Open Access Publications

Permanent URI for this collection

Open access publications by faculty, postdocs, and graduate students in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 66
  • Item
    Intergenerational transmission of maternal prenatal anxiety to infant fearfulness: the mediating role of mother-infant bonding
    (Archives of Women's Mental Health, 2024-06-11) Rousseau, Sofie; Katz, Danielle; Schussheim, Avital; Frenkel, Tahl I.
    Purpose This study is the first to directly investigate the mechanistic role of maternal bonding toward her infant in the early intergenerational pathway of risk from maternal anxiety to infant fearfulness. Methods Mothers (N = 216; Mage=32.78) reported on their anxiety and bonding at four time-points between pregnancy and ten-months postpartum. At four and ten-months postpartum, infant temperamental precursors of anxiety were assessed through maternal report and observation. Results Cross-lagged longitudinal path modeling indicated a significant link between prenatal maternal anxiety and infant temperamental fearful withdrawal at 10-months postpartum (R2 = 0.117), which was fully explained by decreased maternal bonding at one-month postpartum and increased infant temperamental negative reactivity at 4-months postpartum. Conclusion Results support the need to foster maternal bonding in preventive perinatal care, particularly in the context of maternal anxiety.
  • Item
    The psychological costs of behavioral immunity following COVID-19 diagnosis
    (Scientific Reports, 2024-04-30) Spangler, Derek P.; Li, Evaline Y.; Revi, Gabriela S.; Kubota, Jennifer T.; Cloutier, Jasmin; Lauharatanahirun, Nina
    Prior COVID-19 infection may elevate activity of the behavioral immune system—the psychological mechanisms that foster avoidance of infection cues—to protect the individual from contracting the infection in the future. Such “adaptive behavioral immunity” may come with psychological costs, such as exacerbating the global pandemic’s disruption of social and emotional processes (i.e., pandemic disruption). To investigate that idea, we tested a mediational pathway linking prior COVID infection and pandemic disruption through behavioral immunity markers, assessed with subjective emotional ratings. This was tested in a sample of 734 Mechanical Turk workers who completed study procedures online during the global pandemic (September 2021–January 2022). Behavioral immunity markers were estimated with an affective image rating paradigm. Here, participants reported experienced disgust/fear and appraisals of sickness/harm risk to images varying in emotional content. Participants self-reported on their previous COVID-19 diagnosis history and level of pandemic disruption. The findings support the proposed mediational pathway and suggest that a prior COVID-19 infection is associated with broadly elevated threat emotionality, even to neutral stimuli that do not typically elicit threat emotions. This elevated threat emotionality was in turn related to disrupted socioemotional functioning within the pandemic context. These findings inform the psychological mechanisms that might predispose COVID survivors to mental health difficulties.
  • Item
    Seeing without a Scene: Neurological Observations on the Origin and Function of the Dorsal Visual Stream
    (Journal of Intelligence, 2024-05-11) Rafal, Robert D.
    In all vertebrates, visual signals from each visual field project to the opposite midbrain tectum (called the superior colliculus in mammals). The tectum/colliculus computes visual salience to select targets for context-contingent visually guided behavior: a frog will orient toward a small, moving stimulus (insect prey) but away from a large, looming stimulus (a predator). In mammals, visual signals competing for behavioral salience are also transmitted to the visual cortex, where they are integrated with collicular signals and then projected via the dorsal visual stream to the parietal and frontal cortices. To control visually guided behavior, visual signals must be encoded in body-centered (egocentric) coordinates, and so visual signals must be integrated with information encoding eye position in the orbit—where the individual is looking. Eye position information is derived from copies of eye movement signals transmitted from the colliculus to the frontal and parietal cortices. In the intraparietal cortex of the dorsal stream, eye movement signals from the colliculus are used to predict the sensory consequences of action. These eye position signals are integrated with retinotopic visual signals to generate scaffolding for a visual scene that contains goal-relevant objects that are seen to have spatial relationships with each other and with the observer. Patients with degeneration of the superior colliculus, although they can see, behave as though they are blind. Bilateral damage to the intraparietal cortex of the dorsal stream causes the visual scene to disappear, leaving awareness of only one object that is lost in space. This tutorial considers what we have learned from patients with damage to the colliculus, or to the intraparietal cortex, about how the phylogenetically older midbrain and the newer mammalian dorsal cortical visual stream jointly coordinate the experience of a spatially and temporally coherent visual scene.
