Ricerca

La Ricerca in SFU

Il forte orientamento alla ricerca è una delle caratteristiche distintive dell’offerta di SFU Milano e occupa una parte rilevante nella formazione degli studenti SFU. L’attività di ricerca è considerata fondamentale per la preparazione di giovani psicologi che al termine degli studi intendono essere subito in grado di confrontarsi con la professione.
SFU Milano, grazie a un prestigioso network internazionale, svolge progetti di ricerca in molteplici ambiti della Psicologia, con particolare riguardo all’ambito psicologico-clinico (dipendenze, ansia, rabbia, disturbi alimentari e disturbi di apprendimento).

Direzione scientifica

60Pubblicazioni internazionali
in 5 anni
900Pubblicazioni internazionali
nelle sedi SFU
7Laboratori di ricerca attivi

I nostri laboratori

  • > Affective Neuroscience Lab

    Our research has as a theoretical reference the model “Connectome” and has as its aim the study of the integration between biological systems innervated by the autonomic nervous system and communication between these and the central nervous system.

  • > Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis (AIDA) Lab

    Our research spans various domains of data analysis. The AIDA Lab offers a comprehensive service, integrating artificial intelligence techniques into the data analysis process for research projects conducted at the Milan branch of Sigmund Freud University.

  • > Brain and Behaviour SFU Lab

    The Brain and Behavior Lab studies, using different techniques, the neural dynamics underlying behavior in healthy and pathological subjects and animal models.

  • > Child and Youth Lab

    Our research area spans from infancy to adolescence focusing on clinically-relevant topics in typical and atypical development.

  • > Contextual Behavioral Science CBS-SFU Lab

    The theoretical perspective of the Lab is that of the Contextual and Behavioral Sciences.

  • > Digital Psychology Lab

    The "Digital Psychology Lab" explores the interaction between psychology and digital technology, examining how new media and technology impact human behavior and psychological processes, developing new digital tools for diagnosing and treating psychological disorders.

  • > INSPIRE Lab (Inclusive Network for Sport, Personal growth, envIronmental health and Research)

    Our lab fosters research on the following topics: promoting social inclusion, physical, emotional and social well being through sport.

  • > LIBET Research Lab

    The LIBET Research Lab aims to develop a testable clinical model of case conceptualization which would translate in processual terms concepts coming from either the cognitive or the constructivistic tradition of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

  • > MeThe Research Lab – Metacognitive Theory and Therapy

    The MeThe Research Lab has at its core interest the development of research projects aiming at deepening knowledge of psychopathology and psychotherapy processes within the theoretical framework of the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) Theory.

Libri

Ruggiero G.M. (2022). La parola, il corpo e la macchina nella letteratura psicoterapeutica.

Ruggiero G.M. (2022). La parola, il corpo e la macchina nella letteratura psicoterapeutica. Alpes Editore

Rovetto, F., Eziologia dei disturbi psichici

Allievi Sigmund Freud University sede di Milano, vol. IV e V (2021)

Allievi Sigmund Freud University sede di Milano, vol. II (2019)

Allievi Sigmund Freud University sede di Milano, vol. II (2019)

Allievi Sigmund Freud University sede di Milano, vol. I (2019)

Ruggiero, G.M., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S. (2022). La formulazione del caso in terapia cognitivo comportamentale.

Ruggiero, G.M., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S. (2022). La formulazione del caso in terapia cognitivo comportamentale. Erickson

Caselli, G., Ruggiero, G. M, & Sassaroli, S. (2017). Rimuginio. Teoria e terapia del pensiero ripetitivo.

Caselli, G., Ruggiero, G. M, & Sassaroli, S. (2017). Rimuginio. Teoria e terapia del pensiero ripetitivo. Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore

Caselli, G. (2015). Terapia Metacognitiva.

Caselli, G. (2015). Terapia Metacognitiva. In G. Melli, & C. Sica (Eds.), Fondamenti di Psicologia e Psicoterapia Cognitivo Comportamentale. Modelli clinici e tecniche d’intervento (pp. 137-156). Firenze: Eclipsi.

 

Caselli, G. (2015). Terapia Metacognitiva. In G. Melli, & C. Sica (Eds.), Fondamenti di Psicologia e Psicoterapia Cognitivo Comportamentale. Modelli clinici e tecniche d’intervento (pp. 137-156). Firenze: Eclipsi.

https://www.erickson.it/it/fondamenti-di-psicologia-e-psicoterapia-cognitivo-comportamentale?default-group=libri

Paper 2022

Giani, L., Michelini, G., Nobile, M., Ajmone, P., Vizziello, P., & Scaini, S. (2022). Behavioral markers of social anxiety in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome: a brief systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 299, 636-643.

Abstract

Background

There is evidence that social impairments in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) differ from those observed in idiopathic autism as they are characterized mainly by social anxiety. However, the knowledge of the fundamental features of social anxiety symptoms in this target population is limited. This brief systematic review aims to investigate the relationship between social anxiety and CdLS through multiple cross-sectional comparisons.

Methods

PRISMA-P guidelines were followed, and the literature research was conducted in Pubmed, EBSCOhost, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect using “Cornelia de Lange Syndrome” or “CdLS” and “social anxiety” as search terms.

Results

Six articles met the eligibility criteria. Results show that heightened levels of social anxiety in CdLS individuals occur before and after the social engagement and are mediated by both the nature of the social demand and the familiarity of the examiner they interact with.

Limitations

The interpretation of results is limited by the wide heterogeneity of patients’ age and sample size across the reviewed studies, and by the absence of a unique observational procedure to detect behaviors indicative of social anxiety in syndromic individuals.

Conclusions

These findings have considerable clinical implications for intervention planning which might be generalized to all people with intellectual disability linked to a genetic syndrome.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.12.099

Riboli G., Nese, M., Brighetti, G., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S., & Borlimi, R. (2022). Network Analysis of the psychological distress in non-binary young adults: Implications for Counselors. Journal of LGBTQ Issues in Counseling

This study presents an analysis of the psychological distresses commonly affecting non-binary young adults. An online questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of non-binary young adults on the most common risk factors and psychological symptoms reported in prevailing scientific literature. A network analysis was carried out to highlight the reciprocal interconnections between the dimensions considered. Depression, anxiety, interpersonal sensitivity, and body dissatisfaction emerged as key elements of distress. Counselors can use the reciprocal interconnections between dimensions in their assessment and treatment of non-binary people.

https://doi.org/10.1080/15538605.2021.1972897

Caserini C, Ferro M, Nobile M, Scaini S, Michelini G. (2022). Shared genetic influences between depression and conduct disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders Nov 8;322:31-38.

Abstract

Introduction

The co-occurrence between major depression disorder (MDD) and conduct disorder (CD) is common across development and represents a significant risk factor for future psychiatric problems and long-term impairment. Large-scale quantitative genetic studies suggest that the MDD-CD co-occurrence may be partly explained by shared genetic vulnerability factors, in line with transdiagnostic models of psychopathology, but no systematic synthesis of the literature is currently available.

Methods

We therefore conducted a systematic review of the available genetic literature on the co-occurrence between MDD and CD in children and adolescents. We identified 10 eligible studies, including 5 cross-sectional bivariate/multivariate twin studies, 3 longitudinal bivariate/multivariate twin studies, and 2 latent profile/trajectory twin studies.

Results

Most of the reviewed studies found a strong contribution of shared genetic factors on the covariation between depression and conduct problems, in line with the prominent effect of a common genetic liability across development.

Limitations

The scientific literature on this psychiatric comorbidity is still limited, as it solely consists of twin studies from high income countries.

Conclusion

Considering the joint burden of MDD and CD on youth, families and society worldwide, future studies are needed to better investigate the shared risk processes of these frequently co-occurring conditions, in order to inform new treatments through personalized medicine

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2022.11.001

Misitano A, Moro AS, Ferro M, Forresi B. (2022). The Dissociative Subtype of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Literature using the Latent Profile Analysis. Journal Trauma Dissociation. Sep 4:1-17

A PTSD subtype with dissociative symptoms (D-PTSD) was included in the DSM-5 recognizing the existence of a more severe form of PTSD, associated to past trauma, high comorbidity, and complex clinical management. As research is rapidly growing and results are inconsistent, a better investigation of this subtype is of primary importance. We conducted a systematic review of studies using Latent Profile Analysis to investigate the existence of a D-PTSD subtype. Covariates of D-PTSD were included, to understand additional symptoms, risk factors and comorbidities. The search was performed on PubMed, EBSCOHost, and PTSDPubs according to 2020 PRISMA guidelines. Eligible articles assessed trauma exposure, PTSD symptoms and diagnosis, and dissociation, in adult samples. 13 of 165 articles met the inclusion criteria. All identified a dissociative subtype of PTSD, mainly characterized by higher levels of depersonalization and derealization. D-PTSD profile sometimes presented other dissociative symptoms, such as gaps in awareness and memory, other comorbid disorders, and a history of abuse. Despite some limitations, this review supports the existence of a dissociative subgroup of individuals among those with PTSD. More rigorous studies are needed to clarify these findings and their clinical implications.

https://doi.org/10.1080/15299732.2022.2120155

Lamanna J, Ferro M, Spadini S, Malgaroli A. (2022). Exploiting the molecular diversity of the synapse to investigate neuronal communication: A guide through the current toolkit. Eur J Neurosci. 2022 Oct 14. doi: 10.1111/ejn.15848. PMID: 36239030.

Abstract

Chemical synapses are tiny and overcrowded environments, deeply embedded inside brain tissue and enriched with thousands of protein species. Many efforts have been devoted to developing custom approaches for evaluating and modifying synaptic activity. Most of these methods are based on the engineering of one or more synaptic protein scaffolds used to target active moieties to the synaptic compartment or to manipulate synaptic functioning. In this review, we summarize the most recent methodological advances and provide a description of the involved proteins as well as the operation principle. Furthermore, we highlight their advantages and limitations in relation to studies of synaptic transmission in vitro and in vivo. Concerning the labelling methods, the most important challenge is how to extend the available approaches to the in vivo setting. On the other hand, for those methods that allow manipulation of synaptic function, this limit has been overcome using optogenetic approaches that can be more easily applied to the living brain. Finally, future applications of these methods to neuroscience, as well as new potential routes for development, are discussed.

doi: 10.1111/ejn.15848. PMID: 3623903016

Lamanna J, Isotti F, Ferro M, Spadini S, Racchetti G, Musazzi L, Malgaroli A. (2022). Occlusion of dopamine-dependent synaptic plasticity in the prefrontal cortex mediates the expression of depressive-like behavior and is modulated by ketamine. Scientific Reports Jun 30;12(1):11055.

Abstract

Unpredictable chronic mild stress (CMS) is among the most popular protocols used to induce depressive-like behaviors such as anhedonia in rats. Differences in CMS protocols often result in variable degree of vulnerability, and the mechanisms behind stress resilience are of great interest in neuroscience due to their involvement in the development of psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder. Expression of depressive-like behaviors is likely driven by long-term alterations in the corticolimbic system and by downregulation of dopamine (DA) signaling. Although we have a deep knowledge about the dynamics of tonic and phasic DA release in encoding incentive salience and in response to acute/chronic stress, its modulatory action on cortical synaptic plasticity and the following implications on animal behavior remain elusive. Here, we show that the expression of DA-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is occluded in rats vulnerable to CMS, likely reflecting differential expression of AMPA receptors. Interestingly, such difference is not observed when rats are acutely treated with sub-anesthetic ketamine, possibly through the recruitment of dopaminergic nuclei such as the ventral tegmental area. In addition, by applying the synaptic activity sensor SynaptoZip in vivo, we found that chronic stress unbalances the synaptic drive from the infralimbic and prelimbic subregions of the mPFC toward the basolateral amygdala, and that this effect is counteracted by ketamine. Our results provide novel insights into the neurophysiological mechanisms behind the expression of vulnerability to stress, as well as behind the antidepressant action of ketamine.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-14694-w. PMID: 35773275; PMCID: PMC9246912.

Ajmone, P.F., Giani, L., Allegri, B., Michelini, G., Dall’ara, F., Rigamonti, C., Monti, F., Vizziello, P.G., Selicorni, A., Milani, D., Scaini, S., & Costantino, A. (2022). The developmental trajectories of the behavioral phenotype and neuropsychiatric functioning in Cornelia de Lange and Rubinstein Taybi Syndromes: A longitudinal study. American Journal of Medical Genetics: Part A, 191(2), 424-436.

Abstract

Several changes in the behavioral phenotype arise with the growth of children affected by Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) and Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome (RSTS). However, previous research relied on a cross-sectional study design turning into age-related comparisons of different syndromic cohorts to explore age-dependent changes. We aim to outline the variating pathways of the neuropsychiatric functioning across the lifespan in CdLS and RSTS, through the setting up of a longitudinal study design. The sample included 14 patients with CdLS and 15 with RSTS. The assessments were carried out in two different timepoints. Our findings highlight that the cognitive profile of CdLS is subjected to a worsening trend with decreasing Intellectual Quotient (IQ) scores from T0 to T1, whereas RSTS shows a stable IQ over time. Patients affected by RSTS show greater improvements compared to CdLS in communication, daily living skills, social abilities, and motor skills across the lifespan. Both syndromes report an upward trend in behavioral and emotional difficulties even if CdLS exhibit a significant and major deterioration compared to individuals with RSTS. Being aware of the early dysfunctional patterns which might pave the way for later neuropsychiatric impairments is the first step for planning preventive interventions.

https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.a.63039

Caputi, M., Forresi, B., Giani, L., & Scaini, S. (2022). Cooperation with teachers as a mediator of the relationship between family conflict and children’s psychological difficulties. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(20), 13151.

Abstract

Parent–child conflict can have a series of negative consequences concerning youth emotional and behavioral development. The link between family conflict and children’s externalizing symptoms is well established, whereas the association with internalizing symptoms is less explored. Within the school context, children are engaged in other meaningful relationships (i.e., with teachers and peers) which contribute to their growth. This cross-sectional study aimed at understanding whether a cooperative behavior with the teachers is able to mediate the association between parent–child conflict and children’s psychopathological symptoms. We recruited 319 (150 boys) school-aged children (M = 11.3 years; SD = 1.8 years) and their parents and teachers. Children self-reported on their internalizing symptoms, whereas parents completed a questionnaire concerning their relationship with the child, and teachers rated children’s behavior and internalizing/externalizing symptoms. Analyses conducted through Hayes’ PROCESS tool showed that cooperation with the teacher partially mediated the association between parent–child conflict and child-reported depressive symptoms. Notably, cooperative behavior fully mediated the link between parent–child conflict and children’s internalizing and externalizing symptoms reported by teachers. Difficulties exhibited at school partly derive from a conflictual home environment. Our findings showed that such problems can be reduced thanks to a cooperative relationship with the teacher

https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013151

Giani, L., Michelini, G., Ajmone, P.F., Scaini, S., Selicorni, A., Vizziello, P., & Costantino, A. (2022). Age-related hallmarks of psychopathology in Cornelia de Lange and Rubinstein-Taybi syndromes. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 126, 104235.

Abstract

Background and aim

There is mounting evidence highlighting that Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) and Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome’s (RSTS) behavioral phenotypes are not stable over individual developmental trajectories and that several psychiatric disorders might arise with age. Our study aims to examine the specific hallmarks of psychopathology and behavioral phenotypes in four different age ranges: infancy and toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, and adolescence, in both genetic syndromes.

Method

The sample included 44 patients with CdLS (48% boys, age = 6.67 ± 4.36) and 31 with RSTS (48% boys, age = 6.89 ± 4.58) recruited through follow-ups. Cognitive, behavioral, and autism assessments were carried out with Griffith’s scales or the Leiter-R, the Child Behavior Checklist, and the Child Autism Rating Scales 2. Multiple ANOVA 2 × 4 were run to outline behavioral phenotypic age-related syndromic markers and ANCOVA to value the weight of IQ and ASD-related traits on the psychopathological outcome.

Results

Findings showed that anxiety is a crucial phenotypic hallmark, independent of IQ but associated with autistic traits, that increases from infancy to adolescence in both CdLS and RSTS.

Conclusion and implications

Being aware of the developmental challenges that growing children are called to face is essential for drawing up proper standards of assessment turning into target age-related interventions, ensuring these patients personalized healthcare and improvement in life quality.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2022.104235

Giani, L., & Olivari, C. (2022). University and Higher Education: a Clockwork in Perpetual Motion. Human Arenas, 1-9.

Abstract

The present paper is aimed at highlighting the changing pathways of the knowledge production process in the Higher Education and University System. Particularly, special attention is given to the impact of historical turning points in our society, like the World War II, the capitalism, and the advent of globalization, on the re-organization of the University and research institutes according to the criteria and mechanisms of the market. Alongside the spreading of mass higher education, the issue of how defining excellence, relevance, and quality of research and teaching activities arise, as well as the issue of ranking scientific works, researchers, and journals. This has forced the introduction of quantitative indicators to evaluate the big amount of research outputs and, in parallel, fostered the creation of quality hierarchies to better orient experts in the research field. This revolutionary change of paradigm was supported by the loss of trust in the process of peer-review that paved the way for the emergence of the need of having alternative parameters to rank the scientific work of a researcher. The pro and cons of bibliometric indexes and peer-review procedures are discussed.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-022-00300-y

Ajmone, P. F., Allegri, B., Cereda, A., Michelini, G., Dall’Ara, F., Mariani, M., Rigamonti, C., Selicorni, A., Vizziello, P., & Costantino, M. A. (2022). Neuropsychiatric functioning in CDLS: A detailed phenotype and genotype correlation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(11), 4763–4773.

Abstract

Behavioural phenotype and autism-related traits of 38 patients affected by Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS) were assessed using a specific neuropsychiatric protocol. Subsequently,we search for possible genotype–phenotype correlations comparing individuals with NIPBL variants and patients with negative molecular results. Firstly results showed a higher percentage of subjects with normal intellectual quotient (IQ) and borderline IQ; adaptive skills were lower than expected for age in all participants. 39.5% of the sample presented with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), NIPBL mutated individuals demonstrated a worse trend in comparison with the clinical diagnosis group. non-truncating individuals displayed no ASD and better communication abilities than truncating individuals. Findings increase our awareness of the strengths and weaknesses points in CdLS individuals.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-05343-8

Forresi, B., Michelini, G., Sapuppo, W., Costa, G., Castellini, G., Livellara, S., & Gregori Grgič, R. (2022). Anger, personality traits and psychopathological symptoms in subjects exposed to negative interpersonal actions in workplaces: An observational study in a large sample attending a center for occupational stress. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 1–11.

Abstract

Objective

The association between adverse working conditions and mental disorders is well established. In addition to psychopathological symptoms, this study aimed at investigating anger and personality traits in a clinical sample of subjects referring negative interpersonal experiences in workplaces.

Methods

1676 workers attending a Centre for Occupational Stress in Milan (from 2014 to 2016) were administered an assessment protocol including SCL-90 for general psychopathology, STAXI for anger intensity and expression, and MMPI-2 for personality traits. A qualitative checklist was used to collect negative experiences in workplaces.

Results

Patients reported they were exposed to “threats to the task or the professional career” more than to “attacks to the person”. Over 80% scored above the cutoff in all the subscales of the SCL-90, with highest scores in Depression, Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety, Somatization and Paranoia. 60% scored above the 90th percentile in the AX/in subscale, showing intense anger feelings that they mostly suppress. Abnormal elevations at the MMPI scales of Hypochondria, Depression, Hysteria, and Paranoia were found in over 50% of the sample. Women reported higher psychological difficulties and internalized anger than men. Anger towards objects and people, instead, was more common in males. No differences were observed by work sector or employment status.

Conclusions

In addition to severe psychological difficulties, individuals reporting negative interpersonal experiences in workplaces have high levels of internalized anger and a distinctive profile of personality traits. While a deeper investigation is needed, anger expression should be considered in future treatment programs.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-022-01868-2

Giani, L., Caputi, M., Forresi, B., Michelini, G., & Scaini, S. (2022). Evaluation of cognitive-behavioral therapy efficacy in the treatment of separation anxiety disorder in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 15(1), 57–80.

Abstract

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-established treatment for anxiety disorders. However, few efforts have been made to summarize the impact of specific intervention-related variables on therapeutic outcomes in different-aged youth with a separation anxiety disorder (SAD). PRISMA guidelines were followed to provide an efficacy overview of different disorder-specific CBT protocols against transdiagnostic ones among youth with SAD. Literature search was conducted in Pubmed, EBSCOhost, PsychInfo, PsycArticles, PSYNDEX, Medline, and ERIC. In total, 9 papers met the eligibility criteria. Overall, preschoolers benefited more from disorder-specific CBT protocols, whereas school-aged children and adolescents from transdiagnostic ones. Interventions aimed at removing SAD maintenance factors, by including parent-sessions, were efficacious, especially among younger children. Psychotherapy had higher efficacy than drug treatments, with individual- and group-CBT addressing SAD symptoms similarly. Findings support CBT as the golden standard for SAD in youth, impacting on the core symptoms in a time-limited, goal-directed way, with long-term effects.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s41811-021-00129-3

Lenzo, V., Sardella, A., Musetti, A., Freda, M. F., Lemmo, D., Vegni, E., Borghi, L., Plazzi, G., Palagini, L., & Castelnuovo, G. (2022). The relationship between resilience and sleep quality during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: A longitudinal study. Nature and Science of Sleep, 14, 41.

Abstract

Purpose: Previous studies showed poor sleep quality during the first Italian lockdown consequent to the quick spread of the virus. Poor sleep quality remained stable during the so-called “second wave”, which started in Autumn 2020. This study aimed to compare sleep quality between the two waves of contagions and to examine the effect of resilience, together with sociodemographic and COVID-related variables, on sleep quality during the second wave.

Patients and methods: A total of 648 participated in this longitudinal study through an online survey during the first lockdown consequent to the COVID-19 and during the second wave. The Medical Outcomes Study-Sleep Scale (MOS-SS) and the Resilience Scale (RS) were administered. Sociodemographic and COVID-related information were also collected.

Results: The results showed sleep quality slightly increased in the second wave, even though with a small effect size. Correlational analysis showed that resilience is inversely correlated with sleep quality measured in the two waves. Sleep quality during the second wave was positively correlated with sleep quality in the first lockdown. Likewise, the results of multiple regression revealed that the sleep quality in the first lockdown and resilience were significant predictors of sleep quality during the second wave.

Conclusion: These findings highlighted that the prevalence of poor sleepers remained high during the second wave. Together with the sleep quality in the first lockdown, resilience represents an important factor related to sleep quality during the second wave. Interventions to improve sleep quality among the general population should take into account these findings.

doi: 10.2147/NSS.S344042

Musetti, A., Gori, A., Michelini, G., Di Monte, C., Franceschini, C., & Mariani, R. (2022). Are defense styles mediators between traumatic experiences and maladaptive daydreaming?. Current Psychology, 1–9.

Abstract

Maladaptive daydreaming (MD) is a new proposed mental disorder in which an excessive absorption in vivid, narrative fantasies generates impairments in various life domains. This study aimed to examine the role of traumatic life experiences and immature, neurotic, and mature defense styles in MD. Three hundred and fifty-six Italian adults, ranging in age from 18 to 60 years completed an online survey, including measures of MD, traumatic life events, and defense styles. A multiple mediation model showed that immature, neurotic, and mature defense styles fully mediated the relationship between traumatic life experiences and MD. These findings suggest that clinical interventions for people with a history of traumatic experience who developed MD should aim to help them acquire more adaptive coping strategies to deal with traumatic memories.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-03708-5

Mansueto, G., Palmieri, S., Marino, C., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S., Ruggiero, G. M., … & Spada, M. M. (2022). The Italian COVID‐19 Anxiety Syndrome Scale: Investigation of the COVID‐19 anxiety syndrome and its association with psychological symptoms in an Italian population. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.

