Department of Psychology: Publications 2010

Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair

Kennair, Leif Edward Ottesen. The Problem of Defining Psychopathology and Challenges to Evolutionary Psychology Theory. In: The Evolution of Personality and Individual Differences. Oxford University Press 2010 ISBN 9780195372090. pp 451-479


Wannebo, Wenche; Wichstrøm, Lars. Are high school students living in lodgings at an increased risk for internalizing problems? Journal of Adolescence 2010;33(3);439-447

Lars Wichstrøm

DOI: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2009.06.007

This study aimed to investigate whether leaving home to live in lodgings during senior high school can be a risk factor for the development of internalizing problems. Utilizing two large-scale prospective community studies of 2399 and 3906 Norwegian students (age range 15–19 years), respectively, the difference in internalizing symptoms between adolescents living in lodgings and adolescents living with their parents during senior high school was examined. Female students living in lodgings had higher scores on internalizing problems than female students living at home, whereas no differences were found for males. Living in lodgings did not predict later internalizing problems, and prior internalizing problems did not predict moving into lodgings. It is therefore suggested that the negative effect of living in lodgings on high school students' well-being is temporary.


Xin-Cheng Zhao

Zhao, Xin-Cheng; Berg, Bente Gunnveig. Arrangement of Output Information from the 3 Macroglomerular Units in the Heliothine Moth Helicoverpa assulta: Morphological and Physiological Features of Male-Specific Projection Neurons. Chemical Senses 2010;35(6):511-521

Bente Berg

DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjq043

Helicoverpa assulta is exceptional among heliothine species studied so far as concerns composition of the pheromone blend. Previous reports have accordingly pointed out distinct characteristics in the male-specific olfactory pathway of this species, peripherally by an unusual distribution of 2 sensillum categories and centrally by a particular anatomical arrangement of the male-specific glomeruli constituting the macroglomerular complex (MGC). In order to determine the physiological tuning of the 3 MGC units in this species, we have characterized male-specific antennal-lobe projection neurons morphologically and physiologically by use of the intracellular recording and staining technique combined with confocal microscopy. The results show 2 projection neuron types of equal numbers, one that responds to the primary pheromone component, cis-9-hexadecenal, and arborizes in the cumulus and one that responds to the interspecific signal, cis-9-tetradecenal, and arborizes in the dorsomedial unit. A third type responded to the secondary pheromone component, cis-11-hexadecenal, and innervated the smaller ventral unit. The results complement previous findings from tracing of physiologically identified receptor neurons and determine for the first time the functional specificity of each glomerulus in the MGC of H. assulta. The results are particularly interesting because heliothine moths are attractive objects for comparative studies addressing questions concerning divergence of male-specific olfactory characteristics related to speciation.


Britt-Marie Drottz Sjøberg

Drottz Sjøberg, Britt-Marie. Perception of Nuclear Wastes across Extreme Time Perspectives. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy 2010;1(4):231-253

An empirical study, financed by the Swedish Radiation Authority (SSI), on perception of time, time periods, and responsibilities related to the final repository for spent nuclear fuel was conducted in 2002. Citizens of the Oskarshamn and Östhammar municipalities (N=1,501) responded to a postal questionnaire regarding their participation in site-specific investigations for the building of the Swedish repository, administered by the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co (SKB). Approximately 41% of the sampled citizens responded to an eight-page questionnaire, which included tasks of time estimates of specified historic events (e.g., when the first human landed on the moon, the development of Homo sapiens) and possible future events (e.g., a new glacial ice period, a radiation leakage from canisters in the repository). Some questions asked for risk estimations in relation to the repository, i.e., for oneself and for others in the community. Other questions inquired about perceptions of risks and responsibilities related to future generations. SSI was especially interested in the respondents' ratings of the importance of the authority's reviews of SKB's research programs for specified time periods, i.e., during operation, in a thousand years, ten thousand years, hundred thousand years, and up to a million years. The overall results showed rather restricted time horizons among the respondents. Risk estimations relating to nuclear wastes were not extremely high, and as usual the risk to others rated higher than the risk to oneself. Regarding the importance of SSI's review of SKB's research programs, people emphasized the importance of such reviews in the near future in contrast to the distant future, i.e., while under operation and up to 1,000 years, rather than for the longer time periods of relevance for the reviews. People also perceived the consequences to be much more severe in the shorter time perspectives than in the longer ones, given a leakage from the canisters in the repository. The importance of future generations' life situations was reported as high, and perceived to be of greater importance to oneself than to others. The construction of a safe final repository for spent nuclear fuel ranked the highest on a list of topics when respondents indicated the responsibilities of current generations. Ranked second and third were the items "to fight criminality" and "to give children and youth a good education." The responsibility for depositing spent nuclear fuel in a reassuring manner was mainly attached to the entrepreneur, SKB, closely followed by the authorities (SSI and the Swedish Nuclear Safety Authority, SKI). The discussion focuses on the apparent paradox involving participants rather short time horizons, especially into the future, decreasing risk estimates across long time perspectives, and very high ratings regarding current generations' responsibilities for the life situations of future generations.


