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Psychology: Faculty Pubs

The following boxes highlight faculty publications indexed in the APA PsycInfo database from the last calendar year (2020). Boxes are included for the following departments: Instructional Psychology & Technology Department, Psychology Department (coming soon), and Counseling Psychology & Special Education Department (coming soon). BYU author names are highlighted. If you click on the title image, it will take you to the full record of the article. 

Instructional Psychology & Technology

Abstract: Flexible learning removes barriers relating to time, place, and pace. While time management skills have been identified as necessary for learners to take advantage of flexible learning, relatively little is known about the temporal dimensions of flexible learning and how gender might relate to temporal flexibility and its perceived benefits. To address this gap, we analyzed data from 380,000 students participating in two massive open online courses to create a model that predicts course completion likelihood from learner time management behaviors and gender. Results supported most a priori assumptions. Successful course completers logged in frequently, devoted longer amounts of time to each session, moved quickly through course materials, and completed coursework early. However, consistent study was associated with lower course completion likelihood, and women benefited more from reduced consistency. These findings suggest that temporal flexibility may especially benefit women. 


Veletsianos, G., Kimmons, R., Larsen, R., & Rogers, J. (2021). Temporal flexibility, gender, and online learning completion. Distance Education42(1), 22–36.

Abstract: Treatment‐resistant depression (TRD) is a debilitating chronic mental illness that confers increased morbidity and mortality, decreases the quality of life, impairs occupational, social, and offspring development, and translates into increased costs on the healthcare system. The goal of this study is to reach an agreement on the concept, definition, staging model, and assessment of TRD. Methods: This study involved a review of the literature and a modified Delphi process for consensus agreement. The Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation II guidelines were followed for the literature appraisal. Literature was assessed for quality and strength of evidence using the grading, assessment, development, and evaluations system. Canadian national experts in depression were invited for the modified Delphi process based on their prior clinical and research expertize. Survey items were considered to have reached a consensus if 80% or more of the experts supported the statement. Results: Fourteen Canadian experts were recruited for three rounds of surveys to reach a consensus on a total of 27 items. Experts agreed that a dimensional definition for treatment resistance was a useful concept to describe the heterogeneity of this illness. The use of staging models and clinical scales was recommended in evaluating depression. Risk factors and comorbidities were identified as potential predictors for treatment resistance. Conclusions: TRD is a meaningful concept both for clinical practice and research. An operational definition for TRD will allow for opportunities to improve the validity of predictors and therapeutic options for these patients.


Rybak, Y. E., Lai, K. S. P., Ramasubbu, R., Vila, R. F., Blumberger, D. M., Chan, P., Delva, N., Giacobbe, P., Gosselin, C., Kennedy, S. H., Iskandar, H., McInerney, S., Ravitz, P., Sharma, V., Zaretsky, A., & Burhan, A. M. (2021). Treatment‐resistant major depressive disorder: Canadian expert consensus on definition and assessment. Depression and Anxiety38(4), 456–467.

Abstract: We Love Reading (WLR) is a community‐based reading intervention aimed at cultivating an interest in reading for pleasure among children through mobilising local community members to establish informal libraries and organise read‐aloud sessions in public spaces. The programme targets primarily children between the ages 4–10 but is also open to older children. The present study investigated the effect of the WLR programme on children's practices and attitudes related to reading for pleasure. Participants were 1,718 children recruited from different regions in Jordan. Children were, on average, 7.52 years old (SD = 2.12). The treatment group comprised 1,304 children (59% girls; Mage = 7.18 years, SD = 2.16) who received the WLR programme over 4 months. The comparison group comprised 414 children (59% girls; Mage = 8.50 years, SD = 1.67) who did not attend any reading programme. Two assessment tools, adapted from previous literature, assessed reading attitudes and reading practices. The structural equation modelling framework was used to analyse the data. Results showed a small but significant increase in reading attitude scores and reading practice scores among children who participated in the WLR programme. The positive effect was found for children of all ages and for boys and girls alike. A comparison of scores between the WLR group and the comparison group showed a small advantage for the WLR group. The results provide initial support for the WLR programme as a promising community‐based reading intervention for promoting reading for pleasure among children.


Mahasneh, R., Suchodoletz, A., Larsen, R. A. A., & Dajani, R. (2020). Reading for pleasure among jordanian children: A community‐based reading intervention. Journal of Research in Reading.

Abstract: Measures of teaching are used internationally to understand and improve quality in early education with little consideration for ecological validity. In this study, we analyze videos gathered in 58 K-1 classrooms in Central Mexico to evaluate the validity and reliability of scores from an observational tool developed in the U.S. and used internationally: the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). We use mixed methods to examine ecological validity to propose a revised, better-fitting three-factor solution of the CLASS in Mexico: Emotional Support (Positive Climate, Negative Climate), Social Relationships for Teaching (Teacher Sensitivity, Instructional Learning Formats, Behavior Management, Productivity), and Instructional Interactions (Regard for Student Perspectives, Concept Development, Quality of Feedback, Language Modeling). Generalizability study findings demonstrate moderate reliability across three sources of measurement error: raters, days, and video segments. These findings support the need for a ‘unified approach to validity’ to develop, adapt, and refine measures of teaching as a basis for enhancing teacher development and teaching quality in early education in Mexico and throughout Latin America.


Jensen, B., Pérez Martínez, M. G., García Medina, A. M., Martínez, J. F., Benito Cox, C., & Larsen, R. (2020). An ecological analysis of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System in K-1 Mexican classrooms. Early Years: An International Journal of Research and Development40(4–5), 416–435.

Abstract: The strategic objective of marketing activities is to drive business growth by promoting the firm’s products. Beyond merger and acquisition, organic growth can be targeted from two sources: Market Share Gain and Category Growth. Market share is often the focus for corporate objectives and used as a success measure. This research explores the relative impact of these two elements on firm growth across product category and addresses whether market share should be the main focus for all organisations. The study covers 39 consumer packaged goods’ categories from the UK and US, across 189 manufacturers over 3 to 5 years of data, post-2010. We show that firm growth through market share gain is likely to benefit small firms, and large firms’ growth is likely to be driven by category growth. The results provide empirical support in the area of business growth and how marketing plays a crucial role in this pursuit.


Tanusondjaja, Arry, Charles Graham, Steven Dunn, Magda Nenycz-Thiel, and Bruce McColl. 2021. “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats: The Role of Share and Category Changes in Managing Organic Sales Growth.” Journal of Strategic Marketing, January. doi:10.1080/0965254X.2020.1817971.


Abstract: The existing literature on early childhood education (ECE) quality is predominantly from the US or other developed countries. In low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), systematic research on ECE quality, however, is very limited. In the present study, we explore variation in structural and process indicators of ECE quality in two Eastern European LMICs, Kosovo and Ukraine, using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System Pre-K (CLASS) as a measure of process quality for the first time in these countries. We also include Finland because governments in Kosovo and Ukraine show a particular interest in the Finnish education model to inform policy reforms. Participants were kindergarten teachers (n=177) from these three countries who were observed in their classrooms and asked to complete questionnaires. Results indicated variability in ECE quality at various levels, both within and across the three countries. Directions for future research and implications for practice and policy development in LMICs are discussed.


von Suchodoletz, A., Larsen, R., Uka, F., Nadyukova, I., Pakarinen, E., & Lerkkanen, M.-K. (2020). Investigating quality indicators of early childhood education programs in kosovo, ukraine and finland. International Journal of Early Years Education.

Abstract: To examine if and how factors associated with infertility-related concerns and opportunity to discuss concerns differ between male and female fertility patients. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 313 female and 254 male patients recruited from Canadian fertility clinics. An online survey asked about sociodemographic characteristics, psychological distress, the severity of psychosocial concerns on a scale of 0 (not concerned) to 5 (very concerned) related to fertility treatment, and their opportunity and desire to discuss concerns with healthcare providers (HCPs). Results: For women, higher stress, educational attainment and being childless were associated with higher concern (F(6, 287) = 14.73, p < .001). For men, higher stress, being religious and longer treatment duration were associated with higher concern (F(8, 222) = 9.87, p < .001). No significant difference existed between men’s and women’s average concern scores (t(558) = -1.62, p = .11) or opportunity to discuss concerns (t(149) = 0.28, p = .78). Conclusion: Our results indicate an unmet need and desire for support among subgroups of patients who were concerned about psychosocial issues related to infertility, but did not have the opportunity to discuss these issues with HCPs. Practice Implications: There is a need to tailor resources to address the concerns of male and female fertility patients from diverse sociodemographic backgrounds and with different fertility histories.


Gelgoot, E. N., Kelly-Hedrick, M., Miner, S. A., Robins, S., Chan, P., Ells, C., Holzer, H., Lo, K., Mahutte, N., Ouhilal, S., Tulandi, T., & Zelkowitz, P. (2020). Predictors of infertility-related concerns in a Canadian survey of men and women seeking fertility treatment. Patient Education and Counseling103(9), 1812–1820.

Abstract: The present letter reviews some of the barriers and potential strategies toward providing mental healthcare to older adults in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as older adults are more susceptible to the severe physical manifestations of COVID-19 illness, there are factors that may increase their vulnerability to the psychiatric effects of the current pandemic. The impact of the current pandemic is most acutely felt by older adults, especially those who are no longer living independently. Although there are unique barriers to virtual mental healthcare in older adults, emerging research has demonstrated these challenges to be surmountable and recent advancements in technology are further encouraging.


Danilewitz, M., Ainsworth, N. J., Bahji, A., Chan, P., & Rabheru, K. (2020). Virtual psychiatric care for older adults in the age of COVID‐19: Challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry35(12), 1468–1469.

Abstract: In this paper, we synthesize research on the nature and development of expertise to propose a developmental model that describes four main areas of expert knowledge: procedural, conditional, and conceptual knowledge, along with knowledge generation. We propose that these types of expert knowledge map onto and promote the development of four types of expert performance: procedural, functional, adaptive, and generative expertise. Further, we propose that expertise develops in terms of a fluency dimension consisting of execution, repertoire, and automaticity. We propose that this model highlights a potential opportunity for educators and instructional designers to target the appropriate level of expertise through teaching specific knowledge types in progression and providing practice and feedback to improve fluency. At a minimum, graduates would possess a degree of functional fluency and be better able to enter the workforce. Being aware of the need, and also knowing how, to conditionalize their own knowledge should also accelerate their continued acquisition of expertise throughout their career.


Swan, R. H., Plummer, K. J., & West, R. E. (2020). Toward functional expertise through formal education: Identifying an opportunity for higher education. Educational Technology Research and Development68(5), 2551–2568.

Abstract: This article describes the implementation of an interdisciplinary design studio as a means to teach creative problem-solving through project-based learning. 'Learning and Innovation Skills' has been designated as a core skill that students need to be successful in today's world, and project-based learning is one approach to helping students develop these skills. After describing the early genesis and development of the interdisciplinary design studio, the article describes results of initial research into the students' experiences in studio courses. Students described courses as flexible and reported high levels of motivation stemming from the authenticity of the problems. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the studio, some students described deepening disciplinary skills while at the same time being exposed to cross-disciplinary skills. They believed the courses helped develop interdisciplinary collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.


Warr, M., & West, R. E. (2020). Bridging academic disciplines with interdisciplinary project-based learning: Challenges and opportunities. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning14(1).

Abstract: There is an increasing emphasis on teaching young learners to code; yet, there are few tools designed to measure the effect of learning to code on children. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a tool to assess changes in young learners' attitudes toward coding: the Elementary Student Coding Attitudes Survey (ESCAS). We validated the scale using Confirmatory Factory Analysis and Structural Equation Modeling with responses from over 6000 4th-6th grade students (aged 9–12 years). Survey validation revealed a scale consisting of five constructs that comprise young learners' attitudes toward coding: social value, coding confidence, coding interest, perception of coders, and coding utility. In our analysis, students' grade level, ethnicity, gender, coding frequency, coding experience, and math interest influenced social value, which in turn influenced coding interest, perception of coders, and coding utility. Students' math confidence, coding frequency, coding experience, ethnicity, and coding interest predicted their coding confidence. Among observable variables, coding frequency and math interest had the greatest influence on social value, which substantially influenced all other factors. We discuss how this tool can help those who teach coding to young children to better measure and understand the variables that may influence young learners’ attitudes toward coding over time.


Mason, S. L., & Rich, P. J. (2020). Development and analysis of the Elementary Student Coding Attitudes Survey. Computers & Education153.

Abstract: The Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts (TIPSA) represents a pioneering attempt to measure trauma in the partners of sex addicts. In this study, we utilized a large sample of TIPSA responses to examine the impact of rescoring empirically disordered response options on error variance and scale reliability. Results suggested that rescoring by collapsing categories in response to empirical response option disordering has a mixed and marginal impact on error variance and scale reliability, and may not be beneficial from a practical standpoint in terms of reducing nuisance variation. Importantly, results also support the conclusion that measurement and diagnosis are distinct endeavors that serve two separate purposes.


Stokes, S. S., Moulton, S., Sudweeks, R. R., & Fischer, L. (2020). An item analysis of the trauma inventory for partners of sex addicts. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.

Abstract: Teacher–child interactions provide an important context for children’s development and learning. The study explored how teacher- and classroom-level factors were associated with quality of teacher–child interactions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). We also investigated associations between teacher–child interactions and child outcomes. Teacher–child interactions were observed in 60 kindergarten classrooms using the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, for the first time with this population. Pre-academic skills (letter and number knowledge), behavioural regulation (assessed with the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task), and stress response physiology (assessed with salivary cortisol levels) were measured in a sample of 115 five-year-old children, recruited from 22 of the 60 classrooms. Results provided moderate evidence for a three-domain structure of teacher–child interactions. Some differences in the quality of teacher–child interactions were related to teachers’ years of experience. Correlational findings suggest links between quality of emotional support with children’s pre-academic skills and behavioural regulation. Results are also discussed in relation to similar international studies to highlight any unique findings to the UAE context.


von Suchodoletz, A., Barza, L., & Larsen, R. A. A. (2020). Examination of teacher–child interactions in early childhood education programmes in the United Arab Emirates. International Journal of Early Years Education28(1), 6–21.

Abstract: Although many educators are familiar with a suggested 3:1 or 4:1 praise-to-reprimand ratio (PRR), relatively little research has been conducted on this subject. Three years of data collected across three states in the United States, from 19 elementary schools and 151 classrooms, during a multi-site efficacy trial were used to analyse the effect of teachers' PRRs on their students’ on-task behaviour. Although no PRR threshold (e.g. 3:1, 4:1) was found where behaviour dramatically improved, a positive linear relationship was evident, showing that the higher the teachers' PRR, the higher the students' on-task behaviour percentage. Limitations and implications are discussed.


Caldarella, P., Larsen, R. A. A., Williams, L., Downs, K. R., Wills, H. P., & Wehby, J. H. (2020). Effects of teachers’ praise-to-reprimand ratios on elementary students’ on-task behaviour. Educational Psychology.

Abstract: Immersive virtual reality (IVR) is a form of distraction therapy that has shown potential as an analgesia and sedation sparing agent. This study assessed the effect of IVR on the self-administered sedation requirements of patients undergoing joint replacement surgery under regional anesthesia in a single center. Methods and findings: This study was a single-center, randomized control trial at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Fifty patients undergoing elective total knee and total hip arthroplasty were randomized to IVR and Propofol patient-controlled sedation (PCS) or propofol PCS alone. The primary outcome measure was intra-operative propofol use. Secondary outcomes included pattern of propofol use over time, use of adjunct analgesia, unmet propofol demand, and patient satisfaction survey scores. Of 50 total patients, 25 received IVR in conjunction with PCS, and 25 received PCS alone. All patients received adjunct analgesia from the treating Anesthesiologist. Median propofol use/hour over the entire procedure in the control group was 40 (11.1, 93.9) mg/hour compared with 45 (0, 94.7) mg/hour in the IVR group (p = 0.90). There were no differences in patterns of propofol use over the course of each procedure. Adjusting for various baseline characteristics did not change the results. Postoperative satisfaction scores were equivalent in both groups. The VR intervention was well tolerated by all patients, with no report of major side effects. Key limitations were relatively small sample size, the non-blinded nature of the study, and use of adjunct analgesia. Conclusions: In patients receiving joint replacement surgery under regional anesthesia with PCS, IVR was well tolerated but did not decrease the overall sedation requirement.


Huang, M. Y., Scharf, S., & Chan, P. Y. (2020). Effects of immersive virtual reality therapy on intravenous patient-controlled sedation during orthopaedic surgery under regional anesthesia: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS ONE15(2).

Abstract: In this article, we examined school leaders’ perceptions of open badges for teacher candidates. We emailed one of two forms of a survey to principals and assistant principals in five school districts in the United States. Form A used wording about digital badges while form B used the term microcredentials. Both forms included open-ended questions. We compared the results of the surveys and examined the results of the open-ended questions. We found that using the term microcredential instead of the term digital badge did not have a significant effect on employers’ perceptions on open badges. However, providing a small amount of instruction regarding the affordances of open badges did produce a statistically significant difference in the perceived value of open badges. Employers saw the most value in achievement and capability badges. The evidence link and endorsements from established professional organisations were identified as important tools to employers. Most employers believed badges would be useful in the hiring process, but many worried about the challenge of having too much data.


Randall, D. L., & West, R. E. (2020). Who cares about open badges? An examination of principals’ perceptions of the usefulness of teacher open badges in the united states. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning.

Abstract: Reports an error in 'K-12 online learning journal articles: Trends from two decades of scholarship' by Karen T. Arnesen, Joshua Hveem, Cecil R. Short, Richard E. West and Michael K. Barbour (Distance Education, 2019[Jan], Vol 40[1], 32-53). When first published online and in print, Table 1 included errors. This table has now been corrected in the online version. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2019-11022-004). In this study, we examined the research literature in the field of K-12 online learning to identify the leading scholars, journals, top cited articles, research methods, and topics in this field of inquiry. Our research process involved collecting a corpus of journal articles focused on K-12 online and distance learning; categorizing these articles according to their research methodologies; analyzing trends not only in methodologies employed but also in authorship, citations, journals, and topics addressed. We found the field of K-12 online learning to be growing rapidly in recent years with acceleration not only of new articles but especially of new authors. We also found the field began primarily with emphasizing theoretical articles but is now maturing and emphasizing increasingly more data-based articles. We found K-12 online learning scholarship is scattered among many journals, providing rich opportunities for scholars while also making it more difficult to discern trends across the discipline.


Arnesen, K. T., Hveem, J., Short, C. R., West, R. E., & Barbour, M. K. (2021). “K-12 online learning journal articles: Trends from two decades of scholarship”: Correction. Distance Education42(1), 177.

Abstract: Given the complexity of infertility diagnoses and treatments and the convenience of the internet for finding health-related information, people undergoing infertility treatments often use Web-based resources to obtain infertility information and support. However, little is known about the types of information and support resources infertility patients search for on the internet and whether these resources meet their needs. Objective: The aims of this study were to (1) examine what individual factors, namely, demographic characteristics and distress, are associated with searching the internet for different types of infertility-related information and support resources and (2) determine whether Web-based resources meet the needs of patients. Methods: Men and women seeking infertility care responded to a survey assessing use of Web-based resources for accessing infertility-related information and support. The survey further assessed satisfaction with Web-based resources as well as perceived stress and depressive symptomatology. Results: A total of 567 participants, including 254 men and 313 women, completed the survey. Most participants (490/558, 87.8%) had searched the internet for infertility information and support. Searchers were more likely to be women (P < .001), highly educated (P = .04), long-term patients (P = .03), and more distressed (P = .04). Causes of infertility, treatment options, and scientific literature about infertility were the three most frequently searched topics, whereas ways to discuss treatment with family and friends as well as surrogacy and ways to find peer support were the three least searched topics. Of those who searched the internet, 70.9% (346/488) indicated that their needs were met by Web-based information, whereas 29.1% (142/488) said that their needs were not met. Having unmet needs was related to greater levels of perceived stress (P = .005) and depressive symptomatology (P = .03). Conclusions: This study provides evidence for the important role of the internet in accessing infertility information and support and for the ability of Web-based resources to meet patients’ needs. However, although distressed patients reported particularly high rates of searching, their needs were not always met, suggesting that they may benefit from alternative sources of information and support or guidance from health care providers when searching the internet.


Brochu, F., Robins, S., Miner, S. A., Grunberg, P. H., Chan, P., Lo, K., Holzer, H. E. G., Mahutte, N., Ouhilal, S., Tulandi, T., & Zelkowitz, P. (2019). Searching the internet for infertility information: A survey of patient needs and preferences. Journal of Medical Internet Research21(12).

Abstract: This literature review synthesized current research on preservice and in-service programs that improve K–6 teachers’ attitudes, self-efficacy, or knowledge to teach computing, coding, or computational thinking. A review of current computing training for elementary teachers revealed 21 studies: 12 involving preservice teachers and nine involving in-service teachers. The findings suggest that training that includes active participation can improve teachers’ computing self-efficacy, attitudes, and knowledge. Because most of these studies were fairly short-term and content-focused, research is especially needed about long-term outcomes; pedagogical knowledge and beliefs; and relationships among teacher training, contexts, and outcomes.


Mason, S. L., & Rich, P. J. (2019). Preparing elementary school teachers to teach computing, coding, and computational thinking. Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education19(4), 790–824.

Abstract: Students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) often receive low rates of teacher praise and high rates of teacher reprimands, though they may respond more positively to praise and more negatively to reprimands than their typically developing peers. Teacher praise-to-reprimand ratios (PRRs) are associated with increased student engagement, but more research is necessary to further explore how these ratios affect student behavior, particularly for students with or at risk for EBD. Commonly 3:1 or 4:1 is recommended as a desirable PRR, but students with EBD may need higher ratios to improve their classroom behavior. In our study of 540 students and 149 teachers, we found that as teacher PRR increased the engagement of at-risk students increased, though engagement for typically developing peers did not. A PRR of approximately 9:1 was needed for students at risk for EBD to approximate the engagement levels of their typically developing peers. No effect of PRR on disruption rates was found for either student category.


