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Does ‪#‎aging‬ impact strategy choice with regard to regulating negative ‪#‎emotions‬? Based on the assumption that older adults are highly motivated to quickly defuse negative states, Scheibe, Sheppes, and Staudinger (2015) predicted that older adults, relative to young adults, would show an increased preference for distraction over reappraisal in the face of negative material. A stronger preference for distraction, in turn, should be associated with higher affective well-being at older ages, as it helps to avoid high physiological arousal. Young (19–28 years, n = 38) and older (65–75 years, n = 39) adults completed a laboratory task of emotion-regulation choice in which they viewed negative pictures of high and low intensity and chose between distraction and reappraisal to regulate their emotional response. Confirming predictions, age was associated with an increased preference to choose distraction over reappraisal. Among older but not young adults, the relative preference for distraction to reappraisal predicted higher state-affective well-being. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1F6agZq.
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In their paper, Franklin and Mewhort (2015) outline a holographic ‪#‎memory‬ model that demonstrates that just searching for a word in our mental dictionary (like searching for a term on Google) changes the entire database by altering the strength of the item that was searched for and all of its associated terms. Thus, human memory, rather than being merely a warehouse for information, is a dynamic system that is constantly being updated and changed. To read this article for free, see: http://on.apa.org/1Ki3cQc.
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Many interventions have been designed to promote psychological adjustment in #cancer survivors; however, few studies have specified the mediating processes through which these interventions work. Cleary & Stanton (2015) examined theoretically and empirically grounded mediators of an Internet-based psychosocial intervention for women with breast cancer. Relative to control participants, women who took part in the intervention, Project Connect Online (PCO), evidenced statistically significant benefit 6 months later on #depressive symptoms, positive mood, and life appreciation, as well as on hypothesized mediators. Change over 6 months in coping self-confidence, loneliness, and social support from friends mediated the relationship between the intervention and improvement in depressive symptoms. Findings indicate how PCO promoted adaptive change and highlighted modifiable factors, including coping self-confidence, loneliness, and social support from friends, which contributed to positive adjustment to breast cancer. The researchers address additional potential mediators and ways in which the intervention can be enhanced. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1HgiD7J. #NWHW
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To help practitioners save time and advocate more effectively for mental health outpatients, Papatola and Lustig (2015) offer guidance on the peer review process for psychotherapists who interact with managed care organizations (MCOs), either as members of insurance networks or as ‪#‎psychotherapists‬ for self-pay patients. The researchers describe the process of utilization review, the peer review being a central component, followed by the specific elements of medical necessity that pertain to outpatient care. The researchers also discuss specific case examples to highlight how providers can advocate most effectively for treatment that is medically necessary. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1HfXASV.
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Sung, Szymanski, and Henrichs-Beck (2015) sought to provide an understanding of the multiple and intersecting identities of Asian American lesbian and bisexual women (AA LBW), and both the challenges and benefits that can arise in managing these identities. In their study, the researchers explored the challenges, coping strategies, and positive aspects of being an AA LBW. Qualitative content analyses revealed 2 overarching domains concerning day-to-day challenges faced by AA LBW: living with multiple ‪#‎minority‬ identities and experiencing sexual orientation-based oppression. The researchers also identified 2 domains of positive aspects about being an AA LBW: sociocultural sources of strength and insight into and empathy for self and others. To read more, see: http://on.apa.org/1EQoRdR. ‪#‎NWHW‬
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Flanagan et al. (2015) used latent class analysis to examine whether homogeneous subgroups of women emerged based on their self-reported stress, ‪#‎depression‬, and relationship adjustment during pregnancy. The researchers also examined whether women in different groups experienced different intimate partner violence (IPV) and mental health symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum. Two groups emerged: one group reported higher mean stress and depression and poorer relationship adjustment compared with the other group. The high severity group reported more psychological IPV victimization and perpetration and more physical IPV victimization during pregnancy, and membership in this group was associated with higher ‪#‎postpartum‬ depression. Findings of the study highlight the associations between different profiles of mental and relational health during pregnancy and postpartum. Future research should explore how improving relationship adjustment may improve women’s health during pregnancy and postpartum. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1EQl5AZ. ‪#‎NWHW‬
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Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions: A Tale of Being True to Your Tummy is a children's story about a sheep with a delicate digestive system. Even though Woolfred can't eat dandelions, he can't stop thinking about them. Eventually, Woolfred discovers that focusing on what's missing can mean not seeing the good things in life…even when they are right in front of you. A Note to Parents and Caregivers offers information and strategies for developing an emotionally healthy attitude about living with food intolerances. For more information on this Magination Press book, see: http://on.apa.org/1FofC4L.
