[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We aimed to uncover differences in brain circuits of adolescents with parental positive or negative histories of substance use disorders (SUD), when performing a task that elicits emotional conflict, testing whether the brain circuits could serve as endophenotype markers to distinguish these adolescents. We acquired functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 11 adolescents with a positive familial history of SUD (FH+ group) and seven adolescents with a negative familial history of SUD (FH- group) when performing an emotional stroop task. We extracted brain features from the conflict-related contrast images in group level analyses and granger causality indices (GCIs) that measure the causal interactions among regions. Support vector machine (SVM) was applied to classify the FH+ and FH- adolescents. Adolescents with FH+ showed greater activity and weaker connectivity related to emotional conflict, decision making and reward system including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), prefrontal cortex (PFC), and ventral tegmental area (VTA). High classification accuracies were achieved with leave-one-out cross validation (89.75% for the maximum conflict, 96.71% when combining maximum conflict and general conflict contrast, 97.28% when combining activity of the two contrasts and GCIs). Individual contributions of the brain features to the classification were further investigated, indicating that activation in PFC, ACC, VTA and effective connectivity from PFC to ACC play the most important roles. We concluded that fundamental differences of neural substrates underlying cognitive behaviors of adolescents with parental positive or negative histories of SUD provide new insight into potential neurobiological mechanisms contributing to the elevated risk of FH+ individuals for developing SUD.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 04/2015; 9:219. DOI:10.3389/fnhum.2015.00219 · 2.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To screen and clinically interview European adolescents reporting current suicidality (suicidal ideation and suicide attempt) and investigate attendance at the clinical interview.
The Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) Project was carried out in 11 European countries. A baseline questionnaire was completed in school by 12,395 adolescents (mean age 14.9; SD 0.9). Those who screened positive for suicidality (attempting suicide and/or serious suicidal ideation or plans) in the past 2 weeks were invited to a clinical interview with a mental health professional.
Of the 12,395 adolescents, 4.2 % (n = 516) screened positive for current suicidality. The prevalence ranged from 1.1 % in Hungary to 7.7 % in Israel (p < 0.001). 37.6 % (n = 194) of those who screened positive subsequently attended the clinical interview. Female students were more likely to attend for interview (42.0 % versus 30.6 %, p = 0.010). The attendance rate varied considerably across countries, from 5.7 % in Italy to 96.7 % in France (p < 0.001). Improved attendance was associated with using school as the only interview setting (Mean attendance rate, MAR = 88 vs. 31 %, p = 0.006) and arranging the interview within 1 week of contacting the student (MAR = 64 vs. 23 %, p = 0.013). The greater the travel time to interview, the lower the attendance rate (Pearson's r = -0.64, p = 0.034). Independent of the variation by country, at the individual level, adolescents with more depressive symptoms and a recent suicide attempt more often attended for interview.
A high rate of current suicidality was found amongst European adolescents. However, the majority of these displayed limited help-seeking behaviour. Future studies should investigate ways of making screening programmes and other interventions more acceptable and accessible to young people, especially young males.
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 02/2015; 50(6). DOI:10.1007/s00127-015-1016-3 · 2.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Suicidal behaviours in adolescents are a major public health problem and evidence-based prevention programmes are greatly needed. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of school-based preventive interventions of suicidal behaviours.
The Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE) study is a multicentre, cluster-randomised controlled trial. The SEYLE sample consisted of 11 110 adolescent pupils, median age 15 years (IQR 14–15), recruited from 168 schools in ten European Union countries. We randomly assigned the schools to one of three interventions or a control group. The interventions were: (1) Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR), a gatekeeper training module targeting teachers and other school personnel, (2) the Youth Aware of Mental Health Programme (YAM) targeting pupils, and (3) screening by professionals (ProfScreen) with referral of at-risk pupils. Each school was randomly assigned by random number generator to participate in one intervention (or control) group only and was unaware of the interventions undertaken in the other three trial groups. The primary outcome measure was the number of suicide attempt(s) made by 3 month and 12 month follow-up. Analysis included all pupils with data available at each timepoint, excluding those who had ever attempted suicide or who had shown severe suicidal ideation during the 2 weeks before baseline. This study is registered with the German Clinical Trials Registry, number DRKS00000214.
