- Non-invasive assessment of glucocorticoid and androgen metabolite levels in cooperatively breeding Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis). [Journal Article]
- GCGen Comp Endocrinol 2018 May 18
- Dominant females of cooperative breeding species often use aggression to suppress reproduction of subordinate females, resulting in subordinates experiencing stress-related increases in glucocorticoi...
Dominant females of cooperative breeding species often use aggression to suppress reproduction of subordinate females, resulting in subordinates experiencing stress-related increases in glucocorticoid levels, which may cause reproductive down-regulation. This would suggest a general pattern with higher glucocorticoid levels in subordinate compared to dominant individuals; however, the opposite was found in a number of cooperatively breeding species. Furthermore, breeding females of the cooperatively breeding Damaraland mole-rats (Fukomys damarensis) exhibit very high androgen concentrations during the wet season, presumably to support their breeding monopoly. Hormone analysis in Damaraland mole-rats have typically been measured using plasma and urine, but faecal analysis offers additional advantages especially for field studies on this species. The present study examines the suitability of Damaraland mole-rat faecal samples for determining glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) and androgen metabolite (fAM) concentrations using enzyme immunoassays. Using these assays, we further evaluated the effects of breeding status on fGCM and fAM concentrations in wild-caught and captive Damaraland mole-rats. Wild-caught breeding and non-breeding males and females exhibited no differences in fAM concentrations. Immunoreactive fGCM concentrations were only high in male breeders and comparatively low in non-breeders and breeding females. Concentrations of fAMs and fGCMs were similar in captive males and females, but fAM concentrations were elevated in captive compared to wild-caught individuals, which may be related to a higher reproductive activity due to removal from the breeding female. The relatively uniform fAM and fGCM concentrations found in wild-caught mole-rats may be explained by a stable colony structure during the dry season during which this study was conducted. Limited dispersal opportunities result in lower aggression and stress levels within a colony and as a result lower fAM and fGCM concentrations.
- Racial discrimination and relationship functioning among African American couples. [Journal Article]
- JFJ Fam Psychol 2018 May 21
- Racial discrimination is a common stressor for African Americans, with negative consequences for mental and physical well-being. It is likely that these effects extend into the family, but little res...
Racial discrimination is a common stressor for African Americans, with negative consequences for mental and physical well-being. It is likely that these effects extend into the family, but little research has examined the association between racial discrimination and couple functioning. This study used dyadic data from 344 rural, predominantly low-income heterosexual African American couples with an early adolescent child to examine associations between self-reported racial discrimination, psychological and physical aggression, and relationship satisfaction and instability. Experiences of discrimination were common among men and women and were negatively associated with relationship functioning. Specifically, men reported higher levels of psychological aggression and relationship instability if they experienced higher levels of racial discrimination, and women reported higher levels of physical aggression if they experienced higher levels of racial discrimination. All results replicated when controlling for financial hardship, indicating unique effects for discrimination. Findings suggest that racial discrimination may be negatively associated with relationship functioning among African Americans and call for further research on the processes underlying these associations and their long-term consequences. (PsycINFO Database Record
- Immediate early gene activation throughout the brain is associated with dynamic changes in social context. [Journal Article]
- SNSoc Neurosci 2018 May 21
- Social competence is dependent on successful processing of social context information. The social opportunity paradigm is a methodology in which dynamic shifts in social context are induced through r...
Social competence is dependent on successful processing of social context information. The social opportunity paradigm is a methodology in which dynamic shifts in social context are induced through removal of the alpha male in a dominance hierarchy, leading to rapid ascent in the hierarchy of the beta male and of other subordinate males in the social group. In the current study, we use the social opportunity paradigm to determine what brain regions respond to this dynamic change in social context, allowing an individual to recognize the absence of the alpha male and subsequently perform status-appropriate social behaviors. Replicating our previous work, we show that following removal of the alpha male, beta males rapidly ascend the social hierarchy and attain dominant status by increasing aggression towards more subordinate individuals. Analysis of patterns of Fos immunoreactivity throughout the brain indicates that in individuals undergoing social ascent, there is increased activity in regions of the social behavior network, as well as the infralimbic and prelimbic regions of the prefrontal cortex and areas of the hippocampus. Our findings demonstrate that male mice are able to respond to changes in social context and provide insight into the how the brain processes these complex behavioral changes.
