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Concept: Family therapy


BACKGROUND: The shift from asylum to community care for mental health patients has burdened the providers of primary health care and, more than all, families. As a result, numerous studies [Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 31:345–348, 1995, J Health Socisl Behav 36:138–150, 1995] have focused on the burden of care experienced by family members living with individuals with severe mental disorders. This kind of provision, also extols a significant cost to the society at large in terms of significant direct and indirect costs. A cost that may be even higher in times of severe socio-economic crisis.Methodology: This study, firstly, aims to examine the burden that the family members experience by caring for individuals with schizophrenia and the identification of the parameters, in a micro and macro level, that affect family burden. Secondly, this study aims to investigate whether the welfare state will be fit to help vulnerable groups as the one studied, especially during economic crisis periods when austerity measures are being implemented into welfare systems. For data collection purposes this study employed the Involvement Evaluation Questionnaire [Schizophr Bull 1998, 24(4):609–618]. The sample consisted of caregivers either living in rural or urban areas of the district of Nicosia, the capital of the Republic of Cyprus. These people were attending regular meetings with their allocated Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPN) in Community Mental Health Centres (CMHC). RESULTS: Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) was applied with the tension, the supervision, the worry, and the encouragement entering as dependent factors. In each case, participant’s age, gender, marital status, income, number of people living in the same house with the participant, degree of relationship between the caregiver and the person suffering from severe mental disorder, the age of the relative, and the gender of the relative, were entered as independent factors. Four ANCOVAs were performed, one for each dimension of the family burden. The results from this analysis produced only one significant main effect of the gender of the relative on supervision [F(1,118) = 4.40, p = .011, etap2 = .053] with male relatives suffering from schizophrenia requiring higher supervision than female ones as their relative caregivers responses indicate. CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, families under great stress due to the reasons derived from the weaknesses of the welfare system described throughout this paper would give up and reject the mentally ill individuals who would become outcasts socially. Therefore, health systems need to aim to the development of psychosocial provisions for both family caregivers and patients as to decrease the family burden rates and increase the possibility of smooth transition to the society.

Concepts: Family, Medicine, Mental health, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Psychiatry, Mental illness, Family therapy


This study investigated relationships between attachment insecurity, maladaptive cognitive schemas, and various types of psychopathological symptoms in a sample of clinically referred adolescents (N = 82). A mediation model was tested in which maladaptive schemas operated as mediators in the relations between indices of attachment quality and conduct, peer, and emotional problems. Results revealed partial support for the hypothesized mediation effect: the schema domain of disconnection/rejection acted as a mediator in the links between insecure attachment and peer problems and emotional problems. Further analysis of these effects revealed that different types of maladaptive schemas were involved in both types of psychopathology. Altogether, findings suggest that treatment of adolescent psychological problems may need to target the improvement of attachment relationships with peers and parents and the correction of underlying cognitive schemas.

Concepts: Psychology, Adolescence, Psychiatry, Attachment theory, Mediation, Peer group, Family therapy, John Bowlby


Social support is crucial for psychological and physical well-being. Yet, in experimental and clinical pain research, the presence of others has been found to both attenuate and intensify pain. To investigate the factors underlying these mixed effects, we administered noxious laser stimuli to 39 healthy women while their romantic partner was present or absent, and measured pain ratings and laser-evoked potentials to assess the effects of partner presence on subjective pain experience and underlying neural processes. Further, we examined whether individual differences in adult attachment style, alone or in interaction with the partner’s level of attentional focus (manipulated to be either on or away from the participant) might modulate these effects. We found that the effects of partner presence versus absence on pain-related measures depended on adult attachment style but not partner attentional focus. The higher participants' attachment avoidance, the higher pain ratings and N2 and P2 local peak amplitudes were in the presence compared to the absence of the romantic partner. As laser-evoked potentials are thought to reflect activity relating to the salience of events, our data suggest that partner presence may influence the perceived salience of events threatening the body, particularly in individuals who tend to mistrust others.

Concepts: Nervous system, Psychology, Mind, Developmental psychology, Attachment theory, Family therapy, Absenteeism, Attachment in adults


Prediction of the age at aortic dissection for family members of aortic dissection patients would enhance early detection and clinical management. We sought to determine whether these dissections tend to cluster by age in family members of the dissection patients.

Concepts: Biology, Aortic dissection, Family therapy


The current study explored differences in acceptance of telehealth interventions amongst currently licensed and future clinicians with a focus on web camera-based intervention. The influence of theoretical orientation was also assessed.

Concepts: Psychology, Clinical psychology, Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Mental health professional, Family therapy, Clinical neuropsychology, Applied psychology


Bipolar disorder (BD) is a highly incapacitating disease typically associated with high rates of familial dysfunction. Despite recent literature suggesting that maternal care is an important environmental factor in the development of behavioral disorders, it is unclear how much maternal care is dysfunctional in BD subjects.