Karl Jacobsen

Jacobsen, Karl Henry; Svendsen, Birgit. Emosjonsregulering og oppmerksomhet - grunnfenomener i terapi med barn og unge. Fagbokforlaget 2010 (ISBN 978-82-450-0786-2) 270 s.

Birgit Svendsen

Hvorfor snakkes det så lite om emosjoner i behandling av barn og unge? Har vi blitt for opptatt av strukturerte utredninger, diagnoser og behandlingsprogrammer som skal redusere symptomtrykket? Er det tilstrekkelig med symptomreduksjon som tegn på vellykket behandling, eller er det nødvendig å se at barnets vitalitet og livskraft har kommet tilbake? Emosjonsregulering er den mest komplekse prosessen i utviklingen og involverer alle deler av hjernen. Også oppmerksomhet styres fra alle deler av hjernen og av et samspill mellom emosjon og kognisjon. Forfatterne viser at utvikling av disse funksjonene er en følge av barnets konstitusjon og samspill med andre fra fødselen av, og at dysfunksjoner i emosjonsregulering og oppmerksomhet antas å ligge i bunnen av alle psykologiske problemer.


Øvergård, Kjell Ivar; Bjørkli, Cato Alexander; Røed, Bjarte Knappen; Hoff, Thomas. Control strategies used by experienced marine navigators: observation of verbal conversations during navigation training. Cognition, Technology & Work 2010;12(3):163-179

DOI: 10.1007/s10111-009-0132-9

This article investigates the relationship between the control situation framework, as presented by Bjørkli et al. (Cogn Technol Work 9:67–80, 2007), and observed operator action and communication in high-speed craft operation in the Norwegian Royal Navy. The reported data include two series of events during sailing in the Norwegian archipelago where uncertainty of ship position, challenges of manoeuvring and navigation strategies are addressed. The results indicate that the navigators perform actions and communicate in accordance with the key features of the control situation framework, and thus adapt to the interrelation between control possibilities and control requirements. The navigators were guided by explicit knowledge of the functional characteristics of psychical and temporal dynamics, which were actualized in manoeuvring. It indicates that the control situation framework can be used to describe the models the operators use.


Ingunn Hagen

Hagen, Ingunn; Nakken, Øivind. Creating Long-lasting Brand Loyalty – or a Passing "Craze"?: Lessons from a "Child Classic" in Norway. In: Childhood and Consumer Culture. Palgrave Macmillan 2010 ISBN 978-0-230-22783-5. pp.130-145

This chapter explores the popularity of a Norwegian "craze" centred around a fictional pirate called Captain Sabertooth (Kaptein Sabeltann). As a series of theatrical performances, TV shows, books, music, toys and other merchandise, and now an animated feature film, Captain Sabertooth is distinctively different from most global crazes. As Ellen Seiter (2008) has noted, it represents "a rare success story of a brand that has survived despite being restricted to one nation of less than five million people". Indeed, it is a phenomenon that has sought to establish itself as a long-lasting "chlldren's classic" rather than merely a passing "craze". ]n this chapter, we exp]ore thc strategies that have been used by the producers of Captain Sabertooth, to create and maintain brand loyalty, and to ensure its longevity, among Norwegian children and their parents.


Åsvold, Bjørn Olav; Sand, Trond; Hestad, Knut; Bjørgaas, Marit Ragnhild Rokne. Cognitive Function in Type 1 Diabetic Adults With Early Exposure to Severe Hypoglycemia. A 16-year follow-up study. Diabetes Care 2010;33(9):1945-1947

Knut Hestad

DOI: 10.2337/dc10-0621

Objective We assessed adulthood cognition in relation to early exposure to severe hypoglycemia (SH).

Research design and methods Sixteen years subsequent to a study of cognitive function in 28 diabetic children and 28 matched control subjects, we reexamined the same subjects with a 96% participation rate. Diabetic subjects were classified as with (n = 9) or without (n = 18) early (≤10 years of age) SH, which was defined as convulsions or loss of consciousness.

Results Overall, cognitive scores were 0.9 SDs lower in subjects with early SH compared with subjects without early SH (P = 0.003). The two diabetic groups particularly differed with respect to problem solving, verbal function, and psychomotor efficiency. Earlier age at first incident of SH was associated with poorer cognition (P for trend = 0.001).

Conclusions The findings suggest that early exposure to SH may have lasting and clinically relevant effects on cognition.


