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1.  Dispositional Mindfulness Co-varies with Self-Reported Positive Reappraisal 
Emerging research suggests that mindfulness is associated with positive reappraisal and that mindfulness practice may be a means of encouraging positive reappraisal capacities. These findings, linking mindfulness with the promotion of cognitive coping strategies, challenge traditional Western conceptualizations of mindfulness as non-discursive. This study explored the relationship between dispositional mindfulness and self-reported positive reappraisal across five distinct samples: a general sample of American adults, contemplative practitioners, college students chronic pain outpatients, and alcohol dependent inpatient. Results indicate that dispositional mindfulness is positively related with self-reported positive reappraisal in all five studies as well as in an aggregated analysis combining all five studies. Furthermore, a second set of analyses statistically controlling for factors previously associated with positive reappraisal (i.e., psychological well-being, positive affect, and positive refocusing), provided evidence that mindfulness is uniquely associated with self-reported positive reappraisal. While more research is needed to refine our understanding of the relationship between mindfulness and positive reappraisal, the present investigation contributes to the growing evidence base supporting the hypothesized link between dispositional mindfulness and self-reported reappraisal by demonstrating a significant association between these constructs across a variety of samples and in the largest combined dataset on this phenomenon collected to date (N=819).
PMCID: PMC4041122  PMID: 24904191
2.  Longitudinal Prediction of the One-Year Course of Preschool ADHD Symptoms: Implications for Models of Temperament-ADHD Associations 
Despite the fact that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often conceptualized as an extreme trait, there remains controversy about the best way to understand associations between temperament traits and ADHD. The current study examines longitudinal associations between temperament traits and ADHD during early childhood in order to critically examine vulnerability and spectrum models of trait—ADHD associations. Study participants were 109 children between the ages of 3 and 6 and their primary caregivers and teachers/daycare providers, community-recruited for ADHD-related problems. Primary caregivers completed the Kiddie Disruptive Behavior Disorders Schedule semi-structured diagnostic interview at the initial appointment and one year later. At the initial appointment, primary caregivers completed the Child Behavior Questionnaire as a measure of child temperament traits. Results from the initial time point indicated that high neuroticism and high surgency were associated with inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms, and low effortful control was associated with hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms. However, none of these traits predicted the one-year course of ADHD symptoms. Results are more consistent with a spectrum (vs. vulnerability) model of trait-psychopathology associations, suggesting that traits, but may not influence longitudinal course during early childhood.
PMCID: PMC4295518  PMID: 25598568
ADHD; temperament; longitudinal; spectrum model
3.  Why children differ in motivation to learn: Insights from over 13,000 twins from 6 countries 
•Genes rather than environment contribute to family resemblance in academic motivation.•Environmental influences stemmed entirely from individual specific experiences.•Attending same vs. different classes did not affect twin similarity in motivation.•Results are similar across ages, countries and academic subjects.
Little is known about why people differ in their levels of academic motivation. This study explored the etiology of individual differences in enjoyment and self-perceived ability for several school subjects in nearly 13,000 twins aged 9–16 from 6 countries. The results showed a striking consistency across ages, school subjects, and cultures. Contrary to common belief, enjoyment of learning and children’s perceptions of their competence were no less heritable than cognitive ability. Genetic factors explained approximately 40% of the variance and all of the observed twins’ similarity in academic motivation. Shared environmental factors, such as home or classroom, did not contribute to the twin’s similarity in academic motivation. Environmental influences stemmed entirely from individual specific experiences.
PMCID: PMC4372262  PMID: 26052174
Enjoyment; Self-perceived ability; Twin studies; Cross-cultural study; Teacher/classroom effect; Individual differences
4.  Why children differ in motivation to learn: Insights from over 13,000 twins from 6 countries 
Little is known about why people differ in their levels of academic motivation. This study explored the etiology of individual differences in enjoyment and self-perceived ability for several school subjects in nearly 13,000 twins aged 9–16 from 6 countries. The results showed a striking consistency across ages, school subjects, and cultures. Contrary to common belief, enjoyment of learning and children’s perceptions of their competence were no less heritable than cognitive ability. Genetic factors explained approximately 40% of the variance and all of the observed twins’ similarity in academic motivation. Shared environmental factors, such as home or classroom, did not contribute to the twin’s similarity in academic motivation. Environmental influences stemmed entirely from individual specific experiences.
