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Abstract

Young adulthood (18–25 years old) is a period in which the onset of mental illnesses peaks. For young adults with serious mental illness and histories of adversity, access to appropriate, culturally sensitive care is critical. Religion and spirituality (RS) are interwoven into many individuals’ culture and are increasingly recognized as important constructs worth considering in the assessment and treatment of mental illness. This study examined data from a qualitative study of 55 young adults with serious mental illness who had used crisis emergency services to explore (a) how vulnerable young adults in psychiatric crisis talk about RS and (b) how religion/spirituality emerge in the narratives of their experiences, understanding and management of their mental health problems. Thirty-four of the 55 youth described RS organically within their interview. Across these interviews, four themes emerged: positive RS coping, negative RS coping, relationship with God, and implications for RS and mental health. Further, RS was described as a very complex topic for this sample, suggesting training is necessary for mental health care providers to appropriately assess and integrate this area of young adults’ lives. Implications and considerations for future studies are discussed.

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... Prior research highlights the functional role of S/R as it relates to many aspects of mental health, including depression, suicide, alcohol/ substance use, and functional impairment among people with severe mental illness (e.g., psychosis) (Garssen et al., 2021;Oxhandler et al., 2018;Beraldo et al., 2019;Schwalm et al., 2022;Anderson et al., 2015). ...
... Specifically, our review highlights the potentially protective role of religion against the development of depression. The reviewed studies indicate that religion is associated with a lower risk of depression, especially among those with familial risk (Oxhandler et al., 2018;Panier et al., 2020), and that religiosity is associated with several neurobiological correlates (e.g., greater cortical thickness (Miller et al., 2014;Liu et al., 2017), decreased DMN (Svob et al., 2016;Galanter et al., 2017), increased posterior EEG alpha at baseline (Tenke et al., 2013(Tenke et al., , 2017, slower ERP responsivity (Kayser et al., 2019)). These effects suggest that neural features may mediate the link between familial depression and incidence of depression (Miller et al., 2014;Svob et al., 2016;Tenke et al., 2013Tenke et al., , 2017Kayser et al., 2019;Li et al., 2019;Panier et al., 2020;Liu et al., 2017). ...
Article
Prior research highlights the importance of spirituality/religion (S/R) as it relates to several aspects of mental health and clinical interventions. This research has been expanded to include the concurrent examination of neurobiological correlates of S/R to elucidate potential biological mechanisms. However, the majority of neurobiological research on S/R has neglected mental health, and the relationship across all three of these domains (S/R, mental health, and neurobiology) remains unclear. This study systematically reviewed research concurrently examining S/R, mental health, and neurobiology, and rated the methodological quality of included studies. Eighteen identified studies were then included in an integrated literature review and discussion, regarding the neurobiological correlates of S/R as it pertains to depression, anxiety, alcohol/substance misuse, and psychosis. The majority of studies demonstrated moderate to high methodological quality. Findings highlight the need for additional studies in this area as well as research that includes validated assessment of S/R.
... Throughout history, conceptions of mental health and illness have been shaped by religious institutions and religious leaders (clergies). Adhering to a particular religious belief system produces a unique worldview through which mental health and illness are understood and given meaning-especially as influenced by the authority of the clergy (Oxhandler et al. 2018;Ward et al. 2013). Generally, research shows that religious adherence and attendance have positive effects on mental health, e.g., greater mental well-being (Corrigan et al. 2003), the receipt of social support (Rasic et al. 2011;Sternthal et al. 2010), increased coping skills (Rasic et al. 2011;Ward et al. 2013), and the prohibition of unhealthy behaviors while supporting healthy behaviors (Hill et al. 2007). ...
... Religion may sometimes result in negative consequences for individuals with mental illness due to stigma perpetuated by harmful messages by some congregations and clergies. Congregations may become a source of stress for those struggling with mental health concerns through community criticism ultimately caused by stigma (Moreira-Almeida et al. 2006;Oxhandler et al. 2018;Sternthal et al. 2010). Speaking openly about mental health can lead to criticism and rejection from the religious community for deviating from the norm through attitude and behavior, causing increases in psychological distress (Peteet 2019;Sternthal et al. 2010). ...
