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Contemporary Family Therapy
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.413
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 3  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-3335 - ISSN (Online) 0892-2764
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2467 journals]
  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy Presuppositions: A Comparison of 1.0 and
           2.0 SFBT Approaches

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      Abstract: Abstract Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) has consistently emphasized the importance of utilizing language to co-construct with clients. This microanalysis study looks specifically at presuppositions, one linguistic tool, and investigates how SFBT therapists use presuppositions in their co-constructive work. This study compares three 1.0 SFBT therapists and three 2.0 SFBT therapists regarding their use of presuppositions. Results from this study support McKergow’s (J Solut Focus Brief Ther 2:1–17, 2016) claims that an evolutionary change has already taken place within the practice of SFBT. 2.0 SFBT therapists are more likely to use presuppositions in general, and are more likely to use conditional presupposition specifically to build descriptions rather than focusing on action toward goals. Also, 2.0 therapists are also more likely to dedicate time to asking relationship-oriented presuppositional questions than 1.0 therapists.
      PubDate: 2022-11-03
       
  • Comparing Family Functioning in Usual Care Among Adolescents Treated for
           Behavior Problems

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      Abstract: Abstract Healthy family functioning is important for successful adolescent development and serves as a protective factor against adolescent behavior problems. When adolescent behavior problems exist, family therapy can help promote warmth and cohesiveness in the family, which results in healthier family functioning. Furthermore, family therapy is the gold standard for treating adolescent behavior problems. However, most of the research on family therapy for adolescents are with manualized models that have difficulty being implemented in usual care. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of family therapy in improving family functioning as compared to individually-based treatments, all of which were offered in usual care settings. Participants were 205 adolescents and their caregivers living in a large, metropolitan area. Data were collected at four time points (baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up) and analyzed using latent growth curve modeling. Family functioning was assessed by separate caregiver and adolescent reports of cohesion and conflict subscales on the Family Environment Scale and caregiver-reported parent-adolescent domain of the Stress Index for Parents of Adolescents. Across treatments, caregivers reported improvement in family cohesion and decreases in family conflict and parental stress. Similarly, adolescents across treatments reported a decrease in family conflict but no concomitant increase in family cohesion. Overall, there was no between-treatment differences in overall change with both conditions showing improvement in family functioning. Results indicate that both family therapy and non-family treatment in usual care for adolescent behavior problems are effective for improving family functioning, suggesting that existing treatment services are viable options for adolescent behavioral health when offered under monitored conditions.
      PubDate: 2022-10-27
       
  • Development and Validation of the Flexibility in Partner Perspectives
           Scale

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      Abstract: Abstract The ability to respond flexibly in situations is critical to individual well-being and couples’ functioning in romantic relationships. The Flexibility in Partner Perspectives Scale (FiPPS) was developed and validated so that two key aspects of relational flexibility—specifically the ability to generate alternative perspectives and respond non-defensively when alternative perspectives are raised within challenging partner situations—can be studied and targeted in interventions for distressed couples. We introduce the FiPPS as an 8-item self-report questionnaire composed of two 4-item subscales that measure these aspects, respectively. In Study 1, individuals (N = 208) in committed relationships were recruited online to answer questionnaires relating to relational flexibility and various aspects of the couple’s and individual’s functioning. We used parallel analysis and exploratory factor analysis to examine the psychometric properties of the 25 items developed for the FiPPS and to reduce the number of items retained in the final measure. The FiPPS was then validated in Study 2 using confirmatory factor analysis with a separate online sample of individuals (N = 430) in committed relationships. A subset of Study 2’s sample (N = 196) was used to establish test–retest reliability. Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated FiPPS’ predictive validity by showing in two additional samples (N = 260 treatment-seeking couples, N = 85 Hispanic/Latinx couples) that individuals who scored higher on the FIPPS scale also reported greater relationship satisfaction. Taken together, the FiPPS appears to be a brief and useful measure that predicts relationship satisfaction above and beyond general cognitive flexibility and perspective taking.
      PubDate: 2022-10-23
       
  • Perspectives of Mainline Protestant Christian Pastors on the Consequences
           of Familial Acceptance and Rejection of LGB Members: Understanding the
           Role of Religion for Family Therapists

