Affect dysregulation is a highly significant construct among transdiagnostic pathological factors. This review first makes a brief introduction to the historical background of research and practice related to child abuse trauma and dissociation. In preceding studies, complex PTSD resulting from chronic and relational trauma was a focal construct and researchers have already adopted transdiagnostic perspectives. Subsequently, the current state of research on affect dysregulation related to child abuse trauma and dissociation are outlined. Moreover, critical commentary, especially regarding the conceptual and terminological variety and inconsistencies in research on affect dysregulation, is provided. Finally, current issues related to this topic are identified for further exploration.
Increasing evidence suggests that childhood abuse is a crucial factor in different types of mental and physical illnesses and maladaptation. Therefore, clarifying the mechanisms by which childhood abuse influence health is a pressing issue in health psychology. Insecure attachment and high dissociative tendencies are known adverse effects of childhood abuse, and both these tendencies are known to form the background to physical and psychological diseases, as well as interpersonal problems in later life. Moreover, alexithymia and somatoform dissociation could also be risk factors. Summarizing the results of our previous studies indicated the following. (1) Effects of childhood abuse on dissociative tendencies mediate the insecure attachment. (2) Influence of childhood abuse on somatization mediates the insecure attachment, alexithymia, and dissociative tendencies. (3) Integrated models are possible. We have described dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system as an additional factor in the background to the deterioration of health, which could also result in interpersonal difficulties. We have suggested different perspectives for conducting future research, and proposed methods of supporting the victims of childhood abuse.
Childhood abuse is known to have a significant negative impact on social perception. Therefore, abused people have highly negative psychosocial adaptation. In this paper, we focused on facial expression recognition among social cognition and discussed interpersonal relationships of abused people. Childhood abuse encourages excessively sensitive reactions to negative facial expressions and inhibits the establishment of good relationships with others. We have discussed these reactions from the following perspectives: (1) adaptation to severe environments, (2) the lack of learning and biased learning, and (3) problems of attachment. We also examined methods of intervention for correcting problems related to the recognition of facial expressions. Finally, we have discussed possibilities for future research.
People that grow up in environments of maltreatment often have problems in their interpersonal relationships, and the lack of empathy could be a background factor in their difficulties. However, the results of recent studies have questioned this contention, and therefore, more detailed investigations are required. Experiences of maltreatment are known to negatively influence attachment, which is required to foster empathy. Therefore, we investigated the influence of maltreatment experiences on empathy via internal working models of attachment from a cognitive-emotional perspective and differences in the orientation of empathy. A questionnaire survey was conducted with university students (N=278). Results of structural equation modeling of their responses indicated that experiences of maltreatment increased self-oriented empathy through negative attachment-anxiety (model of the self). Moreover, such experiences reduced other-oriented empathy through attachment-avoidance (model of other). These results suggest that those growing up in environments of maltreatment not only lack empathy but are also unbalanced.
Many studies have been conducted on the work-family interface in the field of occupational health psychology. However, many of the studies have treated the family role ambiguously and abstractly. Therefore, it is unclear how occupational factors affect child-rearing. The current study examined relationships in the management of occupational emotions; in particular, surface and deep acting, work-family detachment, and maladaptive child-rearing by double-income working mothers. Data of 158 participants that were rearing four- to eight-year-old first-born children were analyzed. Contrary to the hypothesis, the results indicated that there was a positive correlation between work-family detachment and maladaptive child-rearing. Hierarchical regression analysis suggested that deep acting had a negative relationship with maladaptive child-rearing, whereas surface acting showed no significant relationship with child-rearing.
Predictors of mental health in junior high school students that experienced the Great East Japan Earthquake when they were in an elementary school on the Pacific coast of Fukushima were investigated. In September 2014 (Time 1: 7th grade), September 2015 (Time 2: 8th grade) and December 2016 (Time 3: 9th grade), 7th graders in a junior high school in Fukushima Prefecture completed a questionnaire that included the Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms for Children (PTSSC15) for assessing their mental health. Results indicated that the students’ mental health has been adverse since entering junior high school in 2014, with girls indicating higher PTSSC15 scores than boys. Multiple regression analyses with the PTSSC15 score at Time 3 as the dependent variable and characteristics of the participants at Time 1 as the independent variables indicated that the strongest predictor of mental health at Time 3 was mental health at Time 1. Based on these results, we strongly suggest that such children should be provided with continuous mental health assessments and appropriate care programs.
