Special Issue "Psychological and Neurobiological Bases of Threat Processing in Victims of Pandemics and Natural Disasters"

A special issue of Trauma Care (ISSN 2673-866X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Massimiliano Conson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratory of Developmental Neuropsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 81100 Caserta, Italy
Interests: spatial cognition, mental imagery and motor simulation in children and adults with typical and atypical development; neuropsychology of anxiety and hypervigilance to threat
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Laura Sagliano
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Psychology, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, 81100 Caserta, Italy
Interests: emotion-cognition interactions, interoception, emotion processing, defensive responses, and cognitive biases from the lens of cognitive and clinical neuroscience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Individuals exposed to traumatic events, such as natural disasters, can develop different emotional disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and social phobia. Moreover, a certain percentage of the exposed individuals can develop subtle emotional changes that do not reach clinical significance. Although these individuals could be considered the most resilient ones, they are more prone to mental health problems and chronic illnesses later in life. These responses to trauma do not necessarily imply the impaired processing of emotions but rather seem to represent an increased sensitivity towards specific emotional signals, in particular, those signals conveying self-relevant potential threatening information. Analogously to natural disasters, the biological ones, such as the COVID‐19 pandemic, increase the appearance of emotional distress and psychopathology. In particular, healthcare professionals are highly exposed to the risk of developing psychopathological conditions. For this reason, efforts in the detection of the early signs of dysfunctional emotional changes in at-risk populations are of primary relevance for dealing with the psychological crisis due to the COVID‐19 pandemic. From this perspective, shedding light on the neural and psychological mechanisms involved in the responses to trauma exposure in both clinical and nonclinical populations is crucial for developing tailored preventive and treatment interventions.

Dr. Massimiliano Conson
Dr. Laura Sagliano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Trauma Care is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • natural disasters
  • earthquake
  • biological threat
  • attentional bias
  • vigilance to threat
  • psychopathology
  • emotional faces
  • mental health
  • fear of contagion
  • health anxiety

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Growth after Trauma: The Role of Self-Compassion following Hurricane Harvey
Trauma Care 2021, 1(2), 119-129; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/traumacare1020011 - 18 Aug 2021
Viewed by 301
Abstract
The psychological impact of a traumatic event includes potentially both negative (e.g., PTSD, depression, and anxiety) as well as positive (e.g., post-traumatic growth) outcomes. The construct of self-compassion—the capacity to be compassionate towards oneself—has been associated with various psychological benefits following disasters; however, [...] Read more.
The psychological impact of a traumatic event includes potentially both negative (e.g., PTSD, depression, and anxiety) as well as positive (e.g., post-traumatic growth) outcomes. The construct of self-compassion—the capacity to be compassionate towards oneself—has been associated with various psychological benefits following disasters; however, the association between self-compassion and PTG have not yet been examined in natural disaster settings. This study aimed to examine the relationship between these constructs, with self-compassion as a potential mediator in this relationship. Three hundred and nine undergraduate students affected by the impact of Hurricane Harvey were recruited. Statistical analyses revealed a significant mediation effect, with PTSD symptoms being both directly and indirectly (via self-compassion) associated with PTG. The capacity to grow from traumatic experiences is mediated by one’s disposition to be compassionate towards oneself, serving as a resilience factor to provide individuals with the cognitive and emotional resources to grow after trauma. These findings have significant implications in both clinical and research contexts, including the use of self-compassion interventions to protect against PTSD and other comorbid psychopathology and also act as a catalyst for growth following natural disaster events. Full article
Article
Suicide and Health Crisis in Extremadura: Impact of Confinement during COVID-19
Trauma Care 2021, 1(1), 38-48; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/traumacare1010004 - 04 May 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Because of its impact on social well-being, mental health, and financial security, the COVID-19 health crisis may increase the risk of suicide. This study’s objective was to determine what impact the period of confinement might have had on the incidence of deaths by [...] Read more.
Because of its impact on social well-being, mental health, and financial security, the COVID-19 health crisis may increase the risk of suicide. This study’s objective was to determine what impact the period of confinement might have had on the incidence of deaths by suicide (DBS) in the Extremadura region (Spain). Cases registered in the Institutes of Legal Medicine and Forensic Science (IMLyCFs) from January 2015 to December 2020 were collected. Intra- and interannual comparisons were made of the suicide rates in the periods of confinement (March–June) and postconfinement (July–October) of 2020 with those of the preceding 5 years. After seasonally adjusting the data by means of a time series analysis, rate ratios (RRs) were calculated together with their 95% confidence intervals (CI). There were no significant differences between the suicide rates of 2020 and the mean of the preceding 5 years (RR = 0.94; CI: 0.56–1.55), and neither did any differences seen in the intra-annual analysis from the period of confinement to postconfinement reach statistical significance (RR = 0.74; CI: 0.45–1.20). It is necessary to strengthen vigilance during and after the crisis and ensure that assistance mechanisms are in place to prevent an increase in suicides. Full article
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