To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
This article focuses on European migrants living in Morocco and now near retirement or retired. Using a lifecourse approach we are interested in whether their timing of migration to Morocco made a difference in terms of their motivations to settle there and subsequently with the social relationships at the destination. To this end, we conducted 36 biographical interviews with Swiss, Dutch and Belgian Flemish migrants aged 50 and older. Findings show the relevance of a lifecourse perspective for international migration studies. Early adulthood migrants to Morocco had no strong obligations in their home country and were ready to explore new affective or professional experiences in a new country. They had the time to discover and find a place in Moroccan society and to develop long-lasting social relationships with kin and non-kin. Middle-adulthood migrants moved with the intention of rapidly accessing a higher standard of living thanks to the tourism economy, with hedonistic perspectives in a setting with a better climate. Their social life is limited to interaction with business clients and a few like-minded migrants from Europe, and their communication with personnel is a daily challenge. Most late-in-life migrants experienced disruptive life events before migrating, and expected to find in Morocco a second chance to build a better life. They generally move in select circles of European expatriates.
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the gender-related differences of clinical features in a sample of obsessive-compulsive (OCD) patients. One hundred and sixty outpatients with a principal diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (DSM-IV, Y-BOCS = 16) were admitted. Patients were evaluated with a semi-structured interview covering the following areas: socio-demographic data, Axis I diagnoses (DSM-IV), OCD clinical features (age at onset of OC symptoms and disorder, type of onset, life events and type of course). For statistical analysis the sample was subdivided in two groups according to gender. We found an earlier age at onset of OC symptoms and disorder in males; an insidious onset and a chronic course of illness were also observed in that group of patients. Females more frequently showed an acute onset of OCD and an episodic course of illness; they also reported more frequently a stressful event in the year preceding OCD onset. A history of anxiety disorders with onset preceding OCD and hypomanic episodes occurring after OCD onset was significantly more common among males, while females showed more frequently a history of eating disorders. We found three gender-related features of OCD: males show an earlier age at onset with a lower impact of precipitant events in triggering the disorder; OCD seems to occur in a relative high proportion of males who already have phobias and/or tic disorders; and a surfeit of chronic course of the illness in males in comparison with females.
A cross-sectional survey investigated the relationship between the number of previous depressive episodes and life events, testing the kindling hypothesis, in a sample of 13,377 treated patients with unipolar depression. A linear decline of average life events exposure is observed for more frequent past episodes, even when age, gender and severity are taken into account.
The aim was to investigate if female fibromyalgia patients (FMS) had experienced more negative life events than healthy women. Furthermore, the life events experienced in relation to onset of the FMS were evaluated. Another important area was to investigate the impact of the events experienced in the patients compared to healthy women.
A new inventory was constructed to assess life events during childhood, adolescence and in adulthood as well as life events experienced in relation to the onset of the disorder. Forty female FMS patients and 38 healthy age-matched women participated in the study.
During childhood or adolescence 51% of the patients had experienced very negative life events as compared to 28% of the controls. Conflict with parents was the most common life event. Before onset, 65% of the patients experienced some negative life event. Economic problems and conflicts with husband/partner were common. During the last year, 51% of the patients had life events which they experienced as very negative, compared to 24.5% of the controls (P < 0.01).
Stressful life events in childhood/adolescence and in adulthood seem to be very common in FMS. Furthermore, the life events were experienced as more negative than the life events experienced by healthy controls.
Few community-based studies have examined the impact of life events, life conditions and life changes on the course of depression. This paper examines associations of life events on depressive symptom onset, improvement, and stability.
Direct interview data from the Early Developmental Stages of Psychopathology Study (EDSP), a 4–5 year prospective-longitudinal design based on a representative community sample of adolescents and young adults, aged 14–24 years at baseline, are used. Life events were measured using the Munich Event-Questionnaire (MEL) consisting of 83 explicit items from various social role areas and subscales for the assessment of life event clusters categorized according to dimensions such as positive and negative and controllable and uncontrollable. Depressive disorders were assessed with the DSM-IV version of the Munich Composite Diagnostic Interview (M-CIDI). Multiple logistic regression analyses examined the effects of 22 predictors on the course of depression (onset, improvement, stability).
