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Volume 11, June

Behav. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 7 (July 2021) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Lewy body dementias (LBDs) include dementia with Lewy bodies and Parkinson's disease dementia, two clinically similar syndromes that share many neuropathological findings. This review provides an overview of the neuropathological and clinical features, current diagnostic criteria, biomarkers and management of LBDs. The time interval of dementia onset relative to parkinsonism remains the main distinction between them, underpinning controversy about whether they are the same illness in a different spectrum of the disease or two separate disorders. Diagnosis in prodromal stages should be crucial, because implementing early treatment might change the course of the illness if disease-modifying therapies are developed. Thus, the identification of novel biomarkers constitutes an area of active research, with a special focus on α-synuclein markers. View this paper.
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Article
Grief Iconography between Italians and Americans: A Comparative Study on How Mourning Is Visually Expressed on Social Media
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070104 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 598
Abstract
As an innovative way to express grief, social media posts about the deceased have become fairly common. However, few studies have examined commonly posted grief photos. The purpose of the present study was to examine such pictures, as well as the motivations and [...] Read more.
As an innovative way to express grief, social media posts about the deceased have become fairly common. However, few studies have examined commonly posted grief photos. The purpose of the present study was to examine such pictures, as well as the motivations and reactions of those who posted them, among Italians and Americans. Surveys were sent to both Italian and US participants. The US group yielded 262 responses (mean age = 22 years; 81% female), and the Italian group yielded 51 (mean age = 32 years; 82% female). Several key issues emerged, such as the need for social media users to receive empathic support from other users, the desire to maintain continuing bonds, the wish to remember the deceased, and the desire to share beauty and symbolic pictures. The images were analyzed using content analysis. Both samples posted photos to remember, and to enhance their posts. A strong preference for pictures with a positive emotional connotation appeared, depicting the deceased in a conjoint appearance with the participant. The results suggest that the imagery used for the expression of grief in social media sites, an “iconography of grief”, is a popular means of expression for grievers across the two cultures. Full article
Article
Comparison on Well-Being, Engagement and Perceived School Climate in Secondary School Students with Learning Difficulties and Specific Learning Disorders: An Exploratory Study
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070103 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 631
Abstract
Reading and writing skills influence the social status of students, exerting effects not only on learning, but also on wellbeing. This study aimed to assess the impact of diagnosis of specific learning disorder on well-being in secondary-school students, comparing students with a diagnosis [...] Read more.
Reading and writing skills influence the social status of students, exerting effects not only on learning, but also on wellbeing. This study aimed to assess the impact of diagnosis of specific learning disorder on well-being in secondary-school students, comparing students with a diagnosis of specific learning disorder (SLD-group), students showing learning difficulties without diagnosis (LD-group) and students without learning difficulties (control-group). Students were tested with neuropsychological screening tests in order to identify learning difficulties and were further assessed by means of psychological and school well-being questionnaires. The results show that LD group perceive themselves as having a low sense of mastery and autonomy, less interest and engagement in daily activities and low peer social support than their schoolmates. This result highlights, for the LD group, a low well-being experience, which is not observed in the SLD and control groups. On the contrary, SLD group students do not differ from control group students in any dimensions except for the perceived parents’ support and involvement in school life, in which the SLD group show the highest scores. This work underlines the importance of having a diagnosis as it seems to work as a protective factor for both the psychological and school well-being of the student. Full article
Review
The Role of Personal Values in Learning Approaches and Student Achievements
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070102 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 670
Abstract
Personal values play a significant role when adopting learning approaches by individuals during their studies. Particularly in higher education, these values significantly influence the character that individuals play within their learning community and ultimately influence their academic achievements. The purpose of this paper [...] Read more.
