Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:
Ben Grafton and Colin MacLeod
Studies examining attentional bias toward negative social information — a vulnerability factor for social anxiety — have yielded inconsistent results. This is perhaps because attentional bias can be produced by enhanced engagement with negative stimuli or problems disengaging from threatening stimuli. Previous studies have failed to adequately distinguish between the two. In this study, the authors used a novel attention-probe task that allowed them to distinguish between engagement with and disengagement from negative social stimuli. In the attention-probe task, participants high or low in social anxiety saw a probe that was replaced by a pair of faces (one neutral and one negative), which was then replaced by another probe. Participants had to indicate whether the second probe’s orientation matched that of the first probe. The results indicated that vulnerability to social anxiety is related to enhanced engagement with negative stimuli and not to problems disengaging from such stimuli.
Michelle M. Martel, Cheri A. Levinson, Julia K. Langer, and Joel T. Nigg
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is considered to be a childhood disorder that persists into adulthood. Despite substantial support for the validity of ADHD, there is disagreement as to how to capture changes in this disorder across development. Preschoolers (ages 3-6), children (ages 6-12), adolescents (ages 13-17), and adults (ages 18-37) were assessed for ADHD symptoms. ADHD symptoms were very tightly clustered in preschool and became more differentiated over the course of development. Two symptoms, however — often easily distracted and difficulty sustaining attention — were found to be central symptoms across all age groups, suggesting that these two symptoms may be particularly important to consider in diagnosis and treatment of this disorder.
Sean P. Lane, Ryan W. Carpenter, Kenneth J. Sher, and Timothy J. Trull
Although substance-use disorders are one of the most prevalent psychological problems in the general population, those with borderline personality disorder (BPD) seem to be at particular risk for having substance-use issues. Individuals from the local community and people currently in treatment for BPD used electronic diaries to document alcohol-related behavior and cravings for a period of 21 days. Whereas the community sample drank on more days than those with BPD, those with BPD were more likely to crave alcohol across a broad variety of contexts and were more likely to report drinking at home and with romantic partners, coworkers, and children — findings that add to our understanding of the factors that may contribute to substance use in this population.
Timothy J. Trull will speak in the Cross-Cutting Theme Program “Advancing Psychological Science Through Technology” at the 28th APS Annual Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA.