Authors:Jennifer E Lansford Pages: 17 - 21 Abstract: Publication date: February 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 19 Author(s): Jennifer E Lansford Theories and empirical findings regarding the development of aggression have included advances in four key areas in the last two years. First, studies have increasingly adopted more nuanced operationalization of forms and functions of aggression. Second, mediators and moderators of links between risk factors and the development of aggression have been examined with more precision. Third, advances in neuroscience and studies of gene by environment interactions have led to greater understanding of genetic and neurobiological underpinnings of the development of aggression. Fourth, cross-cultural and international research has tested the generalizability of findings to more diverse samples and has examined culture as a potential moderator of links between risk factors and the development of aggression.
Authors:Dongning Ren; Eric D Wesselmann; Kipling D Williams Pages: 34 - 38 Abstract: Publication date: February 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 19 Author(s): Dongning Ren, Eric D Wesselmann, Kipling D Williams Because ostracism hurts, it can trigger aggression. Guided by the theoretical framework of the temporal need-threat model of ostracism, we review the existing research that investigates this ostracism–aggression link over the last two decades. Both correlational and experimental research have provided substantial support for the model’s prediction that ostracism may instigate aggression. Recent research continues to investigate why this occurs, and who is most likely to become aggressive when ostracized. A new and exciting body of literature emerges, which seeks to inform interventions for coping with ostracism and for reducing ostracism-related aggression.
Authors:Florian Loffing; Rouwen Cañal-Bruland Pages: 6 - 11 Abstract: Publication date: August 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 16 Author(s): Florian Loffing, Rouwen Cañal-Bruland Anticipation has become an increasingly important research area within sport psychology since its infancy in the late 1970s. Early work has increased our fundamental understanding of skilled anticipation in sports and how this skill is developed. With increasing theoretical and practical insights and concurrent technological advancements, researchers are now able to tackle more detailed questions with sophisticated methods. Despite this welcomed progress, some fundamental questions and challenges remain to be addressed, including the (relative) contributions of visual and motor experience to anticipation, intraindividual and interindividual variation in gaze behaviour, and the impact of non-kinematic (contextual or situational) information on performance and its interaction with advanced kinematic cues during the planning and execution of (re)actions in sport. The aim of this opinion paper is to shortly sketch the state of the art, and then to discuss recent work that has started to systematically address open challenges thereby inspiring promising future routes for research on anticipation and its application in practice.
Authors:Dave Collins; Howie J Carson Pages: 12 - 16 Abstract: Publication date: August 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 16 Author(s): Dave Collins, Howie J Carson Over the past 15 years there has been much research into the PETTLEP model of motor imagery, originally designed to improve the quality and impact of imagery interventions on sport performance. This article reviews the most recent trends within this research. Despite a suggested change of underpinning mechanisms involved, there is much support for the positive impact of the model when applied within the sporting context and with engaged participants. The model also appears to have provided impact in fields other than sport, such as medicine and music. Therefore we suggest that it has largely met its desired aims. However, not all research has optimised the model’s guidelines, with a distinct failure to account for personal relevance when designing imagery scripts or selecting tasks for use in studies. Other recent and pertinent findings relate to the mediating role of expectancy and beneficial augmentation through movement observation. Future research should, however, seek exploitation and clarification towards contemporary issues in motor control, namely; automaticity, the relative merits of internal and external foci and subconscious goal priming. Finally, we endorse the application of imagery, as a conscious intervention, even for execution of unconscious, fast-actions.
Authors:Daniel F Gucciardi Pages: 17 - 23 Abstract: Publication date: August 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 16 Author(s): Daniel F Gucciardi Mental toughness (MT) has become a popular area of investigation and practice within sport and exercise psychology over the past two decades. Since the turn of the twenty first century, there have been hundreds of studies published on mental toughness, yet concerns remain about the conceptualisation and measurement of mental toughness. In this paper, I take stock of past work with the goal of clarifying and elaborating the most fundamental and common aspects of MT. I also look to the future and outline key substantive and methodological issues that may offer the greatest potential for refining the conceptualisation of MT and contributing to theory building on this concept. My hope is that this information will provide a platform from which to foster coherent and systematic scholarly work on MT.
Authors:Joseph Baker; Bradley W Young; David Mann Pages: 24 - 27 Abstract: Publication date: August 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 16 Author(s): Joseph Baker, Bradley W Young, David Mann The development of elite, high performance athletes reflects the complex interaction of biological and genetic factors with important environmental influences. Over the past two decades, discussions of athlete development have largely focused on the role of ‘deliberate’ practice, and more recently, researchers have begun exploring the means by which practice can be best used to maximize the rate of talent development across the different stages of athlete development. In this article, we summarize recent developments in understanding how athletes maximize practice including (a) antecedents of practice involvement, (b) environmental constraints of practice involvement, (c) the value of diversification for athlete development, (d) and methodological advancements in this area. Collectively, sustained focus on issues of athlete development and researchers’ use of more advanced approaches to novel questions extend our understanding of the nuances associated with this process.