Caldarella, P., Larsen, R. A. A., Williams, L., Wills, H. P., & Wehby, J. H. (2019). Teacher praise-to-reprimand ratios: Behavioral response of students at risk for EBD compared with typically developing peers. Education & Treatment of Children42(4), 447–468.

Abstract: This study examined the item and category response option functioning of items on the Student Risk Screening Scale for Internalizing and Externalizing Behaviors (SRSS-IE), using item response theory (IRT) methods with a sample of 2,122 middle school students. The SRSS-IE is a screening instrument used to identify students who are potentially at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Utilizing the nominal response and generalized partial credit models of IRT, items from the SRSS-IE were evaluated in terms of the degree to which the response options for each item functioned as intended and how well those response options discriminated among students who exhibited varying levels of EBD risk. Results indicate that the four-response option configuration used in this study may not adequately discriminate regarding the frequency of externalizing and internalizing behaviors demonstrated by middle school students. Recommendations for revising the response options and scoring procedures are discussed.


Moulton, S. E., Young, E. L., & Sudweeks, R. R. (2019). Examining the psychometric properties of the SRSS-IE with the nominal response model within a middle school sample. Assessment for Effective Intervention44(4), 227–240.

Abstract: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are common at all stages of Alzheimer disease (AD). Delusions in AD are associated with negative clinical consequences and may signal rapid disease progression. Hence, we sought to determine the prevalence of delusions in drug‐naïve (no cholinesterase inhibitor or neuroleptic medications) AD patients. Methods: In this meta‐analysis, a search of the EMBASE, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO databases was performed. We selected studies reporting delusion prevalence measured by the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) in drug‐naïve AD patients. An aggregate delusion event rate with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated. The I² statistic was used to assess the magnitude of between‐study heterogeneity. Single variable meta‐regressions allowed examination of the effect of moderating factors and heterogeneity. Quantitative measures were used to appraise for publication bias. Results: We identified 6 studies with 591 participants allowing calculation of the aggregate delusional prevalence rate. Irrespective of dementia severity, the aggregate event rate for delusions was 29.1% (95% CI: 20–41%; I² = 84.59). No publication bias was observed. Conclusion: This meta‐analysis calculates a 29.1% prevalence rate of delusions in AD patients. There is a trend towards increasing delusion prevalence in concordance with increasing severity of dementia. Given delusions are associated with poorer outcomes, the obtained prevalence should motivate clinicians to screen carefully for delusions. Current literature limitations warrant future studies, with sub‐analyses on dementia severity, and other neurobiological factors known to influence the presence of delusions.


Lai, L., Lee, P. E., Chan, P., Fok, M. C., Hsiung, G.-Y. R., & Sepehry, A. A. (2019). Prevalence of delusions in drug‐naïve Alzheimer disease patients: A meta‐analysis. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry34(9), 1287–1293.

Abstract: This article describes an examination of how undergraduate instructional design assistants (IDAs) scaled up an open badge system by assisting in creating open badges. External reviewers rated the open badge rubrics created by seven of these IDAs along with those created by instructors, and the results were compared by scored components as well as overall totals. Interviews were conducted with the seven IDAs, which were coded using cross-case thematic analysis. With the help of IDAs the number of badges increased without compromising the quality of the badge rubrics, as IDAs’ rubrics were of quality equal to those created by instructors. Benefits experienced by IDAs included technology skills and professional growth. Several practitioner tips are provided for those wanting to employ IDAs effectively in creating open badges, including finding students with strong content expertise, creating a rigorous mentoring process that guides the IDAs in their tasks, allowing IDAs to own their badge development from beginning to end, involving the IDAs as teaching assistants so they can see the implementation of their badges, and encouraging peer collaboration among the IDAs to share best practices.


Randall, D. L., Farmer, T., & West, R. E. (2019). Effectiveness of undergraduate instructional design assistants in scaling a teacher education open badge system. Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education19(4), 825–849.

Abstract: Although widely touted as important, there is little evidence regarding the influence of teaching experience on elementary teachers' science subject matter knowledge (SMK). To better understand this phenomenon, we administered an assessment of science topics taught in the fifth and sixth grades to 169 preservice teachers, 231 fifth‐grade teachers, and 208 sixth‐grade teachers. We then compared the mean scores of teachers at different stages in the career cycle using one‐way and two‐way ANOVA and explored the relationship between SMK scores and years of teaching experience using regression analysis. Findings indicate that (i) being assigned to a specific grade level had an impact on teachers' SMK for topics included in the grade level, (ii) teachers' SMK scores were lower later in their careers for both science topics they had never taught and for science topics they were responsible for teaching, and (iii) results differed for fifth and sixth grades. This study adds to the existing literature through the examination of a large sample of elementary teachers, with teachers of varying years of experience, while focusing on the science topics these teachers are responsible for teaching. The results of this study provide strong evidence that (i) years of experience teaching specific science topics is associated with the development of teachers' knowledge of these topics, and (ii) teaching experience, what teachers do in the context of their everyday practice, can be an effective means of self‐directed learning for teachers. There is also evidence that this influence is not uniform across years of teaching experience or science topics taught. These findings raise important implications about future research into the mechanism of SMK development through teaching experience and teacher grade‐level assignments.


Nixon, R. S., Smith, L. K., & Sudweeks, R. R. (2019). Elementary teachers’ science subject matter knowledge across the teacher career cycle. Journal of Research in Science Teaching56(6), 707–731.

Abstract: In the United States, many teachers feel underprepared to manage student classroom behavior positively. Such management is crucial for students to learn effectively, especially those with or at risk of emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Although increasing teacher praise and decreasing teacher reprimands may be research-based practices, more empirical evidence is required for them to be considered evidence based. The current study of 65 elementary school teachers and 239 students across three states contrasted the effects of these teacher behaviors on engagement and disruptions of students who were and were not at risk of EBD. Using structural equation modeling, we examined how the engagement and disruptions of students at risk were more sensitive to teacher praise and reprimand than the behavior of their typical peers. These results support the literature and invite teachers to consider that who they praise and reprimand is just as important as how.


Downs, K. R., Caldarella, P., Larsen, R. A. A., Charlton, C. T., Wills, H. P., Kamps, D. M., & Wehby, J. H. (2019). Teacher praise and reprimands: The differential response of students at risk of emotional and behavioral disorders. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions21(3), 135–147.

Abstract: Despite the importance of executive functions (EFs) and fluid intelligence for many everyday tasks, the evidence regarding associations between the two constructs remains limited and mixed. The present study is exploratory in testing a bidirectional model between various core components of EFs and fluid intelligence over the preschool period. A sample of 150 preschool children from Kosovo (51% girls) was tested on measures of EFs and fluid intelligence across three measurement waves. Autoregressive cross-lagged path models were used to test reciprocal effects. Preliminary results showed that prior EFs and fluid intelligence predicted later competence in the same domain. Initial evidence was found for a bidirectional relation between inhibitory control and fluid intelligence across time, but not for the other components under investigation (i.e., working memory and attention shifting). Findings indicated that relationships may differ depending on the component of EFs investigated, thus, suggesting a complex pattern of relations between EFs and fluid intelligence.


Uka, F., Gunzenhauser, C., Larsen, R. A., & von Suchodoletz, A. (2019). Exploring a bidirectional model of executive functions and fluid intelligence across early development. Intelligence75, 111–121.

Abstract: Narratives have a unique ability to grant listeners emotional and cognitive space in a way that encourages them to choose how they will make sense of a story. This effect, called narrative distance, also has the potential to help create transformative learning experiences. This article is a qualitative research study of experts who regularly design for narrative distance. Six experts from a variety of fields were interviewed about the principles and practices of designing for narrative distance with the purpose of discovering ways that instructional designers can better facilitate transformative learning experiences. A variety of principles and practices on how to create narrative distance are categorized under four themes: cognitive space, emotional space, invite change, and meaningful content. General comments are also given on the application of these insights to instructional design along with further suggestions for research.


Taeger, S. D., & Yanchar, S. C. (2019). Principles and practices of designing narrative distance for transformative learning experiences. Educational Media International56(2), 164–181.

Abstract: Teachers’ stress is a dynamic combination of the individual teacher's characteristics and characteristics of the classroom and school environment. To date, there are limited studies on teachers’ stress in the context of lower‐middle‐income countries (LMICs), where working conditions as well as general political and economic circumstances might pose a considerable threat for teachers’ well‐being. This study explores whether certain combinations of individual and environmental experiences of teachers in LMICs may result in stress, assessed as patterns of diurnal cortisol rhythm. Participants were kindergarten teachers in Kosovo and Ukraine, two LMICs in Europe. Latent Profile Analysis identified three subgroups of teachers that significantly differed on teachers’ education and experience. Preliminary results of Latent Growth Modeling suggested differences between profiles in baseline waking cortisol and patterns of diurnal decline. Teachers in the profile that was characterized by the longest experience working in the field but the lowest level of education showed blunted cortisol in the morning and a flatter slope; a pattern that could indicate a maladaptive cortisol response. Future directions for studying stress processes among teachers in LMICs and implications for policy and practice on how to support teacher well‐being in low‐resource contexts are discussed.


von Suchodoletz, A., Rojas, N. M., Nadyukova, I., Larsen, R. A. A., & Uka, F. (2019). Exploring diurnal cortisol rhythms of kindergarten teachers in Kosovo and Ukraine. American Journal of Community Psychology63(3–4), 286–297.

Abstract: Teachers have public personas that often combine aspects of their personal and professional identities, but little research has analyzed how this overlap manifests in their social media activities. We analyzed profiles and tweets from K-12 teacher Twitter accounts (n = 33,184) to determine the degree to which accounts appeared to be used for personal and professional purposes. The analysis suggested that the accounts generally maintained a professional focus and disclosed limited personal information. We discuss these findings in relation to teacher identity in our current era of ubiquitous social media and consider implications for policy, practice, and research.


Carpenter, J. P., Kimmons, R., Short, C. R., Clements, K., & Staples, M. E. (2019). Teacher identity and crossing the professional-personal divide on Twitter. Teaching and Teacher Education81, 1–12.

Abstract: We develop a single‐class period learning game for the Plan‐Do‐Study‐Act (PDSA) improvement cycle. The experiential activity walks teams through the PDSA problem‐solving process as they create paper American footballs and improve their performance using each step of the cycle. The game is one of the first to focus on PDSA. Key benefits include increased student attention, engagement, and learning. Empirical tests show that participant pre‐ and post‐test scores regarding their understanding of each phase of PDSA improved 21.2% after completing the game. Additionally, the treatment group performed 16.6% higher than the control group. In participant perception questions, 85% of participants felt the game was more effective than lecture or reading, 93% felt the game was fun, 95% felt the game improved their understanding of PDSA, and 98% felt the game was engaging.


Brau, R. I., Gardner, J. W., Webb, G. S., & McDonald, J. K. (2019). Teaching Plan‐Do‐Study‐Act (PDSA) in a supply chain context: A paper football in‐class activity. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education17(1), 6–32.

Abstract: By surveying men who are currently infertile (N = 251) and men who are potentially infertile (i.e., men with cancer; N = 195), the mental health consequences of reproductive masculinity, or the cultural assumption that men are virile and should be fathers, were investigated. There was no difference in depression levels between these two groups when controlling for demographic variables, suggesting that both groups of men have similar mental health needs. Since gendered notions of masculinity also suggest that men do not want to discuss their fertility health, their desire for online fertility-related social support was assessed. These findings suggest that most men do want to talk to others about fertility, which indicates that there is a need for more fertility-related social support. This research challenges some conceptions regarding masculinity, as men revealed an interest in accessing online social support related to fertility.


Miner, S. A., Daumler, D., Chan, P., Gupta, A., Lo, K., & Zelkowitz, P. (2019). Masculinity, mental health, and desire for social support among male cancer and infertility patients. American Journal of Men’s Health13(1).

Abstract: Evaluation of online instructors is a developing field of research. Institutions have made great progress in recent years to refine their efforts to evaluate online teaching in order to improve online teaching. Some institutions, however, still struggle to evaluate online instructors who did not design the course they are teaching. The purpose of this study was to identify some of the most important observable teaching behaviors identified in evaluation rubrics and how these compare to established online teaching competencies. Findings indicate that there is a growing consensus of what are the most important, observable teaching behaviors, and that this can help improve existing models of online teaching competencies.


Thomas, J. E., & Graham, C. R. (2019). Online teaching competencies in observational rubrics: What are institutions evaluating? Distance Education40(1), 114–132.

Abstract: [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 42(1) of Distance Education (see record 2021-20919-013). When first published online and in print, Table 1 included errors. This table has now been corrected in the online version.] In this study, we examined the research literature in the field of K-12 online learning to identify the leading scholars, journals, top cited articles, research methods, and topics in this field of inquiry. Our research process involved collecting a corpus of journal articles focused on K-12 online and distance learning; categorizing these articles according to their research methodologies; analyzing trends not only in methodologies employed but also in authorship, citations, journals, and topics addressed. We found the field of K-12 online learning to be growing rapidly in recent years with acceleration not only of new articles but especially of new authors. We also found the field began primarily with emphasizing theoretical articles but is now maturing and emphasizing increasingly more data-based articles. We found K-12 online learning scholarship is scattered among many journals, providing rich opportunities for scholars while also making it more difficult to discern trends across the discipline.


Arnesen, K. T., Hveem, J., Short, C. R., West, R. E., & Barbour, M. K. (2019). K-12 online learning journal articles: Trends from two decades of scholarship. Distance Education40(1), 32–53.

Counseling Psychology & Special Education Department

Abstract: An abundance of research has investigated well-being as it relates to religiosity and character strengths, such as forgiveness and gratitude. However, few studies have investigated how increases in forgiveness and gratitude might explain why religious commitment enhances well-being, particularly for U.S. ethnic/racial minority populations. This study investigated if the character strengths of forgiveness and gratitude mediated the relationship between religious commitment and well-being among Latter-day Saint Polynesian Americans – a fast growing, yet understudied, population. Results indicated that forgiveness and gratitude fully mediated the relationship between religious commitment and self-esteem, and gratitude partially mediated the relationship between religious commitment and satisfaction with life. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Kane, D. K., Allen, G. E. K., Ming, M., Smith, T. B., Jackson, A. P., Griner, D., Cutrer-Párraga, E., & Richards, P. S. (2021). Forgiveness and gratitude as mediators between religious commitment and well-being among latter-day saint polynesian americans. Mental Health, Religion & Culture.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to both provide additional evidence of the psychometric properties of the Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts (TIPSA), and add empirical evidence for the application of betrayal trauma theory outside the context of complex and/or historical trauma. It was hypothesized that reliability coefficients for TIPSA would exceed 0.70; TIPSA and PTSD Checklist for DSM 5 (PCL-5) scores would be significantly positively correlated; TIPSA and Composite Codependency Scale (CCS) scores would not be significantly correlated; and neither Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) nor Benevolent Childhood Experiences (BCE) scores would be significantly correlated with, or have a significant effect on, TIPSA or PCL-5 scores. All reliability estimates were above 0.70, and correlation between TIPSA and PCL-5 produced a Pearson’s r of 0.851 (p = 5.541 E-55), which indicated a large effect size. Correlations with additional measures produced statistically significant, yet small to weak, effect sizes (CCS: r = 0.292; ACE: r = −0.173; BCE: r = 0.244). This evidence established convergent validity of TIPSA as a measure of trauma symptoms, divergent validity of TIPSA as a measure of codependency, and added empirical evidence for utilizing betrayal trauma theory in this context.

Vogeler, H. A., Fischer, L., Bingham, J. L., Hansen, K. S. W., Heath, M. A., Jackson, A. P., & Skinner, K. B. (2020). Assessing the validity of the Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts (TIPSA). Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity27(1–2), 90–111.


Abstract: Literacy coaching, an effective professional development strategy for early childhood teachers, is a respected component in educational reform initiatives. This qualitative case study explored and described interactive processes between literacy coaches (n = 5) and Kindergarten teachers (n = 6). This study focused on how established kindergarten teachers in four, diverse, rural impoverished schools in the southeastern United States exhibited initial resistance to literacy coaching. The data suggested that although relationship-focused strategies were important for all teachers, these strategies were essential for low-implementing, initially resistant teachers. Additionally, teachers who were low-implementing, initially resistant required intensive strategies to address cross-cultural challenges and to leverage principal’s support in positive ways. Although building relationships required trust, improving teaching skills required navigating resistance and bridging differences between the coach and teacher.

Cutrer-Párraga, E. A., Heath, M. A., & Caldarella, P. (2021). Navigating early childhood teachers initial resistance to literacy coaching in diverse rural schools. Early Childhood Education Journal49(1), 37–47.

Abstract: Routine outcome monitoring (ROM) is an evidence-based practice shown to improve psychotherapy outcomes. Assessments of the therapeutic relationship are included in ROM systems with research supporting their value-added benefit. The Group Questionnaire (GQ) is a self-report instrument that assesses the therapeutic relationship perceptions of group members. It was designed for ROM administration to identify relationship deterioration and ruptures in group therapy. Burlingame et al. (2018, p. 116) showed that GQ feedback could identify ruptures and that group leaders could use this feedback to repair ruptures on two GQ subscales. We examined whether multiple, simultaneous ruptures in a single session reduced the effect of feedback. A three-level, multistep variable captured the number of rupture alerts in the same session: one, two, or three or more. We replicated Burlingame et al.’s statistical analysis to determine if the number of simultaneous GQ alerts might better explain the effect of GQ feedback using 374 members (56% female; mean age = 23.5 years) in 58 psychotherapy groups. No effect for the number of simultaneous alerts was found on GQ feedback. A higher number of co-occurring relationship deterioration and rupture alerts does not change Burlingame et al.’s findings. Implications are discussed.

Svien, H., Burlingame, G. M., Griner, D., Beecher, M. E., & Alldredge, C. T. (2021). Group therapeutic relationship change: Using routine outcome monitoring to detect the effect of single versus multiple ruptures. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice25(1), 45–58.

Abstract: Research, media sources, and polls have identified negative effects associated with presidential elections. The aim of this research was to investigate associations between US presidential election results and mental health outcomes in university students. This investigation consisted of two independent studies. Study 1 analyzed data collected between the years 2000 and 2016 from students who utilized counseling services (N = 32,506) at a large, private, conservative institution in the western United States. Study 2 analyzed data collected between the years 2010 and 2016 from over 100 university counseling centers across the United States. Upon analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data, the results did not support the findings that presidential elections negatively impact the mental health outcomes of students who receive university counseling services. Furthermore, there was no detectable increase in student distress regardless of election year, age, ethnicity, gender, religion, relationship status, sexual orientation, geographic region, citizenship, and first-generation student status. 

Merrill, B. M., Vogeler, H., Kirchhoefer, J., Tass, S., Erekson, D., Beecher, M., Worthen, V., Hobbs, K., Boardman, R. D., Bingham, J., Bailey, R. J., Cox, J. C., Carney, D. M., Kilcullen, J. R., & Griner, D. (2021). Trump, obama, bush: Impacts of presidential elections on college student mental health. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy.

Abstract: A shortage of school psychologists has been evident since the profession was initially recognized as a distinct field, and there is insufficient research on what current administrative supervisors are doing to address this problem. This qualitative study examined the perceptions of district level administrative supervisors regarding recruitment and retention of school psychologists. Participants reported the following: (a) school psychology graduate programs do not producing enough school psychologists, (b) administrators are challenged to find enough school psychologists to hire, (c) neighboring school districts compete to hire candidates, and (d) administrators recruit and retain in a worker's market that favors the school psychologist. These administrative supervisors also communicated a sense that they had little influence over the shortage. Actions within the administrators' control included developing close relationships with graduate programs for successful recruiting, creating appealing workloads that matched salaries, being responsive to the needs of their current school psychologists, and offering job flexibility.

Young, E. L., Butler, R., Smith, T. B., Hilton, S. C., & Smith, A. (2021). Recruiting and retaining school psychologists: The experiences of district level administrative supervisors. Psychology in the Schools.

Abstract: For teachers who work with students with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD), noncompliance can be a serious problem by impacting their own and others’ access to the curriculum. The precision request (PR) has been recommended as effective in addressing noncompliance, but it has limited support as a sole intervention in a classroom exclusively for students with emotional disturbance. This study used an ABAB (withdrawal) single-case design to demonstrate effects of teachers’ PRs on noncompliance of eight third and fourth grade students with EBD in a self-contained class. PR was shown to increase student compliance (log response ratio effect size = 0.17) with no adverse effects on latency to compliance. Both teacher and students rated the social validity as positive. This finding was corroborated by the teacher’s continued use of PRs after study completion. Implications of the findings for practice and suggestions for future research are included.

Sabey, C. V., Calder, M. C., Caldarella, P., & Thompson, G. A. (2020). Effects of precision requests as a standalone intervention on noncompliance of students with emotional disturbance. Education & Treatment of Children43(3), 251–264.

Abstract: To describe the proportion of children screened by the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT), identify characteristics associated with screen completion, and examine associations between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) screening and later ASD diagnosis. Methods: We examined data from children attending 18- and 24-month visits between 2013 and 2016 from 20 clinics within a health care system for evidence of screening with the M-CHAT and subsequent coding of ASD diagnosis at age > 4.75 years. We interviewed providers for information about usual methods of M-CHAT scoring and ASD referral. Results: Of 36 233 toddlers, 73% were screened and 1.4% were later diagnosed with ASD. Hispanic children were less likely to be screened (adjusted prevalence ratio [APR]: 0.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.92–0.98), and family physicians were less likely to screen (APR: 0.12, 95% CI: 0.09–0.15). Compared with unscreened children, screen-positive children were more likely to be diagnosed with ASD (APR: 10.3, 95% CI: 7.6–14.1) and were diagnosed younger (38.5 vs 48.5 months, P < .001). The M-CHAT’s sensitivity for ASD diagnosis was 33.1%, and the positive predictive value was 17.8%. Providers routinely omitted the M-CHAT follow-up interview and had uneven referral patterns. Conclusions: A majority of children were screened for ASD, but disparities exist among those screened. Benefits for screen-positive children are improved detection and younger age of diagnosis. Performance of the M-CHAT can be improved in real-world health care settings by administering screens with fidelity and facilitating timely ASD evaluations for screen-positive children. Providers should continue to monitor for signs of ASD in screen-negative children.

