International Science Index
International Journal of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences
Management Support, Role Ambiguity and Role Ambiguity among Professional Nurses at National Health Insurance Pilot Sites in South Africa: An Interpretive Phenomenology
The South African Primary Health Care (PHC) system has undergone a number of transformations such as the introduction of National Health Insurance (NHI) to bring about easily accessible universal health coverage and to meet the health needs for all its citizens. This provides ongoing challenges to ensure that health workers are equipped with appropriate knowledge, support, and skills to meet these changes. Therefore it is crucial to understand the experiences and challenges of nurses as the backbone of PHC in providing quality healthcare services. In addition there has been a need to understand nurses’ experiences with management support, role ambiguity and role conflict amongst other challenges in light of the current reforms in healthcare. Indeed these constructs are notorious for having a detrimental impact on the outcomes of change initiatives within any organisation, this is no different in healthcare. This draws a discussion on professional nurses within the South African health care system especially since they have been labelled as the backbone of PHC, meaning any healthcare backlog falls on them. The study made use of semi-structured interviews and adopted the interpretative phenomenological approach (IPA) as the researcher aimed to explore the lived experiences of (n= 18) participants. The study discovered that professional nurses experienced a lack of management support within PHC facilities and that management mainly played an administrative and disciplinary role. Although participants mainly held positive perceptions with regards to changes happening in health care however they also expressed negative experiences in terms of how change initiatives were introduced resulting in role conflict and role ambiguity. Participants mentioned a shortage of staff, inadequate training as well as a lack of management support as some of the key challenges faced in facilities. This study offers unique findings as participants have not only experienced the various reforms within the PHC system however they have also been part of NHI pilot. The authors are not aware of any other studies published that examine management support, role conflict and role ambiguity together especially in South African PHC facilities. In conclusion understanding these challenges may provide insight and opportunities available to improve the current landscape of PHC not only in South Africa but internationally.
An Exploratory Study on Experiences of Menarche and Menstruation among Adolescent Girls
Menarche and menstruation is a nearly universal experience in adolescent girls’ lives, yet based on several observations it has been found that it is rarely explicitly talked about, and remains poorly understood. By menarche, girls are likely to have been influenced not only by cultural stereotypes about menstruation, but also by information acquired through significant others. Their own expectations about menstruation are likely to influence their reports of menarcheal experience. The aim of this study is to examine how girls construct meaning around menarche and menstruation in social interactions and specific contexts along with conceptualized experiences which is ‘owned’ by individual girls. Twenty adolescent girls from New Delhi (India), between the ages of 12 to 19 years (mean age = 15.1) participated in the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to capture the nuances of menarche and menstrual experiences of these twenty adolescent girls. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. From the detailed analysis of transcribed data main themes that emerged were- Menarche: A Trammeled Sky to Fly, Menarche as Flashbulb Memory, Hidden Secret: Shame and Fear, Hallmark of Womanhood, Menarche as Illness. Therefore, the finding unfolds that menarche and menstruation were largely constructed as embarrassing, shameful and something to be hidden, specifically within the school context and in general when they are outside of their home. Menstruation was also constructed as illness that programmed ‘feeling of weaknesses’ into them. The production and perpetuation of gender-related difference narratives was also evident. Implications for individuals, as well as for the subjugation of girls and women, are discussed, and it is argued that current negative representations of, and practices in relation to, menarche and menstruation need to be challenged.
The Effects of Normal Aging on Reasoning Ability: A Dual-Process Approach
The objective of the current research was to use a dual-process theory framework to explain these age-related differences in reasoning. Seventy-two older (M = 80.0 years) and 72 younger (M = 24.6 years) adults were given a variety of reasoning tests (i.e., a syllogistic task, base rate task, the Cognitive Reflection Test, and a perspective manipulation), as well as independent tests of capacity (working memory, processing speed, and inhibition), thinking styles, and metacognitive ability, to account for these age-related differences. It was revealed that age-related differences were limited to problems that required Type 2 processing and were related to differences in cognitive capacity, individual difference factors, and strategy choice. Furthermore, older adults’ performance can be improved by reasoning from another’s’ perspective and cannot, at this time, be explained by metacognitive differences between young and older adults. All of these findings fit well within a dual-process theory of reasoning, which provides an integrative framework accounting for previous findings and the findings presented in the current manuscript.
Everyday Solitude, Affective Experiences, and Well-Being in Old Age: The Role of Culture versus Immigration
Being alone is often equated with loneliness. Yet, recent findings suggest that the objective state of being alone (i.e., solitude) can have both positive and negative connotations. The present research aimed to examine (1) affective experience in daily solitude; and (2) the association between everyday affect in solitude and well-being. We examined the distinct roles of culture and immigration in moderating these associations. Using up to 35 daily life assessments of momentary affect, solitude, and emotional well-being in two samples (Vancouver, Canada, and China), the study compared older adults who aged in place (local Caucasians in Vancouver Canada and local Hong Kong Chinese in Hong Kong, China) and older adults of different cultural heritages who immigrated to Canada (immigrated Caucasians and immigrated East Asians). We found that older adults of East Asian heritage experienced more positive and less negative affect when alone than did Caucasians. Reporting positive affect in solitude was more positively associated with well-being in older adults who had immigrated to Canada as compared to those who had aged in place. These findings speak to the unique effects of culture and immigration on the affective correlates of solitude and their associations with well-being in old age.