Authors:Arne Nieuwenhuys; Raôul RD Oudejans Pages: 28 - 33 Abstract: Publication date: August 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 16 Author(s): Arne Nieuwenhuys, Raôul RD Oudejans When the pressure is on and anxiety levels increase it is not easy to perform well. In search of mechanisms explaining the anxiety–performance relationship, we revisit the integrated model of anxiety and perceptual-motor performance (Nieuwenhuys and Oudejans, 2012) and provide a critical review of contemporary literature. While there is increasing evidence that changes in attentional control affect the execution of goal-directed action, based on our model and emerging evidence from different scientific disciplines, we argue for a more integrated, process-based approach. That is, anxiety can affect performance on different levels of operational control (i.e., attentional, interpretational, physical) and – moving beyond the execution of action – have implications for different aspects of perceptual-motor behavior, including situational awareness and decision making.
Authors:Jelle Knop; Marian Joëls; Rixt van der Veen Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Jelle Knop, Marian Joëls, Rixt van der Veen Over the past decades, the influence of parental care on offspring development has been a topic of extensive research in both human and animal models. Rodent models offer several unique advantages over human studies, allowing for higher levels of environmental control, exploration of interventions, genetic control and examination of underlying neurobiological mechanisms in greater spatiotemporal detail. Although exploitation of these opportunities has led to increased understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms underlying susceptibility to the early-life environment, translation of results to human parenting and child development appears to be challenging. Attuning animal models to the human situation and application of novel structural and functional techniques is therefore of crucial importance to reduce the gap between rodent and human research.
Authors:Tamsen Rochat; Elena Netsi; Stephanie Redinger; Alan Stein Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Tamsen Rochat, Elena Netsi, Stephanie Redinger, Alan Stein With the widespread use of antiretroviral therapy and successful prevention of mother-to-child transmission the development of HIV-negative children with HIV-positive parents has become an important focus. There is considerable evidence that children’s developmental risk is heightened because a parental HIV-diagnosis is associated with a range of potential problems such as depression, stigma and financial difficulties. Up to a third of children in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are cared for by an HIV-positive parent or caregiver. We review the mechanisms by which HIV affects parenting including its negative effects on parental responsiveness in the early years of parenting and parental avoidant coping styles and parenting deficits in the later years. We describe low-cost parenting interventions suited for low resourced HIV endemic settings.
Authors:Philip A Fisher; Elizabeth A Skowron Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Philip A Fisher, Elizabeth A Skowron In the decades since social learning parenting interventions emerged, many evidence-based programs have been implemented at scale in community settings, and much research is now focusing on ways to maintain fidelity and impact during the implementation process. Notably, a considerable amount of theoretical confluence has occurred in parenting interventions from social learning, attachment, and other theoretical perspectives, with parent coaching as an example of this new generation of relational interventions. In addition, research examining the neurobiological effects of early adverse experiences is providing insight into key mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of social learning parenting interventions, and new strategies for tailoring interventions to the needs of specific populations are being developed, making interventions more efficient, precise, and effective.
Authors:Ruth Feldman; Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg Pages: 13 - 18 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Ruth Feldman, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg In non-human mammals mothering is hormone-dependent, with crucial roles for oxytocin and prolactin. While human parenting is not hormone-dependent, hormonal changes in oxytocin, vasopressin, prolactin, testosterone, and cortisol prime and accompany the expression of parenting. In the following we focus on oxytocin (OT) as a key hormone in human parenting. OT is a nine-amino-acid neuropeptide hormones which evolved from the ancient vasotocin molecule approximately 650 MYO. OT is implicated in sociality across vertebrate evolution and substantial research has pinpointed its role in birth, lactation, and maternal care in mammals. Over the last decade, studies have begun to examine peripheral levels of OT – in plasma, saliva, urine, and to lesser extend CSF – in humans as well as OT administration to parents. Correlational and experimental studies indicate that OT is associated with increased parent-child synchrony, sensitive parenting, and parental contact; interacts with other hormones, such as vasopressin, cortisol, or testosterone to create parent-specific effects; is associated with activation of key nodes in the parental brain, and is altered in conditions of high risk or parental psychopathology. We conclude by discussing the potential role of OT in interventions for high-risk parenting.
