Publications by authors named "Monica A Marsee"

15 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Developmental Variation in Amygdala Volumes: Modeling Differences Across Time, Age, and Puberty.

Biol Psychiatry Cogn Neurosci Neuroimaging 2021 Jan 25;6(1):117-125. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Electronic address:

Background: There is evidence that the amygdala undergoes extensive development. The exact nature of this change remains less clear, with evidence suggesting linear, curvilinear, and null effects. The aim of this study was the identification of a normative reference of left and right amygdala development by parceling variance into separate effects of age and longitudinal growth.

Methods: Data came from the National Institutes of Health MRI Study of Normal Brain Development. Participants in this sample were 54% female and ranged in age from 5 to 18 years (mean = 11.37 years) at study entry.

Results: As predicted, the age at initial scan moderated the slope of both left and right amygdala volumes, demonstrating that the nature of longitudinal growth varies across age (i.e., steeper slopes observed among those first scanned at an early age). Follow-up analysis showed that the positive longitudinal growth slope becomes nonsignificant at 13.1 years of age for the left amygdala and at 14.5 years for the right amygdala, suggesting that growth of the left amygdala peaks earlier than growth of the right amygdala.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that rapid increases in volumes at early ages decline as youths enter adolescence and may turn to minor declines in volume during late adolescence or early adulthood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2020.08.006DOI Listing
January 2021

Emotional Reactivity and Antisocial Behavior Relative to Posttraumatic Stress Symptom Expression: a Latent Profile Analysis.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2019 08;47(8):1339-1350

Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, W112 Lagomarcino Hall, 901 Stange Rd., Ames, IA, 50011, USA.

This study examined whether emotional reactivity was associated with violent juvenile offending in a sample of detained boys (N = 198). It was predicted that Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) would reveal a "low reactivity" group, characterized by symptoms of emotional numbing and callous-unemotional (CU) traits, and a "high reactivity" group, characterized by symptoms of hyperarousal and emotional dysregulation. It was hypothesized that the low reactivity group would have higher rates of violent offending and proactive aggression than the high reactivity group. Contrary to expectations, results indicated that the presence of both emotional numbing and hyperarousal symptoms, but not hyperarousal symptoms alone, were associated with higher rates of violent offending, CU traits, and proactive aggression. Results indicate that the risk of serious aggressive behavior and violent offending may be highest among youth who are easily provoked to respond aggressively (i.e., hyperarousal symptoms) while simultaneously able to maintain emotional detachment (i.e., elevated emotional numbing symptoms and CU traits).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-019-00514-9DOI Listing
August 2019

Identifying mental health issues in detained youth: Testing the structure and invariance of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Inventory-Version 2 (MAYSI-2).

Psychol Assess 2017 06;29(6):720-726

Jefferson Parish Department of Juvenile Services.

This study examined the factor structure of the Massachusetts Youth Screening Instrument-Version 2 (MAYSI-2), a brief self-report measure designed to flag clinically significant mental health needs among youth entering the juvenile justice system. Participants were 981 detained youth in the southeastern United States (mean age = 14.58 years; SD = 1.28 years; 67.5% male; 71.5% African American). Confirmatory factor analyses showed that a seven-factor model represented a satisfactory solution for the data, similar to previous research. The factor structure fit well across gender, age group, race (Black/White), and offense type (violent/nonviolent). Given the widespread use of the MAYSI-2 in juvenile justice settings, examining its psychometric properties is of key importance. Implications and limitations of the study are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000410DOI Listing
June 2017

The Moderating Role of Anxiety in the Associations of Callous-Unemotional Traits with Self-Report and Laboratory Measures of Affective and Cognitive Empathy.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2017 04;45(3):583-596

Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.

In a sample of detained male adolescents (n = 107; Mean age = 15.50; SD = 1.30), we tested whether anxiety moderated the association of CU traits with self-report and computerized measures of affective (emotional reactivity) and cognitive (affective facial recognition and Theory of Mind [ToM]) empathy. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that CU traits were negatively associated with self-reports of affective empathy and this association was not moderated by level of anxiety. Significant interactions revealed that CU traits were negatively associated with cognitive empathy (self-report) only at high levels of anxiety, whereas CU traits were positively associated with cognitive empathy on the ToM task only at low levels of anxiety. CU traits were also associated with greater fear recognition accuracy at low levels of anxiety. Implications for understanding and treating different variants of CU traits (i.e., primary and secondary) are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-016-0179-zDOI Listing
April 2017

Using self-reported callous-unemotional traits to cross-nationally assess the DSM-5 'With Limited Prosocial Emotions' specifier.

