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Behavioral Sciences

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Abstract

Background and aims

Nomophobia (NMP) is a contemporary digital ailment referring to the improper utilization of smartphones which can have significant impacts on the physical and mental health of college students. However, as a result of unclear cutoff points, the proportion of people with NMP may be exaggerated. This study therefore aimed to determine the critical value of NMP and assess the extent to which Chinese college students are impacted by NMP using the Nomophobia Questionnaire (NMP-Q).

Methods

Latent profile analysis (LPA) and the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) were combined to determine the critical value based on NMP-Q scores using a large sample of 3,998 college students (M age = 20.58; SD = 1.87).

Results

Based on latent profile (i.e., at-risk NMP group), ROC revealed an optimal cut-off point of 73 (Sensitivity = 0.965, Specificity = 0.970, Accuracy = 0.968, AUC = 99.60%, Youden's index = 0.935), and the percentage of NMP students being 28.04%, with 1,121 participants identified as positive cases (probable cases). Positive cases were found to exhibit more severe depression and anxiety symptoms, with a higher proportion of females were observed in the positive group (N = 829; 73.95%).

Conclusions

These findings provide evidence that the proportion of NMP individuals may have been overestimated in the past. Furthermore, this study helps to validate the NMP-Q as a valid tool to identify NMP in college-aged individuals.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Compulsivity contributes to the development and maintenance of multiple addictive disorders. However, the relationship between compulsivity-related cognitive features and problematic usage of the internet (PUI), an umbrella term for various internet use disorders/interfering behaviors, remains largely unclear, partly due to the multidimensional nature of compulsivity. This scoping review utilized a four-domain framework of compulsivity to consider this topic and aimed to summarize available evidence on compulsivity-related neuropsychological characteristics in PUI based on this framework.

Methods

A systematic literature search was conducted by applying the combination of search term to the search engines of PubMed, PsycINFO and Web of Science. A four-domain framework of compulsivity, involving cognitive flexibility, set-shifting, attentional bias, and habit learning, was used to consider its complex structure and frequently used tasks. Main findings in related PUI studies were summarized based on this framework. Our secondary aim was to compare compulsivity-related features between different PUI subtypes.

Results

Thirty-four empirical studies were retained, comprising 41 task-results and 35 independent data sets. Overall, individuals with PUI showed more consistent deficits in attentional biases and were relatively intact in set-shifting. Few studies have examined cognitive flexibility and habit learning, and more evidence is thus needed to establish reliable conclusions. Moreover, most studies focused on internet gaming disorder, whereas other PUI sub-types were not sufficiently examined.

Conclusion

This systematic review highlights the use of the four-domain framework for advancing understanding of mechanisms underlying compulsivity in PUI. Related therapeutic implications and future directions are discussed.

Open access

Abstract

Background and Aims

The precise roles of screen media activity (SMA) and sleep problems in relation to child/adolescent psychopathology remain ambiguous. We investigated temporal relationships among sleep problems, SMA, and psychopathology and potential involvement of thalamus-prefrontal-cortex (PFC)-brainstem structural covariation.

Methods

This study utilized data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study (n = 4,641 ages 9–12) at baseline, Year1, and Year2 follow-up. Cross-Lagged Panel Models (CLPMs) investigated reciprocal predictive relationships between sleep duration/problems, SMA, and psychopathology symptoms. A potential mediating role of baseline Thalamus-PFC-brainstem covariation on SMA-externalizing relationships was examined.

Results

Participants were divided into discovery (n = 2,359, 1,054 girls) and replication (n = 2,282, 997 girls) sets. CLPMs showed 1) bidirectional associations between sleep duration and SMA in late childhood, with higher frequency SMA predicting shorter sleep duration (β = −0.10 [95%CI: −0.16, −0.03], p = 0.004) and vice versa (β = −0.11 [95%CI: −0.18, −0.05], p < 0.001); 2) externalizing symptoms at age 10–11 predicting sleep problems (β = 0.11 [95%CI: 0.04, 0.19], p = 0.002), SMA (β = 0.07 [95%CI: 0.01, 0.13], p = 0.014), and internalizing symptoms (β = 0.09 [95%CI: 0.05, 0.13], p < 0.001) at age 11–12; and 3) externalizing behavior at age 10-11 partially mediating the relationship between baseline thalamus-PFC-brainstem covariation and SMA at age 11–12 (indirect effect = 0.032 [95%CI: 0.003, 0.067], p-value = 0.030). Findings were replicable.

Conclusion

We found bi-directional SMA-sleep-duration associations in late childhood. Externalizing symptoms preceded future SMA and sleep disturbances and partially mediated relationships between structural brain covariation and SMA. The findings emphasize the need for understanding individual differences and developing and implementing integrated strategies addressing both sleep concerns and screen time to mitigate potential impacts on psychopathology.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

This study characterized chasing behaviour as the time to return to an online gambling website after a losing or a winning visit.

