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


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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Peers, Play, and Performance to Build Social Salience in Autistic Youth: A Multisite Randomized Clinical Trial
    (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 2023-05-18) Corbett, Blythe A.; White, Susan; Lerner, Matthew; Preacher, Kristopher J.; Klemencic, Mark E.; Simmons, Grace Lee; Pilkington, Jennifer; Gable, Philip; Gioia, Ayla; Key, Alexandra P.
    Objective: Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have significant impairment in social competence and reduced social salience. SENSE Theatre, a peer-mediated, theater-based intervention has demonstrated posttreatment gains in face memory and social communication. The multisite randomized clinical trial compared the Experimental (EXP; SENSE Theatre) to an Active Control Condition (ACC; Tackling Teenage Training, TTT) at pretest, posttest, and follow-up. It was hypothesized that the EXP group would demonstrate greater incidental face memory (IFM) and better social behavior (interaction with novel peers) and social functioning (social engagement in daily life) than the ACC group, and posttest IFM would mediate the treatment effect on follow-up social behavior and functioning. Method: Two hundred ninety participants were randomized to EXP (N = 144) or ACC (N = 146). Per protocol sample (≥7/10 sessions) resulted in 207 autistic children 10–16 years. Event-related potentials measured IFM. Naive examiners measured social behavior (Vocal Expressiveness, Quality of Rapport, Social Anxiety) and functioning (Social Communication). Structural equation modeling was used to assess treatment effects. Results: SENSE Theatre participants showed significantly better IFM (b = .874, p = .039) at posttest, and significant indirect effects on follow-up Vocal Expressiveness a × b = .064, with 90% CI [.014, .118] and Quality of Rapport a × b = .032, with 90% CI [.002, .087] through posttest IFM. Conclusions: SENSE Theatre increases social salience as reflected by IFM, which in turn affected Vocal Expressiveness and Quality of Rapport. Results indicate that a neural mechanism supporting social cognition and driven by social salience is engaged by the treatment and has a generalized, indirect effect on clinically meaningful functional outcomes related to core symptoms of autism. What is the public health significance of this article? Few treatments exist to target social competence in autism. The present study provides compelling evidence for a peer-mediated, theater-based treatment to enhance salience of social stimuli that over time increases spontaneous social behavior.
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    Identifying Health-Related Quality of Life Domains After Upper Extremity Transplantation
    (Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2023-06-01) Tulsky, David S.; Kisala, Pamela A.; Tyner, Callie E.; Slotkin, Jerry; Kaufman, Christina; Dearth, Christopher L.; Horan, Annamarie D.; Talbot, Simon G.; Shores, Jaimie T.; Azari, Kodi; Cetrulo, Curtis Jr.; Brandacher, Gerald; Cooney, Carisa M.; Victorson, David; Dooley, Mary; Levin, L. Scott; Tintle, Scott M.
    Objective To identify the most important health-related quality of life (HRQOL) domains and patient-reported outcomes after upper extremity transplantation (UET) in individuals with upper extremity amputation. Design Verbatim audio-recordings of individual interviews and focus groups were analyzed using qualitative, grounded theory-based methods to identify important domains of HRQOL and provide guidance for outcomes measurement after UET. Setting Individual interviews were conducted by phone. Focus groups were conducted at 5 upper extremity vascularized composite allotransplantation (VCA) centers in the US and at an international conference of VCA experts. Participants Individual phone interviews were conducted with 5 individuals with lived experience of UET. Thirteen focus groups were conducted with a total of 59 clinical professionals involved in UET. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Not applicable. Results Twenty-eight key HRQOL domains were identified, including physical functioning and medical complications, positive and negative emotional functioning, and social participation, relations, and independence. We identified key constructs for use in evaluation of the potentially substantial physical, medical, social, and emotional effects of UET. Conclusions This study provides an overview of the most important issues affecting HRQOL after UET, including several topics that are unique to individuals with UET. This information will be used to establish systematic, comprehensive, and longitudinal measurement of post-UET HRQOL outcomes.