Carbone, P. S., Campbell, K., Wilkes, J., Stoddard, G. J., Huynh, K., Young, P. C., & Gabrielsen, T. P. (2020). Primary care autism screening and later autism diagnosis. Pediatrics146(2).

Abstract: Multiple qualitative and quantitative studies have investigated homophobic language and its associated correlates. However, very few studies have approached this phenomenon from an ethnographic methodology. Furthermore, no studies to date have used an ethnography to study this language in a conservative religious community. In this study, the primary researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 randomly selected males, all 12th-grade students attending a rural high school and conducted 102 hours of observations in the high school they attended. Utilizing a phenomenological hermeneutic method, a group of researchers analyzed the interviews and observations. Based on interpretations from this analysis, findings indicated that students used HL to marginalize other students; to both challenge adult authority and emulate admired adults; to get attention and assert authority by using rebellious and taboo language; to explore their sexuality and masculinity; to police sexuality and masculinity within the parameters of religious beliefs and expected roles; and to increase group cohesion. The researchers explored each of these themes and considered how adolescents both shape and are shaped by their within-group culture, their school culture, and their personal beliefs. To conclude, the researchers suggest group-based strategies for a more accepting school culture that decreases adolescents’ use of HL.

Bailey, B. M., Heath, M. A., Jackson, A. P., Ward, C., Black, A., Cooper, E., Griner, D., & Shafer, K. (2020). An ethnographic exploration of adolescent homophobic language in a rural religiously-conservative high school. Journal of LGBT Youth.

Abstract: The Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts (TIPSA) represents a pioneering attempt to measure trauma in the partners of sex addicts. In this study, we utilized a large sample of TIPSA responses to examine the impact of rescoring empirically disordered response options on error variance and scale reliability. Results suggested that rescoring by collapsing categories in response to empirical response option disordering has a mixed and marginal impact on error variance and scale reliability, and may not be beneficial from a practical standpoint in terms of reducing nuisance variation. Importantly, results also support the conclusion that measurement and diagnosis are distinct endeavors that serve two separate purposes.

Stokes, S. S., Moulton, S., Sudweeks, R. R., & Fischer, L. (2020). An item analysis of the Trauma Inventory for Partners of Sex Addicts. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity27(1–2), 65–89.

Abstract: [Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 29(1) of Journal of Behavioral Education (see record 2020-10029-001). The original version of this article, unfortunately, contained a mistake in the funding information. The IES grant number was listed incorrectly. It should be R324A160279, not R0302677.] Middle school special education teachers often express concern about challenging student behavior. Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT), a behavior management program based on school-wide positive behavior support, have been effective in elementary general education classrooms. The present study, the first to apply it in a middle school special education setting, used an ABAC design to examine effects on student on-task behavior and teacher praise rates in a self-contained special education classroom for students with severe disabilities and their typically developing peer tutors. Results suggested that CW-FIT Tier 1 is associated with improvements in student on-task behavior and teacher praise rates, especially when peer tutors are included in the intervention and when the timer is silent. Both teachers and students reported the intervention to be socially valid. Study limitations and areas for future research are addressed. 

Orr, R. K., Caldarella, P., Hansen, B. D., & Wills, H. P. (2020). Managing student behavior in a middle school special education classroom using CW‑FIT Tier 1. Journal of Behavioral Education29(1), 168–187.

Abstract: A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework for organizing and integrating academic, social, and emotional supports within a school. Full implementation of MTSS establishes a continuum of readily-available supports matched to student needs. Federal education statute and state-education agencies (SEAs) have prioritized the scale-up of MTSS as a means of improving student performance and the quality of the school learning environment. Our prior research into SEA MTSS scale-up projects identified critical incidents, that helped or hindered the success of these projects in 27 states. The purpose of this paper is to reexamine our findings using the active implementation framework to identify the linkages between the an implementation framework developed based on implementation science and critical incidents in the scale-up of MTSS. We provide recommendations to educational leaders and researchers. In addition, we provide commentary on the utility the active implementation framework as it applies to state scale-up and consider areas for future research.

Charlton, C. T., Sabey, C. V., Young, E. L., & Moulton, S. E. (2020). Interpreting critical incidents in implementing a multi-tiered system of supports through an active implementation framework. Exceptionality.

Abstract: Although many educators are familiar with a suggested 3:1 or 4:1 praise-to-reprimand ratio (PRR), relatively little research has been conducted on this subject. Three years of data collected across three states in the United States, from 19 elementary schools and 151 classrooms, during a multi-site efficacy trial were used to analyse the effect of teachers' PRRs on their students’ on-task behaviour. Although no PRR threshold (e.g. 3:1, 4:1) was found where behaviour dramatically improved, a positive linear relationship was evident, showing that the higher the teachers' PRR, the higher the students' on-task behaviour percentage. Limitations and implications are discussed.

Caldarella, P., Larsen, R. A. A., Williams, L., Downs, K. R., Wills, H. P., & Wehby, J. H. (2020). Effects of teachers’ praise-to-reprimand ratios on elementary students’ on-task behaviour. Educational Psychology.

Abstract: Many state education agencies provide supports for local education agencies (LEAs) that are implementing tiered frameworks or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). With a 61% response rate to an online survey, 35 LEA-level systems coaches identified what state-level supports were helpful in facilitating MTSS implementation. Responses highlighted the importance of state coaches knowing the LEA’s needs, which was most likely to occur when state coaches attended onsite meetings, met with district leaders, reviewed data, and actively problem solved with the LEA. Participants indicated that the monthly meetings led by the state coaches for the local implementers were difficult to attend and may not have been as helpful as hoped. The online modules which were intended to create foundational understanding, were not as beneficial as the annual conferences. Implications for practice include the importance of connecting coaching practices to the specific needs of the LEA and providing funding for professional development. 

Young, E. L., Moulton, S. E., Cutrer-Párraga, E., Charlton, C. T., Sabey, C. V., & Healey, D. (2020). State systems coaching: Meeting the needs of district systems coaches. Journal of Educational & Psychological Consultation.

Abstract: Classroom management is commonly challenging in middle schools. Class-wide function-related intervention teams (CW-FIT) is a multitiered intervention designed to decrease problem behaviors at the classroom level. It is comprises evidence-based practices such as teaching classroom expectations, increasing teacher praise, and using positive reinforcement in an interdependent group contingency. CW-FIT has shown promise in a variety of school settings, but it has not been tested in middle school art classrooms. This initial investigation examined the effects of CW-FIT using a single-subject ABAB design in two middle school art classrooms. Results indicated that class on-task behavior increased by more than 25% and teacher praise-to-reprimand ratios more than doubled during CW-FIT implementation compared with baseline levels. Results also indicated that on-task behavior for students identified as at risk for behavioral disorders improved by more than 18% during the intervention. Teachers and students found the intervention to be socially valid. Resulting implications were promising for using CW-FIT in other middle school art classrooms.

Monson, K. D., Caldarella, P., Anderson, D. H., & Wills, H. P. (2020). Improving student behavior in middle school art classrooms: Initial investigation of CW-FIT tier 1. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions22(1), 38–50.

Abstract: The current study investigates the effects of a fact family fluency intervention on math facts fluency and quantitative reasoning. Sixty-three students in Grades 5–8 participated in the study, including 14 students receiving special education services and 15 students receiving additional support. The researchers employed a quasi-experimental, switching replications design that included three waves of assessment. The first group to receive intervention achieved statistically significant gains in performance on both math facts fluency and quantitative reasoning. The second group then received intervention and demonstrated a similar performance. Implications of the current findings and potential directions for future research are discussed.

Stocker, J. D., Hughes, E. M., Wiesner, A., Woika, S., Parker, M., Cozad, L., & Morris, J. (2021). Investigating the effects of a fact family fluency intervention on math facts fluency and quantitative reasoning. Journal of Behavioral Education.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of video-based mathematics instruction for seven middle school students with specific learning disability (SLD), using an augmented reality-based training package. The dependent variable was the percentage of steps students performed correctly to solve each type of mathematics problem. The independent variable was the augmented reality video-based intervention, which used video to model the individual steps for solving four types of multistep mathematics problems: (a) addition and subtraction of integers, (b) multiplication and division of integers, (c) using ratio reasoning to convert measurement units, and (d) using multiplication and division to calculate rate of change. Results indicated a functional relation between the video-based mathematics intervention and the percentage of steps completed correctly for each type of problem. All seven participants showed significant gains immediately after receiving the intervention and maintained improved problem-solving skills in at least three out of the four problem categories.

Kellems, R. O., Eichelberger, C., Cacciatore, G., Jensen, M., Frazier, B., Simons, K., & Zaru, M. (2020). Using video-based instruction via augmented reality to teach mathematics to middle school students with learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities53(4), 277–291.

Abstract: Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is one of the most common developmental disorders during childhood. The current study examined the mediating role of parental alienation and the moderating role of child Emotion Regulation that had been divided into Lability/Negativity and Emotion Regulation when considering the relation between family violence and ODD symptoms. A sample of 409 children (Mage = 9.36, SD = 1.55) and their parent was recruited from 14 primary schools in China. Parents reported on experiences of family violence, Emotion Regulation and ODD symptoms and children reported on experiences of parental alienation. A mediation path from family violence to ODD symptoms via parental alienation was significant, suggesting that family violence was related to parental alienation, which was further associated with ODD symptoms. The moderation analysis showed family violence interacted with Lability/Negativity, such that higher level of family violence was associated with higher levels of ODD symptoms among children with Lability/Negativity. These findings underscore the necessity of adopting a multilevel perspective in understanding the development of ODD symptoms and the importance of paying more attention to family violence in Chinese family. 

Chen, H., Lin, X., Heath, M. A., & Ding, W. (2020). Family violence and oppositional defiant disorder symptoms in chinese children: The role of parental alienation and child emotion regulation. Child & Family Social Work.

Abstract: Historically, disaster response efforts have focused primarily on basic physical survival and safety—addressing medical emergencies and ensuring adequate shelter and supplies of food and water. However, in addition to physical survival, relief efforts must also consider strategies to promote emotional healing and psychological well‐being. In particular, those who intervene must consider the acceptability of intervention strategies, taking into account survivors' cultural background, religious customs, and spiritual beliefs. This article offers recommendations to better align school‐based therapeutic interventions with children's religious and spiritual beliefs.

Heath, M. A., & Cutrer-Párraga, E. A. (2020). Healing after traumatic events: Aligning interventions with cultural background and religious and spiritual beliefs. Psychology in the Schools57(5), 718–734.

Abstract: Students with autism spectrum disorder often require social supports to function well in a mainstream class setting. Researchers have demonstrated the effects of social skills training for students with autism, but their work has focused primarily on topographically defined outcomes, such as increasing the frequency of social behaviours. More research is needed to address the functional impact of social skills training on social experiences, such as improvements in the quality of life for students with autism. This study examined the effects of a behavioural skills training form of social skills intervention on the social interactions of students with autism in an inclusive school setting. The intervention increased participants’ social behaviour. However, its mixed results in the quality of peer responses may be a more meaningful indicator of its effect on the quality of social lives of the participants. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for current practice and future research.

Sabey, C., Ross, S., & Goodman, J. (2020). Beyond topography: Addressing the functional impact of social skills training for students with autism. Educational Psychology in Practice.

Abstract: Retention of current school psychologists is a vital strategy for addressing shortages in the field. Understanding what contributes to why school psychologists stay in the field has the potential to influence leaders and administrators to ensure that they are targeting what matters most to school psychologists. Survey results from 134 school psychologists indicated that they stay in the field because they enjoy working with children and believe their work makes a difference. These generally satisfied school psychologists also shared that they work with teams that facilitate effective and creative problem solving and were acknowledged for their contributions. For the few school psychologists who expressed dissatisfaction, their responses communicated a lack of professional self‐efficacy: their opinions were not valued, they did not believe they were effective in their roles, administrators did not value their contributions, and they did not believe they could make a difference for students. Implications for practice highlight the need for district and building administrators to ensure that school psychologists have manageable caseloads that allow them to work directly with children and to be a part of teams that solve problems.

Young, E. L., Moulton, S. E., Julian, A., Smith, A., & Butler, R. (2021). Retention and job satisfaction of school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools58(3), 585–600.

Abstract: This study examined gender differences in the psychometric properties of the Student Risk Screening Scale for Internalizing and Externalizing behaviors (SRSS‐IE) using item response theory methods among a sample of 2,122 middle school students. The SRSS‐IE is a screening instrument used to identify students who are potentially at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Differential item functioning and differential step functioning methods were used to examine differences in item and response option functioning according to student gender variables. Additionally, test information functions (TIFs) were used to indicate if current recommendations for moderate EBD risk and high EBD risk cut scores differ by gender. Results of this study indicated two items on the SRSS‐IE systematically favored males over females, and one item systematically favored females over males. Additionally, examination of TIFs demonstrated differing degrees of measurement precision at various levels of theta for males and females on both the externalizing and internalizing constructs. Implications of these results are discussed relative to the SRSS‐IE items, cut scores, and scale scoring procedures.

Moulton, S. E., & Young, E. L. (2021). An item analysis of gender differences on the srss‐ie in middle school. Psychology in the Schools.

Abstract: Many scientists and philosophers of science have argued that metaphysical naturalism and methodological naturalism represent distinct and separable philosophical commitments. This claim is true in the sense that metaphysics and epistemology reflect different philosophical projects. The major question of interest to psychologists, however, is whether at the pragmatic level of research designed to discover the psychological sphere in which we live our lives, the metaphysical and the methodological realms are so tightly interwoven that some important aspects of our humanity cannot be faithfully revealed without distortion, or even missed altogether. This paper argues that, in light of its intellectual origins, methodological naturalism is informed by metaphysical naturalism at the level of its formulation, and, thereby, is by its nature more apt to reveal phenomena of certain ontological types and less apt to faithfully reveal phenomena of other ontological types. In this sense, metaphysical naturalism cannot help but subtly shape psychological investigation and thus insert itself to some degree into our understanding of many important psychological phenomena. The work of the French phenomenologist Jean‐Luc Marion, particularly his concept of 'saturated phenomena,' is briefly discussed by way of a call for greater methodological openness in psychological research—an openness that will permit psychological scientists to better 'save the phenomena' in their accounts of human experience.

Gantt, E. E., & Williams, R. N. (2020). Methodological naturalism, saturation, and psychology’s failure to save the phenomena. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour50(1), 84–102.

Abstract: The possibility of transcendent, objective, perdurant truth seems to have fallen on hard times lately, the very concept increasingly being called into question – if not simply dismissed outright. Indeed, some authors argue that we have entered a 'post-truth world, where ‘alternative facts’ replace actual facts and feelings have more weight than evidence.' Unfortunately, transcendence itself is seldom seriously or directly addressed in contemporary psychology, despite the fact that transcendence as a construct, or, perhaps better, as an ontological presupposition, is at the heart of every account, approach, model, or explanation in psychology. This paper introduces one explicit analytical project aimed at examining transcendence itself and its role in theory and philosophy in psychology. The paper will (1) briefly address the definitional task; that is, specifying what might be meant by transcendence as it is most often understood within the scholarly literature, particularly in contrast to immanence, (2) analyze some attempts to reduce transcendence to immanence and suggest that all such are unsuccessful, and (3) present a schematic framework for locating various theories and explanatory approaches in psychology within a conceptual 'topology' that runs between weak and strong transcendence on one axis, and weak and strong evaluation on the other.

Gantt, E. E., & Williams, R. N. (2020). Truth in a post-truth world: Transcendence and the essence of mattering. Journal of Constructivist Psychology.

Psychology Department

Despite the prevalence of religiousness and spirituality among adolescents, little is known about the psychology of adolescent religious and spiritual development. The purpose of this article is to explain how scholars within the discipline of developmental psychology have begun to approach the topic. Specifically, the article details how developmental theory advances understanding of religious and spiritual development and overviews developmental methods that enable rigorous examination of the structure and function of adolescent religious and spiritual development. A Relational Developmental Systems metatheoretical approach, emphasizing longitudinal methods, is utilized to highlight ideographic and nomothetic aspects of adolescent religiousness and spirituality. Examples of theoretically and methodologically cutting-edge developmental research provide illustration. In conclusion, the article shows that developmental psychology provides insight toward a comprehensive approach to the study of religious and spiritual development and broadens the perspectives of other disciplines, while relying on other disciplines to deepen developmentalists’ research.

King, P. E., Hardy, S. A., & Noe, S. (2021). Developmental perspectives on adolescent religious and spiritual development. Adolescent Research Review.

Barriers to accessing scientific findings contribute to knowledge inequalities based on financial resources and decrease the transparency and rigor of scientific research. Recent initiatives aim to improve access to research as well as methodological rigor via transparency and openness. We sought to determine the impact of such initiatives on open access publishing in the sub-area of human electrophysiology and the impact of open access on the attention articles received in the scholarly literature and other outlets. Data for 35,144 articles across 967 journals from the last 20 years were examined. Approximately 35% of articles were open access, and the rate of publication of open-access articles increased over time. Open access articles showed 9 to 21% more PubMed and CrossRef citations and 39% more Altmetric mentions than closed access articles. Green open access articles (i.e., author archived) did not differ from non-green open access articles (i.e., publisher archived) with respect to citations and were related to higher Altmetric mentions. These findings demonstrate that open-access publishing is increasing in popularity in the sub-area of human electrophysiology and that open-access articles enjoy the 'open access advantage' in citations similar to the larger scientific literature. The benefit of the open access advantage may motivate researchers to make their publications open access and pursue publication outlets that support it. In consideration of the direct connection between citations and journal impact factor, journal editors may improve the accessibility and impact of published articles by encouraging authors to self-archive manuscripts on preprint servers.

Clayson, P. E., Baldwin, S. A., & Larson, M. J. (2021). The open access advantage for studies of human electrophysiology: Impact on citations and Altmetrics. International Journal of Psychophysiology164, 103–111.

Abstract Cross-group relationships are defined as romantic relationships involving two individuals from distinct racial or ethnic groups. For this paper, the terms 'interethnic' and 'interracial' are used as specifiers for the two umbrella terms, 'intergroup' and 'cross-group.' Previous studies that examined whether cross-group romantic relationships are more or less satisfying than intragroup (i.e., same-group) romantic relationships have yielded discrepant findings. Through a systematic review and meta-analysis of 27 studies, we found that there is no significant difference between cross-group and intergroup relationship satisfaction (aggregate d = 0.024, 95% CI [−0.076; 0.123]). Tests of moderation found that the amount of Asian participants included in individual studies on cross-group relationship satisfaction is significantly associated with effect size d (β = 0.005, p= 0.02; 95% CI [0.001; 0.008]).

Henderson, E. K., & Braithwaite, S. R. (2021). Cross-group relationship satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Marriage & Family Review.

Cross-sectional research has demonstrated that endorsing, or acknowledging, and frequently thinking about having a drinking identity are uniquely and positively associated with alcohol consumption and risk for hazardous drinking. In the current investigation, we evaluated whether these facets of drinking identity indicated a latent drinking identity variable. We also investigated whether greater identification with drinking predicted subsequent increases in alcohol consumption and risk for hazardous drinking, and whether higher levels of these drinking behavior variables predicted subsequent increases in identification with drinking. Data were collected from participants (N = 422) near their graduation from college and then again eight months later. Drinking identity endorsement and drinking identity thought frequency were positive indicators of a latent drinking identity variable. Identification with drinking was concurrently, positively associated with both alcohol consumption and risk for hazardous drinking at both time points. Greater identification with drinking at the first assessment predicted subsequent increases in alcohol consumption and risk for hazardous drinking. Surprisingly, the drinking behavior variables did not prospectively predict changes in identification with drinking. These findings support an expanded conceptualization of drinking identity, provide further evidence that greater identification with drinking prospectively predicts more drinking behaviors, and suggest that drinking identity should be considered in interventions to reduce hazardous drinking.

Hertel, A. W., Baldwin, S. A., Peterson, K. P., & Lindgren, K. P. (2021). Identification with drinking predicts increases in drinking behaviors (but not vice versa). Addictive Behaviors116.

While non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) occurs in the general population at a surprisingly high rate, with higher rates among certain clinical populations, its etiology is not well-understood. Consequently, the DSM-5 lists NSSI as requiring further research. This study utilizes a translational model of naturally-occurring NSSI to assess the role of early parental neglect and variation in the serotonin transporter genotype (5-HTT) in the etiology of NSSI. Subjects (N = 161) were rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) reared in one of three conditions (mother-reared (MR), peer-reared (PR), or surrogate peer-reared (SPR)), and classified as NSSI (n = 18) or non-NSSI (n = 143). Subjects were genotyped for 5-HTT and their behaviors were recorded during an ecologically-meaningful, stress-evoking, intruder paradigm. Two weeks prior to testing, blood samples were obtained and assayed for plasma cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentrations. NSSI subjects were more likely to be SPR, paralleling human studies showing that individuals that exhibit NSSI tend to have experienced abuse or neglect early in life. Results also indicated that variation in the 5-HTT genotype differentiated the NSSI subjects. NSSI subjects that were homozygous for the L allele exhibited high plasma ACTH and high rates of stress-induced stereotypies; whereas NSSI subjects with the s allele exhibited impulsive behaviors, including frequently approaching the potentially dangerous intruder, high rates of aggressive vocal threats, and more activity. These results suggest that there may be different 5-HTT genotype-mediated NSSI typologies and that both early experiences and variation in the 5-HTT genotype may be important factors in understanding the etiology of NSSI.