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A recently published study examined whether ‪#‎aging‬ affects predecisional processing, that is, gathering information and evaluating options before making a decision. Zamarian et al. (2015) investigated information sampling in mild ‪#‎Dementia‬ of Alzheimer’s type (DAT) and healthy aging by using the Information Sampling Task (IST). Results showed that patients with DAT gathered significantly less information, made riskier and less accurate decisions, and showed less reward sensitivity relative to controls. Findings revealed no relevant changes with healthy aging in predecisional processing, while mild DAT significantly affected predecisional information sampling. Decision-making performance in mild DAT might be improved by helping the patients at a predecisional stage to gather sufficient information and evaluate options more accurately. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1KirObB.
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As married or partnered couples age together, changes in one person's functioning can affect their partner's wellbeing. Bourassa et al. (2015) investigated the effects of partners’ physical health and ‪#‎cognition‬ on quality of life (QoL) in a series of bivariate latent curve growth models. Results indicated that husbands’ and wives’ baseline levels and rates of change in QoL covaried significantly over time. In addition, husbands’ and wives’ physical health and cognition predicted their partners’ baseline level of QoL above and beyond their own ‪#‎health‬ and cognition, and these effects were of equivalent size for both men and women. The findings suggest that as couples age, husbands’ and wives’ quality of life, cognition, and health are predictive of their partners’ quality of life. Future treatment and research on aging couples should address the possible interdependent effect of physical health and cognition on QoL outcomes. To read this study, see: http://on.apa.org/1LdKIxO.
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Negative emotions are reliably associated with poorer health, but only recently has research begun to acknowledge the important role of positive #emotions for our physical health. Stellar et al. (2015) examined the link between dispositional positive affect and one potential biological pathway between positive emotions and #health—proinflammatory cytokines, specifically levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6). The researchers hypothesized that greater trait positive affect would be associated with lower levels of IL-6 in a healthy sample. Findings from two studies supported this hypothesis. The researchers also explored the relationship between discrete positive emotions and IL-6 levels, finding that awe, measured in two different ways, was the strongest predictor of lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines. This work suggests a potential biological pathway between positive emotions and health through proinflammatory cytokines. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1Hg2f7n.
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In an article published recently in Archives of Scientific Psychology, Spring et al. (2015) discuss two studies in which children and adolescents of different ages watched a film involving a potential wrong-doing: throwing a lit birthday cake into a wastebasket, either with or without the intention of starting a fire and resulting in either no fire or a serious fire. The filmed act is identical in all conditions; what is varied is the way the filmed act is ‘framed’ or described by a voice-over. The authors explored the participants’ use of decisional bias as an implicit measure of moral judgment. Findings suggest that the decisional criteria implicitly used by children or adolescents when identifying a perpetrator are substantially influenced by the moral nature of the act interacting with the age (developmental status) of the eyewitness. To read this freely available article, see: http://on.apa.org/1CwYreC.
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IN THE NEWS: A recent study by Pletzer, Sanchez, and Scheibe (2015) on psychotherapists' ability to regulate negative emotions was featured in an article in Time magazine. When presented with images designed to elicit negative emotional reactions, ‪#‎therapists‬ responded similarly in terms of emotional reactivity, but were better able than non-therapists to calm their response by using ‪#‎emotion‬ regulation strategies. The researchers suggest that psychotherapists’ comparable emotional reactivity and more effective emotion regulation make them well prepared to provide effective help to patients and safeguard their own well-being. To read this article, see: http://on.apa.org/1cISsN7. To read the Times article, see: http://on.apa.org/1cISx3m.
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