Scandinavian Journal of Psychology

Published by Wiley

Online ISSN: 1467-9450


Print ISSN: 0036-5564


Correlation matrix for predictor variables and dependent variable
Results of multiple regression analysis for variables pre- dicting reading comprehension
Decoding, knowledge, and strategies in comprehension of expository text. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 46, 107-117
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  • Full-text available

May 2005


719 Reads


We examined the relative contribution of decoding, topic knowledge, and strategic processing to the comprehension of social science text in a sample of Norwegian junior high school students. Additionally, we examined the interaction of topic knowledge with strategic processing on students' text comprehension, and whether poor word-level skill could be effectively compensated for by higher-level processing involving knowledge or strategies. Multiple regression analysis indicated that students' prior knowledge about the topic of the text contributed most to their comprehension. Students' reported use of organization and monitoring strategies contributed less but still significantly to text comprehension, as did their word decoding skills. However, no interaction between topic knowledge and strategic processing was found. Analyses of variance and post-hoc comparison tests, supplemented by a descriptive analysis, suggested that the coexistence of poor decoding skill and good text comprehension may be related to much topic knowledge, good strategy use, or both.

Baird, J. C.: A cognitive theory of psychophysics. I. Information transmission, partitioning, and Weber's law. Scand. J. Psychol. 11, 35-46

February 1970


50 Reads

The fundamental premise of this paper is that subjects deal with stimulus information when performing psychophysical judgments. The coding strategy employed to manipulate this information depends upon the particular experimental procedure, which leads to unique psychophysical functions. Different methods impose different memory constraints upon the subject, thus producing a variety of sensitivity measures for the same stimulus attribute.

Adolescent predictors and associates of psychosocial functioning in young men and women: 11 year follow-up findings from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study

January 2013


51 Reads






The aim of this paper was to investigate whether psychosocial functioning in adulthood (e.g., friends support, cohabitation, community connectedness and work satisfaction) could be predicted by mental health, subjective well-being, social relations and behavior problems in adolescence, and whether gender was a moderator in these associations. Data were obtained from a major population-based Norwegian study, the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT), in which 517 men and 819 women completed an extensive self-report questionnaires at baseline (mean age 14.4 years) and at follow-up (mean age 26.9 years). Community connectedness as well as work satisfaction were predicted by subjective well-being. Cohabitation was predicted by male gender and frequency of meeting friends in adolescence, and friends support was predicted by frequency of meeting friends. Gender had a minor effect as a moderator. Frequency of meeting friends and subjective well-being seemed to be the strongest adolescent predictors of psychosocial functioning in young adulthood. These findings may have implications both for prevention and intervention in adolescence, as well as for future research.

Anxiety disorders in 8–11‐year‐old children: Motor skill performance and self‐perception of competence

June 2010


135 Reads

Ekornås, B., Lundervold, A. J., Tjus, T. & Heimann, M. (2010). Anxiety disorders in 8–11-year-old children: Motor skill performance and self-perception of competence. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 51, 271–277. This study investigates motor skill performance and self-perceived competence in children with anxiety disorders compared with children without psychiatric disorders. Motor skills and self-perception were assessed in 329 children aged 8 to 11 years, from the Bergen Child Study. The Kiddie-SADS PL diagnostic interview was employed to define a group of children with an anxiety disorder without comorbid diagnosis, and a control group (no diagnosis) matched according to gender, age, and full-scale IQ. Children in the anxiety disorder group displayed impaired motor skills and poor self-perceived peer acceptance and physical competence compared with the control group. Two-thirds of the anxious boys scored on the Motor Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) as having motor problems. The present study demonstrated impaired motor skills in boys with “pure” anxiety disorders. Anxious children also perceived themselves as being less accepted by peers and less competent in physical activities compared with children in the control group.

School performance and IQ-test scores at age 13 as related to birth weight and gestational age

February 1991


54 Reads

The cohort in the present longitudinal research program consisted of 873 children in an entire school grade, in a Swedish community. The present results showed a main effect of birth weight; low birth weight (LBW) children had lower school performance and intelligence-test (IQ) scores at age 13 than did normal birth weight (NBW) children irrespective of parental SES. Second, there was no significant main effect of gestational age (GA) on scholastic performance and IQ-test scores. Third, there was a significant main effect of the combination of birth weight and GA on scholastic performance and IQ-test scores. The LBW children born at term (38-40 pregnancy weeks; pw) had significantly lower scores and school grades as compared to the control group while the LBW children born with short gestational age (34-37 pw) and with very short gestational age (less than 34 pw) had significantly lower scores and marks in fewer areas of academic attainment.

