Feature Papers in Psych

A special issue of Psych (ISSN 2624-8611).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 56925

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences, CUNY School of Medicine, The City College of New York, New York, NY 10031, USA
2. Adjunct Professor in Neurology, NYU Langone Medical Center & Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York, NY 10016, USA
Interests: biosensors; chemical sensors; nanosensors; bioprobes; neuromolecular imaging (NMI); neurotransmitters; neurochemicals; in vitro; in vivo; in situ; brain; behavior; neurosystem disorders and treatment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will be a collection of high-quality papers from editorial board members, guest editors, and leading researchers invited by the editorial office and the Editor-in-Chief, which aims to introduce a new insight into science development of psychiatric sciences and psychology. Both original research articles and comprehensive review papers are welcome. All articles published will immediately be made available worldwide under an open-access license.

We will be happy to accept the latest results on a range of issues including, but not limited to:

  • Cognitive psychology
  • Clinical psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • Mental health
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychometrics

Prof. Dr. Patricia A. Broderick
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Psych is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 822 KiB  
Article
Measurement of Individual Differences in State Empathy and Examination of a Model in Japanese University Students
by Maine Tobari and Atsushi Oshio
Psych 2023, 5(3), 928-947; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030061 - 4 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1404
Abstract
The typical state empathy research used perspective-taking instructions and examined the effect of instructions on empathy-related variables. Empathy-arousing processes were generally not measured. The effect of perspective-taking instructions has been questioned recently. Observers could imagine targets’ feelings without such instructions. This study evoked [...] Read more.
The typical state empathy research used perspective-taking instructions and examined the effect of instructions on empathy-related variables. Empathy-arousing processes were generally not measured. The effect of perspective-taking instructions has been questioned recently. Observers could imagine targets’ feelings without such instructions. This study evoked empathy in Japanese undergraduates (N = 157) without instructional procedure, and based on participants’ responses to questionnaires, measured individual differences between antecedent, process, and intrapersonal outcome variables of state empathy, referring to the organizational model and theories of empathy-arousing processes. The purpose of this study was to measure these variables, examine the causal relationship between them using path analysis, and clarify how empathy occurs. In this way, we could suggest through which processes and antecedent factors intrapersonal empathic outcomes are produced. It is probably the first attempt to clarify how empathy occurs using a social psychological study framework and questionnaire method. This research was originally conducted in 2011 based on two similar studies not published internationally, when only some of the variables were used in our analyses. Afterwards, we constructed another analysis method, reanalyzed the data in 2019 and further reanalyzed in 2023 to obtain the final version of the results. Limitations and scientific and practical implications were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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15 pages, 268 KiB  
Article
The Hidden Power of “Thank You”: Exploring Aspects, Expressions, and the Influence of Gratitude in Religious Families
by Joe M. Chelladurai, Loren D. Marks, David C. Dollahite, Heather H. Kelley and David B. Allsop
Psych 2023, 5(3), 742-756; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030048 - 20 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1190
Abstract
Gratitude has been extensively studied over the past two decades. Among several predictors, aspects of religiosity and spirituality have been consistent predictors of gratitude. To explore the religious motivations and processes that foster the practice of gratitude, we undertook a systematic thematic analysis [...] Read more.
Gratitude has been extensively studied over the past two decades. Among several predictors, aspects of religiosity and spirituality have been consistent predictors of gratitude. To explore the religious motivations and processes that foster the practice of gratitude, we undertook a systematic thematic analysis using interview data from a national qualitative project of 198 highly religious families. Participants (n = 476) included mothers, fathers, and children from various socioeconomic backgrounds and from diverse religious, racial, and ethnic backgrounds in the United States of America. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in the participants’ homes. Data for this study were analyzed using a team-based approach to qualitative analysis. The findings were organized thematically, including: (a) aspects of gratitude, (b) expressions of gratitude, and (c) the influence of gratitude. Two aspects of gratitude were identified: functional—what people were grateful for—and directional—to whom they were grateful. Expressions of gratitude involved participation in regular, gratitude-focused prayers and mutual day-to-day appreciation. The relational context and implications and context of gratitude in religious families were further examined and reported with sub-themes: (a) gratitude prompted positive re-evaluation of relationships and (b) gratitude reinforced religious faith. Implications, strengths, limitations, and future directions are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
18 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Contemporary Mirror Imaging between American and Iranian Citizens: An Exploratory Mixed-Method Research Study
by Parvaneh (Paria) Yaghoubi Jami and Kasra Tabrizi
Psych 2023, 5(3), 724-741; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030047 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1017
Abstract
In this study, an exploratory mixed-method approach was employed to investigate the attitudes of Iranians and Americans toward each other, specifically focusing on two critical incidents in their modern history. Drawing from quantitative and qualitative data collected in relation to the hostage crisis [...] Read more.
