Journal: Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland)
Traditional factors that once explained men’s sexual difficulties appear insufficient to account for the sharp rise in erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, decreased sexual satisfaction, and diminished libido during partnered sex in men under 40. This review (1) considers data from multiple domains, e.g., clinical, biological (addiction/urology), psychological (sexual conditioning), sociological; and (2) presents a series of clinical reports, all with the aim of proposing a possible direction for future research of this phenomenon. Alterations to the brain’s motivational system are explored as a possible etiology underlying pornography-related sexual dysfunctions. This review also considers evidence that Internet pornography’s unique properties (limitless novelty, potential for easy escalation to more extreme material, video format, etc.) may be potent enough to condition sexual arousal to aspects of Internet pornography use that do not readily transition to real-life partners, such that sex with desired partners may not register as meeting expectations and arousal declines. Clinical reports suggest that terminating Internet pornography use is sometimes sufficient to reverse negative effects, underscoring the need for extensive investigation using methodologies that have subjects remove the variable of Internet pornography use. In the interim, a simple diagnostic protocol for assessing patients with porn-induced sexual dysfunction is put forth.
Intermittent energy restriction (IER) has become popular as a means of weight control amongst people who are overweight and obese, and is also undertaken by normal weight people hoping spells of marked energy restriction will optimise their health. This review summarises randomised comparisons of intermittent and isoenergetic continuous energy restriction for weight loss to manage overweight and obesity. It also summarises the potential beneficial or adverse effects of IER on body composition, adipose stores and metabolic effects from human studies, including studies amongst normal weight subjects and relevant animal experimentation. Six small short term (<6 month) studies amongst overweight or obese individuals indicate that intermittent energy restriction is equal to continuous restriction for weight loss, with one study reporting greater reductions in body fat, and two studies reporting greater reductions in HOMA insulin resistance in response to IER, with no obvious evidence of harm. Studies amongst normal weight subjects and different animal models highlight the potential beneficial and adverse effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on ectopic and visceral fat stores, adipocyte size, insulin resistance, and metabolic flexibility. The longer term benefits or harms of IER amongst people who are overweight or obese, and particularly amongst normal weight subjects, is not known and is a priority for further investigation.
Many recognize that several behaviors potentially affecting the reward circuitry in human brains lead to a loss of control and other symptoms of addiction in at least some individuals. Regarding Internet addiction, neuroscientific research supports the assumption that underlying neural processes are similar to substance addiction. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recognized one such Internet related behavior, Internet gaming, as a potential addictive disorder warranting further study, in the 2013 revision of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Other Internet related behaviors, e.g., Internet pornography use, were not covered. Within this review, we give a summary of the concepts proposed underlying addiction and give an overview about neuroscientific studies on Internet addiction and Internet gaming disorder. Moreover, we reviewed available neuroscientific literature on Internet pornography addiction and connect the results to the addiction model. The review leads to the conclusion that Internet pornography addiction fits into the addiction framework and shares similar basic mechanisms with substance addiction. Together with studies on Internet addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder we see strong evidence for considering addictive Internet behaviors as behavioral addiction. Future research needs to address whether or not there are specific differences between substance and behavioral addiction.
Background: The minorities' diminished return theory suggests that socioeconomic position (SEP) generates smaller health gains for racial/ethnic minorities compared to Whites. The current study was a Black⁻White comparison of the association between household income and self-rated mental health (SRMH). Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the 2017 State of the State Survey (SOSS). With representative sampling, the SOSS generates results that are generalizable to the state of Michigan. This study included 881 adults, (n = 92) Black and (n = 782) White. The independent variable was household income. The dependent variable was SRMH, measured using a single item. Age, gender, and participation in the labor force were covariates. Race/ethnicity was the focal moderator. Logistic regression models were used for data analysis. Results: Overall, higher household income was associated with better SRMH, net of covariates. An interaction was found between race/ethnicity and household income on SRMH, suggesting a smaller, or nonexistent, protective effect for Blacks compared to Whites. In race/ethnicity-stratified models, higher household income was associated with better SRMH for Whites but not Blacks. Conclusion: Supporting the minorities' diminished return theory, our study documents differential effects for income on SRHM for Blacks and Whites, where Whites but not Blacks appear to benefit from their income. Given this, researchers and policy makers are cautioned against making assumptions that racial groups benefit equally from similar economic resources.
Discrimination is a common experience for Blacks across various developmental periods. Although much is known about the effect of discrimination on suicidal ideation of adults, less is known about the same association in Black youth.
