Adam D. Brown's research while affiliated with CUNY Graduate Center and other places

Publications (88)

Article
Objective: Human rights advocates investigate, document, and combat abuses of individuals and groups around the world and are routinely exposed to events that can be seen as potentially morally injurious. However, few studies have examined the unique risk factors for poor mental health outcomes among this population, and none has explored the impa...
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Background In 2017, accidents and other acts of violence were the fifth most common cause of death in Switzerland. Moreover, there are increasing numbers of refugees and asylum seekers (AS), who often exhibit distinct disease profiles from those of the natives of the host country. If these differences could be clearly identified, this might help to...
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Charitable organizations have embraced virtual reality (VR); however, scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness for social good often uses poor experimental methodology and finds inconsistent results. We conducted a rigorous randomized control trial testing whether 360° video virtual reality increases empathy and charitable donations. Partic...
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Patterns of memory sharing begin early in one’s life, informing relationships, one’s history, and one’s sense of cultural belonging. Memory sharing among families has been the focus of research investigating the relationship between mental health and intergenerational memory. A burgeoning body of research is showing that intergenerational knowledge...
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Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been hailed by some as the emblematic mental disorder of the COVID‐19 pandemic, assuming that PTSD’s life‐threat criterion was met de facto. More plausible outcomes like adjustment disorder (AD) have been overlooked. Methods: An online cross‐sectional survey was launched in the initial stage of t...
Preprint
Background: Self-efficacy is associated with positive mental health outcomes. We developed and tested a digital self-efficacy training involving repeated recall of autobiographical self-efficacy memories.Methods: In this randomized controlled trial, we investigated the effects of our digital training on key mental health outcomes, including anxiety...
Preprint
Nonprofits have embraced virtual reality (VR), however, scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness for social good often uses poor experimental methodology, and finds inconsistent results. We conduct a rigorous randomized control trial testing whether 360-degree video virtual reality increases empathy and charitable donations. Participants (N...
Article
BACKGROUND Since the emergence of COVID-19, health care workers and first responders have been at a high risk for mental health symptoms owing to their exposure to the virus and increased work stress during the pandemic. Although interventions exist to address mental health issues following exposure to disasters, emergencies, and humanitarian crise...
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Recent work on intergenerational memory has revealed a positive association between family of origin knowledge and wellbeing in adolescents. However, little is known about the generalizability of these data, as significantly less attention has focused on autobiographical memory sharing and wellbeing in historically marginalized communities. Given t...
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In the age of COVID-19, the Asian American community is facing a number of unique risks and barriers to mental health care. Mounting challenges—including language barriers, unemployment, racialized trauma, and anti-Asian violence—threaten the health and wellness of these communities. Yet, structural obstacles prevent Asian Americans from accessing...
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On March 11, 2020, COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. In response to the sudden rise in COVID-19-related mental health and psychosocial impacts, we embarked on a digital training (e-learning) and remote delivery adaptation for Problem Management Plus Training for Helpers (Remote PM+ Training) based in New York City,...
Article
Self-efficacy is a key construct in behavioral science with significant impact on mental health and wellbeing. A growing body of work has shown that perceptions of self-efficacy can be increased through recall of autobiographical episodes (AEs) of mastery ("self-efficacy memories") in experimental settings. Doing so contributes to improvements in c...
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Background Since the emergence of COVID-19, health care workers and first responders have been at a high risk for mental health symptoms owing to their exposure to the virus and increased work stress during the pandemic. Although interventions exist to address mental health issues following exposure to disasters, emergencies, and humanitarian crise...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Since the emergence of COVID-19, health care workers and first responders have been at high risk for mental health symptoms due to their exposure to the virus and higher work stress during the pandemic. Although interventions exist to address mental health issues following exposure to disasters, emergencies, and humanitarian crises, cons...
Article
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The recent COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on every sector of society, and New York City (NYC) emerged as an early epicenter of the disease. Given the novelty and scale of the disease, information surrounding COVID-19 has been marked by considerable uncertainty and confusion. Although various factors have been associated with COVID-19...
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Chronic pain is associated with high levels of mental health issues and alterations in cognitive processing. Cognitive-behavioral models illustrate the role of memory alterations (e.g., autobiographical memory and future thinking) in the development and maintenance of chronic pain as well as in mental health disorders which frequently co-occur with...
Chapter
The foundational international humanitarian law rule of proportionality—that parties to an armed conflict may not attack where civilian harm would be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage—is normally interpreted to encompass civilian physical injuries only. Attacks may cause significant mental harms also, yet current interpret...
Article
Background People tend to believe that they continuously improve over time. In fact, Temporal Self-Appraisal Theory (“Chump to Champ”) has found that people are motivated to derogate their past selves in favor of their present selves. Studies on temporal self-appraisals following trauma is less clear, with some studies showing perceived improvement...
Article
Chronic pain is consistently associated with the presence of mental health disorders. Although previous research has shown relations between low levels of self‐efficacy with chronic pain severity as well as comorbid mental health symptoms, the link between self‐efficacy and mental health symptoms in chronic pain is not well understood. This study e...
