Increases in Depressive Symptoms, Suicide-Related Outcomes, and Suicide Rates Among U.S. Adolescents After 2010 and Links to Increased New Media Screen Time

Article · November 2017with 878 Reads
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Abstract
In two nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents in grades 8 through 12 (N = 506,820) and national statistics on suicide deaths for those ages 13 to 18, adolescents’ depressive symptoms, suicide-related outcomes, and suicide rates increased between 2010 and 2015, especially among females. Adolescents who spent more time on new media (including social media and electronic devices such as smartphones) were more likely to report mental health issues, and adolescents who spent more time on nonscreen activities (in-person social interaction, sports/exercise, homework, print media, and attending religious services) were less likely. Since 2010, iGen adolescents have spent more time on new media screen activities and less time on nonscreen activities, which may account for the increases in depression and suicide. In contrast, cyclical economic factors such as unemployment and the Dow Jones Index were not linked to depressive symptoms or suicide rates when matched by year.

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    Social media use is a complex topic. The type and use of social media presents a variety of formats and creates a multitude of directions for research. Pearson provides research on personal, professional, and teaching social media use in higher education that shows the use of social media in higher education is growing. While this research provides a foundation, it raises many questions. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of common Learning Management Systems or platforms and social media networks that are often used in college courses. This chapter also provides common ways that social media is used outside of the classroom. The chapter concludes with concerns that are raised regardless of the type of social media use, platform, or network.
  • Chapter
    Moore discusses how the two main areas of life—work and leisure—intersect with the wellbeing of persons in today’s aspirational culture. He argues that the modern workplace has always been a site that has worked against wellbeing despite potentially being, for example, a positive environment for producing experiences of flow and the focus on understanding the conditions for job satisfaction. When at leisure, Moore argues, we still find wellbeing difficult to experience. The effort required to overcome obstacles to engage in activities that generate flow, for example, means that passive leisure dominates our free time. While both nature and free play are positive sites for wellbeing he reviews evidence for our declining contact with nature and decreased opportunities for play.
  • Chapter
    In this final chapter, Moore reprises the overall argument of the book including the evolution of personhood and its dependence on the entire set of structures and institutions that form a culture. He reiterates the need to understand how persons emerge at the boundary of biology and culture and how the uncertainty and dynamically shifting nature of today’s aspirational culture creates great difficulties for generating and sustaining personhood. He ends with the optimistic suggestion that, as a culture, we need only aspire to creating the conditions for persons to live ordinary lives. All that is necessary for the wellbeing of persons and the maintenance of personhood can be gained from a non-aspirational daily life.
  • Article
    Adolescents can be at heightened risk for anxiety and depression, with accumulating research reporting on associations between anxiety and depression and cognitive impairments, implicating working memory and attentional control deficits. Several studies now point to the promise of adaptive working memory training to increase attentional control in depressed and anxious participants and reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, but this has not been explored in a non‐clinical adolescent population. The current study explored the effects of adaptive dual n‐back working memory training on sub‐clinical anxiety and depression symptomology in adolescents. Participants trained on either an online adaptive working memory task or non‐adaptive control task for up to 20 days. Primary outcome measures were self‐reported anxiety and depression symptomology, before and after intervention, and at 1‐month follow‐up. Self‐reported depression (p = .003) and anxiety (p = .04) decreased after training in the adaptive n‐back group relative to the non‐adaptive control group in the intention‐to‐treat sample (n = 120). These effects were sustained at follow‐up. Our findings constitute proof of principle evidence that working memory training may help reduce anxiety and depression vulnerability in a non‐clinical adolescent population. We discuss the findings’ implications for reducing risk of internalising disorders in youth and the need for replication. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Article
    Dr. Pamela Wisniewski is an assistant professor at the University of Central Florida's Department of Computer Science and an inaugural member of the ACM Future Computing Academy. As a human-computer interaction researcher, she studies privacy as a means to protect people, but more importantly, as a social mechanism to enrich online interactions that people share with others. She is particularly interested in the interplay between social media, privacy, and online safety for adolescents. Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, she is committed to protecting at-risk youth from online sexual predation risks, as well as empowering vulnerable youth online, so that they can garner the resources and support they need to overcome adversity and succeed in life.
