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The relationships between offspring depression profiles across adolescence and different timings of parental depression during the perinatal period remain unknown.
To explore different timings of maternal and paternal perinatal depression in relation to patterns of change in offspring depressive mood over a 14 year period.
Data were obtained from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Parental antenatal depression (ANTD) was assessed at 18 weeks gestation, and postnatal depression (PNTD) at 8 weeks postpartum. Population-averaged trajectories of offspring depressive symptoms were estimated using the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ) on nine occasions between 10 and 24 years of age.
Full data were available for 5029 individuals. Offspring exposed to both timings of maternal depression had higher depressive symptoms across adolescence compared with offspring not exposed to ANTD or PNTD, characterised by higher depressive symptoms at age 16 (7.07 SMFQ points (95% CI = 6.19, 7.95; P < 0.001)) and a greater rate of linear change (0.698 SMFQ points (95% CI = 0.47, 0.93; P = 0.002)). Isolated maternal ANTD and to a lesser extent PNTD were also both associated with higher depressive symptoms at age 16, yet isolated maternal PNTD showed greater evidence for an increased rate of linear change across adolescence. A similar pattern was observed for paternal ANTD and PNTD, although effect sizes were attenuated.
This study adds to the literature demonstrating that exposure to two timings of maternal depression (ANTD and PNTD) is strongly associated with greater offspring trajectories of depressive symptoms.
We investigate how the outbreak of epidemics can affect host governments’ targeting of refugees and violation of their physical integrity rights. We argue that governments target repression against refugees for two reasons. First, refugees are easily scapegoated for the arrival of epidemics at a time when governments are looking to shift the blame for their own poor performance. Second, crises provide circumstances for governments to engage in opportunistic repression to further their goal of coercing existing refugees to depart and deterring new refugees from arriving. Drawing upon a global dataset of countries for the years 1996 to 2015, we demonstrate that epidemic outbreaks do indeed increase the likelihood and scale of government repression targeting refugee populations. These effects are especially pronounced in countries with higher proportions of refugees hosted and in less democratic countries. Identification of this potential for government repression of refugees during epidemics is important in light of the grave scale of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings suggest the international community should be vigilant for signs of governments’ mistreatment of vulnerable refugee populations to shift focus away from their own poor handling of crises such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and opportunistically advance their goal of reducing the numbers of refugees hosted locally.
While the UNHCR promotes voluntary repatriation as the preferred solution to refugee situations, there is little understanding of variation in refugees’ preferences regarding return. We develop a theoretical framework suggesting two mechanisms influencing refugees’ preferences. First, refugees’ lived experiences in their country of origin prior to displacement and in their new host country create a trade-off in feelings of being anchored to their origin or host country. Second, firsthand exposure to traumas of war provides some refugees with a sense of competency and self-efficacy, leading them to prefer to return home. We test these relationships with data from a survey among Syrian refugees hosted in Lebanon. We find refugees exposed to violence during the war have a sense of attachment to Syria and are most likely to prefer return. Refugees who have developed a detachment from Syria or an attachment to Lebanon are less likely to prefer return.
We offer an account of civil conflict contagion in which we argue that in peaceful neighborhoods autocracies that provide an opportunity for legal participation in domestic politics—via elected legislatures—are able to offset violent demands for change from domestic opposition groups. We add, however, the expectation that these openings in the political institutions of the country are insufficient to appease renewed opposition demands in autocracies located in conflict-ridden neighborhoods. We suggest that this is because of the threat of externalities from nearby conflicts, as well as the likelihood that domestic opposition groups will emulate violent examples set overseas. Thus, conflict contagion affects autocracies with legislatures that reside in neighborhoods with ongoing civil conflicts. We test this claim via multivariate probit analyses in which conflict onset is a function of institutional design at the country level and conflict within the neighborhood. These analyses offer support for our test hypotheses.
The likelihood of conflict and the observation of joint democracy tend to cluster regionally. This article tests the argument that these clusters can be explained by regional variations in the stability of international borders using a new dataset of territorial dispute hot spots from 1960–1998. These hot spots identify spatial and temporal correlations in the territorial dispute data and therefore serve as close proxies for regional or neighbourhood instability. The addition of these hot spots also eliminates a common form of omitted variable bias – the spatial clustering of conflict – in international conflict models. These results confirm that joint democracy is only statistically significant as a predictor of fatal militarized interstate disputes in more peaceful neighbourhoods once territorial hot spots are jointly estimated. The interaction between joint democracy and regional instability confirms that the effects of regime type on continued conflict apply mostly to dyads in peaceful regions.
Research on terrorism in democracies borrows from the literature on civil war and rebellion to argue that more proportional representation decreases the likelihood of terrorist violence. However, theories of broader social mobilization may be ill-suited to predicting the occurrence of terrorism. This article proposes that proportionalism's institutionalization of small minority groups as legitimate but relatively insignificant political actors leads to militancy. Analyses of the Global Terrorism Database on domestic terrorist attacks across all democracies in 1975–2007 provide broad support for this argument. The presence and greater degrees of proportionalism are significantly associated with greater levels of domestic terrorism when ethnic fractionalization within a given society increases. Moreover, domestic terrorism increases as the number of small parties represented in the legislature increases.