news 2023



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Health - Psychology - 20.12.2023
Emotional problems in young people were rising rapidly even before the pandemic
There was a substantial increase in emotional problems among young people in Wales in the years immediately before the pandemic, research from Cardiff University shows. Published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, academics studied data collected from more than 200,000 young people aged 11-16 in Wales.

Health - Psychology - 14.12.2023
Body dissatisfaction linked with depression risk in children
Body dissatisfaction at age 11 is linked to increased risk of depression by age 14, finds a new longitudinal study led by UCL researchers. The findings, published in The Lancet Psychiatry , show that body image concerns explain a large proportion of an association between body mass index (BMI) and depression in children, particularly in girls.

Psychology - Computer Science - 11.12.2023
VR users need an emotional connection to virtual worlds, not better graphics - study finds
VR users need an emotional connection to virtual worlds, not better graphics - study finds
Being amazed by powerful graphics is not enough for a person to feel fully engaged in a VR world - even more important is a strong emotional response. Published on Monday 11 December 2023 Last updated on Monday 11 December 2023 Being wowed by powerful graphics is not enough for a person to feel fully immersed in a virtual-reality (VR) world - a strong emotional response to the simulated environment is essential too, according to a new study from the University of Bath.

Psychology - Health - 28.11.2023
No ’smoking gun’ mental health harm from internet: landmark Oxford survey
Study of two million individuals' psychological well-being from 2005 to 2022 in 168 countries, in relation to country-level internet-use and mobile broadband statistics Negative and positive experiences had increased on average, but little to no evidence suggesting (mobile) internet use was associated with these changes Links between internet adoption and psychological well-being are small at most, despite popular assumptions about the negative

Psychology - 22.11.2023
Cognitive ability mattered in the UK's vote for Brexit
Cognitive ability mattered in the UK’s vote for Brexit
Susceptibility to misinformation and disinformation likely to have played a part in the Leave vote. Published on Wednesday 22 November 2023 Last updated on Thursday 23 November 2023 New research from the University of Bath's School of Management finds that higher cognitive ability was strongly linked to voting to Remain in the 2016 UK referendum on European Union Membership.

Health - Psychology - 20.11.2023
Calls for better access to talking therapies for autistic people
Autistic adults have poorer access to appropriate mental healthcare, despite being more likely to experience anxiety or depression than the general population, finds a new study by UCL researchers. It is estimated that up to 27% of autistic people experience anxiety and 23% develop depression, compared to 5.9% and 3.3% in the wider population.

Health - Psychology - 15.11.2023
Mental health declines when becoming an unpaid carer
Becoming an unpaid carer for family and friends negatively affects the mental health of people of all ages and genders, finds a new study by researchers at UCL and St George's, University of London. The research, published in The Lancet Public Health , used data from more than 17,000 people in the UK Household Longitudinal Study between 2009 and 2020 to investigate mental and physical health changes around the transition to becoming a caregiver for the first time in adults aged 16 and older.

Health - Psychology - 03.11.2023
Ethnic minority groups less likely to receive early psychosis treatments
Ethnic minority groups less likely to receive early psychosis treatments
People experiencing a psychotic episode for the first time are less likely to receive early psychological interventions in England if they are from an ethnic minority background, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. Some groups were only half as likely to receive early treatment, which is important for improving outcomes later in life for people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, according to the findings published in Psychiatry Research and led by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Mental Health Policy Research Unit at UCL.

Pharmacology - Psychology - 25.10.2023
Simple blood test can help diagnose bipolar disorder
Simple blood test can help diagnose bipolar disorder
Researchers have developed a new way of improving diagnosis of bipolar disorder that uses a simple blood test to identify biomarkers associated with the condition. The ability to diagnose bipolar disorder with a simple blood test could ensure that patients get the right treatment the first time Jakub Tomasik The researchers, from the University of Cambridge, used a combination of an online psychiatric assessment and a blood test to diagnose patients with bipolar disorder, many of whom had been misdiagnosed with major depressive disorder.

Psychology - Health - 16.10.2023
Researchers identify early signs of bipolar disorder
Other mental illness diagnoses, taking psychotropic medication (prescribed to treat those illnesses, and specific health service use patterns are strong indicators of bipolar disorder, show researchers from the University of Manchester and Keele University. The findings - published in the British Journal of General Practice - will enable doctors to carry out quicker referral, assessment, and treatment of the debilitating and risky condition that used to be known as manic depression.

