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Australian Journal of Psychology

Impact factor: 0.941 5-Year impact factor: 1.026 Print ISSN: 0004-9530 Online ISSN: 1742-9536 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subject: Multidisciplinary Psychology

Most recent papers:

  • Perceptions of carotenoid and melanin colouration in faces among young Australian adults.
    Kristine Pezdirc, Megan E. Rollo, Ross Whitehead, Melinda J. Hutchesson, Gozde Ozakinci, David Perrett, Clare E. Collins.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. 9 days ago
    Objective Human skin colour is influenced by three pigments: haemoglobin, carotenoids, and melanin. Carotenoids are abundant in fruits and vegetables, and when consumed accumulate in all layers of the skin, predominantly imparting yellowness (b*). This study investigated the effect of the manipulation of carotenoid‐based skin colour, relative to the skin colour conferred by melanin on the perceptions of health amongst a group of Australian adults. Method Fifty‐seven participants (n = 4 male; mean age 27.9 ± 7.5 years) completed three computer‐based experiments on 50 trial faces. In the first two experiments, face image colour was manipulated along one or two independent single carotenoid or melanin axes on each trial to ‘make the face appear as healthy as possible’. In the third trial, face colour was manipulated on both the carotenoid and melanin axes simultaneously. Results For the single axis, participants significantly increased melanin colouration and added carotenoid colouration to facial images that were initially low in skin yellowness (b*). When carotenoid and melanin axes were simultaneously manipulated, carotenoid colouration was raised (ΔE  = 3.15 ( SE  ±0.19)) and melanin colouration was lowered (ΔE  = −1.04 ( SE  ±0.1)). Conclusions Young Australian adults perceive facial skin colouration, associated with both carotenoid intake from fruit and vegetables and melanin due to sun exposure as conveying the appearance of health in young adults. However, carotenoid colouration was more important to health perception.
    May 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12163   open full text
  • Predicting support for marriage equality in Australia.
    Joel Anderson, Christina Georgantis, Tayla Kapelles.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 05, 2017
    Objective The marriage equality debate is becoming increasingly prominent in Australian political and media discourse. Moreover, as policy that would legislate marriage equality continues to be debated in political circles, public opinion on the topic appears to be becoming increasingly divided. This article presents a cross‐sectional study exploring predictors of support for marriage equality. Method A sample of 137 Australians (66% females) responded to a series of demographic items, a measure of attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women, and a forced‐choice question asking whether or not they would support marriage between two people—regardless of their gender. Results The results revealed that support for marriage equality in this sample was predicted by religious affiliation, political orientation, and sexual prejudice. More specifically, individuals in support of marriage equality were more likely to be non‐religious, politically liberal, and have more positive attitudes towards gay men (attitudes towards lesbian women were unrelated to support for marriage equality). Age and gender did not predict support for marriage equality. Conclusions Support for marriage equality in Australia can be predicted by social attitudes and demographic variables. These findings are discussed in terms of the implications of maintaining the legal status quo, which mandates marriage inequality.
    May 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12164   open full text
  • Demographic and ideological correlates of negative attitudes towards asylum seekers: A meta‐analytic review.
    Joel Anderson, Rose Ferguson.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 05, 2017
    Objective A global increase in forced displacement has led to rapid increases in the number of people seeking asylum. Negative attitudes toward these people are pervasive and the literature attempting to understand the prevalence and impact of these attitudes is growing. This article contains a meta‐analysis of the Australian quantitative research in this field. Method We combined effect sizes from published and unpublished Australian data. The primary outcomes were effect size estimates for the correlations between reported attitudes towards asylum seekers and a range of demographic factors (age, gender, education, religious affiliation, political orientation, national identification) and ideological variables (right‐wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, social justice principles). Results We identified 34 suitable studies (N participants = 5,994). Demographic factors of gender, education, religious affiliation, political orientation, and national identification were related to attitudes. More specifically, being male, having less education, being more politically conservative, and higher in national identification were associated with more negative attitudes (rs = .08, –.18, .24, .23, and .15, respectively; ps < .01). Increases in right‐wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation, and decreases in macrojustice principles were also associated with more negative attitudes (rs = .49, .56, and –.28, respectively; ps < .05). Conclusion Most demographic factors were weakly or moderately related to attitudes. Ideological variables were stronger correlates, with right‐wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientations correlating the most strongly. Significant amounts of heterogeneity for most variables suggest that more research is needed to explore interactions between these variables, and to identify relevant moderators of these relationships.
    May 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12162   open full text
  • Exploring poor sleep, mental health, and help‐seeking intention in university students.
    Marina L. Zochil, Einar B. Thorsteinsson.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 20, 2017
    Objective University students experience common mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and stress along with poor‐sleep quality. This study explores the relationships between these concepts and help‐seeking intention in a general Australian university student population. The primary aim was to examine the moderating effects of sleep quality on help‐seeking intention for common mental health problems. The secondary aim was to examine sex differences in help‐seeking behaviour. Method University students, between 18 and 55 years of age (M = 30.18, SD  = 11.37, N = 117) of which 98 were female, completed an on‐line survey assessing help‐seeking intentions, common mental health problems, and sleep quality. Results High levels of depression, anxiety, and stress were significantly associated with decreased sleep quality or decreased help‐seeking intention. A multiple regression analysis predicted that students were more likely to report intention to seek help if they had lower scores of depression, but higher scores of stress. Help‐seeking intention levels were lower for males than females. Poor‐sleep quality was not found to be a moderator of help‐seeking intention. Conclusion Although the proposed moderation effect of poor‐sleep quality on the relationship between common mental health problems and help‐seeking intention was not supported, the study advanced our knowledge of university students’ low intention to seek help, despite high scores of poor‐sleep quality. Implications for on‐campus interventions and raising awareness among students about these issues are discussed.
    March 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12160   open full text
  • Parental alienation: Targeted parent perspective.
    Sian Balmer, Mandy Matthewson, Janet Haines.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 17, 2017
    Objectives The aims of the study were to determine targeted parent experiences of parental alienation post‐separation from the alienating parent, and to investigate common targeted parent characteristics. Method A total of 225 targeted parents completed an online survey. Results Targeted parents reported experiencing high severity of exposure to parental alienation tactics. Targeted parent sex and targeted child age significantly predicted variance in exposure to parental alienation. Targeted mothers experienced significantly higher severity of exposure to parental alienation than targeted fathers. Severity of exposure to parental alienation tactics significantly predicted increases in the appraisal of the parental alienation situation as threatening. Conclusions The findings offered new insights into targeted parent appraisals of their parental alienation experience. The results signified the seriousness of the impact of exposure to parental alienation for targeted parents, and highlighted a need for empirical research into the effectiveness of interventions and support services to assist targeted parents.
    March 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12159   open full text
  • Understanding Australian university students’ mental health help‐seeking: An empirical and theoretical investigation.
    Wenjing Li, Linley A. Denson, Diana S. Dorstyn.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 17, 2017
    Objective To investigate correlates of Australian university students’ help‐seeking intentions and actual service usage, testing and extending new models based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour and the Behavioural Model of Health Services Use. Method 611 Australian domestic students (209 males and 402 females, mean age = 21 years; SD = 5.6) completed standardised measures and commented on facilitators, barriers, benefits, and potential improvements to student mental health services. Results A model based on Chinese university student data also fit the Australian data best. Bootstrapping revealed relationships between several predictors (knowledge concerning mental health and services, evaluated and perceived need, anticipated benefits, stigma concerns, and Asian values) and help‐seeking intentions were significantly mediated by attitudes toward help‐seeking and subjective norms. Logistic regression analysis identified predictors of service usage: help‐seeking intentions, perceived behavioural control, gender, study major, knowledge of mental health, social support, income, self‐rated mental health status, perceived need for help, and Asian values. Conclusions Practitioners need to consider psycho‐educational and marketing approaches to engage students, raise awareness of available services, increase understanding of mental illness and treatments, and reduce stigmatized attitudes.
    March 17, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12157   open full text
  • Anger rumination in Australia and Spain: Validation of the Anger Rumination Scale.
    Juan Ramos‐Cejudo, José M. Salguero, Lee Kannis‐Dymand, Esperanza García‐Sancho, Steven Love.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 03, 2017
    Objective Rumination has been empirically supported in the experience of anger. The Anger Rumination Scale ( ARS ) was developed to assess ruminative processes in anger. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the ARS in Australia and Spain. Method A large non‐clinical sample (N = 1,752) completed a battery including the ARS and measures of trait anger, anger expression and control, aggression, emotional symptoms, and emotion regulation strategies, to determine the factor structure, validity, and reliability of the ARS. Variations between the two cultural samples were also analysed. Results Confirmatory factor analysis verified the four‐factor structure of Angry Memories, Thoughts of Revenge, Angry Afterthoughts, and Understanding of Causes in both samples. Findings established good psychometric properties, evidence of convergent and discriminant validity, and associations in the expected direction with related variables. Males in both samples endorsed Thoughts of Revenge significantly higher. Spanish participants scored higher on Angry Memories and Understanding of Causes. Conclusions The ARS is a valid measure of anger rumination in Australian and Spanish populations. Further, gender and cultural variations may influence the tendency to engage in anger rumination.
    March 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12154   open full text
  • Employee engagement and emotional exhaustion of fly‐in‐fly‐out workers: A diary study.
    Simon L. Albrecht, Jeromy Anglim.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. February 21, 2017
    Objective Although fly‐in‐fly‐out (FIFO) work practices are widely used, little is known about their impact on the motivation and wellbeing of FIFO workers across the course of their work cycles. Drawing from the job demands‐resources model, we aimed to test for the within‐person effects of time of work cycle, job demands, and job resources on emotional exhaustion and employee engagement at 3‐day intervals. Method A total of 52 FIFO workers filled out three or more online diary surveys after every 3 days of their on‐site work roster. The survey consisted of items drawn from previously validated scales. Bayesian hierarchical modelling of the day‐level data was conducted. Results Workers, on average, showed a decline in engagement and supervisor support, and an increase in emotional demand over the course of the work cycle. The results of the hierarchical modelling showed that day‐level autonomy predicted day‐level engagement and that day‐level workload and emotional demands predicted emotional exhaustion. Conclusions The findings highlight the importance of managing FIFO employees’ day‐to‐day experiences of job demands and job resources because of their influence on employee engagement and emotional exhaustion. To best protect FIFO worker day‐level wellbeing, employing organisations should ensure optimal levels of job autonomy, workload, and emotional demands. Practical implications, study limitations and areas for future research are outlined.
    February 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12155   open full text
  • The impact of coping and resilience on anxiety among older Australians.
    Wendy Wen Li, Daniel J. Miller.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. January 19, 2017
    Objective: This study aims to explore the relationships between various coping types, resilience, and anxiety among older Australians. Particular attention is paid to whether resilience moderates coping's effect on anxiety. Method: A total of 324 Australians aged between 55 and 90 (M = 66.7, SD = 8.6) were surveyed as part of the study. Moderation was assessed using structural equation modelling and plots of simple slopes. Results: Significant negative correlations were detected between anxiety and both proactive coping and preventive coping. Higher levels of resilience were associated with lower levels of anxiety. Age moderated both proactive coping and reflective coping's effects on anxiety and gender moderated avoidance coping's effect on anxiety. Resilience was found to moderate the relationships between proactive coping and anxiety, and instrumental support seeking and anxiety. For those high in resilience, there was little association between anxiety and proactive coping or anxiety and instrumental support seeking. Among low resilience individuals, there was a negative association between proactive coping and anxiety, but a positive association between instrumental support seeking and anxiety. Conclusion: Resilience, proactive coping, and preventive coping are all important predictors of anxiety among older people. Among those who are low in resilience, proactively coping with stress may be particularly important for good mental health. The results of the study highlight the complexity of the relationship between resilience, coping, and anxiety among older people.
    January 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12152   open full text
  • Outcome proportions, numeracy, and attribute‐framing bias.