Wood, E. K., Kruger, R., Day, J. P., Day, S. M., Hunter, J. N., Neville, L., Lindell, S. G., Barr, C. S., Schwandt, M. L., Goldman, D., Suomi, S. J., Harris, J. C., & Higley, J. D. (2021). A nonhuman primate model of human non-suicidal self-injury: Serotonin-transporter genotype-mediated typologies. Neuropsychopharmacology.

A variety of studies show that parental absence early in life leads to deleterious effects on the developing CNS. This is thought to be largely because evolutionary-dependent stimuli are necessary for the appropriate postnatal development of the young brain, an effect sometimes termed the 'experience-expectant brain,' with parents providing the necessary input for normative synaptic connections to develop and appropriate neuronal survival to occur. Principal among CNS systems affected by parental input are the monoamine systems. In the present study, N = 434 rhesus monkeys (233 males, 201 females) were reared in one of two conditions: as mother-reared controls (MR; n = 269) or without adults with 24-h access to same-aged peers (PR; n = 165). When subjects were six-months-old, they underwent a separation paradigm involving 4, sequential, four-day social separations from their mothers or peers, with each separation followed by three-day reunions with their mothers or their peers. Prior to the separation paradigm, baseline cisternal CSF samples were obtained, as well as at the end of each the four social separations, and after final separation, during a recovery period. CSF was assayed for concentrations of monoamine metabolites and a blood sample was genotyped for the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) genotype. Replicating earlier landmark findings, PR subjects with the s allele exhibited lower baseline concentrations of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA), when compared to PR subjects homozygous for the L allele. MR subjects were undifferentiated by genotype. PR subjects exhibited lower CSF 5-HIAA concentrations during baseline, but higher CSF 5-HIAA during social separations, when compared to MR subjects. There were rearing effects for the dopamine metabolite homovanillic acid (HVA) and for the norepinephrine metabolite 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), with PR subjects showing higher HVA and lower MHPG when compared to MR subjects. These findings indicate that there are long-term deficits in the response of monoamines following early maternal absence. The results of this study confirm and extend earlier findings that early parental absence has deleterious consequences for the development of the monoamine systems, and that these consequences are modulated by the 5-HTT genotype.

Wood, E. K., Gabrielle, N., Hunter, J., Skowbo, A. N., Schwandt, M. L., Lindell, S. G., Barr, C. S., Suomi, S. J., & Higley, J. D. (2021). Early rearing conditions affect monoamine metabolite levels during baseline and periods of social separation stress: A non-human primate model (Macaca mulatta). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience15.

In studies of event‐related brain potentials (ERPs), difference scores between conditions in a task are frequently used to isolate neural activity for use as a dependent or independent variable. Adequate score reliability is a prerequisite for studies examining relationships between ERPs and external correlates, but there is no extensive treatment on the suitability of the various available approaches to estimating difference score reliability that focus on ERP research. In the present study, we provide formulas from classical test theory and generalizability theory for estimating the internal consistency of subtraction‐based and residualized difference scores. These formulas are then applied to error‐related negativity (ERN) and reward positivity (RewP) difference scores from the same sample of 117 participants. Analyses demonstrate that ERN difference scores can be reliable, which supports their use in studies of individual differences. However, RewP difference scores yielded poor reliability due to the high correlation between the constituent reward and non‐reward ERPs. Findings emphasize that difference score reliability largely depends on the internal consistency of constituent scores and the correlation between those scores. Furthermore, generalizability theory yields more suitable estimates of internal consistency for subtraction‐based difference scores than classical test theory. We conclude that ERP difference scores can show adequate reliability and be useful for isolating neural activity in studies of individual differences.

Clayson, P. E., Baldwin, S. A., & Larson, M. J. (2021). Evaluating the internal consistency of subtraction‐based and residualized difference scores: Considerations for psychometric reliability analyses of event‐related potentials. Psychophysiology58(4).

Short sleep has been linked to adolescent risk of obesity, but questions remain regarding the dietary mechanisms by which this occurs. We tested whether mildly shortening sleep influences how rewarding and appealing healthy adolescents find several kinds of foods. Eighty‐eight healthy adolescents completed a within‐subjects crossover sleep experiment comparing 5 days of Short Sleep (6.5 hr sleep opportunity) with 5 days of Healthy Sleep (9.5 hr sleep opportunity). Following each condition, adolescents completed measures of food appeal and reinforcing value of food across five food types: sweets/desserts, fruits/vegetables, lean meats/eggs, fast food and processed snacks. Adolescents averaged 2.2 hr/night longer sleep periods in Healthy Sleep versus Short Sleep. We observed a significant interaction of experimental order with sleep condition on three of four primary outcomes related to the appeal and reinforcing value of foods (p's < .005). When Short Sleep preceded Healthy Sleep, adolescents endorsed significantly greater appeal (p < .04) and rewarding value of food (p's ranging from <.01 to .048) during Short Sleep (compared to Healthy Sleep). However, when Healthy Sleep preceded Short Sleep, we did not observe a main effect of sleep condition on the same outcomes (p's > .05). This study provides evidence that restricting adolescents' sleep opportunity to 6.5 hr (compared to sleeping a healthy amount) increases the appeal and reinforcing value of a variety of foods, but this may occur only under protracted short sleep. Increased food reward may be one mechanism linking chronically shortened sleep with risk of obesity in adolescence. 

Duraccio, K. M., Krietsch, K. N., Zhang, N., Whitacre, C., Howarth, T., Pfeiffer, M., & Beebe, D. W. (2021). The impact of short sleep on food reward processes in adolescents. Journal of Sleep Research30(2).

Routine outcome monitoring (ROM) is an evidence-based practice shown to improve psychotherapy outcomes. Assessments of the therapeutic relationship are included in ROM systems with research supporting their value-added benefit. The Group Questionnaire (GQ) is a self-report instrument that assesses the therapeutic relationship perceptions of group members. It was designed for ROM administration to identify relationship deterioration and ruptures in group therapy. Burlingame et al. (2018, p. 116) showed that GQ feedback could identify ruptures and that group leaders could use this feedback to repair ruptures on two GQ subscales. We examined whether multiple, simultaneous ruptures in a single session reduced the effect of feedback. A three-level, multistep variable captured the number of rupture alerts in the same session: one, two, or three or more. We replicated Burlingame et al.’s statistical analysis to determine if the number of simultaneous GQ alerts might better explain the effect of GQ feedback using 374 members (56% female; mean age = 23.5 years) in 58 psychotherapy groups. No effect for the number of simultaneous alerts was found on GQ feedback. A higher number of co-occurring relationship deterioration and rupture alerts does not change Burlingame et al.’s findings. Implications are discussed. 

Svien, H., Burlingame, G. M., Griner, D., Beecher, M. E., & Alldredge, C. T. (2021). Group therapeutic relationship change: Using routine outcome monitoring to detect the effect of single versus multiple ruptures. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice25(1), 45–58.

Objective: Alliance is considered to be one of the oldest, most well-researched themes in psychotherapy. This article presents a brief history of alliance, its most common definitions and measures used in group treatment, and a meta-analytic review of the alliance-outcome relationship in group therapy. Method: Major databases were searched for articles published between 1969 and 2019. We conducted a random effects meta-analysis of published articles that reported the relation between alliance and treatment outcome within the group format. Results: Results from 29 studies including 3,628 patients indicate that the weighted average correlation between alliance and treatment outcome is significant r = .17 (p < .001), with a small effect size (corresponding to d = 0.34). Heterogeneity of effect sizes was low (Q = 36.47, df = 28, p = .131, I2 = 23.2). Two variables were found to moderate the alliance-outcome association (treatment orientation and reporting perspective of alliance). Conclusion: With a substantial link between alliance and outcome established, the importance of therapeutic alliance rupture and repair in group therapy is discussed and treatment guidelines are outlined.

Alldredge, C. T., Burlingame, G. M., Yang, C., & Rosendahl, J. (2021). Alliance in group therapy: A meta-analysis. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice25(1), 13–28. (Supplemental)

If an ERP score is to reflect a trait-like characteristic or indicate if an intervention had an effect over time, adequate internal consistency and test-retest reliability of that ERP score across multiple testing sessions must be established. The current paper is a companion paper to Clayson et al. (current issue) that applied generalizability theory formulas and the ERP Reliability Analysis (ERA) Toolbox to assess test-retest and internal consistency in a dataset of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) assessing food-related cognition. Although ERPs in response to food cues have been related to eating behaviors or assessed during a health intervention, the reliability of food-related ERPs generally has not been tested. Within the generalizability theory framework, we assessed the stability (cf., test-retest reliability) and equivalence (cf., internal consistency) of four commonly used food-related ERPs: the late positive potential (LPP), centro-parietal P3, N2, and fronto-central P3. 132 participants (92 female) completed two testing sessions held two weeks apart. During the sessions, participants completed a passive food viewing task, a high-calorie go/no-go task, and a low-calorie go/no-go task in a counterbalanced fashion. Coefficients of equivalence for all ERPs were excellent (>0.96). Coefficients of stability were moderate-to-low, with N2 scores on the low-calorie go/no-go task showing the highest test-retest reliability (>0.65) and fronto-central P3 scores on the high-calorie go/no-go task showing the lowest (0.48). Results suggest the ERPs in the current dataset have high internal consistency and would be reliable in detecting individual differences, but their test-retest reliability is limited. Reliability of these ERPs may be improved with changes in task stimuli, task instructions, and study procedures.

Carbine, K. A., Clayson, P. E., Baldwin, S. A., LeCheminant, J. D., & Larson, M. J. (2021). Using generalizability theory and the erp reliability analysis (era) toolbox for assessing test-retest reliability of erp scores part 2: Application to food-based tasks and stimuli. International Journal of Psychophysiology.

ABSTRACT The identification of relationship ruptures in group therapy coupled with repair efforts by the group leader are addressed from a measurement-based care (MBC) perspective. Several MBC systems are now recognized as evidence-based treatments, and these systems typically use self-report assessment of both outcome and relationship measures. After laying a brief foundation of alliance rupture and repair from an individual therapy perspective, the complexity of applying alliance and repair across the multiple therapeutic relationships and constructs found in the group treatment literature is considered. The Group Questionnaire (GQ) is an empirically derived measure designed to capture the multiple relationship structures (member-member, member-leader, and member-group) and constructs (alliance, cohesion, climate, and empathy) in group therapy. Similarities and differences between the GQ and alliance rupture and repair measures are considered, followed by algorithms used to identify rupture and repair in group therapy on the three GQ subscales—positive bond, positive work, and negative relationship. MBC clinical reports are used to illustrate how rupture is identified at both a group and individual member perspective along with information to support repair interventions. Finally, both clinical and empirical reasons for using the MBC approach are considered along with clinical observations.

Burlingame, G. M., Alldredge, C. T., & Arnold, R. A. (2021). Alliance rupture detection and repair in group therapy: Using the group questionnaire--gq. International Journal of Group Psychotherapy.

What values do moral psychologists espouse with regard to what humans should be like? Taking cues from social psychologists concerning the importance of implicit biases in behavior, from theoretical and philosophical psychologists concerning the importance of uncovering and analyzing philosophical assumptions that undergird all empirical and theoretical work, and from anthropologists about the critical role of reflexivity in scholarly analyses, this investigation engages with moral assumptions that lie at the root of the psychological study of morality. Textual analyses of moral psychology’s literature include content analyses and cultural discourse analyses of value themes. These findings illuminate particularly pervasive values, namely, that researchers adhere to the value-free ideal (itself a value) while privileging Western moral values regarding particular moral problems and moral goods that ought to be sought after. It is clear that these pervasive values influence research in important ways at various levels. We argue that it is not possible (nor desirable) to eliminate assumed values from moral psychological research and that a simple epistemic/nonepistemic value distinction is inadequate for deciding which values are appropriate. We rather argue for a deeper degree of reflexivity or 'value disclosure' as a mode of best practice in psychological research on morality and ethics.

Cazzell, A. R., Starks, S., Hickman, J. R., & Hardy, S. A. (2021). Moral values in moral psychology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology41(1), 35–57.

The reliability of event-related brain potential (ERP) scores depends on study context and how those scores will be used, and reliability must be routinely evaluated. Many factors can influence ERP score reliability; generalizability (G) theory provides a multifaceted approach to estimating the internal consistency and temporal stability of scores that is well suited for ERPs. G theory's approach possesses a number of advantages over classical test theory that make it ideal for pinpointing sources of error in observed scores. The current primer outlines the G-theory approach to estimating internal consistency (coefficients of equivalence) and test-retest reliability (coefficients of stability). This approach is used to evaluate the reliability of ERP measurements. The primer outlines how to estimate reliability coefficients that consider the impact of the number of trials, events, occasions, and groups. The uses of two different G-theory reliability coefficients (i.e., generalizability and dependability) in ERP research are elaborated, and a dataset from the companion manuscript, which examines N2 amplitudes to Go/NoGo stimuli, is used as an example of the application of these coefficients to ERPs. The developed algorithms are implemented in the ERP Reliability Analysis (ERA) Toolbox, which is open-source software designed for estimating score reliability using G theory. The toolbox facilitates the application of G theory in an effort to simplify the study-by-study evaluation of ERP score reliability. The formulas provided in this primer should enable researchers to pinpoint the sources of measurement error in ERP scores from multiple recording sessions and subsequently plan studies that optimize score reliability.

Clayson, P. E., Carbine, K. A., Baldwin, S. A., Olsen, J. A., & Larson, M. J. (2021). Using generalizability theory and the erp reliability analysis (era) toolbox for assessing test-retest reliability of erp scores part 1: Algorithms, framework, and implementation. International Journal of Psychophysiology.

A cognitive intervention that may reduce weight and caloric intake is inhibitory control training (ICT; having individuals repeatedly withhold dominant responses to unhealthy food images). We conducted a randomized controlled trial where 100 individuals with overweight or obesity were assigned to complete a generic (n = 48) or food-specific ICT (n = 52) training four times per week for four weeks. Weight and caloric intake were obtained at baseline, four-weeks, and 12-weeks. Participants also completed high-calorie and neutral go/no-go tasks while N2 event-related potential (ERP) data, a neural indicator of inhibitory control, was measured at all visits. Results from mixed model analyses indicate that neither weight, caloric intake, nor N2 ERP component amplitude towards high-calorie foods changed at post-testing or at the 12-week follow up. Regression analyses suggest that individuals with smaller N2 difference amplitudes to food may show greater weight loss and reductions in caloric intake after a generic ICT, while individuals with larger N2 difference amplitudes to food may show greater weight loss and reductions in caloric intake after a food-specific ICT. Overall, multiple food-specific or generic ICT sessions over the course of a four-week period do not affect overall weight loss, caloric intake, or N2 ERP amplitude.

Carbine, K. A., Muir, A. M., Allen, W. D., LeCheminant, J. D., Baldwin, S. A., Jensen, C. D., Kirwan, C. B., & Larson, M. J. (2021). Does inhibitory control training reduce weight and caloric intake in adults with overweight and obesity? A pre-registered, randomized controlled event-related potential (ERP) study. Behaviour Research and Therapy136.

In a recent study involving routine outcome monitoring (ROM), Burlingame and colleagues (2018) found that the clients in group treatment yielded significantly more not-on-track (NOT) progress alerts during treatment compared to individual treatment. Additionally, nonequivalence was found in the timing of the first NOT alerts, with group treatment’s first alerts occurring two sessions later than individual treatment. Because past research has generally demonstrated equivalence between the effects of individual and group therapy, the current study aims to determine whether these rate and timing differences are replicable. Without sufficient evidence that the NOT alerts’ frequency and temporal patterns found previously are common across group therapies, we hypothesized that a new data source would show no difference between rate and timing of NOT alerts between group and individual therapy. Frequency and timing data of NOT alerts from archival Outcome Questionnaire administrations in a comparable counseling center (N = 5,639, Mage = 25.7, female = 58.4%, Caucasian = 78.4%) were analyzed and compared to Burlingame et al.’s (2018) results. The current study replicated the significant difference found in the rate of NOT alerts between treatment formats (p = .007). Additionally, the timing of NOT alerts created a more complex picture. Burlingame et al.’s (2018) results may be more common as preliminary results suggest that clients in group therapy are more likely to alert as NOT during the course of therapy when compared to clients in individual therapy. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Alldredge, C., Burlingame, G., Olsen, J., & Van Epps, J. (2020). Outcome Questionnaire-45 (OQ-45) progress alert rates in group versus individual treatment: An archival replication. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice24(4), 247–260.

ABSTRACT The purpose of the present set of studies was to develop a short and valid measure of religious motivation based on self-determination theory and demonstrate the role of religious motivation on youth outcomes. Participants were from five studies of religious adolescents and their parents from across the U.S (total N = 2982). Using confirmatory factor analyses we created a 12-item Religious Internalization Scale (RIS-12) capturing three forms of religious motivation: external, introjected, and identified. Relations between religious motivation and youth outcomes were assessed using structural equation modeling. In general, identified religious motivation positively predicted adaptive outcomes (e.g., prosocial behaviors, psychological well-being, and positive traits) and negatively predicted maladaptive outcomes (e.g., antisocial and health-risk behaviors, mental illness, and negative traits), whereas the inverse was largely true for external religious motivation. Introjected religious motivation was a poor predictor of outcomes. Further, identified religious motivation often remained predictive of outcomes when controlling for religious involvement. Lastly, in several cases, identified religious motivation and religious involvement interacted when predicting youth outcomes such that higher identified religious motivation strengthened links between religious involvement and outcomes. These findings validate the RIS-12 as a self-determination theory measure of religious motivation and elucidate the important role of identified religious motivation during adolescence.

Hardy, S. A., Nelson, J. M., Frandsen, S. B., Cazzell, A. R., & Goodman, M. A. (2020). Adolescent religious motivation: A self-determination theory approach. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.

Teenage alcohol abuse is a major health concern, particularly because the majority of alcohol consumed by teenagers is via binge drinking, a known risk factor for increasing the likelihood for the development of future alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Identifying individuals at risk for excessive alcohol intake in adolescence is a step toward developing effective preventative measures and intervention programs. As adults with AUDs tend to self‐medicate their anxiety with alcohol, this longitudinal study assesses the role of infant anxiety‐like temperament in the development of adolescent alcohol abuse using a nonhuman primate model. From birth until they were 5 months of age, behaviors of 64 rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were coded twice a week using an objective mother‐infant scoring system that included behaviors traditionally used to assess anxiety and fearfulness in rhesus monkeys. When subjects were four months old, plasma cortisol was obtained. When subjects were adolescents (Mage = 44.88 months), another plasma cortisol sample was obtained about one month prior to allowing them unfettered access to an 8.4% (v/v) aspartame‐sweetened alcohol solution for one hour a day over five‐to‐seven weeks. Results showed that behavioral indications of anxiety‐like temperament in infancy, including high levels of mother‐infant mutual ventral contact, low levels of environmental exploration, and low levels of interactions with peers were predictive of high adolescent alcohol intake (ie, drinking to intoxication). Plasma cortisol levels in infancy were positively correlated with plasma cortisol in adolescence, and both were positively correlated with high adolescent alcohol intake. Our findings indicate that high levels of traditional anxiety‐like behaviors measured in the context of mother‐infant interactions, coupled with high infant and adolescent plasma cortisol, are associated with binge‐like high alcohol intake in adolescence, suggesting that individuals at risk for developing an AUD later in life may be determined, at least in part, by assessing their physiological and behavioral propensity for anxiety early in life.

Wood, E. K., Kruger, R., Cash, E., Lindell, S. G., Schwandt, M. L., Barr, C. S., Suomi, S. J., & Higley, J. D. (2020). Early life temperamental anxiety is associated with excessive alcohol intake in adolescence: A rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) model. Addiction Biology25(6).

ABSTRACT Religiosity is a protective factor for adolescents, though research has indicated religiosity declines across adolescence. However, little research has examined how various dimensions of religiosity may change across time. With yearly data from a sample of 489 participants, the current study examined rank-order and mean level changes in religiosity from early adolescence (12 years-old) into late adolescence/emerging adulthood (20 years-old). Three dimensions of religiosity were examined, public religious practices (religious service attendance), private religious practices (prayer), and religious salience. Using cross-lagged models, reciprocal relationships between these dimensions were examined. There was significant rank-order stability, though stability was highest for attendance. The mean of all three dimensions decreased over time. The decline for attendance was initially slow though the decline increased through late adolescence. Prayer declined linearly and religious salience declined rapidly during early adolescence with the decline dampening in later adolescence and late adolescence. Each dimension was reciprocally related to the other dimensions, though this relationship differed across time. For instance, in early adolescence, attendance predicted religious salience and in late adolescence, salience predicted attendance. When significant, parent income and education were negatively associated with religiosity.

Dyer, W. J., Hardy, S. A., & Goodman, M. (2020). Religiosity from age 12 to 20: Stability, change, and bidirectional effects of attendance, prayer, and salience. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion.

Identifying predictors of teenage alcohol use disorder (AUDs) is a major health initiative, with studies suggesting that there are distinct personality‐related traits that underlie patterns of alcohol intake. As temperament is biologically based, identifiable early in life, and stable across time, it is considered the foundation of personality. As such, we hypothesized that neonatal temperament traits would predict anxiety‐mediated adolescent alcohol consumption. To test this, N = 145 rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) infants (14 days of age), reared in a neonatal nursery (n = 82) or in a control condition with their mothers (n = 63) were assessed with a widely used standardized nonhuman primate testing battery, the Infant Behavioral Assessment Scale (IBAS), modeled after the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale, evaluating visual orienting, temperament, motor maturity and, more recently, sensory sensitivity. As adolescents (3–4 years of age), these same subjects were allowed unfettered access to a sweetened‐alcohol solution for 1 hr/day, 4 days/week, over 5–7 weeks. Subjects were allowed to self‐administer alcohol while housed alone (n = 70) or socially in their home cage (n = 55). Linear regressions showed that alcohol intake was predicted by neonatal orienting ability (β = −.35; p = .01), state control (β = −.19; p = .04), and motor maturity (β = −.24; p = .01). Poor neonatal orienting, state control (ease of consolability), and motor maturity were associated with higher adolescent alcohol intake in rhesus monkeys. These findings suggest that neonatal temperament is predictive of patterns of adolescent alcohol intake. To the extent that these results generalize to humans, they provide evidence that early‐life temperament and neurodevelopment may be important risk factors for adolescent AUDs and that the IBAS may be used as an assessment tool for identifying such risk.