  • Article
    In this essay, the author makes the case that a defining moment for the communication discipline is to encourage increased uptake of embodied conversation. The essay shares illustrative examples and reviews research on issues such as loneliness, anxiety, social comparison, empathy, compassion, social media, electronic medical records, facial mimicry and more. It then describes various strategies that the communication discipline might employ in their research and pedagogy that motivate the practice of embodied conversation. The essay concludes with an invitation to communication scholars from a wide range of focus areas and generations to join in (re)creating “conversation as cool.”
  • Article
    Adolescents spend a substantial and increasing amount of time using digital media (smartphones, computers, social media, gaming, Internet), but existing studies do not agree on whether time spent on digital media is associated with lower psychological well-being (including happiness, general well-being, and indicators of low well-being such as depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts). Across three large surveys of adolescents in two countries (n = 221,096), light users (<1 h a day) of digital media reported substantially higher psychological well-being than heavy users (5+ hours a day). Datasets initially presented as supporting opposite conclusions produced similar effect sizes when analyzed using the same strategy. Heavy users (vs. light) of digital media were 48% to 171% more likely to be unhappy, to be in low in well-being, or to have suicide risk factors such as depression, suicidal ideation, or past suicide attempts. Heavy users (vs. light) were twice as likely to report having attempted suicide. Light users (rather than non- or moderate users) were highest in well-being, and for most digital media use the largest drop in well-being occurred between moderate use and heavy use. The limitations of using percent variance explained as a gauge of practical impact are discussed.
  • Chapter
    Several studies value the importance of technologies in everyday social processes, stressing loudly its positive effects for time control and management. However, the use of digital technology is increasingly said to co-produce the ways youngsters experience daily lives, as these are increasingly weaved in media hyperconnections, in several insidious and multiple forms, and in a continuous and enduring manner. This text focuses on the state of the art about the extension and nature of these co-productive processes, highlighting the effects of the technological means of communication on youngster's time representations and experiences, namely considering the social networks and other interactional devices that are now constituting increasingly more the individual identity, despite its intangibleness. The goal is to critically analyze the existing literature on time, technology, and youth, presenting its main contributions from a conceptual, methodological and practical point of view, including the use and the ways in media hyperconnections.
  • Article
    Research shows that social media networks can affect both the physical and mental health of its users. We hypothesized that social media would also be associated with cognitive vulnerability to depression. To test this hypothesis, we used a 3-month pre-post prospective longitudinal design with a sample of undergraduates (n = 105). Results showed that participants who had tweets with a “past focus” (as determined by LIWC software) were more likely to exhibit increases in cognitive vulnerability and depressive symptoms than participants who did not have tweets with a past focus. Increases in cognitive vulnerability were associated with increases in depressive symptoms. However, the effect of Twitter content on future depressive symptoms was not accounted for by increases in cognitive vulnerability. Rather, one’s past focus Twitter content had an effect on future depressive symptoms that was independent of its effect on future cognitive vulnerability levels. These results provide further support for the plasticity of cognitive vulnerability in early adulthood as well as corroborate emerging evidence for the association between social media and mental health risk factors.
  • Article
    Background: In the United States, adolescent suicide attempts are increasing. Indiana has the highest rate of adolescent suicidal ideation in the US. Using the National Poison Data System (NPDS), we analyzed Indiana’s increase in suicide attempts by poisoning. Methods: Utilizing NPDS and Toxicall data repositories, we selected 10–19 year-old intentional overdose cases with suspected suicidal intent from 2006–2016. Age, sex, outcome, involved substances and case volume by weekday and month were assessed. Geospatial analysis of the proportion of cases by county was also performed. To determine the association between known social determinants of health and adolescent intentional overdose cases with suspected suicidal intent, we correlated county-wide statistics from the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps dataset from 2010–2016 with the proportion of teen suicide cases by county. Results: Over the eleven years, adolescent intentional overdoses with suspected suicidal intent cases significantly increased starting in 2012 (p-value < .001). The majority of cases (73.7%) involved females with an average age of 15.96 ± 0.27 years. Monday and Tuesday had the highest rates and Saturday had the lowest. June and July had the lowest case rate while November had the highest. The most commonly involved agents were over-the-counter analgesics and antidepressants. Geospatial analysis shows an increased number of cases in the northern third of the State. Among county statistics analyzed, only violent crime was associated, albeit intermittently, with the 11-year proportion of adolescent intentional overdoses with suspected suicidal intent by county. Conclusions: Intentional overdoses with suspected suicidal intent involving adolescent females are significantly increasing. These rates correlate with the school schedule with summer months and weekends having a lower frequency of calls. We did not find associations between county wide social determinants of care with the exception of violent crime. Further studies are needed to establish the factors that might better predict adolescents at risk for suicide.