Abstract

Introduction

The COVID-19 Anxiety Syndrome Scale (C-19ASS) is a quick and reliable scale assessing dysfunctional coping strategies activated in response to COVID-19 fear and threat. The present study aimed to provide a preliminary validation of the Italian version of the C-19ASS and investigated whether the C-19ASS would mediate the relationship between the Big Five personality traits and psychological outcomes.

Method

In Study 1, a community sample of 271 participants completed the Italian version of the C-19ASS and results were subjected to a Principal Component Analysis. In study 2, a community sample of 484 participants completed the Italian version of the C-19ASS and a series of measures assessing COVID-19 anxiety, COVID-19 fear, functional impairment, personality traits, depression, generalized anxiety and health anxiety. Internal consistency, concurrent and incremental validity were assessed. Path analyses were run.

Results

Factor analysis identified a two-factor solution (i.e., C-19ASS Perseveration and C-19ASS Avoidance) and confirmatory factor analysis suggested a two-factor model best fits the data. The Italian version of the C-19ASS showed good internal consistency. There was also evidence of convergent validity and incremental validity. Path analyses showed that C-19ASS Perseveration mediates the relationship between emotional stability and psychological symptoms (depression, generalized anxiety and health anxiety).

Conclusion

The Italian version of the C-19ASS appears to be a reliable and valid measure of the COVID-19 anxiety syndrome. The COVID-19 anxiety syndrome could be a suitable therapeutic target to reduce psychological symptoms typically linked to pandemic events, such as depression generalized anxiety and health anxiety.

https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2767

Mansueto, G., Marino, C., Palmieri, S., Offredi, A., Sarracino, D., Sassaroli, S., Ruggiero, G.M., Spada, M.M. & Caselli, G. (2022). Difficulties in emotion regulation: The role of repetitive negative thinking and metacognitive beliefs. Journal of Affective Disorders, 308, 473-483

Abstract

Background

Using the Self-Regulatory Executive Function model as a basis, this study explored whether, in both general population and clinical samples, metacognitive beliefs and repetitive negative thinking (i.e., rumination and worry) are associated with higher levels of emotion dysregulation.

Methods

395 participants from the general population and 388 outpatients seeking psychological treatment were recruited. Emotion dysregulation, metacognitive beliefs, rumination, worry, anxiety, depression, personality disorders were assessed. ANOVA and Welch’s tests, correlation and path analyses were run.

Results

Repetitive negative thinking was found to play a mediating role in the relationship between metacognitive beliefs and emotion dysregulation in both general population and clinical samples. Moreover, metacognitive beliefs were found to be directly associated to emotion dysregulation.

Limitations

The cross-sectional design.

Conclusions

Emotion dysregulation appears to be associated with the tendency to engage in repetitive negative thinking and metacognitive beliefs. Repetitive negative thinking and metacognitive beliefs could be a suitable therapeutic target to reduce difficulties in emotion regulation.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2022.04.086

Palmieri S., Mansueto G., Ruggiero G.M., Sassaroli S., Borlimi R., Bertelli S., Anselmetti S., Paganoni M., D’Agostino A., Gambini O. (2022). Credenze metacognitive e caratteristiche alimentari in pazienti con disturbi dell’alimentazione. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale. 28(1):49.62

La letteratura mostra una possibile associazione tra credenze metacognitive e disturbi dell’alimentazione. Lo scopo dello studio è esplorare la relazione tra credenze metacognitive e anoressia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN) e disturbo da Binge Eating (BED). 57 pazienti con diagnosi di disturbi dell’alimentazione hanno completato l’EDI-2 e l’MCQ-30. I risultati hanno mostrato che i pazienti con anoressia nervosa hanno livelli più elevati sulla scala «impulso alla magrezza» dell’EDI-2 rispetto agli altri pazienti e hanno livelli più alti di credenze metacognitive negative rispetto ai pazienti con Binge Eating. Le credenze metacognitive sono associate alle scale «impulso alla magrezza» e «bulimia». La «fiducia nelle proprie capacita cognitive» è risultata un fattore associato all’«impulso alla magrezza». I risultati sembrano suggerire che le metacognizioni esplicite siano associate al desiderio di perdere peso, paura di aumentare di peso e tendenza ad abbuffarsi e usare comportamenti compensatori. Le metacognizioni negative sembrano essere associate principalmente all’anoressia nervosa. I dati suggeriscono di considerare la valutazione delle credenze metacognitive in pazienti con disturbi dell’alimentazione.

https://doi.org/10.14605/PCC2812203

Sassaroli, S., Caselli, G., Mansueto, G., Palmieri, S., Pepe, A., Veronese, G., & Ruggiero, G. M. (2022). Validating the Diathesis–Stress Model Based Case Conceptualization Procedure in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: The LIBET (Life Themes and Semi-Adaptive Plans—Implications of Biased Beliefs, Elicitation and Treatment) Procedure. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 40(3), 527-565

Abstract

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches use case formulation procedures based on the diathesis–stress conceptualization model, arranged in two dimensions: emotional vulnerability (present in a patient’s consciousness in terms of core beliefs) and coping strategies. Nevertheless, despite its pivotal role, there are a limited number of validation studies for this model. Life themes and semi-adaptive plans: Implications of biased beliefs, elicitation and treatment (LIBET) is a CBT case formulation method grounded on the CBT diathesis–stress model that aims to help validate the CBT case formulation model, and, in particular, its bidimensional arrangement. In LIBET, the two classic CBT dimensions are called “life themes,” which are mental states of focused attention to emotional sensitivities represented as core beliefs in consciousness, and “semi-adaptive plans,” which are the rigid management strategies of “life themes” implemented by adopting coping strategies such as anxious safety behaviors, compulsive controls and aggressive or rewarding strategies. The study uses quantitative textual analysis to validate the LIBET procedure in a clinical sample. The investigation discusses the extent to which the results can be considered a validation of the arrangement of the general CBT diathesis–stress model in the two dimensions of core beliefs and coping strategies.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-021-00421-3

Borlimi, R., Riboli, G., Nese, M., Buattini, M., Colombardo, M., & Brighetti, G. (2022). Mind-Body Interactions Across the Menstrual Cycle Phases: A Systematic Review. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 7(2), 1-1.

Abstract
The length of the menstrual cycle (MC) varies among women, with an average regularity between 21 and 40 days. Six temporal frames can be observed within the monthly cycle, based on the fluctuations of the hormone levels. These fluctuations are accompanied by alterations in the central nervous system (CNS) and autonomic nervous system (ANS) and can be quantified using psychophysiological techniques. In this systematic review, we discussed the studies conducted with healthy females that examined aspects associated with the functions of the ANS and the CNS, including psychological, emotional, behavioral, hormonal, and perceptive variables, relating their possible changes and alterations to different phases of the MC. The PubMed and EBSCO databases were searched for articles published between January 2010 and September 2020. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses (PRISMA) was applied. A total of 64 studies investigating ANS and CNS or perceptual systems across the MC were included in this review. Several studies found more alterations in the heart rate variability components during the days following ovulation compared to the days of the follicular phase. Behavioral alterations included a decrease in the percentage of REM sleep during the mid-luteal phase and an increase in calorie intake during the late-luteal phase compared to that in the follicular phase. Additionally, the reward system was found to be engaged to a greater extent during the luteal phase than during the follicular phase. The results differed considerably for many cognitive, behavioral, and autonomic variables. No significant alterations were found in most perceptual systems. A variegated picture emerged from the results of the various studies that applied different methodologies and measurements. The results suggested a new methodology that uses the temporal dimension for investigating the interactions between biological systems and psychological effects.

doi:10.21926/obm.icm.2202014

Riboli G., Nese, M., Brighetti, G., Caselli, G., & Borlimi, R. (2022). How Menstruation is Experienced Today. An Online Survey on Italian Female at Birth Adolescents. EC Gyneacology, 11.2

Abstract
Female puberty is marked by the arrival of menarche, which experience could alter the degree of psychological and physiological symptoms. Females who are unprepared for menstruation are more prone to experience menarche discomfort, and consequently, psychophysiological distress. The present study aims to investigate and collect data about menarche experiences, menstruation attitudes, and symptoms, and the association between emotions experienced during menarche and psychophysiological well-being in a sample of Italian adolescent females at birth. The survey was composed of socio-demographical data, a menstruation questionnaire, a general health questionnaire, and a psychophysiological questionnaire. The results supported the correlation between positive emotions toward menarche and psychophysiological well-being. Moreover, a report on menstrual experiences, attitudes, and symptoms was provided. Finally, the results relating the information obtained about menarche and the emotions experienced by participants highlight the potential need for qualitatively and quantitatively equivalent means of information for all females going through puberty, with this responsibility being left to the educational institution. Future research should focus on evaluating the specific information acquired by adolescents to create subject-specific psychoeducational programs, minimizing disparities among pubertal adolescents and fostering a better menarche experience.

https://ecronicon.org/assets/ecgy/pdf/ECGY-11-00723.pdf

Riboli G., Nese, M., Brighetti, G., & Borlimi, R. (2022). Multidimensional Interoceptive Awareness, Psychosomatic Symptoms, and Risk for Eating Disorders in a Female Adolescent Sample. Curr Res Psychol Behav Sci 3: 1040 Volume 3, Issue 2

Abstract

Aim: This study aimed to identify specific interoceptive awareness dimensions related to the risk for eating disorders (ED) in a sample of female adolescents. Subjects and Method: A sample of 317 female adolescents (Mage=17.04±1.22) completed the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness (MAIA), the Psychophysiological Questionnaire (QPF-R), and the Eating Disorder Inventory 3 (EDI 3). The scores obtained at the MAIA subscales and the QPF-R were employed to predict the eating disorder risk composite score derived from the EDI-3. Results: The results showed that lower levels of self-regulation and trusting and higher levels of body listening significantly predicted the ED risk. Moreover, higher levels of enteric symptoms and lower levels of sympathetic symptoms were able to predict the ED risk in adolescents Conclusion: These findings point out the importance of discriminating the dimensions of interoceptive awareness for the assessment of ED risk and the central role of body signals’ awareness for the treatment of ED.

DOI: 10.54026/CRPBS/1040

Riboli G., Borlimi R., & Caselli, G. (2022). A qualitative approach – delineates changes on pubertal body image after menarche. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth. Vol.27 No.1, 111-124

The present study explored young adolescent’s (female at birth) experiences with their bodies following pubertal changes. Twenty-seven participants selected from a parent-daughter workshop at school who had experienced 1 to 6 menstrual cycles were interviewed. Data were collected and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Four current themes emerged from the analysis: (i) perception of body changes in puberty; (ii) intense emotions; (iii) managing body changes and secondary sexual characteristics; (iv) a new way of experiencing the body. Results support an integrative approach to the prevention of body negative image. Based on these findings, it is important to considered body image in the complexity of its emotional, cognitive and behavioural manifestations in order to promote psycho-educational programmes related to secondary sexual characteristics, consistent with the needs of today’s pubertal female at birth.

https://doi.org/10.1080/02673843.2022.2032219

Morello L, Caputi M, Scaini S, Forresi B. (2022). Parenting Programs to Reduce Recurrence of Child Maltreatment in the Family Environment: A Systematic Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Oct 14;19(20):13283.

Abstract

Physical maltreatment is a public health issue affecting millions of children in their lifetime, with a high risk of recurrency. Although there are several parenting programs (PPs) available, existing reviews on their effectiveness in preventing physical abuse recurrences have many limitations. The current systematic review aims at (1) providing a summary of evidence on the effectiveness of behavioral/cognitive–behavioral PPs in preventing physical re-abuse; (2) extending previous reviews by including reduction of child maltreatment recurrence as the main outcome but also focusing on the effect of PPs on maltreatment risk, parent and child psychopathology, and parent–child relationship; and (3) including only RCT with at least one follow-up. A PRISMA-compliant systematic review was performed in the EBSCOhost and PUBMED databases. In total, 93 articles were identified, of which 8 were included in the review. Among them, three reported a significant reduction in recidivism rates and maltreatment risk, and five improvements in parent–child relationships. Although limitations arise from methodological heterogeneity across studies, there is some evidence that some brief and manualized cognitive behavioral PPs can reduce the recurrence of child physical maltreatment and improve parent–child relationships. More studies are needed to give further support to PP effectiveness in protecting children from recurrent maltreatment.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph192013283

Mansueto, G., Tosato, S., Brondino, N., Bonetto, C., Tomassi, S., Politi, P., … & Faravelli, C. (2022). Childhood adversity, symptoms, and cortisol in first episode psychosis: a cross-sectional, secondary, observational analysis of a subsample of FEP patients. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 1-8

Background

Although it has been proposed that childhood adversities (CAs) may affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and psychotic symptoms severity, these associations have not been fully confirmed in first-episode psychosis (FEP). This study explored the association between CA, cortisol and psychotic symptoms in FEP patients.

Methods

81 FEP patients were enrolled. CAs were evaluated by the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. Psychotic symptoms were evaluated by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Cortisol level was collected using saliva samples. ANCOVA and partial correlation analyses were run.

Results

FEP patients with childhood abuse reported severe positive symptoms than those without CA. FEP patients with at least one CA had higher levels of cortisol awaking, cortisol at 12 a.m., and cortisol at 8 p.m. Morning cortisol levels were negatively correlated with the severity of negative symptoms and positively correlated with the severity of general psychopathology. Evening cortisol levels were positively correlated with severity of general psychopathology.

Conclusion

FEP patients with CAs, compared with those without CA, might report more severe positive symptoms and higher cortisol, even though these findings as prone to bias due to the small sample size, and should be seen in the larger perspective of conflicting evidence in the field

https://doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2022.2137846

Mansueto, G., Romanazzo, S., Cosci, F. (2022). Clinical utility of the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research for a comprehensive assessment of the elderly. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy 29(6):1963-1971.

Carrozzino D., Christensen K.S., Patierno C., Woźniewicz A., Møller S.B., Arendt I.MT.P., Zhang Y., Yuan Y. , Sasaki N., Nishi D., Montiel C.M., Ceccatelli S., Mansueto G., Cosci F. (2022). Cross-cultural validity of the WHO-5 Well-Being Index and Euthymia Scale: A clinimetric analysis. Journal of Affective Disorders 311:276-283

Abstract

Background

The assessment of psychological well-being and euthymia represents an emerging issue in clinical psychology and psychiatry. Rating scales and indices such as the 5-item version of the World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5) and the Euthymia Scale (ES) were developed but insufficient attention has been devoted to the evaluation of their cross-cultural validity. This is the first study using Clinimetric Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (CLIPROM) criteria to assess cross-cultural validity and sensitivity of five different versions of the WHO-5 and ES.

Methods

A multicenter cross-sectional study involving a total of 3762 adult participants from different European (i.e., Italy, Poland, Denmark) and non-European (i.e., China, Japan) countries was conducted. Item Response Theory models (Mokken and Rasch analyses) were applied.

Results

Mokken coefficients of scalability were found to range from 0.42 to 0.84. The majority of the versions of the WHO-5 fitted the Rasch model expectations. Paired t-tests revealed that the Italian and Danish WHO-5 versions were unidimensional. Person Separation Reliability indices showed that the Polish, Danish, and Japanese ES versions could reliably discriminate between subjects with different levels of euthymia.

Limitations

A convenience sampling was used, thus limiting the generalizability of study findings. In addition, no measures of negative mental health were administered.

Conclusions

WHO-5 can be used in international studies for cross-cultural comparisons since it covers transcultural components of subjective well-being. Findings also suggest that the ES can be used as a cross-cultural screening tool since it entailed the clinimetric property of sensitivity.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2022.05.111

Cosci, F., Mansueto, G., Benemei, S., Chiarugi, A., De Cesaris, F., & Sensky, T. (2022). Mental pain as a global person-centered outcome measure. CNS spectrums 27(5), 652-658

Abstract

BackgroundMental pain has been proposed as a global person-centered outcome measure. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to test an essential requisite of such a measure, namely that mental pain incorporates independent contributions from a range of discrete but disparate outcome measures.

MethodsTwo hundred migraine patients were assessed concerning migraine disability, psychosomatic syndromes, mental pain, depression, anxiety, and psychosocial dimensions. General linear models were tested to verify which measures would individually make unique contributions to overall mental pain.

ResultsThe final model, accounting for 44% of variance, identified that higher mental pain was associated with more severe depressive symptoms, higher migraine disability, lower well-being, and poorer quality of life.

ConclusionIn this sample, mental pain was shown to behave as expected of a global outcome measure, since multiple measures of symptomatology and quality of life showed modest but significant bivariate correlations with mental pain and some of these measures individually made unique contributions to overall mental pain.

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852921000699

Mansueto G., Faravelli C. (2022). Stressful life events and psychosis: Gender differences. Stress and Health. 38(1):19-30.

Scaini, S., Rossi, F., Rapee, R. M., Bonomi, F., Ruggiero, G. M., & Incerti, A. (2022). The Cool Kids as a School-Based Universal Prevention and Early Intervention Program for Anxiety: Results of a Pilot Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(2), 941.

Abstract

The efficacy of the Cool Kids program has been consistently demonstrated both within Australia and internationally, but limited data are available on the use of Cool Kids as a universal program. The purpose of the study is to evaluate Cool Kids as a universal program for preventing childhood anxiety in the school context. There were 73 Italian children (35 boys and 36 girls, ages 10–13 years) attending the last year of primary school and the first year of middle school who participated in an active intervention based on a school adaptation of the Cool Kids protocol. Results of t-test analyses highlighted a downward trend of anxiety symptoms, especially in total anxiety, somatic anxiety, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety and school phobia at post-treatment assessed by children. Even the score of depression symptoms, measured as a second outcome measure, decreased after the treatment. This study contributes to the evidence base for the Cool Kids program as a universal program for preventing childhood anxiety in the school context. Although these preliminary results show some promise, their replication in future research is necessary given current study limitations.

https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020941

Scaini, S., Michelini, G., De Francesco, S., Fagnani, C., Medda, E., Stazi, M. A., & Battaglia, M. (2022). Adolescent pain, anxiety, and depressive problems: a twin study of their co-occurrence and the relationship to substance use. Pain, 163(3), e488-e494.

Abstract

Data on the etiological factors underlying the co-occurrence of common adolescent pain with anxiety and depression symptoms are very limited. Opioid prescriptions for adolescent pain problems are on the rise in North America and constitute a risk factor for diversion, misuse, and substance use. In this study, we aimed to investigate the phenotypic and etiological association among pain, depression, and anxiety and to test their link to substance use in adolescents. By taking advantage of the Italian National Twin Registry and of the relatively low incidence of opioid prescriptions in Italy, we applied multivariate modelling analyses to 748 Italian adolescent twins (374 pairs, mean age 16 ± 1.24 years). Twins’ responses to the Achenbach Youth Self-Report questionnaire were used to build a composite adolescent pain index and to measure anxiety, depression, and substance use. All monozygotic within-pair correlations were higher than the dizygotic correlations, indicating genetic influences for adolescent pain, anxiety, and depressive problems. A common latent liability factor influenced by genetic and environmental elements shared among pain, depression, and anxiety provided the best fit to explain the co-occurrence of adolescent pain, anxiety, and depression problems. A common phenotypic factor capturing all 3 phenotypes was positively associated (β = 0.19, P < 0.001, confidence interval: 0.10-0.27) with substance use. These findings indicate that several intertwined mechanisms, including genetic factors, can explain a shared liability to common adolescent pain, anxiety, and depression problems. Their association with substance use remains traceable even in societies with relatively low prevalence of opioid prescriptions.

DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002400

Scaini, S., Piron, R., Nicoli, S., Fiore, F., DiGiuseppe, R., Ruggiero, G. M., & Caruso, C. (2022). A Cross-Validation of the Anger Cognitions Scale-Revised: Cognitions and Anger in an Italian Adolescent Sample. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 40(2), 278-294.

Abstract

The Angry Cognitions Scale (ACS; Martin and Dahlen in J Ration Emot Cogn Behav Therapy 25(3): 155–173, 2007) is a comprehensive instrument designed to test cognitions that are related to anger. This paper presents data on the Italian-language version of the Angry Cognition Scale-Revised (ACS-R; Soto and DiGiuseppe in which beliefs best predict anger, 2016) in a sample of adolescents aged 11–19 years. The revised version attempted to refine the ACS to better represent Ellis’s theory of irrational beliefs and clarify the coping strategies subscale. Our study attempted to (a) test the factorial structure of the ACS-R-adolescent version, (b) provide psychometric information on internal consistency and test–retest reliability data on the questionnaire in the Italian culture, and (c) test the convergent and predictive validity of the ACS-R-adolescent version relative to other questionnaires. Factor analysis supports a multidimensional model, but the distribution of the items is different from the original validation; in particular, a three-factor solution was supported rather the hypothesized seven factors. Specifically, we labelled the factors as follows: Factor 1 is labelled as Hostile verbal and involves catastrophic cognitive attributions; Factor 2 is labelled Adaptive thoughts on the negative consequences of anger; and Factor 3 is called Demandingness and generalizations. The internal consistency appears optimal for all three factors (from .720 to .888). In addition, analyses reveal good test–retest reliability and convergent validity.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-021-00411-5

Groenewald, C. B., Murray, C. B., Battaglia, M., Scaini, M. S., & Quinn, P. D. (2022). Prevalence of pain management techniques among adults with chronic pain in the United States, 2019. JAMA Network Open, 5(2), e2146697-e2146697.

Introduction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used data from the 2019 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to estimate that 50.2 million US adults experience chronic pain.1 A second CDC publication from NHIS found that 22.1% of these US adults with chronic pain used prescription opioids.2 However, the CDC did not determine whether opioids were used for acute vs chronic pain and did not explore other pain management techniques used. The present study provides baseline information on opioid and nonopioid pain management techniques used for chronic pain and serves as a benchmark for evaluating the outcome of health care policies aimed at reducing prescription opioid use.3

Methods

The NHIS is the principal source of information on the health of the civilian, noninstitutionalized US population. Race and ethnicity were self-reported by participants and categorized by the NHIS. The Seattle Children’s Hospital institutional review board deemed this study exempt from review because it did not constitute human participants research as the NHIS contains no protected health information. All participants in the NHIS provided oral informed consent. We followed the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) reporting guideline for cross-sectional studies. The 2019 NHIS response rate was 61.1% with a final sample of 31 916 participants.

Questions on pain management techniques appeared for the first time in the 2019 NHIS. Adults with chronic pain were asked to report on their use of 11 pain management techniques during the past 3 months (Table 1), which were coded by the study authors into 6 categories: (1) opioids for chronic pain; (2) opioids for acute pain; (3) physical, occupational, or rehabilitative therapy; (4) psychological and psychotherapeutic therapies (eg, cognitive behavioral therapy); (5) complementary therapies (chiropractic, massage, yoga or tai chi, mediation); or (6) other (self-management, pain peer support group, and other methods for pain management). Participants were not specifically asked about nonopioid pharmacological pain treatments. Survey-weighted prevalence rates for each pain management technique were calculated for selected sociodemographic characteristics. Data were analyzed using Stata version 14.2 (StataCorp) from August to December 2021. Hypothesis testing was 2-sided, and P < .05 was considered statistically significant.

