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Cognitive Therapy (CT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) have different philosophical tenets. CT targets the form and frequency of mental experiences, whereas ACT focuses on the context of thoughts and feelings. Integrating both approaches in a single #therapy may prove beneficial because clients are offered greater flexibility and a vaster repertoire of strategies. In the combined therapy, clients are offered guidelines that explain when change-oriented techniques (e.g., cognitive restructuring) may be more effective and when acceptance techniques (e.g., defusion) may be more effective. This combined treatment may be advantageous for clients with #depression who have not experienced symptom relief with traditional therapeutic modalities as they will have varied tools from different treatment frameworks to manage their challenges. In their paper, Hallis et al. (2016) describe the development of a manualized group therapy that integrates CT and ACT for depression. The paper includes two case studies to illustrate the application of the manual. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2bmMJBq.
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Trauma experienced by individuals with serious mental illnesses extends beyond physical and sexual abuse. A recent study by Karni-Vizer and Salzer (Online First) is among the first studies to examine verbal violence, both spoken and written words, experienced by individuals with serious mental illnesses. Fifty individuals diagnosed with a schizophrenia-spectrum, bipolar, or major depressive disorder were recruited from community-based mental health agencies and reported on their experiences with 8 types of verbal violence, including: belittling, insulting, name-calling, teasing/embarrassing, threatening, cursing, or yelling. They also reported on the frequency of such events and the perpetrators. 82% of participants reported at least 1 type of verbal violence in their lifetime and 66% reported an incident in the past year. The most common experiences were being called names, belittled, and insulted, teased, or embarrassed in front of others. Top perpetrators were friends and parents. The authors of the study conclude that verbal violence is a common experience with potentially devastating effects on mental health and well-being, sense of safety, and recovery and community participation among adults with serious mental illnesses. According to the authors, it is plausible that such comments deserve being recognized as “violence” on par with physical and sexual assaults, although further research would be useful to expand our knowledge about the comments' effects on health, wellness, and community inclusion. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2blS0rx.
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Promotion decisions focus primarily on the successes of those selected, with relatively little attention given to the outcomes of those rejected. Negative emotional reactions among rejected candidates, for example, may motivate retaliations against the organization in the form of counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs). In a sample of 568 military officer training candidates, Fine, Goldenberg, and Noam (Online First) found a greater incidence of CWB among rejected versus accepted candidates, which peaked within 6 months after promotion decisions were made and gradually decreased thereafter. The researchers also found that overt integrity moderated the relationship between promotion decisions and CWB, whereby rejected candidates with high levels of integrity engaged in less CWB than did rejected candidates with low integrity. The authors discuss practical implications for mitigating CWB in cases of nonpromotion and offer their thoughts on more accurately evaluating the utility of promotion decisions. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2b6Df7z.
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Stigma resistance is consistently linked with key recovery outcomes, yet theoretical work is limited. Firmin et al. (Online First) explored stigma resistance from the perspective of individuals with serious mental illness (SMI). Twenty-four individuals with SMI who were either peer-service providers (those with lived experience providing services) or consumers of mental health services (N = 10) engaged in semistructured interviews regarding experiences with stigma, self-stigma, and stigma resistance, including key elements of this process and examples of situations in which they resisted stigma. Stigma resistance is an ongoing, active process that involves using one’s experiences, knowledge, and sets of skills at the (1) personal, (2) peer, and (3) public levels. Stigma resistance at the personal level involves (a) not believing stigma or catching and challenging stigmatizing thoughts, (b) empowering oneself by learning about mental health and recovery, (c) maintaining one’s recovery and proving stigma wrong, and (d) developing a meaningful identity apart from mental illness. Stigma resistance at the peer level involves using one’s experiences to help others fight stigma and at the public level, resistance involved (a) education, (b) challenging stigma, (c) disclosing one’s lived experience, and (d) advocacy work. Findings present a more nuanced conceptualization of resisting stigma, grounded in the experiences of people with SMI. Interventions should consider focusing on personal stigma resistance early on and increasing the incorporation of peers into services. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2ayeHsg.
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Generic medicines provide a safe and economical medical treatment and are used routinely throughout the world. However, a significant proportion of individuals view generic medicines as less safe, less effective and of lower quality compared with their equivalent branded medicines. A study by Colgan et al. (Online First) aimed to investigate the effect of an educational intervention on improving perceptions and perceived efficacy of generic medicines. Seventy participants who experienced frequent tension headaches were randomized to receive an educational video about generic medicines or a control video. Participants then alternatively took branded and generic ibuprofen to treat their next two consecutive headaches. The intervention was effective in modifying and improving perceptions of generic medicines in the areas of understanding, preference for a generic medicine to treat a serious illness, and overall preference for generic medicines. However, contrary to predictions, participants in the intervention group reported significantly less pain relief and more symptoms after taking generic ibuprofen compared with branded ibuprofen. This study identified that an educational intervention is effective in modifying and improving perceptions of generic medicines but produced paradoxical effects on drug efficacy and side effects. These findings suggest that complex mechanisms are involved in the relationship between perceptions and drug efficacy and contradict the assumption that improving attitudes toward generic medicines will have a flow-on effect to improving health outcomes. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2axU4wd.