In this study, an exploratory mixed-method approach was employed to investigate the attitudes of Iranians and Americans toward each other, specifically focusing on two critical incidents in their modern history. Drawing from quantitative and qualitative data collected in relation to the hostage crisis in 1979, the missile attack on an Iranian passenger plane (Iran Air 655) in 1988, and the travel ban (Executive Order 13780) in 2018, the study aimed to uncover any changes in attitudes over the course of history. Unlike previous research, the majority of participants had a more balanced and less biased viewpoint toward each other and approached the incidents by considering the consequences and ethical aspects associated with each event. These findings challenge the notion of a mirror image effect, which suggests that people tend to adopt their government’s attitude toward other nations. Instead, participants demonstrated a tendency to rely on their own judgment and critically evaluate information, rather than blindly accepting media narratives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
9 pages, 2459 KiB  
Article
Walking with a Mobile Phone: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Effects on Mood
by Randi Collin and Elizabeth Broadbent
Psych 2023, 5(3), 715-723; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030046 - 14 Jul 2023
Viewed by 4055
Abstract
It is now common to see pedestrians looking at their mobile phones while they are walking. Looking at a mobile phone can cause stooped posture, slower gait, and lack of attention to surroundings. Because these walking characteristics have been associated with negative affect, [...] Read more.
It is now common to see pedestrians looking at their mobile phones while they are walking. Looking at a mobile phone can cause stooped posture, slower gait, and lack of attention to surroundings. Because these walking characteristics have been associated with negative affect, walking while looking at a mobile phone may have negative effects on mood. This study aimed to investigate whether walking while looking at a mobile phone had psychological effects. One hundred and twenty-five adults were randomised to walk in a park either with or without reading text on a mobile phone. Participants wore a fitness tracker to record pace and heart rate, and posture was calculated from video. Self-reported mood, affect, feelings of power, comfort, and connectedness with nature were assessed. The phone group walked significantly slower, with a more stooped posture, slower heart rate, and felt less comfortable than the phone-free group. The phone group experienced significant decreases in positive mood, affect, power, and connectedness with nature, as well as increases in negative mood, whereas the phone-free group experienced the opposite. There was no significant mediation effect of posture on mood; however, feeling connected with nature significantly mediated the effects of phone walking on mood. In conclusion, individuals experience better wellbeing when they pay attention to the environment rather than their phone while walking. More research is needed to investigate the effects of performing other activities on a mobile phone on mood while walking and in other settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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12 pages, 231 KiB  
Article
Who Is Responsible for Nurse Wellbeing in a Crisis? A Single Centre Perspective
by Luke Hughes, Anika Petrella, Lorna A. Fern and Rachel M. Taylor
Psych 2023, 5(3), 650-661; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030041 - 24 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1199
Abstract
Background: Leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic often manifested as a command-and-control style of leadership which had detrimental emotional impacts on staff, particularly the nursing workforce. Leadership can have detrimental effects on staff wellbeing, or it can greatly boost their ability to handle a [...] Read more.
Background: Leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic often manifested as a command-and-control style of leadership which had detrimental emotional impacts on staff, particularly the nursing workforce. Leadership can have detrimental effects on staff wellbeing, or it can greatly boost their ability to handle a crisis. We sought to explore the interrelationship between leadership and nurses’ wellbeing in an inner-city university hospital during the initial wave of the pandemic. Methods: We conducted secondary analyses of interview data collected during a hospital-wide evaluation of barriers and facilitators to changes implemented to support the surge of COVID-19 related admissions during wave one. Data were collected through semi-structured video interviews during May–July 2020. Interviews were analysed using Framework analysis. Results: Thirty-one nurses participated, including matrons (n = 7), sisters (n = 8), and specialist nursing roles (n = 16). Three overarching themes were identified: the impact on nurses, personal factors, and organisational factors. The impact on nurses manifested as distress and fatigue. Coping and help-seeking behaviours were found to be the two personal factors which underpinned nurses’ wellbeing. The organisational factors that impacted nurses’ wellbeing included decision-making, duty, and teamwork. Conclusions: The wellbeing of the workforce is pivotal to the health service, and it is mutually beneficial for patients, staff, and leaders. Addressing how beliefs and misconceptions around wellbeing are communicated and accessing psychological support are key priorities to supporting nurses during pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
0 pages, 1960 KiB  
Article
Extending Applications of Generalizability Theory-Based Bifactor Model Designs
by Walter P. Vispoel, Hyeryung Lee, Tingting Chen and Hyeri Hong
Psych 2023, 5(2), 545-575; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020036 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1245 | Correction
Abstract
In recent years, researchers have described how to analyze generalizability theory (GT) based univariate, multivariate, and bifactor designs using structural equation models. However, within GT studies of bifactor models, variance components have been limited to those reflecting relative differences in scores for norm-referencing [...] Read more.
