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Peer relationships play a critical role in the development of adolescents, not only for the acquisition of social skills but also for the sense of personal identity and competence. Thus the quality of peer relationships influences actual and future mental health of the adolescent.
SEYLE (Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe) is a randomized controlled trial, funded by the EU, evaluating interventions for mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The study comprised 12,395 high-school students from 11 European countries.
We investigated the differences on psychological problems between students with poor and good peer relationships.
1,195 adolescents (mean age 15.3 ± 0.6; 68% females) from the Molise region constituted the Italian sample. Adolescents were identified as with poor peer relationships if they never or just sometimes get along with people of their age, feel that peers like having them in the group and feel that peers were kind and helpful. Psychometric measures were used to assess mental health problems such as depression (Beck Depression Inventory II), anxiety (Zung Self-Assessment Anxiety Scale), well-being (WHO-5) and suicidal ideation (Paykel Suicide Scale).
Adolescents who reported poor peer relationships scored significantly higher (p < .005) on the scales assessing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation and significantly lower (p < .001) on the WHO-5.
Particularly in adolescence peer relationships may influence psychological well-being and vice versa mental health influences the openness to the others. So promoting mental health and contemporary improve social skills could lead adolescents to a better life.
Smoking among adolescents is still a major public health problem and a global concern. Early onset and long-term smoking are associated with physical and psychological health problems.
To identify risk factors and comorbidities for occasional and daily smoking among European adolescents.
In the context of the Europe-wide 'Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe” (SEYLE) study we surveyed 12,328 youths at the age of 13 to 17 from 11 countries. We applied questions from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey to determine nicotine consumption as well as other risk behaviors. Psychiatric symptoms were assessed by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, the Becks Depression Inventory-II, the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale,the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory and the Paykel Suicide Scale.
On average 30.9% of adolescents reported daily smoking and the onset of smoking was reported by 35.3% between the age of 12 and 13 already. Multinomial logistic regression model showed significant correlations between adolescent smoking and migration background, living in single parent households, no physical activity, parental smoking and physical fights. Further it revealed significant associations of adolescent smoking with alcohol consumption, illegal drug use, anxiety, conduct problems, hyperactivity, suicidal ideation, self-injury and internet-dependence.
Our data show that adolescent smoking is associated with psychosocial factors, especially family setting and parental behaviors. Further, smoking and psychiatric problems are highly correlated. Therefore, early preventive measures are necessary and essential not only for adolescents but also for their parents.
According to previous studies the prevalence of adolescent depression is 4–8% both in the USA and Europe. the aim of the current study was to investigate the prevalence of adolescent depression separately in several European countries.
Data were drawn from the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study, which included 11 countries (Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) and Sweden served as the coordinating centre. Depression was measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II). Adolescents with a score of 20 or greater on the BDI-II were defined as depressed. Multiple imputations were conducted to address missing data.
Out of 14,115 students who consented to participate, finally 12,395 adolescents (5,568 (44.92%) boys and 6,827 (55.08%) girls) were enrolled into the study. the mean age of the students was 14.81 years (SD = .83). Significant differences were detected in the ratio of non-depressed and depressed adolescents among countries (χ2(20) = 385.352 p = .000). the prevalence of depressed adolescents ranged from 7.1% to 19.4%. the prevalence of depressed adolescents according to country in increasing order is: Hungary: 7.1%, Austria: 7.6%, Romania: 7.6%, Estonia: 7.9%, Ireland: 8.5%, Spain: 8.6%, Italy: 9.2%, Slovenia: 11.4%, Germany: 12.9%, France: 15.4%, Israel: 19.4%.
Based on a screening tool our data underlines the importance of taking account country specific prevalence rates of adolescent depression.
Schizophrenia is characterized by profound and disabling deficits in the ability to recognize emotion in facial expression and tone of voice. Although these deficits are well documented in established schizophrenia using recently validated tasks, their predictive utility in at-risk populations has not been formally evaluated.
The Penn Emotion Recognition and Discrimination tasks, and recently developed measures of auditory emotion recognition, were administered to 49 clinical high-risk subjects prospectively followed for 2 years for schizophrenia outcome, and 31 healthy controls, and a developmental cohort of 43 individuals aged 7–26 years. Deficit in emotion recognition in at-risk subjects was compared with deficit in established schizophrenia, and with normal neurocognitive growth curves from childhood to early adulthood.
