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Behav. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2021) – 11 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): LGBTQ+ emerging adults are frequently exposed to microaggressions, which can have a deleterious impact on mental health. In this paper, we explore whether and to what extent comfort from companion animals and human social support moderate the relationship between LGBTQ-related microaggressions and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Our sample includes 134 LGBTQ+ emerging adults. We found that social support buffers the association between microaggressions and depressive symptoms. Comfort from companion animals also moderates the relationship between interpersonal microaggressions and depressive symptoms. For participants with high or medium levels of comfort, interpersonal microaggressions were positively associated with depressive symptoms. Our results highlight the need to further investigate the role of relationships with companion animals on mental health in this population. View this [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Emotional Regulation and Overeating Behaviors in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010011 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The worldwide prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased, mostly in children and adolescents. The Emotional Eating theoretical model has proposed that the failure in emotional regulation could represent a risk factor for establishing maladaptive overeating behavior that represents an inadequate response to negative [...] Read more.
The worldwide prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased, mostly in children and adolescents. The Emotional Eating theoretical model has proposed that the failure in emotional regulation could represent a risk factor for establishing maladaptive overeating behavior that represents an inadequate response to negative emotions and allows increasing body-weight. This systematic review investigates the relationship between overeating and both emotional regulation and emotional intelligence in childhood and adolescence, considering both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. Moreover, another goal of the review is evaluating whether emotional regulation and emotional intelligence can cause overeating behaviors. The systematic search was conducted according to the PRISMA-statement in the databases Medline, PsychArtcles, PsychInfo, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Sciences, and allows 484 records to be extracted. Twenty-six studies were selected according to inclusion (e.g., studies focused on children and adolescents without clinical conditions; groups of participants overweight or with obesity) and exclusion (e.g., studies that adopted qualitative assessment or cognitive-affective tasks to measure emotional variables; reviews, commentary, or brief reports) criteria detailed in the methods. Cross-sectional studies showed a negative association between emotional regulation and overeating behavior that was confirmed by longitudinal studies. These findings highlighted the role of maladaptive emotion regulation on overeating and being overweight. The relationship between these constructs in children and adolescents was consistent. The results indicated the complexity of this association, which would be influenced by many physiological, psychological, and social factors. These findings underline the need for further studies focused on emotion regulation in the development of overeating. They should analyze the mediation role of other variables (e.g., attachment style, peer pressure) and identify interventions to prevent and reduce worldwide overweight prevalence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Reputation Incongruence and the Preference of Stakeholder: Case of MBA Rankings
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010010 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
In this paper, we examine the effect of an organization’s multi-dimensional reputation on the external stakeholders’ preference for an organization in the notions of reputation incongruence. We propose that an organization’s incongruent reputation, or large variations among the reputations of each dimension, can [...] Read more.
In this paper, we examine the effect of an organization’s multi-dimensional reputation on the external stakeholders’ preference for an organization in the notions of reputation incongruence. We propose that an organization’s incongruent reputation, or large variations among the reputations of each dimension, can be an unfavorable signal to its stakeholders based on theoretical ideas that claim reputation incongruence induces the ambiguity and risk of an organization perceived by stakeholders. We also investigate the moderating effect of reputation incongruence by positing that this incongruence may nullify the influences of reputation dimensions on the preferences of stakeholders. These propositions about reputation incongruence are empirically examined in the context of MBA programs of the global business schools which have three dimensions of reputation—career development, globalization, and research performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Organizational Behaviors)
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Open AccessArticle
DAT1 and Its Psychological Correlates in Children with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder: A Cross-Sectional Pilot Study
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010009 - 14 Jan 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
International research has underlined the role played by children’s and maternal psychopathological symptoms on the onset of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) in early childhood. No study has considered the possible interplay between children’s dopamine transporter (DAT1) genotype and methylation, dysregulation problems and [...] Read more.
