Nook, E. C., Sasse, S. F., Lambert, H. K., McLaughlin, K. A., & Somerville, L. H. (2018). The Nonlinear Development of Emotion Differentiation: Granular Emotional Experience Is Low in Adolescence. Psychological Science , 29 (8), 1346–1357. Publisher's VersionAbstract
People differ in how specifically they separate affective experiences into different emotion types—a skill called emotion differentiation or emotional granularity. Although increased emotion differentiation has been associated with positive mental health outcomes, little is known about its development. Participants (N = 143) between the ages of 5 and 25 years completed a laboratory measure of negative emotion differentiation in which they rated how much a series of aversive images made them feel angry, disgusted, sad, scared, and upset. Emotion-differentiation scores were computed using intraclass correlations. Emotion differentiation followed a nonlinear developmental trajectory: It fell from childhood to adolescence and rose from adolescence to adulthood. Mediation analyses suggested that an increased tendency to report feeling emotions one at a time explained elevated emotion differentiation in childhood. Importantly, two other mediators (intensity of emotional experiences and scale use) did not explain this developmental trend. Hence, low emotion differentiation in adolescence may arise because adolescents have little experience conceptualizing co-occurring emotions.
Rosen, M. L., Sheridan, M. A., Sambrook, K. A., Peverill, M. R., Meltzoff, A. N., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2018). The Role of Visual Association Cortex in Associative Memory Formation across Development. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience , 30 (3), 365–380.Abstract
Associative learning underlies the formation of new episodic memories. Associative memory improves across development, and this age-related improvement is supported by the development of the hippocampus and pFC. Recent work, however, additionally suggests a role for visual association cortex in the formation of associative memories. This study investigated the role of category-preferential visual processing regions in associative memory across development using a paired associate learning task in a sample of 56 youths (age 6-19 years). Participants were asked to bind an emotional face with an object while undergoing fMRI scanning. Outside the scanner, participants completed a memory test. We first investigated age-related changes in neural recruitment and found linear age-related increases in activation in lateral occipital cortex and fusiform gyrus, which are involved in visual processing of objects and faces, respectively. Furthermore, greater activation in these visual processing regions was associated with better subsequent memory for pairs over and above the effect of age and of hippocampal and pFC activation on performance. Recruitment of these visual processing regions mediated the association between age and memory performance, over and above the effects of hippocampal activation. Taken together, these findings extend the existing literature to suggest that greater recruitment of category-preferential visual processing regions during encoding of associative memories is a neural mechanism explaining improved memory across development.
Rosen, M. L., Sheridan, M. A., Sambrook, K. A., Dennison, M. J., Jenness, J. L., Askren, M. K., Meltzoff, A. N., et al. (2018). Salience network response to changes in emotional expressions of others is heightened during early adolescence: relevance for social functioning. Developmental Science , 21 (3), e12571. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Adolescence is a unique developmental period when the salience of social and emotional information becomes particularly pronounced. Although this increased sensitivity to social and emotional information has frequently been considered with respect to risk behaviors and psychopathology, evidence suggests that increased adolescent sensitivity to social and emotional cues may confer advantages. For example, greater sensitivity to shifts in the emotions of others is likely to promote flexible and adaptive social behavior. In this study, a sample of 54 children and adolescents (age 8–19 years) performed a delayed match-to-sample task for emotional faces while undergoing fMRI scanning. Recruitment of the anterior cingulate and anterior insula when the emotion of the probe face did not match the emotion held in memory followed a quadratic developmental pattern that peaked during early adolescence. These findings indicate meaningful developmental variation in the neural mechanisms underlying sensitivity to changes in the emotional expressions. Across all participants, greater activation of this network for changes in emotional expression was associated with less social anxiety and fewer social problems. These results suggest that the heightened salience of social and emotional information during adolescence may confer important advantages for social behavior, providing sensitivity to others’ emotions that facilitates flexible social responding.
