Vol 5-1 Review of Literature

Childhood Adverse Events and the Long-Term Effects on Mental Health

Kathryn Pitten*

Territory Business Manager, Boston, Alkermes, USA

Background: There has long been an association between family history and mental illness; however, recently, researchers have focused on the correlation between childhood adverse events and mood disorders, specifically bipolar disorder.
Methods: A literature search of peer reviewed journals published from 2015 to 2020 was conducted using the keywords: childhood adverse events, childhood adversity, childhood trauma, bipolar disorder, mental illness, and mood disorders from the EBSCO database which included, APA PsychArticles, Child Development and Adolescent Studies, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition, and MEDLINE.
Results: : The results demonstrate a strong correlation between childhood adverse events and bipolar disorder specifically, sexual abuse in females, maternal separation, economic difficulties and family history of mental illness. Specific childhood adverse events show a correlation with specific types of mental illness. The recollection of abuse is associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms. Additionally, childhood adverse events are associated with clinical outcomes of bipolar disorder including age of onset, chronicity, psychotic episodes and suicidality.
Conclusion: : The findings suggest that females that experience childhood adverse events may be at a higher risk for developing bipolar disorder and the clinical outcome of bipolar disorder may also be affected by the type and number of childhood adverse events. The results also suggest that schizophrenic spectrum disorders, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder are associated with different childhood adverse events. Females who have recollections of childhood abuse are at an increased risk for depressive symptoms associated with bipolar disorder. Psychosocial interventions that are geared towards limiting childhood adverse events may reduce the incidence of mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder.

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Vol 5-1 Review Article

Negative Health Review of Cell Phones and Social Media

Danielle M. Viola*

Tranquil Tides Mental Health & Wellness, LLC, USA

Cell phone and social media usage have become intriguing topics to explore and discuss over recent years. This research aims to review correlations of negative effects in mental and physical health caused by cell phone and social media use in the past two decades. The history of cell phones and their capabilities will be introduced. The need for human connection will be emphasized.  Exploration of the connection between unbalanced use and different aspects of health will be evaluated such as addiction, social influences, brain changes, and multitasking. Lastly, resources and recommendations to find balance and support for anyone being adversely affected by cell phones and social media will be provided. Current literature reveals that there is a negative correlation between increased cell phone and social media use with human connection, mental health, and physical health.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2021/1.1232 View / Download Pdf
Vol 5-1 Original Research Article

Parents’ Perceived Neighborhood Safety and Children's Internalizing Symptoms: Race and Socioeconomic Status Differences 

Shervin Assari*1,2, MD, MPH

1Department of Family Medicine, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2Department of Urban Public Health, Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA 

Background: In the United States, due to residential segregation, racial minorities and families with low socioeconomic status (SES) tend to live in less safe neighborhoods than their White and high SES counterparts. As such, in the US, race, and SES closely correlate with neighborhood safety. Due to the high chronicity of stress in unsafe neighborhoods, perceived neighborhood safety may be a mechanism through which race and SES are linked to children’s mental health. Simultaneously, race and SES may alter the effects of perceived neighborhood safety on children's mental health. Aim: To explore racial and SES differences in the effects of neighborhood safety on children's internalizing symptoms, we compared racially and SES diverse groups of American children for the effects of parents’ perceived neighborhood safety on children's internalizing symptoms. Methods: This cross-sectional study included 10484 children from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Mixed-effects regression was used for data analysis. The predictor variable was parents’ perceived neighborhood safety which was treated as a continuous measure. The primary outcome was children's internalizing symptoms reported by children. Race, parental education, household income, and family structure were moderators. Results: Overall, the parents' high neighborhood safety was associated with lower levels of internalizing symptoms in children. Race and household income showed statistically significant interactions with subjective neighborhood safety on children's internalizing symptoms. Parents’ perceived neighborhood safety showed a stronger inverse association with children's internalizing symptoms for Black than White families. Parents’ perceived neighborhood safety showed a stronger inverse association with children's internalizing symptoms for high-income than low-income families. Parental education or family structure did not show any significant interaction with parents’ perceived neighborhood safety on children’s internalizing symptoms. Conclusion: The degree to which neighborhood safety may be associated with children's internalizing symptoms may depend on race and household income. Some of the effects of race and SES on children’s mental health outcomes may be due to interactions with contextual factors such as neighborhood safety. More research is needed on why and how diverse racial and SES groups differ in the association between perceived neighborhood safety and children’s well-being.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2021/1.1226 View / Download Pdf
Vol 5-2 Original Research Article

Mental Health Stigma Among Black Immigrant Women in an Urban Setting

Aderonke Bamgbose Pederson1*, Valerie Earnshaw2, Crystal T. Clark1*, Katelyn Zumpf1, Inger Burnett-Zeigler1

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, United Sates

2Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Delaware, United Sates

Background: Mental health stigma results in unmet mental health needs. Research describing predictors of stigma remains limited among Black immigrants. We aim to examine stigma associated with mental illness among a group of Black immigrant women.

Methods: We examined data from 22 women from two Black immigrant community centers. We collected surveys on demographics, cultural beliefs, migration status, religiosity and mental health stigma. Simple linear regression was used to model the unadjusted association between each component variable and overall stigma scores. All analyses were conducted using R and assumed a two-sided, 5% level of significance.

Results: A linear relationship was found between author-generated scale, the Stigma and Culture Survey (SCS) and the Depression Self Stigma Scale (DSSS). Among respondents, use of religious resources was associated with less stigma (p-value: 0.04). Whereas spirituality and morality was associated with greater stigma (p-value: 0.003). United States citizenship was associated with less stigma (p-value: 0.0001).

Discussion/Conclusion: Religion and spirituality are critical to understanding mental health stigma among Black immigrants. Studies aimed at assessing and reducing stigma need to critically engage with cultural and religious factors.

DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2021/2.1234 View / Download Pdf