Publications by authors named "Robert Ackerman"

44 Publications

Self-reported social functioning and social cognition in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: Using ecological momentary assessment to identify the origin of bias.

Schizophr Res 2021 Mar 2;230:17-23. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, United States of America; Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center, Miami, FL, United States of America. Electronic address:

Objectives: People with schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar illness (BPI) generate self-reports of their functioning that diverge from objective information. It has been suggested that these participants do not base such reports on daily experiences, relying on other information. We used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to sample socially relevant daily activities in SCZ and BPI and related them to self-reported and observer-rated social functioning and social cognitive ability.

Methods: 71 people with (BPI) were compared to 102 people with SCZ. Participants were sampled 3 times per day for 30 days with a smartphone-based survey. Each survey asked where they were, with whom they were, what they were doing, and if they were sad. Participants and observers were asked to provide ratings on social functioning and social cognitive abilities at the end of the EMA period.

Results: There was no association between being home or alone and self-reports of everyday social functioning. In contrast observer ratings were highly correlated with the momentary survey results. Reports of very low levels of sadness were associated with overestimated functioning and participants who were commonly home and alone rated their social functioning as better than participants who were commonly away in the presence of others.

Implications: Both SCZ and BPI were marked by a disconnect between momentary experiences and self-reports. The largest effect was overestimation of functioning by participants who reported no sadness. Experience appears important, as participants who were routinely home and alone reported better social functioning than participants who spent more time others.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2021.02.011DOI Listing
March 2021

COVID-19-related psychological distress and engagement in preventative behaviors among individuals with severe mental illnesses.

NPJ Schizophr 2021 Feb 3;7(1). Epub 2021 Feb 3.

Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.

Individuals with severe mental illnesses (SMIs) may be disproportionately vulnerable to COVID-19 infection and psychological distress. This study investigated the prevalence of engagement in COVID-19 preventative behaviors, predictors of these behaviors, and COVID-19-related psychological distress. One hundred and sixty-three individuals with SMIs (94 with schizophrenia spectrum illnesses and 69 with affective disorders) and 27 psychiatrically healthy comparison participants were recruited from ongoing studies across 3 sites, to complete a phone survey querying implementation of 8 specific COVID-19 preventative behaviors that participants engaged in at least once in the past month as well as standard assessments of depression, anxiety, perceived stress, loneliness, and coping. Data were collected between 3 April 2020 and 4 June 2020. The large majority of our SMI sample, which consisted of outpatients with relatively mild symptom severity, endorsed engaging in multiple preventative behaviors. Relatively few differences were found between groups; however, individuals with SMI were less likely to work remotely than healthy individuals and individuals with schizophrenia spectrum illness were less likely to stay home as a preventative measure, wear face masks, and work remotely than individuals with affective disorders. Differences in staying home remained after controlling for potential confounds. Although individuals with SMI reported more psychological distress related to COVID-19, this distress was largely unrelated to engagement in preventative behaviors. The large majority of individuals with SMI in this outpatient sample, regardless of broad diagnostic category, reported performing multiple behaviors intended to prevent COVID-19 infection at least once a month and reported distress associated with the pandemic. These findings suggest a good level of awareness of COVID-19 among stable outpatients with SMI. The degree to which more acutely ill persons with SMI engage in such preventative behaviors, however, remains to be examined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41537-021-00136-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859192PMC
February 2021

Social Cognition, Social Skill, and Social Motivation Minimally Predict Social Interaction Outcomes for Autistic and Non-Autistic Adults.

Front Psychol 2020 25;11:591100. Epub 2020 Nov 25.

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, United States.

Social cognition, social skill, and social motivation have been extensively researched and characterized as atypical in autistic people, with the assumption that each mechanistically contributes to the broader social interaction difficulties that diagnostically define the condition. Despite this assumption, research has not directly assessed whether or how these three social domains contribute to actual real-world social interaction outcomes for autistic people. The current study administered standardized measures of social cognition, social skill, and social motivation to 67 autistic and 58 non-autistic (NA) adults and assessed whether performance on these measures, both individually and relationally between dyadic partners, predicted outcomes for autistic and NA adults interacting with unfamiliar autistic and NA partners in a 5 minute unstructured "get to know you" conversation. Consistent with previous research, autistic adults scored lower than NA adults on the three social domains and were evaluated less favorably by their conversation partners. However, links between autistic adults' performance on the three social domains and their social interaction outcomes were minimal and, contrary to prediction, only the social abilities of NA adults predicted some interaction outcomes within mixed diagnostic dyads. Collectively, results suggest that reduced performance by autistic adults on standardized measures of social cognition, social skill, and social motivation do not correspond in clear and predictable ways with their real-world social interaction outcomes. They also highlight the need for the development and validation of more ecological assessments of autistic social abilities and the consideration of relational dynamics, not just individual characteristics, when assessing social disability in autism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.591100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7723837PMC
November 2020

The Intersection of Regional Anesthesia and Cancer Progression: A Theoretical Framework.

