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  • 1.
    Hansson, Erika
    et al.
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön Children's and Young People's Health in Social Context (CYPHiSCO). Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap.
    Masche, J. Gowert
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön Children's and Young People's Health in Social Context (CYPHiSCO). Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame. Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap.
    Disordered eating in a general population: just an­other depressive symptom or a specific problem?2014Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that about 30% of adolescent girls and 15% of adolescent boys suffer from disordered eating (DE) which can be defined as problematic eating below criteria for eating disorders according to DSM-V (Hautala et al., 2008; Herpertz-Dahlman et al., 2008). Even sub-clinical unhealthy weight-control behaviors have predicted outcomes related to obesity and eating disorders five years later (Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2006). However, two issues question the validity of DE. First, in contrast to eating disorders, under- or overweight/obesity are not necessary parts of DE. Second, some symptoms and correlates of DE are similar to those of depression. E.g., parent-adolescent relationships seem to play an important role in explaining both DE (Hautala et al., 2011; Berge et al., 2010) and internalizing problems (Soenens et al., 2012). Thus, this study examined associations between DE and a wide range of internalizing and externalizing problems, parent-adolescent relationship characteristics, and food intake and sleep habits in a general population of adolescents. Comparing results with and without controlling for depression reveals whether DE is a specific problem or merely a depressive symptom. This study also explored whether DE and the other variables under study are associated independently of weight status (underweight, overweight/obesity, and normal weight), specific to under- or overweight, or spurious if taking weight status into account.

    The study is based on the first wave of an on-going longitudinal study, and all measures are child-reported (N=1,281). Adolescents attending grades 7 to 10 in a Southern Swedish municipality (age 12.5 to 19.3, M = 15.2, SD = 1.2) filled out questionnaires in class.  DE was measured using the SCOFF, a five-item screening scale validated for use in general populations (e.g. Muro-Sans et al., 2008; Noma et al., 2006).

    The results of univariate ANOVAs indicate that associations with DE were largely independent of weight status. Moreover, most associations with disordered eating were spurious when controlling for depression. However, some associations remained. Above and beyond depression effects, adolescents with DE reported lower self-esteem, stronger feelings of being over-controlled by their parents and active withholding of information towards them, consumption of fewer meals during the week, and higher levels of daytime sleepiness. Boys with ED slept more hours during the week and ate more fruits and vegetables than boys without ED. In conclusion, despite an overlap between depressive symptoms and disordered eating, this study provides ample evidence that sleep, nutrition habits, self-esteem, and parental control issues distinguish eating disordered adolescents from those suffering from general depressive symptoms.

  • 2.
    Hansson, Erika
    et al.
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön Children's and Young People's Health in Social Context (CYPHiSCO). Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame. Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Lunds universitet.
    Masche, J. Gowert
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame. Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap.
    Disordered eating in a general population: just an­other depressive symptom or a specific problem?2014Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that about 30% of adolescent girls and 15% of adolescent boys suffer from disordered eating (DE) which can be defined as problematic eating below criteria for eating disorders according to DSM-V (Hautala et al., 2008; Herpertz-Dahlman et al., 2008). Even sub-clinical unhealthy weight-control behaviors have predicted outcomes related to obesity and eating disorders five years later (Neumark-Sztainer et al., 2006). However, two issues question the validity of DE. First, in contrast to eating disorders, under- or overweight/obesity are not necessary parts of DE. Second, some symptoms and correlates of DE are similar to those of depression. E.g., parent-adolescent relationships seem to play an important role in explaining both DE (Hautala et al., 2011; Berge et al., 2010) and internalizing problems (Soenens et al., 2012). Thus, this study examined associations between DE and a wide range of internalizing and externalizing problems, parent-adolescent relationship characteristics, and food intake and sleep habits in a general population of adolescents. Comparing results with and without controlling for depression reveals whether DE is a specific problem or merely a depressive symptom. This study also explored whether DE and the other variables under study are associated independently of weight status (underweight, overweight/obesity, and normal weight), specific to under- or overweight, or spurious if taking weight status into account.

    The study is based on the first wave of an on-going longitudinal study, and all measures are child-reported (N=1,281). Adolescents attending grades 7 to 10 in a Southern Swedish municipality (age 12.5 to 19.3, M = 15.2, SD = 1.2) filled out questionnaires in class.  DE was measured using the SCOFF, a five-item screening scale validated for use in general populations (e.g. Muro-Sans et al., 2008; Noma et al., 2006).

    The results of univariate ANOVAs indicate that associations with DE were largely independent of weight status. Moreover, most associations with disordered eating were spurious when controlling for depression. However, some associations remained. Above and beyond depression effects, adolescents with DE reported lower self-esteem, stronger feelings of being over-controlled by their parents and active withholding of information towards them, consumption of fewer meals during the week, and higher levels of daytime sleepiness. Boys with ED slept more hours during the week and ate more fruits and vegetables than boys without ED. In conclusion, despite an overlap between depressive symptoms and disordered eating, this study provides ample evidence that sleep, nutrition habits, self-esteem, and parental control issues distinguish eating disordered adolescents from those suffering from general depressive symptoms.

