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In this chapter we discuss a number of aspects related to how women experience and engage with life stressors, including traumatic events. We seek to answer some of the questions concerning whether, how, and why women may experience stress differently from men.
Our aim was to develop a brief cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) protocol to augment treatment for social anxiety disorder (SAD). This protocol focused specifically upon fear of positive evaluation (FPE). To our knowledge, this is the first protocol that has been designed to systematically target FPE.
To test the feasibility of a brief (two-session) CBT protocol for FPE and report proof-of-principle data in the form of effect sizes.
Seven patients with a principal diagnosis of SAD were recruited to participate. Following a pre-treatment assessment, patients were randomized to either (a) an immediate CBT condition (n = 3), or (b) a comparable wait-list (WL) period (2 weeks; n = 4). Two WL patients also completed the CBT protocol following the WL period (delayed CBT condition). Patients completed follow-up assessments 1 week after completing the protocol.
A total of five patients completed the brief, FPE-specific CBT protocol (two of the seven patients were wait-listed only and did not complete delayed CBT). All five patients completed the protocol and provided 1-week follow-up data. CBT patients demonstrated large reductions in FPE-related concerns as well as overall social anxiety symptoms, whereas WL patients demonstrated an increase in FPE-related concerns.
Our brief FPE-specific CBT protocol is feasible to use and was associated with large FPE-specific and social anxiety symptom reductions. To our knowledge, this is the first treatment report that has focused on systematic treatment of FPE in patients with SAD. Our protocol warrants further controlled evaluation.
The common-sense model of self-regulation delineates cognitive and emotional processes influencing motivations to engage in adaptive behaviors. Originally developed to account for reactions to health-related threats, the common-sense model also holds utility for interventions to change behavior in other domains involving threats to performance and well-being. This chapter provides an overview of the common-sense model and how specific mechanisms such as threat representations, emotion regulation processes, imagery processes, and appraisal processes influence behaviors. The chapter reviews research on approaches for eliciting behavior change through psychoeducational approaches, communication skills training for practitioners, communications arousing worry and fear, training in emotion regulation skills, action planning, and appraisal skills. Specific behavior change strategies (e.g., fear arousal, action planning, self-monitoring) have been tested extensively, although studies testing interventions specifically guided by the common-sense model and targeting multiple model components remain limited. The chapter concludes with considerations of future directions for intervention developments and research on applying the model to promote adaptive behaviors in multiple life domains.
The health belief model and protection motivation theory are two of the earliest formulated expectancy-value accounts of behavior change. Across nearly six decades, the importance of these accounts has persisted. Both models advocate that behavior change is a consequence of two important processes: threat appraisal comprising the extent to which an individual perceives personal susceptibility to a consequence, combined with the severity of that consequence, and coping appraisal comprising evaluations of the likely efficacy of a recommended action to reduce threat, expectations that taking that action will involve difficulties and psychological costs, and personal efficacy to achieve behavior change. Multiple studies support the predictive validity of the models and many interventions have been developed based on the theoretical principles provided. Behavior change based on these models requires careful consideration of behavior-specific cognitions and careful targeting of these cognitions. Moreover, behavior change interventions should target threat appraisal enhancement only in combination with detailed and extensive training or communication that targets efficacy to enact behavior change.
This chapter provides an overview of the use of affect-based interventions to change behavior. Affect is defined in terms of affect proper and affect processing; both of these terms are used regularly in research on affect interventions. The evidence of direct modification of these affect constructs is then reviewed. Based on this evidence, step-by-step guides to techniques focusing on changing two key aspects of affective processing are provided: changing affective attitudes and anticipated affect. The guides to these techniques include typical means of delivery, target audience, behaviors, enabling or inhibiting factors, training and skills required, intensiveness, typical materials needed, and typical examples of implementation. In addition, application of implementation intentions, fear appeals, evaluative conditioning, and exercise games as other ways to change affect as a means to changing behavior are reviewed. Finally, two additional intervention pathways that could have impact on behavior change are reviewed: direct modification of other sources of behavioral influence (e.g., traditional social cognitive factors) in order to overcompensate for the impact of affect and self-regulation of the intensity of the affect experience as a means of inhibiting its impact.
