Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

Published by Guilford Press
Online ISSN: 0736-7236
Publications
Article
College students in general, and men in particular, have been essentially ignored in the post-abortion emotional sequelae literature. Therefore, the current sample consisted of 63 college students (31 females and 32 males) with prior histories regarding abortion. The primary objective of the present investigation was to examine Various dimensions of abortion decisions (ambivalence, regret,and comfort) along with emotional connection to the fetus as possible predictors of self-reported anxiety and depression. A secondary objective was to assess the effectiveness of different components of abortion decisions and emotional connection to the fetus as predictors of abortion attitudes. The results indicated that a sizable proportion of college men and women do not take the abortion decision lightly. Furthermore, the quality of such decisions and emotional connection to the fetus may partially explain individual differences in post-abortion emotional sequelae. Implications of the findings are discussed.
 
correlations among measured variables for latino/as and asian americans in study 1 
correlations among measured variables for african americans in study 2 
Article
The perpetual foreigner stereotype posits that members of ethnic minorities will always be seen as the "other" in the White Anglo-Saxon dominant society of the United States (Devos & Banaji, 2005), which may have negative implications for them. The goal of the present research was to determine whether awareness of this perpetual foreigner stereotype predicts identity and psychological adjustment. We conducted a series of studies with 231 Asian Americans and 211 Latino/as (Study 1), 89 African Americans (Study 2), and 56 Asian Americans and 165 Latino/as (Study 3). All participants completed measures of perceived discrimination, awareness of the perpetual foreigner stereotype, conflict between ethnic and national identities, sense of belonging to American culture, and demographics. In Study 3, participants also completed measures of psychological adjustment: depression, hope, and life satisfaction. All participants were students at a large, public university on the West Coast of the United States. Across studies, we found that even after controlling for perceived discrimination, awareness of the perpetual foreigner stereotype was a significant predictor of identity conflict and lower sense of belonging to American culture. From Study 3, we also found that, above and beyond perceived discrimination, awareness of the perpetual foreigner stereotype significantly predicted lower hope and life satisfaction for Asian Americans, and that it was a marginal predictor of greater depression for Latino/as. These results suggest that the perpetual foreigner stereotype may play a role in ethnic minority identity and adjustment.
 
means and standard Deviations for study variables for whole sample and separately by gender whole sample boys girls N M (SD) range N M (SD) range N M (SD) range t value
summary of multilevel modeling analyses predicting conversational self-focus from internalizing symptoms
summary of multilevel modeling analyses predicting conversational self-focus from rumination and self-Disclosure
Article
Although youth with internalizing symptoms experience friendship difficulties, surprisingly little is known about their problematic interpersonal behaviors. The current observational study identifies a new construct, conversational self-focus, defined as the tendency to direct the focus of conversations to the self and away from others. Results indicated that youth with internalizing symptoms were especially likely to engage in self-focus when discussing problems with friends and that doing so was related to their friends perceiving the relationship as lower in quality, particularly helping. Content analyses further indicated that self-focused youth talked about themselves in ways that were distracting from their friends' problems and that they changed the subject abruptly. Last, conversational self-focus was not redundant with related constructs of rumination and self-disclosure. This research highlights the importance of intervention efforts aimed at teaching self-focused youth ways to cope with distress that are more effective and will not damage their friendships.
 
Article
Given considerable overlap among individual difference predictors of stress generation, the current study sought to elucidate which individual factors are uniquely involved in the stress generation process for interpersonal and achievement events among adolescents. Further, we examined transactional processes between stressors and depressive symptoms and explored potential sex differences in the unique prediction of stress generation. At baseline, youth (6(th)-10(th) graders, n=350, 57% female; 53% White) reported on various individual differences hypothesized to predict prospective increases in stressors. Youth also reported on depressive symptoms and stressors for 4 waves over 5 months. Multi-level modeling showed that different individual difference factors uniquely prospectively predicted increases in dependent (interpersonal and achievement) stressors. Central to this process was interpersonal vulnerabilities and psychopathology. Some of these predictions differed for boys and girls. In addition and in support of a transactional relationship between stressors and depressive symptoms, increases in stressors predicted prospective elevations in depressive symptoms for both boys and girls. This study provides support for the transactional nature of stress and depression in a multi-wave study of adolescence. This study demonstrates that particular individual factors are uniquely associated with the generation of stress, with some associations moderated by gender.
 
Article
The present study examined the prospective relation between two personality predispositions, self-criticism and dependency, and internalizing symptoms. Specifically, it was examined whether self-criticism and dependency predicted symptoms of depression and social anxiety, and if a moderation (e.g. diathesis-stress) or mediation model best explained the relation between the personality predispositions and emotional distress in Chinese adolescents. Participants included 1,150 adolescents (597 females and 553 males) from mainland China. Participants completed self-report measures of self-criticism, dependency, and neuroticism at baseline, and self-report measures of negative events, depressive symptoms, and social anxiety symptoms once a month for six months. Findings showed that self-criticism predicted depressive symptoms, while dependency predicted social anxiety symptoms. In addition, support was found for a mediation model, as opposed to a moderation model, with achievement stressors mediating the relation between self-criticism and depressive symptoms. Overall, these findings highlight new developmental pathways for the development of depression and social anxiety symptoms in mainland Chinese adolescents. Implications for cross-cultural developmental psychopathology research are discussed.
 