Analytical-Behavioral Intervention for Women with Fibromyalgia: Evaluation of Effectiveness Clinical Significance and Reliable Change
This study evaluated the effect of two components of analytic-behavioral intervention (1-management of conditions of the physical environment, 2-management of the interpersonal relationship) of women with fibromyalgia (FM), besides Clinical Significance and Reliable Change at the end of the intervention. Self-report instruments were used to evaluate stress, anxiety, depression, social skills and disability due to pain and Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR). Four women with a medical diagnosis of FM (mean age 52.7; sd = 6.65), participated of the following procedures: initial evaluation, 10 sessions of component 1, intermediate evaluation, 10 sessions of component 2, and final evaluation. The 20 sessions were effective, with positive changes in the scores of all the self-report instruments, highlighting the results of the stress symptoms that had improvement in the intermediate evaluation. There was, however, no change in the cortisol response on awakening. The Clinical Significance or Reliable Change observed, according to the scores of the stress, anxiety, depression and social skills instruments, corroborated the reports of the participants in the session and the objectives of the treatment. Implications for future studies are discussed, above all, the importance in conducting evaluations with the use of direct measures together with self-report measures.
The Interactive Influence of Moral Priming and Religiosity on Moral Judgments and Choices
Heightened morality can sometimes increase and other times decrease the severity of individuals' judgments about others’ negative behaviors. We investigate when and how moral priming has positive vs. negative consequences on moral judgments. Based on theory and research on priming effects and on religiosity and social judgments, we postulate that individuals’ religiosity moderates the direction of the influence of moral priming. Specifically, we predict that priming morality leads consumers with low religiosity to be more judgmental about others’ transgressions but those with high religiosity to be more generous toward them. Further, in the context of consumer transgressions (e.g., purchasing unethical products), we also predict that priming morality can paradoxically lead religious consumers more likely to make a transgressive consumption choice. Four online experiments confirmed the above predictions. In all experiments, participants (who were adult consumers recruited from a nationwide online panel in the US or in Korea) were randomly assigned to either a moral-priming or a control task. Then, they were asked to perform an ostensibly unrelated, moral-decision task. In doing so, we employed two indirect (and nudging) procedures for moral priming (i.e., beauty priming and physical cleansing). Based on recent research suggesting that the concept of morality is spontaneously activated when people experience natural beauty or physical cleanliness, we induced participants in priming conditions either to look at several photos of natural beauty (experiments 1 and 4) or to experience physical handwashing (experiments 2 and 3). In addition, we used various types of consumption-related transgressions (e.g., treating customers badly, using unfair trade, and exploiting child labor) for the generalizability of findings. In experiment 1, participants were exposed to 20 pictures of either beautiful nature scenes or just positive scenes unrelated to beauty. Beauty priming (vs. control priming) led non-believers to judge others’ transgressions (unfair treatment of customers) more harshly, but believers to judge them more leniently. Experiment 2 replicated the findings of experiment 1 with a different priming procedure ('physical handwashing') and a different transgression (keeping money from a found wallet). Experiment 3 replicated the findings of experiment 2 in a different culture (in the US vs. Korea). Experiment 4 examined the implication of findings on consumers’ product choice. Participants, after being primed with morality (by beauty priming) vs. control, were asked to choose between one ethically-superior but average-quality product and one unethical but high-quality product. As expected, beauty priming decreased the choice of the unethical product among less religious consumers but increased the choice among more religious consumers. Further, this 'paradoxical' influence generalized over hedonic and functional product categories. In sum, the present research contributes to the literature in several ways. First, we reconcile the inconsistency in existing findings about the impact of moral priming on moral judgments. Second, we introduce and confirm the effectiveness of indirect (and less obtrusive) methods to increase consumers’ moral self-regard. Finally, we demonstrate that moral priming and religiosity can interact to determine consumers’ ethical product choices.
Fertility Transition in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role Family Planning Programs
Among the neo-Malthusian adherents, it is believed that rapid population growth strain countries’ capacity and performance. Fertility have however decelerated in most of the countries in the recent past. Scholars have concentrated on wide range of factors associated with fertility majorly at the national scale with some opining that analysis of trends and differentials in the various fertility parameters have been discussed extensively. However, others believe that considerably less attention has been paid to the fertility preference- a pathway through which various variables act on fertility. The Sub-Saharan African countries’ disparities amid almost similarities in policies is a cause of concern to demographers. One would point at the meager synergies that have been focused on the fertility preference as well, especially at the macro scale. Using Bongaarts reformulation of Easterlin and Crimmins (1985) conceptual scheme, the understanding of the current transition based on the fertility preference in general would help to provide explanations to the observed latest dynamics. This study therefore is an attempt to explain the current fertility transition through women’s fertility preference. Results reveal that indeed fertility transition is on course in most of the sub-Saharan countries with huge disparities in fertility preferences and its implementation indices.
Enhancing Coping Strategies of Student: A Case Study of 'Choice Theory' Group Counseling
The purpose of this research was to study the effects of choice theory in group counseling on coping strategies of students. The sample consisted of 16 students at a boarding school, who had the lowest score on the coping strategies. The sample was divided into two groups by random assignment and then were assigned into the experimental group and the control group, with eight members each. The instruments were the Adolescent Coping Scale and choice theory group counseling program. The data collection procedure was divided into three phases: The pre-test, the post-test, and the follow-up. The data were analyzed by repeated measure analysis of variance: One between-subjects and one within-subjects. The results revealed that the interaction between the methods and the duration of the experiment was found statistically significant at 0.05 level. The students in the experimental group demonstrated significantly higher at 0.05 level on coping strategies score in both the post-test and the follow-up than in the pre-test and the control group. No significant difference was found on coping strategies during the post-test phase and the follow-up phase of the experimental group.