Deficits in emotion recognition significantly distinguished at-risk patients who transitioned to schizophrenia. By contrast, more general neurocognitive measures, such as attention vigilance or processing speed, were non-predictive. The best classification model for schizophrenia onset included both face emotion processing and negative symptoms, with accuracy of 96%, and area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve of 0.99. In a parallel developmental study, emotion recognition abilities were found to reach maturity prior to traditional age of risk for schizophrenia, suggesting they may serve as objective markers of early developmental insult.
Profound deficits in emotion recognition exist in at-risk patients prior to schizophrenia onset. They may serve as an index of early developmental insult, and represent an effective target for early identification and remediation. Future studies investigating emotion recognition deficits at both mechanistic and predictive levels are strongly encouraged.
Self-report data from 2716 adolescents aged 15–17 years old in Irish schools were analysed to consider the association between psycho-social factors and the presence of adolescent substance and alcohol abuse, with an emphasis on family circumstances.
Data were collected using the ‘Lifestyle and Coping Questionnaire’ which includes questions about lifestyle, coping, problems, alcohol and drug use, deliberate self-harm, depression, anxiety, impulsivity and self-esteem. Two additional questions were added to the standard questionnaire regarding parental substance misuse.
Adolescent substance abuse was more common in boys; parental substance misuse increased the risk of adolescent abuse of alcohol and drugs; the increased risk was marginally higher if the parental substance abuse was maternal rather than paternal; the increased risk was higher if the parental substance abuse affected both rather than one of the parents, especially regarding adolescent drug abuse; the magnitude of the increased risk was similar for boys and girls. Parental substance misuse increased the risk of adolescent substance abuse even after adjusting for other family problems and the adolescent’s psychological characteristics.
This study indicates that parental substance misuse affects the development of both alcohol and drug misuse in adolescent children independent of other family problems and the psychological characteristics of the adolescent. A wider perspective is needed, including societal and family issues, especially parental behaviour, when attempting to reduce risk of adolescent addiction. The impact on children of parental substance misuse also needs consideration in clinical contexts.
Epidemiological research has shown that hallucinations and delusions, the classic symptoms of psychosis, are far more prevalent in the population than actual psychotic disorder. These symptoms are especially prevalent in childhood and adolescence. Longitudinal research has demonstrated that psychotic symptoms in adolescence increase the risk of psychotic disorder in adulthood. There has been a lack of research, however, on the immediate clinicopathological significance of psychotic symptoms in adolescence.
To investigate the relationship between psychotic symptoms and non-psychotic psychopathology in community samples of adolescents in terms of prevalence, co-occurring disorders, comorbid (multiple) psychopathology and variation across early v. middle adolescence.
Data from four population studies were used: two early adolescence studies (ages 11–13 years) and two mid-adolescence studies (ages 13–16 years). Studies 1 and 2 involved school-based surveys of 2243 children aged 11–16 years for psychotic symptoms and for emotional and behavioural symptoms of psychopathology. Studies 3 and 4 involved in-depth diagnostic interview assessments of psychotic symptoms and lifetime psychiatric disorders in community samples of 423 children aged 11–15 years.
Younger adolescents had a higher prevalence (21–23%) of psychotic symptoms than older adolescents (7%). In both age groups the majority of adolescents who reported psychotic symptoms had at least one diagnosable non-psychotic psychiatric disorder, although associations with psychopathology increased with age: nearly 80% of the mid-adolescence sample who reported psychotic symptoms had at least one diagnosis, compared with 57% of the early adolescence sample. Adolescents who reported psychotic symptoms were at particularly high risk of having multiple co-occurring diagnoses.
Psychotic symptoms are important risk markers for a wide range of non-psychotic psychopathological disorders, in particular for severe psychopathology characterised by multiple co-occurring diagnoses. These symptoms should be carefully assessed in all patients.
To describe our experience of a new multidisciplinary balance clinic for the management of patients with vestibular disorders, run as a pilot project for 12 months.
Retrospective review of the outcomes of 194 patients.
All patients were first evaluated at the balance assessment clinic. Subsequently, each case was discussed at the multidisciplinary balance clinic weekly review meeting, and management decisions made.
