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Behav. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 5 (May 2021) – 22 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all social spaces, conditioning our daily routines, including those at work. All essential professions have been impacted by stressful and anxiety-inducing situations. In this context, many social workers have acted in extreme conditions arising from the health crisis. The present study aimed to determine the levels of death anxiety among social workers. An ad hoc questionnaire was designed, and descriptive analysis and binary logistic regressions were performed on the data. The main research results show high values of this anxiety in social workers. Predictor variables were identified, including the lack of personal protective equipment and the need for psychological or psychiatric support. In the essential professions, the emotional impact of the pandemic has been very significant. View this paper.
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Article
Eating Disorders and Suicidal Behaviors in Adolescents with Major Depression: Insights from the US Hospitals
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050078 - 19 May 2021
Viewed by 592
Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the odds of association between suicidal ideation and/or attempt with comorbid eating disorders in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study and included 122,020 adolescents with a primary diagnosis of MDD from the nationwide inpatient [...] Read more.
Objective: To evaluate the odds of association between suicidal ideation and/or attempt with comorbid eating disorders in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD). Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study and included 122,020 adolescents with a primary diagnosis of MDD from the nationwide inpatient sample (NIS, 2012–2014). They were sub-grouped by a comorbid diagnosis of eating disorders (N = 1675). We calculated the adjusted odds ratio (aOR) using a logistic regression model with demographic confounders for associations of eating disorders with suicidal ideation and attempt. Results: Suicidal ideations were seen in a higher proportion of adolescents with eating disorders (46.3% vs. 14.2% in those without eating disorders). On the contrary, a low proportion of adolescents with eating disorders had suicidal attempts (0.9% vs. 39.4% in those without eating disorders). Overall, eating disorders were associated with higher odds for suicidal ideations (aOR 5.36, 95% CI 4.82–5.97) compared to those without eating disorders, but with lower odds of suicidal attempt (aOR 0.02, 95% CI 0.01–0.03). Conclusions: Adolescents with MDD and comorbid eating disorders had five-times increased odds of suicidal ideations but lower odds of a suicide attempt. Self-harm/injurious behaviors are early signs of suicidal ideations in these patients. A collaborative care model is required for the screening, early diagnosis, and management of adolescents with eating disorders to improve their quality of life. Full article
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Article
Studying Behaviour Change Mechanisms under Complexity
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 77; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050077 - 14 May 2021
Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of behaviour change interventions is vital for accumulating valid scientific evidence, and useful to informing practice and policy-making across multiple domains. Traditional approaches to such evaluations have applied study designs and statistical models, which implicitly assume that [...] Read more.
Understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of behaviour change interventions is vital for accumulating valid scientific evidence, and useful to informing practice and policy-making across multiple domains. Traditional approaches to such evaluations have applied study designs and statistical models, which implicitly assume that change is linear, constant and caused by independent influences on behaviour (such as behaviour change techniques). This article illustrates limitations of these standard tools, and considers the benefits of adopting a complex adaptive systems approach to behaviour change research. It (1) outlines the complexity of behaviours and behaviour change interventions; (2) introduces readers to some key features of complex systems and how these relate to human behaviour change; and (3) provides suggestions for how researchers can better account for implications of complexity in analysing change mechanisms. We focus on three common features of complex systems (i.e., interconnectedness, non-ergodicity and non-linearity), and introduce Recurrence Analysis, a method for non-linear time series analysis which is able to quantify complex dynamics. The supplemental website provides exemplifying code and data for practical analysis applications. The complex adaptive systems approach can complement traditional investigations by opening up novel avenues for understanding and theorising about the dynamics of behaviour change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior Change: Theories, Methods, and Interventions)
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Article
Distress, Depression, Anxiety, and Concerns and Behaviors Related to COVID-19 during the First Two Months of the Pandemic: A Longitudinal Study in Adult MEXICANS
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 76; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050076 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 577
Abstract
We examined longitudinal differences in the severity of distress, depression, anxiety, and concerns and behaviors related to COVID-19 during the first two months of this pandemic, correlations between these variables, and interactions of distress with significant sociodemographics across waves. A longitudinal online survey [...] Read more.