  • Conference Paper
    My dissertation asks two fundamental questions: What are the risks of AI? And what should be done about them? My research goes beyond existential threats to humanity to consider seven dimensions of AI risk: military, political, economic, social, environmental, psychophysiological, and spiritual. I examine extant AI risk mitigation strategies and, finding them insufficient, use a democratic governance framework to propose alternatives. This paper outlines the project and introduces the risk dimensions.
  • Article
    Research by Twenge, Joiner, Rogers, and Martin has indicated that there may be an association between social-media use and depressive symptoms among adolescents. However, because of the cross-sectional nature of this work, the relationship among these variables over time remains unclear. Thus, in this longitudinal study we examined the associations between social-media use and depressive symptoms over time using two samples: 594 adolescents (Mage = 12.21) who were surveyed annually for 2 years, and 1,132 undergraduate students (Mage = 19.06) who were surveyed annually for 6 years. Results indicate that among both samples, social-media use did not predict depressive symptoms over time for males or females. However, greater depressive symptoms predicted more frequent social-media use only among adolescent girls. Thus, while it is often assumed that social-media use may lead to depressive symptoms, our results indicate that this assumption may be unwarranted.
  • Article
    Background Child and adolescent mental health problems are common, associated with wide-ranging functional impairments, and show substantial continuities into adult life. It is therefore important to understand the extent to which the prevalence of mental health problems has changed over time, and to identify reasons behind any trends in mental health.Scope and MethodologyThis review evaluates evidence on whether the population prevalence of child and adolescent mental health problems has changed. The primary focus of the review is on epidemiological cross-cohort comparisons identified by a systematic search of the literature (using the Web of Knowledge database).FindingsClinical diagnosis and treatment of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders increased over recent decades. Epidemiological comparisons of unselected population cohorts using equivalent assessments of mental health have found little evidence of an increased rate of ADHD, but cross-cohort comparisons of rates of ASD are lacking at this time. Findings do suggest substantial secular change in emotional problems and antisocial behaviour in high-income countries, including periods of increase and decrease in symptom prevalence. Evidence from low- and middle-income countries is very limited. Possible explanations for trends in child and adolescent mental health are discussed. The review also addresses how cross-cohort comparisons can provide valuable complementary information on the aetiology of mental illness.
  • Why are today’s teenagers feeling so anxious?
    • Anderssen E.
  • Article
    Background: Psychological autopsy studies consistently report that the rate of detected mental disorders among suicide decedents is below 100%. This implies three possibilities: (a) a subset of suicide decedents did not have a mental disorder at the time of death; (b) all suicide decedents suffered from a mental disorder, but some were undetected due to methodological limitations; and/or (c) suicide decedents with an undetected mental disorder displayed significant and perhaps subclinical features of a mental disorder. Objective: In this article, we examined these possibilities by evaluating the differences in symptoms and stressors between suicide decedents who were undiagnosed and those diagnosed with a mental disorder at the time of death. Method: We reviewed 130 case studies of community-based suicide decedents originally described in Robins' (1981) psychological autopsy study. Results: Without exception, suicide decedents in Robins' sample suffered either from a clearly diagnosable mental disorder or displayed features indicative of a significant, even if subclinical, presentation of a mental disorder. Undiagnosed and diagnosed suicide decedents did not significantly differ with regards to demographics, violence of suicide method, suicide attempt history, the number and intensity of stressful life events preceding death, and whether their death was a murder-suicide. Conclusion: Although clearly not all who suffer from mental disorders will die by suicide, these findings imply that all who die by suicide appear to exhibit, at minimum, subclinical psychiatric symptoms with the great majority showing prominent clinical symptoms. We conclude with clinical implications and recommendations for future study.
  • Article
    This meta-analysis examines the relationship between time spent on social networking sites and psychological well-being factors, namely self-esteem, life satisfaction, loneliness, and depression. Sixty-one studies consisting of 67 independent samples involving 19,652 participants were identified. The mean correlation between time spent on social networking sites and psychological well-being was low at r = -0.07. The correlations between time spent on social networking sites and positive indicators (self-esteem and life satisfaction) were close to 0, whereas those between time spent on social networking sites and negative indicators (depression and loneliness) were weak. The effects of publication outlet, site on which users spent time, scale of time spent, and participant age and gender were not significant. As most included studies used student samples, future research should be conducted to examine this relationship for adults.