In recent years, researchers have described how to analyze generalizability theory (GT) based univariate, multivariate, and bifactor designs using structural equation models. However, within GT studies of bifactor models, variance components have been limited to those reflecting relative differences in scores for norm-referencing purposes, with only limited guidance provided for estimating key indices when making changes to measurement procedures. In this article, we demonstrate how to derive variance components for multi-facet GT-based bifactor model designs that represent both relative and absolute differences in scores for norm- or criterion-referencing purposes using scores from selected scales within the recently expanded form of the Big Five Inventory (BFI-2). We further develop and apply prophecy formulas for determining how changes in numbers of items, numbers of occasions, and universes of generalization affect a wide variety of indices instrumental in determining the best ways to change measurement procedures for specific purposes. These indices include coefficients representing score generalizability and dependability; scale viability and added value; and proportions of observed score variance attributable to general factor effects, group factor effects, and individual sources of measurement error. To enable readers to apply these techniques, we provide detailed formulas, code in R, and sample data for conducting all demonstrated analyses within this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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19 pages, 660 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Sexting Research: A Systematic Review
by Yunhao Hu, Elizabeth Mary Clancy and Bianca Klettke
Psych 2023, 5(2), 526-544; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020035 - 12 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1861
Abstract
The exchange of intimate messages, images, and videos via digital means, also referred to as sexting, has drawn considerable academic attention in recent years. Specifically, cross-sectional research has indicated that sexting can be associated with harmful outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and cyberbullying. [...] Read more.
The exchange of intimate messages, images, and videos via digital means, also referred to as sexting, has drawn considerable academic attention in recent years. Specifically, cross-sectional research has indicated that sexting can be associated with harmful outcomes such as depression, anxiety, and cyberbullying. However, there is currently limited empirical research examining the causal relationship between these factors, and to date, there has been no systematic review of the longitudinal studies on sexting. Thus, the purpose of this review is to summarise and review the current research addressing long-term outcomes and predictors of sexting. A systematic search of databases was conducted. Eight databases were searched, with twenty-four longitudinal studies meeting the inclusion criteria and thus included in this review. The quality of individual studies was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal tool. Overall, longitudinal research into sexting is scarce, and variability in definitions, measured variables, and sample demographics have created challenges in achieving consensus across variables. For example, findings were inconclusive regarding causal relationships between sexting, cyberbullying/bullying, and psychological health outcomes. Findings indicated that positive peer norms predicted sexting and that sexting was predictive of future offline sexual behaviours. Future longitudinal research would benefit from differentiating between consensual and non-consensual sexting behaviours in measurement. Future prevention efforts should focus on addressing peer norms that develop around sexting behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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18 pages, 492 KiB  
Article
“It’s Not a One-Time Conversation”: Australian Parental Views on Supporting Young People in Relation to Pornography Exposure
by Sally Burke, Mayumi Purvis, Carol Sandiford and Bianca Klettke
Psych 2023, 5(2), 508-525; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020034 - 9 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
While pornography provides opportunities for sexual exploration for young people, early and easy access also has possible negative implications for young people’s behavioural and sexual development. Parental responsibilities concerning their children’s consumption of pornography are largely misunderstood. This study explored parental experiences and [...] Read more.
