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Professional Psychology: Research and Practice - Vol 48, Iss 1

Professional Psychology: Research and Practice publishes articles on the application of psychology, including the scientific underpinnings of the profession of psychology.

Last Build Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:00:27 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association

A comparison of psychiatric symptom severity in individuals assessed in their mother tongue versus an acquired language: A two-sample study of individuals with schizophrenia and a normative population.


Case studies published over 40 years ago suggest that seriously mentally ill patients appear to report more severe psychotic symptoms when assessed in their mother tongue as opposed to a later acquired language. We aimed to test this hypothesis empirically in both a clinical sample of 222 patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder (Study 1) and a nonclinical sample of 414 undergraduates (Study 2), focusing on positive and disorganized symptoms (clinical and subclinical, respectively), which have been indicated as most influenced by sociocultural factors. In Study 1, participants interviewed in their mother tongue endorsed significantly greater symptom severity than those interviewed in a later-acquired language on the Thought Disturbance subscale of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, but no differences on the Disorganization subscale. In Study 2, participants who were assessed in their mother tongue reported significantly greater Unusual Experiences and Cognitive Disorganization on the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences than those responding in an acquired language. Results supported the hypothesis that evaluations conducted in an individual’s mother tongue reveal greater psychopathology than those conducted in a later acquired language. Clinical implications regarding language use in assessment are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Acculturation experiences of Chinese international students who attend American universities.


Given the increasing number of Chinese international students attending American universities, it is important to consider potential problems arising during their initial transition period, and their experiences acculturating into the American culture and educational system. Thirteen Chinese international students participated in qualitative interviews conducted in participant’s native language, Mandarin Chinese. Data analysis followed the hermeneutic circle. Based on their personal perspectives, participants reported their experiences encountered during their initial transition into the U.S. They described how they made sense of their experiences and how their ways of thinking and behaving changed as a result of being influenced by their experiences interfacing with U.S. culture. Participants also shared their strategies they perceived as helpful in specific situations. Based on an analysis of participants’ interviews, emerging themes included (a) difficulties and challenges they faced as new immigrants, (b) differences they encountered with respect to their homeland and the new environment, including language/communication, culture, academic study and learning, living in the U.S., and psychological adjustments, (c) positive growth they acknowledged from facing challenges and adapting to their new environment, and (d) help they received from a variety of individuals and organizations. Additionally, participants offered suggestions to future Chinese international students, emphasizing the importance of more proactively seeking and receiving assistance. Implications for American universities, including counseling centers, to more actively assist and include Chinese international students are also discussed. An increased understanding of and sensitivity to international students’ challenges will help professionals strengthen outreach services. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Risk and protective factors impacting burnout in bilingual, Latina/o clinicians: An exploratory study.


While there is a paucity of information in the research examining the training and professional experience of bilingual, Latina/o clinicians who provide mental health services in Spanish, a growing body of research has highlighted a series of challenges unique to this group of providers, including their concerns about burnout due to such challenges. This exploratory study is the first (to the best of our knowledge) to measure the levels of burnout among these clinicians and to examine the interrelationship between burnout and sociodemographic and individual characteristics. The extent to which these clinicians experience the challenges identified in previous studies was also investigated. Participants included 66 bilingual, English–Spanish, Latina/o clinicians. The results suggest that bilingual, Latina/o clinicians endorse lower degrees of burnout relative to their monolingual, English counterparts and that specific sociodemographic and individual characteristics influence burnout. Furthermore, the results support previous research findings highlighting the unique set of challenges encountered by these clinicians. Understanding the characteristics and dynamics that contribute to and protect against burnout has major implications for the training, support, and retention of bilingual, English–Spanish, Latina/o psychologists. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Race-based traumatic stress, racial identity statuses, and psychological functioning: An exploratory investigation.


To understand the impact racial experiences have on people of color, it is important to consider both whether there are any race-based traumatic stress symptoms (RBTS) and within-group psychological differences as reflected in one’s racial identity status attitudes (RISA). Moreover, if the combination of RBTS reactions and racial identity status attitudes are related to their psychological functioning? The current study explored the relationships between a person’s reactions to memorable racial encounters as assessed by the Race-Based Traumatic Stress Symptoms Scale, their racial identity status attitudes measured by the People of Color Racial Identity Attitude Scale, and psychological functioning (i.e., distress and well-being). Data from 282 adult community-based participants were used to examine the combined associations between RBTS, racial identity status attitudes, psychological well-being and psychological distress. A hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted to examine the relationships between race-based traumatic stress reactions and racial identity status attitudes. A two-cluster group solution was found that showed associations between externally defined or less mature racial identity status attitudes and higher RBTS symptoms and psychological distress. Internally defined or more mature or differentiated racial identity statuses were related to decreased psychological distress and RBTS symptoms. The findings were not expected in that lower racial identity statues were associated with higher levels of RBTS. Clinical implications and future research directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The current status of prescribing psychologists: Practice patterns and medical professional evaluations.