Younger age, low social class, negative and stressful life events linked to the family were associated with increased risk of new onset of depression. Anxiety was a significant independent predictor of new onset of depression. Absence of stressful school and family events was related to improvement in depression. The weighted total number of life events predicted stable depression.
The association between life events and the course of depression appears to vary according to the outcome being examined, with different clusters of life events differentially predicting onset, improvement, and stability.
The aim of this paper was to investigate the diagnostic specificity of the self-critical and dependent depressive experiences in a clinical sample of eating disorder patients and to explore the impact of adverse childhood experiences on these dimensions of personality.
A sample of 94 anorexic and 61 bulimic patients meeting DSM-IV criteria and 236 matched controls were assessed with the Depressive Experience Questionnaire (DEQ), the abridged version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the AMDP Life Events Inventory. Subjects presenting a major depression or a comorbid addictive disorder were excluded from the sample using the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI).
Anorexic and bulimic patients showed higher scores than controls on both self-criticism and dependency sub-scales of the DEQ. Bulimic patients scored significantly higher than anorexic patients on self-criticism and reported more adverse childhood experiences. Finally, negative life events correlated only with self-criticism in the whole sample.
Differences in the DEQ Self-Criticism between anorexics and bulimics could not be accounted for by depression since bulimic patients did not show higher BDI levels compared to anorexic patients and depressive symptoms measured with the BDI were not found to be significant predictors of diagnostic grouping in a logistic multiple regression.
This study supports the diagnostic specificity of the dependent and self-critical depressive dimensions in eating disorders and strengthens previous research on the role of early experiences in the development of these disorders.
Since approximately 70% of adult patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have at least one comorbid disorder, rating of impairment specifically attributable to ADHD is a hard task. Despite the evidence linking environmental adversities with negative outcomes in ADHD, life events measures have not been used to rate the disorder impairment. The present study tested for the first time the hypothesis that increased ADHD severity is associated with an increase in negative recent life events, independently of comorbidity status. The psychiatric diagnoses of 211 adult ADHD outpatients were based on DSM-IV criteria assessed through structured interviews (K-SADS-E for ADHD and ODD, MINI for ASPD and SCID-IV-R for other comorbidities). ADHD severity was evaluated with the Swanson, Nolan and Pelham rating scale (SNAP-IV) and recent life events with the Life Experience Survey. Higher SNAP-IV inattention and hyperactivity scores, female gender, lower socioeconomic status and the presence of comorbid mood disorders were associated with negative life events. Poisson regression models with adjustment for possible confounders confirmed the effect of inattention and hyperactivity severity on negative life events. Our results suggest that the negative life events experienced by these patients are associated to the severity of ADHD independently from comorbid psychiatric disorders.
Traumatic or stressful life events have long been hypothesized to play a role in causing or precipitating obsessive-compulsive symptoms but the impact of these environmental factors has rarely been investigated using genetically informative designs. We tested whether a wide range of retrospectively-reported stressful life events (SLEs) influence the lifetime presence and severity of obsessive-compulsive symptoms (OCS) in a large Swedish population-based cohort of 22,084 twins. Multiple regression models examined whether differences in SLEs within twin pairs were significantly associated with differences in OCS. In the entire sample (i.e., both monozygotic [MZ] and dizygotic twin pairs), two SLEs factors, “abuse and family disruption” and “sexual abuse”, were significantly associated with the severity of OCS even after controlling for depressive symptoms. Other SLEs factors were either not associated with OCS (“loss”, “non-sexual assault”) or were no longer associated with OCS after controlling for depression (“illness/injury”). Within MZ pair analyses, which effectively control for genetic and shared environmental effects, showed that only the “abuse and family disruption” factor remained independently related to within-pair differences in OCS severity, even after controlling for depressive symptoms. Despite being statistically significant, the magnitude of the associations was small; “abuse and family disruption” explained approximately 3% of the variance in OCS severity. We conclude that OCS are selectively associated with certain types of stressful life events. In particular, a history of interpersonal abuse, neglect and family disruption may make a modest but significant contribution to the severity of OCS. Further replication in longitudinal cohorts is essential before causality can be firmly established.
The genetic etiology of ADHD is well documented, whilst in the ODD the environmental component is more important (Quyen Q. Tiet, et al., 2000). For this reason Life Events represent a fundamental component in the genesis of this disorder.