    Eyal Gamliel, Hamutal Kreiner.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. January 13, 2017
    Objectives An object presented positively is often judged more favourably than the same object described negatively even when the descriptions are logically equivalent. This difference, termed the attribute‐framing bias, has been shown to be affected by numeracy, such that less numerate individuals are more susceptible to the bias than highly numerate individuals. This article examines the hypothesis that less numerate individuals are less attentive to numerical information than highly numerate individuals; hence, their judgements rely more heavily on positive and negative words that elicit the bias. Method In two experiments, participants’ numeracy was measured, and they were asked to rate different scenarios while attribute framing was manipulated by presenting logically equivalent scenarios described with either positive or negative outcomes in three different proportions. Results Significant attribute‐framing effects were found in both experiments. Critically, less numerate participants were as sensitive to different outcome proportions as highly numerate participants. Nevertheless, numeracy affected attribute framing as hypothesised: Less numerate participants were typically more susceptible to attribute‐framing bias than highly numerate individuals. Conclusions Individual differences in sensitivity to numerical information did not modulate the effect of numeracy on attribute framing. We discuss the implications of these findings to understanding the cognitive processes underlying attribute‐framing bias.
    January 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12151   open full text
  • Predicting community attitudes towards asylum seekers: A multi‐component model.
    Cameron J. Croucamp, Moira O'Connor, Anne Pedersen, Lauren J. Breen.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. November 14, 2016
    Objective The current study investigated the role of cognitive, affective, and behavioural information in the prediction of overall attitudes towards asylum seekers. Method A sample of 98 Australian adults participated in an online self‐report questionnaire where participants generated their cognitive, affective, and behavioural factors towards asylum seekers and then rated those factors on a continuum from ‘positive’ to ‘negative’. Results Multiple regression analysis confirmed the primary role of cognitive, then affective, factors in predicting attitudes towards asylum seekers. Cognitive information accounted for a moderate, significant 31.92% of the variance in overall attitudes towards asylum seekers. The unique variance contributed by affective information accounted for a small but significant 3.46% of the variance in overall attitudes; the unique variance contributed by behavioural information was not significant. Conclusions The results provide a holistic theoretical basis for the assertion that community attitudes towards asylum seekers are based primarily on cognitive evaluations of the minority group. These findings have implications for changing community attitudes towards people seeking asylum in Australia.
    November 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12149   open full text
  • The impact of mindfulness meditation training on executive functions and emotion dysregulation in an Iranian sample of female adolescents with elevated attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
    Behnaz Kiani, Habib Hadianfard, John T. Mitchell.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. November 10, 2016
    Background Mindfulness‐based interventions improve a variety of clinical outcomes. Executive functioning (EF) and emotion dysregulation are among the proposed transdiagnostic mechanisms that such interventions are proposed to target. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the impact of mindfulness meditation training on EF and emotion dysregulation in a sample of female adolescents with elevations in attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms against a waitlist control condition. Method This study adopted a mixed 2 (treatment group, waitlist control group) × 2 (pre‐test, post‐test) design. Adolescent females (13–15 years old) exhibiting elevations in ADHD symptoms according to multiple informants were randomly assigned to a mindfulness treatment group (n = 15) or a waitlist control group (n = 15). Results Among EF laboratory tasks, planning and inhibition were higher in the treatment group relative to the control group with large effect sizes at post‐treatment. The treatment group also exhibited lower scores in self‐reported emotion dysregulation (total, nonacceptance of emotional responses, and impulse control difficulties) in comparison to the waitlist control group with large effect sizes at post‐treatment. Within group pre‐test and post‐test comparisons indicated improvement on particular facets of EF and emotion dysregulation only for the treatment group. Conclusions Mindfulness meditation training improved particular facets of EF and emotion dysregulation in adolescent females with elevations in ADHD symptoms. Treatment development efforts should target clinical populations that exhibit difficulties in these transdiagnostic mechanisms.
    November 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12148   open full text
  • Sleep and headaches: Relationships between migraine and non‐migraine headaches and sleep duration, sleep quality, chronotype, and obstructive sleep apnoea risk.
    Daniel P. Sullivan, Paul R. Martin.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. August 26, 2016
    Objectives Primary headache disorders affect a large proportion of the world's population, and sleep factors have been increasingly implicated in their aetiology. This study aimed to assess the relationships between a number of sleep factors, sleep duration, sleep quality, and chronotype, and migraine and non‐migraine headache. The approach was multifaceted which included assessing correlations with headache frequency, mediation effects of headache triggers, and diagnostic prediction modelling. Method A total of 378 participants retained in the dataset (85.2% female) completed a battery of online self‐report tests measuring headache diagnosis and triggers, sleep factors, psychological distress, and demographic factors. Results Poor sleep quality was the strongest correlate of both migraine and non‐migraine headache. Poor sleep quality also was found to mediate the effect of sensitivity to headaches triggered by lack of sleep, in the order of 10% of the effect. The predictive modelling showed that morning chronotype was a significant predictor of chronic migraine, and that evening chronotype and anxiety significantly predicted chronic non‐migraine headache diagnosis. Conclusions The results indicate the importance of sleep quality in the headache relationship, and how it may impact on headaches triggered by other sleep factors, namely, lack of sleep. Further investigation into the role of chronotype in headache aetiology is needed, particularly, based on two theories. The first being the Trigger Avoidance Model of Headaches, and the second being a stress‐based model related to social and occupational incompatibilities with the rhythms of more extreme morning or evening chronotypes.
    August 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12143   open full text
  • Can online participation on issues of asylum seeking lead to action? Understanding the intent to act.
    Fiona H. McKay, Matthew Dunn.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. August 26, 2016
    Objective Issues of refuge and asylum are often controversial in Australia, with misinformation, fear, and emotion often used to sway public opinion. The objective of this study was to understand individuals’ willingness to advocate on asylum seeker issues. Method Using an online survey, this study investigated the attitudes, opinions, and activities of those who had signed up to a Facebook page or newsletter of an asylum seeker support organisation. Results In total, 3,978 surveys were completed; 1,688 from people who were signed up to a regular newsletter, and 2,416 people who ‘liked’ the Facebook site. Most respondents were women, from Victoria, and were educated to at least the university level. Conclusions The findings of this study indicate that the engagement of those who had ‘liked’ the Facebook page were more Internet based, suggesting that when the cost of engaging action is low, people do little more than engage in token support, a number of interpretations for this finding are presented. Organisations need to consider how to engage this group in more ‘meaningful support’.
    August 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12147   open full text
  • Seeking help for psychological distress: Barriers for mental health professionals.
    Janet L. Edwards, Dimity A. Crisp.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. August 26, 2016
    Objective Mental health care is a demanding profession with high rates of stress and burnout. Given the implications of untreated illness, it is essential that mental health professionals feel able to seek help from appropriate service providers when required. This study investigated perceived barriers to disclosure and help‐seeking within this population. Methods A sample of 98 Australian mental health professionals and students (clinicians in training) completed an online survey assessing help‐seeking intentions and past behaviour, barriers to accessing care for mental ill health, and concerns regarding disclosure of mental health problems. Results Results indicated that while the majority of participants (89%) would seek help if they were distressed, 57% acknowledged that there had been a time when they would have benefited from seeking help but had not done so. Reported barriers to seeking help included wanting to solve the problem on their own, fear about colleagues finding out, and the potential for negative consequences relating to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's mandatory reporting requirement. Conclusions The findings provide initial evidence that despite good mental health literacy, and personal experience with mental illness, significant barriers exist for mental health professionals seeking help for mental health conditions. This is a significant area requiring further attention. Future research to better understand the perceived barriers and association between attitudes toward mental illness and help‐seeking in this population is required. Education around mandatory reporting requirements may help to improve help‐seeking behaviour.
    August 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12146   open full text
  • Scholarly productivity and citation impact of academic psychologists in Group of Eight universities.
    Nick Haslam, Michelle Stratemeyer, Adriana Vargas‐Sáenz.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. August 11, 2016
    Objective This study sought to update norms for scholarly publication and citation impact for Australian Group of Eight (Go8) university psychology academics published by McNally (2010). Method Publication and citation data for 279 Go8 psychology academics were extracted using the Scopus and Google Scholar databases. Norms for career‐wise publications, citations, and the h‐index were developed for each academic level (from Lecturer to Professor), and eight‐year publication counts for 2009–2016 were compared with the 2001–2008 figures reported by McNally. Results Evidence of a steep increase in scholarly productivity was found relative to McNally (2010), and new norms were generated. There was notable variation between psychology subdisciplines, with neuroscience and clinical science academics typically having higher publication and citation counts than their cognitive psychology peers. Conclusions Norms for scholarly productivity and citation impact among Australian psychology academics have undergone substantial change in recent years. Caveats concerning the application of research metrics are discussed.
    August 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12142   open full text
  • Women's experiences of parenting toddlers following postnatal depression.
    Valeria Nilova, Lynn Ward, Pauline Hall.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 27, 2016
    Objective The aim of this study was to gain an in‐depth understanding of the experience of women parenting toddlers and babies older than 6 months after taking part in a therapeutic support group for postnatal depression (PND). Method Thematic analysis was conducted following individual semi‐structured interviews conducted in 2014 with eight women whose children were aged between 6.5 months and 2.5 years. Results Three overarching themes and six subthemes reflecting how PND can affect parenting experiences beyond the immediate postpartum period were identified: (1) parental self‐perception; both positive: strength gained and unbroken bonds, and negative: high expectations, comparison to others and concerns about judgement; (2) parenting behaviour including difficulties regaining and managing control, and anger attributed to PND directed at siblings; and, (3) mixed feelings around partner support. Conclusion PND can impact parenting of children into toddlerhood, including parenting of an older sibling even when PND was not experienced at their birth. The importance of support in enhancing parenting skills following PND was highlighted.
    July 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12138   open full text
  • Intensity of vocal responses to spider and snake pictures in fearful individuals.
    Anders Flykt, Tanja Bänziger, Sofie Lindeberg.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 27, 2016
    Objective Strong bodily responses have repeatedly been shown in participants fearful of spiders and snakes when they see pictures of the feared animal. In this study, we investigate if these fear responses affect voice intensity, require awareness of the pictorial stimuli, and whether the responses run their course once initiated. Method Animal fearful participants responded to arrowhead‐shaped probes superimposed on animal pictures (snake, spider, or rabbit), presented either backwardly masked or with no masking. Their task was to say ‘up’ or ‘down’ as quickly as possible depending on the orientation of the arrowhead. Arrowhead probes were presented at two different stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA), 261 or 561 ms after picture onset. In addition to vocal responses, electrocardiogram, and skin conductance (SC) were recorded. Results No fear‐specific effects emerged to masked stimuli, thereby providing no support for the notion that fear responses can be triggered by stimuli presented outside awareness. For the unmasked pictures, voice intensity was stronger and SC response amplitude was larger to probes superimposed on the feared animal than other animals, at both SOAs. Heart rate changes were greater during exposure to feared animals when probed at 561 ms, but not at 261 ms, which indicates that a fear response can change its course after initiation. Conclusion Exposure to pictures of the feared animal increased voice intensity. No support was found for responses without awareness. Observed effects on heart rate may be due to change in parasympathetic activation during fear response.
    July 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12137   open full text
  • Expanding schema conceptualisation and assessment: Towards a richer understanding of adaptive and maladaptive functioning.
    Patrick R. Steffen, Charles H. Elliott, Maureen K. Lassen, Joseph Olsen, Laura L. Smith.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 27, 2016
    Objective From a variety of perspectives, moderate self‐views and behavioural patterns contribute to adaptive functioning. However, current conceptualisations and measurement of schemas take an exclusively unipolar, extreme approach to assessing schema domains primarily with highly negatively valenced content. The purpose of this study was to develop and examine a psychometrically sound and theoretically grounded measure that assesses moderate schemas and contrasts them with excessively high or low schemas using the Assessment of Schema Adaptability Profile (ASAP). Method A total of 233 participants (average age 36, 36% females, 70% white) completed the Adult Attachment Questionnaire and the Symptom Checklist 90‐Revised to assess well‐being as a validation instrument for the ASAP. The ASAP covers 10 schema dimensions (e.g., Entitled vs Unworthy) with items addressing overly positive, over negative, and moderate aspects of schema functioning. Results A single, moderate adaptive response pattern was evident across all profile domains. Those who endorsed excessively high or low responses loaded together and did not overlap with the moderate responders. Moderate responders reported increased well‐being and positive attachment, whereas excessive responders reported decreased well‐being and negative attachment. Conclusions Overall, the ASAP identifies and distinguishes between moderate and excessively high or low schemas and provides a unique, useful tool for conducting schema‐based research.