PMCID: PMC4372262  PMID: 26052174
Enjoyment; Self-perceived ability; Twin studies; Cross-cultural study; Teacher/classroom effect; Individual differences
6.  The Relative Importance of Psychopathy-Related Traits in Predicting Impersonal Sex and Hostile Masculinity 
This paper reports the relative contributions of several facets of subclinical psychopathy (i.e., callous affect, erratic lifestyle, interpersonal manipulation), subclinical narcissism (i.e., entitlement, exploitation), and trait aggression (i.e., anger) to the prediction of four enduring attitudes towards women and sexual assault (i.e., hostility towards women, negative attitudes regarding women, sexual dominance, impersonal sex) and a behavioral indicator of an impersonal sexual behavior (i.e., number of one-night stands). Survey data were collected from 470 single men living in the Detroit Metropolitan area. The importance of personality traits varied as a function of the outcome with anger most predictive of hostility toward women; erratic lifestyle most predictive of impersonal sexual attitudes and behavior, and entitlement most predictive of sexual dominance and negative attitudes toward women. These outcome-specific findings are interpreted and directions for future research are discussed.
PMCID: PMC4465782  PMID: 26082565
Psychopathy; Narcissism; Aggression; Risk Factors; Sexual Aggression; Relative Importance Analyses
7.  The genetic and environmental relationship between Cloninger’s dimensions of temperament and character 
The purpose of this study was to determine whether Cloninger’s revised 7-factor model of personality showed incremental validity over his four dimensions of temperament. A sample of 2517 Australian twins aged over 50 between 1993 and 1995 returned completed self-reported measures of Self-directedness, Cooperativeness, and Self-transcendence from Cloninger’s Temperament and Character Inventory. Many of these twins had participated in a 1988 study containing Cloninger’s temperament measures of Harm Avoidance, Novelty Seeking, Reward Dependence and Persistence. Contrary to theoretical expectations, univariate analyses revealed that familial aggregation for the character dimensions could be entirely explained by additive gene action alone. Although temperament explained 26, 37 and 10% of additive genetic variance in Self-directedness, Cooperativeness and Self-transcendence, respectively, seven genetic factors were required to explain the genetic variance among the TPQ dimensions, and almost all of the non-shared environmental variance was unique to each dimension of character. Our results indicate that the inclusion of all seven dimensions in a taxonomy of personality is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4448136  PMID: 26028794
Personality; Cloninger; Temperament; Character; Genes; Twins
8.  Hierarchical Structure of the Eysenck Personality Inventory in a Large Population Sample: Goldberg's Trait-Tier Mapping Procedure 
The structure of the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) is poorly understood, and applications have mostly been confined to the broad Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Lie scales. Using a hierarchical factoring procedure, we mapped the sequential differentiation of EPI scales from broad, molar factors to more specific, molecular factors, in a UK population sample of over 6500 persons. Replicable facets at the lowest tier of Neuroticism included emotional fragility, mood lability, nervous tension, and rumination. The lowest order set of replicable Extraversion facets consisted of social dynamism, sociotropy, decisiveness, jocularity, social information seeking, and impulsivity. The Lie scale consisted of an interpersonal virtue and a behavioral diligence facet. Users of the EPI may be well served in some circumstances by considering its broad Neuroticism, Extraversion, and Lie scales as multifactorial, a feature that was explicitly incorporated into subsequent Eysenck inventories and is consistent with other hierarchical trait structures.
PMCID: PMC4430725  PMID: 25983361
9.  Rumination and depression in Chinese university students: The mediating role of overgeneral autobiographical memory 
In this study, we examined the mediator effects of overgeneral autobiographical memory (OGM) on the relationship between rumination and depression in 323 Chinese university students.