We examined longitudinal differences in the severity of distress, depression, anxiety, and concerns and behaviors related to COVID-19 during the first two months of this pandemic, correlations between these variables, and interactions of distress with significant sociodemographics across waves. A longitudinal online survey was conducted in the State of Mexico, from 8 April to 27 May, 2020, in a sample of men and women between 18 and 60 years old, using: Impact of Event Scale-6, Patient Health Questionnaire-9, General Anxiety Disoder-7, and a questionnaire of concerns and behaviors related to COVID-19. Six hundred seventy participants were analyzed. Only a mild difference in distress was observed between the two waves and mild correlations of this variable with contagion in oneself and in a relative. Having a high-risk medical condition proved a considerable effect on distress within both waves. Perception of usefulness of preventive measures, concerns of contagion in a relative, and financial and security situations scored high within our questionnaire but did not change in the follow-up. We hypothesize that habituation to distressful events in the Mexican population (emergent resilience) might explain the absence of meaningful differences. Our research adds to the monitoring of mental health in Mexicans during the COVID-19 pandemic; its findings can serve to perform comparisons in other studies and for further meta-analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
Article
Mapping the Featural and Holistic Face Processing of Bad and Good Face Recognizers
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050075 - 13 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 564
Abstract
Individual abilities in face recognition (good versus bad recognizers) were explored by means of event-related potentials (ERPs). The adaptation response profile of the N170 component to whole faces, eyes and mouths was used in order to highlight the crucial role of individual abilities [...] Read more.
Individual abilities in face recognition (good versus bad recognizers) were explored by means of event-related potentials (ERPs). The adaptation response profile of the N170 component to whole faces, eyes and mouths was used in order to highlight the crucial role of individual abilities in identity repetition processes for unfamiliar faces. The main point of this study is to underline the importance of characterizing the performance (bad or good) of the participants and to show that behaviorally selected groups might reveal neural differences. Good recognizers showed selective right hemisphere N170 repetition effects for whole faces and not for features. On the contrary, bad recognizers showed a general repetition effect not specifically related to faces and more pronounced processing for features. These findings suggest a different contribution of holistic and featural analysis in bad and good performers. In conclusion, we propose that the N170 might be used as a tool to tease apart face encoding processes as a function of individual differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cognition)
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Review
Cognitive Impairment in Parkinson’s Disease: Epidemiology, Clinical Profile, Protective and Risk Factors
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050074 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 819
Abstract
Cognitive impairment is a common non-motor symptom in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and an important source of patient disability and caregiver burden. The timing, profile and rate of cognitive decline varies widely among individuals with PD and can range from normal cognition to mild [...] Read more.
Cognitive impairment is a common non-motor symptom in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and an important source of patient disability and caregiver burden. The timing, profile and rate of cognitive decline varies widely among individuals with PD and can range from normal cognition to mild cognitive impairment (PD-MCI) and dementia (PDD). Beta-amyloid and tau brain accumulation, oxidative stress and neuroinflammation are reported risk factors for cognitive impairment. Traumatic brain injury and pesticide and tobacco exposure have also been described. Genetic risk factors including genes such as COMT, APOE, MAPT and BDNF may also play a role. Less is known about protective factors, although the Mediterranean diet and exercise may fall in this category. Nonetheless, there is conflicting evidence for most of the factors that have been studied. The use of inconsistent criteria and lack of comprehensive assessment in many studies are important methodological issues. Timing of exposure also plays a crucial role, although identification of the correct time window has been historically difficult in PD. Our understanding of the mechanism behind these factors, as well as the interactions between gene and environment as determinants of disease phenotype and the identification of modifiable risk factors will be paramount, as this will allow for potential interventions even in established PD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parkinson’s Disease and Cognition)
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Article
How Consistent Are Consumers in Their Decisions? Investigation of Houseplant Purchasing
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050073 - 12 May 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
This paper examines the impact of intrinsic consumer attributes on decision consistency in houseplant purchasing intentions. Subjects reported their likelihood to buy (LTB) for themselves and as a gift at perceived bargain and getting expensive price levels. The sample was analyzed according to [...] Read more.
