Research Digests

  • Suicide and Self-harm Edition Editorial

    The National Confidential Enquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health Annual Report (2018)  highlighted that suicide in the under 20’s is rising generally and that the number of suicides rises towards late teens.

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  • Help yourself (but get some support): meta-analysis of self-help interventions for children

    We know that poor mental health in childhood is associated with poorer quality of life, increased likelihood of having a mental health disorder in adulthood and poorer occupational and social outcomes. We also know that there are numerous effective interventions for mental health problems, with over 750 treatment protocols for evidence-based psychological treatments in children. However, demand for treatment outstrips supply.

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  • Cognitive processes mediate the post-traumatic stress trajectory in adolescents

    A new study has shown that cognitive processes shape the early reactions of children and adolescents to traumatic stressors, and mediate the transition to persistent and clinically significant post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS).

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  • 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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