Personal values play a significant role when adopting learning approaches by individuals during their studies. Particularly in higher education, these values significantly influence the character that individuals play within their learning community and ultimately influence their academic achievements. The purpose of this paper is to investigate personal values in their choice of learning approaches and, subsequently, how it impacts one’s academic achievements. It also investigates the importance of developing an individual’s personal values as a part of their wider studies, while aligning these with graduate attributes and balancing them with knowledge and skills, to produce successful graduates in a society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Psychology)
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Article
Autonomous Vehicles and Vulnerable Road-Users—Important Considerations and Requirements Based on Crash Data from Two Countries
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070101 - 15 Jul 2021
Viewed by 723
Abstract
(1) Background: Passenger vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) functionalities are becoming more prevalent within vehicle fleets. However, the full effects of offering such systems, which may allow for drivers to become less than 100% engaged with the task of driving, may [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Passenger vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) functionalities are becoming more prevalent within vehicle fleets. However, the full effects of offering such systems, which may allow for drivers to become less than 100% engaged with the task of driving, may have detrimental impacts on other road-users, particularly vulnerable road-users, for a variety of reasons. (2) Crash data were analysed in two countries (Great Britain and Australia) to examine some challenging traffic scenarios that are prevalent in both countries and represent scenarios in which future connected and autonomous vehicles may be challenged in terms of safe manoeuvring. (3) Road intersections are currently very common locations for vulnerable road-user accidents; traffic flows and road-user behaviours at intersections can be unpredictable, with many vehicles behaving inconsistently (e.g., red-light running and failure to stop or give way), and many vulnerable road-users taking unforeseen risks. (4) Conclusions: The challenges of unpredictable vulnerable road-user behaviour at intersections (including road-users violating traffic or safe-crossing signals, or taking other risks) combined with the lack of knowledge of CAV responses to intersection rules, could be problematic. This could be further compounded by changes to nonverbal communication that currently exist between road-users, which could become more challenging once CAVs become more widespread. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Road Crash Injury and Driver Behavior)
Review
How to Intervene in the Health Management of the Oncological Patient and of Their Caregiver? A Narrative Review in the Psycho-Oncology Field
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 99; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070099 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 603
Abstract
Starting from statistical data derived from the oncological field, some articles have highlighted the importance of communication in the patient–caregiver dyad and have considered the various roles involved in a cancer diagnosis situation. Thus, the question of how to intervene in terms of [...] Read more.
Starting from statistical data derived from the oncological field, some articles have highlighted the importance of communication in the patient–caregiver dyad and have considered the various roles involved in a cancer diagnosis situation. Thus, the question of how to intervene in terms of “quality of life” from the time of diagnosis to the recovery or death of a cancer patient, beyond the sanitary and physical dimensions, has become relevant. Therefore, the present narrative review aims to offer an overview of the state of the art in terms of the psychological treatment modalities of cancer patients, from the diagnosis to the post-surgery period. A total of 67 articles were collected and analyzed, in relation to (1) psychological constructs employed in the oncological field, (2) intervention models and (3) quality of life and well-being measurement and evaluation tools. We described these articles, differentiating between those focusing on the role of (1) the patient, (2) the caregiver, (3) the patient–caregiver dyad and (4) healthcare professional roles. The oncological diagnosis and its repercussions in the lives of the patient and caregiver were explored and critical aspects that emerged from the literature were highlighted. In conclusion, the analysis allowed some considerations about the need to define research protocols and useful management strategies for increasing the overall health of patients with cancer diagnoses and the people who surround them. Full article
Article
Stress and Psychopathology Reduction in Pregnant Women through Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy during COVID-19: A Feasibility Study
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070100 - 09 Jul 2021
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Background: The global pandemic has affected the psychological health of the population, including pregnant women. Due to the difficulty of offering conventional therapies to reduce stress in this population, studies are needed to show the effect of online therapies. Therefore, the objective was [...] Read more.
Background: The global pandemic has affected the psychological health of the population, including pregnant women. Due to the difficulty of offering conventional therapies to reduce stress in this population, studies are needed to show the effect of online therapies. Therefore, the objective was to test the effect of online cognitive behavioural therapy in pregnant women during the pandemic on the main variables of stress and psychopathology. Methods: The sample consisted of 16 pregnant women who participated in a weekly cognitive behavioural intervention for 8 weeks. Prenatal concerns, general stress, stress vulnerability, resilience and psychopathology were assessed. Results: The results show a reduction in prenatal concerns, perceived stress, stress vulnerability and psychopathology, as well as an increase in resilience. Conclusions: Online cognitive behavioural intervention may be effective in pregnant women, so it is important to conduct a randomised controlled trial to certify these findings. Full article
Article
Health-Related Quality of Life, Family Conflicts and Fear of Injecting: Perception Differences between Preadolescents and Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes and Their Mothers
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 98; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070098 - 06 Jul 2021
Viewed by 595
Abstract
Good management of diabetes requires at the same time self-regulation behaviour and a balanced involvement of family components. This cross-sectional study’s aims were: understanding fear of injections and perceptions of family conflicts in preadolescents and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus and their [...] Read more.