Poster
Philanthropic organizations are embracing virtual reality (VR) as a way to immerse would-be donors in hard to imagine situations so that they can see, hear and empathize with the struggles of others. However, empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of VR for social good often utilizes poor experimental methodology and there is mounting evidence...
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Background: Emergency departments (EDs) are being increasingly used for low-acuity conditions and as primary care providers. Research indicates that patients with the status of asylum seeker (AS) may be seeking care in EDs at higher levels than nationals. The aim of this study was to identify disparities in the use of emergency care between AS and...
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The issue: Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19) is transforming every aspect of our lives. Identified in late 2019, COVID-19 quickly became characterized as a global pandemic by March of 2020. Given the rapid acceleration of transmission, and the lack of preparedness to prevent and treat this virus, the negative impacts of COVID-19 are rippling through every...
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Background United Nations (UN) personnel address a diverse range of political, social, and cultural crises throughout the world. Compared with other occupations routinely exposed to traumatic stress, there remains a paucity of research on mental health disorders and access to mental healthcare in this population. To fill this gap, personnel from UN...
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Background The diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is usually based on clinical interviews or self‐report measures. Both approaches are subject to under‐ and over‐reporting of symptoms. An objective test is lacking. We have developed a classifier of PTSD based on objective speech‐marker features that discriminate PTSD cases from contr...
Article
Human rights advocates are routinely exposed to direct and secondary trauma. In addition, a growing body of research has found that trauma exposure in human rights work is associated with depression, burnout, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in human rights advocates. Despite the potential mental health risks associated with advocacy, littl...
Article
Full-text available
Human rights advocates are routinely exposed to direct and secondary trauma. In addition, a growing body of research has found that trauma exposure in human rights work is associated with depression, burnout, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in human rights advocates. Despite the potential mental health risks associated with advocacy, littl...
Research
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This summary presents the main findings of an article entitled "From a 'Culture of Unwellness' to Sustainable Advocacy: Organizational Responses to Mental Health Risks in the Human Rights Field." Human rights advocates are exposed to significant stressors and harms of myriad forms, and suffer elevated levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depre...
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Human rights advocates are exposed to significant stressors and harms of myriad forms, and suffer elevated levels of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and burnout. Yet research into mental health and human rights is nascent. This global study, the first of its kind, and based on interviews with advocates at 70 organizations from 35 countr...
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Background Previous studies have reported an increase in alcohol-and-mixed intoxication (AAMI)-related emergency department (ED) admissions, but less is known about the incidence and characteristics of AAMI admissions to EDs among asylum-seeking patients. Asylum seeking patients may be at higher risk for AAMI due stressors associated with forced mi...
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Event centrality refers to the extent to which a personal event in autobiographical memory serves as a reference point for other experiences, as a turning point in the life-story, and is integrated into components of personal identity. Research has shown that event centrality is positively related to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)...
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Background and Objectives: It has been proposed that self-efficacy plays a critical role in the onset and maintenance of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This study aimed to test if increasing perceptions of self-efficacy using a false feedback technique about coping abilities prior to a trauma-film paradigm lead to a reduction of visual intru...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of the complicated systems issues involved in providing service to traumatized youth and families associated with the child welfare system. These issues include the ways in which chronic exposure to traumatic events can impact brain development and attachment, as well as the nature of how child welfare services are...
Article
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Studies in Europe have found that immigrants, compared to the local population, are more likely to seek out medical care in Emergency Departments (EDs). In addition, studies show that immigrants utilize medical services provided by EDs for less acute issues. Despite these observed differences, little is known about the characteristics of ED use by...
Article
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Human rights advocates often confront trauma and stress in their work. They are exposed to testimony about heinous abuses; work in insecure locations; visit physical sites of abuse; review forensic, photographic, and video evidence; directly witness abuses; experience threats; and can also suffer detention, be attacked, or be tortured themselves. S...
Research
Correspondence to The Lancet Psychiatry, available online at https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpsy/PIIS2215-0366(18)30171-8.pdf
Article
Cognitive models suggest that posttraumtic stress disorder (PTSD) is maintained, in part, as a result of an individual's maladaptive beliefs about one's ability to cope with current and future stress. These models are consistent with considerable findings showing a link between low levels of self-efficacy and PTSD. A growing body of work has demons...
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Introduction: Negative workplace behaviour, especially negative communication is a recognised problem in many organisations and is known to have serious impact on workplace performance, productivity and personal wellbeing. Emergency Departments (ED) can be high stress environments in which communication and perceptions of respect between physician...
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The self is a multi-faceted and temporally dynamic construct reflecting representations and beliefs about identity in the past, present, and future. Clinical studies have shown that individuals with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) exhibit alterations in self-related processing but these studies have focused pr...
Article
An emerging body of research on individuals exposed to trauma shows that the ability to flexibly employ different coping styles is associated with better adjustment. Specifically, individuals who use both “trauma-focused” (focusing on the experience and significance of a potentially traumatic event) and “forward-focused” (optimism, helping others,...