Results

Among 31 916 participants, 17 261 (64%) were female; 4152 (13%) were Hispanic, 3483 (10.9%) were non-Hispanic African American, and 21 915 (68.5%) were non-Hispanic White; 22 621 (70.9%) were 18 to 64 years of age, with 9295 (29.1%) at least 65 years of age. Pain management techniques used by adults with chronic pain in the US are presented in Table 1. Additionally, we estimated that 54.7% (95% CI, 53.1%-56.3%) of adults with chronic pain only used nonopioid pain management techniques, whereas 10.7% (95% CI, 9.9%-11.6%) used both opioids and nonopioid techniques, 4.4% (95% CI, 3.8%-5.1%) only used opioids for chronic pain management, and 30.2% (95% CI, 28.8%-31.7%) did not report any pain management techniques during the past 3 months (data on respondents reporting no pain management is not presented in tables). The most commonly used nonopioid pain management technique was complementary therapies, which was used by 35.4% (95% CI, 33.9%-36.9%) of adults with chronic pain, followed by physical, occupational or rehabilitative therapies (18.8% [95% CI, 17.8%-19.9%] of adults with chronic pain). Only 3.8% (95% CI, 3.3%-4.4%) of adults with chronic pain used psychological or psychotherapeutic interventions. Other techniques reported, included self-management programs (5.1% [95% CI, 4.5%-5.8%]) and chronic pain peer support groups (1.8% [95% CI, 1.5%-2.3%]). In addition, 39.1% (95% CI, 37.3%-40.9%) of adults with chronic pain reported using other pain approaches not specifically captured in the data set. Prescription opioid use for chronic pain was more common among older age groups (eg, for chronic pain among adults aged 45 to 64 years: 19.3% [95% CI, 17.6%-21.2%] vs adults aged 18 to 44 years: 8.4% [95% CI, 6.8%-10.3%]), female individuals (eg, for chronic pain among female individuals: 16.9% [95% CI, 15.5%-18.5%] vs male individuals: 13.1% [95% CI, 11.7%-14.7%]), insured individuals (eg, for chronic pain among those insured: 16.3% [95% CI, 15.2%-17.4%] vs uninsured: 5.8% [95% CI, 3.9%-8.4%]), those with high school education or lower (eg, for chronic pain among those with high school or less: 17.0% [95% CI, 15.4%-18.8%] vs more than high school: 13.8% [95% CI, 12.6%-15.1%]), and was less common among those with higher annual income (eg, for chronic pain among those from households that made at least $100 000 annually: 8.7% [95% CI, 7.2%-10.5%] vs less than $35 000 annually: 19.8% [95% CI, 18.1%-21.5%]) (Table 2). Adults using complementary and psychological or psychotherapeutic interventions were more likely than those not using these techniques to be younger, female, and have higher educational attainment. Adults using physical, occupational, or rehabilitative therapy were more likely than those not using these treatments to be older, female, have medical insurance, and be more highly educated.

Discussion

This study found that adults with chronic pain in the US use a variety of pain management techniques, including opioids. While effective for some, opioids prescribed for chronic pain management remain an important determinant of the national opioid crisis.4 Nonpharmacologic and nonopioid pharmacologic therapies are preferred treatments for chronic pain, and it is encouraging to note that most adults with chronic pain use a combination of various nonopioid modalities for treatment.3 However, only 3.8% of participants reported using psychological therapies. Psychological therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, is effective for improving chronic pain, and our study indicates that it is underused.5 Limitations of this study include that information is subject to recall and social desirability bias. Moreover, 39.1% of adults with chronic pain reported using other pain approaches not specifically captured in the data set. Strengths of this study include the ability to examine opioid and nonopioid use for chronic pain captured in NHIS for the first time.

This cross-sectional study calculated national estimates of opioid and nonopioid pain management techniques used by adults with chronic pain. Pain management techniques vary by sociodemographic characteristics. Improved understanding of effective nonopioid pain management techniques is needed to reduce the reliance on opioids for chronic pain.

 

doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.46697

Scaini, S., Caputi, M., Giani, L., & Forresi, B. (2022). Temperament profiles to differentiate between stress-resilient and stress-affected children during Covid-19 pandemic. Psychology Hub, 38(3), 7–16.

Abstract

Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to individual resilience, especially among children who are the most affected by its psychological consequences. We aim to investigate temperament profiles that might constitute a potential risk factor for the development of psychopathology and low levels of resilience in children experiencing Covid-19 quarantine. The sample included 158 Italian children aged 5 to 10 years (48% boys, M = 7.4, SD = 1.8) recruited through a snowball sampling from the general population. Temperament, psychopathological symptoms, and resilience were assessed with the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Child and Youth Resilience Measure. Profile Analysis was employed to outline temperament differences between stress-resilient and stress-affected children. Results evidenced that resilient children displayed high levels of persistence and reward dependence, and low levels of novelty seeking. Behavioral difficulties were associated with low levels of persistence and reward dependence, and high levels of novelty seeking. Internalizing symptoms were more likely among children with high harm avoidance and low persistence. These findings underscore the importance of examining different temperament dimensions and their associations, especially when profiling phenotypes in trying to identify the links among temperament, vulnerability to psychopathology and resilience during stressful periods.

https://doi.org/10.13133/2724-2943/17582

Moro, A. S. (2022). A Concrete Recipe to Reinvent and Innovate the Bachelor’s Program: Free Choice of Courses and Hackathon-Based Teaching. Human Arenas, 1-9.

Abstract

Nowadays, the role of universities is experiencing a conflict: institutions need certificated and specialized professionals, and students need real knowledge. One hardly could imagine the implementation of this combination in the higher education system, even at the beginning of the university career. Bachelor’s programs indeed tend to be overly specialized and dogmatic, careless of those creative processes underlying innovation. For these reasons, I suggest two innovations to rebalance the strife. The first consists of the possibility for each student to actively choose courses, thus creating personalized and heterogeneous study careers. The second innovation concerns the implementation of hackathon-based teaching to enrich learning through cooperation and competition to solve concrete problems. I suggest that these improvements would guarantee the formation of professionals and allow students to develop actively their system of knowledge, as well as they would break down the barriers to innovation in higher education.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s42087-022-00301-x

Giglio, G e Carnevali, D. (2022). Apprendere abilità di autogestione: come insegnare strategie di self-monitoring a un adolescente con disturbo dello spettro autistico. Volume 7, Numero 3 – Dicembre 2022. Giornale Italiano dei Disturbi del Neurosviluppo: 40-53, Vannini Editrice Brescia.

Carnevali, D., Catania, G.V. (2022). Progettare autonomia e Qualità di Vita. Volume 7, Numero 1 – Aprile 2022. Giornale Italiano dei Disturbi del Neurosviluppo: 87-95, Vannini Editrice Brescia.

Fioriti, F., Severgnini, J., Ziliani, C., Visioli, G., Chiodelli, G., Cavagnola, R., Michelini, G., Carnevali, D., Miselli, G., Galli, L., Alzani, L., Corti, S., Leoni, M. (2022). L’ABA per orientare la razionalizzazione dei farmaci psicoattivi in persone con Autismo e Disturbo del neurosviluppo. Volume 7, Numero 2 – Agosto 2022. Giornale Italiano dei Disturbi del Neurosviluppo: 10-27, Vannini Editrice Brescia.

Sangalli, M.A., Caselli, G. (2022). Alessitimia e strategie di autoregolazione: Una rassegna sistematica. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 28(2), 157-177.

Di Cugno, M., Oppo, A., Olivari, C., Caselli, G. (2022). Rimuginio desiderante e sintomi compulsivi: un’indagine esplorativa. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 28(1), 13-27.

Aydin. O., Unal-Aydin, P., Caselli, G., Kolubinski, D.C., Marino, C., Spada, M.M. (2022). Psychometric validation of the desire thinking questionnaire in a Turkish adolescent sample: Associations with internet gaming disorder. 2022 – Addictive Behaviors, 125, 107-129

Abstract

Background
Desire thinking is a conscious and voluntary cognitive process that consists of perseverative focus on information, memories, and prefiguration of images related to a desired target. The Desire Thinking Questionnaire (DTQ) is acknowledged as a reliable and valid tool to measure desire thinking in both adults and adolescents. The aim of the present study was to examine the psychometric properties of the DTQ in Turkish adolescent sample.

Methods
A convenience sample of 200 adolescents completed the Turkish version of the DTQ (DTQ-T) and an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was performed. Subsequently, a convenience sample of 701 adolescents completed the DTQ-T and a battery of questionnaires assessing personality traits, affect, boredom, impulsivity, and Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). A Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was performed on the DTQ-T and validity was determined by examining correlations with other measures.

Results
A 9-item two-factor structure was observed in the EFA. An 8-item two-factor structure was established in the CFA. Results demonstrated that the DTQ-T yields adequate levels of reliability and concurrent validity. Additionally, an examination of incremental validity showed that DTQ-T significantly predicted IGD when controlling for personality traits, affect, boredom, and impulsivity.

Conclusions
The 8-item DTQ-T was found to be a reliable and valid measure of desire thinking among Turkish adolescents. Desire thinking may be a feasible target for mental health workers to alleviate the symptoms of IGD.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107129

Spiniello G., Sapuppo W. (2022). The comorbidity between Feeding and Eating Disorders and Personality Disorders: A systematic review of current status. IJEDO

Abstract

Purpose of review: to update the state of art about the comorbidity between Feeding and Eating Disorders (FEDs) and Personality Disorders (PDs), referring to the categorical of the latest versions of the Statistical and Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM): DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR and DSM-5. The following state-of-art literature review has been carried out since 2014, to which is possible to trace the latest findings about the topic.
Methods: the present systematic review has been conducted in accordance to PRISMA guidelines. Advanced systematic searches in PubMed and EBSCOhost have been conducted using the following search string with Boolean operators (eating disorders or anorexia or bulimia or binge eating) AND personality disorder AND (comorbidity or comorbidities or cooccurrence or comorbid) NOT (review of literature or literature review or meta-analysis or systematic review). The search strategy garnered four studies for inclusion in the present review, referred between February 2014 and March 2022.
Results: the analysis of the 4 studies suggests a comorbidity between FEDs and PDs. While this co-occurrence seems to prevail in a plain population, pre-existence of psychiatric disorders such as ADHD or ASD seem not to have an impact on the comorbidity between the two disorders.
Discussion: more in-depth studies on the general co-occurrence between FEDs and PDs can be really helpful to update and synthesise the results on this sketchy topic, not only for the purpose to bring up to date the literature, but also to be ready to treat such disorders that are constantly evolving.

https://www.doi.org/10.32044/ijedo.2022.05

Paper 2021

Boltri M., Sapuppo W. (2021). Anorexia Nervosa and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Systematic Review. Psychiatry Research, 306: 1-9.

Abstract

Background

Recent research has shown a growing interest in exploring the relationship between anorexia nervosa (AN) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both conditions seem to share areas of cognitive, social and behavioural impairment, leading to relevant implications on treatment, especially when they are in comorbidity. This literature review aims to synthesise the latest studies on this topic to investigate the co-occurrence of AN and ASD, suggest future research directions and consider implications for treatment.

Method

Records were systematically (PRISMA guidelines) identified through PubMed, EBSCOhost, Scopus and Web of Science searching.

Results

Thirteen studies met the eligibility criteria and were therefore included in the review. Results seem to confirm an overrepresentation of ASD symptoms in AN. Only few studies investigated the AN-ASD comorbidity in young people and report slightly lower rates than those conducted with adults.

Conclusions

Analysed studies suggest that while the comorbidity seems to exacerbate the severity of the condition, autistic traits appear to be rather stable over time and not related to body weight. Thus, future longitudinal studies and gender- specific assessment tools can help clarify the relationship between the two disorders, examine the onset of ASD symptoms and develop structured guidelines for treatment.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114271

Giusberti, F. & Brighetti, G. (2021). Una volta non si chiamavano processi cognitivi. Psychological Research Journal, 2: 117-128

Lo scopo di questo contributo &egrave; quello di mettere in risalto una linea di ricerca che era gi&agrave; presente nei primi decenni della ricca produzione di Renzo Canestrari, estremamente innovativa per quel periodo, e relativa allo studio dei processi mentali, che oggi costituiscono i fondamenti della psicologia cognitiva. Questi lavori rappresentano una intuizione anticipatoria non solo di settori di ricerca, ma anche di metodologie di ricerca empiriche e sperimentali associate allo studio degli aspetti quantitativi dei processi mentali. Di particolare rilievo sono gli studi sulla percezione visiva di impronta gestaltista, arricchiti di analisi sperimentali applicate anche sovente a casi clinici. Non va inoltre dimenticato il contributo offerto da Canestrari allo studio psicologico delle modificazioni sociali intervenute nel secondo dopoguerra.

https://doi.org/10.3280/rip2021oa12601

Caputi, M., Dulay, K., Bulgarelli, D., Houston Price, C., Cerrato, G., Fanelli, M., Masento, N., & Molina, P. (2021). See & Eat! Using E-books to Promote Vegetable Eating Among Preschoolers: Findings From an Italian Sample. Frontiers in Psychology

Different strategies have been developed to help parents with introducing new or disliked vegetables. Nonetheless, many parents of preschoolers struggle against children’s refusal to eat vegetables. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of e-books in promoting positive attitudes toward vegetables through repeated visual exposures. A total of 61 families with preschoolers joined the See & Eat study and received an e-book about one of two vegetables chosen from a list of 24. Parents provided ratings of children’s willingness to taste, intake, and liking of the chosen vegetables before and after reading the e-book; parents also evaluated their children’s food fussiness and their agreement with respect to three mealtime goals of the family. Using a 2 (vegetable: target or non-target) × 2 (time: pre-test or post-test) within-subjects analysis, results from 53 families revealed a significant increase in children’s willingness to taste, intake, and liking at post-test of both target and non-target vegetables. Following a two-week parent-child e-book reading intervention, children’s food fussiness and parents’ endorsement of positive mealtime goals slightly but significantly increased. Results suggest that e-books are effective in encouraging healthy eating among preschoolers and that the positive effect of e-book reading can generalize to other vegetables.

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.712416

Caputi, M., Cugnata, F., & Brombin, C. (2021). Theory of mind and loneliness: Effects of a conversation-based training at school. International Journal of Psychology, 56(2), 257-265

Abstract

Conversation-based training programmes are known to be effective in enhancing theory of mind (ToM). The possible consequences of such training programmes on the understanding of other constructs have rarely been investigated. The present research aimed to evaluate the effects of two different types of conversation-based training on ToM and loneliness. Two hundred and ten fourth and fifth graders (52% boys; Mage = 9.66 years, SD = 0.85), randomly divided into two groups (ToM and no-ToM training condition), were administered at a 5-week intervention. ToM and loneliness were measured before and twice after the intervention (1 week and 2 months later). Linear mixed-effects models showed that, soon after the intervention, children in the ToM training condition obtained significantly higher ToM scores and significantly lower loneliness scores compared to children in the no-ToM training condition. Nonetheless, at the follow-up, ToM and loneliness scores were not significantly different for the two training conditions. These findings suggest that a relatively short intervention based on group discussion of mental states is sufficient to improve mentalizing abilities and to tackle feelings of loneliness among fourth and fifth graders in the short but not in the long term.

https://doi.org/10.1002/ijop.12707

Spada, M. M., Nikčević, A. V., Kolubinski, D. C., Offredi, A., Giuri, S., Gemelli, A., Brugnoni, A., Ferrari, A., & Caselli, G. (2021). Metacognitions, rumination, and worry in Personality Disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders – In Press – Published on-line 18 June 2021

Abstract

Research on metacognitions and repetitive negative thinking in patients with Personality Disorder (PD) is scarce. We aimed to determine if metacognitions and repetitive negative thinking differed between patients with PD and those without PD, and if metacognitions would predict repetitive negative thinking in patients with PD controlling for several variables. A sample of 558 clinical participants were assessed for the presence of a PD diagnosis and completed the following questionnaires: Penn-State Worry Questionnaire, Ruminative Response Scale, Metacognitions Questionnaire 30, Beck Anxiety Inventory and Beck Depression Inventory. Compared to patients without a diagnosis of PD, patients with a PD diagnosis reported higher scores on both rumination and worry (as well as depression and anxiety) and three out of five of the MCQ-30 subscales (positive beliefs about worry, negative beliefs about thoughts concerning uncontrollability and danger, and beliefs about the need to control thoughts). Furthermore, the results of two hierarchical regression analyses in patients with a diagnosis of PD indicated that positive beliefs about worry and negative beliefs about thoughts concerning uncontrollability and danger were independent predictors of worry, and that negative beliefs about thoughts concerning uncontrollability and danger and cognitive self-consciousness were independent predictors of rumination. Metacognitions and repetitive negative thinking may play a role in the severity of psychological distress experienced in PD presentations. The implications of these findings are discussed.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.06.024

Akbari, M., Bahadori, M. H., Milan, B. B., Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Metacognitions as a predictor of online gaming in adolescents: Psychometric properties of the metacognitions about online gaming scale among Iranian adolescents. Addictive Behaviors, 118, 106904

Abstract

The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale (MOGS) measures maladaptive metacognitions about online gaming. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate psychometric properties of the MOGS, including its factor structure, reliability, and predictive validity among Iranian adolescents. The scale was administered to 769 Iranian adolescents (577 male, mean age = 16.39 ± 1.68 years) with an age range of 15–19 years. The participants completed the Persian-translated version of the MOGS, the Big Five Inventory-10, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale 21, the Video-Game Related Cognitions Scale, the Motives for Online Gaming Questionnaire, and the Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire. The results of the Exploratory Factor Analysis (n = 350) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (n = 419) confirmed three-factors similar to the parent version, including “negative metacognitions about uncontrollability of online gaming” (N-MOGU), “negative metacognitions about dangers of online gaming” (N-MOGD), and “positive metacognitions about online gaming” (P-MOG). The Persian MOGS’s reliability showed a suitable internal consistency for the P-MOG, the N-MOGU, the N-MOGD, and the total score in both confirmatory and exploratory samples (range 0.79 to 0.93). A hierarchical regression analysis showed that the Persian MOGS predicted 33.9% of the variance in problematic online gaming independently of personality traits, anxiety, depression, stress, and both gaming-related cognitions and gaming motives. Furthermore, the results of analyses of variance with follow-up Bonferroni pairwise comparisons showed that interaction between the factors of MOGS and types of game and tools of gaming was significant. The findings provide evidence that the Persian MOGS among Iranian adolescents appears psychometrically appropriate to be used by researchers and practitioners dealing with the prevention and treatment of problematic online gaming.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106904

Caselli, G., Marino, C., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Modelling Online Gaming Metacognitions: The Role of Time Spent Gaming in Predicting Problematic Internet Use. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 39, 72-182.

Abstract

In recent years there have been growing concerns about problematic Internet use (PIU) as potential mental health problem. Among the many activities available on the Internet, the time spent gaming appears one of the most frequent risk factors in developing PIU. The aim of the current study was to model the relationship between negative affect, metacognitions about online gaming, frequency of online gaming and PIU. A total of 326 Italian gamers (mean age = 27 years, SD = 5.65 years; 93.3% males) participated in the study. The pattern of relationships specified by the theoretical model was examined through path analysis. Results showed that negative affect was directly associated with all other variables. Specifically, positive, strong and direct associations were found between negative affect and both positive and negative metacognitions about online gaming. Moreover, negative metacognitions about online gaming were strongly linked to PIU. Overall, the theoretical model was supported showing that metacognitions about online gaming may play a role in the association between time spent on online gaming to a broader pattern of PIU. Results are discussed within the context of the metacognitive model of psychopathology and clinical implications based on this model are outlined.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-020-00365-0

Vergallito, A., Gallucci, A., Pisoni, A., Caselli, G., Ruggiero, G. M., Sassaroli, S., & Lauro, L. J. R. (2021). Non-invasive brain stimulation effectiveness in anxiety disorder treatment: a meta-analysis on sham/behavior-controlled studies. medRxiv

Abstract

Background Recently, the possibility of using non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) to treat mental disorders received considerable attention. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are considered effective treatments for depressive symptoms. However, no recommendation is available for anxiety disorders, suggesting that evidence is still limited.

Objective We systematically revised the existing literature, and quantitatively analyzed the effectiveness of rTMS and tDCS in anxiety disorders treatment.

Method Following PRISMA guidelines, 3 electronic databases were screened to the end of February 2020 to select English-written peer-reviewed articles including (i) a clinical sample of patients with anxiety disorders, (ii) the use of a NIBS technique, (iii) the inclusion of a control condition, and (iv) pre-post scores at a validated questionnaire measuring anxious symptoms.

Results Eleven papers met the inclusion criteria, comprising 154 participants assigned to the real stimulation condition and 164 to the sham or control group. The Hedge g for scores at disorder specific and general anxiety questionnaires before and after the treatment was computed as effect size and analyzed in two independent random-effects meta-analyses. Considering the well-known comorbidity between anxiety and depression, a third meta-analysis was run, analyzing depression scores outcomes. Results showed a significant effect of NIBS in reducing questionnaires scores in the real vs. control condition at specific and general anxiety measures, and depressive symptoms.

Conclusion Albeit preliminary, our findings highlighted that real stimulation reduced anxiety and depression scores compared to the control condition, suggesting that NIBS can alleviate clinical symptoms in patients with anxiety diseases.

https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.01.15.21249892

Spadini S, Ferro M, Lamanna J, Malgaroli A. (2021). Activity-based anorexia animal model: a review of the main neurobiological findings. J Eat Disord. 2021 Oct – 2;9(1):123.

Abstract

Background: The genesis of anorexia nervosa (AN), a severe eating disorder with a pervasive effect on many brain functions such as attention, emotions, reward processing, cognition and motor control, has not yet been understood. Since our current knowledge of the genetic aspects of AN is limited, we are left with a large and diversified number of biological, psychological and environmental risk factors, called into question as potential triggers of this chronic condition with a high relapse rate. One of the most valid and used animal models for AN is the activity-based anorexia (ABA), which recapitulates important features of the human condition. This model is generated from naïve rodents by a self-motivated caloric restriction, where a fixed schedule food delivery induces spontaneous increased physical activity.

Aim: In this review, we sought to provide a summary of the experimental research conducted using the ABA model in the pursuit of potential neurobiological mechanism(s) underlying AN.

Method: The experimental work presented here includes evidence for neuroanatomical and neurophysiological changes in several brain regions as well as for the dysregulation of specific neurochemical synaptic and neurohormonal pathways.

Results: The most likely hypothesis for the mechanism behind the development of the ABA phenotype relates to an imbalance of the neural circuitry that mediates reward processing. Evidence collected here suggests that ABA animals show a large set of alterations, involving regions whose functions extend way beyond the control of reward mechanisms and eating habits. Hence, we cannot exclude a primary role of these alterations from a mechanistic theory of ABA induction.

Conclusions: These findings are not sufficient to solve such a major enigma in neuroscience, still they could be used to design ad hoc further experimental investigation. The prospect is that, since treatment of AN is still challenging, the ABA model could be more effectively used to shed light on the complex AN neurobiological framework, thus supporting the future development of therapeutic strategies but also the identification of biomarkers and diagnostic tools. Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a severe eating disorder with a dramatic effect on many functions of our brain, such as attention, emotions, cognition and motion control. Since our current knowledge of the genetic aspects behind the development of AN is still limited, many biological, psychological and environmental factors must be taken into account as potential triggers of this condition. One of the most valid animal models for studying AN is the activity-based anorexia (ABA). In this model, rodents spontaneously limit food intake and start performing increased physical activity on a running wheel, a result of the imposition of a fixed time schedule for food delivery. In this review, we provide a detailed summary of the experimental research conducted using the ABA model, which includes extended evidence for changes in the anatomy and function of the brain of ABA rodents. The hope is that such integrated view will support the design of future experiments that will shed light on the complex brain mechanisms behind AN. Such advanced knowledge is crucial to find new, effective strategies for both the early diagnosis of AN and for its treatment.

