The NJPA Academic & Scientific Affairs 2022 Poster Hall

Thank you to Peter J Economou, PhD, ABPP and Jim A Haugh, PhD
for approving and facilitating the poster presentations,

and thank you to all of our amazing authors

Poster #1

(Virtual)

A Community-Based Model to Address Mental Health Concerns in New Jersey Adolescents Following the COVID-19 Omicron Wave

  

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First Author:

Thomas S Gunning, BS
medical student
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

Co-Author:

Liem Pham, BS
medical student
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

Co-Author:

Maansi Jayade, MS
medical student
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

Co-Author:

Brandon Sciavolino, BS
medical student
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic is increasingly detrimental to adolescent mental health. Early assessments of adolescent mental health during the pandemic show worsening of existing conditions as well as increasing incidence of various mental health crises. After the emergence of the Omicron variant in late 2021, the state of New Jersey encountered increases in both morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 infections. In addition, communities once again returned to social-distance practices due to high infection rates. New Jersey schools returned to conditions like the start of the pandemic in Spring 2020, such as moving classes to a virtual format. It remains unclear what impact the COVID-19 Omicron wave had on adolescent mental health. In response to this wave, a team of medical students completed a literature review of community-based health engagement models and developed an adapted model to address the mental health concerns in New Jersey adolescents. This team’s model focuses on a longitudinal engagement approach as well as using real-time data collection to specialize the approach for each group of adolescents. The team later piloted this model with a local secondary school. Mental health assessments made it possible to better focus the aims of a mental health workshop to this group of students and receive immediate feedback after the workshop. Preliminary results show a strong response from longitudinal engagement and identify key components of adolescent mental health that should be prioritized. Indeed, these results also show a positive impact from this program. This model holds the potential to be replicated with other schools and community groups for the purpose of addressing adolescent mental health concerns.

 

Poster #2

(Virtual)

Exploring the Associations Between Different Facets of Impulsivity and their Correlations with Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Traits

 

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First Author:

Kaitlyn E Irace, BA
masters student
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Co-Author:

Amanda N Sturm, BA
masters student
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Co-Author:

Melinda L Furer, PhD
assistant professor
Pennsylvania State University

Co-Author:

Kenneth N Levy, PhD
professor
Pennsylvania State University

Co-Author:

Benjamin N Johnson, PhD
assistant professor
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Introduction Narcissistic (NPD) and antisocial personality disorders (ASPD) are prevalent and costly to patients, and healthcare and judicial systems (Levy & Johnson, 2016). Impulsivity confers risk for these disorders (Fossati et al., 2007; Hollander & Evers, 2001). However, few studies have explored which facets of impulsivity are most implicated in each disorder. Fossati et al. (2007) found evidence of novelty-seeking being more associated with NPD than ASPD, with null associations with reward dependence and persistence. ASPD has also been found unrelated to lack of perseverance and negative urgency (i.e., impulsivity in response to negative emotions), whereas lack of premeditation and sensation seeking appear primary in ASPD (DeShong & Kurtz, 2013). Jones and Paulhus (2011) also suggested that narcissistic impulsivity involves increased social engagement, indicative of a “functional” form of impulsivity, while psychopathic impulsivity stems from low conscientiousness and poor self-regulation. We explored which facets of impulsivity better predict antisocial versus narcissistic traits. We hypothesized that: 1) sensation seeking predicts both ASPD and NPD traits but more strongly predicts NPD; 2a) Lack of premeditation predicts ASPD traits, while 2b) positive urgency predicts NPD traits; 3) lack of perseverance does not predict either ASPD or NPD traits. Method Participants were 219 undergraduates at Penn State University (Mage=19.04), oversampled for borderline personality disorder symptoms. Participants completed: Five Factor Model Rating Form (FFMRF), used to derive ASPD and NPD scales (Samuel & Widiger, 2008), and the UPPS-P, assessing five dimensions of impulsivity: Positive and Negative Urgency, (Lack of) Premeditation, (Lack of) Perseverance, and Sensation Seeking. We conducted two multiple regressions using UPPS-P subscales as predictors of ASPD and NPD traits as outcomes, controlling for gender in all analyses. Results ASPD and NPD traits were highly correlated (r=.79, p<.001). Negative urgency (b=0.19, p=.003), lack of premeditation (b=0.19, p=.005), and lack of perseverance (b=0.22, p<.001), but not positive urgency (b=0.07, p=.30), or sensation seeking (b=0.09, p=.09) significantly predicted ASPD traits. Together, the UPPS-P (plus gender) predicted 36.1% of ASPD traits, F(6,208)=19.61, p<.001. Negative urgency (b=0.27, p=.003), but not positive urgency (b=0.03, p=.75), sensation seeking (b=0.05, p=.53), lack of premeditation (b=0.07, p=.48), or lack of perseverance (b=0.05, p<.54), significantly predicted NPD traits. Together, the UPPS-P (plus gender) predicted 11.9% of NPD traits, F(6,208)=4.94, p<.001. Discussion Negative urgency predicted NPD and ASPD traits, whereas lack of premeditation and lack of perseverance predicted only ASPD traits. Positive urgency and sensation seeking did not predict either ASPD or NPD, contrary to hypotheses.This study highlights facets of impulsivity (e.g., negative urgency), that may be particularly relevant in explaining Cluster B PD manifestation. Clinicians working with patients with externalizing PD symptoms might assess what contributes to negative affect. Patients with antisocial tendencies may struggle to maintain consistent treatment and/or employment due to issues with a lack of planfulness and/or a lack of motivation. As our sample consisted of undiagnosed young adult students, future studies should explore facets of impulsivity in clinical populations. Narcissistic and antisocial traits are similar in their association with impulsivity but vary in specific aspects of impulsivity.