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Mental illness and stigma are key concerns in congregations and represent a key threat to community health. Clergies are considered influential in how congregants think about and respond to mental health issues, especially in African American congregations. In-depth interviews with 32 African American and White clergies were conducted to understand their unique perspectives on mental health and how they interact with their congregations based on those perspectives. Findings include six themes related to mental health stigma, namely, holistic definitions of health; African Americans and different conceptions of mental health (only reported by African American clergies); code words and language; depression as a special case; perceptions of mental health counseling and treatment; and clergy strategies for addressing mental health stigma. The clergies in this study recognized their influence on ideas related to mental health in their congregations, and most expressed active efforts toward discussing mental health and reducing stigma.
... Positive R/S coping has been linked to better psychological and physical health biomarkers and outcomes, as well as successful stress management in several populations (Gall & Guirguis-Younger, 2013). Research on R/S coping has consistently demonstrated its value for supporting wellness and recovery among individuals receiving mental health services (Oxhandler, Narendorf, & Moffatt, 2018), ...
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Religion and spirituality (R/S) are important aspects of human diversity that should be explicitly addressed in the field of psychology. The field has already included R/S in its definitions of multiculturalism, but while multicultural training is routinely included in doctoral level psychology course work and internship programs, it rarely includes specific training in R/S diversity. Polls of the American public indicate that religion and spirituality are important in most people's lives, and hundreds of studies demonstrate empirical links between R/S and psychological health and well-being. In clinical practice, there is evidence that clients would prefer to have their R/S addressed in psychotherapy. However, R/S issues are typically neither discussed in psychotherapy nor included in assessment or treatment planning. In research, religion and spirituality are often assessed with a single item on religious affiliation. Psychologists receive little or no training in R/S issues, in part because no agreed upon set of spiritual competencies or training guidelines exist. This article summarizes the rationale for including religious and spiritual competencies in psychology training and practice, reviews research establishing a set of religious and spiritual competencies (attitudes, knowledge, and skills) that we propose all psychologists should demonstrate, and provides practical recommendations for inquiring about religion and spirituality. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... Nearly 90 percent of U.S. adults believe in God, 55 percent pray daily, 40 percent meditate weekly or more, 45 percent read RS scriptures at least monthly, and 59 percent report spiritual wellbeing weekly or more (Pew Research Center, 2015). Individuals may engage in RS practices to cope with circumstances or health concerns (Levin, 2016;Pargament, 2007), including mental illness (Oxhandler, Narendorf, & Moffatt, 2018;Starnino & Canda, 2014). A brief review that follows describes other ways in which RS is relevant to mental health. ...
Article
Despite a growing interest in the relationship between religion and spirituality (RS) and mental health across helping professions, less is known about clients’ perceived relevance of these areas. This article describes the development and validation of the Relevance of Religion and Spirituality to Mental Health (RRSMH) scale, and responses to the first national survey of clients’ perceived relevance of RS to mental health. Specifically, a sample of 989 U.S. adults who saw a mental health care provider in the last month responded to an online survey that included 27 new items to measure clients’ perceptions of the relevance of RS to mental health, both positive and negative. A confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the sample’s data had an adequate fit to the final 12-item model, and the instrument’s overall reliability was very good (α = .96). Descriptive analyses indicated that clients view RS as both supportive and relevant to their mental health. The RRSMH scale may be used in mental health research and practice settings. Authors recommend that RS be assessed and included in treatment planning, where appropriate, and addressed in training for mental health professionals.
... Several qualitative studies have examined the perspective of people coping with various types of mental health challenges regarding the impact of spirituality on their lives (Milner et al., 2020). Included among these are studies that have focused on individuals with SMI (Jones et al., 2019;Oxhandler et al., 2018;Starnino, 2016aStarnino, , 2016b, including schizophrenia (Danbolt et al., 2011;Ho et al., 2016). In aggregate, these studies suggest that people with diverse forms of SMI typically view spirituality as an important factor in coping and recovery. ...