  • Item
    Trait dimensions of anticipatory and consummatory reward relate differently to self-injurious thoughts and behaviors in a community adult sample
    (Journal of Affective Disorders Reports, 2024-04-26) Huerta, Wendy; Bounoua, Nadia; Sadeh, Naomi
    Background Self-injurious thoughts and behaviors (SITBs) are a major problem worldwide and continue to be a serious public health concern. Research investigating risk factors for suicide has shown that reward processes, such as the inability to feel pleasure, may confer risk for SITBs. However, less work has examined how different dimensions of trait reward relate to SITBs. Accordingly, the present study investigated the unique and interactive effects of trait anticipatory and consummatory reward for explaining SITBs. Methods 260 community adults ages 18–55 (M/SD = 32.79/10.54, females = 49.6 %, males = 50.4 %) completed an interview, neuropsychological tests, and questionnaires. We used hierarchical multivariate multiple regression analysis to assess cross-sectional associations between trait anticipatory and consummatory reward and different types of SITBs [self-injurious thoughts, nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), and suicide attempts] from the Risky, Impulsive, and Self-destructive Behavior Questionnaire. Results The unique variance associated with anticipatory and consummatory reward were differentially related to self-injurious thoughts but unrelated to self-injurious behaviors (NSSI/suicide attempts). The interaction of anticipatory and consummatory reward was associated with self-injurious behavior, such that the inability to experience both anticipatory and consummatory reward was associated with higher frequency of NSSI. Limitations Limitations of the study include its cross-sectional nature and reliance on self-reported measures. Conclusions Low anticipatory reward and high consummatory reward may confer risk for self-injurious thoughts. Low levels of both trait anticipatory and consummatory reward may confer risk for NSSI. Findings suggest reward sensitivity may be an understudied risk factor for a range of SITBs.
  • Item
    NF-κB as an Inducible Regulator of Inflammation in the Central Nervous System
    (Cells, 2024-03-11) Anilkumar, Sudha; Wright-Jin, Elizabeth
    The NF-κB (nuclear factor K-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells) transcription factor family is critical for modulating the immune proinflammatory response throughout the body. During the resting state, inactive NF-κB is sequestered by IκB in the cytoplasm. The proteasomal degradation of IκB activates NF-κB, mediating its translocation into the nucleus to act as a nuclear transcription factor in the upregulation of proinflammatory genes. Stimuli that initiate NF-κB activation are diverse but are canonically attributed to proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Downstream effects of NF-κB are cell type-specific and, in the majority of cases, result in the activation of pro-inflammatory cascades. Acting as the primary immune responders of the central nervous system, microglia exhibit upregulation of NF-κB upon activation in response to pathological conditions. Under such circumstances, microglial crosstalk with other cell types in the central nervous system can induce cell death, further exacerbating the disease pathology. In this review, we will emphasize the role of NF-κB in triggering neuroinflammation mediated by microglia.
  • Item
    Network-based analysis predicts interacting genetic modifiers from a meta-mapping study of spike–wave discharge in mice
    (Genes, Brain and Behavior, 2024-03-05) Lara, Montana Kay; Brabec, Jeffrey L.; Hernan, Amanda E.; Scott, Rod C.; Tyler, Anna L.; Mahoney, J. Matthew
    Absence seizures are characterized by brief lapses in awareness accompanied by a hallmark spike-and-wave discharge (SWD) electroencephalographic pattern and are common to genetic generalized epilepsies (GGEs). While numerous genes have been associated with increased risk, including some Mendelian forms with a single causal allele, most cases of GGE are idiopathic and there are many unknown genetic modifiers of GGE influencing risk and severity. In a previous meta-mapping study, crosses between transgenic C57BL/6 and C3HeB/FeJ strains, each carrying one of three SWD-causing mutations (Gabrg2tm1Spet(R43Q), Scn8a8j or Gria4spkw1), demonstrated an antagonistic epistatic interaction between loci on mouse chromosomes 2 and 7 influencing SWD. These results implicate universal modifiers in the B6 background that mitigate SWD severity through a common pathway, independent of the causal mutation. In this study, we prioritized candidate modifiers in these interacting loci. Our approach integrated human genome-wide association results with gene interaction networks and mouse brain gene expression to prioritize candidate genes and pathways driving variation in SWD outcomes. We considered candidate genes that are functionally associated with human GGE risk genes and genes with evidence for coding or non-coding allele effects between the B6 and C3H backgrounds. Our analyses output a summary ranking of gene pairs, one gene from each locus, as candidates for explaining the epistatic interaction. Our top-ranking gene pairs implicate microtubule function, cytoskeletal stability and cell cycle regulation as novel hypotheses about the source of SWD variation across strain backgrounds, which could clarify underlying mechanisms driving differences in GGE severity in humans.