Predicting 13-year-olds' drinking using parents' self-reported alcohol use and restrictiveness compared with offspring's perception

July 1996


26 Reads

This study examined whether offspring's perception of parental frequency of alcohol use and restrictiveness towards offspring's alcohol use could be used as a substitute for parental self-reports. Offspring's perception were compared with parents' self-reported alcohol use and restrictiveness in ability to predict offspring's own alcohol use. Respondents were 924 offspring, 642 fathers and 729 mothers. Correlations between fathers' and mothers' self-reported frequency of drinking alcohol and offspring's report of parental frequency of drinking alcohol ranged from 0.55 to 0.70. Fathers' and mothers' self-reported alcohol use and restrictiveness explained less than two per cent of the variance in their offspring's alcohol use in regression analyses, while offspring's perception of parental drinking frequency and restrictiveness explained about eight per cent of the variance in offspring's alcohol use. These results represent a challenge to studies of young adolescents which interpret offspring's reports of parents' alcohol use as a surrogate measure of parents' self-reported alcohol use.

Adaptation of the Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire (AEQ-A): A short version for use among 13-year-olds in Norway

June 1993


128 Reads

An adaptation of a Norwegian modified short version of Christiansen & Goldman's Alcohol Expectancy Questionnaire for Adolescents (AEQ-A) was examined in this survey. Subjects were 924 Norwegian seventh graders, with an average age of 13.3 years. From the original 90 items, 27 items representing all seven original scales were used in this study. Factor analysis did not create any preferred new factor solution compared to Christiansen & Goldman's original factors. Internal consistency of the seven AEQ-A scales ranged from 0.37 to 0.72 on Cronbach's alpha. All seven AEQ-A scales correlated significantly with self-reported alcohol use as was expected, and this study also replicated the relative importance of the social enhancement scale. This was the first study using AEQ-A in a non-English-speaking culture. The generalizability of alcohol outcome expectancies was strongly supported. The present study indicates that the Norwegian version of AEQ-A possesses a level of concurrent validity and internal reliability that is acceptable compared to the original scales, and can serve as a useful instrument in behavioral research on alcohol use among Norwegian adolescents in the years to come.

Pearson correlations between RiBED-8 and the other variables in sample 2 at T1 and T2 (within parentheses)
Eating-related problems among 13-15 year old Swedish adolescents: Frequency and stability over a one-year period

July 2012


196 Reads

Viborg, N., Wångby-Lundh, M., Lundh, L.-G. & Johnsson P. (2012). Eating-related problems among 13-15 year old Swedish adolescents: Frequency and stability over a one-year period. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 53, 401–406. The frequency of eating-related problems in young adolescents, and their stability over a one-year period, was studied by the RiBED-8 (Risk Behaviours related to Eating Disorders, 8 items) in a community sample of 13–15 year old adolescents who took part in a prospective study with a 2-wave longitudinal design. The RiBED-8 was found to have good reliability and construct validity among the girls, although it did not show equally convincing psychometric properties among boys. With a cut-off of at least three critical answers on the RiBED-8, 28.5–31.0% of the girls were seen as risk cases for the development of eating disorder. Of those girls who were risk cases at Time 1, a majority (68.8%) remained so at Time 2; of those girls who were not risk cases at Time 1, 16.1% became risk cases at Time 2. It is suggested that the RiBED-8 is a brief, easily administered instrument that may be potentially useful in screening for eating-related problems among girls.

Relative changes in intelligence from 13 to 18. I. Background and methodology

February 1968


22 Reads

Härnqvist, K. Relative changes in intelligence from 13 to 18. I. Background and methodology. Scand. J. Psychol., 1968, 9, 50–64.—A ten-percent sample of the Swedish school population born in 1948 took an intelligence test at the age of 13. The male part was tested again at 18 in connection with enrolment for military service in 1966. Complete test scores are available for 4616 men. The data were used to investigate relative changes in intelligence connected with differences in education and home background. In this report the theoretical and statistical bases for such comparisons are analyzed. In part II the results are reported.

Associative learning measured with ERP predicts deferred imitation using a strict observation only design in 14 to15 month old children

February 2013


94 Reads

Heimann, M., Nordqvist, E., Rudner, M., Johansson, M. & Lindgren M. (2013). Associative learning measured with ERP predicts deferred imitation using a strict observation only design in 14 to15 month old children. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 54, 33–40. Deferred imitation (DI) is an established procedure for behavioral measurement of early declarative-like memories in infancy and previous work has indicated a link between this type of memory and brain potentials in infants. The present study compared infants’ memory performance in this paradigm with electrophysiological indices of associative learning. Thirty children (M = 14.5 months) participated, of which 15 (8 boys) had acceptable event-related potentials (ERP) recordings that could be included in the final analysis. Deferred imitation was measured with an observation-only procedure using three actions and a 30 min delay. ERP was recorded with a high-density electrode net (128 electrodes) during associative learning. Change scores based on Nc, a middle latency component associated with attentional processes, predicted deferred imitation performance. Thus, associative learning measured with ERP predicts deferred imitation using a strict observation only design in 14 to15 month old children.

Self-reported emotional and behavioral problems in Swedish 14 to 15-year-old adolescents: A study with the self-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

June 2008


364 Reads

The psychometric properties of the Swedish self-report version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ-s), and the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems as measured by the SDQ-s, were studied in 14 to 15-year-old adolescents. The psychometric properties were found to be similar to those found in other language versions, in terms of similar factor structure and acceptable test-retest stability, but low internal consistencies for some of the subscales. There was evidence of good convergent and discriminant validity. The results with regard to gender differences replicated previous findings in other countries, the girls reporting more emotional symptoms and more prosocial behavior, and the boys reporting more conduct problems and tending to report more peer problems. It is concluded that the results are in favor of using the Swedish SDQ-s as a screening instrument for adolescents, despite the low internal consistencies of some of its subscales.