Psychology - Pedagogy - 09.10.2023
Young children who are close to their parents are more likely to grow up kind, helpful and ’prosocial’
Study using data from 10,000 people in the UK found that those who had a closer bond with their parents at age three tended to display more socially-desirable behaviours like kindness, empathy and generosity, by adolescence. As children, we internalise those aspects of our relationships with our parents that are characterised by emotion, care and warmth Ioannis Katsantonis A loving bond between parents and their children early in life significantly increases the child's tendency to be 'prosocial', and act with kindness and empathy towards others, research indicates.

Psychology - Health - 02.10.2023
Calls for verbal abuse of children by adults to be formally recognised as form of child maltreatment
Calls for verbal abuse of children by adults to be formally recognised as form of child maltreatment
A new systematic review by researchers at UCL and Wingate University has highlighted the importance of identifying childhood verbal abuse by adults as a standalone subtype of child maltreatment, to ensure targeted prevention and address the lasting harm it can inflict. Child maltreatment is currently classified into four subtypes: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

Health - Psychology - 29.09.2023
Increased risk of depression and anxiety when in higher education
Increased risk of depression and anxiety when in higher education
Young people who are in higher education in England face a small increased risk of depression and anxiety, compared to their peers who are not attending higher education, finds a new study led by UCL researchers. The research paper, published in The Lancet Public Health , is the first to find evidence of higher levels of depression and anxiety among higher education students compared with their peers.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 28.09.2023
Doll play allows children to develop and practice social skills regardless of their neurodevelopmental profile
Neuroscientists from Cardiff University have found that doll play could benefit children with varying social communication styles, including those who display neurodivergent traits commonly associated with autism. Part of a long-term study commissioned by Mattel, researchers monitored the brain activity of 57 children aged 4 to 8 years with varying levels of autistic traits.

Health - Psychology - 20.09.2023
Young people’s mental health deteriorated at greater rate during the pandemic
Young people's mental health deteriorated during COVID-19, with higher levels of depression and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties than before the pandemic hit, a comprehensive new study has shown. Researchers led by Professor Willem Kuyken at Oxford University's Department of Psychiatry compared the mental health difficulties and well-being of thousands of UK secondary school pupils who experienced three lockdowns, with a group of students who participated in the same study before the coronavirus pandemic emerged in 2020.

Psychology - 14.09.2023
First reliable test for dementia in people with hearing loss
Researchers have developed the first reliable test for dementia in people with hearing loss, following an international study led by The University of Manchester scientists. One in 11 people over the age of 65 have dementia in the UK, and more than 75% of people over 75 have hearing problems. This means hearing loss commonly occurs alongside dementia.

Psychology - 31.08.2023
New research explores the link between baby birthweight, length of pregnancy and future cognitive problems
A new study has explored the link between infant birthweight, gestational age and future cognitive problems. Published today in JAMA Network Open, scientists have shown how the relative birthweight of infants associates with cognitive performance at five years of age. The results broadly indicate that a large birthweight is good for IQ, but this is relative to gestational age (the week of pregnancy the baby is born - for a healthy nine-month pregnancy this is 40 weeks).

Health - Psychology - 31.08.2023
Remote GP appointments as effective as in-person care for some conditions
Virtual GP and other primary care consultations can be as effective as face-to-face appointments for a range of health conditions. This is according to a new study by researchers at Imperial College London, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. It found health outcomes for patients who saw doctors remotely at least matched those for in-person care for mental illness, alcohol misuse, weight management and advice on quitting smoking.

Health - Psychology - 21.08.2023
Adults were psychologically resilient to the Covid-19 pandemic
Adults in England largely appeared to be psychologically resilient to developing depression or anxiety during the pandemic, a study by University of Manchester researchers has shown. The analysis of data from 16.5 million people attending general practice and 41 thousand respondents to a survey where people reported their symptoms over time, published in The Lancet Regional Health - Europe, shows that while mental distress reported in the surveys increased in the short term during the first two waves of the pandemic, the numbers affected quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 15.08.2023
Reduced grey matter in frontal lobes linked to teenage smoking and nicotine addiction - study
Findings may demonstrate a brain and behavioural basis for how nicotine addiction is initiated and then takes hold in early life, say scientists. Smoking is perhaps the most common addictive behaviour in the world, and a leading cause of adult mortality Trevor Robbins Levels of grey matter in two parts of the brain may be linked to a desire to start smoking during adolescence and the strengthening of nicotine addiction, a new study has shown.
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