Angela Eastvold

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

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Publications (10)17.15 Total impact

  • Yana Suchy, Matthew Euler, Angela Eastvold
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Objectives: To evaluate exaggerated reaction to novelty as a behavioural marker of sub-clinical cognitive dysfunction in individuals with a history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Background and hypothesis: A sub-set of individuals who sustain mTBIs report persistent cognitive difficulties despite normal performance on traditional neuropsychological measures. Evidence of subtle neuroimaging abnormalities following mTBI lends support to such subjective complaints. However, behavioural evidence is limited. This study examined whether behavioural response to task novelty ('novelty effect' or NE) is exaggerated in mTBI (NE has previously successfully identified pre-clinical cognitive decline among older adults). It was hypothesized that individuals with a history of mTBI would exhibit increased NE relative to controls, despite normal performance on traditional neuropsychological measures. Methods: Thirty-eight male criminal offenders completed semi-structured interviews of their mTBI and other history, conventional neuropsychological testing and a computerized motor planning task that quantified NE. Results: As expected, participants with a history of mTBI exhibited significantly greater NE, despite no group differences in traditional neuropsychological test performance. A greater number of injuries was positively related to NE magnitude and unrelated to traditional measures. Conclusions: Increased NE indexes sub-clinical sequelae of mTBI and may represent a general marker of mild neurological dysfunction.
    Brain Injury 03/2014; · 1.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Research shows that pedophilic (PED) child molesters exhibit slower performance speed and greater performance accuracy when compared to nonpedophilic (N-PED) child molesters or other criminal and noncriminal controls. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether these differences reflect a slow/deliberate response style among PEDS (as we have previously hypothesized; Eastvold, Suchy, & Strassberg, 2011; Suchy, Whittaker, Strassberg, & Eastvold, 2009a, 2009b), or a fundamental neuropathological weakness in processing speed. Data came from a larger study examining neurocognition among sex offenders. Processing speed in three different domains (motor speed, visual-perceptual speed, and visual-motor integration) was examined in 20 phallometrically identified PEDs, 20 N-PEDs, and 20 nonsexual offenders, using both clinical (Finger Tapping, Symbol Search, Digit Symbol Coding) and experimental measures (Inspection Time Task [ITT]). The ITT assessed speed of visual-perceptual processing independent of response speed. On clinical measures, PEDs exhibited slower visual perception [F(2, 57) = 5.24, p = .008] and visual-motor integration [F(2, 57) = 5.02, p = .010] than the other groups, with no differences for simple motor speed. On the ITT, PEDs performed less accurately than the other groups [F(2, 57) = 3.95, p = .025], clearly indicating that slow processing speed cannot be explained by a deliberate response style. Group differences persisted after controlling for other potential confounds (age, estimate IQ, working memory, ethnicity, and substance use). PEDs' slower performance is due to a fundamental neurocognitive weakness, rather than a slow/deliberate response style. These results are consistent with Cantor et al.'s (2008) work identifying white matter abnormalities among PEDs and provide further support for a neurodevelopmental etiology of pedophilia. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Abnormal Psychology 02/2014; 123(1):273-85. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Among men who commit sexual offenses against children, at least 2 distinct groups can be identified on the basis of the age of the primary targets of their sexual interest; pedophiles and nonpedophiles. In the present report, across 2 independent samples of both types of child molesters as well as controls, a total of 104 men (53 pedophilic and 51 nonpedophilic) who had sexually offended against a child age 13 or younger were compared to each other (and to 49 non-sex offender controls) on psychopathy as assessed by the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI). In both samples of child molesters, the nonpedophiles scored as significantly more psychopathic than the pedophiles. These results provide further evidence of the importance of distinguishing between these groups of offenders.
    Child abuse & neglect 05/2012; 36(4):379-82. · 2.34 Impact Factor
  • Angela Eastvold, Yana Suchy, Donald Strassberg
