Clinical Psychology and Challenges of Current Uncertain Times in an Interdisciplinary Perspective

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 October 2023) | Viewed by 11190

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology, University of Padova, 35131 Padua, Italy
Interests: clinical and applied psychology; emergency management; health; social cohesion; language and sense making; text analysis, machine learning and natural language processing
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Thus far, the literature on clinical psychology has investigated the facets of psychological constructs of various types and scope of application. Nowadays, the theoretical framework in psychology appears to be fragmented: it fails to offer tools to the community that are effective and user-friendly in addressing the current challenges that increasingly prevail with great impact (pandemics, economic crises, wars, migration, population growth, etc.), and which may also question our survival.

Now, several disciplines have offered significant contributions to manage these challenges: think of chemistry and pharmacology, which have produced effective solutions in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, or computer science, which has developed algorithms to speed up the processing of increasingly voluminous databases.

On the contrary, can clinical psychology provide an equally concrete and effective contribution in supporting members of the human community to deal with the critical issues we experience on a daily basis, in a world that manifests itself as increasingly uncertain? How can studies in the field of psychology support the human community, generating methodologies and tools that can rule the uncertainty that characterizes our time, even while making use of the increasingly sophisticated technological support present in our lives?

Answering these questions requires clinical psychology to be increasingly precise and appropriate in its placement. Therefore, an increasingly dynamic and interdisciplinary approach is needed: one that produces useful and pragmatic answers, in which research and innovation, in collaboration with different disciplines, enable the maximization of the effectiveness of the solutions that the same clinical psychology can generate.

The path described above would increase the legitimacy of the service that clinical psychology can offer individuals and decision makers, as well as the human community itself; innovative tools and methodologies would increase the degree of its health and social cohesion, impacting the effectiveness of managing the uncertainties we are experiencing.

This Special Issue aims to involve all those professionals and researchers who see, in what has been described so far, the horizon for the development of clinical psychology. We invite all those who can offer measurement and evaluation tools, methodologies, and projects that can support individuals and groups in dealing with the uncertain current reality. Contributions in the interdisciplinary field are encouraged, with a high degree of innovation and expendability in everyday life contexts, for individuals, services, and institutions, and which generate useful and usable interfaces with technological support.

Dr. Gian Piero Turchi
Prof. Dr. Lydia Giménez-Llort
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • clinical psychology
  • current challenges
  • health
  • quality of life
  • emergency
  • multidisciplinary
  • innovations
  • community
  • assessment
  • development

