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Behav. Sci., Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2019)

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Open AccessArticle
Attentional Fluctuations, Cognitive Flexibility, and Bilingualism in Kindergarteners
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 58; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050058 - 24 May 2019
Viewed by 1667
Abstract
The idea of a bilingual advantage in aspects of cognitive control—including cognitive flexibility, inhibition, working memory, and attention—is disputed. Using a sample of kindergarten children, the present study investigated associations between bilingualism and cognitive flexibility—a relationship that has shown mixed findings in prior [...] Read more.
The idea of a bilingual advantage in aspects of cognitive control—including cognitive flexibility, inhibition, working memory, and attention—is disputed. Using a sample of kindergarten children, the present study investigated associations between bilingualism and cognitive flexibility—a relationship that has shown mixed findings in prior literature. We also extend prior work by exploring relationships between bilingualism and attentional fluctuations, which represent consistency in attentional control and contribute to cognitive performance. To our knowledge, no previous study has explored this association. Theoretically, attentional fluctuations might mediate or moderate the relationship between bilingualism and cognitive flexibility. However, given evidence of null findings from extant literature when confounding variables are adequately controlled and tasks are standardized, we did not expect to find a bilingual advantage in either cognitive flexibility or attentional fluctuations. Our results supported this hypothesis when considering bilingualism both continuously and categorically. The importance of expanding upon mechanistic accounts connecting bilingualism to cognitive improvements is discussed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Is Sertraline a Good Pharmacological Strategy to Control Anger? Results of a Systematic Review
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050057 - 23 May 2019
Viewed by 1514
Abstract
Introduction: Extensive research has made it possible to conclude that dysfunctions in serotoninergic transmission are associated with a tendency toward violence and behavioral dysregulations in humans. In this regard, it has been suggested that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline, which [...] Read more.
Introduction: Extensive research has made it possible to conclude that dysfunctions in serotoninergic transmission are associated with a tendency toward violence and behavioral dysregulations in humans. In this regard, it has been suggested that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as sertraline, which regulate the serotonin system, might reduce proneness to violence. Aims: This review aims to explore changes in feelings of anger-state (e.g., irritability and hostility) and anger expression as primary outcomes after sertraline treatment. Methods: Based on PRISMA quality criteria for reviews, a literature search was carried out through PubMed, PsycINFO, Dialnet, Psicodoc, Web of Knowledge, and the Cochrane Library. Results: Initially, 605 publications were identified, removing 219 duplicate manuscripts and screening the titles and abstracts of the remaining 386 records. This process left 248 articles for full-text reading, finally including 15 entries. Thus, several empirical studies were included that employed different research designs. In this regard, we considered 3 case reports, 5 open clinical trials, and 7 randomized placebo-controlled trials. The majority of the studies were unanimous in concluding that a large percentage of patients with high irritability levels responded satisfactorily to sertraline treatment. In fact, their mood improved, and they experienced a reduction in irritability and anger expression after a few weeks of treatment (approximately two weeks). However, it was necessary to increase the sertraline dose after months of treatment to avoid exhaustion effects. Moreover, not all the patients responded to the treatment and it is particularly interesting that a small percentage of patients were refractory to treatment or even showed an increase in irritability after a few weeks of treatment. In those cases, it was necessary to discontinue the treatment or reduce the dose to the initial levels. Discussion: Although it is necessary to be cautious about the benefits of sertraline as a way to control anger and irritability, it is relevant to consider pharmacological strategies to reduce anger-state as coadjutant treatments to psychotherapy in order to promote lasting changes in violent populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Caregiver Reports of Screen Time Use of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Study
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050056 - 22 May 2019
Viewed by 1464
Abstract
Screen based media have progressively become an integral part in the daily lives of children and youths with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, research that exclusively pursues the functionality of screen media use of children with ASD is extremely rare. Through [...] Read more.
