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Psych, Volume 6, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 25 articles

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12 pages, 234 KiB  
Article
Qualitative Pilot Interventions for the Enhancement of Mental Health Support in Doctoral Students
by Chloe Casey, Steven Trenoweth, Orlanda Harvey, Jason Helstrip, Fiona Knight, Julia Taylor and Martyn Polkinghorne
Psych 2024, 6(1), 426-437; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010025 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 480
Abstract
Doctoral degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and other professional doctorates such as Engineering Doctorate (EngD), Doctor of Education (EdD), or Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy). Unlike undergraduate- or postgraduate-taught students, doctoral study focuses on a single, autonomous piece of research. Research indicates [...] Read more.
Doctoral degrees include Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and other professional doctorates such as Engineering Doctorate (EngD), Doctor of Education (EdD), or Doctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy). Unlike undergraduate- or postgraduate-taught students, doctoral study focuses on a single, autonomous piece of research. Research indicates a high occurrence of mental health problems in doctoral students. This paper describes the piloting and qualitative evaluation of a range of interventions designed to enhance the mental health support for doctoral students at one UK university. These interventions sought to target an array of known factors that affect the mental health of doctoral students, including individual capacity for coping with stress and social support availability. Full article
25 pages, 1166 KiB  
Article
A Robust Indicator Mean-Based Method for Estimating Generalizability Theory Absolute Error and Related Dependability Indices within Structural Equation Modeling Frameworks
by Hyeryung Lee and Walter P. Vispoel
Psych 2024, 6(1), 401-425; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010024 - 14 Mar 2024
Viewed by 186
Abstract
In this study, we introduce a novel and robust approach for computing Generalizability Theory (GT) absolute error and related dependability indices using indicator intercepts that represent observed means within structural equation models (SEMs). We demonstrate the applicability of our method using one-, two-, [...] Read more.
In this study, we introduce a novel and robust approach for computing Generalizability Theory (GT) absolute error and related dependability indices using indicator intercepts that represent observed means within structural equation models (SEMs). We demonstrate the applicability of our method using one-, two-, and three-facet designs with self-report measures having varying numbers of scale points. Results for the indicator mean-based method align well with those obtained from the GENOVA and R gtheory packages for doing conventional GT analyses and improve upon previously suggested methods for deriving absolute error and corresponding dependability indices from SEMs when analyzing three-facet designs. We further extend our approach to derive Monte Carlo confidence intervals for all key indices and to incorporate estimation procedures that correct for scale coarseness effects commonly observed when analyzing binary or ordinal data. Full article
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24 pages, 498 KiB  
Article
Item Response Analysis of a Structured Mixture Item Response Model with mirt Package in R
by Minho Lee, Yon Soo Suh and Minjeong Jeon
Psych 2024, 6(1), 377-400; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010023 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 470
Abstract
Structured mixture item response models (StrMixIRMs) are a special type of constrained confirmatory mixture item response theory (IRT) model for detecting latent performance differences in a measurement instrument by characteristic item groups, and classifying respondents according to these differences. In light of limited [...] Read more.
Structured mixture item response models (StrMixIRMs) are a special type of constrained confirmatory mixture item response theory (IRT) model for detecting latent performance differences in a measurement instrument by characteristic item groups, and classifying respondents according to these differences. In light of limited software options for estimating StrMixIRMs under existing frameworks, this paper proposes reparameterizing it as a confirmatory mixture IRT model using interaction effects between latent classes and item groups. The reparameterization allows for easier implementation of StrMixIRMs with multiple software programs that have mixture modeling capabilities, including open-source ones. This widens the accessibility to these models to a broad range of users and thus can facilitate research and applications of StrMixIRMs. This paper serves two main goals: First, we introduce StrMixIRMs, focusing on the proposed reparameterization based on interaction effects and its various extensions. Second, we illustrate use cases of this novel reparameterization within the mirt 1.41 package in R by employing two empirical datasets. Detailed R code with notes are provided for the applications along with an interpretation of the outputs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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1 pages, 130 KiB  
Correction
Correction: Hong et al. Applying SEM, Exploratory SEM, and Bayesian SEM to Personality Assessments. Psych 2024, 6, 111–134
by Hyeri Hong, Walter P. Vispoel and Alfonso J. Martinez
Psych 2024, 6(1), 376; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010022 - 08 Mar 2024
Viewed by 182
Abstract
Addition of an Author [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
20 pages, 1475 KiB  
Review
Work-Related Flow in Contrast to Either Happiness or PERMA Factors for Human Resources Management Development of Career Sustainability
by Carol Nash
Psych 2024, 6(1), 356-375; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010021 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 476
Abstract
In promoting career sustainability, psychological theories historically have informed human resource management (HRM) development—three assessment directions are among them: work-related flow, happiness promotion, and appraising PERMA (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment) factors. Csikszentmihalyi’s work-related flow represents an optimally challenging work-related process. [...] Read more.