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Purpose Including spirituality in the treatment of psychosis is controversial. To determine the effect of incorporating spirituality into treatment, we conducted a systematic review of spiritually informed interventions with persons with psychotic disorders (PPD). Methods A search of 15 electronic databases was conducted to identify randomized controlled trials that used spiritually informed interventions with PPD. Results Of 4,317 papers examined, seven studies met eligibility criteria. A narrative review revealed that the use of spiritually informed interventions was significantly associated with positive outcomes across all seven studies. Supplementary quantitative analysis indicated that the use of spiritually informed interventions was associated with significantly and clinically meaningful lower levels of psychosis symptoms (Hedges’s g = 1.06, 95% confidence interval [0.46, 1.66], p = .001). Discussion The results suggest that social workers and other mental health providers should consider incorporating client spirituality into treatment protocols when working with PPD.
... A variety of Spiritual practices helped participants to cope with their mental health problems with prayer having particular significance (Al-Solaim and Loewenthal, 2011;Eltaiba and Harries, 2015). People's Spiritual relationship, whether with God, a spiritual figure or a higher spiritual power was often significant for participants, being described as central to their faith or the most important relationship of their lives with crucial importance for coping during times of illness (Lilja, et al., 2016;Hanevik et al., 2017;Oxhandler et al., 2018). Heffernan et al. (2016) found that the role of a genuine reciprocal relationship with a spiritual figure was so essential that it influenced many other aspects of people's experiences and that recovery was impeded when the relationship was disrupted within hospital settings. ...
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This study tests several hypotheses about the underlying causal structure of the inverse correlation between socioeconomic status (SES) and mental illness. It does this through the analysis of a longitudinal statewide database on acute psychiatric hospitalization in Massachusetts for the fiscal years 1994-2000 as well as supplemental census data. The modeling strategy used techniques of structural equation modeling and found that SES impacted directly on rates of mental illness as well as indirectly through the impact of economic hardship on low and middle income groups.
Article
This article describes the assessment of accredited or in-candidacy master of social work programs’ inclusion of a course on religion and spirituality (RS) in the United States. In June 2016, of the 257 eligible programs, 78 (30.4%) indicated they offer at least one required or elective course on RS in social work, either in or outside the department. A content analysis of the 90 available course descriptions specific to RS in social work indicated religious or spiritual traditions and diversity, social work ethics, and spiritually sensitive practice were common topics. Twenty syllabi were reviewed, and a content analysis on their required readings and assignments was also conducted. Implications and future steps for social work educators and the profession to consider are included.
Chapter
Although religion and spirituality often bring comfort and hope, people can also experience religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles in multiple domains: divine, demonic, moral, interpersonal, doubt-related, and ultimate meaning. This chapter explores how these types of r/s struggles could relate to challenges and opportunities associated with various aspects of the self-forgiveness process. Our primary aim is to provide a conceptual overview and to generate testable hypotheses, with the broader aim of providing a foundation for more systematic empirical work in the future. We will focus on three aspects of the self-forgiveness process: acknowledging one’s perceived wrongdoing and accepting responsibility, apology/repentance and making amends, and releasing unhelpful negative thoughts and emotions. Although there are many possible ways that challenges with self-forgiveness might lead to r/s struggles and vice versa, successful attempts to work through these challenges could promote relational healing and personal growth.
