Not enough is known about which patients suffering from major depressive disorder benefit from antidepressant drug treatment. Individual temperament is relatively stable over a person's lifespan and is thought to be largely biologically predefined. We assessed how temperament profiles are related to depression and predict the efficacy of antidepressant treatment.
We recruited one hundred Finnish outpatients (aged 19 to 72) suffering from major depressive disorder, of whom 86 completed the 6-week study. We assessed their temperament features with the Temperament and Character Inventory and used cluster analysis to determine the patient's temperament profile. We also categorized the patients according to the vegetative symptoms of major depressive disorder.
There was an association between skewed temperament profile and severity of major depressive disorder, but the temperament profiles alone did not predict antidepressant treatment response. Those with higher baseline vegetative symptoms score had modest treatment response. Our model with baseline Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) vegetative symptoms, age and temperament clusters as explanatory variables explained 20% of the variance in the endpoint MADRS scores.
The temperament clusters were associated both with severity of depression and antidepressive treatment response of depression. The effect of the temperament profile alone was modest but, combined with vegetative symptoms of depression, their explanatory power was more marked suggesting that there could be an association of these two in the biological basis of MDD.
Depressive disorder; Temperament; TCI; Antidepressive agents; Treatment response
Few studies of incarcerated women have examined potential associations between risky sexual behavior and relationship context factors; thus, little is known about the correlates of intentions to use condoms with main and casual partners among this underserved population.
A sample of 221 women incarcerated in a Rhode Island Department of Corrections facility in 2002–2003 were interviewed. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to assess associations between selected demographic, psychosocial and behavioral variables and participants’ reported intentions to use condoms with main and casual sexual partners in the first six months after their release.
Condom use at last sex with a main partner, sexually transmitted disease (STD) history, no strong desire to currently be pregnant, belief that others influence one’s health and perceived STD risk were positively associated with women’s intention to use condoms with main partners. Pregnancy history was negatively associated with intention to use condoms with a main partner. Condom use at last sex with a casual partner was positively associated with intention to use condoms with casual partners, whereas binge drinking and believing in the role of chance in determining one’s health were negatively associated with intention to use condoms with casual partners.
Whether incarcerated women define a partner as main or casual may influence their decisions about the need to protect themselves by using condoms. Programs that focus on the importance of condom use with all partners could greatly benefit incarcerated women and the communities to which they return.
This study investigates whether individualized, anticipatory temperament guidance could benefit the parent-child relationship and improve children's mental health over time. Parents of preschoolers in a health management organization completed a temperament questionnaire, received written parenting information tailored to their child's temperament, and were asked to complete a program evaluation questionnaire. The numbers of subsequent visits to the pediatric and psychiatry departments with anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other externalizing behavior diagnoses were compared over 15 years to a control sample that received only standard care. Parents positively reviewed the program and boys who received the intervention had fewer visits with psychiatric diagnoses. Analyses revealed an interaction effect, where boys with harder-to-manage temperaments saw a greater reduction in visits from the intervention. By sensitizing parents to their child's temperament and helping parents understand and manage temperament-related behaviors, anticipatory guidance can encourage a positive parent-child relationship and reduce future occurrences of psychiatric diagnoses.
Childhood temperament and family environment have been shown to predict internalizing and externalizing behavior; however, less is known about how temperament and family environment interact to predict changes in problem behavior. We conducted latent growth curve modeling on a sample assessed at ages 5, 7, 10, 14, and 17 (N = 337). Externalizing behavior decreased over time for both sexes, and internalizing behavior increased over time for girls only. Two childhood variables (fear/shyness and maternal depression) predicted boys’ and girls’ age-17 internalizing behavior, harsh discipline uniquely predicted boys’ age-17 internalizing behavior, and maternal depression and lower family income uniquely predicted increases in girls’ internalizing behavior. For externalizing behavior, an array of temperament, family environment, and Temperament x Family Environment variables predicted age-17 behavior for both sexes. Sex differences were present in the prediction of externalizing slopes, with maternal depression predicting increases in boys’ externalizing behavior only when impulsivity was low, and harsh discipline predicting increases in girls’ externalizing behavior only when impulsivity was high or when fear/shyness was low.
