New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

An Assessment of Emotional Reactivity to Frustration of Goal Pursuit in Euthymic Bipolar I Disorder

Michael D. Edge, Sandy J. Lwi, and Sheri L. Johnson

Do euthymic people with bipolar disorder display greater levels of emotional reactivity than people without bipolar disorder? Participants with euthymic bipolar disorder and participants without bipolar disorder played a computer game that was meant to induce frustration. The goal of the game was to use keys to steer a car down a corridor; however, at certain points during the game, the keys responded intermittently, making it difficult for participants to properly control the car. Bipolar participants did not display greater reactivity (measured using heart rate, facial expression, and self-report) during frustrating portions of the game than nonbipolar participants. The authors suggest that that future research focus on less understood aspects of affect in bipolar disorder.

The Emerging Field of Nutritional Mental Health: Inflammation, the Microbiome, Oxidative Stress, and Mitochondrial Function

Bonnie J. Kaplan, Julia J. Rucklidge, Amy Romijn, and Kevin McLeod

Traditional views of psychopathology posit that imbalances in neurotransmitters result in the development of mental illness; however, new research is hinting at the role of inflammation, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction in the development and maintenance of mental disorders. This new research has led some clinicians and researchers to focus on nutritional changes and supplementation that support mitochondrial metabolism and reduce inflammation. With more supporting research, this emerging type of treatment — called nutritional psychology or psychiatry — may be one way to treat a variety of mental illnesses.

Serotonin Promoter Polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) Predicts Biased Attention for Emotion Stimuli: Preliminary Evidence of Moderation by the Social Environment

Rahel Pearson, John E. McGeary, W. Todd Maddox, and Christopher G. Beevers

Research has shown that people with two copies of the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) S/Lg variants are more likely to display negative attention biases — something that has been implicated in the onset of depression. Healthy participants with no history of psychopathology were assessed for attention bias, level of social support, and 5-HTTLPR genotype. In support of past studies, the researchers found that participants who were homozygotic for S/Lg displayed more negative attention bias than did other genotype groups. However, in an extension of past research, they found that social support moderated this effect and that S/Lg homozygotes low in social support were particularly likely to show negative attentional bias.

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