New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Processes of Change in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Youths: An Approach Informed by Emotional Processing Theory
Elizabeth Alpert, Adele M. Hayes, Carly Yasinski, Charles Webb, and Esther Deblinger

Activating and changing pathological and adaptive responses to trauma across multiple domains—cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physiological—appears to improve the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Alpert and colleagues examined processes of change in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), using emotional-processing theory as a framework to highlight changes in adaptive and pathological trauma responses in diverse domains. They found that an increase and then decrease of negative responses, as well as increases in positive responses, across all domains, predicted improvements in PTSD symptoms.

Associations Between Common Forms of Psychopathology and Fecundity: Evidence From a Prospective, Longitudinal Twin Study
Sylia Wilson, Irene J. Elkins, Stephen M. Malone, William G. Iacono, and Matt McGue

Wilson and colleagues examined the associations between forms of psychopathology and fecundity in a sample of twins assessed from adolescence into adulthood. Twins with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, or alcohol use disorders were less likely to have children and more likely to have fewer children. In twin pairs, twins with anxiety or alcohol use disorders were less likely to have children than their unaffected twins, but the unaffected twins were more likely to have children than twins from unaffected pairs. These findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis that increased fecundity in unaffected relatives may account for the persistence of psychopathology.

The General Factor of Psychopathology in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: A Comparison of Alternative Modeling Approaches
D. Angus Clark et al.

The practical implications of modeling the general factor of psychopathology (GFP) using different approaches appear to be modest. Clark and colleagues studied the development of GFP in a sample from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study (ages 9–10 years old). The researchers modeled GFP using different choices (i.e., items vs. scales; a priori dimensions vs. data-driven dimensions; bifactor, higher-order, or single-factor models) and found that the GFP children ranking did not vary much and the GFP relationship with variables was similar across models.

Disrupted Salience and Cingulo-Opercular Network Connectivity During Impaired Rapid Instructed Task Learning in Schizophrenia
Julia M. Sheffield, Holger Mohr, Hannes Ruge, and Deanna M. Barch

Rapid instructed task learning (RITL)—the ability to transform task information into goal-directed behavior without relying on trial-and-error learning—is impaired in patients with schizophrenia. This research indicates that brain connectivity between the cingulo-opercular network (CON) and salience network (SAN) contributes to this impairment in patients with schizophrenia. These findings suggest that impaired interaction between identifying salient stimuli and maintaining goals contributes to RITL impairments in schizophrenia. Altered CON–SAN connectivity might be considered a vulnerability for poor skills learning in the daily life of individuals with schizophrenia.

Daily Life Positive Events Predict Well-Being Among Depressed Adults 10 Years Later
Vanessa Panaite, Andrew R. Devendorf, Todd B. Kashdan, and Jonathan Rottenberg

Higher daily positive affect and positive interactions with other people appear to predict higher psychological well-being among people with depression. For 8 consecutive days, participants with depression reported fewer positive events, higher negative affect, and lower positive affect than participants without depression. However, those who reported higher daily positive affect, lower negative affect, and more social time were more likely to report higher well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, autonomy). These participants were also more likely to report higher well-being 10 years after the daily assessment.

A Detailed Hierarchical Model of Psychopathology: From Individual Symptoms up to the General Factor of Psychopathology
Miriam K. Forbes et al.

Forbes and colleagues analyzed the structure of symptoms in an American clinical sample and an Australian general population sample. The symptoms spanned 18 disorders described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Results indicated similarities between the two samples and a hierarchical structure of psychopathology organized into symptoms, syndromes, sub-subfactors, subfactors, spectra, and a general factor of psychopathology. In this model, both symptom-level data and higher-order dimensions departed from the diagnostic categories described in the DSM. These findings may help to improve methods in clinical research and practice.

A Higher Order Internalizing Dimension Predicts Response to Partial Hospitalization Treatment
Christopher C. Conway, Ivar Snorrason, Courtney Beard, Marie Forgeard, Kristy Cuthbert, and Thröstur Björgvinsson

Conway and colleagues compared how well two different kinds of diagnoses of anxiety and depression—dimensional and categorical—predicted patients’ responses to psychological treatment for acute symptoms. Dimensional diagnoses are based on a hierarchical taxonomy of psychopathology (anchored by broad domains), whereas categorical diagnoses are made using the classic taxonomy found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The results indicated that an internalizing dimension (i.e., in dimensional diagnoses) predicted all treatment outcome measures, including global clinical improvement, symptoms, and need for inpatient hospitalization. Categorical diagnoses, except for major depression, did not reliably predict treatment outcomes after researchers adjusted for the internalizing dimension.

Adolescents’ Stress Reactions in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic at the Peak of the Outbreak in Italy
Annalaura Nocentini, Benedetta Emanuela Palladino, and Ersilia Menesini

In Italy, stress at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was measured at high levels regardless of respondents’ geographical location. Nocentini and colleagues surveyed 5,295 Italian adolescents and found that 28.9% of them showed moderate to high stress reactions, with older adolescents and females showing more stress than younger or male adolescents. The stress responses did not appear to depend on whether the adolescents’ region was more or less affected by the pandemic. However, both direct experience with COVID-19 and indirect experience, via a friend or an acquaintance who was infected, were associated with stress reactions.


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