Hannah Ali*, Steve Joordens
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, ON, Canada
Research suggests that staying connected with people is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being. Moreover, a lack of social connection is associated with poor mental and physical health, and lower overall well-being. For individuals with social anxiety, it is particularly difficult to cultivate social connections. Due to the prolonged period of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, research suggests that social anxiety in university students has increased. This study employed a convergent parallel mixed method design and administered a self-reported questionnaire which included quantitative and qualitative questions. The questionnaire was administered to 301 undergraduate students to determine if feelings of social anxiety in students changed during and after the pandemic. This study also analyzed social anxiety levels across racial and ethnocultural demographics and assessed the cultural stigmas and barriers that may prevent students from accessing mental health services. Results from the quantitative analyses showed a significant difference in social anxiety scores before and after the pandemic. However, in our sample, feelings of social anxiety post-pandemic did not differ across race, or income which were our main variables of interest. In addition, there was a positive correlation between social anxiety scores and household income and fear of negative evaluation. The qualitative results showed that important barriers to accessing mental health services include fear of parents learning they are in therapy, cost of mental health services, language barriers, and concern that a therapist would not have cultural sensitivity. This study highlights the need for increased interventions to reduce social anxiety among students, and proposes a preventative approach we refer to as “Life-Skills Training” to address social anxiety.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/3.1282 View / Download Pdf
Benjamin E. Caldwell
California State University Northridge, CA, USA
The developers of clinical exams for US mental health licensure have faced significant recent criticism and calls for their exams to be paused or discontinued.1,2 Critics cite concerns over exams lacking evidence of validity, while they demonstrate strong evidence of racial and ethnic bias. Developers, in turn, argue that their exams are developed using accepted methods that conform with industry standards, specifically, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing.3
This manuscript challenges that assertion. Based on external research as well as developers’ own statements and publications, clinical exams for US mental health care licensure appear to deviate in important ways from both the letter and the spirit of the Standards. Clinical exams should be paused unless and until they are shown to be fair, equitable, valid, and more fully consistent with industry norms.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/3.1283 View / Download Pdf
Swati Y Bhave*, Jill N Mota, Latika Bhalla, Shailaja Mane, Anuradha Sovani, Surekha Joshi
Association of Adolescents and Child Care in India (AACCI), India
The Association of Adolescents and Child Care in India (AACCI) conducts multicentric studies on youth behavior in India. Using openly accessible psychometric tools, the present study discusses the demographic-wise interrelationships between the Children’s Perceived Self-Control (PSC), Martin-Larsen Approval Motivation (AM), and Friedben’s Test Anxiety Scales (FTAS) administered to 712 students (Group-1: 10-14 yrs.; Group-II: 15-18 yrs.) from two Delhi-based schools. The survey-questionnaire included four demographic variables: age, gender, sibling status, and body mass index. Although mainstream literature has uniformly contented in favour of the benefits of PSC, one-way ANOVAs in the present study revealed that high PSC was associated with significantly high AM (F[2,709] =3.033, p =0.049), suggesting that people with high PSC may diligently weigh short- and long-term consequences, choosing behaviors that best align with their interests and enduringly valued goals. Further, this relationship was statistically significant for participants in the no siblings (p =0.005) and underweight groups (p =0.031). Participants with high PSC had the lowest FTAS scores; however, this relationship was not statistically significant. Lastly, AM and FTAS were negatively correlated (r =-0.216, p<0.01), especially for females, Group-II, and participants with siblings (r =-0.278, -0.292, and -0.244, respectively), clarifying distinct differences between AM and FTAS’ subscales. The implications of findings were shared with the school management to conduct customized interventions using the WHO’s Life Skills Education framework. The findings highlight the need for time-series interventional analysis to ascertain the direct and cumulative effects of intervention on the interrelationships between PSC, AM, and FTAS.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/3.1278 View / Download Pdf
Increasing Diversity and Inclusion in Research on Virtual Reality Relaxation: Commentary on ‘Virtual Reality Relaxation for People with Mental Health Conditions: A Systematic Review’
DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/2.1281 View / Download Pdf
Simon Riches1,2,3*, Deanna Fallah3,4, Ina Kaleva5
1Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
2Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
3South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
4School of Psychology, University of Surrey, Surrey, United Kingdom
5Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
The Effectiveness of Mentalization-Based Treatment on Mindfulness and Perceived Social Support in Adolescents
Sarah Bagherzadeh Jalilvand*, Sedigheh Ahmadi
Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran
Adolescence is a critical period marked by significant changes in social relationships and emotional development. In light of the importance of promoting mental health in this age group, this study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of a mentalization-based treatment intervention on mindfulness and perceived social support among female adolescents aged 12-15 years in Tehran.