  • Item
    Using randomized controlled trials to ask questions regarding developmental psychopathology: A tribute to Dante Cicchetti
    (Development and Psychopathology, 2024-02-28) Miller, Kristen N.; Bourne, Stacia V.; Dahl, Claire M.; Costello, Christopher; Attinelly, Jillian; Jennings, Kathryn; Dozier, Mary
    Dante Cicchetti, the architect of developmental psychopathology, has influenced so many of us in profound ways. One of his many contributions was in demonstrating the power of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to study the effects of Child–Parent Psychotherapy (CPP). These RCTs have shed light on causal mechanisms in development. Following Cicchetti and colleagues’ work, we designed a brief home visiting program, Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), to help parents respond in sensitive, nurturing ways, so as to enhance children’s attachment and self-regulatory capabilities. In the current study, we assessed adolescents’ reports of the closeness of their relationships with their mothers 12 years after their mothers completed the intervention. A total of 142 adolescents participated (47 randomized to ABC, 45 randomized to a control intervention, and 50 from a low-risk comparison group). Adolescents whose mothers had been randomized to ABC reported closer relationships with their mothers than adolescents randomized to the control condition, with significant differences seen on approval, support, companionship, and emotional support subscales. Consistent with Cicchetti et al.’s work, these results provide powerful evidence of the long-term effects of an early parenting intervention.
  • Item
    Emotion dysregulation and reward responsiveness as predictors of autonomic reactivity to an infant cry task among substance-using pregnant and postpartum women
    (Developmental Psychobiology, 2023-12-14) Bounoua, Nadia; Tabachnick, Alexandra R.; Eiden, Rina D.; Labella, Madelyn H.; Dozier, Mary
    Maternal substance use may interfere with optimal parenting, lowering maternal responsiveness during interactions with their children. Previous work has identified maternal autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity to parenting-relevant stressors as a promising indicator of real-world parenting behaviors. However, less is known about the extent to which individual differences in emotion dysregulation and reward processing, two mechanisms of substance use, relate to maternal ANS reactivity in substance-using populations. The current study examined associations among emotion dysregulation, reward responsiveness, and ANS reactivity to an infant cry task among 77 low-income and substance-using women who were either pregnant (n = 63) or postpartum (n = 14). Two indicators of ANS functioning were collected during a 9 min computerized infant cry task (Crybaby task): respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and pre-ejection period. Mothers also completed self-reported measures of emotion dysregulation and reward responsiveness. Analyses revealed that trait emotion regulation was associated with RSA reactivity to the Crybaby task, such that greater emotion dysregulation was associated with greater RSA reduction during the infant cry task than lower emotion dysregulation. Reward responsiveness was not significantly associated with either indicator of ANS reactivity to the task. Findings revealed distinct patterns of associations linking emotion dysregulation with ANS reactivity during a parenting-related computerized task, suggesting that emotion regulation may be a key intervention target for substance-using mothers.
  • Item
    Preliminary examination of the effects of an early parenting intervention on amygdala-orbitofrontal cortex resting-state functional connectivity among high-risk children: A randomized clinical trial
    (Development and Psychopathology, 2024-01-22) Korom, Marta; Valadez, Emilio A.; Tottenham, Nim; Dozier, Mary; Spielberg, Jeffrey M.
