About this Research Topic
Human behavioral and emotions are affected by sociocultural factors; thus sociocultural changes or transformations greatly impact mental health. In psychiatry, cultural syndromes, which form a unique symptomatic condition rooted in the society and culture of a country and/or region, have long been proposed. Well-known examples include ‘taijin kyofusho’ in Japan, and ‘hwabyeong’ in Korea. More recent technological advances and globalization may be having a dual effect: both contributing to the development of emerging psychopathology and loosening long-established socio-cultural boundaries.
Hikikomori, a severe form of social withdrawal, was initially described as a psychopathology unique to Japan. However, in recent years it has become increasingly clear that hikikomori is present in many countries beyond Japan. A novel form of premorbid personality has emerged especially among Japanese youth described as ‘modern-type depression’. Additionally, internet use has become pervasive, particularly among adolescents and young adults around the globe. Consequently, problems related to use of the internet, social media, smart phones, and video games have become of considerable concern. Increasing our understanding of the antecedents, modalities, and consequences of disorders related to internet use and related technologies is vital. Likewise, there is a strong need for research on prevention, assessment, and intervention of such pathological conditions. Establishment of a new psychiatric and psychosocial framework for hikikomori and other sociocultural phenomena is also urgently required. Such phenomena are difficult to evaluate by diagnostic criteria and concepts of psychiatric disorders within the existing ICD and DSM classification systems.
The aim of this Research Topic is to construct an in-depth and comprehensive strategy towards the study of emerging psychopathology, which are influenced by novel social, cultural, and technological phenomena and common among adolescents and young adults. Papers may include but are not limited to hikikomori and socially withdrawn youth, modern-type depression, and problematic internet use. While papers employing observational (e.g., case-control, cohort), experimental or systematic review and meta-analytic designs are preferred, we will consider case reports which show an in-depth consideration of these or related conditions. Epidemiologic studies, papers exploring innovative therapeutic and preventive approaches, and research papers that promote the development of assessment tools are also welcome.
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