In promoting career sustainability, psychological theories historically have informed human resource management (HRM) development—three assessment directions are among them: work-related flow, happiness promotion, and appraising PERMA (Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment) factors. Csikszentmihalyi’s work-related flow represents an optimally challenging work-related process. Happiness promotion strives to maintain a pleased satisfaction with the current experience. PERMA represents measurable positive psychological factors constituting well-being. Reliable and validated, the experience of flow has been found to determine career sustainability in contrast to the more often investigated happiness ascertainment or identifying PERMA factors. Career sustainability research to inform HRM development is in its infancy. Therefore, publishers’ commitment to sustainability provides integrity. Given MDPI’s uniquely founding sustainability concern, its journal articles were searched with the keywords “flow, Csikszentmihalyi, work”, excluding those pertaining to education, health, leisure, marketing, non-workers, and spirituality, to determine the utilization of work-related flow to achieve career sustainability. Of the 628 returns, 28 reports were included for potential assessment. Current studies on Csikszentmihalyi’s work-related flow ultimately represented three results. These provide insight into successful, positive methods to develop career sustainability. Consequently, HRM is advised to investigate practices for assessing and encouraging employees’ engagement with work-related flow with the aim of ensuring career sustainability. Full article
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11 pages, 620 KiB  
Article
Evidence of Validity, Invariance, and Reliability of the Body Image Dimension in the Body Investment Scale: A Study in Spanish University Students
by Diego Diaz-Milanes, Carmen Santin Vilariño, Montserrat Andrés-Villas, Ana Segura-Barriga and Pedro Juan Pérez-Moreno
Psych 2024, 6(1), 345-355; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010020 - 05 Mar 2024
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Background: This study focused on the widely used Body Image subscale, a dimension of the Body Investment Scale developed by Orbach and Mikulincer in 1998. Specifically, we explored its psychometric properties and potential use for health promotion research among young Spanish university students. [...] Read more.
Background: This study focused on the widely used Body Image subscale, a dimension of the Body Investment Scale developed by Orbach and Mikulincer in 1998. Specifically, we explored its psychometric properties and potential use for health promotion research among young Spanish university students. Method: A sample of 793 participants (75.28% female) aged 18–26 years (M = 20.68; SD = 2.13) completed the questionnaire and related variables. Results: A unidimensional structure was confirmed with a good fit, demonstrating gender- and age-invariance, along with robust internal consistency. The scale exhibited a significant association with self-esteem, life satisfaction, a sense of coherence, and psychological distress. Conclusions: The Body Image subscale can be considered unidimensional. The obtained factor solution provides a reliable, valid, and invariant measure across gender and age for assessing body feelings in Spanish university students. Therefore, the instrument can effectively investigate the relationship between body image and health-related behaviors. Additionally, it can serve as a valuable tool in designing effective health interventions for university students to prevent mental health conditions, such as eating disorders or suicidal behaviors. Full article
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40 pages, 3370 KiB  
Systematic Review
Well-Being Technologies and Positive Psychology Strategies for Training Metacognition, Emotional Intelligence and Motivation Meta-Skills in Clinical Populations: A Systematic Review
by Eleni Mitsea, Athanasios Drigas and Charalabos Skianis
Psych 2024, 6(1), 305-344; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010019 - 04 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1071
Abstract
The holistic growth and psychological well-being of people with special needs and disabilities remain high on the priority agenda for sustainable and inclusive education. Digital well-being technologies and especially “smart technologies”, are ready to revolutionize mental health interventions by meeting trainees’ needs and [...] Read more.