Cancer Control 2020 Jan-Dec;27(1):1073274820965575

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

The surgical stress and inflammatory response and volatile anesthetic agents have been shown to promote tumor metastasis in animal and in-vitro studies. Regional neuraxial anesthesia protects against these effects by decreasing the surgical stress and inflammatory response and associated changes in immune function in animals. However, evidence of a similar effect in humans remains equivocal due to the high variability and retrospective nature of clinical studies and difficulty in directly comparing regional versus general anesthesia in humans. We propose a theoretical framework to address the question of regional anesthesia as protective against metastasis.This theoretical construct views the immune system, circulating tumor cells, micrometastases, and inflammatory mediators as distinct populations in a highly connected system. In ecological theory, highly connected populations demonstrate more resilience to local perturbations but are prone to system-wide shifts compared with their poorly connected counterparts. Neuraxial anesthesia transforms the otherwise system-wide perturbations of the surgical stress and inflammatory response and volatile anesthesia into a comparatively local perturbation to which the system is more resilient. We propose this framework for experimental and mathematical models to help determine the impact of anesthetic choice on recurrence and metastasis and create therapeutic strategies to improve cancer outcomes after surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1073274820965575DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7791454PMC
October 2020

A Longitudinal Investigation of the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Individuals with Pre-existing Severe Mental Illnesses.

Psychiatry Res 2020 12 1;294:113493. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA.

Objective: Individuals with severe mental illnesses (SMI), including schizophrenia spectrum illnesses and affective disorders, may be at increased risk for negative mental health outcomes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study compared the severity of pre-pandemic symptoms and affective experiences to current symptoms to evaluate this possibility.

Methods: 148 individuals with SMI (92 with schizophrenia spectrum illnesses and 56 with affective disorders) were recruited from ongoing ecological momentary assessment studies that sampled day-to-day experiences and symptom severity prior to the pandemic. Participants completed a one-time phone survey that queried these same experiences/symptoms between April and June of 2020.

Results: Severity of affective experiences and psychotic symptoms remained stable across time, as did sleep duration. Well-being and the number of substances used increased during the early months of the pandemic. Increases in well-being were associated with being female and spending less time alone pre-pandemic. Patterns of stability/change did not differ according to diagnostic category.

Conclusions: At this relatively early stage, individuals with SMI are not reporting a worsening of symptoms or affective experiences and instead appear to be resilient in the face of the pandemic. Continued assessment is needed to determine whether this resilience will persist as the pandemic progresses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2020.113493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7528831PMC
December 2020

Cognitive and Social Cognitive Self-assessment in Autistic Adults.

J Autism Dev Disord 2020 Sep 20. Epub 2020 Sep 20.

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, 75080, USA.

An aspect of metacognition associated with broader functional abilities in several clinical conditions, but previously unexamined in autism, is self-assessment (i.e., the ability to accurately self-evaluate one's own performance). We compared self-assessment between 37 autistic adults without intellectual disability to 39 non-autistic (NA) controls on a series of three general cognitive and three social cognitive tasks. Whereas autistic adults and NA adults did not differ in their self-assessment accuracy on general cognitive tasks, they did on social cognitive tasks, with autistic adults demonstrating lower accuracy. The direction of their inaccuracy was variable (i.e., both over and underestimation), and self-assessment was largely unrelated to their level of social functioning. Over versus underestimation may have different functional implications, and warrants future investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04722-xDOI Listing
September 2020

Self-Absorbed and Socially (Network) Engaged: Narcissistic Traits and Social Networking Site Use.

J Res Pers 2020 Feb 11;84. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

College of Health and Human Sciences, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN, 47907, Purdue University, United States.

