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The Netherlands Twin Register (NTR) is a national register in which twins, multiples and their parents, siblings, spouses and other family members participate. Here we describe the NTR resources that were created from more than 30 years of data collections; the development and maintenance of the newly developed database systems, and the possibilities these resources create for future research. Since the early 1980s, the NTR has enrolled around 120,000 twins and a roughly equal number of their relatives. The majority of twin families have participated in survey studies, and subsamples took part in biomaterial collection (e.g., DNA) and dedicated projects, for example, for neuropsychological, biomarker and behavioral traits. The recruitment into the NTR is all inclusive without any restrictions on enrollment. These resources — the longitudinal phenotyping, the extended pedigree structures and the multigeneration genotyping — allow for future twin-family research that will contribute to gene discovery, causality modeling, and studies of genetic and cultural inheritance.
Objective: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) sustained in childhood is associated with poor social outcomes. This study investigated the role of theory of mind (ToM) as a mediator of the relation between TBI and peer rejection/victimization and reciprocated friendships, as well as the moderating effect of parental nurturance on those relationships. Method: Participants were children of 8–13 years old (M = 10.45, SD = 1.47), including 13 with severe TBI, 39 with complicated mild/moderate TBI, and 32 children with orthopedic injuries. Data on peer rejection/victimization and friendship were collected in school classrooms using the Extended Class Play and friendship nominations. Parents rated parental nurturance using the Child-Rearing Practices Report. Finally, ToM was measured based on children’s average performance across three tasks measuring different aspects of ToM. Results: Severe TBI was associated with poorer ToM, greater peer rejection/victimization, and fewer reciprocated friendships. ToM mediated the relation between severe TBI and peer rejection/victimization (i.e., severe TBI predicted poorer ToM, which in turn predicted greater rejection/victimization). Parental nurturance significantly moderated this relation, such that the mediating effect of ToM was significant only at low and average levels of parental nurturance, for both severe and complicated mild/moderate TBI groups. Neither the mediating effect of ToM nor the moderating effect of parental nurturance was significant for reciprocated friendships. Conclusion: High parental nurturance may mitigate the negative effects of ToM deficits on risk of peer rejection/victimization among children with TBI. Interventions designed to increase parental nurturance or ToM may promote better social outcomes among children with TBI.
Objectives: The current study examines whether psychosocial outcomes following pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) vary as a function of children’s rejection sensitivity (RS), defined as their disposition to be hypersensitive to cues of rejection from peers. Methods: Children ages 8–13 with a history of severe TBI (STBI, n=16), complicated mild/moderate TBI (n=35), or orthopedic injury (OI, n=49) completed measures assessing self-esteem and RS on average 3.28 years post-injury (SD=1.33, range=1.25–6.34). Parents reported on their child’s emotional and behavioral functioning and social participation. Results: Regression analyses found moderation of group differences by RS for three outcomes: social participation, self-perceptions of social acceptance, and externalizing behavior problems. Conditional effects at varying levels of RS indicated that externalizing problems and social participation were significantly worse for children with STBI at high levels of RS, compared to children with OI. Social participation for the STBI group remained significantly lower than the OI group at mean levels of RS, but not at low levels of RS. At high levels of RS, self-perceptions of social acceptance were lower for children with moderate TBI compared to OI, but group differences were not significant at mean or low levels of RS. No evidence of moderation was found for global self-worth, self-perceptions of physical appearance or athletic ability, or internalizing problems. Conclusions: The findings highlight the salient nature of social outcomes in the context of varying levels of RS. These findings may have implications for the design of interventions to improve social outcomes following TBI. (JINS, 2017, 23, 451–459)