International research has underlined the role played by children’s and maternal psychopathological symptoms on the onset of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) in early childhood. No study has considered the possible interplay between children’s dopamine transporter (DAT1) genotype and methylation, dysregulation problems and maternal psychopathological risk. This study aimed to investigate the complex relationship between these variables, considering the possible mediation role played by children’s DAT1 methylation on the relationship between mothers’ psychopathological risk and children’s dysregulation problems, moderated by children’s DAT1 genotype. Our sample consisted of 94 early children and their mothers, divided into four subgroups, based on children’s ARFID subtypes (irritable/impulsive (I/I), sensory food aversions (SFA), post-traumatic feeding disorders subtypes (PTFD), and a non-clinical group (NC)). We addressed children’s dysregulation problems and maternal psychopathological risk, and collected children’s DNA through buccal swabs. Results showed that children’s 9/x genotype was associated with PTFD and NC groups, whereas the 10/10 genotype was associated with the SFA group, with large effect size. There were significant large differences in the study groups on children’s DAT1 total methylation, children’s dysregulation problems, and maternal psychopathological risk. Children’s DAT1 methylation did not mediate the relationship between mother’s psychopathological risk and children’s dysregulation problems, but there was a significant large direct effect. Children’s 9/x genotype moderated the relationship between maternal psychopathological risk and children’s DAT1 methylation but, respectively, with a large and small effect. Our pilot study suggested that the relationship between children’s DAT1 genotype and methylation, dysregulation problems, and maternal psychopathological risk has a crucial contribution to ARFID. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Psychology Research and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
The Symptom Structure of Postdisaster Major Depression: Convergence of Evidence from 11 Disaster Studies Using Consistent Methods
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010008 - 13 Jan 2021
Viewed by 428
Abstract
Agreement has not been achieved across symptom factor studies of major depressive disorder, and no studies have identified characteristic postdisaster depressive symptom structures. This study examined the symptom structure of major depression across two databases of 1181 survivors of 11 disasters studied using [...] Read more.
Agreement has not been achieved across symptom factor studies of major depressive disorder, and no studies have identified characteristic postdisaster depressive symptom structures. This study examined the symptom structure of major depression across two databases of 1181 survivors of 11 disasters studied using consistent research methods and full diagnostic assessment, addressing limitations of prior self-report symptom-scale studies. The sample included 808 directly-exposed survivors of 10 disasters assessed 1–6 months post disaster and 373 employees of 8 organizations affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks assessed nearly 3 years after the attacks. Consistent symptom patterns identifying postdisaster major depression were not found across the 2 databases, and database factor analyses suggested a cohesive grouping of depression symptoms. In conclusion, this study did not find symptom clusters identifying postdisaster major depression to guide the construction and validation of screeners for this disorder. A full diagnostic assessment for identification of postdisaster major depressive disorder remains necessary. Full article
Open AccessPerspective
A Nosological Exploration of PTSD and Trauma in Disaster Mental Health and Implications for the COVID-19 Pandemic
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010007 - 08 Jan 2021
Viewed by 695
Abstract
The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly spread around the world, resulting in massive medical morbidity and mortality and substantial mental health consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important psychiatric disorder associated with disasters, and many published scientific articles have reported [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic rapidly spread around the world, resulting in massive medical morbidity and mortality and substantial mental health consequences. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an important psychiatric disorder associated with disasters, and many published scientific articles have reported post-traumatic stress syndromes in populations studied for COVID-19 mental health outcomes. American diagnostic criteria for PTSD have evolved across editions of the manual, and the current definition excludes naturally occurring medical illness (such as viral illness) as a qualifying trauma, ruling out this viral pandemic as the basis for a diagnosis of PTSD. This article provides an in-depth nosological consideration of the diagnosis of PTSD and critically examines three essential elements (trauma, exposure, and symptomatic response) of this diagnosis, specifically applying these concepts to the mental health outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. The current criteria for PTSD are unsatisfying for guiding the response to mental health consequences associated with this pandemic, and suggestions are made for addressing the conceptual diagnostic problems and designing research to resolve diagnostic uncertainties empirically. Options might be to revise the diagnostic criteria or consider categorization of COVID-19-related psychiatric syndromes as non-traumatic stressor-related syndromes or other psychiatric disorders. Full article
Open AccessArticle
“Imagine You Have ALS”: Death Education to Prepare for Advance Treatment Directives
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010006 - 06 Jan 2021
Viewed by 602
Abstract
The study presents the results of qualitative research carried out within a death education project dedicated to advance treatment directives (ATDs) in which it was proposed to participants to empathize with people who had received a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The [...] Read more.
