MENTAL HEALTH

AND

SOCIAL  PSYCHOLOGY ​

'Eating disorders are just as likely to start in adulthood as childhood, report finds'

KCL- Davies et al., 2021

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29 October 2021 (Article)

This report analysed two large sample data from the UK Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI UK) and Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) studies, 9000 participants in total. The current report found that over half of the people with life-time eating disorders first experience low weight or binge eating in adulthood and 39 percent experience their first symptom related to bulimia after the age of 18.

Enjoying Lunch

'Genetic risks for depression differ between East Asian and European groups'

UCL & KCL- Olga Giannakopoulou et al.

DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.2099

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30 September 2021 (Article)

A large-scale Genome-Wide Association Study with 190 thousand participants (1.5w depressive individuals and 17.8w controls) suggested that some genetic variants may have differentiated impact on European and East Asian individuals. For example, higher body mass index predicts lower risk of depression for East Asians, contrary to its positive association with European people. This study has extended the picture of genetic research from white people to other populations, but results should be treated with caution due to the limited number of sample.

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'Autistic individuals are more likely to be LGBTQ+'

University of Cambridge- Elizabeth Weir, Carrie Allison & Simon Baron-Cohen

DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101083

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20 September 2021 (Article)

This research aimed to compare the differences on sexual health, orientation, and activity of autistic adolescents and adults between autistic and non-autistic individuals. The results were that autistic people generally are less likely to be heterosexual compared to the normal populations. More specifically, sex differences were also detected within people with autism, where autistic males tend to be bisexual while autistic females are more likely to be homosexual.

3D Balls in Pride Colors

'Impact of COVID-19 Partial School Closures and Mental Health'

University of Oxford- Karen L. Mansfield et al.

DOI: 10.1002/jcv2.12021

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03 August 2021 (Article)

The study examined the mental wellbeing among secondary school pupils, revealing a greater chance for students with on-site school provision experiencing depression and anxiety during the first national lockdown compared to those who have received remote provision. In specific, female who faced food shortage or accessed mental health support were at greatest risk.

Youth Counseling

'The mental health impacts of being an Olympian'

University of Oxford- David M. Lyreskog

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29 July 2021 (Article)

While sports are often framed as a great way to regulate mental health, statistics have suggested otherwise for elite athletes. During the 2021 Olympics, 45% athletes in elite sports teams have experienced depression and anxiety, not to mention the 14% rate for eating disorders in adolescent elite sports. Such a pattern is observed because professional athletes hold a more performance-based, risk-inducing motivation as they engage in trainings and competitions.

Image by Jonathan Chng

'Depressive Symptoms and Risky Behaviours Among Adolescents in Low-and Middle-Income Countries'

University of Oxford- Julia Ruiz Pozuelo,Lucy Desborough, Alan Stein, Andrea Cipriani

DOI: 10.1016/j.jaac.2021.05.005

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1 July 2021 (Article)

A new meta-analysis suggests that depressive symptoms of adolescents in low- or middle-income countries may be able to predict the likelihood of engagement in risky behaviours, such as unprotected sex and substance abuse. Unfortunately, these combinations may increase the risk of further psychological and physical health problems that may impose greater life burden.

Street Teens

'Opinion: understanding what feeling ‘empty’ means is important for improving our mental health'

UCL - Shona Joyce Herron, Fabio Sani 

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30 June 2021 (Article)

A four-year qualitative study has collected the experience of the emptiness of 400 people, which shed light on this widespread feeling perceived by not only clinical populations (usually those with borderline personality disorder) but also many people with or without mental health problems. This research allows the proposal of the first definition of the feeling of emptiness. One typical description was 'A bottomless jug'.

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'New mothers twice as likely to have post-natal depression in lockdown'

University of Oxford - Sarah Myers, Emily H. Emmott

DOI: 10.1002/eat.23513

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13 May 2021 (Article)

A correlational study carried out on "Children of the 90s’ population cohort of 14,000 children in the UK" discovered the association that recurrent abdominal pain in childhood, the most common gastro-intestinal complaint of childhood, may potentially leads to the occurence of eating disorders and weight control problems in teenagers.

