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Following a network analysis approach, the present study aims to explore the pattern of mutual relationships between failure in reflective functioning (RF) – defined as hypomentalization – problematic social networking sites use (PSNSU), attachment anxiety and avoidance, and childhood maltreatment among emerging adults, with a focus on gender differences. The study sample comprises N = 1,614 emerging adults (Mage = 23.84; SD = 3.21; 50% identified themselves as women) who completed online self-assessment measures. Results showed significantly greater PSNSU, hypomentalization, childhood emotional abuse, and both attachment avoidance and anxiety among women. Indeed, within the network analysis, performed separately for men and women, network-specific associative patterns were observed; yet also similarities have emerged. Within the women’s network, differently from males, attachment avoidance connects, through attachment anxiety, to emotional abuse, mood modification related to PSNSU, and hypomentalization. Nonetheless, hypomentalization was central in both networks, functioning as a hub between attachment anxiety, the PSNSU cluster, and the childhood maltreatment cluster. These results shed light on the use of social network sites as a potential maladaptive emotion regulation strategy, particularly among women. In this regard, the role of RF should be considered as a key treatment target to reduce PSNSU and support the use of adaptive emotion regulation strategies.
Stigma is one of the most important barriers to help-seeking and to personal recovery for people suffering from mental disorders. Stigmatizing attitudes are present among mental health professionals with negative effects on the quality of health care.
Network and moderator analysis were used to identify what path determines stigma, considering demographic and professional variables, personality traits, and burnout dimensions in a sample of mental health professionals (n = 318) from six Community Mental Health Services. The survey included the Attribution Questionnaire-9, the Maslach Burnout Inventory, and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory.
The personality trait of openness to new experiences resulted to determine lower levels of stigma. Burnout (personal accomplishment) interacted with emotional stability in predicting stigma, and specifically, for subjects with lower emotional stability lower levels of personal accomplishment were associated with higher levels of stigma.
Some personality traits may be accompanied by better empathic and communication skills, and may have a protective role against stigma. Moreover, burnout can increase stigma, in particular in subjects with specific personality traits. Assessing personality and burnout levels could help in identifying mental health professionals at higher risk of developing stigma. Future studies should determine whether targeted interventions in mental health professionals at risk of developing stigma may be effective in stigma prevention.
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