Implementation intentions (IMPs) are if-then plans that help people attain their self-regulatory goals. IMPs are effective in changing health behaviors, including physical activity, diet, and smoking cessation. Recently, specific studies have applied IMPs to reducing or preventing mental health symptoms. However, only a few applications of IMPs to mental health promotion have been demonstrated in terms of universal prevention interventions such as for asymptomatic people in worksites and schools. This study addressed whether forming IMPs for mental health promotion behaviors could improve workers’ mental health. A quasi-experimental behavior change intervention study was conducted using if-then mental health promotion plans. The intervention group (n=81) specified IMPs using if-then plan sheet immediately following the baseline questionnaire. The plan sheet required them to link critical situations in their lives with mental health promotion behaviors for changing their mood. The intervention group was instructed to follow their plans for two weeks, whereas the control group (n=47) received general information about ordinary life. Results indicated that the intervention group significantly increased their mental health promotion behaviors in the follow-up period compared to the control group, including “interest and participation in a new activity” and “belonging to a group”. A significant relationship was found between the extent of practicing mental health promotion behaviors and awareness of improvements in mental health conditions. Volunteers in the intervention group reported practices that allow them to continue their if-then plans easily. The keys to ensuring effective if-then plans were (1) forming a frequently encountered if-part; (2) forming a reasonably easy-to-accomplish then-part for the corresponding if-part; and (3) ensuring that if- and then-parts are closely related. The knowledge gained from this study is expected to contribute to more extensive and informed mental health promotion campaigns for behavior change in the future.
Disordered eating is a risk factor for onset of eating disorders, and a primary symptom of eating disorders. Only a few studies have examined adults’ disordered eating because most research on eating disorders have been conducted on high-school and college students. The current study used a cross-sectional design and examined the effects of emotion regulation strategies, including rumination and cognitive reappraisal, and interpersonal problems on disordered eating among women aged 23–49 years. Hierarchical regression analysis indicated increased ruminations and interpersonal problems associated with increased disordered eating patterns, such that women with more cognitive reappraisal experienced more diet restrictions. Moreover, there was a significant interaction between rumination and interpersonal problems on diet restrictions. These results suggest that rumination and interpersonal problems exacerbate disordered eating. Furthermore, we have discussed the association between depressive symptoms and disordered eating patterns.
The differential effects of rumination on attentional breadth was investigated by experimentally manipulating rumination from the perspective of thought content and valences of thinking-time. We randomly assigned 68 undergraduate and graduate students to negative, neutral, long-, and short-time thinking groups. Then, we administered a questionnaire, conducted a rumination manipulation and the modified Attentional Breadth Task. In this task, there are Close and Far conditions that have a narrow and wide attentional range depending on the location of the target stimulus, and ΔAttentional Narrowing Index (ΔANI) representing the differences between the correct response rate for a target in Close and Far conditions are calculated, such that higher ΔANI values indicate a narrower attention range. Results indicated that state rumination and negative emotions worsened and attentional breadth decreased when participants focused on negative thoughts for a long time. Moreover, a causal relationship between rumination and attentional breadth was suggested. Also, factors narrowing attentional breadth through rumination were identified based on the attentional scope model. It is suggested that future studies should consider whether depression or negative cognitive processing is worsened by narrowing attentional breadth.
This study (1) developed the Japanese version of the Inventory of Statements About Self-injury (ISAS), a tool for assessing the functions of nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), and (2) classified NSSI in adolescents based on its functions. We administered a questionnaire to a community sample and gathered 592 responses, including those of 267 undergraduates who had experienced NSSI. The results of factor analysis indicated that the Japanese version of the ISAS was different from the original and was composed of three factors: “Distress coping functions,” “Interpersonal influence functions,” and “Identity maintenance functions.” Cluster analysis of the Japanese version of the ISAS scores indicated four clusters: “Habitual cluster,” “Distress coping cluster,” “Overlapped identity maintenance cluster,” and “Overlapped interpersonal influence cluster.” Each cluster’s clinical features indicated that the more the functions overlapped, the more severe were risks of suicide, anxiety, and depression. These results indicated that the significance of NSSI functions’ assessment was related to their overlap. These results suggested the usefulness of the functional approach to treatment.
This study investigated the effect of attentional bias for alcohol related stimuli on impulsive behavior, focusing on differences in the function of drinking behavior. University and graduate students (N = 41) that were heavy drinkers participated in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to the attentional bias modification (ABM) or a control group. Data were analyzed using the cognitive-behavioral therapy framework of functional analysis. The results indicated that the ABM group did not reduce attentional bias or impulsive behaviors. We conducted a post hoc correlation analysis using variations, which indicated that impulsive behaviors decreased when attentional bias decreased. In addition, a three-factor analysis of variance with group, time, and each drinking motive as independent variables indicated a non-significant interaction. It is concluded that reducing attentional bias might contribute to improving impulsive drinking behaviors. However, individual differences due to drinking motives remain unclear.
Mood disorders are highly prevalent mental disorders that have a significant influence on the community. In addition to the clinical symptoms, it is known that subclinical mood symptoms can be often managed with self-help strategies. However, more evidence is needed to clarify self-help strategies that are optimal for managing these disorders. The Delphi method was used in this study to assess experts’ and the general public’s consensus on self-help strategies for improving and recovering from mood disorder symptoms and the feasibility of implementing treatment for these symptoms. A literature search identified 150 strategies that have been proposed as helpful for mood symptoms. A sample of 61 clinical experts and 81 members of the general public participated as panels. Both panels rated the “helpfulness” and “feasibility” of implementing each of these strategies. After three evaluation rounds, 20 strategies related to “helpfulness” and 19 related to “feasibility” for mood symptoms were endorsed by at least 70% of both panel members. Experts and the general public rated specific strategies very differently; however, there was considerable overall agreement about typical lifestyle and psychosocial strategies. It is recommended that these strategies be evaluated to clarify their potential for reducing mood symptoms’ burden, the possibility of being promoted to the public, and their impact.