    We examined the long-term causal effects of an evidence-based parenting program delivered in infancy on children’s emotion regulation and resting-state functional connectivity (rs-fc) during middle childhood. Families were referred to the study by Child Protective Services (CPS) as part of a diversion from a foster care program. A low-risk group of families was also recruited. CPS-involved families were randomly assigned to receive the target (Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, ABC) or a control intervention (Developmental Education for Families, DEF) before infants turned 2. Both interventions were home-based, manualized, and 10-sessions long. During middle childhood, children underwent a 6-min resting-state functional MRI scan. Amygdala seed-based rs-fc analysis was completed with intervention group as the group-level predictor of interest. Fifty-seven children (NABC = 21; NDEF = 17; NCOMP = 19; Mage = 10.02 years, range = 8.08–12.14) were scanned successfully. The DEF group evidenced negative left amygdala↔OFC connectivity, whereas connectivity was near zero in the ABC and comparison groups (ABCvsDEF: Cohen’s d = 1.17). ABC may enhance high-risk children’s regulatory neurobiology outcomes ∼8 years after the intervention was completed.
  • Item
    International study of the Complex Stress Reaction Syndrome: Implications for transdiagnostic clinical practice
    (World Journal of Psychiatry, 2023-10-19) Goldstein Ferber, Sari; Weller, Aron; Hayes, Adele M.; Vannorsdall, Tracy D.; Ajlouni, Yaroup; Qudah, Mo'nes; Zalsman, Gil; Shoval, Gal; Jannini, Tommaso Benedetto; Fiedler, Racquel; Chen, Lily X.; Shayani, Danielle R.; Kachuki Dory, Elin; Stolowicz-Melman, Dana; Evans, Connor; Trow, Megan; Di Lorenzo, Giorgio; Rossi, Rodolfo
    BACKGROUND The debate regarding diagnostic classification systems in psychiatry (categorial vs dimensional systems) has essential implications for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of stress reactions. We previously found a unique pattern of stress reaction in a study executed during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic using large representative samples in two countries, and termed it the Complex Stress Reaction Syndrome (CSRS). AIM To investigate CSRS, Type A (psychiatric symptoms, spanning anxiety, depression, stress symptoms, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)), with or without long-coronavirus disease (COVID) residuals (CSRS, Type B, neuropsychiatric symptoms spanning cognitive deficits and fatigue, excluding systemic symptoms). Our two-tailed hypothesis was that CSRS is a condition related to an unrecognized type of stress reaction in daily life in the general population (Type A) or that it is related to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection and its long-COVID residuals (Type B). METHODS 977 individuals in four continents (North America, Europe, Australia and the Middle East) completed the online study questionnaire in six languages using the Qualtrics platform. The study was managed by six teams in six countries that promoted the study on social media. The questionnaire assessed anxiety, depression, stress symptoms and PTSD (CSRS, Type A), cognitive deficits and fatigue (CSRS, Type B). The data were analyzed using Proportion Analyses, Multivariate Analysis of Co-Variance (MANCOVA), linear regression analyses and validated clinical cutoff points. RESULTS The results of the Proportion Analyses showed that the prevalence of 4 symptoms spanning anxiety, depression, stress symptoms, and PTSD was significantly higher than the most prevalent combinations of fewer symptoms across 4 continents, age groups, and gender. This supports the transdiagnostic argument embedded in the CSRS (Type A). The same pattern of results was found in infected/recovered individuals. The prevalence of the 4 psychiatric symptoms combination was significantly greater than that of 5 and 6 symptoms, when adding cognitive deficits and fatigue, respectively. MANCOVA showed a significant three-way interaction (age × gender × continent). Further analyses showed that the sources of this three-way interaction were threefold relating to two sub-populations at-risk: (1) Individuals that self-identified as non-binary gender scored significantly higher on all 4 psychiatric symptoms of the CSRS, Type A at young age groups (< 50 years old) in North America compared to (self-identified) women and men located in the 4 continents studied, and to other ages across the adult life span; and (2) This pattern of results (CSRS, Type A) was found also in women at young ages (< 40 years old) in North America who scored higher compared to men and women in other continents and other ages. Linear regression analyses confirmed the MANCOVA results. CONCLUSION These results show a combined mental health risk factor related to stress reactivity, suggesting that the CSRS is sensitive to populations at risk and may be applied to future identification of other vulnerable sub-populations. It also supports the transdiagnostic approach for more accurate prevention and treatment. Time will tell if such transdiagnostic syndromes will be part of the discussions on the next revisions of the traditional classification systems or whether the crisis in psychiatry further evolves.