    July 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12141   open full text
  • Depression and physical disability in chronic pain: The mediation role of emotional intelligence and acceptance.
    Joana Costa, João Marôco, José Pinto‐Gouveia, Nuno Ferreira.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 12, 2016
    Objective Emotional intelligence (EI) and acceptance have previously been identified as potential factors in the adjustment to chronic pain (CP). This study examined the associations between CP experiences, depression, and physical disability. It further investigated the mediating effect of EI and acceptance in the relationship between CP experiences, depression, and physical disability and how this changes with the duration of the CP. Method A cross‐sectional design, employing validated questionnaires, was used to measure pain experience, physical disability, depression, EI, and acceptance in 133 CP patients. Results All variables were found to be significantly associated in theoretically predicted ways. The relationship between CP experiences and depression was mediated by both factors, as high EI and acceptance promoted a decreased influence of pain on depression. By contrast, the relationship between CP experiences and physical disability was mediated by acceptance, but not by EI. Further, the temporal stability analysis of this mediation model showed that long‐term CP patients are better able to make use of these factors. Conclusions The relationship between the experience of pain and depression or physical disability seems to be significantly mediated by factors such as EI and acceptance. This study lends further support to the development of more encompassing models that take both control and non‐control variables into account when conceptualising the adjustment to CP. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.
    July 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12131   open full text
  • The spider anxiety and disgust screening for children: Reliability and validity of a screening for children.
    Anke M. Klein, Rianne E. Niekerk, Jeanine M.D. Baartmans, Mike Rinck, Eni S. Becker.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 01, 2016
    Objectives Specific fears, such as fear of spiders, are often used as a model for studying the development of other fears because several studies suggest that the underlying processes of fear are similar. For the screening of spider fear in children, a good, fast, and reliable screening instrument is needed. Unfortunately, however, such an instrument does not appear to exist yet. Therefore, the purpose of this article was to develop a short, reliable, and valid questionnaire to assess spider fear and spider disgust in children, the Spider Anxiety and Disgust Screening for Children (SADS‐C). Methods In Study 1, we tested the items of the SADS‐C. In Study 2, we tested the psychometric properties related to the validity and reliability of the SADS‐C. In Study 3, we administered the SADS‐C in a large sample in order to provide normative data. Results The results indicate good validity and reliability of the SADS‐C; it was able to predict Spider Phobia Questionnaire for Children‐C, Screen for Child Anxiety‐Related Emotional Disorders‐animal, and Behavioural Assessment Test Scores. The studies were all community‐based samples; none of the children were actually seeking help for their spider fear. Conclusions The SADS‐C is a suitable questionnaire for assessing spider fear and disgust in children and is very suitable for epidemiological studies or for the screening of children in experimental research for which there is currently no appropriate instrument.
    July 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12132   open full text
  • Negative reactivity and parental warmth in early adolescence and depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood.
    Brendan Lloyd, Jacqui A. Macdonald, George J. Youssef, Tess Knight, Primrose Letcher, Ann Sanson, Craig A. Olsson.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 01, 2016
    Objective Cross‐sectional research suggests that relationships between temperamental negative reactivity and adolescent depressive symptoms may be moderated by parental warmth. The primary purpose of this study was to conduct the first prospective analysis of this relationship. Method Data from 1,147 families in an Australian population‐based longitudinal study were used to examine: (1) temporal relationships between negative reactivity in early adolescence (13–14 years) and depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood (19–20 years); (2) the moderating role of parent‐reported warmth in early adolescence (13–14 years); and (3) the moderating role of child gender. Hierarchical multiple regression was conducted to test the hypothesis that parental warmth would moderate the relationship between early adolescent negative reactivity and depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood. Results After accounting for previous depressive symptoms at age 13–14 years, negative reactivity was positively associated with later depressive symptoms. By contrast, parental warmth at 13–14 years was negatively associated with later depressive symptoms for females but not males. Parental warmth did not moderate the association between early adolescent negative reactivity and subsequent depressive symptoms. Conclusions This study was the first to use prospective data to assess the protective effects of early adolescent parental warmth on the association between negative reactive temperaments and early adult depressive symptoms. Findings suggest that parental warmth for negatively reactive children provides only concurrent protection against subsequent depressive risk. This study did not examine parent–child transactional models, which may, in future longitudinal research, improve understanding of how trajectories of parent–child goodness‐of‐fit contribute to depressive symptoms.
    July 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12129   open full text
  • Task values and self‐efficacy beliefs of undergraduate psychology students.
    Rebecca A. Green, Elizabeth G. Conlon, Shirley A. Morrissey.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 11, 2016
    Objective Psychological literacy has been proposed as an outcome for psychology graduates, which requires an understanding of and integration between theory, research, and practice. Using the expectancy‐value theory, the current study aimed to examine psychology students’ values and self‐efficacy towards these domains. Method Three hundred and nineteen psychology students (M age = 26.25, SD = 10.26) reported on their social influences, task values, and self‐efficacy beliefs for theory, research, and practice. Results Using 3 (Year) × 3 (Domain) mixed factorial analyses of variance (ANOVAs), it was shown that students have poorer task values and lower self‐efficacy towards research than theory or practice. A consistent effect of year was not found for task values, but students’ self‐efficacy beliefs showed an effect of training, with first years reporting poorer self‐efficacy than middle and fourth‐year students. Results indicated that students hold contrasting views of what they perceive friends and family to value compared to their perception of what academic staff value. Conclusions It was recommended that the undergraduate curriculum promote equal values across theory, research, and practice by integrating education in the three domains. Utility interventions are discussed as a cost‐effective way to improve task values and performance in learning domains that are not well‐valued by students.
    May 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12125   open full text
  • Psychological distress among Australian welfare recipient job seekers.
    Edward Helmes, Melody‐Anna Fudge.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. April 21, 2016
    Objective The frequency of psychological distress amongst welfare recipient job seekers in Australia has largely been neglected by researchers and social policy experts. A link between a high level of psychological distress and reduced capacity to work has recently been identified. This is of significant concern as welfare recipients are increasingly expected to participate in programmes in exchange for their welfare payments. The objective of this project was to estimate the frequency of psychological distress amongst this population and to identify characteristics associated with an increased risk of distress. Method A sample of 519 income support job seekers aged 15–64 years was interviewed using the Kessler Psychological Distress scale. Results Forty‐five per cent of the sample met the clinical criteria for psychological distress and were deemed likely to have a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 4th ed., (DSM‐IV) diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety. Several risk factors for psychological distress were identified, including being aged between 40 and 54 years, being female, and being classed as long‐term unemployed. Conclusions Findings from this study now provide some Australian figures on the frequency of psychological distress amongst welfare recipient job seekers. The implementation of social policy changes in intervention programmes is recommended to improve the psychological well‐being of welfare recipient job seekers in Australia and ensure their capacity to meet income support obligations.
    April 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12123   open full text
  • ‘Fat, four‐eyed and female’ 30 years later: A replication of Harris, Harris, and Bochner's (1982) early study of obesity stereotypes.
    Sharon L. Grant, Toby Mizzi, Jeromy Anglim.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. April 12, 2016
    Objective This study aimed to replicate Harris, Harris, and Bochner's (1982) early experiment on obesity stereotyping to examine whether negative obesity stereotypes persist and in what form. Method A sample of psychology students (N = 506) read a description of a target described as female or male, overweight or average weight, and wearing glasses or not, who they subsequently rated on 12 descriptors. Results Overweight targets were rated as significantly less active, assertive, athletic, attractive, happy, hardworking, masculine, popular, and successful than average weight targets. This negative stereotype effect of target weight was much larger than effects observed for sex or wearing glasses. There were no differences in effect sizes for target weight between this study and the original study. Conclusions It was concluded that the negative obesity stereotypes reported by Harris et al. have persisted over a 30‐year period, despite the fact that people who are overweight are no longer a minority. Efforts are needed to challenge negative stereotyping of this group. Future research could examine why stereotypes of overweight people are resistant to change.
    April 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12107   open full text
  • The relationship between extraversion and physical attractiveness of online network users assessed by personnel recruiters.
    Sergei Shchebetenko, Alexandra Y. Bergfeld.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. April 12, 2016
    Objective The objective of the study was threefold. First, we examined whether extraversion contributes to the evaluations of an online social network user's physical attractiveness made by professional recruiters. We studied if this relationship is mediated by a degree of user's activity and popularity among other users. Second, we presumed this relationship to be specified in terms of the five‐factor theory of personality. A type of characteristic adaptation named reflected extraversion was assumed to incrementally contribute to this relationship. Reflected extraversion is a meta‐perception representing one's opinion on how extraverted one is as perceived by significant others. Third, user popularity treated as an external influence in terms of the five‐factor theory was presumed to reciprocally affect reflected extraversion. Method Profiles of 188 online social network users were assessed by four professional recruiters. The latter were asked to evaluate the physical attractiveness of the former. The users completed a number of self‐report measures. Various behavioural indicators extracted from the profiles were measured. Results Extraversion enhanced recruiter‐rated physical attractiveness via two paths: user activity and user popularity. The inclusion of reflected extraversion failed to improve the model substantially. However, reflected extraversion mediated the link between trait extraversion and the indicators of user popularity but not the indicators of user activity. The reciprocal path from user popularity towards reflected extraversion was negligible. Conclusions The study shows that extraversion may allow people to efficiently manage online networking to convince recruiters that they are physically attractive, even in the absence of any offline communications.
    April 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12108   open full text
  • Mental health service use and ethnicity: An analysis of service use and time to access treatment by South East Asian‐, Middle Eastern‐, and Australian‐born patients within Sydney, Australia.
    Shanna Logan, David Rouen, Renate Wagner, Zachary Steel, Caroline Hunt.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 24, 2016
    Objective The current research aimed to assess the association between country of birth and use of a specialised mental health service in Sydney, Australia. Methods Patient file data were analysed from individuals who accessed the Clinic for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress in Western Sydney between 1996 and 2010. Patients had undergone a clinical assessment and research interview prior to receiving treatment. Data on demographic information and health history were extracted from these files. South East (SE) Asian‐ and Middle Eastern‐born minority groups were compared with an Australian‐born majority group, using country of birth as a proxy measure of ethnicity. Ratios of service use by group were compared with data on ethnicities residing within the local government area health district. Results Relative to the local population, country of birth minority status was associated with fewer patients accessing the service, with SE Asian‐born patients reporting low service use across all cohorts studied. However, Middle Eastern‐born patients' service utilisation increased over time, becoming commensurate with the local population. Middle Eastern‐born patients reported a significantly shorter delay to seek treatment compared with Australian‐born patients, although no significant differences were reported between ethnic minority groups. Conclusions Differences between SE Asian‐ and Middle Eastern‐born groups in service utilisation patterns over time and treatment delay relative to an Australian‐born group highlight the importance of better understanding the impact of ethnicity on service use.
    March 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12113   open full text
  • Living situation and perceived parental financial support as protective factors against financial strain among Australian university students.
    Stuart J. Watson, Bonnie L. Barber, Suzanne Dziurawiec.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 21, 2016
    Objective This study examines how differences among young adults' residential arrangements and parental support are related to variation in university students' financial and psychological well‐being. Method Six‐hundred four students completed an online survey about financial experiences and support, and well‐being. Students were split into four groups depending on their living situation and perceptions of adequate parental support. A multi‐groups approach tested test path differences among the groups. Results Living at home with parents combined with perceiving lower parental financial support was associated with lower financial strain and higher psychological well‐being, compared with reporting higher financial support when living at home, and living out of home regardless of support (p < .001). For students living outside of the parental home and perceiving inadequate parental financial support, economising was most strongly associated with perceived financial strain (p < .05), which in turn most strongly predicted lower well‐being (p < .05). Conclusions It is suggested that the non‐monetary assistance provided by remaining in the family home nullifies the protective benefits of perceiving adequate parental financial support; however, when living away from the parental home, perceiving adequate parental financial support can buffer negative effects of financial strain on well‐being.
