A large prospective multicenter study headed by Prof. Paul Emmelkamp (Amsterdam), published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, unravels new promising data on the psychotherapeutic treatment of severe personality disturbances. No previous studies have compared the effectiveness of different modalities of psychotherapeutic treatment, as defined by different settings and durations, for patients with cluster C personality disorders (PD) which encompasse avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive PD. The aim of this multicentre study was to compare the effectiveness of 5 treatment modalities for patients with cluster C personality disorders in terms of psychiatric symptoms, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life.
A controlled study by a group of German investigators published in the current issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics indicates that brief group psychotherapy is helpful for clearing fears of disease progression (FoP) in patients with chronic arthritis or cancer. The interventions comprised either cognitive-behavioral group therapy or supportive-experiential group therapy. The investigators tested whether these generic interventions would prove effective in different illness types. Chronic arthritis in- patients (n = 174) and cancer in-patients (n = 174), respectively, were randomized to receive one of the two interventions. The patients provided data before intervention, at discharge, and at 3 and 12 months of follow-up.
A study by York University researchers reveals that infants as young as six months old know when we're "playing" them - and they don't like it. Researchers in York's Centre for Infancy Studies examined six-and nine-month-old babies' reactions to a game in which an experimenter was either unable or unwilling to share a toy. Babies detected and calmly accepted when an experimenter was unable to share for reasons beyond her control, but averted their gazes and became agitated when it was clear she simply wouldn't share. "Babies can tell if you're teasing or being manipulative, and they let you know it, " says study lead author Heidi Marsh, a PhD student who worked under the direction of psychology professor Maria Legerstee, head of the Centre for Infancy Studies in York's Faculty of Health.
A new study of young children in orphanages in Bucharest, Romania, has found that children placed in foster care before age 2 were more apt to develop secure attachments to their foster parents than those who entered foster care after age 2. The study is based on data from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, the first randomized controlled trial of foster care as an alternative to institutional care. It was carried out by researchers at Tulane University School of Medicine, the University of Maryland, Harvard Medical School/Children's Hospital Boston, and the University of California, Los Angeles, and appears in the January/February 2010 issue of Child Development.
A new study of children in Ukraine has found that for the growing number of HIV-infected children, the quality of care and the relationship between children and their caregivers play an important role in their development. Based on their findings, the researchers highlight the importance of comprehensive but focused intervention efforts to improve these relationships by changing caregivers' working schedules and providing training to enhance the stability and sensitivity of care. Published in the January/February 2010 issue of the journal Child Development, the study was conducted by scientists at Leiden University in the Netherlands. One of the researchers, doctoral student Natasha Dobrova-Krol, is of Ukrainian origin.
Neuroscientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and their colleagues have tied the human aversion to losing money to a specific structure in the brain - the amygdala. The finding, described in the latest online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), offers insight into economic behavior, and also into the role of the brain's amygdalae, two almond-shaped clusters of tissue located in the medial temporal lobes. The amygdala registers rapid emotional reactions and is implicated in depression, anxiety, and autism. The research team that made these findings consists of Benedetto de Martino, a Caltech visiting researcher from University College London and first author on the study;