Arnulf Kolstad

Kolstad, Arnulf; Thorud, Silvia. Powerlessness at Refugee Reception Centres. Asylum Seekers' Everyday Life and Mental Health Tidsskrift for psykisk helsearbeid 2010;7(2):153-162

Asylum-seekers living at two reception centres in Norway were interviewed about their everyday life, well-being and mental health. Asylum seekers have a higher risk of mental health problems due to traumatic experiences in their home country and disempowerment in the sometimes long period of waiting for a work/residency permit. The six informants had been living in the reception centres for between eight months and four years. They experienced a boring and inactive daily life at the centres. They had few Norwegian friends, felt lonely, depressed, and anxious about the future, and they complained about the loss of control over their lives. Their well-being and mental health had deteriorated during their stay in Norway and the risk of more severe disorders had increased. The lot of asylum-seekers could be improved by offering job opportunities, education and courses in the local language. This would have a positive impact on psychological health and reduce the risk of severe mental disorders.


Gjervan, Bjørn; Nordahl, Hans Morten. The Adult ADHD Quality of Life Questionnaire (AAQoL) A new disease specific measure for assessment of ADHD. Nordic Psychology 2010;62(1):24-36

Hans M. Nordahl

DOI: 10.1027/1901-2276/a000003

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is considered to be a developmental psychiatric condition that often persists from childhood into adulthood. A growing body of research evidence suggests that adult ADHD and its co morbid conditions contribute to severe functional impairment in multiple domains, including behavioral, emotional and interpersonal difficulties, and academic or occupational underachievement. These problems are found to be closely associated with low levels of quality of life. Currently there is a growing recognition that treatment of adult ADHD should extend beyond its core symptoms, and include overall quality of life. However, the absence of a sound and validated measure that comprises the features and specific difficulties in adult ADHD, has until recently been a barrier to such practice. The AAQoL is a health related disease specific measure that meets the need for a sound measure for assessment of impairment and quality of life for both clinicians and researchers. This instrument is now translated and available in Norwegian.


Patrick A. Vogel

Håland, Åshild Tellefsen; Vogel, Patrick A.; Lie, Birgit; Launes, Gunvor; Pripp, Are Hugo; Himle, Joseph A. Behavioural group therapy for obsessive–compulsive disorder in Norway. An open community-based trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy 2010;48(6):547-554

DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.03.005

The aim of the current study was to test the effectiveness of ERP-based 12 weeks group therapy for OCD patients in a community-based, general Norwegian outpatient clinic. The sample consisted of 54 patients diagnosed with OCD. The Yale-Brown Obsessive–Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Spielberger State Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) were administered before treatment, after treatment and at 3- and 12-month follow-ups. Analyses with mixed models for repeated measurements showed that group behavioural therapy offered to OCD patients significantly improved ratings of obsessive–compulsive symptoms, depression and anxiety. These improvements were maintained at 3- and 12-month follow-ups and an additional reduction in obsessive–compulsive symptoms was observed from post-treatment to 3-month follow-up. However, the delayed effect of therapy was no longer present at 12-month follow-up. The results also revealed that the patients had a lower chance for an increased outcome category (e.g. from unchanged to improved or recovered) with high scores on STAI-S at the given observation times (post-treatment, 3- and 12-months follow-ups). Depressive symptoms (BDI) at post-treatment and follow-ups had no significant influences on the three categories of outcome for OCD. In conclusion, the results indicate that behavioural group therapy can successfully be delivered to patients with considerable comorbidity in a real world setting conducted by therapists with limited training in the CBT.


Nordfjærn, Trond; Rundmo, Torbjørn. Differences in risk perception, priorities, worry and demand for risk mitigation related to transport among Norwegians in 2004 and 2008. Safety Science 2010;48(3):357-364

Torbjørn Rundmo

DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2009.10.001

The present study aimed to investigate differences in risk perception, the demand for risk mitigation, priorities and worry related to transport among the Norwegian public in 2004 and 2008. Age, gender, education, driver licence and number of injuries in transport were controlled for. The comparison was carried out with questionnaire surveys among representative samples of the Norwegian public in 2004 (n = 1730) and 2008 (n = 1864). The results showed that the perceived probabilities of transport accidents decreased, whereas the perceived severity of consequences increased during this period. Both samples estimated higher probabilities of accidents by private means of transport. The demand for risk mitigation and priorities related to transport safety increased significantly in the same period. The 2008 sample also reported more worry regarding accidents by private transport. Results were discussed in relation to transport safety campaigns, safety measures and significant accidents which occurred in this period.


Arne Vikan

Vikan, Arne; Rugset, Arild; Hassel, Anne Marit. Outpatients' ratings of use and efficiency of emotion regulation strategies. Nordic Psychology 2010;62(3):50-66

DOI: 10.1027/1901-2276/a000016

100 outpatients diagnosed as anxious and 100 as depressed, and 418 non-clinical participants rated their use and perceived efficiency of each of ten strategies to become happy and 14 strategies to stop being angry, anxious, and sad. Findings suggested a general outpatient problem of regulating emotions at high intensity levels. Examples were that outpatients selected fewer strategies for happiness than non-clients, and rated lower user frequency and strategy efficiency for strategies both for happiness and negative emotions. Differences were, moreover, shown both for strategies which could be associated with psychiatric symptoms and for those which could not. Specific factors in emotion regulation were suggested by outpatients' more frequent rating of avoidance, entertainment, and waiting for the emotion to pass to stop negative emotions, and by strategies which seemed to be associated with psychiatric diagnosis and emotion type. Thus, outpatients may also have problems related to their use of specific strategies for specific emotions.


