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The American Psychologist is the official journal of the American Psychological Association. As such, the journal contains archival documents and articles covering current issues in psychology, the science and practice of psychology, and psychology's cont



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What five decades of research tells us about the effects of youth psychological therapy: A multilevel meta-analysis and implications for science and practice.

2017-02-20

Across 5 decades, hundreds of randomized trials have tested psychological therapies for youth internalizing (anxiety, depression) and externalizing (misconduct, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) disorders and problems. Since the last broad-based youth meta-analysis in 1995, the number of trials has almost tripled and data-analytic methods have been refined. We applied these methods to the expanded study pool (447 studies; 30,431 youths), synthesizing 50 years of findings and identifying implications for research and practice. We assessed overall effect size (ES) and moderator effects using multilevel modeling to address ES dependency that is common, but typically not modeled, in meta-analyses. Mean posttreatment ES was 0.46; the probability that a youth in the treatment condition would fare better than a youth in the control condition was 63%. Effects varied according to multiple moderators, including the problem targeted in treatment: Mean ES at posttreatment was strongest for anxiety (0.61), weakest for depression (0.29), and nonsignificant for multiproblem treatment (0.15). ESs differed across control conditions, with “usual care” emerging as a potent comparison condition, and across informants, highlighting the need to obtain and integrate multiple perspectives on outcome. Effects of therapy type varied by informant; only youth-focused behavioral therapies (including cognitive-behavioral therapy) showed similar and robust effects across youth, parent, and teacher reports. Effects did not differ for Caucasian versus minority samples, but more diverse samples are needed. The findings underscore the benefits of psychological treatments as well as the need for improved therapies and more representative, informative, and rigorous intervention science. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Breaking ground for psychological science: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

2017-02-20

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates products accounting for 20% of U.S. consumer spending. Many of its actions depend on assumptions about behavior. Will people heed food recall notices? Will they follow medication schedules? Will they have realistic expectations regarding the benefits and risks of new products? Over time, FDA has increasingly made psychology integral to its processes for answering such questions. That progress has come when windows of opportunity have found psychologists with science relevant to FDA’s needs, FDA with staff who can translate that research into agency terms, and a regulatory arena that can accommodate behavioral evidence. These experiences suggest opportunities and obstacles for psychologists hoping to apply their science to the public good. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



The American Psychological Association Task Force assessment of violent video games: Science in the service of public interest.

2017-02-20

A task force of experts was convened by the American Psychological Association (APA) to update the knowledge and policy about the impact of violent video game use on potential adverse outcomes. This APA Task Force on Media Violence examined the existing literature, including the meta-analyses in the field, since the last APA report on media violence in 2005. Because the most recent meta-analyses were published in 2010 and reflected work through 2009, the task force conducted a search of the published studies from 2009–2013. These recently published articles were scored and assessed by a systematic evidentiary review, followed by a meta-analysis of the high utility studies, as documented in the evidentiary review. Consistent with the literature that we reviewed, we found that violent video game exposure was associated with: an increased composite aggression score; increased aggressive behavior; increased aggressive cognitions; increased aggressive affect, increased desensitization, and decreased empathy; and increased physiological arousal. The size of the effects was similar to that in prior meta-analyses, suggesting a stable result. Our task force concluded that violent video game use is a risk factor for adverse outcomes, but found insufficient studies to examine any potential link between violent video game use and delinquency or criminal behavior. Our technical report is the basis of this article. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



The power and the pain of adolescents’ digital communication: Cyber victimization and the perils of lurking.

