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Volume 11, August

Behav. Sci., Volume 11, Issue 9 (September 2021) – 13 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In the wake of a global economic recession secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic, this scoping review summarizes current quantitative research on the impact of economic recessions on depression, anxiety, traumatic disorders, self-harm, and suicide in OECD nations. Among 127 included quantitative research articles published since 2008, a significant relationship was found between periods of recession and increased depressive symptoms, self-harming behavior, and suicide during and following periods of recession. Those vulnerable to the impacts of job or income loss due to low socioeconomic status preceding the recession or high levels of financial strain, those supporting others financially, approaching retirement, and those in countries with limited social safety nets were noted to be at a particularly high risk. View this paper
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Review
The Impact of Wildfires on Mental Health: A Scoping Review
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 126; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090126 - 21 Sep 2021
Viewed by 646
Abstract
One of the many consequences of climate change is an increase in the frequency, severity, and, thus, impact of wildfires across the globe. The destruction and loss of one’s home, belongings, and surrounding community, and the threat to personal safety and the safety [...] Read more.
One of the many consequences of climate change is an increase in the frequency, severity, and, thus, impact of wildfires across the globe. The destruction and loss of one’s home, belongings, and surrounding community, and the threat to personal safety and the safety of loved ones can have significant consequences on survivors’ mental health, which persist for years after. The objective of this scoping review was to identify primary studies examining the impact of wildfires on mental health and to summarize findings for PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance use. Literature searches on Pubmed and Embase were conducted in February and April of 2021, respectively, with no date restrictions. A total of 254 studies were found in the two database searches, with 60 studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Three other studies were identified and included based on relevant in-text citations during data abstraction. The results show an increased rate of PTSD, depression, and generalized anxiety at several times of follow-up post-wildfire, from the subacute phase, to years after. An increased rate of mental health disorders post-wildfire has been found in both the adult and pediatric population, with a number of associated risk factors, the most significant being characteristics of the wildfire trauma itself. Several new terms have arisen in the literature secondary to an increased awareness and understanding of the impact of natural disasters on mental health, including ecological grief, solastalgia, and eco-anxiety. There are a number of patient factors and systemic changes that have been identified post-wildfire that can contribute to resilience and recovery. Full article
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Article
A Multilevel Approach to Explore the Wandering Mind and Its Connections with Mindfulness and Personality
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 125; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090125 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 638
Abstract
We propose an innovative approach to study Mind Wandering (MW), and we present an application of this methodology to study the effects of a Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation (MOM) training. We assessed individuals’ MW through a free association task and an attentional task with thought-probes [...] Read more.
We propose an innovative approach to study Mind Wandering (MW), and we present an application of this methodology to study the effects of a Mindfulness-Oriented Meditation (MOM) training. We assessed individuals’ MW through a free association task and an attentional task with thought-probes combined with a questionnaire for the phenomenological characteristic of each MW episode. We used the Temperament and Character Inventory to assess participants’ personality traits and their associations with measures of MW. Our study was limited by the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and only nine healthy young individuals completed the testing sessions, which were carried out before and after the MOM training. After MOM, participants showed fewer repetitive and self-relevant thoughts and indices of better performance in the attentional task; the linguistic analysis of participants’ free associations showed lower verbal productivity and a decrease in utterances that expressed anxiety/stress. Overall, we foresee that future studies could replicate our preliminary findings with larger samples and in a period without a global health emergency. This multilevel approach to the study of MW may allow researchers to gain a broader view of the phenomenon, considering its occurrence, qualitative characteristics, impact on cognitive tasks, malleability via mindfulness or other psychological interventions, and relations with personality traits. Full article
Article
Exploring the Relation between Emotional Intelligence, Subjective Wellness, and Psychological Distress: A Case Study of University Students in Taiwan
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090124 - 10 Sep 2021
Viewed by 544
Abstract
Given the importance of emotions in human life and the necessity of managing one’s emotions, this research project conducted an 18 week course on emotional management for a group of undergraduate students, investigated the differences in emotional intelligence (EI) levels before and after [...] Read more.