Cognitive control deficits in adolescents born with very low birth weight (≤ 1500 g): Evidence from dichotic listening

February 2013


56 Reads

The objective of the paper is to explore bottom-up auditory and top-down cognitive processing abilities as part of long-term outcome assessment of preterm birth. Fifty-five adolescents (age 13-15) born with very low birth weight (VLBW) were compared to 80 matched controls born to term, using three consonant-vowel dichotic listening (DL) instruction conditions (non-forced, forced-right and forced-left). DL scores were correlated with cortical gray matter thickness derived from T1-weighted structural MRI volumes using FreeSurfer to examine group differences also in the neural correlates of higher cognitive processes. While showing normal bottom-up processing, VLBW adolescents displayed impaired top-down controlled conflict processing related to significant cortical thickness differences in left superior temporal gryus and anterior cingulate cortex. Preterm birth with VLBW induces fundamental changes in brain function and structure posing a risk for long-term neurocognitive impairments. Deficits emerge in situations of increasing cognitive conflict and can be related to measures of executive functions as well as morphology.

Prevalence and correlates of gambling among 16 to 19-year-old adolescents in Norway: Personality and Social Sciences

July 2008


366 Reads

There is evidence that young people are at high risk of developing gambling disorders. The prevalence and correlates of gambling among youth therefore merit closer study. During spring 2004, a sample of 1,351 boys and girls (aged 16-19 years) from 151 high-school classes (clusters) participated in an internet survey about gambling. The response rate was 69.8%. The instruments used in the survey were the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the Massachusetts Adolescent Gambling Screen, in addition to questions about demography. Controlling for the design effect, the estimated prevalence rate was 2.5% for pathological gambling and 1.9% for problem gambling. In all, 7.3% of the boys and 0.6% of the girls fulfilled the criteria for pathological or problem gambling. The results of item analysis of the DSM-IV subscale of MAGS provide support for differential item functioning between boys and girls. A multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that gender (male: OR = 9.09), depression (OR = 9.23), alcohol abuse (OR = 3.62), and dissociation (OR = 1.96) were related to problem and pathological gambling. These results support the view that gambling disorders are best understood as part of an addictive behavior spectrum (Jacobs, 2000).

Communicative Development in Swedish Children 16‐28 months old: The Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory—Words and Sentences

June 2000


243 Reads

To describe the development of words and sentences in Swedish children 16-28 months old, 900 parental reports on 336 children were analyzed. Subjects were randomly selected from the national birth register, and there was a response rate of 88%. The assessments were made using the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventory—words and sentences (SECDI—w&s). Age-based norms for productive vocabulary, pragmatic skills, grammar skills, and maximum length of utterance (MaxLU) were determined. We describe the development of feedback morphemes, semantic categories, and single words and tasks. Correlation across measures was significant, and especially strong between vocabulary size and grammar skills. Optimized positive predictive values were high for 25 to 28 month predictions (71%-88%), and vocabulary scores were found to be of particular predictive importance. No significant gender differences were detected. The clinical relevance of the instrument is discussed.

Psychometric properties of the Danish 16PF and EPQ

July 1996


44 Reads

A Danish translation of the Cattell's 16PF has been used in studies evaluating the effects of prenatal drug exposure. This paper reports a psychometric analysis of the 16PF and Eysenck's EPQ based on a sample of 558 young Danes. Many 16PF scales had unacceptable psychometric properties (as indicated by coefficient alpha and item--total score correlations), but more satisfactory results were obtained with the EPQ N and E scales. A factor analysis of all 16PF and EPQ scales suggested a six factor solution that roughly corresponds to the second-order factor structure obtained by Krug and Johns (1986). It is concluded that the second-order factor structure should be the basis of interpretation of the 16PF in both practical and research contexts.

Internet addiction: characteristics of a questionnaire and prevalence in Norwegian Youth (12-18 Years)

August 2004


875 Reads

The use of the Internet has increased considerably during the last few years, and there are also some clinical observations that some people 'get hooked', and develop an Internet addiction. An epidemiological study was performed in a representative sample of the Norwegian youth population (N= 3,237; response rate 45.2%). The proportion not using Internet was only 4.9%, while 35.8% were non-frequent users, and 49.6% (1,591) were frequent (weekly) users. They used the Internet on the mean 4.3 hours a week. A mean of 1.98% (boys 2.42%, girls 1.51%) could be described as having an 'Internet addiction' according to the criteria in the Diagnostic Questionnaire of Young (1998), and an additional 8.68% (in sum 10.66) were considered to have an at-risk Internet use (boys 9.21%, girls 8.13%). If these proportions were calculated on individuals who used the Internet frequently, 4.02% fulfilled 5 criteria, and an additional 17.66% 3-4 criteria, giving quite high figures of problematic Internet use (in sum 21.68). The different diagnostic criteria gave a broad range of affirmative answers (from 0.4% to 27.9%). The results have important implications for further studies of prevalence, implementation of preventive measures, and the development of treatment approaches for Internet addiction.