The holistic growth and psychological well-being of people with special needs and disabilities remain high on the priority agenda for sustainable and inclusive education. Digital well-being technologies and especially “smart technologies”, are ready to revolutionize mental health interventions by meeting trainees’ needs and providing them with more positive and transformative mental, emotional, and social experiences. Μeta-skills refer to a set of consciousness-raising competences that incorporate meta-cognitive, social–emotional, and motivational attributes, allowing individuals to intentionally achieve a state of optimal functioning. Although positive psychology and well-being technologies are considered promising intervention approaches, there is less knowledge regarding the effectiveness of such interventions among people with special needs and disabilities, especially in the crucial domain of meta-skills development. Thus, the current systematic review aims to examine positive psychology strategies as well as the synergy with well-being technologies in the development of metacognition, emotional intelligence, and motivation meta-skills in populations with special training needs and disabilities. The PRISMA methodology was utilized to answer the research questions. A total of forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. The results indicated that positive psychology strategies improved a wide range of meta-skills, including self-regulation, emotional control, behavioral control, inhibition control, self-awareness, intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, adaptation, goal setting, and self-compassion. Artificial intelligence tools, wearables, smart applications, immersive technologies (virtual and augmented reality), neurofeedback and biofeedback technologies, as well as digital games were found to effectively assist such training programs. The results of the current review may provide positive feedback in the discussion about digitally-aided mental health interventions for training the meta-skills of mental and emotional health. Full article
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17 pages, 2373 KiB  
Article
Early Change in Quality of Life in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa
by Eliza D. Newton, Liquan Liu, Janet Conti, Stephen Touyz, Jon Arcelus, Sloane Madden, Kathleen Pike and Phillipa Hay
Psych 2024, 6(1), 288-304; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010018 - 29 Feb 2024
Viewed by 497
Abstract
This study aimed to examine whether early change in self-reported quality of life (QoL) was a predictor of outcomes in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). Given suggestions that people with AN overestimate their QoL when unwell, we hypothesised that any early change [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine whether early change in self-reported quality of life (QoL) was a predictor of outcomes in the treatment of anorexia nervosa (AN). Given suggestions that people with AN overestimate their QoL when unwell, we hypothesised that any early change in self-reported QoL, be it an early improvement or early worsening, would predict better outcomes in terms of end-of-treatment body mass index (BMI), eating disorder (ED) psychopathology, and QoL. Participants were 78 adult outpatients engaged in cognitive behaviour therapy for anorexia nervosa (CBT-AN) either with or without the embedded compulsive exercise module “compuLsive Exercise Activity TheraPy” (LEAP). Polynomial regression was utilised to examine the effects of varying combinations of baseline and 10-week self-reported physical-health-relatedr QoL (SF-12; PHRQoL subscale), mental-health-related QoL (SF-12; MHRQoL subscale), and eating-disorder-specific QoL (EDQoL; global, psychological, cognitive/physical, financial, and school/work subscales) on end-of-treatment BMI, ED psychopathology, and QoL. Greater magnitudes of early change in global EDQoL scores, both positive and negative, predicted better MHRQoL but not BMI or ED psychopathology at the end of treatment. Psychological EDQoL ratings also accounted for 38.1% of the variance in end-of-treatment ED psychopathology, although tests examining the 6ratings may be meaningful in predicting treatment outcomes. The positive impact of early worsening in QoL ratings suggests that early QoL ratings are inflated due to denial and poor insight. Clinicians should be reassured that early QoL decline does not indicate treatment failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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15 pages, 1078 KiB  
Review
Freezing Effect and Bystander Effect: Overlaps and Differences
by Elena Siligato, Giada Iuele, Martina Barbera, Francesca Bruno, Guendalina Tordonato, Aurora Mautone and Amelia Rizzo
Psych 2024, 6(1), 273-287; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010017 - 26 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1041
Abstract
The present article provides a detailed comparison of two psychological phenomena, the freezing effect and the bystander effect, across their neurobiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions. This study focuses on identifying and analyzing the similarities and differences between these two responses to stressful [...] Read more.
The present article provides a detailed comparison of two psychological phenomena, the freezing effect and the bystander effect, across their neurobiological, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral dimensions. This study focuses on identifying and analyzing the similarities and differences between these two responses to stressful and traumatic events. While the freezing effect is characterized by an involuntary neurobiological response to immediate threats, resulting in temporary immobilization or paralysis, the bystander effect describes a cognitive and social phenomenon where individuals refrain from offering help in emergencies when others are present. The study explores affective aspects, including emotional responses and trauma-related impacts associated with both phenomena. Through a comparative analysis, this research unveils important understandings regarding the distinctions among these responses, including their triggers, underlying mechanisms, and observable behaviors. It also highlights overlapping aspects, particularly in how both phenomena can lead to inaction in critical moments. This comparative study contributes to a deeper understanding of the complex interaction between the brain, individual cognition, and social dynamics in the face of danger and stress. The findings of this research have significant implications for understanding human behavior in emergencies, offering valuable perspectives that can be applied in the domains of psychology, training for emergency response, and trauma therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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13 pages, 625 KiB  
Review
The Impact of Dementia on the Psychosocial Well-Being of Informal Caregivers in Asia: A Scoping Review Comparing High-Income and Low–Middle-Income Countries
by Aiza Amor Padre-e Abayon, Millicent Raymonds, Priya Brahmbhatt, Shelina Samnani and Fahad Hanna
Psych 2024, 6(1), 260-272; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010016 - 20 Feb 2024
Viewed by 544
Abstract
The need for informal caregiving has become a crucial topic for researchers and policymakers. This review explores the psychosocial impact on caregivers providing dementia care in high-income and low–middle-income Asian countries. A scoping review was undertaken following the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) protocol. [...] Read more.
