Publications by authors named "Christina W Hoven"

92 Publications

Excessive and pathological Internet use - Risk-behavior or psychopathology?

Addict Behav 2021 12 9;123:107045. Epub 2021 Jul 9.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Pathological Internet use (but only with respect to gaming) is classified as mental disorder in the ICD-11. However, there is a large group of adolescents showing excessive Internet use, which may rather be considered adolescent risk-behavior. The aim was to test whether pathological and excessive Internet use should be considered as "psychopathology" or "risk-behavior". A representative, cross-sectional sample of 11.110 students from 10 European Union countries was analyzed. Structural equation models, including the factors "risk-behavior" and "psychopathology" and the variables excessive and pathological Internet use, were tested against each other. "Risk-behavior" was operationalized by several risk-behaviors (e.g. drug abuse, truancy, etc). "Psychopathology" included measures of several mental disorders (e.g. depression, hyperactivity, etc). Excessive Internet use was assessed as the duration and frequency of Internet use. Pathological Internet use was assessed with the Young Diagnostic Questionnaire (i.e., presence of addiction criteria). Excessive Internet use loaded on "risk-behavior" (λ = 0.484, p < .001) and on "psychopathology" (λ = 0.071, p < .007). Pathological Internet use loaded on "risk-behavior" (λ = 0.333, p < .001) and on "psychopathology" (λ = 0.852, p < .001). Chi-square tests determined that the loadings of excessive Internet use (χ (1) = 81.98, p < .001) were significantly stronger on "risk-behavior" than "psychopathology". Vice versa, pathological Internet use loaded significantly stronger on "psychopathology" (χ (1) = 107.10, p < .001). The results indicate that pathological Internet use should rather be considered as psychopathology. Excessive Internet use on the other hand, should be classified as adolescent risk-behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.107045DOI Listing
December 2021

Mental Health of High-Risk Urban Youth: The Housing Subsidies Paradox.

Race Soc Probl 2021 Mar 9;13(1):22-33. Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Global Psychiatric Epidemiology Group, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University-New York State Psychiatric Institute, room 5217, 1051 Riverside Drive, New York, 10032, USA.

Housing subsidies, including public housing and Section 8 vouchers, are key components of the social safety net, intended to promote family and child welfare. Studies evaluating the impact of housing subsidies on child and adolescent mental health, however, are generally inconclusive. This may reflect variation in the influence by type of subsidies to income, improved physical environment, increased access to resources, and improved perception of neighborhood safety. Further, most prior research focused on housing subsidies failed to simultaneously formally assess child psychopathology. In the present study, we examine, among adolescents (ages 9-17) from a low-income, urban minority area, the association of housing with psychiatric symptoms and disorders, as well as with their social functioning. The data were obtained from the Stress & Justice Study (S&J) baseline survey, an investigation designed to examine impact of parental criminal justice system involvement (CJSI) on their children's mental health. Housing type during the past year was categorized from parental report as public housing, section 8, both, or neither. Child mental health was assessed with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC). Additionally, family resources and physical quality of the housing environment by housing type was assessed, and we tested whether these dimensions mediated associations of housing type with the adolescent's current mental health outcomes. We found that while internalizing and externalizing disorders and impairment were attenuated by individual characteristics (e.g., SES, CJSI), internalizing and externalizing symptom counts were significantly more prevalent among children in subsidized housing, compared to those in non-subsidized housing, after controlling for individual characteristics. These findings have the potential to inform whether, and through which mechanisms, housing subsidies are associated with adolescent mental health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12552-021-09322-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8211093PMC
March 2021

Factors Related to Self-Reported Distress Experienced by Physicians During Their First COVID-19 Triage Decisions.

Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2021 Jun 7:1-8. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York, USA.

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with distress experienced by physicians during their first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) triage decisions.

Methods: An online survey was administered to physicians licensed in New York State.

Results: Of the 164 physicians studied, 20.7% experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. The mean distress score was not significantly different between physicians who received just-in-time training and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.7 vs 6.2 ± 2.8; P = 0.550) and between physicians who received clinical guidelines and those who did not (6.0 ± 2.9 vs 6.2 ± 2.7; P = 0.820). Substantially increased odds of severe distress were found in physicians who reported that their first COVID-19 triage decisions were inconsistent with their core values (adjusted odds ratio, 6.33; 95% confidence interval, 2.03-19.76) and who reported having insufficient skills and expertise (adjusted odds ratio 2.99, 95% confidence interval 0.91-9.87).

Conclusion: Approximately 1 in 5 physicians in New York experienced severe distress during their first COVID-19 triage decisions. Physicians with insufficient skills and expertise, and core values misaligned to triage decisions are at heightened risk of experiencing severe distress. Just-in-time training and clinical guidelines do not appear to alleviate distress experienced by physicians during their first COVID-19 triage decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/dmp.2021.170DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8314063PMC
June 2021

Neighborhood characteristics and psychiatric disorders in the aftermath of mass trauma: A representative study of New York City public school 4th-12th graders after 9/11.

J Psychiatr Res 2021 06 7;138:584-590. Epub 2021 May 7.

New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.