Communicative skills in relation to gender, birth order, childcare and socioeconomic status in 18-month-old children

January 2006


342 Reads

Variation in communicative skills, defined as gestures, vocabulary comprehension and vocabulary production, was examined as a function of gender, birth order, childcare and socioeconomic status (SES) in 1,019 18-month-old children. The children were recruited at their regular check-up at a number of randomly selected Child Health Care centers in a Swedish county. The participation rate was 88%. The children were assessed by their mothers using a short version of the Swedish Early Communicative Development Inventories. The results demonstrate significant effects of gender and birth order on vocabulary comprehension and vocabulary production. Girls scored higher than boys and first-born children scored higher than later-born children. Type of childcare (family care, care at home and day-care centers) interacted with gender and birth order on vocabulary production and indicated that family care is not as advantageous as care at home or at day-care centers. SES had no effect on children's communicative skills at this age.

Table 1 . Overview of empirical works on nonclinical offspring raised by lesbian or gay parents, organized alphabetically by authors 1
Outcomes for children with lesbian or gay parents. A review of studies from 1978 to 2000

October 2002


3,439 Reads

Twenty-three empirical studies published between 1978 and 2000 on nonclinical children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers were reviewed (one Belgian/Dutch, one Danish, three British, and 18 North American). Twenty reported on offspring of lesbian mothers, and three on offspring of gay fathers. The studies encompassed a total of 615 offspring (age range 1.5-44 years) of lesbian mothers or gay fathers and 387 controls, who were assessed by psychological tests, questionnaires or interviews. Seven types of outcomes were found to be typical: emotional functioning, sexual preference, stigmatization, gender role behavior, behavioral adjustment, gender identity, and cognitive functioning. Children raised by lesbian mothers or gay fathers did not systematically differ from other children on any of the outcomes. The studies indicate that children raised by lesbian women do not experience adverse outcomes compared with other children. The same holds for children raised by gay men, but more studies should be done.

Icelandic Norms for the Snodgrass and Vanderwart (1980) Pictures: Name and Image Agreement, Familiarity, and Aage of Acquisition

April 2000


46 Reads

This paper presents Icelandic norms for the widely used pictorial stimuli of Snodgrass and Vanderwart (1980). Norms are presented for name agreement, familiarity, imageability, rated and objective age-of-acquisition (AoA) of vocabulary, and word frequency. The ratings were collected from 103 adult participants while the objective AoA values were collected from 279 children, 2.5-11 years of age. The present norms are in many respects similar to those already collected for other language groups indicating that the stimuli will be useful for further psychological studies in Iceland. The rated AoA values show a high correlation with objective AoA (r = 0.718) thus confirming previous studies conducted with English speaking participants that rated AoA is a relatively valid measure of objective AoA. However, word frequency and familiarity are more closely correlated with rated AoA than with objective AoA indicating that these factors play some role in the ratings. Objective AoA norms are therefore to be preferred in studies of cognitive processes.

Cultural changes (1986-96) in a Norwegian airline company

March 2002


37 Reads

The purpose of the study was to investigate cultural changes in a Norwegian airline company over a time span of 10 years. A questionnaire including parameters characterizing culture was administered to air crews in 1986 (n = 137) and in 1996 (n = 50). The performance part of a simulator study in 1996 indicated a significant reduction in operational failures compared with the 1986 study. The data further demonstrated significant changes in cultural variables, such as reduced Dominance and Masculinity, and improved Social climate and Communication. The direction of change in scores on the cultural variables corresponded with the principles on which the remedial actions were based.

Mode distinctions in knowing: The view from perception. Comments on Rönnberg (1990)

February 1990


6 Reads

Information available for perception has been shown to be specific, to have validity extending over time, and to be meaningful. Thus, cognition cannot be distinguished as that which exclusively provides adaptive coherence of action and reliance on constraints. Transitions between perception and memory/cognition, as two qualitatively distinct modes of knowing, must instead be expected to occur for purposes of ensuring optimal utilization of information relative to its temporal validity and usefulness.

The Goteborg discotheque fire, 1998

December 2003


65 Reads

Findings from a study of 563 adolescents' reactions following a discotheque fire that killed 63 young people in Göteborg in October 1998 are presented. The group answered a questionnaire seven months following the disaster. The questionnaire included the Impact of Event Scale (IES) and the Birleson Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS). The level of trauma was found to be very high, while depression scores were less elevated. A little under a third of the students scored above a clinical cut-off point (> 35) on the IES, indicating high posttraumatic stress levels. Girls evidenced more depression and traumatic stress reactions than boys. Levels of reactions increased with more closeness (knowing victims personally) and if the adolescents were of non-Swedish origin.