323 undergraduates completed the questionnaires measuring OGM (Autobiographical Memory Test), rumination (Ruminative Response Scale) and depression (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale).
Results using structural equation modeling showed that OGM partially-mediated the relationship between rumination and depression (χ2 = 88.61, p < .01; RMSEA = .051; SRMR = .040; and CFI = .91). Bootstrap methods were used to assess the magnitude of the indirect effects. The results of the bootstrap estimation procedure and subsequent analyses indicated that the indirect effects of OGM on the relationship between rumination and depressive symptoms were significant.
The results indicated that rumination and depression were partially mediated by OGM.
PMCID: PMC4428603  PMID: 25977594
Overgeneral autobiographical memory; Rumination; Depression; Mediating effect; Structural equation modeling
10.  Canine Comfort: Pet Affinity Buffers the Negative Impact of Ambivalence over Emotional Expression on Perceived Social Support 
This study evaluated pet affinity as a buffer between ambivalence over emotional expression (AEE) and social support. AEE occurs when one desires to express emotions but is reluctant to do so and is related to negative psychological outcomes. Individuals high in AEE may have difficulty receiving social support and thus may not gain accompanying benefits. Social support has been associated with positive health outcomes, and pet support is positively associated with human social support. The present study explores the potential protective effect of pet affinity. One hundred ninety-eight undergraduate dog owners completed measures assessing perceived social support, pet affinity, and AEE. AEE was expected to be negatively associated with social support, and pet affinity was expected to buffer the negative effects of AEE on social support. We found that AEE was negatively associated with perceived social support. An interaction between pet affinity and AEE emerged such that the negative association between AEE and social support was weaker among those higher in pet affinity. Thus, at high levels of AEE, those who felt a close connection with their pets reported more perceived social support than those less connected with their pets. Overall, these findings emphasize the potential benefits of pet affinity.
PMCID: PMC4423613  PMID: 25960586
emotion; pet ownership; disclosure
11.  Further evidence of the heterogeneous nature of impulsivity☆ 
•Impulsivity is not a unitary construct and instead comprises dissociable subtypes.•Reflection-impulsivity is a distinct and well-defined facet of impulsivity.•Additional characterisations of motor-impulsivity are required.•Several tasks purported to index impulsivity should be treated with caution.•Researchers should employ multiple measures of types of impulsivity simultaneously.
‘Impulsivity’ refers to a range of behaviours including preference for immediate reward (temporal-impulsivity) and the tendency to make premature decisions (reflection-impulsivity) and responses (motor-impulsivity). The current study aimed to examine how different behavioural and self-report measurements of impulsivity can be categorised into distinct subtypes.
Exploratory factor analysis using full information maximum likelihood was conducted on 10 behavioural and 1 self-report measure of impulsivity.
Four factors of impulsivity were indicated, with Factor 1 having a high loading of the Stop Signal Task, which measures motor-impulsivity, factor 2 representing reflection-impulsivity with loadings of the Information Sampling Task and Matching Familiar Figures Task, factor 3 representing the Immediate Memory Task, and finally factor 4 which represents the Delay Discounting Questionnaire and The Monetary Choice Questionnaire, measurements of temporal-impulsivity.
These findings indicated that impulsivity is not a unitary construct, and instead represents a series of independent subtypes. There was evidence of a distinct reflection-impulsivity factor, providing the first factor analysis support for this subtype. There was also support for additional factors of motor- and temporal-impulsivity. The present findings indicated that a number of currently accepted tasks cannot be considered as indexing motor- and temporal-impulsivity suggesting that additional characterisations of impulsivity may be required.