The study presents the results of qualitative research carried out within a death education project dedicated to advance treatment directives (ATDs) in which it was proposed to participants to empathize with people who had received a diagnosis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The study involved 104 people who discussed and reflected on issues related to the knowledge of having to die, palliative care and ATDs, investigating what choices they would have made if they had received such a diagnosis. Finally, they were asked to write a paper describing their impressions and hypothetical choices. Qualitative analysis has elucidated among fundamental themes. Four thematic areas emerged from the data analysis: (1) ATDs and the family; (2) the importance of reducing pain and suffering; (3) emotions and considerations regarding death, illness and spirituality; and (4) opinions on the DeEd course. It has emerged that some people are unfamiliar with palliative care or the right to self-determination and that addressing these issues helps manage the thought of the future with less terror. The experience of death education has therefore proven to be very positive in dealing with complex and often censored issues, allowing thinking about death in a less distressing way. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Loneliness and Problematic Internet Use during COVID-19 Lock-Down
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010005 - 06 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
(1) Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, strict lock-down and quarantine were widely imposed by most governments to minimize the spread of the virus. Previous studies have investigated the consequences of the quarantine and social isolation on mental health and the present study examines [...] Read more.
(1) Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, strict lock-down and quarantine were widely imposed by most governments to minimize the spread of the virus. Previous studies have investigated the consequences of the quarantine and social isolation on mental health and the present study examines loneliness and problematic internet use. (2) Methods: The current research used a cross-sectional survey during a lock-down phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. A sample of 593 participants from the Middle East region (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia) were tested using the short form of the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale and the Internet Addiction Test. (3) Results: Results from regression analyses showed an association between loneliness and Problematic Internet Use (PIU), and an association between loneliness and the number of hours spent online. Younger participants reported greater loneliness. The quality of the relationship with the person(s) with whom they were spending their lock-down was also correlated with loneliness. Those who reported greater loneliness also obtained frequent news about the pandemic from social media. Problematic internet use was associated with loneliness and the predictors of loneliness. ANOVA analyses showed a dose-response between the predictors and PIU. (4) Conclusions: This study highlights the influence of the social characteristics of the local culture during the COVID-19 lock-down on feelings of loneliness and on PIU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
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Open AccessArticle
Outcomes and Correlates of Major Depression in 11 Disaster Studies Using Consistent Methods
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010004 - 01 Jan 2021
Viewed by 553
Abstract
This study investigated psychosocial functioning and employment status in association with postdisaster major depression and its course in survivors of 11 different disasters in a sample of 808 directly-exposed survivors of 10 disasters and 373 survivors of the 11 September 2001 (9/11), terrorist [...] Read more.
This study investigated psychosocial functioning and employment status in association with postdisaster major depression and its course in survivors of 11 different disasters in a sample of 808 directly-exposed survivors of 10 disasters and 373 survivors of the 11 September 2001 (9/11), terrorist attacks on New York City’s World Trade Center (total n = 1181). Participants were assessed between 1987 and 2007 with structured diagnostic interviews in a prospective longitudinal design. Consistent research methods allowed merging of the disaster databases for analysis using multivariate modeling. Postdisaster major depression in the study cohort from the 9/11 disaster was more than twice as prevalent as in the other disasters, possibly reflecting the greater psychosocial/interpersonal loss and bereavement experienced by 9/11 disaster survivors. At follow up, employment was associated with remission of postdisaster major depression, non-development of PTSD, and coping via family or friends. Functioning problems were associated with disaster injuries, but not with persistent major depression. This study is unprecedented in its large sample of survivors across the full range of disaster typology studied using consistent methods and full structured interview diagnostic assessment. These findings may help guide future interventions to address postdisaster depression. Full article
Open AccessReview
Interventions for Improving Reading Comprehension in Children with ASD: A Systematic Review
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 3; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010003 - 30 Dec 2020
Viewed by 648
Abstract