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'Vulnerable older people more likely to experience depression and anxiety during pandemic'

UCL - Giorgio Di Gessa, Debora Price

DOI: 10.1136/jech-2021-216405

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5 May 2021 (Article)

Older people classified as clinically vulnerable were found to be more likely to experience deterioration in health and social well-being during the pandemic.

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'Heavier social media use linked to more frequent drinking in young people'

UCL - Yvonne Kelly, Linda Ng Fat.

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21 April 2021 (Article)

The study examined the relationship between the frequency of social media usage (during weekdays) and alcohol intake among youngsters of age 10 to 19. The results suggested a higher likelihood for 10  to 15 years old to start drinking, which is illegal, as they used social media more regularly. A similar pattern is observed as teenagers aged 16 to 19 with more frequent social media usage having more serious binge drinking habit. Although the study did not include recent popular social media such as Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, the findings have suggested that social media indirectly influenced drinking patters potentially via negative online experience and advertisement.

Friends Drinking Beer

'High levels of racism could be fuelling poor health among minority groups'

University College London - Ruth A Hackett et al. 

DOI: 10.1186/s12889-020-09792-1.

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09 March 2021 

According to a study carried out by the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS), one in five individuals from an ethnic minority group were found to have experienced racial discrimination, which may be associated with higher likelihood to develop poorer mental and physical health after this experience.

Beauty in Pigmentation

'Psychological ‘signature’ for the extremist mind uncovered'

University of Cambridge & Zmigrod. L et al.

https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0424

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22 February 2021 

Cognitive dispositions—individual differences in how information is perceived and processed— sculpt individuals' ideological worldviews, e.g., conservatism and nationalism were related to greater caution in perceptual decision-making tasks and to reduced strategic information processing, while dogmatism was associated with slower evidence accumulation and impulsive tendencies.

Psychology Session

'The Voice of God in Revelation and Illness: understanding shared processes and differences through humanities, psychiatry, and experimental neuroscience'

King’s College London

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18 December 2020

Music Festival

'The proportion of children experiencing a probable mental disorder has increased over the past three years'

NHS Digital & University of Cambridge

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05124

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22 October 2020

Colorful Tears

'New research casts doubt on claims that people have ‘rose-tinted glasses’'

University of Bath- Burton et al., 2021

DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104939

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28 October 2021 (Article)

A new study examining the previous literature has detected some potential flaws in the methodology that provides evidence for the general 'optimistic bias' about the future, which was widely claimed to account for financial crises, people’s failure to look after their health, or inaction over climate change. The original paradigm, known as ‘the update method’, is typically done with emotion-arousing events and asks participants to estimate the chance of experience each of the life events and re-estimate it after seeing actual statistics. In the current study, researchers found that 'optimistic bias' was still present when using neutral events such as the chance that 'the next passing car is black', which raise doubts for the validity of this paradigm.

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'Psychological factors impact adherence and violation of pandemic restrictions'

UCL- Alex Lloyd et al.

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-98772-5

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28 September 2021 (Article)

The current study on 442 participants has revealed that low level of personal adherence to latest covid-19 guidelines could be attributed to the preference towards immediate rewards, which may lead to an overlook of the long-term benefits of obeying social distancing, the end of this pandemic. The results has addressed the impact of personal cognitive characteristics on individual behavioural decisions.

Social Distancing

'Improved Risk Estimation of Bipolar Spectrum Disorders in Adolescent Offspring of Bipolar Parents'

University of Oxford- Charles D. G. Keown-Stoneman et al.

DOI: 10.1016/j.eclinm.2021.101083

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02 September 2021 (Article)

The study focused on the risk factor of family history on predicting the likelihood of getting bipolar disorders, which has been proven to be of high heredity. Data was collected from real-world clinical practice in Canadian and Swiss population. It provides evidence that the current risk estimation method of bipolar spectrum disorder has a 70% accuracy.

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'Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Eating Disorders'

University of Oxford- Maxime Taquet et al.

