New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

Acetaminophen Reduces Distrust in Individuals With Borderline Personality Disorder Features  

Ian D. Roberts, Ian Krajbich, Jennifer S. Cheavens, John V. Campo, and Baldwin M. Way

Distrust and heightened rejection sensitivity are examples of the interpersonal difficulties that people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) tend to exhibit. Recent studies suggest that acetaminophen may reduce negative affective responses, which may be particularly relevant for people with BPD. In the present double-blind study, participants were given either 1,000 mg of liquid acetaminophen or a liquid placebo and then completed the Personality Assessment Inventory – Borderline Features (PAI-BOR) self-report questionnaire. After an hour elapsed, participants completed the trust game in the role of the investor. People with high BPD features were less trusting than those with low BPD features. Participants with high BPD features displayed greater trust in their partners in the acetaminophen condition than in the placebo condition. The researchers suggest the need for more work on this topic, especially with clinical populations.

Desistance and Severity of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Lifespan-Developmental Investigation  

Matthew R. Lee, Cassandra L. Boness, Yoanna E. McDowell, Alvaro Vergés, Douglas L. Steinley, and Kenneth J. Sher

Research has shown that problematic drinking behavior often decreases as people enter adulthood – a trend that continues across the lifespan. The authors of the current study took a more granular approach to understanding changes in alcohol use by examining desistance from specific severity levels of alcohol use disorder (AUD) across the lifespan. The researchers examined transitions into and out of different drinking statuses (abstainer/low-risk drinker, sub-diagnostic risky drinker, mild AUD, moderate AUD, and severe AUD) over a 3-year period in participants who were part of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Variability in transitions were examined within each of six age groups: 20 to 24, 25 to 29, 30 to 34, 35 to 39, 40 to 47, and 48 to 55. The researchers found much higher rates of desistance from severe AUD earlier in young adulthood compared with later ages. Desistance rates from moderate and mild AUD were far more stable across the lifespan.

Enhancing Reappraisal by Linking Cognitive Control and Emotion  

Noga Cohen and Nilly Mor

Reappraisal is one way that people can reduce negative emotions. Although studies have indicated that cognitive control influences reappraisal, these studies have been correlational in nature. The researchers examined the causal relationship between cognitive control and the use of reappraisal in a study in which participants were trained to recruit cognitive control prior to being exposed to negative stimuli. Participants completed a flanker task and a discriminative task that included neutral and negative images. In the experimental condition, the negative pictures were more often preceded by stimuli that recruit cognitive control (incongruent stimuli) than stimuli that do not recruit cognitive control (congruent stimuli), whereas in the control condition, the opposite was true. Participants were then asked to recall and reinterpret a negative past event. Participants in the experimental group reported using more reappraisal and experiencing fewer sad emotions than did participants in the control group. These findings suggest that training of cognitive control may be an effective way to increase the use, and success, of cognitive reappraisal.

Rumination and Psychopathology: Are Anger and Depressive Rumination Differentially Associated With Internalizing and Externalizing Psychopathology?  

Alta du Pont, Soo Hyun Rhee, Robin P. Corley, John K. Hewitt, and Naomi P. Friedman

Although rumination (repetitive self-focused thought processes) has been the topic of much study, most of this research has focused on depressive rumination. Fewer studies have examined other types of rumination. The authors examined the relationship between subtypes of rumination and domains of psychopathology by examining data from participants who were part of the ongoing Colorado Twin Study. At the age of 23, these participants had taken part in two studies that both assessed depressive and anger rumination and psychopathology. Analysis indicated that both anger rumination and depressive rumination are separable constructs, each with its own unique relationship to internalizing and externalizing psychopathology.

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