  • 3.
    Johansson, Tobias
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame. Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap.
    Test learning as an explanation of dual task dissociations in implicit learning2014Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Artificial grammar learning (AGL) has been used extensively to study implicit learning. In this task participants first observe letter sequences generated by a grammar. In a later test phase participants are asked to distinguish new grammatical and ungrammatical sequences. Participants are able to do this, both when the letters instantiating the grammar remain the same (standard AGL) and when the letters are changed between training and test (transfer AGL).

     

    Virtually all models of AGL assume that there is no learning during the test phase. Yet, test learning can occur in AGL and the structural constraints of a grammar can imply useful cues at test as well as at training. For example, grammatical test sequences are often more similar to each other than are ungrammatical test sequences to each other. Similarity to test sequences observed so far can then be used as a cue for classification.

     

    In the current research I used an episodic memory model, Minerva II, in order to simulate a recent study by Hendricks et al. (2013). They found that for standard AGL performing dual tasks at test was more detrimental to performance than dual tasks at training. For transfer AGL performing dual tasks at training reduced performance as much as dual tasks at test. The authors interpreted these results as revealing automatic vs. intentional process in AGL: transfer AGL requires intentional processes at both training and test, whereas standard AGL requires intentional processes at test but only automatic processes at training.

     

    I modelled these experiments using a version of Minerva II extended to learn at test. The model encodes sequences probabilistically into memory based on a learning rate at both training and test. Each test sequence is classified based on the similarity to sequences encoded in memory so far, so that test sequences also influence classification. The model does not distinguish between automatic and intentional processes. The learning rate at training was varied independently of the learning rate at test in order to simulate dual task manipulations in different phases of the task. In order to model transfer AGL I used a simple repetition coding scheme in Minerva II.

     

    For standard AGL the simulations revealed that learning rate at test had a much greater impact on classification than learning rate at training in Minerva II.  In contrast, for transfer AGL the effects of changing learning rates at training was the same as changing learning rate during test. In essence, the empirical data may not reveal automatic vs. intentional processes, but simply effects of a single similarity process. The simulation results and the notion of test learning invites useful avenues for further computational and empirical research in order to establish the processes involved in implicit learning. 

  • 4.
    Masche, J. Gowert
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame.
    Five years later: effects of parenting styles and parent-adolescent relationships on young adults’ well-being2011Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Parents can support their adolescent child’s psychosocial development by a parenting style which is warm and involved, firm and consistent, and which grants psychological autonomy (the freedom to have one’s own thoughts and feelings). Psychological autonomy granting is regarded as particularly beneficial for the prevention of anxiety, depression, or other kinds of internalizing distress (McLeod, et al., 2007; Steinberg, 2001). However, longitudinal research has produced mixed evidence (Birmaher, et al., 2000; Colarossi & Eccles, 2003; Galambos et al., 2003; Steinberg, et al., 1994). Even less is known on long-term effects into young adulthood. Besides parental behaviors, also the parent-adolescent relationship might be important. Teens who feel close to their parents and who communicate frequently with them might experience a “secure base” which protects against depression and fosters the children’s well-being even in the future. Thus, this study examined reciprocal effects between parenting styles (psychological control and affection) and the parent-adolescent relationship (felt closeness to and communication with parents) and emotional, social and psychological well-being, and depression.

    This study used the 2002, 2005, and 2007 waves of an ongoing longitudinal study, representative for the USA. Out of 1,319 adolescents aged 11-19 in 2002, 575 young adults, then 18-22 years old were re-interviewed in 2005. By 2007, more adolescents had reached young adulthood, thus, 878 young adults of age 18-24 were re-interviewed in 2007. Also 224 of the originally youngest adolescents were re-interviewed in 2007 as a separate sample. Parenting styles were assessed in the adolescent data collections 2002 and 2007, and parent-child relationships and well-being at all occasions.

    Albeit adolescents’ perceptions of mothers’ and fathers’ parenting styles were highly correlated, specific effects on well-being occurred in cross-lagged regression analyses. Maternal psychological control in 2002 predicted lowered levels of emotional and social well-being and elevated levels of depression in 2005 (β’s = -.10, -.08, and .11, resp.). In part, these effects were found even after five years in 2007. Maternal support did not have any significant effects. For fathers, only one effect was found, of psychological control 2002 on depressive symptoms 2007 (β = .08). Measures of the parent-adolescent relationship did not predict well-being, with the exception of communication to mothers in 2002 which predicted emotional well-being in 2005.