This paper examines the impact of intrinsic consumer attributes on decision consistency in houseplant purchasing intentions. Subjects reported their likelihood to buy (LTB) for themselves and as a gift at perceived bargain and getting expensive price levels. The sample was analyzed according to those who switched their LTB ratings to relatively lower values versus subjects who did not by using their demographic characteristics and responses to plant buying behavior questions. Secondly, subjects who had high initial purchase intents were analyzed versus those who had low initial purchase intents. The results indicate that inconsistent purchase decisions are more likely to occur at the perceived getting expensive price level than the perceived bargain price points. Additionally, there are very few demographic differences among the plant buyers who are consistent with their purchase intent versus inconsistent, indicating that external environmental cues may have more of an influence on purchase consistency than intrinsic cues. This information can be utilized by greenhouse and retail firms to understand when a consumer is less likely to change their plant purchase decision with a high initial intent. These price points can help firms optimize their current price offerings within the market and create dialogues with partnering box stores. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Consumption, Identity, Demographics and Self-Concept)
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Article
Effects of General Fatigue Induced by Exhaustive Exercise on Posture and Gait Stability of Healthy Young Men
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 72; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050072 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 521
Abstract
Bipedal walking is a composite task requiring integration of many control circuitries in the brain and spinal cord. The present study was carried out to verify whether an increase in blood lactate, such as that associated with a high intensity exercise, is able [...] Read more.
Bipedal walking is a composite task requiring integration of many control circuitries in the brain and spinal cord. The present study was carried out to verify whether an increase in blood lactate, such as that associated with a high intensity exercise, is able to significantly modify the qualitative and/or quantitative aspects of human walking. Eighteen healthy physically male participants, aged between 20 and 24 years (M = 21.8, SD = 1.22), were recruited for the study. For this purpose, the experimental protocol included the measure of blood lactate levels with the aim of assessing possible relations between lactate blood values and different aspect of walking after an exhaustive exercise. An exhaustive exercise was associated with a strong increase of blood lactate levels and produced a significant worsening in the ability to maintain the bipodalic upright posture as well as the fluidity of walking. Our results suggest that exhausting bouts impose greater challenges on postural control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Article
Prediction of One Repetition Maximum Using Reference Minimum Velocity Threshold Values in Young and Middle-Aged Resistance-Trained Males
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050071 - 07 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Background: This study determined the accuracy of different velocity-based methods when predicting one-repetition maximum (1RM) in young and middle-aged resistance-trained males. Methods: Two days after maximal strength testing, 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 years) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 years) [...] Read more.
Background: This study determined the accuracy of different velocity-based methods when predicting one-repetition maximum (1RM) in young and middle-aged resistance-trained males. Methods: Two days after maximal strength testing, 20 young (age 21.0 ± 1.6 years) and 20 middle-aged (age 42.6 ± 6.7 years) resistance-trained males completed three repetitions of bench press, back squat, and bent-over-row at loads corresponding to 20–80% 1RM. Using reference minimum velocity threshold (MVT) values, the 1RM was estimated from the load-velocity relationships through multiple (20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80% 1RM), two-point (20 and 80% 1RM), high-load (60 and 80% 1RM) and low-load (20 and 40% 1RM) methods for each group. Results: Despite most prediction methods demonstrating acceptable correlations (r = 0.55 to 0.96), the absolute errors for young and middle-aged groups were generally moderate to high for bench press (absolute errors = 8.2 to 14.2% and 8.6 to 20.4%, respectively) and bent-over-row (absolute error = 14.9 to 19.9% and 8.6 to 18.2%, respectively). For squats, the absolute errors were lower in the young group (5.7 to 13.4%) than the middle-aged group (13.2 to 17.0%) but still unacceptable. Conclusion: These findings suggest that reference MVTs cannot accurately predict the 1RM in these populations. Therefore, practitioners need to directly assess 1RM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging, Physical Health and Exercise Physiology)
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Article
Contrasting Effects of “External” Worker’s Proactive Behavior on Their Turnover Intention: A Moderated Mediation Model
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050070 - 06 May 2021
Viewed by 546
Abstract
Interpersonal conflicts between portfolio career workers (hereafter, PCWs) who entered from the external labor market and existing permanent workers are a controversial workplace issue in South Korea. This study examines whether the existing permanent workers’ responses to the newcomers speaking up depend on [...] Read more.