Methods

We analyzed a naturalistic dataset from an eCasino (PlayNow.com, the provincial platform for British Columbia, Canada), comprising 1,909,681 sessions from 15,544 individuals. Analyses distinguished sessions on slot machines, blackjack, roulette, video poker, probability games, or mixed-category sessions.

Results

Overall, gamblers on most games returned more slowly as a function of the prior loss, and more quickly as a function of the prior win. Loss chasing intensities in blackjack, probability, video poker, and mixed sessions did not differ significantly from slot machines, but roulette was associated with shorter intervals to return (b = −0.13, p < 0.001). Similarly, win chasing did not vary across slot machines, blackjack, probability games, and video poker, but roulette (b = −0.08, p < 0.001) and mixed (b = −0.02, p = 0.009) sessions were associated with shorter intervals.

Discussion and conclusions

The average behavioural patterns provide limited evidence for loss chasing but clearly indicate win chasing. Although slot machines are commonly considered a high-risk product, roulette in our analyses was associated with the greatest chasing intensities.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Problematic smartphone use (PSU) has gained attention, but its definition remains debated. This study aimed to develop and validate a new scale measuring PSU-the Smartphone Use Problems Identification Questionnaire (SUPIQ).

Methods

Using two separate samples, a university community sample (N = 292) and a general population sample (N = 397), we investigated: (1) the construct validity of the SUPIQ through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses; (2) the convergent validity of the SUPIQ with correlation analyses and the visualized partial correlation network analyses; (3) the psychometric equivalence of the SUPIQ across two samples through multigroup confirmatory factor analyses; (4) the explanatory power of the SUPIQ over the Short Version of Smartphone Addiction Scale (SAS-SV) with hierarchical multiple regressions.

Results

The results showed that the SUPIQ included 26 items and 7 factors (i.e., Craving, Coping, Habitual Use, Social Conflicts, Risky Use, Withdrawal, and Tolerance), with good construct and convergent validity. The configural measurement invariance across samples was established. The SUPIQ also explained more variances in mental health problems than the SAS-SV.

Discussion and conclusions

The findings suggest that the SUPIQ shows promise as a tool for assessing PSU. Further research is needed to enhance and refine the SUPIQ as well as to investigate its clinical utility.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Celebrity worship, defined as an excessive admiration towards celebrities, has generated considerable research and public interest. A widely used assessment instrument to measure celebrity worship is the 23-item Celebrity Attitude Scale. However, concerns have been raised regarding the measurement, including the inconsistent factor structure and lack of a cut-off point to identify “celebrity worshipers”. The present study aims to address these concerns by testing the psychometric appropriateness of a short, 7-item version of the CAS (i.e., CAS-7) and estimating the prevalence of individuals with high-level celebrity admiration using a representative sample of Hungarian adults (between 18 and 64 years of age) according to gender, age, geographic location, and size of residence.

Methods

The total sample comprised 2028 respondents, of which 769 valid responses were administered from participants who reported having a favorite celebrity (51.11% men, M age = 36.38 years, SD = 13.36).

Results

Results indicated an excellent model fit for the two-factor and bifactor model of the CAS-7. Based on the suggested cut-off score of 26, the prevalence of high-level celebrity admiration is 4.53% in the Hungarian adult population (18–64 years of age) and 8.51% among young adults (18–34 years of age). Individuals with this high level of admiration towards a favorite celebrity reported more symptoms of problematic Internet use, depression, anxiety, and stress than individuals with general celebrity admiration levels.

Discussion and conclusions

The CAS-7 demonstrated sound psychometric properties, confirming its applicability in research and practice.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Hui Wang
,
Xiang Li
,
Grace Ka In Lok
,
Chunmei Meng
,
Yaheng Tan
,
Un Man Lee
,
Louisa Sok Man Lei
, and
Natalia Chan

Abstract

Background and aims

Internet addiction (IA) has been identified as a major public health problem that is more prominent in adolescents and young adults. Some researchers have indicated certain advantages of family-based therapy over other treatments in participants with IA, but no conclusive evaluation has been reported. The present meta-analysis aims to review the efficacy of family-based therapy on Internet addiction in adolescents and young adults.

Methods

Relevant articles published from 1996 to February 15th, 2024, were searched from 14 databases, including three Chinese databases. A total of 19,590 articles were identified using a combination of three sets of search terms (Internet addiction, family therapy, and adolescents). Only RCTs and nonrandomized controlled trials were included.