Book
After collecting qualitative data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, or field observations, students and researchers often struggle to make sense of it. This step-by-step guide draws on the authors' many years of experience carrying out qualitative research and conducting trainings on the subject. Their book describes how to analyze qualitative data in a systematic and rigorous way. The authors introduce and outline applied thematic analysis, an inductive approach that draws on established and innovative theme-based techniques suited to the applied research context. Chapters follow the sequence of activities in the analysis process and also include discussions of mixed methods, choosing the most appropriate software, and how to write up and present the results. "This book presents what all of the books I've tried to use in the past have failed to present—how to analyze qualitative data."—Catherine C. Schifter, Temple University "This book does a wonderful job of explaining how important thematic analysis is for producing good research, and it uses rich and detailed examples to do it."—Matthew Hartley, University of Pennsylvania
Book
According to Google Scholar, the 1st edition of the Handbook, published in 2001, is the most cited of any book or research article on religion and health in the past forty years (Google 2011). This new edition is completely re-written, and in fact, really serves as a second volume to the 1st edition. The 2nd edition focuses on the latest research published since the year 2000 and therefore complements the 1st edition that examined research prior to that time. Both volumes together provide a full survey of research published from 1872 through 2010 -- describing and synthesizing results from over 3,000 studies. The Second Edition covers the latest original quantitative scientific research, and therefore will be of greatest use to religion/spirituality-health researchers and educators. Together with the First Edition, this Second Edition will save a tremendous amount of time in locating studies done worldwide, as well as provide not only updated research citations but also explain the scientific rationale on which such relationships might exist. This volume will also be of interest to health professionals and religious professionals wanting to better understand these connections, and even laypersons who desire to learn more about how R/S influences health.
Article
Spirituality has received attention as a potential recovery-enhancing resource for people with psychiatric disabilities, yet practice guidelines for addressing spirituality among this population remain underdeveloped. This article presents the perspectives of those with the lived experience of serious mental illness regarding what constitutes effective practice for addressing spirituality. In-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 18 adults with psychiatric disabilities who had diverse spiritual beliefs. Participants recommended a variety of provider strategies ranging from nondirective (e. g., effective listening) to increasingly directive (e. g., recommending spiritual readings). Participants also expressed the need for providers to be able to address spiritually related challenges, including spiritual abuse, stigma, and delusions with religious content. The study is relevant for recovery-oriented social workers and related mental health professionals.
Article
Social identities, as those pertaining to religion, may change over time as adolescents make the important transition into young adulthood. This 4-year longitudinal study examined developmental changes in religious affiliation, identity, and participation across the transition from adolescence to young adulthood among 584 individuals (from M age = 17.9 years to M age = 22.1 years; 55 % female). We also investigated whether changes varied as a function of individual (i.e., gender and ethnicity) and contextual (i.e., college type and residential status) factors, as well as the association between religiosity and well-being (e.g., meaning and purpose in life, depressive symptoms). The results indicated a significant decline in reported affiliation with a particular religious group or faith for all youth. The change in a psychological sense of religious identity varied by gender, and the change in religious participation differed by ethnicity, but other individual-difference factors generally played minor roles in the changes in religiosity across time. Religiosity was more consistently linked with a greater sense of meaning and purpose than with fewer depressive symptoms across the transition to adulthood, suggesting that it may be particularly important for eudaimonic well-being. Overall, the findings suggest that youth generally experience a decrease in religiosity as they transition to young adulthood, but this rate of change may vary between individuals. The results have important implications for the way in which religion is viewed and lived out by young adults in the United States.
Article
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is common in older adults and, although cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an efficacious treatment for late-life GAD, effect sizes are only moderate and attrition rates are high. One way to increase treatment acceptability and enhance current cognitive behavioral treatments for GAD in older adults might be to incorporate religion/spirituality (R/S). The cases presented here illustrate the use of a 12-week modular CBT intervention for late-life anxiety, designed to allow incorporation of R/S elements in accordance with patient preferences. The three women treated using this protocol chose different levels and methods of R/S integration into therapy. All three women showed substantial improvement in worry symptoms, as well as a variety of secondary outcomes following treatment; these gains were maintained at 6-month follow-up. These preliminary results suggest that the incorporation of R/S into CBT might be beneficial for older adults with GAD. Strengths, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Article
Globally, more than 70% of people with mental illness receive no treatment from health care staff. Evidence suggests that factors increasing the likelihood of treatment avoidance or delay before presenting for care include (1) lack of knowledge to identify features of mental illnesses, (2) ignorance about how to access treatment, (3) prejudice against people who have mental illness, and (4) expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness. In this article, we reviewed the evidence on whether large-scale anti-stigma campaigns could lead to increased levels of help seeking. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print March 14, 2013: e1-e4. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.301056).