Wood, E. K., Champoux, M., Lindell, S. G., Barr, C. S., Suomi, S. J., & Higley, J. D. (2020). Neonatal temperament and neuromotor differences are predictive of adolescent alcohol intake in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). American Journal of Primatology82(11).

The second‐to‐fourth digit (2D:4D) ratio is a sexually‐dimorphic biomarker for prenatal sex hormone exposure. We investigated whether titi monkeys (Plecturocebus cupreus) exhibit sexually‐dimorphic 2D:4D ratio, and whether variation in 2D:4D ratio correlates with maternal testosterone and estrogen levels during early pregnancy. Subjects were 61 adult titi monkeys (32 males, 29 females). For 26 subjects, maternal urine samples were collected approximately 15–20 weeks before birth and assayed for testosterone and estrone conjugate (E₁C). Titi monkeys exhibited a human‐like pattern of sexual dimorphism in right‐hand 2D:4D ratio, with females exhibiting higher 2D:4D ratio than males (β = −0.29, p = 0.023). For left‐hand 2D:4D ratio, high levels of maternal E₁C predicted low offspring 2D:4D ratio (β = −0.48, p = 0.009). For right‐hand 2D:4D ratio, high levels of testosterone (β = −0.53, p = 0.005) and testosterone‐to‐E₁C ratio (β = −0.41, p = 0.028) predicted low offspring 2D:4D ratio. For 2D:4D ratio asymmetry (right‐hand—left‐hand), high levels of testosterone (β = −0.43, p = 0.03) and testosterone‐to‐E₁C ratio (β = −0.53, p = 0.003) predicted low (right‐biased) asymmetry. This is the first report of sexually‐dimorphic 2D:4D ratio in New World monkeys, and the results support a growing literature suggesting prenatal sex hormones may modulate offspring 2D:4D ratio.

Baxter, A., Wood, E. K., Witczak, L. R., Bales, K. L., & Higley, J. D. (2020). Sexual dimorphism in titi monkeys’ digit (2D:4D) ratio is associated with maternal urinary sex hormones during pregnancy. Developmental Psychobiology62(7), 979–991.

Abstract Objective: Technology can provide affordable, accessible mental health care and some research suggests internet-delivered Cognitive Behavior Therapy (iCBT) can be an effective treatment for various problems and can be an affordable, accessible alternative to traditional treatments. Advantages of iCBT over face-to-face therapy include lower cost, no travel time, easy access, no waitlists, and trackable progress. To our knowledge there have been no studies of iCBT programs used during the course of routine care. This study evaluated the usage and effectiveness of one iCBT program, SilverCloud (SC), in a university counseling center. Methods: Participants (N = 5568) were students at a large, private western university. Participants were either self-referred to the program, chose to enroll at intake as a standalone intervention, or were referred by their treating clinician as an adjunct to regular treatment. Data was analyzed using regression models with robust standard errors that allowed us to take into account the fact that there may be an effect of participants seeing the same therapist. Results: Results indicated that all three groups had comparable outcomes. However, usage was generally low (less than 10% of the program) and SC usage accounted for less than 1% of the variance in outcome. Conclusions: These results suggest that internet-delivered therapy may be a viable alternative to in-person therapy.

Pescatello, M. S., Pedersen, T. R., & Baldwin, S. A. (2020). Treatment engagement and effectiveness of an internet-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy program at a university counseling center. Psychotherapy Research.

Bayesian modeling is becoming increasing popular as a method for data analyses in the social sciences and can move couple, marriage, and family therapy (C/MFT) research forward. Bayesian modeling helps researchers better understand the uncertainty of findings and incorporate previous research into analyses. Other benefits of Bayesian modeling are the straightforward interpretation of findings, high‐quality inferences even with small samples (in combination with an informative prior), and the ability to work with complex data structures (observations nested in relationships and time points) which are common in C/MFT research. This article introduces the benefits of Bayesian modeling and provides an example of an Actor–Partner Interdependence Model using R. Information on how to conduct the same analyses using Stata and MPlus is provided in the Supplemental Information.

Johnson, L. N., & Baldwin, S. A. (2020). An introduction and illustration of Bayesian modeling in couple and family therapy research. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy46(4), 620–637.

Mediation analysis was used to investigate the role of white matter integrity in the relationship between injury severity and verbal memory performance in participants with chronic pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). DTI tractography was used to measure fractional anisotropy (FA) within the corpus callosum, fornix, cingulum bundles, perforant pathways, and uncinate fasciculi. Injury severity was indexed using Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores obtained at the time of the injury. Verbal memory was measured by performance on the long-delay free recall (LDFR) trial of the California Verbal Learning Test–Children’s version. Participants were between the ages of 10–18 and included 21 children with TBI (injured before age 9) and 19 typically-developing children (TDC). Children with TBI showed lower FA across all pathways and poorer LDFR performance relative to TDC. Within the TBI group, mediation analysis revealed neither a significant total effect of GCS on LDFR nor significant direct effects of GCS on LDFR across pathways; however, the indirect effects of GCS on LDFR through FA of the corpus callosum, left perforant pathway, and left uncinate fasciculus were significant and opposite in sign to their respective direct effects. These results suggests that the predictive validity of GCS for LDFR is initially suppressed by the substantial variance accounted for by FA, which is uncorrelated with GCS, and the predictive validity of GCS increases only when FA is considered, and the opposing path is controlled. These findings illustrate the complex associations between acute injury severity, white matter pathways, and verbal memory several years following pediatric TBI. 

Lindsey, H. M., Lalani, S. J., Mietchen, J., Gale, S. D., Wilde, E. A., Faber, J., MacLeod, M. C., Hunter, J. V., Chu, Z. D., Aitken, M. E., Ewing-Cobbs, L., & Levin, H. S. (2020). Acute pediatric traumatic brain injury severity predicts long-term verbal memory performance through suppression by White matter integrity on diffusion tensor imaging. Brain Imaging and Behavior14(5), 1626–1637.

The present study investigated the effects of selective food devaluation on performance in the temporal bisection procedure with rats. Differential outcomes (sucrose vs. grain pellets) were associated with correct responding for a short and a long duration in order to analyze the effects of a selective duration-specific food devaluation on the temporal bisection function. Selective prefeeding produced differential changes in proportion of responding, the p(long) function, and PSE. A more consistent impact was observed when the food associated with the long anchor duration was devalued than when the short anchor duration food was devalued. The results are discussed in relation to the bias as well as a choose-short effect. 

Araiba, S., Massioui, N. E., Brown, B. L., & Doyère, V. (2020). Non-symmetrical effects in the temporal bisection after selective food devaluation in rats. Behavioural Processes180.

Heart rate variability (HRV) is considered an index of self-regulatory capacity, and trait compassion predicts healthy HRV and self-regulation. Compassion focused psychotherapy interventions have been shown to increase levels of compassion in the general population but no studies to date have examined if these interventions also increase HRV in a distressed clinical sample. The present study examined whether a 12-week compassion focused therapy intervention administered in group format would improve resting HRV and impact HRV reactivity during self-critical writing and self-compassion writing tasks administered before and after the intervention. A total of 31 participants in a university counseling center completed the intervention and HRV assessments. Resting HRV did not significantly change over the course of the intervention in the overall sample. Only those who showed a reliable increase in self-compassion also had a significant increase in resting HRV post-intervention. Additionally, the self-critical writing task was associated with a significant decrease in HRV, with HRV staying low during self-compassionate writing and then significantly increasing during recovery. Reliable change in self-compassion predicted increased HRV reactivity to self-critical and self-compassion writing tasks following the intervention, indicating greater engagement with the task. Findings support the idea that increased self-compassion increases HRV reactivity and potentially strengthens ability to engage with difficult emotions in psychotherapy.

Steffen, P. R., Foxx, J., Cattani, K., Alldredge, C., Austin, T., & Burlingame, G. M. (2020). Impact of a 12-week group-based compassion focused therapy intervention on heart rate variability. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.

Abstract The addition of group psychotherapy as a specialty by the APA in 2018 creates a need for rigorous empirical reviews of group treatments for specific disorders. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that tested the effect of group psychotherapy for mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, at posttreatment and follow-up time-points, as well as rates of recovery and attrition. Major databases were searched for RCTs of group treatment for depression and bipolar disorder published from 1990 to 2018, which identified 42 studies across both disorders. Random effects meta-analyses indicated that group therapy for depression produced superior outcomes compared to waitlist control (WLC) and treatment as usual (TAU) and equivalent outcomes to medication. Similarly, group therapy for bipolar disorder produced superior outcomes to TAU. Analyses of recovery rates were conducted for depression, producing similar results to the main outcome analyses. Rates of attrition did not differ between group and comparison conditions for either disorder. These findings support group therapy for treating depression and bipolar disorder, although further research is needed comparing group treatment for bipolar disorder to medication.

Janis, R. A., Burlingame, G. M., Svien, H., Jensen, J., & Lundgreen, R. (2020). Group therapy for mood disorders: A meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research.

The second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D ratio) is considered a postnatal proxy measure for the degree of prenatal androgen exposure (PAE), which is the primary factor responsible for masculinizing the brain of a developing fetus. Some studies suggest that the organizational effects of PAE may extend to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress. This study investigates the relationship between 2D:4D ratio and HPA axis functioning using a rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) model. Subjects were N = 268 (180 females, 88 males) rhesus monkey infants (3–4 months of age). Plasma cortisol concentrations were assayed from two blood samples obtained during a 25-h experimental social separation stressor at 2- and 7-h post-separation. Subjects’ 2D:4D ratio was measured later in life (Mage = 6.70 years). It was hypothesized that infant rhesus monkeys that exhibited a more masculine-like 2D:4D ratio would show lower levels of circulating cortisol after a social separation and relocation stressor. The results showed that there was a sex difference in the left-hand 2D:4D ratio. The results also showed that there was an overall sex difference in cortisol concentrations and that female, but not male, monkeys that exhibited a more masculine-like right- and left-hand 2D:4D ratio exhibited lower mean stress-induced cortisol concentrations early in life. These findings suggest that higher levels of prenatal androgens in females, as measured by 2D:4D ratio, may be related to an attenuated HPA axis stress-response, as measured by plasma cortisol levels. To the extent that these findings generalize to humans, they suggest that the organizational effects of PAE extend to the infant HPA axis, modulating the HPA axis response, particularly in females.

Wood, E. K., Jarman, P., Cash, E., Baxter, A., Capitanio, J. P., & Higley, J. D. (2020). Masculinized second-to-fourth digit ratio (2D:4D Ratio) is associated with lower cortisol response in infant female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience14.

Objective: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threatened not only people’s physical health but also every aspect of their psychological well-being: from their struggle to avoid contracting the disease, to their coping with the disruption of the normal course of their lives, to the trauma they endured when the virus took the lives of those they loved. The objective of this article is to consider the group-level processes that sustain people’s physical and psychological well-being during COVID-19. Method: Applying group dynamic and group therapy theory and research, we explore why COVID-19 spread so rapidly. We also explore how people cope with prolonged social isolation, distress, and social inequities, as well as how people deal with the psychological trauma of the disease, which includes heightened levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and complicated bereavement. Results: Researchers and theorists suggest that human beings are fundamentally social, and the need to gather with others is extremely important, especially during times of distress. The need to belong as well as the importance of reducing loneliness during uncertain times often encourages people to connect, despite recommendations to remain socially distant. Conclusions: Group treatment options developed by group psychotherapists are effective at reducing depression, anxiety, complicated grief, and stress. We conclude by examining the growing impact of online groups and the many ways that these groups help people improve their psychological well-being during the COVID-19 crisis.

Marmarosh, C. L., Forsyth, D. R., Strauss, B., & Burlingame, G. M. (2020). The psychology of the COVID-19 pandemic: A group-level perspective. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice24(3), 122–138.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of cognitive impairment no dementia (CIND) among a diverse, community-based population, and establish associations between CIND and health literacy, chronic disease self-management and functional health status. Methods: 863 primary care adults without dementia aged 55–74. Adjusted logistic and linear regressions were used to assess associations between CIND (None, Mild, Moderate/Severe) and outcomes. Results: 36 % participants exhibited CIND. It was strongly associated with limited health literacy (Newest Vital Signs: Mild [OR 3.25; 95 % CI 1.93, 5.49], Moderate/Severe [OR 6.45; 95 % CI 3.16, 13.2]; Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults: Mild [OR 3.46; 95 % CI 2.08, 5.75], Moderate/Severe [OR 8.82; 95 % CI 4.87, 16.0]; all p’s < 0.001) and poor chronic disease self-management (Mild [B = −11.2; 95 % CI −13.5, -8.90], Moderate/Severe CI [B = −21.0; 95 % CI −23.6, −18.4]; both p’s < 0.001). Associations between CIND and functional health status were non-significant. Conclusions: CIND was prevalent in this cohort, and strongly associated with requisite skills for managing everyday health needs. Practice Implications: Attention to subtle declines in chronic disease self-care may assist with CIND identification and care management within this population. When CIND is observed, clinicians should also expect and address difficulties with self-management.

Lovett, R. M., Curtis, L. M., Persell, S. D., Griffith, J. W., Cobia, D., Federman, A., & Wolf, M. S. (2020). Cognitive impairment no dementia and associations with health literacy, self-management skills, and functional health status. Patient Education and Counseling103(9), 1805–1811.

Mindfulness-based interventions are commonly used to reduce psychological symptoms and enhance positive qualities of human functioning. However, the influence of mindfulness practice dosage remains poorly understood, limiting dissemination and implementation efforts. The current study examined the association between practice dosage and several constructs related to psychological functioning (positive and negative affect, state mindfulness) over the course of a standardized mindfulness-based intervention (Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement). Twenty-five participants completed daily diary assessments for 12 weeks. Two-part gamma regression models examined the dichotomous (did practice occur?) and continuous (how much practice?) components of practice minutes. Practice time and outcomes showed same-day relationships in the expected directions. Lagged models, however, showed no evidence that current day practice time predicts subsequent day outcomes. In contrast, higher current day negative affect predicted less subsequent day practice time, and higher current day mindfulness predicted more subsequent day practice time. In a post hoc analysis, practice time moderated the link between day-to-day affect, strengthening the link for positive affect and weakening the link for negative affect. Collectively, these findings suggest that the causal direction linking practice time and outcome may flow from outcome to practice time, rather than the reverse—with potential recursive relationships between these factors. Further examination of lagged relationships between practice time and outcome as well as random assignment of participants to varying practice dosages (e.g., in within-person microrandomized trials) may help clarify the influence of this central treatment ingredient within mindfulness-based interventions.

Goldberg, S. B., Hanley, A. W., Baldwin, S. A., Bernstein, A., & Garland, E. L. (2020). Does mindfulness practice promote psychological functioning or is it the other way around? A daily diary study. Psychotherapy57(3), 310–322. (Supplemental)

Objective: Disparities in diagnosis of mental health problems and in access to treatment among racial-ethnic groups are apparent across different behavioral conditions, particularly in the quality of treatment for depression. This study aimed to determine how much disparities differ across providers. Methods: Bayesian mixed-effects models were used to estimate whether disparities in patient adherence to antidepressant medication (N = 331,776) or psychotherapy (N = 275,095) were associated with specific providers. Models also tested whether providers who achieved greater adherence to treatment, on average, among non-Hispanic white patients than among patients from racial-ethnic minority groups attained lower disparities and whether the percentage of patients from racial-ethnic minority groups in a provider caseload was associated with disparities. Results: Disparities in adherence to both antidepressant medication and psychotherapy were associated with the provider. Provider performance with non-Hispanic white patients was negatively correlated with provider-specific disparities in adherence to psychotherapy but not to antidepressants. A higher proportion of patients from racial-ethnic minority groups in a provider’s caseload was associated with lower adherence among non-Hispanic white patients, lower disparities in adherence to psychotherapy, and greater disparities in adherence to antidepressant medication. Conclusions: Adherence to depression treatment among a provider’s patients from racial-ethnic minority groups was related to adherence among that provider’s non-Hispanic white patients, but evidence also suggested provider-specific disparities. Efforts among providers to decrease disparities might focus on improving the general skill of providers who treat more patients from racial-ethnic minority groups as well as offering culturally based training to providers with notable disparities.

Merced, K., Imel, Z. E., Baldwin, S. A., Fischer, H., Yoon, T., Stewart, C., Simon, G., Ahmedani, B., Beck, A., Daida, Y., Hubley, S., Rossom, R., Waitzfelder, B., Zeber, J. E., & Coleman, K. J. (2020). Provider contributions to disparities in mental health care. Psychiatric Services71(8), 765–771.

Implicit measures of alcohol-related associations or implicit alcohol associations are associated with drinking outcomes over time and can be understood as vulnerability markers for problem drinking. Longitudinal research remains rare, leaving open questions about how implicit alcohol associations themselves change over time and what factors moderate that change. We examined these questions with data from a larger study of first and second year U.S. college students. We investigated how these implicit alcohol associations change over time and potential moderators of those changes (gender, lifetime drinking history, family history of problem drinking, and class standing). A sample of 506 students (57% women) completed baseline demographic measures and implicit measures (variants of the Implicit Association Test [IAT]) assessing associations with drinking and the self [drinking identity], alcohol and excite [alcohol-excite], and alcohol and approach [alcohol-approach]). IATs were completed at 3-month intervals for a total of 8 assessments. Results indicated small, but significant, change in alcohol-excite and alcohol-approach IAT scores over time, and mixed findings for hypothesized moderators. Drinking history moderated change in drinking identity IAT scores, with increases over time among individuals with no history of drinking or no history of intoxication and decreases among individuals with a history of intoxication. Gender moderated change in alcohol-excite IAT scores with greater change among women (vs. men). No significant moderators of change in alcohol approach IAT scores were found. Results point to the importance of evaluating implicit associations’ trajectories and identifying additional factors that predict those trajectories and concomitant vulnerability to problem drinking.

Lindgren, K. P., Baldwin, S. A., Peterson, K. P., Wiers, R. W., & Teachman, B. A. (2020). Change in implicit alcohol associations over time: Moderation by drinking history and gender. Addictive Behaviors107.

This review ties in with earlier summaries of studies on group therapy research, predominantly focusing on the outcome of group therapy for various disorders. Meanwhile, an increasing number of meta-analyses dealing with this question have been published that are summarized together with results related to group treatment for patients with cancer and pain. The results are clearly in favor of group treatment indicating outcome equivalence of the effectiveness with individual psychotherapy. Besides general outcome studies, recent publications dealt with the effect of feedback on therapy outcome in groups as well as meta-analyses about the roles of alliance and cohesion for the effects of group treatment. Other promising developments in the field of group therapy research are described.

Strauß, B., Burlingame, G. M., & Rosendahl, J. (2020). Neue Entwicklungen in der Gruppenpsychotherapieforschung—Ein Update = Recent developments in group psychotherapy research—An update. Psychotherapeut65(4), 225–235.

ABSTRACT Objectives: The feasibility and acceptability of a new Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) group protocol were assessed in a university counseling and psychological services (CAPS) center. Outcome measures included mechanisms of change, compassion, and general psychiatric distress. Method: Eight transdiagnostic CFT groups composed of 75 clients met for 12 weekly sessions. Clients completed measures of fears of compassion, flows of compassion, self-reassurance, self-criticism, shame, and psychiatric distress at pre, mid, and post time points. Self-report feasibility and acceptability data were collected from therapists and clients, respectively. Significant and reliable change was assessed along with exploratory analysis of CFT mechanisms of change using correlational analysis. Results: Significant and reliable change was found for fears of self-compassion, fears of compassion from others, fears of compassion to others, self-compassion, compassion from others, self-reassurance, self-criticism, shame, and psychological distress. Improvements in fears and flows of compassion predicted improvements in self-reassurance, self-criticism, shame, and psychiatric distress. Conclusion: The new CFT group protocol appears to be feasible, acceptable, and effective in a transdiagnostic CAPS population. The identified mechanisms of change support the theory of CFT that transdiagnostic pathological constructs of self-criticism and shame can improve by decreasing fears and increasing flows of compassion.

Fox, J., Cattani, K., & Burlingame, G. M. (2020). Compassion focused therapy in a university counseling and psychological services center: A feasibility trial of a new standardized group manual. Psychotherapy Research.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate associations between executive functioning and caregiver adherence monitoring with objective antihypertensive medication adherence over 24 months in adolescents with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Methods: Adolescents (N = 97, 11–20 years old) with CKD taking antihypertensive medication and their caregivers were recruited from three pediatric nephrology clinics. At baseline, adolescents and caregivers reported on adolescents’ executive functioning and caregivers reported on their adherence monitoring. Antihypertensive medication adherence was objectively assessed via electronic monitoring at baseline and every 6 months after for 24 months. Associations between executive functioning, caregiver monitoring, and longitudinal adherence were evaluated with linear mixed models. Results: Up to 38% of adolescents had elevated executive functioning scores indicating more severe impairments, with rates varying by scale and reporter (adolescent vs. caregiver). Caregiver monitoring showed a significant, negative association with adherence, but adolescents’ executive functioning was not significantly associated with adherence. Neither variable was associated with the rate of change in adherence over time. Conclusions: Given that adolescents’ executive functioning was not associated with antihypertensive medication adherence or changes in adherence over time, adherence to daily pill-form medications may involve less cognitive effort than more complex medical regimens. Higher levels of caregiver monitoring were unexpectedly associated with lower adherence levels. This unanticipated finding may reflect increased caregiver monitoring efforts when faced with adolescents’ medication nonadherence, but this finding warrants further investigation. Adolescents with CKD who are nonadherent may benefit from medication adherence-promoting strategies beyond increasing caregiver monitoring.