Studies of the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and childhood/adolescent psychopathology in large samples examined one outcome only, and/or general (e.g., 'psychological distress') or aggregate (e.g., 'any anxiety disorder') measures of psychopathology. Thus, in the only representative sample of New York City public school 4th-12th graders (N = 8202) surveyed after the attacks of 9/11/2001, this study examined whether (1) indices of neighborhood Socioeconomic Status, Quality, and Safety and (2) neighborhood disadvantage (defined as multidimensional combinations of SES, Quality and Safety indicators) are associated with eight psychiatric disorders: posttraumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety disorder (SAD), agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, major depression, conduct disorder, and alcohol use disorder (AUD). (1) The odds ratios (OR) of psychiatric disorders were between 0.55 (AUD) and 1.55 (agoraphobia), in low and intermediate-low SES neighborhoods, respectively, between 0.50 (AUD) and 2.54 (agoraphobia) in low Quality neighborhoods, and between 0.52 (agoraphobia) and 0.65 (SAD) in low Safety neighborhoods. (2) In neighborhoods characterized by high disadvantage, the OR were between 0.42 (AUD) and 1.36 (SAD). This study suggests that neighborhood factors are important social determinants of childhood/adolescent psychopathology, even in the aftermath of mass trauma. At the community level, interventions on modifiable neighborhood characteristics and targeted resources allocation to high-risk contexts could have a cost-effective broad impact on children's mental health. At the individual-level, increased knowledge of the living environment during psychiatric assessment and treatment could improve mental health outcomes; for example, specific questions about neighborhood factors could be incorporated in DSM-5's Cultural Formulation Interview.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.05.002DOI Listing
June 2021

Exposure to mass disaster and probable panic disorder among children in New York City.

J Psychiatr Res 2021 06 4;138:349-353. Epub 2021 Apr 4.

Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States; New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, United States; Department of Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States.

While both direct and indirect exposure to mass trauma are increasing in the United States, relatively little is known about the potential link between mass trauma and risk of panic disorder early in life. It is also unclear whether history of prior individual trauma increases risk of panic disorder even further among those with exposure to mass trauma. The current study investigated the association between exposure to a mass trauma event (the World Trade Center (WTC) attack) and risk of panic disorder among children, how panic disorder varies by exposure severity and sociodemographic characteristics, and whether there is an interaction between individual and mass trauma exposure in the risk of panic disorder. Data were from an epidemiologic study of probable mental disorders among New York City schoolchildren exposed to the WTC terrorist attack. Severe (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 2.0 (1.1, 3.7)) exposure to the WTC disaster was associated with increased odds of probable panic disorder, relative to mild exposure. The prevalence of panic disorder increased with higher level of WTC exposure among all sociodemographic strata. Prior individual trauma exposure was associated with increased odds of panic disorder (AOR = 2.4 (1.6, 3.5)), but there was no evidence of interaction between prior individual trauma exposure and exposure to the WTC disaster. Preventive measures to address the widespread nature of mass disaster exposure at increasingly earlier ages and via media could mitigate the potential impact on mental health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.04.001DOI Listing
June 2021

Longitudinal predictors of problematic alcohol use in adolescence: A 2-year follow-up study.

Addict Behav 2021 09 10;120:106952. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

Alcohol consumption in adolescence is widespread. Several studies have investigated alcohol use in minors and its consequences in adulthood, but prospective findings on psychosocial predictors for problematic alcohol use (PAU) already in youth are still limited. Next to genetic aspects, psychosocial predictors appear to be particularly relevant. The objective of the present longitudinal survey was to explore psychosocial influences on PAU in adolescence. At baseline, 1,444 adolescents (52.1% girls, average age: 14.65 years) were surveyed. Two years later (at follow-up), we were able to re-assess 515 adolescents (mean age: 16.60 years). Both times, a standardized questionnaire was applied to explore PAU and various psychosocial aspects. We conducted multiple imputation, created 100 datasets with a Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm and calculated regression analyses to identify predictors for PAU. In a multivariable analysis, we found that female gender (protective factor), school-type 'Gymnasium' (highest level of school education, protective factor), PAU, more conduct problems and lower psychological well-being (all at baseline) predicted adolescent PAU at follow-up. In supplementary analyses for frequent alcohol use (regardless of quantity) and high alcohol consumption quantity (regardless of frequency), these predictors could only partially be found again. According to the findings of the present study, psychosocial aspects are relevant for PAU in adolescence, and particularly psychological well-being should be given more attention in primary prevention measures and treatment approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106952DOI Listing
September 2021

Delay discounting and neurocognitive correlates among inner city adolescents with and without family history of substance use disorder.

Dev Cogn Neurosci 2021 04 11;48:100942. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, United States; Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States.

Adolescents with a family history (FH+) of substance use disorder (SUD) are at a greater risk for SUD, suggested to be partly due to the transmission of behavioral impulsivity. We used a delay discounting task to compare impulsivity in decision-making and its associated brain functioning among FH+ and FH - minority adolescents. Participants chose between Smaller Sooner (SS) and Larger Later (LL) rewards. The SS was available immediately (Now trials) or in the future (Not-Now trials), allowing for greater differentiation between impulsive decisions. The FH+ group showed greater impatience by responding SS more frequently than the FH - group, only on the Now trials, and even when the relative reward differences (RRD) increased. Surprisingly, there were no differences in brain activity between the groups. Combined, the groups showed greater reward activity during the Now vs. Not-Now trials in medial prefrontal/anterior cingulate, posterior cingulate, precuneus, and inferior frontal gyrus (i.e., an immediacy effect). As the RRD increased activation in the reward network decreased, including the striatum, possibly reflecting easy decision-making. These results indicate that risk for SUD, seen behaviorally among FH+ adolescents, may not yet be associated with discernable brain changes, suggesting that early intervention has the potential to reduce this risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dcn.2021.100942DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8010627PMC
April 2021

Enhancing mental health pre-service training with the WHO mhGAP Intervention Guide: experiences learned and the way forward.

Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 2021 Jan 11;15(1). Epub 2021 Jan 11.

Center for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Protection, IPH, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

There is currently a high global demand for mental health professionals, including child and adolescent mental health professionals. In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) published "Enhancing mental health pre-service training with the mhGAP-Intervention Guide: experiences and lessons learned" to address the proposition of implementing Mental Health Gap Action Programme Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) materials and principles as a component of pre-service training. By integrating the mhGAP-IG within pre-service training, future healthcare providers will acquire theoretical knowledge and early exposure to practical knowledge and will be better prepared for their future work.Examples demonstrate that mhGAP-IG pre-service training can be successfully implemented in diverse settings and in various pre-service training programs. It can be used in small group learning activities and short courses, taught through lectures, used as a clinical tool to teach students (i.e. medical, nursing students) and medical doctors in training. We can enhance pre-service training with the mhGAP-IG and contribute to a learning environment, which nurtures knowledge and skills required to help people with mental health needs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13034-020-00354-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7797878PMC
January 2021

Gut Microbiota Changes and Their Relationship with Inflammation in Patients with Acute and Chronic Insomnia.

Nat Sci Sleep 2020 5;12:895-905. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.

Purpose: The major purpose of this study was to detect the changes in gut microbiota composition and inflammatory cytokines production associated with acute and chronic insomnia. This study also evaluated the relationship between gut microbiota changes and increased inflammatory cytokines in insomnia patients.

Patients And Methods: Outpatients with acute and chronic insomnia (aged 26-55 years; n=20 and 38, respectively) and age/gender-matched healthy controls (n=38) were recruited from a southern China region. Participants' gut microbiome, plasma cytokines, and self-reported sleep quality and psychopathological symptoms were measured.

Results: The gut microbiomes of insomnia patients compared with healthy controls were characterized by lower microbial richness and diversity, depletion of anaerobes, and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producing bacteria, and an expansion of potential pathobionts. and were signature bacteria for distinguishing acute insomnia patients from healthy controls, while and were signature bacteria for distinguishing chronic insomnia patients from healthy controls. Acute/chronic insomnia-related signature bacteria also showed correlations with these patients' self-reported sleep quality and plasma IL-1β.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that insomnia symptomology, gut microbiota, and inflammation may be interrelated in complex ways. Gut microbiota may serve as an important indicator for auxiliary diagnosis of insomnia and provide possible new therapeutic targets in the field of sleep disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/NSS.S271927DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7652227PMC
November 2020

Parental Occupational Exposure is Associated With Their Children's Psychopathology: A Study of Families of Israeli First Responders.

J Occup Environ Med 2020 11;62(11):904-915

New York State Psychiatric Institute-Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, New York (Dr Kishon, Dr Geronazzo-Alman, Dr Cheslack-Postava, Dr Fan, Dr Duarte, Ms Wicks, Dr Musa, Dr Moreno, Dr Cycowicz, Dr Amsel, Dr Bresnahan, Dr Hoven); Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel (Dr M Teichman); School of Psychological Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel (Dr Y Teichman); Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel (Mr Djalovski); Rabin Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, Israel (Dr Tadmor); Mailman School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, New York (Dr Musa, Dr Bresnahan, Dr Hoven).

Objective: To examine the association between parental occupational exposure to traumatic events and their children's mental health in families of First Responders (FRs), a neglected area of research.

Methods: In 208 families of Israeli FRs, children's symptoms and comorbidity patterns of seven psychiatric disorders were regressed on parental work-related variables, controlling for relevant covariates.

Results: Having a father working as a FR and higher paternal exposure were associated with a greater number of separation anxiety and posttraumatic stress symptoms, respectively. Maternal exposure was associated with a greater number of symptoms of generalized anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and oppositional defiant disorder, and with increased odds of comorbid internalizing symptomatology.

Conclusions: Additional research on children of FRs is encouraged. An adaption to this understudied population of family-centered interventions available for military families could inform targeted prevention efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001971DOI Listing
November 2020

Urgent engagement in 9/11 pregnant widows and their infants: Transmission of trauma.

Infancy 2020 03 31;25(2):165-189. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

The Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, New York.

The potential effects of maternal trauma on mother-infant interaction remain insufficiently studied empirically. This study examined the effects of the September 11, 2001, trauma on mother-infant interaction in mothers who were pregnant and widowed on 9/11, and their infants aged 4-6 months. Split-screen videotaped interaction was coded on a one-second basis for infant gaze, facial affect, and vocal affect; and mother gaze, facial affect, and touch. We examined the temporal dynamics of communication: self-contingency and interactive contingency of behavior by time-series methods. We documented heightened maternal and infant efforts at engagement in the 9/11 (vs. control) dyads. Both partners had difficulty tolerating moments of looking away as well as moments of negative behavior patterns. Heightened efforts to maintain a positive visual engagement may be adaptive and a potential source of resilience, but these patterns may also carry risk: working too hard to make it work. A vigilant, hyper-contingent, high-arousal engagement was the central mode of the interpersonal transmission of the trauma to these infants, with implications for intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/infa.12323DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7409512PMC
March 2020

Risk and protective factors for psychotic experiences in adolescence: a population-based study.

Psychol Med 2021 05 6;51(7):1220-1228. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: Psychotic experiences (PEs) are reported by a significant minority of adolescents and are associated with the development of psychiatric disorders. The aims of this study were to examine associations between PEs and a range of factors including psychopathology, adversity and lifestyle, and to investigate mediating effects of coping style and parental support on associations between adversity and PEs in a general population adolescent sample.