    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12100   open full text
  • Comparative optimism: An automatised self‐presentational answer? The contribution of response times.
    Florence Spitzenstetter, Sarah Schimchowitsch.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 21, 2016
    Objective Our study sought to explore, by using response time measures, the cognitive effort associated with comparative optimism expression (CO) and its modulation. More precisely, our aim was to decide between two opposite options: (1) expressing CO as a self‐serving bias (presenting oneself as better than others) will require less cognitive effort than restraining CO; and (2) modulating CO depending on social context will be effortless, thus for example restraining CO as a normative self‐presentational answer (for presenting oneself modestly) will require less cognitive effort than expressing CO. Methods Participants answered a CO questionnaire in two social contexts in which CO is socially valued (professional domain) or not valued (friendship domain). They had to answer either spontaneously or in order to convey a favourable or an unfavourable impression. Answers and times needed to respond were recorded. Results The present data revealed that participants were slower when restraining CO to convey a negative image to an employer or to depict a modest self to a friend. Conversely, they were faster when expressing CO to convey a favourable image to a recruiter or a negative one to a friend. In the spontaneous condition, a same level of CO was expressed, but response times were lengthened in the friendship domain. Conclusion Overall, these results suggest that in comparing one's own risk with that of an average other, restraining CO according to the socially valued self‐presentational standard of modesty corresponds to a strenuous answer. Consequently, expressing CO might represent a more overlearned, automatised self‐presentational answer.
    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12112   open full text
  • Youth with Tourette syndrome: Parental perceptions and experiences in the Australian context.
    Deirdre O'Hare, Valsamma Eapen, Rachel Grove, Edward Helmes, Kerry McBain, John Reece.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 21, 2016
    Objective To enhance understandings of the impact of Tourette Syndrome (TS) on the parents of diagnosed youth. Specifically, the current study aimed to explore and identify the multidimensional stressors associated with parenting a child or adolescent with TS in the Australian context. Method As part of a larger qualitative and quantitative community‐based study, semi‐structured telephone interviews with 22 mothers of youth with TS were conducted regarding their experiences. Results The study identified parent, child, and contextual factors that contributed to parental stress, with many mirroring the experiences of parents of children with other chronic paediatric disorders. However, several TS‐specific factors also emerged from the data analysis, highlighting the unique difficulties encountered by parents of diagnosed youth. Serious deficits in professional expertise and services currently available for the TS community were also identified. Conclusions Findings indicate the generally unacknowledged challenge of parenting a child with TS, which equates with that experienced in the context of other serious chronic paediatric disorders. Results also indicate the need for psychosocial support for both child and parent, and greatly improved access to well‐informed mental health and educational services in the Australian context.
    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12111   open full text
  • Assessing mobile phone dependency and teens' everyday life in Hong Kong.
    Chi‐hung Leung.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 21, 2016
    Objectives Hong Kong has among the highest mobile phone usage rates in Asia. Although the mobile phone may foster adolescents’ communication with parents and peers, there is also concern that some teens may become dependent on the mobile phone. The present study investigated the psychometric properties of the Mobile Phone Dependence Questionnaire (MPDQ) in a sample of young adolescents. Method The MPDQ was translated and validated in a Hong Kong sample of adolescents (N = 733) from S1 (ages 11–12), S2 (ages 12–13), and S5 (ages 16–17) in six schools representing various levels of socioeconomic status. A subset of 27 students participated in focus groups on the topic of adolescents’ mobile phone usage. Result Confirmatory factor analysis identified three psychological factors represented in adolescents’ responses to the MPDQ: compulsive text messaging, making and receiving a high number of calls, and obsessive thinking about using the mobile phone. Using the criterion of a score 2 standard deviations above the mean, 3.41% of students would be classified as showing mobile phone dependency, with a higher rate among females than males. Discussion Positive examples of mobile phone usage were mobile parenting to monitor children, and children's use of the phone to seek mobile tutoring from teachers. E‐counselling and e‐tutoring are suggested as ways to provide support to adolescents using technology that is already an integral part of their lives.
    March 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12115   open full text
  • Veterinary nurses' psychological well‐being: The impact of patient suffering and death.
    Rebecca E. Deacon, Paula Brough.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 16, 2016
    Objective Preliminary evidence suggests veterinary nurses are an at‐risk population for high levels of occupational stress. This study sought to advance knowledge of occupational stress in this under‐researched professional group by applying the Job Demands–Resources model to assess predictors of psychological strain, work‐related burnout, and work engagement. Method Research participants consisted of 144 veterinary nurses employed within one Australian state (response rate of 41%). Data were obtained via an anonymous self‐report questionnaire. All research participation was voluntary. Results Analyses indicated the mean level of work‐related burnout in this sample exceeded that of normative samples in human health‐care professions. We also found that although both generic and occupation‐specific job demands were significantly associated with levels of psychological strain and burnout, generic job demands accounted for a greater proportion of variance. Only direct effects were produced for the association of both workplace social support and job control with work engagement; no evidence was found for the moderating effects of these two job resources. Conclusions The findings both validate and challenge the tenets of the Job Demands–Resources explanation of occupation stress. Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.
    March 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12119   open full text
  • Trauma exposure and post‐traumatic stress disorder within fire and emergency services in Western Australia.
    Petra M. Skeffington, Clare S. Rees, Trevor Mazzucchelli.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 16, 2016
    Objective While it is widely accepted that fire and emergency work is of high risk for potentially traumatic event exposure and post‐trauma pathology, there has been limited published data regarding Australian fire and emergency service workers. The relationship between trauma exposure and mental health outcomes, in particular the significance of social support and coping style was explored. Method Participants were 210 Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) career firefighters in Western Australia (WA). This study employed a cross‐sectional, correlational design, with a combination of self‐selection and random sampling. Results Results found that DFES career members were exposed to trauma at significantly higher rates than the general population and reported elevated rates of post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology. Trauma exposure, social support, and coping style significantly contributed to variation in PTSD symptomatology, with maladaptive coping strategies accounting for more PTSD variance than adaptive coping. Conclusions Elevated rates of PTSD identify WA DFES members as a high risk population. There was evidence that trauma exposure, social support, and coping style significantly contributed to levels of PTSD symptomatology. Maladaptive coping strategies, such as distraction, substance use, venting and self‐blame, accounted for more variance in PTSD symptomatology than adaptive coping strategies, indicating that prevention or treatment interventions may be most effective by targeting reduction of maladaptive coping strategies, with a secondary focus on building adaptive coping strategies.
    March 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12120   open full text
  • Sexual behaviour in early adolescence: A cross‐national comparison of Australian and United States youth.
    Laura E. Prendergast, Rachel K. Leung, John W. Toumbourou, Angela Taft, Barbara J. McMorris, Richard F. Catalano.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 16, 2016
    Objective This study used matched samples from schools in the states of Victoria and Washington to compare sexual behaviour in early adolescence. It was hypothesised that the contrasting dominant policy objectives of harm minimisation in Australia and abstinence in the USA would result in state differences for markers of sexual risk, mirroring prior cross‐national findings in substance use. Method A two‐stage cluster sampling approach was used to recruit students from the two states. Self‐reported sexual behaviour was examined for 1,596 students in annual surveys from Grade 7 in 2002 to Grade 9 in 2004. Prevalence estimates were derived for each measure of sexual behaviour, and comparisons were made between gender groups in each state. Results State differences were found for girls' first sex, with significantly more girls in Washington than Victoria having had sex by Grade 7. By Grade 9, significantly more girls in Victoria reported sex in the last year and more sexual partners than girls in Washington. A large proportion of Grade 9 students across both states reported inconsistent contraception use. Conclusions Contradicting the abstinence policy objective, first sex by Grade 7 was more prevalent in Washington than in Victoria. While sexual behaviour was more prevalent in Grade 9 in Victoria, the sexually active showed no clear cross‐national differences in markers of risk such as contraception use and pregnancy outcomes. Findings demonstrate few cross‐national differences in adolescent sexual behaviour despite the different policy contexts of Victoria and Washington.
    March 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12118   open full text
  • Mediating role of psychiatric symptoms on the relationship between learned resourcefulness and life satisfaction among Turkish university students.
    Berna Guloglu.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. February 25, 2016
    Objective The transition from high school to higher education can be stressful for some students. Stressful situations can put individuals at risk of developing adverse psychological problems. The aim of the current study was to investigate the mediating role of psychiatric symptoms in the relationship between learned resourcefulness and life satisfaction of university students. Method Data were collected from 389 (285 women, 73.26%) Turkish university students from first year through senior year. To collect data, Rosenbaum's Learned Resourcefulness Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, and Brief Symptom Inventory were administered during a class period. A structural equation modelling (SEM) methodology was utilised to assess associations among variables. Results The SEM results indicated that the hypothesised model provided a good fit to the data. The findings revealed that learned resourcefulness as a psychological strength influenced life satisfaction both directly and indirectly via the mediating effect of psychiatric symptoms. In other words, highly resourceful university students reported low level of psychiatric symptoms, which in turn were associated with life satisfaction. Conclusions The implications of the findings were discussed in terms of cultural factors and intervention strategies for the enhancement of learned resourcefulness and life satisfaction among university students.
    February 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12122   open full text
  • Australian young adults’ tanning behaviour: The role of ideal skin tone and sociocultural norms.
    Ashley K. Day, Carlene J. Wilson, Amanda D. Hutchinson, Rachel M. Roberts.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. February 25, 2016
    Objective Decreasing intentional tanning behaviour is a critical area of skin cancer prevention. Research evidence that tanning behaviour is significantly influenced by appearance motivations exists. The Tripartite Influence Model posits that internalisation of ideals about body image mediates the relationship between sociocultural norms and appearance‐related behaviour and has been demonstrated primarily in the domain of weight. This study aimed to assess whether ideal skin tone (internalisation of a tanned ideal) mediated the endorsement of sociocultural norms about attractiveness of tanned skin and 12‐month tanning behaviour. Method Young adult participants (N = 514) from the university (removed for blind review) were surveyed regarding their ideal skin tone and sociocultural norm endorsement. Results At 12‐month follow‐up, 246 participants reported their tanning behaviour over the previous year. Results indicated that the internalisation of a tanned ideal mediated the relationship between sociocultural norms and tanning behaviour for females but not males. Young adult males also desired a tanned appearance, and peer sociocultural perceptions were associated with male tanning behaviour. Conclusions This research lends support to the proposition that the Tripartite Influence Model has explanatory power for tanning behaviour. We recommend that future research involving young adults incorporate skin tone and tanning as a component of body image alongside body shape and eating behaviours.
    February 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12121   open full text
  • Providing depth information in the display for pursuit and compensatory tracking and optimization in 3‐D space.
    Hongyan Liu, Mengdan Sun, Haili Ye, Duming Wang, Liezhong Ge.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. January 07, 2016
    Objective The formats of tracking displays exert important influences on tracking performance. Few previous studies explored the 3‐D tracking display formats. The present study aimed to construct the 3‐D formats for the manual pursuit and compensatory tracking displays by adding the depth information. Based on the results of tracking performance, we further optimized the preferable tracking format. Method Three experiments were conducted. Experiment 1 was a confirmatory experiment to compare the effects of the two display formats on 2‐D manual tracking performance with previous studies. Experiment 2 extended the investigation to a 3‐D display by adding a depth cue indicating the relative size of the control marker and target. Experiment 3 was an optimisation experiment in which an improved 3‐D tracking display was modified, i.e., an extra depth cue was complemented to clearly signify the relative position of the target and the control marker. Results Pursuit tracking performance was better than compensatory tracking performance in both 2‐D (Experiment 1) and 3‐D space (Experiment 2). It also found that the extra depth cue significantly improved the tracking success rate and the subjective satisfaction of the pursuit display format in 3‐D space (Experiment 3). Conclusions These findings indicated that the depth cues could be used in tracking display in 3‐D space and have important implications for the design of some motor training and tracking systems.