  • Article
    Objectives: Most US studies of national trends in medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids have focused on adults. Given the limited understanding in these trends among adolescents, we examine national trends in the medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids among high school seniors between 1976 and 2015. Methods: The data used for the study come from the Monitoring the Future study of adolescents. Forty cohorts of nationally representative samples of high school seniors (modal age 18) were used to examine self-reported medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids. Results: Lifetime prevalence of medical use of prescription opioids peaked in both 1989 and 2002 and remained stable until a recent decline from 2013 through 2015. Lifetime nonmedical use of prescription opioids was less prevalent and highly correlated with medical use of prescription opioids over this 40-year period. Adolescents who reported both medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids were more likely to indicate medical use of prescription opioids before initiating nonmedical use. Conclusions: Prescription opioid exposure is common among US adolescents. Long-term trends indicate that one-fourth of high school seniors self-reported medical or nonmedical use of prescription opioids. Medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids has declined recently and remained highly correlated over the past 4 decades. Sociodemographic differences and risky patterns involving medical and nonmedical use of prescription opioids should be taken into consideration in clinical practice to improve opioid analgesic prescribing and reduce adverse consequences associated with prescription opioid use among adolescents.
  • Article
    Does communication on social network sites (SNSs) or instant messengers (IMs) reinforce or displace face-to-face (FtF) communication, and how do the 3 channels affect loneliness and life satisfaction? Using cross-lagged structural equation modeling in a longitudinal and representative sample from Germany, we found that SNS communication increased both FtF and IM communication 6 months later. Likewise, IM communication at T1 increased SNS communication at T2. FtF, SNS, and IM communication did not affect loneliness, and FtF and IM communication did not change life satisfaction. However, communication on SNSs slightly increased life satisfaction. Tus, the data indicated that conversing via SNSs and IM has a mainly reinforcing effect and that communicating via SNSs can enhance life satisfaction several months later.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Major depression is a debilitating condition characterised by diverse neurocognitive and behavioural deficits. Nevertheless, our species-typical capacity for depressed mood implies that it serves an adaptive function. Here we apply an interdisciplinary theory of brain function to explain depressed mood and its clinical manifestations. Combining insights from the free-energy principle (FEP) with evolutionary theorising in psychology, we argue that depression reflects an adaptive response to perceived threats of aversive social outcomes (e.g., exclusion) that minimises the likelihood of surprising interpersonal exchanges (i.e., those with unpredictable outcomes). We suggest that psychopathology typically arises from ineffectual attempts to alleviate interpersonal difficulties and/or hyper-reactive neurobiological responses to social stress (i.e., uncertainty), which often stems from early experience that social uncertainty is difficult to resolve.
  • Article
    Face-to-face social interactions enhance well-being. With the ubiquity of social media, important questions have arisen about the impact of online social interactions. In the present study, we assessed the associations of both online and offline social networks with several subjective measures of well-being. We used 3 waves (2013, 2014, and 2015) of data from 5,208 subjects in the nationally representative Gallup Panel Social Network Study survey, including social network measures, in combination with objective measures of Facebook use. We investigated the associations of Facebook activity and real-world social network activity with self-reported physical health, self-reported mental health, self-reported life satisfaction, and body mass index. Our results showed that overall, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with well-being. For example, a 1-standard-deviation increase in "likes clicked" (clicking "like" on someone else's content), "links clicked" (clicking a link to another site or article), or "status updates" (updating one's own Facebook status) was associated with a decrease of 5%-8% of a standard deviation in self-reported mental health. These associations were robust to multivariate cross-sectional analyses, as well as to 2-wave prospective analyses. The negative associations of Facebook use were comparable to or greater in magnitude than the positive impact of offline interactions, which suggests a possible tradeoff between offline and online relationships.