A Survey Proposal towards Holistic Management of Schizophrenia
Holistic management of schizophrenia involves main stream pharmacological intervention, complimentary medicine intervention, therapeutic intervention and other psychosocial factors such as accommodation, education, job training, employment, relationship, friendship, exercise, overall well-being, smoking, substance abuse, suicide prevention, stigmatisation, recreation, entertainment, violent behaviour, arrangement of public trusteeship and guardianship, day-day-living skill, integration with community, management of overweight due to medications and other health complications related to medications amongst others. Our review shows that there is no integrated survey by combining all these factors. We are conducting an international web based survey to evaluate the significance of all these factors and present them in a unified manner. We believe this investigation will contribute positively towards holistic management of schizophrenia. There will be two surveys. In the pharmacological intervention survey five popular drugs for schizophrenia will be chosen and their efficacy as well as harmful side effects will be evaluated in a scale of 0 -10. This survey will be done by psychiatrists. In the second survey, each element of therapeutic intervention and psychosocial factors will be evaluated according to their significance in a scale of 0 - 10. This survey will be done by care givers, psychologists, case managers and case workers. For the first survey, we will contact the professional bodies of the psychiatrists in English speaking countries and request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. For the second survey, we will contact the professional bodies of clinical psychologist and care givers in English speaking countries and request them to ask their members to participate in the survey. Additionally for both the surveys, we will contact the relevant professionals through personal contact networks. For both the surveys, mean, mode, median, standard deviation and net promoter score will be calculated for each factor and presented then in a statistically significant manner. Subsequently each factor will be ranked according to their statistical significance. Additionally, country specific variation will be highlighted to identify the variation pattern. The results of these surveys will identify the relative significance of each type of pharmacological intervention, each type of therapeutic intervention and each type of psychosocial factor. The determination of this relative importance will definitely contribute to the improvement in quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia.
Investigating Relevant Factors for Private Investment Decisions regarding High Impact Renewable Energy Technologies through a Discrete Choice Experiment
In order to achieve the CO2 reduction targets set at the COP21, significant changes in our current energy system need to be implemented and executed. Private households have and will continue to play a critical role in the future regarding energy consumption as well as production in terms of the installed renewable energy capacity. Research in psychology has focused on promoting energy-saving, sustainable behavior and has investigated a wide range of factors that influence changes in behavior. It has been shown that apart from the price also other (non-)economic variables such as habits, social norms and the environment play a decisive role. Individual high impact investment decisions are crucial for the energy transition which is why the focus of this study is on investments in solar battery storages. 1500 private homeowners of row and (semi-)detached houses in Germany participated in an online survey. First, they answered a questionnaire comprising socio-demographic variables and internal factors such as their attitude towards the environment, financial benefits, autarky and technological risk, as well as social and subjective norms, user-friendliness and their preferences for alternative models of investments (e.g. shared investments, leasing options). Afterwards, a choice based conjoint analysis (CBC, Sawtooth Software) was performed comprising the attributes 1) time of realization, 2) investment cost, 3) payback time, 4) degree of self-sufficiency and 5) environmental impact. The survey focused on participants already possessing a solar battery storage system, a photovoltaic system without battery storage or nothing at all to see possible differences between these three investor groups. The part-worth utilities and therefore, the importance of the attributes in the CBC are assessed through varying different levels of these attributes with real-life value. A discrete choice model is applied to calculate the probability of adoption. The data from the CBC and the answers from the questionnaire are analyzed using mixed logit models. Specifically, it is examined whether psychological theories and the respective variables provide a suitable approach for regulatory measures and interventions next to financial incentives. It is analyzed which of the examined variables that are relevant for lower impact behavior are also relevant for high impact technology investment decisions. With the overall aim of promoting high impact investments in renewable energy technologies, recommendations for policy and communication strategies can be concluded from this study. One strength of this study is that the technical and economic aspects that come along with large investments are analyzed and can be prioritized according to their part-worth utilities. Additionally, it is also scrutinized which socio-demographic or internal variables make economical or technical disadvantages less relevant. Therefore, different intervention strategies can be deducted which derive from other factors explaining variance than merely the price.
How Natural Environments Are Being Used by Teachers to Improve Student Learning and Wellbeing in Australia
This paper is designed to provide a review of the literature concerning the impact of natural environments on student learning and wellbeing in Australia. Specific areas of interest include how child-led and teacher-led pedagogies differ in outdoor learning settings, and the impact of each approach on children’s well-being, behavior, relationships with others as well as educational outcomes. The review will include links to possibilities for future research, including a Ph.D. currently being undertaken in Australia, which aims to fulfill a considerable gap in psychological, educational and outdoor learning research, regarding how natural environments are being used by teachers to improve learning and wellbeing among primary school students. The proposed study aims to understand if children’s experience of learning, 1. in a natural environment, and 2. in a child-led way, can support and strengthen their skills across several areas of development, including those required for positive educational outcomes. Data will be collected from a sample of primary school students and teachers via both quantitative and qualitative methods, including a pre- and post-questionnaire, direct observation, and semi-structured interviews. The study will have valuable implications for the provision of quality education as well as the promotion of good health and wellbeing. The implications of the research will be useful not only for teachers and parents but also for Psychologists working with children and young people in both a school and clinical setting. Understanding the impacts and implications of child-led learning and exposure to natural environments provides the opportunity to build on the current school curriculum. The inclusion of child-led experiences in nature may provide a simple way to build enthusiasm for school and learning, cultivating skills for life and relationships as well as meeting current curriculum requirements and building capacity for ongoing academic pursuits. In addition, understanding the impact of learning in a natural environment on wellbeing will assist in the development and dissemination of an educational model that could help mitigate the negative health outcomes associated with reduced physical activity and decreasing contact with nature among children.
The Causes and Effects of Delinquent Behaviour among Students in Juvenile Home: A Case Study of Osun State
Juvenile delinquency is fast becoming one of the largest problems facing many societies due to many different factors ranging from parental factors to bullying at schools all which had led to different theoretical notions by different scholars. Delinquency is an illegal or immoral behaviour, especially by the young person who behaves in a way that is illegal or that society does not approve of. The purpose of the study was to investigate causes and effects of delinquent behaviours among adolescent in juvenile home in Osun State. A descriptive survey research type was employed. The random sampling technique was used to select 100 adolescents in Juvenile home in Osun State. Questionnaires were developed and given to them. The data collected from this study were analyzed using frequency counts and percentage for the demographic data in section A, while the two research hypotheses postulated for this study were tested using t-test statistics at the significance level of 0.05. Findings revealed that the greatest school effects of delinquent behaviours among adolescent in juvenile home in Osun by respondents were their aggressive behaviours. Findings revealed that there was a significant difference in the causes and effects of delinquent behaviours among adolescent in juvenile home in Osun State. It was also revealed that there was no significant difference in the causes and effects of delinquent behaviours among secondary school students in Osun based on gender. These recommendations were made in order to address the findings of this study: More number of teachers should be appointed in the observation home so that it will be possible to provide teaching to the different age group of delinquents. Developing the infrastructure facilities of short stay homes and observation home is a top priority. Proper counseling session’s interval is highly essential for these juveniles.