Good management of diabetes requires at the same time self-regulation behaviour and a balanced involvement of family components. This cross-sectional study’s aims were: understanding fear of injections and perceptions of family conflicts in preadolescents and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus and their mothers, comparing their perceptions, and identifying the risk factors impacting patients’ quality of life. Eligibility criteria were: treatment for diabetes mellitus type I, currently aged 10–18 years, attending the hospital for annual hospital follow-ups. Exclusion criteria were: intellectual disabilities, inability to complete questionnaires alone and neuropsychiatric illness with active pharmacotherapy. The study design was cross-sectional. Participants were one hundred and two patients (Mean age = 14.6, SD = 2.4; age range = 10–19 years; Females = 52 and Males = 50) and their mothers (Mean age = 46.9, SD = 6.2, age range = 27–63 years), who filled in self and proxy-report questionnaires (N total= 204). The results showed that 20% of patients and 14.7% of their mothers reported clinical scores for fear of self-injection and blood testing. The mothers reported lower fear of injecting and higher family conflicts compared with the patients. Age, fear of injecting and family conflicts were significantly associated with patients’ quality of life perceptions. Clinical considerations and recommendations are given based on the empirical results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
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Review
Genetic Testing for Antipsychotic Pharmacotherapy: Bench to Bedside
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 97; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070097 - 30 Jun 2021
Viewed by 666
Abstract
There is growing research interest in learning the genetic basis of response and adverse effects with psychotropic medications, including antipsychotic drugs. However, the clinical utility of information from genetic studies is compromised by their controversial results, primarily due to relatively small effect and [...] Read more.
There is growing research interest in learning the genetic basis of response and adverse effects with psychotropic medications, including antipsychotic drugs. However, the clinical utility of information from genetic studies is compromised by their controversial results, primarily due to relatively small effect and sample sizes. Clinical, demographic, and environmental differences in patient cohorts further explain the lack of consistent results from these genetic studies. Furthermore, the availability of psychopharmacological expertise in interpreting clinically meaningful results from genetic assays has been a challenge, one that often results in suboptimal use of genetic testing in clinical practice. These limitations explain the difficulties in the translation of psychopharmacological research in pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics from bench to bedside to manage increasingly treatment-refractory psychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia. Although these shortcomings question the utility of genetic testing in the general population, the commercially available genetic assays are being increasingly utilized to optimize the effectiveness of psychotropic medications in the treatment-refractory patient population, including schizophrenia. In this context, patients with treatment-refractory schizophrenia are among of the most vulnerable patients to be exposed to the debilitating adverse effects from often irrational and high-dose antipsychotic polypharmacy without clinically meaningful benefits. The primary objective of this comprehensive review is to analyze and interpret replicated findings from the genetic studies to identify specific genetic biomarkers that could be utilized to enhance antipsychotic efficacy and tolerability in the treatment-refractory schizophrenia population. Full article
Article
The Basic Psychological Needs in the Classroom Scale (BPN-CS)
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 96; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070096 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Recent experimental and theoretical studies have shown that the assessment of students’ satisfaction of their basic psychological needs (BPN) can be a powerful resource to identify different areas to improve their well-being, engagement, or learning achievement in school contexts. However, currently, [...] Read more.
Recent experimental and theoretical studies have shown that the assessment of students’ satisfaction of their basic psychological needs (BPN) can be a powerful resource to identify different areas to improve their well-being, engagement, or learning achievement in school contexts. However, currently, the number of validated tools to assess the satisfaction of the BPN is very low, hindering informed decision-making strategies at the educational level. The aim of this study was to develop and validate the Basic Psychological Needs in the Classroom Scale (BPN-CS) instrument, adapting existing instruments and putting the new tool to the test. The BPN-CS was developed to measure the level of satisfaction of autonomy, competence, relatedness, and novelty in the classroom. We tested the scale on a representative sample of 1344 Spanish elementary school students from 8 to 13 years old. A series of analyses were run in order to test the internal consistency of the main factors as well as to prove the convergent and divergent validity of the instrument. In summary, the BPN-CS is presented as a reliable and valid self-report instrument to measure basic psychological needs in a classroom context with elementary school pupils in the Spanish context. Full article
Article
Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Educational Achievement and Academic Stress of Pre-Service Teachers
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 95; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070095 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 770
Abstract
Emotional intelligence (EI) and stress are constructs that often characterize the teaching profession and are inversely related. There is evidence in the literature that suggests the importance of teachers working on EI in order to learn coping strategies and improve their teaching practices. [...] Read more.
Emotional intelligence (EI) and stress are constructs that often characterize the teaching profession and are inversely related. There is evidence in the literature that suggests the importance of teachers working on EI in order to learn coping strategies and improve their teaching practices. This descriptive and correlational study had the purpose of examining the social–emotional profile of future teachers based on their EI and academic stress levels in order to provide guidance for future stressful situations that will affect their future professional development. For this purpose, we used a random sampling for convenience in a university population enrolled in degrees of education at Andalusian universities (Spain), getting a sample of 1020 pre-service teachers. The results pointed to a superiority in EI, academic stress, and academic achievement in favor of females compared to males. The relationship among EI, academic stress, and student teachers’ achievement was demonstrated. Furthermore, some components of EI were positioned as important factors to improve student achievement and reduce academic stress. Once the high incidence of these constructs on academic achievement was confirmed, the importance of developing EI and coping and stress skills training programs, aimed at improving academic success and their subsequent professional development, was demonstrated. Full article
Review
Lewy Body Dementias: A Coin with Two Sides?
