New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship Between Emotion Regulation and Social Affect and Cognition
Maike Salazar Kämpf et al.

Emotion regulation training might foster empathy and compassion as well as alleviate empathic distress, this meta-analysis suggests. To disentangle the link between adaptive and maladaptive emotion regulation and different aspects of social affect and cognition, Kämpf and colleagues analyzed 549 effect sizes from 58 samples. Their meta-analysis indicates that higher adaptive emotion regulation is related to higher cognitive empathy, affective empathy, and compassion, and to lower empathic distress. Furthermore, higher maladaptive emotion regulation is related to lower cognitive empathy and higher empathic distress. These findings suggest that emotion regulation influences empathy, compassion, and empathic distress.   

Mapping Psychosis Risk States Onto the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology Using Hierarchical Symptom Dimensions
Henry R. Cowan et al.

How do risk states such as clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis fit within broad transdiagnostic models such as the Hierarchical Taxonomy of Psychopathology? Cowan and colleagues analyzed self-report data from 3,460 young adults to define a hierarchical dimensional symptom structure. A subsample completed clinical interviews, and 85 participants met CHR criteria. The researchers used regression models to examine relationships between symptom dimensions, CHR status, and clinician-rated symptoms. CHR was best explained by a reality-distortion dimension, with contributions from internalizing dimensions. Positive and negative attenuated psychotic symptoms were best explained by multiple psychotic and nonpsychotic symptom dimensions, including reality distortion, distress, fear, detachment, and mania.   

Risk Ahead: Actigraphy-Based Early-Warning Signals of Increases in Depressive Symptoms During Antidepressant Discontinuation
Yoram K. Kunkels et al.

Critical slowdowns of physical activity may precede transitions in depression during antidepressant discontinuation. Kunkels and colleagues used actigraphy (i.e., motor parameters measured by a continuously worn accelerometer that can provide data in intervals of seconds) to collect four months of data from individuals with and without a transition in depression. More participants with a transition showed at least one critical-slowing-down-based early-warning signal (EWS). Participants without a transition were more likely to show increased circadian rhythm variables and decreased activity levels. None of the tested risk indicators confidently predicted upcoming transitions in depression, but some evidence indicated that critical-slowing-down-based EWSs were more common in participants with a transition. 

Hypervigilance: An Understudied Mediator of the Longitudinal Relationship Between Stigma and Internalizing Psychopathology Among Sexual-Minority Young Adults
Nathan L. Hollinsaid et al.

Psychological interventions to improve sexual minorities’ mental health might benefit from addressing hypervigilance (heightened attention and alerting to socially threatening and ambiguous stimuli and broader efforts to detect and/or minimize threat), this research suggests. Hollinsaid and colleagues embedded a hypervigilance measure in a longitudinal study of Swedish LGBTQ+ young adults. Hypervigilance predicted associations between perceived discrimination and internalizing symptoms 2 years later. Moreover, rumination and sensitivity to sexual-orientation-related rejection (which are often confounded with hypervigilance) predicted future hypervigilance. These findings suggest that hypervigilance represents a distinct construct and transdiagnostic mechanism through which stigma-related experiences and processes undermine the mental health of sexual minorities.   

The Role of Positive and Negative Aspects of Life Events in Depressive and Anxiety Symptoms
Julia S. Yarrington et al.

Positive life events may buffer against the risk of negativity predicting symptoms common to anxiety and depression, according to this research. Participants reported and rated the positivity and negativity of episodes in their lives that were interpersonal (close friendships, social life, romantic relationships, family relationships) as well as those that were noninterpersonal (neighborhood/dorm environment, school/ academic experiences, work, finances, health, and miscellaneous). Yarrington and colleagues then examined how these episodes predicted anxiety and depressive symptoms (fears, anhedonia-apprehension, general distress). Positivity appeared to protect against the risk that high levels of negativity in noninterpersonal events would predict general distress. Also, interpersonal negativity appeared to predict higher anhedonia-apprehension.   