    January 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12117   open full text
  • Crowdsourcing participants for psychological research in Australia: A test of Microworkers.
    Damien L. Crone, Lisa A. Williams.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 23, 2015
    Objective Australian researchers interested in studying psychological phenomena using Australian samples have a limited range of reliable sampling options, often limited to undergraduate participant pools and convenience samples subject to well‐known limitations. To expand the range of sampling options available, we attempted to validate the crowdsourcing platform, Microworkers, as a viable tool for collecting data from Australian participants. Method Across two studies, 122 Australian participants were recruited via Microworkers to complete a demographic survey (Studies 1 and 2), personality questionnaire (Study 2), and a standard decision‐making task designed to elicit a framing effect (Study 2). Results Providing a first indication of the viability of Microworkers as a recruitment platform for Australian participants by Australian researchers, we were successful in acquiring our desired sample size. Moreover, the recruited Microworkers samples were demographically diverse (in a similar fashion to Internet samples in general), and produced valid psychological data. Conclusion Overall, these results provide promising preliminary evidence for Microworkers as a viable platform for the recruitment of Australian participants for psychological research, and for Australian researchers interested in crowdsourced participants more generally.
    December 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12110   open full text
  • Language development mediates the relationship between gender and relational aggression: A study of Iranian preschool children.
    Maryam Razmjoee, Paul H. Harnett, Ameneh Shahaeian.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. November 23, 2015
    Objective Research has highlighted the role of gender in the expression of aggression. While boys display higher levels of physical aggression, girls appear to display higher levels of relational aggression. It is proposed that the expression of relational aggression may be associated, at least in part, with a child's development of language skills. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of expressive and receptive language in the expression of relational aggression. Method A sample of 106 four to six‐year‐old Iranian children completed a test of language ability while their teachers completed a rating scale measuring the children's expression of relational aggression. Results Results supported the hypothesis that language skills play an important role in the development of relational aggression. Teachers reported that girls displayed significantly more relational aggression that boys. Girls were also found to have higher receptive and expressive language than boys. Finally, a mediation analysis found that language skills mediated the relationship between gender and relational aggression. Conclusions The results suggest that gender differences in the expression of relational aggression may be related to gender differences in the development of language as opposed to gender per se.
    November 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12109   open full text
  • Socio‐demographic, health, and psychological correlates of suicidality severity in Australian adolescents.
    Paul H. Delfabbro, Catia Malvaso, Anthony H. Winefield, Helen R. Winefield.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. November 05, 2015
    Objective Few studies have examined whether factors related to suicide ideation alone are also related to suicide plans and attempts. The aim of this study was to examine the psychological and social factors associated with different levels of suicide risk in Australian adolescents. Method A sample of 2,552 young people aged 14–16 years completed a detailed survey that included demographic, social, and psychological indicators as well as a four‐tier measure of suicidality: occasional ideation, regular ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts. Separate statistical models were developed for each level of suicide risk as well as an overall multinomial logistic regression to compare more severe levels of suicidality against occasional ideation. Results The results showed that while most well‐established predictors were indicative of elevations of each level of suicide risk, only some factors predicted suicide attempts. The highest suicide attempt risk was observed in girls, those who smoked, had romantic relationships, and who had poorer health. Students with concerns about their weight, who used marijuana, who had more negative mood states, and who were in romantic relationships were more likely to have suicide plans. Conclusions The results suggest that the identification of young people at highest risk of suicide attempts can be enhanced by focusing on specific indicators, including gender (females higher), smoking and marijuana use, and declines in physical health.
    November 05, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12104   open full text
  • Measures of eating disorder symptoms, drive for muscularity, and muscle dysmorphia: Norms and typologies of Australian men.
    Elizabeth K. Hughes, Cassandra Dean, J. Sabura Allen.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. November 05, 2015
    Objective The study aimed to provide normative data on measures of eating disorder symptoms, drive for muscularity, and muscle dysmorphia in men, and to identify typologies based on these measures. Method A community sample of 284 Australian men (19–84 years) completed the Eating Attitudes Test‐26, Eating Disorder Examination‐questionnaire, Clinical Impairment Assessment Questionnaire, Drive for Muscularity Scale, and Muscle Dysmorphia Inventory. Internal consistency, means, standard deviations, and percentile ranks were calculated for each measure, and results were compared with published findings on men from North America and Germany. A cluster analysis was also conducted. Results Internal consistency was adequate to excellent across most measures, and scores were similar to those of men in other countries. Cluster analysis identified three typologies: men with high muscularity, shape, and weight concerns as well as high dieting and exercise dependence; men with moderate shape and weight concerns, moderate muscularity concerns, and high dieting; and men with low to moderate scores across all measures. Conclusions The normative data provided will be an important resource for researchers and clinicians needing to utilise and interpret measures of eating disorder, muscle dysmorphia, and drive for muscularity with men. In addition, the typologies identified suggest that when assessing men attention should be paid to attitudes and behaviours related to both drive for muscularity and drive for thinness.
    November 05, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12105   open full text
  • An empirical investigation of the incidence of negative psychological symptoms among Chinese international students at an Australian university.
    Kylie Redfern.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. October 30, 2015
    Objective To examine comparative levels of depression, anxiety, and stress among a sample of Chinese international students and local Australian students studying at a major Australian university, and to elicit the main sources of symptoms in these groups. Method The study used the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS‐42) to measure scores on each of the subscales in a sample of 201 undergraduate students. Differences between the local students, Australian students, and Chinese international students are reported. Qualitative data are analysed to determine the main sources of students' psychological symptoms. Results Australian students' stress levels fell between the ‘mild’ to ‘moderate’ categories, while Chinese students' stress levels fell within the ‘moderate’ category. Anxiety levels were between ‘normal’ and ‘mild’ for Australian students, and between ‘moderate’ and ‘severe’ for Chinese students. Depression levels fell in the upper range of ‘normal’ for both groups. Chinese students' levels of both stress and anxiety were significantly higher than for local students. Academic, life balance, and family factors were found to be the main sources of stress for Chinese students. Conclusions Chinese international students experience significantly higher levels of anxiety and stress than their Australian counterparts, and the causes of these appear to be culture‐specific. Universities have a duty of care to address the phenomena of psychological morbidity among Chinese international students. Approaches to psychological support services, including counselling and academic support, should be culturally specific and must be reinforced constantly during the semester as stress and anxiety accumulate.
    October 30, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12106   open full text
  • Social‐economic theory and short‐term mate preferences: The effects of gender roles and socioeconomic status.
    Evita March, Rachel Grieve.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. October 08, 2015
    Objective Men's and women's mate preferences in long‐term relationships have been extensively considered in research. However, men's and women's short‐term mate preferences have not received nearly as much attention. In particular, theoretical origins of men's and women's short‐term mate preferences have received limited consideration in comparison to long‐term relationships. Specifically, although evolutionary origins of short‐term mate preferences have been discussed, elements of social‐economic theory (i.e., socioeconomic status (SES) and gender roles) have not yet been explored. The current study sought to address the gap in the literature concerning short‐term mate preferences and social‐economic theory. Method Seven hundred eighty‐one participants were recruited to complete a questionnaire that included the mate budget paradigm. Results For men, results showed significant independent effects of SES and gender roles on a short‐term mate's physical attractiveness scores, but no significant interaction. Results also showed no significant main effect of SES and gender roles on short‐term mate's social level scores, although there was a significant interaction between a masculine gender role and medium and high SES. For women, there were no independent or interactive effects of SES and gender roles on physical attractiveness and social level scores. Discussion Results were interpreted in relation to both evolutionary and social‐economic theories, specifically discussing strategic pluralism and sexual strategies theories. Results of the study highlight the need for increased awareness of independent and interactional effects of social‐economic theory elements on men's and women's short‐term mate preferences, and further exploration of relationships outside the dichotomy of long and short term.
    October 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12102   open full text
  • The Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire: Psychometric validation for an Australian population.
    Sharelle L. Kostoglou, Aileen M. Pidgeon.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. September 10, 2015
    Objective The aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the English‐language edition of the Cognitive Distortions Questionnaire (CD‐Quest) and to examine its utility as a clinical assessment tool of cognitive distortions. Materials and Method The CD‐Quest is a comprehensive assessment measure of 15 cognitive distortions along the dimensions of frequency and intensity. To examine the psychometric properties of the CD‐Quest, a sample of 127 university students (22 male, 105 female) completed an online survey composed of the CD‐Quest, Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ), and Depression Anxiety Stress Scale short‐version (DASS). Results Confirmatory factor analysis supports the unifactorial structure proposed by the Brazilian–Portuguese edition. Internal consistency was adequate at .80. Strong positive correlations for the subscales of frequency and intensity (r between .78 and .90) demonstrate validity of the subscales. Convergent validity with the ATQ (r = .57) and the DASS subscales of depression (r = .45), anxiety (r = .38), and stress (r = .41) was observed. The sensitivity to delineate between groups with and without symptomology for depression, anxiety, and stress supports the validity of the measure. Conclusions Psychometric analysis demonstrated the CD‐Quest to be a valid and reliable unifactorial assessment tool of cognitive distortions. Although further studies using clinical samples are needed, these findings provide preliminary support for the use of the CD‐Quest in the assessment of cognitive distortions among individuals experiencing depression, anxiety, and stress‐related disorders.
    September 10, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12101   open full text
  • Beliefs as barriers to healthy eating and physical activity.
    Anna M. Ross, Trish Melzer.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. August 14, 2015
    Objectives Insufficient engagement in healthy eating and physical activity remains a major health concern, significantly contributing to mortality rates worldwide. This study investigated the barriers to, and the psychological factors surrounding, healthy eating and physical activity, as experienced by an under‐researched community sample. Methods A sample of 741 Australian adults completed an online survey, reporting their physical activity levels, current diet, knowledge of physical activity, and healthy eating recommendations, and the barriers encountered to these health behaviours. Participants also answered questions about self‐efficacy, locus of control, and outcome expectancies in regard to these health behaviours. Results Increased perception of barriers was found to be associated with decreased participation in both healthy eating and physical activity. Knowledge of nutrition recommendations predicted fruit and vegetable intake, while knowledge of physical activity recommendations did not predict activity levels. Higher self‐efficacy was found in those who engaged in recommended amounts of physical activity, but did not differ between fruit and vegetable consumption groups. Conclusions Perceived barriers to healthy eating and physical activity affect participation in health behaviours across the population. Negative beliefs surrounding time, cost, effort, and expected outcomes, as well as procedural knowledge to carry out health behaviours, need to be addressed to facilitate health behaviours. Implications These findings are relevant to inform health promotion and lifestyle interventions to better equip individuals with the information and skills required to overcome the barriers preventing these health behaviours.
    August 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12103   open full text
  • Exploring the associated factors of elevated psychological distress in a community residing sample of Australian Chinese migrants.
    Jie Hu, Zhiqiang Wang.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. June 02, 2015
    Objective Chinese migrants have a low utilisation of mental health services but a high proportion of involuntary admissions to mental health services in Australia. This study aims to screen for psychological distress among Australian Chinese migrants and to understand the potential correlates that contribute to elevated psychological distress in this population. Method Chinese migrants were recruited through several social websites to complete an online health survey. A total of 414 participants (female 55%; male 45%) aged 14–63 years completed a Kessler 6‐item scale and a questionnaire that collected information on demographics as well as health‐related behaviours and perceptions. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the associations between demographic, health‐related factors and moderate to high level of psychological distress. Results The findings indicated that Chinese migrants, who are young, single, currently studying, and have stayed in Australia less than 5 years, tended to report significantly higher levels of psychological distress. This study also revealed that the participants' level of satisfaction of primary health services is associated with psychological distress (odds ratio: 0.34; 95% confidence interval: 0.17–0.66). Conclusions This exploratory study adds important information about the prevalence and correlates of psychological distress among Australian Chinese migrants. Intervention programmes tailored to improve migrants' level of satisfaction of the Australian primary health‐care services may contribute to the mental health well‐being of Chinese migrants in Australia.
    June 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12099   open full text
  • Low‐level environmental lead exposure still negatively associated with children's cognitive abilities.