Given the importance of emotions in human life and the necessity of managing one’s emotions, this research project conducted an 18 week course on emotional management for a group of undergraduate students, investigated the differences in emotional intelligence (EI) levels before and after the course, and assessed EI’s effect on selected subjective wellness and psychological distress variables. The study indicated many significant results. Most importantly, the comparison of the pre-course and post-course EI scores indicated that the EI skills and competencies could be learned and enhanced through formal education. Additionally, there were also significant regression coefficients of pre-course and post-course EI scores on both subjective wellness and psychological distress variables. The significant results endorse that EI knowledge, skills, and competencies could indeed be enhanced through formal education. In particular, the understanding of EI could help the educationists and helping professionals in assessing people’s level of EI, designing relevant courses, and raising the impact of EI on both overall wellness and psychological distress. Full article
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Article
Evidence for a Behaviourally Measurable Perseverance Trait in Humans
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090123 - 09 Sep 2021
Viewed by 466
Abstract
The aim was to create and study a possible behavioural measure for trait(s) in humans that reflect the ability and motivation to continue an unpleasant behaviour, i.e., behavioural perseverance or persistence (BP). We utilised six different tasks with 54 subjects to measure the [...] Read more.
The aim was to create and study a possible behavioural measure for trait(s) in humans that reflect the ability and motivation to continue an unpleasant behaviour, i.e., behavioural perseverance or persistence (BP). We utilised six different tasks with 54 subjects to measure the possible BP trait(s): cold pressor task, hand grip endurance task, impossible anagram task, impossible verbal reasoning task, thread and needle task, and boring video task. The task performances formed two BP factors. Together, the two-factor solution is responsible for the common variance constituting 37.3% of the total variance in the performances i.e., performance times. Excluding the impossible anagram task, the performance in any given task was better explained by performances in the other tasks (i.e., “trait”, η2 range = 0.131–0.253) than by the rank order variable (“depletion”, i.e., getting tired from the previous tasks, η2 range = 0–0.096). Full article
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Review
Nightmares in Migraine: A Focused Review
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090122 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 630
Abstract
Nightmares usually occur during the sleep phase of rapid eye movement (REM) and are associated with some physical symptoms, including sweating, shortness of breath, and lower limb movements. Emotions of fear, anger, shame, and sadness may also accompany nightmares. These symptoms can occur [...] Read more.
Nightmares usually occur during the sleep phase of rapid eye movement (REM) and are associated with some physical symptoms, including sweating, shortness of breath, and lower limb movements. Emotions of fear, anger, shame, and sadness may also accompany nightmares. These symptoms can occur during dreaming, upon awakening, or later when the dream experience is recollected. Nightmares may sporadically occur for everyone, but nightmare disorders are associated with features of impaired mental and physical health and require professional medical treatment. The occurrence of nightmares with several disorders has been reported in the literature, but in migraines it has only been investigated in a small number of studies. Considering the existing relationship between sleep disorders and migraine, the occurrence of nightmares in migraine can negatively affect this association and elevate the risk of depression and anxiety. This, in turn, further reduces the quality of life of affected individuals. Hence, expanding the knowledge on the link between nightmares and migraine, promoting an acceptable quantity and quality of sleep through pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions in the management of nightmares in migraine, and further scientific investigation of the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying the link, will be highly valuable for optimal care. This focused review, therefore, gives a brief overview of the current understanding of nightmares in migraine to highlight the open questions and value of further research. The ultimate goal is to contribute to timely recognition and sufficient action to offer beneficial outcomes for affected patients. Full article
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Article
The Role of Physical Activity in the Relationship between Satisfaction with Life and Health-Related Quality of Life in School-Age Adolescents
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090121 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 567
Abstract
(1) Background: Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of healthy habits. In this regard, physical activity has emerged as a useful tool to improve satisfaction with life and health-related quality of life in adolescents. Therefore, the aim of the present study [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Adolescence is a critical stage in the development of healthy habits. In this regard, physical activity has emerged as a useful tool to improve satisfaction with life and health-related quality of life in adolescents. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine the mediating role of physical activity in the relationship between satisfaction with life and health-related quality of life in adolescent boys and girls. Also, we aimed to investigate the differences between sexes in the HRQoL, physical activity level, and satisfaction with life. (2) Methods: A total of 297 adolescents, ranging in age from 11 to 12 years (11.46 ± 1.63), participated in this cross-sectional study. The Satisfaction with life scale, Physical activity Questionnaire for Adolescents and the KIDSCREEN-10 questionnaires were employed. (3) Results: The estimated indirect effect showed that physical activity level was a mediator of the positive effect of satisfaction with life on health-related quality of life (β = 0.105, 95% CI = 0.031; 0.202). However, the index of moderated mediation showed that sex is not a significant moderator of the mediating role of physical activity in the relationship between satisfaction with life and HRQoL (β = −0.033, 95% CI = −0.023, 0.136). Furthermore, significant differences in satisfaction with life were found, with girls manifesting lower values (p-value = 0.026). (4) Conclusion: This study shows the importance of physical activity during adolescence and the association of this behavior with the health-related quality of life of adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity, Physical and Psychological Health)
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Article
Exploring Locus-of-Hope: Relational Tendencies, Self-Esteem, Attachment, and Gender
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090120 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Background: As little research has been devoted to examining associations between the four locus-of-hope dimensions (internal, external—peer, external—family, and external—spiritual) and individual differences, the current study explores the correlations with individual-level individualist and collectivist relational tendencies, self-esteem, insecure attachment, and gender within a [...] Read more.