Hagen, Ingunn. Children and Young People in a Changing Media Environment: Some Challenges. In: Media Literacy Education. Nordic Perspectives. Nordicom 2010 ISBN 978-91-86523-00-8. pp. 29-40

Ingunn Hagen

This article focuses on challenges related to grasping how children and young people operate in the new media landscape. It pays attention to how children and young people are portrayed in public discourses and in research on their media use. In addition to an overview of some recent research in this field, the author also draws on her own research to discuss children's use of new and old media. She presents two portraits of adolescents to illustrate how informants may position themselves as media users. The article concludes with a suggestion that the debate about media education and (digital) media literacy needs to be "evidence based"; it should draw on insights from research on children and young people's media use.


Ellen Matthies

Matthies, Ellen Birgit; Selge, Sebastian; Klöckner, Christian. Verantwortung für die Gesundheit von anderen? Eine Anwendung des Normaktivationsmodells auf nichtraucherschützendes Verhalten im universitären Kontext. Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie 2010;18(3):130-134

Christian Klöckner

DOI: 10.1026/0943-8149/a000010

A modified normactivation model was applied to explain non smoker-protective smoking behavior in a sample of 131 smoking university students, and was tested by using structural equation modelling. The test showed a satisfactory fit of model and empirical data. Perceived behavioral control and personal norms turned out to be significant predictors of self-reported non smoker-protective smoking behavior. Personal norms were mainly influenced by problem awareness, awareness of consequences, and perceived behavioral costs. Results are discussed with respect to interventions.


Karterud, Hilde Nordahl; Knizek, Birthe Loa; Nakken, Karl Otto. Changing the diagnosis from epilepsy to PNES: Patients' experiences and understanding of their new diagnosis. Seizure 2010;19(1):40-46

Birthe Knizek

DOI: 10.1016/j.seizure.2009.11.001

Objective To describe patients' experiences when diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES).

Methods The study was based on in-depth interviews with ten patients, previously diagnosed with epilepsy and treated with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) whose seizures were subsequently defined as PNES. The empirical material was analyzed by systematic text condensing strategies within the interpretative tradition.

Results Switch in diagnosis was demanding, both cognitively and emotionally. The patients had difficulty understanding the diagnosis. When the cause of the seizures was unclear, this resulted in feelings of hopelessness and helplessness, a need for re-evaluation of self-understanding, and increased levels of patient stress. The patients felt that with the change in diagnosis, responsibility was transferred from the health authorities to themselves.

Conclusions The mode of communicating the PNES diagnosis may be decisive for the patients' treatment motivation and ability to cope with the disorder. In order to avoid the patients feeling that they have been abandoned with a difficult diagnosis, close cooperation between neurologists and psychiatrists is essential.


Tor Erik Nysæter

Nysæter, Tor Erik; Nordahl, Hans Morten; Havik, Odd E. A preliminary study of the naturalistic course of non-manualized psychotherapy for outpatients with borderline personality disorder: Patient characteristics, attrition and outcome. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 2010;64(2):87-93

Hans M. Nordahl

DOI: 10.3109/08039480903406731

Background: Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for borderline personality disorder (BPD), but little is known about the long-term effect of non-manualized psychotherapy for these patients.

Aims: The aim of the preliminary study was to investigate the long-term effect of non-manualized psychotherapy on an outpatient sample (n = 32) with a primary diagnosis of BPD.

Methods: The current study was based on an open-ended naturalistic design with a 2-year follow-up. Assessment at intake, discharge and follow-up comprised the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I, II and V, and the general level of self-reported symptomatic (SCL-90R) and interpersonal distress (IIP-64C).

Results: Patients with BPD respond well to non-manualized psychotherapy as intent-to-treat analyses estimate that 62% no longer met the DSM-IV criteria for a BPD diagnosis at discharge, 66% at 2-year follow-up. In addition, significant improvement with large effect sizes was found for all outcome variables at both discharge and at follow-up. Attrition was associated with patient–therapist gender mismatch, low occupational status and the presence of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Conclusion: The results imply that the natural course of non-manualized psychotherapy is overall beneficial for outpatients with BPD.