Authors:Judith G Smetana Pages: 19 - 25 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Judith G Smetana For decades, parenting has been characterized in terms of broad global styles, with authoritative parenting seen as most beneficial for children’s development. Concerns with greater sensitivity to cultural and contextual variations have led to greater specificity in defining parenting in terms of different parenting dimensions and greater consideration of the role of parenting beliefs in moderating links between parenting and adjustment. New research includes ‘domain-specific’ models that describe parents as flexibly deploying different practices depending on their goals, children’s needs, and the types of behaviors towards which parenting is directed. These trends are described, and directions for future research are discussed.
Authors:James K Rilling; Jennifer S Mascaro Pages: 26 - 32 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): James K Rilling, Jennifer S Mascaro Only about 5% of mammalian species exhibit paternal caregiving in nature, and paternal behavior has evolved multiple times independently among mammals. The most parsimonious way to evolve paternal behavior may be to utilize pre-existing neural systems that are in place for maternal behavior. Despite evidence for similarity in the neurobiology of maternal and paternal behavior in rodents, paternal behavior also has its own dedicated neural circuitry in some species. Human fathers engage conserved subcortical systems that motivate caregiving in rodent parents and human mothers, as well as cortical systems involved with empathy that they share with human mothers. Finally, paternal behavior is modulated by similar hormones and neuropeptides in rodents, non-human primates, and humans.
Authors:Mariëlle JL Prevoo; Catherine S Tamis-LeMonda Pages: 33 - 39 Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Mariëlle JL Prevoo, Catherine S Tamis-LeMonda We review research on intra-cultural differences in parenting, and the sources of those differences. Ethnic-minority parents differ from majority parents in parenting values, childrearing goals and resources—differences that affect parenting practices and children’s development. Within-country comparisons indicate less sensitivity, more authoritarian discipline, less child-focused communications, and less engagement in learning activities in ethnic-minority compared to ethnic-majority parents, which help account for disparities in children. Despite group differences in parenting, associations between parenting and child development generalize across cultures, with rare exceptions. However, a focus on intra-cultural differences is based on comparisons of group ‘averages’, which masks the enormous variation within ethnic-minority samples. Within-group variation can be partly explained by stressors associated with low socioeconomic status (SES), acculturation and discrimination. Graphical abstract
Authors:Mary Dozier; Kristin Bernard Pages: 111 - 117 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Mary Dozier, Kristin Bernard Parental sensitivity is key to the development of brain architecture, self-regulatory capabilities, and secure, organized attachments for infants and young children. For a variety of reasons, many parents struggle providing sensitive, responsive care. Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) is a 10-session home visiting program developed to enhance parental sensitivity. ABC has been shown effective in enhancing parental sensitivity, and enhancing children’s attachment security and regulatory capabilities. A key feature of the intervention is providing parents practice and feedback in interacting sensitively with their children. Effectiveness in dissemination sites has been impressive, likely because treatment fidelity is defined well and monitored carefully.
Authors:Jay Belsky; Marinus H van IJzendoorn Pages: 125 - 130 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Jay Belsky, Marinus H van IJzendoorn Intervention efforts aimed at remediating or preventing problems in children typically prove only moderately effective due to substantial heterogeneity in their efficacy. It thus becomes important to account for such variation in intervention efficacy. Here we summarize illustrative evidence that, due to their genetic make-up, some children benefit more from interventions targeting parenting than do others. Whereas some work documents the role of single, ‘candidate’ genes, other work reveals the utility of compositing multiple genes and genetic pathways. Collectively, this research extends prior observational work indicating that children most negatively affected by adverse experiences also benefit the most from supportive ones, while underscoring the need for research illuminating underlying neurobiological mechanisms that instantiate differential susceptibility to environmental influences.
Authors:R.M. Pasco Fearon; Glenn I Roisman Pages: 131 - 136 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): R.M. Pasco Fearon, Glenn I Roisman Attachment is a key subfield in the area of parenting and parent-child relationships research. In this brief overview, we summarise what we consider to be the state-of-the-art of attachment research, focusing primarily on the nature and significance of attachment in infancy and early childhood. We review 4 major topics that are central issues in the scientific literature on attachment: (1) the role of the environment in the development of attachment, (2) the intergenerational transmission of patterns of attachment, (3) the stability of attachment patterns through early adulthood, and (4) the role of attachment in adjustment and maladjustment. We conclude by highlighting several critical unresolved issues and priorities for future research.
