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Current Opinion in Psychology

Danielle S Roubinov, W Thomas Boyce
The quality of parenting is a complex and multiply determined construct that is strongly influenced by the larger ecological context in which it evolves. A substantial body of literature has documented associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and parenting but has been limited in its consideration of factors that may explain or moderate the nature of this relation. The socioeconomic conditions within which a family lives may powerfully influence parenting through its effects on parental mental health and via differential access to resources...
June 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Karen L Bales
The study of parenting in animals has allowed us to come to a better understanding of the neural and physiological mechanisms that underlie mammalian parental behavior. The long-term effects of parenting (and parental abuse or neglect) on offspring, and the neurobiological changes that underlie those changes, have also been best studied in animal models. Our greater experimental control and ability to directly manipulate neural and hormonal systems, as well as the environment of the subjects, will ensure that animal models remain important in the study of parenting; while in the future, the great variety of parental caregiving systems displayed by animals should be more thoroughly explored...
June 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Christina M Sheerin, Mackenzie J Lind, Kaitlin Bountress, Nicole R Nugent, Ananda B Amstadter
This paper provides a brief summary and commentary on the growing literature and current developments related to the genetic underpinnings of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We first briefly provide an overview of the behavioral genetic literature on PTSD, followed by a short synopsis of the substantial candidate gene literature with a focus on genes that have been meta-analyzed. We then discuss the genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that have been conducted, followed by an introduction to other molecular platforms used in PTSD genomic studies, such as epigenetic and expression approaches...
April 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Katie A McLaughlin, Hilary K Lambert
Exposure to trauma in childhood is associated with elevated risk for multiple forms of psychopathology. Here we present a biopsychosocial model outlining the mechanisms that link child trauma with psychopathology and protective factors that can mitigate these risk pathways. We focus on four mechanisms of enhanced threat processing: information processing biases that facilitate rapid identification of environmental threats, disruptions in learning mechanisms underlying the acquisition of fear, heightened emotional responses to potential threats, and difficulty disengaging from negative emotional content...
April 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Richard B Slatcher, Dominik Schoebi
Although the links between marital quality and physical health are now well established, the psychological processes through which marriage impacts health remain unclear. Additionally, prior research on the links between marriage and health has focused mainly on how negative aspects of relationships (e.g., conflict, hostility) can be damaging to one's physical health. In this article, we describe the strength and strain model of marital quality and health, which provides a roadmap for studying protective factors underlying marriage-health links...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Christopher I Eckhardt, Dominic J Parrott
Evidence suggests that stressed couples also tend to be aggressive couples. Chronic external stresses interact with individuals' dispositional and regulatory deficiencies, resulting in a spillover of these stresses into the relationship. High individual stress in combination with problematic interaction styles and problem-solving abilities increases the likelihood of IPA. We applied the I(3) Model to better organize the instigating, impelling, and inhibiting factors and processes that moderate the stress-IPA association...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Mark A Whisman, Susan C South
A growing body of research supports an important role for genetic factors on intimate, romantic relationships. In this article, we review research that has examined the interplay between genetic and environmental influences on romantic relationships and the associations between relationship outcomes and important individual differences related to relationships. We first elaborate on how behavioral genetic and molecular genetic methods can be used to understand the etiology of relationship outcomes. We then review empirical studies that have examined gene-environment correlations and gene-by-environment interactions in predicting romantic relationship outcomes (e...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Nickola C Overall, James K McNulty
What constitutes effective communication during conflict? Answering this question requires (a) clarifying whether communication expresses opposition versus cooperation and is direct versus indirect, (b) assessing the mechanisms through which communication effects relationships, and (c) identifying the contextual factors that determine the impact of communication. Recent research incorporating these components illustrates that direct opposition is beneficial when serious problems need to be addressed and partners are able to change, but can be harmful when partners are not confident or secure enough to be responsive...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Andrew Christensen, Brian D Doss
Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT) is based in part on traditional behavioral couple therapy but expands both the conceptualization of couple distress and of intervention. The efficacy of IBCT has been supported in three clinical trials, including one with five year follow-up. Additionally, the effectiveness of IBCT in the real world has been supported through a system-wide dissemination effort in the United States Department of Veteran's Affairs. The reach of IBCT has also been extended through an online program, www...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Lisa A Neff, Benjamin R Karney
Compared to affluent marriages, lower income marriages develop within a context filled with negative stressors that may prove quite toxic for marital stability. The current paper argues that stressful contexts may undermine marital well-being through two routes. First, external stressors create additional problems within the marriage by diverting time and attention away from activities that promote intimacy between partners. Second, external stress may render spouses ill-equipped to cope with this increase in problems by draining spouses of the energy and resources necessary for responding to marital challenges in a constructive manner...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Jeffry A Simpson, W Steven Rholes
In this article, we discuss theory and research on how individuals who have insecure adult romantic attachment orientations typically think, feel, and behave when they or their romantic partners encounter certain types of chronic or acute stress. We first review basic principles of attachment theory and then discuss how two forms of attachment insecurity-anxiety and avoidance-are associated with unique patterns of emotion regulation in response to certain types of threatening/distressing situations. We then discuss a diathesis-stress process model that has guided our research, highlighting studies that provide support for certain pathways of the model...