Race-Based Rejection Sensitivity and the Integrated Motivational Volitional Model of Suicide in a Sample of Black Women
Déjà N. Clement, Shadin A. Awad, Vanessa N. Oliphant, and LaRicka R. Wingate

Previous research has indicated that race-based rejection may be humiliating and cause feelings of defeat (a sense of failed struggle). This study suggests that those feelings may predict suicide ideation among Black women. Clement and colleagues examined relationships among feelings of defeat and entrapment (being unable to escape defeat, rejection, or stressful situations), race-based rejection sensitivity (RRS), and suicide ideation in Black women. Results indicated that defeat was directly and indirectly (by way of entrapment) associated with suicide ideation. Moreover, RRS did not significantly moderate the relationship between defeat and entrapment, defeat and suicide ideation, or entrapment and suicide ideation. These findings contribute to the advancement of research on mental health equity and suicide.   

Contextualizing Bicultural Competence Across Youths’ Adaptation From High School to College: Prospective Associations With Mental Health and Substance Use
Michaela S. Gusman, M. Dalal Safa, Kevin J. Grimm, and Leah D. Doane

Discrimination may hinder the development of bicultural competence (the ability to navigate bicultural demands) and thus contribute to maladaptive behavior among youths of color, this study indicates. Reviewing data collected between 2016 and 2020 from U.S. Latino youths (first- and second-generation of immigrants mostly of Mexican origin), Gusman and colleagues found that youths who experienced greater discrimination showed lower behavioral and affective bicultural competence. The researchers also investigated how the developmental trajectories of bicultural competence predicted later negative adjustment (i.e., internalizing symptoms and binge drinking). They found that higher behavioral bicultural competence was associated with fewer internalizing symptoms by the time these youth reached their third year of college. 

The Longitudinal Association Between Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Emotion Dysregulation, and Postmigration Stressors Among Refugees
Philippa Specker et al.

Postmigration stressors and emotion dysregulation contribute to maintaining posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among refugees, this research suggests. Specker and colleagues studied a community sample of refugees over 2 years, investigating the temporal relationship between emotion dysregulation, postmigration stressors, and PTSD clusters of symptoms (reexperiencing, avoidance, negative alterations in mood and cognition [NAMC], and hyperarousal). Results indicated that emotion dysregulation preceded increases in reexperiencing and NAMC symptoms over time. It was also bidirectionally associated with hyperarousal and postmigration stressors. In addition, postmigration stressors preceded increases in reexperiencing, avoidance, and NAMC and were bidirectionally associated with hyperarousal symptoms.   

Accusation Is Not Proof: Procedural Justice in Psychology
William O’Donohue and Jane Fisher

O’Donohue and Fisher discuss the construct of procedural justice—the adjudicative processes in which norms are applied to cases that allege transgressions. In clinical psychology, procedural-justice concerns arise in a variety of contexts, including diagnoses, administrative adjudications such as ethics complaints, conflicts between clients and others, and more informal contexts such as gossip. O’Donohue and Fisher argue that there are five general dimensions of procedural justice (epistemic, ethical, subjective, legal, and pragmatic) and 20 specific principles of procedural fairness. They conclude with suggestions for improved practice and future research. 

The General Factor of Psychopathology (p): Choosing Among Competing Models and Interpreting p
Avshalom Caspi, Renate M. Houts, Helen L. Fisher, Andrea Danese, and Terrie E. Moffitt

Caspi and colleagues review the history of p (the general factor of psychopathology)—the idea that all mental disorders share something. The authors use data from the Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study to examine the properties of different statistical representations of p. Their results indicate that p performed similarly regardless of how it was modeled, suggesting that if a sample and content are the same, the resulting p factor will be similar. They thus suggest that dueling over statistical models will not clarify the meaning of p and, instead, it would be more fruitful to conduct well-specified criterion-validation studies and develop new measurement approaches.   

Do I Like Me Now? An Analysis of Everyday Sudden Gains and Sudden Losses in Self-Esteem and Nervousness
Theresa Eckes and Steffen Nestler

Eckes and Nestler investigated daily rapid changes (i.e., sudden gains and losses) in young adults’ self-esteem and nervousness ratings. The results suggested that everyday sudden gains and losses seem to be a common but unstable phenomenon that is more common among individuals who show higher variance in losses and gains. These findings are in accordance with the revised theory of sudden gains, which suggests that they are part of natural fluctuations in symptomatology. The findings also support the complexity theory of psychopathology, which views sudden gains and losses as part of a self-organizing dynamic system. 

Feedback on this article? Email [email protected] or login to comment. Interested in writing for us? Read our contributor guidelines.

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.