Across two studies, the current research investigated how different dimensions of narcissism (grandiosity/agentic extraversion, entitlement/self-centered antagonism, vulnerability/narcissistic neuroticism) relate to social networking site (SNS) use and behaviors. Study 1 employed a community sample of young adults, whereas Study 2 examined college students. Participants completed assessments of narcissism and SNS use through an online survey. Grandiosity/agentic extraversion was generally associated with greater levels of downward social comparison relative to the other two dimensions. Entitlement/self-centered antagonism generally showed weak correlations with SNS outcomes. Vulnerability/narcissistic neuroticism was generally associated with greater upward social comparison and perceived social exclusion relative to the other two dimensions. Results suggest that SNS experiences may vary depending on the dimensions of narcissism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2019.103898DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7451760PMC
February 2020

Epidural anesthesia may be associated with increased postoperative complications in the elderly population undergoing radical cystectomy: an analysis from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) database.

World J Urol 2021 Feb 21;39(2):433-441. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Genitourinary Oncology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, USA.

Background: Epidural anesthesia has been associated with a decrease in cardiopulmonary complications and a decrease in blood loss in orthopedic procedures. Its influence on the outcomes of patients receiving radical cystectomies is unknown. We aim to use the large national database from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Project (NSQIP) to examine whether postoperative complications may be affected by the use of epidural anesthesia during radical cystectomy.

Methods: Data were collected from the 2014-2016 participant user files of the NSQIP database. Patients receiving radical cystectomy were identified by CPT code and further stratified by anesthesia type. Demographics, length of stay, and 30-day complications including death were collected and analyzed using univariable and multivariable analysis.

Results: A total of 6448 patients met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Between 2014 and 2016, 5064 patients received general anesthesia only (GA) and 1384 patients received general and epidural anesthesia (GEA). Statistical analysis showed an overall increase in major complications (17.8% vs 18.5%) in the GEA group (p = 0.0046). Subgroup analysis showed major complications to be more likely in patients older than 75 years receiving GEA instead of GA (p = 0.0301).

Conclusions: Elderly patients (age > 75) undergoing radical cystectomy may experience more major complications with the use of epidural anesthesia. This may be due to end-organ effects from the hemodynamic changes of epidural anesthesia which are poorly tolerated in the elderly population. Further single intervention epidural studies need to be performed to isolate the effects of epidural anesthesia on individual surgical procedures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-020-03212-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771372PMC
February 2021

Anesthetic and analgesic methods for gynecologic brachytherapy: A meta-analysis and systematic review.

Brachytherapy 2020 May - Jun;19(3):328-336. Epub 2020 Feb 29.

Department of Anesthesiology, Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, FL. Electronic address:

Gynecologic brachytherapy procedures require targeted procedural and anesthetic needs including optimization of intra- and post-procedure analgesia, low rate of complications, and appropriate and timely transitions of care. It is uncertain whether neuraxial or general anesthesia is superior for these and other anesthetic outcomes. After a targeted search of the recent literature for anesthesia and analgesia studies for gynecologic brachytherapy, twenty studies were identified and appraised for potential review. Meta-analysis showed a decreased frequency in rescue analgesic administration in patients who underwent neuraxial anesthesia compared with general anesthesia for the procedure and literature review showed a comparable rate of anesthesia-related complications. Neuraxial anesthesia may be considered for gynecologic brachytherapy because of improved pain control, decreased opioid consumption, and similar rate of anesthesia complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brachy.2020.01.006DOI Listing
January 2021

Outcomes of real-world social interaction for autistic adults paired with autistic compared to typically developing partners.

Autism 2020 07 11;24(5):1067-1080. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

The University of Texas at Dallas, USA.

Differences in social communication and interaction styles between autistic and typically developing have been studied in isolation and not in the context of real-world social interaction. The current study addresses this "blind spot" by examining whether real-world social interaction quality for autistic adults differs when interacting with typically developing relative to autistic partners. Participants (67 autism spectrum disorder, 58 typically developing) were assigned to one of three dyadic partnerships (autism-autism:  = 22; typically developing-typically developing:  = 23; autism-typically developing:  = 25; 55 complete dyads, 15 partial dyads) in which they completed a 5-min unstructured conversation with an unfamiliar person and then assessed the quality of the interaction and their impressions of their partner. Although autistic adults were rated as more awkward, less attractive, and less socially warm than typically developing adults by both typically developing and autistic partners, only typically developing adults expressed greater interest in future interactions with typically developing relative to autistic partners. In contrast, autistic participants trended toward an interaction preference for other autistic adults and reported disclosing more about themselves to autistic compared to typically developing partners. These results suggest that social affiliation may increase for autistic adults when partnered with other autistic people, and support reframing social interaction difficulties in autism as a relational rather than an individual impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362361319892701DOI Listing
July 2020

Incidence of Thromboembolic Events in Oncology Patients Receiving Intraoperative Tranexamic Acid During Orthopedic Surgery: A Retrospective Review at a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A A Pract 2020 Jan;14(2):63-66

Department of Anesthesiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.

