Vol VIII, No. 2, 2008 11
CLUSTERS OF BEHAVIORS AND BELIEFS PREDICTING ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION: IMPLICATIONS FOR PREVENTION
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.
ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND COPING STRATEGIES: IMPROVING THE EVALUATION AND THE UNDERSTANDING OF THESE DIMENSIONS DURING PRE-ADOLESCENCE AND ADOLESCENCE
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.
A REVIEW OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GROUP COGNITIVELY ENHANCED BEHAVIORAL BASED PARENT PROGRAMS DESIGNED FOR REDUCING DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN
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.
POSTHYPNOTIC AMNESIA AND AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY IN ADOLESCENTS
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.
ALEXITHYMIA, A RISK FACTOR IN ALCOHOL ADDICTION? A BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT ON ROMANIAN POPULATION
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
THE ROLE OF MEDIA IN ANTI-STIGMA CAMPAIGNS. ANTI-STIGMA CAMPAIGN: A BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT FOR OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER AND SPECIFIC PHOBIA
Anti-stigma campaigns have received a lot of media attention. They are of interest in the field of medicine, psychology and social care. Multimedia, through its specific means, may be an extremely useful tool in an anti-stigma campaign. We made an informative movie that presents an event in the life of two children with psychological disorders: specific phobia and obsessive compulsive disorder, respectively. The movie was played in 24 Cluj-Napoca schools and high schools and the 591 students, aged 14-18, who watched it filled in a set of five questions. This paper aimed to evaluate how children and adolescents may be influenced by a movie that was also intended to inform them and to fight preconceptions regarding children who suffer from such psychological disorders. The results obtained after quantifying the respondents’ answers to the questions were mainly positive. Such movies may be a therapeutic tool as well as a valuable anti-stigma campaign.
THE “GHOST” CONCEPTS OF PSYCHOLOGY
Questions regarding the correspondence between models/constructs of reality and reality itself have been much debated in science because confusions of the two can lead to serious scientific problems. For example, a mistake occurs when a mathematical model – a convenient calculation device – is ascribed physical reality, being perforce thrust into the realm of physics. However, it is often accepted that a mathematical model may be ascribed physical reality when it allows testable predictions. This distinction is a fundamental one for psychology as well. In this paper we explore the implications of this distinction for psychology and take the argument one step further by showing that the simple fact that a model helps us correctly describe and predict various phenomena does not grant it reality at all.
THE DEBATE ON SELF-PLAGIARISM: INQUISITIONAL SCIENCE OR HIGH STANDARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP?
Reusing one’s previously published work without alerting the reader of its prior publication constitutes self-plagiarism and it is a practice that is strictly forbidden by most scientific and scholarly journals. There are circumstances that may justify the publication of an entire article or of portions of an article that had been previously published in another journal. Guidance on these matters is readily available and specifies the conditions under which secondary publication can take place. However, the mission of most scholarly journals is to publish original research. With some exceptions (e.g., translation into another language), few journals seem willing to grant the right to publish their material elsewhere or exercise the option to publish an article that had been previously published in another periodical. One area of contention for which little guidance is available is the practice of reusing verbatim portions of text from authors’ previously published articles. I argue that such a practice should be avoided because it is not consistent with the high standards expected of scholars and scientists.
SCIENTISTS AS SCHRODINGER’S CAT: REPLAY TO ROIG’S “THE DEBATE ON SELF-PLAGIARISM: INQUISITIONAL SCIENCE OR HIGH STANDARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP?”
In which self-plagiarism is concerned, considering the current state in the field, there are only two ways to go. The first way to go is to agree upon three minimal criteria for ethical writing (1. a new publication based on an old one is intended to target a new audience; 2. copyright laws are respected; and 3. it is made clear to the reader and in the author’s CVs that the new paper reproduces old ones or parts of them) and to follow them in order to allow for the full expression of the humanistic spirit of science (i.e., disseminating knowledge produced to solve various problems). The second way to go is to elaborate clear rules and guidelines to avoid self-plagiarism, endorsed by all the major actors in the field; from that point on self-plagiarism can be considered misconduct. However, these rules cannot be applied retrospectively, to a time when they did not exist and/or were not lawful. All things considered, the current state of the field is unfair for scientists! As there are no clear lawful regulations regarding self-plagiarism, most scientists are like Schrodinger’s cats, neither guilty nor not-guilty! It depends on who, on how, and on if someone is looking…!
REPLY TO DAVID’S “SCIENTISTS AS SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT”
The rules regarding the various forms of self-plagiarism, as well as those that apply to other areas of responsible research conduct could always benefit from further clarification. However, it may not be possible to formulate guidance that covers every possible scenario. An ethically mindful attitude toward full disclosure and transparency in scientific research and publication may be more useful than the formulation of additional guidance.
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