New Research From Clinical Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Clinical Psychological Science:

Personalized Network Modeling in Psychopathology: The Importance of Contemporaneous and Temporal Connections
Sacha Epskamp, Claudia D. van Borkulo, Date C. van der Veen, Michelle N. Servaas, Adela-Maria Isvoranu, Harriëtte Riese, and Angélique O. J. Cramer
In this article, the authors discuss two ways in which the network perspective of psychopathology can be applied. One common way is to study temporal relationships among symptoms, which are associations among symptoms that occur at different measurement time points. The authors also advocate for the use of a second, less-studied method: estimating contemporaneous relationships, which are relationships occurring within the same window of measurement. The authors illustrate the utility of both approaches using a clinical example involving a patient suffering from major depressive disorder. The authors conclude that both temporal and contemporaneous relationships can help highlight potential causal pathways for disorders. They note that the structure of these two types of networks can also suggest intervention strategies.

Protective and Harmful Effects of Religious Practice on Depression Among Jewish Individuals With Mood Disorders
Steven Pirutinsky and David H. Rosmarin
To investigate the influence of religion on depression, the authors conducted a six-wave longitudinal study of Jewish individuals with mood disorders. Participants completed measures assessing the degree to which they engaged in religious practices, the motivations for their religiosity (i.e., intrinsic motivation based on internal beliefs or extrinsic motivation based on external factors, such as social approval), and the severity of their depression symptoms. The data showed that participants who engaged in religious practices and reported low intrinsic religiosity were more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression compared with participants who engaged in religious practices and reported high intrinsic religiosity. These results suggest that the relationship between religious practice and mood may depend on the motivations underlying the religious practice. Drawing from these findings, the authors advise that future research investigating the impacts of religiosity should include measures of motivation.

Does Getting Stigma Under the Skin Make It Thinner? Emotion Regulation as a Stress-Contingent Mediator of Stigma and Mental Health
Charles L. Burton, Katie Wang, and John E. Pachankis
Cultural stigma associated with particular characteristics or identities is thought to have negative effects on mental health. Although most studies measure stigma via self-report, the authors created a novel, objective index of cultural stigma by asking experts and members of the public to rate the severity of 93 sources of stigma. The authors applied this index to study links among stigma, emotion regulation, and mental health. A total of 1,025 participants responded to questions about their emotion regulation abilities, their general life stress, and their symptoms of depression. The severity of a participant’s highest-ranked cultural stigma was associated with greater deficits in emotion regulation and poorer mental health. In addition, the effects of cultural stigma were moderated by life stress, with worse outcomes for participants who reported greater general life stress. The authors conclude that although it is difficult to address cultural stigma directly, emotion regulation may serve as a potential target for treatment.

Adaptation to Vocal Expressions and Phonemes Is Intact in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Patricia E. G. Bestelmeyer, Bethan Williams, Jennifer J. Lawton, Maria-Elena Stefanou, Kami Koldewyn, Christoph Klein, and Monica Biscaldi
Some researchers have theorized that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have relative difficulty processing face and voice stimuli because of impaired sensory adaptation mechanisms. Prior work using visual paradigms has shown that children with ASD exhibit reduced visual aftereffects compared with typically developing children. The authors extended this work, investigating whether the emotional salience of auditory stimuli would affect sensory adaptation in children with and without ASD. Participants listened to a series of stimuli designed to induce auditory aftereffects, categorizing each recording according to its emotional content or phoneme. Although children with ASD were worse at categorizing emotional expressions than they were at categorizing basic phonemes, auditory aftereffect sizes were similar for children with and without ASD. These findings suggest that individuals with ASD do not show general impairments in sensory-adaptation mechanisms.

General Factors of Psychopathology, Personality, and Personality Disorder: Across Domain Comparisons
Joshua R. Oltmanns, Gregory T. Smith, Thomas F. Oltmanns, and Thomas A. Widiger
Different lines of research have provided evidence for general factors in three domains: personality, psychopathology, and personality disorder. The research suggests that individuals in a population fall somewhere along a single continuum for each factor. These three factors are typically considered separately, but the authors hypothesized that they might actually converge. In this study, participants who had previously received or were currently receiving mental health treatment completed a variety of measures assessing personality, psychopathology, and personality disorder. Analyses using structural equation modeling indicated that the three factors were highly correlated. In a second laboratory-based study, data from participants and their close informants indicated that the general factor of personality and the general factor of personality disorder were highly correlated. The authors conclude that there is substantial overlap between the three general factors and discuss theories that may account for this convergence.

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