    Rachel Earl, Nicholas Burns, Ted Nettelbeck, Peter Baghurst.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. June 02, 2015
    Objective We explored relationships between children's cognitive abilities measured with the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children‐Fourth Edition and blood lead levels. Methods Participants were 127 children (mean age = 7.9 years, standard deviation = 0.6) from Australian cities, Port Pirie, and Broken Hill, with low‐level blood lead concentrations (mean = 4.8 microgram/decilitre, standard deviation = 3.3, range = 1.0–19.3). Potential covariates (demographic, parental, familial, psycho‐social, pre‐ and post‐natal factors) were controlled statistically. Results Unadjusted analyses found moderate, continuous, and statistically significant inverse, non‐linear associations between blood lead level and three of the four cognitive indices that combine to deliver Full Scale IQ. In addition to blood lead level, variables that consistently explained most variance in cognitive performance were breastfeeding up to 6 months and stressful life events reported within the family for the past 12 months. In multiple regression analyses, after controlling for these, blood lead level remained a significant predictor of cognitive outcomes. Conclusion These results support the hypothesis that blood lead levels below 10 micrograms/decilitre may still have a detrimental impact on children's cognitive abilities, supporting recent concern that there is no safe level of paediatric lead exposure.
    June 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12096   open full text
  • Sleep well feel well: An investigation into the protective value of sleep quality on subjective well‐being.
    Melissa K. Weinberg, Jacqueline M. Noble, Thomas G. Hammond.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. June 02, 2015
    Objective Getting a good night's sleep is important to ensure we function most effectively in our waking lives. One area that is particularly compromised when adequate sleep is not achieved is affect regulation, which has implications for subjective well‐being (SWB). Through the lens of homeostasis theory, an investigation into the relationship between self‐reported sleep quality, stress, and SWB was undertaken in an Australian sample, with the primary aim to further understanding of the importance of sleep and its role with regard to affect regulation. Method The study included 488 Australian participants (77% female) with a mean age of 28.71 (standard deviation = 10.61) who were recruited via advertisements on social media websites. Participants completed measures of SWB, sleep quality, dreaming, and stress. Results Using a bootstrapped mediation analysis, sleep quality was found to partially mediate the relationship between stress and SWB. These results were further explored using a two‐way analysis of variance, which revealed significant main effects for sleep and stress on SWB, but no significant interaction effect. Finally, those who had nightmares or bad dreams reported higher stress than those who had no bad dreams or nightmares. Conclusion These findings provide preliminary evidence to suggest that the impact of stress on SWB may be reduced when adequate sleep quality is achieved, and contribute to the growing field of literature exploring the function of dreams. The findings provide new insight that can inform therapeutic approaches to sleep disorders and stress management and guide clinical interventions.
    June 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12098   open full text
  • The role of trauma‐related cognitive processes in the relationship between combat‐PTSD symptom severity and anger expression and control.
    Carmen L. Germain, Maria Kangas, Alan Taylor, David Forbes.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 08, 2015
    Objective Research suggests that the way anger is expressed and efforts to control anger may be particularly important in post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, factors influencing the association between PTSD symptom severity and anger expression and control, and whether these associations are influenced in part by cognitive processes, have yet to be investigated in combat veterans. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mediating effect of trauma‐related cognitive variables between combat‐PTSD symptom severity and anger expression in Australian veterans. Method A sample of 149 treatment‐seeking Australian older‐aged veterans with chronic combat‐related PTSD completed a battery of measures that assessed combat‐PTSD symptom severity, anger indices, trauma‐related rumination, cognitive suppression, and trauma appraisals. Results Path analyses revealed that negative beliefs about self partially mediated the effect of PTSD symptom severity and anger suppression, and PTSD symptom severity and anger control, while negative beliefs about the world partially mediated the association between PTSD severity and outward expression of anger. A significant direct effect from combat‐PTSD symptom severity to outward expression was also found. Conclusions Findings lend support to targeted assessment and treatment of negative trauma‐related appraisals, particularly negative beliefs about self and the world, to concomitantly enhance anger coping and emotion regulation in middle‐ to older‐aged veterans with chronic combat‐related PTSD.
    May 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12097   open full text
  • Citizen participation according to causal perceptions of third‐world poverty, belief in a just world and gender system justification.
    Pilar Moreno‐Jiménez.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 07, 2015
    Objective The purpose of this study is to examine citizen participation in relation to causal perceptions of third‐world poverty, belief in a just world, and gender system justification. Method A total of 760 participants took part in this study, allowing the authors to analyse the differences found on these measures according to gender, social class, and household income. Participants were from the city of Málaga in Spain; 58.5% were women and their average age was 38.78. Distinguished groups of people with common results obtained in citizen participation, causal perceptions of third‐world poverty, belief in a just world, and gender system justification. Results Three profiles have been identified: Indifferent (they have mean scores for the majority of the variables), Conservatives, and Pro‐development. We find that those persons classified as indifferent group participate to a lesser degree than those who belong to the Pro‐development group; we find no difference between the other profiles. These are specifically the issues that imply a certain stance and a determinate vision of social justice and the causes of poverty. Conclusion In light of the left–right dimension that tends to dominate political psychological analyses, the added value of a third cluster strikes us as being of interest in deepening the study of poverty. These profiles reveal three ways of seeing the world in relation to belief in a just world, gender system justification, and causal perceptions of third‐world poverty.
    May 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12093   open full text
  • Beyond word recognition, fluency, and vocabulary: The influence of reasoning on reading comprehension.
    Iolanda Ribeiro, Irene Cadime, Tânia Freitas, Fernanda Leopoldina Viana.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 06, 2015
    Objective Word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and working memory have been established as predictors of reading comprehension in the first elementary school grades. However, the additional role of reasoning is not so clear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, working memory, verbal, and non‐verbal reasoning on reading comprehension, focusing on the additional effect of reasoning when the effects of the other variables are controlled. Method A group of 159 students from the second and fourth grades was assessed. Results The results indicated that all variables are correlated with reading comprehension and that the effect size varies according to the school grade. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses revealed that in second grade, fluency was the strongest predictor of reading comprehension and that reasoning had no effect on reading comprehension, after controlling for the previous variables. However, in the fourth grade, non‐verbal reasoning was the only significant unique predictor of reading comprehension, after accounting for the influence of the other variables. Conclusions These results highlight the importance of promoting the mastery of accurate and fluent reading in the lower grades while promoting reasoning abilities in the higher grades.
    May 06, 2015   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12095   open full text
  • Emotion beliefs in social anxiety disorder: Associations with stress, anxiety, and well‐being.
    Krista De Castella, Philippe Goldin, Hooria Jazaieri, Michal Ziv, Richard G. Heimberg, James J. Gross.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 27, 2014
    Dysfunctional beliefs play an important role in the aetiology and maintenance of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Despite this—and the heightened salience of emotion in SAD—little is known about SAD patients' beliefs about whether emotions can be influenced or changed. The current study examined these emotion beliefs in patients with SAD and in non‐clinical participants. Overall, patients were more likely to hold entity beliefs (i.e., viewing emotions as things that cannot be changed). However, this group difference in emotion beliefs varied by emotion domain. Specifically, SAD patients more readily held entity beliefs about their own emotions and anxiety than about emotions in general. By contrast, non‐clinical participants more readily held entity beliefs about emotions in general than about their own. Results also indicated that even when controlling for social anxiety severity, patients with SAD differed in their beliefs about their emotions, and these beliefs explained unique variance in perceived stress, trait anxiety, negative affect, and self‐esteem.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12053   open full text
  • Is emotion regulation the process underlying the relationship between low mindfulness and psychosocial distress?
    Christopher A. Pepping, Analise O'Donovan, Melanie J. Zimmer‐Gembeck, Michelle Hanisch.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 27, 2014
    Emotion regulation deficits are implicated in many forms of psychosocial distress. The aim of the present research was to investigate whether emotion regulation was the process underlying the well‐established association between low dispositional mindfulness and greater psychosocial distress. Two studies are presented that examined whether non‐acceptance of emotion and limited access to emotion regulation strategies were the processes underlying the association between low mindfulness and depression, anxiety, stress, general psychological symptoms, interpersonal distress, and social role difficulties in a student sample (Study 1) and a clinical sample (Study 2). In Study 1, there were indirect effects of mindfulness and symptom distress, depression, anxiety, stress, and social role difficulties through non‐acceptance of emotions. There were indirect associations between mindfulness and symptom distress, interpersonal distress, social role difficulties, depression, anxiety, and stress through lack of access to emotion regulation strategies. In Study 2, there were indirect associations between mindfulness and psychological symptom distress, interpersonal distress, depression, anxiety, and stress through lack of access to emotion regulation strategies. In brief, emotion regulation difficulties are, at least in part, the process underlying the association of low dispositional mindfulness and psychosocial distress.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12050   open full text
  • Appraisal and coping styles account for the effects of temperament on pre‐adolescent adjustment.
    Stephanie F. Thompson, Maureen Zalewski, Liliana J. Lengua.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 27, 2014
    Temperament, appraisal, and coping are known to underlie emotion regulation, yet less is known about how these processes relate to each other across time. We examined temperamental fear, frustration, effortful control, and impulsivity, positive and threat appraisals, and active and avoidant coping as processes underpinning the emotion regulation of pre‐adolescent children managing stressful events. Appraisal and coping styles were tested as mediators of the longitudinal effects of temperamental emotionality and self‐regulation on adjustment using a community sample (N = 316) of preadolescent children (8–12 years at T1) studied across 1 year. High threat appraisals were concurrently related to high fear and impulsivity, whereas effortful control predicted relative decreases in threat appraisal. High fear was concurrently related to high positive appraisal, and impulsivity predicted increases in positive appraisal. Fear was concurrently related to greater avoidant coping, and impulsivity predicted increases in avoidance. Frustration predicted decreases in active coping. These findings suggest temperament, or dispositional aspects of reactivity and regulation, relates to concurrent appraisal and coping processes, and additionally predicts change in these processes. Significant indirect effects indicated that appraisal and coping mediated the effects of temperament on adjustment. Threat appraisal mediated the effects of fear and effortful control on internalising and externalising problems, and avoidant coping mediated the effect of impulsivity on internalising problems. These mediated effects suggest that one pathway through which temperament influences adjustment is pre‐adolescents' appraisal and coping. Findings highlight temperament, appraisal, and coping as emotion regulation processes relevant to children's adjustment in response to stress.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12048   open full text
  • Contributions of socialisation of coping to physiological responses to stress.
    Jennifer D. Monti, Jamie L. Abaied, Karen D. Rudolph.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 27, 2014
    The messages mothers communicate to their children about coping may play an important role in children's emotional development by shaping children's responses to stress. Building on prior research demonstrating associations between maternal socialisation of coping (SOC) and children's self‐reported coping and emotional functioning, we examined the contribution of SOC to children's physiological responses to stress. Mothers completed a measure of SOC with peer victimisation. Children (N = 118; M age = 9.46 years, SD = .33) completed a measure of peer victimisation and participated in a laboratory social challenge task. Saliva samples were collected prior to and following the task and were assayed for alpha‐amylase (sAA), a marker of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activation. Hierarchical linear modelling analyses revealed that SOC contributed to sAA reactivity. Peer victimisation predicted greater sAA reactivity when mothers made few engagement suggestions (orienting towards stress and associated emotions and cognitions) but not when mothers made many engagement suggestions. Mothers' distress responses predicted greater sAA reactivity. These findings provide novel evidence that the messages parents communicate about coping have implications for children's physiological reactivity to stress during middle childhood.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12044   open full text
  • Coping with stress among preschool children and associations with anxiety level and controllability of situations.