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 94; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070094 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 997
Abstract
Lewy body dementias (LBDs) consist of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), which are clinically similar syndromes that share neuropathological findings with widespread cortical Lewy body deposition, often with a variable degree of concomitant Alzheimer pathology. The objective of [...] Read more.
Lewy body dementias (LBDs) consist of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD), which are clinically similar syndromes that share neuropathological findings with widespread cortical Lewy body deposition, often with a variable degree of concomitant Alzheimer pathology. The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the neuropathological and clinical features, current diagnostic criteria, biomarkers, and management of LBD. Literature research was performed using the PubMed database, and the most pertinent articles were read and are discussed in this paper. The diagnostic criteria for DLB have recently been updated, with the addition of indicative and supportive biomarker information. The time interval of dementia onset relative to parkinsonism remains the major distinction between DLB and PDD, underpinning controversy about whether they are the same illness in a different spectrum of the disease or two separate neurodegenerative disorders. The treatment for LBD is only symptomatic, but the expected progression and prognosis differ between the two entities. Diagnosis in prodromal stages should be of the utmost importance, because implementing early treatment might change the course of the illness if disease-modifying therapies are developed in the future. Thus, the identification of novel biomarkers constitutes an area of active research, with a special focus on α-synuclein markers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parkinson’s Disease and Cognition)
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Article
Examining the Relationships among Cognitive Ability, Domain-Specific Self-Concept, and Behavioral Self-Esteem of Gifted Children Aged 5–6 Years: A Cross-Sectional Study
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 93; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070093 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 715
Abstract
Although childhood is a critical period of development during which all children begin a lifelong process of self-discovery that shapes their identities, few studies have focused on the self-concept and self-esteem of young, gifted children. This study recruited 108 gifted children aged 5–6 [...] Read more.
Although childhood is a critical period of development during which all children begin a lifelong process of self-discovery that shapes their identities, few studies have focused on the self-concept and self-esteem of young, gifted children. This study recruited 108 gifted children aged 5–6 years from Greece and their preschool teachers to explore the relationships among cognitive ability, domain-specific self-concepts, and global self-esteem. The Pictorial Scale for Perceived Competence and Social Acceptance was used to assess the domain-specific self-concepts of the participants, whereas behavioral manifestations of self-esteem were rated by the children’s teachers using the Behavioral Academic Self-Esteem Scale. There were positive correlations among IQ, perceived scholastic competence, and global self-esteem. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated that significant predictors of global self-esteem were male gender, higher IQ, perceived scholastic competence, and perceived maternal acceptance. Additionally, there were gender differences in global self-esteem and perceived physical competence in favor of boys, whereas perceived maternal acceptance favored girls. This article discusses the need for practitioners working with gifted children to enact a comprehensive social–emotional learning curriculum in schools that promotes academic as well as personal and character strengths. Finally, the limitations of the study and suggestions for future research are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Developmental Psychology)
Article
Relationships between Employees’ Identifications and Citizenship Behavior in Work Groups: The Role of the Regularity and Intensity of Interactions
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(7), 92; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11070092 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
This paper explores the relationships of various employees’ identifications (personal, interpersonal, micro-group, group and organizational) in their two components (cognitive and affective) with two dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB): offering quality ideas and suggestions, and providing help and support within small work [...] Read more.
This paper explores the relationships of various employees’ identifications (personal, interpersonal, micro-group, group and organizational) in their two components (cognitive and affective) with two dimensions of organizational citizenship behavior (OCB): offering quality ideas and suggestions, and providing help and support within small work groups. Two studies were conducted in Russia on two respective samples: (1) employees of commercial enterprises (N = 183) characterized by a relatively high regularity and intensity of within-group interactions; and (2) the academic staff of higher education institutions (N = 157), which typically have relatively less regular, low-intensity within-group interactions. The research employed four questionnaires to assess the participants’ identifications in both of their components. In addition, managers in the respective organizations filled out an organizational communicativeness questionnaire and a two-factor OCB assessment instrument. It was found that the relationships between (a) particular identifications and (b) the ratio of group identification to other identifications, on the one hand, and OCB, on the other, depend on the degree of regularity of within-group interactions, as well as on the identification components. Organizational communicativeness did not moderate the relationship between identifications and OCB, but was significantly positively correlated with both OCB dimensions. The theoretical and practical implications of the study findings are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Organizational Behaviors)
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