  • Article
    Objectives: This study examined national trends in 12-month prevalence of major depressive episodes (MDEs) in adolescents and young adults overall and in different sociodemographic groups, as well as trends in depression treatment between 2005 and 2014. Methods: Data were drawn from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health for 2005 to 2014, which are annual cross-sectional surveys of the US general population. Participants included 172 495 adolescents aged 12 to 17 and 178 755 adults aged 18 to 25. Time trends in 12-month prevalence of MDEs were examined overall and in different subgroups, as were time trends in the use of treatment services. Results: The 12-month prevalence of MDEs increased from 8.7% in 2005 to 11.3% in 2014 in adolescents and from 8.8% to 9.6% in young adults (both P < .001). The increase was larger and statistically significant only in the age range of 12 to 20 years. The trends remained significant after adjustment for substance use disorders and sociodemographic factors. Mental health care contacts overall did not change over time; however, the use of specialty mental health providers increased in adolescents and young adults, and the use of prescription medications and inpatient hospitalizations increased in adolescents. Conclusions: The prevalence of depression in adolescents and young adults has increased in recent years. In the context of little change in mental health treatments, trends in prevalence translate into a growing number of young people with untreated depression. The findings call for renewed efforts to expand service capacity to best meet the mental health care needs of this age group.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    In this month’s issue of Pediatrics , Mojtabai and colleagues1 sound an alarm with 2 critical public health updates; depression is significantly on the rise in adolescents, with a 12-month prevalence of 11.3% in 2014 versus 8.7% in 2005. Furthermore, despite this disturbing development, the percentage of young people with a history of past-year major depressive episodes seen by primary care providers for depression care is only ∼10% and has not appreciably budged in the past decade. The second point is disappointing because it occurs despite a 2007 American Academy of Pediatrics statement,2 which could have possibly had an impact on the comparison between 2005 and 2014. This statement strongly encouraged all pediatricians to recognize and identify the risk factors for suicide, then the third leading cause of death for adolescents 15 to 19 years old, of which depression was and remains … Address correspondence to Anne Glowinski, MD, MPE, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Washington University in St Louis, 4444 Forest Park Ave, St Louis, MO 63108. E-mail: glowinsa{at}wustl.edu
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Gender equality has varied across time, with dramatic shifts in countries such as the United States in the past several decades. Although differences across societies and changes within societies in gender equality have been well documented, the causes of these changes remain poorly understood. Scholars have posited that such shifts have been driven by specific events (such as Title IX and Roe versus Wade), broader social movements (such as feminism and women’s liberation) or general levels of social development (for example, modernization theory1). Although these factors are likely to have been partly responsible for temporal variations in gender equality, they provide fairly intermediate explanations void of a comprehensive framework. Here, we use an ecological framework to explore the role of key ecological dimensions on change in gender equality over time. We focus on four key types of ecological threats/affordances that have previously been linked to cultural variations in human behaviour as potential explanations for cultural change in gender equality: infectious disease, resource scarcity, warfare and climatic stress. We show that decreases in pathogen prevalence in the United States over six decades (1951–2013) are linked to reductions in gender inequality and that such shifts in rates of infectious disease precede shifts in gender inequality. Results were robust, holding when we controlled for other ecological dimensions and for collectivism and conservative ideological identification (indicators of more broadly traditional cultural norms and attitudes). Furthermore, the effects were partially mediated by reduced teenage birth rates (a sign that people are adopting slower life history strategies), suggesting that life history strategies statistically account for the relationship between pathogen prevalence and gender inequality over time. Finally, we replicated our key effects in a different society, using comparable data from the United Kingdom over a period of seven decades (1945–2014).
  • Article
    Most people use Facebook on a daily basis; few are aware of the consequences. Based on a 1-week experiment with 1,095 participants in late 2015 in Denmark, this study provides causal evidence that Facebook use affects our well-being negatively. By comparing the treatment group (participants who took a break from Facebook) with the control group (participants who kept using Facebook), it was demonstrated that taking a break from Facebook has positive effects on the two dimensions of well-being: our life satisfaction increases and our emotions become more positive. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that these effects were significantly greater for heavy Facebook users, passive Facebook users, and users who tend to envy others on Facebook.