Background: As little research has been devoted to examining associations between the four locus-of-hope dimensions (internal, external—peer, external—family, and external—spiritual) and individual differences, the current study explores the correlations with individual-level individualist and collectivist relational tendencies, self-esteem, insecure attachment, and gender within a culturally diverse sample of university undergraduate students. Methods: questionnaires were completed by a culturally diverse sample of undergraduate students measuring locus-of-hope, individualist and collectivist relational tendencies, self-esteem, insecure attachment, and gender. Results: State and trait locus-of-hope were significantly correlated. Individualism showed positive correlations with internal and external—family locus-of-hope. Collectivism positively correlated with internal locus-of-hope and the three external locus-of-hope dimensions. Internal locus-of-hope was significantly predicted by self-esteem, relational self-esteem, individualism, and collectivism. External—spiritual locus-of-hope was not significantly predicted by the variables. External—family locus-of-hope was significantly predicted by relational self-esteem and collectivism and external—peer locus-of hope was significantly predicted by relational self-esteem, collectivism, and avoidant attachment style. No significant gender differences in locus-of-hope were found. Conclusions: The results provide further understanding about the construct of locus-of-hope and provide a foundation for future research to continue exploring the role of locus-of-hope in the development and expression of self-esteem and attachment profiles. Full article
Review
The Impact of Economic Recessions on Depression, Anxiety, and Trauma-Related Disorders and Illness Outcomes—A Scoping Review
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090119 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 795
Abstract
In the wake of a global economic recession secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic, this scoping review seeks to summarize the current quantitative research on the impact of economic recessions on depression, anxiety, traumatic disorders, self-harm, and suicide. Seven research databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Embase, [...] Read more.
In the wake of a global economic recession secondary to the COVID-19 pandemic, this scoping review seeks to summarize the current quantitative research on the impact of economic recessions on depression, anxiety, traumatic disorders, self-harm, and suicide. Seven research databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science: Core Collection, National Library of Medicine PubMed, PubMed Central, and Google Scholar) were searched for keywords returning 3412 preliminary results published since 2008 in Organisation for Economic Coordination and Development (OECD)nations. These were screened by both authors for inclusion/exclusion criteria resulting in 127 included articles. Articles included were quantitative studies in OECD countries assessing select mental disorders (depression, anxiety, and trauma-/stress-related disorders) and illness outcomes (self-harm and suicide) during periods of economic recession. Articles were limited to publication from 2008 to 2020, available online in English, and utilizing outcome measures specific to the disorders and outcomes specified above. A significant relationship was found between periods of economic recession and increased depressive symptoms, self-harming behaviour, and suicide during and following periods of recession. Results suggest that existing models for mental health support and strategies for suicide prevention may be less effective than they are in non-recession times. It may be prudent to focus public education and medical treatments on raising awareness and access to supports for populations at higher risk, including those vulnerable to the impacts of job or income loss due to low socioeconomic status preceding the recession or high levels of financial strain, those supporting others financially, approaching retirement, and those in countries with limited social safety nets. Policy makers should be aware of the potential protective nature of unemployment safeguards and labour program investment in mitigating these negative impacts. Limited or inconclusive data were found on the relationship with traumatic disorders and symptoms of anxiety. In addition, research has focused primarily on the working-age adult population with limited data available on children, adolescents, and older adults, leaving room for further research in these areas. Full article
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Review
Ketamine-Assisted and Culturally Attuned Trauma Informed Psychotherapy as Adjunct to Traditional Indigenous Healing: Effecting Cultural Collaboration in Canadian Mental Health Care
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090118 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 916
Abstract
Ketamine therapy with culturally attuned trauma-informed psychotherapy in a collaborative cross-cultural partnership may provide a critical step in the operationalization and optimization of treatment effectiveness in diverse populations and may provide a foundation for an improved quality of life for Indigenous people. Decolonizing [...] Read more.