The portrayal of men and women in television advertisements: An updated review of 30 studies published since 2000

March 2010


1,390 Reads

In 1999, Furnham and Mak published a review of 14 content-analytic studies of sex roles stereotyping in television commercials. All these studies were based on the McArthur and Resko (1975) content categories. This paper updates that review considering 30 studies in over 20 countries published between 2000 and 2008. Studies were from Australasia, Austria, Bulgaria, Ghana, Hong Kong, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. They examined over 8,000 advertisements. National and cultural differences in gender stereotypes are also considered in the light of this data. The popularity of, and the problems associated with, the research paradigm are considered.

Gambling behavior and gambling problems in Norway 2007

April 2009


60 Reads

In Norway, legalized gambling is pervasive, easily accessible and socially accepted, particularly the participation in national lotteries. We conducted a stratified probability sample study during January-March 2007 (age group 16-74 years, N = 3,482, response rate 36.1%) to assess gambling behavior and prevalence of problematic gambling by the NORC Diagnostic Screen (NODS). Overall, 67.9% of the study population had been engaged in past-year gambling and 0.7% were past-year problematic gamblers (NODS score 3+). Male gender, low educational level, single marital status, and being born in a non-Western country were variables positively associated with problematic gambling. Past-year problematic gamblers indicated the slot machine (34.6%) and Internet gambling (26.9%) as the most important games, while most non-problematic gamblers pointed out the lotteries (62.3%) as the most important game. The prevalence of self-reported sleeping disorders, depression and other psychological impairments was significantly higher among problematic gamblers. Gambling problems affect people's lives in multiple ways.

Table 1 . Group differences on the scorings of CRIES and its subscales 
Table 2 . Cross-sectional confirmatory factor analysis results for separate samples 
Factor structure of the Children’s Revised Impact of Event Scale among children and adolescents who survived the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China

February 2011


349 Reads

To evaluate the psychometric properties of the Chinese version of Children's Revised Impact of Event Scale (CRIES) and its applicability among Chinese children and adolescents, a study was conducted on two samples, the first, 1 month after the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the second, 7 months after the earthquake. High levels of posttraumatic stress symptoms were found among both groups of children. The results also showed a decline of intrusion and arousal symptoms in accordance with the different periods of time elapsed since the earthquake; however, no difference was found in the avoidance symptoms between the two samples. Both the subscales and the CRIES total showed moderate to good reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of CRIES supported the presumed three inter-correlated factors model. However, the results of the second sample (with more than 6 months elapsed subsequent to the earthquake) are more likely to support this model than those of the first sample. This study generally justifies the use of CRIES as a screening instrument for probable PTSD victims among children and adolescents exposed to horrible natural disasters in China. Limitations of the present study and directions for future research are also discussed.

Bernardo, A. B. I. (2013). Hope grounded in belief: Direct and indirect influence of social axioms on dispositional hope. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 54, 522-528.

October 2013


252 Reads

Two studies explore whether general beliefs about the social world or social axioms may be antecedents of dispositional hope. Social axioms are generalized cognitive representations that provide frames for constructing individuals' hope-related cognitions. Considering social axioms' instrumental and ego-defensive functions, two social axioms, social cynicism and reward for application are hypothesized to be negative and positive predictors of hope, respectively. Study 1 used multiple regression analysis to test the hypothesis. Study 2 used structural equation modeling to test the model with a pathway linking reward for application with hope, and another pathway linking social cynicism and hope that is mediated by self-esteem. The results are discussed in terms of extending the range of psychological constructs and processes that foster the development of hope.

Coping responses in the midst of terror: The July 22 terror attack at Utøya Island in Norway

November 2014


95 Reads

This study examined the peri-trauma coping responses of 325 survivors, mostly youth, after the July 22, 2011 terror attack on Utøya Island in Norway. The aim was to understand peri-trauma coping responses and their relation to subsequent post-traumatic stress (PTS) reactions. Respondents were interviewed face-to-face 4-5 months after the shooting, and most were interviewed at their homes. Peri-trauma coping was assessed using ten selected items from the "How I Cope Under Pressure Scale" (HICUPS), covering the dimensions of problem solving, positive cognitive restructuring, avoidance, support seeking, seeking understanding, and religious coping. PTS reactions were assessed with the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index. The participants reported using a wide variety of coping strategies. Problem solving, positive cognitive restructuring, and seeking understanding strategies were reported most often. Men reported using more problem-solving strategies, whereas women reported more emotion-focused strategies. There were no significant associations between age and the use of coping strategies. Problem solving and positive cognitive restructuring were significantly associated with fewer PTS reactions. The results are discussed in light of previous research and may help to inform early intervention efforts for survivors of traumatic events. © 2014 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Negative affect and 24‐hour ambulatory physiological recordings as predictors of spontaneous improvement of medically unexplained symptoms

October 2008


41 Reads

The predictive value for spontaneous improvement in individuals suffering from medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) was explored of (1) anxiety and depression obtained from questionnaires, (2) negative affective states obtained from experience-sampling, and (3) ambulatory-assessed real-life physiological recordings. Sixty-seven individuals with MUS and 61 healthy controls were included. Twenty-four hour ambulatory recordings of cardiac autonomic activity, respiration, end-tidal CO(2) and saliva cortisol were combined with experience-sampling of somatic complaints and mood. Complaints were assessed again after one year. Although a reduction in symptoms (25%) was found, this could not be predicted from initial anxiety and depression. Improvement was somewhat related to relatively low diary reports of fatigue, especially in the late-afternoon and evening (3% variance explained). From the physiological measures only relatively high PetCO(2) values in the morning predicted improvement (5% explained). It was concluded that spontaneous recovery from MUS is hard to predict from self-reported distress and ambulatory physiological recordings.