    In the opposite direction of effects, depression predicted maternal psychological control five years later (β = .18, p = .023), despite the smaller sample of still adolescent respondents. Also some effects of parenting and of well-being on the parent-young adult relationship occurred.

    In conclusion, advice to parents might focus on how to avoid psychologically controlling behaviors, especially for mothers were these might conflict most with North-American gender roles. Future research should investigate why such detrimental behaviors occur in response to adolescents’ emotional problems. That parental support as a general style proved unimportant does not mean that support never would be needed: It might be that in key situations of danger or adolescent problems, adolescents need the impression that parents care, and not only abstain from psychological control (Olsson & Wik, 2009).

  • 5.
    Masche, J. Gowert
    et al.
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame.
    Olsson, Mimmi
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö.
    Wik, Sandra
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö.
    How to foster depression: bother your adolescent child all the time, but leave it alone when it needs you2010Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Is there another way to predict adolescents’ depressive symptoms than by trait-like parenting characteristics, such as affective support (Barber, Stolz, & Olsen, 2005)? Drawing from a systems perspective (Lollis & Kuczynski, 1997) and Social Domain Theory (Smetana & Asquith, 1994), this paper suggests that parental responses in key situations might be important for the development of adolescent depression: (a) adolescent-parent conflict; (b) dangerous situations; (c) need of help with a problem. These three situations require steering adolescents’ behaviors in a responsive way, i.e., combinations of demandingness and responsiveness. Thus, the roles of authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and indifferent parental responses in these key situations will be rested.

    In order to have a standard of comparison, well-established parenting styles (Barber, et al., 2005; Steinberg, 2001) will be evaluated, too. Lack of support has been found to predict depressive symptoms. The prediction by behavior control and the support-by-control interaction will be tested as well, for a better comparability to the test of parental responses in specific situations.

    A total of 108 Swedish adolescents aged 14-15 (67 girls, 41 boys) filled out questionnaires at school. For depressive symptoms and parental support, well-established American scales were used. Behavior control was measured by scales tapping parental control and solicitation of information, respectively. 3 (situations) by 4 (parental responses) by 2 (parent genders) scales of parental responses in key situations were newly developed. For each type of situations, the respondents received two typical examples (e.g., having problems with a friend or a girlfriend/boyfriend as an example of a problem) and rated the frequencies of various parental responses. Because all mother and father scales were highly correlated, they were standardized and added (complementary analyses with either mother or father data yielded similar results; so did analyses including adolescent gender).

    Parental responses in key situations explained 30% of variance of adolescent depression. Authoritative responses to problems were associated with low levels of depression. Moreover, indifferent responses to all three kinds of situations predicted higher levels of depression.

    Main effects of parenting style variables explained 14% of the variance of depression. Adding the interactions between support and parental control and solicitation explained additional 8% of variance. Most of this effect was due to an interaction between acceptance and solicitation. Authoritarian parenting predicted the highest depression levels whereas supportive styles predicted low depression. When entering either reactions in key situation first into the regression equation and parenting styles next, or vice versa, each of them predicted significant portions of variance above and beyond the other. However, reactions in key situations produced the larger increase in explained variance.

    Albeit cross-sectional data do not allow for causal conclusions, this study has generated important hypotheses for future studies: If parents constantly bother their adolescent child with requests to talk about something, in combination with low levels of support, the child is likely to show elevated levels of depression. Even more deleterious might be adolescents’ experience to be left alone when they need their parents.

  • 6.
    Masche, J. Gowert
    et al.
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame.
    Persson, Kristina
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö.
    Löfgren, Malin
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö.
    Do parents only have to avoid being nasty, or should they even be nice?: the case of adolescent substance use and deviance2012Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally, parents’ firm and consistent behavior control has been regarded as effective protection against adolescents’ drug use and delinquency (Steinberg, 2001). However, the validity of findings has been questioned (Stattin & Kerr, 2000; Kerr & Stattin, 2000). The widely-used indicator of behavior control, parental knowledge, appears rather to reflect a trusting relationship (Masche, 2010). However, little is known about which facets of the relationship are most important: Is it more “nasty,” guilt inducing and interfering behavior, i.e. psychological control, which leads to substance use and deviance? Or is it parents’ ability to be “nice” and create close family relations marked by solidarity that prevents these problem behaviors?

    A total of 143 adolescents attending grade 9 (age 15-16, 58% male) in two medium-sized Swedish cities filled out questionnaires at school. Scales on alcohol and drug use focused on frequency and intensity of use and on symptoms of substance abuse. The deviance scale ranged from minor delinquency to violent acts. Adolescents answered also scales on their experienced relationship quality to their parents, on parents’ psychological control and behavior control (e.g., needing permission before going out on the evening). Mother and father scales were summed because of their high inter-correlations. Drug consumption was generally low, and several items did not even vary between participants. Still, all scales were sufficiently reliable (α’s ≥ .80). Because 44% of the sample had other than Swedish ethnic background – in most instances were the parents born in the Middle East –, ethnicity, gender, and their interaction were included into the analyses, but did not predict substance use or deviance.

