Prospective Associations Between Peer Victimization and Dispositional Mindfulness

Riggs, N.R. & Brown, S.M. (2017) Preventative Science. 18(4) 481-489

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Peer victimization is associated with several mental health and behavioral problems during childhood and adolescence. Identifying prospective associations between victimization and factors known to protect against these problems may ultimately contribute to more precise developmental models for victimization’s role in behavioral and mental health.

This study tested prospective associations between peer victimization and dispositional mindfulness, defined by non-judgmental and accepting awareness of the constant stream of lived experience, during early adolescence.

As hypothesized, baseline victimization predicted significantly lower levels of mindfulness at 4-month posttest. Baseline mindfulness did not predict victimization. Results may reflect victimized youths’ mindful awareness being recurrently diverted away from the present moment due to thoughts of prior and/or impending victimization. Study implications may include implementing mindful awareness practices as an intervention strategy for victimized youth to enhance and/or restore this promotive factor.

Read the abstract here

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Children and young people’s mental health

The House of Commons Education and Health Committees have jointly published Children and young people’s mental health: the role of education.

The Committees found that financial pressures are restricting the provision of mental health services in schools and colleges.  It calls on the Government to commit sufficient resource to ensure effective services are established in all parts of the country.  It also calls for strong partnerships between the education sector and mental health services.

Gender Differences in Depression

Salk, R. et al. Psychological Bulletin | Published online: 27 April 2017

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In 2 meta-analyses on gender differences in depression in nationally representative samples, we advance previous work by including studies of depression diagnoses and symptoms to

(a) estimate the magnitude of the gender difference in depression across a wide array of nations and ages;

(b) use a developmental perspective to elucidate patterns of gender differences across the life span; and

(c) incorporate additional theory-driven moderators (e.g., gender equity).

The gender difference for diagnoses emerged earlier than previously thought, with OR = 2.37 at age 12. For both meta-analyses, the gender difference peaked in adolescence (OR = 3.02 for ages 13–15, and d = 0.47 for age 16) but then declined and remained stable in adulthood. Cross-national analyses indicated that larger gender differences were found in nations with greater gender equity, for major depression, but not depression symptoms. The gender difference in depression represents a health disparity, especially in adolescence, yet the magnitude of the difference indicates that depression in men should not be overlooked

Read the abstract here

Addiction to exercise

Hausenblas, H.A. (2017) BMJ. 357:j1745

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What you need to know:

  • Addiction to exercise might form part of a broader eating disorder or may occur in isolation

  • Inability to stop or reduce exercising, for example in response to an injury, may indicate addiction

  • Treatment broadly follows the principles of treating other addictions, for example cognitive behavioural therapy and exercise reprogramming

Read the full article here

Cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based group sleep improvement intervention for at-risk adolescents

Blake, M. et al. Sleep | Published online: 18 April 2017

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Objective: The aim of this study was to test whether a cognitive-behavioral and mindfulness-based sleep intervention could improve sleep and anxiety on school nights in a group of at-risk adolescents. We also examined whether benefits to sleep and anxiety would be mediated by improvements in sleep hygiene awareness and pre-sleep hyperarousal.

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that pre-sleep arousal but not sleep hygiene awareness is important for adolescents’ perceived sleep quality, and could be a target for new treatments of adolescent sleep problems.

Read the abstract here

Person-centred care in CAMHS: how can we make it happen?

Putting patients at the centre of their care is something that has featured in just about every annual report and health strategy document I’ve read in the last few years | Andre Tomlin for The Mental Elf Blog

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Just like ‘evidence-based’ and ‘shared-decision making‘, it’s a phrase that we read all the time, but is there any evidence that we’re actually doing it? Previous research suggests not (Wolpert et al, 2015), which means we run the risk of losing patients who may rightly feel alienated, but there is evidence that including young people in the decision making around their mental health care leads to better involvement and engagement (e.g. Simmons et al, 2011).

To date, work in this area has focused on adult service user-involvement in care planning (Bee et al, 2015), so it’s good to see a qualitative systematic review that explores the “factors influencing person-centred care in mental health services for children, young people and families examining perspectives from professionals, service users and carers”.

Read the full overview here

The original research abstract is available here

Emotional and behavioural problems in Swedish preschool children rated by preschool teachers

Gustafsson, B.M. et al. BMC Pediatrics | Published: 21 April 2017

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Background: There is a high risk that young children who show early signs of mental health problems develop symptoms in the same or overlapping areas some years later. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is widely used to screen externalizing and internalizing problems early in life. In Sweden 80–90% of all children aged 1–5 years go to preschool and preschool is thus an appropriate context for finding early signs of mental health problems among children.

 

Conclusions: The teacher version of the SDQ, for 2–4 year-olds, can be used as a screening instrument to identify early signs of emotional distress/behavioural problems in young children. Preschool teachers seem to be able to identify children with problematic behaviour with the use of SDQ at an early age. The development of behaviour over time differs for the different subscales of SDQ. The Swedish norms for SDQ are to a large extent, similar to findings from other European countries.

Read the full article here