Eaton, C. K., Duraccio, K. M., Eakin, M. N., Brady, T. M., Pruette, C. S., Eckmann, T., Mendley, S. R., Tuchman, S., Fivush, B. A., & Riekert, K. A. (2020). Executive functioning, caregiver monitoring, and medication adherence over time in adolescents with chronic kidney disease. Health Psychology39(6), 509–518.

[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported in Vol 57(4) of Psychotherapy (see record 2020-90665-001). In the article, the Orfanos et al. (2015) meta-analysis was missing from Burlingame et al. (2020) and should have appeared as Footnote 1 at the end of the abstract. Consistent with Orfanos et al. (2015), the Burlingame et al. (2020) findings support the notion that group treatments can improve negative symptoms of schizophrenia, across active and passive controls. Unlike Orfanos et al.’s (2015) study, Burlingame et al. (2020) also found a significant effect size for positive symptoms. Reference Orfanos, S., Banks, C., & Priebe, S. (2015). Are group psychotherapeutic treatments effective for patients with schizophrenia? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 84, 241–249. 000377705. Footnote 2 was missing from the end of the first sentence in the Method section. This meta-analysis is not registered with PROSPERO, and the PROSPERO protocol (CRD42013004419) does not include the disorder of schizophrenia...] The effectiveness of group treatments for people with schizophrenia has not been examined on symptom-specific (positive and negative symptoms) outcomes, and the differential effects of the most popular group treatments remain unknown. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that tested (a) the effectiveness of 7 frequently used group treatments on positive and negative symptoms and (b) if treatment-specific outcome improvement was associated with improvement on schizophrenia symptoms. Major databases were searched from 1990 to 2018 for randomized controlled trials of group treatment for people with schizophrenia, including first-episode psychosis. A random effects meta-analysis and meta-regression was conducted on 52 studies representing 4,156 individuals that produced a significant, small effect on symptom-specific outcomes (g = 0.30), with 4 group treatments (cognitive remediation, multifamily, psychoeducational, and social skills training) posting significant improvement. In addition, change on treatment-specific outcomes explained 16% of schizophrenia symptom and 44% of general functioning improvement. Results are discussed with respect to how they replicate past meta-analytic findings and possible revision of practice guidelines to incorporate evidence-based group treatments for schizophrenia.

Burlingame, G. M., Svien, H., Hoppe, L., Hunt, I., & Rosendahl, J. (2020). Group therapy for schizophrenia: A meta-analysis. Psychotherapy57(2), 219–236. (Supplemental)

Drawing on the interpersonal theory of suicide, religion and family constructs were examined for their longitudinal direct effect on passive suicide ideation as well as their indirect effect on ideation through perceived burdensomeness (operationalized as shame) and thwarted belongingness (operationalized as abandonment by God). The first wave of data was collected in 2016 and the second in 2018. The sample of adolescents (analytic sample of 617 with 87% Latter-day Saints; ages 11–15 at Wave 1) was drawn from Utah, a location high in religiosity as well as adolescent suicidality. Analyses found shame related to suicide ideation but not abandonment by God. Church support and family flexibility were directly related to ideation in the expected direction, and family flexibility was directly related to shame. However, the indirect effect of family flexibility on ideation through shame was nonsignificant. Gender had an indirect effect through shame such that females experienced higher shame and subsequently experienced more ideation. Results suggest reducing feelings of shame at younger ages may be important to interrupting suicidality. Implications for churches and families are discussed.

Dyer, W. J., Goodman, M. A., & Hardy, S. A. (2020). Adolescent suicide ideation in Utah: The role of religion and family. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality.

Objective: To understand how health, prosocial, and spiritual motivations correspond to changes in the virtues of self‐control, patience, and interpersonal generosity among adolescents and emerging adults. Method: Participants included adolescent and emerging adult athletes (N = 396; 12–22 years, M = 18.42, SD = 2.03) on marathon training teams fundraising for a faith‐based charity. Participants completed self‐report questionnaires four times over six months. Participants were 63% female and identified as 61% Caucasian, 17% Latino/a, 10% African American, 6% Asian American, and 6% other. Results: Bivariate latent growth curve models showed positive relations between baseline levels of transcendent motivations (spiritual, prosocial) and all three virtues (self‐control, patience, interpersonal generosity) as well as baseline health motivation and self‐control. Linear slopes in all three motivations were positively correlated with change in patience, and greater decreases in these motivations from wave 1 to wave 2 before recovering motivation in subsequent waves correlated with less change in patience. Only the linear slope in prosocial motivation positively correlated with change in generosity. None of the motivation slopes correlated with change in self‐control. Conclusions: More than just sport participation is required to cultivate virtue in adolescents; instead, transcendent and non‐transcendent motivations are concurrently developing for athletes who increase in prosocial virtues.

Schnitker, S. A., Gilbertson, M. K., Houltberg, B., Hardy, S. A., & Fernandez, N. (2020). Transcendent motivations and virtue development in adolescent marathon runners. Journal of Personality88(2), 237–248.

Abstract: Cheating—a general term for extradyadic romantic or sexual behavior that violates expectations in a committed romantic relationship—is common and leads to a number of poor outcomes. Religion has historically influenced conceptions of romantic relationships, but societal attitudes about religion are in flux as many seek to retain spirituality even as affiliations with formal religion decrease. The present study evaluated a potential predictor of cheating that is more spiritual than formally religious, the 'psychospiritual' concept of relationship sanctification (i.e., the idea that one’s relationship itself is sacred). In a sample of college students in committed relationships (N = 716), we found that higher levels of self-reported relationship sanctification were associated with a lower likelihood of both physical and emotional cheating even when accounting for plausible alternate explanations (general religiosity, problematic alcohol use, and trait self-control). This association was mediated via permissive sexual attitudes; specifically, higher levels of sanctification were associated with less permissive sexual attitudes which, in turn, predicted a lower likelihood of emotional and physical cheating.

McAllister, P., Henderson, E., Maddock, M., Dowdle, K., Fincham, F. D., & Braithwaite, S. R. (2020). Sanctification and cheating among emerging adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Objective: This meta-analysis evaluates the efficacy of group psychotherapy in the treatment of anxiety disorders.Method: A comprehensive literature search using PubMed, PsychInfo, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and manual searches was conducted to locate randomized controlled trials. We found 57 eligible studies (k = 76 comparisons) including 3656 participants receiving group psychotherapy or an alternative treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.Results: Effect size estimates show that group psychotherapy reduces specific symptoms of anxiety disorders more effectively than no-treatment control groups (g = 0.92, [0.81; 1.03], k = 43) and treatments providing common unspecific treatment factors (g = 0.29 [0.10; 0.48], k = 12). No significant differences were found compared to individual psychotherapy (g = 0.24 [−0.09; 0.57], k = 7) or pharmacotherapy (g = −0.05 [−0.33; 0.23], k = 6). The effects were unrelated to factors of the group treatment. Within head-to-head studies, a significant moderating effect emerged for researcher allegiance.Conclusions: Our results support the efficacy of group psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. They indicate that mixed-diagnoses groups are equally effective as diagnosis-specific groups, although further evidence is required. Future primary studies should address differential effectiveness, include a wider range of therapeutic approaches as well as active comparison groups.

Barkowski, S., Schwartze, D., Strauss, B., Burlingame, G. M., & Rosendahl, J. (2020). Efficacy of group psychotherapy for anxiety disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychotherapy Research.

Obese adults have been shown to have poorer white brain matter integrity relative to normal-weight peers, but few studies have tested whether white matter integrity is compromised in overweight and obese adolescents. Also, it is unclear if age interacts with body mass to affect white matter integrity in adolescents. We used Automated Fiber Quantification, a tractography method, to compare fractional anisotropy between normal-weight and overweight/obese adolescents in the corpus callosum, corticospinal tract, cingulum, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and uncinate fasciculus. Further, we tested whether any differences were moderated by age. Forty-seven normal-weight and forty overweight/obese adolescents were scanned using a diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scan sequence. Overweight/obese compared to normal-weight adolescents had decreased white matter integrity in the superior frontal corpus callosum, left and right uncinate fasciculi, left inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, and left corticospinal tract, which may be related to heightened reward processing. Overweight/obese compared to normal-weight adolescents had increased white matter integrity in the orbital and anterior frontal corpus callosum, right inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, left cingulum, and left corticospinal tract, which may be related to heightened attentional processing. As age increased, six tracts showed poorer white matter integrity as body mass index percentile (BMI%) increased, but three tracts showed greater white matter integrity as BMI% increased. Future research examining associations between white matter integrity and neural indices of food-related reward and attention are needed to clarify the functional significance of white matter integrity discrepancies between normal-weight and overweight/obese adolescents.

Carbine, K. A., Duraccio, K. M., Hedges-Muncy, A., Barnett, K. A., Kirwan, C. B., & Jensen, C. D. (2020). White matter integrity disparities between normal-weight and overweight/obese adolescents: An automated fiber quantification tractography study. Brain Imaging and Behavior14(1), 308–319.

The Group Questionnaire (GQ) is a measure recently developed by Krogel et al. (2013) for the evaluation of the therapeutic relationship in group. The GQ identifies a three-factor model of the relationship that allows to measure quality (Positive Bonding, Positive Working and Negative Relationship) and structure (member-member, member-leader and member-group), dimensions in group. This work shows the results of a first study on the Italian validation of the GQ. In this study the GQ was administered to 536 subjects from 32 non-clinical groups of undergraduate students. The cross-cultural validity of the GQ in the Italian population has been examined by comparing the psychometric properties and equivalence in factor structure and scores of the Italian GQ with the original American version. Multilevel confirmatory factor analysis was used to examine both the between- and within-group structures. Data concerning reliability and validity of GQ and the results for different SEM in Multilevel CFA confirm the three factors structure of the GQ. Data from the Italian population have a good fit with the original proposed model. Finally, we discuss the importance of an instrument like GQ, short but consistent, for the evaluation of the therapeutic relationship in clinical and training group.

Giannone, F., Guarnaccia, C., Gullo, S., Di Blasi, M., Giordano, C., Lo Coco, G., & Burlingame, G. (2020). Italian adaptation of the Group Questionnaire: Validity and factorial structure. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome23(2), 133–144.

The Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale (CTRS) is an observer-rated measure of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment fidelity. Although widely used, the factor structure and psychometric properties of the CTRS are not well established. Evaluating the factorial validity of the CTRS may increase its utility for training and fidelity monitoring in clinical practice and research. The current study used multilevel exploratory factor analysis to examine the factor structure of the CTRS in a large sample of therapists (n = 413) and observations (n = 1,264) from community-based CBT training. Examination of model fit and factor loadings suggested that three within-therapist factors and one between-therapist factor provided adequate fit and the most parsimonious and interpretable factor structure. The three within-therapist factors included items related to (a) session structure, (b) CBT-specific skills and techniques, and (c) therapeutic relationship skills, although three items showed some evidence of cross-loading. All items showed moderate to high loadings on the single between-therapist factor. Results support continued use of the CTRS and suggest factors that may be a relevant focus for therapists, trainers, and researchers.

Goldberg, S. B., Baldwin, S. A., Merced, K., Caperton, D. K., Imel, Z. E., Atkins, D. C., & Creed, T. (2020). The structure of competence: Evaluating the factor structure of the Cognitive Therapy Rating Scale. Behavior Therapy51(1), 113–122.

Prior research has demonstrated that religiousness is associated with and potentially facilitative of self-regulation, though most of the research has been cross-sectional. The present longitudinal study examined dynamic relations between religiousness development and self-regulation formation from early adolescence into young adulthood. The sample included 500 U.S. adolescents and their parents. The data were restructured by adolescent age and analyzed from ages 11–22. The analyses involved latent curve models with structured residuals (LCM-SR). First, univariate latent growth curve models were estimated for religiousness, as well as adolescent-reports and parent-reports of adolescent behavioral self-regulation, cognitive self-regulation, and emotional self-regulation. Religiousness decreased over time while self-regulation increased (except for adolescent-report behavioral self-regulation, which followed a u-shape). Bivariate latent growth curve models pairing religiousness with each self-regulation variable found significant positive correlations between change in religiousness and change in adolescent-report cognitive and emotional self-regulation and parent-report emotional self-regulation. After adding in cross-lagged paths, relations between these slopes went away, but positive bidirectional cross-lagged associations in both directions were found between religiousness and adolescent-report cognitive self-regulation and parent-report emotional self-regulation. These results provide evidence for dynamic relations between religiousness and self-regulation across adolescence and into young adulthood. Further, the findings point to possible specificity based on the self-regulation dimension and whether data are adolescent-report or parent-report.

Hardy, S. A., Baldwin, C. R., Herd, T., & Kim-Spoon, J. (2020). Dynamic associations between religiousness and self-regulation across adolescence into young adulthood. Developmental Psychology56(1), 180–197. (Supplemental)

Although online and app-based relationship interventions have been developed to promote relationship well-being, they require a computer, tablet, or smartphone and a high-speed data connection. Instead, text messaging may be a more cost-effective form of delivery. In the current study, 461 participants from three universities, who were mostly female (73%) and white (68%), were randomly assigned to a control group or to a text message treatment condition where they received one text a day for 28 days. Results indicated that text messaging was rated by participants as a favorable method of treatment delivery. However, romantically-involved college students in the treatment condition did not report significantly greater gains in individual or relationship functioning than couples in the control group. Further, although students in the text intervention did not become violent during the study, they reported fewer decreases in violence than the control group.

Hatch, S. G., Roddy, M. K., Doss, B. D., Rogge, R. D., Esplin, C. R., & Braithwaite, S. R. (2020). Texts 4 romantic relationships—A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy19(2), 115–135.

Objective: Job loss has a demonstrated negative impact on physical and mental health. Involuntary retirement has also been linked to poorer physical and mental health outcomes. This study examined whether late-career unemployment is related to involuntary retirement and health declines postretirement. Method: Analysis was conducted using the 2000-2012 U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) survey data with unemployment months regressed with demographic and baseline health measures on physical and mental health. Results: Individuals with late-career unemployment reported more involuntary retirement timing (47.0%) compared with those reporting no unemployment (27.9%). Late-career unemployment had no significant effect on self-reported physical health (β = .003, p = .84), but was significantly associated with lower levels of mental health (β = .039; p < .01). Conclusion: Self-reports of late-career unemployment are not associated with physical health in retirement, but unemployment is associated with involuntary retirement timing and mental health declines in retirement. Unemployment late in the working career should be addressed as a public mental health concern.

Voss, M. W., Wadsworth, L. L., Birmingham, W., Merryman, M. B., Crabtree, L., Subasic, K., & Hung, M. (2020). Health effects of late-career unemployment. Journal of Aging and Health32(1–2), 106–116.

Episodic memory depends on the computational process of pattern separation in order to establish distinct memory representations of similar episodes. Studies of pattern separation in humans rely on mnemonic discrimination tasks, which have been shown to tax hippocampal‐dependent pattern separation. Although previous neuroimaging research has focused on hippocampal processing, little is known about how other brain regions, known to be involved in recognition memory performance, are involved in mnemonic discrimination tasks. Conversely, neuroimaging studies of pattern separation with whole‐brain coverage lack spatial resolution to localize activation to hippocampal subfields. In this study, 48 healthy young adult participants underwent whole‐brain high‐resolution functional MRI (fMRI) scanning while completing a mnemonic discrimination task. A priori region‐of‐interest analyses revealed activation patterns consistent with pattern separation in distinct hippocampal subregions, particularly in the subiculum. Connectivity analyses revealed a network of cortical regions consistent with the memory retrieval network where fMRI activation was correlated with hippocampal activation. An exploratory whole‐brain analysis revealed widespread activation differentially associated with performance of the mnemonic discrimination task. Taken together, these results suggest that a network of brain regions contribute to mnemonic discrimination performance, with the hippocampus and parahippocampal cortex as a hub in the network displaying clear signals consistent with pattern separation and regions such as the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex particularly important for successful lure discrimination.

Nash, M. I., Hodges, C. B., Muncy, N. M., & Kirwan, C. B. (2021). Pattern separation beyond the hippocampus: A high‐resolution whole‐brain investigation of mnemonic discrimination in healthy adults. Hippocampus31(4), 408–421.

Intimate partner violence includes psychological aggression, physical violence, sexual violence, and stalking from a current or former intimate partner. Past research suggests that exposure to intimate partner violence can impact cognitive and psychological functioning, as well as neurological outcomes. These seem to be compounded in those who suffer a brain injury as a result of trauma to the head, neck or body due to physical and/or sexual violence. However, our understanding of the neurobehavioral and neurobiological effects of head trauma in this population is limited due to factors including difficulty in accessing/recruiting participants, heterogeneity of samples, and premorbid and comorbid factors that impact outcomes. Thus, the goal of the Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) Consortium Intimate Partner Violence Working Group is to develop a global collaboration that includes researchers, clinicians, and other key community stakeholders. Participation in the working group can include collecting harmonized data, providing data for meta- and mega-analysis across sites, or stakeholder insight on key clinical research questions, promoting safety, participant recruitment and referral to support services. Further, to facilitate the mega-analysis of data across sites within the working group, we provide suggestions for behavioral surveys, cognitive tests, neuroimaging parameters, and genetics that could be used by investigators in the early stages of study design. We anticipate that the harmonization of measures across sites within the working group prior to data collection could increase the statistical power in characterizing how intimate partner violence-related head trauma impacts long-term physical, cognitive, and psychological health.

Esopenko, C., Meyer, J., Wilde, E. A., Marshall, A. D., Tate, D. F., Lin, A. P., Koerte, I. K., Werner, K. B., Dennis, E. L., Ware, A. L., de Souza, N. L., Menefee, D. S., Dams-O’Connor, K., Stein, D. J., Bigler, E. D., Shenton, M. E., Chiou, K. S., Postmus, J. L., Monahan, K., … Hillary, F. G. (2021). A global collaboration to study intimate partner violence-related head trauma: The ENIGMA consortium IPV working group. Brain Imaging and Behavior15(2), 475–503.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in children in both developed and developing nations. Children and adolescents suffer from TBI at a higher rate than the general population, and specific developmental issues require a unique context since findings from adult research do not necessarily directly translate to children. Findings in pediatric cohorts tend to lag behind those in adult samples. This may be due, in part, both to the smaller number of investigators engaged in research with this population and may also be related to changes in safety laws and clinical practice that have altered length of hospital stays, treatment, and access to this population. The ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Pediatric Moderate/Severe TBI (msTBI) group aims to advance research in this area through global collaborative meta-analysis of neuroimaging data. In this paper, we discuss important challenges in pediatric TBI research and opportunities that we believe the ENIGMA Pediatric msTBI group can provide to address them. With the paucity of research studies examining neuroimaging biomarkers in pediatric patients with TBI and the challenges of recruiting large numbers of participants, collaborating to improve statistical power and to address technical challenges like lesions will significantly advance the field. We conclude with recommendations for future research in this field of study..

Dennis, E. L., Caeyenberghs, K., Asarnow, R. F., Babikian, T., Bartnik-Olson, B., Bigler, E. D., Figaji, A., Giza, C. C., Goodrich-Hunsaker, N. J., Hodges, C. B., Hoskinson, K. R., Königs, M., Levin, H. S., Lindsey, H. M., Livny, A., Max, J. E., Merkley, T. L., Newsome, M. R., Olsen, A., … Wilde, E. A. (2021). Challenges and opportunities for neuroimaging in young patients with traumatic brain injury: A coordinated effort towards advancing discovery from the ENIGMA pediatric moderate/severe TBI group. Brain Imaging and Behavior15(2), 555–575.

Sport-related brain injury is very common, and the potential long-term effects include a wide range of neurological and psychiatric symptoms, and potentially neurodegeneration. Around the globe, researchers are conducting neuroimaging studies on primarily homogenous samples of athletes. However, neuroimaging studies are expensive and time consuming, and thus current findings from studies of sport-related brain injury are often limited by small sample sizes. Further, current studies apply a variety of neuroimaging techniques and analysis tools which limit comparability among studies. The ENIGMA Sports Injury working group aims to provide a platform for data sharing and collaborative data analysis thereby leveraging existing data and expertise. By harmonizing data from a large number of studies from around the globe, we will work towards reproducibility of previously published findings and towards addressing important research questions with regard to diagnosis, prognosis, and efficacy of treatment for sport-related brain injury. Moreover, the ENIGMA Sports Injury working group is committed to providing recommendations for future prospective data acquisition to enhance data quality and scientific rigor.

Koerte, I. K., Esopenko, C., Hinds, S. R., Shenton, M. E., Bonke, E. M., Bazarian, J. J., Bickart, K. C., Bigler, E. D., Bouix, S., Buckley, T. A., Choe, M. C., Echlin, P. S., Gill, J., Giza, C. C., Hayes, J., Hodges, C. B., Irimia, A., Johnson, P. K., Kenney, K., … Baron, D. (2021). The ENIGMA sports injury working group:—An international collaboration to further our understanding of sport-related brain injury. Brain Imaging and Behavior15(2), 576–584.

We suggest that a large data set for the error-related negativity (ERN) and error positivity (Pe) components of the scalp-recorded event-related brain potential (ERP) recently published as normative is not ready for such use in research and, especially, clinical application. Such efforts are challenged by an incomplete understanding of the functional significance of between-person differences in amplitudes and of nuisance factors that contribute to amplitude differences, a lack of standardization of methods, and the use of a convenience sample for the potentially normative database. To move ERPs toward standardization and useful norms, we encourage more research on the meaning of differences in ERN scores, including factors that influence between- and within-person variation, and the dissemination of protocols for data collection and processing.

Clayson, P. E., Kappenman, E. S., Gehring, W. J., Miller, G. A., & Larson, M. J. (2021). A commentary on establishing norms for error-related brain activity during the arrow flanker task among young adults. NeuroImage234.