Method: Cross-sectional data were drawn from the Irish centre of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe study. Students completed a self-report questionnaire and 973 adolescents, of whom 522 (53.6%) were boys, participated. PEs were assessed using the 7-item Adolescent Psychotic Symptom Screener.

Results: Of the total sample, 81 (8.7%) of the sample were found to be at risk of PEs. In multivariate analysis, associations were found between PEs and number of adverse events reported (OR 4.48, CI 1.41-14.25; p < 0.011), maladaptive/pathological internet use (OR 2.70, CI 1.30-5.58; p = 0.007), alcohol intoxication (OR 2.12, CI 1.10-4.12; p = 0.025) and anxiety symptoms (OR 4.03, CI 1.57-10.33; p = 0.004). There were small mediating effects of parental supervision, parental support and maladaptive coping on associations between adversity and PEs.

Conclusion: We have identified potential risk factors for PEs from multiple domains including adversity, mental health and lifestyle factors. The mediating effect of parental support on associations between adversity and PEs suggests that poor family relationships may account for some of this mechanism. These findings can inform the development of interventions for adolescents at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719004136DOI Listing
May 2021

Risk and protective factors for psychotic experiences in adolescence: a population-based study.

Psychol Med 2021 05 6;51(7):1220-1228. Epub 2020 Feb 6.

Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.

Background: Psychotic experiences (PEs) are reported by a significant minority of adolescents and are associated with the development of psychiatric disorders. The aims of this study were to examine associations between PEs and a range of factors including psychopathology, adversity and lifestyle, and to investigate mediating effects of coping style and parental support on associations between adversity and PEs in a general population adolescent sample.

Method: Cross-sectional data were drawn from the Irish centre of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe study. Students completed a self-report questionnaire and 973 adolescents, of whom 522 (53.6%) were boys, participated. PEs were assessed using the 7-item Adolescent Psychotic Symptom Screener.

Results: Of the total sample, 81 (8.7%) of the sample were found to be at risk of PEs. In multivariate analysis, associations were found between PEs and number of adverse events reported (OR 4.48, CI 1.41-14.25; p < 0.011), maladaptive/pathological internet use (OR 2.70, CI 1.30-5.58; p = 0.007), alcohol intoxication (OR 2.12, CI 1.10-4.12; p = 0.025) and anxiety symptoms (OR 4.03, CI 1.57-10.33; p = 0.004). There were small mediating effects of parental supervision, parental support and maladaptive coping on associations between adversity and PEs.

Conclusion: We have identified potential risk factors for PEs from multiple domains including adversity, mental health and lifestyle factors. The mediating effect of parental support on associations between adversity and PEs suggests that poor family relationships may account for some of this mechanism. These findings can inform the development of interventions for adolescents at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291719004136DOI Listing
May 2021

Life Events Predicting the First Onset of Adolescent Direct Self-Injurious Behavior-A Prospective Multicenter Study.

J Adolesc Health 2020 02 31;66(2):195-201. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Purpose: Self-injurious behavior is a frequent phenomenon in adolescence. The present study prospectively examined life events as risk factors for the first onset of direct self-injurious behavior (D-SIB) in the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe school-based multicenter sample.

Methods: Longitudinal assessments with an interval of 1 year were performed within a sample of 1,933 adolescents (51.47% females; mean age 14.84 ± .9 years) from 10 European countries and Israel.

Results: The number of life events during the past 6 months predicted the first onset of D-SIB in the following year. Gender neither predicted the onset of D-SIB nor moderated the association with life events. Moreover, analyses of individual events identified a range of mainly interpersonal events within both family and peer group as proximal risk factors for first episode D-SIB.

Conclusions: The results support the critical role of interpersonal life events in the development of D-SIB for both genders and refine the conceptualization of proximal risk factors in terms of accumulated stressors and interpersonal events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.08.018DOI Listing
February 2020

Life Events Predicting the First Onset of Adolescent Direct Self-Injurious Behavior-A Prospective Multicenter Study.

J Adolesc Health 2020 02 31;66(2):195-201. Epub 2019 Oct 31.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Purpose: Self-injurious behavior is a frequent phenomenon in adolescence. The present study prospectively examined life events as risk factors for the first onset of direct self-injurious behavior (D-SIB) in the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe school-based multicenter sample.

Methods: Longitudinal assessments with an interval of 1 year were performed within a sample of 1,933 adolescents (51.47% females; mean age 14.84 ± .9 years) from 10 European countries and Israel.

Results: The number of life events during the past 6 months predicted the first onset of D-SIB in the following year. Gender neither predicted the onset of D-SIB nor moderated the association with life events. Moreover, analyses of individual events identified a range of mainly interpersonal events within both family and peer group as proximal risk factors for first episode D-SIB.

Conclusions: The results support the critical role of interpersonal life events in the development of D-SIB for both genders and refine the conceptualization of proximal risk factors in terms of accumulated stressors and interpersonal events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.08.018DOI Listing
February 2020

The Distinctiveness of Grief, Depression, and Posttraumatic Stress: Lessons From Children After 9/11.

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2019 10 13;58(10):971-982. Epub 2019 Mar 13.

New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.

Objective: The clinical and nosological significance of grief reactions in youth exposed to a shared trauma (9/11, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States) was tested by examining whether the predictors (ie, non-loss-related trauma versus traumatic bereavement), clinical correlates, factorial structure, and phenomenology of grief reactions are distinct from those of major depressive disorder (MDD) and 9/11-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Method: In a representative sample of New York City schoolchildren (N = 8,236; grades 4-12; n = 1,696 bereaved), assessed 6 months post-9/11, multivariate regressions examined predictors of grief, PTSD, and MDD, as well as the incremental validity of grief in predicting health problems and functional impairment. Factor analysis and latent class analysis determined, respectively, the factorial and the syndromic distinctiveness of grief, PTSD, and MDD.