  • Item
    U.S. parents' attitudes toward playful learning
    (Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 2023-12-15) Wright, Charlotte Anne; Pasek, Josh; Lee, Ji Young; Masters, Ally S.; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick; Thomsen, Bo Stjerne; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy
    Introduction: There has been a surge of research on the power of play to facilitate learning in recent years. Guided play, specifically, has emerged as an optimal learning approach over free play and direct instruction. However, whether parents' attitudes toward play align with the emerging research remains largely unexplored. Addressing this gap, the present study is the first to operationalize play by using the playful learning spectrum (i.e., free play, guided play, games, and direct instruction) to investigate parents' attitudes toward play. Methods: The study surveyed a broad, national sample of parents with at least one child aged 2 to 12 years living in the United States (N = 1,172). To understand preferences for each approach and the factors related to those preferences, we examined how individuals regarded each of the four learning approaches and ran a series of regressions predicting perceptions of learning from the approaches as a function of demographic and attitudinal factors. These regressions were estimated in two different ways, allowing us to identify which predictors were related to each outcome as well as which explained these perceptions uniquely, over and above other predictors. Results: The findings revealed a preference for play over direct instruction, with parents likely to perceive free play as most conducive to learning. Regression analyses uncovered significant variations in perceptions based on demographic and attitudinal factors, with highly educated respondents most likely to endorse free play, more knowledgeable respondents most likely to endorse guided play and the least educated respondents most likely to favor direct instruction. Discussion: While the study reveals parents' evolving, positive attitudes toward play, it also underscores a gap between academic research, which highlights the advantages of guided play, and parents' perceptions. Implications for parent support initiatives are discussed.
  • Item
    Assessing the utility of a novel cortical marker of delay discounting (C-DD) in two independent samples of early adolescents: Links with externalizing pathology
    (PLoS ONE, 2023-09-27) Bounoua, Nadia; Church, Leah D.; Matyi, Melanie A.; Rudoler, Jeremy; Wieand, Kaleigh; Spielberg, Jeffrey M.
    Delay discounting is a well-established risk factor for risky behaviors and the development of externalizing spectrum disorders. Building upon recent work that developed a novel cortical marker of delay discounting (C-DD) in adult samples, the objective of this study was to test whether the C-DD relates to delay discounting and subsequently externalizing pathology in adolescent samples. The current study used two samples: 9992 early adolescents participating in the ABCD study (Mage = 9.93 years old, 48.7% female), and 56 early adolescents recruited from the community (Mage = 12.27 years old, 55.4% female). Cortical thickness was estimated using the FreeSurfer standard pipeline, and the cortical marker of delay discounting (C-DD) was calculated based on procedures outlined by the initial validation study. All data are cross-sectional in nature. As expected, C-DD was positively related to delay discounting in the ABCD sample, even after accounting for age, biological sex, collection site and data quality indicators. Moreover, results showed that C-DD was discriminately associated with externalizing, but not internalizing, symptoms in both samples of young adolescents. Findings replicate those found in adult samples, suggestive that C-DD may be a useful neuroanatomical marker of youth delay discounting. Replication of findings in other samples will be needed to determine whether C-DD has translational relevance to understanding externalizing psychopathology in adolescent samples.
  • Item
    Does early exposure to spoken and sign language affect reading fluency in deaf and hard-of-hearing adult signers?