J Child Psychol Psychiatry 2015 Nov 31;56(11):1249-61. Epub 2014 Oct 31.

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Background: The presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits designates an important subgroup of antisocial youth at risk for severe, persistent, and impairing conduct problems. As a result, the fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual includes a specifier for youth meeting diagnostic criteria for Conduct Disorder who show elevated CU traits. The current study evaluated the DSM-5 criteria using Item Response Theory (IRT) analyses and evaluated two methods for using a self-report measure of CU traits to make this diagnosis.

Methods: The sample included 2257 adolescent (M age = 15.64, SD = 1.69 years) boys (53%) and girls (47%) from community and incarcerated settings in the United States and the European countries of Belgium, Germany, and Cyprus.

Results: IRT analyses suggested that four- or eight-item sets from the self-report measure (comparable to the symptoms used by the DSM-5 specifier) provided good model fit, suggesting that they assess a single underlying CU construct. Further, the most stringent method of scoring the self-report scale (i.e. taking only the most extreme responses) to approximate symptom presence provided the best discrimination in IRT analyses, showed reasonable prevalence rates of the specifier, and designated community adolescents who were highly antisocial, whereas the less stringent method best discriminated detained youth.

Conclusions: Refined self-report scales developed on the basis of IRT findings provided good assessments of most of the symptoms used in the DSM-5 criteria. These scales may be used as one component of a multimethod assessment of the 'With Limited Prosocial Emotions' specifier for Conduct Disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12357DOI Listing
November 2015

Profiles of the forms and functions of self-reported aggression in three adolescent samples.

Dev Psychopathol 2014 Aug;26(3):705-20

University of New Orleans.

In the current study, we addressed several issues related to the forms (physical and relational) and functions (reactive and proactive) of aggression in community (n = 307), voluntary residential (n = 1,917), and involuntarily detained (n = 659) adolescents (ages 11-19 years). Across samples, boys self-reported more physical aggression and girls reported more relational aggression, with the exception of higher levels of both forms of aggression in detained girls. Further, few boys showed high rates of relational aggression without also showing high rates of physical aggression. In contrast, it was not uncommon for girls to show high rates of relational aggression alone, and these girls tended to also have high levels of problem behavior (e.g., delinquency) and mental health problems (e.g., emotional dysregulation and callous-unemotional traits). Finally, for physical aggression in both boys and girls, and for relational aggression in girls, there was a clear pattern of aggressive behavior that emerged from cluster analyses across samples. Two aggression clusters emerged, with one group showing moderately high reactive aggression and a second group showing both high reactive and high proactive aggression (combined group). On measures of severity (e.g., self-reported delinquency and arrests) and etiologically important variables (e.g., emotional regulation and callous-unemotional traits), the reactive aggression group was more severe than a nonaggressive cluster but less severe than the combined aggressive cluster.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954579414000339DOI Listing
August 2014

Callous-unemotional traits in incarcerated adolescents.

Psychol Assess 2014 Mar 30;26(1):227-237. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

Department of Psychology and Social Behavior, University of California, Irvine.

The presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits designates a subgroup of antisocial youth at risk for severe, aggressive, and stable conduct problems. As a result, these traits should be considered as part of the criteria for conduct disorder. The present study tests 2 possible symptom sets (4- and 9-item criteria sets) of CU traits that could be used in diagnostic classification, assessed using self-report with a sample of 643 incarcerated adolescent (M age = 16.50, SD = 1.63 years) boys (n = 493) and girls (n = 150). Item response theory analysis was employed to examine the unique characteristics of each criterion comprising the 2 sets to determine their clinical utility. Results indicated that most items comprising the measure of CU traits demonstrated adequate psychometric properties. Whereas the 9-item criteria set provided more information and was internally consistent, the briefer 4-item set was equally effective at identifying youth at-risk for poor outcomes associated with the broader CU construct. Supporting the clinical utility of the criteria sets, incarcerated boys and girls who endorsed high levels of CU symptoms across criteria sets were particularly at-risk for proactive aggression and violent delinquency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0034585DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6456039PMC
March 2014

Secrets from friends and parents: longitudinal links with depression and antisocial behavior.