Results: Four types of evidence supporting the distinctiveness of grief emerged. (1) Bereavement was associated with grief independently of PTSD and MDD, but not with PTSD and MDD after adjusting for grief; conversely, non-loss related trauma was associated primarily with PTSD. (2) Grief contributed uniquely to functional impairment. (3) Grief reactions loaded on a separate factor. (4) Youth with elevated grief reactions fell into two classes characterized by only moderate and negligible probability of co-occurring PTSD and MDD symptoms, respectively.

Conclusion: A multifaceted approach provided convergent evidence that grief reactions are independent of other common types of postdisaster child and adolescent psychopathology, and capture a unique aspect of bereavement-related distress. These findings suggest that grief reactions in traumatically bereaved youth merit separate clinical attention, informing tailored interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.12.012DOI Listing
October 2019

Longitudinal development of risk-taking and self-injurious behavior in association with late adolescent borderline personality disorder symptoms.

Psychiatry Res 2019 03 3;273:127-133. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

Section for Translational Psychobiology in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; University Hospital of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Self-injurious behavior and risk-taking behaviors are associated with adolescent borderline personality disorder (BPD). Developmental trajectories of self-injurious and risk-taking behavior in predicting BPD have not been fully understood. The aim of the present study was to examine self-injurious and risk-taking behavior development and their prospective influence on BPD symptoms in adolescence. Data (n = 506; 62.06 % females, 14.53 years) from the German Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe cohort were analyzed. Self-injurious and risk-taking behaviors were assessed at baseline and one-year follow-up. BPD symptoms were assessed at two-year follow-up. In fully adjusted stepwise binominal regression analyses, recent onset, termination and maintenance of risky alcohol use and self-injurious behavior remained as significant predictors of BPD. Highest ORs were found for alcohol termination and maintenance of self-injurious behavior. Other facets of risk-taking behavior were not associated with increased ORs of BPD symptoms at two-year follow-up. These findings highlight the importance of self-injurious behavior and specific facets of risk-taking behavior in the development of adolescent BPD. Clinicians should focus on efforts in preventing adolescents from risk-taking and self-injurious behavior, since engaging in young age and therefore in potentially longer periods of these behaviors is associated with the highest risk of BPD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.01.010DOI Listing
March 2019

Psychopathology is associated with reproductive health risk in European adolescents.

Reprod Health 2018 Nov 6;15(1):186. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, 171 77, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Reproductive and mental health are key domains of adolescent wellbeing but possible interrelationships are poorly understood. This cross-sectional study evaluated the association between psychopathology and reproductive health risk among European adolescents.

Methods: A structured self-report questionnaire was delivered to 12,395 pupils of 179 randomly selected schools in 11 European countries within the EU funded "Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe" (SEYLE) project. The questionnaire included items about sexual initiation and reproductive health risk factors, such as number of sexual partners, frequency of condom use, and pregnancy involvement. Psychopathology was evaluated with validated instruments and/or ad-hoc questions.

Results: Of 11,406 respondents (median age 15; interquartile range [IQR] 14-15; 57% females), 18.8% reported sexual initiation. Sixty percent of them also reported at least one reproductive risk factor. Sexual initiation was significantly more common among pupils older than 15 years (38% versus 13.2% younger pupils) and males (21.3% versus 16.9% females). It was also more common among pupils with depression (age/sex-adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.871), anxiety (aOR 2.190), severe suicidal ideation (aOR 2.259), self-injurious behaviour (aOR 2.892), and suicide attempts (aOR 3.091). These associations were particularly strong among pupils ≤15 years old and, for overt psychopathology, among pupils with low non-sexual risk behaviour profile and females. Depression (aOR 1.937), anxiety (aOR 2.282), severe suicidal ideation (aOR 2.354), self-injurious behaviour (aOR 3.022), and suicide attempts (aOR 3.284) were associated with higher reproductive health risk, defined by an increasing number of coexisting reproductive risk factors.

Conclusions: These findings suggest an alignment between mental and reproductive health risk and support the value of cross-domain collaboration in adolescent health. The association between psychopathology and reproductive health risk, as well as its variations with age, sex, and associated risk behaviours, should be considered when designing health-promoting or disease-preventing interventions for adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12978-018-0618-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6220505PMC
November 2018

Comorbidity of Physical and Anxiety Symptoms in Adolescent: Functional Impairment, Self-Rated Health and Subjective Well-Being.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 08 9;15(8). Epub 2018 Aug 9.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.

Physical disorders and anxiety are frequently comorbid. This study investigates the characteristics of physical disorders, self-rated heath, subjective well-being and anxiety in adolescents. Data were drawn from the cohort study. From 11 countries 11,230 adolescents, aged 14⁻16 years were included. Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), WHO-5 Well-Being Index and five questions prepared for this study to evaluate physical illnesses and self-rated heath were administered. Anxiety levels were significantly higher in adolescents who reported having physical disability ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 0.40), suffering from chronic illnesses ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 0.40), impairments associated to health conditions ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 0.61), or reported poor to very poor self-rated health ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 1.11). Mediational analyses revealed no direct effect of having a chronic illness/physical disability on subjective well-being, but the indirect effects through higher levels of anxiety were significant. Functional impairment related to health conditions was both directly and indirectly (through higher levels of anxiety) associated with lower well-being. The co-occurrence of anxiety and physical disorders may confer a greater level of disability and lower levels of subjective well-being. Clinicians have to screen anxiety, even in a subthreshold level in patients with choric physical illness or with medically unexplained physical symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121583PMC
August 2018

Comorbidity of Physical and Anxiety Symptoms in Adolescent: Functional Impairment, Self-Rated Health and Subjective Well-Being.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 08 9;15(8). Epub 2018 Aug 9.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.