Authors:Roger Kobak; Caroline Abbott; Abigail Zisk; Nadia Bounoua Pages: 137 - 142 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Roger Kobak, Caroline Abbott, Abigail Zisk, Nadia Bounoua Changes in adolescents’ motivations and capabilities pose unique challenges to parents who play a continuing role in ensuring the youth’s safety and well-being. We describe sensitively attuned parenting as an optimal response to this challenge and summarize practices of positive engagement, supervision/guidance and open communication that support sensitive attunement and facilitate the continuing development of the adolescent’s self-confidence, autonomous decision-making, and communication skills. We then consider factors that require parents to adapt their practices to the particular needs and developmental level of the adolescent. Individual differences that may challenge parent’s effectiveness in implementing these practices include: biological vulnerabilities, differential sensitivity to parenting, relationship history and temperament. Clinical interventions that seek to improve parenting offer an opportunity to test sensitive attunement as a mechanism for reducing adolescents’ symptoms and problem behaviors.
Authors:Geertjan Overbeek Pages: 143 - 148 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Geertjan Overbeek Recent research suggests that children’s heightened susceptibility to parenting may have a (poly)genetic basis, and may be grounded in children’s temperament. However, much current evidence is of a preliminary—correlational—nature. Because in correlational designs alternative explanations for gene–environment (G×E) or temperament–environment (T×E) interactions cannot be discounted, it is pivotal to conduct experimental studies in which parenting is actively manipulated. Based on data from a recently conducted randomized trial (n =387) of the Incredible Years parenting intervention, experimental evidence is provided for G×E and T×E interactions in an at-risk population of children aged 4–8 years. The discussion centers around the use of polygenetic data and microtrial designs, and provides suggestions for how to integrate endophenotypes in tests of G×E and T×E.
Authors:Debra M Zeifman; Ian St James-Roberts Pages: 149 - 154 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Debra M Zeifman, Ian St James-Roberts Crying conveys evidence about an infant’s state and neurological health which, when carefully assessed, can provide diagnostic information for parents and clinicians. When crying is inconsolable or judged to be excessive, it can stress parents, disrupt parenting and, in rare cases, place an infant at risk for abuse. Research has revealed physiological and neural responses to crying that may predispose some adults to maltreat infants. Although this work suggests that parental vulnerabilities contribute to insensitive or aggressive reactions, there is a growing recognition that exposure to large doses of crying may be a challenge for all adults. Support programmes that inform parents about infant crying, enhance parenting, and improve parental wellbeing and coping, are under development with promising initial findings.
Authors:Danielle S Roubinov; William Thomas Boyce Pages: 162 - 167 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Danielle S Roubinov, William Thomas Boyce The quality of parenting is a complex and multiply determined construct that is strongly influenced by the larger ecological context in which it evolves. A substantial body of literature has documented associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and parenting but has been limited in its consideration of factors that may explain or moderate the nature of this relation. The socioeconomic conditions within which a family lives may powerfully influence parenting through its effects on parental mental health and via differential access to resources. Parents’ childrearing knowledge and cultural values may also vary along a socioeconomic gradient, with downstream effects on parenting. Further, both socioeconomic factors and parenting can independently shape children’s health and development. A more comprehensive understanding of linkages between SES and parenting may inform preventive intervention efforts to support families from disadvantaged environments.
Authors:Charles H Zeanah; Kathryn L Humphreys; Nathan A Fox; Charles A Nelson Pages: 182 - 188 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Charles H Zeanah, Kathryn L Humphreys, Nathan A Fox, Charles A Nelson The Bucharest Early Intervention Project is the first and only randomized controlled trial of foster care as an alternative to institutional care for orphaned and abandoned children. Across various domains of brain and behavioral development we demonstrated that children in families developed more favorably than children in institutions, that foster care remediates some but not all compromises associated with institutional placement and that earlier placement in foster care leads to more developmental gains in some but not all domains. In addition to early placement, higher quality of care provided and more stable placements for children all enhanced outcomes. These results have important implications for science, practice and policy.
Authors:Femmie Juffer; Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg; Marinus H van IJzendoorn Pages: 189 - 194 Abstract: Publication date: June 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 15 Author(s): Femmie Juffer, Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H van IJzendoorn Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD) is a social-learning and attachment-based intervention using video feedback to support sensitive parenting and at the same time setting firm limits. Empirical studies and meta-analyses have shown that sensitive parenting is the key determinant to promote secure child–parent attachment relationships and that adequate parental discipline contributes to fewer behavior problems in children. Building on this evidence, VIPP-SD has been tested in various populations of at-risk parents and vulnerable children (in the age range of zero to six years), as well as in the context of child care. In twelve randomized controlled trials including 1116 parents and caregivers, VIPP-SD proved to be effective in promoting sensitive caregiving, while positive social–emotional child outcomes were also found.
