Lifetime low-level exposure to environmental lead and children's emotional and behavioral development at ages 11-13 years. The Port Pirie Cohort Study.
The Port Pirie Cohort Study is the first study to monitor prospectively the association between lifetime blood lead exposure and the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems experienced by children. Lead exposure data along with ratings on the Child Behavior Checklist were obtained for 322 11-13-year-old children from the lead smelting community of Port Pirie, Australia. Mean total behavior problem score (95% confidence interval (CI)) for boys whose lifetime average blood lead concentration was above 15 microg/dl was 28.7 (24.6-32.8) compared with 21.1 (17.5-24.8) in boys with lower exposure levels. The corresponding mean scores (95% CI) for girls were 29.7 (25.3-34.2) and 18.0 (14.7-21.3). After controlling for a number of confounding variables, including the quality of the child's HOME environment (assessed by Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment), maternal psychopathology, and the child's IQ, regression modeling predicted that for a hypothetical increase in lifetime blood lead exposure from 10 to 30 microg/dl, the externalizing behavior problem score would increase by 3.5 in boys (95% CI 1.6-5.4), and by 1.8 (95% CI -0.1 to 11.1) in girls. Internalizing behavior problem scores were predicted to rise by 2.1 (95% CI 0.0-4.2) in girls but by only 0.8 (95% CI -0.9 to 2.4) in boys. (+info)
Underlying personality differences between alcohol/substance-use disorder patients with and without an affective disorder.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular personality test, was used to profile the personalities of in-patient alcoholics/substance-use disorder patients who had, and those who did not have, a concurrent affective disorder diagnosis. The MBTI divides individuals into eight categories: Extroverts and Introverts, Sensors and Intuitives, Thinkers and Feelers, and Judgers and Perceivers. Alcohol/substance-use disorder patients with no affective disorder differed from a normative population only in being significantly more often Sensing and significantly less often Intuitive single-factor types. The Extroverted/Sensing/ Feeling/Judging four-factor type was also significantly over-represented in this group, compared to a normative population. In contrast, mood-disordered alcohol/substance-use disorder patients were significantly more often Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving and significantly less often Extroverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging single-factor types. They were also significantly more often Introverted/Sensing/ Feeling/Perceiving and Introverted/Intuitive/Feeling/Perceiving four-factor types. 'Pure' alcohol/ substance-use disorder patients differed from alcohol/substance-use disorder patients with a mood disorder in that they were significantly more often Extroverted and Thinking and significantly less often Introverted and Feeling single-factor types; and significantly less often were an Introverted/Sensing/ Feeling/Perceiving four-factor type. The above results may have psychogenetic, diagnostic, and psychotherapeutic implications. (+info)
Psychological profiles in patients with medically refractory epilepsy.
The aim of this study was to explore whether patients with epilepsy show characteristic psychological profiles which might be risk factors for epileptic seizures. The instruments used in the case-control study were the Millon Behavioural Health Inventory (MBHI) and the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking (AISS). A sample of hospitalized patients with medically refractory epilepsy (n = 15) and a sample of healthy controls (n = 15) matched on age and gender. Compared to the controls, the patients with epilepsy showed different psychological profiles. The patients with epilepsy showed significantly higher scores on the basic coping styles MBHI Inhibition style and MBHI Sensitivity style, and lower scores on the MBHI Sociability and the MBHI Confidence. The epilepsy group also exhibited elevated scores on the MBHI psychogenic attitude scales Chronic tension, Recent stress, Pre-morbid pessimism, Social alienation and Somatic anxiety. The patient group had lower sensation-seeking scores on the AISS Novelty scale, the AISS Intensity scale and in AISS Total scores. Some patients with medically refractory epilepsy show dysfunctional coping styles. These factors should be taken into consideration in treatment and rehabilitation planning. The findings point to psychological risk factors for eliciting epileptic seizures. (+info)
Using brief assessments to evaluate aberrant behavior maintained by attention.
We examined the use of brief functional assessments to identify idiosyncratic variables associated with aberrant behavior maintained by positive reinforcement in the form of attention. Two participants with severe developmental disabilities and their parents were involved in the assessment and treatment evaluation process. A modified attention condition was introduced, which involved both parents interacting with a third person. Results of the assessment demonstrated that aberrant behavior occurred only in the modified attention condition for both participants. Treatment consisted of the parents delivering attention on a fixed-time schedule during this specific social context. Results indicated that the treatment reduced problem behavior. Follow-up evaluations with 1 participant indicated maintenance of treatment effects for up to 6 months. (+info)
Complementary approaches to the assessment of personality disorder. The Personality Assessment Schedule and Adult Personality Functioning Assessment compared.