Interpersonal conflicts between portfolio career workers (hereafter, PCWs) who entered from the external labor market and existing permanent workers are a controversial workplace issue in South Korea. This study examines whether the existing permanent workers’ responses to the newcomers speaking up depend on the type of proactive behavior, that is, whether PCWs speak within extra-role or in-role boundaries. We found that PCWs perceive more workplace ostracism when they are proactive outside their job boundaries and less workplace ostracism when they are proactive inside their job boundaries. Further, their perceptions of ostracism lead to intentions of turnover. These relationships are conditional on the type of employee–organization relationship and the PCWs’ status in a new organization. Data were collected from 261 PCWs in Korea. Bootstrap-based conditional process analyses were utilized to test the hypothesized model. The results show that workplace ostracism mediates the relationship between the two types of proactive behavior and turnover intention, but in contrasting directions. The effect of the two types of proactive behavior on workplace ostracism is stronger for higher levels of reciprocal relationship between organization and employees, while the effect of workplace ostracism on turnover intention is stronger for higher levels of PCWs’ status in a new organization. Thus, the workplace conflicts PCWs face not only represent interpersonal problems within the workplace but also constitute a multilayered phenomenon related to the long-term institutionalized relationships between organizations and employees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Organizational Behaviors)
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Article
Insufficient Sleep and Poor Sleep Quality Completely Mediate the Relationship between Financial Stress and Dietary Risk among Higher Education Students
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 69; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050069 - 05 May 2021
Viewed by 639
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worsened financial stress for higher education students in the U.S. Financial stress is associated with poor dietary behaviors; however, factors that might influence this relationship are not well characterized. The present cross-sectional study investigated the associations between [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic worsened financial stress for higher education students in the U.S. Financial stress is associated with poor dietary behaviors; however, factors that might influence this relationship are not well characterized. The present cross-sectional study investigated the associations between financial stress and dietary intake and dietary risk scores among higher education students (undergraduate and graduate students) in the U.S. and examined whether poor sleep quality and short sleep duration mediated the relationship between financial stress and dietary risk score. Validated tools were used to assess financial stress, sleep quality, sleep duration, dietary intake, and dietary risk. A total of 1280 students from three large U.S. universities completed the study. Results indicated that higher financial stress was associated with lower vegetable, fruit, fiber, and calcium intake, higher added sugar intake from sugar sweetened beverages, and higher dietary risk score. Further, the positive relationship between financial stress and dietary risk score was completely mediated by poor sleep quality among students who reported poor sleep quality and by short sleep duration among students who slept less than 7 h per night. These findings suggest that students might benefit from both financial management training and sleep education services to reduce undesirable dietary behaviors. Full article
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Article
Alternative Devices for Heart Rate Variability Measures: A Comparative Test–Retest Reliability Study
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050068 - 02 May 2021
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Using healthy adult participants, seven measures of heart rate variability were obtained simultaneously from four devices in five behavioral conditions. Two devices were ECG-based and two utilized photoplethysmography. The 140 numerical values (measure, condition, device) are presented. The comparative operational reliability of the [...] Read more.
Using healthy adult participants, seven measures of heart rate variability were obtained simultaneously from four devices in five behavioral conditions. Two devices were ECG-based and two utilized photoplethysmography. The 140 numerical values (measure, condition, device) are presented. The comparative operational reliability of the four devices was assessed, and it was found that the two ECG-base devices were more reliable than the photoplethysmographic devices. The interchangeability of devices was assessed by determining the between-device Limits of Agreement. Intraclass correlation coefficients were determined and used to calculate the standard error of measurement and the Minimal Detectable Difference. The Minimal Detectable Difference, MDD, quantifies the smallest statistically significant change in a measure and is therefore critical when HRV measures are used longitudinally to assess treatment response or disease progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Biological Psychiatry)
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Review
Including the Excluded in Antenatal Care: A Systematic Review of Concerns for D/deaf Pregnant Women
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 67; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050067 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 584
Abstract
This paper presents global evidence derived from a systematic review of the literature on the issues of D/deaf pregnant women and antenatal care. A comprehensive search through four bibliographic databases identified a dataset of 10,375 academic papers, from which six papers met the [...] Read more.