Narrative Review Evaluating Systematic Reviews Assessing the Effect of Probiotic Interventions on Depressive Symptoms
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses and is often associated with various other medical disorders. In this review, we aim to evaluate existing systematic reviews that investigate the use of probiotics as a treatment for depressive symptoms. Five online databases were searched for relevant studies up to December 2017. Systematic reviews that included randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of probiotics in the treatment of depressive symptoms were included. Seven systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Three of these reviews conducted meta-analyses, out of which, two found probiotics to significantly improve depressive symptoms in the sample population. Two meta-analyses conducted subgroup analysis based on health status, and both found probiotics to significantly decrease depressive symptoms in patients with major depressive disorder, but only one review found it to significantly decrease in healthy patients. Another subgroup analysis was conducted based on age, and found probiotics to produce significant effects on subjects under the age of 60, but close to no effect on patients over the age of 65. Out of the four reviews that conducted qualitative analysis, three reviews concluded that probiotics have the potential to be used as a treatment. Due to the differences in clinical trials, a definitive effect of probiotics on depressive symptoms cannot be concluded. Nonetheless, probiotics seem to produce a significant therapeutic effect for subjects with pre-existing depressive symptoms. Further studies are warranted for definitive conclusions.
Cognitive Control Moderates the Concurrent Effect of Autistic and Schizotypal Traits on Divergent Thinking
Divergent thinking—a cognitive component of creativity—and particularly the ability to generate unique and novel ideas, has been linked to both autistic and schizotypal traits. However, to our knowledge, the concurrent effect of these trait dimensions on divergent thinking has not been investigated. Moreover, it has been suggested that creativity is associated with different types of attention and cognitive control, and consequently how information is processed in a given context. Intriguingly, consistent with the diametric model, autistic and schizotypal traits have been associated with contrasting attentional and cognitive control styles. Positive schizotypal traits have been associated with reactive cognitive control and attentional flexibility, while autistic traits have been associated with proactive cognitive control and the increased focus of attention. The current study investigated the relationship between divergent thinking, autistic and schizotypal traits and cognitive control in a non-clinical sample of 83 individuals (Males = 42%; Mean age = 22.37, SD = 2.93), sufficient to detect a medium effect size. Divergent thinking was evaluated in an adapted version of-of the Figural Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Crucially, since we were interested in testing divergent thinking productivity across contexts, participants were asked to generate items from basic shapes in four different contexts. The variance of the proportion of unique to total responses across contexts represented a measure of context adaptability, with lower variance indicating increased context adaptability. Cognitive control was estimated with the Behavioral Proactive Index of the AX-CPT task, with higher scores representing the ability to actively maintain goal-relevant information in a sustained/anticipatory manner. Autistic and schizotypal traits were assessed with the Autism Quotient (AQ) and the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE-42). Generalized linear models revealed a 3-way interaction of autistic and positive schizotypal traits, and proactive cognitive control, associated with increased context adaptability. Specifically, the concurrent effect of autistic and positive schizotypal traits on increased context adaptability was moderated by the level of proactive control and was only significant when proactive cognitive control was high. Our study reveals that autistic and positive schizotypal traits interactively facilitate the capacity to generate unique ideas across various contexts. However, this effect depends on cognitive control mechanisms indicative of the ability to proactively maintain attention when needed. The current results point to a unique profile of divergent thinkers who have the ability to respectively tap both systematic and flexible processing modes within and across contexts. This is particularly intriguing as such combination of phenotypes has been proposed to explain the genius of Beethoven, Nash, and Newton.
The Concurrent Effect of Autistic and Schizotypal Traits on Convergent and Divergent Thinking
Convergent and divergent thinking are two main components of creativity that have been viewed as complementary. While divergent thinking refers to the fluency and flexibility of generating new ideas, convergent thinking refers to the ability to systematically apply rules and knowledge to arrive at the optimal solution or idea. These creativity components have been shown to be susceptible to variation in subclinical expressions of autistic and schizotypal traits within the general population. Research, albeit inconclusively, mainly linked positive schizotypal traits with divergent thinking and autistic traits with convergent thinking. However, cumulative evidence suggests that these trait dimensions can co-occur in the same individual more than would be expected by chance and that their concurrent effect can be diametric and even interactive. The current study aimed at investigating the concurrent effect of these trait dimensions on tasks assessing convergent and divergent thinking abilities. We predicted that individuals with high positive schizotypal traits alone would perform particularly well on the divergent thinking task, whilst those with high autistic traits alone would perform particularly well on the convergent thinking task. Crucially, we also predicted that individuals who are high on both autistic and positive schizotypal traits would perform particularly well on both the divergent and convergent thinking tasks. This was investigated in a non-clinical sample of 142 individuals (Males = 45%; Mean age = 21.45, SD = 2.30), sufficient to minimally observe an effect size f² ≥ .10. Divergent thinking was evaluated using the Alternative Uses Task, and convergent thinking with the Anagrams Task. Autistic and schizotypal traits were respectively assessed with the Autism Quotient Questionnaire (AQ) and the Oxford-Liverpool Inventory of Feelings and Experiences (O-LIFE). Regression analyses revealed that the positive association of autistic traits with convergent thinking scores was qualified with an interaction with positive schizotypal traits. Specifically, positive schizotypal traits were negatively associated with convergent thinking scores when AQ scores were relatively low, but this trend was reversed when AQ scores were high. Conversely, the positive effect of AQ scores on convergent thinking progressively increased with increasing positive schizotypal traits. The results of divergent thinking task are currently being analyzed and will be reported at the conference. The association of elevated autistic and positive schizotypal traits with convergent thinking may represent a unique profile of creative thinkers who are able to simultaneously draw on trait-specific advantages conferred by autistic and positively schizotypal traits such as local and global processing. This suggests that main-effect models can tell an incomplete story regarding the effect of autistic and positive schizotypal traits on creativity-related processes. Future creativity research should consider their interaction and the benefits conferred by their co-presence.