Physical disorders and anxiety are frequently comorbid. This study investigates the characteristics of physical disorders, self-rated heath, subjective well-being and anxiety in adolescents. Data were drawn from the cohort study. From 11 countries 11,230 adolescents, aged 14⁻16 years were included. Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), WHO-5 Well-Being Index and five questions prepared for this study to evaluate physical illnesses and self-rated heath were administered. Anxiety levels were significantly higher in adolescents who reported having physical disability ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 0.40), suffering from chronic illnesses ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 0.40), impairments associated to health conditions ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 0.61), or reported poor to very poor self-rated health ( < 0.001, Cohen's = 1.11). Mediational analyses revealed no direct effect of having a chronic illness/physical disability on subjective well-being, but the indirect effects through higher levels of anxiety were significant. Functional impairment related to health conditions was both directly and indirectly (through higher levels of anxiety) associated with lower well-being. The co-occurrence of anxiety and physical disorders may confer a greater level of disability and lower levels of subjective well-being. Clinicians have to screen anxiety, even in a subthreshold level in patients with choric physical illness or with medically unexplained physical symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081698DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121583PMC
August 2018

Direct Self-Injurious Behavior (D-SIB) and Life Events among Vocational School and High School Students.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 05 24;15(6). Epub 2018 May 24.

Institute of Psychology, Eotvos Lorand University, 1075 Budapest, Hungary.

Although several studies have recently assessed direct self-injurious behavior (D-SIB) among adolescents, it is still understudied in adolescents attending vocational schools: an educational setting generally associated with lower socioeconomic status. After extending the "Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe" (SEYLE) project to a vocational school population, we examined their D-SIB and life event characteristics compared to the high school population. SEYLE's Hungarian randomly selected high school sample ( = 995) was completed with a randomly selected vocational school sample ( = 140) in Budapest, Hungary. Participants aged 14⁻17 years completed the SEYLE project's self-administered questionnaires. D-SIB lifetime prevalence was significantly higher (29.4%) in the vocational school group compared to the high school group (17.2%) (Χ²(1) = 12.231, < 0.001). D-SIB was associated with suicidal ideation in the vocational school group. Different life events were more frequent in the high school than in the vocational school group, and associations between D-SIB and life events differed in the vocational school group compared to the high school group. In conclusion, vocational school students are a vulnerable population with a higher prevalence of D-SIB compared to high school students. Life events and their association with D-SIB also differ in vocational school students compared to high school students. Taking all these into account might contribute to prevention/intervention designed for this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6025121PMC
May 2018

Direct Self-Injurious Behavior (D-SIB) and Life Events among Vocational School and High School Students.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018 05 24;15(6). Epub 2018 May 24.

Institute of Psychology, Eotvos Lorand University, 1075 Budapest, Hungary.

Although several studies have recently assessed direct self-injurious behavior (D-SIB) among adolescents, it is still understudied in adolescents attending vocational schools: an educational setting generally associated with lower socioeconomic status. After extending the "Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe" (SEYLE) project to a vocational school population, we examined their D-SIB and life event characteristics compared to the high school population. SEYLE's Hungarian randomly selected high school sample ( = 995) was completed with a randomly selected vocational school sample ( = 140) in Budapest, Hungary. Participants aged 14⁻17 years completed the SEYLE project's self-administered questionnaires. D-SIB lifetime prevalence was significantly higher (29.4%) in the vocational school group compared to the high school group (17.2%) (Χ²(1) = 12.231, < 0.001). D-SIB was associated with suicidal ideation in the vocational school group. Different life events were more frequent in the high school than in the vocational school group, and associations between D-SIB and life events differed in the vocational school group compared to the high school group. In conclusion, vocational school students are a vulnerable population with a higher prevalence of D-SIB compared to high school students. Life events and their association with D-SIB also differ in vocational school students compared to high school students. Taking all these into account might contribute to prevention/intervention designed for this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061068DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6025121PMC
May 2018

Correlates of sexual initiation among European adolescents.

PLoS One 2018 8;13(2):e0191451. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Sexuality is a physiological component of adolescent development, though early initiation is associated with reproductive health risk. This study aimed at identifying correlates and predictors of sexual initiation in a large multinational cohort of European adolescents.

Methods: A questionnaire addressing socio-demographics, behaviours, mental health and sexual activity, was delivered to 11,110 adolescents recruited from 168 randomly selected schools in 10 European countries between 2009 and 2011. A follow-up questionnaire was delivered after 12 months. The longitudinal association of baseline risk behaviors, psychological attributes and contextual vulnerabilities, with sexual initiation during follow-up was evaluated through simple and multivariable age/sex stratified logistic regression. Multinomial logistic regression measured the association between predictors and sexual initiation with or without coexisting reproductive risk factors, such as multiple partners or infrequent condom use.