Hierarchical Multiple Regression: PEDQ-CV Subscales Predicting Trait Negative Affect 
Article
Racism is a significant psychosocial stressor that is hypothesized to have negative psychological and physical health consequences. The Reserve Capacity Model (Gallo & Matthews, 2003) suggests that low socioeconomic status may influence health through its effects on negative affect. We extend this model to study the effects of racism, examining the association of lifetime perceived racism to trait and daily negative affect. A multiethnic sample of 362 American-born Black and Latino adults completed the Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire-Community Version (PEDQ-CV). Trait negative affect was assessed with the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), and state negative affect was measured using ecological momentary assessments (EMA), in the form of an electronic diary. Analyses revealed a significant relationship of lifetime perceived racism to both daily negative affect and trait negative affect, even when controlling for trait hostility and socioeconomic status. The relationship of perceived racism to negative affect was moderated by education, such that the relationships were strongest for those with less than a high school education. The findings support aspects of the Reserve Capacity Model and identify pathways through which perceived racism may affect health status.
 
Changes in dejection as a function of experimental condition and level of chronic promotion failure controlling for quiescence and chronic prevention failure.  
Path analyses examining the unique predictors and affective consequences of engaging in state rumination within each experimental condition (promotion/ prevention/yoked-control, respectively).  
Post-promotion goal failure dejection (T2) moderates the effect of state rumination on post-mediation period dejection (T3) evaluated 5 minutes later.  
Post-prevention goal failure quiescence (T2) moderates the effect of state rumination on post-mediation period quiescence (T3) evaluated 5 minutes later.  
Correlations Among Variables Used In Path Analyses
Article
Failure to make progress toward personal goals can lead to negative affective states, such as depression and anxiety. Past research suggests that rumination in response to goal failure may prolong and intensify those acute emotional responses, but that process remains unclear. We examined ruminative thought processes following experimentally manipulated exposure to past failures to attain advancement (promotion) goals and safety (prevention) goals. We predicted that priming of past promotion and prevention goal failures would lead individuals to think repetitively about these failures and that negative affect would be evoked by their recognition of their failures. Further, we predicted that when people experience a sufficient magnitude of negative affect, ruminative thought would intensify and prolong the negative affect associated with that type of goal failure. Results yielded strong support for our predictions regarding promotion goal failure and modest support for those regarding prevention goal failure.
 
Article
The stigma associated with HIV/AIDS poses a psychological challenge to people living with HIV/AIDS. We hypothesized that that the consequences of stigma-related stressors on psychological well-being would depend on how people cope with the stress of HIV/AIDS stigma. Two hundred participants with HIV/AIDS completed a self-report measure of enacted stigma and felt stigma, a measure of how they coped with HIV/AIDS stigma, and measures of depression and anxiety, and self-esteem. In general, increases in felt stigma (concerns with public attitudes, negative self-image, and disclosure concerns) coupled with how participants reported coping with stigma (by disengaging from or engaging with the stigma stressor) predicted self-reported depression, anxiety, and self-esteem. Increases in felt stigma were associated with increases in anxiety and depression among participants who reported relatively high levels of disengagement coping compared to participants who reported relatively low levels of disengagement coping. Increases in felt stigma were associated with decreased self-esteem, but this association was attenuated among participants who reported relatively high levels of engagement control coping. The data also suggested a trend that increases in enacted stigma predicted increases in anxiety, but not depression, among participants who reported using more disengagement coping. Mental health professionals working with people who are HIV positive should consider how their clients cope with HIV/AIDS stigma and consider tailoring current therapies to address the relationship between stigma, coping, and psychological well-being.
 
Article
The goal of this study was to clarify mixed findings regarding the association between dispositional social anxiety and drinking among college students by using a daily diary method to examine whether a within-person social-contextual event moderated the relationship between social anxiety and alcohol use. College students (n = 476) completed a measure of dispositional social anxiety and then for 30 days reported whether they experienced an embarrassing event in public and the amount of alcohol they drank each day. We examined whether experiencing an embarrassing event moderated the relationship between dispositional social anxiety and alcohol use for same-day, same-evening, next-day, and next-evening drinking. While there was a positive relationship between dispositional social anxiety and alcohol use on evenings when an embarrassing event occurred earlier that day, this appeared to be driven by a reduction in drinking among those low in social anxiety. Individuals with high social anxiety drank in the evening regardless of embarrassing event occurrence. Results suggest that people with low social anxiety show an adaptive response to embarrassing events by lowering drinking on such evenings, while those with high social anxiety may drink to reduce their already high levels of anxiety independent of daily social events.
 
Article
Ackerman and Hilsenroth (2001, 2003) suggested that therapist personality may be meaningfully associated with the psychotherapy working alliance. We extended this line of research by examining the association between Five Factor Model (Costa & McCrae, 1997b) personality traits Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness, and ratings of the working alliance made by clients and psychotherapy trainees. Higher trainee Neuroticism was associated with better client ratings of the alliance, but with worse trainee ratings of the alliance. Higher trainee Openness was associated with lower client ratings of the alliance, and higher trainee Agreeableness with lower trainee ratings of the alliance. Because levels of Neuroticism were low and levels of Openness high among therapist trainees, the results suggest that average rather than low Neuroticism, and average rather than high Openness facilitate better client perceptions of the alliance. Implications are discussed in terms of monitoring and training therapists who evidence these dispositions, in order to assist them in developing maximally effective alliances with clients.
 