Social jetlag (SJ) occurs when sleep-timing irregularities from social or occupational demands conflict with endogenous sleep–wake rhythms. SJ is associated with evening chronotype and poor mental health, but mechanisms supporting this link remain unknown. Impaired ability to retrieve extinction memory is an emotion regulatory deficit observed in some psychiatric illnesses. Thus, SJ-dependent extinction memory deficits may provide a mechanism for poor mental health. To test this, healthy male college students completed 7–9 nights of actigraphy, sleep questionnaires, and a fear conditioning and extinction protocol. As expected, greater SJ, but not total sleep time discrepancy, was associated with poorer extinction memory. Unexpectedly, greater SJ was associated with a tendency toward morning rather than evening chronotype. These findings suggest that deficient extinction memory represents a potential mechanism linking SJ to psychopathology and that SJ is particularly problematic for college students with a greater tendency toward a morning chronotype.
The chapter argues that the use of fear techniques as a tool of authoritarian governance is central to the reconception of law on anti-liberal and anti-rationalist terms in China’s Xi Jinping era. The changes discussed here impede attempts to continue the legal reform process that began under Deng Xiaoping. To the extent that rule by fear is inherent to authoritarian governance, developments in China expose tensions within the wider project of authoritarian legality and call its chances of success into question. These developments pose challenges to a global community more widely struggling with democratic–liberal decline and authoritarian resurgence. Yet, the Chinese example also indicates that rule by fear is itself prone to challenges from a thus far resilient civil society.
This chapter addresses the role of media in contributing to digital stress. This chapter suggests that there is weak evidence that social media is causally related to negative psychosocial outcomes, but there is consistent evidence of a small, negative association between psychosocial outcomes and social media use. The chapter suggests that the subjective experience of using social media, not use itself, may explain this negative relationship. This chapter introduces five types of digital stress: availability stress, approval anxiety, fear of missing out, connection overload, and cost of caring. This chapter explains why individuals experience digital stress and why they continue to engage in behaviors that contribute to digital stress.
Research on ontological security in world politics has mushroomed since the early 2000s but seems to have reached an impasse. Ontological security is a conceptual lens for understanding subjectivity that focuses on the management of anxiety in self-constitution. Building especially on Giddens, IR scholars have emphasized how this translates to a need for cognitive consistency and biographical continuity – a security of ‘being.’ A criticism has been its so-called ‘status quo bias,’ a perceived tilt toward theorizing investment in the existing social order. To some, an ontological security lens both offers social theoretic foundations for a realist worldview and lacks resources to conceptualize alternatives. We disagree. Through this symposium, we address that critique and suggest pathways forward by focusing on the thematic of anxiety. Distinguishing between anxiety and fear, we note that anxiety manifests in different emotions and leaves room for a range of political possibilities. Early ontological security scholarship relied heavily on readings of Giddens, which potentially accounts for its bias. This symposium re-opens the question of the relationship between anxiety and subjectivity from the perspective of ontological security, thinking with and beyond Giddens. Three contributions re-think anxiety in ontological security drawing on existentialist philosophy; two address limitations of Giddens' approach.
This article draws on Hobbes and existentialist philosophy to contend that anxiety needs to be integrated into international relations (IR) theory as a constitutive condition, and proposes theoretical avenues for doing so. While IR scholars routinely base their assumptions regarding the centrality of fear and self-help behavior on the Hobbesian state of nature, they overlook the Hobbesian emphasis on anxiety as the human condition that gives rise to the state of nature. The first section of the article turns to existentialist philosophy to explicate anxiety's relation to fear, multiple forms, and link to agency. The second section draws on some recent interpretations to outline the role that anxiety plays in Hobbesian thought. Finally, I argue that an ontological security (OS) perspective that is enriched by insights from existentialism provides the most appropriate theoretical venue for integrating anxiety into IR theory and discuss the contributions of this approach to OS studies and IR theory.
This symposium addresses the role of anxiety, fear, and ontological (in)security in world politics. Proceeding from the recognition of the scholarly interest and multitude of approaches that characterize the field of ontological (in)security studies, the Symposium homes in on the relationship between anxiety and fear, and between anxiety, subjectivity, and agency. The Introduction critically engages with Anthony Giddens' understandings of ontological (in)security, in an effort to spur the revisiting, questioning, and, in some cases, leaving behind Giddens' assumptions in order to develop a more dynamic conception. In response, the first three contributions draw on resources in existentialist philosophy, especially Heidegger, Tillich, and Kierkegaard, to further unpack the relationship between anxiety and ontological (in)security. They do so by returning to the experiential moment of confronting existential anxiety, a moment that Giddens quickly closes down, to better grasp how existential anxiety resolves into an orientation to action. The final two essays, in comparison, bring anxiety ‘back in’ to locales where Giddens' theory occludes it: the unconscious and the international, thus arguing that emotional configurations other than fear are always possible.
