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Psych, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2021) – 15 articles

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Review
The Prevalence of Nomophobia by Population and by Research Tool: A Systematic Review, Meta-Analysis, and Meta-Regression
Psych 2021, 3(2), 249-258; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020019 - 21 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1183
Abstract
Background: No systematic review or meta-analysis has yet been performed to examine the global prevalence of nomophobia by population, by instrument. Thus, this review was performed to estimate the prevalence of nomophobia by severity. Methods: American Psychological Association PsycINFO, Cochrane, Cumulative Index to [...] Read more.
Background: No systematic review or meta-analysis has yet been performed to examine the global prevalence of nomophobia by population, by instrument. Thus, this review was performed to estimate the prevalence of nomophobia by severity. Methods: American Psychological Association PsycINFO, Cochrane, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), EBSCOhost, EMBASE, MEDLINE, ProQuest Medical, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science from inception of each respective database to second week of January 2021 were used. There was no language restriction. The random-effect meta-analysis model was used with the DerSimonian and Laird methodology was used for computation. Results: Twenty papers, involving 12,462 participants from ten countries, were evaluated for meta-analysis. The prevalence of moderate to severe nomophobia is 70.76% [95% CI 62.62%; 77.75%]. The prevalence of severe nomophobia is 20.81% [95% CI 15.45%; 27.43%]. University students appeared to be the highest group affected with a prevalence of severe nomophobia 25.46% [95% CI 18.49%; 33.98%]. Meta-regressions of severe nomophobia showed that age and sex were not a successful predictor of severe nomophobia β = −0.9732, p = 0.2672 and β = −0.9732, p = 0.4986. Conclusions: The prevalence of severe nomophobia is approximately 21% in the general adult population. University students appeared to be the most impacted by the disorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Internet Addiction)
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Article
RALSA: Design and Implementation
Psych 2021, 3(2), 233-248; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020018 - 12 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
International large-scale assessments (ILSAs) provide invaluable information for researchers and policy makers. Analysis of their data, however, requires methods that go beyond the usual analysis techniques assuming simple random sampling. Several software packages that serve this purpose are available. One such is the [...] Read more.
International large-scale assessments (ILSAs) provide invaluable information for researchers and policy makers. Analysis of their data, however, requires methods that go beyond the usual analysis techniques assuming simple random sampling. Several software packages that serve this purpose are available. One such is the R Analyzer for Large-Scale Assessments (RALSA), a newly developed R package. The package can work with data from a large number of ILSAs. It was designed for user experience and is suitable for analysts who lack technical expertise and/or familiarity with the R programming language and statistical software. This paper presents the technical aspects of RALSA—the overall design and structure of the package, its internal organization, and the structure of the analysis and data preparation functions. The use of the data.table package for memory efficiency, speed, and embedded computations is explained through examples. The central aspect of the paper is the utilization of code reuse practices to the achieve consistency, efficiency, and safety of the computations performed by the analysis functions of the package. The comprehensive output system to produce multi-sheet MS Excel workbooks is presented and its workflow explained. The paper also explains how the graphical user interface is constructed and how it is linked to the data preparation and analysis functions available in the package. Full article
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Article
Evaluating the Observed Log-Likelihood Function in Two-Level Structural Equation Modeling with Missing Data: From Formulas to R Code
Psych 2021, 3(2), 197-232; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020017 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1514
Abstract
This paper discusses maximum likelihood estimation for two-level structural equation models when data are missing at random at both levels. Building on existing literature, a computationally efficient expression is derived to evaluate the observed log-likelihood. Unlike previous work, the expression is valid for [...] Read more.
This paper discusses maximum likelihood estimation for two-level structural equation models when data are missing at random at both levels. Building on existing literature, a computationally efficient expression is derived to evaluate the observed log-likelihood. Unlike previous work, the expression is valid for the special case where the model implied variance–covariance matrix at the between level is singular. Next, the log-likelihood function is translated to R code. A sequence of R scripts is presented, starting from a naive implementation and ending at the final implementation as found in the lavaan package. Along the way, various computational tips and tricks are given. Full article
Article
Homelessness and Research: Methodological Obstacles and Lessons Learned from a Psychological Study in Parisian Homeless Services
Psych 2021, 3(2), 184-196; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020016 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 942
Abstract
Homelessness, defined as a lack of appropriate, stable, and permanent housing, is a common issue in many societies and is linked to both structural and individual factors. These factors include psychological mechanisms and disorders which can trigger or worsen already precarious situations. In [...] Read more.
