Research Digests

  • Reporting of depression symptoms in children with ADHD: do parents know best?

    ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by hyperactive-impulsiveness and inattention. ADHD often co-occurs with emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. Depression in particular is prominent amongst adolescents with ADHD, and can be difficult to identify as it can have similar features both to ADHD itself and to some of the side effects of ADHD medication.

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  • Social connectedness and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adolescents

    Suicide is a major public health concern claiming over 44,000 lives annually and ranking within the top 10 causes of death for the general population and the 2nd leading cause of death for those aged 15-24 years of age (though there is variation in this when examining causes by racial groups). 

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  • Children’s Understanding of Depression

    Depression is a mental illness that affects children and especially adolescents, however little is known about how children and adolescents understand depression. Gaining an understanding of how children perceive illness can facilitate effective communication with health professionals and children’s active involvement in decision-making about their health.

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  • Continued family dysfunction accounts for the association between childhood adversity and adolescent self-harm

    A research digest.
    Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is any deliberate attempt at inflicting physical self-harm in the absence of suicidal intent. NSSI peaks during adolescence, with roughly 17% of adolescents reporting having engaged in it at least once.

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  • Practitioner recommendations for PTSD: a 2018 update

    In 2018, Patrick Smith, Tim Dalgleish and Richard Meiser-Stedman compiled a Practitioner Review for the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its treatment in children and adolescents. In their report, the researchers provide updates on the estimated rates of trauma exposure, and the incidence and course of PTSD in children.

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  • Trauma-focused group intervention is superior to usual care for young refugees

    Data from a randomised controlled trial show that trauma-focused group intervention delivered by trained social workers in addition to usual care (UC) is more effective in reducing post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in young refugees than UC alone.

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  • Foster care promotes adaptive functioning in early adolescence among children who experienced severe, early deprivation.

    Experiences in our early life can have long-term consequences on development. Children who have experienced severe deprivation, in the form of institutional care (orphanages), are at greater risk to experience a range of social, emotional, and cognitive difficulties. In fact, much of the research tracing long-term consequences of early adversity have come from a deficit model (i.e., “what goes wrong for those with negative experiences”).

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  • Early cognitive therapy for traumatised young people works and is also cost-effective

    More than half of children and adolescents will experience traumatic events like vehicle accidents, house fires, or violence.  However, brief counselling for young people in the immediate aftermath of an acute traumatic event has not be shown to be any more effective than not intervening and allowing natural recovery to take its course.

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  • Latest evidence on mental health interventions and service response to refugee children

    The latest figures indicate that in 2016 65.5 million people had to leave their homes due to war and armed conflicts, of which around one-third of are refugees who fled other countries to seek asylum.

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  • Parental responses in predicting children’s PTSD

    Many children will be exposed to a potentially traumatic situation at some point in their childhood -that is, an event where there is a potential threat to life or of serious injury to the child, or to someone close to them. These events can range from common unintentional or accidental traumas, such as car accidents or serious sporting accidents, to deliberate harm, such as assault or maltreatment. Such trauma exposure can have a significant negative impact on a child’s psychological wellbeing.

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