New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

The Role of PTSD, Depression, and Alcohol Misuse Symptom Severity in Linking Deployment Stressor Exposure and Post-Military Work and Family Outcomes in Male and Female Veterans

Brian N. Smith, Emily C. Taverna, Annie B. Fox, Paula P. Schnurr, Rebecca A. Matteo, and Dawne Vogt

The authors examined the relationship among deployment stressors, post-military work, and family quality of life in male and female veterans who had returned from military deployment in Afghanistan or Iraq within the preceding 2 years. Veterans were assessed for stressors experienced during deployment, including warfare exposure, sexual harassment, and stressful family experiences. They were also assessed for postdeployment stressors and social support, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and alcohol use. Three and a half years later, participants were assessed for work-, romantic-, and parenting-related psychosocial functioning and satisfaction. Deployment stressors were related to a reduced quality of life in parenting, work, and romantic contexts. Although both PTSD and depression played a key role in these associations, their nature differed for men and women, which suggests that efforts to address quality-of-life issues in military veterans should account for gender-specific needs of veterans.

A Hierarchical Integration of Person-Centered Comorbidity Models: Structure, Stability, and Transition Over Time

Hyunsik Kim and Nicholas R. Eaton

Research on the comorbidity of mental-health disorders has often taken a variable-centered approach, with researchers examining associations among variables and their common sources of variance. In this study, the researchers take a person-centered approach that identifies latent group structures of comorbidity by examining how people relate to one another. Instead of modeling a single optimal latent group solution, the researchers modeled every possible group and integrated them into an overarching hierarchy that describes how individuals parse into comorbidity classes at different levels of resolution. The researchers examined data from more than 34,000 participants in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (a U.S.-based sample) on 12 different mental disorders assessed at two time points. Comorbidity classes were structured into an interpretable hierarchy that was structurally stable over time and that provided evidence for both continuity and change in comorbidity group membership.

The Relationship Between Audiovisual Binding Tendencies and Prodromal Features of Schizophrenia in the General Population

Brian Odegaard and Ladan Shams

Recent theories have suggested that schizophrenia may arise, in part, from deficits in the incorporation and integration of sensory information with prior beliefs about the world, but few studies have investigated this claim. The researchers used a Bayesian causal-inference framework to explore the relationship between the prevalence of prodromal features of schizophrenia (i.e., the symptoms that precede the onset of psychosis) and audiovisual binding tendencies in both the spatial and temporal domains. Participants completed an audiovisual spatial-localization task, an audiovisual numerosity-judgment task, and an assessment for prodromal features of schizophrenia. The researchers used a quantitative Bayesian causal-inference model to estimate the precision of participants’ unisensory encoding and the prior tendency to integrate audiovisual signals (i.e., their binding tendency). Lower binding scores on the spatial-localization task were associated with higher numbers of prodromal features — an effect that was strongest for those exhibiting abnormally high levels of prodromal features. These findings suggest a link between the binding of audiovisual spatial information and prodromal features of schizophrenia.

Toward a Functional View of the p Factor in Psychopathology

Charles S. Carver, Sheri L. Johnson, and Kiara R. Timpano

Research has found support for a superordinate factor of general psychopathology, called p. In this article, the authors question what the substantive meaning of the p factor might be. They suggest that the answer to this question is rooted in dual-process models of reflective and reflexive functioning. In these models, an impulsive, quick-acting reflexive pathway and a slower, deliberate pathway continuously compete for influence over action. The authors suggest that people whose functioning is more influenced by the reflexive system are more vulnerable to psychopathology. The authors discuss and provide support for a link between impulsive responsivity to emotion and the p factor.

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