

Stress sensitivity may be one process that can explain why some genetically at-risk individuals are more susceptible to some types of stress-reactive psychopathologies. Dysregulation of the limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (LHPA) axis, including cortisol reactivity to challenge, represents a key aspect of stress sensitivity. However, the degree of stability over time among youth, especially differential stability as a function of particular genetic variants, has not been investigated. A general community sample of children and adolescents (mean age = 11.4; 56% girls) provided a DNA sample and completed 2 separate laboratory stress challenges, across an 18-month follow-up (N = 224 at Time 1; N = 194 at Time 2), with repeated measures of salivary cortisol. Results showed that test–retest stability for several indices of cortisol reactivity across the laboratory challenge visits were significant and of moderate magnitude for the whole sample. Moreover, gene variants of several biologically plausible systems relevant for stress sensitivity (especially 5-HTTLPR and CRHR1) demonstrated differential stability of cortisol reactivity over 18-months, such that carriers of genotypes conferring enhanced environmental susceptibility exhibited greater stability of cortisol levels over time for some LHPA axis indices. Findings suggest that LHPA axis dysregulation may exhibit some trait-like aspects underlying stress sensitivity in youth, especially for those who carry genes related to greater genetic susceptibility to environmental stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Child anxiety symptoms related to longitudinal cortisol trajectories and acute stress responses: Evidence of developmental stress sensitization.Open in a New Window

Cross-sectional research suggests that individuals at risk for internalizing disorders show differential activation levels and/or dynamics of stress-sensitive physiological systems, possibly reflecting a process of stress sensitization. However, there is little longitudinal research to clarify how the development of these systems over time relates to activation during acute stress, and how aspects of such activation map onto internalizing symptoms. We investigated children’s (n = 107) diurnal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity via salivary cortisol (morning and evening levels) across 29 assessments spanning 6+ years, and related longitudinal patterns to acute stress responses at the end of this period (age 9–10). Associations with child psychiatric symptoms at age 10 were also examined to determine internalizing risk profiles. Increasing morning cortisol levels across assessments predicted less of a cortisol decline following interpersonal stress at age 9, and higher cortisol levels during performance stress at age 10. These same profiles of high and/or sustained cortisol elevation during psychosocial stress were associated with child anxiety symptoms. Results suggest developmental sensitization to stress—reflected in rising morning cortisol and eventual hyperactivation during acute stress exposure—may distinguish children at risk for internalizing disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

“Reduced depth inversion illusions in schizophrenia are state-specific and occur for multiple object types and viewing conditions”: Correction to Keane et al. (2013).Open in a New Window

Reports an error in "Reduced depth inversion illusions in schizophrenia are state-specific and occur for multiple object types and viewing conditions" by Brian P. Keane, Steven M. Silverstein, Yushi Wang and Thomas V. Papathomas (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 2013[May], Vol 122[2], 506-512). In the article, the supplemental videos were not included in the original supplemental materials. All versions of the article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2013-17531-009.) Schizophrenia patients are less susceptible to depth inversion illusions (DIIs) in which concave faces appear as convex, but what stimulus attributes generate this effect and how does it vary with clinical state? To address these issues, we had 30 schizophrenia patients and 25 well-matched healthy controls make convexity judgments on physically concave faces and scenes. Patients were selectively sampled from three levels of care to ensure symptom heterogeneity. Half of the concave objects were painted with realistic texture to enhance the convexity illusion; the remaining objects were painted uniform beige to reduce the illusion. Subjects viewed the objects with one eye while laterally moving in front of the stimulus (to see depth via motion parallax) or with two eyes while remaining motionless (to see depth stereoscopically). For each group, DIIs were stronger with texture than without, and weaker with stereoscopic information than without, indicating that patients responded normally to stimulus alterations. More importantly, patients experienced fewer illusions than controls irrespective of the face/scene category, texture, or viewing condition (parallax/stereo). Illusions became less frequent as patients experienced more positive symptoms and required more structured treatment. Taken together, these results indicate that people with schizophrenia experience fewer DIIs with a variety of object types and viewing conditions, perhaps because of a lessened tendency to construe any type of object as convex. Moreover, positive symptoms and the need for structured treatment are associated with more accurate 3-D perception, suggesting that DII may serve as a state marker for the illness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