PMCID: PMC4316178  PMID: 25844002
RI, reflection-impulsivity; MI, motor-impulsivity; TI, temporal-impulsivity; ISTfw, Information Sampling Task (fixed win condition); ISTrc, Information Sampling Task (reward conflict condition); MFF20, Matching Familiar Figures Task; DDT, Delay Discounting Task; MCQ, Monetary Choice Questionnaire; SKIP, Single Key Impulsivity Paradigm; SST, Stop Signal Task; BIS-11, Barratt Impulsiveness Scale; GNG, Go/NoGo Task; IMT, Immediate Memory Task; TCIP, Two Choice Impulsivity Paradigm; Impulsivity; Laboratory measures; Factor analysis; Reflection impulsivity; Motor impulsivity; Inhibitory control; Temporal impulsivity; Human
12.  Personality Traits, Facets and Cognitive Performance: Age Differences in Their Relations 
Personality traits and cognitive performance are related, but little work has examined how these associations vary by personality facet or age. 154 adults aged 22 to 84 completed the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT) and the NEO Five Factor Personality Inventory. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses showed negative emotional aspects of personality (neuroticism, depression) were associated with lower reasoning, and social aspects of personality (assertiveness) were associated with faster reaction time, yet lower reasoning. The association between neuroticism and performance was found primarily among younger adults. In older adulthood, better performance was associated with positive emotional aspects of personality. We discuss how personality may have different associations with performance across age and the implications for possible interventions.
PMCID: PMC4014779  PMID: 24821992
13.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3859533  PMID: 24347756
14.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3864362  PMID: 24357892
15.  [No title available] 
PMCID: PMC3885818  PMID: 24415821
16.  Cognitions as mediators in the relationship between self-compassion and affect 
Previous studies suggest that self-compassion is related to numerous facets of mental health, but the role of cognitions in this relationship remains unknown. To examine the mediating role of cognitions in the relationship between self-compassion and anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction when controlling for self-esteem in Japanese people, we conducted two studies. Study 1 (N = 231) examined the relationship between self-compassion and affect by modeling negative automatic thoughts as a mediator; Study 2 (N = 233) tested whether positive and negative automatic thoughts meditate this relationship. Results suggested that both self-compassion and self-esteem increased positive automatic thoughts and decreased trait anxiety, whereas only self-esteem increased life satisfaction and decreased depression directly. Positive automatic thoughts increased life satisfaction and decreased depression and trait anxiety, and positive automatic thoughts mediated the relationship between self-compassion and negative affect. These findings suggest that both positive and negative automatic thoughts mediate the relationship between self-compassion and affect in Japanese people.
PMCID: PMC4225636  PMID: 25395717
Self-compassion; Self-esteem; Automatic thoughts; Anxiety; Depression; Life satisfaction
17.  From body motion to cheers: Speakers’ body movements as predictors of applause 
•Stick-figure animations of speakers were rated on different personality traits.•Ratings were related to the applause and the hecklings the speakers received.•Dominance, agreeableness and extraversion were notable predictors of applause.•People read socially relevant information from body motion.
Appearance cues and brief displays of behavior are related to people’s personality, to their performance at work and to the outcomes of elections. Thus, people present themselves to others on different communication channels, while their interaction partners form first impressions on the basis of the displayed cues. In the current study we examined whether people are able to read information from politicians’ body motion. For a rating experiment we translated short video clips of politicians giving a speech into animated stick-figures and had these animations rated on trustworthiness, dominance, competence and the Big Five personality dimensions. Afterwards we correlated the ratings with the applause and the hecklings that the speakers received throughout their entire speech. This revealed that speakers whose body movements were perceived as high on dominance, as high on extraversion and as low on agreeableness received more applause. Although the results obtained need support from additional studies they indicate that body motion is an informative cue in real life settings.