Homelessness, defined as a lack of appropriate, stable, and permanent housing, is a common issue in many societies and is linked to both structural and individual factors. These factors include psychological mechanisms and disorders which can trigger or worsen already precarious situations. In order for these factors to be taken into account in social rehabilitation programs, they need to be precisely described. However, at present, studies in this field are lacking in France. Despite homelessness being an issue across the country, few studies have evaluated the underlying psychological or neuropsychological mechanisms. More data are needed, not only to provide an accurate description of the situation in France, but also to ensure that foreign observations and interventions are relevant for application to the homeless population. In order to achieve this, more quantitative and qualitative data and investigative methodologies and studies are needed. Sharing experience and methods within the scientific community is one way to support further research, particularly in complex domains such as homelessness. At the moment, only a few such papers have been published. In this paper, we share our experiences from a research project that started in 2020 (currently unpublished) on the prevalence of cognitive disorders among homeless service users in Paris. We describe the exploratory phase of our project, obstacles encountered during the implementation of the study, including how we dealt with ethical issues, and data collection. We end the paper with recommendations for future psychological studies on homelessness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Socioeconomic and Psychosocial Deprivation)
Article
Trier Social Stress Test Elevates Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and Anxiety, But a Singing Test or Unsolvable Anagrams Only Elevates Heart Rate, among Healthy Young Adults
Psych 2021, 3(2), 171-183; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020015 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1290
Abstract
The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) is a psychosocial stressor that effectively stimulates the stress response but is labor and time intensive. Although other psychological stressors are often used experimentally, none are known to comparably elevate stress. Two stressors that may potentially elevate [...] Read more.
The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) is a psychosocial stressor that effectively stimulates the stress response but is labor and time intensive. Although other psychological stressors are often used experimentally, none are known to comparably elevate stress. Two stressors that may potentially elevate stress are a singing task (ST) and unsolvable anagrams, but there are not enough data to support their effectiveness. In the current experiment, 53 undergraduate males and females (mean age = 21.9 years) were brought into the laboratory, and baseline blood pressure, heart rate, self-rated anxiety, and salivary cortisol were recorded. Then, participants were randomly assigned to one of three stress conditions: TSST (n = 24), ST (n = 14), or an unsolvable anagram task (n = 15). Stress measures were taken again after the stressor and during recovery. The TSST significantly elevated systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate, and self-rated anxiety from pre-stress levels, replicating its stress-inducing properties. However, the ST and unsolvable anagrams only elevated heart rate, indicating that these methods are not as able to stimulate physiological or psychological stress. Overall, results indicate that out of these three laboratory stressors, the TSST clearly engages the stress response over the ST or unsolvable anagrams. Full article
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Article
COVID 19 Fear Impact among Russian “Helping Profession” Students
Psych 2021, 3(2), 163-170; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020014 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Background: Little is known about the COVID-19 impact on Russian medical, psychology and social work students’ psycho-emotional well-being, substance use and resilience. Methods: More than 2000 helping profession students, 75.4% female, participated in an online survey about COVID-19 impact at a peak time [...] Read more.
Background: Little is known about the COVID-19 impact on Russian medical, psychology and social work students’ psycho-emotional well-being, substance use and resilience. Methods: More than 2000 helping profession students, 75.4% female, participated in an online survey about COVID-19 impact at a peak time of infection (October/November 2020). The Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) and Brief Resilience Scale (BRS) were used for study purposes. Furthermore, the influence of COVID-19 on student psycho-emotional well-being and substance use (i.e., tobacco and alcohol) was examined. Results: Medical, female and religious students reported higher fear values. Social work students reported more current substance use, including binge drinking (five or more drinks on one particular occasion). Students who reported COVID-19 associated with their psycho-emotional well-being had higher fear values. Regarding resilience, no association was found based on the student study area. However, male and non-religious students reported more resilience. Students who reported substance use and psycho-emotional problems had lower resilience values. Conclusion: COVID-19 fear and substance use differs among Russian students based on background characteristics. including gender, religiosity and study area. The FCV-19S and the BRS were found to be reliable instruments for research of COVID-19-related psycho-emotional problems, substance use and resilience. Study findings have implications for “front line” helping profession students in terms of education, training and intervention, in support of promoting their ability to address difficult conditions resulting from the pandemic and other disaster conditions in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mental Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic (MHC))
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Article
Cortisol and Testosterone in Leadership Practice
Psych 2021, 3(2), 153-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020013 - 01 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1666
Abstract
This study sought to discover whether and how biological parameters can predict leadership behavior in the following leadership-related tasks: a face-to-face negotiation (Study 1), an individual problem-solving case (Study 2), and a group-based problem-solving case (Study 3). We replicated previous work by Mehta, [...] Read more.
