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Mental health problems early in life can negatively impact educational attainment, which in turn have negative long-term effects on health, social and economic opportunities. Our aims were to: (i) estimate the impacts of different types of psychiatric conditions on educational outcomes and (ii) to estimate the proportion of adverse educational outcomes which can be attributed to psychiatric conditions.
Participants (N = 2511) were from a school-based community cohort of Brazilian children and adolescents aged 6–14 years enriched for high family risk of psychiatric conditions. We examined the impact of fear- (panic, separation and social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, agoraphobia and anxiety conditions not otherwise specified), distress- (generalised anxiety disorder, major depressive disorder and depressive disorder not otherwise specified, bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, tic, eating and post-traumatic stress disorder) and externalising-related conditions (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, conduct and oppositional-defiant conditions) on grade repetition, dropout, age-grade distortion, literacy performance and bullying perpetration, 3 years later. Psychiatric conditions were ascertained by psychiatrists, using the Development and Well-Being Behaviour Assessment. Propensity score and inverse probability weighting were used to adjust for potential confounders, including comorbidity, and sample attrition. We calculated the population attributable risk percentages to estimate the proportion of adverse educational outcomes in the population which could be attributed to psychiatric conditions. Analyses were conducted separately for males and females.
Fear and distress conditions in males were associated with school dropout (odds ratio (OR) = 2.76; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.06, 7.22; p < 0.05) and grade repetition (OR = 2.76; 95% CI = 1.32, 5.78; p < 0.01), respectively. Externalising conditions were associated with grade repetition in males (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.64; p < 0.05) and females (OR = 2.03; 95% CI = 1.15, 3.58; p < 0.05), as well as age-grade distortion in males (OR = 1.66; 95% CI = 1.05, 2.62; p < 0.05) and females (OR = 2.88; 95% CI = 1.61, 5.14; p < 0.001). Externalising conditions were also associated with lower literacy levels (β = −0.23; 95% CI = −0.34, −0.12; p < 0.001) and bullying perpetration (OR = 3.12; 95% CI = 1.50, 6.51; p < 0.001) in females. If all externalising conditions were prevented or treated, we estimate that 5.0 and 4.8% of grade repetition would not have occurred in females and males, respectively, as well as 10.2 (females) and 5.3% (males) of age-grade distortion cases and 11.4% of female bullying perpetration.
The study provides evidence of the negative impact of psychiatric conditions on educational outcomes in a large Brazilian cohort. Externalising conditions had the broadest and most robust negative impacts on education and these were particularly harmful to females which are likely to limit future socio-economic opportunities.
Population studies have suggested that most adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) did not have the disorder in childhood, challenging the neurodevelopmental conceptualisation of ADHD. Arbitrary definitions of age at onset and lack of defined trajectories were accounted for the findings.
The objective of this study was to assess the proportion of individuals presenting with either a neurodevelopmental trajectory or late-onset disorder, and to assess risk factors associated with them.
Data of 4676 individuals from the 1993 Pelotas birth cohort at 11, 15, 18 and 22 years of age were used. Polythetic and latent class mixed model analyses were performed to define ADHD trajectories from childhood to adulthood, and characterise the neurodevelopmental or late-onset courses. Regression models were applied to assess factors associated with different trajectories.
Classical polythetic analyses showed that 67% of those with ADHD at 22 years of age had a neurodevelopmental course of the disorder. Latent class mixed model analysis indicated that 78% of adults with ADHD had a trajectory of persistent symptoms, more common in males. The remaining adults with ADHD had an ascending symptom trajectory that occurred after puberty, with late-onset ADHD associated with female gender and higher IQ.
Both polythetic and latent trajectories analyses provided empirical evidence supporting that the large majority of adults with ADHD had a neurodevelopmental disorder.
Previous work showed traumatic life events (TLE) with intention to harm, like bullying and abuse, to be more strongly associated with psychotic experiences (PE) than other types of trauma, like accidents. However, this association is subject to reporting bias and can be confounded by demographic characteristics and by differences in dose of exposure across different trauma categories. We studied the association between TLE with and without intention to harm and PE, taking into account potential confounders and biases.
A total of 2245 children and adolescents aged 6–14 years were interviewed by psychologists. The interview included the presence of 20 PE (both self-report and psychologist evaluation). In addition, parents provided information on child exposure to trauma, mental health and PE.
Results showed no significant association between TLE without intention to harm only and PE for the three methods of assessment of PE (self-report, parent report and psychologist rating). On the other hand, there was a positive association between PE and TLE in groups exposed to traumatic experiences with intention to harm (with intention to harm only and with and without intention to harm). Results remained significant after controlling for demographic and clinical confounders, but this positive association was no longer significant after adjusting for the number of TLE.
TLE with intention to harm display a stronger association with PE than TLE without intention to harm, and this difference is likely reducible to a greater level of traumatic exposure associated with TLE with intention to harm.
Juvenile bipolar disorder (JBD) is a highly impairing chronic mental health condition that affects children and adolescents' overall functioning. Comorbidity with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is extremely prevalent and may determine worse response to treatment. Few investigations have addressed the use of recent atypical antipsychotics in JBD, although several guidelines suggest their use.
We conducted a 6-week open trial with aripiprazole in 10 children and adolescents with JBD comorbid with ADHD to assess impact on mania and ADHD symptoms, respectively, by means of the Young Mania Rating Scale and the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham Scale, as well as on global functioning (Clinical Global Impressions–Severity), and adverse events.
Significant improvement in global functioning scores (F=3.17, P=.01, effect size=0.55), manic symptoms (F=5.63, P<.01; ES=0.93), and ADHD symptoms (t=3.42, P<.01; ES=1.05) were detected. Although an overall positive tolerability was reported, significant weight gain (F=3.07, P=.05) was observed.
Aripiprazole was effective in improving mania and ADHD symptoms, but neither JBD nor ADHD symptom remission was observed in most of the cases. Randomized placebo-controlled trials for JBD and ADHD are needed.
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