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Browsing by Subject "psychological distress"

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  • Kujanpää, Riina (2023)
    Objectives: Associations between family socioeconomic status and child and adolescent mental health have garnered increasing research interest in the last few decades. Parental mental health has also been shown to affect these associations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether changes in household income are associated with changes in adolescent mental health, and whether parental psychological distress affects these possible associations. Methods: The sample of this study was derived from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, and consisted of 9233 British adolescents aged 10 to 15 years and their biological mothers, stepmothers, or adopted mothers. The data of this study was gathered in four separate study waves. Adolescent mental health was measured with the self-completed Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire total difficulties score. Parental psychological distress was measured with the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire. Household income was equivalised to account for family size and composition. The data was analysed using fixed effects and random effects panel models. Adolescent sex, adolescent age, and parent age were included in the models as potential confounding variables. Results and conclusions: Greater household income was associated with less self-reported mental health symptoms in adolescents, but changes in household income were not associated with changes in adolescent mental health. Increases in parental psychological distress were associated with increases in adolescent mental health symptoms. The sex of the adolescent was not associated with adolescent mental health, while results regarding adolescent and parent age were mixed. The findings of this study suggest that there is an association between household income and adolescent mental health, but this association may not be causal in nature. The results also corroborate the status of parental mental health as an important determinant of adolescent mental health.
  • Pensola, Tiina (2016)
    Objectives. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the contribution of the character traits to the association of work stress and over-commitment with common mental health problems. Primary school teachers are a large, homogenous occupational group that has been related to higher work stress levels and common mental health problems, although to a lesser amount of actual mental disorders. The aim of the study is to examine the extent to which the association between work stress, over-commitment and their interaction with common mental health problems can be attributed to the character traits among primary school teachers. Methods. The data consists of 76 (87% females) primary school teachers from 34 schools randomly selected to a study taking part in the capital area of Finland in 2013-14. There were 1-6 teachers who responded from each school (participation rate 4-33%). Common mental health problems were measured by GHQ-12 (psychological distress) and cognitive anxiety from a state anxiety scale of EMAS (highest tertile vs. two lowest). Work stress and over-commitment (the upper tertile vs. the rest) were measured according to original Siegrist's Effort-Reward-Imbalance Questionnaire. Character traits Self-directness, Cooperativeness, and Self-Transcendence were measured by Cloninger's TCI-questionnaire and each character was dichotomized at median to indicate a higher and lower category of the trait. The control variables were age, working hours and job contract type. The data were analyzed by means of Poisson regression (prevalence ratios, PR, and 90% confidence intervals) and relative rates. Results. Of teachers 30% had common mental health problems. The teachers with high over-commitment in comparison with those with low over-commitment had more often psychological distress (PR=2.5, p=0.018) and cognitive anxiety (PR=2.8, p=0.004). Although work stress was not independently associated with common mental health problems, it was related to the increased psychological distress among those with high over-commitment. Controlling for self-directedness attenuated the association of over-commitment with psychological distress and cognitive anxiety by 29% and 47%, respectively. After all adjustments, an independent association of Self-Directness with cognitive anxiety remained (PR=0.3, p=0.024). The other two character traits didn't have an independent impact on common mental health problems among the primary school teachers, but with the concurrent low self-directedness, low cooperativeness and low Self-Transcendence were related to over-commitment and increased level of cognitive anxiety. Both low cooperativeness and low self-transcendence were related to psychological symptoms. Conclusions: The primary school teachers had higher prevalence of common mental health problems, if they had low self-directedness and were over-committed to their work. Enhancing self-directedness may help in decreasing common mental health problems among overcommitted teachers. In the future the associations of the trait profiles with over-commitment and mental health symptoms should be studied with the larger longitudinal data.