    Although alcohol use and deviance were highly correlated, these two problem behaviors were somewhat differently associated with parenting and relationship variables: Adolescents who consumed a lot of alcohol tended to have poor relationships to psychologically controlling parents. However, deviant adolescents reported in the first place psychologically controlling parents and only to a lesser degree also a poor relationship quality. Drug use (which generally was low) was only associated with psychological control. Multiple regression analyses revealed whether each parenting and relationship variable uniquely predicted substance use and deviance. The results were similar to the bivariate correlations, confirming the general importance of psychological control. Relationship quality still predicted low alcohol use, but was not any longer important for deviance when controlled for psychological control. Behavior control did not predict any of these problem behaviors in any analysis.

    This study confirms findings questioning the role of behavior control (Kerr & Stattin, 2000; Stattin & Kerr, 2000). It tells what might be important instead. Hostile, guilt-inducing behavior was consistently associated with externalizing problems whereas a close relationship showed more specific associations. To the degree that parents affect adolescents’ externalizing behaviors rather than are affected by them, these findings suggest that parents above all should avoid being “nasty,” i.e. psychologically controlling. Being “nice,” i.e., to contribute to a close companionship with their children, also appears important, but more specifically against alcohol consumption.  

  • 7.
    Masche, J. Gowert
    et al.
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön Children's and Young People's Health in Social Context (CYPHiSCO).
    Siotis, Camilla
    Högskolan Kristianstad, Sektionen för lärande och miljö, Avdelningen för Humanvetenskap. Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön Children's and Young People's Health in Social Context (CYPHiSCO). Högskolan Kristianstad, Forskningsmiljön ForFame.
    The winding road to autonomy: 8-15 year-olds’ use of private and public transportation to school and spare-time activities2013Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    As children grow up, they expand their territorial range (Andrews, 1973). This increasing autonomy allows them for reaching new places of activities, thereby attaining further developmental tasks. However, less is known about what children and adolescents do that makes them familiar with an increasing area. Various means such as walking, riding a bicycle, taking a bus or getting a lift by car differ in the mobility and the knowledge about the environment they provide (Rissotto & Tonucci, 2002) and in the motor, perceptual, and cognitive skills required to use them. Thus, these means of transportation may not only be tools for autonomy development, but becoming able to use them might be a part of autonomy development (Bullens et al., 2010). Thus, the frequencies of walking, riding a bicycle or a bus, and of being given a lift by the parents, will be explored in two domains: transportation to school and to spare-time activities. The former focuses on the use of means of transportation to a mandatory destination whereas the latter explores the twofold autonomy to make use of a means of transportation and to access targets which might change with age.

    A total of 715 children (54.4% girls) attending grades 4, 6, and 9 (ages 10, 12, and 15) and 497 parents of children (51.5% girls) attending grades 2, 4, and 6 (ages 8, 10, and 12) filled out questionnaires. Both parents and children indicated on how many days of the week the child walked, cycled, took the bus, and was driven to school and to free-time activities, respectively. Multilevel analyses were used because participants were nested in 16 schools which were nested in 6 municipalities in adjacent regions of Denmark and Southern Sweden. Predictor variables were grade, gender (dummy-coded), and distance to school (four categories, recoded to approximate kilometers). In the next step, country was added into equations, in order to explain part of the variance between municipalities. Finally, theoretically meaningful interactions between grade, gender, and distance from school were added. The final model for each dependent variable was the one with the best fit (AIC, BIC). Variables had been transformed to approach normal distribution.

    Walking and riding the bicycle (especially in girls) were mainly used for shorter distances. In contrast, bus and the family car were used for more distant destinations. Danish children used more active, individual ways of transportation whereas Swedish children used public transport. Girls tended to use more passive means such as being driven by car or riding the bus whereas boys, at least at certain ages, walked more or rode their bicycles. Although age effects were similar on a global level, such as that children depended less of their parents’ help to get somewhere, details differed. The youngest children did not any longer need the car ride to school, but it were the oldest ones who did not any longer get lifts to spare-time activities nearby. Thus, age trends in how to get to school did not explain age trends in accessing spare-time activities. On the contrary, when controlling for getting lifts to school, the absence of net age effects in parent-reported car rides turned out to be the sum of the opposite trends towards independence from parents and towards having more destinations to reach.

    The results show that children choose varying means of transportation according to their development of needs and skills. The differences between the age trends for the two types of destinations suggest a larger flexibility than known previously. Still, gender and cultural differences affect this facet of autonomy development.

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