Article
This study attempted to identify positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods, develop a brief measure of these religious coping patterns, and examine their implications for health and adjustment. Through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. positive and negative religious coping patterns were identified in samples of people coping with the Oklahoma City bombing, college students coping with major life stressors, and elderly hospitalized patients coping with serious medical illnesses. A 14-item measure of positive and negative patterns of religious coping methods (Brief RCOPE) was constructed. The positive pattern consisted of religious forgiveness, seeking spiritual support, collaborative religious coping, spiritual connection, religious purification, and benevolent religious reappraisal. The negative pattern was defined by spiritual discontent, punishing God reappraisals, interpersonal religious discontent. demonic reappraisal, and reappraisal of God's powers. As predicted, people made more use of the positive than the negative religious coping methods. Furthermore, the two patterns had different implications for health and adjustment. The Brief RCOPE offers an efficient, theoretically meaningful way to integrate religious dimensions into models and studies of stress, coping, and health.
Article
Psychologists' emerging interest in spirituality and religion as well as the relevance of each phenomenon to issues of psychological importance requires an understanding of the fundamental characteristics of each construct. On the basis of both historical considerations and a limited but growing empirical literature, we caution against viewing spirituality and religiousness as incompatible and suggest that the common tendency to polarize the terms simply as individual vs. institutional or ′good′ vs. ′bad′ is not fruitful for future research. Also cautioning against the use of restrictive, narrow definitions or overly broad definitions that can rob either construct of its distinctive characteristics, we propose a set of criteria that recognizes the constructs' conceptual similarities and dissimilarities. Rather than trying to force new and likely unsuccessful definitions, we offer these criteria as benchmarks for judging the value of existing definitions.
Article
CBT is a valuable treatment for mild, moderate, and severe forms of major depression. It is equally effective and more durable than medication alone, and the combination of medication and CBT may increase the response rate and extend durability when CBT is employed after pharmacotherapy is successful. Therapist competence has been shown to influence outcomes in CBT for depression. Practitioners who wish to learn more about CBT may access a wide variety of educational materials: basic texts, course offerings at major scientific meetings, and local and national training centers are available. The Academy of Cognitive Therapy website (www.academyofct.org) provides detailed information about obtaining training and certification in CBT.
Article
The present study used meta-analytic techniques to examine the association between spirituality and religiosity (S/R) and psychological outcomes in adolescents and emerging adults. The outcome measures of risk behavior, depression, well-being, self-esteem, and personality were examined with respect to the influence of S/R across 75 independent studies encompassing 66,273 adolescents and emerging adults extracted from electronic databases between 1990 and 2010. Results showed significant main effect sizes of S/R with several outcomes: risk behavior, -.17; depression, -.11; well-being, .16; self-esteem, .11; and the personality measures of Conscientiousness, .19; Agreeableness, .18; Openness, .14. Moderating effects were found for age, race, and type of S/R measure. Results show that S/R has a positive effect on psychological outcomes in adolescents and emerging adults. Possible explanations and implications of these results are discussed.
Article
The influence of psychiatric symptoms, religious attendance, social network size, and sense of control on spiritual well-being were investigated in a cross-sectional study using the Spirituality Index of Well-being. Forty-seven participants with psychiatric disabilities from six consumer-run organizations participated. A factor analysis result revealed two domains of spiritual well-being for people with psychiatric disabilities: self-perceptions regarding making sense of life (developing life purpose) and self-efficacy in obtaining life goals. Based on our regression analyses, religious attendance, expanding social network size, and having a sense of control over important areas of life may enhance spiritual well-being in spite of severity of psychiatric symptoms. Supporting mental health consumers who hope to be fully integrated into social and spiritual communities is important. Given the increased attention to consumers' internal spiritual experiences in a recovery process, this study adds to knowledge about spirituality in the mental health field.