Screen based media have progressively become an integral part in the daily lives of children and youths with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, research that exclusively pursues the functionality of screen media use of children with ASD is extremely rare. Through a triangulated approach, the present study aims to fill this gap. We conducted 13 interviews with parents of children with ASD and supplemented this interview–study with an online survey including parents of children with ASD (n = 327). Children with ASD mostly used screen media (especially television) for their wellbeing, which is associated with chances and risks. Based on the parental interviews it is suggested that the media usage of children with ASD should be supervised. The results are discussed in terms of their practical implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism and Developmental Disabilities)
Open AccessArticle
The Influence of Trait Emotional Intelligence on Archers’ Autonomic Cardiac Recovery Responses Immediately After a Shooting Session
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050055 - 20 May 2019
Viewed by 1345
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the association between trait emotional intelligence and heart rate variability (HRV) recovery responses of archers immediately after a shooting session. The sample included 87 novice archers ranging in age from 18 to 26. Participants first completed Schutte [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the association between trait emotional intelligence and heart rate variability (HRV) recovery responses of archers immediately after a shooting session. The sample included 87 novice archers ranging in age from 18 to 26. Participants first completed Schutte Emotional Intelligence Inventory. Then, they shot 10 arrows from 18 m to an 80-cm diameter target in four minutes. Afterward, participants’ HRV recovery responses were measured during a four-minute recovery period. In this study, HRV was represented in terms of low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and LF/HF ratio. Results indicated a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and HRV recovery responses. A regression model containing emotional intelligence sub-dimensions was able to explain a significant amount of variance in HRV frequency domain parameters. Besides, high emotional intelligence archers were found to have higher-level LF and HF power but a lower LF/HF ratio than their low emotional intelligence counterparts. Taken together, the results observed in the present study indicated that emotional intelligence might give rise to more adaptive HRV recovery responses following a demanding arrow shooting session. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Intergenerational Transmission of Early Childbearing: Examining Direct and Indirect Associations in a Swedish Birth Cohort
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050054 - 16 May 2019
Viewed by 1423
Abstract
Background. Research shows that early childbearing is associated negatively with educational attainment and socioeconomic status (SES). Children born to young versus older mothers often do less well in school, and many have early first births. Some studies suggest that mothers’ early childbearing [...] Read more.
Background. Research shows that early childbearing is associated negatively with educational attainment and socioeconomic status (SES). Children born to young versus older mothers often do less well in school, and many have early first births. Some studies suggest that mothers’ early childbearing operates through SES to influence the daughters’ early childbearing, and some argue that the association is strong net of SES. The current study tests these direct and indirect associations. Methods. We estimate the pathways through which mothers’ early childbearing influences daughters’ early childbearing in several steps. First, we examine bivariate associations between mothers’ early childbearing and SES, followed by bivariate associations between mothers’ SES outcomes and their daughters’ early childbearing. We then estimate the average marginal effects (AMEs) of mothers’ early children on daughters’, and a KHB decomposition to examine direct and indirect associations. Results. Findings suggest both direct and indirect associations. Nested models show that, net of a range of SES characteristics, mothers’ early childbearing increases the probability of daughters’ by approximately 8%; and KHB results suggest 37% mediation, with daughters’ school performance (12%) and household educational attainment (10%) contributing the highest shares. Conclusion. Mothers’ early childbearing and subsequent SES collectively influence the long-term wellbeing of children. Thus, early childbearing has consequences both within and across generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Influence of Childhood Conditions on the Whole Life)
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Open AccessReview
Suicidal Ideation in Bereavement: A Systematic Review
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050053 - 14 May 2019
Viewed by 1847
Abstract
Background: Bereavement is associated with impaired mental health, increases in adverse health behaviors, and heightened risk of suicidal ideation, attempts, and death by suicide. The purpose of this literature review was to explore associations between cause of death and suicidal thoughts among bereaved [...] Read more.
