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Affect reactivity to stress may play a role in the development of internalizing symptoms during the college transition, a critical developmental juncture for Latinx adolescents, the largest ethnic minority group on college campuses. This study examined whether affect reactivity during high school is associated with internalizing symptoms in college and explored two potential protective factors, perceived family and peer support. Participants were 209 Latinx adolescents (Mage = 18.10; 64.4% female) who completed standard surveys and four diary assessments per day over 7 days (N > 4,500 momentary observations). First, to measure affect reactivity, we assessed whether perceived stress was associated with negative affect at the momentary level during high school (senior year). Second, we tested whether affect reactivity predicted internalizing symptoms during the first year of college. Third, we tested whether perceived family or peer support buffered the negative consequences of affect reactivity. Results indicated statistically significant within- and between-person associations between stress and negative affect. Moreover, affect reactivity significantly predicted depressive, but not anxiety, symptoms. Buffering was found for family, but not peer, support. Findings extend previous research by detecting associations between momentary affect reactivity and internalizing symptoms during a sociocultural shift in Latinx adolescents’ lives and have implications for culturally appropriate programs to prevent depressive symptoms.
Life-span theory has long emphasized that cognitive functioning and well-being are key constituents of successful development and aging. There is mounting empirical evidence that these central domains of life are closely intertwined, with better performance on a number of cognitive ability tests going hand in hand with higher levels of well-being and satisfaction. Less well understood, however, are the multiple different sets of pathways that underlie how and why well-being either represents a consequence of cognitive functioning and development or operates as an antecedent condition thereof. The major objective of the current chapter is to provide a select overview of (1) an exemplary set of mechanisms that help explain the often dynamic and reciprocal links between the two major areas of life and (2) the role that several layers of individual and contextual factors play as resources and constraints. To do so, we proceed in four steps. First, we review conceptual considerations and empirical evidence on stability and change in well-being from mid adulthood to very old age, the vast individual differences in levels and rates of change, and how these differences are shaped by cognitive functioning and change. Second, we consider how well-being may serve as an antecedent of functioning and development of cognitive performance and abilities. Third, we present stress reactivity, health behaviors, social participation, and neurological pathways as some of the presumed underlying processes. Finally, we discuss the role that resources and constraints at individual and contextual levels may play for linking cognition and well-being.
In this chapter the basic principles of neuromonitoring will be reviewed. Evidence-based applications, advantages, and disadvantages of various invasive and noninvasive techniques for monitoring intracranial pressure, brain tissue oxygenation, cerebral blood flow, brain metabolism, electroencephalography, and evoked potentials will be covered.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and psychopathy are related but distinguishable conditions with long histories in the mental health field. Recent years have seen a shift toward viewing these diagnostic conditions as dimensional and multifaceted, as opposed to discrete and unitary. This chapter covers historic and contemporary conceptualizations of these conditions and current approaches to assessing each. The authors describe the new dimensional system for personality disorders in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. In addition, they discuss the triarchic model, an integrative framework for clarifying similarities and differences between ASPD and psychopathy, and guiding etiological research on these conditions. In particular, they consider how the three constructs of the triarchic model – boldness, meanness, and disinhibition – relate to distinct biobehavioral systems and measures. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research that can help to advance our understanding of ASPD and psychopathy, with a focus on multi-method assessments and targeted treatments.
The job of an engine driver appeared ideal for research studies because of its extremely high responsibility coupled with a high level of permanent concentration.
The main elements of the study focused on applying the EQ-5D (Quality of Life Questionnaire), SVF 78 (Stress Processing Questionnaire) and FBL-R (Freiburg Complaint List; revised version).
It turned out hat exactly fifty percent of all train drivers regret having chosen their job and judged their professional strain very high (p< 0.001). The SVF 78 reveals the following: persons of the First Group achieved much higher values in the scales regarding “escape” (p=0.029), “mental preoccupation after work” (p=0.003), “resignation” (p=0,011) and in the total amount of negative strategies (p=0.004), while Group 2 presents only higher values in the scale concerning the “playing down” (p=0.039) effect.
There were also a wide-ranging differences between the two groups, especially in the scales about “general state of health” (p< 0.001), “cardiovascular complaints” (p< 0.001), “pain” (p< 0.001), “sensory perception” (p< 0.001), “emotional reactivity” (p=0.001) and “total sum of complaints” (p< 0.001). The EQ-5D showed that train drivers who are content about the choice of their job judge their quality of life much higher than those regretting their choice (p< 0.001).
The results make clear that the dissatisfaction about the chosen job has negative effects on both the physical and psychological well-being.