Association Between Psychopathic Attributes, Social Anxiety, Trait Affect, and Academic Misconduct Among Females.
Association Between Psychopathic Attributes, Social Anxiety, Trait Affect, and Academic Misconduct Among Males.
Article
Psychopathy is characterized by a lack of concern for other people and social norms. In contrast, individuals with high social anxiety are overly concerned about the approval of others and violating social norms. Therefore, we hypothesized that social anxiety is negatively associated with psychopathic attributes, with males being more psychopathic than females. In order to test this hypothesis, we administered self-report measures of social anxiety, psychopathic attributes, and academic misconduct as an index of adherence to social norms to a sample of 349 undergraduate college students (244 females and 105 males). Males had more psychopathic attributes than females. Social anxiety and psychopathic attributes showed a weak but significant negative correlation in the total sample and also in the subgroup of males and females. Psychopathic attributes were further positively associated with academic misconduct behaviors among females, but not among males. These findings are consistent with the notion that social anxiety and psychopathic attributes are negatively associated.
 
Article
This study was undertaken to examine the relationship between mindfulness and alcohol consumption among college students, with enhancement and coping motives evaluated as potential mediators. Differences between men and women in drinking and mindfulness (mind/body awareness specifically) were also considered. Undergraduate students (n = 212, 51% male) completed a survey that included measures of mindfulness, drinking motives, and drinking. Results indicated that greater mind/body awareness was associated with more alcohol use in men and women, and non-attachment to thoughts was associated with less drinking in men. Furthermore, enhancement but not coping motives were found to mediate these associations for men only. Results are discussed in terms of the theoretical implications for understanding the relationship between mindfulness and alcohol consumption.
 
Article
This study used balance theory to illuminate the relations of eating-related attitudinal consistency between self and friends to psychological well-being and eating behaviors. It was hypothesized that attitudinal inconsistency, relative to consistency, would predict lower well-being and poorer eating habits. A population-based sample of 2287 young adults participating in Project EAT-III (Eating Among Teens and Young Adults) completed measures of psychological well-being, eating behaviors, and eating-related attitudes from the standpoint of self and friends. Of participants who cared about healthy eating, those who perceived that their friends did not care about healthy eating had lower well-being and less-healthy eating behaviors (fewer fruits and vegetables and more sugary beverages per day) than those who perceived that their friends cared about healthy eating. Conversely, among participants who did not care about healthy eating, those who perceived that their friends cared about healthy eating had lower well-being and less-healthy eating behaviors (more snacks per day) than those who perceived that their friends did not care about healthy eating. In accord with balance theory, young adults who perceived inconsistent eating attitudes between themselves and their friends had lower psychological well-being and generally less-healthy eating behaviors than people who perceived consistent eating attitudes.
 
Interaction of connectedness to the community at large (CAL) and connectedness to the criminal community (CC) on level of self-esteem.  
Article
Without a doubt, people can feel simultaneously connected to multiple communities (e.g., Deaux, 1993; Roccas & Brewer, 2002). But, to what degree can people feel simultaneously connected to communities with opposing beliefs and values? And, more importantly, what are the psychological implications of being dually connected to these communities? Capitalizing on a sample of individuals positioned to potentially feel connected to two very distinct communities, we examined jail inmates' (N = 256) sense of connectedness to the criminal community and to the community at large. Results indicated that (a) connectedness to the community at large is orthogonal to connectedness to the criminal community, supporting the supposition that it is possible to be dually connected to opposing communities; and (b) connectedness to the community at large moderated the relationship between criminal connectedness and indicators of psychological distress, suggesting that connectedness to the criminal community is especially problematic when it occurs in tandem with connectedness to the community at large. These findings are consistent with predictions from the self-expansion model.
 
The Curvilinear Relationship Between PTSD Symptom Severity and Benefit Finding. Note. PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder. 
The interaction Between Benefit Finding and Participant Level of Income in the Prediction of PTSD Symptom Severity. Note. PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder. Low = below average income. High = above average income. 
The Interaction Between Benefit Finding and Participant Level of Education in the Prediction of PTSD Symptom Severity. Note. PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder. Low = low income. High = high income. 
The Curvilinear Relationship Between PTSD Symptom Severity and Threat Perception of PCI. Note. PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder. PCI=Palestinian Citizens of Israel. 
The Interaction Between Benefit Finding and PTSD Symptom Severity in the Prediction of Threat Perception of PCI. Note. PTSD = posttraumatic stress disorder. PCI = Palestinian Citizen of Israel. Low = Below Average PTSD Symptom Severity; High = Above Average PTSD Symptom Severity. 
Article
A study examining the effects of terrorism on a national sample of 1,136 Jewish adults was conducted in Israel via telephone surveys, during the Second Intifada. The relationship between reports of positive changes occurring subsequent to terrorism exposure (i.e., Benefit finding), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom severity, and negative outgroup attitudes toward Palestinian citizens of Israel (PCI) was examined. Benefit finding was related to greater PTSD symptom severity. Further, Benefit finding was related to greater threat perception of PCI and ethnic exclusionism of PCI. Findings were consistent with hypotheses derived from theories of outgroup bias and support the anxiety buffering role of social affiliation posited by terror management theory. This study suggests that benefit finding may be a defensive coping strategy when expressed under the conditions of ongoing terrorism and external threat.
 
Article
Although trait hope is thought to motivate goal directed actions in the face of impediments, few studies have examined directly hope's role in overcoming obstacles, and none have done so while accounting for related goal constructs. We describe a study of 127 pediatric primary care providers who over the course of a year were asked to identify new cases of asthma and confirm previously diagnosed active disease by completing for each of their patients a brief survey validated for this purpose. These clinicians also completed measures of hope, self-efficacy, conscientiousness, and perceived obstacles to implementing a pediatric asthma management program. As predicted by hope theory, the agency component of hope buffered clinicians from perceived obstacles by facilitating the identification of asthma cases among high hope clinicians in the face of obstacles. This buffering effect remained after controlling for self-efficacy and conscientiousness. We discuss the study findings in terms of current theories of goal directed behavior and implications for delivering hope-related interventions, and we offer a testable hypothesis regarding when agency and pathways thinking facilitate goal-related behavior.
 