Austin, S. B., Rosario, M., McLaughlin, K. A., Roberts, A. L., Sarda, V., Yu, K., Missmer, S., et al. (2018). Sexual orientation and salivary alpha-amylase diurnal rhythms in a cohort of U.S. young adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology , 97, 78–85. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Sexual minorities in the United States are at elevated risk of prejudice, discrimination, and violence victimization due to stigma associated with their sexual orientation. These stressors may contribute to physiological stress responses and changes in the regulation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). To date, no studies have examined the associations among minority sexual orientation, recent stressful events, and diurnal salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) patterns. The present study included 1663 young adults ages 18–32 years (31% men, 69% women) from the Growing Up Today Study, a prospective cohort of U.S. youth. Participants provided five saliva samples over the course of one day to estimate diurnal sAA patterns. Sexual orientation groups included completely heterosexual with no same-sex partners (CH; referent), mostly heterosexual/completely heterosexual with same-sex partners, and gay/lesbian/bisexual (LB or GB). Sex-stratified multilevel models were fit to evaluate the association of sexual orientation with diurnal patterns of log sAA. The association of recent stressful events was also evaluated. Among women, sexual minorities scored significantly higher than CH on perceived stress and number of stressful events in the past month (p \textless 0.05). Among men, sexual minorities scored higher than CH on perceived stress but not recent stressful events. In multivariable models, recent stressful events were not associated with sAA patterns, but significant sexual orientation group differences in sAA diurnal rhythm were observed among women though not among men. Compared to CH women, LB showed a blunted awakening response and elevated sAA levels across the day, both indicators consistent with SNS dysregulation. Findings suggest dysregulation of stress physiology in LB women, but not other sexual minority women or men, relative to same-sex heterosexuals. Observed dysregulation may relate to exposure among LB women to chronic stressors associated with sexual orientation stigma, although these relations and differences by sex warrant further study.
Logue, M. W., van Rooij, S. J. H., Dennis, E. L., Davis, S. L., Hayes, J. P., Stevens, J. S., Densmore, M., et al. (2018). Smaller Hippocampal Volume in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Multisite ENIGMA-PGC Study: Subcortical Volumetry Results From Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Consortia. Stress and Anorexia , 83 (3), 244–253. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Many studies report smaller hippocampal and amygdala volumes in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but findings have not always been consistent. Here, we present the results of a large-scale neuroimaging consortium study on PTSD conducted by the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC)–Enhancing Neuroimaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis (ENIGMA) PTSD Working Group. We analyzed neuroimaging and clinical data from 1868 subjects (794 PTSD patients) contributed by 16 cohorts, representing the largest neuroimaging study of PTSD to date. We assessed the volumes of eight subcortical structures (nucleus accumbens, amygdala, caudate, hippocampus, pallidum, putamen, thalamus, and lateral ventricle). We used a standardized image-analysis and quality-control pipeline established by the ENIGMA consortium. In a meta-analysis of all samples, we found significantly smaller hippocampi in subjects with current PTSD compared with trauma-exposed control subjects (Cohen’s d = -0.17, p = .00054), and smaller amygdalae (d = -0.11, p = .025), although the amygdala finding did not survive a significance level that was Bonferroni corrected for multiple subcortical region comparisons (p \textless .0063). Our study is not subject to the biases of meta-analyses of published data, and it represents an important milestone in an ongoing collaborative effort to examine the neurobiological underpinnings of PTSD and the brain’s response to trauma.
Rosen, M. L., Sheridan, M. A., Sambrook, K. A., Meltzoff, A. N., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2018). Socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement: A multi-modal investigation of neural mechanisms in children and adolescents. NeuroImage , 173, 298–310. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Growing evidence suggests that childhood socioeconomic status (SES) influences neural development, which may contribute to the well-documented SES-related disparities in academic achievement. However, the particular aspects of SES that impact neural structure and function are not well understood. Here, we investigate associations of childhood SES and a potential mechanism—degree of cognitive stimulation in the home environment—with cortical structure, white matter microstructure, and neural function during a working memory (WM) task across development. Analyses included 53 youths (age 6–19 years). Higher SES as reflected in the income-to-needs ratio was associated with higher parent-reported achievement, WM performance, and cognitive stimulation in the home environment. Although SES was not significantly associated with cortical thickness, children raised in more cognitively stimulating environments had thicker cortex in the frontoparietal network and cognitive stimulation mediated the assocation between SES and cortical thickness in the frontoparietal network. Higher family SES was associated with white matter microstructure and neural activation in the frontoparietal network during a WM task, including greater fractional anisotropy (FA) in the right and left superior longitudinal fasciculi (SLF), and greater BOLD activation in multiple regions of the prefrontal cortex during WM encoding and maintenance. Greater FA and activation in these regions was associated higher parent-reported achievement. Together, cognitive stimulation, WM performance, FA in the SLF, and prefrontal activation during WM encoding and maintenance significantly mediated the association between SES and parent-reported achievement. These findings highlight potential neural, cognitive, and environmental mechanisms linking SES with academic achievement and suggest that enhancing cognitive stimulation in the home environment might be one effective strategy for reducing SES-related disparities in academic outcomes.