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    ABSTRACT: There is increasing evidence of neurocognitive dysfunction among child molesters, supporting the notion of brain anomalies among pedophiles. However, approximately half of child molesters are not pedophilic (i.e., are not primarily attracted to children), and neurocognitive differences between pedophilic (PED) and nonpedophilic (NPED) child molesters are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to assess neurocognition, specifically executive functioning (EF), among phallometrically defined PED and NPED child molesters, relative to nonsexual offenders (NSO). Participants (N = 89) were compared on seven EF domains. Results revealed that (a) child molesters exhibited an overall executive profile that was different from that of NSOs, with PEDs differing from NSOs but not from NPEDs; (b) child molesters on the whole performed better than NSOs on abstract reasoning and more poorly on inhibition; and (c) PEDs performed better than NPEDs on planning and exhibited better overall performance accuracy relative to NPEDs. These results suggest that PEDs exhibit a more deliberate, planful response style characterized by greater self-monitoring; whereas NPEDs appear to respond more impulsively. The current report further elucidates neurocognition among child molesters and highlights the need for future research examining subtypes of child molesters.
    Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 01/2011; 17(2):295-307. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    Angela Eastvold, Y. Suchy, Donald Strassberg
    Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society. 01/2011; 17:295-307.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study compared facial and prosodic affect recognition abilities among pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters and community-dwelling controls. Pedophilic child molesters are characterized by primary sexual interest in prepubescent children, whereas nonpedophilic child molesters are characterized by offending against children despite being primarily sexually attracted to adults. The results showed that nonpedophilic child molesters made more errors in recognizing both facial and prosodic affect, performing more poorly than both controls and pedophilic child molesters. These findings are consistent with greater psychopathic tendencies among nonpedophilic molesters as well as with prior findings of smaller amygdala volume among child molesters.
    Sexual Abuse A Journal of Research and Treatment 04/2009; 21(1):93-110. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although some evidence exists that child molesters may be characterized by structural and functional brain abnormalities, findings across studies are inconsistent. Past cognitive research in this area has been extensively criticized for relying on conceptually weak batteries, measures of questionable reliability, and poorly defined samples (i.e., failing to distinguish between pedophilic and nonpedophilic child molesters). The present study aimed to address the weaknesses of past research by comparing 40 child molesters (20 pedophilic and 20 nonpedophilic) and 20 demographically matched nonoffender controls on six well-defined neurocognitive composite scores of comparable reliability (i.e., semantic knowledge, executive functioning, processing speed, motor speed, auditory memory, and visual memory). Results indicated that pedophilic child molesters exhibit slower processing speed, nonpedophilic child molesters exhibit poorer semantic knowledge, and both molester groups exhibit executive weaknesses as compared to nonoffender controls. This study is the first to compare the two molester types on neurocognitive functions. The observed differences between the molester groups help explain inconsistencies in past research and demonstrate the need to distinguish between the two types of child molesters when studying neurobiologic underpinnings of sexual offending.
    Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 03/2009; 15(2):248-57. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether a new computer-administered battery (Behavioral Dyscontrol Scale-Electronic Version; BDS-EV) can detect subtle executive weaknesses among individuals with a self-reported history of mild head trauma (MHT), and to compare the utility of this battery to the original, non-electronic BDS and other traditional executive measures. Both BDS-EV and BDS are comprised of three factors (motor programming, environmental independence, and fluid intelligence). Participants with (n = 19) and without (n = 24) MHT were compared on their performance on the BDS-EV, the non-electronic BDS, and three traditional measures of executive abilities. Participants with MHT differed from those without MHT on the BDS-EV motor programming and environmental independence, but not on any other measures. The results show that electronic administration improved the sensitivity of the battery, and support prior findings that traditional executive measures are generally insensitive to subtle executive deficits associated with chronic MHT.
    Brain Injury 02/2007; 21(1):69-80. · 1.51 Impact Factor
  • Angela Eastvold, C Derbidge, C Cope, Y. Suchy
    Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. 19(7):901.
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    Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice. 5(1):73-89.