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New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

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Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

Childhood Adversity and Cumulative Life Stress: Risk Factors for Cancer-Related Fatigue

Julienne E. Bower, Alexandra D. Crosswell, and George M. Slavich
Fatigue is a side effect experienced by almost all who undergo cancer treatment. Despite its prevalence, however, little is known about risk factors for experiencing persistent fatigue. Breast cancer survivors with or without cancer-related fatigue completed a childhood trauma questionnaire and the Stress and Adversity Inventory — a novel online stress assessment that measures a person’s lifetime exposure to different stressors. Participants with fatigue reported greater levels of childhood trauma and were found to have a greater lifetime exposure to stress than those without fatigue. This indicates that cumulative stress exposure may be a risk factor for persistent fatigue in women with a history of breast cancer.

Altered Cognitive Development in the Siblings of Individuals With Schizophrenia

Deanna M. Barch, Rachel Cohen, and John G. Csernansky

One hypothesis regarding the development of schizophrenia suggests that neurodevelopmental disruptions occur during the peripubertal period. The researchers tested this late neurodevelopmental hypothesis by examining verbal IQ, working memory, episodic memory, and executive function in siblings of people with schizophrenia, siblings of people without schizophrenia, and control subjects who were between the ages of 10 and 35. Siblings of people with schizophrenia showed age-related increases only in verbal IQ, whereas control subjects and their siblings showed age-related improvements in all four cognitive areas. These findings are consistent with, and provide support for, the late neurodevelopmental hypothesis.

Cerebellar Morphology and Procedural Learning Impairment in Neuroleptic-Naive Youth at Ultrahigh Risk of Psychosis

Derek J. Dean, Jessica A. Bernard, Joseph M. Orr, Andrea Pelletier-Baldelli, Tina Gupta, Emily E. Carol, and Vijay A. Mittal

New research suggests that the cerebellum may be involved with cognitive functions that are impaired in those with psychotic disorders. Despite this, little research has investigated the cerebellum in those at high risk for developing psychosis. When control participants and patients who had an ultrahigh risk for developing psychosis completed a motor task, those at ultrahigh risk displayed impaired learning of, and poorer performance on, the motor task compared with control participants. Participants at ultrahigh risk for psychosis were also found to have smaller cerebellar volumes in areas relating to motor control and cognition. These findings suggest that cerebellar abnormalities may be an important precursor to the development of psychosis.

Social Competence in Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: From Brain to Behavior

Keith Owen Yeates, Erin D. Bigler, Tracy Abildskov, Maureen Dennis, Cynthia A. Gerhardt, Kathryn Vannatta, Kenneth H. Rubin, Terry Stancin, and H. Gerry Taylor

More than 700,000 children and adolescents visit the hospital each year because of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Although TBI can lead to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral deficits, few studies have examined long-term social outcomes for children suffering this type of injury. Children between the ages of 8 and 13 who had suffered a TBI or an orthopedic injury were assessed for brain volume; theory of mind; relationships, acceptance, and friendships; and psychosocial adjustment. The results illustrate a complex relationship between social competence and TBI in which brain volume is associated with theory of mind, and greater theory of mind is associated with better quality peer relationships.