The Effect of Working Memory Span on Resolving Emotional Conflicts
Conflicts in life usually bear emotional content. These emotional conflicts are the ones that complicate executive functions needed to provide the ultimate conditions for our survival. Measuring working memory (WM) performance is a great way to examine people’s capacity to have better attentional control. Therefore, people who can hold more information in their WM can better resist distracting stimuli. Although having a higher WM capacity would facilitate resolving cognitive conflicts, whether it would also help resolving emotional conflicts or not is unknown. Therefore, in this study we aim to examine the effect of WM span on processing emotionally distracting stimuli. For this purpose, we used Operational Working Memory Span Task (OSPAN), and the Turkish Word-Face Stroop (WFS), where participants evaluated the emotional state of the given word on a valence scale (positive, neutral, negative); while the words are displayed on emotionally affective faces. 40 healthy students (age M = 22.35, SD = 2.02) participated in our experiment, who completed Positive Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) before the experiments. Participants were randomly assigned to take either OSPAN or the WFS first. At the end of the session they all completed Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). A 2x2 repeated measure mixed design ANOVA with 2 within subject factors, i.e. congruency (congruent-incongruent) and valence (positive-negative) revealed a marginally significant main effect of congruency (F(1,38) = 3.44, p = .071) and a significant main effect of valence (F(1,38)) = 18.27, p < .01, η2 = 0.32). Healthy people are faster towards congruent and positive stimuli, as expected. Correlations between WFS scores (calculated by subtracting the reaction time towards congruent cases from incongruent cases) and OSPAN revealed no correlation, meaning that WM span does not have any effect on processing emotionally distracting stimuli. We also could not find any correlation between WM span and Positive Affect Score, BDI score, and BAI score. However, we found a negative correlation between WM span and Negative Affect Score (r = -.27, p < .05.). On the other hand, this result might not mean that low WM span causes negative mood, rather it might indicate that negative mood is temporarily disrupting executive functions. To sum up, our study showed that there is not as clear a link between WM span and processing of emotionally distracting stimuli, contrary to the often-reported correlation between WM span and classical Stroop performance. Therefore, though having a higher WM span might facilitate resolving cognitive conflicts, in the face of an emotional conflict, WM span seems not to provide an advantage to resolve the affection-based conflict. In the future, these two tasks should be conducted with individuals with major depression disorder, to understand whether the underlying disrupted mechanism is purely emotional or cognitive, or a mixture of both.
Women's Menstrual Experience in India: A Psycho-Social Approach
Today women experience more menstrual cycles than their ancestors did a hundred years ago, owing to early puberty, fewer pregnancies and dietary changes. Much of the research in menstruation is located in the medical domain with a focus on physical symptoms. The research in psychology is largely concerned with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), whereas the focus in sociology is on social and cultural practices relating to menstruation. Research that simultaneously studies the physical, psychological, social and cultural aspects is lacking. Therefore, in this study, an attempt has been made to identify socio-cultural, psychological and physical factors that interact to influence a woman’s experience of menstruation in the urban setting. The study included seven unmarried women in the age group of 24-30 and data was obtained through a focus group discussion. The transcript of the focus group discussion was thematically analysed. Two major themes relating to the self and social experience of menstruation emerged. Themes relating to the self included menarcheal experiences, self-perception, mood and management of menstrual hygiene and symptoms while themes relating to social experience included the construction of menstruation by family and peers, and cultural factors. Attitudes towards the menstrual cycle appeared to be primarily influenced by severity of symptoms and the resulting disruption to daily life. Outcomes of this study have indicated that future research needs to study menstruation and its impact on women’s wellbeing by adopting a socio-ecological approach and by collecting data using the whole cycle approach across a woman’s reproductive years.
Sexual Health Experiences of Older Men: From the Perspective of Health Care Professionals
Sexual health is an important aspect of our overall wellbeing; biologically, psychologically, socially, and culturally. Despite the growing body of literature surrounding men’s health, their sexual health is under-researched. The sexual health of older adults is largely ignored in Australian policies and many health professionals lack sexual health training. This study aimed to explore the sexual health experiences of men aged 50 years and over from the perspective of healthcare professionals who specialize in sexual health care and consult older men. A total of ten interviews were conducted for data saturation to be reached. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Eleven themes were identified: biologically focused, psychological concerns, the medicalization of sexual functioning, masculine identity, relationships, grief and loss, social stigma, help-seeking behavior, dismissed by health care professionals, and lack of resources. The biopsychosocial framework was adopted to conceptualize the integrative nature of older men’s sexual health experiences in order to inform future research, professional training, public health campaigns, and policies.