The need for informal caregiving has become a crucial topic for researchers and policymakers. This review explores the psychosocial impact on caregivers providing dementia care in high-income and low–middle-income Asian countries. A scoping review was undertaken following the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) protocol. A systematic search of four databases (PubMed, ProQuest, Medline, and Medline Complete) was conducted. Articles were screened following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines. Fourteen articles (11 cross-sectional, 1 longitudinal, 1 case-control, and 1 descriptive phenomenological study) were selected for the final analysis. The most frequently reported findings from low–middle-income countries were dementia caregivers working longer hours and experiencing financial issues, poor physical health, and lower life satisfaction, which progressively and collectively affected caregivers’ psychosocial well-being and quality of life. However, the impact was less significant in high-income Asian countries, particularly those where efforts are being made to identify the burdens associated with caring for people with dementia and providing appropriate support. This review demonstrates clear evidence that caring for people with dementia may affect informal caregivers’ quality of life, particularly in low–middle-income Asian countries. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses may be needed to confirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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25 pages, 4956 KiB  
Article
Nonparametric Kernel Smoothing Item Response Theory Analysis of Likert Items
by Purya Baghaei and Farshad Effatpanah
Psych 2024, 6(1), 236-259; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010015 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 464
Abstract
Likert scales are the most common psychometric response scales in the social and behavioral sciences. Likert items are typically used to measure individuals’ attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and behavioral changes. To analyze the psychometric properties of individual Likert-type items and overall Likert scales, mostly [...] Read more.
Likert scales are the most common psychometric response scales in the social and behavioral sciences. Likert items are typically used to measure individuals’ attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, and behavioral changes. To analyze the psychometric properties of individual Likert-type items and overall Likert scales, mostly methods based on classical test theory (CTT) are used, including corrected item–total correlations and reliability indices. CTT methods heavily rely on the total scale scores, making it challenging to directly examine the performance of items and response options across varying levels of the trait. In this study, Kernel Smoothing Item Response Theory (KS-IRT) is introduced as a graphical nonparametric IRT approach for the evaluation of Likert items. Unlike parametric IRT models, nonparametric IRT models do not involve strong assumptions regarding the form of item response functions (IRFs). KS-IRT provides graphics for detecting peculiar patterns in items across different levels of a latent trait. Differential item functioning (DIF) can also be examined by applying KS-IRT. Using empirical data, we illustrate the application of KS-IRT to the examination of Likert items on a psychological scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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15 pages, 768 KiB  
Article
The Positive Association between Grit and Mental Toughness, Enhanced by a Minimum of 75 Minutes of Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity, among US Students
by Andreas Stamatis, Grant B. Morgan, Ali Boolani and Zacharias Papadakis
Psych 2024, 6(1), 221-235; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010014 - 17 Feb 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
Drawing from the 2015 Gucciardi et al.’s mental toughness (MT) framework, this study examines the association between grit and MT in US college students, while considering the moderating role of at least 75 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) based on recommendations from [...] Read more.
Drawing from the 2015 Gucciardi et al.’s mental toughness (MT) framework, this study examines the association between grit and MT in US college students, while considering the moderating role of at least 75 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) based on recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine. We administered the Grit-S Scale and the Mental Toughness Index in two samples of a total of 340 US undergraduate student-athletes and graduate students. The Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies was employed to ensure internal validity, while statistical procedures including principal component analysis and regression models were utilized to analyze the collected data. A weighted component combining grit and the interaction between MVPA and grit significantly predicted MT, explaining 23% of its variability. Drawing from a specific conceptual framework, this study provides novel insights into the relationship between grit, engagement in at least 75 min of MVPA per week, and MT among US collegiate students. The findings support a positive association between grit, MVPA, and both MT and a specific component of MT, highlighting the significance of these factors in enhancing performance and suggesting potential implications for future research and practical applications in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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11 pages, 1237 KiB  
Review
Walking Forward Together—The Next Step: Indigenous Youth Mental Health and the Climate Crisis
by Michael Brown, Sabina Mirza, Jay Lu and Suzanne L. Stewart
Psych 2024, 6(1), 210-220; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010013 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 647
Abstract
The climate crisis has resulted in mental health challenges for varying demographic groups of all ages, but Indigenous youth are one of the most vulnerable populations impacted by the climate crisis. Conversations regarding Indigenous youth and the climate crisis are often held without [...] Read more.