2017-02-20

Many adolescents are heavily engaged with social media and text messaging (George & Odgers, 2015; Lenhart, 2015), yet few psychologists have studied what digital communication means for adolescents’ relationships and adjustment. This article proposes that psychologists should embrace the careful study of adolescents’ digital communication. We discuss theoretical frameworks for understanding adolescents’ involvement with social media, present less widely recognized perils of intense involvement with social media, and highlight positive features of digital communication. Coconstruction theory suggests that adolescents help to create the content of digital communication that shapes their lives, and that there may be strong continuity between adolescents’ offline and online lives (Subrahmanyam, Smahel, & Greenfield, 2006). However, psychological theories and research methods could further illuminate the power and the pain of adolescents’ digital communication. Psychologists need to understand more about subtle but potentially serious risks that adolescents might face: The agony of victimization by even a single episode of cyberbullying and the pain of social exclusion and comparison resulting from vast amounts of time reading large social media feeds and seeing friends doing things without you and comparing your inner emotional experience to everyone else’s highly groomed depictions of their seemingly marvelous lives. If we seek to understand developmental psychopathology and to help youth at risk, psychologists need to embrace careful study of the content of adolescents’ online communication, parents need to talk with their children about their own online experiences and become familiar with social media themselves, and clinicians need to address adolescents’ online social lives in prevention and treatment programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Ethical concerns for telemental health therapy amidst governmental surveillance.

2017-02-20

Technology, infrastructure, governmental support, and interest in mental health accessibility have led to a burgeoning field of telemental health therapy (TMHT). Psychologists can now provide therapy via computers at great distances and little cost for parties involved. Growth of TMHT within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and among psychologists surveyed by the American Psychological Association (APA) suggests optimism in this provision of services (Godleski, Darkins, & Peters, 2012; Jacobsen & Kohout, 2010). Despite these advances, psychologists using technology must keep abreast of potential limitations to privacy and confidentiality. However, no scholarly articles have appraised the ramifications of recent government surveillance disclosures (e.g., “The NSA Files”; Greenwald, 2013) and how they might affect TMHT usage within the field of psychology. This article reviews the current state of TMHT in psychology, APA’s guidelines, current governmental threats to client privacy, and other ethical ramifications that might result. Best practices for the field of psychology are proposed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Why wasn’t prevention included? Comment on the special issue on undergraduate education in psychology (2016).

2017-02-20

In the February/March 2016 special issue, articles by Gurung et al. (2016) and Norcross et al. (2016) called for change in undergraduate education; however, the special issue failed to include prevention. This comment shows that undergraduate education should include a specialization in prevention, focusing on prevention groups. This could offer a new 4-year career path in psychology, expanding psychology student job opportunities. Prevention groups include health prevention, school-based prevention, violence and anger prevention, and bullying prevention. With many 4-year psychology majors looking for work, a 4-year specialization in prevention groups could help students secure psychology-related employment while meeting community needs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Whatever happened to the human experience in undergraduate psychology? Comment on the special issue on undergraduate education in psychology (2016).

2017-02-20

This comment addresses the omission of a series of critical reflections in recent discussions of undergraduate education in psychology. The lack of a stronger focus on human meaning and experience, on social context, on methodological diversity, and on social critique limits the critical horizons of undergraduate psychology education. Many perspectives are routinely excluded from undergraduate psychology curricula and associated guidelines, particularly psychoanalytic theories, human science approaches, and related critical standpoints. These perspectives can offer an educational focus vital for development of students capable of critical reflection and social action. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Marketing trends impede conceptual integration in psychology courses: Comment on Gurung et al. (2016).

2017-02-20

A recent American Psychologist article on teaching (Gurung et al., 2016) stressed the importance of fostering integration across topic areas. A current trend in publishing and marketing of textbooks is creating pressure that makes this goal harder to implement. The trend is offering custom tailoring of online texts by adopters, letting instructors assign some sections and make other sections unavailable to students. To permit this option, textbook publishers now insist that authors not cross-reference anywhere, so that no instructor will face the possibility of a student looking for material that has not been assigned and thus does not exist. Ironically, this pressure from publishers actively impedes conceptual integration in our textbooks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Clarifications on executive coaching: Comment on Gebhardt (2016).