Keywords: ABA; Activity-based anorexia; Animal model; Anorexia nervosa; Behavior; Eating disorders; Psychiatric disorder.

doi: 10.1186/s40337-021-00481-x. PMID: 34600568.

Ferro M, Lamanna J, Spadini S, Nespoli A, Sulpizio S, Malgaroli A. (2021). Synaptic plasticity mechanisms behind TMS efficacy: insights from its application to animal models. Journal of Neural Transmission. 2021 Nov

Abstract

Neural plasticity is defined as a reshape of communication paths among neurons, expressed through changes in the number and weights of synaptic contacts. During this process, which occurs massively during early brain development but continues also in adulthood, specific brain functions are modified by activity-dependent processes, triggered by external as well as internal stimuli. Since transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) produces a non-invasive form of brain cells activation, many different TMS protocols have been developed to treat neurological and psychiatric conditions and proved to be beneficial. Although neural plasticity induction by TMS has been widely assessed on human subjects, we still lack compelling evidence about the actual biological and molecular mechanisms. To support a better comprehension of the involved phenomena, the main focus of this review is to summarize what has been found through the application of TMS to animal models. The hope is that such integrated view will shed light on why and how TMS so effectively works on human subjects, thus supporting a more efficient development of new protocols in the future.

doi: 10.1007/s00702-021-02436-7

Caputi, M., Forresi, B., Giani, L., Michelini, G., & Scaini, S. (2021). Italian children’s well-being after lockdown: Predictors of psychopathological symptoms in times of Covid-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, 11429

Abstract

The first Italian lockdown imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19 caused important disruptions in families’ everyday lives. The main aim of this research was to investigate the predictors of psychopathology in children aged 5–10 years, immediately after the national 2-month lockdown. A total of 158 Italian parents (148 mothers, 10 fathers, mean age = 41 years) were recruited and asked to complete an online research concerning their 158 children (76 boys, mean age = 7.4 years). Parents completed questionnaires on parent–child conflict, resilience, temperament, behavior, and previous adverse childhood experiences. Hierarchical regressions showed that children’s psychopathology was predicted by low child resilience, high novelty seeking and harm avoidance, adverse experiences, and high flooding levels. Moreover, girls exposed to adverse experiences appeared more vulnerable to psychopathology. The recruitment of a convenience sample, the small sample size, and the cross-sectional design of our study limit the generalizability and interpretation of the present findings. Nonetheless, this research extends our knowledge of children’s functioning in such an exceptional period. Shedding light on predictors of children’s psychopathology following prolonged quarantine can indeed guide effective psychological interventions now and in future similar situations.

Forresi B, Caputi M, Scaini S, Caffo E, Aggazzotti G, Righi E. (2021). Parental Internalizing Psychopathology and PTSD in Offspring after the 2012 Earthquake in Italy. Children, 8(10), 930

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is common in youths after earthquakes, with parental psychopathology among the most significant predictors. This study investigated the contribution and the interactional effects of parental internalizing psychopathology, the severity of exposure to the earthquake, and past traumatic events to predict PTSD in offspring, also testing the reverse pattern. Two years after the 2012 earthquake in Italy, 843 children and adolescents (9–15 years) living in two differently affected areas were administered a questionnaire on traumatic exposure and the UCLA PTSD Reaction Index. Anxiety, depression, and somatization were assessed in 1162 parents through the SCL-90-R. General linear model showed that, for offspring in the high-impact area, predictors of PTSD were earthquake exposure, past trauma, and parental internalizing symptoms, taken individually. An interaction between earthquake exposure and parental depression or anxiety (not somatization) was also found. In the low-impact area, youth PTSD was only predicted by earthquake exposure. The reverse pattern was significant, with parental psychopathology explained by offspring PTSD. Overall, findings support the association between parental and offspring psychopathology after natural disasters, emphasizing the importance of environmental factors in this relationship. Although further research is needed, these results should be carefully considered when developing mental health interventions.

Giani, L., Caputi, M., Forresi, B., Michelini, G., & Scaini, S. (2021). Evaluation of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy efficacy in the treatment of separation anxiety disorder in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1-24

Abstract

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-established treatment for anxiety disorders. However, few efforts have been made to summarize the impact of specific intervention-related variables on therapeutic outcomes in different-aged youth with a separation anxiety disorder (SAD). PRISMA guidelines were followed to provide an efficacy overview of different disorder-specific CBT protocols against transdiagnostic ones among youth with SAD. Literature search was conducted in Pubmed, EBSCOhost, PsychInfo, PsycArticles, PSYNDEX, Medline, and ERIC. In total, 9 papers met the eligibility criteria. Overall, preschoolers benefited more from disorder-specific CBT protocols, whereas school-aged children and adolescents from transdiagnostic ones. Interventions aimed at removing SAD maintenance factors, by including parent-sessions, were efficacious, especially among younger children. Psychotherapy had higher efficacy than drug treatments, with individual- and group-CBT addressing SAD symptoms similarly. Findings support CBT as the golden standard for SAD in youth, impacting on the core symptoms in a time-limited, goal-directed way, with long-term effects.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s41811-021-00129-3

Mansueto G., Faravelli C. (2021). Stressful life events and psychosis: Gender differences. Stress and Health.

Mansueto G., Lugoboni F., Casari R., Bertoldi A., Cosci F. (2021). Mono- and poly-therapy with benzodiazepines or Z-drugs. Results from a tertiary-care Addiction Unit study. The International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 32(4): 295-320.

Mansueto G., Leão Lopes F., Grassi L., Cosci F. (2021). Impact of COVID-19 outbreak on Italian healthcare workers versus general population: results from an online survey. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy

Abstract

Objective

COVID-19 pandemic has been a stressful condition. We explored life changes and health-related consequences of COVID-19 outbreak in Italian healthcare workers in comparison to the general population.

Methods

A total of 593 subjects participated to the online CoRonavIruS Health Impact Survey. Life events and changes, physical health and worries were evaluated referring to 2 weeks prior to the survey. Mood states and daily behaviour were retrospectively evaluated referring to 3 months before COVID-19 (T1) and 2 weeks prior to the survey (T2). Student t test, Mann–Whitney test and multivariate logistic regression analyses were run.

Results

Five hundred and twenty-one subjects were analysed (healthcare workers: n = 163, 31.84%; general population: n = 349, 68.16%). Healthcare workers were more likely to report fatigue and have spent more time outside home during the 2 weeks prior to the survey than the general population (χ2(df) = 266.03(17)p < 0.001, R2 = 0.57). From T1 to T2, healthcare workers had a significant increase in negative mood, worry, restlessness, loneliness and a decrease in happiness, while subjects from the general population had a statistically significant increase in negative mood, worry, attention, concentration difficulties and a decrease in happiness, pleasure related to daily activities, time spent outdoors and alcohol use.

Conclusion

In the framework of a growing literature on healthcare workers’ status during the COVID-19 pandemic, the present study allowed to identify fatigue and loneliness as psychosomatic modifiable variables in need of being monitored and, possibly managed, to ameliorate the health status of healthcare workers.

https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2644

Cosci F., Mansueto G., Benemei S., Chiarugi A., De Cesaris F., Sensky T. (2021). Mental pain as a global person-centred outcome measure. CNS Spectrums. 1-7.

Abstract

BackgroundMental pain has been proposed as a global person-centered outcome measure. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to test an essential requisite of such a measure, namely that mental pain incorporates independent contributions from a range of discrete but disparate outcome measures.

MethodsTwo hundred migraine patients were assessed concerning migraine disability, psychosomatic syndromes, mental pain, depression, anxiety, and psychosocial dimensions. General linear models were tested to verify which measures would individually make unique contributions to overall mental pain.

ResultsThe final model, accounting for 44% of variance, identified that higher mental pain was associated with more severe depressive symptoms, higher migraine disability, lower well-being, and poorer quality of life.

ConclusionIn this sample, mental pain was shown to behave as expected of a global outcome measure, since multiple measures of symptomatology and quality of life showed modest but significant bivariate correlations with mental pain and some of these measures individually made unique contributions to overall mental pain.

https://doi.org/10.1017/S1092852921000699

Mansueto G., Carrozzino D. Christensen K.S., Cosci F. (2021). Clinimetric properties of the Smoking Abstinence Expectancies Questionnaire. Addictive Behaviors.

Abstract

Smoking abstinence expectancies are beliefs about negative and positive short-term psychological and physiological consequences of not smoking. The Smoking Abstinence Expectancies Questionnaire (SAEQ) is a widely used Patient-Reported Outcome Measure (PROM) to assess smoking abstinence expectancies. It has four subscales: negative mood, somatic symptoms, harmful consequences, positive consequences. Although studied from a psychometric perspective, the SAEQ needs further evaluation. Clinimetrics, and its Clinimetric Criteria for Patient-Reported Outcome Measures (CLIPROM), offers a robust method to evaluate the SAEQ. We verified construct validity and sensitivity of the Italian version of the SAEQ applying CLIPROM criteria. A total of 293 adult Italian smokers were consecutively enrolled at two smoking cessation clinics and assessed via the SAEQ. Item Response Theory models (i.e., combining Rasch and Mokken analyses) were used to test construct validity and sensitivity. The total score of the SAEQ was not found to be unidimensional but each SAEQ subscale score was. PSI (0.90) indicated that the total score of the SAEQ could reliably discriminate between respondents with different levels of the trait under assessment, whereas SAEQ subscales on negative mood and harmful consequences could reliably distinguish between different groups but not between different subjects (PSI ranging from 0.77 and 0.78). Overall, the total score of the SAEQ is a sensitive screening PROM and can be used at smoking cessation clinics to discriminate between subjects with different levels of smoking abstinence expectancies. SAEQ subscales should be used to detect severity and subjective burden of a wide range of expected effects of nicotine abstinence.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107061

Carrozzino D. Christensen K.S., Mansueto G., Brailovskaia J., Margraf J., Cosci F. (2021). A clinimetric analysis of the Euthymia, Resilience, and Positive Mental Health Scales. Journal of Affective Disorders.

Abstract

Background

Euthymia has been described as a transdiagnostic construct characterized by the absence of mood disturbances and the presence of an integration of psychic forces, such as coping strategy and well-being. A multidimensional measure, the Euthymia Scale (ES), has been proposed to assess it. We investigated construct and concurrent validity of the ES.

Methods

Construct validity was studied via Rasch and Mokken analyses and compared with that of the 11-item Resilience Scale (RS-11) and 9-item Positive Mental Health Scale (PMH-Scale). A total of 951 participants were recruited (77.5% women; 24.86 ± 5.62 years).

Results

The ES, RS and PMH demonstrated similar sensitivity and construct validity. Findings indicate minor needs for adjustments only. As expected the ES demonstrated a strong negative correlation with neuroticism.

Limitations

The convenience sample of subjects recruited primarily from female Italian university students and a community-based data collection limit the generalizability of the present findings. The cross-sectional design precludes the assessment of test-retest reliability, predictive and incremental validity. Only self-report measures and a Likert version of the ES were used.

Conclusions

ES is the most comprehensive measure of euthymia. The RS-11 is a valid measure of a specific component of euthymia, namely subjective ability to cope with stress and empower well-being in face of life adversities. The PMH-Scale is a valid measure of overall positive mental health.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2021.07.001

Mansueto, G., Cavallo, C., Palmieri, S., Ruggiero, G. M., Sassaroli, S., & Caselli, G. (2021). Adverse childhood experiences and repetitive negative thinking in adulthood: a systematic review. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.

Abstract

Background

It has been proposed that repetitive negative thinking (worry and rumination) may be more common among adults who have been exposed to childhood adverse experiences, leading to emotional disorders and other adverse outcomes. The current study aims to present a comprehensive evaluation of the literature examining the relationship between the exposure to childhood adversities, repetitive negative thinking and clinical outcomes in adulthood.

Methods

In accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria, a search was conducted on PubMed and Ebsco. A manual search of reference lists was also run. Search terms were ‘childhood adversity/childhood abuse/childhood neglect/early loss event AND worry or rumination’.

Results

A total of 18 studies met the inclusion criteria. In both non-clinical and clinical populations, worry and rumination seem to be common among adults exposed to childhood abuse or childhood neglect. Among adults who have been exposed to childhood adversities, rumination seems to be associated with worse clinical outcomes such as severe psychiatric symptoms, depression, dysphoria, suicidal ideation, cognitive complaints, post-traumatic stress symptoms and aggression.

Conclusion

Early experiences of abuse and neglect may be associated with a tendency to engage in repetitive negative thinking, such as worry and rumination, in adulthood. Among adults, with a history of childhood adversities, tailored treatment to reduce repetitive negative thinking should be considered.

https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2590

Ajmone, P. F., Allegri, B., Cereda, A., Michelini, G., Dall’Ara, F., Mariani, M., Rigamonti, C., Selicorni, A., Vizziello, P. & Costantino, M. A. (2021). Neuropsychiatric Functioning in CDLS: A Detailed Phenotype and Genotype Correlation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

Abstract

Background: Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) is a rare genetic disorder and its phenotype clinical expression is widely variable. Despite the growing interest on genotype-phenotype correlations and on behaviour phenotype of genetic syndromes, specific studies in CdLS cohorts evaluating the correlations between genotype and neurodevelopmental characteristics, Behaviour and communicative aspects are limited, most of these studies are descriptive and there is a lack of specific assessment protocols.

Methods: Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural phenotype of all the patients (N = 38) was assessed using a specific neuropsychiatric protocol, concerning Intellectual Quotient (IQ), General Quotient of Development (GQ), communicative skills, behavioural aspects and adaptive behaviour based on direct and indirect evaluation. Subsequently, we searched for possible genotype–phenotype correlations comparing individuals with NIPBL variants (CdLS NIPBL mutated group) and patients with negative molecular results (CdLS clinical diagnosis group).

Results: The first part of the study showed a higher percentage of subjects with normal Intellectual Quotient (IQ) and Borderline Intellectual Functioning if compared with previous data; adaptive skills were lower than expected for age in all participants and the weakest areas were Socialization, Motor Skills, and Communication. Expressive language was more compromised than receptive language, nevertheless receptive abilities were also impaired. 39.5% of the sample presented with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). By stratifying CdLS phenotypes by genetic, NIPBL mutated individuals demonstrated a worse trend in cognitive functioning, in communication expressive skills, in motor skills and in ASD symptoms in comparison with the Clinical Diagnosis Group. Individuals with non-Truncating mutation (mostly missense) displayed better abilities in Communication and in relational aspects with no ASD while Truncating individuals presented with worse abilities in Daily Living Skills, Socialization, Motor Skills, and Communicative abilities.

Conclusions: These findings should increase our awareness of the strengths and weaknesses points in CdLS individuals to guide appropriate targeted management; interventions addressing communicative impairments represent a clinical priority in CdLS patients.

https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-562272/v1

Spadini S, Racchetti G, Adiletta A, Lamanna J, Moro AS, Ferro M, Zimarino V, Malgaroli A. (2021). A novel integrated approach to estimate the mitochondrial content of neuronal cells and brain tissues. J Neurosci Methods. 2021 Nov

Abstract

Background: Mitochondria and their dynamics fuel most cellular processes both in physiological and pathological conditions. In the central nervous system, mitochondria sustain synaptic transmission and plasticity via multiple mechanisms which include their redistribution and/or expansion to higher energy demanding sites, sustaining activity changes and promoting morphological circuit adaptations.

New method: To be able to evaluate changes in mitochondrial number and protein phenotype, we propose a novel methodological approach where the simultaneous analysis of both mitochondrial DNA and protein content is performed on each individual microsample, avoiding non-homogeneous loss of material.

Results: We validated this method on neuronal-like cells and tissue samples and obtained estimates for the mitochondrial/genomic DNA ratio as well as for the abundance of protein counterparts. When the mitochondrial content per cell was evaluated in different brain areas, our results matched the known regional variation in aerobic-anaerobic metabolism. When long-term potentiation (LTP) was induced on hippocampal neurons, we detected increases in the abundance of mitochondria that correlated with the degree of synaptic enhancement.

Conclusions: Our approach can be effectively used to study the mitochondrial content andits changes in different brain cells and tissues.

Keywords: Energy metabolism; LTP; Mitochondria; Neuronal metabolism; Synaptic plasticity; Synaptic transmission.

Nese, M., Riboli, G., Brighetti, G., Visciano, R., Giunti, D., & Borlimi, R. (2021). Sexual Fantasies across Gender and Sexual Orientation in Young Adults: A Multiple Correspondence Analysis. Sexes, 2(4), 523-533

Abstract

Differences in the content of sexual fantasies across gender have been widely documented, while less attention was given to the role of sexual orientation. Previous studies focused on differences in the prevalence of broad themes consisting of sets of contents. The current study aimed to increase the knowledge about sexual fantasies in heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women. A descriptive approach that allows visualizing the patterns of fantasies reported by different groups using Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA) is presented. A sample of 3136 of young adults, 1754 women (Mage = 22.50, SD = 1.72, range 18–25) and 1382 men (Mage = 22.50, SD = 1.70, range 18–25), completed an online questionnaire assessing the presence of 29 different sexual fantasies. The prevalence of each fantasy among each group is shown. Also, relationships between fantasies and the distribution of groups along the two principal dimensions highlighted by MCA are represented. Heterosexuals women reported fewer fantasies and showed opposite patterns of response compared to heterosexual men. There was a substantial overlapping in the fantasies reported by gay and bisexual men, while responses of lesbian and bisexual women were more differentiated. These results indicate that the content of sexual fantasies varies according to both gender and sexual orientation.

Moderato, L., Lazzeroni, D., Oppo, A., Dell’Orco, F., Moderato, P., & Presti, G. (2021). Acute stress response profiles in health workers facing SARS-CoV-2. Frontiers in Psychology 12

Objective: The study is an explorative investigation aimed to assess the differences in acute stress response patterns of health workers facing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during Italy’s first lockdown.

Methods: A cross-sectional investigation using convenience sampling method was conducted in Italy during April 2020. Eight hundred fifty-eight health workers participated in the research filling out self-report measures including Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), and Impact of Event Scale–Revised (IES-R).

Results: Moderate/severe depression was found in 28.9% (95% CI, 25.8–32.04), moderate/severe anxiety in 55.4% (95% CI, 51.9–58.8), insomnia in 15% (95% CI, 12.5–17.5), and distress in 52.5% (95% CI, 48.5%–56.6) of participants. The 3% of health workers reported frequent suicidal thoughts. Female sex, working for >15 h/week in a COVID-19 unit, and living apart from family were associated with a significantly higher risk of distress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and functional impairment. Four profiles were identified on the basis of psychopathological measures: Profile_0 included 44% (N = 270); Profile_1, 25.6% (N = 157); Profile_2, 19.1% (N = 117); and Profile_3, 11.3% (N = 69) of participants. Results showed a significant effect for Profiles X IES-R (η2 = 0.079; f = 0.29), indicating that in all profiles, except for Profile_0, avoidance scale is lower than hyperarousal and intrusion symptoms scales of the IES-R. This characteristic could be a probable index of the control exerted by the responders to not fly away from their job.

Conclusion: The identification of specific profiles could help psychiatrists and emergency psychologists to build specific interventions in terms of both primary and secondary prevention to face future waves of the COVID-19 outbreak.

https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.660156

Cesareo, M., Tagliabue, M., Oppo, A., & Moderato, P. (2021). The ubiquity of social reinforcement: A nudging exploratory study to reduce the overuse of smartphones in social contexts. Cogent Psychology, 8(1)

In this study, we analyze the interaction between smartphones and their users as contingencies of reinforcement underpinning social behavior. We posit the introduction of a nudge: an environmental intervention meant to guide behavior that can be easily avoided in a social context. Our experiment takes us to an Italian pub with the hypothesis that a simple environmental factor (a basket featuring a social cue) will contribute to a reduction in digital social interactions in favor of physical social interactions. Data were collected employing a momentary time sampling where we recorded an increase in estimated time with no smartphone interactions and a decrease in estimated time with all the customers seated at one table using their smartphones in the experimental condition. These results were significant and suggest that the nudge was effective at reducing smartphone use among the patrons. Moreover, the estimates of these digital interactions were shorter for the statistical unit when compared to the control. Together, the results of study demonstrate that a nudge can reduce smartphone use in contexts of social interaction. However, it may be difficult to sustain alternative behavior without providing consequences that reinforce its future occurrences.

https://doi.org/10.1080/23311908.2021.1880304

Palmieri, S., Gentile, N., Da Ros, A., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Profiling metacognition in binge eating disorder. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 39(2), 163-171.

Abstract

Research has shown that metacognition may play a role in problem eating. In this study we explored whether aspects of metacognition are relevant to the understanding of binge eating in patients with Binge Eating Disorder. We aimed to ascertain: (1) the presence of metacognitive beliefs about binge eating; (2) the goal of, and stop signal for, binge eating; and (3) the impact of binge eating on self-consciousness. Ten Binge Eating Disorder patients took part in the study and were assessed using the metacognitive profiling semi-structured interview. Results suggested that all patients endorsed both positive and negative metacognitive beliefs about binge eating. The goals of binge eating were stop thinking about personal concerns and improve emotional state. All patients reported that they did not know when these goals had been reached. The stop signals for binge eating included physical discomfort, beliefs about binge eating not being the best way to solve problems, and environmental stimuli. All patients also confirmed that a reduction in self-consciousness occurred during a binge eating episode. The results of this study confirm that metacognition may indeed be relevant to the understanding of Binge Eating Disorder.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-020-00364-1

Akbari, M., Seydavi, M., Palmieri, S., Mansueto, G., Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Fear of missing out (FoMO) and internet use: A comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of behavioral addictions.

Abstract

Background and aims

FoMO has been considered a predisposing factor toward excessive internet use, and a great deal of literature has investigated the link between FoMO and internet use. However, there is still a lack of cohesion in the literature.

Methods

The current study have been conducted and reported in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).

Results

In the current systematic review and meta-analysis of 86 effect-sizes, representative of 55,134 participants (Mean age = 22.07, SD = 6.15, females = 58.37%), we found that the strength of the trait FoMO- internet use association significantly varies from r = 0.11 to r = 0.63. In some populations, FoMO appears to increase with age and it is reverse in other populations. Facebook use was unrelated to FoMO in some populations, and higher FoMO was linked with stopping Instagram use for some individuals. The FoMO- internet use association was independent of their severity, as the interaction was not significant, and this association was neither linear nor curvilinear. The FoMO-internet use association does not appear to be associated with depressive, anxiety, and stress symptoms or level of life satisfaction. The COVID-19 pandemic was the only significant moderator of the FoMO-internet use association, strengthening this relationship.

Discussion and Conclusions

FoMO demonstrates a considerable role in internet use; however, there is no evidence of interaction or bi-directional association between the mentioned. Overall, we still don’t know what factors contribute to individuals exhibiting distinct patterns in the FoMO-internet use association.

https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.2021.00083

Palmieri, S., Mansueto, G., Ruggiero, G. M., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S., & Spada, M. M. (2021). Metacognitive beliefs across eating disorders and eating behaviours: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy.

Abstract

Background

Literature has pointed out a probable association between metacognitive beliefs and eating disorders. To date, no study has synthetized all research exploring the differences or similarities in metacognitive beliefs across different eating disorders diagnoses and eating problems.

Aims

To review the evidence on metacognitive beliefs across the spectrum of eating disorders and eating behaviours.

Method

A comprehensive search was conducted on PubMed and PsycInfo. The search terms used were: ‘eating disorders/anorexia/bulimia/binge eating disorder/binge eating’ AND ‘metacognitions/metacognitive beliefs’. A manual search of reference lists was also run.

