Articles, Leading Stories

June 1st, 2015

Study: youth with psychopathic traits mask intense emotions

By Susan Gonsalves

Not all psychopaths are cold, callous and unfeeling. Nor are they untreatable. A new study by University of Vermont Professor Timothy Stickle, Ph.D. and graduate student Andrew Gill showed that a subset of youth exhibiting severe anti-social behaviors who were classified as callous and unemotional (CU) are actually highly anxious, depressed and distressed. The researchers studied 150 male and female youth ages 11 to 17 housed in juvenile detention centers whose behavior puts them at risk of developing psychopathic traits as adults. The research subjects were put into three different subgroups. One group, termed “primary psychopathy,” included individuals with low [More]

June 1st, 2015

Experts look at motivation to join terrorist groups

By Catherine Robertson Souter

In October 2014, three American girls in suburban Colorado skipped school to jump on a plane for Turkey to join the militant terrorist group, Islamic State. Stopped in Germany after their parents notified police, they were returned to the United States, questioned by FBI and released. The resulting questions in the media centered around why these adolescents, ages 15, 16, and 17, would do such a thing. They were not poor or without other options as is often suggested about motivation for terrorists. They were not uneducated, abused or kept away from society. The idea that an American teen, especially [More]

June 1st, 2015

ACT may benefit patients with depression and psychotic features

By Phyllis Hanlon

Treatment for individuals with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia has typically involved cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. But research is demonstrating that acceptance-based behavioral therapy may offer significant benefits beyond those derived from traditional treatment approaches. Brandon A. Gaudiano, Ph.D., research psychologist in Butler Hospital’s Psychosocial Research Program, faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and author of Incorporating Acceptance and Mindfulness into the Treatment of Psychosis, has been studying the use of Acceptance and Compassion Therapy (ACT) and mindfulness for individuals with psychosis and depression. The term [More]

June 1st, 2015

Yale research: Internet inflates person’s sense of knowledge

By Susan Gonsalves

Thanks to Google, iPhones and the Internet, some people gain a miscalculated sense of what they know. Researchers at Yale University conducted several experiments to determine how looking information up online affected people’s opinion of their own intelligence. The results, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology were derived by recruiting approximately 200 participants online through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and breaking them into two groups: one that could look up answers to questions using a search engine and another that could not. According to lead author Matthew Fisher, B.A., a fourth year graduate student at Yale’s Cognition and Development Lab, [More]

June 1st, 2015

Program examines issues around peace, conflict

By Catherine Robertson Souter

There are two sides to every story. It’s an adage that relates both to work that researchers at University of Massachusetts Amherst are doing within the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program and to the view they take of how this work can affect the outside world. The program looks, first, to address the prevalence of violence in our world today by studying both sides of any conflict as well as conducting research on how to promote peace. A second, main goal, according to Linda R. Tropp, Ph.D., professor of psychology and director of the program, is to address the [More]

May 1st, 2015

Collaboration could mitigate cancer risk

By Phyllis Hanlon

The American Cancer Society predicts that 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2015 and close to 600,000 cancer-related deaths will occur. While genetics plays a role in the development of cancer, some controllable factors could also lead to this disease. Psychological intervention before diagnosis could prevent unnecessary suffering and early death from cancer. Research has shown that stress which causes inflammation, obesity, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and over-exposure to the sun are just a few controllable causes, potentially leading to the development of cancer. Sherry L. Pagoto, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine in the division [More]

May 1st, 2015

Specialized geriatric treatment on the rise

By Catherine Robertson Souter

Americans are getting older. As the baby-boomers, those born between 1946 and1964, have hit retirement age and as Americans live longer, the population of the United States has seen an increase in people over age 65 A result of this large sector of the population aging has been the attention senior issues have generated. From increased funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research to greater options in financial planning, housing and nursing care, this generation has brought greater focus to concerns that were once relegated to the backburner partially because of a lack of funding for what was historically a poorer, [More]

May 1st, 2015

Mental health reform at heart of legislation

By Rivkela Brodsky

Legislation to reform the nation’s mental health system is likely to be reintroduced in the House and Senate in the next couple of months – but there is no timeline or written draft yet. Two lawmakers from different parties and different houses – but with the same last name – are working to create a new version of the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, which was introduced in the House last year by U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, Ph.D., (R-Penn.). “We want to see the system reformed because what we have done in the last 50 years in this [More]

May 1st, 2015

Budget cuts threaten Tewksbury Hospital

By Pamela Berard

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget would slash funding for Tewksbury Hospital by $3.8 million, resulting in the closing of one unit (which would be consolidated with another). The closure could result in the loss of 12 geriatric beds and the transfer of 16 patients to other wards. The equivalent of 48 full-time jobs would be lost. However – area legislators, including Rep. James Miceli, D-Wilmington (who represents part of Tewksbury), have vowed to fight the cuts. Miceli lobbied heavily to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and on April 15, the Committee presented its [More]

May 1st, 2015

Recovery program emphasizes unique approach

By Janine Weisman

Every Monday morning, Randall Aamot, M.S., a Ph.D. candidate in counseling psychology at Northeastern University, walks into a group therapy room without any agenda, worksheets or any formal plan. “I say to the kids, ‘this is what we’re doing for group today. We’re just going to have a discussion,’ and in essence in a real overt way I’m empowering them to lead that discussion,” said Aamot, 40, who regularly wears a bow tie. “From my experience, when you give the kids that freedom and that space, they’ll take you to the important places,” Aamot said. The dozen or so 13-to [More]

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