Authors:Barbara Abstract: Publication date: February 2018 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology, Volume 19 Author(s): Barbara Krahé Violence against women causes suffering and misery to victims and their families and places a heavy burden on societies worldwide. It mostly happens within intimate relationships or between people known to each other. Violence against women is a social construction based on a societal consensus about the roles and rights of men and women. Two prevalent forms of violence against women are physical and sexual victimization by an intimate partner, and sexual victimization outside intimate relationships. Explanations of why men engage in aggressive behavior toward women address different levels, including the macro level of society, the micro level of dyadic interactions, and the individual level of perpetrator characteristics. Prevention efforts are needed that address each of these levels.
Authors:Tim Buszard; Rich S.W. Masters; Damian Farrow Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Tim Buszard, Rich S.W. Masters, Damian Farrow Working-memory capacity has been implicated as an influential variable when performing and learning sport-related skills. In this review, we critically evaluate evidence linking working-memory capacity with performing under pressure, tactical decision making, motor skill acquisition, and sport expertise. Laboratory experiments link low working-memory capacity with poorer performance under pressure and poorer decision making when required to inhibit distractions or resolve conflict. However, the generalizability of these findings remains unknown. While working-memory capacity is associated with the acquisition of simple motor skills, there is no such evidence from the available data for complex motor skills. Likewise, currently there is no evidence to suggest that a larger working-memory capacity facilitates the attainment of sport expertise.
Authors:L. Rowell Huesmann Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): L. Rowell Huesmann Like other social behaviors, aggressive behavior is always a product of predisposing personal factors and precipitating situational factors. The predisposing factors exert their influence by affecting well encoded social cognitions including schemas about the world, scripts for social behavior, and normative beliefs about what is appropriate. These social cognitions interact with situational primes to determine behavior. These social cognitions are acquired primarily through observational learning; so youth who are repeatedly exposed to violence will acquire social cognitions promoting aggression that last into adulthood. Thus, violence can be viewed as a contagious disease which can be caught simply through its observation.
Authors:Natalia B. Stambulova Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Natalia B. Stambulova During the last decade, the field of athlete career research has seen much expansion. Researchers established the holistic lifespan and ecological approaches, introduced cultural praxis of athletes’ careers paradigm, and updated the taxonomy of athletes’ transitions. However, recent transition research focused mainly on the transition process and factors contributing to successful transitions, while crisis-transitions and factors contributing to ineffective coping have been largely ignored. The aim of this paper is to facilitate relevant research and practice through (1) positioning athletes’ developmental crises within the context of the current transition literature, (2) introducing two new approaches (termed “cognitive turn” and “cultural turn”) with a potential to enhance our understanding of the phenomenon, and (3) outlining crisis-coping interventions.
Authors:Dan Olweus; Susan P. Limber Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Dan Olweus, Susan P. Limber Research on cyberbullying is plagued by inconsistent findings and exaggerated claims about prevalence, development over time, and effects. To build a useful and coherent body of knowledge, it essential to achieve some degree of consensus on the definition of the phenomenon as a scientific concept and that efforts to measure cyberbullying are made in a “bullying context.” This will help to ensure that findings on cyberbullying are not confounded with findings on general cyberaggression or cyberharassment. We tentatively recommend that cyberbullying should be regarded as a subcategory or specific form of bullying, in line with other forms such as verbal, physical, and indirect/relational.
Authors:Todd M. Loughead Abstract: Publication date: Available online 19 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Todd M. Loughead Athlete leadership is defined as an athlete who occupies a formal or informal leadership role within a team and influences team members to achieve a common objective. The area of athlete leadership has been shaped by theories and measurement tools from organizational and sport coaching literatures. The present article describes the conceptual developments within athlete leadership by providing an operational definition of this construct, followed by the theories and measurement tools used to examine athlete leadership. Finally, the present paper describes both qualitative and quantitative research that has emerged over the last decade. The results suggest the importance of this source of leadership within sport teams.
Authors:James Densley; Jillian Peterson Abstract: Publication date: Available online 10 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): James Densley, Jillian Peterson Group aggression is an important concern for societies around the world. The field of intergroup relations, a sub-field of social-psychology, offers critical insight into the emergence of group conflict and aggression. This review examines the most influential theoretical frameworks from the field of intergroup relations, namely realistic conflict theory, relative deprivation theory, social identity theory, social dominance theory, and deindividuation theory. Associated empirical findings regarding groups synonymous with aggression, such as street gangs, hate groups, rebel and insurgent groups, and terrorist organizations, are explored. This review thus provides a critical overview of the current state of the field. It concludes with implications for the future of intergroup aggression research, drawing on integrated theories that account for both personal and situational factors.