Sun, D., Peverill, M. R., Swanson, C. S., McLaughlin, K. A., & Morey, R. A. (2018). Structural covariance network centrality in maltreated youth with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research , 98, 70–77.Abstract
Childhood maltreatment is associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and elevated rates of adolescent and adult psychopathology including major depression, bipolar disorder, substance use disorders, and other medical comorbidities. Gray matter volume changes have been found in maltreated youth with (versus without) PTSD. However, little is known about the alterations of brain structural covariance network topology derived from cortical thickness in maltreated youth with PTSD. High-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were from demographically matched maltreated youth with PTSD (N = 24), without PTSD (N = 64), and non-maltreated healthy controls (n = 67). Cortical thickness data from 148 cortical regions was entered into interregional partial correlation analyses across participants. The supra-threshold correlations constituted connections in a structural brain network derived from four types of centrality measures (degree, betweenness, closeness, and eigenvector) estimated network topology and the importance of nodes. Between-group differences were determined by permutation testing. Maltreated youth with PTSD exhibited larger centrality in left anterior cingulate cortex than the other two groups, suggesting cortical network topology specific to maltreated youth with PTSD. Moreover, maltreated youth with versus without PTSD showed smaller centrality in right orbitofrontal cortex, suggesting that this may represent a vulnerability factor to PTSD following maltreatment. Longitudinal follow-up of the present results will help characterize the role that altered centrality plays in vulnerability and resilience to PTSD following childhood maltreatment.
Mclaughlin, K. (2017). Future directions in childhood adversity and youth psychopathology. In M. Prinstein (Ed.), Future Work in Child and Adolescent Psychology . Routledge. PDF
Peverill, M., & Mclaughlin, K. (2017). Harnessing the Neuroscience Revolution to Enhance Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. In J. Weisz & A. Kazdin (Ed.), Evidence Based Psychotherapies for Children and Adolescents (pp. 520-536) . Guilford Press.
Troller-Renfree, S., McLaughlin, K. A., Sheridan, M. A., Nelson, C. A., Zeanah, C. H., & Fox, N. A. (2017). The beneficial effects of a positive attention bias amongst children with a history of psychosocial deprivation. Biological Psychology , 122, 110–120.Abstract
Children raised in institutions experience psychosocial deprivation that has detrimental influences on attention and mental health. The current study examined patterns of attention biases in children from institutions who were randomized at approximately 21.6 months to receive either a high-quality foster care intervention or care-as-usual. At age 12, children performed a dot-probe task and indices of attention bias were calculated. Additionally, children completed a social stress paradigm and cortisol reactivity was computed. Children randomized into foster care (N=40) exhibited an attention bias toward positive stimuli but not threat, whereas children who received care-as-usual (N=40) and a never-institutionalized comparison group (N=47) showed no bias. Stability of foster care placement was related to positive bias, while instability of foster care placement was related to threat bias. The magnitude of the positive bias was associated with fewer internalizing problems and better coping mechanisms. Within the foster care group, positive attention bias was related to less blunted cortisol reactivity.
