Behav. Sci.2015, 5(2), 154-175; doi:10.3390/bs5020154 - published 16 April 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to examine the joint influences of experiential avoidance and social problem solving on the link between childhood emotional abuse (CEA) and intimate partner violence (IPV). Experiential avoidance following CEA may interfere with a person’s ability to effectively problem solve in social situations, increasing risk for conflict and interpersonal violence. As part of a larger study, 232 women recruited from the community completed measures assessing childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, experiential avoidance, maladaptive social problem solving, and IPV perpetration and victimization. Final trimmed models indicated that CEA was indirectly associated with IPV victimization and perpetration via experiential avoidance and Negative Problem Orientation (NPO) and Impulsivity/Carelessness Style (ICS) social problem solving strategies. Though CEA was related to an Avoidance Style (AS) social problem solving strategy, this strategy was not significantly associated with IPV victimization or perpetration. Experiential avoidance had both a direct and indirect effect, via NPO and ICS social problem solving, on IPV victimization and perpetration. Findings suggest that CEA may lead some women to avoid unwanted internal experiences, which may adversely impact their ability to effectively problem solve in social situations and increase IPV risk.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(1), 121-153; doi:10.3390/bs5010121 - published 23 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Local environmental grassroots activism is robust and globally ubiquitous despite the ebbs and flows of the general environmental movement. In this review we synthesize social movement, environmental politics, and environmental psychology literatures to answer the following questions: How does the environment emerge as a topic for community action and how a particular environmental discourse (preservation, conservation, public health, Deep Ecology, justice, localism and other responses to modernization and development) becomes dominant? How does a community coalesce around the environmental issue and its particular framing? What is the relationship between local and supralocal (regional, national, global) activism? We contrast “Not in My Back Yard” (NIMBY) activism and environmental liberation and discuss the significance of local knowledge and scale, nature as an issue for activism, place attachment and its disruption, and place-based power inequalities. Environmental psychology contributions to established scholarship on environmental activism are proposed: the components of place attachment are conceptualized in novel ways and a continuous dweller and activist place attachment is elaborated.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(1), 113-120; doi:10.3390/bs5010113 - published 20 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The imbalance between testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) levels has been proposed as a possible marker of risk for intimate partner violence (IPV). Moreover, it could be related to a high probability of adopting risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse which, in turn, promotes the onset of IPV. This study tested the potential mediating effect of alcohol consumption on the relationship between baseline T/C ratio and anger expression in IPV perpetrators and non-violent controls. Alcohol consumption was higher in the former than controls. A high baseline T/C ratio was only associated with high anger expression in IPV perpetrators, and this association was mediated by high alcohol consumption. Thus, alcohol abuse may act as a catalytic factor in this relationship, high consumption promoting the onset of IPV. These findings contribute to the development of effective treatment and prevention programs, which could introduce the use of biological markers for preventing the onset, development and recidivism of IPV.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(1), 93-112; doi:10.3390/bs5010093 - published 9 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present investigation sought to expand our understanding of the cognitive processes underlying the recognition of antonyms and to evaluate whether these processes differed in patients with schizophrenia and in healthy controls. Antonymy is the most robust of the lexico-semantic relations and is relevant to both the mental organization of the lexicon and the organization of coherent discourse, as attested by the resurgence of interest in antonymy in the linguistic and psychological domains. In contrast, the vast literature on semantic processing in schizophrenia almost ignored antonymy. In this study, we tested the online comprehension of antonyms in 39 Italian patients with paranoid schizophrenia and in an equal number of pairwise-matched healthy controls. Participants read a definitional sentence fragment (e.g., the opposite of black is), followed by the correct antonym (white) or by a semantically unrelated word (nice), and judged whether or not the target word was correct. Patients were rather accurate in identifying antonyms, but compared to controls, they showed longer response times and higher priming scores, suggesting an exaggerated contextual facilitation. Presumably, this reflects a deficient controlled semantic processing and an overreliance on stored semantic representations.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(1), 70-92; doi:10.3390/bs5010070 - published 9 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: While emotion dysregulation has been investigated as a key variable in the development and persistence of personality psychopathology, few studies have explored state emotion dysregulation among individuals with personality disorders (PDs). The current study addresses this void in the literature through a laboratory investigation of state emotion dysregulation among participants with and without PDs. To facilitate this goal, participants were matched to pairs based on similar personality features and were randomized to one of two behavioral analogues; either the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task-Computerized (PASAT-C) or an interpersonally based mood induction. As hypothesized, PD participants in the PASAT-C reported significantly more difficulty with impulsivity and emotion regulation strategies. Contrary to expectations, the PD group in the interpersonal task demonstrated significantly less difficulty with non-acceptance of emotion and emotional clarity and significantly greater positive affect compared to non-PD participants. Implications for these findings and directions for future research are discussed.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(1), 59-69; doi:10.3390/bs5010059 - published 3 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The widely used posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Checklist (PCL) has established reliability and validity, but it does not differentiate posttraumatic symptom frequency from intensity as elements of posttraumatic symptom severity. Thus, the PCL in its existing form may not provide a comprehensive appraisal of posttraumatic symptomatology. Because of this, we modified the PCL to create the PCL-I/F that measures both frequency and intensity of PTSD symptoms via brief self-report. To establish validity and internal consistency of the PCL-I/F, we conducted a pilot study comparing PCL-I/F scores to structured diagnostic interview for PTSD (the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale [CAPS]) in a male combat veteran sample of 92 participants. Statistically significant correlations between the PCL-I/F and the CAPS were found, suggesting initial validation of the PCL-I/F to screen and assess frequency and intensity of combat-related PTSD symptoms. Implications are discussed for screening and assessment of PTSD related to combat and non-combat trauma.