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SLEEP BELIEFS, SUBJECTIVE SLEEP QUALITY AND DIURNAL PREFERENCE – FINDINGS FROM DEPRESSED PATIENTS

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This study evaluated the relationship between dysfunctional sleep beliefs, circadian typology and self-reported sleep quality and insomnia. We assessed these parameters both in healthy controls and patients with depression. One hundred eighty six subjects were assessed and completed measures of sleep beliefs, sleep disturbance, sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, depressive symptoms and circadian typology. We found that sleep beliefs are slightly linked with the subjective sleep quality, but with neither the diurnal preference, nor the self-reported insomnia.

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OPTIMISM, PESSIMISM AND NEGATIVE MOOD REGULATION EXPECTANCIES IN CANCER PATIENTS

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the interrelations among optimism, pessimism and negative mood regulation expectancies in predicting distress levels in a sample of women (N=64) diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. The study offers empirical data that could clarify the relation between these variables impacting emotional distress. Our results indicate that negative mood regulation expectancies completely mediated the effects of pessimism on symptoms of depression and anxiety. The direct relation between negative mood regulation expectancies and emotional distress can be explained by conceptualizing these expectancies as specific beliefs within a response expectancy model.

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BRAIN VOLUMES IN AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY – A MRI STUDY

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The objective of this paper was to study brain volumes in children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) as compared to children with a developmental delay (DD). Fifteen children with autism and ten children with developmental delay, ages between 2 and 8 years old, were included in this MRI study. Total brain (TBV), grey matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes were measured using SPM5. Parents completed The Child Behaviour Checklist 1.5-5 (CBCL) for all the children included in the study. Our results do not indicate statistically significant differences between the two groups, but we observed a higher average of the measured brain volumes in the ASD group. A significant correlation was found between age and GM and WM volumes (for GM volumes Spearman`s rho=.42, DF=23, p<.05 and for WM volumes Spearman`s rho=.57, DF=23, p<.01). We performed a univariate descriptive statistic for CBCL subscale scores and a non-parametric correlation analysis between the three brain volumetric measures (TBV, WM and GM) and participants’ scores on CBCL subscales. In both groups, correlations were found between the measured brain volumes and the scores of the CBCL Attention deficit/Hyperactivity Problems and Opposition Defiant Problems subscales. Unlike the correlations found in the ASD group, the DD group shows only positive correlations. This result suggests a possible moderator role of the disorder, in the relation between CBCL subscales and volumetric measures of the brain. Our data on the measured brain volumes of the two groups largely overlap those described in the literature. Structural measures interpreted in relation to standardized clinical scales can provide useful information for the field of pedopsychiatry.

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DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS, NEGATIVE LIFE EVENTS AND INCIDENCE OF LIFETIME TREATMENT OF CANCER IN THE HUNGARIAN POPULATION

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Cancer incidence and mortality rates in Hungary are the highest in the Central-Eastern European region. Our investigative study examined associations of cancer-prone behavioral risk factors, psychosocial variables and demographic characteristics with cancer treatment on a population level. Data were obtained from the Hungarostudy 2002, a cross-sectional, representative survey of the adult Hungarian population (n=12643). Controlling for all other study variables in a binary logistic regression model, results revealed that the odds of having been treated for cancer were almost twice as high among persons with depression and respondents who experienced negative life events than for those who were not depressed and reported no negative life events. These results send a warning signal to the Hungarian health care system regarding the widespread need for education, prevention, psycho-social screening programs and treatment of depression.

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SELF ENHANCING BELIEFS RELATIONSHIP TO PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS EXAMINED BY ANXIETY RELATED ATTENTIONAL BIASES

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Despite robust data and influential arguments supporting the positive illusion theory, the potential benefits of self-enhancement have been a controversial research topic in social and health psychology. Some critics proposed that self-enhancement reflects little more than defensive denial and serves to camouflage psychological distress. We propose that anxiety related attentional biases, as valid implicit measures of distress, may help us see more clearly into this debate. Participants were 102 undergraduate students. Although results revealed that overall, high and medium self-enhancers had better performance on a color naming task and were less affected by emotionally arousing content compared to low self enhancers; high self enhancers were more affected by socially rejecting content. Discussion centers on the possible buffering effects of self-enhancing beliefs at unconscious levels.

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