This paper presents global evidence derived from a systematic review of the literature on the issues of D/deaf pregnant women and antenatal care. A comprehensive search through four bibliographic databases identified a dataset of 10,375 academic papers, from which six papers met the inclusion criteria for in-depth analysis related to D/deaf pregnant women’s use of antenatal care/clinics. Findings from the analysis revealed four major concerns for D/deaf pregnant women who attended antenatal clinics for care. These concerns were communication difficulties, satisfaction with antenatal care services, attendance at antenatal clinics, and associated health outcomes. Based on the identified issues and concerns, it is recommended that pre- and in-service healthcare workers should be trained on how to communicate through sign language with their D/deaf patients. In addition, there is a need to rapidly expand the body of knowledge on the issues concerning antenatal care for D/deaf pregnant women vis-à-vis their relationship with healthcare workers in antenatal facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Experimental and Clinical Neurosciences)
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Review
Moral Decision Making: From Bentham to Veil of Ignorance via Perspective Taking Accessibility
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 66; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050066 - 01 May 2021
Viewed by 558
Abstract
Making morally sensitive decisions and evaluations pervade many human everyday activities. Philosophers, economists, psychologists and behavioural scientists researching such decision-making typically explore the principles, processes and predictors that constitute human moral decision-making. Crucially, very little research has explored the theoretical and methodological development [...] Read more.
Making morally sensitive decisions and evaluations pervade many human everyday activities. Philosophers, economists, psychologists and behavioural scientists researching such decision-making typically explore the principles, processes and predictors that constitute human moral decision-making. Crucially, very little research has explored the theoretical and methodological development (supported by empirical evidence) of utilitarian theories of moral decision-making. Accordingly, in this critical review article, we invite the reader on a moral journey from Jeremy Bentham’s utilitarianism to the veil of ignorance reasoning, via a recent theoretical proposal emphasising utilitarian moral behaviour—perspective-taking accessibility (PT accessibility). PT accessibility research revealed that providing participants with access to all situational perspectives in moral scenarios, eliminates (previously reported in the literature) inconsistency between their moral judgements and choices. Moreover, in contrast to any previous theoretical and methodological accounts, moral scenarios/tasks with full PT accessibility provide the participants with unbiased even odds (neither risk averse nor risk seeking) and impartiality. We conclude that the proposed by Martin et al. PT Accessibility (a new type of veil of ignorance with even odds that do not trigger self-interest, risk related preferences or decision biases) is necessary in order to measure humans’ prosocial utilitarian behaviour and promote its societal benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cognition)
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Article
Food Neophobia and Food Disgust: The Mediating Role of Perceived Vulnerability to Disease
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 65; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050065 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 641
Abstract
Negative attitudes towards food are influenced by two factors, neophobia and often related disgust. Neophobia is the tendency to avoid new foods, while food disgust is the refusal of food that is considered potentially harmful to health. The study presented here aims to [...] Read more.
Negative attitudes towards food are influenced by two factors, neophobia and often related disgust. Neophobia is the tendency to avoid new foods, while food disgust is the refusal of food that is considered potentially harmful to health. The study presented here aims to analyze the correlation between these two attitudes and the possible mediation operated by the perception of vulnerability to diseases, in order to understand if and how this contributes to the disgust towards certain unfamiliar foods. The study was developed through the administration of an anonymous questionnaire to a sample of 487 Italian citizens participating on a voluntary basis. Three tools were used: Food Neophobia Scale, Perceived Vulnerability to Disease, and Food Disgust Scale. The results showed a strong positive correlation between food disgust and food neophobia. Furthermore, through the application of structural mediation models, it has been shown that between food neophobia and food disgust, there is a mediation effect determined by perceived infectivity. The research aims to make a significant contribution to the understanding of the relationship between food disgust and some individual and psychological characteristics of people, demonstrating that the fear of disease transmission affects their food choices. Full article
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Article
Pandemic and Typhoon: Positive Impacts of a Double Disaster on Mental Health of Female Students in the Philippines
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 64; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050064 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1812
Abstract
Humanitarian emergencies pose a great challenge to how all sectors perform their functions in society. In several countries, these emergencies combined the pandemic and other man-made and natural disasters: “double disaster”, which affected the health, safety, and well-being of both individuals and communities. [...] Read more.