The objective of this study was to develop new standardized alcohol-associated cues and assess their effects on brain activation with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Pictures of alcoholic and neutral beverages and affectively neutral pictures were presented to 44 abstinent alcoholics and 37 age-matched healthy control subjects. We assessed the skin conductance response, and the elicited arousal and valence. Alcoholics and control subjects did not differ in arousal, valence or skin conductance response evoked by alcohol-associated and affectively neutral stimuli, while nonalcoholic beverages were rated as more unpleasant and arousing by alcoholics compared with control subjects. In the fMRI pilot study, alcohol and abstract pictures were presented to six abstinent alcoholics and induced a significant activation of brain areas associated with visual emotional processes such as the fusiform gyrus, parts of the brain reward system (basal ganglia and orbitofrontal gyrus) and further brain regions in the frontal and parietal cortices associated with the attention network. These observations suggest that standardized pictures of alcoholic beverages can be used to assess brain circuits involved in the processing and evaluation of alcohol cues.
Abstinent alcoholics often denycraving for alcohol but still show a high level of relapse. The eyeblink response to startling noise was used as an indicator of the emotional response to alcohol-related, positive, negative and neutral visual stimuli in abstinent alcoholics, social drinkers and rarelydrinking controls. The cognitive evaluation of the stimuli was assessed byratings of subjective craving, valence and arousal. The startle response of the alcoholics to alcohol-related stimuli was significantlyinhibited despite an aversive overt stimulus-evaluation. These findings indicate that alcohol-related stimuli mayhave appetitive incentive salience for alcoholics in spite of verbal reports of craving and valence to the opposite.
The relationship between depression and mania remains poorly understood and is responsible for much of the confusion about mixed states. The difficulty in conceptualizing opposite states such as euphoric and depressive moods during the same episode may account for the considerable differences in reported frequencies of mixed states, among acutely manic patients. It is possible that the fundamental mood characteristic of mania is not tonality of mood (e.g. euphoric, irritable or depressed mood), but rather the intensity of emotions.
We interviewed 30 patients hospitalized for a manic episode, asking about their symptoms during the episode, using the list of symptoms for manic and depressive episode of the DSM-IV criteria. Emotional hyper-reactivity, defined as an increase in the intensity of all emotions, was assessed using the Hardy Scale. Manic symptoms were also assessed by a clinician using the Beck–Rafaelsen Mania Scale.
This study showed that most of the manic episodes presented many dysphoric symptoms, more particularly depressive mood (33%), irritability (53%), anxiety (76%), and recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation (33%). However, only 10% of our sample met the criteria for mixed state. The other symptoms reported by patients and included in the DSM-IV criteria for depressive mood are common between depressive and manic episodes. All patients (100%) reported that they felt all their emotions with an unusual intensity.
We suggest that the most appropriate way to define mood in manic states is as a function of intensity, and not as a function of tonality. This definition circumvents the arbitrary dichotomy between mania and mixed state. With this definition, manic episodes can be described as being more or less dysphoric, with the actual characteristics of dysphoria encompassing irritability, anxiety, or depressive affect. This point could be extremely helpful in discriminating mixed state or dysphoric mania from depression.
Little is known about how daily life mood reactivity to minor stressors (stress reactivity) might change following major depressive disorder (MDD) treatment. We investigate whether (i) mood states and appraisals of daily stressors change after treatment; (ii) stress reactivity to event, activity, or social stress differs; (iii) stress reactivity depends on severity of residual depressive symptoms; and (iv) stress reactivity in individuals with remitted or non-remitted depression differ from that of never-depressed individuals.
Thirty depressed individuals participated in an experience sampling study before and after a treatment period of 18 months; 39 healthy individuals formed a comparison group. Reactivity of positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA) to daily stressors were measured.
More residual symptoms were associated with larger NA responses to stress. Compared to healthy controls, participants with non-remitted MDD showed higher NA-reactivity to all stressors. In contrast, stress reactivity to event and activity stressors was normalized in remitted patients. However, they still showed heightened NA-reactivity to social stress.
Greater stress reactivity to event and activity stress appears to be state-dependent. The heightened social stress reactivity in remitted patients suggests that sensitivity to social stress may reflect an underlying vulnerability in MDD.
Bipolar disorders (BD) are characterized by sleep disturbances and emotional dysregulation both during acute episodes and remission periods. We hypothesized that sleep quality (SQ) and emotional reactivity (ER) defined clusters of patients with no or abnormal SQ and ER and we studied the association with functioning.