Despite an abundance of evidence, routine perioperative antifibrinolytics have been avoided in oncology patients due to concern of thrombosis when given to patients with a preexisting hypercoagulable state. We present a retrospective review of 104 patients with an oncologic diagnosis who received intraoperative tranexamic acid during orthopedic surgery. Overall, complication rates were low, including deep vein thrombosis (1.0%), pulmonary embolism (4.8%), stroke (0%), and myocardial infarction (0%). This preliminary evidence shows that antifibrinolytics such as tranexamic acid may be considered perioperatively in oncology patients without increased risk of thromboembolic events; however, further prospective trials are encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1213/XAA.0000000000001129DOI Listing
January 2020

How Sweet Is This? A Review and Evaluation of Preoperative Carbohydrate Loading in the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Model.

Nutr Clin Pract 2020 Apr 21;35(2):246-253. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Department of Anesthesiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida, USA.

Preoperative carbohydrate loading is a contemporary element of the enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) paradigm. In addition to intraoperative surgical and anesthetic modifications and postoperative care practices, preoperative optimization is essential to good postsurgical outcomes. What was long held as dogma, a period of prolonged fasting prior to the administration of anesthesia, was later re-examined and challenged. Along with the proposed physiologic effects of decreasing the surgical stress response and insulin resistance, preoperative carbohydrate loading was also demonstrated to improve patient satisfaction and well-being, without an increase in perioperative complications. The benefits are most strongly observed in abdominal and cardiac surgery patients, but there has also been data which support its use in other specialties and surgeries. Barriers to the adoption of perioperative carbohydrate loading are few, but importantly include overcoming the inertia to modify older and more restrictive fasting guidelines and achieving the multidisciplinary consensus necessary to implement such changes. Despite these challenges, and with an existing body of evidence supporting its benefits, preoperative carbohydrate loading presents a significant contribution to the ERAS programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ncp.10427DOI Listing
April 2020

The healthy personality from a basic trait perspective.

J Pers Soc Psychol 2020 Jun 7;118(6):1207-1225. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Department of Psychology, Michigan State University.

What basic personality traits characterize the psychologically healthy individual? The purpose of this article was to address this question by generating an expert-consensus model of the healthy person in the context of the 30 facets (and 5 domains) of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992) system of traits. In a first set of studies, we found that the healthy personality can be described, with a high level of agreement, in terms of the 30 facets of the NEO-PI-R. High levels of openness to feelings, positive emotions, and straightforwardness, together with low levels on facets of neuroticism, were particularly indicative of healthy personality functioning. The expert-generated healthy personality profile was negatively correlated with profiles of pathological personality functioning and positively correlated with normative personality functioning. In a second set of studies, we matched the NEO-PI-R profiles of over 3,000 individuals from 7 different samples with the expert-generated healthy prototype to yield a healthy personality index. This index was characterized by good retest reliability and cross-rater agreement, high rank-order stability, and substantial heritability. Individuals with high scores on the healthy personality index were psychologically well-adjusted, had high self-esteem, good self-regulatory skills, an optimistic outlook on the world, and a clear and stable self-view. These individuals were low in aggression and meanness, unlikely to exploit others, and were relatively immune to stress and self-sufficient. We discuss the results in the light of their implications for both research and theory on healthy personality functioning. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000231DOI Listing
June 2020

Experiences with warmth in middle childhood predict features of text-message communication in early adolescence.

Dev Psychol 2019 Feb 27;55(2):351-365. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Department of Psychological Sciences.

This research explored whether experiences with warmth in middle childhood are linked to increased levels of positive affect, decreased levels of negative affect, and decreased levels of disagreeable interactions in text-message communication in adolescence. Participants included 218 children (and their parents and peers) who were on average 10.04-years-old ( = 0.43) in the 4th grade. In addition to being observed interacting with their parents and friends in the 4th thru 7th grade, participants were provided with BlackBerries configured to capture all incoming and outgoing text-message communication at the end of the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. Results suggest that observed expressions of warmth are primarily relationship-specific. Further, greater exchanges of warmth within the parent-child and friend-child relationships predicted lower levels of negative affect and duplicity within digital communication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6349490PMC
February 2019

Enhanced REVENUE After Surgery? A Cost-Standardized Enhanced Recovery Pathway for Mastectomy Decreases Length of Stay.