Article
We examined the link between social norms and active social influences occurring during natural social drinking contexts. Across 4 yearly measurement-bursts, college students (N = 523) reported daily for 30-day periods on drinking norms, drinking offers, how many drinks they accepted, and personal drinking levels during social drinking events. In contexts where drinking norms were higher, students were more likely to both receive and comply with drinking offers. These acute social influences were highly stable throughout college, but affected men and women differently across time: Women received more drinking offers than men, especially at the beginning of college and when norms were higher, but men complied with more drinking offers per occasion. These effects were not attributable to between-person differences in social drinking motives or drinking levels, nor to within-person patterns of situation-selection. The present work suggests that context-specific drinking norms catalyze active social influence attempts, and further promote compliance drinking.
 
Article
Sexual self-schemas have been defined as cognitive representations about sexual aspects of the self (Andersen & Cyranowski, 1994). Women's sexual self-views include both positive and negative dimensions, and are associated with systematic patterns of sexual-romantic affects and behaviors (Cyranowski & Andersen, 1998a). The current research explores cognitive components of the sexual self-schema construct. Specifically, we examine how women with Positive, Co-Schematic, Aschematic, and Negative sexual self-views cognitively process sexual-romantic information about the self. Results indicate that these groups exhibit consistent differences in their retrieval of sexual-romantic personal experience, prediction of future sexual-romantic responses, and the manner and speed with which they make sexually-relevant self-judgments.
 
Demand-Withdraw Predicted by Marital Satisfaction and Depressive Symptomatology 
Article
Researchers have long been interested in the relationship between marital distress and depression. Empirical findings from investigations into the relative contributions of marital distress and depression to marital communication have been inconsistent, and some communication behaviors, such as the demand/withdraw interaction pattern, have yet to be examined. The ability of depression to predict major types of communication (positive communication, negative communication, problem-solving, and demand/withdraw) was analyzed after controlling for the shared variance between marital distress and depression. Across two studies of couples beginning therapy and one study of couples beginning an enhancement program, results failed to provide support for a unique contribution of depression to couples' communication behaviors.
 
Article
This paper describes our attempt to import social-personality theory and research on moral emotions and moral cognitions to applied problems of crime, substance abuse, and HIV risk behavior. Thus far, in an inmate sample, we have evidence that criminogenic beliefs and proneness to guilt are each predictive of re-offense after release from jail. In addition, we have evidence that jail programs and services may reduce criminogenic beliefs and enhance adaptive feelings of guilt. As our sample size increases, our next step is to test the full mediational model, examining the degree to which programs and services impact post-release desistance via their effect on moral emotions and cognitions. In addition to highlighting some of the key findings from our longitudinal study of jail inmates over the period of incarceration and post-release, we describe the origins and development of this interdisciplinary project, highlighting the challenges and rewards of such endeavors.
 
Skills interact with intended impact to produce successful conflict resolution. Methods to neutralize emergent goals interact with emergent competitive goals to prevent breakdown of successful conflict resolution.
Prayer exerts a transformative influence through its impact on influence and control processes in marriage.  
Article
Discomfort with the integration of spiritual activities into marital interventions may be a response by practitioners to the weakness of available conceptual frameworks. We offer a framework that allows for integration of prayer into marital interventions (educational or therapeutic), and argue that when culturally appropriate, prayer can serve multiple functions in interventions that are consistent with traditional goals of skill-based approaches. Several specific ways in which prayer can be either an alternative or an addition to existing intervention strategies are outlined. The potential negative effects of prayer for couples and the dangers of integrating prayer into programs are also discussed. We conclude that effective skill-based family intervention and prevention with some traditionally underserved groups may require increased attention to integration of spiritual practices that are common in those groups.
 
Article
Stress in close relationships can have significant negative consequences for mental health, physical health, and long-term relationship functioning. Dysregulated physiological responses to stress are potential pathways through which relationship stress may lead to these kinds of outcomes, and the ways in which individuals attempt to cope with relationship stress are likely to impact their physiological responses. However, our understanding of the specific coping strategies that predict physiological reactivity and recovery in these contexts is rather limited. This study explored relations between young adult college students' self-reported methods of coping with stress in their romantic relationships and their physiological reactivity to and recovery from negotiating conflict with their romantic partners. Partners' coping styles were also examined as predictors of physiological stress responses. One hundred and ninety opposite-sex couples (N = 380; modal length of relationship = 1-2 years) participated in an experimental conflict discussion task. Physiological stress reactivity to the task was assessed using salivary cortisol, a primary hormonal product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. Growth modeling of the cortisol levels before, during, and after the conflict task indicated that men who typically coped with relationship stress by seeking social support showed greater physiological reactivity to the conflict task. Partners' need for social support predicted stronger stress responses for both men and women, as well. While seeking social support is generally thought to be an adaptive coping strategy for couples, the results suggest that within the context of conflict negotiation in which receiving and providing support may be more difficult, seeking support from a partner is associated with greater phyisological stress.
 
Article
Although severe life stress frequently precipitates the onset of major depression, little is known about the basic nature of stressors in this general category of adversity and how exposure to different life events might be related to clinical aspects of the disorder. We addressed this issue by introducing, and examining the effects of, targeted rejection (TR), which involves the exclusive, active, and intentional social rejection of an individual by others. Twenty-seven adults with major depressive disorder were administered an interview-based measure of life stress. Severe life events that occurred prior to the onset of depression were subsequently coded as TR or as non-TR. Participants who experienced a pre-onset severe TR event became depressed approximately three times faster than did their non-TR counterparts. These findings highlight the potential importance of TR as a marker of hastened depression onset and demonstrate how refining characterizations of stress may advance our understanding of depression.
 