There is evidence that diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is able to detect tissue alterations following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that may not be observed on conventional neuroimaging; however, findings are often inconsistent between studies. This systematic review assesses patterns of differences in DWI metrics between those with and without a history of mTBI. A PubMed literature search was performed using relevant indexing terms for articles published prior to May 14, 2020. Findings were limited to human studies using DWI in mTBI. Articles were excluded if they were not full-length, did not contain original data, if they were case studies, pertained to military populations, had inadequate injury severity classification, or did not report post-injury interval. Findings were reported independently for four subgroups: acute/subacute pediatric mTBI, acute/subacute adult mTBI, chronic adult mTBI, and sport-related concussion, and all DWI acquisition and analysis methods used were included. Patterns of findings between studies were reported, along with strengths and weaknesses of the current state of the literature. Although heterogeneity of sample characteristics and study methods limited the consistency of findings, alterations in DWI metrics were most commonly reported in the corpus callosum, corona radiata, internal capsule, and long association pathways. Many acute/subacute pediatric studies reported higher FA and lower ADC or MD in various regions. In contrast, acute/subacute adult studies most commonly indicate lower FA within the context of higher MD and RD. In the chronic phase of recovery, FA may remain low, possibly indicating overall demyelination or Wallerian degeneration over time. Longitudinal studies, though limited, generally indicate at least a partial normalization of DWI metrics over time, which is often associated with functional improvement. We conclude that DWI is able to detect structural mTBI-related abnormalities that may persist over time, although future DWI research will benefit from larger samples, improved data analysis methods, standardized reporting, and increasing transparency.

Lindsey, H. M., Hodges, C. B., Greer, K. M., Wilde, E. A., & Merkley, T. L. (2021). Diffusion-weighted imaging in mild traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of the literature. Neuropsychology Review.

Reports an error in 'Dimensions of anxiety and depression and neurophysiological indicators of error‐monitoring: Relationship with delta and theta oscillatory power and error‐related negativity amplitude' by Alexandra M. Muir, Ariana Hedges‐Muncy, Ann Clawson, Kaylie A. Carbine and Michael J. Larson (Psychophysiology, 2020[Sep], Vol 57[9][e13595]). In the original article, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ) was partially incorrectly scored. When reverse scoring a subset of the questions, the individual reverse-scored item values were accidentally subtracted from 5 when it should have been subtracted from 6. After fixing this subtraction mistake, all analyses including the PSWQ were re-run. This corrigendum provides the locations of the updated results and supplementary materials, and reports updated statistical values for any portion of the manuscript that uses the PSWQ. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2020-35093-001). Error‐monitoring processes may be affected by transdiagnostic dimensions of psychopathology symptoms including trait anxiety, worry, and severity of depressive symptoms. We tested the relationship between continuous measures of anxiety and depressive symptomology and neural correlates of error‐monitoring as measured by time‐frequency domain delta and theta oscillatory power and time‐domain error‐related negativity (ERN) amplitude extracted from the electroencephalogram (EEG). Secondary analyses tested for diagnostic group differences in error‐related neural responses in individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and comorbid psychiatric disorders. About 178 participants (104 female, M[SD]age = 21.7[4.6]) with a wide range of psychopathology symptoms completed a modified version of the Eriksen flanker task and symptom questionnaires. Residualized difference values between correct and error trials for delta/theta power and error/correct ERN amplitude were used as dependent variables. Linear regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, and task accuracy showed nonsignificant associations of symptom dimension measures with error‐related residualized delta/theta power or residualized ERN amplitude. Subset analyses on those with confirmed psychopathology diagnoses also did not predict residualized error‐related delta/theta power nor residualized ERN amplitude (nGAD = 14, nMDD = 28, nComorbid = 19, nControl = 85). Taken in the context of the previous literature, results suggest a heterogeneous relationship between depressive and anxiety symptom dimensions and neurophysiological indices of error‐monitoring.

Muir, A. M., Hedges, M. A., Clawson, A., Carbine, K. A., & Larson, M. J. (2021). “Dimensions of anxiety and depression and neurophysiological indicators of error‐monitoring: Relationship with delta and theta oscillatory power and error‐related negativity amplitude”: Corrigendum. Psychophysiology58(2).

Sedentary behaviors, such as computer use and sedentary video games, are barriers to physical activity, contribute to overweight and obesity among adolescents, and can adversely affect eating behaviors. Active video games may increase daily physical activity levels among adolescents and improve food‐related inhibitory control. We compared the effects of acute bouts of active and sedentary video gaming on event‐related potential (ERP) indices of food‐related inhibitory control, energy expenditure, and ad libitum eating. In a within‐subjects design, 59 adolescent participants (49% female, Mage = 13.29 ± 1.15) completed two separate counterbalanced, 60‐min long video gaming sessions separated by seven days. Immediately after, participants completed two go/no‐go tasks with high‐ and low‐calorie images and N2 and P3 ERP amplitudes were measured. Participants also completed a Stroop task and were given high‐ and low‐calorie snacks to consume ad libitum. Results indicated that active relative to sedentary video games significantly increased energy expenditure on multiple measures (e.g., METs, heart rate, kcals burned) and participants consumed more calories after the active compared to the sedentary video game session. N2 amplitudes were larger when participants inhibited to high‐ compared to low‐calorie foods, suggesting that high‐calorie foods necessitate increased the recruitment of inhibitory control resources; however, there were non‐significant differences for the N2 or P3 amplitudes, accuracy or response times, and Stroop performance between active versus sedentary video game sessions. Overall, sixty minutes of active video gaming increased energy expenditure and food consumption but did not significantly alter neural or behavioral measures of inhibitory control to food stimuli.

Smith, J. L., Carbine, K. A., Larson, M. J., Tucker, L. A., Christensen, W. F., LeCheminant, J. D., & Bailey, B. W. (2021). To play or not to play? The relationship between active video game play and electrophysiological indices of food‐related inhibitory control in adolescents. European Journal of Neuroscience53(3), 876–894.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of after-school sedentary screen time on children’s brain activation in reward and cognitive control regions in response to pictures of high- and low-calorie foods. Thirty-two children participated in a randomized crossover study with counterbalanced treatment conditions. Conditions took place on separate days after school and included three hours of active or sedentary play. After each condition, neural activation was assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants completed a go/no-go task involving pictures of high- and low-calorie foods. General response inhibition was also measured using the Stroop task. Hunger was measured upon arrival to the testing facility and just prior to fMRI scans. Mixed effects models were used to evaluate main effects and interactions. Significant stimulus by condition interactions were found in the right superior parietal cortex, and left anterior cingulate cortex (Ps ≤ 0.05). High-calorie pictures elicited significantly more activation bilaterally in the orbitofrontal cortex compared to low-calorie pictures (Ps ≤ 0.05). Stroop task performance diminished significantly following the sedentary condition compared to the active (P ≤ 0.05). Subjective feelings of hunger were not different between conditions at any point. Sedentary screen time was associated with significantly decreased response inhibition and a reversed brain activation pattern to pictures of high- and low-calorie foods compared to active play, in areas of the brain important to the modulation of food intake. Decreased attention, and impulse control following sedentary screen time may contribute to disinhibited eating that can lead to overweight and obesity.

Efraim, M., Kirwan, C. B., Muncy, N. M., Tucker, L. A., Kwon, S., & Bailey, B. W. (2021). Acute after-school screen time in children decreases impulse control and activation toward high-calorie food stimuli in brain regions related to reward and attention. Brain Imaging and Behavior15(1), 177–189.

Objective: This study evaluated associations between parent–child connectedness and communication, parent feeding behaviors (restriction, pressure to eat, and monitoring), and age- and sex-standardized child body mass index (zBMI) in a sample of pre-adolescent children aged 8–12 years. Methods: A community sample of three hundred and eight child–parent dyads completed measures of communication and connectedness. Parents completed a feeding behavior measure and children were weighed and their height was measured. We examined whether parental feeding behaviors and parent–child communication and connectedness predicted child zBMI and whether parental feeding behaviors moderated the association between parent–child communication and connectedness and child zBMI. Results: Feeding restriction was positively associated with zBMI, while both pressure to eat and food monitoring exhibited negative associations with zBMI. Child-reported communication was inversely associated with zBMI and parental pressure to eat moderated this association such that lower pressure to eat predicted a stronger association between communication and zBMI. Conclusions: These findings are consistent with previous research suggesting that parent feeding strategies and parent–child communication are important contributors to child weight status. This study also provides preliminary evidence suggesting that adaptive parent–child communication is associated with lower body mass when parents avoid pressuring their child to eat. Our study provides an important extension of this body of research into middle childhood, a relatively understudied developmental stage..

Lowe, K. D., Lott, M. A., & Jensen, C. D. (2021). Associations between parent–child communication and connectedness, parent feeding behavior, and child body mass in pre-adolescent children. Journal of Pediatric Psychology46(1), 59–68.

This study investigated patterns of cortical organization in adolescents who had sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during early childhood to determine ways in which early head injury may alter typical brain development. Increased gyrification in other patient populations is associated with polymicrogyria and aberrant development, but this has not been investigated in TBI. Seventeen adolescents (mean age = 14.1 ± 2.4) who sustained a TBI between 1–8 years of age, and 17 demographically-matched typically developing children (TDC) underwent a high-resolution, T1-weighted 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 6–15 years post-injury. Cortical white matter volume and organization was measured using FreeSurfer's Local Gyrification Index (LGI). Despite a lack of significant difference in white matter volume, participants with TBI demonstrated significantly increased LGI in several cortical regions that are among those latest to mature in normal development, including left parietal association areas, bilateral dorsolateral and medial frontal areas, and the right posterior temporal gyrus, relative to the TDC group. Additionally, there was no evidence of increased surface area in the regions that demonstrated increased LGI. Higher Vineland-II Socialization scores were associated with decreased LGI in right frontal and temporal regions. The present results suggest an altered pattern of expected development in cortical gyrification in the TBI group, with changes in late-developing frontal and parietal association areas. Such changes in brain structure may underlie cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with pediatric TBI. Alternatively, increased gyrification following TBI may represent a compensatory mechanism that allows for typical development of cortical surface area, despite reduced brain volume.

Wilde, E. A., Merkley, T. L., Lindsey, H. M., Bigler, E. D., Hunter, J. V., Ewing-Cobbs, L., Aitken, M. E., MacLeod, M. C., Hanten, G., Chu, Z. D., Abildskov, T. J., Noble-Haeusslein, L. J., & Levin, H. S. (2021). Developmental alterations in cortical organization and socialization in adolescents who sustained a traumatic brain injury in early childhood. Journal of Neurotrauma38(1), 133–143.

Attempts to describe the latent structure of human infant temperament have led some to suggest the existence of three major dimensions. An earlier exploratory factor analysis (EFA) supported a triadic structure of temperament in week‐old rhesus monkey infants, paralleling the structure in human infants. This study sought to confirm the latent triadic structure of temperament across the first month of life in a larger sample of rhesus monkey infants (N = 668), reared by their mothers or in a neonatal nursery. A weekly behavioral assessment was obtained during the first month of life using a subset of items from the widely utilized Infant Behavioral Assessment Scale (IBAS), an instrument designed to measure temperament in infant monkeys. Using the latent constructs proposed by the earlier EFA (Orienting/Regulation, Negative Affectivity, Surgency/Extraversion), multi‐group, multi‐time point confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to confirm the latent temperament structure across rearing groups at each time point (weeks 1–4). Results confirm and extend those of the earlier EFA: latent Orienting/Regulation, Negative Affectivity, and Surgency/Extraversion constructs were present across the rearing groups at each time point, with the IBAS items consistently loading onto the latent factors to a similar degree across rearing groups at each time point. These findings suggest foundational evolutionary roots for the triadic structure of human infant temperament, but that its behavioral manifestations vary across maturation and rearing condition. Similarities in latent temperament structure in humans and a representative nonhuman primate highlights the potential for utilizing translational nonhuman primate models to increase understanding of human temperament.

Wood, E. K., Higley, J. D., Champoux, M., Marsiske, M., Olsen, J. A., Suomi, S. J., & Kay, D. B. (2021). Multi‐group multi‐time point confirmatory factor analysis of the triadic structure of temperament: A nonhuman primate model. Developmental Psychobiology63(1), 65–73.

Common factors are nonspecific therapeutic elements common across different varieties of psychotherapy. In a recent study, 68 expert psychotherapy researchers with a variety of allegiances collectively rated biofeedback as being negatively associated with many common factors (Tschacher et al. in Clin Psychol Psychother 21(1):82–96, 2014), including the therapeutic alliance. However, it seems implausible that biofeedback could benefit so many people while being incompatible with the therapeutic alliance and other common factors. The present study investigated the experiences of biofeedback clients who participated in a brief heart rate variability biofeedback protocol in order to explore the potential roles of common factors in biofeedback. The results of this study offer preliminary evidence that many common factors—including therapeutic alliance, self-efficacy expectation, mastery experiences, provision of explanatory scheme, mindfulness, and even cognitive restructuring—may play a role in biofeedback outcomes. Future research on this topic should include mediation and moderation models investigating the role of specific common factors on outcome and process studies to help determine what clinician behaviors are most helpful. Deeper investigation of common factors in biofeedback may benefit future biofeedback research and practice and address the concerns of colleagues outside of the biofeedback community who believe that biofeedback is at odds with common factors.

Fox, S. T., Ghelfi, E. A., & Goates-Jones, M. K. (2021). Common factors in biofeedback administered by psychotherapists. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback.

Background/Objectives: Physical distancing during the COVID‐19 pandemic may have unintended, detrimental effects on social isolation and loneliness among older adults. Our objectives were to investigate (1) experiences of social isolation and loneliness during shelter‐in‐place orders, and (2) unmet health needs related to changes in social interactions. Design: Mixed‐methods longitudinal phone‐based survey administered every 2 weeks. Setting: Two community sites and an academic geriatrics outpatient clinical practice. Participants: A total of 151 community‐dwelling older adults. Measurements: We measured social isolation using a six‐item modified Duke Social Support Index, social interaction subscale, that included assessments of video‐based and Internet‐based socializing. Measures of loneliness included self‐reported worsened loneliness due to the COVID‐19 pandemic and loneliness severity based on the three‐item University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Loneliness Scale. Participants were invited to share open‐ended comments about their social experiences. Results: Participants were on average aged 75 years (standard deviation = 10), 50% had hearing or vision impairment, 64% lived alone, and 26% had difficulty bathing. Participants reported social isolation in 40% of interviews, 76% reported minimal video‐based socializing, and 42% minimal Internet‐based socializing. Socially isolated participants reported difficulty finding help with functional needs including bathing (20% vs 55%; P = .04). More than half (54%) of the participants reported worsened loneliness due to COVID‐19 that was associated with worsened depression (62% vs 9%; P < .001) and anxiety (57% vs 9%; P < .001). Rates of loneliness improved on average by time since shelter‐in‐place orders (4–6 weeks: 46% vs 13–15 weeks: 27%; P = .009), however, loneliness persisted or worsened for a subgroup of participants. Open‐ended responses revealed challenges faced by the subgroup experiencing persistent loneliness including poor emotional coping and discomfort with new technologies. Conclusion: Many older adults are adjusting to COVID‐19 restrictions since the start of shelter‐in‐place orders. Additional steps are critically needed to address the psychological suffering and unmet medical needs of those with persistent loneliness or barriers to technology‐based social interaction.

Kotwal, A. A., Holt-Lunstad, J., Newmark, R. L., Cenzer, I., Smith, A. K., Covinsky, K. E., Escueta, D. P., Lee, J. M., & Perissinotto, C. M. (2021). Social isolation and loneliness among San Francisco Bay Area older adults during the COVID‐19 shelter‐in‐place orders. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society69(1), 20–29.

We tested the effect of different intensities of acute exercise on hunger, and post-exercise energy intake, and neurophysiological measures of attention towards food- and non-food stimuli in women. In a within-subjects crossover design, forty-two women completed no exercise, moderate-intensity exercise, and vigorous-intensity exercise sessions separated by one week, in a counterbalanced fashion. At each session, participants completed a passive viewing task of food (high- and low-calorie) and non-food pictures while electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded. The early posterior negativity (EPN), P3, and late positive potential (LPP) components of the event-related potential (ERP) measured neurophysiological responses. Subjective ratings of hunger were measured before and immediately after each condition using a visual analog scale (VAS) and food intake was measured using an ad libitum snack buffet offered at the end of each condition. Results indicated that hunger levels increased as time passed for all sessions. EPN amplitude was larger to non-food compared to food images; P3 amplitude was larger to food than non-food stimuli. LPP amplitude did not differ by high-calorie, low-calorie, or non-food images. Notably, there were no significant main effects or interactions of any ERP component amplitude as a function of exercise intensity. Food intake also did not differ by rest or moderate or vigorous exercise, although subjective arousal ratings to the images were higher after moderate and vigorous exercise compared to rest. Food images also had higher arousal and valence ratings than non-food images overall. Findings indicate that, in this sample, acute moderate and vigorous exercise compared to rest did not disproportionately affect neurophysiological measures of attention to food or non-food stimuli, caloric intake, or hunger.

Carbine, K. A., Anderson, J., Larson, M. J., LeCheminant, J. D., & Bailey, B. W. (2020). The relationship between exercise intensity and neurophysiological responses to food stimuli in women: A randomized crossover event-related potential (ERP) study. International Journal of Psychophysiology158, 349–361.

This guide describes best practices in using eye tracking technology for research in a variety of disciplines. A basic outline of the anatomy and physiology of the eyes and of eye movements is provided, along with a description of the sorts of research questions eye tracking can address. We then explain how eye tracking technology works and what sorts of data it generates, and provide guidance on how to select and use an eye tracker as well as selecting appropriate eye tracking measures. Challenges to the validity of eye tracking studies are described, along with recommendations for overcoming these challenges. We then outline correct reporting standards for eye tracking studies. 

Carter, B. T., & Luke, S. G. (2020). Best practices in eye tracking research. International Journal of Psychophysiology155, 49–62.

Psychological stress is increasingly associated with alterations in performance and affect. Yet, the relationship between experimentally induced psychological stress and neural indices of performance monitoring and error processing, as well as response inhibition, are unclear. Using scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs), we tested the relationship between experimental stress, using the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), and the error-related negativity (ERN), error positivity (Pe), and N2 ERP components. A final sample of 71 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to go through the TSST (n = 36; 18 female) or a brief mindfulness relaxation exercise (n = 35; 16 female) immediately followed by a go/no-go task while electroencephalogram (EEG) data were collected. Salivary cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure confirmed increased physiological stress in the TSST group relative to control. Reaction times, accuracy, and post-error slowing did not differ by stress group. Two-group (TSST, control) by 2-trial type (correct, incorrect for ERN/Pe; go correct, no-go correct for N2) repeated measures ANOVAs for the ERN, Pe, and N2 showed the expected main effects of trial type; neither the ERN nor the N2 ERP components showed interactions with the stress manipulation. In contrast, the Pe component showed a significant Group by Trial interaction, with reduced Pe amplitude following the stress condition relative to control. Pe amplitude did not, however, correlate with cortisol reactivity. Findings suggest a reduction in Pe amplitude following experimental stress that may be associated with reduced error awareness or attention to errors following the TSST. Given the variability in the extant literature on the relationship between experimentally induced stress and neurophysiological reflections of performance monitoring, we provide another point of data and conclude that better understanding of moderating variables is needed followed by high-powered replication studies to get at the nuance that is not yet understood in the relationship between induced stress and performance monitoring/response inhibition processes.

Rodeback, R. E., Hedges-Muncy, A., Hunt, I. J., Carbine, K. A., Steffen, P. R., & Larson, M. J. (2020). The association between experimentally induced stress, performance monitoring, and response inhibition: An event-related potential (ERP) analysis. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience14.

The present study examined individual and environmental factors that are linked to resilience in a sample of rural Midwestern Latinx early adolescents in the United States (N = 123, mean age = 11.53 years; 56.9% female). Using resilience theory and the Positive Youth Development (PYD) framework, we examined the associations of mothers’ and fathers’ positive parenting to early adolescents’ (EAs) effortful control and resilience across two time points, and examined bidirectional relations between effortful control and resilience. Using structural equation modeling, we found positive concurrent associations at Time 1 (T1) between mothers’ positive parenting and EAs’ effortful control and resilience. Fathers’ T1 positive parenting was positively associated with EAs’ T1 effortful control, but not their resilience. Although mothers’ positive parenting was not longitudinally associated with EA resilience, fathers’ T1 positive parenting was associated with EAs’ resilience at Time 2 (T2). Positive concurrent associations between effortful control and resilience were found at both time points; however, bidirectional effects were not significant. Our results suggest that resources such as positive parenting and effortful control have important implications for positive youth development in ethnic minority EAs. 

Nair, N., Taylor, Z. E., Evich, C. D., & Jones, B. L. (2020). Relations of positive parenting, effortful control, and resilience in rural Midwestern Latinx early adolescents. Children and Youth Services Review113.

Performance-monitoring event-related brain potentials (ERPs), such as the error-related negativity (ERN) and reward positivity (RewP), are advocated as biomarkers of depression symptoms and risk. However, a recent meta-analysis indicated effect size heterogeneity in the ERN and RewP literatures. Hence, advocating these ERPs as biomarkers of depression might be premature or possibly misguided due to the selective reporting of significant analyses on the part of researchers (e.g., p-hacking or omission of non-significant findings). The present study quantified the degree of selective reporting and the evidential value for a true relationship between depression and ERN and RewP using a p-curve analysis. We predicted that the ERN and RewP literatures would fail to show evidential value for a relationship between each ERP and depression. Contrary to expectations, both literatures showed evidential value, albeit weak. The statistical power of the included ERN studies was between 20% and 25%, and the statistical power of the RewP was around 27%. Taken together, these findings provide support for a relationship between these ERPs and depression, which strengthens claims that these ERPs represent candidate biomarkers of depression symptoms and risk. In light of the evidence for these relationships being weak, some recommendations moving forward include conducting a priori power analyses, increasing sample sizes to improve statistical power, assessing the internal consistency of ERP scores, and carefully planning statistical approaches to maximize power.

