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CLUSTERS OF BEHAVIORS AND BELIEFS PREDICTING ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR PREVENTION

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Risk factors for various disorders are known to cluster. However, the factor structure for behaviors and beliefs predicting depressive disorder in adolescents is not known. Knowledge of this structure can facilitate prevention planning. We used the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (AddHealth) data set to conduct an exploratory factor analysis to identify clusters of behaviors/experiences predicting the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) at 1-year follow-up (N=4,791). Four factors were identified: family/interpersonal relations, self-emancipation, avoidant problem solving/low self-worth, and religious activity. Strong family/interpersonal relations were the most significantly protective against depression at one year follow-up. Avoidant problem solving/low self-worth was not predictive of MDD on its own, but significantly amplified the risks associated with delinquency. Depression prevention interventions should consider giving family relationships a more central role in their efforts. Programs teaching problem solving skills may be most appropriate for reducing MDD risk in delinquent youth.

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ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND COPING STRATEGIES: IMPROVING THE EVALUATION AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF THESE DIMENSIONS DURING PRE-ADOLESCENCE AND ADOLESCENCE

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The aim of this study is to investigate and refine three different scales which measure depression, anxiety and coping strategies. The relation between these scales is also verified in a non-clinical school population of pre-adolescents and adolescents. Lastly, the moderating effects of age, gender, grade failure and family type are tested. This study used depression, anxiety and coping strategy scales to check moderating effects. The sample consisted of 916 Portuguese pupils, 54.3% females, aged 10 to 22 (M = 14, 44). The participants were randomly selected from the 5th to the 12th grades of public schools. The CDI (Kovacs, 1981), the MASC (March, 1997) and the CRY-Y (Moos, 1993) were used. Scales revealed a good internal consistency and suggested that girls are more anxious than boys are and that older students are more depressed, but use more coping strategies than younger learners. A set of exploratory factorial analyses (EFA) was then carried out with the objective of getting the most representative factor from the anxiety (MASC), the depression /CDI) and the coping (CRY-Y) scales. Reduced scales were identified and they strongly correlated with the previous measures, but better differentiate between a set of moderators. A confirmatory model (CPA) was carried out. Also, adjustment indexes suggested a good fit for the model, but consider both genders separately and the two age groups independently. An analysis of the items retained provided suggestions for school based interventions.

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A REVIEW OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GROUP COGNITIVELY ENHANCED BEHAVIORAL BASED PARENT PROGRAMS DESIGNED FOR REDUCING DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN

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Few studies have examined the effects of varying the level of intensity of a parenting intervention in the treatment of conduct problems in children. In particular, it is unclear whether group parenting interventions that incorporate adjunctive cognitive interventions designed to reduce parental stress add to the efficacy and durability of effects of standard parenting skills training. Adjunctive interventions designed to reduce depression, stress, anger management problems or cognition biases, delivered in group settings, have the potential to augment parenting skills training. There is some empirical support for adjunctive interventions, but there are also conflicting findings. This study reviews the data from existing randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of group based cognitively enhanced behavioral parenting programs for reducing children’s disruptive behavior and parent distress. The findings show the potential that such interventions have in reducing children’s disruptive behavior and draw some lines for future integration of the cognitive components in behavioral parent training.

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POSTHYPNOTIC AMNESIA AND AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY IN ADOLESCENTS

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A group of highly-suggestible adolescents (n=25) and a group of adolescents with low suggestibility (n=25) followed a hypnotic induction procedure, during which a suggestion of posthypnotic amnesia was given, with the purpose of assessing its influence on autobiographical memory and of investigating if hypnosis-induced amnesia shares the same characteristics as functional amnesia. Statistical analysis confirmed the results of previous studies in the field and, surprisingly, pointed out that even less suggestible participants can be influenced by the suggestion of posthypnotic amnesia. In their case, however, trance levels were more superficial than in the case of highly-suggestible participants.

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ALEXITHYMIA, A RISK FACTOR IN ALCOHOL ADDICTION? A BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT ON ROMANIAN POPULATION

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Alexithymia was evaluated on 30 alcoholic patients (23 male and 7 female) with ages between 20 and 55. Assessment was conducted at the time of hospital admission, 2 weeks (post-pharmacotherapy treatment), 24 weeks and 48 weeks after admission. Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Alcohol use and abstinence were evaluated using the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS). Patients who became abstinent presented a 75% reduction in the total score after 2 weeks of pharmacological treatment. Total abstinence was observed in the case of 13 patients (43.33%) and persistent for 48 weeks. The prevalence of alexithymia in our group at baseline was 63.33%, and it predominated in the type II alcoholism group. Abstinence was found to be mainly related with the third factor of the TAS-20 scale (i.e., externally oriented thinking). There seems to be a relation between the absence of alexithymia and abstinence, and the presence of alexithymia and alcohol use. Thus, alexithymia might be considered a risk factor for alcohol addiction

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