Article
Background and objectives: Research has shown a link between self-efficacy appraisals and PTSD symptoms. Less is known about the relation between perceived self-efficacy and specific PTSD symptoms such as intrusions. These two experiments tested the causal relationship between perceived self-efficacy and intrusions from a trauma film. Methods: I...
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This study examined whether reduced performance on two neuropsychological tasks, cognitive flexibility and working memory, were associated with higher levels of trauma centrality. A growing body of research has shown that trauma centrality, the extent to which a person believes a potentially traumatic event has become central to their self-identity...
Article
Background: A growing body of evidence suggests that the ability to flexibly express and suppress emotions ("expressive flexibility") supports successful adaptation to trauma and loss. However, studies have yet to examine whether individuals that meet criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression exhibit alterations in expressive...
Article
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is associated with maladaptive changes in self-identity, including impoverished perceived self-efficacy. This study examined if enhancing perceptions of self-efficacy in combat veterans with and without symptoms of PTSD promotes cognitive strategies associated with positive mental health outcomes. Prior to compl...
Chapter
PTSD has long been associated with alterations in autobiographical memory. In addition to those memory-related symptoms of PTSD found in the diagnostic criteria, such as intrusive memories and flashbacks, researchers have found that individuals with PTSD tend to have difficulty recalling specific moments from their past, a phenomenon referred to as...
Article
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Human rights advocates play a critical role in promoting respect for human rights world-wide, and engage in a broad range of strategies, including documentation of rights violations, monitoring, press work and report-writing, advocacy, and litigation. However, little is known about the impact of human rights work on the mental health of human right...
Chapter
Full-text available
PTSD has long been associated with alterations in autobiographical memory. In addition to those memory-related symptoms of PTSD found in the diagnostic criteria, such as intrusive memories and flashbacks, researchers have found that individuals with PTSD tend to have difficulty recalling specific moments from their past, a phenomenon referred to as...
Article
Abnormality in the "fear circuitry" has been known as a major neural characteristic of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Recent studies also revealed decreased functional connectivity in the default mode network in PTSD. The present study aims to investigate, in war-zone-related PTSD, the spontaneous activity and functional connectivity of the...
Article
Individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tend to retrieve autobiographical memories with less episodic specificity, referred to as overgeneralised autobiographical memory. In line with evidence that autobiographical memory overlaps with one's capacity to imagine the future, recent work has also shown that individuals with PTSD also im...
Article
Unlabelled: BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: A frequently observed age-related effect is a preference in older individuals for positive stimuli. The cognitive control model proposes that this positivity effect may be mediated by executive functions. We propose that cognitive reserve, operationally defined as years of education, which tempers cognitive de...
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The goal of the current study was to examine the relationship between early physical victimization and long-term mental health outcomes in a sample of first responder police and firefighter personnel involved in the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Participants included 441 Biloxi and Gulfport Police and Firefighters. One fifth of participan...
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Although abundant evidence exists indicating the prevalence of trauma exposure among youth in residential care, few models exist for creating trauma-informed milieu treatment. This article outlines the problem and describes the implementation of Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) in three residential centers. TST is unique in emphasizing youth emotions a...
Article
Responses to both potentially traumatic events and other significant life stressors have been shown to conform to discrete patterns of response such as resilience, anticipatory stress, initial distress with gradual recovery, and chronic distress. The etiology of these trajectories is still unclear. Individual differences in levels of negative and p...
Article
We examined and compared the predictors of autobiographical memory (AM) consistency and event memory accuracy across two publicly documented yet disparate public events: the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States on January 20th 2009, and the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549, off the coast of Manhattan, o...
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If anything has been learned about memory, it is that it is fragile and error prone (Schacter, 2001; Loftus, 2005). Far from being a verbatim record of the past, memory is well understood as a reconstructive process replete with distortions, and at times, gross inaccuracies. Although often associated with negative consequences (Wells and Olson, 200...
Article
Self-efficacy is a key construct underlying healthy functioning and emotional well-being. Perceptions of uncontrollability, unpredictability, and low self-efficacy are consistently associated with negative mental health outcomes, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To test the causal relation between perceived coping self-efficacy and st...
Article
Current models of autobiographical memory suggest that self-identity guides autobiographical memory retrieval. Further, the capacity to recall the past and imagine one's self in the future (mental time travel) can influence social problem solving. We examined whether manipulating self-identity, through an induction task in which students were led t...
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Silence about the past permeates acts of remembering, with marked mnemonic consequences. Mnemonic silence-the absence of expressing a memory-is public in nature and is embedded within communicative acts, such as conversations. As such, silence has the potential to affect both speakers-the source of the silence-and listeners-those attending to the s...
Article
Memory for related but unpracticed aspects of an event can be impaired by selectively retrieving parts of the same event. This occurs when selective retrieval [within-individual retrieval-induced forgetting (WI-RIF)] is undertaken by individuals and has been extended to social contexts—RIF can be produced in listeners [socially shared retrieval-ind...
Article
A total of 35 psychology department members from 21 universities assessed the relevance and efficacy of the New School Psychology Bulletin (NSPB), a graduate student journal, to training in psychology. Overall, a small sample of psychology department members viewed NSPB as an effective vehicle for student training. Perceptions among faculty were le...