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American Psychologist

Dorothy D Skierkowski, Paul Florin, Lisa L Harlow, Jason Machan, Yinjiao Ye
Analyzing the reading grade level of online mental health information is an important first step in ensuring that information is largely accessible by the general public, so as not to perpetuate existing health disparities across socioeconomic groups. The present study systematically examined grade-level readability of mental health information related to various psychiatric diagnoses, obtained from 6 highly utilized mental health websites, using a generalized estimating equations approach. Results suggest that, in general, the readability of mental health information is largely well above the 6th-to-8th grade level recommended by several national health organizations, including the CDC and NIH (Kutner, Greenberg, Jin, & Paulsen, 2006; National Institutes of Health, 2001, 2017), with reading-grade-level estimates from the model ranging from 5...
October 8, 2018: American Psychologist
Bethany A Teachman, Dean McKay, Deanna M Barch, Mitchell J Prinstein, Steven D Hollon, Dianne L Chambless
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) plays an enormous role in establishing the agenda for mental health research across the country (its 2016 appropriation was nearly $1.5 billion; NIMH, 2016a). As the primary funder of research that will lead to development of new assessments and interventions to identify and combat mental illness, the priorities set by NIMH have a major impact on the mental health of our nation and training of the next generation of clinical scientists. Joshua Gordon has recently begun his term as the new Director of NIMH and has been meeting with different organizations to understand how they can contribute to the grand challenge of reducing the burden of mental illness...
September 27, 2018: American Psychologist
David Reilly, David L Neumann, Glenda Andrews
A frequently observed research finding is that females outperform males on tasks of verbal and language abilities, but there is considerable variability in effect sizes from sample to sample. The gold standard for evaluating gender differences in cognitive ability is to recruit a large, demographically representative sample. We examined 3 decades of U.S. student achievement in reading and writing from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to determine the magnitude of gender differences (N = 3.9 million), and whether these were declining over time as claimed by Feingold (1988)...
September 20, 2018: American Psychologist
Marvin R Goldfried
Although the field of psychotherapy has been in existence for well over a century, it nonetheless continues to be preparadigmatic, lacking a consensus or scientific core. Instead, it is characterized by a large and increasing number of different schools of thought. In addition to the varying ways in which psychotherapy has been conceptualized, there also exists a long-standing gap between psychotherapy research and how it is conducted in actual clinical practice. Finally, there also exists a tendency to place great emphasis on what is new, often rediscovering or reinventing past contributions...
September 17, 2018: American Psychologist
Laura D Wandner, Ravi Prasad, Amir Ramezani, Sylvia A Malcore, Robert D Kerns
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has reported that approximately 100 million Americans experience chronic pain. The IOM report on pain and the subsequent National Pain Strategy (NPS) issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have both noted the educational gaps regarding pain management and highlighted the pivotal role that psychology plays in the field of pain management. Fishman and colleagues (2013) emphasized the need for all providers involved in the study and practice of pain management to acquire a common fund of knowledge and proposed a comprehensive set of core competencies that would apply across multiple professions and specialty areas (e...
August 2, 2018: American Psychologist
(no author information available yet)
Reports an error in "Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report" by Mark Appelbaum, Harris Cooper, Rex B. Kline, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Arthur M. Nezu and Stephen M. Rao ( American Psychologist , 2018[Jan], Vol 73[1], 3-25). In the article, there was a citation error. In the "Clinical Trials" subsection in the section, "Reporting Standards for Studies With an Experimental Manipulation" (p...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Tom Fagan, Mark Swerdlik
Presents an obituary of Joseph French (1928 -2018). At Pennsylvania State University (PSU), French developed one of the earliest doctoral school psychology programs, directed the School Psychology Clinic, and for 7 years was head of the Department of Special Education. He was president of the Association for the Gifted (1969) and the Division of School Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA; 1976-1977) and held other positions with the Council for Exceptional Children, the American Counseling Association, the APA Division of School Psychology, and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (PPA)...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Donald A Dewsbury
Presents an obituary of Wilse Bernard (Bernie) Webb (1920-2018). Webb was an effective researcher and administrator but also an overall colorful personality. His evolving research career was highlighted by work on learning mechanisms and studies of aircraft accidents. He became most widely known for his important early work on biological rhythms, individual difference, effects of sleep deprivation, and theories of sleep. In 1958 Bernie was appointed psychology chair at the University of Florida, which was developing as a research university...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Bedford Palmer, Thomas A Parham, Michael Connor, Helen Neville
Presents an obituary of Joseph White (1932-2017), often called "the godfather of Black psychology." During a distinguished 56-year career, White held many professional roles, perhaps none more profound than that of mentor. Additionally, White served as a (supervising) psychologist to five hospitals and three clinical practices. He served as chairman of the California State Psychology Licensing Board for 3 years. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Menninger Foundation in Houston, Texas, and held the title of professor emeritus of psychology and psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine, where he spent most of his career as a professor and director of ethnic studies and cross-cultural programs...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Stephen G Harkins
Presents an obituary of Leon J. Kamin (1927-2017), former chair of the Psychology Department at Northeastern University. Over the course of his career, Kamin demonstrated a rare combination of skills as a researcher, scholar, and administrator. Early in his career, Kamin developed an influential line of research on conditioning. In fact, a conditioning effect, the Kamin (blocking) effect, is named after him. Later in his career, he became interested in the heritability of intelligence, leading to his debunking of Cyril Burt's famous twin studies and the publication of his extremely influential book The Science and Politics of IQ (1974)...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Paul Rozin