DOI: 10.1192/bjp.2021.105

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03 August 2021 (Article)

Comparing the rates of eating disorder before and during the pandemic, the study have suggested a heightened percentage of population in the USA suffering from anorexia nervosa, along with a greater chance of suicidal thoughts or attempts. Such a pattern is expected to be similar in the UK.

Image by Annie Spratt

'Helping People with Psychosis Feel Less Distressed May Help Reduce the Risk of Self-harm'

University of Oxford- Angharad N.de Cates et al.

DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2021.06.021

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19 July 2021 (Article)

A recent research suggested that lessened presecutory symptoms (e.g., persecutory ideas, auditory hallucinations) may help reduce self-harm and suicide attempts of individuals with psychosis. Cross-sectionally, auditory hallucinations and suicidal phenomena were moderated by suicidal ideation.

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'Autistic individuals may be more likely to use recreational drugs to self-medicate their mental health'

University of Cambridge - Weir, E, Allison, C, & Baron-Cohen, S

DOI:10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00160-7

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1 July 2021 (Article)

A mixed-method research carried out by Autism Research Centre in Cambridge has compared the substance use of autistic and non-autistic adults. Quantative results revealed that autistic indivdiduals are less likely to  use substance, e.g. smoking, binge drinking, drug intake. Whereas, what qualitative data tell us is a less hopeful future, i.e., the tendency of autistic adults to use recreational drugs for self-medication of autistic symptoms is almost nine times higher than normally-developing peers. This could suggest the lack of high-quality healthcare of current healthcare systems to provide adequate support for such clinical or sub-clinical populations.

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'People more afraid of catching COVID-19 are more judgemental, study finds'

Univeristy of Cambridge - Robert K. Henderson, Simone Schnall

DOI: 10.1177/14747049211021524

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3 June 2021 (Article)

Researchers studied participants' judgement on scenarios of moral transgressions and found individuals who are more worried about being infected tend to overgeneralize their concerns over moral perceptions of social situations, despite being unrelated to the pandemic.

Judge Gavel

'New mothers twice as likely to have post-natal depression in lockdown'

UCL - Sarah Myers, Emily H. Emmott

DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.648002

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11 May 2021 (Article)

A recent study found the portion of mothers who give birth to babies during the Covid-19 first lockdown in London (47.5%) suffered from post-natal depression were twice of that before pandemic (23%). Those with more than one child were hardest hit.

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'Substance use and depression more closely linked for generation Z teens'

UCL - Suzanne H. Gage, Praveetha Patalay

DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.03.002

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23 April 2021 (Article)

Compared to the millennails (born in 1991-92) in Bristol area, the susbtance abuse behaviour of generation Z adolecents (2000-02) is more stronger associated with depression.

Inpatient Drug Abuse Treatment

'Autism rates have increased and show differences in ethnic minorities and links to social disadvantage'

Univeristy of Cambridge - Carrie Allison et al. 

DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.0054

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29 March 2021 

Black and Chinese pupils were 26% and 38% more likely to be autistic respectively and autistic children were much more likely to face significant social disadvantage. This study highlights the need for more attention to the unrecognised and differing needs of autistic children from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds.

Autism Therapy

'Boys who play video games have lower depression risk'

University College London & Kandola, A. et al. 

DOI:10.1017/S0033291721000258

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19 February 2021 

Boys who regularly play video games at age 11 are less likely to develop depressive symptoms three years later while girls who spend more time on social media appear to develop more depressive symptoms.

Friends Playing Video Games

'New study shows mental health of ICU staff should be immediate priority' 

King’s College London

DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.03.20208322

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13 January 2021 (Article) 

A more severe mental health issue is found among ICU clinicians than nurses and doctors by a self-report questionnaire. This is probably due to the higher exposure to (potential) Covid patients, leading to heightened stress from the worries of catching and passing on of the disease. 

Hospital Staff

'The Emerging Evidence series explores the impact of coronavirus on young people’s mental health'

UCL and the Evidence Based Practice Unit

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30 June 2020

Teenage Boy on Mobile Phone

'Children and young people from low income backgrounds show elevated mental health difficulties throughout lockdown'

University of Oxford - Led Project

Click image to read article - University of Oxford

14 September 2020

Image by Chinh Le Duc