J Adolesc 2013 Aug 7;36(4):685-93. Epub 2013 Jun 7.

University of New Orleans, Dept. of Psychology, GP 2001, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.

Keeping secrets from parents is associated with depression and antisocial behavior. The current study tested whether keeping secrets from best friends is similarly linked to maladjustment, and whether associations between secrecy and maladjustment are moderated by the quality of the friendship. Adolescents (N = 181; 51% female, 48% white, non-Hispanic, 45% African American) reported their secrecy from parents and best friends, the quality of their parent-adolescent relationships and best friendships, and their depression and antisocial behavior at ages 12 and 13. Keeping more secrets from best friends was associated with more depression, but not with more antisocial behavior, when controlling for earlier adjustment, secrecy from parents, and the quality of the friendship. For girls associations between maladjustment and secrecy were conditioned by the quality of the relationships and whether secrets were kept from parents and friends. Discussion argues for expanding the study of secrecy in adolescence beyond the parent-child dyad.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2013.05.001DOI Listing
August 2013

Aggressive behavior and its associations with posttraumatic stress and academic achievement following a natural disaster.

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 2014 24;43(1):43-50. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

a Department of Psychology , University of New Orleans.

Despite an abundance of evidence linking maltreatment and violence-related trauma exposure to externalizing problems in youth, there is surprisingly little evidence to support a direct link between disaster exposure and youth aggressive behavior. This study tested the theory that there is primarily an indirect association between disaster exposure and aggression via posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. The current study also examined the association between aggression and academic achievement. A sample of 191 4th- to 8th-grade minority youth who experienced Hurricane Katrina were assessed for aggressive behavior using the Peer Conflict Scale (PCS), disaster exposure, PTSD symptoms, and academic achievement. Structural equation modeling of the set of associations was consistent with the theory suggesting that there is an indirect link between disaster exposure and aggression through PTSD symptoms. Aggression was negatively associated with academic achievement, and modeling indicated that the set of associations was age and gender invariant. Findings advance the theoretical understanding of the linkage between aggression and disaster exposure. Findings also support the utility of the PCS in disaster research and the link between PCS scores and academic achievement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2013.807733DOI Listing
June 2014

Assessing the forms and functions of aggression using self-report: factor structure and invariance of the Peer Conflict Scale in youths.

Psychol Assess 2011 Sep;23(3):792-804

Department of Psychology.

This study examined the structure of a self-report measure of the forms and functions of aggression in 855 adolescents (582 boys, 266 girls) aged 12 to 19 years recruited from high school, detained, and residential settings. The Peer Conflict Scale (PCS) is a 40-item measure that was developed to improve upon existing measures and provide an efficient, reliable, and valid assessment of four dimensions of aggression (i.e., reactive overt, reactive relational, proactive overt, and proactive relational) in youths. Confirmatory factor analyses showed that a 4-factor model represented a satisfactory solution for the data. The factor structure fit well for both boys and girls and across high school, detained, and residential samples. Internal consistency estimates were good for the 4 factors, and they showed expected associations with externalizing variables (i.e., arrest history, callous-unemotional traits, and delinquency). Reactive and proactive subtypes showed unique associations consistent with previous literature. Implications for the use of the PCS to assess aggression and inform intervention decisions in diverse samples of youths are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0023369DOI Listing
September 2011

Reactive aggression and posttraumatic stress in adolescents affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Authors:
Monica A Marsee

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 2008 Jul;37(3):519-29

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.

The current study tests a theoretical model illustrating a potential pathway to reactive aggression through exposure to a traumatic event (Hurricane Katrina) in 166 adolescents (61% female, 63% Caucasian) recruited from high schools on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. Results support an association between exposure to Hurricane Katrina and reactive aggression via posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and poorly regulated emotion. The proposed model fits well for both boys and girls; however, results suggest that minority youth in this sample were more likely to experience emotional dysregulation in relation to posttraumatic stress than Caucasian youth. Further, results indicate that hurricane exposure, PTSD symptoms, and poorly regulated emotion are associated with reactive aggression even after controlling for proactive aggression. These findings have implications for postdisaster mental health services. Researchers examining mental health problems in youth after a significant disaster have traditionally focused on the presence of internalizing problems such as anxiety, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, with very little empirical attention paid to the incidence of post-disaster externalizing problems such as aggression. Specific types of aggressive responses, particularly those that involve poorly regulated emotion (i.e., reactive aggression), have been shown to be associated with a history of trauma and thus may be especially common following a traumatic event such as a hurricane.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374410802148152DOI Listing
July 2008

Assessing callous-unemotional traits in adolescent offenders: validation of the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits.