Between Nov 1, 2009, and Dec 14, 2010, 168 schools (11 110 pupils) were randomly assigned to interventions (40 schools [2692 pupils] to QPR, 45  YAM, 43  ProfScreen, and 40  control). No significant differences between intervention groups and the control group were recorded at the 3 month follow-up. At the 12 month follow-up, YAM was associated with a significant reduction of incident suicide attempts (odds ratios [OR] 0·45, 95% CI 0·24–0·85; p=0·014) and severe suicidal ideation (0·50, 0·27–0·92; p=0·025), compared with the control group. 14 pupils (0·70%) reported incident suicide attempts at the 12 month follow-up in the YAM versus 34 (1·51%) in the control group, and 15 pupils (0·75%) reported incident severe suicidal ideation in the YAM group versus 31 (1·37%) in the control group. No participants completed suicide during the study period.
YAM was effective in reducing the number of suicide attempts and severe suicidal ideation in school-based adolescents. These findings underline the benefit of this universal suicide preventive intervention in schools.
Coordination Theme 1 (Health) of the European Union Seventh Framework Programme.
The Lancet 01/2015; 385(9977). DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61213-7 · 45.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is expedient evidence showing that differences in adolescent alcohol consumption and other risk-behaviour depend on both family structure and family member drunkenness exposure. Data were obtained among adolescents (N = 12,115, mean age 14.9 ± 0.89) in Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Spain within the European Union's 7th Framework Programme funded project, 'Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE)'. The current study reveals how adolescents' alcohol consumption patterns are related to their family structure and having seen their family member drunk. The results revealed statistically significant differences in adolescent alcohol consumption depending on whether the adolescent lives in a family with both birth parents, in a single-parent family or in a family with one birth parent and one step-parent. The study also revealed that the abstaining from alcohol percentage among adolescents was greater in families with both birth parents compared to other family types. The study also showed that the more often adolescents see their family member drunk the more they drink themselves. There is no difference in adolescent drinking patterns whether they see their family member drunk once a month or once a week. This study gives an insight on which subgroups of adolescents are at heightened risk of alcohol abuse and that decrease of family member drunkenness may have positive effects on the drinking habits of their children.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12/2014; 11(12):12700-12715. DOI:10.3390/ijerph111212700 · 2.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined victimisation, substance misuse, relationships, sexual activity, mental health difficulties and suicidal behaviour among adolescents with sexual orientation concerns in comparison to those without such concerns. 1112 Irish students (mean age 14 yrs) in 17 mixed-gender secondary schools completed a self-report questionnaire with standardised scales and measures of psychosocial difficulties. 58 students (5%) reported having concerns regarding their sexual orientation. Compared with their peers, they had higher levels of mental health difficulties and a markedly-increased prevalence of attempted suicide (29% vs. 2%), physical assault (40% vs. 8%), sexual assault (16%vs. 1%) and substance misuse. Almost all those (90%) with sexual orientation concerns reported having had sex compared to just 4% of their peers. These results highlight the significant difficulties associated with sexual orientation concerns in adolescents in Ireland. Early and targeted interventions are essential to address their needs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rising global rates of pathological Internet use (PIU) and related psychological impairments have gained considerable attention in recent years. In an effort to acquire evidence-based knowledge of this relationship, the main objective of this study was to investigate the association between PIU, psychopathology and self-destructive behaviours among school-based adolescents in eleven European countries. This cross-sectional study was implemented within the framework of the European Union project: Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe. A representative sample of 11,356 school-based adolescents (M/F: 4,856/6,500; mean age: 14.9) was included in the analyses. PIU was assessed using the Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire. Psychopathology was measured using the Beck Depression Inventory-II, Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale and Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Self-destructive behaviours were evaluated by the Deliberate Self-Harm Inventory and Paykel Suicide Scale. Results showed that suicidal behaviours (suicidal ideation and suicide attempts), depression, anxiety, conduct problems and hyperactivity/inattention were significant and independent predictors of PIU. The correlation between PIU, conduct problems and hyperactivity/inattention was stronger among females, while the link between PIU and symptoms of depression, anxiety and peer relationship problems was stronger among males. The association between PIU, psychopathology and self-destructive behaviours was stronger in countries with a higher prevalence of PIU and suicide rates. These findings ascertain that psychopathology and suicidal behaviours are strongly related to PIU. This association is significantly influenced by gender and country suggesting socio-cultural influences. At the clinical and public health levels, targeting PIU among adolescents in the early stages could potentially lead to improvements of psychological well-being and a reduction of suicidal behaviours.