Humanitarian emergencies pose a great challenge to how all sectors perform their functions in society. In several countries, these emergencies combined the pandemic and other man-made and natural disasters: “double disaster”, which affected the health, safety, and well-being of both individuals and communities. Students are a particularly vulnerable population for mental health problems considering the challenges with their transitions to adulthood. Using narrative analysis, this study explored the impacts of a double disaster on the mental health of students and how they cope up with these emergencies. The results showed that the occurrence of natural disasters during the lockdowns from pandemic brought stress to students in adjusting to distance education, completing academic requirements, and accessing technology for online learning. Participants expressed their anxieties about the spread of the virus in the community, particularly in the disaster evacuation centers with less strictly observed social distancing, insufficient hygiene and sanitation facilities, and lack of basic needs. Participants described their learnings and coping strategies that included helping one another, following the government protocols, finding additional sources of income, using energy for important purposes only, and leaning on faith. The findings of this study would be instrumental in formulating policies and strategic measures that best complement the needs of community members during a double disaster, particularly in addressing the mental health impacts of humanitarian emergencies. Full article
Article
Mass Media Exposure and Safer Sex Negotiation among Women in Sexual Unions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Analysis of Demographic and Health Survey Data
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 63; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050063 - 28 Apr 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
(1) Background: Improving sexual autonomy among women in sexual unions comes with various benefits, including the reduction of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. We examined the relationship between mass media exposure and safer sex negotiation among women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). (2) Methods: [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Improving sexual autonomy among women in sexual unions comes with various benefits, including the reduction of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections. We examined the relationship between mass media exposure and safer sex negotiation among women in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). (2) Methods: The study involved a cross-sectional analysis of Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data of 29 sub-Saharan African countries. A total of 224,647 women aged 15–49 were included in our analyses. We examined the association between mass media exposure and safer sex negotiation using binary logistic regression analysis. The results are presented using a crude odds ratio (cOR) and adjusted odds ratio (aOR), with their respective confidence intervals (CIs). Statistical significance was set at p < 0.05. (3) Results: The overall prevalence of safer sex negotiation among women in sexual unions in SSA was 71.6% (71.4–71.8). Women exposed to mass media had higher odds of negotiating for safer sex compared with those who had no exposure (aOR = 1.94; 95% CI = 1.86–2.02), and this persisted after controlling for covariates (maternal age, wealth index, maternal educational level, partner’s age, partner’s educational level, sex of household head, religion, place of residence, and marital status) (aOR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.35–1.46). The disaggregated results showed higher odds of safer sex negotiation among women exposed to mass media in all the individual countries, except Ghana, Comoros, Rwanda, and Namibia. (4) Conclusions: The findings could inform policies (e.g., transformative mass media educational seminars) and interventions (e.g., face-to-face counselling; small group sensitization sessions) in SSA on the crucial role of mass media in increasing safer sex practice among women in sexual unions. To accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal five’s targets on empowering all women and safeguarding their reproductive rights, the study recommends that countries such as Ghana, Comoros, Rwanda, and Namibia need to intensify their efforts (e.g., regular sensitization campaigns) in increasing safer sex negotiation among women to counter power imbalances in sexual behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sex Desire, Sexuality and Sexual Dysfunction)
Article
Information Overload, Wellbeing and COVID-19: A Survey in China
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 62; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050062 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 717
Abstract
(1) Psychology must play an important role in the prevention and management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the present study was to examine associations between the perceptions of information overload and wellbeing in China during the initial phase of COVID-19. (2) [...] Read more.