While pornography provides opportunities for sexual exploration for young people, early and easy access also has possible negative implications for young people’s behavioural and sexual development. Parental responsibilities concerning their children’s consumption of pornography are largely misunderstood. This study explored parental experiences and beliefs about pornography education for young people using a qualitative study (n = 8, 6 females, 2 males). Interview data were analysed using a reflexive thematic approach. Results indicated that parents have concerns about the ease of access to pornography and the unmediated ideas it presents. Additionally, parents believe they have a responsibility to educate young people about pornography through having open and honest conversations and providing supervision. Further, parents believe that schools should be doing more to educate young people about pornography. This study extends upon current literature by suggesting that although parents feel well-equipped to communicate with and educate young people about pornography consumption, they lack confidence in their capacities to do this. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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14 pages, 1462 KiB  
Article
Understanding Embodied Effects of Posture: A Qualitative Study
by Karen Lin and Elizabeth Broadbent
Psych 2023, 5(2), 447-460; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020030 - 26 May 2023
Viewed by 5939
Abstract
Some evidence suggests body postures can elicit emotion. Compared to neutral postures, constrictive postures are associated with negative affect and low arousal, whereas expansive postures have shown mixed effects. Qualitative methods may allow insights into this phenomenon. We asked 15 participants (mean age [...] Read more.
Some evidence suggests body postures can elicit emotion. Compared to neutral postures, constrictive postures are associated with negative affect and low arousal, whereas expansive postures have shown mixed effects. Qualitative methods may allow insights into this phenomenon. We asked 15 participants (mean age 43 years) to adopt eight different expansive, constrictive, or neutral postures, drawn from previous power posing or postural studies. After a minute in each posture, participants were interviewed about how they felt and when they might adopt the posture in real life. Interviews were audio recorded and inductive thematic analysis conducted. Power poses were associated with power and confidence, but also aggression, arrogance, intimidation, and disrespect. The slumped posture was associated with sadness and low control, and the upright seated posture with being alert and apprehensive as well as formality. Neutral postures were associated with feeling relaxed and comfortable. These results suggest that expansive postures have mixed emotional effects, but are inappropriate in some contexts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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20 pages, 324 KiB  
Article
Developing Psycho-Behavioural Skills: The Talent Development Coach Perspective
by Graham Moodie, Jamie Taylor and Dave Collins
Psych 2023, 5(2), 427-446; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020029 - 24 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2646
Abstract
A large body of evidence highlights the importance of psycho-behavioural skills as a key feature of talent development in sport. The purpose of this study was to explore pedagogic intentions of coaches in the psychological development of athletes. Eleven coaches were purposefully sampled [...] Read more.
A large body of evidence highlights the importance of psycho-behavioural skills as a key feature of talent development in sport. The purpose of this study was to explore pedagogic intentions of coaches in the psychological development of athletes. Eleven coaches were purposefully sampled for interview based on a track record of expert practice. Using reflexive thematic analysis, three overarching themes were generated as representing the coaches’ work: knowing and shaping the athlete’s needs, purposeful breadth and flexibility of teaching approaches, using challenge to test skill development, and the necessity of review and refinement. Reflecting these data, we suggest the need for an increased appreciation of the role of the sports coach beyond the technical and tactical, with the recommendation that coaches build their knowledge and skillset across a breadth of domains to support the psychological development of athletes more effectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
16 pages, 961 KiB  
Article
Adaptation and Validation of the Arabic Version of the University Student Engagement Inventory (A-USEI) among Sport and Physical Education Students
by Amayra Tannoubi, Frank Quansah, John Elvis Hagan, Jr., Medina Srem-Sai, Tore Bonsaksen, Nasr Chalghaf, Ghada Boussayala, Chiraz Azaiez, Haifa Snani and Fairouz Azaiez
Psych 2023, 5(2), 320-335; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020022 - 26 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2001
Abstract
The present study validated the University Student Engagement Inventory (USEI) in the Arabic language (A) by assessing its factor structure, construct validity, reliability, and concurrent validity. A total of 864 Tunisian Physical Education and Sport students provided data which was used to perform [...] Read more.