Article
This study evaluated the efficacy of a spiritually integrated treatment (SIT) for subclinical anxiety in the Jewish community. One hundred and twenty-five self-reported religious Jewish individuals with elevated levels of stress and worry received SIT (n=36), progressive muscle relaxation (PMR, n=42), or a waitlist control condition (WLC, n=47). SIT and PMR participants accessed Internet-based treatment on a daily basis for a period of 2 weeks. All participants completed self-report assessments at pre-treatment (T1), post-treatment (T2), and 6-8-week follow-up (T3). SIT participants reported large improvements in primary (stress and worry) and secondary (depression and intolerance of uncertainty) outcomes, and moderate improvements in spiritual outcomes (positive/negative religious coping; trust/mistrust in God). SIT participants reported greater belief in treatment credibility, greater expectancies from treatment and greater treatment satisfaction than PMR participants. SIT participants also reported better improvements in both primary outcomes (stress and worry), one of two secondary outcomes (intolerance of uncertainty), and two of four spiritual outcomes (positive religious coping and mistrust in God) compared to the WLC group, whereas PMR and WLC participants did not differ on most outcomes. Results of this investigation offer initial support for the efficacy of SIT for the treatment of subclinical anxiety symptoms among religious Jews. Results further suggest that it is important to incorporate spiritual content into treatment to help facilitate the delivery of psychotherapy to religious individuals.
Article
This article evaluated the efficacy status of religious and spiritual (R/S) therapies for mental health problems, including treatments for depression, anxiety, unforgiveness, eating disorders, schizophrenia, alcoholism, anger, and marital issues. Religions represented included Christianity, Islam, Taoism, and Buddhism. Some studies incorporated a generic spirituality. Several R/S therapies were found to be helpful for clients, supporting the further use and research on these therapies. There was limited evidence that R/S therapies outperformed established secular therapies, thus the decision to use an R/S therapy may be an issue of client preference and therapist comfort.
Article
Homelessness among older African American women is emerging as a serious social problem. The increasing cost of living, diminishing community resources, and shrinking retirement benefits, as well as reduced social services are resulting in greater numbers of older minority women becoming homeless. This investigation explores the relevance of faith and spirituality to an advocacy assessment designed to help participants resolve issues that operate as barriers to their leaving and staying out of homelessness. A substudy of a larger research and development project was undertaken, in which qualitative interview methods were used to illuminate the role of faith and spirituality resources in the lives of 84 older homeless African American women. Comparative thematic analysis of illustrative cases was undertaken to better understand the role of faith and spirituality in the women's lives and in how they used faith and spirituality in coping with homelessness. Five dimensions of faith and spirituality, (a) identity and beliefs; (b) affiliation and membership; (c) involvement; (d) practices; and (e) benefits, served as promising resources in understanding life spaces of homeless minority women and identified promising advocacy strategies. Two cases describe the realities of homelessness for older minority women endeavoring to transition out of homelessness and illustrate how faith and spirituality can buffer stress, facilitate coping, and sustain motivation. How older homeless African American women use their faith and spiritual resources to cope with demands of homelessness, challenges of transition, and recovery from the multiple traumas resulting from being homeless makes the assessment of faith and spirituality an important part of the advocacy process.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of religious coping among persons with persistent mental illness and to gain a preliminary understanding of the relationship between religious coping and symptom severity and overall functioning. A total of 406 individuals who were diagnosed as having a mental illness and who were patients at one of 13 Los Angeles County mental health facilities completed a survey consisting of the Religious Coping Index, the Symptom Checklist 90-R (SCL-90), the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale, and a 48-item demographic questionnaire. More than 80 percent of the participants used religious beliefs or activities to cope with daily difficulties or frustrations. A majority of participants devoted as much as half of their total coping time to religious practices, with prayer being the most frequent activity. Specific religious coping strategies, such as prayer or reading the Bible, were associated with higher SCL-90 scores (indicating more severe symptoms), more reported frustration, and a lower GAF score (indicating greater impairment). The amount of time that participants devoted to religious coping was negatively related to reported levels of frustration and scores on the SCL-90 symptom subscales. The results of the study suggest that religious activities and beliefs may be particularly compelling for persons who are experiencing more severe symptoms, and increased religious activity may be associated with reduced symptoms. Religion may serve as a pervasive and potentially effective method of coping for persons with mental illness, thus warranting its integration into psychiatric and psychological practice.