  • Article
    Importance Previous analyses of obesity trends among children and adolescents showed an increase between 1988-1994 and 1999-2000, but no change between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012, except for a significant decline among children aged 2 to 5 years. Objectives To provide estimates of obesity and extreme obesity prevalence for children and adolescents for 2011-2014 and investigate trends by age between 1988-1994 and 2013-2014. Design, Setting, and Participants Children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years with measured weight and height in the 1988-1994 through 2013-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Exposures Survey period. Main Outcomes and Measures Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the sex-specific 95th percentile on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) BMI-for-age growth charts. Extreme obesity was defined as a BMI at or above 120% of the sex-specific 95th percentile on the CDC BMI-for-age growth charts. Detailed estimates are presented for 2011-2014. The analyses of linear and quadratic trends in prevalence were conducted using 9 survey periods. Trend analyses between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 also were conducted. Results Measurements from 40 780 children and adolescents (mean age, 11.0 years; 48.8% female) between 1988-1994 and 2013-2014 were analyzed. Among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, the prevalence of obesity in 2011-2014 was 17.0% (95% CI, 15.5%-18.6%) and extreme obesity was 5.8% (95% CI, 4.9%-6.8%). Among children aged 2 to 5 years, obesity increased from 7.2% (95% CI, 5.8%-8.8%) in 1988-1994 to 13.9% (95% CI, 10.7%-17.7%) (P < .001) in 2003-2004 and then decreased to 9.4% (95% CI, 6.8%-12.6%) (P = .03) in 2013-2014. Among children aged 6 to 11 years, obesity increased from 11.3% (95% CI, 9.4%-13.4%) in 1988-1994 to 19.6% (95% CI, 17.1%-22.4%) (P < .001) in 2007-2008, and then did not change (2013-2014: 17.4% [95% CI, 13.8%-21.4%]; P = .44). Obesity increased among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years between 1988-1994 (10.5% [95% CI, 8.8%-12.5%]) and 2013-2014 (20.6% [95% CI, 16.2%-25.6%]; P < .001) as did extreme obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years (3.6% [95% CI, 2.5%-5.0%] in 1988-1994 to 4.3% [95% CI, 3.0%-6.1%] in 2013-2014; P = .02) and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years (2.6% [95% CI, 1.7%-3.9%] in 1988-1994 to 9.1% [95% CI, 7.0%-11.5%] in 2013-2014; P < .001). No significant trends were observed between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014 (P value range, .09-.87). Conclusions and Relevance In this nationally representative study of US children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, the prevalence of obesity in 2011-2014 was 17.0% and extreme obesity was 5.8%. Between 1988-1994 and 2013-2014, the prevalence of obesity increased until 2003-2004 and then decreased in children aged 2 to 5 years, increased until 2007-2008 and then leveled off in children aged 6 to 11 years, and increased among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years.
  • Article
    Using data from the 1995 and 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth, the authors' study examined children's family instability from birth to age 12, emphasizing variation by racial and ethnic group. Period and cohort estimates revealed little change in children's experiences of family transitions during the past decade. Family instability levels were comparable for White and Hispanic children, and this pattern persisted over time. However, there was an increase in family instability among Black children, reflecting growth in the share of children born to single mothers who eventually formed partnerships. Indeed, children born to single mothers in the more recent cohort experienced more family transitions, on average, than did the earlier cohort, but family instability for children born to cohabiting mothers remained unchanged. This study elucidates the various family life course trajectories children experience, revealing how these patterns differ depending on family context at birth and by racial and ethnic group.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Key findings: Data from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality •From 1999 through 2014, the age-adjusted suicide rate in the United States increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 population, with the pace of increase greater after 2006. •Suicide rates increased from 1999 through 2014 for both males and females and for all ages 10-74. •The percent increase in suicide rates for females was greatest for those aged 10-14, and for males, those aged 45-64. •The most frequent suicide method in 2014 for males involved the use of firearms (55.4%), while poisoning was the most frequent method for females (34.1%). •Percentages of suicides attributable to suffocation increased for both sexes between 1999 and 2014.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Background: Depression is a major health concern for college students due to its substantial morbidity and mortality. Although low parental education has been identified as a factor in depression in college students, the mechanisms through which parental educational achievement affects students' depression are not well understood. We tested whether adverse family and college environments mediate the relationship between parental educational level and depression among Chinese college students. Methods: A total of 5180 respondents were selected using a cross-sectional survey. We examined the association of parental education, adverse family and college environments with depression in college students using the Adolescent Self-Rating Life Events Checklist, Beck Depression Inventory and socio-demographic questionnaires. Results: Lower parental educational level is significantly correlated with depression in college students in our sample. Additionally, low family economic status, paternal or maternal unemployment, long periods spent apart from family, family conflicts, having been scolded and beaten by parents, poor or dissatisfying test performance, conflict with friends, heavy course load and failure in selection processes are also associated with parental education. Low family economic status, paternal or maternal unemployment, long periods spent apart from family, family conflicts, poor or dissatisfying test performance, conflict with friends and heavy course load mediated the relationship between parental education and depression in college students. Conclusions: Adverse family and college environments could explain the influence of parental educational level on depression in college students.