The mean waiting time for the balance assessment clinic was 12 weeks (standard deviation six weeks). In total, 74 per cent of patients underwent rehabilitation, 26 per cent were seen in the balance specialist clinic, 15 per cent underwent additional testing, 6 per cent were followed up in adult otology clinics and one patient was listed for surgery. The waiting time for vestibular rehabilitation was reduced from 21 to 15 weeks. Patient satisfaction with the service was encouraging, and no adverse outcomes were recorded.
This multidisciplinary balance clinic, run by allied health professionals, represents an alternative model for the management of patients with balance disorders.
The colliding wind binary (CWB) systems η Carinae and WR140 provide unique laboratories for X-ray astrophysics. Their wind-wind collisions produce hard X-rays that have been monitored extensively by several X-ray telescopes, including RXTE. To interpret these RXTE X-ray light curves, we apply 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the wind-wind collision using smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). We find adiabatic simulations that account for the absorption of X-rays from an assumed point source of X-ray emission at the apex of the wind-collision shock cone can closely match the RXTE light curves of both η Car and WR140. This point-source model can also explain the early recovery of η Car's X-ray light curve from the 2009.0 minimum by a factor of 2-4 reduction in the mass loss rate of η Car. Our more recent models account for the extended emission and absorption along the full wind-wind interaction shock front. For WR140, the computed X-ray light curves again match the RXTE observations quite well. But for η Car, a hot, post-periastron bubble leads to an emission level that does not match the extended X-ray minimum observed by RXTE. Initial results from incorporating radiative cooling and radiative forces via an anti-gravity approach into the SPH code are also discussed.
Deliberate self-harm (DSH) is a major public health problem, with young people most at risk. Lifetime prevalence of DSH in Irish adolescents is between 8% and 12%, and it is three times more prevalent among girls than boys. The aim of the study was to identify the psychological, life-style and life event factors associated with self-harm in Irish adolescents.
A cross-sectional study was conducted, with 3881 adolescents in 39 schools completing an anonymous questionnaire as part of the Child and Adolescent Self-harm in Europe (CASE) study. There was an equal gender balance and 53.1% of students were 16 years old. Information was obtained on history of self-harm life events, and demographic, psychological and life-style factors.
Based on multivariate analyses, important factors associated with DSH among both genders were drug use and knowing a friend who had engaged in self-harm. Among girls, poor self-esteem, forced sexual activity, self-harm of a family member, fights with parents and problems with friendships also remained in the final model. For boys, experiencing bullying, problems with schoolwork, impulsivity and anxiety remained.
Distinct profiles of boys and girls who engage in self-harm were identified. Associations between DSH and some life-style and life event factors suggest that mental health factors are not the sole indicators of risk of self-harm. The importance of school-related risk factors underlines the need to develop gender-specific initiatives in schools to reduce the prevalence of self-harm.
Influenza A (H1N1) viruses when initially isolated in mammalian cell cultures (MDCK cells) had different agglutination reactions with chicken and guinea-pig erythrocytes compared to the same viruses after passage. On first isolation the virus HA resembled the ‘O’ phase viruses described originally by Burnet and Bull and agglutinated mammalian but not avian erythrocytes. After passage, the virus HA resembled a classical ‘D’ phase virus and agglutinated both avian and mammalian erythrocytes. Monoclonal and polyclonal antisera detected antigenic differences between the HAs of the viruses in the ‘O’ and ‘D’ phases. The ‘O’ phase virus HA reacted preferentially with antibodies in post infection human antisera. Viruses in the ‘O’ phase replicated poorly in the allantoic cavity of embryonated hens' eggs whilst ‘D’ phase virus replicated in both MDCK cells and in embryonated hens' eggs. At least three distinguishable subpopulations of influenza A (H1N1) viruses may co-exist in clinical throat swab material, including viruses possessing HAs in the ‘O’ and ‘D’ phases and other ‘D’ phase viruses cultivable in embryonated hens' eggs but antigenically distinguishable from the corresponding ‘D’ phase virus in MDCK cells.
We study colliding winds in the superluminous binary η Carinae by performing three-dimensional, Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations. For simplicity, we assume both winds to be isothermal. We also assume that wind particles coast without any net external forces. We find that the lower density, faster wind from the secondary carves out a spiral cavity in the higher density, slower wind from the primary. Because of the phase-dependent orbital motion, the cavity is very thin on the periastron side, whereas it occupies a large volume on the apastron side. The model X-ray light curve using the simulated density structure fits very well with the observed light curve for a viewing angle of i = 54° and φ = 36°, where i is the inclination angle and φ is the azimuth from apastron.