Background: Bereavement is associated with impaired mental health, increases in adverse health behaviors, and heightened risk of suicidal ideation, attempts, and death by suicide. The purpose of this literature review was to explore associations between cause of death and suicidal thoughts among bereaved individuals. Our aim was to compare incidence of suicidal ideation by cause of death and identify gaps in this literature to guide future research and clinical intervention. Methods: PRISMA-P guidelines were used to structure an electronic literature search in the PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Web of Science databases. The search focused on English language studies that were published before February 2019 and sought to compare rates of suicidal ideation among bereaved people who lost a loved one to suicide, accidental overdose, cancer, dementia, cardiovascular disease, and HIV/AIDs. Results: Nine articles were identified with suicide as cause of death, zero articles for accidental overdose, zero articles for cardiovascular disease, seven articles for cancer, one article for dementia, and one article for HIV/AIDs. Given the limited number of articles generated by our search, a formal meta-analysis was not appropriate. However, a comparison of results did suggest that suicide bereavement was associated with the highest rates of suicide ideation (14.1% to 49%). Stigma, isolation, avoidance behaviors, and psychological distress were associated with suicidal thoughts among bereaved individuals, regardless of the deceased’s cause of death. Conclusions: Findings of this literature search revealed significant gaps in the literature, especially regarding thoughts of suicide in bereaved survivors of accidental overdose and cardiovascular disease. Results suggest that multiple causes of death are associated with suicidal ideation in bereavement, but that suicide bereavement may be the cause of death associated with the highest risk of suicidal ideation. More research is needed to understand the ways in which cause of death influences prevalence, risk, and protective factors associated with suicidal thoughts among bereaved individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide, Homicide, and Self-Harm in Family Carers)
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Open AccessArticle
Steroid Metabolites Support Evidence of Autism as a Spectrum
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050052 - 09 May 2019
Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Objectives: It is common nowadays to refer to autism as a spectrum. Increased evidence of the involvement of steroid metabolites has been shown by the presence of stronger alterations in Kanner’s syndrome compared with Asperger syndrome. Methods: 24 h urine samples [...] Read more.
Objectives: It is common nowadays to refer to autism as a spectrum. Increased evidence of the involvement of steroid metabolites has been shown by the presence of stronger alterations in Kanner’s syndrome compared with Asperger syndrome. Methods: 24 h urine samples were collected from 20 boys with Asperger syndrome, 21 boys with Kanner’s syndrome, and identically sized control groups, each matched for age, weight, and height for comprehensive steroid hormone metabolite analysis via gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Results: Higher levels of most steroid metabolites were detected in boys with Kanner’s syndrome and Asperger syndrome compared to their matched controls. These differences were more pronounced in affected individuals with Kanner’s syndrome versus Asperger syndrome. Furthermore, a specific and unique pattern of alteration of androsterone, etiocholanolone, progesterone, tetrahydrocortisone, and tetrahydrocortisol was identified in boys with Kanner’s syndrome and Asperger syndrome. Interestingly, in both matched samples, only androsterone, etiocholanolone, progesterone, tetrahydrocortisone, tetrahydrocortisol, and 5a-tetrahydrocortisol groups were positively correlated. In the Asperger syndrome group, all metabolites showed a positive correlation. In the Kanner’s syndrome group, 5-a tetrahydrocortisol with androsterone showed a positive correlation. Conclusions: Due to differences in the level of alteration, the premise that Asperger syndrome is on the mild side of the autism spectrum and that Kanner’s syndrome is on the severe side is supported, but alteration patterns yield different phenotypic expressions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autism and Developmental Disabilities)
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Open AccessArticle
Meditation-Induced States, Vagal Tone, and Breathing Activity Are Related to Changes in Auditory Temporal Integration
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050051 - 07 May 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1853
Abstract
This study is based on the relationship between meditation, the present moment, and psychophysiology. We employed the metronome task to operationalize the extension of the present moment. A pre-post longitudinal study was conducted. The performance in the metronome task was compared before and [...] Read more.
