Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:
Melanie K. T. Takarangi, Rashelle A. Smith, Deryn Strange, and Heather D. Flowe
Metacognition refers to the beliefs we have about the way we think. People who have maladaptive metacognitive beliefs after experiencing a trauma have been found to have greater levels of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomology. Researchers examined the role metacognitive belief plays in reactions to trauma over time by assessing participants for depression and anxiety, exposure to traumatic events, PTSD symptoms, trauma-related cognitions, and metacognitive beliefs about memory at two time points spaced 12 weeks apart. People who held negative metacognitive beliefs prior to experiencing a trauma were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms after experiencing a trauma. The researchers suggest that their results support the view that problematic metacognition impedes adaptation — and maintains PTSD symptoms — by encouraging a focus on threat and anxiety and a sense of danger.
Hannah R. Snyder, Jami F. Young, and Benjamin L. Hankin
Research has recently suggested that the large rates of comorbidity found in psychiatric disorders can be well explained by a model containing a general psychopathology factor p and specific externalizing and internalizing factors. Despite the growing popularity of this conceptualization, the stability of these factors — and their relatedness over time — has not been investigated. Adolescents and their parents provided reports about psychopathology and internalizing and externalizing symptoms (including anxiety, depression, and aggression) at two assessments 18 months apart. The researchers found a high degree of stability in psychopathology factors over time. Future research examining how psychopathology trajectories may be altered could provide important insights into treatments.
Kirsten Gilbert, Susan Mineka, Richard E. Zinbarg, Michelle G. Craske, and Emma K. Adam
Does emotion regulation affect hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) functioning? Young adults completed diary entries and provided salivary cortisol samples six times a day for 3 consecutive weekdays. For each diary entry, participants reported their location, activities, and information about the most stressful situation they had encountered in the last hour, including their perceived level of stress and coping strategies they had used. The researchers found associations between different emotion regulation strategies and HPA functioning. For instance, the emotion regulation strategy of disengagement was associated with a steeper cortisol slope, and the emotion regulation strategy of problem solving was associated with greater cortisol upon awakening. These findings shed light on the impact of emotion regulation strategies on HPA functioning.