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Preview: Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Vol 118, Iss 4

Journal of Abnormal Psychology - Vol 126, Iss 2



The Journal of Abnormal Psychology publishes articles on basic research and theory in the broad field of abnormal behavior, its determinants, and its correlates. The following general topics fall within its area of major focus: (a) psychopathology—its e



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Anticipatory and consummatory pleasure and displeasure in major depressive disorder: An experience sampling study.

2016-12-12

Pleasure and displeasure can be parsed into anticipatory and consummatory phases. However, research on pleasure and displeasure in major depressive disorder (MDD), a disorder characterized by anhedonia, has largely focused on deficits in the consummatory phase. Moreover, most studies in this area have been laboratory-based, raising the question of how component processes of pleasure and displeasure are experienced in the daily lives of depressed individuals. Using experience sampling, we compared anticipatory and consummatory pleasure and displeasure for daily activities reported by adults with MDD (n = 41) and healthy controls (n = 39). Participants carried electronic devices for one week and were randomly prompted eight times a day to answer questions about activities to which they most and least looked forward. Compared to healthy controls, MDD participants reported blunted levels of both anticipatory and consummatory pleasure and elevated levels of both anticipatory and consummatory displeasure for daily activities. Independent of MDD status, participants accurately predicted pleasure but overestimated displeasure. These results are the first to provide evidence that, across both anticipatory and consummatory phases, individuals with MDD experience blunted pleasure and elevated displeasure for daily activities. Our findings clarify the disturbances in pleasure and displeasure that characterize MDD and may inform treatment for this debilitating disorder. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Core dimensions of anxiety and depression change independently during adolescence.

2017-02-13

The developmental trajectories of emotional disorder symptoms during adolescence remain elusive, owing in part to a shortage of intensive longitudinal data. In the present study, we charted the temporal course of the tripartite model of anxiety and depression—which posits an overarching negative affect dimension and specific anhedonia and anxious arousal dimensions—over adolescence and emerging adulthood to construct a developmental map of the core dimensions of emotional disorders. We recruited 604 high school juniors, overselecting those at high risk for emotional disorders, and assessed the tripartite symptom domains 5 times annually. Latent curve modeling revealed that negative affect and anxious arousal declined over follow up, whereas anhedonia did not. Moreover, the correlation in rate of change varied across pairs of symptom domains. Change in negative affect was moderately correlated with change in anxious arousal, but change in anhedonia was not significantly related to change in any other domain. Symptom trajectories, and the pattern of covariation among trajectories, were equivalent across gender and comorbidity status. We discuss implications of these findings for developmental models of anxiety and depression, as well as transdiagnostic frameworks for emotional disorders. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Patterns of pregnancy and postpartum depressive symptoms: Latent class trajectories and predictors.

2016-12-01

Depressive symptoms among pregnant and postpartum women are common. However, recent studies indicate that depressive symptoms in the perinatal period do not follow a uniform course, and investigations of the heterogeneity of time courses and associated factors are needed. The aim of this study was to explore whether depressive symptoms in the perinatal period could be categorized into several distinct trajectories of symptom development among subgroups of perinatal women, and to identify predictors of these trajectory groups. The study used data from 1,036 Norwegian women participating in a community-based prospective study from midpregnancy until 12-months postpartum. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale at 7 time points (4 during pregnancy). Partner-related attachment, stress, childhood adversities, pregnancy-related anxiety, previous psychopathology, and socioeconomic conditions were assessed at enrollment. By means of growth mixture modeling based on piecewise growth curves, 4 classes of depressive symptom trajectories were identified, including (a) pregnancy only (4.4%); (b) postpartum only (2.2%); (c) moderate-persistent (10.5%); and (d) minimum symptoms (82.9%) classes. Multinomial logistic regression analyses showed that membership in the pregnancy only and postpartum only classes primarily was associated with pregnancy-related anxiety and previous psychopathology, respectively, whereas the moderate-persistent class was associated with diverse psychosocial adversity factors. Findings suggest heterogeneity in temporal patterns of elevated depressive mood, relating specific trajectories of time courses with distinct adversity factors. Researchers and clinicians should be aware of possible multiple courses of elevated perinatal depressive mood, and inquire about possible diverse adversity factors, aberrant pathways, and prognoses. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Smoking-induced affect modulation in nonwithdrawn smokers with posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and in those with no psychiatric disorder.