A developmentally informed perspective on the relation between stress and psychopathology: When the problem with stress is that there is not enough.Open in a New Window

A common tenet of several prominent theories of stress and psychopathology (e.g., stress exposure) is that experiencing high rates of life stressors is associated with greater risk for negative mental health outcomes. Although there has been substantial empirical support for this position, another possibility that has received considerably less attention to date is that early life stressors may share a curvilinear rather than monotonic relation with psychological well-being. In what has been termed the “steeling effect,” “stress inoculation,” and “antifragility,” exposure to moderate stressors early in life may confer resilience to potential detrimental effects of later stressors. An interesting implication of this model is that low levels of early life stressors, relative to normatively moderate rates, may be associated with greater sensitivity to future stressors. The present article reviews preliminary evidence consistent with this possibility, drawing on behavioral and neurobiological studies in animal models, and the more modest literature on neurocognitive, psychological, and psychophysiological functioning in humans. Limitations of the clinical literature and possible directions for future research are discussed, including naturalistic longitudinal studies with clinical outcomes, and for research examining moderators and mechanisms, across multiple levels of analysis (e.g., cognitive, immunological, and neurobiological). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Threat sensitivity in bipolar disorder.Open in a New Window

Life stress is a major predictor of the course of bipolar disorder. Few studies have used laboratory paradigms to examine stress reactivity in bipolar disorder, and none have assessed autonomic reactivity to laboratory stressors. In the present investigation we sought to address this gap in the literature. Participants, 27 diagnosed with bipolar I disorder and 24 controls with no history of mood disorder, were asked to complete a complex working memory task presented as “a test of general intelligence.” Self-reported emotions were assessed at baseline and after participants were given task instructions; autonomic physiology was assessed at baseline and continuously during the stressor task. Compared to controls, individuals with bipolar disorder reported greater increases in pretask anxiety from baseline and showed greater cardiovascular threat reactivity during the task. Group differences in cardiovascular threat reactivity were significantly correlated with comorbid anxiety in the bipolar group. Our results suggest that a multimethod approach to assessing stress reactivity—including the use of physiological parameters that differentiate between maladaptive and adaptive profiles of stress responding—can yield valuable information regarding stress sensitivity and its associations with negative affectivity in bipolar disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Stress sensitivity and stress generation in social anxiety disorder: A temporal process approach.Open in a New Window

Dominant theoretical models of social anxiety disorder (SAD) suggest that people who suffer from function-impairing social fears are likely to react more strongly to social stressors. Researchers have examined the reactivity of people with SAD to stressful laboratory tasks, but there is little knowledge about how stress affects their daily lives. We asked 79 adults from the community, 40 diagnosed with SAD and 39 matched healthy controls, to self-monitor their social interactions, social events, and emotional experiences over 2 weeks using electronic diaries. These data allowed us to examine associations of social events and emotional well-being both within-day and from one day to the next. Using hierarchical linear modeling, we found all participants to report increases in negative affect and decreases in positive affect and self-esteem on days when they experienced more stressful social events. However, people with SAD displayed greater stress sensitivity, particularly in negative emotion reactions to stressful social events, compared to healthy controls. Groups also differed in how previous days’ events influenced sensitivity to current days’ events. Moreover, we found evidence of stress generation in that the SAD group reported more frequent interpersonal stress, though temporal analyses did not suggest greater likelihood of social stress on days following intense negative emotions. Our findings support the role of heightened social stress sensitivity in SAD, highlighting rigidity in reactions and occurrence of stressful experiences from one day to the next. These findings also shed light on theoretical models of emotions and self-esteem in SAD and present important clinical implications. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Heightened reward learning under stress in generalized anxiety disorder: A predictor of depression resistance?Open in a New Window