    (Frontiers in Psychology, 2023-09-20) Ziubanova, Anastasia A.; Laurinavichyute, Anna K.; Parshina, Olga
    Introduction: Early linguistic background, and in particular, access to language, lays the foundation of future reading skills in deaf and hard-of-hearing signers. The current study aims to estimate the impact of two factors – early access to sign and/or spoken language – on reading fluency in deaf and hard-of-hearing adult Russian Sign Language speakers. Methods: In the eye-tracking experiment, 26 deaf and 14 hard-of-hearing native Russian Sign Language speakers read 144 sentences from the Russian Sentence Corpus. Analysis of global eye-movement trajectories (scanpaths) was used to identify clusters of typical reading trajectories. The role of early access to sign and spoken language as well as vocabulary size as predictors of the more fluent reading pattern was tested. Results: Hard-of-hearing signers with early access to sign language read more fluently than those who were exposed to sign language later in life or deaf signers without access to speech sounds. No association between early access to spoken language and reading fluency was found. Discussion: Our results suggest a unique advantage for the hard-of-hearing individuals from having early access to both sign and spoken language and support the existing claims that early exposure to sign language is beneficial not only for deaf but also for hard-of-hearing children.
  • Item
    Increasing secure base script knowledge among parents with Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up
    (Development and Psychopathology, 2021-01-25) Raby, K. Lee; Waters, Theodore E. A.; Tabachnick, Alexandra R.; Zajac, Lindsay; Dozier, Mary
    This study evaluated whether Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), a parenting intervention, altered the attachment representations of parents (average age of 34.2 years) who had been referred to Child Protective Services (CPS) due to risk for child maltreatment when their children were infants. Approximately 7 years after completing the intervention, parents who had been randomized to receive ABC (n = 43) exhibited greater secure base script knowledge than parents who had been randomized to receive a control intervention (n = 51). Low-risk parents (n = 79) exhibited greater secure base script knowledge than CPS-referred parents who had received a control intervention. However, levels of secure base script knowledge did not differ between low-risk parents and CPS-referred parents who had received the ABC intervention. In addition, secure base script knowledge was positively associated with parental sensitivity during interactions with their 8-year-old children among low-risk and CPS-referred parents. Mediational analyses supported the idea that the ABC intervention enhanced parents’ sensitivity 7 years later indirectly via increases in parents’ secure base script knowledge.
  • Item
    Neurobiological metric of cortical delay discounting differentiates risk for self- and other-directed violence among trauma-exposed individuals
    (Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science, 2023-09-07) Sheehan, Ana E.; Bounoua, Nadia; Stumps, Anna; Miglin, Rickie; Huerta, Wendy; Sadeh, Naomi
    Self- and other-directed violence (SDV/ODV) contribute to elevated rates of mortality. Early trauma exposure shows robust positive associations with these forms of violence but alone does not distinguish those at heightened risk for later engagement in SDV/ODV. Novel assessment metrics could aid early identification efforts for individuals with vulnerabilities to violence perpetration. This study examined a novel neurobiological measure of impulsive choice for reward as a potential moderator of associations between childhood trauma exposure and lifetime SDV/ODV. A high-risk community sample of 177 adults (89 men; 50.3%) were assessed for childhood trauma exposure, engagement in SDV (e.g., suicide attempts), and ODV (e.g., assault). A cortical delay discounting (C-DD) measure was created using a multivariate additive model of gray matter thickness across both hemispheres, previously found to be positively associated with susceptibility to impulsivity and externalizing disorders. Childhood trauma exposure was positively associated with ODV and SDV; however, these relationships differed as a function of C-DD. Engagement in ODV increased as scores on C-DD increased, and SDV increased as scores on C-DD decreased. Furthermore, moderation revealed biological sex differences, as the association between childhood trauma and SDV depended on C-DD for women but not for men. Findings from the present work demonstrate that risk conferred by childhood trauma exposure to violence varied as a function of a C-DD. Together, these findings point to the utility of neurobiological markers of impulsive decision-making for differentiating risk for violence among individuals with a history of trauma exposure.