This study is based on the relationship between meditation, the present moment, and psychophysiology. We employed the metronome task to operationalize the extension of the present moment. A pre-post longitudinal study was conducted. The performance in the metronome task was compared before and after the interventions (meditation, story). The aim was to assess whether physiological changes (heart, breathing) during meditation influence the temporal-integration (TI) of metronome beats. Mindfulness meditators either meditated (n = 41) or listened to a story (n = 43). The heart and breathing activity were recorded during the intervention and compared to a resting-state condition. By applying path analyses we found that meditation led to an increase of the duration of integration intervals at the slowest metronome frequency (inter-stimulus interval, ISI = 3 s). After meditation, the higher the heart-rate variability (i.e., the root mean square of successive differences, RMSSD), the longer the duration of integration intervals at the fastest frequency (ISI = 0.33 s). Moreover, the higher the breathing rate during meditation, the greater the integration of intervals at ISI = 1 s. These findings add evidence to meditation-induced changes on the TI of metronome beats and the concept of the embodiment of mental functioning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mind–Body Interventions for Psychological and Cognitive Benefits)
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Open AccessArticle
Factorial Structure and Psychometric Analysis of the Persian Version of Perceived Competence Scale for Diabetes (PCSD-P)
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050050 - 07 May 2019
Viewed by 1623
Abstract
As a basic psychological need, the level of perceived competence could expedite the achievement of diabetes self-management goals. Because of a lack of a specific data collection tool to measure the level of self-competence among Persian-speaking patients with diabetes, this study was conducted [...] Read more.
As a basic psychological need, the level of perceived competence could expedite the achievement of diabetes self-management goals. Because of a lack of a specific data collection tool to measure the level of self-competence among Persian-speaking patients with diabetes, this study was conducted for (1) cross-cultural adaptation and (2) psychometric assessment of the Persian version of the Perceived Competence Scale for Diabetes (PCSD-P). Standard translation/back-translation procedure was carried out to prepare a preliminary draft of the PCSD-P. Content and face validities of the early draft were checked by an expert panel including 15 scholars in the field of health education and promotion as well as nursing education with experience of working and research on diabetes. The final drafted questionnaire was completed by 177 randomly selected patients with type 2 diabetes. On the basis of the collected data, the structural validity of the contrived version was appraised using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA, CFA). Cronbach’s alpha and intraclass correlation (ICC) coefficients were used to check the scale’s reliability and internal consistency. The estimated measures of content validity index (CVI = 0.95) and content validity ratio (CVR = 0.8) were within the acceptable recommended range. The EFA analysis results demonstrated a single factor solution according to the items’ loadings for the corresponding component. The model fit indices, that is, root mean square error approximation (RMSEA = 0.000), comparative fit index (CFI = 1), Tucker–Lewis index (TLI = 1), incremental fit index (IFI = 1), normed fit index (NFI = 0.999), and relative fit index (RFI = 0.995), confirmed the consistency of the hypothesized one-factor solution. The values of the internal consistency and reliability coefficients were also in the vicinity of an acceptable range (α = 0.892, ICC = 0.886, P = 0.001). The study findings revealed good internal validity and applicability of the PCSD-P to measure the degree of self-competence among Persian-speaking type 2 diabetes patients to manage the chronic disease. Owing to unrepresentativeness of the study sample, future cross-cultural tests of PCSD-P are recommended on diverse and broader Persian-speaking populations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Study of Role Stressors and Job Satisfaction: The Case of MNCs in Collectivist Context
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050049 - 07 May 2019
Viewed by 1562
Abstract
Job stressors in organizational studies are commonly known as role stressors. These include role overload (RO), role conflict (RC), role ambiguity (RA) and job insecurity (JI). We explored the predicting role of these stressors on the overall level of job stress (JS) and [...] Read more.
Job stressors in organizational studies are commonly known as role stressors. These include role overload (RO), role conflict (RC), role ambiguity (RA) and job insecurity (JI). We explored the predicting role of these stressors on the overall level of job stress (JS) and job satisfaction (JSF). Moreover, we tested the role of JS as a mediator between the relationship of role stressors and JSF in a multinational corporation (MNC) in a non-western collectivist context (Pakistan). We obtained data through field surveys from 173 engineering employees from the electrical, mechanical, safety and chemical divisions. Role stressors significantly predicted overall level of JS and JSF. JS was also found to partially mediate the relationship between role stressors and JSF. The study findings suggest that foreign ownership needs to focus not only on the economic value, but also the organizational and job design to mitigate the detrimental role of selected stressors. The results of this study have important implications for MNCs in general, and in developing countries in particular. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed with recommendations. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Research Commentary: A Carer’s Roadmap for Research, Practice, and Policy on Suicide, Homicide, and Self-Harm
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050048 - 01 May 2019
Viewed by 1876
Abstract
Academic researchers are increasingly asked to engage with the wider world, both in terms of creating impact from their work, and in telling the world what goes on in university research departments. An aspect of this engagement involves working with patients, carers or [...] Read more.