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    Effects of limited bedding and nesting on postpartum mood state in rats
    (Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 2023-04-26) Gifford, Janace J.; Pluchino, Jenna R.; Della Valle, Rebecca; Van Weele, Brooke; Brezoczky, Emma; Caulfield, Jasmine I.; Cavigelli, Sonia A.; Schwarz, Jaclyn M.
    This study examined the effect of limited bedding and nesting (LBN) stress on postpartum anhedonia, maternal behaviors, anxiety-like behaviors, and neuroendocrine and neuroimmune function as a potential model of postpartum depression. Dams underwent sucrose preference tests prior to breeding, during gestation and again postpartum, to examine the potential onset of anhedonia. On embryonic day 19, dams were placed into either a LBN or control housing condition. Contrary to our predictions, LBN stress had no effect on postpartum sucrose preference. We also found no effect of LBN condition on fecal estradiol or corticosterone levels, both of which increased at birth and decreased postpartum. Regardless of housing conditions, approximately 40% of new mothers exhibited a decrease in sucrose preference, while others show no change, suggesting an individual susceptibility to postpartum anhedonia. In a separate cohort of LBN and control dams, we measured pup retrieval, hoarding behavior, elevated plus maze (EPM), and marble burying. LBN dams exhibited increased anxiety, associated with decreased time spent in the open arms of the EPM. We also measured a significant increase in IL-6 expression in the dorsal hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex of postpartum dams compared to nonpregnant dams. These findings suggest that while LBN stress has effects on anxiety and maternal care, it does not induce postpartum anhedonia. Rather, there are inherent differences in susceptibility to anhedonia in individual dams, and future studies should be conducted to better understand individual vulnerability and resilience to postpartum anhedonia.
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    The Role Classifiers Play in Selecting the Referent of a Word
    (Languages, 2023-03-14) Ma, Weiyi; Zhou, Peng; Golinkoff, Roberta Michnick
    An important cue to the meaning of a new noun is its accompanying classifier. For example, in English, X in “a sheet of X” should refer to a broad, flat object. A classifier is required in Chinese to quantify nouns. Using children’s overt responses in an object/picture selection task, past research found reliable semantic knowledge of classifiers in Mandarin-reared children at around age three. However, it is unclear how children’s semantic knowledge differs across different types of classifiers and how this difference develops with age. Here we use an arguably more sensitive measure of children’s language knowledge (the intermodal preferential-looking paradigm) to examine Mandarin-reared three-, four-, and five-year-olds’ semantic knowledge of four types of classifiers indicating animacy (human vs. animal distinction), configuration (how objects are arrayed), object shape, and vehicle function. Multiple factors were matched across classifier types: the number of classifiers, perceived familiarity and perceived typicality of the target, and the visual similarity of the two images paired together. Children’s performances differed across classifier types, as they were better with animacy classifiers than with configuration and vehicle function classifiers. Their comprehension was reliable for animacy, object shape, and vehicle function classifiers but not for configuration classifiers. Furthermore, we did not find conclusive evidence for an age-dependent improvement in the child’s performance. The analysis, including the oldest (five-year-olds) and youngest (three-year-olds) children, revealed a marginally significant age effect.