externalizing; internalizing; temperament; family environment; sex differences
Effective behavioral management plans are tailored to unique behavioral patterns of each individual species. However, even within a species behavioral needs of individuals can vary. Factors such as age, sex, and temperament can affect behavioral needs of individuals. While some of these factors, such as age and sex, are taken into account, other factors, such as an individual’s temperament, are rarely specifically provided for in behavioral management plans. However, temperament may affect how animals respond to socialization, positive reinforcement training and other forms of enrichment. This review will examine how individual differences in temperament might affect, or be affected by, behavioral management practices for captive primates. Measuring temperament may help us predict outcome of social introductions. It can also predict which animals may be difficult to train using traditional methods. Further, knowledge of temperament may be able to help identify individuals at risk for development of behavioral problems. Taken together, understanding individual differences in temperament of captive primates can help guide behavioral management decisions.
Welfare; personality; nonhuman primate; enrichment; positive reinforcement training
A growing body of literature suggests that an association exists between sexual compulsivity and participation in sexual behaviors that are high risk in terms of HIV/STD infection. In most of these studies, sexual compulsivity has been measured using the Sexual Compulsivity Scale (SCS; Kalichman & Rompa, 1995). As yet, sexual compulsivity has only been assessed with this scale among individuals who are members of “high risk” groups for HIV infection or who are HIV-positive. In this study, we found support for reliability and construct validity of the SCS in a sample of 876 heterosexual college students, a group not yet examined in the sexual addiction and compulsivity literature. Construct validity was substantiated by the presence of significant relationships of sexual compulsivity with frequencies of sexual behaviors and numbers of sexual partners. The scale was also related to gender and age. Sexual compulsivity scores were associated with frequency of risky sexual behaviors. The relationships between sexual compulsivity and solo, partner, public, and risky sexual behaviors remained significant when we controlled for demographic variables. Although we found support for construct validity of the SCS in our sample, it is not clear whether the scale distinctly measures sexual compulsivity or taps into other constructs, such as sexual desire and sexual exploration.
While the effects of sexually explicit media (SEM) on heterosexuals’ sexual intentions and behaviors have been studied, little is known about the consumption and possible influence of SEM among men who have sex with men (MSM). Importantly, conceptual models of how Internet-based SEM influences behavior are lacking. Seventy-nine MSM participated in online focus groups about their SEM viewing preferences and sexual behavior. Twenty-three participants reported recent exposure to a new behavior via SEM. Whether participants modified their sexual intentions and/or engaged in the new behavior depended on three factors: arousal when imagining the behavior, pleasure when attempting the behavior, and trust between sex partners. Based on MSM’s experience, we advance a model of how viewing a new sexual behavior in SEM influences sexual intentions and behaviors. The model includes five paths. Three paths result in the maintenance of sexual intentions and behaviors. One path results in a modification of sexual intentions while maintaining previous sexual behaviors, and one path results in a modification of both sexual intentions and behaviors. With this model, researchers have a framework to test associations between SEM consumption and sexual intentions and behavior, and public health programs have a framework to conceptualize SEM-based HIV/STI prevention programs.
sexual behavior; behavior modification; HIV prevention; gay men; sexual intentions
The role of deviant peers in adolescent antisocial behavior has been well documented, but less is known about individual differences in susceptibility to negative peer influence. This study examined whether specific temperament dimensions moderate the prospective relationship between peer deviance and delinquent behavior in early adolescence. Participants included 704 adolescents recruited from the community. At baseline, parents provided information on adolescents’ temperament and youth reported on their own and their friends’ delinquent behavior. Self-reports of adolescents’ delinquent behavior were collected again 16 months later. Peer deviance was related to delinquent behavior over time more strongly for adolescents with low levels of task orientation, flexibility, and positive mood, compared to youth with high levels of task orientation, flexibility, and positive mood. Analyses of gender differences indicated that low flexibility increased susceptibility to negative peer influence only for males, but not females. General activity level and sleep rhythmicity did not moderate the effect of peer behavior on delinquency.
peer influence; temperament; externalizing behavior; early adolescence
This study examines mediation of the association between social norms and unsafe sexual behavior. Self-report data were collected from 675 HIV-infected men enrolled in a study exploring interventions for HIV risk behavior. Unsafe sex included any unprotected anal sex with HIV-negative or HIV status unknown partners in the last three months. Norms for condom use indirectly influenced unsafe sex through condom self-efficacy and/or safer sex intentions. Additionally, sexual behavior discontrol influenced unsafe sex regardless of other individual or social factors. Our results suggest that interventions consider the combined effects of condom self-efficacy, safer sex intentions, and sexual behavior control.