We conducted a mental health and lifestyle survey after the disaster in 2011. Self-assessment scales were distributed to 200,000 inhabitants living in the coastal area of Fukushima, and telephone, as well as postal interventions, were provided for residents at risk of psychological or behavioral problems. We retrospectively examined the effectiveness and limitations of telephone support for children and their parents during the five years from 2011 to 2016. The results of telephone support indicated poor physical conditions and school maladjustment. Moreover, 21.6% of the children were judged as arousing concern in 2013, whereas approximately 13% were judged as otherwise. It is suggested that providing support by telephones is effective in the case of large-scale disasters with a high impact and a large number of victims.
The experiences and the conditions of children and adolescents evacuated from evacuation areas to temporary housing after the Fukushima nuclear accident and support provided for them were investigated by conducting interviews with their supporters. The results of a modified grounded theory approach revealed the following. (a) The children and adolescents showed acute stress symptoms immediately after the accident due to the disruption of their daily lives. However, they gradually recovered as a result of the consistent psychological support provided by their supporters. (b) Most children and adolescents successfully adapted to their new environments three years after the accident, but some of them had difficulties in recovering. (c) The supporters felt that unstable living environments and poor human relationships were likely to hinder the development and the adaptation of evacuated children and adolescents over the long term. These findings suggest that it is essential to provide individualized professional support not only for children and adolescents but also for their family members.
Stress management education for adolescents is used to mitigate psychological stresses that are thought to underlie children's maladaptive behavior and symptoms of physical and mental illnesses. This review was designed to determine stress management techniques that are effective for children with different characteristics, including developmental differences. Therefore, we used the four perspectives of the Generic model, which is positioned as a typical framework of the cognitive-behavioral approach, and holds that the formation and maintenance of mental disorders are caused by interactions between cognitions, behaviors, emotions, and physical characteristics. A literature overview indicated that intervention techniques focusing on the body, emotions, and behaviors have specific effects regardless of the developmental stage. In contrast, techniques focusing on cognition are effective for upper elementary school students. It is necessary for future research to improve the evaluation of target children and adolescents, and specifically manage individual differences within the group.
This study provides a broad overview of “functional analysis” of group stress-management interventions for children and students, from the perspective of quality control assessment of interventions. The results suggested that perspectives on assessment are based on four activities: (1) conducting assessment based on stress theory, (2) conducting the functional assessment, (3) establishing procedures based on assessment results, and (4) evaluating the effects of preventive stress management. There are different constraints in conducting studies in the field of education. However, conducting interventions by considering the above perspectives is critical for establishing the repeatability of effective intervention procedures, and for developing guiding principles for modifying and re-evaluating non-effective procedures.
Psychological interventions conducted in relation to the Great East Japan Earthquake were categorized. We reviewed published research articles focusing on concerns over psychological support for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake by using CiNii and Google Scholar databases conducted in May 2017. The keywords for the searches included “Great East Japan Earthquake,” “group,” and “psychology.” As a result, 10 articles were extracted. The subjects, procedures, content of interventions, implementers, indicators, results of the research, and study tasks in the disaster area were identified. The results suggested that strategies necessary for assessing intervention subjects include setting the dependent and manipulated variables, and the establishment of operations to maintain the intervention.
Interventions appropriate for group stress management of first graders (N=218) were investigated in an industrial high school. The assessment of the target group, the goals of the intervention, and practical ideas was classified, and the participants were divided into three groups: anger management, cognitive reconstruction, and problem-solving. A 90-minute intervention was conducted once for each group, and the impression sheets were assessed to check if the intervention was conducted correctly. A univariate chi-square test was conducted for the analysis. Results indicated that the procedure was appropriate and included the assessment of the environment and problems of each class, managing problems that could arise within the class, targets, and goals and the content of the intervention. Based on these findings, it is hoped that group assessments would improve the evidence and the reproducibility of group stress management.