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    Conceptions of play by children in five countries: towards an understanding of playfulness (Las concepciones acerca del juego de niños de cinco países: hacia un mejor conocimiento de la actividad lúdica)
    (Journal for the Study of Education and Development, 2022-12-19) Mukherjee, Sarah J.; Bugallo, Lucía; Scheuerb, Nora; Cremin, Teresa; Montoro, Virginia; Ferrero, Martha; Preston, Marcia; Cheng, Doris; Golinkoff, Roberta; Popp, Jill
    Drawing on a mixed-methods cross-cultural study undertaken in five locations in Argentina, Denmark, Hong Kong, England and the United States in 2018, this paper explores how children (aged five and seven) conceive of playfulness. Following a card-sorting task, 387 children selected familiar activities that they felt were most representative of play and not-play and explained their reasons. The children’s justifications were fully transcribed, and five corpora were created (one per site). Lexicometry was applied, generating sets of the characteristic responses per age in each site. In-depth qualitative interpretation of these modal responses revealed nine dimensions across play and not-play: pleasure, social context, materials, movement, agency, risk, goal, time and focus. Commonalities revealed that children’s ideas around play are not aligned with specific activities but with the sense of agency in a secure physical and social context when carrying out an activity experienced as an end in itself. Implications for playful pedagogies highlight the need to open up play with opportunities for children’s choice and initiative, confident exploration and immersion in the activities in which they participate. RESUMEN: A partir de un estudio multicultural de métodos mixtos realizado en 2018 en cinco localidades de Argentina, Dinamarca, Hong Kong, Reino Unido y Estados Unidos, en este artículo se exploran las concepciones acerca de la actividad lúdica de niños de cinco y siete años. Tras una tarea de clasificación de tarjetas, 387 niñas y niños seleccionaron aquellas actividades familiares que consideraban más representativas de juego y aquellas más ajenas al juego y explicaron sus razones. Se realizó una transcripción completa de sus justificaciones y se crearon cinco corpus (uno por localidad). Mediante la lexicometría, se generaron conjuntos de respuestas características por edad en cada localidad. Una interpretación cualitativa detallada de las respuestas reveló nueve dimensiones lúdicas y no lúdicas: disfrute, contexto social, materiales, movimiento, agencia, riesgo, meta, tiempo y focalización. Las coincidencias revelaron que las ideas que los niños albergan en torno al juego no están vinculadas a actividades específicas sino a un sentido de agencia en un contexto físico y social seguro a la hora de realizar una actividad como fin en sí misma. Las implicaciones para las pedagogías lúdicas subrayan la necesidad de incorporar al juego oportunidades de elección e iniciativa para los niños, así como una exploración e inmersión segura en las actividades en las que participan.
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    The role of estrogen receptor manipulation during traumatic stress on changes in emotional memory induced by traumatic stress
    (Psychopharmacology, 2023-03-06) Biddle, Matthew; Knox, Dayan
    Rationale: Traumatic stress leads to persistent fear, which is a core feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Women are more likely than men to develop PTSD after trauma exposure, which suggests women are differentially sensitive to traumatic stress. However, it is unclear how this differential sensitivity manifests. Cyclical changes in vascular estrogen release could be a contributing factor where levels of vascular estrogens (and activation of estrogen receptors) at the time of traumatic stress alter the impact of traumatic stress. Methods: To examine this, we manipulated estrogen receptors at the time of stress and observed the effect this had on fear and extinction memory (within the single prolonged stress (SPS) paradigm) in female rats. In all experiments, freezing and darting were used to measure fear and extinction memory. Results: In Experiment 1, SPS enhanced freezing during extinction testing, and this effect was blocked by nuclear estrogen receptor antagonism prior to SPS. In Experiment 2, SPS decreased conditioned freezing during the acquisition and testing of extinction. Administration of 17β-estradiol altered freezing in control and SPS animals during the acquisition of extinction, but this treatment had no effect on freezing during the testing of extinction memory. In all experiments, darting was only observed to footshock onset during fear conditioning. Conclusion: The results suggest multiple behaviors (or different behavioral paradigms) are needed to characterize the nature of traumatic stress effects on emotional memory in female rats and that nuclear estrogen receptor antagonism prior to SPS blocks SPS effects on emotional memory in female rats.
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    Surviving While Black: Systemic Racism and Psychological Resilience
    (Annual Review of Psychology, 2023-01-18) Jones, James M.
    This autobiographical essay traces my personal journey from grandson of a slave to a cultural psychologist examining racism. My journey includes growing up in a small Ohio town, training in social psychology, and an academic career that was launched with the publication of Prejudice and Racism in 1972. I weave my personal experiences with my analytical approach to racism that incorporates individual, institutional, and cultural factors that combine to explain systemic racism. The racism analysis is balanced by a narrative of mechanisms that confer resilience and psychological well-being on Black people as they navigate the obstacles of systemic racism. I also explore diversity as a form of psychological and behavioral competence required to live effectively in a diverse world. I conclude that these aspects of human relations can be better understood and addressed with advancement of diversity science.
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