Jowkar, Bahram; Friborg, Oddgeir; Hjemdal, Odin. Cross-cultural validation of the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA) in Iran. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 2010;51(5):418-425

Odin Hjemdal

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2009.00794.x

Resilience, as an ability to withstand and rebound from crisis and adversity, is becoming an increasingly popular concept in research on intervention and prevention of mental health. The present study examined psychometric properties of a Persian version of the Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA), a scale intended to measure protective factors presumed to enhance resilience. The participants were 373 university undergraduate students, as well as 30 pairs of run-away girls and a matched control group. A confirmatory factor analysis verified the Norwegian five-factor structure. All subscale scores, personal competence, social competence, family cohesion, social resources and structured style, had good reliability. The convergent validity of the RSA was supported by showing positive associations with another resilience scale, i.e., a Persian version of the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC). Predictive validity of the RSA was supported, as well, by significantly differentiating between girls who had run away from home and a matched control group. The results indicate that the RSA may be a valid and reliable scale for the assessment of resilience protective resources in an Iranian population.


Hermundur Sigmundsson

Sigmundsson, Hermundur; Hopkins, John Brian. Baby swimming: exploring the effects of early intervention on subsequent motor abilities. Child Care Health and Development 2010;36(3):428-430

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2009.00990.x

Aim The aim of the study was to explore the effects of baby swimming on subsequent motor abilities.

Background A range of motor abilities was examined in 4-year-old children who had previously participated in a programme of baby swimming (n = 19) and compared with a matched group of coevals who had not had this experience (n = 19).

Results As predicted from the nature of the exercises that comprise the programme, the effects of baby swimming were restricted to abilities associated with prehension and balance.

Conclusions Suggestions are made as to how the theme of this hypothesis-generating, demonstration study can be pursued in the future with more rigorous experimental controls and applications to children with disabilities and impairments.


Nordfjærn, Trond; Jørgensen, Stig Halvard; Rundmo, Torbjørn. An investigation of driver attitudes and behaviour in rural and urban areas in Norway. Safety Science 2010;48(3):348-356

Torbjørn Rundmo

DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2009.12.001

This study aimed to investigate differences in self-reported driver attitudes and behaviour in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in Norway. Age, gender and education were controlled for. An additional aim was to investigate the relations between demographics, personality variables, driver attitudes and behaviour in the complete sample and across the different geographical areas. To obtain these aims, a questionnaire was distributed by mail to a randomly selected sample from the Norwegian population registry (N = 6203). Of the distributed questionnaires the response rate was 30%. Differences in attitudes and self-reported behaviour were significant due to type of geographical area. However, the results showed that gender, age and education caused stronger differences than type of geographical area in attitudes to driving and driver behaviour. SEM-analysis failed to reject the notion that the strength of the structural relations was similar in the geographical areas. This could imply that demographic characteristics, and their compositions in rural, peri-urban and urban areas, are more important for differences in driver behaviour and attitudes than characteristics of the traffic environment.


Christian Klöckner

Holgersen, Katrine Høyer; Bøe, Hans Jacob; Klöckner, Christian; Weisæth, Lars; Holen, Are. Initial Stress Responses in Relation to Outcome After Three Decades. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 2010;198(3):230-233

DOI: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181d106a9

The present study aimed at predicting posttraumatic stress 5 and 27 years after the North Sea oil rig disaster. The predictions were based on the initial levels of stress responses and the early recovery as reported in 1980. The Posttraumatic Stress Scale (PTSS) was used at 3 measure points. From 1980, data from 69 survivors were used in latent growth modeling. Follow-up studies included 65 survivors and 85 matched unexposed oil-rig workers in 1985; and 47 and 62 in 2007. In 1985, the survivors had higher total PTSS scores and more frequent endorsements on most single PTSS-items than the comparison group. In 2007, a few single items remained different. The initial levels of stress responses and the early recovery rate predicted the long-term outcomes after 5 and 27 years. Initial screenings may be helpful in the early detection of posttraumatic stress in the very long-term perspective.


Hjelmeland, Heidi Marie; Knizek, Birthe Loa. Why We Need Qualitative Research in Suicidology. Journal of Suicide and Life-threatening Behaviour 2010;40(1):74-80

Birthe Knizek

DOI: 10.1521/suli.2010.40.1.74

Using the differentiation between explanations and understanding from philosophy of science as the point of departure, a critical look at the current mainstream suicidological research was launched. An almost exclusive use of quantitative methodology focusing on explanations is demonstrated. This bias in scope and methodology has to a large extent taken the suicidological field into a dead-end of repetitious research. It is argued that an increased focus on understanding and thus extended use of qualitative methodology is essential in bringing the suicidological field forward.


Arnulf Kolstad

Kolstad, Arnulf. Time for Paradigmatic Substitution in Psychology. What are the Alternatives?. Integrative Psychological and Behavioural Science 2010;44(1):58-64

DOI: 10.1007/s12124-010-9114-y

This article focuses on the "machine paradigm" in psychology and its consequences for (mis)understanding of human beings. It discusses causes of the mainstream epistemology in Western societies, referring to philosophical traditions, the prestige of some natural sciences and mathematical statistics. It emphasizes how the higher psychological functions develop dialectically from a biological basis and how the brain due to its plasticity changes with mental and physical activity. This makes a causal machine paradigm unfit to describe and explain human psychology and human development. Some concepts for an alternative paradigm are suggested.