Results: Baseline sexual experience was reported by 19.2% of 10,757 respondents (median age 15; IQR 14-15; females 59.6%). This was significantly more frequent among pupils older than 15 (41%) and males (20.8%). Of 7,111 pupils without previous experience who were available at follow-up (response rate 81.8%), 17% reported sexual initiation, without differences between females and males. Baseline smoking (age/sex adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.63), alcohol use (aOR 2.95), illegal drugs use (aOR 2.72), and poor sleep (aOR 1.71) predicted sexual initiation. Stratified analyses showed a particularly strong association in case of younger and female pupils, and, among girls, when initiation was reported together with multiple partners and/or infrequent condom use. Externalizing (i.e. conduct and hyperactivity) symptoms independently predicted sexual initiation. Internalizing difficulties (i.e. emotional and peer problems) were negatively associated with early and risky sexual initiation among boys. Significant predictors included also being bullied, fighting, truancy, and low parental involvement.

Conclusions: Adolescent sexual behaviours are related to non-sexual risk behaviours, psychological difficulties and contextual vulnerabilities. While gateway effects explain some associations, a comprehensive model is needed to understand adolescent sexual behaviours, their physical, mental, and social health outcomes, and their potential positive effects on wellbeing. Tailored interventions may need to consider younger girls as a particularly vulnerable group in view of a strong association between non-sexual and sexual behaviors.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0191451PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805230PMC
March 2018

Correlates of sexual initiation among European adolescents.

PLoS One 2018 8;13(2):e0191451. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Sexuality is a physiological component of adolescent development, though early initiation is associated with reproductive health risk. This study aimed at identifying correlates and predictors of sexual initiation in a large multinational cohort of European adolescents.

Methods: A questionnaire addressing socio-demographics, behaviours, mental health and sexual activity, was delivered to 11,110 adolescents recruited from 168 randomly selected schools in 10 European countries between 2009 and 2011. A follow-up questionnaire was delivered after 12 months. The longitudinal association of baseline risk behaviors, psychological attributes and contextual vulnerabilities, with sexual initiation during follow-up was evaluated through simple and multivariable age/sex stratified logistic regression. Multinomial logistic regression measured the association between predictors and sexual initiation with or without coexisting reproductive risk factors, such as multiple partners or infrequent condom use.

Results: Baseline sexual experience was reported by 19.2% of 10,757 respondents (median age 15; IQR 14-15; females 59.6%). This was significantly more frequent among pupils older than 15 (41%) and males (20.8%). Of 7,111 pupils without previous experience who were available at follow-up (response rate 81.8%), 17% reported sexual initiation, without differences between females and males. Baseline smoking (age/sex adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.63), alcohol use (aOR 2.95), illegal drugs use (aOR 2.72), and poor sleep (aOR 1.71) predicted sexual initiation. Stratified analyses showed a particularly strong association in case of younger and female pupils, and, among girls, when initiation was reported together with multiple partners and/or infrequent condom use. Externalizing (i.e. conduct and hyperactivity) symptoms independently predicted sexual initiation. Internalizing difficulties (i.e. emotional and peer problems) were negatively associated with early and risky sexual initiation among boys. Significant predictors included also being bullied, fighting, truancy, and low parental involvement.

Conclusions: Adolescent sexual behaviours are related to non-sexual risk behaviours, psychological difficulties and contextual vulnerabilities. While gateway effects explain some associations, a comprehensive model is needed to understand adolescent sexual behaviours, their physical, mental, and social health outcomes, and their potential positive effects on wellbeing. Tailored interventions may need to consider younger girls as a particularly vulnerable group in view of a strong association between non-sexual and sexual behaviors.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0191451PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5805230PMC
March 2018

Explicit Motives, Antecedents, and Consequences of Direct Self-Injurious Behaviors.

Crisis 2018 Jul 8;39(4):255-266. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

3 National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Self-injurious behaviors in adolescence are a serious public health concern.

Aims: The current study aims to expand our understanding of motives for direct self-injurious behaviors (D-SIB). We examined the explicit motives but also the actual antecedents and consequences of D-SIB over time.

Method: As part of the Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study, adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 years from Israel completed self-report questionnaires at baseline, 3-month, and 12-month follow-ups.

Results: Decreases in social support predicted later increases in D-SIB, an effect mediated by negative affect. Both peer and parental support also exerted quadratic effects on D-SIB. Thus, low as well as high support predicted subsequent D-SIB. In turn, D-SIB was followed by increased peer and parental support.

Limitations: Our methodology relies on self-reports, affected by social desirability and recall biases.

Conclusion: The findings support a causal path for the development of D-SIB: from interpersonal distress to emotional distress and then to D-SIB. They also point to interesting avenues regarding subgroupings of adolescents who self-injure depending on their motives. Finally, our results reveal that D-SIB, although of negative import, might paradoxically be effective in serving certain functions such as gaining support from parents and peers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/0227-5910/a000493DOI Listing
July 2018

Children's Knowledge about Parental Exposure to Trauma.

J Child Adolesc Trauma 2019 Mar 5;12(1):31-35. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

3Division of Biostatistics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY USA.

The study aims to determine children's knowledge about their parents' exposure to traumatic events and factors associated with such knowledge. Children (ages 9-16) and their parents with a range of exposures to trauma, including the 9/11 attack, answered questions about parental exposure to life threatening events. A child's accurate knowledge about parental exposure was defined as an agreement between parent and child on lifetime presence or absence of traumatic events. The present study findings suggest that children were often unaware about their parents' exposures to life threatening events. Knowledge about fathers' exposure was more accurate when the child was older, fathers had direct exposure to 9/11, or had been a first responder. Children of mothers with depression were less likely to have accurate knowledge about their mothers' exposure compared to children of non-depressed mothers. Overall, findings indicated that children are generally unaware of parental (particularly maternal) exposure to traumatic events. The next step is to determine how knowledge about parental trauma exposure impacts children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40653-017-0159-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7163871PMC
March 2019

Children's Knowledge about Parental Exposure to Trauma.

