This study examined the factor structure of the Menstrual Symptom Questionnaire (MSQ) in a sample of 210 adolescent girls (11–17 years). Such an examination has not been carried out with an adolescent sample. In addition, the definitions of menstrual disorders have evolved since the creation of the MSQ. Exploratory factor analysis supported a three factor structure indicating abdominal pain, negative affect/somatic complaints, and back pain. Partial correlations indicated all three MSQ factors were correlated with depressive symptoms, but only the negative affect factor was correlated with trait anxiety. Future research should explore potential associations in multiple areas of functioning as menstrual symptoms may alter healthy developmental processes during adolescence.
adolescent girls; depressive symptoms; dysmenorrhea; factor analysis; menstrual symptoms
Given the relationship between depression and smoking, we compared the two-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) and 10-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CESD-10) in assessing depressive symptoms among African American light smokers in a clinical trial of bupropion. Of 539 participants, 21.3 percent reported significant depressive symptoms on the PHQ-2, 31.0 percent screened positive per CESD-10, 36.8 percent reported symptoms on either, and 15.6 percent screened positive on both (r = 0.47, p < .001). Having depressive symptoms was associated with less education, decreased positive affect and social support, and greater levels of negative affect and perceived stress. Cessation treatment should assess depression and address these symptoms.
depression; nicotine dependence; psychological distress; race; smoking; smoking cessation
No research is available regarding the association between coping styles and bodily pain by age-specific sub-groups in non-clinical older populations. To address this research gap, we recruited 317 older women (age 55–105, mainly from minority ethnic backgrounds) and divided our sample into sub-groups by decade. Regression analyses on the total sample and the age group of 65–74 demonstrated that denial and venting were inversely related to pain. Findings for the age groups 55–64 and 75–84 were non-significant. Among women age 85 or older, seeking emotional support was inversely associated with pain, while active coping was related to higher pain reports.
coping styles; developmental processes; elderly population; ethnic minorities; pain
Research suggests that perceiving cancer as a death sentence is a critical determinant of health care–seeking behaviors. However, there is limited information regarding the prevalence of this perception in the US population. Cross-sectional analysis of data (n = 7674 adults) from the 2007–2008 administration of the nationally representative Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 3) was performed. A majority (61.6%) of respondents perceived cancer as death sentence, and more than one-third (36%) of respondents reported that they avoid seeing their physicians. In the adult US population, perceiving cancer as a death sentence is common and is associated with education level and avoidance of physicians.
cancer; health behavior; health psychology; perception; public health psychology
Social capital refers to various levels of social relationships formed through social networks. Measurement differences have lead to imprecise measurement.
A meta-analysis of eligible studies assessing the bivariate association between social capital and self-reported health and all-cause mortality.
Thirty-nine studies met inclusion criteria, showing social capital increased odds of good health by 27% (95% confidence intervals [CI] =21%, 34%). Social capital variables, reciprocity increased odds of good health by 39% (95% CI = 21%, 60%), trust by 32% (95% CI =19%, 46%). Future research suggests operationalizing measures by assessing differences by race/ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status.
The goal of the study was to examine the relationships among fatigue catastrophizing, core dysfunctional beliefs, and fatigue in breast cancer radiotherapy patients. Seventy-eight patients participated (mean age=56.3, SD=10.5).Patients completed questionnaires on: fatigue catastrophizing, core dysfunctional beliefs and fatigue in their last week of radiotherapy. Using bootstrapping procedures to obtain estimates and confidence intervals for indirect effects, results showed that core beliefs (Need for Comfort and Demandingness for Fairness) had significant indirect effects on fatigue through fatigue catastrophizing, as indicated by the 95% CI (02 to.19 for Need for Comfort, .01 to .16 for Demandingness for Fairness).
Fatigue catastrophizing; fatigue; core beliefs; breast cancer
Few instruments have been translated and validated for people who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their preferred language. This study examined the reliability and validity of a new ASL version of the widely-used Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scales. Deaf individuals (N = 311) were shown the ASL version via videotape, and their responses were recorded. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the four-factor structure of the MHLC. Scale reliabilities (Cronbach’s alphas) ranged from .60 to .93. There were no apparent gender or ethnic differences. These results provide support for the new ASL version of the MHLC scales.