(1) Psychology must play an important role in the prevention and management of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the present study was to examine associations between the perceptions of information overload and wellbeing in China during the initial phase of COVID-19. (2) Methods: The present research involved a cross-sectional online survey, which controlled for established predictors of wellbeing and the perception of general (not COVID-19-specific) information overload. The setting of the research was China, February 2020. A total of 1349 participants completed an online survey, and the results from 1240 members of the general public who stated that they were uninfected are reported here (55.6% female; 49.4% single; age distribution: 17–25 years: 26%; 26–30 years: 24.3%; 31–40 years: 23.9%; 41–50 years: 16.2%; 51 years+: 9.6%; the most frequent occupations were: 21.5% students; 19.5% teachers; 25.9% office workers; 10.8% managers, plus a few in a wide range of jobs). The outcomes were positive wellbeing (positive affect and life satisfaction) and negative wellbeing (stress, negative affect, anxiety and depression). (3) Results: Regressions were carried out, controlling for established predictors of wellbeing (psychological capital, general information overload, positive and negative coping). Spending time getting information about COVID-19 was associated with more positive wellbeing. In contrast, perceptions of COVID-19 information overload and feeling panic due to COVID-19 were associated with more negative wellbeing. (4) Conclusions: These results have implications for the communication of information about COVID-19 to the general public and form the basis for further research on the topic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
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Article
Death Anxiety in Social Workers as a Consequence of the COVID-19 Pandemic
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 61; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050061 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 880
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all social spaces, conditioning our daily routines, including those at work. All professions have been affected by stressful situations and anxiety in the proximity’s face of death generated by the pandemic. In this context, some professionals have emerged [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all social spaces, conditioning our daily routines, including those at work. All professions have been affected by stressful situations and anxiety in the proximity’s face of death generated by the pandemic. In this context, some professionals have emerged as essential, as social workers, acting in extreme situations in the face of increased demands and social uncertainty arising from the health crisis. The present study aimed to determine the levels of anxiety about death among social workers in Spain. For this purpose, an ad hoc questionnaire was designed, taking the Collett and Lester Fear of Death Scale as a reference (n = 304). The exploitation of the data was carried out from a quantitative perspective. First, a descriptive analysis was performed. Then, binary logistic regressions were carried out on the general scale. The dependent variable in all of them was the risk of suffering death anxiety to the set of its subscales. The main research results show high values of this anxiety in social workers concerning the general value of the scale—and the subscales—and the point of view of state and process. The highest values were Fear of Death of Others (81.6%) and Fear of the Process of Dying of Others (78.3%). Regarding the binary logistic regressions applied, predictor variables were identified in all of them, but the following stand out: Lack of personal protection equipment and Need psychological or psychiatric support. In addition, being a woman increases the risk of suffering Fear of the Dying Process of others. Full article
Article
Symptoms of Addictive Eating: What Do Different Health Professions Think?
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 60; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050060 - 26 Apr 2021
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Abstract
The symptoms of addictive eating are often debated, with some overlap in symptoms with substance addictions or other disorders such as binge eating disorder. This study explored the levels of agreement with symptoms of addictive eating among different health professions, the conditions they [...] Read more.
The symptoms of addictive eating are often debated, with some overlap in symptoms with substance addictions or other disorders such as binge eating disorder. This study explored the levels of agreement with symptoms of addictive eating among different health professions, the conditions they provide advice for, and the population group/s they work with. An online cross-sectional survey was conducted in February–April 2020 including 142 health professionals (87% female, 65% residing in Australia, 28% each working in private practice/hospital settings). Of these, 47% were dietitians, 20% psychologists/psychotherapists/counsellors, 16% other health practitioners (e.g., social workers), 13% health researchers, and 5% medical professionals. Agreement with 11 statements relating to addictive eating symptoms was assessed on a scale of 1/strongly disagree to 5/strongly agree (e.g., certain foods produce physiological effects in the brain rewards system). Differences in agreement by health profession were assessed by one-way analysis of variance. There were significant differences in agreement with individual statements between health professions. Psychologists, psychotherapists, and counsellors reported lower agreement to statements relating to physiological effects in the reward system, withdrawal symptoms, and over-eating to alleviate stress/anxiety, than other professions (p < 0.05). Those providing advice for disordered eating only reported lower agreement across statements compared with those providing advice for overweight/obesity or both (p < 0.001). There were minimal differences based on the population group/s that health professionals work with. There is some agreement among health professionals regarding addictive eating symptoms, however, this differs by profession and the conditions they treat. This study provides a novel perspective on health professionals’ views on addictive eating symptoms, and there is a need for more research to explore the concepts further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
Article
The Recognition of Cross-Cultural Emotional Faces Is Affected by Intensity and Ethnicity in a Japanese Sample
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050059 - 23 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1235
Abstract
Human faces convey a range of emotions and psychobiological signals that support social interactions. Multiple factors potentially mediate the facial expressions of emotions across cultures. To further determine the mechanisms underlying human emotion recognition in a complex and ecological environment, we hypothesized that [...] Read more.
