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Research aims to understand how psychological mechanisms influence mental health. Accordingly, much of the studies in this field has been dedicated to clarifying how emotion regulatory strategies may be associated with increased psychopathology (Gross & John, 2003). Individuals regulate their emotions in a wide variety of ways.
We focus on two commonly used emotion regulation strategies: reappraisal (changing the way one thinks about a potentially emotion-eliciting event) and suppression (changing the way one responds behaviorally to an emotion-eliciting event).
We analyze emotion regulation strategies (Gross & John, 2003) in order to examine their relation with a broad range of psychological problems and symptoms of psychopathology.
Emotion regulation was assessed by means of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ, Gross & John, 2003), which taps two regulatory strategies, suppression and reappraisal. The psychopathological distress was assessed by the 90- item Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R; Derogatis, 1994) by indicating the degree of distress on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 4 (extremely) caused by a list of problems during the past 7 days. The sample consisted of 548 individuals (age: M=32.97; DS=3.55 for male; M=31.29; DS=3.64 for female).
Individuals who reported low levels of suppression reported the lowest levels of psychopathological symptoms.
Our findings highlight that the capacity to regulate emotions may be associated with reduced psychopathology and more adaptive functioning
Emotion recognition deficits in psychopathology have been extensively studied with a variety of measures. The Bell Lysaker Emotion Recognition Test (BLERT; Bell et al., 1997) is an effective method to assess emotion recognition by presenting affect stimuli which may have greater verisimilitude with real life events. Indeed, BLERT combines facial expressions with affective information transmitted in prosody or body posture. This method has allowed the study of emotion recognition deficit in psychotic patients, as well as its relationships with other aspects of psychopathology (Vohs et al., 2014).
We aimed at testing the validity and reliability of an Italian version of the BLERT.
First, a group-comparison was carried out between clinical and nonclinical participants. Then, correlations among BLERT scores and other indices of psychological functioning were explored.
We recruited 12 inpatients with psychotic disorders (mean age= 54.75; 58.3% female) and 45 nonclinical participants (mean age= 24.04; 75.6% female). We administered the BLERT (Bell et al., 1997), along with the following measures: Empathy Quotient (Lawrence et al., 2004), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980), Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (Gratz & Roemer, 2004), and the Inventory of Interpersonal Problems-47 (Pilkonis et al., 1996).
Clinical participants resulted impaired in all indices of the BLERT. Further, the construct validity of the BLERT was confirmed by associations with measures of empathy, emotion dysregulation, and interpersonal problems.
The use of the Italian version of the BLERT seemed promising for the study of emotion recognition in both clinical and nonclinical samples.
Emotion dysregulation and impulsivity are considered an hallmark of personality pathology (Livesley & Jang, 2000), even though research has mainly regarded Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD; e.g., Linehan, 1993). Recently, some scholars proposed that facets of emotion dysregulation and impulsivity are likely to be associated with different PD traits across all clusters (Garofalo et al., 2014; Sarkar & Adshead, 2006), highlighting significant association with all PDs included in the DSM-5 (APA, 2013).
We sought to expand extant research exploring whether also PDs not included in the DSM nosography, yet clinically relevant and suggested for future research, were associated with facets of emotion dysregulation.
In a community sample, we tested the unique associations between facets of emotion dysregulation and impulsivity with traits of 3 PDs Not Otherwise Specified: Sadistic PD, Depressive PD, and Passive-aggressive PD.
We recruited 399 community-dwelling participants (mean age= 37.91; 56.6% male). They were administered the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004), the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11, Patton et al., 1995) and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III; Millon, 2006).
Multiple regression analyses showed that different facets of emotion dysregulation were associated with all PD traits considered. Further, impulsivity accounted for a significant amount of additional variance in Sadistic and Passive-aggressive features above and beyond emotion dysregulation.
Emotion dysregulation and impulsivity seemed to confirm their role as relevant features of personality pathology across different forms of PDs.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) have been shown to be associated with negative outcomes in adulthood and risk factors for psychopathology.
To assess mental representations of children underwent to ACE administering a recently developed semi-projective method: the Coffy Test.
To compare mental functioning of children who underwent to one or several adverse life events with the one of a control sample of non referred children.
The sample, recruited at the Neuropsychiatry Unit after adverse life events occurred, was composed of 40 children (21 male, 19 female) (Mage= 108.10 months; SD= .26).
The control sample was composed of 160 children (86 males, 74 females) (Mage= 108.80 months; SD = 21,10). Children were administered the Coffy Test, which is a new projective method focused on assessing possible elements of distortion in emotional processing within the relationship with parental figures in middle and late childhood (Cardi, Leonardi, D'Amico, Battista, 2012).
Coffy Test scores of the sample underwent to ACE and the control sample did not differ significantly neither for gender nor for age. However, the differences of the Coffy Test scores between the two groups were statistically significant (U = 1.26, p < .0001). Only 4 children in the ACE sample reported a score higher than the median of the control one.
The Coffy Test score suggested that children underwent to ACE had a worst mental functioning and thus may be exposed to the risk of developing psychopathology in adulthood.
A growing body of research has indicated that difficulties in emotion regulation (ER) are associated to eating disorders as well as to weight changes. However, it has not been clearly investigated the intergenerational transmission of ER and its role on the onset of early feeding and weight problems of the child.
The goals of the present study are: 1) to examine the relationship between maternal ER during pregnancy and the feeding practices at 8 months of the baby; 2) and to assess the predictive role of ER on the onset of overweight at 3 years of age.