 

Poster #3

(In-Person)

 

 

 

Prediction of Static Criteria Comparing Self-Report and Drawings Methods

 

 
 Poster PDF Download A

  Poster PDF Download B 

 

Single Author:

 

Frank J Dyer, PhD
Independent Practice

Investigates the validity of Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) Full Scales and an empirical criterion-referenced scoring system for House-Tree-Person (HTP) drawings and associations against static criteria developed from 179 forensic assessment case records. Based on recent literature on statistical prediction, the norm-referenced PAI was expected to outperform the criterion-referenced HTP system on diagnostic criteria, such as Ever Diagnosed Schizophrenic/Psychotic and Ever Diagnosed Bipolar Disorder, and the HTP system to outperform the PAI against nondiagnostic criteria such as History of Assaultive Behavior and Child Neglect (Perpetrator). Logistic regression against binary static criteria found that the PAI significantly predicted seven out of the 12 criteria, while sets of drawing items selected according to a Bayesian procedure predicted nine of the 12 criteria. PAI scales and sets of drawings items predicted diagnostic criteria approximately equally. Drawings items significantly predicted six of the nondiagnostic criteria while PAI Full Scale scores significantly predicted two. Poster also discusses the probabilistic conceptual foundation for the drawings system and advantages of employing this type of assessment tool as an adjunct to self-report norm-referenced clinical personality tests.

 

Poster #4

(In-Person)

 

 

 

The Association Between Burnout and Psychological Flexibility Among Forensic Psychologists

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First Author:

Mariah Laster, BA
doctoral student
Kean University

Co-Author:

Alison McCann, BA
doctoral student
Kean University

Co-Author:

David Brandwein, PsyD
Associate Professor
Kean University

Research has shown that helping professions, such as mental health providers are highly at risk for experiencing burnout (Papovic, 2009). Burnout is physical and psychological exhaustion induced by excessive stress which typically results in a lack of motivation, energy, as well as a loss of personal identity. Three key aspects of burnout as described by Leiter and Maslach (2004) are emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Studies have found associations between burnout and psychological flexibility. (e.g., Lloyd, 2013; Martínez-Rubio et al., 2020). Psychological flexibility is described as self-awareness, present-focused, and mental adaptability. The present study examines the relationship between burnout and psychological flexibility among 84 forensic psychologists who have testified in court as expert witnesses. The measures used in this study consist of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS), Acceptance and Action Questionnaire (AAQ-II), and a demographics questionnaire. It is anticipated that forensic psychologists who have higher levels of psychological flexibility will have lower levels of burnout. Moderating variables, such as age, gender, length of time in practice, and number of cases testified in court will also be examined.

 

Poster #5

(In-Person)

 

 

Who are they? Exploring the Mental Health, Dating, and Sexual History of Self-Identified Incels

 

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First Author:

Marta Bettinelli, BS
masters student
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Co-Author:

Jennifer Romei, PhD
visiting assistant professor
Fairleigh Dickinson University

Co-Author:

Camilla Brulinski, MA
doctoral student
Fairleigh Dickinson University

In 2014, Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment before driving his car through Isla Vista, California, shooting three more to death and injuring 14 others with gunfire and blunt force trauma (Brown, 2015). Rodger was carrying out his “day of retribution” just as he had said he would, because he felt rejected by women. Three weeks before his rampage, he was visited by law enforcement officers from Santa Barbara during a welfare check. Although they were aware he had posted disturbing information online, they did not watch it (Brown, 2015) or seemingly understand its significance, missing a potentially crucial point of intervention. His manifesto and online videos have made him a hero to some who identify as “incel.” The incel label has been adopted as an identity by individuals who are unsuccessful in obtaining sexual contact or romantic relationships. The term was originally coined by a queer female student in 1993 to unite people of any gender who were unintentionally lonely, had never had sex or had not been in a relationship in a long time (Sugiura, 2021). However, the term incel has been appropriated by mostly celibate heterosexual adult males on the internet, giving rise to a virtual subculture of misogyny. Incels view themselves as unappealing “zeta males” (i.e., occupying the lowest rank in the social hierarchy) and blame women and feminist social values for their lack of romantic success. This group of men seek support from like-minded others on online forums, where they can bond as a virtual community through discussions about the incel’s existence and how the world is unfairly biased towards women and good-looking men, thereby validating one another in a negative feedback loop (Sugiura, 2021). The majority of research on the incel community to date has focused on the content of online posts and estimating the potential for physical violence, with the prevailing perception that the anger directed at women stems from unsuccessful attempts at intimate pair bonding (Sugiura, 2021; Speckhard & Ellenberg, 2022). However, little attention has been devoted to gaining an understanding of incels as a group. The current study explores the dating, sexual, and mental health history of a sample of 30 self-identified incels. Participants who self-identified as incels were recruited using Amazon Mturk and compensated $3.50 for completing a Qualtrics survey. In contradiction with the public perception that those ascribing to the incel ideology have never had an intimate relationship, results show a high self-reported frequency of consensual sexual involvement starting at age 12 through adulthood, including committing to an “official” relationship. The majority of incels also reported receiving a formal psychiatric diagnosis at some point in their life, yet only a small number maintained a relationship with a mental health professional for psychotherapy. Understanding the background of self-identified incels not only provides important contextual valence to their online posts, but also expands our comprehension of this hard-to-reach population. This may in turn provide valuable insights into conceptualization to maximize outcomes during critical points of intervention.