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Health - Psychology - 04.08.2022
Covid-19 restrictions not directly linked to levels of distress in England
Covid-19 restrictions not directly linked to levels of distress in England
People in England continued to experience high levels of psychological distress even after all legal Covid restrictions ended in February 2022, finds a new study led by researchers from UCL and King's College London. The findings, part of the Covid-19 Rapid Survey of Adherence to Interventions and Responses (CORSAIR) study, were published in Journal of Psychiatric Research and examined data collected from online surveys of over 41,000 participants over the age of 16 years between April 2020 until April 2022.

Psychology - Health - 20.07.2022
No evidence that depression is caused by low serotonin levels, finds comprehensive review
After decades of study, there remains no clear evidence that serotonin levels or serotonin activity are responsible for depression, according to a major review of prior research led by UCL scientists. The new umbrella review - an overview of existing meta-analyses and systematic reviews - published in Molecular Psychiatry , suggests that depression is not likely caused by a chemical imbalance, and calls into question what antidepressants do.

Health - Psychology - 18.07.2022
Covid infection doubles risk of mental health and financial problems in older adults
Adults over the age of 52 appear to be twice as likely to develop mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, alongside suffering from financial difficulties after contracting Covid-19, finds a new UCL-led study. The study, published in  PNAS , used data from 5,146 adults between the ages of 52 and 74 who participated in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, to examine the immediate and longer-term impact of Covid-19 infection on the mental health, wellbeing, social interactions, and financial outcomes of older adults.

Psychology - 13.07.2022
School-based mindfulness training programme fails to improve young people’s mental health
A standardised schools-based mindfulness training programme did not help young people's mental health and well-being overall, but did improve school culture and reduce teachers- burn out, a new study has found.

Health - Psychology - 01.07.2022
Study highlights heavy mental health burden of Covid-19 for ’shielders’
Research into the mental health impacts of Covid-19 suggests vulnerable groups need increased psychological support as government guidance is reviewed. Research from a new study suggests that health anxiety among the clinically vulnerable groups who shielded at home has risen since the first pandemic wave, despite developments in viral treatment and the roll-out of the vaccination programme.

Psychology - Social Sciences - 01.07.2022
Adolescents more vulnerable to cannabis addiction but not other mental health risks
Adolescents more vulnerable to cannabis addiction but not other mental health risks
Adolescents are over three times more vulnerable to developing a cannabis addiction than adults, but may not be at increased risk of other mental health problems related to the drug, finds a new study led by UCL and King's College London researchers. The study, published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology , found that adolescents who used cannabis were no more likely to have higher levels of subclinical depression or anxiety than adults who use cannabis, nor were they more vulnerable than adult users to the associations with psychotic-like symptoms.

Psychology - Social Sciences - 28.06.2022
Association of children conceived via infertility treatments with school and mental health outcomes
Children conceived through medically assisted reproduction (MAR) fare better at school but are slightly more likely to have mental health problems by their late teens, finds a new study led by researchers at UCL and the University of Helsinki. The researchers say the correlation for mental health is  only  observed when the social demographics of children's families are taken into account, and that there is  no  evidence to suggest the MAR treatment itself is the source of association for mental health.

Psychology - Social Sciences - 27.06.2022
Calls for mental health of both parents to be considered during the perinatal period
Calls for mental health of both parents to be considered during the perinatal period
Perinatal mood disorders such as postnatal depression and perinatal anxiety, may affect both mothers and fathers simultaneously, finds a new systematic review and meta-analysis* led by UCL researchers. Around 3 in 100 couples (3.18%) were found to both suffer from late postnatal depression, which occurs three to 12 months after a child is born.

Psychology - 23.06.2022
Developmental dyslexia essential to human adaptive success, study argues
Researchers say people with Developmental Dyslexia have specific strengths relating to exploring the unknown that have contributed to the successful adaptation and survival of our species. -The deficit-centred view of dyslexia isn-t telling the whole story. This research proposes a new framework to help us better understand the cognitive strengths of people with dyslexia.

Psychology - 15.06.2022
High anxiety about GCSE exams has minimal effect on grades
No clear relationship exists between GCSE test anxiety and exam performance among Year 11 pupils, a UCL study has found. Published today in the peer-reviewed journal  Oxford Review of Education , the study explores whether GCSE grades are lower amongst Year 11 pupils (15/16-year-olds) who suffer from high levels of test anxiety.