Article
The present study examines a transactional, interpersonal model of depression in which stress generation (Hammen, 1991) in romantic relationships mediates the association between aspects of interpersonal style (i.e., attachment, dependency, and reassurance seeking) and depressive symptoms. It also examines an alternative, diathesis-stress model in which interpersonal style interacts with romantic stressors in predicting depressive symptoms. These models were tested in a sample of college women, both prospectively over a four-week period, as well as on a day-today basis using a daily diary methodology. Overall, there was strong evidence for a transactional, mediation model in which interpersonal style predicted romantic conflict stress, and in turn depressive symptoms. The alternative diathesis-stress model of depression was not supported. These results are interpreted in relation to previous research, and key limitations that should be addressed by future research are discussed.
 
Article
This study examined whether deficits in dealing with daily problems emerge before a depressive episode (i.e., pre-existing vulnerability) or after a depressive episode (i.e., psychosocial scar). Participants completed a 30-day daily diary in which they reported their most negative event of the day, their appraisals of that event, and their mood. Three years later, they completed a structured depression interview. The sample consisted of 350 college students, 24 of whom had a past history of depression and 54 of whom experienced a depressive episode subsequent to dairy completion. Multilevel modeling revealed that students with past depression blamed others more than the never-depressed and those with subsequent depression, which supported the scar hypothesis. In support of the vulnerability hypothesis, as compared to the never-depressed group, participants with past depression demonstrated steeper declines in positive mood on more stressful days but did not significantly differ from the subsequent depression group. Overall, our findings do not provide clear support for either hypothesis; however, this study is the first to use a daily diary design to directly compare individuals with past depression to individuals who would subsequently experience depression.
 
Descriptive Statistics for Study 1 and Study 2 Participants 
Article
Culture shapes the emotions people feel and want to feel. In Western cultures, happiness is an emotion that many people want to feel. Although experiencing happiness is associated with increased well-being and psychological health, recent evidence suggests wanting to feel happy to an extreme degree, or, highly valuing happiness, leads to decreased well-being. To examine whether these effects of valuing happiness might extend to clinical outcomes, we examined the hypothesis that depression is associated with highly valuing happiness. To do so, we examined the relationship between valuing happiness and depression in two U.S. samples. As hypothesized, valuing happiness was associated with increased depressive symptoms in a community sample with remitted major depressive disorder (MDD), even when controlling for social desirability and neuroticism (Study 1). Furthermore, valuing happiness was elevated in a remitted MDD sample (vs. healthy controls), even when controlling for current depressive symptoms, general affect valuation, and extreme goal pursuit (Study 2). Taken together, these findings suggest that the culturally-pervasive value placed on attaining happiness can represent a risk factor for symptoms and a diagnosis of depression. More broadly, they indicate that a cultural approach can meaningfully extend our understanding of clinical phenomena.
 
Article
Studies suggest that written emotional disclosure can improve health. Unknown, however, is whether the presence or absence of an audience for one's disclosure matters, and whether time management control writing has any effects. Undergraduates (N = 165) with unresolved stress were randomized to 1 of 3 groups that wrote for 4 sessions: shared written disclosure (submitted to researchers), private written disclosure (not submitted), or time management control writing; or to a fourth group (no-writing control). At 3-month follow-up, the two control groups were equivalent on outcomes. Both shared and private disclosure resulted in less cognitive intrusion and avoidance than the combined control groups. Yet, shared disclosure reduced depression and interpersonal sensitivity more than either private disclosure or the control groups, and only shared disclosure reduced physical symptoms. Although truly private writing improves cognitive stress effects, shared writing has broader benefits, suggesting that social disclosure for one's writing matters.
 
Article
A theoretically derived latent-variable structural model of children's (age 9 to 13, N = 334) behaviors (physical and relational aggression, withdrawal, and prosocial behavior), like-dislike as rated by classmates (peer dislike), perceptions of social acceptance, and depressive symptoms was tested. Results provided evidence that children's perceived social acceptance is a direct correlate of depressive symptoms, and a mediator of the link between peer dislike and self-reported depressive symptoms. In models testing physical and relational aggression separately, children's aggression, withdrawal, and prosocial behavior were directly associated with peer dislike. Freeing paths to differ for boys and girls did not significantly improve the fit of any model. Additionally, the discrepancy between actual and perceived peer acceptance (e.g., children's under- or overestimation of acceptance) was considered. Children who perceived low acceptance or underestimated their acceptance were relatively more depressed, and perception, rather than actual dislike by classmates, was most directly linked to children's functioning.
 
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Northern Illinois University, 1985. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 70-75). Dept. of Psychology.
 
Article
This research provided the first empirical investigation of the role of positive affect in moderating the relationship between perceived racism and depressive symptoms. A sample of 215 racial and ethnic minority young adults completed measures of perceived racism, daily race–related stress, positive affect, optimism, and depressive symptoms. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that positive affect and perceived racism accounted for a significant portion of the variance in depressive symptoms. Most notably, above and beyond the effects of optimism, positive affect interacted with perceived racism to weaken its influence on depression. Implications for future research directions that build on these initial findings are discussed.
 