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to describe in greater anatomical detail the changes in brain structure that occur during maturation between childhood and adolescence. High-resolution MRI, tissue classification, and anatomical segmentation of cortical and subcortical regions were used in a sample of 35 normally developing children and adolescents between 7 and 16 years of age (mean age 11 years; 20 males, 15 females). Each cortical and subcortical measure was examined for age and sex effects on raw volumes and on the measures as proportions of total supratentorial cranial volume. Results indicate age-related increases in total supratentorial cranial volume and raw and proportional increases in total cerebral white matter. Gray-matter volume reductions were only observed once variance in total brain size was proportionally controlled. The change in total cerebral white-matter proportion was significantly greater than the change in total cerebral gray-matter proportion over this age range, suggesting that the relative gray-matter reduction is probably due to significant increases in white matter. Total raw cerebral CSF volume increases were also observed. Within the cerebrum, regional patterns varied depending on the tissue (or CSF) assessed. Only frontal and parietal cortices showed changes in gray matter, white matter, and CSF measures. Once the approximately 7% larger brain volume in males was controlled, only mesial temporal cortex, caudate, thalamus, and basomesial diencephalic structures showed sex effects with the females having greater relative volumes in these regions than the males. Overall, these results are consistent with earlier reports and describe in greater detail the regional pattern of age-related differences in gray and white matter in normally developing children and adolescents.
Article
Many African Americans--especially the most marginal--suffer from mental health problems and would benefit from timely access to appropriate forms of care. However, few seek treatment from outpatient providers in the specialty mental health sector and those who do are at risk of dropping out. African Americans visit providers in the general medical sector, although they use another hypothesized alternative to specialty care, voluntary support networks, less than other groups. These help-seeking tendencies may reflect characteristic coping styles and stigma, as well as a lack of resources and opportunities for treatment. More should be learned about differences in need according to location, social standing, and cultural orientation so as to identify treatments and programs that are especially beneficial to African Americans.
Article
Although there is a fair sized literature documenting the relationship of religiousness and spirituality with health and well-being, far fewer studies have examined this phenomenon for people with serious mental illness. In this research, religiousness is defined as participation in an institutionalized doctrine while spirituality is framed as an individual pursuit of meaning outside the world of immediate experience. In this study, 1,824 people with serious mental illness completed self-report measures of religiousness and spirituality. They also completed measures of three health outcome domains: self-perceived well-being, psychiatric symptoms, and life goal achievement. Results showed that both religiousness and spirituality were significantly associated with proxies of well being and symptoms, but not of goal achievement. Implications of these findings for enhancing the lives of people with psychiatric disability are discussed.
Article
A growing body of scientific research suggests connections between religion, spirituality, and both mental and physical health. The findings are particularly strong in patients with severe or chronic illnesses who are having stressful psychologic and social changes, as well as existential struggles related to meaning and purpose. Recent studies indicate that religious beliefs influence medical decisions, such as the use of chemotherapy and other life-saving treatments, and at times may conflict with medical care. This article addresses the ways physicians can use such information. Spirituality is an area that makes many physicians uncomfortable, since training in medical schools and continuing medical education programs are limited. Not only do most physicians lack the necessary training, they worry about spending additional time with patients and overstepping ethical boundaries. While these concerns are valid, each can be addressed in a sensible way. Taking a spiritual history, supporting the patient's beliefs, and orchestrating the fulfillment of spiritual needs are among the topics this article will address. The goal is to help physicians provide medical care that is sensitive to the way many patients understand and cope with medical illness.