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Over the last decade, research into "addictive technological behaviors" has substantially increased. Research has also demonstrated strong associations between addictive use of technology and comorbid psychiatric disorders. In the present study, 23,533 adults (mean age 35.8 years, ranging from 16 to 88 years) participated in an online cross-sectional survey examining whether demographic variables, symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and depression could explain variance in addictive use (i.e., compulsive and excessive use associated with negative outcomes) of two types of modern online technologies: social media and video games. Correlations between symptoms of addictive technology use and mental disorder symptoms were all positive and significant, including the weak interrelationship between the two addictive technological behaviors. Age appeared to be inversely related to the addictive use of these technologies. Being male was significantly associated with addictive use of video games, whereas being female was significantly associated with addictive use of social media. Being single was positively related to both addictive social networking and video gaming. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that demographic factors explained between 11 and 12% of the variance in addictive technology use. The mental health variables explained between 7 and 15% of the variance. The study significantly adds to our understanding of mental health symptoms and their role in addictive use of modern technology, and suggests that the concept of Internet use disorder (i.e., "Internet addiction") as a unified construct is not warranted. (PsycINFO Database Record
  • Article
    The use of self-report surveys for suicide risk screening is a key first step in identifying currently suicidal individuals and connecting them with appropriate follow-up assessment and care. Online methods for suicide risk screening are becoming more common, yet they present a number of complexities compared with traditional methods. This study aimed to assess whether forcing item responses may unintentionally hide or misrepresent otherwise useful missing suicide risk data. We investigated in secondary analyses of 3 independent samples of undergraduates (ns = 1,306; 694; 172) whether participants who chose not to respond specifically to current suicide risk screening items (i.e., Nondisclosers) scored significantly different from other risk response groups (i.e., Deniers, Lower-Risk Endorsers, and Higher-Risk Endorsers) on auxiliary measures related to suicidality. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) tests for each sample revealed that Nondisclosers were rare (ns = 7, 6, 7) and scored significantly higher than Deniers and similarly to Endorsers on suicide risk related measures. In 1 sample, Nondisclosers tended to score higher than all groups on suicide risk related measures. These findings suggest that nondisclosure for suicide risk screening questions is a preferred option for a distinct group of respondents who are likely at elevated suicide risk. Allowing for and flagging Nondisclosers for follow-up suicide risk assessment may be an ethical and feasible way to enhance the sensitivity of online suicide risk screenings for weary respondents, who if forced, may choose to underreport their suicide risk and misrepresent data. (PsycINFO Database Record
  • Article
    Full-text available
    We propose that generational differences are meaningful despite some theoretical and methodological challenges (cf. Costanza & Finkelstein, 2015). We will address five main issues: operationalizing generations, measuring generational differences, theoretical models of generations, mechanisms of generational change, and the importance of science versus stereotypes.
  • Article
    Results from longitudinal studies on sleep duration and incidence of depression remain controversial. PubMed and Web of Science updated on October 22, 2014 were searched for eligible publications. Pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated using a random-effects model. Seven prospective studies were included, involving 25,271 participants for short sleep duration and 23,663 participants for long sleep duration. Compared with the normal sleep duration, the pooled RR for depression was 1.31 (95% CI, 1.04-1.64; I(2) = 0%) for the short sleep duration overall. For long sleep duration, the pooled RR was 1.42 (95% CI, 1.04-1.92; I(2) = 0%). The associations between short or long sleep duration and risk of depression did not substantially change in sensitivity and subgroup analyses. No evidence of publication bias was found. This meta-analysis indicates that short and long sleep duration was significantly associated with increased risk of depression in adults. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Article
    A 39-item life-event questionnaire was administered to 1,018 adolescents, who indicated the perceived desirability of each event and whether the event had actually happened to them either during the past year or more than one year earlier. A multidimensional scaling revealed seven interpretable dimensions of stress: Family/Parents, Accident/Illness, Sexuality, Autonomy, Deviance, Relocation, and Distress. Each dimension was scored for desirability, and occurrence was summed using unit weighting. Sex, race, and grade-level differences were evaluated for each item and scale score. The scales calculated for the two different time periods revealed that stress is correlated over time only for corresponding areas. Finally, the stress scales were related to measures of health and psychological functioning through canonical and product-moment correlation analyses; distinct patterns of association were revealed. Alternative methods of scoring life events are evaluated.
  • Article
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    Suicidal behavior is a major problem worldwide and, at the same time, has received relatively little empirical attention. This relative lack of empirical attention may be due in part to a relative absence of theory development regarding suicidal behavior. The current article presents the interpersonal theory of suicidal behavior. We propose that the most dangerous form of suicidal desire is caused by the simultaneous presence of two interpersonal constructs-thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness (and hopelessness about these states)-and further that the capability to engage in suicidal behavior is separate from the desire to engage in suicidal behavior. According to the theory, the capability for suicidal behavior emerges, via habituation and opponent processes, in response to repeated exposure to physically painful and/or fear-inducing experiences. In the current article, the theory's hypotheses are more precisely delineated than in previous presentations (Joiner, 2005), with the aim of inviting scientific inquiry and potential falsification of the theory's hypotheses.