The present study validated the University Student Engagement Inventory (USEI) in the Arabic language (A) by assessing its factor structure, construct validity, reliability, and concurrent validity. A total of 864 Tunisian Physical Education and Sport students provided data which was used to perform exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, using samples comprising 366 (aged 19–25 years) and 498 (aged 19–26 years) students, respectively. The A-USEI, grade-point average (GPA), and Physical Education Grit (PE–Grit) scales were completed via online surveys. The exploratory factor analysis revealed that the A-USEI had three dimensions. The confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the second-order model was more suitable than the first-order multi-factor model. Using the indicators for the second-order model, the three factors showed good reliability, with their average variance extracted (AVE) values reflecting sufficient validity. The correlation analyses between the two scales’ scores and the A-USEI scores showed a moderate correlation, confirming the adapted scale’s concurrent validity. The study concludes that A-USEI is a valid tool for assessing student engagement among Arabic students. In addition, the practical implications and directions for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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17 pages, 455 KiB  
Article
Improvement of the Learning Strategies of University Students through a Program Based on Service-Learning
by Mirian Hervás Torres
Psych 2023, 5(2), 303-319; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020021 - 26 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1352
Abstract
Background: Currently, educational attainment has risen significantly among young people, causing changes in the labor market where skills have become more important. Thus, tertiary education has become an “essential vehicle” to develop high-level skills that would boost students’ professional, social, and personal lives. [...] Read more.
Background: Currently, educational attainment has risen significantly among young people, causing changes in the labor market where skills have become more important. Thus, tertiary education has become an “essential vehicle” to develop high-level skills that would boost students’ professional, social, and personal lives. Methods: The aim of the survey is to study the effects of an intervention program based on two methodologies, service-learning and peer mentoring, to enhance the learn-to-learn and social skills of undergraduate students. The sample was composed of 69 undergraduate students of four different degrees. The methodological design adopted was quasi-experimental pretest–posttest. The intervention consisted of 955 mentoring sessions (878 one-to-one and 77 in groups) among the undergraduate students and students in compulsory education. The undergraduate students participated as mentors. Before, they had three sessions of training. Weekly mentoring sessions were spread out during out-of-school time for 90 min each. Results: The results show a few statistically significant differences in favor of the posttest phase in strategies for the learning and social skills of the participants. Conclusions: Although the program did not obtain the expected results, these outcomes agree with the other studies that investigate intervention programs that use service-learning and peer mentoring methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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Review

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20 pages, 726 KiB  
Review
Institutional Factors Affecting Postsecondary Student Mental Wellbeing: A Scoping Review of the Canadian Literature
by Abhinand Thaivalappil, Jillian Stringer, Alison Burnett and Andrew Papadopoulos
Psych 2023, 5(3), 630-649; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030040 - 21 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1944
Abstract
There have been increased calls to address the growing mental health concerns of postsecondary students in Canada. Health promotion focuses on prevention and is needed as part of a comprehensive approach to student mental health support, with an emphasis on not just the [...] Read more.
There have been increased calls to address the growing mental health concerns of postsecondary students in Canada. Health promotion focuses on prevention and is needed as part of a comprehensive approach to student mental health support, with an emphasis on not just the individual but also the sociocultural environment of postsecondary institutions. The aim was to conduct a scoping review of the literature pertaining to the associations between postsecondary institutional factors and student wellbeing. The review included a comprehensive search strategy, relevance screening and confirmation, and data charting. Overall, 33 relevant studies were identified. Major findings provide evidence that institutional attitudes, institutional (in)action, perceived campus safety, and campus climate are associated with mental wellbeing, suggesting that campus-wide interventions can benefit from continued monitoring and targeting these measures among student populations. Due to the large variability in reporting and measurement of outcomes, the development of standardized measures for measuring institutional-level factors are needed. Furthermore, institutional participation and scaling up established population-level assessments in Canada that can help systematically collect, evaluate, and compare findings across institutions and detect changes in relevant mental health outcomes through time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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11 pages, 577 KiB  
Review
Trafficking Women for Sexual Exploitation: A Systematic Review
by Sofia Patrício Gomes and Ana Isabel Sani
Psych 2023, 5(3), 619-629; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030039 - 21 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2110
Abstract
Human trafficking is a complex global problem that demands current and scientifically grounded knowledge capable of coordinating interventions among various sectors of society. To address this issue, a systematic collection of scientific articles was conducted in two databases (Web of Science and Scielo) [...] Read more.
