The editors are pleased to announce the second edition of the peer-reviewed Electronic Journal of Applied Psychology (E-JAP)! Like the first edition published in July, 2005 this latest edition reflects the aims of the journal to facilitate and promote quality research, both qualitative and quantitative in a timely manner. The current edition explores a variety of themes that are active areas of research in the field of psychology, including clinical, experimental, stress and health, and family functioning.
An important aim of contemporary research within Clinical Psychology is to understand the cognitive processes involved in psychopathology. The classic Stroop task was one of the earliest methods developed by psychologists to explore attentional bias. More recently, the emotional Stroop task, an extension of the original Stroop task, has provided evidence for the link between attentional bias and psychopathology. Consistent with this, Kambouropoulos and Knowles’ article entitled ‘Psychological distress and responses to blocked and random presentation of emotional Stroop stimuli; an online experiment’ provides evidence for attentional bias in response to emotional words in individuals with higher levels of psychological distress. This research also explored the differences in attentional bias across blocked vs. random presentation conditions. The findings from this paper contribute to the existing Stroop literature by providing further evidence for the link between emotional distress and attentional bias.
Possibly one of the least understood psychological disorders in terms of underlying processes is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). DID is one of the more controversial disorders identified in the DSM. The primary diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) for DID is the ‘presence of two or more distinct personality states’ (p. 487) and that these two distinct identities independently control an individual’s behaviour. The controversial nature of this disorder is underpinned by a lack of understanding as to its biological and psychological processes. Consequently, further discussion in relation to how it is conceptualized, understood, and viewed by practitioners, clients and the general public is important.
In this edition, Clayton’s article ‘Critiquing the requirement of oneness over multiplicity: An examination of dissociative identity (Disorder) in five clinical texts’ explores the themes and assumptions of DID. Applying a discourse analysis to the identified texts, Clayton explores two central themes associated with DID; (1) the self is a unitary construct that is necessary but not sufficient for health; and (2) while a collaborative therapy is important, the therapist is assumed to know what’s best. The findings from this paper provide further insight into this complex and misunderstood disorder.
This issue of the journal also contains two applied social psychological papers. ‘Adolescent and parental perceptions of interparental conflict’ by Davern, Staiger and Luk compares the perceptions of 14-16-year-olds with those of their parents regarding the degree of conflict between the parents, and its relation to measures of adjustment in the adolescents. Their findings that adolescent perceptions predict a greater proportion of the variance in their self-reported adjustment than do those of their parents has implications for clinical practice. Although clinicians frequently take account of differences in perceptions when working with families, this study emphasises the importance of paying serious attention to the perceptions of the adolescents themselves.
Hardie’s paper on Stress-coping congruence introduces a framework for viewing the consequences of the degree of fit between particular types of stressors and the prominence of individual, relational and collective aspects of the self. She argues that more positive health outcomes are likely to occur if the coping strategies followed are matched with the type of stressor, where stressors can be categorised as threatening either the individual, relational or collective aspects of one’s being.
The editors are appreciative of the support shown by authors in submitting their work to E-JAP; the work done by reviewers in ensuring that the articles are of high quality; and the administrative assistance we have received allowing us to get this second edition to “press.”
As always, we encourage you to submit your work to us. Please let your colleagues know about E-JAP. If you have comments or suggestions for content or style, especially if you are interested in a special edition on some area dear to your heart, we would love to hear from you.
Simon Knowles, Clinical section editor
Bruce Findlay, Social section editor
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.