PMCID: PMC4261082  PMID: 25648504
Nonverbal communication; Body motion; Impression formation; Dominance; Big Five; Politics
18.  Age-independent effects of pubertal status on behavioral constraint in healthy adolescents 
Studies have examined age-related changes in personality traits from adolescence through young adulthood, finding that aspects of negative emotionality decrease while conscientiousness increases over time. Varied mechanisms may underlie these transitions, including puberty-driven hormonal changes. Here, healthy adolescents completed the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form and self-report measures of pubertal status at baseline and after two years. Independent of age, pubertal status impacted primary trait scales of the MPQ-BF Constraint factor in a sex-specific manner. Females decreased in Constraint, and particularly Control, while males increased in Constraint, and particularly Harm Avoidance, with advancing puberty. Longitudinal analyses validated these findings for Control. Findings are discussed relative to males’ versus females’ achievement of optimal levels of behavioral control in adolescence.
PMCID: PMC4297670  PMID: 25605982
Puberty; Constraint; Control; Sex differences
19.  Prenatal Testosterone and Preschool Disruptive Behavior Disorders 
Disruptive Behaviors Disorders (DBD), including Oppositional-Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), are fairly common and highly impairing childhood behavior disorders that can be diagnosed as early as preschool. Prenatal exposure to testosterone may be particularly relevant to these early-emerging DBDs that exhibit a sex-biased prevalence rate favoring males. The current study examined associations between preschool DBD symptom domains and prenatal exposure to testosterone measured indirectly via right 2D:4D finger-length ratios. The study sample consisted of 109 preschool-age children between ages 3 and 6 (64% males;72% with DBD) and their primary caregivers. Primary caregivers completed a semi-structured interview (i.e., Kiddie Disruptive Behavior Disorder Schedule), as well as symptom questionnaires (i.e., Disruptive Behavior Rating Scale, Peer Conflict Scale); teachers and/or daycare providers completed symptom questionnaires and children provided measures of prenatal testosterone exposure, measured indirectly via finger-length ratios (i.e., right 2D:4D). Study results indicated a significant association of high prenatal testosterone (i.e., smaller right 2D:4D) with high hyperactive-impulsive ADHD symptoms in girls but not boys, suggesting that the effect may be driven by, or might only exist in, girls. The present study suggests that prenatal exposure to testosterone may increase risk for early ADHD, particularly hyperactivity-impulsivity, in preschool girls.
PMCID: PMC4295489  PMID: 25598567
Preschool children; ADHD; Prenatal; Testosterone; Hyperactivity; Impulsivity
20.  Mindfulness and rumination as predictors of persistence with a distress tolerance task 
Personality and individual differences  2013;56:10.1016/j.paid.2013.08.040.
Distress tolerance (DT) is a proposed transdiagnostic factor in psychopathology, yet sources of individual differences in DT are largely unknown. The present study examined mindfulness and rumination facets as predictors of persistence on a standardized DT task (mirror tracing). Acting with awareness (a facet of mindfulness) and reflection (a potentially adaptive form of rumination) predicted increased DT. Increased task-induced skin conductance reactivity predicted decreased DT. These results held after controlling for task skill and subjective and heart rate reactivity. Together, these results suggest that teaching skills to promote mindful awareness and reflection hold promise as interventions to enhance DT.
PMCID: PMC3843486  PMID: 24298196
Mindfulness; rumination; distress tolerance
21.  Discrimination hurts, but mindfulness may help: Trait mindfulness moderates the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms 
Personality and individual differences  2014;56:10.1016/j.paid.2013.09.015.
Discriminatory experiences are not only momentarily distressing, but can also increase risk for lasting physical and psychological problems. Specifically, significantly higher rates of depression and depressive symptoms are reported among people who are frequently the target of prejudice. Given the gravity of this problem, this research focuses on an individual difference, trait mindfulness, as a protective factor in the association between discrimination and depressive symptoms. In a community sample of 605 individuals, trait mindfulness dampens the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms. Additionally, mindfulness provides benefits above and beyond those of positive emotions. Trait mindfulness may thus operate as a protective individual difference for targets of discrimination.