- Reductions of intimate partner violence resulting from supplementing children with omega-3 fatty acids: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial. [Journal Article]
- ABAggress Behav 2018 May 20
- Omega-3 supplementation has been found to reduce externalizing behavior in children. Reciprocal models of parent-child behavior suggest that improving child behavior could lead to improvements in par...
Omega-3 supplementation has been found to reduce externalizing behavior in children. Reciprocal models of parent-child behavior suggest that improving child behavior could lead to improvements in parent behavior, however no study has examined whether omega-3 supplementation in children could reduce intimate partner violence or child maltreatment by their adult caregivers. In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel group trial, a community sample of children were randomized to receive either a fruit drink containing 1 gm of omega-3 fats (Smartfish Recharge; Omega-3 group, n = 100) or the same fruit drink without omega-3's (Placebo group, n = 100). Child participants, adult caregivers, and research staff were blinded to group assignment. Adult caregivers reported inter-partner and child-directed physical assault and psychological aggression at baseline, 6 months (end of treatment) and 12 months (6 months post-treatment) using the Conflicts Tactics Scale. Caregivers of children in the omega-3 group reported long-term reductions in psychological aggression in a group × time interaction. Improvements in adult psychological aggression were correlated with improvements in child externalizing behavior scores. No differences were reported for child maltreatment. This study is the first to show that omega-3 supplementation in children can reduce inter-partner psychological aggression among adult caregivers not receiving supplements. Findings suggest that improving child behavior through omega-3 supplementation could have long-term benefits to the family system as a whole.
- Metformin Targets Glucose Metabolism in Triple Negative Breast Cancer. [Journal Article]
- JOJ Oncol Transl Res 2018; 4(1)
- Metformin is the most widely administered anti-diabetic agent worldwide. In patients receiving metformin for metabolic syndrome or diabetes, it reduces the incidence and improves the survival of brea...
Metformin is the most widely administered anti-diabetic agent worldwide. In patients receiving metformin for metabolic syndrome or diabetes, it reduces the incidence and improves the survival of breast cancer (BC) patients. We have previously shown that metformin is particularly potent against triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), with a reduction of proliferation, oncogenicity and motility, inhibition of pro-oncogenic signaling pathways and induction of apoptosis. These BCs are well recognized to be highly dependent on glucose/glucosamine (metabolized through anaerobic glycolysis) and lipids, which are metabolized for the production of energy and cellular building blocks to sustain a high rate of proliferation. We have previously demonstrated that metformin inhibits lipid metabolism, specifically targeting fatty acid synthase (FASN), cholesterol biosynthesis and GM1 lipid rafts in TNBC. We also reported that glucose promotes phenotypic aggression and reduces metformin efficacy. We now show that metformin inhibits several key enzymes requisite to glucose metabolism in TNBC, providing additional insight into why metformin is especially toxic to this subtype of BC. Our data suggests that the use of metformin to target key metabolic defects in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in cancer may be broadly applicable, especially against highly aggressive malignant cells.
- Adolescents' responses to online peer conflict: How self-evaluation and ethnicity matter. [Journal Article]
- ICInfant Child Dev 2018 Mar-Apr; 27(2):e2067
- For parents, online platforms where their children interact with others often feel like a "black box" in terms of what exactly is happening. In this study, we developed an ecologically valid online c...
For parents, online platforms where their children interact with others often feel like a "black box" in terms of what exactly is happening. In this study, we developed an ecologically valid online computer game in which a (computer-generated) peer teammate tried to provoke frustration, in order to examine (a) adolescents' responses and (b) how indices of self-evaluation (i.e., sense of coherence and self-esteem) and demographic variables (i.e., gender and ethnicity) matter to these responses. Like gender, being a member of a minority or majority group may influence how provocations by peers are interpreted, influencing how one responds. Fifteen-year-old Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch adolescents (N = 167) completed self-reports and played the online computer game. The game indeed elicited frustration, with increased self-reported anger. Moreover, expressions of displeasure were much more common during and after provocation than before provocation. Crucially, perceived self-evaluation mattered; higher levels of sense of coherence but lower levels of self-esteem (only in Moroccan-Dutch group) contributed to fewer expressions of displeasure. Gender did not play a moderating role. Our findings provide initial insights into individual differences in adolescents' responses in an online peer-conflict situation.