Human trafficking is a complex global problem that demands current and scientifically grounded knowledge capable of coordinating interventions among various sectors of society. To address this issue, a systematic collection of scientific articles was conducted in two databases (Web of Science and Scielo) using keywords in both English and Portuguese. After screening 267 articles based on title, abstract, and full text, an 11-article sample was analyzed for quality. The results revealed that conceptual inconsistency is a challenge in signaling human trafficking, particularly in cases of sexual exploitation of women where it may be associated with prostitution, pimping, or migration—all of which are activities tied to financial gain. Addressing human trafficking requires action from concept to practice, including strengthened policies for sanctions and necessary support for victims. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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26 pages, 2368 KiB  
Review
Ethical Decision-Making in Law Enforcement: A Scoping Review
by Ronald P. Dempsey, Elizabeth E. Eskander and Veljko Dubljević
Psych 2023, 5(2), 576-601; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5020037 - 20 Jun 2023
Viewed by 8786
Abstract
Decision-making in uncertain and stressful environments combined with the high-profile cases of police violence in the United States has generated substantial debates about policing and created challenges to maintaining public confidence and trust in law enforcement. However, despite the manifestations of reactions across [...] Read more.
Decision-making in uncertain and stressful environments combined with the high-profile cases of police violence in the United States has generated substantial debates about policing and created challenges to maintaining public confidence and trust in law enforcement. However, despite the manifestations of reactions across the ideological spectrum, it is unclear what information is available in the literature about the convergence between ethical decision-making and policing. Therefore, an interdisciplinary scoping review was conducted to map the nature and extent of research evidence, identify existing gaps in knowledge, and discuss future implications for ethical decision-making in law enforcement. This review investigates the interaction between the job complexities of policing (psychological and normative factors) and aspects of ethical decision-making, synthesizing three distinct themes: (1) socio-moral dimensions impact the job complexities of police work, (2) lethal means and moral injury influence intuitive and rational decision-making, and (3) police wellness and interventions are critical to sustaining police readiness. Gaps in recruiting, training, and leadership and managerial practices can be broadly transformed to fundamentally emphasize officer wellness and a holistic approach to ethical practices, enabling police officers to uphold the rule of law, promote public safety, and protect the communities they serve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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15 pages, 980 KiB  
Review
Where Is the Research about Stepmothers? A Scoping Review
by Salomé Elizabeth Scholtz and Ruan Spies
Psych 2023, 5(1), 209-223; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5010016 - 6 Mar 2023
Viewed by 5685
Abstract
Developments in remarriage and divorce have led to an influx of research on stepfamilies. However, previous studies show that the experiences of stepmothers are underreported. Therefore, a scoping review of the currently available academic literature (2012–2022) on stepmother experiences was conducted to identify [...] Read more.
Developments in remarriage and divorce have led to an influx of research on stepfamilies. However, previous studies show that the experiences of stepmothers are underreported. Therefore, a scoping review of the currently available academic literature (2012–2022) on stepmother experiences was conducted to identify the way forward for future research. A final sample of 11 articles indicate that stepmother research is mainly WEIRD and qualitative. Stepmothers reportedly experience ambivalent emotions which they often deal with silently, whilst navigating ambiguous stepmother roles with possibly limited support or acknowledgement under the wicked stepmother stereotype. Counselling and research are encouraged to assist this forgotten member of the stepfamily. Gaps in research and further research opportunities are identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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15 pages, 605 KiB  
Review
A Systematic Review Exploring the Effectiveness of Mindfulness for Sexual Functioning in Women with Cancer
by Samantha Banbury, Chris Chandler and Joanne Lusher
Psych 2023, 5(1), 194-208; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5010015 - 20 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1903
Abstract
Sexual intimacy is a basic human need that is associated with quality of life whereby its absence can significantly impact both interpersonal and personal wellbeing. This systematic review aimed to provide an up-to-date evaluation of the available literature on mindfulness treatments for sexual [...] Read more.
Sexual intimacy is a basic human need that is associated with quality of life whereby its absence can significantly impact both interpersonal and personal wellbeing. This systematic review aimed to provide an up-to-date evaluation of the available literature on mindfulness treatments for sexual functioning in women diagnosed with cancer. Electronic searches including PubMed, PsycINFO, Web of Science and registered clinical trials yielded 10 studies that met the inclusion criteria. The results showed that treatment intervention designs varied and included mixed methods, randomised clinical trials, single arm non-randomised trials and those with the absence of any control. Furthermore, both brief and longer-term mindfulness interventions were trialled across different sexual domains. Whilst inconclusive, mindfulness-based interventions appear to support sexual function and quality of life in both early- and post-cancer survivors. However, in some instances, there were outcome inconsistencies in sexual desire, arousal and orgasm. This review has identified a current shortage in research on the effectiveness of mindfulness-based treatments for supporting sexual functioning in women with cancer; and so far, no research has been conducted in palliative care. This unmet need in supporting sexual functioning in women with cancer, including palliative care, carries important implications for both psychosexual and oncological healthcare services as sexual intimacy does not end with cancer diagnosis or prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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Other

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8 pages, 503 KiB  
Brief Report
Predicting Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from Early Symptoms of COVID-19 Infection
by Chelsea Hua, Jennifer Schwabe, Leonard A. Jason, Jacob Furst and Daniela Raicu
Psych 2023, 5(4), 1101-1108; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5040073 - 13 Oct 2023
Viewed by 4506
Abstract
It is still unclear why certain individuals after viral infections continue to have severe symptoms. We investigated if predicting myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) development after contracting COVID-19 is possible by analyzing symptoms from the first two weeks of COVID-19 infection. Using participant [...] Read more.