Malaysian Knowledge, Belief and Attitude towards Hypnosis as a Health Intervention: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Although hypnosis has been widely endorsed in Europe since 1950s, it was still viewed as a typically new therapy in Asia. There are very little findings regarding hypnosis in Asian countries, especially in culturally diverse countries such as Malaysia. The knowledge of the beneficial effects of hypnosis was not widespread to the public, however knowledge of the negative effects was frequently being highlighted. Therefore, the acceptance of hypnosis as a new effective health treatment can be a challenge in Malaysia. Recognising Malaysian’s perception, belief and attitude towards hypnosis could increase the public awareness of hypnosis, which in turn will alter their misconception and increase acceptance of hypnosis as an effective therapy. Eight individuals (N = 8) from the general public with different background, ethnicity (Malays, Chinese and Indians) and religion (Islamic, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Christianity, free-thinker) and two local experienced practitioners with minimum of five years experiences (N = 2) were being interviewed to determine their views, beliefs and level of acceptance towards hypnosis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed with pseudonyms and analyzed by using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The three emergent themes were illustrated under the captions of ‘traditional vs mainstream’, ‘myths vs truth’, and ‘dissemination and public awareness’. The finding suggested that individual knowledge and personal experience primarily influenced people’s level of acceptance towards hypnosis as a beneficial health treatment, rather than the diversity of cultural and religious background. Subsequent findings regarding hypnosis and the effort of promoting it will provide the society an opportunity to increase public education and health awareness. Several associations had started to advance its development by organizing conferences and setting up therapeutic centers. However, health promotion on hypnosis is yet to be conducted to raise public awareness of its beneficial effects. By requesting for hypnosis to be included as a subject in medical education and psychology curriculum and formatting it under Ministry of Health’s legislation body might enhance the knowledge of hypnosis for Malaysian as one of the health intervention in the future.
Rumination in Borderline Personality Disorder: A Meta-Analytic Review
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is characterized by deficits in emotion regulation and effective liability. Of this domain, ruminative behaviors have been considered a core feature of emotion dysregulation difficulties. Taking this into consideration, a meta-analysis was performed to assess how BPD symptoms correlate with rumination, while also considering clinical moderator variables such as comorbidity, GAF score, and type of BPD symptom and demographic moderator variables such as age, gender, and education level. Analysis of correlation across rumination domains for the entire sample revealed a medium overall correlation. When assessing types of rumination, the largest correlation was among pain rumination followed by anger, depressive, and anxious rumination. Furthermore, affective instability had the strongest correlation with increased rumination, followed by unstable relationships, identity disturbance, and self-harm/ impulsivity, respectively. Demographic variables showed no significance. Clinical implications are considered and further therapeutic interventions are discussed in the context of rumination.
Culture and Mental Health in Nigeria: A Qualitative Study of Berom, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo Cultural Beliefs
Cultural understandings of mental health problems are frequently overshadowed by the western conceptualizations. Research on culture and mental health in the Nigerian context seems to be lacking. This study examined the linguistic understandings and cultural beliefs that have implications for mental health among the Berom, Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo people of Nigeria. A purposive sample of 53 participants underwent semi-structured interviews that lasted approximately 55 minutes each. Of the N=53 participants, n=26 were psychology-aligned practitioners and n=27 ‘laypersons’. Participants were recruited from four states in Nigeria, Plateau, Kaduna, Ekiti, and Enugu. All participants were self-identified as members of their ethnic groups who speak and understand their native-languages, cultural beliefs, and also are domiciled within their ethnic communities. Thematic analysis using socio-constructionism from a critical-realist position was employed to explore the participants’ beliefs about mental health, and the clash between western trained practitioners’ views and the cultural beliefs of the ‘laypersons’. Data analysis found three main themes that re-emerged across the four ethnic samples: (i) beliefs about mental health problems as a spiritual curse (ii) traditional and religious healing are used more often than western mental health care (iii) low levels of mental health awareness. In addition, the Nigerian traditional and religious healing are also revealed to be helpful as the practice gives prominence to the native-languages, religious and cultural values. However, participants described the role of ‘false’ traditional or religious healers in communities as being potentially harmful. Finally, due to the current lack of knowledge about mental health problems, awareness creation and re-orientation may be beneficial for both rural and urban Nigerian communities.
Rewriting, Reframing, and Restructuring the Story: A Narrative and Solution Focused Therapy Approach to Family Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy sheds a positive light on a client’s problem(s) by instilling hope, focusing on the connection with the client, and describing the problem in a way to display change being possible. Solution focused therapists highlight clients’ positive strengths, reframe what clients say, do, or believe in a positive statement, action, or belief. Narrative Therapy focuses on the stories individuals tell about their past in which shape their current and future lives. Changing the language used aids clients in reevaluating their values and views of themselves, this then constructs a more positive way of thinking about their story. Both therapies are based on treating each client as an individual with a problem rather than that the individual is a problem and being able to give power back to the client. The purpose of these ideologies is to open a client to alternative understandings. This paper displays how clinicians can empower and identify their clients’ positive strengths and resiliency factors. Narrative and Solution-Focused Techniques will be integrated to instill positivity and empowerment in clients. Techniques such as deconstruction, collaboration, complimenting, miracle/exception/scaling questioning will be analyzed and modeled. Furthermore, bridging Solution Focused Therapy and Narrative Therapy gives a voice to unheard client(s).
Use of Structural Family Therapy and Dialectical Behavior Therapy with High-Conflict Couples
The following case study involving a high-conflict, Children’s Services Bureau (CSB) referred couple is analyzed and reviewed through an integrated lens of structural family therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. In structural family therapy, normal family development is not characterized by a lack of problems, but instead by families’ having developed a functional structure for dealing with their problems. Whereas, in dialectical behavioral therapy normal family development can be characterized by having a supportive and validating environment, where all family members feel a sense of acceptance and validation for who they are and where they are in life. The clinical case conceptualization highlights the importance of conceptualizing how change occurs within a therapeutic setting. In the current case study, the couple did not only experience high-conflict, but there were also issues of substance use, health issues, and other complicating factors. Clinicians should view their clients holistically and tailor their treatment to fit their unique needs. In this framework, change occurs within the family unit, by accepting each member as they are, while at the same time working together to change maladaptive familial structures.