World J Surg 2019 Mar;43(3):839-845

Department of Anesthesiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL, 33612, USA.

Background: Enhanced recovery after surgery (ERAS) protocols have been shown to improve surgical, anesthetic, and economic outcomes in intermediate-to-high-risk surgeries. Its influence on length of stay and cost of low-risk surgeries has yet to be robustly studied. As value-based patient care comes to the forefront of anesthesiology research, the focus shifts to strategies that maintain quality while effectively containing cost.

Methods: In July 2016, we implemented an ERAS for mastectomy protocol consisting of limiting fasting state, preoperative multimodal analgesia, and pectoralis I and II blocks. After 1 year, patient records were retrospectively reviewed for length of stay, opioid consumption, pain scores, and hospital charges.

Results: Implementation of an ERAS protocol for mastectomies led to a decrease in opioid consumption, and statistically significant decrease in length of stay (1.19 vs. 1.44, p = 0.01). No significant change in hospital charges was observed ($25,787 vs. $25,863, p = 0.97); however, the variance of charges was significantly decreased (6.8 × 10 vs. 1.5 × 10, p = 0.002). The decrease in length of stay translated to an extra 100 hospital bed days which can provide up to an additional $2,100,000 in gross patient service revenue from additional mastectomy volume.

Conclusion: ERAS protocols for mastectomies may prove beneficial by allowing growing hospitals to increase bed capacity and consequently surgical volume. Despite no change in hospital charges, we predict a potential increase in gross patient service revenue of $2.1 million due to saved hospital bed days.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00268-018-4850-0DOI Listing
March 2019

Current conceptualizations of narcissism.

Curr Opin Psychiatry 2019 01;32(1):32-37

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA.

Purpose Of Review: Definitions of narcissism have traditionally differed across psychiatry and subfields of psychology. This review aims to highlight emerging points of consensus and suggest further directions needed to obtain a more comprehensive and cohesive conceptualization of the construct.

Recent Findings: An emerging consensus is that stable individual differences in the phenotypic expression of narcissism are best captured with a taxonomy that includes the core traits of entitlement, grandiosity, and vulnerability. Recent work has also begun to conceptualize and assess narcissistic states matched with these dimensions. We combine emerging taxonomic knowledge with principles from Whole Trait Theory to propose a multilevel conceptualization of narcissism that focuses on its manifestation at the trait level, state level, and within-situation level.

Summary: Efforts to understand the phenotypic structure of the core traits associated with narcissism have been successful. As the field moves forward, it will become critical for researchers studying narcissism at multiple levels to align and integrate these perspectives so that a more comprehensive and cohesive conceptualization of the construct can be developed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/YCO.0000000000000463DOI Listing
January 2019

Are you seeing this: the impact of steep Trendelenburg position during robot-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy on intraocular pressure: a brief review of the literature.

J Robot Surg 2019 Feb 25;13(1):35-40. Epub 2018 Jul 25.

Department of Anesthesiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL, 33612, USA.

With the increasing popularity, frequency, and acceptance of the robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy procedure, an awareness of unique intra- and postoperative complications is heightened, including that of increases in intraocular pressure. The steep Trendelenburg positioning required for operative exposure has been shown to increase this value. While the literature is infrequent and undeveloped, certain anesthetic parameters including deep neuromuscular blockade, modified positioning, and the use of dexmedetomidine have been shown to have mild-to-modest decreases in intraocular pressure for baseline. In the four randomized control trials and four observational studies that were found via PubMed/Medline search, the aforementioned techniques demonstrate some preliminary evidence of operative considerations in this unique patient population. These modifications may prove to have even greater significance in patients with pre-existing ophthalmologic pathologies, such as glaucoma, which were excluded from the studies' analyses. This review summarizes the early literature obtained in this subject, with the intent of emphasizing the initial hypotheses and identifying areas for future study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11701-018-0857-7DOI Listing
February 2019

Mental Nerve Blocks for Lip Brachytherapy: A Case Report.

A A Pract 2018 May;10(10):265-266

From the Department of Anesthesiology, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida.