Health locus of control; assessment; American Sign Language; Deaf; psychometrics
As the mechanisms of the associations between substance use and risky sex remain unclear, this study investigates the interactive roles of conflicts about casual sex and condom use and expectancies of the sexual effects of substances in those associations among gay men. Conflict interacted with expectancies to predict sexual behavior under the influence; low casual sex conflict coupled with high expectancies predicted the highest number of casual partners, and high condom use conflict and high expectancies predicted the highest number of unprotected sex acts. Results have implications for intervention efforts that aim to improve sexual decision-making and reduce sexual expectancies.
expectancies; men who have sex with men; sexual behavior; sexual conflict; substance use
This study examines the psychological factors linking childhood abuse and HIV/STI outcomes among 190 single homeless women in New York City. Participants were assessed for mental health symptoms, sexually transmitted infections, and exposure to childhood sexual and physical abuse. Findings indicate that the relationship between childhood abuse and HIV/STI diagnoses during adulthood is mediated by a combination of PTSD and BPD symptoms. Screening single homeless women who report childhood abuse histories for symptoms of both disorders may aid in the identification of individuals particularly vulnerable for HIV infection. Implications for clinical interventions are discussed.
HIV; homelessness; mental illness; sexual behavior; women’s health
The results of research linking age and sexual risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) have been inconsistent. This study assessed the relationship between age and sexual risk among 193 black MSM in Pretoria. Older MSM reported engaging in more frequent unprotected insertive anal intercourse (UIAI). We examined whether components of Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model mediated this relationship. Results showed that (1) older age predicts less positive attitudes towards condoms, (2) less positive attitudes predict more frequent UIAI, and (3) attitudes mediate the relationship between age and frequency of UIAI. We consider two possible explanations for these findings: a developmental trajectory and a cohort effect.
Age; sexual risk behavior; Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills model; MSM; South Africa
Intimate relationships have received increasing attention as a context for HIV transmission. We examined the relationships among perceptions that condoms interfere with intimacy, gay-related stigma, and unprotected/ protected anal intercourse. Participants included 245 single-identified men who have sex with men. Intimacy Interference was positively associated with number of unprotected anal intercourse acts, and this effect was stronger among participants who reported high levels of gay-related stigma. In contrast, Intimacy Interference was negatively associated with number of protected anal intercourse acts, and gay-related stigma was positively associated with this outcome with no evidence of interaction effects. The findings are explained in the context of rejection sensitivity theory, and implications for public health and clinical intervention are discussed.
HIV prevention; sexual orientation; sexual risk taking; stigma
Little is known about the psychosocial circumstances under which children develop excessive body mass. A community sample was followed from age 2 – 10 to determine which early problems were predictive of increased BMI. Hypothesized mediators (i.e. eating habits, physical activity, and “screen time”) were also examined. After controlling for parental psychopathology, family income, child’s gender, and child’s BMI, externalizing behaviors, aggressive behaviors, and anger predicted a relatively high BMI. Exploratory analyses did not support hypothesized mediators, although low power was an issue.
Obesity; overweight; children; predictors; externalizing
We conducted a pre–post feasibility trial of Healthy Eating for Life, a theory-based, multimedia English as a second language curriculum that integrates content about healthy nutrition into an English language learning program to decrease cancer health disparities. Teachers in 20 English as a second language classrooms delivered Healthy Eating for Life to 286 adult English as a second language students over one semester. Postintervention data are available for 227 students. The results indicated that Healthy Eating for Life is effective for increasing fruit and vegetable intake as well as knowledge, action planning, and coping planning related to healthy eating. Participants also achieved higher reading scores compared to the state average.
communication; eating behavior; health behavior; health education
The current study examined the influence of health insurance, psychological processes (i.e. psychological competency and vulnerability), and the interaction of these two constructs on older African Americans’ utilization of five preventive care services (e.g. cholesterol screening and mammogram/prostate examination) using data from 211 older African Americans (median age = 60). In addition to direct effects, the influence of health insurance sometimes varied depending on respondents’ psychological competency and/or vulnerability. Policies and interventions to increase older African Americans’ use of preventive health services should consider structural (e.g. health insurance) and psychological (e.g. psychological competency and vulnerability) factors along with the interaction between these factors.
African Americans; control; health insurance; preventive care; vulnerability
We investigate sex and race/ethnic differences in adolescents’ perceptions of the same objectively-measured weight in a nationally-representative U.S. sample. At the same BMI z-score, girls perceive themselves as heavier than boys. Regardless of sex and relative to Whites, African-Americans perceive the same BMI z-score as leaner and Native Americans are more likely to perceive objectively heavier weights as “about the right weight.” Asian boys consider a narrower weight range to be “about the right weight” relative to White boys, and Asian girls are less likely than White girls to perceive objectively lower weights as “about the right weight.”