Presents an obituary of Henry Gleitman (1925-2015). Gleitman was an author of major papers in animal learning, memory, theater, and the psychology of language, including one book with Lila Gleitman ( Phrase and Paraphrase , 1970). Gleitman was among the very best teachers in the history of psychology. He taught introductory psychology about 100 times, engaging the minds of some 30,000 students, each exposed to his enlightening, expansive, and entertaining synthesis of psychology. Gleitman came to the University of Pennsylvania in 1964 as Professor and Chair of Psychology...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Ronald F Levant, Patrick H DeLeon
Presents an obituary of Ronald E. Fox (1936-2018). Fox was a visionary, trailblazer, and leader in the practice of psychology for over 50 years, renowned for his ability to bring psychologists together to meet society's most pressing needs. Fox envisioned a broad social role for professional psychology, moving beyond psychotherapy for people with psychological problems to encompass general health, prevention, and well-being. He also had a long history of involvement in the APA. He was always a step or two ahead of us-creating the Practice Directorate, supporting the APA's reorganization that created the directorate structure, urging all of us to contribute to political action...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Robert T Thibault, Amir Raz
We were pleased to read the constructive commentary (Micoulaud-Franchi & Fovet, 2018) on our original piece (Thibault & Raz, 2017). In this response, we build on the theoretical framework for studying neurofeedback that the commentators sketch out while pointing out potential caveats to adopting a neuroreductionist approach. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
October 2018: American Psychologist
Jean-Arthur Micoulaud-Franchi, Thomas Fovet
In this comment, we propose a theoretical framework for disentangling the potentially multiple elements driving the effects of electroencephalogram (EEG)-neurofeedback (EEG-nf) to clarify the roadmap for research in the field. Three questions are identified: (a) Do EEG-nf effects originate from a placebo effect related to the technological environment of a neurofeedback session? (b) Do EEG-nf effects originate from a nonspecific effect of cognitive brain training during neurofeedback? If so, a cognitive training would be underpinned by the brain activity regulation loop but this training would not be specifically related to the neurophysiological biomarker chosen...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Mark Appelbaum, Harris Cooper, Rex B Kline, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Arthur M Nezu, Stephen M Rao
In this reply to Rossiter (2018), we note that the goal of developing Journal Article Reporting Standards has been to specify the kinds of information that should be provided to the readers of scientific articles in order to allow maximal understanding of the work being reported-in the case of psychometrics, information that demonstrates the underlying adequacy of the measures used in the research being reported. Although we illustrate some kinds of items that might be utilized to make these demonstrations, the illustrations are not proscriptive...
October 2018: American Psychologist
John R Rossiter
This comment attempts to correct misconceptions about psychometric measurement in the American Psychologist article "Journal Article Reporting Standards for Quantitative Research in Psychology" (Appelbaum et al., 2018) by offering an outline of what the author calls the new psychometrics. The new psychometrics argues for replacing "construct validation" with construct-to-measure validation, abandoning "convergent validation" in favor of content validation requiring correspondence of the content of the measure with the content of the construct definition, and restricting the term reliability to mean only the precision of scores from the measure...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Aprile D Benner, Yijie Wang, Yishan Shen, Alaina E Boyle, Richelle Polk, Yen-Pi Cheng
This meta-analytic study systematically investigates the relations between perceived racial/ethnic discrimination and socioemotional distress, academics, and risky health behaviors during adolescence, and potential variation in these relations. The study included 214 peer-reviewed articles, theses, and dissertations, with 489 unique effect sizes on 91,338 unique adolescents. Random-effects meta-analyses across 11 separate indicators of well-being identified significant detrimental effects. Greater perceptions of racial/ethnic discrimination were linked to more depressive and internalizing symptoms; greater psychological distress; poorer self-esteem; lower academic achievement and engagement; less academic motivation; greater engagement in externalizing behaviors, risky sexual behaviors, and substance use; and more associations with deviant peers...
October 2018: American Psychologist
W David Stahlman, Kenneth J Leising
There is little scientific debate regarding the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, which effectively describes how relevant ancestral histories produce both an organism's genetic characteristics and innate behavioral repertoires. The combination of variation and selection in the production of novel forms can be extended beyond Darwinian theory to encompass facts of ontogeny. The present article sheds light on an underappreciated and critical insight, namely, that the consequences of behavior have a selective effect analogous to that observed in biological evolution...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Stephanie A Torres, Catherine DeCarlo Santiago, Katherine Kaufka Walts, Maryse H Richards
Currently, 15 million Mexican and Central American individuals live in the United States, with this number projected to rise in the next few decades (Lesser & Batalova, 2017; Zong & Batalova, 2017). Research has begun to investigate the impact of the nation's immigration practices and policies on immigrant Latino/a families and youth. Current immigration policies can create vulnerabilities, including fear and mistrust, discrimination, limited access to services, parent-child separation, and poverty...
October 2018: American Psychologist
Idris Adjerid, Ken Kelley
The potential for big data to provide value for psychology is significant. However, the pursuit of big data remains an uncertain and risky undertaking for the average psychological researcher. In this article, we address some of this uncertainty by discussing the potential impact of big data on the type of data available for psychological research, addressing the benefits and most significant challenges that emerge from these data, and organizing a variety of research opportunities for psychology. Our article yields two central insights...
October 2018: American Psychologist
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