Nordfjærn, Trond; Rundmo, Torbjørn; Hole, R. Treatment and recovery as perceived by patients with substance addiction. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing 2010;17(1):46-64

Torbjørn Rundmo

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2009.01477.x

Research concerning patients with substance addiction and how they perceive their treatment remains scant. The objective of this study was therefore to examine positive and negative perceptions of treatment and recovery from the perspectives of these patients. Data were collected with semi-structured interviews among seven patients who completed treatment and six patients who prematurely dropped out from their programme (n= 13). Patients were strategically sampled from five inpatient facilities and one outpatient opioid maintenance treatment clinic located in two Norwegian counties. All interviews were transcribed and thereafter analysed with contextual content analysis aided by the qsr nvivo 8.0 software. This was carried out to obtain information about the manifest positive and negative content in the interviews. The results showed that the therapeutic alliance and mutual influences among patients were important for perceptions of treatment. Frequent staff turnover also related to these perceptions. The more important domains of recovery were psychosocial functioning and substance use. The implications of the results were discussed in relation to clinical practice and further research.


Hermundur Sigmundsson

Sigmundsson, Hermundur; Anholt, Synne Karen; Talcott, J. B.. Are poor mathematics skills associated with visual deficits in temporal processing? Neuroscience Letters 2010;469(2):248-250

DOI: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.12.005

Developmental learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dyscalculia have a high rate of co-occurrence in pediatric populations, suggesting that they share underlying cognitive and neurophysiological mechanisms. Dyslexia and other developmental disorders with a strong heritable component have been associated with reduced sensitivity to coherent motion stimuli, an index of visual temporal processing on a millisecond time-scale. Here we examined whether deficits in sensitivity to visual motion are evident in children who have poor mathematics skills relative to other children of the same age. We obtained psychophysical thresholds for visual coherent motion and a control task from two groups of children who differed in their performance on a test of mathematics achievement. Children with math skills in the lowest 10% in their cohort were less sensitive than age-matched controls to coherent motion, but they had statistically equivalent thresholds to controls on a coherent form control measure. Children with mathematics difficulties therefore tend to present a similar pattern of visual processing deficit to those that have been reported previously in other developmental disorders. We speculate that reduced sensitivity to temporally defined stimuli such as coherent motion represents a common processing deficit apparent across a range of commonly co-occurring developmental disorders.


Søndenaa, Erik; Rasmussen, Kirsten; Nøttestad, Jim Aage; Lauvrud, Christian. Prevalence of intellectual disabilities in Norway: Domestic variance. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research 2010;54(2):161-167

Kirsten Rasmussen

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01230.x

Background: Based on national registers, the prevalence of intellectual disability (ID) in Norway is estimated to be 0.44 per 100 inhabitants. This study aimed to examine geographic and urban–rural differences in the prevalence of ID in Norway.

Methods: A survey based on the national register. Financial transfers intended to provide equal services to people with ID are based on these reports.

Results: A higher prevalence was found in the North region of Norway. A negative correlation between the population density and the prevalence of ID was also found.

Conclusions: There was considerable geographic and urban–rural differences in the prevalence of ID, which may be attributable to not only the large diversity of services, but also some other factors. The results were discussed with respect to the deinstitutionalisation progress, resource-intensive services and costs. Differences also reflect some problems in diagnosing ID in people having mild ID.


Lennart Sjøberg

Sjøberg, Lennart; Engelberg, Elisabeth. Risk Perception and Movies: A Study of Availability as a Factor in Risk Perception. Risk Analysis 2010;30(1):95-106

DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01335.x

Media effects on risk perception have often been explained by Tversky and Kahneman's availability principle, but research has not consistently supported it. What seem like media effects based on availability may be effects of new information. In an experimental study, entertainment movies depicting dramatic risk events were shown. They were found to produce no average effects on perceived risks in spite of large mood effects and being perceived as credible. We found, however, evidence of idiosyncratic effects of the movies, that is, people reacted immediately after the movies with enhanced or diminished risk beliefs. These reactions had faded after 10 days. Implications for the availability heuristic and risk perception are discussed.


Steinsbekk, Silje; Danielsen, Yngvild Sørebø. Fedme hos barn og unge - implikasjoner for psykologisk praksis. Tidsskrift for Norsk Psykologforening 2010;47(1):23-28

Silje Steinsbekk

Verdens helseorganisasjon (WHO) har definert fedme som et av vår tids største helseproblemer (2000). Fedme i barneårene er relatert til en hel rekke negative fysiske helsetilstander – deriblant diabetes mellitus type 2, astma, hypertensjon, ortopediske sykdommer, obstruktiv søvnapné -syndrom og fettlever (Reilly et al., 2003). De psykososiale konsekvensene av fedme er også omfattende (Dietz, 1998). Den økende forekomsten av fedme gjør at psykologer både i kommunal sektor og i spesialisthelsetjenesten stadig oftere møter barn og unge som har et alvorlig vektproblem. Selv om de fleste av disse barna henvises av andre årsaker, kan fedmen være en medvirkende årsak til barnets vansker og kan ha konsekvenser for de intervensjonene man iverksetter. Det er derfor viktig at psykologer har kunnskap om psykososiale konsekvenser og om hvordan fedme kan behandles. I denne artikkelen oppsummeres nyere forskning på psykososiale aspekter ved fedme og aktuelle behandlingstilnærminger.