Ketamine therapy with culturally attuned trauma-informed psychotherapy in a collaborative cross-cultural partnership may provide a critical step in the operationalization and optimization of treatment effectiveness in diverse populations and may provide a foundation for an improved quality of life for Indigenous people. Decolonizing Indigenous health and wellbeing is long overdue, requiring an equal partnership between government and Indigenous communities, built upon an aboriginal culture holistic foundation of balance of mind, body, social and spiritual realms, and within the context of historical and lived experiences of colonialism. Culturally attuned trauma-informed psychotherapy paired with ketamine—a fast-acting antidepressant that typically takes effect within 4 hours, even in cases of acute suicidality—may be uniquely qualified to integrate into an Indigenous based health system, since ketamine’s therapeutic effects engage multiple neuropsychological, physiological, biological, and behavioral systems damaged by intergenerational complex developmental trauma. Ketamine holds the potential to serve as a core treatment modality around which culturally engaged treatment approaches might be organized since its brief alteration of normal waking consciousness is already a familiar and intrinsic element of healing culture in many Indigenous societies. There is great need and desire in Indigenous communities for respectful and sacred partnership in fostering more effective mental health outcomes and improved quality of life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Culturally Responsive Trauma-Informed Care)
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Article
Mediating Role of Moral Disengagement between Emotional Manipulation and Psychological Well-Being: Does Age Matter?
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090117 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 617
Abstract
Background/Aims: When people hone their emotional skills, they become better at manipulating others. They use their emotional skills for coping with the demands of life. This study investigated the mediating role of moral disengagement between emotional manipulation and psychological well-being. Further, the [...] Read more.
Background/Aims: When people hone their emotional skills, they become better at manipulating others. They use their emotional skills for coping with the demands of life. This study investigated the mediating role of moral disengagement between emotional manipulation and psychological well-being. Further, the moderating role of age is tested for the mediation model of the study. Methods: This study has a cross-sectional design. Participants included students from private and public institutions (n = 542; Mean age = 18.59 years, SD = 2.10 years; gender = 46% males). Responses were collected on emotional manipulation, moral disengagement, and psychological well-being questionnaires. Analyses were conducted using SPSS 21 and PROCESS 3.1. Results: The correlation analysis showed that both in late adolescents and young adults, moral disengagement negatively correlated with psychological well-being. However, the correlation is much stronger for young adults as compared to late adolescents. Similarly, emotional manipulation has a stronger positive correlation with moral disengagement in young adults compared to late adolescents. Results also showed that moral disengagement and emotional manipulation is higher in males than females, and psychological well-being is higher in females than males. Moral disengagement appeared to be a negative mediator for the relationship between emotional manipulation and psychological well-being. Further, age moderated the indirect effect of emotional manipulation on psychological well-being through moral disengagement. The moderation of age suggests that young adults are more inclined toward moral disengagement behaviors for manipulating emotions in comparison to late adolescents. Conclusions: It is concluded that use of emotional manipulation is associated with a direct increase in psychological well-being; however, indirect emotional manipulation decreases psychological well-being, with an increased use of moral disengagement. Moreover, this indirect effect is stronger in young adults compared to late adolescents, as young adults are more inclined toward moral disengagement. Full article
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Article
Using Appreciative Inquiry to Explore Effective Medical Interviews
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090116 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 510
Abstract