2017-02-20

Multiple issues and concerns are raised around the disparate practices of clinical psychology and coaching. It is important to make a distinction between psychologists who also coach, and coaches who are not trained psychologists who rightfully should not wander into therapeutic roles. Second, one would expect that a code of ethics for a diverse psychological organization would cover a broader spectrum of issues than an organization focused solely on coaching. Finally, credential programs are quite different from academic, postsecondary degree programs, and accreditation of each type should therefore be considered independently. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Reflections on quagmires for clinicians and coaches: Comment on Gebhardt (2016).

2017-02-20

Professional coaching can be considered an example of a postprofessional discipline—a discipline that transcends the traditional boundaries between professional clinical psychology and business consulting and coaching. Not surprisingly, a number of potential quagmires in relation to ethical, educational, and credentialing issues have arisen. However, such tensions present an opportunity to build more solid foundations for the delivery of professional coaching services. A way forward is to more broadly engage with university-level theoretically grounded, coaching-specific educational programs. Psychology as a profession needs to more actively engage with coaching so that we bring our scientific training, our professional experience, and evidence-based approaches to a broader audience. Raising the standard of coach education and practice through university education, and forming clear and coaching-specific guidelines for psychologists who coach, should be a priority for both the American Psychological Association and the International Coach Federation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Irving Isadore Gottesman (1930–2016).

2017-02-20

Presents an obituary for Irving Isadore Gottesman who passed away on June 29, 2016, at his home in Edina, Minnesota. Gottesman was a gifted writer and clnician who will be best remembered as a courageous psychologist who “swam against the current” and researched genetic influence on human behavior, especially psychopathology, at a time when it was considered heresy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Earl Busby Hunt (1933–2016).

2017-02-20

Presents an obituary for Earl Busby Hunt—known to family, friends, and colleagues as Buz—who died at home in Bellevue, Washington, on April 12, 2016. Buz specialized in artificial intelligence (AI) and had a main focus in cognitive psychology. In fact he was editor of Cognitive Psychology from 1974-1987. Buz’s honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for Intelligence Research (2009) and the Cattell Award from the Association for Psychological Science (2011) for lifetime contributions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



William R. Shadish (1949–2016).

2017-02-20

Presents an obituary for William R. Shadish who passed away on March 27, 2016, after a long, arduous battle with prostate cancer. Shadish was a distinguished professor for the University of California, Merced. He was elected president of three organizations: American Evaluation Association (1996), Society for Research Synthesis Methodology (2013), and Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology (2014), and received numerous national awards. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Lorraine Williams Greene (1950–2016).

2017-02-20

Presents an obituary for Lorraine Williams Greene who died on February 25, 2016. Lorraine started her professional career as a school psychologist for the Atlanta Public Schools. For the rest of her life, she was involved in her community through her church, her sorority, the Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, and other national and local service organizations. Within the American Psychological Association (APA), Lorraine was active in Division 18, Psychologists in Public Service, first as Chair of the Police and Public Safety Section, then as the division’s representative to APA Council, and, in 2016, as President-elect of the Division. She was also active in Divisions 45 and 56. In 2014, she received a Presidential Citation from APA President Nadine J. Kaslow for her dedicated service to law enforcement. In 2015, she received the Harold Hildreth Award for Distinguished Public Service, the highest award from the division. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Stanley (Stan) Kuczaj II (1950–2016).

2017-02-20

Presents an obituary for Stanley (Stan) Kuczaj II who passed away suddenly on April 14, 2016 at the age of 65 in his home in Hattiesburg Mississippi. The field of comparative cognition and animal behavior lost a leader, a friend, and a mentor that day. At the time of his passing, Stan was a fellow and the president of the Society for Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, Division 6, of the American Psychological Association (APA). He was also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, APA’s Divisions 3 and 7, and the Psychonomic Society. He was a founding member of the Comparative Cognition Society and a charter fellow for the Association of Psychological Science. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Edward Shapiro (1951–2016).

2017-02-20

Presents an obituary for Edward Shapiro who passed away on March 23, 2016. Ed was a highly accomplished researcher and trainer who was a strong advocate for rigorous scholarship and quality psychological practice. His death was a great loss to the field of school psychology and to everyone who serves children with educational and behavioral disabilities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)