We performed a bi-dimensional cluster analysis using SQ and ER measures in a sample of 533 outpatients patients with BD (in remission or with subsyndromal mood symptoms). Clusters were compared for mood symptoms, sleep profile and functioning.
We identified three clusters of patients: C1 (normal ER and SQ, 54%), C2 (hypo-ER and low SQ, 22%) and C3 (hyper-ER and low SQ, 24%). C1 was characterized by minimal mood symptoms, better sleep profile and higher functioning than other clusters. Although highly different for ER, C2 and C3 had similar levels of subsyndromal mood symptoms as assessed using classical mood scales. When exploring sleep domains, C2 showed poor sleep efficiency and a trend for longer sleep latency as compared to C3. Interestingly, alterations in functioning were similar in C2 and C3, with no difference in any of the sub-domains.
Abnormalities in ER and SQ delineated three clusters of patients with BD and significantly impacted on functioning.
The aim of the current study was to replicate findings in adults indicating that higher sensitivity to stressful events is predictive of both onset and persistence of psychopathological symptoms in a sample of adolescents and young adults. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that sensitivity to mild stressors in particular is predictive of the developmental course of psychopathology.
We analyzed experience sampling and questionnaire data collected at baseline and one-year follow-up of 445 adolescent and young adult twins and non-twin siblings (age range: 15–34). Linear multilevel regression was used for the replication analyses. To test if affective sensitivity to mild stressors in particular was associated with follow-up symptoms, we used a categorical approach adding variables on affective sensitivity to mild, moderate and severe daily stressors to the model.
Linear analyses showed that emotional stress reactivity was not associated with onset (ß = .02; P = .56) or persistence (ß = -.01; P = .78) of symptoms. There was a significant effect of baseline symptom score (ß = .53; P < .001) and average negative affect (NA: ß = .19; P < .001) on follow-up symptoms. Using the categorical approach, we found that affective sensitivity to mild (ß = .25; P < .001), but not moderate (ß = -.03; P = .65) or severe (ß = -.06; P = .42), stressors was associated with symptom persistence one year later.
We were unable to replicate previous findings relating stress sensitivity linearly to symptom onset or persistence in a younger sample. Whereas sensitivity to more severe stressors may reflect adaptive coping, high sensitivity to the mildest of daily stressors may indicate an increased risk for psychopathology.
Stressful experiences affect biological stress systems, such as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Life stress can potentially alter regulation of the HPA axis and has been associated with poorer physical and mental health. Little, however, is known about the relative influence of stressors that are encountered at different developmental periods on acute stress reactions in adulthood. In this study, we explored three models of the influence of stress exposure on cortisol reactivity to a modified version of the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) by leveraging 37 years of longitudinal data in a high-risk birth cohort (N = 112). The cumulative stress model suggests that accumulated stress across the lifespan leads to dysregulated reactivity, whereas the biological embedding model implicates early childhood as a critical period. The sensitization model assumes that dysregulation should only occur when stress is high in both early childhood and concurrently. All of the models predicted altered reactivity, but do not anticipate its exact form. We found support for both cumulative and biological embedding effects. However, when pitted against each other, early life stress predicted more blunted cortisol responses at age 37 over and above cumulative life stress. Additional analyses revealed that stress exposure in middle childhood also predicted more blunted cortisol reactivity.
Aberrant emotional reactivity is a putative endophenotype for bipolar disorder (BD), but the findings of behavioral studies are often negative due to suboptimal sensitivity of the employed paradigms. This study aimed to investigate whether visual gaze patterns and facial displays of emotion during emotional film clips can reveal subtle behavioral abnormalities in remitted BD patients.
Thirty-eight BD patients in full or partial remission and 40 healthy controls viewed 7 emotional film clips. These included happy, sad, and neutral scenarios and scenarios involving winning, risk-taking, and thrill-seeking behavior of relevance to the BD phenotype. Eye gaze and facial expressions were recorded during the film clips, and participants rated their emotional reactions after each clip.
BD patients showed a negative bias in both facial displays of emotion and self-rated emotional responses. Specifically, patients exhibited more fearful facial expressions during all film clips. This was accompanied by less positive self-rated emotions during the winning and happy film clips, and more negative emotions during the risk-taking/thrill-related film clips.
These findings suggest that BD is associated with trait-related abnormalities in subtle behavioral displays of emotion processing. Future studies comparing patients with BD and unipolar depression are warranted to clarify whether these differences are specific to BD. If so, assessments of visual gaze and facial displays of emotion during emotional film clips may have the potential to be implemented in clinical assessments to aid diagnostic accuracy.
