New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

Developmental Trajectories and Origins of a Core Cognitive Vulnerability to Internalizing Symptoms in Middle Childhood

Ryan Y. Hong, Stephanie S. M. Lee, Fen-Fang Tsai, and Seok Hui Tan

In this study, the authors examined whether six cognitive vulnerabilities (negative cognitive style, dysfunctional attitudes, ruminative style, anxiety sensitivity, intolerance of uncertainty, and fear of negative evaluation) have a shared structure and, if they do, the developmental trajectory of their commonalities across development. A group of 7-year-olds was assessed for these six cognitive vulnerabilities along with temperament, negative life events, and internalizing symptoms. The behavior of each parent was also assessed. The researchers found that the six cognitive traits loaded onto one common core factor that was stable across middle childhood and whose intercept was predicted by socioeconomic status, negative affectivity, and negative life events.

Trajectories of Affective Response as Warning Signs for Suicide Attempts: An Examination of the 48 Hours Prior to a Recent Suicide Attempt

Courtney L. Bagge, Andrew K. Littlefield, and Catherine R. Glenn

Although researchers believe that changes in affect may precede a suicide attempt, many studies have not been designed to accurately examine affective changes in the time directly preceding an attempted suicide. Participants who had attempted suicide within the past 24 hours were asked to report suicide premeditation, affective responses, instances of alcohol and drug use, and experiences of negative life events that had occurred in the time before their attempt. The researchers examined the period ranging from 30 to 25 hours before the attempt (control period) and the time period ranging from 6 hours to 1 hour before the attempt. The researchers identified four different subtypes of affective responding in the period before the suicide attempt, each with its own warning signs and clinical correlates, suggesting that affective changes before suicide attempts are not universal.

Evaluating Emotional and Biological Sensitivity to Maternal Behavior Among Self-Injuring and Depressed Adolescent Girls Using Nonlinear Dynamics

Sheila E. Crowell, Jonathan E. Butner, Travis J. Wiltshire, Ascher K. Munion, Mona Yaptangco, and Theodore P. Beauchaine

Although many studies examining youth at risk for psychopathology have focused on the children themselves, these children live within family systems in which they may evoke — and in turn be influenced by — their parents’ behavior. The researchers examined moment-to-moment interactions of depressed, self-injuring, and healthy adolescents with their biological mothers. The researchers measured electrodermal activity and respiratory sinus arrhythmia as the pairs discussed a topic that they frequently disagreed on. Mothers’ behaviors influenced the behavioral responses of self-injuring and depressed youth and the psychophysiological responses of self-injuring youth. The youths’ behaviors were not found to influence the mothers’ behaviors or psychophysiological activity. These findings may contribute to the development of family-based interventions for youth who have depression or engage in self-injurious behavior.

Compounded Deficits: The Association Between Neuropsychological Impairment and Attention Biases in Currently Depressed, Formerly Depressed, and Never Depressed Individuals

Kean J. Hsu and Gerald C. Davison

Although research has suggested an association between valenced and nonvalenced attentional processes in healthy individuals, no study examining this association has been conducted in people with depression. Participants who had experienced a past depressive episode, who were currently experiencing a depressive episode, or who had never experienced a depressive episode completed three attention tasks: a color-word inference task, an emotional Stroop task, and the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System trail-making task. They also completed assessments of depression and anxiety and a general knowledge task. The researchers found that selective attention and attention biases were associated with depression status and that for those participants currently experiencing a depressive episode, selective attention mediated the relationship between depression status and valenced information processing. These findings suggest that valenced and nonvalenced aspects of attention are associated in those with depression.

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