Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article

Article
Personality as a Possible Intervention Target to Prevent Traumatic Events in Adolescence
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12040090 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1997
Abstract
Traumatic events (severe injury, violence, threatened death) are commonly experienced by children. Such events are associated with a dose-response increasing risk of subsequent substance use, mental illness, chronic disease, and premature mortality. Preventing the accumulation of traumatic events is thus an urgent public [...] Read more.
Traumatic events (severe injury, violence, threatened death) are commonly experienced by children. Such events are associated with a dose-response increasing risk of subsequent substance use, mental illness, chronic disease, and premature mortality. Preventing the accumulation of traumatic events is thus an urgent public health priority. Substance use risk personality profiles (impulsivity, sensation seeking, hopelessness, and anxiety sensitivity) may be an important target for preventing trauma exposure, given associations between these personality traits and risky behaviour, substance misuse, and injuries across adolescence. The current study aimed to investigate associations between personality at age 13 and the number of traumatic events experienced by age 18. It also examined associations between traumas before age 13 and personality at age 13. Participants were the control group of a cluster-randomised controlled trial examining prevention of adolescent alcohol misuse. Baseline data were collected at ages 12–13 (2012). Participants were followed-up at ages 18–19 (2017–2018). Personality profiles of hopelessness, anxiety sensitivity, impulsivity, and sensation seeking were measured at baseline using the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale. Traumatic events and age of exposure were measured at age 18–19 using the Life Events Checklist for DSM-5. Mixed-effect regression was conducted on 287 participants in Stata 17, controlling for sex. High scores on hopelessness, impulsivity, and sensation seeking at age 13 were associated with a greater number of traumatic events by age 18. Impulsivity and sensation seeking predicted the number of new traumatic events from age 13 to 18. Prior trauma exposure was associated with high hopelessness at age 13. Adolescents exhibiting high impulsivity or sensation seeking may be at greater risk of experiencing traumatic events. Additionally, early trauma exposure may contribute to the development of a hopelessness personality trait. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personality, Intervention and Psychological Treatment)
Article
A Longitudinal Examination of Real-World Sedentary Behavior in Adults with Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders in a Clinical Trial of Combined Oxytocin and Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12030060 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1749
Abstract
Sedentary behavior contributes to a shortened life expectancy in individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (SSDs), highlighting the need for effective interventions to improve health. This study examined whether reduced ecological momentary assessment (EMA) measures of sedentary activities were observed in individuals with SSDs who [...] Read more.
Sedentary behavior contributes to a shortened life expectancy in individuals with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (SSDs), highlighting the need for effective interventions to improve health. This study examined whether reduced ecological momentary assessment (EMA) measures of sedentary activities were observed in individuals with SSDs who participated in a 24-week randomized trial of cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST) and either intranasal oxytocin or placebo (NCT01752712). Participants (n = 57) were prompted with EMA surveys seven times per day for seven days during the baseline, 12-week, and 24-week timepoints to sample sedentary behavior ratings, positive and negative affect, interpersonal interactions, and interpersonal interaction appraisals. Results revealed that sedentary behavior and social interactions did not significantly change over the 24-week clinical trial; however, positive and negative affect and defeatist interaction appraisals improved with treatment, and oxytocin produced modest additional improvements in these EMA outcomes. Greater momentary positive affect was significantly associated with greater activity and greater frequency of interactions. Overall, CBSST was effective at improving functioning, momentary affect, and defeatist interaction appraisals, although it did not reduce sedentary behavior; therefore, targeting these factors is not sufficient to reduce sedentary behavior, and adjunct interventions are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behaviors and Outcomes across the Schizophrenia-Spectrum)

Review

Review
The Association of the Gut Microbiota with Clinical Features in Schizophrenia
Behav. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12040089 - 25 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2067
Abstract
The connection between gut microbiota and schizophrenia has become a fertile area of research. The relationship is bidirectional and quite complex, but is likely to lead to practical clinical applications. For example, commensal microbiota have been shown to produce inflammatory metabolites that can [...] Read more.
The connection between gut microbiota and schizophrenia has become a fertile area of research. The relationship is bidirectional and quite complex, but is likely to lead to practical clinical applications. For example, commensal microbiota have been shown to produce inflammatory metabolites that can cross the blood–brain barrier—a possible neurobiological precursor of psychosis. Antipsychotics that treat these individuals have been shown to alter gut microbiota. On the other hand, life style in schizophrenia, such as diet and decreased exercise, can be disruptive to the normal microbiome diversity. In the present paper, we conduct a review of PubMed literature focusing on the relationship of gut microbiota with clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, which, to our knowledge, has not yet been reviewed. Numerous clinical characteristics were identified correlating to gut microbial changes, such as violence, negative symptoms, treatment resistance, and global functioning. The most consistently demonstrated correlations to gut microbial changes across studies were for the overall symptom severity and negative symptom severity. Although numerous studies found changes in these domains, there is much variability between the bacteria that change in abundance between studies, likely due to the regional and methodological differences between studies. The current literature shows promising correlations between gut microbiota profiles and several clinical features of schizophrenia, but initial studies require replication. Full article
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