Theory of Planned Behavior; unsafe sex; social norms; self-efficacy; intentions
We explored how parent gender, infant temperament, and coparenting dynamics worked together to shape mothers’ and fathers’ depressive symptoms, stress, and parental efficacy during early parenthood. We were interested in the coparenting relationship as a context that shapes how parents respond to their infant’s temperamental qualities. Participants were 139 couples who had recently given birth to their first child. Parent reports of temperament were collected when the infant was 4–8 months old and reports of coparenting and parent adjustment were collected at 13 months. Two-level random intercept models revealed interactions among temperament and coparenting, highlighting the family system as a context for how men and women adapt to their parenting role. There was little evidence for mother-father differences in these associations.
Coparenting; Infant Temperament; Depressive Symptoms; Parenting Stress; Parent Self-Efficacy; Family Systems
Few studies of temperament have tested goodness-of-fit theories of child behavior problems. In this study, we test the hypothesis that interactions between child and parent temperament dimensions predict levels of child psychopathology after controlling for the effects of these dimensions individually.
Temperament and psychopathology were assessed in a total of 175 children (97 boys, 78 girls; mean age, 10.99 years; SD, 3.66 years) using composite scores from multiple informants of the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory and the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment. Parent temperament was assessed using the adult version of the Temperament and Character Inventory. Statistical analyses included multiple regression procedures to assess the contribution of child-parent temperament interactions after controlling for demographic variables, other types of child psychopathology, and the individual Temperament and Character Inventory and Junior Temperament and Character Inventory dimensions.
Interactions between child and parent temperament dimensions predicted higher levels of externalizing, internalizing, and attention problems over and above the effects of these dimensions alone. Among others, the combination of high child novelty seeking with high maternal novelty was associated with child attention problems, whereas the combination of high child harm avoidance and high father harm avoidance was associated with increased child internalizing problems. Many child temperament dimensions also exerted significant effects independently.
The association between a child temperament trait and psychopathology can be dependent upon the temperament of parents. These data lend support to previous theories of the importance of goodness-of-fit.
Most temperament theories presume a biological basis to those behavioral tendencies thought to be temperamental in origin. Behavioral genetic methods can be used to test this assumption. Twin and adoption studies suggest that individual differences in infant and child temperament are genetically influenced. However, behavioral genetics has much more to offer to the study of temperament than simple heritability estimates. The present paper describes some recent findings from behavioral genetics research in temperament that go well beyond the basic nature-nurture question. These findings include the importance of nonshared environmental influences on temperament, genetic continuity and environmental change during development, links between temperament and behavior problems, and harnessing the power of molecular genetics to identify specific genes responsible for genetic influence on early temperament.
genetic; shared environment; nonshared environment; heritability; temperament
Sexual risk behaviors of young gay and bisexual men must be understood within the context of other health concerns (e.g., anxiety, substance abuse), population-specific factors (i.e., the coming-out process and gay-related stress), childhood sexual abuse, and other theoretical factors (e.g., safer sex intentions). The current report proposes and longitudinally examines a model of risk factors for subsequent sexual risk behaviors among young gay and bisexual men in New York City. As hypothesized, more negative attitudes toward homosexuality, more substance abuse symptoms, and poorer intentions for safer sex were directly associated with a greater likelihood of unprotected anal sex over the following year. Further, lower self-esteem, more anxious symptoms, and childhood sexual abuse were related to more unprotected anal sex indirectly through more sexual partners, sexual encounters, and substance abuse symptoms. These findings suggest that interventions targeting sexual risk behaviors of young gay and bisexual men may be more effective if they also address mental health concerns and aspects of the coming-out process.