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      Abstract: Abstract When therapists are working with families with lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) members, discussions of family acceptance and rejection can be salient to the therapeutic process. For many families, decisions around acceptance and rejection are often informed by Christian religious beliefs. However, little is known about how Christian pastors conceptualize consequences associated with family acceptance and rejection and how religious involvement can be both a source of help and harm. This queer theory informed qualitative study utilized in-depth interviews with 21 mainline Protestant Christian pastors to understand their perspectives, informed by their faith, on the consequences of family acceptance and rejection of LGB family members. Using thematic analysis, four themes were identified that highlighted participants’ understandings of (1) how family acceptance can change relationships within and outside of the family; (2) how rejection harms LGB individuals and their family system; (3) how rejection harms LGB peoples’ relationships with multiple aspects of religiosity; and (4) how familial rejection can liberate LGB people to create chosen families and find affirmative religious communities. Findings from this study provide support for family therapists to explore the role of religion in familial processes of acceptance and rejection of LGB members, as well as how religious faith and communities can be a positive resource or source of harm for LGB individuals.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • Queering Relationships: Exploring Phenomena of Asexual Identified Persons
           in Relationships

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      Abstract: Abstract This phenomenological study explored experiences of asexual identified persons within the context of relationships. Thirty-five asexual spectrum identified participants took part in semi-structured interviews that focused on how they viewed themselves and their uniquenesses within relationship dynamics. Queer theory guided the research design and analysis. Findings include a movement towards understanding and experiencing relationships that extend beyond heteronormativity. Themes included: (a) evolving asexual identity development, (b) conscious adapting and communication within relationships, (c) reconsidering amatonormativity, and (d) therapeutic recommendations. Participants identified that their relationships were distinctly different from social expectations; however, overall, partners adapted successfully to these differences with communication and understanding. Findings contribute to a greater competency in asexual identities.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • “We Need to State it Overtly”: MFT’s Rationales for Labeling SOCE
           and GICE as Unethical in the Code of Ethic

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      Abstract: Abstract This study sought to explore the beliefs of marriage and family therapists (MFTs) about why sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE; i.e., conversion therapy) and gender identity change efforts (GICE) should be labeled as unethical in the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Code of Ethics. Utilizing an online survey, this study collected data from 208 clinicians with a range of therapeutic experiences and social location identities. Participants responded to open-ended questions, which were analyzed using thematic analysis. The analysis revealed four themes describing why MFTs support GICE and SOCE being labeled as unethical in the AAMFT Code of Ethics: (1) Does not fit the values/roles of being an MFT; (2) Does not fit the ethics of being an MFT; (3) Is harmful and ineffective; and (4) AAMFT has an ethical imperative. Finally, a fifth theme emerged representing the responses from three participants who felt that SOCE and GICE may be ethical practices. Implications for therapists and MFT training programs are discussed.
      PubDate: 2022-10-20
       
  • Refining the Meta-Theory of Common Factors in Couple and Family Therapy: a
           Deductive Qualitative Analysis Study

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      Abstract: Abstract Common factors in couple and family therapy (CFT) have been discussed theoretically and clinically, with limited direct empirical support for CFT-specific common factors. The purpose of this study was to empirically examine the meta-theory of common factors unique to CFT. To do so, we used deductive qualitative analysis (DQA), a methodology suited for research that aims to evaluate, refine, and expand existing theory. Our sample consisted of fourteen (n = 14) video-recorded therapy sessions (videos and transcripts) conducted by therapists with expertise in seven CFT models: Bowenian family therapy, emotionally focused therapy, experiential therapy, narrative therapy, solution-focused brief therapy, strategic therapy, and structural family therapy. Following the procedures of DQA, we conducted an in-depth analysis of the data using CFT common factors as sensitizing constructs (deductive), along with open (inductive), focused, and theoretical coding. Results show (a) strong support for certain previously identified CFT common factors (expanded direct treatment system, expanded therapeutic alliance), and (b) partial support for and refinement of other CFT common factors (conceptualizing and reframing difficulties in relational terms, facilitating constructive interactions, and valuing clients’ perspectives). Results also support the moderate view of CFT common factors – that they work through therapy models. This paper offers an empirical examination of common factors in couple and family therapy that clarifies, deepens, and refines previous iterations of CFT common factors. We conclude with a discussion of the results in the context of CFT literature and provide implications for clinical practice, training, and research.
      PubDate: 2022-10-12
       
  • Meaning and Experience of International Migration in Black African South
           African Families

