SPECTRA: Built on the three-factor model of psychopathology

The new SPECTRA™: Indices of Psychopathology offers clinicians a new way to assess psychopathology. A brief, self-administered multiscale measure of psychopathology and functioning, the SPECTRA is based on quantitative model of psychopathology.

The SPECTRA measures 12 clinically important constructs (depression, anxiety, social anxiety, posttraumatic stress, alcohol problems, severe aggression, antisocial behavior, drug problems, psychosis, paranoid ideation, manic activation, and grandiose ideation). These constructs are organized into three higher-order spectra of Internalizing, Externalizing, and Reality-Impairing. The constructs map on to DSM-5 conditions and help link assessment findings to the quantitative model research literature. The three spectra combine to provide a General Psychopathology Index score, which measures the total burden of psychopathology. Three supplemental scales include Cognitive Concerns, Psychosocial Functioning, and Suicidal Ideations.

 The SPECTRA takes just 15-20 minutes to administer and can be administered and scored on paper or via the PARiConnect online assessment system. The SPECTRA is useful when evaluating individuals in a variety of clinical settings, such as inpatient and outpatient clinics, hospitals, schools, and forensic settings. It also can help track progress over time if administered repeatedly.

 To learn more about the SPECTRA, visit the product page, where you can view a sample PARiConnect report and other supplemental information.

Now available: SPECTRA<br>Indices of Psychopathology

The new SPECTRA™: Indices of Psychopathology offers clinicians a new way to assess psychopathology in that it measures valuable clinical information on a wide range of psychopathological conditions at three levels of specificity.

The SPECTRA measures 12 clinically important constructs (depression, anxiety, social anxiety, posttraumatic stress, alcohol problems, severe aggression, antisocial behavior, drug problems, psychosis, paranoid ideation, manic activation, and grandiose ideation). These constructs are organized into three higher-order spectra of Internalizing, Externalizing, and Reality-Impairing. The constructs map on to DSM-5 conditions and help link assessment findings to the quantitative model research literature. The three spectra combine to provide a General Psychopathology Index score, which measures the total burden of psychopathology. Three supplemental scales include Cognitive Concerns, Psychosocial Functioning, and Suicidal Ideations.

 The SPECTRA takes just 15-20 minutes to administer and can be administered and scored on paper or via the PARiConnect online assessment system. The SPECTRA is useful when evaluating individuals in a variety of clinical settings, such as inpatient and outpatient clinics, hospitals, schools, and forensic settings. It also can help track progress over time if administered repeatedly.

 To learn more about the SPECTRA, visit the product page.

Preorder the SPECTRA today!

The SPECTRA: Indices of Psychopathology is a brief, self-administered, multiscale measure of adult psychopathology and functioning. Informed by quantitative model research, the SPECTRA provides an integrated hierarchical assessment of psychopathology from lower-order clinical constructs up through multiple spectra and one general factor.

 

Standing apart from other measures, the SPECTRA:

• Is a low burden (96 items), psychometrically sound tool that is much briefer than most psychopathology measures.

• Can be used in treatment settings where longer assessments are not feasible or with patient populations that are unable to complete longer test batteries.

 

The SPECTRA’s 12 scales measure clinically important constructs. The Internalizing, Externalizing, and Reality-Impairing spectra are each composed of four scales. The three spectra combine to form the General Psychopathology Index. Administration and scoring will be available on PARiConnect, our online assessment platform.

 

Preorder your copy of the SPECTRA today!

Many children are antisocial and have trouble making friends; they even lie and fight, but these traits may indicate a deeper problem that can develop into psychopathy if ignored. Researchers at the University of New South Wales have found that some children as young as three years old display callous-unemotional traits (CU traits), demonstrating a distinct lack of emotions. DSM-5 lists four behavioral indicators for CU traits: lack of remorse or guilt, callous/lack of empathy, lack of concern about performance, and shallow or deficient affect. Two of the four must be present for a diagnosis.

When adults within the criminal justice system have CU traits combined with antisocial behavior, they are labeled psychopaths; therefore, children who exhibit severe conduct problems and CU traits are at an increased risk for developing adult psychopathy, according to the research. These children demonstrate lack of concern or empathy for others, excessive and often inappropriate pursuit of rewards, and poor processing of punishment cues. Such conduct increases the risk of substance abuse, criminal behavior, and educational disruption.

Because CU traits often resemble normal misconduct, punishment is often used as a preventive measure. However, these children are relatively insensitive to punishment, threats, or the distress of others, so punishment is largely ineffective. It is more useful to focus on positive reinforcement to encourage positive behavior.

The good news about early diagnosis is that treatment can be effective in reducing levels of antisocial behavior and CU traits. New studies suggest that children with high levels of CU traits respond to warm parenting. For example, it’s better to emphasize what they did well rather than what they did poorly. In addition, another study by Dadds emphasizes that children with CU traits could benefit from training in emotional literacy and emotional recognition.

When considering CU traits, it is important to distinguish between children who are capable of premeditated violence and children whose violence is primarily impulsive and in reaction to a perceived threat.

Eva Kimonis was the lead author of a study that involved more than 200 children between the ages of three and six. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, she said, “Until now we didn’t really have a way to identify those traits in very young children. This is really the first study which uses tools adapted for very young children, and the sooner those children are identified, the earlier they can be helped.”

What do you think? Can psychopathic behavior be identified and prevented in young children? PAR wants to hear from you, so leave a comment and join the conversation!