February 2017: Current Opinion in Psychology
Evan Weingarten, Qijia Chen, Maxwell McAdams, Jessica Yi, Justin Hepler, Dolores Albarracin
This paper presents a summary of the conclusions drawn from a meta-analysis of the behavioral impact of presenting words connected to an action or a goal representation (Weingarten et al., 2016). The average and distribution of 352 effect sizes from 133 studies (84 reports) revealed a small behavioral priming effect (dFE = 0.332, dRE = 0.352), which was robust across methodological procedures and only minimally biased by the publication of positive (vs. negative) results. More valued behavior or goal concepts (e...
December 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Susan T Fiske, Cydney H Dupree, Gandalf Nicolas, Jillian K Swencionis
Hierarchies in the correlated forms of power (resources) and status (prestige) are constants that organize human societies. This article reviews relevant social psychological literature and identifies several converging results concerning power and status. Whether rank is chronically possessed or temporarily embodied, higher ranks create psychological distance from others, allow agency by the higher ranked, and exact deference from the lower ranked. Beliefs that status entails competence are essentially universal...
October 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Mike Conway, Daniel O'Connor
Mental health (including substance abuse) is the fifth greatest contributor to the global burden of disease, with an economic cost estimated to be US $2.5 trillion in 2010, and expected to double by 2030. Developing information systems to support and strengthen population-level mental health monitoring forms a core part of the World Health Organization's Comprehensive Action Plan 2013-2020. In this paper, we review recent work that utilizes social media "big data" in conjunction with associated technologies like natural language processing and machine learning to address pressing problems in population-level mental health surveillance and research, focusing both on technological advances and core ethical challenges...
June 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Renee Garett, Justin Smith, Sean D Young
HIV remains one of the main health global threats of the 21(st) century. There is a great need to reach HIV at-risk and HIV+ populations across the HIV care continuum to improve HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. New technologies, such as Social Media (SM) and Social Networking Sites (SNS) have shown early promise in HIV research studies. To assess the state of research on the use of SM/SNSs across the HIV continuum, we conducted a systematic literature review on HIV-related research using SM during the last 10 years...
June 1, 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Lai Sze Tso, Weiming Tang, Haochu Li, H Yanna Yan, Joseph D Tucker
Persistent new HIV infections and risky behaviors underscore the need for enhanced HIV prevention. Social media interventions may promote safe sexual behaviors, increase HIV testing uptake, and promote safe injection behaviors. This review discusses how social media interventions tap into the wisdom of crowds through crowdsourcing, build peer-mentored communities, and deliver interventions through social networks. Social media HIV prevention interventions are constrained by ethical issues, low social media usage among some key populations, and implementation issues...
June 1, 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Eric R Pedersen, Jeremy Kurz
Facebook has become an important tool for recruiting research participants and for program delivery. Given the wide use of Facebook, there is much potential for the site to help with recruitment efforts in both physical and behavioral health care arenas; reaching groups typically difficult to recruit and providing outreach to individuals that may not have received services elsewhere. Health studies using Facebook have generally reported success, including cost-effectiveness, recruitment of samples in brief periods of time, and ability to locate participants for follow-up research...
May 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Shinobu Kitayama, Anthony King, Ming Hsu, Israel Liberzon, Carolyn Yoon
Previous research in cultural psychology shows that cultures vary in the social orientation of independence and interdependence. To date, however, little is known about how people may acquire such global patterns of cultural behavior or cultural norms. Nor is it clear what genetic mechanisms may underlie the acquisition of cultural norms. Here, we draw on recent evidence for certain genetic variability in the susceptibility to environmental influences and propose a norm sensitivity hypothesis, which holds that people acquire culture, and rules of cultural behaviors, through reinforcement-mediated social learning processes...
April 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Sharon Shavitt, Hyewon Cho
We examine the influence of culture on consumer behavior with a particular focus on horizontal and vertical individualism and collectivism. Cultures vary in their propensity to emphasize hierarchy, a distinction captured by examining horizontal/vertical cultural orientations or contexts. These cultural factors pattern personal values and goals, power concepts, and normative expectations applied to the exercise of power. We review implications for how consumers respond to brands in the marketplace, service providers, and each others' needs...
April 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
Brian Suffoletto
Text messaging is an efficient and personal electronic form of communication, making it an ideal modality for remote delivery of behavioral interventions. The ubiquity of cell phones and short message service (SMS) worldwide allow the possibility of SMS behavioral inteventions to impact global health. Studies to date suggest that SMS interventions can effectively support health behaviors and may offer advantages compared to other forms of computerized interventions. Program features optimizing user engagament and persuasiveness are suggested to mediate SMS intervention effect...
February 1, 2016: Current Opinion in Psychology
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