Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: C. da Motta

7 Characterization and Predictors of Paranoid Ideation in Youths

Authors: M. Sousa, C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, J. Cabral, V. Pereira, S. Nunes Caldeira, E. Peixoto

Abstract:

Paranoid ideation is a common thought process that constitutes a defense against perceived social threats. The current study aimed at the characterization of paranoid ideation in youths and to explore the possible predictors involved in the development of paranoid ideations. Paranoid ideation, shame, submission, early childhood memories and current depressive, anxious and stress symptomatology were assessed in a sample of 1516 Portuguese youths. Higher frequencies of paranoid ideation were observed, particularly in females and youths from lower socioeconomic status. The main predictors identified relates to submissive behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, and especially to shame feelings. The current study emphasizes that the these predictors are similar to findings in adults and clinical populations, and future implications to research and clinical practice aiming at paranoid ideations are discussed, as well as the pertinence of the study of mediating factors that allow a wider understanding of this thought process in younger populations and the prevention of psychopathology in adulthood.

Keywords: Adolescence, early memories, paranoid ideation, parenting styles, shame, submissiveness.

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6 Influence of Fermentation Conditions on Humic Acids Production by Trichoderma viride Using an Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunch as the Substrate

Authors: F. L. Motta, M. H. A. Santana

Abstract:

Humic acids (HA) were produced by a Trichoderma viride strain under submerged fermentation in a medium based on the oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) and the main variables of the process were optimized by using response surface methodology. A temperature of 40°C and concentrations of 50g/L EFB, 5.7g/L potato peptone and 0.11g/L (NH4)2SO4 were the optimum levels of the variables that maximize the HA production, within the physicochemical and biological limits of the process. The optimized conditions led to an experimental HA concentration of 428.4±17.5 mg/L, which validated the prediction from the statistical model of 412.0mg/L. This optimization increased about 7–fold the HA production previously reported in the literature. Additionally, the time profiles of HA production and fungal growth confirmed our previous findings that HA production preferably occurs during fungal sporulation. The present study demonstrated that T. viride successfully produced HA via the submerged fermentation of EFB and the process parameters were successfully optimized using a statistics-based response surface model. To the best of our knowledge, the present work is the first report on the optimization of HA production from EFB by a biotechnological process, whose feasibility was only pointed out in previous works.

Keywords: Empty fruit bunch, humic acids, submerged fermentation, Trichoderma viride.

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5 Development and Validation of the Response to Stressful Situations Scale in the General Population

Authors: C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, M. Sousa, J. Cabral, A. L. Carvalho, E. B. Peixoto

Abstract:

The aim of the current study was to develop and validate a Response to Stressful Situations Scale (RSSS) for the Portuguese population. This scale assesses the degree of stress experienced in scenarios that can constitute positive, negative and more neutral stressors, and also describes the physiological, emotional and behavioral reactions to those events according to their intensity. These scenarios include typical stressor scenarios relevant to patients with schizophrenia, which are currently absent from most scales, assessing specific risks that these stressors may bring on subjects, which may prove useful in non-clinical and clinical populations (i.e. Patients with mood or anxiety disorders, schizophrenia). Results from Principal Components Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis of two adult samples from general population allowed to confirm a three-factor model with good fit indices: χ2 (144)= 370.211, p = 0.000; GFI = 0.928; CFI = 0.927; TLI = 0.914, RMSEA = 0.055, P(rmsea ≤0.005) = .096; PCFI = .781. Further data analysis of the scale revealed that RSSS is an adequate assessment tool of stress response in adults to be used in further research and clinical settings, with good psychometric characteristics, adequate divergent and convergent validity, good temporal stability and high internal consistency.

Keywords: Assessment, stress events, stress response, stress vulnerability.

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4 Characterization and Predictors of Community Integration of People with Psychiatric Problems: Comparisons with the General Population

Authors: J. Cabral, C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, M. Sousa

Abstract:

Community integration is a construct that an increasing body of research has shown to have a significant impact on the wellbeing and recovery of people with psychiatric problems. However, there are few studies that explore which factors can be associated and predict community integration. Moreover, community integration has been mostly studied in minority groups, and current literature on the definition and manifestation of community integration in the general population is scarcer. Thus, the current study aims to characterize community integration and explore possible predictor variables in a sample of participants with psychiatric problems (PP, N=183) and a sample of participants from the general population (GP, N=211). Results show that people with psychiatric problems present above average values of community integration, but are significantly lower than their healthy counterparts. It was also possible to observe that community integration does not vary in terms of the sociodemographic characteristics of both groups in this study. Correlation and multiple regression showed that, among several variables that literature present as relevant in the community integration process, only three variables emerged as having the most explanatory value in community integration of both groups: sense of community, basic needs satisfaction and submission. These results also shown that those variables have increased explanatory power in the PP sample, which leads us to emphasize the need to address this issue in future studies and increase the understanding of the factors that can be involved in the promotion of community integration, in order to devise more effective interventions in this field.

Keywords: Community integration, mental illness, predictors.