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    Several recent, large epidemiologic and family studies suggest important temporal changes in the rates of major depression: an increase in the rates in the cohorts born after World War II; a decrease in the age of onset with an increase in the late teenaged and early adult years; an increase between 1960 and 1975 in the rates of depression for all ages; a persistent gender effect, with the risk of depression consistently two to three times higher among women than men across all adult ages; a persistent family effect, with the risk about two to three times higher in first-degree relatives as compared with controls; and the suggestion of a narrowing of the differential risk to men and women due to a greater increase in risk of depression among young men. These trends, drawn from studies using comparable methods and modern diagnostic criteria, are evident in the United States, Sweden, Germany, Canada, and New Zealand, but not in comparable studies conducted in Korea and Puerto Rico and of Mexican-Americans living in the United States. These cohort changes cannot be fully attributed to artifacts of reporting, recall, mortality, or labeling and have implications for understanding the etiology of depression and for clinical practice.
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    A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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    The aim of this study was to investigate the consequences of friend networking sites (e.g., Friendster, MySpace) for adolescents' self-esteem and well-being. We conducted a survey among 881 adolescents (10-19-year-olds) who had an online profile on a Dutch friend networking site. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the frequency with which adolescents used the site had an indirect effect on their social self-esteem and well-being. The use of the friend networking site stimulated the number of relationships formed on the site, the frequency with which adolescents received feedback on their profiles, and the tone (i.e., positive vs. negative) of this feedback. Positive feedback on the profiles enhanced adolescents' social self-esteem and well-being, whereas negative feedback decreased their self-esteem and well-being.
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    Both the professional and the general media have recently published concerns about an 'epidemic' of child and adolescent depression. Reasons for this concern include (1) increases in antidepressant prescriptions, (2) retrospective recall by successive birth cohorts of adults, (3) rising adolescent suicide rates until 1990, and (4) evidence of an increase in emotional problems across three cohorts of British adolescents. Epidemiologic studies of children born between 1965 and 1996 were reviewed and a meta-analysis conducted of all studies that used structured diagnostic interviews to make formal diagnoses of depression on representative population samples of participants up to age 18. The effect of year of birth on prevalence was estimated, controlling for age, sex, sample size, taxonomy (e.g., DSM vs. ICD), measurement instrument, and time-frame of the interview (current, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months). Twenty-six studies were identified, generating close to 60,000 observations on children born between 1965 and 1996 who had received at least one structured psychiatric interview capable of making a formal diagnosis of depression. Rates of depression showed no effect of year of birth. There was little effect of taxonomy, measurement instrument, or time-frame of interview. The overall prevalence estimates were: under 13, 2.8% (standard error (SE) .5%); 13-18 5.6% (SE .3%); 13-18 girls: 5.9% (SE .3%); 13-18 boys: 4.6% (SE .3%). When concurrent assessment rather than retrospective recall is used, there is no evidence for an increased prevalence of child or adolescent depression over the past 30 years. Public perception of an 'epidemic' may arise from heightened awareness of a disorder that was long under-diagnosed by clinicians.
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    Activity scheduling is a behavioral treatment of depression in which patients learn to monitor their mood and daily activities, and how to increase the number of pleasant activities and to increase positive interactions with their environment. We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized effect studies of activity scheduling. Sixteen studies with 780 subjects were included. The pooled effect size indicating the difference between intervention and control conditions at post-test was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.60 - 1.15). This is a large effect. Heterogeneity was low in all analyses. The comparisons with other psychological treatments at post-test resulted in a non-significant pooled effect size of 0.13 in favor of activity scheduling. In ten studies activity scheduling was compared to cognitive therapy, and the pooled effect size indicating the difference between these two types of treatment was 0.02. The changes from post-test to follow-up for activity scheduling were non-significant, indicating that the benefits of the treatments were retained at follow-up. The differences between activity scheduling and cognitive therapy at follow-up were also non-significant. Activity scheduling is an attractive treatment for depression, not only because it is relatively uncomplicated, time-efficient and does not require complex skills from patients or therapist, but also because this meta-analysis found clear indications that it is effective.