The climate crisis has resulted in mental health challenges for varying demographic groups of all ages, but Indigenous youth are one of the most vulnerable populations impacted by the climate crisis. Conversations regarding Indigenous youth and the climate crisis are often held without their presence or input, identifying a gap in research and the literature. The findings from this review include the components of climate change regarding the mental health of Indigenous youth as being direct and indirect pathways of impact and resistance. Direct pathways include the more immediate and physical consequences of climate change associated with mental unwellness. Indirect pathways include less obvious consequences to those without lived experience, such as disruptions to culture and magnified social inequities, which also result in negative mental health consequences. The resistance component explores how Indigenous youth have been protesting and actively speaking out, which highlights the importance of the inclusion of Indigenous youth voices in decision-making spaces related to mental health service resources (i.e., funding) and policy in climate action. This review ends with a discussion on ways forward, the limitations herein, and how the uniqueness of the research may contribute to climate justice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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14 pages, 861 KiB  
Article
The IADC Grief Questionnaire as a Brief Measure for Complicated Grief in Clinical Practice and Research: A Preliminary Study
by Fabio D’Antoni and Claudio Lalla
Psych 2024, 6(1), 196-209; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010012 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 850
Abstract
IADC (induced after-death communication) therapy is a grief treatment developed by Botkin that is increasingly being acknowledged for its effectiveness in various countries worldwide. In clinical practice, professionals trained in IADC therapy employ a brief evaluation tool called the IADC Grief Questionnaire (IADC-GQ) [...] Read more.
IADC (induced after-death communication) therapy is a grief treatment developed by Botkin that is increasingly being acknowledged for its effectiveness in various countries worldwide. In clinical practice, professionals trained in IADC therapy employ a brief evaluation tool called the IADC Grief Questionnaire (IADC-GQ) to determine whether mourning can be disturbed or stopped, resulting in complicated grief. This preliminary research aimed to establish the psychometric properties of the IADC-GQ. The factor structure was analyzed in a sample consisting of 113 participants undergoing psychological treatment who had endured the loss of a loved one for a minimum of six months. The findings revealed a two-dimensional framework comprising two distinct factors: the “Clinical Score”, encompassing the most distressing elements of grief, and the “Continuing Bond” factor, which is associated with feelings of connection to the departed and thoughts regarding the existence of life after death. The IADC-GQ has the potential to be easily and quickly employed in both research and clinical settings. Moreover, it can qualitatively assist therapists during clinical interviews by highlighting the key areas where the grieving process may encounter obstacles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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19 pages, 241 KiB  
Article
In Mind and Spirit: The Psychosocial Impacts of Religiosity in Youth Mental Health Treatment
by Katherine Klee and John P. Bartkowski
Psych 2024, 6(1), 177-195; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010011 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 540
Abstract
The rise in suicides among elementary- to high-school-aged youth has alarmed health professionals for years, only to be amplified by the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Religion and spirituality offer many people significant psychosocial support in pandemic circumstances, often acting as platforms [...] Read more.
The rise in suicides among elementary- to high-school-aged youth has alarmed health professionals for years, only to be amplified by the long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Religion and spirituality offer many people significant psychosocial support in pandemic circumstances, often acting as platforms for hope and social connectedness. Yet, given the adultocentric world they inhabit, young people must often negotiate or reconsider the role of religion and spirituality in the context of their developmental trajectory. This research explores mental health professionals’ approaches to religiosity and spirituality in the delivery of therapeutic care to youth at risk of suicide. Qualitative analyses of interview transcripts conducted with youth mental health clinicians in the state of Texas underscore a myriad of contextual factors related to treating suicidal ideation and behaviors. We categorize our findings according to licensed mental health professionals’ (1) navigation of youth clients’ religious/spiritual preferences aligned with or opposed to familial preferences; (2) selective integration of youth-oriented religious/spiritual elements into treatment as warranted; and (3) reflections on the impacts of religion/spirituality on treatment efficacy for child and adolescent clients. This study adds to current research on religion and spirituality’s impact on mental health and its therapeutic integration into treatment practices tailored for youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
14 pages, 302 KiB  
Article
Emotions and Coping: “What I Feel about It, Gives Me More Strategies to Deal with It?”
by Cristina de Sousa, Helena Vinagre, João Viseu, João Ferreira, Helena José, Isabel Rabiais, António Almeida, Susana Valido, Maria João Santos, Sandy Severino and Luís Sousa
Psych 2024, 6(1), 163-176; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010010 - 30 Jan 2024
Viewed by 537
Abstract
Background: Personal emotions and affects have been identified and studied in the context of pandemics, as well as coping strategies centered on emotional regulation or the balance between positive and negative emotions. Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to identify an emotion [...] Read more.