Article
To obtain a better understanding of the associations among Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), adult attachment patterns, impulsivity, and aggressiveness, we tested four competing models of these relationships: a) BPD is associated with the personality traits of impulsivity and aggressiveness, but adult attachment patterns predict neither BPD nor impulsive/aggressive features; b) adult attachment patterns are significant predictors of BPD but not of impulsive/aggressive traits, although these traits correlate with BPD; c) adult attachment patterns are significant predictors of impulsive and aggressive traits, which in turn predict BPD; and d) adult attachment patterns significantly predict both BPD and impulsive/aggressive traits. We assessed 466 consecutively admitted outpatients using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis II Personality Disorders (V. 2.0), the Attachment Style Questionnaire, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11, and the Aggression Questionnaire. Maximum likelihood structural equation modeling of the covariance matrix showed that model (c) was the best fitting model (chi(2) (21) = 31.67, p >.05, RMSEA = .023, test of close fit p >.85). This result indicates that adult attachment patterns act indirectly as risk factors for BPD because of their relationships with aggressive/impulsive personality traits.
 
General body-satisfaction as a function of first question and type of model. Error bars indicate the standard error of the mean.  
Mean Number of Push Ups as a Function of Type of Processing and Type of Standard 
IAT-score as a function of framing and type of model. Note: The higher the score, the more strongly feminine aspects are associated with the self. Error bars indicate the standard error of the mean.
IAT-score as a function of focus and type of model. Note: The higher the score, the more strongly feminine aspects are associated with the self. Error bars indicate the standard error of the mean.  
Article
Whereas a host of findings Suggest that people find ways to deal with threatening comparison information, such defense mechanisms are not typically reported in research oil the effects of exposure to idealized media images. The present research considers some of the reasons for this void and proposes that also methodological reasons might play an important role. In particular, we suggest that the framing and content of the dependent variables used to assess body satisfaction may have consequences for the direction Of underlying social comparison processes. In line with this assumption, we show in Experiment 1 that asking specific questions about a salient dimension of comparison (i.e., femininity) triggers contrast on general body satisfaction, whereas asking a specific question about a nonsalient and potentially reparative part of the self (e.g., athletic ability) helps to avoid such adverse consequences. Experiments 2 and 3 take the idea of defensive comparisons a step further by showing that such processes can also take place spontaneously: Both experiments demonstrate implicit defensive cognitions on an adapted Implicit Association Task OAT) after exposure to idealized media images.
 
Article
We present anxiety buffer disruption theory (ABDT) and report a study conducted with Polish female victims of domestic abuse that provides empirical support for the theory. ABDT builds on terror management theory, and posits that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves a disruption in anxiety buffering mechanisms which normally protect people against anxiety. When traumatic events lead to a breakdown of this system, people become vulnerable to recurrent bouts of anxiety, which leads to the various PTSD symptoms. We tested the ABDT hypothesis that trauma-exposed individuals with high levels of PTSD symptoms and risk factors for PTSD, such as high peritraumatic dissociation or low coping self-efficacy, do not respond to mortality reminders the way psychologically healthier people do. Whereas people typically respond to mortality reminders with increased worldview defense, indicating an intact anxiety buffering mechanism, we found that individuals with PTSD and associated risk factors do not display such responses.
 
Article
Despite psychometric rationale to include multiple informants, psychological assessment typically involves data collected from the patient (target) only, particularly with regard to depressive and anxious symptomatology. This study addressed this gap in the literature by assessing convergence between targets and their close friends (informants) in an ethnically diverse sample of young adults. One hundred and thirty-nine friendship dyads completed a packet of questionnaires including different versions administered to the targets and informants, with targets completing the standard questionnaire battery focused on their own symptoms and informants completing questionnaires on their view of the target participants' symptoms, rather than their own characteristics. Measures were included to assess a wide range of symptomatology, including behavioral, cognitive, and physiological symptoms of anxiety and depression. The target-informant correlations were largely significant and of small-to-medium magnitude. In addition, target-informant agreement was higher in more visible symptoms (e.g., behavioral) than in less visible symptoms (e.g., physiological) of anxiety and depression. Interestingly, level of closeness in the relationship did not influence the magnitude of correlations. Implications for future research and integration into clinical assessment practices are discussed.
 
Means and standard Deviations for Pre-Treatment and Post-Treatment scores on symptoms and cognitions 
Multilevel Modeling analyses for residualized change in negative automatic Thoughts and autonomy Predicting Therapy outcomes 
Means and standard Deviations for autonomy, Depressive cognitions and Depression symptoms at Pre-Treatment, Mid-Treatment and Post-Treatment 
results of Multilevel Modeling analyses to Test a raw score Mediated Model, and a Mediated Model using residualized change scores 
Article
Two studies (N = 109 anxious and depressed patients; N = 94 depressed patients) investigated the role of autonomy as described in self-determination theory as a mechanism of therapeutic change in cognitive behavioral group therapy. Across both studies, results showed that higher need satisfaction for autonomy is related to improved outcomes, and that this relationship is mediated by improvement in cognitions. These findings support the tenets of self-determination theory in that patients who perceived their autonomy needs are satisfied while participating in cognitive behavioral group therapy experienced a greater reduction in negative thinking which was in turn related to more positive therapy outcomes.
 