Sexual Risk Behaviors; Anal Sex; Child Sexual Abuse; Substance Abuse; Anxiety; Condom Use Intentions; Internalized Homophobia; Self-Disclosure
This study identifies theoretically based predictors of condom use in a sample of 253 sexually active African-American college students recruited from two historically African-American colleges. The Information-Motivation-Behavioral (IMB) skills model of AIDS-preventive behavior was employed to delineate the roles of HIV/AIDS knowledge, experiences with and attitudes toward condom use, peer influences, perceived vulnerability, monogamy, and behavioral skills. A predictive structural equation model revealed significant predictors of more condom use including: male gender, more sexual HIV knowledge, positive experiences and attitudes about condom use, nonmonogamy, and greater behavioral skills. Results imply that attention to behavioral skills for negotiating safer sex and training in the proper use of condoms are key elements in reducing high risk behaviors. Increasing the specific knowledge level of college students regarding the subtleties of sexual transmission of HIV is important and should be addressed. Heightening students' awareness of the limited protection of serial monogamy, and the need to address gender-specific training regarding required behavior change to reduce transmission of HIV should be an additional goal of college health professionals.
The relevance of parenting behavior to toddlers’ development necessitates a better understanding of the influences on parents during parent-child interactions. Toddlers’ inhibited temperament may relate to parenting behaviors, such as intrusiveness, that predict outcomes later in childhood. The conditions under which inhibited temperament relates to intrusiveness, however, remain understudied. A multi-method approach would acknowledge that several levels of processes determine mothers’ experiences during situations in which they witness their toddlers interacting with novelty. As such, the current study examined maternal cortisol reactivity and embarrassment about shyness as moderators of the relation between toddlers’ inhibited temperament and maternal intrusive behavior. Participants included 92 24-month-olds toddlers and their mothers. Toddlers’ inhibited temperament and maternal intrusiveness were measured observationally in the laboratory. Mothers supplied saliva samples at the beginning of the laboratory visit and 20 minutes after observation. Maternal cortisol reactivity interacted with inhibited temperament in relation to intrusive behavior, such that mothers with higher levels of cortisol reactivity were observed to be more intrusive with more highly inhibited toddlers. Embarrassment related to intrusive behavior as a main effect. These results highlight the importance of considering child characteristics and psychobiological processes in relation to parenting behavior.
parenting; temperament; cortisol; HPA; toddlers
The longevity of children’s friendships is influenced by a multitude of individual- and relationship-level attributes, but little is known about the factors that impact friendship maintenance in nonhuman primate juveniles. We investigated whether the following predicted the longitudinal stability of friendships in juvenile rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): (a) individual characteristics including sex, dominance rank, matriline size, and temperament; and (b) relationship characteristics including kinship, reciprocity, complexity, and similarity between friends in sex, rank, and temperament. We recorded affiliative interactions of 29 two-year-old rhesus monkeys, previously observed as yearlings, at the California National Primate Research Center. Friends were defined as peers with whom subjects spent more time affiliating than expected by chance. Temperament had been assessed at 3-4 months of age. Sex was the only individual characteristic predicting friendship stability: males maintained more friendships from age one to two than did females. Relationship characteristics predicting friendship stability included similarity between individuals in temperament, kinship, and sex. In addition, reciprocated friendships, rather than unidirectional friendships, were significantly more likely to persist over time. Our findings suggest that the factors influencing friendship maintenance in rhesus monkeys are similar to those impacting human friendship longevity.
affiliation; friendship; personality; rhesus monkey; temperament
We examined normative beliefs about multiple sexual partners and social status in China and their association with risky sexual behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Self-reported and biological markers of sexual risk were examined among 3,716 market vendors from a city in eastern China. Men who were older or with less education believed having multiple sexual partners was linked to higher social status. Adjusting for demographic characteristics, normative beliefs were significantly associated with having multiple sexual partners, while having multiple sexual partners was significantly associated with STIs. Normative beliefs regarding sexual behaviors may play an important role in individual risk behaviors. Future HIV/STI interventions must address community beliefs about the positive meaning of sexual risks, particularly among men with traditional beliefs about gender roles.
