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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
Jeanne M McCaffery
This article reviews the concept of precision behavioral medicine and the progress toward applying genetics and genomics as tools to optimize weight management intervention. We discuss genetic, epigenetic, and genomic markers, as well as interactions between genetics and the environment as they relate to obesity and behavioral weight loss to date. Recommendations for the conditions under which genetics and genomics could be incorporated to support clinical decision-making in behavioral weight loss are outlined and illustrative scenarios of how this approach could improve clinical outcomes are provided...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Peter J Gianaros, J Richard Jennings
Psychological stress still attracts scientific, clinical, and public interest because of its suspected connection to health, particularly cardiovascular health. Psychological stress is thought to arise from appraisal processes that imbue events and contexts with personal significance and threat-related meaning. These appraisal processes are also thought to be instantiated in brain systems that generate and control peripheral physiological stress reactions through visceral motor (brain-to-body) and visceral sensory (body-to-brain) mechanisms...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Karina W Davidson, Carmela Alcántara, Gregory E Miller
Evidence of popular interest in the interrelationships between mind, body, and heart disease dates to Ancient Grecian times and paved the way for modern-day scientific inquiry into the relationships between psychological comorbidities in coronary heart disease. Although the systematic evidence has suggested an association of poor medical prognosis and lower quality of life among patients with coronary heart disease with comorbid psychological conditions, the mechanisms are less well understood. In this selective review article, the epidemiology, mechanisms, screening, and treatment recommendations for 4 common psychological conditions (depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia) comorbid with coronary heart disease are presented...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Ellen A Dornelas, Samuel F Sears
The number of people living with advanced heart disease is increasing rapidly as a result of improvements in cardiac treatments, better long-term survival from primary cardiac events, and the increase in the demographic of Americans over the age of 65. Successful living with advanced heart disease now often means patients must manage recurrent challenges to health and function from hospitalizations, exacerbations of illness, and cardiac procedures. Depression, anxiety and strain on intimate relationships are familiar problems for people with advanced heart disease that often go untreated...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Martica H Hall, Ryan C Brindle, Daniel J Buysse
Sleep disturbances and disorders have been implicated in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Converging evidence suggests that psychosocial factors that confer risk or resilience to cardiovascular disease (CVD) are also related to sleep. Profound differences in sleep among racial/ethnic minorities compared with non-Hispanic Whites in the United States suggest that sleep, and its interplay with psychosocial factors, may contribute to observed disparities in CVD and in health and functioning more broadly...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Denise E Wilfley, Jacqueline F Hayes, Katherine N Balantekin, Dorothy J Van Buren, Leonard H Epstein
Obesity in adults has nearly doubled in the past 30 years and has risen similarly in children and adolescents. Obesity affects all systems of the body, and the serious health consequences of obesity include an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, such as Type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, which are occurring at ever younger ages. The present article introduces traditional behavioral weight loss strategies designed to change energy-balance behaviors (i.e., dietary and physical activity behaviors) and the contexts within which these interventions have typically been delivered...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Hayden B Bosworth, Dan V Blalock, Rick H Hoyle, Susan M Czajkowski, Corrine I Voils
Poor adherence to cardiovascular disease medications carries significant psychological, physical, and economic costs, including failure to achieve therapeutic goals, high rates of hospitalization and health care costs, and incidence of death. Despite much effort to design and evaluate adherence interventions, rates of adherence to cardiovascular-related medications have remained relatively stagnant. We identify two major reasons for this: First, interventions have not addressed the time-varying reasons for nonadherence, and 2nd, interventions have not explicitly targeted the self-regulatory processes involved in adherence behavior...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Krysten W Bold, Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin, Catherine M Stoney
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use is rapidly increasing among youth and adults despite limited information regarding the long-term risks or benefits. The potential impact of e-cigarette use on public health is complex. E-cigarettes are sometimes considered as smoking cessation aids and, to the extent that they are successful in this regard, could have a net population benefit for adult smokers. However, limited knowledge exists about the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use, and research has suggested these novel tobacco products may lead to initiation and continued use among vulnerable populations, including youth...
November 2018: American Psychologist
Catherine M Stoney, Peter G Kaufmann, Susan M Czajkowski
Although deaths due to cardiovascular diseases have declined significantly since the 1970s, they remain the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. A large number of cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, obesity, and sedentary lifestyle, are modifiable. Psychologists and other behavioral scientists and practitioners are engaged in not only understanding the mechanistic links between behaviors and cardiovascular health but also developing effective interventions for improving health...
November 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
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