Research Digests

  • Identifying imaging biomarkers in the neonatal brain

    The past decade has seen great improvements in magnetic resonance imaging technologies, such that it is now possible to image the developing brain in utero. In 2018, Dafnis Batalle and colleagues compiled an Annual Research Review for the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, where they evaluated the current status of neuroimaging research in neonates and paediatrics to determine the origins of neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders.

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  • A mother’s touch: a key player in fine tuning the function of our genome

    There is debate as to the importance of genetics in determining our behaviour. This debate has become enshrined perhaps due to the early focus of genetics on searching for DNA variation in our genome (termed a polymorphism) that affected protein structure, the hypothesis being that such a protein variant would not be working optimally in our body throughout our life.

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  • A theory of youth mental health recovery

    Mental health disorders have a negative impact on the individual, society and global economy. The prevalence of mental disorders is increasing in young people, and if unaddressed, research has shown that they may develop into severe and chronic illnesses. Despite this, research into youth mental health recovery is limited.

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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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  • Young people’s lived experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

    How do young people really experience living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)? What are young people’s understanding of their development of OCD and is there a link to trauma? How do other people’s reactions to the OCD affect the young people? How do young people really feel about the help for OCD in the United Kingdom?

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  • Working memory deficits may compromise cognitive flexibility in OCD

    Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterised by recurrent intrusive thoughts and/or behaviours. These traits imply deficits in cognitive flexibility in affected patients, but it is unclear at what stage of information processing these deficits might emerge. To address this question, Nicole Wolff and colleagues asked 25 adolescents with OCD and 25 matched healthy controls to complete a computer-based task switching paradigm.

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  • Cognitive flexibility in OCD: challenging the paradigm

    Data from a new study by Nicole Wolff and colleagues suggest that cognitive flexibility can be better in children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) than typically developing controls.

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  • Dysregulation profile risk may be identified in infancy

    The “dysregulation profile” (DP) describes a child psychopathology construct that measures broad-based, generalised emotional and behavioural dysregulation using the Child Behaviour Checklist

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