Results

18 studies, most of which were conducted in Asian countries, were included in the final data analysis. The overall severity of Internet addiction in the family-based therapy group was significantly lower than that in the control group. However, significant heterogeneity was detected. Subgroup analysis showed a beneficial effect of family-based therapy when compared with non-intervention and when added to another psychological or behavioural therapy in psychiatric patients with co-medication. Few studies have examined secondary outcomes or follow-up effects.

Discussion and Conclusions

Family-based therapy is most effective in reducing the severity of Internet addiction when combined with other therapies, especially medication treatments in psychiatric patients. It might also be helpful to relieve depression and enhance family functions, which needs further evidence. More studies following up on the post-intervention effects are recommended in the future.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Xuefeng Ma
,
Min Wang
,
Weiran Zhou
,
Zhaojie Zhang
,
Haosen Ni
,
Anhang Jiang
,
Yanbin Zheng
,
Xiaoxia Du
,
Marc N. Potenza
, and
Guang-Heng Dong

Abstract

Background

Although internet gaming disorder (IGD) has been included in the DSM-5 for approximately 10 years, debate remains regarding its existence and classification.

Methods

The current research incorporated three approaches. First, implicit association tests were used to examine for potential dissociation between wanting and liking in IGD. Second, brain features in wanting and liking circuits were tested and compared with tobacco use disorder (TUD) when performing a cue-craving task to explore the neural features of wanting and liking. Third, dopaminergic systems were investigated in IGD and TUD using neuromelanin-sensitive MRI.

Results

The implicit association test results supported a wanting-liking dissociation in IGD participants. Functional MRI data suggested neural correlates underlying wanting-liking dissociation in IGD and TUD participants, with positive correlations suggesting greater dissociation with increasing addiction severity. Neuromelanin results suggest dopaminergic differences in IGD and TUD relative to healthy control participants.

Conclusions

A wanting-liking dissociation in IGD participants suggests gaming motivations in IGD relating to incentive sensitization rather than hedonic responses. The neuromelanin-sensitive MRI results suggest dopaminergic involvement in IGD and TUD. The findings suggest similar brain-behaviour mechanisms for IGD and TUD based on an incentive-sensitization model for addiction, having implications for potential therapeutic strategies and policy-based interventions.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Impaired inhibitory control accompanied by enhanced craving is hallmark of addiction. This study investigated the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on response inhibition and craving in Internet gaming disorder (IGD). We examined the brain changes after tDCS and their correlation with clinical variables.

Methods

Twenty-four males with IGD were allocated randomly to an active or sham tDCS group, and data from 22 participants were included for analysis. Participants self-administered bilateral tDCS over the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) for 10 sessions. Stop-signal tasks were conducted to measure response inhibition and participants were asked about their cravings for Internet gaming at baseline and post-tDCS. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected at pre- and post-tDCS, and group differences in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) changes from the bilateral DLPFC and nucleus accumbens were examined. We explored the relationship between changes in the rsFC and behavioral variables in the active tDCS group.

Results

A significant group-by-time interaction was observed in response inhibition. After tDCS, only the active group showed a decrease in the stop-signal reaction time (SSRT). Although craving decreased, there were no significant group-by-time interactions or group main effects. The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) showed group differences in post- versus pre-tDCS rsFC from the right DLPFC. The rsFC between the ACC and left middle frontal gyrus was negatively correlated with the SSRT.

Discussion and conclusion

Our study provides preliminary evidence that bilateral tDCS over the DLPFC improves inhibitory control and could serve as a therapeutic approach for IGD.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Since the inclusion of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in the International Classification of Diseases (11th ed.), there has been little effort placed into developing clinical recommendations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) clients with this condition. Thus, we develop preliminary clinical recommendations for mental health professionals working with LGBQ clients who may be struggling with CSBD.

Methods

The present paper synthesizes the CSBD literature with advances in LGBQ-affirming care to develop assessment and treatment recommendations. These recommendations are discussed within the context of minority stress theory, which provides an empirically supported explanation for how anti-LGBQ stigma may contribute to the development of mental health conditions in LGBQ populations.

Results

Assessment recommendations are designed to assist mental health professionals in distinguishing aspects of an LGBQ client's sociocultural context from CSBD symptomology, given recent concerns that these constructs may be wrongly conflated and result in misdiagnosis. The treatment recommendations consist of broadly applicable, evidence-based principles that can be leveraged by mental health professionals of various theoretical orientations to provide LGBQ-affirming treatment for CSBD.

Discussion and Conclusions

The present article provides theoretically and empirically supported recommendations for mental health professionals who want to provide LGBQ-affirming care for CSBD. Given the preliminary nature of these recommendations, future research is needed to investigate their clinical applicability and efficacy.

Open access