Results

Eleven studies were identified. Anorexia Nervosa was broadly characterized by higher levels of metacognitive beliefs compared to the general population, particularly negative beliefs about worry and beliefs about the need to control thoughts. Positive beliefs about worry were higher in Anorexia Nervosa compared to Bulimia Nervosa and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, and in Bulimia Nervosa compared to Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Negative beliefs about worry were higher in Anorexia Nervosa compared to Bulimia Nervosa. Cognitive self-consciousness was higher in Anorexia Nervosa compared to Bulimia Nervosa and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

Conclusions

Metacognitive beliefs appear to be implicated in eating disorders and eating behaviours.

https://doi.org/10.1002/cpp.2573

Palmieri, S., Mansueto, G., Scaini, S., Caselli, G., Sapuppo, W., Spada, M. M., Sassaroli, S., & Ruggiero, G. M. (2021). Repetitive Negative Thinking and Eating Disorders: A Meta-Analysis of the Role of Worry and Rumination. Journal of clinical medicine, 10(11), 2448.

Eichenberg, C., Grossfurthner, M., Kietaibl, S., Riboli, G., Borlimi, R., & Holocher-Benetka, S. (2021). Emotional distress in the early stages of the COVID-19 related lockdowns depending on the severity of the pandemic and emergency measures: a comparative online-survey in Germany, Austria and Italy. BMC psychiatry, 21(1), 1-13.

Abstract

Background

The first wave of the COVID-19-pandemic hit different countries with varying degrees of severity, so that differences in the type and level of emergency measures were also necessary. It can be assumed that the psychological burden was higher in countries subjected to a more severe course of the pandemic (Italy) than in countries subjected to a less severe one (Germany, Austria).

https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03505-7

Sassaroli, S., Caselli, G., Mansueto, G., Palmieri, S., Pepe, A., Veronese, G., & Ruggiero, G. M. (2021). Validating the Diathesis–Stress Model Based Case Conceptualization Procedure in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: The LIBET (Life Themes and Semi-Adaptive Plans—Implications of Biased Beliefs, Elicitation and Treatment) Procedure. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 1-39.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) approaches use case formulation procedures based on the diathesis–stress conceptualization model, arranged in two dimensions: emotional vulnerability (present in a patient’s consciousness in terms of core beliefs) and coping strategies. Nevertheless, despite its pivotal role, there are a limited number of validation studies for this model. Life themes and semi-adaptive plans: Implications of biased beliefs, elicitation and treatment (LIBET) is a CBT case formulation method grounded on the CBT diathesis–stress model that aims to help validate the CBT case formulation model, and, in particular, its bidimensional arrangement. In LIBET, the two classic CBT dimensions are called “life themes,” which are mental states of focused attention to emotional sensitivities represented as core beliefs in consciousness, and “semi-adaptive plans,” which are the rigid management strategies of “life themes” implemented by adopting coping strategies such as anxious safety behaviors, compulsive controls and aggressive or rewarding strategies. The study uses quantitative textual analysis to validate the LIBET procedure in a clinical sample. The investigation discusses the extent to which the results can be considered a validation of the arrangement of the general CBT diathesis–stress model in the two dimensions of core beliefs and coping strategies.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-021-00421-3

Sbrizzi C., Sapuppo W. (2021). Effects of Pet Therapy in Elderly Patients with Neurocognitive Disorders: A Brief Review. Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra. 11:198-206

Introduction: Neurocognitive disorders (NCDs) are disturbances highly related to age. This means that, with the increasing trend in life expectancy, there is also an increase in this diagnosis, although NCDs are not exclusively found in the population over 65 years old. Likely, they will increase in the coming years together with improvements in diagnosis. In addition to the use of medicines and rehabilitative techniques, pet therapy is also used. Pet therapy makes use of animals with therapeutic, rehabilitative, educational, and recreational purposes for people affected by physical, neuromotor, and psychiatric disorders. Pet therapy seems to be functional for increasing social and communication competencies, facilitating verbal and body language, increasing self-esteem, improving quality of life, and reducing anxiety/stress. Methods: This study was based on scientific papers and publications obtained from the PubMed and Google Scholar databases. Moreover, other articles from further cross-references were included. Specific database research criteria were (a) articles published in 2018 or later, (b) samples containing only adults over 65 years old, (c) written in English or Italian, and (d) on the topic of animal-assisted intervention. Results: Uncertain results were obtained. Although a positive effect was found, the included articles were of insufficient methodological rigor. Discussion/Conclusion: Although many studies reported positive results, these could not be generalized because of the numerous biases present (e.g., small sample size, lack of methodological rigor, lack of protocol, etc.). Future studies, therefore, should seek to address the limitations found in the analyzed studies.

https://doi.org/10.1159/000518469

Andreola, C., Mascheretti, S., Belotti, R., Ogliari, A., Marino, C., Battaglia, M., & Scaini, S. (2021). The heritability of reading and reading-related neurocognitive components: A multi-level meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 121,175–200

Abstract

Reading ability is a complex task requiring the integration of multiple cognitive and perceptual systems supporting language, visual and orthographic processes, working memory, attention, motor movements, and higher-level comprehension and cognition. Estimates of genetic and environmental influences for some of these reading-related neurocognitive components vary across reports.

By using a multi-level meta-analysis approach, we synthesized the results of behavioral genetic research on reading-related neurocognitive components (i.e. general reading, letter-word knowledge, phonological decoding, reading comprehension, spelling, phonological awareness, rapid automatized naming, and language) of 49 twin studies spanning 4.1–18.5 years of age, with a total sample size of more than 38,000 individuals.

Except for language for which shared environment seems to play a more important role, the causal architecture across most of the reading-related neurocognitive components can be represented by the following equation a² > e² > c². Moderators analysis revealed that sex and spoken language did not affect the heritability of any reading-related skills; school grade levels moderated the heritability of general reading, reading comprehension and phonological awareness.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.11.016

Scaini, S., Centorame, G., Lissandrello, F., Sardella, S., Stazi, M. A., Fagnani, C., Brombin, C., & Battaglia, M. (2021). The role of genetic and environmental factors in covariation between anxiety and anger in childhood. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 30(4), 607-617.

Abstract

Higher levels of anger expression, as well as lower levels of anger control, have been reported for adults with anxiety disorders compared to individuals without anxiety disorders. Different to the research on adults, very few studies examined the relationship between anxiety and anger in childhood. In our study, we investigated 398 Italian twin pairs (74 MZ male, 70 MZ female, 134 same-sex dizygotic-53 male, 81 female-, and 120 unlike-sex dizygotic twin pairs), aged 8–17 (mean 13.06 ± 2.59): (i) the heritability of a childhood anger phenotype; (ii) the association between five anxiety domains and anger; (iii) the role of possible common etiological factors in explaining the observed comorbidity and overlap in the risk between anxiety phenotypes and anger. The study demonstrated that anger, assessed by CBCL items, is heritable in children at a similar rate to prior studies (40%). Our research found low to moderate rate of correlation between anger and anxiety (from 0.10 to 0.19). Finally, the present study found that the majority of etiological influences on anxiety and anger are independent of each other. Data showed that shared environmental influences have some small effects on the phenotypic covariation between the anxiety phenotypes and anger (12%); whereas unique environmental influences have an almost negligible effect (1%). Our analyses did not reveal the effect of genetic effects in explaining the covariation between these phenotypes.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-020-01543-2

Scaini, S., Caputi, M., Giani, L., & Forresi, B. (2021). Temperament profiles to differentiate between stress-resilient and stress-affected children during Covid-19 pandemic. Psychology Hub, 38(3), 7-16.

Abstract
Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to individual resilience, especially among children who are the most affected by its psychological consequences.
We aim to investigate temperament profiles that might constitute a potential risk factor for the development of psychopathology and low levels of resilience in children experiencing Covid-19 quarantine. Through a snowball sampling from the general population, we recruited parents of 158 Italian children aged 5 to 10 years (48% boys, M = 7.4, SD = 1.8). Parents completed questionnaires to assess their children’s temperament, psychopathological symptoms, and resilience, respectively through the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Child and Youth Resilience Measure. Profile Analysis was employed to outline temperament differences between stress-resilient and stress-affected
children. Results evidenced that resilient children displayed high levels of persistence and reward dependence, and low levels of novelty seeking. Behavioral difficulties were associated with low levels of persistence and reward dependence, and high levels of novelty seeking. Internalizing symptoms were more likely among children with high harm avoidance and low persistence. These findings underscore the importance of examining different temperament dimensions and their associations, especially when profiling phenotypes in trying to identify the links among temperament, vulnerability to psychopathology and resilience during stressful periods.

DOI: 10.131332724-294317582

Scaini, S., Palmieri, S., Caselli, G., & Nobile, M. (2021). Rumination thinking in childhood and adolescence: a brief review of candidate genes. Journal of Affective Disorders

Abstract

Background: rumination has been reported as a cognitive vulnerability factor in adolescent and adult depression. The present brief review aimed at summarizing the results of the genetic studies that investigate the candidate genes for rumination in children and adolescents.

Methods: bibliographic research was conducted on PubMed and Science Direct from their inception to February 2020. The search terms used were: ‘rumination, ruminative thinking, repetitive thinking and ‘gene, gen*’.

Results: eight studies were identified. Results suggest that variations in the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF genes may contribute to the tendency to ruminate, modelling the relationship between life stress and rumination.

Limitations: the interpretation of these results is limited by the sample sizes of the selected studies, the study designs, and the heterogeneity of the instruments assessing rumination.

Conclusions: these findings partially support the notion that variation in in the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF genes is associated with biological sensitivity to rumination.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.11.008

Scaini, S., Piron, R., Nicoli, S., Fiore, F., DiGiuseppe, R., Ruggiero, M.G., Caruso. C. (2021). A Cross‑Validation of the Anger Cognitions Scale‑Revised: Cognitions and Anger in an Italian Adolescent Sample. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 1-17

Abstract

The Angry Cognitions Scale (ACS; Martin and Dahlen in J Ration Emot Cogn Behav Therapy 25(3): 155–173, 2007) is a comprehensive instrument designed to test cognitions that are related to anger. This paper presents data on the Italian-language version of the Angry Cognition Scale-Revised (ACS-R; Soto and DiGiuseppe in which beliefs best predict anger, 2016) in a sample of adolescents aged 11–19 years. The revised version attempted to refine the ACS to better represent Ellis’s theory of irrational beliefs and clarify the coping strategies subscale. Our study attempted to (a) test the factorial structure of the ACS-R-adolescent version, (b) provide psychometric information on internal consistency and test–retest reliability data on the questionnaire in the Italian culture, and (c) test the convergent and predictive validity of the ACS-R-adolescent version relative to other questionnaires. Factor analysis supports a multidimensional model, but the distribution of the items is different from the original validation; in particular, a three-factor solution was supported rather the hypothesized seven factors. Specifically, we labelled the factors as follows: Factor 1 is labelled as Hostile verbal and involves catastrophic cognitive attributions; Factor 2 is labelled Adaptive thoughts on the negative consequences of anger; and Factor 3 is called Demandingness and generalizations. The internal consistency appears optimal for all three factors (from .720 to .888). In addition, analyses reveal good test–retest reliability and convergent validity.

https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-021-00411-5

Paper 2020

Dalle Grave, A., Sapuppo, W. Treatment of avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: a systematic review. Italian Journal of Eating Disorders and Obesity – Maggio 2020 – numero 4 – pag. 13-23

Vanzin, L., Mauri, V., Valli, A., Pozzi, M., Presti, G., Oppo, A., … & Nobile, M. Clinical effects of an ACT-group training in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. (2020) Journal of Child and Family Studies, 29(4), 1070-1080

Spallazzi, M., Michelini, G., Barocco, F., Dieci, F., Copelli, S., Messa, G., Scarlattei, M., Pavesi, G., Ruffini, L., & Caffarra, P. The Role of Free and Cued Selective Reminding Test in Predicting [18F]Florbetaben PET Results in Mild Cognitive Impairment and Mild Dementia. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 73(4), 1647-1659, (2020)

Carnevali,D., Giglio, G. Qualità di Vita degli adulti con Disturbo dello Spettro Autistico: una revisione sistematica degli interventi. Volume 5 Numero 1 – APRILE 2020. Giornale Italiano dei Disturbi del Neurosviluppo: 11-27.

Cavagnola, R., Alzani, L., Carnevali, D., Chiodelli, G., Corti, S., Fioriti, F., Galli, M.L., Leoni, M., Michelini, G. & Miselli, G. Neurodevelopmental disorders and development of project of life in a lifespan perspective: between habilitation and quality of life. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore di Sanità, 56(2), 278-288, (2020)

Leoni, M., Alzani, L., Carnevali, D., Cavagnola, R., Chiodelli, G., Corti, S., Fioriti, F., Galli, M., Michelini, G. and Miselli, G. Stress and wellbeing among professionals working with people with neurodevelopmental disorders. Review and intervention perspectives. Annali dell’Istituto superiore di sanita 56 (2), 215-221, (2020)

Berna, S., Fioriti, F., Ferrami, C., Roccisano, R., Alzani, Carnevali, D., Cavagnola, R., Chiodelli, G., Corti, S., Galli, M., Leoni, M., Michelini, G. and Miselli, G. Senso di Comunità: come sviluppare l’autodeterminazione in persone con Disturbi del Neurosviluppo e comportamenti problema in un contesto residenziale. Volume 5 Numero 2 – AGOSTO 2020. Giornale Italiano dei Disturbi del Neurosviluppo: 94-109.

Carnevali, D., Alzani, L., D’Angelo, V., Cavagnola, R., Chiodelli, G., Corti, S., Fioriti, F., Galli, M., Leoni, M., Michelini, G. and Miselli, G. Affrontare la selettività alimentare nell’autismo coinvolgendo le reti educative: analisi di un caso clinico. Volume 5 Numero 3 – DICEMBRE 2020. Giornale Italiano dei Disturbi del Neurosviluppo: 29-36.

Caputi, M., Pesenti, B., Perego, G., & Scaini, S. La Relazione tra Stili Genitoriali e Ansia Sociale Filiale in Età Evolutiva: Una Rassegna della Letteratura. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 26(3), 289-310, (2020)

Caputi, M., Cugnata, F., & Brombin, C. Theory of mind and loneliness: Effects of a conversation-based training at school. International Journal of Psychology (2020)

Nese, M., Riboli, G., Brighetti, G., Sassi, V., Camela, E., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S & Borlimi, R. Delay discounting of compliance with containment measures during the COVID-19 outbreak: a survey of the Italian population. Zeitschrift Fur Gesundheitswissenschaften, published online 04-06-2020.

Marino, C., Canale, N., Vieno, A., Caselli, G., Scacchi, L., & Spada, M. M. Social anxiety and Internet gaming disorder: The role of motives and metacognitions. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, published online 23-07-2020.

Caselli, G., Marino, C., & Spada, M. M. Modelling Online Gaming Metacognitions: The Role of Time Spent Gaming in Predicting Problematic Internet Use. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, published online 13-07-2020.

Caselli, G., Gemelli, A., Ferrari, C., Beltrami, D., Offredi, A., Ruggiero, G. M., … & Spada, M. M. The effect of desire thinking on facilitating beliefs in Alcohol Use Disorder: An experimental investigation. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, published online 03-0-2020.

Efrati, Y., Kulobinski, D.C., Caselli, G., Spada, M.M. Desire thinking as a predictor of compulsive sexual behaviour in adolescents: evidence from a cross-cultural validation of the Hebrew version of the Desire Thinking Questionnaire. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, published online 01-10-2020.

Solem, S., Pedersen, H., Nesse, F., Garvik Janssen, A., Ottesen Kennair, L. E., Hagen, R., Havnen, A., Hjemdal, O., Caselli, G. & Spada, M. M. Validity of a Norwegian version of the Desire Thinking Questionnaire (DTQ): Associations with problem drinking, nicotine dependence and problematic social media use. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, published on-line on 22th October, 2020.

Favaretto, E., Offredi, A., Bedani, F., Schroffenegger, M., Sassaroli, S., Ruggiero, G. M., Fagiolini, & Caselli, G. Metacognitions and repetitive thinking in bipolar disorder and healthy controls: A comparative study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 276, 152-158, (2020)

Ruggiero, G. M., Caselli, G., & Sassaroli, S. Lo sviluppo dell’integrazione in psicoterapia. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 26(2), 83-134, (2020)

Ruggiero, G. M., Caselli, G., & Sassaroli, S. Riflessioni sul trauma: psicopatologia o paradima? Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 26(1), 39-56, (2020)

Forresi, B., Soncini, F., Bottosso, E., Di Pietro, E., Scarpini, G., Scaini, S., … & Righi, E. Post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional and behavioral difficulties in children and adolescents 2 years after the 2012 earthquake in Italy: an epidemiological cross-sectional study. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 29(2), 227-238. (2020)

Scaini, S., Caputi, M., Ogliari, A., Oppo, A. The relationship among attributional style, mentalization, and five anxiety phenotypes in school age children. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 1-15, (2020)

Palmieri, S., Gentile, N., Da Ros, A., & Spada, M. M. Profiling Metacognition in Binge Eating Disorder. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 1-9, (2020)

Rossi RS, Ferro M. Skype as a protected means to live a relationship. International forum of psychoanalysis. Jun 2020

Lamanna, J., Isotti, F., Ferro, M., Racchetti, G., Anchora, L., Rucco, D., Malgaroli, A. Facilitation of dopamine-dependent LTP in the medial prefrontal cortex of male rats follows the behavioral effects of acute stress. Journal of Neuroscience Research. Sept 2020

https://doi.org/10.1002/jnr.24732

Paper 2019

Lamanna, J., Sulpizio, S., Ferro, M., Martoni, R., Abutalebi, J., & Malgaroli, A. (2019). Behavioral assessment of activity-based-anorexia: how cognition can become the drive wheel. Physiology & behavior. 202, 1-7.

Forresi, B., Soncini, F., Bottosso, E., Di Pietro, E., Scarpini, G., Scaini, S., Aggazzotti, G., Caffo, E., & Righi, E. (2019). Post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional and behavioral difficulties in children and adolescents 2 years after the 2012 earthquake in Italy: an epidemiological cross-sectional study. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Online first(Online first), 1-12.

Frings, D., Eskisan, G., Caselli, G., Albery, I. P., Moss, A. C., & Spada, M. M. (2019). The effects of food craving and desire thinking on states of motivational challenge and threat and their physiological indices. Eating and Weight Disorders-Studies on Anorexia, Bulimia and Obesity, 24(3), 431-439.

Mansueto, G., Caselli, G., Ruggiero, G. M., & Sassaroli, S. (2019). Metacognitive beliefs and childhood adversities: an overview of the literature. Psychology, health & medicine, 24(5), 542-550.

Mansueto, G., Martino, F., Palmieri, S., Scaini, S., Ruggiero, G. M., Sassaroli, S., & Caselli, G. (2019). Desire Thinking across addictive behaviours: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Addictive Behaviors, 98(Epub), Epub ahead of print.

Marino, C., Caselli, G., Lenzi, M., Monaci, M. G., Vieno, A., Nikcevic, A. V., & Spada, M. M. (2019). Emotion regulation and desire thinking as predictors of problematic Facebook use. Psychiatric Quarterly, ahead of print, 1-7.

Marino, C., Marci, T., Ferrante, L., Altoè, G., Vieno, A., Simonelli, A., Caselli, G., & Spada, M. (2019). Attachment and problematic Facebook use in adolescents: The mediating role of metacognitions. Journal of behavioral addictions, 8(1), 63-78.

Martino, F., Caselli, G., Fiabane, E., Felicetti, F., Trevisani, C., Menchetti, M., Mezzaluna, C., Sassaroli, S., Albery, I. P., & Spada, M. M. (2019). Desire thinking as a predictor of drinking status following treatment for alcohol use disorder: A prospective study. Addictive Behaviors, 95, 70-76.

Offredi, A., Varalli, D., Ruggiero, G. M., Sassaroli, S., & Caselli, G. (2019). La ruminazione con contenuti d’ira è perseverante solo se la ritengo incontrollabile. Il ruolo delle credenze metacognitive in uno studio prospettico. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 25(2), 131-148.

Oppo, A., & Moderato, P. (2019). La conoscenza scientifica. In P. Moderato (Hrsg.), Interazioni umane Manuale di psicologia contestualista (S. 32-50). Milano: Franco Angeli.

Oppo, A., Prevedini, A. B., Dell’orco, F., Dordoni, P., Presti, G., & Moderato, P. (2019). Fusione e Defusione. Adattamento e proprietà psicometriche della versione italiana del Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire (I-CFQ). Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 1(25), 53-73.

Oppo, A., Schweiger, M., Ristallo, A., Presti, G., Pergolizzi, F., & Moderato, P. (2019). Mindfulness Skills and Psychological Inflexibility: Two Useful Tools for a Clinical Assessment for Adolescents with Internalizing Behaviors. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28(12), 3569-3580.

Piron, R., Caselli, G., Sarracino, D., Ruggiero, G. M., & Sassaroli, S. (2019). La Terapia Razionale Emotiva Comportamentale in età evolutiva e lo sviluppo in Italia dell’Educazione Razionale Emotiva. Dagli aspetti teorici alla pratica psicoeducativa. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 25(2), 187-198.

Ruggiero, G. M., Caselli, G., & Sassaroli, S. (2019). Risposta ai commenti su ‘Laicizzare la relazione terapeutica in psicoterapia cognitivo-comportamentale: la formulazione condivisa del caso. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 25(1), 101-105.

Spallazzi, M., Barocco, F., Michelini, G., Immovilli, P., Taga, A., Morelli, N., Ruffini, L., & Caffarra, P. (2019). CSF biomarkers and amyloid PET: concordance and diagnostic accuracy in a MCI cohort. Acta Neurologica Belgica, 119(3), 445–452.

Vanzin, L., Mauri, V., Valli, A., Pozzi, M., Presti, G., Oppo, A., … & Nobile, M. (2019). Clinical Effects of an ACT-Group Training in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 1-11.

Zuliani, E., Caputi, M., Scaini, S., & De’sperati, C. (2019). Videos look faster as children grow up: sense of speed and impulsivity throughout primary school. Journal of experimental child psychology, 179, 190-211.

Paper 2018

Alma, L., Spada, M. M., Fernie, B. A., Yilmaz-Samanci, A. E., Caselli, G., & Nikcevic, A. V. (2018). Metacognitions in smoking: Evidence from a crosscultural validation of the metacognitions about smoking questionnaire in a Turkish sample. Psychiatry Research, 259, 160-168.

Metacognitions in smoking: Evidence from a cross-cultural validation of the Metacognitions about Smoking Questionnaire in a Turkish sample

Metacognitions about the positive and negative effects of smoking have been associated with cigarette use and nicotine dependence. The aim of the present study was to validate the Turkish version of the Metacognitions about Smoking Questionnaire (MSQ; Nikčević et al., 2015). The sample consisted of 859 self-declared smokers (452 female) aged between 18 and 68 years (mean = 28.3; SD = 7.9). Once the English to Turkish translation of the MDQ was completed, confirmatory factor analyses were conducted based on the four-factor structure of the original measure. Initially results suggested that this model was an inadequate fit of the data obtained. However, by allowing three pairs of items (within factor) to co-vary, a re-specified model was tested that was found to be a satisfactory fit of the data. Internal reliability and predictive validity of the translated scale were observed to be good. The Turkish version of the MSQ exhibited suitable psychometric properties. This study also showed that metacognitions about smoking predict nicotine dependence independently of demographic variables, length of cigarette use, negative affect, and smoking outcome expectancies.

Caselli, G., Bruce, F., Canfora, F., Mascolo, C., Ferrari, A., Antonioni, M., Giustina, L., Donato, G., Marcotriggiani, A., Bertani, A., Altieri, A., Pellegrini, E., & Spada, M. M. (2018). The Metacognitions about Gambling Questionnaire: Development and psychometric properties. Psychiatry Research, 261, 367-374.