The target of this work is to detect the presence of life events in a sample of 90 children diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and ADHD in comorbidity with ODD at the mental health department childhood and adolescence of Arezzo.
Through the use of appropriate assessment tools (CLES; CGAS; SDAG; SDAI; READJUSTMENT SCALES) the correlations between Life Events, age of onset and clinical pictures will be highlighted.
The results of this work may allow the recognition of risk factors for an early and preventive intervention.
The first twin study in Serbia began in 2011 as a part of the research project, ‘Psychological Foundations of Mental Health: Hereditary and Environmental Factors’. At the same time, the research team from the Faculty of Philosophy and Faculty of Medicine in Novi Sad established the first Serbian twin registry. The registry is intended primarily for the purpose of the research in behavioral genetics, as well as potential future studies in human genetics. It includes information on 1658 volunteers, including twin-pairs, their parent and siblings. The behavioral genetic study of adult twins has been focused on the hereditary and environmental sources of variance of different psychological characteristics, such as personality traits, cognitive abilities, executive functions and aggression, as well as some anthropometric measures and aspects of mental and physical health. Certain molecular genetic analyses have also been performed. The research team is currently starting the longitudinal twin study of children, which will be focused on different indicators of emotional, cognitive and physical development.
Need for Cognition (NFC) and Openness to Ideas are intellectual investment traits that are characterized by a tendency to seek out, engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive activity. Little, however, is known about the extent to which they are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. With the present contribution, we aim at furthering our knowledge on the mechanisms underlying intellectual investment traits by following-up on a recent investigation of the role of dopaminergic gene variation in intellectual investment. Employing a standard approach that relied on null-hypothesis significance testing, we found that, first, two dopaminergic genetic variants interacted in modulating individual differences in NFC, but not in Openness to Ideas; that, second, negative life events played a role in the modulation of Openness to Ideas, but not of NFC; and that, third, negative life events as assessed using another measure were only marginally related to Openness to Ideas while positive life events were associated with both Openness to Ideas and NFC, with the latter effect being also dependent on DRD4 exon III genotype. However, employing a Bayesian approach, the assumption of a genetic effect on investment traits was overall not supported, while the assumption of a role of positive life events in the modulation of investment traits could be confirmed, with a tentative increment in the prediction of NFC by adding an interaction of positive life events and DRD4 variation to the main effect of positive life events. Our findings underscore the importance to use different approaches in the field of personality neuroscience. To gain deeper insight into the basis of personality traits does not only require to consider genetic as well as environmental influences and their interplay, but also requires more differentiated statistical analyses that can at least in part tackle the often inconsistent findings in this field.
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) behaviors are self-injurious behaviors inflicted without intending death. Literature has shown the relationship between stressful life events (SLE) and NSSI behaviors. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-Dysregulation Profile (SDQ-DP) is defined as an index of self-regulatory problems, related to higher risk for suicidal ideation and attempts in adolescents. In this study the relationship between SDQ-DP and NSSI behaviors, mediated by SLE in a clinical sample of children and adolescents is analyzed. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 239 subjects (aged from 11 to 17) to test the mediation model. SDQ-DP significantly correlates with NSSI behaviors (Wald = 6.5477, p = .0105); SDQ-DP significantly correlates with SLE (T = 5.7229, p < .001); SLE significantly correlates NSSI behaviors, and the relation remains significant whilst controlling for SDQ-DP (Wald = 4.1715, p = .041); the relation between SDQ-DP and NSSI behaviors stops being significant whilst controlling for the potential mediator (SLE) (Wald = 2.9951, p = .0835). Study of indirect effect supports the mediation model (.0585 CI [.0016, .1266]). Findings are compatible with the complete mediation scenario. These results point out the importance of self-regulatory problems in coping strategies with regards to SLE and the development of NSSI behaviors.