A pretest-posttest control group design was employed, with participants randomly assigned to either the intervention group, which received the mentalization-based treatment, or the control group, serving as a comparison for evaluating the intervention's effectiveness. The Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support Questionnaire (MSPSS) were used to measure mindfulness and perceived social support, respectively.
The mentalization-based treatment intervention focused on enhancing the participants' ability to understand and interpret their own and others' mental states, fostering empathy, and improving interpersonal relationships.
Data analysis was performed using Multivariate Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) to assess the impact of the mentalization-based treatment on mindfulness and perceived social support in female adolescents. The results indicated a significant improvement in both mindfulness and perceived social support after the intervention (P < 0.01).
In conclusion, the findings suggest that mentalization-based treatment holds promise as an effective approach to enhance mental health outcomes, particularly in promoting mindfulness and perceived social support in female adolescents. Future attention should be given to the implementation of this intervention to support the well-being of adolescents during this critical developmental stage.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/2.1271 View / Download Pdf
Shervin Assari1,2,3,4*, Babak Najand5
1Department of Urban Public Health, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2Department of Family Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA
3School of Nursing, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA
4Department of Internal Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, CA, USA
5Marginalization-Related-Diminished Returns (MDRs) Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Background: This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the complex interplay between socioeconomic status (SES), internal and external health locus of control, and body mass index (BMI) in a national sample of US adults. Given the unique challenges faced by Black individuals, it was hypothesized that the relationships between SES, internal and external health locus of control, and BMI would be weaker for Blacks compared to Whites.
Methods: For this cross-sectional study, baseline data from the MIDUS Refresher sample, consisting of US adults, were analyzed. SES indicators such as income and education were examined as predictors of internal and external health locus of control. The analyses were conducted overall without and with race interactions. We also ran models within different racial groups.
Results: Overall, 3198 participants entered our analysis who were White or Black. From this number, 2925 (91.5%) were White and 273(8.5%) were Black. In the pooled sample, high education and income were linked to higher internal and lower external health locus of control and lower BMI. The study revealed that the relationships between high SES indicators (income and education), internal health locus of control, and BMI were weaker for Black than White individuals. The study revealed that the relationships between high SES indicators (income and education) and external health locus of control was stronger for Black than White individuals.
Conclusion: This study provides evidence for the complex interrelationships between SES, health locus of control, and BMI, while highlighting the role of race as a moderating factor. The findings suggest that the effects of SES on internal health locus of control is influenced by race, with weaker relationships observed among Black individuals compared to Whites.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/2.1279 View / Download Pdf
Marilyn M. Bartholmae1,2*, Joshua, M. Sill3, Matvey V. Karpov1, Sunita Dodani1,4
1EVMS-Sentara Healthcare Analytics and Delivery Science Institute, Norfolk, VA, USA
2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA
3Division of Pulmonology, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA
4Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA, USA
Background: The variation of COVID-19 illness is not fully understood. There is a need for further identification of predictors for COVID-19-related health outcomes, which may improve the delivery of healthcare. The primary objective was to identify whether anxiety/depression symptoms are associated with the number of COVID-19 symptoms. The second objective was to examine differences in anxiety and depression symptoms between individuals with or without COVID-19 symptoms.
Methods: 782 Virginians ages 18 to 87 years, enrolled from March to May 2021 and were followed-up for six months. Vibrent Health online platform was used to collect data. PHQ-9, GAD-7, and CDC's COVID-19 tracing form, were used to assess depression, anxiety, and COVID-19 symptoms, respectively. An MMRM test was used to examine whether anxiety and depression symptoms were associated with the number of COVID-19 symptoms. Age, race, sex, medical diagnoses, and COVID-19 related economic/social hardships were included as covariates. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to assess differences in anxiety/depression at all study time points. We conducted analyses using SAS 9.4, p-values < .05 were considered significant.
Results: Depression/anxiety symptoms, COVID-19 related economic/social hardships, and medical diagnoses, were significantly associated with the number of COVID-19 symptoms (p<.05), whereas age, sex, and race were not (p>.05). Overall, PHQ9 and GAD7 scores were consistently and significantly higher for individuals with COVID-19 symptoms than those without COVID-19 symptoms (p<.05).
Conclusions: The severity of depression and anxiety symptoms is linked to symptoms of COVID-19 over time. Physical and mental health integrated healthcare approaches may be necessary. Further investigation into causative mechanisms is needed.DOI: 10.29245/2578-2959/2023/2.1277 View / Download Pdf