Stress-induced anhedonia is associated with depression vulnerability (Bogdan & Pizzagalli, 2006). We investigated stress-induced deficits in reward learning in a depression-vulnerable group with analogue generalized anxiety disorder (GAD, n = 34), and never-depressed healthy controls (n = 41). Utilizing a computerized signal detection task, reward learning was assessed under stressor and neutral conditions. Controls displayed intact reward learning in the neutral condition, and the expected stress-induced blunting. The GAD group as a whole also showed intact reward learning in the neutral condition. When GAD subjects were analyzed as a function of prior depression history, never-depressed GAD subjects showed heightened reward learning in the stressor condition. Better reward learning under stress among GAD subjects predicted lower depression symptoms 1 month later. Robust reward learning under stress may indicate depression resistance among anxious individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Anticipation of smoking sufficiently dampens stress reactivity in nicotine-deprived smokers.Open in a New Window

Most smokers attempting to quit will relapse, even when using evidence-based cessation treatment. This illustrates the need for better understanding of the relapse process to thereby improve cessation treatments. Although the impact of stress sensitivity on relapse is clear, little research has precisely examined stress reactivity in addicted individuals. Further, most research on relapse focuses on affect surrounding self-administration, and does not address potentially important preconsumption processes such as anticipation of use. We examined the effects of anticipation and actual smoking on stress reactivity in 34 deprived smokers withdrawn for 24 hr and 37 nondeprived smokers, with 37 nonsmoker controls. Using a cued shock stressor task, we measured stress reactivity via startle potentiation and self-reported anxiety. After completing the task once, smokers anticipated smoking a cigarette resting in front of them while they completed the task a second time. Smokers then smoked before completing the task a third and final time. Nonsmokers anticipated and drank water as a control. Anticipation of smoking significantly attenuated both startle potentiation and self-reported anxiety to shock cues for deprived smokers relative to nondeprived smokers. Smokers’ stress reactivity was not reduced by smoking beyond the prior effect of anticipation. These results suggest that anticipation, rather than actual drug consumption, may drive the primary reinforcing effect of reduced stress reactivity in smoking. Future research is needed to understand this effect of anticipation on drug use and to determine whether anticipation would make an effective intervention target for addiction and other psychopathology that exhibits increased stress sensitivity. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Harsh parenting, parasympathetic activity, and development of delinquency and substance use.Open in a New Window

Stress response systems are thought to play an important role in the development of psychopathology. In addition, family stress may have a significant influence on the development of stress response systems. One potential avenue of change is through alterations to thresholds for the activation of stress responses: Decreased threshold for responding may mark increased stress sensitivity. Our first aim was to evaluate the interaction between thresholds for parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) responding, operationalized as resting respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and harsh parenting in the prediction of development of delinquency and adolescent substance use (resting RSA as a biomarker of risk). The second aim was to evaluate if resting RSA changes over time as a function of harsh parenting and stress reactivity indexed by RSA withdrawal (altered threshold for stress responding). Our third aim was to evaluate the moderating role of sex in these relations. We used longitudinal data from 251 children ages 8–16 years. Mother-reports of child delinquency and RSA were acquired at all ages. Adolescents self-reported substance use at age 16 years. Family stress was assessed with child-reported harsh parenting. Controlling for marital conflict and change over time in harsh parenting, lower resting RSA predicted increases in delinquency and increased likelihood of drug use in contexts of harsh parenting, especially for boys. Harsh parenting was associated with declining resting RSA for children who exhibited greater RSA withdrawal to stress. Findings support resting PNS activity as a moderator of developmental risk that can be altered over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Stress sensitivity in psychopathology: Mechanisms and consequences.Open in a New Window

The special section on “Stress Sensitivity in Psychopathology: Mechanisms and Consequences” presents an array of articles and results across samples of children, adolescents, and adults that are at once exciting for the field and challenging. The articles highlight an empirically and conceptually important topic in psychopathology— the role of stress. For many years, this topic was mainly a focus of depression research but has now widened to include relevance to a variety of forms of psychological disorders, as shown in this special section. In addition to the applications to many different disorders, our field of psychopathology is enriched by highlighting the remarkable range of naturalistic and experimental paradigms for studying stress processes in humans, and to learn about diverse conceptual models. The authors of the articles in this special section have given us much food for thought in their innovative studies, and their work provides fruitful guides for next steps. It is to be hoped that such work points to future integrative and collaborative studies, across levels of analyses, methods, and samples that will further elaborate on the associations between stress and psychopathology, as well as the mechanisms that have relevance to the advancement of knowledge of disorders and their treatment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Posttraumatic stress in deployed Marines: Prospective trajectories of early adaptation.Open in a New Window