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Objective: To investigate the prevalence of asthma and mental health problems among representative samples of youth in high risk service settings and the community, and to examine the relationship between asthma and mental health in these groups. Methods: Data were drawn from the Alternative Service Use Patterns of Youth with Serious Emotional Disturbance Study (SED) (n=1,181), a combined representative, cross-sectional sample of youth in various clinical settings and the community. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between asthma and mental disorders. Demographic characteristics were investigated as potential confounders. Results: Asthma was common among 15.2% of youth in service settings and 18.8% of youth in the community. The prevalence of mental disorders was extremely high among youth with and without asthma in all service settings, and asthma was associated with increased prevalence of mental disorders among youth in the community, but not among youth in service settings. The relationship between asthma and internalizing disorders among youth in the community does not appear entirely attributable to confounding by demographics. Conclusions: Findings are consistent with and extend previous data by showing that both asthma and mental disorders are disproportionately common among youth in high risk service settings. Almost half of youth with asthma in service settings meet diagnostic criteria for a mental disorder. Clinicians and policy makers who are responsible for the health care of youth in these high risk groups should be aware that asthma is common, and that the prevalence of internalizing disorders are especially common among those with asthma.
Journal of Asthma 03/2014; 51(6). DOI:10.3109/02770903.2014.897728 · 1.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE The authors describe use of mental health services among children and adolescents after the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center. METHODS Six months after the attack, sixth- through 12th-graders (N=6,986) who were representative of the student population were asked about their use of mental health services to talk about the attack as well as their exposure to the attack, symptoms of posttraumatic stress and major depressive disorders, and any conversations about the attack with a parent, teacher, or religious leader. RESULTS Eighteen percent had used mental health services. Using in-school services was associated with conversation with a teacher about the attack. Using services outside school was associated with direct exposure to the attack, previous trauma exposure, probable psychiatric diagnosis, and conversation with a teacher or religious leader about the attack. CONCLUSIONS Teachers and religious leaders can function as gatekeepers to identify children in need following a disaster.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study explored the prevalence of risk behaviors (excessive alcohol use, illegal drug use, heavy smoking, reduced sleep, overweight, underweight, sedentary behavior, high use of Internet/TV/videogames for reasons not related to school or work, and truancy), and their association with psychopathology and self-destructive behaviors, in a sample of 12,395 adolescents recruited in randomly selected schools across 11 European countries. Latent class analysis identified three groups of adolescents: a low-risk group (57.8%) including pupils with low or very low frequency of risk behaviors; a high-risk group (13.2%) including pupils who scored high on all risk behaviors, and a third group ("invisible" risk, 29%) including pupils who were positive for high use of Internet/TV/videogames for reasons not related to school or work, sedentary behavior and reduced sleep. Pupils in the "invisible" risk group, compared with the high-risk group, had a similar prevalence of suicidal thoughts (42.2% vs. 44%), anxiety (8% vs. 9.2%), subthreshold depression (33.2% vs. 34%) and depression (13.4% vs. 14.7%). The prevalence of suicide attempts was 5.9% in the "invisible" group, 10.1% in the high-risk group and 1.7% in the low-risk group. The prevalence of all risk behaviors increased with age and most of them were significantly more frequent among boys. Girls were significantly more likely to experience internalizing (emotional) psychiatric symptoms. The "invisible" group may represent an important new intervention target group for potentially reducing psychopathology and other untoward outcomes in adolescence, including suicidal behavior.
World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 02/2014; 13(1):78-86. DOI:10.1002/wps.20088 · 12.85 Impact Factor