High dose rate interstitial brachytherapy is a commonly performed procedure for carcinoma of the lower lip. Placement of the brachytherapy catheters can be painful and may require monitored anesthesia care or general anesthesia. We present the use of bilateral mental nerve blocks with minimal sedation to facilitate placement of brachytherapy catheters.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1213/XAA.0000000000000681DOI Listing
May 2018

Vocabulary knowledge mediates the link between socioeconomic status and word learning in grade school.

J Exp Child Psychol 2018 Feb 2;166:679-695. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA.

The relationship between children's slow vocabulary growth and the family's low socioeconomic status (SES) has been well documented. However, previous studies have often focused on infants or preschoolers and primarily used static measures of vocabulary at multiple time points. To date, there is no research investigating whether SES predicts a child's word learning abilities in grade school and, if so, what mediates this relationship. In this study, 68 children aged 8-15 years performed a written word learning from context task that required using the surrounding text to identify the meaning of an unknown word. Results revealed that vocabulary knowledge significantly mediated the relationship between SES (as measured by maternal education) and word learning. This was true despite the fact that the words in the linguistic context surrounding the target word are typically acquired well before 8 years of age. When controlling for vocabulary, word learning from written context was not predicted by differences in reading comprehension, decoding, or working memory. These findings reveal that differences in vocabulary growth between grade school children from low and higher SES homes are likely related to differences in the process of word learning more than knowledge of surrounding words or reading skills. Specifically, children from lower SES homes are not as effective at using known vocabulary to build a robust semantic representation of incoming text to identify the meaning of an unknown word.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.10.003DOI Listing
February 2018

Sending and Receiving Text Messages with Sexual Content: Relations with Early Sexual Activity and Borderline Personality Features in Late Adolescence.

Comput Human Behav 2017 May 30;70:119-130. Epub 2016 Dec 30.

The University of Texas at Dallas.

This research examined adolescents' written text messages with sexual content to investigate how sexting relates to sexual activity and borderline personality features. Participants (N = 181, 85 girls) completed a measure of borderline personality features prior to 10 grade and were subsequently given smartphones configured to capture the content of their text messages. Four days of text messaging were micro-coded for content related to sex. Following 12 grade, participants reported on their sexual activity and again completed a measure of borderline personality features. Results showed that engaging in sexting at age 16 was associated with reporting an early sexual debut, having sexual intercourse experience, having multiple sex partners, and engaging in drug use in combination with sexual activity two years later. Girls engaging in sex talk were more likely to have had sexual intercourse by age 18. Text messaging about hypothetical sex in grade 10 also predicted borderline personality features at age 18. These findings suggest that sending text messages with sexual content poses risks for adolescents. Programs to prevent risky sexual activity and to promote psychological health could be enhanced by teaching adolescents to use digital communication responsibly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2016.12.082DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5560614PMC
May 2017

Validation of the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire Short Scale (NARQ-S) in convenience and representative samples.

Psychol Assess 2018 01 2;30(1):86-96. Epub 2017 Mar 2.

Department of Psychology, University of Münster.

Due to increased empirical interest in narcissism across the social sciences, there is a need for inventories that can be administered quickly while also reliably measuring both the agentic and antagonistic aspects of grandiose narcissism. In this study, we sought to validate the factor structure, provide representative descriptive data and reliability estimates, assess the reliability across the trait spectrum, and examine the nomological network of the short version of the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire (NARQ-S; Back et al., 2013). We used data from a large convenience sample (total N = 11,937) as well as data from a large representative sample (total N = 4,433) that included responses to other narcissism measures as well as related constructs, including the other Dark Triad traits, Big Five personality traits, and self-esteem. Confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory were used to validate the factor structure and estimate the reliability across the latent trait spectrum, respectively. Results suggest that the NARQ-S shows a robust factor structure and is a reliable and valid short measure of the agentic and antagonistic aspects of grandiose narcissism. We also discuss future directions and applications of the NARQ-S as a short and comprehensive measure of grandiose narcissism. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pas0000433DOI Listing
January 2018

Registered Replication Report: Study 1 From Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, & Hannon (2002).