Human faces convey a range of emotions and psychobiological signals that support social interactions. Multiple factors potentially mediate the facial expressions of emotions across cultures. To further determine the mechanisms underlying human emotion recognition in a complex and ecological environment, we hypothesized that both behavioral and neurophysiological measures would be influenced by stimuli ethnicity (Japanese, Caucasian) in the context of ambiguous emotional expressions (mid-happy, angry). We assessed the neurophysiological and behavioral responses of neurotypical Japanese adults (N = 27, 13 males) involved in a facial expression recognition task. Results uncover an interaction between universal and culturally-driven mechanisms. No differences in behavioral responses are found between male and female participants, male and female faces, and neutral Japanese versus Caucasian faces. However, Caucasian ambiguous emotional expressions which require more energy-consuming processing, as highlighted by neurophysiological results of the Arousal Index, were judged more accurately than Japanese ones. Additionally, a differential Frontal Asymmetry Index in neuronal activation, the signature of an approach versus avoidance response, is found in male participants according to the gender and emotional valence of the stimuli. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Experimental and Clinical Neurosciences)
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Article
Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Work-Related Quality of Life through the Lens of Sexual Orientation
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 58; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050058 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 747
Abstract
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the exceptional situation that has been experienced on a global scale since 2020, it is essential to assess the impact of COVID-19 in several areas and domains. Therefore, this research seeks to evaluate the impact [...] Read more.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the exceptional situation that has been experienced on a global scale since 2020, it is essential to assess the impact of COVID-19 in several areas and domains. Therefore, this research seeks to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on work-related quality of life (WRQoL) in a Portuguese-speaking sample, through the lens of sexual orientation. One thousand, five hundred and seventy-seven individuals participated in this study, of which 1396 (88.5%) self-identified as heterosexual, 95 (6.0%) as gay or lesbian, and 87 (5.5%) as bisexual. Participants responded to the “Work-Related Quality of Life” scale, the “Fear of COVID-19” scale, and the “Negative Impact of COVID-19” scale. Bisexuals scored higher on “Fear of COVID-19” and “Negative Impact of COVID-19” than heterosexual, and gay, or lesbian participants. Differences between sexual orientations for all dimensions of WRQoL were found: heterosexual participants scored higher on general well-being, home–work interface, career satisfaction, working conditions, and lower on stress at work, compared to bisexual, and gay, or lesbian participants. Gay or lesbian participants scored lower than heterosexual and bisexual participants on career satisfaction and working conditions. Sexual orientation, the fear of COVID-19, and the negative impact of COVID-19 were significant predictors of overall WRQoL (explaining 13% of variance). Moderation analysis also showed that sexual orientation is a significant moderator of the association between the fear of COVID-19, the negative impact of COVID-19, and WRQoL. LGB people (especially bisexuals) suffer more severe impacts of COVID-19 and have lower WRQoL than heterosexual people. Inevitably, this has consequences in terms of mental health and overall quality of life for sexual minorities, thus reinforcing the need to adopt inclusive policies in organizations and companies to improve their WRQoL. Full article
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Perspective
Enhancing Qualities of Consciousness during Online Learning via Multisensory Interactions
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 57; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11050057 - 21 Apr 2021
Viewed by 701
Abstract
Online-learning is a feasible alternative to in-person attendance during COVID-19 pandemic. In this period, information technologies have allowed sharing experiences, but have also highlighted some limitations compared to traditional learning. Learning is strongly supported by some qualities of consciousness such as flow (intended [...] Read more.
Online-learning is a feasible alternative to in-person attendance during COVID-19 pandemic. In this period, information technologies have allowed sharing experiences, but have also highlighted some limitations compared to traditional learning. Learning is strongly supported by some qualities of consciousness such as flow (intended as the optimal state of absorption and engagement activity) and sense of presence (feeling of exerting control, interacting with and getting immersed into real/virtual environments), behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement, together with the need for social interaction. During online learning, feelings of disconnection, social isolation, distractions, boredom, and lack of control exert a detrimental effect on the ability to reach the state of flow, the feeling of presence, the feeling of social involvement. Since online environments could prevent the rising of these learning–supporting variables, this article aims at describing the role of flow, presence, engagement, and social interactions during online sessions and at characterizing multisensory stimulations as a driver to cope with these issues. We argue that the use of augmented, mixed, or virtual reality can support the above-mentioned domains, and thus counteract the detrimental effects of physical distance. Such support could be further increased by enhancing multisensory stimulation modalities within augmented and virtual environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Embodiment, Motor Control and Brain Injury)
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