We examined the course of PTSD symptoms in a cohort of U.S. Marines (N = 867) recruited for the Marine Resiliency Study (MRS) from a single infantry battalion that deployed as a unit for 7 months to Afghanistan during the peak of conflict there. Data were collected via structured interviews and self-report questionnaires 1 month prior to deployment and again at 1, 5, and 8 months postdeployment. Second-order growth mixture modeling was used to disaggregate symptom trajectories; multinomial logistic regression and relative weights analysis were used to assess the role of combat exposure, prior life span trauma, social support, peritraumatic dissociation, and avoidant coping as predictors of trajectory membership. Three trajectories best fit the data: a low-stable symptom course (79%), a new-onset PTSD symptoms course (13%), and a preexisting PTSD symptoms course (8%). Comparison in a separate MRS cohort with lower levels of combat exposure yielded similar results, except for the absence of a new-onset trajectory. In the main cohort, the modal trajectory was a low-stable symptoms course that included a small but clinically meaningful increase in symptoms from predeployment to 1 month postdeployment. We found no trajectory of recovery from more severe symptoms in either cohort, suggesting that the relative change in symptoms from predeployment to 1 month postdeployment might provide the best indicator of first-year course. The best predictors of trajectory membership were peritraumatic dissociation and avoidant coping, suggesting that changes in cognition, perception, and behavior following trauma might be particularly useful indicators of first-year outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Neural indicators of error processing in generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder.Open in a New Window

The ability to detect and respond to errors is critical to successful adaptation to a changing environment, and variation in error-related brain activity has been linked to psychopathology. The error-related negativity (ERN), an event-related potential component, represents a unique neural response to errors and is generated in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In the present study, we measured the ERN in a sample of individuals with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), or some combination of the 3. Also included were 56 healthy control participants. Consistent with previous research, a diagnosis of GAD, only in the absence of a comorbid diagnosis of depression, was characterized by a larger ERN than controls. No such enhancement was evident in the depressed group, or the comorbid group, suggesting comorbid depression may eliminate the relationship between the ERN and GAD. Across all groups, symptoms of checking were associated with a larger ERN, whereas symptoms of psychomotor retardation were associated with a smaller ERN. The results of the present study indicate that interactions among transdiagnostic dimensions will likely need to be considered in the creation of neurobiologically informed classification schemes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Unraveling affective dysregulation in borderline personality disorder: A theoretical model and empirical evidence.Open in a New Window

Although emotion dysregulation has consistently been conceptualized as a core problem of borderline personality disorder (BPD), a comprehensive, and empirically and ecologically validated model that captures the exact types of dysregulation remains absent. In the present article, we combine insights from basic affective science and the biosocial theory of BPD to present a theoretical model that captures the most fundamental affective dynamical processes that underlie BPD and stipulates that individuals with BPD are characterized by more negative affective homebases, higher levels of affective variability, and lower levels of attractor strength or return to baseline. Next, we empirically validate this proposal by statistically modeling data from three electronic diary studies on emotional responses to personally relevant stimuli in personally relevant environments that were collected both from patients with BPD (N = 50, 42, and 43) and from healthy subjects (N = 50, 24, and 28). The results regarding negative affective homebases and heightened affective variabilities consistently confirmed our hypotheses across all three datasets. The findings regarding attractor strengths (i.e., return to baseline) were less consistent and of smaller magnitude. The transdiagnostic nature of our approach may help to elucidate the common and distinctive mechanisms that underlie several different disorders that are characterized by affective dysregulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Stability of the DSM-5 Section III pathological personality traits and their longitudinal associations with psychosocial functioning in personality disordered individuals.Open in a New Window