Recent investigations now suggest that cerebrovascular reactivity (CVR) is impaired in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may underpin part of the disease’s neurovascular component. However, our understanding of the relationship between the magnitude of CVR, the speed of cerebrovascular response, and the progression of AD is still limited. This is especially true in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is recognized as an intermediate stage between normal aging and dementia. The purpose of this study was to investigate AD and MCI patients by mapping repeatable and accurate measures of cerebrovascular function, namely the magnitude and speed of cerebrovascular response (τ) to a vasoactive stimulus in key predilection sites for vascular dysfunction in AD.
Thirty-three subjects (age range: 52–83 years, 20 males) were prospectively recruited. CVR and τ were assessed using blood oxygen level-dependent MRI during a standardized carbon dioxide stimulus. Temporal and parietal cortical regions of interest (ROIs) were generated from anatomical images using the FreeSurfer image analysis suite.
Of 33 subjects recruited, 3 individuals were excluded, leaving 30 subjects for analysis, consisting of 6 individuals with early AD, 11 individuals with MCI, and 13 older healthy controls (HCs). τ was found to be significantly higher in the AD group compared to the HC group in both the temporal (p = 0.03) and parietal cortex (p = 0.01) following a one-way ANCOVA correcting for age and microangiopathy scoring and a Bonferroni post-hoc correction.
The study findings suggest that AD is associated with a slowing of the cerebrovascular response in the temporal and parietal cortices.
We conducted signal detection analyses to test for curvilinear, U-shaped relations between early experiences of adversity and heightened physiological responses to challenge, as proposed by biological sensitivity to context theory. Based on analysis of an ethnically diverse sample of 338 kindergarten children (4–6 years old) and their families, we identified levels and types of adversity that, singly and interactively, predicted high (top 25%) and low (bottom 25%) rates of stress reactivity. The results offered support for the hypothesized U-shaped curve and conceptually replicated and extended the work of Ellis, Essex, and Boyce (2005). Across both sympathetic and adrenocortical systems, a disproportionate number of children growing up under conditions characterized by either low or high adversity (as indexed by restrictive parenting, family stress, and family economic condition) displayed heightened stress reactivity, compared with peers growing up under conditions of moderate adversity. Finally, as hypothesized by the adaptive calibration model, a disproportionate number of children who experienced exceptionally stressful family conditions displayed blunted cortisol reactivity to stress.
We review studies of whether cortisol levels following psychosocial stress exposure differ between patients with psychosis and healthy control subjects.
Original research published between 1993 and February 2019 was included in the literature search. Studies that used experimentally induced psychosocial stress and reported stress response measures of plasma or saliva cortisol levels in patients at any stage of illness (i.e. high risk, first episode and chronic phase) were included.
A total of 17 studies were included. Although there was evidence of inconsistencies in measures, we observed moderate evidence of an association with stress-induced cortisol blunting response across studies.
This review highlights recent evidence of blunting of cortisol response following experimentally induced psychosocial stress. While there was some evidence of this blunted response across illness types and stages, the strongest evidence was observed for those with chronic schizophrenia. Due to the low number of studies, in particular in bipolar disorder, much work is still needed to accurately characterise the biological effects of stress in psychosis.
Gentle handling seems to elicit positive states in sheep. The study investigated whether spatial distance alters sheep responses to brushing and whether spatial distance is influenced by reactivity. Twenty Romane ewes were assessed in three sessions: in Sessions 1 and 3, one grid separated the test animal from pen mates, with no distance between them, and in Session 2 two grids separated the test animal from pen mates by a distance of about 1.7 m. Ewes had been genetically selected for low (R−) or high (R+) behavioural reactivity to social isolation. Body postures, head orientation, ear postures, closed and half-closed eyes, tail wagging and feeding behaviour, in addition to heart rate (HR) and HR variability, as the root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), standard deviation of all normal-to-normal (NN) intervals (SDNN), RMSSD/SDNN ratio and ratio between low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) powers (LF/HF) were assessed. Data were analysed using generalized linear models and linear mixed models. Session, genetic line and phase (pre-, brushing and post-brushing) were considered fixed effects. Increased distance in Session 2 might not have influenced ewes’ responses. Fewer changes in ear postures were noted in Session 3 than 1 (P<0.01), suggesting that ewes were more relaxed in Session 3. The RMSSD/SDNN ratio was higher mainly during brushing in Sessions 1 and 3 (P<0.05), indicating that ewes were more relaxed during brushing, and at no distance between pen mates. However, spatial distance influenced R− and R+ ewes’ responses; R+ ewes performed more asymmetric ear postures in Session 2 than 1 and 3 (P<0.01), and in Session 3 than 1 (P<0.01), indicating that spatial distance had a negative effect on R+ ewes. Low reactive ewes spent less time on horizontal ear postures in Session 2 than 1 and 3 (P<0.01), and R+ ewes spent more time on horizontal postures in Session 1 than 3 (P<0.01). Curiously, R− ewes spent more time eating and ruminating in Session 3 than 1 (P<0.01), and in Session 2 than 1 and 3 (P<0.01), whereas R+ ewes ate and ruminated more in Session 1 than 3 (P<0.05). Higher HR was found among R− ewes in Session 2 than 1 and 3, and in Session 3 than 1 (P<0.01). High reactive ewes showed higher HR in Session 1 than 3 (P<0.01). The findings suggest that the social context might influence sheep responses to gentle handling, and the effects depend on their reactivity traits.