2016-12-22

This research sought to determine whether smoking influences affect by means other than withdrawal reduction. Little previous evidence suggests such an effect. We surmised that such an effect would be especially apparent in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder (MDD), 2 disorders that are frequently comorbid with smoking and that involve dysregulated affect. Participants were U.S. veterans who were regular smokers (N = 159): 52 with PTSD (58% with comorbid MDD), 51 with MDD, and 56 controls with no psychiatric disorder. During 3 positive and 3 negative mood induction trials (scheduled over 2 sessions), nonwithdrawn participants smoked either a nicotine-containing cigarette (NIC+), a nicotine-free cigarette (NIC−), or held a pen. Positive and negative affect were each measured before and after mood induction. Results showed a significant 2-way interaction of Smoking Condition × Time on negative affect during the negative mood induction (F(6, 576) = 2.41, p = .03) in those with PTSD and controls. In these groups, both NIC+ and NIC−, relative to pen, produced lower negative affect ratings after the negative mood induction. There was also a 2-way interaction of Smoking Condition × Time on positive affect response to the positive mood induction among those with PTSD and controls (F(6, 564) = 3.17, p = .005) and among MDD and controls (F(6, 564) = 2.27, p = .036). Among all smokers, NIC+ enhanced the magnitude and duration of positive affect more than did NIC−. Results revealed affect modulation outside the context of withdrawal relief; such effects may motivate smoking among those with psychiatric diagnoses, and among smokers in general. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Suicide and self-injury-related implicit cognition: A large-scale examination and replication.

2016-12-19

Suicide and self-injury are difficult to predict because at-risk individuals are often unable or unwilling to report their intentions. Therefore, tools to reliably assess risk without reliance on self-report are critically needed. Prior research suggests that people who engage in suicidal and nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) often implicitly (i.e., outside conscious control) associate themselves with self-harm and death, indicating that self-harm-related implicit cognition may serve as a useful behavioral marker for suicide risk. However, earlier studies left several critical questions about the robustness, sensitivity, and specificity of self-harm-related implicit associations unaddressed. We recruited a large sample of participants (N = 7,015) via a public web-based platform called Project Implicit Mental Health (PIMH) to test several hypotheses about self-harm-related implicit associations using the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Participants were randomly assigned to complete 1 of 3 self-harm IATs (Self + Cutting using picture stimuli, Self + Suicide using word stimuli, Self + Death using word stimuli). Results replicated prior studies demonstrating that self-harm-related implicit associations were stronger among individuals with (vs. without) a history of suicide attempt and NSSI. Results also suggested that self-harm-related implicit associations are robust (based on internal replication), are sensitive to recency and severity of self-harm history (e.g., stronger associations for more recent and more lethal prior suicide attempts), and correlate with specific types of self-harm behaviors. These findings clarify the nature of self-harm-related implicit cognition and highlight the IAT’s potential to track current risk for specific types of self-harm in ways that more fixed risk factors cannot. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Enduring mental health: Prevalence and prediction.

2016-12-01

We review epidemiological evidence indicating that most people will develop a diagnosable mental disorder, suggesting that only a minority experience enduring mental health. This minority has received little empirical study, leaving the prevalence and predictors of enduring mental health unknown. We turn to the population-representative Dunedin cohort, followed from birth to midlife, to compare people never-diagnosed with mental disorder (N = 171; 17% prevalence) to those diagnosed at 1–2 study waves, the cohort mode (N = 409). Surprisingly, compared to this modal group, never-diagnosed Study members were not born into unusually well-to-do families, nor did their enduring mental health follow markedly sound physical health, or unusually high intelligence. Instead, they tended to have an advantageous temperament/personality style, and negligible family history of mental disorder. As adults, they report superior educational and occupational attainment, greater life satisfaction, and higher-quality relationships. Our findings draw attention to “enduring mental health” as a revealing psychological phenotype and suggest it deserves further study. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Interpersonal callousness and co-occurring anxiety: Developmental validity of an adolescent taxonomy.

