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Sveaass and Sønneland (2015) analyzed survivor's experiences with economic reparations after serious human rights abuses during the military ‪#‎dictatorship‬ in Argentina (years 1975 to 1983.) The researchers interviewed survivors about their thoughts on having been offered and received economic ‪#‎reparation‬ both for disappeared family members as well as for their own experiences of torture and detention. The findings suggest that economic reparation, especially in the absence of justice, was regarded as problematic and contradictory by most participants. The researchers conclude that mechanisms of transition—state action in order to deal with ‪#‎injustices‬ of the past—must be seen as a multifaceted effort. To read the freely available article, see: http://on.apa.org/1nyE5k2.
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The January issue of ‪#‎Psychology‬ of Violence contains a special section on "Restorying Resilience Research." The section seeks to help envision a path toward a more strengths-based approach to ‪#‎violence‬ research, prevention, and intervention—a path that focuses on thriving and ‪#‎resilience‬. Existing challenges in innovation and experimentation call for trying new approaches. The commentaries in the special section offer feasible actions that could improve violence research, including incorporating measures of well-being in addition to symptoms as outcome measures; involving a wider variety of stakeholders in research design and dissemination; taking advantage of new insights from positive psychology and narrative research; and incorporating aspects of community and culture into research, assessment, prevention and intervention. To read this special section, see: http://on.apa.org/1Poo1NA.
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A 2006 study by Dittmar, Halliwell, and Ive examined the ‪#‎Barbie‬ doll as a possible cause for young girls' body dissatisfaction. 162 girls, ages 5 to 8, were exposed to images of either Barbie dolls, Emme dolls (U.S. size 16), or no dolls (baseline control) and then completed assessments of body image. Girls exposed to Barbie reported lower body esteem and greater desire for a thinner body shape than girls in the other exposure conditions. However, this immediate negative impact of Barbie doll was no longer evident in the oldest girls. The findings imply that, even if dolls cease to function as aspirational role models for older girls, early exposure to dolls epitomizing an unrealistically thin body ideal may damage girls' ‪#‎bodyimage‬, which would contribute to an increased risk of disordered eating and ‪#‎weight‬ cycling. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1PFrgu4.
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How can weather affect ‪#‎productivity‬? Contrary to conventional wisdom, Lee, Gino, and Staats (2014) found that bad ‪#‎weather‬ increases individual productivity by eliminating potential cognitive distractions resulting from good weather. To read this freely available article from the Journal of Applied ‪#‎Psychology‬, see: http://on.apa.org/1kbEbDV.
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Khaddouma, Gordon, and Bolden (2015) examined the links between trait ‪#‎mindfulness‬, differentiation of self, and relationship satisfaction in dating relationships. Participants completed surveys of trait mindfulness, differentiation of self (as measured by its 4 subcomponents: fusion with others, emotional cutoff, emotional reactivity, and I position), and ‪#‎relationship‬ satisfaction. Results indicated that overall differentiation of self and, more specifically, 2 of its subcomponents (I position and fusion with others) mediated the link between mindfulness and relationship satisfaction. In contrast, the 2 remaining subcomponents of differentiation of self (emotional reactivity and emotional cutoff) did not mediate or moderate the association between mindfulness and relationship satisfaction. These results suggest that mindful attunement to one’s partner may promote greater relationship satisfaction by fostering the ability to maintain a clearly defined sense of self even in the wake of stressful situations. Such attunement may also promote the ability to successfully navigate relational demands without becoming overwhelmed by or overly fused with one’s partner. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1OmET1u.
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The upcoming January issue of The International Journal of Play ‪#‎Therapy‬ will be a special issue highlighting the journals 25th anniversary. The articles within the issue will focus on the topic of integrating ‪#‎neuroscience‬ and play therapy. To receive an e-mail alert when this issue becomes available, sign up for PsycALERTS here: http://on.apa.org/1wCaZ0d. To read articles from the journal, see: http://on.apa.org/1UCzHua.
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REFLECTIONS FROM 2015, continued: The second prevailing theme among the five noteworthy articles chosen by Dr. Goodman was: underlying latent dimensions of disorders. In an article published in the first issue of 2015, Wright et al. (2015) found that DSM-5 Section III personality ‪#‎disorder‬ traits are highly stable over a nearly two year time period, prospectively predictive of psychosocial functioning, and are dynamically associated with functioning over time. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1PIhNbL. In the following issue, Mokros et al. (2015) contributed to knowledge of subtypes of ‪#‎psychopathy‬ by finding support for three variants of psychopathy among adult male offenders: Manipulative, Aggressive, and Sociopathic. Read this article here: http://on.apa.org/1PIhFJ9. In the same issue, Sharp et al. (2015) found support for a bi-factor model – a general factor (commonalities between the diverse variations of personality pathology) and six specific factors, each of which captures unique variance – that helps to explain the high levels of comorbidity among ‪#‎personality‬ disorders. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1PIhL3q.