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
Sexual Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis: The Role of Executive Function
by Silvia Marinetto, Alice Riccardi, Filippo Barbadoro, Veronica Pucci, Enrico Selini, Aghite Pavan, Francesca Rinaldi, Paola Perini, Marco Puthenparampil, Paolo Gallo and Sara Mondini
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13050369 - 29 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Cognitive impairment and sexual dysfunction are common symptoms in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The present study focuses on the relationship between these two dimensions by means of a specific assessment commonly used in clinical practice with this population. Fifty-five persons with a [...] Read more.
Cognitive impairment and sexual dysfunction are common symptoms in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The present study focuses on the relationship between these two dimensions by means of a specific assessment commonly used in clinical practice with this population. Fifty-five persons with a diagnosis of MS underwent specific cognitive tests and answered clinical questionnaires. Two cognitive tests, one for memory (the Selective Reminding Test), and one for attention (the Symbol Digit Modalities Test), were administered together with two tests for executive functions (the D-KEFS Sorting Test and Stroop Test). Two self-report questionnaires to investigate clinical, psychological and sexual features (the Beck Depression Inventory-II and Self-perception of Cognition in Multiple Sclerosis and Multiple Sclerosis Intimacy and Sexuality Questionnaire-19), were also administered. The main result highlights that sexual difficulties are associated with cognitive deficits, particularly with executive disorders, but not with memory and attention. Furthermore, sexual difficulties are better explained when depression symptoms are also taken into account. This study disentangles the interaction between sexual dysfunction, cognitive impairment and depression in persons with MS by emphasising the role of very high cognitive processing (i.e., executive functioning) in determining human behaviour. Full article
19 pages, 4009 KiB  
Article
Who Is Afraid of Monkeypox? Analysis of Psychosocial Factors Associated with the First Reactions of Fear of Monkeypox in the Italian Population
by Filippo Maria Nimbi, Roberto Baiocco, Guido Giovanardi, Annalisa Tanzilli and Vittorio Lingiardi
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13030235 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1467
Abstract
Background: A rising number of monkeypox cases have been detected in Europe and several Western nations. Evaluating the fear associated with monkeypox is crucial to determine the necessity for tailored education and prevention programs for specific populations. This study explores the psychological and [...] Read more.
Background: A rising number of monkeypox cases have been detected in Europe and several Western nations. Evaluating the fear associated with monkeypox is crucial to determine the necessity for tailored education and prevention programs for specific populations. This study explores the psychological and social factors linked to the fear response to monkeypox. Methods: Nine self-report measures were completed by 333 participants (212 women, 110 men, and 11 individuals identifying as other genders) from the general Italian population, investigating different psychosocial variables. Results: The findings revealed that higher levels of monkeypox fear were linked to identifying as LGB+ or having close associations with the LGBTQI+ community, being single, having lower education levels, placing greater importance on religion, receiving more COVID-19 vaccine doses, having a lower current quality of life, and attributing increased impairment to the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychologically, higher levels of monkeypox fear were associated with higher levels of epistemic credulity, close-mindedness, anxiety, difficulty expressing emotions, and difficulty processing them. Conversely, lower levels of monkeypox fear were related to the belief that the media exaggerated the risks associated with monkeypox epidemics. A partial mediation model was presented and tested. Conclusions: Collecting and utilizing this data can help design targeted education and prevention programs to overcome the fear of monkeypox and promote healthier behaviors. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 474 KiB  
Review
Preventing, Mitigating, and Treating Women’s Perinatal Mental Health Problems during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Scoping Review of Reviews with a Qualitative Narrative Synthesis
by Pietro Grussu, Gianfranco J. Jorizzo, Fiona Alderdice and Rosa Maria Quatraro
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(5), 358; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13050358 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Meeting the mental health needs of perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious concern. This scoping review looks at how to prevent, mitigate or treat the mental health problems faced by women during a pandemic, and lays out suggestions for further [...] Read more.
Meeting the mental health needs of perinatal women during the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious concern. This scoping review looks at how to prevent, mitigate or treat the mental health problems faced by women during a pandemic, and lays out suggestions for further research. Interventions for women with pre-existing mental health problems or health problems that develop during the perinatal period are included. The literature in English published in 2020–2021 is explored. Hand searches were conducted in PubMed and PsychINFO using the terms COVID-19, perinatal mental health and review. A total of 13 systematic and scoping reviews and meta-analyses were included. This scoping review shows that every woman should be assessed for mental health issues at every stage of her pregnancy and postpartum, with particular attention to women with a history of mental health problems. In the COVID-19 era, efforts should be focused on reducing the magnitude of stress and a perceived sense of lack of control experienced by perinatal women. Helpful instructions for women with perinatal mental health problems include mindfulness, distress tolerance skills, relaxation exercises, and interpersonal relationship building skills. Further longitudinal multicenter cohort studies could help improve the current knowledge. Promoting perinatal resilience and fostering positive coping skills, mitigating perinatal mental health problems, screening all prenatal and postpartum women for affective disorders, and using telehealth services appear to be indispensable resources. In future, governments and research agencies will need to pay greater attention to the trade-offs of reducing the spread of the virus through lockdowns, physical distancing, and quarantine measures and developing policies to mitigate the mental health impact on perinatal women. Full article
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18 pages, 839 KiB  
Review
An Attempt to Conceptualize the Phenomenon of Stigma toward Intimate Partner Violence Survivors: A Systematic Review
by Federica Taccini and Stefania Mannarini
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(3), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13030194 - 21 Feb 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3150
Abstract
The objectives of the present manuscript were to review the literature on stigma toward survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) and to identify the most widely used assessment techniques to investigate this issue. The PRISMA guidelines were followed, and the systematic review was [...] Read more.
The objectives of the present manuscript were to review the literature on stigma toward survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) and to identify the most widely used assessment techniques to investigate this issue. The PRISMA guidelines were followed, and the systematic review was registered in PROSPERO, registration number: CRD42022327410. PsycINFO, Scopus, Web of Science, and PubMed were searched. Two authors selected and extracted data from eligible studies. In total, 4220 hits were returned from the database search, and of them, 24 articles met the inclusion criteria. The articles included in the review confirm the presence of stigma toward IPV survivors, which can be divided into public stigma and self-stigma. Specifically, 17 studies were related only to public stigma, 1 study focused only on self-stigma, and 6 articles investigated aspects related to both public and self-stigma. Both qualitative and quantitative studies have been conducted on this topic. The considerations on the methodologies and assessment measures used in the included studies will be discussed in the results section. Based on the research included, it was possible to develop a contribution to the definition of stigma, which will be discussed in the article. Full article
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Other

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10 pages, 595 KiB  
Case Report
The Trajectory of Depression through Disenfranchised Grief in Young Widows in Times of COVID-19: A Case Report from Rural India
by Shagufta Nasir and Lydia Giménez-Llort
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13080653 - 4 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1712
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic was one of this century’s deadliest and most widespread viral outbreaks, with higher mortality rates in men than women. Disruptions in funeral rituals and customs, no social recognition of the losses, and limited social support have complicated the grieving process [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic was one of this century’s deadliest and most widespread viral outbreaks, with higher mortality rates in men than women. Disruptions in funeral rituals and customs, no social recognition of the losses, and limited social support have complicated the grieving process and are linked to disenfranchised (not openly acknowledged, socially recognized, or publicly mourned) grief. Depression is also highly comorbid with complicated grief. Losing a spouse can be devastating, and this is more severe for women with limited or no resources, who are vulnerable because of the patriarchal society. In the current COVID-19 era, increased uncertainty and disenfranchised grief can worsen the clinical scenario and hamper interventions, as highlighted by the present case report on disenfranchised grief with depressive symptoms in a 30-year-old woman from rural India who, after a year of marriage, lost her husband due to COVID-19. This case study emphasizes the impact of multiple types of disadvantages due to sociodemographic and cultural determinants that can complicate the grieving process in the current context. The bioecological model of grief recovery considers individual features and societal/environmental factors to postulate the appropriate intervention. Finding meaning and purpose in life and restoration-oriented coping were successful for the clinical management of the patient. Full article
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