Authors:Kaj Abstract: Publication date: Available online 8 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Kaj Björkqvist Studies on gender differences in aggressive behavior are examined. In proportions of their total aggression scores, boys and girls are verbally about equally aggressive, while boys are more physically and girls more indirectly aggressive. There are genetic determinants of both physical and indirect aggression, suggesting that both types of aggression give evolutionary advantages. Analyses of 2D:4D finger length ratios indicate that the prenatal hormonal environment is crucial for the development of these aggressive strategies.
Authors:Andrew Grogan-Kaylor; Julie Ma; Sandra A. Graham-Bermann Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Andrew Grogan-Kaylor, Julie Ma, Sandra A. Graham-Bermann
Authors:Michael Rocque; Grant Duwe Abstract: Publication date: Available online 6 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Michael Rocque, Grant Duwe Rampage shootings is a relatively new term to describe a phenomenon that has a long history. Rampage shootings are mass shootings (generally defined as involving four or more victims), taking place in a public location, with victims chosen randomly or for symbolic purposes. These shootings are isolated events, meaning they are not connected to another criminal act (such as robbery or terrorism). Evidence suggests that rampage shootings are not a new phenomenon, but have occurred throughout the US since the early 1900s. There is some evidence of an increase in recent years, but definitional differences across studies and data sources make interpreting trends somewhat tenuous. Theories regarding the perpetration of rampage shootings center on masculinity, mental illness, and contagion effects. Policies aimed at preventing rampage shootings remain somewhat controversial and not well-tested in the literature.
Authors:Dominic J. Parrott; Christopher I. Eckhardt Abstract: Publication date: Available online 5 April 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Dominic J. Parrott, Christopher I. Eckhardt There is little debate that alcohol is a contributing cause of aggressive behavior. The extreme complexity of this relation, however, has been the focus of extensive theory and research. And, likely due to this complexity, evidence-based programs to prevent or reduce alcohol-facilitated aggression are quite limited. We integrate I3 Theory and Alcohol Myopia Theory to provide a framework that (1) organizes the myriad instigatory and inhibitory factors that moderate the effect of alcohol on aggression, and (2) highlights the mechanisms by which alcohol facilitates aggression among at-risk individuals. This integrative framework provides the basis for understanding the appropriate targets for prevention and intervention efforts and may serve as a catalyst for future research that seeks to inform intervention development.
Authors:Liat Tikotzky Abstract: Publication date: Available online 18 March 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Liat Tikotzky The development of sleep is influenced by complex interactions between biologically driven forces and diverse socio-environmental factors. Among those factors, parents have a critical role. The present review focuses on new studies regarding the links between parenting and the development of sleep in early childhood in the context of a transactional model. Recent findings from longitudinal studies and large cohort studies highlight the contribution of various parenting factors, such as parental bedtime behaviors, parental cognitions, cry tolerance, maternal mood, stress, and the parents’ couple relationship, to the development of child sleep. Recent research also demonstrates the effectiveness of behavioral sleep interventions in which parents are the main agents of change in the behavioral aspects of child sleep.
Authors:James E Swain; S Shaun Ho Abstract: Publication date: Available online 4 March 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): James E Swain, S Shaun Ho Early parent-infant relationships play important roles in infants’ development. New parents adapt to the developing relationship with their infants to coordinate parenting behaviors in the milieu of infant needs, hormones, moods, and stress. This review highlights research from the past two years, using non-invasive brain-imaging techniques and naturalistic tasks in mothers and fathers in relation to psychological, and endocrine measures. Recent work also connects parental brain physiology with parental sensitive behavior, parent/child outcomes and parent psychotherapy. Understanding neurobiological mechanisms underlying parenting thoughts, behaviors and moods (see Figure 1) will help identify mental health risks and contribute to parental mental health interventions and resilience.
Authors:Frances Gardner; Patty Leijten Abstract: Publication date: Available online 2 March 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Frances Gardner, Patty Leijten The Incredible Years parenting intervention is a social learning theory-based programme for reducing children’s conduct problems. Dozens of randomized trials, many by independent investigators, find consistent effects of Incredible Years on children’s conduct problems across multiple countries and settings. However, in common with other interventions, these average effects hide much variability in the responses of individual children and families. Innovative moderator research is needed to enhance scientific understanding of why individual children and parents respond differently to intervention. Additionally, research is needed to test whether there are ways to make Incredible Years more effective and accessible for families and service providers, especially in low resource settings, by developing innovative delivery systems using new media, and by systematically testing for essential components of parenting interventions.