Odin Hjemdal

Kallestad, Håvard; Hansen, Bjarne; Langsrud, Knut; Hjemdal, Odin; Stiles, Tore C. Psychometric properties and the predictive validity of the Insomnia Daytime Worry Scale: A pilot study. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 2010;39(2):150-157

Tore C. Stiles

DOI: 10.1080/16506070903115317

The relationship between presleep worry and insomnia has been investigated in previous studies, but less attention has been given to the role of daytime worry and symptoms of insomnia. The aims of the current study were (a) to assess the psychometric properties of a novel scale measuring insomnia-specific worry during daytime and (b) to examine whether levels of daytime worry predict severity of insomnia symptoms. Participants (N = 353) completed the Insomnia Daytime Worry Scale (IDWS) and the Insomnia Severity Index. An explorative principal-axis factor analysis extracted two factors from the IDWS, accounting for 70.5% of the variance. The IDWS demonstrated good reliability. The total score of IDWS and both factors predicted levels of insomnia severity in two separate hierarchical regression analyses. This preliminary evidence suggests that the IDWS is a valid and reliable scale to measure daytime worry in insomnia.


Arne Vikan

Vikan, Arne; Hassel, Anne Marit; Rugset, Arild; Johansen, Hedda Eline; Moen, Tomas. A test of shame in outpatients with emotional disorder. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry 2010;64(3):196-202

DOI: 10.3109/08039480903398177

Background: Shame is an acknowledged part of several psychopathological conditions, but is underrepresented in clinical research. Cook's Internalized Shame Scale (ISS) is the most promising measure, but has mostly been used for testing small clinical samples biased toward depressive pathology and female participants.

Aims: To contribute to establishing indicators of pathological shame in outpatients with depression and anxiety disorder, and to contribute to establishing norms for the ISS in Scandinavia.

Methods: The ISS was administered to n = 200 gender balanced non-patient and outpatient samples. A total of 100 patients each were diagnosed as suffering from a depression or anxiety disorder. The diagnoses were supported by Beck's Depression (BDI) and Anxiety Inventory (BAI). The analyses used were the principal component analysis (PCA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for item structure and sample equivalence, ANOVAs, t-tests and Mann–Whitney non-parametric statistics for index scores, and the receiver operating curve (ROC) for break-off.

Results: Patients' ISS score were similar to the results from previous research, the effect size of patient–non-patient difference was 0.68, correlations indicated a higher level of shame in depression than in anxiety, and the BDI–BAI correlation was 0.56 for both clinical samples. The PCA showed three factors that were identified as: "Inadequacy", "Emptiness", and "Vulnerability".

Conclusions: The ISS is a viable instrument, which indicates a widespread shame pathology in both depressive and anxious out-patients. The instrument may not be uni-dimensional, but exploration of factor variation may be a promising goal for further research.

Clinical implications: Assessment of shame should be included in diagnosis and treatment of emotional disorder.


Stian Solem

Solem, Stian; Myers, Samuel G.; Fisher, Peter L.; Vogel, Patrick A.; Wells, Adrian. An empirical test of the metacognitive model of obsessive-compulsive symptoms: Replication and extension. Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2010;24(1):79-86

Patrick A. Vogel

DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2009.08.009

The aim of the current study was to further investigate the role of metacognitive beliefs implicated in Wells' (1997) model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The metacognitive domains of thought-fusion beliefs and beliefs about rituals were positively correlated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms in a community control sample (N = 269) and in an OCD sample (N = 57). The OCD sample had significantly more obsessive-compulsive symptoms as well as higher scores on the metacognitive constructs than the control sample. In order to perform a more stringent test of the metacognitive model of OCD and to explore the role of a third metacognitive construct, that of stop signals, a second study was conducted using a community control sample (N = 304). All three metacognitive constructs were positively correlated with obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Thought-fusion beliefs and beliefs about rituals predicted obsessive-compulsive symptoms, even when controlling for worry, threat, and non-metacognitive beliefs such as perfectionism/certainty and responsibility. Results of this study provide further evidence for the importance of metacognitions in OCD.


