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

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


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

Group mindfulness for adolescent anxiety

Crowley, M.J. et al. Child and Adolescent Mental Health | Published online 4 March 2017


Background: Group Mindfulness Therapy (GMT) is a program tailored for adolescents that targets anxiety with mindfulness skills including present moment awareness, mindfulness in everyday life (breathing, eating, walking), body scan, loving-kindness, and self-acceptance. Youth with anxiety may benefit from mindfulness exercises precisely because they learn to redirect their mind, and presumably their attention, away from wandering in the direction of worry and negative self-appraisals and toward greater acceptance of internal states. This open trial assessed the feasibility and initial effectiveness of GMT in a school setting.


Conclusions: We demonstrate that GMT is feasible and acceptable to adolescents presenting with anxiety as a primary concern. We provide further support for the use of a mindfulness-based intervention for anxiety reduction. The group format suggests a cost-effective way to deliver services in a school setting.

Read the full abstract here

Mindfulness-based stress reduction for young adults with social anxiety disorder

Hjeltnes, A. et al. (2017) Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. 58(1) pp. 80–90


The present study investigated mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for young adults with a social anxiety disorder (SAD) in an open trial.

Participants reported significant reductions in SAD symptoms and global psychological distress, as well as increases in mindfulness, self-compassion, and self-esteem.

MBSR may be a beneficial intervention for young adults in higher education with SAD, and there is a need for more research on mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions for SAD.

Read the full article here

Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents

Hill, C. et al. Paediatrics and Child Health. Published online: September 10, 2016


Anxiety disorders are among the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. They commonly interfere with peer relationships, schooling and family life, and persist into adulthood if left untreated.

This paper gives an overview of the identification, assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and young people. Identification of anxiety disorders is often poor and many young people with anxiety disorders go untreated. We present a brief review of the evidence base for pharmacological and psychological treatment approaches to the management of anxiety disorders in youth. Both have been found to be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, although psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are considered the first-line treatment due to relative benefits in terms of patient safety and parental preference. Low intensity CBT approaches such as bibliotherapy and online therapies are effective and have the potential to improve access to evidence-based interventions. CBT approaches have also been found to be effective with particular patient groups, such as those with long-term physical health conditions and autism spectrum disorders, who are at an increased risk of anxiety disorders.

Read the abstract here

Cyberbullying involvement and adolescent mental health

Fahy, Amanda E. et al. Longitudinal Associations Between Cyberbullying Involvement and Adolescent Mental Health.
Journal of Adolescent Health. published online ahead of print.




Cyberbullying differs from face-to-face bullying and may negatively influence adolescent mental health, but there is a lack of definitive research on this topic. This study examines longitudinal associations between cyberbullying involvement and adolescent mental health.


Participants were 2,480 teenagers taking part in the Olympic Regeneration in East London study. We collected information from participants when they were 12–13 years old and again 1 year later to examine links between involvement in cyberbullying and future symptoms of depression and social anxiety, and mental well-being.


At baseline, 14% reported being cybervictims, 8% reported being cyberbullies, and 20% reported being cyberbully-victims in the previous year. Compared to uninvolved adolescents, cybervictims and cyberbully-victims were significantly more likely to report symptoms of depression (cybervictims: odds ratio [OR] = 1.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] [1.00, 2.06]; cyberbully-victims: OR = 1.54, 95% CI [1.13, 2.09]) and social anxiety (cybervictims: OR = 1.52, 95% CI [1.11, 2.07]; cyberbully-victims: OR = 1.44, 95% CI [1.10, 1.89]) but not below average well-being (cybervictims: relative risk ratio = 1.28, 95% CI [.86, 1.91]; cyberbully-victims: relative risk ratio = 1.38, 95% CI [.95, 1.99]) at 1 year follow-up, after adjustment for confounding factors including baseline mental health.


This study emphasizes the high prevalence of cyberbullying and the potential of cybervictimization as a risk factor for future depressive symptoms, social anxiety symptoms, and below average well-being among adolescents. Future research should identify protective factors and possible interventions to reduce adolescent cyberbullying.

One-third of students report elevated psychological distress, survey shows

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada). Published online: 21 July 2016

More than one in three – an estimated 328,000 — Ontario students in grades seven to 12 report moderate-to-serious psychological distress, according to new survey results from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). Girls are twice as likely as boys to experience psychological distress.

OSDUHS 2015 Infographic - Psychological distress

Image source: CAHM

Screen time, social media use, and problem gaming on the rise

Survey results also showed that in 2015, almost two thirds (63 per cent) of students spent three hours or more per day of their free time in front of a TV or tablet/computer. The percentage of students who are screen-time sedentary has increased from 57 per cent since 2009, the first year of monitoring this behaviour.

At the same time, while the majority of students rate their health as excellent or very good (66 per cent), only 22 per cent of students met the recommended daily physical activity guideline, defined as a total of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day, during the past seven days.

OSDUHS 2015 Infographic - Screentime

Image source: CAMH

Read the full news release here