Development of a Framework for Family Therapy for Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Perspective from India
Family based therapy for adolescent substance abuse has been studied to be effective in the West. Whereas, based on literature review, family therapy and interventions for adolescent substance abuse is still in its nascent stages in India. A multidimensional perspective to treatment has been indicated consistently in the Indian literature, but standardized therapy which addresses early substance abuse, from a social-ecological perspective has not been developed and studied for Indian population. While numerous researches have been conducted in India on the need of engaging the family in therapy for the purpose of symptom reduction, long-term maintenance of gains, and reducing family burnout, distress and dysfunction; a family based model in the Indian context has not been developed and tried, to the best of our knowledge. Hence, from the aim of building a model to treat adolescent substance abuse within the family context, experts in the area of mental health and deaddiction were interviewed to inform upon the clinical difficulties, challenges, uniqueness that Indian families present with. The integration of indigenous techniques that would be helpful in engaging families of young individuals with difficulties were also explored. Eight experts' who were interviewed, have 10-30 years of experience in working with families and substance users. An open-ended interview was conducted with the experts individually and audio-recorded. The interviews were then transcribed and subjected to qualitative analysis for building a framework and treatment guideline. Additionally, interviews with patients and their parents were conducted to elicit ‘felt needs’. The results of the analysis revealed culture-specific issues widely experienced within Indian families by adolescents and young adults, centering around the theme of Individuation versus collective identity and living. Substance abuse, in this framework, was found to be perceived as one of the maladaptive ways of the youth to disengage from the family and attempt at individuation and the responsibilities that are considered entitlements in the culture. On the other hand, interviews with family members revealed them to be engaging in inconsistent patterns of care and parenting. This was experienced and observed in terms of fostering interdependence within the family, sometimes within adverse socio-economic and societal conditions, where enacted and perceived stigma kept the individual and family members in a vicious loop of maladaptive coping patterns, dysfunctional family arrangements, and often leading to burnout with poor help seeking. The paper inform upon a framework that lays down the foundation for assessments, planning, case management and therapist competencies, required to address alcohol and drug issues in an Indian family context with such etiological factors at its heart. This paper will cover qualitative results of the interviews and present a model that may guide mental health professionals for treatment of adolescent substance use and family therapy.
, family therapy
, substance abuse
, behavioral issues
, felt needs
, model building
, framework development
The Subjective Experiences of First-Time Chinese Parents' Transition to Parenthood and the Impact on Their Marital Satisfaction
The arrival of a new baby to first-time parents is an exciting and joyous occasion, yet, the daunting task of raising the baby and the uncertainty of how it will affect the lives of the couple present a great challenge to them. This study examines the causes of conflicts and needs of the new parents through a qualitative research of five pairs of new parents in Hong Kong. Semi-structured in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted to explore the changes babies brought to their marriages, sources of support they received and found important and assistance they felt would help with their transition to parenthood. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the commonalities and differences between the five couples’ subjective experiences. Narrative analysis was used to compare the experiences of two parents who are the under-functioning parent of the couple, to study the different strategies they employed in response to the over-functioning parent and to analyze how the marital relationships were affected. Four main themes emerged from the study: 1) Change and adjustment in marital relationship, 2) parents’ level of involvement, 3) support in childcaring, and 4) challenges faced by the parents. Results from the study indicated that father involvement in childcaring is an important element in mother’s marital satisfaction Father’s marital satisfaction is dependent upon the mother – her satisfaction with father involvement, which affects the mother’s marital satisfaction. Marital convergence and co-parenting alliance acted as moderators for marital satisfaction. Implications from the study include: i) offering programmes that improve couple relationship and enhance parenting efficacy in tandem to improve overall marital satisfaction, and ii) offering prenatal counselling services or provide education to new parents from prenatal to postnatal period that can help couples reduce discrepancies between expectations and realities of their marital relationship and parenting responsibilities after their baby is born.
The Effect of Parental Incarceration on Early Adolescent’s Eating and Sleeping Habits
In the United States, over 2.5 million children have incarcerated parents. Recent studies have shown 13% of young adults and one-fourth of African Americans will experience parental incarceration. The increasing numbers of incarcerated citizens have left these children as collateral damage and are often forgotten, their special needs inadequately meet or understood. Parental arrest and incarceration creates a uniquely traumatic experience in childhood and has long-term consequences for these children. Until recently, the eating and sleeping habits following parental incarceration had been nonexistent in the literature. However, even this groundbreaking study on eating habits and sleeping disorders following parental incarceration did not touch on the root causes of unhealthy eating which may be influenced by food and housing insecurity and environmental factors that may impact a child’s healthy eating and sleeping behaviors. This study will examine those factors as it could greatly aid in the policies and programs that affect children’s health and development. This proposed study will examine the impact of traumatic stress reactions to parental incarceration by studying sleep and eating habits as the hypothesis is that parental incarceration will lead to disordered eating and sleep disturbances in early adolescents.