Authors:Karen L Bales Abstract: Publication date: Available online 1 March 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Karen L Bales The study of parenting in animals has allowed us to come to a better understanding of the neural and physiological mechanisms that underlie mammalian parental behavior. The long-term effects of parenting (and parental abuse or neglect) on offspring, and the neurobiological changes that underlie those changes, have also been best studied in animal models. Our greater experimental control and ability to directly manipulate neural and hormonal systems, as well as the environment of the subjects, will ensure that animal models remain important in the study of parenting; while in the future, the great variety of parental caregiving systems displayed by animals should be more thoroughly explored. Most importantly, cross-talk between animal and human subjects research should be promoted.
Authors:Beth Barker; Jane E Iles; Paul G Ramchandani Abstract: Publication date: Available online 24 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Beth Barker, Jane E Iles, Paul G Ramchandani The last few years have seen a steady increase in research addressing the potential influence of fathers on their children’s development. There has also been a clearer acknowledgement of the need to study families as a complex system, rather than just focussing on individual aspects of functioning in one or other parent. Increased father involvement and more engaged styles of father-infant interactions are associated with more positive outcomes for children. Studies of paternal depression and other psychopathology have begun to elucidate some of the key mechanisms by which fathers can influence their children’s development. These lessons are now being incorporated into thinking about engaging both mothers and fathers in effective interventions to optimise their children’s health and development.
Authors:Chantal Cyr; Lenneke R.A. Alink Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Chantal Cyr, Lenneke R.A. Alink Child maltreatment has devastating consequences for children. In this review, using an ecological-transactional perspective, we argue that the child-parent attachment relationship is at the core of preventing and stopping maltreatment, and improving child developmental outcomes. Hence, we suggest that attachment-based interventions should be prioritized with this vulnerable population. We also underscore the need to improve parenting capacity assessments (PCA), as conducted by child protective agencies, to orient interventions and decisions about child placement. Today, a lack of knowledge exists in this area, especially with regard to parental capacity to change. We argue that parental capacity to change, in particular the capacity to become more sensitive to the child’s needs, should be one central focus of PCAs and that an attachment framework can be used to assess and document this specific change. At the forefront of a next generation of studies, a recent study is now showing that a short-term attachment-based intervention aiming to change the quality of the parent-child relationship is a valuable tool to improve child placement decisions.
Authors:Carlo Schuengel; Sabina Kef; Marja W. Hodes; Marieke Meppelder Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Carlo Schuengel, Sabina Kef, Marja W. Hodes, Marieke Meppelder Questions around parents with intellectual disability have changed according to sociocultural shifts in the position and rights of people with intellectual disability. The early research focus on capacity for parenting has given way to a contextual model of parenting and child outcomes, increasingly tested in population based samples. Epidemiological research shows that contextual variables such as low income, exposure to violence, and poor mental health partly account for negative outcomes. As theoretical models developed for other at risk populations prove increasingly helpful for understanding the challenges of parenting with intellectual disability, it becomes viable to adapt existing evidence based parenting interventions and test these for this population. Ultimately, parenting research should become fully inclusive.
Authors:Harold D Grotevant; Albert YH Lo Abstract: Publication date: Available online 22 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Harold D Grotevant, Albert YH Lo Challenges in adoptive parenting continue to emerge as adoption policies and practices evolve. We review three areas of research in adoptive parenting that reflect contemporary shifts in adoption. First, we highlight recent findings concerning openness in adoption contact arrangements, or contact between a child’s families of birth and rearing. Second, we examine research regarding racial and cultural socialization in transracial and international adoptions. Finally, we review investigations of parenting experiences of lesbian and gay adoptive parents. Overall, parenting processes (e.g., supportive vs. problematic family interaction) are better predictors of child adjustment than are group differences (e.g., open vs. closed adoptions; adoption by heterosexual vs. same-sex parents). The distinctive needs of adopted children call for preparation of adoption-competent mental health, casework, education, and health care professionals.
Authors:Vivette Glover; Lauren Capron Abstract: Publication date: Available online 21 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Vivette Glover, Lauren Capron Parenting begins before birth. This includes prenatal maternal and paternal bonding with the baby, and biological effects on fetal development. Recent research has confirmed how prenatal maternal stress can alter the development of the fetus and the child, and that this can persist until early adulthood. Children are affected in different ways depending, in part, on their own genetic makeup. The fetus may also have a direct effect on prenatal maternal mood and later parenting behaviour via the placenta. The father is important prenatally too. An abusive partner can increase the mother’s prenatal stress and alter fetal development, but he can also be an important source of emotional support. New research suggests the potential benefits of prenatal interventions, including viewing of prenatal scans and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Authors:Susan Golombok Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Susan Golombok This paper reviews research on parenting and child development in new family forms including families created by assisted reproductive technologies, same-sex parent families, and families headed by single mothers by choice. The research is examined in the context of the issues and concerns that have been raised regarding these families. The findings not only contest popular assumptions about the psychological consequences for children of being raised in new family forms but also challenge the supremacy of the traditional family. It is concluded that the quality of family relationships and the wider social environment appear to be more influential in children’s psychological development and adjustment than are the number, gender, sexual orientation or biological relatedness of their parents.