Despite ongoing controversy surrounding prescriptive authority for psychologists, few studies have been conducted on the practices or acceptance of prescribing psychologists. The current study had three aims. The first was to evaluate how prescribing psychologists are perceived by themselves and by their colleagues in various medical professions. The second aim was to understand the practice patterns of prescribing psychologists, while the last was to explore factors associated with perceptions of prescribing psychologists among medical professionals. Thirty prescribing psychologists and 24 of their medical colleagues completed surveys evaluating perceptions and practices of prescribing psychologists. Results demonstrated that prescribing psychologists were overwhelmingly perceived positively by their medical colleagues across various domains. Basic elements of the practice of the prescribing psychologist are described. Conclusions, limitations, and suggestions for further research are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The ethics of collusion and nondisclosure in cancer care: A perspective from professional psychology.


Many psychologists now work in hospitals providing behavioral health services to a diverse patient population with medical illnesses. In this unique work setting, a patient’s cultural health beliefs and practices might be in opposition to those of the clinician and can create ethical dilemmas. One culturally based ethical dilemma that might arise is collusion, which is the request by families to withhold health information from the patient. Collusion remains a common practice around the world, particularly in cultures where families play a large role in decision-making and patient care. Many patients and families who seek care in the United States come from such cultures. Although Western bioethics strongly favor disclosure, disregarding these requests outright can potentially disrupt the patient–clinician relationship. The purpose of this article is to review the literature discussing why collusion occurs and explore this ethical issue from the perspective of professional psychology using the American Psychological Association Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Examining adherence to components of cognitive-behavioral therapy for youth anxiety after training and consultation.


The present study examined 115 service providers’ adherence to components of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for youth anxiety before training, postworkshop training, and after 3 months of weekly consultation. Adherence was measured using a role play with a trained actor. We examined differences in individual adherence to CBT components across time and the relationship between number of consultation sessions attended and adherence ratings after consultation. Findings indicated that somatic arousal identification and relaxation were the most used treatment components before training. Adherence to all components of CBT increased after workshop training, except the usage of problem-solving. Adherence to problem-solving, positive reinforcement, the identification of anxious self-talk, and the creation of coping thoughts increased after consultation but usage of problem-solving remained low compared with other treatment components. Overall adherence remained less than optimal at the final measurement point. The number of consultation sessions attended predicted postconsultation adherence to identification of somatic arousal, identification of anxious self-talk, and positive reinforcement. Implications include tailoring future training based on baseline levels of adherence and spending more time during training and consultation on underutilized CBT components, such as problem-solving. Limitations of the present study, including how adherence was measured, are discussed. This study adds to the implementation science literature by providing more nuanced information on changes in adherence over the course of training and consultation of service providers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The relevance of cognitive distortions in the psychosocial treatment of adult ADHD.


Alongside pharmacotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the second evidence-supported treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. ADHD is increasingly understood as a disorder of poor self-regulation. This core difficulty creates the many downstream functional impairments associated with a lifetime diagnosis of ADHD. CBT targets the procrastination, disorganization, poor time management, and so forth that create the problems in daily life for which ADHD adults seek help, particularly emphasizing skills-based behavior change and skills performance. The relevance of the cognitive domain of CBT for adult ADHD has often been viewed as limited to the degree to which it is needed to treat comorbid depression or anxiety. However, recent research and treatment approaches highlight the relevance of cognitive distortions in the conceptualization and psychosocial treatment of adult ADHD. The aim of this paper is to review the recent and converging research on the impact and clinical relevance of cognitive distortions and other mindsets in understanding and treating adults with ADHD. A review of the contemporary model of ADHD as a problem of self-regulation and the associated functional impairments points to the need for comprehensive treatment. The empirical support for CBT adapted for adult ADHD as the psychosocial treatment of choice will then be briefly reviewed, augmented with emerging research highlighting cognitive distortions in samples of adults with ADHD. Lastly, clinically relevant examples of cognitive interventions used in CBT for adult ADHD will be presented to tie together research and clinical practice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)(image)