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38 news posts in Mental health

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01 Nov 2023

Do mild depressive and anxiety symptoms in fathers predict behavioral and cognitive problems in their children?

by Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: Many people experience stress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms in their life. Times of transition, such as pregnancy and children starting school can be significant periods of stress and vulnerability within families. Studies have generally found that high levels of anxiety and depression in parents are linked to poorer behavioral and cognitive outcomes in children. Now, a team of researchers in Canada has examined if self-reported paternal anxious and depressive symptoms are associated with children’s cognitive functioning and behavior. They found that slightly higher, but mild anxious or depressive symptoms in fathers were associated with fewer behavioral difficulties in the first years of elementary school and better scores on a standardized IQ testing in their children. The results need to be confirmed by further studies, the researchers said. While the role of mothers’ stress, anxiety and depression on children’s behavioral and cognitive development is well established, less is known about the connection between fathers’ mental health and children’s development. Now, a team of researchers affiliated to different institutions across Quebec, Canada has examined if paternal anxious and depressive symptoms, measured during their partner’s pregnancy, and again six to eight years later, are associated […]

Image: Eric Arce for Outride

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12 Oct 2023

Cycling in school improves teenagers’ mental health, but wider social factors may impact benefits

by Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: Eric Arce for Outride Physical activity promotes mental well-being and finding activities that people are keen to engage in is key. For teenagers, cycling might be one of them – combining fun, competition, and transportation needs. Researchers in the US have examined if taking part in an in-school cycling program improves middle schoolers’ mental health and found positive effects. While they concluded that cycling programs may be a pathway to improved mental well-being of teenagers, they also noted that the conditions in which students are born and live in determine mental and physical well-being significantly. Physical activity has positive effects on mental health and yet, activity rates are declining. This is particularly worrying because the mental well-being of teenagers continues to deteriorate. In the US, one in six school children is diagnosed with some type of mental disorder. Riding bikes is a promising approach to introduce school-aged children to physical activity. Now, researchers in the US have investigated how adolescents’ psychosocial well-being changed after participating in a school-based cycling program. “Participation in a school cycling education program during the Covid-19 pandemic was associated with improved psychosocial well-being amongst middle schoolers in the US,” […]

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13 Oct 2021

‘Risks linked with parental mental illness and substance use are undeniable, but efforts to scale-out and sustain evidence-based practices are challenging’

By Prof Joanne Nicholson, the Institute for Behavioral Health at The Heller School, Brandeis University, Massachusetts Prof Joanne Nicholson. Image: Brandeis University Researchers working in the area of parental mental illness and substance use disorders face a number of challenges conducting rigorous research and implementing change effectively. Now, the highly experienced Prof Joanne Nicholson of the Institute for Behavioral Health at The Heller School, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, reveals that despite the urgency, the opportunities for scaling out and sustaining prevention and intervention innovation for these families are largely unrealized. I have the good fortune of being the lead editor for the initial Frontiers Research Topic on Parents with Mental and/or Substance Use Disorders and Their Children.  With more than 118,000 total views, it seems the topic is of interest to many readers. We know that mental health and/or substance use disorders convey challenges to adults as well as to their children and family members. The risks and impact associated with parental mental illness are undeniable and the opportunities for prevention and intervention abound but are largely untapped. Clearly, intervention development and testing and, ultimately, sustainment, are important issues to be addressed in the field. Of the 26 papers published in […]

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10 Sep 2021

Regular exercise may lower risk of developing anxiety by almost 60%

By Colm Gorey, Frontiers science writer Image: BGStock72/ The findings of a study published with Frontiers suggests that those who engage in regular exercise may lower their risk of developing anxiety by almost 60%. Using data on almost 400,000 people spanning more than two decades, the authors from Lund University in Sweden were also able to identify a noticeable difference in exercise performance level and the risk of developing anxiety between males and females. A quick online search for ways to improve our mental health will often come up with a myriad of different results. However, one of the most common suggestions put forward as a step to achieving wellness – and preventing future issues – is doing some physical exercise, whether it be a walk or playing a team sport. Anxiety disorders – which typically develop early in a person’s life – are estimated to affect approximately 10% of the world’s population and has been found to be twice as common in women compared to men. And while exercise is put forward as a promising strategy for the treatment of anxiety, little is known about the impact of exercise dose, intensity or physical fitness level on the risk of […]

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17 Sep 2020

Men and women experience similar rates of anxiety due to job insecurity

By Nora Belblidia, science writer Despite gender disparities in the workforce, male and female workers in Europe report similar rates of anxiety in response to job insecurity across countries. Economic stress and anxiety can contribute to poor mental health outcomes as more people work non-traditional jobs with little stability, and according to Dr. Egidio Riva, a co-author of the study investigating these trends, such effects need to be taken seriously by both governments and employers alike. As more people work temporary gigs with little protection, or fear layoffs in an unstable economy, job insecurity is on the rise. These stresses understandably contribute to poor mental health and feelings of anxiety. But given gender disparities in the workforce – women are more likely to work temporary jobs and receive lower pay – researchers were curious whether job insecurity affected men and women differently. A study published in Frontiers in Sociology analyzed data from the European Working Conditions Survey, looking at results from 2005, 2010, and 2015. The survey asked people to what extent they thought they might lose their job in the next six months and whether they had experienced anxiety over the last 12 months. The study found that, in […]