China; Normative beliefs; Sexually transmitted infection; Gender roles
Alcohol has been linked to a variety of risky sexual practices, including inconsistent condom use. Due to the high rates of alcohol consumption among underage college women, greater understanding of the role of alcohol in young women’s sexual decision making is warranted.
Participants and Methods
Female underage (18- to 20-year-old) social drinkers (N = 94) participated in an experiment in which they projected themselves into a written hypothetical sexual situation with a new partner. One half of the situations portrayed alcohol consumption; one half did not involve alcohol consumption. Their appraisals of the situation’s sexual potential, impelling and inhibiting cognitions, and sexual behavior intentions were assessed.
Results revealed that alcohol’s expectancy effects on young women’s unprotected sexual intentions were mediated by their cognitive appraisals of the situation.
These findings indicate that alcohol expectancies and their influence on women’s sexual decisions should be incorporated into sexual risk reduction efforts.
alcohol expectancy; cognitive appraisals; sexual risk; condom use
Variation in temperament is characteristic of all people but is rarely studied as a predictor of individual differences among individuals with autism. Relative to a matched comparison sample, adolescents with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) reported lower levels of Surgency and higher levels of Negative Affect. Variability in temperament predicted symptomotology, social skills, and social-emotional outcomes differently for individuals with HFA than for the comparison sample. This study is unique in that temperament was measured by self-report, while all outcome measures were reported by parents. The broader implications of this study suggest that by identifying individual variability in constructs, such as temperament, that may influence adaptive functioning, interventions may be developed to target these constructs and increase the likelihood that individuals with HFA will achieve more adaptive life outcomes.
high-functioning autism; temperament; symptomology; social emotional functioning; social skills
Prior research suggests that high dispositional self-regulation leads to decreased levels of risky drinking and sexual behavior in adolescence and the early years of college. Self-regulation may be especially important when individuals have easy access to alcohol and freedom to pursue sexual opportunities. In the current one-year longitudinal study, we followed a sample of N = 1,136 college students who had recently reached the legal age to purchase alcohol and enter bars and clubs in order to test whether self-regulation protected against heavy episodic drinking, alcohol-related problems, and unprotected sex. We tested main effects of self-regulation and interactions among self-regulation and established risk factors (e.g., sensation seeking) on risky drinking and sexual behavior. High self-regulation inversely predicted heavy episodic drinking, alcohol-related problems, and unprotected sex, even when taking into account gender and risk factors. Moreover, in predicting unprotected sex, we found three-way interactions among self-regulation, sensation seeking, and heavy episodic drinking. Self-Regulation buffered against risk associated with heavy drinking but only among those low in sensation seeking. The protective effects of self-regulation for risky drinking and sexual behavior make it a promising target for intervention, with the caveat that self-regulation may be less protective among those who are more drawn to socially and emotionally rewarding stimuli.
Self-Regulation; Alcohol Abuse; Sexual Behavior; Sensation Seeking; College Students
Two studies tested whether online social networking technologies influence health behavioral social norms, and in turn, personal health behavioral intentions. In Study 1, experimental participants browsed peers' Facebook photos on a college network with a low prevalence of sexually suggestive content. Participants estimated the percentage of their peers who have sex without condoms, and rated their own future intentions to use condoms. Experimental participants, compared to controls who did not view photos, estimated that a larger percentage of their peers use condoms, and indicated a greater intention to use condoms themselves in the future. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to view sexually suggestive or nonsexually suggestive Facebook photos, and responded to sexual risk behavioral questions. Compared to participants viewing nonsuggestive photos, those who viewed sexually suggestive Facebook photos estimated that a larger percentage of their peers have unprotected sexual intercourse and sex with strangers and were more likely to report that they themselves would engage in these behaviors. Thus, online social networks can influence perceptions of the peer prevalence of sexual risk behaviors, and can influence users' own intentions with regard to such behaviors. These studies suggest the potential power of social networks to affect health behaviors by altering perceptions of peer norms.