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      Abstract: Abstract This article explores the experiences of some Black South African families affected by international migration. Historically, emigration from South Africa has occurred in waves, and has been associated with specific political moments. Such migration has often been perceived as a predominantly “White phenomenon”, but recent trends reveal a more complex picture. Prior research on Black migration has focused primarily on internal labour migration, exilic migration and the “brain drain” phenomenon of medical professionals. So far, little research has been done on the impact of international outward migration on the Black family system. This article addresses this gap, drawing on a larger qualitative project exploring the impact of South African emigration on elderly family members staying behind. The findings highlight the significance of close relational ties in the Black South African family system. Familial separation through emigration brings feelings of loss and apprehension for the wellbeing of family members living abroad, including potential racism in destination countries. Migrants abroad highlighted the value of family and of maintaining a Black South African identity, despite separation from the country of origin and the extended family. Significantly, migration is often perceived as a temporary state, in contrast to White South African counterparts. Given increased international migration, the results shed light on the interplay between racial identity and emigration, and the impact of international migration by Black South Africans on family that they leave behind.
      PubDate: 2022-10-01
       
  • Attachment, Depression, and Health: A Longitudinal Analysis of Those with
           A Chronic Disease

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      Abstract: Abstract Despite previous literature illustrating strong links between social relations, mental health, and physical health, much remains unknown regarding the associations among adult romantic attachment, depressive symptoms, and reports of physical health within adults diagnosed with a chronic disease. The present study used a mediated latent growth curve analysis to examine to what extent trajectories of reported physical health across two years were a function of attachment and depressive symptoms among a sample of 197 individuals who were mostly White, middle class, college educated, in a committed heterosexual relationship, and reported a diagnosed chronic disease. Results indicated that as depressive symptoms increased, initial levels of physical health were worse. Higher attachment anxiety was linked with better initial rates of physical health. Further, higher depressive symptoms and attachment anxiety predicted a significant upward shift in the trajectory of improved physical health. Results offer merit to social and mental health professionals as well as researchers to understand and incorporate a biopsychosocial approach. Further clinical and research implications are considered.
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-022-09647-4
       
  • Family Functioning Assessment in a Community Sample of African American
           Caregivers and Children

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      Abstract: Abstract Racial/ethnic minority youth receive approximately half of the mental health services of their non-minority peers. Improved methods for identifying African American families in need of behavioral health services are necessary. The Family Assessment Device and General Functioning subscale have been found to be reliable and able to detect family functioning impairment in a generalized sample, but less is known about the reliability and validity of the assessment with an African American community sample. Data from 53 African American caregiver-child (ages 7–13) dyads was collected including family demographics and the Family Assessment Device General Functioning (FAD_GF) scale. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to determine the minimal number of FAD_GF items (12 vs. 6 items) that were valid and reliable. The 12-item FAD_GF and the 6-item scale had acceptable psychometric properties, and the 6-item measure demonstrated improved model fit over the 12-item scale and identified more clinically impaired families (6-item: 28% vs. 12-item: 23%). The 6-item measure of family functioning was more sensitive 12-item FAD_GF. This brief measure may prove useful for identifying and assessing African American families.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09604-7
       
  • National Guard Couples Communicating During Deployment: The Challenge of
           Effective Connection

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      Abstract: Abstract Communication during a combat deployment has changed significantly in current times. Couples can now communicate with each other frequently and through multiple modes. Despite this greater availability of communication options, there remain unanswered questions related to how healthy deployment communication is best achieved between couples, particularly regarding navigating the uncertainty of deployment. In this qualitative study, we report on the experiences of 31 National Guard couples who endured a combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Couples were interviewed three months after the soldier returned from deployment. Through the lens of relational turbulence theory, we provide a conceptual framework related to effective and non-effective deployment communication, along with structural communication barriers in the military that may negatively affect the mental well-being of partners. Finally, we provide recommendations to guide couples through these difficult deployments.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09588-4
       
  • Investigating the Structural Model of the Relationship Between
           Self-Compassion and Psychological Hardiness with Family Cohesion in Women
           with War-Affected Spouses: The Mediating Role of Self-Worth

