Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 372-383; doi:10.3390/bs5030372 - published 12 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Problematic or addictive digital gaming (including all types of electronic devices) can and has had extremely adverse impacts on the lives of many individuals across the world. The understanding of this phenomenon, and the effectiveness of treatment design and monitoring, can be improved considerably by continuing refinement of assessment tools. The present article briefly overviews tools designed to measure problematic or addictive use of digital gaming, the vast majority of which are founded on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) criteria for other addictive disorders, such as pathological gambling. Although adapting DSM content and strategies for measuring problematic digital gaming has proven valuable, there are some potential issues with this approach. We discuss the strengths and limitations of current methods for measuring problematic or addictive gaming and provide various recommendations that might help in enhancing or supplementing existing tools, or in developing new and even more effective tools.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 353-371; doi:10.3390/bs5030353 - published 31 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We investigated the conceptual processing of nouns referring to objects characterized by a highly typical color and orientation. We used a go/no-go task in which we asked participants to categorize each noun as referring or not to natural entities (e.g., animals) after a selective adaptation of color-edge neurons in the posterior LV4 region of the visual cortex was induced by means of a McCollough effect procedure. This manipulation affected categorization: the green-vertical adaptation led to slower responses than the green-horizontal adaptation, regardless of the specific color and orientation of the to-be-categorized noun. This result suggests that the conceptual processing of natural entities may entail the activation of modality-specific neural channels with weights proportional to the reliability of the signals produced by these channels during actual perception. This finding is discussed with reference to the debate about the grounded cognition view.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(3), 341-352; doi:10.3390/bs5030341 - published 28 July 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Internet Process Addiction Test (IPAT) was created to screen for potential addictive behaviors that could be facilitated by the internet. The IPAT was created with the mindset that the term “Internet addiction” is structurally problematic, as the Internet is simply the medium that one uses to access various addictive processes. The role of the internet in facilitating addictions, however, cannot be minimized. A new screening tool that effectively directed researchers and clinicians to the specific processes facilitated by the internet would therefore be useful. This study shows that the Internet Process Addiction Test (IPAT) demonstrates good validity and reliability. Four addictive processes were effectively screened for with the IPAT: Online video game playing, online social networking, online sexual activity, and web surfing. Implications for further research and limitations of the study are discussed.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(2), 324-340; doi:10.3390/bs5020324 - published 10 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Modifying the school food environment is on the national agenda as one strategy to improve the nutritional quality of children’s diets. Because few environmental-level interventions have been rigorously evaluated, the evidence base to inform programs and policies is limited. Of concern is the impact that changes to cafeteria offerings will have on participation in school meal programs. This study evaluates school lunch participation in the setting of a year-long middle school cafeteria intervention by examining the association between body mass index (BMI), sociodemographics, and the purchases of school lunch meals. IMOVE meals were healthier choices that met stringent nutritional criteria and were offered alongside standard lunch meals. Students who were overweight had a significantly higher purchase rate for both types of meals compared to those with a healthy BMI. Non-white race, younger age, being male, and low-income status were also significantly associated with participation in school lunch. Results indicate that nutritionally vulnerable students participate in school lunch and are equally likely to buy healthy alternatives or standard meals. This behavioral observation has important implications for school foodservice programs and policies. These results are timely given recent federal legislation to improve the school food environment to influence students’ food choice behaviors.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(2), 305-323; doi:10.3390/bs5020305 - published 9 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Assortative mating is an important issue in explaining antisocial, aggressive behavior. It is yet unclear, whether the similarity paradigm fully explains frequent displays of aggression in adolescents’ romantic relationships. In a sample of 194 romantic partner dyads, differences between female and male partners’ reports of aggression (psychological and physical) and different measures of relationship functioning (e.g., jealousy, conflicts, and the affiliative and romantic quality of the relationship) were assessed. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified five distinct subgroups of dyads based on male and female reports of psychological and physical aggression: nonaggressive couples, couples with higher perceived aggressiveness (both physical and psychological) by females, couples with higher aggressiveness perceived by males and mutually aggressive couples. A substantial number of non-aggressive dyads emerged. Of note was the high number of females showing one-sided aggression, which was, however, not countered by their partner. The mutually aggressive couples showed the least adaptive relationship functioning, with a lack of supportive, trusting relationship qualities, high conflict rates and high jealousy. The discussion focuses on the different functions of aggression in these early romantic relations, and the aggravating impact of mutual aggression on relationship functioning and its potential antisocial outcomes.
Behav. Sci.2015, 5(2), 264-304; doi:10.3390/bs5020264 - published 1 June 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper presents a biopsychosocial model of self-regulation, executive functions, and personal growth that we have applied to Goal-Directed Resilience in Training (GRIT) interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obesity, and chronic pain. Implications of the training for the prevention of maladaptation, including psychological distress and health declines, and for promoting healthy development are addressed. Existing models of attention, cognition, and physiology were sourced in combination with qualitative study findings in developing this resilience skills intervention. We used qualitative methods to uncover life skills that are most salient in cases of extreme adversity, finding that goal-directed actions that reflected an individual’s values and common humanity with others created a context-independent domain that could compensate for the effects of adversity. The efficacy of the resilience skills intervention for promoting positive emotion, enhancing neurocognitive capacities, and reducing symptoms was investigated in a randomized controlled trial with a veteran population diagnosed with PTSD. The intervention had low attrition (8%) and demonstrated improvement on symptom and wellbeing outcomes, indicating that the intervention may be efficacious for PTSD and that it taps into those mechanisms which the intervention was designed to address. Feasibility studies for groups with comorbid diagnoses, such as chronic pain and PTSD, also showed positive results, leading to the application of the GRIT intervention to other evocative contexts such as obesity and chronic pain.