The Metacognitions about Gambling Questionnaire: Development and psychometric properties

Recent research has suggested that metacognitions may play a role across the spectrum of addictive behaviours. The goal of our studies was to develop the first self-report scale of metacognitions about gambling. We conducted three studies with one community (n = 165) and two clinical (n = 110; n = 87) samples to test the structure and psychometric properties of the Metacognitions about Gambling Questionnaire and examined its capacity to prospectively predict severity of gambling. Findings supported a two factor solution consisting of positive and negative metacognitions about gambling. Internal consistency, predictive and divergent validity were acceptable. All the factors of the Metacognitions about Gambling Questionnaire correlated positively with gambling severity. Regression analyses showed that negative metacognitions about gambling were significantly associated to gambling severity over and above negative affect and gambling-specific cognitive distortions. Finally only gambling severity and negative metacognitions about gambling were significant prospective predictors of gambling severity as measured three months later. The Metacognitions about Gambling Questionnaire was shown to possess good psychometric properties, as well as predictive and divergent validity within the populations that were tested.

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Compare, A., Brugnera, A., Spada, M.M., Zarbo, C., Tasca, G.A., Sassaroli, S., Caselli, G., Ruggiero, G.M., Wittstein, I. (2018). The Role of Emotional Competence in Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. Psychosomatic Medicine 80, 377-384.

The Role of Emotional Competence in Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.

OBJECTIVE: Emotional competence is important for mental and physical health. However, no studies have examined the link between aspects of emotional competence and Tako-tsubo Cardiomyopathy (TTC). METHODS: We compared 37 TTC patients who experienced emotion triggers (TTC-t: mean age 66.4 ± 12.8 years, 33 women) with 37 TTC patients who did not experience emotion triggers (TTC-nt: mean age 65.8 ± 11.1 years, 33 women) and 37 patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction who experienced a precipitating emotion that could have triggered the event (AMI-t: mean age 66.1 ± 10.1 years, 33 women). Groups were compared with respect to emotional competence and depressive symptoms. The three aspects of emotional competence (emotional intelligence, metacognitive beliefs and emotional processing deficits) were assessed using the Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS), the Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire-30 (MCQ-30) and the Emotional Processing Scale (EPS), respectively. Differences between group means were evaluated using MANCOVA, adjusting for depressive symptomatology (Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression; HAM-D) RESULTS: TTC-t patients, if compared to TTC-nt patients and AMI-t patients, had the lowest scores in emotional intelligence (TMMS Attention: F [2, 184] = 23.10; p < .001. TMMS Repair: F [2, 184] = 11.98; p < .001), and the highest scores in metacognitive beliefs and emotional processing deficits (e.g. MCQ-30 Negative Beliefs about Thoughts: F [2, 184] = 56.93; p < .001), independent of the levels of depressive symptomatology. Finally, our findings showed that TTC-nt patients had significantly lower scores on the HAM-D scale compared to AMI-t (p = 0.021) and TTC-t (p = 0.004) patients. CONCLUSIONS: TTC-t patients showed a specific dysfunctional profile of emotional competence, even after adjusting for depressive symptomatology; results provided a better understanding of the predisposing psychological and trait factors in Tako-tsubo Cardiomyopathy patients.

Frings, D., Eskisan, G., Caselli, G., Albery, I.P., Moss, A.C., Spada, M.M. (2018). The effects of food craving and desire thinking on states of motivational challenge and threat and their physiological indeces. Eating and Weight Disorders, published ahead of print, 1st June 2018

PURPOSE

Food craving has been shown to induce states of psychological challenge, indexed by increases in adrenaline but not cortisol production. The study aimed to test the relationship between challenge and (1) desire thinking (the active processing of the pleasant consequences of achieving a desired target and planning how to do so) and (2) craving.

METHODS

Participants (N = 61) self-reported their levels of craving and desire thinking. They were then presented with situations in which their craving would be fulfilled or not via a false feedback practice task (a wordsearch task). During this period psycho-physiological measures of challenge and threat were taken.

RESULTS

Higher levels of craving were linked to challenge only when the craved object was likely to be obtained. Whilst anticipating reward fulfillment, higher levels of craving were linked to higher levels of desire thinking. In turn, higher levels of desire thinking were related to lower levels of challenge. In contrast, during the processes of reward fulfillment, desire thinking was linked to increased challenge (i.e., a positive indirect effect).

Giannese, F., Luchetti, A., Barbiera, G., Lampis, V., Zanettini, C., Knudsen, K. P., Scaini, S., Lazarevic, D., Cittaro, D., D’amato, F., & Battaglia, M. (2018). Conserved DNA Methylation Signatures in Early Maternal Separation and in Twins Discordant for CO2 Sensitivity. Scientific reports, 8(1), 2258.

Conserved DNA Methylation Signatures in Early Maternal Separation and in Twins Discordant for CO2 Sensitivity.

Respiratory and emotional responses to blood-acidifying inhalation of CO2 are markers of some human anxiety disorders, and can be enhanced by repeatedly cross-fostering (RCF) mouse pups from their biological mother to unrelated lactating females. Yet, these dynamics remain poorly understood. We show RCF-associated intergenerational transmission of CO2 sensitivity in normally-reared mice descending from RCF-exposed females, and describe the accompanying alterations in brain DNA methylation patterns. These epigenetic signatures were compared to DNA methylation profiles of monozygotic twins discordant for emotional reactivity to a CO2 challenge. Altered methylation was consistently associated with repeated elements and transcriptional regulatory regions among RCFexposed animals, their normally-reared offspring, and humans with CO2 hypersensitivity. In both species, regions bearing differential methylation were associated with neurodevelopment, circulation, and response to pH acidification processes, and notably included the ASIC2 gene. Our data show that CO2 hypersensitivity is associated with specific methylation clusters and genes that subserve chemoreception and anxiety. The methylation status of genes implicated in acid-sensing functions can inform etiological and therapeutic research in this field.

Marino, C, Mazzieri, E., Caselli, G., Vieno, A., Spada, M.M. (2018). Motives to use Facebook and problematic Facebook use in adolescents. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, published ahead of print, 30th May 2018

Motives to use Facebook and problematic Facebook use in adolescents

Background and aims There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that problematic Facebook use (PFU) is an emerging problem, particularly among adolescents. Although a number of motivations explaining why people engage in frequent Facebook use have been identified, less is known about the specific psychological needs underlying PFU. The aim of this study is to test a model designed to assess the unique contribution of psychological motives for using Facebook to the different PFU dimensions in a sample of adolescents. Methods A total of 864 Italian adolescents participated in the study. Multivariate multiple regression was run to test whether the four motives were differently associated with problematic dimensions. Results The results showed that the two motives with negative valence (coping and conformity) were significantly linked to the five dimensions of PFU, whereas the two motives with positive valence (enhancement and social) appeared to be weaker predictors for three out of these five dimensions. Discussion and conclusion In conclusion, psychological motives for using Facebook appeared to significantly contribute to explaining PFU among adolescents, and should be considered by researchers and educational practitioners.

Caselli, G., Di Tommaso, J., Sassaroli, S., Spada, M.M., Valenti, B., Berardi, D., Sasdelli, A., Menchetti, M. (2018). Anger and depressive rumination as predictors of dysregulated behaviours in borderline personality disorder. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy (25), 188-194.

Anger and depressive ruminations as predictors of dysregulated behaviours in Borderline Personality Disorder

Background: Anger and depressive ruminations have recently received empirical attention as processes related to borderline personality disorder (BPD). The Emotional Cascade Model (Selby, Anestis, & Joiner, 2008) suggests that negative affect (such as anger and sadness) may trigger rumination, which in turn may increase the duration and extent of negative affect, leading to dysregulated behaviours aimed at reducing such intense and unpleasant emotions. Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the relationships between emotional dysregulation, anger and depressive ruminations, and their role in predicting dysregulated behaviours (such as aggression and self-harm) in a clinical sample of patients with BPD. Methods: Ninety-one patients with a diagnosis of BPD were recruited from three outpatient community mental health centres and asked to complete a comprehensive assessment for personality disorder symptoms, emotion dysregulation, anger and depressive ruminations, aggression, and self-harm. Results: Anger and depressive ruminations were found to be significantly associated to, respectively, self-harm and aggression, beyond the variance accounted by emotional dysregulation. Conclusions: Rumination may act as a mediator between emotional dysregulation and dysregulated behaviours in BPD. Future research should examine whether clinical techniques aimed at reducing rumination may be helpful in reducing dysregulated behaviours in patients with BPD.

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Ruggiero, G.M., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S. (2018). Secularising the therapeutic relationship in cognitive behavioural therapy: Shared case formulation. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 24,203-222.

Secularising the therapeutic relationship in cognitive behavioural therapy: Shared case formulation

This paper critically reviews scientific literature regarding the concepts of «therapeutic relationship», «therapeutic alliance» and «shared case formulation», linking the first to the relational developments of the cognitive behavioural paradigm, and the second to a trans-theoretical operational concept. This critical examination holds that only the third one is compatible with a consistent and promising development of the cognitive-behavioural psychotherapeutic paradigm, while the first one leads to two incompatible and unpromising outcomes: either an aspecific definition of psychotherapeutic relationship as a decisive aspect present in every therapeutic change, which reduces psychotherapy to a placebo effect and a sterile eclecticism, or to a specific definition which must accept being honestly presented in terms of promise of theoretically founded increased efficacy without surreptitiously using any concepts related to an aspecific definition of therapeutic relationship present in any therapy and capable of making them all homogeneously effective and equivalent.

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Ruggiero, G.M., Spada, M.M., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S. (2018). A Historical and Theoretical Review of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: From Structural Self-Knowledge to Functional Processes. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, published ahead of print on 13th April 2018.

A Historical and Theoretical Review of Cognitive Behavioral Therapies: From Structural Self-Knowledge to Functional Processes

This paper critically examines the historical conceptualization of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy approaches (CBT) as a direct clinical counterpart of the cognitive revolution. The main “second wave” cognitive psychotherapies, either standard cognitive therapy (CT) or constructivist, in spite of their differences, share a common conceptualization of psychopathological factors as superordinate structural cognitive content belonging to the self: self-beliefs, self-schemata, personality organizations and so on. On the other hand, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) is an exception given that in REBT self-knowledge is not the core psychopathological tenet, being rather a derivate mechanism. Moreover, in non clinical cognitive science cognition is conceived as a regulatory function that operates retroactively and not in a hierarchically super- ordered fashion centered on the self. A historical review suggests that in both CT and constructivist model the structuralistic model of self-centered cognition may have emerged for both cultural and scientific reasons: self-centered cognitive models may be more readily understandable to clinicians as they allow for a straightforward identification of operationalizable self-beliefs. The emergence of new “third wave” process-centered CBT approaches may represent a comeback to functionalism, where cognition is considered again a regulatory function and not a structure. In addition, REBT’s interest in dysfunctional evaluations not focused on the self presaged this clinical and scientific turning point toward functionalism.

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Sapuppo, W., Ruggiero, G.M., Caselli, G., Sassaroli, S. (2018). The Body of Cognitive and Metacognitive Variables in Eating Disorders: Need of Control, Negative Beliefs about Worry, Uncontrollability and Danger, Perfectionism, Self-esteem and Worry. The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, 55(1), 55-63

Walter Sapuppo, PsyD,1,3,4 Giovanni M. Ruggiero, MD,1,3 Gabriele Caselli, PhD,1,2,4 and Sandra Sassaroli, MD1,2 1 Sigmund Freud University, Milan, Italy and Vienna, Austria 2 Studi Cognitivi Cognitive Psychotherapy School and Research Center, Milan, Italy and branches in Modena and San Benedetto del Tronto 3 Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Ricerca Cognitive Psychotherapy School and Research Center, Milan, Italy, and a branch in Bolzano 4 School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, London, U.K.

Background: Many studies have described perfectionism and low self-esteem as traits associated with eating disorders (ED). More recently, research has shown the role played by worry, rumination, control and metacognitive beliefs. This paper investigates the role played by cognitive and metacognitive variables in the psychopathological mechanism of eating disorders, assuming that not only perfectionism and low selfesteem but also metacognitive beliefs and processes can discriminate between controls and EDs. Method: The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM, the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Anxiety Control Questionnaire, the Penn State Worry and the Metacognition Questionnaire were administered to the samples. Results: Results suggested that metacognitive factors like negative beliefs about worry, uncontrollability and danger, need for control, and worry should be added to the body of cognitive factors underlying ED composed by the classical couple of cognitive factors including perfectionism and low self-esteem. Conclusions: It is possible that an individual with ED assumes that metacognitive processes like worry and rumination are a further proof of his or her lack of value, capacity to control, and self-control. Such appraisals may reinforce the painful sense of low self-esteem so typical in ED and, in turn, the perfectionistic striving for excellence.

Scaini, S., Palmieri, S., & Caputi, M. (2018). The Relationship between Parenting and Internalizing Problems in Childhood. In L. Benedetto, & M. Ingrassia (Eds.), Parenting – Empirical Advances and Intervention Resources (pp. e-pub). e-pub: InTech. doi: 10.5772/intechopen.73540

Several types of stress factors are likely to be implied in the development, maintenance, and transmission of internalizing symptomatology: genetic/temperamental factors, cognitive factors, family factors, and societal/cultural factors. Nonetheless, family factors—especially those related to parenting—seem to be crucial during childhood, because children are nested within their families and family factors are able to indirectly influence other factors as well. The current chapter focuses on the relationship between parental style and internalizing symptoms in childhood. In the first part of the chapter, the most important studies on the topic are reviewed in detail and differences in parenting behaviors between mothers and fathers are illustrated. A discussion on the cognitive and metacognitive factors as possible pathways of the relation between parenting and childhood symptoms is also proposed. The last part of the chapter reviews studies investigating the efficacy of parental involvement in cognitive behavior therapy for children who exhibit internalizing symptoms.

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Tripaldi, S., Paparusso, M., Amabili, M., Manfredi, C., Caselli, G., Scarinci, A., Valenti, V., & Mezzaluna, C. (2018). Frustration Discomfort Scale (FDS). A Psychometric Study of the Italian Version. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, 1-21.

Frustration Discomfort Scale (FDS). A Psychometric Study of the Italian Version. 

The Frustration Discomfort Scale (FDS, Harrington 2005a) was developed as a multidimensional measure of frustration intolerance. Frustration intolerance plays an important role in behavioral and cognitive model of emotional problems (Harrington 2006). The aim of this study is to translate the original English version of FDS into Italian and to assess the validity and reliability of the Italian version for application among Italian population. The Italian version of FDS-R, with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale were administered on-line to 497 subjects aged from 18 to 66 years old. The exploratory factor analysis suggested a solution with four factors, plus a general factor. The factor analysis supports a multidimensional model of frustration intolerance but the distribution of the items is different. The internal consistency appears optimal for all four factors (range .637–.866). Despite encouraging evidence, the factor structure and other features of the FDS-R are yet to be firmly established.

Metacognitive beliefs and childhood adversities: an overview of the literature

Author information
  1. Department of Psychiatry & Psychology, School for Mental Health & Neuroscience , Maastricht University Medical Center , Maastricht , The Netherlands.
  2. Department of Health Sciences , University of Florence , Florence , Italy.
  3. Studi Cognitivi , Cognitive Psychotherapy School and Research Center , Milano , Italy.
  4. Department of Psychology , Sigmund Freud University , Milano , Italy.
  5. School of Applied Sciences , London South Bank University , London , UK.
  6. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Ricerca , Cognitive Psychotherapy School , Milano , Italy.
Abstract
Within the Self-Regulatory Executive Function theory, emerging data suggest that unhelpful metacognitive beliefs might be associated with exposure to early adversities, however the evidence is still sparse and inconclusive. This study aimed to conduct an overview of the literature to evaluate if exposure to childhood adversities might be associated with the presence of unhelpful metacognitive beliefs. A comprehensive research was conducted on PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar from inception to May 2017. The search terms used were: ‘childhood adversity/childhood abuse/childhood neglect/childhood loss event’ AND ‘metacognition/metacognitive beliefs’. A manual search of reference lists was run. Five studies were identified: three on psychiatric patients, two on the general population. Findings suggest that: (a) exposure to childhood abuse or childhood neglect might be associated with unhelpful metacognitive beliefs in adulthood; (b) early adversities are more frequently associated with negative beliefs, than other metacognitive beliefs; (c) metacognitive beliefs seem to mediate the association between childhood adversities and, repetitive thinking and negative affect. In conclusion, metacognitive beliefs might be involved in the association between early adversities and negative emotions. Interventions able to identify and reduce metacognitive beliefs associated to childhood adversities could be considered for treating the emotional consequences of childhood adversities.

Paper 2017

Battaglia, M., Michelini, G., Pezzica, E., Ogliari, A., Fagnani, C., Stazi, M. A., Bertoletti, E., & Scaini, S. (2017). Shared genetic influences among childhood shyness, social competences, and cortical responses to emotions. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 160, 67-80.

Visual event-related potentials (ERPs) evoked by facial expressions are useful to map socioemotional responses among shy children and to predict transition into social phobia. We investigated the sources of covariation among childhood shyness, social competences, and ERPs to other children’s happy, neutral, and angry expressions. Electrophysiological and twin analyses examined the phenotypic and etiological association among an index of childhood shyness, an index of social competences, and ERP responses to facial expressions in 200 twins (mean age=9.23years). Multivariate twin analyses showed that the covariation among shyness, social competences, and a composite of a frontal late negative component occurring around 200-400ms in response to happy, neutral, and angry expressions could be entirely explained by shared genetic factors. A coherent causal structure links childhood shyness, social competences, and the cortical responses to facial emotions. A common genetic substrate can explain the interrelatedness of individual differences for childhood shyness, social competences, and some associated electrophysiological responses to socioemotional signals.

Caputi M, Pantaleo G, Scaini S. (2017). Do feelings of loneliness mediate the relationship between sociocognitive understanding and depressive symptoms during late childhood and early adolescence? J Genet Psychol.,; 178(4):207-216.

Do Feelings of Loneliness Mediate the Relationship between Sociocognitive Understanding and Depressive Symptoms During Late Childhood and Early Adolescence?

Background. An interesting association between sociocognitive understanding and depression has been documented in clinical populations, with high levels of depression apparently related to theory-of-mind deficits. Yet no research has so far investigated this relationship among typically developing preadolescents. Therefore, the main aim of the present study was to extend previous findings to the general population and to a younger age group. A secondary aim of the present research was to explore the role of feelings of loneliness referring to the above link. Method. A sociocognitive understanding task, followed by self-report questionnaires on depressive symptoms and perceived loneliness, were administered to a sample of 326 students attending primary and middle schools. Results. Mediation analyses revealed that feelings of loneliness mediated the effect of sociocognitive understanding on depressive symptoms, but only among girls. Conclusions. In boys, depressive symptoms were directly linked to sociocognitive skills. In girls, on the contrary, the relationship between sociocognitive skills and depressive symptoms was significantly mediated by feelings of loneliness. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M (2017). The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale: Development and Psychometric properties. Addictive Behaviors, 64, 281-286.

The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale: Development and psychometric properties

Recent research has suggested that metacognitions may play a role across the spectrum of addictive behaviours. The goal of our studies was to develop the first self-report scale of metacognitions about online gaming. We conducted two studies with samples of online gamers (n=225, n=348) to test the structure and psychometric properties of the Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale and examined its capacity to predict weekly online gaming hours and Internet addiction. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a three-factor solution: positive metacognitions about online gaming, negative metacognitions about the uncontrollability of online gaming, and negative metacognitions about the dangers of online gaming. Internal consistency, predictive and divergent validity were acceptable. All the factors of the Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale correlated positively with weekly online gaming hours and Internet addiction. Regression analyses showed that negative metacognitions about the uncontrollability of online gaming and levels of Internet addiction were the only significant predictors of weekly online gaming hours, and that positive metacognitions about online gaming and negative metacognitions about the uncontrollability of online gaming were the only significant predictors of Internet addiction. The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale was shown to possess good psychometric properties, as well as predictive and divergent validity within the populations that were tested. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Caselli, G., Gemelli, A., & Spada, M. M (2017). The experimental manipulation of desire thinking in alcohol use disorder. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(2), 569-573. doi: 10.1002/cpp.2038 (IF: 1.933)

Objective

Desire thinking is a voluntary cognitive process involving verbal and imaginal elaboration of a desired target. Recent research has revealed that desire thinking may play a significant role in the escalation of craving. The goal of this study was to explore the effect of a desire thinking induction on craving in a sample of patients with alcohol use disorder.

Methods

Ten patients with alcohol use disorder were exposed to a brief exposure to alcohol‐related thoughts plus desire thinking induction versus brief exposure to alcohol‐related thoughts plus distraction.

Results

The induction of desire thinking led to a significant increase in distress and urge to use alcohol when compared to a behavioural assessment test and a distraction task. The clinical implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder are discussed. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message
  • Psychotherapeutic strategies that target desire thinking, both at the assessment and at the intervention levels, may be relevant in the treatment of craving‐related problems.
  • Deriving and illustrating the role of desire thinking in a given episode of craving may support the development of metacognitive awareness about its functions and consequences.

Caselli, G., Offredi, A., Martino, F., Varalli, D., Ruggiero, G. M., Sassaroli, S., Spada, M. M, & Wells, A. (2017). Metacognitive beliefs and rumination as predictors of anger: A prospective study. Aggressive Behaviors, 43(5), 421-429. doi: 10.1002/ab.21699 (IF: 2.74)

The metacognitive approach conceptualizes the relationship between anger and rumination as driven by metacognitive beliefs, which are information individuals hold about their own cognition and about coping strategies that impact on it. The present study aimed to test the prospective predictive impact of metacognitive beliefs and rumination on anger in a community sample. Seventy‐six participants were recruited and engaged in a 2‐week anger, rumination, and metacognitive beliefs monitoring protocol. A multi‐wave panel design was employed to test whether metacognitive beliefs and rumination have a prospective impact on anger. Metacognitive beliefs and rumination were found to have a significant prospective impact on anger that was independent from the number of triggering events. Metacognitive beliefs about the need to control thoughts were shown to have a direct impact on subsequent anger, independently from rumination. These findings provide support for the potential value for applying metacognitive theory and therapy to anger‐related problems. Aggr. Behav. 43:421–429, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Chakroun-Baggioni, N., Corman, M., Spada, M. M, Caselli, G., & Gierski, F. (2017). Desire thinking as a confounder in the relationship between mindfulness and craving: Evidence from a cross-cultural validation of the Desire Thinking Questionnaire. Psychiatry Research, 256, 188-193.

Desire thinking and mindfulness have been associated with craving. The aim of the present study was to validate the French version of the Desire Thinking Questionnaire (DTQ) and to investigate the relationship between mindfulness, desire thinking and craving among a sample of university students. Four hundred and ninety six university students completed the DTQ and measures of mindfulness, craving and alcohol use. Results from confirmatory factor analyses showed that the two-factor structure proposed in the original DTQ exhibited suitable goodness-of-fit statistics. The DTQ also demonstrated good internal reliability, temporal stability and predictive validity. A set of linear regressions revealed that desire thinking had a confounding effect in the relationship between mindfulness and craving. The confounding role of desire thinking in the relationship between mindfulness and craving suggests that interrupting desire thinking may be a viable clinical option aimed at reducing craving.

Fernie, B. A, Wight, T, Caselli, G., Nikcevic, A. V, & Spada, M. M (2017). Metacognitions as Mediators of Gender Identity‐related Anxiety. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(1), 264-268.

Metacognitions as Mediators of Gender Identity‐related Anxiety.