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have comorbid learning difficulties in reading comprehension, an essential skill in accessing any area of the curriculum. The aim of this systematic review is to analyze the effectiveness of reading comprehension interventions in students with ASD. [...] Read more.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have comorbid learning difficulties in reading comprehension, an essential skill in accessing any area of the curriculum. The aim of this systematic review is to analyze the effectiveness of reading comprehension interventions in students with ASD. We conducted a search for scientific articles published from 2000 to 2019 using the keyword “autis*” in combination with the terms “reading comprehension” and “intervention” or “instruction” in Psyc Info and Scopus databases. After applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, a total of 25 studies were selected. The content analysis of these studies shows that when specific interventions are carried out, students with ASD are able to take advantage of the instruction they receive and compensate for difficulties. Understanding inferences and the main idea of the text are the most common reading comprehension topics, and direct instruction is the most widely-used intervention method in the reviewed studies. Nonetheless, it must be kept in mind that some of the reviews do not specify which sub-processes are addressed in the intervention. Future work should include this aspect, consider the importance of the interventions being implemented by teachers, and take specific aspects of ICT into account that can contribute to improving reading comprehension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Psychology)
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Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of the Abdominal Surgeon’s Personality: Exploring Common Traits in Western Populations
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 2; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010002 - 26 Dec 2020
Viewed by 763
Abstract
The personality traits commonly seen in abdominal surgeons remains undefined, and its potential influence on decision-making and patient outcomes underexplored. This systematic review identified studies on abdominal surgeons who had undergone validated personality testing, with assessment of decision-making and post-operative patient outcomes. The [...] Read more.
The personality traits commonly seen in abdominal surgeons remains undefined, and its potential influence on decision-making and patient outcomes underexplored. This systematic review identified studies on abdominal surgeons who had undergone validated personality testing, with assessment of decision-making and post-operative patient outcomes. The study protocol was registered on PROSPERO (University of York, UK (CRD42019151375)). MEDLINE, Embase, PsycInfo and Cochrane Library databases were searched using the keywords: surgeon; surgeon personality; outcomes. All study designs were accepted including adult visceral surgeons published in English. Five articles from 3056 abstracts met our inclusion criteria and one article was identified from hand searches with two reviewers screening studies. Bias was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Six studies included 386 surgeons. Studies assessing personality using the Five Factor Model (four studies, 329 surgeons) demonstrated higher levels of conscientiousness (self-discipline, thoughtfulness), extraversion (sociability, emotional expression) and openness (creative, conventional) in surgeons versus population norms. Surgeon characterisation of agreeableness and emotional stability was less clear, with studies reporting mixed results. Post-operative outcomes were reported by only one study. Further exploration of the influence of surgeon personality and its influence on decision-making is necessary to deliver patient-centred care and targeted non-technical skills training for surgeons. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Moderating Effect of Comfort from Companion Animals and Social Support on the Relationship between Microaggressions and Mental Health in LGBTQ+ Emerging Adults
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(1), 1; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11010001 - 23 Dec 2020
Viewed by 886
Abstract
LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual/gender minority identities) individuals frequently report exposure to microaggressions, which are associated with deleterious mental health outcomes. Social support from humans has been found to be an important protective factor for LGBTQ+ emerging adults. However, [...] Read more.
LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual/gender minority identities) individuals frequently report exposure to microaggressions, which are associated with deleterious mental health outcomes. Social support from humans has been found to be an important protective factor for LGBTQ+ emerging adults. However, an underexplored area of research is the protective role of interactions with companion animals for this population. We conducted simple and multiple moderation analyses to explore whether and to what extent emotional comfort from companion animals and human social support moderated the relationship between LGBTQ-related microaggressions and depressive and anxiety symptoms. Our sample included 134 LGBTQ+ emerging adults (mean age of 19.31). We found that social support moderated the relationship between microaggressions and depressive symptoms. The relationship between microaggressions and depressive symptoms was not significant at high levels of social support, indicating the protective nature of human social support. Comfort from companion animals also moderated the relationship between interpersonal microaggressions and depressive symptoms. For participants with high or medium levels of emotional comfort from companion animals, interpersonal microaggressions were positively associated with depressive symptoms. Our results highlight the need to further investigate the complex role of relationships with companion animals on mental health outcomes for LGBTQ+ emerging adults. Full article
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