This study sought to discover whether and how biological parameters can predict leadership behavior in the following leadership-related tasks: a face-to-face negotiation (Study 1), an individual problem-solving case (Study 2), and a group-based problem-solving case (Study 3). We replicated previous work by Mehta, Mor, Yap and Prasad in testing the dual-hormone hypothesis related to testosterone increase and cortisol decrease (Study 1), but our findings do not provide evidence to support the dual-hormone hypothesis. In Study 2, we found that high openness was a significant predictor in the individual problem-solving case. The results from Study 3 indicated that higher openness was related to a better score on the group exercise. Our findings did not support the dual-hormone model, and we did not find support for the seller-specific effect reported in Mehta et al. The original study included 64 participants with complete hormone data, while our replicational study involved 114 participants with complete hormone data. Full article
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Article
Evaluating Cluster-Level Factor Models with lavaan and Mplus
Psych 2021, 3(2), 134-152; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020012 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1330
Abstract
Background: Researchers frequently use the responses of individuals in clusters to measure cluster-level constructs. Examples are the use of student evaluations to measure teaching quality, or the use of employee ratings of organizational climate. In earlier research, Stapleton and Johnson (2019) provided [...] Read more.
Background: Researchers frequently use the responses of individuals in clusters to measure cluster-level constructs. Examples are the use of student evaluations to measure teaching quality, or the use of employee ratings of organizational climate. In earlier research, Stapleton and Johnson (2019) provided advice for measuring cluster-level constructs based on a simulation study with inadvertently confounded design factors. We extended their simulation study using both Mplus and lavaan to reveal how their conclusions were dependent on their study conditions. Methods: We generated data sets from the so-called configural model and the simultaneous shared-and-configural model, both with and without nonzero residual variances at the cluster level. We fitted models to these data sets using different maximum likelihood estimation algorithms. Results: Stapleton and Johnson’s results were highly contingent on their confounded design factors. Convergence rates could be very different across algorithms, depending on whether between-level residual variances were zero in the population or in the fitted model. We discovered a worrying convergence issue with the default settings in Mplus, resulting in seemingly converged solutions that are actually not. Rejection rates of the normal-theory test statistic were as expected, while rejection rates of the scaled test statistic were seriously inflated in several conditions. Conclusions: The defaults in Mplus carry specific risks that are easily checked but not well advertised. Our results also shine a different light on earlier advice on the use of measurement models for shared factors. Full article
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Article
How to Estimate Absolute-Error Components in Structural Equation Models of Generalizability Theory
Psych 2021, 3(2), 113-133; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020011 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1153
Abstract
Structural equation modeling (SEM) has been proposed to estimate generalizability theory (GT) variance components, primarily focusing on estimating relative error to calculate generalizability coefficients. Proposals for estimating absolute-error components have given the impression that a separate SEM must be fitted to a transposed [...] Read more.
Structural equation modeling (SEM) has been proposed to estimate generalizability theory (GT) variance components, primarily focusing on estimating relative error to calculate generalizability coefficients. Proposals for estimating absolute-error components have given the impression that a separate SEM must be fitted to a transposed data matrix. This paper uses real and simulated data to demonstrate how a single SEM can be specified to estimate absolute error (and thus dependability) by placing appropriate constraints on the mean structure, as well as thresholds (when used for ordinal measures). Using the R packages lavaan and gtheory, different estimators are compared for normal and discrete measurements. Limitations of SEM for GT are demonstrated using multirater data from a planned missing-data design, and an important remaining area for future development is discussed. Full article
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Article
Automated Test Assembly in R: The eatATA Package
Psych 2021, 3(2), 96-112; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020010 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1055
Abstract
Combining items from an item pool into test forms (test assembly) is a frequent task in psychological and educational testing. Although efficient methods for automated test assembly exist, these are often unknown or unavailable to practitioners. In this paper we present the R [...] Read more.