Adolescents; Body-Mass Index; Gender; Race; Body Image
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of problem-solving education on self-efficacy and distress in informal caregivers of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients. Patient/caregiver teams attended three 1-hour problem-solving education sessions to help cope with problems during hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Primary measures included the Cancer Self-Efficacy Scale–transplant and Brief Symptom Inventory–18. Active caregivers reported improvements in self-efficacy (p < 0.05) and distress (p < 0.01) post-problem-solving education; caregiver responders also reported better health outcomes such as fatigue. The effect of problem-solving education on self-efficacy and distress in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation caregivers supports its inclusion in future interventions to meet the multifaceted needs of this population.
anxiety; behavioral medicine; cancer; coping; distress; family; health behavior; intervention
We examined factors associated with information seeking about the human papillomavirus vaccine among mothers of adolescent girls by testing whether information seeking and vaccination intentions for their daughters are associated with perceived vulnerability, severity, and vaccine benefits in an ethnically diverse sample. Mothers (N = 256) of unvaccinated girls living in Dallas, Texas, were surveyed (49% Black, 29% Hispanic, and 18% White). Perceived vulnerability to human papillomavirus was associated with talking with others (odds ratio = 1.71, 95% confidence interval = 1.09, 2.66) and talking with a doctor about the vaccine (odds ratio = 1.42, 95% confidence interval = 1.01, 1.99), and perceived vaccine benefits were associated with vaccination intentions (odds ratio = 2.96, 95% confidence interval = 1.98, 4.42), but the perceived severity was not associated with any dependent measure. Beliefs about human papillomavirus risk are associated with seeking information from a doctor and interpersonal sources, but ethnic minorities are less likely to talk with others about the vaccine.
human papillomavirus vaccine; information seeking; perceived benefits; perceived severity; perceived vulnerability
Efforts to reduce skin cancer risk behaviors using appearance-oriented interventions (e.g., ultraviolet [UV] light photos showing skin damage) or Motivational Interviewing (MI) have shown promise in recent trials.
A randomized 2 (UV photo versus no UV photo) × 2 (MI versus no MI) factorial design with longitudinal follow up.
Progression in stage of change (SOC) was significantly more likely in the photo than the education condition. Treatment credibility as rated by participants and counselor perceived positive therapeutic alliance predicted SOC progression. There was also preliminary evidence for differential intervention effectiveness by baseline SOC.
Implications are discussed.
randomized controlled trial; skin protection; UV photos; motivational interviewing; young adults; stage of change
The purpose of this study was to examine if messages tailored to an individual’s regulatory focus (i.e. their tendency to focus on prevention or promotion) increased exercise intentions and behavior in a medically underserved sample. Adult English as a Second Language students (N = 58) were presented with tailored exercise messages. There was a significant main effect for message type; participants who received promotion messages reported greater exercise intentions than those who received prevention messages. Intentions and behavior were not higher among those who received messages matching their regulatory focus. Implications for message tailoring frameworks are discussed.
Hispanic; medically underserved; physical activity; regulatory focus
Risk perceptions and disease worry of 1,959 healthy adults were measured in a telephone-based survey. In the model for each of eight health conditions, people’s perceived risk was related to their worry for that condition (p < .0001) and their worry for the other seven conditions (p < .001). There was also an interaction indicating that the less people were worried about a certain condition, the more their worry about the other seven conditions increased their risk perception for that condition (p < .0001). The results are important for preventing biased risk perceptions in multiple-disease contexts.
Disease risk; disease worry; affect heuristic; genetic testing
This study investigated the moderating role of sexual communication in the association between intentions to use condoms and unprotected sex in a sample of 358 individuals living with HIV (233 men, 125 women, M age = 43). Longitudinal analyses revealed a significant interaction between condom intentions and sexual communication: individuals who were high in both condom intentions and safer sex communication engaged in less unprotected sex with all partners and with partners of HIV negative or unknown serostatus over 6 months of follow-up. Among individuals low in communication, intentions were not associated with unprotected sex. Implications for interventions are discussed.
Safer sex; HIV/AIDS; condom intentions; sexual communication
Members of Greek-letter societies are the heaviest drinkers on college campuses, and experience more alcohol-related problems than their peers. This study reports the results of a web-based survey administered to stratified random samples of college students from ten North Carolina universities. Greek-letter status was a significant independent risk factor for increased injury (both experienced and caused to others), even after adjusting for drinking behaviors. Prevention, screening, and intervention strategies are discussed in the context of these results.
alcohol counseling; college students; Greek-letter; injury prevention
Sickle-cell disease is a genetic disorder characterized by severe pain episodes or “vaso-occlusive crises” that may require hospitalization. This study examined the associations among emotion regulation, somatization, positive and negative affect, and hospitalizations for pain crises in youth with sickle-cell disease. Multivariate analyses indicated that emotional suppression and somatization were significantly associated with more frequent hospitalizations for pain crises in the previous year after controlling for sickle-cell disease type and pain. These results suggest that efforts to reduce emotional suppression and somatization may assist in decreasing the frequency of hospitalizations for pain crises among youth with sickle-cell disease.
adolescence; children; emotion regulation; health-care utilization; somatization