Busso, D. S., McLaughlin, K. A., & Sheridan, M. A. (2017). Dimensions of Adversity, Physiological Reactivity, and Externalizing Psychopathology in Adolescence: Deprivation and Threat. Psychosomatic Medicine , 79 (2), 162–171.Abstract
{OBJECTIVE: Dysregulation of autonomic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function is a putative intermediate phenotype linking childhood adversity (CA) with later psychopathology. However, associations of CAs with autonomic nervous system and HPA-axis function vary widely across studies. Here, we test a novel conceptual model discriminating between distinct forms of CA (deprivation and threat) and examine their independent associations with physiological reactivity and psychopathology. METHODS: Adolescents (N = 169; mean [SD] age, 14.9 [1.4] years) with a range of interpersonal violence (e.g., maltreatment, community violence) and poverty exposure participated in the Trier Social Stress test (TSST). During the TSST, electrocardiogram, impedance cardiograph, salivary cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate data were collected. We compared the associations of poverty (an indicator of deprivation) and interpersonal violence (an indicator of threat) on sympathetic, parasympathetic, and HPA-axis reactivity to the TSST, and assessed whether these differences mediated the association of adversity with internalizing and externalizing symptoms. RESULTS: Exposure to poverty and interpersonal violence was associated with psychopathology. Interpersonal violence, adjusting for poverty, was associated with blunted sympathetic (b = 1.44
Sheridan, M. A., Peverill, M., Finn, A. S., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2017). Dimensions of childhood adversity have distinct associations with neural systems underlying executive functioning. Development and Psychopathology , 29 (5), 1777–1794.Abstract
Childhood adversity is associated with increased risk for psychopathology. Neurodevelopmental pathways underlying this risk remain poorly understood. A recent conceptual model posits that childhood adversity can be deconstructed into at least two underlying dimensions, deprivation and threat, that are associated with distinct neurocognitive consequences. This model argues that deprivation (i.e., a lack of cognitive stimulation and learning opportunities) is associated with poor executive function (EF), whereas threat is not. We examine this hypothesis in two studies measuring EF at multiple levels: performance on EF tasks, neural recruitment during EF, and problems with EF in daily life. In Study 1, deprivation (low parental education and child neglect) was associated with greater parent-reported problems with EF in adolescents (N = 169; 13-17 years) after adjustment for levels of threat (community violence and abuse), which were unrelated to EF. In Study 2, low parental education was associated with poor working memory (WM) performance and inefficient neural recruitment in the parietal and prefrontal cortex during high WM load among adolescents (N = 51, 13-20 years) after adjusting for abuse, which was unrelated to WM task performance and neural recruitment during WM. These findings constitute strong preliminary evidence for a novel model of the neurodevelopmental consequences of childhood adversity.
Dorsey, S., McLaughlin, K. A., Kerns, S. E. U., Harrison, J. P., Lambert, H. K., Briggs, E. C., Revillion Cox, J., et al. (2017). Evidence Base Update for Psychosocial Treatments for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Traumatic Events. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: The Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53 , 46 (3), 303–330.Abstract
Child and adolescent trauma exposure is prevalent, with trauma exposure-related symptoms, including posttraumatic stress, depressive, and anxiety symptoms often causing substantial impairment. This article updates the evidence base on psychosocial treatments for child and adolescent trauma exposure completed for this journal by Silverman et al. (2008). For this review, we focus on 37 studies conducted during the seven years since the last review. Treatments are grouped by overall treatment family (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy), treatment modality (e.g., individual vs. group), and treatment participants (e.g., child only vs. child and parent). All studies were evaluated for methodological rigor according to Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology evidence-based treatment evaluation criteria (Southam-Gerow & Prinstein, 2014), with cumulative designations for level of support for each treatment family. Individual CBT with parent involvement, individual CBT, and group CBT were deemed well-established; group CBT with parent involvement and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) were deemed probably efficacious; individual integrated therapy for complex trauma and group mind-body skills were deemed possibly efficacious; individual client-centered play therapy, individual mind-body skills, and individual psychoanalysis were deemed experimental; and group creative expressive + CBT was deemed questionable efficacy. Advances in the evidence base, with comparisons to the state of the science at the time of the Silverman et al. (2008) review, are discussed. Finally, we present dissemination and implementation challenges and areas for future research.
Christensen, K. A., Aldao, A., Sheridan, M. A., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2017). Habitual reappraisal in context: peer victimisation moderates its association with physiological reactivity to social stress. Cognition & Emotion , 31 (2), 384–394.Abstract
Although the emotion regulation strategy of reappraisal has been associated with adaptive outcomes, there is a growing evidence that it may not be adaptive in all contexts. In the present study, adolescents reported their use of habitual reappraisal and their experiences with peer victimisation, a chronic stressor that is associated with reduced well-being in this population. We examined how these variables predicted physiological reactivity (vagal withdrawal and changes in pre-ejection period) during a social stressor (i.e., Trier Social Stress Task). In line with previous research, at high levels of victimisation, habitual reappraisal predicted adaptive physiological reactivity (i.e., greater vagal withdrawal). Conversely, at low levels of victimisation, habitual reappraisal predicted maladaptive physiological reactivity (i.e., blunted vagal withdrawal). These findings were specific to parasympathetic reactivity. They suggest that habitual reappraisal may exert different effects on parasympathetic reactivity depending on the presence of stressors, and highlight the importance of examining the role of contextual factors in determining the adaptiveness of emotion regulation strategies.
