American Psychologist

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ISSN / EISSN : 0003-066X / 1935-990X
Total articles ≅ 20,649
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Latest articles in this journal

, Sophie Trawalter, , Haley E. Johnson,
American Psychologist; https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000603

Abstract:
Black college students attending historically and predominantly White institutions are increasingly encountering online racial discrimination. This exposure may increase psychological distress and undermine academic performance. Although White bystanders may be well-positioned to challenge racist posts, limited research has examined interventions to increase White students' willingness to confront online racial discrimination. The present study used multiple methodologies to characterize the nature and frequency of online racial discrimination college students face, understand its impact on Black students, and increase challenges to online discrimination among White bystanders. Study data include content scraped from campus-related social media platforms over a 3-month period, transcripts from 8 focus groups conducted separately with Black (n = 35) and White (n = 33) college students, and data from an online experiment with 402 White college students. Taken together, study findings indicated that Black students encounter online racial discrimination with nontrivial frequency and are harmed by this exposure. Black students noted, however, that harm is mitigated when online racial discrimination is challenged by their White peers. Further, findings indicated that White students may be more likely to publicly confront racist posts if they (a) are aware of the harm it causes their Black peers; (b) perceive social norms that support confronting discrimination; and (c) receive guidance on what to say. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
, Bunmi O. Olatunji
American Psychologist; https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000850

Abstract:
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has fundamentally altered daily life across the globe, and the stress associated with these changes is likely to impact sleep. Sleep is critical for physical and mental health; thus, understanding the factors that may contribute to poor sleep during the pandemic represents a first step in identifying behavioral health targets for intervention efforts during and after the pandemic. This review first summarizes the developing research on sleep during the pandemic. The impact of the pandemic on sleep is then examined through the lens of the 3P model of insomnia by proposing pandemic-specific predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors. The potential consequences of sleep disturbance on physical and mental health conditions most relevant to the pandemic are also reviewed. Finally, recommendations for reducing or eliminating pandemic-specific perpetuating factors are detailed, highlighting the potential utility of behavioral sleep medicine interventions in the integration of behavioral health responses and public health initiatives during and after the pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
, Jean Decety, Ilanit Gordon
American Psychologist; https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000819

Abstract:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen that people can adapt quickly to ensure that their social needs are met after being forced to isolate and socially distance. Many individuals turned immediately to music, as evidenced by people singing from balconies, watching live concerts on social media, and group singing online. In this article, we show how these musical adaptations can be understood through the latest advances in the social neuroscience of music-an area that, to date, has been largely overlooked. By streamlining and synthesizing prior theory and research, we introduce a model of the brain that sheds light on the social functions and brain mechanisms that underlie the musical adaptations used for human connection. We highlight the role of oxytocin and the neurocircuitry associated with reward, stress, and the immune system. We show that the social brain networks implicated in music production (in contrast to music listening) overlap with the networks in the brain implicated in the social processes of human cognition-mentalization, empathy, and synchrony-all of which are components of herding; moreover, these components have evolved for social affiliation and connectedness. We conclude that the COVID-19 pandemic could be a starting point for an improved understanding of the relationship between music and the social brain, and we outline goals for future research in the social neuroscience of music. In a time when people across the globe have been unable to meet in person, they have found a way to meet in the music. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
American Psychologist; https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000813

Abstract:
Spreading rapidly across the United States beginning in the spring of 2020, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic radically disrupted Americans' lives. Previous studies of community-wide disasters suggested people are fairly resilient and identified resources and strategies that promote that resilience. Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic is in some ways unique, with high levels of uncertainty, evolving implications and restrictions, and varied and uneven impacts. How resilient were Americans as the pandemic progressed? What psychosocial resources and coping strategies facilitated adjustment as the country moved into a summer of uneven reopenings and reclosures? Data from a national sample of 674 Americans were gathered at the height of early lockdowns and peaking infections in mid-April, 2020, and again, 5 and 10 weeks later. The study aimed to determine levels and sources of distress and to identify the resources and coping efforts that promoted or impeded resilience. Early levels of distress diminished to some extent over subsequent months while levels of wellbeing were comparable with usual norms, suggesting a largely resilient response. COVID-19-related stress exposure also decreased gradually over time. Older age, higher levels of mindfulness and social support, and meaning focused coping predicted better adjustment, reflecting resilience, while avoidance coping was particularly unhelpful. In models predicting change over time, approach-oriented coping (i.e., active coping, meaning-focused coping, and seeking social support) was minimally predictive of subsequent adjustment. Given the unique and ongoing circumstances presented by COVID-19, specific interventions targeting psychosocial resources and coping identified here may help to promote resilience as the pandemic continues to unfold. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
American Psychologist; https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000814

Abstract:
Existing research into the psychological roots of political polarization centers around two main approaches: one studying cognitive traits that predict susceptibility to holding polarized beliefs and one studying contextual influences that spread and reinforce polarized attitudes. Although both accounts have made valuable progress, political polarization is neither a purely cognitive trait nor a contextual issue. We argue that a new approach aiming to uncover interactions between cognition and context will be fruitful for understanding how polarization arises. Furthermore, recent developments in neuroimaging methods can overcome long-standing issues of measurement and ecological validity to critically help identify in which psychological processing steps-e.g., attention, semantic understanding, emotion-polarization takes hold. This interdisciplinary research agenda can thereby provide new avenues for interventions against the political polarization that plagues democracies around the world. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
, Gregory R. Hancock, Dale M. Stack, Lisa A. Serbin,
American Psychologist; https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000838

Abstract:
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While scientists have moved quickly to study the physical health implications of the disease, less attention has been paid to the negative mental health repercussions. The current study utilized a community sample of adolescents who had recently completed a 2-year, four wave study of adolescent mental health (Wave 1 n = 184, Mage = 13.9 years; 50.3% female). Participants were recontacted to assess their anxiety, depression, and emotion dysregulation symptoms during the pandemic. Latent growth modeling based on four pre-COVID time points indicated the extent to which the fifth (COVID) time point deviated from trend expectations. Results showed that (a) anxiety and depression scores were significantly higher than previous trajectories would have predicted, and (b) deviations from personal trajectories were associated with higher levels of perceived lifestyle impact due to the pandemic. Furthermore, gender-based analyses revealed that financial impacts, lifestyle impacts, and coronavirus fear were differentially associated with symptom increases for male and female participants. The current study is among the first to report that adolescent mental health trajectories have been altered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. As physical distancing and other safety precautions may be required for several years, it is essential that we gain a deep understanding of how prevention efforts are associated with significant disruptions to youth mental health to bolster youth resilience during these unprecedented times. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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