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Psychological resilience – positive psychological adaptation in the context of adversity – is defined and measured in multiple ways across disciplines. However, little is known about whether definitions capture the same underlying construct and/or share similar correlates. This study examined the congruence of different resilience measures and associations with sociodemographic factors and body mass index (BMI), a key health indicator.
In a cross-sectional sample of 1429 African American adults exposed to child maltreatment, we derived four resilience measures: a self-report scale assessing resiliency (perceived trait resilience); a binary variable defining resilience as low depression and posttraumatic stress (absence of distress); a binary variable defining resilience as low distress and high positive affect (absence of distress plus positive functioning); and a continuous variable reflecting individuals' deviation from distress levels predicted by maltreatment severity (relative resilience). Associations between resilience measures, sociodemographic factors, and BMI were assessed using correlations and regressions.
Resilience measures were weakly-to-moderately correlated (0.27–0.69), though similarly patterned across sociodemographic factors. Women showed higher relative resilience, but lower perceived trait resilience than men. Only measures incorporating positive affect or resiliency perceptions were associated with BMI: individuals classified as resilient by absence of distress plus positive functioning had lower BMI than non-resilient (β = −2.10, p = 0.026), as did those with higher perceived trait resilience (β = −0.63, p = 0.046).
Relatively low congruence between resilience measures suggests studies will yield divergent findings about predictors, prevalence, and consequences of resilience. Efforts to clearly define resilience are needed to better understand resilience and inform intervention and prevention efforts.
There is a wealth of literature on the observed association between childhood trauma and psychotic illness. However, the relationship between childhood trauma and psychosis is complex and could be explained, in part, by gene–environment correlation.
The association between schizophrenia polygenic scores (PGS) and experiencing childhood trauma was investigated using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Schizophrenia PGS were derived in each cohort for children, mothers, and fathers where genetic data were available. Measures of trauma exposure were derived based on data collected throughout childhood and adolescence (0–17 years; ALSPAC) and at age 8 years (MoBa).
Within ALSPAC, we found a positive association between schizophrenia PGS and exposure to trauma across childhood and adolescence; effect sizes were consistent for both child or maternal PGS. We found evidence of an association between the schizophrenia PGS and the majority of trauma subtypes investigated, with the exception of bullying. These results were comparable with those of MoBa. Within ALSPAC, genetic liability to a range of additional psychiatric traits was also associated with a greater trauma exposure.
Results from two international birth cohorts indicate that genetic liability for a range of psychiatric traits is associated with experiencing childhood trauma. Genome-wide association study of psychiatric phenotypes may also reflect risk factors for these phenotypes. Our findings also suggest that youth at higher genetic risk might require greater resources/support to ensure they grow-up in a healthy environment.
To characterize nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) associated with case clusters at 3 medical facilities.
Retrospective cohort study using molecular typing of patient and water isolates.
Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs).
Isolation and identification of NTM from clinical and water samples using culture, MALDI-TOF, and gene population sequencing to determine species and genetic relatedness. Clinical data were abstracted from electronic health records.
An identical strain of Mycobacterium conceptionense was isolated from 41 patients at VA Medical Centers (VAMCs A, B, and D), and from VAMC A’s ICU ice machine. Isolates were initially identified as other NTM species within the M. fortuitum clade. Sequencing analyses revealed that they were identical M. conceptionense strains. Overall, 7 patients (17%) met the criteria for pulmonary or nonpulmonary infection with NTM, and 13 of 41 (32%) were treated with effective antimicrobials regardless of infection or colonization status. Separately, a M. mucogenicum patient strain from VAMC A matched a strain isolated from a VAMC B ICU ice machine. VAMC C, in a different state, had a 4-patient cluster with Mycobacterium porcinum. Strains were identical to those isolated from sink-water samples at this facility.
NTM from hospital water systems are found in hospitalized patients, often during workup for other infections, making attribution of NTM infection problematic. Variable NTM identification methods and changing taxonomy create challenges for epidemiologic investigation and linkage to environmental sources.
Although childhood adversity is a potent determinant of psychopathology, relatively little is known about how the characteristics of adversity exposure, including its developmental timing or duration, influence subsequent mental health outcomes. This study compared three models from life course theory (recency, accumulation, sensitive period) to determine which one(s) best explained this relationship.
Prospective data came from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7476). Four adversities commonly linked to psychopathology (caregiver physical/emotional abuse; sexual/physical abuse; financial stress; parent legal problems) were measured repeatedly from birth to age 8. Using a statistical modeling approach grounded in least angle regression, we determined the theoretical model(s) explaining the most variability (r2) in psychopathology symptoms measured at age 8 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire and evaluated the magnitude of each association.
Recency was the best fitting theoretical model for the effect of physical/sexual abuse (girls r2 = 2.35%; boys r2 = 1.68%). Both recency (girls r2 = 1.55%) and accumulation (boys r2 = 1.71%) were the best fitting models for caregiver physical/emotional abuse. Sensitive period models were chosen alone (parent legal problems in boys r2 = 0.29%) and with accumulation (financial stress in girls r2 = 3.08%) more rarely. Substantial effect sizes were observed (standardized mean differences = 0.22–1.18).
Child psychopathology symptoms are primarily explained by recency and accumulation models. Evidence for sensitive periods did not emerge strongly in these data. These findings underscore the need to measure the characteristics of adversity, which can aid in understanding disease mechanisms and determining how best to reduce the consequences of exposure to adversity.
Although childhood adversity is a strong determinant of psychopathology, it remains unclear whether there are ‘sensitive periods’ when a first episode of adversity is most harmful.
To examine whether variation in the developmental timing of a first episode of interpersonal violence (up to age 18) associates with risk for psychopathology.
Using cross-sectional data, we examined the association between age at first exposure to four types of interpersonal violence (physical abuse by parents, physical abuse by others, rape, and sexual assault/molestation) and onset of four classes of DSM-IV disorders (distress, fear, behaviour, substance use) (n=9984). Age at exposure was defined as: early childhood (ages 0–5), middle childhood (ages 6–10) and adolescence (ages 11–18).
Exposure to interpersonal violence at any age period about doubled the risk of a psychiatric disorder (odds ratios (ORs) = 1.51–2.52). However, few differences in risk were observed based on the timing of first exposure. After conducting 20 tests of association, only three significant differences in risk were observed based on the timing of exposure; these results suggested an elevated risk of behaviour disorder among youth first exposed to any type of interpersonal violence during adolescence (OR = 2.37, 95% CI 1.69–3.34), especially being beaten by another person (OR = 2.44; 95% CI 1.57–3.79), and an elevated risk of substance use disorder among youth beaten by someone during adolescence (OR=2.77, 95% CI 1.94–3.96).
Children exposed to interpersonal violence had an elevated risk of psychiatric disorder. However, age at first episode of exposure was largely unassociated with psychopathology risk.