PMCID: PMC3862075  PMID: 24347755
Trait mindfulness; Perceived discrimination; Depressive symptoms; Positive emotions
22.  Impulsivity mediates the association between borderline personality pathology and body mass index 
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is associated with obesity, a major risk factor for a number of chronic illnesses (e.g., cardiovascular disease). We examined whether impulsivity and affective instability mediate the association between BPD pathology and body mass index (BMI). Participants were a community sample of adults ages 55–64 and their informants. The Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality measured BPD symptoms and the Revised NEO Personality Inventory measured self- and informant-report impulsivity and affective instability. Mediation analyses demonstrated that only higher self-report impulsivity significantly mediated the association between greater BPD pathology and higher BMI. A subsequent model revealed that higher scores on the impulsiveness (lack of inhibitory control) and deliberation (planning) facets of impulsivity mediated the BPD–BMI association, with impulsiveness exerting a stronger mediation effect than deliberation. Obesity interventions that improve inhibitory control may be most effective for individuals with BPD pathology.
PMCID: PMC3910658  PMID: 24505165
Borderline personality disorder; Personality pathology; Obesity; Body mass index; Impulsivity; Inhibitory control; Affective instability; Emotion dysregulation
23.  Cognitive vulnerability to depression during middle childhood: Stability and associations with maternal affective styles and parental depression 
Theories of cognitive vulnerability to depression (CVD) imply that CVD is early-emerging and trait-like; however, little longitudinal work has tested this premise in middle childhood, or examined theoretically relevant predictors of child CVD. We examined test–retest correlations of self-referent encoding task performance and self-reported attributional styles and their associations with parental characteristics in 205 seven-year-olds. At baseline, child CVD was assessed, structured clinical interviews were conducted with parents, and ratings of observed maternal affective styles were made. Children’s CVD was re-assessed approximately one and two years later. Both measures of children’s CVD were prospectively and concurrently associated with children’s depressive symptoms and showed modest stability. Multilevel modeling indicated that maternal criticism and paternal depression were related to children’s CVD. Findings indicate that even early-emerging CVD is a valid marker of children’s depression risk.
PMCID: PMC4226175  PMID: 25392596
Depression; Childhood; Cognitive vulnerability
24.  Perceptual Negativity Predicts Greater Reactivity to Negative Events in Daily Life 
Reinforcement sensitivity theory includes the idea that people differ in their sensitivity to negative events, but relevant process-based assessments have not been developed. The present studies assessed sensitivity to negative events in terms of the extent to which negative word stimuli were perceived to be larger than neutral word stimuli. There was a general tendency to overestimate the size of negative relative to neutral words, but individuals differed substantially in this form of what is termed perceptual negativity. Of more importance, two studies (total N = 151) found systematic relationships between individual differences in perceptual negativity and reactivity to negative events in daily diary protocols. Study 1 found that within-person variations in the occurrence of daily negative events undermined goal-related optimism to a greater extent at higher, relative to lower, levels of perceptual negativity. Study 2 conceptually replicated this interaction in the context of within-person associations between the occurrence of daily negative events and antisocial behavior. These findings are important in advancing reinforcement sensitivity theory, in operationalizing a particular component of it, and in extending it to reactivity processes in daily life.
PMCID: PMC3806505  PMID: 24163492
Reinforcement Sensitivity; Behavioral Inhibition; Perception; Reactivity; Daily
25.  Intrusive Thoughts Mediate the Association between Neuroticism and Cognitive Function 
Although research has established a negative association between trait neuroticism and cognition, little is known about the mechanisms that underlie this relationship. We examined the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts and negative affect as potential mediators of the relationship between neuroticism and cognitive performance. We hypothesized that the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts reflects ineffective attentional control and would account for the relationship between neuroticism and cognitive performance over and above the mediating effect of negative affect. Three hundred seventeen adults (Mage =49.43) completed a series of attention-demanding cognitive tasks as well as self-report measures of intrusive thoughts, negative affect, and neuroticism. Intrusive thoughts mediated the association between trait neuroticism and cognitive performance beyond negative affect. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts is a mechanism through which trait neuroticism influences cognitive performance.
PMCID: PMC3965708  PMID: 24683284
Neuroticism; cognition; intrusive thoughts; repetitive thinking; rumination; worry; negative affect

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