The Effect of a Mindfulness Movement Therapy Programme on the Motor Performance of the Upper Limbs in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized Single-Blind Controlled Trial
Mindfulness meditation has been integrated into standardized programmes for improving physical and mental health with a range of conditions including stroke. However, these programmes are not specifically concerned with motor performance. Therefore, a new Mindfulness Movement Therapy Programme (MMTP) was proposed to examine its feasibility and effects on motor performance of the upper extremities in healthy older individuals. Sixteen healthy people aged 55-65 were randomly allocated by generating blocks of random numbers into an experimental group (n=8) or an active control group (n=8). The experimental group received the MMTP consisting of 1) body scan (by focusing on the non-dominant arm), 2) sitting meditation, and 3) mindful-movement of the non-dominant upper limb integrated with physical therapy exercise. The active control group received a programme of i) listening to music, ii) relaxation technique and iii) swinging arms exercises. Both groups were guided by CD for 30 minutes, 3 times a week on non-consecutive days and their engagement was logged over an 8-week period. The primary objective was to investigate the effects of the MMTP on the motor performance of the upper limbs. Secondary objectives were to investigate the effects of MMTP on brain plasticity, mindfulness, anxiety, depression, stress, and quality of life. The assessor was blinded to group assignment. The primary outcome measure was the Jebsen Hand Function Test (JHFT). Secondary measures were motor threshold (MT), motor-evoked potential (MEP), and central motor conduction time (CMCT) measuring by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), the Philadelphia Mindfulness Scale (PHLMS), the Thai Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (Thai HADS), the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (T-PSS-10), and the Thai abbreviated version of World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF-THAI). Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were used to compare variables within the group and Mann–Whitney U tests used to compare variables between the groups with significance set at p ≤ 0.05 in all the tests. An interim analysis was performed. Two participants dropped out from the study. Therefore, 14 participants were included in the analysis of the outcomes: experimental group (n=8) and active control group (n=6). The results showed that no significant differences were found between the groups. However, there was a significant difference within the groups in the JHFT; MMTP group in non-dominant hand (p=0.012) and dominant hand (p=0.017) and in the active control group in non- and dominant hand (p=0.028). CMCT increased statistically significantly only in the right hemisphere in the MMTP group (p=0.012). No significant differences were noted in the other outcome measures. There were no adverse events for those undertaking the programme or TMS testing. Both programmes improved the motor performance of the upper limbs in healthy older individuals. However, in the MMTP group, only the nerve conduction from right hemisphere to the left of first dorsal interosseous muscle showed increased velocity. Findings encourage further investigations of the MMTP as a new intervention to improve motor performance. Therefore, we will investigate the effects of the MMTP on arm and hand function in stroke patients.
Psychological Distress and Quality of Life in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients: The Role of Dispositional Mindfulness
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a serious chronic health condition, characterised by inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Individuals with active IBD experience severe abdominal symptoms, which can adversely impact their physical and mental health, as well as their quality of life (QoL). Given that stress may exacerbate IBD symptoms and is frequently highlighted as a contributing factor for the development of psychological difficulties and poorer QoL, it is vital to investigate stress-management strategies aimed at improving the lives of those with IBD. The present study extends on the limited research in IBD cohorts by exploring the role of dispositional mindfulness and its impact on psychological well-being and QoL. The study examined how disease activity and dispositional mindfulness were related to psychological distress and QoL in a cohort of IBD patients. The potential role of dispositional mindfulness as a moderator between stress and anxiety, depression and QoL in these individuals was also examined. Participants included 47 patients with a clinical diagnosis of IBD. Each patient completed a series of psychological questionnaires and was assessed by a gastroenterologist to determine their disease activity levels. Correlation analyses indicated that disease activity was not significantly related to psychological distress or QoL in the sample of IBD patients. However, dispositional mindfulness was inversely related to psychological distress and positively related to QoL. Furthermore, moderation analyses demonstrated a significant interaction between stress and dispositional mindfulness on anxiety. These findings demonstrate that increased levels of dispositional mindfulness may be beneficial for individuals with IBD. Specifically, the results indicate positive links between dispositional mindfulness, general psychological well-being and QoL, and suggest that dispositional mindfulness may attenuate the negative impacts of stress on levels of anxiety in IBD patients. While further research is required to validate and expand on these findings, the current study highlights the importance of addressing psychological factors in IBD and indicates support for the use of mindfulness-based interventions for patients with the disease.
Mediation Effect of Mindful Parenting on Parental Self Efficacy and Parent-Child Attachment in Hong Kong
In the dynamic family interaction, parental self-efficacy is connected with parent-child attachment. Parental self-efficacy and its corresponding behavior played an influential role in the lifespan development of the child. Recently, Mindful parenting is popularly addressed as it lightens parents’ awareness to their own thoughts feelings and behaviors by adapting a nonjudgmental attitude in the present moment being with the child. The effectiveness of mindful parent is considerably significant in enhancing parent-child relationship as well as family functioning. Parenting in early developmental stage is always challenging and essential for later growth, however, literature is rarely exploring the mediation of mindful parenting on the effect of parent self-efficacy on parent-child attachment in preschoolers’ families. The mediation effect of the research shed light on how mindful parenting should head, where parental self-efficacy training should be incorporated together with mindful family program in attempt to yield the best outcome in the family of young-aged children. Two hundred and eight (208) parents, of two to six years old children, were participated in the study and results supported the significance in the mediator effect of mindful parenting in both facets, i.e. Parent-focused - ‘Mindful Discipline’ and Child-focused – ‘Being in the moment with the child’ where parental self-efficacy is a significant predictor of mindful parenting. The implication of the result suggests that mindful parenting would be a therapeutic framework in promoting family functioning and child’s well-being, it would also be a ‘significant helping hand’ in maintaining continuous secure attachment relationship and growing their mindful children in a family.
Sick Minds and Social Media: Treacherous Trends in Online Stalking, Aggression, and Murder
This preliminary study has examined ways in which social media may help cause stalker murder by individuals with personality disorders and a strong sense of sexual propriety. A public display on social media by the intended victim was felt to be a trigger that instigated interpersonal violence. To identify behavioural paradigms, case studies of intimate partner murders were explored using news media sources and documentaries. In all of the case studies, social media interaction and social media postings occurred shortly before the murder. The evidence suggested a preponderance of correlations between the social media postings, stalking behaviours, personality disorders, and the murder of an intimate partner. In addition to this, a profile for of Facebook/social media murder was gleaned from the paradigms of behavior found in the case studies. The evidence showed a complex relationship between severe violence, stalking, borderline personality, and intimate partner violence was identified through the study. The struggle clients have in dealing with the: public, ambiguous and unrelenting nature of social media postings was also observed. The murderers anguish and rage appeared to be further intensified by attitudes of sexual propriety and entitlement. These attitudes were evident in all the case studies. The study concluded with further research on how the public can protect themselves from entering situations where social media postings might trigger a violent response. Further to this, psychological approaches were identified that might support client’s with personality disorders to cope with perceived provocative and distressing data on the internet. Thus, the findings of this study will be of interest to: therapists, psychologists, nurses, criminologists and social workers.