J Child Adolesc Trauma 2019 Mar 5;12(1):31-35. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

3Division of Biostatistics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY USA.

The study aims to determine children's knowledge about their parents' exposure to traumatic events and factors associated with such knowledge. Children (ages 9-16) and their parents with a range of exposures to trauma, including the 9/11 attack, answered questions about parental exposure to life threatening events. A child's accurate knowledge about parental exposure was defined as an agreement between parent and child on lifetime presence or absence of traumatic events. The present study findings suggest that children were often unaware about their parents' exposures to life threatening events. Knowledge about fathers' exposure was more accurate when the child was older, fathers had direct exposure to 9/11, or had been a first responder. Children of mothers with depression were less likely to have accurate knowledge about their mothers' exposure compared to children of non-depressed mothers. Overall, findings indicated that children are generally unaware of parental (particularly maternal) exposure to traumatic events. The next step is to determine how knowledge about parental trauma exposure impacts children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40653-017-0159-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7163871PMC
March 2019

Cumulative exposure to work-related traumatic events and current post-traumatic stress disorder in New York City's first responders.

Compr Psychiatry 2017 04 21;74:134-143. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10032. Electronic address:

Background And Objectives: Cumulative exposure to work-related traumatic events (CE) is a foreseeable risk for psychiatric disorders in first responders (FRs). Our objective was to examine the impact of work-related CE that could serve as predictor of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression in FRs.

Design: Cross-sectional examination of previous CE and past-month PTSD outcomes and depression in 209 FRs.

Methods: Logistic (probable PTSD; probable depression) and Poisson regressions (PTSD score) of the outcomes on work-related CE indexes, adjusting for demographic variables. Differences across occupational groups were also examined. Receiver operating characteristic analysis determined the sensitivity and specificity of CE indexes.

Results: All indexes were significantly and differently associated with PTSD; associations with depression were non-significant. The index capturing the sheer number of different incidents experienced regardless of frequency ('Variety') showed conceptual, practical and statistical advantages compared to other indexes. In general, the indexes showed poor to fair discrimination accuracy.

Conclusions: Work-related CE is specifically associated with PTSD. Focusing on the variety of exposures may be a simple and effective strategy to predict PTSD in FRs. Further research on sensitivity and specificity of exposure indexes, preferably examined prospectively, is needed and could lead to early identification of individuals at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.12.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359025PMC
April 2017

Cumulative exposure to work-related traumatic events and current post-traumatic stress disorder in New York City's first responders.

Compr Psychiatry 2017 04 21;74:134-143. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Department of Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1051 Riverside Dr, New York, NY 10032. Electronic address:

Background And Objectives: Cumulative exposure to work-related traumatic events (CE) is a foreseeable risk for psychiatric disorders in first responders (FRs). Our objective was to examine the impact of work-related CE that could serve as predictor of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or depression in FRs.

Design: Cross-sectional examination of previous CE and past-month PTSD outcomes and depression in 209 FRs.

Methods: Logistic (probable PTSD; probable depression) and Poisson regressions (PTSD score) of the outcomes on work-related CE indexes, adjusting for demographic variables. Differences across occupational groups were also examined. Receiver operating characteristic analysis determined the sensitivity and specificity of CE indexes.

Results: All indexes were significantly and differently associated with PTSD; associations with depression were non-significant. The index capturing the sheer number of different incidents experienced regardless of frequency ('Variety') showed conceptual, practical and statistical advantages compared to other indexes. In general, the indexes showed poor to fair discrimination accuracy.

Conclusions: Work-related CE is specifically associated with PTSD. Focusing on the variety of exposures may be a simple and effective strategy to predict PTSD in FRs. Further research on sensitivity and specificity of exposure indexes, preferably examined prospectively, is needed and could lead to early identification of individuals at risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.12.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359025PMC
April 2017

Homogeneity of Severe Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptom Profiles in Children and Adolescents Across Gender, Age, and Traumatic Experiences Related to 9/11.

J Trauma Stress 2016 10;29(5):430-439

New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York, USA.

Patients with a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosis according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed., DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) will very likely not share all of the same symptoms, a consequence of the polythetic approach used in the DSM. We examined heterogeneity in the latent structure of PTSD symptoms using data from a previously published sample of 8,236 youth a subset of which had been exposed to the September 11, 2001 attacks (N = 6,670; Hoven et al., 2005). Latent class analysis was applied (a) to PTSD symptoms alone, (b) to symptoms in combination with impairment indicators, and (c) to PTSD symptoms when stratified by age and gender, as well as by empirically defined classes of exposure. We identified 4 symptom classes: no disturbance (49.4%), intermediate disturbance (2 classes; 21.5% and 18.6%, respectively), and severe disturbance (10.5%). These classes varied not only in the severity of symptoms, but also in the configuration of symptoms. We observed a high probability of endorsing both PTSD symptoms and indicators of impairment only in the severe disturbance class. A similar 4-class structure was found when the data were stratified by age, gender, and exposure classes. There were no significant differences as a function of age, gender, or exposure in the presence of severe PTSD. Heterogeneity was observed at intermediate levels of PTSD symptom severity. The specific PTSD symptoms that defined the severe PTSD profile could constitute the pathogenic aspects of a largely invariant and clinically meaningful PTSD syndrome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jts.22134DOI Listing
October 2016
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