Academic researchers are increasingly asked to engage with the wider world, both in terms of creating impact from their work, and in telling the world what goes on in university research departments. An aspect of this engagement involves working with patients, carers or members of the public as partners in research. This means working with them to identify important research questions and designing studies to address those questions. This commentary was jointly written by two researchers and people with relevant caring experience for this special issue. It brings to the forefront the concerns of carers who are also involved in research as partners. The aim is to highlight their perspectives to inform future research, policy, and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide, Homicide, and Self-Harm in Family Carers)
Open AccessArticle
de novo Blood Biomarkers in Autism: Autoantibodies against Neuronal and Glial Proteins
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050047 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2008
Abstract
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are the most common neurodevelopmental disorders with unidentified etiology. The behavioral manifestations of ASD may be a consequence of genetic and/or environmental pathology in neurodevelopmental processes. In this limited study, we assayed autoantibodies to a panel of vital neuronal [...] Read more.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are the most common neurodevelopmental disorders with unidentified etiology. The behavioral manifestations of ASD may be a consequence of genetic and/or environmental pathology in neurodevelopmental processes. In this limited study, we assayed autoantibodies to a panel of vital neuronal and glial proteins in the sera of 40 subjects (10 children with ASD and their mothers along with 10 healthy controls, age-matched children and their mothers). Serum samples were screened using Western Blot analysis to measure immunoglobulin (IgG) reactivity against a panel of 9 neuronal proteins commonly associated with neuronal degeneration: neurofilament triplet proteins (NFP), tubulin, microtubule-associated proteins (tau), microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2), myelin basic protein (MBP), myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), α-synuclein (SNCA) and astrocytes proteins such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and S100B protein. Our data show that the levels of circulating IgG class autoantibodies against the nine proteins were significantly elevated in ASD children. Mothers of ASD children exhibited increased levels of autoantibodies against all panel of tested proteins except for S100B and tubulin compared to age-matched healthy control children and their mothers. Control children and their mothers showed low and insignificant levels of autoantibodies to neuronal and glial proteins. These results strongly support the importance of anti-neuronal and glial protein autoantibodies biomarker in screening for ASD children and further confirm the importance of the involvement of the maternal immune system as an index that should be considered in fetal in utero environmental exposures. More studies are needed using larger cohort to verify these results and understand the importance of the presence of such autoantibodies in children with autism and their mothers, both as biomarkers and their role in the mechanism of action of autism and perhaps in its treatment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Influencing the Intention to Use the Common Ticketing System (Spider Card) in Thailand
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(5), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9050046 - 28 Apr 2019
Viewed by 1577
Abstract
The Common Ticket, locally called the “Spider Card” is a contactless smartcard ticket used for public transportation systems in Thailand. The card is used for all modes of transportation and increases the convenience of public transit passengers while increasing public transport ridership. This [...] Read more.
The Common Ticket, locally called the “Spider Card” is a contactless smartcard ticket used for public transportation systems in Thailand. The card is used for all modes of transportation and increases the convenience of public transit passengers while increasing public transport ridership. This research aimed to identify the determinant factors that impact passengers’ intention to use the Spider Card based on the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model by integrating perceived convenience and perceived sacrifice as part of the perceived value. A survey of public transit users in the Bangkok metropolitan area was conducted. The Partial Least Square-Structure Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) technique was employed to examine the data. The results showed that perceived value, performance expectancy, and facilitating conditions are all significant factors. Perceived convenience and perceived sacrifice are significant antecedents for perceived value. Surprisingly, effort expectancy and social influence did not impact passengers’ intentions to use the Spider Card. The results also offer beneficial information for public transit authorities in order to comprehend what passengers desire from using these kinds of technology service systems. Full article
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