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Authors: Giordano Novak Rossi, Eduardo José Crevelin, Gabriela de Oliveira Silveira, Maria Eugênia Costa Queiroz, Mauricio Yonamine, Jaime Eduardo Cecilio Hallak and Rafael Guimarães Dos Santos
Open access

Abstract

It is well-documented that harsh environmental conditions influence appetite and food choice. However, the experience of environmental harshness is complex and shaped by several underlying dimensions, notably threats to one's social support, economic prospects, and physical safety. Here, we examined the differential effects of these three dimensions of environmental harshness on desire for specific food items. We first showed 564 participants images of 30 food items. Next, they rated how much they desired each item. The participants were then randomly assigned to a condition where they read one of six scenario stories that described someone's current living conditions. Each scenario story emphasized one of the three dimensions (social support, economic prospects, physical safety), with two levels (safe, harsh). Following this, the participants once again rated how desirable each food item was. The results showed that exposure to cues of low social support and high physical threat reduce the desire to eat, whereas cues of economic harshness had little effect. Further analysis revealed a significant interaction between energy level of different foods and perceived threat to physical safety. These findings are important in helping to understand how current environmental conditions influence changes in appetite and desire for different kinds of food items.

Open access
Authors: Jérémie Richard, Émilie Fletcher, Stephanie Boutin, Jeffrey Derevensky and Caroline Temcheff

Abstract

Background and aims

Behavioral addictions such as gambling and gaming disorder are significant public health issues that are of increasing importance to policy makers and health care providers. Problem gambling and gaming behaviors have been identified as being associated with externalizing and internalizing problems, with theoretical models suggesting that both conduct problems and depressive symptoms may be significant risk factors in the development of problem gambling and gaming. As such, the purpose of this systematic review is to provide an overview of research identifying the relationship between conduct problems, depressive symptoms and problem gambling and gaming among adolescents and young adults.

Methods

Systematic literature searches in accordance with PRISMA guidelines found 71 eligible studies that met the inclusion criteria, 47 for problem gambling, 23 for problem gaming and one for both problem behaviors.

Results

Based on cross-sectional evidence, both problem gambling and gaming are consistently concurrently associated with conduct problems and depressive symptoms. Longitudinal evidence appears to be clearer for conduct problems as a risk factor for problem gambling, and depressive symptoms as a risk factor for problem gaming. However, both risk factors appear to increase the risk for these problem behaviors.

Discussion and Conclusions

Results from the literature review suggest that problem gambling and gaming are associated with the presence of conduct problems and depressive symptoms, with the potential of sharing common etiological factors. Additional research is necessary to confirm these longitudinal relationships with an emphasis on investigating the interaction of both early conduct problems and depressive symptoms.

Open access

Abstract

Despite the popular support for psychedelics as aids for depression, academics and the public frequently overestimate the efficacy of available medications and psychotherapies. Metaanalyses reveal that antidepressant medications alone help only one in four patients and rarely surpass credible placebos. Their effects, though statistically significant, might not impress depressed patients themselves. Psychotherapies create better outcomes than antidepressant drugs alone; combining the two provides measurable advantages. Nevertheless, the best combinations help only 65% of the clients who complete treatment. The drugs create side-effects and withdrawal surprisingly more severe than professional guidelines imply, too. Psychedelics appear to improve depression through some of the same mechanisms as psychotherapy, as well as some novel ones, suggesting that the combination could work very well. In addition, subjective experiences during the psychedelic sessions covary with improvement. Guiding clients to focus on these targeted thoughts and feelings could improve outcome. These data underscore the serious need for clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted, empirically supported treatment for depression with guided experiences during the psychedelic session. These trials would require important components to maximize their impact, including meaningful preparatory sessions designed to enhance motivation and explain empirically supported approaches, guided administration sessions that focus on oceanic boundlessness, integration sessions that support progress, and follow-up sessions consistent with established research. This combination involves markedly more than a simple pairing of medication and talk therapy, but proper application could have an unparalleled impact on public health.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Internet addiction (IA) is common among young students. This study aimed to examine the influence and mechanisms of IA and susceptible personality traits on the impact of suicidal ideation in adolescent students in China.

Methods

This cross-sectional study (09/2012–09/2015) used stratified cluster sampling with “school type” for stratification; 136,266 students from 63 schools completed the questionnaire. Logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the effect of IA (Young's Internet Addiction Test) and susceptible personality (Barratt impulsiveness scale, Buss & Perry Aggression Questionnaire; and Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-R Short Scale) on suicidal ideation (Scale of Suicidal Ideation).