Article
Questions about the nature of normative and atypical development in adolescence have taken on special significance in the last few years, as scientists have begun to recast old portraits of adolescent behavior in the light of new knowledge about brain development. Adolescence is often a period of especially heightened vulnerability as a consequence of potential disjunctions between developing brain, behavioral and cognitive systems that mature along different timetables and under the control of both common and independent biological processes. Taken together, these developments reinforce the emerging understanding of adolescence as a critical or sensitive period for a reorganization of regulatory systems, a reorganization that is fraught with both risks and opportunities.
Article
This paper contributes to understanding of young people's help-seeking behaviour. A conceptual framework is proposed that seeks to integrate differing sources of influence and their implications for policy and programme development. Data was collected by means of an international literature review followed by a purposive international survey of expert informants. Findings suggest that it is important to distinguish between individual and structural determinants of young people's help-seeking behaviour. Policy and programme influences also impact upon the demand for help and the supply of social support that is available. It is important to focus on the normative needs of young people as well as specific health needs and problems. Creating trust, rethinking adult attitudes toward young people, and reducing the stigma associated with seeking help are key to promoting help-seeking behaviour. Many young people are hindered from seeking help, or are not offered help because of social exclusion, violence, poverty, prejudice (including homophobia) and gender inequalities. Future actions to promote help-seeking and enhance social support must consider these structural barriers, making special efforts to reach and work with excluded populations.
Article
Homelessness and mental illness together confer significant morbidity and mortality because of physical health problems. Healthcare provision is undergoing significant review, and, as part of the Department of Health's policy reforms, the service user's view is central to the future restructuring of NHS services. A literature review of homeless service users' perceptions of services for homeless mentally ill people was supplemented by a qualitative in-depth survey of 10 homeless people. This article reports on their views about the services they receive. Mismatch between expectations and provision, disputes with healthcare providers, dissatisfaction with the degree to which they have choice in their care, and suspicions about the intentions of health professionals demonstrate the extent to which powerlessness and social exclusion are replicated in healthcare economies. The inadequacy of hostels and their staff are also emphasised, with some recommendations for services. There are few data on homeless people's perceptions of services for mental health problems. Homeless people have strong views about the adequacy of services to meet their needs. They were particularly concerned about stigma, prejudice and the inadequacy and complexity of services that they have to use. This article reports their recommendations for change.
The oxford handbook of emerging adulthood
  • J J Arnett
Arnett, J. J. (2016). The oxford handbook of emerging adulthood (1st ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
The spiritual child: The new science of parenting for health and lifelong thriving
  • L Miller
Miller, L. (2015). The spiritual child: The new science of parenting for health and lifelong thriving. New York, NY: Picador.
Unmet need for treatment of major depression in the United States
  • R Mojtabai
Mojtabai, R. (2009). Unmet need for treatment of major depression in the United States. Psychiatric Services, 60, 297-305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/ ps.2009.60.3.297
Psychiatric disorder in a birth cohort of young adults: Prevalence, comorbidity, clinical significance, and new case incidence from ages 11 to 21
  • D L Newman
  • T E Moffitt
  • A Caspi
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  • P A Silva
  • W R Stanton
Newman, D. L., Moffitt, T. E., Caspi, A., Magdol, L., Silva, P. A., & Stanton, W. R. (1996). Psychiatric disorder in a birth cohort of young adults: Prevalence, comorbidity, clinical significance, and new case incidence from ages 11 to 21. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 552-562. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.64.3.552
Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred
  • K I Pargament
Pargament, K. I. (2007). Spiritually integrated psychotherapy: Understanding and addressing the sacred. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
U.S. religious landscape study
Pew Research Center. (2015, May). U.S. religious landscape study. Retrieved from http://www .pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/