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How do the processes guiding math performance change over the course of #learning? Read the free article summary here: http://on.apa.org/2aTg8RX.
The featured article in this issue of APA Journals Article Spotlight provides insight into how the processes guiding math performance change over the course of learning.
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Do juvenile murderers deserve life without parole? The U.S. Supreme Court answered this question in two recent decisions (Miller v. Alabama, 2012; Montgomery v. Louisiana, 2016). “Rarely,” the Court said, and only when developmental evidence shows that the juvenile is “irreparably corrupt.” Moreover, in juvenile homicide cases, developmental evidence must now guide courts’ assignment of lesser sentences than life with parole as well. In their recently published article, Grisso and Kavanaugh (2016) examined sentencing of juveniles from the developmental perspective described in these two decisions, offering guidance to judges, attorneys, and experts who provide developmental evidence in juvenile homicide cases. To read this freely available article, see: http://on.apa.org/2aVXeXh.
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In the featured study by Gordon et al. (Online First), a mind–body skills group (MBSG) program was evaluated to determine its effect on symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and quality of life in adults in Gaza. The 10-session mind–body skills groups (MBSGs) included meditation, guided imagery, breathing techniques, autogenic training, biofeedback, genograms, and self-expression through words, drawings, and movement. Data were analyzed from 92 adults meeting criteria for PTSD. Significant improvements in PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms and significant improvements in quality of life were observed immediately following participation in the program. At 10-month follow-up, the improvements in the PTSD, depression, anxiety, overall quality of life and health scores, and the physical health and social relationship domains of quality of life were fully maintained. Improvement was partially maintained for the psychological quality of life domain but was not maintained for the environment domain. According to the authors of the study, including the founder of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine Dr. James S. Gordon, MBSGs are easily taught to health professionals and can reduce #PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms, and improve quality of life in adults affected by #war and political violence. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2bBkc88.
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Check out the latest episode of APA Journals Dialogue, in which Dr. Raymond Bergner discusses his research and offers his approach for defining behavior: http://on.apa.org/2b6EbZv.
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What is the role of authority in how students of color reason through race? To examine this question, the featured study conducted interviews with 31 undergraduate students of color from 2 public research universities on the U.S. West Coast (Johnston-Guerrero, Online First). The findings suggest that racial authority exists across two dimensions that lead to different outcomes. One dimension includes who holds the authority, whether it is the self or others. The second dimension is the source of authority, whether more experiential or scientific. In working with college students of color to develop racial authority, educators may need to start with ensuring they feel validated as authorities on race in their own experiences. According to the study, if students of color do not develop their own level of authority on racial issues, they might defer to so-called experts when reasoning through racial realities. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2bB25h8.
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Persistent loneliness is often reported by patients with #borderline personality disorder (BPD). The aim of the present study by Liebke et al. (Online First) was to contribute to the understanding of loneliness in BPD by investigating its relation to social isolation and functioning in different domains of life. Subjective experience of loneliness was measured in 80 women (40 BPD patients, 40 healthy controls) with the UCLA Loneliness Scale. BPD patients reported stronger feelings of loneliness compared to healthy participants. In general, the level of loneliness was linked to network size, social engagement, and prosocial behavior. Diversity of social networks and functioning in the domain of interpersonal communication were associated with the level of loneliness only in BPD. A reduced variety of roles in social life together with impairments in interpersonal communication were particularly relevant for the experience of loneliness in BPD, suggesting an indirect path to target this psychopathological feature in therapeutic interventions. However, both social isolation and social functioning were not sufficient to explain the severely increased loneliness experienced by these patients, stressing the need for further investigation of determinants of loneliness in this clinical population. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/2ay7kAW.
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Whether violent video games influence the behavior of youth has been a debate that has split the academic community for years. Scholars and clinicians remain divided in opinion about whether violent games are harmful. A new study by Ferguson and Colwell investigated this issue in a sample of 304 children in the United Kingdom. Using a survey approach, the study examined youths’ exposure to violent content in video games as well as parental involvement in their game play. Results indicated that violent game use was not associated with antisocial attitudes or bullying behavior, and parental involvement was not associated with reduced violent video game exposure. Results from the study suggest that violent video games are not the object for concern that they were once perceived as being. To read the freely available article, see: http://on.apa.org/2auT2Ry.
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