Objective: Research has found that the prevalence of psychological distress is substantially higher in transgender compared to cisgender populations. This study explored the role of metacognitions as mediators of anxiety in a sample comprising of cisgender and transgender individuals. Method: One-hundred and twenty-five individuals (19 trans-male; 24 male; 25 trans-female; 57 female) completed a series of measures that assessed metacognitions, worry and anxiety. Results: Correlation analyses were used to identify potential mediators of the relationship between gender identity and anxiety. A mediation model indicated that beliefs about thoughts concerning uncontrollability and danger entirely mediated the relationship between gender identity and anxiety (b = 2.00, bias corrected and accelerated confidence interval [0.68, 3.49]). Conclusions: Metacognitions play an important role in anxiety in transgender individuals. Highlights: -Metacognitions were found to mediate anxiety in transgender and cisgender individuals. -The exploration of metacognitions in transgender individuals experiencing psychological distress may have clinical utility. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Martino, F., Caselli, G., Di Tommaso, J., Sassaroli, S., Spada, M. M, Valenti, B., Berardi, D., Sasdelli, A., & Menchetti, M. (2017). Anger and depressive ruminations as predictors of dysregulated behaviours in borderline personality disorder. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, in print(5), 1-7.

Anger and depressive ruminations as predictors of dysregulated behaviours in borderline personality disorder.

Background: Anger and depressive ruminations have recently received empirical attention as processes related to borderline personality disorder (BPD). The Emotional Cascade Model (Selby, Anestis, & Joiner, 2008) suggests that negative affect (such as anger and sadness) may trigger rumination, which in turn may increase the duration and extent of negative affect, leading to dysregulated behaviours aimed at reducing such intense and unpleasant emotions. Aim: The aim of this study is to explore the relationships between emotional dysregulation, anger and depressive ruminations, and their role in predicting dysregulated behaviours (such as aggression and self-harm) in a clinical sample of patients with BPD. Methods: Ninety-one patients with a diagnosis of BPD were recruited from three outpatient community mental health centres and asked to complete a comprehensive assessment for personality disorder symptoms, emotion dysregulation, anger and depressive ruminations, aggression, and self-harm. Results: Anger and depressive ruminations were found to be significantly associated to, respectively, self-harm and aggression, beyond the variance accounted by emotional dysregulation. Conclusions: Rumination may act as a mediator between emotional dysregulation and dysregulated behaviours in BPD. Future research should examine whether clinical techniques aimed at reducing rumination may be helpful in reducing dysregulated behaviours in patients with BPD.

Missaglia, A., Oppo., A., Mauri., A, Ghiringhelli, B., Russo., V. (2017). The impact of emotions on recall: an empirical study on social ads. Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

The impact of emotions on recall: an empirical study on social ads

Emotions are a complex phenomenon that entails a tricky problem regarding the measurement. To partially overcome this question, we assess emotions both using self‐report and measures commonly used in neuromarketing. This study assesses the accuracy of the recall after 4 months regarding two social advertising videos about female genital mutilation. Forty female participants were recruited. The skin conductance trend of the participants is different when viewing the two videos. The majority of participants (94.9%) reported that the two videos elicited different emotions (sadness for the first video and anger for the second one). Furthermore, according to arousal and valence model, these data are consistent with the literature that underlines the importance of psychophysiological indexes in measuring emotions and their associations with memory performances.

https://www.measuringbehavior.org/mb2014/files/2014/Proceedings/Missaglia%20A%20-%20MB2014.pdf

Nikcevic, A., Alma, L., Marino, C., Klubinski, D., Yilmaz-Samanci, A. E., Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M (2017). Modelling the contribution of negative affect, outcome expectancies and metacognitions to cigarette use and nicotine dependence. Addictive Behaviors, 74, 82-89.

Modelling the contribution of negative affect, outcome expectancies and metacognitions to cigarette use and nicotine dependence.

Background: Both positive smoking outcome expectancies and metacognitions about smoking have been found to be positively associated with cigarette use and nicotine dependence. The goal of this study was to test a model including nicotine dependence and number of daily cigarettes as dependent variables, anxiety and depression as independent variables, and smoking outcome expectancies and metacognitions about smoking as mediators between the independents and dependents. Methods: The sample consisted of 524 self-declared smokers who scored 3 or above on the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND: Uysal et al., 2004). Results: Anxiety was not associated with either cigarette use or nicotine dependence but was positively associated with all mediators with the exception of stimulation state enhancement and social facilitation. Depression, on the other hand, was found to be positively associated with nicotine dependence (and very weakly to cigarette use) but was not associated with either smoking outcome expectancies or metacognitions about smoking. Only one smoking outcome expectancy (negative affect reduction) was found to be positively associated with nicotine dependence but not cigarette use. Furthermore one smoking outcome expectancy (negative social impression) was found to be positively associated with cigarette use (but not to nicotine dependence). All metacognitions about smoking were found to be positively associated with nicotine dependence. Moreover, negative metacognitions about uncontrollability were found to be positively associated with cigarette use. Conclusions: Metacognitions about smoking appear to be a stronger mediator than smoking outcome expectancies in the relationship between negative affect and cigarette use/nicotine dependence. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Ruggiero, G. M, Bassanini, A., Benzi, M. C., Boccalari, F., Caletti, E., Caselli, G., Di Tucci, A., Fiore, F., Ibrahim, R., Marsero, S., Moioli, E., Ponzio, E., Sapuppo, W., Sarracino, D., Telesca, M., Zizak, S., & Sassaroli, S. (2017). Irrational and Metacognitive Beliefs Mediate the Relationship Between Content Beliefs and GAD Symptoms: A Study on a Normal Population. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, 35(3), 240-253.

Irrational And Metacognitive Beliefs As Mediators Between Dysfunctional Beliefs (Schemas) And Anxiety

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and Metacognitive Therapy (MCT) conceptualize anxiety in different ways. CBT focuses on the content self-beliefs, MCT on regulatory metacognitive beliefs, while REBT is partially regulatory and content related. The study aimed to test a model in which MCT and REBT concepts played a mediating role while CBT-related self-beliefs had the place of the independent variable. The model, if confirmed, approximates the different psychopathological factors in the CBT, REBT and MCT models. 149 non clinical subjects completed 4 self-report questionnaires: GAD-Q-IV for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD); negative orientation to the problems questionnaire (NPOQ) for CBT, the Attitudes and Beliefs Scale (ABS) for REBT and the MCQ-30 for MCT. A moderation model was tested using regression analyses. Regression analyses confirmed the mediating role of ABS and MCQ in the relation between NPOQ and GAD (B = .23; CI = .007 to .33). The relationship between belief (schema content) and GAD symptoms appears to be statistically dependent on (mediated by) metacognitions and self-regulation.

Ruggiero, G. M, Caselli, G., Redaelli, C. A., & Sassaroli, S. (2017). Procedure e protocollo di terapia LIBET seconda parte: fasi del protocollo e caso clinic Antonia A.  Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale,23(3), 331-344

The Life themes and plans, Implications of biased Beliefs: Elicitation and Treatment (LIBET) therapy protocol and its implementation in a clinical case are described. There is an assessment phase in which the model is shared with the client, a phase implementing a plan of therapeutic interventions and monitoring both emotional and behavioural improvements, and a final stage of discharge and followup. Antonia A. showed symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder focused on performance, adequacy, judgment of others, health and travelling fears. The LIBET model includes cognitive interventions on frustration intolerance and links them to the process of learning symptoms in relations with emotionally significant figures, within which a theme of inadequacy is processed, together with avoidance and perfectionistic control planning.

Sassaroli, S., Caselli, G., Redaelli, C. A, & Rugierro, G. M (2017). Procedure e protocollo di terapia LIBET prima parte: Le procedur ABC-LIBET, laddering e disputing. Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale,23(1), 73-92.

This article describes the procedures of Life themes and plans, Implications of biased Beliefs: Elicitation and Treatment (LIBET) therapy. LIBET integrates procedures of rational disputation, constructivist reframing and developmental interventions. The assessment procedures are primarily Kellian laddering and assessment of personal life history. Laddering aims to assess self-beliefs and emotional states—called life theme- prominently underlying clients’ emotional disorder, while personal life history aims to assess the relational situations in which the life theme was learned. The assessment also examines the construction of early dysfunctional plans aimed at managing the life theme, which then result in symptoms. Therapeutic change interventions integrate rational disputation and constructivist reframing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Scaini, S., Belotti, R., Fiocco, V., Battaglia, M., & Ogliari, A. (2017). A genetically informed study of the covariation between childhood anxiety dimensions and social competence. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 26(9), 2519-2528.

We investigated the nature of latent shared etiological elements in 398 Italian twin pairs aged 8–17, explaining covariation between high levels of anxiety symptoms and low social competence. We found significant negative correlations between Child Behaviour Checklist/6–18 Social Competence Scale and three (Panic Anxiety, Separation Anxiety, Social Anxiety) out of five Screen for Child Anxiety Related Disorders anxiety subscales. Results from causal analysis seem to exclude the hypothesis that co-occurrence between Anxiety Symptoms and Social Competence could be due to a direct phenotypic effect of one trait upon the other. Multivariate analysis suggested that both genetic and shared environmental components contribute to the phenotypic correlation between Social Competence and Anxiety Subscales, whereas unique environmental factors have a negligible influence. This means that both common genetic and shared environmental causal factors contribute simultaneously to increase risk of having low Social Competence and high Anxiety scores. In particular, covariation with Social Competence seems to be influenced by both genetic and shared environmental causal components in Separation Anxiety and Social Anxiety, whereas environmental factors have an irrelevant influence for covariation with Panic/Somatic Anxiety Subscale. Our results support the adoption of a broader view of the relationships between psychopathology and diminished social competences in childhood for both clinicians and educators.

Scaini, S., Ogliari, A., De Carolis, L., Bellodi, L., Di Serio, C., & Brombin, C. (2017). Evaluation of mother-child agreement and factorial structures of the SCARED questionnaire in an Italian clinical sample. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 242.

Background: A great part of the literature has confirmed the importance of both child and parents reports as source of factual information, especially for childhood emotional syndromes. In our study we aimed at: (i) calculating mother-child agreement and (ii) evaluating factorial structure of the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) questionnaire in an Italian clinical sample. The novelty of this contribution is two-fold: first, from a clinical point of view, we investigated the parent-child agreement level and examined separately the factorial structures of both parent and child versions of the SCARED for the first time in an Italian clinical sample. Second, unlike previous studies, we used statistical approaches specifically suited to account for the ordinal nature of the collected variables. Method: In a clinical sample of 171 children and adolescents aged 8–18 and their mothers we evaluated inter-rater agreement using weighted kappa indices to assess agreement for each item belonging to a certain SCARED subscale. Exploratory factor analysis for ordinal data was then performed on the polychoric correlation matrix calculated on SCARED items. Differences in the numbers of symptoms reported by children and parents were evaluated as well. Results and Conclusions: Our results reveal moderate to strong mother-child agreement. A significant age effect is present. Two different factorial solutions emerged for parent and child SCARED versions (a 5 factor structure for parents and a 6 factor solution in the child version, including a new factor “Worry about Parents”). This study confirmed the importance of evaluating both child and parent reports in assessment protocols for anxiety disorders. Our findings could help clinicians to determine which information, and from which rater, must be accounted for in evaluating treatment decisions. Moreover, we find that patients characteristics, such as gender and age, should be taken into account when assessing agreement.

Scaini, S., Rancoita, P., Martoni, R. M., Omero, M., Ogliari, A., & Brombin, C. (2017). Integrating dimensional and discrete theories of emotions: a new set of anger and fear eliciting stimuli for children. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 178(5), 253-261.

Human content in affect-inducing stimuli: a secondary analysis of the International Affective Picture System

We report a secondary analysis of the international affective picture system (IAPS), the broadest available standardized sample of emotional stimuli, which confirmed our prediction that the distribution of slides across the valence and arousal dimensions would be related to human versus inanimate slide content. Pictures depicting humans are over-represented in the high arousal/positive and high arousal/negative areas of affective space as compared to inanimate pictures, which are especially frequent in the low arousal/neutral valence area. Results pertaining to dominance ratings and gender differences in valence and arousal ratings further suggest that there are qualitative differences between emotional reactions to animal or human slide content and responses to nonsocial still photos. Researchers need to be mindful of this distinction when selecting affect-inducing stimuli.

Spada, M. M., & Caselli, G. (2017). The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale: Development and Psychometric properties. Addictive Behaviours, 64(1), 281-286

The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale: Development and psychometric properties

Recent research has suggested that metacognitions may play a role across the spectrum of addictive behaviours. The goal of our studies was to develop the first self-report scale of metacognitions about online gaming. We conducted two studies with samples of online gamers (n=225, n=348) to test the structure and psychometric properties of the Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale and examined its capacity to predict weekly online gaming hours and Internet addiction. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a three-factor solution: positive metacognitions about online gaming, negative metacognitions about the uncontrollability of online gaming, and negative metacognitions about the dangers of online gaming. Internal consistency, predictive and divergent validity were acceptable. All the factors of the Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale correlated positively with weekly online gaming hours and Internet addiction. Regression analyses showed that negative metacognitions about the uncontrollability of online gaming and levels of Internet addiction were the only significant predictors of weekly online gaming hours, and that positive metacognitions about online gaming and negative metacognitions about the uncontrollability of online gaming were the only significant predictors of Internet addiction. The Metacognitions about Online Gaming Scale was shown to possess good psychometric properties, as well as predictive and divergent validity within the populations that were tested. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.07.007 (IF: 2.944)

Schweiger, M., Ristallo, A., Oppo, A., Pergolizzi, F., Presti, G., & Moderato, P. (2017). Ragazzi in lotta con emozioni e pensieri: la validazione della versione italiana dell’Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (I-AFQ-Y). Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 23(2), 141-162.

The Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y) is a self-report measure for adolescents. The questionnaire assess cognitive fusion and experiential avoidance as described by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The aim of this study is to analyze psychometric properties and factorial structure of the Italian version of the instrument (I-AFQ-Y). The I-AFQ-Y was administered to 1248 students (aged between 11-18) in 12 schools. The EFA, performed on 604 participants recruited during study 1, shows a one factor solution named “Psychological Inflexibility”. CFA, performed on 644 students recruited during study 2, confirms different goodness of fit indices are adequate for the one-factor model. The I-AFQ-Y (8 item) shows moderate internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha =.69 for the factor totale) and a moderate test-retest reliability (r=.64). Furthermore, the I-AFQ-Y shows a good convergent validity with internalizing problem scale (r = .53) and total problem scale (r = .52) of the YSR, while the correlation with externalizing problem scale is lower (r=.32). The short version of the I-AFQ-Y is a valid and reliable measure, that can be easily used both in research and in clinical practice.

Paper 2016

Albery, I. P, Wilcockson, T., Frings, D., Moss, A. C, Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M (2016). Examining the relationship between selective attentional bias for food- and body-related stimuli and purging behaviour in bulimia nervosa. Appetite, 107, 208-212.

Previous research exploring cognitive biases in bulimia nervosa suggests that attentional biases occur for both food-related and body-related cues. Individuals with bulimia were compared to non-bulimic controls on an emotional-Stroop task which contained both food-related and body-related cues. Results indicated that bulimics (but not controls) demonstrated a cognitive bias for both food-related and body-related cues. However, a discrepancy between the two cue-types was observed with body-related cognitive biases showing the most robust effects and food-related cognitive biases being the most strongly associated with the severity of the disorder. The results may have implications for clinical practice as bulimics with an increased cognitive bias for food-related cues indicated increased bulimic disorder severity.

Baldrini, M. P., Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M. (2016). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, problem gambling and metacognition. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Trauma Studies, 1(1), 90-99. doi: 10.3280/IJM2016-001009

Over the last twenty years meta-cognitive theory has been applied to the conceptualization and treatment of psychological distress (Wells, 2009). In this paper we consider the evidence linking Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and problem gambling. This is followed by an overview of the role of metacognition in psychopathology and its specific application to the conceptualisation and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. We then proceed to discuss the possible role of metacognition in the relationship between Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and problem gambling, and conclude by considering the clinical implications of metacognitive therapy for the transdiagnostic treatment of these co-occuring conditions.

Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M. (2016). Desire Thinking: A new target for treatment in addictive behaviours?. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 9(4), 344-355.

Behavioural and cognitive therapies for addictive behaviors have shown clinical utility however many patients continue to experience residual symptoms particularly craving, a major precipitating factor in relapse. In the current paper we review the role of a desire-related cognitive elaboration, termed desire thinking, which has been found to play an important role in the perpetuation and escalation of both craving and addictive behaviors. We argue that novel treatment approaches, rooted in metacognitive therapy, may help to interrupt the perseveration of desire thinking and improve the well-being of populations suffering from addictive behaviors.

Caselli, G., Gemelli, A., & Spada, M. M. (2016). The Experimental Manipulation of Desire Thinking in Alcohol use Disorder. Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy, 24(2), 569-573. doi: 10.1002/cpp.2038 (IF: 2.578)

Objective

Desire thinking is a voluntary cognitive process involving verbal and imaginal elaboration of a desired target. Recent research has revealed that desire thinking may play a significant role in the escalation of craving. The goal of this study was to explore the effect of a desire thinking induction on craving in a sample of patients with alcohol use disorder.

Methods

Ten patients with alcohol use disorder were exposed to a brief exposure to alcohol‐related thoughts plus desire thinking induction versus brief exposure to alcohol‐related thoughts plus distraction.

Results

The induction of desire thinking led to a significant increase in distress and urge to use alcohol when compared to a behavioural assessment test and a distraction task. The clinical implications for the treatment of alcohol use disorder are discussed. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Key Practitioner Message
  • Psychotherapeutic strategies that target desire thinking, both at the assessment and at the intervention levels, may be relevant in the treatment of craving‐related problems.
  • Deriving and illustrating the role of desire thinking in a given episode of craving may support the development of metacognitive awareness about its functions and consequences.

Caselli, G., Gemelli, A., Spada, M. M, & Wells, A. (2016). Experimental modification of perspective on thoughts and metacognitive beliefs in alcohol use disorder. Psychiatry Research, 244, 57-61.

Behavioral and cognitive therapies for addictive behaviors have shown clinical utility, however, many patients continue to experience residual symptoms, particularly craving, a major precipitating factor in relapse. We review a desire-related cognitive elaboration, termed desire thinking, which has been found to play an important role in the perpetuation and escalation of both craving and addictive behaviors. We argue that novel treatment approaches, rooted in metacognitive therapy, may help to interrupt the perseveration of desire thinking and improve the well-beng of populations suffering from addictive behaviors.

Fernie, B.A., McKenzie, A.M., Nikcevic, A.V., Caselli, G., Spada, M.M. (2016). The Contribution of Metacognitions and Attentional Control to Decisional Procrastination. Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 34(1), 1-13.

The efficacy of cognitive behavioural treatments (CBT) for anxiety disorders has been supported by multiple randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses. This review examines meta-analyses that have been published over the last 15 years in order to summarise the current state of evidence regarding CBT treatment for panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. In particular this review explores: (1) general CBT efficacy, (2) number of sessions, (3) comparison with pharmacological treatments, (4) comparison between cognitive and behavioural techniques, (5) comparison with third wave cognitive behavioural therapies. Overall, CBT demonstrates both efficacy in randomised controlled trials and effectiveness in naturalistic settings in the treatment of anxiety disorders. However, some methodological limitations showed a decrease in this efficacy and highlighted the need for further development of CBT treatments that are specific for each disorder.

Giuri, S., Caselli, G., Manfredi, C., Rebecchi, D., Granata, A., Ruggiero, G.M., Veronese, G. (2016). Cognitive Attentional Syndrome and Metacognitive Beliefs in Male Sexual Dysfunction: An Exploratory Study. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11, (3), 592-599.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE) are two forms of male sexual disorder with both psychological and physical features. While their cognitive, attentional, and affective components have been investigated separately, there is a lack of knowledge about the role played by cognitive attentional syndrome in their onset and maintenance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible contribution of perseverative thinking styles and thought control strategies to the development and maintenance of ED and PE. The authors hypothesized that such modes of processing might constitute a cognitive attentional syndrome specific to these disorders and sustained by particular metacognitive beliefs. A semistructured interview was administered to 11 participants with ED and 10 with PE in order to assess their metacognitive beliefs and cognitive attentional processes. The results suggest that individuals with ED and PE adopt a range of cognitive attentional strategies aimed at improving their sexual performance, and endorse both positive and negative metacognitive beliefs about these thinking responses. Overall, their cognitive and attentional patterns worsened negative internal states, reduced sexual excitement, detached them from their bodily sensations, and hindered sexual functioning. These preliminary findings suggest that perseverative thinking, thought control strategies, and metacognitive beliefs may play a key role in the onset and maintenance of male sexual dysfunction.

Manfredi, C., Caselli, G., Pescini, F., Rossi, M., Rebecchi, D., Ruggiero, G. M., & Sassaroli, S. (2016). Parental criticism, self-criticism and their relation to depressive mood: An exploratory study among a non-clinical population. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 19(1), 1-8. doi: 10.4081/ripppo.2016.178

Internalized self-criticism (ISC) has been identified as one dimension of depression and has been related to poor interpersonal functioning, severity of depressive symptoms among patients with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, and suicidal behaviors. Finally, it has been indicated as a maintaining factor in depression, able to impair the efficacy of psychological treatment. The present study aimed to investigate the role of perceived parental criticism, perfectionistic concern over mistakes and ruminative brooding in predicting internalized self-criticism; in addition, we explored the predictive value of all the considered variables for depressive mood in a nonclinical population. The final model showed a complete mediation for concern over mistakes and ruminative brooding in the relationship between perceived parental criticism and ISC, with the final model explaining 32% of the variance. Moreover, ISC predicted the level of depressive symptoms over and above the contribution of the other variables considered. The findings suggest that a thinking style characterized by ruminative brooding and the tendency to be concerned with mistakes can facilitate the development of a self-critical person, more than a parental style perceived as critical. Moreover, the tendency to be self-critical may be more predictive of depressive symptoms than the other variables considered.

Mauri, M., Oppo, A.,Banti, S., Miniati, M., Cargioli, C., Bacci, O. & Shear, M. K. (2016). Validity and reliability of the WORRY-SR: a dimensional approach to the assessment of GAD spectrum. Journal of Psychopathology, 46, 196-207.

Objectives: This study evaluates the validity and reliability of a new self-report instrument that assess GAD spectrum symptoms: the WORRY-SR. Methods: Participants included 120 patients with mood and anxiety disorders recruited at the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Pisa and two comparison groups included 47 participants recruited at the Department of Occupational Medicine and 45 outpatients with gastrointestinal disorders. Participants completed the WORRY-SR, the Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS), the Panic-Agoraphobia Spectrum (PAS-SR) and the WHO Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL-BREF). Results: Internal consistency of the total WORRY-SR score (KR = 0.96) and for the domains (Childhood, Worry, Beliefs about Worry, Somatic and Emotional Symptoms, Cognitive Tendencies, and Behavioral and Interpersonal Tendencies) was excellent. Furthermore, the WORRY-SR showed good concurrent validity with the PSWQ (p = 0.71). Finally, the WORRY-SR discriminates participants with psychiatric disorders from controls and patients with severe functional impairment from those with mild/moderate functional impairment. Conclusions: Our findings provide support for reliability and validity of the WORRY-SR questionnaire.

Marino, C., Vieno, A., Moss, A.C., Caselli, G., Nikcevic, A.V., Spada, M.M. (2016). Personality, motives and metacognitions as predictors of problematic Facebook Use in university students. Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 70-77.