Background: Personal emotions and affects have been identified and studied in the context of pandemics, as well as coping strategies centered on emotional regulation or the balance between positive and negative emotions. Objectives: The objectives of this paper are to identify an emotion and affect structure in our sample and analyze the relationship of these dimensions with resilient coping in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Method: This study employed a cross-sectional design that involved a non-probabilistic sample with 598 participants over the age of 18, with 51.1% being female, and an average age of 40.73 years. First, the emotional structure was identified through principal component analysis (PCA). Secondly, a linear regression analysis was performed to investigate emotional dimensions as predictors of coping. Results: A valid and reliable emotional structure with four dimensions was identified. The regression model revealed that coping is positively associated with the active and positive dimension and negatively correlated with the negative and moral dimensions. Conclusions: Emotional dimensions are predictors of coping, with moral and negative dimensions having a negative effect, while active and positive dimensions have a positive effect. When designing interventions for coping strategies, multiple dimensions of emotions and affective states in people who are in vulnerable situations must be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
20 pages, 6224 KiB  
Article
Proteins in Scalp Hair of Preschool Children
by Cynthia R. Rovnaghi, Kratika Singhal, Ryan D. Leib, Maria Xenochristou, Nima Aghaeepour, Allis S. Chien, Deendayal Dinakarpandian and Kanwaljeet J. S. Anand
Psych 2024, 6(1), 143-162; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010009 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 795
Abstract
Background. Early childhood experiences have long-lasting effects on subsequent mental and physical health, education, and employment. The measurement of these effects relies on insensitive behavioral signs, subjective assessments by adult observers, neuroimaging or neurophysiological studies, or retrospective epidemiologic outcomes. Despite intensive research, the [...] Read more.
Background. Early childhood experiences have long-lasting effects on subsequent mental and physical health, education, and employment. The measurement of these effects relies on insensitive behavioral signs, subjective assessments by adult observers, neuroimaging or neurophysiological studies, or retrospective epidemiologic outcomes. Despite intensive research, the underlying mechanisms of these long-term changes in development and health status remain unknown. Methods. We analyzed scalp hair from healthy children and their mothers using an unbiased proteomics platform combining tandem mass spectrometry, ultra-performance liquid chromatography, and collision-induced dissociation to reveal commonly observed hair proteins with a spectral count of 3 or higher. Results. We observed 1368 non-structural hair proteins in children and 1438 non-structural hair proteins in mothers, with 1288 proteins showing individual variability. Mothers showed higher numbers of peptide spectral matches and hair proteins compared to children, with important age-related differences between mothers and children. Age-related differences were also observed in children, with differential protein expression patterns between younger (2 years and below) and older children (3–5 years). We observed greater similarity in hair protein patterns between mothers and their biological children compared with mothers and unrelated children. The top 5% of proteins driving population variability represented biological pathways associated with brain development, immune signaling, and stress response regulation. Conclusions. Non-structural proteins observed in scalp hair include promising biomarkers to investigate the long-term developmental changes and health status associated with early childhood experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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8 pages, 815 KiB  
Brief Report
A Gender Analysis of Hospital Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic Using the Distress Questionnaire-5: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Stefania De Simone, Massimo Franco, Giuseppe Servillo and Maria Vargas
Psych 2024, 6(1), 135-142; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010008 - 29 Jan 2024
Viewed by 309
Abstract
At high risk of experiencing symptoms of stress, female healthcare workers also faced the psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of this study are to investigate whether women are associated with a high level of psychological distress in comparison to men [...] Read more.
At high risk of experiencing symptoms of stress, female healthcare workers also faced the psychosocial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aims of this study are to investigate whether women are associated with a high level of psychological distress in comparison to men and to explore the risk factors associated with a high level of psychological distress in women. For this purpose, a multivariable logistic regression model was tested with sex, age and professional role as predictors of psychological distress in women. We found that (1)women working in the four Italian hospitals analyzed during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced more psychological distress than men, (2) being between 26 and 35 years old and being a medical doctor were associated with the risk of women developing psychological distress, (3) being a female medical doctor presents a 23% risk of developing psychological distress, (4) female nurses working in COVID-19s ward had a 50% risk and female non-healthcare personnel working in COVID-19 wards had a 69% risk of developing psychological distress. In conclusion, our results suggest that interventions for supporting and promoting mental well-being among female healthcare workers are mandatory, especially for the professional categories of nurses and non-healthcare workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue PTSD During the COVID-19 Pandemic)
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0 pages, 1010 KiB  
Article
Applying SEM, Exploratory SEM, and Bayesian SEM to Personality Assessments
by Hyeri Hong, Walter P. Vispoel and Alfonso J. Martinez
Psych 2024, 6(1), 111-134; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010007 - 25 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 904 | Correction
Abstract
Despite the importance of demonstrating and evaluating how structural equation modeling (SEM), exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), and Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM) work simultaneously, research comparing these analytic techniques is limited with few studies conducted to systematically compare them to each other [...] Read more.