Thimm, Jens. Mediation of early maladaptive schemas between perceptions of parental rearing style and personality disorder symptoms. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry 2010;41(1):52-59

DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2009.10.001

In schematherapy (ST), early maladaptive schemas (EMS) are proposed to be the defining core of personality disorders. Adverse relational experiences in childhood are assumed to be the main cause for the developmentof EMS. The present study explored the links between perceived parental rearing behaviours,EMS, and personality disorder symptoms in a clinical sample (N = 108). Results from mediation analyses suggest that EMS mediate the relationships between recalled parenting rearing behaviours and personality disorder symptoms. Findings give support to the theoretical model ST is based on.


Tore C. Stiles

Nilsen, Halvard Knut; Stiles, Tore C; Landrø, Nils Inge; Fors, Egil Andreas; Kaasa, Stein; Borchgrevink, Petter Chr.. Patients with problematic opioid use can be weaned from codeine without pain escalation. Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica 2010;54(5):571-579

DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-6576.2009.02164.x

Background: Brief treatments for chronic non-malignant pain patients with problematic opioid use are warranted. The aims of the present study were to investigate (1) whether it is possible to withdraw codeine use in such patients with a brief cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), (2) whether this could be done without pain escalation and reduction in quality of life and (3) to explore the effects of codeine reduction on neurocognitive functioning.

Methods: Eleven patients using codeine daily corresponding to 40–100 mg morphine were included. Two specifically trained physicians treated the patients with six CBT sessions, tapering codeine gradually within 8 weeks. Codeine use, pain intensity, quality of life and neuropsychological functioning were assessed at pre-treatment to the 3-month follow-up.

Results: Codeine use was significantly reduced from mean 237 mg [standard deviation (SD) 65] pre-treatment to 45 mg (SD 66) post-treatment and to 48 mg (SD 65) at follow-up without significant pain escalation or reductions in quality of life. Moreover, neuropsychological functioning improved significantly on some tests, while others remained unchanged.

Conclusion: The promising findings of codeine reduction in this weaning therapy programme for pain patients with problematic opioid use should be further evaluated in a larger randomized control trial comparing this brief CBT with both another brief treatment and attention placebo condition.


von Soest, Tilmann; Mossige, Svein; Stefansen, Kari; Hjemdal, Odin. A validation study of the Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 2010;32(2):215-225

Odin Hjemdal

DOI: 10.1007/s10862-009-9149-x

In this study, the validity of the recently developed 28-item Resilience Scale for Adolescents (READ) was examined. Survey data from a representative sample of 6,723 Norwegian senior high school students between 18 and 20 years of age were used for this purpose. Validity and reliability were investigated by means of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, correlations with other relevant variables, and internal consistency measures. The results supported the construct and convergent validity of the five factors of a modified 23-item version of the scale, which also yielded acceptable psychometric properties. The paper concludes that the modified READ is a valid measure assessing relevant resilience factors with relatively few items, thereby serving as a valuable tool in resilience and risk-factor research.


Torbjørn Tronsmoen

Tronsmoen, Torbjørn. Associations between driver training, determinants of risky driving behaviour and crash involvement. Safety Science 2010;48(1):35-45

DOI: 10.1016/j.ssci.2009.05.001

The core aim of the study is to examine associations between formal and informal practical driver training as well as driving experience on the one hand and young drivers' safety attitudes, self-assessment of driving ability and self-reported driver behaviour on the other hand. An additional aim is to examine the associations between attitudes, self-assessment and behaviour on the one hand and crash involvement on the other hand. The results are based on a self-completion questionnaire survey conducted among a representative sample of Norwegian drivers aged 18–20 years (n = 1419). The results showed that there were small yet significant associations between driver training, on the one hand and traffic safety attitudes and risky driving behaviour on the other hand. The amount of formal driver training was negatively associated with the respondents' evaluation of their driving skills; although the amount of lay instruction was positively associated with such self-evaluation. The results also showed that attitudes as well as self-assessment of driving ability were significantly associated with self-reported risk behaviour. This was especially true for attitudes related to rule violations. There was a strong association between crash involvement and exposure (measured as months holding a licence). Young novice drivers' crash involvement seems stronger associated with driving skills (manifested as self-assessment of driving ability) than safety attitudes and self-reported driver behaviour. The consequences of the results for driver training and accident prevention are discussed.


Wendelborg, Christian; Kvello, Øyvind. Perceived Social Acceptance and Peer Intimacy Among Childen with Disabilities in Regular Schools in Norway. Journal of applied research in intellectual disabilities 2010;23(2):143-153

Øyvind Kvello

DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-3148.2009.00515.x

The prevailing ideology in Norway and most western countries is that children with disabilities should receive their education in inclusive settings together with peers who have no disabilities . School is an important place for social interaction, establishing friendships and for giving and receiving social support. However, school-age children with disabilities have a less positive assessment of their social belonging than that of their peers with no disabilities, they are less socially preferred among their peers, and they participate less in social and curriculum activities at school. Such findings are not only limited to school settings either: children and youth with disabilities often experience barriers to both recreational, community and school participation, participate less in social activities, and have fewer intimate relations with friends than children and youth without disabilities.

Department of Psychology; Publications 2007 , 2008 , 2009