Lambert, H. K., Sheridan, M. A., Sambrook, K. A., Rosen, M. L., Askren, M. K., & McLaughlin, K. A. (2017). Hippocampal Contribution to Context Encoding across Development Is Disrupted following Early-Life Adversity. The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience , 37 (7), 1925–1934.Abstract
Context can drastically influence responses to environmental stimuli. For example, a gunshot should provoke a different response at a public park than a shooting range. Little is known about how contextual processing and neural correlates change across human development or about individual differences related to early environmental experiences. Children (N = 60; 8-19 years, 24 exposed to interpersonal violence) completed a context encoding task during fMRI scanning using a delayed match-to-sample design with neutral, happy, and angry facial cues embedded in realistic background scenes. Outside the scanner, participants completed a memory test for context-face pairings. Context memory and neural correlates of context encoding did not vary with age. Larger hippocampal volume was associated with better context memory. Posterior hippocampus was recruited during context encoding, and greater activation in this region predicted better memory for contexts paired with angry faces. Children exposed to violence had poor memory of contexts paired with angry faces, reduced hippocampal volume, and atypical neural recruitment on encoding trials with angry faces, including reduced hippocampal activation and greater functional connectivity between hippocampus and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC). Greater hippocampus-vlPFC connectivity was associated with worse memory for contexts paired with angry faces. Posterior hippocampus appears to support context encoding, a process that does not exhibit age-related variation from middle childhood to late adolescence. Exposure to dangerous environments in childhood is associated with poor context encoding in the presence of threat, likely due to greater vlPFC-dependent attentional narrowing on threat cues at the expense of hippocampus-dependent processing of the broader context.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The ability to use context to guide reactions to environmental stimuli promotes flexible behavior. Remarkably little research has examined how contextual processing changes across development or about influences of the early environment. We provide evidence for posterior hippocampus involvement in context encoding in youth and lack of age-related variation from middle childhood to late adolescence. Children exposed to interpersonal violence exhibited poor memory of contexts paired with angry faces and atypical neural recruitment during context encoding in the presence of threatening facial cues. Heightened attention to threat following violence exposure may come at the expense of encoding contextual information, which may ultimately contribute to pathological fear expressed in safe contexts.
Durwood, L., McLaughlin, K. A., & Olson, K. R. (2017). Mental Health and Self-Worth in Socially Transitioned Transgender Youth. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , 56 (2), 116–123.e2.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Social transitions are increasingly common for transgender children. A social transition involves a child presenting to other people as a member of the "opposite" gender in all contexts (e.g., wearing clothes and using pronouns of that gender). Little is known about the well-being of socially transitioned transgender children. This study examined self-reported depression, anxiety, and self-worth in socially transitioned transgender children compared with 2 control groups: age- and gender-matched controls and siblings of transgender children. METHOD: As part of a longitudinal study (TransYouth Project), children (9-14 years old) and their parents completed measurements of depression and anxiety (n = 63 transgender children, n = 63 controls, n = 38 siblings). Children (6-14 years old; n = 116 transgender children, n = 122 controls, n = 72 siblings) also reported on their self-worth. Mental health and self-worth were compared across groups. RESULTS: Transgender children reported depression and self-worth that did not differ from their matched-control or sibling peers (p = .311), and they reported marginally higher anxiety (p = .076). Compared with national averages, transgender children showed typical rates of depression (p = .290) and marginally higher rates of anxiety (p = .096). Parents similarly reported that their transgender children experienced more anxiety than children in the control groups (p = .002) and rated their transgender children as having equivalent levels of depression (p = .728). CONCLUSION: These findings are in striking contrast to previous work with gender-nonconforming children who had not socially transitioned, which found very high rates of depression and anxiety. These findings lessen concerns from previous work that parents of socially transitioned children could be systematically underreporting mental health problems.
McLaughlin, K. A., Sheridan, M. A., & Nelson, C. A. (2017). Neglect as a Violation of Species-Expectant Experience: Neurodevelopmental Consequences. Biological Psychiatry , 82 (7), 462–471.Abstract
The human brain requires a wide variety of experiences and environmental inputs in order to develop normally. Children who are neglected by caregivers or raised in institutional environments are deprived of numerous types of species-expectant environmental experiences. In this review, we articulate a model of how the absence of cognitive stimulation and sensory, motor, linguistic, and social experiences common among children raised in deprived early environments constrains early forms of learning, producing long-term deficits in complex cognitive function and associative learning. Building on evidence from animal models, we propose that deprivation accelerates the neurodevelopmental process of synaptic pruning and limits myelination, resulting in age-specific reductions in cortical thickness and white matter integrity among children raised in deprived early environments. We review evidence linking early experiences of psychosocial deprivation to reductions in cognitive ability, associative and implicit learning, language skills, and executive functions as well as atypical patterns of cortical and white matter development-domains that should be profoundly influenced by deprivation through the learning and neural mechanisms we propose. These patterns of atypical development are difficult to explain with existing models that emphasize stress pathways and accelerated limbic system development. A learning account of how deprived early environments influence cognitive and neural development provides a complementary perspective to stress models and highlights novel pathways through which deprivation might confer risk for internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. We end by reviewing evidence for plasticity in cognitive and neural development among children raised in deprived environments following interventions that improve caregiving quality.