Classrooms are key social settings that impact children's mental health, though individual differences in physiological reactivity may render children more or less susceptible to classroom environments. In a diverse sample of children from 19 kindergarten classrooms (N = 338, 48% female, M age = 5.32 years), we examined whether children's parasympathetic reactivity moderated the association between classroom climate and externalizing symptoms. Independent observers coded teachers’ use of child-centered and teacher-directed instructional practices across classroom social and management domains. Children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity to challenge tasks was assessed in fall and a multi-informant measure of externalizing was collected in fall and spring. Both the social and the management domains of classroom climate significantly interacted with children's respiratory sinus arrhythmia reactivity to predict spring externalizing symptoms, controlling for fall symptoms. For more reactive children, as classrooms shifted toward greater proportional use of child-centered methods, externalizing symptoms declined, whereas greater use of teacher-dominated practices was associated with increased symptoms. Conversely, among less reactive children, exposure to more teacher-dominated classroom management practices was associated with lower externalizing. Consistent with the theory of biological sensitivity to context, considering variability in children's physiological reactivity aids understanding of the salience of the classroom environment for children's mental health.
Altered heart rate variability (HRV), an index of autonomic nervous system function, has been reported in generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), but the results have been mixed. Thus, the present study, using a large sample size and better methodology, aims to examine whether GAD is associated with impaired HRV, both at rest and in response to posture challenges.
In total, 1832 participants were recruited in this study, consisting of 682 patients with GAD (including 326 drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients) and 1150 healthy controls. Short-term HRV was measured during the supine-standing-supine test (5-min per position). Propensity score matching (PSM), a relatively novel method, was used to control for potential confounders.
After PSM algorithm, drug- and comorbidity-free GAD patients had reductions in resting (baseline) high-frequency power (HF), an index for parasympathetic modulation, and increases in the low-frequency/HF ratio (LF/HF), an index for sympathovagal balance as compared to matched controls. Furthermore, the responses of HF and LF/HF to posture changes were all attenuated when compared with matched controls. Effect sizes, given by Cohen's d, for resting HF and HF reactivity were 0.42 and 0.36–0.42, respectively.
GAD is associated with altered sympathovagal balance, characterized by attenuation in both resting vagal modulation and vagal reactivity, with an almost medium effect size (Cohen's d ≈ 0.4), regardless of medication use or comorbidity status.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder with significant morbidity whose pathophysiology is not fully understood. Neuroimaging studies have characterized OCD in terms of elevated striatal and prefrontal reactivity to emotion provocation. This neural model may be informed by investigation of functional connectivity in OCD, identifying alterations in how sensory information is integrated into frontostriatal regions.
The current study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare neural activity and connectivity in 31 OCD patients (12 washing and 19 checking subtypes) and 17 healthy volunteers in an emotion provocation paradigm using visual stimuli.
OCD status was associated with hyper-activation of the posterior cingulate (PCg) in response to emotion provocation. Additionally, OCD patients demonstrated elevated PCg functional connectivity with the visual cortices and frontostriatal regions. Exploratory analyses suggested that stimulus-provoked activity and connectivity was elevated for checking subtypes in motor cortices, and elevated in washing subtypes in the anterior insula and orbitofrontal cortex.
The PCg's role in moderating connectivity between the visual cortex and frontolimbic regions is muted in OCD, consistent with the PCg's suggested role in regulating attention towards emotional stimuli. Exploratory analyses suggest distinct PCg connectivity profiles in OCD subtypes, with checking linked to motor activation, but washing linked to a network supporting emotional salience. The study was not powered to fully investigate the effects of medication, patients often endorsed secondary symptom subtypes that muddied washing/checking distinctions, and the emotion provocation paradigm was of limited intensity compared to life stressors.