The objective of this study was to uncover the elements of successful medical interviews so that they can be easily shared with health educators, learners, and practitioners. The medical interview is still considered the most effective diagnostic tool available to physicians today, despite [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to uncover the elements of successful medical interviews so that they can be easily shared with health educators, learners, and practitioners. The medical interview is still considered the most effective diagnostic tool available to physicians today, despite decades of rapid advancements in medical technology. When the physician-patient interaction is successful, outcomes are improved. Semi-structured interviews were conducted using an Appreciative Inquiry approach, which seeks to uncover strengths from positive experiences. The inquiry sought to identify the elements that comprise the participating physicians’ most successful patient interviews. Subsequent qualitative analysis revealed eight themes: social support, mutual respect, trust, active listening, relationships, nonverbal cues, empathy, and confidentiality. These themes do not each exist separately or in a vacuum from one another; they are in fact strongly interconnected and equally important. For instance, if a physician and a patient cannot at least maintain mutual respect, then building a relationship, or even trust, is impossible. Given the qualitative nature of this study, future quantitative research should seek to validate the results. As patients assume a more participatory role in modern medical encounters, communication and other soft skills will be key in satisfying patients and improving their medical outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
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Article
COVID-19 Pandemic: Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Levels Highest amongst Indigenous Peoples in Alberta
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090115 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 761
Abstract
This study explores differences in stress, anxiety, and depression experienced by different ethnic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a cross-sectional online survey of subscribers of the COVID-19 Text4Hope text messaging program in Alberta. Stress, anxiety, and depression were measured among Caucasian, [...] Read more.
This study explores differences in stress, anxiety, and depression experienced by different ethnic groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a cross-sectional online survey of subscribers of the COVID-19 Text4Hope text messaging program in Alberta. Stress, anxiety, and depression were measured among Caucasian, Indigenous, Asian, and other ethnic groups using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS)-10, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)-7, and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9 scales, respectively. The burden of depression and stress were significantly higher in Indigenous populations than in both Caucasian and Asian ethnic groups. The mean difference between Indigenous and Caucasian for PHQ-9 scores was 1.79, 95% CI of 0.74 to 2.84, p < 0.01 and for PSS-10 it was 1.92, 95% CI of 0.86 to 2.98, p < 0.01). The mean difference between Indigenous and Asian for PHQ-9 scores was 1.76, 95% CI of 0.34 to 3.19, p = 0.01 and for PSS-10 it was 2.02, 95% CI of 0.63 to 3.41, p < 0.01. However, Indigenous participant burden of anxiety was only significantly higher than Asian participants’ (mean difference for GAD-7 was 1.91, 95% CI of 0.65 to 3.18, p < 0.01). Indigenous people in Alberta have higher burden of mental illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings are helpful for service planning and delivery. Full article
Article
The Effect of Forward Testing as a Function of Test Occasions and Study Material
Behav. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/bs11090114 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 723
Abstract
It has long been known that one of the most effective study techniques is to be tested on the to-be-remembered material, a phenomenon known as the testing effect. Recent research has also shown that testing of previous materials promotes the learning of new [...] Read more.
It has long been known that one of the most effective study techniques is to be tested on the to-be-remembered material, a phenomenon known as the testing effect. Recent research has also shown that testing of previous materials promotes the learning of new materials, a phenomenon known as the forward testing effect. In this paper, as of yet unexplored aspects of the forward testing effect related to face-name learning are examined; continuous and initial testing are compared to restudying, the effects of an initial test on subsequent learning, and whether an initial change of domain (change from one topic to another) regarding study material affects the robustness of the effect. An experiment (N = 94) was performed according to a 2 (Material: word pairs/face-name pairs in Block 1) × 3 (Test occasions: Blocks 1–4/Blocks 1 and 4/Block 4) complex between-groups design. The results showed that no difference between testing and repetition could be observed regarding the recall of faces and names. The restudy groups incorrectly recalled more names from previous lists in the last interim test compared to the tested groups, which supports the theory that interim tests reduce proactive interference. The results also suggest that the number of test occasions correlates with the number of incorrect recalls from previous lists. These results, in contrast to previous studies, highlight a potential uncertainty about the forward testing effect linked to the robustness of the phenomenon, the specificity in execution, and generalizability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Psychology)
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