In humans and other animals, behavioral responses to threatening stimuli are an important component of temperament. Among children, extreme behavioral inhibition elicited by novel situations or strangers predicts the subsequent development of anxiety disorders and depression. Genetic differences among children are known to affect risk of developing behavioral inhibition and anxiety, but a more detailed understanding of genetic influences on susceptibility is needed. Nonhuman primates provide valuable models for studying the mechanisms underlying human behavior. Individual differences in threat-induced behavioral inhibition (freezing behavior) in young rhesus monkeys are stable over time and reflect individual levels of anxiety. This study used the well-established human intruder paradigm to elicit threat-induced freezing behavior and other behavioral responses in 285 young pedigreed rhesus monkeys. We examined the overall influence of quantitative genetic variation and tested the specific effect of the serotonin transporter promoter repeat polymorphism. Quantitative genetic analyses indicated that the residual heritability of freezing duration (behavioral inhibition) is h2 = 0.384 (P = 0.012) and of ‘orienting to the intruder’ (vigilance) is h2 = 0.908 (P = 0.00001). Duration of locomotion and hostility and frequency of cooing were not significantly heritable. The serotonin transporter polymorphism showed no significant effect on either freezing or orienting to the intruder. Our results suggest that this species could be used for detailed studies of genetic mechanisms influencing extreme behavioral inhibition, including the identification of specific genes that are involved in predisposing individuals to such behavior.
5HTTLPR; anxiety; freezing; heritability; primate; serotonin transporter; SLC6A4; temperament; vigilance
Communicating about sex is a vital component of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention and influences how HIV educators convey messages to communities and how couples negotiate safer sex practices. However, sexual communication inevitably confronts culturally based behavioral guidelines and linguistic taboos unique to diverse social contexts. The HIV interventionist needs to identify the appropriate language for sexual communication given the participants and the message. Ethnographic research can help facilitate the exploration of how sex terminology is chosen. A theoretical framework, developed to guide HIV interventionists, suggests that an individual's language choice for sexual communication is influenced by gender roles and power differentials. In-depth interviews, free listing and triadic comparisons were conducted with Xhosa men and women in Cape Town, South Africa, to determine the terms for male genitalia, female genitalia and sexual intercourse that are most appropriate for sexual communication. Results showed that sexual terms express cultural norms and role expectations where men should be powerful and resilient and women should be passive and virginal. For HIV prevention education, non-mother tongue (English and Zulu) terms were recommended as most appropriate because they are descriptive, but allow the speaker to communicate outside the restrictive limits of their mother tongue by reducing emotive cultural connotations.
A qualitative study was conducted to understand college students’ experiences and perceptions of sexual communication and sexual goals, and how they were affected by the transition from high school to college. Participants were heterosexual college students (N = 29). Single-sex focus groups were conducted and analyzed for themes. Major themes included gender differences in communication of sexual interest, with men reportedly perceiving more sexualized intentions than women intended to communicate. Gender similarities were observed related to preferring indirect and nonverbal communication and to having more freedom to pursue sexual goals in college. Men focused more intently on casual sex goals, whereas women reported more relationship goals and concerns about reputation.
Transactional sex, or the exchange of sex for material goods or money, is a risky sexual behavior that has been linked to HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, transactional sex remains a common practice, putting men and women at risk of HIV. However, little is known of how community environments shape men’s participation in risky transactional sex. This analysis examines community-level influences on participation in risky transactional sex among sexually active men in three African countries (Malawi, Tanzania, and Nigeria). The analysis uses Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data to examine the association between men’s report of risky transactional sex and community characteristics including economic, gender norms, HIV behavior and knowledge, and demographic factors. The results show that men residing in communities with more female education and later age of first birth are less likely to report risky transactional sex, while men who live in communities where men report higher number of sexual partners are more likely to report risky transactional sex. While programmatic interventions should continue to improve women’s status individually and relative to men, such efforts should be extended to recognize that many community and cultural influences also affect men’s sexual behavior. Programs that understand, discuss, and challenge community factors that influence men’s sexual behavior may be able to provide a more effective intervention resulting in opportunities for communities to initiate behavioral change.
transactional sex; contextual factors; community; Africa; men