Results

Suicidal ideation was observed in 20,218 (14.77%) of the students, and IA was detected in 28,836 (21.16%) subjects. Compared with those without IA, students with IA had a higher prevalence of suicidal ideation (P < 0.0001). No planning impulsiveness had a predictive effect on suicidal ideation in the impulsive personality trait, while in the aggressive personality trait, hostility and self-aggression had a predictive effect on suicidal ideation (all P < 0.0001). High psychoticism and neuroticism were impact factors for suicidal ideation, but extroversion was a protective factor (all P < 0.0001).

Discussion

These results highlight the importance of assessing personality traits and reducing IA as a possible means of lessening suicidal ideation. Susceptible personality (such as high psychoticism, high neuroticism, and low extroversion) play a prominent role in influencing the probability of having suicidal behavior among those recently exposed to IA.

Conclusions

IA and susceptible personality traits were significantly correlated with suicidal and self-harm ideation among adolescent students.

Open access
Authors: Claudia Marino, Natale Canale, Alessio Vieno, Gabriele Caselli, Luca Scacchi and Marcantonio M. Spada

Abstract

Background and aims

In recent years, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) has been recognized as a mental health problem. Although research has found that social anxiety, motives, the preference for online social interactions (POSI), and metacognitions about online gaming are independent predictors of IGD, less is known about their relative contribution to IGD. The aim of the current study was to model the relationship between social anxiety, motives, POSI, metacognitions about online gaming, and IGD.

Methods

Five hundred and forty three Italian gamers who play more than 7 h a week (mean age = 23.9 years; SD = 6.15 years; 82.5% males) were included in the study. The pattern of relationships specified by the theoretical model was examined through path analysis.

Results

Results showed that social anxiety was directly associated with four motives (escape, coping, fantasy, and recreation), POSI, and positive and negative metacognitions about online gaming, and IGD. The Sobel test showed that negative metacognitions about online gaming played the strongest mediating role in the relationship between social anxiety and IGD followed by escape, POSI, and positive metacognitions. The model accounted for 54% of the variance for IGD.

Discussion and conclusions

Overall, our findings show that, along with motives and POSI, metacognitions about online gaming may play an important role in the association between social anxiety and IGD. The clinical and preventive implications of these findings are discussed.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Money plays a central role in gambling, and understanding the different attitudes of gamblers towards it might benefit both prevention and treatment of gambling-related problems. This study describes the development of a new German measure of attitudes to money and the differences in these attitudes between male non-gamblers, occasional, frequent and problem gamblers. Furthermore, it investigates the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between attitudes towards money and the severity of gambling disorder.

Methods

An online study was conducted among 2,584 men aged 18–25 years, recruited via the Munich citizen registry. Additionally, a sample of n = 105 Facebook users was included in part of the analyses. Frequent and problem gamblers were invited to a 12-month follow-up. Apart from gambling participation and related problems, the questionnaire included items from existing scales measuring attitudes to money.

Results

Three factors underlying a new 12-item German Scale of Money Attitudes (SMAG) were identified: success, budgeting and evil. Compared with other groups, participants reporting any gambling problems scored highest in success and lowest in budgeting. Budgeting was associated with gambling-related problems in both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses and strengthened the relationship between associating money with success and gambling disorder.

Discussion

For problem gamblers, money is important as a personal symbol of success. This attitude has an especially negative effect on gambling-related problems in individuals who handle money irresponsibly. Spending and winning money might play an important role in maintaining self-esteem among gamblers and thus hinder their attempts to quit.

Open access

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that cannabis can evoke “peak-experiences”—the name psychologist Abraham Maslow gave to fleeting moments of expanded perception indicative of self-transcendence—when used alongside more traditional religious practices such as meditation, fasting, contemplative prayer, and sacramental ritual. For that reason, religious seekers around the globe have deployed cannabis as a deliberate psychoactive to trigger the peak-experiences that stir feelings of ecstasy, wonder, and awe and resolve the “dichotomies, polarities, and conflicts of life.” As such, peak-experiences exemplify a form of spiritual revelation that has played a pivotal role in the history of religion, and because of its ability to elicit unitive consciousness at the heart of mystical insight, cannabis has been utilized as a mild entheogen across culture and tradition for millennia.

Open access

Abstract

The recent revivification of interest in the therapeutic use of psychedelics has had a particular focus on mood disorders and addiction, although there is reason to think these drugs may be effective more widely. After outlining pertinent aspects of psilocybin and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), the current review summarizes the evidence indicating that there may be a role for psilocybin in the treatment of OCD, as well as highlighting a range of potential therapeutic mechanisms that reflect the action of psilocybin on brain function. Although the current evidence is limited, that multiple signals point in directions consistent with treatment potential, alongside the psychological and physiological safety of clinically administered psilocybin, support the expansion of research, both in animal models and in further randomized controlled trials, to properly investigate this potential.

Open access