    Kelly Yeo, Erica Frydenberg, Elizabeth Northam, Janice Deans.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 27, 2014
    The primary aim of this study was to describe how preschoolers (4–5 years old, N = 94) cope with stress based on parent ratings on the Children's Coping Scale Revised. A second aim was to investigate how coping in preschoolers may be associated with the anxiety level of the child and controllability of the stressor, as measured by parent ratings on the Spence Preschool Anxiety Scale and children's coping in two different situations of varying controllability. Three distinct dimensions of coping were identified—positive coping, negative coping–emotional expression, and negative coping–emotional inhibition. As predicted, preschoolers rated higher on anxiety were more likely to engage in negative forms of coping while less anxious preschoolers were more likely to engage in a positive form of coping. This suggests an early pattern of maladaptive coping among more anxious children. Contrary to adult and adolescent models, preschoolers in general were more likely to use negative coping in a more controllable situation and to use positive coping in a less controllable situation. Possible explanations for these findings and suggestions for future research are proposed.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12047   open full text
  • Coping research: Historical background, links with emotion, and new research directions on adaptive processes.
    Erica Frydenberg.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 27, 2014
    The general purpose of this review is to briefly describe the historical foundations of coping research covering how it has evolved, over the past three to four decades, from research founded on a deficit model of stress to research that focused more often on exploring people's capacity to deal with life's circumstances and fulfil their potential. Five topic areas are covered. First, key theoretical underpinnings of coping research are described. Second, links between coping responses and emotion are presented, with an emphasis on how coping can mitigate the individual and environmental impacts of stress. Third, developmental studies of stress and coping are introduced showing how it is functionally important across the age span but may change in form. Fourth, the challenges for measuring coping are considered by describing classic and new approaches to assessment. Finally, later developments in coping research are covered by identifying recent research on proactive coping and dyadic approaches. Overall, this review also illustrates how coping research has traversed the full gamut of the lifespan.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12051   open full text
  • The mediating role of work locus of control on the relationship among emotional intelligence, organisational citizenship behaviours, and mental health among nurses.
    Siew Mun Ng, Guek Nee Ke, Wilks Raymond.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. February 07, 2014
    Using a cross‐sectional design to evaluate the perceptions of 242 nurses working in a Malaysian hospital, this study investigates the mediating role of work locus of control (WLOC) on the relationship among emotional intelligence (EI), organisational citizenship behaviours (OCBs), and mental health among nurses. Additionally, the role of EI is examined. Findings indicate that EI correlates positively with OCBs and negatively with mental health and that WLOC mediates the relationship between EI and OCBs. However, WLOC does not mediate the relationship between EI and mental health. An in‐depth understanding of nurses' EI provides insights into health institution management to increase organisational outcomes. Results of this study are interpreted to indicate that EI should be part of nurse training and that OCBs are associated with performance and productivity. It is suggested that EI could also be included in selection processes to encourage growth and development of a health institution.
    February 07, 2014   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12049   open full text
  • Parent relationships and adolescents' depression and social anxiety: Indirect associations via emotional sensitivity to rejection threat.
    Julia Rudolph, Melanie J. Zimmer‐Gembeck.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 27, 2013
    One prominent theory has proposed that rejection and other negative parenting practices prompt children's emotional sensitivity to the threat of rejection, often referred to as rejection sensitivity (RS). This emotional sensitivity is thought to result in social and emotional maladjustment. In the present study, we tested this model of parenting, emotional sensitivity, and maladjustment with 659 early adolescents (aged 9–13 years). The findings confirmed that adolescents who reported more negative parenting practices had elevated depression and social anxiety symptoms, heightened levels of RS, and more elevated sadness and withdrawal responses to rejection threat. In a final structural equation model, RS and withdrawal were uniquely associated with depressive symptoms, and RS, sadness, and withdrawal were uniquely associated with social anxiety. Moreover, negative parenting had significant associations with symptoms both directly and indirectly via RS, sadness, and/or withdrawal, with the effects mostly direct for depressive symptoms and mostly indirect for social anxiety symptoms. Interparental conflict was also implicated in adolescents' RS, reactions to rejection threat, and symptoms, but these correlational effects were almost entirely indirect via parenting practices. An alternate model of depression and anxiety predicting sensitivity to rejection threat was tested and found to be equally viable. The findings provide a more nuanced understanding of the links between rejection and adolescent emotional adjustment.
    December 27, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12042   open full text
  • Coping and emotion regulation from childhood to early adulthood: Points of convergence and divergence.
    Bruce E. Compas, Sarah S. Jaser, Jennifer P. Dunbar, Kelly H. Watson, Alexandra H. Bettis, Meredith A. Gruhn, Ellen K. Williams.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 24, 2013
    The processes of coping with stress and the regulation of emotion reflect basic aspects of development, and play an important role in models of risk for psychopathology and the development of preventive interventions and psychological treatments. However, research on these two constructs has been represented in two separate and disconnected bodies of work. We examine possible points of convergence and divergence between these constructs with regard to definitions and conceptualisation, research methods and measurement, and interventions to prevent and treat psychopathology. There is clear evidence that coping and emotion regulation are distinct but closely related constructs in all of these areas. The field will benefit from greater integration of methods and findings in future research.
    December 24, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12043   open full text
  • The relationship between greater mindfulness and less subjective experience of chronic pain: Mediating functions of pain management self‐efficacy and emotional intelligence.
    Carmel J. Wright, Nicola S. Schutte.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 24, 2013
    Previous research shows a connection between greater mindfulness and less subjective experience of pain. The present study examined whether pain management self‐efficacy and emotional intelligence mediate this relationship in individuals experiencing chronic pain. Two hundred participants experiencing chronic pain completed measures of mindfulness, experience of pain, pain management self‐efficacy, and emotional intelligence. Greater mindfulness was associated with less subjective experience of pain, greater pain management self‐efficacy, and more emotional intelligence. More pain management self‐efficacy and higher emotional intelligence were associated with less subjective experience of pain. Emotional intelligence and pain management self‐efficacy significantly mediated the relationship between mindfulness and pain. The connection between greater mindfulness and less subjective experience of pain may be due to mindfulness providing a foundation for emotional functioning and behavioural regulation that result in reductions in the experience of pain.
    December 24, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12041   open full text
  • University Student Depression Inventory: Measurement model and psychometric properties.
    Mojtaba Habibi, Nigar G. Khawaja, Shahram Moradi, Mohsen Dehghani, Zahra Fadaei.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 16, 2013
    University Student Depression Inventory (USDI) was developed to assess the symptoms of depression among the university students. Considering the debilitating nature of depression among university students globally, USDI was translated in Persian and validated using university students from Iran. A battery including the Persian version of USDI and scales measuring suicide, depression, and stress was administered to a normative sample of 359 undergraduate students, and an additional clinical sample of 150 students referred to the university's mental health centre. The results supported the factor structure and the psychometric properties of the translated version. Confirmatory factor analysis upheld the previously reported three‐factor first‐order and one‐factor second‐order structure. The internal consistency, test‐retest reliability, and concurrent and discriminant validity of the Persian version were supported. Cut‐off points using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis were established to identify students at risk. Gender differences on the symptoms of depression were evident only in the normative sample, where male participants, compared with female students, had higher mean scores in lethargy, cognitive/emotion, and academic motivation subscales. The translated scale can be used with Persian‐speaking students in Iran and the neighbouring countries as well as those settled in the West to identify symptoms of depression for further evaluation and management.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12037   open full text
  • The role of perfectionism, agreeableness, and neuroticism in predicting dyadic adjustment.
    Sarah J. Egan, Tom Vinciguerra, Trevor G. Mazzucchelli.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 16, 2013
    Research has suggested that perfectionism, agreeableness, and neuroticism may influence relationship adjustment; however, these personality variables have not been examined in conjunction when considering relationship adjustment. In a sample of 222 university students (95 male, 126 female), the perfectionism dimensions of concern over mistakes and parental criticism were found to be significantly negatively related to dyadic adjustment. Agreeableness and neuroticism were also significantly negatively related to dyadic adjustment, and accounted for significant variance in explaining dyadic adjustment, while perfectionism dimensions did not. The results suggest that while negative aspects of perfectionism, such as concern over mistakes, have an impact on dyadic adjustment, the personality variables of agreeableness and neuroticism have a more salient impact. The implications of these findings for research in interventions for perfectionism and relationship adjustment are discussed.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12038   open full text
  • The relationship between skin tone dissatisfaction and sun tanning behaviour.
    Ivanka Prichard, Anna Kneebone, Amanda D. Hutchinson, Carlene Wilson.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 16, 2013
    Understanding the factors that contribute to sun exposure is vital for skin cancer prevention. The present study aimed to examine the utility of a new measure for cancer prevention research, the Skin Tone Rating Scale. Australian undergraduate women (N = 156) completed an online questionnaire measuring skin tone dissatisfaction, peer and media norms surrounding tanning, internalisation of a tanned ideal, appearance reasons for tanning, and self‐reported tanning behaviour. The two‐item Skin Tone Rating Scale provided a short and easy‐to‐administer measure of skin tone dissatisfaction that correlated with self‐reported tanning behaviour. The Skin Tone Rating Scale was also moderately related to appearance reasons for tanning and internalisation of a tanned ideal, demonstrating concurrent validity. Socio‐cultural influences (from peers and media) were positively correlated with skin tone dissatisfaction, and this relationship was partially mediated by internalisation of a tanned ideal. Although more research is needed to establish causation, this study provides an important addition to sun tanning literature; it provides a new measure to predict self‐reported tanning behaviour, the Skin Tone Rating Scale, which highlights the importance of appearance concerns in relation to tanning and sun exposure.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12039   open full text
  • Mental context reinstatement or drawing: Which better enhances children's recall of witnessed events and protects against suggestive questions?
    Mia Gentle, Martine B. Powell, Stefanie J. Sharman.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. December 16, 2013
    The aim of this experiment was to examine the effectiveness of two techniques in enhancing children's recall of an event that they experienced approximately a week earlier. Younger (5–6 years) and older (8–9 years) children were interviewed about a magic show event in one of three conditions. Before recalling the event, some children were instructed to mentally reinstate the context of the event (MCR group), others were asked to draw the context of the event (DCR group), and others received no reinstatement instructions (NCR). Results showed that these instructions had no impact on children's free recall or responses to open‐ended prompts. However, reinstatement instructions impacted children's responses to suggestive questions: those in the DCR group gave more accurate responses than those in the NCR group. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of drawing as a potentially protective exercise that lessens the impact of biased questions with child witnesses.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12040   open full text
  • Autobiographical memory specificity in response to emotion pictorial cues among non‐clinical participants.
    Jessica Belcher, Maria Kangas.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 16, 2013
    The objective of the current study was to investigate whether emotion pictorial cues increase memory specificity among non‐clinical participants. Undergraduate university students were presented with emotion word and pictorial cues on a prompted and non‐prompted version of the Autobiographical Memory Test (AMT). In comparison to pictorial cues, participants retrieved significantly fewer specific autobiographical memories in response to word cues on the prompted AMT; however, there was no significant difference on the non‐prompted AMT. Participants also retrieved significantly fewer specific memories in response to both word and pictorial cues on the non‐prompted AMT compared with the prompted AMT. These results provide support for the hypothesis that among non‐clinical participants, visual cues increase memory specificity over and above emotion. Further research is needed to investigate ways in which memory specificity can be increased and the use of imagery may be a promising avenue.
    July 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12027   open full text
  • Does school suspension affect subsequent youth non‐violent antisocial behaviour? A longitudinal study of students in Victoria, Australia and Washington State, United States.
    Sheryl A. Hemphill, Aneta Kotevski, Todd I. Herrenkohl, Rachel Smith, John W. Toumbourou, Richard F. Catalano.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 12, 2013
    School suspension has been not only associated with negative behaviours but also is predictive of future poor outcomes. The current study investigates (1) whether school suspension is a unique predictor of youth non‐violent antisocial behaviour (NVAB) relative to other established predictors, and (2) whether the predictors of NVAB are similar in Australia and the United States (USA). The data analysed here draw on two statewide representative samples of Grade 7 and 9 students in Victoria, Australia and Washington State, USA, resurveyed at 12‐month follow‐up (N = 3,677, 99% retention). School suspension did not uniquely predict NVAB in the final model. The predictors of NVAB, similar across states, included previous student NVAB, current alcohol and tobacco use, poor family management, association with antisocial friends, and low commitment to school. An implication of the findings is that US evidence‐based prevention programmes targeting the influences investigated here could be trialled in Australia.