Concepts: Family, Family planning, Bipolar disorder, Mother, Nuclear family, Family therapy, Cinderella effect, Dysfunctional family


OBJECTIVE: The present study examined variables related to the quality of the therapeutic alliance in out-patients with schizophrenia. We expected recovery orientation and insight to be positively, and self-stigma to be negatively associated with a good therapeutic alliance. We expected these associations to be independent from age, clinical symptoms (i.e. positive and negative symptoms, depression), and more general aspects of relationship building like avoidant attachment style and the duration of treatment by the current therapist. METHODS: The study included 156 participants with DSM-IV diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder in the maintenance phase of treatment. Therapeutic alliance, recovery orientation, self-stigma, insight, adult attachment style, and depression were assessed by self-report. Symptoms were rated by interviewers. RESULTS: Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that more recovery orientation, less self-stigma, and more insight independently were associated with a better quality of the therapeutic alliance. Clinical symptoms, adult attachment style, age, and the duration of treatment by current therapist were unrelated to the quality of the therapeutic alliance. CONCLUSION: Low recovery orientation and increased self-stigma might undermine the therapeutic alliance in schizophrenia beyond the detrimental effect of poor insight. Therefore in clinical settings, besides enhancing insight, recovery orientation, and self-stigma should be addressed.

Concepts: Psychology, Mental disorder, Cognitive behavioral therapy, Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Family therapy, Attachment in adults


Two million women and one million men experience rape, stalking, or physical assault by a current or former romantic partner each year in the U.S. Not only do women report twice the incidents, but intimate partner violence (IPV) that women experience is typically more severe. Explanations for IPV gender asymmetry include male dominance attitudes, hostile sexism, and men’s control-seeking. There are gaps in our knowledge of how attitudes and control-seeking co-relate to influence IPV. This study demonstrates a mediation analysis to investigate these relationships. Data were from a cross-sectional online survey of male undergraduate students from a public Southeastern university. The survey measured attitudes of male dominance and hostile sexism, desire for control, and IPV perpetration. After including age and academic level in the model, male dominance remained a significant predictor of likelihood of physical IPV (OR = 1.16, p = .004) but not psychological IPV. The addition of control-seeking (physical OR = 1.65, p < .001) mediated the influence of male dominance on the likelihood of physical IPV perpetration (OR = 1.018, p = .753). Hostile sexism was a significant predictor of psychological and physical IPV (psychological IPV OR = 1.31, p < .001; physical IPV OR = 1.54, p < .001), over and above age and academic level. The addition of control-seeking (psychological IPV OR = 1.27, p < .001; physical OR = 1.53, p < .001) partially mediated the influence of hostile sexism on IPV (psychological IPV OR = 1.21, p = .001; physical OR = 1.34, p < .001). Results suggest control-seeking mediates the relationship between male dominance and physical IPV and partially mediates the relationship between hostile sexism and IPV. Practical implications for IPV prevention programs and theoretical implications are discussed.

Concepts: Domestic violence, Million, Gender, Interpersonal relationship, Violence, Rape, Family therapy, Assault


Yalom and Leszcz (2005) indicated that interpersonal learning is a key therapeutic factor in group psychotherapy. In this study, we conceptualized interpersonal learning as the convergence over time between an individual’s and the group’s perception of the individual’s cohesion to the group. First, we developed parallel measures of: (a) an individual’s self-rated cohesion to the group (Cohesion Questionnaire-Individual Version [CQ-I]), and (b) the group’s rating of the individual’s cohesion to the group (CQ-G) based on the original Cohesion Questionnaire (CQ; Piper, Marache, Lacroix, Richardsen, & Jones, 1983). Second, we used these parallel scales to assess differences between an individual’s self-rating and the mean of the group’s ratings of the individual’s cohesion to the group. Women with binge eating disorder (N = 102) received Group Psychodynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Participants were assigned to homogeneously composed groups of either high or low attachment anxiety. Outcomes were measured pre- and post-treatment, and the CQ-I and CQ-G were administered every fourth group session. We found significant convergence over time between the CQ-I and mean CQ-G scale scores in both attachment anxiety conditions. Participants with higher attachment anxiety had lower individual self-ratings of cohesion and had greater discrepancies between the CQ-I and CG-G compared with those with lower attachment anxiety. There was a significant relationship between greater convergence in cohesion ratings and improved self-esteem at post-treatment. More accurate self-perceptions through feedback from group members may be a key factor in facilitating increased self-esteem in group therapy. Group therapists may facilitate such interpersonal learning, especially for those higher in attachment anxiety, by noting discrepancies and then encouraging convergence between an individual and the group in their perceptions of cohesion to the group. (PsycINFO Database Record © 2013 APA, all rights reserved).

Concepts: Psychology, Eating disorders, Attachment theory, Bulimia nervosa, Family therapy, Binge eating disorder, Psychodynamic psychotherapy, Drama therapy


A combination of factors such as substance abuse problems, medication noncompliance, and insufficient insight are generally known to increase the risk of violent behavior. However, little is known regarding the psychological impact on caregivers who are traumatized by the violent behavior of a family member with schizophrenia. Therefore, we carried out an investigation to measure this impact.

Concepts: Psychology, Violence, Family therapy, Terrorism