Time trends in the adjustment of Swedish Teenage Girls: A 26-year comparison of 15-year-olds

May 2005


78 Reads

The aim of this study was to investigate stability and change over 26 years in self-reported adjustment of Swedish teenage girls. Data were collected with the same questionnaire from two school-cohorts in a middle-sized Swedish community: 522 girls attending Grade 8 (approximately at age 15) in 1970, and 529 girls attending Grade 8 in 1996. The first cohort was part of the longitudinal research programme Individual Development and Adaptation (IDA). In most domains, adjustment problems were approximately as common in 1996 as in 1970, with two exceptions: more girls reported problems with self-esteem and antisocial problems in 1996. In the antisocial domain, a polarization process was indicated, with an increase also in the number of girls without adjustment problems. In the relational domains, especially peer relations, there was an increase in positive adjustment. The results are discussed in relation to earlier findings and to social changes during the period.

Investigating digit ratio (2D:4D) in a highly male-dominated occupation: The case of firefighters

November 2009


197 Reads

Second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D), a widely studied putative marker for masculinization through prenatal androgen exposure, is lower (more masculinized) in athletes than in general population controls, and athletes with lower 2D:4D have higher sporting success. Occupations differ markedly in perceived masculinity and actual maleness (sex ratios), but these givens have not yet been picked up and utilized in 2D:4D research. Accordingly, this study extended existing accounts on 2D:4D in athletes to a novel approach: 2D:4D and possible relationships to a variety of candidate variables (demographic, fertility-related, psychological, and other) were investigated in firefighters, a highly male-dominated occupation. Contrary to expectation, 2D:4D in firefighters (N = 134) was not lower than in local male population controls. Lower 2D:4D corresponded to lower service ranks. Replicating previous findings either unequivocally or partly, lower 2D:4D was associated with larger family size, later sibling position, left-handedness, and higher scores in the disinhibition component of sensation seeking. Not replicating prior evidence, 2D:4D was unrelated to body-mass index, offspring sex ratio, and sporting performance level. Novel findings included low 2D:4D in those with low relationship satisfaction and in cigarette smokers, especially among heavy smokers. Absolute finger length, a positive correlate of pubertal-adolescent androgen levels, was also considered. This marker showed negative associations with relationship consensus and satisfaction and positive ones with perceived quality of relationship alternatives and the experience seeking component of sensation seeking. The merits of this additional marker, relative to 2D:4D, for supplementing studies of possible sex-hormonal effects on personality and directions for future inquiry along these lines are discussed.

Preferential looking: A sudden shift in visual fixation pattern at 32 months of age

October 1995


22 Reads

Observations of eye movements of young children in a modified preferential looking task suggest a change in the visual looking pattern taking place during a very brief time between 32 and 33 months of age. In the younger children, a grating stimulus elicited eye movements towards the target followed by a few seconds of focused attention; in the older children a visual avoidance behavior was observed where subjects looked consistently in the opposite direction of the target. An analysis of video recordings suggests that this avoidance pattern was a composite of a very brief initial target-directed eye movement which was quickly arrested, and followed by eye movements in the opposite direction, initiating a search of the visual scene.

Goals Influence Memory and Imitation for Dynamic Human Action in 36-month-old Children

November 2012


103 Reads

Loucks, J. & Meltoff, A. N. (2013). Goals influence memory and imitation for dynamic human action in 36-month-old children. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 54, 41–50. Adults’ memory for action is organized according to a hierarchy of goals. Little previous research has examined whether goals also play a crucial role in young children’s memory for action, and particularly whether goal information is privileged over veridical sequential order information. The current experiment investigated 3-year-old children’s (N = 40) memory for naturally occurring interleaved action sequences: Sequences in which an actor switched back and forth between carrying out actions related to two distinct goals. Such sequences allowed a test of whether children’s action representations prioritize a goal interpretation over veridical sequential information. Children’s memory for the action events was assessed by deferred imitation, 5-min after the demonstration had ceased. Results indicated that children’s memory prioritizes goals over veridical sequential order – even to the extent that the actual sequential order is distorted in memory. These findings deepen our understanding of action processing and memory with implications for social-cognitive development.

Table 1 . Baseline characteristics of the postmenopausal women (N = 266) N (%) 
The Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ): A psychometric evaluation of the 36-item Norwegian version

April 2009


1,292 Reads

The Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ) was designed specifically to study possible changes that occur during menopause. The purpose of this study was to perform a psychometric evaluation of the Norwegian version of the WHQ by examining the factor structure and construct validity of the instrument. Data used for the evaluation were collected at baseline of the ACUFLASH study, a randomized, controlled clinical trial that evaluated the effect of acupuncture treatment on menopausal symptoms. Altogether, 267 women with a very high frequency of hot flushes were included in the study. Some deficiencies in the WHQ questionnaire were observed when applied to this sample, including an unclear factor structure, low alpha values for some dimensions, and a strong floor effect in the vasomotor symptoms dimension. The total scale score appears reliable, but care should be taken when interpreting some of the subscales.