Research suggests an increased prevalence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and a similar impairment in fear recognition to that reported in non-ASD populations. However, past work has used measures not specifically designed to measure CU traits and has not examined whether decreased attention to the eyes reported in non-ASD populations is also present in individuals with ASD. The current paper uses a measure specifically designed to measure CU traits to estimate prevalence in a large community-based ASD sample. Parents of 189 adolescents with ASD completed questionnaires assessing CU traits, and emotional and behavioral problems. A subset of participants completed a novel emotion recognition task (n = 46). Accuracy, reaction time, total looking time, and number of fixations to the eyes and mouth were measured. Twenty-two percent of youth with ASD scored above a cut-off expected to identify the top 6% of CU scores. CU traits were associated with longer reaction times to identify fear and fewer fixations to the eyes relative to the mouth during the viewing of fearful faces. No associations were found with accuracy or total looking time. Results suggest the mechanisms that underpin CU traits may be similar between ASD and non-ASD populations.
1) To characterize mild, moderate, and severe fear of falling in older emergency department (ED) patients for minor injuries, and 2) to assess whether fear of falling could predict falls and returns to the ED within 6 months of the initial ED visit.
This study was part of the Canadian Emergency and Trauma Initiative (CETI) prospective cohort (2011–2016). Patients ages ≥ 65, who were independent in their basic daily activities and who were discharged from the ED after consulting for a minor injury, were included. Fear of falling was measured by the Short Falls Efficacy Scale International (SFES-I) in order to stratify fear of falling as mild (SFES-I = 7-8/28), moderate (SFES-I = 9-13/28), or severe (SFES-I = 14-28/28). Many other physical and psychological characteristics where collected. Research assistants conducted follow-up phone interviews at 3 and 6 months’ post-ED visit, in which patients were asked to report returns to the ED.
A total of 2,899 patients were enrolled and 2,009 had complete data at 6 months. Patients with moderate to severe fear of falling were more likely to be of ages ≥ 75, female, frailer with multiple comorbidities, and decreased mobility. Higher baseline fear of falling increased the risk of falling at 3 and 6 months (odds ratio [OR]-moderate-fear of falling: 1.63, p < 0.05, OR-severe-fear of falling 2.37, p < 0.05). Fear of falling positive predictive values for return to the ED or future falls were 7.7% to 17%.
Although a high fear of falling is associated with increased risk of falling within 6 months of a minor injury in older patients, fear of falling considered alone was not shown to be a strong predictor of return to the ED and future falls.
Previous research shows the benefits of volunteerism to individuals and communities. The purpose of this study was to determine whether lower perceived neighbourhood safety is associated with reduced volunteerism and whether this association differs by sex. Data from the 2008 Health and Retirement Study in the United States of America were used (N = 13,009 adults 60 years and older). Multivariate logistic regression models were estimated to assess the association between perceived neighbourhood safety and volunteerism while controlling for potential confounders. Perceived neighbourhood safety was associated with volunteering. The odds of volunteering were higher for those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as excellent compared with those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as fair/poor. Those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as very good also had greater odds of volunteering than those rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as fair/poor. Results differed somewhat by gender. Men who perceived their neighbourhood safety as excellent had increased odds of volunteering. The association of neighbourhood safety with volunteerism was significant for women rating their perceived neighbourhood safety as excellent or very good. Among men, being married was associated with increased odds of volunteering; being completely or partly retired was associated with increased odds of volunteering among women. Initiatives aimed at improving older adults’ perceptions of safety would help improve volunteerism, which is beneficial to both older adults and communities.
Narcissistic personality function is influenced by several different factors beyond the nucleus diagnostic conceptualization of NPD. A dimensional approach as outlined in DSM 5 Section III AMPD can demonstrate the clinical complexity of NPD, in particular the co-occurrence and fluctuations between grandiose and vulnerable core features, and the stability versus oscillation between high competent and low impaired functioning. There is also a significant value in the integration of different modalities of research on narcissism and NPD across multiple areas in psychology and psychiatry with longstanding clinical and psychoanalytic accounts. This commentary also addresses some additional factors that affect narcissistic personality functioning, i.e., sense of agency and control, aggression and violence, fear and trauma, and suicide.
