March 1, 2013: The Association of Psychological Science has issued a release highlighting recent research in the cognitive, environmental, and genetic roots of mental illness in adolescents; the three different studies appeared in publications of the association: Psychological Science and Clinical Psychological Science.
Social-Information-Processing Patterns Mediate the Impact of Preventive Intervention on Adolescent Antisocial Behavior, Kenneth A. Dodge, Jennifer Godwin, and The Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group
Fast Track is a preventive intervention designed to help children who show aggression at an early age. The intervention addresses kids’ social-cognitive processes in several ways, including social-skill training groups, parent groups, and classroom curricula. In this study, the researchers investigated the processes underlying this intervention’s success. A total of 891 kindergarteners who were at high risk for adolescent antisocial behavior were randomly assigned to receive either the Fast Track intervention or a control program. The data revealed that children in the intervention showed decreased levels of antisocial behavior at the end of 9th grade, which was driven, in part, by improvement on three specific social-cognitive processes. These results suggest that social-cognitive processes may play an important role in the development of antisocial behavior in youth. Published online February 13, 2013 in Psychological Science
A Comparison of Two Models of Urgency: Urgency Predicts Both Rash Action and Depression in Youth Gregory T. Smith, Leila Guller, and Tamika C.B. Zapolski
A test of two competing theories concerning the trait of urgency. One: people’s tendency to act rashly or impulsively when they’re emotional. Two: urgency reflects a general responsiveness to emotions that can lead to rash action (such as heavy drinking or binge eating) or ill-advised inaction (which is associated with symptoms of depression). In previous research, Smith and colleagues found that urgency levels in 5th grade predicted addictive behaviors (including alcohol consumption, binge eating, and smoking) in 6th grade, which is consistent with both theories. In this study, the researchers found that level of urgency in 5th grade also predicted higher levels of depression at the end of 6thgrade. ... researchers conclude that urgency may be an important trait in various diagnoses, across both internalizing and externalizing disorders. Published online February 15, 2013 in Clinical Psychological Science
Genetic and Environmental Influences on Rumination, Distraction, and Depressed Mood in Adolescence Mollie N. Moore, Rachel H. Salk, Carol A. Van Hulle, Lyn Y. Abramson, Janet S. Hyde, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, and H. Hill Goldsmith
... Rumination, the process of dwelling on one’s feelings and problems, is an established cognitive risk factor for depression....[researchers] investigated if response styles associated with rumination might account for some of the genetic vulnerability associated with depression. A total of 756 adolescent twins ages 12 to 14 completed the Response Styles Questionnaire and several measures of depressive symptoms. ... results suggest that the same genetic factors that contribute to distraction may protect against depression. Published online February 20, 2013 in Clinical Psychological Science