Leader personality and 360‐degree assessments of leader behavior

May 2014


513 Reads

To investigate the relationship between personality and multi-source feedback, we assessed 190 health care managers by applying the Understanding Personal Potential personality test, which provides comprehensive measurement of the Big Five dimensions and eight narrower personality traits. Managers' leadership behaviors were assessed by colleagues, supervisors, a random sample of each manager's subordinates as well as the managers themselves using a 360-degree change, production, employee (CPE) instrument. Hierarchical multivariate regression analysis showed that the Big Five variables were significantly related to the Managers' leadership behavior in all CPE dimensions. Also, addition of narrow personality variables to the Big Five increased explained variance in leadership behavior. This study is the first of its kind to include the full range of viewpoints in a 360-degree instrument, along with a large number of subordinate assessments. We found that both the strength of the relationship between personality and behavior and the configuration of different predictors varied depending on who did the rating and what leadership orientation was investigated, and this observation merits further investigation.

A Müller-Lyer-type illusion of egocentric distance with 3D convex and concave objects

July 1993


15 Reads

An illusion of egocentric distance with concave and convex objects at a distance of 135 cm is reported. When the centre of a concave object was viewed with both eyes its surface appeared nearer than the centre of the surface of a convex object at the same distance. The distortion was about two per cent of the viewing distance with right-angle objects and about five per cent with hemicylindrical objects. The distortion was slightly reduced when size cues for distance were attached to the surfaces of the objects, absent with monocular viewing, greater with convex than with concave objects, and occurred with the generally convex surface of a model human face. Possible explanations of the findings are discussed.

Ingroup vitality and intergroup attitudes in a linguistic minority. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 48, 409-418

November 2007


43 Reads

In this study we argue that predictions of the impact of group status, status stability and status legitimacy on intergroup attitudes can be refined using the subjective perceptions of various dimensions of ingroup vitality. We tested the main and moderating effects of perceived present, future and the legitimacy of present ingroup vitality and perceived discrimination on intergroup attitudes in a nation-wide probability sample (N= 1,411) of Swedish-speaking Finns, controlling for ingroup identification. We found that those who perceived the legitimacy of present ingroup vitality to be low had more negative intergroup attitudes than those who perceived the legitimacy to be high. Perceived present and future ingroup vitality had no main effects on the dependent variable. Instead, perceived future ingroup vitality moderated the effect of perceived discrimination on intergroup attitudes. In addition, the perceived legitimacy of present ingroup vitality mediated the effect of perceived present ingroup vitality on intergroup attitudes.

Reliability and validity of mothers' developmental estimates for children between 4 and 41 months

January 1995


6 Reads

The feasibility of mothers estimating their own children's development is explored in this paper. Construction, reliability and validity of a mothers' developmental inventory for children from 4 months to 41 months is described. The inventory consists of six subtests: Gross Motor, Fine Motor, Language Expression, Language Comprehension, Personal-Social Competence and Self Help. A preliminary version of the inventory was item analyzed on a sample of 105 mothers of 4 to 37 months old children. This reduced the inventory to 164 items with satisfactory reliability and age discrimination on half-year intervals. The list was cross-validated on a sample of 275 mothers, for which medians of alpha coefficients for the six subtests ranged from 0.69 to 0.96, with most (26 out of 36) coefficients being 0.77 or higher. Again, the age discrimination was satisfactory, although floor effects appeared on four subtests for children younger than 12 months and ceiling effects on two subtests for children older than 24 months.

Norms for 439 action events: Familiarity, emotionality, motor activity, and memorability

January 1999


26 Reads

A total of 128 male and female university students having Swedish as their mother tongue rated 439 actions on a 7-point scale in the dimensions of Familiarity, Emotionality, Motor Activity, and Memorability under instructions to imagine themselves performing each action (e.g., "to roll a ball", "to break a match"). Overall mean ratings were higher for women than for men in all four dimensions. High reliabilities were obtained in each scale. Intercorrelations between the dimensions were low to moderate, indicating that different characteristics of the actions were assessed. It is demonstrated that the ratings of the four dimensions are in agreement with previous categorisations of actions along the same or similar dimensions and with findings related to memory performance. Furthermore, control studies performed on the Familiarity dimension show that norm values are highly correlated with ratings given by participants in standard enacting and nonenacting conditions and with ratings in a condition where objects were present. These norms offer possibilities to control for and vary item characteristics of importance in the study of actions and the memory of actions.