Background: Recent research has suggested vulnerability to perceived racial discrimination (PRD) as a mechanism behind high levels of depression seen in high socioeconomic status (SES) Black males. To better understand the effects of gender and SES on shaping experiences of PRD among Black youth in the United States, we used data from the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS) to explore the trajectory of PRD in Black youth by gender, SES, and place. Methods: Data came from FACHS, 1997⁻2017, which followed 889 children aged 10⁻12 years old at Wave 1 (n = 478; 53.8% females and n = 411; 46.2% males) for up to 18 years. Data were collected in seven waves. The main predictors of interest were gender, SES (parent education and annual family income), age, and place of residence. Main outcomes of interest were baseline and slope of PRD. Latent growth curve modeling (LGCM) was used for data analysis. Results: Gender, SES, place, and age were correlated with baseline and change in PRD over time. Male, high family income, and younger Black youth reported lower PRD at baseline but a larger increase in PRD over time. Youth who lived in Iowa (in a predominantly White area) reported higher PRD at baseline and also an increase in PRD over time. High parental education was not associated with baseline or change in PRD. Conclusion: In the United States, Black youth who are male, high income, and live in predominantly White areas experience an increase in PRD over time. Future research is needed on the interactions between gender, SES, and place on exposure and vulnerability of Black youth to PRD. Such research may explain the increased risk of depression in high SES Black males.
A growing number of studies have shown that visiting green spaces and being exposed to natural environments can reduce psychological stress. A number of questions concerning the effects of natural environments on levels of stress remain including, “Are activities engaged in natural environments more or less beneficial at reducing stress when compared to those done in more urban settings?” This study examined this question from the perspective of “levels of nature”. That is, data on levels of stress were collected from three sites, one site having wilderness-like characteristics, a second site representing a municipal-type park, and a third site representing a built environment (indoor exercise facility) within a city. Data were generated using biophysical markers (cortisol and amylase) and a psychological measure within a pre- and post-visit format. Findings suggest that visiting natural environments can be beneficial in reducing both physical and psychological stress levels, with visitors to a natural environment reporting significantly lower levels of stress than their counterparts visiting a more urbanized outdoor setting or indoor exercise facility.
Physician burnout is a universal dilemma that is seen in healthcare professionals, particularly physicians, and is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a feeling of low personal accomplishment. In this review, we discuss the contributing factors leading to physician burnout and its consequences for the physician’s health, patient outcomes, and the healthcare system. Physicians face daily challenges in providing care to their patients, and burnout may be from increased stress levels in overworked physicians. Additionally, the healthcare system mandates physicians to keep a meticulous record of their physician-patient encounters along with clerical responsibilities. Physicians are not well-trained in managing clerical duties, and this might shift their focus from solely caring for their patients. This can be addressed by the systematic application of evidence-based interventions, including but not limited to group interventions, mindfulness training, assertiveness training, facilitated discussion groups, and promoting a healthy work environment.
The Dutch Fatigue In Teenagers on the interNET (FITNET) study claimed that after 6 months, internet based cognitive behaviour therapy in adolescents with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), led to a 63% recovery rate compared to 8% after usual care, and that this was maintained at long term follow up (LTFU). Our reanalysis shows that their post-hoc definition of recovery included the severely ill, the unblinded trial had no adequate control group and it used lax selection criteria as well as outcomes assessed via questionnaires rather than objective outcomes, further contributing to exaggerated recovery figures. Their decision not to publish the actometer results might suggest that these did not back their recovery claims. Despite these bias creating methodological faults, the trial still found no significant difference in recovery rates (“~60%”) at LTFU, the trial’s primary goal. This is similar to or worse than the documented 54-94% spontaneous recovery rates within 3-4 years, suggesting that both FITNET and usual care (consisting of cognitive behaviour and graded exercise therapies) are ineffective and might even impede natural recovery in adolescents with ME/CFS. This has implications for the upcoming costly NHS FITNET trial which is a blueprint of the Dutch study, exposing it to similar biases.
Background: Higher socioeconomic status is known to decrease the risk for poor mental health overall. However, African American males of higher socioeconomic status (SES) are at an increased risk for having a major depressive episode (MDE). It is not known whether perceived discrimination (PD) explains this risk. The current study used nationally representative data to explore the role of PD in explaining the association between high-SES and having MDE among African American men. Methods: The National Survey of American Life (NSAL), 2003, included 4461 American adults including 1271 African American men. SES indicators (i.e., household income, educational attainment, employment status, and marital status) were the independent variables. 12-month MDE measured using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) was the outcome. Age, gender, and region were the covariates. PD was the potential mediator. For data analysis, we used logistic regression. Results: Among African American men, household income was positively associated with odds of 12-month MDE. The positive association between household income and odds of MDE remained unchanged after adding PD to the model, suggesting that PD may not explain why high-income African American men are at a higher risk of MDE. Conclusions: Perceived discrimination does not explain the increased risk for depression among African American males of higher SES. Future research should explore the role of other potential mechanisms such as stress, coping, social isolation, and/or negative social interaction that may increase psychological costs of upward social mobility for African American males.