Combining items from an item pool into test forms (test assembly) is a frequent task in psychological and educational testing. Although efficient methods for automated test assembly exist, these are often unknown or unavailable to practitioners. In this paper we present the R package eatATA, which allows using several mixed-integer programming solvers for automated test assembly in R. We describe the general functionality and the common work flow of eatATA using a minimal example. We also provide four more elaborate use cases of automated test assembly: (a) The assembly of multiple test forms for a pilot study; (b) the assembly of blocks of items for a multiple matrix booklet design in the context of a large-scale assessment; (c) the assembly of two linear test forms for individual diagnostic purposes; (d) the assembly of multi-stage testing modules for individual diagnostic purposes. All use cases are accompanied with example item pools and commented R code. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Gratitude, Wellbeing, Spirituality, and Experiencing Meaningful Work
Psych 2021, 3(2), 85-95; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020009 - 18 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1184
Abstract
Poor mental wellbeing not only affects an individual and their family, but it also affects the workplace and the society as a whole. Consequently, it is crucial to investigate approaches that can promote a positive mindset in order to enhance wellbeing. This study [...] Read more.
Poor mental wellbeing not only affects an individual and their family, but it also affects the workplace and the society as a whole. Consequently, it is crucial to investigate approaches that can promote a positive mindset in order to enhance wellbeing. This study aimed to explore the association between gratitude, wellbeing, spirituality, and experiencing meaningful work. A sample of 197 participants (69.5% female) completed measures of gratitude, experiencing meaningful work, spirituality, and several wellbeing indices. Gratitude was significantly positively associated with happiness, life satisfaction, flourishing, positive affect, spirituality, and experiencing meaningful work. A mediation analysis revealed that the relationship between wellbeing and experiencing meaningful work was partially mediated by gratitude. Additionally, spirituality did not moderate the relationship between gratitude and experiencing meaningful work. Overall, the findings indicate that fostering a grateful mindset could enhance wellbeing and work engagement, which in turn could lead to the experience of meaningful work. Full article
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Article
Theory of Mind Ability and Socioeconomic Status, a Study of Street-Connected Children and Adolescents in Ecuador
Psych 2021, 3(2), 72-84; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020008 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 1015
Abstract
Family socioeconomic status (SES) is closely associated with cognitive ability in children and adolescents. However, most of the research has come from high-income countries. There is only limited research on ‘street children’, who represent an aspect of low-SES particularly associated with low- and [...] Read more.
Family socioeconomic status (SES) is closely associated with cognitive ability in children and adolescents. However, most of the research has come from high-income countries. There is only limited research on ‘street children’, who represent an aspect of low-SES particularly associated with low- and middle-income counties. The current research in Quito, Ecuador, compared a group of street-connected youth with a not street-connected control group on two different measures of theory of mind ability and verbal comprehension. Initial analysis revealed that the street-connected sample scored significantly below the level of the control sample for verbal comprehension. For the main analysis, street-connected youth were matched to control participants for age, sex, and verbal comprehension scores. The street-connected sample was found to perform significantly below the control sample on both measures of theory of mind. Furthermore, worse performance appeared to be linked to severity of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the street-connected sample. In conclusion, the association of relatively poor verbal comprehension with street-connectedness is consistent with existing research from high-income countries on SES gradients and cognitive development. In contrast, theory of mind ability, a core aspect of social cognition, may be particularly linked to the street-connectedness form of low SES that exists in many low- and middle-income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Socioeconomic and Psychosocial Deprivation)
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Article
Online Peer Counseling for Suicidal Ideation: Participant Characteristics and Reasons for Using or Refusing This Service
Psych 2021, 3(2), 61-71; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020007 - 29 Apr 2021
Viewed by 763
Abstract
[U25] is a German online-peer-counseling service for adolescents with suicidal ideation, who typically do not seek or receive adequate counseling. We conducted an online survey in order to compare persons who receive online counseling by [U25] compared to those who are visitors of [...] Read more.