  • Järvenpää, Juulia (2021)
    Among the clients of social work, the people who have traumatic experiences are more common than in the general population. In the recent years MDMA, also known by its street name ecstasy, has been studied for treating posttraumatic stress disorder, with promising results. As the research goes on, it is possible that some people turn to MDMA for the purpose of treating their own traumas by themselves. Social workers should be able to evaluate realistically the risks and potential benefits of such behavior, and also think about the problems of the current prohibition and punishment-based drug laws in terms of human rights. If MDMA-assisted therapies become a legal treatment option, social workers should know how to assist and guide their clients in case they wish to engage in such treatment. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a breakthrough status to psilocybin (a psychedelic compound found in some mushroom species) and MDMA-assisted psychotherapies. This means that the preliminary results have been so promising it is possible to make these treatments available faster, in case the further research provides results as good as the previous research. Currently phase 3 studies are ongoing. Lately there have also been discussions about whether these substances are dangerous or even beneficial outside the clinical context. Multiple studies have been done on psychedelics regarding this matter, and the researchers have found out that lifetime use of psychedelics is associated with reduced risk for mental health problems and suicidality instead of increased risk. A similar investigation has not yet been done to the same extent on MDMA. The purpose of this analysis is to fill the void in the research regarding MDMA and find out whether MDMA use is linked to increased likelihood of past month psychological distress, measured by K6 scale, and past year suicidality, defined as suicidal thoughts, suicide plans and suicide attempts. The dataset used for this study is National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) from the years 2016–2019. The data of NSDUH is collected via randomized selection of a representative population of the US. The main method of the analysis is multivariate logistic regression. Among the lifetime use of MDMA and other drugs, also the effects of recency have been investigated. The weighted odds ratios were compared to the odds ratios of other drug use groups. Based on the results of this analysis, MDMA use was not associated with increased likelihoods of past month psychological distress or past year suicidality, after adjusting for sociodemographic factors, risk-taking tendency and other illicit/non-medical drug use. Instead, lifetime use of MDMA was associated in most of the models to decreased likelihood of the predicted variables. The odds ratios of MDMA groups were smaller than the odds ratios for other substances in almost every model. Among the other substances, the results of psilocybin were the closest to the results of MDMA. The study suggests that the increased risk for mental health problems and suicidality among the people who use MDMA is likely to be more linked to other drug use than specifically to MDMA use. This analysis does not suggest that MDMA would be an independent risk factor for psychological distress or suicidality.
  • Ajantaival, Teo (2018)
    Objectives. Renewed clinical research finds treatment effects from psychedelic (psilocybin or LSD)-assisted therapy sustained at 12 month follow-up. Population studies find the association between lifetime psychedelic use (even once, Yes/No) and current mental health absent or protective after adjusting for sociodemographics, risk-taking tendency, and non-medical use of other drugs. This study aimed to investigate whether the recency of psychedelic use (>12, 1–12, or <1 months ago) is associated with past month psychological distress, past year suicidality, or everyday impairment. This study also addressed a previously expressed concern that the previous results stem from overadjustment for non-medical use of other drugs, explored how such adjustments should be done, and compared use of psilocybin, LSD, and psilocybin and/or LSD. All code was published. Methods. The analysis was based on combined data of adult respondents of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) years 2008–2014 randomly selected to be representative of the population of the United States. Comparison groups by the psychedelic used and its recency of use were inferred from the data. Weighted odds ratios were calculated adjusting for sociodemographics, risk-taking tendency, and non-medical use of other drugs. Adjustments for other drug use were compared between a minimally adjusted model, a lifetime use-adjusting model, and a recency of use-adjusting model. Mirroring adjustments were made in order to see whether crack cocaine and heroin use recency would associate to psychological distress in an unexpectedly protective way, indicating overadjustment in the psychedelic recency associations. Results. No independent association between any recency of any psychedelic use and increased likelihood of past month psychological distress, past year suicidality, or everyday impairment was found. A decreased likelihood for past year suicidal thinking was found among all groups that had last used psychedelics >12 months ago or psilocybin <1 month ago, as well as for past year suicide plans and past month serious psychological distress among those whose last psychedelic use was psilocybin >12 months ago. More recent crack cocaine or heroin use was still associated with a higher risk for past month serious psychological distress after adjusting for lifetime non-medical use of other drugs. LSD and psilocybin could not be properly intercompared due to surprisingly small LSD-only recency groups. Adjusting for non-medical use of other drugs made a big difference, but adjustments for their lifetime use or recency of use did not mutually differ. Conclusions. This study strongly supports the results of previous population studies, as no independent risk from psychedelic use was found even when considering their recency of use. The results are also consistent with research indicating that psychedelics may have long-lasting beneficial effects for anxiety, depression, neuroticism, substance dependence, cognitive flexibility, and meaningfulness, and do not lead to dependence.