The sample is made up by 65 dyads distributed to 2 different groups based on their BMI. During pregnancy they were administered DERS. 8 months after the delivery they were videotaped during the meal time with baby through the Feeding Observational Scale (Ammaniti et al., 2002). Weight outcome of the baby was reported by the mother at 3 years of age.
Findings has shown that overweight mothers emerged as more emotional dysregulated during pregnancy. Their feeding interaction with the baby was also featured by greater difficulties compared to the control group. ER during pregnancy was able to predict the affective state of the dyad and the interactional conflict during the mealtime at 8 months. The affective state of the dyad at 8 months predicted the weight gain of the baby at 3.
The maternal and the dyadic emotional functioning play a key role in shaping the risk for childhood obesity.
Maternal depressive risk has been linked to several dysfunctional outcomes. Empirical data indicate that the lack of adequate maternal responses over feeding may affect the quality of the early eating habits of the baby. Such a conclusion, however, is mainly based on cross-sectional research, which does not allow to establish causality.
The aim of the study was to explore in a longitudinal way the link between pre-partum depression and subsequent mother-child feeding interactions.
Participants were 64 women who voluntarily agreed to take part in the study. During their 3rd trimester of pregnancy, all completed a number of self-report instruments, including the CES–Depression scale (CES-D) and Multidimensional Scale for Perceived Social Support (MSPSS). Seven months after the delivery, mother-child dyads were videotaped during a meal session, and the Feeding Observational Scale (FS) was used so as to rate the quality of the feeding interactions.
During pregnancy, the CES-D negatively correlated with the MSPSS, r = -.32, p = .01. For three of the FS scales, the quality of the dyadic feeding interactions at seven months of age of the baby was significantly predicted by the CES-D, β ≥ .30, p < .05, but not by the MSPSS. In contrast, one of the FS scales was significantly predicted only by the MSPSS, β = -.29, p < .05, but not by the CES-D.
Clinical screening during pregnancy may help preventing the establishment of early dysfunctional eating behaviors, by identifying early risk factors for dysfunctional feeding interactions.
Several caregiving activities appear to be compromised by postpartum depression including breastfeeding, sleep routines and well-child visits, such as vaccinations and safety practices. Previous studies highlighted the need for universal screening of maternal and paternal depression, as well as the establishment of early interventions during the postpartum period such as the infant massage for their infants.
The goal of the present pilot study is to purpose the neonatal massage as an intervention to decrease the depressive symptoms of the couple during the post partum period.
Depressive symptoms were evaluated through the Edinburgh Postnatal Depressive Scale (EPDS; Cox, Holden & Sagovsky, 1987) and the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, Brown, 1996) at 3 months of the baby. In the following 4 weeks, the couple was trained to touch the baby through the neonatal massage techniques. Their interaction was videotaped and assessed through the Assessment Tool for Observation of Mother/Father-infant Interaction (Dumas, Bystrova, Widstrom, 2005). At the end of the training, depressive symptoms were evaluated through the same measures.
Preliminary findings have shown lower scores of depressive symptoms on the EPDS, and the BDI in both mother and father after the neonatal massage took place. Also parents reported lower complaints of the baby in several area.
Early intervention during the postnatal period of life of the family may lead toward a greater functioning of the couple, and to a greater sensitive approach with the baby.
Literature on parents’ adjustment in families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) children highlights on one hand that raising a child with ASD represent a higher stressful experience comparing to families of children with other disabilities and families of children with typical development. On the other hand, a recent systematic review on relationship satisfaction of these parents stressed the very lower levels of couple satisfaction in parents raising a child with ASD. Give that, the aim of this study is to investigate the association between relationship satisfaction and parental stress in a sample of parents of ASD children.
70 parents were recruited (34 = M and 36 = F) to sign the following self-reports: Parenting stress index-short-form (PSI-SF), to assess stress relative to parental role, and dyadic adjustment scale (DAS), to assess couple satisfaction.
The analysis showed no differences between mothers and fathers respect to investigated variables. Negative correlations between almost all subscales of the PSI-SF and the subscales of DAS emerged. Moreover, from the regression analysis performed, it can be concluded that the values of the total score of the DAS predicts the PSI-SF total score.
In accordance with and building on the achievements of previous studies, these data illustrate a positive influence of couple adjustment on parental stress in parents of ASD children, supporting the hypothesis that relationship satisfaction emerge as a protective variables in the process of parental adaptation.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
Literature on parents of children affected from cleft lip and/or palate has described the risk of higher levels of stress and anxiety during the pre-surgery period. To the best of our knowledge, just one study has empirically investigated the differences in the psychosocial adjustment of both mothers and fathers, but information on the pre-surgery period were not given. Given that, the aim of the current study is to evaluate the psychological functioning of both parents waiting for the child operation.
Data from 34 Italian parents (F = 18; M = 16; Mean age = 36.62, SD = 6.07) of children affected by cleft lip and/or palate (Mean age = 12 months; SD. = 13.75 months) were collected during the pre-hospitalization visits. The following questionnaires were administered, respectively to mothers and fathers: PSI-SF, MSPSS, PACQ, DAS and FACES-IV.
Data shows no significant differences between fathers and mothers on the total score of each variable taken into account. Differently, significant differences emerge on the “Self Blame” PACQ subscales.
Mothers and fathers seem to share the same psychological experience during their child pre-surgery period. To note, our preliminary data highlight the maternal perception as featured by a greater sense of guilty for the child's disease. The feeling of guilt may be a risk factor for the parental ability to cope with the experiences of the child's illness, influencing parental care giving and parent-child relationship.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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