Growth modeling was used to examine the developmental trajectory of infant temperamental fear with maternal fear and depressive symptoms as predictors of infant fearfulness and change in infant fear predicting toddler anxiety symptoms. In Study 1, a sample of 158 mothers reported their own depressive symptoms and fear when their children were 4 months of age and infant fearfulness at 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 months. Maternal symptoms of depression predicted steeper increases in infant fearfulness over time (z = 2.06, p < .05), with high initial infant fear and steeper increases in fear (intercept, z = 2.32, p < .05, and slope, z = 1.88, p < .05) predicting more severe toddler anxiety symptoms. In Study 2, an independent sample of 134 mothers completed measures of maternal depression and fear when the infants were 4 months old, and standardized laboratory observations of infant fear were made at 8, 10, and 12 months. Consistent with Study 1, maternal depression accounted for change in fearfulness (z = 2.30, p < .05), with more frequent and more severe maternal symptoms leading to greater increases in infant fear and increases in fearfulness z = 2.08, p < .05) leading to more problematic toddler anxiety. The implications and contributions of these findings are discussed in terms of methodology, fear development, and developmental psychopathology.
This study of was conducted to explore the contribution of attentional skills to early language, and the influence of early language markers on the development of attention, simultaneously examining the impact of parent-child interaction factors (reciprocity/synchrony and sensitivity/responsivity), including their potential moderator effects. All children were between 6 months and 12 months of age, and about equally distributed between genders (33 males, 32 females), with caregivers' ages ranging from 28 years to 45 years (N = 65). Maternal perceptions of infant attentional skills (duration of orienting, or persistence of attention, and perceptual sensitivity-the infant's ability to selectively attend to subtle stimuli) and an early marker of language (vocal reactivity: use of vocalizations across a variety of activities), along with observations of parent-child interactions, provided the basis for the present evaluation. Infant duration of orienting emerged as the primary predictor of vocal reactivity, with the contribution of perceptual sensitivity approaching significance. Infant vocal reactivity explained significant amounts of variance for duration of orienting and perceptual sensitivity. Parent-infant interaction factors contributed to the prediction of early attentional skills, with responsivity/sensitivity explaining a significant portion of perceptual sensitivity variance, and synchronicity/reciprocity emerging as a significant predictor of duration of orienting. Observed contribution of the vocal reactivity * responsivity/sensitivity interaction to predicting infant perceptual sensitivity provided preliminary support for the proposed moderation.
The objective of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Invalidating Childhood Environment Scale (ICES; Mountford, Corstorphine, Tomlinson, & Waller, 2004), a measure designed to retrospectively assess exposure to parental invalidation. The ICES was administered to a sample of female college students along with measures of parental bonding and borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptomatology. In contrast with previous findings, the ICES demonstrated excellent internal consistency within a nonclinical sample. It also correlated in the predicted directions with measures of parental bonding and BPD symptomatology. Taken together, these findings suggest that the ICES is a promising retrospective measure of parental invalidation. They also provide some support for the hypothesized link between parental invalidation and BPD symptomatology and suggest that additional research with clinical samples is needed.
This study explored the association between number of methods of Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) and personality, psychopathology, and functions of NSSI. Two combined undergraduate samples reporting a history of NSSI (n = 149) completed measures of personality, psychopathology, and NSSI. A series of regression analyses indicated that Conscientiousness, Openness, and two functions of NSSI (i.e., Automatic Negative Reinforcement and Social Negative Reinforcement) shared significant relationships with the number of NSSI methods participants engaged in. These findings demonstrate that, after accounting for NSSI frequency, a relationship exists among specific personality factors, NSSI functions, and engagement in additional methods of NSSI.
Previous research has suggested that stable, marital relationships may have overall prognostic significance for individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD); however, research focused on the impact of nonmarital, and perhaps short-term, romantic relationships is lacking. Thus, the primary goal of this study was to examine the impact of the interaction of BPD symptoms and relationship satisfaction on state negative affect in college undergraduates. It was predicted that individuals who scored higher on measures of BPD symptoms and who were in a satisfying romantic relationship would report less negative affect than comparable individuals in a less satisfying romantic relationship. Questionnaires assessing BPD symptoms, relationship satisfaction, and negative affect were administered to 111 women, the majority of whom then completed daily measures of relationship satisfaction and negative affect over a 2-week follow-up period. Hierarchical multiple regression and hierarchical linear modeling were used to test the hypotheses. The interaction of BPD symptoms with relationship satisfaction was found to significantly predict anger, as measured at one time point, suggesting that satisfying romantic relationships may be a protective factor for individuals scoring high on measures of BPD symptoms with regard to anger.
Personality disorders are complex and highly challenging to treatment providers; yet, for clients with these problems, there exist very few treatment options that have been supported by research. Given the lack of empirically-supported therapies for personality disorders, it can be difficult to make treatment decisions for this population. The purpose of this paper is to present our view that basic behavioral principles can be integrated into the assessment and treatment of personality disorders to maximize success with such challenging behavioral patterns. Following a review of well-established behavioral assessment and treatment options, we offer additional suggestions upon which to base treatment: (a) the identification of relevant response classes and (b) the use of functional analysis in personality disorder treatment. We conclude with application of the proposed strategies to the examples of borderline and avoidant personality disorders.
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