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      Abstract: Abstract The present study was conducted to investigate the structural model of the relationship between self-compassion and psychological hardiness with family cohesion about the mediating role of self-worth among women with war-affected spouses. The research method was descriptive and correlational. The statistical population comprised all women with war-affected spouses in Mashhad city (Iran) in 2019. Out of 1250 war-affected spouses, 294 were selected as the sample through voluntary and convenience sampling based on Morgan’s table. To measure the variables, Olson’s Family Cohesion Scale (1999), Neff’s Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, Self and Identity 2:223–250, 2003), Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale by Crocker et al. (Crocker et al., Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 85:894–908, 2003) and Kobasa’s Psychological Hardiness Questionnaire-Short Form (Kobasa, Sander (ed), Social psychology of health and illness, Erbium, Hillsdale, 1982) were used. For data analysis, Pearson correlation tests and path analysis were used. The results demonstrated that self-compassion and psychological hardiness were directly related to family cohesion, and self-compassion and psychological hardiness indirectly affected family cohesion through self-worth and each of the components of self-compassion and psychological hardiness had a significant positive relationship with family cohesion. Based on the findings of this study, it can be concluded that the relationship between self-compassion and psychological hardiness with family cohesion is not simple and linear, and self-worth may mediate this relationship.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09579-5
       
  • Writing and Praying Collects as an Intervention in Narrative Therapy

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      Abstract: Abstract The integration of spiritual practices in therapy is a valuable tool for supporting and reinforcing change. This paper explores the use of a written form of prayer called a collect as an intervention in narrative therapy. A collect is a form of prayer with a structure that can be easily co-constructed by clients and therapists. This spiritual intervention serves as a therapeutic document to help reinforce the externalization of a client’s problem or help thicken alternative narratives. Relevant aspects of narrative therapy and written prayer are summarized. A guide for implementation, examples of collects, and a worksheet for helping clients write collects is provided.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09586-6
       
  • Honoring Protective Responses: Reframing Resistance in Therapy Using
           Polyvagal Theory

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      Abstract: Abstract Therapists often conceptualize resistance as client behaviors that impede progress; this perspective threatens the therapeutic alliance, especially in couple and family therapy where increased resistance and multiple alliances are present. Polyvagal theory reframes and normalizes resistant behaviors as preconscious, protective responses emerging from our autonomic nervous system. The theory also explains how humans reciprocate safety cues to connect with each other; therapists can use concepts of polyvagal theory to manage their own emotional regulation and foster safety and connection in therapy. Polyvagal concepts deepen our understanding of protective behaviors presenting in couple and family therapy; therapists can help couple and family clients to recognize protective behaviors in their own relationships and facilitate safer connection and engagement. Clinical implications are presented: psychoeducation can help clients normalize and understand their protective processes; therapist presence and immediacy acknowledges and normalizes protective behaviors as they arise; therapist and client self-regulation skills support connection; therapist genuineness is a precondition to client safety; and understanding of polyvagal theory enhances assessment of conflict and enactments in couple and family therapy.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09584-8
       
  • Comparing Binary Transgender and Nonbinary People: Factors Associated with
           Psychological Well-Being Among a Predominately People of Color Sample

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      Abstract: Abstract Binary transgender and nonbinary people face interpersonal and societal discrimination which can contribute to minority stress and negative mental health. Thus, it is important that family therapists understand what factors contribute to psychological well-being to be able to offer helpful and inclusive therapy services to these communities. This study addresses a gap in the literature regarding differences in factors contributing to psychological well-being between binary transgender and nonbinary people as well as understanding these factors in a predominantly People of Color (POC) sample. Utilizing secondary data from the Social Justice Sexuality Project (Battle and DeFreece in Women Gend Fam Color 2(1):1–31. https://doi.org/10.5406/womgenfamcol.2.1.0001, 2014; Battle et al. in Social justice sexuality survey: cumulative codebook, City University of New York-Graduate Center, New York, 2012), this study examined the relationships between perceived family support, religiosity, community connectedness and psychological well-being in a sample of binary transgender and nonbinary people. Results from a multiple group path analysis show that perceived family support, religiosity and being connected to an LGBT community were significantly associated with psychological well-being for binary transgender people, while only LGBT community connectedness was significantly associated with psychological well-being for nonbinary people. Implications for family therapists include helping families support binary transgender and nonbinary family members, deconstructing non-affirming religious messages about gender identity and connecting clients to affirmative religions and religious leaders, and being knowledgeable about community resources for binary transgender and nonbinary POC.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-022-09634-9
       
  • A Both-And Approach: An Application of Narrative Interventions from a
           Modern Perspective

