Ricerca

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
5Laboratori di ricerca attivi

I nostri laboratori

  • > 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.

  • > 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.

  • > 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.

  • > 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).

  • > Child and Youth Lab

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

Libri

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 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.

SCARICA IL PAPER

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