Despite the importance of demonstrating and evaluating how structural equation modeling (SEM), exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), and Bayesian structural equation modeling (BSEM) work simultaneously, research comparing these analytic techniques is limited with few studies conducted to systematically compare them to each other using correlated-factor, hierarchical, and bifactor models of personality. In this study, we evaluate the performance of SEM, ESEM, and BSEM across correlated-factor, hierarchical, and bifactor structures and multiple estimation techniques (maximum likelihood, robust weighted least squares, and Bayesian estimation) to test the internal structure of personality. Results across correlated-factor, hierarchical, and bifactor models highlighted the importance of controlling for scale coarseness and allowing small off-target loadings when using maximum likelihood (ML) and robust weighted least squares estimation (WLSMV) and including informative priors (IP) when using Bayesian estimation. In general, Bayesian-IP and WLSMV ESEM models provided noticeably best model fits. This study is expected to serve as a guide for professionals and applied researchers, identify the most appropriate ways to represent the structure of personality, and provide templates for future research into personality and other multidimensional representations of psychological constructs. We provide Mplus code for conducting the demonstrated analyses in the online supplement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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11 pages, 864 KiB  
Article
Personality Traits Leading Respondents to Refuse to Answer a Forced-Choice Personality Item: An Item Response Tree (IRTree) Model
by Martin Storme, Nils Myszkowski, Emeric Kubiak and Simon Baron
Psych 2024, 6(1), 100-110; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010006 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 612
Abstract
In the present article, we investigate personality traits that may lead a respondent to refuse to answer a forced-choice personality item. For this purpose, we use forced-choice items with an adapted response format. As in a traditional forced-choice item, the respondent is instructed [...] Read more.
In the present article, we investigate personality traits that may lead a respondent to refuse to answer a forced-choice personality item. For this purpose, we use forced-choice items with an adapted response format. As in a traditional forced-choice item, the respondent is instructed to choose one out of two statements to describe their personality. However, we also offer the respondent the option of refusing to choose. In this case, however, the respondent must report a reason for refusing to choose, indicating either that the two statements describe them equally well, or that neither statement describes them adequately. We use an Item Response Tree (IRTree) model to simultaneously model refusal to choose and the reason indicated by the respondent. Our findings indicate that respondents who score high on openness are more likely to refuse to choose, and they tend to identify more often with both statements in the forced-choice item. Items containing non-socially desirable statements tend to be skipped more often, with the given reason being that neither proposition describes the respondent well. This tendency is stronger among respondents who score high on agreeableness, that is, a trait that is typically related to social desirability. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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11 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Differences between Germans in the ‘Young’, ‘Adult’, and ‘Over-40s’ Age Groups Regarding Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety and Satisfaction with Life
by Felix Viktor Herbertz and Tanja Zimmermann
Psych 2024, 6(1), 89-99; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010005 - 04 Jan 2024
Viewed by 646
Abstract
Depression and anxiety, the most prevalent mental disorders worldwide, are among the top four mental disorders in Germany, and both impact life satisfaction. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction in different age groups has not been sufficiently examined. The present cross-sectional [...] Read more.
Depression and anxiety, the most prevalent mental disorders worldwide, are among the top four mental disorders in Germany, and both impact life satisfaction. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and life satisfaction in different age groups has not been sufficiently examined. The present cross-sectional study of a non-clinical sample of a German-speaking population analyzes the links between age—specifically, certain life stages—as predictors for depression and anxiety symptoms and life satisfaction. Therefore, three age groups were formed from all the participants (N = 478): ‘Young’ (18–24 years), ‘Adult’ (25–39 years), and ‘Over-40s’ (40 years and older). The German versions of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 (GAD-7), and the German Quality of Life Questionnaire (FLZ-A) were used for our analysis. Our statistical analysis consisted of χ2 tests and an ANCOVA for determining the associations between categorical variables. The Over 40s age group showed statistically significantly higher life satisfaction than the ‘Adult’ age group. Comparing levels of depressive or anxiety symptoms, there were no statistically significant differences across the age groups. These findings highlight the significance of considering age as a factor in understanding mental health and well-being. Further research is warranted to investigate supplementary factors that could potentially contribute to the variations observed within the different age groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anxiety Disorders: Psychology)
44 pages, 1790 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Methods for Synthesizing Results from Previous Research to Obtain Priors for Bayesian Structural Equation Modeling
by Holmes Finch
Psych 2024, 6(1), 45-88; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010004 - 03 Jan 2024
Viewed by 609
Abstract
Bayesian estimation of latent variable models provides some unique advantages to researchers working with small samples and complex models when compared with the more commonly used maximum likelihood approach. A key aspect of Bayesian modeling involves the selection of prior distributions for the [...] Read more.