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      Abstract: Abstract A contentious debate between the modern and postmodern epistemologies continue to wage on since the rise of constructivism and social constructionism in the 1990s. This debate has led to both modern and postmodernists falling into an either/or mindset. Others have proposed a solution, the both-and approach, that emphasizes integration of different therapeutic camps. Intentionality is a core component of this approach, as therapists must understand how employed interventions flow from the epistemology and theoretical orientation under which they operate. Another core component of this approach is tailoring the integration to the specific context of the client case. With this understanding and tailoring, therapists can utilize methods across the modern/postmodern divide, as they will coherently flow from their original epistemology and theoretical orientation. Applying methods from both modernism and postmodernism, then, enhances therapists’ therapeutic repertoire, allowing for more opportunities to adapt treatment to each client case. Altogether, the quality of services improve and the amount of clients therapists can help increases as well. This paper will provide an application of the both-and approach to a case study to provide an example of how the said method can be employed in therapy.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09582-w
       
  • Development and Initial Validation of the Perceived Power Imbalance Scale

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      Abstract: Abstract Relationship power, which refers to the ability to influence one’s romantic partner, is an important organizing principle in the assessment and treatment of couples. Power imbalance is predictive of various dimensions of marital quality, which explains why it is often a central focus of couple therapy. Despite the importance of relationship power in couple therapy, assessing power in clinical settings has been hindered by the lack of a validated measure of power that has high clinical utility. Data from 640 married couples associated with the Flourishing Families Project were used to develop the Perceived Power Imbalance Scale by conducting exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, dyadic predictive validity analysis, and measurement equivalence analysis. Although power has been conceptualized as consisting of both outcome power and process power, results indicated that the final scale consisted of four items that only tapped aspects of process power. The scale demonstrated good reliability and was a significant predictor of marital quality, marital instability, and depression.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09618-1
       
  • How Effective is Online Couple Relationship Education' A Systematic
           Meta-Content Review

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      Abstract: Abstract Due to logistical and financial barriers that keep many distressed couples from seeking psychotherapy, online relationship education is a more accessible alternative. In the decade since a web-based program showed equivalent effectiveness to traditional marriage education (Duncan et al., 2009), several fully online programs have been developed and evaluated. We reviewed nine studies of four different programs that sampled 2,000 + couples. Specifically, we rated each study’s experimental rigor and compared research designs, theoretical and empirical grounding, average post-intervention and follow-up effect sizes, and differential effectiveness. Across studies, measured outcomes included relational (improved satisfaction, quality, confidence, commitment, communication; reduced conflict and aggression) and individual functioning on various indices of mental and physical health, emotional expression, and quality of life. Finally, we discuss the strengths and limitations of the research evidence, describe the two most evidence-based programs (ePREP and OurRelationship) in some detail and make recommendations for future study of these promising kinds of interventions.
      PubDate: 2022-09-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-021-09585-7
       
  • Residual Effects of Slavery: A Delphi Study

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      Abstract: Abstract Slavery and its aftermath have created multiple challenges that are unique to the African American community. Although literature exists within other disciplines, no published empirical study within the marriage and family therapy literature has examined the residual effects of slavery. We used a modified Delphi methodology to explore the residual effects of slavery on African Americans and to determine resultant clinical implications. To obtain information from panelists who have expertise in this area, we conducted three rounds of data collection: an open-ended questionnaire, a Likert-scale questionnaire, and a round of in-depth interviews. Based on our analysis of the data collected, this empirical study describes the influence of the residual effects of slavery, implications for clinicians and directions for future research.
      PubDate: 2022-04-23
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-022-09636-7
       
  • Differentiation of Self in Family Members’ of SUD Loved Ones: An
           Analysis of Prefrontal Cortex Activation

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      Abstract: Abstract Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a chronic disease that impacts the individual with a SUD as well as an entire family system. While family members of those with SUDs are one of the most important support networks in the recovery process, impacted family members have been found to experience more adverse health outcomes and altered functioning of the prefrontal cortex (PFC). These impacts negatively influence not only family members’ personal health but also the health of the family unit, which limits the family’s capability of providing its most effective support. Bowen’s conceptualization of differentiation of self can help explain the perspective of SUDs as a “family disease” and associated impacts on family members. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy with a sample of 26 SUD-impacted family members, the present study examined associations between PFC activation in response to images of a loved-one seeking abstinence from a SUD and various components of differentiation of self (i.e., emotional cutoff, emotional reactivity, fusion with others, and I-position). Activation of the left dorsomedial PFC in response to SUD loved-one images associated negatively with emotional reactivity and positively with fusion with others. These findings did not replicate in a control group and have important implications for research and clinical practice.
      PubDate: 2022-04-11
      DOI: 10.1007/s10591-022-09639-4
       
 
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