It is still unclear why certain individuals after viral infections continue to have severe symptoms. We investigated if predicting myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) development after contracting COVID-19 is possible by analyzing symptoms from the first two weeks of COVID-19 infection. Using participant responses to the 54-item DePaul Symptom Questionnaire, we built predictive models based on a random forest algorithm using the participants’ symptoms from the initial weeks of COVID-19 infection to predict if the participants would go on to meet the criteria for ME/CFS approximately 6 months later. Early symptoms, particularly those assessing post-exertional malaise, did predict the development of ME/CFS, reaching an accuracy of 94.6%. We then investigated a minimal set of eight symptom features that could accurately predict ME/CFS. The feature reduced models reached an accuracy of 93.5%. Our findings indicated that several IOM diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS occurring during the initial weeks after COVID-19 infection predicted Long COVID and the diagnosis of ME/CFS after 6 months. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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10 pages, 245 KiB  
Opinion
Obesity and Life History: The Hypothesis of Psychological Phenotypes
by Amelia Rizzo and Aldo Sitibondo
Psych 2023, 5(3), 866-875; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030057 - 14 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1613
Abstract
The aim of the present study is to postulate the existence of psychological phenotypes associated with obesity, based on individual history. While metabolic phenotypes have been acknowledged in the field of medicine, the same cannot be affirmed in the realm of psychology. A [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study is to postulate the existence of psychological phenotypes associated with obesity, based on individual history. While metabolic phenotypes have been acknowledged in the field of medicine, the same cannot be affirmed in the realm of psychology. A longstanding tradition in obesity research has sought to identify shared characteristics among individuals affected by obesity, including personality traits. However, research found no adequate empirical evidence to support the existence of a specific psychological and psychopathological profile among individuals with obesity. Recent efforts in the literature have attempted to correlate these findings and ascertain which metabolic phenotype correlates with a diminished quality of life. We propose a novel differentiation between two categories: (1) individuals who affected by obesity since childhood, and (2) individuals who developed obesity following a life event. Further investigations are imperative to amass experimental data that substantiate this hypothesis. Proactively identifying psychological phenotypes is presumed to impact therapeutic outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
8 pages, 514 KiB  
Brief Report
Comparing Frequency and Severity Ratings for ME/CFS versus Controls
by Leonard A. Jason, Sage Benner and Nicole Hansel
Psych 2023, 5(3), 662-669; https://doi.org/10.3390/psych5030042 - 30 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2731
Abstract
Most questionnaires for somatic symptoms focus either on occurrence, frequency, or severity, and in doing so, they might not be able to comprehensively assess the burden that symptoms present to patients. For example, a symptom might occur at a high frequency but only [...] Read more.
Most questionnaires for somatic symptoms focus either on occurrence, frequency, or severity, and in doing so, they might not be able to comprehensively assess the burden that symptoms present to patients. For example, a symptom might occur at a high frequency but only a minimal severity, so that it is less likely to be a burden on a patient; whereas a symptom that has both a high frequency and severity is more likely to be negatively impacting a patient. Study 1 examined frequency and severity scores for classic Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) symptoms among patients with ME/CFS versus a control group. Findings in Study 1 indicate there were more frequency/severity discrepancies for individuals with ME/CFS versus the control group. Study 1 concluded that collecting data on both measures of symptom burden provides unique indicators that can better assess the burden of the symptoms on patients. In a separate data set, Study 2 reported reliability data on slight differences in the time period and the way the severity was assessed. Study 2 findings indicated high levels of reliability for these changes in the time period and the way questions were asked. These studies provide important psychometric properties that could lead to more reliable and valid assessments of patients with post-viral illnesses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers in Psych)
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