Mental health is fundamental to an individual’s health and well-being. Mental health disorders affect a substantial portion of the Australian population, with the most vulnerable time in adolescence and young adulthood. Indigenous Australians fare worse than other Australians on almost every measure of physical and mental health. Cross-sectional data from young adults (21–27 years) participating in the Life Course Program, Northern Territory, Australia, is presented. Rates of psychological distress were high in remote and urban residing Indigenous and urban non-Indigenous young adults. This rate was more pronounced in young women, particularly in Indigenous remote and urban residing women. Young adults with high psychological distress also had lower levels of positive well-being, higher perceived stress levels, experienced a higher number of major life events and were at an increased risk of suicidal ideation and/or self-harm. This study supports the need for a continued focus on early screening and treatment at this vulnerable age. The significant association seen between psychological distress and other markers of emotional well-being, particularly risk of suicidal ideation and/or self-harm, highlights the need for a holistic approach to mental health assessment and treatment. A concerted focus on improving the environs of young adults by lowering levels of stress, improving access to adequate housing, educational and employment opportunity, will assist in improving the emotional health of young adults.
Psychological models of conversion disorder (CD) traditionally assume that psychosocial stressors are identifiable around symptom onset. In the face of limited supportive evidence such models are being challenged.
Forty-three motor CD patients, 28 depression patients and 28 healthy controls were assessed using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule in the year before symptom onset. A novel ‘escape’ rating for events was developed to test the Freudian theory that physical symptoms of CD could provide escape from stressors, a form of ‘secondary gain’.
CD patients had significantly more severe life events and ‘escape’ events than controls. In the month before symptom onset at least one severe event was identified in 56% of CD patients – significantly more than 21% of depression patients [odds ratio (OR) 4.63, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.56–13.70] and healthy controls (OR 5.81, 95% CI 1.86–18.2). In the same time period 53% of CD patients had at least one ‘high escape’ event – again significantly higher than 14% in depression patients (OR 6.90, 95% CI 2.05–23.6) and 0% in healthy controls. Previous sexual abuse was more commonly reported in CD than controls, and in one third of female patients was contextually relevant to life events at symptom onset. The majority (88%) of life events of potential aetiological relevance were not identified by routine clinical assessments. Nine per cent of CD patients had no identifiable severe life events.
Evidence was found supporting the psychological model of CD, the Freudian notion of escape and the potential aetiological relevance of childhood traumas in some patients. Uncovering stressors of potential aetiological relevance requires thorough psychosocial evaluation.
Telomere attrition might be one of the mechanisms through which psychosocial stress leads to somatic disease. To date it is unknown if exposure to adverse life events in adulthood is associated with telomere shortening prospectively. In the current study we investigated whether life events are associated with shortening of telomere length (TL).
Participants were 1094 adults (mean age 53.1, range 33–79 years) from the PREVEND cohort. Data were collected at baseline (T1) and at two follow-up visits after 4 years (T2) and 6 years (T3). Life events were assessed with an adjusted version of the List of Threatening Events (LTE). TL was measured by monochrome multiplex quantitative PCR at T1, T2, and T3. A linear mixed model was used to assess the effect of recent life events on TL prospectively. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to assess whether the lifetime life events score or the score of life events experienced before the age of 12 predicted TL cross-sectionally. All final models were adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, presence of chronic diseases, frequency of sports, smoking status, and level of education.
Recent life events significantly predicted telomere attrition prospectively (B = −0.031, p = 0.007). We were not able to demonstrate a significant cross-sectional relationship between the lifetime LTE score and TL. Nor did we find exposure to adverse life events before the age of 12 to be associated with TL in adulthood.
Exposure to recent adverse life events in adulthood is associated with telomere attrition prospectively.
Life events are an established risk factor for the onset and recurrence of unipolar and bipolar mood episodes, especially in the presence of genetic vulnerability. The dynamic interplay between life events and psychological context, however, is less studied. In this study, we investigated the impact of life events on the onset and recurrence of mood episodes in bipolar offspring, as well as the effects of temperament, coping and parenting style on this association.
Bipolar offspring (n = 108) were followed longitudinally from adolescence to adulthood. Mood disorders were assessed with: the Kiddie Schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia – Present and Lifetime Version or the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders; life events with the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule; and psychological measures using the Utrecht Coping List, Temperament and Character Inventory and short-EMBU (memories of upbringing instrument). Anderson–Gill models (an extension of the Cox proportional hazard model) were utilized.