Psychology - Pedagogy - 14.06.2022
Pre-school play with friends lowers risk of mental health problems later
Pre-school play with friends lowers risk of mental health problems later
Children who learn to play well with others at pre-school age tend to enjoy better mental health as they get older, new research shows. The findings provide the first clear evidence that -peer play ability-, the capacity to play successfully with other children, has a protective effect on mental health.

Innovation - Psychology - 13.06.2022
Fears over technology 'addictions' and 'disorders' may be unjustified, shows research
Fears over technology ’addictions’ and ’disorders’ may be unjustified, shows research
Current measures of digital technology use are not fit for purpose, say researchers. Questionnaires and scales measuring how we interact with smartphones, social media and gaming should not be used to demonstrate links with mental health and wellbeing, according to research from the Universities of Bath and Lancaster.

Health - Psychology - 27.05.2022
Autistic individuals have poorer health and healthcare
Autistic individuals are more likely to have chronic mental and physical health conditions, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. Autistic individuals also report lower quality healthcare than others. This study should sound the alarm to healthcare professionals that their autistic patients are experiencing high rates of chronic conditions alongside difficulties with accessing healthcare Elizabeth Weir These findings, published in Molecular Autism, have important implications for the healthcare and support of autistic individuals.

Health - Psychology - 25.05.2022
How Covid-19 surge impacted mental health of NHS staff
How Covid-19 surge impacted mental health of NHS staff
Almost two-thirds (64%) of intensive care staff may have experienced a mental health disorder during the Covid-19 winter surge last year, according to a new study led by researchers from UCL and King's College London. A similar proportion of staff said their ability to do their job was impaired because of the state of their mental health, researchers found.

Psychology - 11.05.2022
Reform to Mental Health Act must prompt change in support for families
As the Queen's Speech outlined plans for changes to the Mental Health Act, a study highlights the challenging experiences for family members of people detained. Family members of people with severe mental health challenges need greater support to navigate the UK-s care system following changes announced in yesterday's Queen's Speech, say the authors of a new study published in the British Journal of Social Work .

Psychology - 06.05.2022
Social media break improves mental health - new study
Social media break improves mental health - new study
Results of a study that asked participants to take a week-long break from social media find positive effects for wellbeing, depression and anxiety. Asking people to stop using social media for just one week could lead to significant improvements in their wellbeing, depression and anxiety and could, in the future, be recommended as a way to help people manage their mental health say the authors of a new study.

Psychology - Pharmacology - 26.04.2022
Talk therapy may alleviate depression and improve quality of life for people with dementia
Talk therapy may alleviate depression and improve quality of life for people with dementia
Talking therapies may improve symptoms of depression for people with dementia, finds a new review led by UCL researchers, providing hope for a group who typically do not benefit from antidepressants. Feelings of anxiety and depression are common in people living with dementia and mild cognitive impairment, but the best way to treat these symptoms is currently unknown, as medicines often used to treat these symptoms may not be effective for people with dementia and may cause side effects.

Health - Psychology - 12.04.2022
Worries about finances outstrip concerns about catching Covid-19
More people are now more worried about their finances (38%), than catching Covid-19 (33%), find UCL researchers as part of the Covid-19 Social Study. The proportion of people concerned about finances is up from 32% in January 2022 - the highest level since the start of the pandemic two years ago - and likely reflects the pressures felt by the 'cost of living crisis'.

Psychology - Social Sciences - 11.04.2022
Sense of purpose is linked to reduced risk of dementia
Sense of purpose is linked to reduced risk of dementia
Feeling a sense of purpose or meaning in life is associated with a lower risk of dementia years later, finds a new review of evidence led by UCL researchers. The academics were looking at whether positive psychological constructs, which also included positive mood and optimism and found that purpose and meaning in life were the key factors consistently associated with reduced risk, they report in Ageing Research Reviews .

Life Sciences - Psychology - 31.03.2022
Autistic and non-autistic people share more in common
We are more alike than we might think a study published in advance of World Autism Day suggests we need a more evidence-based approach to neurodiversity. Findings published in advance of World Autism Day (Saturday 2 April) reveal there are fundamental similarities between autistic and non-autistic people in mental processing.
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