Perspect Psychol Sci 2016 09;11(5):750-764

Simon Fraser University

Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, and Hannon (2002, Study 1) demonstrated a causal link between subjective commitment to a relationship and how people responded to hypothetical betrayals of that relationship. Participants primed to think about their commitment to their partner (high commitment) reacted to the betrayals with reduced exit and neglect responses relative to those primed to think about their independence from their partner (low commitment). The priming manipulation did not affect constructive voice and loyalty responses. Although other studies have demonstrated a correlation between subjective commitment and responses to betrayal, this study provides the only experimental evidence that inducing changes to subjective commitment can causally affect forgiveness responses. This Registered Replication Report (RRR) meta-analytically combines the results of 16 new direct replications of the original study, all of which followed a standardized, vetted, and preregistered protocol. The results showed little effect of the priming manipulation on the forgiveness outcome measures, but it also did not observe an effect of priming on subjective commitment, so the manipulation did not work as it had in the original study. We discuss possible explanations for the discrepancy between the findings from this RRR and the original study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691616664694DOI Listing
September 2016

Experts' Views Regarding the Conceptualization of Narcissism.

J Pers Disord 2017 06 20;31(3):346-361. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

Kantar Health, Princeton, New Jersey.

There is debate over the definition of narcissism across social/personality and clinical psychology. The current article aims to quantify the level of disagreement by measuring experts' opinions concerning the attributes most central to narcissism. Accordingly, we developed a comprehensive list of attributes associated with narcissism and had 49 self-identified experts (among them 17 women, 23 psychologists from clinical psychology and 22 from social/personality psychology) rate these characteristics and provide their opinions on several issues related to the conceptualization of narcissism. Experts generally believe that the grandiose features of narcissism are more central than the vulnerable features. However, differences between clinical and social/personality psychologists were evident, especially regarding the relevance of self-esteem. Given the results, we suggest that researchers specify the kind of narcissism being assessed in a given study and consider using assessments of the full range of narcissistic features in future research to provide a more comprehensive perspective on the construct.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1521/pedi_2016_30_254DOI Listing
June 2017

Extending Structural Analyses of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale to Consider Criterion-Related Validity: Can Composite Self-Esteem Scores Be Good Enough?

J Pers Assess 2016 20;98(2):169-77. Epub 2015 Jul 20.

c Office of Undergraduate Education , The University of Texas at Dallas.

Although the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) is the most widely used measure of global self-esteem in the literature, there are ongoing disagreements about its factor structure. This methodological debate informs how the measure should be used in substantive research. Using a sample of 1,127 college students, we test the overall fit of previously specified models for the RSES, including a newly proposed bifactor solution (McKay, Boduszek, & Harvey, 2014 ). We extend previous work by evaluating how various latent factors from these structural models are related to a set of criterion variables frequently studied in the self-esteem literature. A strict unidimensional model poorly fit the data, whereas models that accounted for correlations between negatively and positively keyed items tended to fit better. However, global factors from viable structural models had similar levels of association with criterion variables and with the pattern of results obtained with a composite global self-esteem variable calculated from observed scores. Thus, we did not find compelling evidence that different structural models had substantive implications, thereby reducing (but not eliminating) concerns about the integrity of the self-esteem literature based on overall composite scores for the RSES.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2015.1058268DOI Listing
October 2016

The broad autism phenotype predicts relationship outcomes in newly formed college roommates.

Autism 2016 May 26;20(4):412-24. Epub 2015 May 26.

The University of Texas at Dallas, USA

Although previous studies have reported that the broad autism phenotype is associated with reduced relationship quality within established relationships, understanding how this association emerges requires assessment prior to relationship development. In the present longitudinal study, college roommates with minimal familiarity prior to cohabitation (N = 162) completed the broad autism phenotype questionnaire and intermittently reported on their relationship quality and interpersonal behaviors toward their roommate over their first 10 weeks of living together. Actor-Partner Interdependence Models demonstrated that roommates mismatched on aloofness (one high and one low) had lower relationship satisfaction than those matched on it, with the interpersonal behavior of warmth mediating this association. Because relationship satisfaction remained high when both roommates were aloof, satisfaction does not appear predicated upon the presence of aloofness generally but rather reflects a product of dissimilarity in aloof profiles between roommates. In contrast, although participants reported less relationship satisfaction and commitment with roommates higher on pragmatic language abnormalities, mismatches on this broad autism phenotype trait, and on rigid personality, were less consequential. In sum, these findings suggest that complementary profiles of social motivation may facilitate relationship quality during the early course of relationship development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1362361315585733DOI Listing
May 2016

The Effect of Response Format on the Psychometric Properties of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory: Consequences for Item Meaning and Factor Structure.