2016-12-15

Growing evidence suggests heterogeneity within interpersonal-callous (IC) youth based on co-occurring anxiety. The developmental validity of this proposed taxonomy remains unclear however, as most previous research is cross-sectional and/or limited to adolescence. We aimed to identify low-anxiety (IC/ANX−) and high-anxiety (IC/ANX+) IC variants, and compare these groups on (a) early risk exposures, (b) psychiatric symptoms from midchildhood to early adolescence, and (c) school-based functioning. Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a prospective epidemiological birth cohort, model-based cluster analysis was performed on children with complete age-13 IC and anxiety scores (n = 6,791). Analysis of variance was used to compare resulting clusters on (a) prenatal and postnatal family adversity and maternal psychopathology, and harsh parenting; (b) developmental differences in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), conduct disorder (CD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), emotional difficulties, and low pro-social behavior at 7, 10, and 13 years; and (c) teacher-reported discipline problems, along with standardized test performance. We identified a 4-cluster solution: “typical,” “low,” “IC/ANX−”, and “IC/ANX+.” IC/ANX+ youth showed the highest prenatal and postnatal levels of family adversity and maternal psychopathology, highest levels of ADHD, CD, ODD, and emotional difficulties, greatest discipline problems, and lowest national test scores (all p < .001). IC/ANX+ also showed a distinct pattern of increasing psychopathology from age 7 to 13 years. Adolescent IC subtypes were successfully validated in ALSPAC across multiple raters using prenatal and early postnatal risk, repeated measures of psychopathology, and school-based outcomes. Greater prenatal environmental risk among IC/ANX+ youth suggests an important target for early intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Neural responses to gains and losses in children of suicide attempters.

2016-11-03

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 126(2) of Journal of Abnormal Psychology (see record 2016-56318-001). In the article, Figure 1 had incorrect axis labels. There was also an error in the abstract, which did not state that ΔFN was calculated as FN to losses minus FN to gains. All versions of this article have been corrected.] Suicidal behavior aggregates within families, yet the specific mechanisms of suicide-risk transmission are poorly understood. Despite some evidence that abnormal patterns of reward responsiveness might constitute one such potential mechanism, empirical evidence is lacking. The goal of this study was to examine neural responses to gains and losses in children of suicide attempters with no personal history of suicide attempt (SA) themselves. To objectively assess these neural responses, we used feedback negativity (FN), a psychophysiological marker of responsiveness to reward and loss. Participants were 66 parents and their 7–11-year-old children (22 with parental history of SA and 44 demographically and clinically matched children of parents with no SA history). Diagnostic interviews were used to gather information about psychiatric diagnoses, symptoms, and histories of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Children also completed a guessing task, during which continuous electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. The FN was scored as the mean amplitude, 275–375 ms, following gain or loss feedback at frontocentral sites (Fz and FCz). Children of suicide attempters exhibited significantly more negative ΔFN (i.e., FN to losses minus FN to gains) than children of parents with no SA history. We found that this difference in ΔFN was due specifically to children of parents with a history of SA exhibiting a stronger response to loss, and no group differences were observed for responses to gains. The results suggest that an increased neural response to loss might represent one of the potential pathways of the familial transmission of suicide risk. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



“Neural responses to gains and losses in children of suicide attempters”: Correction to Tsypes et al. (2016).