Endocrine reactions and cognitive performance at 60 metres hyperbaric pressure. Correlations with perceptual defense reactions

February 1982


10 Reads

Endocrine reactions and cognitive performance were examined in a dive to 60 metres hyperbaric pressure (N= 29). There was a significant increase for prolactine and growth hormone, and a significant decrease for epinephrine and testosterone. Memory was significantly reduced at 60 metres. The factor pattern of the endocrine postdive measures showed a cortisol, a catecholamine, and a testosterone factor similar to previous stress-studies at 1 atmosphere. Confirming previous studies there was a correlation between perceptual defense reactions as tested by the Defense Mechanism (DMT) and cortisol. DMT also correlated with performance on a reasoning test when learning was controlled. Furthermore, for the postdive samples there was a correlation between cortisol and performance on the arithmetic test, while prolactine correlated to memory reduction. These results indicate that the endocrine reactions and the reduction in cognitive performance is due to an effect of the emotional reaction to the dive situation in addition to direct effects of the nitrogen narcosis.

Cognitive impairment and the 10-year survival probability of a normal 62-year-old population

September 2001


13 Reads

The predictive value of cognitive impairment together with demographic and health factors on long-term survival was evaluated. The population sample comprised 389 subjects, all 62 years old. Cognitive performances were measured using verbal, visuomotor and memory tests. Cognitive impairment was determined by comparing performances with norms derived from healthy controls. Ten years after testing, the probability of survival was 89% for the cognitively preserved subjects, 80% for those with mild impairment, and 71% for those with moderate impairment (p = 0.009). Relative risk (RR) for shortened survival was 1.7 (95% CI 0.9-3.2) for the mildly, and 2.6 (95% CI 1.4-4.8) for the moderately impaired. Perceived health problems were, as expected, related to reduced survival (p < 0.001, RR 3.6, 95% CI 2.1-6.0), and there was an association between cognitive impairment and impaired perceived health (p = 0.040). Multivariate analyses with Cox's regression models showed that cognitive impairment, in particular, impaired episodic memory had an association with survival, in addition to the expected effects. Thus, memory impairment may reflect very early signs of underlying disease, and so the findings provide predictive validity for the cognitive methods used.

Episodic remembering in young adults, 73-year-olds, and 82-year-olds

February 1986


12 Reads

Younger adults (mean age = 20.6), 73-year-olds, and 82-year-olds were examined in free and cued recall of words preceded by standard instructions or organizational instructions. The younger adults outperformed the elderly groups in free and cued recall preceded by standard instructions. When organizational instructions were provided, recall differences between the younger adults and the 73-year-olds were eliminated, while both these groups outperformed the 82-year-olds. Within-group comparisons showed that the younger group was relatively independent of contextual support at encoding (organizational instructions) and retrieval (cues) respectively. Furthermore, the group of 73-year-olds was able to utilize support at both stages of remembering, whereas the group of 82-year-olds utilized contextual support only at retrieval. The results were compared with research on memory development in childhood through the application of Ribot's law.

The Stress Strategy Test in relation to personality traits and cognitive abilities

September 2009


33 Reads

Relations between results of the Stress Strategy Test (SST), a computerized test the first author developed partly involving the Stroop effect, and of an interview and an intelligence test used by the Swedish armed forces as selection instruments for placement of recruits in type of military service were investigated in a group of 3,205 recruits. The SST results were found able to explain 17.64% and 12.25% of the variance in results of the intelligence test and the interview, respectively. Emotional stability and psychological energy were the two interview variables most closely related to results of the SST. The usefulness of the SST in a selection context is discussed.

The Meta-Contrast Technique: Relationships with personality traits and cognitive abilities in a healthy male study sample

October 2002


96 Reads

The relationship between defensive strategies as measured by the Meta-Contrast Technique (MCT) and self-reported trait anxiety, trait aggression and defensiveness, as measured by the Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP), was investigated in 83 healthy men. Further aims of the study were to describe and document how a healthy and demographically well defined group of subjects responded to the MCT, and to investigate whether age, personality traits and cognitive abilities influenced the reports of picture recognition thresholds in the MCT. The results indicated no agreement between the conceptualization of anxiety as measured by the MCT and anxiety as measured by the KSP inventory. Nor was there any agreement between defensive strategies in the MCT and trait defensiveness as defined with the KSP. However, age, personality traits, and cognitive abilities all contributed to explain the variations in the threshold values of recognition of stimuli pictures, all of which are of central importance in the scoring of MCT protocols.

The Meta-Contrast Technique: Relationships with personality traits and cognitive abilities in healthy women

May 2005


82 Reads

The relationship between test results from the Meta-Contrast Technique (MCT) and self-reports from Karolinska Scales of Personality (KSP), or the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T), was investigated in 100 healthy women. Additionally, it was investigated whether age and cognitive abilities influenced the reports of picture recognition thresholds in the MCT. The results showed no agreement between the different ways to assess anxiety and defensiveness. However, age consistently predicted later reports of the perceptual recognition thresholds A1 (the car), A2 (the face) and C-phase. The WAIS-R Digit Symbol Score predicted earlier reporting of the recognition thresholds A1 and A2, but did not predict the final criteria for correct recognition (C-phase). The KSP aggression factor only predicted an earlier report of recognition threshold A2. The absence of a simple relationship between the different ways to assess anxiety and defensiveness, and the observed relationships regarding perceptual threshold levels, corroborates previous findings.

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