- Is There Really a Relationship Between Empathy and Aggression? Evidence From Physiological and Self-Report Measures. [Journal Article]
- JIJ Interpers Violence 2018 May 01; :886260518776999
- A strong relationship between empathy and aggression has traditionally been argued, but a recent meta-analysis showed that this relationship is surprisingly weak. However, none of the studies that we...
A strong relationship between empathy and aggression has traditionally been argued, but a recent meta-analysis showed that this relationship is surprisingly weak. However, none of the studies that were analyzed in the meta-analysis used physiological measures of empathy to assess differences between aggressive and nonaggressive subjects. The present study evaluated the activity of the corrugator and zygomatic muscles, galvanic skin response, and heart rate response to pictures with different social content in 30 aggressive and 30 nonaggressive subjects. Self-report measures of emotion and empathy were also evaluated. The results did not show significant differences in any of the physiological measures of affective empathy or subjective measures of emotion. Significant differences were found only in cognitive empathy, in which nonaggressive subjects had higher scores than aggressive subjects. These results suggest that intervention programs should focus on increasing cognitive empathy and exploring other variables, such as emotional self-regulation and callous-unemotional traits. We also suggest exploring other ways of understanding affective empathy.
- The Role of Control in Intimate Partner Violence: A Study in Dutch Forensic Outpatients. [Journal Article]
- JIJ Interpers Violence 2018 May 01; :886260518775152
- Johnson argued that coercive control is crucial in explaining heterogeneity in intimate partner violence, with such violence being more frequent, less reciprocal, and more often male-to-female aggres...
Johnson argued that coercive control is crucial in explaining heterogeneity in intimate partner violence, with such violence being more frequent, less reciprocal, and more often male-to-female aggression when it serves to exercise control over the partner. We assessed 280 Dutch forensic outpatients who had recently engaged in intimate partner violence on nonaggressive coercive control. Control showed significant, small to moderate, associations with more frequent past year acts of psychological aggression, physical assault, and sexual coercion and more frequently resulted in partner injury. Control was unrelated to reciprocity of partner violence. High controlling violence was enacted mostly, but not exclusively by men. Overall, while perhaps not having a uniquely strong association, our findings provide partial support for the role of coercive control in intimate partner violence and suggest it may benefit intimate partner violence risk assessment.
- Alcohol Mixed With Energy Drinks and Sexually Related Causes of Conflict in the Barroom. [Journal Article]
- JIJ Interpers Violence 2018 May 01; :886260518774298
- The popularity of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) among young adults has spurred studies that focus on its links to aggression and risk-taking behaviors, including risky sex and sexual victim...
The popularity of alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AmED) among young adults has spurred studies that focus on its links to aggression and risk-taking behaviors, including risky sex and sexual victimization. However, no studies to date have looked at the relationship between AmED and causes of interpersonal conflict in bars at the event level. The present study evaluated whether AmED use at the time of the bar conflict was associated with greater odds that a bar conflict would be precipitated by sexually related causes. Online survey data, including a description of a recent bar conflict, were collected from a community sample of 175 young adult (97 female) AmED users age 18 to 30 in western New York state. Qualitative findings included the natural categorization of sexually related causes of conflict, consisting of unwanted sexual advances and jealousy, and the prominence of sexual competition in these conflicts. Proportion of AmED use (out of the total quantity of alcoholic drinks) predicted the odds that the bar conflict would have a sexually related cause, above and beyond control variables. How AmED use might be associated with sexual competition and conflict in the bar is discussed.
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- Effects of Porphyromonas gingivalis LPS and LR12 peptide on TREM-1 expression by monocytes. [Journal Article]
- JCJ Clin Periodontol 2018 May 19
- CONCLUSIONS: TREM-1 inhibitors such as LR12 could be interesting for the modulation of the excessive inflammatory response that occurs during periodontal disease. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.