Generalization of conditioned-fear, a core feature of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has been the focus of several recent neuroimaging studies. A striking outcome of these studies is the frequency with which neural correlates of generalization fall within hubs of well-established functional networks including salience (SN), central executive (CEN), and default networks (DN). Neural substrates of generalization found to date may thus reflect traces of large-scale brain networks that form more expansive neural representations of generalization. The present study includes the first network-based analysis of generalization and PTSD-related abnormalities therein.
fMRI responses in established intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) representing SN, CEN, and DN were assessed during a generalized conditioned-fear task in male combat veterans (N = 58) with wide-ranging PTSD symptom severity. The task included five rings of graded size. Extreme sizes served as conditioned danger-cues (CS+: paired with shock) and safety-cues (CS−), and the three intermediate sizes served as generalization stimuli (GSs) forming a continuum-of-size between CS+ and CS–. Generalization-gradients were assessed as behavioral and ICN response slopes from CS+, through GSs, to CS–. Increasing PTSD symptomatology was predicted to relate to less-steep slopes indicative of stronger generalization.
SN, CEN, and DN responses fell along generalization-gradients with levels of generalization within and between SN and CEN scaling with PTSD symptom severity.
Neural substrates of generalized conditioned-fear include large-scale networks that adhere to the functional organization of the brain. Current findings implicate levels of generalization in SN and CEN as promising neural markers of PTSD.
Criminal offenses ignite the political debate. Questions about the causes, development, and combating of crime touch on widespread fears; those who make them their subject can be sure of public attention. This Article looks at 242 press releases of the German right-wing populist party, the Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland; AfD) from 2018 dealing with criminal offenses. It examines which crime phenomena the reports describe, which perpetrator and victim images they project, and how crime and immigration are depicted as related threats.
This naturalistic, prospective investigation examined the role of fear of negative evaluation and the personality trait of harm avoidance in the anxiety levels of treated social phobia patients. One hundred and fifty-seven patients with DSM-IV social phobia were assessed before starting treatment and were then followed for up to two years. As expected, greater fear of negative evaluation and higher scores of harm avoidance were associated with greater anxiety at the 6 month follow-up, and harm avoidance remained a significant predictor at 24 months. However, no evidence was found for an interaction between the personality and cognitive variables examined. The findings are discussed in terms of the relative independence of these factors, as well as their potential implications for the treatment of this disorder.
GATT’s history revises ideas about international organizations, trade in international relations, and the liberal global order. Although the USA and EEC receive the most attention in GATT studies, leadership was fluid and opportunistic and the engagement of small and mid-sized members sustained GATT s momentum and legitimacy. The secretariat was proactive in promoting trade liberalization and cooperation, whereas GATT members emphasized rights above obligations and pursued their economic interests in ways that were not always compatible with liberal trade practices. Reactions to GATT and trade liberalization were polarized and divisive. Not only does trade produce winners and losers, but some people had faith in the liberal promise and associated GATT with fairness, rules, and inclusive prosperity, whereas others feared it as a destructive agent of globalization that would cause domestic upheaval and undermine national autonomy. As for the liberal order, it was made up of national and international ideas and priorities that both pushed against and reinforced one another. Despite the presumption of liberalism s universal applicability, the liberal trade order was conservative, privileging some nations, some sectors of the economy, and some people over others. But because GATT retained a normative authority, members never rejected it entirely.
Using Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death, chapter 3 describes “immortality projects” that are commonly used to avoid the terror of death. Immortality projects are activities that we humans regard as endowing cosmic significance and eternal life on us, including both publicly recognized projects and everyday, quotidian undertakings. None of these “one-dimensional” immortality projects work, Becker states. We die despite our efforts to cast ourselves as immortal. The terror of death, however, is so great that we lie to ourselves about the ineffectiveness of our immortality projects. Becker says that these lies are “vital,” given that death with extinction is so terrifying. It is terrifying because we humans desperately need to believe that our lives have lasting meaning. The only true way to deal with the prospect of death, Becker states, is to “die” and be “reborn” by identifying with what he calls “the transcendent.” Chapter 3 describes what is involved in this rebirth.