Objectives: This study examined whether children with distinct brain disorders show different profiles of strengths and weaknesses in executive functions, and differ from children without brain disorder. Methods: Participants were children with traumatic brain injury (N=82; 8–13 years of age), arterial ischemic stroke (N=36; 6–16 years of age), and brain tumor (N=74; 9–18 years of age), each with a corresponding matched comparison group consisting of children with orthopedic injury (N=61), asthma (N=15), and classmates without medical illness (N=68), respectively. Shifting, inhibition, and working memory were assessed, respectively, using three Test of Everyday Attention: Children’s Version (TEA-Ch) subtests: Creature Counting, Walk-Don’t-Walk, and Code Transmission. Comparison groups did not differ in TEA-Ch performance and were merged into a single control group. Profile analysis was used to examine group differences in TEA-Ch subtest scaled scores after controlling for maternal education and age. Results: As a whole, children with brain disorder performed more poorly than controls on measures of executive function. Relative to controls, the three brain injury groups showed significantly different profiles of executive functions. Importantly, post hoc tests revealed that performance on TEA-Ch subtests differed among the brain disorder groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that different childhood brain disorders result in distinct patterns of executive function deficits that differ from children without brain disorder. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. (JINS, 2017, 23, 529–538)
The provision of safe drinking water provides a dramatic example of the inherent complexity involved in incorporating environmental justice (EJ) considerations into the implementation and enforcement of new environmental standards. To promote substantive EJ, implementation policy must be concerned with the net risk reduction of new and revised regulations. The regulatory concern is that higher water bills for low-income customers of small public water systems may result in less disposable income for other health-related goods and services. In the net, this trade-off may be welfare decreasing, not increasing. Advocates of Health–Health Analysis have argued that the reduction in health-related spending creates a problem for traditional benefit-cost analysis since the long-run health implications of this reduction are not considered. The results of this investigation tend to support this contention. An evaluation of the internal structure of consumption expenditures reveals that low-expenditure households can be expected to react to an increase in the relative price of housing-related goods and services due to a water-rate hike by reducing both housing and health-related expenditures. That is, the representative low-expenditure household re-establishes equilibrium by not only decreasing housing-related spending, but also by decreasing spending on health-related expenditures in a modest but significant way. These results reflect the fact that expenditures on housing are a major proportion of overall household spending, and that accommodating drinking water surcharges exacerbates both health and food security concerns for low-expenditures households.
This study examined differences in friendship quality between children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and orthopedic injury (OI) and behavioral outcomes for children from both groups. Participants were 41 children with TBI and 43 children with OI (M age=10.4). Data were collected using peer- and teacher-reported measures of participants’ social adjustment and parent-reported measures of children’s post-injury behaviors. Participants and their mutually nominated best friends also completed a measure of the quality of their friendships. Children with TBI reported significantly more support and satisfaction in their friendships than children with OI. Children with TBI and their mutual best friend were more similar in their reports of friendship quality compared to children with OI and their mutual best friends. Additionally, for children with TBI who were rejected by peers, friendship support buffered against maladaptive psychosocial outcomes, and predicted skills related to social competence. Friendship satisfaction was related to higher teacher ratings of social skills for the TBI group only. Positive and supportive friendships play an important role for children with TBI, especially for those not accepted by peers. Such friendships may protect children with TBI who are rejected against maladaptive psychosocial outcomes, and promote skills related to social competence. (JINS, 2014, 21, 1–10)
Up to 13% of psychiatric patients are readmitted shortly after discharge. Interventions that ensure successful transitions to community care may play a key role in preventing early readmission.
To describe and evaluate interventions applied during the transition from in-patient to out-patient care in preventing early psychiatric readmission.
Systematic review of transitional interventions among adults admitted to hospital with mental illness where the study outcome was psychiatric readmission.
The review included 15 studies with 15 non-overlapping intervention components. Absolute risk reductions of 13.6 to 37.0% were observed in statistically significant studies. Effective intervention components were: pre- and post-discharge patient psychoeducation, structured needs assessments, medication reconciliation/education, transition managers and in-patient/out-patient provider communication. Key limitations were small sample size and risk of bias.
Many effective transitional intervention components are feasible and likely to be cost-effective. Future research can provide direction about the specific components necessary and/or sufficient for preventing early psychiatric readmission.