Authors:Christine E Parsons; Katherine S Young; Alan Stein; Morten L Kringelbach Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Christine E Parsons, Katherine S Young, Alan Stein, Morten L Kringelbach When interacting with an infant, parents intuitively enact a range of behaviours that support infant communicative development. These behaviours include altering speech, establishing eye contact and mirroring infant expressions and are argued to occur largely in the absence of conscious intent. Here, we describe studies investigating early, pre-conscious neural responses to infant cues, which we suggest support aspects of parental intuitive behaviour towards infants. This work has provided converging evidence for rapid differentiation of infant cues from other salient social signals in the adult brain. In particular, the orbitofrontal cortex may be important in supporting quick orienting responses and privileged processing of infant cues, processes fundamental to intuitive parenting behavior.
Authors:Helena JV Rutherford; Linda C Mayes Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Helena JV Rutherford, Linda C Mayes Addiction remains a significant public health concern that affects multiple generations within families, and in particular the early relationship between parents and their developing child. This article will discuss recent advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of parenting and addiction. Specifically, the discussion will focus on the reward-stress dysregulation model of addicted parenting, which proposes that the dysregulation of stress and reward neural circuits by addiction represents a neurobiological pathway through which to understand how caregiving may be compromised in addicted parents. Empirical research in parents and non-parents will be discussed in support of this model and critical consideration of the model and its limitations will be provided.
Authors:Megan Galbally; Andrew J Lewis Abstract: Publication date: Available online 20 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Megan Galbally, Andrew J Lewis The impact of maternal depression on parenting is well established and there is a clear interaction between maternal depression and parenting that is predictive of child outcomes. The research on paternal depression is more limited but suggests the father’s mental health may be an independent risk factor for both parenting and child outcomes. There is insufficient evidence that treatment of depression alone – be it through pharmacological or psychological interventions – is able to substantially reduce the impact of depression on child outcomes. The evidence of interventions aimed at parenting and/or child outcomes in the context of depression is limited and the findings that are available are mixed.
Authors:Marcie C Goeke-Morey; E Mark Cummings Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Marcie C Goeke-Morey, E Mark Cummings Most faith traditions, in principle, promote family life and positive parent-child relationships. In recent years, research has moved beyond questions of whether religion supports positive parenting towards addressing more nuanced process-oriented questions, including how, why, and when religion is linked with adaptive or maladaptive parenting. Relations between religion and multiple specific parenting behaviors (e.g., involvement, warmth, authoritative parenting, communication) are identified, including contexts for when and why relations between religion and parenting are adaptive or maladaptive. A next step for research is the development and testing of theoretical models to more comprehensively account for process relations between religion and parenting.
Authors:Tomás Cabeza de Baca; Bruce J Ellis Abstract: Publication date: Available online 17 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Tomás Cabeza de Baca, Bruce J Ellis This review focuses on the impact of parental behavior on child development, as interpreted from an evolutionary-developmental perspective. We employ psychosocial acceleration theory to reinterpret the effects of variation in parental investment and involvement on child development, arguing that these effects have been structured by natural selection to match the developing child to current and expected future environments. Over time, an individual’s development, physiology, and behavior are organized in a coordinated manner (as instantiated in “life history strategies”) that facilitates survival and reproductive success under different conditions. We review evidence to suggest that parental behavior (1) is strategic and contingent on environmental opportunities and constraints and (2) influences child life history strategies across behavioral, cognitive, and physiological domains.
Authors:Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg; Marinus H van IJzendoorn Abstract: Publication date: Available online 16 February 2017 Source:Current Opinion in Psychology Author(s): Marian J Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H van IJzendoorn The current review focuses on a dimension of parenting that has largely been neglected in studies on human parenting, namely parental protection. Human protective parenting can be observed already during pregnancy, when mothers experiencing morning sickness avoid foods that are likely to carry pathogens and thus could be harmful to the fetus. After the birth of the baby, one of the foremost anxieties of parents is that their child will be abused or killed by strangers. Protective parenting seems to be a species-wide evolutionary based behavior complementary to the innate bias of each newborn to strive for proximity to a potentially protective attachment figure. Most important target for future work might be to describe, explain and uncover the correlates and consequences of individual differences in the quality of protection −in parents and other caregivers.