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3 Evaluation of Produced Water Treatment Using Advanced Oxidation Processes and Sodium Ferrate(VI)

Authors: Erica T. R. Mendonça, Caroline M. B. de Araujo, Filho, Osvaldo Chiavone, Sobrinho, Maurício A. da Motta

Abstract:

Oil and gas exploration is an essential activity for modern society, although the supply of its global demand has caused enough damage to the environment, mainly due to produced water generation, which is an effluent associated with the oil and gas produced during oil extraction. It is the aim of this study to evaluate the treatment of produced water, in order to reduce its oils and greases content (OG), by using flotation as a pre-treatment, combined with oxidation for the remaining organic load degradation. Thus, there has been tested Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) using both Fenton and photo-Fenton reactions, as well as a chemical oxidation treatment using sodium ferrate(VI), Na2[FeO4], as a strong oxidant. All the studies were carried out using real samples of produced water from petroleum industry. The oxidation process using ferrate(VI) ion was studied based on factorial experimental designs. The factorial design was used in order to study how the variables pH, temperature and concentration of Na2[FeO4] influences the O&G levels. For the treatment using ferrate(VI) ion, the results showed that the best operating point is obtained when the temperature is 28 °C, pH 3, and a 2000 mg.L-1 solution of Na2[FeO4] is used. This experiment has achieved a final O&G level of 4.7 mg.L-1, which means 94% percentage removal efficiency of oils and greases. Comparing Fenton and photo-Fenton processes, it was observed that the Fenton reaction did not provide good reduction of O&G (around 20% only). On the other hand, a degradation of approximately 80.5% of oil and grease was obtained after a period of seven hours of treatment using photo-Fenton process, which indicates that the best process combination has occurred between the flotation and the photo-Fenton reaction using solar radiation, with an overall removal efficiency of O&G of approximately 89%.

Keywords: Advanced oxidation process, ferrate(VI) ion, oils and greases removal, produced water treatment.

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2 Hallucinatory Activity in Schizophrenia: The Relationship with Childhood Memories, Submissive Behavior, Social Comparison, and Depression

Authors: C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, J. Pinto-Gouveia, E. B. Peixoto

Abstract:

Auditory hallucinations among the most invalidating and distressing experiences reported by patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, leading to feelings of powerlessness and helplessness towards their illness. In more severe cases, these auditory hallucinations can take the form of commanding voices, which are often related to high suicidality rates in these patients. Several authors propose that the meanings attributed to the hallucinatory experience, rather than characteristics like form and content, can be determinant in patients’ reactions to hallucinatory activity, particularly in the case of voice-hearing experiences. In this study, 48 patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia presenting auditory hallucinations were studied. Multiple regression analyses were computed to study the influence of several developmental aspects, such as family and social dynamics, bullying, depression, and sociocognitive variables on the auditory hallucinations, on patients’ attributions and relationships with their voices, and on the resulting invalidation of hallucinatory experience. Overall, results showed how relationships with voices can mirror several aspects of interpersonal relationship with others, and how self-schemas, depression and actual social relationships help shaping the voice-hearing experience. Early experiences of victimization and submission help predict the attributions of omnipotence of the voices, and increased hostility from parents seems to increase the malevolence of the voices, suggesting that socio-cognitive factors can significantly contribute to the etiology and maintenance of auditory hallucinations. The understanding of the characteristics of auditory hallucinations and the relationships patients established with their voices can allow the development of more promising therapeutic interventions that can be more effective in decreasing invalidation caused by this devastating mental illness.

Keywords: Auditory hallucinations, beliefs, life events, schizophrenia.

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1 Performance Analysis of Three Absorption Heat Pump Cycles, Full and Partial Loads Operations

Authors: B. Dehghan, T. Toppi, M. Aprile, M. Motta

Abstract:

The environmental concerns related to global warming and ozone layer depletion along with the growing worldwide demand for heating and cooling have brought an increasing attention toward ecological and efficient Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. Furthermore, since space heating accounts for a considerable part of the European primary/final energy use, it has been identified as one of the sectors with the most challenging targets in energy use reduction. Heat pumps are commonly considered as a technology able to contribute to the achievement of the targets. Current research focuses on the full load operation and seasonal performance assessment of three gas-driven absorption heat pump cycles. To do this, investigations of the gas-driven air-source ammonia-water absorption heat pump systems for small-scale space heating applications are presented. For each of the presented cycles, both full-load under various temperature conditions and seasonal performances are predicted by means of numerical simulations. It has been considered that small capacity appliances are usually equipped with fixed geometry restrictors, meaning that the solution mass flow rate is driven by the pressure difference across the associated restrictor valve. Results show that gas utilization efficiency (GUE) of the cycles varies between 1.2 and 1.7 for both full and partial loads and vapor exchange (VX) cycle is found to achieve the highest efficiency. It is noticed that, for typical space heating applications, heat pumps operate over a wide range of capacities and thermal lifts. Thus, partially, the novelty introduced in the paper is the investigation based on a seasonal performance approach, following the method prescribed in a recent European standard (EN 12309). The overall result is a modest variation in the seasonal performance for analyzed cycles, from 1.427 (single-effect) to 1.493 (vapor-exchange).

Keywords: Absorption cycles, gas utilization efficiency, heat pump, seasonal performance, vapor exchange cycle.

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