Facebook has become hugely popular among young people and adults all over the world, creating a new social phenomenon that has affected the communication patterns used by people to interact with each other. Although most people use Facebook wisely, a minority of users can show negative patterns of Facebook use, with negative consequences on personal psycho-social well-being, especially among young adults. The present study aims to test a model designed to assess the unique contribution of personality traits, motives for using Facebook and metacognitions on Problematic Facebook Use (PFU) among young adults. A total of 815 Italian university students participated in the study. Path analysis revealed that three of the four motives to use Facebook, and that two of the five metacognitions, predicted PFU. Moreover, only one personality trait (extraversion) appeared to be directly linked to PFU, while emotional stability indirectly influenced PFU via motives (coping and conformity) and metacognitions (negative beliefs about worry and cognitive confidence). In conclusion, motives and metacognitions predict PFU among young adults, and they should be taken into account to develop preventive measures and clinical interventions.

Offredi, A., Caselli, G., Manfredi, C., Liuzzo, P., Rovetto, F., Ruggiero, G. M, & Sassaroli, S. (2016). Effects of anger rumination on different scenarios of anger: an experimental investigation. American Journal of Psychology, 129(4), 381-390.

Anger rumination has been defined as a repetitive thinking style focused on causes and consequences of anger. Different studies have shown the role of anger rumination as a maintaining factor for emotional arousal and stress that can lead to behavioral dysregulation. The present study aims at investigating whether the role of anger rumination in increasing anger is different with respect to different anger scenarios. Moreover, effects of anger rumination on anger will be compared with the effects of 2 different thinking styles (cognitive reappraisal and distraction). Participants were asked to complete a batch of questionnaires assessing trait and state anger and anger rumination; after that, they were asked to identify themselves in different scenarios aimed at eliciting anger for different reasons. Finally, a specific thinking style was induced by reading some suggestions to each participant. Levels of anger were recorded before and after each induction. The type of scenario did not show any influence on levels of anger. All the thinking styles reduced levels of anger, and anger rumination had the smallest impact on anger measurements with respect to reappraisal and distraction. Scenarios did not show any meditational effect on the predicting power of the thinking styles on levels of arousal. Among induced thinking styles, anger rumination led to higher levels of anger, whereas cognitive reappraisal and distraction led to a greater reduction in levels of anger.

Ristallo, A., Schweiger, M., Oppo, A.,Pergolizzi, F., Presti, G.B., Moderato, P.(2016).Misurare la mindfulness in età evolutiva: Proprietà psicometriche e struttura fattoriale della versione italiana della Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (I-CAMM). Psicoterapia cognitiva e comportamentale, 22(3), 297-315.

The aim of this study is to analyse the psychometric properties and factorial structure of the Italian version of the CAMM, a short questionnaire (10 items) that measures mindfulness skills in children and adolescents. Twelve schools were involved in the study and 1336 participants, aged between 11 and 18, were enrolled in two studies. The I-CAMM shows a two-factor solution with a higher-order factor named «Mindfulness Skills». The two factors detected are named «Awareness» and «Willingness», respectively. The two-factor solution is identified both with Exploratory Factor Analysis – performed on 657 participants recruited during study 1 – and through Confirmatory Factor Analysis – performed on 679 participants recruited during study 2 – showing good indices of goodness of fit. The psychometric properties of the I-CAMM indicate good internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0,79 for the factor «Mindfulness Skills») and good convergent validity with the YSR Internalising Problems Scale (r = -0,515) and with experiential avoidance and fusion measured with AFQ (r = -0,703). The mean scores of the I-CAMM are distributed differently between males and females; males reported significantly higher scores of «Mindfulness Skills» than females. Considering its features and psychometric properties, I-CAMM can be easily used both in research and in clinical practice

Ruggiero, G. M., Sarracino, D., Mcmahon, J., Caselli, G., & Sassaroli, S. (2016). Practicing REBT in Italy: Cultural Aspects. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 35(1), 1-11. doi: 10.1007/s10942-016-0246-y

This paper attempts to explore the cultural background for the adoption and practice of REBT by cognitive therapists in Italy since the 1980s. It is not an attempt to capture the history of Italian culture and philosophy from antiquity. Italian therapists tend to prefer the assessment phase of the ABC framework and not fully adopt REBT disputing interventions. They also attempt to link the ABC not only to the here and now but also to clients’ personal development. In our experience, they have combined REBT with constructivism and metacognition. These current features parallel the historical lack of confidence shown by many Italian philosophical thinkers—from Machiavelli to Gianni Vattimo—in the possibility of reducing reality to verification as well as the reproducible rules of logical rationality. The foregoing highlights the interest in exploring the emotional roots of politics, history, and concrete reality in the time frame following the 1980s. Some typical features of Italian social life, such as individualism, hierarchy, remote social distance, and competition can also be thought of as corresponding with the historical features of the way REBT has been adopted and functions in Italy.

Sassaroli, S., Caselli, G., & Ruggiero, G. M. (2016). Un modello cognitivo clinico di accertamento e concettualizzazione del caso: Life themes and plans Implications of biased Beliefs: Elicitation and Treatment (LIBET). Psicoterapia Cognitiva e Comportamentale, 22(2), 183-197.

A clinical cognitive model of verification and case conceptualisation: Life themes and plans implications of biased beliefs: Elicitation and treatment (LIBET)

Life themes and plans Implications of biased Beliefs: Elicitation and Treatment (LIBET) is a clinical conceptualisation model for emotional disorders. It belongs to the clinical and therapeutic paradigm of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) with some additions from constructivistic and developmental areas. The LIBET model conceptualises emotional disorders on two axes: (1) attentional focus on vulnerable negative mental states arranged in automatic self beliefs — so-called «life themes» — and influenced by experiences perceived as intolerably painful during personal development; (2) rigid management of «life themes» implemented using safety behaviours crystallised in inflexible avoidant, controlling and immunising/rewarding strategies, adopted even at cost of giving up significant areas of personal development. These strategies can be temporarily and partially functional, but in the long run hinder personal development and beyond a certain level of dysfunction can lead to an emotional disorder. The LIBET model aims to help the development and implementation of a CBT treatment plan during which patients are encouraged to recognise, challenge and give up their dysfunctional plans, to agree to be more in emotional touch with their «life themes» and to stop evaluating them as intolerable.

Scaini, S., Beloit, R., Ogliari, A., & Battaglia, M. (2016). A comprehensive meta-analysis of cognitive-behavioral interventions for social anxiety disorder in children and adolescents. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 42, 105-112.

The effectiveness of different types of CBT for children and adolescents suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is generally supported. However, no systematic efforts have been made to quantitatively summarize and analyse the impact of specific variables on therapeutic outcome. Here, we assessed the magnitude and duration of CBT effectiveness in children and adolescents with SAD. The effectiveness of CBT was supported by the effect sizes of studies that had examined pre-post (g=0.99), between-group (g=0.71), and follow-up responses (follow-up vs. pre-test mean g=1.18, follow-up vs. post-test mean g=0.25). A significant moderating effect was found for the variable “number of treatment sessions”. In addition, larger effect sizes were found in studies that included “Social Skills Training” sessions in the intervention package. Data support the effectiveness of CBT interventions and its durability for SAD in children and adolescents. Adding social skills training to the intervention package can further enhance the impact of treatment.

Scaini, S., Ogliari, A., & Brombin, C. (2016). Physiological response to negative emotions in children with anxious symptoms: many steps still to be taken. Avicenna Journal of Neuro Psych Physiology, 3(3), e42845.

Spada, M. M, Gay, H, Nikcevic, A. V, Fernie, B. A, & Caselli, G. (2016). Meta‐cognitive beliefs about worry and pain catastrophising as mediators between neuroticism and pain behaviour. Clinical Psychologist,20(3), 138-146.

Background: The present study explored the relationship between neuroticism, meta-cognitive beliefs about worry, pain catastrophising, and pain behaviour. Methods: A non-clinical convenience sample of 308 participants completed the following four measures in this cross-sectional study: Neo Five-Factor Inventory, Meta-Cognitions Questionnaire 30, Pain Catastrophising Scale, and the Pain Behaviour Checklist. Results: A multiple-step multiple mediator analysis was employed to test a model in which (1) positive meta-cognitive beliefs about worry would mediate the relationship between neuroticism and pain catastrophising and (2) negative meta-cognitive beliefs about worry would mediate the relationship between pain catastrophising and self-reported pain behaviour. We also hypothesised that the combined effects of meta-cognitive beliefs about worry and pain catastrophising on self-reported pain behaviour would be independent of neuroticism. Results supported the proposed structure with pain catastrophising and meta-cognitive beliefs about worry mediating fully the effect of neuroticism on self-reported pain behaviour. Conclusions: These findings identify, for the first time in the literature, a link between meta-cognitive beliefs about worry and both self-reported pain behaviour and pain catastrophising. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Spada, M. M., Caselli, G., Fernie, B. A., Nikcevic, A. V., Ruggiero, G. M., Boccaletti, F., Dallari, G., & Sassaroli, S. (2016). Metacognitions about desire thinking predict the severity of binge eating in a sample of Italian women. Eating and Weight Disorders, 21(2), 297-304.

In this study, our principal aim was to investigate whether metacognitions about desire thinking predict the severity of binge eating in women and, if so, whether this relationship is independent of age, self-reported body mass index (BMI), negative affect, irrational food beliefs and craving. One hundred and four women, consisting of 32 consecutive patients with binge eating disorder undergoing initial assessment for cognitive therapy for eating disorders, 39 moderate binge eaters, and 33 non-binge eaters (both from the general population), completed the following measures: Self-reported BMI, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Irrational Food Beliefs Scale, General Craving Scale, Metacognitions about Desire Thinking Questionnaire, and Binge Eating Scale. A series of Spearman’s rho correlation analyses revealed that self-reported BMI, anxiety, depression, irrational food beliefs, craving, and all three factors of the metacognitions about desire thinking questionnaire were significantly associated with the severity of binge eating. A stepwise regression analysis identified self-reported BMI, craving, and negative metacognitions about desire thinking as significant predictors of the severity of binge eating. These results, taken together, highlight the possible role of metacognitions about desire thinking in predicting the severity of binge eating. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Paper 2015

Caselli, G., & Spada, M. M (2015). Desire Thinking: what is it and what drives it?. Addictive Behaviours,44, 71-79.

INTRODUCTION:

The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the construct of desire thinking and test a metacognitive model of desire thinking and craving, based on the work of Spada, Caselli and Wells (2012; 2013), which aims to explain the perseveration of desire thinking.

METHOD:

We conducted two studies involving four clinical samples (total N = 493) and a community sample (N = 494) presenting with different addictive behaviors. The relationships among variables were examined by testing the fit of path models within each sample.

RESULTS:

In the model presented it was proposed that positive metacognitions about desire thinking are associated with, in turn, imaginal prefiguration and verbal perseveration, marking the activation of desire thinking. Verbal perseveration is then associated to negative metacognitions about desire thinking and craving denoting the pathological escalation of desire thinking. Finally, a direct association between positive metacognitions about desire thinking and negative metacognitions about desire thinking would mark those occasions where target-achieving behaviour runs as an automatized schemata without the experience of craving. Results indicated a good model fit in the clinical sample and a variation in the model structure in the community sample.

CONCLUSION:

These findings provide further support for the application of metacognitive theory to desire thinking and craving in addictive behaviors.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460314002329?via%3Dihub

Caselli, G., Canfora, F., Ruggiero, G. M, Sassaroli, S., Albery, I. P, & Spada, M. M (2015). Desire thinking mediates the relationship between emotional intolerance and problem drinking. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 13(2), 185-193.

Abstract

The use of alcohol as a strategy to regulate emotional distress has been widely considered as a core risk factor for problem drinking. Recent research has suggested that using alcohol to self-regulate may be sustained by emotional intolerance (the perceived inability to tolerate emotional distress) and desire thinking (a voluntary cognitive process involving verbal and imaginal elaboration of a desired target). The goal of this study was to explore the role of emotional intolerance and desire thinking in predicting problem drinking. A sample of problem drinkers (n = 50), and social drinkers (n = 56) completed self-report instruments of emotional intolerance, desire thinking and problem drinking. Analyses revealed that the verbal perseveration factor of desire thinking was the only significant predictor of classification as a problem drinker. In addition both factors of desire thinking were found to predict problem drinking independently of emotional intolerance. These findings suggest that desire thinking may be a risk factor across the transition from social to problem drinking and that treatment may benefit from targeting specifically this cognitive process together with meta-emotional appraisal.

Caselli, G., Manfredi, C., Ferraris, A., Vinciullo, F., & Spada, M. M (2015). Desire thinking as a mediator of the relationship between novelty seeking and craving. Addictive Behaviours Reports, 1, 2-6.

Background

The construct of craving has been shown to play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. Both novelty seeking and desire thinking have been identified, respectively, as important temperamental and cognitive predictors of craving.

Aims

In the present study we aimed to explore the relative contribution of novelty seeking and desire thinking towards craving, hypothesizing a sequence of multiple mediating relationships starting from novelty seeking and moving onto imaginal prefiguration, verbal perseveration and craving in serial fashion.

Method

A convenience sample of 270 individuals completed measures assessing novelty seeking, desire thinking, and craving relating to a chosen activity.

Results

Findings showed that, controlling for age and gender, desire thinking components predicted craving over and above novelty seeking. The indirect effect from novelty seeking to craving, via desire thinking components, was significant thus supporting a multiple-mediational sequence. Finally, the relationship between imaginal prefiguration and craving was found to be partially mediated by verbal perseveration.

Conclusions

The findings provide support for the conceptualization of desire thinking as an independent construct in predicting craving over and above novelty seeking.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845943/

Caselli, G., Manfredi, C., Ferraris, A., Vinciullo, F., & Spada, M. M. (2015). Desire thinking as a mediator of the relationship between novelty seeking and craving. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 1, 2-6. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2015.03.003

Background

The construct of craving has been shown to play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. Both novelty seeking and desire thinking have been identified, respectively, as important temperamental and cognitive predictors of craving.

Aims

In the present study we aimed to explore the relative contribution of novelty seeking and desire thinking towards craving, hypothesizing a sequence of multiple mediating relationships starting from novelty seeking and moving onto imaginal prefiguration, verbal perseveration and craving in serial fashion.

Method

A convenience sample of 270 individuals completed measures assessing novelty seeking, desire thinking, and craving relating to a chosen activity.

Results

Findings showed that, controlling for age and gender, desire thinking components predicted craving over and above novelty seeking. The indirect effect from novelty seeking to craving, via desire thinking components, was significant thus supporting a multiple-mediational sequence. Finally, the relationship between imaginal prefiguration and craving was found to be partially mediated by verbal perseveration.

Conclusions

The findings provide support for the conceptualization of desire thinking as an independent construct in predicting craving over and above novelty seeking.

Chiappini, E., Berzolla, A., Oppo, A.(2015). Anagrus breviphragma Soyka Short Distance Search Stimuli. BioMed Research International, 1-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/727098

Anagrus breviphragma Soyka (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae) successfully parasitises eggs of Cicadella viridis (L.) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), embedded in vegetal tissues, suggesting the idea of possible chemical and physical cues, revealing the eggs presence. In this research, three treatments were considered in order to establish which types of cue are involved: eggs extracted from leaf, used as a control, eggs extracted from leaf and cleaned in water and ethanol, used to evaluate the presence of chemicals soluble in polar solvents, and eggs extracted from leaf and covered with Parafilm (M), used to avoid physical stimuli due to the bump on the leaf surface. The results show that eggs covered with Parafilm present a higher number of parasitised eggs and a lower probing starting time with respect to eggs washed with polar solvents or eggs extracted and untreated, both when the treatments were singly tested or when offered in sequence, independently of the treatment position. These results suggest that the exploited stimuli are not physical due to the bump but chemicals that can spread in the Parafilm, circulating the signal on the whole surface, and that the stimuli that elicit probing and oviposition are not subjected to learning.

Marino, F., Caselli, G., Berardi, D., Fiore, F., Marino, E, Menchetti, M, Prunetti, E., Ruggiero, G. M, Sasdelli, A, Selby, E A, & Sassaroli, S. (2015). Anger Rumination and aggressive behaviour in Borderline Personality Disorder. Personality and Mental Health, 9(4), 277-287.

BACKGROUND:

Emotional instability and dyscontrolled behaviours are central features in borderline personality disorder (BPD). Recently, some cognitive dysfunctional mechanisms, such as anger rumination, have been found to increase negative emotions and promote dyscontrolled behaviours. Even though rumination has consistently been linked to BPD traits in non-clinical samples, its relationship with problematic behaviour has yet to be established in a clinical population.

AIM:

The purpose of the study was to explore the relationships between emotional dysregulation, anger rumination and aggression proneness in a clinical sample of patients with BPD.

METHODS:

Enrolled patients with personality disorders (93 with BPD) completed a comprehensive assessment for personality disorder symptoms, anger rumination, emotional dysregulation and aggression proneness.

RESULTS:

Anger rumination was found to significantly predict aggression proneness, over and above emotional dysregulation. Furthermore, both BPD diagnosis and anger rumination were significant predictors of aggression proneness.

CONCLUSION:

Future research should examine whether clinical techniques aimed at reducing rumination are helpful for reducing aggressive and other dyscontrolled behaviours in treating patients with BPD.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pmh.1310

Nikcevic, A. V, Caselli, G., Wells, A., & Spada, M. M (2015). The Metacognition about Smoking Questionnaire: Development and psychometric properties. Addictive Behaviours, 44, 9-15.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Recent research has suggested that metacognitions may play a role in smoking. The goal of the current set of studies was to develop the first self-report instrument of metacognitions about smoking.

METHOD:

We conducted three studies with samples of smokers (n = 222, n = 143, n = 25) to test the structure and psychometric properties of the Metacognitions about Smoking Questionnaire and examined its capacity to predict smoking behaviour.

RESULTS:

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a four-factor solution: positive metacognitions about cognitive regulation, positive metacognitions about emotional regulation, negative metacognitions about uncontrollability, and negative metacognitions about cognitive interference. Internal consistency, predictive and divergent validity, and temporal stability were acceptable. The metacognition factors correlated positively with daily cigarette use and levels of nicotine dependence, and contributed to the prediction of these outcomes over and above smoking outcome expectancies.

CONCLUSIONS:

The Metacognitions about Smoking Questionnaire was shown to possess good psychometric properties, as well as predictive and divergent validity within the populations that were tested. The metacognition factors explained incremental variance in smoking behaviour above smoking outcome expectancies.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460314003761?via%3Dihub

Presti, G., Cau, S., Oppo, A., & Moderato, P. (2015). Increased Classroom Consumption of Home-Provided Fruits and Vegetables for Normal and Overweight Children: Results of the Food Dudes Program in Italy. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 47(4), 338-344. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2015.04.331

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To increase classroom consumption of home-provided fruits (F) and vegetables (V) in obese, overweight, and normal weight children.

DESIGN:

Consumption evaluated within and across the baseline phase and the end of the intervention and maintenance phases.

SETTING:

Three Italian primary schools.

PARTICIPANTS:

The study involved 672 children (321 male and 329 female) aged 5-11 years. Body mass index measures were available for 461 children.

INTERVENTION:

Intervention schools received the Food Dudes (FD) program: 16 days of repeated taste exposure (40 g of F and 40 g of V), video modeling, and rewards-based techniques. The comparison school was only repeatedly exposed to FV.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Grams of FV brought from home and eaten.

ANALYSIS:

Chi-square, independent t test, repeated-measures ANOVA, and generalized estimating equation model.

RESULTS:

Intervention schools show a significant increase in home-provided F (P < .001) and V (P < .001) consumption both in overweight and non-overweight children. Approximately half of children in the intervention schools ate at least 1 portion of FV at the end of the intervention and maintenance phases.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:

The increase in home-provided FV intake was similar in overweight and non-overweight children in the FD intervention schools compared with the comparison school. The effect of the FD program was higher at the end of the intervention phase than the end of the maintenance phase.

Sassaroli, S., Centorame, F., Caselli, G., Favaretto, E., Fiore, F., Gallucci, M., Sarracino, D., Ruggiero, G. M., Spada, M. M., & Rapee, R. M. (2015). Anxiety control and metacognitive beliefs mediate the relationship between inflated responsibility and obsessive compulsive symptoms. Psychiatry Research,228(3), 560-564. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.05.053

Research has indicated that beliefs about inflated responsibility, beliefs about perceived control over anxiety-related events and reactions (anxiety control) and metacognitive beliefs about the need to control thoughts are associated with obsessive compulsive symptoms. In the current study we tested a mediation model of the interactions between these variables in predicting obsessive compulsive symptoms. Thirty-seven individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder and 31 controls completed the following self-report instruments: the Responsibility Attitude Scale, the Anxiety Control Scale, the Beliefs about Need to Control Thoughts sub-scale of the Metacognitions Questionnaire 30, and the Padua Inventory. Mann-Whitney U tests revealed that participants in the clinical group scored significantly higher than those in the non-clinical group on all variables. In the mediation model we found that the relationship between beliefs about inflated responsibility and obsessive compulsive symptoms was fully mediated by anxiety control and beliefs about the need to control thoughts. These findings provide support for the significant role played by beliefs about control in predicting the severity of obsessive compulsive symptoms.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165178115003406?via%3Dihub

Spada, M. M, Caselli, G., Fernie, B. A, Manfredi, C., Boccaletti, F., Dallari, G., Gandini, F., Pinna, E., Ruggiero, G. M, & Sassaroli, S. (2015). Desire thinking: A risk factor for binge drinking?. Eating Behaviors, 18, 48-53.

L’attenzione intorno al benessere e molto cresciuta negli ultimi anni. Nonostante cio il concetto non e stato ancora definito in termini univoci. Nel presente lavoro viene proposto un modello teorico elaborato prendendo in considerazione i fattori preminenti che influenzano il processo del benessere. Senso della vita, relazioni piene e armoniche, consapevolezza, accettazione e trascendenza emergono dalla ricerca psicologica e dalle neuroscienze come elementi di promozione del benessere. Partendo da questa impostazione e stato messo a punto uno strumento di valutazione: la Scala di Valutazione del Benessere (SVB). La SVB e composta di 22 item che formano 4 sottoscale, una per ogni variabile (senso della vita e consapevolezza, relazionalita, accettazione, trascendenza). Una versione di 40 item selezionati da strumenti gia validati e stata sottoposta a 122 soggetti reclutati dalla comunita. Una prima analisi fattoriale esplorativa ha evidenziato una struttura a quattro fattori. Dalla matrice delle correlazioni, per ogni fattore, sono stati selezionati gli item che definiscono la struttura definitiva della SVB. Questa versione e stata somministrata ancora a 176 soggetti. La struttura della SVB e stata analizzata attraverso analisi fattoriale confermativa. La validita convergente e discriminante e stata valutata attraverso il confronto con altri strumenti che misurano il benessere psicologico e la sintomatologia psicopatologica generale. Le analisi hanno rivelato buone proprieta psicometriche dello strumento, anche se necessitano ulteriori approfondimenti.

Spada, M. M, Caselli, G., Nikcevic, A. V, & Wells, A. (2015). Metacognition in Addictive Behaviours: An Overview. Addictive Behaviours, 44, 9-15.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Over the last twenty years metacognitive theory has provided a novel framework, in the form of the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model, for conceptualizing psychological distress (Wells & Matthews, 1994, 1996). The S-REF model proposes that psychological distress persists because of unhelpful coping styles (e.g. extended thinking and thought suppression) which are activated and maintained as a result of metacognitive beliefs.

OBJECTIVE:

This paper describes the S-REF model and its application to addictive behaviors using a triphasic metacognitive formulation.

DISCUSSION:

Evidence on the components of the triphasic metacognitive formulation is reviewed and the clinical implications for applying metacognitive therapy to addictive behaviors outlined.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460314002688?via%3Dihub