Life events were associated with an increased risk for first and, although less pronounced, subsequent mood episodes. There was a large confounding effect for the number of previous mood episodes; findings suggest a possible kindling effect. Passive coping style increased the risk of mood episode onset and recurrent episodes, but also altered the effect of life events on mood disorders. Harm avoidance temperament was associated with mood episode recurrence.
Life events are especially a risk factor in the onset of mood disorders, though less so in recurrent episodes. Psychological features (passive coping and harm-avoidant temperament) contribute to the risk of an episode occurring, and also have a moderating effect on the association between life events and mood episodes. These findings create potential early intervention strategies for bipolar offspring.
We compared the dietary behaviour of three different household types and explored developmental trends in food choices following a life event.
The study is based on data from three Swiss Food Panel survey periods. A cross-sectional comparison between household types was conducted by using a one-way independent ANOVA. Repeated measures were analysed with a mixed ANCOVA to examine changes in dietary behaviour following a life event.
Participants in the survey filled in a questionnaire in the years 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The final sample consisted of 3559 persons with a mean age of 56 years (range 22–94 years; 46 % men). Seventy-two people moved in with their partner and sixty-five people reported the birth of their first child.
Cross-sectional evidence confirmed that women living in households with a partner reported higher consumption frequencies for meat and processed meats compared with those living alone. Men living in cohabitation had a higher vegetable intake. The transitional effect of moving in with a partner, however, resulted in a higher intake of processed meats for both genders and a higher intake of pork and savoury items for men. Transition to motherhood was linked to an increase in vegetable consumption, while the transition to fatherhood did not change consumption patterns significantly.
Individuals in life-stage transitions are more likely to change their nutritional strategies and life events can be a window of opportunity for changes towards better food choices.
The impact of stressful life events as a risk factor of dementia diseases is inconclusive. We sought to determine whether stressful negative life events are associated with incidental dementia in a population-based study with long-term follow-up. We also tested the hypothesis that the occurrence of positive life events could mitigate or overcome the possible adverse effects of negative life events on dementia conversion.
The study involved 2,462 dementia-free participants aged 55 years and older. Information on life events was ascertained at baseline from a comprehensive Life Event Inventory, which included 56 questions about specific life events. For each life event, the emotional impact (both positive and negative) and emotional adjustment were asked for.
During follow-up, 423 participants developed dementia; of these, 240 developed Alzheimer's disease (AD). Cox regression analysis showed no association between the total number of negative life events and the incidence of dementia when adjusted solely for age and gender (hazard ratio = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.92–1.02), or with multiple adjustments for a range of covariates (hazard ratio = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.91–1.01). Similarly, neither emotional impact nor emotional adjustment to these life events was associated with incident dementia. A separate analysis of AD did not alter the results.
The result of this population-based study finds no association between negative or positive life events and dementia. Accordingly, our results reject the hypothesis that stressful life events trigger the onset of dementia diseases.
Background: It is important to investigate the role of cognitive, developmental and environmental factors in the development and maintenance of Obsessive Compulsive Symptomatology (OCS). Aims: The main objective of this study was to examine the vulnerability factors of OCS in a non-clinical sample. On the basis of Salkovskis’ cognitive model of OCD, the study aimed to investigate the role of perceived parental rearing behaviours, responsibility attitudes, and life events in predicting OCS. Furthermore, the mediator role of responsibility attitudes in the relationship between perceived parental rearing behaviours and OCS was examined. Finally, the specificity of these variables to OCS was evaluated by examining the relationship of the same variables with depression and trait anxiety. Method: A total of 300 university students (M = 19.55±1.79) were administered the Padua Inventory-Washington State University Revision, Responsibility Attitudes Scale, s-EMBU (My memories of upbringing), Life Events Inventory for University Students, Beck Depression Inventory, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-Trait Form. Results: Regression analysis revealed that perceived mother overprotection, responsibility attitudes and life events significantly predicted OCS. Furthermore, responsibility attitudes mediated the relationship between perceived mother overprotection and OCS. The predictive role of perceived mother overprotection and the mediator role responsibility attitudes were OCS specific. Conclusions: The findings of the present study supported that perceived mother over-protection as a developmental vulnerability factor significantly contributed to the explanation of a cognitive vulnerability factor (namely responsibility attitudes), and perceived maternal overprotection had its predictive role for OCS through responsibility attitudes.