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Sezgin and Punamäki (Online first) examined whether leaving or staying in an ‪#‎earthquake‬-devastated area is associated with risks of posttraumatic stress disorder (‪#‎PTSD‬) and other psychiatric symptoms. A sample of 195 women who were residents in an earthquake affected (7.1 Richter scale) town in South Eastern Turkey were interviewed in their homes 1 year after the earthquake. Results showed that relocation was associated with ‪#‎mentalhealth‬ problems, especially with intrusive PTSD, somatization, and hostility symptoms, as well as interpersonal problems. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1PZk8sS.
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REFLECTIONS FROM 2015: Editor of the Journal of Abnormal ‪#‎Psychology‬, Dr. Sherryl Goodman selected five particularly noteworthy articles published in the journal in 2015. Mechanisms underlying disorders was one of two prevailing themes. An article by Ebner-Priemer et al. (2015) found support for affective dysregulation underlying ‪#‎borderline‬ personality disorders. The transdiagnostic approach of the researchers has implications for common and distinctive mechanisms that underlie different disorders. Read this article here: http://on.apa.org/1Porkod. Another article by Meyer et al. (2015) found support for a neural biomarker of risk – error-related negativity (ERN) – in the prediction of young children’s later onset of new ‪#‎anxiety‬ disorders, even after accounting for earlier anxiety symptoms and mothers’ history of anxiety. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1Porvje.
Stay tuned for the second theme and related articles.
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What do snapping shrimp, ants, honeybees, and humans all have in common? They all share a similar colony-like organizational system that biologists have termed eusociality. Eusocial species have been successful in both surviving and thriving through the use of colony-level ‪#‎cooperation‬. One cooperative behavior used by all eusocial species is the self-sacrifice of individuals to defend the colony. For example, a ‪#‎eusocial‬ bee may sting a predator to stop an attack but die in the process. This same self-sacrificial tendency is seen among humans across cultures and time periods, including among military recruits, first responders, and parents. Joiner et al. (Online first) draw from this scientific knowledge and argue that a tendency towards self-sacrifice among humans is adaptive in some situations—for instance, a firefighter willingly risking his or her life to save someone from a burning building. However, when individuals mistakenly view their own deaths as being worth more than their lives, results can be needlessly lethal. Specifically, the researchers propose a framework in which ‪#‎suicide‬ is viewed as a tragic variant of what typically serves as an adaptive tendency towards self-sacrifice among humans. To read this freely available article, see: http://on.apa.org/1RixI0f.
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Drive for muscularity is a prominent factor in men’s body image concerns. Cheng et al. (Online first) examined the relative contributions of media internalization, acculturative experiences, and racial stressors as predictors of drive for ‪#‎muscularity‬ attitudes and behaviors in a large sample of Asian American college men. After controlling for participants’ self-esteem, body mass index, ethnicity, and generational status in the U.S., the research showed that greater ‪#‎acculturation‬ to mainstream American culture and perceived perpetual foreigner ‪#‎racism‬ predicted unique variance in drive for muscularity attitudes more so than the contributions of media internalization. The findings suggest that acculturative and racial experiences play a key role in Asian American men’s drive to obtain a body more equal to Western standards of masculine physiques. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1Ri256V.
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Research and theorizing on #gender and age differences in self-esteem have played a prominent role in #psychology over the past 20 years. However, most empirical research has focused on the United States or other Western industrialized countries. To broaden the empirical base, Bleidorn et al. (Online first) used a large Internet sample to provide the first large-scale cross-cultural examination of gender and age differences in #selfesteem. Across 48 nations, and consistent with previous research, the researchers found age-related increases in self-esteem from late adolescence to middle adulthood and significant gender gaps, with males consistently reporting higher self-esteem than females. Despite these broad cross-cultural similarities, the cultures differed significantly in the magnitude of gender, age, and Gender × Age effects on self-esteem. These differences were associated with cultural differences in socioeconomic, sociodemographic, gender-equality, and cultural value indicators. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1IPfWPq.
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