Social communication involves influencing what other people think and feel about themselves. We use the term conative theory of mind (ToM) to refer to communicative interactions involving one person trying to influence the mental and emotional state of another, paradigmatic examples of which are irony and empathy. This study reports how children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) understand ironic criticism and empathic praise, on a task requiring them to identify speaker belief and intention for direct conative speech acts involving literal truth, and indirect speech acts involving either ironic criticism or empathic praise. Participants were 71 children in the chronic state of a single TBI and 57 age- and gender-matched children with orthopedic injuries (OI). Group differences emerged on indirect speech acts involving conation (i.e., irony and empathy), but not on structurally and linguistically identical direct speech acts, suggesting specific deficits in this aspect of social cognition in school-age children with TBI. Deficits in children with mild-moderate TBI were less widespread and more selective than those of children with more severe injuries. Deficits in understanding the social, conative function of indirect speech acts like irony and empathy have widespread and deep implications for social function in children with TBI. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–11)
This study examined peer relationships in children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) relative to children with orthopedic injuries (OI), and explored whether differences in peer relationships correlated with white matter volumes. Classroom procedures were used to elicit peer perceptions of social behavior, acceptance, and friendships for eighty-seven 8- to 13-year-old children, 15 with severe TBI, 40 with complicated mild/moderate TBI, and 32 with OI. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) were used to investigate volumetric correlates of peer relationship measures. Children with severe TBI were rated higher in rejection-victimization than children with OI, and were less likely than children with OI to have a mutual friendship in their classroom (47% vs. 88%). Children with TBI without a mutual friend were rated lower than those with a mutual friend on sociability-popularity and prosocial behavior and higher on rejection-victimization, and had lower peer acceptance ratings. Mutual friendship ratings were related to white matter volumes in several posterior brain regions, but not to overall brain atrophy. Severe TBI in children is associated with detrimental peer relationships that are related to focal volumetric reductions in white matter within regions of the brain involved in social information-processing. (JINS, 2013, 19, 1–10)
Facial emotion expresses feelings, but is also a vehicle for social communication. Using five basic emotions (happiness, sadness, fear, disgust, and anger) in a comprehension paradigm, we studied how facial expression reflects inner feelings (emotional expression) but may be socially modulated to communicate a different emotion from the inner feeling (emotive communication, a form of affective theory of mind). Participants were 8- to 12-year-old children with TBI (n = 78) and peers with orthopedic injuries (n = 56). Children with mild–moderate or severe TBI performed more poorly than the OI group, and chose less cognitively sophisticated strategies for emotive communication. Compared to the OI and mild–moderate TBI groups, children with severe TBI had more deficits in anger, fear, and sadness; neutralized emotions less often; produced socially inappropriate responses; and failed to differentiate the core emotional dimension of arousal. Children with TBI have difficulty understanding the dual role of facial emotions in expressing feelings and communicating socially relevant but deceptive emotions, and these difficulties likely contribute to their social problems. (JINS, 2013, 18, 1–10)
Theory of mind (ToM) involves thinking about mental states and intentions to understand what other people know and to predict how they will act. We studied ToM in children with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and age- and gender-matched children with orthopedic injuries (OI), using a new three-frame Jack and Jill cartoon task that measures intentional thinking separate from contingent task demands. In the key ToM trials, which required intentional thinking, Jack switched a black ball from one hat to another of a different color, but Jill did not witness the switch; in the otherwise identical non-ToM trials, the switch was witnessed. Overall accuracy was higher in children with OI than in those with TBI. Children with severe TBI showed a larger decline in accuracy on ToM trials, suggesting a specific deficit in ToM among children with severe TBI. Accuracy was significantly higher on trials following errors than on trials following correct responses, suggesting that all groups monitored performance and responded to errors with increased vigilance. TBI is associated with poorer intentional processing in school-age children and adolescents relative to peers with OI; furthermore, children with TBI are challenged specifically by intentional demands, especially when their injury is severe. (JINS, 2012, 19, 1–9)
In this article we explore the importance of ‘everyday discrimination’ and other psycho-social variables for psychological wellbeing, considering differences according to age, gender and socio-economic position. Using employee survey data collected within Australian organisations we explore a statistically reliable model of the relationship between aspects of the psycho-social work environment, psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction. The employee survey was carried out in two phases during mid-2007 and mid-2008 in a national university, two international freight terminals of a large international airline, a national manufacturing company and the roadside assistance division of a motoring organisation. Structural Equation Modelling was used to configure a model including psycho-social factors: respect, support, training, job insecurity and personally meaningful work. Everyday discrimination and consultation with supervisor were considered in terms of their direct effect on psychological wellbeing and job satisfaction and their indirect effect via the psycho-social factors enumerated above. Importantly, this generalised model attempts to describe the interrelations of these factors effectively for various age groups, gender and socio-economic position. We identify age, gender and socio-economic differences in the strength and relative importance of these relationships. A further validation study with an independent sample will be required to verify the model proposed in this article. The implications for the design of workplace interventions concerned with age discrimination are discussed.