  • Item
    Psychosocial Impact of Cancer Care Disruptions in Women With Breast Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    (Frontiers in Psychology, 2021-06-14) Soriano, Emily C.; Perndorfer, Christine; Otto, Amy K.; Fenech, Alyssa L.; Siegel, Scott D.; Dickson-Witmer, Diana; Clements, Lydia; Laurenceau, Jean-Philippe
    Background: The COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruptions in cancer care, and preliminary research suggests that these disruptions are associated with increased levels of psychosocial distress among cancer survivors. The purpose of this study was to offer a descriptive report of the psychosocial functioning, perceived risk and fear of cancer progression, and COVID-19 pandemic impact and experiences in a unique, high-risk patient cohort: breast cancer survivors whose cancer treatment was delayed and/or changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 50 women with dual carcinoma in situ, lobular carcinoma in situ, or invasive breast cancer whose cancer surgery was postponed due to the pandemic. As they awaited delayed surgery or shortly after they received delayed surgery, participants completed questionnaires on psychosocial functioning (depression, anxiety, sleep, and quality of life), their perceived risk and fear of cancer progression, patient-provider communication about disruptions in their care, personal impact of the pandemic, worry/threat about COVID-19, and COVID-19 symptoms/diagnoses. Descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations were computed among continuous study variables. Independent samples t-tests explored group differences in psychosocial functioning between survivors who were still awaiting delayed surgery and those who had recently received it. Results: Overall, the sample denied that the pandemic seriously negatively impacted their finances or resource access and reported low-to-moderate levels of psychosocial distress and fear about COVID-19. Twenty-six percent had clinically significant levels of fear of cancer progression, with levels comparable to other recent work. About a third were still awaiting delayed cancer surgery and this group reported lower satisfaction with communication from oncology providers but overall did not seem to report more psychosocial difficulties than those who already had surgery. Conclusion: Shortly before or after primary breast cancer surgery that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this sample of survivors appears to be generally managing well psychosocially. However, many psychosocial difficulties (e.g., fear of cancer recurrence/progression) typically have an onset after the completion of treatment, therefore, research should continue to follow this cohort of cancer survivors as the pandemic’s direct impact on their care likely increases their risk for these difficulties later in survivorship.
  • Item
    Susceptibility to peer influence in adolescents: Associations between psychophysiology and behavior
    (Development and Psychopathology, 2022-09-23) Meehan, Zachary M.; Hubbard, Julie A.; Moore, Christina C.; Mlawer, Fanny
    The current study investigated in-the-moment links between adolescents’ autonomic nervous system activity and susceptibility to three types of peer influence (indirect, direct, continuing) on two types of behavior (antisocial, prosocial). The sample included 144 racially ethnically diverse adolescents (46% male, 53% female, 1% other; Mage = 16.02 years). We assessed susceptibility to peer influence behaviorally using the Public Goods Game (PGG) while measuring adolescents’ mean heart rate (MHR) and pre-ejection period (PEP). Three key findings emerged from bivariate dual latent change score modeling: (1) adolescents whose MHR increased more as they transitioned from playing the PGG alone (pre-influence) to playing while simply observed by peers (indirect influence) displayed more prosocial behavior; (2) adolescents whose PEP activity increased more (greater PEP activity = shorter PEP latency) as they transitioned from indirect influence to being encouraged by peers to engage in antisocial behavior (direct influence) engaged in more antisocial behavior; and (3) adolescents whose PEP activity decreased less as they transitioned from direct influence on prosocial behavior to playing the PGG alone again (continuing influence) displayed more continuing prosocial behavior (marginal effect). The discussion focuses on the role of psychophysiology in understanding adolescents’ susceptibility to peer influence.
  • Item
    Not one thing at a time: When concomitant multiple stressors produce a transdiagnostic clinical picture
    (World Journal of Psychiatry, 2023-07-19) Ferber, Sari Goldstein; Weller, Aron; Shoval, Gal; Zalsman, Gil
    A condition of exposure to multiple stressors resulting in a mixed clinical picture spanning conventional categories without meeting any of them in full, encompasses a risk for a list of comorbidities preventing appropriate prevention and treatment. New transformative transdiagnostic approaches suggest changes spanning conventional categories. They base their systems of classification on biomarkers as well as on brain structural and functional dysregulation as associated with behavioral and emotional symptoms. These new approaches received critiques for not being specific enough and for suggesting a few biomarkers for psychopathology as a whole. Therefore, they put the value of differential diagnosis at risk of avoiding appropriate derived prevention and treatment. Multiplicity of stressors has been considered mostly during and following catastrophes, without considering the resulting mixed clinical picture and life event concomitant stressors. We herewith suggest a new category within the conventional classification systems: The Complex Stress Reaction Syndrome, for a condition of multiplicity of stressors, which showed a mixed clinical picture for daily life in the post coronavirus disease 2019 era, in the general population. We argue that this condition may be relevant to daily, regular life, across the lifespan, and beyond conditions of catastrophes. We further argue that this condition may worsen without professional care and it may develop into a severe mental health disorder, more costly to health systems and the suffering individuals. Means for derived prevention and treatment are discussed.