Dunn, E. C., Wang, Y., Tse, J., McLaughlin, K. A., Fitzmaurice, G., Gilman, S. E., & Susser, E. S. (2017). Sensitive periods for the effect of childhood interpersonal violence on psychiatric disorder onset among adolescents. The British Journal of Psychiatry: The Journal of Mental Science , 211 (6), 365–372.Abstract
BackgroundAlthough childhood adversity is a strong determinant of psychopathology, it remains unclear whether there are 'sensitive periods' when a first episode of adversity is most harmful.AimsTo examine whether variation in the developmental timing of a first episode of interpersonal violence (up to age 18) associates with risk for psychopathology.MethodUsing cross-sectional data, we examined the association between age at first exposure to four types of interpersonal violence (physical abuse by parents, physical abuse by others, rape, and sexual assault/molestation) and onset of four classes of DSM-IV disorders (distress, fear, behaviour, substance use) (n = 9984). Age at exposure was defined as: early childhood (ages 0-5), middle childhood (ages 6-10) and adolescence (ages 11-18).ResultsExposure to interpersonal violence at any age period about doubled the risk of a psychiatric disorder (odds ratios (ORs) = 1.51-2.52). However, few differences in risk were observed based on the timing of first exposure. After conducting 20 tests of association, only three significant differences in risk were observed based on the timing of exposure; these results suggested an elevated risk of behaviour disorder among youth first exposed to any type of interpersonal violence during adolescence (OR = 2.37, 95% CI 1.69-3.34), especially being beaten by another person (OR = 2.44; 95% CI 1.57-3.79), and an elevated risk of substance use disorder among youth beaten by someone during adolescence (OR = 2.77, 95% CI 1.94-3.96).ConclusionsChildren exposed to interpersonal violence had an elevated risk of psychiatric disorder. However, age at first episode of exposure was largely unassociated with psychopathology risk.
McGrath, J. J., Saha, S., Lim, C. C. W., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Andrade, L. H., Bromet, E. J., et al. (2017). Trauma and psychotic experiences: transnational data from the World Mental Health Survey. The British Journal of Psychiatry: The Journal of Mental Science , 211 (6), 373–380.Abstract
BackgroundTraumatic events are associated with increased risk of psychotic experiences, but it is unclear whether this association is explained by mental disorders prior to psychotic experience onset.AimsTo investigate the associations between traumatic events and subsequent psychotic experience onset after adjusting for post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental disorders.MethodWe assessed 29 traumatic event types and psychotic experiences from the World Mental Health surveys and examined the associations of traumatic events with subsequent psychotic experience onset with and without adjustments for mental disorders.ResultsRespondents with any traumatic events had three times the odds of other respondents of subsequently developing psychotic experiences (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 2.7-3.7), with variability in strength of association across traumatic event types. These associations persisted after adjustment for mental disorders.ConclusionsExposure to traumatic events predicts subsequent onset of psychotic experiences even after adjusting for comorbid mental disorders.
Magruder, K. M., McLaughlin, K. A., & Elmore Borbon, D. L. (2017). Trauma is a public health issue. European Journal of Psychotraumatology , 8 (1), 1375338.Abstract
Exposure to trauma is pervasive in societies worldwide and is associated with substantial costs to the individual and society, making it a significant global public health concern. We present evidence for trauma as a public health issue by highlighting the role of characteristics operating at multiple levels of influence - individual, relationship, community, and society - as explanatory factors in both the occurrence of trauma and its sequelae. Within the context of this multi-level framework, we highlight targets for prevention of trauma and its downstream consequences and provide examples of where public health approaches to prevention have met with success. Finally, we describe the essential role of public health policies in addressing trauma as a global public health issue, including key challenges for global mental health and next steps for developing and implementing a trauma-informed public health policy agenda. A public health framework is critical for understanding risk and protective factors for trauma and its aftermath operating at multiple levels of influence and generating opportunities for prevention.