BACKGROUND: Current concepts and measures of personality disorder are in many respects unsatisfactory. AIMS: To establish agreement between two contrasting measures of personality disorder, and to compare subject-informant agreement on each. To examine the extent to which trait abnormality can be separated from interpersonal and social role dysfunction. METHOD: Fifty-six subjects and their closest informants were interviewed and rated independently. Personality functioning was assessed using a modified Personality Assessment Schedule (M-PAS), and the Adult Personality Functioning Assessment (APFA). RESULTS: Subject-informant agreement on the M-PAS was moderately good, and agreement between the M-PAS and the APFA, across and within subjects and informants, was comparable to that for the M-PAS. This was equally the case when M-PAS trait plus impairment scores and trait abnormality scores were used. CONCLUSIONS: The M-PAS and the APFA are probably assessing similar constructs. Trait abnormalities occur predominantly in an interpersonal context and could be assessed within that context. (+info)
Friendship as a moderating factor in the pathway between early harsh home environment and later victimization in the peer group. The Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group.
Two prospective investigations of the moderating role of dyadic friendship in the developmental pathway to peer victimization are reported. In Study 1, the preschool home environments (i.e., harsh discipline, marital conflict, stress, abuse, and maternal hostility) of 389 children were assessed by trained interviewers. These children were then followed into the middle years of elementary school, with peer victimization, group social acceptance, and friendship assessed annually with a peer nomination inventory. In Study 2, the home environments of 243 children were assessed in the summer before 1st grade, and victimization, group acceptance, and friendship were assessed annually over the next 3 years. In both studies, early harsh, punitive, and hostile family environments predicted later victimization by peers for children who had a low number of friendships. However, the predictive associations did not hold for children who had numerous friendships. These findings provide support for conceptualizations of friendship as a moderating factor in the pathways to peer group victimization. (+info)
The parent-form Child Health Questionnaire in Australia: comparison of reliability, validity, structure, and norms.
OBJECTIVE: To improve the ability to describe and compare child health within and between countries, using standardized multidimensional child health measures. METHODS: Data on population-specific psychometrics, the measurement structure, and norms are a vital prerequisite. These properties for the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ) were examined for an Australian population and compared with the originating U.S. data. The CHQ 50-item parent-report was completed by 5,414 parents of children aged 5-18 years. Multi-item/multi-trait analysis tested convergent and discriminatory validity. Construct validity, test-retest reliability, comparative population mean scale scores, and the summary score factor structure were examined. RESULTS: Item and scale internal consistency and item discriminant validity results were good to excellent, and construct (concurrent) validity was supported. Australian children had higher scores than U.S. children except for Family Activities and Physical Functioning. The factor structure of the two summary scores for American children was not replicated in the normative sample but held for a subsample of children with one or more health conditions. CONCLUSIONS: The CHQ PF50 performed well in Australia at item and scale level. However, the physical and psychosocial summary scores are not supported for population-level analyses but may be of value for sub-groups of children with health problems. (+info)
Exposure to organic solvents and personality.
OBJECTIVES: Although cognitive and neuropsychological changes have been found after high cumulative exposures to solvents, it is not clear whether such exposures are associated with personality characteristics. To study this two groups of British and Chinese dockyard painters who had been heavily exposed to paint solvents have been investigated. METHODS: 260 Male dockyard painters in the United Kingdom, 539 local community controls, 109 Chinese dockyard painters, and 255 dockyard controls completed the Eysenck personality questionnaire, neuroticism (N) and social conformity or dissimulation (L) scales. The non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis test was used to evaluate differences in scores of personality traits between painters and controls. Adjusted relative risks for painters having high N and L scores were calculated in a Breslow-Cox regression analysis, and exposure-response relations were examined in multivariate logistic regression analysis. Non-parametric Spearman's correlation was used to examine relations between previously determined neuropsychological symptoms and personality. RESULTS: Both British and Chinese data showed that mean neuroticism scores of painters were significantly higher than controls, whereas scores of social conformity did not differ. Relative risk of being a painter increased significantly with increasing N scores, but L scores showed no such trend. In a case-control analysis, there were significant exposure-response relations for the N score. In the United Kingdom the odds ratios (ORs) (95% confidence interval (95% CI), were 2.03 (0.79 to 5.22) for 1-4 years of exposure, 2.38 (0.82 to 6.91) for 5-9 years, 7.05 (1.27 to 39.25) for 10-14 years, and 1.76 (0.63 to 4.89) for 15-41 years. In the Chinese painters, ORs were 4.66 (1.38 to 15.75) for 2-14 years, 10.03 (2.96 to 34.04) for 15-18 years, and 13.56 (3.78 to 48.59) for 19-43 years. Neuroticism was significantly positively related to neuropsychological symptoms in all subjects. Social conformity showed no association with neuropsychological symptoms in British painters and a negative relation among the Chinese painters. CONCLUSION: Increasing symptoms suggesting neuroticism seemed to relate to the duration of painting whereas scores for social conformity and dissimulation did not. The relation between exposure time and response suggests that increased neuroticism may be caused by long term occupational exposure to organic solvents. (+info)