Article
Avoidance strategies involve the tactics and techniques people use when they don't wish to be influenced by others. To investigate the types of avoidance strategies men and women use to deal with an unwelcome persuasion attempt from an intimate partner, undergraduates wrote essays describing how they avoided such attempts. A 24-strategy coding scheme was developed and used to generate the conceptualization of the avoidance strategies. Undergraduates from a second sample completed a 24-item inventory based on the results of the first study, as well as several measures of personality and intimate relationships. Multidimensional scaling analysis showed that strategies varied along two metadimensions: bilaterality/unilaterality, ranging from compromise and objective discussion to withdrawal and ignoring the partner; and compliance/noncompliance, ranging from compliance and divergent compliance to direct or hostile refusal. These avoidance dimensions were correlated with several measures of personality, gender roles and interpersonal dynamics. While the analyses showed a wide range of significant correlations, masculine instrumentality was the variable that was found to be most consistently related to use of avoidance strategies. The findings indicate that use of avoidance strategies in intimate relationships is associated with personality and role variables as well as features of intimate relations themselves. (WAS)
 
Article
A review of studies on the role of social support as a moderator of bereavement outcome indicates that there is limited evidence for the widely held assumption that social support buffers the bereaved against, the impact of the loss experience and/or facilitates recovery. A test of the buffering/recovery hypothesis is reported, which is based on data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study, a prospective study of 1,532 married individuals aged 65 and older. Information from women who became bereaved during the study, on social support and depression measured before, and six, 18, and 48 months after bereavement, was used. There was a main effect of social support on depressive symptoms, but no indication for either a buffering or a recovery effect. Theoretical implications are discussed.
 
Article
Studies assessing the impact of relationship quality (RQ) on marital bereavement have resulted in discrepant findings. These discrepancies could be due to two shortcomings of previous research, namely that RQ is typically assessed only after bereavement and that bipolar measures of RQ are used. We tested these assumptions with data from the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study. This study assessed positive and negative RQ with separate measures and before bereavement. Only negative RQ moderated the impact of bereavement on depressive symptoms: Whereas depression increased with negative RQ during marriage, negative RQ became irrelevant once the partner had died.
 
Article
In the present study, possible determinants and effects of three different styles of giving support by healthy partners of patients with cancer were examined. Both partners' and patients' perceptions regarding these ways of providing support by healthy partners were studied. A survey was conducted among 106 patients with cancer and their intimate partners. Both healthy partners' evaluation of the patient's coping and their self-efficacy in providing support was related to the ways in which support was provided by partners. Partners who thought the patient was coping better with the cancer showed more active engagement and less overprotection. Partners high in self-efficacy showed more active engagement, whereas partners who lacked this self-efficacy showed more protective buffering. Furthermore, the way in which support was given was related to the patients' well-being and relationship satisfaction. Patients with cancer reported more distress and less feelings of control when their partners were more overprotective. Moreover, patients evaluated the relationship with their partner more positively when their partners were more actively engaged. In turn, patients' distress was positively related to the extent to which partners said they showed active engagement
 
Article
This study used a representative sample of 507 general practitioners (GPs) to test the hypothesis that burnout is contagious. Following a two-dimensional conceptualization of burnout, it is assumed that burnout is comprised of emotional exhaustion and negative attitudes (i.e., depersonalization and reduced personal accomplishment). We hypothesized that perceived burnout complaints among colleagues and susceptibility to emotional contagion would make an independent contribution to explaining variance in negative attitudes through their influence on emotional exhaustion. The findings of a series of LISREL-analyses support this burnout contagion model. In addition, susceptibility to the emotions expressed by others had a moderating effect on the relationship between perceived burnout complaints among colleagues and individual GPs' emotional exhaustion: Burnout contagion was most pronounced among those GPs who were, in general, highly susceptible to emotional stimuli. These findings, as well as possible routes to burnout contagion are discussed in terms of recent theoretical work on emotional contagion. (aut.ref.)
 
Article
Twenty maritally distressed and 20 nondistressed couples were videotaped during dyadic problem- solving and relaxed discussion. A video- mediated recall procedure was used to assess cognitions of each partner during each interaction. Higher rates of negative verbal and nonverbal behaviour and negative partner and self- referent cognitions were evident in the distressed couples. Escalation of aversive verbal and nonverbal behaviour occurred more in distressed couples and covaried with the presence of negative partner- referent cognitions. Negative verbal and nonverbal behaviour could be predicted better by the combination of past behaviour and cognitions than by behaviour alone. Discussion focuses on the need to address the interaction of behavioral and cognitive influences on marital interaction.
 
Article
The aim of this research was to examine, from a stress and coping perspective, the effects of resources (both personal and environmental) and coping strategies on parental reactions to infant death. One hundred and twenty-seven parents (60 fathers, 67 mothers) participated in the study. The predictors of parental distress (background factors, resources, coping methods) were initially assessed at 4-6 weeks post-loss. Parental distress (assessed using a composite measure of psychiatric disturbance, physical symptoms, and perinatal grief) was further assessed at 6 months post-loss and at 15 months postloss. After control for the stability in adjustment across time, there was consistent evidence that higher levels of education were associated with lower levels of parental distress over time. Among mothers, the number of friends in whom mothers had the confidence to confide emerged as a positive predictor of adjustment to infant death. A reliance on problem-focused coping was associated with greater maternal distress at 6 months post-loss, whereas coping by seeking support was associated with less distress at 15 months post-loss. There is no evidence that background factors and resources influenced parental distress through coping.
 
Article
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Kentucky, 1992. Abstract ([1] leaf) bound with copy. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 56-58).
 