Int J Law Psychiatry 2008 Jun-Jul;31(3):241-52. Epub 2008 Jun 2.

Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, Louis de la Parte Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, 13301 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

The presence of callous-unemotional (CU) traits designates an important subgroup of antisocial youth. To improve upon existing measures, the Inventory of Callous-Unemotional Traits (ICU) was developed to provide an efficient, reliable, and valid assessment of CU traits in samples of youth. The current study tests the factor structure and correlates of the ICU scale in a sample (n=248) of juvenile offenders (188 boys, 60 girls) between the ages of 12 and 20 (M=15.47, SD=1.37). Confirmatory factor analyses are consistent with the presence of three independent factors (i.e., Uncaring, Callousness, and Unemotional) that relate to a higher-order callous-unemotional dimension. Also, CU traits overall showed associations with aggression, delinquency, and both psychophysiological and self-report indices of emotional reactivity. There were some important differences across the three facets of the ICU in their associations with these key external criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2008.04.002DOI Listing
October 2008

Exploring the cognitive and emotional correlates to proactive and reactive aggression in a sample of detained girls.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2007 Dec 18;35(6):969-81. Epub 2007 Jul 18.

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.

The current study examined the distinction between reactive and proactive aggression in a sample of detained girls (N = 58) aged 12 to 18. This study employed a self-report measure of aggression that was designed explicitly to assess both the forms that aggression takes (i.e., relational and overt), as well as the functions that aggression serves (i.e., reactive and proactive). Reactive aggression was uniquely associated with poorly regulated emotion and anger to perceived provocation, whereas proactive aggression was uniquely associated with callous-unemotional (CU) traits and biased outcome expectations for aggression. While overt aggression appeared to largely account for these associations, relational aggression showed strong and unique associations with CU traits. The current findings highlight the importance of assessing reactive and proactive aggression, as well as both overt and relational aggression, in detained girls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-007-9147-yDOI Listing
December 2007

The psychosocial impact of Hurricane Katrina: contextual differences in psychological symptoms, social support, and discrimination.

Behav Res Ther 2007 Oct 10;45(10):2295-306. Epub 2007 May 10.

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.

This study tested a contextual model of disaster reaction by examining regional differences in the psychosocial impact of Hurricane Katrina. A total of 386 individuals participated in this study. All were recruited in the primary areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and included residents of metropolitan New Orleans (Orleans Parish, Louisiana), Greater New Orleans (i.e., Metairie, Kenner, Gretna), and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (i.e., cities along the coast from Waveland to Ocean Springs, Mississippi). Participants were assessed for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, other psychological symptoms, perceptions of discrimination, perceptions of social support, evacuation distance, and the extent to which they experienced hurricane-related stressful events. Results were consistent with previous research on the impact of disasters on mental health symptoms. Findings extended research on individual differences in the response to trauma and indicated that regional context predicted unique variance in the experience of discrimination, social support, and emotional symptoms consistent with the theoretical model presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2007.04.013DOI Listing
October 2007

The association of psychopathic traits with aggression and delinquency in non-referred boys and girls.

Behav Sci Law 2005 ;23(6):803-17

Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, LA 70148, USA.

The current study investigated the association of psychopathic traits with aggression and delinquency in a non-referred sample of boys (n=86) and girls (n=114) in the fifth through ninth grades at two public schools in a large urban area. Psychopathic traits were measured by both teacher- and self-report ratings, whereas aggression and delinquency were assessed through self-report ratings. Self-reported psychopathic traits were associated with both aggression and delinquency and teacher-reported psychopathic traits were associated with higher levels of aggression. There were no clear differences for the callous-unemotional, narcissism, or impulsivity dimensions in their associations with aggression and delinquency. Also, psychopathic traits predicted aggression and delinquency for both boys and girls. The one clear gender difference was in the stronger associations between psychopathic traits and relational aggression for girls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl.662DOI Listing
April 2006