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Owing to restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased stress is evident in university students with a lifetime history of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI). Therefore, we examined two groups of university students (n = 174) in an online survey, one that exhibited early NSSI in adolescence (n = 51) and another that exhibited continuous NSSI beyond the age of 18 (n = 123) (German Clinical Trials Register DRKS00023731). We compared the two groups in terms of depressive symptoms in the previous 2 weeks as well as self-perceived changes in emotional burden, urge to self-injure and NSSI frequency in the first year of the pandemic compared with the year before (pre-pandemic). Among other findings, both groups showed an increase in emotional burden and urge to self-injure.
Depressive disorders are common mental health problems during adolescence. Many adolescents with depression describe difficulties with sleeping. Findings of previous studies regarding changes in objective sleep quality in adolescents with depressive disorders are heterogeneous.
This study aims to investigate differences in objective and subjective sleep quality between adolescents with depressive disorders and healthy peers, and to evaluate if potential changes in sleep occur concurrently with changes in the release of cortisol and alpha-amylase after awakening.
This non-interventional parallel study examines correlations between depressive disorders, sleep quality and release of stress hormones. Sleep quality in the past 2 weeks, severity of depressive symptoms, psychiatric comorbidities and stress response of 30 adolescents with depressive disorders and 30 healthy controls (N = 60) are assessed via questionnaires. In participants’ home environments, the objective sleep quality of seven consecutive nights is measured by sleep accelerometry. After awakening, participants answer sleep questionnaires to examine the subjective sleep quality of those nights. Furthermore, salivary cortisol and alpha-amylase are measured three times after awakening (+0 min, +30 min and +45 min after awakening).
Sleep is an important factor for prognosis and well-being in adolescents with depression. The results of this study can be highly valuable to integrate a more detailed examination of sleep quality and sleeping impairments in the treatment of adolescent depressive disorders.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious disorder, which often takes a chronic course. Early treatment leads to a significantly better prognosis and prevents chronicity. However, existing evidence on facilitators and barriers in anorexia nervosa treatment initiation is scarce.
Against this background, the FABIANA study (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03713541) aims to (a) identify potentially modifiable facilitators and barriers from the perspectives of adolescent and adult patients with anorexia nervosa, carers and physicians, (b) develop and test an instrument for the combined assessment of multiple key facilitators and barriers, and (c) quantify the effect of potentially modifiable versus non-modifiable key facilitators and barriers on the duration of untreated illness (DUI) in patients with anorexia nervosa.
FABIANA is an observational, mixed-method-study divided into three consecutive substudies each corresponding to one of the study aims. All three substudies will include female patients with anorexia nervosa aged 14 years and older at the beginning of their first psychotherapeutic anorexia nervosa treatment. The qualitative substudy I and the quantitative substudy III will additionally include carers and involved physicians. The recruitment will take place at 20 cooperating study centres throughout Germany, which provide in-patient or out-patient anorexia nervosa specialist care. The DUI will be calculated based on the month of illness onset as determined in validated interviews on lifetime anorexia nervosa symptoms and the therapist-reported date of treatment initiation.
Strengths and limitations of the retrospective assessment of the DUI will be discussed. The findings of the FABIANA study will contribute to the development of evidence-based early-intervention approaches and the prevention of a chronic course of illness.
Early life maltreatment (ELM), borderline personality disorder (BPD), and major depressive disorder (MDD) have been associated with empathy deficits in different domains. Lack of maternal empathy has also been related to child behavioral problems. As ELM, BPD, and MDD often co-occur, we aimed to identify dissociable effects on empathy due to these three factors. In addition, we aimed to investigate their indirect effects via empathy on child psychopathology.
We included 251 mothers with and without MDD (in remission), BPD and ELM and their children, aged 5–12. We used the Interpersonal Reactivity Index as a measure of empathy on four different dimensions (personal distress, empathic concern, perspective taking, and fantasy) and the Child Behavior Checklist as a measure of child psychopathology.
Having included all three factors (ELM, MDD, BPD) in one analysis, we found elevated personal distress in MDD and BPD, and lower levels of perspective-taking in BPD, but no effects from ELM on any empathy subscales. Furthermore, we found indirect effects from maternal BPD and MDD on child psychopathology, via maternal personal distress.
The present study demonstrated the dissociable effects of maternal ELM, MDD, and BPD on empathy. Elevated personal distress in mothers with BPD and MDD may lead to higher levels of child psychopathology.
Early life maltreatment (ELM), borderline personality disorder (BPD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) have been shown to increase the potential of abuse. Emotion regulation is an identified mediator for the association of ELM and BPD with abuse potential. Until now, there has been no study to account for the co-occurrence of these risk factors in one analysis, although BPD and MDD are known as common sequelae of ELM. This is paired with a lack of studies investigating the effects of abuse potential on child well-being.
Our study aims at (a) disentangling the effects of maternal ELM, MDD and BPD on abuse potential; (b) exploring the role of emotion regulation as a mediator; and (c) testing for intergenerational effects of abuse potential on child psychopathology.
The research design included 114 mothers with/without ELM, BPD and MDD in remission and their children, all of which were between 5 and 12 years of age. A path analysis was conducted to investigate the multiple associations between our variables.
ELM, MDD and BPD were all associated with abuse potential, with emotion regulation acting as a mediator for BPD and MDD. Furthermore, an elevated abuse potential was related to higher psychopathology in the child.
History of ELM as well as the common sequelae, BPD and MDD, pose risks for child abuse. Our findings suggest improvement of emotion regulation as a potential target for intervention programs. These programs should also aim at non-substantiated cases because even an elevated abuse potential affected child mental health.
Migration has been reported to be associated with higher prevalence of mental disorders and suicidal behaviour.
To examine the prevalence of emotional and behavioural difficulties, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among migrant adolescents and their non-migrant peers.
A school-based survey was completed by 11 057 European adolescents as part of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study.
A previous suicide attempt was reported by 386 (3.6%) adolescents. Compared with non-migrants, first-generation migrants had an elevated prevalence of suicide attempts (odds ratio (OR) 2.08; 95% CI 1.32–3.26; P=0.001 for European migrants and OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.06–3.27; P=0.031 for non-European migrants) and significantly higher levels of peer difficulties. Highest levels of conduct and hyperactivity problems were found among migrants of non-European origin.
Appropriate mental health services and school-based supports are required to meet the complex needs of migrant adolescents.
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