Clayson, P. E., Carbine, K. A., & Larson, M. J. (2020). A registered report of error-related negativity and reward positivity as biomarkers of depression: P-curving the evidence. International Journal of Psychophysiology150, 50–72.

As demand increased for mental health services, especially in university counseling centers, providers have seen increasing numbers of clients. The effect of this increase on therapist caseloads is explored, with a recognition that past research on therapist caseloads lacks direct and fluctuating measures of caseload that reflect practice in naturalistic settings. Using a large dataset from a counseling center (N = 18,322), therapist caseload was conceptualized dynamically over rolling 30-day periods, using within-therapist counts of therapy sessions, unique clients seen, and the proportion of unique clients to sessions. Analysis of variance was used first to test for differences in caseload between months, years, then to test for differences between therapists (n = 173). Hierarchical linear models were constructed to examine the relationship between changes in therapist caseload across time and client outcome. Logistic and ordinal regression approaches were used to further examine this relationship for clinically significant change. Results included finding a small, but significant, effect of therapist caseload on outcome, with this finding discussed in the context of the effect sizes in the literature on therapist effects. 

Bailey, R. J., Erekson, D. M., Goates-Jones, M., Andes, R. M., & Snell, A. N. (2020). Busy therapists: Examining caseload as a potential factor in outcome. Psychological Services.


Objective: To develop and test parent and early adolescent questionnaires to assess food parenting practices that influence early adolescent food consumption during independent eating occasions (iEOs). Methods: Cross-sectional online questionnaires were completed by 206 and 62 low-income parent/early adolescent (11–14 years) dyads at Time 1 and 2, respectively, recruited via a Qualtrics (Provo, UT) US national panel database. Principal component analyses, internal consistency, and test–retest reliability checks were performed. Results: Six parallel components were identified for parents and early adolescents with acceptable internal consistency and test–retest reliability. Scales included autonomy support, monitoring, availability, indulgence, expectations, and modeling. All except indulgence were positively correlated with importance of helping early adolescents make healthy choices during iEOs. Conclusions and Implications: Additional research is needed to test the questionnaires’ validity regarding relationships between parenting practices and early adolescent consumption during iEOs. Findings could inform development of interventions to improve consumption during these occasions. 

Reicks, M., Banna, J., Anderson, A. K., Da Silva, V., Gunther, C., Hongu, N. K., Jones, B., Lora, K., Monroe-Lord, L., Richards, R., Topham, G., & Wong, S. S. (2020). Development of parent and adolescent questionnaires to assess food parenting practices that address adolescent consumption during independent eating occasions. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior52(3), 307–313.

Aims: Decades of scientific research have found optimism to have wide‐ranging effects on individuals' health and well‐being. Researchers have largely examined optimism in adults, but have begun addressing the benefits of optimism in adolescents. Challenges and stressors in adolescence can threaten youths’ subjective well‐being; therefore, identifying factors that contribute to the growth of optimism could have important health implications. However, researchers have more often examined the effect of optimism on youth outcomes rather than factors that might positively or negatively contribute to the development of optimism. Methods: We assessed how salient developmental tasks (resilience, ethnic pride, and school attachment), family stress, and depressive problems individually contribute to Latinx youths’ optimism at two time points (N = 123, 58.8% female, M age = 11.54 years). Results: We found support for associations between both resilience and school attachment and optimism, but findings were weaker across time and with stressors included in the model. Depressive problems also appeared to weaken optimism across time. Conclusion: Given the established links between optimism and health, it will be important for researchers to continue to identify factors that contribute to the development of youth optimism, and assess whether they could be used in interventions to foster optimism. 

Taylor, Z. E., Kittrell, N., Nair, N., Evich, C. D., & Jones, B. L. (2020). Developmental antecedents of adolescent optimism in rural Midwestern US Latinx youth. Journal of Community Psychology48(2), 448–463.

Anxiety is the most significant mental health concern for both Williams syndrome (WS) and autism. Whilst WS and autism are characterized by some syndrome‐specific social differences, less is known about cross‐syndrome profiles of anxiety symptoms. Previous research has shown that Intolerance of Uncertainty (IU) is a core mechanism of anxiety maintenance for clinically anxious populations and for autistic children, adolescents, and adults. The only published study in this area for WS has shown some similar patterns—with an added emphasis on the role of sensory sensitivities—in a sample of older teens and adults (mean age = 24), with the authors highlighting the need for younger samples to consider developmental influences. Here we report a cross‐syndrome, cross‐sectional mediation analyses of children diagnosed with WS or autism, including data from parent surveys of 90 children with WS (n = 48) or autism (n = 42). Group differences showed higher trait levels on all measures for the autism group. Importantly, the relationship between social profile and anxiety was fully mediated by IU level for both groups. This suggests possible similar core mechanisms underlying anxiety in these conditions, and the possibility of generalized intervention approaches especially related to managing distress related to uncertainty in multiple contexts. Lay Summary Autism and Williams Syndrome share some similarities in social profile and also in anxiety traits, but there are also some key differences as well. Comparing them side‐by‐side at the same time improved identification of ways to reduce feelings of anxiety. We found that the intolerance of uncertainty affected the relationship between social profile and anxiety in the same way for young children diagnosed with autism or Williams syndrome, meaning that intervention approaches could be similar for both.

South, M., Hanley, M., Normansell, M. K., Russell, N. C. C., Cawthorne, T., & Riby, D. M. (2021). “intolerance of uncertainty” mediates the relationship between social profile and anxiety in both williams syndrome and autism. Autism Research.

Research on mental health in autism has quite rightly flourished over the past fifteen years, and there is now clear evidence that autistic people are at heightened risk of experiencing mental health concerns. Recent research has shown that common mental health conditions may be experienced differently by autistic people, meaning that assessment and intervention techniques that were developed with and for neurotypical individuals are potentially less sensitive and effective for those on the spectrum. The upshot of this work is that we need to get better at all of these aspects of identification, support and intervention and that will only be possible with a clear understanding of the mechanisms of mental distress for autistic people. The work described in Ozsivadjian et al. (2020) makes a welcome addition to this literature. In this commentary, we explore the strengths and limitations of the work and consider its contribution to research and clinical practice in the field of autism and mental health.

Rodgers, J., & South, M. (2021). Commentary: Thinking flexibly about mental health and autism—A commentary on Ozsivadjian et al (2020). Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry62(6), 725–727.

The rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), a GABAergic afferent to midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons, has emerged as an integral player in both rewarding and nociceptive responses. While previous studies have demonstrated that acupuncture modulates DA transmission in the mesolimbic reward system originating in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and projecting to the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and can reduce drug self‐administration, the central links between peripheral acupuncture signals and brain reward systems are not well‐characterized. Thus, we hypothesised that acupuncture would elicit inhibitory signals from RMTg neurons to brain reward systems. Acupuncture reduced acute cocaine‐induced locomotor activity and DA release in a point‐specific manner, which was blocked by optogenetic silencing or chemical lesion of the RMTg. The acupuncture effect was mimicked by chemical activation of the RMTg. Acupuncture activated RMTg GABA neurons. In addition, the inhibitory effects of acupuncture on acute cocaine‐induced locomotor activity were prevented by electrolytic lesions of the lateral habenula (LHb) or fasciculus retroflexus (FR), areas known to project to the RMTg. These findings suggest that acupuncture recruits the RMTg to reduce the psychomotor responses enhanced by acute cocaine.

Chang, S., Fan, Y., Lee, S. M., Ryu, Y., Lee, B. H., Kim, S. C., Bills, K. B., Steffensen, S. C., Yang, C. H., & Kim, H. Y. (2021). Acupuncture reduces cocaine psychomotor responses by activating the rostromedial tegmental nucleus. Addiction Biology.

ABSTRACT Objective: Assessment of intellectual abilities in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a core component of a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. However, relatively limited information is available regarding the validity of one of the most commonly-used measures of intelligence, the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 5th Edition (WISC-V) in ASD. Method: We investigated the factor structure and measurement invariance of the WISC-V in a sample of 349 children aged 6–16 diagnosed with ASD using single- and multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. The comparison group was the WISC-V standardization sample. Results: A four-index bifactor solution best fit the ASD group data. Measurement invariance analyses indicated support for configural and metric, but not scalar, invariance of the published 5-index structure, suggesting systematic differences in performance among some subscales in ASD. The 7-subtest FSIQ scale had partial scalar invariance after relaxing equality constraints on the Coding and Digit Span subtest intercepts, suggesting sources other than theorized IQ ability contribute to lower scores on these subtests within ASD. The Cognitive Proficiency Index (CPI) failed to demonstrate appropriate fit in baseline models. The General Ability Index (GAI) had full configural, metric, and scalar invariance. Conclusions: Statistical bias on the WISC-V within ASD in processing speed and working memory subtests creates significant limitations for the use of FSIQ and especially CPI index scores in ASD populations. The GAI showed strong measurement properties and should be considered as the preferred indicator of overall intellectual functioning when assessing children with ASD using the WISC-V. 

Stephenson, K. G., Beck, J. S., South, M., Norris, M., & Butter, E. (2021). Validity of the wisc-v in youth with autism spectrum disorder: Factor structure and measurement invariance. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology.

Receiving a diagnosis of autism for their child can be a pivotal moment for parents, yet there is little research about how providers can predict parent reactions and adjust their feedback. We investigated factors related to parent reactions during the disclosure session using interviews with providers (n = 6), a parent focus group (n = 10), and a mixed-methods survey of parents (n = 189) of recently diagnosed children. Parents’ prior knowledge of autism and anxiety about diagnosis predicted emotional reactions and readiness for next steps. Families anxious about receiving a diagnosis are most in need of information but may leave the session feeling lost and unprepared. Providers can promote positive emotional reactions for parents and prevent confusion by increasing their own positivity, warmth, respect, clarity, and confidence.

Anderberg, E., & South, M. (2021). Predicting parent reactions at diagnostic disclosure sessions for autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Background: Acupuncture has been used to treat a wide variety of diseases, disorders, and conditions for more than 2500 years. While the anatomical structures of acupuncture points (or acupoints) are largely unknown, our previous studies have suggested that many acupoints can be identified as cutaneous neurogenic inflammatory spots (neurogenic spots or Neuro-Sps), arising from the release of neuropeptides from activated small diameter sensory afferents at topographically distinct body surfaces due to the convergence of visceral and somatic afferents. In turn, the neuropeptides released during neurogenic inflammation may play important roles in the effects of acupuncture as well as the formation of active acupoints. Thus, the present study has focused on the role of substance P (SP) in acupuncture signal transduction and effects. Methods: Neuro-Sps were detected by using in vivo fluorescence imaging after intravenous injection of Evans blue dye (EBD) and compared with traditional acupoints. Stimulatory effects of the Neuro-Sps were examined in a rat model of immobilization-induced hypertension (IMH). The roles of increased SP in Neuro-Sps were also investigated by using immunohistochemistry, in vivo single-fiber peripheral nerve recordings, and in vivo midbrain extracellular recordings. Results: Neurogenic inflammation quickly appeared at acupoints on the wrist and was fully developed within 15 min in IMH model. The Neuro-Sps showed an increased release of SP from afferent nerve terminals. Mechanical stimulation of these Neuro-Sps increased cell excitability in the midbrain (rostral ventrolateral medulla) and alleviated the development of hypertension, which was blocked by the local injection of the SP receptor antagonist CP-99994 into Neuro-Sps prior to acupuncture and mimicked by the local injection of capsaicin. Single fiber recordings of peripheral nerves showed that increased SP into the Neuro-Sps elevated the sensitivity of A- and C-fibers in response to acupuncture stimulation. In addition, the discharge rates of spinal wide dynamic response (WDR) neurons significantly increased following SP or acupuncture treatment in Neuro-Sps in normal rats, but decreased following the injection of CP-99994 into Neuro-Sps in IMH rats. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that SP released during neurogenic inflammation enhances the responses of sensory afferents to the needling of acupoints and triggers acupuncture signaling to generate acupuncture effects

Fan, Y., Kim, D.-H., Gwak, Y. S., Ahn, D., Ryu, Y., Chang, S., Lee, B. H., Bills, K. B., Steffensen, S. C., Yang, C. H., & Kim, H. Y. (2021). The role of substance P in acupuncture signal transduction and effects. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity91, 683–694.

Objective: The purpose of this study was (1) to examine whether three domains of a parent's functioning—parent distress, interpersonal relationships, and social role performance—changed over the course of their child's treatment, (2) to examine how these factors as measured at intake predicted youth progress in psychotherapy, and (3) to examine whether changes in these parent factors over the course of youth psychotherapy were associated with changes in youth symptoms. Method: Participants were 339 youth, ages 4–17 and their parents from a community outpatient treatment setting undergoing usual care. Parent and child outcomes were examined across five time points over the course of child treatment. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the relationship between parent domains and youth progress in therapy. Results: Results suggested that parent domains significantly predicted their child's symptoms at intake as well as change in psychotherapy. In addition, parent domains improved over the course of youth treatment and the progression of these changes was related to the progression of changes in youth scores across the course of treatment. Conclusions: The results of this study highlight the important relationship between youth and parent functioning in the context of treatment of youth mental health issues.

Packard, A. E., Warren, J. S., & Linford, L. B. (2021). Parent functioning and child psychotherapy outcomes: Predicting outcomes in usual care. Journal of Clinical Psychology77(1), 49–59.

Alcohol misuse and dependence is a widespread health problem. The central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) plays important roles in both the anxiety associated with alcohol (ethanol) dependence and the increased alcohol intake that is observed during withdrawal in dependent animals. We and others have shown the essential involvement of the corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) system in alcohol's synaptic effects on the CeA and in the development of ethanol dependence. Another system that has been shown to be critically involved in the molecular underpinnings of alcohol dependence is the norepinephrine (NE) system originating in the locus coeruleus. Both the CRF and NE systems act in concert to facilitate a stress response: central amygdalar afferents release CRF in the locus coeruleus promoting widespread release of NE. In this study, we are the first to use fast-scan cyclic voltammetry to classify local electrically-evoked NE release in the CeA and to determine if acute alcohol and CRF modulate it. Evoked NE release is action potential dependent, is abolished after depletion of monoaminergic vesicles, differs pharmacologically from dopamine release, is insensitive to acute alcohol, and decreases in response to locally applied CRF. Taken together, these results indicate that NE release in the CeA is released canonically in a vesicular-dependent manner, and that while acute alcohol does not directly alter NE release, CRF decreases it. Our results suggest that CRF acts locally on NE terminals as negative feedback and potentially prevents hyperactivation of the CRF-norepinephrine stress pathway.

Hedges, D. M., Yorgason, J. T., Brundage, J. N., Wadsworth, H. A., Williams, B., Steffensen, S. C., & Roberto, M. (2020). Corticotropin releasing factor, but not alcohol, modulates norepinephrine release in the rat central nucleus of the amygdala. Neuropharmacology179.

3‐fluoromethamphetamine (3‐FMA), a derivative of methamphetamine (METH), produces behavioral impairment and deficits in dopaminergic transmission in the striatum of mice. The abuse potential of 3‐FMA has not been fully characterized. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of 3‐FMA on locomotor activity as well as its rewarding and reinforcing properties in the conditioned place preference (CPP) and self‐administration procedures. Intravenous (i.v.) administration of 3‐FMA (0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg) significantly increased locomotor activity in a dose‐dependent manner in rats. In the CPP procedure, intraperitoneal administration of 3‐FMA (10 and 30 mg/kg) produced a significant alteration in place preference in mice. In the self‐administration paradigms, 3‐FMA showed drug‐taking behavior at the dose of 0.1 mg/kg/infusion (i.v.) during 2 hr sessions under fixed ratio schedules and high breakpoints at the dose of 0.3 and 1.0 mg/kg/infusion (i.v.) during 6 hr sessions under progressive ratio schedule of reinforcement in rats. A priming injection of 3‐FMA (0.4 mg/kg, i.v.), METH (0.2 mg/kg, i.v.), or cocaine (2.0 mg/kg, i.v.) reinstated 3‐FMA‐seeking behavior after an extinction period in 3‐FMA‐trained rats during 2 hr session. Taken together, these findings demonstrate robust psychomotor, rewarding and reinforcing properties of 3‐FMA, which may underlie its potential for compulsive use in humans.

Ryu, I. S., Yoon, S. S., Choi, M. J., Lee, Y. E., Kim, J. S., Kim, W. H., Cheong, J. H., Kim, H. J., Jang, C., Lee, Y. S., Steffensen, S. C., Ka, M., Woo, D. H., Jang, E. Y., & Seo, J. (2020). The potent psychomotor, rewarding and reinforcing properties of 3‐fluoromethamphetamine in rodents. Addiction Biology25(6).

Rationale: Methamphetamine (METH) enhances exocytotic dopamine (DA) signals and induces DA transporter (DAT)-mediated efflux in brain striatal regions such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Blocking sigma receptors prevents METH-induced DA increases. Sigma receptor activation induces Ca2+ release from intracellular stores, which may be responsible for METH-induced DA increases. Objectives: The role of intracellular and extracellular Ca2+ in METH-induced DA increases and associated behavior was tested. Methods: METH-induced Ca2+ release was measured in hNPC-derived DA cells using ratiometric Ca2+ imaging. In mouse brain slices, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry was used to measure METH effects on two measures of dopamine: electrically stimulated and DAT-mediated efflux. Intracellular and extracellular Ca2+ was removed through pharmacological blockade of Ca2+ permeable channels (Cd2+ and IP3 sensitive channels), intracellular Ca2+ chelation (BAPTA-AM), or non-inclusion (zero Ca2+). Lastly, METH effects on dopamine-mediated locomotor behavior were tested in rats. Rats received intra-NAc injections of ACSF or 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB; IP3 receptor blocker) and intraperitoneal METH (5 mg/kg) to test the role of intracellular Ca2+ release in DA-mediated behaviors. Results: Reducing Ca2+ extracellular levels and Ca2+ release from intracellular stores prevented intracellular Ca2+ release. Intracellular Ca2+ chelation and blocking intracellular Ca2+ release reduced METH effects on voltammetric measures of dopamine. Blocking intracellular Ca2+ release via 2-APB resulted in increased METH-induced circling behavior. Conclusions: METH induces NAc DA release through intracellular Ca2+ activity. Blocking intracellular Ca2+ release prevents METH effects on DA signals and related behavior.

Yorgason, J. T., Hedges, D. M., Obray, J. D., Jang, E. Y., Bills, K. B., Woodbury, M., Williams, B., Parsons, M. J., Andres, M. A., & Steffensen, S. C. (2020). Methamphetamine increases dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens through calcium-dependent processes. Psychopharmacology237(5), 1317–1330.

Methamphetamine (METH) enhances dopamine (DA) transmission in the mesolimbic system implicated in its reinforcing effects. Our previous studies have shown that acupuncture attenuates drug‐seeking behaviors by modulating GABAergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area and DA release in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of the striatum. The effects of acupuncture on METH‐induced behaviors and its mediation by neural pathways remain a relatively understudied area of research. The central amygdala (CeA) plays a critical role in physiological and behavioral responses to somatosensory and drug stimuli and has been implicated in negative reinforcement. Thus, we evaluated the role of the CeA in acupuncture effects on locomotor activity, positive affective states, and DA release in the NAc following acute administration of METH. Acupuncture at acupoint HT7 reduced locomotor activity, 50‐kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), and NAc DA release following systemic injection of METH, which was prevented by electrolytic lesions or optogenetic inhibition of the CeA. Acupuncture alone excited CeA neurons and reversed the suppression of CeA neurons induced by METH. These results suggest that acupuncture can relieve psychomotor responses and positive affective states following METH by inhibiting NAc DA release and this effect is mediated by activation of CeA neurons. 

Kim, M. S., Fan, Y., Lee, S. M., Chang, S. C., Kim, H. K., Ryu, Y., Steffensen, S. C., Yang, C. H., & Kim, H. Y. (2020). Role of the central amygdala in acupuncture inhibition of methamphetamine‐induced behaviors in rats. Addiction Biology.

Background: Growing evidence suggests that mechanical stimulation modulates substrates in the supraspinal central nervous system (CNS) outside the canonical somatosensory circuits. Objective/Methods: We evaluate mechanical stimulation applied to the cervical spine at the C7-T1 level (termed 'MStim') on neurons and neurotransmitter release in the mesolimbic dopamine (DA) system, an area implicated in reward and motivation, utilizing electrophysiological, pharmacological, neurochemical and immunohistochemical techniques in Wistar rats. Results: Low frequency (45–80 Hz), but not higher frequency (115 Hz), MStim inhibited the firing rate of ventral tegmental area (VTA) GABA neurons (52.8% baseline; 450 s) while increasing the firing rate of VTA DA neurons (248% baseline; 500 s). Inactivation of the nucleus accumbens (NAc), or systemic or in situ antagonism of delta opioid receptors (DORs), blocked MStim inhibition of VTA GABA neuron firing rate. MStim enhanced both basal (178.4% peak increase at 60 min) and evoked DA release in NAc (135.0% peak increase at 40 min), which was blocked by antagonism of DORs or acetylcholine release in the NAc. MStim enhanced c-FOS expression in the NAc, but inhibited total expression in the VTA, and induced translocation of DORs to neuronal membranes in the NAc. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that MStim modulates neuron firing and DA release in the mesolimbic DA system through endogenous opioids and acetylcholine in the NAc. These findings demonstrate the need to explore more broadly the extra-somatosensory effects of peripheral mechanoreceptor activation and the specific role for mechanoreceptor-based therapies in the treatment of substance abuse.

Bills, K. B., Obray, J. D., Clarke, T., Parsons, M., Brundage, J., Yang, C. H., Kim, H. Y., Yorgason, J. T., Blotter, J. D., & Steffensen, S. C. (2020). Mechanical stimulation of cervical vertebrae modulates the discharge activity of ventral tegmental area neurons and dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens. Brain Stimulation13(2), 403–411.