BRANE lab celebrates two newly accepted publications

December 17, 2018

Chen, Y., Anand, D., Thissen, D., Chen, L.H., Liang, H., & Daughters, S.B. (in press). Cultural differences in behavioral activation across samples from China, Taiwan, and the United States. European Journal of Psychological Assessment.

Objectives. Depression is prevalent in both China and Taiwan, and Behavioral Activation (BA), an evidence based treatment for depression, is ideally suited for cross cultural implementation. As a first step, the current study examined cross cultural differences in the understanding of BA constructs, by investigating item level differences in functioning between the English and Chinese versions of Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale (BADS and C-BADS; Kanter et al., 2007; Li et al., 2014). Methods. 752 college students were recruited from China, Taiwan, and the United States. Factorial invariance based differential item functioning (DIF) analysis was used to study item level differences in functioning for the BADS and C-BADS. Results. DIF was observed in the majority of BADS items, with items in the avoidance and impairment factors showing the greatest DIF. Conclusions. The constructs of avoidance and impairment demonstrate less cross-cultural generalizability compared to the activation construct. Suggestions for the implementation of DIF analysis for future cross cultural psychometric studies, and further modification of the C-BADS as a clinical assessment tool in China and Taiwan, are discussed.

Addicott, M.A., Daughters, S.B., Strauman, T.J., Appelbaum, L.G. (in press). Distress tolerance to auditory feedback and functional connectivity with the auditory cortex. Psychiatric Research: Neuroimaging.

Distress tolerance is the capacity to withstand negative affective states in pursuit of a goal. Low distress tolerance may bias an individual to avoid or escape experiences that induce affective distress, but the neural mechanisms underlying the bottom-up generation of distress and its relationship to behavioral avoidance are poorly understood. During a neuroimaging scan, healthy participants completed a mental arithmetic task with easy and distress phases, which differed in cognitive demands and positive versus negative auditory feedback. Then, participants were given the opportunity to continue playing the distress phase for a financial bonus and were allowed to quit at any time. The persistence duration was the measure of distress tolerance. The easy and distress phases activated auditory cortices and fronto-parietal regions. A task-based functional connectivity analysis using the left secondary auditory cortex (i.e., planum temporale) as the seed region revealed stronger connectivity to fronto-parietal regions and anterior insula during the distress phase. The distress-related connectivity between the seed region and the left anterior insula was negatively correlated with distress tolerance. The results provide initial evidence of the role of the anterior insula as a mediating link between the bottom-up generation of affective distress and top-down behavioral avoidance of distress.