A tendency to make hasty decisions on probabilistic reasoning tasks and a difficulty attributing mental states to others are key cognitive features of persecutory delusions (PDs) in the context of schizophrenia. This study examines whether these same psychological anomalies characterize PDs when they present in the context of psychotic depression.
Performance on measures of probabilistic reasoning and theory of mind (ToM) was examined in five subgroups differing in diagnostic category and current illness status.
The tendency to draw hasty decisions in probabilistic settings and poor ToM tested using story format feature in PDs irrespective of diagnosis. Furthermore, performance on the ToM story task correlated with the degree of distress caused by and preoccupation with the current PDs in the currently deluded groups. By contrast, performance on the non-verbal ToM task appears to be more sensitive to diagnosis, as patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders perform worse on this task than those with depression irrespective of the presence of PDs.
The psychological anomalies associated with PDs examined here are transdiagnostic but different measures of ToM may be more or less sensitive to indices of severity of the PDs, diagnosis and trait- or state-related cognitive effects.
Objective. The substantial literature examining social reasoning in people with delusions has, to date, neglected the commonest form of decision making in daily life. We address this imbalance by reporting here the findings of the first study to explore heuristic reasoning in people with persecutory delusions.
Method. People with active or remitted paranoid delusions, depressed and healthy adults performed two novel heuristic reasoning tasks that varied in emotional valence.
Results. The findings indicated that people with persecutory delusions displayed biases during heuristic reasoning that were most obvious when reasoning about threatening and positive material. Clear similarities existed between the currently paranoid group and the depressed group in terms of their reasoning about the likelihood of events happening to them, with both groups tending to believe that pleasant things would not happen to them. However, only the currently paranoid group showed an increased tendency to view other people as threatening.
Conclusion. This study has initiated the exploration of heuristic reasoning in paranoia and depression. The findings have therapeutic utility and future work could focus on the differentiation of paranoia and depression at a cognitive level.
The thermo-mechanical behavior of plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposited (PECVD) silicon nitride films are investigated during thermal cycling and annealing. It is well known that PECVD films have a large amount of incorporated hydrogen that evolves on heating. This reduction in hydrogen is shown to be directly responsible, via constrained volume decrease, for irreversible increases in tensile stress. It is demonstrated that no stress equilibrium is attained during very long time anneals. The thermal cycling behavior of PECVD films can be modeled by chemical reaction theory, with the irreversible development of film stress a mechanical consequence. The model assumes first-order reaction kinetics of Si-H and N-H bonds, which react to form molecular hydrogen and reformed network bonds. The activation energy of reaction is not single-valued, indicative of the strong influence that the local bonding environment has on bond energies. If the incorporated hydrogen reactant pairs are assumed to be normally distributed with activation energy, irreversible stress development is well modeled, and the mean activation energy ranges from 2.44 to 2.93 eV for 150 to 300 °C deposited films.
Thin stripes of gold deposited onto elastomeric substrates can be stretched reversibly by more than 20 % while remaining electrically conducting. We are developing such stripes to serve as electrical interconnects on stretchable electronic skins. The gold layers are 25-nm to 500-nm thick. We observe two different film morphologies: the stripe is either buckled and continuous, or flat and contains micrometer-long cracks. Stretchability is correlated with the thickness and initial topography of the gold layer. Stripes thicker than 100-nm fail electrically at tensile strain of ∼ 1 %, while thinner stripes remain conducting up to much larger strain. Upon stretching the buckled stripes flatten and break into islands of 1 to 100 micrometers on a side, while the initially microcracked stripes retain their micrometer scale structure. The electrical resistance of the buckled stripes is the lowest but the micro-textured stripes can be stretched more.
Pt-IrO2 films, approximately 200 nm thick, were fabricated by co-sputter deposition of Pt and Ir in an Ar-O2 mixture followed by annealing at 700°C in O2 for 4 hours. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction measurements indicate the presence of IrO2 throughout the thickness of the films. After a thermal cycle in vacuum to 700°C, the room temperature residual stress is significantly lower in the internally oxidized films than in pure Pt films of similar thickness subjected to identical cycling. Initial analysis of the behavior of the films during thermal cycling indicates that the primary cause for the difference in residual stress level is a decrease in the thermoelastic slope associated with the introduction of IrO2.