[U25] is a German online-peer-counseling service for adolescents with suicidal ideation, who typically do not seek or receive adequate counseling. We conducted an online survey in order to compare persons who receive online counseling by [U25] compared to those who are visitors of [U25] websites but do not (yet) receive counseling. Via online survey, all visitors to the [U25] websites were invited to fill in a questionnaire on sociodemographic data, utilization reasons, and barriers. Our final sample consisted of n = 318 counseling clients, n = 1127 persons who have not yet sought help but intend to do so (“prospective clients”), and n = 444 persons who do not consider [U25] counseling for themselves (“refusers”). Clients were more often female and showed positive attitudes toward online counseling. Low perceived need for counseling was the most frequent barrier reported by the refusers, whereas fear of stigma and practical barriers were rarely reported; younger and male refusers reported needing to write down one’s problems as a barrier more often. Self-selection might reduce generalizability of our results. Online counseling can facilitate receiving psychosocial support for young persons with suicidal ideation, particularly if barriers are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Technology and Online Mental Health Support)
Article
Associations between Cognitive Concepts of Self and Emotional Facial Expressions with an Emphasis on Emotion Awareness
Psych 2021, 3(2), 48-60; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020006 - 27 Apr 2021
Viewed by 712
Abstract
Recognising our own and others’ emotions is vital for healthy social development. The aim of the current study was to determine how emotions related to the self or to another influence behavioural expressions of emotion. Facial electromyography (EMG) was used to record spontaneous [...] Read more.
Recognising our own and others’ emotions is vital for healthy social development. The aim of the current study was to determine how emotions related to the self or to another influence behavioural expressions of emotion. Facial electromyography (EMG) was used to record spontaneous facial muscle activity in nineteen participants while they passively viewed negative, positive and neutral emotional pictures during three blocks of referential instructions. Each participant imagined themself, another person or no one experiencing the emotional scenario, with the priming words “You”, “Him” or “None” presented before each picture for the respective block of instructions. Emotion awareness (EA) was also recorded using the TAS-20 alexithymia questionnaire. Corrugator supercilii (cs) muscle activity increased significantly between 500 and 1000 ms post stimulus onset during negative and neutral picture presentations, regardless of ownership. Independent of emotion, cs activity was greatest during the “no one” task and lowest during the “self” task from less than 250 to 1000 ms. Interestingly, the degree of cs activation during referential tasks was further modulated by EA. Low EA corresponded to significantly stronger cs activity overall compared with high EA, and this effect was even more pronounced during the “no one” task. The findings suggest that cognitive processes related to the perception of emotion ownership can influence spontaneous facial muscle activity, but that a greater degree of integration between higher cognitive and lower affective levels of information may interrupt or suppress these behavioural expressions of emotion. Full article
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Article
Social Support Is Related to the Use of Adaptive Emotional Regulation Strategies in Ecuadorian Adolescents in Foster Care
Psych 2021, 3(2), 39-47; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych3020005 - 22 Apr 2021
Viewed by 962
Abstract
Adolescents in foster care are exposed to maltreatment and inadequate social support which can have lasting repercussions on their emotional development. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of social support on the use of emotional regulation strategies in Ecuadorian [...] Read more.
Adolescents in foster care are exposed to maltreatment and inadequate social support which can have lasting repercussions on their emotional development. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of social support on the use of emotional regulation strategies in Ecuadorian adolescents in foster care and non-foster peers. This study recruited 181 adolescents, 56 in foster care and 123 non-foster peers, from various locations in Quito, Ecuador. Participants completed the Cognitive Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (CERQ) and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Using linear regression, we found that being in foster care was related to lower perceived social support. The non-foster care control group reported using more emotion regulation strategies, both adaptive and maladaptive (acceptance, rumination, refocusing to planning, and self-blaming), than the foster care group. Greater social support was associated with the use of more positive strategies (reappraisal, positive refocusing, and refocusing to planning) and less maladaptive strategies (catastrophizing). Youth in foster care have less social support than their non-foster peers. This puts them at risk, as social support has an important role in the use of healthy emotion regulation skills in adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychology of Socioeconomic and Psychosocial Deprivation)
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