Interaction of commitment by unforgiving motivations on positive affect (Study 1).  
Interaction of commitment by unforgiving motivations on negative affect (Study 1).  
Interaction of perpetrator by unforgiving motivations on negative affect (Study 2).  
Interaction of perpetrator by unforgiving motivations on positive affect (Study 3).  
Interaction of perpetrator by unforgiving motivations on negative affect (Study 3).  
Article
This research addresses the question of whether and when unforgiving motivations (i.e., revenge and avoidance) following infidelity are associated with positive and negative affect. We predicted that unforgiving motivations following infidelity are associated with less positive affect and more negative affect, but only when one is highly committed to the unfaithful partner. We tested this hypothesis in three internet samples of dating, cohabiting, and married couples who had experienced infidelity by their (ex-)partner, Study I showed that unforgiving motivations are associated with more negative affect and less positive affect, but that these associations are more pronounced among highly committed partners. Study 2 showed that unforgiving motivations are associated with more negative affect when the infidelity was committed by the current partner, but not when the infidelity was committed by an ex-partner. Study 3 supported our general prediction for positive and negative affect and further showed that high levels of unforgiving motivation regarding the current partner was associated with more negative affect and less positive affect than levels of affect in a no-infidelity comparison group.
 
Article
Introduction: According to the motivated helplessness hypothesis, thinking that there is nothing to do to avoid the coronavirus may make people less afraid of being infected (Lifshin et al., 2020). Previous correlational evidence indicated that high levels of helplessness were associated with diminished fear of COVID-19 (Lifshin et al., 2020; Lifshin & Mikulincer, 2021). Method: We tested if manipulated perceived helplessness to avoid the virus using bogus messages (high, low or moderate helplessness) would reduce fear of COVID-19, state anxiety, and motivation for protective actions. Results: Supporting the hypothesis, in the high helplessness condition, higher perceived helplessness related to less fear of COVID-19, but this did not occur in the low and moderate helplessness control conditions. Perceived helplessness in the helplessness condition also indirectly reduced state anxiety and motivation for protective actions. Discussion: This research may advance the psychological study of helplessness and our understanding of human behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Article
Introduction: As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and shelter-at-home have become necessary for public health and safety in the United States. This period of social isolation may be a risk factor for mental health problems, particularly among young adults for whom rates of loneliness are already high. Young adults also engage in more social media use than other age groups, a form of socialization associated with adverse effects on mental health, including loneliness and depression. Methods: The current study examined potential mediating roles of social media use and social support seeking on the relationship between age and loneliness symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants included 1,674 adults who completed an online survey regarding depressive symptoms, loneliness, coping strategies, and changes to their daily lives as a result of the pandemic. Results: Results indicated that young adults were lonelier than older adults during the pandemic, showed a greater increase in social media use, and lower social support seeking. Higher increases in social media use and lower social support seeking mediated the relationship between age group and loneliness. Discussion: Findings are discussed in context of prior research and potential effects of stress and isolation during the pandemic. Clinical implications and suggestions for intervention are elaborated.
 
Article
Introduction: As the novel coronavirus rapidly spreads around the world it will become increasingly important to understand its psychological impacts on the larger population. Few studies have been conducted in this regard, which is unsurprising considering the sudden emergence of the disease. Methods: The present study looked at mood (anxiety and depression), stress, resilience, grit, perceived control, happiness, and satisfaction with life in two samples hailing from small towns in upstate New York. These outcomes were assessed at two time points: pre-coronavirus (November/December 2019) and peak-coronavirus (mid-April 2020). Results: Contrary to expectations, the results indicated no significant differences on any of the variables between the pre-coronavirus sample and the peak-coronavirus sample. Discussion: The results suggested that people, at least in this region of the United States and more broadly in smaller towns, may be psychologically coping with the pandemic to a better degree than might be expected. This finding may be useful to policy makers and health care workers.
 
Article
Introduction: Effective, scalable interventions to address depression and loneliness and improve the quality of social relationships are needed for public health in pandemic and non-pandemic contexts. Towards this end, a randomized, controlled trial tested a mobile-based intervention, derived from social psychological and relationship science, for improving relational well-being and decreasing depression and loneliness. Methods: Participants were randomly assigned to either intervention (n = 719) or assessment only (n = 701) conditions and completed daily diary surveys for 28 days in the midst of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the middle 14 days of the study, intervention participants received daily text-message suggestions for improving relational and mental well-being. Results: Results indicated that the intervention decreased depression and loneliness and improved relationships during the intervention period but these changes were not sustained when the intervention ceased. Discussion: Results are encouraging in that evidence-based suggestions can be scaled effectively but additional efforts are required to sustain improvements over time.
 
Article
Introduction: As evidence of the psychological effects of the COVID-19 pandemic emerge, examining the role of self-regulation may yield key insights. This prospective study tested whether pre-pandemic self-regulation was associated with mental health, well-being, and substance use during the initial COVID-19 surge. Methods: Participants (N = 236; M age = 30.3; 64% female) were assessed 1–3 years prior to the pandemic and again in April of 2020. Markers of self-regulation (vagal tone, attachment insecurity, stress-reactive rumination, and attentional control) were assessed at Time 1, as were depressive symptoms, sleep problems, relationship satisfaction, perceived stress, and substance use. These outcomes were assessed again during the pandemic, along with anxiety symptoms and peri-traumatic distress. Results: Poor pre-pandemic self-regulation was associated with higher peri-pandemic depressive and anxiety symptoms, peri-traumatic distress, and cannabis use. Self-regulation was not associated with sleep, relationship satisfaction, alcohol use, or drug use and did not moderate changes over time. Discussion: Prospective analyses indicated simultaneous, independent associations of cognitive and emotional self-regulation with mental health and well-being during the initial COVID-19 pandemic surge, yet pre-pandemic self-regulation did not account for trajectories of change over time. Findings emphasize the importance of prospective data for understanding biopsychosocial resilience during the pandemic and beyond.
 
Top-cited authors
Frank D Fincham
  • Florida State University
Mark Leary
  • Duke University
Roy Baumeister
  • The University of Queensland
Helga Dittmar
  • University of Sussex
Martin E P Seligman
  • University of Pennsylvania