  • Item
    Immersive and Reflective Recall of a Suicidal Episode: Implications for Assessing and Treating Suicidal Adolescents
    (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2023) Zisk, Abigail; Abbott, Caroline H.; Ewing, E. Stephanie Krauthamer; Fitter, Megan Haley; Diamond, Guy S.; Kobak, Roger
    Objective: The present study tested the validity and clinical utility of adolescents’ reports of two distinct modes of processing during the recall of a suicidal episode in the Suicide Narrative Interview (SNI). Recall Intensity (RI) items were designed to capture a tendency to become immersed in thoughts and feelings during the interview, while Meaning Making (MM) items were designed to assess more distant and reflective processing. Method: The construct and predictive validity of pretreatment MM and RI was tested in a 16-week randomized clinical trial (RCT) for depressed and suicidal adolescents (N = 113, Mage = 14.95, 84.1% female, 51.8% Black/African American). Adolescents rated MM and RI immediately following the SNI during a baseline assessment. Results: Baseline MM was associated with protective factors related to reduced suicidality, and RI was associated with several risk factors for suicidal symptoms. Adolescents who reported high MM and low RI reported greater reductions in both suicidal ideation and depressive symptoms during the RCT. Conclusions: The results support MM and RI as two distinct modes of how adolescents process memories of suicidal episodes and highlight the potential clinical utility of RI and MM in assessing and treating suicidal adolescents. What is the public health significance of this article? Identifying both risk and protective factors for adolescent suicidality is imperative for effective assessment and treatment. The present study extends prior research by testing the validity of Meaning Making (MM) and Recall Intensity (RI) as two modes of processing while recalling a past suicidal episode. Results support MM as a protective factor and RI as a risk factor and demonstrate that attachment-based family therapy and family-enhanced nondirective supportive therapy were particularly effective in reducing suicidal ideation and depression in teens reporting high MM and low RI at the start of treatment.
  • Item
    Exploration of Sex and Age as Moderators Between Social Cumulative Risk and Sleep in a Representative Sample of Children and Adolescents Living in the United States
    (International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 2023-04-25) Covington, Lauren B.; Ji, Xiaopeng; Laurenceau, Jean-Philippe; Patterson, Freda; Brownlow, Janeese A.
    Background Youth who face adversity are at a disproportionate risk for poor sleep health across the life course. Identifying whether the association between adversity and poor sleep varies based upon age and sex is needed. This study aims to explore sex and age as moderators between social risk and sleep in a sample of U.S. youth. Methods This study analyzed data of 32,212 U.S. youth (6–17 years) whose primary caregiver participated in the 2017–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health. A social cumulative risk index (SCRI) score was calculated from 10 parental, family, and community risk indicators. Nighttime sleep duration was the number of hours the child slept during the past week. Weeknight sleep irregularity was operationalized as whether the child sometimes/rarely/never went to bed at the same time. Generalized logistic regression models estimated associations between SCRI and sleep duration/irregularity, with age and sex as moderators. Results Age moderated the association between SCRI and short sleep (OR = 1.12, p < 0.001), such that the magnitude of the SCRI-sleep relationship was 12% greater in school-age children. Sex was not a significant moderator. In stratified models by age group, age was positively associated with short sleep in both groups, with a greater magnitude in school-age children. Female school-age children were less likely to have short sleep than males. Conclusions Younger children with greater social cumulative risk factors may be more vulnerable to short sleep duration. Further research into the mechanisms underlying the relationships between social risk and sleep health in school-age children is needed.
Please look at individual material in order to see what the copyright and licensing terms are. Some material may be available for reuse under a Creative Commons license; other material may be the copyright of the individual author(s) or the publisher of the journal.