    July 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12026   open full text
  • Anxiety reactivity and anxiety perseveration represent dissociable dimensions of anxiety vulnerability: A replication and extension.
    Daniel Rudaizky, Colin MacLeod.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 10, 2013
    Trait anxiety is a unitary construct reflecting individual differences in the tendency to experience anxious symptomatology, typically measured with questionnaires such as the Spielberger Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI‐T). Recent research by Rudaizky, Page, and MacLeod has found evidence that two different dimensions of trait anxiety account for independent variance in trait anxiety scores. These dimensions are anxiety reactivity (AR), reflecting the probability of experiencing an anxious reaction, and anxiety perseveration (AP), reflecting the persistence of anxious symptoms once elicited. There are two key issues addressed in this study: first, the replicability of Rudaizky et al.'s findings and second, the ability of the measures of AR and AP developed by Rudaizky et al. to predict independent variance in STAI‐T scores after statistically controlling for variance shared with a measure of depression. Regression analysis determined that AR and AP do account for independent variance in STAI‐T trait anxiety scores even after statistically controlling for depression. The implications of these findings for the understanding of anxiety vulnerability are discussed.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12024   open full text
  • The role of negative urgency impulsivity and financial management practices in compulsive buying.
    Melissa C. Alemis, Keong Yap.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. July 10, 2013
    Previous research has shown that negative urgency impulsivity is associated with compulsive buying even after controlling for depression. The aim of the present study was to replicate this finding and to examine if financial management practices mediated this relationship. A community sample of 162 participants (34 male and 128 female), aged between 18 and 82 years, completed online self‐report questionnaire measures. As expected, results revealed (1) significant positive associations between compulsive buying and both negative urgency impulsivity (NUI) and psychological distress; and (2) a significant negative association between compulsive buying and financial management practices. We also found that after controlling for psychological distress (3) NUI was still significantly correlated with compulsive buying, and (4) financial management practices partially mediated the relationship between NUI and financial management practices. Our findings are consistent with an extension of the theory that compulsive buying is motivated by relieving negative mood states, positing both negative affect‐driven impulsivity and psychological distress as important factors in understanding compulsive buying. These findings also support current cognitive‐behavioural interventions for the treatment of compulsive buying that target psychological distress, NUI, and financial management practices.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12025   open full text
  • Autism spectrum conditions among children and adolescents: A new profiling tool.
    Michelle S. Garnett, Tony Attwood, Candida Peterson, Adrian B. Kelly.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. June 24, 2013
    There is considerable debate about the sociocognitive features of autism spectrum conditions (ASC), and a tool for profiling the sociocognitive profiles of children and adolescents with ASC is needed. The aim of this research was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a new questionnaire—The Australian Scale for Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASASC). Three hundred twenty‐two parents of children on the ASC spectrum, including autistic disorder (n = 76), Asperger's disorder (n = 188), and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (n = 21), and a clinical group of children with subclinical ASC features and no ASC diagnosis (n = 37). Measures include an initial scale measuring eight potential dimensions of ASC, a related screening tool for autism, and two previously validated social skills questionnaires. The questionnaires were administered online. The ASASC was factor‐analysed, internal and test–retest reliabilities (for a randomly selected 84 parents) were calculated, and preliminary tests of convergent and divergent validity were conducted. The resulting measure (44 items) contained five coherent and reliable dimensions: understand and express emotion, fact orientation, sensory sensitivity, social communication, and rigidity. The questionnaire had good test–retest reliability and convergent/divergent validity. The ASASC enables profiles of ASC symptomatology that should be useful in adjusting interventions to individual needs.
    June 24, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12022   open full text
  • Emotional self‐efficacy, graduate employability, and career satisfaction: Testing the associations.
    Lorraine Dacre Pool, Pamela Qualter.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. June 20, 2013
    Graduate employability has been the subject of little empirical research. There are a number of difficulties in defining and measuring graduate employability, which means that there is a paucity of research that looks at its predictors and outcomes. Previous work has proposed that emotional competence improves graduate employability, and this study further investigates this idea by examining the association between emotional self‐efficacy and employability. Also investigated is the association between employability and career satisfaction. Working graduates (N = 306) completed measures of emotional self‐efficacy, self‐perceived employability, and career satisfaction, and the data were analysed using structural equation modelling. We found emotional self‐efficacy to be an important predictor of graduate employability. Additionally, we found that graduate employability mediates the relationship between emotional self‐efficacy and career satisfaction. Some recommendations, in light of these findings, are discussed.
    June 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12023   open full text
  • The development of a scale for tuned‐in parenting.
    Lynn E. Priddis, Robert Kane.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 30, 2013
    This article provides preliminary evaluation for a new and easy to use parental sensitivity scale, which is rated from a short videotaped play session with the parental figure. The five Tuned‐In Parent Rating Scales (TIP‐RS) have been developed for use with identified dyadic problems in infant–parent relationships and provide a window on the micro‐behaviours that may contribute to the dyadic disjunctions. A sample of 88 mothers who contacted a community early parenting unit was filmed in interaction with their infants and completed surveys including the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Six trained coders rated the videos. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the unidimensionality of the TIP‐RS. The TIP‐RS total score was negatively correlated with both the EPDS (r[N = 42] = −.34, p = .024) and the DASS (r[N = 42] = −.43, p = .029), providing evidence for its concurrent validity. Inter‐rater reliability across the six raters for each of the TIP‐RS sub‐scales and total score ranged from .68 to .83. The present results warrant continued investigation of the psychometric properties of the TIP‐RS as a tool for intervention with targeted parent–child relationships.
    May 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12021   open full text
  • Schadenfreude and just world belief.
    Agnieszka Pietraszkiewicz.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 07, 2013
    The present study tested the hypothesis that a threat of a just world belief intensifies experience of schadenfreude (i.e., pleasure at another's misfortune). The participants read scenarios which were designed to threaten or maintain their just world belief. Subsequently, they were transferred to an online magazine presenting funny stories about other peoples' failures. As presumed, the participants exposed to the threat of just world belief spent more time on reading. These results confirmed the existence of a link between just world threat and schadenfreude.
    May 07, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12020   open full text
  • The role of stress and area‐specific self‐esteem in adolescent smoking.
    Megan A. Carters, Don G. Byrne.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. May 03, 2013
    Stress and self‐esteem have been shown to be important risk factors for adolescent cigarette smoking, and self‐esteem has previously been implicated as a stress‐moderating and a stress‐mediating variable. This study aimed to examine the associations between stress, area‐specific self‐esteem, and adolescent smoking, and to investigate whether specific areas of self‐esteem moderate or mediate the relationship between stress and smoking. Four hundred and ninety‐five adolescents (aged 14–19) responded to a questionnaire that examined these variables. Results showed that self‐esteem in the areas of school subjects and parent relations were related to smoking. Adolescents with low self‐esteem in these areas were more likely to smoke than their high self‐esteem counterparts. Highly stressed adolescents were more likely to smoke than those with low stress. However, the relationship between stress and smoking was completely mediated by self‐esteem in the area of school subjects. No moderation was revealed. Thus, high global self‐esteem may not be sufficient to reduce the risk of smoking. To maximise benefit, prevention and intervention efforts should target self‐esteem in the areas of school subjects and parent relations. Initiatives focusing on stress are only likely to decrease smoking to the extent that they influence self‐esteem in the area of school subjects.
    May 03, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12019   open full text
  • Oral administration of the Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale.
    Terri Roberton, Michael Daffern, Romola S. Bucks.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. April 04, 2013
    The Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale (LEAS) is a performance‐based measure of emotional awareness. This study examined whether the LEAS is suitable to be administered orally by administering two half‐forms of the LEAS to literate participants; one orally and one in written format. In doing so, this study raised questions regarding the internal reliability and statistical equivalence of the LEAS half‐forms. Despite this, results showed no significant difference between oral and written administration. Further, the correlation between scores obtained through oral and written administration was no less than the correlation between the LEAS‐A and LEAS‐B half‐forms. Together, these results suggest that, in circumstances where administering the written format of the LEAS is not possible, this scale may be administered orally.
    April 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12018   open full text
  • Cognitive load on working memory both encourages and discourages reasoning bias regarding the mental states of others.
    Yukio Maehara, Satoru Saito.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. April 04, 2013
    Theory of mind (ToM) refers to the ability to reason about the mental states of others. An increasing number of studies have revealed that working memory (WM) plays an important role in ToM. The present study applied WM loads to adults during a ToM task in order to investigate the impact on mental‐state reasoning performance. The task required participants to estimate the probabilities of several possible behaviours for a protagonist following the presentation of a ToM story. Participants were also required to maintain a meaningless two‐ (light WM load) or seven‐letter English alphabet string (heavy WM load) during story comprehension and mental‐state reasoning. The results show that the combination of light WM load applied during story comprehension with heavy WM load during mental‐state reasoning results in an overestimation of the probability that the protagonist's behaviour will accord with a participant's knowledge. Conversely, a heavy WM load applied during story comprehension, regardless of the type of WM load during mental‐state reasoning, did not result in this probability estimation bias. We discuss these findings from the perspective of a WM representation account.
    April 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12017   open full text
  • ‘Slow’ reproductive strategy: A negative predictor of depressive symptomatology.
    Cezar Giosan.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 04, 2013
    The present study examined the associations between a high‐K (slow) life history strategy and depressive symptomatology. The participants were a sample of 494 male utility workers who underwent psychological evaluations. It was hypothesised that high‐K will correlate negatively with, and will be a negative predictor of, depressive symptomatology. The results confirmed the predictions, showing that high‐K accounts for 15% of the variance in depressive symptomatology after controlling for risk factors for depression such as demographics, prior traumatic experiences, past depression, and recent negative life events. Implications of the results are discussed.
    March 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12016   open full text
  • Is God's call more than audible? A preliminary exploration using a two‐dimensional model of theistic/spiritual beliefs and experiences.
    James Benjamin Schuurmans‐Stekhoven.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. March 04, 2013
    Among spiritual individuals, auditory hallucinations (AHs) are often accompanied by positive affectivity (PA) suggesting that such coincidental affective valence might gainfully demark spiritual from comparable non‐spiritual aberrant perceptions. Yet nearly all of the relevant past religiosity/spirituality research has been limited to AHs and/or known groups (Evangelicals, epilepsy patients, etc.). Using a community sample (N = 485), this article explores whether unusual perceptual experiences (UEs) more generally (not simply AHs) together with PA predict participants' self‐reported spirituality. Specifically, a dual marker hypothesis developed from affect attribution theory—in which UE, PA, and their interaction predict spirituality in a non‐additive positive fashion—is proposed and confirmed (even after controlling for socio‐demographics). The estimators reveal that spirituality is disproportionately elevated for high scorers on both predictors. These results are consistent with previous known‐group studies and support recent speculation that the affective–cognitive interpretation of perceptual aberrations might be a key feature of spirituality and one that potentially demarks it from psychosis. Moreover, the correlation between spirituality and PA varies depending upon one's UE level; a result not anticipated by the incumbent positive psychological theory of spirituality.
    March 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12015   open full text
  • What predicts Australian university students' intentions to volunteer their time for community service?
    Melissa K. Hyde, Simon R. Knowles.
    Australian Journal of Psychology. February 05, 2013
    University students represent one target population with great potential to serve as volunteers. The primary focus on describing the characteristics of students who choose to volunteer, however, has resulted in limited understanding of the psychosocial factors impacting on students' decisions to volunteer. To bridge this gap, we used an extension of a well‐known theoretical framework, the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), to predict students' intentions to volunteer for community service. Using content and thematic analysis, we explored also students' motivations and constraints for volunteering. Students (N = 235; M age = 22.09 years) self‐reported their attitude, normative influences, control perceptions, moral obligation, past behaviour, demographic characteristics, and intentions for volunteering via questionnaire. Regression analyses showed that the extended TPB explained 67% of the variance in students' volunteering intentions. In qualitative analyses, themes primarily represented the factors contributing to low efficacy for volunteering (e.g., time constraints). Control perceptions and perceived moral obligations related to volunteering represent important future targets to encourage student volunteering for organisations providing critical services for those most in need.
    February 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/ajpy.12014   open full text