This study was conducted to establish (a) the stability of the DSM-5 Section III personality disorder (PD) traits, (b) whether these traits predict future psychosocial functioning, and (c) whether changes in traits track with changes in psychosocial functioning across time. Ninety-three outpatients (61% female) diagnosed with at least 1 PD completed patient-report measures at 2 time-points (M time between assessments = 1.44 years), including the Personality Inventory for the DSM-5 and several measures of psychosocial functioning. Effect sizes of rank-order and mean-level change were calculated. In addition, Time 1 traits were used to predict functioning measures at Time 2. Finally, latent change score models were estimated for DSM-5 Section III traits and functioning measures, and correlations among latent change scores were calculated to establish the relationship between change in traits and functional outcomes. Findings demonstrated that the DSM-5 Section III traits were highly stable in terms of normative (i.e., mean-level) change and rank-order stability over the course of the study. Furthermore, traits prospectively predicted psychosocial functioning. However, at the individual level traits and functioning were not entirely static over the study, and change in individuals’ functioning tracked with changes in trait levels. These findings demonstrate that the DSM-5 Section III traits are highly stable consistent with the definition of PD, prospectively predictive of psychosocial functioning, and are dynamically associated with functioning over time. This study provides important evidence in support of the DSM-5 Section III PD model. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Dysfunctional modulation of default mode network activity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.Open in a New Window

The state regulation deficit model posits that individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have difficulty applying mental effort effectively under suboptimal conditions such as very fast and very slow event rates (ERs). ADHD is also associated with diminished suppression of default mode network (DMN) activity and related performance deficits on tasks requiring effortful engagement. The current study builds on these 2 literatures to test the hypothesis that failure to modulate DMN activity in ADHD might be especially pronounced at ER extremes. Nineteen adults with ADHD and 20 individuals without any neuropsychiatric condition successfully completed a simple target detection task under 3 ER conditions (2-, 4-, and 8-s interstimulus intervals) inside the scanner. Task-related DMN deactivations were compared between 2 groups. There was a differential effect of ER on DMN activity for individuals with ADHD compared to controls. Individuals with ADHD displayed excessive DMN activity at the fast and slow, but not at the moderate ER. The results indicate that DMN attenuation in ADHD is disrupted in suboptimal energetic states where additional effort is required to optimize task engagement. DMN dysregulation may be an important element of the neurobiological underpinnings of state regulation deficits in ADHD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

Anhedonia as a component of the tobacco withdrawal syndrome.Open in a New Window

Animal research suggests that anhedonia is a tobacco withdrawal symptom, but this topic has not been addressed definitively in research with humans. This research sought to determine whether anhedonia is (a) an element of the tobacco withdrawal syndrome in humans and (b) an impediment to successful tobacco cessation. Data were from 1,175 smokers (58.3% women; 85.5% White) participating in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of smoking cessation pharmacotherapies. Ecological momentary assessments for 5 days before and 10 days after the target quit day were used to assess anhedonia and other established withdrawal symptoms. Consistent with drug withdrawal, anhedonia showed an inverted-U pattern of change in response to tobacco cessation and was associated with the severity of other withdrawal symptoms and tobacco dependence. Postquit anhedonia was associated with decreased latency to relapse (hazard ratio = 1.09, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.02, 1.17]) and with lower 8-week point-prevalence abstinence (odds ratio = .91, 95% CI [.86, .97])—relations that remained significant when other withdrawal symptoms were included as predictors. Finally, nicotine replacement therapy nearly fully suppressed the increase in abstinence-related anhedonia (β = −.66, p < .001), suggesting agonist suppression of withdrawal. Results suggest that anhedonia is a unique and motivationally significant element of the tobacco withdrawal syndrome in humans. These results have implications for defining and assessing tobacco use disorder and for understanding and treating tobacco addiction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)

 

The association between relationship distress and psychopathology is consistent across racial and ethnic groups.Open in a New Window

The association between intimate relationship discord and DSM–IV Axis I psychiatric disorders has been described in studies that oversampled White participants; however, the racial and ethnic differences in marital distress and divorce as well as in prevalence rates of some forms of psychopathology led us to hypothesize that the association between relationship discord and psychopathology would vary across races and ethnicities. Relationship quality and psychopathology were assessed in three national surveys (the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, the National Latino and Asian American Study, and the National Survey of American Life), for a total sample size of 10,057. We found that the log odds of being diagnosed with both narrow-band (e.g., major depressive disorder) and broad-band disorders (e.g., mood disorder) were negatively associated with relationship quality consistently across 11 different racial and ethnic groups. We discuss the implications of the cross-cultural reliability of the association between relationship discord and psychopathology in the context of etiological models and culturally competent practices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved)
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