Bayesian estimation of latent variable models provides some unique advantages to researchers working with small samples and complex models when compared with the more commonly used maximum likelihood approach. A key aspect of Bayesian modeling involves the selection of prior distributions for the parameters of interest. Prior research has demonstrated that using default priors, which are typically noninformative, may yield biased and inefficient estimates. Therefore, it is recommended that data analysts obtain useful, informative priors from prior research whenever possible. The goal of the current simulation study was to compare several methods designed to combine results from prior studies that will yield informative priors for regression coefficients in structural equation models. These methods include noninformative priors, Bayesian synthesis, pooled analysis, aggregated priors, standard meta-analysis, power priors, and the meta-analytic predictive methods. Results demonstrated that power priors and meta-analytic predictive priors, used in conjunction with Bayesian estimation, may yield the most accurate estimates of the latent structure coefficients. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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11 pages, 270 KiB  
Review
Neuroanatomical Correlates of Anxiety Disorders and Their Implications in Manifestations of Cognitive and Behavioral Symptoms
by Mathilde Jeanne, Fraser Carson and Felippe Toledo
Psych 2024, 6(1), 34-44; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010003 - 28 Dec 2023
Viewed by 589
Abstract
Developing an anxiety disorder can be the source of further cognitive, behavioral, and emotional struggles, impacting the quality of life of people experiencing such disorders and leading to a burden on health systems. Increased knowledge of the neurobiological events leading to the development [...] Read more.
Developing an anxiety disorder can be the source of further cognitive, behavioral, and emotional struggles, impacting the quality of life of people experiencing such disorders and leading to a burden on health systems. Increased knowledge of the neurobiological events leading to the development of such disorders can be crucial for diagnostic procedures, as well as the selection and adaptation of therapeutic and preventive measures. Despite recent advances in this field, research is still at the initial steps when it comes to understanding the specific neurofunctional processes guiding these changes in the brains of people with an anxiety disorder. This narrative review gathered knowledge from previous studies, with the aim of evaluating the neuroanatomical changes observed in individuals experiencing social or generalized anxiety disorder (SAD, GAD), to further link these anxiety-related structural modifications with brain function abnormalities and the expression of symptoms in individuals experiencing anxiety disorders. In addition, contradictory results are discussed, leading to suggestions for future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anxiety Disorders: Psychology)
14 pages, 624 KiB  
Article
Further Refinement of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale-10: Complementary Evidence from Item Response Theory and Classical Test Theory
by Anita Padmanabhanunni and Tyrone B. Pretorius
Psych 2024, 6(1), 21-33; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010002 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 617
Abstract
The assessment of mental health, particularly depression, in university student populations is crucial for effective intervention and support. This study investigates the psychometric properties of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale-10 (CES-D10) among 322 university students in the Western Cape province of [...] Read more.
The assessment of mental health, particularly depression, in university student populations is crucial for effective intervention and support. This study investigates the psychometric properties of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale-10 (CES-D10) among 322 university students in the Western Cape province of South Africa, employing both classical test theory and item response theory. Participants were also assessed using the Perceived Stress Scale, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and a short form of the Beck Hopelessness Scale. The results reveal satisfactory reliability indices for the CES-D10 based on Cronbach’s alpha and McDonald’s omega. However, Item 8 was identified as problematic across multiple metrics, including exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and Rasch analysis; therefore, the exclusion of this item is recommended for improved scale performance. The 9-item version displayed superior fit in the CFA and better construct validity than the 10-item scale. Scores on the CES-D10 were positively correlated with perceived stress and hopelessness and negatively correlated with life satisfaction, supporting the criterion-related validity of the scale. The study extends the psychometric validation literature of the CES-D10 by incorporating Rasch analysis, underscoring the benefits of using multiple statistical frameworks to achieve robust findings. These results have relevance for mental health assessment among university students in developing contexts, providing an evidence-based tool for early intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychometrics and Educational Measurement)
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20 pages, 292 KiB  
Article
Life-Space: Is It Anywhere Outside Our Minds?
by António de Castro Caeiro
Psych 2024, 6(1), 1-20; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych6010001 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1378
Abstract
This paper explores the intricate relationship between our personal experiences of space and the autobiographical nature of our geography. Our geographical awareness is profoundly shaped by the places we have been, encompassing a rich tapestry of places such as childhood homes, educational institutions, [...] Read more.
This paper explores the intricate relationship between our personal experiences of space and the autobiographical nature of our geography. Our geographical awareness is profoundly shaped by the places we have been, encompassing a rich tapestry of places such as childhood homes, educational institutions, vacation spots, and bustling city streets. These spaces become imbued with personal memories and significance, forming the backdrop of our individual narratives. While these experiences are inherently personal and unique, they are also shared in a broader sense. This duality of personal fand communal experience adds layers of complexity to our understanding of space. Furthermore, our experiences of space are deeply intertwined with the passage of time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuropsychology, Mental Health and Brain Disorders)
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