2016-11-21

Reports an error in "Neural Responses to Gains and Losses in Children of Suicide Attempters" by Aliona Tsypes, Max Owens, Greg Hajcak and Brandon E. Gibb (Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Advanced Online Publication, Nov 3, 2016, np). In the article, Figure 1 had incorrect axis labels. There was also an error in the abstract, which did not state that ΔFN was calculated as FN to losses minus FN to gains. All versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2016-53087-001.) Suicidal behavior aggregates within families, yet the specific mechanisms of suicide-risk transmission are poorly understood. Despite some evidence that abnormal patterns of reward responsiveness might constitute one such potential mechanism, empirical evidence is lacking. The goal of this study was to examine neural responses to gains and losses in children of suicide attempters with no personal history of suicide attempt (SA) themselves. To objectively assess these neural responses, we used feedback negativity (FN), a psychophysiological marker of responsiveness to reward and loss. Participants were 66 parents and their 7–11-year-old children (22 with parental history of SA and 44 demographically and clinically matched children of parents with no SA history). Diagnostic interviews were used to gather information about psychiatric diagnoses, symptoms, and histories of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Children also completed a guessing task, during which continuous electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. The FN was scored as the mean amplitude, 275–375 ms, following gain or loss feedback at frontocentral sites (Fz and FCz). Children of suicide attempters exhibited significantly more negative ΔFN (i.e., FN to losses minus FN to gains) than children of parents with no SA history. We found that this difference in ΔFN was due specifically to children of parents with a history of SA exhibiting a stronger response to loss, and no group differences were observed for responses to gains. The results suggest that an increased neural response to loss might represent one of the potential pathways of the familial transmission of suicide risk. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Sex moderates the impact of birth weight on child externalizing psychopathology.

2016-11-17

Low birth weight (LBW) has consistently been associated with childhood attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and a similar association has been found for childhood externalizing disorders, such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD), albeit to a lesser degree. Although the association between LBW and these disorders has been robustly replicated, few studies have adequately controlled for confounding variables, such as parental age at birth and prenatal tobacco use, examined the specificity of the risk of LBW for ADHD symptoms, or investigated potential nonlinear (i.e., quadratic) effects of birth weight (BW). Additionally, the extent to which LBW confers risk for these disorders depending on childhood sex has rarely been examined. The current study examined associations between BW and ADHD, ODD, and CD symptom dimensions as well as the extent to which such associations are moderated by child sex, while also controlling for confounding variables. Significant interactions between sex and BW emerged across all analyses predicting ADHD and externalizing psychopathology, such that associations were stronger in males relative to females. Results remained when controlling for a number of confounds, including parental age, prenatal tobacco use, comorbid psychopathology, as well as other indicators of maternal and child health during the pre- and perinatal period. Both linear and quadratic associations emerged between BW and both hyperactivity and CD symptoms, whereas BW predicted inattention and ODD symptoms in a linear fashion. Future research should continue to investigate the impact of BW on ADHD and externalizing psychopathology, in particular, the biological mechanisms underlying this association. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)



Executive functions and substance use: Relations in late adolescence and early adulthood.

2017-01-02

Poor executive functions (EFs) have been linked to substance use and abuse across multiple substances. However, it is unclear whether these associations are stronger for some EFs over others and/or some stages of substance use over others (e.g., ever using substances vs. dependence). It is also unknown whether such patterns change from adolescence to early adulthood, a transition that is characterized by changes to both EFs and substance use behaviors. In this longitudinal study of approximately 850 twins, we examined the relations between multiple EF abilities (including a common EF factor predicting 9 EF tasks) and measures of general substance use and dependence/abuse in late adolescence (mean age 17 years) and early adulthood (mean age 23 years). At the phenotypic level, common EF in adolescence was negatively related to the number of substances ever used and to last 6-month frequency of use, but not to dependence/abuse vulnerability (i.e., the number of dependence and abuse symptoms endorsed per substance that had been repeatedly used). However, in the same participants in early adulthood, common EF was only weakly related to the number of substances used, and not related to concurrent frequency of use nor dependence/abuse vulnerability. Twin analyses revealed that these associations were primarily genetic in origin, and that the genetic correlations were relatively stable over time. These results suggest that low common EF is a genetic risk factor for increased polysubstance use in late adolescence, but that non-EF factors play a larger role in the progression to substance dependence/abuse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)