Assessment 2016 Apr 23;23(2):203-20. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA.

The Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI) is currently the most widely used measure of narcissism in social/personality psychology. It is also relatively unique because it uses a forced-choice response format. We investigate the consequences of changing the NPI's response format for item meaning and factor structure. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 40 forced-choice items (n = 2,754), 80 single-stimulus dichotomous items (i.e., separate true/false responses for each item; n = 2,275), or 80 single-stimulus rating scale items (i.e., 5-point Likert-type response scales for each item; n = 2,156). Analyses suggested that the "narcissistic" and "nonnarcissistic" response options from the Entitlement and Superiority subscales refer to independent personality dimensions rather than high and low levels of the same attribute. In addition, factor analyses revealed that although the Leadership dimension was evident across formats, dimensions with entitlement and superiority were not as robust. Implications for continued use of the NPI are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1073191114568113DOI Listing
April 2016

Adolescents' text message communication and growth in antisocial behavior across the first year of high school.

J Abnorm Child Psychol 2014 Feb;42(2):251-64

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 W. Campbell Road, GR 41, Richardson, TX, 75080, USA,

This study examined whether adolescents communicate about antisocial topics and behaviors via text messaging and how adolescents' antisocial text message communication relates to growth in rule-breaking and aggression as reported by youth, parents, and teachers. Participants (n = 172; 82 girls) received BlackBerry devices configured to capture all text messages sent and received. Four days of text messages during the 9th grade year were coded for discussion of antisocial activities. The majority of participants engaged in at least some antisocial text message communication. Text messaging about antisocial activities significantly predicted increases in parent, teacher, and self-reports of adolescents' rule-breaking behavior, as well as teacher and self-reports of adolescents' aggressive behavior. Text message communication may provide instrumental information about how to engage in antisocial behavior and reinforce these behaviors as normative within the peer group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10802-013-9783-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3946802PMC
February 2014

The interpersonal legacy of a positive family climate in adolescence.

Psychol Sci 2013 Mar 10;24(3):243-50. Epub 2013 Jan 10.

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Room 4.126, Green Hall, The University of Texas at Dallas, 800 West Campbell Rd., Richardson, TX 75080, USA.

In this research, we evaluated how well overall levels of positive engagement in adolescents' families of origin, as well as adolescents' unique expressions of positive engagement in observed family interactions, statistically predicted marital outcomes approximately 20 years later. The sample consisted of 288 focal individuals and their spouses, drawn from the Iowa Youth and Families Project (IYFP). Data for focal individuals' family-of-origin positive engagement were taken from IYFP assessments from 1989 to 1991. Data for outcomes of interest, including focal individuals' and spouses' marital behavior, were drawn from the IYFP between 2007 and 2008. Individuals' unique expressions of positive engagement in their families of origin were linked to the degree of positive engagement these adolescents later exhibited toward their spouses. A positive family climate during adolescence for one marital partner was also associated with positive marital outcomes for both partners. Overall, our results suggest that the climate in one's family of origin may have long-term significance for one's interpersonal relationships.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797612447818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3602281PMC
March 2013

The validity of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 Narcissistic Personality Disorder scale for assessing pathological grandiosity.

J Pers Assess 2013 26;95(3):274-83. Epub 2012 Oct 26.

Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, Psychology Building, 316 Physics-Room 107A, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Although controversy surrounds the definition and measurement of narcissism, the claim that pathological grandiosity is central to the construct generates little disagreement. Yet representations of pathological grandiosity vary across measures of narcissism, leading to conceptual confusion in the literature. The validity of a DSM-based measure of pathological narcissism, the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4 Narcissistic Personality Disorder scale (PDQ-4 NPD), was evaluated in 1 clinical and 3 nonclinical samples (total N=2,391) for its ability to measure pathological grandiosity. Findings were generally supportive: average scores were higher in the clinical than nonclinical samples and the PDQ-4 NPD scale correlated most strongly with (a) other measures of NPD; (b) other DSM Cluster B personality disorders; (c) traits involving antagonism, hostility, and assertiveness; and (d) interpersonal distress and disaffiliative dominance. However, the low internal consistency of the PDQ-4 NPD scale and unexpected associations with Cluster A and obsessive-compulsive features point to potential psychometric weaknesses with this instrument. These findings are useful for evaluating the PDQ-4 NPD scale and for informing ongoing debates regarding how to define and assess pathological narcissism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2012.732637DOI Listing
October 2013